“Councilman—” The woman at the front desk of the county register of deeds office had wide, excited blue eyes and a gaping jaw, almost as if she was seeing her teen idol in person. Alex turned around to see who was behind him and realized she was looking at him. She seemed to shake off her stupor. “Can I help you?” She sounded more hopeful that she could help him rather than eager to do her job.
Alex glanced at the nameplate on her desk. “Well, Krystina, I need to pull some land records. Is that something you could help me with?” Alex chuckled softly as Krystina tucked a lock of blonde hair behind her ears and blushed.
“I’d love to help you.” Krystina answered as if he’d asked her to take a ride in his Porsche. Hmm… tempting. Still she continued sitting in her desk chair gazing up at him.
“Could you help me… right now?” Alex raised his eyebrows at her.
“Oh! Of course.” Krystina jumped from her chair. “I’m so sorry. I got distracted for a minute. It won’t happen again, Councilman.”
“You can just call me Alex,” he said.
“Not if I want to keep my job.” She snorted, shaking her head. “We have strict rules about using people’s title rather than first names.”
Having been around the Sayid royal family for years, Alex was used to everyone calling each other by their titles, but he wasn’t usually one with a title. Running for political office had changed many things about his life but he wasn’t expecting to be treated like a celebrity.
“Whoever wrote the rules didn’t realize we’d have such young, hot councilmen,” Krystina mumbled.
“Or maybe they did,” Alex said in a husky voice, leaning down to look her in the eye. “Maybe whoever wrote the rules predicted we’d someday have young, hot councilmen to distract the staff and throw them off their game.”
“Huh?” Krystina startled. “Did I say that out loud?”
“Yeah, you did.” Alex rubbed his chin, pretending to be in deep thought. “What if we were friends? Could they stop you from using my first name then?”
“F—friends?” Krystina shook off a stupor again. “No, I mean, yes. They can stop me. At the office, I should always call you councilman.” She nodded her head definitively.
“But if, let’s just say, I took you out to a late lunch or something? Would you be allowed to call me Alex then?” Was he really hitting on the girl at the register of deeds office? He cringed and couldn’t believe the words had left his mouth. Maybe it was the romantic vibe that had been in the air over at Mark and Hazel’s house or the confidence from knowing she’d called him young and hot.
“Yes, I’d love to go to lunch with you,” Krystina said, then her eyes grew wide and she must have realized what she’d said. “I mean, yes, I’d be allowed to call you Alex if we were out to lunch.”
“Are you free at one?” Alex glanced at his Rolex to note they had forty-five minutes between now and then. Was he being too forward?
Krystina giggled. “I’ll have to see if I can get my work done by then. But we’ve gotten so off track. What was it you came into the office for again?”
“I need to pull records of every property where a solar array has been installed,” Alex said.
“But… there are hundreds of them.” Krystina gulped.
“Sounds like you and I are going to be spending a great deal of time together.” Alex winked at Krystina.
“This project might take us long past lunch time,” she replied, flirting replacing her nervousness.
“We’ll just have to take a break from our project to go get a bite to eat,” Alex suggested. “We could discuss land records and property deeds over a nice chicken salad.”
“I love chicken salad.” Krystina’s husky voice was practically a whisper.
“Sounds like a date, then.” Alex stepped closer. “Shall we do some research first?”
“Research?” She shook off another bout of stupor. “Yes, land records. Right this way.”
Krystina turned on her heel and led Alex to the file cabinets and computer terminals where they could view paper and digital copies.
This afternoon was shaping up better than Alex could have imagined. He almost wanted to thank whoever was behind the government scandal because they led him to Krystina.