IN ONE NIGHT

It's odd feeling warm, content and strangely protected after months of undue stress.

For a moment she relished it letting all thought go. Slowly, as the sun rose to touch her waking conscious strange sensations overtook her. Light, moist touches grazed along her shoulder and neck. Something – well, predominantly someone traced lazy figure eights upon the skin of her right side.

She sighed.

Uncertain if everything she was feeling was a dream, Isla Lemmings let the events of last night flood her mind.

Two out of the three people she knew in the city; Sal from Media and Melinda from Marketing. The duo had invited her to go out on the town with them. It was to congratulate Sal and his boyfriend Lukas the Engineer on getting their first condo downtown Vancouver. They had spent the night laughing and drinking before Melinda proposed that the four of them hit the clubs to dance.

Initially Isla wanted to protest but changed her mind when thoughts of curling at home doing another Doctor Who marathon became less appealing.

New city, new job, new apartment, new friends – why not go with the theme?

If she re-called correctly, when she said yes all three of them celebrated with large shouts. It confused her as to why they were so glad that she was going to 'party' with them. It was just dancing – right? Oh how wrong she was.

The night had ended up with her locked into the women's stall in some strange pub in a not-so-good part of downtown. She barricaded herself what she deemed was somewhat safe from the leering eyes of the swine outside. Their stares had made her skin crawl. Drunk, afraid and alone – in a last ditch effort at sanity she made a call to someone on her contact list nearly going hysterical asking for help.

After that she remembered the pounding outside the door of her washroom stall. Then strong hands, a cab that smelled like cabbage and kissing – lots of it.

She suddenly felt the soft touches upon her skin becoming more insistent. Growing warmth coursed through her body. Gasping, she wrenches her eyes open when that same mysterious person behind her licked that sensitive part just behind her ear. She arches her back instinctively brushing against something poking gently against her lower back.

The man behind her groans with definite arousal much to her disconcertment.

She blinks owlishly taking in her surroundings.

A desk and chair was in her line of sight along with the curtains to long windows. Soft gentle light seeped into the room, diluted in intensity. She knew that outside was going to be both foggy. Apart from these things she knew she couldn't take in any more of the finer details without her glasses. She slowly stretched, testing to see where her boundaries lay but had a feeling that the man behind her wasn't about to free her from the cocoon of heat he wrapped her in.

"Finally, you're awake." Soft lips kissed that wondrous place near her jaw line. She closes her eyes again as this person's ministrations on her body continued. Same person chuckled as if amused by her body's response.

She frowned momentarily – she recognized that voice and that laugh. Couldn't be him since he was still in Seattle last time she checked.

At least – he was supposed to be.

"Mm," Someone murmured appreciatively pressing her closer to him – as if it were possible. She felt a strong, muscular leg wedge its way between her thighs. She blinked – this couldn't possibly be happening. She'd been a virgin last time she checked even with the heavy drinking – she wouldn't have given that part of her up so easily.

What the hell happened?

Any pleasure evaporated as she wriggled to get free. That only served to make her groan when her core touched hardened, painfully hairy flesh. The heat that had been building up within her spread like wildfire. That same person only nuzzled the back of her neck.

"Where are you going?" He asked her.

She thought it obvious. "I was moving away from you."

"Why?" Isla bit back a curse as the hand on her side went up her abdomen towards the underside of her right breast. She forced herself not to sigh with delight as his fingers squeezed the softness of her skin.

"Egan," she hissed. "Egan Whyte? Will you please stop that?"

He chuckled, obviously amused by her discomfort. She wanted to deck him for laughing at her. Silently she fumed while struggling to regain composure of her emotions. Her mood also didn't improve with the dawning realization that he seemed to know her body quite intimately – which embarrassed her a great deal.

In response to her impassioned question, he gently squeezed her nipple further sending electricity down her body. This couldn't be happening yet with mixed emotions she was glad that it was.

"You're infuriating." She stated with finality. "Please, let me go and explain to me what happened last night."

He kissed her shoulder much before easing his leg from between hers and dropping his hand away from her chest. Freed from his warm embrace, Isla skirted towards the far side of the foreign bed – shivering as the cold hit her. Rustling beneath the blankets, she gripped them to her chest like they would protect her from his obvious nakedness. By the time she turned to face him, he was resting fully on his back with arms beneath his head staring up at the ceiling.

With bleary eyes she took in his appearance.

His strong jaw line, one of his best features she thought, tensed as if with annoyance. She looked to his deep brown eyes and saw him stare as if listlessly up at the ceiling. She knew that behind the mask of indifference he was upset about something. Inwardly she beat herself up for not remembering what happened after being in the pub. It was as if her mind totally blanked out.

