Before I know it, Saturday has come upon me. Tonight is the night, the annual Manfredi Masque. Spence has treated me, Lena, and now also Casey to a full spa pampering this early morning. So here we are, the three of us are laid out in a row, receiving luxurious full-body massages.
“That man of yours sure knows how to treat a lady,” Casey sighs.
“Mmm-hmm,” Lena breathes her agreement.
“He sure does,” I murmur, feeling totally relaxed and happy here with my two best girls.
Spence had been so pleased that Casey and I had worked things out, he was more than happy to add her to the guest list and was quick to set this up for us girls. He said it was also kind of a treat for Lena too because unbeknownst to her, tonight was a big special night for her. So here we are at the ritziest spa in all of Houston.
This place is apparently quite hard to get into, but Spence gets special treatment, there’s almost nothing he can’t get done.
“I don’t even want to know how much this would cost for the normal person,” Lena giggles.
“I could get used to this,” Casey chimes in.
“You ladies are in for a very pleasurable day,” my masseuse tells us in a practiced soft voice, “Mr. Manfredi has booked the full platinum package for you today.”
“Oooh,” Casey croons.
“What more could there be?” Lena asks curiously.
We had already been scrubbed with some fancy sea-salt, slathered in mud from some exotic jungle, showered and now massaged.
“After the massage, there will be an aromatherapy steam, full manicures, pedicures, a fabulous champagne lunch, and then hair and make-up application by our most talented make-up artists,” she explains.
“Um…wow! That’s fucking awesome,” Lena exclaims.
Casey and I snicker at her. I gotta love that girl. My masseuse clears her throat, obviously not accustomed to such vulgar language in her serene atmosphere.
“Yes, well, nothing but the very best for the future Mrs. Manfredi,” she says quietly.
“I’ll bet,” Casey sighs.
After our massages, we are thoroughly steamed, showered once more, and our hands and feet are fully beautified. Now it’s just after one o’clock, and we are sitting in a private room with a delicious lunch, complete with pink champagne.
“So what time are you and Spence heading out tonight?” Casey asks me.
“We’ll probably leave his place at seven-thirty. Do you want us to pick you up?” I ask her.
“Really? You guys don’t want a little privacy?” she suggests.
“We’re not animals Casey; we can keep it in our pants, you know,” I laugh.
“Okay then, sure. It beats taking a cab again like last year,” she scoffs.
I don’t say anything about that. Last year, had she arrived on time, things wouldn’t have gone down the way they had. On the bright side, I may not be with Spence now had it not, except for the fact that he had told me that he was planning on meeting me anyway. Except that Lucas had met me before he could. I think I would have liked that story better, handpicked for wooing by the handsome billionaire. I wish he had found me first, would have saved a lot of trouble. I wonder if I would have been as interested in Seth, too, had I just met him when Casey introduced us. Who knows, but there’s no point in worrying about it now.
“What are you thinking about so hard?” Lena asks, pulling me out of my reverie.
I hadn’t realized that I’d been silent for a minute too long.
“Oh nothing, I was just thinking about Spence,” I say.
“Awe,” Casey says in an exaggerated tone, she’s making fun.
“Yeah, yeah,” I wave it off.
“And then you’ll be picking us up too?” Lena asks.
I realize that Chris hasn’t let her in on the private limousine plan, and this must be intentional, so I play along.
“Of course. We should be there just after eight or so,” I tell her.
“Yay! I’m so excited!” Lena gushes, clapping her hands together.
I reach for my glass and hold it up in front of me.
“I’d like to make a toast,” I announce, and the other girls grab their glasses and hold them up, smiling at me.
“To friends. I’m so happy to have you both here with me. I love you both so much. Cheers!”
“Cheers!” Casey and Lena say in unison and clink their glasses with mine.
“Love you too, Rox,” Lena says.
“Ditto,” Casey adds, smiling at me.
I look over at her, and it makes me want to cry again. I still can’t believe I have my Case back. I don’t think I could ask for more right now.
We had taken our time with lunch, and I think the spa people were getting impatient to resume our services, but they didn’t say so, obviously not wanting to displease me in any way, I assume. I could just tell when we left the room that they had an ‘about time’ look on their faces. Our hair is masterly coifed; I don’t think I’ve seen my hair look so glossy before. The stylist had styled my hair into a beautiful retro wavy style, making me look like a movie star from the old black and white films. Casey’s hair has been styled into an elegant up-do, making her look very different than I’m used to, and Lena’s short hair has been styled with pin curls, giving her a retro flapper look. All three of us look like we’ve just stepped out of the twenties.
“Wow!” I breathe, examining the three of us again.
“I’ve never had my hair this way,” Casey comments, turning her head from side to side, “but I love it.”
“Me too!” Lena claps, “we look so old school.”
“Are the ladies pleased?” my stylist, Marco, asks me.
“More than pleased,” I tell him.
