The girl in the back was really hot, Carrie thought as she leaned back in her chair. She looked around the rest of the room, enjoying just watching the people. She loved science fiction and fantasy conventions. She had never been to this particular one in Oklahoma City, and this one was actually an anime convention, but it was close enough. It had all the same elements that she loved. This time she got involved and was working as staff. Which was what she was doing now, although nothing much was going on. She was sitting at a sign in table for the role playing and card games.
She enjoyed watching the people though. The woman she had noticed immediately when she walked into the room was playing a card game at a back table with three men. The woman whose name was Nicole was really pretty, wearing a red dress with the back left bare and with a slit down the side that left her whole leg bare as she was sitting down. The boys at the table were falling all over themselves because she was so pretty. The boys were young, probably eighteen, one dressed up as one of the Ghostbusters. She loved looking at the costumes.
‘Excuse me,’ a deep male voice said, startling her from her observations.
She looked up and was startled even farther by looking into the deepest, most gorgeous brown eyes she had ever seen, but she recovered quickly. ‘May I help you?’ she asked automatically as she took inventory. The gorgeous brown eyes wasn’t his only virtue. Dark brown hair that was a little long, one lock falling over his forehead. As she watched, he pushed it away impatiently. She was always drawn to hair, and she wouldn’t mind being able to run her hands through his. He had facial hair and several earrings hanging from one ear, which gave him a slightly rough look. She had never been fond of facial hair, and rough hadn’t been her cup of tea since high school. Even though she liked long hair, she had been mostly been looking for the respectable, short haired, professional type. Basically someone her grandfather would approve of.
‘I was wondering about the tournament at three. Did they change it?’
She nodded as he was glancing over the people in the room. ‘Wasn’t enough interest. The card tournament will go on though, just in a different format.’ He was wearing a brown trench coat over a black pair of jeans and a black T-shirt. Broad chest, broad shoulders. She suddenly had an image of running her hands over his chest and shoulders while pressing her body up against his, and just as suddenly, she banished the thought. Besides not being what she had set out to find, he was young. Too young for her. What was she thinking?
But then he turned back to her with those eyes and smiled at her, and she was lost. He had a gorgeous smile. Finding a professional who she was attracted to wasn’t working out too well. At thirty-two, she thought she should be looking for someone stable, someone with a career. Which is a bit hypocritical since she herself was in college at the moment, but that was what she had set out to do. She had set out to find someone with ambition, but was that really as important as finding someone she wanted, someone she would have fun with?
‘I’ll be back.’ He flashed one more smile at her.
She sighed as she watched him walk out of the room. She brushed her hands through her hair. It never failed. When she saw a guy that struck her interest, it always seemed like she was dressed her worst and looked her worst. She hadn’t planned on being here today, it was planned that she work the game room tomorrow, but things had changed at the last minute. She wasn’t bad looking in her jeans and a sweatshirt, she knew, but there was no way she could compete with the young lady in the corner. She wasn’t wearing any makeup, her nails weren’t done, and her brown hair definitely could use work.
She had been single for awhile. Unfortunately she was pretty picky about what she wanted in a man. She was also so busy with school that she barely met anyone new. She was starting to get lonely, and she definitely missed having a sex life. She was also shy and wasn’t the type of girl that men instantly noticed. She was at a loss as to how to get what she wanted, and she had some pretty specific needs. Someone who shared her interest of fantasy and games, someone she was attracted to, someone she could explore all things sexual with, someone who would treat her well, and someone she had fun with. And in the last year, she had added the career requirement to the list.
An hour later she was playing a card game with a friend when he walked back in. He walked over to a group of people and started talking to them, so she watched as she played. He really was gorgeous. She didn’t know why, but some men, and occasionally even a woman, would catch her interest, and the attraction would be so strong, that she liked almost everything about them. How they moved, how they talked, their mannerisms. It was a rare thing, but that’s how she felt with this guy now. Dark and gorgeous. He had taken off his trench coat. He had dark hair on his arms, and she imagined herself running her hands up his arms to his shoulders.
‘Carrie,’ her friend David said sharply, breaking her out of her fantasies, dragging her attention back to the game. ‘What’s with you? You’re not paying attention.’ He waved his cards in front of her face.
