Author: Rhunt PM
Working title. Aven and Ayanna are two sisters with a tragic past. They remodel their home to bring in tenants, and soon find themselves with a burnt out actor and writer. Together the four will find friendship and love, as they battle their pasts.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Angst - Chapters: 20 - Words: 143,291 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 05-24-11 - Published: 06-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2820215
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Fictionpress' updated screwed up all my spacing and organization of my stories, so please forgive the wall of text. Visit my website or forum to read it with actual paragraph spacing (See profile).
The last of the money was spent and the renovations to the house were completed. Besides the kitchen, the upstairs and basement were fully functional apartments for new tenants. Aven had been given the house when her mother passed away three years earlier. Her father had past away when she was young and she barely had any memory of him; her two younger sisters remembered nothing. Aven had been promised the house because of her long term relationship with her boyfriend and her mother thought she would be the first to need the house. It was unfortunate that her mother had taken her boyfriend with her that night to the store as neither of them ever came back.
If her mother knew what would have happened she would have left the house to Azelea, who was married now with a child on the way. Instead, Aven and Ayanna lived together in a house they couldn't afford. Aven hadn't worked in the seven years she was with her boyfriend and had even quit college to help him get through it, while Ayanna suffered from middle child syndrome and refused to do any hard work. She mostly suckled off any men that would pay a bill or two for her.
The house renovations and tenants had been Ayanna's idea, while her sister had fought her tooth and nail from the beginning. The only way she agreed to it was if Ayanna took full responsibility of the tenants, and thus they ended up with a house with three living rooms, three bathrooms, and six bedrooms. Had Aven known what would be in store for her, she probably would have never allowed this to happen, but as it happened she couldn't see into the future and would never know what was about to change in her family, life, and world.
"I've got both of them moving in on Saturday." Ayanna sat at the small round table in the kitchen. She had recently dyed her hair black and had it curled, but with her pale skin she looked like a generic vampire, especially with her naturally thin frame.
"Whatever." Aven sat at the table with a bowl of rice krispies in front of her. She had one arm wrapped around it, and her face stared into the milky whiteness of her meal.
Ayanna brushed her sister's strawberry blond hair back away from the food. "So, you are fine that it's guys, right?"
"Whatever." She repeated.
Ayanna watched her sister for a moment. She remembered when she used to smile and laugh. Even though she had always been a serious person, she had times when she let it all go. Of course, she had taken it the hardest when their mother died, not just because her boyfriend had died the same day. She was best friends with their mother, and she relied on both of them for everything, but now she was alone. It had always been mother and Curtis that had brought out her more relaxed and fun side. It seemed like that part of her had died with them.
She looked so skinny now. Not that her sister was ever large, but she used to run and lift weights which gave her some definition. She also ate actual food, but now she only seemed to eat cereal, pre-made tapioca, and slim jims. Aven had always been slightly thicker than her sisters, but that was all due to her hourglass figure, where Azelea and Ayanna shared a much slimmer and straight figure. Neither of them could get past a hundred and twenty pounds no matter what they ate, while Aven had always kept a steady one forty. Now, she was certain that her sister weighed less than her.
Ayanna couldn't remember the last time she had seen her sister smile. The only time she heard any friendliness in her voice was when she was working tech support in the living room where the office was set up. "Do you want to go drinking with me tonight?" She asked when the guilt began to build in her chest.
"No." Aven sighed loudly and then looked up at her sister. "Is that all you needed to tell me?" Her gray eyes were dim, not at all like the Aven who used to look like she had a secret hidden behind them where everyone was the butt of her little joke.
"The guy upstairs is Noah Hughs. He is some sort of writer. He said that he is really quiet and that he'll be locked away most of the time and we will hardly ever see him."
"Downstairs will be..." Ayanna clapped her hands in an excited manner. "Do you remember Tristan Patel?" She waited for a response but got none. "When he was younger he was in a boy band and then was in a couple movies, mostly romantic comedies. Anyway, apparently he spent and gambled away his fortune, had that big scandal a while back, and is just a complete nothing now. He gets by on a couple appearances here and there, but he is going back to college." She laughed. "He's like twenty seven now. Could you imagine being that huge and then falling back to Earth like that? Must have been hard, but still funny. I hear he was a huge dick. Anyway, he still has a manager who set the whole thing up. Apparently, he makes so little now he can't even afford his own apartment, besides we are close to the college. You could probably walk him there."
