A Sudden Change

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Chapter 7. Shae

Work is slow, as expected for a Sunday night. I only have one table so I patiently wait near the kitchen for their food to finish. “Have you seen who’s in my section?” I turn my head to see Marsha walking up to me. Marsha is my closest friend in town. I met her when I first started working here and she trained me.

“No but, I’m guessing he’s your next victim.” I laugh. Marsha is notorious for going through men. She’ll date them for a few weeks and then drop them. Men flock to her and I can’t really blame them. Marsha is stunning with her porcelain skin, raven hair that reaches her waist and with the body of a model, any man would want to be with her. Her best feature however is her deep blue eyes. She can bat her eyes at a man and you can see the moment he looks into them and falls under her spell.

“Of course. Except I might keep this one around for a little while. He’s hot!” She says. I shake my head with a small smile on my face.

“ Shae! Your tables order is done!” Mike, the cook, says. I thank him and grab the tray of food and head out to the dining area with Marsha beside me.

“He’s at the back table.” She says quietly as we make our way through the dining area. I decide to take the food to the couple who are patiently waiting before I look to the back table. After giving them their food I begin to make my way to the kitchen and as I walk I glance to the back. Marsha is standing there talking with her back to me. I glance down at him and a small gasp leaves me and my feet refuse to keep walking. He has got to be the most handsome man I’ve ever seen. Short cut brown hair, tan skin and a strong jaw line. I look up and see a slightly crooked nose as if it had been broken before. I look up to see his eyes and I feel mine widen when I see amber eyes looking straight at me. His eyes travel the length of my body and when they settle on my face again, a small shiver runs through me. He smirks and I can tell he knows the effect he just had on me. Marsha must notice his attention isn’t on her because she turns and sees he is looking at me. She looks back to him then turns to me with a smile on her face. Her movement is enough to snap me out of whatever trance I’m in and I make a beeline for the kitchen. I walk straight through to the double doors that lead to outside.

I push through the doors and sit on the old bench where I usually go on my breaks. I lean against the back of the bench and take a deep breath. I don’t know what it was about that man that caused this reaction out of me. I know I have never seen him before but something about him seemed familiar. I just wish I knew why. My thoughts are interrupted when the door swings open and Marsha steps out. She sees me and comes to take a seat beside me.

“His name is Colt.” She says simply.

Jealousy creeps up at the thought she got to know something about him. It’s absurd I know.

“Okay.” I say and since when I can hear the irritation in my voice. I am about to apologize when Marsha speaks.

“Just thought you’d want to know since he couldn’t keep his eyes off of you and couldn’t help himself from checking you out. I pulled out my best lines and he didn’t even glance my way,” she laughs, “He kept wanting to know about you.” My head whips to look at her and she laughs at my reaction.

“Well it doesn’t matter. I’m not ready to get to know anyone in that way.” I say.

“Why? How are you not ready? And don’t say the same bullshit excuse of ‘I’m still getting used to being here’ . I’m not buying it anymore. You’ve been here seven months.” She says. I let out a long breath and look up at the sky as I lean my head back.

“I don’t know Marsha.”

“Look I’m not saying go over there and propose to him,” she says and I look at her with an incredulous look on my face. She laughs and continues, “just go talk to the man. He wanted to know your name and if he could talk to you.” She says softly.

“I don’t know Marsha. I’m not as confident about this as you were.” I say. I don’t have as much experience with men as she does. Marsha lets out a sigh at my confession.

“Look I have to go check on my tables and I’m sure you do too. You can’t hide out here forever.” She says as she stands and starts walking. I stand up too and walk back in with her. Before we enter the dining area she glances at me, “Like I said. Just go talk to him.” Before I can respond she walks off. I take a breath and step out I tot he dining area. I make my way to my table and hand them their check. “The front desk will ring this up for you. Have a good evening” I say nicely and they smile politely and leave. I clean up their dishes and wipe the table down. The whole time I can feel someone watching me but I am too scared to look. I know it’s the man. Colt is what Marsha said his name was. I pick up the dishes and risk glancing at Colt. Not being able to hold back anymore. Except he’s not there anymore. Disappointment settles over me. I’m not sure if I would have e actually went to talk to him or not but I still feel disappointed by him not being there.

