She was clutching an old, ratty teddy bear close to her chest, while she was browsing through her phone reading about current events and news on her Fox News app. She tightened her hold on said teddy bear when she read about a recent act of terrorism in the French Alps, her beautiful face contorting into a frown.
He came in from the kitchen of the lake house they were renting for that week, holding an apple in one hand and found her curled on the couch in her satin camis and shorts, with the ratty teddy bear and a frown on her brows. He chuckled to himself as he observed her, crossing his arms across his chest and took a quick bite of the apple he was holding.
The crunch of the apple had her looking up from her phone and frowning even more when she saw him grinning widely at her as he was chewing. She then went back to her phone and ignored the chuckles that was coming from him.
He sighed and shook his head, a smile still on his face as he walked towards her. He gently sat beside her lying form, lifting her legs up and putting it on his lap as he sat down.
“What are you doing?” he asked as he continued to munch on the apple.
“Reading,” she answered shortly.
“Grouch,” he teased under his breath, caressing her legs.
“I heard that.”
“I intended for you to,” he retorted, the grin still not leaving his face to which she simply rolled her eyes and continued on reading the news on her phone.
“What is that you’re reading?”
“Will you never stop with the questions?” she asked, sitting up, frowning at him with a matching pout on her lips.
He chortled. “Will you never stop clutching that old teddy bear when we’re not out and about?” he gestured towards the teddy that was still in her arms.
“For your information, this teddy bear –”
“Was given to you by your dad when you were only 3 years old and it’s the only thing of importance that you remember from your childhood with him,” he finished, leaning towards her and giving her a soft kiss on her lips. “I know that, babe. Don’t answer a question with another question,” he whispered when he moved his head away from her.
She sighed and reached out to ruffle his hair, to which he complained, making her chuckle. She then proceeded to tuck herself beside him, his arms automatically going around her shoulders. She continued on reading, however, much to his dismay.
“What is that you’re reading that’s so important you even ignore me on our vacation?” he exasperatedly asked, placing the apple core on the table beside the couch.
“Current news, love.”
After a few heartbeats, he then asked again, “Ok – and then?” She looked up at him, confused at his impatient tone. “Babe, you’ve been giving me short answers all night. What about the current news? What is so important about the current news that has you so engrossed in it, you ignore your new husband, hmmm?”
This time, she grinned when he pouted at her like a five-year old. She reached up and gave him a tender kiss, that quickly evolved into a deeper one when he gently grasped her head and opened her lips with his, his tongue quickly but softly dancing with hers. She moaned appreciatively but cut the kiss short before it got hotter and heavier.
“I’m reading about this terrorist who attacked a mother and her 3 daughters in the French Alps,” she breathlessly explained. “Given that we’re here honeymooning in Lake Annecy, I thought I should be aware of what’s going on around us as well.”
“Where exactly did this act of terror happened?” he asked, frowning, suddenly serious as he tried to look for the remote control to open the TV and watch the news.
When he couldn’t find the remote control anywhere, he took her phone from her, ignoring her protests and opened her maps app to check how far away they were from the said terror attack, brows furrowing. He swiped up and down her phone, still frowning. Then stopped, looking quickly at her. Then he went back and read the news from her news app.
“Babe?” he asked after a few seconds.
“Yes, love?” she anxiously replied, sitting up straight, grappling the teddy bear tighter in her arms. “Is it near us? Do we need to move from this lake house? I could call the landlord and say that –” she stopped when she heard him chuckle. “What’s funny? Hey! What’s funny?! Why are you suddenly laughing??”
He was outright laughing at this point. “Oh, babe. Babe, babe, babe…” he said while shaking his head and pulled her towards him. He gave her a light kiss on her forehead, circled his arms around her and caressed her arms up and down. “Calm down. Laragne is 150 miles away from us. Plus the news didn’t say it was an act of terrorism. Just a crazy dude who attacked a mom. Don’t fret anymore.”
“You were able to gather all that in those few seconds you took my phone?!” she exclaimed incredulously, grabbing her phone back from him to see for herself.
He shrugged even as he gathered her in his arms, pulling her even closer to him so that she was sitting on his lap. He started to nuzzle her neck, breathing in her scent, planting a soft kiss on her skin, here and there.
“I’m a fast reader,” he breathed, slowly tracing her skin with his lips. “And I’m very, very good at swiping and changing apps with my fingers,” he added, his fingers now travelling up and down her thighs, circling her skin, making her giggle.
“Stop that!” she teasingly chided, slapping his hands away, half-heartedly. “It tickles.”
