I woke before Harry to shower and get ready for the day. He never took long to get dressed anyway. We had to bring his mother and sister to the airport. Dale and Paul wished that I wouldn't have said anything about seeing them off but I wanted to. I felt like it would be rude if we didn't, especially since I had just met the two of them. I wanted to be the proper girl my mother had raised.
I stepped into the spray of the shower with a sigh. The heat of the water was relaxing as well as refreshing. As I lathered my hair with shampoo, I was deep in thought about all the things Harry's mother and I had talked about. She said that she liked me and she thought that I was good for Harry. How good for him could I be? A married woman isn't something good for a twenty something man with the whole world at his feet. I loved Harry with all of my heart, every ounce of my soul but what good could my loving him possibly bring him? He was jealous and his mind was overloaded with thoughts of what would happen when I went home. I ducked under the shower head to rinse my hair when I decided I was glad that he was only worried about the way Charles spoke to me. I was dreading the moment when Harry realized that Charles was going to be asking me to do more than make his dinner, wash his laundry and pick up the dry cleaning. I didn't want to have the conversation about the sex life I had with Charles. I was hoping that it wouldn't register with him at all. I let the water cascade over my face, hiding the tears. As the image of Harry begging me not to engage with Charles in that way filled my imagination, I felt arms wrap around my waist. Harry soft lips caressed the back of my neck slowly.
"Are you alright, Noli?" Harry murmured, holding me tightly.
"I'm fine. I'm just trying to wake up." I replied softly. I didn't want any of my thoughts to plague him throughout the day.
"Please don't shut me out right now." Harry whispered resting his chin on my shoulder.
I giggled, "I'm not shutting you out. I just woke up you, goof. I've been in here long enough to wash my hair." It wasn't a lie but I wasn't telling the truth so much either. Harry squeezed me and buried his face in my neck. "I should be asking you what's wrong. You feel tense." I said turning to look at him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and gazed into his sleepy eyes.
"Because something is bothering you and you won't tell me what it is." Harry replied gently. He didn't want an argument, he just wanted an answer.
"I don't want you to be thinking about it." I stated quietly.
Harry's brows furrowed, "There's something on your mind about him, right?" I sighed heavily and nodded. I didn't want to have the conversation yet but I knew there was no stopping Harry. "What? What are you thinking about? What he's going to say to you? What he's going to say about the work you've done?" Harry appeared so concerned. I shook my head slowly. Harry's face dropped into a deep frown and his eyes seemed angry, "Oh."
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't want to talk about it for a reason. I don't want you to worry about it, okay? I love you. I want you." I spoke quickly to calm his temper.
"Why were you thinking about that?" Harry's voice seemed more curious than angry.
I ran my hand through my soaked hair, "I don't want you to be asking yourself if that's what Charles wants when you're alone in your hotel room or late at night on the bus."
"Noli, I...let's just not talk about it okay?" Harry was extremely upset. I'm not sure that there are words to describe just how his emotions mixed.
"No. Tell me what you're thinking. Tell me what you're feeling. I need to know. You started the conversation." I pleaded.
"When we were in Italy you said that no one would touch you the way I do, no one could. I know that...Enola he gets to. He gets to hold you all night, every night. He's going to see you lying beside him and want you. He's going to feel you in all the ways that I do. I can't...I don't want him to." Harry's voice showed the sadness and hurt he was consumed by.
I held his face in my hands, "He can't touch me the way you do, he wouldn't know how. The way we are, the way that I make love to you is only for you. I show you how much I love you every time." Harry stared at me; I could see the tears forming in his eyes. "I know that me telling you that I only want you is not going to take away the hurt of knowing what may happen when I get home. But you have to know that you have every single piece of my heart, every corner of my soul. It's not just my body that connects with yours. It's my entire being. I love YOU, Harry. Only you." Harry pulled me closer. He wound his arms around my shoulders, burying his face in my neck. I held him as tight as I could. I hated the heartbreak he was feeling. He should never have to feel this way. "Harry, maybe I should just go home now. Maybe we should just wait until everything is final." I whispered to him. His head shot up and he glared at me.
"NO! I don't want that! I want you! I don't care about Charles, I swear. I won't bring him up again. I mean it. I'm not jealous. I'm not." Harry was frantic. I bit my lip and tried not to cry.
"Harry..." I began. He pinned me to the wall, holding me as he did moments before.
"No, stay with me. I don't care what my mum thinks or my sister. I don't give a damn about what the boys have to say.” Harry began to kiss me hurriedly but lovingly. "I love you. Please stay with me. Please stay." He begged. I wound my arms around his waist and rested my forehead on his shoulder. I was crying along with him. The simple suggestion that I walk away, even for a little while was too much for him. What had I done? I should've kept my mouth closed.
Harry and I crawled into bed nearly naked. We had a couple of hours before we had to leave for the airport with his mother and sister. Harry lay on top of me, his legs between mine. His head rested on my shoulder as he fixed his eyes on my face. I did the same to him. He stroked my side gently with his thumb while I ran my fingers through his still wet hair. I traced his lips, his nose, his eyes and his jaw with my free hand. I wanted to tell him everything would be alright. But I really had no idea how things would turn out. I didn't know how things would turn out when I met him either. I never imagined I would wind up where I was when I saw him for the first time.
