Age Is Just A Number

Age Is Just A Number



Chapters...: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8!

~ 1 ~


She walked into the big hall with the theater stage on the opposite side of the door. It was the first time that she would teach other students, nothing she had ever thought would happen. Last year she had graduated with a bachelor degree from the Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After her studies she had been to Australia and the USA for some smaller theater productions and she also had had a small role in a TV series. Now she was back home in London, back at the academy. What a twist her visit had taken! She had just wanted to visit her old teachers to tell them about her experiences abroad but then the director had asked her if she could take up the slack for Mrs. Edwards, who was in hospital for a surgery. It was hard to believe that the director of such a prestigious academy asked a former student to play the teacher for some novices but he told her that she had been the best of her year and so he had set a lot of trust in her. And here she stood, half an hour too early, with sweating hands and a racing heart. Slowly she walked over to the stage and then climbed the few stairs. How she loved being on stage. That was her life. Her look wandered through the hall and she remembered all the hours she had spend on these old boards. It had been the best part of her studies. After taking a deep breath she turned around and walked behind the curtain where she took a few requisites that she wanted to use for the scenes she had planned for today's lesson. While she put the different hats, scarfs, umbrellas and cane's on a small table at the right side of the stage she felt kind of observed. It was strange as she had turned her back to the auditorium but there was this tickling on her neck. As if nothing had happened she turned around and was met by a pair of deep eyes...

“Hey, are you sleeping” the scream of an angry man ripped her out of her thoughts and she shrieked lightly.

needed a few seconds to orient herself. She sat in her car and was the first at a traffic light that shone green. Quickly she changed the gear and speed off. What had happened? Why did she think of her first meeting with after all these years? She hadn't seen him again since she had left her temporary job at the academy. How many years had passed since then? Ten? wasn't sure about that at all as she was still wondering why this memory had popped up so suddenly.

When another horn was heard behind her she looked at the speedometer and noticed that she drove too slow. She stepped on the gas pedal because she didn't want to get stopped by the police. A look at her clock showed her that she had to hurry if she didn't want to be late for the meeting with this historian from the library. Her theater career hadn't gone as planned because it had not been easy to get enough role's to finance your daily life. Within the years had developed a passion for writing. Okay, she had always been good at it but she had never thought that she would really write a book one day. But now she was already working on her fifth one. This new book played partly in the California of the early years of the 1900 century so she needed some historical information's about this time. In the past weeks she had been around with her camera to take pictures about historical places which she wanted to mention in her story.

Los Angeles was such a hectic city. Cars and people everywhere. And everyone wanted to get seen, mostly young women in their way too short clothes and no one could oversee their fake tits. Most of them also had operated noses, fake long fingernails, died hair and whatever change they did on their body’s. This town was not her first choice of a place for living and she was glad that she was just there for a holiday, if you could call a few weeks work-trip like that. Luckily her friend lived there and she could stay at her place for these few weeks. Both girls had met during 's first visit in the USA and had stayed in contact since then. worked at the theater but she was responsible for the costumes. Living together with was really nice as both girls shared a lot of same interests. Her friend was also single and they spend as much of their rare free time together as possible. Ten minutes later she parked her car and grabbed the handbag before hurrying into the library.

**********

“What an exhausting day...good that we can drool over a few hot men now” said and slumped down on the sofa. She put a little box on her belly and turned the TV on before she took the spoon and started to eat the vanilla ice cream with cookie pieces.

Her room mate was right. It really had been a long day and felt exhausted as well. Her feet were killing her as she had been walking around so many different places most of the day. She felt so tired that she just wanted to close her eyes and sleep until the next noon. In a few minutes the new season of 's favorite series would start and she wouldn't notice if she was there or not but she couldn't walk anymore, so she just put one of the soft pillows behind her back and took the box with French fries she had bought on her way home. She was no fan of this fantasy series about changelings. Okay, the male actors were really hot and showed a lot of naked skin but the story itself was far from good and bad. A few minutes of watching wouldn't harm anyone.

“I am curious about the new actor. On the different fan blogs they have discussed his role...” rambled on between the single spoons of ice cream. “He is kinda new to movies and series so I hope he is not that bad at all then.”

“Mhmmm...” answered while chewing some fries “...maybe he is even hot and you will forget this Matt alpha guy.”

“NO WAY” her friend protested and sat up.

knew how to wind her friend up who crossed her legs and turned the volume up as soon as the well-known melody of the series started. Her eyes were fixed on the screen as if she was hypnotized. A light smile grazed over her lips. You could think that she was a teenager that admired a boyband and not a thirty-one years old woman that only watched a TV series.

“There is the new one” said and interrupted who had just dozed off.

When she opened her eyes and looked at the screen she thought that she had some kind of a Deja-vu because these eyes looked so familiar. Then the camera concentrated on his face and it became bigger and bigger. These eyes. Such a deep . A shudder run down her spine. Oh, and these curly hair. had the feeling as if she could feel the soft hair under her fingers. Like she had done many years ago. This couldn't be true! Was it the day when someone tried to play tricks on her?

“What's his name” she heard her own croaking voice and was surprised as she had not wanted to say anything.

“It was something...” mumbled and took her phone to check the name on the net. “Aww here it is... .”

swallowed while keeping her eyes fixed on the screen where this new actor said something about being homeless and harmless. Oh, he had never been harmless, at least not for her heart.

“Everything okay? You look like you have seen a ghost” asked and looked sideways at her friend.

Was everything okay? She didn't know for sure. Without noticing nodded carefully and looked at the screen as if she could find the answer there. The answer for everything. had always been her home. At least it had felt like that when he had been close. What a strange thought as she had just spend six months with him. Six months in which Mrs. Edwards had recovered from her complicated gallbladder and intestines operation. Six months in which they had become more than just student and teacher. Now that she saw him again, even if it was just on the TV screen, she felt the longing to touch, smell, kiss and feel him. How safe she had felt in his arms. How wanted when he had put a strand of hair behind her ear while he had looked deep into her eyes. He had always been able to look right into her soul. 's heart cramped lightly when she remembered that she had been the one who had ended their young blooming love.

She was still debating with herself if she should tell that she knew this new actor or not when her mouth opened by itself. “I am fine. I just know him...”

turned her head again. “Really? That is cool. Where do you know him from?”

saw how the camera turned towards another actor and as soon as Jackson was out of sight a feeling of loss rushed through her body. How stupid was that? You can't lose what you never had, right? That was not completely true because she once had him, even if it had been just for a few weeks or months.

“We went to the same academy in London” she explained and sighted lightly.

studied her face and for a moment her favorite series was forgotten. “You know him really well, huh” she assumed and smiled friendly. It was not to oversee that her friend battled with her feelings.

“I was his teacher for six months” was all answered as she didn't want to talk about their love affair.

~ 2 ~


“You were his teacher? How old is he then?”

