In My Bed
I felt something shaking me, I was hoping it wasn’t an earthquake. In the fog of the morning my mind was wondering if there were Earthquakes in London? The shaking didn’t stop. I groaned as I felt a hand on my shoulder. Spring could be a mean girl sometimes. She knew I was tired. My eyes decided to finally open to a find a pair of an astonishing shade of blue eyes in front of me.
Was I dreaming?
I blinked several times bringing my vision and thoughts into focus. Nope, not a dream but rather a very deliciously looking David seating at the edge of my bed. The shaking hand had belonged to him. I pulled the sheets to my chest protectively, feeling out of sorts and in a quick move I sat on the bed, keeping the sheet securely around me.
“What are you doing here?” I asked in a high screech.
David, blinked and suppressed a smile.
“Good morning to you as well. You said one day right?”
I knitted my brows still feeling groggy and out of it.
“What?” I asked.
What was he saying? My hands rubbed the sleep from my eyes and the sheet shifted lower.
I caught it before anything was in fact exposed. He grinned at my bewildered expression.
“You told me you needed a day to be with your sister, did you have a pleasant time?” He asked in his usual soothing voice.
I crunched my brows again. “You take things very literal, you know?” I said fighting a yawn.
“Do I?” He retorted grinning.
I shook my head and rolled my eyes, the reality of him being in my room hit me.
“How did you get in here, by the way?”
“Spring let me in, she was on her way out when I arrived. Said it was alright to wake you, something about me being the best kind of alarm or something.” Those baby blues of his danced with amusement.
I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Spring said that did she? I think I might have a word with her later about letting men into my room while I’m asleep”
His smiled widened.
“Don’t reprimand her love, I can be very persuasive.”
He whispered leaning in closer making my heart beat erratically.
“Oh! I have no doubt about that.” I snorted. Why did I have to sound like a piglet when he was around? I groaned inwardly.
A half smile raised on the corner of his mouth as his eyes searched my face. I got a little self conscious, after all it was the morning. My hair must be have been going in every direction. My eyes chinky from sleep and well, I was half naked sitting in a bed wrapped in nothing but a blue sheet while David paid me very close attention and sat way too close.
“Can I have some personal space please?”
I spoke, feeling a little claustrophobic with his proximity.
“Of course, how rude of me.”
He said getting to his feet.
“I’ll wait in the common area”
He retreated towards the door.
“Don’t take too long now, we have things to do.”
He continued until he reached the door pulling it open.
I was about to ask what it was he thought we were doing at this ungodly hour, but his next words stopped all train of coherent thoughts in my head.
“Oh and by the way I find it incredibly sexy that you sleep naked.”
And with that parting sentence he was out of my now too small, too hot room.
Had he seen me naked? Oh God!
I didn’t think so. I searched through my memory of his arrival. I had been sleeping on my stomach but the sheets were half way down my bare back.
So he assumed I was naked. Ok that wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t like he had actually seen anything. I don’t sleep fully naked I have undies on, but I can’t resist anything else on me. The fabric makes me itchy and hot.
I was most definitely going to kill Spring though.
I scrambled to my feet and hurried to put myself together as much as I could anyways.
My hair wasn’t gonna get easily fixed so I wrapped it in a messy bun with a few strands framing my face.
I was confused on what to wear though.
I stuck my head out the door .
“Where exactly are we going and how should I dress for this?”
I said loudly enough for David to hear.
Shortly after, his imposing figure came into view.
“Casual should work fine.”
I stared at him, he wore blue khaki pants, a white tucked in shirt with some loose buttons at the neck and chest, and finished off with a grey light leather jacket, simple enough and as casual as David could be.
He still looked good as hell though. As he stood there in my sister’s hallway, with his hands tucked in the pockets of his jeans, he completely owned that hallway. The man was the epitome of sex appeal.
David cleared his throat.
Getting my attention, I looked up at him, his eyes were always steady and way too focused. How could a girl remain unaffected by those eyes?
Even a nun would have a hard time keeping it together.
“Right. Casual it is. I won’t be much longer by the way. Help yourself to coffee or water or whatever there is. I’m not sure what’s in the kitchen, Spring doesn’t cook so I don’t know if there is anything. I have to remind myself to buy some groceries or I might starve to death.”
He lifted his hand. Stopping my rambling.
