Dull gray filtered throughout the courtyard, dripping from the house eaves, clouding everything with it’s relentless non-color. Like his shaggy hair that held tiny droplets of moisture as he stood in front of the small apartment frowning at the dark windows. ‘Out,’ he muttered to himself. He had hoped to talk to her again, hoped to make her see reason. She was a complication, an unneeded risk he had to rectify.
Hands in his jeans pockets he mulled over the current situation as a droplet ran from the edge of his hair downward to the tip of his nose stopping to dangle just above lips pursed in thought. That’s how she came upon him, her body snug in a bright red raincoat against the drizzle. She stopped and studied him. The dark wet blue of jeans, the heavy boots planted in a dark puddle, hands stuffed in jeans pockets beneath the hem of a deep green jacket, with the tip of a yellow barely visible shirt collar. Her hooded head tilted to the side as her gaze moved with reluctant admiration along the droop of dark bangs across his forehead and the brush of impossibly long lashes against his cheek. Even so, it was the droplet at the tip of his nose she watched with wonder, arrested by it’s perfect glistening form hanging in silent testimony at the length of time he had been there without moving.
Quiet so as not to surprise him she stepped up behind him and peeked around his back toward the outline of her home, confusion marring her expression as she looked from her dark windows to his quiet study of them. Catching her bottom lip between her teeth she straightened and let her gaze rest on the spot between his shoulder blades.
‘She’s not in,’ she pointed out the obvious in a quiet voice.
‘Yea, I know,’ he muttered his hands going deeper into his pockets before he turned abruptly and looked down into the fringed lashes of the woman occupying his thoughts.
She gasped at his sudden movement and stepped backwards only to have one of the matching red rain boots slip sending her crashing toward a wet puddle. She waited eyes closed tightly for the quick jar of contact and pain only to blink in surprise when it didn’t come. Startled eyes widened in wonder when she found strong hands holding her forearms. Her body’s downward fall arrested.
Her ragged breath stopped as glances snagged and then fell to where skin tingled at their shared contact. Unexpected he released his grip and her fall was complete, mud and all. His hands found his pockets again desperately trying to hide the burning tingle as she sputtered from the depths of the puddle.
‘Oi!’ she shouted, her palms pounding the water’s surface raising a splash of mud and water. Angry eyes burned into his, full lips in a grimace while the corner of his lip tilted upward at the picture before him.
‘Oops,’ he shrugged a grin blossoming across his lips.
‘Oops,’ she repeated in astonishment. ‘Oops?’ She tried pushing herself up but the stones slick surface and the newness of her boots made it difficult. Muttering at her ineffectual attempts to get out of the puddle she glared at the sudden appearance of a strong male hand.
‘Need some help?’
She looked from the outstretched hand to it’s owner with suspicious anger, ‘No. Thank. You!’ She ignored his hand, and tried pushing up again only to find herself being hauled upward by two hands beneath her arms. Gasping with astonishment she turned and looked into the smiling face of the realtor.
‘You looked like you needed some help there,’ he commented ignoring the dark look flashed his way by Mick.
Grace’s smile melted oozing sweetness as she linked her arm through the realtors, ‘I did, thank you,’ she quipped before flashing Mick a steely grin, ‘it’s nice to know there are gentlemen left in the world.’
Mick stiffened, then pivoted on his foot and walked away shoulders hunched against the drizzling mist.
Doing: Today’s mission, should I choose to take it, is to make the above and the previous chapter readable. However…
It’s Sunday. December. The outside thermometer reads mid 70’s and there is this wee bird whispering something about playing hooky.
Its a Snow White moment…dangerous, and tempting.