Wandering Ch. 03

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Chapter 3: Sophia

This is chapter 3 in the continuing saga of newly divorced Lee Stephenson as he travels around, looking for a better life. So far, he has found two exciting women to show him what might be in his future.


Glynnis and I had another lovely dinner at her parent’s restaurant, Florio’s. This time, she recommended the special, Chicken Marsala, and the choice was, as it had been the night before, perfection. We shared a half litre of Pinot Grigio and continued our conversations from the previous day. I probed gently on who the mystery man might be, but she remained tight-lipped. She talked a bit about her older brother, Tony, telling me about his success in computer software development in the “big city”; Vancouver. They were very close and I got the impression that Tony was her guardian when she was younger and that she missed him a great deal since he had moved away.

I had formed the opinion that Glynnis was a very bright and talented young lady with a lot to offer someone who could handle the special needs she would bring with her. She was clearly a very sexual woman and would need a man who could complement her desires. But she also had a serious, business side and she would also need a man who could match her ambition; her desire to succeed. It was going to take a special guy to be “Mr. Right” and I was wondering if such a man was living in Cranbrook and was still single.

Shortly after nine, we walked over to the Crowsnest Club and entered. It was just getting going and the noise level wasn’t yet at the eardrum bursting stage. The music was largely contemporary pop and at least I could recognize most of it. A disc jockey was playing the music without comment but at this early stage, no one was up dancing and the crowd was pretty thin. I walked to the bar and order each of us a drink and returned to our little table.

We sat and talked for a few minutes as we sipped our drinks and then, I decided that I needed something to occupy our time and I asked Glynnis to dance. We shuffled our way through a few fast numbers and I managed not to embarrass myself too badly. Almost as soon as we took the floor, several other couples joined us and I was grateful we weren’t alone. After the fast numbers came some slow tunes and I was happy to pull Glynnis to me and hold her closely as we danced together. We might have been a bit of a misfit with our height difference, but I really didn’t care. She looked beautiful this evening in a more demure outfit of pale blue blouse, navy blue skirt and more sensible low heels in patent black for dancing. Unlike last night, she was wearing both stockings and a bra and when I stopped to think about it, she was very conservatively dressed.

By ten I noticed the crowd had grown substantially as had the noise. We were sitting at our table not trying to talk over the music when I noticed a table with three guys on the other side of the room. Actually, I noticed one of the three guys and he caught my attention because he only seemed to have eyes for Glynnis. He was nursing a beer and looked more like a college student than one of the locals and I was curious who he might be.

When Glynnis got up to go to the washroom, he watched every step she made until she disappeared down the hallway and his eyes never left that entrance until she reappeared five minutes later. Now I was really interested. There was only one way to find out who he was.

“Glynnis, do you see that table with the tree guys drinking beer right across from us?” I asked when there was a break in the music.

“Yah … why do you ask?”

“You see the dark haired guy in the glasses with the tan shirt … do you know him?” I asked casually.

She looked at him carefully and then back at me with a strange expression. “Sure … that’s Peter Barnsley … why do you ask?” she said with a curious look.

“He’s been watching you. In fact, he only has eyes for you, I think.” I said provocatively.

“Are you sure?” she asked carefully.

“Yup … damn sure.” I said without hesitation.

“Really! Are you absolutely sure?” she challenged me.

“Look … what’s the big deal. You’re a beautiful woman and he’s interested in you. At least he doesn’t look like Elmer Fudd.” I cracked.

She looked at me with a strange frown and I thought I could hear the gears turning in her head. She was obviously startled by what I had told her.

“I didn’t think he even knew I was alive.” she said vaguely as she carefully avoided looking across the room.

“So tell me about him.” I requested with a hint of insistence.

“He’s a friend of my brother, Tony. He lived in Kimberley but he went to school here. He used to get a ride into school with his Dad and then back home with him when his dad finished work. He’d go down to his office and do his homework until his Dad closed up. He was Tony’s best friend because they were both ‘brainiacs’. He’s changed a lot. He’s been in Med School since forever.” she finished almost absently.

“So why is it such a surprise he’s interested in you?” I asked.

“I was just Tony’s kid sister. I don’t think he even noticed me.” she said Anadolu Yakası Escort absently, now looking over to the table of interest.

“Well, I can assure you that’s changed. He’s definitely noticed you tonight.” I said in certainty.

