The next three weeks are a daze of June weddings (one 1950s style, one boho chic and one with a Twilight theme), rising temperatures and daydreams of my impending date with Henry. He has called me a total of twenty seven times since that day at Something Old – the phone line serving to make his already rich-like-chocolate voice even more sensual – and he’s sent over a hundred messages. The content of his texts is sometimes fun banter, other times seriously flirtatious and in each message he counts down the days until he returns. Now that the day is almost here I can scarcely believe I’ll be seeing him again in a few short hours. I’m a nervous, lovesick and completely smitten mess and I still have no idea where we’ll be going or what we’ll be doing. In my wildest moments I’ve imagined that Henry will whisk me away to Gretna Green or Las Vegas to get married. I’ve agonised over what to wear and changed my mind countless times, finally deciding on my favourite poppy print vintage dress and sandals. I sincerely hope we wont be rock climbing.
Completely out of character, I’ve been scouring every gossip column and have even bookmarked TMZ and Just Jared on my web browser, but so far there’s been no whiff of any scandal. Of course, he is pretty much everywhere at the moment, with Man of Steel breaking box office records across the globe and more premieres yet to come, Cavillitis is the hot new fever to catch. Photos of him looking his usual scorching self at the Taormina Film Festival are the latest to appear online, and there is one of him casually sipping from a bottle of water that I’m particularly fond of. A month ago I would have been insanely jealous of that little plastic bottle, but now here I am, gazing at my laptop screen, remembering the taste of him on my lips; like my own personal spring, I thirst to drink him in again. I bring my fingers to my mouth and close my eyes as I recall our moment on the rooftop. My scalp prickles as I remember his hands cupping my face, the urgency with which he kissed me and the very real hardness of him against me. Just looking at him arouses me like wildfire and with the memory of his kisses as new fuel to burn, my fantasies are erotic, hot as hell and out of control. I practically float from day to day, skipping to work with the goofiest grin on my face and each time my phone beeps, I reach new, dizzying heights of happiness.
I am about to shut down for the night when my mobile buzzes. I snatch it up quickly and smile as I see a new message:
Do you have any idea how much I would rather be with you right now?
I hit reply and quickly type, purposely using as many shortcuts and slang terms as I can, just to wind him up. Henry has an aversion to typical text talk and types every single letter. It’s all very proper, very sexy and very Henry.
Prob as much as I want u 2 b here. Y wot r u doing?
I press send and his answering beep is quick to come:
Oh just a final press call. This craziness could all be over for me before I know it, so I am grateful, but I can think of a number of things I would rather be doing and they all include you. You do know that “wot” is not a word don’t you?
Two can play that game Mr Cavill. I type my message with unrestrained glee:
Yes I am perfectly aware that the letters WOT do not form a word recognised in the English language but neither do U B Y R and PROB. I wonder at your displeasure at my incorrect spelling of “what” and whether said disapproval encompasses all of my grammatical misdemeanours.
My only displeasure is that I am not with you. I am glad that you seem to have overcome your affliction. I hope that this improvement lasts until tomorrow at least.
Affliction? I dont hv an affliction. Only 4 u. R u going 2 tell me whr we r going?
What am I going to do with you? I certainly know what I’d like to do….
Don’t b a tease – u hv 2 tell me now!
No. You’ll just have to wait. Anyway, you’re the one teasing me about my grammar issues.
Please tell me….pretty please with sugar sprinkles, chocolate sauce and a cherry on top! I’ll be good. I promise.
I don’t doubt it, but you know that it’s going to be much more than good don’t you? I promise. Only one more day to go…..
Wait! Whr r we going?
I send my text but I know that it’s useless. He’s not going to answer me. Every conversation we’ve had these last few weeks has ended in this way, with this maddening, frustrating, and downright sexy countdown of his, so I am surprised when my phone beeps again.
I’d much rather I had you. On top……Tomorrow…….
I make my way to bed, his audacity making me horny as hell. I know I should be alarmed at his forwardness, but I can’t help the shivers his words send through me. Am I really that much of a done deal? Does he truly want to get to know me or does he just want in my knickers? I know I want him but does he really think we’re going to have sex on the first date? Am I that kind of girl? Well, yes for him I probably am. If I’m honest about it I’m a forgone conclusion – all bets off and he knows it, but should I play a little harder to get? I slowly realise that no matter what happens tomorrow I’m already in love with him and my heart is going to end up broken anyway, so I may as well just enjoy the ride.
Hmmm…me on top…. And with that my overheated libido pictures Henry, standing at the end of my bed, naked except for a Stetson and a pair of cowboy boots.
Wednesday arrives with a hazy, pre-dawn light that creeps slowly into my room, across my bed and up the walls and, minutes later, falls over my face with soft, yet ominous, glow. Sleep alluded me last night to the point that I was curled up at 2am reading the same page of my trashy novel over and over, until at last I’d dropped off into a light and dream-free doze. I woke 20 minutes ago at 6am and watched the shadows disappear as the light grew larger and brighter, an echo of the nervous knot in my stomach.
