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10 Rules of Rebounding

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He really wished he would just get stranded on a deserted island for a few years. It wasn’t even the first time he thought about it, but right now it sounded more compelling than it ever had before.

He would just disappear from Starling and be untraceable for a few years, enjoying the sun and the time for himself as long as it lasted. That would allow him to get some distance between him and everyone and everything that pissed him off so much lately and hence help him as well as the people that were currently pissed off with him.

Sometimes, taking a break was the best and the only thing you could do. Once things had calmed down, he would come back to a changed and therefore better life with people who had hopefully missed him and didn’t want to risk losing him again by forcing him into a life he didn’t want or behave like strangers that he didn’t know.

Oliver smiled almost reverently at the idea. He knew all he had to do was convince his father to let him borrow his boat, the Gambit, and direct it into some storm to increase his chances on something like this happening. It might help reconnect him with the people who had use to be closest to him and a life that he actually felt was worth living. It was a nice plan, far from reality but nice.

When his friend put a glass with a pink liquid in front of him, Oliver lifted his gaze. Tommy was standing on the other side of the bar, his hands propped up on the surface of the counter and a dishtowel put over his shoulder. He was in full barkeeper-mode and usually a pretty good one at that. At the drink he had just served his friend, Tommy was grinning in amusement, though.

“What?” Oliver asked, lifting the glass and eying up the drink in it closely. “Did we run out of vodka shots?”

“No, but this one is called Sweet Unicorn, and, as I see it, it always cheers the ladies up. It could help you too.”

Oliver shot Tommy a brief look, and his friend’s grin widened in response. Oliver just rolled his eyes at that. Over the last years, he had tested at least two hundred different cocktails of all colors, so he didn’t mind testing another pink one. He took a sip of the drink and screwed up his entire face at the terribly sweet taste.

“This is horrible,” Oliver said, trying to suppress a cough. He put the glass down on the bar and pushed it far away from him like putting some distance between him and the drink would be enough to get rid of the terrible taste that his mouth seemed to have with now. He wouldn’t be surprised if he passed out and drifted into a sugar coma right here and now. It would still be better than where his life was currently going to, but he didn’t want the club to fall into disrepute for poisoning the people coming here. “Please tell me you are not adding that to the cocktail menu.”

“Too late,” Tommy replied with a chuckle. “I was already convinced to add this and two other new drinks. Nine out of ten probands said it was a must-add. The new menus are currently in print. I have a sample in the office in case you want to take a look.”

Oliver snorted. “I am out of the club for two minutes, and you are already changing everything.”

“It’s just the cocktail menu,” Tommy replied, “which we were planning on expanding anyway. Besides, I actually think it’s the least of your problems when it comes to changes in your life.”

“That’s actually true,” Oliver agreed with a sigh, “terribly true.”

His life had been far from perfect, especially these last few years. At least he had been able to have some things that made his life pleasant, though. Verdant, the club he and Tommy had built together was the most important one of it. It had filled him with pride, knowing they had built this club from scratch and turned it into one of the top addresses of the city. He loved working here, loved the loud music, the dancing crowd and just everything about here. Now his father forced him to give up all of this, though.

Oliver snorted at the thought. His father of all people forced him to give up something he loved and join the family company instead. For the past ten years, Oliver had struggled against his father’s wish, and he had thought he had been quite successful at it. With Verdant, he had thought he had proved to be quite successful in this area, so his father would see that his interference was unnecessary. Apparently, he had been terribly wrong about that, though. Owning a club did not seem to match with the plans his father had for him, and everything that had happened in the last few years hadn’t taught his father anything it seemed. He hadn’t become any softer.

As a child, Oliver would have loved to be like his father. He had always seemed like a great master of the universe, so incredibly powerful. It had seemed like nothing could have made his father even just stumble on his way to success. It had always appeared like he had had everything a person could want, and Oliver had wanted the same for himself. Now his family was broken. His girlfriend had left him. He had been forced to give up on the club and had to start working in his father’s company instead. It all just took away from the pleasantness of his life.

