“Baxter Books,” I said to myself. I hadn’t noticed this shop the last time I was in this part of town, so I decided to take a look. I grabbed the large, black door handle and pulled myself inside. As I took a step into the shop, I noted the walls, a light shade of blue and bookshelves lining them. The aisles of books were floor to ceiling, with various colors of easy chairs placed throughout in little reading nooks. Toward the back, I could see a small coffee bar set up with a few high-top seats. The music overhead was light, top 40 type radio.
I browsed a few aisles, just taking in the new place. As I turned the corner, I ran straight into a hard body. “Shit, sorry!” I exclaimed. I looked up to see who I ran into, and my mouth fell open. Brody Baxter. The high school golden boy. Every girl wanted him, myself included.
“Olivia!” He smiled. “It’s been a long time.”
I couldn’t formulate proper thoughts. He knew my name? I could only remember us speaking a handful of times. How had he become even more handsome? He stood tall, muscular, and absolutely drool-worthy with his emerald, green eyes and black hair that flopped just slightly onto his forehead.
“Brody. Hi... How are you?” I stuttered out like a fool. I tucked a piece of my auburn hair behind my ear, wishing I had decided to dress better today. Instead, here I was, standing in front of this fine specimen in yoga pants, sneakers, and a crop top. I had thrown my hair up into a messy bun before yoga class then popped in here on a whim.
“I’m doing well. You look amazing. How have you been?” He smiled. I nodded, trying to swallow my nerves.
“Thanks. Um, I’ve been fine. Good, I’ve been good. Boring old me.” Jesus, I was a mess. He let out a small laugh, reaching out and touching my arm. Brody leaned back, staring right into me. “Is this your shop?” I asked, realizing the names were the same.
“Oh no. My sister, Angie. I just popped in to say Hi and see how it was going for her. Bonus running into you.” He grinned. I could feel the heat rise to my cheeks.
“That’s great, and yes, it’s nice bumping into you.” I squeaked out.
“I hope this isn’t too forward, but are you seeing anyone?” He asked, rubbing the back of his neck. Was he nervous? Brody Baxter nervous around me?
“No, actually, I’m not. How about you? I’m guessing married with at least one kid?” I teased.
“Ha! No, No wife, no kids, no one.” He looked down for a moment, then back up to my eyes. “Would you want to get dinner together tonight?” Brody asked quietly.
“Um, sure. Yeah, I think that would be nice.” I smiled nervously. I couldn’t believe Brody Baxter was asking me on a date. He handed his phone to me to put in my number, which I happily did, and we agreed to meet back here for dinner.
I found myself back at the familiar bookstore, wandering the aisles waiting for Brody. As I turned the corner, I ran into his muscular chest.
“Excuse me, Ma’am. I think you should watch where you’re going.” He chuckled.
“It appears so. It seems this happens a lot.” I smiled.
“Oh? It does?” Brody raised his brow.
“Well, not a lot, I guess.” I ran my hand down his chest playfully as I walked around him and down another aisle.
“So, are you interested in dinner tonight?” He asked, catching up to me.
“Possibly.” I teased again. “Where did you have in mind?”
“Well, Um. There’s this amazing steakhouse a few blocks from here. I know someone who raves about their steak and enjoys a beer or two.” He ran his hand through his hair, still dark as midnight.
“Sounds like someone I’d like.” I turned, facing him, leaning back against the bookshelf as he leaned in closer.
“Oh, I’m quite sure of it.” I could feel his breath on my face. “May I kiss you?” He asked politely, and I giggled.
“I’m not sure my Husband would like that,” I smirked.
“Husband?! Well, I don’t see any Husband around here.” He stroked down the side of my cheek before cupping my face and pushing his lips into mine. The butterflies swarmed my belly like the first time all over again.
“You’re quite the kisser.” I smiled.
“That’s what my wife says.”
“Wife?! What kind of wife lets you out by yourself?!” I shoved at his chest. He pulled me into him, going in for another kiss. After all these years, he still took my breath away.
“Is it weird we do this every year?” He asked as he took my hand in his, holding them up and looking at our rings.
“Not at all. You’re the most romantic man I’ve ever known, and I couldn’t love you more.” I pecked his lips quickly. “Had we not bumped into each other, well, who knows where we’d be.”
“Are you ready for your steak and beer, Mrs. Baxter?” He asked, starting toward the door. I tugged him back for a moment.
“There is a book I wanted to grab while we were here.” I pulled him along with me a few aisles over. He was oblivious as he watched me move. I scanned the bookshelf, knowing exactly what book I was looking for. I pulled it out and handed it to him.
“What to expect when you’re expecting?” He read out loud. It took him another moment, then he looked over, eyes wide. “Are you? Are we?”
“Happy Second Anniversary, Daddy.” I stood on my tiptoes and planted a kiss on his perfect lips.
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