“See, not so hard is it?” Howl laughed as he glided over a rooftop, walking on air as he held the hands of a speechless young woman who could only gasp her delight. “You are a natural.”
And as he touched down on the railing of the bakery's balcony, swinging her around gracefully as he did to land gently under the safety of the awning, he spoke again to the dazed woman, “I'll make sure to-”
“Rouge?” A voice startled her out of her movie, making her jump and rip her headphones from her ears, looking up from the tiny screen of her iPod to the shadow of the figure standing beside her, apparently leaning against the same tree she was to look at the movie over her shoulder as their shadows had melded together.
“Yeah Bobby?” she asked as she leaned forward, moving so she could turn to look at him. She was met with a view of his knees and had to crane her neck to see his face.
He offered her a hand to help her onto her feet. “Can we talk?”
She accepted the gloved hand and allowed him to pull her to her feet, clicking off the movie as she did, wrapping the headphones to fit in her sweater pocket before looking back to him. “Sure. What’s up?”
He leaned down and swept up her textbooks into his arms. “Walk with me.”
Puzzled, she walked beside him, passing the odd group of people lounging on the mansions lawn as they did. She merely looked around her in silence, waiting for him to say what he wanted too.
“We work well together, Rogue,” He said suddenly, turning to face her, a pleased smile on his face. “And I think you won't find another guy quite like me.”
Crap. Crap. She didn't have time for a boyfriend. That would severely cut into her reading time. And all the shows she had waiting on Tivo. And that stack of books beside her bed she'd yet to read. He was even carrying two of the ones she was planning on flipping though today.
“Oh Bobby. I'm sorry but.... I'm kind of seeing someone right now.” Mr. Book. She thought to herself. He's 6 foot 3, ruggedly handsome, and I'm late for a date with him, where he's going to speak to me in Old English while I lick delightful prose off of his rippling abs.
His smile dropped slowly, turning into a full blown frown when she moved to take her books from him. “I never heard anything about you dating anyone. When did you get together?”
She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. “Eh, not too long ago. You know I'm not one to keep up with stuff like that.”
His eyebrows shot up at that. “Really? Who is it?”
Crap crap crap crap crap CRAP. Should have known he was going to ask that. “He's um...” Oh, why had she said that? Why couldn't she just tell him she didn't want to go out with him? Panicking, her hand tightened around the iPod in her pocket, the cold steel distracted her momentarily, reminding her of... oh... maybe that might work. “He calls himself Howl.”
“Howl?” he repeated slowly. “He's like you or something? No one knows his real name?”
Latching onto that, she nodded enthusiastically. “So, I'm sorry Bobby. Maybe if things where different...” She trailed off, just now realizing they where pretty much in the middle of the lawn and everyone in the surrounding area probably heard the entire exchange.
Crap. Bobby probably planned this. He does like the dramatic. And she just shot him down in front of pretty much the entire student body as they sat out here for lunch. Now the whole school thinks she has a boyfriend. CRAP.
“I um... I have to go. Again, I'm really sorry Bobby. Maybe next time.” And on that note she fled from the crowd of onlookers.
Continuing her 'Crap' mantra as she rushed around the far corner of the mansion, she nearly ran smack into Logan, who was leaning against the wall smoking a cigar. As per usual. And, like usual, the general area surrounding him was vacant. Which as perfect, as she wanted to be left alone. “This spot taken?” she asked as she leaned back onto the wall beside him.
She sagged in relief. That is, until he spoke again.
“What’s this about a boyfriend, kid? You never told me anything about it,” he asked as he took another drag of his cigar, apparently not bothering with the small talk.
She stiffened, looking up at him. He didn't look to happy, which was really strange because Logan normally didn't care. Sure, when they sat around on the couch watching TV she normally filled him in on what had been going on, but it's not like they'd had one of those moments any time in the past few weeks. “What's it to you?”
He shrugged. “Thought I would have heard about it. What is he anyway, with a name like 'Howl'? Another feral?”
Crap crap crap crap. “What do you think?” she answered evasively.
He looked like he was about to growl at her. “You know men like that are bad news kid. You should be going out with little dicks like the ice-prick over there.”
Snorting, she turned to look out over the trees. “Since when have you been the type to give me dating advice?”
“He live near the mansion?” he asked suddenly. “I wanna go have a talk with him.”
CRAP. Logan wants to have a talk with him?! Shit why did she have to go and say that? She couldn't have just turned Bobby down like a normal person? Well, maybe if she stuck to Howls character as closely as possible, it would keep her out of too much hot water. She wracked her brain for a moment before answering.
“He's a lot like you. Doesn't stay anywhere too long. I uh.. see him when he runs though town.”
“What? You just a convenient lay for some punk now, kid?”
Rogue tried to bite down the anger that surfaced at his words. Tried, and failed. “You’re one to talk. What, you wanna go congratulate him or something?”
He put out his cigar out on the wall behind him, pocketing the rest of it, before speaking quietly to her. “I'm going to go straighten the asshole out. You’re more than a piece of ass, Marie.”
“Pot calling the kettle black, Logan.” she sing-songed at him, an edge of bitterness in her voice. “Do you know of anyone not afraid of my skin? Besides, he's really more like you than you think; he finds you, not the other way around.”
It was his turn to get still, and he looked pretty uncomfortable all of a sudden, looking down at her with an unreadable expression.
“I'll find him.”