He almost didn't let go.

Her tiny wrists were soft and warm in his long hands, and the way her voice trailed off and her eyes dilated sparked something inside of him, something he hadn't quite felt before. His back flattened against the tree, and she was raised on her tiptoes, and she looked so startled, so off-guard, that his eyes just had to stare her down, keep her, until the Earth caught up with him and he realized how close- how incredibly close Clare was to him. His heart skipped a beat and, unwillingly, he let go, his hands flat and vertical in an apologetic manner.

He was about to make that apology verbal until he heard it. A surprisingly girly, excited giggle. Cue the smirk.

She walked, almost ran away, a blush gracing her, damnit, adorable face. He stared at her, wanting to take a picture, and for a moment he just allowed himself to let his guards down. His lips twisted, but instead of a smirk, he smiled, looking rather out of place with his dark hair and all-black attire.

She blushed again, and somehow, they both found themselves staring at the ground as if it were about to sprout wings and fly away.

Maybe someone else would have over-looked Clare, he thought. But he saw something in her, something lovely and innocent and intriguing. He realized he couldn't go for anyone else. It just wasn't his style.