Will stopped abruptly just inside the door and scanned the room. Tim almost ran right into him.
"What did you stop for?" Will could hardly answer. Here were all the people he worked with day in and day out and yet he could recognize only a few faces. He probably would have stood there longer if Tim hadn't pushed him further into the room. "You're holding up traffic, bud." Tim was slightly amused by his friend's rapt expression. Will had only been working at Alliance Computers, Inc. for a few weeks while Tim had been there for at least two years. In fact, Tim was the one who had gotten Will the job as one of the network guys they kept on retainer. Every year the company did a mass hiring (Will was included in that) and the current party followed several weeks later. Alliance called it a "get to know people party." Cheesy idea, but one with an original theme: masquerade ball.
Tim nudged Will again. "Go on, mingle."
"But, I don't recognize any of these people!" Will looked slightly petrified.
"That's the point." And with that, Tim faded off into the crowd. Will looked down at his own Han Solo outfit and then his eyes began to search the crowd.
"There must be someone here I know," he whispered to himself. "Wow, these people have done a much better job than me at disguising their identities." As he ran his eyes over each form, one stuck out at him. The cropped halter-top and baggy pants accentuated her tan back and amazing curves. An unnaturally long ponytail flowed down her back. She stood with her back to Will, which gave him the perfect opportunity to stare without being noticed. He was in the middle of deciding whether to linger on her long legs or toned arms when she threw her head back in an open-mouthed laugh and looked back over her shoulder, eyes twinkling. "Shit," Will thought to himself, "I've been caught!" Then he realized just who he had been staring at: Kat Wilson. He and Kat had dated for a few months before he started working at Alliance. Mutually, they decided to keep their history together a secret for various reasons. He didn't want people to think he had been hired just because he was dating her and she didn't think an office romance would help his reputation at a new company. Either way, he didn't really think that their "history" was anything too exciting; infrequent dating characterized by handholding and kiss-filled make-out sessions as if they were a couple of teenagers.
He should have known that Kat wouldn't mind him staring at her. She only smiled sensuously and gave him a look that caused Will to shudder with delight. "That is the sexiest woman I have ever seen." What little time they had spent together wasn't enough to satisfy his ever-growing crush on her.
"Will." She felt her eyes light up. He had insisted that he shouldn't go to the party. He said he wouldn't be able to keep their relationship a secret, especially after a few drinks, but she had encouraged him to go if only to solidify his place in the company. The last time she'd talked to him, he still hadn't made it clear whether or not he was going. "Guess my question has been answered," she thought with a smile.
No sooner had he started to wonder if he should go talk to her did she appear next to him at the bar. "Vodka and orange soda, please." She handed her empty glass to the bartender. Before he could stop himself Will blurted out:
"Vodka and orange soda?"
Kat turned to him and laughed. "Oh, I don't know the names of any of the drinks so I just tell them exactly what I want in it. I guess if you had to name it, I'd be having a Jittery Screwdriver--Screwdriver with caffeine and fake orange flavor." She smiled at Will.
Will found himself smiling back at her. As nervous as he was to be there with her, she was putting him strangely at ease. He glanced quickly into her eyes and found them sparkling. Something told him that it wasn't from the alcohol she had consumed so far that evening. Although her make-up was exaggerated because of her costume and a wispy veil covered her nose and the lower half of her face, Will began to feel familiar stirrings.
Kat sipped her drink, all the while staring into his eyes. She smiled inwardly at his wire-rim glasses. Although they didn't quite go with his costume, she found them extremely sexy anyway. "He's no Harrison Ford, " she thought to herself, "but he's got something about him that's really getting to me." She inwardly laughed at herself for feeling like a thirteen year old with a heavy-duty crush.
Will was having an increasingly harder time remembering to breathe. He wanted to take her in his arms right then and there and kiss her till they were both dizzy. Suddenly he noticed that the silence between them was growing longer. Was she expecting him to say something? Even after dating off and on, he still felt like he knew nothing about her. Finally, he thought of something to say. "Would you..."
"Like to dance?" Kat finished Will's sentence. She took his hand and led him out to the dance floor. There, surrounded by other costumed pairs, Will finally remembered to breathe. He took one of her hands in his and placed his other arm around her waist. He tried to leave a little distance between them lest he seem anxious or creepy. Much to his surprise, however, Kat pulled him closer.
"So, " she began, "I take it you like Star Wars."
"Well that and I have hero fantasies." Will couldn't believe he just told her that. "And what does your costume say about you?" Kat looked down at her outfit.
"Well, what do you think it says?"
Will thought for a moment. "Hmm, I would have to say that you're dressed as a harem girl. Therefor I would also assume that you like to dance and/or sing."
"I'm very impressed. But you forgot something."
"Oh? Just what did I fail to mention?"
"I'm not just a harem girl. Think odalisque."
"An odalisque is a..."
"Love slave." Kat's eyes lit up and she threw her head back in her signature laugh. Will was becoming increasingly curious about what type of woman he had chosen to have a crush on.
"So, do you think you've gotten to know some people at this party?" Kat wanted to leave the party as soon as possible. "My god, I've never felt such chemistry as this. I'm horny as hell. I wonder if Will feels the same way," she thought. Almost subconsciously she pressed herself closer to Will.
Will noticed that his hand had inadvertently slipped lower down Kat's back. In fact, it was resting on the swell of her buttocks. He also noticed that Kat had pressed her body lengthwise against his. Will felt himself start to grow harder and sensed that both of them would soon be done with this party. With his voice dropping an octave he said, "I've gotten to know all the people that I want." He placed his hand under Kat's chin and lifted it up. Slowly he placed a gentle kiss on her lips. "Come on, let's get out of here."
"Just what I was thinking."
They looked around to see if anyone was watching them. Fortunately, the only person looking in their direction was Tim who smiled and gave Will a knowing look. Will wondered what happened to them keeping their past under wraps but he wasn't about to question the fact that the woman he had spent months pursuing was planning on leaving this party with him. Still, he had to ask.
"What about people finding out about us? Aren't they going to notice?"
Kat just laughed. "It's a party. People leave like this every year."
Will felt a pang of anxiety or perhaps it was jealousy. Had Kat been one of those "people" before? He tried to push those thoughts from his mind. He took her hand and led her out of the room.
Will looked around the parking lot for Kat's car but he couldn't find it anywhere. He looked questioningly at Kat.
"Oh, the car. I got a ride. I knew I'd be drinking. Why risk it?" She shrugged.
"Well, to state the obvious, we'll take my car. But now for the not so obvious: where are we going?"
"Surprise me." She leaned her head on his shoulder. Will wrapped his arm around her back and led her towards his Jeep. Once in the car he looked contemplated where he should take her. He almost laughed out loud at the idea of taking her to his place. He hadn't cleaned up in awhile and he didn't think he was ready to show her how he really lived. She'd been to his place before but that was always with ample warning. "So, on to Kat's place," he thought.
They drove is silence with the radio for background noise, their hands resting together between the seats. He glanced over at her every so often to admire her long neck and the cleavage the low cut halter-top didn't hide. He didn't think she'd mind his looking. Well, as long as he also looked at the road from time to time.
"So, uh, what exactly do you have planned for this evening?" Will noticed that his voice sounded rather husky. Kat just looked at him. Then she looked down at her costume. Then she raised her eyebrows and gave him a rather seductive look. Will smiled. "Guess that answers that," he thought. He could take a hint.
.... There is more of this story ...