It's decided. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. And I've seen many a beautiful thing in my days. As I sit here now, smoking the electronic cigarette I've gone and gotten addicted to and watching her in this unashamed way, I just can not think of a single thing that tops that of Elise Clifton-Ward. "Alexander," She starts, there's a question mark accompanying my name before she's even spoke it, and I nod "Why are you watching me in that tone of voice?" Ah, it's a joke. There goes her charming Cheshire cat like smile to let me know, even though it's plain to see that it is, but I smile back and return fire "I'm sorry, my love, but I'm not myself as of late."
That does it, she's laughing as musically as she does when I play around with her. Her eyes flit up from her newspaper, she hadn't looked up prior, and lock onto mine mildly challenging me. The only woman who I'm ever alright with challenging me, Elise Clifton-Ward. "I've noticed you look a little…" She places her index finger to her pouty bottom lip in a teasing motion "Rearranged." she finished and turns back to her paper, perhaps boring herself of our game.
I only adjust my suit, the white dinner jacket shifting slightly, and look around. It's early morning here in Italy and it's still not as beautiful as Elise. The sun is just now rising over the buildings as we sit together in a quaint family owned café. The outside and inside space of this café absolutely entices Elise, though she'd never say that aloud and I'm probably the only one who noticed her eyes lingering half a second longer on the chandelier or the way her gloved fingers ran along the aged wood of the counter as we awaited our cappuccinos'- Elise was enthralled and I could already see her putting in a room like this in a mansion she hopes to own.
We haven't changed since our brush with death the night previous but I don't think it bothers her nor I like it does the occasional passersby. They've taken notice of her beyond elegant gown, her hair up in the most perfect hairdo I've seen to date, her diamond necklace costing more than the quaint café she's fallen in love with but I bought it for her so what did I expect? Her gloves still remained on, up to her elbows and cream colored, her makeup remained perfect throughout the night and our impromptu breakfast. I wonder if I still look as prim as I did last night, for good measure I re-adjust my white dinner jacket. For the umpteenth time.
"That's the umpteenth time you've adjusted yourself, Alexander, you still look…. Like Frank Tupelo. You also still sound like him… Voice chip, huh?" I nod, a sly smile tossed her direction, then take more drags of the damnedable electronic cigarette "Will I never again hear your voice that makes me swoon?" She's forgotten the paper, her croissant, and her cappuccino to lean slightly toward me with curious eyes. I want to attempt a false English accent, try for a laugh once more, but I decide she doesn't want that right burn now.
"Elise," I start, leaning forward to mimic her attempt at privacy, before flashing my eyes about skeptically and I make sure my tone is serious and grave "I believe we're being watched. Don't look, I think they'll do something… Drastic." She turns slowly to look over her shoulder and sees the couple that own the café watching us with sentimental smiles. She starts laughing once again, I do love to make her laugh, before looking down at our shared breakfast. I've only drained my cup where as she was nursing hers but I know that's not what she's paying attention to, she's deciding what to take with us when we go. I want to know where she wants to go though, there was a boat she'd eyed back near- "Yes, I want the boat." Her voice cuts through my very thought pattern. Usually that would agitate me to no end but, on Elise, it was fitting.
I get a bag, some pastries, and then lead my lovely accompaniment from the café back to the boat she so desired. The silence between us is neither uncomfortable nor strained, rather pleasant and soothing. Elise is letting me think and, in turn, she is coming up with her own thoughts and lines that roll of her tongue without an ounce of hesitation or regret. She's compulsive, quick, calculating, alluring, attractive, alarming… And yet…. She is fragile on many ends of those sticks she maintains with a cool demeanor. "I pride myself, Elise," My hand is on her lower back as we shift through the crowd "On being the only man in the free world that can read you like a mystery novel a math teacher would read. Do I still remain the only man with that ability?" I ask, an eyebrow cocking and I can still recall the migraine's I'd earned from $20 million dollars worth of plastic surgery, before we're to the boat she'd like us to procure.
A bubblegum pink tongue slips out to wet her plump lips, enticing me effectively, and she's wearing a cheeky smirk "Maybe, Frank. Maybe, Alexander. Maybe, Mr. Tupelo. Maybe, Mr. Pearce." All of my names, she wants to know which to call me I suppose. "Alexander Frank Tupelo Pearce has a good ring to it." I move to pay the owner of the boat off and we board our new craft heading to a location that is completely up to her. She's leaning and looking at me like I shouldn't be steering our new vehicle but rather have my body glued to hers and, with her looking at me like that, I allow a genuine smile to grace my features.
"Twenty million dollars in plastic surgery and you chose that face, Alexander Frank Tupelo Pearce?" She asks and I take another drag from my electronic death stick before nodding, if it doesn't suit her I'd gladly rearrange myself once more. I can do with migraines for a couple of weeks, unbearable pain, and a rather excruciating time training my face once more for Elise. "It'll do, I suppose." I laugh at that, she could have it much worse that's assured. Frank Tupelo's facial structure is rather rare and dashing and I apparently did well in making me look mildly like my old self.
"I love you Elise." I tell her and she smiles. It's genuine, loving, affectionate, happy, peaceful, and now one hundred percent trusting. It's a smile that makes this Italian sun shamed, the rolling country side we'd taken in together on our train ride paled and lifeless, the luxurious hotel rooms we'd been in dismal, and, honestly, the stars from last night lose their shine. The world kept spinning because of the power her smile generated and I never ceased to worry about how corny she made me. It was a necessary evil to our love. We're both looking to the horizon when she finally whispers "I love you too, Alexander. I really do." And that's all I need in this world. Elise and her hushed promise floating in the soft summer breeze of Venice.