I get up and shower, luxuriating in the early hour and spend time beautifying myself. I am not a morning person and usually leave it to the very last-minute to drag my arse out of bed. I know I can look good enough without primping but Henry deserves better, so this morning I’m taking full advantage of waking early. If it wasn’t for the lack of decent sleep I may even manage to look desirable; as it is my skin lacks it’s usually glow and there are shadows like lunar craters below my eyes. Resolving to do the best I can with minimal make up and a miracle skin primer, I rejoice in the knowledge that at least my hair for once is behaving. I decide to straighten it – something I rarely do and am pleased with the overall result. I have a moment of blind panic after dressing, when I fret that my dress is too short, too red and too much of a booty call but realise it’s too late to change. My leisurely morning has suddenly vanished and a quick glance at my phone informs me that Henry will be here any second. I slip on my strappy flat sandals, spritz myself with my favourite fragrance – Kenzo Flower, grab my keys, sunglasses and cross-body bag and head outside.
Henry is leaning against a lamppost, looking for all the world like a Rayban-clad Greek god who has fallen fom his cloud. He is wearing a tight, faded red t-shirt that clings lovingly to his arms and chest and dark-blue jeans that cling lovingly to his butt. Even his clothes can’t get close enough to him! No-one wears jeans like Henry and no-one should look this good – not at 9am on a Camden street! He sees me and slowly smiles from behind his shades, his seraphic face lit up in the sunlight and I gasp. Surely this amazing man can’t be waiting for me? The heat of the day, already intense, coupled with my flaming cheeks make me thankful I stuck with the sundress.
“Good morning, Beautiful,” Henry says as he plants a soft kiss on my mouth. He tastes divine; cool, clear and minty fresh and he smells irresistible.
I don’t think I can speak for a minute. It was one thing talking and texting with him these last few weeks, but to think I really am going on this date with him is another thing altogether.
“It’s so good to see you. It’s been a busy few weeks but it’s great to come home, well, sort of home – if you know what I mean? And what a sight to come home to. You are an absolute vision.” He takes my hand in his and casually leads me down the street, “I love the dress. It’s a great colour on you.”
He laughs and I realise we match. I am too stunned by this very welcome p.d.a to do more than giggle shyly. I ponder for a minute at the sudden change in his outlook. At the After-Party he threw me over his shoulder in some kind of misguided privacy protection plan and now here we are hand in hand in public, in broad daylight, in central London. Surely there is more chance of being “papped” right now? I glance nervously around for any telephoto lenses surreptitiously lurking in the bushes of Camden’s scruffy, yet colourful suburbia. Is this what his life is like? Constantly on guard for fear of some unscrupulous hack snapping feverishly away during one’s day-to-day existence? I wonder what has happened in the recent past to cause this unexpected change.
“Where are we going?” I figure I may as well ask again, although I’ll find out soon enough no doubt.
“Surprise,” he answers, “we’re taking public transport by the way. I hope that’s ok”
“Er, sure, but who are you and what have done with Henry?”
“I still have my Oyster Card you know? I used to spend hours on buses and the tube going to and from auditions. It feels like so much has happened recently but, to be honest, it was only a few months ago that this was normal for me. It’s nice to feel normal again.”
“It must be hard to adjust, but what’s normal though? I mean you only have to look around Camden for five minutes to find the abnormal, the weird and the wonderful. I lived in a small town in Wales before I moved here, and never once have I felt that there was any normality there either.” I don’t add that my life is never going to be normal again.
“Right! Everyone spends so much time trying to build some kind of stability in their life, but is it worth it in the end? I mean, what do we really need to survive? I know this sounds hypocritical coming from me, but if it all were to disappear tomorrow, I know I’d still have the most important thing ever, and that’s the people whom I care about.” He speaks with such sincerity, it’s hard not to be impressed by his earnestness. I’ve heard him talk of his family before and it’s brutally obvious he loves them more than anything in this world. They are lucky to have him, and him them.
We arrive at the station and take the Northern Line to Elephant and Castle and then walk a short way to a bus stop. I’m still none the wiser as to our destination and wonder for a minute if we’re going to spend all day on London’s transport network. Henry is quiet but it’s not uncomfortable for me; in fact I can’t quite believe how easy it is to be with him. He sits down on one of the hard plastic seats and pulls me close, so that I’m practically in his lap.
“So, you’re Welsh?” he asks whilst wrapping his arm around my waist.
“No, I’m from Devon but I lived in Llanberis for a while with an old boyfriend. Stacey convinced me to come here three years ago as I’ve always wanted to open my own vintage bridal store, and London seemed to be the best place to do it. I love it here, although I haven’t seen as much of the city as I’d like to. I’m always working and if I’m not working I’m probably shopping for dresses.”
