"My unique hobby? My secret passion?"
He nodded sincerely at her.
"Well," she began thoughtfully, her finger tapping against her mouth lightly. Then she wrinkled her nose and shook her head vigorously, her curls sent flying into disarray.
"No, I cannot tell you. You would never believe me!" she declared.
"I would! But I would! Continue," he demanded resolutely.
She eyed him directly from across the table.
"You wont laugh?" she challenged.
"Of course not! Now don't be coy."
She folded her napkin from her lap and placed it delicately beside her plate on the small table. She sighed but glanced up at him with a wicked gleam in her eye. She leaned forward and he then put an elbow on the table, resting his chin on his hand in casual French anticipation.
"Every Tuesday night I walk to the seat next to the river, open a bottle of '56 Red and get shamelessly drunk-"
At this point he let out a hearty laugh and slapped the table, she however studiously retained eye contact in an unforgiving stare.
"And then I trace my way along the dusty dirt trail that follows the river right up to the bridge. And do you know what I do there?"
He had stopped laughing and indulged her – her dramatic side was, after all, one of the many things he loved about her.
She looked cautiously around at other couples at their respective tables before replying and he couldn't help but release a smile.
"I dance," she whispered theatrically.
"Mmmhmm," she replied seriously.
He looked away from her across the street, but his thoughts were not placed there.
"All alone too," she added, a hint of a smile now playing at her lips. He turned back to her.
"Do you ever stumble?" he asked, feigning concern.
"Nope!" she answered proudly, closing her eyes.
"Miss a step?"
She opened her eyes and frowned, indignant.
"And who would be there to score me so?"
"Indeed," he replied thoughtfully, now too preoccupied watching the breeze twirl her hair to argue with her.
She however, took his unfocused gaze to indicate his careless consideration for her confession. She let out an aggravated sigh and reached down to pick up her bag. He caught her sudden change in demeanor.
"What? What? What's happening?" he said, now alarmed.
She thumbed through her bag, searching for nothing in particular, when really, she was actually giving him time to figure out why she was suddenly upset; although she herself did not realize this at the time.
"It is nothing. I have to go," she said bluntly.
He sat up straighter, now panicking, like any over reactive French gentleman would do.
"But why? I want to hear – I want to know…the dancing!" he said, floundering, his gesturing being of no avail.
She whipped her head up from her bag to glare at him coldly.
"You do not wish to hear of any such thing. I wish I had never told you!"
"But I do! Please Ameil…I wish to-" He stopped himself, clearing his throat quickly, sensing he was losing the moment.
"I want to dance with you," he said decisively.
She glared at him.
"You make fun of me. I told you you would!" She then resumed her pointless search in her bag.
"No, no!" he heard his voice rising and he tried hard to keep himself from an insatiable urge to leap out of his chair.
"No," he said in a much quieter voice, leaning slightly over the table, his hand outstretched. She looked up, firstly at his hand, then to give him a mistrustful stare.
"May I have this dance?" he asked in a very soft voice.
Her eyes widened and then swept around the dozen or so couples surrounding them. He gave her a soft smile as he thought she looked like a frightened sparrow.
"Frederic, I don't know what you're playing at, but you'd better be joking," she whispered furiously.
He continued his soft smile and took one of her hands gently as he slowly began to rise from his chair.
"Don't you-" she tried to protest, but let go of her bag as he came forward, pulling her gently up from her chair and putting an arm around her waist. He didn't respond, but rested his cheek lightly against the side of her head, and began humming with the background café music as he swayed her slowly on the spot. She blushed as couples around noticed them and began to applaud and whistle. An excited chatter rippled through the afternoon patrons and another two or three couples got up and began to sway with them. She gave a weak smile back at some who grinned at her and then purposefully buried her face in his chest with a groan.
"I do not like you, Frederic," she said, her voice muffled. But he heard her and his grin only became wider.
"I know," he replied simply. "It's why you love me."
He felt her head move and he knew she was smiling.
A/N: Leave a review and let me know what you think! Also, check out my other novel length stories still in progress...