Coffee, Tea? Or me?

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DO I WANNA KNOW?- Part I

DO I WANNA KNOW?

I’ve dreamt about you nearly every night this week

How many secrets can you keep?

’Cause there’s this tune I found

That makes me think of you somehow and I play it on repeat

Until I fall asleep, spillin’ drinks on my settee.

I

Lucy walked into her room in a five-star hotel in Dubai, her hair wet from her recent swim and her skin flushed from the hot sauna.

She pressed a button near the bedside table and the shade to the big window lifted, revealing a breathtaking sunset over the desert.

She entered the spacious marble bathroom, opened the bathtub faucet and hot steamy water started to flow into bubbles as she poured a patchouli liquid soap offered by the hotel.

When the bathtub filled up completely Lucy pressed play on a soothing playlist and settled into the tub, relaxing her head on the edge where a rolled-up towel cushioned her neck.

She took a peaceful deep breath and opened her eyes: the magic wall between the bathroom and the sleeping area was set on clear and she immersed herself in the shades of orange, gold and pink coming through the window and running for miles into the desert. She loved her life.

As she closed her eyes again her phone rang, Lucy opened one eye and saw Harriet’s name on the screen; she pressed answer with one finger and put the call on loudspeaker, determined not to break her relaxation more than necessary.

“Hey sweetie” Lucy started the conversation.

“Hey chuck, how are you?” her best friend asked in a muffled voice.

“I’m divine darling, currently soaking like a tea leaf in a patchouli bath”. The brunette replied with satisfaction.

“Oh sounds delightful! Where are you?”

“Dubai. And you?”

A yawn came from the other side of the phone.

“I’m in Shanghai. Not even sure what day it is any more”.

Lucy checked the time on her phone and calculated that it must have been right before eleven in the evening in China.

“Did you do any good shopping?” she asked, recalling the numerous good deals she had gotten in the city.

“As usual,” her friend replied. “Nothing mind-blowing though. Anyway, I couldn’t fall asleep so I thought I’d see if you were available for a chat. You’ve never let me know how it ended with your pal James...”

Lucy laughed giddily.

“Well, I was waiting to have something to tell...”

“And?”

“And I do actually. We’ve been on a second date...”

She could hear her friend squeak an Oh my God!

She laughed softly.

“We went to the cinema and....he kissed me”

Another intelligible squeak on the other end.

“Then I invited him to my place for a drink and a pizza....and we kissed some more!“.

“Oh my God woman! This is premium gossip, I can’t believe you withheld the information! You bitch!” She calmed herself a little then asked mischievously. “Did he eat anything else other than the pizza?”

Lucy played with bubbles on the water surface and giggled.

“Nope. I mean, not for lack of will, BELIEVE. YOU. ME! It’s just, my brain had the best of me. I want to be cautious in this Harry, don’t want to find myself in too deep before I know what’s going on. Too much on my plate, you know”.

She could feel her friend nodding on the other end.

“You do you, baby, you’re a clever girl and obviously know what’s best for you. I will support you no matter what. Then when and if you’re ready you can do him” she added to lighten the mood.

They both laughed cheerfully and said goodbye after going into details about the kisses and after talking about Harriet’s latest argument with Ben and how much she loved him, but still wanted to kick his sorry ass.

As she hung up the call she noticed a message from James

“Just back from NY. The flight was great but the crew not as pretty as on my last one :p What you up to?”

Lucy rolled her eyes with a smile at his cheeky comment, then opened the front camera and took a selfie.

***

Lucy’s dump hair was up in a messy bun, her cheeks red and bubbles of soap gently covered her breast leaving her clavicles and shoulders free and wet. Her lips curved in a sly smile.

She was absolutely beautiful; he wished her could climb into the bathtub with her, kiss her and gently pull her on top of him...

“Here’s your car, sir”. The airport parking valet said, handing him his keys.

He quickly thanked him and climbed into the driver’s seat of his Nissan GTR, adjusting the side and rearview mirrors. He texted Lucy before turning the ignition.

You look cosy in there...You know I was thinking, it’s silly I don’t have your number yet ;)

He drove out the parking lot until a barrier stopped his exit and prompted him for the ticket he was holding between his lips.

It is cosy. I wanna live here forever! So we’re exchanging phone numbers now eh....interesting.

Another message with Lucy’s phone number followed.

James connected his mobile to the car Bluetooth and pressed the call button.

“Hello?” a soft inquisitive voice came over the speaker.

“Hey, it’s nice to hear your voice...” said James as he left the big airport roundabout.

“Likewise...so how did the promotion go? I tried to look for interviews online but couldn’t find anything yet”.

“That’s sweet! But yeah, it was great. I was asked many interesting questions about the role and myself as a director. I’m glad there were no silly gossipy talks, but actual attention on the film and how amazing it is! I think some interviews will be ready in a couple of days...”

“That must be so rewarding! I’ll make sure to check them out then...What are you doing now? Are you home?”

James took a second to double-check the road sign as he took the M25 exit for Dorset.

“Erm no actually, I’m driving back home. I’ll take advantage of these three days to finally visit, especially because my mother has become particularly insistent,” he laughed softly “Plus one of my best friends told me he just got engaged so I really wanna see him”.

