Welcome to Friday Fiction, my weekly fiction post. It’s also an opportunity to link up your own fiction posts, so if you are working on anything at the moment, please feel free to share it here (using the blue frog link below). Thanks to those who joined in last week. It was lovely to read your work.
Every week, I try to incorporate the prompt given by Sara at mumturnedmom. This week is no exception and I’ve chosen an extract from the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo. The character in this story, Dillon, has had more than his fair share of problems and he’s trying to make sense of a lot of things. It means he makes bad choices, particularly where relationships are concerned and he’s turned in to a bit of a player. I wrote another piece about him on a previous Friday Fiction post, which will fill you in with what happened prior to this extract.
The prompt is ‘Anticipation’:
‘Mind if I join you?’
Dillon looked up to see Camille standing in front of him. He sat up straight, taking her in. Her hair was loose today and her blond curls hung around her face, making her features look softer. Camille’s ice blue eyes pierced in to him and Dillon was mesmerised.
‘Yes, sure, no problem,’ he said, when he came to his senses, clearing his throat as he did so.
Camille knew what she was doing. She knew her power over men, Dillon realised. He thought of her as a spider, weaving her web and always on the look out to catch her kill.
‘Are you working today?’ Dillon asked. His question felt a bit lame but he didn’t know what to say.
‘I’m working in the bar later.’
Why are you are here so early then? Don’t you get sick of this place?’
‘No not at all. I like it here. It’s full of interesting people,’ she said, holding his gaze. Dillon sat up straighter and pressed his back further in to the chair. Women didn’t usually scare him but this one did.
‘Are you from Paris?’ Dillon asked, trying to change the subject.
‘My father is. My mother is from Sweden, but we moved here when I was seven.’
Dillon could see the Swedish influence in Camille’s looks. It explained those piercing eyes, so different to the French girls he’d met. She leaned in closer towards him.
‘Want to get out of here. I could show you around, help you get to know the place a little better.’
Dillon could only nod, realising he was on dangerous territory but being unable to stop himself.
Camille led the way and Dillon hung back before setting off after her, taking the time to admire her slender figure. They walked across the canal bridge before turning left to take the path along the water.
‘If you turn around you can see the Bassin de la Villette, the widest part of the canal. Beyond that is the Canal St. Martin, it’s beautiful down there. I will take you sometime.’
Camille was so confident, the way she made assumptions about Dillon without having ever asked him. Dillon admired this part of her. She knew what she wanted and it was obvious she wouldn’t take no for an answer.
‘We’re walking this way,’ she said, pointing in the opposite direction.
Either side of the Quai de la Marine were 1970’s apartment blocks, some with graffiti adorning the walls. Along with the defaced old wrought iron bridges, the whole area had a downtrodden feel. When they reached the end of the walkway, the canal opened out into a wider area of water.
‘This is where the Canal Saint Denis joins the Canal de L’Ourq,’ Camille said. ‘We need to take a right here.’
‘You would make a great tour guide,’ Dillon said. An incredibly sexy one, he thought.
Camille laughed. ‘It is what I do for a living don’t forget. I know Paris like the back of my hand.’
Camille was far from shy, nor did she seem to be stuck for things to talk about. It was obvious she loved her city and was eager for Dillon to love it too. Their walk took them to the Parc de la Villette, where they got coffees and went to sit on the steps of the fountain in the square: the Fontaine aux Lions, as Dillon was so reliably informed. He had never been to such an unusual park before. There were sculptures everywhere and various types of gardens, including one with freestanding mirrors like those you see at a fair. Only here, they were interspersed between woodland pine and maple trees. Camille was not afraid to laugh at herself and her distorted images in each of the mirrors. Despite being beautiful, she wasn’t vain and even had a touch of tomboy in her, being happy to run around climbing over sculptures and metal dragons. Her laughter and enthusiasm was infectious and Dillon found he enjoyed her company.
‘We have to go,’ Camille said. ‘I need to get ready for my shift at the bar tonight. Would you like to come back to my flat and get something to eat? We can go back to Belushi’s together.’
There was a hidden promise in that suggestion and Dillon couldn’t help but follow at her heels like a lovesick pup. I am a pathetic, weak man, he told himself. The lure of a sexy girl was always one temptation too many. On the way to Camille’s flat, Dillon pushed all thoughts of Bridget to one side. He didn’t want to be a man with a conscience anymore. If he wanted something, he would take it and to hell with the consequences. Camille was in to him, that much was obvious. He had left Bridget behind when he left London and there was no room in his life for regrets. He was in Paris to get on with the next phase of his life and he was damn well going to do that.
Camille’s flat was along a back street in one of the ugly buildings they had passed earlier. The minimalist, contemporary look of the interior had a Scandinavian feel, which Dillon figured expressed Camille’s roots.
‘Do you live here on your own?’ Dillon asked, as Camille kicked off her shoes and sauntered over to the kitchen.
‘No, I have a flat mate. She works as a nanny and sometimes she stays over with her family. The mother has a new baby, so she needs Sofia more than usual.’
Camille had already opened a bottle of wine and placed a glass in Dillon’s hand, another of her presumptions. She began to prepare some food.
‘It’s not much, but I have some chicken and some salad, with baguette. That’s ok?’
‘Do you need a hand?’
‘No, it’s fine, sit down at the table and I’ll bring it over in just a minute.’
When they finished, Camille stood up.
‘I’m going to take a shower,’ she said as their eyes met. They lingered there, holding his gaze. There it was – the invitation. Dillon knew exactly what those eyes were asking him. He felt the heat rising through his body as the anticipation of what was to come began to register. He watched Camille walk slowly away and then a few moments later he got up and followed her.
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