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Old 07-09-2014, 10:52 PM   #1
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Running High

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J.C. loved Austin. Small town enough to feel small town, big city enough to enjoy. Of all the places to go to grad school University of Texas was a fantastic choice. The campus full of people, especially beautiful women, the night life on 6th Street, well there could be no complaints whatsoever about 6th Street. It was the single greatest place in the world for a single person to hang out. And not finish it alone.

Best of all was the running trails. Austin was full of great places to run. In particular the running trail around Lady Bird Lake was fantastic. Pretty flat, just over ten miles long and enough people to keep it interesting. Plus from his apartment, twice around the park and back was just short of 30 miles, and a perfect way to spend Saturday mornings.

Standing just over six feet tall, J.C. weighed a little under 180 pounds, with black hair and green eyes. A little heavy for a runner he knew, but he was comfortable with his body and his running pace. He knew that he wasn't a world class athlete but he was an outstanding amateur runner and the extra weight lifting he did added some bulk that he could not really explain away at times, but he knew it fit his frame.

On this particular Saturday J.C. was running an easy pace at a shorter distance than usual. Cruising along at an 8 minute pace he passed a small group of people and spotted a shapely woman perhaps 150 feet ahead, he began playing his favorite game on slow days, of catch up. It helped pass the time and gave him something to look forward to as he ran along.

In this particular case it didn't take long at all for him to catch her, as he caught her, he said, "You got it. I KNOW you do!"
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:28 PM   #2
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Hearing the sound of an incoming text, Nicole put her half-finished cup of tea to the side and picked up her cell phone. Glancing at the message, she read:

Signed us up for the 10K last night. It will be here before you know it...

Sighing in exasperation, the 23 year old wished her best friend was here so she could strangle her in person. Her running days ended when she broke her foot playing soccer in high school, but Malinda was determined to 'help' her meet new people now that she had relocated to Austin and had decided that she needed to join Malinda and her running club buddies in their next 10K

Texting Malinda a quick "So dead when you get home... was just getting ready to go for a bounce... Hope Gigi is doing well.", Nicole put the phone down and picked up her cup, staring idly out the window as she tried to work up some enthusiasm about the running regime that Malinda had mapped out earlier in the week when she came up with this wonderful idea. She might think that running more than 5 miles was easy, but since she was a good head taller than Nicole... she always seem to forget how many extra steps her best friend had to take to keep up with her even walking.

Her phone chirped again with a succinct "Stop stalling Nic... and get moving..." Laughing, Nicole stood up as she typed "Yes, sarge..." as she moved to the sink to dump the rest of her drink. Knowing her friend would hound her until she at least attempted the workout, Nicole trudged up the stairs to throw her long brown hair into a high ponytail and grab her sneakers.

+++++++++++

Doggedly placing one foot in front of the other, Nicole contemplated how she was going to kill Malinda when she returned home from settling her grandmother back into her apartment after her stint in the rehab center following her knee surgery. There was no way she was ever going to make running three miles, let alone six!

Slowing her pace down, Nicole dropped into a quick walking stride while she attempted to get her breathing under control. She was seriously going to have to find some better music if she was really going to go through with this harebrained idea. Malinda meant well, but even though she was in fairly good shape from her Pilates classes, Nicole had serious misgivings about her 5'2" frame keeping up with her Amazonian friend's... Even with 'training'...

When she thought her breathing had settled back down, Nicole picked up her pace so that she was faster than a jog, but slower than a real running stride... more of a bounce... at least that's what her chest considered it. She continued that way for as long as she could, trying to regulate her breathing so that she didn't sound like she was a step away from labor.

Perhaps that's why Nicole didn't hear the sounds of an approaching runner, until she heard a male voice call out in an encouraging manner. Looking up, she realized that he was talking to her and smiled weakly, not trusting her breathing to actually say something intelligible.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:54 AM   #3
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J.C. thought, "Cute, short and shapely; and those eyes." He had never seen the color of warm honey in a pair of eyes before, and he found them both startling and mesmerizing at the same time. He found that after a quarter mile or so he couldn't really remember much of her lips. nose, jaw, or chin. Just those eyes.

