"There's a chance that I could fall and not come back
And not regret a thing
I'd never get back on track"
The first thing I said to him was '$ off.' Actually, it wasn't even a complete sentence. I should've finished it with something worse.
"$ off, you-" and then I saw him.
He half turned to me with a puzzled look on his face, as if he didn't quite believe that I was as aggravating as I was trying to be. The sunlight filtering through the ancient windows tinted his dirty blonde hair perfectly, augmenting every individual shade of brown and gold with just the right shade of pure light. His skin was the perfect medium between olive and beige, as if he'd spent his whole life under the wisest of suns that knew just what rays to beam him with to make him gorgeous. There was a full, subtle shadow of stubble spreading from his chin up his jawline, making him look attractively mature yet blissfully youthful. His eyes were the deepest, darkest of browns, but not so deep that they scared you or so dark that they lost their warm color. But if the features of his face sound dreamy individually, that's a horse's wrong end compared to the way they worked together.
My first thought was something along the lines of: Holy $^#. He's hot. He is so hot. I might die.
"Sorry," he said. I had no idea how low or high his voice was-my brain was AWOL. "I didn't see you there." Somehow I couldn't place his husky accent at the moment, try as I might. Oh yeah, and: &$#%, he's polite too. Great. In fact, I found that I couldn't really focus on anything. He was too pretty, he kept distracting me. So you can imagine how intelligent my conversation sounded. If someone had seen me, they'd think I had some horrible mental disability that made me freak out around guys. I've seen other girls with that (and always thought they were sodding idiots), but I never thought that I would be victim to such a curse.
"Hi," I said blankly. Wow. Einstein over here. He smiled at me...holy mother of %&$#, he smiled at me. His teeth were in immaculate arrangement with each other, like perfect neighbors that had never had a reason to infringe on each others' feelings or space. No amount of time under braces could perfect such perfection. And they were so bright. So white that they made my mom's favorite dress look like some filthy rag she'd pulled out of a dumpster. He must have gone further than mere braces-he had all his normal teeth ripped out and had someone fashion himself some new dentures. Out of pearls. From the Great Barrier Reef. And he brushes them with lasers. Why am I freaking out about his teeth?
"I'm Devon," he introduced kindly, taking my hand and shaking it with a sort of supple firmness that reminded me of holding a baby for some obscure reason. I couldn't even get my hand to move. But the best part? He didn't even seem to notice that I was being a total dork.
"Um…" &%$#, woman, say something! Come on. Anything. No, not anything, if you swear at him again after him being so nice to you he'll never let you see his amazing face again. What to say, what to say? &%$. %&$*#y %^$&ing &%$.
OH! Eureka! My name!
"Diane!" I blurted, afraid that it was too late to make a positive impression. Diane. Yes, that's me. And this exquisite representative of the male gender goes by the moniker of Devon. Ah, yes, I recall. Good lord, I sound like Artemis. Wait, who's he?
"So that's your name," he purred, a barely-there clever glint in his eye. I grinned goofily at him. I must have looked like a stupid, all-too-friendly lapdog, which I didn't mind, as long as I got to look at him. "It's a pleasure to meet you. A name of the gods is befitting of you."
"Thanks," I replied automatically. Immediately I hated myself for being rude. In hindsight, I had every reason to be ruder, but I wasn't. I was only rude. Confused yet?
So was I.
Not to say that I didn't suspect anything at all. I'm an idiot, frankly, but I'm not THAT big an idiot. He treated me like...like a lady. He treated me the way my mom demanded everyone treat her, the way she wanted people to treat me. But I was nothing like her. So why was he treating me like my mom? He must've known who she was. Instant red flag.
First instinct: get out of there and get my bearings. Quit looking at him, for %&$'s sake!
"I, um, have to go," I excused unapologetically, as fast as I could get the words out of my mouth. Oh yeah, school. Not an outright lie, then. We're making progress.
"Of course," he agreed gently. Too. Freaking. Nice. "I'll see you later, then?"
"Yes!" I cried, a little too energetically for my liking. If this guy is a trap, he's reading me like an open book. "Yes. But later. Not now. Um…."
