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Grace didn't often let her hair down. In her job she was used to being responsible and law abiding, acting as a role model to the impressionable young. But here she was in a slightly salubrious bar, one that had a rail installed up above the bar itself to support drunken dancers who felt the need to strut their stuff high above, amongst the beer pumps. Grace wasn't going to let her hair down THAT much, but she was going to drink shots, and laugh, and dance, and maybe even smoke a cigarette or two. Her friends were dancing up a storm, swishing their long hair, swaying their hips, getting the attention of every guy in the place. Hayley, whose bachelorette night it was, was dressed in a miniature white dress complete with gaudy tiara and tiny veil. She was exposing the ridiculous length of her legs and enjoying every appreciative leer she was getting. Danielle, with her ample curves, actually had a guy's face pushed into her cleavage. Grace mouthed "Oh my God" at Clarice who was classy enough to be merely swaying to the music, glass of white wine in hand.
Grace hadn't felt this relaxed in a long time. She knew it was because she was well past tipsy; pretty much a whole bottle of champagne and way too many shots had seen to that. For once she didn't care. She was sick of feeling uptight all the time, wound up like a spring, constantly worrying about something, usually worrying about Brandon. Tonight she wasn't worried about a thing. She was just letting go to the music and the wild feel-good atmosphere. She knew she looked good tonight too. Her long blonde hair was freshly highlighted and it swung free in soft waves, glad to be out of the tight chignon she usually wore. She wore a red strappy dress that showed off her shapely shoulders. She felt beautiful and free and happy. "Now, how about that cigarette," she said to herself and headed for the machine she had seen out the back near the restrooms.
Sam was enjoying himself for once. Usually when he helped Shannon out he had to endure a night of whining regulars and would actually look forward to splitting up a sloppy drunken fight just for something to do. But tonight the view from behind the bar was much prettier than usual. Eight times pretty. Yes, he had counted eight gorgeous women, all drunk, all thoroughly enjoying themselves and it was a glorious sight. The tall blonde dressed in red was particularly good to look at. He couldn't keep his eyes off her; the way she was smiling in an almost dreamy way, how her blue eyes flashed, the naughtiness of her full lips. He was getting a little overheated just watching her. His eyes followed her as she left the room and he decided it was time he took a break too.
"Son. Of. A. Bitch" Grace said to the cigarette machine in the nicely enunciated way she always had, and then thumped it. The bastard had swallowed her last notes and was giving nothing up.
"Treat it gentle," said a soft voice behind her.
She looked round, straight into a pair of deep brown eyes. She blinked and focussed. Not just brown eyes, but long dark eyelashes, a straight nose, sun-tanned skin, sexy stubble and a very kissable mouth. Was it beer goggles, or was this man one of the best looking she had ever seen?
She couldn't seem to speak. He smiled, a slightly crooked smile, and oh sweet Lord, he had one dimple.
"There's a knack to it," he said and gently rocked the machine. There was a thump and a packet of Marlboro Lights appeared.
"Thank you," Grace said emphatically. "I haven't smoked in 6 months, and I was about to rip the thing open with my bare hands."
He laughed, deep and sexy of course. "Should I be stopping you from doing this?"
"God no, I'm drunk as a skunk so it doesn't count!"
"You don't look like a skunk," he said, his voice getting lower.
Grace's mouth suddenly went dry. Was he flirting with her? "Do you have a lighter?" she croaked.
"Yes," he said, "Let's go outside," and without waiting for her response, he took her hand and led her through the fire exit.
The surroundings weren't exactly conducive to seduction, but Sam didn't care. Something wild had taken hold of him. Once he'd heard her voice, slightly husky and educated, and once he'd touched her hand, he'd known what he had to do and to hell with any consequences. They both found themselves outside, the slight smell of greasy food in the air, dozens of squashed cigarette butts stamped out on the floor below their feet. She didn't seem to care, she was too busy staring at his mouth. It made him half hard already. He lit her cigarette with shaking hands and watched as she slowly inhaled it. Probably the sexiest thing he had ever seen. He reached for her hip and stroked the silky red material of her dress, and he didn't even have to say anything. She pushed him back against the wall and reached up to cover his lips with hers.
How had that happened? One minute she was absorbed in that glorious inhalation of a forbidden cigarette, the next minute she had completely discarded it and replaced it with a total stranger's tongue. Her hands were gripping his deliciously muscular biceps and he was pushing something very hard against her stomach. She ground against him, totally lost in the moment, totally turned on by him and her own recklessness. He bent his knees so he was level with her and groaned as she slid between his legs and pushed her breasts against his chest. His hand came up to cup one of them as his other hand slid up her thigh. A thumb found it's way to a nipple, already hard and peaked, as his fingers reached the lace of her panties. He was very good with his hands. And had spectacular abs, she discovered with delight when she dipped her hand under the hem of his T-shirt. "Shit," she heard him curse, almost incredulously. She had begun to play with the waistband of his jeans when somebody burst through the door next to them. It was Danielle, red hair flying, too drunk to even properly focus.
"G, we're going," she yelled, grabbing Grace's arm and pulling her through the door. Grace, just had time to glance back at the stunned man slumped against the wall as she was yankeddown the corridor and through the bar.