“It was unbelievable. Thank you again, so much. You’re making a habit out of rescuing me.” I said hoping he understood how much tonight had meant to me, but I felt my skin redden.
He smiled wider now, showing some teeth, which he rarely did. I liked it, it made him seem less guarded.
“It was my pleasure, I’m glad you had fun.” He replied.
I took the keys out of my purse, getting ready to open the door, a sense of dread taking over me.
“Thanks again…I guess I’ll see you around.” I said lamely, not knowing how else to say goodbye. At least see you around didn’t sound as final.
I turned the key in the keyhole and felt his presence above my shoulder.
“Summer…” He whispered.
I stiffened. Feeling his warm breath caress my hair.
I slowly turned and looked up into blue, intense eyes that were much, much too close. David leaned into me, and I could have sworn I thought my body would push right through the door. That’s how flat against it I was. My breath caught in my throat and I felt my eyes bulge out of their socket. My expression must have been hysterical.
He stopped inches from my face, placing a long, muscular arm against the door frame, flanking me.
“David.” I said in response. His luminous eyes bored into mine and for a moment I felt naked, exposed.
He grinned, making my heart jump erratically.
I didn’t know what to think or feel. His smile was teasing, his posture predatory. I felt trapped between the door and his body. He smirked knowingly and his gaze went to my lips.
“Did you think you can get rid of me so easily?” A side of his mouth quirked up.
“Wha…what do you mean?” My voice came out breathy, unsteady. I hated it.
“How about I rescue you for breakfast tomorrow?” He asked, ignoring my previous question.
I guessed this was the David Gandy Show.
“Tomorrow is Saturday.” Like he didn’t know the days of the week.
“I’m well aware of that.” That half smile was doing crazy things to my stomach.
“What I mean is… I have plans to have breakfast with my sister. We really haven’t hung out much since I got here. We were supposed to tonight and… Well, you know what happened.” I finished, feeling out of breath and slightly dizzy.
“Yes, I do know.” His teasing gaze held me, unwilling to grant me mercy.
His lips were so close. My eyes couldn’t stop the urge to stare at them shamelessly. A slight angle to my face and I could kiss him.
I said, Focus!
I couldn’t think, why was he so close?
“What about lunch?” He licked his lips, and twisted one of my curls between his fingers.
Had we entered an alternate dimension? Because from where I was standing it almost felt like he was flirting with me… but… that couldn’t be… could it?
“Plans… with …sister?”
I was beginning to sound like I had stepped out of the stone age.
David chuckled, obviously aware of the effect he was having on me.
“Yes, you said that already.”
Closing my eyes, I forced my brain to work.
“I can’t think.” I finally let out, feeling loopy.
My hand found the way to his taut chest and I lightly pushed him away from me.
David hesitated for just a second but he relented stepping back, allowing the oxygen back into my lungs.
There was too much amusement in those hooded eyes.
Oh God! I was acting like an infatuated teenager.
And maybe I was, It wasn’t like I ever acted on those urges as a teen. I was fairly level headed back then and didn’t crush easily on guys.
Derek was the first and only boy I had shown an interest towards. Maybe all those years of suppressed hormones were surfacing now. Awesome timing!
“I..I have plans with Spring the entire day actually”
I did my best to sound composed and unaffected, but something in his expression told me he knew better.
David remained silent for a few seconds, which seem to extend into hours of tension. Then he smirked and nodded to himself, as if enjoying a private joke.
“I see, alright then.” He stepped further back but I could see the cogs turning in his head. His eyes projected an emotion and it wasn’t disappointment, it was more like determination.
“It has been a pleasure running into you again Summer, I hope you have a restful night.”
Maybe not…my heart fell. His words felt too much like goodbye and goodbye this time around would surely be final, because as much as the universe seemed to align itself for crazy coincidences, I wasn’t lucky enough to have a third.
I wanted to say something, but what… Our sudden reunion was up and that’s all it had been.
David and I belonged in very different worlds.
“Good night David… It was…it was…”
The words escaped me, they could never tell how I felt about seeing him again.
“It was truly great seeing you again.”
He smiled beautifully at me, I tried to return the smile but it was weak.
I went inside the apartment and the last thing I saw as I slowly let the door close were focused blue eyes, that made my heart stutter.
As soon as Spring heard the door close she was in my face, interrogating me. She had definitely picked the best career, journalism suited her curious personality like a glove.
