Hungry Eyes

I Feel the Magic Between You and I

Hey everyone! First of all thanks everyone for reading and reviewing, it means so much! This is the continuation to 'She's Like the Wind'. I really wanted to write this because I didn't feel done with the previous story. If you haven't read 'She's Like the Wind' please check it out!

I don't own Final Fantasy, it belongs to Square Enix.

July was the hottest of months and it could be felt throughout Midgar. Summer time deliveries had increased and all that added clutter just made this apartment hotter. It seemed the window unit air conditioner couldn't keep up any more and it had to be replaced the week before. The new unit was so much quieter and it cooled much more efficiently. It was 12:30 in the afternoon and Marlene and Denzel were due in from their week long summer day camp any minute. Marlene's friend Stella had told Marlene about this day camp and naturally she just had to attend if Stella was. And if Marlene was going Denzel might as well go too. Tifa sat at the kitchen counter programming the cell phones that had arrived earlier that morning for Marlene and Denzel. Tifa was tired this afternoon. She had worked the bar until 2:00 AM. The late hours were awful but the money made up for it. She always tried so hard not to wake anyone when she came in. She typically never woke the kids but she almost always woke Cloud when she would get in the shower. Tifa looked forward to the next three days off she had scheduled. She had just gotten Denzel's phone programmed and ready for him when she heard the door open and looked up to see Denzel and Marlene hurrying through the door.

"Tifa! Hi Tifa! Look what I made for my turtle today at camp!" Denzel said shoving some kind of crude clay house-looking thing in Tifa's face. "Do you think he'll like it?" Denzel asked.

"Look at that! You did a great job. I'm sure he'll like it. Hey, did you have a good day today? Tifa asked Denzel. "Hi Eliza, hi Stella! Come in, come in." she added noticing Marlene, her friend Stella and Stella's mother had come in behind Denzel.

"Uh huh…I hope he goes inside of it." Denzel said to Tifa. Tifa put her hand in Denzel's hair.

"You need a haircut; look at your bangs falling in your eyes. Me or Cloud will take you tomorrow. Denzel, your phone came today. So did Marlene's. Would you like to see it?" Tifa asked. phone, okay?"

"Would I ever!" Denzel said putting his clay sculpture on the kitchen counter. "May I take it and learn how to use it?" Denzel asked.

"Sure you can, here put it on the charger while you look at it. Tifa said handing the charger over to Denzel.

"Thanks for my new phone." Denzel said hugging Tifa. She laughed.

"You're welcome. If you don't like it…it's Cloud's fault because he picked them out." Denzel smiled and took off to his room, grabbing the clay shelter he had made for his turtle.

"Marlene, your phone is charging right here." Tifa said.

"Okay, I want to look at it later. Guess what me and Stella did today? We got to pet a sheep!" Marlene said excitedly.

"You girls got to pet a sheep? That's exciting, tell me about it." Tifa said. Both girls talked excitedly about their day camp experience with a sheep. Once they had finished telling Tifa all about their grand day Marlene took Stella and ran off to her room.

"Sit down. Would you like some salad? It's not much but I can at least offer you that." Tifa asked standing up to move around to the other side of the counter. "Sorry this place is such a mess. I haven't counted my tips from last night which is why there is money all over this counter and as you can see all those packages in the middle of the floor won't be picked up until tomorrow. And I haven't seen the top of that table in front of the couch for two days. It's buried so much paperwork." Tifa said. Eliza Mackey, Stella's mother, laughed.

"Don't worry. I only wished my house looked this clean and yes I would love some salad." She answered Tifa. This woman was ten years older than Tifa and had only known her since Stella and Marlene had become friends but she liked Tifa and they had become somewhat close in the past year.

"I'll tell you, this looks weird but it's good." Tifa said giving the salad a good stir to mix up the dressing and the little bits of oranges that were in it.

"They had a lot fun today. I know I've said it before but Denzel and Marlene are just such good kids. The day camp is such a good thing for kids over the summer." Eliza said.

