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The girl on the train had been watching him since he'd got on near Union square, her coffee coloured eyes locked on him with cheerful curiosity. When the older man beside him got off at the next stop, she didn't hesitate to come right over, plopping herself down beside him. Her face was round, her stomach pleasantly plump, and when she smiled there was no denying she was pretty- And that she knew it. Her hair was done up in braids, with hues of blue and violet woven through, and as she grinned it was hard not to notice how shockingly white her teeth were in contrast to her rich brown skin.

"Slumming it, are you?" she asked, in a heavy welsh accent.

"Pardon?" Fin asked, still a bit startled by her brazen approach.

"Well you are the prince, aren't you? You reek of royal, and you're not the queen. You're not that powerful," she said, digging through her purse and pulling out a little pack of honey. Tearing off the top, she sucked a little straight from the package.

Looking around, Fin expected everyone to be staring at them- But no one paid any mind. "I... How do you? ...Are you?" he asked.

The girl didn't answer, instead she held out her palm, and when he didn't react she caught hold of his wrist and guided him to do the same, getting their hands to face one another palm to palm, hovering, but not touching. Her magic reached out gently to his, and after a moment his did the same. It was light and playful, a calm greeting that felt almost like a handshake.

"Don't meet many other trooping?" she asked finally, watching him as he shook his head, then smiling brightly as she elbowed him hard in the side. "Then you're in luck, because I've got nothing to do today. I was going to the Met to see if I could pinch a box they've got there- It's full of secrets and it's been singing to me for weeks, but- This will be more fun, I think. ...Well, until it gets boring.

Fin just nodded dumbly, and didn't protest when she caught him by the arm and hauled him off the train at the next stop.

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Finlay Alexander Flynn

August 2017

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