"You don't look like a health guru."
Laura turned from the luggage claim conveyor belt and looked down at the young Frenchwoman who had pronounced "guru" like it tickled her nose to say it.
"You are Laura Thacker, oui?"
"Yes," Laura said, with a bit more snap than she'd wanted. She was exhausted from the flight and wanted nothing more than a hot bath, a bar of dark chocolate, and silk sheets. "And you are?"
"Marie Cleis. I am from Maintenant Books. Paul asked me to take care of you while you are in France."
Laura smiled. "Oh, of course." Her tensed shoulders dropped from being ready to box to a relaxed half-guard. Paul, her agent, had contacted each major bookstore chain she'd be visiting during the tour and asked them to provide an assistant to help her navigate the land, money, food, and customs. So far they had all been bores, bitches, or buffoons.
Marie, on the other hand, had an immediate calming effect. Her elegant features, crisp clothes, and bobbed haircut almost made her look like either Louise Brooks or a Blade Runner replicant.
"I'm sorry if I snapped at you," Laura said. "The tour's been rough."
Marie put a delicate hand on her strong shoulder. "Oh, I am sorry. I hope I can make things better for you here in our country."
"As long as my luggage gets here, that'll be a start."
"I have your hotel room reserved, and our car is waiting."
Laura sighed in relief. If she had to catch one more bus or train or cab she felt she'd break down in tears. Her bags flopped onto the conveyor belt. One of them, the one holding her workout gear, now sported a broken handle and a large rip across the top.
"Son of a bitch." Laura wanted to yell it, but she couldn't muster the strength.
"I will get you a new bag," Marie said as she tried to lift it from the conveyor belt. The weight brought her motion to an abrupt halt and she almost fell back to the floor. Laura rowed it off the belt with one hand.
"I packed way too much stuff for this trip," Laura said. "It's just so hard to get protein powder here in Europe."
Marie grabbed two of Laura's small bags from the belt. "You need it for your muscles, is that so? That is why I was surprised to see you."
"Yes. Is that what you meant about me not looking like a health guru?"
"Oui. I was told you were a best-selling fitness writer, but I expected someone else." She looked over Laura's solid shoulders and chiseled arms. "Someone not as strong."
Laura laughed for the first time in days. "You expected a skinny tofu-eater, right? Not some big boob redhead to show up."
Marie blushed. "I did. But you are a delightful surprise. You are very strong and..." She looked at Laura again, and there was a subtle change in her gaze that made Laura shift her weight back and forth a bit. "Very healthy. Yes. You are very healthy."
Laura slept during the limousine ride from the airport to the hotel. When she awoke, she discovered a silent movie seductress across from her sipping spring water and watching her come out of slumber.
"I'm in Paris, right?" Laura asked.
Marie laughed. "Oui."
"I've been bounced around so much that I wouldn't be surprised if I were in China by now."
"Would you like dinner? The hotel has a wonderful restaurant."
"I could eat the ass end of the horse."
Marie's eyebrows went up. "Quoi?"
Laura smiled. "Sorry. I'm really hungry, yes."
Marie had Laura's bags sent up to her room and showed her to the restaurant. Laura was happier the moment she walked in and smelled the fresh bread. The place was upscale, but not so elegant that she'd need to choose between six different brands of water or be served nothing but an amazingly decorated asparagus spear.
"You said it has been a rough trip," Marie said as they started on their tomato bisque. "What has happened?"
"What hasn't happened? The tour's been rough from the start. Instead of starting in London, which would've been smart, my publisher scheduled the tour to start in Athens. I'm a sucker for Greek yogurt so I helped myself to the stuff my assistant stocked in my hotel fridge. I didn't notice it was expired so I had food poisoning in Athens for two days and missed most of my book signing there. Rome had better food but the hotel was a dump. The bed felt like the mattress was made of wet plywood and the air conditioning didn't work. When the asshole cabbie dropped me off in the rain outside the bookstore he took off and soaked me head to toe. A drunk spilled a drink on me during the flight to Madrid. I had to catch a packed sweaty bus from the airport and some guy was grabbing my ass the whole way."
Marie curled up her nose and made a small "tsk" sound.
