Veronica stared at the champagne glasses on the balcony until they became a blur.
It was not that she was upset that Gwennie was in love, because it was clear that she was…she was afraid that she would end up in the same situation that she had.
Love was not guaranteed, but the way that she had fallen in love with Max when she was a young ballerina…she thought that they were a fairy tale come true. They had been for a long time, long enough for her to have had Gwennie. But then it was gone faster than anything.
Her vision became clear again, and she was offered a glass of champagne which she took and held it just below her mouth so that she felt the cool minute drops of it bubble against her lips. She clutched the stem of her glass tightly when she saw Max walking toward her, and took a gulp of the bubbly.
“Where’s our star?” he asked standing in front of her, so that she could smell the champagne on his breath.
She looked at him she hoped soberly, but she was definitely a little tipsy.
“With her boyfriend I suspect,” she replied squeezing the stem of her glass so hard she feared she would break it.
“You did not tell me she was seeing another dancer.”
“Gwennie tells you everything V. I am sure she mentioned him to you.”
“She did, but she did not say that she was seeing him.”
“You did not tell your parents about us right away either…”
“I don’t want Gwennie to be us!”
“Lower your voice V, don’t make a scene tonight…”
“”Because I always make a scene!” Veronica whispered fiercely, as he took her arm and led her to the stairwell.
“There are people here tonight V, it it Gwendolyn’s night.”
Veronica glared at him.
He did nothing that she did. She called their daughter Gwennie, he called her Gwendolyn.
“I never would do anything to hurt Gwen–” She looked down as she felt her eyes moisten. “I love her more than anything…”
“I know.” Max touched her cheek. “I forget how delicate and sensitive you are, I would never do anything to hurt you.”
He pulled her close to him, and she fell into his embrace with ease from familiarity. Her eyes completely moistened at his words because he had hurt her deeply. When he said he wanted to separate, and she finally asked for a divorce because she did not want to be in limbo…he hurt her so much then.
He lifted her face up to his, and kissed her cheek. The way his eyes focused on hers was familiar, but not in a post-marital way. When he pinned her to the wall, and pressed his lips to hers, she lost her balance. He quickly reached for her hips, and he kissed her with more urgency than she remembered him ever kissing her with. She felt him hardening against her, and she pressed both of her hands to the wall to push herself more to him. Tilting her head so her could kiss her neck, she lost her balance again. He held her hips tighter, and she knew she would bruise. Tomorrow morning, she would stare in the mirror at those fully bloomed bruises, and admire them more than any love bites she had had on her neck.
When they pulled away from each other, she was breathless. He kissed her again and again. It was with complete abandon that she wrapped her arms about him, before she moved away from him as if she had been burned by fire.
They looked at each other, their breath heavy. Max caressed her stiff from tears cheek,
“You are always the most extraordinary woman in the room…”
He took her hand, and they were lucky to return unnoticed to where the gala was winding down. When he let her hand go to walk over to a dancer, Veronica put her hand in her mouth and she could taste him.
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