In trying to get my writing groove back, I decided to write a lil sumthing sumthing for New Year’s Eve.
Author’s Note: This is a hella short story.
For Nyssa Williams, losing this bet isn't an option.
Lord, I’ve been a good girl this year. All I’m asking for is a seat… preferably on his face. May he trip and fall on a patch of ice, landing on his back, and as I help him up, I fall. On his face. Wearing a skirt. No panties. Freshly waxed.
Okay, that was all types of wrong. Praying to any deity to engage in a sexual act was sinful and downright weird fetish having, nose-picking-booger-eating, crusty jam between the toes, musty underarms in the summertime disgusting. Don’t blame my head or heart. Blame my vagina. She tended to take over whenever he was around. The man of my conscious and subconscious dreams, Zyair Denison. I had a crush on him from the moment he sought shelter inside Mug Shot, the café I co-owned with my best friend, Alexis. Here I was, a thirty-six-year-old woman with a crush. It was laughable, but thanks to the unexpected early morning rain that brought him into my life, it was my reality. What solidified his place in the forefront of my mind—and heart—was when our eyes connected as he turned to thank me for the cup of hot chocolate I placed next to his items as he shook his coat off, wearing a beautiful smile.
Too bad all I knew about him was his name, his coffee order, and how he liked his eggs.
Zyair came in for breakfast every morning, arriving at 7:43am, on the dot. Unless he was sick or stuck in traffic, then he would call ahead. However, this morning, he was later than usual. Three hours, twenty minutes, and fifteen seconds late, to be exact. Still, he looked absolutely gorgeous. Tall, with intense dark brown eyes, rich brown skin, a neatly-groomed beard and mustache framed his luscious full lips. As always, he was dressed like a shoo-in for a Best Dressed Award, today wearing a charcoal gray suit, periwinkle dress shirt, and black necktie.
Seeing him brightened my day, and today was no different. It also reminded me I had yet to ask him out on a date. Meaning, in less than twelve hours, I would be on the losing end of a bet I’d drunkenly made with Alexis as we celebrated the new year, which would result in me splitting the costs for her BBL. Inwardly, I groaned, not wanting to think about the stupid bet or Alexis’s dumb, soon-to-be inflated ass. I turned my attention to a spot on the counter I cleaned only moments ago, trying to regain control of my racing heart before I passed the hell out. I took several deep breaths, but instead of calming me like they should’ve, it felt like something or someone was ciphering the air from my lungs.
I needed to get away. Now.
A quick glance around the café showed a sprinkling of customers occupying tables. The three employees working alongside the chefs and me were busy cleaning from the morning rush, preparing for lunch, and restocking shelves and cutlery. My mind formulated a plan. Get Jennifer, the barely legal college student, to man the register while I stepped into the deep freezer and berated myself for being too much of a coward. Sure she tended to flirt with Zyair. I’d sliced her cold with a couple side-eyes over the year, but allowing her to take his order would give me enough time to get myself all the way right. But as I opened my mouth to call her over, the low rumble of his voice floated over the smooth jazz flowing from hidden speakers.
“Don’t worry. I’ll stop by later.”
I was so engrossed in my thoughts I failed to realize Zyair was standing at the register. I couldn’t walk off now. And who was he making plans with? Had I really expected someone as sexy as him to not have a date on New Year’s Eve? Did I miss my chance? All at once, I was bombarded with questions I doubted I would get the answers to, along with the unwelcomed pangs of jealousy mixed with a bit of insecurity. Neither were emotions I displayed, especially over a dude. Yet, here I was, salty like a pretzel.
And when he flashed an endearing smile as he whispered, I love you, my knees buckled. Warmth seeped through my body and pooled in the pit of my stomach like the first sip of a medium roasted blend.
“I love you, too,” a voice sounding a lot like mine whispered. But I knew it wasn’t because what the fuck?! However, a sharp gasp from somewhere nearby coupled with the widening of his dark brown irises, raising of his thick eyebrows, and the amused smirk on his handsome face, along with the, “Now, that’s how you get your man,” from Alexis’s unmistakable voice confirmed I’d said those four words aloud.
“Well, that’s interesting to know,” Zyair replied with a smile. I opened my mouth to apologize or come up with a lie, but Zyair continued, speaking into the phone although his eyes remained trained on me. “No, ma, not you. I’m about to order from the café near my office. I’ll call you back in a couple hours.”
