There he was. Right in front of me. On the stage, his fingers dancing across the strings on his guitar, eyes closed as he felt the music. Behind me, I could hear the bartender arguing with a customer, a woman yelling at him, people laughing and clinking mugs, college students playing at the pool table. I was amidst the crowd at the far end of the bar, eyes set upon the only guy I’ve ever loved since I was a teenager myself. I still could not believe my eyes.

One of his band members was singing off-key, but it didn’t ruin the song. His hands were like magic, they strung together beautiful notes off the guitar. I could tell everyone was mesmerized by this man’s talent, the way their bodies sway to his music, despite the bad singing that accompanied it.

Before I knew it, they finished the song, and was hopping off the stage. While the rest headed to the bar, the guitarist headed towards the back door. Off for a smoke, I thought.

This was it. This was my chance.

I felt my fingers curling around his lighter in my pocket, the one he dropped that afternoon as he rushed off to the bar. I had followed closely behind, and picked it up. At first, I was going to return it to him, but I had a better plan up my sleeve.

Pressing my hands against the back door, I pushed it open and stepped out into the cold night. The light breeze blew strands of my hair across my face, as my eyes searched for him. I spotted a couple making out near the dumpsters, but that couldn’t be him. He didn’t have a girlfriend, nor was he hooking up with anybody. I did my research.

My eyes finally settled on a lean, dark figure right up the alley, back against the brick wall separating the main road and the back of the bar. The dim light from the lamp post merely softened the bright red shades on his head, bringing contrast to his sharp jawline and his gorgeous body, his hands feeling his jeans for his lighter.

The lighter I was holding.

“Fuck,” I could hear him whisper as I approached. My heartbeat quickened, breathing became rapid. My groins tingled with lust; I was 5 feet away, yet I could smell his strong cologne.

Mmm, Playboy. I could get used to inhaling that scent every day.

My eyes never left him, hands huddled across my chest, clutching the one thing I had belonging to him tightly as I stood there. I never wanted this moment to end.

He noticed me. He stopped looking for his lighter, the light settled on his sole possession I had as it blinked; it was calling out to him. I stopped breathing. All was quiet, the noise in the bar sounded too far away – it was just me and him. I could no longer hear the couple behind us. It was just us.

“Um hey… Miss? Do you have a lighter or matches on ya?” He was facing me, his face was hidden in the shadows. He held out his hand. “Miss?” He called out again.

Speak, Rachel. S-P-E-A-K.

I found my voice, but all I heard was “I-uhh-do-gah-have-uhh-a-light-uhh”. Immediately my hand clasped my mouth, and I stared at him. Shit.

After months of tracking down the band, and finally having them where I wanted them, that wasn’t what I expected. This wasn’t part of the plan. I was supposed to make him notice me, and once he realized what a remarkable girl I am, he’ll fall for me. I’ll follow him wherever he travels, far and wide. I’ll have his babies, I’ll be a good mother to his kids. I’ll be his loving wife, cook for him, massage his head, combing my fingers through his soft hair…

“Miss…? I could really use a lighter right now. I think I see one in your hand,” He said, softly this time, like he was trying to calm me down. Like I was a predator on the loose, and he was the prey, stalling me. Buying himself time before I pounced.

“Yes,” was all I said. I was in a trance, images of us flooding my mind. Of us, in the church, saying our vows. Of us, on our first trip together, sharing a milkshake on the Eiffel Tower, in Paris. Of us, as we cuddle together on a soft, white bed, me in my undies, him in his boxers, my legs wrapped around his body…

“Good, thank you. Can I borrow that?” He was conversing with me. We were having a conversation. He was replying every word I said. He wanted to talk to me. I thought he liked me. Oh god, the feeling in my stomach. I felt like I was going to throw up. No, stand your ground, Rachel.

A smile crept on my face, I nodded ever so slightly. Putting one foot forward, I almost yelped in glee as his fingers brushed across mine. Slowly, he took the lighter, and lighted his cigarette. Smoke whisked around his face, fading into the air. I watched as he inhaled on the cigarette, his muscles relaxing, and he smiled. At me.


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