Kinsley loved books, constantly reading something new whenever she got out. She hated where she lived, and wanted a new adventure. When she turned 18, she left America for England, and landed in London. Her plan was to open a book store, which is what she had always wanted to do. For three years, she worked her butt off to get enough money to lease a place for her store and to fill it. She put a down payment on a place and named it [b New Chapters]
Kinsley was so happy to be living her dream, and it seemed to be doing really well. She was so busy working, she hadn't much time to date. Her friends had set her up on dates all the time, but no one clicked with her. But that changed when [b he] came in. [You] are famous around these parts, everyone always asking for pictures or autographs. [You] ran into Kinsley's store to ditch the paparazzi just as she was closing, and ended up looking around. Kinsley and [You] bumped into each other, and because Kinsley didn't recognize [You], he started a conversation. [You] came back everyday right before closing, just to see Kinsley. Kinsley had no idea of his fame, and he really didn't want her to think differently of him. They end up exchanging numbers, talking all the time. They go out a few times, but he always presses to go to her place or the bookstore after hours. He didn't want to go out, in worries of being seen, and he didn't want to go to his place, because she would know he was rich/famous from looking at it.
Kinsley asks him to help her stock the store early one day, and he agrees. People come in, and flock around [You]. She finds out everything, and kicks everyone out. Will he be able to make it up to her? Will there chapters be over?
+Cursing is alright, no overdoing it.
+One liners KILL roleplays! I wont do it so you wont either. **Making a 500 Charrie Count**
+plot twist are acceptable.
Kinsley felt her phone vibrate next to her, stopping at the end of her sentence in the book she picked up to reply. She read the message, smiling at the fact he thought she had good taste. She smiled, having a bit of an ego boost from his compliment from this boy. [b Why did she care so much about what he thought? She never EVER cared about what people thought about her.] she thought, sighing deeply.
[i Oh why thank you. Which book did you start with? I'm reading one of my many romance novels, per usual for myself.]
Kinsley giggled, it really was true. She was always stuck in a romance novel. She was compared to Belle from Beauty and The Beast for that very reason. She was a pretty girl, but no one ever talked to her cause she was too busy reading her books. She was happy to finally show everyone why she was always reading. She loved that books could take you away.
Figaro, her cat, jumped up onto her bed, curling up underneath her hand. Figaro was a needy little kitten. She just sat on her bed, reading and petting her cat. Kinsley couldn't stop taking peaks at her phone, seeing if this mysterious boy responded to her. She decided to send another text, a question she didn't want to forget popping into her head.
[i Oh, and I forgot to ask you earlier. What do YOU do for a living? You obviously know what I do, considering you came into my store."]
Kinsley sent her second text and smiled. It was late and she was a little sleepy, but she wanted to talk to this boy a little longer.
The reply from the book store stranger was sudden. Gage couldn’t help but allow his imagination to run wild with the idea that she was curled up in bed, staring at the phone until he was finally able to message. It was like she was waiting up for him; she had waited her whole life for someone like him to storm in, hair wind-torn and eyes wild. He was meant to take her into his arms and dazzle her at the sight of his lavish life, but she would always be hardworking and love him for who he was and not the numbers in his bank account. It was a silly notion, this flash of imagination, but the male found that he was fascinated with being half of a very good romantic novel.
[i [b Hello. And yes, it is late. What’s been keeping you up? Also, it was no problem at all. After all, it is my job.]]
Gage tapped his index finger against his lips, holding the phone above his head as he read the message from his inclined position. It felt as though she was blowing him off a bit, calling their interaction “nothing but her job.” Or was he looking too much into the words without having a proper tone? She did hand him her number, after all, though they had only just met. He liked how forward she was, and perhaps he could win a few points himself for being just as forward? Ah, there were too many questions floating around the young musician’s head as he contemplated an answer that would not be a direct, or blatant, lie.
[b I found myself preoccupied with my piano, actually. I really do love to play-]
Gage rolled over on to his stomach and read the text again before erasing it. Giving away too much information would make him a target for one good Google search. Even just his first name and the piano, if she cared to type it in, would surely yield his picture in the magazines. He had to be more careful than that, more subtle. He barely knew this girl, after all; she could be a well-laid trap looking for his money.
[b Just reading these books you sent home with me. I appreciate your taste.]
