Thirty [The Slip]

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Harry doesn't have much time to disentangle himself from you before the silver-haired woman is crossing the room and wrapping him in a loving embrace, a satisfied coo vibrating her chest when Harry cradles her tightly in one of his quintessential hugs that attracted you to him almost instantly. Encompassing, warm, affectionate. Like being draped in a fluffy blanket straight from the dryer or falling asleep in a hammock in flecked sunshine, you were convinced his hugs could cure diseases and bring peace on earth. You can sense a comparable aura of radiating kindness from her; a teacher's spirit with a mother's heart. An air of open mindedness and understanding that is rare amongst the population these days.

You conjure up several memories of Harry speaking fondly of Callista throughout your time together. The woman who helped a stranger get on his feet in a foreign city after his life was destroyed; the woman who gave him a home to live in before he moved into his own apartment which she co-signed, the woman who provided him with his first job, the woman who had fake identifications made for him, the woman who taught him how to use a pottery wheel and who still sells his pieces for additional income in her storefront. From what you've gathered she's a complete saint, a lifesaver, an earth angel who took him under her wing and gave him a second chance at life when he was still just a child.

She murmurs pleasantries and greetings in his ear that he returns before she pulls back and tugs on one of the cocoa curls resting against his jaw, "I haven't heard from you in months. I was starting to worry. About time for a trim?"

Your chest tightens in panic and Harry glances at you from the corner of his eye as his mouth quirks in a smile that he attempts to tame. He knows from your endless praising that you adore it more and more the longer it grows and he hasn't directly said so, but he is allowing it to burgeon for your sake. His scalp tingles with a reminder of how it feels when you nudge his knots apart after a shower with his head in your lap or that one thrilling moment when you grab a fistful and pull just as you're about to come on his eager tongue. His throat dries out at the memento and he swallows twice before rasping, "I'm surprised to see you."

"Harry, has it been so long that you don't remember I come to the studio every Wednesday at 10 A.M.? Silly boy." He flicks his gaze to you in embarrassment, with the offensive realization that if she had arrived just twenty minutes earlier she would have been met with a heart attack. It's unlike him to be unprepared or careless, he must have been so distraught from his premonition and lucid dream that he'd completely forgotten about days or time. His lips form a perfect O-shape in understanding of his mistake and relief of your timing, but you're so excited to meet this mystical woman that you don't seem to mind or notice the near mishap.

Before he can answer she's directing her attention to you, soft eyes framed by metallic, delicate lenses that put you at ease almost instantly, "and who's this beauty queen?"

Harry grips your hand and weaves your fingers together to lock them in a sturdy and proud embrace, his adoring gaze landing on you again as a bashful smile pulls at the corners of his mouth. His other hand lifts to rub the back of his neck as if he were buying a moment of time to gather his thoughts in careful consideration. He keeps his sight set on you as he addresses her, his love and fondness palpable to everyone in the room, "Callista, this- is Nova."

Callista's eyes grow wide with recognition and surprise and you smile awkwardly with your jaw milled shut at the seemingly obvious understanding that you're missing. She gathers both of your hands in hers, her papery skin clutching onto you tightly, "oh, my dearest-" Harry groans and she pauses to glance at him, they exchange a knowing look before she returns her attention to you, "I can't believe I have the pleasure of meeting you after all this-"

Harry coughs into his fist and gently wraps his fingers around your wrist to pull your hands out of her grasp, his digits intertwining through yours once again in greed and pacification, "yup. I was intrigued from the moment we found each other."

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