Status: Finished.

More Than Just Baser Instincts.

The Second Date

I groaned as consciousness crashed into me like a semi-truck crushing an empty can beneath its eighteen wheels. My hand clutched a thin sheet closer to me, and I tried to get more sleep by burying my face in the world's most comfortable pillow.

“Ah, ah, Elaine; I have things to do today, and sleeping until high noon will simply not do.”

A loud shriek ripped past my lips, and I scrambled to get away from him so quickly that I fell out of the bed and crashed to the floor. A painful shudder tore through my body, making me wince horribly.

“What happened to the graceful and limber Elaine I got to meet last night?”

I glared up at Quince, but then I looked away quickly and threw up a hand.

“For God's sake, you're naked!”

“Darling, so are you.”

“Look away!” I bellowed, scattering to get to my feet and ducking under the bed sheets. “You pervert!”

He laughed at me, the ass. “Pervert? I believe I've done far more than look at that delectable body.”

I groaned, “Shut up, Quince,” but that only seemed to make him raise an eyebrow.

“If you're trying to set me up for round four, keep saying my name like that.”

“I'm not the one that woke you up for both round two and three!” I growled at him, shaking my head furiously. “Give me my clothes, and I will go home.”

He sat on the edge of the bed, completely nonchalant about his nudity as he stared at me, grinning. “It would be a crime to let you leave that bed, Elaine; and I am a law-abiding citizen, I'll have you know.” I shot him a dirty look, but he only shrugged. “So tell me... Was it as mind-blowing for you as it was for me?”

“Oh, stop it!” I reached past him and retrieved a shirt from the floor. Once I had managed to wriggle into it, I tossed the blanket away.

“It's a compliment!” he insisted, following me into the hall on one foot while he donned his boxers.

“Goodbye, Quince.”

“Wait!” I glowered after him, exasperated, as he ran out of the room. He returned with a pen, took my hand, and scribbled something on it. “Now you can go.”

“What is this?”

“My number,” he answered softly, tossing the pen carelessly away.

“What part of rebound didn't you understand?” I asked, throwing open the door and stepping onto the porch.

Wow, never had I ever been in public wearing only a man's over-sized shirt. How...embarrassing.

He caught my wrist, twirling me around. Before I could so much as blink, he pulled me in for another tongue-tangling kiss on his doorstep. He nipped at my lip before pulling back, giving me a warm, almost charming smile.

“Damn, that kid has game!”

My face burned, and my head whipped to the right to see one of his elderly neighbors staring at us, a huge grin slapped onto his wrinkly face! When I looked back to Quince, he was just waving at him...

I muttered nonsense under my breath as I stormed down the sidewalk.

The last thing that irritating man yelled at me was, “Maybe next time you should bring some clothes to keep in my dresser drawer, sweetheart!”


The walk of shame was not something I had ever enjoyed doing, and this time was by far the worst. My hair was a mess, I was clad in a large shirt, and Quince had left me with quite the impressive hickey for the entire world to see. It would not have been so bad if not for the fact that people already had enough reason to stare at me!

By the time I got to the inn, the sun was hanging next to the middle of the sky and there were two hours for me to get ready for an important meeting. Anne greeted me happily when I walked through the door, but of course then she truly saw me.

“I should say that you got what you wanted,” she muttered, giving me a reprimanding look.

“Believe me, I already regret it enough.”

“Judging by the marks on your hand, I guess he doesn't feel the same way.”

“Shut up, Anne,” I grumbled, pushing past her. “I need to shower.”

“Right: our date! Meet me down here in an hour, alright? I'm sure we'll be the late ones even if we're an hour early.”

“So this friend of yours is punctual?”


I threw Quince's shirt haphazardly, not even bothering to see where it landed, and then stepped into the shower. A grimace took over my face with every drop of water that landed on me, so I tried to keep my time under five minutes.

An hour to get ready... I retrieved a simple blouse and straight-leg jeans from my suitcase before checking myself in the mirror. That damn hickey! I covered it with my hand, groaning at the obviousness of the token of last night's mistake. The shirt wasn't working, so I changed into a shallow v-neck rather than a boat-neck.

Upon deeming myself presentable, I hurried down the hall. Anne was smiling and waiting for me with her hand holding open the front door.

“We can stop and get some breakfast, if you want. I'm sure you worked up quite the appetite.” She waggled her eyebrows, eliciting a groan from me.

“Stop it! I feel disgusting enough,” I lamented, following her into a quaint coffee shop.

“You know, once we get back I am going to want some steamy details,” she said much too loudly for comfort, pausing only to place her order. “What do you want, Elaine?”

“You cannot keep spending all of your money on me.”

She frowned, turned to the man at the counter, and said, “Make that two bagels.”


A sheepish smile covered her lips, and she turned to me. “Hey, do you know how long it has been since I got to spend time with anyone other than my family? If I don't treat you, you might up and disappear.”

“Like I'm a gold-digger,” I muttered, thanking the man and guiding Anne out of the cute shop without acknowledging the baker's gawking.

We ate as we walked down the sidewalk.

“Whatever. So are you going to call that boy?”


“But why not? He might be 'the one,' and then you'll stay here forever! We could be the best of friends, Elaine.”

I smiled, shaking my head. “He is not the one; just harmless eye candy. Definitely not my type. He was a smug ass, if you ask me.”

“Then why'd you do...him?”

“We're done talking about this! Is that the tea shop there?” She pouted at me but nodded nonetheless. “Good. Now, no more talking about this in public!”

She guided me to a table in the corner, still sulking and refusing to talk to me if I wouldn't speak about my “escapades” of last night. I stood firmly by my answer; it was embarrassing enough that I knew. We didn't talk much as we waited for her friend to show up.

“Anne! It's so nice to see you!”

I froze. Damn it, I knew that voice!

“Quince!” she cheered, her sulking abruptly cut off as she jumped to her feet and out of my view.

Do not turn around. Do not turn around. Don't you dare turn around, Elaine!

“Elaine, this is Bryce's friend Quince. Quince, this is the girl I was talking about.” I still didn't look. “You are being rude, Elaine. He could help you get that job, so be nice,” Anne whispered in my ear, pulling me to my feet and twirling me to face the bane of my existence.

His grin nearly split his face in half, and I moaned my distaste at this whole situation. Anne raised an eyebrow.

“What is going on?”

He managed to catch my gaze again, laughter causing his shoulders to shake. “Elaine and I have already met.”

“I don't understand.”

Then he stepped up to me and grabbed the collar of my shirt. I protested, loudly, but he pulled it aside to reveal the second bane of my existence.

“Oh, my gosh! Is that a hickey? Elaine!” she teased. But then her brow furrowed. “Elaine...?”

“We've already met,” he repeated, his eyes burning into mine as I stumbled to find words. He reached out and brushed his thumb across my lower lip. “But do try to remain professional, love; I can't let last night's images of you fog my judgment when I'm talking to the board.”

I groaned yet again, shaking my head fervently and slapping his hand away.

“You better lose those images right now!” I warned, narrowing my eyes at him.

“I'd die before I did such a thing,” he cooed, his eyes scanning over me. “I must say that I prefer the vision of you this morning as you were scrambling around to find clothes. Remember when I said it would be illegal to let you leave my bed? It just so happens that it is also illegal for you to hide your skin from me.” He flashed a toothy grin, one that mortified me beyond belief.

“Wait a minute!” Anne's eyes shot to me. “You...and him?”

“Yell it to the world, why don't you!” I hissed, slapping a hand over my face. “Kill me now!”

“Well... Does this mean she gets the job?”


She grinned. “What?