Chapters 11 & 12

Chapter 11

David was seeing Claire and Amelia again and he couldn’t hide his excitement.  After the dinner with mother and daughter two days ago, they had not met since as both of them had personal matters to attend to, but today, they had made a date to go to the park together.

Claire busied herself in the kitchen.  She had prepared a picnic basket as the soft strains of Il Divo music filled the apartment.  The day after she had dinner with David, she was shopping in town with little Amelia when the girl called out, “Look, Mommy, Uncle David!” as she pointed to a poster on the window of a cd store.   Claire was so dumbstruck that she just stood staring at the poster.  She thought she knew the other three members of the band as well.  Then a lady came up to her and said, “They’re good-looking, aren’t they?  And what a voice!”

Claire spent the next twenty minutes or so getting her first Il Divo education from the lady and got home with all things Il Divo: cds, dvds and the poster on the window after much pleading with the store owner.

Once home, she set about checking up on Il Divo and David Miller on the internet and Youtube.  What she found amazed her; she was completely blown away by his soaring and powerful vocal, and his showmanship made her admire him even more.  The four voices combined were so smooth despite their different vocal range and texture; their voices so emotive that it didn’t matter what language they sang in, one just connect with the music immediately.

From all the uploaded clips of the live performances and interviews she managed to watch that night, she could see David’s passion and love for music.  And she even recognized the other members as his friends.  She decided to save the dvds for a later time when she had her personal life sorted.  There were still some loose ends from the divorce that she had to attend to.

As she watched the clips she began to appreciate why he seemed so close to the other three guys: they were like brothers.  How could she ever think he was gay?  Wait till I tell him about it, she thought mischievously.  Or should I even mention it?  She decided she would play it by ear.  After all, they had only just met.

What puzzled her about him was his personal life.  She came upon an article about the accident that took away Sandra’s life and a picture of a very distraught David staring at her.  It said she was his fiancée, but he clearly said she was his wife.  Maybe in his mind’s eye she was already his wife and they were just waiting for the official confirmation that never came.  Or perhaps he was trying not to give her false hope?  If that was the case, he had most definitely changed his mind the night of their dinner.

Amelia was playing by herself in the living room when the doorbell rang.  Claire turned off the stereo before she went to open the door, smiling to her daughter as she passed her by.  There, looking like a golden boy with that million dollar smile was David in a pair of worn-out jeans, body-hugging t-shirt, and earrings adorning his ears.

“Hi!” he smiled.

“Hi!  I’m just getting the picnic basket ready.  Come in,” she said as she moved aside for him to enter, but he had other ideas; he bent down and kissed her.

“Mmmm, I think I like this greeting better,” she responded with a kiss of her own when he pulled away.

“Mommy!” Amelia stood behind her and pulled at her sundress.  They broke away laughing quietly.  David stooped to talk to her.

“Hi Amelia.  Are you ready for a little picnic by the park?”  She nodded, then went into his arms and was quickly picked up.  Claire went back to the kitchen to bring out the basket and they were good to go.

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It was a short ride to the park and to Claire’s and Amelia’s delight, David had brought a small beach ball to play with the little girl.  While mommy set up the picnic mat and basket, Uncle David and little Amie (as he liked to call her) kicked the ball around in the park.  There were other families with small children and some with dogs as well, and though it was sunny, there was a light breeze too so the weather was perfect.

Claire could hear them laughing as she prepared some food, including bite-sized sandwiches for her daughter.  She kept an eye on them and marveled at how easily Amelia had taken to David.  She wasn’t a talkative girl and her father definitely did not play with her much, but she was taking to David like she had known him all her life.  She watched for a little while longer before telling them food was ready.  Swinging the little girl onto his shoulder, they went back to where Claire was waiting with a big warm smile.

As they ate, Claire said, “So, what’s your line?”

“Make a guess,” David said, giving her a look that said she’d never guess it.