“Three years younger than me!”

“Aww...that is cute. It seems like you couldn't ignore his charm then.”

“It wouldn't have been professional and you know that it causes a lot of problems if a teacher starts something with a student.”

“Yeah, I know but it is also hard to fight against your feelings” objected and dived her spoon into the ice cream again.

did not contradicted because her friend was right. She had also tried to fight against the attraction but had failed miserable. With every lesson and every meeting in one of the corridors had crawled deeper under her skin. Every time he had stolen more and more of her heart and she had been helpless against it.

“Hey, the series gets filmed not far away from L.A., so it could be that he lives around here. Maybe you'll meet him” beamed with excitement and clapped her hands.

“O yeah, how big is the chance that this could happen” asked in a sarcastic tone and rolled her eyes.

“I don't know...I have never been good at maths but there is no other city in the USA where you can meet celebrities more easily, not even in New York” stated and blinked conspiratorially.

That was true! had seen a few c-celebrities during the few weeks she had been here, so it was not impossible. But how would she react if she really met him? Would she pretend not to see him or maybe try to do some small talk? Nah, the last thought sounded stupid. He sure had forgotten about her. And who could blame him after all she had been the one that had left him right in the middle of the street.

“Maybe you'll bump into him if you'll leave a shop or so” guessed and grinned wildly.

“Whatever! Can we please change the topic? You'll miss your Matt-sweetheart otherwise.”

Right at mentioning the name Kate focused on the TV screen again and didn't say another word until the episode was over. tried to get into the story but her mind was miles away. Whenever was shown she remembered his sad expression on that afternoon when she had told him that she would leave to New York. There had been hurt and desperation in his eyes and she had just turned around to walk off. The only way to avoid that he saw the tears running down her cheeks. What a cowardly bitch she had been.

**********

That night was a nightmare for . She couldn't find any sleep at all because her mind was a mess. Whenever she closed her eyes she saw 's face. The face she had seen on the TV screen, not the one she had left so many years ago. What on earth had she done that her past caught up with her now? Was bad karma shooting back? All in all she was a nice girl so she shouldn't deserve it. Or did the past just wanted to show her what she had given up? Jackson had looked really good, not to say damn hot. But she had had her reasons to leave, right? started to doubt her decision back then. Maybe she had been too selfish. Not ready to think any further than how to become a famous theater actress but she had been only twenty-two then. Young and maybe a bit too blue eyed about her future. Now look what had happened! She hadn't played any theater role for about five years and honestly, she didn't miss it at all.

Around four in the morning she tossed the blanket aside and took her notes and laptop to work a bit as it was senseless to lay in bed and just stare at the ceiling until the sun started to rise. Slowly she got into the writing flow and lost herself in the story until eight o'clock when her stomach started to rumble and her bladder demanded release from all the water she had drunk in the past hours.

“Good Morning, sunshine” tweeted cheerfully when she walked into the kitchen and found her friend in front of a cup of steaming coffee and a toast with honey in her right hand.

“Morning” mumbled still chewing. She felt anything else but not as a sunshine.

“You look like you had a really relaxing night” noticed with raised eye brows while she poured herself a cup of coffee.

“Mhmm...”

It was clear that her friend saw the sleepless night in her face. “What kept you awake?”

shrugged her shoulders and took another bite of her toast as she didn't want to talk about it. Even if both girls knew each other for more than ten years she had never told her about and herself. Maybe she had felt kind of embarrassed to tell that she had loved a younger guy. A guy that had been the same age as her brother. knew that older women had younger men these days but weren't they mostly famous, like old film diva's? She had been far away from being famous and she also didn't know anyone in her surrounding who was together with a younger man. Okay, her brother-in-law was half a year younger than her sister but that didn't count, right?

studied her face and squinted her eyes as if she could press the answer out of her. knew that her friend wouldn't give up so easily but she still stayed quiet and finished her toast.

“It's because of this , right” she asked while putting two slices of bread in the toaster. “You are really quiet and closed up since you have seen him on TV yesterday.”

As didn't answer and preferred to stare in her coffee saw her chance. “I know you have said that you were his teacher but there is more to that story, I can see it in your eyes.”

“I don't want to talk about that” said and closed her eyes as her eyelids suddenly felt really heavy.

“Oh come one. It's me... ...your best friend. You know that you can trust me.”

“I know...but I don't like talking about it, sorry.”

“I also tell you everything...”

“Mhmm...”

“You remember the cute stage direction assistant that brought me a coffee last week?”

“How could I forget him? You talked about him every day” said, a light smile grazing over her lips.

“He is engaged, this asshole.” said huffed and growled deeply.

“I am sorry...”

“No need to be sorry. I am glad I got to know it before I went out with him.”

felt sorry for her friend as she had no luck with men since she knew her. She was a really lovely girl but also a bit too good-natured. Most men only saw the cute girl with the long hair and cat-green eyes that had a perfect curvy body. But there was a soft heart behind the beautiful packing that just wanted to be loved. There had to be someone out there that had good intentions, was trustworthy and just good to her friend.

“We had some kind of affair” mumbled before taking another sip of her coffee. Her tone had been low but not enough for to overhear her.

“Oh my god...that is cute...tell me more about it.” The beauty took the seat next to her and put her head on her right hand while she looked at her room mate of time.

“Hmm...I was almost twenty-two when we first met and I was nervous as hell because I was asked to take up the slack for a teacher as she had been in hospital. Can you believe how shocked I had been when the director asked me that? I mean I had finished my studies one year before...but as an actor and not as a teacher. I have been an nervous wreck.”

nodded understanding and smiled encouragingly. “How was your first meeting?”

A sweet but innocent smile appeared on 's lips and she looked straight ahead as if she could see it all again there. “I had just arranged the requisites I wanted to use with the students when it felt like someone was watching me. I thought that it must be another teacher but when I turned around I was met by a pair of the deepest eyes I have ever seen. He sat in the first row as if it was the most natural thing to do, really confident.” She took another sip of her by then cold coffee. “This guy was really cute with his messy hair and this rough jaw. He had stretched out his long legs and slouched on the seat as if he had sat there for a while already.” had to shake her head lightly at this memory.

“I can see that he had swept you off your feet” noticed and grinned. She took the two slices of toast that were ready and started to butter them before she took the honey as well and put a generous portion on them. What was better than hearing a love story while enjoying a delicious breakfast?

