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Dilettante

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He looked over at the giant clock up on the wall above the ancient portrait of former King Aerys Targaryen, his brows furrowed as he plucked his cell phone from his pocket and checked the time on there as well. She was late. In all the time she had been coming to the library, on all the days that he worked, she always came at exactly the same time. She had for the passed eight months. And before that, she had come on a different day, at a different time, at exactly that same time.

Did he feel a little sketch for knowing her schedule as well as he did? Kind of. But, he pushed his self loathing aside for the moment and looked back at the clock. He didn't know her to be late – well, he didn't really know her at all, per se. He knew of her, he knew about her, he didn't actually know her. Contrary to what his fantasies would suggest.

He went back to re-cataloging the Photography section, trying his hardest not to think about her or the fact that she was late. He got all the way through the D's before looking back at the clock – fifteen minutes. She was late fifteen minutes. He shook his head, pushing her from his mind momentarily and kept cataloging, disappointed in humans in general for being so sloppy and inconsiderate, because really, it wasn't that hard to put back a book in its rightful place.

He thought about her – because really, when wasn't he thinking about her? He thought about how long he had eyed her, when he first even saw her. He remembered seeing her at school when they were younger, he was two years older than her so it had only been fleeting. She was young back then, with hair past her shoulders and a tiny frame. He hadn't spoken to her, never once caught her eye in the hall, it was like they never even existed in the same space and time. Then she had started showing up at the library on a regular basis, studying, reading, playing on her computer. He had watched her, admired her, wondered about her.

She had been coming to the library for two years now, and in those two years he had never even been able to muster up enough courage to even look her in the eye. She was a mystery to him, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl if he'd ever seen one. Maybe he was just watching too many movies, reading into too many literary devices.

He chanced a look over to the lounge chairs, surprised to find her now sitting over there with her legs thrown over the arm and a book in her hands, clearly going by him unnoticed at some point. He felt his heart thump oddly in his chest.

He felt pathetic – well, he felt pathetic on the daily – but he always felt extra pathetic when it came to Arya Stark.

She was just... everything he wasn't. She was loud and vivid, cheeky and unconcerned. She was unconcerned with how people thought of her, looked at her, felt about her. She was blasé and cool, just so effortlessly that it made him mildly jealous. But, she was also so inviting, in her own intense way. It was her eyes, he thought, they were wide, expressive pools of grey that lingered too long or not enough.

Her hair was up today, he noted. Her long bob that usually hung to her shoulders in straight, dark brown strands was pulled up into an odd sort of messy ponytail, pieces falling down around her slender neck, tucked behind her ears. She tugged at a piece as she read, seemingly unaware of the action.

He turned away quickly as he felt her shift her gaze from the book and over to where he resided, he went back to putting away the Photography books. He didn't look at her again for a long while.

He thought about her often, even with her open, approachable nature and younger age, she just seemed so inaccessible, so out of his league. Because she was so out of his league.

Even with the two year age difference, she was leaps and bounds better than him. For one, she was attractive, exceedingly so. She had grown from tiny to petite, with smirking eyes and a great... chest – he blushed a little at the thought of her tits, shaking his head. She was bright, he figured out that she had graduated a year early, mostly from the switch in times when she came to the library. And, mostly, she wasn't a shy, nerdy, twenty year old virgin who worked part time at a library. That alone made her unreachable to his pathetic mind. Add in the fact that she didn't even know he was alive mixed with how vivacious and loud she was just spelled out: never going to happen.

But that never stopped his mind from lingering to her. He thought about the way she looked up from her lashes, over a book, downcast as she read. The way she would bite at her lower lip when she was thinking, making him want to groan. He liked the way she picked horror-thrillers to read or delved into Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller. She was interesting and beautiful and so unlike him.

Maybe that was why he liked her so much. She wasn't boring or lame, he imagined she didn't spend her days off playing video games or reading comics, masturbating to someone who didn't even know she was alive.