“Ok.  You don’t look like an office type of guy,” she played along with the charade.

“Nope.”

“You’re so tall and good-looking.  Do you have many admirers?”

“Thank you.  I guess you can say that I do,” he grinned.

“I saw your other friends and they are all gorgeous men like you.”

“Thank you again,” his grin widened.

“Do you work in the entertainment scene?”

“Yes.”

“You came out of the pub with your friend, saying you want to go home to sleep.  You looked tired.  Do you work in the pub?” she stole a glance at him to see how he responded to that, but he only raised his eyebrows a little, so she continued, “Or are you a male escort or one of those kinky waiters employed to please lonely, rich and mature women?”  She could hardly rein in her laughter but she managed.

He burst out laughing, “Definitely not!  Whatever gives you that idea?”

“Hmmm, that’s a tough one,” she pretended.  “Do you get recognised on the street?”

Still chuckling, he replied, “Yes, sometimes.”

“Do your friends have the same kind of career as you?”

“Yes.”

“You’re all models!” she squealed.

“Nope!”

“Really?  But that guy you were with at the airport, Urs, if I remember correctly, he has such exotic features, and he looks so hot and sexy.  You sure he isn’t a model?”

“Sorry to disappoint you,” he replied with twinkling eyes.

“Ok, then.  If you’re not any of the above, then there’s only one thing left,” she paused before saying excitedly, “You’re Il Divo!” and then put on a smug look.  Soon she was laughing hysterically at David’s look of disbelieve.

“You knew!”

Catching her breath, she explained, “Amelia spotted you on the poster of a cd shop when we were shopping the other day.”

“And you pretended not to know!  And asked if I’m a social escort or kinky waiter!  How could you!” he looked so hurt and disgusted that Claire could hear an alarm bell ringing in her head.

“Hey, I just wanted us to have some fun.  Please David, don’t be angry,” she reached out to touch his hand but he shifted slightly away from her, looking far ahead.  Biting her lower lip, she tried frantically to come up with something to pacify him.  “David, please.  I’m sorry,” she whispered meekly.

Very slowly, he turned to look at her.  His face turned slowly from a scowl to a big goofy grin, “Gotcha!”

She squealed and whacked him several times, “You’re a mean oaf, that’s what you are, David Miller!”

Laughing his loud booming laugh, he shielded himself with his arms as she vented her anger, then finally catching hold of her hands he laughingly told her, “Bad example for your daughter.”  It took her a while to register what he had just said and when she finally caught on the meaning, she stopped to see Amelia staring at her with big blue eyes.

“Oh, sweetie, Uncle David and Mommy are just playing.  We’re not really fighting, ok?”

Amelia nodded her head, “Uncle David, can we play ball now?”

“Sure.”  He leant forward and kissed her mommy tenderly before picking up the ball.  The afternoon went by with more fun and laughter as Claire joined in the game.

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“David, when are you coming back to London?” Urs asked, finally back from his trip to his hometown.  The kids had settled down for a nap and Sam was busy preparing for dinner.

“I’m going to sign my apartment over to the new buyer tomorrow.  I’ll probably be back in three days’ time.  Need to pack and ship my stuff over to the London apartment,” suddenly going back to London didn’t seem quite so interesting anymore to him.

“How’s everything?”

“Good.”

“That’s it?  How do you want me to tell my wife?  She’s worried sick about you, you know?”

“Just tell her I’ve found her twin,” David replied, tongue-in-cheek.

“Twin?  You mean you found a woman just like her?”  Urs knew how David had always admired Sam but in a respectful way and treated her like a sister.

He’s so sharp, David thought, and he immediately regretted his remark, “Well, I’m not sure how to put it.  I’m seeing someone but we both don’t know if it’ll work out.”

“Ah, at least you’re giving it a go.  You’ll never know if you don’t give yourself a chance.  Any chance of us meeting that lucky lady?”