“Its ok love, I don’t need anything…” His gaze roamed my face and neck. “… from the kitchen.”
He said in that calm, cool voice of his.
And there was way too much amusement in his tone. I needed to stop rambling every time I was around him. Deciding to ignore his innuendo I ran back into the room but not before narrowing my eyes.
“I’ll be right out then.”
I got dressed as fast as I could and worked on my messy hair. Actually it wasn’t as horrible as I had feared. The curls from the night before still held their bounce. I ran my fingers through them several times to smooth out the frizziness and let them hang loose down my back.
“By the way, what did I say about showing up without telling me in the morning?” I said loud enough for him to hear me.
I heard his distinct chuckle from the living room and my own smile widen in response.
“You’ll have to remind me love, my memory is faulty.”
I rolled my eyes and stuck my head out of the bathroom door.
“Right!..I told you to give me a head’s up before coming to give me time to at least get dressed.”
He crossed his muscular arms over his chest.
“Yes, I vaguely recall that. Though I clearly remember telling you, where was the fun in that and I stand by what I said.”
I shook my head and held back a smile. Without being in front of me, he still had the power of making me smile like a teenager. I threw on a flowy white summer dress with a knitted brown belt and beige wedges. I kept my makeup flawlessly natural, sprayed some perfume on and stepped out, snatching my clutch on the way to the living room.
“Ok, I’m ready.” I announced as I stepped in front of David.
He was sitting down on our couch, legs crosses and the newspaper opened on his lap. The picture of a British gentleman, all he had been missing was a cup of tea and biscuits. He absentmindedly glanced in my direction before bringing his eyes back to the article he’d been perusing. Something clicked in his head and slowly he turned his head my way again, doing a double take. His penetrating gaze went from the tip of my toes, excruciatingly slow as he set the newspaper on his lap. It almost felt as if I were being undressed by his eyes. I was glued in place and the only movement I was capable of was crossing my legs at my ankles. I bit my lip and stared him down. His eyes finally reached my face and an approving smile greeted me.
David got to his feet and in two strides he was standing in front of me. Even with heels he still towered over me. I looked up and his right hand held my chin softly. He bent down and planted a chaste kiss on one cheek, then slowly turned my head and planted a second on the other, lingering there. The end of his mouth brushing the end of mine. The kiss had been on my cheek but his mouth had felt so close to mine. My heart swelled and my body had become hyper aware of his proximity. He softly inhaled and straightened after what felt like a lifetime.
“You smell lovely.” He smiled down at me with mischief. He knew the effect he had on me. I hated that. I wished I were more mysterious.
“You did take a long whiff.” I tried to cover up my morning infatuation. “Shall we go?”
“Yes, lovely. We shall.” Ever the gentleman he offered me his arm… I hesitated for a moment but decided to throw caution out the window for the day. I linked my arm with his and off we went.
“New car?” I asked staring down at a newly restored antique.
He gave me a crooked smile.
“No, but I love this car for long trips. It really allows you to enjoy the scenery.”
“Well, convertibles do have that effect.” I observed, examining the vintage beauty closely.
“Do you like it?”
“Like it? I love it! It’s a 1960, 190SL Mercedes right?” I asked while softly caressing the vehicle with the tip of my fingers
David’s eyes snapped towards me, surprise coloring his features.
“Yes! Yes it is. How did you know?”
I shrugged, as my fingers continued the slow perusal.
“My dad is a car enthusiast. I used to hang out in the garage with him for hours when I was a kid, got my hands dirty too.” I smiled remembering my younger self, wanting to fix engines with my dad and wear one of those blue mechanic suits.
“I think my dad wanted a boy and got stuck with two girls. Not that he ever complained but he enjoyed having me around and teaching me about car parts and models and engines.”
I looked up at David who was staring at me with something like pride in his eyes.
He shook his head.
“Nothing, it’s just impressive. Not many females can tell apart one car from the other and you even know the year it was made, that’s kind of a…”
A wicked smile played along his sculpted lips while he shook his head as if thinking better of what he was about to say, his jeweled eyes took on a dark hue that made my toes curl.
“Kind of a what?” I prodded.
Instead of answering he opened the passenger door and gestured me to get in.
He got in shortly after and the soft purr of the engine turned on.
“What does your father do?” He asked suddenly.
