"I'm going to take you somewhere."
Penelope blinked. "But… I'm not allowed out of the house. I'll be seen! You don't know what people would…"
Johnny put a finger over her lips and smiled. "Don't worry, I have an idea." he said, pulling his coat on and picking something up from one of the coat hooks.
Her eyes widened as she watched him, realising what he was doing.
He wound the polka-dot scarf around her nose and mouth before letting it hang around her neck. "There. Nothing to worry about."
She giggled, her eyes lighting up as the promise of adventure. "We'll have to go out the back. That way mother and father won't see us."
Johnny helped her pull her coat on and he pulled on his own before sneaking through the house towards the kitchen where the doorway to freedom sat, waiting to be opened.
They reached it without any problem at all, but as they were about to open it, someone behind them coughed.
As they turned, they found Jake stood next to the table, looking extremely disappointed.
"Oh Jake, I'm sorry. I…" Penelope started, but he held up a hand. She stopped immediately.
Johnny felt crestfallen.
Not only had his attempt at getting her out failed, but he was probably never going to be able to see her again; the one thing he was sure about in his entire life and he screwed it up. Nice going dumb ass!
"It's cold outside, miss Penelope," the butler said informatively, before holding up his other hand, in which was a set of woollen gloves, "You don't want to get cold fingers do you."
"Oh thank you Jake!" the young woman exclaimed, jumping onto him in a burst of glee before pulling away, taking the gloves he offered her. "Come on Max!"
She took his hand and dragged him out the back door, not giving him a chance to show his gratitude.
There was a fair in the park that month, and Johnny knew Penelope would love it.
He took her hand in his. "I want to show you something." He smiled at her scarf-covered face and slowly began to lead her towards the lights that were shining through the trees.
"Max? What is it?"
It was all a lie. Everything he told her was a lie.
When was he going to tell her? How was he going to? How would she react? Would she hate him? Would she ever talk to him again?
"It's… It's so beautiful."
Holding her from behind, Johnny looked over her head at the bright lights of the merry-go-round, the stalls and the music that played. It felt good to make her happy.
"Would you like some cotton candy?" he asked, nodding towards the man holding some sticks and some bags of pink fluff.
Penelope looked up at him. "But… my nose…"
"We don't have to eat it here. Maybe…" he looked around, "over there?"
The young woman followed his finger.
It was a secluded area. There was a bench and a light that had broken, so it was in complete darkness, next to the lake.
She nodded. "But only if we share. I don't know if I like it or not."
Johnny's eyebrows rose. "No?"
She shook her head. "I've never tried it before."
What was wrong with her parents? Never tried cotton candy before… "Well, alright then."
They walked hand in hand over to the man behind the machine.
"One please." He said, smiling.
The man pulled a stick out of a box and started to collect the cotton sugar onto it as Penelope watched in fascination, her eyes growing wide as the ball grew larger and larger.
Handing over some coins, he thanked the man with a smile and took her hand in his as she stared at the treat she held. She was so sweet. The way she was looking at everything, just as a small child would, made her look so innocent, so pure.
Once they'd made their way over to the bench, Johnny pulled the scarf down from around her mouth, allowing her to take a bite of the treat.
He could barely hold back a snigger when she drew away.
"What?" she asked, looking at him incredulously, "What?"
"You've um…" he touched his chin with his finger, "You've got a little something-"
"Here?" she asked, sticking her tongue out and reaching around her mouth, making him laugh even more, "Did I get it?"
He tried to look serious as he examined her, but it didn't work, "Yes, I think that's all of it."
It was the smile that lit up the room the first time he'd seen her. It was perfect, just like everything else about her.
"This is really good!" she exclaimed, "I can feel it melting in my mouth!"
"Yes, that's what cotton candy does," he explained, "and sticks to your face when you eat it, apparently."
She hit him lightly on the arm and giggled before returning to her food.
They sat there in silence for a few minutes, staring out at the water's surface as the lights of the city reflected on its surface.
It was beautiful.
As a nearby clock struck the hour, Penelope turned to him, holding the cotton candy towards him.
"I've been eating it all!" she exclaimed in embarrassment as she pulled her scarf up above her nose again, "Would you like the rest?"
Johnny shook his head, "No. You look like you're enjoying yourself."
She giggled, making his heart flutter, and continued devouring the sugary treat.
Once she'd finished, she discarded the stick into the bin beside the bench and looked at her watch.
"We should probably get going soon. We don't want my parents to worry, do we?"
He grinned at her, taking her hand in his, "Of course not."
Pulling the scarf over her nose once again, both Penelope and 'Max' started their walk back to her home.
AN - I know, I know! It's been forever since I last updated this story. I feel horrible. Please forgive me! I didn't mean to neglect this so badly!
I know this isn't a very long chapter, but I've had trouble with my stories recently, so I hope it's alright.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter, and hopefully you won't have to wait months before the next chapter's up, but no promises!