The hot chocolate was good. Drinking the last sip, she let it trickle slowly down her throat and warm her insides. Kayla never really had been a coffee lover; it was just too strong. But she had the strange feeling that if she had gotten some here – at Beau's Cafe – she would have liked it.
Beau's Cafe was a small shop between two large buildings. At first, Kayla had to constantly call Emma for directions. She would insist a thousand times that she had already passed the movie store, which was right before the alley, but eventually she had found it, and it was well worth the time she had given to find it as she drained the last drop out of her mug.
It seemed to Kayla that Emma was most definitely taking her time. Either that, or she was becoming paranoid. Glancing over at the clock that was posted high on the wall opposite her, Kayla saw that it was 2:07 – Emma was seven entire minutes late. Kayla had been ten minutes early. Perhaps she was being a bit impatient, but usually when someone asked her to meet them somewhere, she expected them to be the one who was early.
Her eyes scanned the small cafe, looking for her friend, but it seemed that luck was not on her side today. A waiter passed by, tall with messy black hair; his khakis and dress shirt seemed out of place and uncomfortable on his form, as though it were a rare occasion for him to wear them.
"Hey!" Kayla called out, getting his attention. Once he turned around, she saw who it was: the mystery boy from Friday at lunch. She could have sworn her heart stopped; she would have bet her life on it. The only thing was, she had no idea why. Sure, she'd had crushes before, and she had seen some really cute guys in her time, mystery boy among them. But none of the other boys - or even men – had ever had this strong of an effect on her. Maybe it was because he was ultimately gorgeous, but for someone she hardly knew, it was amazing how her mind begun to reel as he approached her.
Looking down at her empty mug, she twirled it around in her fingers, trying to reclaim her confident nature. Ever since she had moved to Union City, that part of her personality had seemed to fade.
"May I help you?" His voice was so nice. Deep, but not too deep, with a heavy accent that Kayla could not pick out, no matter how hard she concentrated on it.
"I was wondering if you could get me another hot chocolate." Passing him the cup, she watched him grin after he assessed the contents of the cup – not even a drop was left. "And also some paper?"
"Of course. I'm guessing that your sketch on Friday wasn't a rare thing?"
Kayla nodded. "You're right - I love it. I've been doing it ever since I was little, whenever I had to get away from real life."
She said it slowly, trying to send a secret message. She hoped that he would understand her life was more than met the eye. But the mystery boy didn't seem to think much about the double meaning in her words. She supposed it was a good thing, although part of her wished that he would take her hand in his and tell her that everything was alright now; that the worst part of her life was over, and now it was time to move on. Except he didn't. Instead, he turned and left, in order to return a few minutes later with a pad of paper, a pen, and an entire cup of hot chocolate with foam on the top and marshmallows that kept the liquid blocked from Kayla's view.
Taking the items from him, she sipped at her hot chocolate. She hoped for the sweet taste and warmth that had soothed her from the first cup. Putting it to her mouth, she closed her eyes calmly. But instead of the warm, calming sweetness she had expected, the liquid was scorching; it shot over her tongue like a burning fire before going down her throat.
Popping open her eyes, she glared at him, happy that she was able to put the blame on someone as he was now sitting in the seat across from her in the booth – the place where Emma was supposed to be sitting.
"It's hot," she growled.
He shrugged. "Isn't that's why it's called hot chocolate?"
"Yes! But not that hot. Like only hot enough to warm your mouth – not to burn it off! God! I could have second degree burns and it could be entirely your fault."
"Would it be, now? Would you mind explaining that to me?" he asked, voice perfectly calm with only a hint of sarcasm.
"You didn't warn me!"
He sighed, getting up. "Would you like me to get you an ice cube?"
"No, but if you want to make it up to me, you can."
Raising one eyebrow, he looked at her warily. "How?"
"You could go and swallow a cup of boiling water."
"It would mean a lot to me."
"What if I dared you?"
That caught him off guard; his confident expression faltered for a moment before he got up and walked away.
"Where are you going?" Kayla called, earning a few stares from the couple of other people in the restaurant.
"To get a cup of boiling water," he turned around, now walking backwards and grinned at her wickedly.
• • •
"Come on," she urged as mystery boy took the hot cup in his hand and brought it to his mouth slowly.
"I can't believe you're making me do this."
"Well believe it, because you're doing it."
"Not right now, I'm not."
"You will be in a moment. Besides, you got a warning. Now you can prepare yourself. You let me burn my mouth while I was totally unsuspecting."
"You know, that makes it worse," he countered. "At least you got it done and over with – a surprise. For me, I'm going to expect the pain and probably imagine it worse, so then it will be worse."
"That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever."
He sighed, shaking his head. The action permitted his amazing black hair shake across his head before reclaiming its original spot.
"Okay, let's say that you were camping in the woods."
"Now, you're going to the outhouse –"
"Hold up. What do you mean outhouse?"