"How did you manage to find a writer and a burnt out actor?" Aven seemed genuinely interested in her answer for the first time in weeks.
"Some guy I was sleeping with for a while there was an agent and he asked around. Apparently, neither of them like to cook and clean, and so I offered to do both so they are willing to pay extra to live here." She clapped her hands again. "This will be exciting, won't it?"
"Whatever." Aven put her bowl in the sink. "I have to start answering calls." She mumbled before heading into the living room.
Ayanna sighed as she looked around the kitchen and tried to think if it should be cleaned. The kitchen had two stairways on each side, both with a lockable door. They lead to the basement and the upstairs. The kitchen would be the center of the three households since there was only one. The third door near the fridge in the room led to their living room and was also lockable. Finally, the forth door was the main door for everyone that opened up to the porch. It was exactly how she had envisioned it to be. This Saturday was something she was definitely looking forward to. Not that either men were eligible to date her, but she was finally happy to have someone in the house that might actually talk to her.
Saturday came quickly enough. Ayanna helped the men carrying in their boxes, while Aven could only hear what was going on through the door. She was locked away in the living room working and didn't even come out to investigate when her sister screamed in pain when she dropped a box of books on her foot.
Ayanna hadn't personally met the tenants before and allowed her male friend to make the call. She didn't tell her sister as she knew that Aven wouldn't like that her sister hadn't felt them out before hand. Of course, that was Ayanna remembering the old Aven, the new one might just shrug and say whatever.
Noah Hughs was the first to arrive. He wasn't what Ayanna had expected. She thought of a professor in a brown suit with glasses, but instead Noah looked to be in his early to mid-thirties. While he was dressed in nice clothing it was nothing too formal. Simple slacks and a white button up shirt that he wore an apron over. He had a great deal of books and book shelves, plus art supplies for painting. The rest of his items were rather generic although stylish and very much what Ayanna had experienced in the past. She called it bachelor pad style, which was mostly modern looking items that were usually glass or black.
He had specifically asked for the upstairs area as he said he needed the sunlight since his work required him to remain indoors often. Tristan had said that he preferred the basement anyway, so it hadn't been an issue.
Ayanna wiped the dust away from her hands and smiled at Noah. He had light green eyes that were hidden slightly by his black framed glass. His hair was curly and black. He stood tall and thin, but he obviously just didn't eat much.
"That looks like everything." She said to him as he put together a book shelf that he had broken down earlier that morning. "If you need anything you can use the intercom to contact me."
"Actually, if you have a moment." Noah's voice was deeper than she was used to hearing, but she found it to be attractive.
"Those boxes of books behind you. Could you open them and see whether they are for business or pleasure? I forgot to mark them."
"How will I tell the difference?"
He smirked, "Pleasure books would be fictional and business would be more along the lines of textbooks and the like."
"Oh, ok." She turned around and found a box cutter to open the boxes. "Mister Hughs, what kind of books do you write?"
"Just call me Noah, please." He said as he continued to put the book shelf back together. "Right now, I am a ghost writer for several authors, but I did have a book on the best seller a few years back."
"Oh?" She turned to look at him. "What was it called?"
"First Nothing. You probably never heard of it. It's a story about a young boy who has to make it through the foster system, and how he is moved around and has no stability. He is also abused at times, and eventually meets this girl..." He cut himself off. "It's a tear jerker but has a good ending."
"I'll have to check it out sometime."
"I have a copy around here, if you truly mean that." He chuckled knowing that most people that say that aren't serious. When she didn't respond, he changed the subject. "You have a sister?"
"I have two, but I suspect you are talking about the one that lives with us."
"Yes, is she at work?"
Ayanna shook her head. "No, well, yes. She works in the living room for some tech support company. She's not very friendly."
He gave a nod and stood up to push his newly built bookshelf against the wall. "Are you all done?" He asked when he noticed she had stopped looking through boxes.
"No, I..." The doorbell rang. "That's probably our other tenant."
"Please, don't allow me to keep you."
Ayanna opened the front door and smiled at her new tenant. "Tristan, nice to meet you. I'm Ayanna."
