[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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Henry's heart fluttered as Michael shyly explained why he wanted to pay for him. If it wasn't too forward, and extremely disapproved of, he would have kissed him for being so charming. Maybe another time?
He smiled hearing how Michael would love to see the lake. It was a great spot for two people to be alone, and that's what he wanted, to be alone with Michael. He may have only known him a short while, but he was charmed, and he wanted to spend time with Michael. Henry winked at Michael as they made their way out of the shop, "Oh, you know, I'm just trying to be a gentlemen" They strode off, enjoying the rest of the daylight and time together.
"I finished my chores!" Henry yelled into the house, sweating, and covered in dirt. He rushed his chores for the say, and his mother looked at him with wide eyes, "[i Already?]" Henry nodded vigorously. He needed to leave and soon. It was the day he was going to see Michael again, it had been weeks, and he was aching to see his smile again, to see those Hazel eyes. "[i What are you rushing for?]"
"I have some plans. I wanted to go see the lake today, maybe to some art." Henry shrugged and his mother narrowed her eyes before a cheeky smile came to her face "[i It's a young lady isn't it?]" Henry rolled his eyes, "No, Ma. I just want to paint the lake again. Its been so long." Her smile faded and her shoulders sagged, "[i You deserve a good woman, Henry. You deserve to know that happiness of loving someone.]"
Henry was quiet in response. Maybe he already understood those feelings, Michael was the closest thing that made his heart race. He absorbed all the words in those letters they sent to each other. They were the highlight of his week, reading and being able to reply. It was nice to still have some contact with Michael while he couldn't see him everyday, like he'd want to. His mother sighed and waved him off. With a large grin he quickly sprinted out to rinse off the grime and the sweat, replacing his shirt with a fresh clean one, and darted out the door.
"[i Be safe.]" He heard his mother say after him as he quickly made his way into town. It felt like an eternity but Michael's family store came into view, his heart raced with excitement. Henry took a deep breath and stepped into the store, smiling. "I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long."
“You are welcome and I wanted to. You are using your hard earned day off to show me around so I wanted to say thank you,” he shyly replied when Henry told him he didn’t have to pay. Michael was all but happy to pay for their meal especially since it was one of the best he had in a long time.
Michael perked up some more when Henry offered to one day take him to the lake. It sounded absolutely lovely especially since it gave them the seclusion that Michael wanted. While he liked being in town with Henry he also would like to have some time where he didn’t feel like his every actions were being scrutinized by others. “I would love that,” he told Henry as they got up. A small grin on his lips as Henry informed him that he was going to be a gentleman and get him home before dusk. “How kind of you ensuring I’m back home before curfew,” he jokingly said as they went back to the market to enjoy the rest of their day together.
It had been a couple weeks since Henry and Michael had last saw each other. Every single day that passed without seeing Henry felt like an eternity to Michael and he didn’t know why. Never before did he find himself craving to be in someone’s presence especially after only knowing them a short period of time. The only good thing that made these last few weeks bearable was the letters that they had started to exchange. All the letters were innocent and boring to an outsider but Michael found himself loving every single word on the page.
Through their letters they had devised a plan to finally go to the lake that Henry had mentioned so many times before. They agreed to meet at Michael’s father’s shop which was where Michael was now, impatiently waiting for Henry as he swept the same spot over and over again.
Henry chuckled at Michael's dramatics, but he was thoroughly glad that he enjoyed his meal. It could only hope he would continue to enjoy the rest of their day together until he had to, inevitably, take him back home. "I am happy you liked it. I would be more than happy to bring you back here anytime as well." Hell, he'd be happy to take him here again on an actual date - or at least one to them. Treat him to a nice meal, take him to the lake, watch the sunset....
Henry pushed away his dreamy thoughts back to Michael just as he's paying the young boy for the meal for them both. The man smiled, "You didn't have to pay for me. But thank you." It was quite kind of him, he was anticipating to pay for him, not that he was bothered. He wanted to treat him. It seemed Michael had beat him to it.
