She laughed at his words, her laughter a rough, genuine sound. His car was beautiful, classic and black and still reaming with sex appeal. The mention of Easton made her nostalgic. It was the most peaceful and unpeaceful she had ever been. There had been a certain quiet, Connecticut lacked the constant noise of the city, the soundtrack of the countryside was decidedly more muted.
“That’s because I’m much better of a driver. If I had known you were hiding something like this in your garage I would have insisted on driving.”
Sliding into the passenger side, she breathed deeply, the scent of sun warmed leather and cigarette smoke confronting her nostrils. Taking the cigarette gratefully, she held it comfortably between her fingertips, nodding her thanks to the male beside her. She wasn’t sure what her next move would be, she hadn’t thought much past getting back to New York, getting back to a city that she was once a part of. Calling Adam had been a whim, and the next place she would go would be one as well.
“Brooklyn. I’m peckish for something delicious that doesn’t come in a pigmy portion.” She paused, leaning over to light her cigarette. “Or you can cook something. If you’re still doing that cooking thing. You used to love cooking. ‘Dahling Shevel, do come ovah, I’ve made the most decadent of dishes.’ And it’d be bacon and eggs. You cad.” The brunette laughed again, her words were nonsensical but she didn’t care, there was the purr of an engine under her and a beautiful boy beside her and nicotine inside her.
“You know, it’s quite dangerous to drive when you’re even just a tiny bit liquored up. The television told me that,” she offered up, deflecting his request on her adventures. She didn’t feel like talking about herself at the moment. She was always running away, and speaking about it only reminded her of how cowardly that was. “How many fingers am I holding up?” Kaylee teased, waggling a hand by his face.
“As if I’d let you drive my car, Kaylee.” Adam chimed out with a sloped smile, the cigarette between his lips making it difficult to do much else. “You’ve written off more cars than I’ve had relationships.” It was probably a true statement. The boy couldn’t say he’d actually ever had a girlfriend, per say. He’d slept with women, he’d been intimate with them, but never had he been in something long term. He wasn’t sure if Easton was to blame for that or if he’d been doing something horrifically wrong, but truthfully it didn’t bother him all too much.
With a tap of his finger, ash blew out into the summer evening and Adam nodded in confirmation as he got his bearings. “My place it is. I left my wallet at home anyway.”
Traffic had quietened down as best as it did in the city. The evening rush had not long since came to a halt, and the sun had slowly began it’s decent over the skyline and towards the horizon. His foot rested idly on the throttle as eyes drifted towards his company with a conflicting grin. “Alright, hold on.” Adam half heartedly protested, running a palm through his hair. “Two things. One, I’m not British. Two. When did I ever make you bacon and eggs?” Adam shook his head playfully and turned his attention back to the road.
“Good thing I’m not just a tiny bit liquored up then. I’m a fair bit liquored up.” He nodded with a teasing affirmation to the gorgeous woman beside him. “You’re holding up seven fingers, and two of them shouldn’t even be on that hand.”
The natural skylight was soon replaced by fluorescents as they pulled into his building’s garage. There were some cliché cars parked in the same building – you had your BMWs, the odd Jaguar or two. The show off who lived in the penthouse even drove a white Lamborghini. With a slight twist the ignition slipped off and the engine’s low purr came to a silent halt. “Spoken to Ollie or Blyss since you got back?” Adam queried as he slipped out of the car, wandering over to pull open Shevel’s door for her. “Or anyone, for that matter.” He shrugged passively, speaking to himself.
I’m not going to win this one, am I?
I’ll make sure to include letter writing in the job description when I go looking for a assistant for you.
Not unless you’ve somehow become more stubborn than me.
See? You always go the extra mile. You should be my assistant.
He would come. It was certain to her, Adam was a constant. He could always be counted on. She wondered if he’d changed any, if maybe his hair was longer or his skin was more tan. She wondered if she would notice any difference in him, or if he would look like no time passed at all. His voice was the same, though tired and carrying more weight than it had before. It was getting that way the last time she had seen him, like his youth was slowly creeping away, more maturity and responsibility stealing a little bit of the carefree each night.
It was a hot summer night, the heat of the day had carried on inside the great building. She could sit there comfortably in just a flimsy summer dress, warm enough to be content enough to fall asleep where she sat.
Had she changed any? Her face was the same, more freckles with the sun and her hair as curling as ever. There were shadows under her eyes from a few nights without sleep, like a finger had been dipped in blue ink and swept gently across her skin.
She was still thin, with the same curves that her lifestyle hadn’t managed to quite steal away. There were some scars, there had always been some of those, but they were all linked to stories, to memories that she either embraced or fought to forget.
Her phone lit up with a message. It was short, to the point. Pushing open the doors of the station she stepped out into the fresh air, inhaling deeply. The desire for a cigarette hadn’t left her yet. A quick scan and she found him almost instantly. Walking towards him, she smiled, a Chesire cat grin to light up the coming evening.
