I opened the door to my room and closed it behind me. I didn’t bother about changing into my pajamas since I was so exhausted and confused. I flopped on the bed and cried and laughed myself to sleep from utter confusion, but the wind from the moors made howling sounds in the night and filled my sleep with nightmares.
Soon…Kyla, my angel, soon…
I heard the voice calling me, and it sounded ominous but I continued going. It was utterly dark, and I could not see a thing, but I continued to walk without knowing what I was walking to. Images slowly began to appear before my eyes. A fresh breeze rustled my hair and filled my nose with the smell of salt air. The Sea. The gentle waves rolled out before me covering my feet in water. And walking upon its surface toward me was a dark figure. He carried a frightening presence, but I did not fear him so I did not run. He approached me, but did not remove his cloak. I could not see his face and was glad so, but his hand reached out to stroke my cheek.
Soon we shall be together my angel in a dream…
Kyla awoke gasping. It was early the next morning, and she tried to block out the images from the previous night but to no avail. What did the dream mean? The figure said they would be together? No, it was just a dream. It didn’t mean anything. She brushed it aside and decided swimming would help clear her mind so she changed into her bathing suit and went downstairs to the pool only to discover Orlando was already swimming. His eyes instantly met hers when she stepped near the edge.
“Guess we both had the same idea,” he declared.
She nodded absentmindedly.
“I thought I’d show you around the country a bit today and then take you out to dinner. How does it sound?” he asked stepping out of the water.
“Fine,” she simply replied. “Sorry, I’m not a big morning person. I’m a little groggy.”
“Look,” he draped a towel over his neck and ran his fingers through his hair. “Sorry about last night. Sometimes, well many times, I don’t think before I act.”
“It’s all right. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Well, then will you have breakfast with me?”
She nodded. “Crepes?”
“With cream cheese,” he smiled.
“I’ll be back down soon.”
Kyla took a brief shower, braided her hair, and changed into a dark blue shirt and some comfortable stonewashed jeans. She met Orlando at the kitchen table where the creppes with cream cheese were already set out. He pulled a chair out for her politely and served her one of the creppes after saying aloud a brief prayer.
“I have a surprise for you later on,” he said biting into the morsel which was as light as a cloud.
“If I told you that, it wouldn’t be a surprise.”
“Cunning of you to whet my curiosity.”
“Thought it would be a good start for the day,” he grinned.
“How do we start the day?”
“Horse back riding through the moors.”
She could hardly wait.
Kyla’s horse was white stallion named Snowfire. Orlando’s was a chestnut mare named Lara. He paid for their stalls at a ranch a few miles away from his place. Kyla was surprised he knew how to ride so well since he fell off a horse once and broke his rib, but his training proved worthy. Kyla was also a good rider since her father had enrolled her in riding lessons since she was five. They rode all over the country side that day and picnicked by a lake. She told him of her childhood leaving out the part on how her mom died and even spoke of her teenage years, which she still said she was in.
“I think,” she continued, “when you turn eighteen and have gone through the death of two parents, something inside of you becomes stronger and more willing to be independent. But I still feel like a little girl at times.”
“Your father gave you the sand dollar necklace didn’t he?” asked Orlando.
“Yes, and it’s a constant reminder of him. Sometimes, I’m angry at God for taking him away, but then I try to remember it’s all a part of a plan. But I still miss him.”
Kyla sighed and pursed her lips together. Orlando watched her as she lifted her hand to brush her tears away, but he knew they would come. As the floodgates began to open, he gathered her in his arms. Kyla knew she should feel silly when her arms wrapped around his neck, and she cried into his chest, but at that moment crying felt like the most wonderful thing in the world. Every minute he held her and her tears poured into his shirt, she felt the world was a better place. There was something infinitely closer in grieving together than there was in even kissing together. And Orlando knew what she needed then was simply to be held and cared for; something which had not happened for her since her father had died. Orlando rustled her hair affectionately, and she finally released her arms and sat up straight.
“I’m sorry,” she said and smoothed her hair away from her red face.
“Don’t be. You shouldn’t be ashamed of crying or wanting to need someone.” He’s right. You know he is. You know you want to need someone.
She nodded, and he withdrew a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her.
“Here. Would you like to go back to the pool now? I think a swim will do you some good.”
She agreed, and they swam for the rest of the afternoon, and Kyla remembered also what it was like to play. They also played tennis and golf. The time passed quickly for Kyla though she enjoyed every moment of it. Had she been there for simply days or had it really been months? She thought of this as she prepared to change for their dinner. Orlando said to dress formal and requested she wear the dress he bought for her the day at Harrods.
She took a shower to wash out the chlorine from her hair and then curled it bringing some strands into pins and the rest draping past her shoulders. She then slipped into the black dress and sprayed some scented perfume onto her neck and shoulders. She glanced at herself in the mirror. She wasn’t overly stunning like Catherine Zeta Jones, but she wasn’t bad looking either. She was actually quite attractive. She was slightly tall not as tall as Orlando with a plain but beautiful face with few freckles. Her shiny brown hair may have been her best feature, but no one could forget her lips, and her ocean gray eyes did shine with a certain light at many times.
Kyla took a deep breath and then returned down the stairs where Orlando stood in the kitchen wearing a smashing black tuxedo and talking on the phone. He was speaking in Spanish so she couldn’t catch everything he said. She understood the word `passport’ and `money’ but didn’t hear the remainder of the words. Orlando hung up the phone and then looked up at her a smile instantly crossing his features. His eyes widened as she came down the stairs, and he took her hand bringing it to his lips.
“Wow,” he said after he dropped her hand.
“Who was on the phone?” she asked.
“Your surprise coming later. This one coming now. Turn around,” he ordered gently.
