Friday, March 10, 2017

Day Two - The One Who Didn't Participate

Early the next morning, Giovani and the ladies were in the Love-Mobile, ready to head out for their first challenge.
Giovani glanced around and did a quick head count.  1...2...3...4...5...6... was someone missing?
Ariel glared at her reflection as preened in front of the mirror.

"Follow me!" Giovani called, leading the ladies up the steep hill.

Dominique huffed with annoyance as her heels sank in the damp soil.  "I wore my nice shoes!"

"This is it!" the bachelor announced.  "Crystal Springs!"
"Ahh... isn't it a beautiful day?" he asked, tilting his face up to the sun to soak in the rays.

Jasmin frowned.  "So what are we doing here?" she asked curiously.
"FISHING!"
"Wait? Did I hear you right?" DeDe asked with a frown, tapping the side of her head awkwardly.  "Fishing?"
Jasmin muttered under her breath. "Oh crap. I should've gone pee first!"
Dominique was the first lady to take the news in stride.  She grabbed one of the fishing poles and cast out the lure.
"Wow, what a great idea," Staci said playfully with a wink.
Since most of the good spots were taken near Giovani, Emma and DeDe attempted to find a better spot.

"I'm going to beat you!" DeDe hollered as she chased Emma.
In retrospect, Giovani should have joined the girls in their fishing expedition, but as it was, he kept himself busy streaming video on his cell phone.
"Uh, so what happens if I don't want to fish?" Jasmin asked hesitantly.
"You're welcome to leave at any..." Giovani turned and realized he was talking to thin air.  Jasmin was already picking her way across the hillside.  "...time.  Hmmm..."

"Hey! Is she leaving?!" DeDe asked, throwing her fishing pole down.
"I want to leave, too!"

The pickings weren't great, but the ladies started reeling in the minnows.

Dominique glowered when Gwen caught another fish.  "Show off," she muttered under her breath.

Ariel, meanwhile, enjoyed a nice, leisurely fish-free breakfast.

"I got another one!" Staci called out excitedly.
Her shoulders slumped with defeat when her hook was empty.  "Ah," she pouted.  She'd really been hoping to get more fish!

Gwen on the other hand, caught her 5th fish!

"GET. ON. MY. HOOK!" DeDe yelled at the fishies in the lake.
"I'm not sure, but I think the heat is getting to DeDe," Emma explained.  "Shouldn't we be worried about heat stroke or something?"
Giovani had to give Emma credit for speaking up.  "You know, I love the sun so much, I never even considered," he said, looking over towards the producer.  "What do you think? Do we need to head back?"

Just then, they heard DeDe start hollering across the lake again.
They shared a glance and chuckled between themselves.  "Yeah, I think it's time to go," he told Emma.

"SO? How was it?" Ariel asked anxiously when the rest of the girls got back home. "What'd you do?"
Staci shrugged.  "We fished," she said.

"Fished?"

Staci nodded. "Yeah. Fished."

"Wow. I'm glad I missed that!"  She glanced around.  "So who won?"

"I'm really forward to going out on this one-on-one date with you," Giovani told Gwen as he backed out of the driveway.

Gwen glanced towards him with a smile.  "Me, too," she said softly.
Silence hung between them.
"Well! This is it!" he said with a smile, leading her towards the beach.
"I planned a romantic picnic lunch to enjoy tog..." he trailed off, glancing around.  "Gwen?"
He spotted her nearby working on her tan.
With a shrug, he sat down and enjoyed his sandwich.

After awhile, he headed out for a swim.
Too bad Gwen didn't join him.  She splashed in the water a little, but really spent more time sunning.

As the sun sank below the horizon, Giovani and Gwen headed back to the Love-Mobile.  "Well, that was a pretty cool," he said, trying to make small-talk.  The truth was that they hadn't spent much time together.  He didn't know any more about her than he had when they'd left.

Gwen glanced across the console towards him and smiled shyly.  "I had a lot of fun."



Staci hurried to Gwen's side when the couple returned from their one-on-one date.  "How was it?" she asked.  "What did you guys do?"  She pestered Gwen for details, but Gwen stayed pretty tight-lipped.

Ariel took a more direct tact, approaching Giovani when he headed into the kitchen for dinner.  "I hope you won't count not showing up for the challenge against me," she said hopefully.
Giovani rubbed the back of his neck.  "Wellll, I dunno," he drawled uncomfortably.  "I was really disappointed you didn't come today."
"You don't understand!" Ariel complained. "It was my hair's fault!"

"Your hair?" Giovani echoed uncertainly.

Ariel fluffed her big, red curls.  "It almost has a mind of it's own sometimes! If I don't do my hair in the morning, it gets crazy!"
Giovani was staring at Ariel incredulously.  Of all the excuses he had expected, a hair crisis was pretty much at the bottom...
"WHAT?!" she snapped with irritation.  "It's TRUE!"
"Okay! Okay!" Giovani said, attempting to placate her as he slowly stepped away.
Staci watched the scene with interest.  Wasn't the best idea to antagonize the bachelor, in her opinion.
 
Giovani sat beside Dominique, chatting with her about the day.  "...And she said she couldn't come because of her hair!" he finished with a scoff.
"Giovani? A word please?" Ariel asked sweetly as she quickly headed towards him.

Giovani glanced up.  Did she overhear him complaining about her? he wondered.

"I TOLD you I had to put product in my hair!" she seethed.

Giovani was not impressed.
Ariel was not impressed.

Taking a deep, calming breath, Ariel toned it down when she saw how insulted Giovani had become.  Gesturing to her big curls, she tried to explain again.  "If I don't put the gel in my hair, the humidity makes it pouf up to three times this size.  It's crazy!"
"Sorry, I'm a little sensitive about my hair..."

Giovani was glad that Ariel had taken the time to explain why she hadn't been able to participate in the challenge of the day. 

As he slipped into bed, he thought about all the girls and wondered which one he would be sending home tomorrow...

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