Standing looking at myself in the full length mirror in my bedroom I try my hardest to find something positive to say about my dress and looks, but find it almost impossible. I look ok, I guess; I say to myself as I smooth my hand over the soft silk fabric of the deep blue evening dress I had only just purchased that morning. As I slipped the high heels I had also newly purchased on, taking one last long look in the mirror I had a million and one thoughts flood my mind at the same time.
Would he be there? Was I making a complete fool of myself? What if I’m not enough for him? Did he really want me there?
Every time I thought I was getting better my lack of self confidence and self esteem would rear its ugly head and bite me on the ass again! Now, as the night I had long since dreamed of looked to be coming true I was again struck with a bad case of nerves and self doubt what the hell would he see in me? I thought as I tried to calm myself with a small snack. Looking through the bare fridge I realised it was hopeless; I had two options open to me. I could turn up as I was and pray he was there or I could stay in and hide like I normally did. As I stood staring blankly into the fridge the matter was took out of my hands as I heard a knock at the door, walking to my front door I was shocked to find my best friend stood there sobbing her eyes out on my doorstep.
“I didn’t know where else to go Gabby, he’s left me!” She managed to sob through the tears that had clearly been flowing all day, sighing deeply I invited her in and hugged her closely as he tears continued to fall.
It has been three hours and still Sarah was crying, although the sobs had become silent and less heavy there they were still flowing. Although I wanted to be there for my friend, somewhere in the back of my mind I was still thinking about the wonderful man who had asked me to join him that evening at the party.
“I’d be honoured if you would be my guest tonight Gabby, it’s going to be a great party." He had said to me with a soft smile and kind eyes, the ones I had seen many times before but never this closely before. With thoughts raging through my mind I tried to think of my friend but when she noticed my attire after she had stopped crying, she asked me what was happening.
“I’ve been invited to a party with…” Pausing, having no real idea what to call him, I tried to choose my words carefully.
“An old friend from the club. But it’s ok honey, you let it all out.” Hoping it would be enough I went and got us some more coffee, leaving her to composer herself and following me into the kitchen.
“When do you have to be there Gabby?” Sarah asked, as she handed me the milk.
“In an hour, if I go.” I reply honestly, still trying to find a reason to go to the party.
“If it’s him you are going with, you should go.” Was all she needed to say, both of us knowing what the other was thinking right at that moment. Standing there I begun to think about all that I had gone through over the past few months and how he had been there for me through all of it, how when I had been attacked he was the one who became my hero and saved my life. Throughout it all, he had been the one constant thing in my life and although I had feelings for him deep down which I couldn’t explain the ones I could explain were just as strong. When I had needed a friend he was there for me and no matter what, I knew that as long as I kept my feelings closely guarded we could have a great night. Finally making my mind up to go, Sarah dropped me off at the bar and wished me good luck. Smiling and thanking her I said I hoped I wouldn’t need it and left for the party.
Walking into my local bar on any other night would have been easy, but this wasn’t like any other night I had ever experienced and it wasn’t easy. Standing in the doorway, my mind churning I felt a million and one different emotions running through my body all at once and while I tried my best to get them all straight in my mind I had no idea he would be feeling the same way. Sitting at the bar he would be going through hell in his mind, worrying that I wouldn’t turn up and that I wouldn’t want him among everything else that had seemingly become too much for him.
“She’ll be here mate, stop worrying!” John said as he put his hand on Harry’s shoulder and tried to comfort his friend, trying to smile but knowing it would never reach his lips Harry sat there with thoughts running through his already overloaded mind. Stood by the door I watch as John tries to comfort his friend, I am captivated by how uncertain Harry seems. He’s always so confident, I think to myself as I can feel my own nerves begin to calm and steady themselves. Walking over to his side he turns before I reach him, smiling at each other my own sense of relief is relayed in his deep brown eyes.
“You look stunning Gabby…” Harry said after a moment of silence, and kissing me on the cheek he inhaled deeply revelling in my scent.
“I wasn’t sure if you were going to make it or not.” He said, blushing at his own lack of confidence.
“Of course I would Harry; I wouldn’t miss this party for the world.” I replied shyly, touched by his lack of confidence; glad that my own nerves were felt by him too. As the drinks were ordered and we had passed the time of day with each other the silence descended upon us both, leaving us feeling less confident than when we walked in. it was John that became out saviour, as he talked to us both and helped us both to feel at ease.
“It should be a good party tonight; I’ve heard Becks will be there.” John said as he noted the tension in the air, smiling at him I was about to reply when a mutual friend who worked in the bar’s kitchens came running out towards us.
“Gabby, we need you in the back. Jess had cut her hand badly; can you come have a look at it?” Smiling at the fact I seemingly was never off duty; I nodded and followed him back to the kitchen.
