• From Paris, With Love

    I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. There’s always been this sort of allure about it, this sensuality…

    Unfortunately, I did not want to go the Paris on a school field trip, forced to share a hostel room with not only my best friend of eleven years, Jacob Anderson, but also Bradan Cowan, my high school’s major a*****e, and a random English boy named Kyne Worth who happens to be staying in the hostel as he tries to photograph Paris.

    Bradan, Jacob and I were shoved together because we’re football players at our high school. Kyne was here before us, and although he’s really nice, he’s kind of introverted and doesn’t talk to any of us much.

    We’re all pretty good looking guys: Jacob and Kyne’s are both platinum blonde, although Jacob has these absolutely killer blue eyes and Kyne’s are more of a subdued gray.

    Bradan is, even though he’s a major a*****e, pretty good-looking, too, with copper hair and green eyes. I’m kind of awkward; skinny and tall, with dark brown hair and dark eyes, and tan skin. I’m very Italian-looking, even though I’m skinny and not too muscular; apparently that’s what makes me a great running back.

    I’m sitting on the top bunk bed in our room, looking out the window at Paris. It’s only the second day of the trip and we haven’t been anywhere substantial yet; I’ve only caught glimpses of the Eiffel Tower so far.

    It’s seven in the morning, and we’re supposed to be heading out soon; Bradan is hogging the shower and Kyne is going through the film on his camera. Jacob leans against my bunk and puts a hand on my leg, looking at me and smiling. “Morning.”

    I shrug and glance towards Kyne again; why the hell does he suddenly look so good? “Yeah… I wish Bradan would get out of the shower.”

    He laughs and glances towards the bathroom, shrugging. “Ah, it’s not too bad.” He pauses and shrugs again, grabbing his towel. “I might as well join him if he’s going to take forever.”
    I roll my eyes and watch him go over to the bathroom. He walks inside and Bradan doesn’t protest, which makes me wonder if they’ve done something like this before. I know Jacob doesn’t think Bradan’s an a*****e, and I know they’re really kind of best friends.


    I hate it when people I hate end up with people I like.

    Kyne’s voice cuts into my thoughts, his British accent and his spiky blonde hair making his entire persona ooze ‘80’s glam rock star. “Awright?”

    I glance at him and nod, stopping for a moment to think about what he asked me, before sliding off the top bunk and landing on my feet. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

    A soft noise comes from the bathroom and Kyne smiles slightly, standing up and hanging his camera around his neck. He’s dressed in a tight black t-shirt and baggy jeans, along with a pair of magenta Converse that he said his cousin brought him from the States. “I don’t think they’ll be out of the bathroom for a bit…”

    I shrug and pull my hoodie on over my shirt, leaving only my khaki cargo pants exposed.
    Half the time I don’t know what he’s saying; most of what he says is slang or something.
    “Do you want to come with me, then? You need to take pictures and I want to explore a little before lunch.”

    He grins and nods, looking me over. “I’ll take you to the Eiffel Tower, then. You can be my boy. To model.”

    I laugh and shake my head. “I don’t know the first thing about modeling, Kyne.”

    He smiles. “I’ll help you.” Walking over to his things, he pulls out his wallet and shoves it in his back pocket, opening the door to our room. “Don’t worry.”

    Oh, god…

    His voice is just… ah.

    He gives me shivers, and since I’m not entirely ‘out’ as far as my sexuality goes, I don’t want him to know that he makes me feel that way.

    I shrug and grab my own wallet, following him out. He leads me down onto the street and smiles at me, walking over to the café down the street and buying us both a coffee. He hands one to me and takes a sip from his, smiling. “Can we stop by Notre Dame, first?”

    I arch an eyebrow and shrug; I have no preference of where we go or when we go; after all, this is ******** Paris! It doesn’t matter where we go! “Sure. You still want me to take pictures for you?”

    “Yeah.” He grins. “I’m supposed to be puttin’ together a photo shoot for a magazine, and you’re as good-lookin’ as a model, so I just want to use natural lightin’ and use you as a subject. Free for me, and if people like it, you’ll be famous in Britain and I’ll be able to do real photo shoots.”

    I smile at him and take a drink of my coffee, which is really, really good. “Well… I’m glad to help you out.”

    He wraps his arm around my shoulder and starts walking down the street with me in tow, and I feel totally comfortable with him touching me like this. I don’t usually like other guys touching me.


    I don’t want to fall for a foreign guy that I barely know and who I won’t ever see again after this week.

    But I think I already might be.

    He smiles and we walk for about ten minutes, his arm around my shoulders. We talk about random crap because he’s a good five years older than me and we’re from opposite sides of the world. I’m from New York City; he’s from small little town in England.

    We talk about musicals because he went to London to go to West End and after high school, I’m going to school for theatre.

    When we finally arrive at Notre Dame, he smiles at me and leads me inside. “I just want to get a few shots of you in the pews. Can you look introspective and sexy at the same time?”

