“Where are you taking me?” I touched the blindfold, his fingers were wrapped around my arm to keep me from tripping over my feet. I knew we were still outside because I can still feel the cold breeze on my skin.
“Stop asking.” He said impatiently.
“I just want to point out that I do not like surprises.”
“Everyone likes surprises.” He retorted.
“Do you?” I asked before my feet hit something and I almost tripped. Cassius’s fast catch caught me before I got hurt.
Clicking his tongue, I heard him growl impatiently. “Leo and his stupid ideas.”
“What?” I frowned. I swear I heard him say Leo, whoever he was.
“Nothing.” He muttered. “And no, I don’t like surprises.”
“Ha. The irony.” I smiled.
We walked for what felt like a long time before he stopped me. I felt him trying to remove the blindfold. When he did, I had to blink hard and fast until my eyes adjusted. Gasping at the stunning sight in front of me I couldn’t help but smile.
Meteor lights dropped from an arched white pergola space. Homemade cypress tips hung from down the arch making it look rustic and festive. It looked magical—like little tiny stars. On the other side of the pergola was an ice rink.
However, the ice rink was empty. I sulked and looked back at him, feeling sadden at the fact that I won’t get to skate.
“Is the place closed already?” The disappointment clear in my voice.
“No, I rented the place for the night. It is just you and me.” He answered, looking down at me.
“This is perfect.” I whispered in awe, glancing back at the pergola entrance.
“So I am forgiven?” He asked.
“Not yet, mister.” I grabbed his hand and we hurried into the magical pergola space towards the ice rink.
Thirty minutes later, him and I had on our ice skates. He insisted on putting mine on for me. Excited, I rushed towards the ice rink and skated to the middle. When I turned around he was standing at the edge, looking at the ice.
“What are you waiting for?” I asked.
He looked back at me, “I have never skated before.”
I laughed, “You live in Alaska, Cassius. You can’t tell me you haven’t skated at least once.”
When he looked at me with no laughter in his face, I knew he was telling the truth.
“Then why did you bring me here?” I asked, feeling completely puzzled from his choice in second date. Then I remembered he mentioned a Leo. I skated back to him, taking his hands in mine, I attempted to pull him onto the ice rink.
“I can teach you.” I told him.
“No, I’ll just watch you.” He tugged his hands back.
“Oh c’mon, you can’t tell me you’re scared to hurt yourself.” I pushed further, tugging at his hands.
“It’s not that. I am just interested in skating. I’ll watch you.” I knew there was no way I will be able to pull this huge man onto the ice rink if he didn’t want to.
I huffed and released his hands before skating around the ice rink a few times. He watched me patiently and when I slipped on my skate and skid onto my butt. He was up from his seat in an instant and skating towards me—well at least trying to skate towards me. His arms were flailing like a chicken who was running while flapping its arm.
It was a hilarious sight. At first it was just a giggle but when he fell onto his butt too in his attempt to get to me, I laughed harder.
“That’s it. I’m done.” He growled and moved to grab his skates.
“No!” I said in between laughs. Quickly, I skated towards him and took hold of his hands. “Please skate with me. It will make me happy. We can go slow if you want.”
He eyed me for a minute before nodding. I helped to the best I can in getting him up but he did most of the work. When he stood up on his feet again, I skated back with my feet and told him to look at mine to see how I did it to keep on my feet.
At first, he was hesitant but then he felt more confident. My smile was so bright I swear it reached ear to ear. It was exciting to see him skate and I don’t even know why.
“That’s it! You’re doing it.” I encouraged before turning around. I settled his hands on my hips.
“Follow my lead.” I ordered.
We skated around the ice rink a few times before I felt the head of one of his skates hit the back of my skate. I let out a squeal and knew immediately that we were going to fall. I lost my balance and in turn he lost his. I closed my eyes and brace for impact but it never came.
When I opened my eyes, I was on top of his body and his arms was around me.
“H-how-what?” I said in confusion.
“You will never get hurt when you are around me.” He pointed out. It wasn’t supposed to come out sweet but it did and I felt heat rising from my neck to my cheeks.
