“Excusez-moi?” you said to yet another passing French person and getting the same reaction of a turned-up nose and the facade of them having not heard you. You raised your voice a bit, desperate for some help. “Excusez-moi?”
You silenced yourself, however, when one woman sent you a harsh glare. Cringing, you turned around and stepped off the curb. You only had one foot on the road, however, when you ran into yet another person.
Murmuring a rushed apology, you kept your (e/c) eyes on the ground in front of you as you began to walk away, but you were stopped by the light touch of a hand catching your wrist. Fearful that someone with very strong feelings about an American being in their country was now going to harm you, you pulled your other arm up to protect your face from the person.
A soft chuckle was heard from the person and you peered from behind your wrist. It was a man, and a rather handsome one at that. He was watching you with curious blue eyes, a slight smile on his long face. “Do you need some help?” he asked you in accented English.
“Yes,” you sighed in relief, dropping your arm from in front of you. The Frenchman still held onto your other wrist, though. An angry biker road past, shouting back at the two of you.
Your new tour guide laughed a bit. “How about we go find somewhere else to talk? Perhaps I can help you out over coffee?”
Smiling at the man with a flushed face, you nodded.
Weaving through the crowd, the French stranger guided you to a little restaurant on the corner of a less crowded street. Not walking in, he sat on one of the outside dining chairs and watched as you lowered yourself into the one opposite him.
“So,” he smiled at you, “What’s a lovely young woman like you doing wandering the streets of Paris all by herself.”
You blushed a bit. “Ah,” you mumbled, “Well, you see. I was trying to find somewhere where I could just sit and read, but, well, I got a bit lost.” You shrugged, that irritating little blush still apparent on your cheeks.
The man who saved you from the crowd laughed quietly. “Well you could always read here!” he suggested with a smile, “They have the best coffee in town, if you ask me.”
“Alright,” you said softly, “Thank you.”
He got up and left, but for some reason you knew you’d be seeing him again while you were visiting the beautiful, yet somewhat hostile, country of France.
And, sure enough, about a week later you ran into that man again. “Je suis désolé,” you muttered, not quite seeing anything but pale skin and blonde hair. A moment after bumping into the man, you heard a soft chuckle. “Your French has gotten much better,” he laughed as you pulled away.
“Oh!” you gasped with a growing grin, “It’s you! I never did get to ask your name.”
The man gave you a mock bow, hand fluttering dramatically. “Francis Bonnefoy,” he told you, glancing up, “At your service.”
You giggled a bit at his silly-looking gestures. “I think you’ve already been more that enough help.”
Standing up straight, Francis smiled at you, a look that made your heart skip a beat. “Then perhaps you’d like to go get a coffee?”
“Yes,” you said with a soft smile of your own on your face, “I’d love to.”