My Mistake

Ireland Rowlins is a pathological robber. She hits a music store, and is almost caught in the process. By the store owners son. She is drawn to him, and leaves the store empty handed. Since her mistake, she's been going back and forth, between deciding to turn herself in and ending her reign, and hiding the past she is willing to put behind her.

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6. Lunch

I looked at my watch. It'd been an hour and fifteen minutes since I'd spoken to Rory. I should probably head back to the store. I strolled up the escalator, taking my time as I approached the store. From a distance, I could already see that Rory was pacing around the entrance with a worried look on his face.

"Sorry," I said, coming closer. "Am I late?" I saw Rory's face flood with relief as he turned back and waved to someone in the store. I looked in and I saw Hayden waving back, giving Rory a thumbs up.

"No, you're fine," Rory said, sounding proud.

"You didn't think that I was going to come, did you?" I asked him, feigning offense to his comment.

"No, no, that's not what I was saying," Rory sputtered.

"Then why was Hayden waiting with you?" I said, acting as if I was hurt.

"No! Not at all!" Rory stammered.

"You know what," I said, turning my head away from him so that he couldn't see my eyes. I pretended to wipe at my eyes as if tears were welling up. "Never mind. I don't think this is going to work. I'm sorry you couldn't trust me." I walked away, with a hand over my mouth and nose, eyes down, and holding my breathe.

"No, no!" Rory cut in front of me. "Honey, I don't think that at all! We can make it work! I do trust you!" I sniffled, turning my head away from him again.

"You called me Honey," I said quietly.

"What?" Rory said, gently grabbing my wrists.

"You called me Honey," I repeated myself a little louder.

"Well, of course I did," Rory said, raising my chin with his finger. He was grinning at me. "You're the sweetest thing around." I blushed, turning away from him again.

"No one has ever called me Honey before," I whispered.

"Well, then they haven't been fully honest with you," Rory said, bringing my face back to his. Now I adverted my eyes.

"We need to go to lunch," I whispered.

"Sure," Rory said, releasing my wrists. "What are you hungry for?"

"I don't care what we eat," I said, refusing to look at him. "I just know that I'm hungry." He'd shaken me when he called me Honey. It'd thrown off my entire plan for a moment; he'd gotten under my guard.

"I like that in a girl," Rory noted. "A girl that can hold her own."

"How do you know that I can hold my own?" I asked, jokingly. "What if I'm just putting on a front?"

"You're not," Rory said, giving me a grin. He offered his arm to me. I grinned and took it. "How does Chinese takeout sound?"

"It sounds pretty good," I said with a grin. And I meant it too: not to formal, but also not to casual to be gross, but just enough for him to think that he still had a chance with me.

We ordered and sat down with our food before Rory spoke again.

"So, what are you looking for in these lessons?" Rory asked, looking me in the eyes. His brown-hazel eyes were brought out by his grey polo, and they asking me a different question.

"I think I've already answered that question," I said, trailing off, reaching across the table to rest my hand over his. I lifted my eyes, looking at him through my eyelashes.

"Is there anything else you're looking for?" he asked, his eyes fixed on my hand on top of his, as if he were afraid that it would be gone if he blinked.

"Why don't you tell me?" I asked him, putting my other hand underneath his chin, raising it until he was looking into my own eyes.

"I can't tell you want you want," he murmured, his eyes not faltering from my own, "if I don't know what you want."

"But you can give me what I want," I whispered back. "I don't have to tell you." Rory's lips parted slightly. "Think about it this way," I continued, flipping my hair so that he could see the curve of my neck. "If you give me what I ask for, you'll never give me what I want."

"Your eyes are such a beautiful shade of blue," Rory murmured. "You have a freckle..." he reached for the freckle that I had exposed on my collarbone, while turning over the hand I had under my own. I turned away, pulling my hand with me, knowing that I would discourage him. "I'm sorry," he said quietly.

"What for?" I asked, peeking out behind my hair.

"I..." Rory trailed off, looking down at his food. I reached back across the table to caress his forearm, knowing it would drive him crazy. He looked back up at me, with hope lighting up his eyes. "Tell me what you're asking for, and I'll give you what you want." I smiled at him.

"Glad you're determined," I purred.

"I will do anything to get you to be happy," Rory blurted. I laughed.

"Last I remembered, this was a business meeting," I teased him, raising a brow at him. Rory blushed and looked back down. "But I'm hungry, and I'm assuming, you are too, so I'm going to eat." I picked up my chopsticks and maneuvered them around my plate. I was aware of how Rory was studying me as I ate.

"Let me see your hands," he said, reaching his hand out towards me. I blinked at him, waiting for him to sputter out an explanation. "I just wanted to see something," he coaxed. I shrugged, transferring my chopsticks to my right hand and offering my left hand. He kept his touch light as he studied my hand. "It's clear that you've played before," he noted.

"Yeah," I said, "I just want to get better. I see all these artist posting acoustics of their songs, and it makes me jealous. I really just want to be able to play While My Guitar Gently Weeps, though." Rory's eyes crinkled as he smiled.