“I hope so but I’m not sure.  She has things to settle here and I’m not sure where she’s going after that.”

“Ask her!”

“You think I should?”

“David, you don’t need me to teach you how to go after a woman.  You found one without my help.”

“Thanks pal.  I’ll let you know how it goes.”

The next day David met up with the lawyer and signed over the apartment to the new owners, a newly wed couple.  He had finished packing up the stuff in his apartment, except for the pieces of furniture when he looked around the apartment one last time.  It was a bittersweet feeling that engulfed him.

So much memory in there; he could almost hear Sandra’s laughter in the bedroom and her soft voice in the living room where they spent hours watching videos.  When the curtain shifted in the wind he thought for a moment that she was there by the window.  Shaking his head, he went to open the door when there was a knock.   It was the transport company that he had engaged to ship his belongings over to London.  The only things left were his overnight bag, stuff that he might need for the next two days before his flight.

He called Claire when the workers left.  “Claire, can I see you tonight?”

He sounded solemn, she thought.  “Sure, I’ll have dinner ready at seven.  Nothing fancy, hope it’s ok with you.”

He had to smile, always so sweet and thoughtful.  “You mean no frills and thrills?  How boring!”

“David!” she admonished.

“Ok, I’m sorry.  I’ll be there by seven.”

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“Uncle David!”  The moment David walked through the door, Amelia ran towards him and flung herself into his arms.

“How’s my little Amie?  Have you been a good girl?”  Amelia nodded her head.

Turning his attention to the lovely mom who was dressed in a little red dress, her hair bundled up nicely on top of her head, he leant over and kissed her.

“We might just get used to this, Amelia and I,” she murmured against his lips.

“Please do.  Then you won’t want to get rid of me so soon,” he smiled.

Hooking her arm through his, she led him into the dinning room with Amelia still cradled in his other arm.  She had lit the candles on the candelabra set in the middle of the dinning table and soft music played in the background; Il Divo music.  David rolled his eyes when he heard himself singing in the background.

“I think I sound much better in person,” he jokingly told her.

“You’ll have to sing for us then, or we’ll never know!”

“If you stick around long enough, you’ll get to hear me sing.  Amie, too!” he said, uncertain if this was the right moment to talk of their next step.  “Not just me, the whole gang will sing for you if you come with me.”

Claire looked up at him and wondered what he was driving at.  Was he telling her he wanted them to live with him?

“Are you trying to tell me something, David?”

He set Amelia down in her chair and turned to Claire, “I’m leaving for London in two days’ time.”

“That’s too soon.  Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” she sounded hurt and disappointed and David was gutted.

“I’m sorry, Claire.  I’ve only decided yesterday morning to leave.  They need me back there to work on our new album and tour.”

Claire was quiet as she took her seat at the table.  David went over to her and knelt in front of her, “I would love to bring you and Amie there, if you’d let me.”

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Touching his face tenderly, Claire whispered, “I wish I could, David, but I’ve just enrolled Amelia in preschool and I’ve also been looking around for a place of my own.  I’m planning to sell this apartment and get one near her school, which would be near my parents’, in New York.”

“You could enroll her in a school in London.  You might be far away from your parents but you’ll have my friends and their families’ help if you need it.  We are all like a family; call it the extended family if you like.”

“But I don’t even know them.  Apart from the time when we first met when Amelia and I were having a short holiday in London, I’ve never lived in the UK before and never been so far away from my family before.”

“You’ll have me.  I promise you won’t be alone.  You and Amelia can travel with me when Il Divo tours, and you’ll have Sam and Ginny around to keep you company.  They are the best friends a person can have.  Please think about it, Claire.”  She nodded, though uncertainly clouded her mind.

As they had dinner, they talked about their plans.  David had found out earlier what she did before she married and became a full-time mother.  She had been a secretary of the company where her ex-husband worked.  During her free time, she wrote children’s story and had quite a few published and though they weren’t exactly bestsellers, they did quite well.

