\ 20:36 Connie and Jasmin | unlimitedi.net
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The look of relief on Jasmin's face went from subtle to downright blatant as they retreated from Lucinda and Balthazar. Her Singapore Sling went up to her lips and she drained about a third of the drink in one go; to hell with the subtle of it. Balthazar showing up just added to the stress of the evening. When she turned back to Connie to say something, though, her voice caught for a moment.
“Thank you for that,” she finally said, actually looking over the other, young woman. If only it were easier for the alcohol to have an actual effect. “Must say, the present company is certainly a far more pleasant and attractive alternative. How has the night been so far for you?”
“Fabulous. I got to watch Sven playacting at being a vampire, got him in all sorts of sexy poses pretending to bite Lucinda.” Connie sighed wistfully, “You know, I could be the meat in that sandwich, no problem.”
She glanced at the woman beside her, appreciating the way the shiny latex accentuated Jasmin’s curves. “Have you ever thought of writing a book? We don’t just publish fiction, you know. I can just imagine the stories you must have from this place – the tell-all of a sexy nightclub hostess. Could be a bestseller, you know.”
Jasmin gave a highly amused chuckle. Of course there would be the sales pitch. Should have known. “Hmm, yes, clubs and theater. I could write a riveting tale of tax time, and the stack of forms my accountant gives me that I don't understand.” She gave a more appreciative glance over the other woman, finally allowing herself to relax.
“No time to write, anyway, I'm afraid – my life is all work, no play.” That was a lie, but a plausible one at least. In some ways, there was far too much time, and the last night to herself, well... she wasn't doing that again soon.
Connie glanced around at the party going on in full swing, ending on the nearly-empty glass that Jasmin held. “As work goes, this isn’t too tough,” she said with a wink. “Technically, I’m at work tonight too.” Holding up her hand to forestall any protest she added, “Yes, yes, I know. Believe me, I’m well aware of the effort that goes behind the scenes to produce something like this. Lots of people think my job is all glitz and glamour too, but trust me it isn’t.”
She drank a generous gulp of her own cocktail and nodded her head at the bar. “Let’s get another drink each and find somewhere quiet to commiserate about how tough our jobs are.” Connie let one hand trail down Jasmin’s latex-clad arm, feeling the cool smoothness of the material. “And maybe you can tell me how long it takes to get into an outfit like that.”
Inwardly, there was still a bit of surprise at some of the bluntness to it. Part of her questioned if a pass had just been made at her, though she knew better. She debated how to respond for a moment, before throwing caution to the wind. Taking a chance, she slipped an arm around Connie's to start towards the bar. “I think I'd like that.”
Along the way, she cast casual glances around the place, looking for somewhere that could qualify readily. “We can steal a nice, quiet booth over in the corner, or even in my office if you prefer some extra privacy.”
Relief relaxed some of Connie’s tension. She was sure she’d read Jasmin’s signals right before, but hadn’t been completely sure until now that they were on the same page. However, she wasn’t ready to abandon Alison entirely to the wolves just yet and wanted to be close enough to keep an eye on things. Occasionally one of Lucinda’s weirder fans would gain access to a launch party and she didn’t want a repeat of the events of the Darque Dreams launch.
“The booth, I think.” She glanced up at Jasmin, a knowing smile curling the corners of her mouth. “For now, at least.”
At that Jasmin felt a bit of relief; test the first passed of her mental checklist. Connie hadn't jumped straight at the office, which she took as a very good sign. “The booth it is, then,” she spoke softly, ordering a couple of drinks and offering one to Connie. The booth that she would lead her to was deliberately designed to afford privacy, and something of a view of the floor.
Jasmin stayed silent for the trip over, letting anticipation hang in the air, until she slid down inside with a refilled Sling, scooting over a bit to give just enough room to see how close Connie would want to get. “Please, come into my dark and foreboding lair. I promise not to bite unless requested.” A crooked smile formed on her face at that last.
Connie chuckled. “Ah, but who’s the spider and who’s the fly? Maybe I’m ensnaring you in my web.” She set her drink on the table and slid into the booth beside Jasmin, so that their hips and elbows barely touched. Picking up the glass, she sipped her drink and spent a few quiet moments studying Jasmin’s profile.
It was hard to judge her age, for one thing. Connie herself was in her mid-30’s and had been around the block many a time, but even though Jasmin looked like she was probably in her early 30’s or so she exuded an air that bespoke of much greater age. Such people existed, of course. Old souls. But there was something about Jasmin that was … different. Oh please, she chided herself. Don’t start getting all misty-eyed and whimsical.
To counter her strange feeling of nerves – something Connie rarely experienced – she placed her drink carefully on the table and leaned her face fractionally closer to Jasmin. “So,” she murmured, “now that you have me in your lair…”
Jasmin tilted her head slightly, relaxing in. She considered Connie closely. Oh, she was sure she would pay for this later; though she reflected that she was already having trouble pinning her down. Connie was blunt, and tap-dancing at the same time. “You know, I'm not entirely sure,” she said softly. “Normally, I'd try to cleverly draw you into a trap that results in you agreeing to buy me dinner tomorrow at nine in the evening.”
The closeness sealed the instinct for her. She could tell that the other was interested, dropping an arm across the table to lightly brush the back of Connie's hand with hers.
Jasmin’s hand was cool to the touch, and a frisson of excitement thrummed through Connie. “Let’s not play games,” she said. “I think it’s pretty clear that neither of us are the dinner and a movie type.” She twisted in her seat and reached across to cup the far side of Jasmin’s face in her hand, exerting light pressure to encourage Jasmin to lower her head as Connie tilted hers upwards.
“We both know what we want,” she murmured, leaning in for the kiss.
Let's not play games. The phrase hung there in a bit of confusion for her. The problem was that she was very much the dinner and movie type. Still, she was surprised to find herself actually leaning down into the kiss, lips pressing against hers softly. What happened to caution again? They'd always had a word for women who moved this quickly to the main event, and it wasn't a pleasant one.
Pulling back just a bit after, she blinked a couple of times to herself, speaking softly, seductively. “Then let me take you out. Think of the anticipation....” There was still a bit of wonder there, herself; it was rare to find someone whose personality could actually stand up and demand attention, and she did know exactly what she wanted.
A small sigh escaped Connie’s lips. Ah, so Jasmin was going to be one of the ones who played hard to get, it seemed. Still, it wasn’t a complete rejection. She knew she was very upfront and forceful about her advances and had scared off more than one potential sexual partner because of it.
“Anticipation, is it? Honey, I’ve been thinking about you all night. But… dinner could work. Did you have someplace in mind?”
Down around the lower thigh; nice, erotic vein there. Not that she would ever dare to say that, especially now. The success invigorated her, the battle of wills. Dueling this way was always half the fun. “I know a nice little place in SoHo called Aurora. Italian – and near home.” That seemed like enough of an enticement, she thought.
“SoHo it is.” Connie glanced out to the party. She spotted Alison talking and laughing with a small group of people. Everything was under control out there. She could spare a few minutes for personal pleasure.
Her hand still rested on Jasmin’s cheek, and now she moved it, caressing her earlobe and running her fingertips across the nape of her neck. “Now as for tonight… I think a little appetiser might be in order.”

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