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Adrift in Moscow
Shadows were making her jump. Aurora had spent several days in the warehouse while Aria and Nox did their thing. She had watched as they sparred. Aurora felt a sense of loss watching Nox getting along with this girl who was giving him something that she used to be able to do. But when their mother died everything changed. He had changed. Everything grew darker, he hid from everything. He hid from her even, always behind the mask of humor and that stupid grin.

Aurora watched as he smiled with Aria, not that stupid grin, but a real smile. He was happy here in Moscow. He had found a home and that home didn't require her to be any part of it. Nox had pretty much said that to her that day they'd met again. He didn't care if she stayed or not. Not that they had gotten along well but she missed him. They were getting along better now though. He wasn't hiding as much, he was true to himself. But Nox always had put on a show for everyone else. Just not her.

She sighed as she watched the two fight, even their spats ended in strengthening whatever it was they had. He wasn't sleeping with her. For everything Nox said, it wasn't even in the picture, he didn't want to. Aurora thought that was bullshit, but Nox wasn't flirting with Aria. He wasn't trying to lay down a foundation so he could get her in bed. Aurora had watched often enough to know his particular brand of seduction. But that meant that she really was losing her brother to this messed up girl who seemed to draw people to her like a moth to flame. Someone was going to get burnt. She better not hurt Nox.

With disgust Aurora got up from the bar and grabbed her coat and fled out the door. They barely gave her any notice anyway, they were so absorbed with one another. She wanted to throw one of Nox's temper tantrum's and yell and scream at them. Tell them to get a room. But instead she slammed the door behind her and walked.

She had no where to go. Since the convocation Aurora hadn't wanted to go back to headquarters for fear that someone would know what she was. Know that she wasn't initiated yet, that she wasn't fully one of them. Or the worse secret of her life. She was one of their dreaded monsters. She didn't feel like a monster. All she wanted to was help people. That was all she wanted to.

Her world was crumbling down around her. Nox was moving on. She couldn't even remember half the things he did. Maybe it was a sign. A sign to move on. To go back home. But even that didn't feel right. What would she do at home? Sit and mope? Hunt monsters by herself? Become normal?

Aurora laughed at herself as she walked. Could she imagine what she would be like as a waitress? Or some librarian somewhere? What kind of life would she lead being a monster with no experience in anything but killing monsters. Ironic.

Aurora wished her mother was still alive. She knew she could tell her mom anything, but now, now she had no one. There was not anyone she could talk to, not even Nox. Not that he had time for her anyway.

Aurora just wandered the streets of Moscow. She had no place in particular she wanted to go. She just walked.
It was cold. But Aurora continued to walk through the streets of Moscow lost in her thoughts. She always landed on her feet she told herself. When her mother died she was on top of things. When Nox was at his worst she was there. When their dad died, she stayed on top of everything. Aurora sighed, now Nox didn't need her. The plane crash had done more damage to her family than just losing their memories. Nox was a different person. Was she?

The idea that her past shouldn't continue to keep her from her future sat idle in her mind. But she couldn't shake the feeling that she wouldn't be doubting herself if she knew what brought them to Moscow. Why they had come? There had to be a reason they would have come here for more than just a stupid tattoo.

That was another thing, Nox had taken it to heart, he'd dropped his soul into the pit of the monster because he thought it would save his life. Aurora wasn't so sure, it was likely to swallow them whole. The Atharim would kill them if they knew what they were. And yet he stuck his feet in the ground and stubbornly stays. He was working harder than ever now, training more and more. He'd learned a lot in the few weeks he'd known Aria. More than he was willing with her. Aurora wanted to stamp her feet in frustration.

The cold was finally getting to her. Her feet were numb, her fingers felt like ice. She couldn't feel her nose. A door flung open and caught in the wind. As the person left and pushed the door shut behind them Aurora caught the scent of coffee. She closed her eyes and swayed almost like it was the most wonderful thing in the world. And right now, in her dour mood it probably was.

