Take Me Home: New Neighbors 3
Pressed up against him, Devony couldn’t help herself, noting that she immediately felt calmer, warmer and less exposed to the strange and new surroundings. If she closed her eyes she could imagine that it was Stephen holding her close, protecting her from the world that was, at times, so hateful towards her and her race. Hearing Cail’s voice should have reminded her that it wasn’t Stephan but at that point she didn’t care, she felt happier and safer than she had in months.
“You’re nervous about storms?” she asked finally, snickering a bit at the idea of something so big being frightened of anything.
"Well... yeah. I saw lightning hit a tree when I was little and...well, it was pretty unsettling," he said sheepishly "So trust me, this kinda helps me too."
“Wow,” she said, surprised. “That does sound scary,” she agreed before frowning. “This probably doesn’t help you that much,” she said. “You probably can barely tell that I’m even there,” she said, as lightening lit up the room again, causing her to burrow closer into his shirt. “Sorry,” she muttered, keeping her face hidden.
He smiled down at the top of her head. "It's alright... And honestly, I think I'm more aware of you with you here like this," he said with a light chuckle, taking a chance and lightly rubbing her back with a finger, hoping to try to comfort her. He felt her jump slightly at first but she immediately seemed to relax, encouraging him.
She wasn’t exactly sure what to say to that, but she smiled as he laughed, butterflies floating through her stomach. He…he wasn’t so bad. As she felt his gentle touch, she smiled again. Just like Stephen used to do to help her feel better.
“I guess…” she mused, trying to keep her cool, “I guess I could come and say hi once in a while, even when the storm ends.”
"Don't think I'd mind that. Having a little company.”
“Not that little,” she said, trying to joke with him. When she heard him suck in a breath, she knew that her words had got to him. “Kidding, Cail.”
He cleared his throat nervously. “Y-yes, I knew that. I want to get settled in before I tell my friends my address," he explained, continuing to rub her back. "So yeah... I'll come out and say ‘hey’ once in a while, and I wouldn't mind you popping by sometimes."
“I…I’d like that,” she said softly, pressing her cheek against his stomach. Why did she feel so comfortable around him? She didn’t know him and yet…she felt safe with him. “Thank you, Cail…you…you’re not bad,” she said awkwardly, chuckling a bit to herself. “But I’m sure you hear that a lot.”
"Not really... kinda a social mess usually," he said, glad she wasn't looking right at him as his face reddened. "I've mostly just got my small circle of friends... so thanks, that's nice to hear actually.
“I guess it’s different talking to a human than your own kind, huh?” she asked, deflated slightly. “Must be a lot less pressure.
"No no, that's not what I meant!" he said, his smile faltering. "I just... you are easy to talk to, but not because you're a human," he said, sighing. "Man, see? Had a feeling I'd say something stupid.
She laughed out loud to her surprise, trying to make it sound like a cough. “Don’t worry so much about what I say,” she said, patting his stomach in what she hoped was a comforting gesture.
“You're pretty cool too," he assured her.
“Thanks though…I…I try. Like I said, it’s been a while since I talked to anyone, especially giants…”
“It wasn’t…it’s wasn’t that stupid. I mean I think I know what you meant.”
"Ok, good... Like I said, I'm not gonna see you as any less, alright?" he assured her with a smile, rubbing her back still.
“Yes, sir,” she said, still laughing lightly. She could tell that he was a little nervous around her. It was odd, but she found it…nice…to say the least. “Say…” she started to say as the lights flitted on. She hid her face from him for a moment, not wanting him to see her pink cheeks. “Looks like the power is trying to come back on,” she said, relaxing a bit as they flitted off again.
"Trying... it'll be a bit till the storm passes though by the looks of it." Glancing out the window, the wind and thunder seemed to have lessened, though the rain was still coming down hard and fast. "Think... think you'd mind staying like... like this? Even if the lights come back on?" he asked, turning his face at an angle she couldn't see his red cheeks either.
Her eyes widened, her heart quickened pace. “Like this?” she asked, deciding to tease him a bit. “Do mean talking like this?” she asked, grinning.
"W-Well, yeah talking but... I-I mean more like... sitting like this," he said, face reddening more. "I-If that's being too forward, I'm sorry, and i-it's not like a pet sitting in your lap or something... I-I mean, it's nice just... um... I'm sorry."
“It’s nice,” she repeated, grinning again. “Calm down, I’m only teasing you, this is nice for me, too. I hate storms and I cannot believe that I get someone to snuggle with who doesn’t even seem to mind. I just…there is something that I have to know.”
