Something Old, Something New Ch. 04byvelvetpie©
A week passed and I didn't notice that it was Sunday again. This time, Henrie volunteered to hold the soiree in her apartment so I was spared the agony of having to cook again. I ran out to the store, picked up some wine, two wheels of brie and whole wheat crackers and went down to Jessica's apartment to pick her up. She answered the door in her robe, her gorgeous hair rumpled around her lovely face.
"Hi. You aren't ready yet?"
"Yeah. You know, Sunday dinner. It's at Henrie's this week. And don't act like that. I know you got an invitation."
She shook her head and looked away. "Tell Henrietta that I'll call her tomorrow."
"Tell her yourself. Get dressed, comb your hair and come on."
"Alexa … "
"Jess." I stepped close to her, suddenly intoxicated by the scent of her shampoo. "I'd like to get to know you better and I really wish you'd come to the dinner." I lifted her chin with my hand, smiling into her eyes. "With me."
It took Jess all of fifteen minutes to get ready and we went down the hallway to Henrie's apartment, much to everyone's delight. Nigel was present this time and we all laughed as he told us stories about his flights and the crazy situations he faced. I noticed that Jess joined in the fun and made her own comments, obviously feeling at home amongst everyone. I stayed close to her but didn't crowd her, somehow knowing that was important to her and she rewarded me with a smile that made my pussy twitch.
Appetizers passed and we opened two more bottles of wine. I noticed that we'd all sort of settled into couples, Tom and Bob, naturally, then Henrie and Nigel and Jess and myself and we went into Henrie's dining room and sat together. I said nothing to Jess; I simply pretended that we were best friends attending a dinner together but at the end of the night, I walked her down the hallway to her apartment, helping her put the plates of leftovers into her refrigerator.
"Thanks for coming with me."
Her eyes met mine, then swiftly moved away in shyness. "Thanks for asking me."
"I heard you talking to Henrie." She shifted feet nervously. "You're leaving for Milan tomorrow night?"
"Yes. I have a flight out at three in the afternoon."
"Then would you like to have an early lunch with me?"
She giggled, then took a breath. "But I've got all these leftovers … "
"You'll only be in Italy for two days. They'll hold until then." I stepped closer, mesmerized by the beauty of her eyes. "I'd like to see you before you go."
Those beautiful eyes reflected a child-like quality that instantly ensnared my heart. She wanted to believe that my words were true but something was holding her back, something from her past. "Alexa, I know you feel sorry for me … "
"Feel sorry for you? A freaking model?" I stepped back and waltzed down a portion of the hallway, pretending to be a RuPaul disciple. "Oh, what I would give to be fabulous!" She laughed and gave me a playful shove. I came back to the door, leaning against the jamb and looking down into her lovely face. "So, how about it?"
She thought for a minute, then a smile brightened her face, her shy manner returning. "All right."
"Ten o'clock okay?"
"Yes, that would be perfect."
"Great. See you then."
I turned my back and tried not to skip down the hallway, so I bit my lip all the way to the elevator, hoping that I wouldn't draw blood but smiling like the happiest motherfucker on the planet.
She arrived a few minutes after ten, looking a fresh as a daisy and no less beautiful. "Hi."
"Come on in." I grabbed her roll-a-way bag and tugged it into the entryway, then turned to help her ease her take-on bag off her shoulder. It seemed to weigh a ton and took me straight down to the floor. She laughed hysterically, shaking her head and wiping tears from her eyes.
"Are you okay?"
"You might have warned me." I stood up and dusted myself off, giving her the once-over. "You can't weigh more than 120 pounds. How the hell do you lug that thing around?"
"It takes practice."
"What the hell's in that?"
Her sunny smile instantly disappeared and my stomach twisted in an uncomfortable knot. "My life."
Whatever you're thinking, she's worth the effort. I forced myself to laugh. "Wish my life was so portable." I headed toward the kitchen, continuing to talk when I noticed that she was following me. "I had to spend almost $4,000 to move my stuff with me." I pulled the cork out of an ice-cold bottle of pinot and poured us a couple of glasses. "And then, I had to leave a bunch of stuff there."
"Was it hard?" Her voice faltered a bit as if she was afraid to ask me the question. "I mean, to leave everything behind?"
"It was at first." I took a sip and swallowed against the lump in my throat. "I grieved for awhile. It really hurt but I realized that every time I looked at one of those items, I would think about my ex-husband and that wasn't what I wanted. I decided to buy new things and make new memories." I paused to look up at her. "Does that make sense?"
"Yeah, I guess so." She gave me a smile and I grabbed her hand, dragging her over to the kitchen table. I'd made us roast beef sandwiches with homemade au jus and we munched away, yakking happily. Jess was excited to be heading to Milan, even if it was only for two days, and was looking forward to the shoot. It was her first assignment with Vogue and she knew that she was being tested. "I'm so nervous!"
"You'll be fine." I filled her glass and we sauntered out onto the balcony, enjoying the cool spring breeze and the warm sunlight. "You worry too much."
"It's so competitive out there."
"I don't doubt it but you have nothing to worry about." I looked over at her, breathing deep to calm my pounding heart. I couldn't believe that she was so insecure with her looks when just a glance from her would send me to the moon.
She seemed to have read my mind, turning and smiling at me with those enchanting eyes. "No, you don't. You're absolutely beautiful, Jess."
The smile she gave me was fleeting. "I don't feel beautiful."
The emotion behind her voice made my heart melt and I set my glass down, turning to her. I let my hands do the talking, smoothing the flaxen wings of soft hair out of her eyes and tracing the curves of her cheeks and chin. Slowly, I leaned in. A jolt of electricity coursed through me as our lips met and she moaned softly, her hand falling on my forearm, then gently moving down to my elbow. I shivered at her touch and opened my mouth against hers, letting my tongue trace the seam of her lips, then sliding inside her velvet warmth when she let me in.
Our tongues slid along each others for a few moments before I pulled back, licking my lips and committing her taste to my memory. Her heavy-lidded eyes opened slowly, arousal deepening the color of her beautiful eyes. "Take my word for it, Jess. You're fucking beautiful."
We stared at each other for several long moments before she sat up, her cheeks flooding with color as she blushed. "I've got to go."
I released her and followed her into the entryway, wondering if I'd done the wrong thing and moved too fast. I opened my mouth half-a-dozen times to say something but I couldn't figure out what exactly to say. She grabbed the handle of her roll-a-way and bent to retrieve her carry-on, pausing a moment. "Alexa, would you mind if I left this here?"
"Not at all. If it'll make you feel better, I'll put it upstairs in my bedroom."
"No, no. The closet will be fine." She tugged on the luggage and stepped out into the hallway. "Thanks, Alexa. Lunch was perfect."
"Glad you enjoyed it." I touched her shoulder, giving her a gentle squeeze. "I'll see you when you get back."
Jess nodded, then reached up and pulled my head down, giving me a passionate French kiss that had us both gasping. She was just as affected by it as I was and I fought the urge to pull her back inside and throw her into my bed. "See you."
I watched her walk down the hall and disappear into the elevator, lightly touching where her lips had touched mine. "See you."