“Who cares about pizza?” Megan asked and ran to the window. “The boys are still out there talking, near my window. Let’s listen in.” We creep to her room and sit against the wall, listening in. The thing about the States is that all houses are made of thin material and one can listen in.
I pick up a notepad from her desk and pen and write down:
Don’t talk. I don’t want them to know that we’re listening.
She nods and then scribbles:
I take the notepad and write back:
James used to be in the military. Good shot.
She takes over:
Did you hear what he just said?
I shake my head.
What attack? You never told me.
Megan looks pale and on her skin, it’s a little scary.
My thoughts raced about the dog cover up. James. He knows what happened. He never told me. When I showed him my scar, he was furious. I didn’t understand his anger. I told him about the dog, but it looks like he really knows what happened to me. But, how? When I don’t. I zoned out when they were talking about Acton, though I knew that I would remember that name.
When they mention the dead girl in the limo, I listen up and write my question of what I missed to Megan who quickly writes while listening.
Megan mouths, “deceased?”
After a while, we heard them walk off and drive away. It seemed that they left together so that conversation fixed whatever between them, but it didn’t help me.
“Want to talk about it?” Megan asked.
I gave her a hug and held on. I told her the same story that I’ve told Alex and she was afraid. She told me that the dog was probably dead by now and I told her that it wasn’t a dog. She didn’t believe me. I didn’t press. No one believe me, unless you could count James and maybe Alex.
“It went from you two lip locked to a very scary conversation. What does James do? He sounded like a detective or something,” Megan observed.
I shrug. “The last time, I checked, he was looking for a job, but maybe he lied. It sounds like he lied to me before.”
“And, has Alex lied?” She asked.
“Probably,” I replied, feeling hurt.
“Do you think that he has a real one woman on the side?” She asked.
“I think that if he did then it would ruin his reputation. He’s not an idiot,” I replied. “But, he knows how to hold secrets. It’s in his business and he’s too good looking to not have a woman. I still don’t get why he agreed to be a part of my lie.”
“What do you think the surprise is?” She asked. “You still interested after what you heard?”
I shake my head.
“What are you going to do about the weekend?” She asked. “You promised him.”
I smile. “I know. I… I really like him and he, he must have his reasons for having someone else.”
“He didn’t marry you for real, you know,” she reminded me.
“Yes,” I agreed. “He didn’t need to kiss me like that in private. He didn’t need to see me alone or look after me. It hurts more, now that there’s a chance that there’s someone else. I have no chance of him falling for me.”
In the morning, Megan and I took a taxi to Alex’s hotel and walked into the lobby, holding on to our bags with under clothing, makeup, and hair things.
Alex meets us and I walk over to him, wrap my arms around him, just holding on, afraid that it really is a dream, though the ugliness of last night made it more of a nightmare resurfacing.
“You missed your husband, huh?” He asked.
“Yes,” I told him.
He smiles cockily. “I’ll walk you two over to your surprise.”
“Great,” I replied and hold on to his arm while Megan laughs. I glare at her.
“You two are cute,” she said.
“When I made the appointment, I forgot to ask about Megan. Hopefully, they’re not too busy and can treat you both,” Alex said.
Megan and I share a look upon stopping in front of the massage parlor. Nadine greeted us with a smile.
“I thought that the weekend is going to be long and a massage was in order,” Alex said proudly.
“Can I have one, too?” Megan asked.
“We just had a cancellation, so we can do you two together,” Nadine said.
I uncling myself from Alex and whisper to Nadine. “You didn’t tell him, did you?”
“You told me that it was a surprise,” she whispered back.
I nodded and looked back at a whistling Alex. I raise my eyebrow questionably and decide to ignore it. “Oh, did you make up with James?”
“We never fought,” Alex said. “Find Matt, when you two are done. He will show where you two can beautify yourselves.”
“Thank you, Alex,” Megan said.
He nods and leaves.
“So ladies, here are your towels, go ahead strip in that room, and we will bring stuff in,” Nadine said.
We nod and walk into the room.
When we exit, I actually feel better, though at the beginning, I was uncomfortable because I was used to taking lessons, not getting massages. At the light, I get a text.
“Your husband checking on us?” Megan asked.
“No,” I replied. “James texted me.” I show her the text.
I know the truth. Believe me, you don’t want to play games with Alex.
“Seriously?” Megan said. “He’s been keeping a secret about knowing details about your attack and he’s telling you to leave Alex?”
“Whatever the massage helped with, is gone,” I replied and put away my phone.
After, we cross the street, I look around.
“What’s wrong?” Megan asked.
“I feel like someone is watching us,” I told her.
“You’re being paranoid because of the excitement,” she said and looked around.
I ignore her and close my eyes. After my attack, I just always knew when there was danger around. From the left. I open my eyes and quickly look.
A young man in dark jeans, black business shoes, a white t-shirt, and in a white fedora is walking right at us. He’s smiling and his eyes are green, very green. I remember those eyes. He stops in front of me and then looks up the towering hotel.
“Have you stayed here before?” He asked.
“My husband owns it,” I replied, shivers run down my spine. “It’s a five star hotel.”
He looks at me. “Husband?” Suddenly, he’s holding my hand eyeing the diamond. “Pretty cheap if you ask me.”
“No one did,” Megan snapped.
I pull at my hand, but he’s grip is tight and gets tighter. “Ouch.”
“You grew up nicely,” the man said. “If I knew that back then, it wouldn’t have happened.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I replied. “You’re mistaken. Let go.”
He let’s me go and touches my side. I wince, feeling hot there. His smile grows bigger.
“Say hello to Alex for me,” he said before continuing on his walk.
“I didn’t catch your name,” I called at him angrily.
“Acton,” he shouted back. “It’s Acton, love.”
“I’m never calling you paranoid again,” Megan said.