Just Me(6)

By: L.A. Fiore

The heart of town was an easy walk from school and before long, I was settled at an outside table at the cafe sipping my coffee. I had intended to start my homework but it was too nice a day, so instead I people watched. I did that often, silently observed people. I assumed it was the artist in me.

A loud and sexy rumble came from down the street and I didn't need to look to know whom it was. Somehow I managed not to look in his direction, but the exhale was involuntary when he drove past alone. So none of his admirers got a chance to ride on the back of his bike. I was far more relieved by that observation than I should be.

He looked sexy, women watching him intently and turning their heads to keep him in their sights, was proof of that. What would it feel like to have the roar of his bike's engine pulsing through me while having Sebastian Ross wrapped in my arms? He stopped at the light, and I had to say it was damn sexy the way he straddled his bike. I'd love to sketch him when he was unaware I was doing it: to capture that quiet confidence that he exuded so easily. It was while I openly stared at him that his head turned and our eyes met. What was even more unusual, it was like he knew I was there. Unlike in the parking lot at school, his lips curved up into the slightest of grins. Before I had time to react in anyway, the light changed. There it was again, just a barely-there grin and my body was all warm and flustered. If he actually touched me, I'd probably spontaneously combust.


That night I was working: the same job I had had for the past few years waiting tables at Alfonso's Pizzeria. Around seven the bell sounded over the door and a group of people entered. I didn't recognize any of them until the last person filed in—Sebastian. From my spot near the counter, I watched as he and his friends settled in a booth in my section. Great. Wearing my uniform of black jeans, white tee and sneakers and with my black hair pulled back into a ponytail, I looked eleven, maybe twelve. No point in dragging out the inevitable—I grabbed four menus and headed over to them.

Sebastian's friends at the table looked much more like him, unlike the golden gods of the popular crowd that he had spent his day with. They were all dark-haired, all inked and all had an edge to them. Who were they? I knew they didn't go to our school.

As soon as I approached, Sebastian looked up and our eyes met. I'm not sure where the thought came from, but I had the sense he wasn't surprised to find I worked here. A slow, sexy smile spread over his face and, as was the way whenever he was near, my body reacted. I never understood the expression about knees going weak, but I got it now. My legs turned to noodles. The fact that I stayed upright was a feat.

My hands shook from nerves when I handed out the menus and I prayed that Sebastian wouldn't see that telling sign. Before I could ask them what they wanted, all eyes suddenly were fixed on me, but I didn't get the sense they were waiting to place an order. Their staring felt more like an inspection. I had to resist the urge to peer over my shoulder to see if there was something large, scary and possibly alien in nature standing behind me. And then I heard that deep voice and my mind shifted gears: the potential brain-sucking monster completely forgotten.

“Hello Larkspur.”

Sebastian Ross remembered my name. Sure we'd shared some heated glances, but actually remembering my name caused irrational joy to burn through me. But then again, I had made a bit of a spectacle of myself in English class, not to mention Larkspur was a hard name to forget. My joy fizzled out almost as quickly as it flared.

“Hi Sebastian. Can I get you something to drink?”

One of his friends, the one sporting a nearly shaved head and three earrings in his left ear, spoke up. “Can we get two pitchers of Coke?”

“Sure thing.”

I moved on, since loitering and staring didn't seem all that cool, and headed for the back to get their drinks. A short time later I managed to place their pitchers down without sloshing Coke over the sides since my damn hands were still shaking.

At least my voice sounded steady. “Are you ready to order?”

“Yes…” This came from Sebastian, but as I waited for more, nothing followed. My head tilted to the side as I studied him, because I couldn't tell if he was nervous or just not interested enough to finish placing the order. When I saw the light color infuse his cheeks, I had to resist the temptation to lean into him for a closer study. Could he possibly be nervous talking to me?