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[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" She really was reading his mind. He shrugged a shoulder and looked down at the camera, catching a few more shots of her in succession. It had been their second date, and one of his favorite moments with her. He could still remember the way her hair was pinned back, and that gorgeous burgundy jacker she had worn.
[#1b1c4a [b "It was no problem."]] he murmured, a light flush rising to freckled cheeks. [#1b1c4a [b "At the time I would have thanked you for slipping."]] It was a joke, but he probably would have. It gave him the perfect opportunity to kiss her.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] A [#1b1c4a [b "Let's go over by the pond next. I have a couple more ideas and then we should be done."]] Not that he wasn't enjoying her company. In fact, maybe he was too much so. He held out a hand to help her up this time, without even thinking. He didn't take it back when he realized himself though. Instead, he just gave her a small, sad smile.
[center [font "Bookman" His arms wrapped around her and her eyes instantly shifted to his face. Her breath was caught in her throat. His green eyes stared back at her, making her heart bang against her chest. It was like their first kiss all over again. Only this time, she hadn’t reached up and caressed his face or poked his freckles. No, she simply stared at him, frozen in time.
That is until he cleared his throat. His fingers merely grazed against her skin, but she felt the blood in her veins run to her cheeks. She glanced down and nodded. “Sorry.”
Marisol stayed in place, waiting for the camera to click. Once it had, she slipped her hands through the holes of his jacket. “I couldn’t just let it fall on the floor, you know.” [right [pic https://i.imgur.com/7W0AY7C.jpg]]
If she could prevent things, she would try. That was her motto and sometimes that got into terrible accidents. Other times, it got others to pursue her romantically. In her case with Spence, it just always seemed to bring them closer, physically.
“You know, I never did get to thank you that day on the ice… when you caught me before I fell.”
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" Before she moved, he could tell there was something running through her mind, and it made the air feel almost electric, like it was harder to breathe. His attraction to her would never abate, it seemed. Just being [i near] her was enough to drive him crazy, because he [i knew] what she felt like, how willing she had always been to give herself to him, and yet... he couldn't have her.
He shifted a bit where he stood and took a breath, adjusting his camera to the new focus required when he saw the jacket slip. The jacket slipped, and of course she could never just let it be, she was always like this, she had to reach back for it, and fell off balance herself. Before he could stop himself, he moved to catch her before she could fall back.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] And then she was in his arms. Just like before. He had his arms wrapped around her, looking down at her face, and he swallowed hard. His mind was already wandering back to their first kiss, when she had slipped on ice, and he'd caught her and kissed her while she was still in his arms just like this. He cleared his throat and righted her then, slipping the jacket back onto her and stepping back. [#1b1c4a [b "... Careful, Mar."]]
[center [font "Bookman" Whatever she wanted. Her mind drifted off once again as she looked at him. What she really wanted at the moment was to reach out and touch his hand, trace the goosebumps over both his arms and wrap her hands behind his neck, close the distance and—
[i With the pictures Mar, get it together] This was terrible. Mar reminded herself she was getting married. Married, and not to Spencer, but to Kai. Marisol shook her head. She could choose to not take the pictures at all. But, if she said she didn’t like any of Spencer’s works, Kai would stop working with Spence all together and Spencer wouldn’t have a gig. He wouldn’t be able to pay his bills. [right [pic https://i.imgur.com/7W0AY7C.jpg]]
Marisol placed her hands on her lap, as he requested and turned to face the middle. Though, as she did the jacket around her shoulders slipped. She reached back, to grab it before it fell and lost her balance.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" The comment made him feel triumphant. Even after this long, he still knew her and her tastes. He still knew everything about her, every lilt in her voice when her moods changed, her needs, every curve of her body... He pushed that thought away as soon as it hit him and grimaced at the idea that Malikai wanted to show the world she was his. No she wasn't. She didn't belong to anyone.
[#1b1c4a [b "Well, he's not here, so we can do whatever you want with these pictures, Mar."]] he offered, looking up at her from where he was below on the ground. Something told him that [i whatever you want] wasn't something she got to hear outside of material things.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] [#1b1c4a [b "Pur tour hands in your lap and face the middle of the gazebo. Right hand under the left."]] he instructed next, climbing into the gazebo with her now and standing up on the bench across from her to get a good vantage point.
[center [font "Bookman" The click of the shutter brought her back to the moment they were in. The time and place. Reality where he was no longer hers and she belonged to another. Marisol’s eyes darted to him at the touch of his hand. A spark surging through her nerves. Her finger twitched, wanting to be joined with his. But she couldn’t. She was with Kai.
Once he had taken the shot and showed her, Marisol leaned over. Her eyes staring at the ring in the picture. “It’s so... flashy.” The discontentment was evident in her voice.
