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Old 01-07-2013, 08:48 PM   #1
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Seconds - Chapter 18

Yes, there is a chapter 18, Virginia.

Title : Seconds
Authors : GraceRyan & wo_speaking
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer : This didn't actually happen. U2 was not born until the 1960s.


**************
David had never seen the pub in the daylight hours. Despite the events of the prior night, David felt hopeful that he could repair Paul and Ava. It was just a misunderstanding. If anyone could make it work, it was them.

He pulled on the door and was surprised to find it open. It took his eyes a few seconds to transition from the bright sunlight outside to the darkness of the club. The band ate lunch at the table he usually occupied while Ava stood on stage with a mug of tea in one hand and sheet music in the other. Otherwise the pub was empty.

"Dave," she smiled in surprise. "What are you doing here?"

"I, uh, came to talk to you," he glanced over at the band who had turned their heads in his direction.

She set down the music and joined him. "What's this about?"

"Can we sit over here?" He nodded to the table farthest from the others.

"Of course, darlin'." Her forehead creased with worry. This had to be big to want to talk to her alone and to come to see her during the day.

He rubbed his hands together. "It's chilly in here."


"No house lights or body heat," Ava explained. "What brings you to me, Dave?"


"It's about last night."


Ava looked down.


"I just need to understand what happened," he said.


"What did he tell you?" Ava folded her hands.


"You know Paul - nothing."


She chuckled uncomfortably. "That is very unlike him since his mouth doesn't stop moving."


David couldn’t help but grin for a moment before he got serious again. "Ava, he's really hurt. What went on?"


She took a deep breath. "Dave, after the war, I'm to be married. I cannot carry on with someone else. It's not right. You know that."


"Ava, I've seen the way you look at each other. From the very first day, there was something between the two of you."

She chewed on her lip. How many others saw that spark? Lyneth had already seen and done everything to extinguish it, so what made David so interested?


"You know he'd kill you if he knew you were here.”


"But you won't tell him.”


She chuckled sadly. "I don't think he's speaking to me."


"He still cares for you deeply. You are all he talks about."


"It's never that simple," she started.


David went on to implore that true love overtakes all obstacles. He made a passionate plea about settling and how one should never accept anything less than deep, consuming love. Ava found it sweet and naive. She wasn't sure who to feel more sorry for - herself, or David?


"I don't think this is about me and Paul anymore," she said.


David looked down. "I just believe if you love someone that you should be together. Sometimes we aren't with the right people. Remember it was you who said 'people change their minds about love all the time'. Are you saying you don't feel that way anymore?"


She sighed and chose her words carefully. "I think it was a simple way of looking at things. Yes, it should be that easy, but it's not. We make promises and we must live by them."


"Or die regretting them," he said bitterly. "He's not the one for her."


"Says you, David. I'd love nothing more for it to happen for you, but she loves him. You cannot take that away."


He didn't want to hear these things - not from Ava. She was the one that urged him on. Where was her support now?


"Dave, they've been together. You know exactly how I mean. She's dead serious about him," Ava reached across the table for his hand.


He couldn't tell her that he was well aware of their coupling, having heard all of it.


He dropped his hands into his lap.


"Paul needs to find someone who can love him completely - as do you," she said.


"So, just settle? Like you are doing?" he asked angrily. "I haven't heard you talk of this Richard at all, and you are ready to throw your happiness away to him."


Ava drew back, stunned. "What do you know about my happiness? Have you ever even had a girl? You don't know the first thing about my relationship or about love."


"I know what I feel," he spat. He felt so small right then. Ava was right - what did he know about women?


Across the room, the members of the band picked up their heads to look over.


"Dave, she loves him. I'm not sure you can change her mind about it."


David thought back to his conversation with Lyneth after New Year’s. It was evident that she disapproved of Paul and Ava - maybe even enough to influence Ava's actions last night. Despite her protests, he could see that Ava was torn apart. Why wouldn't Lyneth want her friend to be happy?


His head began to throb against all the conflicted thoughts and emotions he was feeling.


"I should go," he stood abruptly.


"Please. Not like this," Ava pleaded. Now that David was also upset with her, it was like breaking up with two people in less than twenty-four hours.


