Chapitre Vingt Deux
Par Jo Lee
Over a cup of tea, Jennifer and Larry got to share lots of random musings. Larry was trying his hardest to expand his communication skills by opening up to Jennifer. He was revealing things to her he’d never shared with another girl. He wanted her to know that she meant a lot to him and wasn’t just a piece of meat he enjoyed mincing. Even if he did enjoy having sex with her. He had to admit it was incredible and unlike any other physical or sexual experience he’d had so far — and he’d had a lot. There was just something about her that made it different, worthwhile and meaningful. He could lose himself in her everyday, all day if she’d let him. Larry felt insatiable around her, always wanting to touch her somehow or show her a gesture of affection. This surprised even him as he was not the most affectionate person in bed or out. They laid facing each other at the end of the lush bed, still naked with two cups of tea placed firmly in front of them. He reached out to touch her cheek and felt the urge to grab her entire head and plant a big smooch on her lips. She looked desirable to him, without even trying, with messed hair and smudged makeup yet he wanted to feel her again, to hold her between his hands and handle her.
Jen took a tentative sip of the hot liquid feeling the soothing tea smoothe its passage as it cascaded down her throat. Larry had just done it again, that thing only he knew how. With Lau, sex was amazing and warm, loving and meaningful. With Larry however, it was animalistic, mindblowing with resulting orgasms so loud and vicious she felt everything inside her break and quiver as she climaxed, and her mouth open so wildly as she did so, she felt like she would pierce an eardrum with her moans. His sex knew hers, worked well together, controlled it, owned it, knew the directions inside her and how to reach spots she didn’t even know existed. He was giving her world-class, premium orgasms and afterwards, she always felt spent and hungry, completely exhausted. Watching him try to entertain her over tea was beyond cute and she appreciated his effort. She was certain he was trying to make up for his smash-and-dash that occurred last time and he was doing a very good job, telling her stories that appeared rather private to him, trying to evoke laughter out of her, being affectionate in small ways. Like bringing her tea in bed, offering her something to cover herself with, and now he was caressing her cheek tenderly. If someone had told her Larry had this side to him, had the ability to show gentleness like this, she would’ve argued that fact and even bet money on it. Experiencing it first-hand felt like some sort of miracle and she was a little scared that he might just turn around and go back to his usual, non-chalant, ambivalent self.
“So you came to France just like that?” Larry asked again. He remembered at the beginning when he hung out with her and Lau, she’d mentioned why she came randomly to France but he wasn’t paying that much attention to her then. How things had changed since.
“Yup, just on a whim. I was having a quarter-life crisis and just chose this country randomly and stuck with my decision.” Jen said semi-seriously.
“What’s a quarter-life crisis? Say it in french, je comprends pas (I don’t understand)”
“C’est une petite crise de vie, tu te rends a un point ou tu penses qu’il y a plus a vivre, a voir. Tu te sens un peu nul..peut-etre rien ne vaut la peine autour de toi. C’est un peu de bordelles car ta vie n’a pas l’impression d’avancer au faite.” (It’s a life crisis, you get to a point where you think there is more to life than this, more to see, live or experience. You feel stuck, maybe nothing’s worth holding on around you. It’s a shitty feeling, the impression of not getting ahead…not getting anywhere)
“So is it better your life crisis since you’ve been here?”
Jen hesitated a bit with her answer. In many ways, things were better, quality of life was better, improved in the sense that there were less things to stress her or stress about, less responsibilities, a more laid-back life, more freedom — but if she had to account for all the drama she’d had to endure between Larry and Lau….this crisis was still evident. “A little.” She responded with a smirk on her face.
“I’m glad you’re here.” Jen wasn’t sure if he meant here in France or here right now, on his bed talking to him like this but she decided to respond to him regardless.
“What do you do when you’re home?”
“Ohhh yes, you told me before. You’re the writer,” Larry said jokingly, referring to their short, flirtatious conversation on the beach shortly after they met. “I dance — or eat.” Jen broke out in laughter at the last part. One thing Larry sure knew how to do was eat. And fuck.But she kept that thought to herself.
“What do you like to write?” Larry genuinely wanted to know more.
“Short stories… I’m trying to write a book, just like every other person on this planet but it’s harder than I thought. I don’t mind writing articles and interviews. Honestly, I just like to write something I know people will love reading.” At the mention of interviews, Jen remembered her editor had asked her to do an interview with one of the twins and she’d drawn up some questions for Lau but now she was unsure whether she even wanted to talk him. He’d fooled her with his sweetness and attentiveness – all for what, for her to fall for him and find out he was cheating. What a sore disappointment. She then remembered that she had some of the questions written down on her phone as she’d type them up on the subway when she’d think of one. She thought it might be fun to ask Larry some of the questions she’d made up for Lau since she highly doubted she’d be asking him anyway.
“Why don’t you write for a magazine? I know some journalists who are my friends.. I can help you get a job on the side writing for them!”Larry offered sincerely. Jen was blindsided by his helpful offer. Where was the Larry she used to know?
“That would be so nice…I write for a small magazine now but obviously the more experience, the better.” Jen replied gratefully. How come Lau never offered her this?Was it weird how at ease she felt with Larry, completely naked in bed with him, talking… “I actually have a few questions I’m supposed to interview one of Les Twins for – do you feel like being interviewed?”
“Okay!” Larry lied with a smile. The last thing he wanted to do was answer questions. He hated interviews, found them too intrusive and lacking dimension. They were dancers – why did the media insist of asking them a bevy of questions. He never understood the purpose and happily delegated that task to his twin who gladly jumped in the spotlight to do the honors.
