Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chapter twelve, page three

A comfortable silence followed us as we walked to my hotel room to clean up for the dinner party.  While we rode the elevator, Quinn’s phone buzzed.  As he answered it and rattled on in French to someone, I paid no attention.  There still was a battle waging in my head for what to believe.  My mind definitely wasn’t in the same place as my heart. 

Thirty-six hours ago and a continent away I was a barely-breathing, depressed widow convinced life needed to pass me by.  That without Mitch there was no reason to be happy or experience the rest of my life.  I had hoped and planned to experience it all with him.  Now look at me.  I am opening the doors to an amazing penthouse suite in Paris.  There is a devilishly handsome man at my hip that is interesting in me.  Instead of revelling in that, I am chastising myself for my own wayward thoughts about him.

Quinn hung up his cell phone.  “That was the detective.  He needs me to come down to the station for some questions and paperwork.  It seems that Dean is still trying to organize his bail, so we are set for the dinner party.  Would you mind if I quickly clean up and then head there?”

I shook my head.  “Go ahead.  I will shower when you are gone.”

Quinn winked and turned tail towards the bathroom.  He had managed to stop at the front desk on our way up here and gather some shaving supplies.  I plopped down on one of the three couches exhausted by the events and the turmoil roiling inside me.

Exhaustion was lurking around every breathe I took.  How could Quinn manage to keep moving forward?  To keep smiling?

With a sideways glance I noticed his shopping bag on the floor by the door. 

“Quinn.”  I called out.

There was no answer.  He will need those to change into.  At that moment I stood to pick up the bag, curiosity seized me.  I hadn’t paid any attention to which outfit he had purchased.  Inside the bag , neatly folded was the black dress pants, white collared shirt and the black tie.  I like that one.

Gingerly I cut away the price tags and smoothed the wrinkles as best as I could.  A little shower steam would help the rest out.

As I approached the hotel bathroom, the door was slightly ajar and Quinn was humming to himself.  Where does that man find his joy?

I knocked.

“Umhmm.”  His sing-songy response almost made me giggle out loud.

“I brought your new clothes and a hanger.  I thought you could hang them up in there while you shower.  The steam might work out a few of the wrinkles.”

“Come in.”

“Are you … decent?”  I asked.

“Completely”, he taunted.

Pressing the door open with my elbow I stepped in to find him shirtless shaving over the sink.

He winked.

“That is not really the definition of completely decent.”  I mocked.

“Really?  I guess I must be European.”

I placed the hanger with his new shirt and pants over the towel rack and moved to leave.  Only I couldn’t.  I stood there watching his razor-clad hand deftly move across his face.  It was mesmerizing.

My mind was once again riding the roller coaster.  If I could only grasp why I am here and why this is all happening then I could know for sure if my feelings are real.  If I met this man back in Canada, I would want to pursue a relationship.  His compassion warms my heart.  I longed to know what stories lie in his past to create a man of this caliber.

His bare muscular arms moving in rhythm with his movements caught my attention.  They were matched only by the dance of his shoulder blade.  He’s a beautiful man.  That much was certainly reality.  He stood less than a foot from me.  I could touch him if I needed to know for sure.

However here in France nothing seems reality.

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