Gabe walked towards the little park looking for the tell tale flame of hair, ignoring the small beads of sweat that trickled down his neck. Summer hadhit Champs les Sims hard and the inhabitants of the small town did their best to stay cool. He noticed several children playing in the small fountaintowards the center of the park, and their frazzled mothers taking shelter under trees, secretly wishing to join them.He knew he would see her again. It had been a little over a week since he had laid eyes on her last. Ten torture filled days to be exact. He wonderedwhat had brought her back so soon. His ego believed she just couldnt stand to be without him, but he knew that wasnt the case.Elliot had been mute and cryptic on the subject, only saying "Our girl needs you."He hoped that was true, because he had a need for her. His life has been unbearable since that passionate kiss they had shared. Its constant churning,as well as the sweltering heat, keeping him awake at night, forcing him to drag himself through the day; living on more caffeine than was healthy.He hoped she felt even a fraction of that need for him.
He caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye and turned. Her back was towards him, but there was no mistaking it was her. He plastered hismost charming smile to his face, ignoring the sucker punch to his gut her presence caused, and walked towards her."You just couldnt live without me" he stated.He wasnt prepared when she turned to him, her eyes red and swollen, as tears fell unhindered down her face. He sat next to her, scooping her up intohis arms."Quel est ceci?"He lifted her chin up so he could see her face, wiping the tears from her eyes with a swipe of his thumb. Her silent tears turned more violent and shesimply buried her head in his shoulder.Feeling helpless, he simply stroked the top of her head, down her back until the worst of the sobbing ceased. It pained him to see her this way and heswore whoever put these tears in her eyes would pay."Beautiful, what is wrong?" he asked gently.
She didnt know how it was possible, but Gabes simple soothing brought her more comfort, more peace, than she had felt the past 10 days. She didntanswer him; the minute she spoke her pain, he would withdraw from her. That would leave an even bigger hole inside of her than she was wiling toadmit. She sat in silence, enjoying the soothing way he caressed her back, laying soft kisses on the top of her head, not pressing her to answer hisquestion.When she was sure she had control of herself again she slowly climbed out of his lap, but not out of his arms. She smiled, meekly, suddenly feelingawkward. He was probably waiting for the chance to get away from the crazy woman who had fallen apart in his arms."There it is; a smile. You feel better then?"She only nodded her head, not trusting her voice yet."A cry every now and again is good."
She still hadnt said anything. He tried to remember they had known each other only a short time and he shouldnt expect her to bare her soul to him.He took it as a good sign that she hadnt pushed him away. He realized she needed a friend more than anything else now. Well, he would be one nowand try and take her mind off of whatever was bothering her. He hoped, soon, she would come to trust him enough to tell him what was botheringher."Do you want to see something cool?" he asked her.Dawn was relieved he changed the subject and wasnt pressing her to tell him why she was upset."What?""Its a surprise! Come on." he said and brought her up off the bench.She didnt fight him, even when he kept her hand in his.
"What is this place?" Dawn asked as she looked upon a small hill. Several ancient looking stones stood on top, covered in years and years ofvegetation. They reminded her of a mini Stonehenge and other "dances" she had seen in books."Ruins like these can be found all over the countryside." Gabe answered. "No one knows for sure where they came from, but there are theories thatinvolve druids and human sacrifice" he said smiling at her. "But, that is not what I brought you to see."
He led her to the base of the hill and she noticed a stone staircase leading under the hill well hidden by several large boulders."Are we allowed down there?" she asked him."Oui! Do you want to see it?""Its a bit dark."Dawn loved the outdoors. Dark places, especially ones under the ground werent her favorite, but her curiosity was outweighing her trepidation."Theres nothing down there thats going to hurt you." Gabe reassured her. "Just stay close to me" he said as he took her hand and started down thestairs.
