“That guy’s here again.”
Jim looked up from the salad he was preparing. “What guy?”
Leonard snorted. He had his hands on his hips. He wore the little mini apron they all wore at the restaurant. As well as the uniform of a crisp white buttoned down shirt and the black slacks. Jim wore the same, of course. In fact he really had to talk to the owner about ordering him looser pants. The two pairs he had accentuated his butt too much. Or Jim thought so anyway.
“Don’t play obtuse coy with me. The Vulcan. The one who comes in and stares at you like he wants to either fuck you or kill you. Not sure which.”
“You totally exaggerate, Leo. He doesn’t do that.”
“Sure, sure. He’s requested your table again, by the way.”
Jim bit his lip and pushed up the glasses on his nose that had been slipping down. “He just likes the food. And I’m good at my job.”
“And that’s all there is to it?”
“Of course. Besides I’ve seen him with a girl.”
“She’s just a friend.”
“How do you know?” Jim finished sprinkling croutons on the salad.
“I told you. He either wants to fuck you or kill you.” Leo shrugged. “My money’s on fucking.”
“Shh.” Jim swatted at him. “Someone will hear you. Maybe even him. You know they say they have crazy ass hearing.”
“So what if he does? I’m on to him. He’s not coming back continuously for Janice’s Harvest Apple Salad, trust me.”
“Maybe he is.” Jim put Len and his stupid ideas out of his mind and carried over the salad he’d just made to the older lady at a table not that far from where the Vulcan sat. “Here you go,” Jim said with a smile.
“Thank you, dear,” the customer said.
“You’re welcome. Can I get you anything else?”
“Not just now.”
Jim turned toward where the Vulcan sat. He’d been in a total of five times now in the last two weeks. Jim had no idea what his name was or anything. One time Jim saw him outside the restaurant by a teashop with a tall, thin woman.
Today he was dressed all in black. Black sweater, black pants. He looked austere and yet unbearably handsome too. The truth was he kind of intimidated Jim. He wasn’t sure why.
He walked over to him, PADD in hand, prepared to input his order. “Good evening, sir.”
The Vulcan looked up from the PADD he had been holding, his dark eyes fixing on Jim’s face. “Good evening.”
Jim licked his lips. Tried not to notice the Vulcan’s gaze drop to his mouth. “Hot tea today?”
“That would be welcome.” He made a quick movement and the fork on his table went flying to the floor.
“Oops,” Jim exclaimed, bending over to pick it up. He scooped it up and straightened, and as he turned around, the Vulcan was back to gazing at his PADD. “I’ll bring you another one. Ready to order?”
“I will have the Harvest Apple Salad. Dressing on the side. Please.”
Jim nodded. “Coming right up.”
He shook his head as he returned to the kitchen, frowning when he saw Len once more smirking at him.
“He drops that fork every time and you know why, don’t you?”
“No, genius. He ogles your ass. Big time. I just watched him.”
“Leo, stuff it. He isn’t interested in me,” Jim insisted.
“Oh, you are so cute with your naivety.”
Jim rolled his eyes and got the Vulcan’s tea. He brought it over. “Here you are. And another fork too.”
“Thank you.” He paused. “Jim.”
“How’d you…oh. My nametag.”
“Indeed.” He paused again. “I am Spock.”
“Spock, huh? Cool name.” Jim felt himself turning red and adjusted his glasses again, even though they didn’t really need it. “I’ll, uh, have your salad out in a jiffy.”
“If you do not mind I would like to ask you something.”
Jim looked around warily, but said, “Okay.”
“I am wondering what time you cease work.”
“Oh. Um.” Jim’s mind went blank. He rubbed the back of his neck. He could see Spock was waiting, eyebrow raised. “About eleven, I guess. Restaurant closes at ten but then there’s always a bit of cleanup after and the stragglers at the table who don’t leave for a bit. So usually I don’t know like eleven.”
Spock’s lips thinned a little. “And what are your days off?”
Jim frowned. “Well. I mean, how come you’re asking?”
Spock’s eyebrow shot up higher. “I believe it is the accepted way to inquire after a date to see you. Is it not?”
Jim’s jaw dropped. “See-see me?”
There was just the subtlest change in Spock’s expression. “You would rather not. I understand.”
“No!” Jim said quickly. Winced at how he had just raised his voice. “I just…really? You and me?”
“You do not date non-humans.”
Jim laughed then. Maybe a little hysterically. “I don’t date anyone.” Then he blushed and looked away. “But I’d…if you mean it—”
“I mean it.”
Jim glanced back at him. “Yeah? My days off are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. I get off at three on Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays until around eleven. Sundays about nine.” He bit his lip. “More than you wanted to know right?”
“No. It was most helpful. If you are amenable, I would like to take you to dinner on Monday. I can pick you up.”
“Um, sure. Yes. I’m amenable.” Jim swallowed. “I’d better get your salad.”
He hurried back to the kitchen.
“See! Told you!” Leo cackled.
Jim shoved his friend. “Shut up.”
“You should ditch those glasses so he can see those eyes of yours.”
He rolled his eyes. “I can’t see without them, genius.”
“Anyway, stop distracting me with this crap. It’s just, you know, like a first date or whatever.”
“He wants in your pants.”
“Shut up,” Jim said again. “Don’t you have tables to serve?”
Leo simply grinned. “Yeah, yeah. I do. But here’s what I’ve heard about Vulcan anatomy—”
“Leo, table three is asking for their check,” Janice Rand, the owner, said, as she entered the employee area.
“Okay.” And Leo moved away.
Janice eyed Jim. “You okay, honey? You look a little red.”
Jim attempted a smile. “It’s hot in here.”
“I’ll turn the air on.”
“Thanks.” Jim glanced back toward Spock. He was still there. Jim’s stomach was twisted in knots, but also, maybe, he was just a little excited.