With a little bit of Halloween fun, Romantic Shorts presents a comedy by Alexandra Meryn, who assures us that this offering is actually based on a true story. While names and places have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent, and some literary license has been taken, apparently, truth really is stranger than fiction! With a light heart and quick wit, Meryn takes us on a fast and fun trek into the world of possibilities.

Welcome. And enjoy!

The Allure of a Half-Naked God

by Alexandra Meryn

“Wow. I’d give anything to fuck your head.”

“You’re a pig, Jack,” she answered without hearing, digging randomly through the pile of shoes at the front door, deciding in frustration to settle for one that even sort of looked like the one on her foot. Spotting a speck of bright red buried beneath one of Ray’s cruddy old work boots, she rescued the terrorized slipper from its tortured ordeal and continued hopping haphazardly through the apartment, managing to don the shoe on her travels, in search now of her purse.

“I’m serious, Bronwyn. Your hair is incredible. You should do it like that all the time.”

“Jack, isn’t Caroline home yet? Shouldn’t you be making her breakfast or something?”

Jack leaned back loudly, kicking his dirty socked feet up on the coffee table, obviously in no hurry to leave. Wearing, she was sure, only his ratty old bathrobe and a grin, he leered at her through overgrown eyebrows.

“And cover up,” she muttered at him as she shuffled back into the bedroom, rummaging through said purse as she went.

“Come on, Bron. You know you want me.”

“Jack,” she continued loudly from the bedroom, “not even if I had the time.”

“You never have the time for us anymore,” he whined, making the couch creak in complaint as he sank further down into its cushions, getting more and more comfortable as he spoke. “Come see us on Saturday,” he called. “We’re playing the JC for Halloween. Get a costume. A french maid or something. When was the last time you came to see us play?”

When she didn’t answer, he went on. “When was the last time you even went out, babe? Betcha it’s been forever. You’re probably a virgin again!”

“Did you see where I left my keys?” she asked him, back in the living room, turning like the tiny ballerina in her little jewelry box on her dresser.

“By the door,” he said, picking up the television remote and clicking it on. “Do you really have to go?”

“Yeah, Jack. I have class in an hour.” She grabbed her keys from the table next to the door and stopped, eyes closed. Books, keys, money, wallet. Set.

“If you see Monica this morning, tell her my rent cheque is hanging on the fridge. She can give it to Bill later today. Behave, asshole. And go home!” She gathered up her backpack, and, keys in hand, headed out the door.

“Bye, sexy,” she heard him holler as the door slammed shut behind her.

The elevator opened as she pushed the button and Caroline stepped out, holding the door for her. “Morning.”

“Morning. How was work?”

“You know.”



“Yeah. Always,” she groaned, stepping in and turning to push the button. “Jack’s at my place.”

“Maybe I’ll leave him there for a while. Send him home when you get back,” she grinned.

Bronwyn shook her head. “Nuh-uh. If he’s still there when I get home I’ll push him off the balcony.”

“Okay,” Caroline laughed back over her shoulder as she headed down the hall. “Just let me know so I can throw his stuff out, too.”

Bronwyn smiled as the elevator doors closed, finally having a moment, one long luxurious moment to just stop and breath. These days, it was go, go, go. All day, every day. She was sure now that if she had even a minute to spare, she wouldn’t know what to do with it.

One more year. No, only six more months until graduation. Oh, how glad she’d be to be done with school. Everyone she knew had been gone two years already. Never did she expect to be the one getting the degree on the five-year plan. But it was what it was. Such is life when you have to work your way through.

And work she had. She was determined to graduate with zero debt. And so far, she’d managed to do just that. Her own place, her own ticket. She’d paid every penny. A tired sense of pride well up and closed her eyes weakly.

She may be two years later graduating, but she’d be a decade or more ahead of everyone else who’d finished with a mountain of debt. It’ll be worth it, she promised herself yet again.

The elevator stopped with a familiar jolt that should have surprised her knees, and she headed out into the cool October morning, resigned to another day of school and work and homework that would end in another night of scattered dreams of school, work, and more homework.

* * * * *

Bronwyn stopped at the door to her apartment and took a deep breath, calming herself, listening carefully. She could hear the voices, just the two. Monica was laughing at something Ray had said. At least, she hoped it was something he’d said and not something he’d done. She didn’t want to have to relive that little scene.

