A/N: I wrote this story a while back, but I'm going to use it as a submission for Annoyance's Ridiculously Happy OneShot Contest.
I have everyone enjoys the story!
Rules for the contest:
-- Has to be a One Shot
-- Has to be more than 2500 words - no drabbles please!
-- The main pairing must be het (boy/girl)
-- The story must be Ridiculously Happy ( Yes, all entries will be entered into my C2). That means no Angst, Hurt/Comfort. Lets all be happy! Romance, Humor and General are the preferred genres.
-- Add the phrase 'for the Ridiculously Happy OneShots contest' in your summary.
-- All ratings are accepted, but please keep lemons to a minimum.
-- The story must be in the category Fiction -- Romance
-- The story can be in POV of either the boy or the girl
-- Deadline for story submission is MAY 11
-- PM me the url of your finished story so that I don't have to hunt around for it.
--The story must use irony. (For example, the one thing the boy hates about the girl could be what finally causes him to realize his feelings for her. Be creative!!)
--The girl must be significantly shorter than the guy, and he should make at least 3 comments about this. (Ideally around 1 foot of difference in height.)
-- Submission starts on April 20
--Stories will be judged by voting. ( I'll hold a poll on my profile)
--You can submit a maximum of 3 stories.
Thank you for reading!
"Hey, Red, I got yer' corn-beef hash and chili here!" the burly cook called towards the waitress. She skirted expertly through Skyway Diner as if it was second nature, weaving her way through the customers to come towards the kitchen. The young woman took the tray from him and plastered another piece of paper on the bulletin board.
"Thanks, Juan! I have another order of potato soup, green beans, and rice pilaf coming up," Liah Evans smiled as she slipped the new tray on her hand. Her long, curly red hair was bound up on the top of her head in a messy bun. There was some ketchup smeared on her cheek from an accident with someone's three-year-old, which Liah had been more amused with than annoyed. However, after the four-hour long rush, she was tired of smelling like too much corn-beef hash and feeling like she wanted to drop.
It was another two hours before she found herself relaxing.
"You work too hard, dear," Marian told her from her spot at the register, "Don't you have school to finish?"
"I already finished school, I'm just waiting for my job offers to come through."
Liah lowered herself to the stool behind the counter. Marian, the older woman that ran the cash register, was like a second mother to Liah. After graduating from college four months earlier, Liah had stayed at the diner while Marian and Juan were looking to hire a new waitress. The simple diner on the mainstreet of New York was small, but had enough business to keep it doing well.
There was a bing as the door opened, and Liah held back a groan. She was about ready to head back on break, but she couldn't make Marian wait on someone, the old woman's arthritis was getting bad.
"You go on break, honey, I'll take this."
"No, Marian, it's okay," Liah hopped down from the stool and scooped up her notepad. When she rounded the corner, she stopped and glared at the new customer.
"Well, well, Miss Evans," his mouth quirked into a smirk, "Looks like my lucky day. Just imagine I come in here and find you workin' here, short stuff."
Lincoln St. Claire was a businessman on Wall Street. He dressed in thousand dollar suits, dined in fine restaurants, jumped in private jets and traveled overseas only to return that afternoon, and was the most arrogant, egotistical man Liah ever met.
"Can I get you something, sir?" she gritted her teeth, tapping her pencil on the paper. Why did he always insist on coming in anyway when he could afford somewhere better?
"Come now, Miss Evans, no need to be so hostile," he drawled, "Coffee and soup, please."
She took the menu from him, and scribbled down the order. Ever since Liah has started to work at the diner, Lincoln had started coming in almost every day for lunch. She had learned that he was originally from South Carolina, and worked in stocks.
Liah sighed when Juan passed her the tray, only to find an extra bowl of soup and a chocolate malt along Lincoln's order.
"It's on the house," Marian patted her shoulder.
"Take you're break and eat lunch with that man, Red," Juan called from the back.
She sighed, knowing she was trapped, and carried the tray over to Lincoln, who had his nose buried in the paper.
"Looks like my bosses have a sense of humor and you'll have a lunch partner today."
"I never turn down a beautiful woman, "Lincoln grinned, "Even one who is so much shorter than I."
She snorted and sat across from him. So what if he was over a head taller than her? It wasn't like she could do anything about it. Generally, Lincoln never passed by an opportunity to argue with her, tease her, or mock her and her misfortunes. Liah chalked it up to his stuck-up richness and wished that he could go back to Wall Street, his marble office, mothership, or whatever else was applicable.
His hair was dark, slicked back, and his skin was tanned from the sun. Since he was so much taller than she was, he could be a little intimidating at times when he towered over her. Liah could tell that he must work out on a daily basis by the way that his suit fit over his broad shoulders, and he carried himself with an air of self-confidence that rubbed Liah the wrong way.
"Why the face, darlin?" he sneered.
