Chapter 1

She blew in through the door like a gust of fresh air. She strode towards the back of the line and looked around as she walked. I looked down at the newspaper spread on my table and sipped at my coffee, hoping that she hadn't seen me staring. I glanced up, looking across the room so that I could see her out of the corner of my eye. Seeing that she was standing side on to me and looking the other way, I relaxed and looked at her more closely.

Today she was wearing a short denim skirt that hugged her hips and then flared out to about mid-thigh. Her tight-fitting white blouse showed off her curves. Thin strips of ruffle decorated the neckline and the edges of the super-short sleeves. Her long black hair was bound at the back of her neck with a white band and then dropped in long ropy curls down her back. A pair of open-toed shoes with a medium-sized heel completed today's outfit. She was much more sensibly dressed for today's heat than most of the business people scattered around the cafe – including me.

Her arms were bare from the shoulders down, apart from the delicate watch around her left wrist and the fine bracelet she wears on her right wrist. Sometimes she's worn hose or tights or whatever but today her long, muscular legs were bare.

I've always been a leg-man. Sure, I like to admire the whole package but I always start by looking at the legs and hers are gorgeous. Apart from a little group of freckles on her left shoulder, her skin is flawless – unmarred by unsightly tattoos. Today's outfit showed off her long legs and clear skin wonderfully.

By this time, she'd made it to the front of the line and I watched as she chatted cheerfully with the barista while he started filling her order. Her high tinkling laugh drifted to me across the noise of the cafe as they shared some unknown joke. I felt a moment of envy for the man serving her. I wanted to have those green eyes flashing at me – to have that laugh responding to some comment of mine. Then I acknowledged the envy for the foolishness it was and let it fade away.

I turned away and looked out the window when I saw her paying for her order. I could clearly see her reflection in the glass but this way she wouldn't see me staring at her when she turned around. I watched as she picked up the little cardboard tray with its four take-away cups held in place – always four cups – and made her way out of the cafe. From the reflection of her face in the glass, she seemed happy and relaxed as she walked past me, then I lost sight of her in a crowd of people around the doorway.

I kept looking out the window and soon saw her waiting at the curb and then striding across the road. The bouncing skirt caught my attention as it rose and fell with every stride of those delightful legs. Finally she disappeared into the building opposite.

I sighed to myself and finished the last mouthful of my coffee. I put the cup down on the table and folded up my paper. Without even looking at my watch I knew it was time to get back to work.

I stood up and tucked my paper under my arm.

The waitress came over to bus the table.

"Same time tomorrow, Jack?" she asked.

"You can count on it."

I sighed again and rubbed my fingers over the simple gold band on my wedding finger. Yes, I'm a married man.

But there's no harm in looking, right?

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