Versailles was like a fairy land made of mirrors and gold. It being early April, its gardens were in full bloom. I’d never seen so many tulips in one place before.
“How do you like my home? I know it is humble, but I try to keep it neat.”
I playfully punched him in the arm. “You should see my gardens at home. I call it ‘Central Park.’”
He laughed. “I think I’ve seen your park in movies before. It is very nice, but I think you’ll agree that my gardens are a bit nicer.”
Before I knew it, the day escaped from me and we were finishing our meal at this cozy little restaurant down the block from Hotel Regina called Lucilles. I was eating something called steak tartare, which looked frightening but was actually quite delicious. Sebastian ordered duck confit. I drank too much red wine and as a result, I found myself laughing at everything and nothing.
Sebastian observed me over his wine glass. “You are positively radiant, Emily.”
“Merci beaucoup, Sebastian.”
We were silent during the walk back to my hotel.
I was consumed with doubts. Did he expect me to be ready and willing to sleep with him just because he’d wined and dined me? I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready! I hadn’t been with anyone in that way since Carl.
But there was a devilish little part of me that whispered, Don’t you wonder what it might be like to be with Sebastian?
His voice cut through my thoughts. “My fair Emily is once again daydreaming.”
I gave a rueful chuckle. “Yeah. I do that a lot. Sorry.”
Once we reached my hotel, we stopped and faced each other. As my mouth opened to say something, I don’t even know what, Sebastian kissed me. On both cheeks. I stood there with my mouth open, like a fish.
“Cendrillon, you are back home safe and sound, as promised. Did you have a good time?”
I quickly regained my composure. “I had a great time. Thank you so much! I wish you’d let me pay for dinner and for my own ticket into Versailles.”
“Nonsense. Your company was payment enough. I bid you adieu, belle Emily. I will call you tomorrow after work.”