Hello, my little Demons! I posted Chapter 1 to Ender’s Love a while ago now and I feel you’ve been waiting long enough for Chapter 2!
Click here to read Chapter 1 if you haven’t read it already
Note: May contain strong language!
I sat trying to busy my hands and focus my attention on my laptop. That was most important to me. So what if I just royally embarrassed myself? It was a moment. It would pass. I’d walk out of this bar and that guy would never see me again. My laptop, however, had all of my university work on it and I had not yet had the chance to back it up.
But as soon as I took the laptop out of my bag, cursing slightly as I saw the wetness had unfortuantely seeped through slightly, a figure loomed over me. I jumped slightly and turned around. But my face went bright red as soon as I saw that handsome man was standing there waiting for me to see him.
“Why did you do that?” he asked, when I noticed him. His voice was deep, it matched his masculine features perfectly.
Panic swelled in my chest as I stared at his stupidly handsome face. I noticed for the first time he was actually wearing a suit. I hadn’t noticed before, mainly because I only noticed a white shirt. But now he was in front of me, I could see he was wearing suit trousers and a deep navy tie hung undone around his neck. I also noticed he was a little big around the arms. I gulped.
“Sorry?” I asked, having to put the laptop down as I hadn’t even put it on the table yet. It was a little too heavy in my hands, holding it up in the air.
“The drink. Why did you give me one?” he asked again, scanning my face. I noticed now that he had beautiful green eyes.
I shrugged. “I didn’t have any change and needed to boost up the bull to over five pounts so I could pay for it,” I explained.
He frowned at me and went to open his mouth to say something else when panic coursed through me and I cut across him.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude! I just saw you drinking whisky or something and it was nearly empty, you looked like you needed one. You were frowning at your work laptop like someone had just given you bad news. I didn’t really want to drink another one. One is enough for me. I’m not a huge drinker. So, I figured you could do with it more than me. Don’t feel like you have to drink it, I won’t be offended,” I blurted.
As soon as I stopped talking, the guy rose his eyebrows at me. So much for approaching men first. I should have started with someone else, rather than a guy who looked busy. I had clearly jumped in the deep end without learning to swim first.
“I’m sorry, I don’t normally do that sort of thing!” I continued nervously. “Normally I’m quite considerate of people being busy and I leave them alone. Clearly I’m having an off day today!” I gave a small nervous laugh.
The guy suddenly snorted in amusement but then turned on his heel and walked off back to the bar.
I started at him in amazement, suddenly annoyed at his attitude. He just walked away? I shook my head and looked back at my laptop. He wasn’t worth getting annoyed about. I did a nice thing. Yeah, okay, it might not have been the best idea I’ve had. I wasn’t very good with this sort of thing. Guys like that were usually popular and I always imagined there was a way to speak to them; a code of conduct around the stupidly handsome men or something. Unlike me; there was no code to speak to me. I was usually friendly with anyone.
But as soon as I put my laptop on the table in front of me, a shadow loomed over me again. I looked up and the guy was back. But he was standing next to the seat in front of me, leaning on it slightly. Anger welled up inside me.
“Look, I said I’m sorry, I—”
“Oh no, you don’t need to apologise! I was just shocked, that’s all. I’ve never had some random chick buy me a drink before without actually wanting something in return.”
I felt my cheeks go warm at what he said, I had an image suddenly of a beautiful woman going up to him and wanting sexual favours from him after buying him a drink. I noticed at this point he had brought the glass of whisky with him and was holding it in his hand.
“I’m not after anything from you,” I said. I wanted to say I wasn’t like those women; trying to just sleep with the hottest guy at the bar.
“I figured,” he said, giving me a small nod and then taking a sip of the whisky. I noticed for the first time that his access wasn’t Scottish, he was English like me. “I also have to thank you for introducting me to Dalwhinnie, I’ve never tried it before. Good choice not to have ice too.”
I raised an eyebrow at him, curious to know why he was being so nice to me. Or was he just being polite?
He suddenly shifted his weight and I saw a small twinge of pain run through his face.
“Are you okay?” I asked. He frowned at me, so I added; “You look like you’re in pain or something.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s nothing, just a bit of a bad back.”
“Lower back?” I asked as I turned back around to my laptop bag and dug my hands into it.
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“You look like a business man, my guess is you sit around on a laptop or computer all day in an office and you probably sit in one of those cheap seats with poor lumbar support,” I said as I managed to find what I was looking for; a heat patch. “Here, take this.”
The guy looked at what was in my hands and then looked up at me curiously, before taking his left hand out of his poket and taking the clearly soggy box. I scanned his hand again out of habit, noticing there certainly was no wedding ring on his finger, not even a white mark where one might have been.
“Thanks,” he said, although sounding a little hesitant.
