Her feet hurt! Damn, did they hurt. She knew this morning that she was going to regret wearing her fabulously sexy, new heels all day and not having sneakers for the commute home. She hated carrying the extra tote, made her feel like her generation’s version of a bag lady, regardless the gear be Furla, Coach, or DKNY. From the tip of her foiled hair to the bottom of her Jimmy Choo shod, manicured toes, her professional personae was immaculate. Besides, she hadn’t wished to spoil the line of her Calvin Klien skirt with extra luggage. The shoes had served their primary purpose anyway and that had had nothing to do with her job.

She had first noticed him several months back when she had taken the early train into the city. There was a commotion over bicycles that disturbed her light napping. She remembered being a little annoyed and was considering saying something. When she opened her eyes, her breath was snatched away. She was quite sure she must have looked like some star-struck, silly teenager as her eyes traveled up his long, lean frame to meet his for the first time. It crossed her mind that he was the sexiest, most exotic creature she had ever seen. She had dropped her gaze and remained silent, but continued to steal glances at him through the end of the ride.

She hadn’t thought of him again until she started using that same train daily just a couple of weeks earlier. It must have been the second or third day. She felt her head begin the slow nod forward that any commuter recognizes and has experienced. Reflexively, her head snapped up and she jerked awake only to find herself staring directly into his laughing eyes. In an instant, every comical memory of others as they dropped into slumber flashed before her. All she could think to do at that moment was smile back, survey the rest of the car, then stare out the window, mortified. Still, she could see his reflection in the glass, her heart pounding.

It was obvious he was some kind of tradesman by his attire. Clad in big black work boots, Carhartt pants and a dark tank top, he was truly magnificent. He sported tattoos shoulder-to-wrist on both well-muscled arms. He was a tall man clearly in great shape from physical labor. It was hard to determine his age. Visibly, he suffered from male pattern baldness, but she found his shaved head erotically attractive. It was no handicap for him, the lack of hair. It only served to make his eyes the more beautiful, piercing and alluring. It was hard to see just what color they were in his mirrored image . . . not brown, light, maybe blue or green. She noticed her breathing had become irregular. She dared one last furtive glimpse at him from under her eyelashes. Her heart stopped. Their gazes locked for what seemed an eternity before they each looked away. His eyes were green.

That is how it had been last week and through the beginning of this one. Covertly, she watched him every morning. Often their eyes would meet. Sometimes, one or both would smile or nod. She got so she could feel his visual caresses and wondered if he was sensing the excitement in her. Yesterday, she had observed him unnoticed for quite some time as he scrutinized her. There was a slight cocking of his head, almost unperceivable, as his wandering inspection would stop making a longer assessment of her ankles, knees, hemline, surprisingly resting for a significant time on her slender, elegant fingers, then continuing to the neckline of her soft silk blouse, then the hallow of her neck before rising to meet her watching eyes. This time it was her turn to be amused. She smiled knowingly, but unexpectedly he blushed a deep red, shook his head looking down and away grinning the while.

She had, that very instant, started planning in her head what she would wear the next day to entice him. She wasn’t sure why she was behaving this way, playing this flirtatious, little game of cat and mouse with a man she knew nothing of except he rode an early morning train to the city center presumably to work. She suffered no dearth of men to pursue and seduce her. These were intelligent, successful, articulate, ambitious, and charming men making substantial salaries as businessmen, professionals, and entrepreneurs. She couldn’t imagine this man made the kind of money she did and it had always been one of her rules . . . She never dated men that earned less than she. Nonetheless, what is it they say about the exception making the rule? All she knew was she lusted after this man like she couldn’t remember ever having done before.

The shoes had been perfect. He hadn’t a chance. Their cut made her already flawless gams appear even longer and leaner. She heard the sharp inhalation of his breathe when he spied the lovely expanse of her leg as he passed the cluster of seats she had perched in. He roosted in a spot where he could still view her and that is what he did making little effort to disguise the fact that he was doing just that. Their eyes met frequently . . . each of them smiling, blushing, batting, winking, nodding. She felt her own arousal even as she witnessed his. They continued with their visual foreplay and she almost missed her stop as consequence. It had been a particularly chaotic day and now once again sitting in the railroad, commuter car headed for home, she had her first opportunity to consider the events of the morning and what it all meant.

She was so preoccupied with fantasies enlivened by the appraisal of her commute earlier that day that she did not look over when another passenger slipped into the available seat to the right of her. Once again underway, her mind drifted, as did her eyes sweeping over the shoes of the group presently settled around her. There were, of course, her highly stylish, albeit painful, sling backs. Directly opposite her – obvious fakes to any as well versed as she in fashion – a pretty good, Prada knock-off graced the feet of an unmistakably, upwardly mobile, young woman. Next, peering out from under crisply pressed, pant cuffs, were luscious, alligator loafers. The impeccably shined Mauri’s stood out in sharp contrast to the dusty, well-worn, big, black boots of the transit rider next to her.

She froze. Could it be? Her gaze traveled up the all too familiar heavy-canvas, work pants. Although, dirty from the day’s labor, she knew she had made this very same examination before. She started to look away, but a faint glint off the grimy hand casually laying on the armrest between them caught her attention. Looking past the dirt-encrusted fingernails, the filthy unwashed skin with the sensual desire building within her, she paused. Well, that was something she had not anticipated. There on the third finger of his left hand he wore a simple silver band. She had a rule for that too . . . She never dated married men.

Forgotten the cramped toes and aching arches, the passion had been ignited and was stronger now than her own good sense. Dating was not what she wanted from this guy. That was all the justification she needed. She took a couple of deep breaths. Slowly lifting her face to him, she smiled up at him most demurely and outright seductively. He did not hesitate. He met her invitation with a swaggering curve of his mouth and an unmistakable acceptance in his eyes. She shifted ever so slightly so that the flesh of their arms touched and they smiled in unison. The agreement made. They both knew without a word that when they reached his stop, she would be getting off with him.