Your nose was pressed against the pages of an old worn out book. Your eyes flew across the pages in rapt interest as the character made an impassioned speech. You nearly squealed in delight as he spoke a favorite line. You folded the book on the cafe table trying to maintain some modicum of composure. Fortunately, the barista called out your order. You pushed away from your table weaving through the tables towards the counter. You reached for the cup brushing hands with someone else. You glanced over at the interruption in confusion. Your eyes met with a wide plaid chest. You glanced back at the cup. Your order was checked off in the boxes on the side. You pulled your hand back struggling with the social awkwardness that had just presented itself.
“Oh, sorry.” The man said revealing an incredibly bright embarrassed smile. “Was this yours?”
You nodded overwhelmed by how beautiful his smile was. You wondered if he was some sort of model or actor, but why would someone like that be somewhere like this? He awkwardly handed the cup to you. He nodded to the black ink scrawled on the side.
“Sam, huh?” His lips twitched back into a shy smile. “Nice name.”
“O-oh… actually, I accidently told the barista the wrong name.” You blushed bringing the cup closer to your body like a shield.
His amused gaze became imploring. “Accidently?”
“Y-yeah. I was reading and I accidently read the name out of my book.” You resisted squirming under his gaze trying hard to meet his eyes. They were beautiful easily meeting yours easily, drawing you to them.
You hiked a thumb over your shoulder towards your table wondering why he chose to continue speaking to you. He followed your gesture tilting his head. You averted your eyes to the plastic lid concealing your drink. When you looked back up at him he was accepting his drink from the barista, a pretty brunette with flawless skin and a cheerful smile. You wavered on your feet debating whether you should return to your table now, especially since the barista’s smile turned into something more inviting. You took a tentative step back, but the man turned back to you after simply nodding a thanks to the barista. He met your eyes again just as attentive as before.
“You know, the only Sam I can think of off the top of my head is from Lord of the Rings.” He continued thoughtfully. Despite the anxiety, you immediately brightened. He chuckled a warm laugh that mirrored the warmth of the coffee in your hands. “Is that what you’re reading?”
You couldn’t help the smile that twisted your lips. You nodded. “The Return of the King, I’m rereading it.”
“I haven’t read that in so long! I was in… high school.” He admitted. “Although, The Two Towers was my favorite.”
Your nose scrunched up automatically. “Return of the King is hands down the best.”
Your mouth dropped open, all anxieties vanishing for a moment. “Are you kidding? The best battles happen in the last book! And the character development actually hits its apex!”
He shot you a look with equal parts teasing disagreement and amusement. “Oh c’mon, but Lothlorien and, okay, and Treebeard?”
“You must have read it a long time ago.” You grinned. “Treebeard’s best is in The Two Towers.”
His shy smile broke into a beautiful grin that lit up the room. Immediately, you shoulders relaxed and you felt comfortable. His gaze dropped to his coffee. You looked around, confidence budding within.
“Are you waiting for someone?”
“Uh, yeah, actually.” You shoulders fell. “For my brother.”
“Oh, then…” You trailed off biting your lip.
“He’s late though,” He cast you a hopeful look from beneath his knitted brows. “Do you mind if I wait with you?”
“Sure.” You tried to hide your excitement. “But only if we can keep talking about Lord of the RIngs.”