The girl was shooting questions my way like they were going out of style. Her phone rang suddenly and she actually blushed when she glanced at it…. Hmmm… Interesting. She stopped talking and ran to her room, before heading in she turned to me lifting a finger in warning.
“Don’t you dare dream this conversation is over Missy!”
Well, that was odd. For one, Spring never blushed and she would have died a thousand lives before letting me off the hook when it came to David related gossip. Whatever was going on was big, but she’d tell me when she was ready I guessed.
I headed off to bed, feeling my body exhausted but my mind wired. It was gonna take a while before sleep would take me.
This whole night felt straight out of a dream, probably Spring’s dream. My time in London had been uneventful up until today, when my handsome, blue eyed hero appeared out of thin air to rescue me yet again. I felt a silly smile spread across my face.
I shook my head trying to shake the image of David away, I wasn’t completely unaware of what he did to me. Especially what he’d done now before he left. I had been reduced to a pile of melted butter, unable to articulate and completely starstruck.
The weird thing was that I wasn’t particularly starstruck by David. The fact that he was this famous model rarely entered my mind. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t an idea of who he was when I first met him. He had just been this truly amazing, incredibly hot, mysterious guy that had been kind to me. And yes he had affected me physically, to be honest he had awaken something in me that I felt had been dormant. Something way too strong to truly let loose, because I was afraid it would consume me.
I didn’t really know David but I knew that in the three years I had been with Derek, I had never felt the kind of fire that stirred within me when David looked at me with those inquisitive eyes, and that was very, very scary.
I laid awake in bed for over two hours, until exhaustion finally won over my crazy, endless thoughts. Good thing too, because I didn’t want to think about him anymore. David had been a sweet dream, but dreams are hard to reach, impossible to keep and at some point we have to wake up.
I awoke to the sound of Spring’s loud voice, and stomping feet walking down the hall, I felt groggy and sweaty. I had fallen asleep with nothing but a barely there t-shirt on and I hadn’t turned the fan. I mechanically walked to the door and went out into the hallway, where I heard Spring give a loud, piercing shriek.
I rolled my eyes.
Had she seen a mouse? A lizard? Spring was a total girl when it came to things that crawled, or any kind of creature that wasn’t human for that matter. Unless you were talking about a burglar, but I had a feeling that she could take those. I remembered one time when Spring saw a butterfly go into her room through the window. She was so scared, she had refused to go back in it until the poor thing was found and taken away. I didn’t know how she could have possibly been afraid of such a beautiful, small creature but she had screamed her lungs out like she was being tortured.
I shook my head and laughed at the memory.
I rubbed the back of my hands against my sleepy eyes, not feeling quite awake yet.
I reached the living room and found Spring standing like a dam statue by the front door, it took me a couple of seconds to realize why she had screamed and why she seemed to be paralyzed in place.
David was standing at the entrance of the apartment holding two cups of coffee, and a semi-amused smile playing around his lips.
I had to blink several times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I must have looked crazy because I must have blinked at least a hundred times in less than a minute. The image didn’t fade, It wasn’t a mirage. It wasn’t a dream.
Nope. It was him, in all his glorious self.
His eyes found me immediately as if I were some sort of a beacon, and his smiled widened.
“Good morning Summer.”
I think I became a statue as well because I had been planted in place.
His intense gaze roamed my body from my bare toes, to my legs, to my thighs and the too short t-shirt that covered the bare necessities.
His eyes left a fiery trail on my body that caused my heart to leap at full speed and a simmering heat to coil low in my stomach. Oh boy I was in so much trouble here!
Shake it off, just shake it off Summer. I chanted inside my head trying to find my voice.
“David, what are you doing here?…I mean… Umm… Good morning? This is a surprise.”
I finished lamely, crossing my arms over my chest. I wasn’t wearing a bra and after that scorching stare from him, I really needed to cover up certain parts that had come alive.
“I’m sorry to intrude ladies.” He looked from me to Spring in an apologetic manner as he smiled politely.
There was a moment of awkward silence before I realized that he was still standing out in the hallway, waiting to be let in while my sister seemed to have lost her voice and I was too self conscious to move any closer.
“Please come in.” I waved a hand at him, willing my legs to move as I advanced in his direction.
My sister just stood there gaping at him. I rolled my eyes again.
David stepped into the foyer but didn’t come in any further.
I grabbed my sister by the arm and slightly shook her.
“Spring, you remember David?”
I widened my eyes willing her to snap out of it.