Aurora opened the door and made sure it closed behind her. The cafe was small, a cellist played in the corner, the music was seductively sweet. The couches were arrayed all over the place, no particular order or fashion sense. There were very few tables. But the coffee it smelled divine.

She ordered a cup, black, large. It was handed to her in a large stone ware cup the size of a bowl. My god! It was warm, her fingers melted against the cup and when Aurora took a sip she was in heaven, it tasted as good as it smelled. Aurora sat down on the couch facing the cellist, she listened as she sipped her coffee.

He didn't seem to notice her beyond a flicker of his eyes, at least not that she could tell. But something changed on his face. He had the look of concentration, as if his eyes must be closed so that his soul could pour out of his hands.

She'd never been a fan of classical music before, the thought of going to some opera house to listen to a bunch of people play and there were no lyrics. Yet as she watched the cellist play, she saw so much emotion cross his face, the sound was eerily beautiful.

Aurora watched as his fingers moved across the strings, and the bow slide back and forth. The music sank into her soul. She wasn't exactly sure if it was making it better, or making it worse, but she was rivited in place until the piece ended and then the silence was almost painful.

He was still for a moment, as if it had taken everything out of him to play so tenderly. There toward the end, the exaggerated movements of arms and fingers had seemed to coax emotion from the instrument that seemed to penetrate deeply into the audience. Emotion seemed to flash across his face, his hair sweaty and flipping over his forehead and ears in response. Conversation had ceased, as if his music had demanded their full concentration.

The silence rang and then he opened his eyes, appeared to breath deeply. They roamed the audience as if seeking something, as if a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower, until they alighted on hers. And stopped.

Aurora smiled and then averted her gaze shyly. It had been a while since that had happened. Since she'd seen that kind of passion, even if it hadn't been directed at her, it had felt that way. His gaze made her aware of her over-sized coat to keep the cold away. She was not hardly dressed to impress.

When she looked up his attention was now on his instrument, adjusting nobs and feeling strings. His eyes did not look to the audience, almost deliberately. And then he tilted his head back while he closed his eyes softly, while his hands began the delicate dance over the cello. This time it seemed she could barely hear it at first, it was so soft and low. And yet gradually, she felt, rather than heard the rhythm that was being coaxed from it, slowly as if it had to be teased and drawn out rather than simply played.

It became louder as he seemed to make the instrument come to life with his bow, as it began to wail and cry to the insistent thrums and slaps of his fingers on the strings and body. How so much depth and complex sound could be coaxed from one cello was beyond her. This time, the song grew to a crescendo, wordless, and yet filled with emotion and passion and imagery. His eyebrows drew down in sorrow as the bass dwindled, the thread almost dying, before brows furrowed with determination as he attacked his strings. Back and forth, the story was told, and by the end, hair now slick with sweat, the cello went silent and he opened his eyes. He was looking at her.

That was the second time he'd looked at her directly. She smiled, this time making herself not look away. She could feel the blush rising but there was nothing she could do about that. She took a sip of her coffee to hide almost absently. He played so well, she had never realized this type of music could be so moving. Or that the people who played an instrument could be so well... handsome.

He smiled as he swept back his disheveled hair and then tilted the microphone. Spanish accented English come from his smiling lips. "Thank you. I will be back soon."
He carefully set his bow in its case and then placed the cello on its stand. In black jeans and a black t-shirt, he stood and seemed to survey the crowd before stepping down and walking toward the barrista.

Aurora watched as he walked past her, she wanted to watch him move, watch him walk but she swallowed down the last of the cold coffee. She stood up and turned to see he was the only one in line, a few girls giggled near him but they just pointed and stared. She smiled to herself, she was better than that. No giggling for her.

Aurora walked up behind him her empty cup in hand to order a second cup. From behind him, she spoke softly. "You play wonderfully."

He turned around with a smile on his face and looked down into her eyes. "I thank you."
He tilted his head as if studying her and then added. "But you know, the cello is an instrument of two souls. The one making the music, and the one taking it inside themselves. The beauty you hear, that touches you, is from you."

