Happy Valentine's Day. The theme for this Romance Blog Fest is love at first sight or not so much. I have been debating whether or not I should share this but here is a blub from my work in progress. It is the first meeting of Azure and Xander.
Azure was putting the bracelet in a box when the front door opened, ringing a bell in the back. She removed her polishing gloves and released her ponytail. She moved her hair forward covering the long scar on the right side of her face. She didn’t know how she had gotten it—she just knew it was ugly and she hated it. She picked up the box and walked out.
Azure froze when she found herself gazing into the dark golden brown eyes of Xander Shah. She looked past him and saw his 1989 Porsche 959 parked out in front. The sun was just setting behind the mountain bathing the car in the oranges and red of the sunset. She hadn’t realized that it had taken her so long to finish the bracelet.
“Can I help you?” she asked, holding in a sigh.
It was just another reminder life was unfair to those without parents.
Xander smiled slightly then handed her a piece of paper. She noticed he had on black leather gloves. He always wore gloves. To match his car. She rolled her eyes annoyed he wouldn’t even talk to her. Taking a deep breath she took the paper. It was blank.
“Is this some kind of joke?” She threw the paper back at him. Her temper rose. He frowned and then looked at the paper. Digging into his pocket, he produced another piece. Azure opened it and read:
I’m here to pick up my mom’s bracelet.
Azure had heard he didn’t like to talk much, but this was ridiculous. She looked up from the note and met his eyes. They were cold and daring her to challenge him. Azure narrowed her eyes, deciding to take the challenge. He always got what he wanted with no problems. She had watched the entire town fawn over him and his brother. They weren't that cute. “I need to see your ID,” Azure said.
He smirked, pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and threw his driver’s license down on the counter. Azure glanced at it, trying not to show too much interest, but couldn’t help herself. She noticed it was from some country she didn’t know existed.
Huh, he just turned eighteen not too long ago. She quickly nodded and put the box in a bag with a receipt and handed it to him.
“That will be three hundred dollars. Mr. Shah.”
After replacing his driver’s license, Xander pulled some bills out of his wallet and carelessly tossed them on the counter. She looked at them confused. Judging by the writing on the bills, she guessed they were from U.S.S.R. She had never seen foreign money in real life. “What am I suppose to do with these?”
He looked down and quickly scooped them up before pulling more money out of his pockets. He had currency from several different countries and not one of them was American.
Azure looked down at the crumpled bills. The longing of unfulfilled dreams filled her. What would it be like to travel to all those different countries?
Azure grabbed Xander’s hand to prevent him from searching through the bills for the right amount.
“It’s alright.” She said grabbing his hand. A surge of warmth shot through her arm. He quickly pulled his hand back—hesitated—then ran his fingers through his thick black hair. She noticed the light playing with the different colors of reds and browns in his hair. She felt her cheeks get hot and her heart speed up.
Stupid, weak female hormones. No matter how much she tried to control her body it always seemed to have a mind of its own.
Azure suddenly felt foolish. He didn’t even want her to touch him and she was admiring his hair. “Here, just take the bracelet and you can come in and pay tomorrow.” She threw the bag at him and turned to go back to work. Her hand was on the door, but Xander was blocking her path. She looked back over the counter and then back at him. She didn’t like the fact she had to look up at him.
“How did you get here?” She rose her hand pointing. “You were right there.”
Azure thought he looked like he was glowing, but the lights must be playing tricks on her. He reached down and pulled her sleeve back so he could look at her wrist. She quickly pulled away and put some space between them, taking with her a whiff of his intoxicating aroma. He smelled like a pine tree that had been cut by an orange. It took everything in her power not to pull him to her and take another big whiff. What was he doing to her?
“Xand are you ready—,” Ammar cut off talking. “Well hello.” he came sashaying up to the counter.
“Oh good grief.” Azure turned, groaning. Ammar was every feminist’s worst nightmare. He was still stuck in the dark ages when it came to women’s rights. Of course none of this matter. The girls still flocked to him. Maybe it was because his eyes were the most vibrant purple anyone had ever seen. The girl’s put up with his chauvinism.