He grunted and stepped inside the kitchen. He was taller than Noah with a thin but built frame. His hair was a sandy blonde that framed his blue eyes. He was still as handsome as he had been when she was a teenager. When she was younger she used to idolize the band that he was in, but she had gotten over them years before.
"I'm Eric." Another man with long black hair pulled into a low ponytail stepped inside. "Tristan's agent."
She smiled and shook his hand. "Nice to meet you. Ayanna." Her deep blue eyes turned to Tristan, "Your room is just over here and the key is on the table. Do you need any help with bringing your things in?"
"We have hired help." Eric informed her and then stepped outside the door to wave the movers in. He directed them to the basement and then looked to Tristan. "Don't cause any trouble. Go to school and practice your lines, understand?"
He shrugged before heading down into the basement.
"Is he upset right now?" She asked when she thought he was no longer within ear shot.
"That's just how he is. Always has been."
"Great, so there are two of them and one shut in book mouse." She sighed and put her hands on her hips, then looked at Eric with a grin. "I was hoping for someone to talk to."
He flashed her a large smile, "Tristan warms up if you give him a chance. He was just never the friendly one. I think that's why people thought he was rude, because he doesn't have that filter that tells him what to say or how to say it."
"So, that's him just being shy?"
He nodded. "You could put it like that." Eric moved out of the door way when one of the workers came up from the basement to head back outside. "If you don't mind." He reached into the inner pocket of his sports coat and pulled out a piece of paper. "I prepared some information for you, so that you can better care for him. He has a guitar which he is only allowed to play during the day. If he plays it at night that means he is sleepless and needs some sleeping pills. Sometimes he gets stuck on a line, if..." He waved his hand and offered the piece of paper to her. "It's all in there. I don't have to read it out loud to you. If at any point you have a problem my number is in there as well."
"You are like a father leaving his child overnight."
Eric chuckled. "He's been living with me for the past couple of years, but I think that wasn't helping him. He had no real incentive to get a job and continue his schooling. He was just mooching off of me. I'm his friend but there is only so much you can do for a person until you have to kick them out and make them survive on their own."
Ayanna nodded. "Well, don't worry. I'll take care of him."
"Thank you. Ayanna, was it?"
"Then I shall be heading out. It was a pleasure meeting you."
She waved at him as he left the kitchen and a smile came over her lips. That man would be a target in the near future, she was certain of it.
Dinner was awkward. Tristan ate his meal quietly at the table and Aven was hunched over her cereal as per usual. Noah seemed to be the only normal person and even he was a little quiet for Ayanna to take. Of course, she never did like pauses in conversation, they made her nervous.
"Is your dinner alright? If you guys don't like something you can tell me and I won't make it again. Alright?"
Noah grinned as he looked up from his plate. "Everything is wonderful, Ayanna. I'm not a picky eater."
"Brussels sprouts." Tristan spoke for the first time.
Her eyes turned to him. "You don't like them?" She watched him nod. "Well, the only one who ever cooked them was Aven, but she doesn't cook anymore so you don't have to worry."
"What do you do, Aven?" Noah asked. He had been watching her since she had sat down at the table.
Her hair and clothes were disheveled. Her eyes were empty of emotion as if she were a woman who had given up on life entirely.
"She does tech support for a computer company." Ayanna answered when she realized her sister probably didn't hear him. She noticed that Noah didn't respond to her and continue to watch Aven.
"I asked you a question." He spoke with some irritation in his voice.
"She is probably spaced out. She does that sometimes." Ayanna slammed her hand on the table causing all the items on the table to create their own unique sounds.
Aven looked up from her bowl slowly.
"Noah asked you what you do for a living?"
Annoyance crossed over her eyes briefly. "I was told that all I had to do was eat cereal at the table." Her eyes returned to her cereal bowl and she started eating with slight more speed.
Noah cocked his head and continued to watch her. She eventually got up and left her bowl on the table as she went back into her living room. At that time, he finally turned his eyes to Ayanna.
"Our mother and her boyfriend died in a car accident three years ago. She hasn't really recovered." She tried to make an excuse quickly.
Tristan looked up from his own meal at that point.
"I'm sorry." Noah responded.
"She took it the hardest. Our mom was more like a best friend to her. She has always been introverted, but mom and Curtis could bring her out of her shell." She sighed. "We are all waiting for her to break through on her own a little."