Aurora gave a small laugh. "I doubt that."
She didn't doubt she was pretty or could make pretty things happen, but she'd seen way too much evil to think it came from her. "Call me jaded."
She smiled. "Why the cello?"

His looked pained at her words. "It makes me sad to hear you say that."
His eyes lit up, mouth quirking as if almost smiling. "Jade stone can be scratched and scuffed. But it is still jade. Cared for, shaped, polished, its beauty remains and can be brought back to the surface, the luster on the inside visible once again for all to see. It is never gone."
His eyes became soft, as did his smile. "Do not forget this."
He gestured to the platform. "I will play again and you will see what is inside you more clearly now. Now that you know where it comes from."

[Image: 10384198_683243648423048_838946051302820...e=5593704C]
Diego De La Cruz
Aurora smiled at his words. Clearly he thought he knew what it was that made music sing to a person She still wasn't sure, but she'd give him the benefit of the doubt. She ordered her coffee and sat down in the same couch. This time in it for the long haul, she took her coat off. The purple and grey sweater dress she wore was just warm enough for inside the building, but the coffee and other things would keep her warm. She was thankful that no one here was like Aria, her thoughts would not betray her here.

She sipped at her coffee lounging on the couch with her legs crossed at the knee. The couch was comfortable, for the first time in a while she was smiling on the inside as well as out. She hadn't realized how down she had been. Maybe this was all she needed.

When he finally came back to the platform Aurora was halfway finished with her coffee. She watched him intently, she would listen to everything he played and keep his soft words in her head.

He sat down and there was some smattering of clapping a long with a couple of whistles from a table with a few older women all sitting together. He waggled an eyebrow and gave them a smile that showed white teeth. "I can't believe I get paid to do this."
He looked around the audience casually, as if they were old friends. He began to talk to the audience again, describing what he was going to play. He had a friendly easy way about him, setting everyone at ease. Even those who had tablet or books had put them down so they could listen more fully.

He lifted the cello and she noticed his developed forearms, probably from carrying around and playing it. He seemed to notice people noticing him, and he continued to speak and keep the atmosphere light and fun. Then, picking up his bow, true silence descended on the shop. He began again, slow, almost hesitant, though that was just for the moment. This time, he seemed possessed, as if he were connected to an energy source. His body was almost rigid even as his hands and fingers vibrated, bringing the cello to life again. The song was a celebration of life, of beauty and spring, of rebirth and hope, a stacatto rhythm accelerating and decelerating, as if emotion and words had been translated into something deeper than words.

Aurora sat in awe. Her entire being vibrated with the sound of the cello. How had she never known this music before. It was all consuming, she felt like she was the only one in the room. Like he was playing only for her, which was an absurd notion really, she knew she was in a public place, knew that there were at least a dozen people scattered in her periphery vision.

Minutes passed, maybe even an hour or two before he stopped playing. Aurora sat on the couch and just watched him the whole time. The music was powerful, he was powerful. Aurora hadn't known music to do that at any point in her life. She leaned forward as he was putting his cello away and smiled, she spoke over the noise of the room, but careful not to raise her voice to be caught in that deafening silence that always happened in the movies. "Maybe you are right. I'm at a loss of words."

He looked up and the fall of his hair partially covered the twinkle in his eye and he smiled. "True beauty is in the soul."
His eyes looked into hers for a moment. "Though sometimes the beauty of the soul is visible for all to see."
He finished putting his things away. When he was done he crouched down so they were level with each other. "Have a drink with me?"

Edited by Aurora, Feb 7 2015, 09:46 AM.
Aurora couldn't help but blush at his words and his offer. She smiled, happy was an understatement. "It would be my pleasure."
She grinned at him. "Though it might be a bit early for much more than coffee."

He chuckled while looking into her eyes. "We shall see. There is a bistro around the corner. It's small and intimate. I think you will like it."
He stood up and took his case to the girl at the counter. She couldn't hear what he said, but his face seemed serious. Once the case was stored in a back room, he returned smiling. "You ready?"

Aurora smiled. "Sure."
Aurora set her coffee cup on the table to the side, they'd come pick it up she was sure. She picked up her coat and pulled it around her. She didn't think she needed her coat, but she didn't want to carry it either.

