Foto bij 544 - Emma

Though less icy, France is also cold in the fall. Having only been here in nice weather and basking in the sunshine, the clouds surprise me a little when I get off my plane.
I feel honoured that Eschieve and Lucien wanted me around for this, albeit a little weird for me. I never knew their brother, and all I've heard about him has impacted my image of him negatively. Yet, I understand how important it is to remember those who have passed, and if Eschieve wants me there, I can't say no. Lucien is in multiple important meetings today, and with the weather influencing my flight, I've decided to take a cab to their house.
My taxi driver immediately gets dollar signs in his eyes when I tell him the address - he must be aware of the amount of money places around there must cost, and he's awfully cheerful the entire ride. I'm not too talkative, tired from my flight and the amount of work I've had to do to be able to get the week off. Though they understand my position, it is getting harder to take trips like these, considering my contract doesn't leave much room for international travel.
      Eschieve gets home just in time to let me in, because in the hurry of arranging my visit, no one seemed to remember that I have no way to get onto the property myself.
She just went for a run, and gives me a quick and sweaty hug before we head inside. "Is that all you've brought?" she asks, eyeing my single suitcase.
"I didn't want to go through the hassle of checking in any luggage, I flew in from Glasgow," I let out a yawn, having been up since six this morning. "I brought the necessities."
She smiles, unlocking the door. It's nice and warm inside, and it smells the way I remember it, with a vague hint of some kind of baked good added.
"Lucien made tarte tatin before he left," she gestures at the kitchen. "Wasn't sure what time he'd be home, this meeting was kind of important, apparently, and last I heard they might continue it over dinner."
Sure, I'm a little disappointed he's not here, but I'm also terribly tired, and I knew that coming here wouldn't be like a vacation. Lucien is still working, I'd just be here for them, because they want me here.
"I'm just going to take a quick shower," she takes her hair out of the tight ponytail, "make yourself at home."
      After also having taken a shower, I find Eschieve in the living room, watching a movie in French I don't recognise. The sun has gone down, and the entire house now basks in the lights and candles she's lit.
It's past eight, and about an hour ago, Lucien texted the both of us, letting us know he'd in fact be home after dinner.
"Are you hungry?" Eschieve perks up as she notices me coming in. "We could order something."
I shake my head, letting myself fall on the couch next to her. "Not really. I'm feeling a little sick from my flight, lots of turbulence. What are you watching?"
"Oh," she smiles, pausing her movie, "it's this really bad teenage movie. She," she points at the screen, "is this rich girl, and she falls in love with a poor guy from the bad side of town, or something like that. Want to watch it with me? I can put subtitles on if you want."
"Sure," almost immediately, she scoots over a little, to share her blanket with me. "Though I can't promise I won't fall asleep."
      Dinner, at nine, consists out of two pieces of tarte tatin each, and a bottle of red wine to share. The movie has ended, and although it was bad, I've enjoyed it.
I've only drifted off once or twice, being awoken by Eschieve moving to take a sip out of her glass. "Do you want to go to bed?" she asks sweetly, watching me rub the sleep out of my eyes.
"Not really," I smile, hardly audible because I get interrupted by a yawn. "I kind of want to wait for Lucien to come home. It's been a month since I've seen him, I should be able to stay awake for at least a few more hours."
Just like her brother, I can tell she doesn't really believe me, but she doesn't fight me on it. "Well, let's turn on another movie, then?" she scrolls through the options, ending up with another French rom-com. It's hard for me to focus on the movie for more than a few minutes. After working all day, then flying from Glasgow to Paris and adapting to these familiar yet strange surroundings, trying to translate everything going on on the screen from French to understandable English is an impossible task, and within minutes I drift off back to sleep again.
      For a second, I think I'm floating, though that would mean I'd be weightless and up in the air, and I'm pretty sure something or someone is holding me up.
My eyelids are heavy, and it's taking every ounce of energy that's left in me to open my eyes. "Lucien?"
I'm in his arms, bridal style, as he keeps up his pace, carrying me through the hallway. "Hello, sleeping beauty."
"I wanted to stay awake," I mumble, feeling Lucien struggle to open the door to his bedroom. "I was just really tired."
He smiles, delicately placing me on his bed. "That's okay, love. I'm sorry I was late."
I yawn loudly, folding both hands over my mouth to cover it. "Are you going to come to bed with me?"
He nods, shedding his clothing items one by one until he's left in just his underwear. His sheets smell like him, an almost dazzling scent that makes me feel safe as he pulls me into his arms.
"Are you not going to," another yawn, "undress me?"
He chuckles, pressing a kiss to my forehead. "Maybe tomorrow, my love. For now, we should go to sleep, don't you think?"

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