Meet Me In Monaco - Flora Ferrari Page 0,1
are brown, but I think I can see something of him in the shape of her chin. And they’re around the same height.
He’s her father.
“Are you looking for something?” I ask, seizing my chance. “I’m a local. I can help, if you need it.”
There’s no way in hell I’m letting her disappear from my sight so quickly. I need to figure out the real story here and stop relying on assumptions because if there is any chance she might be here for longer…
I think I’m going to have to take it.
I turn in a circle, studying the map and trying to make some sense of the street signs, figuring out if I’ve got the whole thing wrong. Surely, the café was somewhere around here, but I don’t even see–
I collide right into someone, letting out a gasp of surprise as my face is implanted right into someone’s chest. Hands grab my elbows, holding me steady as the owner of both the chest and the hands’ steps back.
I look up at him and find my voice is entirely gone.
He’s tall and strong, with broad shoulders encased in a pale blue linen shirt that seems to stretch at the seams as he holds me still. His dark hair is swept back from his eyes, which are a grey color that puts me in mind of the sea, sharp and piercing. He has the chiseled features of a model, and even the tailored black slacks he’s wearing seem to hint at well-muscled legs beneath. His skin is lightly tanned, and he has the casual, just-so-perfect air of a rich man who lives by the sea.
“Sorry about that,” he says, in a lightly accented voice that I can’t place. It’s deep and clear, sending a tremor right down through my body. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“Oh,” I squeak, shaking my head rapidly. “No, it’s fine. No harm done.” How embarrassing. Of all the people I could run right into, it would have to be this example of absolute perfection. I can still feel the pressure of his chest against my cheek, and they heat at the memory.
I can’t stop staring at him. He doesn’t look like he should be real. He should be on the cover of a magazine, or an aftershave ad, not standing here in front of me.
“Honey, are you alright?” My dad’s voice shakes me out of my reverie. I feel his hand connect with my shoulder blade and then the utter disappointment of the stranger’s hands dropping from my elbows.
I can still feel their presence. I try to hold onto the feeling. I don’t want to forget it. The time I was touched by the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen.
“Yes,” I say, feeling more embarrassed by the second. “No harm done. Actually, it was probably my fault. I was too busy looking at this map.”
How could it be his fault? I look at him and think he must be the most elegant man in the world. I’m sure he would never trip and fall, or drop his phone into a lake, or spill a huge cup of soda all over himself right when the movie was about to start.
Not that I’ve ever done any of those things, of course.
“If we could just find this darn place,” Dad says, shaking his head. I take that as another indication of my blame in this whole thing. He’s right. I haven’t been able to find the café we were looking for. I’m sure it must be around here, but this map doesn’t seem to have half the roads we pass by printed on it.
“Sorry, Dad,” I sigh. “I just don’t think this map is very good.” I should probably look it up on my phone, that’s the only way we’re going to get anywhere, even if it is expensive to use data out here.
“Are you looking for something?” the stranger asks. “I’m a local. I can help, if you need it.”
Be still, my heart. Yes, oh yes. Please, let him take us to the café. Even if all I get to do is stare at him a little more, it will be worth it.
“Oh! Voo et un local?” Dad says, enthusiastically loud. A passerby stops and stares at us.
Oh, god. That was his attempt at speaking French. I stare at him with wide eyes, hoping he will stop.
“Uh,” the stranger says, attempting a grin. “I think you mean to say, vous êtes un résident? And the answer is, yes,