When Lightning Strikes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 9 (v.1)

Submitted: December 24, 2011

Reads: 590

Comments: 10

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 24, 2011

A A A

A A A

Upon hearing the doorbell ringing, I pushed myself off the thin blankets on my bed and quickly descended down the staircase. I was glad that today would be a more relaxing day. After shopping yesterday for the engagement party, my legs were tired.

“I’ll get it!” I called to my mother, who was watching Oprah in the lounge room.

“Is it Vince?” she asked. “Ask him to stay for dinner, darling!”

I laughed as I opened the door. “No mom, it’s Ruby!”

Ahh, mom. It was as if she herself was entranced by Vince. She had asked him endless questions about living in Paris and all about his family and his likes and dislikes, and had now planned the dinner menu if he were to come over again.

Once Ruby greeted mom, we both went up to my bedroom. For the five minutes before she had arrived here, I had been nervously fidgeting, thinking about how to tell her that I had a boyfriend. Well, not a boyfriend … a … what was Vince exactly? He had never asked me to be his girlfriend – we had only gone on dates.

Instead, I decided to divert the direction of the conversation to her. “So, have you told Lorelei about Prince Charming?”

Before plopping myself on my bed, I reached for the small tin of chocolates on my vanity. Vince had brought them for me and I loved the thoughtful gift. They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but to me it was chocolate. After twisting the lid open, I offered one to Ruby and took one for myself.

As Ruby hesitantly took one, she blushed, embarrassed that she was caught. That meant she was still thinking about him and was excited enough to share the news with someone else other than me. It wasn’t that Lorelei wasn’t a good friend. Ruby was just slightly a reserved person and didn’t like babbling about her private life to just anyone. She usually told Lorelei the important stuff, but not things like her weird habits or her opinion on Brad Pitt.

“Mhmm. You know … she reacted exactly like you,” she mused.

A small smile grew on my face. My mind was formulating a plan. I had no idea if we would be able to go through with it, but hopefully it would work out. I was sure Lorelei would be willing to help search for Ruby’s man. If we could keep an eye out for dashing guys with dark curly hair, a strong figure and dark eyes, we’d find him.

But then when you thought about it, there were hundreds of men who looked like that. Gosh! Why?!

“Both of you are way too interested in my love life,” Ruby said with a hint of laughter in her voice. “Do you remember when I started talking to Don on Facebook? And the both of you became so excited that you urged him to ask me on a date?”

I slushed. That hadn’t been my finest moments. ‘Don’ turned out to be Ruby’s cousin, instead of a random, cute stranger from Ireland. I had been absolutely mortified when I found out, but that’s what I get for sticking my nose into my best friend’s business.

“Oh shush, he was pretty good-looking.”

Ruby looked scandalised. “Gracie! He’s my cousin!” she squealed.

I giggled and sat down next to her on the bed. “I know.” Then, I remember all about the news with Vince and decided that it was time to tell her. “By the way, you’ll never guess what happened.”

She lifted an eyebrow at the change of the subject. “An elephant came knocking at your door?”

“Not quite.” Vince was no elephant – more like a graceful panther. I laughed shakily and took a deep breath before saying, “I’m dating someone.”

She didn’t even bat an eyelash, but a supportive smile did spread across her glossy lips. I wasn’t surprised that she wasn’t shrieking – she was used by these announcements for now. Then, she said the three words she always said whenever I managed to snag a boy.

“Who, where, when?”

I launched into the story of my French dream boy appearing on my doorstep. I had already told her about him through Skype when I had been living in Paris, but not everything, the way a best friend should. Here, I could tell her so much more without worrying about the time or whether my roommate was listening in to our conversation.

“We were about to kiss in the kitchen, but then my dad walked in,” I finished, after a few minutes of telling her every single detail I could think of.

She rubbed my shoulder soothingly. “He’s just being a father, G. He’ll come to his senses soon. And anyway, remember that you’re really lucky! For him to be actually letting you see Vince is a miracle! I’m surprised he was allowed in the house, actually …”

I snorted, thinking of dad’s smug expression when he had stopped us from sharing what might have been a passionate kiss. “Same.”