“Why don’t you write again?”

“I can’t survive on that alone, David.  I need to provide for Amelia and I can’t do that without a full-time job.  Talking of that, I’ll be going for an interview day after tomorrow.  It’s another secretarial job, boring but it pays well.”

“Come to London with me.  You can concentrate on your writing; I’ll take care of everything else,” David said hopefully.

“Don’t you think it’s too soon for us to commit ourselves like this?”

Quietly, he replied, “I waited too long to make Sandra my wife, and look where I am now.  I’m not going to let something good pass me by again, and that’s you and Amelia.”

“And I married a man four months into dating him, look where it got me, David?”

At those words, it dawned on him that Claire was afraid of committing another mistake, that she was still hurting from the divorce.  She had been so cheerful that he had failed to consider the effect the divorce had on her.  He began to wonder if he was being too selfish to rush her along.

“I’m sorry, Claire.  It didn’t occur to me that you’d be afraid of another commitment.”

“No, I’m not afraid, I just want to make sure the next time I make a commitment, it’s for life.”  Looking at him with pleading eyes, she asked softly, “We’ll still keep in touch, won’t we?”

Standing up, he walked over to her and pulled her to her feet.  Gazing into her eyes, he told her, “Of course we’ll keep in touch.  I’ll fly back whenever we have breaks in between work and you, me and little Amie will spend some quality time together.  I promise.”  He lowered his head and kissed her, gently at first, then more demanding when she opened up to him.

A sense of loss swept over Claire as she returned the kiss fervently, tears streaming down her face as she held on to him tightly.  “I’m sorry, David.  I wish I could forget the past and just move in with you.  I’ve never felt so happy before I met you.  Please say you’ll wait for me,” she begged.

“I will, but I hope you on’t make me wait too long.”

Claire needn’t ask why.  She knew he was living with regrets about Sandra.  She wished someday she could make him forget about the past, and he in return, would help her forget hers.

They sat watching a movie on cable after putting Amelia in bed, sharing a quiet moment in each other’s arms.  Much as David would love to spend more time with Claire, he knew he had to be patient.  Soon it was time for him to leave for London, but before that, they planned another outing the next day, this time to the zoo since Amelia seemed to love animals.

Chapter 12

Carmen managed to get Senor Santos to drop the lawsuit but with the condition that Joanne hosts a program for him in the near future.  In view of the fact that she would be traveling with Carlos very often, he had proposed a short television series that dealt with current affairs, something that Joanne was very interested in doing.  Carlos was delighted for his wife as it meant that she didn’t have to give up her career in order to travel with him.

They were now in his London apartment and had made plans to meet up for dinner with the Buhlers at the Izambards’ place.  Joanne went shopping in town for little gifts for the children while Carlos paid a few London friends a visit.  They met up back in the apartment before leaving for dinner.

Ginny was delighted to see Joanne again and the girls shared a long embrace before Joanne turned her attention to Sebastien.

“I heard you’re the best dad in the world,” Joanne said as she hugged and kissed him.

“On the contrary, like Ginny said, I spoil them rotten.”

“That’s precisely why you’re the best dad in the world!”  Sebastien threw back his head and laughed while Ginny gave him an indulging smile.  Carlos received a pat on the back by the French man as they made their way to the family room where the children were quietly playing by themselves.

“Look who’s here, kids!” Ginny announced as they entered the room.  Both Lily and Nicholas ran up to Carlos and gave him a hug.  They were however more shy towards Joanne as they hardly ever saw her.

“Go on, give Aunty Joanne a hug and say hello,” Sebastien urged.  They did as told and were delighted to receive a present each from her.  Thanking her, they both ran up to their rooms to play with their new toys.

“Kids,” Sebastien remarked with a shake of his head.

“You were young once, my friend,” Carlos said understandingly.  Joanne was aware how easy her husband was around little children.  She decided then to work harder to give him what his heart desired.  Taking his hand, she smiled into his eyes.

