Updated: Aug 30, 2021
Callie had seen Sean in her liquor store a couple of times before. His black uniform and finely polished boots had a magical luster, like onyx pearls spread amongst a moonlit beach. He was the kind of man you get lost in, more decadent than her favorite Pinot Noir, his eyes spoke in a seductive opulence she craved, and this was only one facet of his captivating hold over her.
Sean was a Tampa police officer with ten years of service in the Marine Corps. His unexpected love for Callie came rushing at him when he had already focused himself on his goal of making Sergeant. He rarely dated anyone, and when he did, it was women he had found on dating sites that never quite met his "basic relationship requirements without exception." Meeting someone randomly at a bar or through friends seemed impractical. They would find their "perfect match" in each other in time, but today he was there to purchase a chardonnay for a woman he had made a date with later on that evening.
"Must have a hot date," Callie said as Sean set the bottle of Louis Jadot on the counter. She picked it up and read it aloud in her best French accent. "Louis Jadot Meursault Narvaux, 2018". A light and tasty bottle, sure to impress and hopefully undress his date. The aromas of fresh peach, citrus oil, white flowers, and toasted nuts were enough to get the job done on occasions that called for a more elegant approach.
Yeah, I got a date with a cute girl tonight. Hopefully, the peach in this Jadot will get her peach in the right mood, Sean jokingly said with a smile! He seemed genuinely excited about this one. That was not the news Callie wanted to hear, nor was the peach joke all that funny to her. She rolled her eyes in her mind and quickly changed the subject to the purchase price to avoid even thinking about him with another woman.
That will be $102.11, Callie said as she placed the bottle into a brown paper bag. Sean handed her six twenty-dollar bills, told her to keep the change, and out the door, he went. Wow, thank you, she said as Sean rushed off to meet Brooke. He had met Brooke on Zoosk, a dating site that so far had brought him nothing but heartache and a couple of one-night stands with women who had not quite lived up to his expectations.
Tonight Sean was sure, would be different. Brooke seemed to have everything he was looking for in a wife and was more attractive than the previous women he had connected with from the site. She was the daughter of a police officer, which was a bit concerning, but also made him feel that she would understand him a lot better than the other women that failed to work out.
Sean arrived, exactly, on time at her apartment. They had made plans for dinner at Ocean Prime, a piano bar with a great outdoor scene, and one of the best seafood restaurants in the Bay area. The stunning settings and vibrant energy would be a great place to talk, celebrate their connection, and indulge in the finer things of life.
Getting out of his car, Sean thought of the phone and text conversations they'd had before tonight. He tried to remember things that had made her laugh and would try to work them into the conversation as the night went along. He wanted this night to go as well as possible. Sean was a hilarious guy with a big heart and a brilliant mind, so hopefully, in the right setting, nothing could go wrong. Anxiously he knocked at her door, praying that she was everything he'd always wanted.
Brooke answered the door wearing nothing but a robe. She was running late after a hair and nail appointment took a little longer than expected. Sean was a bit shocked to find that not only was she not ready for the date but also not as attractive as the subtly filtered photos she'd been using on her Zoosk profile. Not a total catfish but certainly not what he was expecting. Okay, so she's not a ten, he thought, but certainly not someone he would kick out of bed either.
Brooke invited him in with a kiss. A kiss that would ignite a fire in the two and would turn his plans for a night at Ocean Prime upside down.
Being an immensely passionate guy, Sean had stated in his Zoosk profile, "I do not trust bad kissers," so if a girl couldn't kiss well, that was a huge red flag to him. He always wanted more kissing in his love life, more romance, and more of a bad girl gone good who knew what she was doing in the bedroom - and with his heart.
Sean had his "bad boy" days, but after the Marine Corps, he focused on finding a wife rather than a string of more Hooters girls and other men's wives and girlfriends. He had gone through a bad marriage, a couple of failed long-term relationships, lost stepchildren that meant a lot to him, and he wasn't sure if anyone was the right woman for him, but Sean was determined and was going to keep trying until he found her.
