I really hate blind dates.

And you would think that after two years of college, I would avoid the set ups pretty well. Usually I do. Drama girls get this sickening sparkle in their eyes when they think they're doing something romantic. For me, that means a fix up. See the sparkle, run like hell. It's a very simple equation.

Drama girls are easy to handle. Just grab your two metro friends, throw them at the pack of hyenas in stilettos and lipstick, and promptly dash into the nearest shadowy alcove. No, it's the sneaky English majors with their tragic notions of romance or the calculating business majors that want to see an "interesting social interaction be viable" that you have to watch out for. They are the kind that sneak up on you when you're at the busiest part of your shift when you're pulling case files for angry law professors at your university job and practically blackmail/coerce/threaten you into going out with some random guy you've never met.

Show me business major and blackmail and that's why I'm here.


Five minutes after Mr. Fill-in-the-Blank was supposed to show up.


And once again, I find my self sitting in one of those café-bar-bistro things that New York City spawns and devours every few weeks on another Friday night when I could be doing something equally as boring in a place I can afford and may actually enjoy. But no. No. I had to go and do stupid stuff at the English major's Christmas party.

What the hell was a business major doing with a bunch of dreamers anyway?

And oh yeah: seven minutes now.

Another long sigh and I grab one of the thin little crispy things this place passes off as breadsticks and roll it around a finger, looking bored. I'm debating going ahead and leaving. I mean, I've done my part. I came; he didn't show up. That satisfies the blackmail stipulations right?

Right as I'm lapsing into thought and letting my vision go blurry, the chair across from me scratches along the floor. I twitch and snap the little piece of bread in half. A soft chuckle brings me back into focus and out of shock.

"A bit tense there" he murmurs lightly. I blink lightly and glare. So while he's smiling and flirting with the young waitress with the long flowing blonde hair and the black tips and comments on how nice something about her was, I took the opportunity to peruse him.

Dark brown hair. Damn it….Kara had me pegged on that aspect. It was shortish too…but long enough to tangle your hands in. And those eyes, those deep and dark brown eyes. Kara sure had me pegged. He even had a single black stud earring in his right ear. He…kinda had everything I wanted in a man. At least on a physical level.

And then it hits me.

It isn't overly noticeable. In fact, it's barely perceptible to people unless you know what it was. It is a very select, very expensive brand of aftershave sold only at Barney's New York and only for a two-week period in April. I groan lightly. Money. This man comes from money: he smells just like every other lawyer that's busy at the NYU Legal Library and harassing me to find their cases two minutes before they asked for them.

Just fantastic.

I tense as he turns back towards me. He smiles this perfect smile, and I'm instantly at war: half of me wants to stab him, half of me wants to kiss him. Either way, my body wants to lunge across the far too small table. Our eyes meet, and true to form, I glower and he smirks.

"Kara was right. You are quick-tempered." He chuckles and extends his hand. "I'm Devon. It's nice to meet you."

"I'm Hayden" I say, the edge still in my voice. I take his hand and shake it. But I still can't tell if I want him to die, or to push me up against the nearest wall. I let go of his hand and settle back against my chair, letting out a soft sigh as the waitress comes back to take our orders.

I really hate blind dates.

I look down at my menu as the waitress giggles and flips her hair at my date. My eyes practically pop out of their sockets. Everything here is so expensive. I groan and instantly look for the salads.

When you're on a tight - and I mean college student with two jobs tight - budget, you tend to eat a lot of salads or bad fast food. It just becomes sustenance: eat to be full, not to be content.

"The pecan salmon was excellent last time," Devon muses from across the table. "I think I'll have that, with a bottle of house white wine and a side salad please." He smiles and hands the menu back to the waitress. "And my date will have" he reaches over and plucks the menu out of my hands "the stuffed roasted chicken breast with grilled asparagus and the soup of the day." He nods his thanks to the waitress.

"It's so cute that you know what he likes to eat!" the waitress coos before dashing off to place our orders. My eyebrow twitches. Cute indeed.

"You have some stones there pal," I growl out, leaning back in my chair and crossing my arms. "I do hope you'll pay my medical bills when I get sick from the allergies I have." I arch an eyebrow as he laughs.

"I know for a fact that you aren't allergic to anything on that dish," Devon says, a smug smile settling onto his lips. "Kara keeps very extensive notes on her friends…"

"Of course. You would look for the easy way to things wouldn't you?" I mutter darkly. "God forbid you take time and effort to find these things out for yourself!" I smile lightly at the waitress as she brings out a bottle of wine and two glasses. "No thank you ma'am. Just water for me."

"Please Hayden, enjoy" the brunette says before lifting his glass in a toast. "It's quite a fine vintage." He smiles that cocky smile and I grimace.

"I'm already paying far too much for the wonderful dinner that you ordered," I grouse, swirling my glass of water, "and I don't have the deep pockets that cashmere overcoat does."

"Sharp eyes" Devon purrs, eyeing me over the rim of his glass. "Sharp teeth too?"

"Not that you'll ever know" I bite back, narrowing my eyes before laughing in shock. "My god! You actually think you're being suave!" I laugh again, the kind of chuckle that comes after you see two enemies kissing. Ok, bad example.

"I know I'm being suave" he replies, brown eyes flashing with mirth. "I also know that it's aggravating you. And it's absolutely wonderful to see you squirm." He smirks at the flush that flashes across my face: I could feel my cheeks burning.