"Oh it gets worse," Laura said. "The Madrid hotel was the opposite of Rome. It had a nice bed but it was freezing cold all the time. I bitched about it but it was never fixed. Their treadmill was fucked up so I tweaked my knee using it and the assistant there forgot to take me back to the airport so I had to lug all my shit onto a train to get there and everyone at the airport had their prick meter on high."
Laura realized she was squeezing her butter knife like she was ready to yank open a shower curtain at the Bates Motel. She'd barely touched her bisque and salad. She was sweating. Her forehead was sore.
Marie tilted forward just a bit. "You should eat. Good food will make you happy."
"You're probably right," Laura said and pulled off a hunk of baguette. She bit into it and sighed at its warmth. She could've stuffed her belly with it, but reminded herself to watch her carbs. The bisque was heavenly. The salad was so good that she almost forgot to finish the bisque. She had it and the salad done and was ready to attack the baguette again when the coq au vin arrived. The smell made her moan. The taste made her speechless.
Cocktails were brought. Marie questioned the waiter, who pointed at two women at the bar. They were well-dressed, naturally beautiful, and seated so close to each other that their knees were intertwined.
Laura had been in gyms a long time. She knew the signs. "Did those two just buy us drinks?"
Marie smiled. "Oui. They told the waiter they want us to have a good evening."
"They think we're another couple?" Laura blushed. She toasted the women, who smiled and returned a toast that included an unspoken invitation to join them. Laura looked back to her coq au vin before she made a fool of herself.
"That was nice of them," Laura said, "but I hope they don't think I'm rude by not joining them."
"You are very fit," Marie said. "They find you as attractive as a man would."
"Hell, maybe I should try my luck."
Marie's cocktail glass stopped short of her lips. "You should?"
Laura laughed. "No. I love men too much. I mean, I suppose if I had enough of these," Laura held up her cocktail, "I might be one-percent adaptable."
Marie laughed now. "Perhaps they will send you more."
"Well I haven't had much luck with men lately."
"It's half the reason I went on this book tour. My husband and I are separated. He said he wanted space. I think I'd be less pissed if he just said he wanted a divorce instead of this vague bullshit. I think he's fucking this waitress at the coffee shop around the corner from our house. He's supposed to be moved out by the time I get back."
"It is good he is leaving," Marie said. "It means he will have to crawl back to you."
They clinked glasses. "Amen, sister," Laura said.
After dinner and extra drinks, Marie showed Laura to her room. Laura smiled at seeing the luxurious king-sized bed, bowl of fresh fruit, vase of beautiful flowers, and massive bathtub.
"I hope it suits you," Marie said.
"It's great," Laura said. "I'll sleep like a rock."
Marie turned for the door. "I will leave you to it. I will pick you up tomorrow at ten." She opened the door but stopped in her tracks as Laura made a sad moan from the bedroom.
Marie peeked around the corner. "Laura? Is something wrong?"
Laura stood next to a small table. One of her suitcases sat open on it and the inside was splattered with shampoo, lotion, and sunscreen. Tears trickled down Laura's face as she stared into the bag.
"They didn't put my stuff back in the Ziploc bags at customs. It's everywhere."
"I will take care of it," Marie said.
"How? I don't have anything to wear."
"Right now," Marie said as she took Laura's hand and kissed her palm, "that does not matter."
Laura froze. "What are you doing?"
Marie kissed her pulsing wrist and then the inside of her elbow. "Why do you think those women thought we were a couple?"
Laura hadn't moved. "You...You're..."
Marie pressed against Laura and kissed her rock solid shoulder. "Of course."
"But Marie, I'm not -- "
"But you have not moved," Marie said. She gave Laura a peck on the throat and massaged her flat stomach.
Laura hadn't moved. She couldn't. Marie's delicate hand caressed her breasts through her shirt and her little mouth left little lipstick prints across her collarbone. Laura felt an overpowering urge to run, then another to relax, and then another to pick up this exotic woman and press her against the nearest wall while they kissed.
But Marie wouldn't have that. She pushed Laura's shirt up as she whispered little French dirty words to her. She licked a hot line along the bottom of Laura's bra. Laura's bra soon fell to the floor and she was shocked to realize she'd taken it off herself.