That first kiss had to be perfect! Her hugs had to feel warm and embracing. He imagined the very essence of her soul wrapping him up with a deep desire, one that said she never wanted to let him go. Sean wanted a unique spiritual connection, one that grew out of mutual respect and understanding. He couldn't love a bad girl, but she couldn't be boringly innocent either. Sean wanted to remember it forever, so that first kiss had to stick in his mind like glue, or she wasn't the one, and he would never trust her.
There was a hesitation at first, an unhurried look into her eyes, giving him something to remember the moment. Then a slow, gentle peck of softly pursed lips, and another, instantly followed by open lips that slipped together again. Sean took hold of her waist, her arms crossed over his shoulders, then slowly pulled him in. Brooke's hands gently caressed the back of his neck as they uncrossed and moved slowly towards his shoulders. Her lips felt wet, hot, and swollen. There were no tongues involved, just lips trying to polish off and swallow lips. That was a great kiss, but where was her heart, Sean wandered. Their lips melted into each other once again, and they both agreed with approving smiles that they wanted more than kisses. Was that the perfect first kiss? He wasn't entirely sure, but Brooke was still in her untied robe that was now open, exposing some lips he also wanted to kiss.
Sean looked down at Brookes's pantyless figure then back into her eyes. She didn't close her robe immediately, but instead, she took it off. The robe dropped to the hardwood floor beneath her, and she followed it to her knees. That was not at all what he was expecting. Thoughts of their evening plans quickly raced through his head, then vanished as Brooke placed her hands on his legs and nuzzled her nose against his crotch. Sean was an attractive man, and she was a little nervous before he arrived, so she had made herself a cocktail earlier to calm her paranoia. The combination of the drink, the kiss, and thoughts of their previous conversations had gotten her wet with excitement.
Having big plans for the night, Sean asked her what she was doing. Brooke looked up at him and smiled. "Don't you want me to do what I said I was going to do when we met," she seductively asked while rubbing at his legs? They had some pretty wild conversations before today, but he didn't expect her to follow through on things he believed were just phone sex.
Brooke was a beautiful woman; however, he knew she wasn't the one, and the hope the amazing kiss gave him turned to feelings of it being just another one-night stand. At that moment, Sean did something he wouldn't normally do in these ever-so-tempting situations; he politely declined Brooke's overly welcoming offer, picked up the robe, and helped her back into it. "You're right. What was I thinking? I'm so sorry," she said to him but mostly herself, regretting her hastened moment of lust.
"I could use a drink right now. I've got some wine out in my car. I'll be right back". Sean stepped outside, took a deep breath, and looked around at Brooke's neighborhood. She lived in Hyde Park, the heart of historic Tampa and only a few blocks from Goody Goody, a burger joint he occasionally stopped by for lunch while on patrol. He couldn't say enough about the place. It had good food and a great atmosphere that he enjoyed and told others about when asked for ideas about where to go for lunch. Sean especially loved their pies, and the staff was extremely friendly to police officers, somewhat a rarity in burger joints where many of the workers were low-income folks who've had a few run-ins with the law.
Reaching into his car for the wine, Sean noticed his go-to Cambridge Knight cologne sitting in the console and gave himself a few sprays. He loved the warm and velvety notes it delivered. Black currant, lily, guaiac wood, jasmine, cedar, and the strong but sweet smell of patchouli filled his senses, bringing him a little closer back to the feelings he'd had when he arrived.
Brooke took this opportunity to sneak into her bedroom to gather a few scents of her own. Hidden in the back of her nightstand so her new cop friend wouldn't see it was her weed vape with a fresh cartridge of "Strawberry MoonWalker." She took a couple of hits, quickly placed it back into its hiding place, and gazed at her closet for something to wear.
