“Did you see him?”
“Yes,” Eliza answered Rafe. It was weird for him to ask her if she had seen Oscar yet, but that was the reason why she was able to go to Shanghai in the first place.
She was sitting in the airport, her legs and ankles crossed like a picture she saw of Anne Sexton. Jet lag was not usually something that affected her in a really bad way, she knew the exhaustion that she felt was from her time in Shanghai.
“But you are in Paris now?”
Yes, she thought to herself.
Eliza was happy that she had gone to Paris after Shanghai for work. It gave her time to decompress. Time to not think about Shanghai, sitting in the bar that looked like fire with Oscar first time that she realized that she loved him. Bars were so essential in the development of her relationship with Oscar. They had met at a bar, and she last saw him at a bar.
She could not think about the last time right now, and there was no work to throw herself into yet.
“And you will call me when you are all settled in?”
“Liza, are you okay?”
His affectionate short name for her over the phone, she knew it was going to be hard to hide her feelings from him. Rafe knew her over the phone, in the dark.
But she was going to pretend.
“Yes baby, why I called you. Your voice makes me feel loved.”
“I love you.”
“I love you,” she rushed, her eyes blurred with tears.
She scrolled on her phone after she got off with Rafe, wiped a tear on it as she tried to call the car service she used there. The number should have been in her contacts, but she had never put it there and always had to look it up. While she was looking it up, she saw something about a motor taxi and clicked on it. It was cheaper than her car service, would probably get her to Paris faster and she just wanted to do something that would take her out of herself.
When her taxi arrived, the guy got off of his motorcycle, took off his helmet and smiled. Eliza inadvertently licked her lips. He handed her a helmet, and she told him in a rush where she wanted to go.
He smiled at her they way that most Parisians did when she spoke in French.
“You are American!” he said in heavily accented French.
“I speak some English. I will help you get to your hotel, and you will help me practice English?”
“Sure,” Eliza smiled as he bent over to pick up her luggage, and put it in the compartment on the motorcycle that could hold it.
They got on the bike.
“Are you ready?” he asked her as he put on his helmet.
“Yes, as I will ever be!”
He smiled, and they were on their way. Eliza closed her eyes at first, and then the the rush came over her from France flying by her, and at this point the closeness of her driver. His hair was curly and shaggy where the helmet was not covering it, and his scent was of a cologne that she did not recognize the notes of. The scent however was a sweet harmony for her senses. They did not talk a lot, but there was a smattering of English and French coming from both of them. Coming into to Paris like this was magnificent.
When she got to her hotel, they took off their helmets outside.
“You are here.”
“You did not get to help me speak a lot of English.”
“No, I did not,” she smiled.
“Here is my card, in case you have time while you are here…or of course when you are going back to New York you said?”
She nodded, she felt so nervous because he was so good looking that she could not speak a word. English or French.
“Well, you have it.”
Eliza closed her fist about it.
“I do. Merci beaucoup.”
He smiled as he got on his motorcycle, and put on his helmet. His smile filled her in a way she had needed to be filled when she left Shanghai, and which she had sought when she called Rafe.
Adrien’s card would have burned a hole in Eliza’s purse, she had not forgotten him for her whole trip. She did not want to call him, but she knew that she had to.
When he arrived, he looked even sexier than when she had first met him. His hair was a bit wilder, and he had stubble on his face.
“What time is your flight?”
“You have time to kill?”
“I thought I would help you practice English.”
She led him through the curtains that divided the lobby, and down the stairs to the door marked “Privé,” which he pressed her up against. She closed her eyes and rubbed her face against the stubble on his face, loving the burn, needing it to make her feel alive and know she was doing this.
The roughness of his stubble and his coarse hands under her dress,made her growl low in her chest. She did not know how to say condom in French, so she frisked him. Her hand grabbing at his ass, trying to feel for any signs that he might have one. He dangled the condom with a laugh above her face like mistletoe, and she laughed deeper than she usually did.
And what followed was more excitement than when the ball dropped in Times Square for New Year’s.
More Wicked Wednesday here:
times square via wikipedia commons