“It is all hormones with you and Rafe,” her mother had said to her, when she started seeing him. “That young man has something carnal about him, even I am not immune. Everything seems so pristine, his background, his family. But he is like a wildcat. Something that cannot be domesticated.”
Eliza remembered how frank her mother was with her when she told her that they were in a relationship. She had not even told her mother about Sandrine, or anything else. He came to dinner at their holiday house, which Eliza was a little embarrassed was so much more modest than his parents’ home which she had been sneaking into.
Even at the dinner table she was barely able to keep her hands off of him. Even with her parents present, she could not keep her hands off of him. Both of them ate eat one-handed, because their hand was on the other’s thigh or some part.
“He is not the kind of man that you get serious about,” her mother said washing dishes with her later.
Eliza thought that when he proposed to her, she thought that she had captured him. But to be honest, she always wondered how long she would hold him.
“You know the night that we met was one of those nights,” she said now to Oscar. “The engagement was like a leash, it was almost like I should have had a fancy diamond-encrusted collar about his neck…”
A lost memory was resurrected, of being at one of Fiona’s racier openings. There was a man dressed in an elegant suit, with a woman in a gorgeous flesh-colored dress that made her more naked than she would have been if she was actually naked. The woman wore a collar, but her leash was tangled in a pile at the edge of the heels of her flesh-colored Christian Louboutins. She held Rafe close that night, the tightness of her arm like a leash with no room for him to break free.
Her arms about her neck now as if to strangle herself, Eliza let her breasts rest along Oscar’s body. He came inside her hotel room, pushed her up against the wall, and kissed her bruising kisses that she would run her fingers over in the morning. But almost at the same time, they realized that it was not smart. Her broken engagement, his relationship with Polly…but they could not keep their bodies apart. Lying on the bed, Oscar stared up at the ceiling. Clutching her hair in a tight vise, he held her locks like a thick leash. He controlled how far she moved her head.
“And with me? With me what is it? Hormones too?”
She looked up his torso to his face, as he released her hair.
“Maybe you were love at first sight?”
Oscar chuckled, continuing to play with her hair.
“I am not sure it was love at first sight. But we both wanted to fuck each other!”
Eliza kissed what of his stomach, peeked through his partially open shirt.
Oscar sat up leaning back on his hands, she pressed his chest softly savoring the familiar feeling of it under her fingers.
“It is okay, it was not okay for a time…but now it is.”
He held her hand.
“I’ll always love you Eliza, even if we are not together, I will always love you.”
“I love you,” she said.
Before the tear fell over her lips, Oscar’s mouth was on hers. He licked the saltiness of the tear from her lips. It felt like hormones motivated them as she completely unbuttoned his shirt, and kissed his chest. He fisted her hair again making her look at him, she stopped like any animal would when its leash was pulled. There was a not so gentle thump between her legs, as she realized where she was going.
What she wanted.
“I love you,” he said disengaging himself from her, and buttoning his shirt. “But I am not going to be Rafe’s replacement again.”
Eliza curled up in a ball on the bed, clutching the sheets as if for dear life. She knew he was right, but she did not want him to be right.
“I love you,” he said again, bending to kiss her cheek.
She heard the door close solidly behind him, and was glad that the doors locked automatically and required a code in this hotel. Not that it mattered, she remained up for the entire night in a ball on the bed like a watchdog.