Fay, Adam and Ruth were all watching Nick and Sal, as Sal stood in front of him, frozen in the moment with a slight smile on her face and thoughts and feelings drifting through her mind.
Nick, on the other hand, was doing everything he could think of to avoid looking at her.
"Anyway," he said, needing to break the atmosphere, "Who wants a Sambuca shot?"
To Nick's relief, this did the trick and everyone seemed to spring back into life again, with Ruth refusing to drink another shot, but offering to pour some for others,
Adam and Sal agreeing enthusiasitcally, and Fay reluctanly being cajoled into joining in.
Unfortuately for Fay, and eventually for Ruth who somehow got pulled into a later round of shots,
one shot each was never on the cards as each person then felt obliged to buy the others one in return.
"You okay there Ruth?" Nick asked after their fourth round of shots. "Has your head gone a bit funny again?" he chuckled.
"To be honest, my head's gone a bit funny too," Sal cut in, placing another empty shot glass down on the bar.
"I'm not taking to you," Ruth replied to Nick, pointing a finger at him. "I said one shot only, remember?"
"It's not my fault," Nick replied defensively. "They were all involved too," he said, gesturing to the group.
"You instigated it," Ruth reminded him, trying to be stern. "You're a very naughty boy," she said, feeling quite tipsy.
Sal grinned and turned to him. "You naughty boy," she mocked, placing a hand on his jean-clad leg and watching him with amusement.
Oh no, he'd seen a look like that from Sal before.
The alcohol was beginning to take away some of her inhibitions as she glanced up at him, her face all flushed and her eyes all big and innocent...
despite the fact that he knew without a doubt the thoughts going through her head were anything but innocent!
It always threatened to push him right over the edge when she looked at him, and said things to him, like that.
Don't think about it! Just don't.
And why did she have to keep her hand there? She needed to move it, and pretty quick!
Ruth became aware of Nick's pradicament then. Poor Nick. Either Sal was accidentally placing temptation in his way, or else... she knew exactly what she was doing! Ruth was never certain which.
"Are you a naughty boy, Nick?" Sal asked, tilting her head with a smile playing at her mouth.
Oh yes, he could very easily be exactly that... right now!
Clearly, she was playing games with him and he was losing pitifully. He had to bloody well say something! Ah, to hell with trying to control things all the time.
What's the worst that could happen?
"You have no idea how much," he finally said in a low, rough voice, provoking laughter from the group he hadnt even known were watching them,
when Sal's eyes widened with a mixture of surprise and wonderment.
She wasn't sure what she had expected, but she hadn't expected him to say that! Actually, now she was left feeling quite intrigued.
He grinned then, the lighthearted nature of the moment bringing back his confidence.
"Don't tempt me, Sal," he warned, reflecting her smile of challenge and fun as his eyes dropped purposefully to her hand on his leg.
She'd forgotten it was there and she pulled it abruptly away then, stepping back with a small laugh and pleasing him immeasurably to see her face suddenly blushing furiously.
"Err, where's my drink?" she said, swinging around suddenly and crashing slap, bang into Adam.
"Easy tiger," Adam laughed, catching her arm to steady her. "It's here on the bar," he said.
"Here, maybe you should sit down to drink it," he suggested, pulling out a free stool next to Nick for her to sit on.
"Thanks," she chuckled, wriggling onto the bar stool.
She had to stop being so flustered!
Thankfully, she remembered a message she needed to relay to Adam and, jumping at the chance to tell him, she went on quickly, "Oh, I forgot to say, the agent upstairs needs us to..."
As Sal spoke to Adam, she reached forward to pick up her glass of wine from off the bar and then it was Nick's turn to burn up, not with embarrassment though, with desire.
As she leant forward, he had one fantastic view down the low cut back of her dress and expanse of smooth,
bronzed leg and thigh that was revealed when she wriggled on her stool and crossed her legs.
My god, had someone turned up the heat, or the pressure, or something? Because everything was suddenly so bloody intense with him and Sal that evening!
He had to keep his eyes off her!
Damn it, but what he wouldn't give to strip her right out of that little black dress, right there and then!
'Oh boy, Nick is in big trouble again,' Ruth thought to herself with amusement. If he could see the look on his face right at that moment. It was pure, unadulterated lust!
Finally, Nick tore his eyes off Sal and ran a frustrated hand through his hair, glancing around to see Ruth clearly having noticed everything.
What was the point in trying to hide it from her? Besides, maybe she wouldnt even remember tomorrow since she had drunk quite a few Sambuca shots that evening.
"Are you having problems?" Ruth whispered with amusement. He looked at her beseechingly and nodded. She gave a little chuckle. "You're so funny," she said, touching his hand sympathetically.