When not busy serving customers the girls at the coffee shop have a pastime that they find particularly stimulating; watching and flirting with the firefighters at the station across the street. Alyssa has had her eye on one particular hottie, Evan London, but to her frustration nothing beyond friendship seems to develop between them - until the night her apartment building goes up in flames! Upon rescuing her from certain death, he offers her a place to stay until she gets back on her feet. Despite the tragedy Alyssa sees this as an opportunity to secure her hunky firefighter once and for all!
"You only have a week left Alyssa, then he's fair game."
With annoyance welling within her Alyssa Thornton narrowed her dark eyes and glared over her shoulder at Samantha and then turned her attention back to the task at hand; admiring one of the most magnificent things she'd ever seen through the side pane glass window of the coffee shop, while pretending to wipe down the tables in the dining room.
Evan was the newest firefighter employed at the station across the street. And like her, he almost always worked the overnight shift. The girls at the coffee shop had a rule, you must "claim" a man you're interested in for him to be off limits to the other girls at the shop and you were given a month to seal the deal - in a manner of speaking - with him otherwise he came up for grabs again.
Alyssa claimed Evan from the second she laid eyes on him, but there seemed to be a slight problem... Over the past few weeks - nearing a month - they seemed to have established a good, solid friendship.
"Ta ta ladies," Samantha purred as she exited the coffee shop, after finishing her eight hour shift, leaving Alyssa and her co-worker Jenny to work the overnight shift.
As Samantha strutted across the parking lot to her vehicle, Jenny - a no non-sense woman in her mid-fifties - came up behind Alyssa to stand beside her. While watching Evan as she pretended to assist with cleaning the dining room. "You realize as soon as the week is up, she'll be on him faster than you can blink."
Alyssa groaned. Yeah, she knew. Samantha was the equivalent of a piranha when it came to men. She got whomever she wanted and devoured them fast, moving on to the next one. And sweet, sexy-as-sin Evan was very succulent prey.
"Do you want me to talk to him for you? All I had to do was give Jade a little push and look how it turned out for her."
"Yes, I know, she's engaged now." Alyssa sighed. She was happy for her, Jade was a sweet girl and "Officer Hottie," as he was known as around the coffee house, was an absolute dream of a man. She turned and wagged her finger at Jenny. "I don't want you interfering. I'm twenty-eight for heaven's sakes, I think I can wrangle up my own date."
A grin touched Jenny's lips and she raised a skeptical brow at Alyssa. "All I know is that my ninety year old grandmother can snag a man in less time then it has taken you to build up enough courage to ask him. This isn't the fifties anymore Alyssa. Women can make the first move now."
Crossing her arms over her chest Alyssa cocked her head and eyed her co-worker. "First of all, I've met your grandmother and that woman is spry for her age. And secondly, I've given the signals."
"Yeah." She reached out and touched Jenny's arm lightly. "Like gently touching his arm or shoulder, you know, establishing physical contact."
"Asking leading questions. Dropping subtle hints. He'd just not biting, I think I've been shouldered into the friend zone."
Planting a fist on her hip Jenny gave Alyssa a stern look and pointed a long slender finger over at Evan. "You see that man over there."
Alyssa glanced over and her eyes took in the sight of him - tall, large, powerful build, short cut dark brown hair and deep green eyes. And his voice... he had a deep, powerful voice that made her melt. Yeah, she saw him, most evenings she spent a good chunk of time watching him from afar like some love struck teenager.
"Yeah, I see him... And."
Wagging her finger in his direction Jenny clucked her tongue off the roof of her mouth and shook her head. "That man does not put women in the 'friend zone,' as you young people like to call it. Either you're giving off some fucked up signals that's making him unsure about you or he's already involved with someone."
"Nah," Alyssa shook her head, "he's not with someone already. I already know that much."
Shrugging, Jenny picked up the dishrag from the table she'd just finished wiping down and turned to walk back to the kitchen. "In that case you're doing something wrong. He's interested. He wouldn't be coming over here to chat with you several times a night if he wasn't."
"Well, maybe he's just bored."
Jenny huffed as she walked away not bothering to look back.
Alyssa sighed, maybe. A ding sounded in the earpiece of her drive-thru headset signalling a customer at the speaker. She rushed to the drive-thru section, her usual station for the majority of the night, as she pressed the TALK button on the control box, hooked to her belt and asked to take their order.
"Visit number one of the night coming up," Jenny announced over the headset as Alyssa came out of the walk-in freezer with an armful off meats to prep the sandwich bar with. She glanced over her shoulder at the clock in the kitchen as she passed by it and noticed it was slightly early for him to be showing up. It wasn't even two hours into her shift yet. A shiver of anticipation rushed through as she quickened her pace to deposit the food in the cooler up front so she could meet him outside for her first break.