Gage sent this text, placing his phone at the top of his newly acquired books before taking to the hotel bathroom. After a quick shower, he was dressed only in a white t-shirt and plaid boxer-briefs when he sat back down on the bed. He spent the entire time he was getting cleaned and dressed beating himself up, wondering why he had been so… what was the word? It was not quite forward, but not exactly subtle either. Like he walked up to her and said, plain as could be, “You’re pretty” or, “I like you.” It hurt his heart. He thought he could perform under pressure, considering how he was always the center of attention in one way or another, but he had been absent from this sort of pressure for such a long time that is seemed completely foreign.
[i Maybe if she wasn’t so endearingly cute], he thought, pulling his legs under himself.
“You barely know her,” he warned himself, this time out loud, before he started in on the Shakespeare book she had offered as a “leisure read.” He leaned against the headboard as he settled into the book, the phone having been moved from atop of the books to balance on his knee. If she was still awake and wanted to answer, he wanted to be as quick to respond as possible. Although young and well liked, Gage had not felt this sort of way in years… he wanted to savor it and keep it from spoiling before its time.
Kinsley night was nothing but ordinary. She finally received her dinner, a Chicken Caesar Wrap, and enjoyed it while curled up with Figaro watching TV. She flipped through the channels, nothing that particular caught her eye, so she settled on a documentary about rabbits on Natural Geographic. She finished her food, and decided to shower to calm herself down from the wonderful day she had and all because of the mysterious man who came in to her store as it closed.
Kinsley smiled as she felt the warm water hit her body. She cleaned her body, and washed and conditioned her hair. She wrapped herself in a fluffy towel, and brushed her long blonde hair out. She placed her glasses back on her nose and got dressed in a pair of long sweatpants and a loose tee shirt, pulling her hair into a ponytail on the top of her head. She took her phone, plugged it in next to her, and grabbed her book and continued reading. It was well into the night, and Kinsley was still reading by the light of the Christmas lights strung around her room. She looked over at the clock, 12:30 AM, when she heard her phone buzz. She smiled, knowing it was the boy from earlier.
[i Hello. And yes, it is late. What's been keeping you up? Also, it was no problem at all. After all, it is my job.]
Kinsley hit send, letting the message send to him. She got up, and brushed her teeth for the night. She returned to her bed, keeping her phone nearby, waiting for a reply back. She hoped he hadn't fallen asleep yet. Ever since she left him in front of her store, she couldn't get the thought of him out of her mind. The boy with the two colored eyes, who loved her tea and wanted to read. He seemed just as interested in her as she was in him. Kinsley, of course, was a little more direct, giving him her number right away. While he messaged her first, and was gracefully moving hair out of her face, just like in the movies. She wanted to get to know him. What did he do? Who was he? Because to her, his eyes were not the only thing that caught her attention.
Playing with his wallet after paying for the books, Gage was reluctant to leave. He knew that the store was not going anywhere, that he could visit it again tomorrow if it struck his fancy, but there was something about it – something magical – that made him feel like the second he exited the front door, the entire place would cease to exist. He finally put his wallet back into his inside jacket pocket, right alongside his sunglasses, and tucked his new books underneath his arm.
[i “My shop has been closed for the past half-hour almost.”]
Gage blinked. He didn’t notice a sign on the door regarding hours… he had been in too much of a hurry to care about it, since the door was open and offering him a quick escape from the streets. The male found himself very embarrassed all the sudden, wondering why she was being so kind and hospitable if he was keeping her from going home.
“I am so sorry,” he said, bowing his head a little as he apologized. “I did not realize you were closing down shop when I wondered in.” Gage ran a hand through his hair, the embarrassment getting worse as the kind woman talked about him reading the books and getting back to her about them. She mentioned him returning for tea or coffee, and a possible date with dinner. The embarrassment slowly faded as he realized her intentions, the awkward coloring in his cheeks fading as he smiled.
Gage was still smiling as the blonde slipped into a pea coat, the belt tight around her waist. There were a hundred things he wanted to say in that instance, but he knew he would have ample opportunity when he returned… which he was sure to do, as soon as soon as he was able to slip away again. He followed her out of the shop as she closed, turning off the lights and flipping the sign. He suddenly realized the trust she had for him, considering she and him were alone in a dark, closed store. He cleared his throat as they both exited, wondering how often she allowed others to be with her when she closed down shop. If anything, he was worried about her safety.
