This is a story that was once posted on Lit that has been edited, etc. Let's get freaky. Enjoy!
When my boss told me I had to work Valentine’s Day, I took it in stride. Most of my coworkers have significant others and I knew it would mean a lot to them to have off. I was free and I could definitely use some more cash.
But when I heard Scott was working with me, I nearly shit myself in fury.
I never hated anyone until I met Scott. I’m not being dramatic using that word, either; I loathe his very being. Sometimes people say that because they’re dramatic and they just throw the word around. I am not one of those people.
I guess that sounds mean, but if you had to put up with his lazy hipster ass almost every day you’d be saying the same thing.
He interrupts me talking to customers and friends all the time. I bitch and moan about how he never cleans up after himself, about how he drifts in to work nearly twenty minutes late, about how fucking long it takes him to make a basic latte and he takes all my ranting with a patient smile. He hardly makes eye contact so I don’t know if he hears me when I shout out an order to him, and when he speaks he does it as slowly as he does everything else. I’m sure it’s to piss me off.
Scott’s a few years older than me with shaggy brown hair and brown eyes that normally droop from ever-present fatigue. He wears the same clothes every day: tattered jeans and nondescript t-shirts that fit probably a little too well. He frequently whips out his skinny jeans, too. You know the type. My mother certainly wouldn’t approve.
His eyelashes are long and thick, almost like a girl’s, and if he does look at me, he sweeps them up in a deliberate and slow motion. It freaks me out. He’s not cute but he’s not ugly. I don’t know what he is and you know what? I don’t care.
The real reason why he drives me nuts is on top of his apathetic attitude, and the blatant disrespect for me and our other coworkers, he likes to fuck with me.
At first I thought it was just part of his personality, but I’m realizing now that he knows he gets under my skin. He’s noticed the two of us are total opposites and that he drives me completely crazy. He revels in this. He flirts with cute customers and throws me strange smirks I can’t figure out. He calls me Katie even though I’ve said I go by Kate a hundred times. He somehow knows things about me--stuff I’ve brought up once or twice to other people--and sprinkles facts about me to customers I’m serving.
“Did you know Katie had a pet gerbil named Nostradamus growing up?”
“Katie can’t stand county music, right, Katie?”
“Oh, Katie’s single for sure. You should give her your number.”
It’s embarrassing and alarming that he does this. Even more spooky is that he listens.
Scott is on time for once on February 14th. I must look surprised because those long lashes flick up and his eyes twinkle. He enjoys catching me off guard.
The sight of him provokes me like always, and just as I open my mouth to fling some really good (and planned) insult toward him, he starts talking.
“Class got out early today,” he says. More like mumbles. Sometimes I have to ask him to repeat an order more than three times before I can make out some version of what he’s saying.
I make a noncommittal noise and nod at the girl who I’m replacing for the long night shift. Glancing at the clock, I’m unfortunately assured it’s only 3PM. Scott and I have seven long hours ahead of us, plus at least a half hour of clean up, with just the two of us for company. It’s a rainy Thursday and everyone is out to romantic dinners; not many people are going to come in for a cup of overpriced coffee.
Scott fills up the holder of straws on the counter. He manages to make it look more like a game than a task at work. The sight annoys me, especially when he manages to spill more on the counter than in the jar.
“Do you need help with that?” My voice is oozing sarcasm. I can’t believe he’s so incapable of performing a simple task.
He looks over at me with a lazy smile. My face heats up with anger and I wonder whether or not I’d get fired if I threw some burning coffee at him. Ugh.
“No, but that guy probably does,” Scott says, pointing at the register.
An older man is waiting impatiently for me to come over. I rush over and help him, beyond flustered. I ignore Scott’s soft snicker. We’re busy for a bit, which means I don’t have time to obsess over how much I detest Scott and all he stands for.
Then the crowd dwindles and we’re left with a few regulars who sit at tables, minding their own business. I should follow their example but Scott is back with the straws and I can’t stop staring at his hands. It’s so silly but they’re large, coarse and tan. Not girly or delicate like one would imagine. It’s probably from playing the guitar and helping out his father with fixing stuff around the house (I’ll admit I’ve listened to things about him, too).
