[center [font "Courier New" Character A meets and falls in love with Character B, by an extremely strange situation. At first it even felt a little forced. Nonetheless, Character A falls in love. Soon after they find out Character B is an immortal , that isn't the craziest secret Character B has been hiding. They have been dating Character A, well their past lives, for generations. Every time Character A's past life dies, reincarnates, Character B spends years and year searching for Character A once more. Always hoping they can spend another lifetime with them.]]
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Michael happily followed Henry to wherever the handsome man was taking him. Occasionally he would force his eyes off of the attractive man long enough to glance around. For a town much smaller than what Michael was use to the market was a lively place. They weren’t even in the thick of it and there was an abundance of activity going on. It was rather interesting to see and Michael was making a mental note to visit the market again to really inspect it and see what there was. He also was going to suggest that his father visit as well. Maybe the market would give the man something to do. He was just as bad as Michael when it came to working but at least his father had a friend. Michael had Henry... maybe. He was really hoping that the man would want to be with him as a friend or preferably a lover but that was for later. Now he would like to know everything he could about Henry.
Finally they came to the restaurant. “That is a winning endorsement,” he happily said as Henry said the food was almost as good as his mom’s, almost. His own mother use to make some delicious food and since her passing some of her best dishes were never the same.
As they walked into the restaurant a young boy greeted them and Michael sent him a friendly smile while he scampered off. Michael followed after Henry and took a seat. “I don’t know. It’s an absolutely horrible seat,” he jokingly responded his smile only brightening as he looked over at the man before him. “So what do you normally get when you come here?” Michael asked in curiosity.
Henry could visibly see Michael peak up, clearly interested in food. He stifled a chuckle before starting to lead him to his favorite little lunch counter, lovely little place.
"I know exactly where to go," he waved him to follow as he headed off towards his destination. It isn't often that a man takes another man to enjoy lunch as a normal establishment versus a saloon. Though, Henry wasn't a huge fan of saloon's..and he had a feeling he wasn't alone in the feeling from Michael.
"It's a small little lunch establishment. Very cozy, and the couple that runs it make some of the best homemade food you could ask for. Well..besides my own Ma." He smiled back at Michael before they walked up to the little building, stepping inside. It was set up with simple tables, chairs, and a bar style around towards the front with the kitchen and back area just behind it.
"[i Welcome in!]" A young boy, no older than ten, greeted the two with a slightly toothless grin. "[i You can sit where ever you would like. Ma and pa are in the back but will be up to cook you up anything you want.]" Henry smiled at the boy, "Thank you, young man." the boy beamed at the before heading off to the back, probably to inform his parents there were more guests.
It looked as if there were only one or two others in the place besides the two. Henry chose an spot near a window and a little away from the rest of them, to have a little more privacy to get to know Michael a little better. "This spot okay for you?" Henry smiled at him, allowing him to sit first.
Michael’s horribly perverted mind instantly went to sinful actions when Henry said he would like to keep him entertained. Michael didn’t know why his mind went there but that was his minds default setting and he doubted anything would change it. Pushing those thoughts to the side, with a mental memo to pray a little bit more , he sent Henry a smile. “I’ll be fine,” he assured his handsome companion as they began to look at the stuff.
Art was nice and all but Michael wasn’t the most interested in it. He enjoyed the finish products like most people but the supplies that went into it he could care less about. But as he watched Henry he couldn’t help but have some appreciation for the tools used for paintings. The look on Henry’s face as he stared at the items was absolutely adorable. It was so adorable that Michael had to consistently force himself to stop staring at Henry. It wouldn’t be appropriate for a man to stare adoringly at another.
Silently he followed after Henry, happy to be in his presence. Once his items were bought and they left the shop Michael trailed after him. The talk about food caused him to instantly perk up in interest. “I wouldn’t be opposed to eating. What is your favorite place to eat while here?” He asked, wanting to know more about Henry and know more about his likes and dislikes. Some of the best ways to do that as well was trying his favorite food place, which Michael was looking forward to.
