“Good morning, Maya,” Jonathan sang.
His eyes were tender, and there was a sweet smile on his face. He must have known something.
She blushed. “Hi, daddy.”
He leaned in closer like he was anxious to hear some news from her mouth. “What’s this I hear about a new boyfriend?”
His smile was so infectious. She couldn’t help but grin although she narrowed her eyes at her mother. Skyla returned her smile and shrugged innocently. It wasn’t a secret, but there wasn’t much to tell. Maya wondered why she said anything.
“He’s just a guy I met.”
“When are you going to see him again?”
His interest amused her. “Tonight.”
“Good! Good. This is good. Yes. I’m glad.”
Skyla looked embarrassed. “Jonathan!”
“What? I’m happy for her!”
“You don’t shoot the horse before it’s wounded.”
“What? I don’t have anything against the kid. I just thought she might have gotten tired of him long time ago.”
“Jonathan!” Skyla’s eyes were wide. She looked like she wanted to punch him.
He maintained his cheeky grin. “What? He knows it. I’m sure he’s been expecting this for a while.”
The back and forth was hilarious. Maya loved that she had her parents’ support.
“Jonathan, put some food in your mouth before you say anything else.”
“I’m not hungry,” he said and playfully shoved Skyla out of the way. “I’m talking to my beautiful child here.”
“You’re like an old man with no filter.”
“Hey, I’ll be old soon. May as well get practice, right?”
“You’re crazy, daddy.”
“You like this guy you’re going out with?”
“I dunno. He’s really cute.”
“That’s fine. That’s what dates are for…to get to know people. Want me to take you? I’ll pretend to be your limo driver. He’ll really think you’re something, hee hee.”
As the time approached, she still hadn’t decided what she was going to do about Anthony. It was too early to tell what would happen with Akira, but meeting him brought up a question she never asked herself before. Did she really want to be with Anthony? Why did she like him? She didn’t know the answers yet, but she surely was not going to pass up the opportunity to hangout with someone who clearly wanted her and was hot as all get out. Before she stepped out, she spent time in the mirror and freshened up. If the date went bust, it wasn’t going to be because he didn’t find her to be irresistible.
Maya and Akira met at the Star Gazer Lounge around 7:30. The elevator ride up was quiet and a little bit awkward; they both seemed a bit nervous.
“Nice scent,” he said.
When the elevator opened, he let her get out first. It was the gentlemanly thing to do, but she knew why. She could feel his eyes piercing her body from behind. She didn’t mind one bit.
He ordered the drinks this time, and they commenced their evening of discovery. She knew without him saying a thing that he was into her. The nervous smile he kept trying to hide, the close distance he stood from her, the ogling. She had him already, and she knew it. She was glad. It was a nice feeling. But, she wasn’t completely sold yet. After all, she knew nothing about him.
She took a seat, and he joined her. “So…where are you from?”
“Oh! So, you’re a real city slicker, huh?”
He chuckled nervously. “Is that a bad thing?”
She grinned. “I suppose I’ll find out.”
“I take it you’re from the country then?”
“Better! The desert,” she said sarcastically.
“Ok, ok. Not bad. It’s a little dusty for my tastes, but it’s straight. It has a lil something going for it,” he said.
“Do you go there often?”
“Nah, not really. I went to the lounge over there a couple of times.”
“Oh, you mean the senior citizen home?”
They shared a hearty laugh.
“Seriously,” he said. “What’s up with that place?” His befuddled face was just a handsome as his nervous, smiling face, and she wanted to see what other faces he had.
She shrugged. “I swear there’s a sign somewhere that says ‘senior night’ every night.”
“For real. This place gets a little too gray sometimes too, but I like it. You can find some classy ladies here.” The sexy stare returned.
“Is that what you’re looking for? Classy?” She flashed a flirty grin.
“Maybe. Let’s see how you dance first.”
She cocked her head to the side. “I’m not sure you’re ready for my moves. Maybe I should be judging your moves while the night is still young.” She grinned confidently.
A devilish grin formed. “Oh. It’s like that?” He turned up his glass, gulped his drink, and slammed the glass on the table. “I think we’re ’bout to have a showdown!”
Maya gulped her drink down too. “Let’s go.”
