Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chapter One

Eve snapped the filter holder into the machine and jammed the go button with her thumb. It’d been three hours since her last customer, so when two couples had walked into the small coffee shop tucked away on Mercer, there’d been a flurry of activity.

Opening a coffee shop in Soho hadn’t been easy, her friends had called it suicide. In this economy, new small businesses had to be sure what they were going to do, and that there was a market for it. Otherwise rightly so, it was financial suicide.

When her grandmother died leaving a generous sum of money in to her, Eve had realized this would have been the only opportunity she would of ever had to do something like this. For as long as she could remember, she’d loved coffee. She loved the heady smell of freshly brewed coffee, you know the one that when it hit you, it nearly knocked you off your feet.

She banged the steel milk pitcher of frothed milk and like silk, it poured it into the plated cups with ease.

“Done!” she called out the back to Ria, the college student she’d hired to wait and serve in her shop. Because of the low business and the fact she’d only been open two weeks, she’d not needed anyone else but Ria and herself running Sugar.

Ria clamoured up to the counter with a loud snap of gum as she cinched her apron around her tiny waist.

“Ria, gum is not a good look around the customer’s.” She grabbed the cinnamon shaker and dusted the coffees before standing back, smiling proud at her achievement. “Best damn coffee on Mercer if I do say so myself, just pity no one is here to see it.”

Ria wedged herself in between Eve and the counter and balanced all three cups on her arm like a circus act before making her way to her cliental. “They will Eve, just wait and see.”

Eve sighed and folded her arms standing back admiring her place. She’d gone for that modern mixed classic feel with comfortable leather chairs and a few couches dotted around the place. Polished mahogany tables complimented the furniture with two leather booths at the back for intimacy if required.

The wrought iron fire place snapped and crackled in the corner as it flames danced. The color scheme was simple, dark crimson walls with rope lights that hung down on twisted steel brought life and light into to the place. She polished up the brushed steel of her machine, her pride and joy. The Espressomaster had nearly cost as much as the lease of the place, but as far as she could tell it was worth every penny.

“Uh hi,” a hand waved in front of her face knocking her back into reality. She blinked and met a wide white smile that reached deep blue eyes. His hair was short and dirty blond windswept back, that framed his strong jaw line nicely.

He looked so familiar, damn Jon Bon Jovi was standing in her coffee shop? She hadn’t seen him for well, over thirty years. They’d attended the same high school, but Eve was sure he’d have no idea who she was as they never crossed paths, well – once.

“Ah hi, sorry – I was miles away. What can I get you?”


Jon smiled and lifted the Macbook up that was under his arm. “Black Coffee and...” he glanced over at the quartet of people that were settling in front of the fire and then over to the back of the room which was empty. “A nice quiet spot, right over there.”

The coffee shop had caught his eye last time he’d been walking down Mercer, it was neatly tucked away off the street behind a little leafy courtyard. The place had been empty for weeks, and since the economy was on the slide he hadn’t expected it to change all that much so he’d been surprised to see it open.

The first thing he’d noticed when he walked in, apart from the warmth and the clean crisp look of her shop polished off with furniture for comfort, was her. Spun gold curls were loosely hooked up in some sort of clip, the kind you couldn’t help but want to twist your fingers around. Her curvy figure hugged flared jeans and a tight black tee with a dark pink splash down the front, matching the color on her walls.

She looked familiar but he couldn’t pick it, and that bugged him. He was good with faces and names, amazing considering the amount he’d taken in through his career. But it was one thing he prided himself on.

After five cigarettes and a wine, he’d stared over the same damn lyrics of a song over and over at home. It was time to move himself into a different surrounding as often that’s all it took. And this place was perfect, a little on the quiet side with less risk of being seen or accosted.

She smiled and flicked a long curl from her face back. “Sure, can I get you anything to eat?” Her pretty pink lips curved into a smile as she dusted down the front of her tee. No name tag, nothing even to spark his memory.

“No, thank you. Just the coffee...I’ll go and get set up.” He glanced down and couldn’t help notice the piles of bills and statements that were scattered around her with red pen etched all over them. Times must be pretty tough for small businesses he thought as he set up camp in the corner booth.

He laid out his iPhone, keys and wallet from his pockets and booted up his Mac to get started. The scent of spring blossom hit him before the punch of fresh coffee as she rested it down carefully in front of him.

“I can turn on the wi-fi if you want to hook into it?” she thumbed back over her shoulder.

“Thanks, but I need to probably have as less distractions as possible. That was my issue at home.”

“Yet you bring your iPhone with you?” she asked obviously amused as she folded her arms.

He picked up his wallet and opened it, “do I pay extra for the smart ass comments?” he mused, not missing the cute dimples in her cheek when she smiled.

“Not this time, maybe though if you order a second maybe I’ll throw in some more free comments.” She winked and walked away from him. He stared a little longer than he should have as her delicious hips swayed and her sun-kissed curls bounced down her back.

She’s just a woman asshole, no need to get all hot and bothered about her. He chuckled shaking his head and lifted the cup to his mouth. The kick surprised him, but the blend was smooth and punchy. Damn, well good coffee and a nice view never hurt anyone.

1 comment:

  1. Reading on new tablet and wow, discovered this one. Looks good!