“Do you want a shot?”

“One?” Oliver asked and snorted. “Better make it five.”

Tommy shot Oliver a disapproving look, but he didn’t say anything about it. Oliver knew that his friend knew how hard this situation was for him. He guessed that was the reason why he didn’t say anything. Usually, Tommy wouldn’t mind criticizing his friend if he threatened to misbehave, especially in their club. No matter what his friend would or wouldn’t say, if this was one of the last evenings Oliver got to spend at Verdant, he would use it to say goodbye in the only way you could really say goodbye to a club. He would get drunk.

When Tommy put the five glasses on the bar in front of Oliver, he simply grabbed the bottle of vodka from the other side of the bar and poured the liquid in, filling the glasses almost to the rim. Oliver pulled the first glass closer.

“This one is for my family that is not only scattered to the four winds but where also everyone hates the other with a passion.”

He put the glass to his lips and angled his head back, letting the vodka run down his throat and burn all the way down into his stomach. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, but Oliver didn’t mind. There was nothing pleasant left in his life, so he could make his body feel this physically a little bit more, too. Without much pause, he let the next three shots follow – one for giving up on the club, one for having to work at his father’s company soon and one for Helena breaking up with him in the middle of all of this mess. He looked at the clear liquid in the glass for a moment, wondering which of the reasons his life sucked so much was worth the last of his shots.

“This is just because my life sucks,” Oliver concluded after a moment. He raised the glass like he wanted to toast to someone and eventually knocked the vodka back with one gulp. “Okay, I am just getting warm.”

While Oliver was pouring himself another lap, Tommy walked around the bar to his friend. He put a hand on his shoulder. Oliver knew he probably wanted to hold him back on getting drunk. He wouldn’t let himself be held back tonight, though. He wanted to get so drunk that he forgot all his problems and his name and just about everything.

“Wanna hear some friendly advice?”

“If it’s not about the alcohol.”

Tommy shrugged his shoulders. “You can always drink here as much as you want. Now that you’re no longer a manager of the club, you can trust me not to hold you back on a drink.”

Oliver bit down on his tongue, biting back a comment that of course Tommy could be generous now that the club was his alone. Oliver knew better than to say this out loud, though. His friend would have happily continued to manage the club together with him. They had been a good team, and they had even discussed building a second club. Holding the situation against him wouldn’t be fair. Tommy hadn’t chosen this.

“So, what’s your advice?” Oliver asked instead. “And please don’t tell me not to pity myself anymore.”

When Tommy perked up his eyebrows, Oliver rolled with his eyes. Of course that would be his friend’s advice. As much as he understood his frustration with the current situation, Tommy just couldn’t understand the depth of it. He had never been in a situation like this which given the lack of his father’s interest in him wasn’t necessarily any better. For him, who had spent half of his childhood with the Queens, it just had to be hard to see that the generous Robert Queen wasn’t half as good as a father as he tried to make himself out to be. He had his good days, but that was all the positive you could say about him and his fatherhood.

“Any other advice?”

“You should see it like this,” Tommy said urgently. “Your family is still alive, and your father is interested in your life. In a few months, either you will enjoy working at Queen Consolidated which means your father has been right all along, or you will still hate it, so your father will give up. Either way, you will get along better. Your father will know that you at least tried to follow in your father’s footsteps, and you will know if you really don’t want to work at QC or if you just don’t want to work there out of defiance.”

Defiance, Oliver thought to himself. He wasn’t sure he would call it that. In his teenage years when he had done a lot of stupid things and his father had punished him for it, it might have been defiance that had turned him against his father’s plans for him. Now, it was much more than that. He was almost thirty years old. He shouldn’t be forced to try a way he had precluded for himself years ago just because his father insisted on it. He didn’t want to work there despite his father’s wishes not because of them.

“As for Helena,” Tommy continued after a moment, “do yourself a favor and get back into the game. You don’t have to find someone new to be with permanently yet, but you should go find someone to have fun with. Get laid. You never dwelled this long in a breakup before, especially not one you saw coming from ten miles ago.”