The eyes were enough he wondered for the next five miles what it would be like to look down into those eyes as she knelt before him, sucking his member into her mouth. The thought, the vision, was so erotic that his cock began to stiffen slightly as his breathing began a little more labored than it should be. While not an easy run, it was a pace he knew he could carry for thirty miles if he so chose.

He decided to do an additional loop on the off chance he could get another glimpse of her, with the foreknowledge that it was unlikely. Still it was worth the effort if for no other reason to see her eyes again.

As it turned out it was a fruitless effort and J.C. headed back to his apartment where he showered, ate a lunch of long grain rice and chicken breast. He settled into his one chair with a beer, and flipped on the Texas game and spent the next three hours like much of Central Texas, cheering on the Longhorns.

Later that night, like many others that attended UT, after changing into jeans and a tight polo shirt he headed to 6th Street for relaxation, and maybe more than a little fun.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
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Nicole was thankful that Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome didn't try to engage her in any further discussion as he cruised past her, doubting that she'd have been able to puff out a sentence. She watched with no small amount of envy as his long legs and easy gait quickly increased the distance between them. Why do tall people make running look so flippin' easy?!?'

Plodding forward for about five more minutes, she heaved a huge sigh of relief when the alarm on her phone signaled the end of her torture, and she turned around and started back to Malinda's townhouse. She'd wait until she got home before texting her friend that yet another sweaty session was done.

Perhaps she'd even tell her about the cute guy with the admirable stride, if only to let her know that while she wasn't ready for Malinda to set her up... that she was at least registering cute guys which was a step up from the formerly frozen state that had enveloped her since her finance's unexpected death while he and some buddies were on a rocking climbing trip a year earlier.

Cutting off any more thoughts of Jason and his accident, Nicole quickened her stride until she saw her temporary home in the distance and then walked at a more sedate pace until she reached it. Glancing at her watch, she wrinkled her nose at the total time it had taken her... A wee bit faster, but nothing to celebrate over.

Throwing together a quick turkey sandwich and pouring a glass of milk, Nicole brought everything upstairs while she started the bath, thinking she'd have a nice leisurely soak before having to get ready for her shift that evening. Malinda had sweet talked Steve, one of the owners of BD Riley's, into giving Nicole a job, especially while she was out of town taking care of her grandmother. While technically she could have manned the bar if they needed her to, she was much more comfortable waiting on tables and helping run plates and drinks for other servers.

Stripping off her workout clothes and letting them drop to the floor for clean up later, Nicole eased into the hot water and sighed in appreciation. Reaching over, she took a bite of the sandwich, drank some milk and then laid her head back against the wall and just enjoyed the sensation of the warm water lapping against her skin.

+++++++++++++

About 4pm Nicole headed to work, dressed in a fairly modest black skirt and an emerald green T-shirt and serviceable heels. She was thankful the owners didn't subscribe to the overly revealing outfits other bar/restaurant employed, even if Malinda had whispered something about once or twice a year having to don a super shirt skirt, halter top and stockings.

After the shift meeting, she bustled about, offering shy smiles to her tables and fellow staff members as she took orders, ran plates and kept the drinks flowing. BD's was a popular choice among those visiting 6th Street, both locals and visitors alike, so the evening passed quickly as she moved from one table to the next.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:52 PM   #5
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J.C. worked his way down 6th street with no particular destination in mind. He listed to a couple street performers play even had some lush redhead back her short skirted self into him. For a split second he thought it an accident until she pressed back and whispered high over her shoulder. Her ass was firm, her face was pretty, and she smelled like a feast waiting to be devoured. Still he muttered, "Excuse me," and backed up, despite his hormonal reaction.

He arrived at B.D. Riley's, seeing a voile of guys he had a grad class with he waved at them and worked his way toward them. A band was playing just to the right of the door and J.C. pressed his way back to his acquaintances.

