It was a surprise to find the duster on the bed after I came back out, fully dressed. I couldn’t help but smile at his playful nature that I didn’t think existed. I quickly looked around for anything that I could possibly forget and left the room in my new clothing. Alex’s taste was superb and he guessed my size perfectly. I texted him:
Thanks for the clothing, my dust bunny ;)
After I got out of the elevator, Mr. Greeves came over instantly.
“Mistress VanWilliam,” Mr. Greeves stated. “I can have Matt give you a ride anywhere you please. Did you want to get a coffee at the cafe?”
I fixed my hair, hoping not to show how rattled I felt with his words. “I would love some coffee and I decline the ride. I have an appointment across the street.”
We start walking towards cafe and I notice more security personnel.
“If it has to do with an errand, I can have one of my staff get it for you,” Mr. Greeves spoke up.
I look at him and lay my hand on his shoulder. “I don’t bite, Mr. Greeves.”
A waitress looks at me after I said that with an interested expression. I ignore it and face Mr. Greeves again.
“You don’t need to be so formal with me and I won’t ask for things that I can’t do myself,” I told him.
I leaned forward. “Besides, I’m taking massage therapy classes so I can take care of my husband better.”
He smiles at me. “You’re very kind. I am needed elsewhere. May I leave?”
“Of course,” I said and watch him walk away.
After I order my coffee, I text Megan to tell her that I’m fine, and head over to my lesson.
~ ~ ~
The lesson went fine and I realized that my mood was sort of depressed so I bought plastic cups, cheap red wine that unscrewed, and decided to spend last hours at the house that will no longer be in my life.
My phone rings and I check the number that I don’t recognise after I poured myself some wine. Marketer probably.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Peaches,” a guy’s voice said.
I blink, thinking back to my childhood nickname. The only one to call me that was James.
“James?” I asked.
“Glad you remember me,” he said and laughed. “How’ve you been?”
“Good,” I lied. “I’m always happy, you know that from my letters.”
“Those letters stopped a while back. How’s your aunt?” James asked.
“She passed away a couple of days ago,” I answered.
“I’m so sorry, peaches. She was a memorable woman,” James said. “So, I am in town. We can get coffee and remember your aunt.”
“Sounds like a plan, captain,” I replied.
He laughs. I’ve seen through some horrible shit where I was but yesterday’s murder at Antico Hotel was something. I saw a couple of photos in the newspaper. The owner stood there talking with a cop while a redhead was looking at the limo. Someone leaked a photo of what happened inside the limo. Crazy shit. Didn’t know that I was coming back to more hell.”
“It’s not like you need to deal with any of this shit, as you put it,” I told him.
“True, my boys and I joked that those type of murders were done by werewolves or vampires,” James said. “Yeah, I know childish, but to think that a human being would do this to another is just horrible.”
I roll my eyes. “Captain, your imagination is running wild again. Where do you want to meet?”
“How about Antico Hotel? I’m tagging along with my friend who has a business meeting there. We can enjoy some coffee while I wait for him to finish. He’s supposed to hook me up with a job so I have to tag along and stuff. I’ll be there at five,” James explained.
“See you at five at the entrance then,” I said.
“I’ll be wearing my army hat, bye,” James said and hanged up.
“Vampires, yeah right.” I drink some of the wine.
I imagined blood on Alex in the room, I put more emphasis on the girl’s neck in my drawing, and that waitress gave me a look when I said -I don’t bite.
“That’s it, I’m nuts.”
Only an hour before my meeting with James.
~ ~ ~
I didn’t change for the meeting and felt a little buzzed from the wine but I had a sandwich on the way to the hotel and promised myself to drink lemon water at the cafe and not coffee.
Inside, is pretty chatty atmosphere and I look for a guy in an army cap. Almost instantly, I find the cap hiding blonde hair and blue eyes. James is talking to a man in a suit and I decide to walk up.
“Captain,” I said after tapping James on his shoulder.
He turns around and his eyes go wild. “Peaches?”
“That’s me,” I replied playfully and received a big hug.
“You became a real woman with me gone,” James said, looking me up and down.
I roll my eyes at him. “You haven’t changed.”
“You going to introduce me?” His friend asked.
“Oh, sorry man,” James said. “Victor, this is Amy my life-long friend.”
“Nice to meet you,” he said, eyeing me with lust.
I shiver and eye the cafe. “You, too. So, Captain, let’s go have that coffee.”
“Good idea,” James said and patted Victor on the shoulder. “Break a leg.”
“Planning on it,” Victor said and walked away towards a man who just entered the hotel
“Sorry about him,” James apologized.
“Yuck,” I said and we laughed.
“That’s a total give away that you deal with kids a lot,” James said and walked me over to a table. “Whatever you want. It’s on me.”
“Oh, well then I’ll take a milkshake,” I replied.
We sat down and a waitress came over with the menus. She gave me a disgusted look.
“What’s with her?” James asked.
“Don’t know,” I replied.
That’s when he noticed my ring. “You’re married?”
I redden. “Yes.”
“Wow,” James said dumbfounded. “I didn’t expect that.”
We talk for about ten minutes without interruption. The waitress didn’t come back to get our order and James was too shocked about my marriage to really care.
Yelling sounded from the hall and both of us looked.
“You’re no longer welcome in my hotel,” barked Alex.
“Fuck you! I was just talking to your waitress,” Victor yelled.
“You harassed her,” Alex snapped. “Take your meeting elsewhere.”.
“Not longer necessary,” a man said and quickly left before Victor could stop him.
“Security, get this arsehole out of my hotel!” Alex ordered.
Victor kept yelling and even punched one of the guards.
“You sure you don’twant help from him?” I asked James.
“Nope,” he said. “Alex!”
Now, it’s my turn to feel shock. “You know Alex?”
Alex heard and started towards us.
“Yeah, we’re buds,” James said. “You know him, too?”
Alex comes over and hugs me tight, inhaling my scent. Over his shoulder, I look at James, who looks really pale.
“James, meet Alex, my husband,” I said. “But, you already know him.”
Alex straightens and smiles at me. Though he acted tired, I don’t see any lines on his face, but I do feel that there’s something else behind the storm. He then looks at James and laughs.
“James. Nice to see you back mate. How was overseas?” Alex asked.
“Not as good as yours,” James commented. “You never told me that you got married… and to someone I know.”
“Privacy is key in my business. You know that. If I would have wrote you that I got married, the press wouldn’t leave my beauty in red alone,” Alex said. “So, what brings you here?”
“I was going to visit with Victor after his meeting but you kicked him out. He was really that bad?” James asked.
“He touched my waitresses butt after she refused his flirtation,” Alex growled. “My waitresses know how to behave in my hotel. It’s some guests who don’t.”
“Speaking of waitresses,” James eyed the one who was rude to me. “That one was rude to your wife and never came back to get out order.”
Alex looks at the girl and shakes his head. “What do you two want? I’ll put the order in myself.”
My eyes go wide. Alex would do that for James?
“Nah, I’m not in the mood anymore. I see that you’re still wearing the ring,” James commented.
“Yes,” Alex’s answer came out short.
“If it were someone else, I wouldn’t care,” James said. “But, it’s not. Either you end it or we’re going to have problems.”
“Then, we’re going to have problems,” Alex said.
James looks at me. “Amy, I will see you later. Something came up. It was nice to see you and you really did become a beautiful woman.”
“I’ll call you,” James said and nodded at Alex before lowering his cap over his eyes and leaving.