It started innocently enough; a chance meeting at a local shop turned into a friendly, albeit lengthy, coffee at the coffee haus.
It had been ages since I'd seen her, but she wore the years well. Still short but handsome, with simple makeup and a comfortable jacket, she looked a little worn at the edges -- "well-loved," as she might put it. I couldn’t put my finger on just why, but there was a subtle, inviting allure about her that couldn't be ignored.
Ancient walls, secrets unearthed slid aside to reveal hidden treasure, or at least codified maps with promises thereof. We’d resigned ourselves to friendship some years before, but found ourselves, suddenly, succumbing to long-forgotten temptations. I don't even remember walking home, I was so engrossed in her every movement. It wasn’t long before we fell onto my chesterfield. A scramble of arms and legs, awkward but full of memory, forgave the battered soldier, offered silent thanks.
And then they came. Words, warm and soft and familiar, nibbling at the ear and nuzzling at the neck. Joyous words, breathy and moist, rolling off tongues, dancing ravishing dances. Words, whispered through nervous, quivering smiles. Words, carefree teases with wicked grins and mischievous winks.
Minutes into hours, hours into morning light. It was the morning rush before we stumbled to the coffee haus for a quick goodbye. A chance meeting, unpredictable, unmatchable. Sleep had been expendable, but work was not. Duty called, and I had to be at my desk in 20 minutes. I held her long and hard, until there was no choice but to say goodbye.
She took a place at the coffee haus, and as I walked out the door she caught the eye of a man ten years my junior. He started to pick her up, and I tried to reason with myself – was it too soon for another? Did I even have a right to ask? I walked back in the store and stood behind him, emotions mixed, one hand clenched, the other open, offering.
“She’s quite the lady,” I said, more supportive than challenging. “Have you read that one before?”
“Yeah, years ago,” he blushed, hand in the proverbial cookie jar. “Atwood’s a bloody genius, ain’t she?”