He touched my back. A small touch. To anyone watching it would appear to be an accident. I stifled the sigh I felt wanted to escape at that touch. Now was not the time nor the place for such gestures. I frowned at him and worked my way towards the bar.

“Jack and Coke,” I told the bartender. The bar wasn’t exactly packed, but there were a number of people milling around. Each with their own group of people. They were surrounded by their own crowds. Just as I was mine.

My group consisted of three very giggly girls and myself. A group of celebrators out living it up because one of the giggly girls had just graduated with her degree in art. The bartender returned with my drink and I made my way back to the table. I passed him again, for a moment we noticed each other, then I looked away. The intimate look was too much, bringing a blush to my cheeks. Again, he touched me, a brush of the arms, his fingers tickled the back of my hand for a only a second. Again, I stifled the sigh his touch always brought.

He was with his own group. Five very stout men, older, relaxed and also celebrating. One of the men had just turned 40, it was his big night out. I wasn’t sure how they had managed to pick this place. It was a strange coincidence. But it was still coincidence, none of us had known where we were headed this evening. And none of us frequented this bar. It was a spur of the moment decision.

“Dance with me.” The new graduate, Olivia, took my hand.

“But I don’t dance,” I pleaded.

“Oh come on, Madison, I’ll teach you.” Olivia smiled, pulling me towards the dance floor.

“It’s going to take a lot of alcohol to get me on the dance floor.” I drained the drink in one quick gulp and set it on the table. “No, Olivia, I’ll look like an idiot. I always do and I’ll probably end up hurting one of us, you know how clumsy I am.”

“Nonsense,” Leslie took my other hand. “I’ll help.”

The two of them held me hostage as we entered the dance floor. Around us, couples and groups grinded to the music. I watched with faint amusement. This really wasn’t my scene. The music, the dancing, all of them were out of my scope of knowledge.

“Just move to the beat, I know you can find a beat.” Leslie began moving. Olivia followed her. I stood erect, not moving and watched their hips sway. There was no way I could do that.

“Ok, I’m going back. Sophie looks lonely and I’m sure she would rather be here dancing. Besides, I need another drink.” Normally, I wasn’t a big drinker, but tonight I made the exception. Normally, I didn’t hang out in bars either. But the girls liked to dance. So here we were. Since I didn’t dance and I didn’t really like the music, that left only drinking.

A waitress appeared at our table as I arrived at it. I gave the same drink order as before. Sophie ordered a martini. The waitress scurried away.

“There’s a guy over there watching me.” Sophie said.

“Where?” I didn’t turn around searching the crowd. I was much too hip for all that.

“See the group of five men, the short one with brown hair.”

I didn’t need to look. Birthday boy was scoping her out. He had a name, but I had forgotten it almost immediately after being told. Gavrel had mentioned it shortly before doing something incredible to my neck earlier in the evening. In that instant I had forgotten even my own name, let alone the name of some anonymous friend I would never meet. Just thinking his name made me want to turn and look at him.

“So, go talk to him.” I told her.

“I can’t do that,” Sophie blushed. “He has to make the first move.”

“Men are very slow, if you’re interested, go talk to him.” I made a small shooing motion at her.

Leslie and Olivia returned to the table. They were slightly sweaty, huge smiles plastered on their faces. At least they were having fun.

“What’s up?” Olivia took her seat.

“There’s a guy over there, giving Sophie the eye and she won’t go talk to him.” I paid the waitress as she set my drink down. Olivia and Leslie ordered drinks. The waitress scurried away again.

“Why not?” Leslie asked. She took a small sip of my drink and made a face. Some people just always make the whiskey face. I was glad I wasn’t one of them.

“Because he has to make the first move.” Sophie smiled at them. “Come on, I want to dance.”

“Go ahead,” Olivia smiled. “Leslie, go with her, I’ll get your drink.”

The two of them headed onto the floor and were swallowed into the crowd. I stared at Olivia, she was obviously up to something. I knew the look.

“You look like the cat that ate the canary. What’s with the look?” I asked her. My eyes stole a quick glance at Gavrel. He wasn’t exactly my type of guy. He was tall, with almost black hair. The hair stood straight up, he spent almost ten minutes every morning getting that look. His eyes were hazel, different colors making them look different shades. His face looked square and hard, only smiling softened it. It was a face that could instill fear. He was the stereotypical Russian right down Cami Halısı to his accent. Sometimes, it was hard to understand him, the accent was so thick. I like tall skinny blondes with a Nordic appearance, not broad shoulder men with dark hair and eyes.