“Thank you.” I whispered before my eyes fluttered to his lips. They were right there. Warm and inviting. If I would to just lean down, my lips will be touching his.
“Amelia.” He said my name softly in a husky tone.
“Hm…” I answered but my eyes were still on his lips, before I knew what I was doing, my lips were on his.
I imagined my first kiss to be more…experienced. A second later, I lifted my head and opened my mouth to apologize.
“I am so sor-“
One of his hand went to the back of my head and he lifted his. This time he was the one guiding the kiss. He brought in my lower lips between his and lightly sucked. My toes curled in my skates and my heart started beating rapidly. Invisible sparks flew and sizzled between us. Tingle spread from where our lips were touching and spread like a warm fire through my body. It was unreal, magical. My eyes fluttered close and I allowed him to take over the kiss.
It was soft and sensual. He took his time in tasting me. When I felt his tongue, I almost stopped breathing. It was heavenly and even hotter. I felt my body come alive and if I mentioned about sexual frustration before. It was worse now. I clung to his jacket. My first digging in and keeping him there as I timidly played with his tongue.
Cassius didn’t push or rush. He allowed me to take the lead in how much I wanted to go. When I finally pulled back, he dropped his hand to his side. We were both breathing hard.
“Wow.” I whispered in bewilderment. The shameless part of me wanted to dive right in for another but I reluctantly pushed off his chest. We sat on the cold ice next to each other.
He took in a deep breath and closed his eyes as if he was trying to calm down before opening them again.
“I have dinner ready for us in the Fairbanks Hall.” He said before standing up and giving me his hand to take.
Together, we skated towards back to take off our skates and put on our snow boots. He put away our skates by the ice rink counter before taking hold of my hand. In his hand, my hand felt like a baby’s hand but his hand was so warm against the cold and we have been outside long enough.
The Fairbanks Hall was just as decorated as the ice rink. Long meteor lights hung from the cherry wood vaulted ceilings. He took me past the lobby and the front desk before guiding me past two wooden cherry oak doors. We entered the hall where a round table for two was set up.
The table was delicately decorated and plates of warm comfort food was waiting. I moved to take off my jacket to be hung. He helped me hang it up along with his before we went to sit down. I rubbed my hands together and blew into them to warm them up.
“I’m hungry.” I announced like a child.
He chuckled and pulled out my chair. I thanked him before sitting down. We ate in comfortable silence, exchanging conversation here and there. After I was full, I sat my fork down and picked up my warm cup of hot chocolate. He was still eating.
While watching him, I recalled what he said from outside the bar. He said that our third encounter was fate. Did he believe in it?
Can I picture a future with him? Can he be the one?
You already stayed passed the one week you claim you will be staying. Might as well marry him.
We finished dinner and got back into his jeep. It was only five in the evening but it was already dark outside. I told him I needed to restock my kitchen and he offered to drive me to the grocery store. We were on our way there. The road was long and quiet. Only a few cars and trucks passed us by.
“Thank you for tonight. I had a lot of fun.” I told him from the passenger seat.
He glanced over at me, “You’re welcome. I enjoyed every second of it.”
I played with the end of my jacket shyly, “Do you believe in fate?”
His eyebrows furrowed a little and he looked at me questionably. I shrugged and continued, “You know when you told me at the bar. That our meeting was fate.”
“It is fate.” He replied simply.
“So, you do believe in it?” I asked.
He chuckled a little, “Yes, I believe in fate. I also believe in soulmates.”
“Soulmates?” It was my turn to question him.
“Yes, someone that is made for you. Your other half. The one that completes you.” He glanced at me before flickering his eyes back on the road.
“That will be amazing…to have someone for me. Made perfectly for me.” I whispered in a melancholic tone. The urge to believe was enormous and the urge to believe that fate chose him to be my soulmate was even more desperate.
A few minutes later, Cassius spoke, “Amelia-“
But his sentence was stopped short when bright lights flashed to my right. I turned to see who it was and if they will stop when I realized it wasn’t stopping and come at us at full speed, I opened my mouth to scream only to feel the impact of the vehicle hitting my side and darkness blurring my vision.