No, Arya Stark was cooler than that. She probably went to concerts and dated guys from her fencing class – he knew she fenced from the Instagram he definitely didn't stalk or anything. She probably flirted with bartenders and got drinks on the house, dozens of people vying for her attention. That was probably why she didn't see him, she was too busy with all the other cool, attractive people to be bothered by him. By a nobody.

He wondered if she'd ever noticed him here, ever once looked over and thought casually – hey, that guy looks vaguely familiar. Probably not.

He pulled the cart around to another row to start on another genre of books that were out of order. He sighed as he did so. He wasn't cool, he was lame and boring and basically nothing special. He was a twenty year old art student at King's College, he spent his time working at a fucking library and his Godfather's Auto Repair shop. He had an apartment that his friends Hot Pie and Podrick often crashed at and read a lot of books. He liked comics and Shakespeare and Keats, he listened to underrated music and spent most of his weekends under the hood of a car or eating pizza with the two of them in front of a tv.

He sighed – what the actual fuck would Arya Stark want with him?

The answer was, nothing.

With his self loathing and insecurity dialed up a notch, he left the cart of books where they were, walked over to the front desk and clocked himself out for lunch. He just needed to clear his head for a bit, think about something else other than Arya Stark for two fucking minutes. He pulled on his jacket and told his boss that he'd be back in an hour, then headed out of the library in search of food and another topic of interest.

He completely missed the way her eyes followed his movements, all the way until he walked out the door.

Arya sat up in her armchair as she watched him stalk from where she'd been spying on him in between bookshelves, over to the front desk. She watched him shrug on his jacket a little harshly, grabbing a book from behind the counter and make his way out of the building. She felt a little put out, one of the reasons she liked coming here so much – aside from getting away from the crack den she called a house and her sister being all romp-y with her boyfriend – was because he was here. She liked watching him. She didn't know his name or who he was, but she liked watching him.

She had noticed him first when she started coming to study here last year. She'd been trying to cram everything in and get excellent marks so they would let her graduate early, and seeing as how her house was crazy and loud, and Sansa's apartment held her sex-capades, she retreated to the safety of the public library downtown.

Technically the King's Landing Public Library was also kind of the King's College Library – she wasn't entirely sure how that worked or whatever, but she was sure if she really wanted to know, someone would explain it to her. She wondered if that's how he'd gotten a job here.

He was young, he had to be. There was no way that he was significantly older that her, if she had to guess she'd say he was somewhere between her and Jon, definitely around Sansa's age. Which lead her to the question, didn't someone have to be, well, old to be a librarian? Which then of course lead her to the feeble, somehow correlation of the two libraries, his age, and that he went to King's College. Clearly she should be a detective with all of this amateur sleuthing she had going on.

But, aside from her hypothesized connection about him being a college student and his age range, she knew nothing else about him. And for whatever reason, she hadn't cared to find out more. Mostly because he liked to pretend she wasn't in the room.

She knew that he was aware of her presence, she could feel his gaze on her all the time. It made her feel sexy, attractive, so she never stopped him. But, he had never spoke a word to her in all the time that she'd been coming here. He would stare at her from across the library, rows of bookshelves between them, and never once had he made a move. Although it empowered her that she might've made him nervous, it also made her annoyed.

He was cute though, in that quiet boy way. She could tell he didn't have a ton of confidence, it was in the way he carried himself, with his head bowed and his eyes downcast. She wasn't sure why though, he was attractive. He had a handsome face, with intense blue eyes and dark hair that she wanted to run her hands through.

She'd thought about the nameless boy, the one she saw every day at noon. She thought a lot about him actually – especially at night, or in the shower, or to drowned out the sound of Sansa's sexual wails from down the hall. He looked strong under his slightly baggy t-shirt, she often wondered what his body looked like. He probably really had no idea how attractive he was, he seemed like a guy who had no idea. She wondered why he had no idea, or why he was so shy, or why he never made eye contact with her or never said hello. Like, he only stalked her life in the library and the guy couldn't manage a quick, “Hello, my name is...”?