A small part of me wanted to do a happy dance because Zyair wasn’t planning to spend the evening tangled between the sheets with another woman. He hadn’t told her he loved her. He was on the phone with his mother, and it melted my heart knowing he had a great relationship with her. Another part of me was still tempted to call Jennifer over so I could escape to the back because the look in his eyes—one I could barely decipher but had imagined him giving me while balls deep inside me—was doing all sorts of wicked and wanton things to my body. Me leaving wouldn’t even look weird since Jennifer had moved from across the room and was now bending over a couple feet from Zyair, pretending to face the potato chip display.
Zyair looked away briefly to slip his phone into a pocket of his messenger bag, then turned his attention back on me. “Hello.”
“Umm … Hi.” I cleared my throat. “I have to,” I hooked my thumbs over my shoulders in a general direction, “go to the back for-for something. Jennifer can take your order.”
Jennifer quickly stood and rushed around the counter, damn near knocking me on my ass. “Yes, how can I help you?” she asked, her tone dripping with a sensual suggestiveness that made my teeth itch.
“Actually, I’m in no rush,” he said, his attention still focused on me. “If you need to run to the back, go ahead and take your time. I’ll wait.”
Maybe my overactive imagination was playing tricks on me, but I could’ve sworn his eyes grew darker, more intense. His ‘I’ll wait’ sounded husky to my ears. It set loose a swarm of butterflies in my stomach while simultaneously causing my entire being to burst in flames.
Jennifer stepped in front of me, breaking the spell our held eye contact wove around us. “It’s no problem. I can handle—”
“Jennifer, you can continue restocking the shelves,” Alexis said as she rounded the counter. She placed a hand on Jennifer’s arm, lightly pulling her back. My eyes reconnected with Zyair’s. “I think Nyssa is more than capable of handling Mr. Denison.” She bobbed her eyebrows up and down at the euphemism. “Isn’t that right, Ny?”
Upon hearing my name, I snapped out of my stupor and nodded. “Of course. I can take you right now if you’d like.”
The corners of his lips curved into a sexy smirk. If I hadn’t willed my raging hormones to simmer down, I would’ve leaped over the counter and straight into his arms when he said, “Now or later, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re ready.”
Okay, there was no denying the sexy glint in his eyes now. He was flirting. With me. Right?
I moved in front of the register, hoping my inner turmoil and confusion were masked by the smile I plastered on my lips. “So, what can I get you? The usual?”
“Nah, I’m in the mood for something different,” Zyair responded, coming to a stop in front of me. “What do you suggest?”
“Well, Carlos prepared chicken and waffle bites with bourbon syrup. But if you’re going into the office, you might wanna try something different.”
“If that’s what you’re suggesting, that’s what I want.”
I was just about to type in his usual, a large coffee with two creams and two sugars, when he shocked me by ordering a large hot cocoa instead. I didn’t want to overthink it since it was a chilly thirty-seven degrees outside, but my heart and brain didn’t get the memo. Immediately, images of our first meeting came flooding back like the old black and white movies shown at drive-in theaters.
“Can you make it like the first hot cocoa you ever made me?”
I nodded, unable to believe he recalled that detail from our first meeting. He pulled it from his memory bank and slapped it on the table like this was a heated Spades game, and it was the Big Joker. Everything following that moment became a blur as I tasked myself with making his drink and taking the orders of a few other customers. I could barely remember handing him his order, declaring it was on the house, and saying bye to him until Alexis grabbed my shoulders and spun me around to face her.
“Bitch, if you don’t go after that man and tell him how you feel, not only will you be paying for my surgery, but Imma make sure your ass never forget how you let some teeny-bopper college student snag the man you’ve lusted after for the past year.”
I glanced at Jennifer, who was staring at Zyair’s retreating frame while chewing on her bottom lip and slowly shaking her head. Alexis was right. It was now or never. I’d spent too long pining after this man. Ruined too many pairs of panties and washed too many sheets after hot and heavy dreams involving both our naked, sweaty bodies, a couple shots of tequila, and The Weeknd playing in the background.
“But what am I suppose to say?”
Alexis rolled her eyes. “Tell him you wanna test a theory to see if he has BDE, or admit that you think he’s sexy and you wanna get to know him better. I don’t give a damn whatcha do, but this,” she wagged a finger in my general direction, “ain’t it.” Then, she had the nerve to scrunch her face up in disgust. Trifling heffa.
