|Love Is All That Matters
Author: BabyBlue07 PM
From a different POV- Joseph and Clarisse narrate for every chapter, in alternate. An A/U story- Joe is a King here. A flight to a foreign country, dreams and flowers lead them to meeting each other. What happens after they meet? What are these dreams Joseph is having? What past is Clarisse hiding? Pls. read & review. Pls. tell me also what you did't like and your opinions. Thanks!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Clarisse R. & Joe - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,191 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 11-26-12 - Published: 11-03-12 - id: 8668351
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait. I've been preoccupied by school works. Thank you for the reviews. Please keep them coming. They keep my writer's imagination alive. LOL! Thanks to msbby, for the words of wisdom. Hahaha. :)
Disclaimer: Princess Diaries doesn't belong to me, it belongs to Disney and other of its lawful owners.
Meeting a Stranger
A pair of strong arms cushion me after my haphazard fall. Red petals and little snow flakes are falling on us from the air. The cool breeze of November gently blows on us, giving me slight shivers. No soon, it will snow here and all of my beautiful flowers will withered.
I stare into his eyes; he stares back at mine. His hazel brown orbs that reminds of autumn when my flowers and plants turn brown, have sadness in them, which radiates around him, making me feel sympathy for him. Though he looks so sorrowful, there's a glint of something unknown for in his gaze. I can't name it, but feeling it warm on me gives me the uncannily thought that he knows me for some inexplicable reason.
"Sofia…" He whispers still looking at me, whose gaze seems to be searching someone within me.
Sofia? Who? Me? He must have lost himself in wherever world his in.
I slowly pull myself out from his arms, making him move from his stance. His eyes blink, and assuming he's back from the other world, I speak first, "Thank you, mister. For catching me..."
"You're welcome, Miss?" His voice falters having the same emotions like his eyes.
Why does this good-looking man, with dark-brown hair and Autumn colored eyes, look so sad? I want to pull him into my arms to lighten his burden- whatever it is.
Clarisse, you don't embrace some handsome man you don't even know his name in front of your shop, a little sane side of me admonishes.
"It's Clarisse Sanders, not Sofia. I rather prefer to be called as Clarisse," I emphasize my name, trying not to be so rude, as I shake the petals off my apron.
"Of course, you're not Sofia. My apologies, Clarisse…" He looks abashed by his mistake of naming me for some other woman.
"It's alright. I too am sorry, I'd thrown the sprayer to you. You must change your polo, you might get cold. Come. I have some old shirts inside. I hope they would fit on you," I beckon him to come with me as I turn my back and start moving towards the shop. But I'm completely rooted on my spot by an unbearable pain in my ankle.
"Ahhh!" I groan softly as I reach down to my right ankle, my face contorting in pain.
And the next SHOCKING thing I know is that he scoops me up, without my consent, in newlywed style.
"Hey! Where are you taking me?! Put me down, you stranger!" I yell and, alarmed by his sudden action, ceaselessly swat him on his shoulder.
"You're ankle is sprained. I won't risk to let you walk when there's a possibility it might impair to a fracture. I'll bring you inside," he firmly states as he strides towards the shop.
Oh. That's when my act of protest stops, and my mouth shuts - I thought he was going to abduct me...
Once we're inside, he anxiously asks, not minding my early insults, "Do you have any chairs? You need to sit, so I can treat your ankle. "
Is he that strong that he can manage to talk while he's carrying me?
"There. Open that door." I point my index finger to the door behind the counter.
He makes his way to the door, without any sweat, and kicks it open. As soon as it opens, he carefully settles me down on the sofa. He then quickly rummages around and, when he finds the refrigerator, he returns holding an ice pack.
"There. That should do." He dabs the ice on my ankle. I'm still quiet, due to the fact that I've smacked his shoulders while his intentions for me have been honest and good. My conscience nags me for what I've done. A proper apology should be done, I think.
"Sorry for my idiosyncratic attitude and slaps earlier. I didn't mean to do those..."
"No, it's alright. I understand why you panicked. I carried you without asking first your permission. But, next time be more cautious and look on the way where you're walking. Okay?" Why he's so caring with me? Is he my body guard to tell me so?
"Okay," is my simple yet so confused answer.
Moments later, he's still sitting on the floor, pressing the ice pack with light pressure on my ankle. Deciding to break the silence, I tap him on his shoulder to get his attention. "Mister?"
"Yes, Clarisse?" He responses, looking up to me.
"You don't look like you're a citizen here; I haven't seen you anywhere here aside from this day.. So I guess you're a tourist? Or are you a business man "
"I'm a tourist and a... a business man." Why is he stammering? Is he nervous around me whose ankle is awfully sprained, and who can't barely stand on her own two feet?
"You haven't introduce yourself. Mind if I ask your name?"
"Joseph Renaldi. Just Joseph, or if you want, Joe." His name gives a familiar ring to my ears. Have I heard it from the news that broadcasted last three weeks, that a King who has the same name with his, is here from some small country? Hundreds of Joseph Renaldi might be out there and they're just the only two of those hundreds that I've heard... Maybe they're not the same person, for he's a business man, not a royal.
"Joe? Joe? Joey?" I playfully test the nickname, a grin starts to form on my lips.
"No. Joe," he says with all seriousness on his face.
"Okay. It's Joseph then." My grin fades quickly. I think he has a short temper as he looks very, very chafed.
