I must admit, those dreams crumbled a little. Okay. A lot.
Though he could just as easily have attended this wedding by himself. His parents, at least, will be in attendance. And after all, this was Charlotte's (his ex-girlfriend) sister's wedding. And seeing how Charlotte wants to be all over him...
Still, here I am, his guest of honour at the wedding of the year.
I'd only spent weeks since he'd invited me to this wedding with thoughts of us in that king-sized bed. I'm sure he must have done too, and his asking for twin beds instead of the king he'd originally booked was purely out of politeness. Still, we'd be in the same room. Though, I couldn't just pretend sleep, throw my leg over him. I can't now snuggle up next to him, accidentally push myself back on him.
Ugh, who the hell did I upset for this to happen?
Luggage safely deposited, James hands us the key cards, makes his departure.
They got us the twin beds, after all. Pulling up alongside me in the room's corridor.
That they did.
I couldn't tell if he was playing or blaspheming, so I played ignorant of my bedtime thoughts.
There's a coffee table on the far side of the room and I walk over to it. The table decorated to delight and so my mood lifts. A cookie leaves the table and that goes into my mouth; the card the hotel left, I open it, start reading.
To Mr and Mrs Adlington, we hope you enjoy your... I stop, hand the card to James, now sitting in an armchair removing his shoes.
I see you and I are now one of two Mr and Mrs Adlingtons here this weekend.
He announces after reading it.
James, there was always going to be two 'Mr Adlingtons' here this weekend. Well, actually, no, because your father's surname is Cellerier. Though everyone calls him Adlington, thanks to your mother and the fact that no one can actually get their tongue around that French pronunciation. However, two Mrs Adlingtons?
We can always pretend?
We can, can we? How far do we take this pretence? Interest peaked.
Share French fries.
We've already shared French fries. Laughing.
Hold hands. Answer to Mrs Adlington.
Winks at me and exchanges the card for the bottle of Puglian red on the table.
Somehow, I don't think Madame Charlotte will take kindly to that.
Charlotte can be a handful, but she's alright.
Lips pursed, I stare back at him and the two empty wine glasses he's drawing nearer him.
Why are you looking at me like that?
I shake my head, pick up a dried mango chunk off the plate, plop it in my mouth. He's still studying me. I like it when he does that. So I sit back on the desk across from him. Arms crossed over my chest, legs crossed in front of me, cud chewed my mango before saying 'nothin'.
Eyes still on examination, I still my chew, only for my chest to take up a rhythm.
He points the head of the red in my direction, breaking the moment, and I nod.
The room, our room, becomes my distraction as he pours. Either side of the twin beds is paired with identical glass and brushed brass framed side tables. The resemblance bears of an interior brand supplier I work with. James is in one of two matching armchairs and a coffee table at one o'clock. At three o'clock, a windowful wall of west-facing French doors lets in the afternoon light and leads out to a patio; where two more chairs and a table are. At five, it is me, and behind me, tea, coffee and a coffee maker. At six, a big-screen tv sits opposite the beds. At seven, you walk down the corridor back to the entrance. Wardrobes line up all of eight, nine and ten. The creams, beiges, touches of dark wood make it homely. The room welcoming. Away from the twin beds, his Lordship had done well.
Ass up off the desk, I walk back towards the entrance, exploring. Ass purposefully switching out extra behind me causes James to pause his pour. Clocked those eyes of his walking with me.
Down the corridor, two doors line my right; I ignore the first one, move straight to the second. Not-so-tanned brown granite greets me from the double vanity tops and the bathtub. The Lord must have had a feminine touch in the bedroom but was left to his own devices in the bathroom.
On my right, a glassed-door shower easily showers three. Okay, Lord Gilpin I'm willing to overlook those earlier misgivings.
It is overly warm in this bathroom, and I turn out to find James, two glasses of red in hand, on my step.
Ooh, I didn't hear you come in.
Is it to your satisfaction? He asks.
Taking my glass of red from him. The urge to touch him, melt into him, fierce. Was it his heat, I was feeling?
Brain in limbo, I nose my glass of dark red, full-on plummy on the nose. Glasses clink and we 'cheers' to the wedding, another for 'the weekend'. And Lord Gilpin. James adds at the end.
Mention of his Lordship reminds me my weekend plans are somewhat foiled. Brain out of limbo, I casually slip my hand behind his waist, let it drop to his ass, smack it. Its been a while since I've done that and, It. Is. Still. Firm. It takes me back. A smoky look comes my way as I turn us out of the bathroom.
You're something else, you know that?
Yes, you said that the first time we met. Though I'd done a thing far more unchaste than that.
He coughed on the word.
Well, I meant it then and still mean it today. The meanings may be different but I mean it all the same.
Eyes out the French doors, we lock stepped towards them.
Outside on the balcony, we pulled up chairs, sat down. The sunlight still on, but low. Only a chill creeping on served as a winter reminder.