Soon, the Buhler clan arrived.  Angel, Grace and Tony ran up to Ginny and hugged her, then Sebastien and Carlos, and finally Joanne, after receiving a little prompting from their mother, “Don’t you remember Auntie Joanne?”

Smiling a little sadly, Joanne said, “I guess I haven’t been a very good aunt, always being the last to get hugs from the little ones.”

“That’s only because they hardly saw you.  But things are going to change now since you’ll be touring with us, right?” Sam asked.  Joanne nodded and hugged her, whispering a word of thanks in her ear.  “What are girlfriends for?” Sam replied with a wink.

The Buhler kids each got their gifts too and were happily playing with Lily and Nick in their rooms; the boys in Nicks room, while the girls in Lily’s room.  The adults settled down for a light chat in the family room before dinner was served by the part-time housekeeper who was asked to help with the dinner preparation.

“David will be back tomorrow,” Urs announced as they sat down at the table when dinner was ready.  The kids had already settled in their seats by now, each happily clutching their new toys when they were summoned downstairs for dinner and had to be ordered to leave the toys in the family room.

“Can we go to the airport to welcome Uncle David, Daddy?” Angel asked earnestly.

“Uncle David will not be staying with us this time, Angel.  He’ll be staying in his own apartment,” Sam told her.

“But why?  Why can’t he stay with us?”

“Because he has his own home, and he has lots of things he needs to do.”  Sam didn’t know how to explain to her daughter that David needed to start living his own life again.

“I can help him do those things.  Daddy always said two hands are better than one,” the little one replied.

“It’s ‘two heads are better than one’, Angel,” Daddy corrected.

“It’s the same,” she replied nonchalantly, shrugging.  The adults laughed.

“Well, I’m sure Uncle David will be very pleased to hear that you’re such a helpful little girl, but I think he needs to do those things on his own,” Ginny tried her luck with the reasoning.

“Ok.  But can we go to the airport?” this time it was Lily.

The adults shared a look and finally, Carlos said, “Sure, why not?  Let’s all go and welcome back our Uncle David then.”  As soon as he said that, shouts of ‘Yay!’ came from the little ones and the adults all laughed.  Dinner continued with the adults and children chatting amicably among themselves.

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David took lots of photos and videos of the trip to the zoo.  Claire had never liked being filmed but she indulged him as she knew he was trying to capture their precious time together.  She and Amelia made many funny faces in front of the camera, and occasionally she would take over the camera and filmed David and Amelia together.  There was lots of fun and laughter, but once in a while, the reality of David leaving the next day would sink in and leave her feeling sad.

They had an early dinner and stopped by an ice-cream parlour en route to her apartment.  Over the delicious ice-cream, David told Claire about the Il Divo family and their little ones.  He told her how Angel got him out of a sticky situation with a woman who couldn’t keep her hands off him.  She giggled at his description of how he was groped at the pub and how the woman devoured him with her eyes at the supermarket.  And when he came to the part where Angel told the woman in no uncertain terms that Uncle David would not be available to have a drink with her, Claire almost choked on her ice-cream as she tried to stifle the bubbling laughter that rose to her throat.

David also talked about Sebastien’s children, how they made their dad suffer while mommy was away on holiday, saying Sebastien had the kindest heart and was the softie of the group where women and children were concerned.  Claire remembered seeing how he seemed to connect with Amelia at the airport and had no doubt how much he loved children.

She listened intently when it came to Carlos and Joanne, and was amazed at how the group stood by each other in times of difficulty even in their private lives.  Though David didn’t know whether the Marins really had their problem resolved, he was sure they were not talking about divorce anymore.  She was impressed at how well David handled the situation when Carlos came to him for help and told him so.

