“I don’t know. Fifty?”
“Fifty?!” He looked alarmed.
“Jesus, do I really look that old?” Bruce turned to look at his reflection in the bookstore window.
“No, I think you look like you could be around my age.” Liza studied him as he rubbed his hand across his hair and sucked in a phantom gut. “Hmm…how about…thirty-two?”
“Oh, yeah right. What, are you trying to make up for that first guess?” Liza couldn’t tell if he was playing or if she had really hurt his feelings.
“No, that’s my guess. Honestly, you look like you could be in your twenties, but considering that you’re a professor and were married, I guessed high. You must at least be in your early thirties.”
Bruce stared at her with an unreadable expression, before breaking into a wide smile. “I’m thirty-eight, but thank you.”
“Sure, just don’t forget that you had to fish for that compliment,” Liza said, grinning and cocking an eyebrow at him. “So tell me, how old do you think I am?”
“Hmm…seventh semester freshman, evening student, full-time job, drives a Focus, likes Halestorm, drinks energy drinks…” His eyes roamed her face for a minute. “I’m going to say…twenty-seven.”
He was right. Exactly. Liza pursed her lips. She was more competitive than a PMSing soccer mom on steroids and didn’t like losing; not even this little guessing game. “How did you know that?”
“I guessed. How would I know?” He looked amused.
“I don’t know. Can’t professors look up student records?”
“Yes, we can, but apparently Liza is a nickname, and you never told me your last name.” She smiled. He had tried to look her up.
“My real first name is Elizabeth,” she said.
A slow grin spread across his face. He extended his right hand, “Bruce.”