‘Oh, sorry,’ she said, making the effort to turn her attention back to the game. All hesitation gone now, she started seriously considering ways to get close to him. It had been a year since she had been in a relationship, and that long since she had sex. She wasn’t taking the celibacy well. But she was never very good at approaching guys. She always got nervous and chickened out. She wasn’t really shy, but she had a real phobia about rejection. Especially with a guy that might run away in horror. He was young, probably had a girlfriend.
Not surprisingly with her thoughts occupied with him, she quickly lost the game. ‘Shall we play another one?’
‘Mind if I play too?’
She looked up into the deep, dark brown eyes and her heart skipped a beat. ‘Hi, sure, sit down.’ She quickly got her deck ready. ‘I’m Carrie. This is my friend David.’ She brushed her hands through her hair. Once again she wished she had spent more time on her looks today.
He smiled at her as he dropped into a chair next to David, leaning back and stretching his legs out. ‘I’m Adam.’
She played the game, every time she waited for her turn, her eyes went to Adam. She grew more and more attracted to him. The way he dragged his hands through his hair. The way his black jeans clung to his legs. His fingers as they held the cards. And of course, those gorgeous brown eyes. It was his eyes that really drew her to him. Her mind was going through all the fun things she could do with him. She quickly lost the game.
Before she could even say anything, a girl came over and snagged Adam’s arm, tugging on it. ‘How about we play a game?’
David looked at Carrie as she sighed as she watched Adam wander off. ‘Come on, lets go for a walk. Tired of sitting.’ After they started walking down the hall, watching all the people in costume wandering around, he asked, ‘You like him, don’t you?’
Carrie glanced at David, pausing for a second to consider. David and her used to date, although they pretty much had gotten over it. ‘Yeah, I do. He’s cute.’ She shrugged. ‘He probably wouldn’t be interested in me. Probably has a girlfriend. And he’s younger than me.’
‘They say convention sex is the best. And like Vegas. What happens at the convention stays at the convention. Never know until you try.’
‘Or he’ll run away in horror.’
‘Would you cut that out?’ David asked in an exasperated voice. ‘You’re never going to get anywhere with that attitude.’ He grabbed her arm. ‘Come on, we’ll get rid of your fear of rejection. We’ll go up and ask some random guy to kiss you.’ ‘No!’ she said, horrified, jerking her arm away. ‘
I can’t do that.’
‘You never just let go. You were always uptight with me. You need to learn to let go. Relax, and stop worrying. If he says no, it’s not the end of the world. You’re going to miss things if you’re too scared to put yourself out there.’ He turned her around to head back the way they came. ‘Well, we’ll go up and ask that guy if he has a girlfriend.’
She shook his arm off and turned back around. ‘I’ll do it myself. What will it look like if I have to have you find me a man?’ She took his arm. ‘Come on, lets finish our walk, and later on I’ll see if I can find him again.’
They walked around, looking at the different sights. She had always enjoyed these conventions, watching the people, looking at the costumes. The biggest attraction seemed to be a guy dressed up like a ghostbuster from the movie, he was getting stopped fairly often for pictures. Still her thoughts kept drifting back to Adam. It wasn’t often that she was drawn to a guy. Unfortunately she was fairly picky, it wasn’t often that she even saw a guy that she wanted to approach. There had been two in the last year, and that was counting Adam. What would it hurt to ask him if he had a girlfriend? What if he ran away in horror?
About two hours later, when she was about ready to go home and David had deserted her with a reminder of going and looking for the guy, she considered Adam. Should she go find him? So many people were still out and about, it would probably be almost impossible to find him. She decided to try. But after fifteen minutes, she gave up. There were just too many people here. People in costumes lined the hotel hallways, waiting for some event.
When she was going out the door into the dark, she stopped suddenly when she saw Adam sitting by the door on a bench, talking on the phone. She took out her own phone, fiddling with it, killing time while considering whether she wanted to go talk to him or not. When he saw him close the phone, she walked over to him. She was nervous, but went up to him, trying to push her nervousness away. ‘Hi.’
He looked up at her and smiled. He had a cigarette in one hand, one foot on the bench, one on the ground. ‘Hi.’ He gestured with his phone. ‘Just had a fight with my girlfriend. She’s not answering the phone now.’
She paused for a moment. ‘Oh, you have a girlfriend.’
He ran a hand through his hair. ‘Yeah. I think. Maybe. We haven’t been doing very well for awhile now. She’s younger than me. I don’t think she’s matured fast enough.’
