The woman was more than surprised to see this particular man - for more reasons than just the late hour, twilight long settled and darkness swept across the city skyline.
Colours floating in from the café's front-most window - once rich chiffon and pale cerulean - now simply consisted of hard, artificial white, streetlamps burning whilst living life forms slept on; unaware of the nightlife. The tables and chairs were upturned, scattered about with little room for consideration, each concealed and swallowed by shadows and undisturbed structure in their given position.
It was quiet. A quiet, normal evening, for Carmen Edelstein.
Or rather, had been - until one final customer had wandered in, indirectly ringing the bell situated above metal skirting board.
He stood about six-foot something (Carmen had never known his full height so long ago, and clearly, he'd grown much more in absence.), stature tall above many objects and, indeed, the female just in front. In all honesties, either human was highly juxtaposed to one-another - but Carm wouldn't have it any other way.
Said customer sported a leather jacket, the navy cotton beneath warn, but not damaged. His skin was just lightly kissed by summer sun - resulting in a kind of radiance about him, matching his crooked grin so charmingly tilted. The sharply-scarlet locks curved over his brow, long-ish and messy; disclosed were deep, glimmering orbs of emerald, focused on nothing but the girl who was trying her best to comprehend the situation.
Jason? Really? They hadn't seen each other since last summer - well, that was debatable. They may have had a 'summer fling' - the kind of relationship which you both new would come to an end, necessarily forgotten by the time the cleansing cold of winter fell.
Forgetting someone like him was hard. Very hard - in fact, she doubted she ever had.
She gulped as he finally spoke - ignoring the blush that threatened to splurge right over her milky cheekbones. Out of instinct, she focused her gaze straight down to her own feet, unwilling to lock eyes with this handsome, familiar individual.
"Hey there, dollface…~." He essentially purred, rich American accent underlining every word he spoke.
The woman smoothed back her slightly-spiked locks of darkened brunette, streaks of purple reflective and gorgeous; beautifully pale skin easily detectable in all the darkness about. Her deep, dark - and frankly, mysterious - orbs were this rich green that Jason could only ever describe like a tropical ocean, or a dense rainforest which reflected scattered sunlight. Plump lips painted a brilliant crimson were slightly parted, the gesture of nervousness not missed, much like the way she began to smooth over her apron, self conscious, just for a moment.
Jas inhaled slightly, revelling in this stunning person before him.
"… Well, I'll address you by your name, Carm. I do have some manners."
She laughed at that. A bright, sparkly sound that quavered with the hint of embarrassment he knew so well. It caused his anxious heart to lift, a hidden weight partially leaving his heavy mind.
He couldn't forget her. Not after what they'd had.
"I… I'm perfectly happy with your nicknames, Jas. I'm just... mildly shocked."
"I mean, uh… How long?"
"Twelve months today."
"… Exactly twelve? What, did you count?"
The man returned the playful tease with a hearty chuckle of his own, head tilted back partially - and it was now faint red threatened his own cheeks, sheepishness blatant at the way her slight smirk quirked. Damn.
"What's it to ya, babe~? Had me on your mind or something?"
"W- Wha--! No way, idiot! Why would I be thinkin' 'bout some boy I ran around with in Santiago, hmm?"
When she chuckled so indignantly, he thought for a moment she meant the nonchalant phrases - but her rich blush told him otherwise, caused a ripple of hope to spark. Just a spark.
But a spark could start a bonfire, anyday.
"… So I have been on your mind. Did you miss me~?"
She scoffed again, her cocky and casual demeanor unable to be missed; leaning back against her bare, clean counter, black-cotton sleeves crumpling as she crossed her arms.
Oh, she'd missed him like hell. He was like a drug - even after a year of being clean, she still felt a deep desire, a lingering flutter of her heartbeat he caused even by a simple glance.
"… Jason Allistor Berkley, are you trying to get at something…~?"
He grinned, broadly. It was quite clear that was his exact intention.
"On whether you are, too."