“He is a…”
Oh no! He wasn’t getting me talking again.
I shook my head.
“Nope, I believe it’s my turn to ask a million questions, Mister.”
“Ok, that’s fair.”
We moved through the streets of London smoothly as there wasn’t a lot of traffic for a Monday morning. David seemed to know what he was doing when it came to driving too, he maneuvered the vehicle effortlessly through the other cars and narrow ways.
“So, where exactly are you taking me?” I looked at him with curiosity.
“We’re escaping.” He glanced mischievously in my direction.
I raised my brows in question.
“Did you rob a bank, am I a hostage?” I retorted and he chuckled.
“No, love. This is one of the things I do to relax.” He explained while cruising down the streets of London.
“What, drive a convertible?” I asked with a blank face.
“No, it’s more than that.” he continued
“People do different things to relax. Some go to the gym, some swim, some just sit on the sofa and let a TV show take them to a different place. I do it here.” He shrugs and continues. “This is escapism for me. I normally do it while it’s still dark at night. I love watching the Sun rise while the city slowly awakes. There are no other sounds but that of the tires and the engine. There are no feelings but that of the wind on your face, the vibrations on your arms. There’s nothing but you and your vehicle and everything else fades away. It’s like meditating to me.”
I heard his words and for some reason seeing him talk about what he liked so openly, with that amazing accent made him incredibly sexy. Not that he needed any help with his words, his face and body already did that enough for him. I shook my head and laughed.
“I truly hope you don’t close your eyes and go “om” while you drive.” I smirked.
He turned to face me.
“Om?” He asked lifting one sexy eyebrow. Why were his eyebrows sexy? Couldn’t he just have plain, ugly eyebrows?
“You know? Like yoga?” I did the yoga hands for emphasis and he laughed again. That throaty laugh that made me tingly all over.
“Ahh…” He exclaimed with understanding.
“So driving huh? That’s a very masculine hobby.”
He arched an eyebrow.
“I’m sorry it’s not knitting.” He chuckled.
“I didn’t mean it that way.” I couldn’t help laughing as well, the image of him knitting was too comical.
“I also like to write.” He proceeded to tell me and my eyes searched his face.
“You write?”I questioned, surprised by the news.
“Like novels?” This was an interesting turn of events.
“Oh absolutely. You know all those romance novels women like to read. I wrote some of those Best Sellers under all sorts of pen names.” He said nodding along.
“Really?” My interest piquing. He nodded again.
“I actually gave E.L James a lot of her ideas for the Fifty Shades book.” He elaborated.
Wowza! This was a side of him I didn’t know but was quite intriguing. My bewildered expression must have egged him on.
“Yeah, that Red Room of Pain? Definitely my idea, I have one in my basement. Wanna see?” He asked turning to me with a gleam in his eyes.
I gaped, my eyes bulging. What was I supposed to reply to a declared dominant?
“Uhh…” I stammered, nervously.
He peeked at me out of the corner of his eye.
“Gotcha!” He exclaimed. Breaking into a smile and winking at me. “See? You’re not the only one with jokes.” He laughed out loud. “Your expression was priceless.”
I swatted his arm, but he kept laughing unapologetic.
“Hey! I resent that.” I said trying to convey indignation.
“You’re not the only pisser around you know?” He replied.
“I’m a WHAT?” I exclaimed, my eyebrows almost reaching my hairline.
“Jokester, someone that likes to play jokes.” He answered.
I nodded, somewhat understanding, though how the British had gone from jokester to pisser was lost on me.
“Then no romance novels.” I stated.
“I hate to break your heart, but sadly no.”
“I’m devastated now.” I grabbed at my heart in mock pain and sighed.
He narrowed his eyes at me.
“So what do you like to write?”
“Mostly articles, I write for GQ, The Telegraph and Vogue.” He explained
“What about? Tips on why diapers are better than trunks for swimming?” I laughed and he glared at me but there was a smile playing around his sculpted lips.
“It’s called a Speedo.” He admonished.
“It will always be a diaper to me.” I retorted in the same manner he had told me about my fainting because of him.
“Alright, alright.” I raised my hand in surrender. “Enough pissing,” I emphasized the newly acquired word. “What do you write about?”
“I write a bit about the Fashion and the industry for Vogue and The Telegraph. But I really enjoy reviewing cars for British GQ.” He smiled.
