She sat staring at ten perfectly formed and painted fingernails.  She had opted for a soft, pink color in concession to the warming spring weather.  With a smile she did not really feel, she thanked and paid the woman seated across from her.  The substantial tip elicited a bright and cheery, “Thank you, Lady and you come again.  Okay?”  She simply nodded and exited the small nail shop that mimicked twenty others along this stretch of the boulevard.  She had stopped in on a whim looking for a distraction as well as any reason to delay returning home. 

They were fighting and she had no desire to go another ten rounds at the moment.  She thought she remembered a little espresso stand around the corner, she had frequented years ago.  A bit of an old-fashioned, internet café with the most delightful white chocolate –  white coffee concoction.  She felt like indulging herself and they usually had a few computers available.  She didn’t even have her laptop.  She had been so upset when she left that it hadn’t crossed her mind until much later that she’d left it behind. 

It was the second fight in as many days.  She hated it when he would goad her into losing her composure, then step back all smug and in control only making her look more the raving lunatic.  Last night had been so very bad.  She was humiliated at having let herself be lured into the same old trap.  Why was it always she that ending up screaming hateful things in a fit of rage?  How was it he so played her . . . a virtuoso.  Before it got that far today, she had grabbed her clutch and beat it out of there, pleading a need to complete some phantom chore. 

After all it was a beautiful day and why should she allow him to ruin that for her.  A genuine smile curved her glossy, pink lips.  The bounce came back into her step as she made her way to the coffee shop.  She could enjoy the hot brew and catch up on some long past due e-mail replies.  She was slowly feeling more her usual upbeat self with the prospect. 

Once she had concluded her transaction with the barista, she scanned the room cup in hand for an available computer.  Her breath caught when she saw him sitting alone in the corner frantically beating on the keyboard of the laptop in front of him.  Quickly, she turned back to the counter barely able to resist the urge to flee the suddenly tiny space.  Had he seen her?  No, he was obviously engrossed with his passion.  

A knowing smile erupted as she sensed his gaze upon her.  She leisurely turned to face him.  Her calm returned to her as her eyes met his.  Moving like a feline predator, she gracefully closed the open space between them.  Once before him, her laughter broke the awkward silence.  In a sultry voice all she said was . . .  “Been waiting long?”   His deep baritone chuckle filled the room and he replied, “You’re late.”

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