One day, about six weeks into dating, as Lucy was popping some pizzas in the oven James asked:
“Why don’t you come to mine next time?”
Lucy looked at him from behind the counter.
“I thought you said the paparazzi are everywhere. I saw a picture of you on Instagram the other day and you were definitely on your way here...”
James walked to her and placed his arms around her waist, gently.
“I live in a building, they wouldn’t know you’re coming to see me”.
He said placing a gentle kiss on her lips.
“Maybe. I’ll think about it,” she replied.
Then she kissed him and pushed him on the sofa and the pizzas burnt.
Lucy didn’t go to his place.
James opened yet another beer and sat heavily on his sofa, he switched off the TV and started the music system, Riders on the storm begun to play on the Dolby speakers.
He checked his phone as he quickly swallowed his beer: no new messages from Lucy. What the hell?
He knew her flight had been delayed but it was now showing as landed more than three hours before.
James opened Instagram and checked her profile and stories but nothing new came up, just the same story of her with two guys on her crew, cheerfully smiling at the camera.
Where was she? He felt a mixture of annoyance and worry all wrapped up in a bundle of drunken anger.
He was sure there was an explanation for her not texting him, but she had never taken so long to contact him after a flight. He wanted to hear her voice. At the same time, he was annoyed at himself for feeling that way. Get a grip, he thought as he sipped on the last mouthful of his can. He opened another one straight away and lit a cigarette.
When his phone rang and, he replied immediately as he saw Lucy’s name.
“At last!” He said. “Where the hell were you?”
“The flight was delayed” Lucy started.
“I know that, but I also know that you landed more than three and half hours ago”.
He said puffing out smoke.
Lucy was silent for a moment.
“I don’t have data in Canada, I had to wait to get to the hotel so that I could connect to the Wi-Fi...”
“Didn’t the airport have wifi?” James cut in.
“I don’t know, I was too busy clearing immigration, dragging my case all over the carpet and interacting with some passengers.” Her voice was raising “Honestly what’s your problem? I don’t even know why I’m defending myself to you...”
“I just...wanted to talk to you....”
James could hear a tap being opened and water flowing.
“Well I was looking forward to talking to you too, but this is how my life works. I have been awake for twenty-two hours, had to deal with angry people as the delay grew, my feet hurt, and we had to call the police on arrival because a man punched one of my colleagues in the face! Sorry if you weren’t my priority for just a tiny moment, Sir!“. She said now angry and heated.
James took a deep breath. Her anger had awoken him from his edging rage.
“I’m sorry. I had a long day with the press and I had one too many maybe...I’m sorry about your colleague, wanna tell me about the flight?”
Lucy took a deep breath and calmed down.
“No James, honestly I just want to melt this makeup off my face, take a shower and cry myself to sleep. I have no energy for anything else”.
“It’s OK, you must be exhausted. Well sleep tight, I can’t wait to see you. Will you text me when you wake up?”
“Of course,” She said. “I can’t wait to see you either.” And hung up.
James threw his phone on the sofa and rubbed his face with his hands, sighing heavily.
This was their first fight, and it was his fault. He had almost ruined everything because of his temper.
Hopefully, she will have forgiven him for being an utter twat and will have texted him the day after. He wished he could apologise, tell her that this wasn’t his regular behaviour and that she didn’t have to expect it again. But he didn’t.
Lucy texted the following day, and he eventually apologised through his piercing hangover headache. She said she understood and was sure it was a one-off reaction.
She also said she had had a dream about him the night before, a hot one.
Life was good again.
Lucy called him from her Hotel room in Miami, it was late afternoon there and past midnight in Milan, where James was spending some days for interviews and photoshoots.
“Hey! How’s my baby”? he answered the phone on the first ring.
Lucy heard a humf as he let himself fall heavily on the bed.
“She’s good. Did you have a good time out?”
“Oh yeah, there was expensive Italian wine and pizza...just perfection”.
She smiled “Have you had much of that expensive wine?” she asked, teasing him.
“Nah, just enough to enjoy myself...I had been thinking about you...”
“So have I...” Lucy said with a silky voice.
James sat up and leaned against the bedpost.