“Oh, I was just thinking that Sophie might not be willing to go talk to him first, but you could.”

“You want me to go over and invite him to talk to Sophie?” I frowned again. “That doesn’t seem very fair to Sophie.” My role in this group had been determined long ago. I was the oldest by a year and more outspoken about my opinions. Someone had decided I was leadership material and made me leader. It was not a role I willingly took.

Olivia seemed to think about it for a moment. Then sighed. She was giving in for now, but probably not for the night.

“You’re right, it’s not like she doesn’t get lots of offers. I mean, she does still date.”

My frown deepened, “do you want me to go talk to them for Sophie or for myself?” No one knew about Gavrel. Everyone thought it had been well over a year since my last date.

“Sophie, but you never know, you might get lucky too.” Olivia was smiling again.

“I think I’ll just let nature take it’s course.”

Gavrel and I had met at a rock concert four months earlier. A mosh pit to be exact. I’d received a boot to the head by a crowd surfer. Gavrel had been standing a few feet away. He saw it happen. He had taken the initiative to move near me, protecting me from moshers and surfers alike. It would have ended there, except for one mosher. The guy started right in front of me, during the encore. There was nothing I could do but move back into Gavrel. Gavrel being 6’8″ and muscular, wrapped me up, moving me behind him. Someone threw a punch, hitting the mosher in the back of the head. A fight erupted. Someone clocked Gavrel in the face, busting open his cheek. It only took a moment for Gavrel to grab my hand and pull me from the violence in the middle. His cheek needed stitches and I had insisted on driving him, since he was by himself. We took Gavrel’s car. My friends took my car and followed us to the hospital. I left him there, getting stitched up and went home with my friends. The next morning, I couldn’t find my cell phone. I called it and was surprised when a sleepy man answered it. I told him who I was and he said he had been expecting my call. I had left it in his car. I met Gavrel for lunch that day.

“Earth to Madison,” Leslie chimed, interrupting my flow of memory.

“What?” I blinked at her.

“What are you thinking so hard about?” Olivia asked.

“Doesn’t matter,” I sighed. Lunch had led to sex, great sex. But that’s where it had ended. Or at least it should have been the end of it. I was a grad student at the university. I was attending a football game when I ran into Gavrel again. Literally ran into him. I was walking down the bleachers and tripped, stumbling into him. He had remembered my name and the two of us had stood talking for a few minutes. When I asked what he was doing there, he responded that his son was on the team. After a little more conversation, we discovered that I had his other son in one of my classes.

“Obviously, it does, you’ve ignored my last three sentences,” Leslie grinned.

“That guy is still checking you out,” Olivia said to Sophie. “He was watching you on the dance floor. Maybe you should go talk to him.”

“Too late,” Leslie nodded towards their table. Sure enough, they were on their way to our table. I hid the smile I felt forming, wondering who’s idea it had been to come over.

“Hello, ladies, mind if we join you?” The one that had been eyeing Sophie asked.

The three women at the table looked at me. I shrugged, “be my guest.” I responded, trying to sound like my heart wasn’t in my throat.

“I’m Doug,” Birthday boy announced. “These are my friends Charles, Brandon, Paul, and Gavrel.” He introduced everyone.

“I’m Madison, this is Leslie, Olivia and Sophie,” I shook hands with all of them. Gavrel gave the back of my hand a slight stroke with his thumb when we shook. I worked very hard not too look at him too closely.

Why the big secret? One of his son’s was in my Introduction to Literature discussion group. While I wasn’t the primary instructor, I was still the TA that did all his grading. There was only a small conflict of interest, but as a grad student, I didn’t feel like taking chances. Plus, Gavrel was in the middle of a divorce, a divorce brought on by infidelity. I had never asked, figuring it was none of my business, but one of his son often came to me to talk. The situation was very complicated, so we kept our relationship quiet. Pretending it didn’t exist. I am a big believer that if you want to keep something secret, you can’t tell anyone, including your closest friends.

“Gavrel, that’s an unusual name,” Olivia said as she scooted her chair around to make room.

“It’s Russian,” Gavrel smiled at her, grabbed a chair from another table and put it next to me. He squeezed in, brushing Cami Halıları my arm as he did. The nine of us were packed around the table like sardines. It was impossible to move without touching another person. His accent seemed to surprise Olivia and she smiled wider.