Glynnis turned back toward me and I could clearly see the flushed look on her face and the wide eyed surprise that accompanied it. I had to smile. Was this the mysterious guy she coveted as her ‘last chance’. I didn’t think so. This seemed to be a complete surprise to her and it had deeply shocked her when she discovered it.

“Don’t you think you should go over there and say hi?” I teased.

“Oh god, I couldn’t. I mean … it’s been years.” She left the thought unfinished.

“Look, Glynnis … you know I’m going to be gone in a day or so and you’re still going to be here. You have to look past the here and now and think about tomorrow. Maybe there’s nothing about Pete Barnsley that will connect with you, but you won’t know that unless you try.” I was pretty sure that there was something going on with Glynnis that involved Peter and I suspected it went back to her school days and her possible infatuation with this guy. I’d seen it before; the little sister grows up and goes from pest to playmate before you even realize it.

She looked at me again with that questioning gaze. She was unsure of herself and possibly a bit frightened. It didn’t seem in character for the woman that had virtually attacked me the night before, but there was no denying her uncertainty.

“Go!” I almost shouted as the music pounded in the background.

She got up very tentatively, watching my face and then slowly turned and weaved through the handful of dancers to the other side of the door. I would have given anything to hear the conversation, but I watched the body language carefully. Peter looked up with a very big smile on his face as she approached and then stood. When was the last time a guy of his age stood when a woman approached his table? He reached out for her and then hugged her closely to himself. I could almost see the breath and tension drain from Glynnis with that simple gesture and a moment later they were talking a mile a minute to each other; oblivious to the other two guys at the table.

I had to smile. My matchmaking skills had been hidden all these years and then; voila! I leaned back in my chair and let that satisfied feeling wash over me. What the hell; it might have happened anyway, but I was glad I pushed the process. There was only one problem; I had probably just pushed my bed partner off on another guy. At least I didn’t feel badly about it. In fact, I felt quite good.

I picked up Glynnis’s half full glass of wine and walked carefully across the room to the two reunited friends and placed it on the table in front of them. I don’t think they even noticed. I smiled. The two ‘spare guys’ had moved elsewhere and these two were in a world of their own. I walked over to the bar and ordered another beer.

As I surveyed the room, my eyes fell on a tall, slim, very elegant looking woman of indeterminate age. She was almost as tall as me, I thought. Her long, shining, perfectly straight dark hair fell to the center of her shoulder blades, covering an equally elegant looking burgundy blouse. I couldn’t see her face except in extreme profile, but I doubted that it would be a disappointment. She had a European look about her, although I don’t know exactly why I thought so. She seemed very out of place in this small town dance hall and I decided to study her before I made any move toward her.

I was watching her and oblivious to what was going on elsewhere when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I jumped at the surprise and turned quickly to find Glynnis looking at me with a flushed face and a giant smile.

“Thanks.” was the first thing out of her mouth.

“You’re welcome.” I replied out of instinct. I quickly gathered my insistence at her approaching Peter Barnsley was being acknowledged. “Looks like you two are getting along well.” I finally offered.

“Yah … really well.” she said.

“I’m glad. I hope it works out for you, Glynnis. I know that’s what you want.” I said sincerely.

“Yah.” She had become a woman of few words in the space of ten minutes.

I had to laugh. She was hooked and hooked solidly. I leaned forward and kissed her cheek. “Good luck.”

She turned and kissed my cheek. “I think he’s the one.” she whispered.

I looked over at soon to be Doctor Peter Barnsley and smiled. I gave him a ‘thumbs up’ behind Glynnis’s back and I saw him visibly relax. It was never a contest.

“Before you go back to your new love, ” I laughed. “who’s the lady in the burgundy blouse over by the bar?”

She turned and looked over and then turned back. “Oh, you mean Sophia Sekich, the Ice Queen. Now that’s a challenge.” she laughed. “Sorry, Lee, I gotta go.” She was looking anxiously at Pete.

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning. Have a great time.” I said.

“Thanks again, Lee. You’ve really been great. I won’t forget you. You’re probably the second last guy I’ll ever make love to.” Anadolu Yakası Escort Bayan she said with a flounce and a grin.

I watched her head back and rejoin Pete’s table and if she wasn’t sitting in his lap, she was damn close. I had a feeling Pete was going to get lucky tonight.