Pulling her favorite little Firenze black dress from its hanger, she looked at it momentarily, remembering a previous date she'd worn it on, tossed it onto the bed, and made her way to her dresser to find some panties. Digging through them, she pushed her toy to the back, one she was sure she wouldn't need tonight. She decided on a lacy black pair and closed the drawer. There was no question about the shoes; she grabbed her Manolo Blahnik's from the closet without hesitation.
Standing at her front door, Sean imagined how the rest of the night would go and canceled his "ideal date" plans for taking her to Ocean Prime. Brooke was an Applebee's kind of girl, he told himself. She wasn't the one, and he would save his Prime plans for another more sophisticated woman with whom he could better enjoy that kind of atmosphere.
Sean considered himself an average guy, and despite having a wide variety of talents, a good job, and a handsome man, Sean was very humble and treated everyone with respect. Being a battle-tested former Marine, he knew how to be aggressive, loud, and even obnoxious, but he never felt the need to talk down to others. As a result, citizens regularly referred to him as a good cop in a world full of bad ones. "We need more like you," they'd say. Sean knew he was a good man, but where was the good woman he desperately sought?
Heading back inside Brooke's place, Sean immediately noticed the faint scent of marijuana and another red flag posted in his mind. Despite having just sprayed cologne on himself, he was a police officer, and the smell of drugs of any kind caught his attention quickly. Sean never told her he knew, but he added it to what would be a long list of reasons why he would never call her again.
Brooke slid into her panties and tossed the dress over her head and onto herself. The tall, dramatically ornate, full-length mirror leaning against her bedroom wall gave her a glimpse of herself that she quickly approved of and headed towards the living room to find Sean. Seeing the Louis Jadot in his hand, Brooke knew that he had a taste for the best but still wondered why a guy would spend that kind of money on one bottle of wine when you could get the same effects from a six-dollar bottle of Barefoot Chardonnay. She was a weed smoker, so buying expensive alcohol or going to crowded wine tasting events wasn't her thing. She much preferred the stress-free environment of smoking a joint with her friends at home.
Sean sat on her couch for a while, poured half glasses of wine, and they talked about how great it was to at last meet in person. He kept one hand on her thigh just past the bottom of her tiny dress. The palm of his hand was cocked, and his fingertips made little circles that she enjoyed to delightful wetness. She wanted more of his touching, but Sean was starving, and with the final sip of wine, suggested they get something to eat.
Brooke's eager imagination ran wild again for a second, and she jokingly offered him something between her legs to eat instead but knew he meant actual food. He thought about seeing it earlier for a moment, then recalled his opinion of her; Sean turned his head and remembered there was, in fact, an Applebee's on Hillsborough Avenue only 15 minutes from Brooke's place. "Let's go eat," he said once more. She wasn't even that hungry; she was more in the mood for playtime, but out the door and off to dinner, they went.
The sounds of Sean's truck rumbled alive as he hit the remote start button. Brooke was slightly impressed, and the growly start of the engine that simmered to a soft idle made her even wetter. Sean loved the manly ruggedness of a truck, but he was a gentleman, though; he opened the door for her and drove the speed limit along the way, letting her enjoy the ride.
They passed an old boyfriend's house of hers on the corner of Himes and Palmetto, a ratty little white house with bars on the windows, and at this nostalgic moment, she almost could remember his name. "Oh, yeah, Tony. I bet that fuckin' loser is in there right now getting high and screwing that ugly bitch Kim," she thought to herself. Some music brought her back to tonight's date, and she looked over at Sean. "Such a cute guy," Brooke told him.
An acid jazz song, "Never Stop" by The Brand New Heavies, came on the radio as they drove. The lyrics "making love, making plans to last forever" made Brooke feel this was all fate and that she had finally landed herself a good man after dating several of what she called "losers."
Surprisingly, it wasn't that crowded for a Friday night, and the hostess, Maisie, quickly seated them upon arrival. Brooke wasn't much of a drinker. She was more of a stoner chick, but tonight, she would let herself drink way too many strawberry margaritas. Both were reason enough for Sean never to call her again. She probably should have ordered more than the strawberry balsamic chicken salad, but she was a little high from the hits of Strawberry MoonWalker, so when she saw the name, she figured the flavor would be a good pairing for her already strawberry filled night. Huge mistake!
