Simon’s office isn’t too far from Charlotte’s, I had never been to hers but Ryan wondered why she had referred us to someone in a different office. I get an uneasy feeling as I shake Simon’s hand, I can’t understand why. He’s shorter than Ryan while still being tall, his hair and eyes are brown. He could be described as attractive yet I just want to run away from his office. “Hello! So nice to meet you, have a seat,” Simon tells us. There’s something about him that doesn’t sit well with me but maybe I’m just paranoid. My hand reaches for Ryan’s, my hold is threatening to crush his fingers. But he doesn’t pull away, instead, he’s rubbing his thumb on mine. I try to calm down as we explain what we’re looking for. Simon is making notes asking questions to clarify details here and there.
“Brilliant! I do have a house that would meet your criteria. Shall we go?” He asks. “Now?” Ryan looks at me. “We could,” he adds. We weren’t expecting him to have a house available so quickly.
Climbing in our SUV while Ryan is still talking to Simon, I get lightheaded. I close my eyes trying to catch my breath. “Maybe the fear from yesterday is messing up with my brain,” I tell myself. “Ella? Are you okay?” Max asks from the front seat. “I will be, don’t worry,” I shake it off before Ryan and Cooper enter the car. Max keeps his eyes on me during our drive to the house. Ryan knows something is bothering me but he doesn’t ask. Either he’s afraid I’ll break down or thinks I won’t share my thoughts. I can’t say I’m mad he’s not asking, at least not right now.
The house is absolutely beautiful, perfect for us. It has a modern feel to it just the way I like it, it’s big but not humongous. It has four bedrooms, an indoor pool and even a cinema room in the basement. Ryan is excited to see a house up to our standards. After a brief discussion, we make an offer on it. Ryan seems relieved, he saw many houses with Charlotte but none of them were good enough for me, he said. I’m hoping everything goes well so we don’t have to interact with Simon for much longer.
Working out sounded like a great stress reliever after the events of the past 24 hours. Niall got me to work on my legs today. It’s funny how taking a week off, sets you back on your progress. Even though we walked a lot during our vacation, I never once exercised and I’m paying the price for it today. I promised myself never to do it again. Exhausted, I crash onto a bench two hours later. I’m happy to see the boys are done and coming my way. They were smart and exercised almost daily at the hotel. Ryan’s sweaty body has me gaping as I walk behind him on our way to grab our gym bags.
It’s almost dinner time when we get back to the hotel. Ryan tells me to go up with Max while he goes to the front desk with Cooper who lost his room key somewhere.
My legs are hurting badly I collapse on the couch while I wait for him. Without realizing it, my eyes closed. I must have dozed off because I’m startled by Ryan wrapping a blanket on me. Part of me wants to get up and talk about how shaken I was by Simon but my eyelids are so heavy. “Sleep babe, I have to go to the store quickly, I’ll be back later,” he whispers to my ear. I’m so sleepy I can only nod before falling asleep again.