Banner could tell that Keith was in a rare mood. The women who knew him the best sat silently. Banner stared at him, waiting. He pinned her with his eyes. They were a maelstrom of chaos, rage, unrest, determination, acceptance, and then . . . desire.
“You ready to interview,” he directed at her casually.
Banner inhaled sharply. “You know I’m ready whenever you are,” she combated quickly.
He nodded, sharp and determined. “Then we should get to it.”
He bent and kissed his mother on the cheek whispering something in Spanish in her ear. She turned and put her arms around him, and just held on; saying nothing, yet saying everything.
He pulled away kissing her on the top of the head, and looked over at Banner. He gestured to another room, and started out. Banner walked over to where his plate sat, and picked it up along with his iced tea. She then stopped in the doorway, and waited. He took three more steps before he turned around, and saw Banner holding what he had turned back for. He stared at her for a moment, and then a slow easy smile spread across his face. The tension from the moments before was starting to drain away from him. He looked at the floor, and shook his head, as if he were arguing with himself. With renewed vigor he took slow casual steps over to Banner.
Banner just watched him because he was moving in that way that made her lose track of what she was thinking, or doing for that matter. She just stared at him understanding that he was getting closer, and knowing that she really wanted him to. Her eyes had fixated on his hips. She finally realized that she was actually staring at the man’s package, and went for his eyes instead, and found that to be even worse. She was in his focal points. He had taken notice of her, and she would be hard pressed to get out. They said that the easiest way into a man’s heart was through his stomach; perhaps just understanding that stomach played a large role in the process.
Honestly, she had never become more aware of herself as a woman than she was in that moment, and it was so very cliché. She stood there holding his meal, and he was coming over to retrieve it. It should’ve been simple. But something about the way he moved, the look in his eyes, and the sureness of his step implied so very much. It said that at that moment in time, he was having trouble deciding what he wanted more; the food or the woman.
Banner felt her spine stiffen. She was not cut out to resist a full on assault by this man. It had been a mistake to grab the food and drink. Too damn casual; too damn comfortable. She was acting in such an uncustomary fashion for her. The action implied an intimacy that she shouldn’t have. For her, it had been factual. He was a big man. There would not be a successful interview if he didn’t eat. In truth she had been taking care of her job, not him, she quickly rationalized. But the way he stalked up to her reeked of possession, and not just in regards to her belonging to him; this was much more unsettling because it implied a belonging of him to her. Banner couldn’t speak for him, but she’d lose her damn mind if something like that belonged to her.
Keith took the plate and glass from her, and said almost beneath his breath, “that’s three.”
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