"C'mon, Portia, it's summer! You can't just spend the night at home playing piano. Sigma Chi and the TKEs are both having keggers tonight."
"Don't you ever get tired of frat parties, Emma?"
Emma laughs, "Not until I get tired of frat boys. Which will be, like, never. C'mon, don't make me go alone."
"I want to do something more grown up than a stupid college kegger," Portia says, "Let's go to the Warehouse."
"There better be some hot guys there," Emma says.
"Okay, so two of the hot guys are dancing with each other," Emma assesses the the situation as the survey the club, "That leaves the two at the bar. I told you we should have gone down to frat row. Even in the summer, it's more hopping than this place."
"I'll take quality over quantity any day," Portia says.
"You're assuming we've found quality here," Emma says, then collapses into a giggle, "One of them is coming here to talk to us! He's cute, too!"
The cute guy introduces himself as Jack Russell, and Emma is quick to claim his attention.
Portia goes to the bar, leaving her friend to get acquainted with Jack.
"Do you mind if I join you?" the lone single guy left in the club asks as he takes a stool near hers.
"Are you here alone?" she asks.
"No, I'm with them," he says, gesturing toward the gay couple making out on the couch near the dance floor, "But they don't really require my presence at the moment."
His voice is very serious, Portia thinks, but he has a wry smile that suggests he's quite amused by the situation. She also can't help but notice that he's drop dead gorgeous. "Do you have a boyfriend?" she asks.
"Not for quite some time, now," he answers, looking very directly at her with his bright beautiful blue eyes, "I tend to be more attracted to women. But, you know, beauty is beauty."
Portia flushes under his gaze. You never meet guys like this at college parties. "Your accent is lovely," she says, "Are you French?"
"Belgian," he answers, "My name is Rainier."
"Je m'appelle Portia," she introduces, herself, blushing a little though she knows her French is perfectly accented.
He tilts his head and smiles at her. "A lovely name. You speak French?"
She nods enthusiastically, "I've been to Paris. And Brussels, too. You must be from the south. Of Belgium, I mean."
Rainier nods, "You're the first person I've met here who knows even that much about my country. Everyone else just wants to talk about waffles. Let me buy you a drink."
Portia gladly accepts the drink. Her mother trained her since childhood in the ways of the socialite, to always be charming and have small talk for any situation. For the first time in her short life, she finds herself without words as she simply stands and stares up into his beautiful eyes.
"What do you do, Portia?" Rainier breaks the short silence.
Portia fumbles for an answer, wondering what to tell him that won't send him running away from her. "I'm studying music," she says, "At USC." That comes fairly close to the truth. She will be studying music at USC when the summer is over and her first semester of college begins. "What about you?"
Rainier smiles and tells her about the game company he and his friend Dag own.
To the horror of most of her girlfriends, Portia is an avid gamer, and immediately latches on to this point of connection between herself and the sexy Belgian, telling him about her favorite games with all the charm and poise she learned from her mother.
"Is something wrong?" she asks as Rainier just stares at her.
"Wrong?" he asks, "You're stunning, absolutely beautiful. You're sophisticated and well-traveled, and you speak French. On top of that, you're a gamer. You are almost too perfect. I'm afraid you're going to disappear in a puff of smoke."
Portia struggles to maintain her poise and not start squeeing her excitement at him. "If those qualities make me perfect," she says with a flirtatious smile, "Then you must be perfect as well, as they describe you as much as me."
They finish their drinks and move out to the dance floor. Portia notices that Emma has disappeared somewhere with Jack; she would worry about her friend if Emma didn't do this kind of thing all the time. Instead, she loses herself in her dancing. Portia is an accomplished pianist, but as much as she loves playing music, she loves feeling its rhythm move her through dance even more.
"You move beautifully," Rainier whispers in her ear.
After the dance, they retreat into a dark corner of the club. He kisses beautifully, she thinks, opening her lips beneath his, inviting his tongue into her mouth. She reaches under his jacket, exploring his chest, his back. His kisses her neck, teases her earlobe with his tongue. "Come home with me," he whispers.
She wants to, more than anything. "I can't," she sighs, "I have to take my friend home. But, there's an alley behind the club, we could go there if you want to, you know..." That alley is probably where Emma went with Jack, Portia thinks, they've both been there before.
"I won't say I'm not tempted," Rainier says, "But you're the most amazing woman I've ever met, a dream come true. Taking you into some filthy alley is not the way I want start this with you. Let me take you out, just you and me. Let me treat you like the goddess you are."
Portia sighs and lets her head drop against his chest, "You're so wonderful, Rainier, you know that?" She squeezes her arms around his chest, and he caresses her hair. "I'd love to go out with you. Give me your number, and I'll call you."
Rainier scribbles his personal cell number on his business card and hands it her, kissing her hand as he does so. "I look forward to your call," he says, his voice polite and his blue eyes gleaming above his wry smile, "Don't keep me waiting."