James and Lucy entered the terminal building at London Heathrow airport and walked to the wing reserved for First Class passengers. It was three days before the Oscars and they were on their way to Los Angeles.
It was mid-morning and the airport was busy with businessmen and women power walking through the slow groups of holidaymakers strolling around the departure level.
James liked to be in crowded places because it gave the paparazzi a smaller chance to spot him or taker decent pictures.
He took Lucy’s hand and locked his fingers with hers, pushing the trolley full of suitcases with his free hand. He was wearing a pair of black ripped jeans, white Converse and t-shirt and a dark grey shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his forearms. On his head his usual black baseball hat that he automatically pushed lower on his face.
Lucy looked comfortable in a pair of black Nike and leggings and a white fluffy jumper with puff shoulders, her hair was neatly combed into two short plaits.
“Good morning Mr Bleckwood and Miss Hamilton, welcome to First,” said the ground agent manning the first-class entrance as James showed him their reservation on his phone.
The couple walked to the check-in desk and after leaving their suitcases they made their way through the reserved security line, they passed the First Classed lounge and entered the exclusive Lotus Room.
The Lounge was a luxurious environment reserved only to the most prestigious customers of the airline, making it a hard goal to work towards for any fidelity cardholders. The cream walls perfectly matched the black and cream carpet in contrast with the cherry hardwood floor, on the left was a bar with high stools, behind it a mirror with shelves filled with expensive spirit bottles; on the right were groups of little sofas and chairs paired with low, round coffee tables and behind was the restaurant seating area. Staling the scene was a long big glass wall overlooking the runway, grey chaise longues and sofas faced the view and were separated in groups of two by bamboo privacy screens.
The couple was greeted by the lounge manager who welcomed them by their surnames and showed them to their reserved area near the big window. As they settled down in their chaise longs a waiter arrived balancing a tray with two flutes and a bottle of Laurent Perrier vintage champagne.
“Mr Blackwood, Miss Hamilton, how are you today?” The man asked as he worked on the bottle to open it.
“Amazing,” smiled James.
“I’m great, how are you?” Beamed Lucy.
“I’m very well, thanks for asking”. The waiter replied with a smile as he filled the flutes, leaving the half-full bottle in an ice bucket on the table between the two chairs.
“Please let me know if you would like anything else.” He added with a quick bow of his head.
The two thanked him and the man left.
James relaxed against the back of his chair and took a sip of champagne, enjoying the first taste of alcohol in weeks.
“Have you ever been here?” He asked noticing Lucy gazing around the Lounge.
Lucy shook her head.
“I’ve only been to the business class lounge, this one looks so...”
“Pompous?” James finished her sentence.
“I agree,” said James looking around. “But it’s the best Lounge.”
Lucy looked at him, tilting her head to the side.
“Are you trying to impress me a-la Pretty woman?”
James laughed from the heart and held his hands up.
Lucy sipped her champagne watching an Airbus moving along the taxiway.
“I thought we were past that point.” She gave him a quick side glance and casually added. “I’ve already fallen in love with your money, you can stop trying so hard.”
James nodded slowly, smiling drily and biting his lower lip then retorted.
“I thought it was time to shake the relationship with a show of power and prestige.”
Now it was Lucy’s time to laugh and James joined her after failing to keep a straight face.
She looked at his face still embellished by a smile and felt suddenly happy.
“You look so handsome today,” she said dreamingly. “I love it when you’re so carefree”.
James drank from his flute again.
“I love it too.” He beamed
“Let’s take a photo,” Lucy said. “To commemorate this moment”.
James looked at her hesitantly.
“Oh c’mon, I only have like a few of us together that weren’t taken by a stranger”.
“Do you collect those?” He asked joking.
“I will have to start if I want any pictures of us at all.” She became more serious. ” I know it must sound so trivial for you but I like to have pictures of us to look at when we’re not together,” she looked at her lap. “It’s not because I’m seeking attention James, but you are my boyfriend and I would want to show you off regardless of your employment.”
She looked at him for a moment.
“Do you realise how idiotic this is? You’re taking me to Oscars. The fucking Oscars. And yet you get so defensive about an innocent selfie...”
James took the phone out of her hands and opened the camera. Lucy looked at him with a puzzled expression.
He pointed the front camera at the two of them and started recording. He leaned forward and kissed her gently, indulging on her plump bottom lip, trapping it briefly between his teeth.
“I love you,” he said when he moved back, then stopped the video.
Lucy was silent the whole time.
“This was for your private records,” he announced, changing the setting from video to photo. “And this can go in your public ones.”
Lucy smiled brightly and leaned forward across the small table, resting her head against James’ cheek and they both smiled at the camera as he took the photo.
“Thank you, baby. I know that was a big thing for you.”
“No, you’re right. I care too much sometimes...It’s just that I’m so jealous of our relationship that I want to do everything in my power to protect it.” He caressed her cheek.
“That’s so sweet, “Lucy smiled. “Oh, by the way, I think I’m gonna need more of those videos...” she added, looking in front of her as she took a sip of champagne.
