A Helping Hand
Chapter One: The stranger
Antonio Fernandez Carriedo is a kind, hardworking man. At twenty five years old he owns his own café, has a nice little house behind it, and owns about forty acres of land behind it which he fills with his garden. In this garden is berries, tomatoes, peppers, and various other fruits and vegetables. He uses most of these for the ingredients to his salads and sandwiches in his café, but there's a slight problem. While he loves his café, and the thought of growing food for people, making them happy with his creations; he has little to no business.
At the end of the day, such as now, he doesn't have much to clean up. Most of his customers are elderly or his friends and they all clean-up for themselves. Just once he would like a young customer he wasn't friends with. Someone who just came here on their own. Of course that will never happen, his café is not 'hip', since he went for a Victorian theme. He thought at the time that kids liked that now, which would get him young and old, but he was sadly wrong.
Sighing to himself, he locks up the cash register. "I guess we won't be getting any more visitors tonight, huh?" He asks to the inanimate object before the door slams open, the bell at the top ringing like crazy. "Huh…? Who…? Ah! Are you a customer?" Antonio asks excitedly, running up the person dressed in a large hoodie. "Oh my! You're soaked! I guess it's really coming down tonight…"
Without a word the person pushes him out of the way and runs into the closet. Antonio looks at the closet confused before hearing loud footsteps come towards his café again. Acting fast, he grabs his mop and bucket of water, being sure to mop up the boy's tracks as the door slams open yet again.
"Welcome! Would you like anything to drink or eat?" Antonio asks sweetly as a group of men enter.
"No. Did someone come in here?" The tallest man asks in a deep voice.
"Hm? Nope! No one but you! I don't get much business after about six you see! For all of my customers are old and don't-!" Antonio stops when he notices all of the men have left and are now running down the road, their loud steps fading fast. "Hm…how rude." He says before going to the closet and opening it, coming face to face with a pair of dark hazel eyes from beneath the hood. "Your rude friends are gone now."
Without a word the stranger gets up, the top of their head only coming up to Antonio's chin. "They're not my friends." The person mumbles and Antonio looks down at them curiously.
"Hmm, I'd suppose not. You do seem a bit old to be playing hide and seek after all~!" Antonio teases before reaching a hand out and placing it on top of the hood.
"N-NO!" His mysterious customer yells, pushing his hand away.
"Hm? What's the matter, customer?" Antonio asks, moving closer. "Are you hurt? Did they hurt your face?"
"G-go away! I'm leaving now!" The stranger says, heading towards the door followed by a trail of blood.
"Oh no." Antonio says, getting to the door before him and locking it. "You're bleeding. As a good samaritan I cannot allow you to leave while bleeding." He takes the stranger's hand gently. "Please allow me to fix you up."
The two leave the shop, Antonio locking up on their way out before he brings the hooded person to the small cottage-like house behind it. Once inside he leads them into the small living room. It's not fancy, but it's not run-down or anything either. The whole home is very warm and welcoming, filled with little knick knacks from Antonio's mother.
"Alrighty then! I got the first aid kit, so you will need to remove that hoodie!" Antonio says, smiling at the stranger who flinches away. "Aww, what's wrong? You know, I'm not going to judge your looks. I'm sure you're perfectly fine!"
"I'm not ugly you bastard!" The stranger yells before removing the hoodie, showing a young boy with brown hair, scraggly clothing, and a strange curl coming from his bangs. He's still drenched, he must have been in the rain for a long time, and he's covered in blood.
"Oh my…you're certainly anything but ugly." Antonio says, reaching out with a washcloth doused in antibacterial cream and washing his face off. He takes a closer look as he does this, and notices the boy's eyes. A hazel that is more green, but still with a small hint of brown to them. "Beautiful."
"WHOA! NO!" The boy yells, pushing him away. "Not beautiful! Don't call me beautiful you pervert!"
"Huh? Oh! No! Not you, silly! Your eyes!" Antonio says, laughing a little. "You're not ugly, but I would never call a stranger beautiful!"
