Chapter Twenty-Six (part 1)

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I could feel my body walking towards him. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot.

Thank goodness for my legs, the intelligent attachments that kept me from stumbling, falling over, or hiding under someone else’s table.

When I arrived at his table I could only watch in awe as his face produced the warmest smile in New York City. “Hello Roms,” he said.

Wow, did his face just talk and smile all at once? And how does his voice sound even better in person? Suck it, Jude Law!

I was already experiencing sensory overload, so when he rose from his chair and my nostrils caught a wave of his intoxicating scent, it was all just a bit too much. I immediately decided I should find out what cologne he was wearing, so I could buy it for myself and douse it on my pillows back home.

“Hello James.” I was clearly running on autopilot now, because how I managed to greet him and smile was not by personal skill. I was too busy sizing him up, quite literally in fact. And now, as we stood here face-to-face with my flat boots on, and my eyes only meeting the middle of his nose, he was every inch the picture I had mentally printed out and pinned on my wall.

I started to wonder what was next. Was it time for a hug? Was he standing to be a gentleman? Maybe he was waiting for a handshake? I offered my right hand, but instead of shaking it he slowly leaned in towards me.

What the hell? We’re already gonna kiss?!

The first peck on my cheek sent a shiver through my body, and the second one on my other cheek practically made me faint. Like those are his LIPS on my face! I love Europeans!

“Are you alright?” he asked.

I composed myself long enough to answer. “Yes, I’m fine! It’s just…where I come from, we don’t usually kiss each other’s faces as a greeting. North Americans have an obsession with personal space, or something.”

“Sorry, force of habit.”

I smiled. “Don’t be sorry, it was nice.”

His expression suddenly changed. “Let me help you with your coat.” I was perfectly capable of taking off my coat, but what a gentlemanly thing to do.

Chivalry isn’t dead!

I unbuttoned and he helped me pull it off, revealing the sweatered girl in the short purple skirt. It was a very intimidating angle, him standing right behind me like that. Especially because I looked my thinnest from the side, but so much goddamn bigger from the back. Oh well.

“Have a seat and I’ll get us something to drink. What would you like?”

I sat down and crossed my legs. Damn this skirt is short. “Maybe just a black tea? But no milk please.” I smiled.

“I thought you were fond of milky lattes,” he said.

Yeah, but not when I’m fresh off a vomiting-spree.

“I am! But really, tea is fine for now.”

He smiled at me and wandered off.

He’s buying me tea. Does that mean I have to put out?

As he stood in line I had a really good view of his side, and as long as I pretended to look at the desserts, he couldn’t really notice me staring.

So I began my evaluation.

His faded jeans fit him to the tee, falling loosely overall, but just a bit tighter in all the right places (like the butt and crotch areas, ahem). I also loved the little detail in how he wore his shirt. On any other guy, it was simply a collared black shirt. But on him, the sleeves were casually rolled up, stopping just before his elbows, revealing his heavenly, tanned, and strong-looking forearms.

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