30 Days Of Summer

One year. Twelve months. 365 days to find myself and live on the wild side in Australia. It seemed like a long time at the start. I made friends, learned how to surf, got a nice tan. The usual. Then I met five crazy Australians who changed my life. It wasn’t just the fun, the laughs, the risks, the love. They showed me a part of myself I didn’t even know existed. And suddenly, one year didn’t seem so long anymore. {http://www.wattpad.com/story/11732664-30-days-of-summer}


20. Chapter 20

{ A/N - For the purpose of this story, let's just pretend that Luke can actually drive. Vote, comment and enjoy. }

♥ ♥ ♥

The obnoxious ringing of the doorbell announced Luke’s arrival. I skipped towards the doorway, pausing by the mirror in the hallway to investigate my appearance briefly. I ran a hand through my mahogany locks and smoothed down my red skater dress before thrusting the door open.

And there stood Luke. Hazel eyes bright, he was dressed in a shirt with the sleeves rolled up and black skinny jeans, which I had never fully appreciated on a man until this moment. They fit him to perfection; hugging him in all the right places.

“Lilly,” he said deeply.

“Luke,” I replied.

“You ready?” he said, holding out his arm. I glanced over my shoulder once more, as if wishing the house would swallow me up. But I forced a smile and nodded, locking the door behind me.

Luke led me to the passenger side of the little red convertible and opened the door for me.

“I can open the door myself,” I huffed, despite the fact that my heart was swelling with affection towards him and his gentlemanly charm. Luke rolled his eyes at my comment and walked round towards his side of the car, but I leaned across and opened it from the inside, smirking at him.

I inhaled the smell of tight leather and Luke’s aftershave as he slipped into the vehicle. Even though this moment was small and insignificant, I wished I could freeze time to prolong this moment and cherish the small things before I left Australia and they faded into nothing more than pieces of a memory.

Luke started the engine and the car purred into life. He eased the vehicle along a deserted freeway, drumming his fingers against the steering wheel as he navigated the streets of Glenroy effortlessly. A comfortable silence consumed the car.

I tried to make small talk. “So…where we are going?”

“It’s a surprise,” he grinned, tapping his nose.

“What if I don’t like surprises?” I smirked, raising one eyebrow in challenge.

“I thought all girls liked surprises...” Luke replied, frowning melodramatically.

I rolled my eyes. “Number one, not all girls like surprises. Welcome to the 21st Century. We’re even allowed to vote these days.” He feigned shock and I nodded, playing along with him.

“Wow, that’s a risky move. I see you’re allowed to use sarcasm too.”

I smiled sweetly. “Number two, you’re lucky that I’m an exception.”

“Meaning?” Luke raised his eyebrows at me.

“I like surprises.”

“Thank goodness for that,” he replied, grinning at me cheekily.

 A comfortable silence settled as Luke eased the car through roads. Sunset was beginning to set on the horizon, muted orange pastels melting into the sky. I twisted my hands in my lap, glancing at Luke out of the corner of my eye.

He really was a sight for sore eyes. His dark hair was styled in a just-got-out-of-bed look and he had a sexy edge to him, like a rough diamond. From his sharp jawline and piercing eyes, to his muscular frame and dark hair. He wasn’t polished, but he still shined. He was perfectly imperfect.

He caught me looking and glanced at me. I felt pink blossoming on my cheeks and I turned my head, staring at the road.

Luke winded his window down and a gust of bitter air drifted into the car. I shuddered in its icy embrace and leaned forward, flicking on the radio.

Instantly, pounding synths and a heavy drum-beat announce an overwhelming club offering. I tapped my foot vaguely in time to the beat, unable to myself from humming along softly. I caught Luke glanced at me out of the corner of his eye.

 “You like this song?”

I shrugged non-comittedly, singing along in response. “I could blame cupid and his shooting arrow.”

Suddenly, we were singing at the top of our lungs, the lyrics spilling out of the open window. A pop song that was as substantial as a balloon, but lifted us in the same way when we sung it.

Luke jolted the car off the main road and barrelled down a narrow, winding lane until the buildings fade into dense shrubbery, sweeping oak trees lining the road. A lone diner stood to my right, bathed in the soft orange glow of a single streetlamp, open more out of optimism than demand. Luke pulled up right in front of the restaurant.

We stepped out of the car in unison and Luke gestured to the small restaurant before us. “Does this surprise live up to your expectations?”

I shrugged, biting back a playful grin. “Depends what’s on the inside...”

The interior of the restaurant did not disappoint. It was a mixture between an American diner and an Italian bistro; cola red booths and black and white tiled floor somehow collaborating with the elaborate chandeliers and intricate paintings which lined the walls.

