This is one that's been running through my head for a few years, this is it's current form. Actualy it's a couple of story ideas I melded together.

Chapter 1 A Warped Reflection

I've always been different, my mind seems to work differently than most people. I watch those around me, weaving stories and ideas from what I see. I watch for the thing around the corner, knowing when things are coming before anyone else sees it. Sometimes this scares people, but if they just looked, they would see for themselves. They never do and so I am different.

I stood by the large bay window not staring in, but glancing at the reflection of the outdoor cafe across the street. I had time before I needed to head back home, so I did what I always did when I had free time. I watched people and put together their stories.

The man had drawn my attention, immediately. He didn't belong here, I knew everyone who fit here at this time of day and he wasn't one I had ever seen here before, but that wasn't what made him wrong.

He radiated tension, he hid it well, but I had been reading people since before I could talk. He glanced, too causually down the street looking for something or someone. When his glance rested on me for a moment, I didn't react, the instinct that had always served me well, told me that to react would be a fatal mistake. Then his glance moved on and I opened my purse and fished through it as if I was looking for something, soon I would have to move or he would notice me again.

He was the closest thing to myself I had ever found, I got the impression he could see too, at least to a limited extent, but it felt like it wasn't instinct to him. Perhaps it was something trained, that interested me greatly. I really wondered who would have the vision to train someone in this way. It was a mystery that kept my attention. Finally I pulled out some lip gloss and used it before walking to the corner to cross the street.

One of the things I had discovered about people, is that they never expected a direct action, especially if they were being sneaky. The trick was to know when they were expecting it the least. I crossed the street, feeling his eyes on me as I walked. Another thing I had noticed, is that people underestimated someone who looks like I do. Blond hair and large blue eyes could be an asset, I thought with amusement.

At eighteen, my age was an asset as well. People didn't truly expect intelligence from what they concidered a child. Though I had never really been what they considered a child anyway. Though, through the years I had learned to hide it well.

I choose a table just outside of hearing distance from the man, I didn't really need to hear anything he said. What one learned from body language and actions was enough to give a really good idea of what was happening. And if it gives him a measure of comfort, so much the better. I sat facing towards the side, almost out of sight, the reflection from the cafe glass giving me all the sight I needed. I didn't even have to watch him from the corner of my eye, though I was careful not to look at the reflection directly either. Sometimes others could tell if they were being watched if they met your eyes in a reflection. I had the feeling this man would be well aware of that fact.

The waiter came and took my order of iced tea, not an unreasonable order, though late afternoon, the days heat hadn't dispersed yet. I sat back in my chair obseving the man, while I waited for my order. He had relaxed slightly and pushed back his dark hair from his face. When I had walked by I had seen that his eyes were grey and wary.

I don't think he saw me looking though, the glance had been very quick and within character for the kind of girl I appeared to be. He was very handsome, but I had learned a long time ago that, handsome features were the least of a persons attractions. Some of the most evil people I had ever met, were attractive, even normal looking. If I hadn't been what I was, I would never have guessed what lay in their hearts.

I didn't sense anything like that in him though, if I had, I would never have come close to him. Though well versed in a couple of the martial arts, it was better not to take chances. Something I had learned the hard way as a child. The waiter brought me my tea and I paid him, I sensed that what we were waiting for would happen soon and It freed me to leave if I needed to.

I saw him wave to the waiter and nod in my direction, damn, I thought. I hadn't wanted him to notice me enough, to start checking me out. I wasn't too concerned though, the waiter knew me, I often came here at this time and always took this table, I fit in. And I was careful to only show what should be shown. Whatever the waiter had told him, relaxed his guard.

A slight smile on his face he glanced in my direction. I drank a sip of tea, for all the world lost in thought. Then his gaze sharpened on a spot beyond me and he sat up straight. It was happening, I could feel it.