"We cannot agree right now, so it's best I leave. I need to think things over," he glanced at his pocketwatch. "And I'll be late for supper."


"Okay," Ava realized by telling him of Lyneth and Adam's lovemaking she might have really wounded him. "Will I see you tomorrow?"


"I don't know. Good day, Ava."


He needed air.


* * * * *

Leigh was rather happy when she found out that she was to be reassigned to Hillingdon next week - it would mean she’d see David sooner. She was puzzled over his disappearance at the New Year’s Eve party - just when she thought things were going so well he’d run off and not returned. She dearly hoped nothing tragic had happened; everywhere she turned someone was losing a brother...a mother...a friend...

She was relieved when she saw him in the coatroom, watching as he gathered up his things and shoved them in his duffle. Errant bangs hung over his eyes as he bent over the bag - how she longed to brush them away and stare into those honey green pools while planting soft kisses on those pouty lips.

She was drawn to his shyness. He was so unlike the other boys, he was a man - polite and kind, thoughtful and earnest. She only had to spend a week working with him at King Edward to see how intelligent and resourceful he was. He’d make a wonderful husband and father.

Leigh watched him through the doorway for a moment, taking a deep breath before she stepped into the coatroom.

“I guess you feel better. I was worried when you didn't come back," she said gently.

David spun on his heel, a pit forming in his stomach knowing that while he pleasured himself with thoughts of Lyneth, Leigh had worried and waited for him.

"Oh, hey, Leigh... I'm sorry...I just felt awful. I should not have left you there without telling you I had gone to bed," David felt terrible for lying, but the small smile on her face confirmed it was the right thing to do.

"I'm just glad you are better. Maybe you can make it up to me sometime," Leigh batted her eyelashes.

"Um, yeah...I guess I could," David stammered. He’d walked right into this.

"Dave, are you ready yet?" Paul barged in through the front doors. "It's bleeding cold out there."

His face changed when he saw Leigh. "Oh, I'm sorry. I have no idea I was interrupting."

Usually, Paul had terrible timing, but David was never happier to see him.

"Paul, I think you’ve met Leigh before," David said.

Leigh smiled. "We met at the White Hart one night."

Slowly Paul nodded as he recognized the petite brunette, . recalling her from the New Year's Eve Ball, dancing with David. His stomach soured anytime he thought back to that evening. A part of him wished he could erase the memory of anything he shared with Ava; it felt inconvenient and weighed him down.

"That's right, we did," Paul nodded. Poor Leigh was as smitten with David as he was with Ava. He felt a bit sorry for this wide-eyed girl, staring up at David like he was a movie star.

"That was a fun night, if I recall," Paul scratched his head.

David saw the wheels turning in his mate's head, and worry set in. What gratitude he had for the interruption turned to dread as to what Paul might say next. David stared at him, willing him to make his farewells.

"We should all do it again," Paul said.

Leigh's eyes brightened as she gazed at David. "Oh, that would be wonderful."

"Leigh, do you know of a girl that would want to accompany us for a night on the town? Someone that could put up with the likes of me?" he feigned a pout.

"Actually, I do," Leigh said.

"Marvelous. Dave, isn’t that just grand?"

"Yes Paul, it sounds like something," David muttered, hiding his glare from Leigh.

"The four of us can all go out together!" Leigh clutched her hands to her chest, a wide grin across her lips, revealing perfect white teeth.

Paul nudged David. “That sounds grand, Leigh.”

“Do you know where The Magpie is? It’s the best chippie in Uxbridge,” Leigh asked.

“No,” David answered.

“Yes,” Paul cut him off.

“We can meet there, say around six?”

“It’s a date,” Paul slung his arm around David. “I’ll make sure this one gets cleaned up for you.”

“Wonderful,” Leigh beamed. “I look forward to it! See you soon, Dave!”

They watched as Leigh practically floated from the coatroom - the girl was on air.

"What was that?" David hissed, waiting long enough for Leigh to be out of sight before he threw on his coat and led Paul toward the door.

"We have a date," Paul grinned. "Oh, I know it's a first for you, but I promise, you will not die."

"What if I didn't want a bleeding date?"

"Dave, I don't want a bleeding date. But do I need it? Yes. Do you need it? Yes."

