Well, this story is something new for me. I'm trying out a slightly different way of writing, and I have to say, though it takes a little longer to write… I'm loving it. I'd love to know what you guys think of this (reviews, people, reviews) If I could upload this as .html, I would, but still isn't working right with those… sigh anyway, read, enjoy, and REVIEW! (please)

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Coffee Shop Story

Chapter 1: The Last of It

Alora slipped through a glass door just before it swung shut behind an odorous fat man. She really missed the days when men held doors open for women. Gentlemen just didn't exist anymore. She was only 19, but that didn't mean she deserved to have a door slammed in her face. She watched the rude man before her investigate a row of expensive coffee mugs. She nearly snorted; his off-white wife-beater had sweat stains, and he reeked of old sweat and cigarettes. He looked like he should be in a cheap diner sipping at instant coffee from a chipped, permanently stained coffee cup. Alora shrugged and slunk into line, glad to be up before him. She gave the line a cursory glance; an white-haired couple, a cute college-aged Asian girl, a Hispanic construction worker, three kids and a worn out mother, and a suit. No cute college guys at 5:45 in a trendy coffee shop on a Wednesday night in a bustling college town. Pathetic, in Alora's mind.

She gave a sigh and eyed the dark, shiny floor; undoubtedly imitation marble. After coming to the café exactly once a week for six months, she knew what each item in the bake case was, its price, and if it was good or not. The brown-speckled navy counters were bare except for the chocolate display case, but she didn't like chocolate much so she didn't care whether it was stocked or not. Slowly, she slipped into a silent discussion with herself concerning her first paycheck from her new job. She'd have about $100 left since the final paycheck from her last job had paid her rent for the month. With her fifty-percent discount at the lamely, but aptly named "Crafts & Things" shop she worked at, she could stock up on art supplies. If she could sell some jewelry or art on the side…

A slow, steady tapping brought her out of her silent reverie. It was aimed to be noticed. Alora jerked her head up, causing a few dark gold locks to slip out of her already messy bun. Alora sighed and tugged at the elastic holding her hair back as she edged a few steps to the left and fixated her blue-green gaze on the suit. Immediately, she took note of his hands; long, slender fingers, but sinewy, large hands. Perfect hands for a potter. He was tapping his silver Rolex. He was definitely in a hurry and impatient. Just like all the other suits. She was sure the Rolex was real if the suit was any indication—Armani.

Alora grimaced to herself and slowly compared her attire to that of the suit. She wore black scuffed boots with a broken shoelace she had knotted back together; he wore polished black Italian leather. Charcoal blue perfectly creased slacks that screamed "dry-clean only" matched a tailored jacket over an icy-blue collared shirt and silk lavender-coloured tie contrasted harshly to the faded, ripped, and wrinkled jeans Alora wore with a slightly newer blue T-shirt with a few smears of dust and cracked writing saying "I swear on my ex's soon to be grave, it's just red paint!", and a tired old jean jacket. Alora's gold locks, just taken down from her messy bun were already tangled around her arms and waist, while the suit's brown-black braid hung down to his mid-back in shining perfection.

Alora figured he'd be handsome if he was younger and not in a suit. He had a strong jaw and fit the triad of "tall, dark, and handsome". So what if she loved the triad? She only came up to his shoulder—not that she was tall by any means. She was only 5'2 and wore heeled boots. Alora's eyebrow twitched slightly as the tapping continued. She had almost begun to think that people his age stopped doing annoying things like that, but he looked to be about mid to late twenties.

Alora clenched her jaw as the old couple left the café and the college girl waited off to one side for one of the employees to make her drink and deliver it to the tall counter on the other side of the narrow enclosure the employees were trapped inside. Alora spotted her best friend, Kendra quickly stocking the near empty bake-case and waved; however, Kendra was too busy to glance around the café to look for her friend. Alora sighed and took another step forward; the Hispanic had ordered a simple house blend, but the three tow-headed children with the woman began arguing over what they could get from the bake-case. After a few moments of this, the suit cleared his throat. The woman glanced back at him warily and fairly yelled her long order at the cashier above the raucous children.

The suit stepped up with sure steps and rattled off his order; he was most definitely a regular customer. A venti doppio Espresso Macchiato at 140 degrees; Alora could just make out Kendra's annoyed grumble. Macchiatos were one of the most annoying drinks to make. The man put down a crisp ten-dollar bill and leaned against a pillar to await his drink. Alora stepped up by the register and Kendra rushed over to "help" the new cashier and tell him her employee number so that Alora could afford her weekly coffee.

