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I looked back, and I realized right then and there it was too late. The cute boy had already walked out of the bookstore and was heading to the Italian Cafe. I groaned and swiftly turned around running into, well, him.
“Oh my gosh I am so sorry, I was just, umm, yeah..” He looked toward the direction of my eyes and saw the cute guy walking into the cafe.
“No, the faults all mine, I didn’t mean to interrupt your hunt,” a flash of irritation crept across his face, with a hint of sarcasm and amusement that blazed in his eyes.
“Very funny, but I happened to have been waiting to introduce myself to him for six weeks, he comes into get a book, every time I have my shift and I’ve been waiting too.. Well you know.” My cheeks scorched the imaginary rose petals that somehow lined my skin.
His face changed in an instant, and he looked almost sorry for me.
“I shouldn't have assumed your motives, I’m sorry, I feel terrible.” He ran his hands through his brown hair, his freckles showed like stars on his skin as he bit his lip in apology.
“It’s alright, I should have looked before I ran into assuming gentlemen,” I nodded and started walking down the sidewalk. He grabbed my arm and a shock was sent through my body, I ripped my arm free and stared at him.
“Again, I’m sorry but please let me buy you a drink or something, I feel awful, my girlfriend just broke up with me and I’ve had a rough day.” In that moment there was nothing more that I wanted to do but run, he had shocked me! How could he not have noticed a freaking lightning bolt, I stared at my arm in admiration, he looked at me in anticipation and his words slowly formed in my mind. I shook my head and without thinking about it I blurted;
“You shocked me.”
“What?” His face contorted into a mix array of exasperation, confusion and disbelief.
“You.Shocked.Me.” He looked down at his hand, then to my arm, which had a developing red mark.
“Even more the reason to buy you a drink, I promise I’m not a jerk.”
My senses came back all at once, “Yes, yeah you can buy me a drink.”
His face relaxed, and he led me to the nearest cafe, and not the Italian one. He opened the door, I looked at his lean frame, he seemed to have muscles hiding underneath his Harvard sweatshirt. He was clean shaven, his nose was slightly pointed, and his jaw was chiseled. I swear drool threatened to drip down my dirty T-shirt that was covered in dust and wood polish. I smiled and touched my bun, making sure it was intact. I had the urge to rush to the bathroom and fix my work worn face. But the anonymous man, who I still didn’t know his name, whisked me towards the counter.
“James, my favorite customer, how are you doing today, the usual?” An old woman, who looked as spunky as half her still intact teeth and red hair could permit, asked.
“Actually Rosy, why don’t you surprise me? I feel like trying something new.” She had a toothpick sticking out of her gums and she looked like she was a chip off the old block. She was about ready to pinch his cheeks, but he smiled like he loved it.
“And for the young lady?” James who was no longer anonymous looked at me, and I scoured the menu.
“Umm, how about the Irish cream steamer, small please.” James rolled his eyes, and Rosy gave a cackling laugh.
“Oh she’s a good one, James,” With a ding from the register she disappeared into the kitchen.
“Don’t mind Rosy, she’s nosy, but an amazing lady.” I nodded and he chuckled.
“Okay, you’re like super shy now, what happened, am I not your type?” I rolled my eyes.
“No only men who go into Italian cafe’s are my type, this isn’t a date Harvard boy. “
“Well alright it’s not, but I mean it could be, I do owe you one.”
I leaned back in the small cafe chairs “Well you’re going to have to convince me extremely well because I have another date on friday, and I mean it’s finder’s keepers.”
His eyes sparkled with mischief, he could’ve auditioned for any villain, and could’ve gotten the part by the way his face lit up.
“The deal is on.”
“Come on I don’t even know you, besides the fact that your girlfriend broke up with you and your name's James.”
“Do you want to find out who I am, because I’m more curious about you.” He leaned forward and I could smell pine needles and the ocean on a summer day. I forced myself not to stare into his bright green eyes, that just looked like endless pools of the California coast.
“What’s your name, Belle?” I laughed.
“Why am I Belle?
“The bookstore gave it away, that and you’re wavy brown hair.” He smiled, a dimple appearing on his freckled face.
“Well then that’s my name, Belle.” He gave me a skeptical look, but approved. As he leaned in to ask me another question, Rosy came out of the kitchen, running like a wild fox.
“James Everett, why didn’t ya tell me that you and Jenny broke up?” She slammed down our drinks, with one eye closed and the other squinted worse than the devil, she put her hands on her hips.
“Because I was trying to make sure Belle had a good time here,” He nodded to me and Rosy gave me a sideways glance.
“She was a fine young woman, what did she do to you, James Rupert!” She didn’t look like she cared about what he thought, she needed an answer. James looked at me and sighed.
“She was arrested yesterday,” He looked down at the floor and Rosy’s maddening stare dropped. She patted his arm and slapped down our bill. Written on the other side in her fancy scrawl was, we’ll talk later, eight pm. James shoved it in his pocket and picked up his mystery drink. I looked at my steamer but didn’t feel like taking a sip, what had he gotten himself into? What did his ex-girlfriend do?
“I’m sorry about that, I didn’t mean to freak you out.”
“Oh James, I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
“That’s alright, I wish I hadn’t know myself, I shouldn’t have asked you out like this, what an improper thing to do..”
“No, it was great, I mean if you still want to…”
“Actually, I think I have other plans.” In a flash he got up and threw his cup away, paid the bill and grabbed his sweatshirt.
“Wait!” He turned around, he looked exhausted, almost like the color had drained from his face.
“Here’s my number.” I handed him a slip of paper as he opened the cafe doors.
“I always stalk people at six.” He laughed and looked into my eyes, his dimples a soft feature on his etched face.
“I’ll remember that, thank you for letting me take up your evening, I’ll see you later, Belle.”
I watched him walk away, I realized in that moment, the Italian cafe guy didn’t compare to James Rupert Everett.