"I don't need one," David shoved his hands deeper into his pockets.

"You've been pining for far too long for Lyneth. She's with Adam, mate and trust me, I know it hurts. However, you can't change what is. So, my friend," he slung his arm around David's neck. "We both need to move on. There's nothing like a woman against you to make you forget about one.”

"You think it's just as easy as that? Replacing one with another?" David cocked an eyebrow.

"It takes one to forget one..." Paul looked down. "Even an unforgettable one. C'mon, do this for me."

David sighed heavily, his breath dancing around him. He knew the last few days had been tough for Paul. In the months since meeting Ava, Paul had really changed - and she was the reason. No one else could see how heartbroken Paul was when Ava told him that she could not continue their relationship.

For the guys, he was gregarious and crass - the ladies man. It would seem on the outside that he had the world by the tail, charming it and moulding it to his liking. But it was David who heard him toss and turn in the night.

"Fine, one date. For you."

"Who knows...you might like it," Paul suggested.

"We shall see."

* * * * *

Ava, deep in thought, steeped her tea bag while the band took a break from rehearsing. Would Paul come tonight? It had been five nights since their conversation. She hated seeing the hurt in his eyes. She had not really thought out all the ramifications of flirting and kissing him. At first it was fun to play cat and mouse. Before Richard, playing hard to get was one of her favorite pastimes. She thought flirting with the biggest cad would be a way to kill everyday boredom. Until the day Paul helped her with the Christmas tree when he revealed his true self - no bravado. Those blue eyes pierced her heart, and she should have known to stay away.


So deep in her own thoughts, she didn't notice two uniformed women standing in front of her. The one with red hair looked roughly her age. An older woman with grey peeking out frontier her cap spoke first.


"Ava Carmichael?"


"Yes, that's me," her heart raced.

She had heard that someone in uniform was sent to inform next of kin of fatalities. She tried to remember the date of the last letter she received from Richard. Or was it worse? Was it one of her brothers? After all, she was the closest next of kin. Had they been sent to combat already?


The older one broke into a large smile. "I'm Betty Cooper with the USO. I got your name from Mrs. Swakeley who organized the New Years Eve party. She said that you were not only a marvelous singer, but an American. She also said that you have a sold out crowd here most nights.”


Ava stood to greet her guest. "I guess I do. I figured it was because I was the only girl around.”


"As you know, America's gone to war as well. Everyday, more young men are coming over to do their duty to fight Hitler," Betty said.


"Yes ma'am. My brothers are either here or due to be here very soon.”


"We are organizing a tour down south where most of the men are being sent. We've set them up at barracks in fields. It's not the best of conditions....cold and wet. We want to raise spirits and morale by entertaining them. We'd love it if you joined us," Betty declared.


"Really? You want me?" Ava was incredulous.


"I think you are what those boys need," Betty nodded.


"But I have a commitment to Sam and my band." Ava thought about leaving her friends and the life she knew.


"It's just for two weeks," the younger girl finally spoke. "It will be lots of fun."


"We are going south and you should be aware that there is some danger. The bombing is largely over in London, but Brighton is still being shelled from time to time," Betty warned.


Ava nodded as she chewed on her lower lip. Her father hated her being here as it was, but he thought London was relatively safe. If she went, she could never tell him.


"We'll let you sleep on it," Betty smiled. "We'll come by tomorrow for your answer. I know those boys will appreciate it."


"I will considerate it," Ava extended her hand to Betty. "Thank you for thinking of me."


Ava wasn't sure how much of an honor it was to be asked to place oneself in harm's way.


After Betty and the girl left, Ava sipped her cold tea as she thought over the offer. She followed Richard to England to escape her boring debutante life and make a difference in the war effort. If she went, it would definitely be the biggest gesture she could make. 
Only two weeks, certainly she could do that. She would miss Lyneth and David, her band.....


Her heart ached when she considered Paul. A few nights ago leaving for any amount of time was unimaginable. Ava was certain that Paul would have fought it too. Now, maybe they needed some space. It was evident that he needed it.


Lyneth could take over her flat for those weeks and really spend quality time with Adam. Ava was reminded that she needed to straighten up for Lyneth who would be making dinner for Adam tonight. Ava offered her flat while she was performing. A part of her felt guilty for encouraging Lyneth's relationship with Adam knowing the pain it caused David. One thing Ava was learning, love is not an easy or smooth path.

