It was downtown in a rainy city where Kayden dashed into a small café with barely anyone in it. He just wanted to get out of the rain since it was such a downpour. His hair was completely soaked, along with his clothes. He tried to wring out his shirt in the bathroom before combing his hair back out of his face. It was barely to his shoulders but had a mind of its own as loose strands dangled in front of his face. He left the bathroom and looked out the window. It was still raining. He turned and looked at the signs and walked to the back of the line in the café, wondering if he should order something.
“Can I help you, sir?” a woman with long curly brunette hair and green eyes asked. As he met her eyes, he immediately felt flutters in his stomach and stared quietly. She smiled at him.
“Are you looking for a certain kind of drink?” Felicia asked, and Kayden gulped and looked up at the menus and squinted his eyes.
“There…are so many to choose from…” Kayden admitted as he rubbed his chin and looked at all three of the chalkboards behind the counter. He honestly couldn't read the menu since his translator only worked on spoken language, not written.
“Are you looking to warm up? You look awfully cold—you’re soaking wet!” she exclaimed.
“I got caught up in it longer than I wanted to,” he said as he smiled back at her.
“But y-yeah…I’m looking to warm up,” he said.
“Do you like sweet or bitter?” Felicia asked.
“I don’t mind either, but how bitter?” Kayden asked, and Felicia smiled as she turned around with two sample cups and put coffee in them both but put cream in one. She handed them both to him, and he examined each cup and lifted the one with creamer, and sniffed it before drinking it. His eyes squinted as he tasted it and abruptly put it down. He then went to the other cup and paused until he looked at her smiling face then drank it. He was pleasantly surprised by how good it tasted to him.
“I like that one…what is it?” Kayden asked curiously.
“It’s just a normal cup of coffee,” Felicia said, and he grinned.
“I’ll uh…take a large…normal cup of coffee, please,” Kayden said as he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his soaked wallet. As soon as he saw how soaked it was, he groaned and looked at his sopping wet debit card. She handed him a few napkins, and he gladly took them as he tried to dry off his card before handing it to her. She rang it up, and he eyed the empty tip jar before opening his wallet and putting in two twenty-dollar bills. She blinked in surprise and looked up at him as he smiled back at her. She turned around to make him his coffee, then put on a lid and handed it to him. He reached for it and unknowingly touched her hand. He immediately felt a spark in his hearts that made them deeply throb. He paused as he realized he made a connection. He blushed as he looked down, and she blushed back before she let go and averted her eyes. She felt the spark too. He nervously felt inclined to do something rather forward, he saw an opportunity he thought he couldn’t afford to miss. He’d been searching in vain for a mate for centuries and never felt the way he did in that moment he met her. He eyed her and took a deep breath.
“Say…you wouldn’t happen to have a break coming up, would you?” Kayden asked shyly. She eyed him and saw that he was looking rather bashful. She could tell he was new to asking a girl out, and it made her giggle.
“Lara comes on shift in thirty minutes. Then I’ll be off work. What did you have in mind?” Felicia asked, and Kayden gulped.
“Well, I uh…I was thinking maybe, uh…” Kayden tried to think of something, he felt he had an opportunity he couldn’t afford to miss. Something about her was special.
“Why don’t we stroll to a restaurant and have dinner?” Felicia asked, and Kayden lit up.
“Yeah, that’s what I…I was going to ask,” Kayden said. She smiled.
“My name is Kayden,” he said as he looked at her.
“Felicia, I know of a good place a few blocks down. Perhaps once the rain lets up, we can go there,” Felicia suggested, and he nodded.
“Okay,” Kayden said. Felicia noticed a rather long line behind him and cleared her throat. He suddenly looked over his shoulder and saw the impatience in several other people’s eyes.
“Uh…can I pay for their…coffee?” Kayden asked as he brought his wallet back out.
“You would want a gift card to make it the easiest,” she said.
“Then I’ll take a gift card,” he said.
“Sure, how much would you like on it?” Felicia asked.
“How much would this line cost for a cup of coffee each?” Kayden asked, and Felicia looked surprised before looking at the line and seeing five people.
“About twenty-five dollars should do,” she said, and he handed her his debit card once more. She smiled and got him a gift card. As she handed him back his debit card, she was about to hand him his gift card, but he put his hands up.