"Farewell." He smiled at me. Then he walked away.
My heart is officially dead.
Somehow I made it to my desk, I think, because that's where I happened to be when Artemis had the sense to start up a conversation before my brain completely atrophied.
"Well?" he invited, looking at me sidelong.
"Hm?" I grunted, instinctively looking over at him without comprehension as I made the groggy transition from autopilot to true consciousness.
"Why are you so cheerful?" he inquired sarcastically. I blinked at him. Well, duh, I'm cheerful-I was just lucky enough to glimpse the most gorgeous hunk of man on the planet. Only makes sense. Artemis is slower than usual today. Maybe he needs help getting it.
"Why shouldn't I be?" I prompted. Despite my blank face and unusually soothed attitude, his temper flared like I'd never seen it flare.
"Because you-" He must have realized the obvious answer, because he composed himself and took a deep breath. That or he really hated losing control like that so obviously. He has ego issues like that.
Wait. Fully awake me realizes that something's seriously wrong. He wouldn't snap like this at me, not unless I did something to set him off. Or there's something he needs to talk about that's nagging him, something that's affecting him psychologically even though he doesn't realize it or want to admit it. Something he needs to talk out with me. Men are stupid that way.
Up to me, then.
"Are you okay, Arty?" I began, trying to start soft so that I don't inflame him. He's the kind of person to take offense at the drop of a hat. Literally...long story.
"Would you like the honest answer, or the one that makes your life easier?" he asks with false sweetness. What the %#$ is that supposed to mean? Well, for starters, I know that it must have something to do with me, otherwise he wouldn't bother trying to spare my feelings-which I'm surprised that he's taking the liberty of doing anyway. Feelings shmeelings, I want the truth so that I can help you be a better person. Only one thing to say, really.
"Best policy," I murmur. Anyone can figure out what that means. I half-turn towards him and lean back in my chair, stretching my arms behind my head to give the image that I've got all day, so don't bother cutting it short. I look him in the eye, daring those infinite blues to give me the answer I sought. Finally he took another deep breath, a 'here goes' kind of breath that you get when your spouse is about to admit lying to you. Ew, what kind of an analogy is that?
"I've just been thinking," he began. What else is new? "about your backstory. When we first met, you said your mother was the duchess of Czechoslovakia. Which is no longer a country. I'm almost certain that you lied to me."
Oh. You can imagine the look on my face, so I won't bother describing it. Kind of like that look you get when your little sibling is absolutely beside himself because of something you know has absolutely no consequence in the real world.
"Oh," I said out loud. Men worry about the strangest things. "Okay. I thought it was something important."
"It is important!" he hissed, his acrimonious bristle reminding me of a neighborhood stray cat I'd tried to pet when I was seven years old. I think I still have the scar on my forehead. "If you lied to me the very first day that I met you, then who's to say that you haven't done that again?"
I snorted. No, it isn't, you silly stupid male. Why would I lie to you? I'm your friend. Stop making everything into a big deal with that big head of yours.
"Like you didn't lie to me the first day," I retorted. If he doesn't have a problem with lying to me, why should I have a problem about not lying to him? His logic is really broken today. "I know how to lie, but that doesn't mean I do it all the time for no reason."
"I lied for a reason," he growled, scribbling harder in his notepad. Bingo.
"Ha!" I cackled victoriously, pointing and leaning away. Good that we got to change the subject from me. "So you did lie. I knew it! But what'd you lie about? Your wealth? Your family? Your 'not much to tell?' C'mon, the jig's up already!"
He was silent for a long time, quietly fuming. My grin faded. He should've cooled down by now. Frick, did I forget to not be abrasive? Have I been provoking him this whole time? Well, so much for being a star counselor and a good friend. But still, he shouldn't be this angry. What could I possibly have done? What could possibly have happened?
The bell rang.
No you don't, Fowl, neither of us are moving until you've given me a good answer. Make it count.
"That's not the only thing I lied to you about." he hinted, getting up and striding briskly out.
"Aremis...?" I called weakly.
'Kindness' is copyrighted to AcoustiMandoBrony