The Only One(10)

By: Melissa Ellen

We were meeting at The Grand. The bar wasn’t our usual scene with its masculine décor and extensive list of whiskeys, but I guess if the mission was to meet a man, then this was the place to do it. The bar was lively and crowded with younger clientele. It was obviously a hot spot for the young professionals to come and drink their week’s stresses away.

I squeezed through the multitude of people in search of Joce, taking in the scene as I went. Besides the deer heads hanging on the walls, I liked the vintage sophistication of the place. It was like stepping back in time where “the boys” would drink whiskey and smoke cigars. The dark woods and dim lights were inviting and comforting, making me immediately relax ready to enjoy the night.

I spotted Joce at the end of the bar, already being hit on by a suit. She seemed like she was politely trying to ward off his advances, so I did what girlfriends do best and blocked him, pulling her attention away from him. She thanked me before complimenting me on my sexy ensemble as he walked away. A cute bartender approached us, smiling and flirting while making our drinks. We paid for our drinks and then moved away from the bar, finding a table to sit at.

I wasn’t much of a whiskey drinker, but the old fashion cocktails were going down easily. I was enjoying myself as Joce and I chatted and scanned the room of good-looking men. I looked at my nearly empty glass, deciding to get another drink.

“You need one?” I asked Joce, glancing at her glass.

“No, I’m good for the moment. You go. I’ll hold our table.”

“Okay. Be right back,” I stood.

I navigated my way to the crowded bar, squeezing between two men to get the cute bartender’s attention. He immediately saw me. He finished making the drink he was working on before he sauntered his way over to me.

“Same thing?” he asked with a flirtatious smile.

“Yep,” I innocently flirted back.

“Coming right up,” he winked and then walked away to make my drink.

“Wow.” I heard a deep voice next to me say. I looked over at the suit standing beside me, who was giving me his cute smile, revealing a lick-able dimple. He had dirty blond hair, green eyes and a handsome face. “I swear I’ve been standing here at least twenty minutes, trying to get his attention to order a drink. I don’t blame the guy. It’s hard not to notice a beautiful woman, like you, even in a crowd of people,” he continued.

I smiled at him embarrassed, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cut in front of you.”

“No apologies, necessary,” he grinned, making me flush more.

“Let me make it up to you. What are you drinking? I’ll order it for you, when he returns with my drink.”

“I would be forever in your debt if you did that,” he pretended to think it over. “I’ll agree, as long as you let me pay for your drink,” his smirk made my stomach do a tiny flip.

“Deal,” I smiled back at him. “My name’s Ava,” I offered, wanting to continue our conversation.

“Ava, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Owen.” He put out his hand to shake mine.

When the cute bartender approached, I ordered Owen’s drink as we continued to talk for a few minutes. I didn’t want our exchange to end, thinking he may be just what I needed for my one night stand. He was kind and easy on the eyes, but I realized it was still early in the night. I didn’t want to abandon Joce. I also had a little bit of cold feet.

Instead, we exchanged numbers. I made my way back to Joce while he went back to his group of co-workers he had come with. The night went on, and Joce continued scoping the bar for “Mr. Right” while Owen and I kept making eyes at each other from across the room. I wasn’t as instantly affected by him as I was Rhett, but his attention didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. It made me feel sensual and sexy and that was good enough for me.

Joce and I were cracking up about something Drew had done and said the other day, when she suddenly stopped laughing, grabbing my arm with a tight grip. She looked like she had seen a ghost. Then her face softened, and her cheeks turned a bright red that rivaled her hair.

“Ava, I think I just saw Mr. Right,” she whispered conspiratorially, looking past me. I started to turn to see who had caught her eye. “Don’t look!” she squealed, yelling at me in a panic, stopping me from continuing to rotate my head. “He is looking this way. I don’t want it to be obvious.”