Arya wasn't a weak woman, she was strong and independent and did as she pleased most of the time. She wasn't a damsel, she was hardly ever in distress, and if she wanted something, she took it. Because that's who she was. But, there was just something about the nameless boy, the way he stared at her, it made her want him to take her. It made her want to sit by and let him figure it out, to buck up and make the first move. That was mostly why two years had gone by and she still didn't know his name.

But, there came a time where she had to put away her desire to be dominated, for someone to suppress her intense personality and take charge. She'd given him the opportunity, she'd worn her tightest jeans, her most alluring skits, her most tit enhancing shirts. Nothing.

She had dropped books and fully bent over to retrieve them, she let her fingers absently play with the necklace near her breasts, she'd even reached high for a book she'd never be able to grab. All for naught. He never even budged.

She had used all of the tricks in Sansa's book, all the subtle flirting ways her sister had taught her had proven unsuccessful with him. Sansa had thought that maybe he was just gay, and it had made her think about it as well. But, she remembered the way his breathing would quicken or how he would discreetly try to adjust his erection when she pulled a stunt. He wasn't gay, he was just avoiding her existence.

That should've put her off, but it didn't. It only made her want to figure him out that much more.

Sometimes she wondered what if she got to know him and he was horrific and strange? Or lecher-y and crude? It would basically dash her dreams.

She had been lusting, wondering, and sighing about a boy she didn't even know the name of for two years. Two fucking years. What was wrong with her?

She was startled from her thoughts by the sight of him walking back into the library. He was sipping on a soda as he went to the front desk to presumably clock himself back in from his apparent lunch break. She watched as he nodded to the woman sitting at the desk before resuming the work that he had previously abandoned in his earlier haste to leave the building. She decided then that enough was enough, she was done waiting. It was time to let Naughty Arya out to play.

She waited a while, letting him get back to work for a bit. She wasn't even pretending to know what the words on the pages in front of her meant, she was too eager to care. She was going to do it, she was going to go get a name out of that boy. She closed the book in her hands, marking it, and setting it on the chair with her bag as she stood. She smiled as she slinked over to where he was a few rows down, putting books back into their rightful places.

She walked up to where he stood, stopping before him and waiting for him to take note of her presence. “Hi.”

He turned quickly to look at her, his blue eyes wide and shock written all over his features as she stood in front of him. She smiled up at him, two parts nice and innocent, one part sultry. She never realized how tall he was from across the room, it made her want to climb him.

He blinked, trying to swallow and appease his suddenly dry throat. Arya Stark was standing in front of him, speaking to him. Did he fall asleep? Was he dreaming?

He noted the way her wide, grey eyes held his, the smirk-smile on her bow-shaped lips. Her pale skin was flawless up close, it looked smooth, like glass. His eyes quickly drifted down her neck to her chest and the vast expanse of pale skin that was displayed before him. Her black crop top had a wide front, almost making it off the shoulder, barely holding on to the tops of her shoulders. It then dipped down into a low sweetheart neckline, basically the whole of her upper chest and cleavage was staring him in the face.

Fuck.

Looking at her fully now for the first time today, her whole outfit made him want to groan. The black crop top, paired with her tight black skinny jeans was almost too much. And to add to the list of cool things about her, she pulled her outfit together with a dark green plaid button up that was loosely hanging off her shoulders. She looked like she stepped right out of a Nirvana music video.

She couldn't help the slight smirk that was added to her smile as she watched him quickly sweep her outfit, before bringing his eyes back up to look into hers. Never had she been more happy that she was a lazy bitch who didn't like to do laundry and had stolen one of Sansa's push up bras. When she got home, she was going to kiss that saucy little red head.

“I'm Arya.” She continued on, hoping he would get the hint and talk to her. So far, it wasn't happening. He just swallowed thickly and kept staring into her eyes. She smiled a little wider, her sarcastic playful side coming out. “Usually this is where you would introduce yourself back...”

“Oh.” He said, shaking his head and looked away sheepishly. “Yeah. I'm, ah, Gendry.”

