"Oh no, my dear. I know how charming Sasha can be but she is not my type. Besides," I gave him a look that said 'don't tell her I'm gay or you'll regret it' and he continued "I am getting myself a new boyfriend soon..." He giggled.
Cerice looked slightly uncomfortable as she looked at him, then looked back at me. Well, that's near enough proof that she isn't a lesbian. If she was she wouldn't be looking so freaked out at Sam's announcement. Or maybe she was just new to the whole thing... or maybe I'm making excuses because I'm so very attracted to her.
"Sam, you're making her uncomfortable." Cerice looked stricken.
"N-N-No, I just wasn't expecting..."
"Hey, it's no problem Cerice. It can be uncomfortable for some people. I always think of it like this. At least you know he's not checking out your ass when you bend down." Cerice laughed, then stopped suddenly as if she wasn't used to the sound. I smiled at her. "You have a nice laugh." The words escaped my lips before I could pull them back. Cerice blushed and took a sip to clear herself. Sam looked from me to her and back to me again, raised his eyebrows and started grinning. I glared at him.
"Thank you." Cerice said. I turned back to her and saw that she had almost finished her drink.
"You were thirsty."
"I've been on the beach all day, doing physics." She rolled her eyes and I held back a giggle, settling instead for a smile.
"Ah, so still doing a subject you hate huh?"
"It's not that I hate it, it's just that I'm good at it and I don't want to do it."
"Why are you then? It's your life."
"My parents smother me. I don't think I'm ever going to be free. Sorry, I don't know why I'm telling you all this, it must be boring."
"No, not at all. You know they'll still love you if you tell them you want some personal space right?"
"Yeah I don't know." She was playing with the straw in her drink and her head was down. I had the sudden urge to hug her.
"Another two drinks please Sam." He nodded and turned away, while Cerice's head shot up.
"No, you don't have to..." Sam placed the drink in front of her.
"Hey don't worry about it. You still look thirsty." I took a sip from mine. "So how long have you loved art?"
"Since I was little. I used to spend hours in colouring books apparently. Must have killed an entire forest with the paper I used." I grinned. So she did have a sense of humour. Her eyes were wandering round the room, looking a the photos and paintings on the walls.
"They're all mine." I said, watching her face as she reached the wall behind me. Her eyes flicked to mine and my heart wrenched. Oh god, her eyes. Emerald jewels I could just sink right in to...
"All of them?" She asked.
"Yeah, Sam buys them from me if he likes them. Sometimes he comissions me to do them, like that one there." I pointed to the large painting of the beach that hung above the bar, with boats on the waves and the cafe in the corner. I watched Cerice as her eyes explored the painting, and I was pleased to see that she was smiling. I was about to ask her what she thought when someone patted her on the shoulder.
"Look, I'm going now. At least I did my work." A lanky boy was stood behind us, who fit every aspect of the geeky stereotype. Cerice turned and pulled a face at him. I chuckled and turned back to my drink.
"I'll be fine, thanks so much for your concern."
"Well so sorry. I'll just leave you and your girlfriend in peace then." I almost spat out the drink that was in my mouth, and Cerice's cheeks flamed up. The boy, seeing he had touched a nerve grinned, then flounced out of the cafe. We sat in an awkward silence for a while until Sam interrupted.
"So..." I glared at him for not having anything important to say. I decided it was going to have to be me. I stood up.
"Well, I have to get back home, so I'll see you round yeah?" I picked up my camera and Cerice's eyes fixed on it.
"You take photo's?" I asked her.
"Yeah." I smiled at her eager face.
"Well you saw mine at the rec hall, and here. You should show me yours sometime."
"They're not that good."
"I bet they are, if your art is anything to go by." She blushed, and I bit my lip. Just leave, before you get hurt Sasha. "Look, you want a ride anywhere?" I couldn't let it go. It was stupid, but it would give me some more time to talk to her, find out what she was like. I didn't know whether I wanted her to say yes or no more, whether to indulge my emotions or get back to reality.