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A Different Kettle of Onions

By bubblewrappedkitty

Romance / Humor

Age

Age

"Isn't he a little old for you?"

Her mother's words were still hovering at the back of her mind hours later, as Alice sat at the dining table and watched Hatter moving around the kitchen of his flat with the grace of a dancer. (He had promised her the greatest dinner of her life, and by the smells she reckoned he might be right.) Still as she watched him she couldn't help but notice the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes and in his brow when he concentrated.

The truth was, she hadn't had a good answer to give her mother. The birth certificate Jack had procured for him had him ticked at twenty-nine years old, but somehow she felt that was just a number. It was hard to pin down something like age when it came to Hatter. Most of the time he was as lively and youthful as a child, but then there were moments when she saw more in his eyes, years and wisdom and memories beyond what she thought he should have.

"Jus' ask your question, love," Hatter chimed suddenly from the stove, shooting her a quick glance over his shoulder. At her confused look he grinned. "I can actually taste your Curiosity in the air."

Well there was nothing for it now. "How old are you, really?"

Hatter went back to stirring the sauce with a pensive look. "In Oyster years or Wonde'land?"

Alice paused thoughtfully. "There's a difference?"

"Course," he answered. "Time moves different, don' it? A day there's an hour here, or somm'it like that. Depends on the weather too, and then there's the cats, o' course. Neva' was good at doin' the math."

Alice opened her mouth to ask just what on earth cats had to do with the passage of time, but then changed her mind. It was Wonderland, so odds were the answer wouldn't make sense anyhow. So she settled for answering his first question. "Both, I guess."

"Twen'y-nine, in Oyster," he said. He paused to take the sauce off hot stove and then turned around to face her, propping his back against the countertop. "Or as close as can get to it, anywhich, give or take a thunderstorm or two. An' in Wonderland, I'll be - " He counted off on his fingers, mouthing numbers as he did the math in his head, "Seven'y-four just about."

"Seventy-four!" Alice gasped in shock.

Hatter shrugged. "Yeah, I look older 'an I am," he said off-handedly. He seemed to take in the look of surprise on Alice's face and grinned. "Told ya, time's different there. An' we can control 'ow we age, if we wanna. I kept meself young, helped the business to have a pretty face in charge."

Alice laughed and shook her head. "My mom was right," she said. Hatter lifted an inquisitive eyebrow. "You are a little old for me."

"Oi, now tha's not fair," Hatter said, sticking his lower lip out slightly the way he did when he was upset. "If I'd'a known what I was keeping meself young for, I'd 'ave stopped aging at fifty. Then we'd be right close to the same."

Standing up, Alice crossed to him and brushed a thumb along the laugh lines around his dark eyes. "That's the most romantic thing someone's ever said that I didn't understand," she teased.

Despite the joke in her tone, Hatter beamed at the compliment. "Aye, well you set you'self down," he said, gesturing at the table. "This ol' man's got 'imself a dinner to serve."

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Wapple02: I fell in love with this story from the first sentence. It was written beautifully, there were some grammatical errors, but besides that it was awesome. I cried every time I read the last chapter. I read the last chapter seven times. I don't want it to be over.

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Happiness9876: This is my go to book whenever I want a laugh or to feel good. 🙂👌

Lea Belaj: This book is amazing❤ I actually read the second book first, since I didn't know that this one existed. And I loved the second book so much I had to read this one. I really liked the plot and characters, especially Eliana and Oriens.❤

Bad: The Setting was applicable to the characters, the readers can relate to the story.The author use the POV which the readers can feel, and the author keeps hook in every chapter and it will make you to rethink about everything.It was a hooking story, since from the beginning to the end, it has many...

Ilanea Zavala: I loved it and well I really hope you continue writing more to the story.

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