"Hey Riley," Farkle calls as he carries in the buckets of fresh cut flowers from the market. "She's here…again."
"That's nice," Riley answers absently, flipping through the papers in front of her. They've got seven wedding orders for the next week. Why is Farkle talking to her? Can't he see she's working?
Suddenly the spreadsheets she was poring over are in Farkle's hands. Why are they in Farkle's hands? "Why are my papers in your hands?" Riley nearly shrieks, dropping the pen, pencil, highlighter, and chopstick she was holding.
"Tattoo Girl is back. Why were you holding a chopstick?"
"Not important," Riley tells him, jumping up and spinning in a full circle, procrastinating. "Does my hair look okay?"
Farkle catches her shoulders when Riley starts to pace. "Your hair looks great," he assures her. "But this is the third week in a row, and she hasn't missed a day, so I don't think how your hair looks matters."
Riley nods. And immediately breaks away from Farkle to reach for her purse. "I need lip gloss," she says in lieu of explanation.
Farkle grabs her elbow and says seriously, "I highly doubt she cares if you're wearing lip gloss."
"What if she does?"
"She won't!" Farkle promises. "However, as cute as this flirting thing has been, you need to get her number. Or her name at least."
Farkle's disgustingly reasonable, and yes, he's making some good points—except about the lip gloss, which Riley still thinks she needs, really—but Riley is still panicking a little. Because Tattoo Girl is the complete opposite of the type of people that hit on Riley? If this can even be called getting hit on?
The chime on the door sounds. Riley freezes and maybe squeaks a little? "Number," Farkle reminds her, guiding her towards the door before gently, kindly shoving her into the front of the shop.
"I'm gonna get lunch," he says, heading out the side entrance with a salute to Tattoo Girl.
Which leaves just the two of them.
It must be warm out—Riley wouldn't know, really, because she came into work at four, when it was still cool and dark and the streets empty—but it has to be the first warm day of the season, because this is definitely the first time Riley's ever seen Tattoo Girl sleeveless.
Yeah. She'd probably remember.
There's a galaxy inked onto Tattoo Girl's right arm, constellations winding up from her wrist until they disappear under her tank top, overlapping and splashed carelessly with the bright colors of nebulae.
"You like it?" Tattoo Girl asks, startling Riley and twisting her arm to show off the rest of the tattoo.
"Oh," Riley stammers, blushing furiously at being caught staring. "I—ah—I didn't mean to—."
Tattoo Girl's eyes widen and she says in a rush, "No! It's fine! Usually the only people that stare are mean old people that think I'm ruining my body."
Why would people think that? Her body is great, and Riley—
"Oh," Tattoo Girl smiles, cheeks pinking in what Riley might even call a blush. "Well, uh—thank you."
"Was I speaking? Out loud?"
"Shit." Riley wants to just curl up on the floor for a while? For a long while?
But then Tattoo Girl's smile takes on a little edge and her eyes glint mischievously and she says, "It's cute." Which actually might kill Riley.
Here's the thing—
Tattoo Girl moved into the empty shop next door to Riley's about a month ago, and since that very first day, has been coming into Riley's store and buying one flower. It was a daisy, on the first day, if Riley remembers correctly, and, to be fair, she never forgets a flower. Funny thing, though—Tattoo Girl inexplicably left the flower, carefully wrapped and everything, in the very center of Riley's counter.
And has inexplicably been repeating this little ritual every day since.
Riley thinks that that means she has a crush on her? Except they're adults, and are adults even allowed to have crushes?
"Do you think out loud a lot?" Tattoo Girl asks, eyeing a display of violets and setting a flock of butterflies fluttering in Riley's stomach.
"No," Riley mutters quickly. Tattoo Girl looks up, eyes bright in amusement. "Maybe," Riley huffs. "Maybe all the time."
Tattoo Girl hums at the confession, wandering the store and studying the displays that catch her eye. Riley's content to watch her–in a completely non-creepy, non-pining way–but Tattoo Girl makes conversation, asking about how business is going and whether she watched the Knicks last night, which launches Riley into a rant that would probably scare most people off.
Tattoo Girl, however, just laughs brightly.
Soon enough, though, Tattoo Girl is placing a single violet on the counter.
"This it for you?" Riley asks, snapping out of her reverie. She knows the answer before Tattoo Girl says it, but there's another question on the tip of her tongue that she's not quite brave enough to ask yet.
"Always is," Tattoo Girl grins widely, pulling out her wallet at Riley rings the flower up, more for show than anything else. At this point, Riley's pretty sure that Tattoo Girl has all the prices in her shop memorized.
Riley wraps the stem of the flower carefully, though she knows full well that the flower won't be traveling further than to the little vase she keeps on her desk. "You ever think about getting some ink?" Tattoo Girl asks as Riley finishes with the flower.
"Dunno. Would you do it?" Riley shoots back. Tattoo Girl nods, ducking her head as she picks up the flower and twirls it between her slim fingers.
she kind of looks like art? The sun is at it's highest point in the sky and it's streaming in the store's windows, catching the brightest golds in Tattoo Girl's hair, falling around her shoulders wildly, and honestly Riley could see herself being really happy just watching Tattoo Girl like this, all the time.
Which is kind of scary.
But good scary?
"So," Riley finds herself saying, mouth moving before her mind has a chance to catch up. "Am I ever going to get your name?"
"What?" Tattoo Girl smiles prettily. "Isn't the anonymity fun?"
"I could just google your shop," Riley teases.
Tattoo Girl laughs. "You haven't yet?"
"I've been…distracted." Which is the mild way of putting it.
"Well, I'm Maya Hart," Tattoo Girl says, offering Riley the violet. "Wanna grab dinner?"