Part V

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Part V

Jeremy Irons once said, "When you meet an Italian man, you open the door and there he is. You meet an Englishman, you open the door...and there's another door. And after about six doors, you finally meet the man."

Despite Alec falling through the one door with a resounding thud, I can see I have at least seven more to go. Maybe eight. The question is which doors to wait patiently in front of, which to coax him out of, and which to take a pry bar too.

Case in point, I have not heard from him in a week.

I'm tempted to call, but I hate those "Hi, I was just calling to say Hi. Oh, I already said it." phone calls which would be especially pathetic sounding in this situation. I'm also leery of pushing after what he said about his last relationship which explained why he's dancing around this. The man is seriously gun shy.

So get my stitches out and I keep my head in my books and try to forget what his lips felt like. And his smile, and his voice, and that wonderfully goofy laugh, and yes I answered his call in the middle of the library.

"I'm sorry. My shift ended and I was completely knackered. I was dead asleep until I got a phone call from an old mate of mine who needed a hand working on his roof and I stayed on to watch the match and by the time I got free from that it was really late and the next morning I knew you were in class..."

I'm beginning to suspect Alec's natural reaction to nerves is to blather, so I let him as I hobble over to a fairly remote area of the stacks where I slide down the book shelves and sit on the floor.

"Alec."

"Yes?"

"No big deal. Really."

"Why are you talking so quietly?"

The conversation is necessarily brief as we arrange to see each other again.

"Well, I won't subject you to my museum fetish and I'm afraid dancing is out at the moment," I summarize.

"Does that mean they turn you on, or are you sexually attracted to them?"

So we go the terribly pedestrian route of dinner and movie and drinks at quiet little pub afterward.

Though I have dessert first by snogging him as soon as he shows up on my doorstep.

But now I'm lecturing from my favorite spot. That is: Perched on a barstool, which is the only real place to lecture. "…as much as the literati want to deny it, comic books are part and parcel of birth of American culture. At the same time we were embracing jazz and starting our love affair with cars, we also created Superman which is essentially an analogy for our immigrant populations."

From the next stool over Alec smirks indulgently, probably he realizing he owes me a lecture or two. "And what does that say about America, I wonder?"

I pick up my crutch from where it leans against the bar. "I'm armed."

"And there's another statement." He chuckles wryly into his beer.

"I know it's in vogue to bash on the 800 lb. gorilla and some of it is certainly deserved in recent years, but must you snub the colonials? Sometimes it's like you guys are the Vorlons are something."

He almost chokes on his beer with laughter. "I know we "talk funny" to you, but I think we communicate in more than cryptic monosyllables."

"I think because you guys are the parent culture there is still some level of awe in the U.S. for the U.K. Culturally at any rate, if not politically. And occasionally you all play the role up."

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