“… and a venti iced caramel macchiato, three petite vanilla bean scones…”
She must’ve had the longest order in the history of Starbucks. I’d already been in line much longer than I could afford. My assistant called in sick this morning, so I decided to stop in and grab my own coffee. It was a big mistake. It seemed like everyone in the city was packed into the tiny corner shop, lobbying for the best position in the mass of bodies that tried to resemble an orderly line. A customer bumped me from behind and I closed my eyes in frustration. I didn’t have time to be stuck behind the girl with the longest order and the longest hair.
I opened my eyes to take in that long blonde hair again. She could get paid to dress up as Elsa for little girl’s birthday parties. I knew her hair wasn’t actually that long, it just seemed long because she was so short. Being short would really suck. Even in a crowd my 6’5 frame lets me breathe above the chaos, but this girl was trapped staring at people’s chests, probably wishing she could tell them that deodorant needs to be applied daily, even if it claims to last for 48 hours. And now she was going to have to push through the crowd with at least twenty drinks. If she ever finished her order.
I heaved a sigh, but didn’t know it was that loud until she looked up over her shoulder at me. I expected her to be annoyed, or at least rushed, like everyone in this city, but her eyes were apologetic. They were also a light grey, so cool and clear like a light mist over open water.
“Sorry. I know it’s a really long order.” She shrugged and flashed a smile that didn’t show any teeth, but still blew me away. She turned back to pay for her order, but I knew I had to get her attention again.
“Are you an intern or something?” I asked. and after she grabbed her receipt and faced me again, annoyance flooded her gaze.
“No, I’m not.” She answered curtly, then pushed her tiny body through the crowd to position herself by the pickup counter. My eyes followed her through the crowd until the barista prompted me to focus my attention on ordering. I rattled off my usual quickly as possible, my earlier restlessness back for an entirely different reason. I needed to get back to that girl. I shoved my receipt into the pocket of my khakis and strode up behind her, elbowing a teenaged girl out of the way to get as close to her as possible.
“If you’re not an intern, why are you getting so many drinks?” I said, looking down at her. She looked professional in her skinny black slacks and white blouse. The cut was modest, but I was looking straight down at her and I couldn’t help but appreciate the view of her cleavage. If I was her, I would’ve worn heels to give myself a boost. She really was tiny.
“I’m getting drinks for my office meeting. We have them once a week and take turns bringing the caffeine.” She answered without even looking back at me. She was playing hard to get, but I knew how to rile her up.
“So what, you’re like the secretary or assistant or something?” I was taking a huge risk by being a jackass, but I was sure it would pay off. She spun around so fast that I swear her hair made the sound of a whip. When she balled her hands into fists and punched them down onto her hips, I knew I had made the right call.
“I have a doctorate in neuroscience and my lab is working on a cure for Parkinson’s disease. What the fuck are you doing with your life?” She looked up at me, daring me to have a profession that rivals curing a fatal disease. I swear the teenager I elbowed out of the way started laughing behind her, but I didn’t want to turn around to find out. I kept my poker face on, unwilling to show my surprise. I knew she probably wasn’t a stupid secretary, but I didn’t think she would have a damn degree in brain surgery.
“I’m in business.” I replied casually, trying to calm down the temper that I inflamed.
“That business sure makes you feel important, huh?” Her eyes had gone from cool to flaming, and I wasn’t sure who was going to get burned.
“Not to brag, but I am pretty important.” I flashed her a smile, trying to convey that I was joking, but she wasn’t having it.
“Not to be condescending, but when you say ‘not to brag,’ you are bragging.” She was completely right, of course, since she was smart as shit and I decided not to respond. Instead, I let my eyes travel the length of her body. She was short, but she was fit. A blind man could tell that she worked out, like the kind of workout most women are afraid to do. Women have this crazy idea that if they lift weights , they will turn into body builders, but in reality they would get a great body. And this girl had it. Her ass made those slacks look amazing. I let my appreciation show as I slid my gaze over her cleavage and full lips, right back to her mesmerizing eyes. Her cheeks heated and I knew I was close to winning her over.
I opened my mouth to speak, but when her tongue darted out of her mouth to wet her lips, my words got stuck in my throat and my brain completely stopped working. They were so full an inviting. All I wanted was a taste of whatever lipgloss coated their surface.
The sound of my name snapped my mind out of the gutter and back to reality. I didn’t know how this cramped Starbucks could hold the weight of our sexual tension, but somehow the shop continued to buzz around us. I reached for the drink on the counter only to find her small hands already wrapped around it. I smiled, thinking that she had reached down to hand me my drink, but then she took a sip of my coffee.
“Oh my god what was that?” She swallowed, looking more disgusted than I felt.
“My coffee.” I answered dryly. Aside from a stranger drinking my coffee, that was a pretty good way to smooth out the residual anger from my jackassry.
“No, the barista said my name.” She spun the coffee cup around in its sleeve, until the scribbled name faced me, then shoved it in my face as if saying, see?
“Yeah, my name, my coffee. You can’t just go around steeling other people’s drinks and then getting offended when you don’t like them. It’s rude.” I asked the barista for another lid. No matter how hot I thought she was, I wasn’t gonna drink after her. My mom told me not to share cups and it’s one of the only rules I followed. I threw the lid with her light pink lipgloss printed on top in the trashcan and turned back to her.
“I’m confused.” She said.
“I don’t know what you have to be confused about. You took a sip of my drink-” I stopped mid-sentence as we both looked up at the barista’s yell.
“We’re bagging up your large order now. Sorry for the wait.”
She blinked a couple of times, obviously catching on a little slowly for someone who claimed to have a Ph.D.
“It’s fine.” I told the barista as she rushed off to make more caffeinated goodness.
“We have the same name?” She looked up at me, a small smile playing on her beautiful lips. Just for a second, I thought maybe I shouldn’t have asked for a new lid so I could taste the lipgloss that was making her lips so damn shiny.
After I had stared at her mouth just a little too long, I looked at her eyes, only to find her giving me the once over. When her gaze finally found min, I smirked and she flushed again. Damn, it seemed like she blushed every time she had a dirty thought. And that was twice in the time we were waiting for our orders. This was going to be fun. I didn’t know what this attraction was, but she felt it to, and I had to get her to explore it with me.
“My name’s Cameron. And I guess yours is too.”