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The Crow and The Sparrow

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Tig resisted the urge to wrap his arm around Belle’s small shoulders. He had the feeling that she would fit just right into his side and that his arm would be able to rest comfortably on her shoulders and he could hold her in closely. It wasn’t far to the coffee shop shop, nothing was all that far away in Charming.
“So doll - you must be pretty new to town. I’ve seen you in a couple of places but you’re a new face for sure” Belle glanced over at him as he spoke and her lips turned up into a small half smile

“Yeah my family was looking for a change of scene, a new start I guess and my brother had a job here, so here we are” He noticed when she shrugged that she seemed uncomfortable. His interest was definitely piqued, what about her family made her uncomfortable - maybe it would be worth having Juice check into her, but she seemed to be fairly open so maybe he could find out a bit more.

“Well you know I am sure Charming is glad to have you here. You certainly brighten the place up” He noticed that his compliment made her blush and his mind went straight to wondering just how far that red blush went. His pants were starting to feel tight but it didn’t stop him from trying to look down her top as he licked his lips. Belle glanced up and she obviously knew where he was looking and her blush deepened. She fiddled with her hair a little and gave him a nervous smile, which Tig returned with a grin of his own and a wiggle of his eyebrows. She was so damn cute and he so wanted to have her in his bed. The quiet ones always seemed to be a little wild, and if not, well he could have fun teaching her.

Opening the door to the coffee shop he gestured for her to walk on in ahed of him, That got him a genuine smile and a quiet “Thank you”. They hadn’t talked about much after his compliment but it had felt good to Tig to walk down the road with a pretty girl and not to have to fill the quiet with chatter. He liked noise and chatter, it kept his mind from dwelling on things that he didn’t want to think about in any depth. The crow eaters and other hang abouts were fun for the night. they warmed his bed nicely and they would let him do more or less what ever he wanted, but they were never quiet. The porn star moans, groans and oh baby’s were tiresome and far from genuine, it wasn’t enough to stop hm from getting off but sometimes he just wanted something real. As he walked with Belle he found that the quiet didn’t mean that the voices would come out of the depths of his mind, instead there was a genuine peace that allowed him to enjoy the walk and ponder the mysteries of his companion,

He shifted the groceries to allow his hand to go against the small of her back as they approached the counter, She had stiffened slightly at the contact but had quickly relaxed again without pulling away from him and he was pleased. The kid behind the counter treated them with a smile which Tig returned with a scowl. It wouldn’t do for the people of Charming to think that a member of the Sons was going soft on them. The kid looked nervous and glanced away “ Um yeah, Hi what can I get for you?” Tig glanced at the menu and shrugged “ Gimmie a cup of coffee - black, Doll?” he looked down at Belle “ Oh um, i’ll take the same please, but with space, Thank you “

Her voice was quiet but clear “Sure thing, um do you want tall, midi or venti?”
“What?” Tig had no idea what the hell this kid was talking about he just wanted a cup of coffee. He was about to tell the kid to just give them the damn drinks when a gentle hand touched his arm “He wants to know what size you want, small medium or large. I’ll take a small please. Tig?” “Yeah make it a medium” turning his attention back to Belle he smiled and saw she was smiling back at him though her eyes showed a little concern. He tried to soften his features but he knew that people could find him daunting, his face showed the trials of his life.

“Damn who would think ordering a coffee would become so complicated” he joked and he watched the concern evaporate as he smile broadened. “Oh I know but don’t worry i’ll help you through it” Belle answered and he felt his own smile broaden in response. They waited quietly for the coffee before doctoring it to their own tastes and grabbing a seat towards the back of the shop. Tig wasn’t about to sit in full view, he knew that if any of his brothers went past and saw him, they would interfere and he wanted to be somewhere he could see the comings and goings.

“So tell me Doll, how have you found Charming so far, you and the family all settled in?” he asked Belle nodded “Its a nice place, quiet, I like that, where we stayed before , well it wasn’t the best place and it was always busy. I like the pace of things here, its a nice change, but it’s been hard to meet people. Sometimes it’s like being the new kid in school, yah know ?” she shrugged “but these things just take time”

“So you are close with your family then? You said you moved out here because your brother had a new job” he asked. She had seemed reticent to talk about them earlier and he was keen to understand what was going on.

