Harper sat in the Starbucks across from campus, staring at her Economics textbook, her final paper was just 3 hours away, and she couldn’t focus, her mind was back home. She was excited, she was going back to LA next week, back home after 3 years of studying abroad in the UK, and finally getting to see her grandpapa. Her parents dropped her and her older brother off and in her grandparents home, when she was just 4 years old and he was just 10 years old, unfed, dirty, and left, Her parents would send her gift cards for her birthday, and would do the same with her brother, but would never visit them, when her granny passed, her mother came back to pay respects, but did not acknowledge Harper or Heath. Grandpapa took care of them and had to return back to work in order to support them.
Harper was smart, she got offered a full scholarship to Oxford University for Economics and Management, Heath played and was good American football, so he was offered a full scholarship to University of Mississippi, and proceeded to join New York Giants, which he played for 3 years before sustaining a knee injury and retiring when he was just 25, then he opened his own sports shop and bar in LA.
Harper relied on Heath a lot growing up, and Heath protected Harper with everything he could, warding off teenage boys, Heath took on the fatherly and brotherly role, and when Harper received the scholarship, Heath threw a fit, he wasn’t happy that she wouldn’t be in the same country, eventually he gave in and visited her every month.
As she sat in the Starbucks, her mind was constantly focussed on seeing grandpapa and how she misses him, sighing, she looked up to see a guy across the room staring at her with his beautiful brown eyes, she instantly blushed as she tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, she smiled politely and looked down again, focussing on her attention to her notes. Fiddling with the corners of her notes, she was a dreamer, she would often space out and not notice her surroundings.
Buzz Buzz- Her phone vibrated, quickly checking her phone, she noticed she received a text from her best friend.
Anika : Babe! Good luck on your exams, text me once it’s over, we gotta celebrate :) Emporium?
Harper smiled, knowing that Anika is getting ready to party and get laid. Harper met Anika on her first day of orientation, Anika has beautiful dark skin and has a beautiful slender body in comparison to Harper’s curvier body, Anika is also from LA, so they were excited to go back home and start their lives together. Anika is also a commitment phobe, with her beautiful features, she..
“Ciao, I’m Liam”, snapping her out of her thoughts, the guy earlier said, with a thick italian or french accent, flashing his pearly whites at her while offering a hand.
She stood, and took his hand, “oh hey there, I’m Harper”, she smiled as he took her hand and kissed it, she felt butterflies in her stomach as he did that.
“Are you waiting for someone bellissima?”, she shook her head, unable to speak as she stared into his beautiful orbes, “May I have a seat?”
“Yeah sure” she smiled as she took her seat and gestured to him to do the same.
“You are simply beautiful, I couldn’t leave without trying to talk to you or get to know you”, Liam was being straightforward, and all Harper could do was blush. “Uhh, thank you?” she thanked him feeling nervous, she bit her lip.
“Bellissima, don’t be shy with me. Actually I would like to take you out for dinner some time, a date, I would like to get to know you” he smiled, “sorry, if I’m being too forward here”.
“Actually Liam, I’ll be going back to the US next week, so I don’t think it would be a wise idea, maybe we could be friends?” immediately Harper felt her heart twinge when she suggested they be friends. She had a boyfriend before, Heath would never let her, any guy she dated Heath would scare him off.
“Oh no, I won’t be here long as well, I’ll be gone in 2 weeks actually, I’m here only for my best friend’s event, but I would love to spend what time I have here with you instead. Maybe we can keep in touch after we both part ways? Sei come una dea”, Harper knew she shouldn’t let him in, she would be leaving, usually she would find guys like these creepy, but with Liam, she felt comfortable for some strange reason.
“How about we get to know each other a bit now? Then we part ways?” she suggested, as didn’t want to lead him on and she didn’t feel comfortable enough giving out her number to strangers.
“Non aver paura di me bella, Okay” Liam reluctantly agreed.
“So tell me about yourself Liam?”
“Well, as you already know my name, I’m Liam Toussaint, I’m from Lake Como, Italy, I’m turning 28 this year, and I have my own business back in Italy, what about you bellissima” he smiled, as he stared deeply into her eyes, and she simply blushed.
“I’m Harper, just turned 21, I’m from LA and I’m currently in my last semester, actually my last paper is in a few hours” she smiled.
They continued to talk for another 2 hours, before Harper had to leave for her exam. Harper liked him, but she knew better, she knew that it would never work out, for all she knew he could be a player. Deciding not to take a chance, she insisted on leaving things there, he wanted to know more about her, but deciding to let fate run its course, not wanting to scare her off, he let her go.