“What do you want?” Azure asked, irritated. Why did she make that pact with Lily of controlling her temper today?
“Do you always dress like a lumberjack or is that just to hide your curves?” Ammar asked, smiling.
Azure glared at him. Ammar was a pig. She stood there trying to think of something smart to say. “Again, what do you want?”
“You. Me. No clothes.” Ammar smiled seductively and raised one eyebrow.
Azure made a gagging noise. “Wow! I think I almost lost my lunch. If I ever need to purge myself, I’ll be sure to come find you.”
Ammar’s smile faltered for a minute and then got bigger. “Do you know the only thing girls are good for?”
Azure looked at Ammar then at Xander who shifted his weight, but kept his face free of emotion.
“Beating the crap out of you.” Azure switched her gaze back to Ammar.
His smile left his face. “No puny girl is going to disrespect me.” He raised his gloved hand and took several steps toward her, but was blocked by the counter.
“Respect is something earned. I don’t remember you earning it. Now leave.” Azure moved around the counter and walked to the door, pushing it open. She was angry and wanted to hit something. Her insides were at war.
Ammar stormed towards her. “You are nothing. You are just a worthless girl who should be at home cooking my meals.”
Azure balled up her fist, but before she could do anything Xander's broad shoulders were blocking her. How did he move so fast? One minute he was behind the counter and the next he was standing in front of her.
“Ammar go wait by the car,” Xander said speaking for the first time.
Azure had never heard him speak. His voice was both sexy and authoritative. She winced at the thought.
“How did you get here so fast?” Azure kept glaring at them back and forth. Ammar glanced at Xander and Azure thought she saw a warning pass between them.
Xander turned gazing down at her. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was here.”
Azure’s eyes widened. “No you weren’t. And why are you talking now?”
Xander stared at her, but didn’t say anything.
What a jerk!
“GET OUT! I don’t need the town playboys coming in here and thinking they are better than me.” Azure’s face got hot. She felt her insides boiling with fury and hurt.
“But we are,” Ammar said, poking his head around Xander.
That was it. Azure pushed Xander out of the way and swung her fist hard, keeping her eyes on the target. Xander jumped back up, before she could stop her fist connected with his face.
His head snapped back and a small groan escaped his lips. Ammar watched with his mouth open, speechless.
“OW!” Azure waved her hand trying to get the fire that was burning her knuckles to stop. She looked down at it.
Shock waves coursed through her body as the pain intensified. Xander’s face revealed nothing. He stood there like he was waiting for something. She didn’t know what.
When nothing happened Xander gaped at her. For a moment his eyes showed surprise then it vanished.
“Are you okay?” he asked, concern slipping through his emotionless mask.
“Are you nuts?” Azure stared at him. “How are you still standing?”
Xander looked at her dumbfounded. Azure stepped back putting more space between them. She looked out the window and understanding crept into her mind. “You’re setting me up. Where is the sheriff? Is he waiting for me in the back room?” She moved towards the back room. She felt a light touch on her shoulder. She turned quickly, grabbing Xander’s hand and threw it off her.
“I didn’t come in here to get you trouble. I just came to pick up the bracelet,” Xander said softly. “And I never get knocked down by a punch.” His eyes sparkled.
“Your presence is no longer welcome,” she snapped, as she walked towards the front door and pushed it open again. The street lights were starting to flicker on.
Ammar and Xander looked at each other with raised eyebrows then walked to the door.
“This is the reason that women should have never won the right to vote,” Ammar passed her.
“Ah poor Ammar, having your brother protect you from getting leveled by a girl must really hurt that ego of yours.” Azure shot back.
Ammar grunted as he walked out to the darkened street.
Xander stepped closer, but instead of leaving, he stopped and looked down at her. Azure could feel his eyes on her face, but she refused to look at him. “I really wasn’t trying to set you up.”
Azure’s head snapped up. She looked into Xander’s eyes. There was something about them she hadn’t noticed before—recognition? She shook her head and tried to look away, but found herself peering into them again. He didn’t seem too anxious to look away either. Her body felt warm and something stirred in the pit of her stomach.
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