Lying Through Her Fangs
Long legs were encased in straight leg jeans and dusty maroon colored Henley that was stretched over an impressive chest. His hair was a wavy mass of caramel tinged brown as the curls moved over his broad shoulders. He looked like a German model for sports cars or specialty brewed beer. A strong jaw with a couple days’ stubble attracted my attention next as I worked my way up to his intensely dark eyes.
We stepped in and out of each other’s way for a minute then both laughed at our antics.
“Apparently, we’re meant to dance, you and I.”
How more perfect could he have said it?
“It would seem so, my name is Xylia Natouri,” I offered my hand to him.
His big one captured mine in more of a grasp then of the handshake I had intended.
“Hael, Hael Braunner. It’s interesting meeting you.” He quipped back.
Where was he headed with that line?
“Since it wasn’t a pleasure being knocked, it was certainly interesting? Too many people say to have a nice day or ask how someone is doing but do they really mean it.”
“Rhetorical phrases and simply niceties, are in everyone’s day, I would gather,” I answered. He still had my hand and the warmth of it seemed to spread up my arm. What would it be like for him to hold me with those muscular arms? I suddenly wanted to know.
“But if you want your words to be meaningful then replace them with something more fitting to each individual scenario.”
Curious. Flipping through his aura, I picked up only positive vibes and colors ranging from ease to stability in himself. This made me feel more at ease after the last guy.
“You’ve given me something to consider. I appreciate that.”
I was pondering all sorts of things right now and one of them was to see if his butt was as impressive as the rest of him.
“Always happy to help a lovely lady. Shopping for a male friend?”
Looking down to where he nodded, I saw the bagged shirt still in my grasp. Having completely forgotten that I hadn’t put it back, I glanced at the rich color and decided the rich eggplant color would look great with my skin.
“No, I’m here for myself.”
“Ah, a woman in a man’s shirt is a powerful thing.” He eyed the shirt, then me.
“You know what’s even better?”
“What would that be?” His curiosity was piqued.
“A woman just as powerful out of that man’s shirt.”
“Indeed.” He was quiet for a moment. “You do realize that I’m allowed very few decent comments are that line, right?”
He hadn’t gone for the easy pickup line after that and I added points for him not being sleazy.
“Xylia, are you window shopping or planning for a trip?”
What if I said, I’ve come to compel you, let me see your rear?
Best not. Yet.
“That must mean an event coming up and you have nothing to wear.”
“You’re astute for a man. Most wouldn’t even broach that subject.”
“My man card is secure. I’m here because a nail went into my shoe and they have to be replaced before it rains again. The mall is less uncomfortable than squishy socks.”
“Your poor sole,” I joked.
“I’m lucky the nail was short or I wouldn’t have been able to dance with you at all.”
“Care to help me choose something?” He asked bashfully.
“You want my help?”
“Sure, unless you have something better to do. If so, I’m sorry for holding you up.”
The honest enjoyment in his gaze had me answering, “Actually, I’ve got some time to spare. Take me to your shoes, dear cobbler.”
“This way.” He pointed out the sign above us that showed the way to the shoe department.
As I thought, his glutes were mighty maximus.
The mens’ shoe department was in a smaller corner and I didn’t even bother to look at the people we were passing as I focused on the hunky male specimen in front of me. We perused the shelves and found three pairs for him to try on. All were loafers in rich shades of brown but comfort was what he was searching for. The first pair caused a cute moment as we both reached for the exact pair at the same time. Our fingers almost locked around the display pair.
“This is the one I want to take home. They’re lovely to stare at and feel like they were made for me.”
“Be still my beating heart, a man who appreciates shoes,” I joked.
“Your mistake is thinking I was truly talking about the loafers.” He wagged his eyebrows as me as he impersonated Groucho Marx.
“You have me there,” I laughed.
“I’ll be honest and say that I’m trying not to overthink this. So forgive my awkward slips of the tongue.”
“So far, there’s nothing to forgive. I find your efforts refreshing.”
“Then maybe I should apologize for men who use only clichés and ill-timed punchlines when vying for your attention.”
“That apology is accepted.”
He gave a fake bow after giving the clerk his shoes to ring up and I realized my time was running out. The mall would be closing soon and I still had to feed. Looking around, I saw my opportunity.
“Let’s take the elevator downstairs and see what they have in housewares.”
“What do you need down there?” He looked lost for a moment.
I floundered for something that would get him in the secluded walls of the elevator.
“Toasters. I have a thing about toasted buns.”
Putting my hand in the crook of his arm, I directed him to the elevator while no one was standing by.
“After you.” He waved me before him.
By the time he got in, my gaze started. My right hand laid briefly on his left as it held his shopping bag.
“Look at me, Hael.”
He stared into my eyes and didn’t move as I closed the door to outsiders.
“Listen to my voice and hear my wishes. I need a fake boyfriend for an event and I’ve chosen you. You’ll do as I ask and my friends and coworkers will never be the wiser. I won’t hurt you and you’ll have a wonderful time. As a matter of fact, you won’t even remember this discussion when we part ways in the next two weeks. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Xylia. It’ll be my honor to escort you.”
Leaving the compulsion within him, the doors opened to the first floor where we looked at crockpots, iron skillets, and toaster ovens.
But by the time I purchased the purple shirt I’d been carrying for an hour, the guilt laid on my conscience worse than the skillet would have landed on my head. What the hell had I done?