“Well, if the dress I was lucky enough to see you wearing is any indication of your business, I’d say you must be doing very well.” He says, “You don’t believe me when I say you looked beautiful, do you?” he adds whispering in my ear.
I blush and smile and look down at my hands. Henry leans in and nuzzles my neck and I relax completely against him. Our bus arrives and I spy the destination – Greenwich Park.
Our day passes in a dream-like sequence from a romantic fantasy movie. We are happy and relaxed in each other’s company, although the sexual tension between us is growing immeasurably and every kiss or glance adds to the supercharged excitement. It’s not just an elephant in the room, it’s a whole herd, complete with cute babies and an enormous matriarch and the room we’re all squashed into is about the size of an average under-stairs cupboard.
We’ve visited the Royal Observatory and gazed at the unbeatable view over The Thames across to St Paul’s, strolled through the wonderfully fragrant Rose Garden and stopped for coffee and pastries at The White House – a charming bakery near St Mary’s Lodge. Lingering on The Bandstand, I grabbed the opportunity to put my arms around Henry’s neck and pull him close for a sweet kiss. We took out one of the rowing boats at The Boating Lake. It was quite something to watch Henry in full throe as he rowed that little boat – the muscles on his arms and chest expanding and rippling with each stroke.
Henry is recognised often. Once by a group of fun and flirty cougars, and another time by a man in a Superman tee and his young son. Henry is his usual generous self and happily poses for pictures with them all and, much to the little boy’s delight, even picks him up for the last one. We attract stares and inspection wherever we go, but how much of this is due to star-struck fans or simply because of Henry’s impossible physical perfection, I can’t be sure. Mostly women (and a few men too), they gaze with glazed eyes and open mouths, but one girl treats me to such a look of intense jealousy and vitriol, I can almost feel her burning me with her laser beam eyes. I’m too wrapped up in Henry to care less and marvel constantly at our closeness.
We make our way leisurely through the park and I am struck at how beautiful it is here. There is a serenity and peace even with the many other patrons and it seems that everyone is having a good time in the sunshine. There are families having picnics or playing games, joggers and cyclists, dogs chasing tails, balls and each other, Tai Chi groups displaying their Zen-like calm and couples aplenty, strolling, talking, and kissing. We head along the path south west of One Tree Hill and emerge into one of the most beautiful wild-flower meadows I have ever seen. A sea of tall grasses and flora, simply buzzing with bees and bursting with colour, it almost seems impossible that we are still in London. I skip delightedly through the meadow and am bowled over again at the scene that unfolds before me. In the shade of a large oak, someone has laid out a private picnic, complete with faded blanket, hamper and delicate lace bunting that hangs like icicles from the tree. It’s an impossibly romantic setting that wouldn’t look out of place in a fairy tale. I turn to find Henry watching me, unsure of my reaction.
“Well, we need to eat and I thought you might like this,” he says with a shrug of his shoulders.
“When did you do all this? Come to think of it, when did you get back?”
“I flew back in this morning. I have to confess, a friend arranged this for us. I hope you like it.”
“It’s beautiful. Thank you.”
Suddenly we’re kissing, the passion inside us bottled up for too long bursting forth like a bottle of shaken lemonade. I sink to my knees and take Henry down with me, my hands exploring his face, head and shoulders. His fervour only serving to arouse me even more and I want him. Now. I lie back on the blanket and pull his face to mine, my hands lacing in his short curls at the back of his head. Sliding my hands down his sinewy shoulders and back, I find the hem of his t-shirt and slip my hands up and inside to his skin that is smooth and slightly slick with sweat. The heat between us grows and he moves over me, covering me with his body, his hips grinding rthymically into mine. He grabs my upper arms and moves swiftly so that I am now rolling over him and end up sitting astride his groin, my dress riding up around my hips.
“I really love this dress,” he says gasping between kisses, his hands smoothing a delicious path over my thighs and under the thin cotton, “and I want you more than I’ve wanted anything or anyone, but if we keep this up we’ll be done for indecent exposure.”
I pull back and look down at him, his eyes blue-bright and wickedly intense, his hair dishevelled with flecks of grass in it and I see his slow, sexy smile that is very nearly my undoing. I’m panting, sweat pouring between my breasts in rivulets and I give him an answering smile. Knowing he is right, I lift myself off and away from him, and straighten my dress. Inspecting the contents of the hamper to give my wandering hands something to do, I am pleasantly surprised to find fresh bread, cold meats, cheese, fruit, juice, wine and beer. Taking two bottles out of the cooler, I open them and pass one to Henry, who is sitting with his back against the tree, breathing hard and watching me with hooded eyes.
Taking a big sip, I sit down and lie back into him and ask about his family, his home and his life. He puts strong arms around me and pulls me closer, so that I’m nestled in the crook of his shoulder. We sit for hours, talking and kissing and getting to know each other in this glorious summer meadow.