I widened my eyes, watching my friend and Carlos. All those grapes in that basket? They're going to combust. The wine in that bottle? Getting ready to combust. Blake and Carlos? If they weren't going to do something soon, they would definitely combust.
Really, I can't believe I was saying this but, it would be dangerous to everyone if they didn't just release some tension. I didn't believe Blake when she said she was waiting for Carlos to crack. Well, OK, that's a lie. I just didn't know how Blake was holding herself together, if even I was going a little red in the cheeks, just by watching them.
"This spot will do," Carlos said as he placed the basket down. Daniel followed suit by placing large picnic blanket on the floor.
"Let us get this over with," Daniel murmured in my ear before gracefully sitting down.
After the picnic was finished with and witnessing Carlos feed grapes to Blake, Daniel made the decision to leave.
"I think it's time Rachel and I went for a walk," he said as he stood up.
I followed suit and looked down at Blake.
"You know guys, I think I'm just going to stay here. I've eaten too much and the sun's just right here," Blake spoke casually, but then she gave me a secret wink.
"Sounds good to me," I said abruptly. "We'll see you later."
Daniel and I walked next to each other through the tall grape vines. He was walking so close that I could feel his hand brush up next to mine. I knew he was tentative about pushing my limits ever since last night, so I decided to take a chance; I hadn't really used my new 'When in Florence' motto very well. I took his hand gently and he responded with a soft squeeze.
"So, Daniel," I began.
"Rachel," he teased.
"You guys are really rich..."
He laughed abruptly. "You noticed?"
"It was something to do with Carlos having his own driver, you getting invited to an art gallery opening and the fact that you guys own a vineyard."
"What do you feel about that?" I could feel him looking at me.
Once he asked the question, I realised I hadn't really thought about it. "I think it's daunting."
Daniel let out a quick breath. "Interesting."
"You," he said as he stopped in the middle of a row of grapes. "You never fail to surprise me."
When he stopped I was forced to stop too, our hands still being connected. Daniel seemed to tug on my hand a little, so that I was standing so close that I could smell the type of cologne he used.
"I'm still full of mysteries then?" I asked, ignoring how being this close to him made me lose my balance.
He bowed his head a little, forcing me to look into his deep green eyes. Yeah, that wasn't helping with the balance thing. "I like it."
"The mystery won't last long," I spoke softly. "You've only known me a day, remember?"
Daniel moved his hands slowly through my hair until he reached the back of my head, holding me in place. "Yes, but I have time to know you. You are beautiful, Rachel. Not just your appearance, but the little things you have let me see so far."
I couldn't really do much else but focus on my breathing. My focus shifted between his full lips and his eyes and it made my head go fuzzy. I wanted him to lean a little closer, but instead he let go of my head and took my hand.
We started walking through the vineyard again and I let disappointment fill me. I wanted him to kiss me. I actually wanted him to kiss me and he just didn't. He is the first person I've wanted to kiss since... Well, you know.
With his sculptured face further away from mine, clarity finally found me. I could form enough word to reply to what he had said. "What little things have I shown you?"
"Come," he spoke softly. "It's not too far."
When we turned at the end of one of the rows, there was a garden. I gasped and let go of Daniel's hand, walking into the centre. It was literally perfect. There was a small fountain where I now stood, if I looked straight ahead I could see a stone bench, surrounded by white flowers that grew upwards.
I turned around to face Daniel and he stood relaxed, wearing his dark jeans, white shirt and blazer perfectly. He smiled, softly.
"It's perfect," I said, unable to help the beaming smile I was sure I was giving him.
"I noticed that you have a special place for beautiful things," he explained as he walked closer to me. "Taking you to this garden was all I could think about, after you had left."
When Daniel reached me, he placed his hand through my hair and at the back of my head, like he did before. I felt the swelling in my chest that I felt last night, but the cause wasn't panic.
"It really is beautiful," I almost whispered.
"Much like you." He leaned forward slowly, as if he was letting me know his intentions. I placed my hand up his back as a way of answering him. When his lips met mine, the swelling in my chest swooped towards my stomach and for the first time in a while, I felt the excitement of something new blossoming.
It was refreshing and an unknown weight had left my shoulders.