The Unlikely Suitor
Guest Writer Monica Roberts had the following prompts to choose from:
Cameron- He was a most unlikely suitor.
Erika- “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!”
Jen- double dog dare you
Thom stepped into the Rec Room for the first time in weeks. He stayed away for a while to let things cool down after his last visit didn’t end well. It was his habit to never walk into a room too quickly, preferring to hold back, look around, and assess the situation. Tonight was no different.
At the bar, Jenny was busy going back and forth, getting drinks and checking the snack bowls. This was common for her; she often had a lot of nervous energy and, since coming to the bar a few days ago, she spent most of her time running, but never seemed to get ahead. When she saw Thom walk in, she stopped dead in her tracks; electricity shot through her, and she wished that she could be invisible.
As he scanned the room, Thom noticed that not much had changed. The people were all the same. They glanced at him, and then turned away, their noses in the air as if they were allergic to his presence. Finally, his attention focused on the bar, and that’s when he saw her. Thom and Jenny’s eyes locked, and neither blinked as Thom decided where he wanted to spend the evening.
Mesmerized, Jenny watched as Thom stalked across the room like a predator zeroed in on his prey. Everything about him screamed power and vitality. His legs were long and lean and his beautiful shoulders rippled under his black coat. Not a touch of grey to show his age, but he was obviously experienced, and dangerous.
Jenny dared to breathe, and willed her heart to be quiet. The last thing she wanted was for him to hear it beating out of her chest. Before she knew it, he was in a seat, right in front of her. They looked at each other for a long moment before she could summon her courage. “What do you want?” She heard the nervous squeak of her voice and was sorry for it.
Thom smiled and the flash of his white teeth distracted Jenny. She found herself staring at his mouth; watching his curved lips, and noticing his dark whiskers. “Hmmmm. What have you got?” His deep rumbling voice surprised her. It was so smooth that it was almost a purr.
“What you see, is what I’ve got,” Jenny chided herself again. How could she possibly be so rude, and get away with it? She was tempting fate here; playing with fire.
“How long have you been here at the bar?” Thom asked as he imagined the softness of her honey colored hair that ran the length of her back. He brought himself back to her sweet face and big brown eyes, and waited for her to answer.
“Only a couple of days.”
“Where were you before that?”
“At a shop downtown by the docks. My family and I shipped in a short time ago.” Jenny couldn’t believe how much information she volunteered. It wasn’t her habit to talk this much. She caught herself staring at his lips again while he leaned in toward her across the bar.
“I thought you were new.” Thom recognized her nervousness and settled down into the bar stool to give her space. “You don’t have to worry, I’m not going to bite.”
The look in his greenish-yellow eyes told her that wasn’t always the case. “I’m not so sure about that,” she dared. “You never told me what you wanted.”
“Tonight, I just want to sit here and get to know you. This place hasn’t held any interest for me in a long time, I don’t want this to end too quickly, and I don’t want to scare you away.”
“HA!” Jenny laughed. “Where am I supposed go? I’m stuck here. You’re the one who can come and go as you like. It’s a free country, I can’t tell you not to sit there.” She looked around for something to do, somewhere to hide. She couldn’t remember what had kept her so busy before he walked in. She didn’t want to get lost in his eyes again. He made her nervous, and she didn’t like it one bit.
“What’s your name?”
“Jenny,” she stammered.
“Nice,” Thom paused. “I’m Thom.”
“Oh, yeah?” Jenny was moving again, trying to keep busy.
“Miss Jenny, may I call on you sometime?”
“What? Call on me? What do you mean?” She stopped, full of confusion.
“Well, Miss Jenny, I hope we can become friends. I want to get to know you.” Thom glanced around the room. “You’re the only one in here worth talking to.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“No, I’m serious. I just want to be friends. Think about it, I can get you out of this cage, we could hang out, go have some fun.”
“Listen, Thom, I’ve heard about your kind. I know you’re just going to play with me before you chew me up, and spit me out.” She started pacing again. “I don’t want to end up some trophy that you leave on the door mat.” Movement caught her eye and she looked over Thom’s shoulder.
Thom sensed the change, and with a hiss, raised himself to his full height and turned to meet the oncoming danger. Being distracted by Jenny had cost Thom, and he was caught tightly around his chest.
Relief flowed over Jenny as she watched Thom get snatched from the barstool, lifted and thrown out the door. She dared a little giggle when she saw him land on his feet, flick his bushy tail, and walk away with indignant pride. There was no doubt in her little mouse mind that Jenny would have to watch out for her unlikely suitor, the big cat Thom.