She opened the door loudly, heading straight into the kitchen, announcing herself loudly to the couple in the next room. Throwing together a fast peanut butter sandwich, she braced herself for what she would find.

She relaxed visibly as she entered the living room and found her roommate and her boyfriend sitting comfortably on the couch together. It was late and they were entwined – and thankfully clothed – and seemed happy enough to see her. She took a bite of her sandwich and plopped down in the armchair across from them to eat her supper.

“Long day?” Monica asked, more concerned, Bronwyn knew, than she let on.

“Yeah. Same old same old.”

“You work too hard,” Ray commented lazily. “Look at me. Three nights a week. Free beer. Free sex,” he grinned, fending off Monica’s punch to the shoulder.

“Yeah,” Bronwyn agreed, trying to remove the sticky goo from the roof of her mouth to talk. “But I can’t play a guitar.”

“Oh yeah,” he nodded. “You have no talents at all. That’s why you’re still in school.”

This time Monica’s punch landed. “Don’t be a jerk. She’s tired. Leave her alone.” She turned worried eyes on Bronwyn. “Well, at least one of us’ll come out ahead.”

“Here’s hoping,” she agreed.

“You should come out with us once in a while,” Monica added, starting a conversation they had regularly. Every time Monica went out, to see Ray and the band play, or with friends, or just for a walk, she asked Bronwyn to come along. And the answer was always the same. There was no time.

“Yeah, Jack was bugging me this morning.”

Monica perked up. “Yeah, he was here when we got here. You really shouldn’t leave him here by himself. Who knows what he’s doing? He could be going through your underwear drawer. Ewww!”

Bronwyn laughed earnestly through the wad of cement in her mouth. “Might explain where all my lace ones went. Do you think he wears them?”

Monica joined Bronwyn in a bout of giggles while Ray looked on, unamused.

“Don’t be such a clod, Ray,” Monica pinched him. “You know Jack’s a whore.”

“Sure I do. Doesn’t mean I like talking about it.”

The two women giggled some more.

“Seriously, Bronwyn. You should come on Saturday. It’s the big Halloween party. You don’t have to dress up. Just come. It’ll be fun. Like old times. When we used to have fun together.”

“I know, Mon,” she agreed. Standing up wearily and gathering her things, she smiled gratefully at her friend. “Would if I could. I’m going to bed. I’ll try not to wake you in the morning.”

“Okay. And don’t let Jack in. Last time he climbed into bed with us,” Monica complained.

“Ohh, yuck. Okay then. Have a good night you two.”

Five minutes later, Brownyn indulged herself in thoughts of letting go as a crazy Halloween party ran through her mind. Another treasured moment to enjoy and unwind, gone too soon as sleep took over, filling her head with restless dreams of carrying trays of food to class and writing essays on menus.

* * * * *

It was a rare few hours to herself in the apartment on a Saturday afternoon before her evening shift at the restaurant. She wrestled with the thought of taking a forbidden nap, but opted instead to start with a shower. And because she had the time, she took the time to enjoy a long and luxurious shower, reveling in the smooth caress of water on freshly shaved legs, the silky wave of softly conditioned hair down her back, the slick warmth of soapy trails cascading down her body. The unlimited supply of the apartment’s hot water was never more appreciated.

She stepped gingerly out of the tub, wrapping herself warmly in a freshly washed bath sheet, and allowed herself the luxury of a hot cup of lemon tea in front of the television. This, she thought, was what awaited her in the spring. Her own place. The time and money to enjoy it. She sipped the warm brew and felt her insides melt a little.

The last few sips of tea were cold in the bottom of the cup when the phone rang with a blaring invasion of her oasis. Groaning, she dragged her soggy body off the couch to answer the call.

Hanging up a minute and a half later, her day had suddenly taken a u-turn. Gloria had insisted that her wages would be covered by the insurance, but Bronwyn hadn’t realized fully what that meant until she sat back down on the couch, wrapped in her towel, staring at the blank television. Yes, a fire is a bad thing. But if no one was hurt and the place was insured, would it be perfectly okay for her to flip a little cartwheel?

At least a week off, with pay.

Time. And money.

A slow grin spread across her face as she hugged herself. Oh, yes. She could be happy about this. She could definitely do a little happy dance.

In fact, she decided suddenly, she could do a lot of dancing. Checking the clock, she calculated she had more than enough time to get ready.

