Part 2 (to read part 1 click here)
His smile turned into a frown as he studied the books that she now clung to desperately.
“What do you have here?” He asked gruffly, snagging a tome from her collection. “Return of the Native? Have you read much of Thomas Hardy?”
“I read Tess of the D’Urbervilles last spring,”
“And what did you think of it?”
“His characters were so vivid, and his understanding of the human condition was poignant. For once I felt like a male author understood a portion of what it is like to be a woman in a world such as ours.” Her words came out in a little rush and she blushed. God, you never know when to keep your mouth shut.
His smile was more mesmerizing than that sky blue gaze. Sam had the feeling that those lips rarely stretched in such a wide grin, yet the result was breathtaking.
Don’t drool on yourself.
“Here, let me help you with those.”
Before she could protest, he had snagged her armload and started off for the front desk.
First, you follow a random person you don’t know through the streets in a torrential downpour, and now you’re actually talking to him? Yeah, good idea.
Sam shrugged her shoulders and followed the familiar view of that long trench coat. At the register, he turned and studied her while her collection was tallied and rung up.
“I am going to pay for your books,” He declared, watching her carefully.
Sam looked up at him in surprise, “What, why?”
“Because you are going to get a drink at the Bourbon House down the block with me.”
“What makes you think I’m stupid enough to get a drink with a complete stranger?”
“Because you followed that stranger through the rain for several blocks.” His smile was disarming. “And because this particular stranger is a gentleman, you have my word.”
He bowed slightly at the last declaration and Sam had to stifle a giggle at the gesture. When she did not immediately answer, he studied his watch.
“Or you could go home at seven on New Year’s Eve.” He arched an exuberant eyebrow at her.
When she said nothing he turned and paid the cashier for her treasures and then murmured something to the cashier. Instead of handing him the books, the clerk turned and placed them on a shelf with a sticky note. The man in the trench coat turned swiftly to Sam, gently took her hand and placed it in the crook of his elbow as he began to escort her from the store.
“But what about my books?”
“They are going to hold them for us so that you don’t have to carry them around all night. We will pick them up before you head home tonight.” He looked down at her, studying her again, “Or perhaps, depending on the adventures we find tonight, you can pick them up in the morning.”
Anger flared in Sam, and she pulled her hand free from his arm, “Just what kind of adventures do you imagine we’ll get into? I assure you I am not that kind of girl.”
The man’s eyebrows knit together as if her words perplexed him. He looked at her like she had spoken in a foreign tongue and his brain was now working overtime to decipher the language. A deep chuckled rolled up out of his chest, and that million watt smile spread slowly across his face deepening several laugh lines beyond the corners of his lips.
“I assure you, love, that I have only the noblest of intentions.”
Sam snorted at that declaration and more laughter rumbled out of him at her indelicate noise.
“This isn’t funny,” Sam said, hands on her hips, glaring at his merriment.
“You are a delightful creature.” He seemed unfazed by her fierce display.
“Call me a creature again, and I’ll punch that perfect nose of yours.”
He sobered in mock alarm, “Duly noted.” He held his elbow out to her, “Shall we?”
A deep sigh tore from Sam’s lungs as she tucked her hand back into that comfortable little crook and tried to ignore the pleasant feelings that curled through her.
This is a really stupid idea; you know nothing about this guy.
End of Part 2
I was challenged by a friend to write a story about a dull woman who becomes interesting. I hope you enjoyed the fruits of this challenge. I will continue adding to this story every Sunday until it is complete.
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