Tristan could have sworn he had heard something like that from Eric about himself. He turned his eyes to the closed door the girl had just exited through.
"Don't tell strangers such things about me." Aven said sternly but without any emotion as Ayanna entered their dark living room. The drapes were closed and the lamps were off. The only light source was from the computer screen.
"Because it's private and they don't need to know."
Shrugging her shoulders, Ayanna knew she wouldn't be able to win this one and left the room.
Aven decided that her sister's silence meant that she had won the argument. She wasn't working at that point but she didn't really sleep more than a few hours a night, so she played solitaire for hours at a time on the computer.
An hour passed and it was near midnight when there was a knock on the door that led into the kitchen. At first, she decided she would ignore it, but it continued for nearly five minutes. Standing up slowly, she opened the door to find Noah.
"I didn't want to use the intercom and wake your sister, because I saw a light and thought you might still be awake." He told her as he leaned against the door frame.
Aven stared at him blankly and waited for him to tell her what he needed.
Her eyes locked on him gave him an uneasy feeling. "I can't find the coffee. I brought my own coffee maker, but I ran out of coffee early today and forgot to buy some."
Stepping into the kitchen, Aven checked the cupboards quietly. When she was finished, she looked toward him. "We are out."
"Do you know where I could get some around here?"
"There is a convenience store three blocks away." She began to head toward her section of the house, but Noah stood in her way.
"I'm new to the neighborhood. Could you walk with me?"
Walking over to the front door, Aven slipped on some flip flops that she kept there and opened the door.
Noah smirked. The woman's hair was a mess, she wore no make-up, and she was dressed in pajamas he was certain she hadn't changed in days. His own attire was black slacks and a white button up shirt. They would be a sight to see out together past midnight.
Noah hadn't stopped smirking the entire time. She had gone into the convenience store dressed the way she was, and had even grabbed a package of ground coffee to purchase for herself. Not for one second did she look concerned at the looks several people gave her.
She hadn't spoke at all on their walk there, and as they returned home, Noah's interest in the girl had grown. He wondered if this was really something she did due to depression or if she was just a strange woman. She hadn't put up any fight about walking him to the store and normally he would have thought she would be loathed to leave the house.
"Don't you feel uncomfortable?"
She looked up at him and seemed to ask him why she would be with her eyes.
"Dressed like that. People were watching you."
She shrugged her shoulder. "Whatever."
"It doesn't affect my life." She wiped her nose on her sleeve.
"You are also out past midnight with a stranger. Doesn't that bother you?"
She continued to look forward as they walked. "You asked me to come."
He shook his head uncertain if she knew what he had been trying to imply. "I find you to be very interesting."
She didn't respond.
"From a writer's perspective that is. I wrote a book that was on the best seller's list years ago, but I've never been able to come up with an idea since. You think I could use you for a character profile?"
"Do you read?"
"Have you ever read First Nothing?"
"Is that your book?" Her eyes turned to him briefly as they approached the driveway of the old Victorian home.
"Yes. I'm not trying to get you to read it. I was just curious. It's strange how a book can make a best seller list and yet there are so many people who have never heard of it." He sighed. "Then again the world has so many entertainment outlets now that reading isn't much of a pastime anymore."
"Do you have a copy?"
He chuckled, "You don't have to read it."
She didn't speak again and he took that as her taking back her offer. Aven unlocked the front door and stepped inside with Noah following in behind her. He shut and locked the door, and watched Aven begin to make coffee.
"I have a French press upstairs, even this cheap coffee tastes better that way. Do you want to join me?"
Her blatant response almost made him laugh out loud. "You don't feel comfortable being in a man's apartment?"
She began to put three tablespoons of coffee into the filter. "You seem very interested in my comfort."
"That's probably the longest sentence I have ever heard you speak." He leaned against the counter next to her with a grin on his lips. "I bet you'd be pretty all cleaned up with your hair and make up done."
"I am." She pressed the on button on her coffee maker and began to head for her section of the house.
"Goodnight, Aven." He said as she shut the door without a response to him.
