River wasn’t quite certain what mystical forces were guiding her down this path. She was sure she had never been so eager to kiss a guy that it became the only thing she cared about. But at the same time, she knew that shewouldget to know Dominic, and if he was as lovely as he seemed to be, they would develop a truly wonderful relationship - just like Tom and John’s.

A few minutes after they had stopped kissing and River had moved back to her own chair, River's mother walked in, carrying a baking dish in oven gloves. She set it down on the table.

"River, will you help me set the table?" she asked.

River nodded and rose to her feet. In a few minutes the plates and cutlery were laid out.

"Where are Tom and John?" River wondered.

"I think they're eating with the other kids tonight."

River nodded, resuming her place next to Dominic.

River's mum sat opposite them and started serving the cottage pie she had baked, with peas and sweet-corn inside and cheese on top.

"Oh! I forgot the gravy." And in less than ten minutes, they had thick, oozing gravy over their meals too.

"So," River's mum said, looking at Dominic. "Tell us about yourself, Dominic."

River chuckled to herself at the way her mum sounded like she was interviewing Dominic for a job, but hoped her mum wouldn't get embarrassing with her questions.

"Um, there isn't much to tell. I moved here with my brother and I'm running the new guitar shop in town," he said, eating a large mouthful. River too sampled the dish. It was delicious.

Mrs Fleusie smiled.

"But what about your interests? Hobbies? What do you do when you're not running the store?"

"Guitar is the answer to all of those three. I ride my bike sometimes."

Dominic looked at River slightly, taking her hand under the table. She squeezed, though the smile she gave seemed like it could be in response to his answer.

River's mother continued.

"So you play? What type of music?"

"Um, I don't have a type. Usually just what I'm feeling."

River smiled. "That's lovely."

Jane nodded in agreement.

"So you compose songs yourself?"

"I don't write them down," Dominic laughs. "I more play for the moment."

"Maybe you should one day," she suggested. "You never know - you could end up as the next big thing in the music world." She smiled. "What type of music do you like to listen to? River's a big fan of classical music, though I guess she's told you that. Are you the same?"

"I don't have a type of music but classical is beautiful," he finishes looking at River with soft eyes, who was positively enchanted by everything he had said so far. She was now even surer about the rightness of their relationship. Looking perhaps a moment too long into his eyes, River began to feel like she was melting. She quickly turned to her mum.

"How was everyone at the care home today, Mum?"

Jane smiled. "They were fine. They were singing today. They really seemed to enjoy it."

"That's great."

And the conversation moved completely away from Dominic onto general things like school and major stories in the news. River knew that that meant her mother approved of Dominic, which made her heart swell with warmth and gratitude.

Afterwards, River led Dominic up the stairs to her room.

She gestured to it, though without stepping inside, grinning.

"My palace. Because you make me feel like a fairytale princess."

Dominic walked in, looking around.

"This is beautiful."

River hastily pulled him back, blushing furiously.

"You're not allowedinside!"

He looked at her and made her move so that she was up against the wall.

"Okay then," he whispered, kissing her passionately in that position.

River trembled at his touch and kissed back, unable to stop herself.

"Sure you want to do this in the open?" he whispered. His hands caressed her curves, bringing her torturous pleasure.

She moaned quietly. But she thought about what would happen if they were caught.

"My mum- if she catches us..." She looked up into his eyes - a certain mistake because it caused her to lose the will to argue. "I guess you could hide under the bed and I could say you'd gone to the bathroom," she suggested weakly.

He smiled and pulled her into her room, kicking the door shut behind him - which had the curious effect of making River feel even weaker. Dominic smiled again as he placed his hands on her hips and rested his forehead against her. "Much better," he whispered before kissing her again.

River sighed contentedly as they settled into a gentle rhythm but with intense emotions beneath the kiss, but pulled back after a few seconds.

"Not too fast," she murmured, in explanation. She wandered over to her bed and sat down upon it. "You're such a cool guy," she told Dominic sincerely, as she looked up at him and thought about his responses to her mother’s questions.

She sighed quietly. "I'm a little worn out now. You've taken my feelings on a rollercoaster ride." She pushed his shoulder gently, indicating he should lie down.

Dominic shook his head, remaining sitting up.

She shoots him a questioning glance but shrugs and moves to his lap. She puts his arms around her and just sits there quietly, head resting against him.

He eventually tilts up her face so he can kiss her

She kisses gently.

There is an unexpected knock on the door.

"Um, who is it?" River calls out anxiously.

"It's John."

"Oh, come in."

John walked in. He didn’t comment on Dom's presence. He was frowning in concern.

"I don't suppose you've seen Tom anywhere, have you? He disappeared after dinner and he's not in his room."

River shrugged. "No, I've just been here."

"Okay. Well, tell me if you find him. He was really quiet at dinner."

After he had left, River frowned in confusion.

"I wonder where he's got to." She shrugged again. "Now where were we?" she asked, looking up at Dominic.

He looked to be deep in thought for some reason and looked at River slightly jumpily when she faced him. "Oh yes," he said, smiling and leaning down to kiss her again.

River wound her arms around him and kissed back, wondering at how she could never grow tired of this.


Fortunately the pair weren't caught in River's bedroom before Dominic had to return home. River wished he could have stayed the night - not for any bad reason - but knew that her mother would have been even angrier at that. Just the thought of her mother being angry made her feel uncomfortable. But it had been worth alittlediscomfort for a great time. River couldn't wait until she hung out with Dominic again. Wouldn't it be amazing if she fell in love with him?

The End

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