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C9 Wearing Her Down

Carter showed up at the café in the middle of breakfast rush. Based on Luis’ reaction upon seeing Carter, he didn’t like him being in the café. Hmm…curious, Cara thought to herself. She dreaded Carter’s presence at the café, even though his message from last night warned her that he’ll be there in the morning.

She was so surprised last night when he mentioned that she works at Eclare Café. She never responded to his last message, spending the rest of the night thinking how he knew. As she was putting her café uniform on that morning before work, she realized that Carter must knew because of the logo in the shirt.

Still, she felt it was better if Carter didn’t keep his word and didn’t show up, at all. Once she got past Carter’s good looks, the knowledge of him beating up someone keeps nagging at her. She wants to stay away from him as far as she can; although it seems like Carter has a different plan.

Cara watched him walked his way to the take-out counter where she was assigned for the week. “Hey sweet thing.” Carter greeted, his eyes smiling. Despite him beating up someone which means possible violent tendencies, she can’t help but be taken by that smile. He really is charming and attractive. If she didn’t know about him beating someone, she would have completely fallen to him by now.

“Good morning. What can I do for you?” Cara asked politely. Luis is staring at Carter’s back, shaking his head. Luis’ reaction confused her. Does he know Carter? “I would actually love to take you out, after your shift?” Carter asked hopefully.

“This is the take-out line for the croissants, not the girl.” Someone exclaimed, probably one of the impatient customers. Cara seeing the line forming behind Carter, waved for him to step out of the line, pointedly looking behind him.

Carter getting the message, stepped away, but continued talking to her after she took the customer’s order. “I won’t stop bothering you until you say yes.” He warned as she watched Cara box up the order. Giving in, Cara threw Carter an exasperated look. “I’ll talk to you during my break which is in 10 minutes.” Realizing that she wouldn’t be able to get rid of Carter, she willingly sacrificed her twenty-minute break to get this over with. “Ten minutes.” Carter said and went outside the café.

Ten minutes later, Cara walked outside, bringing iced coffee for the both of them. Surprised, Carter took the drink and thanked her. Carter can’t remember the last time someone just gave him something without him asking. It’s always him giving, never receiving. The last time he received something, it was from his mother when he was ten. It was something insignificant that he can no longer recall it. But realizing how long it has been, with Cara, whom he barely knows, giving him something just because, made his heart squeeze.

Cara was about to take a sip of her drink. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?” Carter cleared his throat, the sudden emotion making it hard to speak. “Like…something. I don’t know!” Cara exclaimed, looking away, blushing a little bit. Carter took a moment to compose himself, liking the blush at Cara’s face. “Go out on a date with me.” Cara looked at him like he lost his mind, her brows meeting together. She looked so fucking adorable he involuntarily reached and rubbed the little space between her brows. The unexpected touch made Cara flinch, while Carter smirk at his effect on her.

“No. I’m busy. I work both morning and afternoon shifts, until closing.” Cara reasoned. “You’ve got hours in between the morning and afternoon shift, we can date then.” Carter immediately countered. “I nap in between. Working the breakfast rush is exhausting; I need the energy for the afternoon until closing.” Cara still trying to give valid reasons why they can’t go out on a date. “Besides, I don’t even know you.” She added as an afterthought.

“The point of dating is to get to know each other.” Carter smarted, daring her to refute what he said. He is not letting her get out of this. “If you say no, I’ll just keep showing up until you say yes.” He warned. Cara still said no.

And Carter did what he said. Over the next few days, he kept showing up during the breakfast rush saying he like having breakfast at the café. In the afternoon, saying he likes the snacks in the café. When she asked why he’s staying until evening, he’ll say “I like the tea here” or “I want to try all the meals you serve at night.”

Carter just won’t stop. He just won’t go away no matter how many times she said no. Luis is getting annoyed with him showing up every single shift, every single day, but can’t do anything about it since he’s an actual paying customer and is not disrupting the operations of the café. He even has his own spot in the café; the servers know not to seat anyone at the table which is directly facing the take-out counter where Cara is frequently assigned because Carter always shows up.

“If I go out once with you, will you stop showing up at the café?” Cara ask, one week after Carter started his café visit. Carter smiled and nodded. “You also have to answer my messages, and you’ll let me walk you home starting tonight.” Cara actually have to laugh at that; she’s willing to give an inch but he’s going to take that inch and turn it to a mile.

“Before I say yes, answer my question: do you have a girlfriend? Are you dating someone?” She’s willing to give Carter a chance to prove that he’s more that just the guy who beat someone up. Maybe there’s a reason, maybe the other guy deserved the beating. She knows that violence is not going to be the answer to any argument, but she refuses to judge Carter’s whole character because of one incident.

However, she’s never going to go out with him if there’s someone else in the picture. She still hadn’t forgotten about some Celine that he himself have mentioned the first time she saw him.

“There was a girl. But we were never exclusive or anything. I’m going to be very honest with you: she was my frequent hook-up, we just happened because we grew up together, discovered sex together. I get horny as fuck and she’s my go-to girl. That was the full extent of our relationship. Friends with benefits.” Carter answered with all seriousness. He took a breath, gauging my reaction. “I ended everything with her before I started chasing you.”

Cara knows that the youth in this country is open and liberated when it comes to sex. She’s no prude; she read books with sex in them, but she never had sex with anyone, let alone have a relationship with someone. Still, hearing him say about his fuck buddy shocked her some, and she might feel a little…jealousy? It took her a beat to respond, forgetting what she was about to say. “Fine. As long as I am not overstepping someone’s relationship, I’d go out with you, once.” She emphasized the last word.

Carter smirked. “Let’s see.” His answer strangely sounded like a challenge.

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