“So, if you had to choose a car…” I didn’t get to finish the sentence, he interrupted me without a thought.
“Jaguar.” He said without an ounce of hesitation.
I smiled, of course he’d like the fast kitty.
“Interesting.” I said.
He looked at me expectantly.
“Is that it? Your entire comment on my writing and car preference is “interesting”?
“You say that to me all the time.” I countered.
“But I explain.”
“Vaguely.” I rolled my eyes and smiled.
“Touche.” He narrowed his eyes. “I guess I’ll just have to coerce it out of you later.”
His tone held a hint of playfulness, though the words had sounded too much like another innuendo. I had to steer us away from this conversation and fast. I was probably turning tomato red already.
“Did you restored this car yourself?” I went for the change of topic tactic.
“Yes, I enjoy working on cars. Restoring them, fixing them, bringing them back to their formal glory.”
“Really?” I said with real interest. I know it isn’t the most girlie hobby but when you’re brought up with a father like mine that spent half his free time with his nose under a hood it inevitably rubs off.
“Maybe you can show me sometime. Are you working on anything right now?”
His eyes shifted towards me, with something like a question in them. He didn’t speak and neither did I, only the wind caressing my hair roamed between us. I felt heat rising up to my face.
Had I asked the wrong thing?
David seemed to catch my discomfort and quickly composed his features.
“Absolutely, I’m actually working on an Aston Martin right now. I think you’ll love it.”
The enthusiasm must have shown in my face because David chuckled.
“Are we still in London?” I asked taking in our surroundings and not seeing any buildings.
“No, I am taking you somewhere out of the city.” He answered firmly.
“You can’t kill me, you know? My sister knows I’m with you, you’ll get caught” I tried for a joke.
“Kill you?” He chuckled. “ No. But I’m definitely shooting for another fainting spell.” He smiled wide.
Swooning David? Great! My knees were already weak despite being seated and I didn’t even know why… Maybe the thought of him and the Red Room of Pain… I wasn’t into any of that, but I could tell David would be very commanding in bed and my insides tingled at the possibility. Him and I, in a bed, together, him telling me what to do or what he would like to do to me.
Oh My God! Where did that come from? I squirmed in my seat and decided to change my train of thought. David and I were different, that would never happen between us. He was my friend. Why would he even think of me that way when he surrounded himself with the most perfect women in the world? I wasn’t perfect, far from it. I was a nerd, weird and quirky, and basically a midget. We were just friends and nothing more. I wasn’t interesting, maybe to someone else but I couldn’t imagine him thinking that. I was sure I was just his source of entertainment, a past time on his time off and I was ok with that, it was mutually beneficial.
I snuck a glance his way and noticed he was staring at me in between looking at the road.
“You ok?” He asked, his eyebrows pulled together.
“Yes,” My voice came out breathy, I cleared my throat. “I’m fine.” I gave him a full smile.
He didn’t seem convinced but nodded.
We drove for almost another hour, the scenery had been breath taking, lushes landscapes and cliffs over looking the water. David never failed to engage me in conversation, and before long we had arrived at our destination. It seemed familiar somehow. Old tutor buildings greeted us from a distance and an old wooden sign marked our destination in old English style writing.
I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement.
“We are here, lovely.” He smiled, seeming thoroughly entertained with my excitement
I was slightly shocked.
“Are we where I think we are?” I asked in amazement.
“We have arrived at Stratford-upon-Avon, my lady.”
My mouth dropped open.
David smiled and excited the car, rounding it to open my door. As he helped me get out of the Mercedes I took in my surroundings. This place was absolutely beautiful. The images in books and the internet hadn’t done it a lick of justice.
“Wow!” I exclaimed not meaning to say it out loud.
“Shall we, my dear?” We linked arms and I let David once again, guide me along.
I looked around frantically, trying to absorb as much as I could of the sights. My heart soared at the realization of David planning this trip with only me in mind. It was a confusing feeling and it brought up questions I hadn’t dared ask myself. Why? How? What does it all mean? I couldn’t linger on it. I caught myself and decided to put a lid on all the questioning that was going on in my head. There was no point in asking things I could only guess the answers to. I had decided that I would take whatever I could from David without giving him too much of myself. That was my strategy and I had to keep on that path.