She shook her head though. These pictures, the entire plans for the wedding, they weren’t her. She was just following what Kai wanted. His vision for them. His plan. Not theirs. “He’ll like it. Shows off his money and lets the world know I’m his right?”
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/7W0AY7C.jpg]]
Her eyes drifted over Spencer. “It’s a nice picture though, don’t get me wrong. You always had a good eye. I’m just not a big fan of this.” She held lifted her hand and wiggled her ring finger.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" As soon as she smiled, he shot the first picture, grinning down at his camera. She was so fucking photogenic it made work seem like a breeze. He shifted a little closer and aimed at her hand, to get a closer shot of the ring.
God, it was so... Gaudy. He hated it on her. She needed something simple, maybe with an opal. She had never been a diamonds person. He poised to take the picture, but something wasn't right. He reached out then and touched her hand, moving it into just the right position.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] His heart immediately started to pound, racing like he had run a marathon. He looked up at her when he let go, feeling the burn where their skin had touched. He swallowed hard, and lifted the camera to take the shot, taking a look at it in the camera afterward. [#1b1c4a [b "... Looks great, Mar."]] He turned the camera to show her, avoiding looking at her face now.
[center [font "Bookman" Well… that made her feel a lot better, not. He went on blind dates… multiple. Though nothing had came from them. Mar had only went on a date with one person and that was Kai. And even then, it only started because she wanted him to stop asking her.
Mar nodded, following his direction. She took a seat where he asked and placed her hand on the rail. Turning her head, she looked away, in the opposite direction of him. “You don’t have to ask me, Spence. I told you, I trust your judgement. I’m following your lead.”
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/7W0AY7C.jpg]] Not that he needed to really know that. He should have known that by now. With all the photos he’d taken of her before, she always did as he directed. Until she wanted to be playful and tease him. She still remembered the times when he’d take photos of her at home. Him, pulling out his camera for a photo and her lifting her shirt or dress, teasing him. Or the times when she would wrap her arms around him and pull the camera over his head, just for a kiss.
Yes, those were the happy days she enjoyed remembering and she couldn’t help but smile as she thought of them.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" They'd only lived together about a year and they were already getting married. That wasn't right. Him and Marisol had been together for 7 years... Yeah, that made him feel better. He approached the gazebo and did his best not to wince at the question.
[#1b1c4a [b "Ah... No."]] he muttered, shaking his head. [#1b1c4a [b "I had a couple of blind dates set up by Sam but nothing ever came of it."]] That was pretty pathetic, and he knew that, but nothing measured up to her.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] [#1b1c4a [b "Why don't you step up here, and take a seat on the side, with your left hand up on the rail for me?"]] he directed gently, turning his camera on and standing down, waiting for her to climb up. This would be a gorgeous shot, with the background and the current lighting.
[center [font "Bookman" She knew that look in his eyes. He was already preparing for the shoot in his head. Spence was creative like that. She admired him for it. And as his smile grew, Mar had to force her eyes away to keep away the tempted thoughts running through her head.
Stepping into the garden, she nodded at his words. The two of them together with no interruption sounded wonderful- in a professional kind of way of course. “It’s fine. He’s busy most times. We do spend time together… just not as much as you and I used to.”
Marisol matched his steps, walking beside him towards the gazebo. “And we’ve only lived together for about a year… so, I’m still settling in to his lifestyle.” [right [pic https://i.imgur.com/7W0AY7C.jpg]]
Mar glanced in his direction. “What about you… any one manage to sneak their way into your life?” She gave him a smile, but the thought pained her. Even though she was with another… she was still tethered to him.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" He knew that gazebo well. He used to take a lot of pictures there, before he had met Marisol. It was like she knew him even before she [i knew] him. He smiled a bit wider when she suggested it, and resisted the urge to reach out and brush her hair from her face when she smiled at him like that.
[#1b1c4a [b "Yeah. That sounds really good, Mar."]] There were gorgeous blue flowers there that would look amazing with her skin tone. He could already see the pictures coming together in his head, and he felt his heart skip a beat.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] [#1b1c4a [b "It shouldn't be busy there today, so we can probably get them done without much interruption"]] he mused, holding open the gate to the public garden for her as they approached. He had always loved taking her out for impromptu photo sessions. A lot of pictures of her were still up on his portfolio website. [#1b1c4a [b "Sorry you have to do this without your fiance."]] Did he ditch our on her a lot?
[center [font "Bookman" Mar kept her gaze low. It must’ve reminded him too much of her. She understood. There were things she still had at home she hardly touched, like one of the books he bought her and scribbled a message inside for her. A book she cherished and kept hidden from others. Her eyes shifted to him, catching a small smile creeping on his lips. Her lips twitched at the sight. His smile was always contagious.
