Shaun leaned forward, gave Sofia a kiss on her tender cheek and then sat beside her on the sofa. ‘So, what do you plan to do today?’, Sofia asked, as she took a gentle sip of the coffee, snuggled tightly into his embrace. She remembered the night before and shuddered. He was indeed a beautiful specimen of a man!

She turned slightly, looking in his eyes, kissing and caressing his chest with her index finger, drawing imaginary lines from breast to breast as he pondered on a response.

“First, I’ll be making you a very special breakfast my grandma taught me”, he said with a naughty grin. Shaun’s grandma had emigrated from a small Romanian village named Săcălaz close to Timișoara. He remembered stories his grandma told him about the  small village. Sometimes she said she missed the Romanian life but happy she met Shaun’s grandfather during the war. He was a British soldier and on one visit to the village, while fetching water from the well, she had bumped into him. It was love at first sight she always told him, with a delightful grin, eyes always seemed to relive that very instant she first clasped eyes on him. “Oh well”, Shaun thought, waking back to the present. “Breakfast in 20 minutes hun”, he said as he kissed her passionately, tasting the delicious coffee on her lips. “God, she’s sexy”, he thought, getting up and finally escaping her embrace.

Breakfast was omelette of eggs, onion and bacon; Feta cheese; tara paine, a Romanian country bread his grandma had made for him and the girls; cold cuts; cucumbers; tomatoes; yogurt.

Sofia watched him moving around the kitchen like a seasoned chef, cooking up breakfast for her. A shy smile appeared on her face as she stood up to inspect the photos on the wall. ‘His daughters are so beautiful’, she mused, as she picked up the photo frame of Shaun and his girls at a ski resort. Flipping the photo, she read the typed inscription. It had been taken a year ago at a resort in Gérardmer, that French village near the German border she and Jeff had spent their long weekend during their first year of dating. ‘What a coincidence’, she thought out loud, startled at herself as she glanced quickly back at Shaun, afraid he may have overhead. He didn’t seem to have heard her. ‘Phew’, she sighed. She remembered riding on the high-speed chairlift, taking long walks along the wooded trails of Lac de Gérardmer. That was when Jeff had proposed. ‘Oh well, that’s now another life’, she thought as she wondered how things were with Jeff, Anna and their baby!!

She remembered Angela saying Shaun preferred the single life. He had been burnt bad in his previous marriage and now refused to entertain any future commitments. She also was not keen to start a new relationship. Sex was great last night and she hoped it would be regular, but she just wouldn’t want a stable relationship, dedicated to just Shaun. Or did she?

After breakfast, he drove her back to her apartment and promised to call the next day. During breakfast, they had discussed their weekend plans. Shaun would be picking up the girls from their friend’s home and then take the girls to the cinema. She on the other hand, was unsure what to do. She had barely rested from her business travel from Paris before hitting the club for Angela’s birthday. She needed rest.

As Shaun drove towards the arcade, he knew he shouldn’t be calling Sofia the next day. That was against his rules. Sex had been great, yes, the company was awesome, but then again that’s how it always started. If he allowed his emotions take control, he was sure to find himself desiring her even more and that would always lead to disaster. He was afraid to get hurt again. No!!! He would not allow his emotions get in the way of his well-laid out life’s decisions.

That evening, as Shaun tucked his daughters into bed, he thought about all the girls he had slept with since his marriage breakdown. He loved his daughters immensely and wanted so much to raise them to be independent, assured of their abilities. His friends, especially Angela, have been insisting the girls need a stable mother figure in their lives. What do they really know? What is he really afraid of? He’s done great with his girls. They are like a team. They depend on each other and rely on each other for support. But he knows that at some point, the girls will grow up and being more independent, he would need to occupy his time with just one woman. But now was just not that time, he concluded!!

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