"Just a pint, thanks love." Joe was a regular at Haddock's. He would sit in the same corner every day at the same time, like a well-oiled clock. He was sweet really once you got to know him but at first glance he seemed more like a storm then a person.
"I'll go get that for ya." He smiled warmly and returned back to his paper.
Maria was the only other one working that day. She was a round, old women with the greyest hair you'll ever see. Her glasses always seemed to be halfway down her nose, with thick black frames and lens that make her eyes bulge. Sam liked to call her names - Mantis Maria was a popular one - which never sat right with Riley, but it is best not to argue with him. A waste of breath and time.
"Is that Joe again?" Her voice reminded Riley of a grandma. Always calm with the softest hints of love.
Riley had already reached out to pull down on the tap, drumming her fingers unconsciously.
"He'd ought to slow down." Her eyes were peering over her glasses towards Joe's usual booth where he sat oblivious, empty glasses seated comfortably beside him. "He'll drink himself to death."
"Don't be such a worry pot Mar, look at him. He's as fit as a fiddle." Riley gleamed back at her elder as she weaved her way back to Joe.
"Cheers doll." Was all he said with a slight nod of his head.
Riley didn't even have time to turn around before she heard the familiar shout of Maria and the illustrious laughter of Sam. All she could think of was 'what a beautiful laugh that is'.
"Maria, did you do something with your hair today? It looks... nice?" Riley could not help but snort at Sam with his head tilted to the side as he inspected Maria. As she approached them she reprimanded Sam with a hand over the back of the head. He spluttered out an exaggerated noise, "What, what did I do?"
"Oh shush, as if you don't know." Riley whispered with a disapproving look.
"I was being nice." If Riley didn't know him better she may have fallen victim for his innocent face.
"I'm convinced you don't know what nice means." If Sam didn't know her better he may have thought she was being truthful.
"Believe what you want." He shrugged. He'd already settled himself down on one of the stools, with his head resting on his palm. "When do you get off work?"
"She finishes in about an hour, now you young man, should leave." Maria grumbled, heaving him off the chair and waving him towards the door.
"Young man? That's a new one." Maria's attempts proved useless as he side stepped her, "Riley be good, I know what you're like - you little rebel." He winked before making his exit, knocking over a chair while doing so.
Maria's face was full of scorn as she got back to work, "I'll never know what you see in him."
"I'll never know what you see in Joe." Riley snorted before ducking away from the pen that was flung at her.
The rest of the day was dull. It rained. And then it rained a little more. It was a miracle that the sky didn't run out of droplets to torment Harrow-woods residents with. By the time Riley's shift was over the pavements were little rivers of running water that pooled out into the road. She dreaded walking through it, that was until she heard a whistle from across the street and out of the corner of her eye she saw a hand wave wildly about.
"Riley, darling, don't ignore me." You could just tell it was Alex, with his posh voice and new suit.
"Ignore you? I could never!" She smiled wide as he hurried across to her, his legs getting splashed with water.
"I'm too captivating."
"That isn't the word I'd use." Alexandra side eyed her with a soft smile.
"Have you spoke to any of the boys today?" His eyes were downcast, watching his feet shuffle forward.
"Sam came into Harrows earlier, pissed off Maria." She pulled her coat up higher to protect herself from the harsh battering of the wind.
"Of course he did." Alex shook his head and chuckled looking down at Riley with a knowing look.
"Don't give me that look Alex." She huffed, it had been a while since she thought about her and Sam. It was a nice thought, but an impossible one. Even if Sam did reciprocate her feelings, Miles forbids Riley pursuing Sam and Alex, even though she didn't feel that way about one of them. It was one of his 'precautions'.
"I know, I know. There's no harm in flirting though, in fact its fun."
"Who on earth do you flirt with?" Riley giggled, staring up at him with a raised eyebrow, "hmm?"
"Lots of people."
It didn't take the pair long to reach their spot. It was the hull of one of the boats that had been left wrecked after a small storm. It may have been rotting and riddled with parasites, but it was theirs and they loved it never the less. Alex and Riley were the first ones there, sitting in the middle of one of the cushions they pulled out a pack of cards and a bottle of jack with grins spread across their faces.
A/N - How long would you like each chapter to be? this one is 1090.
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