With a spring in her step that broke her towel loose, she recklessly left her tea cup on the coffee table with madcap abandon. Naked and dragging the towel behind her, she scooted into her bedroom to ready herself for a night of fun and frivolity at a Halloween party.

* * * * *

Bronwyn arrived just as the band was starting its first set. The huge room hung heavily with a fog of smoke, and the smell of beer teased her senses. She glanced quickly around, noting some serious efforts in costuming, but headed straight for the bar. She felt eyes on her from the moment she arrived, and she smiled to herself. Oh yes, she deserved this.

She had taken the time and care to get ready, applying smoky evening makeup over her stunning green eyes for the first time in months, indulging in a manicure with hot red polish, stealing her favourite peek-a-boo blouse from Monica’s closet. And she walked through the crowd with the confidence that only the most amazing head of gorgeous auburn fuck-me hair could give. Thanks, Jack. Oh yes, they were looking. And this felt wonderful.

Catching the bartender’s attention easily, she ordered herself two mixed drinks and made her way to the back of the room beside the dance floor where she knew the band and their friends would be sitting. And without a moment’s disappointment, she was greeted heartily and noisily by three tables full of friends, acquaintances, and a few strangers, a place being cleared for her in the center of the group. She took her chair and set about letting herself go and enjoying the first night out she’d taken in more than six months.

It took no time for Bronwyn to join in the excitement of the evening. Laughter and jokes, drinking and dancing, were all the order of the night, and she gave in fully to the festivities. She accepted dance invitations and drinks, committing to no one, but with such enthusiasm that she left no one wanting. The music was loud, the room was too hot, and it was so very crowded. Yet she couldn’t imagine anywhere she’d rather be. Muscles she hadn’t relaxed in months began to unwind and she began to think she would cry with relief.

Sitting quietly for a moment, looking around at old friends and new, it was at that moment that she first noticed him. She’d seen him earlier, but distracted by practically everything else around her, she hadn’t noticed him. But there he was. Just standing there, staring right at her. His face was chiseled, his jaw flexing in a way that made the hairs on the back of her neck tickle. His eyes were locked on hers, riveting her attention on him. The lighting was dark, but his eyes shone with a deep, intense blue, like the depths of the ocean. His long straight nose flared slightly as he breathed, as if he could detect her scent from halfway across the room. As she realized how she was gaping at him, she closed her mouth, embarrassed, and watched as his full and sensuous lips turned up into a sly and satisfied grin.

He stood leaning against the wall, on the other side of the tables from her. He wore a crown of sorts, more of a golden wreath. It covered his hair but somehow framed his face as a work of art. His neck was long and thick and flowed into a broad and mountainous pair of shoulders. And those shoulders melted into an expanse of bared chest that had her gaping once again. Somewhere in her befuddled mind, she remembered the theme of the party, and wondered what, exactly, he was dressed as. So far, this half-naked costume was really working for her.

It was far too crowded to easily make her way around the bar to get to him. Not that she was going to try. She had no idea what she’d say to him when she got there. Better she should just sit and gawk.

Her thoughts were interrupted time and again. Someone on her other side wanted to talk, or rather try to conduct a conversation while closely yelling in each others’ ears. She was asked to dance. The waitress brought her a drink. There was some kind of dance contest. The band finished their set, sat for a drink, and resumed their racket.

Yet each time she returned her attention to the half-naked man, she had to work to find him. She found herself searching eagerly to see where he had gone. Where had he moved to? Ah, there he is. And every time she found him, he was gazing directly into her eyes. Her insides were swimming in a soupy drunken warmth that had more to do with the enticing peaks and valleys of this man’s torso than the drinks alone should allow.

She played his game, hunting him out at every opportunity, finding him, finding him staring into her wandering eyes. Sometimes he would smile knowingly at her. Others would have her squirming uncomfortably in her chair as his expression darkened to invade her mind with thoughts so erotic she could feel his touch from across the room. Oh, what this man was doing to her with a look.

The band began their last set; it was late and conversations and music had all blended into a noise that made her head buzz. She looked for her naked chest, feeling a wave of panic creep up her throat as she realized that she couldn’t find him. She turned in her chair and searched all of the corners he had watched her from, but he was nowhere to be seen. With only two or three songs left in the band’s set, Bronwyn was overcome with a sense of disappointment at the loss of her admirer.