Jen got up from the bed to grab her phone from her tiny clutch. The clutch only had enough room for her phone and keys so she had to ensure her lip color stayed intact the entire night, otherwise she’d be stuck without any sort of aesthetic help. She figured she’d manage when she left the makeup artist. All she had to do was eat carefully and sip her drinks like a lady and her makeup would be fine. Unfortunately, after meddling around in a 5-star hotel carpet with a frisky twin, her makeup wasn’t as intact as she’d hoped. But it was so worth it. Looking at the mobile phone, she saw a handful of missed calls and text messages. She opened the inbox. They were all from Lau.
LauLove : “ where r u?” 11:46PM – 06/25/2012.
LauLove: “Jen im lookingeverywhere for u. pick up or call me!!!” 12:05AM
LauLove: “baby did you leave?”12:22AM
LauLove: “I keep calling, pick up please. Where r u??” 12:37AM
Shit! Wasn’t Lau supposed to be busy fondling a mega-star.. among other things? Jennifer pondered whether she should text him back. The text messages were rather frequent since it was only 12:55AM and Jen assumed she’d been in Larry’s room for an hour at the most so Lau must have texted her right after she left with Larry. What did that mean? She stood there baffled trying to calculate the time and estimate the durations. Larry caught her expression and got up as well to refill their miniscule cups of tea. After dropping the cups on the bar counter, he walked over to his pants in the pool of messy clothes quickly removed in the midst of the moment. Once retrieved, his phone was ringing silently – an incoming call from Lola. After pressing ‘ignore’, Larry checked his inbox to see that he had 7 missed calls which resulted in 2 voicemails and 6 new text messages. One was from their manager asking how the night was going since he hadn’t been able to attend due to a family function. Another from Lau asking him if he saw Jen leave, the rest were from Lola. She’d found out he was staying in the hotel and wanted to know if she could come up after the party, if they could talk, asking him where he was and then the last one a very angry one cursing him out for not responding to her calls or previous texts.
The night was seemingly not going the way neither of them had expected with Larry and Jen, once again betraying everyone else to find each other at one another’s sides and Lau & Lola searching through damn near every single part of the hotel to find their correspondent others. Lau was getting frustrated, his night hadn’t been going to plan and he needed to find Jen. Without having seen her, he was certain she’d be pissed when he did. After all, he brought her to this star-studded event and mysteriously disappeared for an hour and a half. Poor Jen, he thought. The room was so big, he kept seeing her everywhere just to realize it was another guest or just an illusion. After almost an hour of searching for her, he was getting very tired and anxious. He just wanted to take her back to his room and make it up to her. He was certain Larry was mad at him since he didn’t reply to his text. Lau was aware what he was doing going up to his room with Ayara – what it must have looked like and couldn’t wait to explain it to his brother but for now, had to focus on the more important task at hand. Finding Jennifer. He couldn’t leave the hotel and he knew there was a possibility she could have stuck around after he left. Knowing her, she found herself a quiet space and decided to isolate herself there.
Lola on the other hand took her MissionLarry rather seriously. She was searching every nook and cranny in the monstrously big hotel to find him. He might not respond to her texts but she was certain that if she surprised him in his hotel room.. naked, they would be finally able to talk…and a lot more. Lola knew her Larry was short on words and all he needed was a little bit of encouragement, she’d be as patient as a saint if she needed to. She began looking for him a while after they left the stage with Ayara. After seducing the huge, impolite guard at the door, she was able to enter the lobby. Once there, she also resorted to using her charm and looks to get the help to spill the beans. Some of the guests and participants in the tour were staying overnight. If this was a regular hotel, she would’ve knocked on every door until she found Larry’s however if she tried to pull that trick in this hotel, by the time she got through the entire building it would be time for check-out. She put 2 and 2 together and figured if Larry wasn’t anywhere else, he was definitely in his room – and if he wasn’t, she’d find it and wait for him. Even better. That way, she could set up the room the way she wanted so that she’d be ready for him when he eventually did walk in. She sat at the bar of the hotel to refill on her liquor before continuing on her mission. Luckily for her, the bartender was an aspiring model and recognized her from her agency’s roster. He’d been trying unsuccessfully to get signed to the same agency for months now and even moved from Southern France to Paris for his big shot. The opportunity was simply too great not to seize. Lola made one phone call to her agent – who ate out of the palm of her hand and the bartender had an audition Monday at noon. To repay his debt to her for securing him an audition with one of the most prestigious modeling agents in France, bartender agreed to verify which room Larry was staying in. By the time Lola was finished her drink, she knew exactly where she was headed.
Jen and Larry finished playing with their phones like a couple of rude, modern guests. They looked at each other and knew they were about to get in hot water. Jen tried to locate a mirror in the room to assess the damage control. She knew her hair was undone and couldn’t feel her lipstick anymore but how did she look? Larry put back on his pair of boxers and returned to the bar to complete making the second cup of tea. This time he wasn’t about to ditch Jen and he was certainly not going to kick her out. He wanted her to stay. He wanted to try to answer her interview questions – even if he thought they were stupid. After checking her phone, she looked visibly nervous and anxious like she didn’t know what to do or think. To ease her mind, he brought her the cup of tea and handed it to her after letting his lips meet hers briefly. Being careful not to topple over the hot cup of tea, he used his other hand to push her back into him to further the kiss. Just as he was about to drop the tea and focus on the more rejuvenating, delightful girl in front of him, he heard a knock on the door. He stopped and looked at Jen who looked as if she was about to turn blue.