We spent the entire day going from site to site. the beautiful tudor style houses that still stood against the passage of 500 hundred years, they were warped and a little shaky but the historical architecture was mesmerizing nonetheless. We visited Anne Hathaway’s cottage, it was simple, quite roomy and gorgeous, tucked into a corner by the outskirts of town. My favorite feature was the magnificent garden with it’s invigorating scent of sweet peas and lilacs, it transported me back to Shakespeare’s times. I imagined him visiting Anne, courting her before they married. walking along these gardens hand in hand, just as i did now with… David, my eyes drifted towards him and a rush of heat swamped my face.
“What are you thinking about?”
He asked in a low, tender tone.
For some reason I felt timid… Maybe it was the comparison I had just made in my head, maybe it was the whole romance wrapped around this place or maybe it was just David himself, that was always a high probability.
“I was thinking that we are walking in the same place where Shakespeare and Hathaway probably walked themselves, hundreds of years ago.”
As soon as the words left my mouth I regretted it. Why didn’t I seem to stop myself from saying everything and anything that was in my head when I spoke to him.
God! He probably thought I sounded like an idiotic girl. David bumped my shoulder playfully.
“Well they probably had a chaperone.”
I looked at his smirking face and I had to laugh.
Awkward moment averted.
“I guess you have a point there.”
“Although I’m sure he snuck in a kiss or two, don’t you think?”
He stated with a wicked gleam in his sapphire eyes.
“And I’m sure she was unable to resist him.”
I cringed inwardly, had I really just said that? Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Our eyes collided for what seemed to be an infinite amount of time, both unable or unwilling to break contact, almost like a challenge. I felt my cheeks redden and I knew I had no chance of winning this staring contest. I was an amateur and he knew it, the devilish half smile on his perfect lips told me so. I broke contact first, of course.
We visited many of the quaint, authentic shops in town, packed with memorabilia and trinkets depicting everything Shakespearean from the plays, to the characters, famous sonnets, neck ruffles.There was even Shakespeare gingerbread which was delicious I might add.
David laughed as I flinched when I bit into the Bard’s face.
“What? It feels almost sacrilegious.” I said with my mouth half full.
That only made him laugh harder.
“What are you looking for?”
I rummaged through the many magnets filled with Shakespearean quotes and snippets, but none of them were grabbing my attention.
“You are gonna think it’s silly but, I like to get refrigerator magnets as souvenirs.”
I rolled my eyes.
“I know is not very imaginative but I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Ever since my parents brought me my very first one from Egypt, it had a 3D pyramid that reflected various colors when I moved it back and forth. I was so in love with with it. I still have it.”
I said smiling at the memory of my younger self, fascinated by the magnet.
“I don’t think that’s silly at all. Did you find one you like?”
“Come on, maybe we’ll find one by the lake.”
My heart did a little flip at the mention of we.
We walked slowly and leisurely through the packed streets of the marketplace. David kept his hat low and even though I hadn’t asked I knew that he was trying to keep his identity concealed. This was a touristic place after all and maybe in the city people left him be but in a place like this, I had a feeling he would draw in a mob of girls if they recognized him.
In the streets people dressed according to tudor times making the experience all the more believable, I felt like a kid in a theme park, truly captivated by the sheer beauty and fantasy of it all.
David pointed out Trinity Church, the resting place of Shakespeare. It stood majestically and almost mythical against the light of the sun, casting the intricate stone architecture in it’s soft, yellow light.
I asked David several times if he wanted to leave but he refused, never showing an ounce of boredom or impatience even though for most men enduring something like this would be torture. I knew for certain there was no way I could have ever gotten Derek to come here in a million years. I shook my head, why had I just made that comparison.
We continued walking aimlessly, now parallel to the river that ran through the center of the picturesque town.
“Do you like your job?”
He widened his eyes surprised by my unexpected question.
“That’s a rather random question.”
“It just popped into my head.”
He chuckled again down casting his eyes.
“I forget that you always say what’s on your mind.”
I felt a tinge of embarrassment at his observation. I was well too familiar with that particular characteristic of mine. Maybe in a business aspect would be helpful, but in my personal life? It hadn’t always worked out for the best.
“Is that a bad thing?”
I asked feeling unsure.
His azure eyes snapped towards me.
