Home > Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)(5)

Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)(5)
Author: Lauren Blakely

“It’s my dream to go there. I want to visit all the boutiques and shops and see all the gorgeous jewelry. I want to be inspired by the designs.”

“There is little as inspiring as Paris,” I said, and I could picture being there with her, letting time slow down all around us. Just like I’d pictured having coffee with her at the cafe around the corner, now I was picturing kissing her in Paris, because she was the kind of girl who should be kissed by the river.

“Have you been to Paris?” she asked, and her voice sounded wistful.

“Only once. But I’m fluent enough from taking French in school, and the company I’m starting to work for has offices there, so I’m hoping go back,” I said as we walked into the store together, and she began straightening up the shelves, unlocking the register, and readying the store to open.

“I want to work for your company. So I can go to Paris too,” she said with a wink. Her brown eyes sparkled, like we had another secret.

“I’ll go ahead and book a flight. We’ll sneak away.”

She stopped in her tracks behind the counter, then looked at me, her eyes meeting mine. Had I crossed the line? Shit. I thought I knew her, but the most I knew was how I felt when I was with her. I didn’t even know if she had a boyfriend, if I should be flirting with her like this.

“Let’s do it. Let’s go to Paris. We won’t tell a soul,” she said in a whisper, her lips punctuating that last word with a beautiful O.

“Wander around the city. No one will know where we are,” I said, and it was like a slow dance, and with each step we were somehow swaying closer to admitting what was happening.

“Get lost in Montmartre on a cobblestoned, hilly street.”

“Where someone is playing old jazzy music on a phonograph and it floats out the window.”

“And then we’d –” she said, but I didn’t get to hear what we’d do next because our Paris reverie was broken by the sound of the bell jingling above the door. The first customers strolled in.

Kat and I immediately segued out of our wanderlust and into business. We stayed like that all through the morning shift, and maybe it was because of our conversation, or maybe it was because we both knew there was this unmistakeable vibe in the air, but everything between us clicked.

We were good together with customers. I talked to a pair of sisters visiting from Missouri who wanted a picture table book of the nautical old sea towns along the Connecticut coast. A little later, she chatted with an older couple who debated which serving plate to buy – the white one with yellow painted flowers, or the green one that was just the right size for asparagus, the woman said.

“How often do you find a plate that’s the perfect fit for asparagus?” I chimed in with a smile.

“Hardly ever,” the woman said in a cheerful tone. “And that’s why we’ll take it.”

When they left, I turned to Kat. “We’re like a tag team.”

“We absolutely are if you can keep doling out those vegetable serving tips,” she teased.

When Nate arrived for the afternoon shift, Kat gave him a rundown of the morning business and crowd. “That all sounds great. Mom and dad will be happy. What are you guys going to do now?”

“I think I might go see a movie,” Kat said. “I know, big shock there.”

He rolled his eyes. “Of course. Movie junkie here. Are you going to go to the movies too?” Nate asked me, and I knew he wasn’t giving me permission to take out his sister. It wasn’t as if I’d said, “Nate, I’m totally falling for Kat and I want to know if it’s okay if we sit in a darkened theater for two hours,” but it was as close as I was going to get to some kind of tacit yes. Eventually, I’d say something, I told myself. Just not yet. There wasn’t anything to tell him anyway. Once there was something to say, I’d say it. For now, we were two friends going to the movies. Nothing more.

At the local cinema, we perused the list of movies and both picked a Will Ferrell comedy, then she turned to me. “I’m going to be totally honest here. I kind of have a thing for silly humor. Stupid humor. All that stuff. I know it probably doesn’t go with the whole I-want-to-go-to-Paris and be inspired by the designs, but sue me. I think Will Ferrell is a comedic genius.”

Straight shot to my heart.

“Kat, I don’t know how to tell you this,” I said in a mock serious tone. “So I guess I’m just going to be blunt. Will Ferrell is a comedic genius, and the fact that you have recognized this cosmic truth means the kettle corn is on me too.”

Her lips curved up and I was pretty sure she could get me to do anything with her smile.

“Lucky me,” she said.

“No,” I corrected, feeling bold as we were surrounded by the smell of fake butter and the snapping of kernels. “Lucky me.”

When the lights went down in the theater, we shared the popcorn, and yes, there were a few moments when my fingers brushed hers and vice versa. Those moments were enough to make me entirely forget the scenes unfolding on the screen because all I was thinking about was how my blood was racing faster, and my skin was heating up from a sliver of a touch.

By the time we left the cinema, the movie was swiss cheese to me. Full of so many holes, that I was faking my way through our post-mortem discussion. I remembered bits and pieces of it; the film was a goddamn slapstick comedy, not a twist turny thriller, but still. My memory of it was comprised of a few good chuckles, and the moments when I wanted to hold her hand to know if this was or wasn’t a one-way street. I craved the feel of her fingers sliding through mine, simply because it would be a confirmation that this wasn’t all in my head, that I wasn’t imagining there was something more to the way she seemed to flirt back and to sneak in little glances now and then. All the reasons why I wasn’t supposed to fall for her were gone.

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