A/N: I am so grateful to purpleC305 for pre-reading and Midnight Cougar for beta-ing. Vous êtes tous deux incroyables. If you checked Bella’s common phrases book, then you would know, I think you are both incredible. Thank you. xx
DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I’m just here having fun.
“In Paris, they simply stared when I spoke to them in French. I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.” –Mark Twain
The sound of the airplane wheels touching down jars me awake. It’s hard to sleep over that screeching sound. I look over to find Edward still out of it.
“Bonjour et bienvenue à Paris! La ville de la lumière et de l’amour, où l’heure locale est six heures dix-huit minutes,” the flight attendant tells us over the loudspeaker.
I feel myself panic and scramble through my books trying to locate my French phrase book.
She said “bonjour.” I definitely caught that and something about Paris.
Where is it? Where is it?
“For our English speaking passengers, good morning and welcome to Paris. The city of light and love, where the local time is 6:18 a.m.”
I let out a huge sigh of relief with my book finally in hand and slump back into my seat.
I tap Edward’s leg a few times. “Hey, Edward.”
His eyes barely crack open.
“We just landed. We’re in Paris, and I already can’t understand a word they are saying. So much for my three years of high school French. We’re screwed.” I sigh, exasperated that I’m already failing at this, and start to gather my things.
Edward moves around a bit more, starting to come into a more dazed state versus the unconscious one he’s been sporting for the last seven and a half hours.
“Let’s hope my phrases book can bridge the gap, because I’m driving the struggle bus right now.” I feel my stress levels escalating.
Maybe this is a mistake.
Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong place.
Maybe the language barrier is going to be too much.
Edward grabs my hands, stopping my fidgeting. “Hey.”
He waits for me to look up.
I finally do. My eyes gaze into his much more alert ones.
“We’re in Paris.” He smiles and gives me the sweetest kiss. “No matter what happens, we’re in this together. Don’t forget.”
He disarms me so easily and calms my nerves.
“I know.” I feel my stress start to melt away.
“Now, let’s go find our luggage, then we can locate the taxi area.”
“Okay.” I squeeze his hand.
We finish gathering our things, then make our way off the plane.
Fortunately, most of the signs in the airport are in both English and French. So, I’m thinking we may be okay. What a relief.
Hand in hand, Edward and I move toward baggage claim, but first make a quick stop in the restroom.
We reconnect when finished, then start to wander around the terminal while waiting for our bags to arrive.
In the distance, I see a Ladurée kiosk. “Edward! Look!” I grab his arm and point in the general direction. “I need a macaron or maybe a box of macarons.”
“You can’t wait until after we get to the hotel?”
I look at him shocked he would make such a suggestion. “Absolutely not.”
“Well, they don’t seem to be in a hurry with our bags, so let’s go get you a macaron.”
I squeal with excitement, and we make our way toward what looks like an adorable classic French vendor cart.
After toiling over my choices, I end up selecting a small box of six.
“I can’t believe I’m about to eat my first French macaron in Paris!” I tell Edward, opening the box.
Edward just chuckles at me, and we walk back to the baggage claim area. It looks like there are some bags starting to move around the conveyor belt.
“Edward! They’re so perfect. I can’t eat them. I need to take a picture.” I start digging for my phone and snap a few shots of my pastel assortment.
“Aren’t they beautiful? Do you want one? Or at least a bite of one? What flavor would you like? I have pistachio, coffee, chocolate, mint, caramel, and vanilla.”
Edward looks hesitant.
“I mean, I know these aren’t your thing, since you don’t ever eat sugar, but it’s Paris! You have to try one at least. Please, for me?” I beg, adding a pout once I finish pleading my case.
“Why do you think I don’t eat sugar?”
“Well, in the three months I’ve known you, I have yet to see you eat anything sweet.”
“Now, you know that’s not true.” He leans closer so that only I can hear him. “I had the sweetest pussy the other night.” He pulls back and winks.
I’m sure my face is flush at the thoughts and feelings his reminder brings. I’m quite fond of his beard between my legs, his tongue, too.
“That’s not what I meant and you know it. Sugar. I mean real sugar. You don’t eat sugar.”
Edward shrugs. “I’m not really much of a sweets person. However, just for you, I’ll try the coffee one.”
“I thought maybe you were some kind of health nut.”
“Well, I do try to eat right, and exercise when I can. How else am I going to keep you interested?”
Oh, Edward. If you only knew. I’m not just attracted to your body.
