The drive returning to my hotel was riddled with awkward silence. His grand gesture to me had not been received well. I really did want to be needed by him, and wanted by him. Only his methods brought me anxiety instead of comfort. His emotions were high and his actions were strong. I longed for that gentle man who trusted me in the bakery, protected me in front of Dean and desired to know me in the hotel.
After Quinn parked his car we continued to sit in silence for a moment. Finally he looked up at me and I saw a hint of his personality seeping back into his golden eyes. “I promised you a snack and a rest.” He said with a wink.
“Quinn, I think you need a lawyer.”
“I quite agree.”
“Do you know any?”
“Not personally, but my best friend’s wife was a law secretary. Perhaps she knows someone I could trust.”
“Uh, Quinn? Are you thinking of Jane?”
“Yes, how did you – never mind, why do I ask anymore?”
“Tonight is the dinner party, remember? Are you thinking of going there?”
He thought for awhile. “Yes I am. Dean will not show if he is still handling his unfortunate show down with the police this morning. I think we should both go.” He looked over to me with a glint in his eye. “How would you like to join me for a fancy but possibly boring evening of wine, fabulous food and a few wacky but very decent friends?”
“That sounds like an offer a girl can’t refuse.” I returned his smile and for a moment the afternoon escapade faded into a distant memory. “You aren’t going to go dressed like that, are you?”
Quinn glanced down at his faded blue jeans and henley top. “I wonder if we could include shopping as part of your tourist experience in Paris?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”
Quinn started up the motor of the car and pulled away from the curb. Everything felt right back on track. As much as it could for the most bizarre vacation I had ever taken.
Quinn teased that he would choose the ‘most tourist-y mall’ he could find. When I questioned him as to why he simply stated, “Then you don’t have to speak much French.”
“I am perfectly capable of speaking French.”
“Well, I know you can speak it, but ‘perfectly’ might be a stretch. Your French sounds a little weak, Cherie.”
“Weak?” I shouldn’t be offended because he was right. “I am out of practice, I guess.” It would be futile to try to explain to Quinn that I used to love listening to Mitch speak French with his mother. It was so comforting to me. Then there were times when he would whisper words of love into my ear. The melodious, rhythmic cadence of his accented words made me feel safe and loved. It is only since silence replaced those words in my home that they feel like a grater on my skin.
Until Quinn. His deep, yet soft English accent perfectly producing the French language has brought a whole new sense of comfort. His voice rings low into my heart. When he speaks French his words filter hope into my dry spirit and I start to feel alive again. Maybe that is why he feels so familiar to me.
Along with that comes a whole new purpose to my life.
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