Arwen tossed and turned all night… Should she give Hank another chance? Maybe she’d been paranoid after all… He had said he’d call her as soon as he was back in town and, as far as she could tell, that was exactly what he had done.
The next day, at 9 sharp, Hank knocked on her door. Arwen could see him through the window… this was a “door” she was afraid to open again. She’d been a mess the last time he left…
“Arwen… I know you’re in there.” Hank was peering back at her through the window.
Giving up, she pulled on her had and a sweater, and stomped out without even glancing at him. She got in his car, sat in the front passenger seat and slammed the door. Hank winced and slowly made his way around the car and behind the wheel, seeming unsure how to react.
As he drove, he occasionally glance her way. Arwen stared ahead and didn’t give him the benefit of her gaze or words.
Hank signed and gripped the wheel so tight his knuckles turned white. Arwen feigned indifference.
After a little while, Hank parked the car and Arwen realized she hadn’t been paying attention to where they were going. He walked around the car and opened her door gallantly. As she stepped out and looked around, ignoring his outstretched hand, she realized where they were.
“Surprise…” Hank said, looking contrite and charming all at the same time.
She looked up at his face… he seemed so sincere and she could already feel her icy resolve melting under his lovely gaze.
“Come on, Arwen… I know you can’t stay mad at me.” He beckoned her closer, his arms open to her, his smile more beguiling than ever.
Arwen hesitated but she was falling under his spell already. She wanted to kiss every inch of his handsome body. A few steps and she was back in his arms, the world spinning all around them.
He held her lower back with his hands, lacing his fingers together, locking her in as if he’d never let her go again. His touch was electric.
Hank pulled his lips away, gazing at Arwen’s face for a moment, as if he was committing every detail to memory.
“So… are you up for apple bobbing?” He winked.
“Is this a euphemism, or…?” Arwen replied, a little shocked.
Hank burst out laughing so hard he nearly fell on his butt.
“No, silly, at the Fall Festival. Come, I’ll show you…” He took her hand, for the first time, and led her away.
A female cop and an athletic looking guy were waiting at the apple bobbing bucket for more contestants to arrive.
“Oh, game on!” Arwen cheered excitedly.
“On your mark…” The referee announced.
“… Get set…”
It was a close race…
Arwen won. Woo!
“That’s my girl…” Hank beamed with pride and perhaps a little competitive smugness.
Then, Hank turned to Arwen, pulling her away by the waist. “Alright, that’s enough gloating, Arwen!”
“You know, it occurred to me the other day that I’ve never heard you sing… are you up for some karaoke?”
“Tonight, anything you want.”
“Don’t tempt me… Just kidding!”
She raced him to the car thinking never in a million years she would have guessed the evening would turn out this way.
As soon as they entered the karaoke bar, Hank was accosted by a gushing female fan.
“Hank! O-m-g, wanna dance? I’ve been practicing my moves since last time…” She purred as she moved closer to Arwen’s date.
Hank even started to move with her as Arwen stared in disbelief.
She coughed to get his attention. “So, is this still a date or what, Hank?” She hated the way she sounded, but she hated even more feeling jealousy rise like bile in the back of her throat. Why couldn’t she just trust him?
“Arwen, Trudi’s just a friend… Don’t get mad again. Dance with me?” He whined.
She couldn’t help but laugh as his puppy dog eyes and he drew her close whispering in her ear, “And smile, the paparazzis are here.” Then he took her arm and spun her out fast. She whirled and giggled and then he pulled her back into his arms.
As much as she enjoyed this moment, Arwen couldn’t help but feel like she her every move was being noted and photographed by the paparazzis.
Craning her neck to look behind her, she complained, “Will they stop that already?”
Hank gently pulled her face to him again by the chin. “Don’t mind them, pretty girl.”
Then a bright flash illuminated behind Hank, blinding Arwen and she stopped dancing.
“I don’t know how you can stand it!” She exclaimed, rubbing her eyes.
Hank shrugged, “Well, that’s my life… I’d be a nobody if I never got any publicity.”
Not wanting to start another fight and ruin the evening, Arwen tried to lighten the mood.
“Well, can I at least get my own photos?” She chided.
“Of course, missy!” He winked.