I'll sleep on it, Ava thought. She hoped that God would send her a sign.


***********

"You all right, mate?" Paul glanced at a very pale David.

"Yeah. Nervous," David replied.

Truthfully, he was terrified. This was his first proper date. Back home, no one went on 'dates'. If he fancied a girl, he would spend the night hanging around. Maybe they could peel off for a snog but that rarely happened with David. That was the extent of his love life back in Ireland.

"It will be fine. We're having some dinner and some laughs. We're not taking vows to these girls," Paul reassured him.As much as Paul thought he needed a night, it was clear that David needed it too.

David chuckled nervously as they reached the chip shop. Paul was right, no one was getting married tonight.

Leigh was directly out front smoothing down her dark hair. Her eyes were wide and eager as they searched the crowd.

"Dave!" She waved when she saw him.

David only wished that Lyneth would look upon him with as much enthusiasm.

"Hello Leigh," he stepped toward her.

She gave him a small hug before turning to her friend. "This my friend, Diane."

David thought that the dark haired girl looked familiar. "Diane," he nodded and shook her hand. "This is Paul."

"I know," she smiled.

Paul squinted his eyes. "Do I know you?"

"We met a few months back at the White Hart. You bought me a drink and never came back," she said.

It took a few moments, but Paul remembered the American girl he met right before he set eyes on Ava.

He kissed her cheek. "Diane, how you been keeping, love?"

"I'm good. Very happy to see you," she fluttered her eyelashes.

"Likewise," he slipped arm around her.

Diane was exactly what he needed after Ava had taken him down a peg. And she was already smitten with him, it would be the least amount of work for the maximum reward. He worked so hard with Ava, this would be nice and easy.

They found a spot to order their food. Reluctantly, David gave his money over. Paul had offered to buy drinks later. That would mean this was not a quick dinner and good night. Paul was back to his old self like the last two months never occurred - a shameless flirt with one thing on his mind.

By comparison, David was trying to be different. His shyness got him nowhere with Lyneth. And while he had not resigned himself to give up on Lyneth, it was nice to have someone interested in everything he said. Most girls paid attention to Paul or Larry only. Yet Paul sat across from him with charm oozing and Leigh didn't even see him. She asked about home, his family, his aspirations. She knew about his training and had been watching him. As dinner went on, he felt less nervous and almost at ease. It was almost like talking with Ava, but Leigh kept her hand on his arm and eyes on his face.

Encouraged by David's engagement in Leigh, Paul smiled. "Are we ready for drinks?"

"That sounds fantastic," Diane cooed.

An evil smile flashed on his face. "The White Hart?"

"Uh," David started. "I'm not sure about that. It's loud and we won't hear each other."

Paul looked at Diane. "Who says we'll be talking?"

David's heart plunged into his full stomach. First he thought of Ava. Yes, it was Ava that hurt Paul's pride, but David knew it was out of sense of honor and responsibility. He knew she felt deeply about Paul. Seeing him draped over yet another girl would drive them further apart. Secondly, David wasn't sure he was ready for Lyneth to see him with Leigh. He was almost enjoying himself. He wouldn't be able to reconcile his thoughts with Lyneth and Adam snuggling into each other.

David grabbed Paul's arm on the way out. "What're you thinking? You know Ava is singing tonight. "

"Who? Oh, Ava.....yes, she might be," Paul feigned ignorance.

"What are you trying to prove? That yer a bigger eejit than she might have thought?"

"Dave, the drinks are cheap and entertainment good. Why wouldn't I want to bring a date there?" He walked away ending the conversation. "Ladies, are we ready?"

David wished he had a way of warning Ava. As they walked toward the White Hart, he felt the knot form in his neck. Leigh looped her arm around his and huddled close from the biting English air.

*******

Ava climbed the stairs to the stage on another packed night at the White Hart. As more Americans had joined the war, every seat had been filled. Every day, she could hear a familiar twang among the British accent she had grown accustomed to.


Ava sang four nights in a row. The following week, it could be five. The band rehearsed new material and arrangements during the afternoon, and there was talk of adding more musicians to the already crowded stage.


