A Dance with Fantasy, (c) Copyright, By Jenesi Ash ©
Annelise stood at the top of the stairs. The ornate chandelier tinkled above her. She tilted her head, trying to project a regal image. Glancing around the grand hotelís ballroom, she looked for a familiar face. Annelise gave a discreet tug at her ball gown. The plain black taffeta skimmed her curves. Only her diamond choker saved the outfit from becoming boring.
Diamonds. Ha! The sparkly bauble she wore was made of glass and paste. Annelise should have listen to her first instinct and go without jewelry. She didnít own a real diamond, and even if she did, she wouldnít be able to compete with the other guests.
She slowly made her way down the marble staircase. Was she supposed to find some sort of receiving line? Thatís how it usually worked according to the movies. Perhaps she should go find a large glass of champagne and her friend Christy. In that order.
She would never understand why Christy couldnít celebrate a 21st birthday at a strip club. Annelise would gladly beg off attending this gala, but Christy was her best friend at university.
Her eyes scanned the crowd for Christy. No bubbly blonde around. Great. Just great. Annelise continued to search. Her gaze rested on a bold pair of deep blue eyes.
Annelise jerked her attention back. WhoaÖ The muted noise fell away. The heavy beat of her heart filled her ears as she stared at the sexy stranger.
No wonder Christy preferred this party to the strip club. The guys here are much better looking. No, not better. In a league of their own.
The man who was audaciously undressing her with his eyes was unlike any man she met. He oozed sex. His glossy dark hair seemed unkempt. The stubble shadow on his aggressive jaw contrasted against the ivory tuxedo shirt and tie. He looked like he just rolled out of bed after satisfying some lucky womanís needs and demands. Every cell in Anneliseís body wished that she had been that woman.
Anneliseís breath hitched as the man strode toward her. He smoothly maneuvered through the crowd. The crush of people easily parted for him. The guests were aware of him while they unseeingly bumped into her. Why was that? Was he someone important? Someone feared?
What if he was security? It was possible. His lithe body whispered refined power. Did he think she crashed the party? Annelise gripped her evening bag a little tighter. Her invitation Ė her proof that she belonged Ė was concealed inside.
The man stood in front of her. Annelise suppressed the urge to dodge him.
He bowed slightly, his intense eyes capturing hers. "I must have you." He stated it with a simplicity that took her breath away.
Her social smile faltered. "I beg your pardon? Have me?" Annelise stepped back. Did he mean what she thought? Perhaps there was a communication breakdown. Maybe English wasnít his first language. "What do you mean by that?"
His eyes gleamed wickedly. Images bombarded her mind. Both of them hot, sweaty, naked. Naughty words and raspy breaths mingling. He was over her, surrounding her, in her. His big hands splayed and crushing her soft breasts. His penis stretching her inner walls until she collapsed around him.
Annelise squeezed her thighs together. "UhÖyou donít even know me." She gave herself a mental slap. How stupid. She should be waving him off with a that-line-doesnít-work-on-me. But she knew it wasnít a line.
"Iím Pierce." He offered his hand, palm up.
She accepted it, unable to deny her bodyís craving for his touch. She expected his hand to be warm, but she wasnít prepared for the contact to electrify her senses, ricocheting through her bloodstream. "Annelise." She watched, mesmerized, as he lifted her hand and placed his firm lips against the erratic pulse at her wrist.
"Annelise," he murmured against her skin. "A beautiful name for a beautiful woman."
The blatant compliment flustered her. Because he said it with sincerity. She felt a blush staining her skin. That embarrassed her even more. "Itís the dress."
"Itís not the dress Iím looking at."
"Come on." He tilted his head with the confidence that he wouldnít be refused. A diamond stud earring gleamed from underneath his unruly hair. The rebellious symbol warmed her. The diamond beckoned with the same seductiveness as Pierceís smile.
But his arrogance nettled her pride. Annelise resisted for a moment. "Where are we going?"