"W-What?" He looked down at her, much of his red vanishing in relief knowing he hadn't said or done something to offend her.
“What…” she kept her face tucked against the fabric of his shirt. “What color are your eyes? I saw them earlier and…and I thought they were really pretty…” she laughed. “Pretty…I don’t mean it like that.”
"My... my eyes?" he asked, arching his brow and smiling.
Still feeling nervous, she continued. “I just…I really liked them and I’ve been trying really hard not to stare at them so you don’t think I’m weird.”
"Green... they're light green," he said with a light smile. "You can look if you like... I-I guess I wouldn't mind. I could see yours then too."
“Heh…no, no that’s okay,” she said, pressing herself closer to him. “I…I was just curious. Like I said, I saw them earlier and it just…it really caught my attention. I’ve been kind of nervous looking at your eyes because of the color and I don’t want to freak you out. Mine aren’t anything special anyways, just brown; dark brown…blech.” She scrunched up her nose before turning away from him.
He smiled, rubbing her back still. "I think it's nice. Brown's my favorite color, actually," he said with a slightly wider smile.
“Yeah right, you’re just saying that…” she laughed. “Unless you’re a huge fan of chocolate pudding, which I think is absolutely nasty. Still though…it’s still kinda dark…I probably won’t get a great look at you…but maybe…I could look at your eyes? I guess I should at least know what you look like, considering I’m at your mercy and all, huh?”
"Kidding? I'm terrified to move, I'm at your mercy.," he retorted with a laugh, tilting his head enough for her to see his eyes.
“There’s really no reason to be terrified, I can assure that I’m not that delicate,” she laughed again, working up the courage to look at him as she heard him shift. She started to pull away from his stomach to look up at him and his lips parted slightly.
"Hey um... I just realized... what's your name?"
“My name’s Devony…” she trailed off as her eyes saw his again, the green was still… “beautiful,” she whispered, before snapping out of it, hiding her face again. “Dammit,” she hissed. “Well that doesn’t sound creepy.”
"N-No, no it doesn't!" he assured her, face red as he placed his hand over her back. "Thank you... you're quite... Eh, never mind. It wouldn't be right," he said, shaking his head and frowning.
“Quite weird,” she filled in for him, feeling like a complete idiot at this point. “Geez, I’m making a heck of an impression with you, aren’t? Asking you hold me and now saying weird things…” she shook her own head. “Thanks for not throwing me back into the storm simply for being a complete creeper,” she laughed drily, relieved that hadn’t…yet.
"No, no, no, not weird! I mean... I... I think you're beautiful too... it's just... I feel like it wouldn't be right, or too soon," he tried to explain, sighing. "Like... I don't know, I can't speak."
“You really aren’t the most articulate giant I’ve ever talked to,” Devony said, laughing again. “But you don’t have to say things like that. I mean you haven’t really even gotten a good look at me, have you? I’ve been hiding my face like a cowardly idiot.”
"I saw you when you saw me," he said simply. "If you wouldn't mind though, I wouldn't mind being allowed to take a look for myself. A good one," he said, shifting his hand to lie beside her.
Her eyes drifted to the window. It hadn’t thundered or flashed lightening in a while, the rain still steadily falling against the window. Still though, she suddenly felt shy. “Oh um…” she said, turning her attention to his hand. “Are…are you sure? I’m telling you, I’m really nothing special to look at.”
"I'm sure that's not true... please? Let me see?" he tried, smiling lightly and arching his finger a bit, beckoning her to climb on.
“Well…” she relented slightly, looking at his hand. “Okay…but no laughing okay? I know I’m a little messy looking, I have been living by myself for a while now…so no making fun of me.” She was shy. No giant had ever called her attractive other than Stephen. She knew she wasn’t anything special to look at. Taking a deep sigh, she pulled away from Cail’s stomach and took a seat in his palm, her hands shaking.
He lifted his hand slowly, bringing her up to his line of sight. Smiling at her... he froze. She really was beautiful now that he got a good look at her. Blushing, he set her back down with a smile before he had a chance to take up too much time in her personal space. Just like her, he was afraid of coming across as creepy. "Like I said, not the case. You're beautiful."
“And you’re…you’re a strange giant,” she said, pressing her cheek against his stomach again. “You…you must have something wrong with your eyes.” She squinted her eyes shut, listening to the rain and willing the hot feeling in her cheeks to go away.
He smiled, sighing and shaking his head. "My eyes are fine. I really do think you look lovely," he said to her, still stroking her back lightly with a single finger. He too listened to the rain. With it slowing like it was, he was actually starting to find the sound relaxing... or, was it the situation that relaxed him?