Ready to resign herself to giving up, she knew exactly who it was who had placed a hot and electric hand on her shoulder. She didn’t need to turn to know her answer was yes when the request to dance purred in her ear and tingled all the way down to her feet.

She stood and turned to find her half-naked man, hips perfectly skirted in white pleats and gold trim, long muscular legs ending in perfectly formed feet, wrapped and tied in leather sandals, thonged and laced up his calves to his knees. Oh, this is no man. This is a half-naked god.

He held his hand out to her, and she took it, wondering at the lightness of his touch, wondering if he was actually real. He led her to the dance floor and pulled her fully into his arms. Her body molded perfectly to his, his flesh the texture of warmed wedged clay beneath her curious hands. His arms encircled her, declaring his possession, and he moved her with him in time to a rhythmic, intoxicating wave of music. She melted into him, losing herself in the magic of him, losing the world around them.

His mouth was against her ear, his breath in her hair. She could hear his thoughts, though he spoke not a word. His intentions were clear, but not what she expected. Oh, yes, desire. And need. And.. And what? No, just and. Anything. Everything. It didn’t matter.

Her hips rolled against his, the bare skin of his chest pressed rhythmically against her breasts each time he inhaled. Her heart fell into synchronous beat with his, until she was sure they were beating as one. She was mesmerized, floating. She opened her eyes to find his, staring right back into her soul. The depth of their blue was like midnight and oil and wonder. She felt the heat of his skin, the life of his breath.

And without another thought, his lips were on hers, molding, melting, tasting, taking. She kissed his mouth, but felt his soul. He pulled something from her, something she didn’t know she was prepared to give. But she gave what he asked and took what he offered. There was no question.

How long they shared their dream she didn’t know, until somewhere, far in the distant, the noise began to return. At first she wasn’t sure she could hear it. But as it grew louder, it pulled at her attention. It was different. Different than it had been. It wasn’t many noises to make one. It was one noise. Curiosity pulled at her thoughts until at last, she could hear clearly what, up until the moment their lips parted, breaking his spell, had eluded her. It was one noise. A roar.

No. A cheer.

Oh no. A cheer. And a drumroll.

Bronwyn bit her lip and dared to open one eye. He was smiling sheepishly at her, almost apologetically. And beyond him, there were eyes on hers. Everywhere. Everyone. Cheering.

And above it all, was a bloody drumroll. Until finally, a loud and booming voice announced that the show was over and that they should definitely, before the mood was lost, go upstairs and get a room. At which point the entire room filled with further applause and mayhem, as dollar bills were thrown at them like confetti.

Bronwyn caught the wicked grin of the drummer, sitting there smugly enjoying every minute of her humiliation.

“Jack, you asshole,” she mouthed at him angrily.

A protective arm pulled her tightly against its warm and solid body, leading her from the dance floor to a dark corner where they could escape most of the attention they’d earned.

Furious with Jack, Bronwyn’s bubble had burst. She looked at the hot half-naked god in front of her and blushed with embarrassment.

“Come for coffee with me,” he said in a most intoxicating voice that resonated of warm honey.

She shook her head, disbelieving. “Look, naked man, – “

“Hunter,” he insisted.

Mmm. Nice name. “Hunter,” she continued. “I’m sorry about all this. I’ve had way too much to drink. I never do this kind of thing.”

“What kind of thing is that?”

“Necking with a complete stranger in public.”

“Hunter. And we were kissing. So I’m not a complete stranger.”

“Right. Well, I know what ‘coffee’ is, and I can’t. I really need to get home and sleep off some of this.”

“Look,” he raised his eyebrows, inquiring about what Bronwyn didn’t know. Or care. Giving up on an answer, he continued, “I don’t know what just happened out there, but I’ve never felt anything like that before. I don’t know you from Eve, but I was watching you and I liked what I saw, and – “

She cut him off sharply, “- and you’d like to get some of that, I suppose?”

“I can’t say that didn’t cross my mind, but that’s not what I was going to say.”

She hmph’ed rudely.

“What I saw was a beautiful woman who was thoroughly letting loose and enjoying herself. She has lots of friends, a sharp wit, and an incredible laugh. No, I don’t know you. That’s what I’d like to change.”

Bronwyn’s mouth hung open. For a moment, she actually considered going with him. Wow.

“Say yes,” he insisted, taking advantage of her momentary and very rare loss for words.

