Meet Rob and Nora from Her Shirtless Gentleman. Rob is a longtime bachelor who knows he’s finally found the right woman; Eleanora’s a recent divorcee struggling to define herself. In the scene below, Rob’s trying to convince her to take a chance and go out with him.
Rob shrugged and leaned back in his seat. Women liked confidence on a man. He’d put his desires on the table no matter how his heart quailed. “Good thing my schedule’s clear.”
“What if mine’s not?”
He caught and held Eleanora’s gaze, his voice low and steady. “I’ll keep asking until it is.”
Her eyes widened. Her nostrils flared. The sharp intake of her breath sent blood rushing to his cock. He pined for her just so, naked and squirming and pouring sounds in his ears.
“I—” She broke their stare and released a bitter-edged laugh. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do this. I’m not—I’m sure you date women who know what they want and say all the right things and flirt intelligently, for god’s sake. But I…”
He waited in stillness, but she didn’t seem inclined to finish her thought. Sliding his hand across the table, he risked brushing her fingers. “But you what, Eleanora?”
She grimaced. “I was barely old enough to drink when I started dating David. We married young, and…” She sagged like a windsock on a calm day, listless and empty. Way her husband had made her feel, maybe.
“Been a while since you’ve been in the dating market.” He’d envy her the freedom from the chase, if her marriage hadn’t turned out to be such a botch job. He’d have rather washed his hands of the whole dating scene and settled down a good six or eight years ago himself.
“Ten years.” Sighing, she stared at their hands.
He risked a second touch, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles.
“Bars aren’t my speed.” She aimed her mumble at their empty plates and crumpled napkins. “The last time I dated, social networking didn’t exist, and my girlfriends argued over whether letting a boy put his hands under their shirts was okay, not whether they should give a guy a blowjob in his car or invite him inside.”
Red crept up her cheeks. The mix of boldness and innocence swirling around her drew him like lightning to a mountaintop. She might embarrass easily, but she powered through with courage and sass. Two more points in her favor. His Nora needed a smidge of old-fashioned high school wooing and confidence-building. Inspiration struck.
“Let me take you out Friday night.” He squeezed her hand. “No blowjobs, I promise. But I might let you put your hands under my shirt.”