"The dance floor." He flashed a knowing smile. "For now."
Dance? Damn. She didnít know any dances. The times she danced with men were at the university. The only step she had to remember was to smash her body against the man and sway to the music.
She wanted to decline but Pierce swept her onto the dance floor. He held her right hand loosely and curled his other arm around her waist. Her skin tingled. Annelise felt delicate and vulnerable within his embrace. She couldnít concentrate on the steps. Her mind went haywire as his hand dipped to the slope of her bottom, cupping it, claiming his territory.
This was too much, too soon. If she werenít careful, she would be tearing at his clothes within seconds. "Excuse me," Annelise said. "I-I need some fresh air."
"Allow me," Pierce immediately tucked her hand into his arm. He escorted her to the open French doors. The scent of summer flowers wafted over her. The hazy image drifted through her mind. Of Pierce and her rolling around on a bed of crushed flower petals.
Damn it! She needed to get away from him. He was clouding her reasoning, making her crave for hot, raunchy sex. She had nothing against sex, but she usually waited to make love when she knew the man. She didnít know Pierce.
Oh, but how she wanted to know him intimately. She wanted to dive her hand into his tux and sculpt his muscles with her fingers. She wanted to go down on him and feel every delicious inch.
They walked silently onto the veranda. The air around them crackled with awareness. She turned to Pierce, knowing she would surrender to this irresistible craving. As they stepped into the shadows, all she could see were the snowy expanse of his shirt and the flash of his earring.
"Annelise," Pierce growled. The rough timbre of his voice dragged like velvet against her sensitized ears. He didnít say it as a question, yet he expected a response.
"Yes," she replied and surrendered to the erotic forces swirling around them.
Pierce swooped down and kissed her voraciously. She greedily accepted his mouth, murmuring with approval as he speared his tongue between her lips. Annelise absently dropped her purse and smoothed her hands across his black jacket. She blindly found the lapels and her curious fingers dove underneath, exploring Pierceís hard chest.
Annelise gasped when Pierceís hand plunged inside her strapless dress. He cupped her breast. The possessive action made her squirm, but she instantly forgot as his fingers plucked her nipples until they beaded. She wiggled under his expert touch and then froze as he grasped the bodice of her dress and pushed it to her waist.
"Pierce? Someone might--."
"Ssh." He muttered against her heated skin. "Itís all right." He arched her over the crook of his arm. Her naked, aroused breasts were offered to his hungry mouth. He devoured her aching nipples. Sucking, licking, nibbling, laving. Her breasts felt heavy and swollen. Needy. Her knees weakened and she clung to his shoulders.
"PleaseÖ" she whispered.
"Tell me what you want, Annelise." Her name was a caress and her body tightened in response.
"In me. Now."
Pierceís hand grabbed a fistful of her skirt and hastily bunched it up. The evening breeze danced across her naked legs. Knowing she was exposed and open to this man made her wet. She was slick between her thighs, which Pierce quickly found out.
"Youíre ready for me."
"Oh, God, yes."
He chuckled against the underside of her breast. Without warning, her world became topsy-turvy. She faced the stone wall. Annelise braced her quivering hands against the rough surface as Pierce flipped her dress above her bare bottom.
She heard Pierceís zipper and the anticipation squeezed her lungs. He clamped his hand at her hips and nudged the tip of his penis at her welcoming cleft.
He entered her with agonizing slowness. Her body resisted the masculine invasion before accepting and receiving him fully. His penis stretched her. Pierce paused until she was ready. His body shook slightly as he battled for self-control.
Pierce wrapped one arm around her pelvis and held her close. His other hand pinched and twisted her rock hard nipple.
Annelise tilted her pelvis toward him.
"Annelise," he hissed a warning through clenched teeth.
"I want more," she admitted, pressing her buttocks into him.
The words cracked his self-mastery. He surged forward, his warm skin slapping against her. They indulged in the intimate dance, rumpling and tearing at their elegant finery. Her keening cry and his harsh gasps were swallowed up by the orchestraís music inside.
