"Can someone tell me why this coffee tastes like apples?" The man said staring quizzically at the cup in his hand.
"That's because you grabbed my apple cider instead of your coffee." A soft, feminine voice teased from behind him.
The man turned to face the voice and nearly bumped into the woman's slightly outstretched arm.
"Oh God, I'm so sorry! I am literally the world's biggest klutz."
He pulled some napkins from the dispenser and handed them to her. She wiped off her hand, crumpled the napkins up and tossed them in the garbage all in one smooth series of motions. Her eyes twinkled with a mischievous light, and the man felt the corners of his lips twitch up.
"Your coffee." She said holding out the cup.
He passed her the one he was holding as he took the one she was holding out. He noticed a lipstick stain on the rim of the cup she had handed him.
"I'll buy you a new one if you want. Although I can't imagine why you'd want something that tastes that awful." She said with a smile.
"It's the only way to wake up with the hours I work. I'm Danny by the way." He said holding out his hand.
She took it in what was a surprisingly firm grip.
"I'm Danielle, but I also go by Dani."
"Well, that explains the order confusion." He chuckled.
The smile came again, and this time she had one to match.
"Well, Danny, how about that new coffee?"
"Only if I'm paying and we'll get you a new cider while we're at it." He said with a wink.
"It's a deal."
As they got back in line, Danny took in the woman who was standing next to him. Her copper red hair caught the overhead lights making it seem like there were thousands of different shades of red coming together. It was caught up in a messy, high ponytail that fell right in between her shoulder blades. She was wearing what looked like a business casual outfit with shockingly high heels. He watched as she stepped forward not even seeming to notice the height of the heels.
He looked down at his own faded jeans and a worn t-shirt. He knew his hair was ruffled and he hadn't shaved in at least three days. He ran a hand over the accumulated stubble self consciously.
Dani caught his eye with a raised eyebrow.
"What's causing that look?"
"What look?" He asked innocently.
She pointed to his face.
"Just wondering how you walk in those things," Danny said pointing to her heels.
Dani tossed her head back and let out a throaty laugh.
"It's easy when you do it every day."
"Where on earth do you work that requires you to wear those every day?"
"I work in the law department for a fashion magazine. We always have to look our best."
"Some days. Other days you get to rip people to shreds over copyright laws."
"Still sounds tedious."
"You weren't there for the harassment lawsuit."
Danny met her eyes.
"Now that sounds like it could be an interesting story."
They had reached the counter and put in an order for their drinks as well as two breakfast sandwiches. They headed to the pickup counter, and Danny was once again struck by the odd pairing that they made. He let out a small laugh and shook his head.
"You have that look again."
"We make an odd pair," Danny said simply.
"Why do you say that?"
"You're dressed as if you're going to take on the world and I look like I crawled out of bed five minutes ago."
"Well, you obviously didn't do that. We've been waiting in line at least twice that long. Besides, you pull it off."
They grabbed their orders and headed to a table.
"So what is it you do?"
"I own a few vacation resorts. I just got back from a remodel of one of them actually."
"Uh huh. And how many is a few?"
"Currently about thirty but my company is looking to expand soon."
"Your company? Are you the Danny Holden?"
"Guilty as charged."
"And you had the nerve to assume we were outmatched." She teased.
He smiled sheepishly. She checked her watch, and he saw a look of sheer panic cross her face.
"I'm so sorry but I've got to go, or I'll be late. It's been really nice getting to know you this morning, Danny." She said sincerely.
"It has been nice. Thank you, Dani."
She smiled warmly at him and started to walk off. She abruptly turned around to face him.
"Same time tomorrow?"
"You can count on it."
With that, she took off but not without a parting glance. Danny couldn't help the smile that seemed to be stuck on his face as he watched her leave.