“Madison is a TA at the Uni, she’s getting her degree in Literature and speaks Russian, French and German,” Olivia chimed.

“That’s a lot of reading,” Gavrel smiled back at her. The air was getting too thick to breathe.

“I need a cigarette.” I announced to no one in particular. Of all the places, my friends had chosen the only non-smoking bar in town. They did have a patio area though were you could smoke. I headed that direction. Olivia got up and followed me.

“Well?” She asked as I lit up.

“Well what?”

“Gavrel is kind of cute, in a mysterious dark foreigner kind of way.”

“Mysterious dark foreigner, can you say that ten times fast?” I took a long drag. This was not a conversation I wanted to have.

“Oh come on,” Olivia gave me a light tap on the shoulder. “I’m not telling you to marry him, just take him home for the night.”

“Uh, no.” I lied. I had actually been thinking that exact same thing. Well, sort of, I had really been thinking of all things I could do to him when I got him home and vice-versa.

“You’re no fun,” she pouted.

“I know,” I was going to say more, but Gavrel stepped out onto the patio. Olivia’s eyes sparkled as she waved to him.

“Gavrel,” she called.

“Ladies,” he nodded to us as he produced a cigarette and lit it.

“Well, since you have company, I’m going back inside.” Olivia was a non-smoker, like all of my friends. We both watched her disappear.

“I thought she’d never leave,” Gavrel turned to me. A smile playing over his lips. “I was very glad that Sophie caught the attention of Doug. I couldn’t help but notice that you were being hit on earlier.”

“Did you suggest he come talk to her?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“Yes,” he nodded. “I figured if we got to join you, I could deter others from making the same mistake.”

“Afraid I’ll go home with one of them?” I teased.

“No, I just don’t like the look of rejection after you’ve dismissed them. It makes me pity them.” He stared at me for a moment. The look was intense, intimate, I had to break contact first. I could feel heat begin to rise in my entire body. Gavrel laughed lightly.

“Sod off,” I muttered, smiling. That was the thing, Gavrel could always make me smile, even when I didn’t want to.

“We need to return or our friends will be plotting ways to convince us to go home together.”

“Too late.”

“Are you coming over tonight?” It was a simple question, one that had a simple answer. My car wasn’t here and I’d already had my limit of alcohol. There was no way I could drive.

“No,” I responded, trying to keep the sadness out of my voice.


“I don’t have a car here.”

“So call a cab, pretend to call a cab and walk to my condo.” Gavrel had a condo downtown, it was maybe ten blocks from where we were standing.

“I don’t think my friends will believe that.” I started towards the building.

“They will if you act it correctly.” He followed.

I considered his words. Could I pull it off? I wanted to join him in his condo, wanted to feel his touch again. A plan formed and I knew I could.

An hour later, I feigned a headache. Too much alcohol I claimed. The bartender called me a cab, who thought I was slightly crazy for wanting a ride ten blocks. I tipped him well before letting myself into the building and Gavrel’s condo. Taking a book from one of his shelves, I curled up on the couch. The Cyrillic lettering always surprised me. I traced the title with my finger before opening it.

A smell invaded my dreams; honey, vanilla, and a hint of garlic. There was a whisper in my ear and I pulled myself awake. I blinked in the light. Gavrel sat next to me on the couch.

“You were sleeping,” he sounded sad that he had disturbed me. He picked me up off the couch.

“I must have fallen asleep while reading that book.” I blinked again as the fuzz left my brain.

“I am amazed you could read after drinking so much. I have never seen you drink that much.”

“What time is it?”

“Shortly after three a.m.”

I did the math in my head, I’d probably only slept about two hours. A simple power nap before the evening’s real entertainment began. I could feel Gavrel’s hands on my body as he walked slowly to the bedroom.

“Did you just get home?” I snuggled into his chest, into his arms. His shirt collar tickled my cheek. Reaching up, I wrapped an arm around his neck, playing with the hairs at the base of his head. He shivered once, ever so slightly, and goosebumbs appeared on his arms.

“Stop or we may not make it to the bedroom.” His accent thickened slightly.

I smiled and pretended to debate that, finally I responded, “I’m okay with that.”

He laughed, “maybe we should have stayed in the living room.”

“Maybe,” I nuzzled into his neck. Inhaling deeply before brushing my lips against the pulse there. He let out a soft moan, his feet stopped moving. He turned swiftly, spinning us back towards the living room.