Tommy patted his friend’s back before he headed to the VIP area. That had used to be Oliver’s job in the club. Tommy felt safest behind the bar, mixing new cocktails and keeping an overview on everything that happened on the club. Oliver had loved to be in the middle of everything happening. Talking to people, encouraging them to let loose and enjoy the night was much more his thing.

It was one of the reasons why he and Tommy had always worked together well and why they were such good friends – they complemented each other. They had shared interests and ideas, but they were still quite different at the same time. That way, they didn’t get in each other’s way. It also meant that they didn’t always agree on everything.

Oliver knew Tommy had meant well with his advice. He also knew he was actually having his fling right now. Since the decision that he would start working at his father’s office had been set, Oliver had gotten drunk a few times too many and had taken care of himself a few times too rarely. Tommy was right to tell him to stop pitying himself because Oliver should stop pitying himself. He just didn’t know how to get out of this. He didn’t know how to stop pitying himself. He was too deep into it to just stop and change it now.

So, how was he supposed to stop pitying himself? His family was broken far beyond repair. They were all still alive as Tommy had pointed out, but their relationships were so destructed by now that Oliver wasn’t even sure he could still call them a family. They were family to him, but, as a group, he wasn’t sure they were still a family. His parents didn’t talk to one another. His sister refused to talk to their parents. It felt like he was the link between all of them though he wasn’t sure how long he could still be the link between his father and the rest of the family. He didn’t make it easy to defend him.

Oliver also doubted that his dad wanted what was best for him. For the last ten years, Oliver had emphasized that he didn’t want a part in the family company. He had never been interested in it, not if it took more than considering himself being the boss who made decisions and got a lot of money. Regarding any contents, he wasn’t interested at all. He knew what the company was about, more or less at least, but he had no idea about the details, and he couldn’t say that he was particularly interested, either.

Things between him and Helena were complicated, always had been. They had been together for years now, though. He had known they had problems, but he hadn’t thought they were that bad. If she hadn’t ruined their relationship, everything would have been fine. Since Helena hadn’t been able to stop urging him, everything had ended, though.

With a deep sigh, Oliver put the bottle of vodka away. He downed the three shots he had poured himself and turned around on the chair to look at the dance floor. Maybe Tommy was right in that one thing he had said, and he should just try finding someone for the night. While Tommy couldn’t understand the problems, Oliver had with his father, but Tommy did understand a little bit about heartbreak. His advice on that was much more appreciated. Oliver sighed once more as he thought about his time before Helena now. Finding someone to spend a night with hadn’t been much of a problem before they had gotten together. It shouldn’t be a problem now.

Oliver looked at the people who were singing and dancing, enjoying their night. Another wave of nostalgia took hold of him and urged away his thoughts about letting loose for a moment. He was really going to miss this. It was a big step to go from a night club into a big company. A completely different life was waiting for him there, one that he wasn’t exactly looking forward too. He was sure that his father hoped for Oliver to settled down and for his life to become calmer, maybe start a family with a beautiful, rich girl and two kids that could be shown off like he and Thea had been used to show the picture-perfect family the Queens were on the outside.

Realizing that he was about to get sucked down into his pity a little too much once more, Oliver shook his head. Tommy was right. Looking for a beautiful woman to spend a nice night with might cheer him up more than that terrible drink had managed. It wouldn’t solve his problems, but it would take away his worried for a night, and he could use a night or even just a few hours of distraction. At least he hoped that would happen. He could use a night of distraction and-

When his eyes met a pair of grey-blue ones, his thoughts came to a sudden stop. There was a determination in her eyes that drew him in, making it unable to look away. Without knowing her or looking at her for long to allow any deep analyses, he knew that was a woman who knew exactly what she wanted. If the expression in her eyes was any indication, right now she might actually want him.

