“Hey chérie!” Francis greeted you when he opened the door to his house. “Hi!” You said, grinning toothily and hugging him. Smiling, he wrapped his arms around your waist, pulling you into a kiss.
“Thanks for coming to help me today, chérie.” He murmured, his forehead resting against yours. “No problem Francis.” You replied, gazing sweetly up at him. “Let’s get started then.” He took your hand, pulling you to the back of his house.
“This is it,” he sighed, gesturing at a double-doored closet,”I suggest you stand back.”
You cocked your head in question, but did as he said, leaning against the wall. Francis seemingly braced himself, taking a deep breath, pulling the doors open at one and springing to the side.
A mountain of clutter, boxes and just general dirt flowed into the room. You grimaced, sniffing the air as though he might have something toxic in amongst all of the cardboard boxes, books and dust bunnies.
“Francis. How the hell did you let it get this bad?!” He chuckled sheepishly, rubbing his neck on the other side of the stream of dusty artefacts. “Well I-I.... you see there was.... I don’t know.” He ended, his head hanging.
You shook your head and rolled up your sleeves. “Well, it’s the reason I came here so we might as well get started!” He smiled at you in appreciation, the sleeves on his blue T-shirt already short so he didn’t have to roll them up. He did tie up his hair though and you blushed, he looked extremely handsome like that, a few strands of hair escaping the elastic.
“One pile to get rid of, one pile to keep.” He instructed, sorting through a mound of junk. “Okay~” you replied, already up to your elbows in things.
It was still quite early in the afternoon but you knew it was pretty impossible finish it all in one day.
So when you straightened up five hours later, covered head-to-toe in dust and grit, you breathed a sigh of relief and of wonder. Francis had done most of it and he stretched his back, groaning as he felt how stiff it was from bending down the whole time.
“We’re.....done.” You mumbled, rubbing some dirt off your face. “Oui.” His answer was less dumbfounded, more triumphant and reflected his grin. “So I say we get us washed up and I’ll get us some food. How does that sound?”
He looked down at you, his hands on your waist. “That’s sounds wonderful!” Smiling, he directed you to the bathroom, handing you some of his clothes to wear afterwards.
After you made him swear not to peek at you, you made sure you locked the door and stripped, gladly stepping under the warm shower.
Francis settled on the floor next to the pile with stuff he was going to keep and picked up a dusty photo-album. He flicked through it, trying to find something to pass the time you spent in the shower.
One photo in particular caught his eye, it was one of him, Gilbert and Antonio when they were younger. Laughing he scanned them, smirking when he saw a young Arthur try to imitate his looks, chuckling when he saw a punk Arthur and Mathias on stage and the Magic trio as they were called, looking as though they were trying to curse him.
What a trip down memory lane, Francis thought, getting to the part when you started appearing in the pictures. Your first date, your first night out with all of your friends together, a sleeping picture of you,.... they all made his heart warm up, swelling with adoration for you.
You quickly dried yourself off, slipping into his clothes, which were large on you. You noted happily that they still had his scent on and you unlocked the door, walking back to Francis. “You’re in a happy mood.” You commented, kissing his dirty forehead.
“Mais oui, I took a trip down memory lane.” He said, handing you the album. Sitting next to you on the sofa, he flipped through the book to the later ones and left you, going to take a shower of his own.
You pored over the photos, wincing sometimes at an unfortunate haircut or expression but smiled, your cheeks pink. He’d written a little paragraph next to each photo, the date and place present.
It was all so carefully done. It made you wonder though why it’d been stuffed in the closet though and you started at the front of the book.
The first few photographs were okay, but after a while you realised why he’d kept it hidden. His adventures with his flamboyant friends were all there, his hairdo’s just as eccentric as his clothes. Giggling, you looked at them over and over again.
Francis pulled some pants on after hurriedly dressing, worried about your extreme laughter. He froze, figuring out what it was about and sprinted back to you, leaning over the back of the sofa and you to shut the book.
Then he stiffly walked back to the now empty closet and set it on one of the shelves, closing the doors with a snap.
You pouted, still giggling as he returned to you, his face beet red. “Oh come on! Those were cute!” You complained, wrapping your arms around his neck. “They were not meant for your eyes. Pretty as they are.” He mumbled, lifting you onto his lap.
“Then why did you leave the book with me?” You questioned, gazing at him quizzically. “Lapse of judgement....” he muttered, biting his lip. “Alright then.”
He stroked your hair for a moment, his own tied back again. “Something to eat?” He asked, smiling softly. Nodding, you pecked his cheek and trailed behind him into his gleaming kitchen.
He hummed as he checked the contents of the fridge, getting several types of cheese and arranging them on a wooden board. Motioning for you to sit down at the counter he placed the board of cheese and a baguette on it.
To finish it off, he got two wineglasses, a bottle of wine in hand and set them gently down. Pouring some of the red alcohol into a glass, he handed it to you with a flourish and a wink. “Here you go chérie.”
He got his own, but before you could drink any of it, he clinked his glass with yours. “Thank you for coming to help. Here’s to you!” He said, then adding: “Oh and do you know what they say about toasting when there’s two of you?”
Intrigued, you shook your head, inching closer to where he leaned across the counter to you. “They say you have to look in each other’s eyes, otherwise you’ll make bad love for the next seven years!” he told you, sounding appalled.
You snorted, giggling. “Is that so?” Nodding vigorously, he raised his eyebrow at you. “We wouldn’t want that to happen now, would we?”
“I guess you’re right.” You admitted, placing the glass at your lips again and staring deep into his eyes as he was doing with you.
He wiggled his eyebrows, a lecherous smile on his face, making you giggle and put down your glass. “I can’t do it when you’re looking at me like that!”
He chuckled, tilting your chin up. “C’mon chérie, try.” You twiddled your glass in between your hands, finally drinking some but squeezing your eyes shut first. “Oh!” You heard, along with him shifting closer to you, sitting next to you.
You peeked out of one eye, jumping when you saw how close he was to you. He sighed. “Can’t be helped then.”
“What can’t be helped?” You asked, dreading his answer due to the smirk on his face.
“Looks like I’ll have to give it my all making love to you, chérie.”