Sunday, June 3, 2007

Page 3

Just as he divided up the breakfast on three plastic plates, the girl drifted from her tent, walking on tip toes led by her nose, like Toucan Sam on the old Fruit Loops commercials he remembered from his youth. Just follow your nose, it always knows...

"I smell heaven," she whispered.

"No, just breakfast," Azrael said, flicking his cigarette.

Lily frowned, walking over and snuffing it with the toe of her boot before picking it up and putting it in the garbage bag. He snickered and shook his head.

"The world is goin' to hell in a hand basket and you worry about the occasional litter. You never cease to amaze me, Lil," he said.

"Well, I have to do my part, even if no one else does his," she stressed, sticking her tongue out at him and sitting next to the girl.

"Is that a promise?" he said, licking his lips.

"You'll just have to wait and see," she said, winking. The girl was oblivious to their obvious flirting, choosing instead to concentrate on shoving huge forkfuls of food into her mouth. The bad dreams always left her drained, of energy and mental stability. Food seemed to get her back on track.

"You could try tasting it before you swallow," Azrael said, tossing a water bottle toward the girl. She barely acknowledged that he was even there, nevermind that he spoke. He snorted. Lil stifled a grin. She couldn't decipher how Az really felt about Mad. Sometimes he seemed fatherly, at times protective, and at others he treated her as burdensome, like caring for her was a job, a chore, something shoved on him without warning. She supposed it really was. An odd connection linked them; Lily felt it from the very first day, but she had yet to understand what it involved. She wasn't sure she wanted to find out. Ignorance is bliss if it's timed right.

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