So, just because, I thought I’d share some of the story I discussed in the last post. Heaven Sight is largely in the works, mainly because I haven’t come up with much incentive to delve into it, (I mean, seriously, hardcore!)
The parts of the story I’ll share are more like short stories, so they’ll be categorized as such.:)
The minute Anton caught a glimpse of Maria he could not stop thinking of how much he would like to paint her portrait.
“So you are the one,” she said the moment they had a chance to speak.
She regarded him from beneath half-closed lids, a lazy effect that was somehow comely. “Yes—the one who helped my brother. Do you think he would neglect to tell me of you?”
“I did not imagine that thanks was necessarily due.”
“Neither did I. But since you are here, I shall.” A flicker of warmth appeared in Maria’s eyes, eyes the color of rich chocolate.
Anton suppressed a smile and glanced aside at a passerby, pretending to be vaguely interested. “Then the honor is all yours. I am not the sort who one would easily thank. Considering the circumstances. Gratitude would be an extravagance.”
“I fully understand the circumstances, thank you.”
“Now, didn’t I just tell you to not thank me?”
Maria tossed her head back and laughed, a rippling sound that poured over Anton like a Mediterranean tide, warm and soothing.
He sucked in his breath, and began to laugh with her. So he amused her? That was evident, the way she peered at him, her lips parted and tilting with mirth.
“Oh-h-h . . . you are much too serious. Just as Armand said.” She shook her head, her russet curls spinning and glinting about her cheeks. “You sound as if you would much rather grate your teeth in oppose to laughing.”
Anton felt foolish. “Is that so?”
“Yes, it is so!” Maria cried. “Why, you sound as if you genuinely didn’t realize that! Gracious, how did you happen?”
Irritation bubbled for only the fraction of a second in Anton’s chest. “I have had little to laugh about. If that is an inconceivable notion, than I am at a loss to explain more . . .”
Anton helped Maria into a cab, and as they rolled off down the street Maria began, “You needn’t explain anything. You seem dedicated to excusing yourself. Is it a felony to laugh? A felony to cry? I believe there are far worse things in the world at present.”
“How clever of you to enlighten me on the state of world affairs.”
“Is calling a girl ‘clever’ rare for you, Mr. Heller?”
“Are you saying that I am closed-minded?”
“Narrow minded is more like it. But forgive me, I take too many liberties. You see, I’ve got a dash of Irish in me, good old common-sense Irish. I say what I think.”
Anton was shocked to see a blush in Maria’s cheeks. Somehow, she didn’t seem demure enough—like she said, too sensible, too straightforward for such modesty. But it pleased him nevertheless. He struggled with the momentary temptation to appear offended by her calling him narrow-minded, but the desire passed when he saw that she had sobered.
“I have every reason to hate you and to be grateful to you. I cannot decide which is better called for.”
“As I said, gratitude would be unwarranted.”
“Yet, you helped my brother when no one else would. That deserves something more than a handshake and a ‘thank-you’.”
Aaaand some more! I’d love to hear what any of my followers think, or just any random feedback in general (politely given, if you please :D)
“This may surprise you,” Anton said sharply, “but I haven’t any particular desire to be of service.”
“I thought not.” And the way misery pulled at Armand’s mouth indicated that he had known this long before.
Anton resettled his spectacles upon the bridge of his nose, something he had taken to doing when his hand began to feel unreliably tremulous.
“I have given you somewhere to stay, so that you wouldn’t resort to a doorway in some black alley.”
Anton jerked around so that he directly faced the teenaged boy. “Then quit with the vague hints, will you?”
But Armand’s face paled, and he sat with a glazed look in his eyes, hands resting in his lap, too limp for comfort. Anton swiveled around in his chair to face the desk again, and trained his attention as well as he could upon the sheet of paper, his charcoal stick lying on the desk, ready to be picked up. Anton touched it with a shaking finger, a strange discomfort tingling in his nerves, so that he could not be sure of his present ability in rendering a suitable picture, a sketch even. He grimaced, his gaze wandering to the window in front of him, finding his dark reflection against the glass. The nausea that had become so familiar began to stir warmly in his stomach, and he swallowed.