Emmanuel.

"Where's Marie?" Guillaume asks as the men retreat to the dining room, away from women. It was Richard Gaines that proposed this idea; I don't think he's had a good experience with the other sex.

Victor answers, "I don't know," as he grabs a bottle of water (much safer than water) from the counter, barging it heavily on the table. "I think she went with Rachelle somewhere."

I pick the cleanest - yet still murky - wine glasses from a cabinet, bringing six, one for each of us. Victor, Guillaume, Richard, Gregory, Xavier and I. Victor pours the wine skilfully into the smudge-stained glasses.

"You mean those women's right, girls?" Xavier laughs.

Guillaume coughs loudly, "Every little helps."

"But, they’re just women! They should be lookin' after little-uns, not parading about like their opinion matters." Gregory sniggers like a schoolboy as he speaks, spitting a little with the words.

Even Victor smirks at their remarks as he spins the red wine in small clockwise circles with small spins of his thick wrist.

I crack my jaw and take a large swig of wine before I speak. "We don't even know what they're doing. Maybe it's best not to speculate." I try and fail at keeping the edge out of my tone.

"Urg," Gregory belches. "You're one of those sympathisers, aren't yer?" He slips back into his native English tongue.

"Just as bad, I say." Xavier mutters, glugging his alcohol and snatching the bottle greedily he tops the dribble at the bottom up.

Victor laughs. "Now now. That is not the matter at hand. We're friends? Qui?" The awkward silence echoes around the room. He simply ignores it, "Good. Richard, Xavier and Gregory, meet Guillaume. Guillaume meet them."

They nod, acknowledging each other’s presences.

“Now, to the matter at hand. What are we doing next?” He laughs, Guillaume rolls his eyes, I sigh reclining into the back of the comfortable wooden chair.

It’s going to be a long night.

The End

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