Cardiocentric ArcheryMature

A café's front door swung open at the push of a firm hand, letting some of the windy evening wander in. The hand was young, lean and confident.

Alone at a table within a café, a young woman sat. She felt rooted in place with anxiety, branches and thorns swaying in the inside breeze. Her cheeks flushed like pink rose petals.

The hand moved through the doorway, followed by a wrist and a forearm, glistening with golden brown hairs. A man's toned bicep, swelling with strength.

Face turning away, she pretended not to have caught so much in the corner of her eye. She knew it could be the one she was waiting for, and didn't want to get her momentary hopes up.

Proud footsteps on the café floor brought him closer. He was wearing a pair of men's sandal-boots. They were open-toed, yet protected his heel with a leather guarder. Tight, leather straps hugged the front of his ankle against the sole and backing. They ran horizontal, and flowed more than halfway up his ankle. They gave his feet the look of an ancient Roman gladiator.

Her umber hair, veined with dark red undertones, was parted down the middle. It fell straightly down the sides and back of her head, beginning to spin into curls ever so slightly at ear level, and then dancing in twirls that came to rest upon her front, between shoulders and neck. At the bag, a small portion of hair was held together, into a ponytail, by a tail-feathered hairpiece of blues and black.

Words echoed in the young lady's memory, "We'll be just one table away. Don't worry, Alexis." She gulped. Ten minutes early. Could that be him?

His nostrils flared, with the smell of coffee meeting it there. He scanned the depths of the café first, pegging the one he was looking for as too shy to sit near the front windows on a first date.

Alexis took in his countenance. Masculine. Caucasian. Six-foot-one? A flaxen faux-hawk. An angular jawline. Clear skin, ritually cleansed of potential acne. Clearly, as he told her, he was a jock. His slenderly muscled body made that plain to see even from behind. As he had told her to expect, he was wearing a tight, short-sleeved dark grey dress shirt above black cargo shorts.

To Alexis, seeing a stranger's photograph online was one thing; and encountering a real face was another. It was a different experience altogether, though perhaps botched a little by the former.

"William?" Alexis said loudly, keeping her eyes away from his tush but tracing along the fabric that was against his back.

He responded to his name, turning around slowly. The shirt was unbuttoned at the collar, where a seashell necklace hung. After an "oh" escaped his mouth, a dazzling smile emerged where his lips had been.

Melting, she grinned with lips closed. With one hand, she tapped the tabletop in front of where she wanted him to sit.

From the table beside Alexis, Emily cast her a precautionary look. It was nerves, she knew. An eccentricity of Alexis, to use unspoken signals to excess when she was nervous.

Katrina coughed.

He strode over and took the seat. His grey-green eyes met her blue ones.

"Can we get out of here?" Alexis requested. "My f-friends are at the next table. They'll understand. They're only here in case I get stood up."

He blinked, looking thoughtful. "Sure thing. Emotional safety. I get it."

Alexis rose from her seat. "Good. I don't want them to eavesdrop on our entire date."

"Right," he said, turning to them and smiling. "Ah, my physics lab partner. I was worried about drawing her attention at a time like this."

"Katrina or Emily?"

"Emily," he told her.

"So, do you have any place in mind, William?" Alexis whispered, trying not to sound seductively misleading.

"Please, call me Will. I'd like to walk and talk a bit, shed some moonlight on each other's personalities. There's a park nearby, right?"

Alexis nodded, in gratitude, as he held the door open for her. "I'm up for that," she said, slipping on her windbreaker.

A light jacket was tied around William's waist. He loosened it, then donned it. Black leather, striped with white down the top of the sleeves. As he let the door go, he waved to Emily and Katrina.

The door closed behind them.

"You've been holding out," Katrina hissed.

"I'm sorry!" said Emily. "She's a big girl. She can make her own judgment of him."

"Fine, but you're telling me everything. Just between us."

"Well," admitted Emily. "I don't really know what to make of William Lorne."

The End

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