I was seated at home eating my tuna and garden salad when my phone chimed with a message from my boss.
Why are some people so incapable of following orders?
A smile crossed my lips as I sent a reply. Everyone’s already pissing you off? You’ve only been there a few days.
Well, not everyone ;)
My smile faltered when I realized he was probably talking about Cassidy.
Oh, I know who you’re on about.
And who might that be?
Same person keeping you up at 2:30 in the morning.
The dots flashed across the screen and I waited impatiently for his reply.
I think you’re jealous.
Shouldn’t you be working? I texted.
Well, what are you doing right now?
Eating my lunch.
Shouldn’t YOU be working?
I laughed to myself. I’m eating and talking to my boss. I’m good at multi-tasking.
Are you going for a run in the morning?
Depends on what time I get back from my date with Liam.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned that last part.
Liam was the guy you met at Ellie’s party, right?
I was desperate to know what he was thinking, and I’d be lying to myself if I said I didn’t care what that was.
Well, enjoy your night with him. I have to get back to work. I suggest you do the same.
Yes, sir ;)
Okay, so that last text was me flirting with him, but I doubt he would have known. I was disappointed I didn’t hear from Tyler for the remainder of the day.
It was the afternoon of my date with Liam. I stood in front of my built-in closet deciding what to wear. Rummaging through my clothes, I settled on denim blue jeans which hugged perfectly at my hips, accompanied with a slightly plunging neckline red silk shirt.
Feeling confident, yet somewhat nervous, I collected my bag and made my way to the café. As soon as I walked in, I noticed Liam already seated on a corner spot, not too far from the barista.
“Wow, you look beautiful,” he complimented as he stood from his seat.
“Thank you. You look great too.”
I blushed before he pulled out my chair. I couldn’t help but admire his blue eyes which gazed right into mine.
“I’m glad you agreed to meet with me,” he said. “I’m sorry it’s late, but I got really busy at work.”
“That’s okay. I know what it can be like.”
“Maybe next time we can make a dinner out of it.”
I bit my lip and smiled before tucking myself closer to the table. “Well, that all depends on how you do tonight.”
“Oh, is that right? I need to up my game then. Make sure I’m worthy for a second date.”
Sweet, sweet Liam. Not to mention sexy. His broad shoulders, muscles and slight tan had made me giddy, and I couldn’t help but focus on the way his lips curved.
“You’re doing so far, but it’s only been a couple of minutes.”
The waitress came by to our table with a pen in her grasp, ready to take our order. “What can I get the two of you?”
“Cappuccino please,” Liam smiled. “Summer, what would you like?”
“Same, thank you.”
The waitress jotted down notes before turning her heels away from our table.”
“You know you’re the first girl I’ve met who likes beer.”
“Really? That surprises me.”
“Yeah, you’re different to anyone else I’ve met.”
I let out a sigh of relief when Liam expressed it was a compliment.
“So, what made you want to become a mechanic?”
“I’ve always loved cars. It was a thing my dad and I would do together. He would buy cars and we’d fix them. I’ve learnt a lot from him.”
There was a warmness coming from Liam which reached every part of my body. I loved hearing him talk about his family, about how close he was to them and how excited his dad was when he finally told him what he wanted to do with his life.
“You’ve got a really beautiful smile.”
Liam was a sweet talker, but there was something genuine about him.
“So, do you date a lot?”
“I’ve seen a few people, but nothing as serious as my relationship with Drake.”
Liam shook his head. “I’m still shocked he would leave someone like you.”
“It shocked me too,” I replied. “I mean only because I thought we were doing so well. I was in love, you know?”
“Did he ask you to go with him?”
“No, he didn’t.”
When I told Drake I was willing to move to the other side of the world to be with him, he turned and said he didn’t want to hold me back, and I never thought anything of it. It didn’t cross my mind that he wasn’t in love with me anymore.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to bring him up,” Liam apologized.
Talking about him with Liam was therapeutic, and not once during our conversation did I feel pressured or judged by my mistakes.
“It’s okay. He’s moved on and I’m trying to do the same. I have no feelings for him anymore.”
And even though that was the truth, I could still recall how much pain I was in when he left.
“He’s seeing someone else, is he?”
“It’s kinda more than that. He’s actually engaged.”
