10 May Sample Sunday – Neighborhood Hottie
This is a little snippet from my forthcoming (no date) “The Reinvention of the Rose”. This is a different Rose from the one introduced in Storytime, which I am not revisiting at this time.
Unedited. Subject to change. Please enjoy.
“Another spiked chai. To go,” I told the barista after I’d patiently waited my turn, then took a seat at the steadily emptying bar until it was ready. Now that the music was done, I assumed they must be closing soon, based on the thinning crowd.
“Sorry about that.”
My eyebrow lifted at the sound – and feel – of somebody in my ear, way too deep into my personal space. I turned in my seat, just enough to find “Tris” standing over me, so close that I could feel the warmth of his body, without him actually touching me.
“Back up,” I said, lifting my hand in a stop motion to emphasize my point. The demand made him lift an eyebrow, but he honored it. “What are you apologizing to me for?” I asked, once he did.
“Ol’ boy,” he answered, with a vague gesture toward the front door. “I saw him approach you… saw you dismiss him. I didn’t know he was going to take it where he did.”
I shrugged, reaching over the bar to accept my drink. “So you were watching me, is what I’m hearing.”
Tris smiled, and it was a very nice smile.
Full lips, white teeth, the works, especially potent against his rich brown skin.
“What can I say? You’re a beautiful woman. So yes, you caught my attention.” His eyes were warm, full of interest as he waited for my response – probably expecting me to be flattered by his apparent attraction.
More than anything, I was amused.
“What, exactly, should I do with that?” I asked.
His eyes narrowed, confused. “With what?”
“Your attention. The way you’re talking about it, I’m getting the impression it’s a high-value item around here, but… I’m not from here. Are you the neighborhood hottie or something?”
He chuckled about that, but… I was serious.
The material was there.
The height, the solid build, the beard, the locs, the full sleeves of ink covering that pretty milk-chocolate skin.
A near-perfect male specimen who wouldn’t have been out of place as one of my peers.
“So you think I’m hot, is what I’m hearing,” he countered, leaning in even closer.
I smiled at him. “I’m not blind. But I’m also not interested.”
“Fair enough,” he said, with a respectful nod. “You have a good night.”
My drink was delivered to me before there was a chance for awkwardness, but before I could pay for it, “Tris” stepped in.
“That one’s on me, Nik,” he told the pretty barista from across the bar, blocking the money I was trying to offer. “Put it on my tab.”
“You got it,” she answered, smiling, moving on without giving me a chance to protest.
“You didn’t have to do that,” I said, but he was already backing away.
“I know. Good night,” he said again, and then he was gone, leaving me with my gifted drink in hand, feeling… confused.
It wasn’t as if it were the first time a man had paid for my drink.
A foreign property here and there.
That island, out in the Indian ocean.
I was undebatably beautiful, just like every other woman who bore the same mark I did, and had been impeccably trained in the art of charming money, information, and any manner of other things out of men.
That was supposed to be behind me though.
And… yeah, this was just a hot tea, but it still just felt… weird.
I couldn’t dwell on that though.
I got my ass back across the street, through the shop, up to my apartment. By the time I got myself back into my comfy lounge clothes, my tea had cooled enough to comfortably sip.
In the window.
While I watched.