There were too many people in the room, too little air.  She was suddenly overwhelmed as sights, sounds, smells and faces took on larger than life proportions.  She wanted to run from it all.


She dumped the remains of her drink in the potted plant near the bar headed for the coat check.  She thought she could pick up her coat and leave discreetly before anyone could miss her.  And then there he was, there to make sure she wasn’t already leaving since the night was still young.  She told him she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to head home.  But he wouldn’t hear any of it.  He laid a gentle hand on her elbow and led her back to the sofa asking her to wait there while he got her another drink.


She could never refuse him.  She always had a running list of things she could say to him to get away from any possible points of prolonged contact but the lists lay fraying in her brain as he vaporized all excuses with one glance and led her down one fantasy lane after another.


There he was now, at the bar, the tall and curvaceous blonde leaning forward to whisper something in his ear.  He had put an arm around her waist, leaning closer to her painted, glossy lips, to hear what she was saying to him over the din.  Then he looked back at Rhiannon, his eyes finding hers on the sofa where he had left her seated, then turning back to face the blonde, once again.  She felt certain they were talking about her but had no idea what they could have been saying.  This was the first time she had seen the woman. 


The woman looked as if she belonged here at this party, amidst these people.  She looked right at home, unlike Rhiannon.  Rhiannon didn’t belong; she never felt she belonged anywhere, especially here with these people, in these settings, she felt hopelessly lost.  Lost in the fantasies she wove around him as he continued to become the focal point of her existence.


She saw him making his way back to her, drink in hand.  He was smiling and she wondered what was making him smile, whether it was something the blonde had said about her.


He sat next to her and placed a casual hand on her knee.  He asked her to wait for him for a few more minutes and to forget about entertaining any ideas of disappearing again.  She nodded hopelessly as he left her once again.


The dance floor had been readied now and people were slowly converging upon it, arm in arm, gazes lingering on each other.  The band was playing soft and low.  She wanted to be out there with him, dancing.  But he didn’t appear to be around at the moment.


She turned her head and caught sight of the full moon outside, the silhouetted palm fronds swaying in the gentle night breeze.  She had a sudden uncontrollable urge to go out to the terrace to smoke, to blow smoke circles out into the night.  She stood up, somewhat unsteadily and headed out through the French doors leading out to the patio.


She stood there grasping the railing of the balcony and lifted her head up to let the soft night air sweep tendrils of silken hair away from her face.  She closed her eyes to the sensation and once again dreamed of being in his arms, inseparable.  The sensation felt real and she soon realized that it was indeed real. 


Marc had crept up behind her and now she was in his arms. He had encircled her waist and was kissing the back of her neck. She was arching her head to sink into the sensation.  He then let his hand move up her sides and was caressing the undersides of her breasts, willing her to turn around and face him with the other hand.  His lips soon found hers, teasing them apart and drinking her in.  


His hands were now on her shoulder, underneath the thin strap of her dress, slowing edging it off her shoulder and lower.  She felt him harden against her and suddenly realized where they were.  She wondered if anyone had seen them as she pulled away from him, his fingers pressing into the small of her back, urging her to stay close.  She wanted to stay lost in the moment but she had spotted his wife looking out through the glass doors.  Their eyes had met, briefly, but long enough for Rhiannon to have felt the full force of the contempt in those eyes.  Marc’s wife had then turned on her heels and lost herself on the dance floor again.


She told him that his wife had seen them kissing only to hear him burst into laughter- laughter she couldn’t comprehend.  She looked at him, puzzled but he just kept laughing and then led her back inside and straight up the stairs to the master bedroom.


“She saw us Marc, your wife saw us!”


“Don’t worry about her Rhie.”


“But Marc…”


He shut her up with his mouth then as his fingers got busy pushing her dress off her shoulders, while he kept edging her toward the bed.  She didn’t have the will to resist.  She had been dreaming of this moment, fantasizing about being alone in a room with him and naked, just as they suddenly were.  It was as if the heat of their passion had vaporized the clothing off their bodies.   




She remembered the first time she had noticed him.  It was another party a few years ago.  Some people had challenged him to pick up the saxophone and get on stage and he had.  She wasn’t the only member of the audience who was spellbound that night but she was probably the only one who was yet to cast off the spell he cast that night. 


He hadn’t noticed her then.  They met again at a volunteering event where they were both making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to send to the homeless shelters of the city.  He had come over to introduce himself.  He recalled seeing her at the party where he had played the sax.  He wiped some jelly off her nose with his finger and proceeded to lick his finger while she gazed at him with amusement and embarrassment.  They had crossed paths several times since then, at parties, functions social events.  She wasn’t quite sure who their mutual connection was.  But they kept getting invited to some of the same events.


Eventually she started seeking him out with her eyes, going out of her way to make contact and indulge in some social chit chat.  There were moments when she found herself dreaming about him or wondering how it would be to have him in her life.











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