A/N: -Spoiler- Now, we all know (meaning people who won the International Fashion Contest billions of times...) how annoying when Dominic rejected his own offer to walk his lovely boutique manager home. He's such a girl :( . Buuuutttt here I am to ease your pain. This may have been what happened if he, say, reconsidered his offer of a simple walk.
Disclaimer: I own only this piece of writing.
"Lenna! Darling, you are our Queen of the fashion world!"
Rococco's announcement kept blaring in Lenna's mind. It still came to a shock for her. Especially now as she signed numerous people's piece of paper or clothing. Everyone just wanted to meet her now. She could only sum up her whole experience as shocking. Never in her life did she think she'd become famous in a little less than a year, or even beat the world's top designers. After the announcement and cheers she still had no time to take it all in. Luckily for her the Contest Hall would close soon, therefore people would go back home to boast that they met 'the' Lenna Carla, Queen of the fashion world. Jeez... She thought as she gave back a signed piece of paper to a persistent fan. Lenna almost laughed at how stupid her fans act when they're at least in her line of sight. They'd gawk at her, drool, faint, scream, etc.
But secretly, she was happy people thought so highly of her, everyone except maybe Dominic. He only gave her little recognition when she was awarded the trophy, saying congratulations and stuff, and then became the... How could Lenna put it?.. Well, every time they saw each other he'd smile softly but their meetings would always be brief apparently due to work. He seemed a bit spacey when it came to normal talk, but if it was for business matters he'd talk ever so professionally. He was polite though. Also, there were instances, in the times they kew each other that questioned the relationship they had, such as Godfrey snooping in. It had ended when Lenna said that she thought of Dominic as a friend, and he accepted her honesty. But he also brushed those moments like they were insignificant.
What does Dominic think of me? Wondered Lenna. He's always friendly but something's making him space himself from others... Especially now. As she signed she'd have a split second peek at Dominic to see him meters away from her and steps away from Grace, Renee, and Godfrey. He looked as if he was thinking. Of what? That was oblivious to her. No one ever knew what Dominic was thinking because he wasn't the sort of person to open up to others. It was only later that she found a mirror that reflected to Dominic's direction. She found that he occasionally would look at her with an expressionless face. In his eyes, though, there was a different emotion, but one that she couldn't comprehend. She shook her head to worry about that after she was done with fans.
He confused her.
She confused him as well, but differently.
Dominic looked at his watch wondering how long it would be until the Contest Hall would close. It shouldn't be too far since the number of people were dwindling to a group of people. It was 8:55pm. Five minutes left until they could all leave. He wasn't too keen on leaving. When they do it'll mean going back to the same working routine and not being able to see Lenna as often. Not that he sees her often anyway... After he found out that Lenna thought of him as her friend it had lit up a door of emotion to him. A foreign emotion, but one that he found likable. She was one of very few to say that to him. Actually, the only one for years. It was his own doing though. Work had been his life. Ever since he became a business owner, he had given up chances of friendship and all the pleasures that came with. He did little to get to know different people and all because of his choices, he became increasingly paranoid of what people thought of him. That was another reason he spaced himself from others. But Lenna... She was different to all the others. She was always patient with him. Every time they'd talk she'd take in every detail of what he would say, she would smile and even chuckle at the things he would say. Her personality was pure and for that, along with her impeccable beauty, He fell for her. He never let that show because he didn't know if she felt the same for him.
Tonight he was very overjoyed she had won the contest. Her face glowed from her angelic smile, and her laugh from the experience was like feathers to his ears. He'd watch her as she signed autographs and looked away before she'd look at him. Well, he thought she was looking at him. Maybe she was watching Grace and Renee. Eventually though, she stopped and would look the other direction occasionally with concern in her eyes. But whatever for? Could she see something he couldn't? Little did he know that it was directed at him.