“Oh that’s sweet, and congratulations to your friend!”

“So when are you back from your trip?” he asked

“Tuesday afternoon, nice day flight”.

“Mmm, I have a few commitments in London this week but I’m free on Thursday. I was thinking that maybe we could do something then?” he asked.

“I’d love to...“Lucy replied cheerfully.

“How about dinner?”

Lucy was silent for a moment, thinking. James could hear the water moving around as Lucy shifted in the tub.

“It sounds great, how about I cook you dinner? We can relax, have some wine...I eat out so much that it would be nice to have a home-cooked meal for once. I’m always too lazy to cook just for myself...” she explained.

James only wanted to spend time with her, he didn’t really care where. Plus he was more than inclined to the idea of being alone with her.

“That sounds fantastic. Can’t wait! What are your plans for the rest of the day?”

“Well it’s already 7 here and I’ve had a very long day, so I’ll order some room service and I’ll go to sleep.”

“Ok, it sounds more than acceptable! Have a good night Lucy”.

“Thank you. You enjoy your friends and family. Wish it were Thursday tomorrow...” she added in a lower, warm voice.

James felt the need to kiss her, he wanted to be with her so badly.

“Me too. You have no idea”. He replied serious all of a sudden.

She scoffed lightly “Good night James”. And hung up.

***

The old pub was loud and crammed with tipsy people queuing more or less ordinately to get a drink.

James and his friends had grown up there, attending the place with their parents and then, as teenagers, trying to buy a drink although underage. They knew the owner and all the bartenders and waiters who worked there. It was where James felt most at home.

“Congratulations mate!” cheered James clicking his pint glass against his friend’s. “It was about time you asked her, you’ve been together what? Ten years? Mental!“.

“Yes, ten. Guess I had no choice!” His friend laughed. “Oh before I forget, do you wanna be my best man?”

James smiled brightly “Of course! It’s an honour!” and patted his friend on the back.

“Enough with this wedding speech, it got old already...” said a third man with a ginger beard sitting at the table.

“So? What’s up with you? David and I went to see your film yesterday, pretty cool must say. Good job”.

“Thank Rob, I appreciate it. I really put so much into it, but you guys know it. And yeah, there’s promoting the film, we’re in Europe and America now. Oh and I’ve met a girl...” he said taking a sip off his pint.

The two men opposite him almost choked on their beers. Since breaking up with his ex-girlfriend two years before, James had thrown himself into his work and had barely shown any interest in the opposite sex.

“Is it that woman with you in the movie?” asked the ginger one.

“Please tell me it’s her. Great tits” said David with a demonstrative gesture.

“No, it’s not Karen. This girl is not in the business”.

“So where did you meet her?” asked Rob.

“On my last flight to LA, she was one of the flight attendants...” he said nonchalantly, waiting for their reaction.

His friends cheered loudly.

“Some one’s been enjoying the Mile High Club! Give me five”.

James laughed as his friends’ bravado.

“Nothing like that. She simply caught my attention, quite the interesting girl...”

“She must be if she managed to make you stop and look twice,” said David impressed. “I was starting to believe you’d given up altogether...”

“Did you bang her?” asked Rob directly, interrupting his friend.

James’ eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“We’ve only been on two dates...”

“So? That doesn’t mean anything, it’s irrelevant when it happens if you click....” said David finishing off his pint.

“I agree,” intervened Rob. “But leave grandpa alone. He obviously has his own courting process”.

James gave them an annoyed look, but then stated

“I’m having dinner at hers on Thursday...”

“Third time’s a charm!” Said David with a mock girly tone.

“So what’s the lass’ name?” asked Rob.

“Lucy”

“Big tits?” tried again David.

“Dave, what’s the matter with you? You’re getting married, mate! But yeah, they’re absolutely fine!” laughed James.

“Got a picture? Let us decide?” said Rob.

James took out his phone, opened Lucy’s Instagram page and selected a picture of her in uniform: her suit immaculate, her hair neat and her perfect red lips curved in a smirk; she looked pretty, professional, and most importantly clothed.

“Here”.

“Nice!” the two men said approvingly.

James nodded “Yup”.

“Happy for you mate”. Said Rob.

James looked at him for a while, studying his face

“I know that face, man. Spit it out!”

Rob sighted “Be careful it’s all I’m saying. I know how much you value your private life, and you’ve got so much going on now with the movie and all...I’m sure she’s sound as fuck and all’s good, and you must quite like her if you’re taking this risk, cos I know you...”

“We’ve all been screwed over before” intervened David in his friend’s aid.

James nodded approvingly, he understood where they were coming from and appreciated their concerns. But they didn’t know Lucy yet, he didn’t really know her either but he trusted her.

“I know guys, thanks. I’ll be careful”.

As he was lying in bed, drunk from the night with his friends, he took out his phone, opening that last selfie from Lucy. He admired her freckles and her flushed skin...he’d puller her on top of him and grab her hips, he’d kiss her gently to tease her...

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

When he fell asleep he dreamt of her: her auburn air on his chest, her hands on his hips, her lips slightly parted, her eyes looking up at him.

He wanted her so bad.

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