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She knew it was wrong - she wasn't stupid. But that didn't stop her from wanting it, from thinking about it, dreaming of it, both while she was asleep and when she should have been working. Her cheeks always burned red as one of her co-workers or one of the customers made some little noise that snapped her out of her daydream, sure they all knew what she was thinking about. She'd never felt this way about someone before. She had a feeling she didn't really feel this way about him, either, that she wanted this just as much, if not more-so, because of everything she'd been through recently than from pure attraction.
Not that he wasn't attractive. She'd never been good at estimating ages, especially when it came to people older than her, but she thought he must be right around 40. It was possible he was even right at, or even more than, twice her own age of 21, which she had to admit felt a little creepy when she thought about it that way. But other than his hair, just barely starting to whiten, he still looked rather young, all muscular and dashing. The only reason she didn't think he was 30 was that when she'd guessed that age, he'd chuckled at her as if that guess was ridiculous.
But the fact that she was thinking about him that much at all just felt wrong. She'd seen the ring on his finger, and he'd even mentioned his wife once or twice, just fleetingly, yet enough that she knew the woman wasn't dead and he just hadn't gotten over it enough to take the ring off yet. She'd never considered herself a homewrecker, or a slut, or anything like that... But whenever he walked in, her knees went weak under her, and her heart fluttered.
She wasn't a virgin, but she didn't exactly have a lot of experiene in that department, either. She'd always been an extremely petite girl, more cute than sexy. She'd done a little better back at the start of middle school. By the time she was ready to move on to high school, however, all of her boyfriends had moved on as the girls around her blossomed, almost all significantly more than her. Even once she started wearing padded bras, she had a feeling she reminded most of the boys too much of their kid sisters for them to even think of her that way.
It would have been nice if she'd filled out significantly since then, so she could say to herself, "If only they could see me now!", but that had never really happened. She still looked rather young, enough so that, when she'd moved out of the town she'd grown up in a couple months before, the superintendent of her apartment building had very nearly refused to let her sign the rental contract, even after she'd shown her driver's license. It probably didn't help that she had glasses in the picture on her license, having not yet gotten the contacts she now wore, or that her hair in the picture was still its natural blonde, rather than the brown she had since dyed it.
And yet, despite all that, here he was. She could still remember their first meeting. She'd only been working at Starbucks for a couple days then, still struggling to remember everything she had to do, stressed out that she would screw up and have to start her job search all over again, when it had been hard enough to land that position. She had been clearing off tables, only to pick up a cup that wasn't quite empty, with a lid not quite on. She hadn't been able to react in time to keep from spilling it on herself. Luckily, it was cold by then, but that didn't make her feel any better. After a day of being chewed out by customers for getting their orders slightly wrong, and then by her manager for ringing up coupons the wrong way, it was the last straw. She stood there, fists clenched, on the verge of tears.
"Hey, it's all right," he had said, swooping in from the next table over. He gently took her towel from her clenched fist, running it over her shirt. She'd known she should be mad that some complete stranger thought he could do that, but she'd been fascinated by him right away. Each touch was electric, sending pulses of energy through her body, making her sure this all had to be a dream. "No need to get upset... Angela," he told her, reading her name-tag.
"S-Sorry," she blushed, staring up into his deep, blue eyes. "I just..."
"Long day?" he asked knowingly. She nodded, shivering as he ran the towel over her body again, just barely keeping from brushing across her chest, giving her the first glimpse of his wedding band. There was nothing inappropriate going on, not really, but her face had lit up bright red. It had been so long, and after the events of the last couple months... "Oh, sorry," he smiled gently, giving her the towel back. She took it, reluctantly. "I'm sure it's hard having to come here and work as soon as you get out of school."
At first she'd been mortified, sure that he thought she was a high schooler, just a child, and that was why he was being nice to her. She reassured herself first by thinking that he could mean college, then by noticing his grin, deciding he was joking. "Yeah, they don't give me any time to work on my book reports here," she teased. He chuckled, making a little more small talk before leaving. Hardly able to believe her legs had held out so long, she'd sunk into a chair, giggling like a tween.
She'd almost hoped he was just passing through, or that he'd somehow found himself on the opposite side of the city as normal, but instead, she started noticing him coming in more and more, almost every day. She couldn't help but wonder if he'd actually been around the shop before, and she just hadn't noticed him, somehow. She told herself he must have, that this was just part of his routine, and his appearances there had nothing to do with her, yet he always seemed to hang around, reading his paper, until she was working the counter, so that he could order from her. He always made some little joke, found some excuse to look her right in the eye with an expression that could have melted butter, lingered what she felt was just a moment too long when he took his change from her. And he always seemed to only have large bills, so he had to get change every time. But she'd seen his ring, and she knew she couldn't do anything about the feelings bubbling up inside her, despite her best attempts to quell them.
Then she'd gotten robbed.