“OMG!!!! I’m such a spaz. Off course I remember silly. It’s freaking DAVID GANDY, and he is standing in my living room.”
David chuckled taking in my sister’s obvious starstruck moment.
“Well technically, I’m standing in your foyer.” He glanced around.
Spring’s eyes widened in horror.
“Oh my God how rude of me! Please, do come in, this is so embarrassing. I was totally caught by surprise and my hair has got to be a mess and I’m wearing freaking pajamas and oh my God it’s David freaking Gandy Eeep!!!” Spring kept squealing like an excited pig at a circus.
I was horrified by my sister. She needed to shut up before I died of shame. Not to mention that I was still half naked, with most likely racoon eyes, and morning breath, and a tangled lion’s mane for hair, while standing in the livingroom with David, holding two cups of coffee.
Great! This was just awesome! I groaned inwardly.
“Ok, just make yourself comfortable, you can take a seat wherever you like. Here let me fluff some pillows!” She exclaimed as she went to the sofa and started patting and swatting away.
I glanced cautiously at David, who didn’t seem annoyed or affected by the crazy scene. I felt horrified.
“Thank you Spring. Oh and one of this is for you.”
He approached my sister and handed her one of the coffees.
She grabbed it mechanically with eyes as big as saucers.
“Oh my god, David Gandy just got me a coffee and delivered it to my own house, this is too unbelievable thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”
He smiled at her.
“I’m gonna go change and scream out the window, I’ll be right back.” She started walking away and stopped suddenly. “Actually it may be a while, I won’t stop screaming most likely until I lose my voice.”
She gave a quick nod and disappeared around the hallway practically bouncing on her heels.
I smiled tightly at David, feeling out of sorts.
“I’m sorry about that, my sister is not usually this harebrained.”
He gave me that wicked half smile of his.
“Please don’t apologize, it’s fine, oh and this is for you.”
He crossed the space between us and handed me the cup of steamy coffee.
“Three creams, eight sugars.” He raised an amused eyebrow.
How did he know how I took my coffee? I stared in disbelief.
“You ordered coffee in the airplane, remember.” He answered my unspoken question.
I nodded. Right.
He looked way too good for this early in the morning. His hair seemed natural, going in every direction, perfect, he wore blue jeans and a light, grey sweater that hugged his wide shoulders just right.
I immediately moved further back, feeling his eyes boring into my disheveled, bed hair and sleepy face.
I sat carefully on the arm-rest of the sofa, urging my inappropriate T-shirt to grow longer.
“Thanks for the coffee, so…”
I glanced around the apartment, not really searching for anything just for something to do with my eyes other than to look directly at him.
“This is a surprise, you here this early and with coffee.”
I raised the cup for emphasis.
He smiled and lowered his head, seeming…embarrassed, which was odd, I thought.
“Yes, I should apologize for the early house call, I was hoping to buy my way into going to breakfast with you and your sister.”
I was completely taken aback with that.
I asked bluntly.
He raised his eyebrows.
“I hope you don’t mind?” He said instead, ignoring my question.
“NO!!! We don’t mind!!!” Spring intervened craning her neck around the hallway wall, and disappearing just as quick.
David smiled at me, clearly amused
“Guess, you’ve been invited.” I shrugged.
I didn’t understand this man at all. Last night as he backed me up against the door, I could have sworn he was flirting with me, he had asked to take me to breakfast but at my refusal he had just dropped it and left and left instead. Now he was here inviting himself to breakfast with us, why?
I sighed…Maybe I just didn’t understand men altogether.
“Is it alright with you?”
He spoke, snapping me back to the present, my eyes locked on to his.
I nodded again.
“I should get dressed.”
I looked down at raggedy Harvard t-shirt.
“It’s not a requirement” His tone was all wolf.
Eyes the color of the sea looked over me again in a slow perusal, I was surely beet red, by the time they reached my face.
I needed to get up and walk away but i couldn’t seem to move. Moving required walking and turning my back to him and knowing that he’d probably be looking.
And what’s wrong with that? Show off those legs woman! Said the little voice inside my head.
I got up slowly, making sure the shirt remained in place, covering the things that needed covering.
“Just make yourself at home, I’ll be right back.”
I started to walk away then turned my head back.
He was looking after me and he didnt even show an ounce of shame at getting caught.
“Oh and can you please give me a heads up the next time you decide to drop by? I would like to have clothes on.”