“I’m glad you didn’t come to me for help regarding your own marital problems because I’d probably get you back together with him and I’d end up a sorry, lonely, old man,” David said in all seriousness, nodding his head grimly as she stared at him.  Claire totally lost it this time and laughed so loud that David burst out laughing too and the other patrons all turned to look at them.

“Hey Davey, what’s so funny?” a woman called out from another table at the far end of the room.  David turned to her and waved, and the whole table of five mature ladies waved back at him.  Claire couldn’t help giggling when one of the ladies blew him a kiss.

“That’s Il Divo fans for you,” he told her with a big grin.

Soon it was time to get mother and daughter home as Amelia was close to having her face in the bowl of ice-cream she was quietly eating away.  As she dozed off on her mother’s lap, they had a quiet journey back to Claire’s apartment.

When the little one was tucked up in bed, Claire joined David in the living room.  He was idly flipping through a magazine when she sat down and cuddled up next to him.  He draped an arm over her shoulder and kissed her forehead.  Sighing, she took his hand and traced the lines on his palm.

“Want to know something funny?” she asked, looking up at him.

“Sure.”

“When we met the first time outside the dance club, after you had punched that drunkard into oblivion and then dragged Carlos off by his arm saying you were tired and wanted to sleep, I thought you were a gay couple.”

“What?” he turned to face her, bewilderment written on his face.

“Sorry, it was just the way you ignored me and then pulled Carlos’ arm, then saying you wanted to sleep…well, it all seemed pretty campy to me then.”

“Now, wait a minute!  How could that be?  I didn’t hold his hand; I was pulling on his arm!  What’s so campy about that?”

She shrugged, “I don’t know, maybe it was really the way you ignored me and preferred Carlos.”

“Geez!  You sure have some wild imagination.  What kind of stories did you say you write?”

“Children’s story”

“Well, that kind of imagination sure wouldn’t help you with any of your stories.”

“Yes, I know.  Maybe I should switch to adult-themed stories, but then I might need some help there,” she gave him a cheeky look and grinned.

“When you do start?” he deadpanned.

“How about now?” she whispered, her eyes suddenly stopped smiling as she looked up at him shyly.

“You’re sure?” he asked quietly, searching her eyes for a trace of uncertainly but found none.  He gently cupped her face in his hands and kissed her, tenderly at first, giving her the chance to pull away if she wanted.  Instead of turning away, she wrapped her hands behind his neck and pulled him closer for a deeper kiss.  It was all the encouragement he needed as he lifted her off the sofa and placed her on his lap, their lips still locked in a passionate kiss.

Claire lowered her hands to his back and pulled at his shirt, revealing his bareback.  Stroking his back, she continued kissing him, teasing him with her tongue.  He held her tightly with one hand while the other moved up and down her side.  When his fingers lightly skimmed the side of her breast, she let out a moan and arched towards him, wanting to be as close to him as possible, wishing that she could mould herself to him.

Unable to take the teasing anymore, David stood and carrying her with him, headed into her bedroom.  He lay her down on the bed gently, his breathing quickened as he slowly undid the buttons on her blouse.  She watched as he undid each button slowly and was amazed at his gentleness and patience.  When he was done with the blouse, he looked at the beautifully toned body before him and smiled at her.  Her breath caught in her throat as she realized just how deeply she had fallen for him.

That realization propelled her into action as she began pulling his shirt over his head, throwing it on the floor and immediately attacked his belt and jeans.  Stilling her hand, he gave a devilish grin and pushed her back on the bed, then proceeded to remove her jeans, then his and whatever last shreds of clothing they had on them.  Soon, they were lying side by side on the bed, gently stroking each other’s body and kissing.  They weren’t in a rush to satisfy themselves.  Instead, they sought to prolong the moment, unwilling to let this night end.

Once again, Claire marveled at how beautifully proportioned David’s body was as she gently explored his shoulders, his muscular chest, his flat abs and finally his full hard length.