When they reached the bottom Gabe told her wait there while he went to light the torches that lined the walls. He removed one and made his wayback to her. She simply stared at the underground room. It was enormous."What is this place?""Im not sure exactly, some tomb, but much more I think. Its amazing, right?"Dawn just nodded her head."I happened to stumble across the entrance to this a couple months ago. The place is huge. I am sure there are still rooms I havent been in. Ive founda small fortune in here so far. Precious gems, statues, you name it.""This belongs to you?" she asked."French law says the first person to find abandoned treasure gets first dibs on the spoils, so yeah, its mine. I had to register the site in my name, butthat doesnt stop people from pirating unfortunately.Dawn didnt know what to say. Shed never been in, or seen anything like it. She could tell how excited Gabe was about his discovery, his enthusiasmwas infectious.
"Come on, I want to show you something I think youll like." he said as he took her hand.Gabe led her through several passage ways and heavy looking stone doors, lighting more torches as he went allowing her to glimpse the vast size ofthe tomb for herself. She lost track of how long they walked.In one room, Gabe went over to one of the many statues she had seen. Dawn was sure it weighed a couple hundred pounds. She watched as he easilymoved it, the muscles in his arms and legs straining from the exertion . She appreciated the raw strength it took for him to perform such a thing andallowed herself to fantasize about that for a few minutes, while he maneuvered it towards a panel on the floor.Suddenly another stair case appeared leading down further into the tomb.
When they reached the bottom, she gasped."Wait here." Gabe said, and took his torch around the room lighting even more torches.He came back to her, a little nervous she hadnt said anything yet. He was sure she would like this room and had wanted to share it with her since hehad discovered it a week ago."Do you like it?""Yes" she whispered. "Its beautiful! Its like an underground garden.""Let me show you."Gabe took her hand again and wound through the maze of bushes, showing her some of the more interesting aspects of the room. She didnt feelboxed in down here and actually felt some peace and tranquility, similar to what she felt in her own garden.Suddenly her stomach grumbled loudly.
"Oh my God" she groaned and covered her face with her hands. "Thats so embarrassing."Gabe chuckled, and pulled her hands down from her face."Not at all!" he reassured her. "Its my fault for keeping you down here so long.""Dont apologize. Im glad you showed me this place. It is so beautiful and peaceful. I wish we could stay longer, but Im afraid Ill wither away if Idont eat soon.""Theres a tent in one of these anti-chambers. I think I might have a granola bar or something in there."She followed him into the room and devoured the granola bar and drank from the bottle of water he handed her."This isnt going to do it" she said as her stomach still protested. She realized she hadnt much to eat lately. In fact her appetite had been non-existentthe past ten days."Its all I have unfortunately."Dawn considered for a moment. "Well, since you always feed me I guess I should feed you." she stated. "Come back with me and Ill fix us...dinner?She realized she didnt know what time it was.
It was going to be a very late dinner, in fact. They reached the base camp at around 2 AM. Most of the other guests had gone to bed, leaving themalone in the kitchen. Dawn chopped her vegetables for the salad she was preparing, suddenly very aware of Gabes presence. It was ridiculous ofcourse. They had been alone in the tomb, hadnt they? Why was she suddenly nervous now?"Can I help with something? he asked, walking up behind her.She yelped as the knife sliced through her thumb. He was on her in a second wrapping a towel around it."This is why I dont cook" he teased. "Too dangerous."She laughed, forgetting her nerves. The man was a police officer for goodness sakes, and he thought cooking was dangerous. Luckily the cut wassuperficial and she was able to finish dinner without any other incidents.After Gabe helped her clean up their plates he told her he had to go.
She walked him to the door, the nervousness returning. She wondered if he would kiss her, like the last time they had said goodbye and shockedherself when she realized she wanted him to.He wanted to, he really did, but he had told himself he would be a friend to her today."Thanks for dinner. It was very good.""No, thank you..." Dawn said when they reached the front door. "...for not pressuring me for an answer today." She hoped he understood what shemeant. "Thank you for just being there for me."Gabe smiled at her, brushed a strand of her hair away from her face with his finger."I hope in time you will come to trust me enough to tell me whats bothering you Dawn. Im here to talk if you need to. No strings attached."She just nodded her head, not trusting her voice as emotions flooded her."Good Night Dawn" he said as he walked out the door."Good Night" she said softly to the night air, watching him walk away fighting the urge to call him back.Oh Gabe. Why didnt I meet you first? she thought.She closed the door and went upstairs to prepare herself for a long, sleepless night of regret.