No Promises, No Expectations
You couldn't really call the dinner party an ordinary dinner. It was actually a feeding frenzy for a few select DC insiders the Secretary of the Navy wanted to keep under his thumb. As always, the SecNav as he was known, made sure a few politicians were in attendance. One never knew when a senator would come in handy. There were a few senior naval officers, of course, and a token number of senior officers from other branches of the military.
Numerous guests served themselves from several long buffet tables where the food was both plentiful and appetizing. Waiters worked the small crowd, offering trays with wine and Champaign. Additional bars were set up in the living room and two more were on the patio where guests could get something stronger if they desired.
She leaned on one of the outdoor bars, wondering again why she had let herself be talked into attending this perfectly boring dinner. No one had asked her to dance, but if another one of those arrogant pigs pinched her ass one more time, she was going to yank his balls off.
If that wasn't bad enough, her escort flirted with every female who caught his eye and apparently forgot about her. The last time she saw him, he was escorting a very voluptuous blonde out to his car.
I have to get out of here. I bet I can leave through the gardens. I'll just walk away from this fiasco...
She was only a couple of blocks away when she decided to hail a cab. Flipping out her cell phone, she speed dialed the good old faithful Yellow Cab Company. Listening for a moment, it finally dawned on her that her cell phone was dead.
"Oh great! The night's gone from bad to worse!" She sighed heavily, knowing she could turn around... probably make a fool of herself, or high-tail it to a public telephone booth... somewhere. She put her hands over her eyes, debating the lesser of the two evils. Clearly, her high heels were not meant for hiking.
"Need a lift?" the deep voice startled her. She had been concentrating on her cell phone and hadn't heard his car pull up. He leaned his head out of the SUV's window and smiled at her. "I'd be happy to give you a ride."
Mmmm, that good looking officer from the party... a general or an admiral or something.
He's an admiral, you ninny, her head voice said. He's in the Navy!
I knew that.
"I'd... I'd really appreciate it," she smiled back, admiring the good-looking man in his dress whites.
Ever chivalrous, he got out of the car and taking her arm, escorted her to the passenger's side. "Name's Browning... I saw you at the SecNav's."
"The crowd was a little large tonight. I missed you there. I came with someone, but he... If you'll just take me to a major intersection," she interrupted, suddenly nervous. "I can... I can hail a cab."
"I don't think so. Not a lot of cabs around this area. Tell me where you live and I'll take you home."
He got back in the car and waited for directions.
"By... by any chance... are you hungry?" she heard herself ask out of the blue.
"The buffet wasn't enough?" he laughed. "Sure, shall we stop for a bite? What do you feel like?"
"Hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut and... and root beer!"
"Hot dogs, mustard, sauerkraut and root beer... I know just the place, the best dogs in Virginia!"
Two months earlier
The White House
The first time she saw him was in the Rose Garden, Under duress, she had attended one of those long ceremonial functions where several military types received a medal. Not that they weren't deserving - but the mass of people was overbearing - trying to get in and out of there and maintain one's sanity was really pushing the limits of her patience. Unfortunately, it came with the territory - her new job demanded her attendance at a few of these functions.
He had been sitting with a few other military folks. She was pretty sure he was Navy - only because she knew the heather blue uniforms were either Army or Air Force. Someone had pointed out that all the Marines had medals for skill in firearms on their chests. The guys that were in navy blue that was so dark it looked black had to be Navy. And from the number of ribbons on his chest and the amount of braid on his cover, he had to have a fairly high rank. He was the most handsome man she had seen in years.
He's probably married, she thought.
Or a prick, her head voice added.
Or he's too wonderful for words, she sighed.
And about to be shipped out, her head voice quipped.
He spotted her sitting on the aisle - her dark red hair peeking out from the brim of her wide summer hat. What caught his eye were her long legs outlined against her slim skirt. She had crossed those long legs just as he walked by on the way to his seat. The slit in her skirt had exposed a beautiful length of thigh before she quickly covered it. She was wearing dark glasses, but what he could see of her face was very attractive. She was trim and he was instantly intrigued.
He watched her instead of the ceremonial awards on the makeshift stage and planned to intercept her before she left. True to form, one of his subordinate officers diverted his attention and the mystery lady disappeared into the crowd.
When he spotted her at the SecNav's house the first time, he had been with the woman he was seeing at the time. The crowd was large, and someone had dragged him into a group conversation he couldn't wiggle out of. He had caught her eye and got a shy smile in return, but by the time he was free to look for her again, she had left the party.
