Tea is supposed to be relaxing, assuming it’s decaffeinated. I guess a well-brewed cup of green leaf water could still be calming even with that extra burst of energy…as long as you don’t have five consecutive cups within an hour. There I was, slamming my fifth serving down with an earth-shattering rattle. Wiping my mouth on the back of my forearm, I spluttered, “What do you mean, he lied to me?” Six feet and a single inch of a handful of freckles, flaming red hair, and one sarcastic grin answered my rhetorical question. “Yeah, he knows where to find your missing friend. Just doesn’t want to give anything away. So petty.” Suppressing a burp, I demanded, “What’s your name again?” Right as I asked that, I knew the answer. Knoah. After all, how many guys do you meet with that sort of name? He leaned back in his chair, crossing his ankles and resting his boots on the ground as he calmly prodded, “Do you always get this agitated over news from a stranger?” Fueled with too many doses of adrenaline, it took everything in me to hold back my fists from his face. Judging by his cheekbones, I would’ve done more damage to my knuckles anyways. Instead, I buried my face in my hands and mumbled, “It just doesn’t make sense. Why the fuck would he lie to me? He’s never done it before.” Knoah’s confident smile finally faded from view, helping to pull me back from the precipice I had been nearing throughout our conversation. Sighing, he pushed back from the table and retorted, “There’s a first for everything, sweetheart.” I couldn’t tell if the gaze he offered me was pitying or truly empathetic. Favoring my pessimism, I chewed on my lip absentmindedly for a good two or three seconds as I contemplated his words. Then my attention fell to his biceps swathed in tattoos, flexing as he adjusted the bottom of his shirt. “How much would I have to pay you to beat him up for me?” I blurted out, standing up and nearly knocking the forgotten pot of tea onto the floor.
“I’d do it for free,” he shot back with a charming smirk.