Marriage by Law

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32

To say I was shocked and caught off guard would be an understatement. But on the other hand, I would be a fool and a liar if I said I didn’t like it. I did, a bit too much. The fact that he made the first move and the fact that it showed he did have some kind of feeling for me inside him was one of the best realisations ever.

And then I realised that I was kissing him back, my hands wrapped around his neck. And then I realised there was something wet at our feet and then I didn’t need to realize anything because my mind was purely robbed when something crashed down on both of us, pulling us apart, and vanished as quickly as it came.

I sat up quickly, but not quick enough as another wave came onto the shore, drenching us again.

“Jesus Christ,” I snapped, getting up and wiping my hair out of my face as I heard Darius laughing as he got up after me.

“This is why you don’t wear business shoes,” I told him. Those poor shoes were probably ruined. I stepped back getting as far away from the water as I could. Stupid tide. Did it have to come then and ruin the moment?

“Oh well worth it.”

“What?” I asked turning around as I saw a figure in the distance running.

“Look what I found!” screamed Adrian, holding something up in his hand as I wrapped my arms around my waist, shifting feet to keep warm.

“What is that?” I asked, looking at Darius who was looking just as confused as me.

“I think it’s a jellyfish.”

What? No. I looked back at Adrian who was coming closer by the second. Why was he holding a jellyfish. Isn’t it bloody poisonous?

It was a jellyfish.

“Touch it,” said Adrian enthusiastically, shoving it into my face. The look on his face crossed between a creep and a five-year-old kid that was way too happy. I felt Darius’s hand around my waist, pulling me against him.

“Adrian, put it back where you got it from.”

I nodded in agreement. It was a round disc of jelly sitting on his right palm, where were its tentacles?

“I can’t keep it?” he asked and Darius sighed, rubbing his forehead fustration like he was dealing with some little kid, which in fact Adrian was.

“Just put it back,” I said, shaking my head and he frowned.

“Party poopers,” he muttered under his breath, walking back toward the other side and I sighed turning around. “Is he always like this?”

Darius shrugged but I could see a faint smile on his lips as he watched Adrian walk off before looking down at me, making my heart skip a beat. “It gets worse with old age,” he joked.

He continued. “Come on, let’s go before you get another cold.”

“What about him?” I asked looking back to see Adrian still walking. Was he actually going all the way back to put it where he found it?

“He’ll live,” said Darius, picking up my shoes from where I left them and getting in the car.

“You know, this is the second time I got dunked by waves because of you,” I said, shivering a bit when I got in. I was grateful that at least this time, our ride was warm, really warm inside.

“What’s your favourite colour?”

I looked up from the window, confused and surprised at the same time.

“Favourite colour?”

“Doesn’t everyone have one?”

* * * * *

It was absolutely freezing. This change in temperature was drastic that I wasn’t prepared, standing under the Eiffel tower shivering. Where were they?

Darius and Adrian both left early this morning about some business meeting and said they would meet me at the Eiffel tower at noon. It was now half past one and I wasn’t even sure if I should still be waiting.

I looked at all the other tourists as they took photos and looked up at the sky. Please don’t rain.

Maybe I should just head back, ask the driver to take me back. Maybe I will do that, this sweater did nothing to keep my body warm. But then I came this far. I wasn’t going home without looking at the Eiffel tower.

I walked across the road to the small stores to kill time. I walked into an antique shop, the bell jingling to notify that someone came in. It was quiet, too quiet as I looked around. Everything looked old and fragile.

“Bonjor!”

I looked up at the old woman standing behind the counter and smiled, raising a hand. I went to the other shelves looking at the leather books and pulled one out, flicking to a random page and staring at a random word and then froze.

Perfect. If he was going to give me annoying nicknames, I was going to give him one back.

I put the book back and waved goodbye as I walked out the store and into another.

I watched as the clock struck two and sighed, getting out of the store looking both ways at the traffic and people rushing. Looks like they have a purpose in what they were doing, and then there was me, just waiting.

Crossing my arms under my chest, I ducked my head hurrying to the car on the end street. We can go another day.

The driver climbed out upon seeing me approach and bowed as he opened the door.

“Thank you,” I said, climbing in.