Gage took the business card, rolling the thick cardboard around and between his fingers as Kinsley walked away. He watched her the entire time she moved, waiting until she had started her car and drove off before looking away. He told himself he was watching to be sure she was safe, but he knew in his heart that that was not the case. He was infatuated with this well-read blonde, something he didn’t think could happen after all this time in the spotlight. With her, he wasn’t just a man with money or talent… he was a person, a down-to-Earth guy who liked reading and had different colored eyes. And it was clear that, for whatever reason, she was interested in him too.
The pianist was whistling as he walked back to his hotel, the business card safely tucked away in his wallet. The streets were still lively, but no one seemed to recognize him as he made his way through the front door and into a crowd of impatient fans.
[i “No, he’s staying here, they were sure of it!”]
[i “His name is in the book. His handwriting is dreamy”]
[i “Think he’ll notice me?”]
Gage shuffled through the crowd with his head down, managing to get passed the group without setting off any alarms. Once he was safely in his room, Gage placed the books down on his bedside table and readied himself for the concert.
[center ~ ~ ~]
The concert went on as scheduled, robbing all of Gage’s night. He played perfectly through muscle memory, for his mind was not at all on the keys in from of him. Even as the crowd stood and cheered his name, girls crawling all over one another to get a better look, Gage was thinking of the tiny book store and the woman who made him tea.
It was well after midnight when he finally got back to the hotel. Gage pulled his tie loose, sighing softly as he fell into his bed. There was a long moment where he considered sleeping, fully dressed down to his polished black shoes, but the card was calling him from where it balanced on the books. Gage reached for the card, waking his phone up with a press of the home button.
[b Hey. Um, I know it’s late but I wanted to thank you for today.]
Gage sighed again as he sent the message, unsure just how forward he could be after only one meeting. He draped his arm over his eyes and waited for a reply, hoping she was still awake at this time of night.
When the boy said he would try the book for her, her eyes lit up, and she smiled at the ground. "I hope you enjoy it." she smiled. She followed him back toward the counter, and she put her own mug down, as her tea was gone from it. "Oh, the tea. Yes, it's my favorite kind. I feel like it fits the calm nature of my store, ya know?" she smiled. She watched as he put his mug down, being finished with his mug of tea as well.
When the male said he needed to leave, Kinsley sighed. But she then remembered that her store was already closed, and that she should head home as well. Her friends had tried to set her up on another date for tonight, but she was probably going to blow it off anyway. She just wanted to cuddle with her cat and read a book in her own apartment, probably order out for dinner. As she was thinking of her nightly plans, he started asking for prices of her books. She would have given him them for free, she didn't like charging for her books, but he was right, it was her business. "Um, let me look these up." she said. She found both books, smiling. "If you want to rent them, in total, it will be £12. But if you want to purchase them, it will be £19." she smiled. She took the pounds from him, and put them away in her cash box.
"As much as I hate to say this, I must leave too. My shops been closed for the past half-hour almost." Kinsley said to the boy. "But tell you what. Read those books, and then tell me how you liked them. We're open everyday. Maybe we can talk about them over another tea, or coffee, or even dinner. Depends on how much you want to talk about them." she smiled. She pulled on her pea coat, tying the belt around her slim waist. She grabbed her purse, turned off the lights and flipped her doors sign, locking the door behind them. She grabbed her business card, hand it to him. "Come by whenever, or call or text me." she smiled. "Goodbye Gage" she smiled, walking to her car.
Kinsley smiled as she got into her car. She drove all the way to her lovely flat, and walked in. Her cat, Figaro, was napping on the sofa, so she went and order some dinner. She went to the couch, and started reading on of her new romance books she had started. She kept her phone near her, in-case a certain boy wanted to contact her at any point.
[i “Oh, please don’t cover up your eyes with those sunglasses…”]
Gage shifted a bit, readjusting so the sunglasses would fall back into place and out of view. He had forgotten, for a long moment, exactly who he was and what he was doing. This was supposed to just be a place to hide, for ten minutes at the most, before he continued with his afternoon. It was the paparazzi that cornered him in there, and they were surely gone by now. There was a concert being held that night, after all, and he still had to get ready. This woman, this simple book store owner, was able to put his entire day on hold and keep his attention long after he knew what to say. The tea was already cooling off, he had stayed so long, but he had half a mind to ask for more and skip the concert all together.
