"Dr Cullen." A feminine voice called out to me. I turned to find Esme leaning against the steel railing of the bridge as she smiled at me.
I exhaled out a breath as I walked towards her, shaking my head in disapproval. I placed my arms around her and held her close. "Darling, please don't ever do that." I said in a voice that almost came out as a whisper.
"Afraid I might get lost?" She teased.
"I mean it Esme." The words came out as a plea rather than a warning.
"Love, you know I shall never be lost to you." Esme said sweetly as she leaned and kissed my cheek.
I tried suppressing a smile but failed. I leaned close and kissed her lips gently; tugging her closer as we continued our walk.
The first scent we inhaled as we entered the Louvre, was the century-old scent of oil paint permeating the walls and ceilings. As far as we could smell, the scent was there - distinct and precise as the scent of old marble which was located in a different part of the museum. I watched Esme wander dreamily into the wonderland of art.
There were several tourists along with their guides, weaving their way in groups as they stared at one painting after another.
In another portion of the cavernous hall, I immediately noticed a preponderance of excited school children in a small group. Their teacher was quite young, and seemed rather anxious as she ushered them to another part of the Louvre.
It was my 2nd time to visit the famous Musée du Louvre. My first visit had been brief and contrived. I was barely able to enjoy the experience. But on this particular visit, it was entirely different.
I still could not believe that this historic and grand place contained nearly 35,000 objects from the pre-dawn of man up till the 21st century.
They were exhibited to an area of approximately 60,600 square meters. They were all catered for and handled with the utmost care. They were like porcelain children in a way, all so delicate and unique. Timeless pieces of art; each so profoundly wonderful and lovely to behold, that to lose one would almost be unimaginable to fathom.
The gargantuan shrine of art was housed inside the great Palais du Louvre. Originally, the palace itself was built as a fortress in the late 12th century during the reign of Philip II. I can only imagine the untainted beauty it held before it entered the whole new universe that is modernism.
I marveled at the eclectic array of pictures that were being displayed. It ranged from delicate landscapes, saints and holy personalities, to surrealism.
It was absolutely magnificent to see. The transition of their colors was intriguing, the arrangement was precise yet subtle.
I was suddenly reminded of Pygmalion and Galatea.
I was passing by another portrait when I paused to admire another surrealism painting. It seemed to have a consuming effect on me as I stared deeper into its colors; as if the colors themselves were the language of the painter himself. It was strange, I felt as if I was in a dream within a half forgotten dream, it had no ending nor a beginning.
I realized that Esme had wandered quite deeper into the museum, I was already missing her company, and so I followed the trail of her scent which led me to the part of the Louvre that contained Greek and Roman sculptures.
I found my caramel-tressed lover admiring a famous sculpture. It was the sculpture of Eros reviving Psyche with his kiss.
I watched the expression on her beautiful face as I kept myself hidden from her peripheral.
There was a deep imbedded sense of admiration in her eyes as she studied the sculpture in front of her; her eyes carefully tracing every line, every curve of the two figures in passionate ecstasy.
A wind had blown in from an open window in the far left corner of the room, and I knew my cover had been blown. Literally.
As soon as she caught my scent, she turned to look at me.
A burning desire in her eyes as she spoke. The words were innocent in both sound and form, but the meaning was something entirely different.
"We should return to the hotel." She said softly.
There was no denying it.
When we returned to the hotel, our minds were still tingling with excitement from the day's adventures, but our bodies were now ready for a different kind of exploration.
We needed no map.
No stars to guide our way.
No moon to light our path.
We had made love for the rest of the day - and well into the night.
We were lying beneath the seven seas of white blankets above us, her hair like sand. Her breath against my chest, my skin still stinging from the traces of her touch. Our naked bodies carefully wrapped with our own ivory limbs.
The scent of Paris had entered from a crack in our balcony door. Its scent was cool yet sweet, iridescent with the smell of the morning air.
It was still early, the remnants of night slowly melting away with the inception of dawn. Little by little, the tender golden light of day was beginning to slip inside our hidden haven. My eyes were closed for several hours, and now, the daylight was tugging at my lids to awaken.
The first thing I saw was Esme. She was lying on her stomach; her back deliciously bare all the way down to her hips as her hair was sprawled across the pillows.
I knew she was awake.
And like a sculptor, I ran my fingers lightly across the small of her back and brought my fingers lower; carving the voluptuous mountains that was her hips.