Michael's soft voice sent tingles through Henry. He wondered what other things he could say or noises he could make in such a sweet and soft voice. Quickly he pushed the impure and sinful thoughts from his mind in attempt to focus on the art in front of him.
Henry chuckled, "well, if you do, let me know. I want to keep you entertained." He smiled at Michael, he'd be willing to do just about anything to keep Michael entertained. Henry had seen most of the art in here already. He visited this shop so often he was always familiar with their items out and could tell when even the smallest inventory was new. There was a bit of an obsession with art..but he had a feeling that Michael may be his new interest, hopefully.
After looking at some of the art work Henry picked up some supplies, paints, new brushes, and some sketch books. After waving farewell to the two women of the shop and took Michael back out into the hustle and bustle of the market.
"Are you hungry? I know a few good places to get a bite to eat." He smiled down at Michael, happy to treat him to some of the tastiest food this side of the country.
Michael’s heart fluttered painfully in his chest as he listened to Henry’s words. He didn’t want to get rid of him? Was...was Henry flirting back? It was so damn hard to tell! Henry could be saying those things just because he wanted a friend or because he wanted something else. Michael couldn’t tell but he really hoped it was for something else. But what would the likelihood of him finding someone else interested in men right off the back? Little to no. And while he didn’t want to get his hopes up he couldn’t help but hope. That was, after all, all he had. “Well that is good news then. I rather you not get rid of me,” he softly said.
Nodding, he gestured for Henry to go ahead. “I have nothing to do so might as well go in,” Michael happily said as they stepped in. His eyes skittered across multiple painting, impressed with what he saw. If Henry’s art was even an ounce as good as this then Henry would be amazing. In fact Michael, in his very bias opinions, felt that it would be likely that Henry’s art was better.
Michael’s heart fluttered a little bit more. Friend? Michael could live with that for now especially since this is the first time the spent any time together. Maybe, just maybe he could graduate to something more? At least that was his hopes. “Morning ma’am the pleasure is mine,” he kindly replied.
Once the two ladies left them alone Michael trailed after Henry. “I’m sure I won’t get bored,” Michael said. He wouldn’t get bored because he would get to watch Henry.
Henry would be lying if he said his heart didn't completely flip as Michael smiled back and said he wouldn't mind seeing his work. The flutters in his stomach told him he was in for quite the ride with this handsome man next to him. "Who said I'd even want to get rid of you?" He spoke in a deep and hushed voice just for Michael to hear as he winked at him and returned the gentle bump.
It was a bit of.. a risk if you will. Henry had no idea if Michael was interested and honest flirting like this could land him in hot waters. But something about Michael made him feel..safe? Comfortable? Smitten? Whatever it was, he liked it and he surely wanted to keep him around.
"If you don't mind," he turned back to the shop, " I'd like to get some supplies." Henry smiled back at him before stepping inside. Taking a moment to take in the smell of fresh paints, canvas, and general art supplies before a young girl with long blonde curls came from the back with a wide grin on her and was accompanied by an older woman"[i Ah! My favorite man in town. Welcome back, Henry.]"
Henry gave her a polite wave, "Mornin' Mary, May-belle . I'm just showing my new friend around town." He motioned back to Michael, "This is Michael. Michael, this is our other local artist, Mary and her mother May-belle." Mary gave him a wave and smile. "[i Very nice to meet you, Michael. Let me or my mother know if you boys need anything.]" Mary gave one last nod to them before stepping back into the back, May-belle staying up front to sort supplies and make sure the shop was cleaned.
"Let me know if you get bored at all. We can go around elsewhere anytime." He smiled at Michael before looking over some of the newer paintings that were put up with admiration.
