Just when everything is falling apart, I don’t need this awful rain. The raindrops are so huge they make annoying pelting sounds on the make shift tarp above my head where I temporarily sheltered, with a half-drenched dress and a half-bruised ego..
I can practically hear my mother’s voice screeching inside my head;
“Where is your umbrella Ysabella? Do you want to get soaked in the rain? Do you want to get sick, catch a cold, yada yada yada…?”
Why am I even thinking of her at a time like this? Curses!
I have just been fucking stood up. The bastard, motherfucker didn’t even bother to show up and I had to look for this god-forsaken out in the boondocks bar. Yeah, right… “Bar des Oiseaux”; where the live jazz bands are to die for. I am such a loser. I fucking hate this.
“Shut up Ysabella! You always discredit yourself. You are way too smart and beautiful for those losers you fall in love with!” There she is again. I screamed, “Mother, can you cut me some slack? I am trying to find my way here in this paradise I chose, far away from your nagging; shrilly voice and I can hear you above the din!”
I am so losing it. “Get a grip girl. You are here now. Mother is several thousand air miles from where you are”. I hear myself talk to me in my head.
I had to squint my eyes to read through the rain, “There you are, Rue Saint Vincent!”
Now, how do I get back to the Garden Hotel at Rue de Congres? I feel so far from it. I should have asked Trish to stay with me. Nothing makes sense in this downpour. Its making my head throb and I can’t think or see clearly. I should not have drunk those vodkas. Well what can I do? I was stood up. Damn! Somebody rescue me.
What in the world was I thinking? There is no way; absolutely no way at all I will ever yield to Patricia Marie’s sweet-talking, ever! “Blind dates” are rubbish and for the totally desperate basket cases. I would like to believe I am not a basket case. This is the first time, the very first time in my 27 sordid years that have I ever been stood up by any man. Always a first time so they say.
Trish, my best friend for life, my unsolicited guardian and designated match maker. I was 6 years old and she was 7. We were all at the playground doing stuff kids do at playgrounds when all of a sudden; this pony-tailed, red haired girl started bawling. I turned to look and I caught this robust boy dusting his shoes after he kicked the sand castles little red-hair was building for the last half hour or so. I did what I naturally thought was the right thing to do. I walked up to the jackass boy who did that and whacked him in the head with the pail and shovel I had in my hand. He started crying and everybody else laughed. Trish, the red haired girl, and I have been best friends since.
We grew up together and had our fair share of fun and horror stories; and boy romances. The boyfriends we had just had to deal with the fact that we are practically twins. In the last four years, there were 4 of us. Trish and Jack, Kyle and I, the inseparable foursome we could have been the Beatles. Ten months ago, Trish and Jack announced their formal engagement in a lavish party that I planned and managed like it was my own. Two months after that, Kyle and I decided that we were not meant to be. It’s more than just the lame, “it’s not you, it’s me” or what have you. It was sad. But we knew we both outgrew each other. Kyle, is your typical Prom King jock; every girl’s dream fiancé. But however I slice and dice it, there was something amiss, something that both of us knew we had to deal with. We decided as a couple to go our separate lives. It was painful for both of us but we both knew it was for the best. And since then, Trish and I suddenly reversed roles. Now she thinks she is responsible for my well-being and for my renewed faith in love and romance.
How could have I been so inconceivably stupid to think that I can navigate myself alone in this foreign country where people give me a top to bottom assessment and then look away? Snooty French. Well truth is Trish and Jack will be settling here and I ended up here two weeks ago for some work. The two of them have been for more than three months now since Jack took on his new role as Head of Retail for Europe in his Company. And if not for that lovely vineyard I need to inspect, I prefer to be in Milan or New York.
Jesus, what am I thinking? I can’t even get back to my hotel.
Focus Ysabella. Goddamn it, focus! It’s almost 11:00, an hour before midnight. You got to get your butt moving out of this place. I look down and check myself. I had to wear this soft silk dress and my infamous “fuck” red shoes, Now that I am all drenched and dripping. Ugh! I just hate “me” for doing this to myself. And what do people in the bar care? That hideous man who was trying to make a pass at me earlier is a welcome option now that I don’t have pretty much of a choice.
