Archard takes on a flat mate. Language Warning. Please rate and review.
She heard noise in the background and stirred gently from a deep slumber. Sara hadn't realised how much safer she must have felt subconsciously. She hadn't thought about the time until she realised she was in someone else's home and looked at the clock.
"Shit." She bolted from the bed and headed to get her phone and then grumbled as she remembered she hadn't put it on charge.
She wandered into the main room and hoped he would understand that she needed to use the house phone. There was a note on the table with an S. She wandered over and picked it up and opened it.
'Sara, I have called work and told them you weren't well as you had been involved in a nasty shock. You have the day to yourself. If you want anything and it is not in the house give me a call and I will pick it up before I head to the gym. If you wanna head home there is some cab money by the side of the PC. Relax kid. A.'
She laughed aloud and then sat grabbed an OJ before falling onto the leather sofa and flipping through the channels. The bird was happily nestled on her perch and half asleep and didn't seem bothered by her. Either she couldn't care less or strangers in the home weren't unusual. Sara liked to think that it might be because she liked her a little bit.
Strangely being called kid seemed very him too, she wondered if he would ever relax around her. The apartment was as stoic as he was and she tried to decide if he was hiding something. She felt guilty about it because he had extended an odd kindness to him but then again he was also like an Ice King when it came to emotions.
She opened the DVD cabinet and looked for something to watch. There were a lot of Martial Art's videos and then at the back she spotted a lot of Japanese Manga. She looked for one with English subtitles and flipped the channels to find out what channel on the television it was, it cut in automatically anyway and a strange kid in a bright orange coat was getting into big adventures. Sara thought it seemed strangely childish for him but thought that it explained where he got an outlet, or at least that was what she liked to think.
She had fallen to sleep on the sofa when he came in from his shift and slipped past unnoticed to get his gym kit. He put some shopping on the side for that night. He thought a reasonable evening with her would provide more entertainment than sitting on his own with medical texts. When he walked past he smiled at her sleeping on the couch. She looked comfortable in his home and Cheya had settled on her stomach happily. The bird looked up as he moved closer. Archard's hand went to touch her, his hand extended to brush her hair and to make human contact. He stopped himself before the wall started to come down. It would not pay to let her in.
He headed to the gym, worked hard with his sensei until he was sweating and exhausted. The fight against a younger student soon made him forget her and when they were finally done he took his bow and looked briefly to his teacher. His Sensei never asked why he had returned from Japan where he could have had Nakano teach him. Nakano was an incredibly talented teacher who had refused to teach anyone outside of his own family, yet for some reason Archard Vortigern had been given that choice and then came back. The Sensei, Nick Stones, had thought it wise not to ask. Instead he taught him the arts his student demanded and let him work up a sweat before going to wherever it was the medical examiner went.
He came in that night around four and dived into the shower. When the water started to flow Sara woke up feeling rather groggy and disorientated. She remembered where she was and noticed that the bird had disappeared. Hearing the shower she assumed it was Archard home. She decided to be brave. She knocked on the bathroom door.
Archard leapt at the sound and dived for his towel. He slipped in his panic and took two heavy steps to right himself. Sara gasped, she wondered if he was okay and shouted for him. He didn't respond straight away so she tried the door.
"I'm okay!" He shouted faster than he meant too. "I mean, I'm okay. I'll be out in a minute. I thought you were asleep."
"I was." She giggled. "I wasn't going to just barge in you fool. I just wanted to make sure you were okay and to offer to make a coffee." Her heart rate slowed down and she stepped back from the door. "And to scold you for ringing me in sick! I could have made it through."
"And you'd have felt like crap." He ended before he brushed his teeth and wrapped himself up in the kimono. He found his Zori sandals and headed through. She heard his footsteps and could smell his aftershave as he wandered through to get some warm clothes from the dryer. "Did you have a nice day?"
"Thank you Archard yes." She nodded before finishing the coffee and turning to face him. She couldn't help but appreciate his body as he leant over and the Kimono tightened around him. He had muscles and a toned firm body. She didn't think there was an inch of fat on him. He was simply perfect to her. She was still staring when he turned back round and she looked back to the coffee cup.
He didn't say anything when he caught her looking and just shut his bedroom door. He came out in a polo-neck, deep blue trousers and white socks. She mused that he liked to keep his body covered up but she couldn't tell why. He had a wonderful body from the shape of him. Most men would want to show that kind of thing off. She put his coffee down and sat down beside him. He looked a little wary at first and then turned to face her before being up the mug.
"I thought that if you liked I would make you something to eat and drop you off later. It's been a while since I entertained so I apologise if I am a little useless at it." He admitted and gripped the cup a little tighter. He wasn't even trying anything yet and he felt like he was intruding.
"Archard that would be lovely but let me cook. You have done enough already." She told him and headed to look in the fridge. There were plenty of meals for one, some tofu and white wine. "I think I need to go shopping first Mr. Batchelor." She smiled and sat back down with her coffee.