“Please let that cover their coffees, I’m sorry to hog the line like this…I don’t…normally…uh…do it,” Kayden said as he grinned nervously, and she tilted her head. He smiled at her and lifted his cup before turning and went to one of the tables and sat down. He saw a newspaper on the table and picked it up. He started reading it or at least the severely limited bits of English he could remember learning but occasionally would look up and see her with her bright and cheerful smile. Kayden began to dry off since he was sitting next to a heater vent and finished his coffee. Half an hour passed. He looked at his wristband and held up the newspaper so no one could see him activate it, and he checked the time. Suddenly he heard someone pull up a chair and minimized his screen as he lowered the newspaper and peered over it. He was surprised to see Felicia sitting at the table with him and blushed as he met her gaze.
“The rain stopped. Shall we go?” Felicia asked, and Kayden put the paper down and nodded. He threw his empty cup away and opened the door for her, which surprised her. They walked a couple of blocks. He made small talk with her and got her laughing as they made it to the restaurant. He opened the door again for her, and she was delighted once more.
“So, what do you do for a living?” Felicia asked curiously.
“I’m…kind of like a police officer,” Kayden said, and Felicia smiled.
“Kind of like one, huh? What does that mean?” Felicia asked. Kayden rubbed the back of his neck nervously and looked down.
“I chase the bad guys and take them to a prison…” he said, and she smiled.
“That sounds exciting,” she remarked, and he smiled.
“It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush, I’ll admit that. But it pays the bills, I get a salary and commission for the more I bring in,” Kayden said as he wrapped his hands around his glass of water.
“So, you’re like a bounty hunter?” Felicia asked, and Kayden chuckled as he wiped the condensation down the glass.
“Something like that…yeah, I get to travel a lot too,” Kayden said, and Felicia immediately was piqued. They talked throughout the evening, and as they were settling the bill, Felicia noticed someone getting heckled outside the restaurant out the window.
“Kayden, you said you were a bounty hunter…does that mean you help people that are in trouble?” Felicia asked a tad nervously, and he raised a brow.
“I guess so, sure,” he replied as she stood up and pointed out the window. He turned to see two men in hoodies tackling a woman for her purse. Kayden walked up to the counter and put his debit card down next to the receipt as Felicia followed him.
“Sir! Your card!” the waitress exclaimed, but he was set to target the two men.
“Stay here, Felicia,” Kayden said as he pressed his hand against her shoulder, and she started to worry. Kayden went outside and shoved one man in a hoodie down so hard he made a loud THUD! Kayden gripped the other man and tossed him to the ground too. Felicia came running out with his debit card and ran up behind him as he handed the woman her purse.
“Thank you!” the woman exclaimed before she ran down the street. The thugs stood up, and one of them pulled out a gun and aimed for Felicia. Kayden’s eyes widened as he saw it, and he stepped forward and grabbed the gun just as he got shot straight in the middle of his chest. Kayden bent the gun’s shaft completely upright, rendering it unable to fire ever again, and tossed it to the ground. The man in the hoodie sweated, then turned and ran. Felicia gasped too and ran to Kayden’s back just as the second man pulled out a gun and aimed for Felicia as well. Kayden lifted the man’s gun up to his own forehead and grimaced as the shot was fired but didn’t even penetrate his skin. Kayden destroyed his gun as well just before the last thug went running. Felicia was in tears of panic and fear as she grasped Kayden’s back.
“Kayden! Oh, God! We have to take you to the hospital!!” Felicia said as she grasped his shirt.
“No, it’s alright—I’m okay, Felicia,” Kayden said as he tried to hide the bullet hole in his shirt. She inspected him as a small crowd gathered. He immediately panicked, grabbed her hand, ran with her down the street, and headed for his car.
“What’s wrong? Are we going to the hospital?!” Felicia asked as he opened the passenger door on his silver charger and had her get in, then ran to the driver’s seat.
“We have to get out of the area, fast,” Kayden said, and Felicia began to panic. Kayden drove several kilometers away and stopped the car as he started to perspire and stared forward. Felicia reached for his wound but didn’t find any blood. She stretched the shirt out and saw the obvious bullet hole but didn’t find any trace of an actual gunshot wound. He nervously eyed her and tried not to perspire as badly as he thought he was. He always had a story for his cover, but in that moment, he couldn’t think of a single one. All he could think about was her.
