…And she’d noticed. Since the cat, or pepper, was already out of the bag, Mohinder allowed his happy demeanor to fade away as he nodded toward her in thanks before taking a bread stick and chewing on it. Although it was tough, he managed to eat in a civilized manner despite feeling as though he could breath flames at any moment. As the heat went away, his thoughts raced. That just figured, didn’t it? At least she seemed amused. Her smile caused him to momentarily forget his mouth was burning and he returned it.
Once he was well enough to speak, he laughed off the embarrassment. “That was definitely more than I’d bargained for… Which can be a positive thing sometimes,” he added as he glanced into her eyes and gave a shy smile. “This pepper… I can’t place it, but I know it is not supposed to be in this dish. Spicy is not a problem for me, but this was simply tongue-numbing.” The more he thought about it - how this little green pepper embarrassed him - he knew he had to say something and waved over a waitress. “There was a stowaway in our food.”
The woman took one look at the pepper, causing her brows to raise in surprise and embarrassment. “I’m so sorry, sir. I’ll take care of this for you right away.” After gathering the offending peppers and anything they’d touched, she bolted off to the kitchen.
With that taken care of, his attention went to Claire again. “That was definitely a first for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love spicy, hot things.” Like you. “But there is a line. If I cannot speak while eating it, it is too much for me to endure. What about you? Enjoy spicy things?” Since his food was currently being remade, Mohinder decided to get comfortable. With alcohol still in effect, an arm casually went to rest on the back of the booth chair, behind Claire’s neck, but not quite touching her. Not only was she like him, but she wasextraordinary, and just being close to her gave goosebumps and chills along his spine. Perhaps this was happening too fast, but it was rare that someone caused him to feel so peaceful and nervous at the same time. So this was what butterflies felt like.