Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Like any werewolf, she had started sorting scents the moment she came through the door, categorizing and filing them away. She did it as automatically as people checked the rearview mirror when they backed up. And when she focused on Edward it was the way people didn’t pay attention to the color of a necktie until they were right in front of them.
So it was with Edward’s scent, a pleasing combo of clean cotton and oranges, with a sprinkling of underarm deodorant; she liked it right away. She also liked the way his light brown hair was a bit shaggy, in need of a trim, and she liked the way the ends of his hair kept trying to curl under. Best of all, she liked his shirt: Your Favorite Band Sucks.
“I suppose they would.”
He was staring at her. She wasn’t sure why; he wasn’t a werewolf. She knew this as people know who was into the Cheetos because of their orange fingertips.
She repeated herself, louder: “I suppose they would.”
What was he staring at? “Would what?”
“Who would...wait. What?”
“Let’s start over.” Actually, she should just walk away...why draw out this encounter? But she didn’t want to, and she didn’t know why.
Then she did know. He was an attractive, intelligent male and he was in his sexual prime. The beast in her thought the chances with him weren’t just outstanding, they were almost a necessity. She was a creature of instinct and senses, as different from this man as the great apes he’d evolved from were different from the wolves in her old, old family tree. I suppose that means while my instinct is to bring down prey, his is to make tools!
Her civilized side thought it might be fun to go get a Frappucino with this guy. Her beast wanted to lure him to her lair and have sex all afternoon.
“I’m so sorry, I honestly wasn’t paying attention...I have no idea what I actually said. I was kind of in my own head.” He paused, then added with the air of a someone sharing a great, shameful-yet-exciting secret, “I’m in there a lot, actually.”
“I know exactly what you mean.” She extended her hand and almost gasped when he seized it and wrung it, as if he was afraid she’d change her mind about introducing herself. “I’m Rachael Velvela.”
“Vell-vay-luh? That’s neat.” Neat? He thought it was neat? No one had ever said that. People just immediately started mocking it. She’d been Rachael Velveeta from kindergarten on up. “Edward Batley. It’s really nice to meet you.” His pleasure and attraction were apparent, and increased hers. “I come here a lot, but I don’t remember seeing you before.”
“I just moved here from Massachusetts.” She never said Cape Cod. She was startled by how many people had no idea where that was. Most of them knew where Massachusetts was. “I thought I’d come in and pick up a few local guide books, to sort of look around. So I was in the travel section, and then this man told me the undead don’t like all the attention they’re getting.”
“Yeah, uh, sorry. Can’t believe that was out loud. Of course it’s all bull—it’s not true. I mean, it might be true, it would be true, if there were vampires in real life. Which there aren’t. At all. Because if there were—and there aren’t—I’d never be so careless as to wander around random bookstores telling strangers the likes and dislikes of the blood-drinking dependant.”
“Or the breathing-impaired...whichever you think is, you know, not offensive.”
“I can’t tell if this is the silliest conversation I’ve had all week, or the most interesting.”
“You want to get a blueberry scone, maybe sit down with an iced tea or something, try and decide?”
She smiled at him. “Well...yeah. I would, actually. Except that the taste of blueberries makes me vomit, so I will take a lemon scone.”
“Usually when I talk to a girl,” he confided, “she doesn’t use the word ‘vomit’ until we’re trying to pick out which movie we want to see.”
She laughed so hard she nearly walked into the end cap. Guidebooks to St. Paul, handsome strangers using odd pick-up lines, and baked goods produced by the Starbucks Corporation...could there be a sillier, funnier day?