“When did he leave you again?” Liam leaned back on his chair and placed both hands behind the back of his head, a move which granted me view of his lower abdomen.
“A year ago,” I croaked, knowing exactly how it sounded. A year for Drake to fall out of love with me and fall in love with someone else.
“And he’s engaged?” Liam yelled, and a few patrons on the other tables had turned in interest.
“Yeah,” I mumbled. My shoulders curved over my chest and Liam could sense the conversation may have started to affect me.
“I’m sorry. Let’s talk about something else.”
The following hour was spent talking and drinking our hot beverages. When it was time to leave, Liam stood and in a couple of strides reached the cash register to pay for our drinks.
“Hey, you don’t have to do that.”
“I know,” he replied. “I want to. I asked you out and you said yes. The least I can do is pay.”
After saying thank you, and him handing over the cash, Liam escorted me to my car.
“Can I call you to organize a second date?”
“Of course. I’d like that.”
He wished me goodnight and bit his lip before his eyes moved from mine towards my mouth. I knew he wanted to kiss me and I didn’t pull away when he leaned closer. His hands rested on my waist before I felt the soft brush of his lips. Just as expected, they were plump, sweet and I could taste the intense coffee beans still on his mouth.
Liam bit his lip, before his eyes moved from mine down to my mouth. I knew he wanted to kiss me, and I didn’t pull away from him when he leaned closer. His hands rested against my waist before he slowly brushed his lips against mine. Just as expected, they were soft and plump, and I could taste the intense coffee beans still on his lips.
When he broke the kiss, he smiled and took a step back. “Bye, beautiful.”
The drive back home was quiet with only the radio keeping me occupied. I couldn’t seem to control my thoughts, which for some reason always led back to Tyler.
When I arrived home, I scanned his property to see if any lights were on. God, you need to stop thinking about him.
After turning off the engine, I snatched my bag from the passenger seat and stepped out of my car to head inside my home. Feeling hungry, I made my way to the kitchen and opened up the fridge before I pulled out my leftover meal from the night before. Once I was satisfied, I went upstairs to my bedroom and got changed into some comfortable clothing before I watched my favourite T.V. show, finally settling into bed.
My eyes fluttered open and I turned my head to notice the time on the digital clock. I was surprised by the bright red numbers that lit up the screen.
“3:30 in the morning. Ugh. Too early.”
I flipped the blanket, got up and turned on the bathroom light. Afterwards, I made my way back to bed and noticed my phone light up.
How was your date?
You weren’t lying about not being able to sleep.
I tucked myself under the blanket with my phone in my grasp, suddenly feeling very aware how my body reacted while I spoke with Tyler. My heart fluttered against my chest and my cheeks were gushing red.
You’re up too.
I needed to pee.
How was your date?
I bit my lip, and thought of my reply. It was nice.
Nice enough. Are you jealous?
God, Summer. Are you really asking him that?
It took a while for him to reply. Are you going for a run later?
It wasn’t hard to notice that he avoided my question, but I didn’t want to push him further.
Yeah, I’m gonna get up for a jog. Want to come with me?
I’ll meet you outside your house at 5:30.
Try and get some sleep, sir ;)
No promises ;)
It was early in the morning and I was standing outside my house stretching my arms and legs waiting for Tyler to arrive.
When he came out in his workout gear, I bit my lip and smiled, taking in the sight of his muscular physique.
Oh my God. Wow.
“Are you okay?”
I swallowed hard and my mouth suddenly felt dry. “Yeah, why?”
“You’re blushing again.”
“Oh. I’m just feeling hot.”
Tyler smirked mischievously. “So, you weren’t just checking me out just then?”
Lie, damnit! Lie!
Yep. That convinced him.
“Okay then. Let’s go.”
Tyler and I began a slow walk, increasing the intensity after ten minutes to a run. I couldn’t help but notice him sneak glances at me from time to time. Every time he looks at me, my heart flutters in my chest and my face starts to burn.
After finding our way to the park and doing a few laps, we both slowed down and fell back onto the grass area, trying to catch our laboured breaths.
“That’s exhausting,” Tyler huffed.
“It’s good though. Don’t you feel your mind clearing?”
He shifted his attention to me. “Not really.”
Tyler and I both sat up and stretched out our tense muscles.
“You coming for a coffee this time?”
