“How’s the head?” a familiar voice asked softly.
Neil! She groaned, refusing to open her eyes now, as much to avoid facing him as much to block out the pain.
“That bad eh?”
She nodded, thankful that he seemed to be taking her seriously, unable to detect any laughter in his voice. She heard him rustle around, could picture him putting a hand into that pocket of his infernal purple coloured long shirt which she so loathed, and then sensed him move closer, “here you are, open your mouth.”
Obediently she did so, without opening her eyes, and then she was sucking on something sweet and tangy and sour, all at the same time. She made an involuntary face, and her shoulders shook in response to the pungent flavor, which cut through the grey-overcast-feeling clogging her mind. Eyelash by eyelash, her lids unglued and she found she could open her eyes—still very gingerly—but nevertheless she could open them a tiny crack, enough to see an outline of this human—who was the last thing she wanted to see, but was yet the first on her mind. “What the…. f!@* was that… dude?”
His brows shot up at her use of the term he had lain claim to as his own a long time ago. “Language, Tiina, language…” he scolded her mildly, “if only your parents could hear you now.”
“Ha! Told you they died a long time ago.”
“Are they...?” He appeared taken aback, “no, you never told me about them. Nor for that matter have you really shared anything much about yourself as you well know.”
She closed her eyes once more and groaned, with more enthusiasm--this time with the hope of stalling the oncoming inquisition, that she had resisted all these years. He had her where he wanted her now… didn’t he… helpless, at this mercy, to bother her with all those infernal questions… if I had the answers, would I still be here? For the first time, she was not sure.
“Hey, sorry, I didn’t mean to push you when you are down and out… okay?” he said softly. Her eyes flew open in surprise, had he really said that?
“I do know,” he smiled placing his hand over hers “exactly what a hangover is like…and by the looks of it you have a bitch of a headache there…”
“Why do humans always use the term bitch to describe anything which hurts them?”
He laughed loudly this time and she winced growling “not so loud….”
“Sorry..” he lowered his voice, this time not sounding sorry at all, “its just that the female of any species but especially human species have a bite to them…”
“I really don’t agree…” she looked at his squarely, making the effort to open her eyes wide, even though the effort sent another wave of pain lapping around her head in concentric circles. If I look up now I swear I’d be able to see a black hole above me, a vortex which attracts all the pain in the galaxy. “For me it’s the male who packs a punch… unfeeling brutes” she said rolling her tongue around the word brutes.
He shrugged, “suppose it swings both ways, eh?”
She simply stared, “why are you being so nice?”
“I have always been so, you just never noticed…” he protested.
“Right!” She closed her eyes again for a second then opened them repeating drily “right!”
“But then I realize now that you never did really see me all this time did you?”
“Not fair,” she said weakly.
“Yes, fair” he insisted right back, then ran his hand through his curly hair, mussing it up even more, so it all stood even more on end.
“Tiina, you have no idea what just happened earlier do you?” Making a sound of frustration deep in his throat he continued, “we may as well talk about it instead of tip-toeing around the issue?”
She could feel herself stiffen up instantly, the tension running through her, facial muscles freezing up
to not let through an ounce of emotion don’t let him see anything, her instinct warned her. Not yet!
She blinked “what are you talking about?”
“Oh! No, you are not…” He reached out as if to shake her showing a flash of that famous temper, which had first caught her attention—a first indication she realized, now that there was more to him than met the eye—then pulled back folding his hands as if to prevent himself from touching her again. “You really don’t know what I am talking about?” He sounded both hurt as well as angry, and beneath it all was a thread of underlying unflappability, which seemed to say I am just gonna wait for you to come around. “I will you know…”
“What…?” she let the word hang in the air, taunting him to continue
“Eventually wear you out… you’ve gotta figure it out for yourself, this one, don’t you?"
She shrugged again trying to hang onto that mask of indifference which she hoped was still clinging to her face, covering every inch of, “I really don’t know what you mean!” Then wondered if she had pushed him too far when he cracked his knuckles with the effort of reining them in, not letting them fly—where in her face? It was his turn to growl, the sound rumbling up in his throat and she watched fascinated as his chest rumbled with the effort of containing his fury.
“Are you sure you are not a half life too? You know, have some lion somewhere in your gene pool?”
She tried to make light of the situation then regretting it instantly when his eyes sparked, shooting darts at her.
“It's not funny.”
She grimaced at his tone, she had never heard him sound so serious, only to flinch back in her seat when he sprung to his feet in a single motion. Seeing the tautness in his body and the conflict on his face vibrating towards her in seething waves, she steeled herself against his anger grateful that the headache seemed to have dissipated—somewhat.
Noticing her reaction he said “I’d never hurt you, Tiina,” a mixed expression on his face, this time, anger mixed with acceptance. “Trust you know how to find your way home, then?”
“Are you leaving?” her voice came out unsteady, and she hated herself for it.
“You don’t need me… yet” he said cryptically, making towards the door. He paused there before stepping over the threshold and turned to her “well done by the way, you have got another admirer in that rockstar”—she noticed he didn’t refer to him by name—“to add to your collection of experiences no doubt” he added under his breath. Then raising his hand in a half-hearted gesture of farewell, he was gone.
If you liked this, then read the conclusion I'm a Voyeur not a Player