“Where are we going?” I asked, whispering in his ear.

“The couch is closer than my bed.”

“Are you in that big of hurry?”

“Yes, someone has been teasing me all evening with inviting stares and brief touches.” He kissed my forehead. Then the tip of my nose. Then a brush of lips.

“I didn’t realize you could tease yourself.” I kissed him back, harsher, deeper, opening up to him. His body stiffened and he adjusted me in his arms. Turning me, so I had to wrap my legs around him. He pinned me to the wall, kissing me roughly. I was sure the couch was only about twenty feet away, but it might as well have been the darkside of the moon.

Gavrel unzipped the front of my dress, exposing my breasts. His lips found my nipple, his teeth gently tugged on it.

“Now, Gavrel,” I moaned to him.

He needed no more encouragement. I heard my panties rip and he slid his hand between my thighs. His fingers entered me.

“Gavrel, fuck me,” I nearly begged.

“You’re not ready. It will hurt”

“A little pain enhances the pleasure,” I found his zipper and worked it open. He took over for me. I held on tightly as he slipped a condom on. I wasn’t sure where it had come from and I didn’t care. He teased my clit with the tip of his cock.

“Gavrel, please,” I kissed him again, letting him understand my need. An entire night of simple touches had left me on fire. I needed him to enter me.

He did as I asked, sliding his full length into me, making me cry out. Gavrel frowned and began to pull back.

“Don’t you dare stop,” I tightened my legs around his hips, my voice sounded shaky. Every nerve in my body screamed for him to continue, despite the pain. After the moment of hesitation, Gavrel complied, shoving himself into me. Causing me to call out his name in a pleading tone. The sound of his name excited Gavrel more. His thrusting became more forceful, pushing me harder against the wall. He moaned against my neck, his release imminent. It was all I needed, my own orgasm washed over me. A shudder ripped through my body, bringing a scream from my throat. Gavrel came moments later.

He rested his head against my shoulder. My body felt weak and shaky. My voice was trapped some where in my throat.

“Now I think we can make it to the bedroom.” He gave a weak laugh, his voice playing against my skin.

I awoke to find myself nude and gently wrapped around Gavrel’s body. He wore boxers and our blankets were somewhere unseen. His body was showing signs of aging finally. His gut was starting to go from firm, rippling muscles to soft, supple skin. His sprinkle of chest hair was flecked with gray.

After a moment, I kissed his chest, while running one of my hands over his nipple. He let out a soft moan and opened his eyes.

“You are awake,” I whispered.

“You’re damn phone keeps vibrating.”

“My phone?” I asked, a little confused. He reached over to the night stand and handed it to me. I checked the number, Olivia and Sophie had called. Each about a dozen times.

Quickly I called Olivia back, my hands making circles on Gavrel’s chest.

“Madison, are you ok?” Olivia asked as she answered.

“Fine, I’m a little hung over though and my head feels like it’s been run over with a steam roller.” It was a lie, I felt fine.

“Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”

“That’s ok, Olivia. Would you call Sophie? I want to go back to bed and I can’t do it with my phone ringing. I’ll call you both tomorrow.” I clicked it closed and tossed it somewhere onto the floor behind me.

“Slick,” Gavrel’s hand slipped across my thigh.

“Yes, well, I hate interruptions.” I licked his nipple, my tongue flicking across it. It responded to the touch, becoming hard. Gently, I blew cool air across it and was rewarded with a shiver.

“Me too,” he nearly growled. His hand moved higher, tickling my hips and then grazing my ribs softly. Tickling me was a trick he had learned through our months of foreplay. Instead of moving back, I always moved in, pressing my body closer to his.

His lips found mine, pressing against me until I opened them to him. Gently, his tongue played along my lips and in my mouth. Every where he touched seemed to leave my skin tingling. I ran my hands through his hair.

He did the same, grabbing mine and pulling my head back, exposing my neck. His mouth kissed along my jawline before moving to my neck. I moved my hands back down to his chest as he rolled over onto his side.

“Gavrel,” I moaned his name, my hands working their way to the fly of his boxers. With a quick movement, I unbuttoned them and slid my hand inside. His cock was hard as I wrapped my fingers around it. He moaned into my chest before letting go of my hair and pulling one of my nipples into his mouth.

His tongue made circles around my nipple as I stroked him. The passion I felt last night had returned full force and only self control kept me from mounting him right that second.