DarkGemini24601 & MarineAvenger
For the most part, the contact seemed to relax Sasha. “Alright…” she answered, rubbing the back of her neck with her other palm. “I didn’t finish it all the way through, but I got most of it done. As long as I didn’t mess more than a few up, it should be a passing grade.”
“As long as? Knowing you, I am sure you aced every question. Time constraints are bullshit anyways. At least with finals they give us several hours. Usually all you do is use two-thirds of the time and nap the rest of the allotted time. I do at least,” the young man explained with a slight, nonchalant shrug. A moment passed before he looked back to her, and then went over her a few times as he shook his head. “How is it every time we meet, you just seem to get more gorgeous?”
Sasha glanced away, unable to meet his gaze in the midst of the complement without becoming bashful. “You’re too nice… I didn’t really do anything special to prepare for this… n-not that I didn’t prepare at all, of course!” she clarified quickly.
Leo’s chuckle rolled out like warm honey, and his hand grasped hers just a little more forcefully. “Seeing you like this never ceases to amuse me. Reminds me of how much you stumbled trying to get us together. I said it then, I’ll say it now: your mental scramblings can make any man fall head over heels himself.”
“Again, you’re too kind,” Sasha adjudicated with a smile. “I’m glad you think of me that highly, though.”
With a nod and a charismatic smile, he slowly pulled his hand away and looked to the side. “Of course, though we both didn’t just pick this spot for vanilla romance. Want to get something to drink? I think you could use one after your day.”
“Hey, it wasn’t all bad,” Sasha pointed out. “I had fun in culinary arts with you. That class is never dull.” The Russian-American opened up her menu, taking a look over the available drinks.
“You say that every day.” Leo pointed out, already knowing what he wanted. Reaching into his schoolbag, which was modeled in the Japanese style - not at all cheap looking. he pulled out a small wrapped giftbox and placed it on the table carefully so she didn’t notice with her face buried in the menu. After that, he sat back and waited with a smirk.
“I think I’ll have a White Russian,” Sasha mumbled, nodding to herself. “Mikhail said it’s one of his favorite drinks, and I trust his judgement as far as taste goes, if not when it comes to moder-” Her eyes widened when she looked up, catching sight of the present. “What is this?” she asked with grateful surprise.
“You made a big deal about us getting to five weeks, so I thought I would do something special for the girl I love. Why don’t you go ahead and open it instead of ogling?” the young man suggested.
“You didn’t have to,” Sasha murmured, reaching forward and undoing the tie so she could open the box and see what was inside. Inside was a nice-looking silver charm bracelet, simple enough with Sasha’s name written using letter blocks put together and, inlaid with them, were sparkling green gemstones. “T-This is…” Sasha held the bracelet up in front of herself, a disbelieving expression painted on her features. “This didn’t cost you too much, did it?” she asked worried.
“Any worries about the cost are for me and me alone. The only worry you should have is deciding if I got your shade of green right or not. I know some girls are picky.” Despite his teasing, Leo felt just as good giving the gift as Sasha likely was getting one. The aspiring chef was generous almost to a fault. Almost.
Sasha let his words relax her. She let herself smile broadly, putting the bracelet around her right wrist. Her right iris sparkled just as brilliantly as the matching gemstones on the bracelet. “Thank you so much, Leo. I’ll take good care of this, I promise.”
“And there’s something to keep in mind with this gift too. It is not just merely a bracelet. It’s a special vow. Whenever some petty bitches come to try and talk down to you, or you feel like you might worry about a grade, just know you’ll always have a part of me there with you along the way.” He placed his elbow on the table and leaned his head against his fist, making him seem a bit cheeky for being purposefully cheesy with the delivery.
Sasha didn’t seem to consciously pick up on the fact, as thankful as she was for the present. “I’ll remember that.” She held the bracelet close to her heart, closing her eyes, smiling, and cherishing the moment for awhile. She only opened them when a Vauldrin cleared his throat. “O-Oh. Sorry…”
The Forseti native shook his head, a faint smirk touching his features. “No problem. What can I get you two to drink?”
“I’ll have a White Russian, please,” Sasha ordered.
“The Royal Flush, and easy on the tonic.” Leo said, in kind, his smiling gaze not leaving the girl.
The waiter nodded, and went off to get the drinks. Sasha was silent for a moment, mentally scrambling to find a conversation topic. “So… you asked me how my day went, but what about yours? Anything interesting between third period and the last bell?”
“Don’t ask me how or why, but a bird got in through one of the open windows in the cafeteria. They had us relocate to the auditorium for that study hall, but those cushy chairs are a lot better than the hard benches. Other than that, handed in a twelve-page paper about old Ethereal theatre for drama class, and all the rest was just white noise. Pretty easy day. Must have been because of the nice weather.” The young man surmised with a dreamy sigh.
“I like fall too… might be my favorite season, though winter is a close second,” Sasha responded with an approving nod. “I can’t imagine taking the advanced classes you and Irina do, though… I think I’d pull my hair out.”
“Bleh, you and your Russian blood. Summer is my time, baby. Hot sun, no school, days by the waterfront with girls in bikinis. It’s paradise.” Leo contested.
“I can swear by the ‘no school’ part, but I can feel my genetics screaming in protest when the heat rolls around,” Sasha said with a light laugh. “I still remember the time three years ago when the water receded so far from a drought that some of the reef was exposed. We live in a world of extremes.”
“Extreme heat, extreme work, extreme beauties.” Leo made sure he met Sasha’s eyes when he said the last. “What more could a simple highschooler ask for?”
Sasha couldn’t help but flush a little, smiling an embarrassed smile. “...I’d be up for a visit to the beach when it gets warm again, though only if I could wear a swimsuit around you without turning into a beet.”
“Could always bring Irina along and really make it a party.” Leo suggested with an evil snicker. “Think she would be brave enough for a cute swimsuit, or would she be the kind to wear the one piece the school requires you to wear for the pool?”
“The latter, without a doubt,” Sasha decided with a shake of her head. “Irina’s not the sort to show off. I’d try to encourage her to find someone, but she can be really… passively stubborn, if that makes any sense.”
“Perfectly. I think it’s why she secretly hates me for corrupting her best friend.” he asserted, leaning back with a relaxed look. “From the glares she gives, I think she suspects I used some sort of psionic compulsion on you or some sort of voodoo.”
“She doesn’t hate you,” Sasha defended. “She’s just wary… protective.” The waiter dropped off their drinks.
“Perhaps. Just shows how much she cares.” He looked down at the palm of his hand, smiling as a few golden orange sparks flew up like a mini sparkler. “You know… I’d never do anything to hurt you. Gun to my head, they’d have to shoot me before I would even consider. I hope you know that. I’m not the other two.”
“Of course I know that. I trust you completely,” Sasha told Leo sincerely.
“I trust you too.” The sparks that flew from his hand suddenly came together to form a tiny bird, merely a fraction of the actual size Leo could make it but he wanted to be modest when in a public place. “There’s something important I think you need to know Sasha. Something very important.” he insinuated, leaning forward slightly to give her a hint.
“Y-Yes?” Sasha returned, leaning forward herself.
“You make me the happiest guy on all of Forseti.” Leo whispered resolutely, going in for a kiss.
Sasha closed her eyes, pressing her lips against Leo’s and losing herself in the warm feeling it created in her chest. She momentarily lost all sense of where she was, her awareness being limited to herself and the man with her. Only gradually did the restaurant come back into view as she reluctantly pulled away, whispering, “I love you,” to her boyfriend.
“I know.” he responded in a way only he could make sound right.