A cool breeze brushed my arm. I wanted to shiver, but I couldn't. I was supposed to be helping my mother carry her artwork into her new boutique. If I did, I'd likely drop the painting in my arms. That wasn't an option. If she got what she was asking, it was worth over $500. Even helping her on weekends when I'm not in school I couldn't pay for it. So I just went inside.
"Here, let me get that for you," said a deep, thickly accented voice by my head. I glanced over. A tall, lanky guy about my age - about 15 - was holding the door. I smiled at his warm brown eyes.
"Thanks, appreciate it." I went in and when I came out again, he was still there, but this time with a friend. From the back all I could tell was that he was blond and about my height with huge muscles. If he looked this good from the back, I wondered what he looked like from the front.
The dark-haired one turned to me. "Need some help carrying this stuff?"
I'd been in the business long enough to know to not look a gift horse in the mouth. "I'd love some, thank you. Just be careful with the bigger pictures - those are chalk and if you press on the backs it will mess them up."
"Sure thing," he responded. I grabbed a picture and they each grabbed something. We trekked into the shop, setting things down in different places.
"Okay," I said, dusting off my hands. "I think that's the last of it. Thanks for the help." I turned and finally got a good look at the two boys. They were both my age, but the blond one had gray-blue eyes and a pair of sunglasses hanging from his shirt neck. Not to be cliché, but time stopped. Our eyes locked and I felt a sudden connection that I've never felt before. It was love at first sight, yes, but it was more than that. Intellectually, I knew we'd never met before, but inside it felt like I'd known this guy my whole life.
He grinned at me, which made time resume. "You're very welcome, ma'am."
I returned his grin. "I'm 15 - you don't need to call me ma'am."
He stared at me for a beat too long, making me wonder if I'd said the wrong thing, but then he laughed. "Me, too. I'm Kody, by the way." He held out a hand.
I shook it. "Lizzy."
"Mac," said the other one, also holding out a hand.
I shook that one, too, with a grin. "Nice to meet you. Thanks again for the help."
Kody shrugged. "You're more than welcome. We're glad to help." He eyed me a moment. "Trust me, the pleasure is all ours." He gave me a wink and they walked away.
Once they were outside, I leaned back on a display case and began to fan myself. That wink made the ambient temperature go up by about 50 degrees, no joke. If there was a possibility of falling completely for someone in less than half a second, then that's what happened. The thing was, I had a feeling I'd never see them again. I wasn't happy about it, but I figured I'd be fine, write it off as a temporary thing.
Deep down, I knew that was a lie, but there was nothing I could do. I would be seeing those blue eyes a lot in my dreams from that point on.