“Hello.” A deep smooth voice comes from behind me, startling me. I turn around and see the man named Colt standing there with a crooked smile. Now that he’s standing I take a moment to observe him a little better. He’s at least six foot tall with broad shoulders. He’s wearing a white T-shirt that stretches across his shoulders and abdomen showing his muscles. Faded jeans hang low on his hips and lead to old black boots. My eyes travel but up his body to his face and I see the same smirk from earlier. His eyes show his amusement, and I swear the amber in them turns brighter. I can feel my cheeks grow red at being caught checking him out.

Realizing I still haven’t said anything I croak out “Hello.” Then clear my throat. This couldn’t be any worse.

He gives me his smile again. “I’m sorry for startling you. I just wanted to meet you and talk to you for a moment.” He says. I can feel the heat in my cheeks intensify at his admission. “I understand you are working right now and cannot talk so I was wondering if I could meet you when you get off work?” He ask. I glance at my watch and see it is seven thirty. My shift ends in thirty minutes. I have no plans after work so I have no reason not to agree. Maybe Marsha’s advice of just talking to him isn’t too bad.

“Okay. I’d love to. I get off in thirty minutes.” I say quietly. His smile grows wider and it instantly makes me smile too.

“Mind if I wait at one of these tables then? I’ve already paid my bill so I’ll just wait until you’re done.” I nod my head and he takes a seat at a booth in my section. With a smile still on my face I head to the kitchen with the dishes I’d been holding. I place them on the counter and see Marsha skipping up to me with a big smile on her face.

“So?” She ask.

“So what?” I ask back as if I don’t know what she is asking about. She rolls her eyes at me and playfully pushes my shoulder. I laugh at her and do the same to her.

“He’s waiting for my shift to end so we can talk.” I say.

“That’s it?” She ask shocked. “Are you going anywhere?” She ask again.

I shrug. I hadn’t really thought about going anywhere with him. This might not of been my best decision. Marsha can see on my face were my thoughts are going because she scowls at me and shakes her head.

“No! No! You are not going to over think this!” She scolds me. “Look no ones in your section and you shift is over here soon. Just go ahead and leave. If anyone gets seated in your section I’ll take it.” She says.

“I can’t let you-“ I start but she cuts me off.

“Go be with that gorgeous man out there!” She exclaims. I roll my eyes at her and she turns me around by my shoulders and starts pushing me out of the kitchen.

“Okay okay! Stop pushing me!” I laugh out. “But I have to go back and clock out.”

“I’ll do it for you. Just go!” She offers. I give her a quick hug and grab my purse off the row of hooks that are set up for us to hang out purses and other belongings on beside the kitchen. As I walk towards Colt his head turns in my direction and a smile spreads across his lips.

“I’m done.” I say simply. “Would you, uh, like to do?” I say and instantly hate myself for sounding so lame.

“Well I was going to see if you’d like to take a walk with me?” I nod and he slides out of the booth. He places his hand on the small of my back and a shiver runs down my spine. We walk out of the restaurant and make our way down the sidewalk. I can tell he’s leading me towards the park. Riverfalls is very small so the walk only takes about ten minutes. Neither one of us talks during our walk to the park and the silence is making me a little anxious. We walk into the park and I follow as he takes a seat of a bench. I do the same and sit on the other side. He looks at the distance between us and slides closer to me. Not touching me but defiantly closest than I intended on us sitting from each other.

“So. Why did you want to talk to me?” I ask hesitantly.

“Well first off, I took one look at you and knew I wanted to meet you. You’re incredibly beautiful,” he pauses and that damn heat floods my cheeks again. “Then I saw you check me out and thought maybe you’d want to meet me too.” He chuckles and I groan from embarrassment. He continues to laugh at my expense.

“I did want to meet you.” I say, refusing to acknowledge his last statement. He gives me a knowing look but doesn’t say anything. We begin talking and I tell him about how I moved here seven months ago, how I came to work at the restaurant, how I became friends with Marsha. The only thing I don’t tell him is why I moved here. He tells me he lives outside of town and has a rather large family who all live on the same land. We keep talking and I grow more comfortable with him the more I learn about him. I relax a little and I didn’t even notice he had moved closer until I lean to the side a little and end up leaning into him. I try to straighten back up but he puts his arm behind me on top of the bench and places his hand lightly on my shoulder. I look up to his face and see him already looking into my eyes. My breath catches as I look into the pools of amber. My breath catches at the realization our faces are just inches apart. He looks down at my lips and unconsciously, my tongue darts out slightly to wet my lips. My eyes must be seeing things because his eyes seem to grow brighter as he watched me wet my lips. My breathing becomes more labored as I watch him. He leans a little closer as do I. I can feel his breath on my lips and I wish he would just kiss me already. I look to his eyes again and he’s watching my reaction. I barely nod my head and at my movement he closes the remaining distance. Heat flows from my lips through my body and it’s stirring up feelings I have not felt in a long time. I kiss him back and he makes a deep nose in his throat almost as if a growl.

