Accidentally On Purpose

He was annoyed.

No, he was beyond annoyed – he was downright pissed off. There he was, wiping the counter of the café trying to finish his shift, completely minding his own business, and a distraction has to come in form of a dark-haired girl. Never mind the fact that he was running on merely four hours of sleep after a late night of cramming in for a test, after which he had been kept hard at ice-hockey training by his coach. He was exhausted, cranky and bloody sleepy. All he wanted to do was finish his shift, go back to his dorm and sleep.

Given his irritating circumstance, does the day go any easier on him? No. First he was granted a couple of really annoying girls who couldn't seem to decide on which drink to pick (he had actually fallen asleep for about five minutes waiting for them to decide) and then a couple more customers who, in addition to being rude to him, didn't tip. And then she walked in.

He hadn't seen her around before, so he gathered she might be from a different college. Not surprising, since there were two other colleges in the vicinity. She looked about his age, and (he allowed himself a minute to rant about her in his mind) like him, she seemed to be here to do work, as well. The only difference being that while she typed away at her white laptop, she was getting work done, as opposed to him standing distractedly behind the counter, scowling at her whenever she wasn't looking.

Nevertheless, he had to admit she was a refreshing sight. He was so used to seeing the tanned, blonde, leggy girls in short skirts and low-cut tops (not that he was complaining in any way, those girls were a sweet sight for sore eyes) this girl, with her shoulder-length dark hair and smooth complexion was a rare treat indeed. And her eyes were totally down to the whole 'smile with your eyes' thing he's often heard his younger sister going on about, apparently they were the way to go in America's Next Top Model. He knew this because up until now, he had accidentally (on purpose) caught her gaze whenever she looked up from the laptop.

But god, this was starting to get annoying. Not only is her incessant tapping on her laptop annoying him (his left eyebrow was ticking suspiciously to the beat of her typing) but she seemed to have a thing for attracting sleazy guys. It was irritating the hell out of him. Didn't they have any other girls to look at? Seriously. Almost all of the guys in the shop seemed to have trouble not looking at her, with the exception of his co-worker Danny, who was gay. And he had to (begrudgingly) admit that with her tilted eyes and pink lips, she was gorgeous. She was only wearing a loose t-shirt and jeans, but his gaze kept sliding to her like he was some lovesick puppy.

He almost snorted at that. He didn't believe in love at first sight. He thought that was a whole load of bullshit. Sexual attraction at first sight, sure, that exists. But love? When you've laid your eyes on someone for less than five minutes and you know no shit about that person, love? His sister had once bought some romance novel, and out of pure curiosity he had opened it only to read the words "their eyes met and everything around them vanished – it was like they were the only people on earth" and he had closed it, snorting. Only people on earth – yeah, no. He wasn't buying it. Attraction, maybe. Instant attraction that warranted curiosity about a person and an urge to get to know them, yeah, that was possible. Wait, why the heck was he thinking about attraction again? That had nothing to do with his source of annoyance. He thanked whatever luck he had that it was a slow day at the café. Any other day and his constant zoning out would have gotten him fired.

His eyes snagged hers accidentally (on purpose) again and he could barely blink as she lifted her lips into a smile. He cleared his throat and broke eye contact, pretending to wipe the counter (for the seventh time in that hour) and lifted his eyes to look at the clock. He could have cried with happiness. He was five minutes short of ending his shift, leaving the girl with the pretty smile behind and jumping into bed. He wasn't even going to take a shower. In fact, he wasn't even going to remove his shoes before hitting the sack, he was that tired. And if his hygiene-conscious roommate Daryl had anything to say about it, well, he'd deal with Daryl after an eight-hour nap.

His eyebrow ticked again as his gaze landed on the girl once more. Seriously? He couldn't believe that creep was back, harassing her. The first time that guy had went up to her and spouted some seriously lame lines, she had threatened to empty her coffee up over his head. That had brought a chuckle to his lips, but he'd turned away quickly before she could catch him laughing. That doesn't seem to have deterred the creep, however, as he sat down, uninvited, beside her. There was a definite look on annoyance on her face, and she scowled at him, before glancing into her empty coffee cup. He watched as her face fell, clearly disappointed that there was no convenient beverages around for her to (rightfully, in his opinion) pour on him. Not that it was any of his business, and he certainly did not care who hit on her, but she should be left alone if she didn't want the attention.

He watched as the creep leaned closer to her, and before he could get properly angry (wait, what? Where did anger come into- ) she swatted at him and pushed him away. Apparently, she wasn't as delicate as she looked, because she shoved the creep away pretty hard. He was starting to feel really, really annoyed at the creep. Couldn't he take hints? It wasn't any of his business, but he was starting to feel like he might just go over there and tell the creep to back off. And if he resists, well it was high time the creep was introduced to his fists.

In the midst of her clear annoyance with the creep, her eyes lifted one more time, this time to land directly on him. Their gazes locked and then she raised an eyebrow. And he raised his eyebrow back, and suddenly noted that the five minutes were up, his shift was over, he was free to go home and piss Daryl off.

He moved to the back of the shop, gathering his jacket and his car keys before striding back to the front of the café. His legs brought him to the girl of their own accord, and he found himself scowling at the creep. He could be a really intimidating man when he wanted to be, and it was the creep's bad luck that he wanted to be intimidating right now.

"That's my girlfriend you've been harassing," he lied efficiently.

"…Ah…sorry man… I had no idea she was your –"

"Get," he snapped, and the creep stumbled over his feet and out of the café.

And the girl, the beautiful stranger stood up, chuckled lowly at the creep's retreating back and turned around to face him. Their gazes locked and my, it was so stuffy in there all of a sudden, and why did the chatter in the shop fade away? He shoved his hands into his pockets, ready to make a quick escape, until she spoke.

"What took you so long?" she said, and whoa, he fell, and he fell hard.