He pushed the complicated thoughts to the back of his mind when he heard the bathroom door open and her footsteps coming out into the kitchen. He smiled at her, softly. She was wearing a simple shirt with a leather jacket and a skirt that flowed away from her body. She had a modesty about her that seemed more than innocent. He couldn’t fathom how someone like her was possibly interested in a man that had his sort of reputation.
“Good morning.” She said softly, a small smile playing on her glossed lips.
“Sorry I’m not stocked up on food…” She apologetically gestured towards the kitchen. Her apology sounded embarrassed almost.
He shook his head. “I had the intention of taking you out anyways…Haven’t seen you in awhile, thought I’d treat you.” He laughed a bit at his own words. “We’ll stop by my place for a moment and then we’ll get going. Sound good?”
She nodded before he reached his hand out and she took it. They walked out of the apartment, down the stairs and got into his car. The air beat through the partially opened windows, mussing her hair. It didn’t seem to take very long for them to reach his place. He opened her door and together they walked on inside.
“Wait for me?” He asked and she nodded.
She watched him hurry into his bedroom as she took a seat on the couch. She smiled to herself at the thought that this was where sh had first met him. How different he seemed now, how less burdened he was by all the things plaguing him incessantly. His eyes no longer held the kind of darkness that spoke not only of pain but of wasting away. Her heart still ached so much whenever she looked back on it, whenever she thought of the time when Shannon had asked her to help him in getting Jared out of the room. She had held him until it seemed there was nothing else left in the world. Things had now taken a surprising turn what with the way he seemed incredibly better. But hadn’t something changed since he had come back from his trip? There was something different about him, she could tell. There was a dampened light to the glisten of his eyes, there was a downturn to his lips and a heaviness to the very way he breathed. She wanted to know what had happened, what exactly had gone on wherever he had been, Italy no doubt, but was she really supposed to press him with her questions?
After a while the bedroom door and Jared came out, the scent of his shower following him out. She looked up at him and tried not to be visibly affected by the way he looked. It wasn’t that there was much difference, she had to admit that he always looked absolutely amazing. Perhaps it was the way the sun played off the brown of his hair that fell without any product. Or maybe it was the small smile he gave to her that reflected resplendently in his eyes. Whatever it was she couldn’t bring herself to ignore it.
“You ready?” He asked as she rose to her feet. He caught her by the waist causing her to laugh a little. He laughed as well watching her hands smooth over the flannel he was wearing. He took an unnoticeable intake of breath at her touch, at how close she was. “I really did miss you.” He whispered to her, leaning down and placing a small kiss to her lips.
She wasn’t satisfied with something so short. She held onto him, one of her hands pulling him down to her by the back of his neck. She held his kiss deeply, capturing every breath he lost. His body fit so closely against hers as his hands ran slowly down her back. She wanted him to know that she needed him, that she did think of him so much but her nervousness flared up and she couldn’t suppress it. He seemed to notice it and with a bit of reluctance he broke the kiss and let out a small breath before he touched his forehead lightly to hers. She had her eyes lowered and he let his eyes caress over the delicate features of her face. Her lashes touched down to her skin, her lips glistened with the mark of his kiss. He wanted to kiss her again, wanted to tell her that he wanted her, that everything about her was absolutely perfect but judging by the flush in her cheeks and the way she nervously held onto him he refrained. He knew that was the only thing he could do. He didn’t want to make her feel pressured.
“Now are you ready?” He asked, moving a little bit away from her so he could fully look down at her.
She laughed with a touch of embarrassment before she nodded. She lifted her eyes to him with a smile. “I guess I am.”
He leant down, placed a quick kiss to her lips and then finally let her go. She slipped her hand into his and let him lead her out of the house. He drove them a small cafe that he claimed to love and sat at a table. They filled their conversation with things that held little to no seriousness, letting a bit of lightness pass between them. They had had enough of heaviness so in that one rare moment of calm they managed to let go of all of it and fall into something as beautiful as what had been built up within each other.
Jared was talking about his favorite places he had visited around the world and the ones he knew she would love when Rowan saw someone she hadn’t expected to see. He saw the way she had suddenly tensed and an alarm filled him.
“What’s the matter?” He asked looking off towards where her gaze was directed. it was a man and a woman at a table, talking lightly with one another, almost the same way he had just been talking with Rowan.
“Can we go?” She asked hurriedly, her entire demeanor changing. She stood up and looked at him with pleading insistence.
“What’s going on? Who is that?” He questioned as he put money on the table and followed her back to the car. “Rowan answer me.” He demanded finally, taking hold of her arm without force and making her face him.
She took a deep breath. There were tears rising in her eyes and distress had made its mark on her face. She pushed her loose hair back and made to go to the car but he stopped her. “Jared please?”
He shook his head. “What’s going on?”
“Rowan?” It was the man from the table. He was older, tall and had blonde sparse hair. The woman wasn’t with him. He looked confused, almost stunned to see her.
“Jared let’s go.” She insisted slipping past him and into the car.
Jared looked over at the man and then back at the car before he reluctantly got inside. “Tell me who that was.” He demanded once they were driving. He felt bad having left the man standing there like that with his shock and curiosity.
She had her eyes out the window, pearls of tears had formed on her lashes. She folded her arms across her chest and tried to sink further back into the seat. She just wanted to disappear, she didn’t want this to be happening. “That was my dad.”