His sun-kissed wheat colored hair usually styled to perfection was mussed by rebellious fingers threading through it. Despite her self-disgust, part of her mused if that had been her doing. She felt a blush hit her cheeks and buried her face into the pillow beneath her head.

Why the hell was he still on her contact list in her cell phone? She thought she had deleted him months ago since the last time they spoke was nearly five years ago.

"Fuck." She cursed aloud.

"We could definitely do that." Egan replied nonchalantly.

"I'd rather not right now thank you." She missed the disappointment on his face.

Isla closed her eyes trying to control her ragged breathing and jaunty heart rate. Somewhere down the line of the events that took place last night, she had overstepped a boundary line and there was no going back. Her options were to see if he wanted to forget that this ever happened and move on or – the second option was hidden from her. Since for her, she still had a small part of her hope he liked her in that way.

Inwardly she scoffed at herself. They just had sex! Most men didn't really want to do anything more than that. Then again, this was Egan Whyte – someone who she fell for when she'd been young (alright so it was nearly seven years ago) and who had since then lost contact with. She recalled telling him her feelings, getting rejected by him and then putting on a brave face in an attempt to make their friendship work. Of course, after a while she came to the conclusion that regardless of what she did – he would never be there for her in that way.

So what possessed her to get help from him?

The silence stretched between them like an elastic band. They didn't say a word as each processed the events of the night previous.

For Egan, he had been shocked to receive her phone call – pleasantly so since they hadn't spoken to each other in nearly half a decade.

Well, perhaps speaking wasn't the proper word – more like texting. The last message he got from her had congratulated him on his new position with Reynolds Contracting Corporation as well as his move to Seattle.

He didn't count the words "happy birthday" sent to him sporadically on Facebook in the years after that as talking. He'd been too busy in his own life to really give her much thought.

That wasn't to say the girl wasn't attractive. They'd met back in High School where Isla's wild, raven black hair coupled with her gloriously soft, caramel skin made her irresistible. He grew harder just thinking about her skin. It was definitely among her best features along with her breasts and bottom. Not to mention those luminescent brown eyes that always made him feel good. In fact it was in her nature to make certain everyone felt uplifted. Back then, she didn't really notice that affect she had on people, especially men.

Like many others before him, he had had a tiny crush on the girl and kept her at arm's length because he knew without a doubt that if he let her in – she would've been capable of crushing him. So he steeled his heart and forced himself to think about her as a friend or sister.

Then one day she'd told him once that she liked him as more than a friend.

Initially, he didn't know what to think or say to her. He'd been ecstatic at first until he thought about his friendship with her. There hadn't been many girls as constant or as steady as Isla. In fact, he knew that if anything were to go wrong in their relationship – that would be the end of it for them. He wouldn't be able to see her bright smile or her happy laughter. So he lied.

He kicked himself ever since for that. He probably could have dealt with that situation better but shrugged it off since she acted okay despite his rejection of her. So he pushed her even further away. The fact, she smiled, laughed and spoke more since that day gave him confidence in his decision. For a while, he thought she was alright and for a couple years they had built a simple friendship without any complications.

Then one day it all stopped. He forgot about his crush on Isla and became more interested in other women.

A huge mistake he later realized. Months passed, Isla remained friendly, cheerful and bright. The only thing that changed was how she began avoiding him – in little ways like when he'd come near she'd walk away. Okay in very blatant shows that she didn't want anything to do with him. He scorned her actions and began to care less. If she was going to be that way, then fine.

After they graduated and their circle did more things together like movies, bowling, camping, and etcetera – Isla grew even more distant – thrusting herself into her Business Admin studies with gusto. She declined outings and finally disappeared from everyone's lives. No one really cared about what she was up to since they were again – so very busy with their own.

One of the last days they had met before his big promotion and her very final text message – they had all gone out for dinner. During that dinner, he caught hold of Isla's gaze. He was shocked to see (even briefly) that beneath the smile was a deep, cold and dark sadness that lurked just beneath the edges. It unnerved him. Had that always been there?

Years passed with no more than "happy birthday".

Then he got her call. He recalled their conversation vividly. Then he recalled what came after it and he did his best to hide his groan. He wanted her. How he hadn't seen the palpable chemistry between them after all these years he would never know. Now that he had her though, he wasn't going to waste any more time.

That is, if she wanted him which he knew she did – at least physically.

"Egan," Isla broke the quiet between them. "Please, tell me what happened? Why are you here? What did I do?" She paused, as if hesitating to ask the next question. "What did we do?"