“Kind of, I mean well yeah I guess so. My brother was in the military so it was just me and my mom for a while and she had health issues and needed my help until he was discharged. Family being together is really important to him and my mom and what with her needing some help it only made sense, and you know it’s good to be able to get a new start” He watched Belle over the top of him mug as he sipped his hot coffee. He liked that she was close to her family but she was obviously skating around something. Maybe she just wanted to play it cool. She seemed a bit old to still be living at home and he couldn’t help but wonder what the story was behind that
He was just about to ask her more about what she did when an older woman bustled over to their table with a smile on her face.“Belle I’m so glad you’re back in! Someone posted this job up on the board today for help at the local day care. Now the lady that posted the wanted ad said she would take calls between 9 and 10 tomorrow. I asked about the role and there is lots of reading and being a teachers aid. It looks like it would be just up your alley - I took it down to make sure you could give them a call and if they need a personal reference then you tell them to call me”
He watched as Belle’s face morphed into the most beautiful smile and her eyes seemed to shine “Jill thank you so much. i really appreciate you letting me know and keeping the information for me. I’ll give them a call for sure tomorrow.”

“You make sure that you do honey. We have the council meeting at the end of the month and if they approve the plans for us to be open later then you still need the work then you will definitely have job here.: The woman patted Belle’s hand affectionately “Now you and your friend should enjoy your coffee and you let me know how that call goes” With a nod to Tig she left them to it.

“You looking for work then?” Tig asked wondering if Belle would be more open to discussing this aspect of her life. He watched her closely as her cheeks coloured with a dark red blush and she looked away

“Yeah, I’ve been looking since we moved here but things haven’t worked out for me yet. This was one of the places that I came in to see if they had anything going when we moved out here, Jill didn’t have any positions but she was nice to talk to and they have the help wanted board. I’ve been able to pick up some casual work, but I really need a full time job. That’s um, well its why I come in here a lot. I look over the jobs and Jill even lets me call the posters from here when it’s quiet. I try and help out where I can, you know tidying up and what have you. Its nice to be out the house for a couple of hours too you know”

He could tell she was embarrassed about the fact that she didn’t have a regular job, in this economy it wasn’t all that much of a surprise, and if she was only looking in Charming then she would have a more limited choice. The town was friendly but strangers would be viewed somewhat hesitantly. He tried to think of something that he could do to help. He realised he had been lost I’m his own head when Belle prompted him again “Tig”
He smiled at her in apology “Sorry Doll what was that ?”
“I asked what it was that you did? Your jacket says Sons of Anarchy on it, is that your job?”

Well shit, what was he supposed to say to that. He didn’t want to lie but he sure as hell wasn’t gonna tell her the truth “Nah Doll, the Sons are just a club, you know a bunch of motorcycle enthusiasts who like to get together and go on charity rides and what have you. Now most of us work over at Teller-Morrow, its the local auto shop. I’m a man who likes to work with my hands, if you know what I mean?” he wiggled his eyebrows and got a little laugh from her along with some more colour on her cheeks “Nah I’m a mechanic”

“It must be nice to be able to take something thats broken and fix it up again” Belle seemed to be genuinely interested in his job and what he did and that was something that he hadn’t planned on., most folks would push for more details on the club, but she accepted it and moved on

“So I take it you have lived here for a while then?” She asked and he nodded “So what would you recommend to pass the time in Charming? Tell me about the highlights?”

“Well its a quiet place doll, but there are nice shops to browse on main and we have a few nice parks to walk in. I mean I usually hang out with the guys in the club and go on rides, Sometimes I hit Lumpy’s gym.” He realized that he was making Charming sound like somewhere no one would want to be “There are a lot of community events though, fairs and the like and they’re a lot of fun” Belle seemed really engaged and nodded as took in the information. Their conversation was interrupted by the sharp ringing on his pre pay. As annoyed as he was Tig knew that needed to take the call. He excused himself from the table and stepped away checking to see it was Clay

“Hey man, whats up?”
“Gee I don’t know Tigger, I mean I figured that we had a meeting set with Laroy and we still need to go to Church but my SAA is no where to be seen” Clay was pissed and when he glanced at the clock he realized that more time had passed than he realized.

