Kimberly Stone gave a pained sigh as she walked out of Hornsby’s Advertising Agency. Stepping onto the sidewalk, she squinted slightly at the still bright afternoon sunlight. Having gotten up late that morning, she had been rushing ever since, and it was now almost one o’clock in the afternoon.
The man whose advertisement she’d been working on, and completed yesterday, had returned this morning for it. He decided didn’t like the way she’d done it and wanted it done over. Like there were so many ways to make an advertisement for your local bar and grill, ridiculous.
It wasn’t even that she minded reworking the ad, because she didn’t, after all, it was her job. It was just that he’d been so rude about it, almost yelling at her that she hadn’t done it right.
She huffed out a sigh and rubbed her temple. The whole thing had given her a massive headache, which had slowly built as the morning passed. It was now to the point of unbearable and she needed her pills.
So, as she walked, she began digging through the huge bag she called a purse that was hanging from her shoulder. She’d been digging for her pain pills, and not finding them, for five minutes. This annoyed her to the point she began to grumble under her breath as she continued to slowly make her way down the sidewalk toward the parking lot.
“Where are you, where are you?” She muttered as she turned the corner of the building. “I need you right now, and you’re always there in my way until I actually… oomph!”
Her bag hit the ground as she ran into a man. She knew it was a man because she was looking down and saw his shiny black dress shoes. Slowly raising her eyes, taking him all in as she went, even as her mind worked on an apology. It was an apology that was hanging on the tip of her tongue only for her to become mute as she stared into his face.
His brown hair looked soft and tousled as if he’d just run his fingers through it. His eyes as blue and bottomless as the ocean. His features were sharp with high cheekbones, and he had a slightly crooked nose. He also had pale skin, as if he didn’t get out much, and a five o’clock shadow. His shoulders were broad and his waist slim, but his eyes were what held her captivated.
Looking into them, she was lost. They were so beautiful and seemed to hold her complete attention even as they took her breath.
He smiled, as in a slightly accented voice he softly said, “Have a good look, sweetling, I’m not in any hurry to leave.”
Kimberly felt a blush heat her face as she tried once more to speak. “I’m so sorry! I wasn’t looking where I was going. It’s a bad habit I know, but it’s my only excuse.”
Bending down, he picked up the mini suitcase she called her purse and handed it to her.
“Thank you,” she murmured as she began once more to dig through it. She desperately needs those headache pills because her head felt as if someone was using a sledgehammer on the back of it.
“May I ask what you are looking for so desperately since it seems to be the cause of you almost running me down?”
Looking back up at him she replied, “Headache pills, prescription strength. I never know when I’ll get a headache, so I tote them everywhere. Unfortunately, they always seem to elude my hand when I’m looking for them. At any other time, they seem to be right there.”
“Maybe I can help,” he said as he moved slightly closer to her.
“Oh no, that’s fine. I can find them myself; it’ll just take me a while!” Kimberly exclaimed as she clutched her bag tightly to her chest.
“Nein, sweetling, I don’t wish to dig through your purse,” he told her as he chuckled lightly. “I did my mother’s that way once when I was maybe ten, and what was in there scarred me for life. So, no, I only meant I could help you with your headache.”
“Oh! Sorry,” she murmured. Continuing to watch his mesmerizing eyes, she saw his hands reach out toward her.
Gently, placing one hand on the back of her head, he lay the other on her left temple and ran it across the side of her head, down behind her ear. Next, putting slight pressure behind her ear, he continued down her neck to her shoulder. Then, he stepped back as his hands dropped to his sides.
“Better?” He asked as he watched her.
Kimberly blinked. It was almost unbelievable, but the pain was gone. She raised her hand to touch her, now pain-free head. “How…? It’s gone! How did you do that?”
“Vampire magic,” he said smiling, a twinkle in his eyes.
She laughed. “Yeah, okay. Like I’m going to believe that.”