Yes, she knew him. He enjoyed being on the other side of the lens. Capturing moments and feelings into a still image. He was always passionate about it and she loved that about him. He had a way of seeing things from a different view and she implemented that into her own lifestyle because of him.
Mar looked over to him as he questioned about Malikai. She nodded. “Yeah, it’s a family business. He’s more hands-on than his father was. So, he always likes to do things on his own, show the staff exactly how things should be done.”
He’d even show her. That was probably one of the things she didn’t like. Kai had a specific vision and he followed that. If things were off, he’d tweak them to fit it. Whenever they went out, he’d make sure she was dressed to his liking, hence the loose-fitting silk blouse and the pencil skirt that hugged at her hips. [right [pic https://i.imgur.com/7W0AY7C.jpg]]
She would have never worn such a thing. Mar was a yoga leggings-sweatpants type of girl. Glancing down at the coffee in handed tossed it out just as he did his own. She wasn’t a big fan of coffee and Kai knew this, yet he always tried to get her some anyway. Mar held his jacket closer to her, inhaling the scent that brought back far too many good memories. She drew her bottom lip between her teeth, bitting down for a moment.
“Spence…” His name finally slipped off her tongue. She shook her original thought from her mind. Her eyes traveled up to his as she gave him a small smile. “There’s a white wooden Gazebo in the garden… maybe we can take some shots there?”
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" The minute he saw her getting cold, he shrugged his jacket off again and draped it over her shoulders without waiting for an objection. He had always been like that, thinking of others, and besides, he was wearing a sweater. She was just in a blouse.
He followed her gaze down to the camera and thought of the same thing she did. Of course he didn't get rid of it, but he had dropped it one night, not that he would admit he had been crying over her, and the lenses had cracked. He thought it suited their relationship, but he wasn't ready to get rid of it. Maybe some day he would fix it.
[#1b1c4a [b "More out of necessity than anything. I liked my old one, but..."]] he trailed off, shrugging a shoulder as they turned the corner. Talking with her still proved easy- it was almost easy to forget that any time had passed at all.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] [#1b1c4a [b "Photography is great. You know me, I've always been happy on this side of the viewfinder."]] he commented, smiling a bit and finishing off his coffee to toss the paper cup into the nearby trash. [#1b1c4a [b "Malikai. He manages hotels...?"]] He would be careful asking questions about the guy, but he had an unnamed need to [i know] the person who was trying to marry the love of his life. Even if it hurt.
[center [font "Bookman" When he was ready to go, Mar grabbed the book and held it under her arm. She hadn’t brought a sweater believing she wouldn’t need one. Kai would have kept her warm with his suit jacket if she got chilly, but he was gone. Her only sense of warmth was the coffee cup because she wouldn’t ask anything of the man beside her.
Mar looked over to him. A smile formed on her lips. She always had to get her hands on the latest manual. One never could stop learning. The more she learned, the more she could help the world, the less of a chance someone would die in her arms. Mar gave others a fighting chance.
They were practically indoor people, but Spence always got her nose out of the books and out into the world. Trivia nights were one of her favorites, and they’d win almost every time — almost.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/7W0AY7C.jpg]] “I don’t mind the pace. It can be exhausting, but you know me, I look forward to helping others to the best of my abilities.” Her eyes traveled down to his camera. “What about you, enjoying life as a photographer still? I see you got a new camera.” Which only made her wonder if he’d gotten rid of the one she bought him months before their relationship ended.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/YGwjVY3.jpg]] [center [font "Times New Roman" Well, she didn't change ever, so it seemed. She was always making those offhanded comments about him drinking his coffee too soon. As if to make a point, as he always did, he took a good long drink of it and cocked a brow at her over the coffee cup.
When she said she was ready to go, he stood and slipped his jacket back on over the sweater, and hung his camera around his neck. The coffee he took with him, and he waited for her before leading her out of the coffee shop. It was almost second nature to him to reach out and take her hand, but he managed to quell the urge, slipping his free hand into his jacket pocket. The gardens weren't far from there, at the very least.
[#1b1c4a [b "I see you're still reading nursing books. You graduated and got placed, and you'll still never stop, will you?"]] It sounded like a tease, but really he admired that about her. Her thirst for knowledge was something to behold, truly. She was a champ at trivia nights, when they used to go. His attempt at getting them out of the apartment.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/BnDZbry.jpg]] If he was going to be working with her, he figured he could at least be conversational, instead of this awkward, looming silence. He hated being miserable. He was always trying to make her laugh, or cheer her up in some way. [#1b1c4a [b "How are you liking work? Still looking forward to it every day? Or has the busy pace of the hospital's ER finally getting to you?"]]
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