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By´╝ÜKristen Ashley

Do it at your side

It didn’t flow this time. I had to work at it.

Sometimes it did. This time, it didn’t.

There were strikeouts. Written over words. Lines blackened, a new one added at the side.

For this, it had to be perfect.

On that thought, my head shot up when a plastic cup with an iced beverage that looked like Jack and Coke was slid across the table toward my notebook.

I looked sideways. My gaze hit a white-T-shirt-covered wall of chest, my back went straight, my head turned fully that way, and I looked up, up and up.

And then I was mired in somber hazel eyes.

The man at the fence.

I forgot how to breathe.

A deep, coarse voice assaulted my ears.

“Pretty woman like you shouldn’t be suckin’ the dregs of a drink.”

I said nothing. I couldn’t. I was frozen in time, never wanting to be thawed.

Those hazel eyes dropped to my notebook then came back up to lock on mine.

“Pretty woman like you shouldn’t be sittin’ in a bar alone in a corner writin’ in her diary, either.”

“It’s not a diary,” my mouth blurted, fortunately working since nothing else on or in my body was.

“Then what is it?”

I had no reply to that because I knew it wasn’t a diary but my brain had quit functioning so I forgot what it was.

His gaze stayed locked to mine.

I remained silent.

His brows shot together over narrowed eyes.

My heart skipped once, luckily pushing blood through my veins, but then it halted again.

“You in there?” he asked.

God, I was being an idiot!

“I…uh, write thoughts in it,” I told him.

“Like a diary,” he returned.

“Not those kinds of thoughts. I mean, they are, but they’re not. If you know what I mean.”

“I don’t,” he shared brusquely.

“Lyrics,” I admitted, it came out soft because I didn’t give that to anyone and I had no clue why I gave it to him. The only ones who knew I still did that were Dad, Lacey and Bianca. “Kinda poetry, I guess,” I finished.

His brow stayed knit over narrowed eyes. “You’re sittin’ in a biker bar writing poetry?”

That was so ridiculous, my mouth remembered how to form a smile.

This it did and it continued to do so, except frozen, when those hazel eyes dropped to it.

I had to force my lips to move with, “It’s just, I learned, when the spirit moves me, to get it out.”

He looked back into my eyes. “Even in a biker bar at one in the morning?”

“Even in a biker bar at one in the morning,” I confirmed.

“Good you’re pretty, babe,” he stated, leaning toward the table, putting his strapping forearms to it, making the breathing I’d managed to begin doing again start to be difficult. “’Cause that shit’s whacked.”

This was insulting.

It was kind of true, in a way, for someone who didn’t get it. For someone who didn’t have the curse.

But saying it out loud was not cool.

I was totally unoffended.

“I’m not your average girl,” I shared the god’s honest truth.

His eyes roamed my face and hair as his mouth muttered, “Already got that.”

My insides melted.

Oh God.

“Um…” That came out, but even if I’d had no qualms flirting with any player, rocker, club rat, cowboy, jock, biker or businessman that intrigued me who threw out a line, with this guy I couldn’t think what else to say.

He didn’t lift away from the table even as he brought his beer to his lips, tipped his head and threw back a pull.

I watched and had another reason why no thoughts were coming into my head.

When he righted, I latched on to what to say.

“Thanks for the drink.”

“I’d say you’re welcome if you were drinkin’ it.”

I closed my pencil into my notebook and reached for my drink.

But even as I curled my fingers around it, I didn’t lift it, but instead looked to him.

“What is it?”

“Jack and Coke.”

This surprised me.

“How did you know what I drink?”

“Told the bartender I wanted to buy a drink for the girl with all the hair, all the leg and all the ass. He started makin’ it before I got to the part about you bein’ the only girl in this joint not into the scene. So, that’s sayin’ your hair, those legs and that ass made an impression and not just on me.”

There it was again. Not an insult this time. But if he was trying to pick me up (and a man did not buy a woman a drink if he wasn’t trying that), his pick-up conversation was unusual.

He was him. Take him as he came. He wasn’t putting on airs for anybody.

Not even a girl with lots of hair, leg and ass.