Dax in Paris (1): The City of Love

Dax has arrived in Paris and is experiencing life in the fullest!

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Paris was much more beautiful than Dax could have ever imagined. Everywhere he turned, there were things to see that caught his attention just the same way a light draws a moth. When he first arrived, he hadn’t expected that he would so easily lose track of time as he walked the cobblestone streets and admired the architecture of the old buildings.

His favorite spot quickly became the Eiffel Tower. While there, he could saunter through the park without much care and observe people in the most candid of moments. Memorizing different things he took notice of, he put them all to canvas, down to the last detail.

After a time, he’d begun to recognize that there were distinct differences between tourists and locals, so he made a great effort to try to fit in. He dressed casually, but nicely, making certain he was put together well enough that he wouldn’t stand out too badly. There were no “I heart Paris” t-shirts in his wardrobe, he didn’t carry little maps of the area and always acted as if he knew exactly where he was going, even if he was lost.

Luckily, his childhood in Winchester had prepared him for this adventure (even though that hadn’t been the intention of his teacher). He could speak and write French fluently which, for him, seemed to be most of the battle when trying to blend in. While he wasn’t fooling anyone, he at least made an attempt to mimic their accent and pick up on local colloquialisms.

1

And so, while Dax seemed to blend in, there were things about him which he hoped no one would ever find out. If he met someone, did they necessarily need to know that he came from a one horse kind of town that to any outsider would seem backward? Would a new friend have to be told about the scars that used to crisscross his handsome face due to a childhood accident?

Even after all this time, he was still trying to get out of the habit of touching his face because sometimes he worried that he would wake up and the ugly, jagged lines would be back. He realized this insecurity was unpleasant, but he couldn’t help but feel that his luck would change and they would return. He couldn’t bear to think how the scars’ reappearance would be seen as hideous by all who came across him.

This was the very reason he’d spent most of his life in dark rooms. The overwhelming shame still flooded through him like a dam breaking, knocking his soul right out of him because of his previous existence and how grotesque his face had been.

That was, until he met Blue Capra. She had washed into his life on one of those dam breaking waves and had seen right through his suffering. If he closed his eyes, he could still see her beautiful dark hair that smelled like flowers he couldn’t identify, green eyes that reminded him of his favorite meadow and full lips that just begged him to kiss them. And, oh, how he’d tried to kiss her! But she wasn’t ready for a relationship and even though it hurt to feel put off, at least he knew it wasn’t because of his appearance since she had never seemed repulsed by the scars at all.

Besides Blue, Dax had one other friend back in Winchester where he was from, named Mango. Thinking about Mango, Dax unconsciously touched his face yet again. He still didn’t understand how his friend Mango had healed the scars. All he knew for sure was that Mango had some strange powers and had been kind enough to do this supernatural thing for him. But in healing Dax, Mango had died. Since then, there had been a hole in Dax’s heart. While he didn’t feel completely empty because of the new adventures he was experiencing, no one could ever replace his best friend and mentor.

After Mango’s funeral, Dax had gone back to the cave Mango had called home and found the letter from his friend instructing him to travel to Paris. Mango was quite certain Dax would be able to make a living painting and instructed him to show his paintings to someone named Cosette Barbeau.

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Dax had, of course, been reluctant to leave the world he knew in order to strike out on his own. It had been an extremely difficult also to tell Blue goodbye as at one time, he’d hoped they would have a future together. Deep down, though, Dax had the strong feeling that Mango was right in his advice. He could have forgotten the entire thing and settled down with Blue, if she would have him, raise children and paint on the farm. It was what she wanted out of life, he was learning. But it had never been the way he wanted to spend his life. It wasn’t until the scars were gone that he’d been able to gather enough gumption to even think about following his childhood dreams. Now, he could live in Paris and paint to his heart’s content.

As for meeting Cosette, it had been nerve wracking for Dax. Upon his arrival, he’d immediately sought her out. Not knowing what specifically to expect, he’d been stunned by her beauty to the point of distraction. As soon as Dax mentioned Mango’s name, Cosette had smiled and said that Mango had sent her a letter with some of Dax’s sketches some time ago.

To Dax’s amazement, she was eager to see his work. Afterwards, she told him that she would try to get him into a local gallery. He couldn’t believe his good fortune as, other than having a nice face again, nothing even remotely happy had happened to him in so long.

