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Sweet Heart by Linda Lingle Chapter One 

                                September 25, 2016  
You often asked how I felt when we first met, and never tired of hearing the story, so I guess I should start with that. Did I feel the same rush of adrenalin, the same spark of electricity? And what was it about you that attracted me?  


I remember the moment clearly. You were wearing a short-sleeved, black dress that fell just to your knees, with black hose and black high heels, the combination of which was incredibly sexy. Had I known, then, that your nylons were not attached to a practical pair of panties, but were held close to your thighs with embroidered lace, it would have brought me to my knees.    


A string of small pearls and matching earrings softened the look, like a contradiction. Your auburn hair was tied up in a loose bun at the crown of your head, and wisps of it fell to the sides, framing your face.  I wondered how long it would be if I released it, and I wanted to do that, right then and there.  
So, did I want you, in that instant, in the same way you’ve said that you wanted me? Oh, yeah. I could feel the heat surge into that part of my body that would belong to you, and I thought to myself:  
This is going to be trouble, my boy, and you’d better steer clear.     


But it was already too late; I was a goner. All I wanted to do was run my hands along your thighs and explore all there was to discover under that black dress. But I knew that I wouldn’t. For one thing, we would be working together and, for another, I was married, and so were you, according to the ring on your finger. And, although my marriage was in shambles, I figured yours must be intact. How could it not be? Surely, the lucky guy who possessed you must have been keeping you happy. But your smile was so warm and engaging that I imagined it was an invitation, and I found myself hoping that it was.


I knew it was crazy, and probably nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of a man who had long been denied the pleasures he expects to receive, on a more-or-less regular basis, when he marries. But I saw something in your eyes that promised the kind of completion and fulfillment that men fantasize about from the time they achieve reason, and I was drawn to that, like a bee to nectar; like a moth to a flame.  


Even after all of these years, it still amazes me that we came together so quickly and I credit you for that. It was your hand that lingered in mine when we first shook at our introduction, your fingers that brushed against my palm like a feather as you handed me orientation materials, your knee that grazed mine as you situated in the chair next to me at that first morning conference, and then hovered so close that I could hardly breathe for anticipating another contact. You seemed fearless to me, like Amelia Earhart and Scarlett O’ Hara and, although I didn’t know what to make of you, I was intrigued, and wanted more than anything to make some moves of my own, even though I was out of practice and, I was sure, out of my league.


I sought you out for perspective on my new accounts and leaned in so close, to peer at your computer screen, that our cheeks nearly touched as you showed me how to access their files. I breathed in the aroma of your hair, pine woods and wildflowers from the Clairol Herbal Essence you used, and the scent of citrus and vanilla from the Emeraude cologne you dabbed behind your ears.  
By the third day, I had worked up enough courage to let my leg sidle against yours under that long, walnut table, and stay put for the length of the morning conference. That you did not protest, or shift away, was unbelievable to me and I wondered if I should press my luck, even though I knew that I didn’t have the steel for it.  


The first weekend away from you was excruciating. I missed the lilt of your voice, and the music of your laugh, and the smell of you that delighted, and overwhelmed, my senses. I passed the hours replaying our first days together in a continuous loop, examining every second of our time together and trying to make sense of it. Nothing like you had ever happened to me before and I was afraid; afraid that the long years of living in an emotional and sexual desert had clouded my judgment; afraid that I would overreach and end up disgraced and jobless, and afraid that, even if you welcomed my advances, at the moment of truth I would not measure up to your expectations. But the mere thought of intimacy with you sent shock-waves through my body that were so startling and strong, they eclipsed my fears and set me on a course that would change my life forever.  


When I sat down next to you, for Monday’s meeting, I could feel that the energy between us was charged with sexual tension. I knew that I would not make it through the day if I was not able to hold you and caress you and experience the feel of your lips on mine. But, even though I desperately wanted to be the Rhett to your Scarlett, I feared I was more like Walter Mitty, living a fantasy, and I just could not bring myself to take the next step. Defeated, and disappointed in myself, I left the office as soon as the meeting adjourned to take a walk and clear my head. That was when I discovered Florentina’s.  

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