By: Penny Wylder

“I’m good here,” he says. He glances over my head at the selection. “Besides, not like we’ll be here long.”

You could say that again. I clear my throat, resist the urge to bolt off of this stool here and now. There is no man hot enough to make up for the way his breath smells either, like stale beer and sour cream and onion potato chips. “Busy day at the office?” I ask, following his gaze mostly so I can turn away from him.

He leans harder against my leg. My toes tingle, starting to go numb. “Huh? No, I had the day off. Just got back from the beach. Hey, bartender?” He snaps his fingers. Actually snaps them, until the bartender glances back at us and, with an apologetic glance in my direction, heads our way.

“One more scotch on the rocks,” Dick says, and now I can see why he prefers this version of his name. It really suits him.

That task done with, he turns to me and brushes my hair back over my shoulder. “So, Clove…”

Realizing that I can’t keep staring at the bar forever, I turn to face him, trying on a smile.

“Damn you’re gorgeous. You get that often?”

“I, uh… Thanks, I guess.”

“How about we get out of here, huh? Enough small talk for one night, am I right?” He winks at me.

Enough small talk being what, all five sentences we’ve exchanged? I suck in a deep breath. Mm, l’eau onions. “Listen, Dick, you seem really nice and all…”

“Of course, so let’s skip the boring part and head straight to my place.” He downs the second scotch he ordered in one large gulp, then catches my arm.

“It’s been a really long day for me, actually—lot going on at work. I’m just going to head home.”

“That’s cool, we can go to yours.” He leans in, brushes my hair back from my forehead, and we’re suddenly way too close, only inches between us.

I execute a tricky side twist off the barstool to grab my purse. “I think I’m just going to head back alone. Thanks for the drink.”

“Seriously?” His expression shifts now. I don’t know if it’s the drink or the rejection that’s injuring his frail masculine ego, but either way, I don’t like the look in his eye. “Wait, wait, wait, Clove.” He catches my hand in his. His grip is strong. Too strong. “We got off on the wrong foot. Let me make it up to you.” With a single tug, he pulls me closer and leans over me, eyes intent on my face. “It’s just, I didn’t expect you to be so… You know. Hot. From your profile, you sounded like a book nerd, so—”

I wrench my hand from his with effort. “Dick, I have to be honest, I’m starting to understand why you prefer that nickname.” I shoulder my purse. “I’m leaving.”

“Don’t be like that! Come on, we can have some fun.”

“Goodbye, Dick.” I stride past him, out of the bar.

Of course he jogs after me.

“At least let me call you a cab,” he insists.

“I’m fine on my own, seriously.” But he ignores this and jogs ahead of me to the corner. He flags down a tax, and I watch him lean in the window talking to the guy. God only knows what he’s saying.

He opens the back door of the cab for me, but I hesitate, looking over my shoulder.

“You take this one, I’ll call another,” I say. But a glance up and down the street shows there won’t be another cab for quite a while—Wall Street tends to be dead at this hour.

“I insist.” Dick holds the door open a little wider.

With a sigh, I climb in.

He keeps the door open, blocking it with his thigh. “You know, if we go to mine, I can fuck you properly, Clove. It’s been a long time since anyone’s bent you over, hasn’t it?” He smirks.

It has, actually, but he doesn’t need to know that. “Thanks for the offer.” I yank on the door handle, trying to close it. That proves futile with him in the way, but hey, it’s worth a shot.

“You aren’t gonna get a better one.” He leans down and I get another strong whiff of onion breath. “A girl like you should be jumping at the chance to let a guy like me bone her.”

I cast a glance at the front of the taxi, but the driver is studiously ignoring this conversation, deeply concentrating on the one in his own wireless headset. “Again, I said thank you but no thank you.” I tug on the door, hoping against hope that Dick will finally let this drop.

Behind us, another taxi pulls up, and to my immense relief, Dick waves at it. It pulls over and he casts me one last long, dark look.

“You’ll regret this,” he says as he steps away from the door.