Him and Her

Chapter 5: Him

Great. Just great. I totally blew it with my idol. What's Thomas going to say? I stand with my hand in my pocket, and the book in my other hand. She totally blew me off and I didn't even get to say goodbye.

I overhear a few people headed out with me. "That's right! No one in, no one out. New York is on its own! We're on lockdown! We can travel around the state, but the snow is so bad, that there is no route out. The cold from Canada is coming down…" and I run off, back inside, not hearing any more.

"Miss Eliza!" I call out as I see her sit on her suitcase, practically in tears. "Would you mind having a drink with me?"

She starts laughing. "A drink?" she laughs. "A drink?! You're not much of a stalker if you don't know that I don't drink."

"It's an expression quite common out here. You want coffee? Hot chocolate? Alcohol? Tea?" I try not to sound desperate. "You know, since no one is leaving the state."

She throws up her hands. "What the heck?! This is His way of punishing me; I might as well enjoy it. Lead the way Mr. MacPherson."

I offer her my arm and we walk out like a couple, her leading her suitcase.

I'm in heaven.

She told me she had to run by the hotel so we do that first. She dashes up the stairs, ignoring the fact that there is an elevator, and made it back downstairs with a different outfit and hairstyle in no less than 10 minutes.

"Okay!" she claps her hands. "So, what does one drink when one is a native to New York?"

"One typically will drink coffee, but this fella doesn't." she looked at me quizzically. "I typically drink water." The side of her mouth twitched in an almost smile.

"Awesome." Was all she had to say on the matter, at least until I ventured a question.

"What do you like to drink?"

"Chocolate." She says with an eyebrow raised, as if she expected me to know that already. "You're a pretty poor stalker if you don't know what I drink."

"I guess not." She fell in suspicious silence until I lead her to my favorite spot with a mess of drink ideas. It's a little café just down the street from Wall Street, so there's typically a lot of traffic through here.

"Hey Jack!" Thomas was sitting at our usual booth and noticed the lady Eliza Rein on my arm. "Who do we have here?" he waved us over. She slipped into the corner, with no one on her left and me boxing her in on the right.

"You know who she is, Thomas. This is Lady Eliza Rein." I gesture with my left hand to her. She still hasn't let go of my arm and her hand is only getting tighter.

"A pleasure to meet you, lovely lady." He held out his hand for her to shake.

She releases my arm, grabs his hand, and he suddenly kisses it.

Her eyes narrow and she freezes. The whole room freezes for us, as if everyone is waiting for her reaction.

"You're just as beautiful as they say." He says smoothly.

She tilts her head up and wipes all emotion from her face, taking her hand back and putting it in her lap.

"You are just the same as a hundred others who have lowered themselves to your level, and dared to kiss my hand to honor me." The right side of her mouth twitch in a bemused smile. "And you have dreamed to honor me, by dishonoring yourself and losing points with me." She gives a cruel laugh and turns to me.

"This is the kind of creature you call your friend?" she raises her eyebrows swiftly once before removing all emotion again.

"Umm… umm… well… I guess…?" is all I can say right now.

"HA!" she is trapped in the corner, so she can't run, but I pray she doesn't speak again. I know what her words can do.

"If you like, we can leave." I venture, sending a glare at Thomas, who looks like he's just been slapped.

"I would love to leave." She snarls. "But it would seem that New York is snow trapped! A bloody island in a world of snow and ice that has me trapped here with you!" she could now be heard by the next few tables.

"Jack." A voice comes from over my shoulder. It's Timothy, our favorite waiter. "Can you ask your lady friend to keep her voice down?" he looks down to his shoes.

She looks at him. "Do you know me?" she says with a blank expression.

Without looking up he says, "Yes. I know you very well Miss Rein."

She holds out her hand, sitting up on her knees as swift as a rabbit. "Then say hello properly and I'll leave."

He looks at her hand, then up at her face. She gives him a full-on, full of teeth smile. He gives her hand a swift shake and then dashes back behind the counter. "Don't leave!" he calls over his shoulder.

She sits down with a mildly amused expression on her face.

"So you're not insulted by him?" Thomas asks, insulted himself.

"Not at all. He has a firm handshake, knew who I was, yet didn't make a big deal about it. He held himself with grace and dignity." She tosses her head, causing her perfectly straight hair to come falling out of the pins in some places. Such beauty. "You simply ducked below me, hoping I'd be impressed."

Timothy came straight back, holding three drinks. "Water for Jack, Protein Uh-Oh for Thomas, and for the lady…" he handed her a very dark liquid. "M&M hot chocolate."

Well, this is a surprise. I guess she wasn't kidding.

"Thank you sir." She bowed her head in his direction, and reached for the mug, slipping something into his hand as she does it. "I appreciate it."

"Of course." He bows to us, and dashes back to the kitchen.

Thomas looks at her face intently, seriously wounded about how she was treating the waiter. "You're actually going to drink that?"

Her lip curls into a wicked snarl and her eyes light with fire. "Do you have to crush my temporary happiness?" she growled under her breath.

Good gracious, I thought, how many voices does this girl have?

She takes a big gulp of that rich stuff and closes her eyes, smiling at the sheer wonderful taste of the drink, though I'm sure she's still not pleased about the company she's keeping.

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