Perception – Chapter 1
Disclaimer: All characters, settings and original plots are the property of Christopher Nolan. The author is in no way associated with this story. No copyright infringement in intended.
She couldn't help but look. She knew they were supposed to be strangers – random individuals who just happened to sit together for a time. Even with this knowledge, she watched him. She watched his long slender arms effortlessly pick up his suitcase. His hands, strong hands that had the power to create or destroy, wrapped around the handle of his luggage pulling it alongside his trim frame. Just as she thought she had mustered the courage to look away, she found her weakness – his eyes. Ariadne was amazed by the power those eyes had over her. She had known him for only a short time, but something stirred deep within her. An emotion she couldn't explain or understand. Perhaps like his hands, those eyes had the power to create or destroy.
She wondered how he perceived her. What did he think about her? Did he even think of her at all? Her heart pounded in her chest as her thoughts dwelled on the brief kiss they shared. Did his mind settle on this moment over and over again as hers did? Unlikely, she thought to herself. He was handsome, intelligent and quite dashing and she was short, bookish and awkward. Ariadne sighed out loud as she continued her perusal of him.
With the slightest turn of his head, his eyes met hers for a brief, but breath stealing moment. Her face flushed, knowing she had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. A short smile and a nod of the head was all she received before he averted his eyes from hers. He was always the picture of professionalism.
Ariadne internally scolded herself for her lapse in judgement. One mistake like that could cost them everything, she thought as she clumsily yanked her suitcase from the luggage carousel. She stopped for a moment to take in her surroundings. Now that they had landed the realization that she had nowhere to go hit her. She had been so nervous before the flight she hadn't thought to plan for after the inception. What would she do after this? Would there be more work or would she have to settle for a mundane existence in Paris? The idea of classrooms and textbooks caused her to cringe. Reality just wasn't enough for her anymore.
She squinted her eyes as she walked through the large glass doors that lead her both outside and to a row of yellow taxis. A cab seemed logical, but the destination still eluded her. As her eyes adjusted to the blazing sun high overhead, she felt the presence of someone behind her.
Before she could turn her head, a gentle hand touched her shoulder. "You know we aren't supposed to know each other," Arthur whispered into her ear. She fought to contain a shutter as his warm breath just kissed the back of her neck. As she turned to face him, she felt his grip on her strengthen slightly. "Keep looking forward, just in case." Ariadne could almost picture the smirk that was most assuredly on his face.
"Sorry" she stuttered, "I just blanked for a minute. Won't happen again."
"No harm done... this time. Take a cab to Renaissance. I'll meet you in the lobby bar in twenty minutes."
Just as Ariadne was going to ask where the hotel was, she felt his presence disappear. Spinning around like a top, her eyes finally found Arthur just as he was stepping into a taxi of his own. A goofy, school-girl grin spread across her face as she watched his taxi drive off into the distance.