I can see that ALL of you are biting your nails in anticipation of Smussers break… as am I.
I stayed close to Natalia as I walked down the cobblestone streets to an unknown destination on an expedition (outing) that Angelo was leading.
“Why did he come along?” Natalia hissed/whispered through gritted teeth as she jabbed a judging finger in Damian’s direction.
“Your brother invited him along, don’t ask me.” I bent down to answer her in equal volume. Natalia quickened her pace to join Damian and Angelo who were walking ahead of us and gestured that she wanted to talk to Angelo. Damian caught her drift and smoothly lagged behind so that Natalia could talk to Angelo.
Damian approached me and I immediately straightened my back and ran my fingers through my hair, as if in a last ditch effort to make myself look acceptable. Over Damian’s approaching shoulder, I could see Natalia’s face turn livid and she hissed/ranted at Angelo in rapid Spanish.
“So, what’s a girl like you doing in a place like Chanal?” Damian asked causally. I thought how to best formulate the answer to make myself seem the most interesting.
“A girl like what?” I asked raising my eyebrows trying to look as beautiful as possible.
Damian looked at me as if I were a challenge.
“A girl like…” he gestured to me, my face. “I mean you look like a girl who is used to the first class treatment. Why would you uproot that to live here?”
I looked down and smiled, interlacing my fingers together. “The same reason as you I guess, I mean you’re here to help people, to you know… make a difference. I mean isn’t that what everybody wants to do?”
As I said this, the dazzling smile that was etched on his face surged ever so slightly. As if I was wrong.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, bending my face toward his. His proud, manly features rippled, and for a second, I could see the messed up child beneath. A child begging for a way out from this maze of fame and public influence.
“You’re so…pure, I mean, you’re so sure about what you want to do. And… it’s really great… Just never change, okay Harper.” He put his hand on my shoulder and I felt a tremor shake through me, I hoped that he wouldn’t notice how nervous I was to even be talking to him. His firm hand which was resting on my shoulder slid ever so slowly to my forearm then my hand, I felt pins and needles in the trialing his touch. My skin froze over as the blood boiled underneath. His face was firm as his eyes resembled those of a scared child. His fingers intertwined with mine.
It took me a while to realize that I WAS HOLDING HANDS WITH THE DAMIAN DELUCA!
We walked like that for a few more blocks as the children were walking, Angelo walking like he owned the world, a young gleeful smile cavorting on his face. On the other hand was Natalia, who for some unknown reason was walking blank-faced, stiffly at Angelo’s side. As Angelo’s expedition came to an end, we found ourselves at the center of Chanal. There was a magnificent marble water fountain in the center of the square and lights hung around each building for no apparent reason.
Angelo’s face lit up brighter than the strung lights, my heart was doing jumping jacks and the wings of thousands of butterflies were beating against the walls of my chest. Damian saw my expression and smiled, his grip on my hand tightened and yet all the same became even more gentle. I tried to keep from giggling and squealing like a little girl. Natalia looked at us with a look of utter discomfort. I made a curious face but she brushed me off.
Angelo led us through the square and I saw the shabby, but equally magnificent amusement park which was his real motives. Natalia continued to look uncomfortable. Angelo grabbed Damian by the hand and whisked him away to get tickets, while I was left alone with Natalia. It seemed that as Damian left, so did her feelings of discomfort. What was it about Damian that made Natalia so uneasy? What did she discover in the short five minutes before we left her home?
To be continued…