“What’s up Harry? This isn’t like you; you’re normally all confident and bold.” John asked the moment I had walked away, causing a small smile to pass over Harry’s lips.
“You know why John, normally I’m the one in control.” Sighing deeply, Harry replied as John nodded; knowing only too well what he was feeling.
“I’ve never felt like this, I don’t know how to deal with it.” He continued, for a few moments both were silent, before John spoke.
“Be honest, tell her the truth and just relax!” Before either had the chance to continue I appeared back at Harry’s side. Running my hand softly up his back slightly caused him to jump slightly; turning to face me slightly there was a moment of silence between us. Nodding to Harry that he should talk to me, John made his excuses and left us alone to talk.
“I’m so glad you have been there for me Gabby, when I lost Tina and the kids I couldn’t have got through it without you.” Pausing to compose himself Harry moved a little closer to me and took my hand in his, before taking a deep breath and continuing unsure where this would all end.
“You know, when my business went through it’s rough patch you were there for me again. I really don’t know what I’d do without you Gabby.” Wanting to say so much more, but unable to as the words got stuck in his throat Harry silently held my hand as he looked anywhere but into my eyes.
“I feel the same way about you Harry…” I started to say as I felt him squeeze my hand lightly, knowing I too wanted to say more I took a deep breath and tried to continue.
“When I got attacked, it was you that I ran to and you that saved me. And when my Nan passed away it was you who I cried on, your shoulder I leaned on.” Pausing again I felt Harry place his hand upon my back as he pulled me slightly into his warm embrace.
“I feel the same way about you Harry, I don’t think I could have made it without you either.” I say as I deeply inhale his scent, feeling how he reacted to my arm going around his waist. I can feel him react and pull me closer as we both relax in each others company, kissing my forehead lightly but lingering for as long as he could Harry spoke.
“It was nothing; I know you would always do the same for me Gabby.” Feeling his genuine warmth and friendship, I felt like I could relax more and let tonight just take its course.
As we travelled to the party and sat down to the meal the conversation was flowing, as always we got on like a house on fire and found ourselves becoming even closer friends than we already were.
“Did you see Stuart having a go at their manager last match?” Harry asked as the first course came up, nodding as I say thank you to our waiter.
“Yeah I did, we were standing close by wondering what he was going to do next. Kay said she’d like to tan his behind and take his football away!” Smiling and laughing we sit and eat while the conversation continues to flow freely.
“How did you get on with that meeting the other day Harry? I remember you said it was bothering you their uncertainty.” I ask as the main course comes up and we thank the waiter again, smiling at the waiter Harry waits a moment before replying.
“Things were ok eventually, I thought they were going to mess me about but it was ok in the end. It’s such a relief though; we have been after the contract for years.” Talking about anything and everything we both felt incredible relaxed with each other, but there was still an underlying feeling that we were avoiding the one thing we needed to talk about most.
As the desserts came and went, neither of us had broached the subject of why we had both turned up to the party. When Harry had asked me to go with him my first thought was it would be as friends, but when he had the chance to take a girl I assumed was his girlfriend and he didn’t I was kind of shocked. It is true that when I first met Harry I fell instantly in love with him, but in all honesty there were very few women that couldn’t fall for him. Six foot two inches with a very athletic and toned build, Harry had handsome boyish good looks that most women would fall for anyway. But when you added his good looks and charm to his sensitive nature and sense of humour, there were very few women who could resist. Harry’s personality would be something else women loved, he was an honest loyal loving old fashioned gentleman and it wouldn’t be long after he lost Tina and the kids that women came calling so to speak. Sitting watching the others dance and get into the swing of the party, I sat with Harry talking about our lives.
“What happened to Lucy? She seemed nice Harry; you could have brought her here with you.” It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be here or that I didn’t want to be with him, but my lack of confidence and self esteem would never allow me to believe that he was here with me because he wanted or liked me.
“Would you rather that?” Harry replied, it wasn’t meant but the coldness and shortness in his tone was easy to spot.
“Don’t you want to be here with me?” He added with sadness and almost disappointment, trying to search his eyes for what he was feeling Harry kept them fixed firmly to the table.
“It’s not that Harry, I just thought you two were an item. She’s nice, she likes you.” I said trying to smooth things over but knowing the damage had already been done, sighing deeply I could tell something was on his mind.
“Yes she’s very nice and I know she likes me, we’re not an item as she’s not who I want.” Was all Harry said, and that’s all it took for my heart to miss a beat.
“I’m sorry Harry, I didn’t mean to…” Letting my voice trail off I knew that anything I said now would not help; I’d already got it wrong.
Smiling and looking at me, for a moment the silence fell between while Harry tried to find the right words.
“It’s ok Gabby, I know what you meant. Lucy was a lovely young lady, just not what I want.” He replied, taking my hand in his and trying to make me feel at ease. I wanted to press further but the moment was lost when John came back over, slumping down next to me I could tell he’d had a little more to drink than he should.