My lips peeled from the amount of skin I was biting off them every time I watched Tyler move while he stretched.
“You’ve got something on your sweatshirt.”
He looked down and his mouth gaped open. “What the fuck is that?”
I covered my mouth while I laughed hysterically. “Relax, Tyler. It’s just a lady beetle.” After getting on my knees, I reached out and carefully allowed the little bug to crawl onto my finger before I placed him down on the freshly cut grass. “There you go little one.” I shifted my attention to Tyler. “I think I’ve found your weakness.”
“Creepy crawly things?”
“No. Cute little bugs.”
“Ugh. I can’t stand them.”
I smiled, looked down and gently picked up the beetle. “Take out your hand, Tyler.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Trust me.” Tyler laid his hand out flat, and I gently placed the beetle on his palm. As soon as we touched, I could feel my entire body singing. “See, not so bad.”
The lady beetle flew away.
“Shit! It flies!”
I couldn’t help but laugh again. “You’ve never seen a lady beetle before?”
“No, for good reason too.”
Tyler and I both looked down and noticed our hands were still entwined. I swallowed hard, and quickly pulled away before I stood up. “You ready for that coffee?”
Tyler and I both took the short stroll to the local café.
“So, I have to ask.”
“What was the deal with your ex?”
I narrowed my eyes. “Which one?”
I shook my head and laughed. “You remembered his name?”
“Yeah, I did.”
“Oh, God. You really want to know?”
“For some reason, I’m curious.”
I took a deep breath. “So, we weren’t going out for long.”
“Why did you break up?”
“Well, he invited me to his house one evening, and I needed to use the bathroom. I accidentally walked into his bedroom instead and saw he had something on his mattress. It was a…ummm…”
“A life-size blow-up doll.”
Tyler stopped and turned his body towards me. His mouth gaped open before his lips curved to a smile. He held his expression trying to stop himself from laughing, but it was no use. A moment later, he bowled over and held his stomach. “Oh, fuck. Are you serious?”
“No wonder you don’t want to talk about it.”
“Well, you and Ellie are the only people that know about it now.”
I smiled mischievously. “Says the guy who’s afraid of lady beetles.”
“Oh, really? I’ll give you something to be afraid of!” Suddenly, Tyler bent down, wrapped his arms around my legs and lifted me up before he threw me over his shoulder.
I was too busy screaming to be self-conscious about my sweaty body plastered over his. “Tyler! Put me down!” My arms dangled over his back and my plump ass was near his face. I shrieked the moment he bit my flesh. “Ahhh! Did you seriously just bite me on the ass?”
I squirmed to try and loosen his grip on me, but I failed miserably. “It’s no use trying to wriggle your way out of this one, baby.”
Did he just call me, baby?
I sighed in defeat while Tyler carried me all the way to the café while I was still slung over his shoulders.
“Table for two?”
I looked up and noticed the expression on the waitress’ face. She tugged at her ear and narrowed her brows before she cleared her throat. “Sure. Inside or out?”
I jerked the moment Tyler slapped me on the ass. “Ow! Inside please.”
The waitress grabbed two menus from the stand and escorted us to a corner booth before she placed them down on the table. “I’ll come back to take your order.”
Her shoes clapped against the floor as she walked away, leaving me still motionless over Tyler’s shoulders.
“Are you going to behave if I put you down?”
“What if I say no?” Tyler dug his teeth into my flesh. “Ow! Damnit, Tyler.”
“Are you going to behave if I put you down?”
“No. Come on, Tyler!”
With Tyler’s assistance, I slid down his body and planted my feet on the floor. His hands rested against my waist and that gorgeous smile was plastered on his face. When he stepped away, I sat down on the leather seating. Instead of sitting opposite me, Tyler took his spot beside me, a little too close for comfort.
“I can’t believe you bit me on the ass!”
“That was for making fun of me. You’re lucky that’s all I did.”
“I promise not to make fun of your fear of cute, tiny, helpless, harmless, lady beetles,” I teased, and I soon realized that messing with him was something I enjoyed doing a little too much.
“You’re not going to let this go, are you?”
Tyler caught his lips between his teeth, leaned over and whispered in my ear. “Don’t make me regret putting you down.”
My brows arched and a smile formed on my lips before I leaned in and whispered back to him in a low and sultry voice. “Don’t make me regret taking those cuffs off you.”
