Part two of the romantic short for Alim & Elaine, hope you enjoy – Find Part One Here:
The night before Elaine left for her holiday with Alim, Elaine panicking about everything. Natasha and Ivy came bearing gifts of her favourite fizzy drink, and what appeared to be packets of fish and chips with gravy. They sat on beanbags in her bedroom critiquing her packing skills, much to her annoyance.
Snagging a chip heavily laden with gravy, Elaine tried to remind herself friends did things like this. Men, in her experience, didn’t sit around nagging one another about packing ‘pretty tops.’ She didn’t own any bloody ‘pretty tops.’
“How about this one?” Ivy held up a turtleneck which had been a gift from Elaine’s mum.
She cringed at the high collar. She didn’t like anything which would lie heavily against her neck or throat. “No, no ruddy way. I don’t even want to think about wearing the sodding thing.”
“So that’s a no?” Ivy teased.
“You can bugger off now.” Elaine darted forward to grab the large packet of chips. “I’m keeping these to nosh on.”
Her overwhelming relief when the two women left was staggering. Elaine could only handle so much social interaction before she went completely nutty. It greatly influenced her highly narky personality at work.
Though the prats deserved it most of time.
She lifted one of the chips from the pond of gravy and considered the weathered, dusky green kit bag on the floor. It had been her adopted father’s once upon a time. He’d gifted it to her when she joined the service. She nudged the bottom of the bag with her toe.
Alim likely had a suitcase which cost more than her bloody annual salary. Elaine gripped the zipper on the bag and yanked it closed with a sigh. She couldn’t turn herself into some wealthy toff for a man.
To his credit, Alim had never seemed to mind her outfits of jeans, t-shirts, or oversized jumpers. He’d taken her out on a date after Christmas to fancy restaurant and didn’t even bat an eye-lid at her rather rumpled attire. Elaine had done more than bat an eye-lid at the way his tuxedo had shown off his muscular frame.
It did incredibly confusing things to her emotions.
“What the bloody, buggering hell am I doing?” She flung herself down on one of the nearby beanbags with a groan of frustration. “I am losing my sodding mind.”
Grabbing her nearby Xbox controller, Elaine decided to lose herself in a few rounds of one of her favourite games. It might keep her from obsessing over this weekend date. She reached out to grab the stuffed cougar which had been part of Alim’s care package to hold it close.
Alicia had spilled the beans to her uncle about the dual nature of the members of the Blackbird Security Firm. She’d been attempting to dissuade him from shooting Josh who’d been in panther form at the time. The entire story had unexpectedly been sprung on the man who’d apparently come the closest to fainting that his niece had ever seen.
He took it well.
Given the extremely quick nature of Alim’s intelligent mind, it hadn’t taken him long to piece together everything. Two days afterward had found him pounding on Elaine’s door in the middle of the night looking frazzled. He’d demanded answers in the most bizarrely polite manner that Elaine had simply stepped back to allow him inside and told him everything.
She still couldn’t believe she’d voluntarily allowed the man into her flat.
No one ever came into her flat unannounced.
Her cougar had been inordinately pleased with this turn of events. Elaine hadn’t initially felt as pleased when she shifted into her cougar form for him. It had been soothing to her chaotic mind when he’d run his fingers through her fur.
It seemed such a mild term to use for an emotion which Elaine had never felt before in her entire life. Calm. She’d never met another shifter who had Asperger’s Syndrome, or any other form of Autism. She had no idea if this was simply how her mate should make her feel, or if it was something else entirely.
Maybe it was simply Alim.