“Anything else I can get for you folks?” she asked.
“Ketchup?” Eliza asked.
The woman nodded. “There’s a bottle on the table right behind you, sugar. Enjoy your dinner.”
Eliza had expected the woman to bring her a new bottle of ketchup, or at least grab the one from the other table for them but instead the woman walked away. Maybe it was a diner thing. Or an Alaska thing. Either way, it seemed she’d be going to get her own bottle of ketchup.
Taking her napkin off her lap and placing it on the table, Eliza pushed back her chair. When the waitress told her there was a bottle of ketchup on the table behind theirs, she figured it was unoccupied, so she was surprised to see a man sitting there. And not just the average, run-of-the-mill guy she’d expect to find in a diner either, but a mouthwatering specimen of a man. She remembered reading in Cosmo that there was something different about Alaskan men, that living in the great white north made them more hunky and sexy. Staring at the man seated at the table, she could well believe it.
Thank God he was intent on whatever he was reading on the laptop in front of him because he’d think she was a freak standing there staring at him with her mouth hanging open. But damn, with that dark hair, chiseled, stubble-roughened jaw, and sensual mouth, how could any woman not be mesmerized?
Abruptly realizing how idiotic she must look, Eliza finally forced her feet to move. As she neared his table, the man looked up from his laptop and she felt her breath hitch as his gaze met hers. She’d never seen eyes like his before. Not quite brown, but not really hazel, either, the only way she could think to describe them was gold. Regardless, they were the sexiest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. The heat from them captivated her, pulling her into their depths, and suddenly she found it hard to breathe. Talking was completely out of the question.
When he lifted a brow in question, she finally managed to break out of her trance.
“I, um, was wondering if I could steal your ketchup,” Eliza stammered, her face coloring. “We don’t have any,” she added, glancing back at her table.
The man followed the direction of her gaze, his gold eyes settling on the photographer for a moment before he gave her a smile. “Sure.”
Picking up the bottle, he held it out to her. As she reached for it, her fingers brushed his and she almost gasped at the sensation that swept through her. It was like she’d just gotten completely and thoroughly kissed. Her knees felt weak and there was a delicious little flutter in her tummy that left her breathless. It was also entirely possible that a slight purr had started between her legs, but she was too distracted to know for sure.
It was then that she realized she hadn’t actually taken the bottle of ketchup yet. She was just standing there touching him like a doofus. She tried to cover her bizarre behavior by grabbing the bottle, but ended up almost knocking it out of his hand. They both fumbled with the thing before she finally gained control of it.
Heat rushed to her face. Could she be any more lame?
“I think your boyfriend’s waiting for the ketchup,” he said when she continued to just stand there.
Eliza’s brow furrowed in confusion at the word “boyfriend,” but then she realized he must be referring to Alex. She forced her attention away from the pleasant warmth that was indeed swirling between her thighs and gave him a smile. “Oh, you mean Alex. He’s not my boyfriend. We just work together.”
One eyebrow rose. “Really?”
Oh, God. Did he think she was trying to come on to him? Crap, she really needed to go back to her table before she did something else to embarrass herself. But she couldn’t seem to make her feet move. She had a crazy urge to reach out and touch him again to see if that same sexual spark happened again. Resisting the impulse, she instead tucked her long, dark hair behind her ear. “But you’re right. He is probably waiting for the ketchup.”
Giving the man another smile, she forced herself to turn and walk back to her table. She had to focus hard just to get one foot in front of the other. But halfway there she couldn’t resist glancing over her shoulder to take one more look at him. He was still regarding her with those incredible golden eyes of his, and her pulse skipped wildly at the intensity in that gaze.
What was going on with her? She’d never experienced anything like this in her life. She had to get control of herself. Giving him one more look over her shoulder, she turned and stumbled back to her seat in a daze, clutching the bottle of ketchup in her hand.
Across from her, Alex looked at her as if to say, what the hell is wrong with you? “You just going to sit there and hold that bottle all night, or can I use some?”
She blinked. “What? Oh, yeah. Sorry,” she mumbled, handing it to him.
Eliza watched as the photographer dumped ketchup on his onion rings, then dug into his meal. She knew she should do the same, but she couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. Her heart was still racing as if she’d just come back from a run. Or just had some really fantastic sex. Damn, all of that was from a mere brush of the fingers? She couldn’t keep herself from wondering what it would have been like if he really had kissed her.
It was a long time before Eliza could focus on her food, and by then, she realized she wasn’t really hungry anymore, at least not for food anyway.