David did his own exploring too, one hand holding her head as they kiss, the other moving up and down her arm, stroking her side and tenderly caressing her sensitive peaks, causing her to moan.  His hand then slowly made its way down the centre, stopped and gently stroked the core of her womanly warmth, causing her to tremble with pleasure.

Sensing that she was close to her release, he moved over her and hovered above her for a fraction of a second before taking her and joining them as one.  Claire let out a soft moan and pulled his face down for a deep kiss that left them both breathless.  He moved slowly and sensuously, leading her to her first release before increasing the pace.  They clung to each other and her nails dug deep into his back when she reached the peak again, and this time he joined her in a shuddering release with a moan of his own.

Sprawling on top of her, he raised his head to look at her.  She was breathing heavily just like him as she smiled.  He returned the smile and kissed her softly on her lips.

“Stay with me?” she asked softly.

He nodded and they cuddled up to sleep, only to wake up a couple of hours later to make love again.

—————————————————————————————————–

Morning came all too soon.  Before she let the dread of seeing him off at the airport get to her, she turned to look at him while he was still blissfully sleeping.  Removing a strand of hair from his eye, she placed a kiss on his nose.  His eyes fluttered and finally opened, and he smiled, “Good morning, gorgeous.”

“Good morning, sunshine.”

He moved over her and kissed her, his hands gently stroking her body.  She loved how he always took his time to make her ready for him but she knew they didn’t have much time to spare; Amelia would be up anytime now.  So she pushed him back and straddled him, taking charge as she worked her magic on him.  Soon they were brought to heaven and back, and she lay sprawled on top of him while catching her breath.

“That’s fast,” he commented laughingly.

Just then Amelia called out for mommy.

“That’s the reason for the record-breaking performance,” Claire grinned.  David chuckled as she got off him and putting on a robe, went to tend to her daughter.

They had a hastily made breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast so they could get to his apartment to retrieve his bag.  He had decided to leave his rented car with her while he was away so she drove them all first to his apartment and then to the airport.  But on the way to the airport, they detoured to the mall to get some presents for the kids back in London as they had time to spare.

On the ride to the airport, David handed Claire a piece of paper with contact details of all the Divo guys and their spouses, saying that if she couldn’t get hold of him in case of emergency, she should contact one of them.  He was frustrated that he didn’t have any concrete details of what they would be doing and how long before he could get away again, but he promised to let her know as soon as their schedules were finalized.

David stood outside the departure gate of the LA Airport with Claire and Amelia.  His heart was heavy with dread as he thought of going back to his London apartment alone.  The zoo trip was fun but it was clouded with a tinge of sadness that the next day they would be apart.  However, he was thankful for the time they managed to spend together last night. It was magical and he would always treasure that memory.  It would be something to help sustain him till they meet again.

Claire observed David as he talked to Amelia, telling her that one day he would bring her to London to meet some nice friends.  He was so good with kids, was she making a big mistake letting him go?  As all these thoughts flooded her mind, David turned his attention on her.

“Claire, I’ve set up the internet video chat link for you, so please log on everyday alright?”

Nodding, she stood on tiptoe and kissed him on his lips, “Please remember to call me, David.  Please don’t give up on me.”

“Not in a million years,” he smiled tenderly at her before returning the kiss, not caring if any of his fans were around to witness the scene.  Amelia hung on to her mommy’s dress patiently while both adults got their fill of each other’s senses as they continued embracing and kissing.  Finally, David pulled away reluctantly and bent to retrieve his bag.

“Time for me to go,” he said.  Hugging the little girl one last time, he told her, “Be good to mommy, ok?  I’ll come back for both you and mommy soon.”

“Ok.  Where are you going, Uncle David?” Amelia asked with her innocent blue eyes.

“I’m going back to London where I have work to do, but I promise I’ll be back soon to play with you and mommy again.”

“Can we come with you?”

David stared up at Claire and she replied, “Amelia, Uncle David will be busy with his work.  We shouldn’t bother him.”