Lost in his own thoughts, Gage barely noticed when Kinsley handed him another book, this one coming from the shelf. Her voice brought him back and made him pay attention: it was a classic, she said, from Shakespeare. He smiled as she raved about the crazy man, calling his words beautiful. Gage never cared for Shakespeare, his fluffy paragraphs and unnecessarily long monologues, but he didn’t have the heart to refuse her. As much as he enjoyed reading, Shakespeare was certainly not what he would have considered a “leisure book.” Ah, but she was so cute when she offered it with an ever-dazzling smile.
“I will give it a shot, for you,” Gage tried his best to mirror her smile, hoping it was just as dazzling as hers was in his eyes. He put the book under his arm, drinking from the mug again. It was strange, getting something as homey and sweet as a real ceramic mug of homemade tea in the middle of a store. Although the flavor was a surprise, he did not dislike it, not by a long shot. The smell of that tea would forever remind him of this moment, this second of reprise away from the bright, shining, blinding lights of his life.
“I like this tea very much. It’s not something I would have tried myself, but I like it quite a bit. In fact, I’m about done,” he said, taking the final drink from the mug. He was reluctant to let the cup go, though it was empty; he closed his hand tighter around the ceramic, almost as if he could keep hold of the moment if he never released the mug.
“I think,” he said, finally letting the reality set in, “I think I have to be going, actually. I enjoyed your company very much.” Gage smiled, almost sad, not ready to emerge from the store. He walked back to the front and placed his mug on the counter before picking the book up from where it fell on the floor. With both books on the counter beside the mug, Gage pulled his wallet out and fingered through the bills.
“How much do I owe you, for the book and the wonderful tea?” Gage, as serious as could be, shuffled through his wallet. “And I will not take ‘nothing’ for an answer. It is your business, after all.”
Kinsley watched his play with the pages of her book, and smiled. "Oh, you can just have it. It's one from a personal collection, but I've read it a few times. I hope you can get just as much out of it as I have!" she smiled, fixing her glasses.
After Kinsley dragged him towards the books and explained them,she smiled at her work. She had put her heart and soul into this little bookstore. She was so proud of her little workplace. Kinsley smiled at the books, she felt some warmth near her ear. It was his hand, tucking a piece of her blonde hair behind her ear. She turned to face the boy, whose hand lingered on her cheek for a moment. Their eyes met,he had such gorgeous eyes that she couldn't get enough of, and it was unlike anything she had felt before. She noticed a pair of sunglasses he had with him. "Oh, please don't cover up your eyes with those sunglasses. They are so beautiful. Sorry I keep bringing them up, I just love them so much." She smiled, her face heating up, turning a light pink color. His hand flew from her face to his pocket. She heard his start to speak, but then not finish, looking around at the books around them. "It's, uh, okay." she smiled, the red slowly leaving her cheeks as she smiled at the ground.
Kinsley pulled a book off the shelf and handed it to Gage. "I mean, it's a classic." she said as she handed 'Twelfth Night' by William Shakespeare toward him. "I don't know if you like Shakespeare, but his language is beautiful. It's a whole confused love story with lying and trickery, but so wonderful. Maybe this would be a good leisure book." she smiled.
Kinsley didn't want the boy to leave, she loved being near him. He hadn't said much about himself, but she wanted to get to know him. He was so interesting. She almost wanted to ask him to go get dinner or something, but she barely knew this boy. Would asking him on a date be weird? Probably. She just kept the quiet idea to herself. "Does the book sound good to you?" she smiled, running a hand through her hair. "Oh, and do you like the tea?" she asked.
Gage blinked a few times. Typically, he wore contacts or hid behind sunglasses, in an attempt to avoid others being aware of – and commenting on – the condition of his eyes. Yet, once again, here this woman was… somehow completely oblivious to his insecurities. She went as far as to call them “truly magnificent,” which was a set of words that he almost never heard stuck together, especially not to describe his features. Gage only nodded, silent and now self-conscious, as he took another drink of the warm tea. The drink made him feel at home, like something his mother would have made him after a long day of playing in the snow. Everything about this woman left him feeling warm and welcome: her cozy book store, her soft chairs, the warm mug she all but forced into his hands, her smile, the way she talked… Gage cleared his throat, realizing that his face was turning a different color and it was not because of the warmth of the drink.
