Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls or the characters or places associated with the show. I also don't own the song "Sleep All Day."
Quote References: "Sleep All Day" is by Jason Mraz and can be found on his album Waiting for My Rocket To Come.
A/N: Hey everyone, I am back (finally!) and I finally have enough time to post what I've been working on. Some background on Hotel Paper: I started this story the day after the Season Four Finale. Yes, I know, that was years ago. It begins when Rory leaves Stars Hollow for Europe with Emily and it ends...well you'll just have to see where it ends.
This is the story of Rory's European Summer, and what happened there she has kept a secret from the rest of the town. So basically this is just my idea of a kind of season between 4 and 5. A Season 4.5 if you may. I hope you enjoy.
And P.S., it I am going back to a Trory for a while. Although I did enjoy writing The Effects of Diamonds and Champagne, I find that I like to write Tristan just a little bit more than Logan. And in this story, I will try to make their interactions more realistic. As much as I love my older stories, I really kinda made everyone fall head over heels and put them in unrealistic situations. Not here. I promise.
Sorry to ramble, I just haven't had the power of the microphone in a long time! As always, enjoy the story and please feel free to click on the pretty purple button...
Chapter One: You and Me…and Hartford makes Three
"And he knows it's time to make a change here
And time to get away
And he knows it's time for all the wrong reasons
And time to end the pain…"
"Grandma, I thought you told me that Europe would be just you and me," Rory said once they were in the privacy of the elevator.
"What do you mean Rory, it is just you and me."
Rory searched for a polite way to contradict her grandmother. It was their first day in London, England. In fact, they had only landed less than an hour ago. To Rory's surprise Emily Gilmore had already greeted four of her friends in the hotel lobby.
"I didn't know that you were meeting friends here," she said.
"I'm not meeting anyone here," Emily answered, reaching out to press the button for their floor. "What room are we again?"
"Suite 32A," Rory answered, looking at their room card.
"As I was saying, it is just you and me. This hotel just happens to be a very common gathering place for some of my friends from the country club. We all like to give each other tips as to what hotels and restaurants are the best around the world."
Rory nodded, her stomach beginning to feel uneasy with dread. Her mother's words echoed through her mind.
"Emily is up to something. She has a motive."
"No Mom, she doesn't. Grandma just wants to spend the summer with me and show me some of the things that we didn't have the chance to experience when we were in Europe."
Lorelai shook her head. "There is so much more to it than that. I hate to break it to you Ror, but she's using you for something!"
Rory let out an inaudible sigh. She had left Hartford less than twelve hours ago, and already her mother's predictions had come true. But Rory had always known that Emily had selfish motives when she invited her granddaughter to Europe for an entire summer. She was always trying to one-up Lorelai, and taking Rory on a five star tour seemed to be the way to do it. And also there was Richard. Rory was the perfect excuse for Emily to escape her disastrous relationship.
Which, in essence, was the exact way Rory was using her grandmother. Wasn't she running away from Dean? Europe was her excuse, her escape route. Her mind had been racing with questions, guilt, and a longing to see Dean again. That was her first signal that she needed to get out of town. They needed space to sort out what had happened. Because deep down, Rory knew that if she stayed in Stars Hollow, it would only be a matter of time until she slept with him again.
So here she was, standing in the elevator with her grandmother; it had been less than twenty four hours since she had last been with Dean. Knowing that she was equally as guilty for using her grandmother, she accepted that this summer wasn't going to be just Emily and her. It would be Emily, Rory, and Hartford Society.
His parents had booked a suite. A three bedroom, three bath suite in the most luxurious hotel in the entire city. Why they hadn't just stayed in the estate they owned just half an hour outside the city, he didn't understand. When he had voiced his question his mother had simply replied: "All of our friends are staying here too."
Well if all of you friends jumped off a bridge…he thought, remembering the cliché his elementary school teachers used to use to discourage peer pressure.
"I wonder why they booked a three room suite," his girlfriend whispered seductively in his ear. "They know that you'll be spending the nights in my room."
He looked at her and smirked playfully. "Not only the nights," he whispered back. "We've both seen London a hundred times before. Screw sightseeing."
"So I can screw you," she whispered back. His smirk grew.
"Tristan, do you have the keys? I can't remember what floor we're on."
Tristan rolled his eyes and let go of Shelly so that he could find the electronic cards that opened the room. Shelly slipped a hand in his pocket and got it for him.
"32 B," she read.
Tristan's father pressed the button labeled 32, and the four members of the Hartford Society started the ascent to their room.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm bringing my suitcases into my room," Tristan answered.
James Dugrey looked at his son as if he were speaking to a child. "But Shelly is in the other room."
Tristan returned his father's ridiculous glare. "Which is why I am sleeping in this room."
James sighed in exasperation. "You know very well that this room is your mother's."
Understanding dawned on Tristan. "Don't tell me you and your wife won't be sleeping in the same bed tonight," he replied, in mock surprise. "Such a shocker. But you can tell me this, did you only invite Shelly so that you could book a three bedroom suite without causing suspicion among the gossip hungry people whom you call your 'friends?'"
"Enjoy yourself tonight," James answered. "Once the wedding is over, you'll be sleeping in different bedrooms until the end of your days."
"It'll make it easier for me to have my affairs," Tristan answered sarcastically, wanting his father to understand his meaning.
"Now you're thinking like a Dugrey," James replied, slapping his son on the back. He turned and crossed the suite, back towards the area that contained his own room.
Tristan sighed, rolling his eyes, and began to move his luggage into Shelly's room.
"Once the wedding's over," his father's voice echoed. The wedding. The damn wedding his mother and Shelly had been planning for months, even though there was no formal engagement. There was no ring, and in Tristan's eyes that meant that there was no engagement. But there was a business agreement between their parents. That apparently equaled an engagement, or a 'betrothal' as his mother and Shelly liked to call it.
Tristan hated that word, both the literal word and the reality that surrounded it. Betrothal was a match made at birth, a fixed engagement made by the parents. Even though he hadn't introduced Shelly to his parents until six months ago, he felt like his parents had been in control of the situation for far longer than he had.
'Betrothal' was also the word Tristan associated with his mother. All of his life, Rosalyn Dugrey had never been part of his life. She was the typical Hartford mother, a wife that brought a son into the world to inherit her husband's millions, or in their case, the Dugrey Billion. Once released from the hospital after birth, Tristan was handed over to a nanny, or as his mother preferred to call her, the Au Pair.
It wasn't until the "betrothal" that Tristan began to see his mother in places other than the Hartford country club. She was suddenly everywhere, with a stack of wedding magazines, books, and sample bouquets in hand.
At first Tristan was amazed and a little pleased that his mother cared enough to invest so much time into this unscheduled wedding. Then he realized that she wanted to plan the 'perfect' wedding, not for Shelly and Tristan's happiness, but to amaze her friends to the point that they would think of her as the best hostess, planner, and mother.
"What are you thinking about Baby?"
Tristan turned and saw Shelly watching him from the doorway of their room.
"I was wondering who won the game today," he answered. Their conversations were never deep and never crossed any emotional boundaries. This was one of his standard cover-ups for when he was thinking about how much he hated his life.
"Men," Shelly said, shaking her head, going back into the room they would now be sharing.