He is so incredibly – no, ridiculously, you correct yourself, staring too hard at the tea kettle – happy. He's all smiles and compliments, even after you threatened his life. It's completely ridiculous! He's just like a child!

Still, that should make you more comfortable about him being the one that has to deal with Charlie. It should calm you down, at least a little bit, to know that he isn't a complete asshole. Not like the last one.

It doesn't. You're still glaring at the porcelain, waiting anxiously for the water to come to a boil. Your fists are still clenched, your nails digging into your palms. The sting helps ground you a little bit, at least. You don't want him to touch him. To even think about touching him. Charlie... Fuck, he mans everything to you. If this privileged Foster idiot thinks that he can hurt him, you...

You'll ring his neck. You'll snap it. You'll bash his head in. Something, anything to get rid of the bastard.

You... You'd...

You'd just get in trouble. Again. And Charlie would be all alone and you can't allow that.

You really have got to stop yourself from thinking like this. You're gripping the edge of the counter so hard that your knuckles are starting to turn white. The color stands out sharply against the dull brown of the rest of you. You can't even remember putting your hands there.

You force yourself to suck in deep, calming breaths, slowly managing to unclench your jaw and wrench your hands away from the granite, the edges leaving deep lines in your palms. At least you don't have fangs, right? You probably would have punctured something. Going back out with a bleeding lip probably wouldn't have given the best impression.

The house really does smell like cinnamon, doesn't it?

You sigh quietly, turning your attention back to the kettle. The water's started to boil, now, at least. You brush a few strands of orange hair out of your eyes as you turn the burner off. You force your hands to be steady as you fill up the cups, setting the kettle back down on the stove before adjusting the blue ceramic to make the tray at least slightly more presentable. Geez, you shouldn't even be caring about presentation. What does it matter, what he thinks of you? … Right?

Your mind keeps wandering to the most asinine things, as your hands move.

Wallace is right around your height. You wonder if that will intimidate Charlie at all... Or just make him mad. … The latter seems more likely.

You pick up the tray and hold it level with your chest as you take in another breath, deep and long and soothing, your eyes slipping shut for just a moment. Those kind of thoughts you can deal with. You just... have to remain calm, is all.

You open your eyes, force your shoulders to relax, and walk out into the living room.

You aren't really sure how to feel when you realize that he's still smiling.