The guys were tucked in the corner not far from the restrooms, a pile of empty glasses in from of them. A waitress tapped him on the elbow a few minutes later getting J.C's attention. He turned and his jaw dropped to his chest as he looked into a pair of warm honey colored eyes. Smiling, no beaming, he leaned over and stage whispered in her ear, just loud enough she could hear him, "I knew you would make it!"

A momentary cloud of confusion crossed her face, and J.C. shrugged it off, "20 ounce Smiticks!"

She nodded and trundled off gracefully, while J.C. stood watching her. He shuffled his way to press his back against the left wall of the pub. The guy closest to him, Ted, asked, "You know her?"

J.C. shook his head, "We met in passing once, I doubt she remembers. Why?"

Ted replied, "Been flirtin' with her for the better part of three months. She is ways nice but no go."

J.C. grinned, "Yeah, but I am good looking."

Ted groaned and threw an "Irish" chip at him, which h J.C. caught and threw back at him. J.C. turned his attention back to the bar at large, and as he saw he coming back with his ale, gave her what he hoped was his biggest disarming smile.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:13 AM   #6
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Bustling about taking drink orders, picking up empty plates and dropping off checks, Nicole looked discreetly at her watch. She was supposed to have gone on break 20 minutes earlier, but one of the closers had called in sick so they were all having to adjust their schedules to cover the shortfall. She didn't really mind since more tables kept her moving so that she didn't have time to attempt to chitchat with people, something she had never excelled at, but it would be nice to stop and take a breather for a few minutes away from the boisterous crowd that had begun forming now that the families had gone home and the party crowd was out.

Steve had just signaled that she could take her break next when she saw there was a new person over at station 14 and headed over to take his order. She walked up behind him and tried to get his attention, but either he couldn't hear her because of the noise or because the difference in their heights or a combination of the two, so she was forced to tap him on the elbow to get his attention.

Based on the expression on his face, first startled surprise and then delight as he leaned over and said something about 'making it', he obviously had her confused with someone else. Apparently reading the expression on her face and realizing his mistake, he rattled off his order, saving her from having to explain that she had no clue what he was talking about.

Nicole lucked out and only had to wait a moment for Billy, the current bartender, to fill the order. Carefully carrying the drink back to the table, she almost groaned when she saw who was standing at the table and then felt ashamed of her reaction. The lanky grad student really wasn't a bad sort, but he had been trying to chat her up since she had first started and didn't seem to understand that she wasn't here to flirt with all her customers like some of the other wait staff.

Setting the glass of the table, she smiled pleasantly and said, "One 20 ounce Smiticks.... Can I get you gentlemen anything else?"
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:09 PM   #7
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The band was still going strong as she brought his beer, J.C. leaned over and mostly yelled, "Thanks!" He handed her a $10, and waved off the change, his eyes still mostly glued to her warm honey colored orbs.

It was an odd sensation, to have his heart race like this. Yes, he had his fair share of chance encounters that ended up in one state of relationship or another, usually something short term. There was a mask of happiness on her, a deep seeded sadness that touched her eyes in every smile and word. He pondered a moment as to the nature of such sadness in a beautiful woman so young.

As she turned and walked away, J.C. watched her a moment then turned back to the table to chat with Ted, and the other guy, whose name escaped him at the moment. Shrugging, it didn't matter, and football was the topic, and who needed names for that.

Despite the subject of football, J.C. had problems shaking the waitress, runner, running waitress, off his mind. His eyes kept flitting around the room, trying to get glimpses of her, no matter how fleeting.

After the band finished the set, promising to come back in thirty minutes or so, J.C. flagged her down, "Can I get another beer, please?"
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:07 PM   #8
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Nicole was somewhat unnerved by his unwavering stare, which struck her as ironic as she normally complained to Malinda about guys never looking her in the eyes. Smiling her thanks a bit hesitantly, she backed away and headed outside to the small area they used for breaks.

