Rock Candy Kisses(10)

By: Addison Moore

She plucks her phone out and starts texting—an extension of giving me the cold shoulder I presume. Oddly, it doesn’t feel rude. She’s as gorgeous as she is sweet, and I think I just might be getting the nicest kiss off known to man. Still doesn’t make that grinding feeling in my balls any better.

“Hey”—I pant, keeping stride with her—“did I do something wrong?” She doesn’t look up, just keeps clicking into her phone a mile a minute. “I mean, I did sort of save your life today. I would think that would at least warrant a thank you.” A sheepish smile takes over my face. I don’t really want or need a thank you. And if that’s the best I’ve got, I’m fucked. Half the girls in there were throwing their underwear at me, and this one won’t acknowledge my existence—ironic since she’s the only one I’d gladly take a pair of panties from. If playing hard to get is her game, it’s working. Hell, I’m up for any game she wants to play.

She flashes her phone at me. Her face glows from the light, perfect and beautiful like an angel, and I don’t want to take my eyes off hers. Reluctantly I glance down.

Thank you for helping me out this morning. I’m sorry if I seemed rude. I was a little thrown off. My name is Annie, and I’m deaf.

The smile glides off my face without meaning to. She swallows hard with a slight look of hurt as she tries to head back into the bar.

“No, no.” I block her path. “Please. It’s nice to meet you.” I hold out my hand, and she takes it hesitantly. “My name is Blake.” For a second I feel foolish saying anything, but, in truth, I’m not sure what to do, and the last thing I want is to shut her out. I search her features as a thousand emotions run through my mind. How can this beautiful girl not hear a word I’m saying, not hear a sound the world has to offer?

I hold up a finger and pluck out my phone. My name is Blake. It’s very nice to meet you. I stop from adding I’m sorry, even though I am sorry, and heartbroken, and gutted by the fact she can’t hear. I want that for her, and my heart breaks knowing she can’t have it. Would you like to get some coffee? I point to the Starbucks across the street. My treat.

Her head tips in the slightest hint of a nod, and I carefully pick up her hand. But it feels natural, and I don’t want to stop.

“Is this okay?” I mouth.

She offers a silent laugh and clasps her fingers over mine as we cross the street and head inside. Her hand slips from mine as we place our orders. We get our drinks and find a table near the window. I don’t think I’ve had this much silence with a girl unless our tongues were tied together. I give a pained smile as we stare at one another a moment.

My fingers fumble for my phone, and she places her hand over it and shakes her head. She pumps out a quick note on her phone.

I want to try and read your lips. At least in the beginning.

“Okay, then.” I take a deep breath, that silly grin finds a home on my face again. “Are you sure?”

Annie nods as a slight dimple lights up her left cheek making her that much more gorgeous than she already is. She’s more than beautiful—not to mention her beauty radiates organically from the inside. It’s clear she’s not the kind of girl I’m usually paired with. I’m used to barracudas ready and willing to tie me to the bedpost. Not that I would protest the idea if she proposed it.

“Tell me something about yourself.” I can’t help but speak slower, quieter given the circumstances.

I’m boring. She bites down on a smile as she flashes her phone my way.

“Not true.” I hold up my phone and twist my lips until she nods for me to use it. I saw you with a camera tonight. Are you into photography?

My brother Benji was into photography. It was his life’s passion. He wanted to sell his pictures to National Geographic and any other news-worthy entity that would take them. My gut cinches thinking about him. I try to shake him out of my head if only for a moment. Benji hasn’t left my head in weeks, and, strangely enough, there seems to be something about Annie that has the ability to make the agony more bearable. How do I explain to this sweet girl I’m going to need her around for the next few decades just to quell the excruciating pain in my life? I give a bleak smile.

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