The Gentleman

His voice made me think of black velvet and aged whiskey, deep and thick and from a different era.

I saw him on the bus again. I felt like I was stalking him, but it was purely coincidence. He always sat on the aisle; if someone came for the seat next to him he stood and let them slide in then sat back on the aisle. He appeared both relaxed and poised and slightly preoccupied. If he wasn’t watching his phone he was looking forward through the front windows.

The first day I stepped on I thought he saw me. But his eyes glanced away when I caught him. I hurried by, focused on an empty seat at the back, He pulled his knee in as I passed him, and I let my eyes skim his white hair, the laugh lines around his eyes and mouth, and the resting elegance of his long-fingered hands.

On the third day the only free seat was on the other side of him. My heart fluttered unexpectedly. I wondered if there was something to that pheromone thing. I knew I flushed bright, but also knew it could be attributed to the cold. I hesitated just a moment and he sensed it; before I could say anything he was standing aside. I slid all the way to the window, but when he sat back down the seat seemed very narrow. Warmth emanated through his well-cut charcoal trench coat. The blue scarf set off his skin… not that I was looking. Not that sitting so close to him and smelling his aftershave was having a strange effect on parts of my body I didn’t usually notice.

On the fifth morning it was as though he were saving that seat for me. He saw me step in and stood. The first time he smiled I thought my panties would melt. He said, “Good morning,” then sat back down and returned to his phone. But the seat was smaller. His shoulder and hip pressed mine, and I found myself leaning into him slightly. He didn’t budge, didn’t give, didn’t push back. Simply stayed.

On the seventh morning and following a weekend of actually missing this horrendous commute, he stood and smiled and in that whiskey and velvet voice asked how my weekend was. I said fine, thank you, with a little stutter and what felt like a hand around my throat. He slid in next to me, no, against me, and turned slightly. He offered his hand. “I’m Sam. And I’ve been wanting to know your name for a week.”

There was no apology. He spoke softly and slowly, but there was no hint of hesitancy.

“Emily,” I said.

“Very nice to meet you, Emily.” His phone must have buzzed because he excused himself and turned away. I put my earbuds in, not wanting to encroach on his conversation.

The eighth morning was a holiday. But there he was. I wondered at the happy feeling that flooded me. The bus was practically empty, but he stood and smiled. I slid in and when he sat, he moved even closer. Then I felt his breath hot on my ear.

“Do you mind?” he said softly. It wasn’t a whisper. But no one else could have heard it; it was meant only for me. I felt the familiar warm swell between my thighs. I wondered at the image I had of turning and kissing his mouth, wondered how his white goatee would feel on my skin. Wondered how he would taste. Like velvet and whiskey and-

I shook my head. His big hand slid over my thigh to my knee and back halfway; he let it rest there. I didn’t want him to hear the ragged edge suddenly in my breath. But his touch was affecting me.

He was still speaking in a low and intimate tone. “You’re a beautiful woman,” he said.

I looked up. Our faces were close and I couldn’t look away from his coffee-colored eyes. “Thanks.” So fucking lame.

But he smiled. “You’re welcome.”

I felt his fingers moving, rubbing little circles into the pinwale corduroy of my skirt. I flushed again at the thought of them slipping beneath the hem, up the inside of my thigh… I wondered if he was feeling the textured lace at the top of my stocking.

“May I kiss you?”

I swallowed hard. I wished he’d just do it, but he wouldn’t, not without my permission.

His eyes smiled, then darkened. “Just nod.”

I did, and felt his hand come up, felt him take my chin lightly but firmly in his fingers. My eyes closed.

It all stopped: the murmur of the other passengers, the roar of the diesel engine, the rocking. All I felt was the possessive grip of his fingers and the proximity of his body, all I heard was my heartbeat, all I tasted was him; first his lips teasing me so gently, the wet heat of his tongue sweeping across my bottom lip. He took me fully into his mouth, a soft suck and pull, and he opened his mouth on mine and I had to taste him.

The air brake hissed. He was gone and I was swaying, trying to catch my breath, my balance. “My stop,” he was saying softly.

I must have looked crestfallen because he leaned down, brushed my lips again and said, “Tomorrow, Emily. I’m not done with you, sweet girl.” With a smile that shone into the center of me he was gone.

I thought about that kiss constantly. An intense sadness washed over me when he wasn’t on the bus the following day, and again when I ended up having to take the two following as personal days.The memory and what it may have meant was fading. I began to wonder if I’d imagined the promise in it, or if I’d dreamed up the whole thing. Such things didn’t happen to Emily Anne Carter.

Monday found me walking to the busstop, head bent against a biting north wind. I slipped into the shelter and stiffened when arms encircled me. It was his voice in my ear. “Hey, sexy girl.”

I turned and looked at him. I knew I was beaming. I knew I shouldn’t let him know how excited I was to see him. But when he pulled me against his body his excitement was evident. He smiled and kissed me. It was almost chaste.

“I missed you,” I whispered.

“You have no idea. I want to take you somewhere.”

His arms weren’t letting me go.

“I have to be-”

“I know. Can you call in?”

I shouldn’t. They might fire me.

“Give me two hours.” His hands had found their way inside my coat, his warmth burned through my knit top. There was so much promise in those words. And he knew I was thinking about it.

Thought ceased when I felt his hand against the bare flesh of my stomach. When he pressed his hips against me and I felt his cock my instinct was to find him with my hand. The shelter was empty, for now. He slid behind me, pressing against my back. Pulled me into his body, one hand on my breast and the other sliding insistently lower. His fingers were firm, gentle, and unyielding, and I finally reached back and cupped him. His soft groan was my undoing. I kneaded and stroked him while arching into his palm, my other hand over his on top of my clothes and urging him lower. When he found my soaked lips it was my turn to moan.

“Fuck, girl. I need you. I want you to come for me, right here,” he ground against my ear.

He penetrated me with two fingers; I knew it wouldn’t take long. I wondered at my wanton reactions. The more he thrust his hips into my hand the harder he grew. The more ragged his breath became against my ear and neck, and the faster and harder he ground the meaty part of his thumb back and forth over my swollen clit, the higher I flew. I found my gaze pulled upward for a moment to see a woman and child approaching. I let go of his cock and clasped the back of his neck, my fingers digging in and the urgency causing me to gasp. He’d also seen them.

“Focus, Emily,” he said softly, urgently. “Chase it. Catch it, Beautiful, come for me.” His tongue ringed the cup of my ear and he kept flooding my aural sense until it crashed over me. I almost screamed, but found his hand, wet and smelling of sex, clasped firmly over my mouth. I exhaled and melted into him, into his solid body, his strong embrace, the scent and warmth and security of him.

As the woman and child joined us he turned me into his body, hiding my rumpled clothes and flushed face, and kissed me. I felt his cock throbbing as he drove his hips into mine. I had the urge to suck him till he came, a deep craving to feel and taste his release even as his tongue danced and played against mine.

I gazed through the dirty glass of the bus window, and watched the dirty city slip by. It had been weeks since that encounter. The cherry blossoms would be exploding soon. I wondered at my naivety, allowing myself such feeling for a man who never told me his last name.

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