Read Kissed in Paris Online

Authors: Juliette Sobanet

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Humor & Satire, #Humorous, #Women's Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Romantic Comedy, #Contemporary Fiction, #General Humor, #Humor

Kissed in Paris (3 page)

BOOK: Kissed in Paris
6.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

xoxo,

Chloe

 

P.S. Lil – Sophie told me you aren’t happy with the length of your bridesmaid dress. Too bad. If you make it any shorter, the guests will mistake
you
for the stripper.

 

From: Angela Kelly

To: Chloe Turner

Sent: Thursday, August 25 at 1:30 a.m.

Subject: Think chocolate croissants, wine that flows like rivers, and hot French men with tight asses!

 

Chloe,

The Eiffel Tower is calling your name . . . and so am I. Why haven’t you responded? I
know
you sleep with your iPhone.

 

Your sick as a dog boss,

Angela

 

From: Chloe Turner

To: Angela Kelly

Sent: Thursday, August 25 at 1:34 a.m.

Subject: Re: Think chocolate croissants, wine that flows like rivers, and hot French men with tight asses!

 

Angela,

Sending me to Paris a week before my wedding is completely out of the question. Paul is going to be irate, my dad and sisters need me home this weekend, and I . . . oh screw it. Who am I kidding? I can’t lose this job.

 

Angela,

I’m packing my bags as we speak. And just for the record, I don’t think I’ll be paying much attention to the “tight asses” while I’m in Paris. In case you forgot, I’m getting married next weekend.

 

Feel better,

Chloe

 

One

 

“You are in Paris, the City of Love. You must not be so controlled. Here, have another glass. I promise you, it will not hurt.”

I jolted upright in bed, the man’s deep, seductive voice echoing through my mind.

And just as quickly as I’d popped up, the pounding in my skull knocked me back down again. I groaned as I rolled to my side and squinted at the light pouring in through the wispy white drapes in the hotel room.

Why did that voice seem so real? And why did I feel like I’d been run over by a train? And why couldn’t this lavish hotel have invested just a little extra money in black-out blinds for their guests?

Squeezing my eyes closed once more, I willed the room to stop spinning around me. Did I drink last night at the hotel bar? All I remembered ordering was a sparkling water. Plus, I never drank when I was away from Paul. I never drank at all, actually. And I certainly wouldn’t have started while away on business in Paris, the night before I was set to fly home no less.

I rubbed my throbbing forehead, and as my stomach cramped, I thought of Angela’s deathly contagious flu. Oh, God. I must’ve caught it. How would I fly home in this state? Please don’t let it be the flu. I can’t handle that right now. I have to be healthy this week. I’m getting married in—.

“My name is Claude.”

I jerked back up to a sitting position, my eyes now wide open, my breath caught somewhere between my seizing stomach and my spinning head.

Why was that voice lodged in my head? And who was
Claude
?

Jagged snippets of memories scissored their way through the cobwebs in my brain, refusing to form a cohesive picture. 

A crisp black suit. Deep indigo eyes. Chiseled cheek bones and slick black hair.

“Let us have just one more drink in your room. I am having so much fun with you. I never want this night to end.”

I could still hear his thick French accent ringing in my ears, feel his warm hand as it wrapped around mine and led me down the hallway of the fancy hotel.

One last memory taunted me. I remembered tripping and ramming my shoulder into the doorway . . . as I’d let the suave French man into my hotel room.

“Oh la la, ma chérie.
You must be careful. We have a long night ahead of us, non?”

“No,” I said out loud, shaking the images from my mind. “
No
,” I repeated. “It was all just a dream. A vivid, awful dream. Get it together, Chloe.”

But when my right shoulder began throbbing, I peered down before I could stop myself and spotted a swirl of black and blue.

Oh, God. What had I done?

Slowly, I turned my head toward the other side of the bed, dreading what—or
who
—I might find.

The sight of crumpled white bed linens coupled with a firm dent in the fluffy pillow confirmed my worst fear.

I hadn’t slept alone.

The intoxicating scent of aftershave emanated from the crisp white sheets, making my stomach lurch. I stumbled out of bed and nearly slipped on the creamy marble floor in the bathroom as I lunged for the sink, filled my hands with cold water, and splashed it over my steaming face to combat the nausea.

And the guilt.

How could I have brought that man into my hotel room? What had I done with him? And where in the hell was he now?