I wonder what they must feel like. There is a big scar on his left hand between his thumb and pointer finger. I trace the veins in them with my eyes, unaware he’s caught me.
“You seriously don’t need to supervise me on this.”
I look up and he’s smiling a bit. His messy hair hangs over part of his face and my hand desperately wants to push it back for him. Then the bell on the door rings and a guy saunters over, grinning at Scott.
My loathsome coworker stops what he’s doing and laughs, exchanging a weird hand thing with this guy. I never understood secret handshakes and I hate it even more when I see older guys doing them. I assume they’re friends and go about my business, restocking some heart-shaped cookies. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t eavesdropping.
“You coming tonight, man?”
Scott ruffles his hair and offers a genuine smile, which is something to behold. I hold back a gasp. “I’m working kinda late.”
“Don’t be such a pussy! We’re not even heading over there until 12. Text me when you’re out.” The friend fiddles with his phone. “Kendra is gonna be there. We have to go!”
Scott glances at me and I flinch, dropping a cookie on the floor. I probably blush a trillion different shades of red but he’s not paying attention to me anymore.
“Maybe... I’ll text you. I have to get back to work, k?”
“Later,” the friend says, disappearing out the door without another word.
Scott shuffles over to help a customer while I pick up the ruined heart from the ground. I feel odd. I’m not sure what’s harder for me to accept--that Scott has a social life or that some girl named Kendra might be enough of an inclination to go to some kegger. I kind of imagined him strumming a guitar in some stoner’s basement whenever he got off work or skipped class, lost in a haze of smoke. I never pictured him being social, like going to parties, and I never thought of him having a girlfriend. Even now it’s hard picturing Scott kissing someone.
He has almost girlish lips. They look kinda soft, and--fine--perfect. I bet he wouldn't be that bad a kisser.
Some spilled coffee on the counter requires cleaning up, and as I wipe it away I try to concoct a mental picture of what kind of girl Scott would go for. Waif-like. Hipster, like him. Skinny jeans. Shirts with obscure band names on them. Black nail polish. Girls coated in irony and faux jadedness. Kendra must be like this, even if her name doesn’t totally match that image in my head.
“Don’t worry,” Scott’s deep voice murmurs, distracting me from my bizarre fantasy of his personal life. “If I go to that party tonight, I won’t leave early or anything.”
I lean against the counter and give him the eye. “That’s only because you know I’d tell Charlotte.”
Scott’s grin is so obnoxious. “Charlotte probably wouldn’t care.”
Charlotte is our manager and my good friend, but he’s right... She probably wouldn’t. She has a soft spot for Scott which is another reason his behavior and lack of punishment grate on my nerves. I try to get her to do shit to him all the time but she just looks at me with a tired expression and says for the millionth time, “He’s a nice guy, Kate. Really.”
“How come you don’t go out a lot?”
Scott’s question drags me out of my head. I toss my dirty rag away and spin to glare at him. “I go out.”
“I never see you anywhere.”
“That’s not a surprise, considering the places you probably hang out.”
Scott leans his back against the counter, regarding me with relaxed eyes. “Are you feeling okay today? You’re not yourself. Your zingers suck tonight.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Charlotte told me about your ex,” he tells me. Out of fucking nowhere.
Heat explodes over my face. “Excuse me?”
“I just asked her, you know, when you started working here why you were such a bitch to me. She said it was your defense mechanism.”
“That is so inappropriate! And don't call me a bitch!”
I realize I’m shouting when an older man sitting at a table not too far away from us glances up, concern coloring his face. I smile at him and turn back around to face Scott.
Scott shrugs (ugh!) and slides a hand through his messy hair. “You were really nasty to me. I wanted to know if I did something so I could apologize. I tried to ask you once and you nearly chopped off my dick.”
“What the hell did she tell you?” I’m so mad and shocked I can only whisper.
If I didn’t know him better, I would think he is blushing. “Just that it wasn’t specifically me who pissed you off. Like, I didn’t do anything or whatever. She said you were going through a tough time.”
A customer walks in. Scott steps right up to handle it, giving me a moment. I rub my eyes and am shocked to find some tears there.
