Alexis rolled up his sleeves as he looked at the mirror. He's wearing a light blue dress shirt, black slacks and close shoes. Every week, there is one called laundry day—and that day is today. Students were allowed to wear whatever they like, as long as it's modest, of course.
When he's sure that he looks presentable, he walked out the door. He pondered of what he'll do for today… he can do some training as he always when he has time to spare. Alexis may not look like it but he's into body building. Not the kind to show off muscles but building upper body strength. He certainly need to as an Armored Tech.
He made up his mind and decided to run all the way to the Drill Grounds—
"Oh, it's you."
Avan Hardins came into view. He wore white button-up shirt, khaki pants with suspenders and brown boots. A goofy smile plastered on his face.
"Hey, man. Are you free? I kinda need your help with something…" the redhead said as he scratched the back of his head.
Alexis stared at him for a second. Avan has been Class G's chair for the past six months now. Although he wasn't that smart nor greatly excels in leadership, Avan was able to bring out each and everyone's potentials, little by little. Class G even won both qualifiers and semifinals of the Laevatein Cup.
If he needed help, Alexis won't mind giving him a hand. "I'd be more than happy to be of assistance."
The redhead's smile turned into a grin. "Haha – hahahahaha! You're the best, man." He said while giving the shorter young man a pat on the back.
"Come on, let's get going. Cosette's waiting for us."
'Cosette?' Alexis remembered the blond girl that was always together with Avan and the male Darcsen, Zeri. Cosette Coalhearth, he didn't know her too well, besides she likes to fumble with her weapon sometimes. But after retaking Yuell, her performance during missions drastically lowered.
He and Cosette were put together in one mission—it was after Avan got out of solitary confinement. Cosette covered his back while he was defusing a bomb, which was their mission. When he successfully defused the bomb, Cosette must have let her guard down and they were ambushed. Avan and Marion came to their rescue but his right arm was badly injured. He used his shield and body to cover the frightened Cosette.
Alexis remembered those blue eyes. Her pupils dilated from fear, ragged breathing, the way she grasped the back of his blast suit. All he could think at that time was protecting her.
Avan took him to the Store; it was a few minutes' walk away from the dorm.
The first thing he saw was the inside of the store's crowded. Second was the long line that leads to it. And third was the blond girl waving at their direction. She looked agitated…
"Ooh!" Cosette puffs her cheeks and put both her hands on her waist. She wore a black sleeveless turtleneck, white short shorts and dark knee-high boots.
Avan sighed loudly as he tried to calm her down. "I'm sorry, Cosette. I know I took so long and I didn't get to catch Zeri, but…" grabbing Alexis by the arm, the redhead pushed him in front the blond girl—stumbling a little. "I got Alexis to help us instead! Isn't it great?"
"Right. But I didn't get an explanation on what I am supposed to help you with." Alexis said as he shrugged Avan's hands off his shoulders, growling a bit at the redhead's sudden action a while ago.
Avan fished out his wallet and took a few ducat (or golden coins). He handed the coins to Alexis.
"Gotta get back in-line now, see you guys later." And with that said, Avan ran a head of them, leaving Cosette with a very confused Alexis. Looking at the blond girl, Alexis silently asks for an explanation. Giggling, Cosette grabbed his right arm and gently pulled him towards her until they stood close to each other.
"Cinnamon breads, Avan loves them but you can only buy three per person at max. Basically, Avan needs your help to buy him more bread." She spoke softly as she caressed his arm. "Oh! You can have one for free." She added.
"I follow," nodding his head. Alexis realized that she's standing a little too close to him. That—and she hasn't really let go of his arm. Was she always been touchy-feely? Somehow, the girl looks like she's very fascinated with his arm. Her fingertips slid down his skin as she continued her gently caress.
"Umm, Miss Coalhearth?"
"Cosette. Just call me Cosette." She still has a weird fixation on his arm.
"Cosette," Alexis tried his best not to blush but failed miserably as a small tinge of pink colored his cheeks. "Could you please let go of my arm?"
It seems like she has no idea of what she's been doing to him for the last fifteen minutes. Finally realizing that she's practically attached to his arm right now, she quickly pulled away.
"S-sorry…" Cosette blushed.
Alexis tried to break the awkward silence by commenting about the weather and how nice to train on such a fine, peaceful day but it didn't really take away the awkwardness they feel. The line finally moved and he was thankful that something else grabbed her attention. That was until Cosette pulled him with her into the shop.
The campus store got all sorts of stuff. Everything from textbooks to personal hygiene and then there's the bakery run by the one and only Alicia Gunther—previously known as Alicia Melchiott. Cosette pulled Alexis to the display cabinet where all kinds of cakes, pies, bread and pastries are freshly kept.
"Hey there, Cosette," Alicia approached the two teens, holding a tray of fresh Cinnamon bread.
"Ohohoho! Just what we need, Alicia." She beamed at the older woman.
Gazing at the blond girl, Alicia spoke in a stern voice: "Avan didn't put you up to this, did he?"
"Huh? Of course not," Cosette feigned ignorance but the former Sergeant doesn't buy it. "I came with s-someone else." Doing the same method as Avan—with lesser force—Cosette presented Alexis Hilden, surprising the older woman.
Recovering from the shock, Alicia eyed them for a few minutes. "Well, what can I say? Nice catch you got there, Cosette." She smiled. Cosette thanked the older woman , not getting what she actually meant, Alexis sighed a bit. Hopefully, no rumors will spread about his involvement with the blond girl.
Alexis suddenly remembered about an article about how the bread from Alicia's bakery is top seller in the campus store. Something about a "Student A" buying every last piece of bread, he realized why the "three-per-person" rule applies now. He told them about it, he gained a wide grin from the older woman.
"Really? Where did you read that?" Cosette asked after congratulating Alicia.
"From Lotte Insider, I think. I got a free one year subscription from Lotte after helping her out with something back in winter." He remembered how Lotte moped around back then; he simply couldn't leave her without doing something. That huge chunk of ice was nothing to him, the number of his fans grew tremendously after that event, though.
"After reading that article, I've always wanted to try one of your breads, Miss Alicia. But I'm always busy with my training, Cosette here told me she's planning to buy one of your best sellers and I finally decided to come." He spoke in a mild-manner, giving the older woman his best handsome smile. He winked at Cosette to help him convince Alicia.
She took it as a sign to chime in despite the blush on her face, "See? I told you I was with someone else today."
Alicia eyed the young man again, "I like you." She said with a smile. "Really nice catch there, Cosette." Alicia went behind the counter and prepared their orders.
"Eheheheh! Thank you."
"I really like you, Alexis. I'll give you free Cinnamon bread for making me so happy right now." Alicia added another bread and put it in a paper bag before handing it to him.
"No 'buts' mister, just think of it as a thank you. And here's yours, Cosette." She handed the other paper bag to Cosette.
After paying, Cosette and Alexis thanked her again before going out.
"Seriously? She gave you free bread? RAAAAAAGH! This is so unfair…" Avan slumped into the bench while Cosette patted his back.
BETA: Hans KBC
Another new story that'll never get updated 'cause nobody reads it... Nah, I'm just lazy.