Shutting the door firmly behind her, Nicole leaned against the side of the building and shut her eyes. It was funny how in the midst of a whole bunch of people that she should feel so alone, so isolated. She had always been shy and reserved in large groups of people, more comfortable in much more intimate settings, and the last hour had been particularly boisterous. She had tried to keep a pleasant smile on her, but sometimes all that forced cheerfulness left her drained and she desperately needed a few minutes to regroup.

It was times like this that made her miss Jason the most. He had always been the more outgoing of the two of them, pulling her from crazy antic to the next, pushing her past her comfort zones. He would have encouraged her to man the bar, knowing that her attention to detail and ability to multitask would have kept things moving. Of course having him belly up to the bar would have given her the courage to engage in conversation with perfect strangers. A wry smile touched her lips. Now, even a direct look from a customer freaked her out. Malinda's right... I have got to break out of my shell already...

The door flew open, startling her, as one of the busboys whose name escaped her came outside. As soon as he started lighting up the cigarette in his hands, Nicole nodded at him and started back inside despite his cajoling to stay and chat. "My break is just about up, " she said apologetically, although she would have gone inside even if it wasn't.

Quickly slipping back into her role of efficient waitress, Nicole went from station to station ensuring everyone had what they needed, and apparently they all finished drinking around the same time as she was kept hopping. She hadn't quite made it over to to station 14 before the band took their next break, so she felt bad when the newcomer had to flag her down.

Can I get another beer, please?

Thinking quickly, Nicole said, "Absolutely... Did you want another Smiticks, or did you have something else in mind?"
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:30 PM   #9
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He didn't say it, but he certainly thought, "Why, yes. A night with you would be perfect." The mere thought of it made his heart race. He could feel his breathing quicken slightly as he paused a moment.

His eyes flicked down to her name badge, and he replied, "Yes, Nicole a Smiticks would be fine." As she turned, he reached out and touched her halfway between the elvow and the shoulder, "Hey, I don't know if it is appropriate or not, or if you can or not, but I would like to buy you a drink as well."

J.C. could not really read the expression on her face as it changed. For a second it seemed it clouded over and then it changed back to the faintly smiling mask she was wearing previously.

That is when it struck him. She was putting on a charade of some sort. He wasn't sure of the reason or what the purpose of it was. Yet it was there nonetheless. As captivating as her eyes were, he forced himself to turn back to Ted and Billy, as his name turned out to be.

He held his breath subconsciously until she turned and walked off. His chest rattled a little as he exhaled. Ted grinned, "No shot bubba, none."

J.C. grinned, "Maybe, but I had to try something, right?"

His eyes lit up as he heard footsteps approaching the table.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:07 PM   #10
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For a minute Nicole was surprised when he said her name before realizing that he had, of course, read her name tag. Nodding at his order, she turned to go just as he reached tapped her once more on the arm to get her attention. Assuming that he perhaps he wanted to order something to eat, she turned back with a quizzical smile on her face.

Hey, I don't know if it is appropriate or not, or if you can or not, but I would like to buy you a drink as well.

Although she had just been thinking that she needed to come out of her shell, Nicole felt a burst of panic at the offer. Get a grip, Nic... It's not like he asked you to strip naked or something... Kicking herself for overreacting, it took her a moment to regroup and paste a pleasant but detached smile on her face.

"I appreciate the offer, but it's against Steve's rules to drink on the job," she said with what she hoped was a calm air before walking quickly towards the bar to get his drink.

Getting his drink order, Nicole weaved her way through the thickening crowd. 'God it sucked being so short,' she thought to herself as she almost spilled the ale when one of the patrons turned around abruptly to say something to a friend and didn't see her.

Waving off his apologies, Nicole approached the table, her fingers wet from the small amount of sloshing that occurred. She grinned faintly as her intended target turned as if he smelled his order coming. "Sorry, had a bit of a bump on the way..."
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:47 PM   #11
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J.C. glanced down at Nicole's hand and noticed a sizable amount of the beer had been sloshed out and covered her hand. Picking up a clean napkin he took the beer in one hand and used the other to clean her up. Putting the beer down he held her hand as he wiped it.

