This is not where I wanted to end up. Not at all. How in the hell did I even get here? Oh yeah…that's right. I remember now. I was dragged here on a dare. She said it was going to be funny. That something good might come out of it. That in the end we'd be laughing. Well, guess what, Natalie? I'm not laughing right now and by the look on your face? Neither are you.
"So, anyways, enough about me. What do you do for a living?" the all too eager guy sitting across the table from me with oily hair dangling in his face asked me. What was this guy's name again? I glanced down at the sticker on his faded Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt. His name was Tim. I slid my gaze over to the large timer sitting on the podium up front where the girl who had arranged this was standing with a large fake smile plastered on her face. I still had another minute and a half with this guy. I inwardly shot myself in the face.
"I'm a female impersonator," I dully retorted.
Tim blinked a couple of times not quite sure of what to make of my comeback.
"Ah, well, um…" he stammered. I rolled my eyes and leaned over to Natalie who looked like she was having an equally fascinating time with the guy that I had just finished talking to: George.
"Why in the hell are we here again?" I whispered in her ear. I watched Tim wring his hands anxiously waiting for the clock to go off signaling the change of tables.
Natalie sighed and slid her gaze over to meet mine. George continued talking away not even noticing.
"Because I thought it would be fun and interesting. We've already tried a dating website and looked how well that has turned out for us," she whispered back.
"So your solution was speed dating?" I hissed.
"Hey, I know a lot of people that have had success with these sorts of things," she huffed. I gave her a droll stare.
"Name one person you know that has had a good relationship come out of one of these things," I challenged.
She sat for a moment thinking.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," I replied straightening back over into my seat. Natalie shot me a glare.
At that moment the sound of the obnoxious ring of the clock signaling time's up rang throughout the room. Tim and I sighed with relief. Before the men could move down a table to talk with the next girl, a loud gong rang throughout the room. Everyone glanced up at the podium where the fake smiled cheerleader of speed dating stood with a gong in her hands.
"Alright everyone. Let's take a fifteen minute break and then we shall continue the speed dating only we will mix up the order a little bit," she cheerfully announced.
I spun around to look at Natalie. She merely turned her head to meet my gaze.
"So….how was George?" I questioned with a smile already knowing what her answer would be.
Natalie rolled her eyes. "I swear, if that man could talk any more monotonously I think my eardrums would have exploded from the low frequency. I mean seriously? I felt like I was sitting in church trying not to fall asleep during the preacher's sermon," she scoffed.
"Yeah, I know," I agreed. I glanced around the room at all the men. "You'd think there would be SOME hopefuls here, but I guess that would make it too easy on our luck."
"This is speed dating, Leighra. Hopeful guys don't need to resort themselves to speed dating because they are either already taken, fictional, celebrities, gay, all four, or happily living their life somewhere far away where we have no chance at seeing them let alone dating them," she replied.
I placed my chin in my hands with a defeated sigh. "I was hoping you wouldn't remind me."
"But that's exactly why I'm here," she chimed. "To remind you of ALL your misfortunes."
"Obviously," I grumbled rolling my eyes. "So how much longer do we have left of this unbearable torture?"
Natalie took out her phone and glanced at the time. "About another half hour," she notified.
"Oh my god, I'm gonna die," I whined.
"Stop whining. You'll be fine for crying out loud. And would you find some better guys to talk to? I'm tired of getting your sloppy seconds," she snapped.
"Yeah because I control what guy sits at my table next," I scoffed rolling my eyes.
That annoying gong sound rang throughout the room. Both Natalie and I twitched when we heard her speak into the microphone.
"Alright break time is over! Now we have reassigned the men to new tables. We hope you ladies are getting lots and lots of phone numbers," she sing-songed.
Natalie and I gave each other kill-me-now looks out of the corner of our eyes. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back waiting for the next loser to take a seat across from me. I heard the sound of a chair being pulled out and then a sudden sharp jab to my ribs.
My eyes snapped open to glare at Natalie.
"Ow!" I hissed. Not that it even mattered. She wasn't even paying attention to me. She had her eyes on the guy sitting at my table. Wondering what horrific style of clothing he was wearing or how much gel he had put in his hair, my gaze slid over to look at my new partner. With that, my mouth dropped open in shock. Where in the hell had THIS guy come from? I'm pretty sure I would have remembered seeing a guy like THIS.
Although I couldn't see how tall he was exactly, I knew he was easily over six feet. He had broad muscular shoulders with a small area of his tattoo exposed beneath the sleeve of his shirt and a little bit along his collarbone where the shirt was cut in a v-neck. He had a strong, square cut jawline and high cheekbones to compliment his aristocratic nose and gorgeous, pierced plump lips. Onyx black hair fell in straight, jagged layers to barely brush along the tops of his shoulders. What held me frozen in place though were his ice blue eyes that had a ring of midnight blue surrounding his iris.