"It is, and Marlene and Denzel have looked forward to it every day. Thank you so much for bringing them back. Obviously, when Cloud leaves I'm stranded for transportation. It normally works out fine but obviously not this week." Tifa said pushing a glass of tea and a bowl of salad in front of Eliza. Tifa decided to join her since she hadn't yet eaten anything this afternoon.

"This is good, did you make this?" Eliza asked.

"No, Cloud started throwing things in a bowl last night and then he called it a salad." Tifa said. Eliza smiled and pushed the greens around. There was silence for a moment as Eliza's mind seemed to work in overdrive. She sighed and looked up at Tifa.

"Can I…ask you something? And….god I'm embarrassed to ask you this…it's just that…I don't really have anyone to run this by…" Eliza took a deep breath. Tifa wondered what in the world this woman could possibly have to ask her. Tifa waited; watching her carefully. "Um…" Eliza Mackey looked around as if she were being listened to. She leaned in toward Tifa. "How many times a week do you have sex?" she asked Tifa softly. The question caught Tifa completely off guard. Tifa was shy and reserved by nature; how could she possibly answer that question! "Let me explain myself a little but before you answer that." The woman said. Oh thank god there was an explanation! "I think …my husband may be cheating on me. There is no sex in my marriage. There hasn't been for four months. So with that said…how many times?" Eliza said leaning in further toward Tifa eagerly anticipating an answer. Tifa thought for a moment, she felt so awkward answering this.

"Uh…well…uh…I don't know….uh…three times?" Tifa bit her lower lip. She lied. But there was no way she could tell Eliza the truth. It was obvious Eliza had an issue in her marriage and Tifa wasn't going to make it worse than it already seemed by telling her the real number. Eliza sighed.

"I was afraid of that. My husband…" she stopped talking and thought for a bit. "You know what; I don't know why I'm talking to you about this. It's just been on my mind I guess. I'm worried that's all." Eliza said a bit embarrassed by herself.

"It's okay; if you want to talk I'll listen. I can't say as I will have the best advice in the world but I can always lend an ear." Tifa said taking a drink of iced tea.

"That's kind of you. Maybe I'm paranoid but it's been four months and that's highly unusual. So, I did something to see if he's just been overwhelmed at work or if it's something more. I booked a condo for five days at the beach. I thought it would be a good opportunity to find out what's really going on with him. Anyway, another couple was supposed to go with us but they backed out because they had a death in their extended family. If you and your kids and your boyfriend would like to go you're welcome to. And truthfully, I kind of need someone to lean on right now and I don't know why I picked you. We just really need to fill this other spot or we lose quite a bit of money. If you want to see pictures of the condo or anything I have a few. It's something to think about." Eliza Mackey said.

"Wow, you have the picture perfect image of what a family should look like…you really think he's cheating on you?" Tifa asked thinking about what this woman had told her.

"I'm going to find out for sure on this trip." Eliza said.

"I could use a vacation. I've been working too much lately and Cloud needs some time away from the business. He rarely takes time off. Let me talk to him about it and I'll get back to you tomorrow." Tifa said.

"That's fine. I really hope you all go with us. Stella would be so excited to have Marlene along. It's an oceanfront condo; five bedrooms and it has a pool. It's beautiful. It will be such a wonderful trip even if I don't get the answers I want." Eliza explained. Tifa smiled.

"I do hope you get the answers you want."

"What do you think about the idea?" Eliza asked.

"Well, I think your strategy to find out what's up with your husband is a good one. Please know…I'm here for you. As far as a vacation; you don't have to convince me any further. I really want to go. Truthfully, it won't be a hard sell with Cloud. He fired someone yesterday and has really been slammed with deliveries lately. He's had a rough few weeks at work that's for sure." Tifa explained.

"Great, so I'll hear from you tomorrow? That will be perfect because I have to call the rental agency and tell them whether or not the spot is filled by Thursday." Eliza said.

"So, do you want to tell me more about what's going on with you and your marriage?" Tifa asked of Eliza knowing that this woman needed to talk and Tifa could spare some time to listen.