Lenna sighed in relief as she watched the last fan group leave the main room of the contest hall. She let her body relax and stretch from standing in the same position for a long period of time. Everyone caught up with her smiles beaming on their faces. She smiled back, happy for the night but ready to crash in her bed. "Let's go guys." She said sighing, walking towards the outside of the hall.
As they did Renee kept boasting like always, "Wow, you're outfit was, like, sooooo much awesomer than the other's. I wonder if I could do better..?"
Lenna almost scoffed. Renee had no idea how nerve wracking the whole experience was. To Lenna's knowledge she'd most likely faint from stress and knowing that people would be having high expectations for the outfit design. "We'll test that out sometime, how about that? You know, fashion Queen against shop assistant?" she tested.
But Renee kept her arrogant grin plastered on her face. "You mean fashion Queen against the great, amazing Renee."
Lenna shook her head knowing that whatever she would say wouldn't move the girl's mind in any way.
Soon enough they all were outside, not a single person in sight apart from he few passing cars. Godfrey had congratulated her giving her a warm smile and bidding her farewell. It always warmed her chest when he was in his happy mood. Well, it always warmed her chest when any old person would smile at her for no particular reason. Renee also soon left saying congrats and driving off in time for her favorite show, whatever that was, which left Grace, Dominic, and myself standing.
While Grace was on her phone texting someone, Dominic unexpectedly spoke, but a good sort of unexpectedly. He turned to her and gently smiled. "I'm proud of all you had done tonight. You definitely deserve everything."
Lenna smiled and nodded, thankful that he actually sounded genuinely happy. "Thanks Dominic."
He nodded back before his eyes suddenly darted considering what he was going to say next. "You know. It's nice out now..." he started looking a hint nervous, "I was wondering if I could walk you home?" Lenna swore her chest missed a couple of heartbeats, but it was short lived, "Oh wait." He blurted before she could accept. "I forgot I had things to do. Sorry." he had a sad but uncertain look on his face which was colored the faintest tint of pink.
"Oh, okay." She replied a bit sadly slightly looking down. She liked the idea of Dominic walking her home...
"I should go." he said a hint awkwardly. "I'm sure Grace would walk with you. I'll see you soon."
That last sentence came at a blur to her. What could she do to change his mind, she wondered. But how could she be so stupid? Her walk home with Dominic? Her boss? How could she think of such fantasies?
"Wow, I had never seen Dominic blush before. Anyway, he mentioned you walk with me?" Grace said disturbing Lenna's thoughts.
Lenna wanted to be alone then. She needed to clear her head. Dominic was her friend and nothing else. He was her boss.
"No Grace. It's fine. I'd like just to clear my head for the moment. Tonight was a little huge." she said with a little chuckle.
Something in Grace's eyes changed. Her eyes sparkled as if she knew something Lenna didn't. It unnerved her but felt it wasn't her place to question. "Sure thing." Grace replied smiling. "You sleep well."
Lenna nodded smiling back before walking off the park direction.
Dominic had just sat in the car passenger seat feeling a heavy feeling weighing down in his chest. Why was he so stupid? Rejecting an offer he made. To see her down face when he lied to her. It was late at night, of course he had nothing to do! He felt like face palming for being so thick. He questioned himself why he lied and chose not to walk her home. What's the harm in that? It would've given him a chance maybe to tell her how he feels about her. He wanted to express the emotions that had been bottled up in him for months and have her as his. But his lack of people skills prevented him from doing such. Before he had a chance to close the car door he heard Grace's voice call out his name. He sat knowing that she was going to have a 'chat' to him about the all too recent event.
"Dominic." she said when she caught up to him in the car. "Why'd you just walk off away from her?" she asked a tad frustrated.
He stayed silent, the answer anywhere but near his grasp.
"I know how you feel about her. But rejecting your own offer? What are you afraid of?" she pushed,
Dominic became slightly frustrated, but in himself. "I don't know!" he sighed and slumped in the seat. "It just happened..."
