Caution to the Wind -Part 1

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Olivia Peterson

Warnings: None, Fluff

Part 1 – The Bar

As I walked in I scanned the bar without even realizing it.  I ducked my head, steered clear of the loud group of guys in the center of the room and made a beeline for a stool at the far end of the bar.  “Hi, Nathan, Four Roses neat, please.”  I would rather be home curled up on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa.  Instead I had just endured a three hour business meeting that went south and the rest of my night would be spent trying to rewrite the deal I had spent six months putting together.  I stopped at my favorite bar for a breather and a bourbon before heading back to my office.

“Here Liv, you look like you had a rough day.”  Nathan winked at me and pushed the glass toward me, “I poured it a little heavy for you.”  I smiled at him.  He had always been so nice to me and looked out for me like he was my brother.  If he hadn’t been gay I might have considered hitting on him.  That is, if I actually had time for a personal life.  As a female in a male driven world I worked 14 hour days and had long ago given up on personal relationships.  My work was my life.  I rarely found a guy who wasn’t threatened by my success or willing to put up with the long hours I worked.  I had one or two “fuck buddies “when I was absolutely desperate, but otherwise I didn’t usually pick up random guys in bars.

I sat drinking my bourbon and putting together a new strategy in my head, tuning out everything else around me.  When the occasional drunken guy made a move toward my barstool Nathan made sure the guy got a warning signal and passed right by me.  I was so lost in thought I don’t know how much time passed but my glass was empty.  Nathan swung by and refilled my bourbon without asking then motioned toward a booth in the back of the bar.  “Your admirer over there sent the drink.   He’s been watching you since you sat down.  Not in a stalker kinda way.  More like he’s crushing on you.  Do you want me to run interference for you?”

I glanced back at the man.  He was tucked in a booth in the darkest part of the bar.  But I trusted Nathan’s instincts that he wasn’t a stalker.  He had a baseball cap pulled down low, hiding his facial features, but his blue sweater and jeans didn’t do much to hide his muscular physique.  I gave him a half-smile and lifted my glass in appreciation then turned back in my seat.  “He seems harmless Nathan.  I think he wants to be alone as much as I do.  Besides,” I looked down at my conservative navy business suit, “this package does not exactly scream ‘take me home tonight’.”   Nathan swiped at the bar in front of me before moving down to a trio of pretty blondes who were definitely on the prowl.  Perhaps the gentleman in the back would have more fun with them.

I tried to turn my mind back to business but my thoughts kept straying to the stranger in the booth.  The blue sweater he wore was the color of the flowers in my favorite Van Gogh painting.  The thighs that stretched his jeans reminded me of the rock solid lines of Michelangelo’s “David”.  The corners of my mouth turned up at the random thoughts that distracted me from work.  I tried again to focus.  My firm had put too much work into this deal to let it slip away.  My shoulders tensed thinking about the long night, long weeks ahead.  Closing my eyes I wished I had time for a distraction.  I glanced over my shoulder and my eyes locked with the strangers’ eyes.  He pushed his hat higher up on his head and I could see that his sweater perfectly complemented his blue eyes.  His tongue flicked out to lick his pink lips and my eyes froze on his plump bottom lip.  I imagined gently kissing him, playfully teasing him with my tongue, catching his bottom lip and sucking it between mine.  As if reading my mind he gave me a lazy, sexy smile and I startled upright in my seat and turned forward, feeling the blaze in my cheeks.

I took a long, slow sip of my bourbon when I felt his presence overshadow me.  “May I sit with you?”  The rich tone of his voice was soothing.  I looked up and held in a gasp.  Up close his features were nearly flawless.  His blue eyes held a deep, soulful look and his lashes were long and lush.  His jaw line was strong and prominent and he had a closely trimmed beard.  His jeans molded perfectly to his strong hips and thighs.  The blue sweater draped on his torso couldn’t hide the impressive pecs and solid abs underneath.  The sleeves did nothing to contain his massive biceps and triceps.  I could only imagine what his body looked like unclothed, how the contours of his skin and muscles would look, the subtle shadows, the pull as his muscles contracted and the release as they rested.  My mouth felt dry and I couldn’t find any words so I nodded at the seat next to me and tried to pull off an amused look.  I took a small sip of bourbon.  “I’m Olivia, thank you for the drink.”  He sat at the stool next to mine, “Well, you look really tired and sad; like you’ve had a rough day.  I thought maybe I could cheer you up a bit.”

It was not quite an insult but it broke the spell he had me under.  “Wow.  That’s not the line I was expecting.  Does that usually work with the women you hit on?”   He gave me a sheepish grin, “Sorry, that’s not what I meant.  You looked so deep in thought, like something was bothering you.  And a little . . . like you had a very long day.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I try to cheer people up in those situations.”  I laughed “Do you have a name or shall I just call you my knight in shining armor?”  Smiling, he extended his hand “Chris, just Chris.”  I took his hand and felt a spark all the way up my arm.  “Well Just Chris it’s nice to meet you.”

The guarded look his face had held slowly dropped and we sat quietly for a few minutes.  We made small talk for a while, about trivial things.  He was easy to talk to.  And he spoke freely, it was a back and forth, a giving and taking.  But we both avoided talking about our jobs.  For me it was a question of power.  A lot of men still felt threatened by successful women and I didn’t want to scare him away.  I didn’t know what he did, or why he didn’t want to talk about it, but I respected that.  He did say he was only visiting New York for a few days on business.  I didn’t ask for more details and he seemed happy not to provide any.  It was my turn to drop my guard and I took a new look at the situation.

A very sexy male specimen sat next to me, he didn’t live here, didn’t ask questions, and seemed to be just a regular guy, not at all intimidated by me.  It was a situation I was not often presented with.  And the combined smell of his subtle cologne, natural masculine scent and good old fashioned beer on his lips had my sense of smell on overload.  With what I could see of his clothed body I was willing to bet it wouldn’t take much to push me over the edge just seeing him naked, much less having his hands anywhere near me.  Or mine anywhere near him.

He was a stranger.  I had just met him – in a bar for God’s sake.  I had my rules for a good reason.  But there was something about him that just felt right.  Something about him made me feel calm inside, safe.  A feeling I was not used to.  I made up my mind, winked at Nathan and threw caution to the wind, “Chris, you’re right, it’s been a rough day.  Any chance you can turn that around for me?”  He quickly drained his beer and nodded for me to finish my bourbon.  “My hotel is nearby.”

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