He hand was soft and smooth, a small electrical jolt went through his hand, followed by a warmth that spread up his arm immediately behind it. He did not know if she felt it or not, but a small portion of him wanted her to. It was the oddest sensation he had ever felt, he certainly felt an attraction to her which was physical, and yet he still could not describe her other than her eyes.

Once her hand was dry, he released it and looked up into her eyes again. "How about coffee tomorrow after your run?"
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:22 PM   #12
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Handing him the beer, Nicole was caught completely off guard when he grabbed her wet hand with his other hand and began drying it off. He didn't say anything as he went about cleaning her up, and she couldn't figure out a way to pull free of his gentle grip without looking completely foolish so she stood there as he blotted the liquid, even going so far as to trace in between her fingers.

Trying not to fidget, Nicole watched his movements, too embarrassed to look at him. She tried to tell herself that he was only be nice, but it felt so... intimate... to be touched like that. She hadn't held a man's hand since... well, not since the funeral, and now a perfect stranger held it, leaving her feeling decidedly odd.

When he finally released her hand, Nicole offered him a shy smile and slid a step away, trying to put a little distance between them. She was getting ready to ask if anyone else at the table needed anything when he caught her gaze and said with a smile, "How about coffee tomorrow after your run?"

There was no way to hide her shocked expression at his words, and Nicole bit her lip a moment before answering, "I beg your pardon?" She wasn't sure if he was just guessing that she might run or if they had crossed paths and she wasn't aware of it.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:53 PM   #13
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J.C. nodded encouragingly, "I would like to buy you a coffee, or more likely a frappecino after your run tomorrow, assuming you are going again."

He could tell he had unnerved her some. Thinking half a second he continued, "I saw you earlier today at Lady Bird, and..." He paused a moment, then said, "I saw your eyes when you waved me off and I couldn't get them out of my mind."

There was a second of clear shock, and J.C. hurriedly explained, "No, I didn't know you worked here, that was happy luck."

He ran his hand through his hair and groaned, "This is going so very wrong." He looked at her and said, "Look, I don't blame you if you say no. I probably would if I were you, but think about it. I really would like to get to talk to you without all this."

As she backed up he said, "I promise not to bite and if you want to bring a chaperone I will buy their coffee too."
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:25 AM   #14
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Nicole listened as he talked about her running again like he had seen her. Oh lord, this was embarrassing. She had never run into anyone she had passed, or more likely passed her, while running and she could only hope that she hadn't looked as ungainly as she felt now.

I saw you earlier today at Lady Bird, and... I saw your eyes when you waved me off and I couldn't get them out of my mind.

As soon as he said it, Nicole realized he was the guy who had tried to encourage her earlier during her that morning's run... The one with the admirable stride that she had texted Malinda about after her bath. Nicole's eyes widened at she registered the comment about her eyes and wondered with no small amount of horror if he had somehow had followed her around without her noticing it.

No, I didn't know you worked here, that was happy luck.

Nicole relaxed slightly at his words, but she continued to chew on her lip. He seemed genuinely frustrated with his explanation, but it was really weird running into him twice in one day. He seemed to understand that she was not likely to accept his offer, although she was fairly sure any of the other waitresses here would have said yes in a heartbeat. He certainly was tall, dark and handsome, but she was so not ready for this.

I promise not to bite and if you want to bring a chaperone I will buy their coffee too.

Taking another step backwards, Nicole was forced to stay where she was when a large party moved en masse behind her. Not wanting to be mean, but knowing she wasn't ready for even coffee, she smiled and murmured apologetically, "Sorry, I don't drink coffee." She turned to go check on her other tables before adding in a low voice, "Thanks for the offer... It's nothing personal..." before scurrying off completely forgetting to ask if anyone else at the table needed anything.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:52 AM   #15
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J.C. grinned as she backed away hurriedly. Turning back to his table Ted laughed, " Told you that you had no shot. "

J.C. looked at him and said, "Don't be such an art major. She didn't say no exactly. She lied at least once, probably, twice because I came on too strong. "

Turning to watch as Nicole ducked and weaved her way to the bar, J.C. said, "If anything she is almost as interested as I am. I need to lead her along more carefully. "

The group that moved into the table next to them was loud and boisterous drowning out almost all conversations. When the band picked back up any further conversations were absolutely drowned out.