David’s smile turned wicked
“Well, where is the fun in that?”
I raised my eyebrows in disbelief, and placed my hands on my hips.
“How about for the sake of not having my sister throw a scene worse than Lindsay Lohan in a court room?”
He laughed out loud, the sound rumbling through my body.
“Can’t say I’m completely sorry about today love, so I make no promises.”
I glared at him.
“Your bluntness has no bounds you know.”
“I believe you have me beat actually.”
I crossed my arms.
“How do you figure that?”
“Well for starters, you laughed at my career choice and said I was wearing a diaper.”
Oh God I had said that.
“Then you told me how I’m just not that important of a famous person…”
My eyes widened with embarrassment.
David simply looked like he was having too much fun at my expense.
“Shall I go on love?”
“Actually I was about to beg you to stop.”
I often let my big mouth have the best of me, having a replay of it was not something I particularly cared for.
David leaned back against the arm of the couch crossing his legs and arms, defined muscles popped out as the thin material hugged his biceps and I had a crazy urge to touch him and have him touch me and do all sorts of wicked, wicked things with those arms.
I felt blood rush to many parts of my body and this time it had nothing to do with embarrassment, I wrapped my arms around myself feeling slightly feverish.
“Don’t worry, I like your honesty. It’s quite…endearing.”
He said in a low, playful tone.
I smiled tightly, and turned to walk away.
“I guess we are even then.”
I said before leaving the room.
We decided to walk to a nearby restaurant Spring had suggested.
After she took about two hours getting ready, and came out looking as if she was a runner up in a Miss America pageant.
I opted for simple lose, navy blue shorts, a white, boho cami and my denim jacket. I had decided to wear wedges at the last minute. Slightly dressing up my casual attire.
My hair was a tangled mess that I kept in a messy bun, not like I was trying to impress anyone… At least thats what I kept telling myself.
David spoke to the hostess and asked for a somewhat intimate table. We were lead to it by the gorgeous blonde who kept swaying her hips in front of him in a hypnotizing rhythm. I was sure she was trying to call his attention, I huffed without noticing.
“Are you alright?” He whispered as we walked.
“Yep, just peachy.” I murmured.
He leaned into my ear and whispered.
“Those shorts look great on you but I do miss the T-shirt.” He gave me a side smile.
I blushed crimson and lost all train of thought.
We sat down and the blonde leaned towards David.
“Your server will be right with you but if there is anything I can get you. Don’t hesitate to ask.” She smiled suggestively at him and I had a sense of Deja Vu. Did every woman talk to him like that?
Was it because of his looks or his name? In my experience, it was mostly because of his looks, though I was sure his supermodel status didn’t hurt him. A man that looked like him didn’t go unnoticed.
“Is there anything you ladies would like?” He directed the question to Spring and myself, completely ignoring blondie.
We both shook our heads.
“Are you sure love?” He asked me.
“I believe we are good for now. Thank you.” He gave her a curt nod and turned his attention back to my sister and I.
My insides were sighing, was he used to women making passes at him and didn’t notice it anymore, or was he just being a gentleman?
“Is it always like that? I mean, how often do women just throw their panties at you?” Spring leaned towards him.
“Spring!!! That’s a very inappropriate question.” I scolded my sister. “Please ignore her.” I glanced at David.
He seemed thoroughly amused.
“It actually doesn’t happen quite as often as you may think.” He replied smiling.
Thankfully our waiter soon arrived and dropped off our menus. We ordered and settled to have a nice breakfast. Spring kept shooting impolite questions at David and he kept answering them in his cool and collected manner. Nothing seemed to phase him. After unsuccessfully scolding my sister to no avail, I decided to give up. I wasn’t gonna keep acting like a babysitter, those days were over and David didn’t seem to mind. He actually seemed quite entertained. The waiter dropped our check and I reached for it but David’s hand cut me off.
“Don’t even think about it.” He pulled a black Amex and dropped it inside the check holder.
My eyes darted over to my sister so we could thank him but she was deep in thought, looking as if she were debating on something. Her eyes snapped to David and I knew this would be bad.
“So, how many women have you slept with?” She blurted out and my eyes must have jumped out of my face.
I composed myself in record time.
“Ok, that’s enough.” I raised my hand to her face. “David, you don’t have to answer that.” I looked at him apologetically.
He just smirked.
“Thank you for breakfast and…” A ringtone interrupted my sentence and Spring jumped around searching for her purse, pulling out her phone.
