I sip my coffee and mindlessly flip through the newspaper. Every few minutes I glance up at the door, patiently waiting for my visitor to arrive.
The large waitress waddles over to me and holds up her pot of coffee. “Refill?”
“No thank you, I’m fine.”
“Can I get ya anything else? Bagel or somethin’?”
I lick my lips and my stomach rumbles in agreement. I haven’t eaten a thing since yesterday afternoon. Of course, I’d give up eating forever if that meant I got to keep Jeremy forever in return…
I shake my head with a sigh. I promised myself I wouldn’t think about Jeremy too much today. I only left him minutes ago and already I can’t seem to keep my mind off of him. After our passionate, and yes – a bit rough – first round of sex, it was only minutes before he was ready for round two.
My cheeks flush.
For being out of practice for so long, Jeremy was dy-no-mite in bed. He was absolutely incredible. And it wasn’t just beginner’s luck. If anything, he got better and better with every time we had sex …which tallied up to twelve times in all.
Only when we were both physically exhausted did we stop. Jeremy’s body collapsed into bed next to me. He wrapped his arms around my body, pulling me into him until my back was pressed firmly against his chest and stomach.
By the time my alarm went off, I had only gotten an hour of sleep. My joints and body ached with fatigue and soreness. I checked my phone right before leaving the house and realized I had blown off seeing Evan – yet again.
Kissing Jeremy a sweet good-bye, I tip-toed down the stairs and hopped in to my car. I dialed Evan’s number as I pulled out of my driveway and told him if he wanted to meet me, now was the time.
“So….was that a yes or no on the bagel?” the waitress asks me again.
“I-I’m sorry,” I stammer, pulling myself out of my thoughts. “Yes I’d love a bagel.”
“Uhm I’ll take raison cinnamon if you have it.”
“Strawberry – please.”
The waitress gives me a curt nod and I can tell I’ve already irritated her.
When I’m half way done with my bagel I see Evan jogging up to the little café. He opens the door and a burst of cool air bristles through his thick brown hair. He sees me and gives a hesitant smile. Dark bags shadow his eyes and from the looks of it, he hasn’t shaved since yesterday.
He still is handsome though, incredibly so. But after my night with Jeremy I know there’s no contest.
And on some deep level, I don’t think there ever was.
Evan slides into the booth across from me and runs a tired hand through his hair.
“Thanks for meeting with me, Stells.”
I give him a nod and almost apologize for calling him so early. But he’s the one that ruined this – not me. No apology should be needed on my end. I set my bagel back onto the plate and stare at him expectantly.
“How do you look so good, even at seven in the morning?” Evan asks with a playful smile spreading across his lips.
“I didn’t have time to do my hair or make up. And I got practically no sleep. I don’t look good.”
Evan’s face falls and he studies my face as I take another sip of coffee.
“Well, you’re practically glowing. So maybe a lack of sleep suits you.”
Yea more like – an abundance of angel sex suits me, my sub conscious giggles and I have to suppress a smile.
“So what’d you want to talk to me about, Evan? I have a big day ahead and I need to be leaving here soon.”
Evan straightens and waves the waitress over, ordering two eggs and a cup of coffee for himself. My mind starts to drift off again and I imagine Jeremy sleeping soundly in my bed. His naked, muscular body ready for the taking while resting warmly against my sheets. The thought makes my stomach quiver with desire.
“Ok, let me start from the beginning,” Evan says in a quiet voice. “I was in a really, really unhealthy relationship a few years ago. I won’t go into any details but by the time things ended, my ex had stripped me of everything – my money, my pride, my dignity, my trust and my love. I was broken.”
The waitress brings Evan his cup of coffee and eggs and sets them down at the table. She’s completely oblivious to our conversation. A light buzz resonates through the air and I notice her large phone lighting up from inside her pants pocket. She scuttles away and when she thinks she’s out of view, she grabs the phone and starts reading her text.
“I was in a dark place, Stella,” Evan continues. “A really, really dark place. I was pretty much a hobo - to put it mildly. And I had no one to help me. And then one day I was approached by a gentleman. I had never seen him before and he offered me a proposition.”
My body remains still as I soak in this information, doing my best not to forget a single detail. Evan pauses briefly and adds a dollop of cream to his coffee.
“Anyway, he offered me a job. He told me he would pay for new clothes, a place to stay, food, and a supplemental income. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Especially with the mess I was in. I had no other choice, so I took it. He said all I had to do was pursue you. Take you on dates, get to know you, that kind of thing. I’m ashamed to admit that after every date, I went back and reported to him all the new information I learned about you.”
My knuckles have gone white and my blood runs cold as I absorb his words. It wasn’t just that he accepted such terrible terms. It was the fact that someone had asked him to do it in the first place.
“Who was this man, Evan?”
Evan shakes his head. “I never got his name. I only saw his face once and if I wasn’t such a damned awful artist I’d try to draw you a picture of him.”
“Why did he want all this information? Is he trying to hurt me?”
Evan grimaced at the question. “I can’t really say that either, Stells. He never indicated his feelings for you one way or another. Just that he needed more information.”
“When did it stop?”
“When you and I became official. I couldn’t keep doing it because the more I got to know you, the more I fell in love with you. So I told him I was done. He paid me a last paycheck and that’s the last I’ve heard from him.”
“Was he upset that you backed out?”
“If he was he didn’t act like it. He just thanked me for all that I did and wished me the best. I haven’t heard from him since then, Stella. Honest…”
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