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Adorably Nervous

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"Advanced Nuclear Fusion Theory?" Simon asked, turning the book over in his hands. He takes the patron's library card, then punches the information into the system before scanning the barcode on the book. "I have to say, mister..."

"Walker. I mean Kieren. Call me Kieren."

The blush that instantly crosses the library patron's face is deep, causing Simon to smile.

"I have to say, Mister Kieren Walker... You do have interesting taste in books."

Kieren's eyes go wide, and Simon can tell that he's quite nervous, so he reaches out a hand, touching Kieren's shoulder.

"No, no - it's okay," Simon says. "It's just... Two days ago you picked out," he glances to the right where the latest book was checked in, "a thick Chinese cookery book. And according to your profile, you still have 'Origami for Beginners' checked out. You're a man of quite interesting, and even more varied, tastes."

The blush doesn't seem to be going away, so Simon just squeezes Kieren's shoulder before letting his arm fall to the side.

"I like to read," Kieren mumbles, voice barely louder than the ginger at the nearest table turning the pages of the morning paper."

"That, you do," Simon says.

He hands over the book, which Kieren reaches for. But at the last minute, Simon pulls it back. Kieren gives him a curious look, a hint of panic in his eyes.

Shaking his head lovingly, Simon asks, "Would you have dinner with me?"

Kieren's face instantly blooms with a smile. He quickly shakes his head, then reaches back out when Simon once again offers him the book. "Would Chinese be okay?" Kieren asks. "We can eat at my place."

Shaking his head, Simon scribbles his number on the back of a slip of paper, then hands it over to Kieren. "Then, maybe afterward, you can show me the ancient Japanese secret to folding paper."