{CAMILLE AND XAVIER RUN AWAY}

 

     Flight went through more rewrites than I care to remember, and one of those rewrites included a climax that happened in Ohio. (Xavier knows that Camille's in danger and that Noelle will go looking for her, so against Camille's wishes, he takes her to the one place they know Noelle will never think to look for her at - Ohio.
I know... at the time, it sounded like a good idea.) 
When Xavier and Camille get to Ohio, they check into a ritzy hotel. This is one of my fondest moments from that scene.

 

 

           I can feel us descending and I look down to see a huge acreage of property, covered in rolling green hills, fountains and walking paths. It’s green for as far as the eye can see, the property is so large. There’s a gorgeous lit up gazebo off to the side, a small lake and golf courses. In the middle of it all is an impressive looking resort hotel, all in white with colonial style columns decorating the front. A giant fountain sits in the center of the circular drive, which serves as the entrance. This is not what I had envisioned when Mrs. Taylor had told me we would be going to an angel safe house.

            “Is that where we’re staying?” I say, breaking the uneasy silence.

            “Yes.”

            “That’s an angel safe house?” I ask incredulously.

            “No,” he says haughtily. “I told you I don’t like living with other people. I like my space.”

            And I can’t help but smile a small smile, despite my anger. Xavier and I are truly bred from the same cloth and I don’t know that I would have wanted to stay with a bunch of other strangers, angels or not, at a safe house either.

            Xavier lands near the lake, sending a group of sleeping ducks scurrying away angrily.

            “Sorry,” he calls out to them.

            He lands and lets my feet fall gently to the ground. I am numb from both the chill of the air and my limbs being in the same position for over an hour. I find I have to steady my feet before I can stand upright.

            “Take your time getting your balance back. We were up in the air for a while,” he says as his wings retract back into his body. He undoes the shirt wrapped around his waist and puts it on.

            The minute I am upright, my pants threaten to fall, they’re just too big. My feet are immediately damp as the dew from the grass seeps through Xavier’s socks. Xavier sees my discomfort.

            “Do you want to borrow my shoes?”

            “No, thank you,” I answer him curtly.

            “Sorry, we’ll be sure to get you some shoes and other clothes tomorrow.”

            I look him squarely in the eye before I respond.

            “For the first time in my life, the last thing I am thinking about are my clothes and shoes,” I say coolly.

            He sighs.

            “Come on, let’s go check in.”

            Xavier takes me by the hand and pulls me through the grass towards the entrance of the hotel. I am clinging to my waistband as I walk so that my pants don’t fall. I’m sure we must look quite the sight. Two people our age checking into a luxury hotel in the middle of the night, one of whom looks like a hobo in wet socks.

            We walk towards the glass doors where a doorman stands. He gives me a questioning look before opening the door for us.

            “Good evening. Checking in?” he asks questioningly, eyeing the fact that we have no luggage and just walked onto the property with no car.

            “Yes.”

            “Very good. The front desk is to your left, sir.”

            “Thank you.”

            “Have a good evening and enjoy your stay with us,” he says his eyes following us as we walk through the lobby.

            The hotel is built in a colonial fashion, with a large roaring fire in the center, lush couches and padded chairs filling the space. The building itself is full of old world charm, but the décor is very modern and very current, done in elegant beiges and deep chocolate. It actually reminds me a lot of Xavier’s apartment.

            We both walk up to the front desk where an attractive looking woman is looking down at some paperwork. She senses us approaching and looks up with a smile. The smile is quickly replaced with a questioning glance as she takes in the two of us.

            “Yes, sir, can I help you?”

            “We’d like a room please.”

            Her eyebrows raise questioningly, but she continues on anyway.

“Wonderful. And will you be needing two double beds or a king?”

            I can’t help but notice Xavier’s eyes as they dart awkwardly towards me.

            “One king size bed will be fine.”

            I can’t help but smirk.

            “Perfect,” she says as her fingers quickly type on the keyboard in front of her. She looks up and I can’t help but notice the fake sympathy in her voice as she continues. “Unfortunately, we are at full capacity for the next few days. The only room I have with a king size bed is our Presidential Suite overlooking the lake.” I actually see her mouth turn down sadly as if she’s had to tell a small child that the last piece of cake has already been eaten.

            “There is a smaller motel just a few miles down the road. I’m sure they can accommodate you there,” she says, flashing a fake smile and inauthentic grace.

            I see Xavier stand a little bit taller, and his chin rise a little bit and that cool swagger that was with him the night of the gala is omnipresent again.

            “We’ll take the Presidential Suite,” he says with a smooth smile, and amazes me by pulling out a wad of cash to pay for the room.

            She looks taken aback, but manages to regain her composure enough to ask for his ID, which he hands over as she continues to process his information.

            It’s my turn to smile, this time with pride at Xavier. I’m still totally pissed and irritated at him for whisking me away like this, but I try at that moment to remind myself why he did it. He was only trying to protect me. Even if I completely disagree with his reasons, I can’t fault him for not having the best of intentions when he did it.