“He really loves you, doesn’t he?”

I thought about the conversation my father and I had about his health and realised she was right. “Yeah, he does …”

Seeing that I was uncomfortable, Ruby changed the subject. “You’re so lucky, G. I totally approve of this new, special man. Have I mentioned that?”

“I know.” Of course he was. I loved his great sense of humour, his dark and handsome looks and his intelligent thoughts on literature, art and politics.

“And let’s not forget the most important thing – you’re special too. Don’t let him put you down in any way!”

“I know,” I repeated, half-smiling. “He wouldn’t put me down, Ruby. You don’t need to worry.”

We both beamed at each other, but I had the feeling that Ruby’s was more strained. I shouldn’t be talking all about Vince when she was missing her Prince Charming. This wasn’t right at all.

* * *

“Bonjour, Mrs Elwood.”

“Vince! You came for dinner!” I watched as mom enveloped him in a light hug. “And please stop with the ‘Mrs Elwood’ nonsense – I already asked you to call me Evelyn.”

He chuckled and smoothly pronounced mom’s name with a hint of a French accent. “I’m sorry, Evelyn.” Even mom swooned. “I’m actually here to pick up Gracie. She has told you about meeting my aunt?”

I heard my father scoff from the lounge room. He was still sullen around my new found boyfriend, but I couldn’t blame him.

Realisation dawned on my mother’s face. I had told her a few hours ago, but it seemed that she had forgotten. “Oh! Of course! Yes, yes!” She paused, as if unsure what to say. “But you must stay for a few minutes, Vince. I wish to give some macaroons to your aunt. Gracie can't go there without bearing gifts!"

Vince shook his head. “Oh no, you do not have to-”

“Just wait here, I’ll find them in the pantry!”

Mom led us into the dining room, where Aubrey was working on a case in the corner. She typed away on her laptop and had papers strewn across the wooden desk. The only time she made a mess like this was when she was working really hard on a case.

“Hello Aubrey,” Vince greeted.

My sister looked up slowly from the screen. “Vince,” was all she said.

I decided that this wasn’t the type of environment that my boyfriend should be exposed to and decided to bring him up to my room while mom tried to find the macaroons. “Mom! Vince and I will be right back!”

“Alright, but keep the door open!” She told us. I had the feeling that she was saying that to stop dad from having a panic attack.

I grabbed his large hand and practically dragged him upstairs to my room. He flicked open the light switch and slowly took in my room by standing awkwardly by the door. I had never seen Vince fidget. He was always self-assured, but now he was uncomfortable? How funny.

“You can come in you know.” I giggled, which made him blush slightly and take a few steps into my room. I leaned back on the small mountain of pillows and simply left Vince to observe my room.

He traced the stencil of the Eiffel tower on the wall next to the window pane and smiled. “Do you miss the Tour Eiffel?”

I nodded. “Of course I do.”

Vince turned away, but before his back was fully to me, I caught a little smile. He continued to study my room with his observant eyes – scanning the various items on my white desk, such as the coloured stationery boxes sitting on the top shelves, the novels and stack of magazines wedged between the animal book ends on the bookcase, and Polaroids I had stuck on one side of the wall.

He traced different pictures of my family and friends, and his index finger hovered above a photo of Ruby and I grinning from ear to ear at the beach in our mathcing bikinis.

“Is this your friend?”

I nodded, enthusiastic to tell my boyfriend about my best friend. They would have to meet and get along of course. “That’s Ruby. She’s absolutely wonderful.”

He nodded thoughtfully. “Is she your best friend?”

“She is.” I paused and slipped off the bed to stand next to him. “You’ll meet her soon. I’ve told her all about you.”

Vince wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me close. “I would like to meet all of your friends. I want to be involved in your life.”

My heart fluttered at his words. Now that was a true gentleman. “Thank you, Vince. I’ll introduce you sometime.”