"I mainly come here to shop for food, but whenever I get the free time to stop off I'll go by the lake not to far from here. If you're interested..maybe I can take you there another time." Henry wouldn't mind having some seclusion with Michael. Out of the sight of people who couldn't quite understand two men with an interest in each other. It would be a nice get away, it was certainly his safe place.
"Come on, lets go check out the rest of the market before it gets too late. I have to be a gentlemen and get you back before dusk." With that Henry stood and patiently waited for Michael to join him so they could continue talking, sight seeing, and enjoying the last few hours of the day they had left together.
Michael could only but nod in agreement when Henry said it was one of the best. His mother never really made meat pies and their cook also rarely made meat pies. The few that he had were not even close to as good as these meat pies. Michael may be gay and had no interest in marrying women but he would marry the owner of this shop. Hell he would marry her husband to if he could because these meat pies were amazing. Love at first bite.
Once he was finished he was absolutely full to a disgusting point. He had never really indulged like this before and he couldn’t even find it in him to be mad about it. Sitting back in his seat he looked at Henry. “It was absolutely delicious,” he said said as he leaned back in his chair and patted his overfilled stomach. “I am absolutely stuffed and I don’t think I’ll be able to ever walk again,” Michael dramatically added. “Thank you for taking me here. I’m going to bring my father here the next time we close shop for something other than church,” he informed Henry. The shop always closed for four hours on Sunday and were only open for four hours on Sunday as well. At least two of those closed hours were spent in Church, which Michael personally hated. But not going to church would just spark questions so he went.
Soon the kid was back out and Michael took out his coin purse and paid for both of their meals before Henry could argue it. “What else do you like to do when you have free time during the market?” Michael asked wanting to know everything that Henry likes to do.
Henry couldn't keep the smile off his face hearing about Michael's concern for him. It was so sweet, but he had nothing to worry about, being a strong and mildly intimidating, he wasn't someone most people mess with him in any sense. But, it was endearing and he'd be sure to get Michael home at a decent time, to ease his mind. "Don't worry, I'm a gentlemen, I'll get you home before dark." He winked at him.
As their food was delivered, he waited to see how Michael reacted. It seemed very excited to give it a try, and he understood completely. The smell was almost intoxicating. The two of them dug in once the food was no longer in danger of seriously injuring their mouths, and sounds of content and enjoyment filled the space between them. Like always, the meat pie was absolutely magnificent, and Henry was thoroughly enjoying the noises Michael made while he expressed how much he enjoyed it.
"I told you, it was probably some of the best I've ever had." He smiled at him as he ate more of his own pie.
It didn't take too long for every last bite on his plate to be cleaned up and a soft, satisfied groan, came from him. Man, he was so glad he was able to come eat here again. "So? How was it? I'm in high hopes you enjoyed it?"
A smile found it’s way spreading across Michael’s face when Henry said there was no potential, that they were friends. It was something silly to be so excited about but Michael couldn’t help it. He got to be friends with Henry! A handsome, kind, and intelligent man that Michael was horribly attracted to was his friend. The only thing to make his day better was if Henry was his lover but Michael wasn’t going to try and push his luck. That was just asking too much. With a beaming smile on Michael’s face he responded, “I’m enjoying my time with you too.” It was the absolute honest truth. “I’m free to continue walking around. I just don’t want to keep you out all day. I know eventually you will have to return to your home and I rather have you do that while the sun is somewhat in the sky than down. It’s safer that way. I can’t imagine what I would do if something happened to you all because you had stayed out to show me around,” he said. They still had some time before the sun started to set but Michael didn’t want to keep Henry forever. He wanted the other man to get home safely.
Soon after he said that a woman appeared with their food and it was a smell that had Michael believing he was in Heaven. “Thank you, it smells delicious,” Michael said to the woman. Once she walked away he turned his attention back over to Henry. “It smells so good but I don’t want to burn my mouth,” He slightly whined. Michael really wanted to eat the delicious smelling food but he remained patient enough to wait until the steam coming off of it lessened. The moment it was cool enough he dug a fork into it and took a small bite. The food was still scorching hot but it was absolutely delicious. It was so delicious an indecent moan even left his lips. “This. Is. So. Good.” He said between steamy bites.
