4. Is this seat taken?

And here I am again my girl
Wondering what on earth I'm doing here
Maybe he doesn't love me
I just took a trip on my love for him
Ooh, he's here again -
The man with the child in his eyes

"The Man with the Child in his Eyes"
Kate Bush

I spent the whole weekend in a daze. I didn't bother to leave the house and even pretended to not be at home when Tom knocked at my door. My strange encounter with Kiddo became more and more unreal to me... like something I had seen in a movie.

It was hard to believe I really had done that. But I couldn't stop thinking about it... of him – his hand under my skirt, his hot breath against my neck. I replayed the moment over and over in my head, enjoying the heat waves the sweet memory sent through my body. And more than once I ended up touching myself where his hand had been, searching for the release he had denied me.

When the alarm clock rang on Monday morning, I woke up with my hand between my thighs and soaking wet from a dream, with Kiddo in the leading role – very leading. And I was desperately hoping that the busy days to come would provide some distraction.

Until next Friday, right?

Maybe I would take the day off on Friday? I didn't know. I had no idea of how it would be to see him again. Embarrassing probably, if not worse. I found it hard to imagine it wouldn't be different, like he had said. Could pretending nothing happened be that easy?

I found out too soon that it wasn't. Not easy at all.

Obviously, the first thing that was different: It was Monday, for God's sakes!

He shouldn't be on the train at all, yet there he was – black hoodie, book, hilarious polka dot backpack, blond mane and everything – the same picture of heart wrenching youth and beauty I'd sucked in each Friday of the last three months.

Except for the fact that it fucking wasn't Friday!

What the hell...?

Next difference: Instead of being fixed on the book as usual, his eyes were definitely fixed on me as I dropped myself down onto my seat a couple of rows away from him. The expression on his face was impossible to read.

Slowly recovering from the shock of seeing him so much earlier than I had planned, I gave him the faintest hint of a nod and then deliberately turned away from him, leaned my head against the window and closed my eyes. I hoped he would get the message.

Nothing's changed, Kiddo. Just read your fucking book and pretend I'm not here.

Although I couldn't ignore the eerie feeling that he was still staring into my direction, it helped a lot to not look back at him. The familiar rhythmic noise of the slackening train calmed me down too, and I felt my heartbeat slow down to normal. Maybe I could actually take a little nap while...

"Good Morning!"

My eyes sprang open and I almost gasped.

He stood right in front of me; the polka dot disaster neatly tucked under one arm, his book under the other, and looked down on me intensely. He wasn't smiling.

Not good. This was not supposed to be happening.

"Look," I said, "I don't think this is a good idea, and..."

"Is this seat taken?" Ignoring my protest, he gestured toward the seat across from mine.

I sighed. "Obviously not." The acid in my voice didn't seem to bother him.

"So may I sit... please?"

I waved my hand in resignation. "It's a free country..."

"Thank you." he said and avoiding any contact, slowly maneuvered his long legs past my knees and sat himself down in front of me. Highly irritated at this point, I watched him as he took his time to carefully arrange his book and joke of a backpack in a neat heap on the seat to his right.

Then he looked up.

The way his emerald eyes pierced into mine was nerve wracking. He almost never seemed to blink. Besides that, he was scandalizingly beautiful. We'd never been that close – well, not in daylight anyway. My stupid heart considered this to be the perfect time to break into a mild gallop.

Get a grip, woman!

"So," I said, trying to keep my composure. "What are we going to do now?"

He barely raised one eyebrow. "Talk?" The question mark was audible.

"Look," I said, trying to sound a little less annoyed. "As I already tried to tell you, I really don't think this," I flitted my hand between us a few times, "is necessary or good in any way. You assured me it wouldn't be any different, remember? Let's just keep it that way, ok?"

He took a deep breath. "I was wrong."


"Anyway," I started again. "I just... I don't want to talk to you. We don't even know each other and –"

In one elegant move he raised to his feet. Nodding down at me, he said, "You are right, sorry."

For about three seconds I felt relieved about his sudden insight, until he stretched out his right hand and said, "I didn't get a chance to introduce myself last week..."

Jesus Christ! He did it again!
Portman – you almost-raped a living Twilight quotation anthology!

I reached my hand out like I was in trance. His voice sounded far away.

He continued, "I am..."

It was a strange feeling to take his hand. Thinking that this hand had been under my skirt, thinking that we hadn't touched yet except for mutually groping each others genitals - the polite handshake seemed absurdly inappropriate. As if spoken from behind a heavy curtain, I heard him say his name.



My hand snapped back as if he had burned it.

"You're not!" I yelled at him. He winced, his face registering complete bewilderment.

"You... sit the fuck down!" I hissed. "Is this some kind of sick joke?"

He immediately did as I said and sat down, frowning.

"No. My name is Edward Grey – why would I joke about my name? I'm sorry?"

What the hell was going on here? Was I on Candid Camera? My eyes darted around, searching for a familiar face. Who... Beatrice? Impossible! She was the only one who knew. But she wouldn't pull such a thing. This wasn't even funny...

Not at all!

"Did I say something wrong? I apologize if..."

Kiddo was just trying to be polite, right? Now he was most certainly thinking I'd lost my mind. But, Jesus... his name really was Edward?
I closed my eyes, and rubbed my temples with complete confusion and wonder.

Fucking Edward...?

I finally spoke, "No, it's okay. Sorry – it's just a very unusual name for someone so young."

I opened my eyes to find he hadn't moved at all and was still frowning. He looked... hurt.

"I'm really sorry," I said, reaching out my hand once more with a little smile which I hoped looked reassuring, "Let's give it a second try, shall we? My name is Annie Portman and I'm glad to meet you, E... Edward." I spoke his name with some difficulty, this was all too weird.

Without hesitation, he took my hand. "It's my pleasure, Annie." He was really uncommonly polite, but he didn't answer my smile.

Something was wrong with this boy.

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