A New Guy at Work

by Doreen F.

Part 1

There was a new guy at work. He was really handsome and had very good manners. In the morning he had come to everyone and introduced himself as Dominic Lancester. All the women agreed that he had something special. Dominic was tall, but not too tall, just the right size. He had a muscular body and a smile that could melt every womanís heart. His hair was black and well-cut in a fashionable style and his eyes were green with a blue touch.

The companyís female staff was convinced that there had never been anyone like him. Even some men seemed to be impressed by their new colleague. Envy was written all over their face. Dominic had studied in Stanford and after that he had been to Europe where had worked for some really important companies. Now he was there, not arrogant at all, simply a nice guy. Dominic was the new manager of the sales department since the old one was going to retire at the end of the year. In the first couple of weeks most of his new colleagues didnít see much of Dominic because he was so busy getting to know everything before his predecessor retired. Due to that Dominic missed an incredible autumn and the looks which many of the female staff gave at him while he was sitting in the office. By December Dominic had gotten to know his work and didnít need much advice to make the right decisions. Now that he knew his work he had time to get into contact with his colleagues. He found out that most of the people he was working with were not only good at their work, but very nice as well.

Two days before Christmas Dominic invited all of those who were working in his department to a very trendy club after work. That was when Samantha got to know him better. She had noticed him before, but at the time Dominic joined at the company she was engaged. Her boyfriend had left her in October and it had taken some time to recover. They had drifted apart and it was probably the best for both of them. After that Samantha enjoyed life as a single and didnít seem too keen to get to know any of the men her friends wanted her to meet. If she went out with one of them, she felt extremely bored by those guys and was more comfortable in her decision to stay single for a while.

At the club Samantha chatted with her colleagues and it was great fun. They were about 20 people and the atmosphere was really relaxed. As time went by most had to go home to their families or to their preparations for Christmas and in the end only Dominic and Samantha were left at the table. Samantha wasnít keen on dancing and the music was not the one she would have danced to. So they ended up talking to each other. At the beginning their conversation was about work, but soon they asked each other some more personal questions concerning their studies and hobbies. When it turned to Christmas they found out that neither of them was in a relationship and that they were going to celebrate with their families. Samantha was surprised that such a handsome guy like Dominic was single, but she didnít want to ask detailed questions about his love-life which she knew was non of her business. Maybe he was wondering about her too, she thought. When they left the club Dominic asked Samantha, if she would mind him walking her home. Of course she didnít because she had always been scared a bit on her way home. Samantha lived in a rather dark alley and usually, when it was dark, she nearly ran the last part of the way to her flat.

The air was cold and clear compared to the club where it had been loud and full of smoke. Before they reached Samanthaís flat it even started to snow - it was very romantic. Outside the flat Samantha asked Dominic, if he wanted to come in for a cup of tea as it was kind of chilly outside. So they went up to her flat where it was nice and warm and Samantha made a cup of tea for both of them.

When Samantha came back with the tea she asked, "Do you like it here?"

"Your flat or the city?"

"The city, of course, but if you like my flat as well, I donít mind."

"The city is great, thereís so much life and itís really different from most European cities Iíve been to. Have you ever been to Europe?"

"Unfortunately I havenít, but Iíve heard that itís really beautiful over there; that there are so many ancient cities."

"Yes, most cities are really old, you know. I think itís a shame youíve never been to Europe, itís a must-see, really."

"Iíd have always loved to go there, but I never had enough money because if I go there I want to see as much as possible and thatís very expensive. And the long flight has always scared me."

"Itís not that bad, you get used to it. When I was in Europe I visited my parents every few months and after a while I was able to sleep during the whole flight. The flights are not that long anyway. It depends where you go, but to reach the US it takes only about 8-9 hours, I think."

"It still sounds quite long to me, but maybe youíre right. So, was it a big difference to live in the US again after being abroad for some years?"

"Honestly, I havenít really had the time to get used to the US because the work has consumed most of my time and in the evening I was always so tired I didnít want to go out or anything."

"What do you prefer Europe or the US?"

"Are we in an interview or something like that?" he smiled. "I think that some things are better in Europe, some in the US, so I couldnít really decide, but as I have told you before, I didnít have time to experience the American culture that much yet."

"Okay, so do you want to know anything about me? You can ask questions as well."

"Oh, okay, let me think. What made you choose to work for this company?"

"Mhm, now thatís a tough question. My then boyfriendís sister works there and I quit my last job because I was so bored and had heard that that company was looking for someone with my knowledge, so I applied and after being highly recommended by my ex-boyfriendís sister, I got the job and quit my other. What about you, why did you choose this company?"

"Well, I worked at a partner of this company in Madrid and my girlfriend had just left me. When one of this companyís chief executives approached me at a meeting and offered me this job, I didnít think twice. I wanted to leave everything behind and this was the perfect opportunity. And here I am."

"Thatís interesting. Do you want some more tea?"

"No, thanks a lot, but I think Iíd better be going now, itís rather late-already past midnight-and I have to buy some Christmas presents tomorrow or today-itís quite late already."

"Iíd offer you to sleep on my couch, but I can understand, if you want to sleep at your own flat. Do you live far away? I can call you a cab, if you like."

"Thanks for offering me your couch, but have to go home, itís not far anyway. I think I can walk, but thanks again."

"Youíre welcome and thanks for walking me home. I think my street is really scary at night, but with you by my side, I wasnít scared at all. Iíll go down with you, if you donít mind."

"Certainly not."

So they walked down to the main door and saw that there was more snow now than before, but the wind had slowed down. Dominic gave Samantha an peck on the cheek, they said goodbye, Samantha walked up to her flat again and watched Dominic from her window. What a nice and handsome man, she thought before she went to bed.

Dominic turned his head after some steps and saw someone at the window which he thought was Samanthaís. What a nice girl, he thought on his way home. He reached his flat after a walk in the snow and he was very satisfied with the evening.

