T H R E E
All the background noise ceases to exist and everyone’s gone except for Alex and I.
Every time I see him I swear he grows ten times hotter. In appearance that is. I’ve never gotten close enough to feel if he’s actually warm to the touch.
My mind and body are at war. My mind wants to scream and jump up and down like a highschool girl when her crush gives her the smallest bit of acknowledgment. However, my body is stuck, almost frozen.
My eyes never wander from the man in front of me and all I can do is blink, wondering if I’m just seeing things.
I slowly lift my index finger, my body not having any control of what’s going on.
Both our eyes watch the mindless digit come closer to his face, closing the distances between him and I.
What am I doing?
The finger lands softly on his nose, fully in contempt with its new resting place. My mouth opens and closes like a gaping fish.
What do I do, what do I do, what do I do?
I can’t just leave my finger here! I just breached all sorts of personal boundaries but my mind is absolutely horrified it can’t even think of moving at a moment like this.
So here we are, me with my finger on his nose and him, not saying a word, but constantly flickering his eyes between my hand and my red-like-tomato face as embarrassment flushes my cheeks.
“I’m so sorry,” I whisper with a slight tremor in my voice.
I don’t think I will survive after this. I’ll have to stay in my ’70s themed apartment, eating ice cream in the bathtub, wondering why my life turned out the way it did, if only I never put my finger on Alexander’s nose then life would’ve gone on swimmingly.
A calloused hand softly grasps mine and pulls it from his face.
“Dani, it’s wonderful seeing you again, but you really should ask a man to dinner before you decide to put your hands all over him. News spreads fast in this town.” His deep husky voice sounding surprisingly lower than it was since our last encounter.
Amusement clouds his eyes as he begins to absently caress his thumb back and forth against my skin, leaving sparks in its wake.
“As much as I would love to catch up, I’m a little famished, so I’ll have whatever today’s special is, and when you come back we can talk for a bit as I eat.” He flashes a quick smile before releasing my hand from his grasp.
I cradle it against my chest and rub it, my arm burning from where our skin was connected.
Either I’m touching the Almighty Zeus right now or this isn’t normal.
I bob my head up and down, responding to his request, and take a small step back.
“I-I’ll be right back with your order.” A stutter leaves me.
I quickly turn and head back into the main area of the restaurant where the bar is. I scribble down Alex’s order and place it in the window for Gary, our cook, to see, and make my way to the bathroom.
I slam the door behind me and lock it, hastily making my way in front of the mirror, making eye contact with the terrified green eyes staring back at me.
I point my finger at the flustered girl staring back at me in the reflection. “How could you embarrass me like that?” I say heatedly. “He probably thinks we’re some crazy stalker lady that likes to touch random people.” I turn on the faucet, “What do we say now, ‘oh, my bad, I couldn’t tell if you were real or fake so my body just mindlessly decided to touch your face just to make sure,’ only an idiot would believe that.”
I cup my hands underneath the cold water and splash it on my face.
I gaze back into the mirror, focusing on the water trailing down my nose, cheeks, and forehead.
“You can do this Dani,” I whisper to myself as I wipe my face clear of the water.“He just caught you by surprise and you didn’t know how to handle it, but you know what to expect now. You’re gonna go back out there, grab his meal, sit down across from him and act normal.”
Yes, I will do this and stop acting like a ninny.
I throw away the used napkin in the trashcan and make my way towards the door.
“Just grab his food and talk to him, just grab his food and talk to him, I can do this,” I say, giving myself a much-needed pep-talk.
I walk back to the dining area and grab his food from the kitchen window.
Step one complete, now for step-two. I can do this.
With the warm plate in my hands, I steadily walk to Alex’s table. Nothing else goes through my head but the plan. Okay, maybe a little bit of what his golden eyes look like in the sun, but that’s it!
Without realizing it I’m in front of the honey-eyed giant and harshly gulp as my mouth becomes dry.
“Here y-you go. Hope you enjoy it. It’s a mushroom, onion, spinach omelet with biscuit and gravy on the side, a-added with two pieces of bacon. Would you like anything else?” I say rushed.
This could’ve gone better. But this also could’ve gone a lot worse.
At least I didn’t fall and slam my face into the table so I call this a win. Good job Dani.
We continue to stare at each other, waiting for the other to make the next move. I shift my weight from foot to foot, glancing around the cafe to see if anyone could save me from this super uncomfortable situation.
He finally breaks the tension.
“No, I’m alright. Thank you though. Sit down, would ya? Your feet must be killing you.” This is it. The last part of the plan. I just have to sit down in the booth, give a nice little smile, maybe compliment his hair which is beautifully styled in a bun. No that would be too weird. I’ll compliment his outfit. No, his bun. Well maybe-
A snarky feminine voice interrupts me before I can make my decision. “You better get back to work Dani before Ms. Belle comes out and catches you messing around with the trouble.” Abbey states, judgment visible within her icy blue eyes.
She sneers at Alex, giving him a look of disgust before she releases a ‘humph’ and sashays away, her red hair bobbing with each step.
I can feel my cheeks become inflamed with heat.
“Well, I should probably get back to work before I do get in trouble. If you need anything just call. I’ll be over there.” I point towards the bar near the kitchen.
How could I be so stupid?
I have a job to do and the last thing I need is a long lecture from Ms.Belle. I begin walking away, a sigh leaving my mouth.
“Have dinner with me?” Alex’s voice catches my attention before I can get too far.
“What?” I ask, slowly turning back to face him.
“Have dinner with me tonight. We can go to that small restaurant down the street, you know the one called Gamzimbo. We’ll have a good time, that is if you’ll accept my offer.” A quick emotion flashes in his eyes.
Too slow to comprehend it, it’s gone, just as quick as it appeared.
I feel a chill run down my back.
Why do I feel like I’m in the presence of a dangerous beast who’s ready to ensnare its prey? What am I thinking, Alex is a wonderful guy and one dinner wouldn’t hurt, I haven’t had fun in a long time anyway.
I hesitate a bit before responding. “Sure. I’ll have dinner with you. I’ll meet you there around six tonight?” I hope that’ll give me enough time to get ready and look presentable. Knowing Claire she’ll want to go all out and make me into America’s Next Top Model.
I give him a small smile.
He grins. “Sounds like a plan. See you soon Dani.” With that, he begins to eat his food and I walk away wondering how I ended up in this situation.
Look at our girl Dani going on a date!! I’m so excited for her, are you?
I know these chapters are quite short right now but once I’m on a roll with getting these chapters out and published I’ll go back and make them longer.
Hope you had a great time in Joker’s Basement!