“Some gazes are the promise of protection, his was all that and more.”
2021- DECEMBER- FLORIDA
In your eyes is your humanity, the person you really are. There are times it gets lost when you wear that suit when you become the man the world demands of you. But he saw it in her eyes that day in the sunshine, waiting for the crossing to turn green. He saw the love that burns there too, the sort that goes for an eternity. There is something in her spirit that dances when she plays, like a fire giving just the right amount of warmth. He has seen it die too, the flames almost extinguished, when she was under the gun of guilt, shame and fear. He knew that is not her, not the real version, the person he loves with everything that is herself. That's why he had to see her eyes, to see the real her, the real fighter before he left that last time. She had to see him too, without knowing that it was her last, the girl who messes up but would do anything in his power to keep her safe, to keep her emotionally healthy. So when he looks at her, he sees a cheeky monkey and she sees the vulnerable version of herself, equally abandoned, the one beneath the bitter reality of today. He needs that - to be known - for who he really is too.
Rubbing her neck, she rotated her head to see if someone was there or not and her eye caught the familiar forest green gaze right outside the window of the coffee house.
Instantly the world became quiet for her, it was just Adeline and the gaze of an important being in her life, his emotions telling him he needed more of a connection, or that she did, though Adeline guessed in reality it was both of them. His eyes were so different in moments like these, softer than she knew eyes could be.
The professional man was gone and instead it was the eyes of one who loved deeply. If it were anyone else she would have not paid any heed to his gaze, but with him she was drawn in closer, always wanting more.
Then, in that swift moment, he asked the words with his eyes that she needed to hear, “Are you okay?"
And, Adeline just nodded, taking in every moment for her memory, knowing it was the medication she needed to survive the next few hours or maybe days. In all the world there was not another like him, or her for that matter; they were two souls who felt like once upon another reality they were soul mates, eternal flames.
After her intangible answer, he got back into the shadows and the dawn of reality was poured onto Adeline like a bucket of ice water.
“Did he ever leave you unattended?” Ace muttered, glancing over at Adeline as he reached for a plate of rolls.
Adeline shrugged in response. “I think not.”
“Sure, sure,” Ace replied, waving a hand.
It was unacceptable for Adeline to talk about William with Ace like he knew everything when she thought that she was the only person who knew about William, but news flash- NO! She was not the only one.
What else does he know? Well, ignoring the thoughts Adeline tried to get herself involved in small talks with the family.
Thanksgiving was an American holiday, so that was why there was a small plate of roasted turkey on the table. But other than that these people apparently didn’t celebrate the holiday and just looked at the day as another excuse for getting together, being loud and eating a lot of food.
Mason unsuccessfully tried to involve her in a conversation about some girl he met at school and he tried to pursue her on the first day, well- in all honesty, that gave a clear and cut message of DESPERATION, and that didn’t last for a long. Ace leaned over about a minute later and whipped him upside the head, which effectively ended any other conversation that could have popped up for a while.
Adeline was thankful for that, in all honesty.
Surprisingly, dinner with the family was much more pleasant than she thought it would be. She was expecting it to be awkward and not too fun, but she turned out to be pretty wrong.
All of the younger kids were hysterical, and whenever she happened to hear whatever they were talking about, she usually ended up bursting out laughing. Mason wasn’t so bad either after you got used to his dulcet tones.
Ace occasionally would shoot looks over at her that she couldn’t decipher and made her feel very nervous but other than that it was pretty nice and the fact that a lot of people were chatting about their personal lives was a little weird, but she got used to it a little while later.
Night had long since fallen and snow had begun to flow down on the city by the time they had all finished dinner and the little kids were demanding that dessert be served.
Adeline wasn’t so entirely opposed to this idea, since she happened to catch a glimpse of the rows of pies made for the occasion in the kitchen, and they looked downright amazing- then again she was always a sucker for a pie for some odd reason. Probably because it was amazing and it was baked by Talia- the amazing cook herself.
“Mom!” Rosaline whined, swinging on her mother’s arm. “Can we have pie now please?”
This prompted another bout of whining from the other kids too.
“Did you hear the girl, Martinez?” Ace drawled, draping his arm across the back of Adeline’s chair. “Go get pie.”
“Arris Jonathan!” Chloe exclaimed in horror. “Why on Earth would you make Adeline serve food? This is her first dinner with us and that is totally unacceptable and-”
“No, no, Chloe, that’s alright,” Adeline said quickly, ignoring Ace’s ill manners, getting to her feet. “I have been working here for a while. I’m very well acquainted with the place and I don’t mind, we are… we are family, yeah of course.”
“Oh, Adeline, you really are Rose’s shadow,” Chloe said, looking temperamental.
Giving a reassuring smile before Adeline left the table, heading around the front counter to the kitchen. She loved pie, so she did not mind getting it, even if Ace was being so rude and uptight about it.
Making her way over to the industrial-sized fridge to pull out a pie or two when she heard something rather unsettling.
Was someone crying?
Was someone hurt?
Did Archer Lewis hurt someone here?
The thought gave Adeline a few fearful vibes, shutting the door of bad thoughts in her mind, Adeline made her way to look who was there in the kitchen. And, when she moved forward, her eyes widened in shock…..
What did she see?
Who was there?