Masquerade – (Part 8) NSFW

Evie savoured the last bite of succulent oak smoked salmon with crushed new potatoes and green beans. It was easily the best meal she had ever had, rivalling the food at The Johnson Hotel, if not being better.

“I know I’ve said it before, but I do love that dress on you.” Jack said sincerely as he finished his medium rare steak, “You look beautiful.”

Evie smiled warmly at him, feeling heat creep up her neck in to cheeks once more. The evening had been wonderful so far. They hadn’t stopped talking since they had ordered.

Now the sky had turned from bright blue to deep navy, with the far away hues of dusky rose fading away over the horizon.

“Thank you,” Evie took a sip of her champagne, “It was actually a last minute buy from a thrift shop in Camden. I do love it.”

Their gazes locked and a moment of silence passed between them. Jack’s blue eyes searched hers with a dark glint that made her feel almost naked, her sense of femininity overly heightened as it had the night of the Johnson party.

She was the first to look away. She cleared her throat, carefully took the napkin from her lap and folded it next to her plate.

“So you told me that you have brothers and sisters?” Evie rested her elbows on the table with he hands under her chin, “Tell me, what’s that like?”

Evie was the only child in her family. Her mother and father had tried for years for a baby before Evie was born and tried for years again for another. Sadly, a little brother or sister wasn’t meant to be. Jack did the same as Evie, folding his napkin by his plate.

“Crowded.” He joked. Evie chuckled, taking another sip of champagne.

“I can imagine!”

Being the oldest of four kids he grew up pretty quickly, especially protective of his three younger sisters. As his thoughts drifted to his siblings, the childhood memories came rushing back to him with a wistful fondness.

The times when him and his sisters would regularly play pranks on each other, the arguments all teenagers have with their siblings, the times when his father was away and Jack had to take on being man of the house, essentially being acting Dad and brother.

But all these memories landed on his youngest sister in particular. Abigail. He was eighteen when she was born and Jack remembered that day as if it were yesterday.

He thought the world of her; she was the apple of his eye. The Palmer children were all close but of all his sisters he was closest with Abigail.

Then with the fond memories of Abbie’s bouncy, no nonsense way, came the memories Jack wanted to forget. That spring night, the hospital…

“Jack?”

Jack snapped out of his thoughts to see Evie looking up at him concerned.

“Are you ok?” she asked. There it was again. The second she mentioned siblings that same look of guilt washed over him as it did in the Cambridge Suite. His brow furrowed and he shook his head dismissively.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” feigning a bright smile, “Just so many memories.”

The look on Evie’s porcelain features made him know full well she wasn’t convinced.

“What happened?”

A long moment of silence passed. Jack took a deep breath.

“My youngest sister, Abigail,” he took another breath, not looking at her, “she was killed in a car accident three years ago.”

Evie’s face fell.

“Drunk driver,” Jack continued, “Side on collision. She was killed instantly.”

The look in Evie’s doe eye was the same he’d seen from everyone else who knew about Abbie. The same look followed by the same helpless words a person can say to that.

“Jack, I’m so sorry.” She said.

“It’s alright,” he cleared his throat and straightened himself up in his chair, “There’s nothing that could have could have been done.”

Jack flinched inwardly at his words. The words he’d been telling himself for the last three years but never believed or would believe. There was nothing he could have done.

He felt a soft, small hand wind over his on the table. The touch almost made him jump but the Evie’s hand moved on, gently fitting her fingers in between his thumb and forefinger.

Evie’s lips curled up at little in a sympathetic smile.

“Come on,” she murmured, giving his hand a reassuring squeeze, “Come with me.”

She pushed her chair back and got up, walking over to the rail. Jack stared at her puzzled.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

Evie couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Relax silly!” Evie held out her hand to him, “I want you to see something!”

Slowly, Jack pushed his own chair back and took her hand. The puzzled look on his face remained when they got to the rail.

“What are we looking at?” he asked.

“This,” Evie gestured out towards the city, “Look at how beautiful this is.”

Jack nodded. It was beautiful. Evie cupped his stubbled jaw with her hand, guiding it to look down to her.

“Now what I want you to do,” she carefully ran her hands up the lapels of his jacket, “Is to look out at the view, take in lights, breath in the air and just be. Forget everything apart from now.”

Jack mustn’t have realised he looked reluctant when she gently ran her hand over his jaw again.

“Trust me,” she whispered with a sweet little smile, “It works. It does for me, anyway.”

Jack heaved a defeated sigh and nodded.

“Ok.”

They stared out together for what felt like an age, Jack thought. When he checked his watch, it was merely a few minutes. He didn’t know how to switch off. Not really. Work was always at the back of his mind. Abbie was always at the back of his mind, wishing he could do something to bring her back.

As he took a deep breath of now cold air, he felt a change. Not major, merely microscopic, but something.

The lights of a charming city he took for granted captivated him. He noticed the life that boomed on the streets below, the majestic beauty of the skyscrapers he’d done business in.

He’d brought Evie here because he knew she would love it, but he never really noticed it himself until she made him look closer.

He gazed down at her. She was leaning her elbows on the railing, staring out at the city with a wide eyed wonder and content smile on her pretty face. What he’d give to be like that one day, he thought, as he slowly draped his arm over her shoulders.

As if it were the most natural thing on the planet, Evie wove her arm around Jack’s waist. He drew his other arm around her, and the two fell in to a warm embrace as they gazed out at London in serene silence.

*

Violet Grey

Copyright, 2018 – Life of Violet

All Rights Reserved

*Picture – Pinterest

3 thoughts on “Masquerade – (Part 8) NSFW

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