The man smiled at my look of complete and utter shock making me turn my attention to the piercings he had on his mouth. On either end of his plump bottom lip was a black hoop. I believe that sort of piercing was called a snake bite. Fuck that. When it came to this man it was more of a sexy bite. Holy hell, I was so stunned at this man's beauty that I couldn't even come up with decent jokes.
My eyes fell to that toned, muscular chest searching for a sticker with his name on it, but I couldn't find it.
"I forgot to slap on a nametag when I came in a little bit ago," he replied almost like he had read my mind. Holy hell. This man was British. His accent wasn't very heavy, but it was there. That amazing British accent was there.
"Oh, um, well, my name is—"
"Leighra, correct?" he finished for me.
"Um, yeah," I chuckled nervously playing with the ends of my curly dark brown hair. "You're the first guy to have pronounced it right."
"Oh?" He questioned cocking a single dark brow. If I hadn't been sitting down at that moment, I would have collapsed to the floor from my legs going weak. He had the sexiest inquisitive face.
"Well, a lot of people want to pronounce it lee-rah like it's some sort of stupid cheerleading chant. When in fact it is pronounced leer-uh. Yeah, my parents are weird I know," I chuckled still playing with my hair. Natalie kicked the side of my leg beneath the table making me realize how much of a girly girl I was acting.
"Uh, um, so anyways, what's your name?" I asked trying to go back to acting like the cool, reserved woman I had been with all the other men.
"All in due time, my dear," he smiled. "First, tell me a bit about yourself," he urged leaning back in his chair and folding his arms across his chest. The muscles in his arms bulged beneath his shirt making me gulp. Holy crap this guy was ripped, but not overly so. Just enough to make it count for something.
"Um, well," I started meeting his icy blue gaze. "I'm currently a student over at the local university studying to get my masters in Veterinary Medicine. My friend and I—" I motioned over at Natalie— "are renting an apartment together since we figured that would be cheaper than staying in the dorms again. I am working at the local animal clinic just doing some odds and end jobs until I can begin my internship this summer. Oh! I'm 21 in case that makes a difference somehow," I tacked on.
"Do you also happen to enjoy long walks on the beach, reading by candlelight, and being kissed in the middle of a thunderstorm?" he teased leaning forward to rest his elbows on the table with his chin in his hands.
"Sign me up for the last one, but when it comes to the other two…eh," I shrugged. "Don't get me wrong. I LOVE reading, just not by candlelight. Too harsh on my eyes. And the whole long walks on the beach? Do I look like the cover of a cheap romance novel to you? I mean come on," I scoffed.
The man laughed and man did that laugh hit me in all the right places. I glanced over at Natalie who was no longer even aware of her date anymore.
That's when the bell sounded signaling that our time was up.
"Alright, everyone! Time is up! I hope everyone enjoyed today and some lucky ladies and fellas are leaving here with either a date or a few numbers stuffed in those pockets," she giggled giving us a wink. I nearly gagged.
"Have a good night everyone and come back again tomorrow night!" she replied sending us on our "merry" way. I turned to look back at the man who had already stood up. Oh yeah. He was definitely over six feet tall. Probably at least 6'3" to 6'5". That's when I noticed he was wearing black, tightly fitted jeans with a studded belt and a few chains going from the front of his pants to link at the back of his pants. This guy was totally my type. Tall, dark, and gorgeous. Yupp. My type.
I quickly stood up as he looked at me. He stretched out his hand towards me. Nervous, I wiped the sweat off my hand onto my pant leg before grasping his larger hand.
"Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, Miss Leighra. And I do certainly hope we see each other again," he smiled with a wink releasing my hand. He started walking away still leaving me in a sort of daze. That's when I remembered something.
"Wait!" I called out to him over the chatter of the other people in the room. He turned to look back at me. "What's your name?" I asked again hoping for an answer this time.
"I'll tell you the next time we meet," he called back. Then a sly smile slid onto his face. "IF we meet again and I have a feeling we will."
With that he was gone. I whipped around to face Natalie who had the same wide eyed, mouth gaped open look that I had.
"Holy crap," she breathed.
She slapped me on the arm.
"Ow!" I growled rubbing the red handprint imprinted on my upper arm.
"You should have tried to get his number!" she snapped.
"The man wouldn't even give me his NAME. What makes you think he would have given me his number any easier?" I snapped back.
"You still could have tried," she huffed.
I rolled my eyes and grabbed my jacket off the back of my chair.
"C'mon. Let's just go home. I'm tired and really fucking hungry. The food here sucks. It's meant for plastic Barbie dolls and suicidal, anorexic teenagers. I need a fucking burger and a couple side orders of fries," I replied rubbing my stomach.
Natalie shook her head. "You know, it amazes me how you can keep fit when all you eat is junk food nonstop."
"You're the same," I retorted.
I laughed and began heading out the door. "So are we coming back tomorrow?" I inquired glancing over at Natalie with a wry smile.
She glared at me from the corner of her eye.
"Hell fucking no."