Author's Note: The new chapter is up, but I might take it down because I'm not entirely happy with it. I would love some constructive criticism. If you have any ideas or complaints, let me know. So, if you have the time, please help a girl out and review!
Thank You's: Yay, I have reviews! So, thank you to SlowlyDyingInside03 (Hey! ^_^ Major thanks to my first reviewer!), Juju (Awh, I know it is confusing. But it's supposed to be! I want the readers to feel what Anne is feeling.), and Melody1 (Yay! I can't believe that you reviewed my story! I've read all of your stories! -grin- Um, so, yes I do reply to reviewers (whenever I have new chapters). And yeah, as to your question... Okay, well I guess that I really didn't talk too much about Helen, Anne's mum, but I'll try to explain her reasoning. Helen had her daughter when she was young and I guess she feels that what she is doing is right. She wants to do what is best, but doesn't really know how. She's only human and she has faults too. It's a complicated relationship that I'm sure would bore you all to death. ^_^;; But anyway, hope that clears things up. )
Disclaimer: I own it all. Please dun steal.
Chapter Five: A Day Out
Anne stood impatiently at the counter of the market, tapping her foot with annoyance. She was there to pick up the forgotten bags, as that was the only reason her Aunt drove her there. "Don't forget this time." Anne's aunt had said.
She shifted her weight from foot to foot and rang the bell that sat on the counter again. Finally, after fifteen more minutes of waiting, the woman from the day before walked, unhurriedly out into the storefront and behind the counter, offering Anne a smile.
"Hello," Anne started, "Do you remember me from yesterday? I think I left some bags here, do you still have them?"
"Oh, right, um," She paused and bent down looking behind the counter, a after few moments she reappeared in front of Anne. She stood there for a moment then a look of recognition dawned on her face, "They're not here. They've been picked up."
"What?" She asked, "By who?"
"It was Ben Davenport. Such a nice boy really." She smiled, day-dreamily. "He said he was doing you a favor, that you asked him to. I thought nothing of it. I'm sorry, it's on the house…"
"No, no it's alright. I forgot. I did ask him to. I feel so silly now." Anne said, lying through her teeth. "Well, that's settled. I better get going."
Anne waved goodbye, not looking for one in return, and then left the store. She shook her head; she would find him. She was sure of it. She just didn't know how, but she did know that town was probably a usual haunt of his, so she decided to wander.
After walking a while she turned down a narrow side street, knowing she hadn't been there before. An old but quaint secondhand bookshop was tucked away between two other abandoned-looking buildings.
The windows were dusty, but she felt herself being drawn to it and she entered, trying to suppress a sneeze. She smiled as she sneaked in between the tall shelves. She ran her fingers over the worn cover of a small book. She carefully pulled it out and let her eyes roam through its pages. She got lost in it and didn't hear the door open or the footsteps that followed. But what did catch her attention was the hand that covered her eyes and the deep baritone voice that whispered in her ear.
For a moment she tensed up, quite startled but she quickly relaxed when she realized whom it was.
"The Queen of England?" She asked, her voice taking on a playful and flirtatious tone. She did feel somewhat bad for using him but-- She stopped thinking about it. It was hard to think about what she was doing.
"No, but they treat me like royalty." He teased, his boyish laugh ringing in her ears.
"Elvis?" She said, mock shock present in her voice.
"No," His laugh continued, "And only one more try left."
"Well, wait, I think I've got it." She reached up, placing her hand on top of his, "Could it be… Ben?" She pulled his hand down and spun around to face him. She grinned.
"How'd you know?" He joked.
"I'm psychic." They laughed, "But really, you're just the man I needed to see."
"Nice to know. But if I may-"
"What's stopped you before?" She asked innocently and he sent her a playful warning glance.
"So, why is it that you wanted to see me?" His face took on a serious look.
"I hear that you've picked up my stuff."
"Oh," He said, relaxing a bit as he leisurely crossed his arms, "Shouldn't you be thanking me, then?"
"Shouldn't you be a little more, I don't know, humble?" She smiled, "Can I have them back?"
"And what is that?"
"Spend the day with me."
Outside, Ben bumped his bike off the stand and got on, motioning for her to wait before doing the same. She did and he reached over then presented her with a helmet.
"For you." He said, handing it over to her.
"Ben," She said, smiling, and pulled it on, "Thank you." She finished and got on behind him, reaching her arms around him and leaning her body against his. After he pulled on his own helmet, they were off.
Ben decided to take Annie somewhere new that day; of course everywhere was new for Annie. He drove her outside of the town and the scenery became that of a country setting. When they stopped, they walked together until they came upon a beautiful scene.
He lead her on until they came to a small clearing which eventually opened up presenting the picturesque vista, very much like a theatre presenting a stage. There were roaming hills, clusters of swaying trees, and a sparkling creek cutting through the landscape. They sat down and spent a lot of the time talking, some of the time just sitting together in silence. Suddenly Anne spoke.