    I shrug, sitting down on the pew nearest me. The stained glass windows are casting this almost eerie glow over the church, sending little sunbeams down. The dust is floating through them and it looks totally enchanting.

    He nods slowly and walks forward a little, kneeling next to me and fiddling with his camera.

    He looks back at me and then stands, taking my hand in his and moving it so it’s draped over the back of the pew. Kyne moves my legs apart a little bit and fixes my hair, taking my chin in his hand and making me look off somewhere.

    That same, slow but meaningful smile passes across his face and he drops back to one knee, taking a couple of photos in that position before rearranging me and taking a couple more shots. He smiles. “Now, can you just do whatever you feel like?”

    I nod and lay a hand on my thigh before a slight smirk comes across my face.

    Whatever I feel like?

    Well… There’s a couple things I feel like doing right now to him, but since we’re in a Catholic cathedral, I don’t want to piss God off.

    So I push back wanting to kiss him and slide into a natural pose, my other hand tucked under my chin as I focus my attention on a statue not too far from me.

    Kyne speaks off-hand, clicking away. “You’re gorgeous, you know that?”

    I shift my eyes slightly and a blush crosses my face. “Whatever.”

    “I knew you were sexy, but I didn’t realize how good-lookin’ you are. You’re a sexy little b***h.” He finishes up and stands, smiling at me with an infallible look in his eyes. “You’re really, really cute.”

    I look at him for a few seconds, enough for his smile to fade. He blinks and blushes, fooling with his camera. “You ain’t blue, are you?”

    I stare at him, not understanding the British term. “What?”

    He leans forward, smiling, “You don’t dabble in the love that dare not speak it’s name?”

    Even I’ve heard that one. I blush and stand up, brushing my pants off even though they’re clean. “Um…”

    He grins, grabbing my hand. “You so are! I knew it! I knew you were a smurf!”

    I shake my head. “I don’t understand half of what you’re saying.”

    He pauses. “Oh. Oh!” He laughs. “I forgot you weren’t English. I’ve been talkin’ like the gay guys over in London. I’ve been doin’ it so long I guess I jus’ slid into the habit.”

    “So… You’re gay?”

    “********.” He smirks and moves forward a little. “Fancy a snog?”

    I look around and shake my head. “Not here… God is watching us here.”

    He rolls his eyes and takes my hand, leading me out onto the street. He hooks his fingers through mine and leads me down the street. We’re walking towards the Eiffel Tower now, and I didn’t realize how truly beautiful Paris was until this morning.

    Of course, I hadn’t walked down the street holding hands with a totally hot British guy who I really think I might like.

    Not that I can get involved with him anyway.

    He’s twenty-two, and I’m only seventeen.

    Even if I were willing to ditch college and come stay with him, I’m too young.

    He looks like he’s about to say something when my cell phone starts to ring. I smile at him and answer it. Jacob is breathing heavily on the other end, although he sounds worried. “Where are you and Kyne? Me and Bradan got out of the shower and you two were gone.”

    I smirk and glance at Kyne. “We didn’t want to stick around and listen to you two screw, so we left to go sight-seeing.”

    Jacob splutters for a few seconds before speaking in soft, demure voice that clearly says he’s embarrassed. “We weren’t screwing…”

    “You were, too!” I start laughing, not believing him.

    Everyone knows they’re screwing. Even though they aren’t out, they’ve obviously been dating for years.

    It’s as obvious as all get out.

    Jacob sighs and says goodbye, although I can hear Bradan saying some dirty, nasty things in the background before Jake hangs up.

    Kyne smiles at me and leans down, pressing his lips against my cheek.

    I swear to God, I get shivers up and down my spine from even thinking about making out with Kyne.

    We finally get to the Eiffel Tower and I look up at it. “Why don’t we walk it?”

    He laughs and shakes his head. “You’ll be out of breath by the time we get up there, b***h. You won’t want to snog.”

    I beam at him and shrug. “But I’ll look all windswept and sexy in the photos. And if the wind is blowing up there…” I gesture to the top of the structure, still smiling at him, “Then I’ll look even better.”

    He laughs and walks over to the stairs, fooling with his camera yet again.

    I think it’s a nervous twitch that he’s developed from years of using the thing.

    I follow him and we buy our tickets first before ascending the six hundred and sixty-eight stairs to the lift on the second level of the Tower.

    Unbelievably, the line to the elevator is pretty short; we’re caught on the lift with only another young couple, a Spanish man who communicates in broken French with us, and a guy who looks like a pothead. The guy won’t take his eyes off our entwined hands and Kyne leans over to me, murmuring, “Looks like little cannabis boy wants some.”

    I blink and look back over at the boy, who’s staring at us intently. “Well… He’s creepy.”

    Kyne waves and the pothead jumps slightly, blinking out of his daze and focusing on another place. Kyne smirks and elbows me. “Kids like that are everywhere. Ignore them while you’re here; they don’t usually bite.”

    We finally reach the top and Kyne leads me onto the third level of the Tower, positioning me just so before starting to snap away. He finishes up and walks over to me, showing me the pictures. They’re amazing, they really are; a couple are in black and white, but a few more, most of the Notre Dame ones, are in colour, and the stained glass beams of light are hitting me just so.