“Hey sexy, wanna dance?” Grinning at me I knew he’d had a lot to drink, but even though I said no I still got dragged to the dance floor. As we danced our way round the floor, laughing with each other and giggling like children I could feel Harry’s eyes on me. All the time I danced his eyes were on me, watching me studying me intently. Both I and John were aware of this and as a slow song came on and we moved into a close embrace as we dance, he spoke.
“You know Harry was really glad you could make it, he wouldn’t have wanted to be here with anyone else.” John said as he moved closer to my ear, inhaling the scent wafting up the nape of my neck. As I hear him sighing slightly I can sense this conversation could take a dangerous turn if I didn’t watch things, pulling back slightly I smile and answer him.
“I’m glad I could make it too, and that Harry invited me. I was a little shy and nervous I admit, but Harry is great at making me relaxed.” I say trying to smile and stop my overactive imagination working overtime, knowing that both I and John couldn’t go down this road especially after the last time. Although when I first met both Harry and John it was Harry I fell for it was John that I dated, not that I didn’t like John too it was just that I wanted Harry right from the start. While Harry was a good friend and happily married it was John that I was getting closer to, and it was John that broke my heart. Not that I would ever let him know that of course! John was known for having a ‘roving eye’ and when I had taken about as much as I could I would confront John, we would fight and he would walk away from me. While it did hurt me and I did feel betrayed I soon realised that I was being a little over protective, especially since he had never strayed. Over the years we would talk and make up, but never again would either I or John ever be able to get back to a relationship with each other. As the song finished I thanked John and walked back to the table, noting how Harry who had been watching me intently seemed to smile more as I walked back to his side.
Before I got the chance to sit down Harry was up off his feet and holding his hand out to me, smiling as he spoke.
“Would you care to dance with me now Gabby?” Nodding I take his hand and follow as Harry leads me to the dance floor, pulling me into his arms as the music starts to play. We dance close and talk, I note how well Harry dances.
“I never knew you could dance so well Harry.” I say as we twirl around and slowly gyrate to the seductive sounds of the amazing live singer called Cat, feeling him pulling me closer as the lights dim even more and the songs begin to slow more. Smiling into my hair as he pulls me close, Harry replied.
“I love dancing, just don’t get the chance to do it as much as I would like to.” Holding me in his arms Harry knows he needs to be honest and tell me what he really feels but actually finding the right words could be easier said than done, sighing I can sense Harry has something on his mind.
“What’s wrong Harry?” I ask as I pull back slightly, noticing the vacant look in his eyes. I began to worry that maybe something was wrong, or that he didn’t want to be here with me anymore. The other thing that went through my mind was the way John had gotten a little too close to me again, I had always had a good relationship with both John and Harry but after I split up with John things always had an ‘atmosphere’ between us all.
“Nothing’s wrong Gabby, I just…” Harry started, having no real idea what he wanted to say. He knew he wanted to tell Gabby he loved her but getting that into the right words could be easier said than done, looking at her he knew in his heart he couldn’t let her walk away tonight without telling her how he felt. Taking a deep breath Harry felt like it was now or never, pulling me close slightly he spoke.
“Take a walk outside with me Gabby? I want to talk, but can’t with the music so loud.” Ok it may have been a little bit of a fib, but Harry knew he could never say what he wanted here and now. Nodding I follow Harry outside of the hall and over to the park across the road, walking in comfortable silence both well aware of the heightened atmosphere surrounding them. Walking through the park I notice the bright moonlight that is shining down upon us, sighing at its beauty I slip my arm through his instinctively.
“It’s a beautiful night isn’t it Harry?” I say, trying to get comfortable with the silence that is surrounding us both.
“Yes it is, very romantic don’t you think Gabby?” Harry replied, trying to find the right words. Not really answering but taking in the beauty of it all we walk over and sit on a nearby bench, sitting closely together.
“Gabby?” Harry started to say; hoping he would be right and that she would reject him and would feel the same way. Turning slightly to face him I noticed how Harry couldn’t look me in the eyes, hoping I was wrong and that he felt the same way I did.
“I meant what I said about not being able to do this without you Gabby; you have been there so much for me.” Pausing to gather his thoughts, Harry took a deep breath and prayed he was right.
“I’m glad you could make it tonight also, I was worried that you wouldn’t want to be with me. It’s been a long time Gabby; I am a little out of practise here!” Seeing his smile I can sense that he’s trying to stop his nerves and make him feel more at ease, wanting to say something and put him at ease I take his hand in my own and go to speak.
“Please Gabby let me finish, I need to say this. When I said it wasn’t Lucy I wanted to be here with I meant it, it’s you.” Taking a deep breath he goes to speak again but finds the words get stuck in his throat, staring back out over the moonlit park trying to calm himself.