A short, broad man bounded up to us in a suit ready to burst at the seams and the thick black moustache above his upper lip quivering with an excited beam. “Mr Brooks! Such a pleasure to see you again! A table for you and the bellisima young lady?”

“That would be lovely, Antonio,” Luke replied with a smile.

Antonio led us to small table in the corner of the restaurant which was positioned in front of a huge window with vines twisting around the frame. It captured a view of the beach; the sea shimmering on the horizon.

Antonio handed us menus, which we were apparently not necessary. “Shall I bring your usual preference for Starters?”

“Yes, please,” Luke smiled.

“And for drinks?” Antonio brandished a small notepad and pen and looked at us expectantly, still wearing a broad smile.

“A Coke for me,” Luke replied. “And...whatever my beautiful girlfriend wants.”

I looked down bashfully, colour heating my cheeks. I smiled sheepishly at Antonio. “A Diet Coke, please.”

He beamed at us and trotted off, his short stride skipping around the other tables in the room. He returned a few minutes later with our drinks, which we thanked him for courteously.

“So,” Luke said. “Our first date.”

“It doesn’t feel like it,” I said slowly, although it wasn’t entirely true. Butterflies were stampeding around my stomach as an indication of my nerves. As far as first dates go, this one meant a lot to me. I felt like I had to impress Luke, even though it felt like I’d known him for years at the same time, and we were far beyond the first-impressions stage.

He nudged his knee against mine under the table and raised his glass. “To us.”

I clinked my glass against his, laughing slightly as I repeated his words. The laugh came out forced and wispy, and I was thankful that Antonio took that moment to lay a selection of Bruschetta across our table.

The classic Italian starter tasted heavenly, and it managed to melt part of the tension which had been tangled up in the pit of my stomach.

“So. Is there a reason you’re on first name basis with the waiters here?” I asked Luke with a small smirk. “Must be because this food is so delicious that you come here regularly.”

He laughed. “Sort of. But mostly because this place is a family run business, and the original owner of the restaurant was a friend of my grandparents.”

I nodded understandingly, taking another bite of the Bruschetta.

When Antonio returned to take our orders for the main meal, I realized that I’d not yet considered what I wanted. Hastily, I scanned the menu and select the first thing that my eyes prize out.

“Spaghetti Bolognese, please,” I smiled at the waiter.

It wasn’t until Antonio had scuttled off that I realized the fault in my order. It’s a well known fact that Spaghetti Bolognese is not the ideal main course for a first date.

My mistake only added to my nerves, and I knotted my hands anxiously, avoiding Luke’s gaze. I tried to focus on his words, but I was too lost amongst my panic.

“Are you okay?” he asked tentatively, sipping on his drink.

“Fine. Why?” It came out more snappily that I intended to.

“You’re a bit quiet, that’s all,” he managed not to sound affected by my angry tone. He never sounded angry with me. Not even after he found out about me leaving soon; he was more disappointed than frustrated.

“I’m just...nervous, that’s all. First date and that,” I laughed apprehensively.

“Lilly?” Luke’s eyes were fixed on mine, heavy and serious, making it impossible to avoid his gaze. “You're not... Worried, are you? About us. Because you're leaving soon and I want to make sure you know-"

As if to answer his question, I leant forward, pressing my lips to his in a whisper kiss, a fleeting moment, but still enough to answer his question, still enough to convey butterflies racing down my spine.

“So you’re not worried then,” he smiled.

Then Antonio arrived with a gourmet cheeseburger and a plate of steaming spaghetti. He winked at me knowingly as he set the plate down in front of me, and I briefly forgot about my panic as I eyed the food, which looked like heaven on a plate.

I twirled pasta around my plate with my fork, too shy to eat it in front of Luke. But as Luke tucked into his cheeseburger ravenously, discarding any table manners and resulting in have sticky cheese and some kind of dark sauce dribbling down his chin, I laughed and decided to follow by his example. I took a forkful of spaghetti and stuffed it in my mouth, not caring that the luscious sauce was spilling down my chin. Luke didn’t care either.

“There’s still so much I don’t know about you,” he mused through a mouthful of cheeseburger.

“What do you want to know?”

“Everything,” he replied, hazel eyes glinting.

I shrugged and stared down at my plate. “I’m not that interesting. There’s not much to know.”

He reached for my hand, entwining his warm (and slightly sticky) fingers with mine. “I find that hard to believe.”

I looked up at our intertwined hands. The simple gesture sent reassurance flooding through me. I was scared; anxious that Luke wouldn’t find me interesting, worried that I wouldn’t impress him. But just feeling his hands on mine washed all that fear away.

“Twenty questions?” I offered.

He grinned. “You start.”

“What’s your middle name?” I started with the easiest thing I could think of. Something that wasn’t too personal, too intimate. Hopefully he would follow by my lead.

“Anthony. And Mark,” he replied. “What’s yours?”

