“Aw jesus motherf----”
“Sorry ma’am. Let me get some napkins.” His voice was strong and smooth, exactly like his hands. I was about to contest the “ma’am” bit but he flashed an apologetic smile.
“Yeah. Thanks.” I grabbed some napkins to pat my pants dry. When I looked up he was staring at me, his head cocked slightly.
“Can I get you another one? It’s the least I could do.” He must’ve been from out of town because no one is that nice in New York City. And he had an accent. I couldn’t quite place it, but there was definitely one there.
“Thanks, but I’m late as it is. I’ll just grab some crappy office coffee.” I went to pick up my bag but his hand beat me to it. My hand grazed his and the blood rushed to my face. I tried to hide it from him but I know he saw because a low chuckle escaped his throat.
“Then can I take you out to lunch? I feel like I owe you something. Here, take my card and call me when you get a chance.” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet then slid his card out with ease. Smooth. And handed it to me. I didn’t even look at it before shoving it into the front pouch of my bag.
“Sure. Sounds great. I love food,” I said hurriedly, turning towards the door.
“Until then Sage,” he said.
I was almost out the door when he said my name; a chill ran down my spine as I turned back. He pointed at my name in bold letters, written on my now empty cup. I let out a giant breath and turned back out the door. I could hear him laughing over the noise of traffic and people.
* * *
My morning at work was crazy. I had an author flying in from East Bumblefuck Ohio and I had to make sure everything was perfect because he was one of those temperamental artistic types. I didn’t get a chance to breathe until well after lunch time. It was around 4:30 that I went into my bag to grab a stick of gum when I pulled out Thursday’s card.
“Crap,” I said under my breath.
“What’s wrong Sage?” my assistant, Kate, was standing in the doorway to my office.
“Nothing important. I met a guy this morning and I was supposed to call him for lunch.”
“Call him now. Go out for dinner and have some fun! Mr. Dylan is all settled at his hotel and if he needs anything else, I’ll take care of it.” She pushed my cell phone closer to me, coaxing me. I grabbed it from under her hand and she giggled with excitement then walked back out the door after dropping some papers on my desk.
The phone rang twice before he picked up. “Hello?”
“Hi, it’s Sage. We met this morning at the coffee shop. I was supposed to call you for lunch but I had a hectic day at work.”
“I was beginning to think you were just blowing me off as some kind of creep picking up chicks in a coffee shop.” I could hear him smiling through the phone. “Do you have any plans for dinner?”
“Nothing special. Just some frozen meal and hanging out with my cat.” I started gathering up papers and shoving them into my bag. Kate peeked her head back in to make sure I had called him. She gave me the thumbs up when she saw the phone tucked between my ear and shoulder.
“Well I wouldn’t want to anger your cat, but would you like to eat a proper meal at Klong with me?”
“That’s that Thai place on St. Marks, right?”
“That’s the place. Let’s say...7 pm?”
“Sounds good. It’ll give me a chance to go home and put on some pants that don’t have coffee on them,” I said, stuffing the last batch of papers away.
“See you then.” And we hung up. I slung my bag over my shoulder and closed the door behind me.
“I’m seeing him tonight at 7. And yes, I will give you all the details tomorrow,” I said walking past Kate’s desk without looking at her. I could feel her smile following after me.
* * *
Dinner went great and I found myself sharing a cab with him, heading towards his apartment. He unlocked the door and motioned for me to enter first. It was a nice, clean, modern apartment.
“Hmmm. Nice digs.”
“You sound surprised.” I watched as he locked the door then went into the kitchen. It was a very well choreographed dance. My eyes searched around the room, looking at all the artwork hanging. His hand appeared in front of me, holding a glass filled with a beautiful amber liquid.
“A little. Thanks for the drink.” He sat next to me and I took a big sip of my drink, which had a weird aftertaste. I put my glass down on a coaster and turned towards him. My eyes fluttered and I fell back onto the pillows.
I saw him pull his phone from his pocket and dial before my eyes closed. All he said was, “She’s out.”
And that’s how I knew that Thursday was out to get me.