Three PM arrived and I was doing alright.
Ten minutes past three and my heart started to race.
Twenty and I was pacing the lobby in front of Atlas.
Thirty minutes later I was standing outside of the AU building talking to myself. “How long do I wait?” I’d never been stood up before. I’d never been in the position to have been stood up. I always picked up Dan. He knew where to walk me and that was it. He never even asked to come inside. I musta sucked as a boyfriend. He sucked worse… or was it better.
I sighed at my distraction but at least I wasn’t pacing anymore. I leaned against the rough wall that made up the base of the AU’s foundation. After the first floor it was nothing but slick smooth glass going up. I never looked up, but the base was solid. Built to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis I was told. But I wasn’t an architect. I saw the flaws in the building so I never looked up. The human construction was augmented with magic, but the magic was flawed. The shields were cracking and there were gaping holes. I never looked up. And when I used to jump from the roof I never looked at anything but the ground. I watched it rush towards me. I remember thinking it would be a quick death once or twice. But those thoughts had vanished soon after I was stood up.
I remembered the pain of my dream guy not showing up and I slid down the wall. It was happening all over again. Fuck!
I glanced at my watch for the billionth time in the span of the last ten minutes, forty minutes late. How long did I wait?
I watched as people passed. The streets got busier as I sat on the ground with my head resting against the building with my eyes closed. How the fuck long should I wait? His coffee had gone cold half an hour ago. I had kept it warm for another ten before I tossed it in the garbage my hands were destroying the cup.
My once ironed sleeves were not a rumbled mess from the grip and release I had going on. A nervous habit. The hoodie would have withstood the strain of my anxiety.
Fifty minutes late. I couldn’t move even if I wanted. My ass hurt – and not in a good way. My headache. My heart pounded in my chest. I was doing everything I could not to throw up. Several people tossed dollar bills into my empty coffee cup like I was some sort of beggar. I looked like shit. I felt worse.
I stopped looking at my watch after that. Maybe it was broken. It’s not broken, came a thought that was not my own. Then the voice followed, “How long have you been out here?” His voice was just out of earshot which meant he was squatting down next to me.
“I didn’t know how long to wait?” I didn’t open my eyes. Hell I didn’t do anything I could barely breathe.
“I’m sorry, I’m late. I got tied up with a client, and I forgot my phone.” A gust of wind barreled down the street sending the coffee cup careening down the street with the few beggared dollars in them.
My eyes were still closed. I was still having a hard time breathing but I caught the smell of other people all over Alex. The perfume was not his. Neither was the cologne and I could smell the lingering scent of sex on his skin. “I thought I asked…” I stopped. I shook my head.
“You thought what Nox?”
“Can’t you read my thoughts?” I sighed and opened my eyes. “Are we going?”
“Do you still want to?” He asked.
“I…” I stood up or tried to anyway. Alex caught me and helped me stand up. I pushed away all the other smells that were on him. I needed him… fuck, I needed him. I locked the thought tight in my head. But let everything else flow around it. He wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for the thought. I clung to him and pretended I was still a little broken.
“You know I can hear your thoughts right?”
I nodded. “I know.”
“Are you hiding something from me?” He kept his arm around my waist as I stood on my own feet.
“Maybe. A guy’s gotta have a few secrets.” I grinned at him.
“Is it major secret?” Alex asked.
I smiled and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Just my feelings for you.”
“And you don’t want me to know?” he asked.
I shook my head. “You’ll walk out like you did last night so no I don’t want you to know.”
“I…” Alex started but I pressed a finger to his lips. “No. I’m okay. For once, I can say that. But I need you to not feel bad about anything that happens. Let’s go play laser tag, pretend I didn’t have a panic attack. Pretend yesterday’s attacks didn’t happen. Just know that I don’t have control over my reactions sometimes.”
Alex sighed. “You are high maintenance aren’t you.”
I nodded. “Yeah. I don’t think that even begins to cover it.”
“So, you sure you want to do this?”
“I’m sure. I didn’t get all dolled up for nothing.” I grinned.
“All of this for me?” He smirked and leaned back to give me a once over. “I like the hair, the color suits you. We don’t have…” I kissed him instead of stopping him with my finger again. His lips made me stumble against him. He caught me. “Easy pretty boy.”
I smiled against him. “We could go upstairs.” I said and pressed my face against his skin. I smelled all the rest on him, but I pushed it all away. I tried so hard.
“Let’s go play some games and we’ll see where it goes?”
I nodded. “I’m good with that too.” Alex pulled away and took my hand and headed for the