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Subject: À la Vie! - Chapter 53

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Date Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 09:30:17am
In reply to: Diane 's message, "À la Vie! - Chapter 41+" on Friday, November 05, 11:09:31pm

On their third day in Marseilles, Michael called Nikita at l'Éclat and asked her out to dinner. “I know it’s short notice,” he apologized, “but I miss you.”

“You do?” responded Nikita, thrilled. “I mean, I miss you too.”

“I have some gallery business I have to finish up, but I’ll have Luc pick you up at your flat at 7:30. Will that be all right?”

“That will be fine,” said Nikita smoothly, while mentally reviewing Celine’s closet. She didn’t own anything that Michael hadn’t seen before.

“Until tonight, then.”

“Tonight,” agreed Nikita.

Unfortunately, Celine was shorter and much more full-figured than Nikita. Nothing she owned had fit. Nikita hurriedly took a cab back to l'Éclat and went immediately to wardrobe. She was trying on gowns when Madeline paid a surprise visit to the fitting rooms.

“Hullo,” said Nikita, surprised. “What brings you to France?”

“Oh, getting an early start on the Winter Kick-off,” Madeline returned nonchalantly.

A “very” early start, thought Nikita, but she didn’t say a word because she recognized Paul Wolfe’s driver standing in the hallway, obviously waiting for Madeline.

Finally, Nikita found the perfect dress. It was similar to the one she had worn to Volare’s with Michael, only sleeveless and with a slightly longer hemline. Even the color was the same, though this dress was in satin while the other had been silk. She found matching stiletto pumps—she would be the same height as Michael, but she knew he wouldn’t mind—and a pearled clutch. She decided to wear her hair up, and asked one of the stylists to do it for her. Michael was used to seeing it straight down or back in a pony-tail. For some reason, she felt like knocking his socks off.

* * *

Michael was already seated in the window seat of the restaurant when she arrived. He was resplendent in black Versace with a bright purple tie—a birthday gift from Adam. He rose as she was seated, and smiled appreciatively at her outfit. She could tell at once he drew the parallel between this dress and Carla’s.

When the wine steward came to the table, he ordered something rapidly in French, never taking his eyes off her. Nikita frowned inwardly in dismay. He had forgotten again that she didn’t drink. And here she thought that after over a year of living together they would have picked up on each other’s personal habits. He smiled warmly. She did her best to smile back.

When the wine steward returned, he was carrying a 2-litre bottle of Pepsi. Nikita’s eyes grew huge. The steward unscrewed the top off of the bottle and gave it to Michael, who sniffed it discerningly, then indicated that the steward should pour him a sample. He picked up his class and swirled the Pepsi around, noting the clarity. Nikita started to giggle. Michael looked at her in chastisement. Finding the vintage acceptable, Michael told the steward to fill both glasses. He did, then left the remainder of the bottle to chill. Nikita finally burst out laughing.

“You are such a rat!” she chided.

”Moi?” Michael said in mock seriousness. “I requested only the best for the woman I love.”

They toasted each other, and Nikita drank deeply.

* * *

They had finished dinner, and were picking at the remains of their Crème Brule when Michael was about to ask Nikita the question she had been waiting to hear. Suddenly, shots rang out, and two small holes appeared in the place in the window where Nikita’s head had been just before she had bent forward to hear Michael’s request.

Michael threw Nikita to the floor and covered her with his body, then jumped up and ran out into the street. Nikita was right behind him yelling, “Michael, no!” But it was too late. The shooter was long gone.

“You’re moving back in with me. Tonight.” Flowery words of devotion went out the window. Nikita could have been killed tonight, and all because of him.

Nikita agreed.

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Just curiousDianeTuesday, November 16, 08:35:44pm

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