‘Oh.’ She took a deep breath. ‘Well, that’s disappointing. I actually was looking for you. I thought you were cute.’ She stuck her hands in the pockets of her jeans as she waited for his reaction.
He watched a group of people walk out of the hotel. ‘Thank you, it’s not every day I get approached by a woman.’ He paused for a moment. ‘I’m not sure what’s going to happen with her.’
‘I don’t normally approach guys. You’re actually the first. There’s not very many guys I want to approach.’ She shrugged, looking down. Raising her eyes up from the ground, she felt a pang, which she totally found ridiculous. She just met him. Why should she feel such disappointment, such a let down? She wanted to be pressed up against him, kissing those lips, sliding her hands beneath that trench coat to slide her hands over his back, over his chest.
‘Well, I’m flattered.’ He looked at her and smiled. She was older than him. By how much, he couldn’t even begin to guess. While they were playing the game earlier, she had mentioned that she had been married before. She was pretty though. Not the gorgeous model type like the girl Nicole, but pretty. Bright blue eyes, long brown hair, nice body in jeans and a T shirt that showed off her fairly large breasts. The T shirt from a college from a town about fifty miles south of Oklahoma City gave him a slight pause. His girlfriend and him were really having a lot of trouble, and he had to admit that she was tempting. Would she want to have a fling though? Did he really want to have a fling?
She took another deep breath. She didn’t believe she was going to say what she was going to say. But he was so cute, and looking into his deep brown eyes, she wanted him so much. ‘I can’t believe I’m going to say this,’ she muttered under her breath. ‘Can we…’ she stopped and tried again. Watching him raise her eyebrows at her as she faltered and struggled, she took another deep breath. ‘I’ve heard convention sex is the best. And that it’s a little like Las Vegas that everything that happens stays here….’ she trailed off, waiting for his reaction.
He couldn’t help but grin as he watched her fidget with her fingers. It was obviously something that she didn’t do often, and she was so cute while she fumbled through the proposal. He considered it, all the possibilities and all the possible consequences, glancing once more at her college shirt. Running his hands through his hair, he glanced at his watch and stood up. ‘Look, it’s eight. I haven’t had dinner yet, and I haven’t been through the whole convention, and there’s the rave party tonight. Why don’t we hang out and have dinner, and we’ll see where things go?’
Relieved that he hadn’t ran away in horror, she smiled brightly at him. She was happy with that. ‘Shall we go eat first?’
He nodded, taking her arm and leading her towards the parking lot. ‘We’ll take my truck. Where do you want to eat?’
She shrugged. ‘I’m pretty easy. Fast food is fine even.’
‘I think we can do a bit better than fast food. There’s a Chinese restaurant a couple of blocks from here that’s pretty good. We ate there yesterday.’ He led her to a black truck and opened the door for her. As he slid into the driver’s seat, his cell phone started beeping. ‘Hold on.’ He flipped open the phone and hit a button. ‘Yeah, I’m going to go get something to eat.’ He paused for a moment, listening. ‘Yes, a girl, and none of your business. I’ll catch up with you later.’ He smiled at her. ‘Friends. Wondered where I ran off to.’
‘Do you all live here?’
‘No, they’re two close friends from high school. We all live somewhere different, but we try to get together every now and then and hang out. They’re both good guys, but a little on the odd side.’ He glanced at her as he shifted the car into gear. ‘What about you?’ He gestured to her shirt. ‘College student?’
‘Yeah,’ she answered, leaning back into the seat, turning her head to watch him as he drove. ‘Accounting major. I graduate at the end of this semester. I went back to college when my husband and I divorced.’ She hesitated. She wasn’t sure she wanted to know. ‘I’m almost afraid to ask, but how old are you?’
‘Twenty-two,’ he answered as he pulled into the restaurant. He glanced at her and caught her gaping at him. He smiled at her. ‘How old did you think I was?’
‘I was thinking twenty six or twenty seven.’ She studied him as he turned off the car. ‘I’m really not a good judge of age, but I didn’t think you were that much younger than me.’
‘Yeah, I’m not that good of judge of age either.’ He turned in his seat so he could look at her more fully, even though the light was dim. ‘I knew you were older than me. How old?’
‘Does it matter?’
She smiled at him. ‘Not if it doesn’t matter to you.’
