Beyond The Masque Part II

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Chapter 10

I leave Spence’s office and head back to the restaurant in a daze. That was an interesting lunch date. Sushi, a blowjob and a wedding date, that’s a lot to fill in an hour.

“How was lunch?” Chris asks me when I return.

“It was…good,” I reply, feeling my cheeks warm a little.

“You two have a hard time keeping your hands off each other, don’t you?” he laughs.

“What makes you say that? We just had sushi,” I reply, feigning innocence, but Chris isn’t buying it from the look on his face.

“Mmm-hmm, I’m sure Rox,” he laughs.

I decide to change the subject.

“So we agreed on a wedding date,” I tell him, and he promptly puts his tongs down and turns toward me, giving me his full attention.

“Really? So when is the big day Rox?”

“October Fourth,” I reply, feeling my pulse quicken.

“Wow, that’s not too far away, is it?

“No, it’s not,” I breathe, losing my voice, and I feel my palms getting clammy.

I try to shake it away, but Chris is watching me, and he knows me well enough to know that something is on my mind.

“Rox,” he says quietly, moving in close to me, “what’s up?”

“I think I’m just feeling overwhelmed and nervous,” I reply honestly, it’s my best guess as to how I’m feeling right now.

“I’m sure that’s normal,” he says softly, placing a hand on my shoulder.

“Yeah, I suppose,” I nod, hoping he’s right.

“Spence is a great guy, and I’ve seen the way he looks at you, it’s evident just how much he loves you.”

“And I love him too,” I say.

“Why do I get the impression there’s a but at the end of that sentence?”

Chris, he can be so intuitive, much to my dismay sometimes.

“There’s no but,” I counter.

“Yes, there is, I can tell. What is it Rox?” he prompts me, but I just can’t get the words out, they are stuck in my throat.

“It’s nothing, really Chris, I’m okay. As I said, I’m just feeling a little overwhelmed, that’s all this is,” I say, shaking my head and turning my attention to the grill.

Chris sighs loudly in exasperation, but he decides not to press me any further on it. Thank goodness, because I can’t even bring myself to voice what I think might be bothering me.

The rest of the day goes by slowly, but finally, eight o’clock rolls around. After a quick shower, I sit in the empty locker room, staring at my phone. I want to call Casey, and I don’t feel like calling her from Spence’s house. There’d be too many distractions, the distraction being Spence. I need to talk to her, but will she talk to me? All my previous attempts had failed, but now some time has passed, maybe she’ll be willing to talk to me now. I take a deep breath and dial her number. No text messaging for this possible conversation, it’s too important, and I miss her voice. It rings five times before she picks up. Well, she picked up so that’s a good start.

“Hello?” Casey stays stiffly into the phone.

Here goes nothing.

“Hello Casey,” I answer.

“What do you want Roxanne?” she asks.

Her saying my full name breaks my heart. You never really know what you have until it’s gone.

“I wanted to talk to you Case, I miss you,” I say quietly.

I hear her breathing on the other side, but she doesn’t respond right away, so I wait patiently.

“I miss you too Roxanne,” she finally replies quietly, “but I just…I don’t know what to say to you. You really hurt me, you were the last person on earth that I thought would ever do something like that to me.”

Tears start streaming down my cheeks.

“I know Case. I know that I royally fucked up, and I’m so sorry, I am. I know you have no reason to trust me anymore, but I was hoping we could work it out. You’re my best friend, and I don’t want to lose you for good,” I sniff, wiping at my face.

“I don’t know…” Casey trails off, but I know she’s caving.

“Please Case? Can we please just get together and talk about it? Maybe I can try to explain myself?”

“I don’t know what you could explain to make it all better Rox,” she argues.

“I know that. I just want to explain how everything happened,” I plead, “if just to lay it all out on the table. I love you Case, and I can’t imagine my life without you in it, I need you in it,” I tell her, and I can hear her sniffling on the other end.

“Okay Roxanne, we can get together and talk,” she finally agrees, her voice cracking slightly.

“Thank you, Casey. How about tomorrow?” I suggest eagerly, not wanting to waste any more time.

“Yeah, I think that could work. What time are you off work?” she asks, her voice soft.

“I get off at eight,” I tell her.

“How about I meet you there at the hotel in the lounge?” she suggests.

“Whatever works best for you, I can come to you too if you want,” I offer.

