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Papaya #21

Author: Regret
Rating: Uhhh... 15? (Sorry, that's a BBFC class) Probably an American R.
Challenge: Papaya #21 - On Second Thought...
Story: Arkadian
Word Count: 851
Summary: Arkadiy has to go into town, but doesn't quite pick up what he was expecting.
Notes: I had to go check the BBFC ratings to see if it really was a 15, mostly for my own peace of mind. I'm odd. This has been hanging around in my head (more or less) for ages, I figured I should get it down at some point. O_o

It might make some sense eventually...

Some days, he couldn't bring himself to leave the house. He'd stay in, getting quietly drunk on the sofa, and pretend he never needed to eat - and after the fifth, or fifteenth, bottle even his stomach quit its complaining.

Shame it never lasted; hunger always drove him out eventually, into the town where people commented behind their hands on the handsome man who never wore shorts, even during the hottest days of the year.

There was one bonus: the pretty girl in the grocery store. Brown hair in thick curls, brown eyes that lit up whenever she saw him, it was enough to turn a man's head. Especially when the head was as easily turned as his. He passed her the money, her hand touched his as she gave him his change and she smiled up at him from beneath her lashes; she was hardly subtle and it warmed his heart - among other things.

One day, she took him by surprise. "Come on, stranger. I've seen you for a year now and I don't even know your name."

He was taken aback but couldn't stop the smile. "Arkadiy." And because old habits die hard, he leaned one arm on the counter and murmured, "and what's yours?"

She mirrored his gesture, leaning across the glass and displaying a healthy cleavage. Her hand was only a hair's breadth from his. "Elisa," and when she spoke he felt her sweet breath against his face. "I'm glad to meet you, Arkadiy."

It was enough to make his heart race. Not entirely for the reasons pretty Elisa clearly aimed for. "I've got more shopping to do." It wasn't exactly a lie, he needed some stuff from the little hardware store, but right then with his heart pounding he had to get away. He hated himself for it, and Elisa certainly seemed disappointed, but there was a feeling in the pit of his stomach he couldn't quite shake and certainly had no chance of explaining to the brunette.

"Your groceries'll be waiting behind the store for you," she said, raising herself from the counter with a sigh.

He nodded and smiled a smile he didn't quite feel, and fled the store.

***


It took all of five minutes to buy a hammer and some nails; he felt quite embarrassed. Hardly explained the hasty exit. Even walking around the pathetically small town only added another five or ten minutes. Embarrassed, head down, he trudged back to the grocery store.

The back - a little brick courtyard - was deserted, as he'd expected. All except for a bulging paper bag, propped against the door that led into the shop. Only when he bent down to pick it up did the hairs on the back of his neck stand to attention. They coincided with a pair of slender, feminine hands pressing against his eyes. "Huh?" It was hardly a chat-up line...

"Surprise." Elisa's voice came from much nearer his ear than he'd expected. The soft black hairs there tingled. "I didn't want you to leave without saying goodbye, Arkadiy."

Her hands were incredibly soft. "What kind of goodbye did you want me to say?" He stood carefully, not wanting to pull her from her feet.

"The kind that isn't so abrupt." Her fingers slid from his eyes, onto his shoulders, then his arms.

He turned to face her, groceries forgotten. She was staring up at him from beneath those lashes and something leapt in his chest. "I could just say 'goodbye'; it's almost the same..."

"It's not," she pouted, her lips fuller and richer as she did so. "That's only a plain goodbye."

He was only human, after all. He didn't see how he could resist. And her lips were so soft as he pressed his to hers, her arms snaking around his neck to pull him down to her level. He was only a man, and nothing more, as she slid her hands along his back and his found their way to her nicely curved backside. She kissed him with a depth he hadn't felt in at least a year, and parts of his body he'd done his best to ignore responded whole-heartedly; his jeans abruptly became far too tight. She knew, too; she smiled, an expression he could feel. She pulled herself closer to him, her breasts pressing against his chest, and her hands moved from his back to his stomach, to the waist of his jeans.

To deftly pull apart the top button and move to the zip.

He leapt backwards, the fastest he'd moved in a long time - and if only he'd moved that fast a year ago, he wouldn't need to now. " No."

"No?" She looked as though he'd slapped her. He supposed such a sudden rejection was almost the same.

"No," he repeated, heart hammering for all the wrong reasons.

Before she could respond he grabbed the groceries and bolted from the yard, a hard knot in his throat and the hardness in his pants vanishing rapidly.

The day after, he placed a home delivery order at a small store a good few miles away.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
ichthusfish
Jul. 20th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Aww! Poor Arkadiy! I feel so sorry for him, though part of me wonders if she actually would have accepted him for who he was. I'm also wondering now if he's always going to be alone. Nicely written :)

I think the rating is fine. The general guildines here are PG-13 for sexual references and R for non-explicit sex.
nothingtoregret
Jul. 20th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC)
If she'd got his pants below mid-thigh, she'd have probably freaked out... He can't take the idea that people are so bothered by it (probably because he is too, although he pretends not to be). Ironically enough, when he meets someone who isn't freaked out (in about, er, six years from this point), that bothers him too, because he doesn't really understand why she isn't. Oh he's a messed up l'il bunny. XD;;

Aaah thank you! In the UK we have slightly different guidelines (U, PG, 12A, 15, 18) so it took me ages to get used to American ratings - years back, R and NC17 confused me because I always thought R was the higher rating... >_> I still have to think carefully when rating things. Thank you for clarifying!
ichthusfish
Jul. 20th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
I'm a UK bunny as well! =D

I still struggle with ratings too, and tend to increase the rating out of caution a lot, as it seems better than setting it too low. By here I meant Runaway Tales. There's a handy little section about Ratings near the top of the Guidelines (Profile) page if you're ever uncertain :)
nothingtoregret
Jul. 20th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Aaaa! *waves*

I think it probably is for the best to be cautious... I did check out the ratings here when I submitted it and I think they're definitely the best described I've seen, but I still get unaccountably nervous. O_o;
(Deleted comment)
nothingtoregret
Jul. 20th, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
Oh he is a nice guy, when he's not complaining about things or hitting on anything female with a pulse, but he can't quite reconcile the him before his accident with the him after and he's a bit messed up... he's going to spend the next four years as a reclusive alcoholic, much to the disapproval of his doctor.

He might see her again if he has to go back into town, but I can't see that she'll be quite so... friendly toward him. XD;;;
aproberts
Jul. 21st, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Poor guy. =( But alcohol won't help you sweety. It just numbs the pain for a little while just enough that it will hurt even more without the numbness.
nothingtoregret
Jul. 22nd, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
At the back of his mind he knows it won't solve anything, because it's not like you can get away from the issue when it's physically attached to you... But he's so determined, and always pretends that everything's fine, that when it isn't he just retreats and falls apart. :/

It'll get better for him though! Well... Kind of...
bookblather
Jul. 23rd, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Awww, Arkadiy, alcohol doesn't help. Hie thee to a therapist, assuming that they'll believe you.

...man, that makes me want to write a story about the therapist to the damned. [/sidetracked]

Anyway, I really like this! You can really feel his desperation and unhappiness and the way he hates his reactions but can't help them at all. Poor guy.
nothingtoregret
Jul. 23rd, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Ohhh now that's quite tempting for a Pocky... I just got the mental image of Arkadiy being sent for compulsory therapy, but threatening to ram both the therapist's practicing certificate and chair somewhere painful before storming off. XD

And I'd love to read a story about a therapist to the damned too! Go for it! :D
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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