A different waitress came by to take drink orders and J.C. waved her off saying, "I would prefer Nicole to wait on me."
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:35 PM   #16
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Scurrying away as fast as she could maneuver, Nicole tried to tell herself that it was only because she had stayed too long at the last table and needed to check on the others that had her practically running across the room. The look on her face must have reflected some of her panic, however, because when on the other waitresses motioned her over and asked her what was wrong.

Doing her best to compose herself, Nicole confided to the leggy redhead that she was developing a bit of a headache and asked if she'd mind helping with some of her tables. She felt a little guilty for specifically pointing Brittany towards station 14, knowing she was just trying to avoid another conversation with Mr TD&H, but she figured that he'd be more than distracted by the other outgoing waitress.

After that, she went about flitting from one table to the next. She had almost put the earlier incident behind her when someone tapped her on the shoulder. Being careful not to spill the tray of drinks she was holding, she turned to see Brittany.

"Apparently one of the guys at station 14 prefers you to wait on him, hon," Brittany said with just a touch of a laugh. It wasn't everyday that a male patron would overlook her, and certainly not for Nicole, who tended to melt into the background.

Sighing softly, Nicole thanked the other waitress and turned to deliver drinks to the group of sorority sisters who were celebrating one of their friend's 21st birthday. Taking a deep breath and doing her best to keep her best neutral expression, she made her way over to station 14.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:55 PM   #17
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J.C. kept his face somewhat guarded, yet smiled fully as Nicole approached. The band was in full throttle and music filled the air and reverberated off the walls. J.C. figured they upped the bass as the sound was causing his heart and lungs to jump around in his chest.

He leaned over so she could hear him clearly and keep the volume low enough no one else could, "Another beer, and Irish chips please. And I apologize for making you uncomfortable."

He stood back upright and looked down at her, his smile playing off his eyes before it made its way to his lips. He turned back to the table as she left, glancing at her. Part of him was truly sorry that he had made her uncomfortable, yet he had every intention of getting her to say yes eventually to at least a coffee with him somewhere.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:32 AM   #18
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The closer she got to the table, the more Nicole wanted to turn around which seemed like such an extreme reaction. God she was being ridiculous. It wasn't like the guy had actually done anything wrong. She was probably just overreacting and needed to focus on just doing her job.

Taking a deep breath to shore herself up, Nicole approached the table trying not to wince at the band's volume. She felt a little silly when he tacked on the apology to his order and was grateful he said it low enough that she didn't think anyone else had heard, especially over the music. She opened her mouth to respond, but was distracted by the way his smile lit up his eyes.

Shaking her head as if it clear it, Nicole managed a half-hearted shrug as she mumbled something that even she didn't catch and pivoted on her heel to go get his order. Looking back one last time, she wished she didn't get so tongue-tied around people she didn't know so that she could tell him that it really wasn't him. Her forehead crinkled as she turned away, thinking that perhaps that wasn't completely true given she hadn't been that conscious of another male in a long, long time.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:44 AM   #19
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J.C. couldn't have told you how but he felt her coming before he could have seen her, and hearing anyone more than a couple feet away would have been impossible. Yet he did. He felt her coming as surely as a sunflower feels the sun.

His smiled was already in full bloom as she did her intricate dance the allowed her to get through the aisles without getting trampled. He handed her a $20 as he leaned over to thank her. Or was it to breath in her essence? Ultimately he would say yes, both.