"Do you mind if-"
Jenny rolled her eyes and grinned. "Go ahead. But for the love of God get a date out of the man already."
Alyssa returned the older woman's grin as she removed her headset, dark brown visor, and hairnet and then shook her long dark locks free of the clip holding them into a loose bun at the back of her head. "How do I look?"
Jenny snorted. "Good. Same as you do every other night."
A bang on the side window, courtesy of Evan, had Alyssa rushing to the side door. "I'll be back in fifteen," she called over her shoulder as she unlocked the side door and stepped out into the warm summer night air.
"I know I'm early tonight. Bored." Evan crossed his arms over his broad chest and reclined against the brick wall of the coffee shop.
Damn, he's sexy. "Isn't that a good thing?" she asked, closing the door behind her and standing a couple feet away from him, her hands stuffed into her back pockets.
Evan huffed then gave her the sexy, dimpled smile that sent her heart racing each time she saw it. "Yeah, I suppose. I can only handle playing cards for so long though. Ralph is in a mood because his wife left him-"
Evan shrugged, "-And Jeremy is studying for some college exam he has to take next week and well... you know that Troy and I do not get along. So..."
"So, you might as well spend some time chatting with the coffee shop girl huh?" His grin deepened. "Something like that." He jerked his thumb in the direction of the firehouse, "Besides you're a hell of a lot more pleasing to the eyes than those clowns over there."
Alyssa's brow furrowed. "Thanks. I think..."
He raked a hand through his hair and sighed. "Yeah, and a... there is this thing coming up next month."
"Yeah, like an annual city wide fireman's ball thing. It's a formal thing."
"Formal ball thing huh?" Alyssa teased as she rocked back on her heels and her dark eyes caught his. So was he simply sharing the information for the sake of conversation, or was he hinting? Damn it! She hated having to read between the lines, if there were lines to be read between. She groaned inwardly. How she wished she had the confidence of Samantha, to simply see a man she wanted and go and get him. Life would be so much easier, at least when it came to men anyhow.
But she wasn't Samantha.
He paused not saying anything more for close to a minute, as if waiting for her to say something more about it; when she didn't he shrugged. "Yeah, will probably just offer to work it so the other guys can go."
Alyssa heart sank. For one glistening moment she thought he was finally going to break the ice and ask her out. But nope, instead she feared she'd just sunk a little deeper into the friend zone with him. She silently cursed herself for letting the opportunity pass her by.
Frowning, he pushed himself off of the wall and took a step towards her, his massive frame towering over hers. "What have you been doing in there? You have a little something..." he slowly, hesitantly, touched the side of her cheek with his hand, his thumb grazing her jaw, wiping away the smudge.
Closing her eyes, Alyssa sighed basking in the soft caress. She could feel him moving closer, and his breath intermingled with hers. When she opened her eyes back up, they immediately locked onto his hunger filled ones, his mouth mere inches away. She could feel the heat rising between them, like a simmering fire, waiting for the ideal moment to rage out of control.
She felt her cheeks growing warm. Before she began cleaning the dining room she was powering some of the donuts so she must have gotten some on herself. She was like a little tornado of disaster; wherever she went, whatever she touched, became a disaster in virtually every aspect of her life. A prime example, aside from the power on her chin was the man standing before her. All she needed to do was take a chance, lean into him and let the chips fall as they may... It seemed like such a simple and easy thing to do.
They stood, gazing into each others eyes, their breaths continuing to mix until their breathing became synchronized. Both longed to make the contact, but neither one was willing to take the risk.
Headlights passed by, breaking the moment - and she noticed a couple of cars entering the parking lot, heading for the drive-thru speaker. Stepping back she ran a shaky hand through her long dark hair and shrugged, giving him an apologetic smile. "I gotta go. I'm sorry. I think the bar rush is beginning." Walking over to the side door she grabbed the handle, and then turned back to him. "See you later?"
Hesitating a moment, he straightened to his full six-foot-three and nodded, thrusting his hands into the pockets of his black pants. "Yeah, I ummm." He nodded and let out a loud huff of air, "I'll be back later."
Pulling open the door, Alyssa slipped inside giving him a small wave as she locked it behind her. She watched him turn and saunter off across the street, her eyes admiring his broad, muscular back and tight ass. She could only imagine how amazing his body would look naked. In fact, she imagined it frequently whenever she lay in bed pleasuring herself.