On the next day Samantha floated into the office. She really loved snow especially before Christmas and she kept thinking about Dominic and the previous evening all the time. Those colleagues who knew her well thought she was anticipating Christmas, but nobody suspected a man to be the reason for her extremely good mood. Dominic came to work very late-at 11.00-and Samantha had already been scared that something had happened to him on his way home. She was really relieved when he finally arrived. Of course, he didnít talk to her much because they didnít want anybody to know their feelings neither did they know if their feelings were responded.

Samantha tried to stay in the office longer than usual and during the day she caught herself glancing at Dominicís office quite often. "Why is he my boss? I cannot possibly be falling in love with my boss, can I?" she thought. Eventually only Samantha and Dominic were at the office and he came towards her desk.

"Merry Christmas", he said and gave her a small reindeer which he had been hiding behind his back.

"Thanks a lot and merry Christmas to you too. Oh my God, now I feel bad because I donít have anything for you", Samantha answered.

"I didnít expect you to have anything for me, but I thought you might like it."

"I do, I love it. I was so worried when you came to work so late; I thought something had happened to you on your way home from my flat."

"Iím sorry about that, but I thought it was better to buy the presents early in the morning. I didnít get everything, so I have to go shopping again. Thereíll be so many people out there trying to get presents, I really hate that."

"Yeah, me too, itís horrible when everyone wants to be first and nobody knows what to buy."

"In Europe itís about the same, maybe not that bad, but nearly as terrible as here."

"I donít give presents to many people, only to my parents and two or three closest friends. I think itís better to give present on birthdays because their rather unique, arenít they."

"I totally agree with you, but unfortunately most of my relatives come to my parents home this Christmas and there are many children for whom I need presents and I donít have a clue what to buy."

"We could go shopping together, if you like, maybe itís less horrible this way", Samantha suggested.

"Thatíd be great, I have to finish some work, but we could meet at Starbucks in half an hour", Dominic seemed pleased.

"Okay, Iíll be waiting for you. Wait, Iíll give you me cell phone number so you can call me in case youíre going to be late."

"Oh, good idea, see you soon."

Samantha went to Starbucks and felt like on cloud number 9. Half an hour later Dominic came and they went shopping. Although they didnít need much, each of them ended up carrying many bags. The toughest decision was what to buy for Dominicís relativesí children. He ended up buying so-called "Tomte" for everyone in a Swedish shop whose owner he knew. Tomte were small figures with different meanings and were said to bring luck to the owner. Samantha bought Tomte of different size and purpose for all of her friends and family members. When the shops closed they were really exhausted and Dominic invited Samantha to a Spanish restaurant to regain their strength.

After a really delicious dinner they decided to share a taxi and went to Dominicís place first and it was his turn to invite her in. She accepted and was stunned by his flat. It was extremely huge and very well furnished. Dominic had shown good taste, it looked amazing. But the best part was the incredible view of the city. Dominic had excused himself to the bathroom when they arrived and Samantha looked around in his flat. When he came back after a while she said, "Wow, your flat is amazing."

"Iím glad you like it, youíre the first person to visit it apart from my parents."

"Thatís an honour. I really like the view, itís fantastic. It must cost a fortune to live here."

"It does, but I earn enough to cover the costs and I donít need much money for living. Do you like something to drink?"

"Yes, uhm, what do you have?"

"Whatever you want, no, just kidding, do you like some Sherry? I brought it from Spain, itís really delicious."

"Iíd love to try that. Do you mind, if I go to the bathroom meanwhile?"

"No, be my guest, youíve seen where it is, havenít you?"

"Iíll find the way, donít worry."

In the bathroom Samantha was surprised by its enormous size and the most beautiful tiles she had ever seen. They had been broken and arranged in figures and different patterns, like DalŪ had done it. When she came back to the living room Dominic was sitting on the couch and had turned on some beautiful music. Samantha sat down next to him and they talked for hours until they were really tired.

"I think I should leave now, itís quite late and tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I have to pack all my presents and I have to pack a few things because Iím staying at my parentsí house for a few days."

"I see. Iíll call you a cab, alright?"

"Yes, please, I think Iíve done enough walking for today."

Dominic led her downstairs and together they waited for the cab. They wished each other a merry Christmas and said goodbye with a peck on the cheek promising to call each other during the holidays. Dominic waved when the taxi left and didnít go back in after the taxi was out of sight. He went back to his flat thinking back of the wonderful evening and millions of questions were racing through his mind.

Samantha started to miss Dominic already, when she arrived at her flat. She knew Christmas was going to be horrible. Her sister would come with her family and everyone would be asking her, when she was finally going to get married. Hell, she was only in her late twenties. Samantha wanted to call Dominic, but she thought heíd already be asleep. Had he asked her to stay the night, she wouldnít have known what to say. He was an extraordinary nice guy, but he was also her boss and he was acting strangely sometimes. Was she in love? She didnít know it, but she was definitely attracted to him. And did he like her? The present said as much, but how much did he like her? Was she good enough for him? Revolving over these and many other questions Samantha fell asleep.

 

Part 2

 