He rested his back against the leather seat. “I still don’t know how you got out from under me.”
“Are you impressed?”
“I am actually. How did you do it?
I motioned my fingers to zip my lips together. “Trade secret.”
“You’re quite strong.”
“I’ve been taking self-defence classes for five years. I need to ask them how to get out of the position you just had me in though.”
He swiped his thumb over his bottom lip and smiled. “I need to figure out what you’re afraid of.”
“Spiders. They scare the crap out of me. And roaches.
“Spiders and roaches. Got it.”
“Especially roaches that fly.”
Tyler’s eyes widened and he stretched his lips in disgust. “You’re kidding, right? There are roaches that fly?”
“Hey, guys. Ready to order?” The waitress interrupted.
I shuffled in my seat and turned to her. “Yes please.”
“Are you hungry?” Tyler asked.
“I could eat after that workout.”
“Can you please give us a few minutes?” Tyler’s question was directed at the woman taking the order.
I couldn’t help but notice the attention she was paying towards him. Tyler was an extremely attractive guy, and it didn’t surprise me that there’d be other people who would throw themselves at him.
“Sure thing,” she winked, before she turned her heels and left Tyler and I alone again.
“What are you hungry for?”
“Not sure. I’ll check the menu first.”
Both Tyler and I picked up the menu and scanned the items before we placed them back down on the table. I was already salivating on the corners of my mouth from the intense aroma of bacon and eggs. We spoke for a few minutes before the waitress came by to take our order.
“What can I get you?” She asked Tyler.
“Big breakfast for me, thanks. Scrambled eggs and sourdough.”
“And for your…um…girlfriend?”
“She’s not my girlfriend, but you can ask her yourself what she wants.”
She looked down at the notepad and blushed while she wrote down Tyler’s order. When it was time to take mine, the red hue on her face had suddenly disappeared.
“And for you?”
“Scrambled eggs on sourdough with Avocado, mushrooms and bacon.”
The waitress took down our coffee orders before we handed over our menus.
I swivelled my body and smiled at Tyler. “Do you get that often?”
“Women just flirting with you?”
“Yeah, I guess. I mean sometimes I go along with it and sometimes I ignore it.”
“How do you decide which one?”
“Depends on what I’m in the mood for.”
The waitress came by with our coffee orders. After she placed the piping hot mugs on the table, she discreetly handed Tyler a napkin with blue writing etched on one side, and I pretended not to notice that was her attempt at giving him her details.
Tyler and I both brought our cups to our lips enjoying the taste of the beverages before we placed them back on the table.
“God, that’s good coffee.”
I smiled the moment I saw Tyler’s face. “You’ve got a little…ummm…chocolate on your face.”
“Where? Here?” Tyler grabbed one of the napkins and wiped his face, completely missing the unclean spot.
“Not even close. It’s right here.” I reached over and wiped the spot where the chocolate left a mark. Tyler’s eyes locked with mine and the heat from my mug was no match for my cheeks.
“No. It won’t come off. It’s as stubborn as you.” After a few more attempts, I succeeded in wiping the stain away. “There. Now you’re done.”
“Any excuse to touch me, huh?”
“Oh, shut up!” I playfully slapped Tyler on his arm, and he immediately caught my hand. I noticed how muscular he was, and for someone who didn’t work out, his physique was in perfect condition.
After grabbing my hand, Tyler held it against his thigh while he used his fingers to trace circles on the palm. His eyes were focused on his lap. “Did he kiss you last night?”
“Hmmm?” My heart was beating against my ribcage with every caress his finger made against my delicate skin.
“Did he kiss you? He repeated in a low hum.
“Oh. Um. Yeah, he did.”
Tyler paused and locked eyes with mine. “How was it?”
I furrowed my brows. “You want to know how my kiss was with Liam?”
“It was brief, but sweet.”
“Seriously?” He held his expression until I responded. “No tongue. Why are you asking me this?”
“Because inquiring minds want to know.”
A playful smile appeared on my lips. “So, it has nothing to do with the possibility you could be jealous?”
“Here you go.”
At that exact moment, the waitress placed our meals down in front of us.
Tyler let go of my hand caught her gaze. “Thanks.”
Worst damn timing.