Michael was excited to see this river eventually. He was more excited that it meant that he would also get to spend even more time with Henry. There was something about the other male that drew Michael to him. They had only meet once and Michael was ready to jump into Henry’s arms all because it felt right. Michael was kind of a romantic and did believe in soulmates. He also believed that this man besides him could very much be it. It was the only explanation Michael was will to take for his feelings towards the man. That cute little smirk on Henry’s lips only solidified Michael’s stance on them being soulmates.
He forced himself out of his thoughts as Henry began to talk. [i ‘An artist...huh,’] was his thoughts as Henry lovingly talked about his free time painting. Michael loved art he just couldn’t contribute to any form of art that wasn’t music. The last time he drew anything was the family dog and it was a blob after that any hopes and dreams of being an artist disappeared.
Looking up at the grinning man Michael found himself smiling. Henry was rather cute... “I wouldn’t mind seeing the great artist Henry Bodwin’s work. I’m sure it is amazing,” he happily said. “By the time today is over you won’t be able to get rid of me with everything you have said you would show me,” Michael added jokingly as he lightly bumped into Henry. “Did you want to go into the art shop? You were eyeing it earlier.”
Henry confirmed it. He could easily get lost in Michael's smile and he wanted to see it more and more, every time he showed it. His heart finally slowed down, "Well, the water here is nice. Chilly at times, but it's refreshing and always clean." Henry smiled back as they made their way around.
It wasn't really something odd to Henry. Caring for his siblings that is. There was about to be seven of them in total. When his Mother and Father were busy with chores it was up to Henry to feed, clothe, and care for his young siblings.
It had been that way since Henry was around seven. On top of his work on the farm, but he loved his life, his siblings, his parents. He just..hopes that one day he could get out of this small town, those rows of crops. It seemed silly but Henry had a passion for art. He had often dreamed of being the next great Fitz Lane or Robert Weir.
Henry was pulled from his thoughts as Michael thought of using the River as his new reading spot. He chuckled, "I guess I could make a special exception for you." He winked at him. "I'll show you soon so you can start using it."
He couldn't help but return the cheeky grin and bite back the urge to wipe it off Michael's face with a kiss. But...that would cause a rather big scene and issue. Two men kissing? No way. "I think I'd really love that." He smirked at him before turning back and looking over the goods and shops..drawn to the same shop he always is while in town. It was a tiny art shop that was mostly just work by people of the town or nearby towns, nothing of the greats in.
"That's another thing I like." He looked back at Michael, "If I have time and usually very late at night I like to paint. My parents even have a small studio for me in the barn away from the littles." He gave him a teasing grin, "Maybe I'll have to show you sometime."
Michael wouldn’t mind going to the river with Henry. The waters at home were questionable at best and the Hudson... Michael would never dream of swimming in that filth. Michael, however, loved to swim. He would also love to see Henry swimming. Less for the swimming and more for other reasons that were impure to the highest caliber. Which even if Henry wasn’t interested in men Michael would be gifted with a beautiful sight. He was pretty sure that Henry would look amazing shirtless with all the work he did around the farm. Instead of saying that, because that would be wrong, Michael smiled up at Henry. “Next time you are free we should go. I’ve always liked rivers but the Hudson River is rather foul... so it wasn’t the best,” he replied.
Michael listened to Henry. It sounded like a busy life from what he could gather. Never on his life would he think taking siblings into town as something to do in the rare occasions he was off. To be fair Michael was an only child. Also, from what Michael could tell, Henry loved his siblings. He had to if he was willing to use his spare time bringing them joy. “That’s very nice of you. In New York I spent a lot of time in Central Park after it opened. It’s a nice spot to read despite the ongoing construction. Now that I moved? I haven’t found a nice spot yet. Maybe the river is just as nice as you say and maybe it will be my new reading spot. When I’m not working or reading I also like to play the piano. It’s rather soothing,” Michael happily said.
Michael looked around the hustle and bustle that was the market before them before he looked back up at Henry. He gave the man a cheeky grin and said, “Maybe if you are lucky enough you’ll get the pleasure of hearing me play. I just have to get over the stage fright.”
