Home > The Idea of You(16)

The Idea of You(16)
Author: Robinne Lee

And then I saw it. The dock where we’d moored was swamped with photographers: ten to fifteen paparazzi with massive cameras and two dozen cell-phone-laden tourists.

“Where the bloody hell did they come from?” He grabbed my hand and turned me back up the narrow pedestrian street and into Rondini again.

“I’m sorry, Solène. So much for a holiday…”

I watched him whip out his iPhone and text Desmond, while the salt-and-pepper gentleman who’d assisted me before asked in French if everything was okay.

“Oui, pas de problème, merci. On attend quelqu’un.”

Hayes’s tall frame filled the space in the tiny boutique, and after a minute or so, he took a seat on one of the few chairs and pulled me onto his lap. The intimacy of the act rattled me. There were only a handful of others in the store, but the light was bright and we were in front of the shop window and it just felt public.

I tensed.

He sensed it immediately, burying his face in my hair. “I love it when I can feel you getting nervous,” he whispered.

I opened my mouth to respond, but nothing came out.

“Don’t worry, Solène. No one knows you here.”

He had a way of getting inside my head. Of knowing what I was thinking at the same time I was thinking it. It was possible he was that way with everyone. But I liked thinking it was just with me.

Desmond and Fergus showed up at the door shortly with a plan. They swooped in like MI6. Fergus grabbing me and our many shopping bags, Desmond taking Hayes. The strategy was to escort us separately. Hayes would arrive at the dock first and stop to take photos with civilians, luring them away from the stern of the boat. And when his presence was causing a large enough commotion, Fergus and I would board together. It wasn’t clear if we were supposed to be a couple or part of the general entourage. I suppose in the end, it didn’t matter. So long as I did not show up on TMZ.

The plan worked. And poor Hayes got stuck doing the celebrity thing for fifteen minutes, while Oliver, Charlotte, and I popped another bottle of Moët belowdecks.

“He must really like you,” Oliver said, completely straight-faced as he poured my glass. “I mean to sacrifice himself like that.”

I was not certain how to respond.

“Sometimes this business sucks,” he said. “And sometimes it’s really grand. To Hayes”—he lifted his glass—“for taking one for the team. Cheers!”

On the ride back to Antibes, we stopped for an impromptu swim near the Massif de l’Estérel. The water was a magnificent hue, and that half hour the six of us spent splashing about with the red volcanic mountains looming overhead was superlative.

Hayes and I lay on the sun pads at the fore of the boat for the remainder of the trip. His skin—bronzed, smooth, warm to the touch—was perfect. I told him so.

“Let’s go back to your hotel,” he said softly, his fingers tracing across my back.

“I thought you wanted to watch the match.”

“I do want to watch the match. But I want to go back to your hotel room more.”

I laughed, pushing myself up on my elbows. “What do you think is going to happen when we get there?”

He shrugged, his fingers playing over the ties of my bikini top, teasing. “You tell me.”

“We could cuddle.” I leaned in to kiss him. His lips tasted of salt, of sun. He offered up his tongue and I took it.

“Cuddling sounds good,” he said when we’d parted. “Naked.”

* * *

Desmond dropped us off at the Hôtel Martinez and we made our way through the sleek lobby as quickly as possible. My heart was already racing. Up in the elevator, down the hall, fighting with the key card. He grabbed it from my hand, stopping me.

“Full disclosure,” he said. “You should probably know…”

I braced for the worst. HIV, herpes …

“… I brought my toothbrush.” He smiled, coy. “But I’d let you fuck me even if I hadn’t.”

* * *

Inside, the late-afternoon sun was streaming through the French doors, bathing the large room in Provençal light. Artists’ light. Cézanne, Picasso, Renoir. A light worth capturing. It felt decidedly appropriate.

“That’s not a bad view,” Hayes said. Mediterranean blue as far as the eye could see, the hills of the Massif de l’Estérel in the west.

I agreed, setting down my bags, slipping off my sandals, easing into the soft of the carpet.

“You know what else I brought?” He smiled, reaching into a canvas bag he’d lugged over from the boat and withdrawing not one but two bottles of Moët. “I assume we’re going to be here for a while.”

Hayes opened the champagne while I fetched glasses from the minibar.

