Checkout Girl

One vanilla latte later, and Evelyn White finds that she can't seem to get this guy that she served that day off of her mind. What happens when this 'guy' turns out to be Harry Styles - and she didn't even notice?

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3. Blueberry Muffin

‘I’m sorry, ma’am,’ I begin tenderly, ‘we seem to be out of those. Can I get you something different today?’

Silence: a killer blow. The older woman stares, wide-eyed, into my face, those pursed lips quivering as they shrivel further into themselves – if that was even a possibility. ‘No.’

‘I hear the brownies are great–’ I begin.

‘I don’t want no brownie!’ she snaps, before whipping around and storming from the shop in a stereotypical-fleeing-villain kind of way. A cape would have just made it. Sighing slightly, I stare after her form as it slowly disappears into the bustling New York streets, and pour her cappuccinos down the sink. Did all of the customers have to be so strange?

That late afternoon drag had begun, the wedges of sunlight that had started their crawl across the shop floor now beginning to meet the toes of my shoes. The boredom of the late afternoon blues along with a little sleep deprivation caused me to doze for what seemed like mere moments, but it was only when there came a knock on the glass counter that I realised there was a customer. Immediate thought: again, what was with knocking on the counter? Rude.

‘I hear the blueberry muffins are to die for in this joint,’ comes a familiar voice, and I blink several times. Green eyes, curly hair, British.

It took me a moment but I got there eventually. ‘I’m sorry, sir,’ I say in the same level tone I used with the stereotypical-villain-lady, ‘but we’re out of those today. Is there anything else I can get you?’

He leans forward a little, peering into the glass counter, his expression thoughtful. ‘Hmm, that is a shame,’ he murmurs, before straightening suddenly. ‘What do you suggest I do about the blueberry muffin shortage?’

‘Well...’I begin awkwardly, ‘you could always–’

‘I hear they do great blueberry muffins in the diner across the street,’ he says with a cheeky smile, before winking exaggeratedly.

I narrow my eyes a little. ‘I’m not sure I know what you mean...’

He smiles an easy smile. ‘I was wondering whether you wanted to come with me to get that blueberry muffin. You know, just to see if it’s as good as the legend says...’

I cannot help but smirk at this. ‘I’ve lived in New York my whole life and I’ve never heard of such a legend.’

Leaning over the counter, I can see flecks of brown in his dancing irises. ‘Maybe you’re just a little out of touch with the city.’

I raise my eyebrows a little and take a step back, my arms folding across my chest. ‘What are you trying to suggest?’

He straightens suddenly, shrugging his great big shoulders in a childlike gesture as his arms also weave themselves together to fold across his broad chest. His shirt was open a little, and I couldn’t help but notice the two tattooed birds peeking out from the soft cotton. ‘I didn’t catch your name,’ he says softly.

Pause – sex pest or no sex pest? By the sound of what had Allie said, he couldn’t really be that much of a sex pest. What with being in that massively-famous-band-that-was-so-famous-that-I-didn’t-even-know-who-they-were. ‘Evelyn,’ I reply, ‘and yours?’

And there it was: the first glance of that fleeting look that passed through the hazy green of his eyes. A look of complete surprise and yet complete awe all bundled into one. Did I do that to him? Jesus, I don’t see how. A quick-fire twitch flickered across his mouth, and he took one step toward the counter so that his jacket was brushing the countertop before unwinding his arms and stretching a hand out toward me. I stare at it a moment, a burning heat beginning to rise in my apple cheeks. ‘I’m Harry.’

After a moment of uncomfortable pause, I force a smile and place my own hand in his. ‘Nice to meet you, Harry.’

His hand is soft in mine, and I find myself completely lost in the fact that this guy – this blindingly hot guy, might I just add – seemed to be...well, flirting if that was the right word. With me.

But, on that immediate thought, that just didn’t seem possible. Not for me. And so I wrench my hand away as the door above the frame rings and in hobbles Howard, the horn-rimmed elderly man that came in every day for the same milky tea and cinnamon bun. ‘Hey, Mr Green,’ I call out, ‘how are you doing today?’

‘I’m doing great thanks, honey,’ he replies, his gravelly voice quivering, ‘I’ll just sit down here, I think.’

‘Okay, sir,’ I say with a smile, ‘I’ll bring your order over in just a minute.’ He mumbles his thanks and lowers himself into the leather sofa in the corner.

Just as I reach for a plate from the counter, Harry catches my hands and intertwines his fingers with my own: my eyes, needless to say, practically pop from their usually-sturdy sockets. ‘Come out with me tonight.’

A frown ripples its way across the usual serenity of my forehead. ‘What?’ I whisper.

‘Come out with me tonight,’ he repeats.

‘But I hardly know you,’ I say, before adding, ‘actually, no. I don’t know you at all...’

And there it was again: that look of surprise and awe all mixed together. His eyes are doing their little jig again too. ‘Isn’t that just all part of the fun?’ he murmurs.

I shake my head incredulously. ‘Not if the fun involves you being a raving sex pest, it’s not...’

His laugh is louder this time and so infectious that I struggle not to do the same. ‘I can promise you that I’m not a sex pest.’

‘That means nothing to me,’ I reply, ‘you could be lying, after all.’

He rolls his eyes. ‘Then meet me at Times Square,’ he says. His grip has not relinquished on my hands, and Howard was beginning to squint at us from his corner. ‘There’ll be plenty of people around – my sex-pest side can’t really come into fruition then.’ He is smiling now.

‘I don’t know...’ I begin, looking away.

Suddenly, there is a sharp tap on the glass window of the shop and a guy in a heavy hood is gesturing for Harry to hurry up. ‘Red steps in Times Square, eight o’clock tonight,’ he says as his grip falls away and he starts away from me.

I fumble for my words before beginning with, ‘I don’t know about–’ but my words are cut off abruptly by the sharp snap of the door closing. He taps on the glass once, winks conspiratorially, before dragging his hood over his head and disappearing into a waiting car.

What the actual fuck.

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