Micheal seemed genuinely interested in seeing Henry's art. It made him feel a little bashful. He'd love to impressive, even if his art wasn't the best, if Michael liked it, that would certainly boost his ego. Something in the short response after his little speech about loyalty told Henry that maybe Michael was in the same boat as him. Loyalty, it tends to make you do what you must, even if you don't want to, to appease those you care most about.
Henry has a bit of a strained relationship with his father. His father is pushy about him taking the farm one day and that he needs to get on finding a wife so he can create little tiny humans to help completely take it over one day. Henry has never, in his life, found a woman he found as appealing to him as Michael is right now. His tastes were always this way.
Never acted on, but they were always there, silently in his mind.
"I'm glad you like it so far. And, just friends. There is no potential about it, I enjoy my time with you," Henry felt that was a little strong, but he couldn't help but lie, he genuinely enjoyed his time with Michael so far. He'd be more than happy to continue their little tour round town for as long as Michael wanted. "After here we can walk around more?"
Quickly, an older woman was already there with two, steaming, meat pies. "Hope you don't mind the wait, boys! Enjoy. Well, I already know Henry will." She smiled down at him before looking over to Michael. "I don't believe I've seen you around before. Thank you for stopping by our little diner. I hope you enjoy."
Michael perked up a little bit when Henry offered to show him his work. It appeared that Michael wouldn’t need to let some ground work to see Henry’s work. Knowing that he would get the pleasure of seeing Henry’s artwork sent a wave of butterflies in his stomach. Michael wasn’t well versed in art at all but he could find something appealing and enjoy it. Henry’s art, even if it looked like a small child drew it, he would still appreciate it since Henry loved art and if Henry loved art then so did Michael. “I would love to see your pieces,” he said before Henry responded to his question.
Silently Michael listened as Henry described something that Michael knew a lot about. Loyalty to the family. While Michael never dreamed of parting from his family’s business, one that had started in the Old World, he knew how it was to have women pushed on him. His father always insisted on Michael going to parties and finding a wife. Michael always went, always the obedient son, but he hated it. He also hated the talks his father would start with the lady’s father the moment Michael started to dance with one. The only saving grace was his Uncle’s passing and already his father was scouting through the local women to find a wife for his son. The worse part was that Michael would probably marry if his father demanded it. So he fully understood the obligation to family that they both had to observe. It was sad, however, that Henry didn’t love his job. At least Michael had been lucky on that aspect. “I understand,” he simply responded before the boy from earlier appeared.
Michael let Henry do the ordering and instead (creepishly) stared at the man before him. He was so handsome. Michael had been around other men like him but he never found himself attracted to them. Now, he found himself attracted to Henry, a man that he didn’t really know but wanted to know. As the boy ran off to get their order started Michael forced himself to stop staring so he didn’t freak Henry out.
“I like the town. It is quieter and less crowded than New York. Also everyone here is much more friendly. However, today is the first day I’ve actually gotten to explore. Between the business and cleaning out my Uncle’s house I’ve been busy. I do appreciate you acting as my tour guide. It is much more fun to explore with a potential friend than alone,” Michael said, becoming a little shy when he threw out the word friend, eyes glistening with hope that Henry would confirm it and give them a label.
Henry frowned as Michael spoke more of his uncle. Hindsight is always 20/20, and he can sympathize with Michael's feeling on the matter. He decided it's best to just leave it at that and not ask much more. Henry was certain that he'd never want to see Michael give him such a bittersweet smile, he only wanted genuine happy smiles from here on out, at least around Henry.
"You enjoy art? Maybe I can show you my collection, and maybe, if you're interested, my own work as well." Henry gave a soft smile. He was always nervous showing off his art... but he may want to just impress Michael, even if only a little. Henry smiled and just watched at how happy Michael spoke about his fathers business and working with, it was adorable. How could someone be so handsome without even trying?