"That shall be our main priority," Rory said, lifting my hand slowly. He was trying to kiss my hand. I pulled away again, pretending to stretch my arms, high above my head. I could see this disappointment in his face as he lowered his eyes.

"Rory!" A voice joined us at the table. I looked over to see a little girl, about ten years old.

"Hey!" Rory turned his attention away from me for a moment, focusing on the girl. "How have you been, Rebecca?"

"Playing the piano is so much fun!" she gushed. She lifted up her hands. "It doesn't even hurt my fingers anymore!"

"That's amazing!" Rory said, clearly proud of himself. He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. "Maybe you can convince my friend here that I'm a good teacher." Rebecca looked at me for what felt like the first time.

"Rory's an amazing teacher!" she spoke quickly and full of passion. It was very amusing.

"I'll take your word for it," I said, sincerely, patting her hand and giving her a nice smile. She stared at me again and blinked. I looked back at Rory, worried. What did I say?

"You're really pretty," she noted.

"Why, thank you," I said, smiling again.

She looked over at Rory. "Is she your girlfriend?" I raised my brows, both surprised and amused.

"Ah, well," Rory started, stammering. I turned to him and looked deeply in his eyes, daring him to say no. Rory looked at me, frozen, his mouth slightly open.

"Rebecca!" a man called to Rebecca.

"Sorry!" Rebecca's apology was very sincere. "I've got to get home!"

"Don't forget our lesson on Thursday," Rory reminded her. She smiled at him, waving goodbye to him.

"Someone has a crush on you," I teased him.

"Stop," Rory said, blushing, looking down at his hands again.

"You didn't tell me you did piano lessons too!" I exclaimed. I was truly interested.

"You want to play piano?" Rory asked, looking just as surprised as I anticipated he would.

"Yeah, my mom's always wanted me to learn," I said, looking away from him and out towards the mall. "I've just never found myself a teacher." I looked back at him.

"Do you want to add that to you lesson plans?" he asked, grinning at me.

"You just don't want me to leave, do you?" I asked, smiling back at him. Rory blushed again, looking back down at his hands. "You never did answer Rebecca's question," I noted, lazily, inspecting the chow mein I'd just picked up with my chopsticks.

"What did you want me to say?" Rory asked, turning the question back at me. I narrowed my eyes at him, surprised that he was already picking up on my manipulative habits.

"What were you going to say?" I asked, shooting the question right back to him. Rory looked surprised; he wasn't expecting a question coming back. To be honest, I wasn't either.

"That's not important anymore," he whispered, still looking into my eyes.

"It's very important," I murmured back, leaning towards him, my fingers itching to brush the hair away from his face. We stared at each other for a while before Rory looked back at his food, nearly untouched this entire time. He picked up his fork and poked at it for a bit before opening his mouth again. "Can't use chopsticks?" I teased him, before he could get another word out.

"I think that it's a skill that is learned," Rory noted, his eyes crinkling in amusement.

"If anything, it's more of a girl thing," I said, grinning back.

"There's another possibility," Rory replied, nodding his head as if he were considering the thought.

"Possibility?" I asked, laughing. "I think that's a fact of life!"

"How is that a fact of life?"

"Girls are always better than guys at everything!" We laughed again. Rory opened his mouth to say something else, but was interrupted by a sharp ring. He took out his phone and glanced at it. He sighed.

"I have to get back to work," he said, sounding disappointed. I had to admit, I was pretty disappointed too. I hadn't realized how much time we'd been sitting there. "I really wish I didn't,
 he murmured, almost as if he hoped I wouldn't hear him.

"Me too." I didn't mean to say it, it just came out! "It's too bad we don't have a lesson schedule planned out for me."

"Give me your address." Rory said it so bluntly, I had to stare at him. "When I get off work, I could stop by your house and we can figure it out there."

"No!" I blurted. Rory looked at me with a look of surprise and hurt in his eyes. "How about we meet in the park on Tenth? When do you get off?"

"I would say yes, but I don't know how I feel about having you in the dark," Rory chuckled uneasily. "I have to close up. My dad's the owner." His dad's the owner? Why is it that I choose to get closer to the owner's son? It makes sense as to why he was at the store so late.

"So because your dad's the owner, you get sucky hours?" I joked, leaning in close to him, trying not to alert him that I was freaking out on the inside. Rory grinned at me.

"You know, most people would freak out or call me a rich kid if I told them that," Rory noted, leaning towards me. "You took it so cool."

"I don't see how I was supposed to take it differently," I murmured, stroking his arm before, looking back at him through my lashes.

"We could always go to my place," Rory murmured, rubbing my chin. Everything in my robber self told me to run away, and fast. But everything else in my body was telling me to stay and kiss him. Rory was leaning closer towards me, and I wasn't sure if I would fend him off. Right before his lips met mine, his phone went off again. He groaned. "I really have to go," Rory said, apologetically. He got up, picking up his take-out tray with him. "You coming?" Was I? He'd completely thrown me.

"Sure," I said, smiling at him. He smiled back and picked up my take-out tray too. He went towards the trash bin before I realized that he forgot his hoodie. I picked it up for him, shaking my head. He'd probably forget it if it weren't for me.

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