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LUCA

She's a different person when she paints. She enters a state of mind that nobody can touch. I've been watching her for about two hours, of course, leaving every once in a while because I still have my own job to attend to. Every time I get up from my seat, we share a glance.

She can read me.

Every time I leave, my eyes say I'll be back.

I can read her.

I know, don't worry. She says in response.

As I sit in the cushioned seat, I admire her as she walks back and forth, adding the final touches to what she looks at as her most prized possession. The smallest details others would probably miss but I look at every dot, star, she paints. She thought I didn't notice the small details. I do. They never leave my brain.

It nears 2 PM, and I see her occasionally drop her shoulders in exhaust. How much sleep does she get? I find myself worrying.

"Hana." I call out and her hand freezes midair. "You should take a break."

I can almost feel her roll her eyes, but the only thing I see is the back of her head, her black hair pulled into a bun.

"No." She simply says, dipping her tiny paint brush into the plastic palette she holds in her other hand. Stretching her arm up to reach the top of the wall, standing on my step stool, she paints a few more stars.

I stand up, and walk over to her, right next to the side of her body, but careful to not touch the wall. "You've been working for two hours straight, and you're hungry."

"I have no idea what you're talking about." She replies, not sparing a glance my way. "Those sounds were from the ghost that roams this place at night."

She mixes two colors on her palette, blue and white, and dots the wall again. "30 more minutes. Then I'll be finished."

I look at my wristwatch. "I'm holding you to that." When I look back at her, she has a slight smile on her face.

-

"Hana."

"Yes?"

"It's been another two hours. Take a break."

She turns her head to glare at me. Without wasting a breath, she goes back to the wall. I guess I have no other choice.

I wait until her brush is far enough away from her canvas, just to reduce risk of messing up the whole mural.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" She almost yells. Heads bop up at the sound, but they all turn back to their work after seeing it's me. I pry the paint plate from her hands, which is way harder than I expected.

I carefully throw it on the ground, paint facing up, of course. And then, I throw her over my shoulder. She yelps.

"Holy shit! Why am I so high?" Shrieking, her legs swing at my chest, and I wrap my arm around the backs of her knees so she doesn't fall. "Morelli, I'm going to murder you in your sleep!"

Heads perk up again as I start walking back towards the elevator. She starts punching my lower back while I press the third floor button. "I lied! I'm gonna make you suffer a slow and painful death."

"If you took a break two hours ago, this wouldn't be happening."

"You know what would've stopped this from happening? You eating a handful of shit!" She groans, but it's aggressive so it sounds like a snarl.

Oh look, we've finally made it.

I walk casually to the lounge and drop her on the couch. The clip that was holding her hair up fell, making her hair fan out on the cushion, and she glares. Fuck you.

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