She blushed again.
“Summer is right, you don’t have to answer that. In fact, I forgot I had a… uh… commitment. I hate to eat and leave but I have somewhere I need to be.” She finished.
“I thought we were spending the day together.” I narrowed my eyes at her in suspicion.
“No need for that. You have David now. He’ll be a better tour guide of London than me. So you kids enjoy.” She bolted upright from her seat, ran to David and gave him the European two kiss greeting as she thanked him again from breakfast before she walked away.
The waiter dropped back the check, David signed and retrieved his card. He stood up and pulled out my chair as I followed suit.
“Guess you’re all mine love.” He whispered in my ear from behind me and every hair in my body stood in response.
I took a deep breath and turned around to find him grinning. I raised an eyebrow.
“What would you like to see?” He leaned into me as I leaned away from him.
“London?” I said slightly breathless.
Damn this freaking hormones and the effect he had on them!
He took my hand in his as we exited the restaurant. We walked silently down the street, it was a beautiful, sunny day and I couldn’t stop myself from turning my head in every direction, London was breathtaking.
“Thank you for letting me accompany you to breakfast”
“About that, I really should apologize for my sister. She really isn’t a crazy person or anything, she’s just…”
What was she? Impulsive, thoughtless, overly enthusiastic, totally inappropriate.
“She is just young and impulsive, and studying journalism, so asking uncomfortable questions is in her DNA.”
I opted for saying.
“You don’t have to apologize, and you speak of her as if you were much older, but you are not.”
I guess I did but I always looked after Spring. Since we were children, I had made it my mission to make sure she didn’t get into crazy trouble, occasionally even doing her homework.
“I know, but it’s always been that way. I’m the level headed, responsible sister and Spring has always had a reckless streak. I’m just used to looking out for her.”
“That’s very kind of you.”
I nodded, feeling uncomfortable for the compliment. It wasn’t like I did it to be rewarded, it was just who i was.
I said lively.
“Listen you don’t really have to take me around. I’m sure you are busy and playing tour guide is not appealing for anyone. I mean, I appreciate it but honestly is not nec….”
Two long fingers were suddenly against my lips, successfully silencing me.
“You are ranting” He said bemused.
I stared at him as if he was a lightbulb and I were a bug entranced by his magnificence.
“And despite it not being necessary, I want to show you London. It’s not a problem and I’m not busy.”
I nodded dumbstruck as he pulled his fingers away.
“Now, what would you like to do?” He asked.
I swallowed and licked my dry, overheated lips.
“Let’s just walk around and sightsee. It’s a beautiful day.” I noted because I really hadn’t a clue of what to do.
“That it is…”
We walked a little further until I noticed we were surrounded by lush trees and colorful flower beddings. Little wooden benches adorned the sides of the long walkway and people rode their bicycles and walked their dogs happily. It was beautiful.
“Where are we?”
David took in his surroundings.
“This is Hyde Park.”
I had heard about the park’s in London being amazing.
I let out, as my eyes roamed the beautiful landscape with it’s tall trees colored in shades of orange, green and even pink, natured surrounded us in every direction. I inhaled deeply, there was nothing like breathing in the outdoors, it was peaceful.
I felt fingers touch my skin.
David pulled a brown strand of my hair that was stubbornly stuck around my neck and placed it softly behind my ear. My skin tingle and the peacefulness was replaced by a fiery desire to have this man touch me everywhere.
That was a dangerous image, I breathed again, letting the air clear my thoughts.
Suddenly I felt a soft, furry thing press against my legs.
I looked down surprised to find a dog, he had come from behind me and was rubbing his soft fur playfully against me.
I broke into a big smile.
“Hey buddy, where’d you come from?”
I squatted and pet it’s caramel coat. he let out his tongue and slobbered my cheek.
I laughed. David kneel beside me and observed me intently, with what seemed like curiosity in his eyes.
“You are so adorable, do you belong to someone, are you lost?”
“You like dogs.” It sounded more like a statement than an actual question.
I looked up at him, even kneeling he was a lot taller than me, a genuine smile on his lips.
“Who doesn’t, look at this face”
I said, making cowey noises as if i was talking to a baby, I tended to get like that around animals.
The friendly dog remained still as he happily wagged his long tail.
“He is a Golden Retriever. Check it’s collar, I don’t believe he is a stray.”
David observed, as he ran his hand along the dog’s back, in long strides.
my hand searched through the long strands of soft hair, until i found a round, metal attached to the collar.