"Do you think she's the sort of person who would reject an offer like that? You're her friend for God's sake!"
He really didn't want to continue this conversation... It only made him feel more guilty. But maybe that was Grace's intention. "Look, Grace. It happened. I can't take it back now. I'm sure she's too tired to be with me anyway..."
She sighed in defeat. "It's never too late Dominic. Have a good night." she said before giving him a last minute glance of concern.
He nodded back still trying to wish that moment back, but to no avail. Maybe that's the way things are for him, he thought. He maybe wasn't meant to have anyone stay close and personal to him.
"We should go." He said to Godfrey who nodded in agreement.
Dominic was sorry he had the old friend listen to the situation. He hated dragging his problems to his butler. It'd usually end out with him giving Dominic some useful advice. He was grateful to have a butler like him even if he does snoop into other peoples businesses. Before he even had a butler, he thought of them to be snobby, too perfect and unsociable. Godfrey was the complete opposite being an open, caring, helpful man who treated Dominic like a Grandson.
He watched as street lights passed the windscreen, all the lights shining at night. Usually he was enthralled with the colors. But now wasn't the time with his current mood. That was until he saw a lone figure walk towards the park direction. She was wearing a short, flowing, white dress that showed the wearers beauty off pleasantly. Her hair was flowing in the winds direction, all dark and shiny. Her skin, glowing brighter than a light bulb due to the moon's light. Kind of like Lenna... That was until he found out it was Lenna. 'It's never too late' said Grace's voice in his head. He instantly decided that Grace was right.
"Godfrey pull over." He said before the butler did what was ordered.
"You all right, Master Dominic?" he asked a little worriedly.
Dominic smiled back at the old man. He was going to turn his life around and fix it. His own stupid faults. "Never felt better." He replied, "I'll meet you at the mansion." he said before exiting.
The night was ever so calm in Lenna's eyes. The wind was faint but cool, the moon was in it's full glory, and there was hardly anyone out. That was enough reason to walk home. It always made her feel fresh for unknown reasons. It was when cars started rumbling past that broke her train of thought. And there was a lot to think about after tonight. But the more she tried to think about certain things the more she spaced out. Nothing made sense.
"Lenna." Called out a familiar voice. From the sound of it, it was most likely Dominic's. Surely he had things to do and had no time to walk with her? As said before, nothing made sense.
She turned to him and seeing his approaching figure, she smiled, despite her confusion. When he was closer to her she couldn't help but mention. "I thought you had work things you needed to do." She said with a minor playful voice.
He smiled back at her and put a hand behind his head. "Yeah... But they can be put on hold for now." He said.
She nodded back at him and they walked side by side into the park. She was almost mesmerized at how mystical it looked at night, trees adorned with lights, the streams reflecting the moon. It gave her a pleasant feeling. "The night's too pretty to work anyway." she joked earning herself a minor laugh.
"Well, that, but there's also seeing you alone on the street. It mustn't be too fun." He mentioned.
"It's not fun. But it is peaceful." She said taking in the passing scenery. "Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy company." She looked back at him.
He looked at her for a short while with his eyes glistening then looking away. "I wouldn't know. I hardly have the time to do things like this." His voice sounded a tad tired in Lenna's ears.
"What do you do in your spare time anyway?" she asked him cautiously. Maybe he doesn't get spare time apart from sleep, she assumed.
"I read. Reading calms me, gets my mind off matters. I don't really know what else to do apart from that." He answered.
Just read? Lenna couldn't stand reading books, except, secretly, mushy romance novels. "Does that get boring?"
He started considering the question. Does it? "I've... never thought about it." he honestly said. It was true. He had gotten used to the routine years ago. "It does get repetitive."
"You should go out walking sometimes. It clears your head. And go meet up with friends. I enjoy that, just talking, listening, asking for advice... That kind of stuff."
Dominic looked down solemnly. "I have no friends though." he said.