But, in a snap, his face softens and smiles with his pearly white teeth shown.
Ohhh! He was just teasing me! About five more minutes of this man and I'll throttle and smack him using my pillow! But my sense of humor reigns over my irritation that I start to giggle when the crack on his face widens like a seven years old boy who just have his teeth cleaned by his dentist, and then both of us burst in laughter. The explosive vocal sound fills the room, his laugh is the loudest as if he has never laughed for years.
"You're hilarious and... so mean! I thought you were angry with me!" I gasp out, nearly out of breath.
"You're the first one to say that to me in decades!" He laughs, then continues, "And you're the one who is hilarious giggling!"
I'm in first in decades? I suppose he's just exaggerating, but it's not a surprise to hear that no one told him he's comical for long years with his gloomy looks. He also says that he loves hearing me giggle and that's also the reason he laughed.
After laughing and laughing, and having our breaths back in normal pace, he asks inquisitively, "Do you also live here?"
"Yes. Why? It's not much, but I love this place."
Yes, I love this place that I call my home where my past lingers with my present; where I wait for Rupert, even though there's no certainty if he'll ever return to me; where my unborn baby's memories live, and where my hapless life starts in the morning and ends in the night, and perhaps where I'll stay till death arrives.
His lonesome yet rich voice pulls me from my deep thoughts.
"Your garden is wonderful, it seems it's well-cared of." It's quite surprising for a man to appreciate a garden unless if his a gardener or a nature lover.
"Oh, thanks. I do personally do everything at my garden, from planting to trimming."
"You're favorite is rose? To be in particular, red rose?"
"How did you know?" Does he know me? What other things do he know about me?
"Just a hunch. I saw you cutting roses a while ago before you trip off," he reasons out.
Oh. That's why he knows? Right?
"Clarisse, does it still hurt? It seems a little sore." He concernedly examines my ankle, and then stares at my face, looking for any reaction of pain.
I smile and shake my head no. The ice pack has done its wonders to alleviate the ache, thought it hurts a little. I wonder if ice packs can also mend one's heart.. Silly old me!
"Do you have any pain killers? Anvil?" He queries.
"I'll go and buy one. Stay here and keep this one here," he instructs me, pertaining to the ice pack he holds.
"It isn't necessary, Joseph."
"Yes, it is. You don't want its pain in full force later, do you?" His voice has this 'not buts' tone. It's endearing of him, but why is he really like this to me? He's a stranger whom I've just met, and who accidentally saved me and made me laugh. I didn't know that meeting a stranger can make you smile...
"Okay-okay," I acquiesce, replacing his hand on pressing the ice pack on my ankle.
Before he totally walks away from me, remembering his wet polo and the cold weather, my free hand grabs his.
"You must first change before you leave. You might get cold with your wet outfit, in this weather." His hand feels warm and smooth, strong and firm. I surmise it's from working hard as he has told he has business.
He looks down to me, his eyes has the same emotions earlier. He must have remembered Sofia, again.
"There are shirts and jacket in the wardrobe. You might find one there that fits you," I said, releasing my hold of his hand. The moment I have, I already miss the heat of it.
He nods and then treads toward the cabinet, and begins searching for a shirt and a jacket.
"May wear this one?" He lifts a black shirt and a dark blue jacket, showing it to me.
"Yes, of course. After all, you have assisted me a great lot, and that's all I can give in return," I smile genuinely at him.
"Thanks." He then starts unbuttoning his polo. Three buttons are undid, and it reveals a good view of his well-defined chest..
I'm very sure two deep-shaded of red flags are raised on my cheeks.
"Ahem," I cough my uneasiness, shifting my body a little.
And in my relief, he swirls around to his back before he divest himself of his polo.
"Sorry," Joseph apologizes over his shoulders, who is now wearing the black shirt which fits and accentuates his back well.
"It's alright," I sigh inwardly as he turns and faces me.
"I'll be back. Just don't move your ankle, it might be painful."
"Only if there won't be a fire," I cheekily reply, trying to veer my wayward thought.
"May god forbid that."
"That I think he surely would."
He smile. He should always do that, it makes him look much more... Ohh, stop! This is ridiculous!
"Clarisse, I'll return in an hour, and it's better for you to sleep then. I;ll just wake you up when I'm here already."
"Okay... But, Joseph..." I whisper while he puts on the jacket and walks toward the door.
"Please be sure you'll come back, okay?" He is already at the door when he waves his hand at me, and smiles again.
Where that has came from, I don't know. I just feel that he needs to come back tome. He HAVE to.
It's as if I know him for so long that I just wasn't aware- these shouldn't my thoughts towards the guy! I barely know him!
Truth be told, I don't fully know him, YET. All I know is his name, and that doesn't introduce his real identity to me. But I feel this man, Joseph Renaldi is an amiable and truthful person. I didn't see any glint of hostility in his eyes, only sorrow and loneliness. He must have a past that includes Sofia who might be his wife or lover. I want to ask him many questions, to know him better, to...
My goodness! I'm a 40 years old woman, not a teenager in high school! I know what's the meaning of 'stranger' since elementary! He's only here to help, I note to myself. He's just a tourist and a foreigner who happens to be here to aid me.
He closes the door behind him, when I position myself to sleep. That smile... A smile that is not too cheerful yet warm... Oh so warm that it fills the massive hole inside me. My lips quirks up as I shut my eyes, yielding to sleep, his smile wandering at the back of my mind.