Here is a little bit from Darcy's POV for your reading pleasure.
A few minutes later I was clocked out and trading the air conditioned bliss of the library for the sweltering heat outside. The moment my eyes adjusted to the sunshine, I could see Cyrus standing next to his motorcycle across the lot. My relief at seeing him was so strong it forced a sigh from my chest. I hadn’t realized how worried I’d been that he might not be there until that very moment.
Okay. Don’t mess this up, Darcy. Be cool.
I sucked in a deep, fortifying breath and started walking over to where Cyrus stood. I was grateful that I’d left my hoodie inside. I only brought it because the library kept the AC cranked up so high you would think we were working in a meat locker. That wasn’t a problem out here, though. The sun blazed fiery hot overhead, almost blinding in its intensity. Shimmery waves of refracted light rose from the blacktop, distorting the evenly-spaced white lines that marked the parking spots. It wasn’t even noon, but I knew the temperature had to be creeping up on one-hundred already.
And yet there Cyrus was, seeming somehow unperturbed by the heat in spite of his black bikers boots, skintight jeans, and clingy black T-shirt. I couldn’t understand it—even in my thin cotton button-down and loose-fitting khakis, I was roasting—but standing there next to his gleaming black-and-red Harley, with his black leather jacket hooked casually over his shoulder by one long finger, he looked cooler than frigging James Dean. All he needed was a cigarette and a Porsche at his side. God, he was so gorgeous he seemed almost unreal. How could I have ever thought I had any kind of a chance? Well, it didn’t matter either way. This coffee date was less about me and my impossible hopes than it was about helping him and his sister. Or at least that’s what I tried to tell myself.
When I reached him, I smiled up at him, feeling happy and unbelievably shy all at once. It was the first time we’d ever been alone, and the first time we hadn’t had the checkout desk between us. Standing this close, I realized that he was a good four or five inches taller than me, which was just another mark in the “pros” column as far as I was concerned. I’d always been attracted to taller men, maybe to compensate for the fact that I just barely cleared five-nine myself.
“Hey,” I said. “I only get half an hour. Thrice Café is up the street a ways. Are you okay with going there? They have great chicken salad sandwiches.”
Cyrus shrugged lightly. “Yeah, that’s fine.”
I led the way around the corner and down the block, extremely conscious of Cyrus at my back the entire time. It made me nervous to think of him watching me in my plain blue shirt and neat, serviceable khakis. The outfit wasn’t what anyone would ever call stylish, I’m sure. To top it off, I was ever-aware of the fact that he was long and lean and gorgeous, and I was short and pudgy and maybe cute on my best of days. He was a head-turner. I just…wasn’t. Most of the time I was okay with that. I hadn’t exactly been cursed in the looks department; it wasn’t as if I had people recoiling from me in horror when I walked down the street. Like the vast majority of the population, I fell into the wide gap between ugly and extraordinary—but no one had to tell me that guys who looked like Cyrus didn’t usually go for guys who were, well, average.
When we entered the café, the girl behind the counter grinned and waved at me. “Hi, Darcy.”
I grinned back. “Hi, Val.” I visited Thrice so often I was on a first-name basis with most of the employees. Half an hour didn’t give me time to go very far and I loved their food, so there wasn’t really a need to anyway. Other than their chicken salad sandwiches, their vegetable quiche was my favorite. There were weeks I had it every day.
“The usual?” Val asked.
“Yep. And a Filthy Chai, please.”
“Coming right up,” Val said. Her eyes moved to Cyrus and suddenly her shoulders went back and her breasts pushed forward. She smoothed down her shirt and smiled a bit wider. “And for your friend?”
I glanced over at Cyrus, wondering if he’d noticed the sudden change in her demeanor. If he had, it didn’t show. I wasn’t surprised. He probably got that sort of thing all the time.
Cyrus arched an eyebrow at me, and my heart stuttered in my chest. “Filthy Chai?”
I laughed lightly, hoping he couldn’t tell that the sound was kind of breathless, didn’t know how affected I was by his mere proximity. “It’s a chai latte with a double shot. I need the caffeine today.”
His lips quirked a little. “I’ll have one of those, too.”