She woke up early in the morning because her phone was ringing. It was her mother who wanted to remind her when to come and how to behave. When would she finally realize that she wasnít a small child anymore? Now she couldnít fall asleep anymore, so she started to pack and was grateful that her parents didnít live that far away, so she could go there by train. She wouldnít want to fly through half the country to see her family on Christmas Eve, although her parents had told her that they were planning to move to Florida after her father retired which was in May. Would the next Christmas Eve be a beach party, she couldnít imagine Christmas in a warm region. Samantha packed everything she wanted to take to her parents place into a bag and headed for the train station because it would take her three hours to come to her parents place. At the central station there were hundreds of people as if everyone was visiting his family by train. She even thought had spotted Dominic, but when she looked into the same direction again, he was gone. "Maybe Iím imagining things, what would be the odds to see him here among so many other people. If it was him, he looked a bit different, but I couldnít say what it was. Iím sure it was somebody else. He did mention that he was going by train, but not at what time, it cannot be. Iím phantasizing. Am I being paranoid in a positive way?"Samantha thought she was waiting for her train to arrive. Finally her train came-it had been delayed because of the snow. There were so many people who wanted to get onto the train that Samantha thought she wouldnít find a place, but she was wrong. She even found her seat and exhausted she sat down. Samantha glanced out of the window and thought she had seen Dominic once again, but only from behind, so it could have been anybody, couldnít it? Eventually the train left the station and after some stops it got emptier and Samantha fell asleep because she hadnít slept much the previous two nights. So she didnít notice Dominic passing her quickly. He seemed surprised, he hadnít expected her to be on the same train, but yet they hadnít talked about where their parents lived. A smile was on his face as he passed her, but it seemed that he didnít want to be seen by her. Dominic sat down a few seats away and fell asleep as well. When Samantha woke up she looked out of the window to see where she was and found out that it was more than half an hour before the train reached the station where she had to get off. Samantha felt kind of stiff after sitting for over two hours, so she got up and walked around in train. To her utter surprise she saw Dominic sitting not far away from her. Had he seen her, she wondered. He was asleep and looked so cute that she didnít want to wake him. Samantha decided to go to the restrooms and on her way back she stopped in front of Dominicís seat. For some minutes she stood there watching him, glad that she wasnít paranoid or imagining. He looked so peaceful that nobody would expect him to be a tough business man. She hadnít seen him dressed casually before, he had always been wearing a suit. As the seat opposite him was free, Samantha took her bag and sat down on that seat wondering where he would get of the train. The train had another stop and she knew that there were only two left until she had to get off, when suddenly Dominic seemed to wake up.

"Hi Dominic, what a surprise we are on the same train", Samantha said when he opened his eyes and seemed kind of lost for a moment until he realized he was on the train.

"Hi Samantha, isnít it funny that weíre on the same train. Iíve seen you before, but you were asleep and I didnít want to wake you. Where are we at the moment?"

"Thatís nice of you that you didnít wake me, neither did I want to wake you. I have to get of at Mayfields there are two left until I get of and you?"

"One earlier, wow, thank God I woke up, thatís the next station where I have to get off. I donít want to imagine what it would have been like, if I went to far. There arenít many trains today and my family would be really mad at me, if I was late."

"Yeah, mine too. When are you going back?"

"On the 26th in the evening and you?"

"Me too, letís meet on the train okay? This way it wonít be as boring as normal."

"Iíd love to, do you think weíll find us?"

"Of course, letís take the third wagon, shall we?"

"Thatíd be great. Oh, I think weíre approaching my station, the trainís slowing down and I have to get my bags."

They went to the door together Samantha carrying one of his bags.

"Have you got everything? Okay, merry Christmas once again."

"Merry Christmas and see you on the way back", Dominic said and stumbled out of the door. As the train left the station Dominic was waving as was Samantha. She was really happy about this encounter, although Dominic seemed a bit distracted and she was looking forward to her journey back to the city. When the train reached her station she left and hugged her father who was standing there to pick her up.

At her familyís house everyone was there and they greeted each other. Her niece and her nephew had grown and she thought that it was a pity she didnít see them more often, although they didnít live that far away. The food was really good and everyone was in a good mood. Finally the questions turned to her and they wanted to know what happened to her boyfriend. Samantha told them about the break up and the others thought it was good because he wouldnít have been the right husband for her. Then her mother asked if she had a new man in her life since the break up had been more than two months ago. "Well, there is this new guy at work, he is my boss and we get along quite well. We have spent two evenings together, but nothing had happened, weíre just friends. We have a lot in common and I met him on the train today as well. His nameís Lancester, you might know his family."

"Oh, of course, I remember the Lancesters, we play golf together every once in a while. I think Iíve heard about their son. He seems to be very successful, but a bit strange. He had lived in Europe for many years", Samanthaís mother replied.

"Theyíre really nice and wealthy family", her father added.

"Heíd be good for you, better than the last weird guys you introduced us to", her mother said.

"You donít even know him, only his parents, could you stop making decisions for me?" Samantha tried to stop her mother from planning her marriage.

"Yes, darling, but Iím sure heíd be great, donít you think Lucy?" her mother answered.

"I certainly do, but itís Samanthaís decision, not yours and as she said, you donít know him", her sister supported her.

"Nothing has happened so far, I only wanted to tell you a bit about him, weíre not in love or anything", Samantha told them.

"Of course, but maybe we can arrange a meeting with the Lancesters some time soon, George", her mother said.

"Thatís a good idea, I havenít heard from them for quite some time", her father agreed.

The rest of the evening was okay, Samantha her sister and her husband Jason stayed up quite long and talked about various things. After a while Jason excused himself saying, "Honey, Iíll take a look at the kids and take out my contacts."

Lucy wanted to know more about Dominic and Samantha told her most of what had happened. Then Jason returned wearing glasses. "How are the kids?" Lucy asked. "Theyíre fine, both are asleep. They look so nice while they are sleeping, but sometimes theyíre giving us a hard time when theyíre awake", he smiled at Samantha.

"I do believe you, but itís better now theyíre getting a bit older, isnít it? By the way, Iíve never seen you in glasses, but they suit you", Samantha commented.

"Thank you", Jason grinned sheepishly. "I only got them a few months ago. I havenít noticed that my eyesight was that bad, but one day I nearly crashed into a parking car because I didnít see it had been parked there. I havenít been driving during the past years because we had been living in the city and I usually took a cab, so I hadnít noticed that my vision wasnít perfect. When I told Lucy about that, she suggested getting my eyes tested and so I ended up in glasses. I also got contacts fitted, which I wear most of the time, but I like wearing glasses as well. Itís only that the contacts give me a better vision. I havenít found out what I like better, glasses or contacts", he explained.

"I prefer him in glasses, heís so gorgeous and I kept saying that until he decided to wear glasses at home most of the time", Lucy added.

"Your glasses seem really strong to me", Samantha told him.

"They are not that strong, but enough to be kind of lost without them once youíre used to wearing them and I wish I had found out how bad my eyes were earlier. I missed quite a lot", Jason explained.

"May I try them on?" Samantha asked.

"Of course, here you are", Jason handed them to her.

Samantha tried them on. "Wow, everything's kind of much too sharp and blurred and itís really weird", she told him and handed him the glasses back and he put them back.

