Wonderful Start to the Day

Another sunny spring day in the land of Dallas. It is a good time to just enjoy life, so that is what he is doing. The coffee house is crowded as usual yet that bothers him. Once his coffee of choice has been handed over to him, the soon to be priest immediately walks outside. A tiny table with an umbrella in the middle is his location of choice, one where the sun can actually still shine down on him. In his hand is a book, a novel of no great importance, and Elliott is content to spend his day sitting in relaxation. He's dressed sharply as usual but more casual than he's been known to.

The new vehicle has been checked out, and appears to be sound. Good news for Hope, and news she'll be able to share with Bobby later on via e-mail, as e-mail is /safe/. Right outside the cafe is a pink Suzuki Sidekick, and a certain blonde Tyler twin is exiting it. She seems to be perfectly coifed, but instead of her usual pink clothing, she's wearing a green sweater set and a pair of white jeans. Her blonde hair is left loose about her shoulders. Hope has even gone so far as to put on some light green eyeshadow to perk up her look for St. Patrick's Day.

If only the situation behind the appearance of the new vehicle was known then he would have cause for alarm as well. As it stands the entire situation is ignored, right down to the blindingly pink Sidekick, as it is not something that is familiar to him. Elliott pauses from his book only long enough to drink from the paper cup that he's been given. A great time to people watch, and to realize that there is a familiar face. "Green is a good color for you," he speaks in that always serious way. "It may be a few days too late to offer my advice on fashion, but you do wear it well."

The voice, of course, makes her jump. Hope wasn't expecting to run into anyone this morning, but when she realizes it's Elliott, she makes her way to the table. Need for caffeine forgotten. "Thanks!" She looks to the empty seat, but doesn't take it just yet. "I got the roses, they were lovely." A nice way to brighten her day, and give her brief respite from her guilt.

As soon as the young woman approaches he stands, being the proper gentleman. "I had an odd suspicion that pink would be a safe color to use." Yes, he just used the word safe. It likely could be intentional. Elliott motions to the empty seat even if his attention remains on her. "Would you care to join me for a little while? I can order something for you." Stiff as always even if he did end up loosening up by the end of the carnival night.

Safe is the watchword! "It's my favorite, obviously. As are roses." Hope may have taken more out of them than was intended, but she's not about to say so. "I'll join you if you promise to relax," she says with a lightly teasing tone. "You didn't happen to send a car along with those roses did you?" She has no idea as to his monetary situation, but she still can't figure out who this secret valentine is and /that/ is starting to bother her.

He does smile when she admits to liking the flowers, and that his guess was good. "I'm glad you enjoyed them. I'll file that information away." The stiff man looks down at himself in confusion. "I am relaxing." Elliott just doesn't get it. He remains standing as she is not seated and anything else would be rude. "What can I get for you then?" Hope's question throws him off slightly as he is unaware of her present. It is misunderstood as a request. "Are you in need of a vehicle? I can get one for you."

"Elliott, would you just act your age!" Hope shakes her head, grinning at him as she seats herself in the most graceful manner possible. "I'd thought about having a non-alcholic Irish coffee as it's St. Patrick's day. I'm fairly certain they serve those here." A glance is given to the pink Sidekick, and she shakes her head. "I'm not asking for a car. Someone /gave/ one to me, and I'm trying to find out who it was."

Bwah? He doesn't actually make the noise but the expression is there. "I thought that I was acting my age?" Yes, it is formed by way of a question. As Elliott prepares to order her drink he hesitates, his gaze moving to the Sidekick. "Someone gifted you a car and you're unable to figure out who would do such a thing? Should you be driving it?" His concern is real but there is no lecture. Instead he excuses himself only to return a few minutes later with her drink. It is placed before her gently. "I would love to claim to such a gift. It likely is far more practical than flowers. Sadly it was not me."

"You were being far too polite for your age," Hope points out, eyes twinkling with the hints of a tease again. "Oh, well it was done through this escrow service, and I've had it checked by a mechanic, and thoroughly investigated by Bo— a friend." Not going to think about that investigation, even though it causes her cheeks to pinken slightly. "The mechanic said it was safe, and unless it's got some sort of recording device in it or spy gear, I think it's okay." She shakes her head, going to place her hand on his. "Practical, but not as pretty. I get to see the flowers when I wake up in the morning, and they make the day seem all the more bright."

He's able to see what is going on only from this end, without the knowledge of any such investigations. What he sees is Hope blushing and touching his hand, which is something that could be considered flirting. His eyes fall to the hand in question and linger there for a moment as he tries to process the information. Is this why they are destined to keep running into each other? "As long as you've taken the necessary precautions then I'll not worry. Do you like the new car?" His eyes move back up to hers, his expression soft but stoic. "I apologize if I'm making you uncomfortable with my apparent lack of ability to act our age." Elliott: being awkward around women since 2005.

