It kind of felt like going on an interview, Eliza stared in a store window one more time to make sure she looked perfect before going into the apartment building.
When she had decided to open up her relationship with Rafe, she realized it meant that she acknowledged that there would be other people in their lives. Transient lovers were not an issue, but people that were going to be ongoing was different.
She had never had a conversation with Severine, she had been in the same place with her or heard her on the phone but never really engaged her. For Eliza, to be fully open, she wanted to meet Severine when she was in Paris. So she could know her as more than just an idea, or a shadow.
The door opened, and there was a soft smile on Severine’s mouth. Her beauty was obvious from quick glimpses in New York, but here in Paris it was offsetting.
“Bonjour,” she offered warmly and put her arms around her.
“Bonjour,” Eliza said, and put her arms around her.
“It’s lovely to meet you.”
“Likewise,” Eliza said primarily because she did not know what else to do.
Severine looked at her with wide eyes. She saw that the other woman was insecure too and that soothed her. She smiled,
“You’re nervous too.”
Severine smiled even more.
“Oui, sorry! I tend to speak in French even more when I nervous…”
The conversation ended up being very different from what she was expecting, especially after some aromatic Malbec was introduced.
“What made you change?” Severine asked her. “Rafe told me that you are now also participating in the open relationship part.”
“I fell in love with someone else, that was how I learned that relationships are more fluid that I thought. It is not easy, but there is definitely a difference in deciding that there is more than one person I want to be with. You were involved with Oscar…”
It was still so hard for her to say Oscar’s name since she left Shanghai. Left him and…
“Yes, I feel like if it had just been Rafe that we shared that that would be one thing, but Oscar too…”
Eliza smiled, and looked around at Severine’s apartment which reflected her extensive travel. Postcards and exotic knickknacks everywhere.
“Well you are beautiful, it is not surprising to me that men find you attractive. Want to be with you.”
“So are you, I can imagine that Rafe is scared as hell that you want to be with other men. He could lose you.”
After a huge sip of Malbec, Eliza smiled.
She was not thinking about being lost to Rafe. Right now she was lost to herself.
She was still drinking Malbec later, in a cafe not far from her hotel in Montparnasse. Adrian was late. Even though she knew she shouldn’t, she felt alone and abandoned.
It was so easy for her to feel like that now, and she hated it…Maybe she wanted Rafe to say he only wanted to be with her? But then she was in love with someone else, who was she to fuss?
She was more than tipsy when Adrian walked in, but between her legs pounded soberlt as soon as he walked in.
He sat next to her, and she put her hand on his thigh. He brought it up further along his thigh and she pushed that boundary too.
His kisses ignited her body. She loved the feeling of his hard body that wanted hers, kept demanding hers. Sex with him was like drinking too much Malbec. Savoring, taking everything in.
When the waiter spoke to them, her French was sharper than usual. Did she have to drink too much to be fluent?
Eliza felt fluent in lust, as Adrian pulled her legs over his. She looked him in the eye. He felt sweeter to her because he had not been shared with Severine. He was only hers. At least she did not know who else he had been with. She liked that she thought, as she licked his lips that tasted like the Malbec on hers.
When she opened her eyes, they lingered on all the French words around them and she thought how freeing it felt to be in Paris. Rafe and Oscar were not her utmost thoughts. She was not feeling like the Sylvia Plath poem, The Applicant.
She had not spoken a word to Adrian or he to her, but tangled up in each other their bodies spoke all of their volumes.
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vins photo by f dot leonora