Marie cooed in delight and began licking small circles all over Laura's tits. Laura trembled. She didn't know where this was going to end, if she wanted it to end, or how it even all began. All she knew was that this woman she could easily bench press had complete control of her.
Marie's mouth found one of Laura's nipples. Laura gasped and her hands jumped up to grab Marie by the shoulders. She did not pull her away. Her hands relaxed and started to massage Marie's back. Marie nuzzled her face between Laura's tits and kept speaking in that muffled dirty French that was a hypnotizing chant to Laura's brain.
Marie got Laura's pants open. Laura didn't resist. Marie pushed them to the floor and Laura stepped back to free herself from them. Marie, who had so much trouble with a piece of heavy luggage, pushed Laura back toward the bed with one fingertip on Laura's quivering stomach.
Laura found her voice once the back of her legs touched the side of the bed. "Marie, I don't know - "
Marie put the finger over Laura's lips. Laura's tongue darted out to taste it but jumped back into her mouth just as quick. Marie's fingertips pushed Laura down to the bed by her shoulders. Laura arched her hips for her and let her pull her thong down and off. Marie's hands slid up, up, and up. She pushed Laura's goose-pimpled thighs apart until her thumbs stroked over her lips and coaxed more wetness from her.
Laura jumped as Marie's thumbs brushed her clit. She clenched the sheets and felt her pussy pulling in Marie's fingers. Her breath quickened and she clamped her eyes shut, trying not to think about it. She didn't want to admit it. She thought if she held back, maybe Marie would realize...
Marie did realize exactly what was happening. Laura knew it. Laura knew Marie had felt how wet and hot she'd become since the first kiss on her hand. Laura knew that Marie had her close. She knew Marie was aware of how much she was enjoying this and how much she needed this.
Her tiny tongue. Such a small thing, but so warm and strong and practiced. Her tiny tongue on Laura's hard clit while her three fingers fucked her. Her hot mouth clamped on her now and unleashing a flood of come down her throat. Laura let loose with a cry that could be heard down the hall. She clamped onto Marie's head with one hand and bucked her pussy on her little pretty face. She held nothing back. She had been building this orgasm for over a week but hadn't known it. She gave it all to Marie, who never stopped licking and fucking her.
A warm fog had filled the hotel room. As it cleared from Laura's vision she saw and felt Marie, now naked, crawling up her body. Her porcelain skin, perky tits, and bald snatch all looked delectable. Laura didn't know where to begin. Marie rubbed her wet, hot cunt on Laura's thigh for a few moments while she whispered more French dirty talk.
She bent down and kissed Laura full on the mouth for the first time. Laura was shocked, and then shocked that the kiss had surprised her considering what had just happened between her legs. She let her lips caress Marie's. She dared to let her tongue out to play. She risked letting her hands tickle Marie's hips and backside.
Marie smiled and moved one of Laura's hands around to her pussy. Laura gasped at the feel of it. She marveled at how tight Marie was and how her wet muscles clamped onto her and helped Laura fuck her. Marie rocked on Laura's hand while she held tiny handfuls of Laura's tits to keep from falling forward.
Laura knew enough to do what she liked doing to herself. She slid her fingers back and forth from Marie's pussy to her clit. She sank two fingers in, slid them out, rubbed Marie's clit, slid her fingers back in, back out, and kept it up until Marie's fingernails sank into her shoulders. Her head snapped back and she yelled at the ceiling. She soaked Laura's hand and then collapsed atop her. She trembled like someone had just thrown a bucket of cold water on her.
Laura wasn't sure when they fell asleep, but Marie was gone when she awoke. The room still smelled of their musk, so Laura knew she hadn't slept long. She found a note left on a pillow near her head.
"I drew you a bath."
Laura smiled. It was exactly what she needed. She was still horny and a hot bath would be a nice cap to what had turned out to be a great evening.
She squeaked in surprise as she opened the bathroom door.
Marie sat in the bathtub that was big enough for three. Soap suds stopped just above her nipples and she held two glasses of champagne. A tray of fresh fruit and cheese was on the floor next to the tub.
"You did draw me a bath," Laura said.
"I did. I thought you needed it." Marie's smile changed from sweet to naughty. "Do you need it, Laura?"
Laura stepped into the tub.