She sashayed to the speaker with him following closely behind her. Having someone who was already interested was such a relief. She barely even had to flirt with him; it was so easy. She could almost just be herself. Whoever she ended up with, she hoped it would always be like that.
She danced circles around him, as she expected to do, and he seemed to enjoy the show.
“Aight, aight…you got it,” he said.
“You’re not so terrible yourself,” she said with a wink.
“So, I have two initial conditions for women I chill with. One, she gotta be hot…”
She could have melted into a pink pile of goo right there. It was obvious he thought she was attractive, but it was so nice to hear him admit it.
“…Two, she has to be a better dancer than me.”
“What are the other conditions?”
He gave her the sexy stare again. “Well…if you stick around, you’ll find out.”
“Was that an invitation?” She raised her eyebrows flirtatiously.
He held her glance for a few seconds before his eyes slowly began to drift from her lips all the way to her shoe laces. It was crazy how intense his gazes were. She could feel it every single time. Her heart was beating so fast she thought it might explode.
When his eyes returned to hers, he flashed the devilish grin. “We’ll see.”
“Whatever!” She shoved him. “I know my name is already programmed in your phone.” She winked.
“So you’re a funny one, huh?”
No one had ever accused her of that before. “Not usually. Maybe I have a latent goofball trait from my dad.”
“Oh? What does he do?”
“He owns a restaurant. Ever heard of Viviana’s?”
“It’s pretty cool. You should try it sometime.”
“Maybe I’ll take you…if you play your cards right.” He winked this time.
“Uhhh…maybe when my dad’s not there. What about you, Akira? What do you do?”
“I’m a tech guru.”
She was glad to hear that he was gainfully employed. “Are you a geeky computer guy?”
“It’s a hustle. May as well get paid for what I’m good at.”
“What do you do?”
“I haven’t started working yet.” She hoped he wasn’t put off by that.
“What do you want to do?”
She shrugged. “I like people, but I don’t like to be on the go much. I definitely don’t want to be on my feet all day. I’ve been thinking about getting some type of office job just to get my feet wet and explore.”
“Sounds like you have a decent idea of how to get somewhere. That’s good.”
“I thought you were gonna say you were waiting for someone to marry you.”
Her face wrinkled just a bit. “Why would you think that?”
He shrugged. “Isn’t that what ‘y’all’ do in the country?” There was that devilish grin again.
A belt of laughter escaped her mouth. “Shut up! I’m from the desert. It’s so not the same thing!”
“My mistake. Isn’t that what you wilderness girls do?”
They both laughed.
She saw an opportunity to extract important information. “Is marriage on your to-do list?”
He shrugged. “Eventually. Gotta find the right woman first and see where it goes. You?”
“Yeah. Sure. When the time is right.”
He nodded, then he looked at his watch. It was almost 2 a.m. They had talked and danced and drank the night away.
“You ready to call it?”
“If we have to,” she said with a beautiful smile.
“Some of us have places to be in the morning.”
“I’ma go close the tab.”
He stepped away and she wandered around the pool to the far corner of the lounge. The San Myshuno skyline was magical, and she was seeing it for the first time. Maybe if they did go out a second or third time, he’d show her around his city.
He walked up behind her. “View is dope, right?”
“Yeah.” She liked the way he talked. If they were going to continue hanging out, she wanted to learn to sound like she was from the city.
He snorted. “Nothing like that in the desert, huh?”
“Not even close.”
“You’re a cool lady. I could chill with you,” he said.
She turned toward him and gazed into his beautiful obsidian eyes. “You’re not half bad yourself.”
She leaned over and kissed him. No preamble. No awkward silence. She just went for it.
His lips were every bit as soft and supple as she imagined them to be. He placed his hands on her waist and pulled her closer to him as he deepened this kiss with a little magic tongue action. Anthony was the only guy she ever kissed before, and he never did it right. He was always so nervous and afraid of someone watching. Akira definitely knew what he was doing. She could tell there was more where that came from, and she was determined to learn whatever he wanted to teach her.
When they separated themselves, he smiled and said, “So you’re a bold one, huh?”
“Your lips… They just look so kissable! I just had to.”
“Yeah…I hear that a lot.”
There was a brief moment of awkward nervousness. The date was over, but neither wanted to go home. But it was late, and he had a job.
“Aight then… I’ll be calling you,” he said.
“I’ll be waiting.”