Chapter 5. Leafy Discovery
Before long Buffy found herself downstairs and heading towards the one green spot at the hotel, the enclosed garden off the lobby. It was large enough to have a few tall trees to give some shade in summer and a couple of garden beds along with a stone seat.
In the middle of the stand was the tallest tree and it was magnificent, she could just imagine it lit up with lights in the hotel’s heyday. As she looked at the tree she thought she caught a momentary glint of gold as a short burst of sunshine hit the uppermost branches.
Curious and certainly not willing to go back inside and face anyone again she made her way to the base of the tree and began to climb. As she got higher she was able to discern someone with golden hair sitting on a branch up near the top of the tree and was soon able to make out the definitely welcome sight of ‘Sunshine’ leaning against the trunk and sitting on a couple of branches that seemed to have intertwined to make a kind of seat that would be big enough for two.
As soon as she was close enough, she called out happily, “Hey, Sunshine, is this the kind of thing you do when you’re not watching sunsets with beautiful maidens, I must admit I was starting to get a little curious?”
He looked a little shocked to see her but reached down to help her up so she could sit next to him. “My Lady Sunset, I almost didn’t recognize you in those clothes.” His cheeks turned a beautiful shade of pink.
“You mean you didn’t recognize me with clothes on.” She grinned as the pink turned to a red.
“Oh, stop blushing; I’m not embarrassed so why should you be? Life’s too short to worry over silly things like that.” It was then that she remembered last night and she had to know why.
He looked at her questioningly, “Is something wrong, my Lady?”
“Hell yes, why did you run out on me last night?” she asked in her turn.
His face had lost its blush now and he looked at her resignedly, “I thought I was acting improperly to someone who I have only just recently met. To someone I have grown to care about a great deal.” He finished quietly.
“You have, really?” Buffy’s heart jumped as he just nodded back. “You know I’ve learnt from bitter experience that life is short and you should always take any chance of happiness that you can get, no matter how short it is.” She finished sadly.
He reached for her hand and looked into her eyes, “I am very sorry to hear that my Lady.” His blue eyes showed the depth of that sorrow clearly.
Trying to pull herself together she said quickly, “No biggie, forget about it.”
Changing the subject to cover her discomfort she continued, “I was afraid you would not be watching the sunset with me tonight, was I right?” Her tone giving away how anxious that thought had made her.
He sighed looking at her hand in his, “I am ashamed to admit that what you say is true. That is actually why I am in this tree, I came here to think and sort things out, but instead all I could think of was you.”
Buffy was surprised for that was more forthcoming than he normally was. “May I ask what you were thinking about me, Sunshine?” She asked softly.
His face took on a determined look as he replied, “Before I can tell you that, would you at least tell me your name, for what I have to say cannot be said to someone who will not trust me with even their name.” It was a plea from the heart that Buffy could not ignore.
“You’re right, but I have been hurt too many times before to not be cautious. But I do trust you, Ok.”
When he nodded in understanding she continued as she thought of how he made her feel and it wasn’t like Buffy it was more like, “You can call me Anne, but would you allow me to give you a name?” Again he nodded although it was obvious he was not sure why he could not use his own name.
Then without thinking, “To me you are David.” She smiled at him.
“Da…vid, David” he repeated trying it out. “May I ask how you arrived at that name?” He smiled back.
“Of course you can ask, you see where I come from there is a statue to the perfect male body named ‘David’ and I couldn’t help noticing your body and um…well, you sort of reminded me of him” She replied becoming a little flushed herself.
His smile broadened then he laughed and it was music to her ears, “Anne, how could I not accept this name after such a wonderful compliment.”
She looked at him seriously once more, “Can you say what you wanted to now, David?”
He nodded and turned serious too, “I have never courted a woman before although I have met many in the course of my duties. With that in mind, I sought out my good friend Elessar who is newly married and asked how he knew that his wife was the one woman for him.”
“What did your friend say?” she asked with genuine interest.
“He told me that one day their eyes met, in that moment he fell in love with her. He said it was like finding something that he didn’t even know he was looking for and in the most unlikely place imaginable. After that I came to realise that I too was in love with someone who I found in an unlikely place. I also knew when my eyes met hers that she was the one I had been searching for.” He stopped and looked hopefully at her for her reaction.
“Wait, David, are you saying you were actually searching for me when we met that first night?” Buffy asked excitedly.
“Yes, you see after my friend got married I wished for someone to whom I could give my love. I found you on the third night of my search.” It was obvious how happy he was as he remembered that night.
“Get out of here, I had been wishing that I could find someone who would love me and that I could love without having to worry whether he would leave me, turn evil and attack me or die on me. I have never felt this comfortable and safe with anyone, like I do with you.
Earlier someone had upset me and all I could think of was being with you, that somehow none of it would matter once I was with you. You are in my thoughts constantly and I am finding it more and more difficult to concentrate on anything or anyone else.” She said breathlessly glad to finally be able to put her feelings into words.
“But Anne, I do not wish to get you into trouble for neglecting your duties, as no matter how you or I feel about our duties, no matter how tiresome they are, others rely on us doing them.” He said anxiously.
“I am not the only one who can carry out these duties, David; it is just that they haven’t worked out that they can do them without me.” She replied a little bitterly.
Changing the subject quickly, she knew what she wanted at that moment, “David, would you help me test a theory and kiss me again?” With that she closed her eyes and waited.
Without any hesitation he pulled her into his arms, their lips met and she felt the loneliness and hopelessness in her heart ebbing away and being replaced by love, peace and hope. This was not Angel’s neediness or Spike’s lust or Riley’s soldier boy way. This was real; it was how she always knew it could be.