    I glance at Kyne and kiss him on the cheek. “You’re really talented.”

    He grins. “I just took the pictures. I couldn’t have made them this good without you.”

    Aw, how corny of him.

    I move forward and look around; the young couple is making out pretty far away and the pothead is staring over the edge while more people walk onto the level. I look at Kyne and then smirk slightly. “Want to ‘snog’?”

    He laughs. “You’re so deliciously American…”

    Without anymore warning, he pins me against the railing, pressing his lips to mine with almost bruising force.

    I’ve never kissed another guy before.

    He’s got this raw passion, this absolutely amazing vitality about him, and I can’t help myself from wrapping my hands in his shirt and opening my mouth to receive his advances. He slips his tongue in, wrapping his tongue around mine and practically making me beg for it.
    An embarrassing moan escapes my lips and he breaks the kiss for a moment, his lips hovering over mine as he chuckles. “Mmm… You’re quite sexy…”

    I laugh nervously before initiating another kiss, meekly attempting to recreate the kiss from before.

    He kisses back, his hand moving down the line of my body, hovering on my waist before he moves to a rather delicate area.

    I tear away from him, looking at him with wide eyes. “No!”

    He pauses. “You don’t want to?”

    I shake my head, drawing away from him. “I hardly know you! If we were boyfriends or something, then maybe I’d let you do that. But as is, right now? No way!”

    He takes a step back, staring at me in disbelief. “I thought that’s what you wanted!”

    I stare at him, perplexed. “I wasn’t even out this morning! I wasn’t even coming onto you sexually! I’m okay if you want to make out, but anything past that, I won’t do!”

    He scoffs. “Jeez, all the other American bitches gave it up like I was their life-long partner. Figures, I’m roomin’ with the one prude who won’t give me a little sex.”

    I had him totally misunderstood! I thought he was this sweet, sensitive artist struggling in a stupid youth hostel in Paris when he’s nothing more than a player interested in some a**!
    Before I say anything more, he sighs and turns his back on me. “The one time I need a whore, I get a ********’ Saint.” He storms off and I stare after him, confused.

    What the hell just happened?


    By the time I got back to the prison, I mean hostel, Kyne was gone. Jacob and Bradan, who had very obviously been screwing right up until I got back, said that he had come in, grabbed his things, and left.

    I spent the rest of the week at the Louvre, trying to see all of it before we had to leave.
    I couldn’t stop thinking about Kyne.

    I know he was a no-good d**k who was just chasing my a** for some kicks, but there were times in the day I spent with him that made me think he really was just a struggling artist.

    We went back to the States at the end of the week on schedule, and I loved France just as much as I thought I would.

    A couple weeks after returning home, I got a package at the flat I share with Jacob and Bradan.

    Enclosed was a magazine and a note.

    The magazine had an entire pull-out section of the photos Kyne had taken of me, and I have to say, I looked pretty good.

    The note said one word. ‘Sorry’.

    His new address in Paris was scrawled underneath as if an afterthought.


    Five Years Later
    Paris, France

    Standing in front of a fancy, expensive-looking house in Paris, a mere stone’s throw from the hostel I stayed in last time I was here, I stare at the address in my hand as if making one hundred percent sure this is his address.

    I know I shouldn’t be here.

    Everyone told me I shouldn’t go running back to the first guy I ever really think I liked.

    But I did.

    I’m twenty-two now, the same age he was when he… well, he didn’t really break my heart, but he hurt me.

    He’s got to be twenty-seven by now, and probably forgot about the gay American boy he tried to ******** on top of the Eiffel Tower all those years ago.

    I take a deep breath and press down on the doorbell for the home, almost unable to breath.

    A few minutes pass before the door creaks open.

    Kyne opens the door, his blonde hair still spiked up and his gray eyes almost depressed.

    There’s the obvious stench of cigarettes around him and a slight shadow of blonde hair on his face, but I don’t care. He’s handsome as ever.

    He looks at me blearily and doesn’t seem to recognize me; why should he? I was just a kid when we last met.

    But his gray eyes light up soon after and he wraps his arms around me. The first words out of his mouth are, “I’m sorry.”

    I smile; he does remember me after all. I pull away for a moment and grin at him. “You son of a b***h, I’ve been waiting to hear your voice.”

    He smiles in return and ushers me inside. “I didn’t mean anything I said up there. It was terrible what I did, and I didn’t mean any of it.”

    I shrug and look down; I don’t like to be reminded of it because I feel like a total fool. “Ah… I didn’t come here to ask you to apologize. I know you’re sorry.” I pause and exhale, shaking.
    “I came here because…” I look at him and shrug. “Do you want me to be your boy?”

    Yeah, I figured out what that means.

    I know he never meant for me to be his model.

    If I had known what he was really asking, I probably wouldn’t have agreed.

    His face lights up and he nods before leaning forward. “Fancy a snog, Jon?”