The man standing behind me is the most impressive man I have ever seen. His jaw is chiseled and covered in sexy stubble. His dark blonde hair is peaking out of a Blue Jays hat and his crystal blue eyes are sparkling with some kind of emotion I can’t identify. He’s so handsome. So, so incredibly handsome. Not in the pretty boy way like Levi, but in a rugged, confident, capable way. Like a real man. He looks 100% like a real man. Not at all like the whining, pathetic jerk I left back at the hotel.
“Wow,” I whispered under my breath without thinking, making this handsome stranger smirk at me. My face flushes in embarrassment and I try to hide my cheeks in my hands. “Sorry. Geez, mouth vomit. You’re just gorgeous and I couldn’t….I mean….Gosh! Stop talking, Bailey,” I muttered to myself.
“Bailey?” the handsome stranger lifted an eyebrow at me. “That’s a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”
And there goes any chance of my blush fading away. His panty dropping smile makes me whimper slightly. What is wrong with me? I came in here to drink before going back to the hotel where my asshole boyfriend is probably throwing a temper tantrum, waiting for me to come back. I shouldn’t be stumbling over my words like some freak in this bar to a total stranger. A totally sexy stranger….
“I’m sorry. I was just heading out,” I looked back up in those sparkling blue eyes, finding myself lost in their intensity. He is seriously the best looking man I have ever seen in my life. I don’t know how or why this man is even standing here talking to someone like me right now. He looked like the type to date models and beauty queens full of grace and beauty. Not a girl with thunder thighs and no sense of balance.
“You just got here, though. Why don’t you stay for a drink?” he asked, waving a large hand, connected to a yummy looking forearm with ropes of muscle, towards the bar, “I’ll even make it on the house.”
“Are you the owner?” I asked. Maybe that's why he's talking to me, trying to keep a new customer around. I imagine this town doesn't get much traffic from tourists or visitors. The hotel was pretty vacant when we checked in.
“No, but I know the owner. It’s always on the house for me.”
“Oh,” I murmured, looking between the man and the bar. I guess keeping me around so I spend my money isn't why he approached me. I want to take him up on his offer, but he’s a complete stranger. My grandma always told me not to take drinks from strangers at a bar. She claimed it wasn't safe. I have never really gone to bars like this, especially since dating Levi, so I wouldn't know, but her warning still flashes through my mind. If I took the drink from behind the bar, it would be okay though, right?
I should at least get his name first so he’s not a total stranger. “Um, I didn’t catch your name?”
“Axel,” he smiles, “My name’s Axel, Bailey.”
“Axel,” I smiled shyly up at him, “It’s nice to meet you.”
"It's so nice to finally meet you too, Bailey."
Finally? What does that mean? Is that some weird saying in this part of the country? Like, 'it was destiny meeting you here' kind of pick-up line? It's weird, but for some reason I like it. I feel like I'm finally meeting someone important to me too.
Axel leads me over to the bar, his hand brushing against my elbow, making those weird electrical currents travel up and down my arms. Maybe it’s the cool night air combined with the thrill I feel being in a bar, getting a drink with a stranger. Axel. He’s not a stranger anymore. He’s Axel.
Levi would lose his head if he walked in right now. I’m very much doing what he is always accusing me of. I’m very much wanting another man’s attention right now. Not just any other man’s. Axel’s. This is not like me. Levi has ingrained in me to not even look at other men so he wouldn’t get jealous and start yelling at me. That’s the main reason I was about to leave. If, on the off chance, Levi walked in here right now, he would flip out, causing a huge scene, and embarrassing the crap out of me.
There is something about Axel that makes all that seem insignificant. I feel drawn to Axel like I’ve never been drawn to anyone before. It’s strange. I’m not this girl. I’m not the type of girl who can easily forget her boyfriend and start flirting with a random guy at a bar.
I guess I am tonight. I want to be that girl tonight.
Levi and I should be through. I need to officially and for real break up with him. I’ve tried to break it off countless times, and maybe this is the catalyst I need to finally take that first step. Step one, flirt with a stranger. Step two…..
Right when I sit at the bar on the tall barstool, my phone starts to vibrate in my pocket. Step two: block the asshole. I can’t just block him, though. I know the jerk put a tracking app on my phone again. I logged it out, but he just had to log in to my online Apple account to reactivate it.
“Everything okay?” Axel asked, studying the face I was making looking down at my phone.
“Uh, yeah!” I said, a little too cheerfully, “Yeah, everything is fine.” I rejected Levi’s call, cringing, knowing he was going to be losing his mind once I did, then I turned off my phone completely. He can not track me if it's off. I need to stick to what I said this time, and really end things. I really need to be done with Levi.
“Well, what do you want to drink, Bailey?” Axel asked me, leaning in close, his minty breath fanning my face and making me swoon.
He chuckles deeply, “Drink? What would you like?”
“Oh, uh, how about a white claw?” I said it like it was a question. Axel smirks at my answer.
“A white claw?”
I shrug, “Um, I’m not really a drinker.” I couldn’t stand the taste of beer in college and always stuck to white claws when out with friends. When I started to date Levi, he wanted me to stop drinking completely. I rubbed my hands over my arms nervously, feeling his amused judgment at my choice of drink. “I don’t really know what else to get.”
“Hm, not a drinker? Like, ever?”
I shook my head, making him laugh in a raspy, deep tone. That laugh makes my insides tighten and tingle. He is so, so sexy. Too sexy. He is sinfully sexy, and just looking at him, being this close to him does stuff to my insides. I feel like butterflies are fluttering around in my stomach and the pit of my belly is throbbing with carnal needs.
“What are you doing in a bar then?”
I blushed, looking down at my hands, “I’m kind of stranded here. I was thinking about what to do to pass the time before the bus came in the morning.” I don't want to tell him about Levi for some reason. I don't want to think about Levi again tonight. Step three: forget Levi.
Axel continues to stare at me for several more seconds, then reaches out for my hand. “Let’s go somewhere a little more your scene then?”
“My scene?” I quirked an eyebrow at him.
“Somewhere….with more to offer than booze.” His smile was sincere, and even though I normally would never dream or even consider leaving a place with a man I didn’t know, I felt I could trust him. I somehow knew that I would be safe with Axel and he would never hurt me.
I hesitantly take his hand, gasping slightly when the electricity travels up my arms again. Is he wearing wool socks or something? How come he keeps shocking me every time he touches me? How come I like it?....
“Alright, Bailey. How do you feel about milkshakes?”