"There are no fairy tales," Paula said, scrambling to her feet. Noah got to his, too. Somehow, he was still holding her hand.
That statement, and the way she had said it—with such disillusionment—felt like a knife to his heart. Why would it? He certainly had no belief in fairy tales.
Maybe it was because he had tasted her sweetness. Noah's sense of needing to unravel her mystery deepened.
Cinderella, Paula told herself firmly, over the racing of her heart, the ball is over. How ridiculous was it that she had even lost a shoe? But it was not even her shoe, let alone a glass slipper, and Noah had noticed it did not fit. It really just underscored what she had just told him.
There were no fairy tales.
And she knew that hope—a belief in such things—was the most dangerous thing of all.
Why was he making this so difficult for her? He was still holding her hand, still gazing at her with a look that made that desire to hope whisper to life in her heart.
"I'm only here in Copenhagen for one more day," he said. "What about you?"
"I live here." Didn't that just underscore, again, how ridiculous this whole situation was? They knew nothing about each other. It was pretend. It was make-believe.
And she planned to keep it that way. As soon as he found out who she really was—a waitress, a divorced woman, a single mother with nearly grown children—that interest would be doused in his eyes like a fire hit with a bucket of water.
"Do you?" he asked, intrigued. "I knew you sounded American, overlaid with something else."
"I've been in Denmark for sixteen years."
He looked intrigued.
Stop this, now, she ordered herself.
"What do I have to see in Copenhagen while I'm here?"
The crowds had surged around them. The stadium was emptying at record speed. Isabella and Emil would be waiting for her. They knew she was fanatically punctual. She didn't want them to worry. Or worse, wander away in search of her.
The family had only one cell phone, and Isabella had it. She couldn't even alert them. If Noah knew that about her, she was pretty sure he would not be holding her hand so tightly, looking at her with that same beseeching look that had convinced her to play this game of pretend with him in the first place.
"The crown jewels at Rosenborg Castle are pretty much a must see," Paula told him. "And perhaps the statue of the Little Mermaid, at the harbor. If there's time after that, you could see Kronborg Castle. It's the castle that Hamlet was set in."
There. She looked pointedly at his hand where it still held hers.
"Come with me," he said, his voice low. "Show me these things. Tomorrow."
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