“Well, Gendry,” She watched his jaw tighten at the way she added a slight purring quality to his name. Sometimes she hated herself for hanging around Sansa and her friends so much, she was never this flirty or overtly sexual, but he brought it out in her. And so did her sister, the bitch. “Could you help me find a book?”

She smirked, this was going to be way too easy.

He cleared his throat and nodded, “Yeah, ah, yeah I can help you.” He took a second to slow down the fast beating of his heart, to get his shit together. She was speaking to him, noticing him, and he was fucking blowing it. He started again, hopefully less hopelessly awkward. “What are you looking for?”

He should've known by the mischievous swirl in her grey eyes or the not so casual upturn of her lips that this wasn't going to be good. Apparently sight and reason had left his brain the moment he'd noticed her standing there beside him.

“The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.”

He had to try really, excessively hard not to let out the groan that was so desperately trying to break free. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty? Was she for real? She might as well asked for Lolita or fucking Fifty Shades of Grey. Either way, he now wanted to kill himself. The thought of her reading a book, from his library, about sex, alone, in her bed, possibly touching herself...

He almost forgot to breath.

He was flushing, the small blush creeping up his neck in splotchy stains, his eyes widened a bit as she said the title. Oh, way too easy. Now she knew all he could think about was her and that book and whatever fantasy was playing out in his head.

He definitely wasn't gay, and he most certainly seemed to be into her by his odd, but endearing reactions. So why the fuck couldn't he have gotten his shit together and come ask her out two years ago?

She watched as he cleared his throat, his eyes pulling away from hers to look down, away from her. “It's, ah, it's over...this way.”

He turned and started to walk in the direction of where the book was located, leaving her to follow behind him. He was stuttering slightly, unfocused as he spoke. It made her insides swell that she had this affect on him, made her feel womanly and powerful.

She followed closely behind him, coming to stand a little too close as he scoured the bookshelf for the book she was looking for. He could feel her body heat, her breath against his shoulder. He tried to brush it off, act professional, he didn't want to scare her off. He plucked a book from the bottom row, turning and handing it to her. She was still staring at him, attempting to catch his gaze once again, she smiled. She looked down at the book in her hands, flipping it over and glancing at the back.

“Thanks.” She looked back up at him, catching his eyes with her own, smirking a bit. “It's a prefect read for my bath later.” She watched again as he desperately tried to contain some form of emotion that he was unwilling to let go in front of her. Uptight? It would be fun unlacing him. “Well, thanks again, Gendry. I hope I see you around.”

She gave him one last lingering look and sly smile before strutting back over to the lounge chairs where her belongings were placed, her hips swinging a little more knowing that he was watching her go. She grabbed her giant bag and the other book she had been reading and then headed up to the front desk to check out the two books. Then, she left.

Gendry let out a deep sigh as he watched her leave, running a hand through his hair and over his face. He let out a low, “Fuck.” Unsure of what to do now that he had an image of a naked, soaking wet Arya touching herself because of that book was surgically implanted into his brain, he went and sat down at the front desk, offering to cover for his boss so she could get something to eat. He could use the time to sit and hide his erection.

He sat in the comfortable chair behind the desk, zoning out and replaying the whole meeting with Arya. Could he have been more of a bumbling idiot? He was embarrassed to even think about the fact that he'd almost – almost – moaned in front of her more than once, but then when he recalled what he had actually said? Or, didn't say for that matter.

He spent the majority of his run in with her silently standing there as she smirked up at him. Was it possible to kill himself with sticky notes? Because he wanted to try.

He had just been flirted at by one of the single sexiest girls he'd ever seen in real life, and he just fucking stood there. He stood there! Staring down at her, tripping over his own words, acting like he was still fourteen. God, he was fucking ridiculous.

He may not have much – okay, any – experience, but he was still a functioning human most of the time. He wasn't fourteen anymore, he wasn't in high school, she wasn't an unobtainable object of desire. She was a girl. A girl he absolutely fancied and fantasized about a lot more than he'd ever admit to, but she was still just a girl. A girl who had flirted at him, about a naughty book and a bath and basically admitted to wanting to see him again.