Anneliseís body was trapped between stone and Pierceís strong body. He held her close, sliding his hand to press the hard nub between her legs. His move sparked a shower of sensations. She trembled, on the verge of a cataclysmic orgasm.
"I canít Ė I canít Ė." She tensed. Pierce hastily covered her mouth with his. She climaxed, taking him over the edge of pleasure-pain.
Her body clenched him. Pierce rapidly thrusted in her, the tempo robbing her shaky breath. His body rumbled as his orgasm roared. He slumped against Annelise and she tumbled against the wall.
He immediately caught her. "Are you okay?" he asked. A gentle hand captured her wayward curls and tucked them behind her bare ear. His blunted fingertips trailed down her nape before cupping her cheek.
Annelise wanted to turn around and face Pierce. But would that destroy the moment or enrich it? Moments like these couldnít get any better, Annelise decided. She tried to contain her contented sigh. Her muscles hummed with sated pleasure. Her senses sang from being tenderly held by Pierce.
"Ladies and gentlemen," a voice bellowed from state-of-the art speakers. "Itís time to hear from the birthday girl."
Every one of Anneliseís muscles stiffened. "Oh, shit."
Pierce slowly withdrew from her. "What is it?"
"UhÖuh," Annelise frantically shook down her hemline. "IóI havenít even said hello to Christy." She cringed at the poor excuse. She didnít want to tell Pierce that she was freaking out because she forgot that there was a party going on around her.
What if someone saw her? Annelise didnít know much about society, but making love during a party was probably a faux pas. Of course, it really didnít matter. No one knew her. But they knew her type. The kind that didnít belong.
"How do you know her?" Pierce asked as he zipped up his trousers.
"Hmm?" Annelise couldnít begin to decipher the question as she yanked up her bodice.
"Christy. How do you know Christy?"
"Oh, well," she stalled. Did he also realize she wasnít one of them? How obvious was it? And then what? Will he lose interest? Or will he lose the charm and tenderness?
Annelise didnít want to find out. She hadnít made love to many men, but this was the first time she felt cherished. She wanted to hold on to that feeling, even if it meant leaving now before Pierce found out about her. He may not care about her poor background, but she didnít want to risk it. It would ruin this perfect moment. It would destroy her brief dance with fantasy.
She raked her hands through her hair. "Uh-oh," she said,
forcing a worried tone.
"I canít go into the party. Iím a mess."
"Youíre beautiful," he responded, linking his arms across her waist.
Annelise rolled her eyes. She was hidden in the dark and just had sex with her. What else could he say?"
"I need to freshen up before anyone sees me. I need to go find the ladiesí room."
"Iíll take you there." He began to escort her toward the doorway.
She dug her feet against the balcony floor. "No. No, thatís all right."
"Iím not going to leave you immediately after making love."
Oh, jeez. Not only did he use the term Ďmaking loveí, but he was also a cuddler. He was too good to be true. And she wanted to remember him like that. "Iíll join you later," she lied with a smile.
Pierce hesitated. He seemed to be battling over the need to hold her close and the demand to give her space. "Promise?"
"Yes, yes, of course." She pushed on her tiptoes and brushed her mouth against his. The addictive touch weakened her resolve. "Iíll be right back." She hurried into the ballroom, grateful that most of the guests were turned away from the doors, their attention on the stage.
Annelise glanced over her shoulder. Pierce was watching her. Damn. She made her way to the bathroom. She darted inside the empty lounge area. The mirror caught her attention. She flinched at her image. Swollen lips, mussed hair, and a love bite on her neck. When did he give her that?
She peeked out of the bathroom door. Pierce was nowhere in sight. She hurried out and dashed out of the ballroom and into a waiting elevator. She pushed the illuminated button for her floor Ė the cheapest, least prestigious floor. Annelise then noticed her hands. Her stinging palms bore white scratches from the unyielding stone. Her flaked and chipped nails showed no signs of the expensive manicure. Her abused hands would be her only reminder that her interlude with Pierce wasnít a dream.
