Rowan followed behind him, recovering from the silent car ride over. She had stolen several quick glances towards him, wondering if he had anything to say and he just didn't know how or he only couldn't. She tried to tell herself that she was acting quite ridiculous. She had only just met him, knowing of a man was far different than actually knowing them. What was she really doing? She didn't throw herself at any attractive man that came into her life. This was him though, and that made things so much more different.It didn't matter to her how seemingly hostile he made himself out to be, she didn't mind it as long as she was around him. That in itself made her feel the most foolish she had ever felt in her entire life.
Now they were surrounded by other people and this was when all of it would end. She would have to go back home, live her mundane life, and work a job she didn't even care about. This was all so new and she hated that her sister had thrown away her relationship with Shannon for another guy in Puerto Rico. If she hadn't done that she could have been a part of this life everyday but it was impossible now.
Shannon came forward to cautiously greet Jared. He seemed a timid and worried figure standing there looking up at his brother and silently evaluating whether something was seriously wrong. Tomo was in the back, talking on the phone.
"Was worried you wouldn't come. You weren't answering your texts...this should be quick." He reassured his brother, knowing that these trivial matters meant so little to Jared when he seemed to be in a wreck of an emotional state.
"Sign on the dotted line." He smiled when he spoke and Rowan caught it with a bit of breathlessness. The way it glinted in his eyes and made them glisten ever so softly. She wondered how his smile would have looked before all of what he was carrying had battered him down.
Almost as if he had sensed her eyes on him Jared turned to look at Rowan who quickly shot her gaze elsewhere. "I brought your babysitter back." Jared said to Shannon, gesturing back to her.
"It wasn't like that. We just wanted to know what was going on with you and we knew that if we sent someone like her you'd take notice." He shrugged a little.
Jared's eyes darkened and he came closer to Shannon, dropping his voice. "I don't need to be checked up on and I don't want some girl to keep me company. This isn't what it's about." He pushed past Shannon and approached Emma as she came down the stairs.
"We don't know what any of this is about." Shannon called out to him.
He didn't look he only went with Emma up the stairs. She looked at Shannon apologetically but he only shook his head with understanding.
"His house is almost empty." Rowan said once Shannon looked to her. "He seems so frustrated." Her eyes went towards the stairs but tried to keep the longing to know him out of her eyes.
"Just forget it, you shouldn't get involved."
"What do you mean?" She didn't mean to sound so panicked but the thought of letting all this go now made it come out.
"We'll just let him be, let him sort all of this out....he'll come around. Thanks Rowan, means a lot." He lightly squeezed her shoulder and then turned and went up the stairs as well.
Rowan sighed to herself and pushed her hand back through her loose hair. She thought of how it had felt waking up in the morning at his house and although he hadn't been there she had been somewhat surrounded by him. It wasn't that she was obsessed or even in love she just wanted to know him. There was something about the look in his dampened eyes that needed to be figured out. She wanted to get inside his mind, understand him and maybe in some other world comfort him. But that wouldn't happen because she was no longer of need, he had returned her and Shannon had sent her home. She had a work to go to though and none of this was supposed to matter.
She got off of work rather late, a bit worn out from the busyness of the restaurant. She changed out of her waitresses uniform and left the place, glad just to get out of there. The drive home was peppered with several yawns and ignoring the hunger in her stomach. She pulled her purse with her and went into the building, climbing the stairs to her apartments floor slowly. She kept her head low as she approached the door, fishing in her purse for her key.
Startled she dropped her keys and let out a gasp of surprise. But when she saw him standing there her shock dissolved and in its place was confusion. What was he doing there?
"Didn't mean to startle you." He reached down, took up her keys and held them out for her. He was wearing a jacket over the sweater he had been wearing earlier, the fur trim on the hood lost in the tied back strands of his hair.
She took the keys from his hands and immediately pulled back. She smiled a little, pushed her hair back. "It's fine. What are you doing here?"
He looked off a minute, pulled his hand out from his pocket and came closer to her. The sound of his boots on the ground echoed in the old building and his presence there was enough to warm the cold she felt in the atmosphere.
"Look I didn't mean to be such a bastard last night. I just- you caught me off guard and Shannon, well I don't like being checked up on." She made to answer but he held his hand up for her to wait and continued. "I know he's worried, I just need to deal with this on my own, you know?"
She got something from his eyes that was somehow begging her to just accept his closure from everyone else. His gaze had softened as he looked down at her almost waiting for her to make some kind of response. She couldn't deny him his privacy after all if this was something personal what right was it of anyone to try to get to it?
"I know." She replied with a small nod and a slight smile.
His smile came again taking her by surprise and imprinting itself in her mind. "So I came here to apologize..."
"You don't have to really." She shook her head laughing a little. She noticed that his gaze changed a little when she did that as if the sound was completely foreign to him but he returned to his usual composure.
"Emma told me that asking you to lunch would have been a great apology. Neither of us anticipated you getting off so late but are you hungry anyways?"
She didn't know what to say. She knew that he wasn't exactly asking her out but the idea of spending some of her night with him excited her. She nodded and mentally kicked herself for seeming too eager. "Can you give me a minute to change?"
He nodded. "Of course..."
She went to the door and when she heard him follow behind her she stopped. "My roommate is sleeping...exhausted...she's sick." She stumbled on her words but the last thing she said was enough to make him back off and nod, indicating he would wait outside. "I'll be quick." She said and disappeared inside.
Jared dropped himself down onto the stairs and let out a long held breath. He didn't know what the hell he was doing. He had plenty of people he knew that he could spend time with, be himself around. This was different though. Rowan didn't know him, she looked up at him like he hadn't done anything terrible, like the secret he was carrying wasn't so completely wrong. She helped to forget any of this tragic loneliness was even around to haunt him. And she reminded him so much of- but he stopped the thought before it came. This was supposed to help him forget but who the hell was he kidding?