I post a roommate wanted sign on the community board at my favorite coffee place. Sure, there are normal people here, but I’ve also met more than a few open-minded types. Even scored two clients while sipping a latte in this place. And anywhere I meet new clients is an investment, not a waste of money.
“You’re looking for a roommate?” A guy in brand new leathers asks, putting an emphasis on the opening word.
“Well, I’m hanging up the sign.” Not a yes, but not a no. I keep the answer free of any tone.
“Liv!” the barista calls out while sliding my hot grande coconut milk caffè latte onto the pick-up counter. I roll to get it, only to have biker-in-training block my path.
“That’s a nice hoodie.”
“Yeah, thanks. Excuse me, please.” Can I mentally will him to not be a jerk? Maybe I should roll over his feet. Sandals? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Our eyes meet. He tilts his head, looks at his feet, and then back at me. “Feet gotta be free.”
“Sure. I’m going to grab my coffee now.” Motorcycles and sandals don’t mix. Sorry, not sorry.
“Hang on, beautiful. We weren’t done chatting. I want to know more about the roommate gig. Not every day a hottie offers to let you move in right off the bat.”
I know five creatures who could eat this guy. One who would love a new leather bed. “I’m just hanging the signs and filtering the calls. My friend Jaxson is the one looking. He is a hottie, and gay, so you might be in luck.” Jaxson was straight before the surgery, I guess. I’m not really sure how that works, to be honest. What’s the word for someone who likes men and identifies as a male while the person is still trapped inside a female body? None of that is leather-man’s business. Jaxson is my protector against humans. Fangs, claws, and webbing I can handle, but people test my limits.
“Uhh… what? I don’t know. But forget that for a minute. How about if I grab your coffee and we sit together? I want to stare into those beautiful brown eyes.”
“Thanks, but no. I’m leaving.”
He crosses his arms. The new leather squeaks in response. “What? I just tossed you like three compliments. Drinking your beverage at a table with me will be the highlight of your day, Sexy.”
“First off, a compliment can only be about a choice. Those are welcome.” My voice rises as I make my points. He’s a creep, not genuine. Plus, my eyes are yellowish light green, not brown.
“Comments about my eye color, something I did not choose, isn’t a compliment. Second, I was polite in my decline. Third, I’ve requested more than once for you to allow me to pass so I might acquire my beverage. As you can see, it is difficult to maneuver around you. So, while I pose little threat to you, I feel as if you pose a threat to me.” Everyone in the place is staring at us now.
From the corner of my vision, I see a girl grab my cup, glance at the name, and walk over. “Liv?”
“Been years since I last saw you. Rebecca Hamilton, from school, remember?” The girl, thin as a rose stem, slips between the guy and me. She hands me my beverage. “Were you headed to that sale at the cosmetic store? I have a coupon that’s good if you bring a friend.”
Rebecca beams. She dances as she spins around to face the guy in leather. “You don’t wear lipstick, do you? Maybe some eyeliner?”
“No. What?” Ah, the look of annoyed confusion. I love how it creases his brow, making him ugly.
“Then you wouldn’t want to join my friend Liv and I. We must be going.” She sips her frosty coffee drink.
“Yeah. I need more fuschia lipstick. And maybe a mauve,” I say as I blow on my hot beverage.
“For me, some cherry red and either caramel kiss or pink pleasures. Which do you think would look better on me, Liv?” Rebecca hands me her cup, glides behind my chair, and wheels to the exit.
“I don’t actually have a coupon. Or know you from school. Just figured you wouldn’t object to a rescue.”
“Thanks. I kind of figured.” I motion to her cup. “Tink?”
She laughs. “Tink for Tinkerbell. It’s my nickname. Guys like him try crap like that on me all time thanks to my size.”
“I can imagine. How do you deal?” We head a few doors down, toward the cosmetic store. Leather-guy isn’t following us.
“Well, I’ve had to headbutt a few guys in the nuts. Then I drop down and spin away before they can catch me.”
“That’s an impressive move.”
“Thanks. I’ve been a professional ice-skater for most of my life.”
*** words 821