“No, not at all. It’s actually commending. Half the time I have to guess what everyone is really thinking, but with you… Well you always say what you’re thinking, it’s…”
He stopped mid sentence, his eyes roamed my face as if he were looking for something there. I felt a sudden nervousness take over with his hesitation.
“It’s a breath of fresh air.”
I didn’t know how to take that, but I didn’t really want to linger on it. My question had already been asked.
I smiled tightly.
“But to answer your question, yes I do. Very much. It’s opened a lot of doors for me. I’ve met interesting people, I’ve traveled the world.”
“Was that always in your plans, getting into modeling?”
“No, that just fell into my lap when I was younger.”
His eyes flittered to my face and something glimmered in them but he quickly looked away towards the water.
“That’s amazing, you’re very lucky.”
That got his attention.
“What do you mean?”
He asked with honest curiosity.
“Well, liking what you do is important.Do you know how many people are miserable in their professions? I can’t imagine that being pleasant.”
“That’s very true… I guess I’m lucky indeed.”
I sensed a but, a few seconds of silence stretched between us.
“But I’m looking to branch out. Modeling can only take you so far and believe it or not this world isn’t as glamorous as you imagine. There is an ugly side”
I looked at his profile.
“There is an ugly side to anything in life.”
I pointed it out.
“That’s true but I rather focus on the good than let the bad drag me down.”
It seemed there was more to it than what he was willing to share but i didn’t want to push it.
“That’s a good way to look at it… but you know sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, sometimes you just have to water your own grass and see the good in front of you.”
“Is that an American saying?”
He asked with amusement, in his tone.
“It’s a life saying.”
I said, raising my eyebrows. and placing my hands on my hips.
“And it’s a good one, don’t be dissing on my sayings.”
He raised his hands in a surrendering gesture.
“I thought you didn’t like my profession.”
He said emphasizing the word. I looked at him with surprise in my eyes, was he being serious?
He looked back at me, his expression impassive. I couldn’t gain anything from it.
“I never said I didn’t like it.”
I tried to keep my tone light, feeling slightly flustered that he would think that.
He smiled openly at me.
“I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. It was just me giving you a hard time but I think your career is amazing. It takes someone very brave to do what you do. I know I couldn’t. I can’t even pose for a regular picture dressed with a turtleneck and sweat pants without feeling awkward. Can you imagine me in a tiny bikini?”
His eyes grew darker, the blue almost gone, as he stared at me.
“Yeah, I can.” his voice sounded husky and alluring.
I felt pink color my cheeks.
And I realized that once again I had said too much. Damn me and my big mouth!
I looked away, and i heard a distinct chuckle. did nothing affect him?
“You know what the secret is right?”
He said after a few seconds of silence on my part.
I turned my eyes towards him.
“The secret to what…?”
“Posing half naked in front of a camera.”
An image of a half naked David inevitably entered my thoughts.
I croaked. as i tried my best to shake that inappropriate, delicious image out of my head. I was becoming a pervert like my sister.
“You just have to picture everyone around you naked.”
“I thought that was for speeches.”
“It works for various scenarios.”
He smirked, slightly bumping my shoulder with his.
“I don’t know about that..”
I said sckeptically.
“Have you tried it?”
“No, but i’m not shy about speeches.”
“Right…just shy about being half naked in front of a camera.”
He confirmed for me.
“Well most people would be.”
“Most people are also self conscious about public speaking.”
That had never bothered me actually.
He seemed to consider his answer.
“I think so…I mean I have learned to deal with it, but I do get nervous and I am very shy believe it or not.”
I looked at him feeling slightly shocked at that admission.
“So you are self conscious about speaking in public but you are ok about posing half naked for pictures for the world to see?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
“See what I mean? Brave. It takes courage to do that.”
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying brave. It’s just never bothered me. It’s just a body, in the end everyone has the same things.”
Yeah but still, not everybody looks the same. Not that I blamed him for being so confident. He did have a body carved by angels… Ok, David’s body was definitely the wrong thing to be thinking about right now.
“Maybe it’s a guy thing. Most men are awfully carefree when it comes to doing anything embarrassing in public.”
“Perhaps you’re right. Thank you for the compliment though.”
I smiled at him.
“You know what I find incredibly brave?” he asked suddenly.
“Me?” I said incredulous.
