Calling Time

By: K A Sands

Dedication




For Bill.

Because I miss you.

xxx

“Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”

TS Eliot





Playlist




Laura - Bat For Lashes

Brother - NEEDTOBREATHE

Need the Sun to Break - James Bay

Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers

With You - Tim Halperin

Love You Any Less - Rag ‘N’ Bone Man

Call on Me - Starley

Storm - Lifehouse

Never Tear Us Apart - Sleeping At Last

Losing Sleep - John Newman

Always - Matt Wills

Guillotine - Jaycob Curlee

Retrograde - James Blake

Let’s Go Forward With Our Love - Terence Trent D’Arby

Heartbeat - Plan B

Skeletons - James Arthur

Lost My Mind - Alice Kristiansen





Laura




The frosted flute of the champagne glass almost slipped from my fingers when I tipped the edge to my mouth. I observed Marc across the table, his warm, smiling eyes gazed back at me. Not dead eyes. Not a vacant, empty smile. I wished I felt as relaxed as him, but my nerves jangled, and my foot tapped furiously under the hem of the pressed tablecloth. I reminded myself I was here because I chose to be. Sipping from the glass, I decided I’d had enough. With my pasta Siciliano cold on its plate, I pushed my unfinished glass of champagne across the table and stood. The bolster of courage I searched for, nowhere in sight.

“Shall we?” Eager to leave, I smiled at Marc. We were done with the pleasantries.

“Let me get the bill.”

Wasting no time, he handed his card to the waiter, then thumbed out a text on his phone. Happy to escape, the busy restaurant an overwhelming experience all on its own, I was positive everyone had been looking at us throughout our meal, a sure sign my paranoia was climbing. I shouldn’t have been surprised, my dining guest was one of affluence and a well-known man at that. Having dinner in public unnerved me, the inclination to remain anonymous always at the forefront of my mind. I should have known it was a rotten idea.

“I booked a room at The V as you requested. Is that still okay, sweetheart?”

Gulping, I jerked my head in agreement, a moment of hesitation registering briefly, I pushed it down. My father said he knew the hotel well, it was the safest place I could be. Marc had grinned when I mentioned The V. I recalled the ostentatious building from passing it a time or two, yet I’d never had the need to venture through those gilded doors.

Marc’s hold on me was firm yet gentle when he took my hand as we left the restaurant. Now was the time to take this step, I couldn’t keep stringing the poor man along. Six months of chaste kisses and not much more between two grown people would be enough to drive anyone away. But not Marc. He’d been patient, gentlemanly; earning a slither of my trust I didn’t give to many. Not anymore.

Stepping out into the cool night air, he guided me toward the waiting car, his driver opening the back door. I climbed inside, the cool leather touching the backs of my thighs as my dress rode up a little. Marc rested his hand gently on my leg when he called forward to the driver, instructing the suited man upfront where to go. My hands twisted in my lap, fussing with the straps of my bag, nerves ratcheting by the second. Marc’s hand tightened as I threw a fake smile his way.

“Hey...” He shuffled closer. “It’s me,” he said, trying to soothe me.

He was doing a wonderful job in all honesty. I relaxed, leaning over to kiss him. His other hand reached around my neck, pulling me in further before I tried to move away.

“Let go,” he coaxed in a low, husky voice I found mesmerising. I shut my eyes as he kissed me back.

Ten minutes later we’d arrived at The V. Marc collected the key card and ushered me into the lift. Standing off to the side waiting for the doors to close, he pushed the floor number.

“What room?” I asked while pulling my phone from my bag.

Marc moved quickly, pushing me up against the mirrored wall, kissing me with more passion than before. Fluttering stirred in the pit of my stomach, nerves or anticipation, I didn’t quite yet know.

“212.” Licking his lips, he moved away. “Texting Taylor?”

I hummed in agreement at him, preoccupied with informing my sister which room we’d be in. A safety measure I didn’t need but ever the cautious person I was, I still texted. Knowing she was somewhere in the hotel was comforting, she insisted on booking a room should I need her at any point. It seemed a silly idea, but I liked the safety net she provided. I got lost in my own head while we climbed up towards our floor. Sneaking a peek at Marc who was studying his shoes, I registered a pang of guilt. Older than me by eight years, he was the stuff a girl’s dreams were made of. Dark hair framing a rugged complexion and honeyed eyes, he’d fit right in with the GQ crowd and not look out of place on a magazine cover. His body was toned and fit, muscled in all the right places. I was certain when we finally got naked, I’d like what I saw. Being the man he was, his clothes complimented him beautifully and I couldn’t help wonder what he was doing with a flaky waif like me. I was cheating him. There should have been more passion for this man, been more sparks, shouldn’t there? Chemistry. I’d had that feeling once before. Tonight, it was distinctly lacking. Marc was gorgeous, polite, caring, interesting. Like I said – every girl’s dream – so, why not mine?

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