While she continued looking at him, Oliver let his eyes drift over her body. She had long blonde hair that fell around her face and down her shoulders in soft curls. A tight-fitting dress emphasized the beautiful curves of her body. She looked tiny in the middle of the dancing crowd which was interesting given the height of her high heels. She had to be even smaller without these shoes.

Oliver moved his tongue against the inside of his cheek as he continued watching her. She wasn’t his type at all. He was usually much more into the model-type of women. Long legs and dark hair were his preferences. Yet, he couldn’t avoid realizing that he was turned on by the beautiful blonde. She wasn’t his type, but she seemed interesting, and that was probably even more important.

Oliver was just about to turn to the barkeeper and order one of the ladies’ drinks for her when the blonde suddenly started approaching him. Oliver watched her move over the dancefloor, walking towards him with the same determination in her steps that still shone in her eyes. Not moving a bit, Oliver stayed where he was and just continued watching her with held breath and perked up eyebrows. He actually wondered if she was going to jump or punch him. If he could choose, it was certainly the first, but something in the sparkle of her eyes told him that the second was a realistic option, too.

When she stood close to him, Oliver could see how upset she really seemed to be. It wasn’t only the sparkle in her eyes, but almost everything about her body language that told him that she was upset. Her full lips were opened slightly, and her chests were heaving with her quickly breathing. Her cheeks were slightly reddened. She looked even more beautiful now than she had from across the room. Anger apparently looked good on her which Oliver knew wasn’t the case with every woman.

“Are you single?”

For the break of a second, Oliver thought about a good answer. It didn’t take long until the tone of her voice caught up with him, though. It was just as determined as her eyes and movements before. If that was any indication, this wasn’t a woman who wanted a funny response to start a nice conversation that would eventually turn into flirting and the offer of a date. This was a woman who knew exactly what she wanted, and she wanted it right now and right here.

“Yes.”

“Good.”

Without hesitation, she almost threw herself at him. Her arms wrapped around his neck, one of her hands stroking into his short hair, and she wasted no time to capture his lips in a kiss. Her tongue moved over his bottom lip, and Oliver groaned sensually in response. The blonde used that opportunity to stroke her tongue against his immediately. Oliver groaned once more, his arms wrapping around the woman’s waist and pulling her closer. He could feel her entire body pressed against his, and both of them seemed to urge only closer to the other. Oliver parted his legs, allowing her to step between them and come even closer to him.

The kiss was passionate, intoxicating even. Her smell and her taste invaded his senses. There was chemistry between them or whatever you called the thing that made you kiss a person you didn’t know like you kissed her a million times before. It was like he knew exactly what she liked, and she knew exactly what he liked. Their lips and tongues moved together. The fact that he didn’t know who she was, not even her name, just added to the excitement.

When the blonde pulled away, her lips opened in a quiet pant and slightly swollen from the kiss, Oliver licked his lips. The blonde’s eyes followed the movement of his tongue, and a quiet sigh fell from her lips. There was a moment that they just looked at each other, and Oliver could feel her seeking the answer to her unvoiced question in his face. Her pupils were blown wide, the longing for more in her eyes. Oliver couldn’t help but feel infected by it. He nodded slowly, moving just enough for her to see.

A smile spread on the blonde’s lips. It was hard to tell with the darkness in the club, but Oliver could swear that she was blushing. If there was indeed a short touch of shyness, she got over it soon. The determination took over her facial expression again. She took his hand, lacing her fingers through his, and started tugging him away.

Oliver followed her, still trying to process what was happening here. He was used to girls trying to throw themselves at him. He came from a rich family, and he had been in the tabloids more often than he could remember. He didn’t look exactly unattractive, either. He had never had a woman just kiss him and tug him away into a dark corner or wherever they were going without saying anything. It was hot, encased in mystery and filled with sexual tension. It was thrilling, more thrilling than anything that had happened in Oliver’s life lately.

It took Oliver almost a beat too long to realize where she wanted to take him. The moment he realized that she was tugging him towards the toilets, Oliver changed their direction abruptly. He opened the door to his right that led to the office. He was surprised that it hadn’t been locked. He and Tommy had always made sure the door was locked, so nobody was coming in here. He was kind of relieved that Tommy seemed to have forgotten about the door tonight, though. He could use the room, so he pushed the mysterious woman inside.