It’s all true. I had a horrendous breakup two months ago. I’d moved to the city just to be with him. I gave up everything and put a lot on hold because I was obsessed, addicted to being near him. I thought we had a love affair like I’d read about it books. Books with happy endings. I thought it was romantic that I turned down some awesome opportunities, that I isolated myself from my family, just to be with him. I never dreamed it would turn into just another tragic love story.
“Are you okay?”
Scott stands over me, watching me far too closely. I don’t like this shift in our relationship. I want him to go back to being the weirdo coworker who gives subtly gives me a hard time. I definitely don’t want him to look like he knows me.
“I’d be fine if you left me alone.”
The small fridge where we keep milk and cream is running low. I hold up an empty carton and say I’m going to get some more, rushing out to escape his eyes.
Hilary walks in around dinnertime and I fight the desire to gag. She’s all smiles and bubblegum. We used to be friends but we’re not anymore. She’s my ex’s sister.
“Oh my God, Kate, you’re working on Valentine’s Day?! That’s sooo sad.”
“What can I get for you?” Scott asks her.
She swings her head at him and her ponytail follows. In spite of the guy she’s got twiddling his thumbs next to her, she turns on a coy grin for Scott. “Nonfat latte, sweetie.”
Ugh. I hate when people of the same age or younger call you sweetie.
“Sooo,” she draws out, “what have you been up to?”
I’m acutely aware of Scott’s proximity. “Not much. How about you?”
She shrugs. “This and that. I really miss you, Kate. Things haven’t been the same since... well.” She puts her arms out helplessly.
“Jake misses you, you know.”
“That sucks for him,” I say and her pretty eyes grow wide.
She didn’t expect me to be a bitch, I guess.
"I don't think he meant to be so harsh."
I pick up a cloth and run it over the counter. "Uh-huh."
She picks up her latte and says goodbye.
Thankfully Scott doesn’t ask me about it. He doesn’t say anything.
But I can still sense his stare.
We’re quiet for the rest of the shift. It’s nearly closing time and our last customer dawdles by their table for a minute before throwing us a smile and heading out. He wishes us a happy Valentine’s day as if we’re a couple or something. Yuck.
I rush over and lock the door and breathe for what feels like the first time all night.
I expect Scott to be scrubbing the machines when I turn around, like usual, so I shriek a little when I turn and almost am nose-to-nose with him.
“I didn’t mean to upset you before. I’ve been looking for a way to bring it up, you know. Air it out. See if maybe we could be friends?” He’s smiling softly and--surprise--I hate him for it. “It wasn’t the right time before. I’m sorry.”
“I don’t want to be friends with you.” The words are out before I can even think about them, taste them to make sure they’re true.
He doesn’t look affected. “Like I said, I only wanted to clear the air. You being hostile to me isn’t the best work environment.”
“Well you strolling in a half hour late smelling like you just smoked an entire field of marijuana isn’t professional, either!”
He just smiles at me. Then the prick goes over to the machines and starts scrubbing.
“What the hell is your problem? Are you deliberately trying to start shit with me?”
“No,” he sighs, not looking at me, “that’s what you’ve been doing since we’ve met and I’ve been trying to figure out why. You’re not a total man-hater. You’re nice to the other guys who work here, to customers that hit on you, etcetera. It’s just me.” His dark eyes flick to mine. “I was developing a complex.”
“Oh, please. I’m not just mean to you.”
“Do I remind you of him or something?”
I snort. “No. Not at all.”
Jake was big and strong. A jock. Sometimes in the middle of making out with him I’d giggle like I was twelve again- that I was finally kissing the popular boy. That should have been a big hint our whole relationship was a fantasy- an illusion. Jake didn’t listen to me when I spoke. Not really. He knew what I liked to eat, where to touch me on my body, and how to get me weak in the knees and heart- but he didn’t know about Nostradamus. And he listened to country music all the fucking time.
“Should I take that as a compliment?”
I look up and Scott is smiling at me- the same way he smiled at his friend earlier. It’s almost too much and yet not enough. What an odd, terrifying sensation.
“I don’t know. No. Maybe. And wipe that grin off your face.”