‘It doesn’t,’ he said, reaching over to push a piece of her long hair out of her eyes. ‘Come on. Lets go eat. I’ll buy.’
‘I think I should buy,’ she said as she came around the truck. ‘After all, I was the one who picked you up.’
He gave her a look that she couldn’t read in the dim light. ‘Yeah, but dinner was my idea.’ He grinned at her. ‘You can buy me breakfast tomorrow.’
Once they were in the restaurant and had their food, his phone started beeping again. He glanced at it and sighed. Glenda. But he didn’t want to deal with her dramatics at the moment. He should, but he had a pretty girl across the table that wasn’t demanding anything or yelling at him. He tur
ned the phone off. ‘Girlfriend.’
Taking a drink of her Pepsi, she struggled for a moment with her curiosity. ‘I hate to pry, but a natural curiosity is something I have a lot of. And I hate to bring up something unpleasant.’ She hesitated, moving her sesame chicken around on her plate. ‘Why aren’t you two getting along?’
He paused for a moment, considering. ‘She’s twenty. She just moved out of her parents house and into her own house.’ He put down his fork and leaned back in the booth, looking at her across the table. ‘I helped her. She was supposed to get a job to pay the bills, but she won’t even attempt to get a job. She’s too busy shopping, hanging out with friends, and just plain running around. Drinking, partying.’ He shrugged. ‘I’m not sure what to do about her. Anymore we want to do different things. And I don’t want to pay her bills totally.’ He gestured to the phone. ‘The phone call earlier was about her car. They’re threatening to repossess it, and she wants me to pay the car payment. I don’t mind helping her, but I don’t want to do everything.’
He paused for a moment. ‘I worked hard for everything I have. Maybe it’s selfish. But I don’t want to pay all her bills while she runs around doing nothing. But I also feel responsible for her. But more and more, it seems like I’m not getting anything out of this relationship.’
Seeing the fatigue, the worry, and the conflict in his gorgeous brown eyes, she reached over impulsively, covering his hand with hers and squeezing it. ‘No, it’s not selfish. She’s your girlfriend, not your wife. And even then, taking care of everything with no support is overwhelming.’
He stared at their hands for a moment before turning his hand over, linking his fingers with hers. ‘I don’t know what to do about her.’ He shrugged, the smiled at her, banishing the look in his eyes. ‘What about you? How long have you been divorced?’
‘Four years. I got married when I was eighteen.’ She smiled at him as her heart started beating harder as his thumb moved to her wrist, rubbing over her pulse there. ‘I dated David for awhile, but we broke up about a year ago. It just didn’t work. We stayed friends. It’s been that long since I’ve had sex. I don’t take celibacy well.’
He opened his mouth to say that it had been three months since he had sex, but he closed it again. No use going on about the girlfriend again. Glenda was always too tired, but he didn’t know what she did for her to be tired. ‘You’re a pretty girl. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding guys.’
She glanced at him, smiling at him for the compliment. ‘I’m pretty picky about guys. There’s not that many guys I’m interested in.’
He raised an eyebrow at her and smiled at her. ‘And you picked me? You have weird taste in men.’
‘So I’ve been told. There’s just something about some men.’ She shrugged. ‘Doesn’t happen very often.’
‘I’m even more flattered then,’ he smiled at her, squeezing her hand. ‘It’s nice that you and David stayed friends. Most relationships that end, you hate each others guts.’
She shrugged. ‘I seem to have a knack for staying friends after a relationship ends. My ex-husband and I are friends too. He was supposed to be here today as well, but at the last minute, he couldn’t make it. We all play Dungeons and Dragons or some other game together one day a week with a few other friends as well.’
‘That’s nice. And very rare.’ He paid the bill and stood up. ‘Come on, lets go walk through the convention. And then we’ll go to the rave.’
Taking her hand as they got out of the car, he led her into the hotel and through the convention. They went through the dealer’s room looking at the different things to buy. She giggled at him when he bought a button that said ‘My dice are trying to kill me’ and pinned it to his coat. She bought a t-shirt that said ‘Pass me another character sheet and some better dice.’ They walked through the video game room, stopping to watch people playing, and through several of the anime rooms. Eventually they found themselves in the anime porn room. Standing at the back of the room after they had flashed their IDs, she looked around the room, seeing several couples cuddling in various places in the room.