I smiled widely to let him know how much I loved the idea of him meeting my friends and he did the same. We both stood there silently, staring into each other’s eyes until we couldn’t handle it.

Slowly, my head tilted to the left, so I could get closer to those gorgeous pair of lips. I could feel the pressure of his hand on the small of my back, which made me press myself closer to his warmth and masculinity. Finally, our lips lingered near each other and before I knew it, my mouth was flush against his. I couldn’t have it any other way.

Someone then cleared their throat from the doorway before we could kiss anymore, and I jumped away from Vince, red in the face. Luckily, it was only mom. If it had been dad … I didn’t even want to think about it.

“I have the macaroons,” she announced with sparkling eyes.

Vince cleared his throat and took them from her. “Thank you, Mrs Elwood.”

“Evelyn,” mom reminded him, before walking back downstairs.

We both looked at each other and shared a secret smile before heading out. Dad had pulled Vince aside to ‘talk’, but I had a feeling that he threatened him to get me home on time.

“Where does your aunt live?” I asked, as Vince took a right turn.

The car started to slow down in front of a small street with a few shops and he pointed to a building nearby. “She lives on top floor of the bakery.”

Vince, being the gentleman he was, told me to stay in the car so he could open the door for me. I kissed his cheek as I stepped out of the car and onto the lamp-lit street. As we neared the bakery, I recognised it as the one Aubrey had ordered an engagement cake from. What a small world!

Vince guided me inside the dark bakery and I took in all the stacked chairs. We passed the counter and up a flight of wooden stairs, which led to a small corridor. I recognised one as a toilet and the other as an extra stock room. Before I could walk any further, Vince chuckled from beside me and pointed to another set of stairs which probably let up to the apartment.

The door was half open when we arrived, so Vince pushed open the rest of the door and called out, “Tante Florence?”

“Vince? Is that you?” A woman of average height rounded the corner with her raven hair pulled back to reveal the small, fine wrinkles on her slowly aging face. She still looked young though, especially with the bright, frilly apron she wore.

He clear eyes scanned me from head to toe. I felt like I was on for show. “So this is the famous Gracie,” she said, rather coolly.

My insides became queasy. I didn’t think Florence liked me very much.

Vince chuckled from beside me, making my eyebrows draw together quizzically. What could he find so funny at a time like this? When his aunt was scrutinizing me in a way which made me want to sink to the ground?

“Don’t be harsh. She isn’t like that.”

I turned briefly to him. Like what? I wanted to ask.

His aunt relaxed visibly and smiled at me shyly. “I’m sorry, Gracie. I was just giving you a test and you passed.”

I scrunched my nose. “A test?”

She nodded as she came forward to guide me into the small dining room. “You see, I do not want any nephew of mine dating those girls who think they are oh-so-mighty.” She patted me on my shoulder and ushered me into a chair. “I just do not Vince to be heartbroken.”

Vince coughed. “Tante …”

Heartbroken? It was great to see how his aunt cared for him even though they lived in two different countries.

“Dinner is ready!” Florence then glided back into the kitchen to bring out the steaming pot of beef stew. I could already smell the sweet, sharp spices and in queue, my stomach growled lowly. I heard Vince laugh at my excitement.

When Florence filled up my bowl, I looked down. It was definitely worth it, with the cooked brown meat, bright tomatoes, chopped celeries, onions and potatoes.

To my surprise, I refilled my plate several times. Usually I didn’t eat very much, just average, but the stew was really something.

“So Gracie, are you going to tell me the fairy-tale between you and Vince?” Florence asked with a sly grin.

Vince had the feeling that I was too scared to speak up, so he took my hand and squeezed it. “We will both tell the story, yes ma Cherie?”

I heard his aunt coo at us.

“But before that, how about we start on that raspberry cheesecake that’s just waiting to be eaten?” I suggested.

Florence laughed and pointed at me playfully. “Keep her, Vince!”


© Copyright 2019 vanessaxoxo. All rights reserved.

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