Gage took a slow breath, calming himself with the smell of the tea, as Kinsley pulled something out of her bag. With one hand, he reached for the offered book and placed it in his lap to turn the pages, not willing to give up the warm mug just yet. He pretended to only be half-listening to Kinsley as he turned the pages, but he hung on every word.
[i I really like piano].
Gage found himself smiling as he shut the book, running his fingers absently over the cover.
“Any chance this book is for sale?” he asked, wondering if a book that came out of her own bag was being offered to him. Did she trust him enough to offer a personal book, or was this just a different attempt to sell something?
“I would bring it back if you’d like me to. It did come out of your bag, after all.” Gage was smiling. He couldn’t help it, with the way she talked like she was always worried about the impression she was making, an awkward sort of tone finding its way into her words. Gage left the book in his lap as he sipped at the tea, enjoying this long vacation from the real world.
Gage was about to say something else, about how he was trying to bait her into asking him to return – or even to stay longer – when the blonde grabbed his hand and pulled him from his seat. Gage came willingly, the mug still grasped tightly in his hand. The book that was in his lap fell to the floor, hitting the ground rather quietly as he was led away.
Once the pair were surrounded by books, Kinsley started going on about the different sections and Gage made a note about her specific love for romance and the genre. [i Ah, if only you knew], he thought as she spun around, much to his entertainment. He noticed that she was blushing lightly when she said, under her breath but just loud enough, [i “God, I love books.”]
Much unlike himself, Gage reached forward and brushed a bit of the woman’s soft, blonde hair back behind her ear, a piece that had come loose with her twisting and turning around. He let his fingertips linger against her pink cheek, murmuring something that even he couldn’t make out. There was a long moment where he just looked into her eyes, enjoying the soft green, unhindered by his own heterochromia.
Slowly, Gage brought himself back into reality, tucking his free hand into his pocket with an awkward clearing of his throat. He had only just met this girl, after all, but she was mesmerizing. Even if this was to be their only meeting, Gage knew that he could never forget her.
“I’m, uh…” Gage wanted to say he was sorry, but he wasn’t. He wanted to tell her about his life, to come clean about who he was, but he didn’t. Instead, he let the silence stretch on, pretending to suddenly be very interested in the books that surrounded them.
Kinsley could not stop staring at the male's eyes. "I am so sorry but my dad was an eye doctor so I am always fascinated with people's eyes. And you're eyes are...oh, what's the word I'm looking for...hmm...truly magnificent. Sorry, I just wanted to tell you." she said, taking a sip of her tea. She took her glasses off and cleaned her lenses, placing them back on her face.
When he did have some books her wanted, she didn't even care how late she was running past close. She wanted to give him whatever he wanted, and she didn't want him to leave. She smiled, "Oh! I just finished a book just like that!" she took a book out of her bag, [i The Life of Mozart], and handed it to him. "I like to read a biography every once and a while. And I really like piano, I can't play at all, but I like Mozart's stuff. That's probably weird, sorry." she replied awkwardly, smiling.
Kinsley thought for a moment. "Hmm, a leisure read. Well, that depends what you enjoy reading. I'm a romantic genre kind of girl, I'm such a hopeless romantic. But if you like sci-fi, or mystery, that's a [i whole] different section." she smiled. She took his hand and brought him to some different sections. "Here is the fiction section, sci-fi is over there, mystery is here, and if you turn around we have some comedies and we have some teen books over there." she said, twisting and turning around in the aisle. She heard him say something about he liked her passion, and it did turn her cheeks a light pink.
Kinsley smiled and said under her breath, but loud enough that Gage could hear, "God, I love books."
Gage let his hand linger in hers as long as she would allow it. It had been a very long time since someone showed him attention outside of aggressive stalking and, for lack of a better phrase, “fan-girling.” This woman was a breath of fresh air, a cool glass of water on a very hot day… all the clichés rushed through Gage’s head. He wanted to say something sweet, something romantic, something to show his appreciation for her existence, but instead he just cleared his throat and lowered his hand when she released it. His eyes stayed wide and trained on Kinsley’s face; he had completely forgotten about hiding his eyes or even his face. The small bookstore seemed mostly empty, but he couldn’t have cared to look closely or carefully.