He shrugged and said, “Whether you believe it or not, it is the truth. Now, I was on my way to lunch. Could I talk you into going with me…?” he paused as he cocked his head. “You know, you never told me your name. My name is Falco.”
“I’m Kimberly and I would love to. There is a Subway just down the block,” she said as she pointed behind her.
“Wonderful, shall we go?”
Nodding her head, yes, she turned, and they started walking.
“So, Falco, I’m thinking you must not be from around here. You seem to have a slight accent and it doesn’t sound southern,” she commented, glancing over at him.
“Nein, I’m not. My family and I are originally from Germany. I’ve held onto a slight accent even over time. We just moved here from California a couple of weeks ago though. Mutter decided she was growing tired of the earthquakes and Vater will do anything that makes her happy,” he explained to her.
She let the conversation idle then since they’d arrived at Subway. He opened the door for her, and they walked in. Having no line to wait in, they were able to quickly have their sandwiches made and find a seat.
Once they were seated, Kimberly spoke again saying, “You do know we have hurricanes here, don’t you?”
Falco looked up from unwrapping his sandwich to tell her, “Ja. Vater mentioned that to Mutter. She was determined though and told him, “Better to have a few trees to clean up than be swallowed up by a big crack in the earth”. So, we moved.”
She laughed. “Your momma, at least I’m guessing that’s what a Mutter is…”
“It is,” he agreed.
“Anyway, she sounds as if she’d a bit of a character.”
“It’s true, she can be,” he agreed once more. Then he softly said, “I apologize. I should have called her my mother, so you would know what I was speaking of. So, I will explain that in German, Mutter means mother and Vater means father.”
She nodded, having just taken a bite of her sandwich. After chewing and swallowing she asked, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
“I have no sisters, but I have three older brothers, one younger brother. The oldest is Leo, next is Bruno, then Tobias and last is Felix,” he told her. Then he asked, “What about you?”
Taking a swig of her drink, she swallowed and said, “I have one sister, older, her name is Kendra. Our parents live further south in Panama City, Florida. That is where I’m from originally, but I decided after finishing college to strike out on my own.
“I traveled around a bit and when I was driving through this town, I saw a sign in a window stating they needed help. The sign was for an Ad Agency which sounded interesting, so I decided to apply. I must have sounded like I knew what I was talking about because Delaney put me to work the day, she interviewed me. That was a year and a half ago and I’m still there,” she concluded. She then asked, “What do you do for a living?”
“My Vater, along with my brothers and I, recently bought a car dealership. We owned a construction company before coming here, but I think we were all ready for a change,” he said with a shrug.
“A car dealership.”
“Ja, that is what I said,” he murmured giving her a confused look.
She giggled quietly, her hand over her mouth, before asking, “Do you sell German-engineered cars?”
Falco’s sandwich stopped halfway to his mouth as he paused in taking a bite to look at her.
Laying his sandwich back down he asked, “Did you seriously just ask me that?”
“Yes, it had to be asked,” she told him, giggling again.
“Nein, it didn’t, it truly didn’t,” Falco said in disagreement before he rolled his eyes and finished his sandwich.
“All joking aside though Falco, I truly need a new car,” she told him. “If I buy one from you will I get a good deal?”
“Tell you what,” he said as they stood up preparing to leave. “You help me with my advertising, and I’ll help you get a good car.”
“Lovely!” She exclaimed, smiling at him. “You can come back to the office with me and I’ll take all your information down for me to get started on.”
So, they walked back together, continuing to talk and getting to know each other.
As soon as they reached the Ad Agency where she worked, she took him to her office and had him fill out a few forms while she took down the information.
When they had finished, Kimberly looked at her watch. Seeing the time, she realized today was her early day and it was time to go home. So, leaning back in her chair she stretched out her back.
“Well, my day is finished, so I’ll walk out with you,” Kimberly told him as she stood up and grabbed her purse off the edge of her desk.
Falco stood up also, and waving his hand toward the door, he said, “Ladies first.”
He followed her, holding the door like a gentleman, and walked her to her car.