He stood across from her, arms at his side. She came toward him for a friendly hug. Surprised, he opened his arms to her, as she walked into his embrace. He became acutely aware that this particular hug lingered for a few more seconds than was typical.
He quickly pulled away, and said with a smile, “Shall we?” as he led her down the path into the woods.
As they walked along, he tried to focus on the green of the ferns, the felled trees, the moss growing on the rocks; anything to prevent him from staring at her beautiful dark eyes. She looked even better than in her pictures on her profile, and he felt nervous, like he had never before been around a woman.
They made small talk along the hike, that soon turned into deep conversation. Things were spoken between them that two souls generally reveal to each other only after a long period of trust has been built up. He felt deeply connected to her. He wanted to let her know, but did not want to come off as overly aggressive or as if he was trying to place expectations on her.
Like so many others, both had been hurt before. Both were leery of getting emotionally attached to someone again. For her, the pain was more recent, and yet she talked to him as if they had known each other forever. He started to wonder what her lips would feel like pressed against his. He wanted to gently brush the hair from the side of her face and assure her that he would never intentionally harm her. As she spoke of her life, obligations and priorities he finally made his intentions clear. “I have no need to be your first priority. I do not want to be your life. I simply want to be in it. I fancy you.”
“I fancy you?” he asked to himself in disgust. “What kind of American man tells an American woman that he fancies her?” He had always liked the term, because he thought it was less possessive sounding then the typical, “I want you”; but still, he was not in the UK. This was not the BBC, and she was not from London.
And then he saw her smile, and she bit her lip. He gently placed his hand on the side of her face, and leaned in to kiss her softly, building to a passionate kiss that left both of their knees weak.
“Well, I fancy you too,” she replied. “But there are complications.”
He knew what the complications were already, from the talks they had before the meeting, and while they were walking. It didn’t phase him. “If there is anything you should know about me by now, it is that I am very good at overcoming complications. No pressure, no expectations, but I am open to this…to you.”
She kissed him this time.
He wanted her to know he was interested in her for something real, so he told her he needed to go and asked to see her again.
She said that she would love to see him again and they made plans for dinner a few days later.
She waited at the restaurant for a few hours before giving up and driving back to her home. On the way, she passed the scene of an accident.