“Aluminium!”

I stopped from getting inside and turned around but saw no one. Was I just hearing things? Or maybe it was the wind, it was pretty strong. But it wasn’t. The second time I heard it, I looked across the green grass to see Darius running with Adrian behind him.

“About time,” I told the driver who just smiled and stepped onto the footpath. I shook my head as the children came.

“Sorry we’re late,” Darius said, holding my shoulders as he leaned over and kissed my cheek. “This guy wanted to change before we left.” He glared at Adrian who was fixing his hair as he joined us.

“Not everyone wants to wear suits all day,” snapped Adrian, pulling his shirt down angrily. I shook my head when Darius muttered something, grabbing my arm and tucking it into his. He pulled me, nearly making me trip over.

“Hey, what’s the hurry. Don’t take her away from me!”

I looked over my shoulder to see Adrian just standing there glaring at Darius. When he realised Darius wasn’t going to stop, he ran to catch up with us, tucking my other hand into his and forcing me to stop, and as a chain reaction, halting Darius.

“Gosh. If you didn’t want me here you didn’t have to invite me,” he grumbled.

Darius raised an eyebrow, stepping back and taking my other arm out of his. What the hell was I, some tug of war rope?

“I never invited you, remember?” Darius retorted.

“Well, then, you’re a rude boy for not inviting me.”

I rolled my eyes, though they were not looking at me. “Can we just go and see the damn tower? I’ve waited long enough.”

Both pairs of eyes turned to me then to each other before Darius tugged me along.

Finally.

It was beautiful.

We were there for hours. People came and left but we stayed, looking at everything we could. I didn’t realise how long we were here till I saw the sun in the distance. The timing was perfect. You can just see the sun setting in the distance, shooting colours of orange and light blue into the sky over the city.

If anyone was scared of heights, they wouldn’t be up this high overlooking this spectacular view. There was too much to see that you would forget about panicking. The wind picked up the longer we stayed there. Adrian was off in no time, chatting up single ladies and I laughed at him. Then I turned around to look at the sun setting in the distance.

Just like a perfect picture, a flock of birds cut through the air.

I felt something warm wrap around my shoulders and turned to see Darius slipping his jacket on me. I raised an eyebrow.

“Only this once?” I asked, remembering what he always said when I forgot to bring a coat. Not that he even lent me his then. He just let me suffer, apart from a few rare times like now. He laughed, removing his hand from my shoulder and joining me by the rail.

It only hit me then that I knew nothing about the guy next to me. Not his favourite colour, or his friends, or his school or anything. I turned to ask him something, because now is my turn to ask questions. I met his green eyes, already searching my face.

“Come to dinner.”

“What?” I asked, looking at my watch for the time. Isn’t it a bit early to have dinner?

“Shouldn’t we wait till at least six to have dinner? And please, I’m always at dinner,” I said, shaking my head. Like I would miss out on good food.

“No. I mean,” he said, staring behind me and I looked over my shoulder to see Adrian waving at us holding his phone up, probably taking more selfies. “Dinner.”

“Dinner?” I asked with the same tone he used. He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.

“He means a date,” Adrian explained, earning a scowl from Darius. I looked between them, laughing.

“Are you kidding me? Have you seen this ring? We don’t need a d –” And then I stopped, meeting Darius’s eyes and then looking from one to another.

“Are you serious?” I asked, confused and excited at the same time.

“I was getting there.” Darius snapped at Adiran, ignoring me and speaking to his cousin who was looking way too smug.

“Well, you looked like you needed help.”

“I didn’t.”

“Next time I won’t offer.”

“I never accepted.”

I sighed, shaking my head at these two. It was like being with two kids.

“I’ll go,” I muttered, a giddy feeling at the pit of my stomach. He asked me out on a date, a freaking date. I felt like a lovesick teenager.

Wait, lovesick?

“What?” they said at the same time, looking at me.

“Huh?” I looked up, lost in my own thoughts.

“You can’t go out on a date with him!” snapped Adrian.

Darius smacked the back of his head. “Too bad.”

“What am I supposed to do?” asked Adrian as Darius started walking and pulling me along.

“Jump off the tower.”

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