Valentines Exclusive from The Art of Keeping Faith

Just in case anyone thought I had forgotten about Ben and Lilah on Valentines Day . . . Well nope. I haven’t.

Here is an exclusive from the upcoming The Art of Keeping Faith; Year Two of The Uni Files.

I may not send everyone a smoochie card with chocolates and roses, but I do give you Ben Chambers, with the Gibson, at Trafalgar. And that has surely got to count for something!

Valentines Bloody Day

 

ImageIt’s not a great start to the day of hell; the thudding white wine headache is enough to put anyone in a foul mood.  I stayed up far too late drinking with the girls and Meredith and Tristan who arrived home from somewhere or another.

I was secretly waiting up hoping Ben might call.

He didn’t.

Now I am in a mood. A bad one.

Ugh! Fucking Tristan, there is a post-it stuck to my forehead. I swear on my life I am going to staple one onto his knob one of these days.

What the hell!

It just says Trafalgar in Ben’s handwriting.

I scramble into their room.

“What is this?” I scream at ear splitting volume.

They both shrug but Meredith is grinning so wide that she has to hide her face under the duvet.

“Is Ben here?”

Tristan shrugs. “Guess you’ll have to go and find out.”

Oh my fucking God. Ben is here.

I am halfway down the garden path when I realise I still have my pyjama’s on.

Fuck it.

Ten minutes later

Major wardrobe malfunction. I have no clean clothes at all, so I am wearing jeans with a smelly milk (cereal) stain down the front and one of Ben’s old hoodies that I have kept stashed.

Who gives a shit, Ben is here.

One Hour later

It has taken me the best part of an hour to get to Trafalgar. The London Transport system did everything that it could to stand in my way, but I am not to be defeated.

I run from Victoria in the end. It was either that or commandeer a Tube, or, punch one of those useless London Underground operatives in their fluorescent orange jackets, but I figured both of these may end in me being taken down to the local nick as opposed to seeing Ben.

I am dashing across the square. I know exactly where he will be, on the fountain, the fountain where we have had so many important conversations. But as I limp closer I see an enormous crowd around where I think he is going to be.

I scan the rest of the square but cannot see him.

I didn’t make a mistake did I? It wasn’t an old post-it note that fluttered down from who knows where and stuck itself to my forehead whilst I was in my white wine coma.

No. Can’t be. Meredith was grinning like a buffoon.

Then it’s my turn to grin like a buffoon as the crowd shifts slightly and I can see Ben sitting in the middle of it, his long legs stretched out, a baseball cap pulled low over his dark hair, and the Gibson across his lap.

My mouth goes dry and I automatically start to walk towards him. The blues find me instantly, flicking over my outfit as they watch me approach. His lips curve into a small half lip hitch.

I make my way through the crowd using my elbows to push people out of the way until I am standing right in front of him.

My mouth is so dry I can’t even speak, but he reaches his right hand towards mine and stands, pulling me in close. Slowly his free hand slides along my throat, his thumb tracing under my chin and grazing my lower lip as he leans in towards me.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Delilah,” he says, lips against my own.

I don’t bother saying anything back, let’s be honest I couldn’t even if I tried. I just kiss him, wedging the Gibson between us as I move myself closer and closer entwining my fingers in the hair at the base of his neck.

The crowd don’t move they just stand there and gawp.

Eventually after what feels like a lifetime he pulls away and the blues dance in the sunlight as a full on smile lights up his face.

“Happy Valentine’s Day Ben,” I say at last.

 We both start to giggle and his fingers link their way through mine. Home.

It’s perfect.

Well it’s perfect until a fifteen year old with braces pushes her head between us and thrusts a piece of paper under Ben’s nose and blabbers something about a signature.

“Did you bring your fans?” I ask. . . 

 

And that’s it. . . The Art of Keeping Faith will be out beginning of April 2014.x

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