Standing up, I reach my arms over my head. Stretching out my back. Rolling my neck. I reach up and massage my own shoulders. Man, that feels good.
Looking down at the iPad, I note the time. Dad and I have been doing inventory for 3 hours.
Poking my head out of the stockroom to the front of the store, I yell, "I'm headed upstairs for a snack. Do you want anything?"
I see Dad sitting on a turned over crate, scanning the books on a lower shelf.
Dad replies, "None for me, thanks."
Running up the stairs, I enter the kitchen, stopping only as I spy the fruit basket. Snatching an apple, I head back downstairs. Taking my time, enjoying a moment's break from doing inventory.
Walking back through the stockroom, I spy boxes of new releases delivered yesterday. I wonder if Dad wants to set them out front.
Taking a bite of apple, I stroll through the stockroom doors, mouth full of food, I say, "Did you want me to put out the new releases?"
Dad comes from behind one of the shelves, followed by Adam.
My mind has such a hard time processing what I am seeing that I stare openly at both of them, mouth agape, full of partially chewed apple.
Ever so oblivious, Dad cheerfully says, "Natalie, Adam here told me that he gave you a ride home this morning since the Explorer wasn't working." Adam stands beside my Dad with a big smile on his face.
As quickly as I can, I close my mouth and swallow the apple. Smooth, Nat. Super smooth.
Recovering best I can, I say, "Yes, he was very nice to give me a ride home. Thanks again."
Clasping Adam on the shoulder, Dad continues, "Adam also said he would be happy to fix your truck. And since we are new to town and I don't know the first thing about fixing cars, I think we will take you up on your offer."
Looking like the cat who ate the canary, Adam interjects, "I would be happy to fix Natalie's car in return for her letting me show her around town, Mr. Turner."
"Oh, please. Call me Rick." Dad corrects. Swell. Even Dad is not immune to Adam's charms.
Adam comments, "I have some free time now, if that works for you, Natalie."
Both sets of eyes settle on me, waiting for a response.
Clearing my throat, I state, "Well, I wish I could but I'm swamped here with inventory." I make a big show of gesturing to all of the books as if he wasn't aware we are in a bookstore.
Waving his hand in the air, Dad announces, "Don't worry about that. There is no rush. Go and enjoy yourselves."
Grasping at another straw, I state, "Well, I wouldn't want to inconvenience you."
Adam assures me, "I have two sisters and I would hope someone would show them around if they were in a new city. It would be my pleasure." So you took out the "dutiful big brother" card. Well played, Adam. Well played.
Adam shoves his hands in his jacket and rocks back on his heels. He looks smug. He grins even broader, if that's possible.
Realizing, I have no other excuses, I mutter, "Let me go get my coat."
Adam's eyes twinkle as he says, "No problem."
Spinning around on my heel, I head back through the stockroom and up the stairs. Grabbing my coat from the hall closet, I stomp my foot for good measure.
Thanks for throwing me to the wolves, Dad.
Okay, wolf. One arrogant and narcissitic wolf. One handsomely, attractive wolf. With the greenest eyes and dark hair and full lips. Those lips that quirk into the cutest smile.
Running a hand down my face, I look at myself in the mirror. I take in my green sweater, my wavy auburn hair hanging loosely at my shoulders, my gray eyes.
Maybe I should put on some make-up.
That would mean I'm interested. I'm not interested. TOTALLY not interested.
So he's cute? So what?! He knows he can get any girl he wants. I knew boys like that back in high school. Boys like that are trouble. Nothing but trouble. Probably lots of steamy, sexy, trouble...
Another entry with Nat and Adam. I'm totally digging the interplay between these two!
The post before this one was "Does Coffee Count?"