Kyla did, and he slipped a sterling silver chain around her neck. The charm in the center was a scarlet rose, which matched her dress. It was riddled with small flecks of diamonds supposedly the dew drops upon it.
“This belonged to my grandmother one of the special people in my life. Now it shall pass to someone even more special.”
“I can’t take this, Orlando,” she fingered it delicately.
“Yes, you said that about the dress as well. Come on, then.” He wondered why she was being so stubborn.
Kyla continued to argue with him in the car about the necklace, but he refused to take it back. They drove in silence giving Orlando time to think about her. Kyla was different than most girls he had met; different in the way she seemed to scorn him at many times but then melt whenever he kissed her. She made him feel normal like he didn’t have to perform, and it felt nice. He felt like a human being around her rather than a celebrity. He just hoped his plan for the next couple of weeks would work, and that she would accept it.
Orlando finally pulled into the restaurant he had planned on taking her to. It was elegant and refined much like him with a stringed quartet playing in the background and couples dancing on the floor. Orlando brought her to the table first for dinner. She was getting used to his paying for everything. After all, he was loaded; she was not. Kyla ordered a simple salad first and then a main meal of chicken parmesan. Orlando ordered a steamed vegetable plate with no oil and no butter. She rolled her eyes and bit into her meal.
“I can’t understand how you cannot like meat or live without it.”
“I occasionally eat it, but not much. Find it’s healthier not eating it.”
“I don’t think I could live without eating meat and cheese.”
“Cheese I understand,” he winked. “So what other kinds of writing do you enjoy besides poetry and fiction?” he changed the subject wanting to know more about Kyla still.
“Well, I kind of enjoy writing about places I go to, but I normally don’t travel to many places at least until now. Thank you for taking me with you to England and showing me around. The experience has been…inspiring.”
“It has been inspiring for me as well though not for the same reasons as yours most likely. And now,” he laid his hand on top of hers gently, “I have a great favor to ask of you, and if you turn me down, I don’t know what I’ll do.”
“What now?” she asked.
He laid a piece of paper in front of her. She picked it up and widened her eyes when reading the lettering.
“Two tickets for the Caribbean Cruiseline leaving on Saturday at 4:00 pm bound for Bermuda. Orlando, no…is this what that phone call was about?”
“It was, and the other ticket is yours if you want to come.”
Kyla stood up angrily spilling her water over the tablecloth in the process. “Do you think you can just waltz right up to me, take me up to England and just because I spend a few days with you here to get away from it all in America, you think you can get me to come with you to Bermuda?!”
“Kyla, calm down,” he took her hand, but she shoved him away. “This is not a trap or a seduction of any kind. This is an invitation.”
“You keep doing this! Why! What am I to you? You can have any girl you want and…and…” Kyla didn’t finish. She touched her head gingerly wondering what to do.
“Come with me, Kyla. Please,” he turned his soft brown eyes upon her. “Kyla, are you all right?”
“No, no, I’m not.”
“Look, just think about it. I’ll take you back, and you can think about it.”
“No, I don’t want to ruin the night,” she looked at her feet.
“Then dance with me,” he took her hand in his soft grip.
She looked up as he began to lead her to the dance floor. Kyla didn’t understand. This was Orlando Bloom the most popular, most handsome movie star alive in Hollywood. What could he possibly see in her? Possibly she saw something different in him; a young man aching to live a real life in the real world with a real person instead of remaining in the farce of Hollywood all the time. She didn’t and wouldn’t treat him like a movie star. For the past week, they had been friends perhaps more, but she had treated him like a human being nothing more nothing less. Perhaps that was all he needed and wanted, just a friend to be with. Or just to need to be with someone different.
Orlando’s hand slipped around her waist, and she gently laid her hand on his shoulder. The tranquil music of the string quartet filled her ears as he began to lead her around the dance floor. Many couples began to stand back to watch them and whisper about them since Orlando was just as famous in England. Then, Kyla saw them.
“Orlando, do you know an easy escape route out of here?” she asked him.
He turned to look where she was motioning. Several reporters carrying cameras and notepads were approaching them rapidly. Orlando took her hand and led her away from the stage. There was a door to their left behind the stringed quartet, which led onto a patio. They disappeared onto it and then turned the corner of the building toward the parking lot. Orlando flipped his cell phone up and talked to the manager telling him to charge the meal to his home bill. They slipped into the car, and Kyla sighed nearly thinking the evening was ruined.
“Don’t worry. It isn’t. This was one of the best times I’ve had in years,” Orlando smiled. “I’ll let you sleep on it tonight, but I need to know your decision by tomorrow so I can book the flight.”
She nodded. “It’s already Thursday.”
“And the boat leaves on Saturday.”
She nodded again.
Orlando stood beside Kyla on the end of the ship waving goodbye to the people on shore as was custom. The Miami sun poured its golden rays upon Kyla, and the spray of the ocean flew into her hair. They noticed a group of dolphins following the boat as well attracted by the propellers and the fish. Kyla smiled as one jumped within a near five feet of her.
“They’re beautiful. I love dolphins,” she held onto the balcony looking at the creatures.
“So you have your wish,” he slipped an arm around her waist. “You will get to travel to Bermuda and the Triangle. And when we get there, we’ll snorkel, lie out on the beach, and see the Crystal Caves.”
“You have things planned out well,” she noted.
“Well, of course. Thank you for saying yes, Kia.”
She turned, her eyes rising at the familiar nickname her father used to call her.
“Is it all right if I call you that?” asked Orlando.
Kyla nodded, and Orlando took her hand again leading her away from the balcony. “Come on. I’ll buy you a drink.”
The nickname brought back a flood of memories…..