The next day at work started as any other day. David was explaining the features of a Blu-ray player to an older man.
Leroy was grumbling about Astrid forgetting to pack his lunch again, so he announced he would go pick up something to eat for the group.
Arthur was idling by until a new customer arrived.
Killian was in his little office working, hoping today would be a better day.
The difference was that today a beautiful blonde entered the store. She was wearing some tight jeans and a red leather jacket. Arthur admired her from afar as she walked down the store aisles.
She stopped in front of the cameras and her head tilted to the side slightly.
“Excuse me, Miss. Is there anything I can help you with?” Arthur smoothly asked.
She turned to face him and glanced at the cameras. “I’m looking for a camera. Something cheap but decent quality.” She turned her attention back to him only to notice he was staring at her chest as if he could see through the sheer material that covered her breasts.
Killian was walking from his workspace as he noticed Arthur talking to a customer. He stopped for a second when he could see the woman’s face. It was the lovely lass who came to his home looking for Lacey. She looked stiff, no, uncomfortable. Bloody hell, Arthur was creeping her out. It was time for a dashing rescue.
Killian approached and greeted them. “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt.” He smiled at her and turned his attention to Arthur. “Mate, Cruella is looking for you.”
Arthur grimaced. “I’m with a customer, Killian.”
“I’m sorry, mate, she says it’s urgent.”
Arthur rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry, Miss. Killian will take care of you.” Arthur walked slowly to the back, clearly in no hurry to deal with their boss.
“I’m sorry, Miss. You looked uncomfortable.”
“Yeah, well your coworker is a jerk, but no one saves me but me. I was about to punch him in the face.”
Killian smiled at her. “I see, you’re a tough lass. How can I be of help, my lady?”
She smiled back. “I was telling Mr. Douche that I need a camera. I’m looking for a camera for my kid. He wants to sell stuff on eBay. And I'm not your lady. My name is Emma.”
“Oh, do you have a price range or any brand preference?” He couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Of course, a beautiful lass like her couldn’t possibly be single. He was not that lucky.
“No, I don’t. I need something inexpensive but gets the work done. He's only doing it to earn money for some writing camp. He wants to be a writer when he’s older.”
“He sounds like a wonderful young man. You and your husband must be very proud.”
“Is that your subtle way of asking if I’m married?” Emma smiled sarcastically at him.
Killian scratched behind his ear and stuttered his denial. “No, it would be inappropriate for me to ask.”
“Would it be inappropriate if I said I’m a single mom?”
“No, it’s not. Um.” His attention turned to the cameras on display and he grabbed one. “This is a Nikon Coolpix A100 20 MP Digital Camera and it’s $98.99, but with my employee discount I can knock it down for you to $79.13. I think it will work for what your boy needs.” He smiled.
“You don’t have to use your employee discount,” Emma insisted.
“It’s the least I can do. Arthur was unprofessional and it's a thank you for warning me about Lacey.” Killian smiled as he handed the camera to her.
Emma eyed him suspiciously; most men only do nice things for her if they want something, but this guy seemed genuinely kind. “Okay, but maybe I can buy you a coffee or something?”
“That’s not necessary, lass. I just hope it’s of use for your boy.”
They walked to the cashier section, and Killian went behind the counter to charge her. She thanked him, and he watched her walk away for the second time.
No sooner had she left, when Arthur returned from the back office. “Hey, Jones. Cruella wasn't even looking for me, and because of you, she kept me in her office, trying to get me to,” he shuddered, “to ‘service her'.”
Killian winced. Cruella tended to attack Arthur and himself exclusively since David and Robin were both unavailable and Leroy was Leroy.
Arthur shook it off. “So, where’s the hot blonde?”
Killian glared. “I helped her find a camera for her son.” He had a feeling that the fact she had a child would definitely be a turn off for Arthur.
“She has a kid? What a waste.” Arthur walked away and put the blonde in the hell no category.
Later on that day, Killian was enjoying his lunch in the solitude of his little workstation. Arthur smiled at him as he entered. “Hey, I’ve been thinking; we should go out. Just the two of us?”
Killian stared at Arthur.
“Hey man, it’s just unnatural for you to still be a virgin. I mean, you are not that bad looking. Yeah, a little nerdy, but I think we can find a willing woman to do you the favor. If we can’t get anyone, I’m sure Cruella would gladly offer herself.”
Killian’s ears turned red. “I don’t know, mate. I have plans.”
“Come on, what are you going to do? Go home and eat dinner, then watch some nerdy show and finally sleep? Think about it.” Arthur walked away.
Killian regretted not accepting the cup of coffee the lovely lass had offered. He was sure Arthur meant well, at least in his own way. Would it be so horrible to find a nice girl to be with? The right girl? Maybe she had long, blonde hair and sparkling green eyes.