Then there he was. He stood right across me. With a huge umbrella that almost looked funny as he was probably over 6 feet plus tall. He was wearing a dark newsboy hat, a mid-calf trench and dark shoes. It was too dark to see but I felt him looking at me. My spine shivered. Must be the biting chill and my clothes are wet.
I managed to croak, “Hello? Excuse me. Can you help me please?”
He walked towards me, no, almost glided. The next second I can almost smell mints and some sweet, musky lime fragrance, his scent. He stood right in front of me, a bit too close. But I did not care nor flinch.
“Oui Miss, I can see you are in a problem. How may I help?” His voice sounded soft but firm, even sweet and charming.
(Thank you God! An English Speaking French man. Ignore the accent and the groping for words, this guy is my hero!!!)
I looked up to see his face. Oh holy helter skelter, my heart skipped a beat and started pounding in my chest I could practically hear my blood flowing in my blood vessels. I was looking at a beautiful man, yes, that’s the most apt way to describe it. He has the most mesmerizing set of eyes in charcoal, no, azure gray, half smiling with a rather naughty glint. He looked a bit too tan to be so French but it could have been a beach tan. I straightened my back hoping he would miss how drenched and smeared I look.
“Merci, merci. I need to get back to my hotel, at 11 Rue de Congres. It’s so hard to get to the train station in this rain and I was hoping there is a cab or a coach or something that I can rent.” I rattled off and I knew I sounded too excited, because I was.
He smiled. (Oh my God, those are wonderful, clean teeth. Now I need to see his fingers. Hah. Nobody, absolutely nobody can be this perfect.) “I can help you Miss, if you … (pauses) do you say “trust”, me?”
I gushed. I shouldn’t have but I did. “Oh yes, please, please. I trust you. I just want to go home. It’s my first time here in Nice and I thought I can manage on my own and here I am, asking for help.” I lied.
“I was going to get my auto (lovely accent … I must have been fluttering my eyelashes too much) and if you will, I will drive. I will drive you to your hotel, oui?”
“If this is not going to be such a hassle for you, I will most certainly be grateful if you can.” I said sheepishly.
“Hassle? What do you mean?” His eyes twinkled again. Curiously eying my face.
“I mean if it is not out of your way or if it is not a trouble, and I do not want to impose, I mean, I wouldn’t know if you have other plans and my hotel can be very far from here, it’s just that the rain, and it has made me so completely disoriented…” I stopped in mid-sentence as he put his finger on my lips to hush me. I felt my spine shiver again. Damn chill.
“Americans. Funny words. You talk too much.” And without saying another word, he slipped his right arm across my waist and held me close to him and he briskly opened his umbrella as we moved towards what seemed to be the parking lot. I held close to his coat collar, felt warm and safe. I could feel his clothes on my body as I was already totally drenched and I guess he read my thoughts.
“Your clothes, they are very wet. You need to get dry or you can get sick.” He held me tighter and I squeezed myself closer. (I was wearing my 5-inch heels and I was practically looking at his coat’s breast buttons. How tall is this guy? I shouldn’t be squeezing this close to this stranger, but it’s too freaking cold and I can’t stop the tingling sensation in my spine.)
I could only utter, “I’m so sorry. I am getting your clothes wet too.”
He looked down at me and in the dark I knew he was smiling.
We found his car. A black coupe. European. It must be a Peugeot. Nice. I like this turn of events. A woman can get so unlucky and lucky in the same breath. The stars are gathering on my planets now. Should be better days ahead, my mind started floating again.
He opened the passenger side and carefully held my hand as I slowly slid in. Soft hands. Long fingers. A Doctor? No ring. I smiled to myself. I don’t even know his name! I gasped. I was about to ask him when I noticed how swiftly he had moved towards the drivers’ side and opened the door. He slid in gracefully. This dude glides. What in the world is he? I have been reading too many vampire books. Get a grip Ysabella!
