Chapter 2

Fate had a funny way of stepping in when least convenient.

The quiet of the bus ride to the airport, coupled with the striking image of all those aeroplanes lined up ready to take thousands of people off to wherever they needed to go had given Nick a sense of perspective.

He and Diane lived on opposite sides of the world, a literal ocean apart. He'd been blessed with these few days getting to know her and they were about to part ways, likely to never see each other again.

Despite his disappointment, he decided to swallow his wounded pride and make the most of his remaining time with her. Once they reached the airport, they naturally gravitated towards each other, clutching their luggage and occasionally bumping shoulders in the jostle of the crowd.

They overheard snippets of other passengers' conversations, comparing notes on the kindness of their hosts. One little girl was asking her mother if they could get the recipe for toutons before they left.

Diane smiled at him, the in-joke twinkling in her eyes and Nick felt his heart stammer. Possibly the arrhythmia? Possibly Diane.

Anyway, fate was a bastard, because just when he'd come to terms with saying goodbye to this beautiful, funny, incredible woman, it was announced that they weren't flying after all and they were back at the shelter for the foreseeable future.

Diane had dragged him out on another walk (not that he was complaining, he didn't think he could refuse her anything) and (about a million stairs later) they found themselves at the top of the lookout at Dover Fault.

Not that he took much of it in. His eyes seemed to be constantly drawn back to her. She was stunning. The gleeful look of wonder at the scenery before them mirrored his own expression whenever he looked at her.

And he let himself look. This might be his last chance after all. He found himself gazing over her features whenever he though she wasn't looking, trying to drink in every detail. The way her eyes sparkled and crinkled at the sides when she laughed. The soft curve of her cheek and the dimples to be found there. The wisps of hair that blew across her face whenever the wind picked up. He fought against the urge to reach across and tuck them back behind her ear.

Not that he'd have to reach very far. They seemed to have gravitated closer and closer together since returning to Gander. She reached out and lay a hand on his shoulder.

"Look at this!" she cried, pointing to a plaque detailing the geological history of the site. Nick had to admit he didn't take much of it in. Not when there were dimples.

He contented himself with taking a few pictures. Some of the lookout, but most of Diane. At least when he returned to London, he'd have these photographs. These photographs and the memory of her arm tucked in his as they turned and walked back down those million stairs, huddled together against the wind.