“I didn’t know you had a car.”
Adam rested his feet on the front bumper of the classic Buick beneath him. The car had been his pride and joy through high school – A classic 1970 GS 455 in black. The Buick used to be a mess of problems and rust, but as a ‘graduating’ present from Easton, his father had the car fixed up and returned to original condition for him. His fingers tapped tirelessly on the finish of the car as the footsteps drew closer and closer, the familiar figure only at arm’s reach before he spoke out.
“I never really drove at Easton, Shevel. You always did.”
There was a brief tone in his voice of seriousness, but the dumb smile stuck on his lips betrayed any ounce of legitimacy behind it. Fingers fiddled with cardboard as he procured a pair of cigarettes and pulled open the driver’s side door. One sat between his lips as the other made way in offering to the brunette girl who had become so fond of the nicotine.
“Got any plans now you’re back in the big wide world?” Adam glanced towards Kaylee with a glance of curiosity. She always had a plan, whether or not it made any sense was another thing entirely. “Better yet, where are we going?” The boy added. New York had been Adam’s home for a long long while, but it never really felt like the city welcomed him. Not like Easton did. There was no homely feel to the place, he didn’t know the faces. Maybe that’s what he missed most about Easton – the familiarity.
The flame from his lighter struck aflame the tip of his cigarette as he passed it over to Kaylee. With some gentle force the keys slipped into the ignition and Adam spared a smile to the girl beside him. The engine roared to life as Adam let a cloud of smoke lift to the ceiling of the car and out of the windows. “Tell me about the adventures of Kaylee Shevel and her many personas.”
And entitled to their opinion.
I think I’ll need it in writing. You know how these lawyer types are.
Their opinions are silly.
If I had an assistant, this is what I’d use them for. Writing my letters for me.
I know that entirely, but they’re still big words. Really big words. People just seem to forget that there’s meant to be meaning and emotion behind them.
I always wonder how people can say those three words so easily. They’re big words. Important words.
I’m sure it is for some people.
There you go, problem solved. I’ll keep my eye out for someone as well. As all the pretty girls in my classes if they’d like to drop out and work as a assistant for you.
Those people are silly.
Tell them I pay well, and I’m not bad to look at. Maybe that will convince them.
She was itching for a cigarette, a thin death stick to wedge between her slim fingers and press to her lips. They took up space, distracted from the lack of words. She could focus on each breath, holding the smoke in her lungs and releasing it slowly, curling tendrils greeting the air. Her budget hadn’t covered a pack, and her last cigarette had been hastily crushed underfoot before she boarded the train. Her foot tapped, the phone pressed to her face, crushing wild curls to the side of her head.
He sounded tired, and she regretted calling him, guilty for disturbing his sleep. It was afternoon, he should be up now, she could picture him lumbering around his apartment, something scattered with old prints and negatives, trying to find a clean cup on a work surface to make a cup of coffee in.
She smiled at the image, bright blue eyes closing slightly. “You know how I’ve always been so unreliable? How I always get up and run? That was all pretend. I can always be counted on for one thing. I’ll always come back home, like a puppy with her tail tucked between her legs.”
Kaylee fidgeted, standing from the bench, straightening her shirt and speaking quickly.
“I missed you. You can say my name a bunch more times. You can say it to my face a bit if you want to as well. I’m at the place with all the trains. I’ll wait for you.”
The world fell silent around him as the familiar voice lingered in the back of his mind for what seemed like an eternity. Kaylee Shevel had played a very large part in Adam’s life – larger than he’d like to admit. She was an influence he had got hooked on, and he’d craved more since their first encounter by the pond back at the Academy.
“Kaylee Shevel, Kaylee Shevel, Kaylee Shevel.” Adam repeated with the familiar strain from a night prior with very little sleep. A free set of fingers drummed on the glass pane as his teeth grazed his bottom lip briefly with ambivalence. The photographer had tried to avoid the past as best he could. They were memories, good memories. He’d intended on keeping them just that – At least until his phone rang.
“The place with the trains. Let me powder my nose and I’ll see how I feel about dropping by.”
He’d spoken with a jesting tone that he hadn’t quite heard from himself for a while. There was no question that Adam would get Kaylee – lying to himself and saying otherwise would just be futile. He knew this better than anyone.
“In a bit.” The brunette spoke with confidence as his finger conflicted with his own words, tentatively resting above the end call button a while longer than it should have.
A quick shower and the acquisition of clothing led him to the clutching of his car keys. The intoxication of last night hadn’t entirely faded – but who would know? The drive to Grand Central was five or ten minutes at best and Adam had definitely done his best to drag it out as long as he could.
His keys were pulled from the ignition and Adam slipped out of the door as his gaze drifted over the station, though he decided against entering and instead settled on the hood of his own car and instead sent a simple text.