So, with no further ado, please allow me to share:
Thirteen Paragraphs from Stage Thirteen of 27 Stages!
I only wanted to get to my hotel, find my room number and send it to Federico. No sense in actually starting to expect him to arrive, only to be disappointed later.
One of the clasps on my camera bag refused to close. I fussed with it fruitlessly until someone reached out and pushed it from a different angle, sliding the sticky plastic tab shut with apparent ease. Startled, I looked up and found my photographer acquaintance smiling at me.
"Oh, um… Merci," I said, and he grinned at me.
"I wondered where you'd gone when I didn't see you around, this morning."
"Yeah, I was running behind."
He nodded and then extended one hand to me. "I'm Pascal, by the way," he said, taking my belatedly-offered hand in his. "And you are…?"
With one gentle shake of my hand he released me, and I exhaled a quiet sigh of relief. At least he hadn't tried to kiss it or anything.
"Abigail. Would you like to have a coffee?"
"Um, no, thanks… I'm, uh, married." I raised my hand to show him my rings, and he chuckled softly.
"It's only a coffee."
"I'm sorry, but I can't. I have to get back to my hotel." I pulled the strap of my camera bag higher on my shoulder and turned to go.
"Which hotel?" he asked, and damned if I didn't nearly tell him.
I hope you find your curiosity piqued and perhaps are intrigued enough to the check the book out.
As for the final pic, well...
I know this is well-traveled territory for many of you, but...
I sure hope you don't mind too much.