“I could go for some tea,” he lied smoothly, following this woman to her desk. He was a coffee person mostly, but the thought of drinking anything she created for him was too intoxicating to pass up. Besides, he lost his coffee in the run so he was going to need some sort of warm pick-me-up to keep him going through the performance later that night. When the mug was handed to him, Gage got a long whiff of a very soothing set of tea flavors. Though it might not have been what he expected for a mid-morning pick up, it was sweet without sugar and warmed him up immediately.
He was still sipping at the tea when Kinsley started gushing about books. He didn’t have the heart to tell the woman that he was in here hiding, completely stumbling in on accident, so he chose a careful set of half-truths that would sound normal passing his lips:
“I am actually looking for a couple different things. First and foremost, I am looking for a biography on a Mr. Mozart, if you have such a thing.” This was not a lie, for he was not one for technology and finding a specific book in this day and age without consulting the internet was very difficult. He was always looking for biographies on old piano players: it was a hobby or maybe a bad habit, but there was a constantly replenished collection of biographies and sheets of music on his bookshelf.
“Also, I’d like a book to read in my leisure time. Is there any sort of book you would personally recommend?” What better way to get to know someone than ask for their personal novel recommendations? It would surely give them something to talk about next he stumbled in.
Gage sat down in one of the available chairs, cradling the warm mug in his hands. He realized, with a sudden clarity, that he was already planning his return trip to this little store, something he hoped he could orchestrate without the interference of paparazzi or aggressive fans. He looked at Kinsley from over the edge of his mug as he sipped, pleased at the awkward way she explained herself.
“I don’t mind in the least. I like a woman who is passionate about what she enjoys in life.” Gage mirrored her awkward smile with one of his own, a dazzling crooked smile that appeared to take no effort.
Kinsley had her hand extended, waiting for the man to take her hand. She smiled politely, as it took him to answer her and take her hand. When he touched her hand, she smiled, shaking it lightly. She looked up at his face, he was really cute. His eyes were magnificent; her father was an ophthalmologist, so she was always looking at people's eyes. She noticed she still was holding his hand after looking at his eyes. "Sorry! But, it's so nice to meet you, Gage. I don't think I've seen you around before, would you like a tour of the place?" Kinsley smiled. "Or maybe a cup of tea? I have extra tea bags and cups?" she smiled.
Kinsley started to walk to her desk, motioning for him to follow her. She poured two cups of hot water, putting tea bags in both of them. She handed him one cup, "Try it. It's chamomile and lavender." she smiled. Kinsley took a sip of her tea and smiled. "So, Gage, right? What brings you into New Chapters today? Looking for a good book? Any hobbies? I have books on everything!" she smiled. Kinsley always had a light in her eyes whenever she talked about books. She had always loved books and it was her full passion. She fixed her glasses on her nose and smiled at the male. "I'm sorry, I'm a lot sometimes" she said, smiling awkwardly.
It has already been a long day, and the day had only just begun. The city must have lost its mind, everyone in the article business scrambling over one another to get a shot of the city’s newest attraction: Gage Carson, an internationally enjoyed musician. He wasn’t an actor or even a model, just a man who happened to be very good at playing the piano. Gage never expected this sort of reception as he pursued his dream, but now he couldn’t seem to do anything properly without the sudden barrage of nosey paparazzi. If Gage was being honest, he hated cameras and specifically asked for them to stay out of his show. Sometimes he wondered if maybe that rule was the reason people got so excited to see his face in a still image on their computer screens. He built up his own hype and only had himself to blame, it seems.
Gage is not unattractive by any means, but he does have a harsh deformity in the color of his eyes (heterochromia) that leaves one eye bright blue and the other a greenish brown. Although most girls said to his face that it was adorable, his first love and hardest to leave ex ending up calling him a “two eyed freak” before she finally completely disappeared from his life. The words themselves meant nothing out of context, but she meant everything to Gage and the idea that the one who meant the most found his most blaring feature so completely unattractive, after all their years together, made him uncomfortable with the different colors. In fact, Gage even went and bought himself colored contacts that would render the one blue eye brown/green so he wouldn’t feel so outcast, like some sort of touring freak show.
