It was 8:30 am in the morning; I was enjoying a rather sumptuous breakfast at an open deck restaurant facing the sea. I loved the set up of the restaurant, nothing fancy it had that rustic touch, the place was adorned with white Adirondack chairs and tables.
After enjoying the view of the beautiful sunrise from my room balcony, watching as the sun bathes the vast Mediterranean Sea with its golden tresses, I made sure to take some pictures of it with my phone and send it to Jemi. Since I didn’t want to linger in my room anymore, I decided to get ready for the day and maybe exploring the place and find a restaurant and sample on some authentic Greek breakfast and start my day.
I wore a string strap white lace bodice floral Zimmermann dress, which slit on the left side of my leg stopping just above the knee and finished the look with flat beige angle wrap with criss-cross at the front. I put all my necessities in my brown oversized tote bag and of course carried my flippy wide-brimmed summer beach straw bow hat. Feeling comfortable with my look I pushed off from the hotel.
The breakfast I ordered at the restaurant was pure heaven, I ordered the bread that was freshly baked in a traditional oven topped with mushroom scrambled eggs and fresh cherry tomatoes served with Greek yogurt mixed with local honey and a bowl of colorful assorted fresh fruits and of course black coffee.
After demolishing the food before me, feeling rather too full for my own comfort, I decided to leave. The view from the restaurant and its ambiance were tempting me to linger on. But I reluctantly asked for the bill from the waiter and dragged myself out of the restaurant.
The sun was already doing its work of heating up the Island, so I wore my hat and sunglasses and put the sea green summer cashmere scarf (which I got it on sale last summer) around my shoulder and embarked on my mission to explore.
After hours of exploring, visiting some historical places and places here and there, having lunch as well along my way which I enjoyed it too as much as I enjoyed my breakfast this morning, the time flew so fast, it was already 6 pm in the evening the heat of the sun was beginning to settle down.
I was mindlessly strolling on a deck by the sea; the cool breeze from the sea was a welcome relief from the heat. There were boats and also some luxurious yacht parked near the deck, it was not crowded with people, just some handful. I thought of walking until the end of the deck and sit at the edge and enjoy the view.
I took out my phone to click a picture of the view and realized I had messages from Jemi in whats app, I stopped in my tracks and checked the messages it was a video from Jemi. I opened it and it was Jemi with a close friend of ours from college days, Michael Coban, judging by the noise in the background, it seemed like they were in a nightclub. Literally screaming as they speak, saying I should do right by them by hooking up with a Greek man and also that they miss me.
I laughed heartily watching the video; I was still smiling as I reached the edge of the deck. I sat down keeping my bag and the sun hat beside me, the cool sea breeze blowing my hair, mindlessly swinging my feet in the air, wishing my feet could touch the water, I took a selfie grinning from ear to ear and send it to Jemi. It was total blissful, I was thoroughly enjoying myself lost in my own thoughts, not realizing someone not far from me standing over a luxurious yacht was observing me this whole time.
Finally after a long day of work and finalizing a billion dollar deal with the Greek shipping tycoon Paul Stavros, I changed into casuals from my regular designer suit and decided to unwind for the day at my yacht, not wanting to go back to my villa just yet.
My best friend Sebastian Collins had called me earlier to join him in Athens for a party at his club. But I declined, I wanted to just unwind and be alone tonight, the week had been pretty hectic for me finalizing the deal and now that I have wrapped the deal, I wanted to just relax for a quiet evening.
I took my personal butler and the captain and sailed around the vast sea for an hour or so. Finally, when it parked not far from the deck, not wanting to go to my villa just yet I stood at the helm of the yacht sipping on a glass of cool Krug Clos d’Ambonnay champagne, enjoying the breeze and the view.
Just as I was immersed in the view before me, I averted my eyes towards the deck and I saw a perfect damsel strolling down the deck. She stopped midway and was engrossed with her phone, whatever she saw in the phone must be funny because she laughed heartily, as she came nearer to my view, I noticed that she was still smiling.
She had chocolate brown hair which was shoulder length, her nice toned leg was visible from the open slit of her dress; she seemed to have a delicate figure but still had those womanly curves. I saw her settling down at the edge of the deck mindlessly swinging her feet, taking a picture of her, the wind was blowing her hair in her face, I wondered what her eye color must be and the sound of her voice.
Did she catch my interest, Yes, why? I didn’t know. Part of me wanted to just ignore her and go back to my villa but the feeling of wanting to know her was more than ignoring her.
