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Of all the days that had to go badly, this was the one day that she needed to go right. The tears were threatening to fall as she stooped to pick up the pile of binders she’d dropped. It was the second time that someone had bumped into her hard enough to make her drop all her work.

On top of the late bus, spilled coffee, and screaming banshee that was her boss; all she wanted was to show her designs to the big partners before her evening class. But it looked like she was going to be late to the meeting and never get her chance.

“Allow me,” Another pair of hands swiped up her binders and staked them into a nice pile. She took the moment to discretely wipe her eyes and look up through her hair. To her surprise, it was the same man who had bumped into her.

“Thank you,” she murmured, biting back the words she really wanted to say. It wasn’t his fault that her day had gone so bad. And he had been nice enough to stop and help.

It helped that he was actually pretty cute.

“Don’t mention it, it was my fault to start,” the smile he flashed was sheepish and more than a little adorable. She’d never seen anyone with such blue eyes either. “I do apologize for that, and for making you cry.”

“Oh no,” she shot up, taking the binders when he offered and giving him her own sheepish smile. “That isn’t your fault. Today has just been one of those days y’know?”

Why she was telling all this to a complete stranger, she had no idea. His smile was just so easy going. It was far too easy to get lost in.

“I can relate,” he chuckled, a sound that was far too rich to be fair. Suddenly the descriptions of velvety smooth voices in her favorite novels seemed to be very accurate. “My name is Cerin, Cerin Yamaguchi. And you are?”

“Oh, my name is Esmeralda,” she shook his hand when he offered before it dawned on her. The meeting she had been rushing to was supposed to be with a Mr. Yamaguchi. He looked far too young to own the company she was aiming to intern under, or to even be handling the internships. “Oh my…you aren’t the one in charge of the Interior design internship, are you?”

His eyes widened for a moment and dropped down to her binders again before back up to her. “I’m doing the first interviews,” he admitted and she narrowed her eyes when she felt the ‘but’ at the end of it. “But I’m not actually in charge of the internship. A friend of mine asked me to stand in because his plane was delayed across the country.”

Esmeralda tipped her head to the side and tried very hard not to giggle at his lost look. He did not look like the type to be into interior design, he probably didn’t even know the basics to it. “I think you were played,” she laughed despite her best efforts, “I knew I’d be meeting with a Mr. Yamaguchi for about a month now.”

“That sonuvabitch,” Cerin grumbled, running a hand over his face. She laughed again as he pulled out his phone and glared at it as if he was contemplating the nasty voicemail he was going to leave that friend. He surprised her though by putting it away and offering his arm out. “Want to get out of here?”

“Excuse me?” She blinked as he eased the binders from her arms with a charming smile and tried to offer his arm again.

“Well, since you’re the last interview of the day and I so rudely knocked you over, how about I make it up to you by having the interview over lunch?” There was a mischievous tilt to his smile that made Esmeralda return his smile and loop her arm through his. It made her feel far more daring than she normally was and think that her last class of the day could wait. This interview was more important and the guy giving it was very attractive.

“That sounds wonderful,” she giggled when he perked up and started leading her towards the door. “I am curious though, if you don’t mind me asking about your lineage; you certainly don’t look Japanese, Mr. Yamaguchi.”

“Just Cerin please,” he interjected, his voice that velvet smooth tone again that made her wonder if it was even legal. “And I take after my mother more, the whole family does. Strong Russian blood.”

“Ohhh,” she mused, tapping her chin lightly. Little did she know that this lunch was not only the start of a very promising career but the conversation would continue well into the night and pick up when they met again for breakfast. For the second of many dates.

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