“She’s here, just like I knew she’d be,” Mateo said, unable to keep the smile from coming to his face. He watched the woman he had been dreaming about for so long sitting alone at her table in the coffee shop in deep focus reading a textbook. Her face was decorated with freckles that were barely noticeable against her deep golden skin and her thick, coily hair was pulled tight into a puff on the top of her head. She wore a simple short-sleeve red top, but the way it hugged her had images from Mateo’s visions flashing through his mind.
“It’s about damn time,” Liam groaned. “We’ve been here almost every day at the same hour for the past month. You need to get a handle on your visions. Petra really fucked you up, didn’t she?”
“Order 72!” The barista chimed, setting the coffees on the counter. “Oh, it’s you two again, professors Vazquez and Taylor. It feels like I’ve seen you almost every shift.”
“It’s quite convenient to campus,” Liam replied. “Are you ready for the semester to begin next week, William?”
“Heck yes! Especially since I managed to get into your course on comparative approaches to literature! I’m so excited to learn about—”
“Okay, I look forward to having you in my class again,” Liam quickly cut William off to turn his attention to Mateo who was already heading toward the woman they’d been waiting ages to meet.
Mateo felt his heart race as he walked toward her. Before he reached her table, she looked up and made eye contact with him as if she’d sensed him approaching. She gave him a confused look when he finally got to her and Liam soon followed.
“May I help you?” She asked.
“Do you mind if we join you?” Mateo gave her his most charming smile.
The woman looked around the coffee shop and saw several empty tables. She found it strange that these two men had approached to sit with her, but being new in town, she couldn’t pass up an opportunity to meet people.
“Sure.” She returned Mateo’s smile with her own, causing both his and Liam’s hearts to flutter.
The men sat across from her at the table, taking in her image. She was even more breathtaking in person for Mateo. And Liam, who’d only heard about her from Mateo, was floored by her beauty.
“Um... I’m Amara,” she said awkwardly, beginning to rethink her decision to let the strange men join her with the way they stared without saying a word.
“Right, right... I’m Mateo.”
“And I’m Liam. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He smiled and leaned into the table. “Are you new around here? We frequent this coffee shop and we’ve never seen you before.”
Couldn’t be more subtle, Liam? Mateo thought.
“Oh uh... yeah, I just moved here a couple weeks ago, actually. I’m starting a PhD program in botany at Masoncrest.”
“PhD? Impressive,” Liam nodded approvingly. “You don’t even look old enough to be in a PhD program.”
Shut up, Liam. That’s rude. Mateo nudged him and joined the conversation. “So, we’ll be seeing you around campus, I imagine? We both teach there.”
“Really? Which departments are you in?”
“Both social sciences,” Liam replied. “I teach literature and Mateo here does lectures on...” He furrowed his brows as if a wave of confusion struck him. “You’ve got quite a lot, actually. Don’t you?”
“No, not that much. I teach history and hold few international relations seminars here and there.”
Amara nodded listening to them while thoughts of her first impression of Liam and Mateo filled her head. Okay, so Liam the overly confident one with the perfect jaw line, dark brown hair, and piercing blue eyes teaches English lit... and Mateo, the one with the lumberjack body, charming smile, and almost black hair, who first approached me is a history professor. Great! They won’t be around the natural sciences department to distract me. How do men who look like this just casually exist? I imagine they’re very popular with students. They both look straight out of a hot professor fantasy.
A gleaming smile grew on Liam’s face and Amara couldn’t understand where his sudden excitement came from.
Mateo noticed the way Amara seemed uneasy and nudged Liam again and cleared his throat. “So, botany? What made you choose that?”
Amara broke her eye contact with Liam and looked over at Mateo. “Well... It’s always fascinated me how the earth nourishes and heals us, you know? And my grandmother was kind of an herbalist. She raised me and was always teaching me these natural remedies using nothing but plants,” she chuckled and shook her head. “I don’t think I took any man-made medicines until I was a teenager, and...”
Amara stopped herself, wondering why she was speaking so freely with these complete strangers. She looked down at her phone and realized she was already running late for her audition.
“Yikes...” she cringed. “I don’t know why I gave you my life story like that,” she laughed nervously as she started packing her things. “Anyway, I have to get going. It was nice to meet you, um... Mateo and Liam.”
“The feeling is mutual.” Mateo took out his wallet and pulled out one of his cards. “Here, if you ever have any questions about town or would like a tour, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”
“Yeah, sure...” Amara reached out for the card and when her hand grazed Mateo’s, she felt a shock go through her system.
“Look at how wet she is for us, Mateo.”
Amara was naked and sitting with Liam on a bed, her back leaned against his chest. His legs were wrapped to the inside of hers to keep her legs open while she was on full display for Mateo who sat across from them. Liam spread Amara’s lips apart as if presenting her to Mateo and grazed his finger along her slit before putting it inside. “Look at the way her body reacts to us...”
“Well, it only makes sense...” Mateo smirked and stood from the chair, beginning to remove his clothes as he approached the bed. “She is ours.”
Amara blinked several times as her mind came back to reality. She looked between the men and around the coffee shop and realized she was in the same spot and holding Mateo’s card in her hand. The hell was that? She thought to herself.
“Yeah, um sure... Okay... See you around.” Amara’s speech was awkward and her hand was shaky as she placed Mateo’s card in the front pocket of her bag.
Liam’s eyes wandered over her unabashedly “I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of you, Amara,” he smoothed his voice when he said her name.
Amara scurried out of the coffee shop, almost tripping over herself and unsure of what just happened. When her hand grazed Mateo’s, it was like she was teleported to that scene with him and Liam. She felt Liam’s touch and the way she grew hotter as Mateo watched, as if it was something that had happened before.
“What the hell was that?” Amara muttered to herself as she got into her car. “Why did I speak so freely about grandma to them? What was with that weird fantasy? I felt Liam touching me in places he has mostly definitely never touched me... Not that I’d mind if he— No! No... I am thinking with the wrong organ right now, that’s all. Okay okay... I need to focus on this audition. I need this job.”
“Shit,” Mateo sighed. “When we touched, she saw one of my visions...”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Liam sneered. “Whatever she saw, it put her brain into overdrive and she was definitely turned on. It’d be much better if I could see thoughts rather than hear them.”
Mateo rubbed his hand up his forehead as if he was disappointed. “She’s doing natural sciences... It’s going to be difficult to find an excuse to be around her more often.”
“This is pointless,” Liam grumbled. “We’ve been waiting to meet her for over a century and now we finally do and we have to to ′take our time,′" he said mockingly. “She is our fated and this courtship should be swift.”
“Calm down and remember the speech patterns for this time,” Mateo warned. “Lilian was right. It’s like she was made for us. Down to her name and voice... everything about her is perfect.”
“Which is exactly why I don’t understand this pacing you and Lilian are so keen on. I heard her thoughts. She finds both of us attractive, just as we do her. It’s simple. We take her to our home, we explain everything to her, and then we ta—”
“It’s not that simple and you know it, Liam.”
“Whatever,” he scoffed before turning to Mateo with a smirk and raised brow. “So... which vision did she see, exactly?”