In the meantime, the mysterious Sophia hadn’t moved a muscle and continued to sit by herself, watching the dance floor. I guess I had a good dose of self confidence because I couldn’t think of a single reason why she wouldn’t want to talk to me. I had gotten used to rejection in my teenage years and I figured; what the hell; I could take as well as I could give. What did I have to lose? I got up and wandered over to her table; approaching her from the side so that I wouldn’t startle her.

“Good evening, Sophia.” I began. The music was between songs and I didn’t have to shout to be heard.

She turned slowly and looked at me like I was some kind of creature from the swamp. “How do you know my name?” she asked in a thick, Slavic sounding accent.

“I asked Glynnis Florio and she told me.”

She looked over to where Glynnis was sitting and then back at me. Her expression had changed from mild contempt to mild interest.

“I do not recognize you. Are you new?” she asked, almost politely.

“Sort of. I’m just visiting while my car is being repaired.” I was being careful with what I revealed. I was also interested; very interested. As I looked into her eyes, I was conscious of a woman who was as carefully prepared as a runway model. Her makeup, clothes, bearing; even her attitude seemed to project New York, not Cranbrook. I was on high alert and fascinated. She had an almost Cher-like face; long, thin and perfect. Her body almost lacked shape from what I was able to see. It was perfect for a model, but lacked the voluptuous curves that wannabe letches like me admired. No big tits, no big ass … Hmmmm.

“Sorry, it’s very rude of me to stare, but you are very beautiful.” I continued. “My name is Lee … Lee Stephenson.” I offered.

She almost smiled and her eyes were appraising me just as I had appraised her.

She wasn’t about to initiate conversation, so I plowed ahead on my own.

“You don’t look like you’re from around here. More like New York or Paris, I’d say.” I was a blatant attempt to flatter her and surprisingly, it seemed to work. She spoke!

“Montreal. I worked there until I came here to join my parents.” she offered in a monotone.

“Were you a model?” I asked with a smile.

“Yes … but I got too old.” she said simply.

“That doesn’t make sense. You don’t look … I mean … how old is too old?” I stumbled.

She laughed and for the first time, she looked like she might have a personality.

“Some days, twenty one is too old. Some days, maybe thirty. It’s a hard business. All work … no play.” she said, losing her smile.

“You said you came here to join your parents.”

“Yes … my father was ill. I came to help my mother run their store. He died and now I am here to look after my mother.” It was all stated in a matter-of-fact way as if it was exactly what she expected to happen.

“I’m sorry to hear about your father. You must find it difficult to adapt to this town after Montreal.” I suggested.

“Yes and no. I helped my parents when they had a small grocery store in Montreal before I got modeling job. It’s not new to me.” she said quietly.

“You haven’t been here long, have you?”

“No … just a few weeks. My father died just before I got here. I never got to say goodbye.” she said sadly. She looked up at me and I began to think that I had almost pierced that tough exterior. It was a protective shell. It stopped her from being hurt but it didn’t always work. The loss of her father obviously hurt far more that the loss of her career. I decided to change the subject.

“Your accent … where is your family from?” I asked.

“Sarajevo. We left when fighting started. After Olympics, we thought everything would be better but …not so. Old hatreds, old enemies, friends turn their backs over nothing. It was bad. Papa sold everything and we move to Canada. It was better. I go to French school and then Agency wants me to be model.” she continued.

“How old were you?” I asked, fascinated by her story.

“Fifteen. I was tall for girls in my class. I was lucky. They don’t treat me badly. I work hard. Soon, I was making lot of money. Papa look after it for me. I have my picture in catalogues and newspaper and magazines. Then, one day, I am too old. Poof! Not model any more.” She was using her hands to express her sudden career end.

“Do you miss it?”

“No … yes … sometimes.” she actually laughed. “I liked being famous. I liked people who see me and then smile like they know me.”

“Any boyfriends?” I asked.

“Some … not serious. Not any serious one yet.” she said, looking directly into my eyes.

“You are very beautiful. I’m surprised you haven’t got a flock of guys surrounding you.” I said sincerely.

“I’m spoiled girl; what you call ‘high maintenance’.” Escort Anadolu Yakası she admitted.

I laughed. “What does a high maintenance girl do for fun in Cranbrook?”

“She wait for cool guy to come along and ask her to dance.” she said smiling at me.

