So, just who is qualified to make you a sandwhich? I was trying to pick an excerpt, the first I’ve shared, from my upcoming title Severance Pay. I thought that maybe I would pick the very first moment that our protagonist meets… well the antagonist (of sorts). Then I realized that she says during the encounter that he shouldn’t be making her a sandwhich. As the author, I take no responsibility for this! 🙂 He can make me a sandwhich any day. Enjoy! – GRC
When I pulled around to the window, the girl leaned forward to hand me two fountain sodas with two straws. She looked quite exotic to me. Skin the color of almond paste, long, coarsely curly black hair, and light brown eyes were set in an oval face with a straight, narrow nose and dimpled chin. She was medium height and incredibly thin—teeny tiny waist—despite looking healthy and lithe. Not anorexic, anemic, or sick in any way. Just foreigner tiny. She had long, taut limbs, narrow shoulders, a tiny waist, but flared hips. That kind of body made for the perfect underwear model.
“I didn’t order—”
“It’s on the house,” she told me.
Two sodas on the house because I had ordered so much… only a little bit embarrassing. I really wanted to tell her that the food was only for me, but that I wasn’t going to eat it all that night. A string of strange and unpleasant emotions chased through me as I worried that maybe she would think I was wasting food, or that worse I was bulimic, or God knows what else. I wish I hadn’t said anything about the tomatoes and onion.
Really, I am so thankful that I could keep my overreactions inside back then where they could do no harm to others.
When she took my card, she passed it to a man standing behind her. I hadn’t seen him earlier, maybe because he wore dark ash jeans and a faded black t-shirt or perhaps because he was tall and I couldn’t really see above his shoulders until I leaned forward. Wow. Very tall. Lean, sleek muscles played in his back and corded his long arms. He turned so that I could see his profile and my heart stopped just a little. My mouth dropped open just a little. Wow. Handsome. Very handsome. He had wavy brown hair almost like the girl at the window, but lighter in what had to have been premature gray—because he didn’t look a day over thirty. Silver streaked through the strands giving them almost a pewter shine, striking against his sun-kissed complexion. A prominent nose, straight and narrow, coupled with eyes that were just a little tilted enthralled me. I couldn’t quite tell their color, but long black lashes rimmed them and I wanted to see them.
As if I had made the request aloud, he turned his head to say something to the girl and I saw his eyes. They were light, pretty, but I still couldn’t tell what color. Maybe green, maybe gray, maybe soft amber brown. Was he Greek? A Cypriote maybe? He looked Greek and then he didn’t. He looked a little French. The nose could have been either. His sculpted lips were just a little bit full, his jaw strong like Ares fresh from Hadrian’s Villa. Maybe he was Italian. Maybe I was losing it. Of his handsomeness, though, I had no question. Almost too handsome, his features too sophisticated to be making me a damn sandwich. I gave myself a mental shake. He had an air of smoothness that would clearly be a draw for a different kind of girl. Certainly, he wasn’t the kind of guy I would typically be interested in, or that would look at me twice, but attractive just the same.
I tried not to get distracted by his big hands with elegant, piano player fingers as he ran my card. He glanced at it quickly then ran it through the reader at the front counter. Leaving it beside the register, he went back to the savory elephant leg rotating to the side. With a knife as long as my forearm, he sliced several long pieces of succulent lamb off of it and onto a platter with grilled pita points, tsaziki sauce and some other things I couldn’t identify. The plate presented as… artistic and made me a little melancholy about getting my food to go. It wouldn’t look like that at home.
The girl snapped open a giant paper bag, reinforced the bottom with a piece of cardboard from a case of beer, then packed up my food in another bag and gingerly set it inside. She passed it through the window just as the guy got the credit card slip for me to sign. He handed it to her then she passed it to me with a pen. I signed the slip then returned it, smiling. I thanked her, but I glanced at him again, and was startled when our eyes met. Straight on, gray eyes like a wolf, straight nose, firm lips, and blunt chin like a cologne model. Yes, cologne model was probably a better analogy, a lot less romanticized.
Like the coward I was, I jumped back into my seat, afraid he’d think I was staring… because I had been.
Taking a deep breath, I drove away without looking back.
At home, I tore into the bag. The mouthwatering aromas had nearly driven me crazy on the way. The dishes didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t eat it all, for sure, but there was nothing, not one thing, that didn’t taste scrumptious. Every bite made me moan like I had never eaten food in my life before. Just like that, I had found the absolute perfect Mediterranean restaurant. Life in Florida was looking up.