The two became quick friends as their interests were similar. He found it quite enjoyable to sit over coffee and discuss art with her. She was quite knowledgeable in her field and had good connections with other artists.

Time seemed to fly by even faster and they began to go everywhere together. Cosette was keen on showing him all of the art galleries – there were so many!

7

He listened intently as she told him the history of many of the pieces they gazed at. Her voice was music to his ears and he was beginning to think that, just as he had once read in a book, this was indeed the city of love after all.

6

“This statue,” she said in French, her voice caressing his soul, “represents a woman from long ago whose beauty stopped an army dead in its tracks. She was able to bring peace to the city by negotiating a wedding between the General and herself. It was not just an arrangement, it was a love match as the General found he could not leave her behind.”

“That is a beautiful story,” he responded, also in French, unable to take his eyes from the sculpture. He wasn’t sure if it was the story itself or the way Cosette told him about it, but he felt it deeply.

3

The next few months continued this way and were a whirlwind in his mind as they explored the city and its other museums.

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Had their romance happened more quickly, he was certain it might not have lasted. Although time had felt like a tornado, rushing around him and through him, carrying him every which way, they had not hurried into anything.

When the moment presented itself, their first kiss had been explosive. As soon as their lips touched, everything around them slipped away. There were no crowds, no children running through the streets. Her kiss was soothing in a way that nothing else ever had been before him. He pulled her closer until their bodies were melted together and he could feel her heartbeat…

2

Most of the time now, Dax spent the nights at her flat. But today, he needed to get some paintings done in order to show a gallery owner that his work was worthy of being displayed.

If Cosette was disappointed with his humble living space, she didn’t mention it or appear bothered.

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Because he spent most of his time painting or with Cosette, he had earned some money drawing sketches of people in the park. With this, he had procured a one room flat.

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The reason Dax had chosen this particular studio apartment over the others he’d seen was because there was an attached room with a lot of windows where he could paint. The landlord had allowed him to set up a studio in that room free of charge in exchange for some repairs that needed to be done on the building.

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Of course, his favorite subject was Cosette even though he knew he couldn’t have a gallery showing with just one subject matter.

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And there was always time for a break.

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It hadn’t taken Dax long to come to the realization that he loved her and wanted to spend his life loving her. To his great delight, she felt the same way.

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The city of love was more than he’d hoped it would be.

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  1. I am so conflicted about this! While I’m happy that Dax seems to have achieved some peace and is pursuing his dreams, I can’t help but feel bad for Blue. I do tentatively like Cosette, though. Can’t wait to see where this goes! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much! In Noble Doubt’s next chapter, you’ll see how Blue handled Dax’s departure. 🙂

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  2. How did you get that last screenshots? The visuals are so bright and full of light ! I love them!

    I was just reading an artist’s blog about a trip to Amsterdam , and the sense of wonder and delight in the beginning of this post , especially , capture that same feel.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy 🙂 Well, with the screenshots, I am always poised to pause the game to capture moments. I also ran my pic through a filter that enhanced the colors. 😀 I’m so glad you like them.

      Oh, boy, would I ever like to go to Amsterdam! That sounds really lovely! Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words.

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  3. Good for you, Dax! Get out there! Experience the world! Drink coffee! Eat croissants! Bang the french girl! Life is but a series of moments, and don’t you let another one pass you by!

    This is good. Whether this relationship will last or not is inconsequential. Dax is out! He’s living!

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    1. Thank you, fluffymao! You are exactly right, as usual! 😀 The world is open to him now, he only has to experience it.

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  4. Funny how we both wrote about France 🙂
    Cosette seems nice, though I can’t help but think how much she reminds me of Cricket, or maybe it is just me? I’m happy for Dax and that wae actually true about Blue and him wanting to go opposite directions-he wanted the fame and Blue wanted to escape the fame. Sadly, they weren’t meant to be together. Hopefully she can settle with some other of many men that are attracted to her.