~ 3 ~


“Yeah! His look and his nonchalance were really attractive. During the whole lesson I felt his eyes on me and whenever I looked in his direction our looks met. It was really strange but also exciting. quickly became my model student and I noticed that he wasn't this cool all the time. If he had to talk in front of a bunch of people he was nervous. Not on stage, what was strange! And he always found a reason to stay longer until we were alone. I knew that I should ignore him but that was not easy. One afternoon, when it was raining heavily and I saw him standing at the bus station, I stopped and offered him a ride home. I shouldn't have given in to my good-nature because that was the start of something I couldn't control any longer. When I stopped in front of his house he turned towards me to thank me and then he leaned in and kissed me. Everything happened so quickly that I couldn't stop him anymore. But when I felt his soft lips on mine I didn't want to stop him anyway. It had felt so good.”

stopped and bite onto her bottom lip. Mentally she experienced the first kiss with again and her body woke up. It started with a tickling in her stomach and spread through the rest in no time.

saw the dreamy look on her friends face and could imagine that she still felt more for him than she would admit. Secretly she wished that they really bumped into each other. “And then?”

“His looks became more intense from that day on and he tried to kiss me when we were alone but I stopped him. I told him that we could get caught and I didn't want to cause any scandal. He was not happy about that and pleaded to meet privately then. I could keep him on distance for a while but in a pitiful weak moment, when he had looked at me with puppy eyes, I had given him my address and he turned up on my doorstep the same evening. I had asked him why he was so persistent and if it was a game for him to get me but he just looked shocked at me. swore that it was no game or bet, just pure interest as he had strong feelings for me. Even the certainty, that I would leave again after six months didn't scare him off.”

“So you gave in then?”

“You should have seen his hopeful expression. I didn't have a choice. He was so cute, even a bit clumsy. We just ended up kissing and cuddling on the sofa. From then on we met at my place.”

“Please tell me that he was not the clumsy deer in bed” mumbled and imagined how strange it would be to have an inexperienced lover.

“No...no...he wasn't inexperienced” assured and shock her head laughing. “I think I would have freaked out if I had to teach him everything.”

“Puh...good...” sighted with relief and poked her friend in the ribs.

“Hey...don't make fun here as I try to tell you a serious story.”

“Sorry...I didn't try to make fun of you. I just hoped that he knew what he was doing” the girl teased and lifted her right eye brow.

, I don't want to talk about our sex with you” protested and rolled her eyes.

“Oh come on, just say if it was good or not.”

“He knew what he was doing, that's all I say” answered and her cheeks turned red.

“Uhh...that sounds really promising” squeaked happily and clapped her hands. “So if you were happy why did it end?” She bite into her toast and looked at her friend with raised eye brows.

“I ended it.”

“Why?”

It was hard to answer if you still didn't know the answer for yourself for sure. “Believe me, I have thought about that a lot in the past years and I am still not sure if I made the right decision.”

“What was the first intend to end it? We often decide intuitively” said and looked sympathetically at her friend.

“I wanted to play in other countries as well. I had just been to Australia and the USA and it had been great. I couldn't imagine to have a relationship over the distance, I mean was still a student and not able to visit me at the other end of the world. We would have had just phone calls and emails to stay in contact. Not enough for me! I know me way too well and knew that I would be jealous if I didn't know what he was doing in London at all. He could have told me the innocent things but who knew if he didn't see another girl?”

“Do you really think that he would have done something like that? To me it sounds like he had been really addicted to you.”

“Maybe! My first intuition says no but we didn't know each other that well. And he had been just nineteen! A bit young for something really serious, don't you think? Usually boys at this age want to make experiences and not getting chained to someone. My brother is the best example.” said and pulled a face as she thought of all her brother's adventures.

“Oh, not all boys are the same. My cousin found his big love on the first day at the college. They married as soon as they had graduated and are still madly in love. And they have topped their love with three kids.”

smiled politely as she knew that some people had luck in such things. She didn't saw herself as a lucky person and so she had also expected an unpleasant end of their love. “I don't know, maybe I have just thought that everything would be easier alone. No responsibilities at all. I am not sure but maybe he would have been jealous as well or we would have grown apart because of the distance.”

“So if it would all happen these days you wouldn't end it then?”

“I am seasoned now and I am not fixed on a theater career anymore. I think I would be able to settle down if the right one came around.”

smiled and was happy about that answer because it meant that there could still be a chance for the two if they would really meet. Okay, only if hadn't gotten over her either. She could imagine how well they were together. was still in town for a few weeks so there should be a possibility to help them. The question was: how?!

looked at the clock on the wall and sighted deeply. “I should get ready as I have an appointment in the archive in one hour. Oh, how much I look forward to spend most of the day in a dark basement with old dusty newspapers and documents!”

“It was your choice of work so you have to live with all the consequences that come with it” reminded her and blinked cheeky. “You better take a big cane with coffee as you could fall asleep there.”

“Please can you make a cane for me while I take a shower” asked and her room mate nodded. “Thanks, you are an angel!”

“I know, and angels would never say NO to one of these awesome little cakes you bake” called after her and heard Alexa laugh.

“Maybe tomorrow as I am sure I won't be home before six or seven today” answered while she got some clothes from her room before going to the bathroom. “You can buy the fruits you want to have on top of it for yourself, if you want.”

“Oh, I will do that after work today. Can't wait” her friend said excited and walked over to the coffee machine to fill it again. Then she took the thermos bottle and washed it out.

Twenty minutes later walked into the kitchen, completely dressed and with light make-up, to get the coffee and take an apple and a banana, so that she had something to eat while being busy in the archieves. “You are an angel” she said and kissed on the cheek. “See you in the evening then.”

“Make sure not to breath in too much dust, sweety” her friend called after her and started to do the dishes.

laughed and left the apartment. It was almost nine and the traffic was horrible. Didn't the people had to work? They couldn't all be out for shopping. She sighted deeply when stopping at the next traffic light and looked for the package of chewing gum as she needed something to do while making her way over to the library. A happy couple crossed the street. They were holding hands and felt a light sting in her heart. She had never done that with a guy in her life. With she had lead a secret love and later her experiences with men had been just short ones. Nothing serious at all. suddenly felt sad and unloved. Was this the way her life would continue? Please not, she pleaded silently. She had always wanted to have her own family. Some kids that run through the house. Childrens laugh that filled the house. And a man that cuddled with her on the sofa in the evening while they watched a movie when the kids where in bed. But there was no one in sight that could fill this hole in her life.

~ 4 ~


During a break at the theater the next day took her phone and started to search through the internet. While she had been busy with changing some costumes an idea had popped into her head. She had never tried to set some people up and it wasn't her plan yet but maybe she could find a way to push her friend in the right direction. To put her luck in the right way. She scrolled through a few blogs but couldn't find the answer to her question so she just wrote a post and asked for help.

After work drove to a gym that was close to the Sunset Boulevard and booked a Zumba course for and herself. Some sport would do them good and from what she could see the view out of the window was great as well. When she left the gym she saw even one of these new young It-girls she had seen in a lot of newspapers. If that wasn't a good sign! If such young girls used this gym regularly who knew who might show up as well?!

Meanwhile sat in the library to do same research on the Winchester House in San José. Since she had seen the movie 'Rose Red' she knew that she wanted to see the house, that had been the inspiration for the story, herself. You could also visit the house and make a tour around but so far she hadn't found the time to drive over. But she was determined to do so before she flew back home.

