Hello, fellow romantics,
How is life for you this week?
Here, in Belgium, outdoor dining and drinking is allowed again. I hadn’t planned on doing any of those things any time soon since the covid situation is still pretty serious. However, after I discovered that some of my favorite places set up a really safe patio, I gave it a try and… Oh my god, it feels so good to be outside again.
As I type, I’m sitting on the patio of my favorite coffee bar. This is the place where I love to work whenever I am tired of being alone at home. I knew I missed it a lot, but I had no idea how much better I would feel… almost instantly. I hope our covid situation won’t get worse again so that this tiny slice of freedom remains available to us.
Warm greetings from a patio in Ghent,
PS: Part 13 of Worth The Risk will be TLR’s 200th episode!
UPDATE 05/19: Added some extra excerpt!
Raven stretched her fingers, wincing. The bag with food wasn’t that heavy, but she held on to it tightly as they were walking. She was on her way to Nathalie’s house again, and it felt like a big deal.
Nathalie had surprised her with the proposal to have dinner at her place. Raven hadn’t been sure what to think of it at first. She had been annoyed because she really did want to buy Nathalie a proper dinner at a restaurant.
Plus, Raven was sure Nathalie had purposefully waited to reveal her plan until they were well on their way. That was probably smart, Raven had to admit. She most likely would have declined the offer if Nathalie had brought it up at the office.
The outdoor air and relaxed vibe of the city had loosened her up, though. By the time they had reached the store, Raven was feeling the way she only felt around Nathalie: a sense of being exactly where she needed to be.
And so, Raven had decided to go along with Nathalie’s scheme. In all honesty, she was thrilled to be invited back to Nathalie’s place. She didn’t think any restaurant could beat that.
She expected they would eat in Nathalie’s small, cozy garden. It would be comfortable and safe. They could relax and not worry about their masks. There also would be no waiters interrupting conversations.
If there would be a conversation again, that is. Ever since they had left the tiny grocery store in the city center, Nathalie had suddenly been unusually quiet. Raven didn’t know what had changed because she had been super chatty just before.
It had been about twenty minutes now and Raven thought she recognized the street they had just turned into. They were almost at Nathalie’s house. Her heart rate picked up even more. A drop of sweat rolled down her temple.
The skin under her mask was damp and itchy. She lifted her shoulder and rubbed her cheek on it, but that didn’t help much. Annoyed, Raven took off the mask for a second and scratched.
“We can take those off here,” Nathalie said, pulling at the elastic band. “Sorry, should have told you sooner.”
Raven sighed in relief. “Thank God.”
“Yeah,” Nathalie replied, wiping her face. “These things are even more awful when it’s hot.”
“Torture,” Raven said, grimacing. “Can we sit outside so we don’t have to wear them for a while?”
“Yes, please,” Nathalie chuckled. “I don’t think I can take another minute with that damp thing on my face.”
Raven nodded emphatically. “You’re stuck with me until this mask is dry. I didn’t bring a spare.”
“I don’t mind,” Nathalie said. “Stay as long as you want.”
“Thanks,” Raven replied shyly, unsure what else to say.
“Do you want me to carry the food?” Nathalie asked, pointing at the bag in Raven’s hand.
“No, it’s not that far anymore anyway,” Raven replied.
Nathalie’s lips curved up. “You remembered where I live.”
Raven blushed a bit. “Not really. I just recognized this particular street.”
Nathalie chuckled. “Okay.”
Raven had missed seeing Nathalie’s face. This was the first time today that she could take in Nathalie’s rosy cheeks and playful lips.
“What?” Nathalie asked, slowing down.
Raven realized she was staring and quickly looked away. “Nothing,” she said, clearing her throat.
“Are you sure you’re okay with going to my place?” Nathalie said slowly. “Because if you’re not then, we can just…”
“No, it’s fine!” Raven replied before Nathalie could finish her sentence.
“I know I kind of sprung this on you,” Nathalie said. “It might be kind of creepy now that I think about it.”
Raven laughed. “Why? You have plans I should know about?”
“No! Of course not!” Nathalie instantly responded, her cheeks turning a bright red.
“Okay, now I’m curious what flashed through your mind,” Raven teased.
Nathalie narrowed her eyes. “Nothing special,” she said, sticking her tongue out just a little. “I only wanted to make sure that you are coming home with me voluntarily.”
Raven felt something stir in the pit of her stomach. It was a nice, warm feeling. “That I am,” she continued the flirting.
💜 Dear fellow romantic,
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