With the magnifying glass still clutched in my hand Pete and I ran out of the museum. Pee had forgotten the static bags. Hell the only thing he had remembered was the Tesila. I had kept the farnsworth in pocket however neither Artie or Claudia had answered. Pete hung back a little, so I turned to see what kept him. He had his cell phone held against his ear. I wanted to yell at him, to ask why we hadn't been wearing our gloves; But I already knew the answer; I had so focused on his rough hands and slipping my own into his that I hadn't even thought about those purple gloves.
Pete caught up with me and we soon made it to the lobby of the hotel, we made a bee line for our room and Pete opened the door and went in so I quickly followed. He rummaged through his bag while I nervously sat on the couch. Would we try to hurt each other? Would we get hurt? We hadn't really even had time to find out what it does.
"Hey, hey, hey!" he pulled out a bag and gloves and strut over like he was the king of the world, "Ah ha ha" we swiftly pulled our gloves on and shielded our eyes, we gooed the magnifying glass and ducked for cover. Nothing, not a spark. But there had been plenty when Pete touched it in the first place and later after I had. "Pete?" I asked, "What's going on?"
"I dunno Mykes, I dunno." Pete said and then he left the room without another word. I followed him out to the hall but he was nowhere in sight. I opened the door to my room and slipped in quietly. After a hot shower to relieve my aching muscles from the day's tension, I slipped on my fuzzy bathrobe and went to find a cute pair of pajamas, just in case Pete woke me up again. There lying on my bed in bright contrast to the beige behind it sat a fully bloomed red rose. I gasped, I was sure that no one could have gotten into my room. No one, but Pete. I picked up the rose and lifted it to my nose, inhaling the deep floral smell. Under the rose had been a note that read simply, in Pete's messy scrawl:
On the Balcony
I threw on a navy tank top and its creamy white cover as well as my dark jeans and padded out barefoot to the balcony where Pete waited. The balcony was alight by the glow of pillaring candles, Pete stood, with his back turned against me, looking out at the beauty of the city. "Beautiful" I said gently taking a spot next to him. "But nothing next to you." He said almost nervously, he had lost his school boy charm with the gentle way he said those words and he almost convinced me that they were true. I hadn't really ever heard that urgent gentle tone from him before, except for when I lay in that bed dying of old age, almost a year ago.
"Myka" he started cautiously but determined, " Myka, come tour Paris with me." He said almost helplessly. I thought for only moments of the consequences, of the artifact we still hadn't figured out, of what everyone would say of us leaving our assignment; Before I burst out my answer without thinking.
With Myka's hand in mine we walked down the cobbled streets. The smells and the sights were incredible from fresh bread to wild flowers, homely shops to historical landmarks. I followed Myka, it really didn't matter where we were, just that I held her hand in mine. Myka pulled me along to a bakery; it was lit with a yellow gold light that came from a delicate chandelier. A violinist sat in the corner his violin balancing on his lap as he ate. We spotted pastries sitting in a rounded display case. She inhaled deeply through her nose and let out a little giggle. Her laugh made me smile, it wasn't the kind of laugh you would expect by looking at her, it was deeper more sincere with the edge of that inner little girl. We ordered scones, and muffins, cupcakes and cookies. My smile deepened as I heard Myka turn to the cashier and ask for the chocolate chip cookies, "Because he likes them best."
We paid and the violinist in the back, a question in his eyes. I nodded and he picked up his bow and began playing. The song was soft and luring, beautiful, and with an air of romance. I tossed a few bills in his case and nodded my thanks as I held the door open for Myka. The air had grown cold from our time inside and I saw a shiver run through Myka. The cold air stung our cheeks and I pulled off one of my classic wrestling hoodie off and put it into Myka's hand.
"No Pete I can't take it from you."
"Please, I can see your cold." She looked at me uncertain before she pulled it over her head. I gathered her hair in my hands and pulled it from the inside of the hoodie, my fingertips brushed her neck and she shivered, and I watched as goose bumps rose. We opened the bag of pastries as we walked down the cobbled road. They were marvelous just adding to the wonderful night ahead.
I took her hand back in mine and we walked through the city of Paris. The lights guiding our path, only walking where we felt we should. I felt a sense of freedom, not a single worry of Artie, Artifacts or the Warehouse at all crossed my mind since Myka had promised to tour Paris with me. With her beside me I could face the world. A thought came to mind and I shot Myka a sly grin. "So, I know where we need to go next."
"And where's that?" She asked
"The Eiffel Tower."