“Shit! Sure man I’ll be there for Church in 5, I’m in town” He snapped his phone closed and realized that he’d need to say goodbye to the Belle. Running his hand through his curls he fixed a smile to his face as he walked back to their table. He noticed that the manager of the shop from earlier had been back over talking to Belle and as much as he wanted to know what they were talking about he didn’t have the time to dig into it.

“Sorry about that Doll, it was my boss, they need me back at the shop to deal with an issue, so I’m gonna have to head out” He saw a little of the sparkle leave her eyes as she stood up and picked up their empty coffee cups before taking them over to the counter and waving goodbye to the Jill woman. Her smile was back on her face again when she glanced over and saw he was standing there waiting for her. He winked and chuckled as that blush was back again. He waited until she made it back over and then gestured to her to walk ahead of him, He remembered at the last minute to pick up the grocery bag and on the way out his hand seemed to find it’s way back to her lower back again.

Leaving the shop the turned to face each other. “Thank you for yesterday Tig, I…well I really appreciate you helping me out and putting up with my tears. It’s gonna sound corny but you really made my day” She managed to hold eye contact as she spoke with him and he could tell she was genuinely grateful for his time and help. “Think nothing of it Doll. It was my pleasure. Are you gonna be ok to head home on your own, even with these?” He held up one of the bags. Belle nodded and reached over to take the bags from his hand. As she did the sleeve of her top rode up slightly and he could see deep, dark bruises circled her entire wrist. He felt his temper flare at the idea that someone had put their hands on this small woman and had left behind some pretty brutal marks.
“Belle, what he hell happened to your wrists, who hurt you ?” Immediately her free hand shot down to push the sleeve back down

“Oh that’s nothing. It was just my clumsiness, I feel when I was walking some dogs the other day. I had the leash round my wrist and it ended up leaving me with a bruise” She didn’t manage to meet his eyes and he was pretty sure that she wasn’t telling the truth but he also didn’t have time to work out what was going on, not just now anyway.

“If you’re sure then?” She nodded “I’ve got to get going, you take care and maybe i’ll see you around town soon”

Belle smiled and nodded “Thank you again for today Tig. Truly it meant a lot to me.” They turned to go their separate ways but Tig didn’t want to leave it there “Hey Doll” his call made Belle stop and turned around as he walked backwards towards his bike “Good luck tomorrow with the call” She laughed and raised her hand in a wave and Tig smiled as he tuned back around humming to himself, that had gone better than he could have hoped.

Belle took her time with the walk home, her side still hurt and to be honest she was still going over time that she had spent with Tig. It was on odd name - she couldn’t think what it could be short for. Regardless of the funny name he had been nothing but Charming to her. While she had been attracted to his looks she now knew that he had a brain and wit that would keep anyone interested. She had been so embarrassed at the store but he had played it off as nothing and had made sure not to make her feel embarrassed in their time together, It had been a long time since she had been able to relax and enjoy her time with someone not from her family and she felt refreshed.

The walk home had not been fast but she spent her time reminiscing. She realised that she would also know where to take back the money that she owed Tig now that she knew where he worked. Maybe John would be in a better mood and he might have some cash.

Going into the house it was surprisingly quiet. It was only 3pm but she expected her mother to be home . With a wince she managed to get the groceries onto the table before heading off to check that everyone was ok. A quick walk around their small house showed her mother out cold in the bed. It seemed early for her to be asleep but maybe she was coming down with something, other than that there was nothing untoward, so she headed back to the kitchen. As she emptied the groceries she pulled out something that she hadn’t expected - What the hell was a bottle of lube doing in her groceries? Looking through the remainder of the bag she found the rest of Tig’s groceries and she set them to one side, She would need to take them back to him, perhaps with the money too. She felt a smile cross her face, and her heart speed as the idea of seeing the handsome mechanic again gave her a quiet sense of peace and joy