Lifting the Irish coffee to her lips, she sips from it delicately. Trying to clear her own confused mind up. "I'm not uncomfortable, Elliott. If I were, I wouldn't have come over to say hi and thank you for the flowers." Hope's hand of course, has slipped off his by this point. "I have no complaints about it. It drives nicely. It's a little larger than my little Aspire, but that's not a bad thing. It means I have room for all my gear, and my sister's when we go to the conference." In fact, she'd almost consider it a godsend if she knew at all who it was from. "Thank you for not worrying. Everyone always worries about me like I'm a child. I checked into the escrow service, and they're legit. They just legally can't give out the information I want."

"Alright. I just am unable to tell sometimes. It feels like you're comfortable but you're not. I am supposed to be safe, after all, and I don't want to fail at my charge." He listens to her talk about the vehicle and only at the end of it nods. Once. "There will come a time when the one responsible will be revealed. Until then it perhaps is best to not worry about it. Enjoy the benefits that it brings you." Only then does Elliott sip his coffee, a gentle smile revealed when he is done. "I worry about you, Hope, but in the sense that any friend would worry about another. Obviously we keep encountering each other for a reason." He's talking about friendship, not a relationship but again this man is awkward. "But I also trust that you have enough sense about you that I need not worry about the small things."

Hope blinks, uncertain what she's done to give him the impression that she's uncomfortable. "You /are/ safe, but that's not why I'm comfortable around you." She may be a little naive when it comes to things, but she's not so naive as to realize that just because someone is physically safe, doesn't mean that they're emotionally safe. "I think that's good advice. Not worrying about it. Still, I'd like to be able to say thank you. Or give it back." Even though she needs a vehicle right now. "He works in mysterious ways, Elliott. He obviously has a reason for these encounters. Maybe we're supposed to help each other through our respective crisises of faith."

That's an expression/reaction that he receives often if he is to tell the truth. "Either way, I'm glad. It's been rather nice being reminded that I'm too stuffy." His words, not hers. The vehicle earns his attention as he considers the possibilities. "Perhaps you should write a letter to the one who sent it to you. Express how you feel in detail so you don't forget, then hold onto the letter. That way you've spoken your mind and won't spend time trying to find he who chooses to remain nameless." It doesn't sit well with Elliott in the end but he isn't as familiar with Hope's life as some others. To him everything will be fine because He intends it to be. "That is a strong possibility. I sincerely hope that He is through with auto accidents, however."

"Oh, I hope so. I don't think my insurance could handle another accident so soon. They'd drop me." And that would mean an end to driving until she got another carrier. Hope giggles when he uses her words. "I can't help it. You're so young, but you're already acting as though you've locked yourself away for life. A priest isn't a monk, and while they do have vows it doesn't mean they can't live a little." There is a lot one can do without having physical relations with others. Like having friends, and enjoying carnivals. "I think how I feel about it," she says, nodding toward the Sidekick, "is entirely dependant on who it's from, and why they just /gave/ it to me." A slight frown as she sips from the Irish coffee again, then tries to move past it. "You really didn't have to send those roses, you know."

He's starting to loosen up, even if just slightly. The signs are faint but they are there. "Then you'd need a chauffeur. I hear the going rate is rather high for one." Eliiott does notice that she'd rather not speak of the vehicle so he allows that topic to drop. Let her Bo-friend deal with it. "It's habit, really, and one practically has to force me to stop. I do appreciate the ability to just be carefree at times." The truth is that he is far from carefree. There is a lot on this young man's mind but he does his best not to show it. This is why he apparently acts as if he's forty. "I didn't have to, you're correct. The truth is that I wanted to. It was a fun evening, even if I did return with more fish than I had anticipated. Granted, my gesture was shown up slightly but the thought remains the same."

The Bo-friend won't be dealing with the vehicle either. Hope is in pure, honest, avoidance mode. Especially after what nearly happened at the church. "Well I'm forcing you to stop, and so you'll have to be carefree more often." It's not an order, rather just her way of saying that he needs to relax. She's running out of ways to tell him this. "It was a wonderful evening. It's been a little while since I was able to go out and have fun like that myself. Besides, I have just as many fish as you do. You're amazing at those carnival games."

So long as she isn't anticipating any such inspections by Elliott especially anywhere near the church she'll be safe. "Forcing me?" He almost seems taken back with that, as he was when he mistakenly thought she was asking him for a car. Suddenly he laughs, something he rarely seems to do. "If I didn't know better, I'd suggest that you have been speaking to my father." Another chuckle follows before he falls back into his normal, calm appearance. "You do, which was kind of you to take. I honestly can't remember the last time that I've played carnival games. Perhaps I just had a good luck charm with me." She is wearing green afterall.

In the light of day, with this man, she /nearly/ forgets her vampire woes. Hope flashes a smile at him, sipping from the cooling Irish coffee. "Yes, forcing you. Though I'm not that great at being carefree myself these days, so I'm having trouble coming up with something else to drag you along to." She's not a party-goer, so those would be out. "Karaoke, maybe, though I warn I can't really sing all that well." It's another nighttime event. The mention that she's a good luck charm causes her cheeks to turn rosy again and she shakes her head. "You did. Like I said, He works in mysterious ways. You likely won so many fish so that you could make that little boy happy."

