twenty six || leslie's big night

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It wasn’t often that Leslie went to the effort of dressing up but as soon as she finished work on Friday, she dashed home and hopped straight in the shower for a luxurious soak. She pulled out all the stops: there was no scrimping when it came to shaving and she made sure to leave her conditioner in for a good five minutes, paying attention to every part of her body for longer than she ever had before. Sure, she’d had dates before but they had never felt as important as this one did all of a sudden. After forever, she washed out her hair and soaked for a little longer until the hot water began to go tepid and she had to get out before it went cold.

Greg was due to swing by at half past seven and from her flat, they’d walk to the restaurant. That meant flat shoes, which suited her just fine considering the one pair of heels she owned were uncomfortable stilettoes good for nothing but seduction, paired with a dress that she knew drove him crazy: the maroon t-shirt dress with the tight waist and the short skirt, which was only just long enough to pass as more than a top. The cleavage plunged, warranting her push-up bra that did wonders to her chest.

Standing in the mirror, she laid out all of the make-up she owned. There wasn’t a vast collection and only one shade of lipstick complemented her dress. Paired with killer black eyeliner and thick mascara that made her lashes far more luscious than they were, she wooed her reflection with a wink and a blown kiss.

“Go get him,” she told herself, running her hands down her body to smooth out her dress and admiring her behind in the mirror. When there was a knock at the door, her heartbeat jumped into her throat and she flustered for a moment before answering. Greg stood on the other side, one hand in his pocket and the other holding a delicate bunch of flowers, all colours and varieties.

Leslie swooned, taking them when he pressed the bunch into her hands and then pressed his lips to hers. A hand on the back of her neck, he held her close as they kissed. Leslie’s body gravitated towards his, her heart thudding harder and faster with each seconds that the electricity passed between their lips.

“I have missed that,” she said when they eventually parted.

“Worth the wait?” He gave her half a grin, his eyes sparkling.

“So worth it.” She pulled him into her slightly messy flat, filling a jug from the kitchen cabinet with water and unwrapping the flowers. “Such a gentleman,” she said.

“Only the best for you.” He indicated the flowers. “I, uh, I know you don’t like roses so I got everything but.”

“You’re incredible,” she said, moving towards him once the flowers were sorted. “Why did we wait so long to do this?”

“We needed time to grow. To realise,” Greg said with a shrug. His hands found Leslie’s waist, slipping over the gentle slope of her hips to the small of her back. Their lips met again.

“Shall we go?” She took his hand, wonderfully warm in hers, and locked the door behind them. They waited for the lift, preserving their energy for the walk to the restaurant – only half a mile away – and an evening of fine-dining.

“So,” Greg said. “What brought this on?”

Leslie toyed with hundreds of possible answers and after a second’s delay, responded with a squeeze of his hands. “Sometimes it’s nice to be romantic,” she said, wondering how and at what point she her nerves would settle enough ask him the question that had been on his mind all week.

“Are you alright, Les?” Greg asked as the lift released them on the ground floor.

“Yeah. Why?”

“You seem, I don’t know, a bit jittery. Is something going on at work? Everything alright?”

She flashed him her most reassuring grin. “I’m great,” she said. “Never better.”

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