The bathroom door clicked shut before I allowed myself to breathe fully. Then like a gate was opened the tears fell from my eyes. The fear I should have felt in their presence finally arrived and I nearly lost all the strength in my legs. Quinn’s arms slowly turned me into his chest and he held me, giving me all the strength I needed.
“Where did ...”. Quinn started to speak but I shushed him.
I motioned for him to wait one minute. I stepped out of the shower and wrapped up in a terry cloth robe from behind the door. With caution I opened the bathroom door and stepped out for a quick look. There was no sign of Dean or his men and the now battered hotel room door was closed again.
When I turned around Quinn was right behind me, looking rather gorgeous dripping wet.
“Cherie, uh ... I mean, Cathie, thank you.” He pulled me to him again for another hug.
It was there in his arms that everything made sense. I knew I had been here before. I knew his touch and his mannerisms. There was nothing unfamiliar about him to me. How can that be?
Urgently I pushed away from his hold. “Even Dean knew me. Why don’t you know me?”
Quinn’s eyes moved with concern. His hands dropped from my waist and he stepped back. “I was going to mention that same thing. Why does Dean know you?”
“I don’t care why he knows me I just can’t understand you.”
Quinn threw his arms up in the air. “Understand me?” The sudden anger in his voice filled my mind. This isn't where I saw this conversation heading.
He turned around and headed for the bathroom. When he returned he had a towel that he rubbed fiercely over his dirty-blonde hair. He stepped towards me. “This conversation is not over, but I have more important matters to attend to. Go change into dry clothes.”
His voice was not angry, but it was not kind either. I questioned my actions to see where I had upset him. Dean’s suggestive manner did give the impression that we knew each other before. And it didn’t really imply we were meeting for coffee dates. However, I have no recollection of Dean in that way. I only saw him in the pictures that filled my mind. It was Quinn that was more than a picture. He was very real to me in every sense. It just doesn’t add up.
I found my suitcase by the door and grabbed a fresh set of clothes. As I fixed myself up in the bathroom I couldn't hold at bay the fear that I had angered Quinn. Yet, if he is telling the truth that he doesn’t know me, I shouldn't be surprised if he would want to get off this circus ride. It didn’t feel real. It was like the action movies Mitch would watch. There were always too many guns and fights and not enough relationship in them for me. That’s it ... I’m in my own bad version of a Hollywood Flick.
Suddenly I heard Quinn’s thick English accent roll off fluent French to someone. It is enough to confuse even the clearest of minds. I peeked out the bathroom door to see him standing across the room with his back to me dripping on the carpet while he talked on the room phone. I could catch parts of his conversation, but there were several differences in the nuances of his French that I am accustomed to in Canada.
He spoke forcefully to the person on the other end of the line, but maintained a very calm and professional manner. He was requesting a new room I think. Pour sa sécurité. For my safety.
Before long the room was swarming with hotel staff. They checked out the broken door frame from being thrust open by Dean’s men. Finally a very distinguished looking fellow approached Quinn, offering his hand to him.
“Bonjour, je suis Hans Fritzer. I’m the hotel ambassador. I would like to offer you a new room, compliments of the hotel. Would you please follow me? The bellman will bring your luggage.”
Quinn turned to me and offered his arm to me. It was very debonair. Of course I accepted without any hesitation.
Quinn chatted in French with the man all the way through the hallways and the elevator ride which seemed to last forever. I paid little attention to them as I was so taken by the proximity to Quinn’s side. His sleeve clung to his arm from the wetness but it didn't bother me. He laid his hand atop of mine and gently stroked my fingers draping from his arm. It consumed my concentration.
When the elevator finally reached the end of its travels we stepped out into a large atrium decorated with magnificent artwork and fine porcelain vases. The opulence took my breath away.
Quinn guided me along following the Ambassador towards a large Oak framed set of doors. There was a uniformed man standing beside the doors who opened them inwards as soon as we reached him. I overheard the Ambassador tell Quinn something about a security guard arriving within the hour. Quinn squeezed my fingers and pressed my arm against his side.
NEXT CHAPTER is here.