They sat together until midnight and when they finally went to bed Samantha thought back to their conversation. To her surprise she found Jason more attractive in glasses. This was new to her. Samantha had always considered him a nice guy, but the glasses really made him interesting. Was this weird? Well, Lucy had mentioned that she preferred Jason in glasses. It was kind of strange after all. Samantha had only once had a boyfriend who wore glasses, but it was a long time ago, at college. He was really good-looking, but also a fan of alcohol. When he was drunk he became aggressive, so Samantha left him after a couple of months as she found out that he had additionally tried to seduce one of her friends.Anyway she had liked the glasses.

The next day passed quickly and nothing really exciting happened except for the kids who got their presents, but that was about all. On the last day at her familyís home Lucy and Jason also prepared to leave and Jason was wearing his glasses again. They got up rather late, so they were in a hurry and he said he hadnít been in the mood for contacts in the morning. In the night it had been snowing, so the kids wanted to build a snowman and Jason helped them and when they came back in Jasonís glasses immediately fogged up. He took them off and put then onto the table until he could see through them again. In the meantime he went up to help Lucy to get everything packed. They came back downstairs and Samantha saw Jason squint to see what his kids were watching on TV. "Once you are used to them, you canít see without them", he smiled and got his glasses. This look made Samanthaís heart flip-hadnít she seen that before? After lunch Jason, Lucy and the kids left and Samantha was left alone with her parents until her train left. To her surprise she had enjoyed Christmas and there hadnít been any quarrels probably because their other relatives hadnít come.

Her parents took her to the train station and Samantha was really looking forward to seeing Dominic again. In the car her mum wanted to know more about Dominic and suggested to arrange a meeting with him and his parents, but Samantha only told her that nothing had happened so far and she would think about it and speak with him about it. Then she said goodbye and headed for the train.

On the train she kept thinking when she had seen a look like Jasonís? Maybe her ex? No, she didnít think so. Somebody at work? Probably not. Dominic? Maybe, but when? When Dominicís station came Samantha was looking out of the window to see where he was and finally she saw him, sticking out of the crowd-at least to her. He got onto the train and she approached him.

"Nice to see you again!"

"Hi, how are you?"

"Iím great, it wasnít as horrible as I had expected. And you?"

"Well, it couldíve been better. My brother is the new vice president of his company and I got to hear how great he is; he has always worked in the US close to his home; he is more successful, he is married and he has children."

"Oh, that doesnít sound too good. How did you survive?"

"You know, I thought of something nice and after some time we changed subject and everything was fine. Furthermore he left yesterday, so I had a day with my parents and that was quite relaxing."

"Iím glad to hear that."

They talked and talked and somehow the hours passed so quickly that they reached the city in no time at all. At the central station they decided to share a taxi once again, but both wanted to go home, so there were no invitations this time. Then a peck on the cheek and a "See you at work tomorrow."

And so it was, but at work both were very busy and didnít have much time to talk. Furthermore they didnít want anybody to suspect anything because they werenít sure if there was more than friendship between the two of them. So time passed and they saw each other occasionally in the evening, but they decided to remain friends only. It would have been really difficlut at work, but secretly both regreted their decision, but neither had the courage to make a start. Sometimes they went out together, but usually they met at Samanthaís or Dominicís flat and had a nice evening together.

Weeks flew by when suddenly Samanthaís mum called and told her that they had arranged to meet with Dominicís parents in Florida. The Lancesters knew many people in the South and could help them get a bungalow for much less. They wanted to take a look at some of them and wanted to know whether Dominic and Samantha wanted to join them for the weekend. Samantha liked the idea of going to Florida because it was not as hot as usual in the Sunshine State and sheíd love to travel somewhere with Dominic. Of course, she had to ask him first and to her delight he agreed. They booked a flight to Fort Lauderdale for Friday afternoon and wanted to come back on Sunday evening. Their parents wanted to stay there for one or two weeks.

 

Part 3

 

Samantha was really excited to spend a weekend together with Dominic. She didnít know what to take with her because she hadnít traveled much in her life. They had arranged to meet after work and to share a taxi to the airport. On the plane Samantha was worried once again that she hadnít packed the right clothes or that she had left anything at home, but Dominic tried to calm her down as best as he could. After they arrived they took a taxi to the hotel where their parents had booked the rooms for them. That was when they found out that they had booked only one room for both of them.

"Iím sure my mum made the reservation, thatís so typical of her."

"It couldíve been mine too, she loves to do things like that."

"What shall we do now?"

"Iíll ask if they have another room available."

"Okay."

Samantha watched Dominic at the reception and she could see that he tried everything, pulled every trick, but it didnít seem to work.

"Iím terribly sorry, but theyíre full. Thereís some sort of exhibition or show this weekend. I tried everything, but itís impossible and she said that all the other hotels are full too. Thatís a fucking great start, isnít it?"

"Yeah, but we canít change it and I think we have to share the room or do we have a choice?"

"No, but I hate it when my mum or your mum-maybe they planned it together- assume things or arrange things like this."

"Mhm, thatís true. Maybe itís a misunderstanding, although I doubt that. But letís take a look at the room and get rid of our lagguage, shall we?"

"Yes, letís do that. When are we supposed to meet them?"

"In half an hour, so weíd better hurry up. I want to change into a t-shirt, itís quite warm outside."

Samantha and Dominic took the elevator up to the third floor where there room was. It was a nice room with a huge bed.

"Well, it doesnít seem to be that bad. Do you want to sleep left or right?" Samantha asked.

"Right, if you donít mind."

"Thatís fine with me. Okay, I need to go to the bathroom to refresh myself after the flight. You donít want me to look like this when I meet your parents for the first time, do you?"

"You look perfect to me, but leave me some time in the bathroom as well."

