She stubbed out her half smoked cigarette in the ash tray containing two burnt out butts, as loud knocking came from the front door. She hurried over to open the door and she was handed a tiffin tower and a paper bag containing fresh rotis. The delivery man looked nervous as his eyes darted between herself and the tall paladin; her escort who was guarding the door. He left as soon as she handed him the coin, the paladin looked more at ease now that the man had gone. Shutting the door with a soft click she returned to the balcony and set the food out taking a moment a two longer than necessary as she worked up the courage to let Julia know that dinner had arrived. It was just food, she reminded herself.
There was a knot in her stomach as she made her way down to the second level of the flat, where Julia’s office was.
She had not eaten alone with Julia since...well since they were a couple and that was over four years ago. Why was it that neither of them could get over the other? It was like the gods or the fates wanted to torture them. Julia’s home still contained so many of her memento’s in it, she knew Julia was adversed to change but this felt like agony, to be reminded daily of what they had and then the constant reminder of the mistake she had made. Inhaling she knocked on the door, turning the handle she stepped into the room and could not help but smile at the sight before her. Julia was sat on the floor before her, hastily making notes as she referenced multiple books, papers piled all over the place. Julia was so wound up in what she was doing She had not noticed her or heard the knock. She looked stunning.
“There’s food upstairs if you’re hungry.” Eliza quietly interrupted her, feeling guilty as Julia looked up startled at her. Her messy curls framing her sharp face as she responded.
“I’ll be there in a moment.”
Eliza nodded as she closed the door and went back upstairs. She refilled her glass of wine and leaned on the balcony edge, her arms resting on the ledge her glass dangled over it as she took in the view of the city. She loved the view she got from Julia’s top floor flat, she lived so central and was surrounded by markets and restaurants. It was also conveniently placed near the university that Julia taught, which was why Julia had rented an extremely small flat in the complex earlier in her life. She hated change so much she did not want to move when her landlord became bothersome and bought the entire complex from them instead. It wasn’t until she had started to live with Julia and learned she owned the property that she convinced her to renovate the building and expand into the upstairs flat. That way they could comfortably live in a spacious flat and have an area dedicated to her study.
“You didn’t have to sort out dinner.” Julia's delicate voice travelled across the balcony towards her, she turned around and watched her sit down at the table. Eliza walked over and poured Julia a glass of red wine before she took the seat opposite her.
“It’s the least I could do for you taking the time to teach me. The cats have been fed so you don’t need to worry about it tonight.” Eliza responded to her with a tender smile as she began to help herself to a portion of palak aloo, she broke off a piece of roti to scoop it up with.
“I appreciate this, thank you.” Julia self consciously replied as she helped herself to larger portions of the food than Eliza as she continued to talk. “I think it’s been some time since I’ve ordered food.”
“I hope this was okay? You know how hopeless I am in the kitchen.” Eliza said, Julia made an amused noise, a smile hinted on her lips.
“I remember. You’re not as bad as you claim to be.” Eliza laughed at Julia’s response as she helped herself to some dal.
“Clearly we’re remembering things very differently.” Eliza took a sip of her wine as she ripped the roti.
“Maybe, I do distinctly remember enjoying what you had made.” Julia responded between empty mouthfuls.
“But what of the mess and the process in getting there. That in itself was chaos.” Eliza teasingly said to Julia. The tall wizard leaned in and looked at Eliza with a dead serious expression on her face.
“Let's never speak of that moment again...it was your least graceful moment.” Julia finished saying as she leaned back with the largest grin on her face, even though she wasn’t laughing outwardly at her, she knew she was.
“Are you laughing at me Julia?” Eliza chuckled as she asked Julia in a mock accusatory voice.
“Me, laugh? Never.” The grin still on her face, her fingers tapped against the table repeatedly, which gave away her laughter.
“Very well, I shall cook for you tomorrow. You’ll be fine with my creative process right?” Eliza’s aquamarine eyes twinkled as she stared over at the blonde half elf.
“That sounds delightful. Will you bring a servant to clean up after yourself?” Julia jokingly responded.
“Alas I shall rely on thy magics and learn invisible servants to do so.” She posed dramatically and gave a flirtatious wink at her before she continued to eat.
“Does that mean you managed to learn the spell?” Julia asked her excitedly, the tip of her fingers pressed together.
“Yes, I managed to do it earlier and then realised how late it was. Made sense that I arranged food since you kindly lent me the resources.” Eliza responded.
“It’s great that you mastered it in a matter of hours. The food is welcome.” A ghost of a smile appeared on Julia’s face as brushed stray blonde strands out of her face. “Sorry, I was wrapped up in my research and distracted.”
“It’s fine, it’s what you’d be doing if you weren’t spending the week teaching me. I really do appreciate you taking the time to show me.” Eliza leaned forward, her hand covering Julia’s as she looked into her brown eyes. She smiled softly as she squeezed her hand, faltering as Julia ran her thumb over her knuckles. She quickly picked up the bottle of wine and topped both their glasses up. There was something in the way that Julia looked at her that made her feel uncertain. Was it her or did it feel like a warmer night? She sipped her drink as Julia went in for second helpings.