“I don’t have one.”

“What do you mean you don’t have one? Everybody has a middle name,” Luke frowned, almost like he was disappointed. The corners of his mouth quirked down and his eyebrows furrowed in a way that was so adorable I had to resist the urge to lean across the table and kiss him again, which would probably result in all the food flying everywhere.

“My parents never gave me one,” I shrugged.

“That’s unfair,” Luke said, his frown turning into a pout.


“It’s unfair that I have two and you don’t even have one,” he explained.

I rolled my eyes. “If it bothers you that much, why don’t you take this subject up with my parents.”

His eyes widened. “Next question: what are your parents like?”

I took a long sip of my Coke. “What do you want to know?”

“That counts as a question, you know.”

“No, it doesn’t,” I argued with a small huff. “What do you want to know about my parents?”

“Do they still live together? What are their names? What do they do? Are they funny?”

“That counts as four questions,” I pointed out.

He kicked me lightly underneath the table. “Whatever.”

“Okay, well...I live with both my parents. Except my father is always away for work. Like, we only see him every other weekend. He’s an...air steward.”

Luke frowned again, taking a bite of his burger. I couldn’t read the expression on his face.

“Um...my mother is called Rose...and my Dad’s called Ben. Benjamin...” I continue slowly. “My mum owns this small bakery in the village near where we live. She makes the best cupcakes in the world.” I can’t help but smile a little at the thought of Mum’s cupcakes, frosted with icing sugar, decorated with intricate sugary flowers and made with love, which I adore so much. For a brief moment, I feel excited to return home and stuff my face with Mum’s baking whilst being enveloped in one of her bone-crushing hugs.

Luke was smiling too, but it wavered slightly at the sides. “I hope I can try them some day.”

“I hope so too,” I smiled.

“Are your parents funny? Crazy? Artistic?” he prompted.

“Oh, once upon a time,” I let out a small, sour laugh. Memories of times when music filled the house, mingling with the sugary scent of Mum’s baking and Dad’s laughter booming over a Beatles track filled my mind, and a swell of nostalgia rushed through me. The memory is vivid, but blurry at the edges as though it is slipping away. A long time ago, my family used to be all the things Luke mentioned. But since, tragedies and traumas and hurt had been inflicted on my family, and now the humour and the madness and the creativeness was always weighed down by tragedy and pain.

“What happened?” he asked softly, genuine intrigue and concern flooding his soft brown eyes.

I looked down at my plate. I didn’t want to talk about it. My sudden longing for home that I’d experienced just moments ago faded into a desire to stay in Australia forever. I took a hesitant bite of pasta. “Hey, it’s my turn.”

He rolled his eyes in resignation. “Fine, fine. Whatever. Your turn.”

“Do you enjoy being famous?”

He didn’t even pause. “Yeah. I love being able to do what I do, with my best friends and be supported by the most amazing fans...” he stopped for a second, then invited me into more intimate information. “And success is the best revenge. I’m proving all the people who’ve doubted me wrong. I like that.”

“Revenge for what?” I dared to push him even further, asking him to reveal more. I wanted to know things about him that no one else did. I wanted to feel like someone he trusted with his secrets.

“My brothers and I...we got bullied a lot when we were at school. Even by the teachers. We were...bullied for our weight, mostly. And just didn’t fit in.”

I reached for his hand and squeezed it, hoping to inject the same reassurance he’d given me earlier. “I’m sorry to hear that. I...”

“It’s okay,” he smiled bravely. “If anything, we came out better for it. Stronger. With something to prove.”

“And you certainly did prove something,” I smiled back.

He bit his lip. “Did I ever tell you how cute your accent is? It’s so adorable...and sexy at the same time.”

I blushed and looked down, nudging his foot with mine. “Shut up.”

“Tell me about England.”

“Is that one of your questions?”

He nodded. “Have you always lived there?”

“Yes. In this little town in South West London, where it always rains and there’s quaint little coffee shops and stone buildings and everybody smiles at each other when they pass on the streets. Not everywhere in London is that nice, I’ll be honest with you, but I’m lucky to have grown up in such a nice area.”

“It sounds lovely,” he said. “Can I visit sometime?”

“Is that a question, too?”

“Is that a yes?”

I smiled and shrugged shyly. “We’ll see. My turn: what’s your favourite colour?”

“Seriously? You don’t know? Haven’t you looked on my Wikipedia page?” he winked at me playfully.

“No, actually,” I dead-panned.

“You’re missing out,” he smirked. “It’s blue. What’s yours?”

Questions flowed back and forth like a successful game of tennis, punctuated by playful smirks and candid smiles and small kicks under the table. When our stomachs were full and our meals were finished, Luke beckoned to Antonia for the bill. I thought back to the time at Shake Shack – the day we were first caught together by a fan – and how Luke had insisted on paying. I offered to pay again this time, but he still brushed me off. I tipped Antonio though; it was the least I could do.

