They were all in great spirits, laughing, joking and teasing through out dinner, and didn’t seem to mind pitching in to clear the table. “Thanks, Paul that was a great dinner,” Andrew remarked, to which the other’s immediately agreed.

“You’re welcome.”

“Now, shall we get ready and go to the Festival?”

“Let’s go.”  The four older teenagers went together, while Eilea and Andrew went with Paul, who led the way.

They watched for about an hour and a half when it became obvious that the teens were getting bored.  “I think we lost them,”  Paul whispered in Eilea’s ear.

Leaning closer, Eilea whispered back, “Frankly, I’m with them.  Although I love music, I am not into Folk music.  Jazz, yes, some blues, but what do you call this?”

“Too much?  Let’s get out of here!” he responded.  Tapping the kids on the shoulder he said, “Sorry guys, I figured they would have finished the Folk part and would be onto something else.”

“Phew, I was wondering how long we would have to sit it out.”

“I’m with you guys.  That was terrible, just terrible.”  Paul agreed.

“Are the Mall’s open late here?”  Theresa asked.

“You guys know the way home now, don’t you?  Why don’t you take a meander while we take in a local coffee shop and we’ll meet you there?”

“Ok with you, mom?”

“Yes, see you later,” she responded.  “I’m not sure that was a good idea.” Eilea whispered under her breath to Paul.

“What could they get into with Andrew along?  They’re responsible teens and they deserve some time alone.  They wouldn’t run off and leave him alone, right?”

“Absolutely not!!”

“Good, then you come along with me.”

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”  Assisting her inside the truck, he hummed a tune.  Eilea watched out the window at the passing scenery.  When he parked in from of a homey looking little house, she asked, “What’s this?”

“An exclusive little restaurant run by friends with the most delicious chocolate cheesecake in the world.”

“Really?”  Eilea’s eyes lit up.

Laughing heartily at her response, he continued, “I knew it.  You’re a cheesecake-aholic.  Is there such a word?”

“I don’t know but there should be, because I am one,” she admitted with a delighted laugh.

“Hi, Sarah, James.  How are you?”

“Paul, this is a delightful surprise.  We haven’t seen you in far too long.”

“Please, meet another friend of mine, Eilea Martin, Sarah and James Watson.”

“Hello.  I’m told you make the most delicious of foods in the world. The thing I love most in life itself.”

Shaking his head at Paul, James said, “Cheesecake?”

“Yep, cheesecake.  There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for a piece of rich chocolate cheesecake,” Eilea confided.

“I don’t see how we can let you down, we have the best, don’t we Paul?”

“I’d say so.”  Paul agreed.

“Let me show you to a table reserved for very special people.”

“What do you mean, there isn’t another soul in here at the moment,” Paul chided.

“That’s why it’s so special, you get your choice!  And you’re so special!”  James said with a wink.

“Would you care for a regular coffee or one with some zip?”

“No, just plain coffee and cream for Eilea.”  Paul said.

Eilea chose a seat opposite him so she could study his face.

“You got it.”  James smiled at Paul then winked.

Examining the room, she noted faux marble walls painted in tones of green and it had a cozy feel. “The decor is a delightful mix of old and new, very eclectic and look at that view!”

When James returned with a carafe of coffee, he poured two cups before lighting a candle in the middle of the table.  “Back in a moment.”     Paul leaned across the table and took her hands in his.   He didn’t have time to say much before James returned.  Paul settled back into his seat and smiled.

As they drank their coffee, it soon became obvious they weren’t going to spend any time alone.  James hadn’t seen Paul in a while and he was intent on catching up.  Paul considerately if frustratedly, obliged.

Page 39                                                                                         Page 37

 

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