RUYAH LAID DOWN on the elegant king-sized Embassy bed and allowed the tears she’d been holding back for the last few hours of her old life to flow.
“Noah’s dead,” she said aloud. What was life going to be without him?
She thought of the old rambling farm house back in Bella Vista, Arkansas which was about twelve miles north of Bentonville, and the tears flowed heavier. It had been their home and now, like Noah, she’d never lay eyes on it, again.
He’d bought the place, anonymously, for Lisa Miller. She knew that. Noah had told her all about Lisa and how they’d spent weekends there before she’d betrayed him. But she’d driven out all traces of Lisa Miller and had made the place hers and Noah’s.
By this time of night, they’d have finished dinner, washed the dishes – together –and retired upstairs to their cozy bedroom.
Noah always let her shower first. He said he liked the way the bathroom smelled after she’d finished. So, to enhance that, sentiment, she’d lit an Iron Goddess of Mercy candle from the Spice and Tea Exchange in Bentonville and showered with Kiel’s Original Musk Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser. Funny, she chuckled inwardly, how Americanized she’d become. Youssef would not recognize, anymore.
But really, she understood, that her showering first, gave Noah a few minutes alone, to sit and think about all that he’d given up, while pretending he was watching Conan O’Brien.
So, while Noah showered, she prepared their king-sized bed by folding down the lilac and gray duvet cover and fluffing the sheets and pillows, and sneaking a few minutes of Jimmy Kimmel, who she thought way funnier than Conan while thinking about the first time she’d seen Noah, that day in Paris, in the clothing store, and how utterly shocked he’d been that she had gone with him willingly. She knew who and what was following her; Madison and his team. Red November, that’s what they called her.
She kicked her shoes from her feet and snuggled beneath the covers of the Embassy’s bed shoving her face into the softest pillows she’d ever felt. Neither Youssef nor Noah had ever cared about such things. Youssef’s first wife had furnished and decorated the apartment in Pairs. She’d only been there once. She and Youssef had slept in different rooms while there since it was his first wife’s permanent residence.
Twice a week she and Noah had had sex. As she lay in the cold, strange bed she longed for the weight of him on top of her, longed to feel the heat of his body between her legs, and the sound of his coarse hungry voice in her ear.
“Noah is dead,” she said aloud her to herself as she caressed her abdomen