I still had a little bit of my drink left, so I sipped it slowly before we stood to leave. I didn’t want this night to be over yet, so I tried to prolong it as much as I could.

Luke’s eyes never strayed from me as I finished my Coke, and couldn’t deny that it was time to leave. We rose to our feet in unison, and I flashed a grateful smile at Antonio as we walked out of the restaurant. I headed towards the entrance, but Luke grabbed my hand and led me towards a small back door.

A light breeze flowed around us in soft tendrils when we exited the restaurant. Luke’s warm grip on my hand guiding me down a small alley at the side of the building, his toned shoulders brushing against the enclosed dark walls, and I let him lead me to an unfamiliar place because I trusted that with him I would be safe.

We emerged on some sand dunes which led up to the beach. A cluster of girls were huddled at the exact point where the dunes met the actual beach, and Luke grabbed my elbow and pulled me behind a particularly big sand dune which covered most of our bodies from the view of the girls on the beach, taking me by surprise. I stumbled and almost tripped as Luke changed the direction suddenly.

“Seriously?” I huffed, embarrassed at my near-fall. Smooth, Lilly. “You could’ve warned me.”

“You’re right,” he said, turning to face me. “Next time, I’ll just say ‘Lilly, follow me down this dark alley, I want to kiss you.’”

He brushed a lock of hair out of my face, his fingers twirling around the bottom of a loose curl gently. I held my breath.

“Next time, I’ll just say ‘Lilly, duck behind these bushes with me, I’m going to lose my mind if I don’t kiss you.’”

His hand cradled my face, his thumb stroking my cheek. I stared straight into his hazel irises, unable to look anywhere but at him.

“Next time, I’ll just say ‘Lilly, follow me down this rabbit hole...’”

His lips connected with mine, softly at first. I closed my eyes for a fleeting moment, breathing in the parts of him that I rediscovered every time we kissed; his taste, his scent. His fingers brushed my cheek before I felt both his hands cup my face and he whispered, "Next time," with absolute certainty in his words. I could picture the smile on his face as the words got trapped between his lips and mine as we kissed again. But it was different. His voice was not the only thing I could hear.

Giggling. Hushed chatter. The sound of a camera flash.

I pulled away. Nausea rose slowly and powerfully in my throat as I glimpsed at a crowd of girls that stood just metres away, staring at Luke and I. Their phones were pointed straight at us, snapping picture after picture. I looked away, trying desperately to fight off the terror that was filling up inside of me.

I glanced at Luke, my eyes wide. "Now I'm worried."

Luke tossed an anxious look in my direction. "Shit."

I stared at him, eyes wide. "What are we going to do? What are they going to think? Oh God," I bit my lip, feeling nausea building in my throat. I knew that the girls were just curious, but I was dreading the drama that would arise if the news spread. And with less than two weeks left in Australia, it would take a lot of sorting out.

"Hey. Look at me." Luke reached forward, gently tilting my chin until my gaze found his. "It's going to be fine, alright? I'll figure something out."

Luke pushed himself up from his chair, throwing his shoulders back and walking towards the girls so confidently that I felt envious. Turning his head ever so slightly, he muttered, "Follow me."

A swarm of hysterical teenagers surrounded us as we approached. Girls screaming Luke's name, capturing every moment with just one tap on their phones. Excited conversation bounced back and forth as I stood, enveloped in silence as noise and movement erupted around me. But Luke was hardly phased. The anxious look brimming in his eyes just minutes before replaced by a winning smile; he chatted and laughed with the crowd of fans as if nothing had happened. I felt utterly trapped under the gaze of so many people, wondering what was going through their heads after what they had seen. Phones were waved in our faces, and my watery smile was matched with countless grins as girls took picture after picture. Faces blurred into one huge, indescribable mass, until all I could do was wait for it to end, wait for everything to go back to normal.

"Hey!" Someone shouted at me. I looked up, hardly daring to breath. "Are you Luke's girlfriend?"

Panic clawed at my throat. My stomach tightened with nerves. I was helpless . My heart struck my chest with each breath, each passing second of silence until, finally, I heard Luke reply:

"Awh, man. Is it that obvious?"

His fingers found mine and I clutched his hand tightly, feeling the energy passing from me to him as we stood, fearless, in front of the crowds. Luke leant closer, sneaking a fleeting kiss on my cheek. Despite the fear still crawling under my skin, I turned my head, rolling my eyes and whispering: "Half of me thinks that was a really stupid thing to do." I nodded at the dozens of cameras pointed at us. And then, as the nerves evaporated and I began to smile, I spoke again, my voice barely audible, my breath tickling his cheek. "But the other half of me doesn't seem to mind."

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...