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Wicked Wednesday #261 — Waves

Lila stood in Eliza’s door, and it gave her a strange sense of deja vu. She looked up at Lila, and saw Lila’s unmoving mouth yelling her to fire Terrence.She shook her head, and looked up at Lila.

“Yes,” she said to her, and Lila walked into her office.

“I know that you hate me now Eliza, but I really am trying to help you. I was the other woman once, and I was involved with a man that I thought I would give everything up for. I was so naive…I just wanted to help you. You are a bigwig here, you do not need to be distracted…”

Eliza put her pen down.

“Lila, thank you,” she responded quietly. “I think that I got this.”

Eliza resented that Lila was calling her the other woman. If anything, Terrence was the other man!

Lila did not move.

“I am trying to help you Eliza. Terrence is not worth it.”

“You speak like you were with him!” Eliza blurted out, as she closed her laptop.

Lila walked deeper into Eliza’s office.

“Now, now you get it Eliza. I can tell you that you are the other woman because, I am the last woman who was with Terrence. I am being this graceful because I am a lady.” Lila pushed her way forward, as if she were in a crowd. “You are the other woman Eliza.”

Eliza was quiet, as her world moved about her like large waves in a small pool. Terrence was each wave, bobbing about her…

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Wicked Wednesday #260 — 2517

Landing in New York felt like landing in another world, or in another year. Like 2517, or something really faraway. 

Eliza walked with her luggage, with Terrence at her side. Her dark shades hid her teary eyes. She tried to hide all of her emotions because if Terrence saw her crying, he would want to know what was wrong and she could not tell him what was wrong.

It was wrong that Paris had again contained their love, tender and brutal–sometimes at the same time. The way he had looked at her when they were getting dressed. He was tightening his belt, and she held a bottle of Severine’s perfume absently between her breasts. Their eyes rested on each other’s bodies and eyes, with ease and comfort. 

That was them, that was how they were. He smiled at her, buckled his belt and pulled their suitcase from under the bed.

“Come here,” he said softly, and she walked over to him. “Sit on this, so I can close it.

Eliza sat on the case, her legs crossed and Severine’s perfume caressed their noses.

It smelled like sweet sex, primal but sweet.

Terrence moved around her, never even touching her. That was not what that was about.

Like now, walking side by side in the airport.  They were close together, but it was not about making love.

Still she was lachrymose, because she could not forget looking in his eyes. The way he looked at her, his scent warm and soft between them. Her floral perfume, not Severine’s primal brew had surrounded them, then packing at the house. But it was still tense between them, still warm and tender and she ached for him.

Now.

A tear slipped just under her shade and she looked away from Terrence, because it made her cry she felt so much for him.

She had loved Terrence for days without distraction, and now she was back to Rafe, and their upcoming wedding…

New York felt surreal to not be able to love Terrence like she had in Paris. Like another world, another year hundreds of years away.

Even while she could feel his heat presently, and she burned…
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Wicked Wednesday #259 — Space

Walking back to Terrence, after Severine called her out, Eliza could tell by the way he looked at her that she looked like the cat who had licked the cream. She did not totter, but felt like an astronaut in outer space trying to make sense of gravity. Her emotions swirled about her.Terrence stood up as she approached, and placed his hand on her hip as she sat next to him. The table was still filled with bottles of wine, and the delicious food that Gio had prepared. Gio joked he wanted Severine to eat for two.

Severine stood up, and pregnant, she looked more voluptuous than she had before. She adjusted her shades in her hair, and smiled,

“He just wants my breasts bigger!”

Eliza smiled at Severine, as Gio pulled her close to him.

Terrence placed his hand on her thigh, and Eliza looked down at his hand on her lap. Eliza placed her hand over, and into his.

Her hand remained in his, as they made love much later in Severine’s guest bedroom. They held hands, as if they made a human knot. After they made love, Eliza curled her body against his, held his hand tighter and kissed his shoulder blade.

“Sev–” she started, then realized that Terrence might not be awake.

“What?” he asked groggily.

She started to tell him how Severine had said that she could tell that she was in love with him.

“Sev looks lovely.”

“She is…she is…” Terrence said, and squeezed her hand. “She is in love and happy.”

Eliza knew that she was in love with Terrence, but it was still so precious to her that she could barely tell him.

Only show it with her body spread, and her eyes wide…

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Wicked Wednesdsay #258 — Long Lost Friends

Eliza was more deceptive about Terrence than she was about anything else. Even with Oscar, she had been more forthcoming in a way. But going to Paris with him, and going to see Severine and her new husband was something she had not expected doing. 

Or lying about to Rafe.

It was odd how close she had gotten to Severine, considering that Severine was how she found out that Rafe had been seeing other women before they opened their relationship. 

Sev and Rafe were still close, but her marriage and pregnancy were things that she was keeping secret from him for the moment.