“Fine,” I said, untying the custom apron all the front house employees wore. “But if this backfires or he turns me down, I swear on everything holy, Imma beat yo’ ass so bad you’ll need a face-lift instead of a BBL.” I slammed the apron on the counter, then took off running towards the exit.
Once outside, I cursed Alexis and myself for not grabbing a sweater. It was freezing, and here I was in a short-sleeve sweater dress, tights, and ankle boots. I’d dressed for fashion, definitely not function today. Glancing left then right, I wondered which direction Zyair had gone in. I’d been so engrossed in Alexis, I had no idea, but for some reason, I couldn’t explain my mind was screaming for me to go left. So, I did. Against the snow now falling from the graying sky, the fierce winds sending my mid-back length twists whipping around my head, and the chilly temperatures, I walked with no real destination in mind. The only thing stopping me from turning back was the sight of Zyair rushing towards me, an umbrella shielding him from the snow, and a concerned look on his handsome face.
“Nyssa? What are you doing out here? Where’s your jacket?”
I opened my mouth to speak, but Zyair cut me off. He moved closer to me, unbuttoned his black peacoat, and shrugged out of it, draping it around my shoulders. Engulfed by the familiar and utterly intoxicating aroma belonging to Zyair, I pulled the lapels of his coat together and snuggled into its warmth. “T-thanks.”
“You’re welcome, but why are you out here? Is something wrong?” He positioned himself to stand with his back against the wind.
I shook my head. “No, I just—” I took a deep breath. It was too damn cold out here to be pussyfooting around. “I don’t know how you’ll take this, but I’m attracted to you. I have been for a while, and I was wondering if you’d like to go out with me?”
There, I’d asked him. I’d gotten over the butterflies shredding my stomach’s lining. Gotten over the fear of rejection. I did it. I asked this insanely handsome man out while standing in the snow, with his coat covering me and his hands moving slowly up and down my arms, eliciting goosebumps to pimple my skin and searing heat to chase away the chill of the air.
Without warning, his hands stopped moving. His beautifully intense gaze narrowed. Silence split the space between us. On bated breath, I waited while questioning my sanity.
“Wait,” Zyair said after what felt like an eternity, “you came out here in freezing temperatures and snow, without a jacket, to ask me out?”
Truth is, I wanted to say more but couldn’t. Suddenly I was Billy, and fear had sown my mouth shut like it was Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus. I just stood there, looking lost, feeling dumb, wanting to disappear into thin air.
“Wow,” he mumbled more to himself than me. His lips crested into a full-blown, thirty-two pearly-white teeth salute with an appearance of his twin dimples. He wrapped an arm around my waist, pulling me into his side, and began walking in the direction of the café. “Well, if that’s the case, let’s get you back inside. I don’t want to be held responsible for you getting sick and canceling our date tonight. That is,” he stopped abruptly, glancing down at my upturned face, “if you don’t already have plans.”
“I mean, I did.” At the flash of disappointment in his eyes, I rushed on to say, “I had plans to over-indulge in a bottle of Prosecco while pigging out with Lil Debbie, Chester Cheetah, Ben, and Jerry to watch the ball drop on television, but for you, they can take a raincheck because I refuse to wait another day, let alone an entire year before going out with you.”
“Good, because I feel the same way.” At my stunned expression, he chuckled. “What? You’re acting like you didn’t know I’ve liked you since the day we met.”
“I didn’t.” Nor would I have ever guessed he did. Alexis swore he flirted with me, but I always took it as him being nice. But now… “Are you serious?”
“Hell yeah,” Zyair replied instantly. “I’m surprised your girl never told you. Alexis drilled my ass about you a few months ago. She said she noticed me watching you when I thought no one was looking.”
My eyes widened. “You were?”
Zyair nodded. “I would’ve asked you out when we first met, but I’d just gotten out of a relationship and was busy building my clientele list. I knew when I stepped to you, I had to have my shit together. I’m just glad no one beat me to the punch.”
Opening the door to the café, Zyair stepped aside to allow me to enter. He’d barely gotten a foot inside when Alexis yelled, “I’m guessing from the way y’all walked in here, all cozy and shit, it means I lost this bet and gotta find someone else to go halfsies on my BBL?”
“Bet?” Zyair came to stand next to me with his brows raised.
Shaking my head, I unlocked my cellphone and handed it to him. “I’ll explain it tonight. You’re not about to cancel this date already when I’ve waited a year for this.”
I don't know what'll happen between Zyair and me, but I was more than ready to bring in the new year with him by my side and definitely between my thighs.