**********

“Wow...I am sure that I won't be able to move at all tomorrow” panted and wiped the sweat off her forehead as soon as the first Zumba lesson had been over two days later.

“Oh yeah...I can already feel some muscle ache around my belly” agreed and opened the small water bottle she had in her sports bag.

“I could say something now but I better keep my mouth shut as I wouldn't be able to run away from you then.”

lifted her eye brows. “Spill it out!”

“No!”

“Come one, no teasing here. I hate it if someone makes me curious and then stops without any further information’s.”

hung the little towel around her neck and looked suspicious at her friend. “But promise no to get angry first!”

“Okay, I swear” agreed and nodded.

“I thought that maybe your last sex was way too long ago, so your lower muscle region isn't that trained anymore, just a guess.”

's eyes widened in surprise and she had to cough lightly. “Well, I doubt that I am a lot behind you. When was your last sex?”

“Okay, okay...I've got the message. We need men, urgently!” 's expression became determined. “Hey, you'll come with me on Saturday and we'll get ourself some company for the night then.”

“What's up on Saturday then?”

“You know my colleague Olivia?”

“Yeah.”

“She'll have her thirty birthday and wants to celebrate it with a girls night and she had ordered me to bring you too.”

“I don't know” said unsure. She knew Olivia just from some shorts meetings at the theater but that didn't make them friends. “What did she plan?”

“First a few drinks in a cozy bar and then off to karaoke” answered smiling and took her bag to leave the gym finally.

“Oh no, without me! I hate karaoke and I won't embarrass myself!”

“Who said that you have to sing? I am not sure if I'll try it. We could still sit there and laugh about the other people.”

“I'll think about that” said but already thought about an excuse not to go.

Both left the gym and drove back home. It was 's TV date with her changelings again and was determined not to get agitated again. She didn't want to have another sleepless night. But that was easier said than done as showed his naked torso in this episode and her mouth fell open. He had become a lot fitter within the years and that suited him very well. She could imagine how many girls drooled over him that evening and she was one of them. didn't miss 's stares and she grinned inwardly. Hopefully her plan worked out really soon.

**********

It was Thursday afternoon and shut the drivers door energetic as she was almost too late for the next Zumba lesson. She had been in Arroyo Grande for some research and taking pictures and when she had been on her way back a traffic congestion had build up, just what she had needed. Now she would have to hurry up to the second floor, throw her bag into the locker and run to the course room. Luckily she had already changed her clothes while she had stood in the congestion. A smile flitted over her lips when she thought back to the pair of pensioners in the car next to her. The man's eyes had almost popped out while his wife had gasped for air indignant when had changed her top. Changing the trousers had been more difficult but she had managed to do it without showing any more to the old couple.

Urgently she opened the door of the gym and walked over to the staircase on the right side. As quickly as she could she took two stairs at once and almost fell when she reached the second floor. With her last energy she grabbed the banister to steady herself.

?” A deep voice reached her ears. “, is that really you?” The British accent was unmistakable and woke up all her senses.

Slowly she lifted her head and was met by a pair of deep eyes. A she hadn't seen for years, if the two episodes on TV didn't count. She blinked a few times to make sure that her eyes didn't play tricks on her. In front of her stood and he looked damn hot in this purple armpit shirt which stretched lightly over his chest and the light grey shorts. His hair was shorter what looked good although she had loved his curls. Her mouth became dry at this sight in front of her and she had to clear her throat.

“Hi” was all that came out of her mouth and felt kind of stupid that she wasn't able to say a real sentence.

“Oh my god, it is really you. I thought that I have seen a Fata Morgana” said and smiled shyly, but in a cute way. Exactly the kind of smile she had always loved so much. “What are you doing here? I didn't know that you live in the USA.”

“I don't live here. I am doing some research for my work and stay at a friend with whom I am appointed for a Zumba course. What are you doing here?”

“Nice! I did some workout as well. What kind of work do you mean? Theater or for a book?”

was surprised that he knew that she wrote books. She wasn't a popular author like Nora Roberts or Stephen King yet although she had a good income with her books and with every new release the sold increased which meant a growing fan base.

“For a book” she admitted and let go of the banister to straighten up. There was no need to show her insecurity about what he could think of her.

“I didn't know that you are so talented in writing” noticed and made a step forward. “I have read all your books and I liked them.”

“You have read them? But how do you know...” the words got stuck in her throat and she had to swallow.

“Google can be really helpful” he stated and smiled but the smile didn't reach his eyes at all.

could see a hint of disappointment in his expression and she instantly felt sorry! But what for? It was her life!

“Why did you gave up on your theater career?”

“Getting a role became harder and harder and one day I thought maybe I could write a script myself.”

“You could have tried your luck with the TV then” he suggested and looked at her curious.

“I just wanted to try something new. It was really nice to see again, , but now I have to go as I am already too late for the course. Have a nice day” said and her tone was harder than she had intended.

“Okay! I didn't want to hold you back.” This time she did not only saw his disappointment as she could also hear it in his voice. “Do you think that we could meet for a cup of coffee before you leave the country?”

“I don't know if that's a good idea.”

“Come on, it is just a coffee between old friends!”

Ouch, that had been like a clear slap! Well, she did deserve it!

“Okay!”

“Do you have a new number or is it still the same” he asked and took his phone out.

“A new one. My old phone got stolen so I changed the number when I got a new one.”

nodded and gave her his phone so that she could type her number in. She did it and handed the phone back. He quickly pushed the 'call' button and a blink later they heard the ringing of her phone.

“Now you have my number, just write me when you have time for a coffee. Enjoy your course, ” and with these words he walked down the stairs.

She stood rooted to the spot and looked after him. Had he been cold or was it just her imagination? She remembered the happy and surprised expression on his face when he had spotted her but it had changed quickly. With a nagging feeling of guilt she turned around and walked over to the changing room. Had she been to unfriendly towards him? And what was that question about her old number? Did he still have it? She was left with so many questions and no answers. There was only one thing she knew for sure and that was that had become hotter than he had already been. In nature he was even hotter than on TV!

She threw her bag in a locker and almost run to the room where the course had already started. Loretta, the trainer, gave her a grimly look when she positioned herself next to . Her friend also gave her a questioning look but just shock her head.

~ 5 ~

sat on her bed and looked at her phone where the number of was visible. Should she really meet up with him? What should they talk about? The thought of meeting her ex boyfriend felt kind of strange. What if he wanted answers after all these years? And why did he google her? Could it be that he hadn't forgotten about her? Even after how she had left him? Way too many questions circled around in her head and made it impossible to work. Not good if you had a deadline!