She looked deep into his magnetic eyes, and decided that yes, she would go with him. In her drunken stupor, her lack of good judgement won out and she was going to do something incredibly stupid.

The words were on her lips, but were left hanging in the air unsaid as she was pulled from behind into a beer-scented all-encompassing bear hug. What the?!

Placed back on her feet, she pushed herself away from the giant plaid shirt in front of her and looked up into the happy-go-lucky cherubic face of her dear little brother.

“Oh my god!” she screamed jumping back into his arms. She hugged him fully, kissing his sweet unshaven cheek. “Put me down, Duncan!” she ordered.

He did as he was told but didn’t let go of her. He seemed as excited to see her as she was to see him. “When did you get here? Why are you here?”

“We’re playing here tomorrow,” he beamed. “Didn’t Mom tell you?”

“I haven’t talked to her,” Bronwyn confessed, realizing that she probably should have returned at least one of her mother’s half dozen calls that week. “Oh, I wanna come watch you play. I’ll have to sit on the wrong side of the stands, you know. But I’ll come cheer for you!” She grinned happily at him. “Oh, Duncan, I haven’t been to a football game in ages!”

“I stopped by your place and Caroline told me where you were. I’ve been looking for you for an hour. Leave it to you to stand out in a crowd!”

Bronwyn flushed hotly. Oh no. She was going to hear about this one forever. She turned to introduce her brother to her partner in crime, but he was gone. Hastily, she did a quick look around what part of the room she could see, but there was no one looking back at her. By the time they left an hour later, she was convinced that he’d left. She headed home with friends and neighbours, feeling considerably the worse for wear.

* * * * *

Bronwyn said goodbye to her mother as she got out of the car, giant foam finger in hand. “Bye, Mom,” she smiled back into the car. “It was good to hang out with you today.”

“You too, honey. I’ll get out of your hair; I know you’ve got lots to do. But phone me this week. Maybe we can spend a little time together while you’ve got a some time off?”

“I’ll do that, Mom. Love you!” she piped as she skipped into her building’s foyer, catching the door behind the little old man who liked to smile at her.

Once in the elevator, Bronwyn endured the smiling and the nodding three storeys up until he reached his floor, tipped his hat, and disappeared behind the closing doors. Alone at last today, she came to an abrupt and obvious decision.

Thoughts of Hunter the Half-Naked God had crept into every facet of her entire day. The quarterback’s name on his jersey was Hunter. The ticket guy smiled just like him. And after spending the day squashing down the residual warmth and hum of some of the most erotic dreams she’d ever had, she wasn’t sure she’d been completely able to hide her distraction from her mom. Thankfully Duncan played an exceptional game, diverting their mother’s attention away from her.

She got off the elevator and raced down the hall to her apartment. She could hear the voices as she opened the door, and barged in, plan at hand.

Of course, plan had to wait. Her living room was filled to capacity with roommate, plus one, neighbour, and band. Great. And while she endured the hoots and cheers in appreciation for her performance the night before, she sought out Monica’s eyes and nodded her to the kitchen.

Climbing over squirming bodies, she joined Bronwyn, eyebrows raised in question. “How was the game?”

“He won. Who was that last night?”

Monica just about spit her tongue out. “What? Seriously? You do mean the naked guy, right?”

“Half-naked. Yes. Who was he?”

“You don’t know?” she asked, her voice squealing with unnecessary volume.

“No, I didn’t get that far. I figured I’d get back to him today. Who is he?”

“I don’t know, Bron. Geez, you’d think you’d have at least got a name.”

“Hunter,” she blurted and marched back into the living room. Silence fell quickly as the look on her face told them all to shut up.

“Who is he?” she asked them shortly.

A resounding round of “Who?”

She answered with a look that told them in no uncertain terms that she wanted an answer without the commentary.

A dozen people in the room sat staring at her and each other with blank looks on their faces. Bronwyn’s mood drained as she realized that not one of her friends knew who she’d been kissing the night before.

“Seriously? None of you?”

“We can ask around,” offered Jack, amidst nods of agreement.

“Do that.” She turned on her heel, and with a muttered thank-you, buried herself in her room to try to get some work done for school the next day.

* * * * *

It was no use. After two days of wondering if anyone would ever be able to tell her Hunter’s last name or where to find him, she was at her wits’ end. How could she have been so paranoid? What woman walks away from a man who can kiss like that? A kiss that she’d relived repeatedly in her dreams, leaving her sweating and breathless when she awoke. She sat at her kitchen table pushing her fork through a plate of pasta without actually taking a bite. Of all the weeks to not have work for a distraction….

