As my eyes scanned over the huddles of bodies, I noticed a lone man in the far corner. He sat so that his back was against the wall, his long, worn jean-covered legs stretched out in front of him. Donned in a threadbare, long-sleeved black shirt and what looked to be a handmade scarf wrapped around his neck, I couldn’t see his face as he concentrated on a tattered book in his hands. I was still watching him, willing him to look up at me in fact, when Deborah returned.
Just as I turned to give her my attention, he lifted his head, then smirked while he blatantly ran his eyes up and down my body. My breath caught in my throat at his feral intrusion. Something in the way he stared me down made me feel like I was on the menu, and I shuddered, my panties dampening. His eyes crinkled when he laughed.
“Carina, this here is Stan and Billy, if you’ll show them where your car is, they’ll bring everything in,” Deborah said, capturing my attention.
“Yeah, sure,” I mumbled, my eyes cutting back to the corner where the man was still staring at me. My outfit suddenly felt a tad silly and childish.
I led Stan and Billy out to my car and unlocked the doors so they could load up baskets. While they headed back inside with their first armfuls, I went to the trunk to retrieve the bags of cocoa.
I’d been leaning into the trunk, stretching to reach the bag which had shifted to the back, when the deep voice startled me, causing me to lose my footing and fall forward into the trunk. Horrified that my ass was on display as my legs flailed behind me, there was nothing I could do. A loud, rich laugh reverberated around me, caressing me and making it hard to think straight.
“Oh, dear, let me give you a hand,” he said, and hands closed on my hips, but not before they ran faintly over my ass. His British accent and wandering hands left a searing heat where they’d touched me… fuck me.
Would it be wrong to take one of the strays home with me? I wondered for half a second.
With his help, I managed to get my feet back on the ground and remove myself from the trunk victorious, cocoa bag in hand. I uprighted myself with a pleased smile on my face and shifted to thank my would-be attacker and savior in one. It was the man from the corner.
And he was grinning at me again.
My chest and cheeks heated up as embarrassment washed over me knowing it had been him to witness my flailing about. “Thank you,” I whispered.
“You’re blinking?” he stated, an air of confusion in his tone. Huh?
I glanced down to see what he was talking about and realized that in my stumble I must’ve bumped the on-button for my bra. The exposed shoulder strap was indeed flashing, along with all the trim work on the bra, which was now quite visible through my white sweater.
“Shit!” I cursed under my breath then stuck my hand down my top to locate the switch, withdrawing my hand and looking up once the lights were dimmed again. “Yeah, uh, that wasn’t supposed to happen.” I giggled, feeling sheepish. In the sunlight, I could see that his hair was strawberry blond, and it sparkled with meandering snowflakes. His eyes were a dark green that matched my leggings.
He licked his lips as he leaned into me, his hand grasping my elbow then sliding down my forearm to catch the bag in my hand left a fiery trail in its wake. The man pressed his mouth to my ear and I felt his warm breath as he purred into my ear, “It’s very festive. I like it… it’d be a great treat to see all of the light show, love.”
Leaving me speechless, my cheek warmed where he kissed it before walking away with the cocoa.