That thought alone was enough to drive himself mad.

Maybe... maybe he'd talk to her when she came in next. Like, actually speak to her and not just stumble all over himself like an uncultured mess. He shook his head, his life was an embarrassing joke.

He pulled out his phone, seeing a text from Hot Pie and another from his Mom. Great, the only two people texting him were his mother and his annoying best friend. He was such a loser, no wonder Arya practically ran away from him today.

He opened his Instagram, seeing he had a notification. He clicked the notification icon and felt his heart stop momentarily and then speed up very quickly. Arya Stark had just followed him. She had found him and now she was following him. What was this life and how did it happen to him?

He quickly accepted her request and in a show of courage he didn't normally have, he followed her back. He was following Arya Stark, she was following him, they knew who each other were now, this was crazy.

He quickly exited the app, trying to move his mind away from Arya, she didn't need to worm herself into his brain right now.

He responded to the texts that held questions of when he was getting off work and what he'd like for dinner, and attempted to spend the rest of his shift actually getting some work done seeing as he'd been distracted all day. He sent out the late notices on their email, responded to the questions about books people couldn't find, and finally finished replacing all the ink in the printers by the time his shift had ended.

He clocked out, said goodbye to his boss and made his way out to his car. The traffic wasn't bad from the library to his apartment building, making it easier to get home and quicker than usual. He went up to his apartment and left the door unlocked for Hot Pie who was bringing dinner over soon. Gendry threw himself down on his comfortable bed, running his hands over his face.

He removed his phone from his pants pocket, texting Hot Pie that he was home and the door was unlocked. He then went onto Instagram to kill some time – and definitely not obsess over the fact that Arya was now following him. He scrolled through the feed of pictures, finding them all to be predictable and not what he wanted to see. He found himself typing in her username before he could stop himself. About three hours had passed since Arya left, since she had added him, since he pretended she didn't exist so he could get his work done, he wasn't sure what she would even post in that time, but he was looking anyway. Because he was a fucking stalker and whipped as hell.

There was a new picture from an hour ago, it was of her sitting in her bath tub, cropped strategically so that nothing below the swell of her breast was shown above the water in the tub. She was biting her lower lip in the same smirky-smile she had given him, the book in her hand beside her. The caption read simply; About to start a new book, whose surprised? The answer is no one.

It already had a ton of likes, he was sure they were mostly because she was very much naked in a bath tub and people though that if they liked it, she'd post more pictures like that. He clenched his jaw as his eyes swept over the picture again. Fuck. He felt himself go hard again at the sight of it. The longer he looked, the harder her got, the more his mind turned dirtier and dirtier.

He looked at the time, trying to calculate how long it would be before Hot Pie came over, if he had enough time to take care of himself. The answer was most likely no.

Gendry closed out of the app and threw his phone beside him, getting up and going into the bathroom to splash some water on his face. He needed to cool himself down, the last thing he needed was Hot Pie noticing his hard on and start in on his own fantasy girl – grisly details and all. He blanched a little at the thought.

He walked into the living room and threw himself down on the couch, turning the tv on. He flipped through the channels and settled on the rerun of X-Men, while he waited. It wasn't long after that when Hot Pie showed up, Gendry always knew it was him because he was the only one who came blustering in all loud and clumsy. Also, because he was one of the only people who came to Gendry's apartment. He held back a self-deprecating sigh.

“Oy! Dude, I'm here.”

Gendry sat up on the couch and turned to face his best friend. “No shit.” He stood and walked into the kitchen were Hot Pie was setting down the food he'd brought and ignoring Gendry's crank ass attitude. He lifted a brow, “No, Pod tonight?”

Hot Pie just rolled his eyes and snorted, “Nope, the little shit has too much “studying” to get done. Lame.”