“Then it’s time for make-up,” he says enthusiastically.
It’s just after five when I arrive at Spence’s house. The chauffeur opens the door for me, and I climb out of the limousine. I head up the walkway towards the front entrance, and James opens the door for me.
“Good evening Miss Vice,” he greets me warmly.
“Hello James,” I smile back at him, “do you know where Spence is?”
“He’s in his study miss,” he replies.
“Thank you,” I say, and head in that direction.
I can find my way around this house easily now, but at the beginning, I got turned around often, continually walking into the wrong rooms while looking for a bathroom or something. I go up the stairs to Spence’s main study. There are three separate offices in his house, but the one upstairs is the one he usually uses. The door is open, and I peek inside and see Spence sitting at his desk.
He’s leaning far back in his chair with his feet up on his desk, talking on the phone. He’s wearing a pair of navy blue sweatpants, a rarity, but I bought them for him, so he wears them, and a grey t-shirt. I enjoy seeing him this way, average looking. He’s having what sounds like an important conversation, so I wait outside the door until he spots me. I offer him an apologetic smile, but he shakes his head and waves me in. He thoroughly examines me as I stand before him, and a slow grin spreads across his face.
“Alright, sounds good. We’ll discuss this further on Monday. I’ll see you tonight,” he says, and then hangs up the phone, not taking his eyes off of me.
“Hi,” I say to him with a smile.
“You look beautiful, Roxanne,” he compliments me, and I feel myself blush.
“Thank you,” I reply as he stands up and walks around the desk.
“I want to kiss you, but I’d hate to mess up your make-up,” he smiles, looking down at my perfectly painted mouth.
The make-up artist had done a fantastic job, matching my face with my hair, giving me a very retro-glam look, with black liquid eye-liner, and a red lip…a look that I had been nervous I couldn’t pull off, but low and behold, I could, if done right.
“I bought the lipstick so I could reapply,” I tell him, permitting him. I thought ahead on this one.
“Well, in that case,” he smiles wider and leans in, pressing his lips to mine softly.
When he pulls back, he’s still lipstick free.
“All clear,” I giggle.
“Well, by tonight, I hope it’s all over me,” he smiles wickedly, causing my blood to heat.
“I’ll see what I can do,” I say coyly.
“So, do you want to see it?” Spence suddenly asks me, and I must look confused.
I look down at his crotch in question, a smirk playing at my lips.
“No, not that, not yet anyway,” he chuckles, “I mean your dress,” he clarifies.
“Yes!” I exclaim loudly.
Spence had begged me to let him buy my gown for the masque. I agreed because I know that Spence has a good idea of what I do or do not like when it comes to buying clothes, and I was really curious to see what he would choose. However, he wouldn’t let me see it until tonight, he wanted it to be a surprise, and that had made me nervous. What if I hate it, I don’t have a back up plan.
“It was delivered this morning,” he tells me, taking my hand and leading me towards his bedroom.
He looks so excited that it makes me giggle. We step into his room, and we go over to his ridiculously massive closet. There is a large white garment bag hanging there, with the name Oscar De La Renta emblazoned across it. He watches my face eagerly as I step towards the bag, looking at him in question.
“Open it,” he encourages.
I reach for the zipper and carefully pull it down. A gasp escapes my throat as I get the first glimpse of the gown. I release it from the bag and gape at it in awe. It’s the most beautiful gown I have ever seen.
“Oh. My. God,” I whisper, “Spence, this is…this is perfect.”
“You like it?” he murmurs, reaching over to it, and pulling the garment bag off the hanger, so the dress is entirely free of it.
I soak in the beauty of it. It’s a deep red silk taffeta mermaid gown, with a deep sweetheart neckline, and ruching down the entire bodice until it flares out at the knee.
“I hope it fits,” I breathe.
“I’m certain that it will,” he assures me, “and you’re going to need this,” he adds, grabbing a bag from a shelf and reaching into it, pulling out a matching red corset for underneath.
“That’s lovely,” I say, reaching out and touching the soft lace.
“I’m going to have so much fun unwrapping you later,” Spence says silkily.
“I’m looking forward to it,” I grin, “but I think I’m going to need help getting into it as well,” I add.
I also realize that the shape of this dress isn’t going to make sitting and standing easy either. It’ll be worse than last year in that aspect, but I don’t care, it’s an amazing dress that I could never have imagined wearing.
“Well, then, let me change, and I’ll give you a hand. In the meantime, how about you put this on,” he says, handing me the corset.
“We’re getting dressed already? It’s not even six.”
“We’re going out for dinner first,” he tells me, pulling off his t-shirt.
I smile and soak in his form, his perfectly toned chest and abs, maintained with hours spent in the pool or gym almost every single morning. The sweatpants that I got for him hang off his hips and my eyes follow the V that points down, down to his enormous…
“If you keep looking at me like that, we’ll never get out of here,” he teases.
