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Dawn

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The tiredness was written all over Ralph’s face as he sat down at the bar and ordered a whiskey. He came to the bar every Friday, sitting down by himself with a drink. It was his way to relax after a long, tiresome week at work.

Glancing at him, you poured him a glass and sat it down in front of him, wishing you could comfort him with a hug instead. But it was too soon. Only a few weeks had passed since the divorce, and you didn’t want to push him into something he wasn’t ready for. Who knew he was even interested in you?

“How’ve you been, Ralph?” you asked instead, offering him a smile as he looked up at you, the otherwise brightness in blue eyes gone.

“I’m okay, I guess. Keeping myself busy with work.” He gave you a quick smile in return before taking a sip on the amber liquid.

Nodding, you reminded yourself that he got back to work around the same time as his divorce.

“You know what bothers me the most?” he asked suddenly and looked up at you, his eyes filled with new life as he searched for your gaze.

“What?” you asked, feeling your cheeks glowing hot at the intensity in his blue eyes.

“That you’re always on my mind. That it seems impossible for me to stop thinking about you.”

You stopped your movements, frozen solid to the ground as you stared at the detective.

“W-What?” you stuttered, your breath hitching in your throat. Was he for real? You didn’t know what to say, what to do, how to act. All you could do was stare at him.

Ralph saw the shock on your face and instantly regretted his word. Damn, why did he have to open his big mouth? He was twice your age, dammit. What did he think?

“I’m sorry. Just forget it, okay?” He swallowed down the whiskey and walked out of the bar, leaving you staring after him with a look of complete and sheer surprise on your face.