The pink hues of dawn shone into the hotel room window, casting a warm glow on the sandy tones of Artemis’ bare shoulder. I scooted closer and kissed her softly, brushing my lips over the soft curve of her collarbone. A smile played at her luscious lips as she gripped the arm I draped across her, pulling me tighter still.
“Morning Akti,” I breathed across her ear, pressing my cupid’s bow lips to the dip in her neck, causing a small gasp to escape her.
She rolled towards me as our eyes and mouths met with a fiery passion that burned from my core. Inhaling deeply, Artemis drew back, reluctance in her eyes.
“As much as I would love to stay in your arms all week, I would like you to show me around your Paris, Seli.” Her eyes searched mine as she held me close. The love of my life. Her heartbeat kept cadence with mine as I gazed into the depths of her.
I groaned, trying to pull her back into another kiss as she slipped a single, perfect finger between our lips and chuckled. “I want to see where you work. You have seen me at work because it is in Olympus. Let me in, Seli.” She searched my face for agreement, and my heart melted. I nodded at her with a soft grin.
“I am not keeping you out, Akti. I swear.”
“Then let’s go. We have forever to snuggle.” She wiggled her brows, implying she meant much more than snuggle. She pried herself from my grasp with a chuckle, slapping my grabby hands as I playfully pinched her thigh.
Kicking the blanket off with force, I crossed my arms in a faux pout, sulking at her absence. I watched her dress from the corner of my eye, knowing my antics did not affect her. My arms dropped to my sides as the coolness of the room settled on me, sheeting my flesh in goosebumps. I sat up in bed, enamored by the curves of her calves, the sensual accents of her hips, and the alluring dip of her neck. Fire coursed through me, removing all evidence of the previous chill as I dashed out of bed. I drew her back into my embrace, kissing her deeply as I laced my fingers through her chestnut locks, tasting her tongue with mine.
She moaned loudly, wrapped a leg around me, and gripped the back of my head with force. We fell into the bed together, and I discarded what few articles of clothing she had managed to put on. My hands ran down her body, my mouth trailing after them. Shuddering beneath me, she gripped my hair, arching under my touch as her heel dug into my back.
# # # #
Several hours later, Artemis rested breathlessly on my chest as I ran my fingers through her hair. She ran her fingertip up and down my arm as I did so, controlling her breath before speaking. “So, what time was Cherie expecting us?”
I chuckled and glanced at the bedside clock. “Ah, an hour ago.” She looked up at me and joined me in a snicker.
“I’m surprised she hasn’t called. It’s not like you to be late.”
“Oh, she has. I have just been ignoring my phone. It will not kill her to wait for us a bit. I know her schedule. She has the time.”
“Yes, but won’t she worry? We don’t want to mess with her fragile mortal mind, do we?”
“If she can survive Atë, Eos, and myself in a fight, she can survive us being a little late. Do not trouble yourself over it. Really, Cherie is made of good stock. I only hire the best.”
Artemis sat up, staring at me. “Yes, well, it’s still rude.” She huffed, clearly a little miffed at my lack of consideration towards Cherie. This time as she left the bed, I did not fight her, and she made her way to the shower.
Joining her in the bathroom, I began to brush my teeth. I turned, resting my hip on the counter, watching her through the glass.
“You just can’t stop, can you?” She chuckled, catching me gawking at her.
Smiling, as toothpaste foamed at the corner of my mouth, I shook my head. “Nope, the best view in all of Paris is right here, my love.”
Trading places, we finished getting ready then headed down to the car park where my Mercedes convertible waited. We drove to my Paris office, then made our way up to my main floor. Cherie nearly plowed into me as her excitement bubbled over.
“Oh, Ms. Moon! It has been so long since I have seen you! You had me so worried when you ran late today. It’s so unlike you.”
Chuckling, I hugged her gently. “Relax, Cher, I was a little…distracted this morning.” I glanced over at Artemis and motioned for her to join me. “Cherie, this is Lady Artemis, my fiancé.”
“Fi-fiancé? Oh, Ms. moon! That’s wonderful!” She squeezed my neck, then Artemis’s, welcoming her into our extended family. Cherie’s countenance radiated as she bounded through the office, showing Artemis around. I chuckled, letting her have this moment. She was here much more than I was. I loved seeing her so happy. Artemis and Cherie continued on while I hung back and slipped into my quarters alone.
Artemis had asked me to move in with her. I was still trying to fathom all that encompassed for me. I sat on a tufted stool, looking around at my boudoir. My head spun as I took in the material things surrounding me as the weight of this major life change sat on my chest like a boulder. I picked up a string of pearls from a drawer and ran my fingers across their smooth surface as my mind drifted to the feel of Artemis. A smile toyed at the corner of my mouth as I placed the pearls back in their drawer.
I stood and walked slowly through my hanging clothes, touching each one gently. The memories came as I meandered through the room. I stopped at the slinky metallic silver number I wore the first time I came to Paris. Pulling it out, I ran my hand down the sparkly material with a soft grin. The music had pumped as the lights strobed. The cacophony surrounding me had been too much at first, but I became used to it. The strum and hum of the life forces held within that relatively small room reverberated off of me. Reining in my glow as the energy filled me had been the hardest task to master. Some nights I felt like a ticking time bomb, and I would rush to the nearby Seine to expel the extra energy collected.
I made my way around the room, reflecting much the same way as I selected items that brought back memories worth holding onto. In a way, I felt I was closing the book on one part of my life to begin another. I was not sad to be doing so, but closing is still closure and takes a personal process. Once again, I was glad to have Cherie showing Artemis around as I dealt with this privately. I methodically filled a small suitcase with the memories. I was just coming out of my office when Artemis and Cherie came around the corner, laughing.
“There you are. We lost you. You okay?” Artemis joined me and kissed my cheek, sensing something was a bit different with me.
I nodded, kissing her back. A smile crept across my lips as I raised the suitcase a little to indicate my decision. “Just grabbing a few things to take home.” I winked. Artemis’ face lit up as she linked her arm with mine.
“Why don’t you show me around some more. Maybe we can get something to add to the apartment that is just yours?”
I gave Cherie a quick squeeze, then we left, heading down to Avenue Montaigne to do a little shopping before we met Leto.