“Right you are,” I giggle, and reluctantly tear my gaze away.
I examine the corset and realize with relief that it clasps in the front, so it shouldn’t be very hard to get into. I quickly unbutton my shirt and pull my jeans and bra off, until I’m standing in just my underwear. I turn my back to Spence, who has dropped his pants, and I know he’s completely nude. If I look, I’ll want. I open the corset and wrap it around me, then start hooking it up. It pulls everything in and up.
“The matching underwear is in the bag,” Spence says behind me.
I peek over my shoulder at him, and he now has some underwear on. I nod and turn away again, reaching back into the bag. Not only do I find the lingerie, a slinky red lace thong, but also a new pair of black stockings. I pull off my white cotton undies and shimmy into the thong. I peek over my shoulder again at Spence, and he’s watching me, his eyes dark and heated. So I decide to tease him a little, refresh my seduction skills.
I carefully pull the delicate stockings out of their package and prop my leg up on a shelf. Very slowly, I start sliding the first stocking up my leg until it reaches my thigh. I hook the clasps from my corset to the top of the hose. I’m about to reach around to do the back one when I feel Spence behind me.
“Please, allow me,” he murmurs into my hair, and he bends, sliding his hands down the back of my thigh, and hooking the clasp.
“Why thank you,” I say sweetly and move to the other leg and repeat the process of sliding it up my leg.
This time I let Spence clasp both sides of the stocking- his hands linger on my thigh after he’s done. I can tell that he’s fighting an inner struggle to control himself.
“If you keep looking at me like that, we’ll never get out of here,” I giggle, throwing his words back at him, “get dressed.”
Spence sighs loudly and stands up straight. I look down and see that he’s straining against his boxer briefs.
“Save that for later,” I smirk.
“As you wish,” he croons and unzips the black garment bag holding his tuxedo.
This time, I watch him get dressed. When he’s fully suited up, I still can’t believe just how handsome he is, and he’s all mine.
“You’re beautiful,” I say to him, and he gives me an adorable, shy smile, one that I don’t see very often, one that’s reserved for only me.
“You’re the one who’s beautiful,” he replies, stepping towards me and sliding his hands around my waist, and then pulling me towards him. He dips his head down and runs his lips down my throat and back up again, causing goosebumps to form on my skin.
“Let’s get that dress on you now,” he whispers and pulls away.
He reaches for the dress and releases it from the hanger, then unzips it. He holds it low and open for me, and I carefully step into it. He slides it up my body and then slowly slides the zipper up. It fits like a glove.
“I told you it’d fit,” he says, backing away to appreciate it fully.
“It’s incredible. How did you know?”
“I’ve been secretly measuring you in your sleep,” he states seriously.
I meet his gaze with evident alarm in my eyes because he starts laughing.
“Roxanne, I’m not crazy…I just sent in your dress size and a photo, and they got it right, thank goodness.”
Phew! I let out a sigh of relief.
“Shoes,” he murmurs, pulling down another box from the shelf, Monolo Blahnik written across it.
He opens the box and reveals a pair of red satin peep-toes. He bends down, and I put my foot out for him, and he slides them on.
“I feel like a princess,” I sigh.
“And you should, you deserve to feel that way,” he states, standing up straight, “so I have one last finishing touch,” he adds and leaves the closet.
He reappears a minute later, with a black velvet box in hand. He opens it up, and I gasp. Inside is a gorgeous diamond and ruby choker with matching drop earrings. He pulls the necklace out and sets the box aside. I turn and gently pull my hair up as he wraps it around my neck and fastens it.
“That will just about do it,” he says as I drop my hair back in place.
“Oh, Spence,” I whisper, turning to admire it in the mirror.
“You like it?”
“It’s…it’s too much.”
I suddenly realize that this has probably cost a small fortune.
“Relax Roxanne. It’s okay, I can afford it, trust me. I want nothing but the best for my future wife,” he states, reaching for the box again, and holding it towards me so that I can put on the earrings.
I’m about to reach out and grab them, when I hesitate, thinking about the scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere snaps the box shut on Julia Roberts's fingers.
“What’s wrong?” he asks, furrowing his brows.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” I say, shaking my head.
Spence wouldn’t do that. I reach my fingers into the box…SNAP!
“Eek!” I squeal in surprise.
He did it! He snapped my fingers in the box. I gape at him, and he starts laughing hard.
“You think I haven’t seen that movie?” he says, trying to contain his laughter, “I’ve always wanted to do that.”
How’d he know that’s what I was picturing?
“You’re terrible,” I scold him lightly, but I enjoy his playfulness.
He pulls the earrings out and hands them to me, and I quickly secure them to my lobes.
“Shall we?” he adds, offering his arm to me.
I take it, and we leave the closet, ready for tonight in our evenings finest. So many possibilities that this night may hold, but as long as I’m with Spence, everything will be great. Nothing will be as it was last year.