"I enjoy it. I'm just not passionate about it. It certainly isn't something I'd want to do for the rest of my life... but I have loyalty to my family and our farm has belonged to us since my great grandfather." Henry had strong love for his family, for his families farm, but it certainly wasn't all he wanted. Just like having a woman just 'married off' to him and have bunches and bunches of children and continue the farm for generations. Its a life his parents want so badly for him and it's everything he doesn't want, kids maybe, everything else he could easily leave behind and be just as happy and fulfilled.
Before Henry could ask anything more the young boy he saw before came running up. "Sorry, fellas! Its a 'lil busy back there. Whatcha both want?" Henry smiled at the boy before looking back at Michael "I believe we both agreed on the meat pie." The boy said two meat pies over and over for a moment as if trying to cement it in his brain before smiling at them both. "Alright! Two meat pies, coming up!" With that, just as fast as he came, he ran back to where Henry could only assume were his parents cooking.
"How do you like this town so far? I'm assuming you've settled in nicely. I'm happy to show you around a bit more if you want."
Michael gave a sad smile and a little shrug when Henry expressed his condolences. “I didn’t really know my Uncle too well. I had met him a few times but I didn’t know too much about him. I actually learned a lot about him when I was cleaning the house out and I really wish I had gotten to know him more,” he honestly replied. Michael had seen his uncle about three times throughout his life. He knew that his mother absolutely adored her big brother and would have done anything for him but that was all he knew until Michael had moved in. Moving in had been eye opening. Sure Michael knew other gay men in New York City but they never really talked about it. Going through his Uncle’s possessions he had found a diary where he wrote down his thoughts and feelings. A lot of which Michael could relate with. He was glad his father came here between his Uncle and Henry he was happy.
Michael listened as Henry said that he basically drew anything in front of him. He loved that. Michael also loved how humble Henry was. “No artist thinks they are very good. At least not the ones I had met in New York and while I know nothing about art but it was always appealing,” he said with a small smile. Michael’s goal was now to one day see Henry’s art.
With Henry’s question Michael didn’t have to think about his answer for long. “I love working in my family’s business. The Pharmacy stuff doesn’t interest me as much but it isn’t horrible. I like knowing what herbs help with what but I really like dealing with a business and seeing it thrive. I like bartering with our merchants for the best deal. It’s not for everyone, especially my father, but it is for me,” he happily replied. Deciding it was his turn to throw out a question he asked, “Do you enjoy farming? Or would you prefer to do something else, other than art?”
Henry felt his heart flutter hearing Michael's cheeky response. "I guess that wouldn't be so bad." Henry gave a smirk, keeping his eyes locked onto Michael's. Maybe he was just being too wishful, too hopeful, too native, but he could feel a connection. Almost like a spark, and it excited him. He could only hope that Michael could feel it too. It seemed rare to find someone with similar ... tastes.
He listened carefully to Michael's story, frowning at hearing of his uncle's passing, he knew that must be painful. Though, most of his other family was city folk and he'd never really experienced a death close to him, he sympathized. "I'm sorry to hear that." He said softly. "Though, I can't say I'm not glad you still came." Henry smiled at him, he knows that's probably not enough to make him more comfortable or happy to have moved from the big city.
"Ah, yeah. Not so sure I'd label myself a very good artist. But, I like to draw just about anything. Landscapes, animals, people, birds, whatever is in my view when I have my supplies." Henry had been interested in art ever since his father brought him to the market when he was young and he'd stumbled into the art shop. It was his passion and he had dreams to go on to sell his paintings and have his name well known. Unfortunately, he's a little stuck in his current situation.
Loyalty to family and all. "Do you enjoy running your fathers shop? Or is there anything else you'd like to be doing?"
“Perhaps,” he cheekily responded when Henry said he was a man after his own heart. After Michael said that he really really REALLY hoped Henry didn’t think too much on what Michael said. He really did mean what he said but he didn’t want to scare Henry away with his “sickness”. He still didn’t know where Henry fell when it came to preferences. Michael had a feeling that Henry was like him but that was assumptions and hoping. Assuming and hoping didn’t really mean Henry was and assumptions could end badly.
