I see that we've parked literally steps away from the beach, and that the holiday homes filled with tourists during this time are stretched out on the other side of the road. I look down at the beach and see an older couple taking a walk while a family is having a picnic. The two children in costumes are playing amidst the small waves lapping at the shore, shying away from the water whenever it brushes up against the sand and almost reaches their toes while the mother and father unpack the food and beach chairs.
Aidan has walked around the other end of the truck, and glancing over his shoulder he realizes I'm not following him so he walks back and takes my hand, waking me from the scenery I had gotten absorbed in.
My first thought is to pull back from his touch, but there's something about the way his warm hand envelops mine that convinces me to keep it there...for now.
I look up to see one of the numerous ice-cream palaces which can be found along the beach, but this happens to be one of my favourites. When I was smaller my mom and dad had often brought me here to Eddie's Cones when we came for a swim in the sea.
A bell tinkled as Aidan opens the door and the sweet smell of vanilla fills my nostril. He leads me to a small, beige, leather covered booth in a corner of the café before sitting me down and turning around to walk towards the counter. I see him conversing with the older lady in a red and white striped apron at the counter while I take look around at the rest of the ice-cream parlour.
We're the only ones in here apart from another guy sitting near a window with his hood up, drinking what might be coffee. He seems oddly familiar, although my eyes wander to rather look at the beachy mural painted on the wall along with a chalk board displaying prices and specials.
My thoughts are interrupted when Aidan walks back, carrying a tray which has two large glasses on it filled with chocolate ice-cream, wafers, sprinkles and a spoon in each.
He takes the seat opposite me before putting the tray down and taking the sundaes off it. I eye him and then the glass before returning my gaze to him. He smiles at me, saying "I said I would make it up to you, and that's what I intend to do."
I take the spoon out and swallow a spoonful of the icy, creamy goodness before retorting with "It's going to take more than sugary, frozen treats to make up for what you did and the shock of this all, but I will say that we're off to a good start."
I won't lie and say that I don't find this at least a little sweet, and I'll give the boy credits for the addition of the sprinkles.
Oh, my weakness that is ice-cream.
"Now can you tell me why I had some weirdo perched on my wall last night, because I'm pretty sure I didn't organize for a midnight wake-up call from anyone?"
He stops midway through a spoonful of his own ice-cream, his jaw closing as he plops the spoon back into his glass.
"You had someone at your house last night? Who? Did you know them? Why didn't you tell me earlier?"
"I wanted to mention it earlier but...."
A flash of movement catches my eye, and my head swivels to survey the man on the other side of the café tilting his head slightly towards us.
Aidan follows my line of sight, and notices him too. He stands as still as a statue for a couple of seconds, then his whole demeanour changes and I pick up on his body suddenly radiating a frantic, nervous energy.
He stands up quickly, picking up our sundaes and putting them on the tray once again. He takes the tray in one hand, and pulls me by my hand out of my seat with the other.
"Where are we going, we just got here," I say, a bit worried about what has suddenly come over him. He stops at the counter, thanking the old lady as he hands her the tray and tells her to keep the change when he hands her some money.
He pulls me towards the door, glancing over his shoulder at the seated man. Aidan stops by the entrance, guiding me through by the small of my back while he still watches the other guy who now seems to be getting out of his chair.
Aidan closes the door behind him and says hurriedly to me as he walks briskly towards his car, rushing me along "Elena, listen to me very carefully. That man is coming after us now, so I need you to run and not stop, no matter what. Run to the nearest building you can find and figure out a way to blend in with the tourists so that you aren't very noticeable. I'll track you using your cell and find you, but do not look for me. Do you understand?"
He releases my hand, and is looking me straight in the face. Those pools of turquoise have gone very dark, and the wind which has picked up is causing my hair to lash at my face and my eyes to water.
"Why? What's going to happen? What if you can't find me? Aidan!"
He pushes me gently, turning around to face the man who has now exited the ice-cream parlour and is looking around, spotting me and Aidan and then jogging towards us.
"Just go Elena! Start running!" my legs feel as if they are made of bricks as I turn away and run as he said, but I only make it around the corner of the building when I stop dead in my tracks at the sound of a car window screen being smashed.
Sometimes people do bad things for stupid reasons, or do a stupid thing for a good reason. I'm not sure which one of those I'm stuck in at the moment, but I do know that leaving Aidan behind to probably get hurt while I stand idly by is just a wrong and weak thing for me to do.
My hands curl into fists, and even though Aidan is going to be pissed at me for it I turn around and run in the direction I just came from. Oh if only I had listened instead of being the stubborn idiot I am.
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