His eyes are dangerous, she thinks.
She offers him coffee, he drinks, still watching her, she smiles but falters. She is not comfortable. He is not comfortable. Then what are they doing?
He's dangerous. She thinks again. From the way he tips his lighter and his cigarette to the way he eyes her with his sparkling beetle black eyes, hair crossing the forehead in the boyish offhand manner. He is dangerous in all those ways. She smiles politely, crossing her arms over her chest. He grins. He understands her feminish defense and she cringes a little. She is twelve years old and caught. She stops cringing to grin back a feeble grin and begins to fidget.
"So what do you dream about?"
Her breath is stuck, her fingers turn a little numb. Who asks that question? Women. He had no right to cross border. He had no right to breach the barrier. Only aliens can travel from Mars that fast. He surely was one, she thought haughtily.
Well, waddaya know. I was being defensive back there. Huh.
"I dream about green hills." She serves him some more chocolate mousse. "Here. Have some." This way he will not pay any attention to her. She had lived a childhood of being called ugly. She would never resolve that conflict, she thought unhappily.
He ignores the mousse and continues the intent stare. "And?"
"And they are green. That's about it. Hills are uninteresting."
"People who talk about dreaming of green hills aren't uninteresting. Go on."
He seems interested. Dangerous, but interested. Her heart gives a little wiggle. She chooses to ignore it as well as she can manage.
"There is someone I dream about," she finally says after a moment of reconsideration. What the hell. Right?
"See. Now we're getting somewhere." He lies back into the chair. Oh dear Lord. She stares at his eyes sparkling. What in God's name have I gotten myself into.
She continues. Her division is clear again. The yes and the no. She listens to both sides and as always, does what she feels like doing. Going over the edge.
"I dream of being untouched, undiluted. Faith. Undiluted. Hope. Undiluted. Dreams. Undiluted. I dream of a constant me, not this juggernaut of emotions, this dissatisfaction."
"You seem together enough."
"I am. They are social graces."
"Oh. I see. So you're a hypocrite."
"I'm a pretender."
"Aren't we all, lady. Come up with something original for Crissakes."
"I'm outta originality. How's that for a cliche."
"Pretty good, actually. Are you always this socially appropriate?"
"You say it like it's a bad thing."
"Not in the least. You carry it off well enough."
"The insinuating tone?"
He holds her gaze. This time she doesn't back down.
"My tone? Look at me. Do I look like I want to insult you tonight?"
She stares into the pitch-blackness of his gaze. The complete ambiguity, the worm hole she had walked into. She reads in the same darkness the words he cannot bring himself to say. She finds him empty and alone, hungry and confused. They are all dangerous things. As always she feels her hunger can feed his, her hands can reach out to his, but she turns away her gaze.
Tonight is not the moment.
Today is not the day.