I stood at the gallery wall examining the placement the gallery owner had given my photos. I wasn't completely taken with it but I didn’t hate it either. It would capture a buyer’s eye. I flicked my eyes to the side when I felt a heat near me. A tall, thin man stood just a few steps behind me. My eyes moved up to his face without him noticing that I was looking at him. My breath was taken away by him. His thick and curly dark hair was amazing, seeming so soft and touchable. His jaw was chiseled the way a man's should be. His nose was sharp in the most pleasing of ways. Then I saw his eyes. Bright green orbs that gave away everything. He was curious about what he was looking at. As was I. Where did he come from? Why was he here? I found myself wanting to know everything about him. I decided to make a move, a subtle one of course. Married women can't just ask a man out. I needed to find out about him without any of the traditional steps.
"Hello." I spoke sweetly. I kept my voice quiet and calm. I didn't want to scare him off.
"Hello." He replied, his dimples popped out. I felt my knees buckle a bit seeing the child-like innocence within his smile. He was a wonder to me. Where did he come from?
"You like them?" I inquired pointing to the photos on the wall. He nodded with another genuine smile. I had never seen a smile like his before. Even though he seemed uncomfortable, his smile was still genuine. His smile also radiated light and warmth. Where did he come from? Why was he so appealing to me? He flagged down the owner of the art gallery. He spoke quietly with the owner about buying a few of the photos. The owner happily agreed. "You know, they are a set? All of these are supposed to be one piece of art." I stated, just trying to keep him talking. But that's not how he took it. He called the owner of the gallery back. He told the owner that he wanted all of the photographs. Once again the owner happily complied then went off to start the paperwork. "You don't like all of them?" Another attempt to keep him talking to me. This time it worked.
The man nodded, "I do."
"But one stands out more than the other?" I asked. This man in front of me was so puzzling and I didn't know why. Why was I so taken with him? Was it his beautiful face? His voice: deep, smooth, and sweet like honey? His calming aura?
"It does." He kept his eyes on mine. Like he wanted to know everything about me as well. It felt as though the longer he looked at me, the more about me he was learning. What made it crazy is neither of us had spoken much. The connection between us was intense and I couldn't comprehend it. It was as though I'd know him forever.
"May I ask which one?" I stepped closer, my eyes peering into his without hesitation. He motioned to the photograph he liked most. It was of a man in a field, standing completely alone, no one around but the flowers, trees and tall grass. He was out of focus and his color was faded in comparison to the surrounding fields. I took another step closer to the man before me. I could see every curl on his head. Every ounce of nervousness in his eyes. "Why that one? What do you feel when you look at it?" I inquired of him. I lost all tension with him all of a sudden.
He shrugged lazily, "I dunno."
I placed my hand on his temple, smiling comfortingly, "Don't feel here." I moved my hand to his chest, over his pounding heart, "Feel here." He gazed at the photograph again. I couldn't rightly focus. I could smell his cologne. I could feel the warmth of his chest through the silky textured button down shirt. "Peace." He responded quietly.
"Really?" I was shocked by the answer. When I'd taken the photographs, I took them with loneliness in mind. Seclusion. I'd never thought of peace. I had felt turmoil while doing the shoot.
He sighed, "Sometimes the greatest peace you have is when you're alone with your thoughts. Even if they're bad. Things are quiet enough that you can actually hear them."
Still feeling dumfounded, I replied, "I've never seen that in this before." He gave me a half smile. He was unsure and nervous about my response to his interpretation. He snapped his head around when he heard his name. A group of boys had been calling him over.I decided the moments I'd spent with the beautiful stranger were good enough. I wanted to know more but I felt as though it was a terrible idea to stay any longer. I picked up my bag from the floor then bolted. I was gone before he turned around again.
I smiled at the memory. I wondered if Harry was curious as to where I had gone that first day. Did he think I went home? Did he think I went to hide in a backroom? What was going through his mind?
"Noli, what are you thinking about?" Harry whispered. I must've had a blank or angry expression for him to speak so softly.
"The day we met." I replied, grinning brightly at him. Harry smiled as well, holding me a bit tighter. "I couldn't figure out why you were so fascinating to me. The entire time we stood in that art gallery, I was trying so hard to figure out why you were so...hypnotizing to me." I spoke quietly, like I was telling him a secret. "After I left the gallery, you were all I could think about. I'd never been so taken with someone before. It was so incredible to me. Being someone that was married and had never felt that, it was...startling almost."
"I couldn't stop thinking about you either." Harry chuckled. He lifted himself above me: one hand pressed into the bed the other in the pillows. "What are the chances that we would end up in the same room again?"
I shrugged, "The fates are funny that way."
Harry lifted his eyebrow at me, "What is it with you and mythology the last few days?"
"I started a new novel." I giggled quietly. Harry shook his head as he beamed at me. "Stop looking at me like that and kiss me." I said twining my fingers in his curls. Harry happily complied with my request. His lips met mine softly. Just as Harry was about to deepen the kiss, there was a knock on the bedroom door. Harry groaned softly. I giggled and looked over at the clock. "It's probably your mother. It's getting to be that time." Harry grunted again then climbed out of bed.
First things first: I was thinking about it and I have decided I am going to open up a Q&A. You can ask me anything about my story, me, ANYTHING you want to know. I'll answer honestly. I'll pick a question every time I post. You can find the question and it's answer here in the A/N. Get your questions to me whichever way you chose: comments or messages.
Secondly, the next chapter is going to be a bit intense and important. I really struggled writing it. I hope that you will enjoy it and I REALLY hope that it explains some stuff to you.