One Perfect Night
Paul knew Nico was special the moment they exchanged that first glance at Termini station in Rome late one hot summer afternoon. Paul was on his way back to London and when it was announced the departure of their train had been cancelled and travel temporarily suspended, they decided to have dinner together while waiting for further information.
Early next morning, when Nico found a flight cancellation and took off, all Paul knew was Nico’s first name.
Two years later, Paul hasn’t forgotten Nico, and when they meet again at another train station in London, the chemistry is still there. Nico believes Fate has brought them back together, and he’s ready to close his eyes and jump into a relationship. But two years is a long time, and Paul thinks they should slow down. There’s more to a relationship than chemistry alone. They need to first check the water, and then take it one step at a time.
...As I put down the crusty roll and reached for the sugar to add to my coffee, I heard someone say my name. I didn’t recognize the voice, and Paul was a common enough name. I looked up anyway—then stared. “Nico?”
My stomach did a weird backflip, and I sucked in a quick gulp of air.
He dropped into the chair across from me, looking as surprised as I was myself.
“I’m imagining this, right?”
“If you are, then so am I.” What started as a smile turned to laughter and he reached across the table and grasped my hand. “My God! It really is you. This is crazy. I just came back from High Wycombe, and I thought I saw you getting off the same train.”
“You’re kidding?” I continued to stare at him, trying to collect my scattered wits and work my way through the shock. The hardest part was convincing myself this was real. That I wasn’t dreaming, hallucinating, or I hadn’t somehow got caught up in a bad case of wishful thinking. “I was on that train, too. In fact, I thought I saw you while I was waiting on the platform in Wycombe station. Then you disappeared, so I figured—”
“You were seeing things?” He smiled and shook his head. “I wondered that myself when I got off the train just now. I had to make sure, so I followed you over here, but then…
His eyes seemed a little misty and he squeezed my hand, hard. “I waited outside for a few minutes. It looked so much like you. I was sure but I wasn’t sure, if you know what I mean. I didn’t want to make an idiot of myself. It’s been two years since we met at Termini…”
I smiled. “I know.”
“I hated leaving you, Paul. But I swear, I had no choice. I had to grab that flight cancellation. It was the only way I could get to Brussels in time. My brother was getting married and I was his best man. He’d have killed me if I hadn’t shown up.”
“So what made you come in here and check?”
He relaxed his grip on my hand, then tightened it again. “I needed to know. I figured if I made a mistake, so what?”
He hesitated, looking unsure or embarrassed, I didn’t know quite which. Maybe a little of both.
He tried for a smile that didn’t quite happen. “You’ll probably think I’m a wacko or I need to get myself a life. The truth is I’ve never been able to get you out of my mind. Crazy as it might sound, I’ve never stopped hoping that one day this would happen. If I’d known your last name, where you lived or worked, some significant small detail to go on, I’d have found you by now.”
Emotion blocked my throat and I swallowed hard. “If we’d been thinking we’d have exchanged phone numbers or something. We didn’t, but that’s okay. I haven’t forgotten you, either,” I said quietly. I drank in the handsome face, the eyes that were the same dark brown as mine, and the trace of five o’clock shadow that made him look even more handsome than I remembered. I wanted so much to touch his face… “Some people you forget five minutes after you meet them and some you do never do. No matter how hard you try, they’re always there at the edge of your mind...”
Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca