heart & mind of steel — 6—

It was ten till four when she finally walked through the coffee shop doors. A quick look around the room showed her a couple sitting near the window. They were sipping a fancy looking hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, but despite how yummy it looked, the two of them were making faces of disgust after each sip.

Steelas cracked a smile.

Walking over to the counter, she said hey to the usual employee she always saw there. He was a nerdy type of guy, but kind of cute. He wore those think, hipster glasses which she thought was ridiculous on anyone else, but somehow he managed to pull it off.

“Oh, hey, Steels. What’s up?” He spoke as he wiped the counter, shooting a few mini-marshmallows to the floor.

“Not much, Zeek. Can I get the usual?” The usual being a hot vanilla latte with extra vanilla.

“Want whipped cream?” He asked as he punched some buttons on the old school register.

“Surprise me.” And with that, she slid him a $5, as she always liked to leave a little tip for the extra effort he put in her drink. She walked away and towards her normal corner to get ready for her clients arrival. But before she could even realize it, someone was sitting in her spot. Well, in the chair beside her spot, but still.

Her stride only faltered for a moment before she continued over and sat down in the loveseat, taking out her sketchbook and pencil pouch, and crossing her leg as she awaited DontThrowAFitz to arrive.

Out of the corner of her eye she could see the person beside her keep glancing up at her, but she opened her book and started doodling while she waited. Just then, Zeek walked up with her latte, glancing at the person beside her before leaning over to set the cup down on the table. “Here ya go, Steels.”

She nodded, finally stealing a look at the person herself, as she reached over to grab her drink. She smiled, realizing now that it was a man. He was a bit lanky but not overly skinny. His dirty blond hair hung to his shoulders but was neatly cut. He had reading glasses on, a blazer over a graphic tee, and jeans. When he looked up to meet her eyes, she realized he was staring and nodded curtly.

He smiled. “FauxSteel?”

She blinked a few times, her thoughts racing as to how he could have known that.

“Oh, um. That guy called you Steels.” He pointed over to Zeek, who was cleaning the table the couple had been sitting at. They’d abandoned the rest of their hot cocoa.

With a breath of understanding, she sets her cup down, scoots forward and extends a hand for a shake. When he places his palm against hers, she feels his soft skin, yet firm shake.

“You must be DontThrowAFitz.”

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