Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nostalgicmiss' Week 15 Entry: Between the Stacks


Picture 1

Picture 2

Nostalgicmiss' Choice: Picture 2

Between the Stacks

I was running late. Later than I had intended to be. Sure there was the whole fashionably late but I was even getting past that. I was heading into the unforgivably late territory.

"You and the library? I wasn't aware you knew the city had one," Bella teased. She was curled up on the couch with a book open across her legs, and her cat Satan lounging across the back behind her, his long black tail flicking against her shoulder.

"Ha ha, I wasn't aware you had a sense of humor."

"Don't be sore, Al. It's just not your typical hideout," Bella amended. I knew I'd been a little harsh with my retort but I hated being late for anything when it came down to my job.

"I'm not, I just have to be there to meet a co-worker. We would have done it at the office but their fumigating or some crap, which means we have to depend on the city library to have the books we need. It's a huge mess."

"This the deposition you were working on?"

I nodded in response as I ducked under the coffee table looking for the elusive shoe. I had it's counterpart gripped in my hand, but the other was refusing to be found. This was the only pair that matched my outfit but if I didn't find it soon I would have to grab another pair and head out like a fashion disaster.

"Have you tried the bathroom?"

"Why the hell would it be in the bathroom?" I asked quirking an eyebrow.

"Simple method of deduction," she countered with a smirk. "The last time you wore those we were at McGinty's. If I remember correctly you stumbled in and in the process of taking off your shoes decided your bladder would explode if you didn't go immediately."

Sounded like me.

I skipped to the bathroom and kicked around the towels strewn around the floor. For a pair of girls we were slobs. Bella's boyfriend Edward was constantly making fun of us for it. Not that I blamed him, it was kind of horrific at times.

My toe hit gold and I kicked the pile away from the shoe I'd been searching for.

"Bella Swan I owe you a beer," I called, dancing from the room and swinging the shoe in front of me. I swooped down to pick the other up and slid them onto my feet. "Right, I'm outta here. Love you."

"Love you back, bring some Chinese food home with you if you get out before ten."

"Will do," I sang grabbing my purse and swinging the door open.

Thirty minutes later and I was hot as a bull seeing red. The fucking incompetent cabby seemed as clueless as I did about the library, even if I did give him the right address.

"You said Main, lady."

"No, you crazy bastard, I said Market."

"You said Main. That's seventeen eighty-four."

"Are you fucking insane? Eighteen bucks to go six blocks?"

"I don't decide the rate, lady, I just read the damn meter," he argued, his eyebrows raised as he held out his hand. "The right address would have been a lot cheaper."

"What. Ever."

I slapped a twenty in his hand, and narrowed my eyes at him when he looked like he was going to argue. I always tipped the cabbies well, I knew how it went, you treat them well, they treat you well. But this jackass was not getting another dime from me. He'd taken me plum across town to Main Street so my fare was twice what it should have been.

Six blocks had ended up being sixteen. Now I was even later.

I marched up the steps to the front of the library and pulled the door open. The smell of books hit me like a dead weight almost knocking me to my ass. It was easy to understand Bella's fascination with books when this was the impression you were hit with. This wasn't one of those big chain bookstores with the smell of coffee making the books smell stale. This was the library.

I walked across the foyer, the clack of my heels sounding like thunder against the muted hum of the lights and distant voices. It wasn't like our old school library where the librarian yelled "Shh" at you in hopes that you would stop yakking about Ryan Reynolds and his tight ass. This was more the need for silence because of respect.

I pushed up on the balls of my feet a little more until I made it to the carpet. To make things easier for myself I could have looked at the map thing that was in the front lobby, but that was much too logical for me. Nope, I just marched on in there and decided I would find it by divine intervention.

Apparently, I was wrong.