She slurped at her malt, "Gee, I wonder."
"No need to be defensive," Lincoln sat back in his chair, "Just because you are short, it doesn't make you any less attractive. I happen to like you just fine."
"Why do you come here anyway, St. Claire?"
He chuckled, "Would you go out to dinner with me?"
Liah choked on her malt, and it took a few moments to settle herself down before she was about to look at him again, "Why do you want me to go out with you? We can't even stand each other."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Lincoln scowled, "I like you just fine."
She blushed, and took a sip of her soup in order to hide her face for a few seconds. It wasn't like she was usually so shy, but men like Lincoln didn't take interest in her. Liah was more likely to end up with a math teacher or an accountant than a businessman who made six figures. His name was Lincoln St. Claire, for heaven sakes, what kind of a name was that?
"I don't think it's a good idea."
Liah was staring at her soup so she missed the smile fade from his face a bit. Lincoln sighed and leaned towards her, "Well, alright then."
Her head snapped back up at the hint of disappointment in his voice. Lincoln returned to sipping his coffee and reading the paper. When he was finished, he set enough money on the table, and pulled on his suit coat as he stood.
"Have a nice day," she replied as he straightened his collar.
Lincoln shrugged, giving her a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes, "You too, Miss Evans."
Marian waved to him as he left, and she promptly shot a glare in Liah's direction. Liah watched him walk past, and disappear in the crowds on the streets of New York. Part of her felt slightly strange, and she frequently caught herself watching him leave.
"What's wrong with you, girl?" Marian folded her arms, "How can you just let that man walk right out of here and not do anything about it?"
"We're completely different people, Marian. He comes from a different world than I do," Liah said, "Besides, we don't even like each other."
The elder woman shook her head, and picked up the bills from the table to count them. She stopped a moment, "You know why he comes in here, right?"
"To pester me?" Liah rest her head in the palm of her hand, and stirred her soup.
"That boy likes you, he comes in here to see you," Marian pouted, "You're just stubborn."
Liah felt her cheeks warm again at the prospect of Lincoln liking her. She thought it was silly, but the idea still made her heart skip a beat.
"I would never work out."
Marian sighed, and then pulled out a piece of paper from the bills in her hand and set them on the table. It was a simple white scrap with a number scrawled across it. Liah stared a moment, and then drew it into her hands. He had left his number with her.
"Never say never until you try," Marian replied, picking up the remaining dishes, "Finish your lunch. You don't eat enough as it is and that skin is going to fall right off your bones."
Liah nodded, and stared blankly at the paper. He did sound disappointed when she turned him down, but how was she supposed to know that he was being honest? There had been so many times in the last few months that he had joked around with her about asking her out that Liah simply waved any of his remarks aside.
Then again, if he was being honest...
She shook her head visibly at the idea, and jammed the piece of paper in the back pocket of her jeans. Picking up her own dishes, Liah prepared herself for the dinner rush, and tried to forget about Lincoln St. Claire.
The next day, he didn't show up.
Liah waited for him, although she would never admit to what she was doing, but Lincoln never came. She ignored the stab of disappointment, and figured that something had kept him in the office.
Another day turned into a week, and by the time the week reached Friday, she was about ready to throw something. He hadn't shown up for an entire week, and when Liah was done being annoyed, she was starting to worry if something had happened to him.
"...maybe he had to fly out to England, he has to do that occasionally," she cleaned the counter with the wet rag, "Or Australlia? He had to take a business trip there last fall."
Marian snorted, and looked sympathetically at the younger woman. Liah had been a wreck since Lincoln's absence had been a steady occurrence. The waitress was constantly rambling about him now, and Marian rolled her eyes, "Did you call him?"
"No," Liah frowned, "I didn't want to disturb him. What if he's doing something important? I don't want to bother him."
"No man thinks its a bother to get attention from a beautiful woman, Red," Juan called from the back.
She smiled at his comment, and suddenly realized she was wearing the same pair of jeans she had been wearing the day he had left her the number. Liah reached into her back pocket, and drew the piece of paper out with another thought dawned on her.
She had washed her jeans yesterday, forgotten to take the paper out of them, and the writing on the paper was now unreadable. Liah gave a dejected sigh and sank into the chair behind the counter. Maybe it was for the best that she didn't call him, he would probably be annoyed with her anyway.
"Hey, dear, what's the matter?"
Liah sighed, although she couldn't quite pinpoint why she was so depressed that she hadn't seen Lincoln in a week. Now that her only possible way of contacting him was gone, there was something about the whole situation that was upsetting.
Marian rubbed her arm, "You've had a tough week, why don't you take off for the night?"
"But my shift-"
"Go ahead, Red, it's no big deal," Juan replied, shooing her out of the diner, "Scram and go have some fun."
