Well, Laska was just going to have to get over it. Leo sighed wishing she'd worry more about her own friends than his.
"He needed a job." Leo clarified, trying not to think Soren could be his boyfriend...because he wasn't. "I just needed an assistant." He hated the fact that he was having to pay to have a friend. Deep down, he only wanted to help Soren. "So what if he..he's not up to your standards. He's fine."
Yes, Soren was a little messy and could never remember how anyone liked their coffee, but he was good company. It was a hell of a time, getting him situated with a smart phone. He had no idea how to pick up a call nor even text. Maybe, that's what Leo liked about Soren, he was so old school and yet quite natural in his habitat.
But he lived at the house, even if it was on a futon in Leo's office. Soren quite naturally woke up at six o'clock sharp. And he made coffee over night, that he poured over ice with just a little cream. Yeah, it was the kind of caffeine that could knock your socks off. Of course, Soren never wore socks, but at least Leo had him dressed to suffice the situation now, even if Soren preferred old jeans and simple tees.
Honestly, Leo believed Soren gave character to anything to wore. And it didn't bother Leo that no one noticed this, but him. No matter what may come, he was glad Soren would be there.
Tessa was much braver than usual. It was a different job in a different library. She was an adult now. Working with adults, not her group of would be Goth kids on a Saturday night, giggling over the same graphic novels, vowing some day they'd actually go to a Cosplay. Those days were over.
Why in the world did she choose these high heeled shoes? It was getting frigid out, but here she was in her snug dress, maybe showing just too much leg for comfort. but her brother said she needed to go in, with style. Didn't she want folks to notice her?
Well, someone did when she slipped off the curb and hit her knee on the pavement. Her hair was in her eyes, so she didn't get to look at him when he helped her up.
She'd lost her coffee too, splat on the street.
"Are you all right?" He helped her across the street. She wasn't going that way, but soon enough he had her seated in his shop. Tess looked up to see a few wedding shots, but there were people with their cats and dogs, and babies.
She looked at the time. She still had a good 30 minutes to kill.
He looked at her knee, that was all a mess. Just like the skinned knees she remembered as a kid. It wasn't until late in her teens, the doctors said she had a peripheral problem. That was about as far as it got. Tess needed to watch where she was going.
He introduced himself. He was Garvin, but he didn't stay still for long. He went to find something for the gash. Her stockings were ruined.
He handed over a fresh pair of black leggins in the wrappings. "Someone left these, over a year ago, never came back for them. Why don't you take them?"
She did as she was told. Possibly a little distraught, thinking the day couldn't get any worse. She went to his restroom and spent several minutes cleaning up her knee, taking off the wretched stockings, cleaning and bandaging the knee and then slipping on the leggins that might have been tighter than she liked. Since her casual wear was usually yoga pants and tanks.
"Are you all right, in there?" He asked.
"Yes." She managed to tell him her name and how she'd gotten on at adult services at the library.
Actually, they had quite a conversation with the door closed. Tess smiled. For the first time, it felt like an adventure she could see through, but then the door was stuck. She was in a sweat. Why had she ever wanted to leave her old job? Because her brother Preston said she could do this. She was a good Librarian who deserved to be on full time, making good money. Of course, he was her biggest fan, of all the articles she'd written for the State Library Association.
It took Garvin's pocket knife to un-jam the bathroom door. But after a struggle of a good two minutes or more, well it was open and she was free.
"What if I drove you there?" Garvin got her a bottled water. Tess didn't look fit to drive.
"Come on, I don't want you to be late." She had her handbag. "I know a couple of people who work there. Its gonna be fine." Garvin assured her, hoping she didn't think he was a total jerk. She might think so, if she knew who he knew there and what had almost happened with Kayla. Almost.
Somehow, it felt like he needed to jump start into something. He wanted to take action. She needed him. If only..even if ...it were only... this once. He could get on the ball.
Garvin locked the front of the shop and hurried through the back, which was more of a mess than he remembered. They got into his Kia Sorento. Garvin knew a few back streets and corners to take. They were there, in jiffy, as his breaks screeched in the back parking lot.
Tess hurried with hardly a goodbye and rang the back doorbell of the library.
"You'll do great today." Garvin told her as if she needed a boost of confidence. "What if I .. come by at lunch. You know, that way..to get you..back to your car." He gritted, hoping he hadn't been an entire nuisance. She nodded.
"Noon OK?" He'd make time for this. He looked forward to it.
Of course, it was Kayla who came to the door. Garvin smiled and waved goodbye.