Katie and Eric

The cab dropped Katie off in front of the condo she would be sharing with her new roommate Alexis.  They met after Katie found her ad looking for a roommate. After emailing back and forth a few times, they finally talked on the phone and became instant friends.
            Wanting to make a good impression, Katie put in the extra effort of putting in her contacts and wore a little more makeup than usual. She even tamed her curly brown hair, so the curls looked intentional instead of the mess it usually was.
            She lugged her suitcases up a flight of stairs wearing the most unsuitable shoes for traveling because she wanted to add a little height and make her legs look longer than they were. What she wouldn’t do for vanity sake. She knew Alexis was a model and by the pictures she posted on social media, she didn’t take a bad picture. Ever. 
            If she didn’t like Alexis so much, she would’ve been intimidated by her.
 When she reached the front door of her new home, she took a few cleansing
breaths.  Forgetting she wore her contacts, she moved to push her glasses up her nose out of habit and ended up poking her eye with her finger.
            “Ouchy!” She pinched her eye closed and rubbed it with one hand while she lifted her other hand to knock.  At the exact moment, the door swung open, and a blur of a person bumped into her.  Her suitcases that sat right behind her knees tipped back, and she was about to follow when strong arms wrapped around her and pulled her upright. She came face to hard chest with a man who smelled like the outdoors.
            “I’m so sorry! Are you okay?” He leaned down until they were face-to-face and holy freaking smokes, what a face. He reminded her of a lumberjack. A gorgeous lumberjack with a sexy smile.
            She had seen pictures of him on Alexis social media page and guessed that they were related, but he was better looking in person.
            Even though she could see the similarities between him and Alexis, he wasn’t model perfect like her. That might have been due to the weeks worth of scruff on his face, and a small scar above his right eye. His holey jeans and faded T-shirt with worn boots added to his look.
            She became very aware of him and his height as she looked up and realized she barely came to his chin.
            Oh heck!
            She dropped her hand that was pressed against his chest and felt her face flush. She turned her head and noticed the ink over one large bicep. Since she grew up with Billy whose arms and chest were covered in tattoos she never thought much of them…until now.
            Katie shook her head to clear her thoughts. She had yet to respond verbally to the guy whose hands were still around her waist.
            “Hi. I’m Katie. Is Alexis here?” she said sounding slightly breathy.
            He released his hold on her and stepped back smiling.
             A feminine voice behind the guy drew her attention. Katie gave him a shy grin then looked behind him and saw the familiar face of her new roommate. Alexis rushed toward her wearing cut-offs and a tight fitting tee that read, “Ask me about my video game achievements.”  Her face was clear of makeup, and her long blonde hair was pulled into a high ponytail. 
            Alexis ungracefully shoved the guy out of the way and gave Katie a hug and squealed in her ear. “Katie?”
            She nodded and managed to say, “Yes.” 
            “I’m so excited you’re here! Come on in.”  Katie turned to grab her luggage, but the guy had already picked them up and winked at her as he walked past her toward what she assumed was her new bedroom.
            “This is my brother Eric. He’s just visiting for a few weeks. Don’t worry he’s not sleeping here. He has a room at my parent’s house.”  Eric looked over his shoulder and gave her a warm smile and said “Hey.”
            “Your boxes arrived today,” Alexis announced when they stepped into her new bedroom. Alexis put her arm around her brother and hip-bumped him. “You can thank this guy. He helped me carry them up the stairs.”
            Katie blushed though she wasn’t sure why. “Thank you. I appreciate it.”
            “I try to make it a point to carry heavy boxes for beautiful girls.”
            She smiled unable to help herself. It was completely cheesy and sweet at the same time.
            “Smooth,” Alexis said under her breath.
            He laughed at himself. “Let me try this again.  It was no trouble, and I’m glad I could help.” He turned his head to look at his sister. “Better?”
            She laughed and let go of him and took Katie’s hand. “Let me show you the rest of the place.”
            When Katie passed Eric, he gave her a sweet smile that made her stomach flip.
 The rest of the night, Eric barely left her side until after he gave her one of the best kisses she had ever had.
         Katie groaned and stretched at the sound of her phone alarm going off. She couldn’t believe she forgot to turn it off, especially since she had been counting down the days that she would no longer need to get up at the crack of dawn for work. It was a rare day that she was able to sleep in.
         But she was wide awake now. Double UGH!
         The night before...err that morning, she took a long bath to wash off the day and to tried to relax enough to fall asleep. Once she felt herself start to doze in the tub, she changed into her favorite pajamas and snuggled under her covers and found herself starring at the ceiling and thinking about Eric. Stupid male pheromones. He must have sprayed them in her room or something. It had to be why she couldn’t get him out of her head. He was kind of sweet and he kissed like a guy in a romance novel. Just remembering the night before made her face flush.
         Since there was no way she was going to fall back asleep, she put on her glasses and went in search of coffee. She wasn’t joking when she told Eric she needed it before she did anything. It might even help clear her Eric riddled brain. She mindlessly went into the kitchen without paying attention to her surroundings. She didn’t find it peculiar that the kitchen and the living room lights were on or that there was a steaming cup of coffee on the counter and a full carafe in the coffee machine. What she did notice was a pink box that she would recognize anywhere as a donut box. “Where did that come from?”
         “I brought them,” Eric said behind her. She jumped and shrieked before she slapped him on the arm for scaring her. “Hey! Abuse! Abuse!” he cried while laughing.
         She slid her glasses up her nose, and in between deep breaths, she said, “You scared me!”
         “Obviously.” Eric’s smiled changed into something slightly more menacing when he slowly took her all in from head to foot...then back up until his eyes met her chest.
         She looked down, made another shriek and folded her arms over her chest. Her breasts weren’t large by any means, but it was obvious that she wasn’t wearing a bra. “It’s six am. What are you doing here?” she asked, exasperated by his ogling and enjoyment over her discomfort.
         “I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about this really sexy girl who looks even more sexy with glasses. I’m picturing you being a naughty librarian who needs help...stacking books.”
         Her body heated up like a massive fireball. Especially when she could imagine the scene and kind of liked it. She gulped. Then gulped again. “I’ll be right back.” She ran out of the room to put on a bra and to escape the heat of his stare. She heard him chuckle behind her, no doubt knowing that she wasn’t as cool as she tried to be.
         After slipping on a bra, she went to her bathroom to brush her teeth and to check out what she looked like. With very little sleep it couldn’t be good.
         She was right.
         “Wow,” she gasped. Her hair was back to its unruly self. She pulled and yanked until it was in a messy bun. Slight shadows were under her eyes, but it would take more time than she had to fix that. Her skin was clear of any blemishes, thank the skin gods for that. One thing she hadn’t realized was how thin her tank top was. She could clearly see the outline of her newly placed bra meaning that he probably got quite an eyeful. So much ugh, she didn’t know what to do with it all. Once again, she was blushing, even though there was no one around to witness her embarrassment.
         Katie reluctantly went back into the kitchen. If it wasn’t for the box of donuts, she might have tried to hide in her room until he left, even though he was here to take her to pick up her car.
         Internal squeal. Car.
         The lid of the donut box was open and the sweet smell of sugar wafted toward her. Please let there be a maple bar. Eric stood next to the coffee machine, filling another mug. “How do you like your coffee?”
         “Oh. Thanks. Just creamer please. I can do that.” She put her hand out, but he ignored her and started putting creamer in the mug. “Say when.”
         “When,” he handed her the mug and she took her first sip of her morning life support. “Mmm. Perfect. Thank you.”
         “No problem.”
         “Like I said, I could do that,” she repeated before taking another long sip.
         “I wanted to. I want to know how you take your coffee.” His eyes never left her. Waiting. Watching for her reply.
         She averted her eyes away from his penetrating stare. “Why?”
         “Because I plan to make you coffee again.”
         “Oh.” She might have said oh, but her heart said holy shit.
         He chuckled again and lifted the box of donuts and held it out to her. “I got you a couple of maple bars. This place makes the best I’ve ever had.” She leaned over the box and gasped, “Bacon? On a donut?” she turned up her nose and lifted it up out of the box to examine it.
         “It’s going to change your life,” he said with that cocky smirk. For some reason she liked it this time. “There’s this place called Voodoo Doughnut and they make the best donuts. You’ll never go back to plain maple bars again.”
         She smiled at his enthusiasm. “Okay. But if it sucks, you’re going to have to go get me one without bacon.”
         “I’ll do that, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to be kissing me after your first bite.”
         “Challenge accepted.” She bit down, chewed then unintentionally moaned. Slightly embarrassing, but totally worth it. “Wow!” She loved maple bars, but she had never had that kind of response. She ran to her room, grabbed her phone out of her purse, and texted her mother one handed while walking back to the kitchen and taking another bite.
         Katie: Mom. Maple bars with bacon on top. Life changed forever.

