“Hey, your Italian stallion is back.”
Mayson bumped Jack with her hip and she walked past her with the empty coffee pot in her hand. She smoothed her shirt down and straightened her ponytail. She reached up and touched her warm cheeks as a blush crept in.
“Stop saying that, he’s not mine.”
Mayson grinned and rolled her eyes.
“Sure. Let me see if he will let me take his order” she sashayed away, throwing a glance behind her shoulder at Jack.
Mayson stuck her tongue out at Jack and she giggled. She peeked around the door and watched Mayson walk up with her order pad in hand. She couldn’t hear what she and the Italian Stallion were saying, but she noticed Mayson had tucked her pad back in her apron. She turned around with a shit-eating grin, eyes wide. Jack bit her lip and ducked back around the door and stood in the middle of the small kitchen, palms sweating.
“Girl, get your ass out there. He’s asking for you.”
“Shit” Jack smoothed her shirt down again.
“You look great Jack. It’s time, go ask his name. It’s been almost a year since he started coming in here. Come on girl, break out of that shell.” Before she knew it, Mayson had pushed her out of the door. The gentleman looked up, with his dark eyes, a hint of a smile on his face.
“I saw you looking behind the door. Were you hiding from me?”
She died. Absolutely died on the spot.
“I uh, I was taking care of something in the kitchen. I was just making sure Mayson was on top of things. Would you like your usual?”
The stranger looked at her. Not at her but into her. Jack could feel the heat rise from her neck to the top of her head. It’s a curse. The blushing was a fucking curse.
That was it? Do it, Jack. You can do it.
She could see Mayson out of the corner of her eye, grinning like the Cheshire cat.
She stuck her hand out. “I’m Jaclyn, everyone calls me Jack.”
The stranger looked at her hand.
“Excuse me,” he said as he motioned for her to move. Next thing she knows he stands up and she realizes how big he is. He sticks his hand out.
Jack can smell the spicy scent of his cologne. Something expensive. His suit is definitely tailored.
“Nice to finally have a name for the face. Let me go grab your coffee.”
She could feel the burn from his eyes as he watched her walk away. Jack glanced at Mayson who looked like she was ready to start jumping up and down. The coffee was just about done brewing. Why am I so nervous? He had been coming to the shop every couple of weeks for almost a year. Besides being super intimidating, he was gorgeous. We’re talking about model status. And he was so out of place in the little town, it hurt. She wondered if his two friends were with him. They usually sat outside. She grabbed the pot once it finished and a mug, walking back over to his table.
“It’s fresh.” Jack poured his cup. “It’s nice to meet you, Lucan. Enjoy the coffee. I will get your two, to- go when you’re ready.”
It had been that long he’d been coming in. He usually had two big guys with him that waited outside. She didn’t see them, but it was cold, her guess was they were in the big SUV that was parked outside. She didn’t notice him the first couple of times he came in. He didn’t say anything but his order, which was always the same. He liked his coffee at the table, and always took two for the road. He wasn’t rude, but he wasn’t friendly either. He was almost always on his phone, talking low. She’d seen the other two a handful of times, but they never came in. Jack knew Mayson was going to be in the kitchen before she could grab the to-go cups and lids.
“Tell me everything!”
“Mayson, let me finish his order and I promise I will tell you everything.” Jack smiled at her as she rolled her eyes.
“I swear Jack, you need to tell me something, anything, please.”
“Shhhh, keep your voice down. His name is Lucan.”
Mayson’s eyes widened. “Lucan. Wow. Sounds dangerous.”
They both started giggling.
“Stop, he’s going to leave soon. I swear Mayson, I will tell you all two and a half seconds of our conversation. I just need to do this. We can close early, snow is coming and it’s going to be ugly.”
Jack grabbed the cups and lids and then bumped the door with her hip. She didn’t look up but felt his eyes on her. She poured the two cups and popped the lids on. Wrote his check out and turned around. She almost jumped, not expecting him at the tiny counter.
“I don’t need a check”
He threw a fifty dollar bill on the counter and grabbed the coffees offering her a quick “No change” and walked out.
Jack wasn’t sure what she was expecting after formally introducing herself, which took a lot of courage by the way, but it wasn’t that.
She thanked him but he had his back to her. She continued to watch as the other two came out of nowhere, opening the door for him as he handed them their coffee. He never looked up, if he did, he would have seen her standing like the village idiot with her mouth open. She didn’t even realize Mayson was standing next to her until she spoke.
“Was he mad? That was so odd.”
“I have no idea, Mayson. Let’s close up and we can dissect what just happened.”
Jack locked the door and turned the closed sign on after closing the shades. There shouldn’t be any more customers. The snow was hitting Denver and the tunnels were closed. There would be no more customers for the day.
Jack turned up the music as she and Mayson got to work cleaning. Checking off the closing list as they went. Not that the place is huge, but Jack liked things a certain way. They finished up and Mason brought over a bottle of water for Jack and a coffee for herself.
“Okay Jack, tell me everything.”
“Wow. It was weird the way he left. He had been on his phone and then just got up and walked to the counter. I’m surprised you didn’t know he was there Jack.”
She shook her head as she drained the rest of her water. “It’s not like I expected anything, I just, I don’t know. This is why I don’t put myself out there. I’m so fucking awkward.”
“I wish you could see what the rest of us see. You’re beautiful, you’re smart, and you’re running your own business. You have overcome so much, give yourself a break.”
She leaned back and thought about what Mayson said.
“He did smell good” and with that, they started giggling.
“Go ahead and get out of here, snow is already falling. I have some paperwork to do and I need to get the deposit ready.”
“Don’t stay too late Jack, go relax!”
Two hours and two inches later, she was finally ready to leave.
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