“Thank you, but it’s really Deana. She got me involved with Griswold House and the foundation.” She stepped back awkwardly. Edward released one of her hands, but kept the other one firmly in his hand.
“That was so much fun!” Deana said as she walked the kids towards them. She took one look at their entwined hands and grinned wickedly. Dana knew that look all too well. Deana was about to play matchmaker.
“Dana, the kids were just asking about the Ferris wheel. I told them we would go on it next. I know it’s one of your favorite rides so I thought we could all go together.”
“Okay,” Dana answered cautiously. Edward released her hand when Cole walked over and pulled her hand into his. Edward thought the little boy was upset that he was touching his mother until Cole took his hand as well so he was walking between the two of them.
“Swing me, peease!” Cole begged.
Dana and Edward nodded and began swinging Cole gently. He giggled that cute little toddler giggle that could melt even Scrooge’s heart. They walked to the Ferris wheel while swinging a very happy Cole. Deana had Elizabeth on her shoulders and was pointing everything out to the little girl.
The man taking tickets at the Ferris wheel looked the kids over. “I’m sorry, I can’t let the kids on. I have a height requirement and no seat belts.”
“Oh, that’s okay,” Dana said, sounding a little disappointed.
“No, its fine. I’m taking the kids on the carousel. Edward, do you mind going with her? She hates going by herself. She gets a bit freaked out when the ride stops.”
He smiled hugely. “No problem.” The first chance he got he was sending Deana her favorite thing in the world, a huge chocolate basket. Something he discovered a week ago when someone sent one to Dana and Deana went nuts over it. He couldn’t remember if Dana ate any of it. He was now curious if she liked chocolate, but that question would have to wait. He was about to be alone with Dana on the Ferris wheel.
The man stopped the ride and gestured for Dana to get in. Edward waited until she was seated before he turned to the man. He slipped the man a hundred dollar bill. “In a few minutes make sure we’re stuck up there for a good five to ten minutes.”
The man took the money and winked at him. “You got it, buddy.”
Edward sat down next to Dana, happy to discover that it was a snug fit. He had the perfect excuse to put his arm around her shoulders. The man locked the safety bar over their laps and started the ride.
They sat silently as the ride moved for several minutes. He was in no rush to make his move since he would have her undivided attention in a few minutes. His hand began moving of its own accord, gently rubbing her shoulder.
Something occurred to him as they reached the top. Something he overlooked in his excitement to have her alone. He was deathly afraid of heights. His hand froze on her shoulder. “Oh shit,” he mumbled.
“What is it?” Dana asked nervously. She turned to look at him, which rocked the seat. Edward bit his lip.
“Please, don’t rock the seat.” He felt his stomach twist.
“Are you sick? I’ll tell the attendant to let us off the next time the carousel brings us to the bottom.”
Edward shook his head while he squeezed his eyes shut. “He won’t. I paid him a hundred bucks to keep us on this ride….up top.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because I wanted to get you alone and I’m an idiot. I forgot I have a serious fear of heights.” He pulled his arm from behind her and dropped his head into his hands. “This is so embarrassing. Can we forget about this, please?”
She laughed. “Oh, I’m not going to forget this, Edward,” she teased. “The great Edward Pierce is afraid of heights.”
“I don’t remember reading that in any of the articles about you, very interesting.”
“Hey, heights is a common fear. You can seriously get hurt or die from a fall like this. It’s the body’s natural response to something that is dangerous. At least it’s not as lame as being afraid of spiders.”
He felt Dana’s entire body freeze next to his. “Why did you pick spiders? Oh my God! You don’t see a spider right now, do you?” she asked, clearly panicking.
Edward’s eyes shot open in time to find her looking around frantically. He had to smile, she was so damn cute. When she wasn’t looking he snuck his hand behind her and ever so gently ran two fingers up her back. “Yeah, you have one on your back.”
She screamed and tried to move away from the seat. Edward put his arms around her, holding her tightly. He didn’t care at that moment they were a good two hundred feet in the air and that their seat was rocking, he started laughing and couldn’t stop.
It took Dana a minute to realize it was Edward’s fingers that moved up her back. He was laughing hard against her as the seat rocked. “You jerk,” she gasped, giving him a playful swat on one of the arms still holding her. “That’s not funny!”
He couldn’t speak so he nodded.
Dana tried to stay mad at him, but he was so cute and relaxed at that moment. She loved it when Edward was happy. They were stuck high up, which she knew scared him. Well, she knew now that he paid so he could be alone with her. It was sweet and endearing.
He didn’t even seem concerned that they were rocking back and forth in their seat, because of his laughter. She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “Edward, you’re really cute when you’re laughing, but if you ever tease me about spiders again I may be forced to hurt you.” That only made him laugh harder until she reluctantly joined him.
By the time they stopped laughing the ride had stopped again. He moved his arm back around her more naturally this time. He ran his fingers over her bare arm. “So, tell me about this mystery guy that caused you to turn down Mike.”
Her face squished up into a guilty look. “There is no one. I just felt like I was being put on the spot.”
He shook his head back and forth. “Dana, I’ve seen men ask you out on a daily basis and I’ve never once seen you react the way that you did today.” He reached over with his other hand and pushed back a strand of hair before she could.
“I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about, Edward.” She looked off in the distance.
Edward placed two fingers beneath her chin and gently pulled her face towards him. “Dana I’m…I’m…..” He looked into her wide beautiful blue eyes and was lost.