Amber looked at her phone and sighed. She had worked a double yesterday and it looked like she would be working another today. The new hire had called in for the second day in a row. Chelsea, her co-owner, was out of town, so she couldn't call her to cover it. Amber sighed again, resigning herself to another 12 hour day at the coffee shop.
What was the point of doing well enough to hire new people if they never seemed to show up? Amber mused as she filled the case with her freshly baked pastries. Glancing at the clock, she saw there was only fifteen minutes until the shop would open. She quickly finished with the pastries and set about getting everything else ready.
Only five minutes after open, she heard the bell above the door ring. Thinking it was Mrs. Bellstorm, the old minotaur who came every morning, she didn't bother looking up from under the counter as she shouted a greeting. A gruff male voice answered her. Startled, Amber hit her head on the counter as she stood. "Sorry I thought you-" Amber stopped and stared with her hand still on her bumped head. Before her was the biggest and most handsome orc she had ever seen. He was at least seven and a half feet tall with dark green skin and grey eyes. His tusks were short but shiny. Unusual for orcs, his black hair was cut short. Even the horizontal scars on his face only served to make him more attractive. He was wearing a tight, dark blue t-shirt that accentuated evey muscle of his frankly extensive collection. Suddenly aware that she was staring with her mouth slightly open and her hand on her head, she quickly closed her mouth and put her hand down. Unfortunately, she bit her tongue and slapped the counter. Amber felt herself going red, even worse her attractive new customer seemed irate. Had her clumsiness been that bad? Was he tired of women gawking at him? Oh my God, she still hadn't said anything! Get it together Amber! She silently coached herself, say something!
"I'm sorry", she stammered, her tongue still sore, "I thought you were someone else. We just opened and I wasn't expecting any customers besides sweet, old Mrs. Bellstorm. She comes in every day, you know? I'm by myself this morning so I'm a little behind. We just hired someone new but she's only showed up for one out of three shifts and that's not a very good record. Of course I'm not the one who actually hired her but I did okay it." Oh great, now she couldn't stop talking! This is terrible, he's going to think I'm insane! thought Amber. Amazingly,the orc didn't seem to be as angry. Instead of the irratated expression, his face wore more of a neutral sneer. "It's fine, girl," he practically growled. "I just need coffee." Amber swooned a little. His voice was so low and gruff, it was unbelievably sexy.
"Of course!" She squeaked. "That's what I'm here for! To fulfill all your needs!" Amber squeezed her eyes shut and mentally facepalmed as the orc raised his eyebrow. After a deep breath Amber opened her eyes and said, "Your coffee needs that is. What can I get you?" She waited with a bright smile as the orc dug around in his pant's pocket, obviously looking for something. Taking advantage of the pause, Amber studied him. She noted how broad his shoulders were and how thick his arms. Then she noticed the emblem on his shirt and the walkie talkie hanging from his pants. He was a firefighter! Thinking to herself that she couldn't have made him any more perfect, Amber noticed he was looking at her expectantly. He was holding a piece of paper out to her and she was just staring at him dreamily! Oh lord! She was not giving a great first impression. Quickly she took the paper. Perhaps a little too quickly judging by the surprised look on his face. Deciding to just ignore her latest faux pas, Amber read the slip of paper. Her eyes widened, there were twenty different orders here! She looked up at him. He met her eyes but looked a little sheepish. "I didn't realize you'd be here by yourself," he said. "If it's too much trouble I can go somewhere else."
"No, no it's fine. I was just a little surprised. It might take me awhile though." Amber replied.
As she started getting everything together Amber jokingly asked the orc if he had lost a bet. To her surprise he blushed.
"Yeah, I guess I did." He replied with a sheepish grin. "Now I have to buy coffee for the whole station. Most of them aren't even working, they just came in for free coffee."
"Oh no," Amber laughed, "that doesnt sound fair."
The orc's grin widened, "Well I lost fair and square so I guess I just have to go with it."
Laughing again Amber offered him a pastry on the house while he waited.
"You don't need to do that." He said unconvincingly. "What's good?"
He was looking at the case hungrily. Amber smiled a little smugly, "It's all good. I make it all fresh. But if I were you, I'd go for a pomegranate blueberry scone."
The orc was sitting at a table munching his scone while Amber got the coffee ready. It was proving difficult as she was having trouble not looking at him every few minutes. She even nearly spilled boiling coffee on herself right as Mrs. Bellstorm came in.
"I'll be right with you Mrs. Bellstorm," Amber called to her, "I'm just finishing up this order."
"Take your time dear." Mrs. Bellstorm answered, eyeing the orc.
Amber put all the cups in holders and called to the orc. She looked at the stacks of cups skeptically. "Do you need help carrying these?"
He brought his scone plate to the counter.
"I got 'em," he said stacking all five holders together and starting for the door. He nodded politely to Mrs. Bellstorm as he passed her.
"Who on earth was that, dear?" She almost whispered to Amber after he had left. "Quite the handsome fellow. What is his name? You know, I think my grandson might work with him..."
Amber, who had been hungrily staring at the orc's bottom as he walked down the street, groaned. She hadn't gotten his name! After all the bumbling around she did, she was sure she'd never get another chance to ask either. Oh well, she sighed to herself as she fixed Mrs. Bellstorm's usual. I guess he will just have to stay tall, dark, and mysterious.