He plops his umbrella, starts the cars, revs it up and then looks at me, he spoke slowly and softly “My home is very close by. Do you want to get a little dry and warm before we drive to your hotel? We can wait for the rain to stop a little?”
I think I was gawking because he flashed me that naughty smile again, then he said, “Oui, I take that as yes.”
I was about to say something, and we almost simultaneously started, so I stopped. He glanced towards me while he drove and said, “Ysabella? Beau nom, belle femme.”
What? I heard alarm bells ringing. “Now wait a minute, Mister … how do you know my name?” I was getting a bit flustered and cautious. This can’t be happening to me. A stalker? A beautiful stalker?
He laughed. A crackling, masculine sound. Almost earthy. “I was at the bar. I heard you talk to the bartender when you left him a message. I am sorry. I should not be listening. It’s not acceptable? Ah … proper to do so. I am Frederic.”
I retorted icily, “Well nice to meet you Mister Frederic. Mon nom est Ysabella et je travaille avec Chateau Margaux.”
“Your French is quite good eh? I like to speak in English. It helps me practice.” He replied.
“Then English it is Mister Frederic.” And I put my arms around my chest. I could not and will not yield to the charms of this beautiful man. I don’t care if he is my only rescue at the moment, but there is something about him that disorients me, makes me feel helpless, and makes me feel weak.
I sat quietly. I did not like not knowing his name and he knew mine. It kind of gave him an upper hand and in control. I don’t like not to be in control. I stole a glance at him. Broad shoulders. Lean. A bit muscular. Thighs that seem to be so long I don’t know where it ends. I saw a small line on his face, he is actually smiling. The bastard, he knows I am checking him out.
I look down. I was horrified. I was a total mess. My dress. It clung to my skin like a wet toile. And my shoes. Aww … my shoes. I could feel my toes squish. Damn. So much for looking good. I tried my best to stop from looking at the mirror to see how bad I looked. My makeup must be a pile of gunk by now. How can I even imagine this night will turn better? Maybe this Frenchman just saw how helpless I was. He must be what, in his early or mid-30’s? No ring, very European. Maybe he’s gay. I argued with myself. Nah, he’s just too much of a gentleman and I am not used to men acting that way. Suave. Soft. Graceful. I have not met a man who can be so chic yet so sexy. And here he sits right beside and I am wishing he managed to see how I really looked before I turned up to be this messy. Good lord, the car has stopped and abruptly stopped my musings!
He faced me and said, “We’re home. Let me get you.”
What exactly did he mean by that, “get me?”
In a few seconds, I heard the door open and he was there. (How in the world does he do that? Does he fly? He keeps doing this some more and I will likely faint.)
I kept quiet. I felt scared, excited, wary, giddy even, and what is that other thing I was feeling? Yes, I was feeling horny. Get a grip Ysabella. Not tonight. Don’t blow this.
It was a short walk, then several steps up to a front door. I did not realize we drove past the sea but I could smell salt in the air. I could see rather faintly several bushes and flowery shrubs lining the walk way. Quaint. The house looked picture perfect for a French suburbs.
He opened the door. It was pitch black. I groped for his hand. It was there. He was holding my hand tight. He pulled me in and I slowly tried to feel my way around. His right hand still holding mine, I felt him pull me closer to him. I could smell his breath and feel his heart beat. I could barely breathe; he bent down and kissed me lightly on the lips. I automatically opened it, and I moved my hips closer to his body. And our lips touched again, this time I felt heat, scorching heat from his mouth to mine and our lips played and tongues flicked. I couldn’t think, I was feeling dizzy and I did not want to think. His hands were now under my dress, my eyes are just a bit adjusting to the dark, I can see his silhouette. I felt his hardness … and I was swooning. I grabbed his neck and with a swift movement, he threw his cap on the floor, and I grabbed his hair. He kept on kissing me and this time he was playing his tongue on my earlobes, I squealed a bit and he moaned. I raised my leg and embraced his right thigh, my right hand groping his now fully erected dick. Man oh man, he is gifted. His kisses went down to my neck and I felt him hold my hand that was grabbing his crotch and he stopped kissing.