Michael’s only saving grace was that Henry was asking about what he use to do while living in New York. “My father and I owned three stores in New York. I helped run the stores since my father predominantly worked as a professor in the college of Pharmacy,” he replied. Michael had basically ran his families shops the moment he could talk. His father had found a love in Pharmacy and had went from transforming their family’s store from a general store to a Pharmacy. His love also led him to being distracted so Michael, his mother, and his uncle were really the back bone of the stores and even expanded them. Once Michael was old enough to be left alone he took over one of the shops and Michael loved it. He enjoyed business and dealing with their suppliers so that was a plus for him.
Despite all the good things that happened in his life there was enough tragedy and plenty of reasons to move. “We moved because my uncle passed away on my mom side and he had no children. The house was willed to me but honestly I wasn’t going to leave. I loved New York and loved the work I was doing but my father didn’t want to see the house go to the state so he insisted on moving here. I couldn’t let him leave all by himself so I came with him,” He softly said. Michael was glad he came though because he met Henry which was one of the only people he was interested in for a long time.
“So an artist? What do you like to paint or draw?” Michael asked.
Henry smiled, "Man after my own heart," he replied looking deeper into Micheal's eyes. If he could enjoy a meat pie like Henry then that sealed the deal. Henry was ran mostly by his stomach.
"New York City, huh?" Henry had never left this little town, so the idea of a huge and crowded city didn't sound too appealing. But he was willing to learn and know about all of Michael's time and adventures in New York City.
"Oh, no, born and raised here, and currently no plans to leave. That's subject to change." He shrugged, being a farm hand meant he was stuck on the family farm - being the oldest meant he was likely to inherit the farm once his father passes on. But, in reality, he kind of hopes that wont be the case.
While he loves his family, his work, his dream will always and truly be art. He hopes to go down as one of the greatest. Even if his father thinks its a pipe dream. "What did y'all do up in New York City? Any particular reason you moved here?"
Michael instantly knew what he wanted when Henry told him that his favorite meal was meat pie. Michael, however, let Henry continue rambling about what the place served because he enjoyed listening to Henry talk. His voice was so soothing and Michael knew he could loose himself in the gentle lilt of Henry’s voice. Michael almost did get lost. The only reason why he did lose himself was because Henry finished naming off what food they had at the little restaurant.
Forcing himself to actually focus he did glance over the menu just to see it. Everything on the menu was what Henry had told him and a few other things. He would have to show his father this place as an alternative to a meal. Putting the menu down in the original position Michael looked over at Henry. “I’m ready as well. I think I’m going to go with a meat pie as well. Just to check if you have good taste in food. We can’t be friends if you have poor taste in food,” he jokingly said, adding a wink. Even if the meat pie wasn’t as good as Henry claimed it to be he would still enjoy it.
“I’m from New York. New York City to be exact,” he replied. Michael knew there were other cities in the great state of New York but they were all inferior in his humblest opinion. Nothing could beat New York City even if it stunk and was crowded. There was so much to do and so many opportunities to have. Though this little city was promising especially since it had Henry. “Have you ever left this town? I know farmers tend to only go to neighboring cities but I could be fully wrong. I honestly don’t know much about agricultural areas.”
Henry couldn't help but chuckle at Michael's joking response. He was a little feisty and that made him feel even more drawn to the young man. He'd never felt so drawn, so pulled in, especially by a another man before. "Ah, I usually get the meat pie, personally." Henry smiled across the table at Michael.
"But they have a lot of good food here. They have soups - meat, tomato, and cabbage. I believe they have potatoes made anyway you want, oh, and if you want something light they also have an assortment of spinach salads." Henry wanted to make sure he gave Michael plenty of options to pick from, he also handed him the small menu with the options listed that were preset on the table.
"I think they have a lot of it listed here. I already know what I'm getting, but take your time." He smiled once more, truly wanting Michael to take his time, allowing him more time to take in the mans facial features.
Those eyes were certainly the most striking to him. "So, where did you guys live before moving to this little ole town?" Henry probed, he'd want to ask him a whole slew of questions, he wanted to know everything he could about Michael.
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