Happy Birthday Laura!

I love you SFM and I hope you enjoy this little tongue-in-cheek love story.

Chapter 1

The sounds of the coffee house are going on all around me. People talking over soft acoustic music, chairs scraping against the tile floor, the bubbling of espresso shots being pulled, and the screeching of milk being steamed.

But I don't hear any of it.

Not really.

Not when the person steaming the milk is holding every part, every single piece of my attention.


He's so fucking beautiful.

Well, I think he's beautiful.

He's worked here for eight months.

He works the morning shift three times a week. The other two nights, he closes. I think he must live in the city because I know he takes public transportation. I've never seen him in a car in the mornings I wait for the coffee shop to open. Or late at night while I'm waiting for them to close up.

He's a friendly barista. People seem to like him. He's friendly in a shy sort of way. Well, sometimes I think he's shy. He does seem to enjoy talking to all the customers waiting at the bar for their drinks. It doesn't bother me, really. Except when he's talking to pretty girls.

Like he is right now.

But I'll just breathe in deeply while he chats with her. I'll pretend for just this moment that it's me standing up there talking to him. Laughing at whatever it is he's saying to her. I'll pretend that I'm not here at the long communal table across from the bar watching him from a distance. Normally, I would sit at one of the small private tables because I'm shy and I have personal space issues. But this seat is the best seat in the house to watch him. It's a perfect view, really. I can just hide behind the screen of my laptop, pretending to write, pretending to work on something important. When really there is nothing important.

There's just me.


He's twenty-two. Just one year older than me. I only know his age because I overheard him say it to someone six months ago. I think he's in school. I've seen him sometimes before his shift starts. He sits at the corner table away from the crowd, and he studies, he types, he writes and reads. And he's left-handed. I only know that because they way he holds a pencil is just too fucking cute. Is it possible that there is a perfect way to hold a pencil?

The answer is yes.

Because the way he does it is definitely perfect.

Oh, good. The girl is leaving.


He probably only flirts with her to get good tips.

But come to think of it... I always give him a two dollar tip on a three dollar drink, and he's never once flirted with me.

I suppose that shouldn't matter, though. I would probably die if he ever flirted with me. I would just expire right there on the floor in front of the bar.

Yes, it's a good thing he never flirts with me.

I jump as someone pulls the chair out right beside me. I'm just about to close the blank open document on the screen, but then I quickly remember that my laptop background is a grainy picture of him working behind the bar that I creepy-snapped with my phone while no one was looking.


The blank, white screen is less embarrassing.

"I know what you're doing," the soft, deep voice beside me says so lowly only I can hear it.

"Moving to a different seat," I say, not even bothering to look at him. Who is this guy talking to me like he knows me? Does it look like I want anyone to talk to me? I should have put on those hipster headphones my parents got me for my birthday.

"Don't do that, Bella," he murmurs. "If you move, you won't be able to watch him anymore. That's what you're doing, isn't it? Watching him? I know you're always watching him."

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