Devony also caught the sound of the rain slowing down, tilting her head to the side. Now that the storm was beginning to pass, her mind started to flood with worries about her home, and what the strange giant would think about it. She bit her lip in thought. Her home would probably disgust him, and the idea of him seeing it suddenly overwhelmed her enough that it took her breath away.
Would he laugh? Would he feel pity? She couldn’t stand to think of those light green eyes looking at her either way. She could take care of herself, and not even the most gorgeous eyes would soften the blow of being humiliated by her home.
“So I have to tell you…now that I think about it, I think that I can take care of my home myself when the lights come back on.”
"Nonsense, I can't let you rebuild your home by yourself... A-And that's not saying you couldn't!" he said quickly. "I just... I want to help, alright? I'm sure I could lend a hand pretty easily, right?"
“Y-yeah,” she said, trying to remain nonchalant about it. No one had ever seen her ‘home’ before and she was pretty sure that she knew how he was going to react. Despite the lights still not coming on, the clouds were starting to clear and natural light started to flood into the house. She pulled away from his stomach and jumped from his lap to the couch, steadying herself. “N-no…maybe it’s not a good idea.”
"Well... I mean, I've got to take you home anyway. It's a hell of a trip from here to there I'd imagine." He reasoned, wondering why she was pushing him away all of a sudden. Had she really been offended by his compliment or something?
“You don’t need to take me home,” she said. “I’m perfectly capable of walking on my own legs, and have been for months now.” She walked further away from him on the couch, worried now that the weather was clearing up. “I…I’m sorry about sitting with you like that, it was inappropriate…moment of weakness,” she laughed uncomfortably, the carefree smile gone from her face.
"No, don't be sorry, it was nice," he said with a smile, getting down from the couch and crouching in front of her. "I know you can walk, I wasn't saying otherwise... I'm trying to be courteous is all. Please just let me at least walk you home?"
She looked away from him, rubbing the back of her neck, noticing that the rain had completely stopped. She could tell him…maybe he wouldn’t judge her but something in the back of her mind worried of what he would think about her if he saw her home. She shouldn’t have even cared…he was a stranger. “Okay…you can walk me back to my place, but…” she trailed off, not sure what she was going to say next.
"But... what? If you don't want my help, then... I mean, I can respect that," he said, holding his hand out for her to climb on. He really just wanted to know more about her at this point. Whatever he could.
She hesitated for a moment, looking from his eyes to his hand. Gods his eyes beautiful, it was impossible not to feel her stomach flutter when he looked at her. “But…there’s something you should know about my,” she cleared her throat uncomfortably, “my home. It may not look like a home that you’re used to.”
"Oh, well I can't imagine a single person could make a normal house by themselves. I mean, I couldn't," he said with a shrug and a smile. "I'm sure it's not that bad though, you seem pretty capable."
She smiled a bit, she had kind of anticipated his answer being like this. “Heh, truly capable,” she muttered, finally stepping into his hand and falling into a crouch to keep her balance. “You might want to remember you said those words,” she said with a dark laugh.
"Don't worry," he said simply, smiling as he stood slowly. Keeping his hand cupped against his stomach to keep from jostling her, he carefully headed for the front door. “Whatever it is, please just remember that I’m willing to do anything I can to help.”
Devony sucked in her breath, looking over the damage of the property when Cail walked outside. It was bad, probably one of the nastiest storms she had encountered since she started to live in this area. “Over there,” she directed Cail, pointing to a line of shrubs close to the edge of the old man’s property.
He squinted his eyes to the distance, noting that she really did live on the absolute end of his grandfather’s property. "Right." He nodded, heading for where she'd pointed. Looking over the yard and flowers and such, he frowned. Her house was probably in terrible shape after a storm like this. Her house. He never thought to ask what kind of house it was. Did humans live in the trees? Could they make homes out of sticks? Had someone set up a doll’s house for her? His curiosity was starting to get to the best of him, and quickened his pace slightly, taking care not to jostle his tiny passage in his hand. Making it to the shrub, he got down on his knees, moving the shrubbery aside.
“S-so…it’s worse than I realized,” she said, her voice sounding a bit upset. It was bad enough to see her ‘home’ in a mess, but now Cail would finally see how she was living. She stared at the old slipper, which provided her shelter at night, covered in mud and mashed up against a large tree and what little clothing she had scattered around the mud. “So yeah,” she said, unable to look up at Cail. She felt hot tears of embarrassment cresting in her eyes, but she wiped them away before he would notice. This was her home now. This was her life. Trying to lighten the mood, she waved dramatically to the slipper and mess in the mud. “This is it.”