DISCLAIMER: The characters aren't mine, they belong to Squaresoft (I can only wish they were mine) I ain't makin' one red cent, or any other cent of any color, I'm as poor as a church mouse (hey who came up with that sayin' anyways…I mean how can you tell if a mouse that lives in a church is as poor as say a mouse livin' in an apartment building?) Please don't sue, cuz all ya'll get is my kids' broken toys and dirty laundry, and I do mean clothes, this ain't the mafia!!! Ya I know my grammar needs major help…if some English instructor was reading this, they would probably faint dead away…please excuse my lapses in grammar. *grin*

Warnings: : Language, sexual content, and anything else my wicked little mind can think up.


Chapter 3

By LaughingWolfGirl

The sun worked its way through the blinds hitting the auburn haired cowboy smack in the face, forcing him to acknowledge its existence, to awaken and get out of bed. He stretched, feeling the warmth of the sun, sliding across his upper torso, while the lower half of his body was wrapped in the green silk, the lower part of his legs sticking out of the sheets. He lay there, enjoying the feel of the soft silk gliding across his body, enjoying the heat from the sun and from where he lay. He liked sleeping with nothing on, lying in the sun like a cat, slowly stretching the muscles of his body. Awakening slowly, no fear of being late, just lying there lazily, his eyes closed and just feeling. He kept the temperature in his room very comfortable, not to hot, not to cold, just enough that he didn't need a comforter at night, only the sheets and if he wished to walk around naked in his room, the temperature would be just right.

He knew the others considered him a hedonist, and that was ok, he was, when it came to enjoying the good things in life, he was the first to admit it. The others teased him, when out on assignments or training and they had to stay out doors, he hated camping in any form; the dirt, the insects, the whole nine yards. He would much rather be somewhere comfy. Oh not that he couldn't do his duty, or training, he put up with it silently, for the most part, but he would rather be somewhere comfy, preferably indoors. So he took the teasing from the others and just grinned. They never meant to hurt his feelings, and he knew it, it was all said in fun.

He got up and looked over at his clock; it was eight in the morning. He better get going, he had slept in longer than he wanted and if he showed up in the cafeteria, the others, or to be more specific, Selphie, would take him aside and pester him, to find out what was wrong, until she broke him down. He wasn't ready to talk about his feelings; he didn't want to get into it, knowing that Selphie, with her heart of gold, would attempt to start matchmaking. If she started doing that, then the others would figure out how lonely he had been feeling. He didn't want pity; he didn't want to have Selphie matchmaking on his behalf. He would do this on his own.

He hurried and put on his black jeans and a white t-shirt, pulled his hair back with a black band and with his favorite tan trench coat and his trademark black cowboy hat; grabbed his wallet and Exeter and was out the door. He hurried over past the cafeteria, before anyone could spot him, figuring that he could stop at one of the stores in Balamb and get some coffee and breakfast. Luck was with him, he made it out the gates and on the road to Balamb.

He walked into town and headed for his favorite Coffee shop, over by Zell's mom's house. He walked in, winked at the waitress, who knew him by now, and took a table by the window so that he could see the street and the people going about their daily lives.

Seifer woke with a headache, his throat sore and a stuffy nose to top it off. He knew his drenching last night coupled with his tossing and turning was causing his getting sick. It was his rotten luck, he would need to be at his best today, he was still determined to do better for himself; today he would start on the right path. He would find some kind of job, anything that would pay for him to have a roof over his head and food to eat and allow him some dignity. He got up and immediately stepped on a pile of wet clothes. Groaning he picked his clothes up and walked to the bathroom and hung them up over the shower curtain bar. He walked back into the other room and looked in a drawer for clothes to wear.

The searched produced no underwear, a semi-cleaned pair of blue jeans and an actual clean black t-shirt, he quickly dressed, grabbed his grey trench coat with his trademark red crosses on the sleeves. The coat had seen better days, and was wrinkled but at least he had remembered to hang it up when he came in the night before. He didn't have another jacket and looking out his window, the weather looked to be windy. He walked back into the bathroom and washed his face, brushed his teeth and ran his broken brush through his hair, making himself as presentable as possible. Once he felt that he was done, he grabbed his wallet, looked inside to see how much money he had left from his last job, counted the gil, grabbed Hyperion and headed out.

As he was walking into town, his stomach began to growl, and he knew he had to eat, at least once today. So he headed to the Coffee shop and walked in, not noticing the Cowboy by the window, who was looking intently at him. The waitress pointed to a table in the back and came over to give him the menu. While he was looking over the list he felt eyes on him, which was nothing new, but he looked up and found himself staring into violet eyes, noting the beautiful package said eyes were housed in. Electricity sizzled between them, leaving them slightly breathless

He didn't, at first, recognize the Cowboy for a Seed, or one of The Seeds who had defeated him. The cowboy continued to look at him though and the more they looked at each other, the more attraction seemed to grow. Seifer broke the contact first when the waitress came over and took his order. He had enough to feed himself two meals today, if he found a job. Once the waitress left he looked back over towards the handsome cowboy and found himself drowning in the others eyes once again. The two men continued to look at one another, not registering anyone else in the shop.

Irvine couldn't believe what he was seeing, watching Seifer walk up to the coffee shop, shoulders slightly hunched as if waiting for an attack that he deserved, looking much thinner than was healthy for his frame. His skin sallow, his eyes sunken in, he looked as if he was on the verge of being sick. His clothes, although clean-looking, where slightly shabby. This was not the Seifer he remembered, not the confident, arrogant Seifer. Not the bully eager for victims, this Seifer was broken. He looked lonely. He looked like a lost ghost trying to find the light. Irvine couldn't take his eyes off him. He remembered Seifer as a child and he remembered fighting him during the Sorceress wars, and what the others said of him during his teens at the Garden. But he could not reconcile that Seifer with this Seifer. They were not the same.

As Seifer had taken the table, he had looked at his menu and soon looked up, locking eyes with Irvine. When that had happened Irvine had felt the connection, he had felt his whole body respond to the electricity in their gazes. He had felt the almost insane urge to go over and kiss the scarred blond. He suddenly knew, without a doubt that here was a kindred soul; a beautiful, pained, scarred soul, but a mate to his own. He didn't question his feelings, he always went with his gut feelings and it had never let him down, he didn't think it would let him down now.

He found himself standing up and walking over to the blond, before his mind had caught up, but he didn't care, if he didn't strike now, he would regret for the rest of his life. As he neared the table he smiled for the first time, putting the blond at ease he could see.

Stopping at the other chair facing the blond, he put his hand on the back of the chair, grinned and asked, "This is gonna sound so cliché, but is this seat taken?"

Seifer was speechless, so he just nodded, and then quickly shook his head no.

Laughing, Irvine asked, "You're not sure if it is?"

Seifer immediately quit his head movement, knowing he had looked the idiot.

"No it's not taken, please sit down."

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