She paused in the doorway self-consciously smoothing down the unaccustomed skirt as though to make it longer than it actually was. Her toes curled in the unusually high new shoes as she nervously toyed with the clasp of the small bag she clutched to her like a shield before squaring her shoulders and surveying the gloomy little room. Blue eyes narrowed slightly in defence against the thick smog of cigarette smoke which assailed her yet she resisted the urge to waver in her composure and cough furiously as she would have liked to have done. She had attracted attention now as more than one pair of eyes turned in her direction, one slightly more lecherous in amongst the appreciative glances and she again felt the slightly uncomfortable awareness of the lack of length to her skirt.
Again her gaze swept the room, this time a little more apprehensively for she had imagined she would be able to pick him out more easily than this but none of those within seemed to fit the description she had of him. Too old, too fat, too lecherous. No none of these fit the bill and she momentarily considered leaving before an almost imperceptible movement from the corner of the room drew her gaze to amused dark eyes surveying her with interest. A wry twist to the mouth told her he knew of her discomfort and was amused by it, was she so obvious that this was the first time she had done this? She sighed heavily, were it not for the money she should never be frequenting a place such as this but circumstances had left her with no other option and nowhere else to turn.
‘Come on girl you can get through this’ she told herself and a long lost sense of courage raised itself to the fore and bolstered her with a bravado she really did not feel. Pasting on a smile she walked slowly across the room, aware of the eyes upon her, not only the dark ones facing her but also from those she briefly passed. Dismissively she chose to ignore the smiles aimed at her and focused her attention upon the man she approached, she just wished he would smile! Anything to ease her nerves and calm the heart hammering so loudly in her chest. She prayed silently that he could not hear it as she reached his side and swallowed uneasily before summoning a smile. The amused expression deepened and he motioned her to the chair before him inviting her to sit which she gladly did before her shaking legs became obvious to him. A voice that melted her insides offered her a drink and she gratefully accepted, her glance sweeping his glass already half empty. Whisky she surmised, or brandy. No definitely whisky, he seemed the type for it.
Regarding him over the rim of her glass she swallowed a mouthful feeling the liquid fire hit her empty stomach making her draw her breath in unaccustomed surprise.
”Did you bring the money?”
Again that wry smile as the dark eyes laughed at her discomfort but he reached slowly into the inside of his jacket producing the envelope which he proffered in her direction. A man of few words she mused thoughtfully as she reached for it but he held onto it for just a second too long making her composure falter once again. She flushed her shame that financial gain had brought her here wondering for not the first time if she were really doing the right thing. Need won out and she dropped the envelope decisively into her bag snapping the clasp firmly shut before sliding forward in her seat and placing her palm upon his thigh.
His eyebrows raised at the blatant action but he said nothing, merely watched as she met his gaze from beneath lowered lashes. Her eyes lowered to his lips and she licked her own, the tell-tale gesture the only indication of the direction her thoughts were taking. He grinned triumphantly knowing his desire to kiss her was reciprocated before standing and holding out his hand to her indicating it was time to take this further.
”So darling” he chuckled softly ” How was your day? Shall we go and buy those carpets”