What went through his mind at that moment went something like, “oh please, please say it more than once. Say it for the rest of your life….You’re an idiot, Nathan. A real idiot.”
To her he said, “it’s more like der-row, no emphasis on either syllable.”
She caught herself staring at his mouth when he spoke. Cute and nerdy? Suddenly she found him very sexy. With his sexy mouth and sexy eyes, hazel, she thought though she couldn’t quite tell in the dark, oh and his sexy smile and sexy… a theme was definitely forming. Dr. Sexy was sexy. Legacy would think so too and she’d seen him first. Her heart fluttered and he laughed at something. Had she made a face? She didn’t even know what she’d done or said but it made his face light up. Turning slightly, she headed towards the podium. She hoped they’d continue talking after.
“Ow,” she yelped.
He stepped up beside her, instinctively putting a hand on her arm. “Are you alright?”
“My ankle… my shoe is stuck.” She looked down and the heel of her shoe was wrapped up in the stray end of a piece of electrical tape holding a thick cord to the floor.
“So much for safety,” he said. His demeanor changing and suddenly springing into action. It was just a shoe and just a twisted ankle, but it was a pretty little ankle and she was in a crisis. He knelt in front of her and she put her hands on his shoulders for balance and then thinking better, she took them off.
He looked up at her and smiled broadly and she took hold of him again.
Her delicate fingers on him made him wish he could stop time. He looked back down to attend to her shoe when he noticed, for the first time, the scar cutting down her middle. Inhaling sharply Nathan gripped her leg. He didn’t mean to but suddenly, this person who he’d met, maybe 10 minutes before, was making his whole world spin and with one hand on her shoe and one on her shapely calf, he needed her to anchor him. He turned his eyes to her. Her dress was snug and he could see her aortic pulse rippling the fabric, quickly. He was probably the only person on the planet who’d have noticed such a thing but he was who he was and from this angle, on his knees in front of her, it was easy to spot. She licked her lips and he thought she was going to say something but she only looked at him, biting her lip.
“This would be easier if you took it off,” he whispered.
She obliged, lifting her heel and balancing with her hand on his head, fingers laced, unintentionally through a bit of his hair. He unbuckled her shoe and slipped it off while she balanced, impressively, on the other high heel.
With shoe in hand, Nate stood, holding the delicate heel in one hand while he tugged gently on the tape.
“Almost have it.” he winked at her, aware that she watched him intently. He took extra care not to loosen any of the little crystals that encrusted the heel.
“Thank you,” Carrie beamed at him, “I know this is probably way below your pay grade.”
“Or, way above,” he observed, teasing her. “These shoes probably cost more than my car.”
“Depends on what you drive, I guess.” God, he was cute.
A petite redhead slipped behind the partition. “Ms. Davison? We’re ready,” she announced.
“Oh no,” Carrie’s eyes widened. “Oh, well.” she shrugged and trotted off stage, one shoe on and one shoe off, leaving him standing there wondering what had just happened to him.
If she’d been at all affected, and he was sure she had been, she showed no signs of it as she delighted the crowd of nearly 800 people.