*continued from Vitis Coffea, Part I
There was no other way to put it... she was dressed to kill. The day after following him on the beach, she put on a sleek black dress and waited for him outside of the lobby. In French, she interrupted his reading of an English newspaper and asked him for the time. He responded politely and feigned a lack of notice of her figure, but a momentary widening of eyes betrayed him, and she could feel those eyes long after she said merci, monsieur and walked away.
As she hurried back to her hotel and changed for the day's work - the trip to Marseilles was not for fun and games, after all - she noted that he had an excellent French accent, but spoke horrible French. She also thought she saw an unsure recognition. Perhaps he did remember her from the night in the club, when he seemed so out of place, yet so exactly where he should be. Whether he did or not didn't really factor into her plan. If it did, she'd have given him more time to figure it out. Even so, she had made sure she wore the same perfume and made equally sure that he could smell it when he checked his watch for her.
"Hate to bother you... again, but what's the time?" English, this time. Already dressed for work, it is no accident that her jacket is unbuttoned, her skirt hiked just a little extra, and her choice of tank top just a little tight.
"Ah..." He's perplexed. She smiles her beautiful smile, knowing he definitely remembers her now. "7:17. How did you know I speak English?" It is a subtle English accent. Weak, almost non-native to England.
She taps his newspaper, The Daily Telegraph.
"Have we met?" he asks. "Before yesterday, I mean."
"Yes," she replies, beginning her walk away, "we have."
A small smile curves into existence on the right side of his mouth. He's not going to give chase, because he knows he'll see her again. "What's your name?"
"Alex." It's as if she were yelling out to everyone. Then again, she may have been.
They enjoy a lunch together, seated at a windowed table near the front of the restaurant. She planned to request an outside seat, but it's a bit chilly today and she doesn't want to appear too aggressive in spite of her aggression. Americans have a reputation of arrogance and she wants none - neither him, nor any witnesses - to come away from her with that impression. She's meticulous in her listening. Japanese grandparents immigrated to England, their London-born son marrying an American exchange student, and time spent at school in the United States. The sadness from the beach seems mostly gone and he's comfortable in his general loquaciousness. She loves to hear him talk, loves his voice as she spices up her mood with a few glasses of a house wine.
While he talks, politely attempting to keep his attention away from anything below her neck - and, indeed, from her neck as well... he finds its smooth perfection rather irresistible in itself - she moves her torso and legs in a way that makes it more than clear that she's wearing nothing underneath. As they leave, she imagines that were he to follow her, they could find some little used corridor and enjoy a flip of her skirt. But she will not let him, not today. Today, she repays his prior lack of notice with a tease. And an unspoken promise.
A promise kept under a loss of inhibitions, inspired by her Château Pétrus. Conversation as mere protocol lost beneath the wine-flushed burn of two distinct skin tones. Milliliters remaining mimicked by the millimeters separating the inevitable. And the bottle, now empty, a false reflection of a body filled with that of another's. It is a vintage lust, aged to perfection by her vinified patience. An uncorked pouring of emotion worth waiting for. It is a sommelier's intercourse, a matching so perfect and a coupling so expert that its execution need little conscious attention. This evening's specifics will mostly fail in memory, but its impressions will forever succeed in their imaginations.
She can't sleep. She lies on her side, staring out the open window overlooking Vieux Port, listening to his sleep-heavy breathing and feeling the warm exhale on the back of her neck. His arms wrapped around her, their bodies aligned perfectly in mock fetal positions. A smile from noticing that he's still aroused... whether by dream or residual thought makes no difference to her. She can't help burying her face in her pillow in attempts to hide uncontrollable giggles and an embarrassingly wide smile that she knows nobody can see. She had feared regret from effectively forcing this night, but none manifested. It all - everything about it - seems too right.
An inadvertent squeezing of her legs together fosters an unconscious reaction. She covers her smile with her hand as she's gently pushed onto her stomach. Feeling him on top of her, she widens her legs a bit to allow him in. His hands, childishly, caress her buttocks for a few moments before they graciously and gratefully begin a massage of her shoulders. The massage is more than enough to wet her and his penetration is a smooth and breathtaking glide. There is gentle teasing as he bites her neck with his lips and exposes her moon-reflected skin while shifting her beautiful hair to his pillow. Unlike before, sobriety ensures memory will be perceived accurately, and both carefully consider their movements, showing the other how much they want this to last forever.
A purposeful squeezing of her legs percolates a wine that he doesn't hesitate to taste. He looks up into her eyes and she makes another unspoken promise... this one to return the favor. And it is kept. Wines and sweat come together in the most intoxicating of cocktails. Her smile is omnipresent and only a sensual bite on her nipple convinces her that this not a dream.
She wakes up alone and a second that could've given away to panic instead remains calm. She hears him in the kitchenette, moving about. There's a scent in the air, one as comforting as it is encouraging. He has, obviously, no intention to leave.
"What were you doing at the beach the other day?"
He pops his head into the bedroom, an expression of curious satisfaction. "I'm sorry?"
"The beach. You seemed so sad."
His expression shifts to concern, though the curiosity amplifies. Her words clear implications that this - for him, anyway - was not pure serendipity. He disappears behind the door and another second that could've given away to fear also remains calm. He's returned to his task at hand. "I was," comes the muffled reply.
She rolls over onto her back and breathes a sigh of relief. "Why?"
Entering the bedroom holding two coffee mugs, he hands her one and sits on the edge of the bed. Her eyes brighten and she grabs it with both hands, hiding still another smile in a sip of local roast.
"I was wondering if I'd ever find you."
The schoolgirl giddiness overcomes her and she spasms uncontrollably in sheer joy. Lunging forward, she discovers that coffee tastes much better when poured from his lips.