“It was like making a cake,” Severine said, in her very French accent. “We met, and it was love and marriage and bebe almost instantly!”

Severine’s husband was very doting. Gio was attentive, and could not keep his hands off of his wife. Severine was gorgeous, but pregnancy emphasized all of her curves and made her even more beautiful. She was radiant, and it made Eliza yearn for things she had never yearned for before.

It was startling to her, when she and Severine were alone, when Severine told her she looked radiant.

“You’re in love with Terrence.”

Eliza felt herself flood with heat.

Througout dinner, she had been as close as she could physically be to Terrence. They held hands for the entire time, and Eliza realized that Terrence had been as attentive to her as Gio had been to Severine.

“I do love him.” she confided.

“No, I said in love. You are in love with him. You love me, but you are not in love with me. Does Rafe know?”

Eliza thought Rafe definitely knew. Her secret was safe with Severine, but she was not safe from it. Her eyes were on Terrence even then, unable to look away from him.

To look away from him was to be without the sun…
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Wicked Wednesday #257 — The Arrest

Eliza lingered over her drink at the table. Terrence touched her hand, and smiled.”Lila has been anxious ever since the arrest of one of our former executives for lining his pockets. I am not sure she must have seen us…” she started, looking at Terence. “She must have seen us together.”

“Getting involved with a colleague is not the same thing as stealing company money. No one gets arrested for that Eliza. She just, it just means we do not work together anymore. I already have a few interviews lined up.”

“You do?”

Terrence nodded, and she looked at him with tenderness. She wanted him to not have to worry about work. He held her hands, and looked in her eyes.

“I am thinking about you now Eliza. I can always get another job, but I cannot get another you…”

Eliza wished they had rented a hotel room, instead of coming to the restaurant.

“I need you,” she whispered, getting up.

“No lunch?”

She looked down at him, and pulled her hand from his even though he did not want to let it go. Looking into his eyes for a long second, before she walked away from the table and sauntered toward the restrooms.

Inside the tiny single bathroom that smelled like bluebells, she saw her face. A hybrid of pain and desire that she was frightened of.

And then Terrence came in behind her.

“How did you know which one I was in–” she started.

He clutched her breasts, and kissed the inside of her neck. Eliza held his hands on her breasts and closed her eyes, her head rolling in response to his kisses.When she opened her eyes, she saw their reflection in the mirror as a selfie she was not going to take.

And it was arresting.
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Wicked Wednesday #256 — The Wedding

Eliza walked through the restaurant, like a bride walking down the aisle at her wedding. Everything was white around her, not her though. She was not dressed in white, but she was anxious.She needed to see Terrence, and she had asked him to meet her at a restaurant fairly close to her job because she barely had time to come out because of a huge project she was working on…

But she needed to see him. 

He stood right up from his seat, when she reached him, and squeezed her hand like a kiss. She felt suffused with heat, from their simple touch and proximity.

Ever since that surreal moment, when Lila told her that it was necessary to downsize and that she needed to let Terrence go, she had felt overwhelmed. But now next to him, him even just touching her hand, even with just that she felt less anxious.

He pulled out her chair, for her to sit, and then took her hand in his again. They did not talk for the longest time, but gazed into each other’s eyes for a long time. Every time it looked like one of them was going to speak, they smiled and squeezed the other’s hand tighter.

Before finally she knew what she wanted to say, Eliza saw Lila walking into the restaurant. She did not want to catch Lila’s gaze, but she did, because there was nothing to hide.

Lila strode over to her table purposefully.

“Don’t you have a project to work on Eliza?”

Eliza swallowed, and squeezed Terrence’s hand tighter as Lila looked over them reprovingly.

“I believe it is lunchtime Lila?” she smiled tightly at her colleague.

“I guess that there is no way to save you from yourself, is there?”

Lila turned on her heel, as realization came over Eliza like a bride’s veil.

She and Terrence looked at each other, smiles swept from their faces. They had been exposed professionally and personally–but they did not let go of each other’s hands…
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Wicked Wednesday #255 — Strangers

Still curled up by the dresser on the floor, Eliza stared at her phone, her words to Terrence making her eyes water.I love you.

She remembered when they were strangers, she had not even liked him when they met. But secretly, even though she disliked him, she was aware that he was attractive. Speaking fluent French on his cell phone, she studied him and then looked away. She remembered being with him in Paris, her French was not native like his even though it was strong. 

Eliza could not believe after the big talk up about how he was going to expand business for the company, the next thing she knew was the click of her heels walking out of his office, after she had let him go.

Eliza had had sex with four men in Paris, Terrence was the last one, and the hold he had on her now was like nothing she had ever known. She had not expected to fall in love with him, and it made her feel vulnerable and scared as a tear splashed on the screen of her phone, and made the word love look like a rainbow drop.

I love you.