Aurora followed him out the door with a smile. He was more than just a good cellist. He held the door for her as she walked out. He was true to his word the bistro was around the corner almost literally. It looked quaint, it was quiet. There were tables outside pushed up against the wall. The cast iron white tables you see in all the classic movies. The umbrellas were missing, as if anyone was going to be dining outside in the Moscovian winter.

He opened the door for her and she smiled at him happily before stepping inside the warmth of the place, it smelled of home cooked food. Each table separated by several feet but yet the atmosphere said it was quiet and intimate as he'd said. The hostess sat them down in a quiet corner of the bistro, it was nice table for two. The chair was comfortable, a little fake candle set the atmosphere nicely. It would have been a perfect place for a date and she looked over at her new friend and smiled. "I do like this place."

Aurora looked at the menu carefully, she wasn't overly hungry, her menu slipped out of her hands and her eyes met his where she had followed the menu. He was smiling and Aurora couldn't help but to look down shyly. She looks up tentatively, and he's staring at her as if sizing her up. "Hmm....I think I have an idea for you."
He closed the menu. "Do you trust me?"
His look said that she could.

Aurora nodded slowly with a smiled. It was against her better judgement but it wasn't like he was out to poison her or anything. He smiled back at her. When the waitress returned he called her over and whispered to her what they were to have. Aurora found the secret almost too much but she didn't try to lean forward. He was a mystery to her and that had almost as much appeal as looking at him.
The waitress brought out a bottle of white wine and tilted it in his direction showing him the label and the year. He nodded with a smile then looked at Aurora as if he expected her to protest, Aurora smiled and bowed her head slightly to indicate she was trusting him. He smiled back at her, the white of his teeth flashing and heart skipped a beat.

The waitress poured two glasses deftly. Aurora watched with curiousity, his hands fingered the flute of the glass and she looked up into his eyes. Aurora picked up the wine glass and took a sip cautiously. She didn't drink much, nor did she drink often, that was Nox's way of adapting to things. To dull his senses, to be out of control. That was not her. Aurora's eyes never left his as the cool liquid warmed in her mouth and throat. He was captivating.

He arched an eyebrow in a questioning manner. Aurora laughed. "It's wonderful."
You are wonderful, she thought to herself. Her cheeks colored softly, her feelings betraying her at every moment sitting here with this man.

His smile was small as he took a sip of his wine, and he looked at her as if she were a mystery. "Lot's of reasons for a beautiful woman to be here in Moscow. Alone."
He leaned forward. "Tell me about you."
His eyes were placid, and yet there was something insistent in them.

Aurora smiled. "Not much to tell. Born in the US. Traveled a lot with my family. I have a twin brother who is the complete opposite of me. Both of my parents are dead. I'm kinda in between jobs right now. Not much more to me."
There was a bit more, but not anything she would ever share with a random stranger, no matter how good looking he was. She leaned forward and took a sip then smiled at him. "Other than play the cello, what else do you do?"

He smiled softly at her waving off her question. "So are you a blank slate then?"
He laughed quietly. "No, I don't think so. I think there is much more to you than even you know."
He tilted his head. "I would very much like to find out what it is."

The food arrived. He watched her face carefully. "I thought to surprise you."
He pointed out the oysters. "People either love them or hate them. Either way, there is a reaction."
He smiled at her and spoke softly. "In truth, that is all that really matters. Eliciting a reaction."

Aurora laughed softly, mostly to herself. This man thought she was more than what she'd said, she wasn't, not really. Other than a deadly monster my people hunt for only one reason. But the food arrived and Aurora glanced down at the oysters sitting on the half shell slimy and grey and ... Aurora looked up at him in shock, he expected her to eat them.

He looked at her expectantly, urging her on with his eyes. They twinkled with possibilities. Aurora took a deep breathe. She picked one up tentatively, his hand reached too and Aurora's eyes followed his hand up to his gorgeous face. He was watching her intently as he showed her how to eat the oyster. He tipped the oyster shell back and it slide down into his mouth and he swallowed. Aurora swallowed hard, her heart beat faster. He was almost too much.

