“Who knows you’re here?” she asked.
“You mean, specifically here? In Hong Kong?”
“No one. My family and friends think I’m traveling for work.”
“Ah. So if anything happened to you, how do they know where to look?” she asked, her chin resting on the palm of her hand.
“Well, when they find my phone and the one thousand pictures of you, they’ll know,” he said.
She laughed. Rather uncomfortably. This is what having an affair feels like. It’s you and him and no one else.
“Adrian doesn’t know I’m here.” This time he leaned forward, closer to her. “Does Riley know you’re here?”
“She has to. Even if I don’t tell her directly, Jake knows. He’s very protective that way. Needs to know where I go, who I’m with.”
“You seem so attached, the two of you.”
“He’s the only constant in my life.”
He stayed silent. She hadn’t intended to offend him with that comment. But then she decided that it was too soon to even think of his role in her life.
That was the real crux of the matter, and she wanted to keep it top of mind.
What about you, your parents? Do you see them often while you’re home?”
He laughed. “As a matter of fact, I have dinner with them every Sunday. They don’t live far from my old apartment. I’m moving to Chelsea when I get back which is a little further away, but I know my mum will find every excuse to come and visit. I’ll be too close to the shopping area for her to resist. She likes to get out sometimes. Leave the farm.”
“We’re lucky we have family we can count on,” she said.
“But none of them know we’re together,” he said, his tone lowered, quiet.
“Why does anyone need to know? Who cares?” she asked in defiance. She observed the way he picked up another dumpling with his chopsticks and shoved the whole thing in his mouth. “Okay, let me rephrase that,” she said. “In time, they’ll know.”
He smiled. “Better.”
He looked at his watch. She could tell that he wanted to change the subject. And she didn’t have to try. A round of applause filled the room. Tessa and Simon turned to see a man on one knee with his arms in the air, proposing to a very embarrassed woman.
“At a dimsum restaurant?” Simon smirked.
“Hey! You’ll never know! Maybe this is a special place for them,” Tessa said.
“Must be,” he answered, pulling his wallet out at the same time. He motioned for the dimsum man to bring the check over.
The man counted the different colored plates, each with a code for the food they ordered, wrote with lightning speed on a pad of paper, tore it off unevenly and handed it to Simon.
As he examined the bill, Simon said, “I forgot that your Twitter profile says ‘hopeless romantic.’“
“Love makes the world go ‘round!” she said in response, pausing to follow up with an afterthought. “At least in Romance books!”