It had been a few days since Emma purchased the camera for Henry. Her kid had loved it; he had been so excited. She had briefly mentioned how helpful Killian had been and that he had some collectibles. Her kid’s eyes grew wide. She had to add that she didn’t think Killian would be selling them, but if he wanted, she could ask for Killian to show them to him. Would it be too forward? There was something about the guy she really liked. He was nice and a gentleman. Hmm, there weren’t too many of those around anymore.
Henry had noticed his mom had a genuine smile when she handed him the camera. There was more to it, but he wouldn’t pry. Just yet anyway.
At dinner some days later, Henry asked, “Mom, I was wondering if I could spend Friday night over at Avery’s? We are working on a project for school.”
“Sure kid, what are you guys working on?” Emma asked as she took a drink.
“It’s a special project and I also have to work on my submission for writer’s camp,” he said looking down.
“Alright, do you need anything for it?”
“Well, my computer hard-drive needs cleaning and it's running a bit slow. I was wondering if we could take it to the IT guy at that place you bought my camera. I checked their website and the prices are reasonable.”
“Oh, okay. We can do that. Do we need to make an appointment? The place is small, not a big electronic chain company,” Emma said. “This has nothing to do with your curiosity over the toy collection I saw, right?”
Henry smiled. “Nope, I promise. But if he wants to show his action figure to me I won’t complain.” He shrugged, donning a big, toothy grin.
“I don’t know if it was a mistake telling you about that collection or not, kid. He might be a nice man but maybe I overstepped.” Emma said, smiling back. “Are you going to tell me anything about the special project or your submission for the camp?”
Henry studied his mom’s face. “I want you to be surprised.”
“Alright. I won’t pressure you into telling me. We can go tomorrow right after school. Okay?”
“Thanks Mom!” he said with a big grin.
The grumpy man gave Emma and a smiling Henry directions to Killian’s workstation and they walked directly there.
The space was immaculate. She noticed a small bell on the desk, so she rang it. From the back room there was some clattering, and some muttering was heard right before a booming voice shouted out, “I’ll be right with you. One second please.”
Emma turned to Henry and ruffled his head fondly.
Killian appeared from the room. A bright smile landed on his face as soon as he noticed who it was. “Hello, how may I help you?”
“Oh, hello. Uhm.” She nudged Henry.
“Hello, I’m Henry and I was wondering if you could take a look at my laptop. I think it needs cleaning, it’s running slow.”
Killian took the laptop from the lad. “Hello, Henry. I’m Killian and I can gladly do that. Just let me run a diagnostic on it.” He went to the back room and came back with a flash drive and installed his program on the laptop. He gave Emma and Henry a smile. “It shouldn’t take long.”
It’s Henry’s turn to nudge Emma. Killian was looking at the exchange.
“Killian, I-” Emma said.
Killian’s attention returned to his task as he checked the computer for the results of a possible virus. His brow furrowed as he did his work.
Emma studied his movements.
Henry observed his mom, and knew she deserved happiness. She had been alone for so long. When he asked why, she simply said “You’re all I need .” He wasn’t a fool; yes, he was young, but he knew better.
Killian felt her eyes on him, and blushed. He tried to keep his voice steady. “Lass, this might take a wee bit longer than I expected. If you prefer, you and the lad can go to the diner around the corner. I will give you a call when the computer is ready.”
Emma smiled. “Oh, okay, we can do that. What do you say kid?”
“I can eat,” Henry said as his belly growled.
After thanking Killian for the recommendation, Emma and Henry head out to the diner, while Killian sighed and got back to work. Once he was finished, he dug out the card Emma had given him when they first met and made the call.
Emma and Henry arrived shortly with a takeout bag. Emma placed the bag on the tidy desk. “Thank you for the recommendation. To thank you, we got you a snack. I wasn’t sure what you like, so I got you our favorite. Grilled cheese and onion rings.”
Killian smiled. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“I know, but you’ve been so kind.” Emma smiled back.
Henry watched the exchange with a smile. He knew it, his mom liked this guy, but getting her to admit it would be the challenge.
Killian cleared his throat. “Your total is $55.99.” The tips of his ears turned red.
Henry grabbed the laptop and put it in its bag. “Wait, I thought it was $99 for a PC-tuneup?” he said as he pulled out crunched up $20 bills from his pocket.
Killian smiled. “Aye lad, but I’m including my discount. Your mother said you are trying to save money for writer’s camp.” He handed Henry back his money.
Emma couldn’t believe her ears. He had truly listened to her, and he was genuinely so nice to Henry.
Henry smiled and lightly blushed. “Thank you.”
Emma smiled as she paid. She paused for a second, thinking maybe she should ask him out for coffee.
Killian took Emma’s money with a bashful smile as he gave her the receipt. Their eyes met briefly, both full of longing. She smiled as she took the receipt and almost whispered her goodbyes to him.
His ears were burning. He wanted so badly to ask her out to dinner for a date, but it would be bad form to ask her in front of her lad. Another opportunity wasted.