I will not cry, I will not cry, I chant to myself, trying in vain to keep the tears from flowing. I am glad I insisted on being seated in the back away from most of the other guests. Even this small comfort doesn't bring relief as I once again berate myself for coming here in the first place. If I would have known how many couples would be here, I would have given my reservations to a friend and stayed home. Sighing, I admit the real reason I took this vacation was to get away and for a little while, to forget the past. A single tear slips down my cheek and I angrily brush it away. I am a fool, I think to myself. I will enjoy this vacation, I firmly tell myself. I dab my eyes with my napkin and gulping the last of the wine, I signal the waiter for another drink. When he comes, I order something stronger than wine, even though I know I will probably regret it later. As I wait for him to return, I look out the window at the city lights and try not to think of the past. But the bustle of the city and the merriment I see and hear only help to amplify my sadness and pain.
An hour and two drinks later, I am ready to crawl into bed. I am glad I chose to eat at the hotel's restaurant instead of venturing outside. Looking down at the remnants of my dinner, I realize I drank more than I ate which explains my predicament. Oh well, I think to myself - it's not as if anyone cares. I flag down the waiter again motioning for the check. He looks at me funny and I wonder if I spilled something on myself, but before I can ask, he tells me that my check has already been paid.
"B... B... By who," I stammer to him.
"I can not say miss," he replies.
Looking at him, I want to berate him and state that I am more than capable of paying my own bill. But then I start to wonder why, because this has never happened to me. Then it hits me, how pathetic I must look, which brought about someone's pity. "This is just great," I whisper tearfully. I stand up too fast and almost pass out, but the waiter is quick on his feet and grabs my arm. I thank him when the floor stops moving, and decline his invitation to get someone to help me. Luckily, the restaurant is pretty empty, so I stumble my way to the elevator, and pray I will get there before the tears come. It does and I clumsily push the button of the floor I am on.
As soon as the doors close, I lose it. I crumple to the floor and cry. I pull up my knees and bury my head in my arms and let the tears flow. I know I should stop but I find I can't. When the elevator stops at my floor, I am too upset to get out. I try to compose myself before the doors close, but I'm too late and the elevator moves again. I stand up slowly and wiping my eyes on my sleeve, I sniffle softly and move to push the button to my floor again. As always, I am weary after crying. I have just enough energy to get to my room I think. When the doors open again, I step out and stumble right into a man. "God I'm so sorry," I stammer and try to move past him. But, my overworked mind and body finally give up on me, and as I turn around suddenly, the world spins and for the first time in my life, I faint.
* * * *
When I wake, the first thought that crosses my mind is pain. I groan out loud as the slight movement of my head makes me want to die. Just what I need, the beginnings of a hangover, I grumble to myself. I know that I need to get up and try to find some aspirin and water, but every movement makes me cry.
"You shouldn't move so much," a soft voice whispers to me. I wasn't aware of anyone else in the room, so his voice startles me into sitting right up -- which is not a good thing in my condition. Immediately, I cry out and fall back into bed. Seconds later, I try in vain to get out of bed as the nausea hits me and I feel like throwing up. A basin gets shoved under my mouth just in time. When I'm finished, the basin moves away and I fall weakly back into the bed.
"Try to sleep," the same soft voice whispers to me, as a cool cloth bathes my forehead.
"This will help," another soft voice whispers as I feel someone move me into a slight sitting position. I feel two pills get placed gently in my hand at the same time as a cold glass of water hits my lips. I sip sparingly and take the pills which I pray will make me better. The glass moves away and I feel myself being gently lowered back into the bed. The cool cloth returns to gently wipe my face once more. As I drift away, I feel the covers being tucked around me and two soft kisses, one on each cheek.
* * * *
"She should not be alone," I hear him softly say to the other. Awake but not awake, I lie still on my side and listen to them talk. Their voices are deep and husky -- demanding yet gentle. I can only imagine the faces that go with them. I know they are speaking of me, but I wonder how they know about me. The thought crosses my mind that I am in bed with two perfect strangers, in a city far from home, and this whole situation is probably not going to end well. But, there's something about them that makes me feel like I can trust them. Still, I am wary and I begin to think of ways to extricate myself from this situation. My thoughts come to a halt when I realize they have stopped talking. Taking a deep breath, I open my eyes to find the most deep sapphire blue eyes I have ever seen looking right at me. My mouth opens in surprise but no sounds come out. A chuckle from behind me brings a blush to my cheeks, as I roll onto my back and look at an exact replica of the other.
