Charles sucked in his breath once he was outside the diner. He hadn’t been that close to Becca in years and he could still feel the anger radiating from her, and smell the intoxicating scent of her. She’d always smelled innocent, pure, sweet. All things he knew he wasn’t and didn’t deserve.
He hated that she’d seen him. He’d been so careful, making sure she never picked up on him being there, but one too many looks had sent him from casual observer to stalker with Becca’s guest, and he’d turned Charles in.
Charles knew it wasn’t the guy’s fault. He was the one dumb enough to keep going back day after day, hoping she’d be there, waiting until he could catch a glimpse of her name on the schedule so he could plan his week around when she would be there.
Only now he had no way of keeping an eye on her. If she banned him from the diner, he would have to follow her if he wanted to find out anything about her, and even Charles wasn’t willing to stoop that low.
His phone rang, drawing him out of the misery that had seeped into him since Becca stormed over to him. He yanked it from his pocket and growled, “What?”
“Eight pm, tonight. Gray’s.”
The phone disconnected, leaving Charles standing on the street staring at the dark screen. He struggled to place the voice, one he knew he recognized. The phone number was familiar too, although not one he had stored in his phone. He did a quick search on his phone and realized the call came from the diner.
“The waitress?” he shouted.
She was tipping him off. It was obvious they were friends, so why was she telling him where Becca would be later?
Charles pushed the thoughts from his head and focused on what she’d said to him. He glanced at his watch. He had two hours until he had to be at Gray’s. It was close, within walking distance, but he needed to go home, change and drop off his stuff.
Back at his apartment Charles stripped and took a quick shower. He poured over his closet like a woman going on a first date before deciding to go for casual with dark jeans and a black long sleeved t-shirt. He sent off a few emails to kill some time then headed back out into the cold to find her.
Charles was early. He was always early. He wanted to see her walk in, to watch her without her knowing he was there. He could study her, pretend when she laughed it was for him, when she smiled it was at him. He knew how creepy it was, but he’d missed her. His life had been dull without her in it. And when she walked into his favorite diner a few months ago it was like the sun had come back into his life.
He had to see her again.