The winds of fate seemed to blow Tony Stark and her together as much as possible.

It seemed as soon as she had accepted the fact that she couldn't let anyone into her life, much less him, they had ran into each other much more often.

The wind was salty and cruel like that she supposed.

Forcing her to grow tougher so that constantly disappearing from his presence wouldn't feel as bad as it did. And frankly it stung each time her eyes fell upon his searching ones.

It was rather strange how he kept his interest of her even after she constantly fled from his presence.

His eyes still analyzed Niressa curiously every time they met. Whether it was locking eyes at the Stark Expo or on the streets or even in her favorite coffeeshop that he had randomly popped into.

He seemed determined to have a conversation with her, which was flattering but also alarming.

She found him intruiging but engaging in a conversation with him would break all of her rules, it would put him in danger.

She under no circumstances could let him in.

"You seem down," Lemml remarked, lounging on the counter.

She raised an eyebrow, signing to him, "You seem like you're not working."

"You should be happy," he looked at her.

She did not look at him, instead watching the customers as they meandered through the shop.

It was a sweet couple looking for outfits for each other to wear. The girls were having a good time, conversing loudly. It was lovely, something she truly wished she could also experience.

After a moments pause Niressa turned towards him, her fingers signing rapidly, "And you should be sorting through clothes so we can catch up on laundry."

He sighed, "Laundry is boring. So is sorting through clothes. My parents do that sort of thing. It's more fun people watching and talking with you."

A roll of her eyes and a pointed nod at the back room was all she responded with.

He sighed louder, making her wish she was deaf rather than mute. He huffed and stomped away, but he ended up doing his job so she was satisfied.

Teenagers, always so dramatic.

She was only a few years older than him but having left her teenage years behind her, she could say that. And say it she did.

Lemml had gotten used to it as they had gotten closer. He didn't know anything about her except for her name, address, and age. But yet, he was the closest friend she had ever had.

He was the exception to the rule and she was afraid of hurting him almost daily.

Which was why she could never make another exception, even if that exception was extremely interesting.

The couple came up to the register a moment later, one of the girls hiding behind the more confident one.

Niressa offered a polite smile as they dumped an armful of clothes onto the counter that used to have a sulky teenager on it.

"Cute dress. You both have good tastes," she wrote down before ringing them up.

The confident one wrapped an arm around the other, "Thanks."

She nodded at them, handing them a bag and watching them leave.

It remained quiet for a few hours, only exchanging texts between herself and her friend about how to properly sort laundry.

Which was why the bell obnoxiously jingling startled her.

She glanced up to see herself face to face with Tony Stark, who was carrying two giant garbage bags in his hands.

He grinned, "I come bearing gifts."

She stared at him, knowing why he was here but wondering why he had yet to give up.

He was as much a mystery to her as she was to him.

"I had some things lying around and I was told this was the place to donate them too," he remarked casually, as if he was not who he was in an establishment as this.

The thrift store was not a trendy high-end thrift store. It was a place where honest people donated their rags so that the not so well off could benefit from it. The place was not charmingly vintage like the coffeeshop Niressa frequently established, but rather the vintage that called for an update.

So him being here was rather bizarre and seemed as if he was a fish out of water.

She stared at him for a moment before realizing she had to respond to him.

He raised an eyebrow setting his bags down.

She uncapped her pen, "Shall we go through your donation together or would you prefer to simply drop it off?"

Realization dawned in his eyes, "You can't talk. That's why you haven't been responding. You know? That's kind of relieving, thought it was personal, I was about to take a self-confidence hit honestly."

She wrote underneath it, "Are you going to stay, sir or will you be dropping off?"

"I'll stay if you'll have me," he smirked.

This was going to be a long time of reviewing clothes she was sure of it.

Especially since Lemml was gawking from the door of the backroom at them.

She sighed, wishing perhaps the wind had not chosen to blow him this way at this exact moment.

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