Gabe was feeling very satisfied with himself as he sat on his black leather couch next to his one-eyed pug, Cupcake. His encounter at Claire's had gone just as he had hoped.
While Gabe had been worried at first when she had left him to work alone, he quickly turned the situation around by making the five minute fix into a half hour job; ensuring they had a some time together. Gabe knew that he'd taken a risk by removing his shirt - it could have made Claire feel uncomfortable in her own home - but it was obvious it had been the right move when she practically melted in front of him.
Mindlessly flipping through the channels on his oversized TV, Gabe tried to work out the best way to keep the momentum going with Claire. It wasn't enough for her to think he was hot. He wanted her to really see him and give him a chance to do more than get down her pants a couple of times before moving onto someone else - Someone else who she felt was better suited for a long-term commitment with.
It rankled Gabe that Claire was on a date while he sat there with only Cupcake for company. He guessed that her date was probably like the dweebs he saw around her office; scrawny metrosexual men who talked down to him and his crew. Even when one of the men would try to be friendly and make conversation, they ended up bringing up crass topics, like the boobs of Sunshine Girl in the newspaper that day, in their clumsy attempt to "relate".
"At least you're madly in love with me." Gabe said to Cupcake as he pulled her onto his lap to give her a squeeze. Cupcake snorted her agreement, and quickly resumed her gentle snoring.
Gabe's phone disrupted their cuddling with a loud chime letting him know he'd received a text. He picked it up to see who the message was from.
"Date was a bust. Are you up for drinks?" It was Claire.
Gabe couldn't stop a huge goofy smile from taking over his face when he read it. Before he could answer back, another message came through.
"That was rude of me. I don't mean to make you feel like plan B. I hope you can come out."
"Not rude. I'll b plan A on Friday. I'm out anyways - Where u at?" Gabe wrote back, not wanting Claire to know that he was spending the night with his dog on his couch.
"Queen and Spadina. Are you close by?"
"Not too far for me to swing by. See u in 20." Gabe sent back, hoping he didn't sound too eager.
"Great! Meet me at Dirty McFilthy's." Gabe was extremely grateful that Claire had chosen a place casual enough that ironing wouldn't be required - He had exactly 5 minutes to get ready if he wanted to be there on time.
"See u Babes."
The moment Gabe put down his phone, he ran up the stairs - taking them three at a time - and headed into his bedroom to put on a pair of faded jeans and a white t-shirt. After a couple of swipes of deodorant, swishes of mouthwash and spritzes of his Fahrenheit cologne, he was out the door and into his pickup truck, speeding to meet Claire.
Gabe saw Claire siting at a table on her own before she noticed him come through the pub's door. The girl was a total knock out; she'd managed to turn herself from girl next door to bombshell between his fixing her water heater and going on her date.
Claire had let her hair down from the pony tail she was wearing earlier in the day and it fell around her shoulders in soft waves. Gabe let his eyes trail downwards to her perky little boobs popping out of the low cut blue shirt she was wearing - They were just asking for him to nuzzle his face between them. He felt his cock move as he thought about it, and realized he'd better look away or it would be obvious to everyone in the room how enticing he thought Claire was.
"Long time, no see." Gabe teased as he sauntered up to her table.
"You made it, hopefully traffic wasn't too bad?" Claire said, flashing him an almost blinding white smile that lit up her face.
"It's Toronto - bad traffic is the best you can hope for."
"Touche. I'm lucky I live on the subway." Claire agreed.
"So what are you drinking?" He asked, wanting to move the topic of conversation away from something as dull as the City's constant state of gridlock.
"G&T. With Bombay please."
"Atta girl! If you had said Sex on the Beach or Cosmo I would have been out the door." Gabe teased even though her classic drink order really did make him like her even more.
"Not a fan of the girly drinks are you?"
"Not a fan of the girls who drink them." Gabe said giving her a wink, before heading to the bar.
Gabe came back to the table with her G&T and a Budweiser for him in hand. He typically preferred to drink Vodka, but it wasn't a good mix with driving.
"So, tell me what you and all your money dork friends are doing all day at the office while I'm there slaving away on the Reno's." Gabe asked to get the conversation between them started.
Claire surprised him by lighting up at the question and immediately began giving him a detailed reply. Hearing Claire talk about her job was a completely new experience for Gabe; it hadn't ever occurred to him that listening to a woman talk about multi-million dollar deals would be such a turn-on.
Gabe thought to himself, for about the hundredth time since meeting her, how different Claire was from the other women he had dated. Their work stories almost entirely consisted of gossip so mundane he thought it would make his ears bleed.
Their conversation was surprisingly easy, it felt to Gabe like barely any time had passed by the time they had each finished two drinks. Gabe decided to quit while he was ahead and let Claire know he had to head out.
"I''ve got to be up super early tomorrow. Thanks for inviting me out... This was fun." Gabe said.
"Wow, it's already midnight!" Claire said in surprise when she looked at her watch.
Gabe walked Claire to the door and they stood outside the bar awkwardly for a moment while Claire made it clear she was hoping for a kiss. Gabe decided to leave her wanting more, and gave her a hug instead. He'd already come rushing to the bar as soon as she asked him to and he knew that if he kissed her, she'd realize that she had him wrapped around her little finger. He needed to make her chase him a little bit before giving in. This way, she'd be thinking about wanting to kiss him until their date on Friday.
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Love Like a Man - CHECK OUT THE REVISED VERSIONRomance
**This story was a top 55 SYTYCW15 Finalist!** Claire Warren felt like she had her life under control; she kicked ass at her job as an investment banker, had her own condo overlooking the City and spent her personal time knocking back G&T's at some...