What started with a blush grew to a desire forbidden. I am a Cleanser. Love was not mine to have.
And yet, I longed for it.
The person I thought of constantly hadn't shown for a few days. Warmth seeped from my heart each day he did not show. I had no way to reach out to him. Not even a name.
He entered the coffee shop, leather bound book clutched against his chest. His normal calm radiated with more solemn quietude. The midnight eyes that held me bound practically called out to me as he leveled his gaze at me in passing. He slouched onto the couch. Tired. So much like a lost soul. The pull was too much.
"Hi." I found myself leaning against the arm of the couch, wondering when I'd gotten up in the first place.
He turned to me. There were those eyes again, brightening as he looked at me. The corner of his lips lifted ever so slightly, as though he fought a smile. "Hey to you, too. Been meaning to say something to you. But you're so pretty and all." A tinge grazed his cheeks as his smile blossomed. Beautiful teeth and deep dimples.
My hair could have caught on fire at that moment and I wouldn't have known. He thought I was pretty. Of course, he couldn't see the sleeves of tattoos, scores of battle scars or my Cleanser's mark. Long sleeve shirts did wonders to hide a girl's secrets. Again, my lips moved before my mind could check the words. "I'm so plain looking." As usual, the first to down myself. But I followed with, "You're very sweet to say that, though." My turn for blood to flood my face and warm my cheeks as I smiled and looked away from him.
The furniture rustled. From the corner of my eye, I noticed he placed the book by his side and stood up, his hand out to me. Half a foot taller than me. Broad shoulders. The scent of apples called. My heart stutter-stepped. But I managed to put my hand in his.
"I'm Basil. You're Abby, right?"
My grip tightened. His smile faltered. So did mine. "How do you know my name?" Training kicked in and I was ready to pounce.
"I noticed your name on your cup as I came in."
I could have kicked myself. I stuffed my paranoia aside and let myself be something I didn't know how to be before I tried to take my own life. A simple girl.
"Sorry, about the hand thing. You know, can't be too careful." I loosened my grip but he brought his other hand up to mine. Soft. Gentle.
"No apologies needed. I'd be concerned if someone just knew my name as well. Would you mind joining me on the couch? It's what I've wanted to ask you since I first saw you. Just hadn't worked up the nerves, until now."
I slid down beside him, leaving my things where they were. No one would bother them anyway. He held my hand as we talked. Topics from music to movies. It was the longest I'd ever stayed at Starbucks. And I loved every moment.
A Cleanser and a Harvestor. Maybe they can work?