Never Ending Charming Evening - 3 (UNEDITED DRAFT)

 

“Sorry I’m late.”

“You seem to be making it a habit.” 

She smiled as a heartfelt smile spread across the smooth, dark skin on the man’s face. His eyes searched her, taking her in. She wasn’t much to look at in dress slacks and a blouse. The suite jacket she was wearing most of the day inside the air conditioned space was draped over her arm. “At least I had your number this time so I could let you know.” She strolled up beside him and faced a piece of artwork that he was also contemplating.

She cocked her head to the side. “Hmmm. Most art I don’t get at all. This makes perfect sense to me.”

“Art and science coming together and making sense. That is a rarity which was why I had to make it to this exhibit.”

“Do we know who the artists are?” They strolled to the next piece.

“An assortment but I think they’re all local.”

“Students?”

“Maybe some of them, but it’s a sponsored exhibit so I think it’s professional artists teaming up with scientists to create their pieces.”

“Woah!” She let her head fall to the side as she examined the large twisting piece looming above her. “How do you think they made this?”

He pointed to the plaque in front of it. “Twisted metal under polymer gelled plastic, air brushed finish. ‘Molecular Fusion’ Is the title of the piece.” He took a step back and crossed his arms over his chest regarding the piece. “What do you think is the story behind it?”

“Connectivity, bonding, The entire concept of fusion is taking two separate things and making it into one so that neither exist, but they coexist as a single entity.”

“It’s how some think relationships should be.”

“But you don’t?”

“Do you?”

“Oh, smooth, but I asked first.” She wandered over to the next piece eyeing him over her shoulder. The corner of his mouth pulled up and he followed after her.

“We were made to be individuals even in a combined relationship we still hold that form.”

“Do couples not take on personality traits of their spouse, do they not act and move as one?”

“Of course they do, that’s the miracle of the thing. When I think of fusion I think of two separte things going into something and coming out melded together so that neither individual identity exists anymore as they’ve combined into one. It’s a new thing, Like an alloy mix tin and copper you get bronze a new thing. Relationships are, combining, but more like a chopped salad. If need be you could tease apart the bits and pieces that make it up even if it’s not easy it’s doable.”

“Are children not a fusion of sorts?”

“I could buy that. Characteristics from both parents are present, but the child has properties or characteristics independent of the parents making it unique. I like that comparison.”

“Without knowing the outcome of blended characteristics for our offspring, how do we pick our mates?”

“You’re just full of deep thought provoking questions this late afternoon, aren't you?”

She laughed her insides fluttered when his hand easily clasped hers as they walked to the next installation. “It’s nice not being on the receiving end of the inquiries with inquisitive eyes looking back at you expectedly to have the best thought in the room.”

He leaned into her making her look up at him from under her lashes. Her eyes couldn’t stop darting over his face and landing on his lips. His mouth pulled up at the corner making her find his dark brown orbs gazing down at her with mischief in their depth. “Off that I could launch into a slew of questions inquiring about how your lecture went this morning, but seems like you’re tired of being the smartest person in the room.”

She smiled and leaned into him where he took her suit jacket and put his arm around her. Her arm easily slid around his waist. As if they’d done just that for ever. “I feel bad because we have yet to address your myriad of questions.”

“I’m okay with kicking that can down the road saving it for another day.”

“Another non food trapping date that I can stay as long or as short as I so choose?”

He shrugged humor in his voice. “Maybe we break the first rule and do a delicious food trap later in said evening.”

“Skip the dessert?”

“If you insist, though I have in mind a dessert that you just might like.”

She scrunched her face up and looked at him eliciting a laugh. “Just be open to trying it. I really think you might like it. Rich, but not sweet.”

“Not sure I’ve heard of any such thing.”

“Oh, I can’t wait to turn you on to it.”

Her insides moved at the thought of him turning her on to anything. 