I lean into him and he deepens the kiss. His tongue parts my lips and I gasp as the heat I felt before turns into an inferno of need. My left hand fist into his shirt while my right hand travels up to cup his jaw. His arm tightens around my shoulders and his other wraps around my waist. Suddenly he tenses up and pulls away from me. I am about to complain when I open my eyes and see him staring behind me into the thick line of trees that surround the park. His face has harden and his eyes have sharpen. I try to twist around to see what he is looking at but his embrace doesn’t budge.

“What’s wrong?” I ask. As soon as I ask the question a howl sounds from the trees behind me and makes me jump. I look up to him and his eyes glow. It’s then that I realize his eyes are similar to the wolf like dog I found last night. Actually I wouldn’t say similar. I’d say they’re just alike. How strange.

Colt jumps up with me still in his grasp. He lets go but grabs my hand and starts pulling me towards the park entrance. He’s walking so fast I can barely keep up. “Colt?” He ifnores me. “Colt!” I say sternly and dig my heels into the ground he turns around and before he can say anything I speak, “Care to explain why you just froze up on me and began to drag me through the park?” I ask with a glare on my face. He runs a hand down his face and his eyes scan the park behind me.

“I can’t really explain-“ he’s cut off by a growl behind me. This time I am able to turn around and see a large black dog walk out of the trees. He looks a lot like the brown one from last night. He’s taller though more lean. The moon shines off his fur and gives him an omnious look. He has bright blue eyes that are locked on me. He’s walking straight towards us and I back up until my back hits Colts front. He wraps a strong arm around my middle and pulls me behind him.

“Whatever you do l, stay behind me. Do not run” he says. I nod my head then realize he cannot see me.

“Okay” I whisper.

I peek around Colt and see the black wolf like dog closing the distance still growling. Why is he not trying to get us away from this thing? He said not to run which is probably smart but still. The dog makes a large circle around us and Colt moves, with his hand on my hip still, keeps me behind him as he turns us so he faces the wolfdog. I grab onto the back of his shirt as I peek at the wolf dog again. He sees me look around Colt and looks directly into my eyes. A shiver runs through me but not like it did with Colt. This one is out of pure fear. There’s something about his eyes. There so blue but yet menacing at the same time. He sees my reaction and as if he can understand it snarls and directs his attention to Colt. He lunges at Colt but Colt catches him and tosses him to the ground. A yelp leaves the wolf but he quickly jumps up and faces us again. He looks from me to Colt and stares him down for a moment. He shifts his gaze to me and then turns and runs for the trees before disappearing into them.

Colt stays facing the trees and I walk around him to face him. “Should we call animal control or something?” I ask unsure what to do. An animal like that should not be loose.

“What?” He ask and gives me a look as if I’d grown two heads. He shakes him head and a serious look takes over his face. “No. That’s not necessary. Look what Im about to tell you is probably going to sound crazy.” He breaths out and I get a feeling I’m not going to be happy with what he’s going to say. “I know we just met but, there’s something I really need to tell you. I don’t want to do it here in the open. I need you to come back to my home so I can tell you.” He says and I give him an impatient look.

“I just met you. How can you have something you need to tell me that’s apparently so important that you can’t tell me in a public place?” I ask not even hiding my irritation at him.

“Look it has to do with what just happened eight hat wolf.” He rush’s to say. His eyes scan back over the park.

“I’m not going back to your place.” I say stubbornly. I worry if we start kissing again I may do more that I shouldn’t.

“Fine. Can I come back to yours? I’ll leave when you tell me to I swear. I just need to speak with you about something important. He pleads and I sigh. Instantly giving in, I nod and he grabs my hand and continues to haul me out of the park. I have to jog to keep up with his stride.

We make it back to where my car is parked and I make him let go of my hand so I can walk towards my car. I glance over my shoulder and see him looking between my old silver beater car and to a sleek black truck. “What?” I ask.

“Nothing. I’ll just follow you.” He says. I shrug and get into my car. He waits until I close the door and jogs to his truck and jumps in. Well this is going to be interesting. I put my key into the ignition and turn my car on. I pull out of the parking lot with Colt right behind me and make my way home. Maybe I’ll get to see the brown wolfdog from last night.

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