Henry nodded to Michael's question. He'd be lying if he said he didn't miss him a little. Henry and his father were close, he was his first born son after all. Not to mention taking care of his siblings and soon to deliver mother was a lot on him without his father around. "Yeah, he'd been gone...a few months now." He shrugged, "He'll be home soon, I hope. This war doesn't need to drag on any further."
He knew everyone had such strong opinions over this war. He would keep his thoughts to himself but he didn't understand the need for slave labor, those farmers made enough to pay them poor blacks. Henry was quickly distracted from the politics of war as Michael talked about himself. "Yeah, it does get awful quiet out here in the more rural towns at night. But it's so peaceful. Especially out by the rivers at night, maybe I'll show you sometime." Henry smiled at Michael once more.
"For fun, hmm." Henry thought about it. Days off were so rare the didn't have many hobbies..or friends, really. "I take my younger siblings out to town. Show them around and to the parks out here, they go here even less than I do. Seein' how my mother teaches them instead of sending them to school." He paused for a moment, "I like going out to the river nearby, that I spoke of before. It's quiet there. No one really goes there, especially when I do, which is usually towards the evening."
Henry lead a pretty boring and work filled life. If he wasn't taking care of the other kids he was working the fields..so this was a luxurious kind of day. He was pretty happy to be spending it with Michael. "What about you? I know you're knew to town, but you got anything you like to do in your free time?"
“Did you father leave to fight in the war?” Michael cautiously asked, knowing it could be a touchy subject. After all Henry’s father could have up and left the family or something. Michael, obviously, didn’t know much about Henry.
As for the war neither him or his father had felt the need to join. Michael didn’t want to predominantly because he was the only child and didn’t want to leave his father alone. His death would tear his father to pieces and Michael just knew. His father excuse was because he thought all the causes were silly and the south should just be like the north and there should be no bloodshed over something so simple. He couldn’t wrap his head around on why a group of people would want to continue practicing slavery. He also didn’t understand the big deal about states rights. Michael, while he disagreed with the South, could somewhat understand their view. Which normally ended with people arguing with him. Since the last argument he got into Michael found that the whole war to be too much of a touchy subject and tended to avoid it.
Glancing over at Henry as he asked about his childhood Michael nodded. “I grew up in New York City. Dad originally had his shop there and taught at the college before we moved. I’m kind of glad we left. New York is always heaving with people. There is always something going on at all hours of the night. No peace and quiet. The first night here I actually had trouble sleeping because it was so quiet,” Michael said. He did like the city because it had been huge and so much to do but it got old fast. Also if they hadn’t moved Michael would have missed out in meeting Henry. The man besides him was rapidly becoming the best thing that came from this move.
In the background Michael could hear the buzz of people but it was muted compared to what he was use to. “So what do you do for fun when you do find yourself lucky, like today?” He asked fishing for more information on Henry.
Henry chuckled at the story about Michael's mother and father. The smile it put on Michael's face was even sweeter than the story. He found himself curious what they felt like..tasted like. Henry stared at his lips for sometime before peeling them away and looking off.
"My mother finally got my younger siblings into shape today and made them do all the chores, including mine. I've been non-stop since my father left, so I guess she decided I deserved a rest day. Not that I'm complaining one bit." Henry looked back at him again, smiling. Part of it was being able to freely see Michael again..but he'll save that for later.
He made sure to slow his pace slightly as to walk side by side with Michael. "So, Michael, tell me a little more about yourself. You grew up in New York City? Or move around a lot?" Henry was genuinely curious and he honestly just wanted to hear Michael's sweet voice talk more. Anything he could hear or know about him, he wanted it.
The loud buzz of the market filled Henry's ears as the shops, stands, and crowd of goers came into view. He purposely slowed the pace again, wanting to give Michael time to talk and not be distracted by all the shops and sights to see.
