"Bonjour, Mademoiselle," sang a calm voice behind you, snapping you out of your daydream. You startled, holding onto the swing's chains as you turned to look behind you.
"Ah, it is you!" said the tall, blond man. "You are so beautiful today. I mistook you for an angel."
You blushed despite yourself. "Oh. Um. Thank you."
"Je t'en prie, tu es tres jolie." He gently uncurled your fingers from the chain and brought your hand to his lips for a lingering kiss, his liquid blue eyes fixed on yours the entire time. His long golden locks danced with a sudden gust of wind, the cold of which brought you a sudden shiver. "Allow me," he said, shedding his grey sweat shirt and draping it over your shoulders.
"You won't be cold?"
"Pas de tout!" he assured. Looking ahead of you, he grabbed hold of the swing chains just above where your hands were, and pulled you back a few feet before letting go. You canted back and forth slowly, coming back to his warmth after each swing. "Tell me, why are you out 'ere all by yourself, sweet'eart?"
You crossed your ankles, swinging your legs a little. "Because normal people are being stupid," you said simply. He chuckled, pulling the swing back a little further. You were almost at the swing's full height now. The speed made you shiver, so you pulled his jacket tighter around you.
"I am sorry to 'ear zat," he said. "Are you 'urt?"
"Oh, no no, just tired of them. All of them." You sighed. "Wanna go for a walk?"
"Bien sur, zat is why I came out today."
He slowed your swing, tugging softly on the chains every time you swung away from him. You hopped off and turned around to face him, smiling back at him.
"Well. Allons-y." He held out an elbow and you took hold, keeping his sweatshirt closed with your other hand. The two of you walked under tall, green-leafed trees over a cracked path of shadow-speckled asphalt. A squirrel skittered across the path, and sparrows hopped in the uneven grass. A bird in the trees whistled a tune and Francis followed suit, whistling the tune to "Alouette."
Slowly, your hands came down to meet each other, and your fingers interlocked. He held your hand firmly, swinging it a little, and then he stopped suddenly, bending low to the ground, and picked up a yellow dandelion.
"I know zat zese are considered weeds," he said, admiring it fondly, "but I find zem beautiful. I don't care what anyone else says." He tucked the green stem behind your ear, brushing a stray lock of hair out of your face. The two of you watched each other's faces as you walked.
"Francis, you're...you're really sweet, I don't know if you know that."
He gave a slight dip of his chin in gratitude. "Merci beaucoup, ma cherie. I don't get zat often, non. Most people...most people just take my flirting as light and meaningless...but I really do see ze beauty in all things. Per'aps zey do not believe me."
"Well I believe you," you told him, and your eyes locked. He slowly leaned in close to your face, eyes half closed--and your foot snagged on something and down you went, Francis falling down right beside you.
"Ah, ma petite, ca va?"
"Ah, m'excuse...are you all right?" he asked, laying a hand on your shoulder. You sat up criss-cross and clapped your hands together, aware with a stinging sensation that the one of your palms was scraped. Francis sat up on the balls of his feet and dusted himself off briefly before taking your injured hand into his.
"Ah, sweet'eart..." He stroked the wounded skin tenderly, bringing it to his lips to apply a very light, ginger kiss. It still stung and you hissed in pain. "Per'aps we should get to a drinking fountain and clean zis off, non?"
He stood to his feet and helped you up, asking if you hurt anywhere else. Your hip felt bruised and you had a slight limp, but it wasn't anything major. The two of you backtracked along the path to a drinking fountain and he took care of the whole process. He caressed your hand with the tenderness of handling a butterfly. The water was cold, soothing to the injury, and Francis brushed off excess dirt bit by bit. When he had finished, he used the edge of his own shirt to dry your hand, and held it between his own hands to warm it up.
There was this bit of an awkward moment where he stood there holding your hand and you stood there doing nothing but staring at him. Your eyes met again; you could swear those blue pools wanted nothing more than to drink yours up. The wind blew by again, knocking the dandelion from your hair and to the ground, and you both leaned in for a kiss. It was gentle and sweet, but with hints of a deeper passion, a pure love. You sighed, leaning in, and he trapped you against his chest, kissing you gently in the cool breeze of early spring.