Liah smiled, and nodded, knowing that they would only be offended if she declined. Picking up her winter coat and bag, she let herself out of the diner.
It was running into the late afternoon, and Liah made her way down the sidewalk towards her apartment. Part of her was glad to have a little time off, and part didn't know what she was going to do with herself. Stopping at the store, she picked up a frozen pizza and ice cream, and headed back to her red-brick studio apartment.
Liah loved her apartment, and couldn't help but smile when she finally shut the door. It had been the first place she had lived in out of her dorm room and parent's house, and Liah had more fun decorating it than anything else. After setting the groceries on the counter, and noticed her answering machine was blinking, and pressed the button.
She practically tripped over a chair and her shoes to run to the answering machine. It was Lincoln's voice on the other line.
"...I was wondering if you wanted to come to...nah, never-mind, forget it. Hope you're doing well. See ya 'round short stuff."
There was a beep, and Liah felt like clunking her head on the wall. He was wondering what? What kind of man calls up a woman and doesn't leave his number at the end of the message?
Liah sighed, and headed back to the kitchen. The message was dated yesterday, and whatever he wanted to ask her probably didn't matter now anyway. On Thursdays she worked until close, and it would have been too late to do anything.
My life is so much different than his. Who am I kidding?
This is ridiculous, and now I feel stupid.
She growled to herself as she marched back to the kitchen.
It was the evening when Liah realized she was bored out of her mind. After an hour of staring at the ceiling, she pulled herself off the sofa and racked her brain for options. Seeing none that came to mind, she pulled on her coat, stuffed her keys in her pocket, and went for a walk.
There was a slight dusting of snow on the ground, and people were scurry home to avoid the cold. Truthfully, Liah didn't think it was that cold. She shoved her hands in her pockets, and headed for the park. It wasn't the best place to go at dusk, but Liah was past caring. Hunching her shoulders, she sighed and sat down on the edge of a park bench. She was starting to think that it hadn't been a good idea to take the night off, but Marian and Juan would kick her out of Skyway if she tried to go back to work.
Leaning her head back, Liah closed her eyes, letting the snow drift down and land on her face. The coolness felt wonderful, and she began to wonder when she became this pathetic.
She opened her eyes, and stared up at the man staring intently down at her.
His blue eyes looked slightly worried at her haggard appearance. Liah suddenly wished that a the earth would crack open and swallow her up. She looked pale from laying around, her hair had been pulled down, and the red curls fell over her shoulders and down her back. With all her luck, there were probably wrinkles on her face from the pillows, and her hair was sticking straight up.
He looked ironed, gorgeous, and perfect.
"I-" Liah jumped up from the bench, startled, "I...I was just going for a walk."
His eyebrows rose in the air, "In the snow?"
She shrugged, thinking he probably was headed to some dinner party, or upper-class gathering, or whatever it was that made him want to look so perfect.
"Um..." she blushed, then brushed her unruly hair out of her face, "You didn't come to the diner this week."
Lincoln shrugged, "There really wasn't a reason."
"That's not true!" she blurted out, then gasped when she realized that she had said it out loud. He looked taken back by her statement.
"What does that mean?" he asked.
"It's m-means..." Now she was nervous! Liah shook her head to try and clear it, wondering how she was going to tell him that she missed him. For the better part of her employment at Skyway, Liah had grown used to his company, whether it had been welcome or not.
She fidgeted nervously when her mind reached a decision. If Lincoln was bent on not coming back to the diner anytime soon, there was no need to worry about embarrassing herself and having to see him later.
"Are you okay?" he asked, concerned. She was more pale than normal, and her attention seemed a bit frayed, "If something is wrong, I can-"
Liah grabbed the lapels of his beautiful coat that he always wore over his suit, which she was sure was worth more than her salary for an entire year, and yanked him down to her height. She kissed him, feeling him freeze as her mouth brushed over his, nipping slightly at his lower lip. When she was about to draw back, he latched his arms around her, and tipped her head back.
His large frame bent over her, kissing her as if he was ready to eat her in mouthfuls. Each time his lips moved over hers, each time he tasted her, she felt like she was being swept away. When he finally pulled back, her cheeks were bright red.
"Um..." Liah stumbled out of his arms, dragging a hand over her messy hair, "Um, okay...I think I'm going back home now. It's kind of cold."
Lincoln stared blankly at her as she took a step back and turned to leave.
It was the first time he had really said her name, he always called her Darlin' or Miss Evans. Normally, the only people that called her by her full first name were her parents, but Liah found that she liked the sound of it coming from him. She nervously looked back at him from over her shoulder. Lincoln gave her a small smile, and asked, "Would you like to go to dinner with me tonight?"
Liah opened her mouth to say no out of habit, and then stopped herself. She wanted to go to dinner with him. A smiled mirrored onto her face as well, and then she nodded.
Thank you everyone for reading!