“Him who,” Nakia asked, staring into her third drink, relaxed for the first time in a long time. She and her younger sister Kirby, were hanging out tonight at this club, here to pick up a man, was the plan.
Well it was more Kirby’s plan for her. She was perfectly happy to skip any an all plans that did not involve sleeping. Two months of working like a dog, being in charge of everything and everyone, could do that to a person.
Yep, she was perfectly happy taking the short Uber’s drive or a longer walk back to the Azteca Resort and Spa, where her bed awaited her. Perfectly happy spending the night in it alone too. She and her sister had checked into earlier this week for a much-needed vacay and that consisted of sleep, and more sleep as far as Nakia was concerned.
So far so good. She felt better than she felt in a long time. It was lovely here. Days spent lying on the beach, with nothing and no one needing her was her version of heaven on earth. She was happy to be just about anywhere doing something other than see to the needs of the public.
To rest was the only reason for her trip and she’d told her sister that from the start. Of course, Kirby had her vacay ideas, but Nakia had held firm, until tonight anyway. Kirby’s whining had worn her down.
One more night, and she as out of here anyways, one well rested individual, ready to tackle the world again.
Kirby would be here an additional day, as she took more vacation than just about anyone Nakia knew, spending time where ever she wanted, on their father’s dime of course. Kirby didn’t have dimes of her own, but with a father as successful as theirs, she didn’t need to.
“That’s him?” Kirby said, again, hitting her sister in the leg this time.
“Him who?’ Nakia asked, again, still staring into her drink, debating with whether or not to order a third. Kirby could drink enough for five people. She on the other hand, would be weaving her way back to her room if she weren’t careful. She had a plane to catch in the morning, so how hungover did she want to be for that?
“This him.” Kirby said, sliding the magazine that lay on the table in front of them toward her sister. Nakia didn’t pick it up. She could see the picture from where she sat. Wow, she thought of the image of a bearded man, tall, muscular, with his hair also long, pulled back in a ponytail atop his head.
He was staring into the camera, with his pretty grey eyed self, shirtless, with what looked like biker’s shorts covering his lower body, stopping mid-thigh. Low cut bikers short, too, barely covering his package, and what a package he had, if the picture was true. Hard to know in this age of photo shopping this or that, but maybe worth an up close and personal look see.
Field and Stream, was the name of the magazine, Caleb Jones, the writing beside the cover picture proclaimed, was the featured story.
He stood in the middle of a river somewhere, holding a fish in one hand and wearing an I’m the shit expression on his face. In shape for sure, nice ab work, thick enough upper body and yeah he was quiet the looker, she thought, her uncle favorite descriptor for people.
“It’s him?” Kirby said, pointing again, and nodding her head in the direction a man, standing in between three other men, at the bar, laughing.
Nakia turned and locked eyes with him, and yep that was him alright. Hair in a knot on his head, he was minus the beard tonight, dressed casually in slacks and shirt. She didn’t smile, and neither did he, just some silent communication going on between them. She was the first to look away, back to staring into her drink.
“So,” Kirby asked.
“So what?” Nakia said.
“I know and so do you.”
“What maybe. This is your chance. You are not going home without having done whatever he wants you to do.”
“Okay, let’s not get carried away. I’m here to rest and sleep.” Nakia said, staring at the magazine, and trying to figure out how to read it without any one knowing it.
“Oh Nakia, don’t mess this up and you’ve slept enough for five people.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she said, moving her gaze to the magazine cover again. “You think he caught that fish barehanded.”
“He could catch my fish barehanded” Kirby said, meeting her sister’s gaze.
They both burst into laughter.
“I know. I Know,” Kirby said, when her chuckles subsiding. “But really Nakia. Are you going to pass him up?”
Nakia sighed, before looking over in his direction again, not really directly at him, but in the area surrounding him at first, before she moved it to him. He smiled when her gaze met his again, and yeah she received his message, or she hoped the message she received was the one he meant to give. A nod of his head, toward the bar located at the back of the club was what she thought she’d read. It was less crowded back there for sure, which was good she thought. She was the first to look away, again.
She reached for the magazine, folded back the front cover, and started to read.
* * *
“It’s so wrong that it’s this easy for you.” Milo said, hitting his boss, Caleb with his elbow, at the woman seated a few chairs away from them.
Caleb shrugged, unable to disagree. Yes, he was well aware of the glances he received from women, some subtle, others not so much. Some he pursued, others not so much.
The most recent article in Field and Stream had pushed women to him in numbers unprecedented. It took some getting used to. He didn’t realize so many people read it or he might not have agreed to it in the first place. He wasn’t famous or anything, okay he was, in some circles, business circles, but even then, not in some big ass way. He didn’t do all out and in front of everybody, like it was his first time with success and he needed the world to see it. He didn’t.
The woman in the white, had seen it. He seen the recognition in her gaze, the first time his had connected with hers a few minutes ago. Lots of connection in her gaze, to match his. Not that she needed to go out of her way to snag it.
She had his attention as soon as she entered he club. He noticed her, didn’t know anything past the I want words that settled into his brain at something as simple as the shape of her.