As soon as he closed the door behind them and locked it, she was throwing herself at him in the best way possible again. Her arms wrapped around his neck and her body pressed against his. Her lips were already stealing another series of kisses from his lips, but Oliver didn’t mind. Her lips were so soft, the robbery so gentle, she could take a thousand kisses from him, and all he would do was thank her.

His arms just tightened around her waist, pulling her against himself even more, when she took hold of the lapels of his leather jacket. She pushed herself against his chest, trying to get even closer to him. Oliver could feel her breasts rubbing against his chest, and it made him growl. After only a moment, she pushed him away from her forcefully, though. Oliver tumbled back a few steps until the backs of his knees met the edge of the couch, and he fell down into the soft cushions.

“What-?”

When her lips widened to an amused as well as suggestive smile, Oliver pushed his tongue into his cheek and cocked his head. Yes, she definitely knew what she wanted, and Oliver couldn’t be turned on more by her determination to go through with this. As she stood only a few feet away from him, he couldn’t avoid thinking that she looked sensual and erotic, like a young femme fatale, but far from cheap. He couldn’t even explain it, but there was something classy about her that was far from looking cheap.

With a suggestive wiggling of his eyebrows, Oliver reached out his hand for her. Her smile widened, and she put her hand in his. She kneeled on the couch over his leg and leaned closer until her face was hovering right over his. Her fingers stroked through his hair, her nails scratching over his scalp, as their lips met in another hungry kiss. She lowered herself onto him slowly. As soon as she sat in his lap, she started rocking her hips against his.

Oliver groaned in response and bit into her bottom lip. The blonde giggled for a moment, but it soon turned into a long moan when Oliver thrust up against her, meeting her rocking movements on top of him. His half-hardened cock seemed to press against her clit just the right way because low hiss escaped her lips before she pressed down onto him harder. She was chasing the feeling, testing different angles of her hips before she continued rocking against him in always the same movement.

She grabbed the lapels of his leather jacket once more and tugged the fabric down his arms. Without much hesitation, she let his shirt follow, pulling it over his head and dropping it on the floor carelessly. When her hands started exploring his broad chest and the defined muscles there, they both moaned in unison. Her fingers were moving over his heated skin so eagerly, trying to feel all of him against the palm of her hands.

It didn’t take long for Oliver to be so turned on that his cock was pressing against the zipper of his jeans and his hips were almost moving on own accord. He moved his hands to her hips, meaning to stop of her movements. He was unable to bear the thought of having her stop, though. It was why his hands actually encouraged her movements, helping her rub against him before he pulled her down onto him even more strongly. She answered to his encouragement with a long moan against his lips.

A satisfied smile spread on his lips at her reaction. It turned into a confused frown when she put her hands to his chest and slid off his lap, though. Oliver groaned, feeling his cock aching for more friction.

“Condom,” the blonde demanded, still panting heavily.

Oliver nodded. He patted the pockets of his jeans to check if he had any condoms there. His pockets seemed to be empty, though. Oliver hurried to put his hands to the blonde’s hips and push her away from him, so he could walk over to the desk. Only in the last drawer he opened, he finally found the little foil packages. He grabbed one and wasted no time going back to the couch where the blonde climbed back onto his lap immediately.

When she started working on unbuckling his belt, Oliver moved his hands up the outside of her thighs. He let his fingers travel over her soft skin, enjoying the way goosebumps spread when he touched her. He tugged the hem of her dress up her legs until it pooled around her waist. He hooked his fingers into her panties and started tugging at the thin lace. The blonde got the hint and got up from his lap to take off her panties. In the meantime, Oliver tugged down his pants. His erection got free, and he couldn’t stop himself from forming a fist around it and pumping it a few times.