The door opened behind her and she heard Monica drop her keys on the side table. “Hello?”

“I’m in here,” she moped.

Monica came in, hugged her friend’s shoulders, and filled herself a bowl of Bronwyn’s pasta. Sitting down across from her, she commiserated. “Still nothing?”

Bronwyn’s fork scraped on her plate. “No.”

“Well, I’ve given this a lot of thought.” Bronwyn raised one brow in doubt. “Take out a personal ad.”

“What?” Bronwyn looked up, finding it hard to believe Monica could actually suggest such a dumb idea.

“A personal ad. In the paper.” Her smile was infectious. “You know, ‘Hey good kisser, Phone me!’ kinda thing.”

Bronwyn sat looking at her dippy friend. She thought about Hunter’s eyes, the deep dark blue staring at her from every dark corner in the room. Her insides melted a little as she remembered the way his lip curled up every so slightly, smiling at her like they had some big secret.

“Ok,” she blurted before she had any more time to think about it.

“Good,” Monica jumped up and found a piece of paper and a pen from a drawer. Sitting next to Bronwyn, she set herself up to take the dictation of the ad.

Bronwyn looked perplexed. “What should I say?”

“Okay, how about this,” she wrote furiously for about a minute and handed the page to Bronwyn.

Hunter the Half-Naked God,
that dance at the JC was worth
waiting six months for.
HappyRock, Friday, 8pm.

Bronwyn laughed. “HappyRock?”

“Yeah, I’ll come with you. Phone this in now. It’ll be in tomorrow’s paper. If it’s meant to be, he’ll see it.” She shrugged happily.

Bronwyn shook her head as she picked up the phone.

* * * * *

Oh, how she had forgotten how much fun it was to go out with a bunch of girlfriends. They sat around a table, the six of them, and settled in where they could see the front door, ordered drinks, and talked and caught up while they waited. The place was empty except for a hockey team in the back corner, so they knew they’d be able to see him as he arrived.

The bar had filled up and the music was playing loudly when Monica finally leaned over to Bronwyn. “You know Bron. Are you even going to recognize him with his clothes on?”

Bronwyn closed her eyes with a heavy sigh. “Probably not,” she realized. “I don’t even know what colour his hair is.”

Monica hugged her, laughing with sympathy. “Well, he’ll have the advantage, but at least he’ll know what you look like, right?”

“Yeah,” she agreed, resigning herself to the disappointment of the evening.

Determined to at least look like she was having a good time, Bronwyn set about laughing and talking with the girls, until at last, she was able to escape to the washroom for a break. Taking Monica with her, she welcomed the cool, if not fresh, air of the ladies’ room.

The pair stood side by side, adjusting hair and clothes in the mirror, chatting about nothing when a young woman entered, ending their chatter. Breaking all social convention, the woman didn’t head around the corner to the stalls. She came and stood right next to them, making eye contact in the mirror.

Somewhat unnerved, Monica started, “Yes?”

Their visitor took a deep breath and explained. “This is going to sound really stupid. But do either of you know Hunter the Half-Naked God?”

Bronwyn just about choked on her tongue. Her face flushed as she sought desperately for some kind of response.

“No,” stated Monica, ever so matter-of-factly.

The woman’s face slumped.

“Why?” Bronwyn managed.

“My brother, Hunter the idiot. He’s had me coming in here all night asking every single woman in the bar if they knew Hunter the Half-Naked God.”

The two friends said nothing, but waited, encouraging her to go on.

“He’s face-blind. He met this girl on the weekend and has no idea what she looks like. All he remembers is she’s pretty with great hair. So he dragged his whole hockey team and me here after his game hoping to meet her.”

“What makes him think she’d be here?” Monica asked, cool as a mountain stream.

“Actually, that’s funny. He had fish’n’chips at work today. He never eats fish, but the guys he works with wanted it. While he was eating he got reading the newspaper it was wrapped in. And there was this ad in the personals telling him to meet here.”

Bronwyn and Monica looked at each other, dumbfounded.

“It’s too bad, really,” she finished. “It’s really romantic, eh?”

Bronwyn took a deep breath and went for it. “Would it be more romantic if I told you it was me?”

