Brietta held her head in her hands. “Ohhhh,” she moaned, leaning down to press fingertips into her pulsing temples.
“Slurpy tumor?” A voice intruded upon her misery.
“Iced latte induced head freeze.” She shook her head violently to clear it, her hair springing out in all directions. Luckily, she didn’t take out the voice’s eye. She lifted her head slowly, opening her eyes. Blue skies stared back at her. No, not skies, though the eyes looking into hers looked to be the color of them. She blinked as she panned out to take in the rest of the manly body in possession of the baritone voice and stunning eyes. “I know better than to drink it that fast.”
“Sometimes, it can’t be helped.” His mouth crinkled up into a grin.
Her heart beat a step or two faster, making her mouth open to catch her lungs up. It couldn’t be because the man’s whole face lit up when he smiled. Or that his face looked so worthy of smiling all the time. Things in her nether regions dampened quite a bit. “Coffee goodness.” Her shoulders slumped at her inane, blurted-out words. Stupid. Get your head out from down there and back up here to start thinking, so you can carry on an intelligent conversation
“Can’t beat coffee goodness.” His smile lowered to a more serious expression. “I’m Casey.” He held out a hand. “May I join you?
She took the hand to shake it. The pulse that passed from finger to finger acted as if it were a ping of electricity. “I’m Brietta.” She forced back a shiver. Her hand still tingled from where he’d touched.
The man in front of her was blond and beefy in all the right places. His khakis and button-down shirt accentuated a firm body. If only she’d gotten to see his butt before he’d approached. She considered herself a connoisseur of men’s butts. She’d have to try and leave after him, get a good look. But, if it matched the rest of him, wowsa.
“Headache all gone, Brietta?” He sat down in the chair across the small table from her, clutching his own coffee in a paper cup.
The way her name rolled off his tongue made her goose pimples get goose pimples. “Yes. Yes, it is. Thanks for asking.”
He took the top off, dumping a sugar into the steaming liquid before stirring it with a stick. A sweet, nutty scent reached her nose as steam rolled out of the cup. Was that hazelnut? After taking a sip, his tongue slipped out to lick a spot of coffee from his lip, then glided across the rest of it.
She clenched her thighs together. What a big tongue you have. The better to slurp me with
. “Hurt yourself? It’s a little hot.” Still steaming in fact.
The tongue drew back in. “Nah, I’m fine. Come here often?”
“Anytime I want good coffee.” She leaned back in her chair, crossing her legs. His eyes shifted to the movement, following it. They gleamed. Her chest puffed out slightly. All those treadmill visits must be paying off. Her exercise regimen dictated rewards when she met her goals. This latte was a reward for a week of sticking with higher weights.
“Do you shop at SuperSaver?” He stirred his coffee again before replacing the lid.
Not exactly the question she’d been expecting, considering his appreciation of her legs. “I do sometimes.”
“I think I’ve seen you in there.”
“I’ve seen you in there,” caused a stomach full of flapping butterflies, which was followed by, “Oh, God, a stalker,” where the butterflies got all slammed together, breaking their flutters. Her mouth curled up in a frown.
come here often?” she asked. If he said, “No, but could I have your liver,” like a psycho, she’d scramble out of there.
His laugh came at a low bass. “They know my order. I’m in here every morning. Haven’t seen you in here before though.”
A man swiping down tables with a yellow sponge behind them intoned, “Hazelnut latte, no whipped cream.”
So he hadn’t followed her here at least. “They don’t know my order like that.”
His broad shoulders shrugged. “As you said, ‘coffee goodness.’” He held up his cup at her.
She clinked her plastic one against his paper.
“Brietta, would you like to go to dinner with me tomorrow night?”
Despite having thought him a stalker earlier, the attraction won the contest. He radiated something that spoke to her. And he set her loins on fire. And damn, but she was glad he asked. With a grin, she said, “I’d love to.” It’s just one date. Stay away, butterflies
. She’d jumped in too soon with relationships before. She wouldn’t do that this time. A vow she made to herself. She’d take her time.
After arranging a time and a public place to meet, away he walked. And his ass had to be a Playgirl fantasy. Not that she’d know. She only read the magazine for the articles, of course. Taking her last few sips of iced latte, she headed for work.