Oliver groaned at the touch. It was incredible how easily he had been turned on by the mysterious blonde. The whole situation just seemed to set his body on fire. He didn’t wait any longer. He opened the foil package and rolled the condom onto him. At the same time, the blonde climbed back on top of him, naked from the waist downwards.

His erected cock was longing for something more. Not losing any time, Oliver used her kneeling position to stroke his fingers against the inside of her thighs and against her sex. The blonde bit down on her bottom lip and let her head fall back into her neck. A needy moan fell from her lips as her face screwed up in pleasure. Oliver couldn’t avoid thrusting up against the empty air at the sound. He stroked his fingers deeper inside of her, trying to tickle that moan out of her once more, and she moaned once more indeed.

She was wet, and she felt so wonderfully soft. His fingers glided in and out of her wet channel smoothly. As his fingers adapted a slow rhythm of thrusting in and out of her and she rocked her hips against his fingers, Oliver just watched her. She was enjoying herself, her eyes screwed shut as if she wanted to focus on nothing but herself. Oliver couldn’t hold it against her. He had enjoyed making out with her, and he would enjoy going further with her. None of this would have happened if she hadn’t seen him and taken her chance. It was a gesture of gratitude to give her back for that. Besides, watching her enjoying herself did something to him, too.

When her inner walls started fluttering around his fingers, Oliver pressed his thumb against her clit. It was all it took to make her tense above him. Her fingernails dug into his shoulders, and her lips opened in a soundless cry. Oliver used his fingers to take her through her pleasure, making her feel every drop of the waves of pleasure that ran through her body.

Oliver pulled his fingers out of her core slowly and squeezed the back of her thigh. The blonde’s eyes opened, meeting his. Her pupils were blown wide, interest sparkling in her eyes as his fingers that glistened with her wetness. Never taking his eyes off her, he lifted his fingers to her lips and licked her juices from his fingers appreciatively. The blonde’s eyes watched him intently, and she licked her lips to wet them.

When Oliver hummed around his own fingers, the blonde seemed to get eager to move thing along. She took hold of his cock, pumping it once. A strangled cry fell from Oliver’s lips at the touch. She didn’t waste any time, though. She positioned him at her entrance and moved the tip of his cock against her wet folds for a moment before she sank down onto him.

Once she had taken all of him in, she put her hand hands to his shoulders. Oliver wrapped his arms around her waist and put his flat hands against her back. Biting down on her bottom lip, she started moving. She just lifted herself off him slightly before she sank down again. She moved slowly, her eyes focused on him.

After only a few thrusts, the blonde stilled, his cock deep inside of her. A quiet moment passed that neither of them moved. They just looked at each other, building the heated passion of before back up. Oliver couldn’t say who moved first, but suddenly their lips were on each other’s again. They kissed passionately, their bodies starting to move in unison. He stayed still when she lifted herself off his lap, and he thrust up when she lowered herself back onto him. Soon, their movements got quicker, both of them chasing more. Their moans and the sounds of their skin slapping together, echoed through the room and mixed with the beats of the music they could hear from the club.

This was exactly what Oliver needed, he thought to himself. After days of wallowing in his pain, letting loose and just enjoying the moment was great. It really was all he needed. For a few minutes, he could just forget all the mess with his father and Helena and everything really. He could just focus on the way this beautiful stranger moved on top of him and the way it made him feel a passion he hadn’t felt in a long time. Every single one of his nerve endings was on fire.

When he thrust up particularly firmly, her lips parted from his. She angled her head back, letting it fall into his neck. Her eyes were open, but they didn’t seem focused. It wasn’t like she was staring at the ceiling. Her eyes weren’t really taking in where she was looking. There was an expression of utter pleasure on her face. Internally smiling, Oliver straightened up a little and leaned his head forward, brushing his lips against her tender skin that covered her pulse point.

He moved his tongue against the side of her neck, sucking lightly. The alluring taste of her skin made him moan against her skin. The sound made her body vibrate, and she released a moan of her own.