Oh my lord, I am so flushed and aroused and embarrassed and I knew I was totally ready for him. The lights went on. I looked around and saw that we barely left the door. I was trying to look at his face but he had turned his face towards the house even if he was still holding onto my hand. I quickly scanned the room, a lemon yellow leather divan set rested on the east side with wide and expanded glass windows. I could almost see the small pin lights floating on top of the water … we are at a seaside place. There was a tiffany door on the far right, maybe leading to another receiving area. Natural wood center table with a vase filled with some bluish purple flowers. I gushed. On the left side I could see a short cat walk that breaks halfway to a dining area and a rather pretty kitchen.
I was about to ask if this was his house and if he lived alone, and again, it’s like he was reading my mind. He said, “This is my mother’s house but she has moved to Paris with my sister who settled there. She married last year and my mother begged me to keep the house. I think it’s too big for me living alone. It is very feminine eh?”
“Oh no, not at all. It is beautiful and well kept. It’s facing the sea and that adds up to its beauty.” My voice sounded too soft and lilting, I realized we were still holding hands and his coat was fully open. I don’t even remember if I did that.
He faced me now and had to bend down to look at my face, and that soft, charming voice again, I can feel myself throbbing just holding his hand and staring into his eyes; “Vous êtes une femme très belle et si sensuelle. Je ne peux embrasser tes levres pour toujours.”
I caught a little bit of that but I cursed at myself for not taking my French Language class seriously.
“I will make you some hot tea? Jasmine? Rose?”
My turn to interrupt, “Oh Earl Grey will be just fine. Thank you.”
“I will get you some towels and a robe, the door to the left, down the hall, is the bathroom. Call me if you need anything, I am just here, oui?”
“Yes, I will, thanks.” I slowly slipped my hand away from his and then he grabbed me by the arm, I turned around too fast I almost slipped and fell right in the middle of this uncanny, awkward setting. He laughed. That sexy laugh again.
“Easy Ysabella, your bag.” I just realized I had somehow managed to drop it when we got into the house. I don’t remember even holding my bag. I don’t really remember much. I was completely intoxicated by the feel of his touch, his soft lips on mine, his hardness, and his body heat. I did not bother to say anything; I just turned around and headed to the bathroom. I was just too sure he saw how flushed my cheeks were and he and I know that’s not coming from the near slip.
True enough I looked like a rag doll. How can he even say I am beautiful? I stripped off everything. I gave myself one look see in the mirror and I surprised even myself with the glow on my face. I could just bless the makers of MAC, their makeup is flawless and waterproof. I took off my shoes, my thongs and my bandau. All wet, I knew I need to dry these things before we set off but my mind was busy with all the possibilities of this night. For the first time in nearly 6 hours, I did not want to go back to my hotel. When was the last time? Eight months ago? I did not think it has been that long. I felt myself twitch. I just know I want it.
Now where the fuck is my cell phone? Why isn’t it even ringing? Trish must be beside herself by this time.
I took a quick shower and wrapped a towel around me. I actually love to air dry and romp around naked. But this is not even my house.
I picked up my wet things and as I opened the door, he was right there waiting.
“No, leave that.” He said as he took all my things from my hand and bent down to ask me to put on some fluffy slippers. This is totally surreal. Somebody wake me up from this dream. Now, I really need to wake up now. He handed me the robe and I decided to drop my towel and wear the robe in front of him. Hah, let’s see who is a better tease now.
“Come Ysabella, drink your tea. It is still hot. You like your tea a little hot?”
I nodded absentmindedly as I realized he let it go, my little indiscretion. Was he looking? Did he peek?
He put his hand at my back, just the robe between his fingers and my skin. My spine quivered again. It’s neither the cold nor the chill. He has this effect on me and it’s driving me insane.