I retrieve his selection from the box and hold it to his lips. His eyes stay on mine as he opens his mouth. I gradually move the macaron forward and watch his lips close around it, taking a bite, his lips barely skimming my fingertips.
I’m still holding the sweet near his mouth when he guides my hand with the remaining half in my direction. I watch, entranced by his tongue as it peeks out to remove any remaining crumbs from his lips.
He clears his throat, breaking me out my Edward-induced haze.
I take a bite of the remaining half and I’m immediately in love. It is soft yet chewy with a crunchy outside and creamy inside. The flavor is perfect, and so sweet. I can’t wait to try another.
“What do you think?” he asks.
A huge grin breaks across my face, my eyes on his. “I think I’m in love,” I say breathlessly, but realize a little too late he may think I’m talking about him. I certainly don’t want to scare him off, so I start to backpedal.
“I…I mean with the cookie,” I stutter, feeling my face flush. “It’s delicious.”
He leans in and connects his lips with mine, creating the most amazing combination of sweet, coffee, and Edward.
He ends the kiss all too soon. “You’re right. Definitely delicious.”
Edward looks back over at the baggage claim area, and I notice most passengers who arrived with us have found their bags and are making their way out of the terminal.
“Hmmm, I still don’t see ours yet. Maybe we should ask if they are still unloading or they have finished,” Edward suggests.
I nod, close my box, and approach one of the workers in the area.
“Pardon,” I say to get his attention.
He turns to me. “Oui?”
I quickly notice his name tag says Pierre. “Bonjour Pierre, parlez-vous anglais?”
“Yes, I speak English.”
I sigh in relief. “Do you know if all of the bags have been unloaded from American Airlines flight number forty-four from New York JFK?”
“Yes,” Pierre replies.
I’m a bit confused by his response. “Yes you know, or yes the bags have all been unloaded?”
“Yes, all is unloaded. Your bag not arrive?”
I shake my head. “No, we don’t see either of our bags. I think they might be lost.” I pull out the tags we were given from checking our bags in Seattle and hand them to Pierre.
“Let me check.” He moves over and quickly types on the computer in front of him.
There are lots of hums and haws from Pierre, as he searches for our bags and the answers to their location.
I look up at Edward. “I can’t believe they lost our bags.”
He shrugs. “It happens. Hopefully, they can locate them.”
“You flew American Airlines fifteen nineteen from Seattle to New York?” he confirms.
“That’s right, then we changed planes,” I explain.
“Ah, your luggage did not change with you, but was put on flight to London. It, ahh… should arrive there this morning. Then it is scheduled on flight to Paris. It will arrive later today.” Pierre smiles.
“Okay, so what do we do about getting our luggage once it arrives?”
“No worries, ma chère. Where are you staying?”
Edward speaks up. “Saint James Paris.”
“Yes.” Edward agrees with the address.
“We will have your luggage sent there for you,” Pierre assures, continuing to type on his computer, then hands back our claim tickets. “It should arrive later this evening.”
“Merci, Pierre,” I thank him, and slide my hand in Edward’s.
We finally leave baggage claim without our bags to find the taxi area.
He gives my hand a quick squeeze. “Don’t worry. They will get here. Did you need anything in particular from your bag?”
“No, I think I’m good until later this evening. Although, I was planning to shower once we made it to the hotel to wash off my travel grime. I feel kind of yucky.”
“Well, I’m sure you still can. They should have some toiletries in the room, and if not, we can arrange for some to be delivered.”
It’s early morning in Paris and the day is just starting, even though we are both exhausted from our full day of travel. For me, the fatigue is starting to set in, but Edward seems to be a trooper.
It doesn’t take long for us to grab a taxi, and Edward gives our driver the address of the hotel.
Looking out the window, I can tell it’s going to be a beautiful day here. The sun is starting to rise along the horizon, lighting the city with its warm glow. There’s not a cloud in the sky, as I watch the city awake from its slumber.
Traffic is light at this hour and our driver tells us we should arrive in about thirty or forty minutes.
I fight to keep my eyes open so I don’t miss any part of the trip to our hotel. We pass various shopping malls and even an IKEA along the way. I rest my head on Edward’s shoulder, and he wraps an arm around me holding me tight.
I watch him for a while as he’s looking out at the city all around us. I smile when he looks down at me and places a kiss on my forehead.
We pass something that looks like a sports stadium on the way, and our driver points it out to us.