“I know a place where you’re more ticklish,” he whispered in her ear, nibbling on it.
“Naughty boy,” she murmured, even as she gave him more access to her neck, tilting her head to the side. To which of course, he immediately dived in and gave her soft, open-mouthed kisses.
“Hmmm… As much as I want to stay indoors, I rented the boat out for tonight,” he mumbled, still giving her kisses, nipping the skin on her shoulder.
“Can we just cancel and stay in?”
He moved away from feasting on her neck and sighed. “I’d really love to do that, babe. You know that. But this would be the 4th time we’ll do that if ever and I don’t think the boat renter will be happy with us anymore.”
She giggled. “And whose fault was it that we weren’t able to go the last three times?” she teased, one eyebrow going up in challenge.
He simply shook his head and laughed, carrying her in his arms as he stood up, gently placing her back on the ground. “Go, dress up,” he ordered, slapping her butt affectionately as she was walking away. “And bring a sweater. It might get chilly tonight.”
Half an hour later and they were on the lake boat that he rented that night, lazily gliding down the middle of the lake. He then turned off the motor of the boat when he was sure that he maneuvered them far away from most of the boats that were still out that night, to have a sense of privacy even outdoors.
She was sitting down at the other end of the boat, her head tilted up, a small smile on her lips as she looked towards the clear, night skies. He came and sat beside her, not before getting a chilled wine from the cooler he brought with them, two wine glasses and some cut apples with the special caramel she liked from the province of Brittany.
She smiled brightly at him as he was approaching, and he answered her back with a soft smile of his own. He poured her a glass of the crisp pinot grigio and put down the apples with the caramel between them to share.
“Hmmm… You brought my favorites,” she quipped, taking a sip from her glass and biting into an apple slice. “Plus this boat, the clear skies, the moon and the stars twinkling above. You do know how to spoil me, love.”
“You forgot one more thing, babe.”
“Me. You also have me.”
She laughed her tinkering laugh, making him smile even wider, finding joy in her happiness. “You’re so cheesy,” she told him.
“Yet you still love me.”
She continued on chuckling. “That I do, love. That I do. You’re my favorite brand of cheese.”
“Now, who’s being the cheesy one?” he teased, earning him a playful smack on his arm.
She then moved the plate of apples and caramel to one side and cuddled beside him, his arms automatically going around her once more. She sighed, contented, as she leaned her head on his shoulders. They both looked up towards the skies appreciating it being littered with lots of stars that night, with the moon being the only thing shining down brightly on them.
“I love how the moon is so bright that you do not need to turn on the boat’s lights,” she commented, taking another sip from her glass and a bite of an apple slice dipped in caramel.
“I’m glad that we took the boat out tonight when it’s full moon too,” he replied, turning his head to give her a kiss on her forehead. She tilted her head towards him and gave him a kiss back on his stubbled chin.
“Thank you,” she whispered, reaching up to caress his cheek, smiling when he turned towards her, his eyes shining and full of love. “This whole week has been wonderful.”
He leaned down and gave her one of the softest kisses she had ever received in her life. “Thank you for saying yes to me,” he whispered back, staring at her. “You are wonderful. And I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“We already started,” she whispered back, her eyes closing of their own accord when he swooped down again for another kiss.
“That we did, babe. That we did,” he replied softly as he looked at her lovingly, remembering everything that they had to go through before getting to where they were now.
She was startled out of her reverie when someone snuck up on her that she fell from the tree root that she was sitting on. “Ouch!”
“Oh my, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you. Are you ok?” the voice that surprised her asked, coming to her rescue and helping her up gently.
She didn’t reply but was grumbling to herself and was about to tell the person to mind their own business when she looked up and saw the most gorgeous, deep brown eyes she had ever seen, staring back at her worriedly.
“Uhm…” she started but was unable to continue. “I… Well…”
“Are you all right? Is there anything that hurts? I really am sorry,” he started to babble incessantly, which she suddenly found cute. “But you see – I didn’t expect to see anyone here since this is a closed mine. Ours, yes. But still closed. I’m with some engineers back there who are also with my father so we could check this abandoned mine to finally see the cause of why it collapsed. We wanted to see if it can be opened again. See? They’re over there,” he explained as he pointed towards a group of men who was inspecting the other entrance to the mine. “What are you even doing here? This place is actually off-limits.”
She suddenly remembered why she was there and smiled forlornly, looking towards the other closed entrance where she was actually seated. “My dad died here when I was nine. We were never able to retrieve a body. He was a miner.” She looked at him and added, “Probably one of your miners, too. If you’re saying that this mine is actually yours.”
