I think we can all relate to the feeling of nervousness around someone we’re attracted to but Rokki, Tess’ niece, is overcome by attacks of clumsiness, usually inflicting some injury on the object of her desires. Here’s her first meeting with Lee.
The garden gate opened and in walked Rokki, Tess’s niece and she cast her eyes round the garden before opening the back door, then Kacey heard the sound of voices but they were too far away for her to hear what was said.
“Wow he’s fit!” Rokki was saying to Tess. “Who is he?” She gazed lustfully through the kitchen window as Tess washed the potatoes to bake for lunch.
“I take it you mean the younger one. It’s Lee, Billy’s son, helping his dad out.” Lee was the image of Billy, showing what Billy must have looked like in his youth and she could appreciate Rokki’s interest, she’d be interested herself if she were ten years younger, in Billy that was.
“Has he been here before?”
“Sometimes, it depends on his college timetable. He usually comes in the holidays.”
“Why haven’t I seen him then?”
“You just mustn’t have been here when he was. Anyway, never mind Lee, how did it go with Mike? Oh, before you tell me, are you staying for lunch? I’ll put you a potato in if you are.”
Rokki looked at the four potatoes in the glass ovenproof dish, rapidly assessing the situation and decided yes please, she would, she’d be able to see more of the gorgeous Lee if she had lunch with him.
“Are you off today?” asked Tess.
Rokki shook her head. “No but it’s one of those stupid days when I have a lesson from nine to ten in the morning and don’t have another til three so I’ve got all this time to kill. I’d thought I’d come over and give you an update.”
“I’m looking forward to hearing it. When you’ve told me I’ll make us all a coffee and you can go and take the men theirs.”
“Woo hoo, what a good idea!”
“So go on then, what happened with Mike? Is he speaking to you or did he blow you out?”
“Well,” Rokki warmed to her tale, “I didn’t see him til yesterday, I wondered if he was avoiding me, and we came face to face as I was going out of the refectory and he was going in. I went hot all over – my face must have been crimson – and I just muttered ‘Hi.’ He answered me and looked a little wary – bet he was glad we were well away from the stairs! I sort of stuttered and stammered something like, ‘I’m really sorry about your lip. How is it?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, it’s OK. ‘Was it really bad?’ I asked. ‘Did you have to have stitches?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, a couple, but it was OK.’ It was still bruised but the swelling had gone down. Don’t think he’ll be kissing anyone for a while though, least of all me.”
“You never know. What happened then?”
“He just said, ‘Well see you,’ and walked off with his mates. I didn’t get the feeling he wanted to linger round me for long.”
“Oh that’s a shame but never mind, onward and upward. I’ll go and make the coffee and you can take it out to Lee.”
Rokki took a mirror out of her bag and inspected her reflection. She bared her teeth making sure there were no bits of food stuck there; she didn’t want to make a fool of herself when she took the coffees out, she’d done more than enough of that with Mike, she didn’t want a second shot at it with Lee. She added a touch more lipgloss and ran her fingers through her hair to make it look fuller and more bouncy as Tess set the two mugs of coffee and a plate of biscuits on a tray.
“There you are, go and take that to them.”
Rokki took the tray, heart hammering like a blacksmith on an anvil and Tess opened her the door.
Rokki took careful steps across the patio, up the first step to the lawn, then the second. She looked up, lips poised to shout, ‘Coffee boys,’ and that was her fatal mistake, losing her concentration. She tripped on the top step and the word that came out was an involuntary ‘Oh!’ bringing both Billy’s and Lee’s heads up from what they were doing to see Rokki, stumbling at a headlong gallop across the lawn in an effort to steady herself, knees knocking, feet crossing, hands holding up the tray like a trophy, in a balancing act to rival any circus performer with spinning plates, and the coffee a swirling tempest sloshing around in the mugs.
Lee ran across the lawn to rescue the tray just in time before the whole lot descended to the ground, and Rokki managed to regain her balance without scalding either herself or Lee.
“Oh I’m… I’m so sorry,” she stammered. “I was coming to bring you a drink. You must think I’m such a dork. I’m Rokki by the way, Tess’s niece.”
Lee’s amusement lit up his honey coloured eyes, so like his father’s but he kept any hysterical laughter well and truly in its place.
“I’m Lee, Billy’s son, and no I don’t think you’re a dork, anyone can trip. Good thing I was around to catch the tray.” He allowed himself a wry grin.
“Yes um… well, enjoy your drink,” and she turned and headed back to the house with as much dignity as she could muster, cheeks flaming.