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House of Syn - Chapter 2

When Valen woke up the next day it was around 1:30 pm. She found herself stretched out on her bed, where she had passed out the night before alongside her new toy (whose batteries she had completely exhausted). She thought about all the fun she'd had with her Red Devil and smiled. She smiled even bigger when she thought about exactly who she'd been imagining while she'd had that fun.

'God, he is gorgeous,' she thought, with true heartfelt appreciation.


Then her sense of reason kicked in. It reminded her that a girl like her could never; never ever ever ; get with a guy like that. So she decided to stop thinking about him altogether. And the more she thought on it, she decided that he was probably a total douche, anyway. He could have been helpful and polite, but he made no effort at all. She wondered if he just worked there or if he owned the store. Maybe if he just worked there, he just didn't care at all. But if he owned that shop, she thought he should really be more friendly.

'I sure hope he doesn't treat all his customers like that,' she thought, as she got up and headed for the shower. 'He's probably all extra nice to the pretty ones. Pfft. What a bastard.'

She climbed into the shower and washed herself leisurely, training her brain not to think about the total hottie that worked no more than four streets away from her. Once she'd convinced herself that she did not care, she stepped out and dried off. She looked in the mirror and evaluated her reflection.

'<i>I think I am pretty,' she frowned. 'Why don't guys think so?'

The girl looking back at her in the mirror had a heart-shaped face, wide hazel eyes, thick eyelashes, a slender nose, and a pouty mouth. Her hair was a little unruly, but when she used her flatiron it looked nice.

The only thing Valen hated about her face was the fact that she wore glasses half the time. Her eyes were just too dry for every day contact wear. And today was definitely going to be a glasses kind of day. It was also going to be a day of extreme gaming! It was Saturday, and this was the day that she played World of Warcraft for hours. She needed to make a snack run first, though.

She went into her bedroom to dress, and once again lamented to herself that her apartment was just so bright . It was the color of cake batter everywhere. She just wanted to paint the whole apartment black.

'I wonder how I can get my walls black?' she thought. There was no way the landlord would let her paint. 'If I could just make it look a little darker in here...A little cooler.'

Contemplating this, she went to her closet and put on her favorite polka dot dress. She put on a pair of her polka dotted shoes, and grabbed her polka dotted purse. She put on some black lace fingerless gloves to complete the ensemble. She made sure her keys and iPod were in her purse, put on her glasses, and then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things.

On the way there, she popped her headphones into her ears and listened to some Metal. When she arrived at the store she grabbed a basket and headed to the produce section, where she picked out some fruits and veggies. Then she headed to the self check-out, since she didn't have that much stuff and all of the lines were very long during that time of day. At least the self check-out lines went pretty fast.

She stood there in line, bobbing her head to a song called "Reduced to Mere Filth" by a Death Metal band named Job For a Cowboy. She put her basket down as she waited. She started air-drumming, subconsciously. She realized what she was doing when she noticed the preppy straitlaced people in line around her giving her strange looks. She was used to it. People were always saying she was strange, no matter what she did. So she just kept bobbing her head and randomly drumming.

As she was doing so, she noticed some tattooed skin in her peripheral vision. Out of sheer curiosity, she turned her head to look. Her mouth fell open when she saw none other than the guy from House of Syn. He was wearing a fedora today, and it looked very nice on him. He had on a black t-shirt with skulls on it, and some black jeans with holes in the knees. He had nothing in his hand but a couple of cans of Red Bull, and he looked awfully impatient.

'Is he always in a bad mood?' she wondered, and turned away with a haughty look. 'He sure looks good today, though...Not that it matters.'

He was on his way to the back of the line, and he had to cut through the line and pass her to get there. Her first thought was to run and hide in another aisle before he saw her. Her second thought was to turn off her iPod and take out her earphones so she could hear if he said anything to her.

'Who am I kidding? He won't recognize me,' she thought. 'I'm glad. That means I'm safe from further embarrassment.'

As soon as he got close to her he looked at her. He looked her over. Then he stopped right next to her.

'What the hell is he stopping for?' she thought, panicking and just staring straight ahead.

"Hey," he said.

She looked at him.

'Damn he is hot!' she thought, and had to fight hard to force that thought to the back of her mind.

