Flirtations in the dark of a cinema.
The lights were low, a clear sign that the film was about to start. I slipped in to my seat and pulled the drink and sweets I'd smuggled in, out of my bag. As the lights dimmed to black and the screen widened, the adverts fleeing before the upcoming film, I opened the packet and settled back to watch.
"You know you're supposed to buy those here." An accented voice said from my left in a low whisper. I almost jumped and turned to tell lie and say that I had, but the light from the screen lit up his face and I paused. Recognition. My mouth fluttered around the words I had wanted to say, but couldn't. His dark eyes, and god I couldn't remember what colour and couldn't see in the light of the film, smiled at me. He was joking; he didn't care. His face was stretched over pronounced cheekbones and an incredible jaw line, and the shadows from the screen flickered over them as though they belonged together. Him and the shadows as one.
I became aware I'd been staring at him for too long now, and although his humour seemed to have grown, I needed to return to sanity. I cleared my throat and shrugged, tilting the bag of chocolate towards him.
"Can I bribe you in to silence?"
I felt, rather than heard, the vibrating chuckle that echoed in his throat. He peered at the bag and returned the shrug, before slipping his large and rough-looking hand, with surprising delicacy, between the edges. His hand withdrew, holding two of the chocolates and he smirked at them.
"Your secret is safe with me." His Danish accent folded over his lips as they curled in to a softer grin and took one of the chocolates between them. I gave him a responding smile and hoped that he hadn't noticed my eyes following his lips around the chocolate. I redirected my gaze to the screen, trying to get rid of the smirk on my face, and took a chocolate from the bag myself. I couldn't help thinking that his hands had probably touched it as it slipped against my tongue. Oddly fascinating, those hands. Contradicting hands; rough and strong looking, with such gentle movements.
Part of my brain kicked the other part at that moment and told me I was supposed to be focussing on the film. I trained my eyes on the screen and tried not to think about him. After a few moments, my attention was pulled from the screen again by the light rustle of my chocolate bag. He didn't look at me as he put the chocolate to his lips, but his smirk said everything. I'm teasing you. Pay attention and be so very obvious, or ignore me and let me get away with it. I turned back to the screen, trying not to smirk again. I took another chocolate and sat it on my tongue, waiting for it to melt. Then I crossed my legs and folded my hands in my lap, focussing as hard as possible on the film. I heard a light chuckle to my left and swallowed the melting chocolate.
I made it another couple of scenes before the rustle of the bag came again, and I ignored it. I heard it rustle again and pursed my lips, narrowing my eyes at the screen. A third rustle and my hand shot out, fingertips brushing lightly against those hands before, chuckling again, he withdrew his hand and popped another chocolate in his mouth. I rolled my eyes and reached for my drink, opening it and taking a sip. I saw his chest rise sharply with an intake of breath as I swallowed and dabbed gently at the corner of my lips with my finger. It could have been imagined, and I half thought it was, but I put the bottle down anyway and concentrated on the film.
Every now and then a rumble of laughter would roll around the room in response to the screen, but my senses picked out every moment of his and mine moulding together.
This is crazy. Concentrate on the film for goodness sake. The rustle of the bag again and my eyes roll without thought this time. I swapped my legs over; the other beginning to tingle with pins and needles. Another bundle of laughs as the main character fell over. I smirked and my hands went to my lips; index finger crooked just under them as I rested my chin on my thumb, the elbow rested on my other arm, crossed over my stomach. I giggled with the rest of the audience as the main character fell again while trying to get back up.
This time the bag did not rustle for a long time. I took one chocolate, and then another, but there were no answering rustles. Awareness of how many chocolates I was eating hit me. Was he aware of me eating? Was that weird? Was I eating too quickly? WHY DO YOU CARE? I berated myself mentally and took another chocolate. It's your damn chocolate.
I took another sip of my drink and put it back down, and then it hit me. Okay, so he was teasing you before. What if he's just trying to get you to give in and look at him? WHAT IF YOU'RE JUST OVER THINKING THIS? Also, you are having conversations with yourself in your head. Crazy. Just glance over when you pick up your next chocolate, like you missed the bag and need to check where it is or something. Yeah, totally normal.