"If you change your mind I will be at the coffee house closest to the Lady Bird Trail at 11:00 tomorrow. If not all is good."
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:08 PM   #20
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Nicole felt a little jolt at the sight of the smile that spread over his face. There was something strangely compelling about it, something that had her wanting to smile more fully back at him. Something that was way too confusing...

If you change your mind, I will be at the coffee house closest to the Lady Bird Trail at 11:00 tomorrow. If not, all is good.

Purposefully dropping his gaze to count out his change, Nicole struggled with how to respond. She hated hurting people's feelings, a habit that would have gotten her in trouble several times in college if Malinda hadn't been around, but there was just no way she'd meet up with him the next day. It was one thing for her to actually register a guy's presence, it was another thing to meet up with a perfect stranger... regardless of how much his smile caused butterflies to flit about her stomach.

Looking up, she smiled regretfully and said apologetically, "I really do appreciate the offer, but I can't...." She wanted to explain further, but the words refused to come, so she murmured, "Sorry..."
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:24 AM   #21
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J.C. smiled and nodded; while it wasn't the answer he wanted it was the expected one. He took the change from her and leaned in. His mouth was so close to her ear that his lips almost danced across her lobe as he replied, "You can, and you should."

He stood straight and winked at her sporting his best boyish grin, or least he thought it was. As she scurried away his eyes did not leave her until the crowd swallowed her in one gulp.

Ted said, "Dude, you are relentless. The blonde behind you has been giving you 'fuck me' eyes all night and you have ignored her. What is the deal?"

J.C. looked at him and shrugged. "I don't know." He looked at the blonde and gave her a wane smile the turned back to Ted, "I may want the blonde tonight; but, some how I need Nicole. I don't want her so much as I have to get to know her."

Ted ' s jaw twitched as he smirked. "What love at first sight then?"

J.C. shook his head. "I don't believe in that anymore than you." His eyes strayed across the bar as he drawled, "But still..."

He pushed the plate of food he ordered away saying, "You guys can have it, I am heading home."

He downed the remainder of his beer the began weaving his way toward the door. His mind was churning full tilt and he was confused, excited, hopeful, and yet somewhat afraid that Nicole would not show in the morning.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:55 PM   #22
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Nicole breathed a little easier when he acknowledged her statement with a simple nod. She had dreaded a scene of some sort and was relieved with his good-natured understanding. Some of her previous patrons hadn't been as accepting, convinced she was playing hard to get... When in truth, she hadn't been trying to do anything more than take their orders or just be the efficient waitress Steve expected of his staff.

You can, and you should.

The husky words whispered into her ear held her transfixed as skitters of something fiercely enthralling danced across her body from her ear lobe clear down to her toes. The darn smile on his face only added to his appeal, and it scared her to death how much she was tempted to throw caution to the wind and say that she'd be there. When she was finally able to move again, she was off and running back to the bar, unable to recall whether she actually said anything else before her abrupt departure.

Nicole watched from the safety of the bar as her would-be coffee 'date' walked towards the door. She sighed softly, regretting the fact that Malinda wasn't due back in town yet. Perhaps if she was, she might have said yes... if only to see how it might have turned out.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:15 PM   #23
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Sleep was slow coming. It stole away from him with each thought of Nicole that raced through his mind, and he could not stop them. Her eyes floated like orbs of welcoming, bidding him to come to her. He would moan toss, then turn, then lay back on his back with his arm draped over his eyes. Finally exhaustion claimed him and he slept, dreams of her dominating the night.

J.C. woke with the dawn on Sunday morning. He made a cup of coffee while he dressed. Stretching slightly he downed the coffee and hit the road. He ran easily and slowly. This was more about being on the road than anything else. He kept his eyes open, hoping to see Nicole, but he didn't.

Yet he ran. All the way until 10:30 when he began walking to the coffee shop. He ordered a coffee and brunch and sat near the window. He was hopeful that she would show, but somehow he didn't expect her.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:31 AM   #24
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When the Steve rang the bell for last call, Nicole gave a deep felt sigh of relief. It had been an exhausting night. Even though she had been kept hopping with table after table of patrons, she had been unable to stop thinking about the invitation for coffee.