            Proudly, I grab hold of his hand and step closer to him. He looks down at me with a smile and plants a small kiss on my forehead.

            “Ok Mr. and Mrs. Williams, you’re all set.”

            Mr. & Mrs. Williams?

            “The elevators are just behind you and you are on the top floor. Your suite comes with complimentary breakfast in bed, so be sure to fill out your menu tonight so it will be ready for you in the morning.”

            “Do you need assistance from the bellhop with your luggage?” she asks blinkingly at us.

            “No, thank you. We’ll be fine,” Xavier says smoothly.

            “Very well, enjoy your stay with us,” she says coolly before handing over our card key.

            “Thank you.”

            Xavier grabs me by the hand and walks me towards the elevator doors. I make a mental note that when all this is said and done, to come back to this very hotel with Xavier and rent out the Presidential Suite for a month under my name, and to be sure that the pretentious bitch at the front desk is the one who checks me in. 

 

CUT TO THE NEXT MORNING...

 

            With that he grabs my hand and leads me out of the room towards the elevator. We ride down to the main lobby, which is much busier now that it’s daytime and not late at night when we checked in. This is definitely a higher end hotel, with the clientele looking more like our circle of friends from New York then I expected. During the day, I can take in the elegance and beauty of the hotel too. The entire back wall of the lobby is made of glass and overlooks the green golf courses and lakes in the distance. It’s absolutely breathtaking and seeing that view helps to lift my spirits.

            We walk through the lobby and past a pianist who is playing a soft jazz song on the grand piano. He nods to us as we walk by. We’re just about to make our way past the front desk when Xavier stops.

            “Hold on a second. I just have to make a quick stop.”

            Xavier holds firmly onto my hand before striding over to the front desk. As we walk over, I see immediately who he has his sites set on and I can’t help but smile. It’s the woman who checked us in last night. I hold my head higher and throw my shoulders back. I don’t know what Xavier has planned, but this could be fun.

            He stops right in front of her.

            “Excuse me.”

            She glances up, her smile as fake and as pasted on as it was the night before. Her expression doesn’t change as she addresses us. She clearly doesn’t recognize us, dressed in clothing more appropriate for the caliber of this hotel than the night prior.

            “Yes, sir. Can I help you?”

            Xavier’s mouth turns upward ever so slightly and he’s all cool swagger.

            “Yes, I believe you checked us in last night. We’re the Williams party.”

            Her expression goes from fake enthusiasm, to momentary shock. Clearly, we are not the same vagabonds that she remembered checking in from the night before.

            “Oh, yes, Mr. and Mrs. Williams. Of course. How was your stay last night? I trust everything went well?”

            “It went over great. It went so well in fact we’d like to book the room for another week.”

            And the woman can barely mask her surprise at the request.

            “Oh, of course. I believe that room is available,” she starts, quickly checking her computer sounding flustered as she does so. “Yes, it is. I will definitely book the room in your name.”

            I can’t help but smirk at her. I can guess what the nightly rate of that suite is, and I’m sure that she’s shocked as shit that we’re booking it for an entire week. I know enough about Xavier that he can afford to pay for this room for another month if he wants to, but even if he can’t, I can and putting this woman in her place is definitely money well spent.

            “We may need it longer. We’ll let you know,” I add, smiling a brilliant smile at her. I can be just as fake as she can be; in fact, I know I’m better at it. “And would you be a dear and send up a bottle of champagne for Mr. Williams and I later this evening? Clos Du Mesnil if you have it,” I add smoothly. I will insist that this be my treat. At $750 a bottle, I can understand why her eyebrows raise surprisingly at my request.

            “Certainly, Mrs. Williams. I’ll do my best to find a bottle for you,” she manages.

            Xavier looks at me, a broad smile on his face.

            “Well, sweetheart, anything else?”

            “No, I think that’s everything. For now,” I add sweetly.

            “Thanks so much for your help,” Xavier addresses her, unleashing one of his million dollar smiles. When he smiles like that, he honestly can sweep any woman off her feet, he’s just so breathtakingly beautiful. And as I expect, she is caught off by his charms and stutters what sounds like a ‘thank you, have a nice day,’ but I can’t be sure.

            Hand in hand, Xavier and I walk away, giant smirks on our faces.

            “Are we really staying here for another week?” I ask him.

            “Maybe. I’m not sure. I just wanted to see the look on her face when I made the request.”

            I can’t help but giggle.

            “Her face was pretty awesome,” I have to agree.

            Xavier brings my hand to his lips and kisses it tenderly.

            “I think the best part of it was when she called you Mrs. Williams. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?”

            I look up at him, my eyes round and wide.

            “Xavier, I’m still in high school!”

            He looks at me like I’m crazy.

            “I know that. And you’re going to finish high school and finish college and whatever else you want to accomplish along the way,” he says and it sounds more like a declarative statement then an observation. “But make no mistake. I look at you and I see forever,” his eyes soften. “I’ve waited a long time to finally find you. I mean it when I tell you that this is it for me. Whenever you’re ready to make that next step, I’ll be here waiting.”