Anesse & Hoy

Chapter One

Anesse happily filled orders by herself. Her employee she had on staff that evening had to leave early because the person babysitting her child had become violently ill and unable to care for them. She hoped her son wouldn’t get sick aswell. She didn’t even care about her missing work she just knew Henry was his mothers world and it would be hard on her to watch him be ill. This wasn’t the best neighborhood for a woman to be working alone in but she always made good money here and she just couldn’t bring herself to pack up and leave just because she was alone. She had pepper spray and lots of hot grease to fling if need be.

She was so happy in the moment because she had been doing better than ever out here tonight. She finally had the money she needed for her grandmothers hip replacement surgery. Her grandmother had been suffering so much and was miserable. She had always been so active and being forced to live most her life on the couch at this point was nothing short of torture for the old woman. She remained after making enough because she was hoping to make enough to also give her grandparents care taker a big bonus for her birthday. It had taken Anesse years to find a care taker that took care of them like she wanted them to and she tried to show her appreciation when she could.

Staying there alone as long as she had turned out to be a mistake. She was just starting to shut everything down and put everything up to leave when a hooded man entered her truck with a gun pointed at her. She gasped, stepping back, mind racing. “Give me your money box” She already felt like crying “Please, don’t do this”

“I’m not fucking playing around. Give me the damn money box!” She tried to reason with him “I take care of my grandparents by myself and I know people think we make a lot of money on the regular but we food truck owners really don’t, please, I need this money for them. They depend on me…please” she hated herself for crying but she had been so excited to finally be able to replace her grandmothers hip for her. She was about to lose it all and she couldn’t handle it.

He didn’t seem to care a bit “This is your last chance. Don’t think I wont kill you and take it anyway. Who will take care of them then?” In full blown tears she grabbed it, knowing giving up her days earnings was better than her trying something with this man when he was armed with a gun. Her grease had already cooled to the point it wouldn’t be much help. He snatched it and ran out. She sat down and sobbed, hating herself for crying, and for staying so long. She should have gone home and not been so naive to think she would be okay out here without another person. Her grandmother would still have to be miserable and she had been so close to helping her. Eventually she dried it up, finished what she was doing and drove home.

Hoy’s smile when he saw Anesse quickly faded when she stepped through the front door of the apartment complex. It wasn’t hard to see she had been crying. She glanced at him then at her feet as she quickly pushed the elevator button.

“Are you alright?” He asked in a gentle tone.

“Yeah, just a rough day.” She still wasn’t looking at him, but she looked near tears again as the elevator doors opened and they stepped in together.

“Want to talk about it?” She shook her head.

It was killing him how distraught she looked. He wasn’t used to this Anesse at all and just wanted her to be bubbly and happy again. “seriously, come to my place for a drink and talk to me. I won’t push it any further if you say no again but something very bad obviously happened. We’ve seen eachother enough for me to know that” They reached her floor and she walked out, him following since she hadn’t answered “You’re sweet Hoy but I can’t stand to cry around other people and I might cry again.”

“I have a sleeping mask and earplugs. If you want privacy crying I can keep them at my side while you’re in my home. As soon as you start on they go. You can just tap me when we can talk again” Anesse actually laughed picturing it.

It was killing him how distraught she looked. He wasn’t used to this Anesse at all and just wanted her to be bubbly and happy again. “seriously, come to my place for a drink and talk to me. I won’t push it any further if you say no again but something very bad obviously happened. We’ve seen eachother enough for me to know that” They reached her floor and she walked out, him following since she hadn’t answered “You’re sweet Hoy but I can’t stand to cry around other people and I might cry again.”

“I have a sleeping mask and earplugs. If you want privacy crying I can keep them at my side while you’re in my home. As soon as you start on they go. You can just tap me when we can talk again” Anesse actually laughed picturing it.

“thank you Hoy” He gave her a charming smile then went to his kitchen. Anesse walked around, admiring his apartment. They had been sort of friends for a long time but this was the first time she had been invited to or in his apartment. It was nice, about how she imagined it. She knew a lot of men could be slobs but Hoy took so much care in his appearance she expected he took the same care in his home. His hair was always combed and perfect looking, even if she caught him early in the morning. His clothes looked like he probably ironed them and that they came from high end stores she could never dream of shopping in.

