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PANCAKES AND PASSION
CHAPTER 01: IT ALL STARTED OVER PANCAKES
It all started over pancakes.
Pancakes swimming in butter and maple syrup to be precise.
How, you ask, can the greatest love story of all time have started over pancakes?
Well, let me tell you.
It was the first Sunday in January in Newcastle, and it was hot. As in heatwave hot. As in heat ripples wafting up from the street hot. Definitely too hot in our little, sans air-conditioning flat to cook breakfast. My two flatmates, Billy and Jason, were still dead to the world—not surprising after the party we’d gone to the night before, but seeing as my stomach was demanding I feed it now, I decided to go for breakfast by myself at the new café that had opened up right near the beach. It was only a few blocks from our humble abode and therefore within walking distance and perfect.
It was a cruisy place already popular with the local surfers and beach aficionados. The owners had decked it out with chunks of driftwood and artfully draped fishing nets, and even a surfboard hung on one of the walls. Dressed in my boardies, a tee, flip lops, and sunnies, I fitted right in.
I chose a table with a view of the ocean, but one glance in its direction made me offer up a silent prayer of thanks to my sunnies—my eyes were so not ready for direct sunlight, or, for that matter, glare. I chose, instead, to peruse the menu. It was pretty good. It had all the usual cast of characters like; bacon and eggs, french toast, omelettes, eggs benedict etc., but the old tum wasn’t up for anything egg related so I was relieved to see pancakes on there too. Yep, pancakes and a caramel milkshake, followed by a coffee, were exactly what the hangover doctor ordered.
Placing the menu on the table, I glanced around the café with the intention of trying to catch the eye of one of the wait staff. That didn’t work, but one of them sure as hell caught my eye. Holy effing dooley he was cute.
Not that tall, maybe only five-eight or nine, but perfectly put together. Some might say he was a little thin, but I didn’t think so. No, to me, he was flawless. He had messy short dark hair and big eyes. I couldn’t see their color because of the distance separating us, but whether they were gray, blue, green, brown, or hazel didn’t matter—regardless of color, I was certain I’d want to swim in them. Hell, they could have been hot effing pink and I’d still have dived in!
For the second time in less than fifteen minutes I had to thank my sunnies—not only had they hidden my reaction, they’d also allowed me to take a good long look. I really hoped the person who invented sunglasses got awarded the Nobel Peace Prize or something. They certainly earned it.
He scooted between the tables, swiveling to offload the last drink on his tray. He bent over… Fuck! His ass was perfect too.
I closed my eyes to sever the connection—it was the only way I was able to stop myself staring at him.
“Are you ready to order?”
The voice asking the question was slightly raspy, like its owner had had a big night the night before.
I knew it was him.
I just knew it.
I opened my eyes and looked up.
Yep. It was him all right and, if anything, he looked better up close than he had at a distance.
I immediately zeroed in on his eyes. They were moss green, the iris ringed in black, and they seemed to shine rather than glitter. Yep, I could most assuredly drown in them. It was only as I continued to stare that I noticed how thick his lashes were. They had to be the thickest I’d ever seen.
“Your order?” he asked again, smiling.
Perfect teeth, too, surrounded by perfect lips—a bit pouty and full. Just the way I liked them. Perfect for nibbling on and sucking into my mouth. I should have known. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
“Um, oh yeah.”
Somehow, I managed to give him my order without stumbling over my words. It was a bloody miracle, seeing as my tongue felt like it had grown about a foot in length and was choking me.
I dragged my gaze away from his eyes and looked down at his chest at his name tag.
His name was Rory.
I sat in a daze, staring sightlessly out at the crashing waves, while I waited for my order, my hunger forgotten.
“Your pancakes, sir. And would you like a side of Rory with that?”
I lifted my gaze to look at him, blinking a few times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I knew I couldn’t be having a sugar induced auditory hallucination—I hadn’t had any sugar yet. But was I still drunk? I was certain I couldn’t have heard him correctly. It had to have been wishful thinking on my behalf. He couldn’t possibly have asked what I thought he had.
“Would you like a side of Rory with your pancakes?”
Okay, no hallucinations. He’d really said it.
See, like I told you. It all started over pancakes.