“All this talk about food reminded me I skipped lunch. Are you hungry? I saw a street vendor right outside the museum that smelled promising with a line to back it up.”

“I could eat.” She, more than hunger, really just didn’t want to leave his side, not quite yet. When she was with him, a virtual stranger, she felt normal. It was strange to think about, she never knew normal. Processing and synthesizing information was her normal, but she spent enough time around people to know that it wasn’t what everyone else did. She loved her gift, her mind, but it felt good just being with someone without them trying to tap into her genius. 

A few moments later he handed her a savory crepe, paid the vendor and they were strolling along together again heading who knows where. “What were you doing this morning? I’m sure you weren’t just waiting around to eat street crepes and look at strange science art.”

He laughed. “Unfortunately I do have a business to run. I was at a photoshoot this morning actually.”

“Oh really? For what, if I’m allowed to ask.”

He smirked down at her. “It’s for a fundraiser that I’m hosting to help children with dyslexia.”

“Oh that’s really neat.”

“Yeah, it’s close to my heart. It culminates in a big to do where all the donors get together and wear their pearls and diamonds and brag about how much they contributed. It’s the Stacey Clide Enrichment Gayla up in the Bay Area.”

“Oh yeah, I have a coworker who’s attending that event. It’s in a couple weeks right?”

“Yeah, hey, I still need a date if you’re available that night.”

She’d just stuffed the rest of the food in her mouth.

He laughed softly. “I didn’t mean to put you on the spot like that.”

She chewed and swallowed. “I’m really no good at events like those.”

“It might be fun, get you out of your typical environment. You won’t have to be Dr. Kindheart knower of all things.”

Her choked back a laugh. “Tempting, but I’m not sure I’d ever use Gayla and fun in the same sentence.”

He laughed out loud the sound making her laugh too. “That’s a fair statement. Perhaps fun was a bit too optimistic.” He choked on his words when he looked at her facial expression. “You’re right. They are in many ways kind of dismal affairs, but I don’t hate them.”

“Let me guess,” She eyed his from the side. “You’re the guy that roams around the room and interjects in any conversation. Everyone knows you and loves to see you then you’re out and on to the next thing.”

“Am I so predictable?”

She shrugged. “I am a social scientist. It’s what I do.”

“Ha! Fair enough. I’m also usually the first one to leave too.”

“Yep, while I’m stuck in a conversation with someone who got an emphasis in their undergrad degree in philosophy.”

He pulled her closer to his side. “Lucky for you I don’t do stuck, but I do  give rides.” He stopped walking and unlocked a BMW i8 in front of them.” She raised an eyebrow and looked up to find an arrogant smirk on his face. “What were you expecting? A Toyota?”

“Honestly?”

“Please.” He opened the door that swung upwards.

“I didn’t really think about it.” She got inside and inhaled the new car smell. He got into the drivers side. “You said you were taking a car ride service so figured I could drop you off. What hotel are you staying in?”

“Um, the Brightmore, but--uh--”

She broke off and glanced out her window.

“But what? What’s wrong?”

She looked back at him when she heard the concern in the heavy base of his voice.

She smiled but didn’t feel it echo from her insides. “Nothing.”

“Lies benefit no one.” She looked down at his warm hand covering hers.

She swallowed the warm swimming movement of her insides made her suddenly aware of how close the space was, how private it was. She had to look away to get the words out. 

“I’m just not sure I’m ready to go back to the hotel yet.” She glanced up at him from under her lashes for a minute then back down.

She felt the loss of his hand when he removed it from over hers but had no time to dwell on that when he started the beast of a car up.

Her surprised squeak was lost in the heavy rumbling vibrations of the car’s live engine. When she found his face his mouth that lifted in a mischievous smirk. “There’s a floral garden that has night flowers. They should be blooming soon.”

He gaze fell to his hand that he turned palm up facing her and she slid her hand into his with a giddy smile pushing up from her insides to her face.

 

 

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-ALEX

 

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