The woman looked skeptical.

“Hunter the Half-Naked God, that dance at the JC was worth waiting six months for?”

Her turn to gape. “You’re shitting me.”

The butterflies in Bronwyn’s stomach felt like a herd of antelope making a run for it.

“Why did you say it wasn’t you?” she broached.

“Would you admit to this?”

She thought about it for moment and laughed. “No, I guess not.”

The light moment was quickly replaced with an awkwardness that settled through the entire room, seemingly bouncing off the garishly tiled walls like too much noise.

After an eternity, Monica finally broke the silence. “Well, Bron, what do you say? Wanna go meet your god?”

Bronwyn’s eyes bulged at her friend. No, I don’t, she decided, wanting to climb into a stall and lock the door until the place closed. “Um,” was all she could muster.

“I know. This is weird. I’m Hannah, Hunter’s sister, and it’s nice to meet you,” she offered her hand to Bronwyn, who shook it gratefully.

“Bronwyn,” she offered.

“Look, if he finds out I found you, and didn’t bring you out to him, I’ll have to put up with head locks in his skunk nasty armpit for I don’t know how long.”

Bronwyn looked to Monica for support. “Don’t look at me, kid. This was all your idea,” she smiled with a wink.

With her hand on the door handle, Hannah turned back to Bronwyn. “He’s been pining over you all week and basically ordered us all here. He’s blackmailing me as we speak.” She smiled warmly. “Honestly though? He’s one of those really great guys. Don’t blow this.”

She pulled the door open and left.

Bronwyn melted against the counter as Monica squealed loudly, grabbing her arm in an “Oh my god, do you believe this?!” squeeze.

“He’s been here the whole time,” Bronwyn muttered.

“Yeah,” laughed Monica, “and neither one of you two idiots know what the other one looks like! This is priceless!” The laughter bubbled up and took over her entire body and she nearly choked. Karma, thought Bronwyn, sourly.

The door opened and three women entered, looking at them strangely. Monica looped her arm through Bronwyn’s and pulled her out into the hallway. “It’s now or never,” she yelled over the loud music.

Bronwyn’s stomach did a flip in her gut, and she looked desperately for a back door from which to escape. But Monica’s hold on her was steel and they headed back toward the music. With a resolve she didn’t quite feel, she boldly stepped out of the safety of the restroom hallway and into the chaos of the bar.

She’d taken barely two steps when she was grabbed from behind, and pulled from Monica’s grasp. Stumbling, she turned clumsily and landed in the sure and strong arms of an incredibly attractive man with thick blond waves messed around his head as if he just stepped in from a mountain range. He smiled down at her, baring the most beautiful straight, white teeth. Her hands rested fully on a solid, warm chest. And in that instant, she knew exactly where she was.

With a deep breath, she focused her gaze on his and recognized the deep dark blue depths of the sexiest eyes she’d ever seen. And they were staring right back at her. Her heart skipped almost painfully.

“Can we just get this out of the way?” he asked smoothly, bending to reach her waiting lips with his warm, full, searching mouth.

Bronwyn’s legs turned to mush, and she leaned on him as she gave in to his kiss, enjoying the tingling in every nerve ending she had. Slowly, but too soon, he pulled his face from hers enough to search deeply into her eyes. She smiled genuinely at him. “Okay,” she agreed.

“I didn’t remember that wrong,” he grinned. “Any chance we could go for that coffee now?” he asked, still not letting go of her.

“I’d like that very much,” she consented, finally feeling a week’s worth of tension leave her body.

“Good,” he said taking her by the hand. “I’d like that very much, too. Let’s grab a bite though, I’m starving. Something came up at lunch and I forgot to eat.” He winked at her and she caught Monica’s smug look of satisfaction as she headed toward the door with him.

“Do you like fish’n’chips?” he asked with a boyish enthusiasm as they reached the cool clear air outside. “It’s my new favourite!”

“Mine, too,” she agreed happily, hooking her arm in his and happily letting him lead her to where ever he wanted to go.

Romantic Shorts thanks you for joining us for Alexandra Meryn’s The Allure Of A Half-Naked God. Please feel free to visit Alexandra Meryn’s Author’s Page to learn more about this talented writer. You can leave a comment for Alexandra, other readers, or Romantic Shorts using the comment form below, our contact form on our Contact Us page, or by sharing this story with friends and family using the share buttons below.

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