I feel a little worried that she may run into Lucas while here, that couldn’t be pretty.

“No, it’s fine. I’ll see you just after eight then,” she says, sounding tired.

“Okay, I look forward to it Case. Goodnight,” I say softly.

“Night,” she replies simply, then I hear the phone disconnect.

I smile to myself, feeling a little weight come off my shoulders. She’s going to see me, so that’s a big step forward. I thought for sure she’d refuse or not answer my call at all. I may just get my Casey back. I doubt it’ll ever be the same as it was, but I can try. I’ve learned my lesson about choosing a man over my best friend; it cost me way too much to ever repeat. I leave the locker room, feeling optimistic about tomorrow. When I reach the hotel lobby, Spence is there, leaning against the front desk chatting with the ladies behind the counter, one of them being Lena. He doesn’t see me right away, and I take a moment to look at him. He’s just too handsome standing there in his power suit. He wears it so well. His dark blonde hair, slicked back, and his hands tucked casually in his pockets. I walk towards the front desk, and he spots me. He stands up straight and flashes me his megawatt grin.

“Roxanne, my love,” he says smoothly as I close the distance.

He wraps his arms around me and leans down to kiss me.

“Hi Spence,” I say, a little breathless.

I turn and smile at Lena.

“Hey Lena,” I say to her.

“Hey Rox. I heard the good news! Congrats!” she exclaims happily, jumping up from her seat and coming around the counter to hug me.

“Thanks, Lena.”

She squeezes me tightly, then she turns and reaches her small arms up to wrap them around Spence’s neck to hug him too, making him chuckle. I think her easy affection takes him by surprise.

“Why thank you, Lena,” he says, smiling down at her when she pulls back.

“I know you’ll take good fucking care of my girl here,” Lena states, forgetting her language, and it makes Spence laugh even louder.

Lena looks confused for a moment before she realizes what she said and covers her mouth, blushing. I hear the other women at the desk giggling too. I’m sure they are used to Lena’s mouth by now too.

“Oops! Sorry sir,” she squeaks.

“Oh Lena, you adorable girl. It’s quite all right, and please, call me Spence, you should know that by now,” he teases.

For the most part, I usually hang out with Chris and Lena on my own, but when Spence is around, Lena is always so reserved around him and maintains her professional attitude. I think she has a little trouble getting past seeing him as the boss, instead of a friend. He’s constantly reminding her to call him Spence instead of Sir or Mr. Manfredi.

“Sorry Spence,” she corrects.

“Nothing to be sorry about Lena, I am not a customer, so it’s all right,” he assures her.

“Yes, but you are my boss,” she counters.

Spence smirks at her and pulls her away from the desk, out of earshot of the front desk.

“I’m also your good friends' fiancé, and I would like Roxanne’s good friends, to be my good friends as well, so you are suspect to a little preferential treatment I think…just don’t tell the others,” he says conspiratorially.

“Soon, everyone will want to become my good friend,” I laugh, shaking my head.

“In that case,” Lena smiles up at Spence, and leans into him, “I think I could go for a raise, that might help.”

I can tell from her tone that she’s messing with him now. Spence seems to realize this and plays along, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

“Okay, Lena. How’s an extra thousand per month sound?” he asks.

“Oh, that would be perfect. What else can I squeeze out of you?”

“Promotion to head concierge?” he asks her, pretending to be serious.

“Excellent,” she nods, “that will do just fine.”

“How long have you worked with us anyway Lena?” he then asks her.

“Almost four years sir…I mean Spence. Since I was eighteen,” she tells him.

“And did you always work concierge?”

“I was in housekeeping for the first year, then I moved to the front desk,” she tells him, and he nods thoughtfully.

“So you’ve been up here for about three years then?” he confirms, and she nods at him.

“I think we have some things to talk about Lena, but we’ll discuss that later. I need to take my fiancée home,” he says to her, releasing her and stepping towards me, reaching for my hand.

“Okay you two, I’ll see you tomorrow. Night Spence, night Rox, love you!” Lena smiles broadly and waves before she walks back over to the desk.

“Night Lena,” I call back to her as Spence leads me towards the front doors.

We step out into the cool night and Spence gestures to the valet.

“My car is here,” I tell him.

“We can leave it here tonight,” he replies, “you’re coming with me.”