“You followed your dreams. You didn’t give up or were too afraid to do what you needed to do. Even though it came at a price, you stuck it out.”
I felt my heart clench in my chest at his words. I didn’t think i was brave, I was still hiding under assumptions. Too afraid to come clean about what really happened.
I smiled tightly and lowered my gaze to the floor.
“I don’t think I’m brave.” I said in a small voice.
“My family doesn’t even know the truth David. I just hid under a lie and let everyone, including Derek, believe it. That’s not an act of bravery.”
I kicked at a tiny pebble in my path, feeling shame color my skin.
My eyes snapped to his face and I had to swallow dryly.
He stopped and placed his hands on my shoulders twisting me to face him, his sapphire eyes bored into mine.
“It was an act of selflessness. You chose to be kind against your own image to spare him from being hurt.”
I stared at him feeling a knot in my chest.
“That was incredibly brave, don’t ever doubt that.”
The authority with which he spoke left no room for question. No room for argument. It was as true as the day is long. And hearing him say those things made my heart swell and my throat thick. He was the first person I had confessed the truth to and it had felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
“When you’re ready, you will tell whoever you feel needs to know.”
He smiled warmly at me.
This man, was perfect in every sense of the word and the more time I spent with him the more I realized that it wasn’t just his looks. Although they only helped his case, still it wasn’t about what everyone got to see on the outside. It was about who he was on the inside, it was about his heart. Knowing this scared me and I couldn’t, wouldn’t put into words what i was feeling.
We walked until we reached the little stone bridge that crossed over the river.
Twilight was upon us, the sight of the setting sun was absolutely breathtaking from where we stood. The stone bridge that cut across the Avon river, made this place all the more magical. I had to admit being here with David, added to the allure. He seemed to fit perfectly in this times of gentry and romance. I didn’t know if David was the romantic type or not, but he sure wasn’t your everyday sort of guy. He was much, much more than that. He was equal parts gentleman and wolf. The hot incandescent sun in a summer’s day that could easily ignite an entire forest into flames, as well as the cool breeze in the fall that caresses your hair and soothes your soul. He was an enigma that I hadn’t been able to figure out.
I felt his penetrating gaze on me.
I asked continuing to look into the orange and purple hued horizon ahead.
“Are you enjoying yourself?”
I looked at him.
“Unbelievably so.” I smiled earnestly.
One side of his mouth went up in a half smile. In this light he was all too dream like. Some fictional character that escaped the pages of a book, too beautiful and too perfect to be real.
His tone and intense gaze made me flush and my eyes drifted to the dark, rippling water beneath the bridge. The gentle breeze threw my thick hair all around my face and I knew that I probably looked like a crazy person.
I made an attempt to gather it up into a clip but David’s hands stopped me removing the clip and letting my hair flow down my back again.
His soft voice tickled my neck as he bent down and started whispering close to my ear.
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
I felt my heart stuttered and blood rush to my cheeks.
“I didn’t know you could break into Shakespeare sonnets.” I attempted to tease him, but my voice was breathy and shaky.
“Every man can be a poet, given the right Muse.” His eyes locked on mine.
“I think Shakespeare wrote that one specifically for you, lovely Summer.” The low timbre of his voice close to my air made me gasp and my heart speed up.
Air left my lungs and his words felt like a spell, I looked up at his face as he stepped even closer. My body broke in goosebumps, and I froze in place.
“You are simply gorgeous.”
He started leaning in as if he were going in for a kiss. God, was he actually gonna kiss me? I bit my lip instinctively and closed my eyes. In this moment I forgot why we were a bad idea. Why I couldn’t let myself go and just enjoy anything he would give, or give him anything he wanted to take. He grabbed my waist and flushed our bodies together. I could feel every hard plane of his chest against my own. I could smell his heady scent, all oceany male, so fresh, so delicious, so David! I felt his breath tickling my lips and I knew I would soon feel our mouths fuse together. The anticipation was killing me, I was literally dying to know what he felt like. I suddenly felt like Adam in the Garden of Eden, desperate to take a bite out of the forbidden fruit.
A horn blared in the distance and I jumped up. The spell gone, only the reality of who we were left. I was glad, perhaps if there had been a horn in Eden, Adam wouldn’t have made the mistake of falling for temptation. I looked around, suddenly aware of how close we had come to crossing a line. I ran my hands through my dress, fidgeting like a sinner at church. I had to say something so I could put this moment behind us, but my words were failing.
