The last person Flora had expected to see being ushered into her office was Fraser Reid and she was frozen as he gave her that same charming smile he had given her when they had first met. She remembered the day, when she had come stomping furiously out of the women’s restroom at the airport, her face red and covered in tears, her phone clutched crushingly tight in her hand. Her boyfriend had dared to yell at her when she told him she couldn’t make her flight, that she would have to take another, like it was her fault. She had been so angry she had slammed into him as he walked with his secretary to their terminal, spilling his coffee down the front of her suit. She had started crying again as she apologized and his secretary had rushed off to get napkins. He had been so kind, calming her down and laughing off the spill. He had had her laughing in a matter of minutes. He had even given her his business card, telling her to call him if she ever got the chance, something she hadn’t planned on, but had stuck it in her purse out of habit. She was handed so many on trips that she had a whole file just for them in her office.
“Mr. Reid from Reid Aeronautics for you ma’am.” Her secretary said and she blinked snapping out of the spell he had suddenly put on her.
“Oh, yes, thank you Annie.” She stood, feeling embarrassed as she shook his hand then took her seat again as he dropped down across from her.
“Well, well, well, what a coincidence.” He said, his eyes twinkling with amusement.
“Fraser, how nice to see you again. I didn’t realize I was seeing that Reid.”
“I didn’t realize you were going to be that Flora.”
She cleared her throat as she grabbed the blue envelope out of the little bin on her desk and flipped it open. “So, you want us to build the landing gear for your planes.”
He chuckled. “Alright, to business, I understand.”
She felt so nervous and wasn’t sure why. She did these sorts of meetings all the time and never felt even the slightest hint of nerves but then again, it wasn’t every day she was having a meeting with someone not only sweet but incredibly handsome. “sorry, um, thanks…for being so kind when I met you” His smile grew slightly bigger “it was easy to be kind to you so there’s no need to thank me.” he had been disappointed she never called him but he didn’t hold it against her. He didn’t know much about the relationship that had ended but the man had obviously been an ass and he knew it could be hard to open up again after a relationship like that. He was glad that fate had brought them back to eachother though. He hoped that maybe enough time had passed he could atleast build a friendship with her. Fraser had felt a connection that day, a connection he wanted in his life.
“So, this is some pretty high tech stuff you’re asking for here, state of the art, expensive.”
“Money means nothing when it comes to the safety of my passengers. As far as the technology, are you saying you can’t do it?”
She could hear the challenge in his voice and she gave him a look without even meaning too. “I can do anything you put in front of me.”
His grin widened. “Perfect.” He reached across the table, grabbing her notepad and a pen. “This is my address and I assume you still have my business card. Please feel free to stop by or call anytime. If I don’t answer my phone you may have to come and bang on my door, I tend to get distracted when I work.”
He gently took her hand in his. “I am looking forward to working together.”
She didn’t answer and she didn’t seem to need to. He walked out, leaving her there staring again. She wasn’t out of his trance again until he was completely out of view. It was only then that Flora found her folder of business cards and pulled his out so she could save the number to her phone. That would be easier if she ended up needing to call him more than once while she worked with him. Flora asked her assistant for a black coffee so she could get straight to work. This was just another customer and if she wanted his business again she needed to concentrate.
Flora called a meeting with her best team and showed them the designs. She was happy to see they were all very eager to work on the project and she made sure to tell them to put any others they had on the table to the side. This project was not only going to be good for them, but also good for the company. She told them to come to her if there were any issues so she could relay them to Fraser if anything needed to be changed in anyway.
Fraser sat at his drafting board, a cigarette between his lips as he sketched plans for a new plane. Seeing Flora again had inspired him to create and his pencil moved fluidly over the paper, his eyes focused. He didn’t even hear when his secretary came in and left papers on his desk. She only ever bothered him if it was urgent. His mind drifted between the intriguing Miss Grieg and his work. He suddenly smiled and wrote her last name on the bottom of the page. He wondered what kind of face she would make if she knew he was thinking of using her name for his work. He wasn’t close to done with the concept yet, but he planned on showing her when he was finished.
