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Of Books and Bondage

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Nothing was better than watching the last customer leave, and even though I wanted to lock the door right behind them, I waited the few slow minutes until 9pm...closing time. I jumped from the check out desk and practically skipped to the door, almost face planting while doing so. The door? Locked. The open sign? Off. The store? Blissfully quiet. I sighed, pulling a hair tie from my wrist to put up my hair,
“Alright, Armin, you have 30 minutes to get this place in order then you’re free for the rest of the week. Let's do this.”

Closing was my favorite shift, the easiest in my opinion, and what made it even better was that it was a single person shift. Count the money and put it in the safe for the owner to deal with in the morning, scan the small store for any stray books to put away, empty the trash, vacuum, make sure the sitting area in the back is clean. I stopped, leaning the vacuum on the wall, and walking over to sitting area. On the side table of the armchair laid a manila folder, thick with paper. I picked it up and turned it front to back, opening it to look at the first page. There in bold lettering, “The Legion? Erwin..Smith. Hm, didn’t Eren say something about a Legion bar the other night? This looks important, too.”

I asked the dear old internet about “The Legion”, and was pleasantly surprised that it was in the same direction as my home. “Should I go and see if i find this Erwin guy? Or should I just leave it here. No, it looks important, I should probably just take it there.” I mumbled as I put away the vacuum, grabbed my things and the folder, and finally locked up the store.

“Watch it not be who left it here?”



The Legion was not what I expected at all. The walls were exposed brick with a black statement wall behind the glossy black bar. The lights were dim, and wooden beams crisscrossed the entire ceiling. Most of the furniture was comfy looking leather love seats, and armchairs. Some were paired with coffee tables, others with side tables. It was quiet, the soft rumble of low voices, and deep bass music played in the background. I took notice that the patrons were all dressed well, slacks, button ups, oxfords and pumps...I held tighter to my bag, I didn’t belong here, I need to lea-
“Can I help you with anything?”
I jumped a bit, snapping my head around to look at the person addressing me, they looked like wait staff. I smiled and rubbed my arm,
“Oh um, is there and Erwin Smith here?”
“Yes, he’s here today. I can let him know you’re here for him. Take a seat anywhere you’d like, it may be a couple minutes.”

They turned and left before I could say anything, so I just sighed, meandering over to a secluded corner where a small white velvet ottoman sat next to a large black...throne? Odd. But beautiful. I stepped closer to examine the odd set, noticing beautiful delicate gold metal work on the legs of the ottoman. Small clear gems were embedded in the metal, catching the soft light ever so slightly. The throne was equally if not more impressive, with its own golden metal work framing the entirety of the structure, the cushion a plush black leather. I was drawn to the set so intensely, I took another step towards it, I could touch the ottoman if I wanted to, “Beautiful.”
“Thank you.”
I nearly jumped out of my skin, so enthralled by the upholstery that I didn't realize the man who snuck up behind me. I turned to meet his gaze,
“Sorry, I um..I didn’t realize you were behind me.”
I watched as the corner of his mouth tilted up, his eyes raked over me, I felt bare. He held out his hand to me, and when I met it in a firm shake I realized how big this man was. Half a foot taller than me, built like a tank I swear, with arms that chest that strained the fabric of his white button up. His hair was slicked back, but I noticed a piece of hair that has come free and is hanging in front of his forehead. He was smirking at me.

“I am Erwin Smith,” he let go of my hand, “I was told you were looking for me?”
I felt my face heat up and clear my throat with a weird choking chuckle noise, “Yes! My name is Armin, uh Arlert. I work at Faded Ink? The book store a couple blocks away? I found this folder while i was closing up, saw the bar name and your name under it,” I handed the folder to a slightly wide eyed Erwin.
I fidgeted, “The bar was on my way home so i figured id just try to return it now, it looked kind of important so i didn't want to leave it at the shop overnight in case someone really needed it.”
“Thank you, I honestly had no idea I even left it there. I actually need this for a meeting in 30 minutes. Things would have gotten difficult for me had you not go out of your way to bring this here.” I smile, “Not at all! I'm glad to be of service.”
I heard Erwin breath in quickly, “Thank you very much, again, for returning this to me. I’d like to take you to lunch in way of thanks.” While Erwins' body language said that as a question, his voice said it like a command. I blush, “ Oh! Oh, umm sure, sure i eat. Aheh that would be, well nice good yes that's nice.”

What the fuck Armin just stop talking.

Erwin nods his head sharply and grabs his phone from his pocket, “Would you put your contact information in for me. Or would you rather I give you mine?” I smile again, “Oh no that's fine, I'll give you my phone number and email. If you can't reach me on one you can on the other.”
Erwin looks almost smug as I types in my info before handing him back his phone.
“Well, uh, I should get home now. Feel free to message me whenever, im usually not to busy.” Erwin Smiles, “I will then, do you need help getting home?”
“No i should be alright, I'm just a couple blocks away actually.”
“Alright, thank you again. I’ll contact you soon. Be safe getting home, Armin.”
I wave as I leave, and on the way home I can't shake the feeling that this meeting was destiny.