Shortly before 8pm, Amie and Darius arrived outside Malachy’s and by now my private rooms.
As soon as they rang the bell, Malachy opened the door for them and let them in. He then told Amie that she would find me in the bedroom and the adjoining bathroom respectively and gave her directions before making himself comfortable with Darius in the living room.
The men had some time to kill as they were quite unconcerned about their outfits. With their looks and physiques, they looked like models in any shirt, no matter how simple.
Amie came into the bedroom beaming with joy and whispered, “Maggie.”
As she did so, she screwed up her face as if she were doing something forbidden, quietly closed the door behind her and placed a large bag against the wall next to the doorway.
I turned to her and looked at her with a questioning look. “Why are you whispering?”
Soft-footed she walked towards me until she stood in front of me in the large room and then replied reverently, “I’m in the Regent’s bedroom.”
Her words made me burst out laughing.
When I had calmed down a bit, I said with a played thoughtful undertone, “Yeah, I think it’s better if we don’t post selfies from these rooms.”
We both looked at each other with deadpan expressions and tried not to laugh - a stand-off I lost.
“Before we get started, though, we should have a drink.”
I went to the landline, dialled 18 and was directly put through to a maid on the other end of the line. I ordered a bottle of champagne for Amie and me and a glass of whisky each for our men.
Amie used the time we were waiting for our drinks to unpack the outfits she had put together for tonight. Within no time, she had the entire contents of her travel bag spread out on the bed.
I stood curiously in front of the bed, took a sip of champagne and looked at Amie’s daring outfits. Amie stood next to me and looked at me with a curious look.
“And Maggie? What do you think of the selection?” She eyed me closely so as not to miss any of my reactions.
My gaze lingered on a leather combination of mini skirt and leather top. This combination was almost the most chastising of all the outfits spread out before me. I pondered what to say to her without alienating her.
“Yeah, well...“ I stammered awkwardly to myself. “The clothes are more you and less me.”
My response elicited a hearty laugh from Amie.
“Yes, with you a skirt always has to be at least knee length, sweetie, but not tonight. Tonight is about having fun and being sexy and besides, you need to be able to move well because I’m going to hog you on the dance floor for the entire evening.”
Her words were repeatedly interrupted by a cheerful giggle, then she went to her travel bag again and pulled out a pair of black denim shorts from a small side compartment, which she tossed to me.
“Here! These are perfect for you. As soon as I saw them, I knew you’d like them. I spread out the other outfits to shock you. And to be honest, these shorts,” she pointed with one finger at the shorts I was holding up in front of me with one hand, eyeing them curiously, “are almost too long for me. You can’t even see the buttock cleavage!”
“Amie!” I laughed, shaking my head. “Besides, they’re not neon pink,” I added mischievously.
Amie nodded in agreement. “You got that right.”
I took the shorts and put them on the bed with the other outfits.
“I have another idea. I know you wanted to pick out our outfits, but I have a suggestion too.”
I went to the suitcase that was not yet unpacked from our trip to Norha because Malachy just didn’t have enough space in his wardrobes. Then I took out the item of clothing I wanted and tried to protect it as best I could from Amie’s prying eyes.
“Black and gold,” she muttered, “I can live with that. Let me see it!”
She reached for the jumpsuit, but I moved aside in a flash so she couldn’t snatch the garment from me.
“I’ll make you a deal. I’ll put the outfit on real quick and if you don’t like it, I’ll wear whatever you suggest.”
My words put a mischievous grin on her face. “Agreed! But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
I disappeared into the bathroom and put on my jumpsuit. It was a black and gold striped dream and fit like a glove. Although it was quite demure due to a halter neck fastening, my shoulders and almost my entire back were bare. In addition, there was an oval cut-out starting from my décolleté to the middle of my stomach.
When I stepped out of the bathroom and Amie saw my outfit, her eyes sparkled with delight.
