After Claudio’s talk with his brother he thought about it for a while. His brother was off on a date with a pretty girl because he’s the one that took initiative. He was right, they were going to be leaving tomorrow and it was now or never for him to ask Clara out. So that’s exactly what he did. Claudio spent a few hours finding a really nice fancy restaurant and texted Clara telling her to come dressed up and sent her the address.
As he headed out the door he couldn’t help but smile.
Claudio waited outside of the restaurant and reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone and punching his brothers number in.
“Hey bro I know you’re busy but I just wanted to let you know I took your advice and I’m out on a date with Clara, not sure when I’ll be back home!”
Claudio made his way to the door and noticed a girl in a simple form fitting red dress, he was about to pass her but he got a waft of roses and spun around.
Clara stared at him with a nervous look in her eyes,
“Yea? You told me to get dressed up so this was the only thing I had…I’m sorry it must be to much.”
Claudio frantically waved his hands in the air,
“No, no, no! That’s not what I meant! It’s just...you look beautiful.”
Clara blushed. She was beyond ecstatic when he called and asked her out, and she spent a good two hours getting ready in hopes of impressing him.
“Thank you...how about we go get a table?”
Claudio walked up to the host in the front lobby and said in a hushed whisper,
“Listen man, I really like this girl and I want to impress her tonight. I want your chef to spend extra time on our meals and we’ll be needing your best nectar, and waiter. Don’t worry about the money, I’ll pay extra.”
The man smirked and nodded his head curtly,
“Yes sir. May I show you two to the best seats in the house?”
Their seats were on the second story of the building and the grandeur was slightly overwhelming for Clara, she wasn’t use to anything like this.
“Claudio, are you sure you can afford this? Everything looks so expensive…”
Claudio shifted nervously in his chair,
“Trust me. I can cover this and more if it’s what you want. Money doesn’t have value if it’s being spent on someone you care about…”
Clara blushed and stared into her lap, fumbling with her hands,
“Uh, so Claudio. What do you want from life?”
Claudio smiled, confused,
“What do you mean? Like what do I want to do with my life?”
Clara rested her arms on the table and nodded,
“Well this might sound like a far stretch but I’d love to be a professional musician one day. It doesn’t matter if I’m in an orchestra, playing solo, or even if I’m in a band. Music is pretty much my livelihood and I’ve loved it since I can remember.”
Claudio grinned when he remembered the day his Dad bought him his first guitar. Sure they had every instrument imaginable at the Estate but that old beat up guitar with stickers on it was priceless to him.
He shook his head, clearing it of nostalgic thoughts and pointed at Clara.
“Enough about my weird obsession with musical instruments, how about you? I’ve been thinking about it since we met and I’ve deduced that you either want to be a super secret agent or you want to start a crime ring.”
Clara burst out laughing,
“What?! Why would you think that?!”
Coheed started counting off on his fingers,
“Well first of all you look like one of those super model actresses that team up with the secret agent in the movies. But you also look like the beautiful villain that tempts the good guy into coming to her side.”
“Pffft. I have no want to do any of those things! If you really must know I want to be a world famous artist. I’ve always dreamed of having my works hanging up in an art gallery or having people fight over my newest piece because they must have it. To you it might sound like I’m narcissistic but the thought of people caring so much about what I’ve put my heart and soul into just gets me so excited!”
Claudio sighed and said jokingly,
“I guess we’re in the same boat then. We both care way too much about the arts.”
As they were both looking at the menu and deciding what to order Clara couldn’t help but keep peeking over at Claudio. She’d never met anyone like him. He was shy but straightforward, he was passionate about the same things she was, and he was extremely cute. In her eyes he was just one giant ball of deliciousness.
When they got their food Claudio definitely was getting what he paid for. The nectar was rich and warm, the food pairing with it made his mouth burst with flavor. He hadn’t eaten anything so delicious in his life! Even his Mom’s cooking had nothing on this.
As they were taking the last sips of their nectar Claudio stood up and grabbed Clara’s hand,
“Come with me. Quick!”
Clara set down her glass and looked around frantically,
“What? What’s wrong?”
“I want to tell you something but not here.”
Clara clenched his hand and stood up as Claudio set a wad of money on the table. Before she even had time to react at how much cash he just dropped they were already heading down the stairs and out the door.
By the time they made it to where he was dragging them they were both panting from the brisk walk.
“Here. This is where I wanted to take you. We passed this on our way in and I haven’t been able to get the scenery out of my head since.”
“It is very beautiful...quaint too because of the little cottage in the background.”
Claudio turned around and grabbed Clara’s hand before blurting out everything he had been holding in,
“Clara I think you’re the most amazing, beautiful, funny, and talented girl I’ve ever met. I’ve never felt so strongly about this towards somebody before and when I first met you I had no idea what to do with myself. You made my head spin and my stomach get butterflies. You made me want to write a million love songs just so I could play a new one for you every day.”
Clara could feel tears start to well up in her eyes,
Claudio brushed his fingertips across her cheek and said in almost a whisper,
“I’m not finished yet...I’m different Clara. I haven’t told you because I didn’t want you to get scared or freaked out but...I’m a part of a legacy. I could be-”
“I don’t care.”
Claudio stood stunned and stared into Clara’s bright blue eyes,
“I don’t care about who you are or what your life is about. I care about you as a person and that’s it. You could be the owner of a fortune 500 company or you could be a hobo and I still wouldn’t care. All I care about is you, and us, right here right now.”
Claudio acted on instinct and grabbed Clara by the waist and pulled her in for a kiss. He’d wanted nothing more for the past few days than to kiss her, hold her and never let go. His fear of her changing ebbed away the longer the kiss lasted and as they pulled apart it left both of them breathless and their cheeks flushed.
Reaching down beside a rose bush, Claudio picked one up and handed it to Clara.
“I want you to be with me wherever life takes us. I’ll wait for however long it takes until we can be together again, I promise.”
Clara gently took the rose and smiled before throwing herself back into Claudio’s arms.
What a way to end a vacation.