Tristan didn't bother brushing his hair and came up the stairs for breakfast. There was a schedule in the house and he had to follow it if he wanted someone to make his meals for him. Seven in the morning was breakfast, no exceptions. He had always been good at keeping schedules at least even if he was a loser in everything else, he had thought.
The stairs beneath his feet would creak from time to time and he wondered if people in the kitchen could hear him coming. He didn't like the idea of not being stealthy. As he opened the door to the kitchen, the dining table was revealed to him and only one person sat at it. The strange sister who didn't like to talk. This was his first breakfast here and he wondered if he was late or early.
"Uh..." He groaned as he approached the table.
Aven didn't even look up from her crouched position and simply placed her hand on a piece of paper on the table.
Tristan picked it up and read the short note. It simply stated that there was an emergency that morning and Ayanna had to go out. She asked him to eat cereal. As he put the note back down on the table, Aven slid three boxes of a variety of cereals at him followed by a bowl.
Tristan chose the frosted flakes and poured himself a bowl before he fetched the milk from the refrigerator. He wondered in that time why the upstairs tenant had not come down for his breakfast.
Sitting down at the table, he began to eat his cereal. At first, he thought it would be awkward as the night before at least Ayanna and Noah were chirping away, but as he ate his meal he found solace in the silence. She wasn't trying to force him into any boring small talk over a meal, which was something he despised more than having to shake hands and sign autographs.
The girl was weird, but guessed so was he. He remembered what her sister had said about her the night before about breakfast. The whole bit about breaking out of her shell kept ringing in his mind, because he had heard it over and over about himself. He wonder though, why did he need to break out? If he was comfortable in the shell and he enjoyed it's tight embrace, then why did everyone tell him he couldn't stay? Why was it that everyone wanted everyone around them to be exactly the same? Who had the right to tell someone what is healthy and what makes you happy?
Aven suddenly stood up and grabbed her coffee cup to pour herself another. It had startled him as the sudden squeak of her chair had disrupted their silence.
He pointed toward the coffee machine, "Could..."
She nodded her head as she pulled out another coffee cup. He hadn't even asked the question and he didn't think she had looked at him to see where he was pointing. She returned and set his cup in front of him.
"It's strong." She warned as she sat back down. "Add water if you don't like it." She didn't even look at him while she spoke. Aven simply returned her head to hover over her bowl with her hair draped around it like a wall guarding her from the outside world.
He began to eat his cereal again as he enjoyed the silence around him. No forced conversation and no need to pretend to be pleasant. This girl was his favorite, he had already decided that.
As he came to that conclusion, the upstairs door opened and Noah appeared. "Sorry, I'm late. I was up alright writing." He poured himself some coffee. "I have a deadline coming up next week, so I have to have it finished and I think I still have a third of it to go."
Tristan didn't like this guy, he had decided in that moment. The silence was no more with him around.
Noah turned around and seemed a little surprised. "Where is Ayanna?"
Both Tristan and Aven put their hand on the small note, which caused their fingers to collide briefly. Aven pulled back her hand and allowed Tristan to raise up the note for the other man in the room.
Noah read it over and nodded. "Alright." He sat down at the table and poured himself some cereal, before looking at Aven. "That coffee was better than I thought it would be. Who would have thought you could get some decent coffee from a convenience store."
Aven didn't respond to him, which made Tristan chuckle on the inside.
"Thanks for walking me there. I don't think I thanked you last night, but I guess you needed coffee too, so we both got something out of it." Noah smirked. "Are you in your own world again?"
"No." Aven sat back briefly, before she stood up and headed through the door to her living room.
"She was quite chatty, for her anyway, last night." Noah told Tristan who was as silent as Aven was. "No talking over meals with you two then? Alright, fair enough."
Ayanna smiled as she entered into the studio at Scott who was sitting behind a table reading over some resumes. He owned the whole office building and rented out some of it to other businesses, but the studio and a couple other offices belonged to his group. He ran a website that was pay by the minute to watch girls preforming mostly sexual acts live. The men could also ask the women to do certain things for them via the live chat.
Scott Pearson had been her friend since the first day of high school. He had been a nerd back then that was picked on for the way he looked. Ayanna protected him from the other kids since she was popular, and eventually found out he came from a wealthy family almost a year into their friendship. Even though she often targeted rich men to pay her way through life, Scott was off limits. He was her best friend and she had never taken a single dime from him that she hadn't earned.
