Chapter 10 - It's an Invite For Two

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There was something about Richard Madden's face.

It wasn't his usual charm nor his wit. It wasn't a blemish, although debatable under the circumstance that shaving had been brushed away for the time being. And it wasn't even a smile, not even a small grin that wrinkled his eyes and widened his cheeks.

But there was something about Richard Madden's face.

"Thinking of someone?" Kit Harington raised the mug to his lips and sipped off the beer head. "Missing them, perhaps?"

The terrace restaurant screamed contemporary elegance meets minimalist sophistication — whatever that meant, Richard had mentioned when he asked Kit out for lunch. The two sat in a corner table, away from the crowds that devoured painted plates of brunch. It was just another noon, and it called for midday drinks.

"Are you gonna eat that?" Richard asked, grabbing another crisp from his date's plate. "Wouldn't want it to go to waste."

Kit laughed, sitting back in his chair and shaking his head. "You're unbelievable, Richard. Tell me, is she the same one you'd call from set? The one you'd spend your breaks talking to?"

He shrugged, then pouted his lips. "Yes, no. Maybe."

"Ah, so you're gonna fuck with me like that. Okay, I see. I can play that game, too." Kit raised his hand at the waitress nearby. She walked over with a smile. "Excuse me, love. Can I get today's paper?"

She nodded and walked away. Richard raised an eyebrow at his comrade who shot him a strong level of wickedness from his smirk. When the waitress returned, Kit thanked her and flipped through the newspaper. His eyes beamed when he found the entertainment section, focused on the short paragraph boxed in the corner. A colored portrait of Richard was inked next to it. He turned it to him and pointed.

"Richard Madden seen out with new love interest," Kit recited, sitting back in victory. "Blah blah blah, except maybe this..." He quickly leaned forward and pointed at the last sentence. "... is a bit too revealing for what it's worth. Dunno how they got it."

Richard's eyebrows furrowed at the sight of Mia's full name mentioned on paper. He knew that his privacy was always under the threat of breaches, but he didn't think that his best friend would be caught in the chaos as well. At least, not within a few day's worth of snapshots. He shook his head and folded the newspaper away, throwing it onto the empty seat next to him.

Richard sighed. "I don't understand why people are making it a huge story."

Kit wanted to laugh. Maybe it was because he knew Richard very well, but something was definitely spinning through the Scot's head. Kit was sure of it, and he was also sure that it had to do something with that four-lettered word that began with an "L."

And it wasn't lust, Kit knew.

"Well, it's a big deal here. I mean, it's probably not in a newspaper over where she is. But then again, she is a writer, too. And it's not at some cheeky little magazine that has those bullshit quizzes every other page." He rolled his eyes. "I dated a girl who was absolutely obsessed with them. Drove me mad."

As the restaurant became busier by the second, the hush whispers from tables around also became louder and contagious. Eyes would dance in long stares; an occasional gasp would slip from a heartfelt fan. The environment didn't make it difficult for them to dine, but it did make it a bit of a challenge to talk.

Kit noticed Richard lost in his own little world again. He lowered his chin, bringing his voice down to a whisper. "Hey. You should bring her to the wedding."

Richard folded his arms over his chest and tilted his head back. He stared at the ceiling for a few seconds, humming as his lips pressed together. "Hmm..." He shot a look of reluctancy forward. "Not a good idea."

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