He hoped it made her happy or even at least prompted Flora to talk to him beyond a working relationship. In any case it gave him motivation to finish his work. He worked diligently until his phone rang. Normally it wouldn’t have caught his attention but he wanted to hear from Flora. “Hello?” It wasn’t her and he almost sighed. While he was on the phone he noticed his secretary had set some paperwork on his desk so once he was off he set to sorting that out before beginning again on his newest project. As the day came to an end Fraser didn’t know if he was more impressed or disappointed that Flora hadn’t needed to talk to him about anything involving what he asked of her.
He had the urge to find her number and call her instead, but felt it might make her feel like he didn’t trust her. He resigned himself to going home and waved to his secretary as he left the building. As he stuck a cigarette between his lips, he had a sudden thought and pulled out his phone, calling his secretary as he slid behind the wheel of his car. “Yes I know I just left, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind giving me Flora Grieg’s number.” She told him to wait a moment then she rattled off a number which he added to his contacts. “Thank you.” He hung up, smiling as he hit send on Flora’s number.
“Hello?” She said when she answered. “Mr. Reid?”
“Fraser, please, Mr. Reid makes me feel really, really old.”
“Okay, Fraser, is something wrong?”
“No, I was wondering if you might be free for coffee in the morning.”
“Yes and I promise not to dump it on you.”
Flora could hear the amusement in his voice. “I seem to remember it was my fault.”
“Not entirely, neither of us was really paying attention. So, coffee?”
Coffee sounds great” Flora answered. She found herself smiling, fondly remembering talking to him and maybe just a hint of eagerness to be able to sit and just talk with him again. “is there anywhere you like?”
“Is Brew Coffee Bar fine with you?”
“I’ve never been there but if that’s where you like we’ll go”
“I promise they have amazing coffee”
“How early are you up in the morning?”
“My body just wakes itself up at six am every day but they don’t open until seven am”
“seven is good with me then. Want to meet there?
“Yeah” his heart danced excitedly and so did hers though neither truly knew how happy the other was that they’d be able to sit like they had when they first met.
“See you in the morning.” He hung up, smiling as he started his car and pulled out of the parking lot.
The next morning when Flora woke, she quickly showered and picked out something nice to wear. She then did her hair and makeup, blushing when she realized how much effort she was putting into looking good for him. She didn’t know why she was trying so hard, they weren’t dating or even really friends. Calm down. She told herself as she grabbed her purse. It’s just coffee. Fraser was standing outside the coffee shop when she pulled up, a cigarette held unlit between his lips as he looked at his phone. He pulled his lighter out and was about to light it when he noticed her and smiled as he tucked his phone in his pocket and the cigarette back in its package.
“Good morning.” He said as she stepped out.
“Morning, you can smoke before we go in if you want.”
“Hmm? Oh, no it’s fine. I do it when I’m thinking, but now you’re here so…” he pulled the coffee shop door open, “after you.”
She walked in and he couldn’t help but note to himself how good she smelled. He wondered if that was her soap or if she was wearing just a little perfume. He however wasn’t going to ask out of fear he might sound creepy. Flora ordered a Cortado which peaked Frasers interest so he decided to try that aswell. He mostly kept his coffee simple but he figured he needed to branch out every now and then anyway. Once they were away from the counter Flora went right into talking about work again. She wanted to get to know him, she truly did but it was sort of a safety to talk about work. It wasn’t emotional, she didn’t have to be nervous when they talked about that.
“I have another project in the works.” He said and took a sip of his drink.
“This is fantastic by the way, you have really good taste.”
Flora felt her cheeks began to redden and glanced away, telling herself to stop getting so caught up in him. “Thank you um another project, already?”
He nodded. “I think you’ll like it, it’s going to be a beautiful plane.”
“I can’t wait to see it.”
He chuckled. “So, how have things been? Last time I saw you, I had just got you smiling again. Any new boyfriends? Should I find the old one and drop him out of one of my planes?”
“Things have been good, fantastic actually. I’ve been focused on work so I haven’t really had time for much. I think the last one kind of soured me a little.”
“I see, that must be absolute torture for the impatient ones.” He said, that now familiar amusement playing in his beautiful eyes.
“And what type are you?”
“I am very, very patient. It comes with being a designer. If I rush then I’ll never get anywhere, rushing makes shoddy products. I prefer taking my time, going from concept to finished product and never skipping any steps in between.”
