He is curious to get to know her, to find out why her hands are so cold. The bad boy in him feels challenged, wondering if she is cold all over, all of the time. He will accept the challenge to warm her up. Or at least have fun trying.
She too is curious to get to know him. His appearance so different than any man she has ever known. She has never known anyone with a tattoo. He must be strong. Tattoos hurt. So do piercings. He must be strong indeed.
He stops suddenly and again she bumps into him. This time she places her hand on the back of his shoulder. She watches as goosebumps run down his arm. He reaches his opposite hand over his shoulder and lightly grasps her hand, taking it off his shoulder and pulling her around in front of him. He kisses her knuckles, “We are going to have to warm up those hands.”
She should be burning with fire as the blush creeps up her chest to the top of her head.
The corner of his mouth goes up. “Are you always so cold?” She nods and looks away from him. He reaches his arm over her shoulder and she notices that his goosebumps are gone. He leans into her and she can smell the scent of his deodorant. She doesn’t recall the last time she has been so close to a man other than her father. She is nervous as to his intentions of being so close that she closes her eyes slightly. Then she hears a door start to open behind her. “Shall we have that coffee?” he whispers in her ear.
The hair on her neck stands up and she tries to swallow in an attempt to clear her throat. She hears him take a big breath and sigh slightly on the exhale. She forces her eyes open and turns to enter the coffee shop as she coughs to clear her throat.
Behind her, he holds the door open and watches her walk. She stands straight portraying her fake confidence. He can’t help but notice the curves of her hips and the slight sway as she walks. He bites his bottom lip as his thoughts turn to fantasies of using his warmth to take her chill away. As she is about to approach the counter she turns around to find that he is still at the door. She frowns at him unsure as to why he is not coming in. Thinking the worst her mind turns to thoughts of being abandoned. She sighs, unsure of what to do. He smiles before letting go of the door and taking a couple of large steps to her and the counter. The frown remains on her face.
“Sorry,” he apologizes, “I was enjoying the view.” Confused she looks around searching for the view he speaks of. When she looks back up at him she sees that he is trying to not laugh.
“Is this a joke?” she asks defensively.
The smile leaves his face immediately. He was right to think she lacked confidence; however, she is very confident in her defenses. “No,” he tries to reassure her but the look on her face remains skeptical. He puts a hand on her shoulder and gently turns her around. Placing a hand on the small of her back he ushers her to the counter.
“Hi Adam,” the barista greets him cheerfully, “you’re a little late today. Would you like your usual?”
“And what about you miss? What can I get for you?”
Sarah stares up at the menu for only a moment. “White chocolate mocha please.”
“Mmmm, good choice,” the barista smiles and takes Adam’s card for payment. “Why don’t you two have a seat. I’ll bring out your drinks when they are ready.”
“Thank you,” Adam says and the barista winks at him before he turns and escorts Sarah to a table in the corner by a fireplace that is not lit.
Sarah laughs to herself. He knows that she is cold so he instinctively sits by a fireplace; however, unlit, it will do no good. Adam is a perfect gentleman and pulls a chair out for Sarah to have a seat.
“You come here often,” a statement, not a question.
“Every day,” Adam says, “I told you I knew of a great coffee place a block away.”
‘We’ll see,’ Sarah thinks to herself.
When the barista delivers their coffees she glances their reflection in the mirror. She thinks they make an unlikely pair. Her, with a long pencil skirt, blouse and sweater shawl clearly straight out of a professional office building. Him, with a muscle shirt, jeans, tattoo and piercings straight out of who knows where. She wraps her hands around her mug as her thoughts begin to wonder why she is here with this man.
“What are you thinking about?” he asks, breaking through her thoughts.
“Nothing,” she answers quietly before having a sip of her white chocolate mocha.
He laughs. “You are not a very good liar Sarah,” he says.
She puts her cup down gently but does not let go of it. “Thank you for the coffee,” she says looking down at her hands.
“Is it helping?”
She shakes her head. “I don’t know how you can drink that,” she says pointing at his frappuccino.
He shakes it before having a sip. “It is really quite good. Have you tried one before?”
Again she shakes her head. “I would surly freeze if I did.”
He holds his cup out to her. “Have a sip.” She looks at it suspiciously. “I’ll hold it. You sip. And if it really makes you that cold,” he shrugs his shoulders, “I’ll warm you up.” She looks at the cup as if it will bite her. “Promise,” he says to reassure her.
Reluctantly, she leans forward forming an “o” with her lips before wrapping them around his straw. Slowly, she takes a pull on the straw. The cold ice hits the tip of her tongue quicker than she expects and she squeezes her eyes shut tight. When the ice melts she can taste some of the sweetness. She takes another small sip, sucking in her cheeks. It is hard to taste when your tongue is numb. She pushes the straw out of her mouth when she finishes her sip. She looks up at him to find him sitting with his knuckles pressed against his mouth.
“What?” she asks.
He clears his throat moving his hand from his mouth to hers.
“Your lips are blue.” As his fingers lightly brush over her lips she can picture his finger in her mouth, sucking on it. She blinks, surprised by her own thoughts. “You ok,” he asks.
“What?” she blinks again, shaking her head slightly. “Yes, I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
He brings his straw to his lips. She watches as he sucks his drink through it. His lips closed tight and cheeks sucked in. He watches her watching him. He continues to enjoy his drink, and her reaction to him drinking it, without speaking again. Wild thoughts of curiosity run through his mind.
Similar thoughts run through her mind as well. And he knows it.
(c) Rachel Rennie