Kate spotted her favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, and looking at her watch, she decided to reward herself for her timing by stopping in for a tall vanilla latte. She opened the door to be greeted by the delicious smell of coffee beans and her favorite smiling barista. The Java Jolt was a morning must-have for her and she felt her spirit lifting every time she walked through those front doors.
“Miss Kate, good to see you this morning, would you like your usual?” asked Jimmy, a high-school student whose favorite days at work were the days that Kate comes in.
Kate was always surprised at the attention she received from men regarding her looks. At five foot six inches, she wasn’t particularly tall. She was far from stick thin, instead probably a few pounds over what she should be. She had dark brown, curly hair that hung all the way down her back and jumped about in any way it pleased, regardless of what she wanted.
Her pale skin contrasted her dark, piercing brown eyes, brunette hair color, and ruby red lips causing an almost doll-like look to her. She dressed simply but professionally, going for comfort more than glamour, if you didn’t count her high heel shoes. But even with her striking features, Kate often thought of herself as plain, which made her oblivious to the hints and attempts at flirting from the young barista.
“Thank you, Jimmy, yes please.” Kate smiles at him.
“Jimmy, add a large brewed coffee, two creams, and one sugar to that vanilla latte order,” said a deep voice behind her.
Kate whirled around to see the face that belonged to that deep voice and was struck by the tall, handsome grin staring back at her.
“Excuse me? Do I know you?” Kate asked, defiantly, stomping her foot on the ground in an attempt to look more confident.
“Well you should, if you are planning on buying me a drink, or do you just make a habit of buying strange men their coffee?” The tall man jokingly smiled at her.
Jimmy, awkwardly paused with the two empty cups in his hands, waiting for Kate’s approval before he made the drinks. Kate couldn’t decide whether she was furious at how rude this gentleman was or whether she was charmed by his initiative. Kate finally smiled slightly and nodded her consent, so Jimmy set about making the two drinks while watching out of the corner of his eyes at the interaction between the two jealously.
“I’m Kate, Kate Jackson,” she said, extending her hand to him.
“Derrick Kane.” His hand strongly grasped hers and his dark brown eyes pierced into hers, smiling at her with a wide, boyish grin that made her heart beat a little faster. He was definitely over six feet tall with the broadest shoulders that she had ever seen and the muscles on his arms could barely be contained in his collared blue shirt. An expensive black belt neatly held up his slacks while his shoes were recently polished and ready for work. His bright eyes seemed to glow against his dark, black skin as he smiled down at her. Jimmy, awkwardly coughed to interrupt their gaze, handing Kate her latte.
“Thanks, Jimmy.” Kate handed him some change to pay for the two coffees.
“Sure, Miss Kate, it’s no problem. Anytime.” Jimmy said, beaming at her, as he stood there waiting, hoping to continue the conversation. Kate just turned around, accidentally ignoring him.
“Hey, buddy, the coffee?” Derrick reminded the barista. Jimmy glared at him, annoyed, then handed him his coffee.
“Here you go, sir. One brewed coffee, three creams, two sugar.” Jimmy said bitterly to the man who he felt was stealing his crush.
“Uh, actually, that was supposed to be two creams, one sugar…” Derrick awkwardly said while Jimmy gave him a look that could kill.
“You know what, that’s fine, I like it better this way, anyways. Good call.” Derrick grinned and brushed it off while he took a big chug of his coffee to prove his point. Kate, watching this whole interaction, started laughing which only made Jimmy more bitter as he stormed away from the counter into the back of the coffee shop through a swinging door.
“I don’t think he is my number one fan.” Derrick said to Kate, grinning.
“I think you are right about that. How’s the coffee?” Kate said, chuckling as Derrick held the door and they exited the coffee shop.
“Sweet. Really sweet.” Derrick twisted his face to show his disgust, which caused Kate to laugh again.
Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of four novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genre including Tainted Bodies, Book One of The Photographer Trilogy. She has several other novels in the works and is currently negotiating contracts with several publishing houses. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, Justin, and their menagerie of pets. For more information on Sarah and her books, please visit her website.
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