Chapter 24

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They arrived back in New York the following afternoon. Brian had asked Sal to pick him up and Sal had said he could drop Melanie off also. They piled into his car and took off. Brian had insisted that she sit in the passenger's seat so she didn't feel left out and forgotten in the back seat.

When they got to her building Brian walked her up to her apartment, carrying her bag. She put her key in the lock and turned to face him.

"Thank you for a wonderful few days. I had a fantastic time."

"Thank you for coming. When can I see you again?"

"You aren't sick of me?"

"Not a chance," he said, staring into her eyes.

Those eyes. Still just as mesmerizing as the day she first met him. She moved forward and kissed him. This was something she felt she could do for all eternity. He was so good at it.

"Sal is waiting for you," she said as she pulled away from him. "Call me later. I'll let you know when I'm free." She turned and unlocked the door before turning back and giving him another kiss. "Bye," she smiled as she opened the door and disappeared inside.

Back in the car Sal sat tapping his fingers on the steering wheel.

"Took you long enough," he said as Brian got back in the car.

"Sorry. You know how hard it is to say goodbye to your girlfriend."

It took a few seconds before his words registered in Sal's brain. "Wait - what?"

"What?"

"She's your girlfriend? When did that happen?"

"Yesterday. When we were out on the boat."

"What boat?" Sal asked.

"I rented a boat yesterday and we went out to the Gulf. It was nice."

"Well congrats, man. You must really like her if you've taken it to that level."

"Dude, I can't even tell you..." His voice trailed off as he thought back to her sunbathing topless, a smile spreading across his face.

"Uh oh."

"Uh oh what?" Brian asked.

"I've seen that look before."

"What look? We had a good time."

"Uh huh. Just be careful, man. I don't want to see you get hurt," Sal said, a look of concern on his face.

"She's not like that. She's different."

"Just be careful is all I'm saying."

"I will Dad. Now just drive. I need to see my cats."

Sal rolled his eyes and put the car in gear. "I will NOT be walking you to your door."

Over the next few weeks Brian and Melanie found themselves both busy with work. Brian was filming the show and the hospital was understaffed which had Melanie working more hours. They had only seen each other a handful of times. They both missed being in the company of the other, but work and sleep kept them occupied.

It was the beginning of June. Brian had told Melanie Joe's birthday was coming up and the guys would all be going out to celebrate with their significant others. It would be an upscale dinner in Manhattan.

He told her he would pick her up at 7:00. When he arrived at her door she answered it wearing a tight, black, off the shoulder, knee length dress. Her hair was up and long strands framed her face.

"You look beautiful," he said, kissing her on the cheek.

"Thank you. This is all for you." She kissed him before grabbing her purse from the couch. "I'm ready if you are."

"I mean, Joe will have another birthday next year, right? He wouldn't mind if we skipped this one."

"I think he might, actually," she said moving past him and opening the door. When they got into the elevator he backed her against the wall and kissed her. Just before the doors opened she whispered in his ear "I forgot to tell you. I'm going commando tonight."

"What are you trying to do to me? I have to sit all through dinner knowing that?" he whined.

"I'll make it worth your wait later."

They were the last ones to arrive at the restaurant.

"How did I beat you here?" Sal asked as Brian and Melanie sat down.

Sal was always the last one to show up anywhere. Even work. All of the guys had dates, and all of the women were gorgeous.

They all ordered drinks and sat talking before ordering food. Many laughs and many drinks were had throughout the evening. Melanie was surprised the first time Brian placed a hand on her knee, trying to work his way up her thigh, under her dress.

She felt her face flush and she looked at him. He was smiling a devilish smile at her. "Stop it" she mouthed, grabbing his hand. He tried to do this several times throughout dinner. Every time he did it she felt her face flush, fearing that everyone at the table would know what he was doing.

The more the alcohol flowed, the less worried about it she became. She eventually gave up and let him slide his hand all the way up. She spread her legs as much as she could, the tight fabric of her dress restricting her.

She jumped a little when she felt one of his fingers inside her. No one noticed except for him. He was grinning, pretending to be interested in whatever it was James was talking about. She leaned over and whispered in his ear "You are so gonna get it later."

"What are you gonna do to me?" he whispered back.

"I'll tie you up again. And shove my pussy right in your face but not let you taste it."

Their heads were together as they whispered back and forth, forgetting they were not alone at the table.

"What are you two whispering about?" Sal asked. All eyes were now on them.

"Nothing," Brian said smiling. "Just talking about cats."

His hand was still on her inner thigh, his finger still inside her. She shifted in her seat and tried discretely to move his hand, but he wouldn't budge. She took a gulp of her wine, wishing everyone would stop looking at them. Her face was hot and she knew it wasn't just because of the alcohol.

Dinner came to an end after nearly 3 hours. Once the bill was paid everyone said their goodbyes and went their separate ways. Once again Brian and Melanie found themselves in no condition to drive. They weren't in a drunken stupor like they had been in Florida, but neither felt comfortable getting behind the wheel.

"So do we call a cab?" she asked him, not sure how else they would get home.

"Let's just go for a walk. It's nice out."

She hooked her arm onto his and they headed down the street, no destination in mind. Or so she thought. A few blocks away they came upon an upscale hotel.

"Let's go in here," he said.

"Why?"

"I got us a room."

"You did? When did you do that?"

"This afternoon," he said. "I figured we would end up in this state, so I planned ahead." He held the door open for her and they headed to the elevator.

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