I brought it out from under the hair and searched for a name.
“You are right, his name is… Bentley, like the car.”
I dropped my hand to my thigh and Bentley quickly went after it, licking at it.
“He likes you!.”
“Hey Bentley, you want me to rub your belly.”
the dog seeming to understand me, went on his back and sprawled his legs open.
Both David and I laughed.
“Looks like he really likes you.”
I rubbed his belly and one of his legs did that shake thing, it was adorable.
“Are you flirting with me Bentley… you are a casanova aren’t you?”
I could swear if dogs were able to smile Bentley was smiling at me right now.
“Bentley, there you are, you naughty beast.”
Both our heads snapped towards the sound of the voice, and an older lady walked hastily our way, seeming out of breath.
David got to his feet.
she nods, reaching us, a leash dragging next to her.
“He likes to run free, but at my age I can’t keep up.”
“He is very friendly”
“Typically he just runs around avoiding everyone, I’m surprised you got him on his back, you must really like dogs for him to come to you so willingly, he can smell that you know.”
“I do.. .I love animals, when i was a kid I would bring home all sorts of animals, my parents had a hard time making me understand that I couldn’t keep them all.”
The lady smiled kindly at me.
“I know what you mean, if i could take care of every stray out there I would in a heartbeat, honey.”
I smiled back.
Bentley got to his paws and started sniffing around our feet.
“How old is he?”
“That old boy has been with me for almost twelve years. Do any of you have pets?”
She moved her eyes from me to David and back again.
“I wish, but I can’t, too busy with school.” I say exhaling.
“Same here, I love dogs, but I’m always traveling, it wouldn’t be fair for the animal.” David patted the honey colored coat of Bentley’s back and he seemed to be loving it too.
“I do foster dogs from Battersea when I’m in town and have the time, until a permanent home can be found.” He did? I looked at him with surprise, feeling a strange warmth in my chest.
“That is a very kind thing to do, those poor creatures don’t stand a chance without us.”
“Thank you, I agree.”
This was a whole new side to David and I had to admit I liked it.
We said our goodbyes to both Bentley and Margaret, we had learned was her name, and I was hesitant to let go of Bentley, I really needed to get a dog, but it was impossible with my hectic schedule, seemed we both had the same problem.
We continued our leisurely walk and I noticed David’s distinct smile as he studied me.
he shook his head.
“Nothing, you just…surprised me.”
“well most people, scratch that.. most females wouldn’t allow a strange animal to get so close to them, let alone pet them the way you did.”
oh, I hadn’t thought about my actions at all, to me it was a normal thing to pet dogs, they were a man’s best friend after all but perhaps it wasn’t as ok as i thought.
“ I never thought about it that way, is my natural instinct to pet a dog, they need love too you know, even a strange, mange one.”
I teased, smiling.
He smiled back and kept that steady-a bit intimidating if I was being honest-gaze on me.
The light breeze send tendrils of my hair on the loose, tickling my neck and my cheeks but it was welcomed, i enjoyed feeling it’s slow caress.
David’s eyes were on me, the way he observed me, as if studying me was a little disconcerting, I didn’t know what to make of it.
“You know when I was a kid, amongst my many aspirations, I wanted to grow up and buy a farm, fill it with every animal I wanted and play with them every day.”
he smiled at me.
“I wanted to be a Veterinarian.”
I raised my eyebrows, surprise shining through my eyes.
“Dr. Gandy ha.. I do like the sound of that, I would have hired you to look after my animal’s health at the farm.”
we both laughed.
Rounding a bank of trees down the path I could make out the distinct sound of flowing water and I looked around spotting a small fountain a few yards away. David followed my line of sight and pulled me alongside him down the path leading to it. There was a sculpture of a woman in the center holding a bow and arrow.
“This is Artemis Fountain.” He explained.
I sat on it’s edge, letting my feet rest.
“Such a sad story isn’t it?” I sighed running my fingers through the water and looking up at the Goddess of hunting and wilderness.
His eyes locked on me inquisitively.
“She was the goddess of chastity, virginity, the hunt and the wilderness. Yet she fell in love with her hunting companion, Orion. Only to fall into her brother’s jealousy scheme as he tricked her into killing the very man she loved. It’s sad.”
“That’s one version.” He added.
“None of her versions end happily though, do they?” I said, more to myself.
“No.” he answered anyway.
