Excerpt from Chances 2
He couldn’t help but notice her when she entered the hotel lobby. Asian women always caught his attention and this one had a lot of promise. She was pretty enough, perhaps even more than just pretty, but--my God--she had done everything she could to make herself unattractive. At best her appearance was what he imagined frumpy meant, although he hadn’t heard that word used in years. Her frilly white blouse was buttoned so high it had to be choking her and her skirt, her plain gray skirt, fell to one inch below her knees. That might have been okay, but her shoes looked like bowling shoes. And those glasses! They were the big horn-rimmed type that he saw on big-haired women in movies that were made in the eighties. But she was Asian, and that, in his mind, made up for a lot.
Ben felt a small trickle of sweat run down his side. “May I take off your glasses?”
“I’m pretty blind without them,” Lucia said, “but okay.”
His hand trembled as he slid the oversized frames off Lucia’s face. A surge of heat ran up his fingers when he accidentally brushed her cheek. “There now. You have lovely eyes and these glasses distract…um…what I mean is, you can’t really see them, your eyes that is…uh…”
Lucia smiled. “That’s funny, because I can’t see without them. Ironic, huh? Can you pour some more champagne?”
Ben was about to suggest that they slow down, but quickly changed his mind. “Anyway, I was talking about packaging. Your outfit, well, it doesn’t--”
“I came from work,” Lucia said. “I kind of have to dress like this.”
“Work? What do you do?”
“I’m a librarian.”
“Really? I don’t think I’ve ever known a librarian. What does a librarian do?”
Lucia covered her mouth and giggled. “We library! What do you think? So--my outfit. Go on.”
Well,” Ben stammered. “Those frills down the middle. They’re so big! I mean, if the blouse, which is pretty plain all by itself, didn’t have those frills, it might…I don’t know.”
“Oh, that,” Lucia said. “The frill is just apiece that buttons on. I can take it off. Watch.”
Starting with the top button, Lucia undid them one at a time, letting a piece of the frill dangle in front of her as she redid the button.
To Ben it seemed like she was stripping, especially when she undid the button between her breasts and he caught a glimpse of her camisole top. His heartbeat increased with every button to the point he could hardly breathe.
Lucia laughed. “It just so happens I have a little sewing kit with me. Give me a few minutes and I’ll fix it. But first, some more champagne.”
“Fix it? No…I wasn’t suggesting that--”
“I want to, Ben. I want to know how you think I should be packaged.”
“Oh my God,” Ben whispered. “I’ve offended you. I’m sorry.”
“You haven’t,” Lucia said. “This is like a game. I’m enjoying it. Pour and I’ll go to the ladies’ room.”
The bottle felt liked it weighed a hundred pounds when he lifted it. Lucia’s lips seemed to shine as she drank the bubbly liquid. Even as she stumbled toward the ladies’ room, he couldn’t help but focus on her backside. He closed his eyes and tried to imagine her naked, but was shaken back to consciousness when the waiter appeared next to the table.
“Will we be ordering dinner?”
Ben decided to take a chance. “No,” he said. “Please give me the bill.” He waited impatiently, his legs trembling, his eyes focused on the area of the restaurant where he last saw Lucia. He signed the bill and waited some more.
Then he saw her. She had somehow halved the length of her skirt so now, instead of one inch below her knees, it was eight inches above them. And she had removed the camisole under her blouse. That much was clear, as clear as the view of her nipples under her blouse. She seemed to be feeling her way toward the table, stumbling as she walked, her hips swaying with every step, her breasts jiggling, her hard nipples seemingly trying to pierce the flimsy fabric that covered them.
She slid into the chair across from him and whispered, “Can you see under my blouse? Without my glasses, I can’t tell.”
“A…a little bit,” Ben gulped.
“Is…is my packaging okay now?”
“It is absolutely fucking perfect.”