Applause. John left the stage and was immediately cornered by a short man in an expensive suit. His hair couldn't have been dyed any blacker. 'Oh, excellent story,' he said, and offered a hand.
John didn't take it. 'Thank you,' he said.
'Dickson Wordsworth,' said the man. 'If I may be so bold - who, er, represents you?'
John laughed quietly. He'd been through this before. 'I represent myself,' he said. 'Very successfully, as it turns out.' He looked up and had to catch his breath. She was there after all, on the other side of the room, looking at him, a glass of wine at her lips. His Muse.
'...my card, if you'd like to...'
'No, thank you,' said John.
The man touched him. '...pop into the office for a cup of tea...'
John leaned in. 'Fuck off, you leech,' he whispered. 'I'm busy.'
'Well, really, there's no need...'
John moved across the floor, he didn't know how, he couldn't feel his legs.
'Hi,' he said.
'Hi,' she said. Christ, she was beautiful. 'I liked your story.'
You didn't hear all of it, he thought.
'Did you drive down?' he said.
'No, I got the train.' She looked at her watch. 'I can't stay long, the last one leaves...'
'I don't want you to leave,' he said.
'No, I have to get back...'
'I want you to spend the night with me,' he said.
Her silence was encouraging.
'Stay with me,' he said.
'Tell him you missed the train. I have to be with you.'