Title: At 17
Char-- Kit Marlowe
Word Count 490
It had been a week. The first three days the man had been there, just the same, slouching against the wall.
He was silent. Not only silent in words, Kit realized, but silent in body as well. His stillness, gave so little away. His hands did not move much at all, his feet did not shuffle, he stood to the side where seeing him easily required a small rotation of Kit's head.
Kit had restricted himself to one glance every 10 minutes. He looked furtively, from the bottom up. He began with the man's shoes,shoes today, not boots. That was the first thing. Perhaps he was staying nearby then. Kit noted everything about them, committing them to memory, until he would know them from any others ever. Then, he carefully looked away, turning his chin so he would not be tempted. Ten minutes later he allowed himself the ankles. There they were, wrinkling the fine wool stockings, slightly flecked with mud. He allowed himself a long look at them, So, moving thus up, in this way Kit contrived not to be caught, either by the master lecturing, or – worse-- by the man himself.
By mid day, Kit had reached the golden hair and the face itself. He allowed himself to take in the intelligent set of the mouth, the dip and push of the chin, and the way his hair touched his shoulders. The man was delicious to see, like cool water after terrible thirst. Kit longed for him to move, to speak. He felt that he knew, somehow, what the voice and gesture would be like. He wanted to see and hear, to posses by this something he could carry away and keep. There were promises in the wide chest, and in the cant of the long throat. And more promises in the fine garments and in the dagger at his side.
Oh, but perhaps the voice would say 'Cobblers son.' Perhaps it would laugh.
Kit flicked his eyes to the front of the room again. He moved his chin the slow inches back to where it was supposed to be. Nobody seemed to have noticed. Good. Another two hours before they could stand up, perhaps he would see the man walk then. It was the novelty of a new face that was acting on him thus, certainly. It would have been the same if he were old and hideous looking. If there were sin here, it was that of distraction from his studies. There now. He would not look again.
But he did.
He did not do it deliberately, but somehow he looked again, directly at the man's eye, and swift as that, the head turned, and a sharp blue gaze met his own. The man's mouth curved up into a brief smile. It was like being hit with a plank.
Kit felt his heart jerk, his mouth swallowed dry, and he shot his gaze straight ahead.
On the fourth day the man was gone. Kit had not seen him since.