"Why does everybody in town know me?" He didn't reply right away and she felt rather awkward for asking so she continued rambling. "It's just that I've never been here before and I don't think my mum has sent many pictures and everyone that I run into keeps saying things like—"
"Stop," He said, suddenly pressing his fingers against her lips to stop her seemingly endless outburst. She smiled, and he let his fingers fall back to where they were. "They don't know you. They know about you. Things are different here. It's not like where you live. We're in a small town, not a big city. Things are… slower, and there's a lot less to talk about so…" He trailed off. She nodded.
"I suppose that's easy to understand." She replied but stopped when she realized he was staring again. "What are you looking at?"
"I know that." She laughed, "Why?"
"I don't know. Missed you, I guess."
"You see? That's what I mean! Everybody acts as if they know me." He seemed frustrated at her curiosity and looked away for a minute. He got up, brushing the dust off his pants not looking at her; instead his eyes were focused on the horizon.
"Certain things are better left unsaid. Let it go for now." He took a deep breath then turned to her, holding out his hand to help her up, which she gladly took. The sparkle was back in his eyes when he said, "And anyway a little mystery can be a good thing. Let's walk." He led her down the hill and towards the tree line.
"Where are we going?" She asked.
"Don't you remember what I said about mysteries?" He grinned and pulled her along speeding up so that they were racing towards the forest. He let go of her hand and suddenly he was gone. She looked around for him but couldn't see him anywhere. He kept doing that to her. Disappearing.
"Ben!" She called, her eyes darting in every direction looking for him while trying to catch her breath, "Ben? Not funny. Come out!" She didn't like this feeling. This being alone in the forest.
There was something strange about this place. Something had happened here and she felt herself being drawn closer towards it. She didn't know why but she started to walk across the stream. Something wanted her to go further and it pulled at her with such force that she couldn't stop herself from consenting.
She stepped out onto one rock, hopping to the next, and the next, and the next almost hypnotically until she was about halfway out. The next one was a further distance away, but she didn't realize that in her cloudy daze, so she jumped. And she would have fallen in if not for a pair of strong arms that caught her.
"Wouldn't want you falling in." Ben said, looking down at her. Where had he appeared from? She gave him what could have passed as a smile, still completely mystified about him. Something told her that he wouldn't let her get hurt. Something about him intrigued her. Just something about him. "Come on, let's go."
The rest of the day passed rather quickly. She and Ben spent the rest of day walking and talking then riding around on his bike, stopping at various places that he thought she would like. When it started to get dark he decided that he better bring her back home.
The ride was similar to the last. She leaned up against him, feeling rather snug against him as they drove back towards the manor. The disappointed feeling resurfaced when they arrived and it came time to say goodnight.
They both slowly got off the bike. Anne was standing in front of him, looking up at him, into his green eyes. She had no idea what to do. She knew she was supposed to be acting, but when she looked into his eyes it seemed real. It seemed familiar. Like it had happened before. And was destined to happen again.
"Thank-you," She whispered, and Ben fought the urge to take her in his arms and hold her and— his thought was cut off when he heard her speak again. "Today was… I really liked… I…" Anne couldn't quite form coherent sentences at that moment and he grinned madly.
"We'll have to do it again sometime." He said softly, his face so close that she could feel his breath on her ear. He moved away, closer towards his bike, and she nodded starting back for the house.
As she headed towards the manor, she noticed the curtain pulled aside in one of the windows and her Aunt peeking out. She was watching them. Well! Annie would show her! Annie was told not to see him anymore, so she'd do exactly the opposite.
She turned around, heading back towards Ben, determination in her step. He was standing by his bike, waiting for her to get in okay. When he saw her coming back he pulled off his helmet, holding it under his arm, and ran his free hand through his casually messy hair.
He looked at her, a smile lighting up his handsome face, a confused smile, but a smile nonetheless.
"I forgot something." She explained, grinning, getting ready for the sweet, sweet revenge.
"And what would that be?" He asked his eyes locked on hers as she bit her lip.
She waited a moment then whispered, "This." She inched closer, her lips catching his in an alluring kiss. His hand made its way to her back and he pulled her closer.
What was supposed to be an act turned out to be something… more? She forgot what she was doing and found herself enjoying this. Sure she had kissed other boys before, but this was different. He was different. She heard his helmet fall onto the ground as both of his arms found the small of her back and she smiled as much as possible while in the middle of thoroughly kissing someone. Her arms reached up around and rested at his neck where she ran her fingertips through his hair and only when the need for air was desperately calling her did she stop.
When they broke apart she looked up at him. His arms still held her tight. Then it finally registered and she regained her senses, realizing what she had just done. She stared at him blankly.
"I'm going to go now." She explained, trying to hide from his gaze. And then she pulled herself from his arms, which clearly did not want to let her go.
"I'll pick you up tomorrow." He said, brushing his hand against her waist before taking her hand in his own. She nodded quickly and backed away, unlacing their fingers, wanting to get out of there.
Annie ran inside, glad her Aunt was not there to greet her, and leaned against the inside of the cold closed front door. She slid down it, and buried her face in her arms.
Her would be triumph left her in utter confusion.