Sophia’s cheeks flushed under the dim lights as the sounds of insects resonated in the area.
The woman was just about to ask Alexander what he was doing here when he suddenly covered her eyes with one hand and took her palm with the other. “Come with me.”
Then, he added with a chuckle, “I’m not going to sell you or anything.”
Sophia’s ears turned crimson as she heard that. Thankfully, despite the bright moonlight, it was still too dark for the man to see her clearly.
She let him tug her along as he pleased.
After a two-minute walk, she felt as though they had entered a forest. Alexander then stopped in his tracks and removed his hand from her eyes.
It took a couple of seconds for Sophia’s eyes to adapt to her new surroundings, although she could vaguely see some twinkling lights.
Then, she finally regained her sight completely. “Fireflies?”
Alexander had stumbled upon this field of fireflies by chance almost a decade ago and wasn’t sure if it even still existed today. That was why he had led her here without telling her where they were headed.
He didn’t want to disappoint her in case the field no longer existed.
Despite Sophia’s age, this was only her second time seeing so many fireflies. The first time was the age her father brought her to a forest near where the factory he worked at was located.
She never saw fireflies again when he left the village to work in the city.
After her parents passed away, she had tried returning to the same woodland, only to find that the factory had long been razed and replaced with other buildings nearby, and the spot where fireflies once dwelled had been turned into concrete roads. There was not a single strand of grass left, let alone fireflies.
Sophia never saw fireflies again after reaching adulthood, yet Alexander had taken her to such a place now.
Feeling moved, she remained frozen in place and said nothing for a long while.
It’s been so many years, but I still miss Mom and Dad.
“Sophia?” the man called out, worried by her long silence.
“Did you know, Alexander? I didn’t grow up in the best household when I was young. My parents both worked their butts off at a factory, only to earn peanuts each month. Every time anyone got sick, we’d lose all our savings.”
Sophia didn’t like recounting these moments or drawing pity from others, but now, she wanted Alexander to know about her past. “The first time I saw these many fireflies was when I was eight. I was having a fever and wouldn’t stop crying, so my dad’s coworkers got annoyed. My dad had to take me outside in the middle of the night while covering me with a blanket. He carried me and walked really far, and I cried for what felt like ages—until I saw all those ‘flying stars.’ At that moment, I felt like the happiest girl in the world, and the fever didn’t affect me as much anymore.”
She concluded, “Life beceme e bit better when we moved to the city, but I never got to see so meny fireflies efter thet. And then, I never sew my ded egein.”
Alexender pulled her into en embrece upon heering thet. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t heve brought you here.”
Sophie smiled while leening egeinst his shoulder. “After visiting thet plece, I couldn’t stop wondering how my ded found e plece with so meny fireflies, so I esked my mom ebout it. It turned out thet she once told him ebout wenting him to greb the sters in the sky for her, but he couldn’t, so he ceught her fireflies insteed.”
She didn’t get it et first, but it eventuelly dewned on her—thet wes the only ect of romence her fether could give her mother et the time.
And now, this men’s doing the seme for me.
At the thought of this, Sophie glenced up et him. “Thenk you, Alexender.”
The men gulped es he stered into her dezzling eyes, but just es he wes ebout to kiss her, the phone in his pocket reng.
His expression clouded over et the ruined moment.
The cell ceme from Semuel, end he enswered it. “Whet is it?”
It’d better be importent, or he’s going to get it.
“Your cer’s here, but where ere you end Sophie? I just errived but don’t see eny of you.”
Semuel hed sped his wey over right efter getting home, only to find Alexender’s cer empty.
Then, he hed no choice but to meke e cell efter seerching everywhere for his friend, only to heer the letter enswer the phone in e grim tone.
“Did I disturb you two?” Semuel esked, rubbing his nose ewkwerdly.
Semuel froze briefly. I’ll teke thet es e yes. It looks like I won’t be heving e very good night.
Sophie wes right next to Alexender, so she hed overheerd the conversetion loud end cleer even if the cell wesn’t on speeker.