He puts the faucet on and rolls up his sleeves. I swallow at the sight of the quiet strength in his forearms. His smile is faint but still there. “Okay, I will.”
Clean up is done and there’s nothing left to say. Everything is the same as it was when the night began, and yet something feels like it’s shifted. A breakthrough has been made, I guess. I don’t like thinking that. It’s like I’ve lost. But when Scott smiles at me as he locks the door, I don’t care.
I can’t help it. I don’t exactly hate him anymore. And it isn't exactly healthy to hold onto all that hate, anyway. Even Dr. Oz says so.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he says, tugging on his hat.
It’s freezing outside, I realize. I burrow into my coat and watch him.
“Yeah,” I whisper. For the first time that day, I allow myself to feel sad I’m alone. That Jake destroyed me. That all I have is sappy romantic comedies and Ben & Jerry to go home to.
As I turn to go, Scott calls me back.
I spin back and see Scott holding out a heart cookie for me. “I put the money in the register for it. Don’t worry.”
How sad is it that he feels he has to tell me that. As much as I detest him, I would never suspect him of stealing.
I take the cookie slowly, like it’ll explode any minute. My heart stops. My mind stops. I stop.
He stares at me. I stare at him. An unanswered question hangs in the air like our breath.
Will we? Won’t we?
And then I rush towards him, tackling him against the brick building behind him, and kiss him right on the lips. Snow rushes down at us and it’s like a fucking dream that I never want to wake up from.
I feel his phone vibrating, though, and I taste cigarettes on his tongue. The dream is fading and reality is bursting its way in.
“I asked to work tonight,” he whispers wetly against my mouth. “I’ve liked you since I started.”
“Really. I just didn’t know how to approach you.”
“I hated you at first sight.”
Scott nibbles my ear and I shudder. “No you didn’t. Not really. You’re just hurt and afraid.” He pulls back. “You don’t know me because you haven’t given yourself a chance to, but I promise- I’ll never hurt you. It’s just not in my nature.”
I believe him, goddamnit. My mouth is on his even though his lips are still moving, even though words are still coming out.
I pull him towards the coffee shop and open it back up.
“Are we supposed to-”
“Shh,” I tell him.
No, we’re not supposed to but Charlotte will probably be thrilled after she finds out I’ve fucked the hipster.
Because that’s just what I plan on doing.
The back room is perfect. It’s faintly lit and it smells like my favorite drug- coffee. Bags upon bags of beans are stocked up, ready for a makeshift bed. This is so not me, breaking the rules and taking advantage of my privileges. He’s already a bad influence on me. I just thank God there aren't security cameras back here.
He’s grinning when I can finally bear to look at him.
“I didn’t know you had it in you,” he tells me.
“What? To be bad?”
“No.” He moves closer, kissing up my arm. At my elbow he murmurs, “To let go.”
We collapse on the bags of coffee, still in our winter clothes. He unravels my scarf and pants hotly against my neck.
“Kate... I’ve wanted you so long.”
“Who’s Kendra?” I blurt like a freaking moron.
He predictably pulls away, his face twisted in confusion. Then he bursts out laughing. “Just a girl. I think my friend brought her up before to make you jealous.” His hand slides up my jeans and cups my ass through the denim. “He knows that I like you.”
“I see,” I laugh, smiling for the first time all day.
Scott pecks the corner of my mouth. “I love seeing you smile. It’s rare for me.”
“I’m sorry I’ve been such a bitch,” I whisper.
His lips tell me not to worry about it as they move against my own, his tongue sliding against mine in an endless kiss. Our bodies writhe against the other's. I can feel his excitement between my legs and suddenly the most important thing in the world is getting him inside me.
He must sense the urgency, too, because he rips off my coat and yanks up my shirt. His eyes hold mine as he palms my bra-covered breasts. So unlike other boys, he’s more captivated by my reaction than by the sight of him holding the most intimate parts of my body.
It’s cold in here but we’re both sweating, the fever of wanting the other taking over. He tears off his own jacket and quickly removes his jeans. I reach in his boxers to grab hold of him and he grunts in surprise and pleasure.
“You’re not like I thought you’d be,” he stammers.
