Off Sides(9)

By: Sawyer Bennett

Danny glances up and sees me standing there. She holds up her index finger for me to give her a minute and I nod back. I'm happy right now just to observe her for a few minutes.

I'm struck by her easy grace. She's laughing with the customer who is paying right now and her smile literally lights up the room. The cook behind the service counter says something to her and she grimaces, throwing a towel at him that catches him square in the face. He laughs at her and all of the customers at the counter hoot and holler. She's in her element here because she is without a doubt a people-person.

Danny takes off her apron and throws it under the counter. Picking up her purse, she heads over toward me and I can feel my heart start beating faster. How in the world can someone that just finished working in a greasy diner look so damn good?

"Hey," she says. "Sorry but I ended up having to work later than I thought. I haven't had time to get showered or changed."

"Not a problem. Do you want to go back to your place so you can do that?"

She shakes her head. "We're not going anywhere fancy. Casual is better. Although, I probably smell like greasy french fries right now."

I don’t know what possesses me but step closer to her and lean my head down so my nose is right behind her ear. I take a deep breath, dramatically inhaling so she can hear me. Then I whisper in her ear, "You smell delicious to me." And she does. Her shampoo smells like eucalyptus and orange blossoms. I actually watch as she shivers over my words and I feel like fucking Tarzan right now.

Stepping back, I turn to open the door and let her walk out ahead of me. I pull my keys out and start toward the passenger door of my black Range Rover. Glancing over my shoulder I see she's walking in the opposite direction. I put my keys back in my pocket and jog to catch up to her.

"Nice night for a walk," I remark.

She laughs and the sound warms my blood. It's rich and husky, and oh, so damn sexy.

"We're just walking to the bus stop. Tonight you'll see Boston 'Danny Style'. Although you are a little over-dressed to be riding the MBTA."

I give her a nonchalant smile. "No worries. I'm game."

She smiles back. "Good. I'd be disappointed if you weren't." Her words sound like a challenge and she has no idea how competitive I can be.

Oh, Danny, Danny. I know what you're trying to do and you should work a little harder to be less transparent. There is no doubt in my mind that Danny is trying to scare me off. If she thinks riding the transit bus is scary, she's clearly never had to dodge two-hundred pound defensemen to keep them from slamming you into the boards.

"So, where are we going? You said I'm over-dressed but you have to give me a better clue than that."

She just gives me an evasive smile and says, "You'll see."

I have to admit I'm now even more curious about her than before. I really kind of expected her to want me to take her to an expensive restaurant. I mean, that's usually what girls want. And the fact that she is taking us by public transit rather than using my insanely nice and ridiculously expensive car has me almost on pins and needles as to what to expect.

We don't get to talk much on the bus ride as it's packed with evening commuters. My first ride on the bus is not unpleasant though. The lack of seats means we have to stand up, and in close confines, Danny is pressed up against my side. She's holding on to a metal pole in front of her and I'm tall enough to hang onto an overhead strap with still enough bend in my arm. When the bus lurches or jostles, Danny’s soft curves sway into me. A few times I place my hand on her back to help steady her and she shoots me a smirk which I return.

Finally, Danny indicates we've reached our destination and we step off with a few other travelers. It's starting to get dark and I'm a bit dismayed that we are in a fairly seedy looking area of town. The streets are lined with rubbish and I see more than one broken window on some of the buildings. I start to question Danny but she takes off across the street and I follow. We walk down the block and turn a corner, and run right into a line of people stretching out from a doorway. There has to be maybe twenty or so people in line and I'm confused. Were we at a nightclub?

Danny notices the look on my face and grabs my hand. She leads me past the line up to the front door, saying hello to a few people. And then I see a sign over the door..."Helping Hands Ministry". I glance back at the people standing in line and now I can plainly see what they are...homeless.