"Meet under the Eiffel Tower at five! Sparky doesn't have his mobile so if you need to contact us call me! See you guys later and enjoy the sights!" I called back up the stairs as I practically skipped down them, dragging Sparx with me. Erica and Ethan planned to hit the monuments and galleries for most of the afternoon. By the time Erica had finished her makeup, and Ethan would know how long that took to the second, we'd dropped our room key and shot out the door and into the street.
Mmm fresh city air, I smell croissants from the shop on the corner, expensive cologne and designer perfume from everyone who walks past, a heady cocktail of petrol fumes and something that's something like nutty or biscuity or almondy or Sparxy... Please don't be blushing again. Please don't notice me blushing. Please Erica don't come out the door now and see me just standing...
"Shall we get going? I've got the map and the Champs-Elysees isn't far away. We should head that direction."
"Food first. Will you buy me a chocolate croissant? I'm buying you something so it's only fair."
"It's only general manners for the guy to be treating the girl to something. Where's your chivalry Sparky? Jeez," I teased him. "But we did eat breakfast without you so fair's fair. I'll get you a croissant but you have to get me anything I want. Anything."
"Deal." We started towards the patisserie then he turned and added with a smirk, "Within a reasonable price range."
"Deal it is." I smirked back. "Nice doing business."
Within an hour we were wandering up the most famous street in Paris. It was impossible to miss the sheer class of the crowds strutting around getting a business day's lunch in their crisp Armani suits and six inch Louboutin heels. I couldn't help but think that Sparx and I looked a little out of place in UK-highstreet-sale-wear. I mean, my dress was nice, but not really Parisworthy. Sparx looked scruffier than usual against a backdrop which was so ridiculously stylish. Though I guess that made him stand out a bit. Definitely marked him as a student who wasn't as rich as everyone else on these pavements. Baggy jeans, crumpled shirt, messy hair. He even still had chocolatey crumbs around his lips from the croissant.
"You've got something there Sparky." I pointed. He licked his lips and wiped it with the back of his hand. Yeah, definitely not on the same style street as the rest of the Parisians.
"Thanks Mels. Is it Sparky now? What happened to Sparxy?"
"Oh, I didn't mean to change it." Which was true I hadn't meant to at all. "I guess I got tired of saying the X. It's easier with a K y'know? You don't mind or anything?" His comment earlier this morning sprang to mind. Only cool people can call me Sparxy.
"Nah, it's cool. I kinda like it. It's a bit like being a pikachu. All electric and stuff."
I couldn't help but laugh out loud. "Well Sparky the pikachu, you owe me shopping. Let's go in here first!"
* * *
We only spent a few hours trawling through Dior, Givenchy, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Lacoste, Gucci, and Sparx still hadn't bought me anything. "Not in a reasonable price range," he said. Okay, even I wouldn't have splashed out that many zeros no matter how nice that bag was or how gorgeous those shoes were. I can only look and long. Aww. Shopping heartache. Goodbye hundred thousand euro shoes! I'll miss trying you on and getting dirty looks from the richer customers! Eventually we left the designer showrooms and headed for more accessible stores and straight for, yeah old habits die hard, the sales. Sparx bought me a lovely yellow dress and a wide brim white hat to go with it. Whip out the shades and you'd never guess I wasn't a tres chic French girl. Well, apart from my less than un peu meh companion. Oh, Sparky, if only you understood the joys of shopping, then we'd have you smartened up in no time. I'll have to sort that out for you sooner or later.
We got iced-creams and relaxed by the arc de triomph. I felt amazing in my new outfit and hanging out with Sparx all day had been... nice. Damnit for want of a better vocabulary.
"Do you want to find out how the others are doing? We've still got a while left before we're supposed to meet them," I said.
"We might as well call them, see what they're up to."
I got out my phone and started dialing. I wondered If Erica and Ethan had enjoyed themselves as much as I had.