She was tall like him, not as tall, but tall enough and wearing a dress, that showcased a really curvy bod of hips, ass, and breasts, all of which he was good with. She wore her hair short, natural cut in and odd shape on her head, but it worked with the rest of her.
There was some heft to her, and he loved the way hers was poured into that dress. He was no means a small dude, and he preferred his women solid, able to withstand the things he liked to do with them. Not like a linebacker kind of solid, but the female all curves kind, someone that didn’t fly across the room if he pushed too hard.
And until a few minutes ago, she hadn’t noticed him. Her friend had, he’d watched. He had a direct view of her, from the time she’d entered, just hadn’t decided if she was feeling him, until a few minutes ago, after some prompting from her friend, she turned to look. Their eyes met and yeah, she was there with him, interested too.
She was staring at him again, and this time, he gave her a nod, towards the bar in the back, and he hoped she understood his message.
“So what’s the plan?” Kirby asked.
“There is no plan.” Nakia said, nursing drink number four. She was done skimming the article and had moved on to considering him. Deciding just how sober she needed to be if she were to take him up on what his gaze offered. She was still debating the idea with herself.
“What are you kidding me.” Kirby said, before she started singing. That was her baby sister’s deal, a song always on the ready for just about any and every occasion or point in need of making. Which Nakia could admit was helpful sometimes. It didn’t hurt that her sister had a voice of an angel. Girl child could straight up sang, as the old folks used to say.
“‘Some enchanted evening. You may see a stranger. You may see a stranger across a crowded room, and somehow you know, you know even then, that somewhere you’ll see him again and again.’” Kirby sang softly as Nakia contemplated the words.
She knew the song, Enchanted Evening, from the South Pacific musical the words were beautiful, spoke of knowing the one with just one glance. She disagreed. Her son was more along the lines of dude is you package as big as it’s looks in the picture. Where was that song. Or it could be Hell, you’re so pretty, it won’t even matter if your package is teeny tiny song. Nah, it was more the first, Nakia thought, chuckling to herself. “He’s not my type.”
“What’s not your type, Handsome, fine and okay so you’re not feeling Enchanted evening,” Kirby said, staring at her sister, assessing.
“How about who cares, it’s just for the night.”
“One night, Nakia. We can let go of your stupid rules this one time.”
“Maybe.” Nakia said.
“We left, the club, `bout around 3 o’clock in the morning. His pinto, sitting there in the parking lot, well it should have been a warning. . . and I don’t even know his last name.” Kirby sang.
A Carrie Underwood tune, Nakia thought, one more appropriate to her thought about the possibility of this night. “That’s better.” She said, swallowing her drink in one fell swoop. “So, okay. locate me,” Nakia said, fishing around in her purse for her phone.
“On your phone. If you don’t hear from me`cause he’s killed me and disposed of my body in the dumpster out back or something. You’ll be able to find my phone at least.”
“Well it’s about damn time. I didn’t think you’d ever.”
“You good here alone?” She said, Kirby, a wasted question. When was Kirby anything but good.
“You know me. See you in the morning unless he wants to use our room.”
“Nope, it’s his room or I’m not interested.”
“Good, I’ll use it then. I bet you won’t be disappointed. He’s looks like he know what to do with you. I’m sure on that tip. Have fun. I put a stash of condoms in your purse while you were busy staring at him. Enough to see you through ’till morning.
Nakia laughed, shaking her head. Only Kirby.
“He’s moving, so you better get moving too.” Kirby added, handing Nakia’s phone to her and started into singing again, softy. It was Enchanted Evening again.
“Cut it out,” Nakia said, before she walked away.
They met at the back bar, arriving at the back end of the wrap around bar almost at the same time. They stood beside each other, on their elbows, drinks in their hands, in silence for a few.
He threw back the last of whatever brown liquid was in his glass. “Caleb Jones,” he said, introducing himself.
“I know. You’re the dude on the cover of this month’s Field and Stream, catching fish barehanded. I’m Nakia Noble. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too.”
It was quiet between them for a bit after that, not doing anything but standing beside one another not sure what either of them were waiting for.
“So,” they both said, together, chuckling because they’d did so.
“Want to leave?” He asked.
“Yes.” She said.
“You want to get something to eat first?” He asked.
“I’m at the spa, the Azteca, just down the beach. It’s within walking distance.” He said, reaching for her hand.
“Sounds good.” She said, allowing him too, following him out some secret back way that spit them out onto the beach.
She stopped to removed her sandals, before reaching of his hand again and continuing on, through the throng of people, lots of them, just outside the bar. As they moved away, the crowd gave way to a fewer and fewer people until it was just them, alone on the beach.
“It’s peaceful,” he said, nodding at the night sky and the ocean in the distance.
“Yes, it is.” She said, smiling back at him, and what an inspired idea, she thought. They reached the Azteca.
“This is me,” he said, nodding at the Azteca sign discreetly posted on the side door of the building.
He leaned in and kissed her. It was nothing long or lingering, just enough and thank you Kirby, she thought, following him into the door. “You sure about this?”
“Let’s go then.”