It was Friday and the wind whistled through the streets of London and pulled at their jackets. The winter was in in its last lap and showed one last time who had the control. and walked side by side, no one said a word while they made their way through all the people that rushed home from work. When they turned around a corner the traffic became calmer. She pulled the scarf tighter around her throat and watched her from the corner of his eyes. He had a bad feeling because usually she wasn't that quiet. Something deep inside of him told him that this evening would take an unsuspected turn, so he just waited for what could happen. They walked in quietness for a few more minutes until they had to go into separate directions. stopped and turned towards her company. “You know that Mrs. Edwards will come back on Monday?!” It was a question and statement at the same time. nodded and put his hands deeper in the pockets of his jacket. “I will concentrate on my career again then, so I won't have so much time anymore.” He squinted his eyes. “And does that mean you don't want to see me anymore?” “I didn't say that” she said and looked down to the ground. “But it sounded like it” he stated and gritted his teeth. “I just need some time for myself now, to sort a few things. Please understand that.” “So I'll have to wait until you have time for me again?” didn't try to hide his disappointment. He knew that the job would end soon and that she would go back to theater plays, so that she would have less time but this here felt like a goodbye. Only that she didn't say the words at all. felt uncomfortable. “I'll leave to New York soon and I am not sure when I will be back, so please can we argue another time?” “You what? Why didn't you tell me?” The shock and surprise were written all over his face. “I didn't know how without hurting you.” What a lame excuse! “Oh, and you don't hurt me now? I thought we are a couple. That we love each other but maybe it was just me that thought so.” “No, that's not true.” A few people looked strangely while passing them. “Sorry, but it looks like it” he said and grabbed the cords of his backpack. “Can we talk about it another time? It's really cold and I have to make a few important phone calls” she asked in a soft tone and looked him directly in the eyes. “As if you expect my approval. You have already planned your future without thinking of us, of me.” swallowed and felt how the tears started to well up. He was right! She had planned it all quietly and secretly because she had been scared about his reaction. If she really got the role in New York she would be away for at least half a year and she didn't know how their relationship could work over this distance. “We talk about that later, I really have to go now” she said and stepped forward. looked questioning at her when she leaned in and put a featherlight kiss on his warm lips. Then she turned around and hurried down the road. No turning back!

The thought of their last moment together pulled her throat together. silently started to sob and knew that she could never make up for her cowardly behavior. really had to forget about her. It was better for him.

**********

“Are you ready for partying” asked while coming out of her room.

's door was open and she just closed the zipper of her skirt. “Not really, but I look forward to drink a few cocktails.”

“I am sure some guys would love to invite you for a few drinks today” the girl said and looked her friend up and down. “The Californian fashion suits you very well. You'll knock out some men. I think it will be harder for me to get a catch for this night than for you.”

The long hair was lose and fell over her bare shoulders. A white neckholder top covered her upper body and accented her tanned skin perfectly. As it had a small gathering on the middle of the upper part, her breasts got accentuated. The lavender colored mini skirt showed off her long legs and her feet stuck in white sandals with killer heels.

stuck out her tongue and had a proper look at her friend too. wore a red dress that had a waterfall neckline, so that her breasts were perfectly shown. She wore black peep toe pumps. “I doubt that your vamp look will miss its effect.”

“I hope so” her friend said and grinned cheekily “as I am really determined not to go home alone tonight.”

Both made their way over to Olivia's place where they all took a taxi to drive over to the cozy bar in Venice Beach. The birthday child ordered the first round: a glass of champagne for every girl. There was a jazz pianist that entertained the guests. Olivia was fascinated by him. He had black hair that almost fell on his shoulders. A three days beard went along his jaw. The black suit and black shirt suited him perfectly.

“I wouldn't mind getting a birthday kiss by this cutie” Olivia said and licked over her full red lips.

“I can imagine” replied and poked her colleague into the ribs.

“Maybe you should go over, tell him that it is your birthday and that you want him as a specials gift” Minou, Olivia's sister, said and blinked.

“Oh yeah, and if he don't believe you we'll all confirm it” stated and looked at everyone.

“I love you girls.” Olivia was touched by the comfort of her friends. “I'll go over before we'll leave the bar” she promised and took another sip of her drink.

A few minutes later a group of business men walked into the bar and sat down at a table near the bar. All the girls checked them up and the men noticed the giggling girl gang as well.

“Oh my god, look at the blond on the right. He is so damn hot” Chloe, another colleague of and Olivia, squeaked.

“Shhh...be quiet or we'll attract publicity” Minou mumbled and her cheeks turned red.

bit onto her lower lip to suppress a comment because she knew that would love to attract publicity by hot men. She had also to admit that the other girls were right, these men really were attractive. I am sure could keep up with them if he wears a suit as well. This thought popped up in her head out of the blue and was kinda shocked about it. He came to her mind in inappropriate situations and muted her mood. Was this the way her life would be now or would he vanish from her mind again? She didn't want to forget him at all but she also didn't want to get remembered what could have been. Luckily Olivia disturbed her thoughts as she ordered a new round of drinks.

Two hours and a few more drinks and flirting with these business men later they entered the karaoke club close to the beach. Minou saw a free table in a niche on the left side of the stage. Olivia stumbled over to the boss of the club and just announced that she would like to sing. 's look wandered through the club that was almost full. At one table there sat a group of Asian people. No wonder, they loved karaoke and didn't care about embarrassing themselves in front of strange people. On the other side of the stage she could see a group of men. Two of them sat in the shadow so she couldn't see them at all but from the other men she could see she knew right away that they would make new flirt victims for her girls, especially for Olivia and Chloe although they had already got a few numbers from the bar. A waitress appeared at their table and took their order of drinks before the host of the evening announced Olivia as their next singer. Happily she walked onto the stage and greeted everyone. She gave out some air kisses to the men on her right side who cheered and yelled back. The intro of Cindy Laupers 'Girls just want to have fun' started and it became quieter in the club.

~ 6 ~


“Hey” a deep voice sounded in her ear and she could feel hot breath on her skin.

shrieked lightly and turned her head just to meet 's beautiful face. “H...hi...” she stammered.

What was he doing in this club? She hadn't seen him when she had arrived with her girls gang. Her look quickly wandered over him and she had to admit that he looked really handsome in this black jeans and light grey shirt with V-neckline. His hair was tousled as if he had just fallen out of bed.

“Can I talk to you for a moment” he asked and looked hopefully at her.

“I can't leave. I am here with some friends for a birthday” she tried to wind herself out of this awkward situation but she didn't calculated with her mean friends.

“It is no problem, you can go. I promise that no one will touch your cocktail” assured and poked her in the ribs.

smiled lightly when he saw the wide grin on 's friends face. She seemed to be a really nice girl. Also the birthday girl fanned with her hands.

“Don't worry, you'll have my blessing to go with this cutie” she said and it was not to oversee and overhear that she already had had a lot of drinks.

growled inwardly as everybody stabbed her in the back. With a deep sigh she took her bag and left the seat. As a new talent entered the stage and started to sing Shakira's 'Whenever, Wherever' she couldn't hear the shouts of her friends anymore. walked ahead and lead her out of the club. He walked over the street where a small path lead down to the beach but he stopped at a bench and pointed towards it before he sat down.