“What are you telling me Harry?” I ask, hoping that he feels the same way I do.
Sighing and taking a deep breath while still trying to find the right words Harry lets go of my hand and gets up from the bench, walking over to the side of the lake. Watching the moonlight dance across the water Harry got lost in the moment trying to find the words to say I love you he never noticed I had walked over to his side and was now stood slightly behind him, looking out over the same moonlit lake taking in its silent beauty. I can hear his deep sighs as I realised he was trying to find the correct words to say how he felt, and although I had hardly any confidence or self esteem I felt that maybe; just maybe he felt the same way about me. Should I risk it and say something? I thought to myself, it would be the first time I had ever been bold and said how I felt. Even when I was seeing John, I never once told him how I felt first because I never could. Taking a deep breath I spoke, hoping to find the courage from somewhere deep inside.
“Dance with me Harry?” Looking at me questioningly Harry turned to face me, holding my arms out so he could take me in his own. Nodding Harry pulled me into his arms and we started to sway gently to the music in our minds, letting the mood and the romance of the evening wash over us. Feeling the emotions of the evening washing over him, Harry took a deep breath and went to say the words he’d been longing to say even since the two had first met.
“Gabby, I’ve been longing to tell you how I feel. Every since we first met I have wanted to tell you I like you a lot and want to be with you.” Wanting to say those three words Harry sighed at only being able to say that he liked her, loosening his arms and grip from around her waist he prayed she wouldn’t back away.
“I feel the same way about you Harry, it was you I wanted and you I wished I could have been with. You must know by now that I have fallen for you?” There I had said it, I had told the truth. Staying in his arms we both stood still, facing each other our hearts beating as one. Silence surrounding us, neither needing to speak our eyes conveyed all they needed to say.
“Oh God Gabby, I feel the same way! I have been in love with you since we first met.” Harry now felt able to say as he pulled me closer into his warm embrace, cupping my face in his hands gently he lays a soft tender assault of light kisses upon my lips. Slowly the kisses became more passionate and longer until we softly kissed a true lovers kiss, feeling and hearing him moan slightly against my lips made my own desire rise. Feeling his passions and desire growing caused me to shiver, pulling away he spoke.
“Are you cold my love? Here take my jacket.” Taking the jacket from around his body Harry wrapt it around my cold body, feeling loved as he gently kissed my forehead.
Taking me by the hand Harry led me off back toward the hall and hotel that would be our accommodation for the evening, smiling to the doorman as we walked inside. Assuming we would be going for a quiet drink I was almost disappointed when we headed to the elevator, then moments later I was shocked as me headed straight for the top floor knowing that neither of our rooms were here.
“Where are we going Harry?” I ask as he just smiles at me and tells me to wait, chuckling to himself when I pull a face that says I can’t wait. Walking out of the lift Harry takes me by the hand and we head off in the direction of the penthouse suite, stopping at the door he takes a silk blindfold from his pocket and questioningly moves towards me. Nodding I turn slightly so Harry can blindfold me, after doing do he leads me forward as I assume we are heading inside the penthouse suite.
“Just a little further my darling, and then we can take the blindfold off.” Harry’s words sooth me and make me feel strangely calm and serene and as I came to a stand still I didn’t feel as scared as I thought I would, even when Harry let go of me for a few moments I was still amazingly calm and relaxed.
Taking the blindfold from my eyes, Harry stood holding me in his arms from behind as I adjusted to my surroundings. The room was decked out with scented candles and soft music playing in the background, although the room was very minimalist in it furnishings what it did have made it feel very cosy. There was a balcony where the double doors had been opened and the moonlight shone inside, a table sat with two chairs and my favourite wine sat chilling in the cooler sat upon the table joined with two lead crystal cut glass glasses. Feeling the romance of the night overwhelming my already overloaded thoughts I shivered again, causing Harry to pull me closer and kiss my neck gently.
“You should see our bedroom my dear sweet Gabrielle” Harry soft accent seemed to be smoother as his softly continued to caress my body and kiss my neck, leaning into him I close my eyes and just get washed away with the emotions of the evening. Taking me by the hand a leading me to the balcony Harry pours us a glass of wine each and as we stand watching the moon shining bright in the sky I can feel myself fall further in love with the man stood there searching my eyes.
“Here’s to a long and most passionate romance.” Harry says as he raises his glass in a toast to our relationship, knowing it could never feel wrong I join in the toast as I stare out over the beautiful view from our balcony. Taking my hand in his after we had finished our drink, Harry leads me off to our bedroom. Inside I find there’s more scented candles in here, a king size four poster bed with silk sheets that are covered with red and pink rose petals. Feeling Harry’s kiss upon my neck I again shiver at his touch, safe in his arms I give myself to him as I had wanted to do so many times in the past, finally feeling whole once again.