The crowd cheered as the acoustic chords

of the band’s most favored song rang out. The collective energy was palpable by the time the lead singer sang his first words. Hundreds of LED lights sprang up around the room. Back in the day, it used to be lighters that were raised in celebration whenever a band’s beloved ballad played. Nowadays, everyone had an electronic gadget on them that could do the same thing in a much safer way.

Rose closed her eyes and took a long pull from her drink, a gin, and tonic, light on the tonic, and swayed to the beat. She was familiar with the song, but this band was not her genre of music. Her youngest sister, Lily, was responsible for her witness tonight. She raised her arms, cup in hand, and slowly alternated the twist of her hips forward and backward reminiscent of her mother’s hippy generation. Rose had always favored the music and style of a freer generation. She was excited when flared denim and Boho Chic became a thing again.

Tonight, she celebrated that style with a backless linen halter-top that exposed her petite waist and a strong back. While her snug fitted, well-loved denim jeans showed off her other assets. Rose was not particularly short, the tallest of her sisters at 5′ 7″, but she still loved a good pair of heels, which she often wore, even when she probably shouldn’t. Concerts were one of those occasions that required Jimmy Choos in a strappy stiletto. She had decided to wear her shoulder-length hair in a messy upswept style, because the humidity in August was brutal in this part of the country, especially along the riverfront.

A slight breeze was blowing through the crowd, off of the water. A gust had just rushed by catching a few loose tendrils around the base of Rose’s skull, skittering shivers down her spine. The sensation caused her nipples to tighten and rub erotically against the coarse texture of the linen. She pursed her lips but smirked as she abandoned any sense of modesty and let herself be swept up in the scratchy baritone voice of the singer.

“There you are,” grumbled a deep voice in her right ear. The warmth of unexpected breath against her skin sent more shivers down her spine. Strong arms wrapped around her and a warm firm kiss was planted in that spot on her neck – the one where your shoulder meets – the one place that drove her mad with desire.

She tensed, for she was not here with a man. Although her sister had encouraged her to come along for the ‘amazingly hot guys’ and a chance to get her world ‘rocked,’ she was resigned to remain single for the rest of her miserable existence. She decided right then that she would enjoy the closeness of a strong male figure until the end of the song, for his actions seemed to mimic the words being crooned. Once the melody was complete, she would tell her accidental admirer that he had the wrong person. After all, from behind, she could be half of the women there. There was nothing about her in particular that set her apart, especially from behind.

Her mysterious partner began swaying with her while whispering the lyrics along with the singer in her ear as if each word were meant just for her. Abandoning her stoic façade, she let the moment take her where it would. She leaned into the taut body of her companion and answered his movements, turn by turn. It felt too good to let the closeness end when the song finally finished.

“I love that one,” the voice came. The man’s arms tightened around her midsection, and their bodies continued to sway even though the beat had changed to something much more tribal. Her conscience reminded her that she had something to say to this person, that perhaps she should not be allowing this contact to continue. What if this unassuming man’s real date came along and found him with her? How would either of them explain? It was only fair to this poor sod that she is honest and send him on his way. But then he moved just right, sliding his thick, muscled thigh between her legs and pressed himself into her backside.

The drumbeats weighed heavy in her chest, ramping up her desire and drowning any logical thought. For the third time, she let go of reason and concluded that there was no harm in dancing one more song like this. Was this any different than finding a stranger on a dance floor at a club?

Then his hand slid under her top. You know, the one with no back? The one where you couldn’t possibly wear a bra with, without looking gaudy and foolish? Yes, that top. And just as the drummer had reached his stride in ramping up the tempo and the crowd, a calloused thumb grazed her nipple. She gasped in surprise and pleasure. Faced with one more decision to let this go on, she wrapped her arm up around his neck and pressed him closer, writhing to the staccato of the drums. Feeling encouraged by her reaction, the man’s other hand snaked between her legs and began to rub her in time with his other hand.

“I told you you’d have a good time tonight, didn’t I baby,” he mumbled, running his nose along the curve of her ear before nibbling just a little on the lobe.

She moaned, feeling so wanton and exposed, yet not giving a damn whoever stopped to watch. It had been years since she felt this sexy, this wanted by anyone, and she wasn’t about to let some misplaced guilt ruin a fleeting moment of pleasure.

His strokes had matched the beat of each strike of the drum, and before long she had reached her peak. She gasped and rode out her high on his leg. Her mind blanked, and all that she was aware of was their combined heat, the racing of her heartbeat, and his encouraging response.

Once the song was complete, he turned her around to kiss her and stepped away in horror. His handsome face paled, and his large hand shot through his hair in a nervous tick.

“I’m incredibly sorry. I thought…”

“You mistook me for your date. I know, and I should be the one apologizing. I don’t know what came over me. Perhaps it was the music, or the atmosphere, or even a little desperation on my part,” Rose rambled, stepping forward and reaching her hand out in an attempt at an apology.

He took her offering and pulled it to his lips. Just before they were to graze the back of her hand, he turned it over and placed a searing kiss on the inside of her wrist.

“I’m Cain Hawkings,” he supplied, a wry smile forming as further introduction.

Rose shivered at the contact and stood there speechless for a second too long.

“This is where you reply with your name and reassure me that you are not going to call the police and have me arrested for assault.”

Rose snapped to attention and pulled her hand away. “Oh my god! No!” she gasped in horror, clutching her throat in reaction. “I mean, not that I make a habit of letting strange men get me off at concerts, but it was my fault. I knew the moment you whispered in my ear that you had the wrong person, yet my desire for intimacy outweighed the logic of my brain, and I needlessly let you continue.”

“Mr. Hawkings?” a sizable man dressed all in black and wearing an earpiece as the secret service people wore, interrupted their awkward little bubble.

Cain’s head snapped to the attention of the approaching security guard. “What is it?” he barked, annoyed at the intrusion. He was fascinated with the woman in front of him and her peculiar way of speaking. Not only was she a natural beauty, but her self-deprecating reasonings also had him instantly intrigued.

“I’m sorry sir. But there is a situation that needs your immediate attention.”

Of course, there was. It seemed there was a never-ending stream of things or people that needed his immediate attention these days. Such was the life of a small town real estate tycoon and owner of the present establishment.

Cain turned to apologize to Rose, who smiled a little too brightly in return. “Go! It’s fine. It was very nice to umm, have met you Mr. Hawkings.”

“And you as well, Miss?”

“Rose Mc … just Rose.”

“Right. A pleasure, just Rose,” he winked at the double-entendre and turned to walk away.

“Holy hell, Rose. I leave you alone for like 15 minutes, and you’ve already snagged yourself the owner of the place?” a familiar voice came behind her. This time she turned to face the unseen person speaking to her. Of course, it was her little sister, back from her most convenient of trips to the bathroom and apparently the bar.

“You know him?”

“Know of him. Lust after him. Want to be him,” Lily giggled, holding her cup of bluish liquid out for a toast with her sister.

Rose brightened at this information. “Tell me everything you know. Perhaps in a place slightly less noisy?”

“Later! This is my jam!” Lily squealed, as a new song began to blare.