I sat down on the chair he pulled out for me. I realized he has changed. He looks a lot younger now in a sweat shirt and jeans. I quietly sipped my tea and he quietly sipped his wine. I stole a look at him to start some conversation but he was already staring at me. In a blink, he was standing right beside me, he swooped me up in his arms and with a few steps or glide that he did I knew we were in his room.
I managed to whisper, “I have not finished my tea”.
He laughed again, more gentle this time, and said, “I will give you better heat Ysabella, than your Earl Grey tea.”
He put me down and started kissing me so passionately I was holding my breath. I felt my robe slide down on the floor. Every single cell of my body was so electrified I could feel each of my goose bumps rise at his touch.
We kept kissing, hotter and with more passion this time, with total abandon, and I just couldn’t stop myself, I grabbed his shirt and yanked it out through his head. He had dark and wavy hair. Rich, dark hair.
He fumbled a bit with his jeans, (oh that’s a first), I took his hands and cupped them over my breasts and he moved his head down to lick my nipples. I moaned. I manage to finish zipping him down. I saw that he was ready and so was I. To my surprise and delight, he looked at my face again, slightly pushed me down on the bed, raised my legs on his shoulders and went down to that place where my soul connects to another dimension and I smiled. He played his tongue all over my clit as he pushed a finger inside me, and I squirmed and squealed and screamed and cried ….. And flowed.
Just when I thought I would totally lose my mind, he straightened up and rammed me.
I was shocked at how huge he was. And hard. I was screaming wetness but he filled up all of me and more.
Fast. Hungry. Almost brutal. He held onto my ankles and had his way full throttle. I groaned and he grunted, a wild sound I never knew was going to turn me on some more, yet I prodded him to give me more. I wanted more of him. All of him. This beautiful man that I hardly know. I have never felt so raw, so lustful, so sexy.
I knew it was my turn to drive him crazy because those azure gray eyes were almost green, and I squeezed him tight as he rammed me, and I called his name, “Frederic, say my name.” I stared into his eyes and he into mine, he said, “Ysa-bell-lah, you are so beautiful”. I squeezed him some more and he pumped me some more, and then I felt that warm juice flow in and out of me not knowing which one is his or mine, but ours.
There was a ringing sound. Smell of hot bread and coffee and butter. A ray of sun peeped through the curtains of the white and green bay window. It struck my face and I slowly opened my eyes. Fuck! Where the hell am I? Oh my lord, I thought I was having some lucid, wet dream.
Christ, I am totally naked. I grabbed myself, and I am still wet? What the fuck? Where the hell is that phone? The ringing sound was muffled. I found my bag on the lounge chair beside the bed. I stood up without a stitch on. Opened my bag and there you are!
“Hey”, I said
“Hey back and don’t you start going ballistic on me. Let me explain ….” Trish was babbling.
I listened quietly, looking down at my body that actually looks good, and my mind went back to the night that happened. I was getting horny again and there's that quivering, electrical impulses in my spine again. Oh god, I can still feel him. Trish’s voice was fading now, and I turned around to that familiar smell, that presence that made me tingle all over and he was standing right behind me. He wrapped his arms around my naked body, I felt so tingly I giggled.
“Ysabella, are you listening to me at all? Where are you? I kept calling you at your hotel and no one is picking up in your room. Hello? Is everything alright? Are you okay?” Trish was beginning to sound like my mother.
“Yes Trish, I will have to call you back okay. And stop worrying, (he was kissing my nape and I felt so giggly) … I will call you.” I could still hear Trish worried voice but I had already flicked the mobile shut.
I turned around to face him. He was wearing only his boxers and he and I were as ready as hell.
”Is that breakfast I smell?”, I cooed.
He smiled, his fingers playing my tits, “Oui Miss, your breakfast. I will be having mine now,” And he throws me back into the bed and I laughed lustily as I opened my arms and legs to this man, this dark haired stranger, tall, azure-colored eyes, well endowed beautiful Frenchman I met last night. Well he did rescue me from the rain. So I owe him that much. I closed my eyes and moaned.