Samantha put on some make-up, not much, but just enough to make a good impression. When she came out Dominic went into the bathroom and she changed into a t-shirt which she had bought recently. After ten minutes he emerged from the bathroom in a shirt with short sleeves and they left the hotel and went to his parentsí summer house, where both of their parents lived at the moment. Introductions were made and Samantha thought that the Lancesters seemed really nice people. Then they had dinner and the usual small talk. His parents had heard most about Samantha by her parents and Dominic who had told them about her on Christmas and it was the same the other way round, but they wanted to hear everything from Samantha and Dominic in person. When Samantha told them about the hotel room, both mothers denied that it had been their doing, but according to the looks they gave each other they had done it on purpose. After dinner they sat down on the terrace and talked about various topics. When it got darker Dominicís father suggested a walk on the beach because the city was most beautiful at night when you watched it from the beach. Their parents walked in pairs, so Dominic and Samantha ended up walking next to each other. Not that they were bothered by that. They talked about the evening and Dominic told her a bit about his family and that he had only been to this house once because his parents had bought it when he had been living in Europe. Dominicís father had been right, the view was fantastic. He told them that there was going to be fireworks on the next day because they had fireworks on the beach nearly every Saturday when there was an exhibition or a show in the city. Then they went back to the house and Dominicís father told them that he had bought a new boat and invited them to join them for a small cruise on the next day. They agreed and decided to meet at 11 a.m. at the house.

Samantha and Dominic left and walked towards the main road in order to get a taxi and returned to the hotel because they were a bit tired. It had been an exhausting day for them: They had been working until noon and afterwards there had been a 3 hour something flight to Florida where they had found out that they had to share a room and followed by dinner and the evening spent with their parents. Both decided they had a right to relax in their room.

"I have to take a shower, itís so hot here, so humid, I donít want to go to bed like this", Samantha said when they finally reached their room.

"Yeah, I think Iíll take a shower as well, but you can go first, if you like."

"Really, thatís great, I just have to get my things, but I promise, Iíll be quick."

"Okay, Iíll check out whatís on TV in the meantime."

After about 10 minutes Samantha came out saying, "Was I quick? Itís your turn now, Dominic."

"Wow! That was really fast, I doubt that I can beat you", he replied with a smile on his face.

While Dominic was in the bathroom Samantha switched through the TV programmes, but she found nothing really interesting until she came to the Spanish channels. Her Spanish was not that bad since she had had it at school and had attended a Spanish course at college; she had also had a Mexican boyfriend once. So Samantha was really fascinated when she found a Spanish movie she had seen years ago. Hadnít Dominic lived in Madrid? He should know Spanish very well then.

"I guess you beat me. Did you find anythnig on TV?", Dominic finally emerged from the bathroom wearing glasses.

"Yeah, imagine I found a Spanish moÖ. WOW!" Samantha said when she turned around and saw him.

"A mo Öwow, whatís that?" No reply.

"Samantha, are you alright?"Dominic wanted to know, as he got no answer.

"Yes, yes, Ö everythingís fine. Itís justÖ"

"What? What is it?"

"Well, itís just that I didnít expect you to look so gorgeous, when you come from the bathroom."

"You ought to be kidding!"

"No, no, Iím serious."Samantha tried to regain control over her voice. She had been completely surprised to see Dominic in glasses. What should she say?

"You look really great, I was, well kind of surprised to see you in glasses though."

"Oh, of course, my glasses. Are you joking? Donít make fun of my glasses, okay?"

"No, Iím really, really serious, I swear; you look incredible. I didnít know you wear glasses, but, wow, they suit you."

"I still canít believe what youíre saying."

"Okay, I say it again, you look absolutely gorgeous."

Dominic sat down on the bed.

"Hey, whatís wrong? Did I say something wrong? Maybe I shouldnít haveÖ"

"No, itís fine, it just that I canít believe that youÖ"

"That I Ö, what? Think you look great in glasses? Is this something unusual?"

"Well, no and yes. Itís nothing unusual, but it has never happened to me that someone liked me in glasses. Thatís why I wear contact lenses most of the time."

"Who can be so stupid and not like you in glasses? With or without glasses, you are extremely handsome, really are."

"Well, youíre really beautiful too and donít only say that because of your compliment."

Then Samantha leaned over to him and gave him a kiss which he responded to. It was only a short kiss, but both felt really excited.

"Maybe our mothersí idea wasnít that bad."

"Yeah, otherwise I still wouldnít know you wear glasses and when I saw you in your boxershort and the wet hair wearing glasses - that simply triggered the spark for me."

"I was such an idiot."

"Why?"

"When you first asked me to stay the night on your couch I declined because of the contacts-I donít sleep in them, you know, and I didnít have anything with me. When you were at my place I didnít ask you to stay because I didnít want you to know I wear glasses. I even hid the contact paraphanalia and my glasses in the bathroom. Neither did I wear glasses the other evenings we spent at my flat."

"Itís not your fault, you probably had some bad experiences."

"I did. On Christmas Day my eyes needed a rest because I had worn my contacts very long on two days-entire evenings. Usually I take them out when Iím at home. Thatís also the reason why I was late at work on the day before Christmas. On the train I wanted to wear the glasses. But when I saw you and you were asleep I quickly moved past you and sat down. I didnít want you to see me like that. Then I put the glasses away when I fell asleep, so you wouldnít see them and you didnít. When I woke up, you were sitting there and I couldnít really see you. I hoped you wouldnít notice. I nearly fell out of the train because I couldnít see the stairs propperly, but I managed. At my familyís I wore the glasses-thatís why I didnít show you any photos- and only for my travel back I put in the contacts. Stupid, huh?

Samantha put her arm around him. "That was so sweet of you. Nobody has ever done that much to impress me." She gave him another kiss. "I wanted to tell you about a Spanish movie they are showing, when you came in, but letís forget about the TV, shall we."

"Yes, the movieís probably nearly over."

"Actually it is."

"Iím really tired now, Iím not used to talking that much about my feelings."

"Iím tired too, letís get some sleep now."

"Can you switch off the light?"

"Okay", Samantha said and got up. "Are you ready?"

Dominic put his glasses onto the small drawer next to his bed and looked at her and nodded. Samantha turned off the light and got into the bed.

"Great, thereís only one blanket."

"Thank God itís hot, so we wonít need it much anyway."