“Wow, Maggie! You look amazing.” Then she pursed her lips into a pout and grumbled, “The shorts can’t compete with that. I guess I’ll have to admit defeat.”
Amie opted for fishnet tights with the leather shorts and a backless fringe top in sunshine yellow.
When we were both finished dressing, we went into the bathroom together to do our make-up and style our hair in front of the big mirror.
I couldn’t get it out of my head that Amie had so blithely accepted Darius’ suggestion to go to the Collosseum this afternoon after the funeral.
Amie was a very warm and compassionate person and the fact that she had not said a single word about Soraya’s tragic death, which could easily be called a murder, was strange.
I pondered how to broach the delicate subject unobtrusively.
“Tell me Amie, doesn’t it feel strange for you to be celebrating so carefree just shortly after Soraya was buried?”
Amie looked at me with a serious expression.
“Of course it does, Maggie! Even more so when you consider that Adrian that bastard had hurt her so badly, that she died from that attack.”
I looked at Amie, perplexed.
“What do you mean?”
Amie looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Then she grinned.
“You must have been completely relaxed in the chalet and have forgotten some things...”
Grinning cheekily, she shook her head and her dark curls brushed my shoulders.
I looked at her with a confused and questioning look.
“Maggie!” she gave out indignantly as she exhaled loudly.
“Seriously? Of course Darius told me the real story. Adrian attacked him first and then her with the ‘anti-healing’. Soraya as a human didn’t stand a chance, but we couldn’t very well tell her aunt that story.”
Now she averted her gaze from my reflection and looked directly at me.
“Are you all right? You seem a little pale to me.”
I lowered my gaze to the floor and took a deep breath.
“I’m fine. The situation just took a lot out of me. It was stupid of me to bring up the subject again.”
“Yes, it was,” she interrupted me.
Then she took me in her arms. “Tonight, let’s forget this awful reality and toast to life and especially to the fact that nothing worse happened to Darius and you.”
She gave me a loving kiss on the top of my hair and detached herself from me. She then handed me my champagne glass and held hers up in the air in front of me to toast.
“Cheers! Here’s to life, dear!”
“Cheers! To love, Amie!”
Our glasses clicked loudly.
As I felt the champagne on my tongue, the strangest questions circled through my head. Probably the most important one was: why hadn’t Darius told Amie the true story about Soraya’s death, but the official lie created by Malachy? Did he have something to do with it?
I resolved to address Malachy on this subject in a timely manner.
When we girls joined our men in the living room, dressed and styled, we received appreciative looks and whistles.
“Wow. Amie, you look awesome...to die for.”
Darius got up from the sofa and wrapped his arms around Amie. “Speaking of snacking, I noticed something. Now that I’m head of Clan, I have access to the infamous private room at the Collosseum. Yes!”
He clenched his fist in victory pose in the air. “I’ve been trying to get in there for years. I can’t wait to get into the Collosseum.”
Amie turned bright red and protested, “But I promised Maggie I’d dance the night away with her. We even put on comfortable shoes.”
Now Darius grinned cheekily at her and let his index finger travel from her neck, over her collarbone and towards her cleavage.
“Oh come on... a little sex can’t hurt...”
Amie blushed like a tomato and bit her lower lip lightly as she seemed to be caught in Darius’ piercing gaze.
“Okay,” I interrupted the intimate situation. “Shall we get going then?”
“Absolutely!” replied Darius.
Slightly amused at the situation, I looked at Malachy.
He seemed to like the idea of the private room as well, because he winked at me mischievously and gave me a sensual, deep kiss.
Our mood in Malachy’s limousine was exuberant and cheerful, which was perhaps due to the minibar with the Piccolo champagne bottles.
We were more than ready to let go for the evening and leave the drama and stress of the last few weeks behind and celebrate life.
We had resolved for this evening to forget who we were and what burdens we had. We would fulfil our obligations again, tomorrow.