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Rosaline traced her gaze back to the beginning of the sentence for the third time; the words she could recite, but the meanings kept eluding her. Peeking over the edge of the book, she glanced at the darkened rectangle that was her phone.
Sitting quietly on the other side of the table, it displayed no movement except for the pixels that made up the digits of time rearranging themselves to catch up to the new reality, bringing no trace of what had been into what was now.
She wished she could do just that, erasing the past like the pixels on her screen, and that ironic thought made her lift her gaze from the book and release a bitter chuckle, expecting to see the bustling of a late afternoon café in a summer afternoon.
What met her gaze instead, was a pair of piercing dark eyes with amusement dancing around their corners. They belonged to a tall broad man with long steady strides. The warm afternoon sun bounced from his unruly dark hair, coloring it the shade of dark chocolate, highlighting the defined angles of his cheekbones and the perfectly chiseled jawline. His shirt was casually wrinkled, exuding that kind of devil-may-care confidence. He was gorgeous, and he had no business making his way towards her.
She opened her mouth, and then closed it, feeling the heat of his gaze on her cheeks. A commotion out the window caught her attention. A lone starling shot off from the grassy ground in a frenzy, a puffed-up magpie fluttering its black-ringed wings in its wake, making a cacophony of squeals and feathers. When the starling vanished into the tress beyond, merging into one of the speckles on the window, Rosaline’s gaze drifted back to Gabriel, who was turning around from the spectacle to meet her eyes.
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