Jude Lawrence might not be a psychopath or serial killer, but he is delusional. “How have you never seen a Marvel movie?” I momentarily abandon the best milkshake I’ve had in years to throw my hands in the air. “Like, how is that even possible?”
“I don’t know. Maybe because I’m not a teenager?” During dinner he ditches his jacket, rolling the cuffs of his dress shirt. A simple, practical move before digging into these mammoth craft burgers, but also incredibly distracting.
A gasp leaves my lips. More from the shock he’s dissing my favorite franchise, and a little from how he fills out his dress shirt. I wish he didn’t look so good. It’d be easier to stay angry.
He only smiles smugly and shoves another fry into his mouth. “What? You can’t tell me you actually like those movies.”
Too far. “Take that back. Take it back now, or I am never speaking to you again.”
His brows lift. “You’re serious?”
“Fine.” He holds up his hands. “I am sorry I don’t like Batman.”
“Batman! Do you know nothing? I thought you were successful!”
He chuckles and swipes one of my fries.
“Hey.” I tug my food closer to my side of the booth. “Next you’ll tell me you’re one of those adults who doesn’t dress up for Halloween.”
A laugh bursts from his lips, lighting his entire face with his smile. God, he’s beautiful. Even if he’s mocking me. “I haven’t dressed up since elementary school, maybe? I don’t even hand out candy.”
“Bah humbug. Aren’t you the regular Mr. Scrooge?”
“I think you have the wrong holiday.”
“Oh?” I tilt my head and level him with a mock glare. “Do you decorate for Christmas?”
“No comment.” He holds his smile, but for a split second he almost appears sad. Or maybe I only image it, because as soon as it’s there, it’s gone. “I don’t put up a tree for Christmas, but I do give really good gifts, so that has to count for something.”
It does. Though I’m not surprised. He’s been more than generous in our interactions, and I’m practically a stranger. Knowing he takes pride in his gift giving makes my heart warm a little more toward the man. “Okay, you get a point for that. But I’m still not over the fact you don’t share my love of Thor.”
His brow crinkles and he shakes his head, sending a few locks forward on his face.
I almost sigh. Speaking of Thor. If Jude lightened his hair just a shade he’d make the perfect one. I don’t imagine he’d be caught dead in costume, but a girl can dream.
“You’re fun to tease, you know that?” He leans back into his seat.
“Don’t mess with my movies. Holidays. Or my fries.” I take another bite of food, covering my mouth as I chew because he’s staring again. It’s a penetrating gaze in which he’s the match and I’m the kindling ready to be set ablaze. Unnerving. Knowing. As though he’s prepared to peel back all my layers, whether I want him to or not. And I kinda do. I divert my gaze back to my mostly eaten meal, because if there’s one thing I don’t need right now, it’s to lose control.