Mamma had sent a letter for the New Year. It seemed her little community was emptying of their men as they all went to war. At the time of the letter, Ava's brothers were preparing to ship out. Ava looked into the crowd for their faces. She knew that the likelihood of them being anywhere near her was slim. Her eyes also searched for Paul. It had been five nights since their talk, and lately she was used to seeing him at least every three. It was clear that she had wounded him, and perhaps his pride. However, Lyneth was right - to continue falling on love would only hurt them more in the end. Her engagement ring felt heavier each passing day.


The front table usually reserved for Lyneth and friends was occupied by a fresh group of Americans. As she looked across the pub, it was a mixture of American and British - all fighting for a common goal.


As the band launched into Someone to watch over me, Ava noticed a familiar face walk through the door. David was followed by Leigh clutching his arm. Ava had not seen this one coming. She figured for certain that Paul and Larry would be with him. A few moments later, Paul did enter the club entwined around a dark haired girl. With a stony gaze upon Ava, he buried his head in the girls neck to make her squeal with glee.


Ava felt the blood drain from her head to her feet. Even though she was well aware what he was doing, she never expected this from him. Lyneth was right - he was proving himself to be a bastard.


David wanted to disappear on the spot when he caught Ava's face. She recovered quickly, flashing a brilliant smile to the table in front. David knew this was a bad idea. He saw each side dig in with their defenses. Could they come back from this? David knew they were meant for each other even if they couldn't see it.


Paul managed to find a small table at the back of the pub. He wished that he could claim his usual table, but he most likely lost possession of that seeing Ava's cold glare. He got to her exactly what he wanted. He was a catch and she threw him back to ocean. Did she expect him to be like David and be happy enough to whack off to thoughts of her?


Though Paul sat in the back, Ava had a perfect view of his shenanigans. Her stomach clenched when his tongue invaded the dark haired girls mouth. She swore he had one eye on her to be certain she was a witness.


Thankfully Lyneth was not downstairs to see Paul act like an arse. There's no way Ava would ever to be able to live his actions down. Fine, she thought to herself. If he wants to play.....


Her eyes focused on a tall blonde soldier in the front table. He'd blushed the few times Ava met his gaze. If Paul wanted to put on a show, so could she.


"I want to welcome the new folks. I see some Canadians and of course, Americans," she smiled at the blonde. "I'm so glad y'all dropped by tonight. Am I doing a good job?"


Bright red, he nodded. A friend clapped him on the back with a laugh.


"What's your name sugar?" She asked.


"My name is Charlie, ma'am," he answered in a deep voice.


"A southern gentleman, didn't have many of those here," she glanced to the back table. "Where you from, honey?"


"From Biloxi, Mississippi, Miss Ava."


"From my neck of the woods. I'm from Savannah. To most of y'all, that's down the street in the States."

All but one laughed.



"You been here long, sugar?" she asked Charlie.


"Just a little over two weeks."


"What do you think?" she asked.


"It's cold and cloudy," he answered to chuckles.


"You got a special girl you want to send this next song to?" she purred.


"No ma'am," he said.


She smiled. "Hear that girls, this one's free!"


Charlie blushed again as he laughed.


Ava winked at him. "But tonight, he's mine. Charlie, this one is for you."


Charlie grinned broadly as the band started.


She was good, David thought. It was normal for Ava to flirt with audience. Even Paul had gotten used to it. She always had a way of letting him know that he was special regardless of her dedication. Tonight, Ava went all out and he could Paul seething beside him. He had turned up with Diane to watch Ava squirm, and now he was the one writhing in his chair. David was certain he'd have to hold Paul down as Ava curled up Charlie's lap and played with his wavy hair.


You're playing with a professional, David thought. He thought how Lyneth would have loved to see this.


As Ava flirted about the crowd, yet always returning to Charlie, Paul attempted to bury his face in Diane's mouth. All the words he said rushed back to Ava. For the first time in awhile, she missed Richard. To think she wanted to throw that away for Paul.