“Oh.” She sipped at her drink, feeling very nervous. She was supposed to be the epitome of confidence and calm, but Fraser through her for a loop and she wasn’t sure where to look when it came to him.
“I’d like us to be friends, not just work associates. Even if you’d just like to start with coffee in the mornings that’s fine with me.” Floras heart sped up ever so slightly “I think coffee in the mornings is a good start…every morning at seven?” He smiled again “that’s perfect for me” Fraser was glad he asked, glad he made the small push. Coffee in the mornings would be nice and he knew if he was a good coffee companion for awhile she’d eventually let him hangout with her sometime. “so, what’re you doing after we go our separate ways for the day?”
“I’ll just continue on the new plane unless you need me today. I trust you implicitly but I’d also be happy to look over the direction you’re going so far”
“I think we’re okay but I wont hesitate to call” She caught a small glimpse of disappointment but his happy, laid back personality soon took over again. To keep the conversation going Fraser asked “so how did you find this place?”
“My assistant came in one day talking about how great it is and I decided to try their coffee. I wasn’t at all disappointed and I’m glad you seem to like their coffee as well”
“I’ll have to thank her.”
“Giving me a reason to hang out with you.”
“So, do you have a girlfriend or anything?” She silently reprimanded herself for asking the moment the words left her lips.
“I did a couple of years ago, it didn’t quite pan out.”
“Why? You’re so sweet and charming.”
He grinned. “I’m glad you think so.” Her blush made him chuckle. “I was too busy for her. I don’t blame her for breaking it off and it’s not like we ended on bad terms. I think we both knew we weren’t the right fit when neither of us was particularly upset about it.”
“That’s too bad.”
He waved a dismissive hand. “It’s fine, she’s happy, I’m happy, so it’s fine.”
“Better than how my relationship ended.”
“You deserve better anyway, someone who when he looks at you can’t help but think damn I’m lucky.”
“Thanks Fraser” she said, feeling touched by how genuine and kind he was. They finished their coffee and parted ways to go to their jobs. Even as she slipped behind the wheel of her car Flora couldn’t wait for coffee tomorrow. It made her feel much more comfortable with him that he was willing to take this friendship slow. Right now it was just coffee in the mornings, that’s all he wanted for now and was happy to wait for their relationship to become more than just a morning meeting. She walked into work that morning feeling better than she had in months and it showed. Everyone that passed her noticed though they didn’t comment on it to her.
“You’re making a face.” Fraser’s secretary said when she came into his office to hand him some papers.
“Is it at least a happy one?”
“Between utter bliss and disappointment.”
He chuckled as he looked at the contract she had brought him. A new private jet for a band. He smiled. “Tell them I already have one in the works and I’ll send them the concept when I’m done.”
“I take it it’s what you were working on yesterday?”
“Yes, it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous and I’ll even have Flora help build it.”
“You certainly seem head over heels sir.”
“It’s hard not to be, she’s an amazing woman.”
Flora moved around the room that was being used to make Fraser’s landing gear. He had given her more than enough money to make his vision come true and she was happy to see her engineers hard at work. “Flora, would you mind holding this still for me?” One of them asked and she didn’t hesitate to jump in and help out. This project had to be perfect, not just for his planes, but also because she wanted him to come back.
Flora stayed late that night supervising and helping where she could but not so late that she would be tired in the morning. A good nights sleep was important to her, especially considering she would be meeting Fraser again tomorrow. It was when Flora walked into her house that an urge stirred within her to talk to Fraser. Calling would make her too nervous but luckily there was such a thing as texting so she decided to ask him how his day had been. He had put in effort by asking her out to coffee so she knew a little effort was due on her part beyond getting out of her comfortable little bubble she had been living in since her break up. Frasers phone dinged and his soul lit up when he saw it was from Flora. She was texting him, he took that as a really good sign.
He texted back, ‘My day went well and I received a new contract for a jet and I hope you’ll be willing to work with me on it.’
‘I would love too.’ She sent back and he smiled, knowing she thought she probably sounded far too enthusiastic. She was incredibly adorable, especially when she blushed and he could just imagine her red cheeks.
‘I’m glad to hear that. How are you?’
‘Good, about to go to bed so I can see you in the morning.” She felt her heart skip a beat when she hit the send button. She made it sound like it was a date or something.