“I think we should start heading back.” I started stepping away, looking anywhere but at him.
He grabbed my hand stopping me and turning me around to face him again.
“Summer…” His words sound like a plea. I closed my eyes take a breath and look up at him, two luminous spheres stared intently at me
“You’re a good friend, David.” I said, needing the words to set a boundary that I wasn’t completely sure I wanted anymore. However, I knew in this moment I needed it.
A look of disappointment crossed his face and I felt a tinge of guilt. He stared me down in what looked like slight defiance. My face reddened and my eyes shifted to the ground. I felt him nod but he let it go and started walking next to me back to the car. We walked in awkward silence and once we reached the vehicle he opened the door for me.
“After you, lovely.” He gave me his David smile and I knew everything was fine for now.
I smiled back in relief. “Thank you, kind Sir.” I mocked his accent and failed as usual which rewarded me with his sexy chuckle.
David got in and we drove off, back to London leaving the enchantment of Shakespeare’s home behind.
“Thank you so much for bringing me here, David. It was such a wonderful experience.” I broke the silence that had stretched on for minutes.
“It was my pleasure, Summer.” He gave me a sideways smile but concentrated on the road ahead.
We arrived back in London about two hours later and I was dead tired. My mind felt weary. He parked the car and walked me to the door, ever the gentleman as usual.
“May I ask you something?”
Oh boy! As long as it has nothing to do with the almost kiss.
“Sure,” I said crossing my fingers.
“Would you like to accompany me to a charity Gala this coming Saturday?”
“A Gala? What’s the charity for?” I asked intrigued.
“It’s for Blue Steel Appeal. It’s a charity that helps Comic Relief, which targets poverty and social injustice.” He explained.
“Oh, that sounds like a great cause. I’d be honored.” I said.
“Perfect, it’s a date.” He said finally.
A date, he seemed to have chosen that word with purpose and my heart was doing somersaults inside my chest. I decided to avoid it altogether.
“Sounds good. Now you have the rest of the week to do whatever it is you do when you’re no babysitting the American girl.” I teased.
He chuckled and leaned forward.
“Just because you have agreed to be my date Saturday doesn’t mean you won’t see me everyday before then.”
“One can only hope.” I sighed acting like I was disappointed but my insides were jumping at the thought that David didn’t seem to want to stay away from me.
His face grew slightly serious and he took my hand in his, the simple action setting my body on fire.
“Hope..” He whispered and a side of his mouth lifted in a sexy smirk. He leaned closer and planted a chaste kiss on my cheek, lingering there until his breath tickled my face as he said.
“Goodnight, lovely Summer. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.” He leaned in till he was mere inches from my face again and looked down at my lips.
He really needed to stop doing that. I wasn’t a saint and he was becoming more and more tempting by the minute.
“Be ready early, unless you want me to be your alarm again.” His breath tickled my lips and he stepped away with a grin.
I couldn’t form any words so I just nodded. I grabbed my keys and gave him a smile before turning around to my apartment.
“Oh I had almost forgotten.”
David grabbed my hand turning me towards him again and placed a small object in it then closed my fingers around it. With exquisite and torturous slowness, his long, warm fingers lingered for longer than it was really necessary before they released me.
I kept my hand closed, as I tried to get enough air into my lungs.
“What is it?” I asked in a small voice, staring at my closed hand.
He gave me that half smile I adored.
“Something for you.” He said with those intense eyes fixed on my face. I was enthralled by those eyes, his smile broaden.
“Till tomorrow.” and before I had a chance to react he was gone.
“Till tomorrow.” I whispered, pretty much to myself.
I opened my hand and a square muted pink magnet rested on my palm with a simple quote.
“Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day?”
A wide, silly smile spread across my lips and I tugged the motif to my chest. He’d gotten me a souvenir. The perfect one, not because it was Shakespeare’s but because it was David’s sonnet. The one he’d dedicated to me. Feeling all sorts of crazy things rolling around my stomach I got into the apartment almost in a haze and slumped against the door. Spring bounced up from the couch.
“Please tell me something happened today. You were gone for a very long time.” She crossed her arms in front and tapped a foot.
Ah, the joys of coming home to the most inquisitive sister in the world.