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    1. Thank you, Jowita! 🙂 Yes, we did both write about France, didn’t we? LOL 😀

      Cosette reminds you of Cricket! :O Oh no! lol Honestly, that wasn’t the intention. 😀

      I’m happy for Dax, too, as he seems to really enjoy where his life is going now. You are so right that what he wants most, Blue wants least. haha

      You’ll find out in Saturday’s chapter how she dealt with Dax’s leaving and everything. 🙂

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      1. I figured it wasn’t, but that was just how I felt about her, lol. I can’t wait to see what Blue’s up to 🙂

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        1. Sooooo… you had the same reaction to her as Memphis had when she first met Cricket. LOL 😀 😛

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  5. Wow… somehow I didn’t expect Dax would fall in love with another woman… I thought his art would be much more important because he is still so young… it makes him a bit untrue against Blue… but maybe he changes his mind about Cosette as quickly as about Blue, who knows (I know who 😀 )
    About the pictures I have no doubt and think they are perfectly wonderful!
    What is a INF.J ?

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    1. Thank you so much, hafuhga! 🙂 I was planning that Dax should take things slower but he had other ideas when he met Cosette! lol

      INFJ is my personality type according to the Myer’s-Brigg’s test. To read about INFJ type and take the test yourself, click HERE. 😀

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      1. TY. I just made the test. 🙂 This was sooo interesting. I am a INFP-T 🙂

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        1. Wow! That is so cool! 😀 I’ve heard it’s a very accurate test.

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          1. Í find it so exciting, and true even about speaking more languages. I can speak 5 and a bit of a 6th, I am true delighted – you really made my day 🙂 Tausend thanks 🙂

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            1. I read also about the advocate. That’s a very beautiful one 🙂 ♥

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              1. Thank you so much ❤

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            2. Wow, you are truly gifted to speak so many languages! 🙂

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  6. I didn’t expect Dax to forget Blue so quickly! But, on the other hand, he’s happy and experiencing the world 🙂 Now Blue is available to certain other hot guys… Or maybe Dax will change his mind. Guess I’ll have to wait and find out!

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    1. Thank you, Raymond! 😀 He really did seem to love Paris immediately, Cosette included. I think that it shows how shallow his feelings really were for Blue. But now they’re both free to explore their options.

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    2. I think it shows he didn’t really love Blue, but the idea of her and the life she could give him.

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      1. Yes, I think you’re right, Bee.

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  7. Ah, I’m glad Dax is having a good time in France! I am a bit ‘hmm’ about how quickly he seemed to forget about Blue and ‘fall in love’ with Cosette (I’m wary about her because we haven’t learned much about her, but I hope she is genuine!). And he’s much more focused on appearance than I realised. The way he described Blue was only about her physical traits, though he would have of course liked her personality as well, and I think he’s paranoid about his scars (just like Cherry lol). He still was handsome with them! But I’m glad he’s out and about exploring the world.

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    1. Thank you, Lila. 🙂 I’m glad Dax is having fun in France, too. I can understand why you would be wary of Cosette. In the future, you’ll get to know her story, too.

      Dax does seem more focused on appearance, perhaps it’s because he’s always been so aware of his own looks with the scars. Oh! Being paranoid about the scars is a lot like Cherry! 😀 I thought he was handsome with them, too.

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  8. She is gorgeous. He seems so very happy.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! 🙂 He does seem pretty happy, I agree.

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  9. I hope Dax can find his place in life. He’s already brave to head out on his own. If he can find the right person for himself, then, all’s good.

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    1. Thank you, Violincat. I think Dax is well on his way to finding his place. I agree that it will be even better is he finds the right person. 🙂

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  10. Perfect ending to Dax’s story. Pictures are just gorgeous! He is definitely where he was meant to be. Even though I was team Matt all along, I did want Dax to have a happy ending so I’m glad things turned out that way. Best wishes Dax.

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    1. Thank you, Bee! I’m so glad you liked Dax’s story. I think Dax has a happy and bright future ahead of him; he deserves it.

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  11. I am so happy for Dax. He deserves to follow his dreams (and I like his new hair style).

    I also love how you frame your pictures. Noble Doubt has the tape on the corners, giving the photos a scrapbook feel. These pictures have a different border giving them a sort of dream like feel to them.

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    1. Thank you, socallucyfan. 🙂 I’m happy for Dax, too. He seems to really be loving life in Paris!

      Thank you for your kind words about the pics. Those are the exact effects I was going for … scrapbook and dreamy. 😀

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      1. And it isn’t just the boarder. The lighting effects also make it seem like a dream.
        But for Dax’s sake I hope it more than just a dream!