“Please don’t panic, but…I’m alright. A human weapon can’t harm me,” Kayden said, and Felicia raised a brow. He slowly turned to face her, and she looked at him in curiosity and a little fearful, and once he saw the fear in her eyes, his hearts sank.
“I’m…not human. When I said I was like a bounty hunter—that was true, but I’m what they call a Guardian. I patrol space and track down high-profile criminals,” Kayden said, and Felicia started to feel lightheaded and fell back in the car seat, fainting. He cursed as he rested his forehead on his steering wheel.
“Damnit, Kayden, real smooth,” he muttered as he took a moment to ponder what he should do before he got an idea. He started the car again and started driving a few kilometers out of town until he made it to where his ship was. It was currently cloaked until he opened the hatch. He picked Felicia up, carefully walked her up into the ship, and laid her on one of the bunks.
“Kayden, who is this?” Sian asked, and Kayden sweated.
“Just a human girl…I went on a date with,” Kayden said nervously. Sian’s eyes bulged.
“You can’t bring her here! This is out of a human’s perception of reality! They don’t know that there’s life on other planets yet!” Sian exclaimed, and he perspired.
“I got shot twice in front of her…I have to explain why it didn’t hurt me somehow. This was the only thing I could think of,” Kayden said as he put his hands up to the sides of his face in panic. Sian sighed.
“Take us outside the orbit of Earth’s atmosphere, make sure we’re cloaked, so we don’t get spotted by their space station,” Kayden said. Sian sighed again but followed his command. Kayden walked over to the side of the window and leaned against it as he looked out into space and to Earth before he rubbed his eyes.
“What are you doing, Kayden…” he muttered. Felicia got up slowly and walked over to his side, and grabbed his arm.
“Please tell me I’m dreaming…” Felicia remarked, and he turned to face her.
“It’s very real, I’m…I’m sorry to have led you on, Felicia…I was just afraid that—that you’d freak out and leave,” Kayden said. Felicia started to worry.
“Are you abducting me?” Felicia said, and Kayden’s eyes widened.
“No! I would never—” Kayden started until Sian walked back into the room. Felicia blinked in surprise as she saw her with her blue shimmering skin and small features.
“This is Sian. She is my Squire. Most Guardians have one, so they can take on harder missions,” Kayden said. Felicia couldn’t take her eyes off her. Sian smiled and reached out her hand as Felicia slowly reached forward, and they shook hands. Felicia turned to Kayden and examined him, just now, realizing he had red irises.
“Your…eyes are red, I thought…I didn’t think I saw it, but there’s no mistaking it now,” Felicia said. Kayden averted his eyes and nodded.
“I’m actually not human at all, I’m a Cyril…they are known to have red eyes sometimes, it’s actually rather uncommon though,” Kayden said.
“So that means you don’t look like a human naturally, do you?” Felicia asked. Kayden gulped. He took off his jacket and started to grow in stature until he was a hulking ten-foot-seven—322 cm. Felicia gasped in surprise. Kayden was about to pull off his eye trick but decided not to, he didn’t want to alarm her any further and shrank back down while putting on his human-sized jacket. She gripped his hand tightly, and he turned to face her as she looked directly out the window.
“Can we go back to Earth? I think I’m freaking out…” Felicia said, and Kayden nodded.
“Sian, can you take us back to our landing spot?” Kayden asked, and she nodded.
“We’ll be landing in a matter of minutes,” Sian said. Kayden squeezed her hand.
“I’m sorry if I scared you, that was never my intention…and I’ve never screwed up and blown my own cover like that before…I just…I don’t know what’s wrong with me today…” Kayden said as he anxiously rubbed his chin. Felicia gripped his hand back and leaned against him.
“I’m…just glad you’re alright. This is all a little strange for me, so you’ll have to give me time to take it all in,” Felicia said, and Kayden nodded. They got off the ship, and Kayden escorted her to the passenger side of his car before gently shutting the door behind her. He got in the driver’s seat and bit his lips.
“I can take you home…” he said, and she nodded.
“Okay…here, I’ll give you my address through my phone’s GPS,” Felicia said, and Kayden looked at her phone and smiled. He wanted to show her his mobile but figured he had shown her enough already for the day and didn’t want to shock her any more than he already had. He drove up to a college campus and up to what looked like apartments.
“You live here? Isn’t this a school?” Kayden asked.
“Yeah, I’m a student here…I live on campus,” Felicia said. Kayden dialed his number on her phone and added it to contacts.