This time when he saw her, he was alone and was determined to manage an introduction. Fate was against him once more as the SecNav's wife dragged him and several others into the den to view her newest sculpture. Again, the mysterious redhead left before he could meet her. The dinner party no longer held his interest. He bade goodnight to one and all.
When he turned down a side street to leave the immediate neighborhood, he spotted her walking on the side of the road, her dark red hair distinctive in his headlights. She seemed to be talking on a cell phone, didn't see him approach, and was obviously startled when he pulled over to speak to her.
She felt comfortable giving him her address in McLean. She had learned that he was fairly close to the SecNav and that he was an honorable man. They talked about the party and the SecNav's beautiful house until they finally ran out of small talk.
"What do you do when you're not going to one of the SecNav's dinner parties?" Trey Browning asked, his curiosity overcoming his good manners.
"I work with computers," she said with some evasion.
"I knew it! You work for the Pentagon!" he teased.
"Not exactly," she smiled, turning to face him. She felt relaxed in his company and was mesmerized by his sexy drawl.
"Can you tell me... exactly...? Or do I need a special security clearance?" he whispered conspiratorially, leaning toward her but keeping his eyes on the road.
He smiled at her laughter. "I work with assistive and adaptive technologies - special needs children." At his raised brow, she explained further. "I try to get special devices for computers so children who have physical disabilities can use them like you and I do. That way, they can stay in regular school programs and do what other children do - learn and make a productive life for themselves."
She said it with such passion that Trey found it touching.
She proceeded to explain it to him when she spotted the turn off road. "There's the exit ramp for McLean. Don't drive past it." He turned onto the exit ramp. "I apologize for lecturing," she added after a bit more explanation. "I really like what I do and sometimes, I get carried away when... well, I..."
"No need to apologize," he smiled again. "I'd like to learn more about what you do."
She didn't say anything when he turned down the wrong road in McLean, thinking he knew another way to her street. But when he pulled into his driveway, she looked curiously at him.
"Is this the hot dog joint you were raving about?"
"Yep, best hot dogs around." He opened his door. "Wait a minute. I'll help you out."
He opened the passenger's door and putting his hands on her waist, helped her down from the high seat.
As soon as she walked in his front door, she slipped out of her high-heeled sandals and turned to look up at him.
"You got taller," she mused.
"You got shorter," he grinned. "In fact, you're not much bigger than a..."
"Don't say it," she said firmly, her hands going to her slim hips. "I'm five feet, three and a half inches and I stretch a lot."
"I don't even know your name," he said softly, looking into her dark gray eyes.
"Yours is Trey, isn't it?"
He nodded. "How did you know?"
"I overheard someone talking about you. I've seen you at the SecNav's home before. I... I've never seen you there alone. Your lady friend out of town?"
"Out of my life," he said, dismissing the subject. "So, what's your name?"
"Call me whatever you'd like," she said cryptically. "Make it something pleasant, please."
"Tell me your name," he urged.
"Is it important? Why do you have to know?" she asked quietly, her gaze unwavering.
"Because I'm going to kiss you," he murmured, putting his arms around her and lowering his head to capture her mouth. "And I like to know who I'm kissing."
Her arms went around his neck, his embrace pulling her off her feet. His lips pressed against hers, the kiss soft and gentle. Her lips parted and his tongue slowly explored her mouth, finding it sweet. Still holding her, he lifted his head.
She nodded, her face flushed, her lips parted.
"Tell me your name." His lips descended.
She remained silent.
Trey lifted his head and waited.
"Leine," His lips descended again, his arms held her tighter, her breasts pressed into his chest.
"Your mouth is so sweet," he murmured, thinking about exploring it fully, plundering its depth... plundering her... and...
"Hot dogs, Trey?" She was suddenly warm, her breath came in a rush and her hands gently pushed against his chest.
He chuckled, setting her back on her feet. "Make yourself at home, I'll be right back."
While he changed into a T-shirt and sweats, she stood by the fireplace, looking at the pictures there. She couldn't help wondering who the people in the photos were and made wild guesses about them and their place in this man's life.
He came up behind her and nuzzled her neck, his hands resting lightly on her shoulders. "How many hot dogs can you eat?"
"Two, if they're really good," she replied, the challenge implicit in her tone. "And root beer. Don't forget the root beer."
"Haven't got root beer. Got something better."
"Better than root beer? Impossible! What is it?"
"Oooooh, birch beer! Now that's an attractive feature in a man," she grinned. "A man who keeps birch beer in his refrigerator - mmmm, that's a genuine turn on!"
