Chapter 34

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Chapter 34

I finished getting dressed, taking longer than normal to get ready because James had joined me in the shower.  I sat on the edge of the bed after I finished putting on my shoes, thinking about what we’d done and wondering how James would act in front of his family.

A knock came from my door so I reluctantly got up and opened it.  James was there waiting, a big smile on his still scruffy face.

“Morning, Holls,” he said, a glimmer in his eye as he leaned down to give me a brief kiss.

“Mm, morning,” I repeated before letting him grab my hand and pull me to the dining room where everyone was already eating.

Caroline looked up and smiled warmly as she always did, “Good morning, kids.  Hope you slept well your last night here."

“Good morning,” we greeted in unison ignoring the rest of her statement.  We sat in our usual spots and I turned to see Olivia was eyeing us intently, smirking.

The discussion over breakfast remained on neutral topics like work and plans for New Year’s.  Once we finished James and I went to our respective rooms to pack our bags.  When I was finished I brought mine out to the entryway.  James came out with his luggage shortly after and Caroline joined us.

She pulled James in for a long hug, “I’m so glad you made it, dear.  We miss you around here.”

“Miss you too Mum.  Thanks for everything.  Love you.”

“Love you too, dear.”  She let go of him and embraced me, “Holly you can come visit anytime.  It was just a joy to have you around the house!”

“Thank you for having me, I had a great time,” I smiled at her.

Olivia and her father walked up and William shook James’ hand, “Don’t let her get away, son.”

James smiled at him and looked at me as he answered, “Of course not Pops.”  I guess they knew more than I thought.

William wrapped me in a tight hug.  “Holly it was a pleasure.  Keep him in line, will ya?”

I laughed, “Definitely.”

“Another successful match if I do say so myself,” Olivia announced in her high pitched British accent.  “See you two at the next family gathering.”  With that she turned on her heel and walked away, no warm hug or sweet words.  Then again, that really wasn’t her style.  I just laughed and headed out the door to our cab.

The flights were long, but we were so tired from the night’s activities that most of it was spent sleeping and letting our muscles recuperate.  James held my hand as we walked from one gate to the other during our layover and pulled me to him to cuddle as we rested on our flights.  He made no move to push me away or be pretend like nothing happened.

We left around ten a.m. and due to the time zone change and a layover arrived back home at about nine p.m.  We were tired from the long day of traveling and time change, but well rested enough to go out like we planned to enjoy our New Year’s Eve.

James helped me get my bags into my bedroom in the guest house.  “I haven’t been in here since it was remodeled for you.  I like what you’ve done with it… it fits you,” he spoke as he looked around at pictures and books.

“Thanks.”  I stood in the doorway and watched him turn to face me.  He took slow strides until we were face to face.

“Holls, I know we haven’t talked about anything that’s happened between us, but…  I just… It happened all of the sudden and I don’t exactly know how you feel about it or what’s gonna happen…  We have this party that we’re supposed to go to and when we show up people will assume it’s just me with my assistant there for help and…”

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