I reached my hand over and my fingers scraped against air. I glanced over, 'checking where the chocolate was' and found him looking at me with a grin on his face. It was satisfied, like he knew what I was doing.
I felt my fingers take a chocolate, and I knew I was putting it to my lips. I popped it in to my mouth, raised my eyebrow in a challenge, and turned back to the screen. That low chuckle rolled from his throat and I shifted happily in my seat, content that I was winning. I grabbed my bottle and untwisted the cap for another sip. One of those rough, gentle hands reached across and took the bottle from my hands. I stared after it, following it to where his face was towards me. Challenge accepted, his eyes and that smirk said. Then, ever so slowly, as if waiting for me to protest, he raised the bottle closer and closer to his lips. I could have said no; could have taken it from him; could have given in and sat damning myself for the rest of the film. But I just watched, eyebrow lifted, waiting to see if he'd actually do it. His lips touched the bottle and he tilted it back. Liquid poured in to his mouth and I watched with a dry throat as his Adam's apple bobbed. I wonder how it would taste in my mouth. I mentally slapped myself as he lowered the bottle and his head, licking his lips. He grinned.
Oh, you think you've won? This game had become far more intriguing than the film. He offered the bottle back to me and I waved it away. Instead I reached in to my bag and pulled out a second bottle. 2 for 1 deals, for the win. Thank you grocery gods. I raised the bottle in a 'cheers' motion, watching as his eyes sparkled and lips twitched, and then I placed it in to my cup holder. I eyed him again and grinned. Now who's winning? He tipped the bottle back and took another sip before putting it in his own cup holder. I wondered whether to flick the lid I still held to him. No.
I played with it instead, rolling it between my fingers as the final scenes of the film played. At one point I thought I saw him watching my fingers, but I didn't want to look to find out for sure. I popped another chocolate in my mouth instead.
The credits began to roll and I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment. Whatever had existed in the darkness of the cinema would be gone as soon as the lights lifted. I didn't want to move, but people were already standing further along the row, and I knew they would be along soon, wanting to be released. I collected my chocolates and drink and placed them in my bag. I didn't want to look at him. It was best not to acknowledge something that probably meant little. The lights came up and I saw him moving out of the corner of my eye. I picked up my bag and slipped my coat on, not wanting to make awkward eye contact now that reality waited.
I took off, half pushed, half pushing in the crowd as they all tried to leave at the same time. I felt a little shakey. My legs felt like jelly and maybe that was because the cinema flirting, was it flirting?, had been hotter than I'd thought. His teasing smile flashed through my mind in black and white, lit by the screen. I broke out in to the foyer and stood by the wall to steady myself. Just a few seconds.
"Excuse me." I glanced up and saw him in colour. Not conventionally handsome but god, something about him was-
"Oh... hi." I said, floundering in what words could possibly be appropriate.
"You left this." He was handing me my scarf. How had I forgotten my scarf? Too eager to leave I supposed.
"Oh... thank you." I took it from him and wrapped it around my neck.
"Mads." He extended his hand.
"I know." I replied shakily, and hesitantly put my hand in to his. Smoother than I expected. Warm. I stared at him and his lips lifted in to an amused questioning look. "Oh... I'm Charlotte."
"Nice to meet you Charlotte." He released my hand and I almost moaned at the loss. "I believe I owe you a drink."
"Oh, no, I mean..."
"That is if you are free now?"
"Well... yes, I am but-"
"Much easier in the darkness isn't it?" He hummed and I let out a relieved chuckle. "Please, allow me to buy you a drink. And you have to tell me where you got those chocolates."
The way he said chocolates made me weak. Pull yourself together for goodness sake.
"Sure, I'd like that."
"Lovely. This way." He swept his arm to point the way and I shook my head with a smirk and began to walk.
"Do you always take peoples' cinema treats?" I asked as we left the cinema. Night time, another type of darkness. Perhaps this wasn't over.
"Only when they've been smuggled in." He replied. "Do you eat everything like you eat those chocolates?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, confused.
"So... temptingly." He replied. I blushed.
"Only when someone is staring like you were."
He chuckled and bowed his head.
"Oh Charlotte, you have no idea."