She was still looking around when he came out with her drink “If you’d rather see the whole place before we talk that’s fine with me”

“It’s fine, I wasn’t trying to be a snoop”

“I’d be just as curious if I was in your home Anesse, it’s really fine. Let me give you a tour” He handed her the drink he made “Hope you like it” She took a sip then followed him as he started talking about his apartment. “Most of what you own looks older than you are” She said and he awkwardly laughed. They weren’t, he was just far older than he had had to tell her he was. When she asked he knew she wouldn’t have believed he was on his way to being one hundred and eighty years old.

With that they sat down on his inconceivably comfortable couch “Oh I may never leave” She said as she leaned back into it. “you’re welcome to come in anytime. We just never get the chance to talk long so I figured before now me inviting you in would be creepy”

“I never actually got the creepy vibe from you.” She sighed and sat her glass down, looking sad again.

“Anesse, what happened?”

“I…I was mugged tonight.”

“What?” He sat his glass down and scooted a little closer. “Are you alright? Were you hurt?”

“”No, he didn’t do anything to me but threaten me, then he took my money.”

“Thank goodness.”

“But he took it, all of it, I was finally there.”

He took her hand gently in his. “What do you mean?”

Tears filled her eyes again and she quickly wiped at them. “I…I was going to pay for my grandma’s hip replacement, but I can’t now. I’m so stupid, I should have gone home.”

He couldn’t help himself and wound up hugging her. She cried into his shirt and he gently stroked her hair. “Don’t say that, he could have hurt you. I doubt your grandmother would want you getting hurt over money.”

“But I want to help her so bad. It’s not fair, she’d be so much happier if I could pay for her surgery” He kept comforting her until she sat up straight “I can’t believe i just bawled like that”

“I’ve seen you with your grandmother. You’re so warm and caring with her. I can see how much she means to you. I can’t believe some prick stole all the money you made today. Listen, I know you’ll want to refuse me but I am very well off. How much did you make today? I want to give you whatever that amount is. You earned it and I have more money than I can spend. Let me help, no strings attached I promise”

“I can’t”

“You can, please, I don’t want to see her suffering any more than you do. You saved up all the rest and honestly earned what was taken from you today. Let me replace it”

“Hoy, I…I can’t just take your money. It wouldn’t be right. I…I can earn it back.”

“I know you can.” He reached up and gently wiped away a stray tear. “But I really want to do this, you shouldn’t have the stress of your grandmother’s discomfort hanging over your head. Let me, please?”

“Why are you being so sweet?”

He smiled. “Because you’re such a wonderful person and I hate your tears.”

She gave him a small smile. “Okay, but I can’t take it for free, I’d feel bad. I’ll pay you back, so don’t argue.”

“fine but you can take your time. Just pay me as you can in any amounts you can”

“Thank you so much” She stayed until she finished her drink then went home, giving him a tight, long hug before walking away. His heart was beating so fast and he felt those familiar butterflies she caused in him. Anesse was so beautiful, inside and out and while he knew he shouldn’t be falling in love with a mortal she was making it near impossible. Hoy took her glass to the sink then got ready for bed. First thing the next morning Anesse started making calls and set up an appointment to get her appointment for surgery. It was annoying to her but it did sort of make sense that they’d want to give her grandmother a check up to see how her health was before surgery.

It was mostly annoying because she was just so anxious to get this done so her grandmother could be comfortable and happier. Sabiny was now awake and coming into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee as she did every morning “Morning, is my grandma awake?”

“No” Sabiny looked a little sad as she continued “she had trouble sleeping last night. She couldn’t get comfortable. Sabiny was surprised Anesse didn’t look upset about it until she said gleefully “I finally have enough money. I just got her an appointment for a check up so they can schedule her for surgery. They’re finally going to help her”

“when is her appointment” Sabiny asked excitedly. “Tomorrow at two fifteen”

“Are you going to come or will you be working?”

“I will take off for this. We need to celebrate after somehow”

Chapter Two

“I’ll help you think of something. Your grandmother is going to be so happy.”

Anesse smiled. “I’m just glad she’ll finally get to be comfortable.” She wouldn’t tell them about being mugged, not yet anyway. She didn’t want them to worry. As soon as everything was settled, she would bring Hoy over and tell them he had helped.

“I’m going to get breakfast started, would you like me to make you something?”

“No, I’m fine, you already work so hard. I can never thank you enough, Sabiny. You’re so good with my grandparents.”

“It’s no problem, I enjoy my time with them. At least wait around for coffee.”

“Alright, thank you.”

Hoy felt a little irritated as he waited by the elevator for Anesse. He had been thinking about her being attacked all night, about how easily things could have possibly escalated. He wanted to protect her. He looked up when he heard footsteps and smiled happily at Anesse. “Morning.” He said.

