17 Short but sweet

Only Baxter's barking broke the spell they were both in as he anxiously waited for the disc that was still in her hands. Raf was quick to recover as he let her hand go and stepped a foot back.

"Do you think you got the idea?" He asked, pointing to the object in her hand, remembering that they were playing a game.

"We'll see if this works." She shrugged her shoulders, hoping that her voice sounded normal because she could still feel her heartbeat working overtime from that few seconds that he was near her.

She made her third attempt, threw the Frisbee as he had shown her, and somehow it worked. It flew a few meters away from her, making Baxter excited to run after it.

"That's better." He praised her with a wide grin on his lips. They continued to play with it for almost half an hour. Slowly, she was getting the hang of it. She was even able to catch a few throws he sent her way.

Later, they packed up their food and brought it back to the car. Afterward, they went to a dog center located on the other side of the park, where Baxter had an appointment to be pampered and groomed.

"Would you like to take a boat ride?" He asked her. "That is if you are not afraid to drown. There might be crocodiles and piranha in the water."

"That won't work this time." She knew better than to take him seriously after what he did earlier. "Sure, I would like to give it a try."

"Good. Come on." He guided her towards the lake, where several boats lined up by the boardwalk. He chose the best-looking one and paid for the rental.

"Do you even know what you are doing?" She just wanted to get back at him for what he did earlier. Besides, she had nothing to worry about since she was a strong swimmer. She was not afraid of the water, although she would opt not to get wet.

"Of course, I do. You don't have to worry. If, at any rate, that the boat tumble down, I assure you that I'm a good lifeguard." He winked at her as he moved towards the boat, extending his hand to assist her on board.

"Let's hope it doesn't because I don't want to get wet." She was excited to do this since she had never done this before in her life.

If Jessica could see her now, she would have a heart attack. She never approved of anything that she thought would put her in any danger. Not that she would be in any possible harm's way since the water was so peaceful and calm.

They rented a small one, enough to fit the two of them. "So, how shall we do this?" She sat beside him in the cramped space inside the boat.

Although she had loved sailing during her youth when his dad took them out for a bonding moment with her sister, this was quite different. The small boat was simple, which composed of a wooden seat to fit the two of them and a small engine at the back.

"Just sit and relax and let me do the steering," he instructed. He finally started the engine, moving the boat away from the dock, into the middle of the lake.

"What else will you find in here besides the park?" She looked around the lake and admired the beautiful forest surrounding it. Besides the engine of the boat, she could hear several birds from the distance.

"There is something I want to show you, but it is on the other side." He continued to move his arms in a steady rhythm as he steered the boat in another direction. She tried to look anywhere else, but her gaze sometimes did wander to his face and sometimes to his muscular arms as it moved and occasionally bumped into her.

She kept reminding herself of the reason for her charade, which was to make friends and not get involved in another relationship. She was pretending to be Sky just to make a point to him, nothing more.

"Ok." She decided to stay quiet and just enjoy the view. After a few more minutes, she could see that they were almost nearing a shallow area with a narrow dock. "Is that the place?" She pointed out.

Raf was both excited and anxious with his surprise. He was looking forward to knowing her more. In truth, he admitted to himself that he was beginning to like her. Before he did something about his feelings, he wanted to make sure that they were on the same boat.

"Yes." He directed the boat towards the dock and slowly moored it on the wooden peg designed to keep it from slipping away.

He assisted her out of the boat and into the dry land. She was expecting that they would end up in a deserted land, so she was surprised to see an old house not far from the dock but slightly hidden from view by the trees.

The house was large and old but well-maintained. When she looked at the surrounding, she could see that the garden was beautiful and familiar.

"Whose house is that?" She pointed at it.

"That belongs to a cool guy and quite a special sweet lady. I want you to meet them." He led her to stone steps that went straight to the wooden porch.

"Oh! Are you sure? I don't want to intrude." Pretending to be Sky and fooling him was one thing, but involving other people in the lie was another.

"Nope. Don't worry. They love when people visit them." He smiled sweetly and she felt her heart somersaulted. He was indeed very handsome and charming.

Although she was hesitant, she did not have a choice either. She just hoped that when she eventually told them the truth about her, they would understand her reasons.

"Relax. They don't bite," he teased her, making her smile in the process. "That's better." He could not wait for them to meet her.

As they approached the house, the wooden screen door suddenly opened, coming out was a pretty old lady with her apron still on.

"I thought you have already forgotten about your old grandmama," she said in her very cheerful voice.

"Gran, I was here the other day. Don't be so overly dramatic." He teased her as they finally hugged each other.

"Oh! Hush, now! Finally, you brought your girlfriend with you. I thought you would have let me die without even seeing my great-grandchild." She said excitedly.

"Oh, no! You were mistaken. We are just friends." Sky immediately corrected his grandma while accepting the hug she was giving her.

"I'm sorry for my mistake. Let me get a better look at you." She took a moment to look at her, adjusting her glasses to get a better angle of her face.

She made a side glance at him, shocked at how his grandmother mistook her for his girlfriend. On the other hand, he was delighted that his grandmother approved of her. That was all he needed as confirmation.

"Hush, hush, child. You two are perfect for each other. I could see it in both of your eyes. I know these things." She kept saying as she guided both of them into the kitchen as she let them sit around the counter while she was busy preparing a snack.

Her grandma checked on the pie she was baking in the oven. "I knew you were coming when Lindsey told me that you were planning to go to the park. I am baking your favorite apple pie."

It was like she was being reminded of her lies when she heard the word apple. It was supposed to be her cover name while she was here before she changed it to Sky.

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Then she realized something. "Did Lindsey knew about this?" She spoke out loud.

"Well, I texted her before we left the house. Don't want her to worry about you?" It was a sweet gesture, but it was necessary. Then she remembered that she was pretending to be her niece.

"Oh! Ok." Accepting that it was part of her charade.

"I am glad that you did not bring the rascal with you." Her grandmother said. She was confused about who she was talking about at first. "He almost destroyed my whole rose garden the last time he was here."

"Will you stop whining? Baxter and I were only playing. I accidentally threw the ball on the damn plant box. If there was someone to blame, it was those roses." A handsome, aged man, who looks a bit like Raf, walked inside the kitchen, leaving his hat on the side of the counter.

"Hi, Gramps!" His grandpa clamped him at his back and moved on to check his guest. "This is Sky," pointing to her and then to him. "This is my gramps."

"Welcome to our humble abode. So, when are you two getting married?" He teased, looking at his wife, immediately seconding his statement.

"Would you two stop?" He said, embarrassed at the way his grandparents were behaving.

"We are just joking, dear. But seriously you are the first girl he had brought home to us." She continued with her teasing.

"That's not true." He defended himself but realized that it was probably true what they said. He could not think of any single girl he dated that he had brought to his grandparents.

"We are just friends." Sky finally interrupted their exchanges. Instead of getting embarrassed, she was enjoying the friendly interaction between Raf and his grandparents.

"Why don't you show Sky here outside while I finished preparing this." Her grandmother said.

He guided her towards the backdoor of the kitchen and down to a path.

"You have lovely grandparents." She suddenly missed her grandparents. Her mom was an orphan, while his father's parents also passed away not so long ago. She was closest to her grandpa, who supported all her endeavors.

She was starting to regret making such a decision to fool him. Now, she was getting deeper into trouble than she could handle. She contemplated telling him as soon as they were alone.

They stopped at the rose garden, which she figured was his grandma's prize possession.

She slowly gathered enough strength to tell him, but before she could utter a word, he lowered his head and kissed her. It was not a simple peck on the lips, but a solid kissed. It was short but sweet.

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