         She didn’t get a response, she didn’t expect to, though she did hope to talk to her mother at some point that day since she was dying to see how things went with Billy last night.
         “What are you doing?” he leaned over her to look at her phone.
         She pulled it out of his view in annoyance. “Texting my mom, nosey pants.” Katie covered her mouth as she spoke to keep from spitting donut all over him.
         “Nosey pants? You’ve been taking swearing lessons from Alexis.”
         She laughed and about choked on her donut. “Maybe.”
         Eric pointed to her phone, “Are you and your mom close?”
         “Yeah. She had me when she was sixteen, and I never knew my father, so it’s just been us...and my Billy.”
         “Billy? The diner owner?”
         “Yeah. He’s taken care of me and my mom since before I was born. My mother didn’t have anyone and Billy took her in...us in. We’ve been this little strange family ever since.”
         “But your mom and him...”
         Katie smiled and laughed because she wasn’t sure what they were. “They’re best friends. They love each other, but they have never admitted it to each other. I tried my whole life to get them together, but for some reason, they resisted. But I kind of have this feeling that things are changing so...so I guess I still don’t know what they are.” She laughed again and shook her head.
         “Well, since it’s still early and the dealership probably won’t open for a few hours, how about we go get a real breakfast.”
         “Real breakfast? Umm...A maple bar is a real breakfast. With the bacon, it’s a very balanced breakfast.” She held back her smile as long as she could, hoping he took her serious.
         He gave her a genuine smile, took her hand, and guided her to her bedroom. “You have five minutes to get ready to go, starting now,” he said while pushing her into her room and closing the door behind her.
         She heard him laughing as he walked away from her door.

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