I moved closer and pressed my mouth on her naked shoulder, painting her skin with my kisses.
She stirred and turned to look at me.
"Good morning," She said, smiling.
"Good morning, love."
I moved closer to her and rested my head within the soft white plains of her back.
I was about to say something else, when the telephone on the night stand began to ring.
I slid over to my side of the bed as I picked up the receiver.
"Bonjour, Monsieur Carlisle. Zer' is a Monsieur Johnson un call for you." Said the concierge.
"Oh, yes. Put him through."
I felt a pair of restless fingers probing my back, followed by a tender pair of lips kissing the bare skin that was exposed.
I quickly covered the phone's mouth-piece. "Esme," I said rather helplessly,
I heard her giggle as she buried herself beneath the sheets.
"Carlisle?" The elderly voice on the line spoke.
"Hello, Mr. Johnson. I take you received the cable I sent."
"Yes. I'm so glad you were able to make it. Listen, the conference will start tomorrow evening at 9 sharp at the Crillon. I figured our colleagues would enjoy a little French dining to compensate for the boring opening speech I'm going to give before dinner." said Mr. Johnson, chuckling briefly into the phone.
"I understand, sir." I replied, amused.
"Good. That's settled then. See you tomorrow Carlisle."
"You too, sir."
"And enough with the whole sir thing. I'm old enough as it is, call me John."
"Thanks, don't be late."
I heard a click on the other end and returned the phone back on the nightstand.
I turned to look at Esme who resurfaced from the sheets and still had traces of mirth on her face.
"You were a very naughty girl." I said. My English accent was unbbidenly slipping through the sentence.
I placed a light peck on her lips.
"What did he say?" Esme asked as she sat up, covering her naked breasts with the bedsheet. She was toying with the stray hair on my forehead.
"Well the conference is tomorrow." I said, I was feeling a little pensive.
"What shall I do while you're gone?" She replied, leaning back seductively.
I looked at her intently, "Will you wait for me?"
She looked at me and said, "Always."
I made a move to get up, when Esme tugged at my hand.
"Tell me." She said.
"About what, love?"
"Tell me a line from your Hippocratic oath."
I looked at her expectant eyes and smiled fondly.
"I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity. I will respect secrets confided in me, even after the patient has died. I will maintain the utmost respect for human life. I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor."
She looked at me with knowing eyes.
I reached for her hand through the sheets, "Since the conference is tomorrow, I"ll make it up to you with a little surprise."
"How about after the conference?" She teased, a single eyebrow raised.
"That, too." I made a move to get up, "Get dressed, we're going out."
I saw out of the corner of my eye that same look of child-like glee, that intense look of searing curiosity.
"Where are we going?"
Our impromptu travel to Paris was the best impulsive decision we ever made.
I took her to Montmarte. One of the best places to go to for art, culture and beauty. The artistic center of Paris.
The streets were paved with artists and their easels. The scent of freshly brewed coffee in the air, mixed with the scent of trees, chalk, and of course paint.
It was beautiful. They were artists from all walks of life. From the old to the young, all paying homage to their craft. Their colorful canvasses decorated the streets with life and light, telling their stories from the point of view of their brushes.
As we passed through the busy streets, we of course stopped at one of the most beautiful churches in the world - Sacrè Coeur.
I can still remember the scent of roses as we knelt in one of aisles in prayer. Its beauty inside the great basilica was beyond compare. I could see the mosaic image of Jesus above me in eternal splendor as I prayed. It gave me renewed peace, and hope. Somehow, God was telling me I was here, alive in a way. And that he would never leave me. Believing with your heart, not with your eyes.
I glanced over at my darling wife. She was in deep prayer, her lips smiling.
Till today, I still wonder what prayer she said on that day, decades ago.
He was driving home. Finally after all those hours away from her would end. The morning sun was hiding from the earth, but its rays were slipping in from beneath Grey cotton.
She would be waiting for him.
He gently gripped the steering wheel as he carefully maneuvered the vehicle; gliding through the road like a great ship at sea.
He would be home soon.
A/N: Hey guys! I know it took me a while to update, but its been really hard without my old computer. My phone saved me though, I've been writing on it like crazy, haha. Anyways, an update won't be too far behind. I love you all! You know what to do. ;) Pardon if there are any typos. _