"Good." He huffs, reaching out and taking the first aid kit from the man before treating his own wounds.
"You've sure got a lot of those, huh?" Antonio asks, watching the boy expertly do this.
"So what's your name?"
"None of your business."
"I see…" Antonio sighs, feeling bad for the young man and wanting to help. "How would you like to stay the night? To keep you safe!"
"How safe is a strange man with a cluttered house and failing café?" The boy asks.
"You hurt me! Isn't all of that proof that I am just a normal guy?" Antonio counters. "I have an extra room, you can lock it if you like."
"I will then." He says decidedly, standing up from the seat Antonio sat him in. "Now show me where this room is."
Antonio smiles. "Of course!" He gets up as well and leads the boy upstairs.
"So…you're not going to ask anything else?" A small voice asks from behind him.
"No, you can tell me what you want. Whether you stay the night, a week, or forever, I won't pry." Antonio answers and hears the boy sputter.
"I-! Wh-? I'm not going to stay forever!"
"That's up to you…Customer~!"
"…I'm not a customer. I have no money."
"Oh my! No money, you say? Well then I suppose you will need to stay at LEAST one more day so you can pay off staying here, the first aid, and any food you will be eating here!" Antonio says happily, making his 'customer' look at him confused.
"Why are you so happy about that?"
"It's more fun to work with someone else than all alone."
The boy stares at him incredulously. "More troublesome is more like it." He says before slamming the door shut.
"Oh my…I think I might have welcomed in a brat…" Antonio whispers to himself, a smile still on his face. The boy is not the ideal person he would have liked to let in, but at least this way it should be interesting. Something that he hasn't had in years.
When Antonio wakes up the next morning he is welcomed by a sweet smell in the kitchen. Curious, he gets up and goes downstairs to see the boy standing there in an apron using Antonio's cream gun to fill up what looks like bomboloni. Antonio stands there for a minute in awe, seeing such a cold boy making him breakfast. He looks around and notices what looks like hundreds of them.
"I-I can't eat all of these!" Antonio exclaims and the boy jumps a little, glaring at him with a dark red tinting his cheeks.
"Th-they aren't all for the two of us, idiot! I plan on repaying you." He says, motioning to a good three hundred bomboloni con crema. "Those are for the café. You will be selling them."
"H-huh…? But I can't make desserts…well, other than churros…I can't let them get used to something only for me to take it away!" Antonio explains and the boy looks at him annoyed.
"My food isn't going to waste! You're selling it!"
"If you cannot make it on your own…" The boy begins, his eyes quickly venturing to the floor. "Then I will just have to stay for a little while."
"Ohh? What brought on this change of heart?" Antonio asks curiously and the boy huffs.
"I'm not telling you."
"Hmm…you know…for someone I'm supposed to be keeping at my home and trusting with my café…you are being a bit too secretive."
Fear flashes in the boy's eyes and Antonio smiles. "You worry about that now?"
"All I want is your name and age. Can you give me that much?"
"My age? What the hell do you need that for?"
"Well…there is an age limit on people who can work. I can't be doing something illegal. Not to mention no man worth his salt would pull a boy away from high school." Antonio explains and the boy twitches.
"I'm not a high schooler! I graduated last year, I'm nineteen!" He yells before sighing and looking to the food surrounding him. "And my name…is Lovino."
"Do you have a last name, Lovi~?" Antonio asks and Lovino glares.
"No. I don't. I'm also not 'Lovi', I'm Lo. Vi. No. Get it right." Lovino commands and Antonio laughs.
"You're so cute, Lovi~!" He teases, enjoying the angry flush on the boy's face.
"Lovino, you bastard!"
A/N: What's this? Another story? Yes, don't worry, one of them is one chapter from being done, and the rest are quickly following. I was gonna wait on putting this up...but I already wrote it...so why the hell not? I'm impatient anyways. I...I need to stop being so obsessed with writing...