He wore his eagerness to please like a cub scout wore his first merit badge. Her heart melted a little more. "Coffee sounds good, but don't worry about it." She reached in her purse. "I can get it."
"No, I'll get it. I insist." He came from around the table and glommed onto her elbow, then pushed her into a seat. "Your feet must be aching. Just rest a second, and I'll be right back."
Stunned, Gina had no choice but to do as he said. Curious about the array of blue books, she picked one up, one he had already graded. It was all in French. The questions, the answers, his red pen comments, all in French.
She couldn't understand a single word. She felt like a total doofus.
"Don't mind those. I'll gather them up and put them away." He placed the large coffee in front of her, then moved into the booth and started to pick up the blue books. "I feel like I'm constantly grading papers. If I don't keep up, they bury me." Stuffing the papers into the open briefcase at his side, Ian dropped the lid. It landed with a soft thud. He looked at her, his eyes hopeful. "I don't know how you take your coffee, so I brought both cream and sugar." Jamming his hands in his pockets, he pulled out enough packets of sugar to put her in a coma, as well as a handful of creamers.
She reached for a creamer. "Just cream, thanks." It made a hissing sound as she pulled the wrapper off the top. "What's up?"
Ian looked away for a moment, pulled the glasses off his face and cleaned them with a paper napkin. "There's no graceful way to ask this." He studied his glasses before slipping them back on his face.
"Why don't you just spit it out?"
"Right, then." He nodded. "I need you to marry me."