I step out of the car and look around tentatively. I know this is where it’s happening. I check my invitation again. Yes. This is the venue. I pause, briefly considering if I should turn back and leave. Before I can decide, one of the organisers spots the invitation in my hand and comes forward to welcome me. He seems to know who I am, or at least that I’m an important invitee. Perhaps the invitations are colour-coded or something. He smiles and invites me in, offering me a glass of champagne. I thank him and pick it up.
My eyes search for you. A few minutes later, he comes back with a note for me. “He asked me to give this to you ma’am,” he says. I nod and accept it. I open the sealed note and see your familiar writing. “I’ll be with you soon. There’s a place in the front with your name on it. Come forward please.” You’ve signed it with a name only I use for you. I smile. I turn around and look for the organiser, who nods as he escorts me to the front.
I catch your eye and you smile. That heart-stopping, gorgeous smile that I fall for every single time. I smile back and I settle down. The event starts. You’re in your element. You answer questions about your work with the practised ease of a professional. The familiarity of your voice is soothing. It’s been so long since we spoke. Your invitation to this event surprised me. “How do your sculptures evoke so much emotion? How is it so special?” The host’s question pulls me out of my reverie. You smile and say, “I don’t know. My muse does all the work.” Your eyes meet mine and hold my gaze just long enough for me to understand. I look away, unable to stop myself from blushing.
It’s an hour later that I find myself alone with you. The event is over. You’ve left the guests to enjoy themselves. You head over to me, glass in hand and ask, “Shall we step out?” I nod mutely. Outside, there’s nobody in sight. The party inside is far more interesting. You don’t take your eyes off me. “This saree looks stunning on you. You should dress like this more often.” I smile, acknowledging your compliment. You reach over and touch my earring. And then, without a word, you slip it off, come closer and gently suck on my earlobe. I draw a sharp breath, unable to hide the rising anticipation. You then cup my face and kiss my forehead, and then gently on my lips. “Will you stay tonight?” I nod. I know I cannot leave tonight.