The waitress beamed before she left Tyler and I to our meals.
I looked down at my full plate and my shoulder slumped over my chest. “Damnit.”
“My bacon’s not crispy enough.”
“You like beer and crispy bacon?”
I nodded. “Who doesn’t?”
Tyler sucked at his bottom lip before he took the bacon from his plate and carefully placed it on mine. “Here. Mine’s crispier than yours.”
“What? No!” I eagerly picked up the bacon and returned it to Tyler.
“What are you doing? Just take it!”
“Thank you, but no. There’s a rule out there that you don’t take another person’s crispy bacon.”
“That’s not a thing,” he chuckled.
“Yeah, it is.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Yeah, it is.”
Tyler and I continued back and forth until we needed a decider. “No, it’s not. Look. Ask that guy and girl over there.” He pointed towards a young couple on the table not far from ours who were also enjoying their breakfast.
“You ask them.”
“Fine. Excuse me? Yeah…you guys. Is there some unspoken rule about taking someone else’s crispy bacon?”
“Oh, yeah. Your girlfriend’s right. You see that shit in someone else’s plate, better keep your hands to yourself. And if someone takes it from you, then you can slap em!”
I turned to Tyler with a satisfied grin marked on my lips.
“Oh, she’s not his girlfriend,” the waitress shouted from the other side of the café.
“Fine, you were right,” Tyler admitted. “But at least have a bite of mine. I can’t leave any woman unsatisfied.”
I chuckled. “Thank you. I’ll take a bite.” He grabbed the bacon and brought it to my lips, held it there for a moment before my teeth crunched down on the salty goodness. “Oh, that’s good. Thank you.”
Tyler and I continued to chat while we enjoyed our delicious breakfast. After my last bite of the sourdough bread, I picked up napkin and wiped the corners of my mouth, dusting away any remaining crumbs.
“That was so good. Though I think the coffee went straight through me. I need to use the bathroom.”
“I’ll wait for you here.”
I smiled, stood up and went to the ladies toilets which were on the other side of the café. When I returned, I noticed Tyler was standing next to the waitress at the cash register. She kicked her head back at something Tyler had said before she found an excuse to touch the muscles, I had the pleasure of feeling before.
I went back to the table and noticed the last of his crispy bacon on my plate. Smiling to myself, I picked it up, and happily devoured the remaining piece. I couldn’t help but notice the napkin with the waitress’ number scrunched up and thrown down between our two coffee mugs.
Guess he wasn’t interested in her.
I collected my bag, and made my way to the register. “Hey.”
“I can’t believe he’s your boss! I never would have thought he was by the way the two of you walked in here.”
I didn’t know what we were, but I’d have at least thought he would call me a friend and not mention he was my boss. I guess I know where I stand now.
“Almost.” I shifted my attention to the waitress. “What do I owe you?”
“Your boss took care of it.”
I swallowed hard and turned to Tyler. “What do I owe you?”
“Like she said, I took care of it.”
I chewed the inside of my mouth, and blinked away the tears in my eyes. Unsure of why I was affected by this, I turned back towards the waitress. “How much was the bill?”
“42.80,” she replied, after looking down at the slip of paper in her grasp.
“I don’t want your money, Summer.”
“I can pay for myself. SIR,” I huffed, took out my wallet and threw down the cash I pulled out, before I slammed it on the counter. I kicked my heels and turned away from the both of them.
Tyler following me close behind. “Summer!”
It was an automatic reaction to stop, when all I really wanted to do was run away. “What?”
“Don’t play dumb with me.” Tyler stood in front of me and glared into my eyes. “What’s your problem with me paying for breakfast?”
“That wasn’t my problem, Tyler! Why did you tell the waitress you were my boss?”
“Because I am.”
“Is that all I am to you?”
“What the hell do you want from me, Summer?”
I shook my head staring right back at him. “Nothing. I want nothing.”
“If you can’t handle being friends with me…”
“That’s my point Tyler. You didn’t tell her we were friends.”
“So, that’s what you want?”
“Well, I don’t know any other boss who would lift up their employee and bite them on the ass. Do you?”
“This is why I don’t do relationships. It’s too complicated.”
I let out a deep huff, and I knew exactly what I needed to do. “Then why don’t I uncomplicate things for you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I’ll see you at work, sir.”