Oliver quickened his thrusts, putting his hands to her hips to pull her down on him firmly. Heat coiled in his lower stomach, threatening to be released to take his whole being away on a wave of pleasure before she was ready. The way she moved and moaned made it hard to focus on increasing her pleasure, though. It was hard enough to focus on not coming right away.

When she moved her hand in his hair and pulled it back, so she could steal a heated kiss from his lips, Oliver let go of her hip with a groan. He moved his hands between their bodies until he found her clit. With quick and precise movements, he flicked his thumb against her clit.

“Oh!” she cried out in response, her fingers grabbing his hair even more tightly.

Angling his head back to look at her, he continued flicking his thumb against the sensitive nub. Indeed, all it took were a few more strokes in time with the thrusts of his hips, and she fell apart on top of him. A long moan escaped her lips, and Oliver put his hands back to her hips to maintain her rocking movements when her own body threatened to give up. As the fluttering of her inner walls increased once more, Oliver rested his head back against the headrest of the couch and came with a long moan, releasing into the condom.

His beautiful blonde leaned against him with a sigh. Her arms wrapped around his neck loosely and her head rested against his shoulder. They were both panting, and Oliver could feel her heart racing in her chest as quickly as his did.

Bit by bit, their breaths got calmer and deeper. Silence started filling the room.

Oliver wondered what the protocol for situations like this called for. Before he could figure out if this was any different from usual one-night stands where you actually knew the other person’s name and have taken her home for a night of fun, the blonde got up from him. They both groaned at the loss of contact, but it didn’t last long.

“Can I refresh myself anywhere here?”

Oliver nodded to the door next to the couch. “There is a small bathroom.”

The blonde nodded. She picked up her panties from the floor and walked over to the bathroom. Oliver waited for a moment, giving her the time that she might need. Only when the water was being switched off, he stepped into the bathroom after her. The blonde had readjusted her dress and put on her panties. She was now trying to work on adjusting her hair. As Oliver stepped in front of the mirror next to her, she made room for him. Oliver trashed the used condom and used a few paper towels to clean himself up. He watched her in the mirror, and they both grinned when their eyes met.

While the blonde already went back to the office, Oliver tugged his jeans into place. With one last brief look into the mirror, he moved his hands over his hair, trying to tame the wild strands that were sticking out in every direction. When he looked at least acceptable, he followed her. She was picking up a purse he hadn’t realized she had dropped to the floor before.

Oliver puckered his lips, wondering what to do now. He was sure that she knew that he was watching her. She didn’t allow that to have any influence on her, though. She just took her lipstick from her purse and used a small mirror to refresh the lipstick he had probably licked off her lips during their kisses. Oliver watched her for a moment long. After a brief consideration, he approached her.

“So,” he started, rubbing his hands together, “who-“

Before he got to say anything more and ask for her name, she turned around to him. With a smile, she put her fingers on his lips, stopping him from continuing. She cocked her head and shot him a slightly amused look.

“Please,” she said gently. “This was nice and all. Let’s not ruin it by making this any more than it was.”

Oliver needed a moment to process her words. As soon as he realized that she was serious, and she didn’t even want to know his name, he grinned. He guessed he had never met a less complicated woman, and that meant a lot because he was trying to avoid complicated women. His life was complicated enough without clingy women who believed some fun was reason enough to link themselves to him for the rest of their lives. This woman seemed to be nothing like that. She knew what she wanted, and she didn’t change her mind after two mind-blowing orgasms.

Lifting his hands in defeat, he replied. “You are right.”

The blonde smiled with relief before she rolled her eyes slightly. “Besides, let’s be honest. We will never see each other again.”

Oliver perked up his eyebrows. “Didn’t you like this evening?”

“I did.” She chuckled. “You were kind of the highlight and when I say kind of the highlight I mean that you have been an acceptable end to this really crappy day.”

Oliver put his hand to his heart. “Ouch.”

The blonde chuckled, walking over to him and framing his face with her hands. “No offense, but we don’t want to boost your ego more than is good for you. You are handsome, really handsome actually, maybe the most handsome man I have ever seen and- yeah, I am going to shut up now.”

