Skin deep

In a dusty, old bookshop two people have their lives changed forever when a secret is revealed and the dangerous consequences along with it...


3. 3


Bryan didn’t know why he was returning to the bookshop only that he felt he had to. He had woke up this morning expecting to see the world in a new light but it was its mundane self as always. He even wondered if it happened at all although the theatre tickets were missing.

  “Yes but it could still be a crazy dream and you misplaced them,” he thought, it was a convincing scenario.

   He walked into the bookshop and his gaze immediately landed on Cady who was currently placing books onto the shelf. He went to her and stood behind her, she had not noticed him yet.

   “Cady,” he said, and she spun round.

   “Bryan,” she replied, her expression one of shock.

   “I need to talk to you.”

   She turned away from him to put the last book away. “What about?” she asked.

   He began to doubt the whole thing happened and felt suddenly stupid. Anyway he had to ask, to clear his head.

   “Do you have the name Alora?”

   She tensed up and glanced back at him.

   “I-I urrmm,” she stammered. “Can we talk later?”

   This confirmed it was all true, he started to have a repeat of the madness he experienced last night. He managed to grip the shelf to steady himself.

   “But we can’t talk later Cady, does this mean you’re some-“

   “Shush” She put a finger on his lips. “Yes we will meet for coffee later at lunch,” she said rather loudly, that it stirred the Boss from behind the cashier counter. “Please meet me at Stansbury coffee shop during break and I will explain everything,” she added in a low whisper before hurrying away.

    He stared after her in a daze before the Boss snapped at him to get to work.




The nerves buzzed like a hive of bees in Bryan’s stomach and he had already drained his first coffee. It had only been five minutes.

   He couldn't believe it was true that Cady was really a sort of lizard monster who goes by the name Alora and has a slight obsession with fairy tales. He had to pinch himself in case this was still a dream and would wake up. But this was his reality now and he had to accept it somehow.

   He glanced up and saw her pass the window of the coffee shop he smiled before shaking his head.

   "Don't grin like a love-struck idiot," he thought and added "I'm in love?"

   Cady arrived at the table and smiled nervously.

   "May I sit down?" She asked.

   The question snapped him out of his own monologue "Of course," he replied. His eyes swept over her and could not find any sign of non-human elements, save the eyes but even then that could be explained away.

   "I'm really sorry about all this Bryan, it is a first for me to feel about you in such an intimate way," she said, and her hands grabbed his. He jumped at the action before relaxing feeling her soft hands touching his work-roughened ones.  "I don't know why I feel this way but I acted the way I did last night because of it." This sounded like a normal proclamation of love had it not been for the fact she was missing a very important detail.  "I care about you very deeply Bryan and I kissed you because I think I love you."

   Bryan lifted his head to see her looking at him expectantly. 

   "So you're really a lizard?" was all he could think to ask.

   She dropped her gaze.

   "I'm not a lizard,” She replied. “You don't like the truth do you? But that’s okay." She sounded broken and let his hands go.

   “Stupid, stupid thing to say,” he thought, and realised Cady was about to leave so he said "Don’t leave, I don’t want you to."

   She settled back down into the chair with a hopeful expression on her face. Bryan tried to word the next statement in a better way.

   "I really like you, I do but I thought that ... other side of you was some crazy dream. Now it’s true and I need to let the whole thing sink in.” He smiled at her reassuringly. “I do really like you Cady, Alora, whatever name you like to have. I’m not very good at this.” He adjusted his glasses feeling anxious about her reaction.

   Yet Cady smiled at him and replied “That was good and so nice to hear, Bryan.” She reached into her coat and brought out the crumpled theatre tickets. “I still kept these in case you still wanted to go, I know they’re a little torn but it shouldn’t be a problem.”

   He picked up the theatre tickets surprised that she kept them. “So does this mean the answer’s yes to going on a date?”

   Cady leaned over and whispered “Yes it does.” She kissed him on the lips softly, passionately, it felt so good and goose bumps appeared on his skin. She pulled away and he was left hanging halfway across the table with a stupid grin spread across his face.

  “Wow that was amazing,” he said, which was true it was one of the best kisses he ever had, not that he had experienced many kisses he wasn't  exactly a player.  

   “I will meet you later at the theatre,” she said, getting up and crossing to him. She kissed him quickly on the lips.  

   "I guess so," Bryan replied when she left the table. 

   He could not wait, suddenly he realised he was a love-struck idiot in the beginnings of an unconventional relationship. 

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