“He is. He just isn’t happy that I haven’t taken any time for myself,” he said, relishing in the feel of the warm hand on his shoulder. Ever since his Uncle passed and they moved Michael may have been all about working. At first his father loved it because it made the transition easier but now he was worried. Michael didn’t know or understand why his father was worried. Working was good.
Instead of lingering on those thoughts he looked up at Henry. During their first meeting Michael hadn’t contemplated the height difference at all but as he stared up at that smiling face those inches seemed huge. His stomach also felt fluttery because from this angle he could see a lot about Henry, who of course, was unfairly handsome. If Michael had to guess Henry was more handsome than Lucifer ever was. Or the man was Lucifer himself, tempting Michael into a life of sin which Michael was okay with. “I don’t mind at all. I was getting stir crazy at home,” he responded.
Henry’s spell upon Michael was broken as the man looked around. “The market sounds good to me. “ Anything would be good with Michael as long as he got to spend time with Henry.
Michael let Henry take the lead to the market. It was a path that he had seen many take but never took himself. The only routes Michael knew was to the mansion and the shop. This would be good adventure for him. Also a deadly one because Michael was left to oogle at Henry. [i ‘God, that butt should be sinful... wait it is,’] he thought to himself before ripping his eyes off of Henry’s ass and placing them on his face. It took him a split second to come to himself and respond. “Yes. She lived her until she met my father who was traveling with my grandfather. From what I heard it was quiet the affair. If I remember correctly my mother was engaged to the mayor’s son and when she met my father they eloped and ran off to New York City,” he said with a smile. He remembered his grandfather teasing his father over that occurrence frequently. The old man use to compare it to Paris and Helen especially when her ex-fiancée ran for senator. He ended up dying in a duel or something.
“So how did you manage to get a day off?” He asked curiously.
"Thank you, sir. I'll be sure to keep him outta here." Henry chuckled and looked back over at Michael, placing a hand on his shoulder as the two walked out of the store. It seemed the two were a little more distant than he expected. He figured Michael may have been grateful for having a reason to stay out, and Henry was happy to get sometime to get to know him better.
"Your father seems like a nice man." He smiled down at Michael. "I hope you don't mind that I stole you away for a bit. I figured I could show you around, since we both seem to have the same day off." Henry looked around to see where there would be a good start. The central market was always fun, odd people, free foods, and interesting shops. "Lets go down to the market. Have you been down that way yet?"
With that Henry walked a little head of Michael. Feeling a little more nervous now, but he was kind of excited to have this chance to get to know him..to figure out why he had him feeling so giddy. "So, your mother grew up around here?" He questioned looking back at Michael.
Michael knew it was silly but the sound of Henry’s voice warmed his heart and made it do flips. He didn’t really understand why he was acting like this but he wasn’t going to complain either. Well a lot. The only complaint he had was the fact he was acting like one of those silly maidens in the books he read. They were all over dramatic about their love and emotions. Michael was half expecting to start blushing and fainting any moment now. Thankfully, his father took his thoughts away from Michael’s newfound bodice ripper persona because Johnathan began to shake Henry’s hand. Michael held his breath as he watched his fathers reaction. It took a moment for the emotion to filter onto Johnathan’s face but when it did Michael felt relief. Johnathan was impressed by Henry’s form hand shake. Good.
Johnathan turned and looked at his son once he dropped Henry’s hand. His expression went from the kind happiness to a flat, unimpressed look. “He is all yours, young man. I did, after all, give him the day off and told him not to drop by the shop. Hopefully you can keep him from trying to work seeing how I can’t,” Johnathan said.
Michael gave his father and Henry a sheepish look. “I just wanted to see how you were doing Father,” Michael replied before turning all his attention to Henry. “Where do you want to go to first?” He asked as he gestured for the man to follow him out. He figured the sooner the left the safer Michael was from his father’s disappointed stare. That man never needed to express his disappointment verbally since it was all in his eyes. As Michael stepped out of the shop he could hear his father hum like nothing had happened.
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