He took a glance at her direction. Her cheeks flushed slightly pink, luscious lips moist and her wide eyes looked to him for answers. He smiled inwardly. Oh, the things they had done – he wanted her to stick around for a repeat. Out of all the women he had had in the past few years, not many had made him feel the way she did and in just one night. He cleared his throat focusing on the ceiling and not his erection.

"Well, I got your call and found you at this pub. How the hell did you get there I don't know. Me, I'm here for business. Reynolds is opening its Western Canadian main office by the way."

"Oh." She murmured. "I see…so how long have you been in the city?"

Egan continued to look up at the ceiling. "A week, waiting until I can get a suite somewhere to live in for the next few months while we get things organized."

"I see," Isla said, watching him while avoiding looking at the area near his hips. She wasn't sure she could believe that this same man had rejected her all those years ago and well gave her everything to him. It made her disgusted thinking about it. "How did we end up – uh naked and together?"

He smirked then and turned to face her with intensity in his eyes.

"I took you out of the washroom after charming the bar girl at the pub – got you into a cab and asked you how to get to your place. You were mumbling things like 'we should make out' and 'you can totally take my virginity'. It was cute how out of it you were until you kissed me. Right here in this very room."

In Isla's mind, as Egan spoke – images began filling in some of the gaps. One particular image had her blushing and feeling so warm that she had to turn away from Egan to lie on her back.

"I kissed you in the cab, in the elevator and as soon as you closed the door to this room. I also started stripping you and you didn't say anything!" She groaned. "Why?"

He laughed then. A big belly laugh as he stretched across the bed to lay a hand on her shoulder, running it slowly down its length enjoying how soft her skin was. Isla attempted to ignore the way he did that made her feel. That in itself was an impossible feat.

"You were drunk Isla. I couldn't ever have taken advantage of you like that." He whispered. Inwardly he wished that she would definitely take her chances with him now. Forget the past and move forward.

"So why are we naked?" She asked. Egan didn't take his away from her face although he did take the hand stroking her shoulder away. He didn't regret pushing down the covers, revealing the tent in his boxers. He watched as her eyes traveled down to that exact spot and gasped wide eyed.

"You decided to jump into bed after kissing me senseless and gave me quite a show as you got out of all your clothes." Egan said.

More images filled her mind and Isla winced though she didn't take her eyes away from him. She licked her lips when a certain event replayed briefly in her mind and she blushed. She had kissed him a lot, running her fingers through his hair before feeling very hot quite suddenly. Without thinking she had stripped off her dress and remained in her underwear pulling him down on top of her even as he stood there shocked. She had gotten to the point where she had him out of his clothes and down to his boxers before she fell fast asleep, curled up in his arms.

"Oh God, this is embarrassing." She whispered then buried her face once more into her pillows. She looked back up to his face. "Do you forgive me?"

"Forgive you for what?" He asked with that familiar smirk on his face.

"I took advantage of you." She answered still pink from blushing.

"No, you didn't. If anything I took advantage of you." Egan's smile widened.

They stayed looking at each other for some time. Electricity sparked the air. So many unspoken words lingered in the air. So many emotions littered their minds. All that remained was what Isla asked finally.

"That time a few years ago when you said that you didn't want to ruin our friendship – was that true?"

He couldn't lie. "No."

She pursed her lips. "So you lied?"

"Unfortunately, yes."

"Why?"

Egan sighed. How could he explain what he was feeling now? A rush of emotions filled him – most of them surrounded unfulfilled need. After she fell asleep, he had had to relieve himself in the washroom – thinking of the woman lying naked on his bed. He then took to exploring her skin and even in sleep she liked what he did. He'd restrained himself to kissing her shoulders and rubbing her sides. Not doing anything further than that.

"I was scared of how you made me feel. I had convinced myself that you and I could only just be friends. Then we stopped talking. I kept up with you on Facebook but missed getting random text messages from you asking how I was." He explained. "When you called me out of the blue, it surprised me and made me happy. Then when we kissed in the cab – it was like everything clicked for me. I want you Isla. Did that answer all your questions?"

He waited for her to speak, watching her face for emotions. He had noticed her tense up and freeze the moment he started speaking. Egan knew that she was processing everything and waited patiently for her to do something about it.

In essence, he confessed his on growing feelings for her.

"Oh." She whispered. "Did you want me more than physically?"

He grinned, genuinely and nodded. "For a long time if you'll have me because I definitely want to get to know you and make up for the loss in time."

In a blink of an eye – he watched as she closed the gap between them, touching his shoulder and blinking up at him with a smile. Slowly, painfully they began kissing. Skin against skin. It was beautiful, wonderful and for both parties glorious.

It's funny how things can happen in just one night.