''Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.''- Salvador Dali
The day of their second private lesson arrived and Iris was in her car, driving to his apartment. This time she arrived earlier since she didn't get lost again.
The previous day at the evening class they had to draw a landscape and Iris had came first, while Rose had came second. Although she wanted to win the competition and go and study in Florence she couldn't help but feel like Rose deserved it even more. Her parents couldn't afford paying for the art school fees abroad, unlike Iris's parents who where loaded with money.
Rose's parents wanted her to become an artist but didn't have the money, while Iris's parents had the money but didn't want her to study art full time. So they were both in a sticky situation and needed to win.
When she parked her car she walked up the front steps and rang the bell. This time Pierce didn't ask who was there because she had messaged him a few moments ago that she was on her way.
She walked up the stairs and knocked on his apartment's black door. Like last time he greeted her with a huge smile, but this time it didn't reach his blue eyes. It looked like he was anxious about something.
''Come in, Iris,'' He greeted her as he held the door open for her.
She walked in after giving him a smile of her own and went into the room that they had stayed in the last time , since he motioned for her to go in.
''Would you like anything to drink? Coffee, tea, water, wine maybe?'' Pierce asked her while running his hands through his light brown hair.
''Um, tea would be lovely, thank you,'' She took a moment to really look at him to try to put her finger on what was wrong with him. ''Pierce, is everything okay?''
''Everything is fine, don't worry. I just have something on my mind, that's all.''
''Anything I can help you with?''
''No, not really.'' He couldn't help but curse himself as he walked out of the room to go and brew two cups of tea. Why had he lied to her? It was the perfect moment to ask her what he had wanted to for the past five months that he had known her. Now he had to wait for the perfect moment again, if he didn't chicken out again.
After a few minutes he walked back into the room. Iris was looking at the canvases on the floor and jumped when he cleared his throat behind her.
''Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you,'' He said as he handed her a mug with the Mona Lisa printed on it.
''Thanks and it's okay. I didn't mean to pry,'' She took a sip from her mug as the sweet taste of the tea hit her tongue and made her smile. ''This is very good!''
''I'm glad you like it, it's a special family recipe that my mother taught me when I was just a boy.''
''Family recipes are always the best!'' She replied with a smile. ''What's you mother like?''
''She's just amazing, she managed to bring up my brother and I all by herself when my father was deployed. I have to admit that she's one of the strongest people that I have ever known, I owe everything to her.''
Iris couldn't help but feel a little jealous, his mother was the total opposite of hers. ''Do you see her often?''
''Only twice a year, on my birthday and Christmas. She lives in Wales, so it's not that easy to go and visit her that often,'' He said with a sad smile.
''You must miss her like crazy.''
''I do, but not as much as when I was younger. Being in the army thought me how to not miss people that much. Now, let's begin today's task,'' He told her as he grabbed a drawing book from a nearby shelf and sat down on the sofa. That day they were going to draw a surrealism painting.
Like always, the two hours flew by as they got lost in their paintings.
''Iris, that's beautiful! You make me wonder what's in your mind sometimes, because you always come up with these amazing ideas,'' He complimented her as he looked at her painting of a woman's face with butterflies covering most of it.
''Trust me, you don't want to know what goes on in my mind,'' She said as she looked at his painting, which was similar to Salvador Dali's of the melting clocks. ''Yours is also really good, but not that original,'' She admitted.
''It's not my fault, I just had not inspiration today.''
''Pierce, you aren't yourself today. What's going on? Are you having problems with renting the class?'' She asked him, hoping that he wasn't worrying about that. He had mentioned some months ago that the people who lent him the class might raise the price and he wasn't sure that he could afford it.
''No, it's not about that,'' He anxiously ran his hands through his hair again. It was now or never. ''Iris, I want to ask you something.''
''What do you want to ask me?'' She asked him curiously. What could he possibly want to ask her?
''Um, would you like to go to this art exhibition with me this weekend and maybe dinner after? It's fine if you don't want to, I understand that it's soon and you might be busy,'' Pierce turned a light shade of red as he asked her out. He hadn't asked a woman out in half a year and possibly even more.
Iris didn't say anything for a while as she tried to understand what he was really asking her. Was he asking her out just as friends or on a date?
''Are you asking me out on a date?'' She asked bluntly.
''Um, yes, if you're comfortable with that. I know that I'm older than you by twelve years, but I really like you and would love to get to know you better,'' He avoided her sea blue eyes as he admitted his feelings out loud for the first time, a thing that he had always struggled with.
''The age gap doesn't really bother me, but I can see why it would bother some people. I see nothing wrong with going to an art exhibition and dinner, so yes I accept,'' She told him with a smile. Rose was right, never say never.
''That's wonderful, thanks for not making me look like a complete idiot,'' He laughed.
''On second thought, I think I better pass the offer,'' She joked with him as she laughed along.
''It's too late for that now, you gave me your word. Is it good for you if I pick you up at six?''
''Six is perfect!'' Iris looked at her phone and saw that it was time for her to leave if she wanted to make it home before her parents. ''I have to go, I'll send you my address when I arrive home. See you then!''
They got up from the sofa and he opened the front door for her.
''Thanks for accepting, Iris, it means a lot to me.''
''The pleasure is mine,'' She told him with a smile before walking out of the front door.
Pierce couldn't believe that Iris had accepted to go out with him. Now he had something to look forward to in a really long time. He called Richard and thanked him for pushing him out of his comfort because he was slowly moving on with his life, and there was nothing more in the world that he wanted than leaving the past behind.
a/n: I'm sorry nothing much happened in this chapter but it was necessary for this book. I promise you that next chapter will be more interesting :)
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The stroke of the brush against the canvas soothes Pierce's war ridden heart. The thirty year old, served in the army and now he's home. He decides to start teaching an art class, a silly idea at first, but soon it becomes therapeutic to him. He...