“Keep the box, there’s only one left.” I smiled. “Sorry it’s a little wet, my laptop bag clearly isn’t waterproof! But the heat patch will still work.”
I was expecting him to just wander off at this point, I didn’t expect him to stand around too long if he had a bad back. But to my shock, he sat down on the seat opposite me, placing the whisky on the table between us and looked right into my eyes. I gulped again.
“Is your laptop wet?” he asked and then looked down at my laptop in front of me.
“Err… yeah, a little.”
“Do you want me to have a look at it?”
“Oh, no, it’s fine. I’m just going to clean up most of the water and let it dry out. If it’s too wet I’ll just take it home and take it apart, make sure no water got onto the motherboard and hard-drive.”
His eyebrows rose again. I felt a small smile creep involuntarily on my face.
“You know computers?” he asked.
I nodded. “A little, dad was into his computers.”
I was suddenly aware of how warm I was, although I was sure it was because I was still sat in my leather jacket, but it could have also been the gorgeous man talking to me and looking quite at peace doing so. Either way, I decided to take off my jacket before I started to sweat and smell.
“You know you can void the warranty if you take it apart?” he asked as he took another sip of the Dalwhinnie and eyed me taking my jacket off.
I smiled, hoping he hadn’t noticed that I was extremely nervous raound him, especially after seeing him eye me curiously. “I think I voided the warranty a long time ago, after my hard-drive decided to fail on me and I had to replace it.”
“You are full of surprises.” He smiled at me and suddenly leaned his arms on the table.
I smiled back and nervously took the glass of whisky that was sitting next to my hand and took a large sip. I felt I needed to have a bit of alcohol in me to calm my nerves.
“So, do you know anything about these heat patches?” he asked, before I had a chance to say something myself.
“Sorry?” I asked, trying desperately not to cough as I had accidentally taken a large sip of the Dalwhinnie and it had decided to catch the back of my throat with its harshness.
“The heat patch,” he said, holding it up in his large bear-hand. “I’ve never used one before.”
“Oh!” I said and let out a small laugh. “It’s easy, the instructions are on the box, but you basically just strip back the plastic protection and place it on the area that’s sore. It should stick and peel off easily afterwards.”
“You say that, but knowing me, I’ll end up messing it up,” he said, leaning back as he pulled out the remainder heat patch from the soggy box and took it out.
I laughed. “You sound like me. Put m e in a room with a computer and tell me to get on with analysing data and I could do it with my eyes closed. But any simple instructions like that and I’m useless. If someone was to give me instructions on how to make porridge, I’d still find a way to fick it up.”
He laughed. “I’m curious to know how you can fuck up porridge?”
I felt the heat rise to my face when I heard him laugh and curse. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way, with me. Once I had the heat up too high and it burnt to the bottom of the pan, I had to throw it all away.”
“Well, obviously that, but I meant the pan too.”
He nodded and I felt like I was being studied. I was just concentrating on trynig to smile politely enough but not too much to look creepy, and act normal around him; say the right thing, do the right thing, sitting up without slouching… I didn’t understand how someone could have a conversation like this and be so calm. It was exhausing trying to look normal and confident.
“Did you want anything for it?” he said suddenly, breaking me out of my musings.
“You’ve given me your last heat patch, did you want me to give you some money for it, or maybe buy you another drink?”
“Oh, no.” I smiled and shook my head. “Don’t worry about it, I have more heat patches at home, and I shouldn’t really drink any more than the one glass of whisky.”
He nodded. “Well, I had better go put this on.”
“Did you, err… want a hand?”
He raised an eyebrow at me and smiled, it sent a shiver down my spine. “I think I’ll be okay.” He winked.
I inhaled suddenly and coughed as if trying to cover up the fact he had a strange impact on me. “Sure, just let me know if you change your mind, they’re a little tricky to put on your back.”
“Sure,” he said, and then stood up from the booth. “Thanks again.”
“It’s not a problem.”
He stood there for a few short seconds as if he had something else to say, but he clearly thought better of it. Instead, he turned around, walked back to the bar where his laptop was left forgotten, put down the glass of Dalwhinnie I had bought him and muttered something to the barman. The barman nodded while he was drying glasses and the handsome man vanished into the toilets. I sighed and looked back at my own laptop while trying to calm my shaking hands.
I did it; I had spoke to a guy first and managed to survive. I blew out my cheeks as I took out the paper towels and started to clean up my laptop. Although, absentmindedly, as all I could think about was that guy trying to apply that heat patch to his back, wondering what his body was like underneath that white shirt.
Click here to read the next chapter!
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Here are some links to my other works:
My Normal – A Short Story by Penny Hooper
Rose Garden Sanatorium – Prologue
No one likes you! – A short story.