y8

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Clémence and Arthur walked down Avenue Kléber towards the Arc de Triomphe, the grand monument at Place Charles de Gaulle.

“Have you ever been up there?” Arthur asked.

“The Arc de Triomphe? Yes, a couple of times. Have you?”

“I’ve never been up.”

Clémence gave him a surprised look. “Why not?”

“It’s a tourist-y thing to do.”

“Well, have you been up the Eiffel Tower?” she asked.

“Of course not. Have you seen the lineups?”

“It’s why I haven’t been up either,” said Clémence. “I’m content just to look at the tower.”

“Same here.”

The truth was, Clémence had plenty of opportunities to go up the Eiffel Tower. Whenever she had friends or her American cousin in Paris to visit her, she’d been invited to go up the tower with them, but she never did. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to or minded the crazy lineups. She had just always wanted to save the occasion for when she found the love of her life. Deep down, she was a romantic. She held on to the idea of a special “one”, someone who deserved to go up the tower with her. She never told anyone this desire.

She had almost made it up with her ex, Mathieu, but something had always gotten in the way: a sudden rainstorm, Mathieu complaining about the tourists and the long lineups, a last minute invitation to go somewhere else. Their relationship just wasn’t meant to be, she could see that now.

“It’s funny.” She smiled at Arthur. “You live so close to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, yet you have never been up either.”

“Anything to avoid the tourists,” said Arthur.

“You’re a true Parisian,” Clémence teased.

“Well, I think there are better views of Paris, like on top of the George Pompidou, or the roof of Galerie Lafayette.”

“Or from the Sacré-Cœur,” said Clémence.

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...e values, and he had probably passed them down to Clémence. She believed in monogamy, in not smoking, not drinking too much, in being fair and kind to others.

“Clémence, I really want to give this try.”

“You mean…”

“I know we live in the same building, but it can work. I won’t be dropping in all the time, if that’s what you’re worried about. We both have lives. I want to see you more. Go out for dinner and see what happens.”

“I thought it was lunch.”

“That was before we kissed. We’re on a dinner basis now, don’t you think?”

Think? Clémence’s logical side told her to calm down, to consider the consequences. But the other side, her instinctual side, was screaming oui. Arthur didn’t give her a chance to reply, because he said, “Okay, fine, I am getting hungry. If you insist, let’s go to lunch.”

Clémence smiled. “You’re a real con artist, you know that?”

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