Unfortunately for Gage, however, he was pretty lazy and would often put his glasses on when he was being himself out on the streets. He was hoping, just this one time, that he could grab a cup of coffee without being harassed, but he was wrong again. With his head bowed, placing sunglasses over his eyes to cover his condition, Gage pushed through the crowd of chattering camera flashes and ordered his coffee in a soft, urgent voice. The young woman behind the counter, clearly not the classical music type, was confused but completed the order in a timely matter. She spent most of the time trying to figure out which actor this man was, but she came up blank.
With his coffee in hand, Gage ducked and weaved around the crowd . Once he cleared the crowd, he took a deep breath and took off in a dead sprint, his coffee hitting the ground long before he had the time to consider it. The crowd, stunned silent at Gage’s abrupt speed, started to come back to life. A few people jogged after him, but for the most part the paparazzi were not in the business of running and they started packing their things.
Gage turned the corner rather fast and immediately ducked into the first building he found with an open door. He was leaned against the window, his breath heaving and his hair a mess, as the few paparazzi that followed him jogged passed the store. Gage watched them leave from the window, pulling his sunglasses from his head and tucking them into his jacket pocket. He hadn’t heard anyone over the thump of his heart or his heavy breathing, so he was caught entirely off guard when he turned around and a woman was offering her hand.
[i “My name is Kinsley Hardell. What’s yours?”]
Gage straightened up, finally getting control of his breathing. He forgot, for a long second, that he didn’t have his contacts in. There was something warm and sincere about this woman, but Gage couldn’t quite put his finger on it…
[i Wait. Did she just ask me my name…?]
Gage was unable to find words. For a long time, he just stood there, unsure how to even start. Most strangers knew his name, his favorite coffee, his favorite movie, his entire history of lovers, all of his dislikes and quirks… he was in the top five “most eligible bachelors.” He was constantly berated with women, all wanting his money. And then there was this beautiful stranger who just asked his name.
“My name is, um… Gage.” Gage reached out and shook the woman’s hand, finding it just as warm as her glowing personality. He was waiting for recognition to cross her eyes. He was waiting for her to start hunting him for his money. It was a sad existence, really.
Kinsley watched into her flat, kicking her flats off at the door. That was probably the worst blind date she had ever been on. The guy called her the wrong name about 7 times, told her how she'd "look better" if he got her nose fixed, and then asked when they were gonna 'get outta here and do it in her car'. She fell back onto her couch, sighing. "Why is every guy such a dick?" she said to herself. She got herself ready for bed, a pair of shorts and a tank top. She tied her hair up in a bun, washed her face and brushed her teeth. She laid back on her bed, sighing again, "Tomorrow is a new day, maybe it will be really good!" she said, and quickly falling asleep.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BE-
The alarm next to Kinsley was turned off. 8:30, perfect. She took a quick shower, and dried her hair quickly. She did her makeup, foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush and a pink lipstick. She put her glasses on her face, and smiled. She went over to her closet, pulling a black shirt that hugged her figure with long sleeves, a floral skirt, black tights and a pair of oxford shoes. She tossled her hair in the mirror and went made a tea, grabbed her bag and headed to New Chapters.
New Chapters was a cute bookstore, new and used books, in the center of town. She had a few regulars, and at least one new person would wonder in. She had some couches where people could also sit and read, which people loved. The windows were tinted, so people couldn't see in unless the came in. Kinsley turned the sign so people could see it was open today. She started setting up a new display for some romance novels for Valentines Day coming up soon. She also had a poetry display, with everything from Shakespeare's love sonnets to Edgar Allen Poe's The Mask of the Red Death. She had a wonderful day helping a teen find a new book, an older women find a self-help book, and a little boy find a new dinosaur book. It was close to closing and no one was in the shop. She decided to go through the aisles and put some stray books away, she heard the bell on the door go off. She would meet up with whom ever that was soon enough, she wanted to get these books away. She wandered around and saw the person who came in. "Oh, hello. Do you need help finding something?" Kinsley asked, fixing her glasses. "Oh, I don't think we've met, I'm Kinsley Hardell." she put her hand out for him to shake it. "What's yours?" she asked. She loved getting to know new people, especially new regulars.
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