Fraser chuckled. ‘Then get some rest and I’ll see you in the morning, beautiful.’ He kept smiling as he sat his phone down and went back to sketching. He hoped she was blushing and surprised. He was excited to see her and finished what he was doing as quickly as possible so he could get to bed.
The next morning he got himself showered, dressed and presentable then happily took his sketch with him to the coffee shop. He was eager to show Flora the beautiful new plane that would have her beautiful name attached to it. They both managed to be a little early this morning which meant the coffee shop wasn’t open yet, it wouldn’t be for another fifteen minuets. They both had just been that ready to see eachother again. That familiar chuckle filled her ears as he handed her his work. His eyes studied her face, loving as it filled with surprise then turned cherry red “You’re naming it after me?” She had to ask to be sure. “You’re beautiful and it will be beautiful so yes”
“I wonder, I thought it was obvious. When I first met you I felt an instant connection. It was brief, but I had never felt so happy or at ease. I thought how terrible it was we wouldn’t see each other again and you didn’t even call me, but then I get a second chance, I mean that’s the universe practically screaming at me that it’s meant to be.”
“I’m not asking you to love me right now, but I want you to know that I’ve fallen in love with you. I’ll wait forever for you to fall for me too, so don’t rush yourself or feel obligated to say it back.”
“Most guys give flowers.”
“But I’m not most guys, Flora.” He said, smiling sweetly.
Flora looked back down at the sketches. It really was beautiful. “Thank you so much.”
She wanted to say I love you back but she still didn’t feel quite ready. She hated it but she also knew he meant he could wait and that he truly didn’t want her to say that to him until she was absolutely. Over coffee that morning she couldn’t stop glancing back at the new jet. It’s all she thought about the next few days aside from just Fraser in general. One night, about a week later she showed up at his door “Flora?” he was confused and completely surprised to see her standing at his door “May I come in?”
“You’re always welcome in my home” he moved and she entered. He felt like he couldn’t possibly be more surprised but she threw him for a bigger loop than he had when she pulled him into a kiss. He kissed her back, not caring to question this. He just wanted to enjoy the feel of actually being able to kiss her. She kept kissing him despite the fact she had a long speech prepared and she had only planned for it to be a brief kiss. It just felt so incredible, more incredible than anything she could have created in her head. Feeling how it felt to kiss Fraser, Flora wondered if she had ever loved anyone before because having her lips against someone elses had never felt even an ounce this magical.
She finally decided she couldn’t stand there kissing him all evening so she pulled back, knowing she had to find courage to talk to him. “Fraser…I love you too…I’m scared as hell but I love you too” she cursed herself, where was the rest of her speech? That was all that could come out of her because she truly was scared to open up again.
He chuckled and brought his hands up to frame her face. Her skin was burning with her embarrassment and he leaned in, pressing another kiss to her soft lips. “You look confused, my love.”
“I…I had more, but…”
“Then tell me, I want to hear everything.”
“Could we sit?”
His smile made her heart dance as he took her hand and pulled her into the living room. She was more nervous now than she had been when she showed up and was trying to collect her thoughts. “Flora, take your time.”
“It’s just, I didn’t think I’d actually get this far. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with you, I didn’t even want to fall in love with you. After what happened I told myself never again, there was no way I’d ever let someone else hurt me that bad. Then you show up and I couldn’t stop myself. I’ve never met someone so sweet or sincere or gentle. I want everything with you, but I’m afraid if I give in then I’ll…”
Fraser’s lips were against hers again, his fingers sliding into her hair to hold her there. Her fingers gripped his shirt and she found herself leaning into him, making a smile pull at his lips. “Flora, my sweet, beautiful Flora. I could never hurt you.” He pressed her palm flat against his chest so she could feel his excited heart beat. “You make me feel everything.”
She melted at his words, seeing in his eyes they were true. Flora hugged him and he held her happily. He was a patient man but that didn’t mean it hadn’t been hard to be a simple friend to her. He convinced her to stay that night in a guest room since she was nowhere near ready to stay in his. This was an amazing start to something beautiful. Getting his magnificent Flora this far told him that one day he could get her to live here and maybe after that she’d marry him. He knew he was getting ahead of himself but Flora was amazing and he already knew he didn’t want to see a day that didn’t have her in it.
~ The End