Cuddling a bit they fell asleep. Samantha woke up at 8.30, but didnít dare to wake Dominc up. He looked so cute, she couldíve kissed him a thousand times. Finally she had to give in because she needed to go to the bathroom. When she came back Dominic woke up. He looked at her without his glasses and she recognised this look from the train.

"What time is it?", he asked.

"Not even 9, no need to hurry. I didnít want to wake you."

"I woke up because it is so hot, not because of you."

"No excuses, I know I woke you."

"Okay, but I was close to waking up anyway", Dominic smiled, sat up and put on his glasses."I had nearly forgotten how beautiful you wear. Come here." Samantha came to him and he gave her a big hug and a long kiss.

"You know, itís gonna be hard to hide this in front of our parents", Samantha suddenly realised.

"Well, then we have to confess. At least it was their tactic that brought us together, wasnít it?"

"Although I hate to admit it, they were fortunaís little helpers."

"Otherwise Iíd still try to hide my glasses."

"And Iíd kind of hope you had glasses. Iíve done some thinking lately and Iíve found out that to me men in glasses are quite attractive. I canít explain it, but itís this. I even think my sisterís husband is handsome in glasses. Thatís weird, isnít it?"

"Iíve never heard anything like this before, but it might be possible."

"Sooooo. Your former girlfriends didnít like your glasses? I canít believe it."

"Yes. Thatís why I was so self-conscious and didnít want to show you my glasses. They always considered them a weakness and they wanted a man who they thought was always handsome-whatever they considered handsome and rich."

"Some women are extremely superficial and donít care about the character. They have certain standards they want a guy to be like and thatís it. If you donít fit, they say goodbye and go out on a hunt for their next "victim"."

"And Iíve met more than one of these women. I should have known you were different, but my self-esteem was very low at that time and I didnít want to shock you."

"Forget about it. Now itís easier for both of us that I know you wear glasses, isnít it?"

"Youíre right. It was a huge relief for me. Letís go and have breakfast, Iím kind of hungry."

"Great idea, me too. We have still over an hour left before we meet our parents."

They got dressed and went down to the terrace where breakfast was served. Dominic had decided to wear his glasses to give his eyes a rest. During breakfast Samantha kept looking at him. He was so gorgeous, how could she have had doubts? She knew he was the right man for her. Hopefully he thought so too. Afterwards they returned to their room.

"Your father said we were going on a trip with his boat didnít he? So thereís a chance for swimming in case itís warm enough."

"I guess so; Iíll take everything I need for swimming with me."

"Yes, me too."

"Iíll just put in the contacts and then we can go, okay?"

"Of course. Do you prefer to wear your contacts when swimming?"

"Yeah, kind of. If I wear the glasses I have to remove them before I go into the water and I donít see that much. With the contacts I have better vision, but I have to be careful so as not to lose them. Iíll take the glasses with me anyway, thus I can change, if I want to."

"I see you are an expert."

"Well, thatís over ten years of experience."

Dominic went to the bathroom while Samantha packed her bag and when he got back she offered to take his stuff into her bag as well. Then they left and went to the harbour where they had arranged to meet with their parents. They were already waiting for them and Dominicís father showed them the boat which they embarked. It was a small motor yacht and he steered it out into the open waters, but remained not to far away from the harbour and the beach. They really enjoyed the ride and at noon their mothers said that they would prepare lunch and they could go swimming, if they liked. They did and only seconds later Samantha jumped into the sea. Although it was a bit cool she pretended it was warm to encourage Dominic to come in. After swimming a few meters it was warm indeed. Then Dominic jumped in. He looked so elegant. When his head reached the surface he held his eyes closed for a second or to and opened them cautiously to be sure his contacts wouldnít be washed out.

"Youíre a bastard, the water is cold", Dominic laughed and splashed water at her.

"Not if you move around a little, then itís warm. By the way itís not fair to splash water at me because youíd kill me if I splashed back."

"I would, if something happened to my contacts. So Iíll stop splashing at you", he said and swam towards her only to try to get her under the water surface. Samantha tried to defend herself and finally both were under the surface. When they came up again, she said, "Youíre no less a bastard then me."

"Fair enough, letís swim a bit, shall we?"

"Yeah, and I also want to jump in from the boat again. Iíve always loved to jump into the water."

"Me too, itís a great feeling isnít it?"

They swam for a while and then they returned to the boat to jump in several times until their mums told them that lunch was ready and theyíd better come up, if they want to get something. So they climbed onto the boat again and sat dwon at the small table where their mothers had placed some delicious sandwiches. After that Samanthaís mum commented on how comfortable they seemed to be with each other. They hadnít planned to hide anything; therefore they confessed that they were in love, which brought a smile to their parentsí faces. What exactly had happened the night before remained a secret, they didnít want to tell them that much, but thanked them for the fact that they had to share a room at the hotel.

An hour later Dominic and Samantha went swimming again and afterwards Dominicís father steered the boat back into the harbour because Samanthaís parents wanted to show them a bungalow they might want to buy. It was a really nice cosy place and Samantha liked it very much. Dominic also seemed to like it and after a tour through the bungalow which was close to the beach they went back to his parentsí home. There Dominic and Samantha decided to take a shower. Dominic went in first, but came back after a few seconds asking Samantha to give him her bag. He seemed to have some trouble with his contacts. When he came out of the bathroom, he was wearing the glasses saying it was more comfortable at the moment. Samantha took a shower and when she came back the others were sitting on the terrace. They had decided to have dinner at a popular place in the city.

They had a nice evening and a night that was great. On Sunday they made a tour through the city and had lunch with their parents. Then they had to catch their plane. Dominic decided to wear contacts most of the time, but wore his glasses on the plane and at his flat to which he invited her after they had returned to their city.

