Chapter Twelve

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Time in this village seemed to move with activities, for us these afternoons had to be spent in the local farmers market. Jaime was spotted after a short while and he made his way to us with a cardboad box filled with oranges he'd bought, offering them to us.

Bethany smiled at him while taking one before turning to me with a cheshire grin on her face. Jaime caught the look and cleared his throat while shuffling his feet and turning to me, "Can you give me a minute?"

"Uh, sure," I agreed and motioned my friends to carry on.

"I had fun with you, d'you want to hang out again?"

I cracked a smile, internally battling the hangover caused headache but still thankful to be offered another hangout especially since this place awfully lacked very exciting things to do once you'd spent a week here.

"Yah, tell me where? We'll come."

"We... um I was thinking just us, two of us."

My eyebrows rose slightly in surprise, "Oh, right."

He nodded, looking into my eyes and muttering, "It's a date."

I needed to nip this in the bud, he shouldn't think I'll date him because I'm not interested.

"Or we can hang out as friends, " I offered.

"Friends don't kiss, Max, and we did."

"Kiss? When-how did that happen?"

"Don't you remember?"

"No, no, I don't! I'm sorry if I kissed you, probably because of the alcohol, but I'm sorry," I frantically said, not willing to lead him on.

"I like you, Max. There's no harm in us dating."

I shook my head, "There is when I'm already with someone."

That surprised him, he pulled back his chin and stared at me, "You're in a relationship?"

I nodded, confirming the statement.

"Oh, well, sorry."

Smiling faintly, I said, "You didn't know."

He cleared his throat again and perked up after a second, "Well we can still hang out, why don't I pick you from the place you're staying at after an hour?"

"All right, I'll see you."

I found my way back to Dilton and Bethany and after half an hour of mindless wandering went back to Aunt Jill's house.

I sat on the couch and watched Aunt Jill hold her knitting upto Dilton's body and measuring his size, a couple of knitwear sitting by her chair in a wicker basket. She kept sizing them on us, marking with pins to fit them just right then gathered all of them again to make the changes. We chattered for a while till a knock on the door interrupted us, Jaime standing there with a smile on his face.

We went to a hayride, spending quite some time there before I started yawning because of the lack of proper sleep last night. We rode back to Jill's house in the evening light to find several cars lining the driveway and a few guards dressed in black standing on the porch. I got out cautiously, mumbling a thank you to Jaime and walking inside but he was quick to get out of himself and walk with me, placing a hand on my elbow as I opened the door.

There he was, sitting on the armchair facing the entrance with a mug of something in his hand, listening to Bethany with furrowed eyebrows. Everyone turned to the door at my arrival and Bethany looked into my eyes with flushed cheeks, an apologetic grimace on her face, as she sat next to my father. Dad got up immediately and rushed to me, enveloping me in a hug, "Why didn't you come back? Why are you still here?"

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