Foto bij 657. - Lucien

With the compression wrap and a good dose of painkillers, the sprain doesn't bother me too much. The only annoying thing is that it's my dominant hand, meaning that I'm annoyingly unable to do a lot of easy things, because half my fingers are also encased in the wrap. Initially Emma keeps true to her promise of only being my nurse for a day, but when she sees me struggle with things like my belt buckle or washing my hair, she relents anyway. I tease her about it every now and then, but mostly I'm just very grateful.
Neither of us brings up a desire to do another round of cocaine, but I'd be lying if I said that night wasn't one of my best ones with Emma yet. Even aside the sex, the drug really helped us whatever was left of the walls we'd built over the past four months. Maybe they didn't stay down, maybe a few rows of bricks have already been put back into place, but it still was an amazing thing to experience together - and not something I'd ever expected to do with her.
On the midway mark of our holiday, three days after our little drug-induced adventure, we are having lunch after just spending the entire morning in the Basilica di San Pietro. I spot two girls across the terrace staring rather intently at our table. I don't think too much of it, guessing they're just fans that are too nervous or too polite to come over.
"So, what do you want to do this afternoon?" I ask, just as either of our salads get served.
"Something that doesn't require me to stand in line for nearly two hours." Emma chuckles, toasting her wine to mine. "Something laid back. Maybe the Villa Borghese gardens? We can visit the museums there, enjoy the gardens, maybe take a nap in the park connected to it..."
"Sounds like an excellent past time to me." I smile. We've been doing pretty well in interchanging busy days with lots of places to be with more laid back ones, where we just go where our current mood takes us. "You're not allowed to tell her this," Saying this immediately peeks Emma's interest, her brows raising. "but I prefer travelling to cultural rich places with you over travelling there with my mother."
"Really now?" She leans her head on one hand, smiling at me. "I'm making no promises of telling her or not, but I'm curious what makes you say that."
"She was the 'the more, the better' kind of type. Straight out of the basilica? Onto the Pantheon we go. Feet hurting from walking through the Chiaramonti museum? No whining, there's the Pio-Clementino museum still waiting for us! She'd keep us busy early morning to dinner, after which we'd be far too tired to much else than hang our heads in our plates and breathe in our pasta."
Emma snorts a laugh. "Are there pictures of that?"
"Somewhere, I bet there are." I smile. "There's not a lot of pictures of the Du Castellon family, but I know my father liked to sneak pictures at times like that."
Her smile softens a little bit. "I still have trouble picturing Jacques as a family man."
"That makes two of us then, and I was there for it." I chuckle. "But I suppose no one is born into bitterness. Not even Jacques du Castellon, who might as well have been forty years old when he was born."
"How old is he?" It seems a genuine question, brought forward by a realisation that it never occurred to her before in the last three years.
"Fifty-eight. He was three years older than my mother."
"Just... You are the same age he was when he had you."
"I suppose I am." I smile. "Though I fail to see why that's of any interest."
"It's of interest because that has me picturing Jacques du Castellon in your position; a wild card with no set plan for his future, partying until the sun came up. And you know." A wicked grin spreads across her face. "Cocaine was still big in the early nineties."
I nearly choke on my wine. "Is your plan for the afternoon scarring me with mental images of my father doing crazy stuff like I am, but nineties style?"
"If your face twists like that every time I do so, it might just beat the paintings and the sculptures." She smirks, swirling her wine around in her glass.
"I know we narrowly escaped a break-up this year, but there might still be one in the near future if you're truly set on that." I raise a brow at her, but she just laughs. It says something that we're now able to joke about this, albeit carefully. It may have left its scars, but at the very least the wounds have now healed over. My skin prickles just when I'm about to continue the conversation; as if I'm led by a sixth sense, I glance at the two girls I spotted earlier. Instead of two faces, I now see one face and a phone, no doubt taking pictures of me and Emma. While used to it after years of having this happen, it still pisses me off. Emma takes my hand over the table, squeezing it.
"Don't let them ruin it. Their camera probably isn't even good enough to get more than an overzoomed, grainy pictures that might as well have been another famous dude with dark hair and a beard, and a steaming hot girlfriend."
I snort. "I dunno, my beard is pretty unique."
Her mouth falls open and her eyes narrow, but when she speaks her voice gives away a laugh. "You're lucky we're in public, or I'd throw my wine in your face."
"A waste of a perfectly good wine." I squeeze her hand just like she did mine. "And a way to ruin this shirt that I know happens to be one of your favourites."
"You make a compelling argument."
"Comes with being raised by a lawyer."
"A lawyer who possibly had a mullet at some point in his life, and-slash-or did jazzercise."
"If we had been married, this would be the point where we'd end up in the divorce statistic."

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