It all happened so fast, she hadn't even realized what was happening. It was one of the rare times he was there when she was about to leave. Silly as it was, her heart always beat a little faster when that happened, as she wondered if he was sticking around for her, if he was going to invite her back to his place, or ask if he could see hers, even though she knew it was more likely that he just hadn't finished his coffee yet.
She was about to leave when one of her co-workers called her back up to the counter for a minute. She almost didn't go, but the girl, a few years younger than her, looked a bit freaked out. It was rare she was asked for advice as a more experienced woman, so she'd given in, walking over and setting her purse down on the counter for just a moment to talk. It turned out it wasn't so much advice the girl wanted as it was for Angela to take over one of her shifts that weekend.
It had all happened in a flash. As the two employees spoke quietly, there was a rush of activity behind them, then the sound of the doorbell chiming. Angela turned curiously, then noticed her purse was missing. Looking out the front window, she saw the man running, as if he were chasing after whoever had taken it. "Yeah-that's-fine," she mumbled in a rush to her co-worker, dashing back around the counter and through the front door, short legs pumping furiously, yet still unable to come close to catching the man, much less whoever had taken her purse.
She wasn't an athletic girl by any means, and after spending the day in the air conditioned comfort of her Starbucks, the heat outside was too much for her. She slowed from a run to a stumble before leaning over, hands resting on her knees, feeling a little dizzy as she panted. She didn't know how long she stood there before she saw her purse suddenly drop into view, dangling in front of her. She straightened up, blushing as she saw the man holding it, smiling at her.
"Th-Thanks," she stammered, voice somehow still not working right even though she'd mostly caught her breath. "I didn't even..."
"It's all right," he told her.
"You say that to me a lot," she giggled, immediately feeling awkward, sure he wouldn't recall their first encounter as well as she did.
"You need to be told it a lot," he countered, reaching up, running a hand over her cheek.
She knew she shouldn't allow it, that this was practically a stranger she was letting touch her, but every muscle in her body, including her tongue, seemed to stop working as she felt his skin on hers.
"You feel warm," he said as he moved his hand away. "I know what you need."
She still couldn't speak... In fact, she was afraid that if she opened her mouth, only a pathetic whimper would emerge, first because of the sudden loss of his touch, then from the implications of what he'd said. She knew it was wrong, and yet she found herself nodding anyway. She kicked herself for it later; normally, she hated when people felt like they had to do things for her, like she was some helpless child. She told herself it was different this time, since she really had needed his help, though really she knew it was just because it was him.
He started to lead her through the street, thankfully keeping a slow pace so she wouldn't be running after him like an obedient little puppy, as she knew she would have. In her mind, she could see herself in some fancy apartment, sitting on a bed as he reached over with his strong, yet gentle hands, unbuttoning her shirt, working his way from the top down, then even further as he undid her pants, started to slide them down her legs... Her cheeks flushed, and she could feel herself growing wet with arousal. It really had been quite a long time.
So, while she was somewhat thankful for it later, as she rebuked herself for having been willing to jump into bed with someone just because he chased down a purse-snatcher for her, in the moment she was quite disappointed when she found that the place we was leading her to was an ice cream shop, going so far as to let out an unhappy moan, much to her mortification. If he knew what that was really about, he gave no indication, instead asking, "You're not on a diet, are you?" When she was unable to answer, he simply said, "Well, you shouldn't be. You're just right as you are," before ushering her inside.
Eating her ice cream did cool her down, in more ways than one, though before that she found herself squirming in front of the ice cream vats as she was supposed to be picking out a flavor, bits and pieces of her daydream of what she'd expected this outing to be still playing in her head. Finally, once she'd finished, she was calm enough to think to check her purse. It looked as if it had been rifled through, but thankfully her ID and credit cards were still there.
So was her money, meager as it was, or so she thought until she pulled it out. The twenty she'd had in there had been crisp and new, fresh out of the ATM. This one wasn't as wrinkled and dirty as some of the bills she had to deal with at work, but it was clearly not the same one. For a moment, she was confused - why would the thief switch money with her? Then she realized the truth.
"I can't take this," she told the man, holding the money out to him. "You already paid for my ice cream, I can't take this, too."
"Yes, you can," he assured her. "I didn't get a good enough look at the thief to bother going to the police, and I didn't try to catch him after he ditched the purse, so it's the least I can do."
"No," she corrected him. "The least you could have done was just let me know it had been stolen. You didn't have to chase after him yourself..."
"Hey," he said, just a hint of sternness in his voice. "I wanted to. And I don't want to hear any more arguments, young lady." She tried to start one anyway, only to be struck mute as he stroked her cheek again, this time moving his fingers down to her chin, pushing it upward while she tried to look down and hide her blush. "Got it?" She had no choice but to nod.
She'd nearly invited him home, reconfiguring her fantasies to set them in her own crowded apartment rather than his luxurious one, but whenever she tried to actually do it, his wedding ring always seemed to catch her eye. It didn't stop her from dreaming, though. It was fortunate that he had to leave first, as she needed to buy herself another scoop of ice cream to calm herself down enough to get home.