"Identical twins," the gorgeous god in front of me says with a smile. "My name is Jonathan and my brother is Alexandar," he continues. "And you are ...," he asks softly.
"My uh, name is, uh, Elizabeth," I stammer foolishly.
"The pleasure is all ours," Alexandar says smiling at me. Turning serious, he says, "Please don't be alarmed. You passed out last night on our floor and we couldn't just leave you there. We brought you here to make sure you are ok."
"Yes," Jonathan agrees. "And we have a feeling that you are by yourself and with no one to enjoy the city with," he continues. "You are alone?" he asks quizzically. Closing my eyes, I nod miserably.
"Well you are staying here with us -- we insist," Alexandar responds back to me. My eyes dart open and shock registers on my face. I am touched that they care enough to waste their time on me, but hesitant to stay. Before I start to move away, a loud gurgle fills the silence. I blush and try to hide my head when I realize that it is my stomach rumbling. Another deep chuckle escapes the two and I hear Alexandar say with a smile, "We were going to order something to eat but didn't know what you would like. Let's see what's on the menu today."
As Alexandar rolls over to get the room service menu, Jonathan moves closer and gently begins playing with my hair. His touch is so light; it is like a feather brushing my hair. If I close my eyes, I could imagine a gentle breeze caressing me instead. The thought goes up in smoke when I feel his leg brush against my own. I freeze up. A menu appears in front of me and Alexandar begins to read off of it. Jonathan joins in, and between the two of them, they go through the whole thing. I relax and shrug off my response. I try to decide what to order but the menu is so huge, I am easily overwhelmed. When they stop and silence descends, I grow hot with embarrassment. I realize they are waiting for me to tell them what I want. There are so many choices and so many things I like that I really can't decide.
Jonathan speaks up, "You can order whatever you like. Or if nothing suits your fancy, we can call down to the kitchen and see if they'll make a special request item."
"Would you like us to order you something?" Alexandar asks.
"That's fine," I agree softly. I still feel sick but hungry so I hope food will remedy the situation. I roll over to Jonathan and start to get up. He looks at me questioningly but then realizes that I must need to go to the bathroom. Getting out of bed, he lifts the covers off of me and holds out a hand to help me up. I sway a little when I stand up but steady quickly. Looking at my feet, I manage not to trip over them as I walk in the direction Jonathan pushed me towards. I hear Alexandar calling room service as I shut the door.
Glancing in the mirror, I realize I am still wearing the dress from last night. The surprise is quickly replaced with embarrassment as I look at my face and hair in the mirror too. My face is puffy from crying and my hair is wild and unkempt. I quickly wash my face with cold water hoping it will bring the swelling down. I straighten my hair the best I can, and my dress at the same time. I find an unopened toothbrush in the drawer and brush my teeth with vigor. At the same time, I keep thinking of things to say to get me out of here and back into my own room, where I can change and put myself together. I turn to the door and spy a fluffy hotel robe hanging on the back of it. I feel exposed in my dress so I take it down and put it on. It is so soft that I can't help but nuzzle the collar and hug myself. I sober up and take a deep breath as I open the door.
I stop suddenly and take a real good look at the two sitting on the bed. They are identical in every way except for their choice of pants. One is wearing black silky pants and the other red. From their hair to their toes, even their mannerisms and their voices are so similar. What really gets me, though, is their semi-naked state -- they have no shirts on and my god, are they built. Visions of Calvin Klein ads float around my head and I can't help but wonder if there are briefs or boxers under their holiday attire. When they both turn to look at me, I want the floor to eat me up. I am so embarrassed to be caught staring. Huge grins light up their faces which put me to ease yet I don't move when they beckon me back to the bed. I start to feel light-headed again so I reluctantly obey. I think to perch myself on the end of the bed near the other door. This action will help facilitate my escape. But my hope dies as they both get up at my approach -- one lifts the covers while the other moves to take my robe. Once again, I feel exposed so I crawl into the middle of the bed and watch as they both climb in next to me, one on each side.