I am not desperate, I’m used to bedding and dating gorgeous different women, casual relationships are my thing and I have no problem with having women at my side always. I am wealthy and not so sour in the eye. As arrogant as I may sound but I never needed to trouble myself in getting women, they come to me.
But right now I was rather acting desperate about a stranger, I wanted to know her. I’ll be leaving for New York tomorrow, and it won’t be a pleasant journey because someone has inconveniently occupied my mind and I needed to settle it. I saw her standing up and adjusting her dress, realizing that she was leaving, I quickly gulped down the last remaining champagne and decided to go and meet her.
I was so engrossed in my own thoughts and the perfect view before me, that I didn’t realize I was sitting here far longer than I planned on staying. I still wanted to explore some places before retiring for today. I stood up and adjusted my dress and sling the bag over my shoulders and clutching my hat and scarf in my right hand I started walking, absentmindedly debating whether I should come back here again tomorrow.
The breeze from the sea blew my hair on my face making me close my eyes at the impact. Trying to adjust the hair away from my face, I dropped the hat accidentally in the process.
And as I bend down to pick it up, I managed to grab the hat but the soft breeze from the sea easily blew the thin scarf away from me. I run towards it afraid that it might get blown in the water and I might lose it.
I didn’t notice the manly hands picking it up for me,” having trouble with the breeze?” spoke a deep voice.
I was almost bending down to pick up the scarf, but the deep voice immediately got my attention and I finally straightened myself and paid my attention to the person standing before me.
What I saw before me send an alien tingling sensation in my stomach. The specimen standing before me was how should I say? Well, he was a very good looking man. The first thing I noticed was his hauntingly deep gray-blue eyes which held mine with such great intensity, I couldn’t look away. His presence had a commanding air around him speaking out that he was not an ordinary man. The only word I could describe him, for now, is enigmatic.
I noticed he had nicely groomed dark hair and a concrete jaw occupied by a neatly groomed beard. He was dressed casually, but in a very classy way, the way the light blue half sleeve chambray button-down shirt hugged his body showed that he had a perfectly toned body underneath that shirt. He was wearing a dark navy blue shorts that were just above his knees and a casual white shoe completed his whole look.
I was stumped, I didn’t know what to say, I just managed to smile at him and muttered a soft almost a whispered thank you. I finally managed to avert my eye away from his steady gaze, as he handed me the scarf.
Apart from the barely whispered thank you I couldn’t continue to say anything; I felt a knot in my throat, fighting the whole time the frog inside my throat. As I took the scarf from his hand, our hands brushed each other lightly and that seconds of skin contact sent an electrifying sensation throughout my whole body.
I was a nervous wreck!
Since I didn’t make a move of furthering the conversation, he finally spoke with his gaze still locked on me,” why do I have a feeling that you are not from here?”
Mastering all courage I gazed at him, but since he was way too tall for my 5′6 height, he must be at least 6 feet 2 inches or more. I had to strain my neck a little to meet his gaze, he was smiling at me and I noticed that he had a deep dimple on his right cheek.
“You guessed right,” I smiled back,” what about you, are you from here?” although judging by his accent which was same as mine, I had a feeling he was not.
“I am here for business actually. I’m based in New York.”
I got excited at the mention of the place,” Ah small world! I’m from New York too.”
He smiled still maintaining the eye contact,” So two blue-blooded, New Yorkers in a Grecian Island huh!” Which earned a smile from me.
“I am Dominic King by the way,” he extended his hand towards me for, I shook his hand. His grip was strong, which definitely showed confidence.
I was so nervous that I stuttered while introducing myself,” I...I am Arabella Dickens,” my subconscious mind screaming at me- woman get it together.
“Arabella,” he pronounced all the four syllables in my name clearly. My name sounded so nice on his lips, thinking of it made me flush, I could feel my cheeks burn.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Arabella,” he finally let go of my hand gently.
I returned the gesture too and was debating whether I should just tell him bye and leave; we were still facing each other.
“So where are you headed to now?” he asked.
“I was thinking of checking out those little shops along the narrow cobbled streets, not far from here.”
“If it’s okay with you, can I join you? I feel like going for a stroll and what better way then someone from back home, who also happens to be really beautiful,” the last words were said rather teasingly with a smirk on his face.
I know the stranger danger drill, I mean who hasn’t right? All of us have been ingrained by our elders with it since we started recognizing and acknowledging other people other than our family.
But instead of politely declining his offer, I heard myself saying, “why not, I could use some company, let’s go,” I subconsciously told myself, it’s just a stroll and I’ll be perfectly safe. I mean the place will be buzzing with people and he wouldn’t dare do anything funny even if he wants to.