On the plane Dominic had told Samantha a lot about his eyes and how he started to wear glasses. His "perfect" older brother had always had perfect vision like everyone else in the family. So it was horrible for Dominic to discover that his eyes werenít as good as they should be. At the beginning he was afraid to tell his parents, but somehow his brother noticed and told his parents about it. They seemed a bit shocked, but immediately took him to an ophthalmologist to get glasses. He was 14 at that time. To his surprise his parents were quite understanding and didnít make any mean comments like his brother. His eyes were getting worse over the years and his parents bought him contacts for his 16th birthday. Dominic got used to them easily, but more dependent on them too. From the time he was 20 his eyes had been stable and he decided to go to Europe so as not to see his brother all the time. His brother had been really mean and used to tell all of his girlfriends about Dominicís eyesight immediately. This put many of them off because they thought Dominic was really handsome, but didnít want a boyfriend with glasses. This was one of the reasons to go to Europe to study. There he had some girlfriends and most of them didnít say anything about his glasses, but they usually wanted him to wear contacts whenever he could. After he was offered the job in Madrid he had a Spanish girlfriend and by that time he hardly ever wore his glasses. Once he had an infection and went to an optometrist he was told not to wear his contact lenses for a few days. His girlfriend was so ignorant-she refused to go out with him and wanted him to put in the contacts anyway. When he didnít do what she wanted, she left him for one of his friends. This was terrible for Dominic, so he gladly accepted the offer to go to the US and leave everything behind. During all those years of wearing contacts he wasnít used to wear his glasses in public and hadnít had any good experiences with women and glasses. He was vain, but he took more care of his eyes now. Dominic took out his contacts in the evening and wore his glasses on the weekend, but never at work-he was afraid of the reaction. Samantha told him not to worry. The frames looked fabulous on him and nobody was going to make nasty comments, if he came to work in glasses.

Another question was whether to the others at work about their relationship or not. They decided not to keep it a secret as soon as they were sure that it would last for a longer period of time.

Samantha stayed overnight and in the morning she went to her flat to get dressed for work and in order not to arrive together. At work it was hard for her to concentrate, but she managed quite well not to look at Dominic to often. It was equally difficult for him, but it went quite well. In the evening Dominic came over to her place in contacts because he had come directly from the office, but he took out his contacts when he arrived because he had the glasses with him. They spent a nice evening and Dominic stayed for the night. The weeks passed by and everything between them went very well. After three months they told their colleagues about their relationship because they were extremely happy.

 

Part 4

 

Samantha had decided to move to Dominicís flat which was big enough for both of them. Dominic wore his contacts at work and usually when they went out, but at his flat he always wore his glasses. However, he hardly ever wore them out. Samantha knew how self-conscious he was and didnít push it. She was happy to have him in glasses at home and decided he knew what was best for his eyes. On the weekends he wore the glasses most of the time. They were having a really great time together.

One Tuesday morning after they had been living together for over six months Samantha heard a yell from the bathroom in the morning. She was sitting in the kitchen eating her breakfast and reading the newspaper.

"Whatís wrong, dear?" she asked worried.

"One of my contacts is torn and I donít have a backup-pair. I was going to get my eyes tested for new contact lenses on Thursday and that was my last pair."

"Wait, let me see."

Samantha went into the bathroom where Dominic was standing at the sink. His left eye was red and he was holding the torn lens in his hand. Samantha saw that there was nothing to be done, but comfort her partner.

"I donít think that thereís anything we can do, honey."

"No, but Iím kind of angry. I was in a hurry and impatient because I have this important meeting today and now I have to go there in glasses."

"At least you have glasses in the right strength, some people who wear contacts donít have that either."

"Yeah, I know, but I have never been to work in glasses, theyíll stare at me."

"Theyíll stare at you because you look so gorgeous in glasses, I swear."

"I donít have a choice anyway. I have to go to this meeting." Dominic said and put on his glasses.

Samantha loved the way he looked wearing a suit and glasses and she gave him an encouraging kiss.

"Letís go then, shall we?" she asked and ten minutes later they left.

The closer they got to their office the more self-conscious and hesitant Dominic seemed. He knew that this meeting was the most important since he had started to work at this company. Everything looked slightly different in glasses.

Samantha and Dominic entered the building together and took the elevator up to their department.

"Donít worry. Everything will be fine", Samantha encouraged him with a kiss as they came into their department and everyone turned as they came in. She left with a smile and went to her desk. Then she switched on her computer and sent Dominic an e-mail telling how sexy he looked. Samantha saw him smile when he read it and he answered her: I know what you think about my glasses and thatís all that matters to me, wish me luck for the meeting. p.s. Do you want to go out tonight?

Samantha looked at him and when they made eyecontact she nodded.

When Dominic left for the meeting Samantha was really nervous, but she had enough work to do and no time to think of Dominic. She had noticed the looks some of her colleagues, when they noticed Dominicís glasses. During the lunch break some of them came to ask her about it and she explained that he usually wore contacts, but he had an infection and couldnít wear them-thatís what they had decided to say and the others seemed satisfied with her explanation. In the afternoon Dominic came back from the meeting and was busy during the rest of the day, but he smiled at her. Right after work they went to a very good Greek restaurant and Dominic told her about the meeting. Wearing glasses hadnít been that bad and everything went fine. After the meeting the companyís manager had actually complimented him on the glasses and nobody had made any inappropriate comments.

During that week Dominic wore his glasses and after the eye exam he got new contacts and new lenses for his glasses because his vision had become a bit worse. From that time on Dominic alternated much between contacts and glasses because now everyone knew that he had bad eyes and nobody seemed to care. Some of their colleagues even started to wear glasses one day a week to relax their eyes from their contacts-neither Samantha nor Dominic had known that some of them wore contacts.

On the day before Christmas Dominic asked Samatha, if she wanted to marry him and she agreed. On Christmas Eve they went to Samanthaís parents and had a great time. Her parents hadnít moved to Florida yet, but they were still thinking about moving there. Dominic seemed to go on very well with Lucy and Jason especially after the guys had taken out their contacts and talked about vision and several problems they had had. Samantha and Lucy talked about how sexy their men were when wearing glasses and they also had plenty of other things to talk about. There was snow on the next day and both men went out with Lucyís children and played until noon. When they came in they had to remove their glasses and decided to try on each others glasses. Dominicís were stronger than Jasonís, so they handed them back quickly. In the afternoon Samantha and Dominic left for the home of Dominicís parents and Samantha finally got to know the "perfect" brother. She could tell from the beginning that most of his doing was show. His wife and children seemed really nice, as were Dominicís parents, but, of course, his brother always tried to be in the center and talked about his job the entire afternoon. Dominic was wearing his contacts and his brother was trying to put him in discomfort. He blew dust towards Dominics face and even pepper. Dominic was in serious discomfort. Samantha couldnít stand it anymore and said, "Honey, why donít you put on your glasses so that we can have a relaxed meal."

