“Excuse me?” Gabrielle looked up from her reading at the question.
“Err, me?” She questioned, holding in a grimace as she realised the library was deserted. The corners of the man’s lips pulled upwards, he looked like he was stifling a laugh. Instead he inclined his head towards her.
“How can I help you?” she was confused. There were now plenty of tables free, she hadn’t all the books and her music was played quietly through her headphone. So that ruled out all the normal options, the library was open twenty-four-seven so that was ruled out as well.
“I noticed you seem to be doing a lot of research on history,” he paused picking up a book and inspecting the cover. “Specifically the Tudors, I wondered if I could be of some assistance.” Peering closer at the man, she straightened up on edge.
“No,” she turned back to her research, “thank you, I’m fine.” She hoped he would take the hint and leave. Luck seemed to have a different idea, he moved to take a seat in front of her. Reaching into his bag to retrieve something, placing an ID card onto the table before sliding it towards her but not far enough for her to see the name, just the picture.
“Then again maybe you can.” Mumbled Gabrielle sarcastically.
“If you tell me what you’re looking for specifically,” he trailed off picking up a book and flipping through its pages. “I may be able to direct you to the correct areas.” She looked at the man, she was doubtful of that. He looked no older than her, he was probably a fellow student.
“I’m just doing research is all.” She answered trying to be vague, she’d been dealing with history student trying to hit on her all day, and between that and the reading she was gaining a headache. The man just chuckled.
“Ah, a researcher, that gives me a clue but not an answer.” He slid the card more towards her encouraging her to pick it up, she tried hard not to listen to the flirty tone in his voice. Picking up the card, she stared blankly down at it. Eli, at least he now had a name. He took the card back off her smiling.
“So what is this research for exactly?” he teased her. Bristling at the laughter that was sure to come when she answered, detachment was the best way to go.
“A story.” Leaning backwards in his chair, he studied her. Shifting minutely Gabrielle, tried not to squirm in her seat. She hate telling people she was writing a story. Most presumed it to be a hobby, or that the course was easy. It was not. Facts had to be double checked, it may be easy to pass, but as a student once said to her, ‘you can pass easily with a grade, but it’s harder to pass with a decent grade.’
“Well then, may I know your name and what your story is about?” tilting her head she pondered Eli’s question, she did not expect this response, it was…refreshing.
Not knowing what made her do it, she explained her story to Eli, showing him her plan for the whole thing. Explaining her research and what she was struggling with, the sources she already used. With every word spoken his face seemed to brighten, she could tell this was a favourite topic of his. By the end of her explanation he had several passages open ready for her to read, before once again questioning her on her name.
“It’s Gabrielle, Gabrielle Rain.” She stretched her hand out towards his to shake it. But he took her by surprise, he grasped her hand and brought her knuckles to his face, before placing a light kiss there.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, do you mind if I sit here and read.” He drawled, too shocked by his actions, she just shook her head. Reaching into his bag he pulled out a book, before moving on of the more comfy seats over to rest in. After this was done he turned his attention to his book, not disturbing her, but she could feel his eyes on her sometimes. The night continued on in a similar manner. At regular interval he would get up and get them both a drink from the water cooler. At one point he even brought back some snacks from vender and placed them in front of her. Chuckling when she absently started eating or drink the water, whenever she had a question, he would answer it, sometimes gathering books from other places. She grinned at some of the stories and theories he mentioned, but wrote each one down. She continued to write her story, when she finished it she timidly asked him, if he would read it. He seemed to beam and took the note pad, eagerly from her hands. He seemed to re-read the work, before absently picking up the pen, but paused before uncapping it.
“Would you mind if I made a few notes on the side?” he absently asked, twirling his pen.
“No not at all…anything that will help.” She rushed out, he nodded before looking back down, making notes here and there before passing it back. She glanced down at the notes and started to copy up what she had done, using his notes to correct the history in places. By early morning hours, she was ready to pack up and call it a night. He handed her a card with his name and number on.
“It had been my pleasure meeting you Miss Rain, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need more help.” Rising her hand to his lips he once again kissed her knuckles, before squeezing her hand and leaving her by her car.
“Oh boy.” Gabrielle sighed.