Slowly the pub emptied leaving a few clusters of people. Ava had seen that look in Paul's eye - he was stalling on his exit. She watched him fidget and shift his weight while he chatted animately with anyone nearby. He kept one hand on Diane, yet his eyes darted nervously to Ava. There was no way to escape talking to him. David, unsure of Paul's state, wanted to leave before he caused a scene. 


Gradually Ava worked her way in their direction. She took a deep breath setting both eyes on Paul and his date.


"Hello boys. Saw you creep in during the second set," she smiled.


"Evening Ava," David leaned in to give her a quick peck on the cheek.


Leigh's forehead wrinkled.


"I know we've met before, but I cannot recall your name. I'm sorry, it's awfully warm and it's been a long night," Ava apologized.


Behind her, Paul snorted his derision. She ignored him.

"I'm Ava....a dear friend of Dave's."


Leigh broke into a huge smile. "I'm Leigh his....his....date?" She looked up at him.


He nodded with an uncertain grin.


"It sure is good to meet you," she shook the beaming girl's hand.


Steeling herself, Ava turned around. "And you must be Paul's date."


Her mouth went dry thinking of his hands in her hair and his lips trailing hot kisses down her neck.


"I'm Diane," she thrust her hand to Ava.


"An American?" Amusement tinged her voice.


"From New York, well Brooklyn. Where down south do ya live?"


"Georgia. Savannah precisely,"


"That right. You mentioned," Diane clucked.


"Ava here is a plantation owner. She's set to marry a rich southern bloke," Paul bragged nastily.


"A plantation like Gone with the Wind?" Diane's eyes widened.


"A little. We no longer wear hoop skirts or enslave our help," Ava said.


David wanted to die for Ava. Even if Paul was blind to it, he could see the torture behind her smile.


"Well, I hope y’all enjoyed the show, what you saw of it," there was a bite to Ava's voice.


Paul wrapped his arm around Diane tighter. "It was a lovely show. We really enjoyed it."


"We should go," David announced. "We should let Ava say goodnight so she can get some rest."


Paul saw Charlie lurking by the stage, stealing glances at Ava.


"Yer boy toy is waiting for you," he seethed.


Ava cast a glance over her shoulder to meet Charlie's bashful smile. "Then I guess I better not keep him waiting."


Her eyes sparked with mischief. "Diane, it was pleasure meeting you."

She turned to Leigh and David. "Leigh, it was good to see you again."

Laying her hand on David's arm, she gave it a gentle squeeze. "I'll see you boys later."


Without glancing at Paul, she glided across the floor to an awaiting Charlie. He ran a hand through his hair as she smiled up at him and laid her hand upon his bicep.


Paul wanted to charge over and rip Ava's grip off this towering goon. Tonight had failed horribly and he just wanted to taste her lips once more. Was this bloody Yank indeed a new boy toy?


"She's super nice," Diane said.


"Yes, she is," David noticed Leigh had taken his hand again. He didn't mind the feeling, her small warm hand in his. "Let's go."


Paul's eyes were glued to Ava all the way out the door even though Diane was plastered to his side. Ava chatted with Charlie and his friend. Charlie rested his hand on her hip as he leaned over to offer his ear to Ava's mouth. He's too damned tall, Paul grumbled. He really did look like a goon with a long face and small eyes. Just before Paul walked through the door, he heard Ava's laugh echo through the nearly empty pub. He didn't look back - he wasn't sure he wanted to see them.

As they stumbled out of the door to Ava’s flat, Lyneth was giggling as she gazed up into Adam's eyes. Her cheeks were flushed and her hair out of place just enough that David felt a knot in his stomach - knowing full well what they'd been up to.

"What do you think, Dave?" Leigh interrupted his thoughts, moving into the path of his stare across the pavement.

"Dave? Dave?" she questioned in a low voice, her hand running up his forearm as she gave his elbow a small squeeze.

"I'm sorry, Leigh," he said sheepishly, giving her a blushing half-smile. "Just thought I saw someone I knew..."

"Oh, never mind, Dave. It wasn't important anyway," she said, her eyes falling to his pouty lips. He was so cute when he was lost in thought, she mused. She nestled her hand in his again, but his eyes continued to look distractedly off over her shoulder.

Maybe she was coming on too strong... she might have to take things a bit slower with him than she’d wanted to, but she was finding it quite difficult.