"Comfy?" Alexandar asks. I nod, as Jonathan tucks the covers closer around me.
Now it is Alexandar who reaches over to play with my hair while Jonathan watches. I am frozen in fear. I begin to tremble when I feel their legs brush lightly against my own. My heart races as panic sets in. But then I remember last night and the care they took with me. Closing my eyes briefly, I rein in the swirling chaos of my emotions. As I calm a little, I open my eyes once more. Turning to look at one and then the other, I search their faces for any hints as to what will happen next.
I watch warily as Alexandar moves his hand to cup my face. His hand molds to me and remains still. It is surprisingly soft against my face and intensely warm. I can only stare as his face moves closer to mine. His eyes ensnare my own and I cannot look away. Gently, he kisses me chastely on the lips. Pulling back, he looks at me. With his hand still cupping my face, he turns me towards Jonathan. His hand leaves as Jonathan's hand approaches. He cups the other side of my face in the same manner as his brother. Looking at me, he reciprocates with the same chaste kiss. I am at a loss for words. The silence is broken as a knock sounds from beyond the bedroom signaling the arrival of room service. I lay unmoving as the two of them get up and walk out of the room. Minutes pass and I hear my name being called from the other room. I reluctantly get out of bed. Taking several deep breaths, I decide to not think about what just happened right now. Instead, I opt to join the twins.
With the hotel robe wrapped securely around me again, my feelings of comfort disappear when I realize where I am -- the hotel's penthouse suite. The opulence takes my breath away. Once, I stop gawking, I realize they are sitting at the table watching me. They smile indulgently at my reaction even though my face grows hot with embarrassment at being caught staring. Motioning for me to join them, I take their cue and sit down to eat. We talk during our meal and the decision is made for me to stay with them. They are insistent and refuse to take no as an answer. Jonathan even moves to get my room key card and volunteers to get my things while Alexandar showers. I give up trying to dissuade them as I dread confrontation and avoid it at all costs. They are triumphantly grinning when I grow quiet and nod acceptance towards them. We finish eating and while they follow through with their plans, I lie back down in the bed and wearily close my eyes. I tell myself that I just need to rest for a bit, but fall asleep fairly quickly instead.
* * * *
What am I doing here, I ask myself for the hundredth time. After waking, I shower and dress in hopes of being able to slip away. Looking through my luggage, I pick my slightly faded Polo Jeans and favorite lavender Donna Karen sweater. Brushing my shoulder length midnight black hair, I look myself once over again. I am by no means petite, but my size eight waist and 36B chest seem perfect for my five feet two inch frame. Sure, I have a little extra padding but I like my curves so much more than my super thin size two friends. It doesn't matter, I think to myself -- It's not as if they are attracted to me. Rolling my eyes, I fluff my hair one last time and leave the bathroom.
The twins are also dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for me. I have a habit of looking down when I walk so I am unaware of them until I get close enough to see their feet. Startled, my head shoots up to see them both staring at me. I am caught by their vivid blue eyes and stand perfectly still as they both get up. Once again, I find myself looking at the carpet as I realize how tall they are compared to me, and how small I feel next to them. Nervously, I begin to fidget but stop when one of them reaches out to lift my head up. Looking at him, I blush as his eyes wander slowly down my body, and then back up. His hand moves to my shoulder and gently turns me around to face the other. I am embarrassed as he proceeds to look me over in the same manner.
"Just delicious," Alexandar states with a pleased look on his face.
"I'm just ordinary," I protest.
"No, you are beautiful," Jonathan whispers sexily in my ear.
