He was the kind of cute that could make even the most sensible woman swoon; the type of man that had such unnaturally good looks that it often triggered behavior in women typically reserved for those under the age of fourteen. He was no model or rock star and had never starred in a hit movie or even a reality TV show. He was just another exceptionally beautiful face in the land of a thousand beautiful faces, where that perfectly disheveled hair took hours to style and hundreds of dollars in beauty products to maintain. The land where a gorgeous body is really only a few thousand dollars away and where abnormally tanned skin is always in, regardless of the season.
At this particular moment it was an actual group of adolescents that had, by fate, found themselves sitting next to the hottie in the nearly empty coffee shop. He, of course, was entirely accustomed to the overt attempts at flirtation by the underage girls: the hair twirling, obvious attempts at eye contact, and copious amounts of shared pink lip gloss. But, of course, they were minors after all and no amount of Daddy’s money and trips to Victoria’s Secret could make that important detail disappear.
Even if the girls were of age, however, he had more important things to deal with at hand. Like the equally beautiful (he wouldn’t dare admit that she be better looking than he, of course) woman only five feet to his left. He had purposefully refrained from settling himself at the table directly in front of her, in case she considered him too conspicuous. The chair he had chosen, therefore, put himself directly in her line of sight without seeming too eager. But she had yet to look up from the book in her lap.
Though he had experienced the occasional woman that gave him no more than a second glance, there was always, at least, a second glance. It wasn’t often that he encountered any female completely indifferent to his presence. These rare occurrences were typically reserved for those with a wedding band on their finger or a baby on their hip. Kate Devlin had neither.
So, after a few minutes of complete silence with no attempt on Kate’s part to initiate contact, he pondered what should be done next. He could tell that she was coming down to the last drops of coffee in her cup by the way her head began to tilt farther and farther back with each sip. He could easily offer to buy her another and then ask if the empty seat at the table across from her was free, but that would be too desperate. He needed something more subtle, just a way to get her quick attention. If she would only look up from that damned book for a second, she would notice him sitting right in front of her.
What he didn’t know, however, was that she had noticed him. She had noticed him before he had sat down at the table next to her. She had noticed him before he had walked through the doors and ordered his nonfat soy latte flavored with sugar-free hazelnut syrup. She had noticed him before he even stepped out of his car, though it could be argued that at that moment all she noticed was the ostentatious yellow Porsche that pulled into the parking lot of her humble little coffee shop.
The young man let out a sigh and pulled out his blackberry, scanning indifferently through his various social networking pages. He was now acutely aware of the empty coffee cup that sat on the table in front of her.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, though in reality was less than fifteen minutes, she stood from the table and began to collect her things. He knew that if he was going to act, now was the time.
“Hi,” he said as she was placing her book into her handbag. “I’m Jake.”
“Oh, hello,” she said, looking up from what she was doing. He frowned slightly when she gave no indication that she would reciprocate the introduction. His arrogance attributed the now awkward silence to a lack of social skills on her part rather than just a general disinterest in the situation.
“And you are?” he asked, struggling in his attempt to remove any trace of annoyance from his voice. Though he was exceptionally good looking, he was no actor, no matter how hard he tried.
She paused for a moment before responding, which only increased his irritation. “Kate,” she finally said, giving him what could only be described as a courtesy smile.
Anybody looking at the scene from an outside perspective, such as the barista at the register who had paused in giving her customer his change so that she could take in the awkward situation, would realize the sarcasm hidden in the gesture. At this particular moment, however, it was the young man that was now oblivious to apparent social cues.
“Kate,” he said, flashing a crooked smile. “I couldn’t help but notice what a beautiful woman you are. I would love to take you to dinner sometime, if you’re interested.”
Kate bit her lip, hoping desperately that she wouldn’t laugh at his attempts to woo her with his smooth charm and devastatingly good looks. After a few moments of internal struggle, she was finally able to compose herself long enough to issue a response.
“I appreciate the offer Jake, truly I do, but I believe it would be unwise of me to accept such an invitation from an almost complete stranger.” At that, she grabbed the bag the still lay on the table beside her and turned toward the door.
“Wait,” he said, placing his arm gently on her own to discourage her from leaving. “You’re right, we don’t know each other. So, why don’t I buy you another cup of coffee so that we can get to know each other? That way, if you still deny me, at least you have good reason.”
Kate sighed. She didn’t really like letting men down, but the fact that she no longer had a ring on her finger seemed to draw them in like vultures. It was only somewhat flattering at this point. Much more than that, it was overwhelming and absolutely irritating.
“I really don’t think that is a good idea, but thank you again. Now, I really do have to get going. Enjoy your latte.”
He didn’t try and stop her again; he was too surprised by the unexpected turn of events to actually form full sentences, let alone convince her to stay. He watched in stunned silence as she made her way out the door, through the parking lot, down the sidewalk, and out of sight.