Aurora took a deep breathe, she didn't look back down at the food she was about to partake of, she kept her eyes firmly locked on his and lifted her hand to her mouth and tipped the oyster into it. The oyster felt like it squirmed and wiggled in her mouth but she swallowed it quickly. Aurora fought back the initial reaction to gag as it slide down her throat. It didn't taste bad, but the texture and the sensation was definitely not something she would repeat. But when she caught the look on his face she wasn't so sure she'd stick to her convictions of not eating another. He was very good at this, whatever this was. Aurora knew she was out of her league with this one. But here she sat anyway, watching and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

He smiled at her knowingly. And then, as if out of the blue. "I wonder if you have read Hemingway. He was American, after all."
He sipped at his wine contentedly. "For all of that, we Spaniards have always felt he was one of us. None of this DIIV nonsense, you understand."

Aurora laughed. "Because he's American you expect that I would read Americans."
She laughed a little harder.

He shook his head sadly, though a smile made it clear he was teasing her. "The American education system continues to disappoint. A pity."
He laughed. "No. I only ask because of this meal."
His voice changed as he seemed to recite. As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

Whistfully, he went on. "He always did that, always made sure to make the physical experience visceral to the reader. And in doing so, gave it shape."
He smiled at her and nodded to the tray. "Try it again, please. And this time try to enjoy the experience."

Aurora tilted her head to the side with a grin then shook her head. "For you. I will try again."
Aurora reached for another oyster and held it tenderly between two fingers as she looked into his eyes. "That was from A Movable Feast. I didn't say I hadn't read Hemingway."
She grinned playfully back at him.

Aurora closed her eyes and imagined what Hemingway had written. She could feel his eyes on her and it stirred feelings that she'd not felt in a very long time. She smiled and didn't think about what she was doing and took the oyster and swallowed it, the second time it was better, imagery had helped, his voice had soothed her disgust at the thought of them. Aurora didn't want to open her eyes and look at him again. He was pulling parts of her apart and it was disconcerting. He was upending her world. But at this particular juncture Aurora didn't care.

He laughed heartily, bringing her back to herself. "Excellent!"
He looked up for the waiter and snapped his fingers. "Main course,"
when the man came. This time there was no show-and-tell when the food came. "Eat,"
he said heartily. "Already, you have told me more about yourself than you initially indicated. I shall have to ply you with questions to get at the truth."
His eyes twinkled as he tore into a piece of bread.

Edited by Aurora, Feb 10 2015, 12:41 PM.
Their meal arrived at a snap of fingers. But Aurora barely noticed. He was enthralling. She wasn't sure why, but he just was. She watched him eat a piece of bread before looking down and seeing what he had ordered. Pan-seared duck breast with blueberry sauce atop a bed of bok choy, wild mushrooms, pancetta, and shallots. Served with a side of roasted potatoes seasoned with rosemary and thyme. Her stomach rumbled.

The command to eat was lost upon Aurora as the smell overwhelmed her. She'd never had duck before. She hadn't had oysters before either. She still didn't like them, but he made everything better with a glance at her. Aurora couldn't help the smile that spread on her lips as she tried everything on her plate.

She grinned playfully at him. "Then ask away, I'm apparently an open book."
It wasn't the analogy she was thinking and it made her blush, he was definitely playing her like he played his cello. Aurora was not taken aback by it, she was enjoying the attention, and he was fine company.

The food was delicious, the conversation was enlightening, and the company was extraordinary. He was more than Aurora could have imagined. He saw beauty in everything. They spoke about a lot of things. He pulled out things from her that she hadn't possibly thought about. He seemed to grow irritated when she spoke about her brother, how he ignored her, how they were drifting. Almost mad at Nox for being the jerk that he is. It was just Nox and you took him with a grain of salt, he wasn't that bad. He loved her, she knew that but he was caught in that tangled web that Aria wove around him.

