The day had been the usual mix of spilt coffee, rude customers and small tips. Rae wasn’t sure why she still worked here, something to do with keeping a roof over head or some other such nonsense.
Then the little bell that goes off when the door opens dinged, she looked up and the only light that ever showed up at work was there shining.
He was also the person she wanted to see least in the world.
She rushed over to him with the coffee pot in her hand. “What are you doing here?”
He pulled his personal coffee cup out of his bag, “Funnily enough…”
She grabbed his arm and ushered him towards the door but he circled round her and sat down at a table. “You need to go!” She whispered it but it was said with such ferocity that he was physically taken aback.
He wanted to leave because it was clearly what she wanted but he had wants too. He’d done what she had wanted for months, stayed away, not contacted her at all. He was sick of it. He needed to see her. He was happy to be reprimanded by her, maybe not this harshly, but being in her orbit was where he wanted to be.
“I would go but I need to talk to you.”
“You could have sent a text.”
“I did. About three hundred. But since you didn’t respond to a single one, I thought the personal touch would be best.” She helpfully pointed out that when the texting onslaught had stopped a few months ago, he should have left it there. “I just need you,” was his only response.
“For God’s sake!” She unhooked her apron, throwing it behind the counter, signalling to her colleague that she was taking an early break. As she stormed out of the shop, she grabbed him and dragged him out with her.
Near where she worked was a small pier. On any other occasion, the walk to it and along it would be classed as romantic. This walk was Toby struggling to keep up with Rae as she stomped away. Finally, she stopped at the end of the pier and turned abruptly. Her face was full of anger.
“What do you want?”
“You, I just want you.” He said it so earnestly, the tension released from her shoulders. She couldn’t stay mad at him for long. She couldn’t resist him. It was part of the reason she’d told him to stay away. It was okay for her but he was married. And she wouldn’t become that girl.
It was so predictable though. He put her at ease with the twinkle of his eye. “You’re such a dick!” It was the only way to combat the almost intoxicating effect he had on her. Insults. Keep up the snark, she thought, kill him with unkindness.
The wind blew a few strands of hair in her face. Rae was content to let it sit there. But Toby had to meddle. He slipped his hand underneath the wayward strands brushing them off her face and tucking them behind her ear. His hand lingered longer than it should.
So soft. His hand was so f**king soft.
Don’t look into his eyes. Do not look into his eyes. He was Medusa. You look at her and you turn to stone. You look at Toby and you might start losing layers of clothing. She’d spent months avoiding their burgeoning relationship crossing a line. Until one day it came to a head and she knew if she let it carry on, something bad would happen.
That something bad was happening right now.
His hand was still on her cheek. His other hand was under her chin lifting her head up, forcing their eyes to make contact. “I’ve never been alone with you before.” It was true, every encounter before today was in the coffee shop or by text or on Facebook. But those small moments had quickly added up to this.
Crap! She was losing control of herself. The will to say no was disappearing. He was leaning in to kiss her. And she realised she was doing the same. How on Earth had she resisted him for months and it had taken only a few minutes and a few words to have her knees turning to jelly? She hated this guy.
And then they were kissing.
His lips were exactly how she had imagined. Hundreds of times. Soft. Gentle. Caressing. His arm slipped around her back and pulled her in close. She’d dreamed and daydreamed and fantasised from the moment he had first stepped foot in the shop of this moment and moments like it.
The kiss ended…too soon. He pressed his forehead to hers. “I’m sorry.” He was sorry and guilty and ashamed. But he was unbelievably happy too. She was as he had hoped, perfect in every way. He was on cloud nine, swept up in the moment. He knew it was wrong with every fibre of his being but being in love with someone was everything.
“You should go.” She said it so weakly now but he heard it. Even after that kiss, she was still turning him away. For him to feel so happy and her to not reciprocate was devastating.
“I guess I’ll go then.” He didn’t go straight away. He waited, hoping she would change her mind. Maybe she’d run into his arms and pick up where they had just left off. Drag him off somewhere quiet and satisfy this urge that was building inside of him but instead she just turned and stared into the sea, watching the waves.
And that was it. The end of it all before it ever really began. He was overwhelmingly disappointed but did as he was told. For now.
xx woeful writes xx
I think I had too many fits and starts with this and lost my way. I may come at it again in the future. My Toby and Rae deserve better! I hate when what’s in your head doesn’t make its way to the screen/page as you intended…