“Are they giving out free samples?” he muttered under his breath as he headed to the back of the line.
It wasn’t actually that crowded, but Justin was a Type A personality, a man with a plan, and this morning’s plan had counted on his being in and out of the bank in under five minutes.
He glanced at his watch again, and then shuffled forward as the person at the front of the line made her way to the next available teller.
Justin adjusted the zipper on his windbreaker. It had turned out to be much warmer than expected, another variable that had not gone according to his grand plan, but he had committed to the light jacket, and it was too late to ditch it now. Instead, he lowered the zipper slightly to let in some of the cool air from the bank’s air conditioning system.
Another customer strolled up to a teller. Now things were moving. Justin took a quick glance around the bank, but didn’t see anything that really interested him. It was a bank, after all. Not exactly the most exciting place in the city that never slept.
The next person moved up to a window. Justin was now third in line. He switched his briefcase from his left hand to his right. This would prevent him from checking his watch again. No need to draw any attention to himself.
One of the best things about a city this large was that anyone could remain anonymous if he desired. Justin relished his anonymity. If he could have come up with a way to conduct his morning business without having to enter the branch, he most certainly would have gone that route. Unfortunately, that was not an option.
The voice startled Justin out of his thoughts. He hadn’t even noticed that the old man in front of him had trudged up to window number two. Justin was now at the head of the line, and the teller at window number six was calling to him.
“I can help you at window six, sir.”
Justin cleared his throat, lowered the zipper ever so slightly on his windbreaker, and switched his briefcase back to his left hand as he strode down to the waiting teller.
“Good morning, sir. How can I help you?”
Justin opened his mouth to speak, but before the words could come out, his eyes settled on the young lady on the other side of the bulletproof glass.
She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Maybe 25, long brown hair, big brown eyes, a dazzling smile, and a dimple on her right cheek that danced when she smiled.
Justin cleared his throat after swallowing the words he had intended to say. The ones he had rehearsed repeatedly. The same ones he had used countless times previously.
He would not need them today. Change in plans. Instead, he came up with, “I was interested in opening a new account.”
She smiled even brighter. The name tag on her chest told him that her name was Lydia. When Lydia smiled at Justin, he got goosebumps.
“We’d be happy to help you with that, sir, but that’s something you do over there where it says ‘New Accounts’. I’m so sorry you had to wait in this line.”
“Don’t be,” he assured her as he quickly checked her left hand. No ring. “I know this is absolutely crazy, Lydia, but would you like to get a coffee with me?”
She blushed, and Justin knew he had a chance.
“We’re not allowed to fraternize with the customers, sir.” There was disappointment in her eyes. Justin picked up on that immediately, as he was excellent at reading people and situations. No one thought quicker on his feet than Justin did.
“Then it’s a good thing I didn’t go over to the New Accounts line and fill out my paper work,” he replied confidently and gave her a wink. “What time is your break?”
Blushing even more deeply, Lydia checked her watch. “It’s in fifteen minutes.”
Justin flashed his best smile. “There’s this great coffee shop just around the corner. You know the one, right?”
“I’m going to head over there now and grab us a table. How do you like your coffee?”
She hesitated for a moment, but then replied, “Light with two sugars.”
“It will be ready when you arrive,” he assured her. “I’m Justin.”
“Nice to meet you, Justin,” Lydia answered and her dimple did the most adorable dance.
Justin had to use every ounce of self control to not skip out of the bank. He had never been a believer in love at first sight until this very moment.
He checked his watch. Fourteen minutes until his date. That would give him more than enough time to slip into an alley, defuse and remove the bomb strapped to his chest, ditch the windbreaker, and make it to the coffee shop.
Although he was a Type A personality who did not like change, Justin was willing to make an exception for love.
He could always rob another bank tomorrow…