“You like football?” the driver asks. “Ehhh… not American, but soccer, yes? They also have rugby and music,” he explains further.
“Like concerts?” I clarify.
I nod in understanding.
In the distance, I notice a structure of what I guess is Sacré-Coeur. Its white domes are easy to spot as the church sits upon a hilltop. I hope Edward and I will get a chance to explore that area during our trip.
I keep on alert for the big landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower. I don’t want to miss even a glimpse of either.
The lull of the taxi and being curled up against Edward with his comforting smell all around me is too much for me in my current exhausted state, and even though I put up a fight, my eyes gently close.
“Bella. Bella, honey. We’re here.” I feel Edward moving next to me.
I crack open my eyes to find the taxi has stopped moving, and we are parked outside of an archway.
“Did I miss it? The Arc de Triomphe? The Eiffel Tower?” I sit up in alarm looking all around.
“You haven’t missed anything. Let’s go see if our room is ready.”
Edward opens the door to the taxi and helps me out of the back.
“Did you already pay the fare?”
He chuckles. “Yes, you did miss that part.”
Without our bags from the airport and only our carry-ons in hand, we are fairly light travelers. I turn and wave at the driver. “Merci.”
Edward takes my hand and leads me through an archway to see the most amazing looking building.
“Is this our hotel?” I gaze upon the grand romantic French mansion standing proudly in front of us.
“Yes, it is.”
I’m stunned by its magnificent beauty. “We get to stay here for the entire time?” This feels like a dream.
“Yes, hopefully, I made a good choice?” He checks my reaction and continues. “It’s some type of hotel château, which I think means castle, and the only one like it left in Paris,” Edward explains, as we walk around a gorgeous fountain at the front entrance.
We make our way indoors to find a main desk with a couple of attendants.
“Bonjour, comment pouvons-nous vous aider?”
“Bonjour, parlez-vous anglais?”
“Yes, I am Suzanne. How may I help you?”
“We are checking in to your hotel for an extended stay,” I reply.
“Wonderful, let me get your name.”
Edward speaks up. “The reservation is under the name Cullen. Edward Cullen.”
“Ah, yes. It is right here.” She clicks away on her computer. “I just need a form of payment from you. Is this your first time visiting Paris?”
“Yes.” I smile.
Edward reaches in his wallet and hands over his credit card.
She continues entering our information into the system, then pauses to run Edward’s card through the card reader. “You are Americans? On your honeymoon?”
“Yes to being Americans, but, no, not on our honeymoon.”
She grins . “Well, give it time. Paris is the City of Love after all. You look to be headed in the right direction. How is your trip so far?”
Edward’s hand, which was rubbing my back, stills at her words. I’m sure my face flushes at her implications as well, but I try to focus on her question.
“Well, our luggage didn’t make it, but they said it should arrive this evening.”
Suzanne hands back Edward’s card. “When it arrives, we shall deliver it to your room. I’m also upgrading your room to one of our junior suites for your extended stay. It is ready for you now. Let me get your keys.”
I lean in so that only Edward can hear me, while Suzanne moves around behind the desk opening and closing drawers.
“This place is so fancy. Are you sure it isn’t too much?” I ask, looking around at the bright crystal chandeliers hanging in the entry.
Edward places a kiss on my nose. “Don’t worry; I have us covered on this. I just want you to like it; after all, how many times do you get to travel to Paris in a lifetime?”
“Well, one at least.” I grin.
“Then let’s make the most of this trip.” He kisses my lips just as Suzanne returns.
“I have your keys.” She hands them to a man standing next to the desk. “Jacques will show you the way to your suite. If you need any assistance for getting around the city or seeing the sights, please let us know and we will be more than happy to make the arrangements for you. Do not hesitate to ask if you need anything at all, and enjoy your stay.”
“Merci beaucoup, Suzanne.”
“De rien, and have a good day.”
We follow Jacques up the stairs and down a long hallway. He uses a key to unlock and open our bright red entry door. I walk into the room with Edward following closely behind.
There are bold colors throughout in an array of bright blues and dark woods while a mix of patterns and fabrics flatter in a way only the French know how to combine. My gaze wanders around the room and stops on a king sized bed next to the windows. Hopefully, the sun’s rays won’t run us out of bed too early in the mornings. I love the thought of lingering in Edward’s arms before we start our days.
“Monsieur.” Jacques points toward a bucket sitting on the table in front of a sitting area that includes a chair and sofa. “Champagne, for you.”