Terrence had texted her back, and tears flowed down her cheeks.

When they kissed for the first time, it felt like liquid fire between her legs and she knew that she had hidden her desire for him from herself. 

Because she liked men who told her no, men who made it hard. But Terrence had not really been that hard. It had all been a front to hide that he wanted her, and that he wanted to pretend that he did not because it would not have been okay at work for them to act on their feelings.

But what had felt more natural than lying under him, when he was first kissing her? Their first kisses were liquid fire, and she thought she would ignite.

Like she did now, the sun in the distance illuminating their love and she was not sure what they were going to do now that they were covered in love…
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Wicked Wednesday #254 — Nature

Eliza tossed and turned in bed, her legs were cool as they slipped from under the blanket. Rafe did not even stir as she moved about in the bed. He was used to her being a wild sleeper.It was not in her nature to sleep still, and it was not in her nature to be able to sleep when there was something on her mind.

Terrence.

Her feet and legs were even cooler as she padded across the bare wooden floor of their bedroom, and fished her phone out of her bag. There were no messages from Terrence, and against her better judgment…against her nature more so than anything else, Eliza pressed the home key and the Messages icon.

The home button lingered under her finger like fire, and she began to type like it.

I know that you probably do not want to hear from me, but I have not stopped thinking about you, and I want you to know that we were both blindsided here and that I had no idea…

And I miss you already.

Always…

She placed the phone on the dresser, and was going to walk away…until she saw Terrence’s name on the screen.

Cannot sleep, missing you and thought I would never hear from you again.

Eliza pressed the phone in her hands as if it was Terrence there, she would have crushed him as much as she could in a hug if she could have held him.

I know that you did not know, I know everything and even more so that I miss you Eliza…

She slumped in the corner with the phone, stealing a look at Rafe still on the bed and breathless with emotion and wondering what to write Terrence…finally…

I love you.
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Wicked Wednesday #253 — Haunted House

Eliza was glad that Rafe suggested that they go out to her favorite bar. She put on one of her favorite cocktail dresses, and looked forward to seeing Josephine and Fiona. Josephine was her favorite bartender, and Fiona was going to join them after her shift.”I still think it would be so fitting for you guys to get married at the Morris-Jumel Mansion…” Josephine said, pushing two Laphroaigs in their direction.”

“A haunted house for our wedding?” Rafe smiled at Josephine, and Eliza savored the smokiness of her drink behind a grin.

“It is a historical house,” Josephine corrected, leaning forward and sticking out her tongue Rafe.

“The historical house of my namesake Eliza Jumel,” Eliza smiled, taking another sip of her drink.

Rafe leaned back on his stool, and took Eliza’s hand.

“Yeah, no. We already have a locale for the wedding and the honeymoon…” he grinned, and kissed her hand.

And it was that romantic gesture from him, and the sudden pretense of romantic perfection and everything around her caught in her throat. Eliza thought of Terrence, and she was barely able to breathe or swallow.

She wondered where he was, what he was thinking, what he was doing, if he would ever be in contact with her again? Because she could not be in contact with him after what had happened. What had had to have happened, what they made her do…

Had someone known that they were lovers, and that was the reason why?

“Eliza? Are you okay?” Rafe asked her, and she realized that she was panting. Her heart raced, and she looked at him mute for a moment. Was she having a panic attack? She had never had one, but she felt unstable.

“I am fine,” she whispered the lie, until it was true.
My publisher Riverdale Avenue Books has an anthology based on the Morris-Jumel mansion–Eliza Jumel is a real person, and a namesake for my Eliza!!! You can buy a copy of the anthology here!
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Wicked Wednesday #252 — Recollection

When Eliza went home, she wanted to decompress and forget about the day. Her recollection was  too fresh, as she closed her eyes and put her hand to her head.

“Liza?”

She looked at Rafe, and could tell that he was very concerned for her. Opening her eyes wide, she smiled at him.

“Just a long day,” she smiled wanly. She knew her smile was weak, but that Rafe would let it go if she smiled at all.

“Poor baby,” he said, and wrapped his arms about her. Her ring was snagged in his shirt, and she pulled it away delicately.

“I’m okay,” she said, her head resting on his chest.

Eliza always felt so safe with Rafe.

He tilted her chin up at his face, and she closed her eyes as he pressed his slanted lips across hers.

She saw Terrence then in her recollect, she saw him when she went back into his office. Terrence had smiled at first when she walked in, but the tight way she pressed her lips together surely let him know it was not a visit for pleasure.

Eliza sunk more into Rafe’s kiss, to soothe herself. To make her forget the look on Terrence’s face when she let him go. She had not been able to say anything else, to him because he had grabbed his personal belongings, and walked around her out of the door of what had been his office.

She closed her eyes, and kissed Rafe deeper, wanting to forget everything but his kiss and his comfort.

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