“So? What is so important” asked when she sat down as well.

put his elbows on his knees. “Don't be so cold” he said and looked at her.

“I am not cold just curious” she defended herself.

“I know that I have said you should write me when you have the time but somehow I have the feeling that you won't do it. And when I saw you in the club I couldn't just sit at our table in the corner and look at you.” Once again he let his look wander over the beauty next to him.

His words made her feel all warm inside although he had hit the right nail with his suspicion. “Okay.”

looked ahead to the beach where the moonlight sparkled on the calm sea. “It is not the right time but I thought that we could finally talk about the past.”

“Oh” said in a low voice and tightened the grab on her bag. “It is been so long ago. Why do you want to warm up such old jokes?”

“Because I have thought about it all these years. I think I deserve an answer why you have vanished without a word. After our last talk in the middle of the street I have really tried to stay strong and not run after you but I gave up in the early morning.” He took a deep breath and shock his head. “I stood in front of your door but there was no answer. Then your neighbor went to work and told me that you had moved out two days ago. Can you imagine how shocked and hurt I had been? Why? I just want to understand it.”

A lump formed in 's throat. He was right! He deserved an answer but she didn't know it herself. “I don't know. I think I was just cowardly.”

“That's the right word but no reason for me” he agreed and kneaded his hands. “All these years I have asked myself if it had been my fault. If I had done something wrong.”

“It had not been your fault” she assured him as he had always been the loving and caring boyfriend almost every girl wished for.

“What went wrong then” he asked and turned his head to look at her. “I didn't force you to introduce me to your family although I would have loved to get to know them. I knew that you had problems with the age difference.”

“But...I...that's not...”

“Don't deny it, you know that I am right.” He sounded really determined.

bowed her head and felt ashamed. Yeah, she had been worried what her parents could think of him and the fact that he had been younger than her. “Did you never wonder what your family could think?” In comparison to him she had met his family once when they had a theater play at the academy and they came to watch it. They didn't know that she had been his girlfriend but as they were so friendly she had had the hope that they wouldn't have a problem with her.

“No, my parents are really cool and just want to see my brother and me happy.”

“That is good for you. My parents are a bit different. They have always tried their best to afford us to do what we liked. My sister went to this private cooking school, I wanted to go to the academy and my brother always needed new equipment for his sports. So they both worked really hard for our dreams to come true. We were also raised really conservative and my mother's perception of an ideal relationship is that the man is the older one and that he looks after his family. And that he is the first breadwinner. I don't share this opinion as I know that times have changed but I remember my mothers unbelieving look when she met my sister's boyfriend for the first time and he is just six months younger than Camelia.”

listened carefully and could imagine in what kind of dilemma she had been. He was sure that he would have behaved the same if he had been in her situation but it still wasn't the right excuse for doing a moonlight flit. “I can understand your decision about keeping our relationship a secret but why did you leave after you had left me out there in the cold?”

“I had my doubts that it could work if we were separated for too long. I didn't know if I could trust you for so long.” He voice became lower and she couldn't look at him.

“What?” jumped up from the bench and looked at her with wide eyes. “You didn't trust me that I could keep my pants on while you were gone? Did I ever give you the feeling that you weren't enough for me? God , I loved you more than anything else.” He was bewildered!

“We had been together for only five months and it had been more a secret love. You were nineteen and most guys want to make experiences then. How should I know if you wouldn't get bored while waiting for me?” She had raised her voice and gave him a obstinate look.

“You know that I had always been sincere to you. I would have never done anything like that to you.”

She looked aside while kneading the bag in her lap. “You say that know.”

“What if I would be the leery one here? If I had believed you could start something with another man? Would you have been able to calm me down?”

“I don't know. Probably not” she answered honestly and wished she could go back to her girls. This talk went exactly like she had expected it. No real talk but an argument. “But I know that I wouldn't have been looking on purpose.”

“How comforting” whispered and let his right hand run through his hair. “Do you have a clue how long it took me to get over you? Years! And I still can say that I didn't manage it completely. I have almost failed the first year because I wasn't able to concentrate on anything. I have missed you like crazy. I thought I would die because of a broken heart. I didn't eat for weeks at all and my mother became really worried. She even threatened me with the hospital. During one crying fit in her arms I have told her about you, about us.”

's head shot up and she watched how he started to walk back and forth in front of the bench. “You told her about us” she asked in a whisper.

“I was so depressed and heartbroken. She wanted to comfort me. She remembered you from the theater play and said that she had the feeling I could be interested in you. And she attested me a really good taste but she also wanted to shake you for running away.”

She couldn't believe that his mother didn't freak out.

“Do you have a clue how long it took me to be able to go out with a girl again? Years! And I still can't trust them. I am not able to lead a real relationship because I still compare the other girls with you. I am ruined! Maybe I should visit a psychologist!”

was speechless! She had never guessed that it would make him feel so low but if she was honest it wasn't different for her as well. Since she had left him that afternoon she had had four dates. Four dates in ten years. How pathetic was that? Only with two guys did she meet again. She had desperately tried to start a relationship but it didn't last for long. Yeah, she had slept with them but she couldn't enjoy it. They hadn't been but she wouldn't admit this now.

stopped walking and turned towards her. He looked really desperate. His breathing was fast and she could see how is nose wings were quivering. “Don't you have anything to say?”

“What do you expect me to say? I can't say anything else than that I feel really sorry for what I have done to you and that I have ruined your life.”

“Your excuse didn't help me!”

“Then I can't do anything for you.” She got up from the bench and turned around to go back to the club.

“Yeah, run away again. That is what you are really good at.” His words cute through her heart like a knife and she winced lightly. For a moment she thought about firing a reply towards him but then she decided against it. Should he be angry with her. If he was angry and maybe even hated her it would be easier for him to get over her. To forget her.

When she had reached the street she saw a taxi coming towards her. Quickly she held out her hand to stop it and jumped in as soon as the car had stopped at the sidewalk. As soon as the door was closed and the driver started the engine again she looked aside and saw coming her way. She could see anger but also resignation in his eyes. And again she had hurt him. People like her really should get punished. Maybe a higher might would get her for it sooner or later. After she had told the driver the address of 's apartment she sent her friend a message, so that she knew that wouldn't come back.

~ 7 ~


sat in the living room and looked through a fashion magazine. In the background the depressive and sad music coming from 's room was audible. This went on for almost one week now and the atmosphere in the apartment was really sad as well. missed her friend's laugh and jokes. She missed the mess made when she sat in the living room and tried to write while all her notes were scattered over the small table and floor. When 'Nothing compares to you' started she threw the magazine aside and jumped off the sofa. This was too much! She walked into 's room without knocking. Her friend lay on her bed and sobbed into her pillow quietly. Seeing like that broke Kate's heart.