David pulled himself out of his misery for a moment, looking at the girl who was gazing at him expectantly. He tried his best to put the one who had captured his heart out of his mind the best he could, and focused again on his date.

She gave him a tense smile, her hand falling from his before he took it again, trying to be a gentleman. Her cheeks were flushed and she bit her lip nervously as she anticipated his next move.

He hadn’t gone without noticing that Leigh was a pretty girl, but there were many times that she came across as unsure of herself - and in that regard he reminded her a bit of himself. He never imagined himself anything to look at, but she sure seemed to like him. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, but he owed it to her to at least find out what it was that she saw in him.

“Ehm, Leigh... I was thinking...”

“Yes, Dave?” she said almost too quickly, hanging on his every word.

“Would you... Would you maybe like to go to the pictures on Friday? If you’re not working that evening?”

David loved the cinema and went whenever he could, but he often went alone as Paul and the boys were usually off flying.

“Oh, Dave,” Leigh swooned, her smile spreading genuinely. “I’d love to...”

“The Maltese Falcon just came in - and Philadelphia Story is still playing at The Biltmore - never did see that one when it was first out.”

“Oh, Philadelphia Story! That one has Cary Grant in it...could we go to that one, Dave?”

“I’d like it if you’d join me,” he said meekly. He’d enjoy the company for once - and would finally have someone to talk about the show with on the way home.

“I’d like that too,” Leigh smiled up at him, squeezing his hand gently. She stole a glance over at Diane and Paul, who were locked in an embrace across the street. As she watched them snogging, she couldn’t help but hope that some day soon she’d get to enjoy the feel of David’s lips on hers...

Diane happened to come up for air long enough to see Leigh looking over at her.

“Ready to go, darlin’?” Diane called to her. Thank goodness she didn’t have to pry her friend away from Paul just so they could walk home together.

“In a minute,” Leigh responded, turning her attention back toward David. She could get used to looking into his honey hazel eyes...

“Meet you out front of the cinema at half six on Friday, then?” David interrupted her romantic musings with the sound of his soft voice.

“That sounds wonderful, Dave,” Leigh replied. She let go of his hand and touched his shoulder gently. She sucked in a deep breath and stood on her toes to give him a quick kiss on the cheek.

He blushed as she turned away from him to dash across the street to meet Diane.

Paul gave Diane one last long kiss goodbye and sauntered over toward David.

”Well, that’s that then. Let’s get back to barracks.”

Paul started off ahead of him as he watched Diane join Adam and Lyneth so he could walk them both home. David had to jog a bit just to catch up to him.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes,” Paul waved his hands dismissively to hide his true hurt. “Diane’s a bit of a hot number, eh?”

“Uh, sure,” David knew not to even breathe Ava’s name right now.

Usually when they’d walked home from the White Hart as of late, Paul was a chatter box, all "Ava this...Ava that."

But tonight, Paul was eerily quiet.

As they rounded the corner before the gates of the base came into view, David decided to break the silence with the news he was so desperate to share with Paul.

Smiling sheepishly, he tapped Paul on the shoulder “You know, I asked Leigh to the pictures on Friday...”

“Oh, did you then. Well, congratulations mate. It's about time."

David shrugged his shoulders, hoping that maybe Paul would have a bit more of an encouraging response - normally Paul would be slapping him on the back and talking filth. But truthfully, David knew that was as much enthusiasm as he would muster from Paul tonight.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:02 PM   #2
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At laaasssstttt.....

Enjoy, all
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:24 AM   #3
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SWEET JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH!


AT LAST


Good thing I'm up early, gotta re-read 17 first.



Aw, Paul should know better than play with the master. He sure got owned there.
Guess the experience will be useful for Dave, he sure as hell can use some. It might do his self esteem some wonders too. Great chapter ladies. Now please don't make us wait as long for the next one?
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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I was doing a little work this morning.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #5
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Awesome!

Kinda funny how Dave is doing a bit of Freudian projection here, he needs Ava and Paul to work for his own ideas of a perfect love to survive. Poor sucker's got it bad!
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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That was a long wait. But worth it.

I like Ava's flirting, and that David is going somewhere with Leigh, even though she's not his first choice. Maybe he'll end up seeing more in her than he does now.
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