You can, and you should.

Waving off the invitation to join the others at a party at Billy, the bartender's, house, Nicole thanked Steve as he walked her to her old, beat up VW around the corner from BD's and got in.

You can, and you should.

So distracted by her internal debate on why she couldn't and shouldn't, she was pulling into the driveway before realizing it and then sat there unable to recall how she had even gotten home. Shaking her head in disgust, she headed into the house, where she went quickly to her bedroom, stripped off her clothes and went about her nightly bedtime ritual.

You can, and you should.

"I could, but I won't," she muttered to herself as she crawled between the sheets, hoping she'd stop obsessing about it already.

Thankfully she was tired enough that she fell to sleep almost immediately, only waking when the alarm clock went off. Rolling over to hit the snooze button, she noted the time and tried to calculate how many times she could snooze before she'd be late for the 9am service. She hadn't been able to sit through an entire service yet, but considered it progress that she was at least going again after all the months of raging at God for her loss.

++++++++

Nicole doggedly put one foot in front of the other, trying to ignore the phrase that was repeating inside her head with each footfall on the pathway. She had tried running faster, than slower, but the words kept dogging her heels. Youcanandyoushouldyoucanandyoushouldyoucanandyoushould.

On and on she ran. For once she wasn't worried about how awkward she looked, or how out of breath she sounded. All she could think of was whether or not it really would be a bad idea to stop by the coffee shop. What could it hurt? Wasn't it time she moved on? Jason would have wanted her to, but was she ready to do it?

Eventually it was a sudden cramping in her right calf that drew her up short as she tried to walk it out. Forced to knead the twitching muscle when even walking proved too much, Nicole looked around and realized how close she was to the coffee shop in question. Wondering if perhaps it was a sign, she glanced at her phone and saw that it was almost 11am and puffed out a determined breath. 'Okay, I can do this,' she thought to herself.

Hobbling down the path, she tried to give herself a pep talk that this really was a good idea. She kept up the mental dialogue until she was less than 100 feet from the shop, and then her steps faltered to a standstill. Her shoulders dropped as she realized she really wasn't ready for this.

"I almost could..." she muttered to herself as she turned back around.

Last edited by Angeleyz : 09-03-2014 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:58 PM   #25
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It was a wide range of emotions J.C. put himself through as he waited. It wasn't like she was late, or even that she promised to come. Yet hope sprang eternal.

When he saw her, J.C. almost sprang out of his seat. As it was a couple people looked at him askew as his chair skittered back as he stood. He watched the struggle play out on her face. One moment full of anticipation, the next her face fell with her shoulders and she turned slowly around.

Spending less than a half second thinking about what he should do, J.C. left the coffee shop and jogged down to Nicole. As he jogged along he noticed her limp and he could see the muscles in her calf were tight, and seemed it knot up like the Gordian Knot. Not that he would mind trying to work it loose for her.

Pulling up along side her, he smiled from eyes to toes as he nearly BOOMED, "You made it!"

It looked like she was so startled that she was about to jump out of her skin at his voice. The impish grin formed on his face as he said, "Sorry about that. I am very happy to see you. I am glad you came."

His impression of her was that she was scared. He didn't think she was scared of him but something else. An event or a person in the past who must have hurt her some kind of horrible. It would take time he thought, and deliberate attention and action on his part to undermine the wall she had so carefully, and so clearly, built around herself.

Offering her his hand to shake hers, he said, "By the way, my name is J.C." She shook his hand and a flash of brilliance, or so he thought came along. "Here, take this," he said as he handed her his bracelet. "It has all the information about me, hand it to whomever and ask them to give it to the police if needed."

He saw her hesitancy and an almost panicked look in her eyes. He modulated his voice low and calm as he said, "I need to get to know you, and I know you aren't comfortable, yet. Think of this as a token of my earnestness and willingness to be open and honest with you. Ask anything at any time and I will answer honestly."
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