My hand shook as I tugged the rear vision mirror across and made sure my hair was still in its bun, my eye brows were brushed in the right direction and not poking up and down in weird patterns and I hadn’t suddenly developed a strange tumour that required a doctor’s attention ASAP.
Deep breath in.... then out.
“Let’s go,” I said inside the silent car, grabbing my bag.
Getting out and slamming the door, I wanted to go back inside. It was way too cold to be outside. I shivered and huddled into the coat.
Dashing up to the door of the restaurant I could feel my eyes begin to water, the cold air streaming over them. Shit. Not a good impression, especially as my nose began to leak. Quickly I stepped inside.
The warmth was stifling but welcomed. My shoulders that had hunched up in an attempt to keep my neck warm suddenly relaxed and I stood a little taller. Then the heat started to get to me. I stripped off my coat and slung it over my arm knowing exactly what kind of mess I could end up being if I left it on and enjoyed the heat too much; sweaty and smelly and overly self-conscious.
I couldn’t abide the command.
“Cecelia,” Jai called out.
I glanced around before spotting him at a small table. Damn... was he really that attractive? Wow. I had a thing for the wide shoulders and narrow hips and tight ass that he had, but I had totally forgotten how attractive (not perfect) he looked over all. Even though he had sent me a picture only half an hour earlier, but his face had been stretched into a ridiculous grin, I was not prepared for how good he looked.
“Hey,” I said as I made my way to the table and plonked myself down into the seat opposite.
The table was tiny and our knees bumped underneath. That zing shot through me and brought a sudden hot flush over me.
Beside his elbow was his phone, the screen flashed and demanded his attention. “Sorry, I need to tell my mate to go away.” He tapped away on it, his head bent down and a small smile turning the corners of his lips up. “I sortta organised so I could have him come out if you didn’t show up.”
“Huh?” My annoyance of him using his phone during a conversation was pushed aside for a second. “Why would you do that?”
He looked up, blindly he pressed a button on his phone and leaned back and shoved it into his front pocket. “I was worried you would stand me up and then I didn’t want to be that embarrassed guy sitting alone in an empty restaurant.” He leaned forward. “But you showed up.”
“Have you been stood up before?”
“Not yet, but I still don’t know if it will happen.” He looked genuinely nervous, eyes not meeting mine and a red flush colouring his face.
“I have, in a way.” I admitted. “There was a guy I was sweet on and he asked me out to coffee, told me he would text me when he finished work... but he finished so late and couldn’t get into town until after the shops closed and he never apologised for it.”
“That was a shitty thing to do. Did you guys see each other after?”
I nodded. “A couple of times, but he was always focussed elsewhere. I knew him for three months and I can count on one hand the amount of times that we met up in person.” Licking my lips I shrugged. “Enough about that, let’s talk about something else.”
“Why? Are you embarrassed?”
“You’re not embarrassing me so why stop?”
“I’m embarrassing myself. I don’t care if you’re embarrassed or not, I am.” I snatched up the menu. “So what do you think is going to happen next with IS or how do you think the Greeks are going to pull themselves out of financial ruin?”
He gave me an odd little smile.
“What? Stop smiling like that. Don’t you have an opinion?”
“My opinion? Well, I think you have terrible taste in men.”
“Hey,” I frowned. “You’re insulting yourself there more than I.”
“So, is there some crappy thing that you will do? Not call me in the future? Cheat on me? Or do you have a very annoying habit?” My gut clenched in worry. What kind of guy was he really?
“You’re going to just have to wait and see Cecelia my dear.”
Then the waitress appeared at his elbow and asked for our order.