We toasted, and drank. He poured more. I made a point of turning off my phone, and then made my way over to the windows to draw the sheer curtain, diffusing the light. He came up behind me, like before, in the hotel room in Soho. And with his finger he traced the faintest of lines over the curl of my ear, down the back of my neck, across my shoulder, and along the length of my arm. I could feel myself stiffening, anticipating his mouth, his kiss, his breath at the side of my face. But they did not come. Instead, his hands worked their way down the sides of my lace sundress to the hem just above my knee. His fingertips flirted with the skirt before stealing underneath. I could hear myself breathing, could hear him breathing behind me, the room otherwise quiet. His hands ascended to my hips, and then, without hesitation, peeled off the bottom of my swimsuit.

“Um … This doesn’t feel anything like cuddling.”

He turned me to face him then, taking my glass and setting it to the side. “And it’s not going to either.”

“You lied to me, Hayes Ca—” I caught myself.

He smiled. “Maybe.” And then, with seemingly little effort, he lifted me and carried me over to the bed. “You’re not going to freak out, right?”

“It depends how good you are.”

“I’m going to be very good,” he said, sliding me back on the duvet.

In that moment, when he hiked up my dress and descended between my legs, the realization that this was indeed happening struck me as absurd. There had probably been many before me, and there would be many after, but in that moment, it was just me. And for whatever reason I was plucked from the sea of nameless, faceless women who would have willingly shared Hayes Campbell’s bed, and brought to this place, to this precise instant, to engage in this act.

His mouth was moving up along the inside of my thigh, his tongue tracing lazy circles. His movements slow, maddening. And at the moment when I thought he would land, he aborted his mission and moved to the other thigh. Like a cunnilingus flyby. I must have pulled on his hair because he laughed, raising his head.

“For someone who only wanted to cuddle, you’re awfully impatient.”

“I just wanted to make sure you knew where you were going.”

“You want to draw me a map?” He smiled. Those fucking dimples.

“Do you need one?”

“I don’t know…” He lowered his head and ran his tongue slowly, explicitly over my clitoris before looking up at me. “Do I?”

My heart all but flipped out of my chest. “No. No, you’re good.”

“Yeah. Can I do this my way now?”

I nodded, my fingers still wrapped in his hair.

He took his time. His mouth moving at the inside of my thigh again, higher, closer. His tongue teasing. And then he stopped and waited, hovering, letting me feel his breath. I didn’t dare move. And at the point where I thought I could no longer bear it, he dove in. His tongue dipping down so low it was essentially at my ass, and then ascending in one fluid motion over the opening of my vagina and up to my clit. He did it again. And again. And again. And each time was so unbelievably wonderful and thorough, I felt like I had no secrets left. Hayes, unfolding me with his mouth.

At some point he paused again, waiting, breathing, knowing what it was doing to me. That he could be so in control at his age boggled the mind. I felt myself rising off the bed to meet him when he stopped me with the palm of his hand.

“I’m not going anywhere, Solène,” he said. His voice low, raspy; his fingers playing over my lips, slipping inside.

I watched him. The light creating a soft halo around his beautiful head. He returned his mouth to me and I heard myself moan. The deftness of his tongue. But even if he hadn’t known what he was doing, the sight of Hayes Campbell with his head between my legs was an image worth holding on to.

It didn’t take very long. His mouth, his fingers, sublime. This was not his first time. And the way he held me down when I came, wrapping his arms around my legs and refusing to pull away even during the “StopStopStopStopStop,” was such a fucking turn-on that I thought I would implode.

“Are you happy?” he asked before I was even capable of speech. Climbing up beside me, wearing me on his face.

I nodded, wiping his cheeks, kissing him, tasting myself.

“Well, I guess my work here is done then.” He smiled, rolling onto his back.

“If you leave now, you might be able to catch the second half of the match.”

“You’re making jokes, I see. I suppose that’s better than freaking out.”

“I’m still freaking out. Just on the inside,” I said, positioning myself on top of him.

“What are you saying to yourself?” His hand moved up to my head, his fingers playing in my hair.

“I’m saying, ‘Wow, that alone was worth the flight to Europe.’”

“Really?” He smiled. “Are you thinking it was worth a first-class ticket or just economy?”

“That … that was worth flying private.” I reached down to pull up his T-shirt, exposing his abs, allowing my hands to run over his taut skin, his defined muscles, the crease that ran diagonally from his hip to his groin.

“Wow. That’s like a hundred-thousand-dollar orgasm.”

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