“Good morning. I need to thank you again for what you did.”

“I wanted to help.” He pushed the elevator button. “So, mind if I tag along today?”

“For what?”

“To watch over you in case that idiot comes back.”

The doors opened and they stepped in. “I’m sure you’re busy.”

“Nah and even if I was, I wouldn’t want to leave you out there alone. He might think you’re an easy mark. If you got hurt and I didn’t do something to prevent it, I’d be a jerk and a failure. Besides, I’ve always wanted to see what goes on behind the scenes.”

Anesse’s heart skipped a beat and she wound up laughing. “Alright, just don’t eat all the food.”

He loaded into her truck with her and they picked up one of her employees. “where’s Lisa?” was his first question and Anesse answered “her sitter became ill yesterday. She hasn’t messaged or called me so I didn’t pick her up first”

“Damn, who’s this guy?”

“Hoy, he lives in my building. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about him before”

“Yeah, nice to meet you man”

“Nice to meet you”

“I’m going to be honest Eric, I need to buy a cash box today…ours was stolen last night…I stayed in that neighborhood even after she left”

“Oh my god, were you hurt?”

“Mentally, I am so angry at myself for not leaving”

“I’m just glad you’re okay. Don’t be hard on yourself. I know why you did it.”

“well thanks to Hoy here it doesn’t matter. He’s replacing what I lost so I can still get my grandmothers hip replaced. Grandpa will be able to go on those walks with her again she loved so much”

They stopped at a store and both Hoy and Eric followed Anesse around while she looked at the different lock boxes. “I think you need something better and heavier.” Hoy said.

“I agree, like an actual safe.” Eric added.

“They’re too expensive.” Anesse said as she picked up one of the boxes then put it back.

Hoy chuckled as he walked up to the counter. “Excuse me sir.” He called to the man who was sitting in the office in the back. He waited patiently for him.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes, I need a small, biometric safe. It has to be able to fit in a food truck.” the man moved around the counter and both Anesse and Eric watched as Hoy followed him, not quite knowing what to say. When he came back he was carrying a biometric cash box. “Here you go, it’s fire proof, flood resistant, and there’s no way someone’s going to be able to break into it.”

“Hoy…I can’t just…” Anesse said, finally finding her voice.

“Now, now none of that. This will make sure you don’t lose anything else and you can stick it anywhere and you and your employees can program in your fingerprints.”

“But I already owe you so much.”

He shrugged. “I don’t mind, I want you happy so please let me get it for you.”

Anesse was speechless as he bought it and they set it up. Once back in the car she cleared her throat “Hoy, you have to let me do something for you”

“You’re letting me accompany you today”

“Hoy, I’m serious.”

“Is it really going to bother you?”

“I just want to do something”

“will you go out for ice cream with me then?”

“I can buy it for you?” Hoy chuckled “I was trying to ask you on a date. If you gave me a date with you that would make me happy. I’ve wanted to ask you out. No obligations beyond one date. If you don’t have fun you don’t have to again” She blushed “Okay, when my other employee can come back to work I’ll take a day off”

While Anesse and Eric worked, Hoy observed not only her cooking, but the customers and anyone around the place. If the man who had robbed her the night before was watching, he wanted Anesse to identify him so he could be taken off the streets.

“So Hoy, what do you do anyway?” Eric asked.

“Whatever catches my attention I guess. I have a lot of money so I do all kinds of stuff. I’be taken some business classes and I was hoping to maybe open a bar.”

“That sounds fun, any design in mind? If not I can hook you up with a friend of mine who can draw up a floor plan.”

“That would be amazing. I’ve wanted the bar pretty bad but I just never got it going”

“If things slow down enough for Anesse to be able to handle it on her own I’ll call him” Hoy looked a bit uncomfortable and Anesse said “It’s fine, I don’t mind. I’m a pretty laid back boss. He knows I’d kick his ass if he tried to get out of this truck while we’re busy though”

“Yeah, she’s cool.” Eric said with a smile as he continued working. It stayed busy throughout the day but Eric called while Anesse was closeing up that evening. He gave his friend Hoy’s information and told Hoy to set a time for them to meet. “Thanks” Hoy said as Eric hungup. “No sweat, you helped out Anesse. I’m glad I can help you in some form.”

“Alright boys everything’s locked up and that new cash box is going to do wonders for me. I feel much better with it in there.” Anesse said with a smile.

“I’m glad, still mad that creep got away though. I wish I had been here last night. Hoy replied.