"Oh what a shock, another man that thinks with his prick" I huff, and broke a breadstick angrily. "Why on earth Kara set me up with you…" I shake my head and grumble into my water.

The waitress returning with his salad and my soup absorbed any snide remarks. I eye the man in front of me as I sip on the, though I hate to admit it, rather delicious soup. He just irks me. That cocky aura he exuded from every pore made me want to lunge across the table, grab his collar, and…well…one of several options really. I flush again: damn my treacherous capillaries.

"So are we going to actually pretend that this could possibly be a date and go through the first date motions?" Devon asks. He chuckles lightly when I jump at his voice. "You are far too jumpy when you come out of those day-dreamy states." Ok, now I want to stab him.

"How do you know Kara?" I ask, already bored with the evening. And we were just now getting to the small talk. I groan to myself and try to focus on what he was saying.

"I'm a TA in the business school," he said, cutting a cherry tomato and popping it into his mouth quickly. He chews lightly, eyes thoughtful. "I believe I met her in advanced Macroeconomics. She was the best in the class."

"She usually is," I quip with a smirk. "And what made you talk to her?"

"She talked to me Hayden" he said with a very serious gleam in his eyes. "Don't think for a second I tried to seduce a student."

"Isn't that what you're trying now?" I purr, a smile flashing across my lips. He laughs and arches an eyebrow.

"You are a sarcastic little thing aren't you?" He smiles and points his fork at me. "What about you? I don't exactly see Kara being great friends with a boy with black and red hair." I frown lightly.

"I just dyed this last night…" I grumble. He grins and rolls his eyes. "She and I met in Honors Philosophy. She was the unemotional and cold woman making snide comments in the corner and I was the cynical boy that spent most of the class finding ways to piss off the religious right." Devon snorts and arches an eyebrow.

"So you're one of those boys that listens to Greenday and slits your wrists huh?" he asks. I choke on a spoon full of soup and cough a few times, glaring at him the entire time.

"No you pompous ass" I growl out, eyes narrowing. "Why does everyone assume that because I dye my hair, I have more than one piercing and I'm gay, that I'm some self destructing fool?" I scowl and take a sip from my water to clear my throat. "I'm not some high school student begging for a fuck."

"Oh so you want something more?" he asks in a bored tone, continuing to eat his salad. I roll my eyes and drop my spoon into my now empty soup bowl.

"Oh joy, another man that stiffens up the second I say I don't wanna just fuck and run" I grouse, glaring at him and resting an elbow on the table and laying a cheek on the braced palm. "So go ahead, make your excuses, and leave. It's nothing new." I arch an eyebrow at the smirk that flashes across his face.

"I'm sure that snarky attitude and that line about commitment scares off most people," he pauses and swirls his wine glass slowly, his brown eyes staring into mine with a calculating glint. "But I'm not most people." He smiles lightly and cocks his head to one side. "And your eyes darken to the most beautiful shade of blue when you're annoyed." I flush and turn my head to one side.

"So you're in grad school?" I choke out, doing my best to hide my embarrassment. He chuckles and I glower.

"Smooth change there Hayden" he says lightly, refilling his wine glass and smiling haughtily. Once again, the urge to stab him is rising. "Yes. I'm working on my MBA in market strategies and market histories." I arch an eyebrow.

"In pursuit of holy money hum?" I ask scathingly. Ah the artist and cynic in me, uniting again in glorious personal attacks. He just smirks.

"I'm following in my father's footsteps" he responds with a shrug. "And quite honestly, I don't care. I have a knack for picking good stocks. So I go with my strengths." He eyes me critically and I squirm. Those eyes are so intense. "What's your excuse for being a hopeless dreamer?"

"My strengths" I said quietly, eyes flashing dangerously. "I write well. Specifically, I write fiction well."

"So no journalism then?" He asks curiously, a surprised look crossing his face. "Most people in Lit here go for journalism or teaching. I take it that's not for you?"

"Journalism doesn't appeal to me" I reply with a shrug, playing with another breadstick idly. "I really just want to write. But I know I'm being irrational there thinking that I'll ever get published. So I am planning on getting my teaching certificate after I finish." I stopped and looked a little shocked. We were actually having a pleasant conversation that wasn't coated with a sarcastic undercurrent.

I was slightly concerned.

"You're in that dream world again," Devon murmurs lightly, reaching across the table to poke me lightly between my eyes. I scowl and swipe at his hand. "I bet you didn't hear a word I said."

"I…well…sorry" I mumble, blushing slightly and looking down at the table. He chuckles and taps the table lightly.

"I was just saying that you should go with your strengths." He smirks and raises his wine glass again. "Even if it means you end up poor and under appreciated." My eyes snap up to glare hatefully at him. The only thing that saved him from my outrage was the waitress returning with our food.

As much as I hate to admit it, the chicken he ordered for me was delicious. We lapsed into idle chitchat over our meals, mostly because I was far too pissed to talk about anything serious. His last comment really annoyed me, just because of the arrogance behind it. In the end, the whole meal was quite good; the company could have been better. But it could have been a lot worse.

He even picked up the check.

As I leave, the cab he hailed for me merging back into the dwindling late night traffic, I look over my shoulder and let out a deep sigh. It was over. Several hours of long, drawn out, sarcastic sniping from both of us, all spawned by that arrogant man…with the perfect hair and the eyes you could get lost in and lips that you wanted everywhere on your body. I let out an aggravated scream: I think the cabbie jumped and looked at me oddly in the mirror. Why did someone so physically perfect have to have such annoying qualities?

I really hate blind dates.