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The Look of Love

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“That’s my sweater.”

Riven didn’t remember making the decision to say something, but the moment he saw her, soft brown hair spilling over the shoulder of his favourite black sweater, a sweater that practically dwarfed her, the sleeves trailing over her fingertips and the hem falling to her mid-thigh, all reasonable thought left his brain.

Flora frowned at him, forehead creasing in confusion and his hand twitched with her urge to smooth out the lines with the pad of this thumb.

“Sorry, my clothes were all wet.  I can give it back-”

“No,” Riven said, probably too quickly, and definitely too vehemently, and he grimaced turning away to busy himself with the kettle on the stove.  “It’s fine,” he said to the tile splashback instead of Flora.

“Oh, well, okay,” she said, and he thought he could hear a smile in her voice as she pulled out a chair and took a seat at his tiny kitchen table.

He brought over their mugs, sliding the one filled with tea over to her without a word, and lifted his coffee to his mouth, observing her over the rim.  She’d claimed to have been just in the neighborhood when the rain had started and had messaged him, begging to wait out the downpour in his apartment, but Riven suspected she’d had ulterior motives.  He didn’t know what it was about him but his friends seemed to think that he just sat alone in his apartment when they weren’t on missions and constantly felt the need to check up on him.

Nevermind the fact that most of his time off was spent alone in his apartment.

He saw his friends of course, on missions and whenever they hung out as a group, but almost all of them were in long-term relationships now, so a lot of their down time was spent in domestic bliss.  In fact the only one who wasn’t in a relationship at the moment was Flora, which was maybe why she checked up on him more than anyone.

“Flora,” he said, setting his mug down.  “What are you doing here?”

Anyone else might have been offended by the borderline but Flora just smiled and tugged at the sleeve of his sweater that she was wearing.

“Is it a crime to want to spend time with my friend?”  As she asked the question she shifted, tucking her long legs up beneath her and inadvertently hiking up the hem of the sweater further.  Subconsciously his eyes dropped to all the bare skin she had on display and he fought down another flare of possessiveness at seeing her in his sweater.

“Not at all,” he replied, crossing his arms across his chest, and noting with satisfaction that her own eyes were drawn to his flexing biceps.  Whatever game she was playing, he could play it as well.