The house was always quiet on Mondays, what with Uncle Charles and Nathaniel working out in the fields or with the livestock and Aunt Maude at her friends for card games and coffee. Naomi looked at the palm before wrapping it with a worn out blue bandana, she’d just tell Aunt Maude she had burned herself on the kettle again. Which wasn’t too far from the truth she thought with a small smile she had almost when she poured it for her tea this morning. As she made her way back towards the table on which her mug rested she was surprised by a knocking on the back door. That could only mean one of two things 1.) it wasn’t Uncle Charles or Nathaniel at the door, or 2.) somebody had their hands full.
She walked swiftly over to the door and opened only to find that it wasn’t Uncle Charles or Nathaniel, or even Aunt Maude. Instead she found two boys- well more like young men- the one who had knocked on the door was a good inches taller than her the other was behind him and seemed to be leaning down on something. As she looked past the one in front she was surprised to see the other was on crutches.
"Hello we just stopped by to thank the person who let our dog go from one of the traps your Uncle set out last night..", the one nearest the door said as he leaned his hand against the doorframe.
"Your dog?!", Naomi said shocked then covered her mouth her face flushed. "I-I’m sorry it’s just that it looked just like-"
"Oh that’s because it’s half.", he said with a smile as he brushed the bangs from his face. His hair was incredibly dark and had a tattoo that snaked across his collarbone. "Names Neal and that’s my brother Alaric.", he said pointing back at his brother. "I haven’t seen you around here before… You just move here?"
"Yeah.", Naomi said as she rubbed her arm feeling slightly and suddenly shy. "Why don’t you guys come in for a while? I’ll go get a chair for your brother!" As Naomi brought a chair from the kitchen she couldn’t help but wonder where in the world these two were from. She didn’t remember seeing them on any of the rides with Nathaniel to the little store in town. But yet- that had been a while too. "Here you are!", she said with a smile as she set it down for him when her eyes met his. She could feel her breathing and heart stop in sync. He had the same arctic icy blue eyes that their dog had.
"Thank you…", he said softly as he rested his hand on the back of the chair his hand close to hers. She pulled away abruptly and passed a hand over her eyes shakily. "Are you-okay?" His voice was monotone the rare kind that wasn’t necessarily scary but definitely commanded respect. His brother was opposite, soft and gentle.
"I’m fine…", she said softly. "So your dog…Is it okay? Last night the back leg was caught in the trap and-"
"He’s fine, thank you so much.", Neal said with a smile as he dug in his coat pocket. He withdrew a small card
"You should stop by some time…We’re just up the road. In fact-", he said as he suddenly took her hand and undid the wrapping job she had taken so long to do. "I think I have something that’ll help with that burn. I’ll be right back!", he said as he took off out the back door.
"Wait I-", Naomi said as she called out to him from the door but the blue truck was already tearing out of the dirt drive. She sighed heavily and turned back to Alaric.
"Yeah he’s always like that…", he said with a small smile. "You know you walking around like that is driving me crazy. Sit down." Naomi paused and looked down at him his dark brown hair was streaked with black and light golden colors. His unshaven and rugged demeanor was kind of attractive in a strange bad boy kind of way.
"Sorry…must be the tea kicking in.", she said as she went to cross past him when she stumbled over his outstretched legs. Her eyes widened as he caught her by the crook of her elbow.
"Careful.", he said with a small smile. Naomi shakily nodded as she sat next to him on the bench in a stiff manner. She had never been this close to anyone of the opposite gender in all her life.
"So-", she mumbled trying to start a conversation but couldn’t think of anything that wouldn’t sound completely moronic.
"What were you doing out last night alone?", Alaric asked her suddenly making her start slightly at his voice rupturing the ice forming between them. "Around here that can be dangerous…Especially with the kind of animals that run around." He looked off into space as though he were thinking of something. Naomi was glad he couldn't see the look on her face.
"I-", she paused not sure how to explain it to him. " I was afraid something would actually happen to the- the thing that killed my lamb.. I didn’t see how we could be any better than it. I’m not a fan of killing things without a cause.", she looked over at him his eyes meeting hers.
"A lot of people aren’t…", he said softly. "You said it was your lamb? Wouldn’t you have just had it slaughtered eventually?" She frowned her hands tightening on her jeans. She heard more than see Alaric lean his head back as he said softly, "I’m sorry if I struck a nerve… I’m just trying to figure you out is all."
"This is a strange way to go about it.", she mumbled as he looked over to her a million apologies in his sympathetic smile. "Most people ask where you’re from or your hobbies…"
"Well most people don’t meet under this kind of circumstance.", he pointed out to her. Naomi couldn’t argue or think of anything in response and once more the ice began to creep between them.