“And what have you been thinking?”
“Well, you see, I was in the shower and that reminded me of that time we took one together at my place...”
“Yes?” James closed his eyes, those images clear in his mind. The lather, the water, her lips...
Lucy continued, her voice almost a whisper.
“That got me quite bothered and hot and got me thinking how much I wished you were there with me; your hands on me, inside me, your kisses on my neck, my hips, my thighs, your tongue...inside me”.
James was silent, she could hear his fastened breathing and imagined him biting his lip, she loved when he did that during sex when he was so deep in his enjoyment he lost track for everything around him.
“You drove me insane that day James, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Had to touch myself to pretend you were there, bite my lips to not scream your name...”
“I’m gonna fuck you so good as soon as you come home”. He said.
Lucy woke up on an exceptionally rainy Sunday morning, it was late September and the air was turning suddenly cold. She lay for a moment listening to the rain against the window and enjoyed the warmth that James’s body was emanating. She turned around eventually and looked at him: he was sleeping peacefully with his arms above his head, his glorious body naked except for his underwear. She wondered what he was dreaming about. With a perfectly manicured finger, she traced the tattoo on his inner bicep, a stylized cat that had always made her giggle; she kissed his elbow and sat up grabbing her phone.
Lucy messaged Harriet about their upcoming holiday to Cancun, showing her the new bikini she had ordered and double-checking a few details about the hotel; she then opened Instagram and purposelessly scrolled down her feed: Friends memes, abs HIIT workouts, cats, thigh HIIT workouts, some singers she could never remember the name of, perfectly whipped coffee cream and eventually, as it always happened, James. She opened the picture and smiled: he was in Paris strolling around with a friend and he was wearing the t-shirt she had brought him back from Australia. It had a boxer kangaroo on it and it had reminded her of him because he had told her that he had fallen in love with boxing, after practising it for his latest role. It was silly, she never thought he would actually wear it out and about.
“Can’t get enough of me?” James’ sleepy, hoarse voice startled her.
“Nice t-shirt...” she said showing him the subject of her amusement.
He smiled “I love it”.
He rubbed his face with his hands and yawned, pulling himself up to seated. He checked his watch.
“You’re up early...”
“I couldn’t sleep. Did I wake you?“.
James shook his head and kissed her lips
“No, don’t worry”.
He stretched and yawned again
“What do you want to do today?”
“I don’t know, sleepyhead. Not much, the weather is horrible”. Lucy said pointing to the window.
James looked at the dark clouds outside
“Lazy day?” he asked raising an eyebrow.
“Super lazy. I’m happy with spending the whole day in bed”.
“Well, don’t ask me twice”. He said slowly caressing her thigh.
“First thing first Mr, I need a coffee and most of all pancakes. Do you want some?“.
James stretched again, still half asleep “Please!“.
Lucy got up from the bed, grabbed his t-shirt from the floor and put it on
“Cool, you stay here. I’ll bring you breakfast in bed, how about that?”
“I am dead and this is heaven”.
She smiled at him and started down the stairs.
“Oh shit, my phone is dead again. Really need to buy a new one. Can I use yours to check my e-mails very quickly?” James’ voice came from the mezzanine.
Lucy switched on the kettle.
“Of course!” she yelled over the noise of boiling water and gave him her password.
She poured the coffees, black for him and white for her, and made her way back upstairs to bring him his mug.
“Black coffee for you sir,” and she put the steaming cup on the nightstand.
“What’s wrong?” she asked looking at his dark face.
“Who’s Sam?” he asked bluntly.
Lucy was taken aback, her face changing into a mask of horror.
“What?” she whispered.
James showed her the phone screen, where a notification was still lingering.
I miss you, baby girl. Can’t wait to kiss you again.
Lucy stared at him, still unable to talk, then grabbed the phone from his hands.
“Who is he?” James interrupted her, raising his voice.
Lucy seated heavily on the bed, her voice unsure “He’s...” she stopped again.
“Lucy?!” it was almost a yell.
“He’s my boyfriend”.
Hello, amazing human beings!
Hope you are enjoying the story so far! So, things took a turn and Lucy surely got some explaining to do...