Her Mr. CEO
The bank was down the hill from Leah’s house, in the cozy downtown of the Meridian Suburb of Chicago. She pulled on a red plaid shirt over her white tank and ripped jean shorts. Leah ties her hair in a messy bun and left the house with a cross body purse. She didn’t take her car. She didn’t need one, and downtown was closed off for cars anyway. It was a farmer’s market day, the town had one every other week.
This was Leah’s second one since she’d moved to town. She’d been interested when every other Sunday, hordes of people would walk by her house, and last time she’d followed them. Her house was close to the bank cause they had offered to pay for half of it if she chose one close by, and luckily she’d found the perfect one for herself.
The morning was a pleasant one, perfect for a market day. The streets were already busy when she got out. A few people were walking down by themselves, squads of girlfriends chatting about, and mothers pushing down strollers as fathers carried the older children on their shoulders.
Leah was still new in town, so she didn’t know many people, but conversed with a group of young mothers and a couple other people who recognized her from the bank.
She hadn’t had breakfast, only made herself look presentable and walked out. Leah bought a breakfast burrito and a coffee, eating as she walked around, seeing the stalls. She mentally notes what she wanted to buy, which wasn’t much, since she only lived by herself.
A stall of fresh fruits caught her eye and she lingered there long. The shiny and fresh red apples and pomegranate, and the heavy citrus scented blood oranges among other mouth watering fruits.
“How much is this bag of apples, sir?”
She asked, then took a bite of her breakfast.
“For you? No charge.” Said a voice next to her. Leah recognized the voice and almost choked on her food as she turned to face him. Him, him.
“Why don’t I take it this is your stall?” She asked as she carefully swallowed.
“It’s not.” Gabriel nonchalantly said.
“So I don’t suppose it’s free, either.”
“For you, not for me. Let me pay, please, it’s no trouble.”
“Alriiight. But I’m getting more than just apples.”
“You could ask for an orchard and it wouldn’t be a problem,” he smirked at her.
“You always show off?” She raised a brow at him.
“Only in front of beautiful girls,” he smiled and the corners of his eyes wrinkled.
“Is that a pickup line?” Leah asked as she handed her selections to the actual stall owner.
“Depends, will you let me walk with you?”
“I suppose...” she dragged it and took a sip of her coffee.
“Then I suppose it was a pickup line,” Gabriel took a shot and hit the mark.
Leah laughed and the stall guy smiled at the two as they left.
“Make yourself useful?” She asked, handing him the bags of fruits.
“Gladly,” his fingers skimmed her arms as he took the bags from her and a chill went through her. The good kind of chill.
“And what brings Mr. CEO to a farmer’s market?”
“Well, your Mr. C. E. O. is a chef in his spare time.”
Leah’s heart fluttered when he said “your” and she blushed to the floor. It was impossible that he didn’t notice.
“Really? And you weren’t trying to plow your entourage of cars through downtown?” She toughened up.
“Do I really look like one of those kind?” Gabriel cocked a brow and Leah took a side glance at him.
Loose tie; a black vest over a white shirt with sleeves rolled up; a Rolex on his wrist. Those front buttons were working hard to stay closed, and if he flexed more, his sleeves might rip.
Gabriel Evans was definitely one of “those kind”, but Leah didn’t want to say it out loud.
“Like what you see?” Gabriel’s voice snapped her back to reality, and she looked up to see a knowing smile on his face.
“Uhh, yeah. That blueberry pie looks heavenly.” Leah sidestepped him and went to the stall.
Gabriel chuckled and followed her.
“Hi! I was just telling my friend here, your pies smell delicious!” Leah said to the lady working the stall.
“And they taste even better! Would you like to try some? We have samples!” The old lady held up a tray and they both took a cup.
The dessert really was delicious, and Leah was so lost in its taste that she forgot she wasn’t alone. When she opened her eyes, Gabriel was smiling down at her as if she’d done something really naive, and then she remembered hearing a moan. Her own moan. Her eyes widened and she quickly threw away the empty cup and regained her composure.
“Sorry, I haven’t had time recently to enjoy good food. The pie really was delicious,” she complemented the old woman, then addressed Gabriel.
“I’ll take the blueberry one,” she said to him.
But he only kept staring at her with that amused smirk.
“I can pay for it you know,” she reached into her purse, but he finally snapped out of his daze.
Gabriel reached out a hand and cupped her chin, then dragged a thumb over her lower lip center to crease. Leah dared a glance and saw a bit of jam on his thumb; he cleaned it by sucking it in his mouth. He smiled at her again, and this time, it was Leah who was dazed; starstruck as he paid for the pie.
“Any more shopping?” Gabe asked, bringing her back to earth.
“Huh?” Leah shook her head clear.
“I have one more free arm and an unlimited balance on my card.” He knowingly smiled at her.
“Oh right. Just some more groceries then I’ll be done.” She grabbed the strap of her purse with both hands as they walked away from the pie stall.
“Like I said before, I have exceptional cooking skills. I’d love to have an opportunity to cook for you. Especially if I’d get the same sound of approval you gave the pie!” he teased her.
“Oh great. Well actually, my branch is hosting a chili competition for nearby branches of United Financials. You could help me make a pot. If, you are as skilled a chef as you say.” Leah taunted him right back.
“It’s a date,” Gabriel extended a hand.
“Only if I win,” Leah cockily replied as she gave him her hand.
Gabriel lifted her hand and lowered his head half way, planting a kiss on her hand that buckled her knees.
He was gonna say more, but his phone diverted his attention. Gabriel apologized and made one of his men take Leah’s groceries home for her. By the time she reached home, the strap of her purse was so wrinkled it might have needed an iron. Leah flopped on her bed, staring at the roof;
Her Mr. CEO.