I scrounged around in my pockets for the money as the clerk stood there glaring, hands on hips.
"Come on, it's just fifty cents," I muttered.
"If you can't pay, you can't pay," she drawled. "You're holding up the line."
"Here, I got it," he said, stepping in and placing a dollar bill on the counter. "Keep the change."
He was tall and blond with perfect blue eyes and long eyelashes. Pretty much, he was drop-dead gorgeous. I waited for him while he finished checking out before walking out into the Louisiana sunshine.
"You know, you didn't have to do that," I said.
"I kind of did. You were holding up the line." The corner of his mouth quirked up into a little half-smile, and I felt my heart skip a beat. Then I tripped. My feet found air instead of ground and I skidded wildly on the loose gravel. I stuck out my hands to catch myself, which turned out to be a not-so-good idea in a store parking lot.
"Hey, are you okay?" he said hurriedly, dropping his stuff and bending down to help me.
"I'm fine," I replied angrily, ignoring his outstretched hand and clumsily pushing myself onto my feet. I glanced down at my hands and grimaced.
"You spilled your Pepsi."
"It's whatever. I don't really care." My face flushed and I avoided his eyes. Dang it. He's gotta think I'm some dumb klutz now. I waited for him to say something nice and walk off, but fate had other ideas. He just smiled his heart winning, white-toothed grin and said,
"I'm Andrew. Since you spilled your Pepsi, can I take you to Sonic to get something?"
"I'm really not thirsty," I grumbled. Gosh, why was I being so rude? He was such a nice guy, and in case I hadn't mentioned, incredibly gorgeous.
"What a shame. I love Sonic, but I guess I'll just go back inside and get you another Pepsi." He sighed, but his eyes sparkled a little, like he was trying hard not to smile.
"I mean, I personally would really like a Lemon Berry Limeade right about now, but if you want me to get you a Pepsi, that's fine too. If you wanted, there's a park a ways down the road where we could go," he continued with a shrug, like he hadn't heard me.
"Fine, whatever. Sonic's fine," I responded with a growl. "I walked here, though, and I definitely am not walking all the way there."
"What, do you think chivalry's dead?" he teased. "Of course I'm going to drive you! Or, if you'd rather, I think I have an old bike from 5th grade in the trunk that would be a good size for you."
"Wow, now we're mocking random girls off the street about their height now? You don't even know my name!" I scoffed.
"Then tell me," he challenged.
"You know, I don't think I will," I responded. "Maybe if I like you enough after you buy me a Lemon Berry Limeade."
"I call shotgun," he whooped, walking backwards to face me. I rolled my eyes.
"What are we, twelve?"
"I mean, I'm pretty sure I was taller than you at twelve," he replied, sliding into the drivers seat. I punched his shoulder, pinching my lips together.
"You're trying not to laugh!" he exclaimed. "I would've thought you never laughed! You're like a bear coming out of hibernation."
"Am not," I frowned.
"What was that, huh?" he said, grinning. "How long has it been since you laughed?"
"Five years," I admitted. His mouth fell open.
"Five years? How could you have not laughed for five years?" he asked incredulously.
"I've never felt the need after my dad left. And who's gonna make me laugh, huh?"
"I guess I am, now."
"Yeah, whatever," I grumbled, slamming my door and propping my feet on the dashboard.
"Hey hey hey. Feet down," he commanded. "Nothing, and I mean nothing, not even short, pretty girls' feet, can go on my dashboard. This thing is precious," he emphasized, stroking the vinyl leather.
"Fine, fine." I stuck them out the window instead, sticking my tongue out at the same time.
"Slug bug," he yelled suddenly, punching my arm.
"Hey, what was that for?" I demanded, but I couldn't help smiling just a little.