The Swing of Her Hips

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A Scotsman and an American woman. He swore he’d never fall in love. She swore she’d never fall in love again. Then they met.

The Swing of Her Hips

Duncan swallowed hot black tea, his traditional medicine for a traditional hangover. Last night, he celebrated reaching a milestone: a full year of independent—and temporary—life in America. He’d left Scotland alone one year ago on a bone-cold, dreary, wet morning. March once again, the blazing California sun cast a path of heat across the marble floor of the conference center lobby, making him squint blood-shot eyes against the glare. Passing individuals cast shadows on the light as he reflected on his changed life.

The easy, swaying walk of a woman in a gypsy skirt caught his attention as she passed alone. The floating fabric swirled around her ankles and he let his eyes travel appreciatively up her backside. Nice. Full hips narrowing to a petite waist. Above that curvaceous shape, long auburn locks of hair bounced about her shoulders. His sluggish mind woke up. That was a fine figure. He made no bones about the fact that he was predominantly a man who loved a well-rounded derriere. Other men lusted after big-breasted women; he coveted a voluptuous-bottomed lass.

He imagined pulling her against his body and cupping, caressing those shapely buttocks with his hands. His groin tightened and he momentarily forgot about his headache. He wanted to carry her away to his hotel room, toss her down on his bed, lift that skirt and slide into that promised sensuality. While he thought about enticing her into his bed, she disappeared around the lobby corner, taking her tempting hips with her. He chuckled to himself. California overflowed with idealized, bleached-blonde, Botox-addicted beach babes but he had discovered while living here that he preferred something more natural.

Duncan shut his eyes and pictured her walk. Frankly, it had been too long since he’d had sex. Maybe he should just call that neighbor, take her up on her offer.

Then there was Sharon waiting for him back in Scotland. Still. She’d left another voice message last week. He’d deleted it at the sound of her voice. Her messages swung between pleading and berating. Before leaving Scotland, he’d promised to return within six months. Instead, he’d split from her.

He only listened to her vitriolic recordings full of accusations because they proved to him that he’d made the right decision. Frankly, he was relieved to be living three thousand miles away. In spite of those miles, he still woke occasionally in the night, heart pounding, fearing she’d push back into his life. She remained relentless.

***

People crowded the doors outside the full presentation Kallie had hoped to attend. Around her, educators at the Tech Ed conference frantically scanned schedules for an alternate presentation to attend. She reluctantly checked to see what else she might substitute herself. Of all the sessions, this Pixel Software presentation was the most appealing.

Nothing else interested her. As she contemplated the idea of returning to the hotel, the hallway cleared out, leaving only a few lingering indecisively. Then, Pixel employees arrived with stacks of chairs on a trolley.

Excellent! Kallie thought to herself, as she followed them into the session.  Sometimes it paid to dawdle. She took a seat in the middle of the room, near the center aisle.

“Morning, everyone,” a soft, cultured Scottish accent silenced the rustling sounds of the room. “Thanks for coming. I’m Duncan Sinclair.”

That voice. Kallie swung her gaze to the man presenting. He was tall, broad-shouldered, tanned with dark hair that was just starting to go silver grey at the temples. Those eyes. Pale blue eyes twinkled out at her. Well, not at her specifically, but at the audience. Her world shifted. That was one fine man.

“You can probably tell I’m not from here.” Duncan joked. “I’m from back East. Away back East.”

The audience chuckled.

“Okay, let’s get started. Today, we’re covering editing videos using Pixel’s latest editing software, PixelFrame. How many of you’ve used video editing software?”

Three people in the room raised their hands.

He grinned. “Was it PixelFrame?”

The hands went down.

“Ooookay,” he responded cheerfully. “We’ll go slowly. Now, does everyone have PixelFrame open on their desktops?”

Confused voices rose up and the Pixel support employees scurried around to help struggling attendees. Kallie opened the program on her computer easily.

***

Duncan sighed as he looked over the crowd. He’d wanted to demonstrate the software, not try to teach everyone the basics of how to use it, but the event organizers were determined that since this audience consisted of educators, attendees would be bored simply watching a demonstration.

At the center of the room, a woman seemed to be staring at him. Slightly bemused, he acknowledged her, then turned his back to check his shirt for tea stains. Nope, clean shirt. He glanced up again. She still smiled at him, but glanced down when he held her gaze. She had a nice smile, nice eyes. She looked up again; this time he smiled back at her.

“Is everyone ready to begin?”

The attendees nodded.

Duncan continued his presentation, instructing the audience to open a specific file.

Muffled exclamations of frustration rose about the room again as computers crashed, and once more the Pixel crew swept through to help.

Duncan moved down and along the rows offering his help. He worked his way deliberately towards the center of the room.

“No issues with your computer, Darlin’?” he drawled.

He took in her full appearance and noted the woman’s gypsy skirt, that familiar gypsy skirt. He looked directly into her eyes and grinned. She was as attractive from the front as she was from behind. The woman blushed and looked away.

“The computer seems to be behaving itself.” She stared at the computer screen.

“Is it, now?” Duncan asked. “So you don’t need my help?”

“No.”

She had a lovely voice. Very soft, very girly. She looked back up at him.

He silently noted her bare fingers. No ring.

Duncan’s smile deepened, his amused eyes held hers, and he lowered his voice, “Tis a shame, that.”

Her face went red. He turned away, moving back up to the front of the room. He’d get her name after the session.

“Now,” Duncan’s voice commanded the room, “We’re going to edit a short video. Let’s play the footage through to see what’s recorded, then learn how to cut it down to its best moments.”

Duncan moved his cursor back to the file and double clicked the timeline. His own computer immediately crashed.

“Damn!” he exclaimed. “This session’s getting a wee bit frustrating.”

Rebooting and bringing the file back up to place in the presentation took a few minutes. Duncan remained unperturbed and steady in his focus. Eventually the screen flashed up at the appropriate point in the demonstration.

“Okay, folks,” he said, turning back to the audience. “Due to time constraints, I’m going to just demonstrate from this point forward so you can see the power of the program.”

He quickly demonstrated then, smoothly cycling through a series of choices, narrating his actions along the way. The audience, grateful to relinquish their mice, oohed and aahed at the appropriate points. Soon, the session was over.

“I want to thank you all for your patience with our technical difficulties this morning,” Duncan said. “We need to finish up for the next presentation, but I’ll remain behind a few minutes to answer any questions you have. Oh, and yes, ladies…I am single.”

The audience laughed.

People surged to their feet and moved in a wave to exit the room.

Duncan stood outside the door, his laptop propped open on a silver trash can. He chatted to several educators, watching for the woman. He was prepared to chase after her, but she stopped and waited to the side. He nodded impatiently but politely at the man in front of him who seemed more interested in recounting everything he knew about video editing than in getting a specific question answered. When the man took a breath, Duncan turned to the person he’d rather talk to, the woman in the gypsy skirt.

“You’re quite a wee cutie,” he told her without prelude.

To see Duncan and Callie fall in love, pick up this title on AMAZON.

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