“Me too, I’d have relieved him of a few teeth.” Eric added as he punched the air.

“You guys are far too sweet.”

“It’s not hard, you’re such an amazing and beautiful person.” Hoy said, making her blush.

Eric chuckled “Okay you two, I’ll take a cab home”

“No, I normally take you home” Eric waved his hands in front of him “I can take a cab.” They waited until he flagged one down and got in before leaving. Anesse was still pink, Eric obviously saw she was attracted to Hoy. Hoy and Anesse began spending at least a few hours together daily until it came time for her grandmothers appointment. To all their relief she was given a clean bill of health that said she could have the surgery done. They couldn’t get her in for a month but having a deadline to end her pain had both her grandparents in tears. Her grandfather hugged her “you are such a wonderful granddaughter. Thank you for taking such good care of us”

“well you guys took good care of me first”

Anesse wanted to give Hoy the good news the moment they got home and quickly made her way to his apartment once her grandparents were settled in. She was happy to find he was home and he smiled sweetly at her when he let her in. “Well hello beautiful, you look happy.”

“I’m ecstatic, grandma is getting her surgery in a month.”

“That’s wonderful.”

She hugged him tightly and he chuckled as he returned her embrace. “It’s all thanks to you, Hoy. If you hadn’t been so generous, it may have taken so much longer and she’d still be in pain. Thank you so, so much.”

“You never have to thank me, I already told you, I just like seeing you happy.” He pulled back and gently stroked her cheek. “Your smile is so beautiful, it lights up your whole face and you just seem to glow from within.”

She felt her face get hot and her heart did a little flip. “You’re just saying that.”

“I mean it, you’re just so…well everything really.” He really wanted to tell her everything, that he was immortal and that he loved her beyond all reason. “You make me happy, you know that? All the little talks we’ve had, every moment we’ve shared, it’s all made me really happy and…well I don’t know if I deserve too or if I even should, but I love you.”

Chapter Three

It took her a few moments to process what he had just said. “you love me?”

“I’ve been falling in love with you for awhile and now all this time of seeing you every day. I’m madly in love with you”

“You’re amazing though, why wouldn’t you deserve to?’

“Lets sit down” he said a bit sadly and walked her to his couch. She sat and he started to tell his story, the story of how he became immortal and how he had gotten his fortune. He then explained how he tried not to grow attached to people since they would die and he wouldn’t. When he was done he didn’t have to wait long for her to respond. “and this isn’t a joke Hoy?”

“Not at all, would you like to meet Lena?”

“A dragon? Of course I would”

“Are you mad I didn’t tell you sooner?”

“No, you could get locked up in a psych ward telling people stuff like that. You’re so honest though, maybe if someone else had told me I might not have believed them but I believe you Hoy. I’d really like to meet her. Not as evidence either, I just really want to meet a dragon” He smiled and took her hand “I really do love you Anesse”

“I love you too Hoy…I mean, if you don’t mind me getting old and not looking like this forever I’d like to be with you” His heart stuttered in his chest and he slowly moved in to kiss her. It was a slow, sweet kiss that had tingles rushing through both their bodies. He rested his forehead on hers “let me call her and see when you two can meet” Anesse gave him another brief kiss then they just sat together until his phone rang. When he answered he chuckled nervously “well speak of the devil, I was going to call you”. Anesse was nervous now, wondering if Lena would want to meet her.

“what’s up?” Lena asked him. “I know I’ve told you about Anesse before, well, we’ve been spending a lot of time together lately and I’ve fallen in love with her…I wanted you to meet her. I’ve told her everything”

“Oh I’d love to meet her. I was just calling to invite you over. Can you come tonight for dinner?” He moved the phone from his mouth and asked Anesse “can you do tonight?”

“yeah” He moved the phone back into position to talk “we can come tonight” He chuckled and it was adorable due to his nerves. The two went back to Anesse’s house to hangout with her family until dinner. Exciting them all further when she told them she was dating Hoy. Her grandmother was so overwhelmed with all the godo news she was crying again. When dinner rolled around they said their goodbyes and Hoy took her to meet his dragon friend Lena.

When they arrived at Lenas home Anesse said “wow she lives in a house”

“were you expecting a cave?”

“Hey, I’m new to all this?” Hoy chuckled and they walked up to the door, Hoy knocking. Lena answered with an instant hug for Anesse. “Lena” Hoy said and Anesse now laughed “it’s fine, it’s nice to meet you Lena’

“I’m sorry, I’m just excited. He’s never brought someone here. I didn’t know if he was capable of falling in love” Anesse smiled and Lena let them inside. Dinner was already waiting on them so they sat down at the table. Anesse found she adored Lena. She was an amazing woman from what she could see. As the night progressed they played some board games then went back to simply talking. Lena, not one to beat around subjects looked Anesse in the eye and asked “so if this gets really serious between you two are you going to let me make you immortal?”