"Thanks, Kendra." Alora smiled. "I'll have a grande light frap with whipped cream, please."

"Sometime you have to try an iced vanilla latte!" Kendra rolled her eyes; Alora always ordered the same thing.

"Next time, I promise I'll try it," Alora promised.

"See you later, Lori." Kendra winked and went off to work on Alora's frap instead of the macchiato; after all, fraps were much easier to make, and Alora was a good friend.

Kendra paid, leaving a handful of silver and copper coins for the barista, though she accepted the handful of bills presented to her by the barista. Alora gave a sigh; the suit had taken her usual place to wait for her drink. The suit still looked impatient, but not like a normal person; he had that cold, calculating big business look to him. Alora wondered what the hell a suit like him was doing in a cheap college town that survived on thrift shops; albeit, it was a large college town with a few expensive stores that Alora had never graced the sidewalks of.

Alora almost smirked when Kendra delivered her frap to the chest-high pick-up counter before the suit's macchiato. She noticed how the suit's eyes narrowed slightly, but now she was more worried about using a stirring stick to quickly eat some of the whipped cream from the top of her drink before she gave the cinnamon container a few good shakes over her drink. It was then that she noticed that the nutmeg container was extremely low. She'd most definitely use up the last of the stuff.

Alora began to liberally shake the last of the nutmeg over her drink, during that time, the suit came up behind her, waiting. Alora soon realized he must be one of the rare nutmeg lovers and smirked to herself. The suit cleared his throat in an attempt to make Alora hurry. Normally, Alora would have relinquished the small shaker, but something about this particular suit annoyed her and she had had a long, bad day. If she could annoy the suit, so much the better.

"I'm in a hurry, miss, so if you don't mind letting me use the nutmeg quickly…" The suit's voice eased into Alora's hearing.

She noted the husky, alluring tones in an accent she didn't quite know. Admittedly, Alora would have liked his voice if he wasn't an old suit, so, of course, she hated it. Alora uncharacteristically shot back, "You can wait just as well as any other person."

The suit made a soft huffing sound. Alora smirked again, thankfully her long locks covered the expression from the suit's gaze. She had further irritated him. "Not all people are in a hurry like myself. I have a meeting to attend to."

Alora's smirk widened. She gave her frap two more good shakes and handed the nutmeg shaker over, taking a seat at a small, out-of-the-way table. Normally she would start on the long walk to her car; campus parking was horrible, but today, she wanted to watch the suit. The nutmeg shaker was thrust against the condiment counter forcefully. She had given him an empty shaker. The suit all but stalked out of the café. As the café door swung shut behind him, Alora burst into a fit of giggles.

Kendra slipped out of her prison and walked up to her friend. "I can't believe you just did that, Lori!"

"It's been a long, bad day."

"He's one of the regulars. He's such a jerk! But he always gives huge tips so we can't say anything."

Alora shrugged. "I'll probably never see him again, so no worries!"

Kendra laughed. "Well, just for that, I'm giving you my employee number. All of us back there are laughing about that. I'll have to remember to keep a nearly empty nutmeg shaker on hand in case you and him come in at the same time again!"

Alora just shook her head. "Your employee number?! Awesome!"

"Yup!" Kendra answered, writing the number down quickly on the pen and paper that Alora retrieved from a torn and patched tote bag. "Now you can get the discount whenever!"

"Thanks." Alora glanced at her watch. "I'd better start walking. I'm on dinner duty tonight at the apartment. I'll talk to you later, kay?"

"Later, Lori!"

Alora stood up and waved at Kendra headed back to her post. Alora sighed and started walking down the street towards her car, sipping at her cold drink. She pulled her jean jacket tighter; it wasn't particularly cold, but because she always drank cold drinks, she always got cold. Hot coffee had never appealed to her.

Doesn't that suit sound like a jerk? I know, I love him too. And no, he isn't my muse. They both just happen to have long dark hair and blue eyes… Skye (my muse) smokes and drinks and has a motorcycle.. He can be REALLY mean… Besides, Skye never wears HIS hair in a braid…

Another note… I am looking for a BETA for my FICTION. I could sorely use one. You know it, and I know it.

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