Passion Abroad

By: J A Fielding

“If I didn’t know any better I would think you are stalking me,” was what she initially wanted to say but when she opened her mouth, she could only mumble. She hated knowing that he could have such an effect on her. “Daniel…hi,” she said as she walked in. She was hoping that he didn’t notice how hot he looked in his neutral pants and dark blue t-shirt. His muscular chest was almost calling out to her. It was then that she knew it was official, the dry spell was getting to her.

“Erica, fancy meeting you here,” Daniel said looking at her. “You look about ready to hit the pool,” he added as he looked at her up and down.

“Maybe after breakfast,” she said with a smile.

“Sleep well?” he asked as she pressed one of the elevator buttons.

She looked at him and nodded. “Like a baby,” she said with a smile.

Daniel nodded as a smile played on his lips.

“You know, I never really understood why people compared a good night’s sleep to a baby since babies wake up every ten minutes,” he said. She looked at him and shrugged. “Guess I don’t blame you. You found the metaphor in use. I guess no one can blame you for continuing the trend,” he added as the elevator door opened. She looked at him before she stepped out with him following closely.

“Do you always make people feel bad about their upbringing?” Erica asked with a smile.

“I’m sorry…I didn’t mean…” he started before she turned around and looked at him.

“Hey, hey. I was just kidding,” she said with a smile. “I was kidding.”

“You almost got me there,” he said grinning. He looked around and pointed at a private table in the corner of the restaurant. “That looks good enough,” he said as he led her to the table.

“Are you always this charming with ladies or are you just doing this for me because you are intrigued?” she asked as she sat down in the chair Daniel had pulled out for her. He took a seat on the opposite end of the table and looked at her.

“Intrigued? Why intrigued?” he asked.

“Well, I could be the first woman who actually knew what your company was,” she said. Daniel raised an eyebrow. “At least I think the geek in me thinks so,” she added quickly.

“Actually, yes. You are the first person who knew almost immediately what the words Quicker Kitchen Me meant. Most people think I am just a weirdo putting random words together,” he said. Erica smiled and then laughed. “Yeah, that’s what I get for having my dad get my cousin to be the face of Quicker Kitchen Me,” he added in a rather cynical tone.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Reese but is that cynicism I hear in your voice?” she asked.

He leaned back in his seat as he toyed with the menu.

“A little,” he said as he looked at the menu. “Apparently Zachary had the charisma the company needed to make the brand pop,” he said putting up air quotes.

“I’m guessing you would have wanted to be part of the advertising campaign at some point?” she asked. He looked up and nodded. “Well, where is your cousin Zachary now?” she asked.

“Last I checked, he was a bouncer at a club in Vegas,” he said almost proudly.

She smiled at him and raised an eyebrow.

“See, you turned out better than he did, right?” she said as Emilio walked up to them. “Hi Emilio, can I have coffee, black with scrambled eggs and pancakes?” she asked.

Daniel looked at her and raised an eyebrow.

“Really? You are away from home and you still want to play it safe with food?” he asked holding his hand up stopping Emilio before he could scribble the order on his notepad.

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

“Scrambled eggs and pancakes? How very American of you. Try something different…I don’t know, Mexican maybe?” he asked. She looked up at him and shrugged. “Allow me,” he said before he looked at Emilio. “We’ll have the eggs, black beans, guacamole Pico de Gallo with Greek yogurt,” he said as Emilio jotted it down. “And some coffee for me and…” he looked at Erica.

“Orange juice, thank you,” Erica said as Emilio jotted it down and walked away.

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