I lifted my bloodshot eyes to the mirror and gasped when I spotted my black bra and underwear fitting snugly over my pale skin, no sign of the business suit I’d been wearing the day before.

This time I lunged for the toilet.

After confirming in the worst possible way that I most definitely drank more than one glass of red wine at the hotel bar last night, I wrapped my shivering body in a towel and forced myself back up to the sink to brush my teeth.

I scrubbed my tongue, my gums and every crevice of my mouth until it was raw, hoping to rid myself of the guilt and the questions that threatened to swallow me whole.

What had really happened last night? Why had I agreed to drink wine with some random French man at the bar? How could I have brought him up to my room? And worse, what had I done with him to end up in my underwear?

Tossing my toothbrush back onto the bathroom counter, I ignored the pounding behind my eyes and tried to recall
what
exactly had happened the night before.

When I couldn’t put another memory into clear focus, my thumb automatically reached for my left ring finger to twist my engagement band around—a nervous habit I’d picked up ever since Paul had proposed last year.

But the minute I felt bare skin where my ring normally would’ve been, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Where was my ring? I never took it off. Not even to shower.

The fluffy bath towel slipped off my scantily-clad body as I raced out of the bathroom and over to the dresser, where I would’ve left my purse. But my sparkly ring wasn’t there. And neither was my purse.

I tore apart the gorgeous hotel room, yanking the covers and the pillows off the bed, opening every drawer, every closet, peering in every crevice. But in the end, all I found were crystal chandeliers, empty glasses with remnants of red wine settling in the bottom, my tall black heels—one by the bathroom, one by the closet—and a slinky red dress that most definitely did
not
belong to me.

No suitcase. No purse. No phone. No diamond ring.

And no passport.

It was gone. It was all gone.

I sank onto the king-sized bed, the room now spinning even more fiercely than before, last night’s drinks threatening to make one more trip through my stomach, when another image flashed through my brain.

Claude’s tall, dark-haired silhouette stood over the bed, his firm hand stroking my hair.

“Yes, chérie, go to bed now. I will see you in the morning . . .”

I’ll see you in the morning all right. After I’ve taken all of your possessions.

I buried my head in my hands as panic seized my chest. What had I done? I had a flight to catch. And more importantly, my wedding to Paul was in six days.
Six days.
How was I going to get home without a passport? And how would I explain this to him? He wouldn’t even believe me. I was always under control. I didn’t drink. I worked to the point of exhaustion. And in the eight years we’d been together, I’d never even contemplated cheating on Paul.

Plain and simple, Chloe Turner did not do things like this. Ever.

A screeching sound made me jump from the bed.

It was the hotel phone. Maybe someone had caught that lying, stealing French man on his way out the door.

“Hello?”

“Chloe, I’ve been trying to reach you on your cell, but it seems to be turned off. Are you okay?”

I cringed as my breath once again failed me.

“Hi, Paul. I . . . I’m fine. Everything’s fine.”

 

Two

 

“I was starting to get worried. You never turn your cell off. Did the battery die or something?”

What was I supposed to tell him?

“Chloe, are you still there?”

Just spit it out. Paul is my fiancé. I can’t possibly lie about something this serious.

But the dent in the pillow. Me waking up in my underwear. My ring. My passport. Oh, God.

“My phone was stolen,” I blurted.

“What? How?” Paul’s voice rose about three octaves, making the dread in my stomach turn sour.

“It . . . it was my fault. We were having dinner last night near the conference site, and I . . . I left it out on the table, and when I remembered and came back, it was gone.” My cheeks blazed with heat. I’d never lied to Paul before. I’d never done anything I’d
had
to lie about. Not in all the years we’d been together since college. But I couldn’t possibly tell him what had
really
happened . . . not until I figured it out for myself.

“Jeez, Chloe. It’s bad enough that you agreed to do this business trip a week before our wedding, but now your phone? What a disaster.”

I glanced around the empty hotel room, then down at my half-naked body, realizing Paul was clueless as to just what a life-altering disaster this had become.

“So, how are things at home?” I asked him, desperate to change the subject.

“Nuts. Your sisters have been calling non-stop with wedding demands, and I guess Sophie is flying in tomorrow. Did you know that? Why does she need to come so early?”

This couldn’t really be happening right now. I had to get home.

BOOK: Kissed in Paris
6.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Cold Tea on a Hot Day by Matlock, Curtiss Ann
A Stray Cat Struts by Slim Jim Phantom
Desde mi cielo by Alice Sebold