Scene Forty Seven
In which a character makes her move
Tony Tony smiled in the predawn glow as he woke up. After you have been sleeping on the ground for the last few nights even a hard mattress is a little slice of heaven, everything is relative.
He felt the weight of Alice on his arm, and he smiled at her too. She had snuggled up to him last night, and Tony Tony hadn’t seen any reason to say no.
He realised that he had grown quite fond of the girl. She had really helped out yesterday, the fires were out, and everyone who could be saved was now in a stable condition. They had done their part and now the village was safe again, Tony Tony felt gratified.
He knew that Alice was clearly too young for him, but then he had met one of his ex wives in much the same way, and he had had the same thoughts then too.
The light was starting to get stronger. As the first clear rays brushed her face Alice fluttered her eyelids and opened her eyes. Tony Tony hoped he would have the opportunity to see her do that again, he found it very attractive.
“Morning”, he said, he could hear the smile on his voice, and it made him feel like laughing.
“Morning” she smiled back at him. She moved to snuggle closer, but then seemed to think better of it and pulled herself into a sitting position. Tony Tony noticed that Alice had been tired enough get half undressed before going to sleep, she didn’t seem notice and, grinning like a hyena, Tony Tony had no intention of telling her.
“Nice dreams?” he asked.
Alice turned to him and let her eyes roam up and down his body appraisingly; Tony Tony wished that he had taken the time to get undressed before going to sleep too. “Very nice dreams” Alice said, with a tone in her voice which sent a flush of heat through Tony Tony.
Alice twitched like she wanted to get closer again, but again she seemed to think better of it. She did however pull herself around so that she was facing directly towards him. She brought her knees up and rested herself on them, like a little girl stretching, Tony Tony had no objection. “What do you do, Tony Tony?” she asked
Tony Tony smiled, “I’m a reporter”, he said. “What about you?” he asked, with genuine curiosity.
Alice didn’t really look although she had expected to answer the question herself, she pouted at the ceiling, “I’m a hair dresser” she said.
“Really!” said Tony Tony, now surprised and curious, “What are you doing in the middle of the wildness?” he didn’t think there would be much call for hairdressers in a vigilante army.
Alice sucked on her bottom lip for a moment, “I was travelling with the Transylvanian vigilantes”, she told him, “But, as you saw, the camp was blown half way to smithereens, and I saw you running like you knew what you were doing. So now I’m here.” Tony Tony thought that her story missed the point completely, and rambled a bit.
“What about you?” she asked, apparently relived to turn the question back on him. “What are you doing way out here?”
Tony Tony didn’t see much point in lying outright, “I was travelling with some friends, all over the world” he said, no one could possibly dispute that.
Aice looked around, “Where are your friends then? I thought you were travelling alone.”
Tony Tony shruged, “You know the way of things, hustle, bustle, and confusion, we got separated.”
“Oh” said Alice looking a little disappointed, “Do you know what happened to them afterward?”
Which really wasn’t a guileful thing to say, thought Tony Tony, I wonder who she’s working for and why they want Greg? “I really don’t know” he said aloud, with a look of complete honesty on his face, “I came across one of them in that army camp, but you saw how that turned out.”
“She was in there?” asked Alice, looking alarmed, “Oh my gods, is she alright?”
“Obviously I can’t say for sure,” said Tony Tony, feeling a little upset that he couldn’t, “But I’m sure that she’ll be alright.”
Alice nodded a little but she was staring at the wall to the side of Tony Tony.
Tony Tony wasn’t sure if it counted as giving information to enemy, but he couldn’t bear to see Alice like this, so he told her the story that Gileppi had told him, the story of how Free Flower had ended up in Reddrummer’s army. By the end of it Alice was smiling again, and Tony Tony was gratified.
“Thank you for telling me that” she said. She inched herself along so that she was a little closer to him, and started to run her hand up and down his arm in almost sub conscious way.
“It was my pleasure” he said, “I think it’s a good quality of yours that you can care so much about the fate of someone that you’ve never met.” He watched for some tell tale blink to betray her, but nothing came, apparently she really had never met Free Flower. Well that was one clue to the puzzle at least.
Alice pulled herself a little closer, and lay down next to him, holding his arm like a bed sheet. She closed her eyes again and rested her head on his shoulder. Tony Tony didn’t think that he had ever seen her look so good.
He knew that he should really just let her rest, but in Tony Tony’s head certain thoughts had inertia, and he had wanted to do this all morning, ever since she had seen the mistake she had made undressing last night. “You know, I not surprised that the army wanted you with them.” He said
Alice didn’t open her eyes, but she did smile and shift a little bit. “Why?” she asked, in the tone of voice that people use when they know that the punch line of a very funny joke is right around the corner.
“You’re clearly a very good hairdresser, and I really mean that, where I come from there are some people who would love to meet you.” said Tony Tony, half amused, half sincere
“Oh” said Alice, flexing her body like a cat, “And why do you think that?” She was smiling more than ever now, and she was close enough that Tony Tony could feel small ripples running through her body, as though she were already laughing.
“Well, when I first saw you, I was absolutely certain that you were a natural redhead”, he said completely innocently.
For a moment Alice didn’t do anything. Then her eyes snapped open, her hand flew down, her eyes grew wider, her head turned down, her eyes got wider still, she sprang away, grabbed her pants, and was out the door.
Tony Tony laughed, great booming laughs, which shook the room. It was worth it, he knew, he hadn’t guessed that the effect on her would be so strong. Even at the cost of her hanging off of his arm and flexing herself, it had been worth it.
He pulled himself off of the thin mattress, and started dressing. He noticed that Alice had left a few items of clothing behind; he folded them neatly and put them in the middle of the mattress. He hoped that she remembered to put her pants on before she got too far, he didn’t think the villagers would have ever seen a beautiful, half-naked woman running through their streets with two tone hair before.
Once he was dressed he walked outside to greet the rising sun. All the critical work was done, he knew. But there was still a ruined village to rebuild. Tony Tony met up with the men who were carrying lumber, and he got to work.