"Your leg-", Naomi started bravely, "How did you do that? Is it broken?" Alaric raised an eyebrow as though questioning her curiosity in his injury but shook his head.
‘No…If it was broken it would be in a cast. Thankfully it’s not." Looking down he seemed to reflect on the injury in a new kind of light. "I was roaming around like you in the middle of the night when I shouldn’t be." He turned to look at her his arctic blue eyes seeming to look right through her. "But Neal says it should be better soon.." His smile the more he showed it to her, the more she longed to keep it there. He let out a breath of air as he shifted so he could sit sidewise so the two of them faced each other. "Where?"
"Huh?!", Naomi said caught off guard by his one word question.
"Where did you come from?"
"Oh!", she exclaimed than laughed as she closed her eyes with a deep sigh. "In case you couldn’t tell me and my brother came from the city. Can you tell?"
"Right away.", he smirked propping his elbow and head against it on the wall behind him.
The sound of his brother tearing up the drive in his truck seemed to shock Naomi out of her dream-like gaze at this mysterious and very attractive person whom sat near inches away from her. She got to her feet and opened the screen door as Neal came in with a canvas bag slung over his shoulder.
"Sorry it took me so long…I had a run in with Holly.", he said laughing as he proceeded to sit cross-legged on the floor and dig through his bag.
"Who?", Naomi asked as she sat back on her resumed seat but this time more away from Alaric.
"Our mother." The brothers said synomously both almost in a worried manner. Neal laughed in triumph as he brought forth a jar from his bag.
"Here we are! This is just aloe gel but I think you’ll find it’ll help a lot.", he said as he got to his feet and then kneeled down as though to hand it (or so Naomi thought) to her. But as she outstretched her hands to take it he took her injured hand and turned it over so the palm was up for all to see. He undid the cap with one hand like a true expert of multi tasking and then set it beside her as he proceeded to smear the goop on her palm. It did help immensely and Naomi looked up to him surprised.
"It doesn’t smell like the store brand.", she told him surprised.
"That’s because this is right from the plant. No fancies add ins. Natural.", he informed her. "Now all we need to do is bandage it and-"
A loud ripping noise made them both turn the direction from which it came. Alaric held out the part of his tee-shirt he had just ripped off. Naomi stared at him jaw agape while Neal took it from him frowning muttering something about unnecessary and being a show off.
"What else is in the bag, Neal?", Alaric asked as he stood up it was then that Naomi seen that he was taller than Neal was and she couldn’t help but widen her eyes in surprise.
"Oh just a little something from the dog.", he said grinning at Naomi as he turned and snatched his bag. Reaching in it he pulled out a bouquet of flowers. But what surprised Naomi even more was what kind they were. Lilacs….dark purple, pale purple and a spray of white ones as well. Her favorite flower.
"Thank you. They’re beautiful.", she mumbled breathlessly.
"I’m sure the dog will be relieved to hear you liked them as much as it seems you do.", Neal said smiling as he stood to his feet.
"They’re…my favorite.", she admitted as she breathed in their sweet fragrance. "I can’t believe you can get them to grow in this kind of climate."
"We have a green house and with that…Neal can grow about anything.", Alaric said smiling down at her.
"Well Al…Guess its time we get going. We’ve got a shipment coming in later. It was nice meeting you.", Neal said as he made his way for the door pausing as he opened it for his brother.
"Naomi.", she said laughing. Alaric turned eyebrow raised his brother looking just as confused if not alarmed. "It’s my name."
Alaric laughed shaking his head, "Well Naomi…Thanks."
Naomi stood in the doorway for a long time even after they took off down the dirt road. She held the flowers to her chest with a smile playing on her lips. She felt lighter than air. The flowers were a reminder days later. …even weeks later as they began to wilt that her encounter with them hadn’t been a dream. It was real. She, Naomi Winters was able to talk to other people like she was herself again. And not just any persons, they were very attractive young men.
No one asked her any questions either, they were just happy that she was finally happy. Naomi would stand by her window and wait to see if today would be the day that the brothers truck would tear its way up the drive. As days went by while she was still happy, Naomi couldn’t help but wonder if she would ever see Neal and Alaric again. In the meanwhile Aunt Maude was having her tag along with her to her friends card games. It was during one of these card meetings that she met another interesting character. Her real name was never given when she introduced herself instead she referred to herself as the hired slave to the mean and extremely large Asian woman Mrs.Chown. Mrs. Chown only ever called her by her last name which ironically was "Job". Or when in an especially awful mood, "ko-baka" or as she translated to Naomi smiling as she whisked out of the room "the stupid child"..
· Fri Nov 13, 2009 @ 08:23pm · 0 Comments