I’m going to stand out like a sore thumb without a damned chaperon, I frowned again, adjusting the dials until my simulated clothing. A tiny flash of light and the jump completed; I would be visible to the others now whether I wanted to or not. The addition of that little bit of technology had made my ventures into the past substantially safer and called far less attention to me than before.
I pulled the spray bottle of Offs from my pocket, squirting a protective layer of germ repellent around my mouth and eyes. It stung a little, but would keep the worst of the unknown, old timey diseases at bay. East Texas, I programmed into the watch, ducking into an alley so the upright citizens wouldn’t see. Approximately October 25th, 1900. 4:30 in the afternoon.
“You look conspicuous fidgeting with that thing; it doesn’t blend in.” A voice whispered from behind me. I jumped, pressing my hand to my heart to keep it from leaping from my chest.
The Stranger stood behind me, his gloved hand tipping the edge of his hat in my direction. The Stranger always wore gloves, I remembered.
“How did you find me so quickly?” I asked, adjusting my watch again; the disguise would now cover the watch. Make it look more like a well-worn bracelet that I could fidget with without drawing attention.
“Last time we met, you warned me you would be here. You did not tell me that you would be so young.” The Stranger grinned, displaying scarily sharp canines. A shiver ran down my spine. “You were in your late thirties last time we met. I have missed you.”
The Stranger held out his arm to me as I blushed, the red rush of color sliding up into my hairline. “What else did that me have to say to you?”
“She told me not to ruin any surprises,” he laughed. The electric purple of his irises glowed in the afternoon light. He was pale; paler than anyone I have ever known. He claimed it to be a sign of his “kind,” whatever that was. He wasn’t human. For as long as I had been time traveling, he was alive. The Stranger was more than 12,000 years old, but even I didn’t know how old he truly was. I had yet to meet him for the first time in his timeline. In mine, we have always known each other. Perhaps, when my job is done here, I will travel back as far as I am able.
I want to see where he comes from. I set my watch to record, and it whirred to life, taking small samples of the air around us.
“Dinner then?” I asked, grabbing his forearm.
His immortal eyes glittered with some deep amusement. There was so much about the Stranger that I didn’t know. So much that I wanted to. “More like afternoon tea, my dear.”