“Oh,” he softly intoned. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
Her only reply was a sad smile as she stood up and then she started to walk away.
“You’re here again.”
She turned her head and smiled when she saw him walking towards her. This has been their fifth time “bumping” into each other at the mine. “I always try to come here and pay my respects to my dad. You already know this.”
“You must love him very much.”
“I do. He was a great man.”
“Where’s your mom?”
At this, she frowned at the different question than that of what he usually asks then shook her head. “At home. Afraid to even leave. Afraid of letting me go. I actually snuck out just to go here.”
“Wow. That must be really hard for you. Well, for both of you.”
“Hey, listen,” he started and his tone made her look at him questioningly. She watched as he grabbed his nape, an act of nervousness, and smiled sheepishly. “Uh… How do I say this without sounding like a turd?” She smiled as he talked to himself. “Would you – uh… Well, would you like to have dinner with me? Tonight? If it’s not too much trouble. I’d just really like to get to know you better. You know, aside from meeting here every time.”
She looked at him and made him sweat for a bit, to which she smiled inwardly. Then she asked, “Why?”
“You intrigue me,” he said honestly, softly as he looked into her eyes.
She saw his sincerity that she smiled then nodded in affirmation. He smiled back, then took her hand.
This time, they walked away together.
“I will marry her and you can’t do anything to stop it!” he screamed at his parents, particularly at his father, who had a huge scowl on his face while his mother was in the background, sniffling. “I love her…”
“Son, you can’t just…”
He raised his hand up to stop his father from continuing what he wanted to say. “No, father. I’ve had enough of your meddling with my life. The same with you, mother. I’ve had enough of you parading these different… Socialites,” he spewed out vehemently. “In front of me. I won’t ever like any of them. I only love one. And that’s her. And I will marry her. Whether you like it or not.”
“I will cut your inheritance from you,” his father threatened to which he only laughed.
“Go ahead! I don’t care! I’d rather be poor and be with her, than be wealthy and unhappy without her.” He started to walk away from his parents, intent on leaving them behind.
“But she’s a nobody!” his mother shrieked.
He turned around once more, anger in his features as he quietly replied. “And she is everything to me.”
“Are you sure about this already?” her mom asked her.
“Yes, mom. I love him.”
“But his parents are the owners of the mine where your dad died. It was their fault that we don’t have your dad today.”
She looked at her mom and smiled softly. “It’s not really his fault. He’s different, mom. You know this. You’ve seen how he is. Plus, he is not his parents. Do you know that he threw his inheritance away just to be with me?”
“But then – how would you live? How would he provide for you? How could both of you even survive?”
“Don’t worry, mom. He told me he has several businesses outside of his parents’ mining industry that are solely his. And that he has enough savings for us to start a family of our own,” she explained then held her mother’s hand. “Please, mom. I don’t think I could live without him. I love him too much. Just like you love dad…”
Her mother sighed. Then finally looked up at her and smiled. “All right. You both can have my blessing. Just don’t forget to visit me here, ok? I will be lonely without my only daughter around.”
She hugged her mom tight, tears starting to form at the corner of her eyes. “I love you, mom. Thank you for understanding.”
Looking back, he smiled wistfully, glad that all of that was already over and that they were finally here, together. Here in Lake Annecy, France – married to each other and honeymooning like the newlyweds that they were.
“What are you smiling about? Are you thinking of something again?”
He looked down at her, staring at her questioning eyes and smiling wider. “Seulement vous.”
“What?” she asked, wrinkling her nose, not understanding what he just said.
He chuckled. “Only you, babe. Only you. I love you.”
She snuggled in his embrace further. “Je t’aime aussi,” she said softly. “You’re not the only one who learned a few French words along the way, love.”
He laughed his full-on laugh this time around, making her smile and chuckle as well. “God, I love you. And I’m glad we’re in this together.”
“Yes,” he whispered, sealing his affirmation with a kiss. “Forever.”
This was my entry for I, Explore – a new book by teamSMH over at Wattpad which veered away from our usual erotica stuff. I also published this as a one-shot on my own Wattpad Account (come find me over there: @wuthie16)
The challenge was to write something fluffy with a minimum of 2000 words, max of 3000 with these five prompts which needed to be in the story – apple, teddy bear, moon, boat and terrorist. I think I reached 2900 words with this story.
This story could be MaiChard (AlDub to some) in an AU setting. Or not really, and just let it remain as a short story since no names were mentioned anywhere in this one-shot.
Let me know your thoughts. Tweet me or comment below. I’m at @wuthie16 over at Twitter! Come drop by and be my friend!