Second(16)

By: Chantal Fernando


“I remember when you were busking,” I say, smirking. “I’d stop by on my way to my office job and give you coffee.”

“Yeah,” he says, chuckling. “I remember.”

“Can I ask you something?” I ask, emboldened by our talk.

“Anything,” he says, putting his guitar down on the couch.

“Bella Reed,” I ask, arching my brow. “True or false.”

“So you do read the gossip magazines,” he says, shaking his head at me in amusement. He leans back on my couch and studies me. “What do you think about it?”

“I don’t think anything,” I say quickly, shrugging. “I was just being nosy and wondering if it was true or not. I don’t want to be keeping you from anyone.”

“You aren’t, Sabina,” he says in a soft tone that’s mixed with something else… anger? “I’m not with Bella. We’re just friends.”

Friends with benefits?

I don’t pry any more, I just nod and say, “Do you want some pancakes and bacon? It’s my turn to make something for you.”

“I’d love some,” he says, standing with me and following me to the kitchen. “You’re in a much better mood this morning.”

“I think your music woke me up in a good way,” I say, tying my hair up on my head in a messy bun. “I’m just going to try and enjoy the day. Besides, I only have you here for two more days, so I want to make the most of it.”

“Do you want me to play while you cook?” he asks, grinning wolfishly. “Might keep you in this mood all day.”

“Are you kidding me? I’d love that!” I say, smiling widely. My very own Dean Amore concert in my kitchen. Some people would kill for this moment. I’m lucky enough to know the amazing person he is firsthand, and that’s not even including his talent as a musician.

He grabs his guitar and sits down at the table while I whip up some breakfast. Not as fancy as what he’s used to, I’m sure, but I also know that he doesn’t mind.

And besides, I make a mean pancake, fancy or not.



*****

“I can’t believe you did this!” I say to him, staring at the beautiful boat before me. “I’ve always wanted to go snorkelling!”

After breakfast, Dean told me he was taking me somewhere, so to get ready, but he wouldn’t tell me where we were going. For a girl like me, that’s pretty much hell, because I like to be prepared and I like to be dressed for the occasion. I put on a pair of denim shorts and a cute black top, and did my hair and some light makeup. I put some lipstick in my bag so I can use it if need be, if I need to look a little dressier, but the outfit is pretty much a day-to-night one. Never did I imagine that he was going to take me on a boat though!

“I know,” he says, grinning.

I playfully slap at his bicep. “I didn’t bring my bikini. You should have just told me where we were going so I could have planned for this!”

“It’s all sorted, relax,” he says, helping me onto the boat and handing me a bag. “Tara packed everything for you.”

He looks extremely smug, as he should. He pulled off a great surprise and managed to nail it. Getting my stuff packed for me by Tara was an epic move. However, when I open the bag, I realise that it’s not my stuff at all. It’s all brand new amazing items in the bag. A black bikini, a new wide-brim hat, sunglasses, a towel, sun lotion, and a pair of flip-flops.

I glance up at him. “You didn’t?”

“How was I meant to bring Tara to pack your stuff? You’d have noticed! So I rang Tara, wired her some money, and told her to pick up everything you’d need for a day at the beach.”

“You wired her some money?” I say, torn between being grateful that he did something so thoughtful and wanting to scold him for doing something so unnecessary.

He wraps an arm around me and looks me in the eye. “I know you don’t like it, Sabina. But it makes me happy to do something nice for you, so can you just let it go? I have a lot of money, I’m not bragging, it’s just a fact, and if I can’t do something nice for the people I care about then what’s the point? It’s not like I bought you a new car or something.”

He’s right, but still. I take a deep breath and wrap my arms around him. “Thank you, Dean. I don’t think anyone has done something like this for me before.”

They haven’t. And I don’t really know how to react.

“You’re so good to me, Dean,” I say, smiling up at him. “Today is going to be the best day ever.”

“Yes, it is,” he says, touching the corner of my mouth with his thumb. “Because you’re already smiling.”