The female looked at him as he spoke, explaining himself to her. She knew that she shouldn't trust him -- what was she thinking? But there was a clenching in her chest that seemed to override all her instincts as she looked into those eyes. And her cheeks burned hotter as thoughts unbidden wandered into her mind -- thoughts that made her knees weak and her heart flutter.
She snapped back into cognition only when he presented his badge to her, and she realised that she hadn't been paying much attention to what he was saying. Her attention was directed at his eyes, his hair, his lips -- oh yes, his lips...
The spy blinked a few times as she took the badge in her hand, then shook her head slightly to clear her thoughts, her cheeks aflame once more. And it was only then that she registered the fact that he had asked her a question.
"I um... I think that... yes, I can trust you. I mean, no. I mean you don't have to if you don't want to. About the weapons. I mean..."
She suddenly kneeled down to pick up his weapons, trying to divert his attention away from her stammering. And not having to look into his eyes for a few moments finally her to regain composure. Rising to her feet once more she first offered him his Kris -- holding it from the bladed end so that the hilt was pointed towards Hayden -- then his pistols, and finally returned his badge to him.
"You can keep your weapons... Hayden," she said softly, smiling warmly.
As she handed him his badge, his fingers graced hers. Her cheeks were already burning red; adding another layer to the attraction that he felt toward her, a vulnerability that assured him that she was genuine. He smiled truly, the thin skin around his more-almond-than-round eyes crinkling into the shape of crow’s feet, which much later in his life he would develop, the warmth of it reflected from his glacial oculars, a flush of his own mirrored upon his face. He caught her scent once again, stirring emotions that he had thought were lost within his core. She blinked for a few moments the eyes that were a near identical match to his, as if she were coming-to from some sort of daydream. She tossed her deep with light accents of blond hair, probably dislodging the snow from it. Her attention returned to him.
"I um... I think that... yes, I can trust you,” she began sort of stammering, pausing while she talked, as if considering what she had said. “I mean, no. I mean you don't have to if you don't want to. About the weapons. I mean..."
She bent down, her hair blossoming out behind her with the sudden movement, her beautiful figure even more apparent at such an angle. She was quick in picking up his things, even gingerly handling his Kris blade first, the Hagenkaze seemingly deactivated from the extreme cold of the snow, in his mind he made it a point to see later if the haze had returned to the blade. With all of his things in place, the usually cold Operative looked sheepishly at the woman from under his golden bangs.
She was merely waiting, hesitant presumably like him, yet the visage of beauty. Mustering up a little bit of courage, he offered her his arm, which to his relief she took, and started to lead the way out of the park.
The twin sets of booted feet crunched noisily upon the sleet and a snow-laden path of the inner-city park, the brisk air was laden with silence this deep into the wooded area. The ice rink that they were near was nearly at the direct center of the park, and during the day it teemed with children playing hockey on classic-styled skates and parents, all wishing to escape to the country-side, a place which no longer existed on this planet. Thus, they had to make do, barely escaping the noise of the city which teemed around the verdant heart. Such a place did not exist upon the world of Arcana, a world that was primarily covered in petracrete and glass like plastics.
Trees loomed above their head, skeletal fingers of the seasonal intertwined with those of the evergreen, occasionally a navy light pole stood amid the stands of dead and alive foliage, its merry yellow light casting a pale globe of luminance in the dark night, the edges of which nearly met, but fell short by a few feet, creating a few feet of darkness betwixt the lit world contained in the power of Victorian styled iron. Haden resisted the urge to run from one patch of light to the next, something he had done in his early years upon the streets of rough Asiatica neighborhood he had escaped from his clan to, upon the lonely rough streets in the dead of the night. Knowing little that the vampires and Minotaurs he imagined to be looming the shadows between the streetlamps actually did loom nearby, in the dark alleys, something he discovered at a later age.
They walked in silence, Haden not knowing what to say to her, hoping vaguely that she would strike up conversation to ease the mood, yet apparently she had nothing to say. It did not take a long time to reach the streets, less than 15 minuets probably, maybe a little more.
The quaint neighborhood that they emerged into was a mostly residential one, with an occasional deli notable at the corner of one of the blocks, the buildings made mostly of brown stone, none of the neon lights seen in the rest of the city. He led the way across the street they now stood upon the edge of, no traffic nearby. Down another street, and through a dark alley, they arrived at a clearing between houses, with a small bookstore at one side, and a warm looking restaurant at the other, between them, a white birch surrounded by three fountains stood in the middle.
“This is it,” Haden stated, his voice slightly husky from lack of use, flashing her a handsome smile.
He disengaged his own arm from her’s, the shwwwip sound of the fabrics rubbing against each other sliced through the air. He passed a tall café table before reaching the door, holding it open for her and allowing Tanya to pass through before following inside.
The bulbous face of the owner radiated cheer as one of his most generous tippers stepped through the door, for the first time ever, accompanied by another person, his reaction was predictable.
“Welcome back Mr. Blue,” he nearly squealed, rushing forward to greet the man. “Let me get you and your lady friend our finest table.”