"Thatís a great idea, Iíll take out the contacts."

"Wait, your contact lens paraphanalia is in my bag, Iíll give it to you."

They left the room and Dominic thanked Samantha for that because he was already having trouble with his contacts.

Samantha returned to the table and told Dominicís brother Chris, "Look, I donít know whatís wrong with having contacts or glasses, not everyone can have perfect vision. Why do you have to bother your brother all the time?"

Chris didnít answer, but had a sour look on his face. When Dominic came back Samantha kissed him. "Tell Chris how we fell in love, dear."

Dominic explained how they met and that they really liked each other and about their parentsí plan to book only one hotel room. "You know, the funniest thing was that Samantha really fell for me when I removed my contacts and came out of the bathroom in glasses."

When Chris heard that he looked shocked. He obviously couldnít believe it. After they told him that they were getting married he left the room. "Whatís wrong with him?" Samantha asked his wife

"Heís used to be in the center, when other people are around and he wants to be the only one whoís perfect. But he is a really sweet guy when we are alone. I donít know why is treats Dominic in such a mean way."Then Chris came back and seemed to be a totally different person; he was nice and not nasty anymore. Probably he had needed someone to tell him about his bad manners.

In the evening Dominicís parents invited them to a restaurant. It was a very elegant place with dim light and delicious food. During dinner Samantha and Dominic shared some knowing looks when Chris held the menue card as far away as possible and then decided to eat one of the dished the others had ordered. Their looks said "Farsightedness" because Dominic had explained some of secrets of vision to Samantha. All in all dinner was great and they had a nice conversation about various topics.

In the evening Dominic, Samantha and Chris sat down in the living because Chrisí wife had to look after the children and was really tired.

"Chris, why do you put yourself through such an agony?" Dominic asked.

"I donít know what youíre talking about."Chris

"Iím sure you do."Samantha

"No, I really donít know."C

"Weíre talking about your eyes."D

"My eyes? Whatís wrong with them? I can see perfectly well. Youíre the one with the bad eyes, Dom, remember?"C

"Donít tell me you havenít noticed then?"S

"Noticed what? I can read the titles of the books in the shelf from here, you couldnít without you glasses, Dom, could you?"C

"Certainly not, but I can hardly read them with glasses and my visionís great. I checked it recently and got new glasses."D

"Well, maybe you need new ones again."C

"No, I donít think so, Samantha, can you read the titles?"D

"No, itís impossible and my eyes are fine, I went to check my vision when Dominic went to get his eyes tested."S

"You seem to have a bad doctor then."C

"No, Chris, donít you see, youíre farsighted!" D

"Thatís impossible, my visionís perfect."C

"Oh, Chris, we saw you at the restaurant. You couldnít read the menue, could you?"D

"The print was extremely small and the light was bad."C

"But everyone else could read it."S

"You have noticed that you canít read small print or any thing thatís too close, havenít you."D

"The printís simply too small, thatís not my eyesí fault."C

"Okay, letís take a book and prove that we can read what you canít, okay?"S

"Go ahead."C

Dominic took a book and opened a page. The print was normal, not extraordinary small.

"Read any sentence you like."S

Chris took the book and held it at arms length and tried to decipher any word, but he only saw a blur. "Itís too small, okay, maybe youíre right."

"Chris, that has to be taken seriously, youíre rather farsighted. Havenít you noticed? Didnít you have any headaches or anything?"D

"Alright, I confess. I have glasses, but I only wear them at work."C

"You do have glasses. Youíre such an idiot, Chris. Why donít you wear them"D

"I didnít think I need them for more than computer work, but since Iíve got them itís getting more and more difficult to see without them. Sara knows about them and tells me to wear them more often, but I donít want to wear glasses. I feel so stupid, so old and so much like you. Iíve teased since you got glasses and I feel stupid that I need glasses myself now."

"Donít worry, I donít care about it anymore. Samantha taught me that glasses can make you really sexy."D

"Sara tells me all the time that she likes me in glasses and that they suit me, but I thought she was only trying to be nice."C

"What about contact lenses?"S

"Iíve tried them, but itís much more uncomfortable than wearing glasses. How can you stand that Dom?"C

"Iíve never had any problems, but Iíve heard that some people donít tolerate them. Maybe you only have to try them again and somehow youíll get used to them."D

"So why donít you show us your glasses? Wouldnít it be more comfortable for you to be wearing them?"D

"Iíll go and fetch them, theyíre in the car. I was told to wear them for driving, so I do that."C

Chris left and Dominic and Samantha shared a knowing look and also spoke about what Chris had just told them. Then Chris came back carrying the glasses.

"Theyíre fogged up, itís really cold outside."C

"Yeah, the same has happened to me in the morning."D

"Okay, now put them on."S

Chris fiddled around clumsily until he put them on. They really suited him. Sara had probably helped him chose those frames.

"Wow, thatís a relief, I can see perfectly again."C

"See, itís much worse to be without them than to wear them."D

"Youíre right. The doctor has told me to wear them most of the time, but, you know, I only wore them when I felt the need for them at the beginning. The more I wore them the more dependent I got, but I didnít want everyone to know.At least the headaches I used to have are gone."C

Their conversation went on until after midnight and Chris wore his glasses all the time. In the morning Samantha and Dominic slept until 10.00 and when they got up the rest of the family was already having breakfast and Chris was wearing the glasses. He smiled when they came in. The day passed quickly and in the afternoon Dominic and Samantha had to catch their train to the city. They said farewell and planned to see each other sooner than next Christmas. Then they returned to the city already thinking about their wedding which took place in their parentís neighbourhood in the following fall.

 

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