Chapter Thirteen

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The last ray of sunlight swaying across my right shoulder blade gradually began disappearing as another big fluff of cloud moved ahead of it. The sky was a cool shade of baby blue, with blotches of white clouds hovering only centimeters apart; just my type of day. I found myself often distracted with where I stepped foot as I kept sneaking glances at the sky every now and then; and Xavier had to regularly repeat the words "watch out."

Our lunch had gone amazingly, my mushroom ravioli tasted so heavenly I had to resist the urge to moan with every bite. Xavier kept the conversation going, and I found him to be more interested in me than I was in his personal interests - which says a lot because I was madly absorbed in all that he is.

However, to our disappointment, we finished our lunch early; so Xavier suggested dessert. But the place was too vacant that sitting there too long slowly turned displeasing, and I suggested we go on a walk to have some ice-cream instead. He answered back with a wide, pleased grin.

And so we wandered around in the streets of an unknown town, our arms regularly brushing and magnifying the sparks flying in the space between. We stopped at a pastel green ice-cream stand; Xavier got two scoops of Mint-Chocolate and I got two of Caramel-Swirl; our favorites.

"Tell me more about your job," Xavier said.

"It's incredible." I smiled, remembering all the chaotic fun we had at the company. "It's like this small place packed with some of the most creative, and crazy people that I have ever met. We have a lot of fun working on our projects."

Xavier nodded. "And when did you decide you wanted to become an artist?"

"Ever since I was born," I replied. "One of the very first things I learned to do was grab a pencil and draw, on literally anything," I chuckled, remembering all the mess I'd made back at my childhood home, drawing swirls across walls and tables. "My parents always told me I was a natural, so I decided to persue a career in Arts."

I looked up to witness Xavier's response, and in that moment a flicker of black distracted me from the warm smile playing on his lips. I peeked over his broad shoulder to see a black car with dark-tinted windows pass by, driving uncommonly slow. My eyebrows furrowed; this was their third trip around.

"Nora?" My eyes snapped to Xavier's questioning eyes. "Is everything alright?"

I contemplated telling him about the car. A small part of me worried he might think I'm an over thinker, which isn't exactly a charming trait, but another part of me wondered if perhaps it would matter to him to know if we were being followed.

But then again, why would we be followed?

"Nora?" He pushed, now stopping in his tracks and turning to face me.

I glanced over Xavier's shoulder at the car to see that it also stopped a few feet behind, mimicking our action. Now, that was really suspicious.

"Uhh, I think there's a car following us?" The intended statement came out more like a question.

"Where?" He was suddenly alert, his back involuntarily straightening and his shoulders pushing back.

I raised my eyebrows in motion to the car behind him, and he caught on. Xavier casually reached out for my upper arms, his hold firm enough that I could feel the warmth of his hands creeping over my blouse, and he slowly circled us around so that we switched positions without making it obvious. His long fingers brushed a strand of hair away from my cheek, tucking it gently behind my ear in a loving motion. For a second, I almost forgot it was all for show. His eyes suddenly turned cold as he looked over my head, but a minute later, they softened as he broke into a relieved smile.

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