“what?” Hoy said in shock. Lena gave him a funny look “what, you thought I was going to be cruel and make you immortal just to live eternity alone. No, if you want her forever I’ll make it so. I don’t know what jerk wouldn’t do that. I mean, is immortality a gift if you’re alone for eternity?”

Hoy turned to Anesse, taking her hand in his. “I know it’s a lot to ask, but will you please consider it? I won’t force you into this, I know it’s a huge leap.”

“You’d really want forever with me?”

“Of course I would, you’re everything I’ve ever wanted. I love you, I really, really love you.”

Anesse felt like she was ready to cry. He was still doing so much for her. “I think I’d love being with you forever.” He crushed Anesse to him and Lena laughed at how excited he was. He blushed and pulled back, apologizing and Anesse leaned in an kissed him. When she pulled back she was smiling. “I love you, Hoy, thank you for yet another gift.”

Lena got up and offered her hand to Anesse. She took it and she pulled her up “follow me, this wont hurt. Like him I’m not changing you into anything. I just know how to stop humans from ageing”

“How’d you learn?”

“My father taught me when I was a teenager. His father taught him and so on. I’m not sure who was the original teacher” Hoy followed, eager for Anesse to be like him. He watched Lena change her and smiled at Anesse;s adorably confused face “did you do it?”

:Yep”

“But I didnt feel anything” Lena laughed “Like I said, it’s different than changing what you are. I simply stopped you from ageing”

“Is there any catch?”

“well, yes I suppose but not one that really matters”

“what?”

“The best way I can explain it is I’m tieing your life force to mine. So basically, when my father died, any humans he did this for died too. My father was an idiot though. My grandfather and most of my family have been around for countless years. I take more from my mother than father in the way I think before I act” Anesse huggedd her “thank you”

“You’re welcome” A month went by and the surgery came. It went amazing and she now had the grandmother she had grown up with back for the most part. She still needed Sabiny but she could do more of the things that made her happy. Her grandfather needed Sabiny somtimes too though he had a hard time admitting it. His hands were growing more and more unsteady so Sabiny would do things like fix his tie for him if she saw it in a mess. Anesse loved how Sabiny would save his ego and say “You know how we women need to fuss” when she’d help. It was silly but he was a goodhearted old man and if they could save his pride why not.

Hoy and Anesse still lived in their separate apartments until Hoy’s bar finally was up and running that next year. He had wanted it somewhere there weren’t already a bunch of other bars around so he needed to move or make a long commute every day. “I’ll stay here if you’re not comfortable getting a place with me but I want your family to come too if we get a place together. I like your grandparents and I think it’s amazing you’re taking care of them in their old age instead of sending them off to a home. I want you, them and Sabiny to come. I can afford a big enough place and I can give Sabiny a raise since she’d be technically working for me too now. You’ve brought up a few times how you wish you could pay her more”

“Oh, Hoy”

“Please say yes, I want us to live together”

“I’ll talk to my grandparents and Sabiny okay?”

“That’s all I ask”

When Anesse got home she was happy to see her grandmother in the kitchen cooking with Sabiny. “What’re you making grandma?” She asked.

“Stuffed bell peppers.”

“Sounds delicious. I have something to ask everyone at dinner.”

“Are you getting married?” Her grandmother asked and laughed when Anesse blushed.

“N…no, it’s something else.”

“But it does have something to do with Hoy right?”

“Yes, but I want to wait until we’re all eating.”

All eyes were on Anesse once they each had a plate of food. “As you know Hoy’s bar is ready to open and it’s a little over a two hour commute if he were to stay here. He wants us all to move with him. He says he’ll get a big enough house for you all to be there too. Would you all be comfortable with that?”

“Oh of course honey, really whatever gets us closer to grandkids” Her grandfather said causing Zina to laugh and Sabiny to choke on her food “grandpa!” Anesse said in a full bodied blush. “Yeah, we all love you and Hoy together. Lets move with him” Sabiny said after swallowing what was in her mouth. The next morning she told Hoy the news and they began looking at houses. Anesse knew Hoy would never understand just how much of a savior he was to her. He was a truly amazing man and she couldn’t believe she was lucky enough to stumble into his life.

~ The End

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