51 - Holiday Shopping
Natasha sat in her favorite café and watched the holiday shoppers braving the cold and the snow to get last minute holiday shopping done. The café was warm, not too crowded and served the best cup of coffee on the Upper East Side.
The Starbucks across the street was packed with bodies, but this café was mostly empty at this time of the evening. People who truly loved and enjoyed coffee came here and everyone else went to Starbucks. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Starbucks, there was just better out there if one looked.
She watched the passing shoppers loaded down with their bags and packages with some interest and some revulsion. American capitalism sickened her most of the time, but she wouldn’t deny that she liked shopping. Liked may not be strong enough. She loved shopping. It was a vice and a stress reliever. In her line of work, she needed all the stress relievers she could find.
Unfortunately her holiday shopping didn’t comprise of much. She had one person to buy for and she knew him so well that it wasn’t hard to shop for him. She had other friends that were dear to her, but the holidays were something she never quite got into. Usually she worked while the others celebrated, so she never bought for anyone else.
She smiled when she thought of Matt and then took a sip of coffee. Books were always a part of every gift she gave him. She had always made it a point to get him some books in Braille. Usually they were classics, but there were times when she tossed in a few current bestsellers. If he actually read them or not, he never said and she never asked.
She always bought him a silk shirt or two. Matt was a very tactile man and she always gave him clothing that felt soft to the touch. Silk was the norm and she knew he liked it as much as she did. She fondly recalled nights between silk sheets with nothing but sweat between them.
Along with the books and clothes, she usually bought him a bottle of his favorite cologne. It was specially made for her for him. Matt’s senses were heightened and even normal scents sometimes overpowered him, so she had cologne designed to be very light and very subtle just so he could wear something.
They weren’t extravagant gifts, Matt was never one for extravagance, but she wanted to let him know she was always thinking about him.
She smiled and took a sip of coffee. The gifts were sitting in his apartment. She left them there earlier. It was a simple matter of breaking in and leaving them on a table. The second he entered his place he’d know she had been there, but she purposely stopped by and broke in when he wasn’t there. She didn’t need the complications that went along with seeing him.
She smiled again, finished off her coffee, tossed her empty cup in the trash and left the café. The Black Widow had work to do.