Scott was a far cry from the nerd she prevented from going into the cafeteria dumpster. He had grown into his lanky body and it had filled out over the years. He eventually got lasik eye surgery that practically rid his need for glasses, though he often still needed them for reading and driving. His dark brown hair was straight and stylish, instead of the bowl-like cut he used to sport. Overall, he was an attractive enough man.
He wasn't at all the slimy figure one would imagine in the porn industry. He had bought the business as it was failing. His ideas had made the company as big as it was and he often credited that to Ayanna's help in assisting him in picking models. He often said that his way wasn't as dirty because the girls were almost always alone in their videos, unless they invited a second girl or a boyfriend into the mix. Ayanna didn't know what to think of the industry, she only knew that he would often give her extra cash if she worked for him from time to time.
"Mister Pearson." Ayanna said as she walked across the length of the studio, her heels clanked against the wooden floor.
Scott's deep green eyes looked up from the resumes in front of him and he smiled widely. "Miss Knowles." They jokingly called each other by their last names at work. It was something that Ayanna had started a long time ago.
Standing up, Ayanna and he hugged briefly before they both sat back down. "A lot of resumes here."
"There are a lot of girls waiting to be seen."
"How many models do you need?" She asked as she took half the stack.
"Our demand is increasing, so I want about ten right now." He cleared his throat as he looked over another resume. "Maybe I should do fifteen to be on the safe side."
"Should I be one?" Ayanna joked and pushed her hair up before pressing out her lips.
"No." Scott snapped before he even got the chance to look at her.
She raised an eyebrow. "What? I'm not pretty enough to be one of your models?"
"It's not that, Ayanna. I just don't... it would be uncomfortable for you... for me to have you working with me in that capacity." He cleared his throat again and returned his eyes to the resumes. He was putting them in order of the girls he wanted to see first since they were already arriving.
"I was only joking anyway." She folded her arms and leaned back in her chair.
Scott knew she was angry with him, but the truth of the matter is that he didn't want the world to see her. He had always wanted this girl for himself but the scared little nerd in him still felt he wasn't good enough for her. It still angered him when he found out she had slept with another guy to pay off a bill, even though he had offered to help her time and time again. Why was some one else's money good enough but not his? He didn't even ask for her to sleep with him. He had plenty of money to go around and he was more than willing to help out the girl who helped him so often growing up. She never took his help and she never seemed bothered when he found himself a girlfriend. Of course, none of those girls were ever good enough for him.
"Don't be mad. I just don't want my best friend doing those things." He finally told her.
Ayanna sighed. "Fine." She began to go through the resumes. "You owe me a smoothie for making me upset."
"Alright, as soon as we are done here. I'll buy you lunch too."
Aven hung up the phone after her sister had called to say she wasn't going to be able to make lunch for them either. Somehow, she knew that her sister would flake on her responsibilities towards the new tenants, but she didn't think it would be the first day in.
Turning around to Noah and Tristan who were waiting at the table for their lunch, she shrugged her shoulders and looked around the kitchen for something easy to make. They had both heard her end of the conversation, and she was certain they knew that Ayanna wasn't coming home.
"I pay extra here so someone will make my meals." Noah announced with irritation in his voice.
Tristan continued to watch Aven to see what she would come up with.
"I..." She silenced herself when the idea of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches seemed too daunting of a task for her.
Noah sighed and pushed his chair away from the table as he stood up. "Only once will I do this. From now on, I will subtract money from the extra I pay from my rent each month for every time my meals are not prepared at the designated time."
He pulled out a frying pan and slammed it on the stove, followed by some bread and American sliced cheese that were also dropped harshly on the counter. Tristan watched him calmly then looked at Aven, who seemed to be perfectly neutral to Noah's annoyance as she sat down.
"Does anyone like mayo on their grilled cheese?"
Neither of them said anything so he assumed that he was the only one as he pulled the mayonnaise out of the fridge. He could make two sandwiches at once in the pan, so he turned to find out how many they wanted.
"How many do you each want?"
Tristan held up two fingers, before Aven spoke. "I am having cereal." She reached for her box that was always on the table.
Walking over to the table quickly, Noah snatched the box away. "I am offering to cook you a sandwich. Don't you think you could be polite enough to eat one?"