A pang of sadness hit my chest and I couldn’t understand the reason behind it.
“Perhaps love has no happy ending.” The words left my mouth before I could stop them.
A long minute of silence passed between us.
“Winston Churchill said: “All great things are simple and many can be expressed in single words.” Love is a single word, and it’s a great thing. Nothing truly great ends when it’s with the right person.”
“The right person?” I asked skeptically. “Don’t think such thing exists.” I shook my head.
“Perhaps you just haven’t found it yet.”
his cerulean eyes ensnared me and my breath caught in my throat, it was simply hypnotic.
“Perhaps you’re right.”
He lead me away from the fountain heading into a different side of the park where gardens blossomed in varying shades of colors.
“Can I ask you something personal?” He broke the silence.
“Were you in love with Derek?”
Wowza!!! He was letting out the big guns. That was a million dollar question.
“You don’t have to answer if you are uncomfortable with it.”
I thought about it and decided I wasn’t. For some reason talking to David was easy, I never felt judged. I actually felt inclined to share, which was odd because I was usually reserved with my personal life, but with him it was the opposite, around him i suffered from word vomit, where I shared too much.
“I’m not…uncomfortable with it I mean.”
We walked freely, he was letting me set the pace and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
“I think I thought I was. He was a very engaging person at first. We met when I was only sixteen and had yet to show an interest in the opposite sex. I think my parents thought I might like to swing for the same team, if you know what I mean.”
“I think I got it.”
“I don’t, just so we are clear.”
I felt the need to clarify.
“Good to know.” He suppressed a smile.
“Anywho, Derek’s family had dealings with my family and they were always around. Our parents had practically married us before we even decided that we liked each other. He’s two years older than me, so it wasn’t until I turned eighteen that he seemed to show an obvious interest in me. We became friends and he’d come over and have dinner with me and my parents. He would take me to the movies and eventually it was assumed we were a couple. I guess everyone expected us to be and I did enjoy his company. One thing led to another and before I even noticed two long years had passed. Derek basically planned out our lives, I would go to college for a year and wait for him to get his Bachelor’s then together move to London and attend Oxford. That was the dream.”
My feet shuffled against the cement floor kicking pebbles along the way.
“But you didn’t want that?”
I looked up at David, surprised that he could see that.
I shook my head.
“I… wanted to go to Harvard. That was my dream, so I told everyone I hadn’t gotten into Oxford. I felt awful lying to him but I figured we could make it work and I wouldn’t hurt him by telling him that I didn’t want to come to Oxford.”
I glanced up, peeking at David.
“Safe to assume he wasn’t as optimistic as you.”
“He wasn’t.” I said shaking my head.
“It’s funny how you think you know someone and then suddenly your entire perspective changes from one minute to the next.”
“you are a very trusting person.”
he wasn’t asking, it was a simple fact.
I exhaled and laughed without humor.
“Am, I that easy to read?”
“That’s not a bad thing”
His eyes were a soft Powdery blue as he spoke.
I smiled, feeling a sense of relief to have told someone about Oxford.
“You know, you are the first person I’ve ever told.”
He smiled with understanding.
“Not even my sister knows.”
“I’m glad you feel that you can trust me.”
“Evidently I trust everybody.”
“Not everyone, you just said this is the first time you’ve shared that story with anyone.”
he had a point.
I looked up at him, the brightness of the day made his eyes dazzle.
“I don’t know why I did, you are practically a stranger.”
“Well, I find that sometimes it’s easier to confide in a stranger, that being said, I don’t like the sound of that word between us, so lets remedy that.”
The subject was dropped after that and I was glad for it. I didn’t really know if I had loved Derek, but whatever I had felt for him had died along with the person I thought he was.
We walked for what seemed like hours around the park, David pointed out things of interest , relevant statues and monuments, buildings that peaked from the distance. I enjoyed hearing his soothing, voice as he patiently described everything to me.
He asked about my family, My hobbies. He asked if I had always wanted to be a lawyer which I didn’t when I was a kid I wanted to be a professional Volleyball player of all things.
Time had escaped my mind, the sound of my stomach rumbling brought me back to the present.
I clutched my midsection with both hands and laughed.
David looked at his wrist watch.
“I can’t believe it’s four, I have monopolized your time.”
“I didn’t notice it myself actually, time flies here in London.”
or maybe it was because of my company.
he smiled and grabbed my hand.
“come on, let me take you to dinner, I know a fantastic place, very close by.”