New Job, New Friends...

... New Me?

I do not own this image. Director of Photography: Mark Doering-Powell 

She was the type of girl you would imagine falling for, with curves in all the right places and legs that went for miles. There was something about the way she bit her lip when she was nervous. She seemed to have the entire room at her fingertips when she told a story. She was so simple, yet extraordinary.

I remember the first time I spoke to Claudia on my first day of work. I hadn't announced that I was leaving the kitchen and she turned the corner with an entire tray of drinks that fell all over both of us. Thankfully, it was just water, but still embarrassing nonetheless. Of course, I apologized to her a million times and she brushed it off with a laugh and a flick of her wrist. Claudia handled everything with grace.

That night she invited me out with some coworkers. At the end of our shift, we walked to the bar together.

"It's just temporary," she said to me, referring to the restaurant. "There are so many things I want to do, so many places I want to see. Don't you?"

"I want to go to Europe, as basic as that sounds," I told her, trying not to stare into her ocean blue eyes.

"That's not basic, Europe is beautiful! I want to go to Venice so bad." Just like that, she made you feel like everything you said mattered.

We got to the bar. It was dark, musty, and loud. I could see the rest of my coworkers drinking and shooting pool in the corner of the room. They warmly greeted Claudia as soon as she walked in. I felt like more of an afterthought, since she had to reintroduce me to most of my coworkers who had forgotten my name already.

After a few rounds of beer, Claudia bought a round of whiskey shots for us.

"To Emily! On her first night at Hank's!" she cheered and I couldn't hold back my smile.

"Come with me." She grabbed my wrist and pulled me over to the pool table. "You know how to play, right?"

I nodded knowing I wouldn't be good at it.

Claudia broke and two striped balls were knocked into the pockets of the pool table.

I took aim at one of the solid balls, slowly reaming the stick back and forth between my fingers, squinting in concentration. I clearly didn't know what I was doing.

"Do you want me to help you?" Claudia asked, giggling.

"Uhh, yeah, thanks," I said nodding nervously. She came behind me and took my hand to show me how to hold the cue stick. "You want to aim for that one," she whispered.

I could feel my hands shaking, my heart pounded so fast, I thought it was going to burst out of my chest and land on the pool table.

I took the shot and the ball went in.

"Look at that! You're a natural," she chimed, beaming at me with those ocean blue eyes.

"I had a good teacher," I said, my face inches from hers.

This was the moment, right here, but she was beautiful, and I was an anxious mess.

Before I knew what was happening, she leaned in and our lips touched. I felt a jolt of electricity shoot up my spine. Her lips were soft against mine. I felt her hands glide down to my waist to pull me closer. She was gentle at first, then our tongues danced around each other's mouths, and suddenly, I lost my breath.

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