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        1. Awww thank you so much. 🙂 I think Dax may have found where he belongs. ❤

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  12. I am happy for Dax and hope that Cosette doesn’t somehow break his heart. She is very pretty and they make a handsome couple. He felt Blue and he wanted different things from life, Perhaps they wouldn’t have worked but isn’t love supposed to conquer all? I guess if she moves on with Matt she might be happy but will she always wonder what if?

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    1. Thank you, Audrey. 🙂 Those are good questions. I think Blue has no choice but to move on at this point, however, she will probably always have tender feelings toward him.

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  13. Good for Dax, getting out and about and following his dream. I hope it goes well for him. How will Blue handle this, though? Hmm.
    I really like that he is trying hard to fit in and not just be another tourist. It’s the best way to experience a culture! Is this the last we see of him?

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    1. Thank you so much 🙂 I’m so glad you asked that! While I don’t think this is going to turn into a full-fledged legacy, I think it would be fun to check in on him once in a while and provide updates to see how he is faring. Also, I plan on having him and Cosette come home to Winchester for a visit in a future chapter. I think that will be interesting! And maybe weird! lol

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  14. Happy for Dax, but at the same time I hope his infatuation with beauty doesn’t lead to his downfall.

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    1. Thank you, Mama Dragon 🙂 I totally see what you mean. He definitely should be cautious with his heart since he’s so sheltered.

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      1. ps, took the test you linked above
        ENTP-t (debater) lol, a little surprised but not that surprised

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        1. That is so cool! 😀

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  15. While I was disappointed in Dax I’m glad he was mature enough not to bring Blue into this situation. If he had been willing Blue would have gone with him to France and been very unhappy. They wanted two different things from life. If she had gone with Dax it would have been a continuation of the life she had detested so much growing up. Cosette is better suited to him and what he wants out of life. He may have wanted slow but sometimes life has a way of taking over and fast is what you get. I’m happy for him!

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    1. Thank you so much, dandylion. 🙂 You have, as usual, brought up some really good points. It’s true that while Blue was willing to go with Dax, she would have been so miserable. This just isn’t the kind of life she wants to have and, eventually, I think it would have been a deal breaker for her. I’m so glad you’re happy for Dax; I am, too. 🙂

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  16. EnFj – so, more extroverted, but intuitive, feeling, and judging. 🙂 I’m glad that Dax has found love and is learning, hopefully, more self-confidence, though that remains to be seen.

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    1. Thank you, ciane. 🙂 I totally agree. Hopefully, as you say, he will learn more self-confidence.

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  17. Oh, I love this! I can’t agree more with fluffymao, Dax is finally living! We would never be truly happy with Blue, at least not without exploring what life has to offer. And who knows where life will lead him in the future!
    Cosette is stunning by the way ❤ I'd love to learn more about her!

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    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like Dax’s new life. I think you’re right that he wouldn’t have been happy staying in Winchester with Blue. We knew for a while that she dreamed of having a large family and settling down. That just doesn’t seem like Dax.

      I’m so glad you like Cosette! I like dressing her up. hahaha 😛

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  18. Awwww… For some reason, I found this chapter super satisfying. It’s good to see Dax out in the world, falling in love. I’m guessing I’m not that invested in him being with Blue, because I just find myself happy for him. Plus I’m still Team Matt. It actually would’ve bothered me if you’d let him just stay and be with Blue, because after years of seclusion like he experienced, it wouldn’t be very… balanced… for him to immediately commit to one person and stay in one place. And I think the character knows that. Ah well… Good on Dax. And good on Cosette!

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    1. I’m so glad you liked this chapter. I agree wholeheartedly that Dax needed to explore what his own life meant before he could ever settle down with Blue. I really enjoyed playing in France, too. 😀

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  19. Awwwww! Yay! She is stunning! Just as I suspected, Matthieu was right about Dax. He didn’t really love Blue. She was just the first one. I’m glad he’s having these experiences and has carved out a life for himself. If he would have settled with Blue, they probably would have had problems down the line.

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    1. I think you are very right about that! There are some more chapters of Dax in Paris in which you will see just how stunted his emotional development is. lol

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      1. Uh oh lol. Can’t wait!

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