I put a checkmark beside my personal score card and once again patted myself on the back. I was invincible.

“Well, I’m not sure how cool I am, but I’d love to dance with you.” I smiled.

She smiled back at me and when I offered my hand, she took it gently and I led her out onto the dance floor. As luck would have it (and brother did I have it), it was a slow, romantic tune and she slipped into my embrace and we began to move. She was as light as a feather and almost fragile. Her build was so slim and willowy and her scent was intoxicating. I don’t think I had ever been this close to someone so exotic. I felt like I was on display. I could feel the eyes of all the guys on me. I had melted the Ice Queen. I had status!

“You are very good dancer.” she said softly in my ear. We were pressed up against each other and I was being very careful to hold her lightly and feel her moves as we slipped across the floor, lost in the music.

“I’m inspired by my partner.” I whispered back to her.

I know! I know! It’s corny as hell, but it happened to be the truth. This woman was so completely different and seemingly unreachable and yet here I was dancing with her and drawing looks from every guy in the house and quite a few of the girls, too. When you’re hot, you’re hot!

The D.J. took a break for a few minutes and I offered Sophia a drink and she accepted. I got her a glass of white wine and switched to a red for myself. Somehow, beer didn’t seem to be the right thing when you were with a woman like this. She excused herself and headed for the Ladies Room and I sat at my table enjoying the moment. I wasn’t alone for long. Glynnis almost ran over to me, sliding to a stop at my table.

“What the hell did you put in her drink?” she questioned, wide eyed.

“Nothing, love. Just my natural charm I guess.” I was bragging of course, but enjoying my conquest.

“You just got into the Cranbrook Studs Hall of Fame.” she declared. “I guess I should have know if anyone could melt her, you could.” she said in admiration.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I suspect her reputation isn’t earned. She just takes a little special handling.” I suggested.

“Well, whatever. You sure made everyone here sit up and take notice. It looks good on her too.”

“Thanks. How are things going with Peter?” I asked.

“Super! I’ve had a crush on him for years, but I didn’t think he would even remember me. I was Tony’s little pest sister when he was around. I guess he remembered better than I thought.” she grinned, almost giggling.

“I take it then that he isn’t ‘Mr. Last Chance’?”

“No, but I don’t think ‘Mr. Last Chance’ is going to get the chance.” she laughed.

“I’m happy for you Glynnis. I hope it all works out for you. I’ll be calling you someday to find out.” I promised.

“Thanks. Oh, here comes Sophia. Good luck.” she said as she turned to leave. She didn’t make it. Sophia cut her off and reached out for her arm. She leaned in and said a few words into her ear. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen until I saw a big smile on Glynnis’s face and I decided to relax. Sophia smiled at Glynnis as the two of them looked over at me and a moment later the lithe beauty headed back to our table. I stood up and held out my hand. She took it as I held her chair for her. It seems my manners were improving as I began to read Sophia better. High maintenance meant she had high expectations of her escorts and I wanted to show her I understood that.

As she sat down, I was aware that somehow we were closer to each other. I could pick up the delightful scent of her perfume and I had a hard time not staring at her. She was almost impossible to ignore. She commanded my attention and I was happy to provide it. I think she expected that. She wasn’t disconcerted by my unconcealed admiration and in an emboldened moment, I reached for her hand. She allowed me to take it and I held it below the table on my leg. Sophia looked down at her hand and then up at me and smiled; squeezing my hand lightly.

“Dance?” I asked as a slower tune came on.

She nodded and smiled her acceptance and I held her chair as she rose. She was a woman of few words, but nonetheless, I was having no trouble understanding her. I began to plot the rest of my evening with this unique lady. I wondered if we would consummate this lovely affair, but to be truthful, it didn’t matter as much as I thought it would. I had already achieved a measure of fame and anything more would be icing on the cake. Mind you, I do like icing.

We danced and I talked and she smiled and said a few words and I reminded myself how much I was enjoying this. My High School skills had been at work and I determined that she was wearing a bra and of course, the lovely burgundy blouse buttoned up the front. Her skirt was black leather, falling well below her knees, the texture and colour matching her shoes. Simple observation told me that it had a side zipper. I was fascinated with what her body would look like naked and I tried to imagine, but I was having trouble. Not enough experience, I guess. I was also wondering what she would be like as a lover. Would she be active or passive, loud or quiet, orgasmic or … what?

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