A Rose for all occasions


Rose carries the unshakably conviction that her weekend is going to be a success. She skips Friday afternoon knock-off drinks with the office crowd in favour of starting her journey at 5pm. She heads out of the building, on a mission. Everybody has moments of clarity: remembering for example, how trees are bigger than people (and make much more satisfying noises than people ever will); how clouds are always above us when it’s light (it only pays to look up); that the best cure for malaise is a brisk walk, to clear the cobwebs. This was not one of those moments. This was a dried-biscuit-and-fireworks feeling in the pit of Rose’s stomach. She flashes a grin at the doorman on her way out, surprising even Ralph with its wattage. He waves as she passes and goes back to his magazine. Sometimes it feels to Ralph like he lives and died by Rose’s stunning smiles. Rose catches a cab to the airport. She has an hour and a quarter before her flight. Briefly, she entertains the idea of a last minuting shopping spree to splurge on a sexy outfit. As quickly as she thinks of it, Rose dismisses the idea. It doesn’t seem very smart to pretend to be someone she isn’t. Rose purses her full lips and absently runs a hand through her hair. Her brown tresses fall past her shoulders, catching the sun through her fingers, turning her highlights to streaks of gold. Her eyes are hidden behind her sunglasses. The cab driver thinks Rose is staring with some fascination at the scenery, in actuality she’s miles away, wondering what awaits her in Auckland. Rose decided weeks ago that the first night was not the right time to meet up with him. After half a dozen hours in transit, late at night, she knows she will be feeling neither fresh, nor amazing. Rose wants their first meeting to be dazzling. A lover’s first impression should never be dispassionate and she wants him to melt for her, this man she has only ever encountered by correspondence. Rose sighs. As lasting impressions go, the first is always the most deadly. She has planned things so their meeting is tomorrow, at 3pm. It means she rus escort has the whole night ahead of her, one more long night to let her imagination run rampant. Behind her glasses, Rose closes her eyes. At the airport Rose checks in and heads for the business lounge. She takes a salmon canapé and orders champagne. In the act of retrieving her novel from the depths of her pink handbag at her feet, Rose notices shoes parked on the carpet in front of her seat, shoes that connect to expensive trousers, encasing sturdy legs. She looks further up into azure blue eyes framed by dark brown hair. The overall effect is unsettling. She wonders if he has the slightest inkling as to how good- looking he is. He grins, stepping back. Her stranger looks away, raking his hand through his hair in a time-honoured habit. No, thinks Rose, this man has no idea he is devastatingly handsome. “Something I can help you with?” “My English is not good.” Rose bites back a sigh. His accent rolls and crests on the brittle English words. Italian? Spanish? His bedroom eyes explore her face. She can’t resist the urge to thrust out her hand, by way of a greeting. Her new acquaintance takes it in his warm, much larger hand and persuades her to her feet. Once there, he towers over her, right before he leans down to kiss both of her cheeks, gently, by way of a   greeting. Rose releases the sigh this time.  “Do you fly to Auckland?” “No. I’m going to Darwin. To surf.” Rose laughs, a full unselfconscious sound that lights up her face. She is oblivious to the effect she creates. The man sees a beautiful, uninhibited woman before him, laughing without restraint. Too bad it is at his own expense. He too bites back a grin, betrayed by his dimples. “You don’t surf in Darwin.” “But it is close to ‘Sunshine Coast’?” “No.” She shook her head. “No. It’s not.” He still hasn’t let go of her hand. Now he turns sit and kisses the inside of her palm. Rose shivers He smiles (only one dimple this time), blue eyes dancing.  “Can I get you a drink?” yenimahalle escort “Please, join me.” She gestures at her table and the empty seat opposite. “I have ordered champagne.” He saunters over to a small bar tucked away in a corner. Rose wonders what his name is. When he rejoins her, he carries a neat, straight scotch. “I’m not a regular visitor” She says into the silence as he sits. He is dressed like a man fresh from a business deal. He doesn’t wear a suit like any businessman Rose has ever seen, he exudes masculine strength. “No? I fly frequent. This is the first time after a conference, I decide to stay. I am meeting my girlfriend.” He coughs, excusing himself. “In the Northun Territories” Rose’s flute of bubbles arrives. She takes a sip. It’s lovely and cold. “That sounds like it will be fun.” Her voice is measured. He has a girlfriend, she thinks, what a shame. “Super-wonderful.” His full lips round on the unfamiliar words, fleetingly, she wonders if he could be German. “You have to excuse me. My English in Inta -mitten” He says it like a wonderful typewriter sound. Rose’s pretty lips turned at their corners. “I like you…” She lets the moment take hold. Rose takes a breath. “What is your name?” “Roman.” “Like the novel l? ” His expression is confused. “A novel?” “A book. Like a book. I think Roman is French for this.” “Ah. Yes.” Rose tries out his name, this new acquaintance, with the sparks in his eyes. “Roman?” “Mmm?” He takes a sip of his scotch, looking so delectable it knots her stomach.  Her mysterious stranger swirls the single malt in his ice-less glass. Rose can smell it too, peaty and strong. Suddenly she sits down. I want to be that scotch, Rose thinks. He sips, regarding her with amusement. “I sweep you?” “Yes.” The air from her lungs escapes in a rush. How could he possibly have known? She eyes her random stranger, her interest piqued. “Where are you from?” “You ask, beautiful lady. But you don’t know. I come from Naucalpan de Juárez ” “O.K.” Rose smiles hesitantly. He’s right; she has no idea where it is. “It does not matter.” His voice makes her brain freeze. He’s probably 25, she thinks, possibly 27. She is a few years older than he. “I have an idea.” He leads Rose by the hand, she brings her glass. They stare out the window at the Boeing 747’s lining the runway. In the silence Rose sneaks a glance at his fine features only to find him staring back. “You are the freshest flower.” “You’re English is adorable.” “Not happily so.” Roman sighs. “It is more… honest. I have no ways to give truth fancy-dress.” “I like this.” She sips her champagne. “Me or your drink?” His eyes sparkle. “Both.” Rose knows she is flirting, can’t seem to stop herself. Roman’s impossibly blue eyes pierce hers. “I have a suggest. We are in a different situation, if it is passed and will be no more. Come with me?” Rose sets her champagne aside and wipes her pretty lips. Roman shakes his head, raising his own glass. He drains it and sets it down. Roman takes her hand and leads her away from the bustle of the main waiting lounge. They walk down carpeted corridors that change from brown and gold, to maroon and red. It doesn’t mean anything, Rose tells herself. She appreciates the way her companion smells, like basil, she decides and fennel seeds and tangerine. She wonders if he knows he smells of heaven. For a brief moment Rose entertains the idea of explaining it to him. It could be a lengthy task. They arrive at a counter, a young man sits behind it, his complexion the colour of a Las Vegas holidays and his voice the timbre of honey. “Mr Aguilar.” “Thank you, Tim” Tim opens the door politely and they enter an exclusive lounge. The hardwood door closes behind them. Rose glances at her watch; she still has over half an hour before her boarding call. “Where are we?” Roman doesn’t answer. Three padded leather stools have been arranged at a small bar, the room is narrow, but not claustrophobically so. A couch lines one wall. In front of the couch is a large oval rug and this time, an atrium frames the view of the airport runway. Rose wonders about her acquaintance. Clearly he is no struggling backpacker. “A seat?” His chivalry is courageous. “Thank you.” She sits. Unselfconsciously, her escort sinks to his knees before her.

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