"I don't eat bread or cheese." She spoke coolly and didn't seem to be bothered by his temper.
Noah cocked his head as he looked down at her. "Come to think of it, all I have ever seen you eat is rice krispies."
She didn't say anything and simply dropped her head. Aven didn't feel like she had to explain herself to this man.
"This is why you look half starved. How much do you weigh? Like eighty pounds?"
The box was snatched out of Noah's hand and Tristan placed it in front of Aven. "She meant no thank you." Noah thought that was the first complete sentence he had heard out of the boy. He stared at him as Tristan sat back down.
"Alright. I am wrong here. I apologize. You are an adult and have every right to eat whatever you want." He took a deep breath before walking back to the frying pan that was warming up on the stove. "Two for Tristan and two for me then."
As he cooked their sandwiches, someone rang the doorbell. Tristan stood up to answer and found a tall woman with dark brown wavy hair standing on the porch. She wore a white skirt suit with a dark purple shirt underneath with her shoes matching the shirt. She dropped a cigarette that was in her hand and stomped it out on the porch before she smiled. Tristan thought she was probably in her mid to late thirties.
"Hello, darling, is this the residence of Noah Hughs?"
Her voice made Noah cringe visibly, but no one noticed as Aven's head was in her bowl and Tristan was looking at the woman.
"Come in, Camille." Noah sighed and watched as Tristan stepped aside to let the woman in.
Tristan found peace again when Noah and the beautiful older woman went up to his apartment. He could eat his meal in the ease of Aven's non-expecting aura. She wouldn't try to talk to him and she would allow her hair to be a wall between them. When Noah had appeared at the breakfast table that morning, he had continued to speak to him even after saying it was alright that he didn't talk. He knew that lunch would be the same.
He didn't know who that woman was but he was glad for her presence, even if Noah seemed jarred by it. Hearing from Eric that he would be forced to eat meals with others, he had dreaded moving into the house. He had asked Eric if he could just take the food downstairs, but his manager told him that it was be incredibly rude. He also mentioned how it would be healthy for him to eat with other people.
However, if this continued maybe Noah would move out and he could eat his meals in peace. Ayanna could miss all the meals she wanted, and he was getting what Eric wanted for him; someone who he could eat meals with.
He took a deep breath as he continued to eat his grilled cheese sandwich. The only sounds made was the occasional spoon bumping into his bowl, and the noise Aven made when she put the spoon in her mouth. These were completely acceptable for the lunch table, and in some way it was soothing to hear. Eric had been right in a way, he did need to find someone to eat with. It made the meals less lonely, but now there was no expectation. This was only his third time eating a meal with her, but he already liked her more than he did that morning.
She didn't expect anything from him, and more than likely she probably enjoyed the fact that he wasn't bothering her either. She seemed so comfortable eating in his presence unlike most people who seemed nervous over how silent he was.
The one thing that always bothered Eric and pretty much everyone close to him was how he never kept friends for long. Those people he did call friends often wanted him to go out clubbing with them or wanted to force him into doing things he was uncomfortable with. Eric was constantly on him about finding a friends to hang around with, even if it was only one. He wondered if he could use this girl to his advantage. If Eric thought he had a friendship with her, then perhaps he wouldn't be nagged so much.
Though he wondered if this girl would take his invitation the wrong way, would she think that he was interested in her? If he told her why he wanted it, she would probably be offended. He shook the idea from his head for the moment. It was too soon for him to do anything anyway. He was once again getting excited by himself and jumping too far ahead.
Eric had told him a million times that personal relationships were about timing, and not seeming too eager or else he could scare people off. He never really understand it though. If two people liked each other and wanted to be friends, why couldn't they just invite each other out? Why was there a need to get a feel for one another? Of course, that was something that had always been a problem for him. He just didn't understand other people and their little games.
"Would you like something to drink?" Aven voice broke through his thought process.
Tristan looked up at the girl who was finished with her food and whose eyes were on him. "I can get it myself, thank you." After he spoke, he wondered if that sounded too rude.
Aven nodded gently, then left her bowl on the table before disappearing into her own cave. There were now two dirty cereal bowls on the table, as he and Noah had washed their own that morning. He decided to wash them after he finished his last sandwich, as that would be something a friend would do, right?