“H..hey.” Smooth Hunter!
The young man who had waited on her earlier was still in the restaurant, as her grandmother assured her he would be. He was leaning over one table to get to another, straining so that Hunter could clearly see the muscles moving in his shoulders and the arch of his well toned back.
But when she spoke up, he straightened and turned and looked at her with those golden eyes- God, those eyes- and smiled. “I remember you! The table under Charpentier, right?”
“Carpenter,” she corrected. The French pronunciation belonged to her grandmother and it was one people often mispronounced.
“Sorry, I’m usually not good with names. I did try to remember yours, though,” he laughed, turning back to the tables.
“You did? Why?” she asked, stepping closer. Jesus Hunter, that doesn’t sound dumb at all.
“’Cause I dropped your food like three times in the kitchen and the boss almost had an aneurysm trying not to yell at me,” he said with another laugh. “I kind of got demoted today. He just wants me cleaning up.”
“I’m sorry…” Well, that explained why she was waiting an hour for her crab bisque and why the manager came over to apologise so profusely.
“Oh don’t worry about it. I like working here, it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing.” He turned and leaned against the table, giving her his full attention. “I meet great people.”
“I can’t imagine.” She really couldn’t. Hunter hadn’t had to work a day in her life. Not by her own choice, of course, her mother insisted that she focus on her studies over a job and her grandmother scoffed at the idea of her starting her way up from the bottom.
He stood up and his face suddenly darkened. “I’m sorry. You’re here for a reason and I’m keeping you busy.”
“Oh no,” she insisted, “I… I just came here to… ask your name?”
That seemed to surprise him. “You don’t know my name? I’ve served you like five times in the past month.”
So he has noticed. “Well, I… I mean, I’m not…”
He smiled and shook his head. “Did I forget to introduce myself before taking your order? That drives my manager nuts. Well, it drives Paul nuts. My other managers, Tiffany and Katie don’t care so much.” He laughed. “Sorry, I’m Mack.” He extended his hand, a deep olive tan with fine black hairs crawling out.
“Hunter,” she replied, taking it.
“Hunter, Hunter,” he said with a smile. “Hunter is a great name, especially for a girl.”
“Listen, Hunter, I have to clean this place up so Paul can shut it down. If I hold him up for too long, he might seriously go into an anger coma, but you know, I’m always up for hanging out with new friends. We should hang out.”
We should hang out? He barely knew her name and couldn’t even remember how many times he told her his. But… “Okay, yeah sure. Do you want my phone number?”
“Do you know the number for this place? Just call it and ask for Mack and we’ll make some places then.” He smiled. She didn’t. Are you allowed to just do that at your job? He didn’t seem to be very good at it anyway.
“Okay,” she said smiling.