The sports bar was loud and poorly-lit, but Robert could see quite clearly that it was well loved by those who frequented it. Twangy country music was playing on a jukebox in the corner, and although one or two couples were swaying nearby, the rest of the bar appeared to be largely ignoring the music. Most of their eyes were glued to the three large-screen televisions mounted on the far wall. The Mariners were playing the Rangers and although they were heavily favored to lose this one, it looked like it was going to be closer than expected.
“Nice place,” he said as they headed toward one of the few booths in the bar.
When Kit had opened to door to her apartment and he saw what she was wearing, he’d nearly had a heart attack. The shirt she had on hugged her curves in all the right ways, its emerald color contrasting with her fiery red hair.
And don’t get him started on those black pants. He thought she looked good in her scrubs, but damn the woman could work a pair of jeans. He’d always preferred his women to be what he thought of as girly-girls, in flowery dresses and lacey lingerie. Suddenly all he wanted, all he craved, was to see what Kit Valentine had going on under those tight black pants.
“It’s not bad,” Kit replied, her cheeks a ruddy pink from the cool evening air. “I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the kind of places you had back in Chicago.”
They sat in a booth, across from each other, and Robert thought back to the infamous clubs in Chicago. “To be honest, I never was all that fond of the clubs back there. Too loud, too dark. Crappy music.”
Kit laughed out loud. “You pretty much just described this place.”
“Not at all. I mean, country might not be my favorite but it means electronica hands down. There’s only so much bass I can handle at my age.”
“You make it sound like you’re an old man or something.” Kit’s eyes were glittering under the neon beer signs, and Robert couldn’t tear his eyes away from her. He liked seeing her away from work. She looked…good. Relaxed. Sexy.
“Maybe not an old man, but I’m not as young as I’d like to be.”
“How old are we talking here?” Kit asked jokingly.
“Let’s just say that 40 is no longer as far off of a concept as it once was.”
“You’re what? 30?”
“Double ouch. Do I look 30?”
“You look….” He paused, looked at her. “There’s no good answer to this is there?”
“Well I’m not 30. And I’m certainly not 40. You’re definitely older than me. How about we leave it at that.” She laughed again. “Come with me, I want to introduce you to some people.”
Robert let her take his hand and lead him over to a group of men watching the game. He enjoyed the feeling of her hand in his, and mourned the loss of her touch more than he expected to when she pulled away.
“Guys, I want you to meet Robert.” She stood at the head of their table and all eyes were on her in an instant. Dotted between the men were wives and girlfriends, but for the most part this appeared to be a manly table made up of manly men. They were wearing softball uniforms, their team name Weakened Warriors emblazoned on their backs.
“He’s from Chicago, so feel free to give him shit about baseball.” She glanced back at him. “Actually I don’t know if he’s even a fan or not.”
“Not a rabid one, but I follow the teams a bit.”
“Do you play?” The man seated closest to them, a big burly gentleman with a beard spoke up.
“I pitched for a team back home,” he replied. “I wasn’t great by anyone’s standards, but it was a hospital team so none of us were exactly talented.”
“Shit, we’ll take a half-decent pitcher at this point. Our last guy threw out his shoulder and we’ve been subbing each other in for the last 3 weeks. It’s not going well.”
Robert didn’t have time to question whether it was a good idea to be signing up with a softball league a few minutes into meeting them. He got swept up in conversation and enjoyed himself more than he had in months. He genuinely enjoyed being around Kit and her friends, and wanted to prolong the experience as long as possible.
When the game was over and Kit and Robert had settled back into their booth to eat dinner, he reached across the table for the salt and brushed against the inside of her arm. She shivered at his touch and the reaction was unmistakably female. The urge he’d had earlier, the one to take her to an on-call room and tear her clothes off, that was nothing compared to the one he was experiencing in that moment.
He wanted to strip her down and taste every inch of her. He wanted to see what made her tick and what made her sigh. He wanted to hear her moan his name while her eyes rolled back in her head.
“Robert?” She was looking at him, a question in her eyes.
“You looked like you were a million miles away there for a minute.”
“Oh,” he replied dumbly. “I was, I guess. Was just thinking how nice tonight has been. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to go out, have fun. Relax.” In reality he’d been thinking about how his house was just a short drive down the road. He’d been imagining laying her out on his bed, spending the rest of the evening becoming better acquainted with every inch of her.
Kit smiled. “Agreed. It’s been a long time for me too. I’m glad you got to meet some people outside of the hospital you can spend time with.”
“I’d like to spend time with you again, outside of the hospital.”
“I’d…I’d like that too, Robert.”
“I should be getting you home,” he tapped on his watch. “I hate to be the reason you’re tired for your shift tomorrow.”