She was captivated. She felt as if, had she decided to stay there and talk with this stranger, it would all be okay. But she knew that was just the crazy talking. Those lady hormones on overdrive because of the magnificent being standing, grinning, existing in front of her. Sure, she had seen her fair share of gorgeous guys. She’d been approached by the majority of them … but none of them effected her as this person did. No one effected her as Jared did, and she hardly knew him. Didn’t know him at all, actually.
At this point, the Allison she knew would be drawing back, attempting to ease out of the conversation. But something about him, she could almost say, put her at ease. Like she had nothing to prove and could come as she was.Allison was snapped back into focus when she realized he had said something.
“Sorry, what was that?” She asked with an apologetic smile. He had set her bagel and sugared up coffee on the counter in between them. When he had done this, she noticed his hands. His fingers were long and strong boned, but it was what adorned them that caught her attention. Rings. There were about three of them on his fingers. Two on his right hand, thumb and ring finger and another on the pinky of his left hand.
They were silver and they looked like they had been engraved with something in a language she couldn’t identify. Latin, maybe? On his wrists there were thin bracelets. A few projecting names of the runs she guessed he had participated in. There was one for Breast Cancer and another for AIDS. It made her smile to see that he was a caring kind of person. But, she also smiled because she had always thought guys looked great in bands like that. Even his rings pushed his already so sexy image over the edge. She held back a sigh.
“Ah, bored of me already, is it?” He grinned when she shook her head quickly but he spoke before she could, “Pretty girls … how fast they lose interest.”
He was still grinning that picture perfect smile, and she knew he was just joking but nevertheless her blush was fire hydrant red. “Pretty” he had called her. So even he, this fallen angel, thought she was pretty? Well there’s that convincing I needed, she thought.
“I haven’t ‘lost interest’ I was just …” Thinking of you. She barely caught herself before the totally ridiculous statement flew out of her mouth. She trailed off; trying to find something to say that wouldn’t make it seem as if she really had grown bored of him or that she was impossibly infatuated with him, which were both laughable to even think of.
“Zoning out?” He finished for her.
She nodded, “Sort of …”
He laughed and the sound went all through her. Awakening and lightly touching each one of her senses. So this was what Liz had been talking about, she thought to herself. She had told Allison, that some guys had laughs that would make a person stop in their tracks to find out where the sound was coming from, and how they could get closer to it. His was definitely one of those laughs.
“I was just asking you what school you go to. You must live around these parts so I was curious.” He shifted down from his well over six foot vantage point, a mercy because she hated when guys were shorter than her, to rest his elbows on the counter in between them. With him being so tall, their faces were almost in line at that moment. With hers being an inch or two above his.
He looked up at her contentedly. As if he was just as comfortable staying there and talking with her all day as she was him. But she knew that a customer was likely to come in soon, and she would have to get out of the way so he could do his job. That was probably what he expected her to do anyway.
“Greenville High, I’ll be a senior this year,” she said. When his eyes bugged out of his head she asked, “What’s wrong?” At his slow smile, she guessed whatever had surprised him so much wasn’t so bad.
“Oh, nothing wrong here, luv.” He said elusively.
“So why then the big reaction?” She asked, wanting to know what had shocked him so much.
“Nothing to peeve yourself over.” They both heard the jingling of the door that indicated that someone was coming through it. She noticed his frown but it was quickly smoothened out when he raised up from the counter and looked at her again. The clock was ticking. But ticking down to what? She most likely wasn’t going to see him again. Unless she scoped out the place to find out when he came into work. Before she could start planning the whole thing out, she stopped herself. This was goodbye.
She reached in front of her to grab her iced coffee and the rolled down brown bag with the bagel that he had spread with cream cheese against her wishes. But something in her was wishing that he would forbid her from leaving. A little late for that now though. Before she could pull them to her he placed his hand on hers, making her jump a bit. His hands were so warm.
“Wait a second,” he said indicating one of the small tables near a large window. She glanced over … and saw her car out there. Allison knew that she should have just waved goodbye and not have looked back but instead she smiled to herself and walked over to the table he had pointed out. Pleased that he didn’t want her to go, as much as she didn’t want to leave. Setting her things down she waited for him to finish with his customer. The woman whose order he was taking, was eyeing him intensely. Like she wanted to eat him up … and it made her stomach roil. Strange.
She watched him move around behind that counter again. She set her chin in a palm and just admired the view. She knew the woman was too, but she was too caught up to care this time. As Jared was waiting for the woman to fish her money out of her wallet, he glanced over at her. Checking to make sure she was still there, waiting for him. When he saw she was he sighed, and a perfectly straight toothed grin came onto his face. God, she loved guys with straight teeth. God … she was so pathetic!
When he was finished with his customer, he ambled over and she was shocked to see that he had gotten even more attractive coming out from behind that counter. His already alluringly broad shoulders were accentuated by the lean waist of an obvious athlete. She couldn’t help but stare at his long and strongly muscled legs. He came to stand before, with her right side facing the window. He pushed his hands into his khaki pockets and popped the question, “So … how do you feel about going to a party with me tonight?”