Jeremy was the sexiest guy I had ever seen, I reflected as I watched him across the restaurant floor. The way he moved, the way he talked, everything about him made my skin burn with desire. I wished I could rush up to him and plant a kiss on his mouth, but of course I couldn´t. That´s just not something you do with your co-workers.
He suddenly turned around, saw me watching him and gave me a wink. I blushed, and was saved from further embarrassment by a man asking for the bill. Jeremy´s eyes seemed to burn on my back as I walked to the register, but of course that was just my imagination. He flirted with everyone, and it was silly to think he would be interested in someone like me.
I went to collect an order from the kind of couple that should read my articles. As a freelancer for women´s magazines I regularly wrote advice for couples on how to spice up their sex life.
Who am I kidding? I thought as I returned to the kitchen. They probably have more sex than me anyway. Everyone has more sex than I do.
“A penny for your thoughts.” I started at the sound of Jeremy´s voice in my ear. He was smiling his sexy smile at me.
“A dinner and they´re yours,” I said with a wink.
Jeremy laughed and leaned so close I could feel his hot breath tickling the hairs on my neck. “You know I don´t cook.”
I leaned back so that my whisper would be against his neck as well. “Perhaps you should.”
He smiled, collected the plates he had been waiting for and walked off between the tables. I sighed and forced myself not to stare at his back. It was probably the third time I had tried to get him to invite me out for a date. I was beginning to feel like his flirting was all a show.
Georgia, another waitress at Papa Bellugi, joined me by the counter and cocked her head in Jeremy´s direction.
“When are you going to get together, anyway?” she asked.
“I don´t want to talk about it,” I said with a sigh.
“He´s handsome, smart. Honestly, Emma, you can´t do better than him.”
Georgia was right, of course. Not only was he as good-looking as a movie star, he was studying for a PhD in neurology. Even my mother would approve of a boyfriend like that. If only Jeremy was boyfriend material.
“I think he has a girlfriend,” I said, hoping that would end the conversation.
“Probably,” Georgia said. She eyed him from head to toe, nodded and walked away.
I swallowed a lump in my throat at the thought of Jeremy with a girlfriend. He had never mentioned anyone since he and Lydia broke up, but then why else would he reject me over and over again?
The hours dragged on. I tried my best to think about work, not about how much I wanted to be close to Jeremy. We barely had time to talk as we dragged our way through rush hour, carrying trays of pasta, pizzas and bottles of wine.
It´s better than spending the evening by the computer, I told myself. At least the customers were friendly.
I loved writing articles for women´s magazines, but I was too social to be locked up in a room before a computer all day. Papa Bellugi was the perfect job on the side for a person like me. Especially considering it allowed me to be close to Jeremy.
He had started working here a few months ago and I immediately knew I wanted him. His smile was to die for, and his dark-brown hair was perfect for running your hands through in bed. At least I thought so. We had never actually done anything else than flirt.
Actually we had flirted already from the start, when he was still together with Lydia. She used to come to the restaurant and pick him up after work, and when I hadn´t seen her for a few weeks I finally gathered the courage to ask. He never gave me a reason for why they broke up.
It was past midnight when I found myself close to Jeremy again. We were at the register, both preparing to collect the bills for our customers.
Jeremy leaned close with that sexy smile of his. The proximity of his body was dizzying. He reached behind my back and touched my ass, gently squeezing my cheeks one at a time.
I became wet at the thought of that hand against my bare skin and wished we weren´t in the middle of a restaurant. For a moment I could only stand there and enjoy his touch. Then I moved a little closer, hoping it would let him know how much I wanted him.
Jeremy cleared his throat and snatched his hand away. I startled to see our manager walk up to the register.
“Good work today, Emma,” he said in an Italian accent. “And you, Jeremy. Can you both work tomorrow as well? I´m short on staff.”
I was supposed to have the day off tomorrow, but I couldn´t stand the thought of spending a whole day in my empty apartment. When I saw Jeremy nod, I did the same.
“Sure, boss,” we said almost in unison.
The manager gave us a knowing look. “Good. I´ll see you tomorrow, then.”
I nodded and watched the manager leave. When I turned back to the register, I found Jeremy looking at me with a mischievous grin on his lips.
“You´re really cute when you´re embarrassed,” he said.
“Oh yeah?” I said. “Cute enough to buy me dinner?” I immediately wished I hadn´t said that. Was I getting desperate?
Jeremy leaned forward and touched my ear with his lips. “Cute enough to give me ideas.”
I smiled, thinking this was it. This was the moment when Jeremy was going to invite me out on a date.
Before he could, however, we were interrupted again. Georgia needed to bring a bill to one of her tables, and she was not one for waiting. I sighed and returned to my own tables to take the last order.
When the restaurant was empty I decided to try and find Jeremy again. He was nowhere to be seen, however, and I soon had to admit defeat.
“Jeremy left a while ago,” Georgia said with a meaningful smile. “I thought he said goodbye to you.”
“No,” I said with a heavy sigh. “No, he didn´t.”
I quickly regretted coming to work on my day off. The only reason I had agreed to work was to have a chance to see Jeremy, but we were so busy I barely saw anything but trays, wine bottles and plates of fresh pasta. I knew he was there, though, because Georgia kept winking at me.
I had been on my feet for eight hours straight when I decided I desperately needed a break. The restaurant was still full, but I decided that it simply would have to do without me for a while.
I went to the kitchen to steal something to eat. A plate of bread rolls were just in my reach, so I took a handful and retreated to the back of the building. There was a storage room there where I might be able to sit down for a while. It wasn´t exactly private, since both chefs and waiters had access to it, but it was quiet compared to the buzz around the tables.
As soon as I closed the door I knew I wasn´t alone in the room. Trying to hide the stolen bread rolls I turned around and prepared my speech of defense. Then my stomach jolted, because the other person in the room was none other than Jeremy.
“Emma,” he said with a grin. “You´re hiding from work too, are you?”
“I was just going to…” I stared, but a bread roll fell from my hand and gave me away.
Jeremy laughed and showed his own hand, with a half-eaten roll in it. “Come here and sit down,” he said and patted a box of dry pasta beside the one he was sitting on.
I sat down next to him, conscious about how close we were to each other. My body filled with longing for him like it always did when I saw him. For a moment I considered bringing up that dinner again, but I decided it would have to be his turn to make a move.