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 Teasing Me 

Season 3

Episode 2

I hang up, cutting her off in the middle of what I’m sure was a fascinating monologue on the merits of Keith Overton, the misogynistic fat-shamer. “I’m so sorry,” I say, lunging for the nearest napkin dispenser. Coffee is all over the floor and everyone is staring at the girl who clearly doesn’t have her life together and these napkins aren’t nearly up for the job of cleaning up the huge puddle on the floor.

I reach for more and a large hand stops me. “Are you all right?” The voice is so deep that it rumbles across my skin leaving chills. It makes me freeze, and I turn to see the man I collided with. Though the only reason I can tell that is because there’s a giant coffee stain on the front of his shirt. I was so pre-occupied with Catherine that I hadn’t even looked up. And what a damn shame that would have been. He’s tall, and that’s not just because I’m a shorter-than-average human, he towers over everyone else in the cafĂ©. And he’s gorgeous. This man is exactly my idea of prince charming. Tan skin that speaks of the outdoors and maybe some Native American heritage, and that coffee is doing me some favors because his shirt is clinging to him and doesn’t leave any question about just how ripped he is. The fact that I’ve been in a dry spell suddenly rears its head. I would be very happy ending my dry spell with somebody like that. The only word my brain is thinking is ‘Yum.’

He smiles, and I laugh, suddenly aware that I’m just staring. “Yeah, I think I’m okay. I’m really sorry about your shirt, though I’m not sorry that it got me off the phone.”

“Don’t worry, I have other shirts,” he says, “And it sounded like an unpleasant conversation, so I’m happy to help.”

“Yeah, you could say that.”

“Do you mind if I ask what you were arguing about?”

I start to mop up the coffee again, “Just my sister trying to set me up with this horrible guy from high school and telling me I won’t find—” My words come to a screeching halt. This isn’t something you tell a perfect gorgeous stranger. “It’s nothing.”

He pulls me aside as the girl from behind the counter starts to mop up the mess. “I’m really sorry,” I say to her.

She shrugs. “It happens.”

He’s still looking at me. This intense look that makes the blood rise to my cheeks and feel the urge to step closer. “If your sister was telling you that you would never find anyone, she couldn’t be more wrong.”

I blink, stunned. His voice holds nothing but sincerity and something deeper. “Thanks.” My heart is beating in my chest and I feel breathless in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

“I’m serious,” he says. “I have a feeling you have no idea how beautiful you are.”

My face is on fire. No one has ever said anything like that to me before. He can’t be serious. Is he serious? I’m not beautiful. I’m completely average and always have been. I have no idea what to say to something like that, so the first thing in my mind comes out. “Are you sure I can’t reimburse you for dry cleaning your shirt? People affected by my clumsiness deserve some form of compensation.”

Seriously, Christine? That’s what you say to the man who just called you beautiful? Nice move.

He chuckles, “No, I’ll be fine.”

“Dinner, then.” The words tumble out of my mouth before I even think them. “Or a drink. Just to let me say that I’m sorry.” I mean, I know I sound a little desperate, but he so gorgeous that I don’t want him to leave the coffee shop without at least giving it a shot. And since he said those nice things, maybe he’ll want to. Even if it’s out of pity.

His mouth—how I hadn’t noticed his mouth is beyond me, it makes me think of kisses and gasping and other naughty things—tips up into a smile. “I would like nothing more than to have dinner with you, but I can’t tonight. I have some prior responsibilities. But,” he reaches into his pocket and takes a card from his wallet, “if you come to Club Deep, tonight or any night, I’d be more than happy to buy you a drink.”

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