“No matter how busy I am I’ll always have time for you and Amelia, Claire,” David straightened up and looked into Claire’s eyes.

“Yes, but maybe not this trip,” she returned his gaze, pleading for understanding with her eyes.

David nodded and turned his attention back to Amelia again, “Next time I’ll bring you and Mommy with me, ok?”

Amelia nodded dutifully as Mommy looked on with tears in her eyes.  Wiping the falling tears with both his hands, David kissed Claire one last time before whispering, “I’ll miss you both.”  Then he turned and left without a backward glance, tears welling up in his own eyes, knowing that it could be a few weeks before he saw them again.

——————————————————————————————

As David sat staring out the window of the aircraft, his mind drifted off to the first time he met Claire.  Her confession of what she thought of him the first time they met annoyed him at first, but now he thought it was hilarious.  He realized he must have looked like he wasn’t interested in women when he didn’t even bother to find out if she was alright.  No wonder she had found him campy, ignoring her and then dragging another man off to sleep.

He laughed to himself as he envisioned the picture he had created in front of the beautiful woman who was now his girlfriend.  He wondered what Carlos would think of it if he told him about Claire’s first impression of them.  Soon he drifted off to sleep.

“Mr Miller, we’re about to land,” in his sleepy state he heard those words.  He stirred and opened his eyes.  A pair of green eyes looked back at him with a smile.  He quickly sat up and mumbled a word of thanks.  He had slept through the whole flight and now didn’t even have time to use the washroom as the seatbelt light was on.  He rubbed his face with his hands and tried to straighten his hair as he waited for the landing.

“There’s Uncle David, Mommy!” Angel shouted excitedly when she spotted the tall, dark blonde man walking towards them with a big grin.  All five little ones ran up to him as he stooped and opened his arms to them.  Hugging them all in both his arms, he kissed each one of them before picking little Gracie up and led them all back to the adults.

“Welcome back, brother,” Sam was the first to greet him with a hug and kiss on both cheeks.

David embraced her tightly and whispered, “Good to see you again, Sam.”

Urs smiled when his wife was released from the bear hug and he went up to pat his friend on his back, “Had a good flight, David?”

David turned to give him an equally enthusiastic hug, “Yes, very good flight.  Managed to sleep all the way here.”

“Looks like our baby bear had been pretty busy lately,” Carlos remarked as David greeted the rest of the group.

“Looks like our senior had his broken heart mended,” he said when Joanne greeted him with a kiss on both cheeks.  Turning to Carlos for a shoulder pat, he whispered, “I want to hear all about it.”  And he gave the Spanish one a conspiratorial wink.

“You tell me your story and I’ll tell you mine,” Carlos returned the wink.

“Hey, what’s this all about between the two of you?” Sebastien asked as he noticed the youngest and oldest Divos both exchanging looks and winks.

“Not telling you,” David said playfully.

“It’s our little secret,” Carlos joined in with his well-practiced cheesy look.

Sebastien looked hurt so Ginny stroked his back comfortingly, “Come on, honey.  They’re only teasing you.  I’m sure they’ll share their secrets with us, won’t you guys?”

“Someday…,” David sang in his high tenor voice and then grinned widely.

“Alright, enough of this, let’s get out of here,” Urs ordered.  And so the big group left the airport amid stares from those passengers who recognized them as members of Il Divo and their families.

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5 thoughts on “Chapters 11 & 12”

  1. Connie Lee-Love said:

    I know I’ve read this story before, but I still can’t get enough of it!

    Post faster, Judy…. never mind that you have a life! I want more!! 🙂

  2. Oh how I hate to see David and Claire part so soon after forming their relationship.
    I understand her being hesitant in moving to London with him, but hope she changes her mind really soon.
    Glad that Carmen was able to work her magic for Joanne and all is going well with Joanne and Carlos.
    Like Connie Lee, I want more!

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