Nate came over later in the evening to give me the gift he had gotten me. “It’s a guidebook of Paris,” he explains as I unwrap the book. “It has a lot of places that are more ‘off-the-beaten-path’ listed in it. I figured that since we’ll probably have a lot of free time on the trip that maybe we could check some of them out.” He shrugs as his face turns pink.
“I love it,” I tell him as I clutch the book to my chest.
“Really?” Nate looks at me in happy surprise.
I nod; then go to grab his present. I framed the drawing I had done of him. When he unwraps the drawing he looks at it, then up at me, then back down at the drawing.
“You don’t like it,” I guess.
“No, it’s just; wow it’s like living that memory - the one of you drawing me - all over again. The drawing is amazing.” Nate smiles honestly, then leans in and kisses me. Hesitantly at first, then when he realizes that I’m kissing him back instead of pushing him away he deepens the kiss.
“I’m glad you like it,” I say shakily as I try to regain normal breathing after the kiss ends.
“So why aren’t you busy spending Christmas with your family?” Nate asks as he plops down onto my bed.
“My mom had to go to work and my dad is busy working on the new exhibit for the museum. He’s in the kitchen.” I explain.
“Where’s the kitchen?”
“It’s in the basement. Why?” I ask. A devilish grin spreads across Nate’s face and I know exactly what he’s thinking. I feel my eyes widening as I say, “We are not doing that.”
“That? Whatever could you possibly mean? Can you elaborate a little?” Nate replies teasingly.
I roll my eyes. “You don’t do coy well.” I tell him as I cross my arms over my chest.
“It’s not like we’ve never done it before,” he insists.
“Not in this life and I don’t really remember the last time.” I remind him.
“Have you ever done it?” Nate asks quietly as he leans against my pillows “In this life I mean, with your ex or someone else?”
“Nope,” I say. “Have you?”
“Slept with your ex-boyfriend? Definitely not,” Nate jokes.
I sit down next to him and hit him playfully on the shoulder. “Seriously though, have you?”
Nate shakes his head, “I don’t want to with anyone other than you.”
“What if I’m not ready?” I ask as I look into his eyes.
“I’ll wait however long it takes.”
I swallow hard at Nate’s intensity, I need to change the subject; fast. “So why aren’t you celebrating with your family?”
Now it’s Nate’s turn to roll his eyes, “my house is so jam packed with relatives, and when I say relatives I mean immediate family, extended family, and all of my parents partners and employees; that they won’t notices I’m gone for years to come.”
I laugh, trying to picture it, and then mentally remind myself to sketch it out for real later.
“I’d rather be here anyway,” Nate says as he turns to study me further. Suddenly I get another weird flashback thing. My room fades away, replaced by another. I can’t see much of the room, but I know that I’m lying on a bed. Nate’s hovering above me, and all around us a violent storm is raging. Suddenly it’s like everything we were just talking about, all the things I couldn’t remember, are coming back to me at rapid speed.
My bedroom comes back into focus and I shake my head a bit to clear the new found memories away. Nate notices and says, “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
I try to smile, “just more memories.”
He still doesn’t look convinced. He pulls away a little, “do you want to talk about it?” He asks.
“It was just about what we were talking about before; the memories resurfaced. I think it was the way you were looking down on me, it reminded me of that.”
“So now you remember everything?” Nate asks hopefully.
“Just from that night,” I shake my head.
“And what do you feel about that memory?”
“I’m not sure,” I tell him, “I mean I hate the feeling I get when the memories begin. It’s like the rug is being ripped out from under me. As for the memories themselves, it’s a relief to know what my past was like.”
“I meant how did you feel about that specific memory?” Nate hovers over me, so much like he had in the memory.
“I think it’s going to take a little bit more than just four days and a memory resurfacing before I sleep with you.” I say firmly as I push a strand of black hair out of his eyes.
Excerpt from Finding Elizabeth
Copyright © 2015 by Taylor Fenner, All Rights Reserved.
This is actually one of my favorite scenes in Finding Elizabeth. I hope you enjoyed it, I thought it was fitting for my post for Christmas day. I want to wish you and all of your families a Merry Christmas!
Finding Elizabeth is available in ebook and paperback on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Createspace.