He walked down the street as if he owned it. Brown hair, brown eyes, tight jeans and a black shirt – nothing he wore was unusual. It was the way he wore his clothes that separated him from the other brown haired men with dark eyes walking down the same street.
He paused at the window of a bookstore, but moved on without entering. As I passed the window, I glanced inside. Two romance novels and the latest self-help guru’s biggest seller.
Which of them had snagged his attention? Was he a secret romantic at heart? A guy who read chick books? Or did he believe in the gurus of this world and look to them for inspiration?
Two blocks later he ducked into a Starbucks, and after a few moments brought a steaming paper cup to the table by the window. The one with the faux leather arm chairs. He relaxed into the chair on the right and looked through the window.
I met his gaze and a half smile quirked his lips. This close, he was incredibly attractive. Intense eyes.
I went into the Starbuck’s and bought a hot chai latte I didn’t want, and couldn’t drink even if I had. I brought it to his table.
“Sit down,” he invited with a careless wave of his hand in the direction of the empty chair. So confident. I admired that.
His voice was soft and polite, with a hint of impatience. “You’ve been following me for three nights.”
“Four,” I said.
Another quirk of his expressive mouth. He found me amusing.
“Four,” he amended with a shrug. “The point is tonight you decided to make contact. Why?”
“I’m tired of existing in the shadows of your life. I want more.”
“I don’t know you. You don’t know me.”
“I know enough about you after four nights to understand I want more.”
He laughed at that and drank his coffee. I watched him swallow and bit the inside of my cheek until I tasted blood.
“What if I’m not interested?” He set down his cup and leaned across the battered table to tap my hand. His touch was electric. The blood in my mouth turned molten.
“I think you might be,” I said.
“Stalkers are not rewarded by obtaining the objects of their interest. I suggest you stop this game now.” His dark eyes turned almost black and his eyebrows drew together in a harsh slash.
One minute amused, the next angry. Good natured, but quick tempered. I filed that away for future reference.
“I’m not a stalker.” I rose to my feet and gave him a full smile. One that revealed everything about me.
His eyes widened.
“Oh, come on,” he protested, but there was doubt in his tone. Doubt and the beginnings of reluctant interest.
“You know where to find me,” I said and walked out.
As I passed the window, he pressed his palms to it and his expression hovered somewhere between terror and desire.
“But I don’t know.” His voice was desperate through the glass. The other Starbucks patrons stared.
I gave him another smile, this one more demure, and walked away.
Two blocks later I heard his footsteps behind mine. I smiled and kept walking. Perhaps I’d allow him to catch up in a block or two. Or a night or two. It didn’t matter. I had all the time in the world. Maybe he did as well. One night soon he’d walk by my side, or he’d be a part of my past. He was mine now. For now or for eternity, that was the question.