"I've heard about the effects of wine and chocolate," he chuckled, "but birch beer?"
"Well, there *is* your smile and..."
"And...what?" he asked softly, catching her chin in his palm, the sexual tension between them building rapidly.
"What kind of sauerkraut?" she asked, taking a step back.
"Cold sauerkraut." He gently pushed her toward the kitchen.
"Oh, just the way I like it!" she smiled, settling on a stool at the counter.
"What else do you like?" he asked while rummaging through the refrigerator for the hot dogs.
She didn't reply.
He placed the hot dogs on the counter, ready to slice them in half and when she didn't answer his question, he paused, waiting for her to speak.
She didn't respond.
He asked her again. "What else do you like?"
When she ignored his question, he gave her a brief Browning glare that made her laugh. "Used to people jumping when you ask a question, Trey?"
He nodded. "Used to getting immediate answers when I ask questions. Used to giving orders, too," he chuckled. She blushed when his gaze slowly moved from the top of her head down to her toes and back up again. "Do you want to slip a T-shirt on over that pretty dress you're wearing?" She cocked her head, thinking about it. "No thank you."
"So, what else do you like?" he asked softly, focusing on her mouth. "You didn't say."
"Are you going to make love to me?"
"I'd like to."
What are you doing to the hot dogs?"
He looked down at the plate. Without thinking, he had sliced them into bite size pieces. "I'm going to boil them in the microwave for a minute and a half," he explained, putting them in a bowl of water. "Then, I'm going to put the hot dogs on a plate of cold sauerkraut and spoon a little mustard on them." He set the microwave for 90 seconds. "Then, we'll see if you can actually eat two hot dogs," he challenged.
"Where's the birch beer?"
"Coming right up. You want it in a glass or straight from the bottle?"
"Straight from the bottle."
"Good girl," he smiled.
She thought she could drown in that smile and didn't realize she was staring at his lips.
He chuckled and pulled her to him. "Kiss me."
"Is that an order, Trey?" she whispered, comfortable with the feel of his hand on the back of her head.
"Do I have to make it one?" he whispered back, his mouth covering hers while his arms pulled her closer to his chest.
She leaned into him, letting him hold her upright. His lips were warm on hers, his tongue was hot, and his mouth intoxicated her.
Trey held her close, enjoying the feel of her soft breasts against his hard chest. She looked good, she felt good, and she smelled good. Lord! Her kisses are sweet.
The ping of the microwave oven startled them and they broke the kiss.
"Thank God! I'm starved," she gasped, pulling away from his embrace.
"Starved for what?" He chuckled at her immediate blush and was satisfied to see her lips looking like she had been thoroughly kissed.
They both dug into the hot dogs with gusto. Trey popped a piece into her mouth and one into his and then smeared the next bite with mustard.
"What about the sauerkraut? I want sauerkraut," she said, taking an ample swig of the birch beer.
"You *are* hungry," he chuckled, dipping another piece into the mustard and scooping the cold sauerkraut up with his fingers. He gently pulled her head toward him and when her lips parted, he slipped it into her mouth. She grabbed his hand with both of hers and held it next to her lips while she chewed. After swallowing, she sucked his fingers into her mouth.
"Lord, woman," Trey's breath came out heavy. "Keep doing that and neither one of us is going to get much to eat."
"My turn," she smiled, and he felt himself get hard just watching her tongue come out to lick a dab of mustard from her upper lip. She repeated his actions, dipping a piece of hot dog in mustard and using her fingers to scoop some sauerkraut. She offered it to him but he kept his lips together.
He lifted her onto his lap and then pulled her hand to his lips sucking the hot dog and sauerkraut into his mouth along with her fingers. His tongue licked her flesh and nipped it lightly as he chewed. He imagined licking and nipping her bottom cheeks in much the same way... once he turned it rosy with his palm.
She shivered when his tongue licked between her fingers and took a ragged breath when he licked her palm.
"I... I think I better sit over here," she murmured moving off his lap and back onto the stool.
Trey's laughter was soft, her blush adorable - he let her move away from him. They finished the hot dogs, using their fingers to eat, both focused on the other's mouth, their arousal building rapidly.
The phone rang just as they finished eating. While he took the call, Leine cleared the table and began to rinse the dishes. She didn't know she had been holding her breath until he put his arms around her waist and she exhaled in a whoosh.
He pulled her back against his chest. "Leave the dishes, Leine. I want dessert."
"What's for dessert?" her words barely audible.