We are both a little spellbound by the magnificence of the room.
“If you need anything else, ring the front desk and we will be happy to accommodate you.” Jacques leaves the keys on the desk. “Au revoir.”
“Merci, Jacques. Au revoir,” I reply, as we watch the door close behind him.
I’m not sure how long we stand there in silence, absorbing the beauty of the room, but I speak first, bubbling excitement building from inside me.
“Holy shit, Edward! This is amazing. I don’t think anything I packed is good enough for this place. Not even my underwear!”
Edward laughs. “I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I really like some of your underwear, but we can go shopping if it would make you more comfortable.”
“While that would be fun, it isn’t necessary. I’m planning to be a tourist with my comfy clothes, but this—” Arms stretched wide, I spin in a circle. “This is so breathtaking and absolutely Paris. I love it!”
I jump up in Edward’s arms, smash my lips against his, and he lifts me up off the floor spinning us both around.
When he finally sets me down and ends our kiss, I’m dizzy, but start to formulate a plan.
“Edward, we have champagne to drink!” I giggle and go to look at the bottle in the bucket. “We need to open this.”
Edward picks up the bottle, removes the foil and the little cage around it. “Champagne then shower?”
“Yes. We might need food, too.”
“How about we order room service? I’m starving. We may only be able to get breakfast at this time of day, but I can ask.”
“Breakfast is fine with me. I can eat anything at this point.”
Edward puts the towel he finds next to the bucket over the cork and gently eases it out. There’s a small pop from the pressure, and I move the glasses closer for him to fill.
With our first glasses of champagne in hand and matching smiles on our faces, I suggest, “A toast?”
“Hmmm, how about to Paris?” Edward raises his glass.
I clink my glass with his. “Sounds good to me. To Paris.”
My first sip of champagne is crisp and refreshing. My second sip probably goes down a little too easy, as it’s sweet and so good.
“Pace yourself. You need to eat and were going to take a shower, remember?” Edward warns.
“I know. I know.” I tilt back the remaining contents of my glass. “I’m going to go shower. Figure out our food so we can eat when I’m finished?”
“Okay, let me know if you need anything once you get in there.”
I set down my glass and give Edward a kiss. “Will do.”
I walk in our bathroom and close the door behind me, but don’t lock it. You never know, Edward may decide to join me. I can only imagine how glorious he looks wet, and there isn’t a chance I would turn him away.
The bathroom is small but luxurious with a sampling of spa products scattered throughout the room. There are two robes hanging just outside the shower and towels draped over a warming bar.
It takes me a while, but I manage to make sense out of all the knobs, faucets, and spouts. As the room begins to fill with steam, I turn a few knobs and adjust the water, waiting for it to get just the right temperature. I love a hot shower, and this one looks like a dream with the various spouts coming from the wall and overhead.
Stripping off my clothes, I step under the hot spray. When the water hits my back, I can’t help the moan that escapes my lips. My muscles start to give way to the tension they’ve been holding the entire trip.
The shampoo provided is the most amazing smelling combination. It’s a blend of fresh citrus, and mint, which wakes me up and reinvigorates me. By the time I finish with the body wash, I feel like I can take on the day. A razor would be nice to have in order to touch up some areas, but I can go a day without one.
After a quick rinse, I dry off with the warm towels; a little sad Edward didn’t come join me in the shower. The hotel robe I slip on is soft and silky against my skin. Looking around the countertop at all of the amenities, I conclude there isn’t a comb or brush to be found. So, I use my fingers to work through my tangled hair.
Freshly scrubbed and as clean as I’m going to get, I head out of the bathroom to find Edward asleep on the sofa.
I sit on the coffee table and take my time looking him over from head to toe. I rarely get a chance to see him so at ease and unguarded. I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.
My fingers carefully glide through his soft hair, while I watch his face for any reaction, hoping not to get caught yet. I trace his thick eyebrows, then down his slightly crooked nose, followed by his full lips, which move only a bit at my featherlight touches.
The backs of my fingers brush his soft beard. I wonder how long he’s had it and try to picture what he looks like without it. I just can’t imagine.
My fingers drift down his gray long-sleeved T-shirt then over his dark blue jeans. He’s kicked off his boots, so he’s only in socks, and looks extremely comfortable.
I hope he’s ordered some food, but who knows when it will get here. However, I have an idea on how I want to wake him up. I’m not as experienced as Edward is, when it comes to pleasing someone sexually, but I hope my efforts will please him.