"You know a toilet for the outdoors, without any plumbing or anything so when you do your-"
"I know what an outhouse is!" she exclaimed, frustrated.
"Then why did you ask?"
"Why am I going to the outhouse?"
"Because you have to use the wash-"
"Never mind, just continue with your story."
"Okay, so you're camping and you're going to the outhouse and then you come across a bear."
Taking a sip of her hot chocolate – it was warm now - she let mystery boy's words flow together like music, played by that unknown accent that he had. It was magical. His voice and the hot chocolate made for a entrancing combination, making her feel as though she were drowsily floating in the clouds.
"Uh, what?" she asked, snapping her eyes open to see mystery boy peering at her anxiously. She was going to have to rename him.
Seriously he wasn't all that mysterious; not really, just different than the rest of the boys she had met. But maybe that had to do with his culture; after all, no one in the US had an accent like that. Perhaps she could name him hot mystery boy. Or maybe just hot guy; that could work too. But he wasn't exactly hot – well he was but not like poster boy hot. He was handsome, with a dash of sexy and even a touch of cute. Hot was just the main ingredient like flour when you're making muffins...
"Sorry. I was doing it again, wasn't I?"
He chuckled, making Kayla want to snap into her unconscious all over again. This time, she was going to focus. On whatever he was telling her. Oh right, it was that stupid story about the camping trip. She really had no idea where this was going.
"Okay, so then you come across a bear. And you're totally unsuspecting,"he articulated the word perfectly, as if it was the most important thing in his story. "And he jumps on you. You're in a lot of pain, but not as much as if you had known the bear was going to be there."
"I still don't understand how this has anything to do with hot chocolate! Besides, if you knew the bear was going to be there, then why would you go? And even if you did go, why not bring a gun?"
"That's my point! Like when I take a sip of this water, it's going to hurt more than when you did, because I'll be suspecting it, but I can't do anything to stop it."
"You're an idiot, just drink it already."
"But don't you understand-"
His words were cut off when Kayla picked up his cup, and shoved it into his mouth, causing him to sputter hot water everywhere.
"What - was – that – for?!" he yelled, in between coughs as he tried to get all the water out of his lungs.
"You said that you weren't going to be surprised right?" Mystery-hot-but-not-really-sexy-handsome muffin boy nodded. "Well now you were. So we're even."
"You're evil, you know that?"
Shaking her head, she grinned, showing her entire set of teeth. "Actually I'm Kayla, but feel free to call me evil if you prefer."
He laughed, even though his shirt was now soaked, and water was still dripping off his chin and hair. It was actually quite sexy. The way the shirt hugged the muscles and the water dripped off his chin, drawing attention to his lips - not to mention his wet hair - made it all the more irresistible to Kayla. She wanted to run her fingers through it-
"Well Ms. Evil, you can call me Lucas."
I'd prefer to call you hot–sexy–handsome–cute–muffin man.
Rather than say so, she just laughed along with him and took another sip of her hot chocolate. All the while, she peeked up at him to see his blue eyes on her. Were they actually flirting? Kayla felt happy at the thought.
"So, what about that paper?" Lucas asked, drawing her attention down to the now soaked pad of paper.
Kayla shrugged. "I guess I'll have to draw some other time. Besides, I'm actually supposed to be meeting a friend here."
"I can leave," Lucas stated, getting up and knocking over the cup that had been holding the hot water beforehand.
"No, no, stay. Emma's late, anyway." Glancing up at the clock, she read that it was now twenty after.
"Oh, are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure Emma won't mind. Besides when – if – she does arrive then you can always just leave, right?"
Kayla froze. Had she really just said that? Had she really just told him that he was her replacement friend? Smooth move, Kayla. Smooth move. She had just been flirting with the – insert dozen of adjectives here – guy ever, and now she was telling him that he was her second choice. She wished that she could reach for her words and force them back into her mouth, down her throat, until they were down in her stomach so that she could digest them and pee them out. Why did she have to be so stupid? Yep, she was definitely cursed with embarrassment in her new town.
Waving his hand, Lucas chuckled. She wasn't sure whether his amusement was from her expression or her rude choice of words. She hoped the latter. She guessed both.
"Don't worry about it," he glanced over at the door where Emma was being greeted by one of the waitresses. "It looks like your friend is here anyway. Her name is Emma, right?"
She nodded, dumbfounded at how Lucas had known.
"She's real friendly, said hi to me when I first came here too. Of course I know almost everyone in this city. It's a gift," he shrugged. "Anyway, it was nice getting to meet you Kayla."
"Yeah, you too," she agreed, watching him go, even though she should have been greeting Emma.
Hey guys! Sorry for the super long wait. Anyway I had quite a bit of fun writing this chapter, and I hope you guys like it! I'm finished writing chapter five so now all I have to do is read it over and sent it to my beta. It should be up in less than a week, hopefully :).
Anyway, I hope everyone is doing good! Finals are coming up soon so I'm getting less and less time to write, but once summer starts I'll be all out every day. Promise!
Have a great day!