“Ditto.” I move my hand around, thrilling in touching his cock, in knowing this incredibly private part of him. He’s thicker than I’m accustomed to. Precum is dribbling out, dampening the fabric of his boxers. I pull him out and he awkwardly shimmies out of the boxers.
“Yeah,” he groans when I pick up the pace.
Scott unzips my jeans slowly. The sounds of our mutual hurried breathing, the humming of the fridge, and the clicking of the teeth of my zipper are enough to send a flip in my belly. The soundtrack of having sex is one of my favorites.
I’m wet and he knows it. His desire-drenched stare tells me so.
His eyes widen when he gets those fingers inside my panties, however, and he finds out just how wet I am.
“You’d have to be a fucking moron to leave you.” He licks up my chest.
“Shh. Enough talking. I don’t want to talk.”
“Because you hate me?” For the first time Scott sounds self-conscious.
Ruffling his hair, I lift my body to his. “I wish I could. You were right: I never hated you. Not really. I wanted to, though, you goddamn hipster.”
He kisses me, biting my lower lip. My jeans fall away. My panties vanish. He tears open a condom I never saw him pull out and he shifts his hand down to put it on.
His eyes take mine and we’re completely serious as he glides in, slow and full. I shut my eyes to the pleasure, to the intensity in Scott’s own eyes.
“Look at me.” It's an order. An order. Scott never orders me to do anything. In my shock my eyelids flutter open, forgetting that his passion is what frightened me in the first place. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
And then we’re both lost in a flurry of bumping hips and surging spines. His hands are all over me, dancing across my bouncing breasts, my clit, my ass.
He’s driving into me so fast now, his brown eyes sparking with bits of green. I’ve never seen him do anything with as much energy and determination as he’s doing me. He’s saying all crazy things.
“I think I could love you.”
“I’ve wanted you since the first time I saw you.”
A bag tears beneath me. Beans fly out underneath my ass. Our fingers thread together and seep into the coffee. It’s so fucking hot.
“Yes!” I cry. I’m on the edge.
His fingers bring me closer, teasing me where we meet. Then I teeter over, crunching down into the beans, fighting to get away from his pulsing cock and all the fiery goodness it brings. We kiss and it makes my orgasm twist even more powerfully.
Scott’s eyes stay open the whole time but his face scrunches up as he comes. He shouts my name, sweating and cursing after. Then he collapses on me. His shirt pastes itself against my sweaty body.
We laugh a few minutes later, realizing we have beans stuck to ourselves everywhere. I have at least fifty adhered to each elbow.
“I think I have beans up my ass,” I tell him.
"This is gonna screw up inventory," Scott says.
We both burst into laughter.
Then we pull apart and clean up, sneaking glances at each other. I eat the cookie he gave me and he grins.
It’s time to go. We freak out when we realize it’s only two hours to opening, meaning the first shift will be here in a little under an hour. The back room reeks like sex and coffee but there’s nothing we can do about it now, and we both agree we prefer it that way.
He takes my hand when we walk out into the early morning. He accompanies me to my apartment like a gentleman, even though he didn't fuck me like one a few hours before, and kisses me for ages. The cold finally does us in.
“Would it be weird if I ask for your number?”
I laugh. “You were just inside me. No, it wouldn’t be weird.”
I give it to him and he backs away, keeping his gaze on me all the while until he hits a lamppost. I snort and then wave.
He finally disappears down the street and I walk upstairs. I’m shocked at how my Valentine’s Day turned out. What the hell will I do with my time now if I’m not moaning about how annoying is he is?
A few coffee beans fall off of me and scatter as I undress for bed. A wicked grin crosses my face.
I never thought I’d fall for a hipster with shaggy hair who listens to my problems and takes my shit and gives me heart-shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day. But I think I have.
If he doesn’t call, I’ll have a tremendous memory of this day. I think I’ve gotten my groove back, and therefore I can’t be pissed at him if he ditches me. I have been a total bitch to him for a long time.
Still, as I drift into bed and hear the morning birds sing and see that hue of light come through my blinds, I’m pretty confident he’ll call.
And I’m pretty confident I don’t hate Scott anymore.