Gendry just shook his head at Hot Pie's oblivious rudeness towards their missing friend, Podrick was even more shy and quiet than the three of them combined. He was a good boy, who did what he was told and made the grades to appease his parents and keep his scholarship. Hot Pie didn't understand Pod as well as Gendry did, but they had all been friends for a long time. “What've we got tonight?”

One of the awesome things about being best friends with Hot Pie was his amazing talent at cooking food – which was the basis of his childhood nickname. The bigger boy was in the Culinary program at the college, but had gotten hired as a chef at this unbelievably great restaurant and would bring them dinner when he got off on an early shift. It smelled divine.

“Steak. And a bunch of other shit.”

Very eloquent, Hot Pie was.

Gendry smirked and moved around the small kitchen to grab plates and utensils for them. They ate and watched X-Men, talked about the plans they had for the weekend, their work schedules, anything interesting involving the people they went to school with. Which of course lead to Hot Pie moaning on about how in love he was with Margaery Tyrell, a senior, who was head of the sorority at Kings College and from a prominent family.

Margaery was beautiful, kind, and iridescent. She was a lady if Gendry'd ever seen one, polished and poised, groomed for greatness. Everyone at the school wanted Margaery, so Gendry hadn't been at all surprised when Hot Pie had first told him of his crush on her last year. Would she ever go for anyone like his best friend? Probably not. She dated frat boys that hung around with her brother, sons of important political families, not someone like Hot Pie. That hadn't dwindled his friends bone for the older girl, if anything, it made him want her more.

Gendry could understand, he wanted Arya more than he wanted a first edition copy of The Complete Poems of Robert Frost or a signed Everything is Illuminated DVD. More than he wanted to meet Sir Ian McKellen and talk about Gandalf or a tour of the Las Vegas Crime Lab set during the graveyard shift. He got it, he understood where Hot Pie was coming from. He was there right now.

They eventually made their way into the living room, playing Call of Duty once X-Men had ended. That's how they spent the rest of their night, playing video games and talking about the girls they'd never have sex with. It was a typical thursday night for them.

Hot Pie left a few hours later, leaving Gendry to take a shower and go to bed. They both had class in the morning and Hot Pie couldn't miss anymore classes than he already had, the Master Chef already though he was lazy as it was. Gendry bid his friend goodnight and locked up after him, throwing the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and set it to clean while he was out tomorrow morning.

He made his way into his bedroom, shedding clothes as he did. He turned on the shower and waited for it to heat up, he looked at himself in the mirror as he was waiting. Dark, messy hair, boring blue eyes, a lanky frame. He was not impressive, or striking, it was the main reason why girls didn't look twice at him.

He jumped in the shower, letting the hot water run over him. He laid his head against the tile and thought about her, again. He thought about her wide grey eyes, expressive and bright. Her tight little body, that smirking mouth. She was just so... alluring.

He felt himself grow hard at the thought of her, at the thought of her outfit today, her presence so close to his, her obvious innuendo, that fucking picture with that fucking book. He let out a groan as he grabbed himself and started to stroke.

He wasn't sure why she had this hold over him, why he was even as into as he was. There was just something about Arya Stark, something he couldn't place, that made him completely unlike his normal self. She made him intense and wanton, horny all the damn time, she made him want things, want to be different, to be better.

He bit at his bottom lip as another low moan escaped him, he pictured her in her bathtub, petting herself, her head thrown back, biting her lower lip. He could hear her moaning, moaning his name as she came, picturing them doing things from that book. He pumped his fist a little faster at the thought, leaning his forearm against the shower wall.

He pictured her on top, riding him hard and fast, in control as always. But then he thought about flipping her over and taking control of her, dominating her, making her beg for him. And she would, because she loved the way she felt with his cock inside her.

He came hard right then, his breathing haggard, leaving him breathless as he leaned into the cool tiles. What had gotten into him?

He washed himself quickly, rinsed out his hair and then shut off the shower. He dried himself and pulled on his sleep pants, laying down in his bed. He reached for his phone to plug it in, ignoring the text from his uncle about work tomorrow. He laid his head on his pillow, closing his eyes, and tried not to think about how she would look asleep beside him.