Tall. Dark. Handsome.
I watched the stranger unfold his length into one of the leather recliners after picking a book from the bestseller selection, and another three-word-phrase flashed in my mind.
Hot. Dude. Reading.
It was the name of one of my favorite Instagram accounts, and as their handle suggested, its feed was populated by photos of beautiful men reading in public.
Just like Mr. Recliner.
I quickly abandoned my seat and transferred to the closest vacant table across him, shameless in my need to gawk more at my new favorite “view”. His good looks were emphatically rugged: dark, prominent brows, deep-set eyes, and a chiseled jaw. He was very much a man, the way all the guys I had swiped-left on were not, and I especially loved how deeply bronzed his skin was, which made a line from the Ghostbusters theme song suddenly pop up in my head.
I’m afraid of no ghost…
But instead, I found myself silently singing, I’m afraid of no sun, and the rephrased line had me giggling out loud.
I quickly hid my face behind my book while composing myself, hoping that the sound didn’t draw his attention and make him think I was this childish idiot he was better off avoiding. What was wrong with me?
Unlike most girls my age, I could usually handle myself around the opposite sex, but it wasn’t because I was frigid or batted for a different team. The guys I knew just didn’t meet my ideal, which until this day, ran more along the lines of beautiful, preppy-looking boys who went for slacks rather than jeans and preferred cars over bikes.
City-sleek and wholesome, that had always been my type, and Mr. Recliner with his cowboy hat, denim jacket, and boots was anything but.
I just couldn’t stop staring at him, and before I knew it, I already had my phone out.
Just one photo, I promised myself.
But before I could hit Click, the room attendant had suddenly blocked my view and flashed me a kind smile as he gestured towards a sign on the wall.
NO PHOTOS ALLOWED
I returned his smile sheepishly. “Sorry.” I obediently dropped my phone back into my jacket’s pocket, but as soon as the waiter moved away, I quickly peeked at Mr. Recliner’s direction in hopes that he hadn’t noticed my stupid little misstep—-
I rubbed my eyes, but the leather recliner he had been occupying earlier remained empty.
Where did he go?
It had only been mere seconds – less than a minute, tops – since I last saw him.
How could he have disappeared so fast?
I turned around without thinking, feeling a strangely frantic urge to look for him, and the moment I looked behind me, I nearly fell out of my chair.
Mr. Recliner…had turned into Mr. Chair!
Or rather, he was suddenly seated on the table behind me, muscular arms crossed over his chest, and his gaze narrowed sharply at my direction.
“Looking for me?”
His voice was as perfectly rugged as the rest of him and too impossibly sensual to resist. I found myself playing Musical Chairs all by my lonesome as I moved to my third seat for the night, and I noticed Mr. Recliner’s dark brows pleating with a surprised frown when I took a seat across him.
“Hi.” I flashed him a dimpled smile and barely managed to resist the urge to bat my lashes at him. “I’m Sarah.” This close, I couldn’t help but notice how he was even more gorgeous than I thought possible, with extraordinarily long lashes framing eyes that were the dreamiest shade of blue.
“Damian.” His voice was curt, but his blue eyes had turned strangely watchful, almost if he was waiting for me to react, and I tried not to squirm in my seat as a worrying thought occurred to me. Oh no. What if he was a celebrity, and I had just offended him by not recognizing who he was?
Think, Sarah, think!
I started mentally running through the list of famous people I knew, which unfortunately wasn’t much since I preferred to spend most of my time with fictional 2D ones. Let’s start with A to Z for country singers, Sarah. Could he be the one who sang Old Town Road with Billy Ray Cyrus. What was his name again? Lil…Wayne? Or could he be…a bandmade of Nicole Kidman’s husband? That guy sang country, didn’t he? And his name was…Kevin…Nash? Garnett? No, wait. That guy was blond, and his name wasn’t Kevin, but Keith something—-
“Shouldn’t you be in bed by now?”
Still in the midst of trying to remember Nicole Kidman’s baby daddy’s surname, the question completely caught me off guard, and I blurted out the first thing in my mind. “Only if you’re in it—-”
Oh my God, if looks could kill, I would be so, so dead by now!
“I’m kidding,” I said quickly. “Just kidding!”
He was still scowling at me, but….