>> Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The first thing Amberle noticed was the fire which lit of the room in a warm orange light. "You have a fireplace?"
Henry smiled as he nodded. "It is a penthouse apartment." He motioned to the stairs which Amberle assumed led up to the bedroom. "The cost is a bit more, but it is well worth it to have a balcony on which I can admire the stars."
Amberle's mind simply blanked as her stomach churned. She could think of nothing to say and the only thoughts she had revolved around the fact that she was alone with this man in his apartment. It was certainly a trap set part by her own luck and part by her own subconcious will. Now she wished that she had tried knocking on Samantha's door until she had been forced to open, but it was too late now. Henry had the phone in his hand and was already speaking with the manager who would expect Amberle to be at Henry's apartment.
Briefly, she contemplated waiting on one of the sofas outside of her own apartment, but it was so cold in the hall and so warm in Henry's apartment that the thought was a fleeting one.
"He said he would be here in half an hour." Henry motioned to the couch before the fire. "Would you like some coffee while you wait?"
Amberle's mouth felt too dry to speak, so she only nodded as she took a seat on the couch. The warmth of the fire touched her face first then seeped down to the rest of her body so that she involuntarily shivered.
Henry stood with his back to her at the coffee machine. His brown sweater accentuated his broad shoulders. He was certainly not like the wirey young male elves she had known growing up. Male sims were generally larger and wider than female sims, just one of the differences between sim and elf.
"Here you are," Henry said as he handed her a warm mug of coffee. He sat down beside her with his own cup so that there was only a few inches between his thigh and her thigh.
"Thank you." Amberle looked away from Henry as she took a small sip so that the quiet would at least appear to be less awkward. The coffee scalded her tongue as it burned its way through her throat to the pit of her stomach. She could feel it moving within her stomach like a small eddie until it became a small warm ball.
She wasn't sure what to say. Old warnings from her supposedly well meaning care takers bubbled up to the surface of her memory. "Remember that male sims can force their way with you. They aren't as civilized as our elf males." Once she had met a few male sims, she had been sure it was simply a parting trick meant to make her afraid so that she would have a difficult time adapting. But sitting next to Henry, she found herself worrying.
Amberle tried to keep her knees as close together as possible so that there would remain a distance between their two bodies, but as she attempted to take up as little room as possible, he tried to take up as much room as possible.
It seemed as if it had been more than a few minutes ago since he had last spoken a word to her. Amberle stood, placing her coffee mug on the shelf above the fireplace, so that she could study the tapestries that hung on the wall.
"How old are these tapestries? They certainly don't look like reproductions."
Henry also stood, much to Amberle's dismay, so that he was now behind her. "I am a collector of old things. It's my hobby, I suppose you would say."
Amberle stood gazing at the ancient threads so she would not have to face him. "It must have cost a lot. What is it that you do for a living?"
Henry stepped forward so that he was between herself and the door. "Mostly, I buy and sell old collectables. It's a hobby that pays for itself."
She nodded as she took a step back. It always felt like an awkward dance with his trying to put himself between her and the nearest exit and her trying to find new ways to exit. But now he had her trapped. The warm ball of coffee in her stomach burned uncomfortably.
He smiled at her as he stepped forward, still keeping his broad-shouldered self in front of her only means of escape. "You know, my dear, you do make things rather difficult."