Nearly means that he is not trying nearly hard enough, not that he's trying at all really. "As you wish." He does enjoy her company so there's no harm in hanging out with her. There are reasons, after all. Always reasons. "We could always do something as simple as feeding the ducks during the day. Or if you would prefer to do something at night I could suggest something indoors such a laser tag." He may be stiff but Elliott can actually have fun. "Ah, but I was not the one who made the boy so happy. Either way, it is a night that I'll remember fondly."

"Laser tag! I've never played that before, but I've heard it's fun." Paintball she's tried a few years back, and had the bruises to prove it. "Well," Hope points out thoughtfully, "it was by your winning of so many fish that the boy got to have some as well. No matter the delivery of the fish, it was still by your hand. So let's just say it was a cooperative effort between us, that young couple, and Him."

Paintball does leave bruises and it tends to hurt. Laser tag is far more fun with less pain. He is looking out for her. "It's been years since I've gone, honestly. Although I'm certain you won't find that hard to believe." Elliott just /screams/ fun and excitement after all. "Whenever you wish to go, let me know. I'll arrange it." It would appear that the soon to be priest has no issues with taking her out in the public. He does smile, however, and nod before reaching for his coffee. "A team effort and one that succeeded. I could get used to such things."

The Irish coffee is finished off, and Hope smiles brightly at him. "Oh, I understand /that/ completely. It's been years since I've done much of anything." Other than sit with her sister in her free time, and attend church functions. "How about some time this weekend? The conference is coming up, and I'll be busy with that most of the week." When she's not avoiding the church. "But I've got the weekend free, except for Sunday, which is church and cleaning up the park again." His comment gets another pinkening of Hope's cheeks. "Indeed."

It's almost refreshing that she's not making a comment about his lack of acting his age, although slightly upsetting at the same time. He was attempting to be light hearted. Elliott is just finding this whole social interaction to be awkward. "Then that is reason enough. We are both young and if I am to act our age, then you shall, too." Turn about is fair play, after all. "This weekend is certainly possible. I will have to ensure that I do not double schedule anything but I will be available." Only if Isobel doesn't require him. The idea of meeting her maker is actually making the soon to be priest nervous. Hope certainly seems to blush, frequently, something that does not go unnoticed. "Are you positive that I do not cause discomfort?" Commenting on it isn't going to help any, he realizes. If a hand is available he will seek it out, his resting lightly atop it. "I apologize if I do. Although I do find the irony behind your cheeks matching your vehicle."

Likely it's because Hope is suffering awkwardness at the moment. "Well, you do have my number. You can always call when you know for sure. I've been keeping my schedule in the evenings quite free because with the Spring coming, and night shifting, I'm not positive how the vampires in the city will react." Or if they'll be out earlier despite the sun. His hand touches hers which only causes the cheeks to deepen in hue and she shakes her head. "No, you're not making me uncomfortable. Honest. I… why do… oh…" Her free hand brushes against her cheek, and she laughs. "Sorry. It's just, certain things you say can be taken multiple ways, and I generally take them the wrong way, and hence the embarrassment…"

"Only so long as it is alright. I hate to call when a call isn't desired." Her comment about vampires is deliberately skipped over. Were she to know that he was actively taking one out to see the town she would likely act differently towards him, and he is supposed to be safe. Instead of commenting he just looks at her, that blank expression he gets when attempting to figure out what exactly is going on. Eventually it dawns on Elliott and he slowly pulls his hand away. "I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you. It's merely that sometimes I find that I'm not exactly sure what to say around you. I'm attempting to be informal and more my age."

"Elliott! I wouldn't have given you my number if I never wanted you to call." Hope blinks when he gets that blank expression, mulling over it curiously. "You don't," she says quickly. "I mean, not really. It's just when you say certain things, it's far too easy to forget that you're going to be a priest, and I don't want to make /you/ feel awkward by saying something I probably shouldn't."

Blinks and blanks. What a pair. "This may be true, but no standard was given when the number was. I'm trying hard to know your boundaries and respect them." There may be many different ways for him to react to this but in the end he just smiles. It isn't restricted, stiff or cautious. Elliott is being a twenty two year old. "I may be on the path to becoming a priest but I am still a human. Speak to me however you would like. I am socially awkward so it matters little what is said. My reactions will not change."

Hope laughs softly. "Well the standard is that if you have the number, you're welcome to call it." That's her standard when giving the number to anyone. "It'll be difficult for you to know my boundaries, as I've a feeling they're wont to up and change on me." And already /have/ thanks to a vehicle rendezvous. "Alright. I'll speak to you however I'd like, and if it makes things too awkward for you, tell me, okay?"

"Then I propose an agreement." He finishes his coffee as well before he stands. "We'll each speak with each other as we'd like; the moment that one of us is uncomfortable we'll simply say so." That sounds fair to Elliott, at least. "I do need to attend to a few things before the day grows too late. It was nice to run into you again, Hope. A pleasant start to the day."

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