cs moore

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Herizen Guardiola, Justice Smith, and Shameik Moore photographed by Steven Pan for GQ (December 2016)

Moore: Me and Herizen didn’t start off like the way we are now.
Guardiola: We went through a rough patch! But it was perfect for our characters, and I would say we’re friends now, right? Kind of? I mean we’re cool now. I’m 20 now, but coming into this at 18, I became an adult. I’ve changed in so many ways. You’ve really got to learn this stuff.

Unexpected (what you did to my heart)

She’s late. She’s never late. How do mermaids even keep time? Regardless, she is never late and every possible scenario of her getting hurt starts to run through his head. 

He’s not sure when she had become so important to him, when he had begun dreaming of her, when he had started worrying when she was late.

All it had been at first was harmless flirting when she would appear with a splash of water and a flash of her blue, blue tail. She had teased him and challenged him and he had smiled. (He hadn’t smiled this much since—)

She would meet him every time his ship made port here, always ready with a quip (You’re late Captain! Getting rusty in your old age?), her eyes glittering with mischief and her lips curved into a grin, making his heart lighter than it had been in a long, long time. She was beautiful, breathtakingly so and the desire to kiss those red, red lips had crossed his mind too many times to count. (The fact that she was half fish didn’t seem to factor into his considerations.) (She had had him long before he even had an inkling of what was happening.)

But, things had always been more complicated than that and he had been a fool to deny it for so long. The night she had appeared in front of his ship, tail sliced, blood spreading slowly in the water had been the night he had finally admitted to himself how much he cared for her. His heart had stopped when he had pulled her on board (with no little protest from his crew) and her lips had been so pale, her eyes devoid of their fire, her lifeblood slowly seeping into his deck. He had bandaged her up himself and allowed her to rest in the tub in his quarters. When he had woken the next morning, she had begged him to please, please let her go and not ask any questions. He had respected her wishes. (Of course he had.) (He still wonders how and why she had found him that night.)

He realises that he has always been able to see past her sarcasm, her humour, her smiles (always tinged with a bit of sadness), that he has always seen himself in her. He knows she was human once. She had let it slip one day by accident and then hadn’t met him for weeks after. (The question of what had happened to her plagues his mind with unwavering regularity.)

She intrigues him and slowly she has managed to consume him. 

That is why he has turned into this, worrying about her when she is late. What could have happened?

There’s a splash of water on his face.

“Hey Sailor, miss me?”

His heart finally begins to beat normally and he smiles.