He even managed to pull out of her some of the issues with the Atharim, though she didn't actually say the name. How they were treating their people. She didn't give him exact details, but she let him know she didn't agree with their methods. He seemed very interested in her. They spoke very little about him. It was a foreign concept for Aurora, to talk about herself.

No one was ever that interested in her. And why would they be with her brother always around, his charismatic self pulling in all the attention. It wasn't until this moment that she realized how much she had resented her brother for being who he was. It hadn't mattered when they didn't have a home, it was all they had, he didn't have long to make lasting impressions. Now they were in one place, and he was shining too brightly and she was getting lost in his shadow. That aggravated her more now then ever.

By the time dinner was finished Aurora was still enthralled with her company, and his attention upon her and her alone. He made her feel special. She hadn't even minded when he paid the bill. He held her coat for her as she shrugged her arms through the holes and pulled it up around her shoulders. He leaned in and whispered. "Feel like a walk?"

Aurora smiled as her body shivered at his closeness and the words that tickled her ear. "I've no place else to be."

They walked out into the mid-afternoon. The chill was still in the air but walking after that meal seemed to warm them up. This time it was his turn to talk, about places he'd seen: The Plaza de Espana in Seville with its collonaded walkways and bridged paths opening up onto its massive square filled with vendors and shop keepers and performers; The Country Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como in northern Italy, a finger of land wearing a studded palace gem jutting out into the placid silver lake, the majestic Alps in the distance; Riding the Black Forest Railway in the mountains of Germany over bridges and through tunnels wending its way leisurely through that story book setting of the Brothers Grimm. And so many more. He seemed to have been everywhere and took great pleasure in the beauty and adventure he'd experienced. She could almost picture it.

They found themselves on the riverwalk at dusk, street lamps lighting the walkways and vendors and shops, families and couples milling about in the quietly beautiful night. Up ahead on a bench lounged a young man with a pad in his hands, cigarette hanging from his mouth. From the cut and purposeful mismatch of his dress, tousle of his hair, and careless attitude, he had the look of a student. As they passed him, her new friend making sure to be between her and the youth, the young man called out, "Excuse me!"

They both turned and his voice became hard. "What do you want?"
The tone rolled off the young man as if it had meant nothing and he pulled a drag on his cigarette.

"A word. Just a word from you." At their puzzled looks, he went on. "Look, I could just ask you for money. But instead, I'll ask you for a word. And then write you a poem." He seemed relaxed, as if he'd done this many times. "If it means something to you, if it adds something to your life, then you can give me what you want." Her friend looked down at her, a smile now on his face. But his words were directed to the youth.

His eyes lingered on hers.

The youth snickered, "'Angel'?" At his suddenly irritated look the youth put his hands up. "Ok, ok. 'Angel' it is." He sat down and ran his fingers through his hair as he began to write, to look at other sheets.

They walked to one of the trees nearby to lean against them as they waited. "'Angel' fits my mood."

"'Angel' fits my mood."

Aurora blushed and looked down at the her feet. "I'm no angel."
She looked up into his brown eyes with a smile. "But thank you anyway."
Aurora knew she was far from an angel, her job was all about death and destruction. Not that she wasn't doubting her career path. But what would she do if she didn't work for the Atharim.

They chatted for a little while until the young man came up to them, his presence interrupting them. Aurora smiled softly. "Read it for us?"

The young man pulled the paper he had been holding out towards them and looked causally at them and then with a shrug, started reading. His voice didn't quake, so it too must be part of his so-called gig.

"daydream delusion
limousine eyelash
oh baby with your pretty face

drop a tear in my wine glass
look at those big eyes on your face
see what you mean to me

sweet cakes and milk shakes
I’m a delusion angel
I’m a fantasy parade

I want you to know what I think
don’t want you to guess anymore
you have no idea where I came from

we have no idea where we’re going
lodged in life like two branches in a river
caught in the current
flowing downstream

I’ll carry you
you carry me
that’s how it could be

don’t you know me
don’t you know me by now…"

Aurora was lost in the words, it might have only been slightly better presented if HE had read it to her in his amazing voice. Aurora took the paper when he handed it to her, she wanted to keep it. It was a beautiful piece of work, and a good keep sake too. She didn't have much cash on her, but she pulled out what she had and handed it to the young man. "It was beautiful."