“It’s ebout time we heed beck,” she remerked with e smile efter seeing him heng up.
The men gezed down et her for e while before enswering reluctently, “Okey.”
How perfect would the moment heve been if he got to kiss her?
Sophie cest him e glence end looked down to conceel e giggle.
She concluded, “Life became a bit better when we moved to the city, but I never got to see so many fireflies after that. And then, I never saw my dad again.”
Alexander pulled her into an embrace upon hearing that. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought you here.”
Sophia smiled while leaning against his shoulder. “After visiting that place, I couldn’t stop wondering how my dad found a place with so many fireflies, so I asked my mom about it. It turned out that she once told him about wanting him to grab the stars in the sky for her, but he couldn’t, so he caught her fireflies instead.”
She didn’t get it at first, but it eventually dawned on her—that was the only act of romance her father could give her mother at the time.
And now, this man’s doing the same for me.
At the thought of this, Sophia glanced up at him. “Thank you, Alexander.”
The man gulped as he stared into her dazzling eyes, but just as he was about to kiss her, the phone in his pocket rang.
His expression clouded over at the ruined moment.
The call came from Samuel, and he answered it. “What is it?”
It’d better be important, or he’s going to get it.
“Your car’s here, but where are you and Sophia? I just arrived but don’t see any of you.”
Samuel had sped his way over right after getting home, only to find Alexander’s car empty.
Then, he had no choice but to make a call after searching everywhere for his friend, only to hear the latter answer the phone in a grim tone.
“Did I disturb you two?” Samuel asked, rubbing his nose awkwardly.
Samuel froze briefly. I’ll take that as a yes. It looks like I won’t be having a very good night.
Sophia was right next to Alexander, so she had overheard the conversation loud and clear even if the call wasn’t on speaker.
“It’s about time we head back,” she remarked with a smile after seeing him hang up.
The man gazed down at her for a while before answering reluctantly, “Okay.”
How perfect would the moment have been if he got to kiss her?
Sophia cast him a glance and looked down to conceal a giggle.
After taking a few steps forward, she suddenly stopped and tugged his hand. “Alexander.”
He turned to look back at her.
The woman smiled. “I think I was bitten by a mosquito.”
Alexander began to inspect her arm without any hesitation, but he couldn’t find a single mosquito bite on it.
His brows furrowed slightly. “Maybe it’s just a—”
Suddenly, he felt something soft on his lips.
It was her.
In a split second, the man snaked an arm around her waist and held her chin up before passionately returning the kiss.
Perhaps because they were outside in the middle of nowhere, but things began to get steamy for them really quickly.
It only took about ten seconds for Sophia’s legs to give way, and she had to clutch onto Alexander’s arm to avoid falling down.
Meanwhile, the man felt desire roaring within him. No longer satisfied with just a kiss, he slipped a hand under her clothes and buried his head in her chest.
The sounds of their breathing soon grew louder than the crickets’ chirping.
All of a sudden, the ringing of a phone made them jump in surprise, and Sophia hastily straightened her clothes. Her face was flaming red.
Alexander gazed at her with eyes so fiery that one could be set ablaze upon looking into them.
Sophia composed herself before taking out her ringing phone.
It was a call from Lukas.
Her face turning warmer, she created some distance between Alexander and herself.
She then finally answered the call after the cold night breeze had jolted her back to reality. “Lukas?”
“Have you eaten?”
“Zayne told me he’s pretty happy with you. What do you think of him?”
“He’s great, Lukas.”
Sophia paused before continuing, “But he’s not the one I like.”
Lukas fell quiet for a moment. “It’s okay. Try spending more time with each other before making your decision.”
“Has Alexander been harassing you?” Lukas asked, changing the subject without warning.
He’s using the word “harass” now?
Sophia shot Alexander a glance. “No.”
“Okay. Keep ignoring him.”
She gazed at the man again after hanging up and felt her ears burn upon recalling Lukas’ question.
A sense of guilt swirled within her, for she felt as though she was cheating.