“Whoa, that’s a tough one.” I stated, truly impressed.

His bronze cheeks reddened a little and he grinned as he lowered his head. “Well, it’s not too bad. Are you from Washington originally?”

“No, Arizona.”

“Were you born there?” Keanu’s dark brown eyes were penetrating as he probed me about my life.

Nodding, I finished off the last of my mocha. Peeking wistfully into the empty mug, I hoped our food was coming shortly, I was hungry.

“In Phoenix?” He prodded.

“Um…” I always had problems answering that one. I didn’t like to explain where I was born. Most of the population could boast at least being born in a city, and more specifically, a hospital. There was no pride in stating that my mother pushed me out in a cave and then left. “Sedona. You?” I finally answered, fudging the truth a little.

“Hawaii.” He smirked as my eyes lit up with his answer.

“Oh, I’ve always wanted to go there!” I really did. The way the island seemed to breathe with beauty and energy, it was a dream of mine to take a holiday there.

“It is…beautiful.” His mouth spoke, but his eyes were firmly focused on mine as he enunciated the word beautiful.

The corners of my mouth twitched into a smile and for what felt like the hundredth time that day, I blushed like a schoolgirl.

The waitress arrived beside us with our order. I was ravenous and very grateful to Keanu for buying me a decent meal. It had been a few weeks since I’d eaten anything but macaroni and cheese.

“Any brothers or sisters?” He inquired as he took a large forkful of pancakes. The man’s metabolism must have been that of a lion! He’d ordered eight pancakes, two sides of bacon and four fried eggs! My meager French toast, orphaned between a slice of ham and a strawberry garnish, looked like a bite size snack for him. I would’ve ordered more but I didn’t want to take advantage of his gesture. I didn’t know if this was considered a date so it was best if I just remained polite and not order everything on the menu.

“Nope, just me. You?”

“I have a twin sister, Keila. She’s still in Hawaii.” His entire face warmed with the mere mention of his family yet I wasn’t sure, but I thought I saw a twinge of sadness behind his eyes.

Swallowing a mouthful of pancake, he inquired. “Are your parents still in Sedona?”

He had no idea how painful these questions were for me to answer; I felt my defensive mechanism churning deep within me. I wanted to drop the family subject and the inquisition altogether. Debating within myself as to how to answer, my eyes locked downward, I quietly responded. “My grandmother raised me.” I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. I really liked this guy, but we desperately needed a fresh topic.

He must have sensed my discomfort because he reached over and took my hand. Allowing my eyes to move up to his, I was surprised at the compassionate expression he wore.

For the first time in my life, my heart did a little skip. An awkward silence loomed over the table for a moment. I searched my mind desperately to find something intelligent to talk about but came up empty. Thankfully, he spoke first.

“Do you want to go for a walk or something?” His brown eyes shone with a hopeful glint as he awaited my answer.

“Sure.” I responded very quickly, my voice high-pitched. He made me nervous…but in a good way. I wanted to be with him. I liked his company and I certainly liked looking at him. Normally, I wasn’t the kind of girl who liked the large, hulking type, but damn, he was just a god among men.

Collecting our things, he paid and then led me out of the restaurant, his hand gently placed on the small of my back.

The morning sun was nestling itself into the center of the sky as we walked slowly around the large campus.

Several students were scattered about the yard, enjoying one of the last warm days of fall. Some studious pupils poured over books as they sat beneath the old oak trees. Standing like sentinels over the old university, their nearly bare branches stretched into the sky as though reaching for some unseen angel.

Keeping stride with Keanu, I smiled as I soaked in the atmosphere. A light wind whipped a few strands of my ebony hair over my lips.

“What are you thinking?” He tilted his head with an inquisitive grin as he reached over and gently pulled the flyaway hairs from my face.

“Oh, nothing really, just enjoying today…a lot.” I said, blushing as I gave him a telling glance.

Swinging his large arm gently over my shoulders and giving me a squeeze, he leaned in and with a low, seductive voice replied. “Me too.”

Chapter 4

“Does he go to the university?” Amy danced in front of me as she excitedly asked me everything about Keanu.

“Yes, he’s taking engineering.” I had to giggle as I watched her hug her books to her chest and grin from ear to ear.

Walking down a paved walkway in front of the school, the sound of the chirping robins made me smile. Everything made me smile today.

Examining my face, Amy suddenly halted to a stop and turned to me with a serious expression, she gave me a parental frown as she asked, “Did you…you know, with him?” She did a little pelvic thrust as she accentuated the ‘you know’.


“Well, it’s a perfectly legitimate question. You best be using protection young lady, there’s a lot of diseases out there.” She walked ahead of me, waving her pointer finger in the air.

“We didn’t do anything…yet.” I grinned from ear to ear as I poked her teasingly in the side.

Smirking, she punched me lightly on the shoulder. “Just be careful, okay.”

“Yes mother.” I answered in a sarcastic teenager tone.

“Cassia!” A deep male voice called from behind us.

Spinning around, I was thrilled to see Keanu jogging towards me.

Amy turned around just as Keanu got close enough to wrap his arms around my waist and kiss me on the cheek. My entire body flooded with excitement at his touch. I’d never felt like this before.

“Holy shit!” Amy exclaimed as she gawked at Keanu and his huge chest. “Pardon me.” She added quickly as she regained composure, covering her mouth as though her outburst were a spontaneous burp. I’m sure it didn’t help that he was wearing a really tight muscle shirt.

“Hi there, I’m Keanu.” He offered his right hand to her.

“Hello there, you don’t happen to have a twin brother do you?” Amy flirted as she shook his hand.

“Sorry, twin sister. No brothers.” After winking playfully at Amy, he turned to me. “I was wondering if you’d like to go to a concert with me tonight.”

“Who’s playing?” I inquired politely, though; I would’ve gone to the moon with him if he asked me.

“A friend of mine is playing at the club on 69th street; he gave me an extra ticket.” Keanu held up two slips of paper and waved them back and forth as if to prove he really had them.

Amy elbowed me in the ribs and nodded her approval.

“Of course, that sounds great. What time?” I asked, trying not to stare at his chest. At that moment, I could understand the visual appreciation men had for women’s chests. It was hard not to be impressed by Keanu’s.

“I’ll pick you up around six, okay? Gotta run, late for class.” Both Amy’s and my eyes lingered long and hard on Keanu’s backside as he jogged away. Giggling as we caught each other, we linked arms and continued to walk along the path.

“Damn…wow, yah, I mean…damn.” It took a lot to make Amy speechless.

Looking at my watch, I realized that I’d forgotten about volunteering at the medical department again.

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