More than ready to eat, Sean wanted something with big flavor, and the music had also inspired him, but to order a Bourbon Street steak dinner all jazzed up with Cajun spices and garlic butter. It wasn't an Ocean Prime filet mignon, but it would do.
Sean was, of course, driving and knew he didn't want to drink so much that he couldn't see or perform later when they got back to his place, so he drank sweet tea instead. Wise choice, but there would be no "performing" going on tonight. Brooke was a couple of margaritas over her limit when feelings of nausea starting creeping in. At first, she ignored the feelings and took bites of what was left of her salad, hoping it would calm her stomach and sober her up.
It was becoming evident to Sean that Brooke wasn't feeling that well and that she'd drank a bit too much for the date to continue. Having no plans to see her again anyway, he offered to take her home. She denied his gentlemanly offer believing the feelings would soon pass—also, a huge mistake.
Brooke was having so much fun she didn't want this night to end, so she pressed on until the feelings took over and caused her to throw up - in her purse! The entire restaurant witnessed as she hurled her guts all over the contents of her Bvlgari Serpenti Diamond Blast shoulder bag. Sort of an expensive bag for a Pilates instructor and certainly one you wouldn't want to fill with chunks of half-digested grilled chicken and vomit.
As gentlemanlike as Sean was, this was enough for him to plan a grand escape. Brooke was about as embarrassed as anyone could be and quickly made her way to the restroom to clean herself up. She cried about how stupid she was for letting herself get wasted on a date with a cute guy, ruining her new purse, and wondered what her best friend was going to say about all of this. It wouldn't be good, nor would be finding Sean missing when she returned to the table be either.
Maisie, the hostess, was leaving early that night, felt sorry for her, and offered to take her home. Brooke gratefully accepted and thanked her for looking out for her. But, unfortunately, Brooke was too drunk, exhausted, and embarrassed to fight off the effects anymore; she quickly passed out in Maisie's car before they even left the parking lot. Maisie did her best to get some directions out of her, but Brooke was gone as could be and only woke up long enough to agree to stay over at Maisie's house for the night. Finally, she was able to get Brooke to her couch and covered her with a blanket. She looked at Brooke lying on the sofa, shook her head, turned out the light, and went to bed.
The following day Brooke awoke to Maisie's poodle "Ava" licking her face. It took her a moment to remember where she was and what had happened with Sean. Maisie was already awake and watching TV at the other end of the couch. Brooke looked over at her, "OH MY GOD; this is why I'm single. I fucked up." She put her face in her hands, shaking her head, "Sean is never going to speak to me again," Brooke said, disappointed in herself. Maisie nodded empathetically but quickly laughed a little, remembering last night's events. "Yeah, he was a cute guy. You fucked up, but hey, at least he paid for your food before he went running for the door," Maisie half-jokingly said and laughed, trying to bring something positive to Brooke's depressed state of mind.
Maisie dropped her back off at her house a few hours later. She spent the rest of the day in bed with a hangover hoping Sean would call her. The call never came. Instead, he'd had gone home that night and flipped through a few women's profiles on Zoosk that he'd connected with but left on hold for Brooke. He read through their stories, ideas of their perfect match, ideal date suggestions, and flipped through profile pictures looking for "the one." Still unsure, he grabbed his phone and looked at the ones they'd sent him that were unfiltered, no makeup pics that were hardly as glamorous as the ones they had on Zoosk. None of them seemed right. "What am I going to do now?" He thought about women, his career, which was the most important to him, and why he could never have both.
Sean decided it was time to take a break from Zoosk or anything that involves love and focus all his efforts on making Sergeant. Callie would soon change all that, though. Their love story would be something that would change everything he ever thought about life, love, and women.
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Copyright © 2021 Sam Young
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This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.