Movement at her side drew her attention to the man also dipping into his pockets for a couple of bills. One of his eyebrows was drawn up and a slight smile passed across his face. "That's a good gig. Much better than I expected."

He took her arm and they continued on their way. He looked as if to say something but seemed to see something in her face and decided not to. Instead, as they walked, their conversation continued.

As the night drew on, he offered to accompany her to her home. Aurora smiled. "My brother..."
Irritation flashed across his face so quickly it might have been just her imagination. Aurora paused, she really didn't care if Nox was there. Nox could be a jerk and probably would, maybe he'd be put in his place for once. Really it didn't matter. "Nevermind. I'd like that."

The easiest way home was the metro, and without punching the address into her wallet, Aurora wasn't exactly sure she could find the place without that point of reference. At this hour the metro was packed and there was only room for standing. She stood pressed up to her new friend and looked up at him as she held the strap above her head. She liked being close to him. He smelled of wonderful things. She couldn't place them and it didn't really matter.

They chatted in low voices though the occasional irritated look told her he wasn't overly happy about being jostled by others. When seats became available she took one, it wasn't that she didn't want to stand next to him, but sitting was a little bit easier to continue their conversation. He sat down next to her and she was happy when someone bumped into her pushing her close to him. He looked up sharply at the oblivious person and they moved away but she didn't move back.

The train ride was over quickly and soon they were back out onto the deserted streets. His eyes narrowed and his voice was harder as he took in the dilapidated buildings and dark streets. "This isn't a place for you. I'd think your brother should take better care of you."

Aurora was only slightly irritated, her brother take care of her? Yeah right. She smiled up at him. "Nox doesn't take care of anyone but himself. This is my choice to live here. It's a long story, really."

He pursed his lips in thought before visibly relaxing. "One I would like to hear one day. But at least I am glad I can be here to do it. And that you did not have to make this trip by yourself."
They stopped at her building and he looked down at her, the full moon hanging in the sky giving some semblance of otherworldliness to this otherwise run down place. "One such as you deserves better."

She smiled brightly at him. "Oh this isn't so bad. Sure the neighborhood is crap, but inside will be wonderful, the price is right and it's big enough my brother and I can live here together without too many issues. I'd offer to let you see for yourself, but only the kitchen is anywhere near ready for guests."
She rolled her eyes as she spoke, "And knowing Nox he and his little girlfriend are making a mess of an already disaster of a place we have."

He looked at the place again, as if he could see what was going on and she could see his jaw clench. And then he looked down at her and he relaxed. "If you say so,"
he said, touching her cheek. "I've had a truly wonderful time. I regret that I must leave you here. But I would like see you again."

Aurora smiled up at him biting her bottom lip. "Of course. I'm sure I can work you into my non-existent schedule anytime."
Her hand reached for her pocket but his beat her to it, gently liberating the device from its home. His eyebrow quirked up accompanied by a sly smile as he took it and entered his information.

Aurora was fighting the heat rising in her cheeks but she knew she was doing a poor job of it. She glanced down at her wallet to see what he'd entered and saw his name sitting neatly at the top of the contact page. She looked up and smiled at him as her thumb tapped the send button. Aurora heard his wallet vibrate in his pocket and smiled, then hung up quickly. "Now you have my number, Diego."
She held out her hand, "I'm Aurora."
She knew her phone number was blocked, it was a security precaution for what she did after all.

He took her hand gently. "I wasn't off then, Aurora....goddess of the dawn,"
he said softly. He kissed her hand tenderly. "A pleasure, my dear. I will call you. I promise."
He stared into her eyes for a moment more, as if lost.

Aurora was left in a daze. She finally had a name to the man who pretty much just swept her off her feet. It took Aurora several moments before she regained herself and opened her door and walked in, leaving him on the street.

1. Delusion angel by David Jewll
Edited by Aurora, Feb 11 2015, 02:01 PM.

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