James stepped into the balcony of his hotel suite in Los Angeles and stopped on the threshold of the big glass door, leaning against the frame and observed his girlfriend. Her figure appeared somewhat small against the vast Ocean before them, the sky an orange canvas behind the setting sun.
Lucy was leaning forward against the bannister, her toned naked legs crossed at the ankles emerging from one of James’ shirt, she was holding the phone with one hand and distractedly combed her hair back with the other. She chuckled and James could imagine her eyes closing slightly and the dimples forming on her cheeks.
“I don’t believe you told him that,” she said.
She laughed again.
“Oh my God guuuurl, you’re on fire!”
James finally walked to her and hugged her from behind, placing a kiss on her neck; Lucy took his arm with her free hand and wrapped it tighter around her waist, pushing her back against his chest.
“I have a renewed respect for you, Harry, honestly.” She continued on the phone and waited for her friend’s reply.
“Ok honey, I will call you tomorrow or the day after and I’ll tell you everything.”
When she hung up she turned to face James, his hands still on her waist.
“You know what I’ve realised?” She asked.
James shook his head.
“Today is six months exactly since we met,” said Lucy.
James’ eyebrows shut up.
“Six months? Feels like six years...”
“I know, it’s crazy how many things have changed in so little time.”
James let go of her and moved next to her, he leaned against the bannister and unwrapped the pack of cigarettes he took from the pocket of his black joggers.
“If someone had told me six months ago that today I would have been Sam free and in LA with James Kent, ready for the Oscars, I would have laughed in their face,” said Lucy with a chuckle.
James lit a cigarette and when he exhaled the smoke he said.
“If someone had told me six months ago that today I would have been here with a woman I love so deeply, I would have laughed in their face.”
Lucy smiled at his words then asked:
“Were you not looking for a relationship?”
James shook his head.
“Not in the slightest,” he blew out smoke again. “I was head deep in my movie and my career in general. Plus I had been issues- he quoted- free for a few months and I was still trying to balance my life. Too much going on, you know?”
James gave her a quick side look.
“When I saw you that day everything changed”.
“I don’t really believe in love at first sight,” said Lucy and her tone came out drier that she intended to.
“Neither do I,” replied James. “But it was such a weird and unsettling feeling for me. I saw you coming out of that lift and I couldn’t look away.”
He flicked his cigarette off the balcony and turned, leaning with his elbows on the bannister.
“When I recognised your face on the plane my heart literally sank,” he chuckled. “I never had so much food on a plane, it was just an excuse to talk to you.”
“What? You’re such an idiot”.
James nodded in agreement.
“Yes, but I couldn’t help myself! I was completely lost...” he looked at her briefly, then faced the sun, closing his eyes.
“I had such a burning desire for you,” he confessed. “Before I had the courage to contact you I had...dreams about you. It was so daunting.”
Lucy gave him a roguish look.
“Teasingly bad ones...”
Lucy tilted her head on the side and provokingly asked.
“So you only wanted to fuck me?”
James scoffed then nervously smiled and bit his lower lip.
“So badly... But I would have never acted upon it if that was all there was...”
To Lucy’s silence, he continued.
“Honestly. It was more than just lust with you. You were so...magnetic. I just knew I had to get to know you and when I did there was no turning back.”
“I don’t know if that’s sweet or creepy,” Lucy laughed.
Then becoming suddenly pensive, she said.
“Sometimes I think about our relationship and I’m petrified by the way I feel,” she cleared her voice and continued. “When I realised I had to get over Sam once and for all I promised myself that I would have never run so fast in another relationship, I told myself I would have taken my time. In a way, I did with you but the magnitude of my feelings for you it’s so fucking scary...”
James reached out and stroke her cheek.
“I know exactly what you mean. Maybe it’s because of all the things we’ve been through together the past months, maybe that made us stronger...”
Lucy took his hand to her mouth and kissed his palm.
James leaned against the bannister again and looked at the horizon where the sun was now a halo.
“Lucy, I never really got to thank you for sticking with me. Every day that goes by I’m afraid you’ll decide to leave...”
Lucy looked at him confused.
“James, I told you many times I’m not going anywhere.”
“I know. But things can change and I’m not what the package advertised...”
Lucy shook her head.
“You need to stop it right now. I’m not with you for the money or the fame, I’m not with you out of pity or because I have no other choice, I’m with you because I love you beyond any expectations. I love who you are, I love your past and your present, the effort you’re putting into getting better and the way you’re not afraid of breaking to pieces while you do. You’re so fucking real James, I would never walk away from this!”
James suddenly grabbed the back of her head and pulled her close kissing her lips with passion.
" I love you so much it hurts,” he said hoarsely in her ear then looked down to her, taking her face with his hands. “I don’t care if we’re going too fast...”
Lucy looked in his eyes for a long moment.
“Neither do I... It’s so fucking scary but if you go down, I’ll go down with you”.
So, Lucy and James are stronger than ever! Oscars are close, let’s see what the day has in store for them!
Thank you for reading so far, I hope you're ejoying the story!