"I will order a take out." He stated and dived into a desk drawer to pass her several menus. Sara stifled an outright laugh, he was so alien to the home it was funny. "Sorry I am never in." He said and then looked at his watch. "Or would you prefer a meal at Antonio's? The Italian is very nice."
"Stop fussing." She told him with another smile. "I'm intruding on you and you are acting like it's your fault. Let me buy something to eat if it's that much of a problem?"
"It's fine." He smiled and passed her the menu for the Chinese. "Tell you what you pick and I will drive out to get it."
"All right I relent but can I at least get a lift to the local store or somewhere to buy some clean clothes?" She asked him with a grin. He was being rather stubborn in a meek way. He looked a little confused and then nodded.
When they came back an hour later he was carrying armfuls of food and she had a new bag with a dress and underwear. He'd paid as well which surprised her, he'd been so nice to her for no reason. Suddenly as she changed in the bathroom she wondered if he was buttering her up for one reason... It would make sense and if she was honest he was probably entitled to think that.
They sat down to eat and he handed her some chopsticks. Sara had learnt to use them when she was in her early teens. She'd been taught to speak Japanese too as she had some friends out there and had always meant to visit but never had the money. He seemed at home using them too and passed the remote to her to pick a channel. In the end she found a middle of the road action movie and left it at that. She had realised in only the short space of time they were acquaintances that he was not very good with social talking, she would have to make the commitments to talk to him and coax him into talking.
Sara's Apartment Saturday 08.23.03 22.43
He had driven her home in silence and she still felt a little light-headed from drinking. The prospect of staying in the dump of a place she rented alone was suddenly getting to her as they pulled up outside. He hadn't spoken and Mozart floated happily out of the speakers making her think of foreign palaces that didn't have guns or hookers on the corner of the road.
"You look as though you are thinking too hard." He said as moved around to open her door for her. "Is something bothering you?"
"Nothing much. I feel a little pathetic coming home here now after you've been treating me like a queen." She smiled and got out of the car. The whole area suddenly seemed so much worse. "I guess I will just have to hope no one took anything while I was out."
"Then don't stay there." He said simply. "Move to a better area. Surely you can afford something better than this?"
"Archard," she smiled warmly as he followed her up putting his phone and keys in his pocket, "believe me when I say if I had the money I would move. I don't mean to sound awful but I get the feeling you wouldn't understand."
"Maybe." He answered bluntly and followed her to the door.
She took her keys out and sighed. The place wasn't that bad inside as she'd spent her spare money trying to make it liveable. She rolled her eyes as he stepped in and wondered what the rich bachelor would think of her place compared to his attractive apartment. He wandered in without saying much and looked around with a slight smile. She was probably worried but he didn't judge anyone by what they owned he judged them by what they were like with him.
So far Sara hadn't expected anything of him and that's why he had gone out of his way to help her. She hadn't figured she could play off him for money and she hadn't been going on about how hard done by she was. In fact she had just been fairly genuine and calm with him. It was a difference to the usual company he found himself with. It was a welcome change too.
"Would you like a drink? The coffees not fresh like yours but it's not too bad." She felt her face flushing and picked up the cushions from the small sofa to straighten them. He put his hand to hers to stop her.
"It's okay." He laughed and looked around. "Where's your room? Pack an overnight case and we'll ring my dad. You can stay with me instead okay? I probably need a flat mate to learn to be social and you won't think you've got to die of embarrassment over your own home."
"Archard, I can't." She stopped moving and looked at him in disbelief, he didn't even know her. "You don't know a thing about me and I don't know anything about you."
"Professionally I know you care for kids so there's humanity in there. I work as a ME, call it a professional move. You can pay me the same rent as you pay here if you want to feel you are paying your way but really, it's safer than this isn't it?"
Sara looked at him and nodded. She would argue the idea when he wasn't stood in the living room looking so damned attractive. His confidence was drawing her in and she wanted to just push him into the sofa and kiss him. He looked at her as she stood thinking and she blushed before heading off to her room. Archard flopped onto the sofa and looked around before grabbing his mobile and ringing for his father.
"Michael, could you ask Dad to come to the phone please?" He waited as the butler wandered off and he heard his father asking him who it was. He sounded surprised to hear from Archard so late.
"Hey son what's going on?"
"Dad can you find a removal firm that will pack and move for tomorrow? I know it's Sunday but I have a friend moving into my room. She's in a pretty rough area and she needs to have her things moved before they decide to break in." He listened as Richard said he'd see but didn't sound too impressed.
Sara took her bag with her teddy and a few other little bits before catching him saying goodbye to someone. He looked at her with a slight smile and then stood up to take the bags. She almost sighed out her adoration, he was being such a gentleman. She couldn't understand it compared to his earlier brush off's with work.