A/N- This is for the Promised Land's Writing Contest.
It was a quarter.
And, really, there was nothing so really remarkable about that.
But, as she watched him flip it between his knuckles, a dull and worn almost flat circle, she couldn't help but feel oddly fascinated by it. She wondered how long he'd had it, wondered how he could so easily flip it between his fingers.
"Can I help you with something?"
The sound of his voice, ice cold and smooth, startled her, and she choked on her soda, spluttering root beer.
He chuckled, and the quarter disappeared into a clenched fist as he regarded her with frozen blue eyes.
"I'm sorry," she managed to say. "I was just-"
"In awe of my godly features? Dazzled by the presence of my being?" he interrupted, one corner of his mouth quirking upwards in the beginnings of a smirk.
"Astounded by the immensity of your ego?" she muttered, glancing around the diner. She was seated at the counter, sipping on a root beer, avoiding the gaze of the waitress- a wrinkled old hag with a painted face- and he was a few stools down, a cup of black coffee growing cold in front of him.
"I'm Braeden," he said.
"I'm Trace. Now, you can stop talking to me," she sighed, waving one of her hands at him.
"I tell you what," he said, the quarter appearing again as he opened his fist, "Heads you talk to me, tails I'll leave you alone."
Trace sighed grumpily and watched as he positioned the quarter on the back of his thumb and tossed it into the air, arching until it landed right in front of her, the engraved face shining at her.
"If you think I'm telling you a damn thing, then you are sadly mistaken," she informed him flatly. He gazed at her steadily, still wearing his cursed smirk, and she finally sighed in defeat. "I'm Trace Heart. Y'know, the journalist?"
A look of recognition flashed across his face, prompting her to continue. "Yeah, I'm the one that the crooked politicians keep trying to blow up. Crazy, right? Sending assassins after me."
She shook her head. "Once, they actually paid this guy to pretend to date me for a week so that I could be in the exact place at the exact right time to get run over by a tractor trailer. It's insane."
"People try to kill you?" he asked, cocking his head to one side.
"Regularly...Well, no, not regularly. It's been ages. I've actually started to get worried," she chuckled softly, just as her cell phone went off. She flipped it open, checking the text messages, and swore under her breath. "Damn...That was work. I tell you what."
She picked up the quarter, a soft smile playing on her lips. "Heads I stay, tails I leave."
Placing the quarter on the back of her thumb and flipping it, his hand reached forward to catch it, smacking it down on the back of his wrist, a look of shock crossing his face.
"Tails. Sorry," she smirked, rising and dropping a five down next to her empty glass.
Braeden watched her leave, his eyes filled with wonder. Reaching into his bag, he found his gun, clicking the safety back on, and grabbing his cell phone, firing a quick text to his employer to tell them that he hadn't seen Trace Heart.
He took a sip of his coffee, blanching at the bitter taste, and picked up the coin, examining it carefully to try and find out why the double-headed coin had produced a tails for a simple young girl named Trace Heart.