My breath hitches in my chest as I feel his hands on my shoulders. Alexander moves to hold my hands in his, while I feel Jonathan's move down my back. I begin to tremble as his touch elicits feelings of pleasure. Looking up at Alexandar, I see his eyes darken. He pulls me closer to him. At the same time, I feel Jonathan's hands move to grasp my hips. His breath upon my neck surprises me. I gasp and stop breathing when I feel him bite me lightly where my neck and shoulder meet. It is one of my weaknesses and it sends desire racing down my body like wildfire. I clench Alexandar's hands in an attempt to distract me from these feelings. I dimly hear Jonathan chuckle as Alexandar proceeds to reciprocate on the other side of my neck. I cry out and my knees begin to buckle as the feelings intensify a thousand fold inside me. They both hold onto me tightly waiting for me to gain control of myself again. As my head clears, I feel ashamed at my wanton behavior.
"Forgive us, sweet Elizabeth. We could not help ourselves," Alexandar states to me.
"There is something about you that pulls us," Jonathan adds gently.
"But enough," Alexandar says stepping back. "Shall we?" he queries as he gestures to the bedroom door.
Taking his queue, I purposely stride out of the bedroom, past the living room, and up to the door that leads out of the suite. Anger fills me -- anger at myself for these feelings, anger at the twins for giving me these feelings, and anger at feeling rejected. Yet, I feel my eyes tear up as feelings of worthlessness consume me in the aftermath of my anger. Sniffling, I blink rapidly to stop from crying. My hand drops back to my side, away from the door knob, when I hear my name.
"You promised Elizabeth."
"We will behave -- you have our word."
I sigh in defeat. As if they know I won't leave, I feel my jacket being draped over me. Giving in, I put it on and wait for one of them to open the door. One of them leads the way out to the elevator. The other closes the door behind us. No words are said of what just happened between us, so I push the whole scene to the back of my mind. I resolve to placate them enough so when we return, I can easily slip away and head home.
While we wait for the elevator, I glance out the corner of my eyes at the two of them. I am not surprised at the quality of their clothes or the designer name on their black wool trench coats. Once again, they are dressed identically, with the only difference being the scarves they wear -- the same color as their pants from before. I can only surmise it's their respective favorite colors. One of them nudges me and winks at me knowingly. In response, I make a face at him just as the door to the elevator opens. Laughing, we get in and make our way down to the lobby.
* * * *
From the moment we leave the hotel, the twins go insane. That is the only word to describe all the places we go to in a few hours. With such familiarity, I could only surmise that they live here or frequent enough to know exactly where everything was. In between all that, we talk and get to know each other. I like their sarcastic sense of humor and caustic wit. We joke and poke fun at each other like we have been friends forever. I actually laugh and enjoy myself more than I have in a really long time. We go to a coffee shop, and then a bakery. While nibbling on assorted sweets, the twins show me some of their favorite shops. I know some of them -- others not at all. We stop at an eclectic bookstore which has me drooling, as I love to read. The twins laugh uproariously as they physically have to drag me away. We watch kids playing in the local park. I balk at their attempts to get me to go ice skating.
Through it all, one or the other is always holding my hand or touching my arm. I feel cherished and wanted with them. They listen to me, laugh with me, and are so chivalrous towards me. I keep catching myself looking at them and watching them. Physically, they are my dreams come true -- six feet tall, sandy blonde hair, deep blue eyes, luscious kissable lips -- all with a perfectly toned and muscled body to match. Their taste in clothes only helps to highlight how devastatingly handsome both of them are. I see many women give them a second look and sultry winks, but they only have eyes for me. I don't understand them. I keep thinking about their kisses and touches. I don't want to admit it, but I do desire them -- not just physically either. The way they treat me makes me feel special -- like I am someone important. I don't want there to be an end to it all, but in my mind I know better -- all good things do come to an end.
These and other thoughts race around my head as we walk. When I get to the last reserves of energy, the twins notice my reticence. Before we walk another block, a limousine appears to pick us up. I end up seated between the two. They each hold onto a hand as we return to the hotel. I look down at their hands entwined in mine. It is easy to picture these hands holding onto me in more intimate ways. What I don't expect is the tug on my heart that at the same time. I have only felt this way with one man before -- and he broke my heart. This will end badly, I think sourly. A heavy sigh escapes me and I feel both hands tighten at once. I look into one and then the other's face trying to decipher their thoughts. Questions are etched on their faces, but I am unable to say anything to alleviate their concern. I answer with silence all the way to the hotel.