“Oh honey, come here” she said and sat on the bed.

took her pillow and put it in 's lap before burring her face inside again.

“I know it hurts but you can't hide yourself forever. You also have some work to do. I doubt that your publisher will accept the excuse of your heartache.”

“But it hurts...too much...to concentrate” mumbled between the sobs. “I know I shouldn't but I miss him...”

“I know you do” answered and stroked over her back softly.

“I thought that I was over him but seeing him again brought all the suppressed feelings back. What a mess! Maybe I should leave earlier as being far away from him might help.”

knew that she was right but she would also miss her friend a lot. They were almost like sisters, maybe even closer. If she just was able to help. “Maybe you can start with taking a shower and washing all the sadness off your face” she suggested and nodded in agreement.

When went to the bathroom a few minutes later took her phone from the night stand and scrolled through the contacts. Finally she found what she was looking for. She wrote a message and sent it before her friend came back and could caught her.

came back after she had had a hot shower which had loosened her stiff muscles. Her cheeks still stretched from all the crying but she felt a little bit fresher now. Only wrapped up in a towel she walked back into her room and straight over to the wardrobe where she took a pink top and light blue shorts out. It was time to change into some new clothes, even if they were used as a new pyjama.

“I am just going over to Olivia for a few minutes” told her and walked over to the door to leave the room. “Do you think you will be okay?”

rolled her eyes and pouted. “I think I am grown so I should be able to manage a few minutes on my own, right?”

“Sure! Okay, I am off then...” said and turned around to leave the apartment.

looked around her room and sighted deeply. It really looked like a mess so she slowly started to pick up her old worn clothes and stuffed them into the hamper. Then she changed her bedsheets and put the dirty stuff in the washing machine. As her stomach started to rumble she made her way over to the kitchen when a knock at the door surprised her.

“Who could that be” she wondered and walked over to the door. “Yeah” she asked and opened the door only a little bit to be able to see who stood outside. “What...what are you...doing here?”

In front of her stood the person she had at least expected. The man who was the reason why she had been so sad and heartbroken. He looked worn out and tired. Exactly like she felt! A light bear shadow drew along his jaw as if he hadn't shaved for a while. His white shirt was rumpled as well as his dark blue jeans. All signs pointed to that he had been suffering as well.

“You asked me to come over” said and let his eyes wander over her barely covered body.

She looked tired and exhausted. Her eyes were puffy red so that the grey orbs shone intense. She must have been crying but why? Maybe because of him? His eyes wandered further down over her full red lips that he wanted to kiss so badly, her slim throat, her firm breasts that draw under the tight top, her flat stomach to her long tanned legs. was bare feet and he could see that her toe nails were colored in a light rosy tone. All in all she was an absolute beauty and his desire flamed up in no time.

“I haven't send any messages for days” she said and frowned but then it made click. “Oh ...” That must have been the reason why she had left. What a little beast!

lifted his right brown as he didn't have a clue what she was talking about.

“My friend must have sent the message while I had been in the bathroom.”

“Oh okay...” he mumbled and his hope sunk while the strength fell from his shoulders. “Then I better go again.”

“Don't...” whispered when he turned around.

He had heard her and hesitated for a few seconds but then he started to walk down the corridor.

“Please, don't go” she said a bit louder and stopped walking.

When he looked over his shoulder she stepped aside and opened the door wider. Slowly he walked back and entered the apartment. She closed the door and leaned against it. Again her eyes wandered over this tall man that stood just two meters away from her. No matter if he looked like he hadn't slept for days he was still really attractive and handsome and she felt the butterflies doing somersaults in her stomach.

“I am really sorry” finally said and took a step forward. “I feel really ashamed of what I have put you through. You deserve much better.”

grabbed her left arm when she wanted to pass him on her way into the kitchen. “Isn't it more important what I want than what I deserve?”

She looked at him confused.

“I know that I should put a hook behind the past and move on but I can't. I still love you with all my heart and I don't want anyone else except you.”

bit onto her bottom lip as if it could stop the tears from welling up again. “Oh ...I love you too” she whispered and he pulled her towards him.

When both stood in front of each other his left hand put a strand of hair behind her ear. “No matter how much you have hurt me, I know that you have really loved me and I want my back.”

“Aren't you worried that I could run away again?”

He shock his head. “I doubt that. I have thought a lot about our last talk and I would lie if I say that I haven't been pissed afterwards but the more I thought about your words the more I could understand your feelings and worries. Now you lead a complete different life and you are a more independent woman. I am not sure what your parents think about your writing career but I believe that you don't care much about their opinion. At least not when it effects what makes you happy.”

When did he become so wise? His words touched her deeply and the tears run down her cheeks. She swallowed the big lump that had formed in her throat.

“I would never hide you again” stated and locked her eyes with his. Her hands softly stroked over his chest and she smiled when she felt all the hard muscles under her fingertips. “Do you really want to give me a second chance?”

leaned in and kissed the tip of her nose before his thumbs wiped the tears off her cheeks. “I think I would even give you a third or fourth chance.”

“Don't say that or I will challenge your words then.”

“Would you please finally kiss me before you do that” he pleaded and smiled cheekily.

How was she able to resist him? Not when he smiled at her like that. 's hands glide up to his shoulders and then around his neck where she entangled her fingers before she pulled him lightly down. She stepped on her tiptoes and then their lips met. Again! A spark was electrified and both sighted with relief when they felt and tasted the other one again. 's tongue softly stroked over her bottom lip and she opened her mouth to welcome him. His hands grabbed her waist to pull her closer while her fingers run through his hair.

“God, how I have missed you” he mumbled religiously against her lips.

moaned in response. Her mind was completely empty and she just existed of feelings. Feelings she had never expected to experience again. The kiss became deeper and deeper and they tried to get as close to each other as possible. Her firm breasts were pressed right under his strong one and he could feel her erected nipples. His body was set on fire and he didn't know if he could keep himself under control much longer. wanted her so badly, longed for her kisses, touches and sweet sinful moans way too long. As if she could read his mind slowly pulled back and licked over her red swollen lips. Both were out of breath but smiled happily.

“Wow, I think you have never kissed me this way before” she stated and blinked at him.

“That shows you just how much I have missed and needed you.”

Before she could answer her stomach started to rumble again. “I need something to eat before you attack me again. Do you want something as well? I think there is still some lasagne left from lunch.”

“Sure but then I will take you as dessert” he said with a cheeky grin and slapped her crispy butt playfully when she turned around to walk ahead.

**********

After their meal they walked over to 's room and cuddled on the bed while a romantic movie was on the tube but they didn't care much about it as they were too occupied with each other. The sweet kisses and soft touches slowly turned into exploring each other. After all these years it was like they got to know each other for the first time. They took their time to kiss, lick and stroke over every each and single centimeters of the others body. Both moaned deeply when they finally became one again as this feeling was so intense. It turned into the most intensive love making they had ever experienced. Not only their bodies reunited again but also their hearts and souls.

