646 - Emma
Everything he says makes perfect sense, as if he's spent plenty of time thinking about it - and I don't doubt he has.
I watch his facial expression change as he doesn't get a reply from me immediately, and to reassure him, I simply shrug. "I'm not dead set on marriage. It's not my life goal to get married, and it won't break me if I never do. I'm also not opposed to the idea, but you know that. Just..." I look at him as he squeezes my hand softly. "Yeah, the only thing that really matters to me is that we love each other. I don't need another ring to prove that."
He chuckles as we both look at my ring finger, decorated with the two rings I've gotten from Lucien. "You do have plenty of rings."
We have dessert at the restaurant, and a few more glasses of wine, until we both decide it's time to leave. Not because we're tired, but because Rome is gorgeous at night, and we'd be crazy if we didn't take full advantage of that.
The dress and shoes I'm wearing aren't ideal for a walk through the old city, but we make it work, my arm linked in Lucien's as I let him show me little hidden gems all around. Some of them I recognise from the last time I was here, others are entirely new to me.
I stop dead in my tracks in one of the streets, abruptly enough for Lucien to be pulled back by my body weight as I stand still.
"Luce..." I smile, my eyes having drifted off to one of the buildings on the right side of the street.
His gaze follows mine, and it seems to take him a few seconds to realise what he's looking at.
It still looks the exact same and it immediately brings back memories. "That's the bar."
I smile. "We have to go in, don't we?"
And so we do. It's quite crowded, which isn't weird considering it's the summer, but there's a small spot at the bar that leaves just enough room for the two of us. It smells the exact same way I remember, and there's an obvious tourist singing a Lady Gaga song on the small stage. It's terribly tacky, and not some place I'd ever expect Lucien to be in, which is why it's only more funny that this is the place we met.
The bartender asks us for our order, and without skipping a beat Lucien orders us a beer and a ginger ale.
"You remembered?" I look at him in surprise, watching him nod.
"I mostly remember how odd I found it that you ordered a ginger ale in a bar where every alcoholic beverage is probably cheaper than anything non-alcoholic."
"You teased me for it, even," I remind him. "Asked Callum if I was underage."
"To my defence - it was already quite obvious you didn't like me. I was just returning the favour."
"How was it obvious? I never spoke to you before you interrupted my conversation!" I laugh, taking a sip from my ginger ale that has a massive load of ice cubes in it.
"Brie told me," he chuckles. "Told me he tried to talk me up when you were both at the bar, and you said I was a show off."
I don't even remember seeing Brie that night, but I do vaguely remember it now that he's mentioned it, and I can't help but chuckle too. "God, but you were! Looking like you came straight out of some kind of rich people boy band, pretending like you were a star. Totally showing off, and all the girls were falling for it."
"All the girls but one," he corrects me, taking a sip out of his glass of beer. It's almost odd for me to see him drink something as simple and basic as beer, especially in a place like this.
"Don't act like that bothered you," I shrug, fixing the collar of his shirt. "You got a right kick out of annoying me, just like I did you."
"I'm glad you finally admit that," he laughs, to which I softly kick him in the shin, careful not to hit anyone else around.
"Yet here we are," I lean my elbow on the bar. "In almost the exact spot as three years ago."
Lucien is about so say something that's probably going to be very witty when I see two girls approach us.
"I'm so sorry to bother you," the front one says, her bleach blonde hair up in a high ponytail. "But are you Lucien du Castellon?" Her accent is thick, and I'm pretty sure she's Scottish, too. "You are, right?"
The other girl's eyes are focussed on me, and she seems just as excited as her friend.
"Sure am," Lucien smiles, his social media facade shining through. It's not like we hate this, because we could've predicted this, but it's kind of weird being interrupted like this.
"Oh my god, it's so cool to meet you! And you too, Emma! You two are like... the cutest couple right now! You look absolute gorgeous, by the way, holy shit! What are you doing in a place like this? Don't get me wrong, but it doesn't really seem like... your vibe, you know?" The two girls are now standing next to us, and though they still seem very excited, they also seem very nice.
"Actually," I smile, "this is where we met."
"Oh my god, this is the bar? How cool! Can we.. buy you guys a drink, or something?" The other girl grins.
"Oh, no, definitely not," Lucien smiles. "There's no need to pay for us."
"We'll buy you two a drink in stead," I follow up, seeing their smiles grow immediately.
"This is so cool," they almost say in unison, more to one another than to us. "Could we take a picture with you guys? We won't post it immediately, but our friends are going to freak out when they hear we saw you!"
There's some practiced posing and a few snaps on their phone. Before they leave, assuring us they don't want to take up more of our night, the blonde girl smiles at me. "By the way," her smile softens. "I just want to say how cool it was how the two of you spoke about the rumours and such. I can't imagine it being easy, but it's just so dope how you two handled everything. Now, have a great trip! Thank you so much, again!"
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