We walked side by side our bodies occasionally brushing lightly. We were both quiet, but for some strange reason, I was not feeling uncomfortable with the silence between us. I occasionally threw sneaky glances towards him.
“I like your name, it suits you.” He stated in a low voice.
I blushed at that, the way I was behaving and reacting to him was completely out of character for me,” you know, apart from my teachers back in high school and college, hardly anyone addresses me that way. I go by the short form of my name Ell.” Smiling giving him a side glance but blushed deeply noticing that he did the same. Eyes held each other for few seconds conveying unknown emotions.
“I am going to address you that way only and I hope I get to do that many times,” He said matter of factly.
I was little confused by what he meant, but before I could fill the dotted lines of my confusion we were already in the narrow cobbled streets and it was crowded with people.
I was finding it difficult to navigate through the crowd, just then I felt an arm wrap around my shoulder holding me. I was startled by the sudden body contact I quickly glanced to see who it was I realized it was Dominic and instead of feeling uncomfortable, I relaxed, I told myself that I have officially lost it.
He was holding me in a very protective way, he asked me if I was fine I nodded and murmured a yes.
We entered several shops; the street was filled with tiny little shops selling all manner of beautiful fabrics, jewelry, artwork, antiques, Venetian mirrors, and souvenirs. I bought souvenirs for my assistant Alex and my close friend Michael. For grandpa I got a nice antique pocket watch and for Jemi, I got two pricey chandelier earrings, she can add them to her collections I mused as I got them, she loves earrings.
Dominic offered to pay for the things I bought but I obviously refused. We stepped inside an antique shop and he went about checking out things in the shop randomly and I was browsing through the jewelry section, I came across this beautiful jeweled vintage comb hair accessory, I fell in love with it instantly.
But my face fell when I was told that it cost $5000, it was brought to my attention that the accessory was encrusted with real diamonds. Ridiculous pricing I should say even for a diamond-encrusted comb hair accessory, but I still had that aching feeling of wanting it, I have weaknesses for vintage stuff. Admiring it for one last time I let the sells lady put it back in its rich velvet case.
I scanned for Dominic at the spot I saw him last wanting to leave, then I realized that he was standing behind me patiently waiting for me. Mortified I muttered a barely audible “let’s go” and walked towards the door wishing badly that he didn’t see my Gollum moment [from Lord of the Rings] with the hair accessory.
It was already 9 pm when we were finally done exploring the area. I was so hungry and tired as well, debating whether I should order room service or have dinner at that same restaurant I had breakfast from this morning. As it is the hotel was just ten minutes walk from there, I can eat my dinner there and go back to the hotel. The street was not that crowded anymore but he was still holding my hand and I didn’t seem to mind it. God help me, by our body language we looked as if we were couples and not strangers who got acquainted with each other just some few hours ago.
“Arabella, I have a proposition to make and I am afraid I won’t take no for an answer,” his tone laced with seriousness. The way he speaks and conducts himself has that air of authority that oozes out power and sexiness at the same time.
I got worried by the statement he made just now. We stopped walking, we were now standing in an open space, and he was still holding my hand with his right hand and the other hand he was holding my purchases, which he insisted on carrying it while I shopped freely.
Feeling a little apprehensive to speak out, I nervously glanced at him,” what is the proposition, Dominic?”
He smiled gazing down at me realizing the hand that held my hand this whole time and brushed off the hair from my face and tugged it behind my right ear that the cool evening breeze managed to blow. Hm, I guess the Grecian breeze is obsessed with my hair today, been a victim of it the whole evening.
“Dine with me, and I’ll be paying,” I opened my mouth to protest not for dining with him, but on the paying part, I can pay for my dinner I don’t want him taking the trouble. He silenced me by keeping his index finger on my lip and continued speaking with his finger still on my lip.
“I know you are going to protest on paying your own bill, but like I said earlier I won’t take no for an answer.” It was an ultimatum. He let go of the finger from my lip and hold my hand once again. His intense gaze held mine, it was making me go crazy and making me unable to think straight.
Knowing full well he won’t budge on the paying part, I nodded,“Okay, I accept your proposition. Let the way sir.” we laughed at my little impromptu endearment.
Who would have thought that while leaving from New York for Stentorian, with that bitterness and crack in my heart? I would be laughing, smiling with not a care in the world, strolling the cobbled streets of the Stentorian Island, hand and hand with a stranger from back home.
I guess sometimes we should just let go and let destiny take over. I don’t have plans to blanch myself into a relationship, but this week I am just going to go with the flow and enjoy myself.