After her final paper, Harper let out an excited squeal as she knew she was a step closer to being back home, but her mind was drifting back to the guy she met earlier Liam, she felt something different for him, she wanted to know him more, she wanted to be more than friends, but she knew better, she knew he would be too good to be true. Deciding to take her mind off him, she texted Anika as she was entering her flat.
Harper : I’M DONE! Come meet me for dinner and will head to Emporium after, I’ll invite Catherine along.
Ding - immediately Anika responded
Anika : YAS bitch! You home?
Harper : Yup, just got home.
Anika : Be over in 5. Love you.
Harper : Come in, you have the keys, I’m hopping into the showers now. Love you too.
Harper quickly hopped into the showers, needing to refresh herself before the night’s events, knowing Anika, Harper would be having a great time. Anika was always the life of the party, while Harper is more interested in fitness and health, Anika was interested in drinking and getting laid. Catherine is Harper’s flatmate, they’ve been friends and living together for 3 years, Catherine is originally from Burmingham, but Catherine is often busy with her own friends.
“Hey Harp”, Harper startled, Anika greeted as she laid on her bed playing on her phone, Harper rolled her eyes as she clutched on her towel.
“Anika, we’ve talked about this, when I’m showering or when I’m naked I need privacy”, Harper said as she shook her head, knowing that Anika wouldn’t listen.
Soon it was night time, and the three of them went out for dinner nearby. After dinner, as promised, Anika led them to club Emporium, Harper needed to get loose and shake her thoughts of those brown eyes that haunts her every thought since noon.
The club was dimly lit with the lights flickering to the beat of the music, Emporium is Anika’s favourite club in Oxford, where she shortly worked as a DJ and dated a DJ for a week. Anika made her way to the DJ booth to speak to Tom- the DJ and also her ex, while Catherine and Harper sat by the bar as they ordered their drinks.
“So, are you excited to be back home next week?” Catherine asked, while taking a sip of her gin and tonic.
“Yeah, so excited to see my grandpapa and my brother, I miss them both”
“Harp, I’ve always been meaning to ask you, why do you call him grandpapa? Why not just grandpa?” Catherine questioned.
“My grandpapa is originally from England actually, but he fell in love with my granny during his vacation in Hawaii when he was a young boy, they were long pen pals before getting reunited and married, and it was in his family tradition to call their grandfathers’ grandpapa, so it stuck”, Harper explained, “Come Cath, lets dance!” she cheered.
They gulped their drinks, and proceeded to make their way to the dance floor, Harper needed to forget about those eyes and the luscious accent, while Catherine needed to forget about her ex, they swayed their hips to the music, grinding on each other having fun. Harper looked towards the DJ booth, knowing that she would spot Anika, she raised her eyebrow and Anika nodded, quickly making her way down to meet them.
“OMG, there are so many hot men here!” Anika squealed in excitement, earning a laugh from Catherine.
The three of them danced to a few songs, grinding against each other, Catherine found a guy to dance with, Anika not wanting to leave Harper alone continued to dance with her, that was one of the reasons why she loved Anika, Anika was a true friend, no matter what Anika had her back. Harper smiled at Anika, and continued to dance happily singing along with the song as well, then Anika raised her eyebrows and smiled at Harper, confused, she suddenly felt a hand on her hip. Harper continued to dance, and grind on the person behind her. Anika slowly backed away, finding someone else to dance with.
He’s hot, good luck, Anika mouthed, Harper smiled, knowing that Anika needed to find someone she decided to let her go, and continue dancing with this stranger. Harper was already thankful that she didn’t leave her alone on the dance floor, she didn’t want to cockblock Anika from having a good time.
“Che bello rivederti”, as soon as Harper heard that, it sent goosebumps down her spine, she recognized that voice, that accent, surprised she quickly turned around.
“Sì” he smiled at her, Harper could hear her heart pound.
“What are you doing here?”
“I’m here with my best friend, but he’s gone missing, I was up on the balcony and I saw you bellissima” he said with a thick accent, she felt putty in his hands.
“Come, continue dancing, let’s have some fun” Liam suggested, and she nodded her head in agreement.
They continued to dance for another few minutes, not once did their eyes leave each other, Harper decided to turn away, suddenly feeling naked, she turned her back on him and danced against him, as he held her hips.
“Credo di starmi innamorando di te” he whispered in her ear, she turned her head and blushed, not knowing what he said.
“Do you want to get out of here? Maybe sit somewhere quieter and talk?” Liam offered, Harper nodded, taking his hand as he led her out of the club.