The soft elevator chime announced her floor. She stepped out into the hallway and strode to her small room. Annelise continued to tug and twist at her bodice. The smooth, cool fabric burned against her nipples. She couldnít wait to get into her room, strip, shower and sleep.
Annelise stopped at her door and froze. "My purse!" she exclaimed softly. "Damn." She had to sneak back downstairs, find her purse, and avoid Pierce.
She whirled around and jumped, startled. Pierce stood a few feet away. One solid shoulder rested against the wall.
"Looking for this?" he asked. Her dainty purse looked even smaller in his hand.
She silently moved forward and plucked the purse out of his fingers. "Thank you," she whispered.
"You didnít strike me as the love Ďem and leave Ďem type," he accused softly.
Annelise jerked her head up and met his eyes straight on. "Iím not." She glared at him.
Pierceís only response was the lift of an arrogant eyebrow.
"I was trying to do theÖladylike thing andÖ"
"Sneak off?" he offered.
Her eyes narrowed into slits. "End the evening on a positive note."
"Your idea of a positive note doesnít match mine. My idea is taking you to my bed."
Heat flashed across her skin. The image of tangled sheets, entwined legs and mixed breathing filtered her mind. She ruthlessly dashed the vision away.
"I think you would agree I have the better idea," Pierce murmured as he stepped closer. "Although your room is much closer."
"You wouldnít fit into my room. Itís the size of a closet."
"As long as it has you in it, Iím happy."
"I thought your idea was taking me to bed."
"The bed is optional."
Annelise smiled in spite of herself. The corners of her mouth turned down into a frown. She knew she had to end this little fantasy now. "I know Christy from school."
Pierce nodded, patiently waiting to see why Annelise changed the subject so abruptly.
"Iím not one of your society girls. Iím not even rich." She paused. "How do you know Christy?"
"Iím her cousin."
Annelise groaned. He was probably as rich as Midas. It was so unfair. Why couldnít he have been part of the catering staff? Or the orchestra?
Pierce shrugged. "Whatís your point?"
Annelise growled with frustration. "What happened between us was an aberration. Youíre upper class. Iím lower class. We tend to stick to our people, where we belong."
"Mm," he nodded. "I see. You think we donít belong together."
His putting it that way stabbed at her heart. She swallowed. "Exactly."
"Annelise," he said softly and looked intently in her eyes. He cupped her face with his hands and looked intently into her eyes. "You belong with me." He lowered his head and touched her lips with his.
"You belong in my arms," he muttered in her ear as his hands drifted from her face and embraced her. "In my bed. In my life. This is about you and me. Nothing else. Got it?"
He was right. She did belong. Maybe not at the party, but with him. Their meeting felt destined. Their lovemaking gave her a sense of oneness that broke the boundaries of spirituality and emotions.
It didnít matter if she didnít belong to a black tie gala or at the corner bar. It didnít matter where she was as long as she had him in her life. "Yeah," she slowly answered him, like someone finding her way out of the fog. "I got it."
"And, as much as I enjoy being labeled as fantasy," Pierce continued, his eyes twinkling with humor, "I am not an aberration. To prove it, I plan on making love to you so often, it will feel like routine."
Anneliseís eyes sparkled. She would regularly experience his touch, his love, and his volcanic climaxes. If he followed through on his promise, Pierce would take the boring out of routine.
"That sounds like a good plan," Annelise said. "I think we should act on that immediately."
Triumph blazed in his eyes. "I thought so. Now letís end this evening on a positive note. My bed or yours?"
Annelise reached for him and pushed his back against the wall. "Didnít you say the bed was optional?"
Jenesi Ash writes short stories for print and web publications. Visit her
webpage at http://homepages.go.com/~venus200 .