Hey, Maksyl fam!
This is the first chapter to my new AU fic entitled ‘All About Us.’
I really hope you guys enjoy this one; I know I’m loving writing it so far!
Thank you SO MUCH for your amazing feedback; your comments really keep me writing! I love you all so much.
Without further adieu, here’s Chapter One!
Maks stood behind the counter, hunched over one of many coffee machines, twiddling a straw in his left hand.
He didn’t know why he even bothered showing up for work that day. Nothing interesting ever happened at the coffee shop, and his pay wasn’t especially great either.
All this job was to him was extra funding for his dance studio.
(Admittedly, the studio was still a work in progress. It’d take him a massive amount of work to achieve, but it was well worth it. Maks had always desired to open up a studio of his own.)
See, he’d always had a passion for dance.
The story every movement told.
The emotion written in every step.
The way that the very act of dancing could speak louder than words ever could.
Okay, maybe dance wasn’t the most masculine sport he could have developed a passion for, but Maks didn’t give a damn.
He loved what he loved and that was that.
Yes, dance completely fascinated him, and it was his lifelong—seemingly unattainable—dream to open up a dance studio of his own.
Which was why he was standing behind the mahogany countertop, taking order after freaking order, forcing himself to make one more skinny mocha latte.
God, the things I do as a result of my devotion.
He felt a small flicker of hope each time the front door opened, though, that maybe customer number eight-billion-and-whatever would be the slightest bit more interesting to him. Y’know, maybe they could make his job a little more fun.
Maybe the person would have one eye, or a giant scar across their face, or something they’d love to tell him a story about while he made their coffee for them.
He wanted someone to come in and make his workday a little less hellish.
But the flickers of hope were extinguished every time the icy winter air flooded through the coffee shop’s entrance. Normal people doing normal things with average responses to his questions wandered inside constantly.
Maks was deciding whether or not to just jam the straw into his eye socket when a man walked into the shop dressed up in a penguin tuxedo.
This one should be interesting enough.
But the man only asked for a cappuccino, asked if Maks could speed up the process somehow because he was late to a very important meeting somewhere.
On top of being disappointed at the lackluster explanation, Maks found himself pissed at the customer’s attitude.
Insulting me before I even start making your coffee, I see… The only reason I won’t take a century to make your damn cappuccino is because I don’t want you in my space any longer than you have to be.
Maks handed the man his coffee within a record time of two minutes and bid him a good day. Silently, however, he couldn’t help but invert the wish.
I hope your day’s as long and boring as mine is, freaking jerk.
The Tux Man, even after everything Maks had done for him, left the shop as fast as he could without so much as a ‘thank you,’ or even a ‘you too.’
Oh, no. My family did not leave the Ukraine for that kind of treatment. Freaking ingrate.
He had half a mind to call it a day right there, to just fake illness and leave.
But then she walked in.
And when she entered, ducking her head to clear the door, he stood up a little straighter.
Call it a gut feeling, maybe, but this girl seemed unique enough to him.
Or perhaps it was just his overly-depraved sex drive telling him that she was hotter than hell and hey, maybe she’d have low enough standards to go for the part-time Starbucks barista.
He’d probably figure out which it really was when she opened her mouth.
“Hello, miss. Welcome to Starbucks. What are you having?” He delivered his usual spiel with a bit more enthusiasm than normal.
Mystery Woman’s eyes flickered across the menu, then back to his face.
“Just a tall cup of black coffee, please,” her voice was sweet, yet clear. Polite, yet definitive. There were no ‘um’-s or special requests to speak of in her order. She didn’t even have any qualms about the type of milk he used.
He was half in love already.
“And your name?” He questioned, motioning with a Sharpie in his hand like he was going to write her name on her cup.
Excuses. I just want to know her name.
The dark-haired woman gave him a coy little smile, like she knew what he was really up to.
“Lisa. Mona Lisa,” she deadpanned.
He blinked, temporarily stunned at her outright sarcasm.
Not that he minded it in the slightest.
He decided to play along with the joke.
“I mean, I don’t usually write last names on the cups, but—” he shrugged, teasing her.
That made the mystery woman laugh out loud.
Holy crap, I made this goddess laugh? Score.
She quirked an amused eyebrow at him.
“Hey, if I’m going to be honest about what my name is, you have to be honest about why you want it. I figure,” she defended, glancing around the empty coffee shop, “that you asked for my name because you personally wanted to know. I mean, there isn’t anyone else in here, and it’s only protocol to ask for customers’ names when there’s more than one order, right?”
She grinned at him like she’d figured out all the universe’s secrets and he just stared back at her, flabbergasted.
Alright, Maks. Make a recovery.
“Okay, Miss Know-It-All. You must be a detective, since you’ve got no problems figuring out that the part-time barista at your local Starbucks is flirting with you,” he smirked, secretly hoping the bold admission was enough to make her stumble for her words.
But this intriguing woman even had a reply for that.
“Actually, ‘Barista Man,’ I’m an established criminal defense attorney. It’s my job to present my case accurately and use the information I’ve got to make my point. That’s how I can also tell that you just used the phrase ‘your local Starbucks’ to find out if I’m from around here,” she effortlessly delivered her comeback, smiling at him.
“Touché,” he acknowledged, finally handing her the cup of coffee he’d been holding the past minute and a half in order to keep their banter going.
She plucked the coffee cup from his hands, letting out another lighthearted laugh at the ‘Mona Lisa’ he’d scribbled onto the cup.
“Well, this is good service if I’ve ever seen it,” she praised, still chuckling at her ‘name.’
“Yeah? Maybe you should come back sometime,” he challenged, some part in the back of his head praying that she seriously would.
“Maybe I will,” she countered, shooting him one last flirtatious grin before placing a rolled up five-dollar bill into his tip jar.
He could only hope she would return.
As she sauntered out the exit towards her car, he unscrewed the lid off his tip jar.
He was about to stick the $5 into his pocket when he noticed a corner of white paper stuck out at him from inside the dollar bill.
He unrolled the crisp, green parchment and found himself grinning at what he saw.
There, rolled up inside the tip she’d left, was a business card she had (no doubt intentionally) left for him.
Meryl Davis, Attorney at Law. The card proclaimed in bold lettering.
Underneath was a work number for prospective clients to call.
“Meryl,” he rolled the name around a bit in his mouth, testing out the way it sounded.
He liked it.
As he was repeating her name for the umpteenth time, another customer walked in the store and placed an order.
Another one followed and did the same.
Still another did the same after that one.
But, despite the slew of customers that trailed inside the entire day, all Maks could think about was getting home to call one Meryl Davis.