She pressed her lips together, and this time there was no doubt that she was blushing. She seemed to be tempted to pull her bottom lip between her front teeth to bite down there and suppress another ramble. While she was able to avoid another ramble, she couldn’t prevent an almost embarrassed expression on his face when she realized her hands were still on his cheek with her thumbs moving through the short stubble. She quickly pulled her hands back, holding them to her chest like she had just gotten burned.

Oliver bit down on the inside of his cheek and just watched her. He couldn’t deny that there was something amusing about her ramble. After she had seemed to be so in control about everything, he hadn’t thought that she was the babbling kind of girl.

“You were the acceptable end to this really crappy day for me too,” Oliver replied eventually.

“Just acceptable?” The blonde cocked her head.

“I never give out more compliments than I get. Sorry.” Oliver grinned. “But you are really beautiful and interesting.”

“That sounds a lot better.”

The blonde grinned back at him before she turned to the door with a chuckle. She walked over to it. With the door handle already in her hand, she turned around to him with a seductive smile.

“Thanks for the diversion, Stranger.”

“Same goes right back to you, Stranger.”

She winked at him before she unlocked the door and stepped outside, closing the door behind herself. Oliver stayed where he was in the middle of the office and grinned to himself. After a moment, he sat down on the couch, going through what had just happened.

His sex life hadn’t been boring these last few years. Helena had been very creative between the sheets. Yet, this little encounter with his beautiful, mysterious blonde had been much more interesting than anything he had tried with Helena lately. He couldn’t say if it was just the thrill of not knowing who she was or the fact that she had basically come to him with the very intention of devouring him like a femme fatale. Maybe it had been just how great they had harmonized here on the couch. Either way, Oliver was sure he would remember this night for quite some time.

Oliver was just about to get up to get back to the bar when the door opened, and Tommy stepped in. He looked at him with perked up eyebrows, taking a quick look into the room to check if he was alone.

“Everything alright?” he asked.

Oliver nodded. With a grin, he got up and walked over to Tommy, shrugging his shoulders.

“Everything is fine,” he replied eventually, his grin only growing wider. “I just remembered how great it is to be single.”

Tommy perked up his eyebrows even more. “You did?”

“I did.” Again, Oliver nodded slowly. “Who would have thought that I had to be reminded of the adventures of being single?”

“Well, I thought so,” Tommy replied with an amused grin, “which is why I told you to get laid as I guess you did considering that look on your face.”

Oliver chuckled, not answering to that. Maybe tomorrow or something he would tell his friend about what had happened to him just now, but today he would keep it for himself. He didn’t want to share even the memory of the blonde with his friend yet.

“You know, I think it’s time that I throw myself headfirst into the whole single-life again.”

Tommy grinned. “Eight days after the breakup, I did not expect anything else from you.”

Oliver walked past his friend and out of the office. He only turned his head back once more to say, “As your friend and your former partner, I think I should tell you not to keep this door unlocked.”

Tommy sighed. “I know I had forgotten something.”

While Oliver went back to the bar, he looked around to check if his mysterious blonde was still there. He wouldn’t talk to her since what they had had was over, but he wouldn’t mind watching her move for a little longer. If she was still there, he didn’t find her, though. Hence, he strolled to the bar.

“Scotch, neat,” he ordered.

With the drink in his hand, he turned around on his chair to look at the people who had come here to Verdant today to party. They were drinking and dancing. Some of them were singing or chatting with friends. A few couples were holding each other close while dancing. A few were even kissing, and Oliver could see at least two couples that he was sure were going to use the toilets or some other dark corner to live out the sexual tension.

The longer Oliver looked around, the surer he got that there was nobody here who was even half as interesting as that beautiful, mysterious blonde had been. He had never met someone like her, someone who had come to his life unexpectedly and turned some things upside down like a whirlwind before disappearing just as quickly and unexpectedly as she had come to his life. That only left him with one question, though. Who was she and what had driven her to him tonight?