The high shelves I found myself in were like a never ending maze. I couldn't see anything as I weaved through them, if I was being honest I was starting to panic. Every corner I took I was met with another wall of books with thin white strips at the bottom of the spines. I topped midway and leaned against a shelf, my breathing more elevated than normal due to the ever increasing fear mingling with the irritation at being even later than I already was.

"You look lost."

I jumped and yelped landing with a stumble. I steadied myself with a hand on my chest and one on the shelves. I looked around for the voice but found no one.

"Up here," said the voice, the humor evident.

I raised my eyes and saw a pair of black soles with black hair peeking over the top.

"You scared the shit out of me," I hissed, backing up a little so I could see the face the hair belonged to.

"Not my intention. I've been watching you weaving in and out of the stacks and figured you look good and lost. I'm guessing you're not a regular," he smirked, the book open in his hands was hovering over his legs.

"What the hell are you even doing up there?"

"I'm on my break," he replied, leaning forward a little more so his face was revealed. "Working here has it's benefits."

I was taken aback by his features as he leaned forward a little more. His large brown eyes and full lips were framed by a strong jaw and high cheek bones. He was gorgeous, and even with only a sliver of his shoulders visible I could see he was build. The chords of muscles in his neck were strained by the position he was in.

"So I see. I was supposed to meet a co-worker here to work on a deposition, our law offices are closed to us at the moment so we had to meet here, but I am lost and late. Could you point me in the right direction?"

His eyes sparkled with mischief as he assessed me and my situation. Handsome wasn't the word for this guy and I drank in the curve of his lips as he thought about the question. It should have annoyed me that he was taking so long to answer, but I couldn't take my eyes off him long enough to form a coherent thought.

"I'm on my break," he chuckled, lifting the book up to cover his features again. Without his face to distract me I came back to my senses.

"So you said. That doesn't mean you can't lift your arm and point."

"My hands are full," he said defiantly. Unfortunately, I could here the humor. I was his break time entertainment.

"Your an ass," I declared, and marched away with my head held high. I got three stacks over before I heard a gentle padding of soles against the shelves above me.

I stopped as soon as long legs appeared from the top of the shelves and nimbly scaled down to the floor.

The guy was huge, way over six foot, I craned my neck to look up at the smiling face above me. He was more handsome than I'd realized and his upper body was Wide and thick under his polo, even the arms seemed to stretch around his biceps in appreciation. He certainly wasn't the type you'd expect to see working in a library, but then it wasn't as though I frequented libraries so how would I know?

"I'm back on the clock, how can I help you?"

"Law section," I snapped, my hands on my hips. His ruggedly handsome looks may have distracted me once, but that was the last time it was going to happen.

"Certainly. If you'll just follow me I'll take you there."

"I would say thank you, but you're a jerk."

"Wow, good to see you have a sense of humor," he grinned, winking at me. "How bout I take you out to coffee and show you that I'm not really an asshole?"

"You stun me with your charm," I dead panned. "Could you just get me out of this maze?"

"Not until you say yes."

"Never. Gonna. Happen."

I marched past him, rolling my eyes at myself as I noticed how good he smelled. I wasn't sure if it was aftershave or just him, but it made my mouth water. I took another turn and felt him follow behind me, hanging back as he hummed out a tune.

"Tell me," I said calling over my shoulder. "How have you kept a job here for so long with that attitude of yours?"

"I don't think you understand, I am one of their best employee's. Seriously though, come have coffee with me. After you've finished your work."

"And if I say no?"

"I'll take you where you need to go. I'm not desperate, and I'd rather you made your own choice. Bribes aside."

"I'm not worth the effort?" I teased, slowing so we were walking side by side.

"I never said that I'd give up, I just said no bribes."

I laughed, a genuine laugh that no guy had been able to get out of me in a while.

"You're persistent, I like that in a guy. So how about you take me where I need to go and we go grab something to eat when I'm done?"

"Perfect," he grinned. "What's your name?"

"Alice Brandon, and yours?"

"Jacob, Jacob Black."