A black stretch limousine pulls up to the curb, and the valet runs over to open the door for us to climb in. Spence slides in next to me as the door is shut behind him.

“So I’m going to see Casey tomorrow,” I tell him as we pull away from the hotel.

“Really? That’s good news,” he replies, putting an arm around my shoulders and pulling me against him.

“Yeah, I’m glad she finally agreed to talk to me, I really miss her.”

“Where are you meeting her?”

“Just at the hotel lounge,” I tell him.

“Well, I hope it all works out for you two, I know it’s been hard on you not having her around.”

“It really has been, especially now.”

“Why especially now?” Spence asks me after a beat.

“Because we’re getting married, and I want my best friend with me during the whole process,” I tell him.

“Process? What a lovely way to describe it,” he says dryly.

“How else am I to describe it?” I ask him, wondering what his issue is.

“It’s not so much the word as the way you say it. In that entire sentence, did I hear any real joy in your voice,” he tells me, removing his arm from around me.

Spence’s sudden change in mood catches me off guard. I didn’t realize one small, harmless statement could bother him so much.

“Hey, what’s with you?” I ask him.

Now I’m annoyed.

“I’m just worried about how it’s going to go with Casey, that’s all. There’s no need to turn something I said into something it isn’t Spence.”

He turns his head to look at me and raises an eyebrow.

“No, it’s not just that. Even today in my office when we were setting our date, you looked absolutely terrified,” he informs me.

“I was not,” I argue, shaking my head.

“Well, you didn’t look happy or excited,” he counters.

Wow, he’s a lot more astute then I thought. I guess I’m not as good at hiding my emotions as I thought I was, however, I don’t think I looked terrified. Maybe just a little nervous but not terrified.

“I was not terrified Spence,” I say, reaching for his hand, “I am excited, really. I’m just a little nervous that’s all. Everything is just happening so quickly. October Fourth isn’t very far away, and I have so much to do before then. I’ve never done this before and it’s completely new to me. I feel like I need my best friend there to help me out, if she’ll even have me, that’s all I meant. I don’t want you to be angry with me,” I explain, hoping this will appease him.

Spence lets out a loud sigh and squeezes my hand.

“Roxanne, I’m not angry with you. I’m just worried that you are beginning to doubt your decision to marry me. I know you’ve had issues making decisions in the past,” he says, and I can’t help that the last part stings a little.

I know what he’s referencing at, but I guess he has a point there.

“Please Spence, don’t worry okay? Everything is fine between us, I promise.”

“I sure hope so Roxanne, because I really don’t want to walk right into another marriage if you’re not sure about it. I’m done with this shit,” he states.

I stare back into his serious hazel eyes, and they search mine, waiting. I feel bad that he’s feeling this way, and he really deserves better than this. I reach over and hold his face between my palms, begging him with my eyes to believe me.

“I love you, Spence, so much, and I look forward to being your wife and spending the rest of our lives together,” I say, voice steady and sure.

“Yeah?” he breathes as he smiles a very rare, shy smile.

“Yeah,” I smile back then kiss him on his soft lips.

“Good. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you either. And I’m sorry if you’ve felt a little overwhelmed. I’ll try to be more understanding, I know this is all new to you,” he murmurs, resting his forehead against mine.

“Yeah, take it easy on me, this is only my first marriage,” I tease, and then I worry if I should have.

Luckily he chuckles softly.

“I’m hoping it’s your only marriage Rox, and I hope it’s my last one.”

We finally arrive at Spence’s house. The rest of the ride had been fairly quiet. Spence helps me out of the car and holds my hand as we head up the steps to the front door. Spence’s butler James opens the door for us.

“Good evening sir, madam,” he greets us.

“James, good evening,” Spence says to him as we pass by.

Spence starts leading me towards the massive staircase that leads upstairs.

“Where are we going?” I ask him, it seems too early to go to bed just yet.

“I need to get you naked straight away,” he says as we climb the stairs.

Oh? His mood has changed again.

“Already?” I giggle.

Good thing I had called Casey earlier, this is what I meant about distractions.

“What did I tell you earlier today in my office?”

“Um…” I try to remember.

“I said you had better be prepared…” he coaxes, and then I remember.

“Because you’re gonna let me have it?” I finish, my muscles clenching in anticipation.

“Oh, you better believe it,” he promises, flashing me a devilish grin.

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