It was only a few moments before Renaldo was leading them toward a table situated near the back of the cozy obviously Italian restaurant, in a nook with a very expensive painting of the Coliseum and grape shaped handle fixtures in the walls on either side. The owner held out the chair for Tanya whilst Haden took his own. He then left them alone, off to get some fine breads and cheeses.
“I usually drink some wine here,” he said, his voice calm and warm. “What kind do you like? Well, I mean as in white or red. They have a limited selection really, but.. um… what they have is really good.”
Tanya chucked as she looked at him with sparkling eyes. To be honest this place wasn't really her style, but she enjoyed the gesture nonetheless. The fact that Haden would go out of his way for something so romantic made her feel good about herself. A sort of feminine pride had taken over her which was so uncharacteristic of the feminist tomboy she really was.
"To be honest, Haden, I don't really drink wine, but I will make an exception for this exquisite occasion." She winked at him then smiled warml. "But I really think you should choose the wine because I'm practically clueless about it."
She tilted her head to the side slightly, examining his beautiful eyes with keen interest. He really was quite gorgeous to look at. A smile adorned her lips for a momet, and then she opened her mouth to speak.
"And you don't really need to hold doors open for me, I can take care of myself. And 'your lady friend'...?" She chuckled softly, her tone half-serious and light-hearted. "Do I come off as a woman in dire need of a man to protect her, mister Blue?"
She grinned at him playfully, a coy expression in her gaze.
Her humor was alluring, albeit catty, but that is what continued to draw him to her. She was her equal, if not more so. Whereas he may be reserved and perhaps more bound to tradition, she may not be so. The way that her eyes just seemed to be drinking him in seemed to catch his heart in a vice, if not made him self-conscious, how she seemed to take in every detail of him. If he had not been as tan as he was, the rouge that manifested itself upon his cheeks would certainly be more noticeable. Maybe she would convince it to be embarrassment at the action of Renaldo.
“No, Madame Smithson, you do not come off as so. If anyone, by tonight’s example, were in need of rescuing it would be myself,” he replied, mock embarrassment in his voice, the suggestion of an equally coy smile tugging at the edges of his mouth. “Just learn to ignore Renaldo, he enjoys playing the part of the doting mother apparently. We must have surprised him greatly tonight, as I usually come in alone.”
At the mention of his name, the owner and personal waiter of two stepped out of the doorway to the kitchen, a linen draped basket held in one hand, and a small tray of butters, oils, and vinegars in the other. His meaty hands placed the two cumbersome objects upon the table with unequaled and natural grace, smiling toothily at the two. “Have you two decided upon a wine Mr. Blue?” he inquired, never seeming to take his smiling eyes away from the orange-blonde angel sitting across the table from his best paying customer.
“Yes Renaldo,” the Reiishiken started, laughter in his voice, trying to apologize to Tanya for the seemingly crazed Italian through his eyes. He placed his hand upon the arm of the other man, drawing his attention back. “We will have that lovely Syrah I had two visits ago, the one from…” Haden paused in thought, “California I believe. It was rather light, if you remember me saying so.”
“I know the one you are talking of, the promotional bottle I had you try, from just south of Oregon. Willow Creek was the place I believe. I ordered a case, and if no one else likes it, you are drinking it,” the restaurant owner said jollily, shooting Tanya a large smile before trundling off to get the wine.
“I apologize for the banter,” Haden said. “That is what happens when you eat somewhere too much.” He peeled back the linen on the basket, revealed many small loaf of different bread. His nimble fingers tore some from a loaf studded with toasted poppy seeds, its sweet aroma filling the air, grabbing a tiny silver knife with the other from the tray of condiments to scoop and spread a small portion of a red-stained butter before drizzling a few stripes of a thick black oil upon the top.
The male contemplated for a few seconds as to whether or not he would chance trying to feed it to Tanya, or even offer it to her. But, she said that she could handle herself, so doing so may have annoyed or offended her, which would probably be worse than if she had actually wanted him to and he did not. So, he took a small bite from the bread, and smiled at her.
“This is one of my favorite bread combinations,” he explained, “the poppy bread is sweet, and the butter is a tomato garlic mixture, and I have always guessed that the oil is a heavy balsamic vinaigrette with unrefined olive-oil, so it is tangy but not overly so.”
Tanya's smile widened pleasantly, before she broke into a pleasant bout of laughter, her eyes never leaving his. "You really do have your way with words, mister Blue." He really was something to look at, and his polite demeanour was all too alluring to resist. Perhaps there would be more to this chance meeting than she had anticipated.
Her gaze lowered to his hands with their delicate, elegant movements as he prepared a slice of bread for himself. For a brief moment she caught herself wondering what else those hands would be good for, and she found herself blushing slightly. She looked back up to her eyes and attempted to distract him from her flushed cheeks. "You won't be offering to prepare my bread for me tonight? I'm mildly disappointed," she said playfully, picking up one of the poppy breads and nonchalantly dipping it into one of the oils, before taking a small bite and smiling at him.