"Hey," she said back, and giggled in a fashion that even she found annoying.

"How'd you enjoy your purchase last night?" he asked, in a voice as smooth as silk and with a devilishly knowing smirk.

She started laughing loudly and uncontrollably, because she was embarrassed and nervous. She had her hand over her mouth (it was a habit of hers whenever she laughed) and she had to clamp it down to sort of quell the laughter.

"It was...very functional," she answered, after she composed herself.

"Good," he nodded and smirked.

"I-I didn't think you would recognize me or notice me," she babbled, feeling herself turn red.

"Well, how could I miss this outfit?" he asked, gesturing to her ensemble.

'Oh my God, he hates it!' she thought.

"Um, I like polka dots," he quickly said.

"So do I!" she cried, glad they had at least something in common.

"I can definitely tell," he said, and chuckled. "Listen, I just wanted to apologize for the other night."

"Huh?" she asked, realizing that this sound seemed to come out of her mouth whenever he was around, making her look completely dumb.

"I know I was probably a total dick. I was just kinda hung over."

"At midnight?" she asked, her eyes bulging. Who the hell was hung over at midnight? Most people were drunk then, not hung over.

"I work nights so I always end up drinking with my friends after work. Then if I can't sleep in the afternoon, I'm just up until my shift," he said. "In fact, I'm due for work right now. So..."

He was obviously waiting for her to participate in the conversation. She tried to think of something to say. She had nothing. Nothing she could say out loud, that is.

"So anyways, take care," he said.

He started to walk away, and she knew she should let him because it was pointless trying to befriend someone like him. Someone cool . But she just didn't want him to have to stand in that long line. He was probably super sleepy if he needed Red Bull, and was going to be late for work.

"Hey wait," she said, and beckoned him back. "You can go ahead of me."

He looked surprised.

"I mean, you look like you're in a hurry," she explained.

"Well I kinda am..." he said, hesitantly.

"It's no problem, really."

"Thanks," he said, and got in line with her. "So what are you listening to?"

"Job For a Cowboy."

"Nice. I wouldn't have figured you for Death Metal," he said.

"Nobody ever does. But little do they know, I have many dark interests," she said, and laughed secretively.

"Is that so? Like what? Besides shopping at porn shops," he whispered.

She started laughing again.

"Well, I am giving my apartment a sort of gothic makeover," she said. "It's really light right now, it's like living in a birthday cake. I want it to look like its Halloween all the time in there. I can't really paint or anything, since I rent. But I'm thinking of buying black fabric to make my walls black sort of nonpermanently, ya know? But I think it'll be such a pain to put it all up. Cause you know they say that you just have to use liquid starch to adhere the fabric to the wall and then when you're ready to take it down you just spray it with water and peel it off and it leaves no damage, but that sounds a little too good to be true."

She stopped talking there, realizing that she was probably talking too much.

"You know what, we have these fabric panels at the shop. They come in cool designs or just black. They're easy to hang. You should come by and check them out," he suggested.

"Sure. I will," she said, grinning like a lunatic.

'We're getting along! We're getting along!' she thought, happily. 'Maybe we can be friends?!'

They stood there in awkward silence for awhile, moving up bit by bit as the line moved. They were getting closer and closer to the checkout. She tried to think of something to say. Again, she had nothing.

"So, you've got a lot of healthy food there," he said, gesturing to her cart. "Are you a health nut?"

"Me? Nah! I'm just allergic to everything," she said, and giggled. "Milk, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, gluten. And that's just the things I know of. There could be others. I hope not, though."


"Yeah," she sighed, and nodded. Then she immediately wished she had <b>not</b> just said any of that.

'Why did I have to say that? Why couldn't I just say yes and change the subject?! Dear God, let this line move before I say anything else stupid!' she prayed.

"Well, looks like we're next," he said, as two self-checkout stations opened up. "See you later?"

"Oh definitely!" she cried and waved, vigorously.

As they walked to their separate stations she thought 'Did I just wave ?'' and fought the urge to hang her head in shame.

But it was alright. Because later that night, after her WoW marathon, she was going into his shop again to see about those panels. And she was going to convince him once and for all that she could be cool, too.


June 2012

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