Chapter 1

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February 2009

Val and I always go out on Friday nights.  We were sick of the same old bars that we had been visiting so we decided to try this place called Joe’s.  We heard it was a more upscale place to hang out, so we wanted to give it a shot.  Because we decided to meet at 8pm, I went to the gym when I finished work and then went home to shower and change.  Even though I don’t have court on Friday’s, my dress most definitely wouldn’t be appropriate to even wear into the office.  I bought it last weekend with Val.  It’s a sequined black and gold super mini dress.  The back is exposed with cloth draped just above the base of my spine.  It’s so tight I have trouble sitting down in it, but if I am lucky tonight, I won’t be doing much sitting.

When I get to Joe’s, Val and her group of girls from work are waiting outside for me.  We immediately are escorted to the front of the line.  So not surprising given our wardrobe selections and the fact that we are all beautiful girls.  One look around the place and I can tell that Val and I will become regulars here.  The atmosphere is very nice.  There are high back booths and high top tables scattered around a large hardwood dance floor.  The décor isn’t cheesy like most places.  There is drop down lighting throughout and there is a live band.  The bar has mirrors along the back, and the cabinetry that the bottles sit in is exquisitely ornamentally carved in dark cherry wood.  The bartenders and wait staff are all dressed in all black, and the place is packed already.  Val’s work friends consist of insurance agents and secretaries at her office.  They are a fun bunch.  I was worried about not fitting in with them, but we all seem to get along like we’ve known each other forever.

It doesn’t take long for the guys to take notice of our group.  We’ve made our way to the bar to order our first round of drinks when the first guy approaches.  He’s confident and incredibly sexy.  And he’s cocky.  I roll my eyes and smile as I turn my back towards him.  I, too, am confident, incredibly sexy and I can certainly do cocky.  “Hey ladies, welcome to Joe’s.” 

Even though I know he’s behind me his deep husky voice startles me.  He had to be close for us to be able to hear him, but he’s so close that I can feel his warmth on my exposed back.  I can feel his breath.  Oh yes, we’ll most certainly be visiting Joe’s again.  Desire pools deep within me.  I realize I should probably scoot back before I do what I’m about to do, but part of me can’t wait to see his reaction when I do it.  So I decide to stay planted where I am.  I slowly turn my head to him seductively and lick my lips before taking my bottom lip beneath my teeth.  “Mmm, thank you for the welcome.” 

I try not to let the grin that is trying to form on my lips escape.  I watch his mouth open while he sucks in a deep breath.  I raise my right leg, the one closest to him so that the back of my heel touches the skin behind my knee.  I watch as his eyes wander to the movement.  I wonder how long I will be able to tease him before he is able to find words.  It takes everything in me not to giggle.  I love how powerful I can be to a man.

He grunts before he speaks, and I see his hand that is resting on the bar next to me form a fist. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you ladies in before.  I wanted to introduce myself.”  He removes the hand from the bar and extends it to me.  “My name is Joe.”

Nice Veronica.  Nice.  I let my grin finally escape and reach for his hand.  “I’m Veronica.  Joe as in Joe’s?” I ask.  

“That would be me.” He hangs on to my hand a little longer than what I’d typically expect. 

I stare down at my hand that is still in his. “Well nice to meet you, Joe.” Then I look back up into his dark eyes.  

“Listen, whatever you ladies want tonight.  It’s on the house.” He winks.

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