She remembered when he said those very words months ago. It was when she said she was his friend. He accepted and confessed his gratitude. "You have me. Remember?" she mentioned lightly nudging him.
He looked at her expressionless yet, again, showing emotion through his eyes. She though, was pathetic with eye reading. "You would allow me to walk with you?" he asked.
She giggled at his silly question. "We're walking now, are we not? Of course I would. I enjoy your company."
"Yes. Sorry. You're right." He thought he sounded dumb after his last question. She wasn't someone who would just say no on the spot.
They became quiet after his last sentence. It unnerved Dominic, making him feel as though he said something wrong. He wanted to say something to brake the silence. "You have really made everyone happy tonight." He said, relieved that he said something.
Lenna scoffed and smiled. "I haven't been told that about a thousand times tonight." she sarcastically said. "At least I made my boss proud."
He smiled back, "Of course I'm proud. I've been proud ever since you opened your boutique. Why is it such a shock to you that I'm proud for you."
She shrugged, "I guess it's because most people don't have a friendly relationship with their boss like I have. Usually their boss would be gruff and hard, but you're nice, y'know. You always take notice of what people do." She looked down smiling shyly. "There should be more people like you." She whispered
His heart stopped momentarily upon listening to her words. More people like him? Did she really think so highly of him?
Silence washed over them again. Lenna looked forward in front of her with nothing in particular in mind. She was proud that she had said honest things to Dominic. She was proud that he praised her for her efforts. She was proud that he changed his mind to go and walk with her. She sighed as if weights were lifted off her shoulders and breathed in the fresh park smell. Suddenly everything stilled as she felt strong hands grasp her upper arms and something soft claim her lips. It was sudden but sweet. It was Dominic. Wait- Dominic? He was kissing her? Before she was able to move or even comprehend the moment, his soft lips left hers replaced by cold air. She looked at him confused but calmly so. His face watched her and slowly became down and shameful. He started turning away from her and started taking a step. "I-I'm.." He started but didn't have the courage to say anything more.
She didn't want him to walk away, she realised as her fingers brushed where his lips met hers. Sure the kiss was sudden, but she was relieved he had done it because there was no way in hell she had the guts to confess her feeling, until now. Panicking, she quickly stepped forward and had both hands grab his elbow to turn him back around. He didn't automatically look at her because he was still obviously in shame. "Don't... go." She managed to say.
He looked at her but in a hurt way. "Don't force yourself to feel sorry for me, really. I messed up."
She pulled him closer desperate for him. "No, Dominic. You didn't. Please, you don't need to hesitate around me. I-I..."
She stopped talking as he stared at her, his face unchanging, yet his hand cautiously wandered to caress the side of her face. She closed her eyes, loving the feeling of his skin on hers, loving his gentle touch. His other hand then feathered on the other side of her face and stroked it. She felt her face being drawn in to meet his making her heart race. Once again, their lips met in a moment of passion and their bodies came closer wanting no space between them. She almost fainted at the longing and gentleness of the kiss. She placed her hands on his chest for support since her knees suddenly became unreliable, Dominic found this and moved a hand to hold her upper back and drew her in. Regretfully, though, their lips parted for air. She looked into his eyes and learned one eye emotion. Lust. His eyes looked like he longed for her, like they only belonged to look at her. She had so many questions to ask him. How long had he felt this way for her? And such.
The hand that was on the side of her face started stroking the skin making her heart flutter. "I love you." he said in a bare whisper.
How she dreamed of hearing those words come out of his mouth. How they sounded in real life to her ears. It was enough to make her faint, but she didn't. She wanted to be close to him and stay that way forever. "I love you too." She said when nothing else could be said.
He kissed her lips again, again, and again. In between kisses he briefly told her how much he loved her, making him feel like he was going to explode with the confessions and build up with confidence. He was turning her into mush, and eventually his words would consume her consciousness. But did she care? Not really.
She loved him and he loved her. That was all they needed. They finally broke their fears.