From his place a few feet away, he looks at me with a quizzical expression on his face. “Why do you say it like that?”
“Say what like that?”
“Love,” he says, with a simplicity as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I throw him a baffled look. Is this the guy who didn’t want to talk only two hours ago? “Don’t you know love?” he asks.
“Of course I know love,” I retort, but the words don’t come out of my mouth as sharply as I’d like them to.
Benedek’s face doesn’t change. He stays quiet for a while. “Don’t you believe in it then?”
I don’t know what to reply. This is the strangest conversation I’ve ever had with a potential client, or with a man, come to think of it. And yet I’m intrigued. Do I believe in love? I open my mouth, but still, no words come out.
“What about passion?” he asks. All I can do is nod. He takes a couple of steps toward me, closing the gap between us.
“I believe in passion,” I croak. He takes the camera out of my hand and places it on a nearby chair. Butterflies start twirling in my stomach. He slides his fingers under my chin and lifts my face. His jeans rub against my leg. Apprehension’s gripping my throat, and the blood rushing against my temples is the only sound I hear. I stare at his slightly parted lips. “What about you?” I whisper.
“Passion?” he asks. His face is so close now that our breath mingles. I swallow. A playful smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. Instead of answering, he closes his eyes and next, his lips are on mine. He tastes of olives and herbs. His skin is smooth and fresh, as if he had only shaved shortly before our appointment. His arms tighten around me and pull me up against him as he deepens the kiss. I let myself fall into his embrace, and I don’t open my eyes again for what might be minutes or hours. The sudden ring of my phone breaks the spell he’s put me under. I blink into the sun that stands low over the hills now and make a move for my bag. Benedek takes my hand.