Chapter Forty-Four

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THE RAYS OF A Paris sun kissed the cheeks of a very sleepy Abigail. She turned in her pillow with a croaky moan, extending a lazy arm. She hoped to caress the stiff chest of Preston, instead, she felt cold sheets and empty pillows.

Her eyes kept closed. If she opened them, then this wasn't a dream but reality. Then he hadn't gone to the bathroom for a quick shower but had already left. A blanket of great dismay cloaked her shoulders.

As much as she wanted it to be a dream it wasn't. She went to bed without him and had woken up without him, too. She'd been so tired from her adventures with Paris that she hadn't felt him when he came in. She hadn't even felt the bed dip.

If it wasn't for the discarded clothes on the hamper she would've guessed he hadn't shown up at all.

Was this really his life? Travel from country to country, meeting to meeting in four hours of sleep? No wonder he got migraines all the time. He needed to unwind from work.

Butterflies fluttered in her stomach when she gazed at the bedside table. It'd been so long since the last time they'd written to each other that seeing her name in his handwriting made her jolly.

The note read:

Good morning, Angel. The Bessettes have welcomed us into their home for dinner tonight. I'll pick you up at 6:30.
-Preston

Her face instantly hit the pillow with a very loud groan. Words couldn't describe how much she despised pointless chitchats. It made her feel robotic every time she pretended to be interested in the lives of blurred faces.

She'd done it too many times as a teenager when she supported her mother's charities and galas. At twenty-four she still did it once a year for holidays and birthdays, and those people were her family.

He'd signed it as Preston, so maybe she could get out of it.

But what use would that be?

She'd show him she couldn't be there to support him. It'd be a slap to his face, especially since she knew how important this project was and how hard he'd worked through their flight. Plus, her presence there ensured his time would be spent with her.

Her mind still weighing the pros and cons of a business dinner, she sauntered to the hamper and slipped on his shirt. She raised the collar to her nose. It still smelled like him like...roses? What the ever-loving fuck?

She removed his ardent shirt as if it were burning her skin with blistering welts.

"Roses?" she thought aloud.

She didn't wear any rose-scented perfume. She didn't wear perfume at all. Ever since Master Trice described the scent of her perfume as "pure rodent infected garbage" and "wanting to taste her, not cheap perfume" she'd thrown all her bottles away.

Unless Jean-Pierre Bessette was female, she didn't understand how his shirt could smell so feminine. What the fuck was he building, a brothel? An unknown burning sensation rose from the pit of her stomach to her chest. She stopped the fire before it built any higher with a chug of water.

It could have been an overly perfumed assistant or the heavy aroma of rose tea. The French drank tea, right? Or was it the British?

For the life of her, she couldn't remember.

She couldn't think right, but that had to be it. Yeah, that made sense—that was it.

After a much-needed shower and an orgasmic chocolate croissant for breakfast, she switched flip-flops for tennis shoes and a cotton robe for shorts and a tee. It was her last day with Paris and she wanted to make it count.

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