~ 8 ~


sat on the counter in the kitchen the next morning while walked in, only wearing a pair of black boxers. His hair still wet from the shower.

“Didn't you want to meet me for a cup of coffee” she asked with a cheeky grin. “Here is your black coffee then” and with these words she poured the black liquid in a cup and hold it out for him.

“Oh, you little tease” he said and took the cup before he leaned forward to nibble on her neck.

She giggled and tried to push him away but he was stronger. His left hand run over her right thigh and just stopped at the hem of her red shorts. When he lifted his head again their eyes locked and both felt the pure love for each other rush through their veins.

“You know what date is today” he asked in a low voice and took a sip of his coffee.

“No” said honestly. Since her life had become so chaotic and emotional in the past two weeks she had lost track of time and space. While she had been crying and drowning in sorrow for so many days she didn't know which week day it was. Thursday or even Friday?

put his cup on the counter, a few centimeters away from her left thigh and opened her legs wide enough to step between them. Then he let his fingertips run over her thighs while he leaned forward to whisper in her ear. A shudder run down her spine when his hot breath brushed over her skin.

“It's my birthday” he breathed and nibbled on her earlobe.

“Oh my god” gasped and felt how her cheeks became red. She had totally forgotten about his birthday. In the past years she had always thought of him on that day but this time her mind had been so confused. “I am so sorry that I have forgotten your special day. I will get you a present later” she promised and stroked over his head.

“Aww...no need for doing that, babe. You are the best gift I could have wished for” said and kissed her softly on the lips.

They were so into each other that they didn't hear how the front door closed. A minute later appeared in the door of the kitchen and looked at the couple that clung to each other. A big smile light up her face when she saw that her plan had worked. In hope that both would speak themselves out and would stay over night she had stayed at Olivia's place. When she had woken up she didn't know if she should go home right away or just give them some more time but at eight she couldn't wait any longer as she had to go to work as well.

“I am not here...just ignore me” said while walking into the kitchen and right over to the coffee machine to snatch the last bit of the eye-opener.

and pulled apart and looked caught.

“Good Morning” mumbled and flushed lightly.

“Good Morning” also said and smiled.

“Morning you two love birds” replied and blinked at them. “You know that your room might be more comfortable if you can't keep your hands off each other” she remarked and grinned cheekily. “But who am I to tell you where to have fun. It is just that it is my kitchen and I prepare my food on this counter” she pointed towards and enjoyed how her friend turned beet red. “Ha ha...don't look like a scared bambi, I was just joking.” She also let her look wander over quickly. He was really hot and handsome and she could understand her best friend completely. Which woman wouldn't get weak in the presence of such a hot piece of meat?

grinned as well because he liked 's humor. He could imagine that they would become good friends. hide her face in the base of his neck. She felt really embarrassed although it was only her best friend.

“Okay, okay...don't worry about me, I am just getting changed and then I go to work. You can do whatever you had in mind when I have disturbed you” and with these words she left the kitchen.

“I like your friend” said and kissed 's temple.

“Yeah, you two have the same kind of stupid humor.”

“Stupid” he lifted his eye brows. “I have always thought that you loved my jokes.”

“Only some.”

“Hmm...do you have anything planned for today or can we really do what I have in mind?”

“I am sorry but I have already planned to visit the Winchester House in San José, so you have to keep your naughty plans on hold until later” she told him and let her fingertips run over his naked stomach.

“Do you mind if I'll come with you?”

“Really? I don't want you to get bored” she replied and looked surprised as she had expected that he would prefer something more interesting on his special day.

“As long as I can spend the day with my girl nothing is too boring” said in the chest tone of confidence.

“Okay, but I will invite my birthday baby for dinner then and maybe I will also spoil you later” grinned cheekily. “I better take a shower now and get changed. I guess you want to go home and change your clothes as well?”

“Sure, we can stop there shortly.”

Half and hour later stopped his car in front of the apartment house he lived in. He lead to the third floor and opened the door to his small realm. It was smaller than 's apartment but enough for him alone. was also sure that he paid a lot for it as the location was really good. While disappeared in the bedroom to get changed she looked through the living room and found two pictures of them both together. One was made at the academy, after a play and they both still wore their costumes. The second picture was more a selfie and she remembered that it was taken during a short trip to Brighton on a Saturday. Both their hair was messy and their cheeks rosy as it had been really fresh and windy that day. But they still looked really happy. leaned against him, her head on his left shoulder.

When came back he wrapped his arms around her from behind and kissed her neck. “I remember that you had a cold that day and your nose was almost running away but you have still been the most beautiful woman on earth for me.”

“You charmer” she said smiling and put the picture back on it's place on the book shelve, right in front of her books.

“I just say the truth” he assured and kissed the soft spot under her ear. “By the way, will you sign your books for me?”

“Of course but not now as we still have a drive to make.”

“Okay, then let's go. It is time to get the creeps.”

**********

...two weeks later...

The couple lay on the sofa in 's apartment and cuddled while watching Bridget Jones's Diary on TV. His right hand was under her top and his fingertips draw small circles on the soft skin of her belly. leaned against him and enjoyed the closeness between them. She was engrossed in the movie and felt with Bridget. Every now and then put soft butterfly kisses on her neck. He wasn't as interested in the movie as in the woman that lay in his arms and he still couldn't believe that he really had her back.

“Do you have any commitments or appointments after next week” asked into the cozy quietness.

“No, not that I know” he answered and wondered why she had asked.

Slowly she turned her head to be able to look at him. She lifted her right hand and softly fondled at his neck. “I thought that you maybe could come with me to London for a while. I would like to introduce you to my family.”

's heartbeat quickened and he stopped the movement of his fingers. “Are you really sure?”

nodded and smiled lightly. “Yeah. As I have told you, I will never hide you again or keep you a secret. I want my family to get to know the man that makes me happy.” She put a soft kiss on his chin.

His chest filled with proud and happiness. And more love. Carefully he tried to contorted underneath her, so that he lay on his left side. “I would like to go with you for a while and meet your family” he answered smiling and steadied himself on his left arm. “But what if they don't like me?”

“Oh, I am sure they'll like you and if not...it is my life and I have to be happy, right? Don't worry, I will defend you against them if needed.”

“Then nothing can happen” he was sure and kissed the tip of her nose. “I will show your family that nothing can pull us apart again. You are my dream woman and no one will ever come between us.”

put her hands on his cheeks and pulled his head down to be able to kiss him properly. “I love you so much” she mumbled against his lips.

“And I love you so much that I can never express it with words” he breathed and put his forehead against hers.

“Maybe you can show me” she whispered and smiled naughtily.





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