It was three o’clock in the afternoon when Ellie arrived home on the Saturday. She felt very unsatisfied with how things had gone on the weekend. She had intended to face Kate with her risky behaviour but she felt she had not got any closer to sorting out Kate’s dilemma. She was the only one who thought of Kate’s attack as serious. What was wrong with Emma and Susi, and Kate for that matter? How could they not think that a knifing be a serious event in anyone’s life and didn’t they see that what Kate was doing was dangerous and at the very least avoiding reality!
On the other hand, what Emma said as they were leaving this morning was right, it was Kate’s life and she had a right to live it how she wanted. And Ellie had her own issues to deal with.
While Kate and Susi went for a walk, Ellie finally had a chance to talk to Emma on her own. She wanted to share her concerns over her relationship with Sergio and it seemed not to be going anywhere and her recurrent thoughts about Mike.
Despite Emma appearing to have a very sheltered life and only interacting with a small network of people, she was still someone Ellie trusted when it came to matters of the heart. Emma had the luxury of being true to herself, in some part due to the fact that she didn’t have to compromise with others but this also gave her an ability to call things as she saw them. And she said she saw that Mike had made a deep impression on Ellie’s heart and despite initial observations they were very similar people, however, Sergio offered her security financially and they had a shared history that went back three years.
Ellie had never let on to her friends about the loss of her fathers money or property and she felt she had kept it quiet and continued on as if nothing had happened but there was gossip. Even though Ellie thought she had deflected the worst of the gossip about her dad being sued for misappropriating funds, she knew that some of the muck would have stuck, as they say ‘there’s no smoke without fire’.
It was easy to avoid Sergio over the last week, what with the Gregory James account requiring one to one attention and then the girls spa stay over Friday night and Saturday, but Sergio had wanted to catch up with her this evening. She was due at his apartment on his family estate in Kensington Gardens by 5pm.
Ellie threw some clothes in the washing machine as she unpacked and then re packed some clothes for the next day. She considered what she would need and not being sure whether she would be asked to dinner with his family decided to pack a smart outfit as well as the jeans and t-shirt she had already packed.
Throwing her overnight bag over her shoulder she collected her keys as she closed her front door behind her, heading toward Camden Rd to catch the next bus into Euston Station.
* * *
The family estate was located on Brunswick Gardens, it was a five storey Georgian house located on a large corner block. It was as equally as impressive as Lady Stanes’ however being located in Kensington Gardens, slightly more prestigious.
“Good afternoon, mam,” the butler drawled as he stood aside to let Ellie enter, “Sergio is in his wing, I trust you know the way.”
“Yes, thank you,” Ellie replied, racking her brain to recall his name, but then after briefly scrutinising his face she wasn’t sure she had met him before, “I’ll make my own way there.”
Her heels clicked on the marble tiles as she made her way down the main hallway to what was probably once the servants quarters down stairs.
“Hey, Sergio,” Ellie called as she opened the door to his apartment, the heavy wooden door opened to a bright airy space. Ellie always felt surprised by the lightness and the access to the rear garden as it was below street level at the front of the house. The large two bedroom apartment opened out to the beautifully landscaped gardens at the rear of the house.
The two glass patio doors were open and Sergio sat on a garden bench, patting the two family Doberman Pinschers. They came running toward her when they heard her voice and Ellie prepared herself to be jumped on and licked in welcome.
“Audi, Fendi! Down!” Sergio called as he followed the dogs in, “sorry, their hearing is much better than mine.”
“Mmm, so are their kisses,” Ellie commented as she leaned into him for one whilst wiping the dog saliva from her face with the back of her hand.
Ellie had decided that this weekend would be make or break time, after her short talk with Emma, she had to agree with Emma’s advice, time was too short to be wasting on a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere. Ellie and Sergio had been seeing each other for three years, Ellie exclusively with Sergio, and if she was honest she wasn’t sure she could say the same for Sergio. They had never spent more than a few nights at each other’s places, Ellie didn’t even have a spot for her toothbrush at Sergio’s. Her mind drifted back to Mike but she stopped herself, as she allowed Sergio to kiss her passionately.
“So how was your week, with George, Grahame…?” Sergio began.
“Gregory James! Good. I have been massaging egos all week, including last night and this morning.” Ellie responded, not realising that she had in fact continued her baby sitting job into the girls night away at the spa.
“Oh, sounds like fun! Did you get to have a stern talk with Kate?” Sergio’s accent was so smooth and Ellie knew she could easily listen to him talk all day.
“No, not really, again massaging egos. I tried to broach it a couple of times but Kate got defensive and the girls didn’t want to push her too hard. I didn’t really get anywhere with her and it was almost as if she wanted to protect the person who stabbed her but I think it was more that she wanted to pretend it didn’t happen and hope it would all blow over.”
“Well, she looked pretty rattled last Saturday at the pub!” Sergio commented.
“Really do you think?”
“Hmmm, don’t you remember, she kept looking over my shoulder at someone, that was why she was leaving in such a hurry.”
“Yeah, now you come to say that, I think you’re right. I didn’t remember until you said it just now. I was just so shocked at seeing her out after only seeing her in hospital the day before.” Ellie said, contemplating what Sergio had said. She tried to recall the moment when they saw Kate hurrying out of the pub, trying to recall faces she may have recognised.
“Well enough about Kate. What about us?” Sergio quickly picked Ellie up in his arms and carried her to one of the plush bedrooms.
Ellie squeaked in surprise and then relaxed as he easily put her down on the comfortable four poster bed. Beside the bed was a bottle of Champagne and a bowl of strawberries.
“I am going to feed my princess, before we begin our romantic evening.”
Ellie allowed herself to be wined and dined, feeling every bit the princess Sergio said she was.
* * *
The next morning, Ellie awoke with the sun streaming in through the plantation blinds, Sergio must have forgotten to close them when they go back from dinner the night before. She heard Audi and Fendi scratching on the outside of the patio doors in the lounge, she quietly climbed out of bed and shut the blinds and the bedroom door, trying to shut out the sound of the dogs.
Ellie remembered what she had to do today. She really should have had the discussion last night, but Sergio had planned such a perfect romantic evening she didn’t want to spoil it. Despite feeling very pampered she was still not able to get a commitment from Sergio about what they were doing today, so the conversation over breakfast this morning was not going to be an easy one, after all if the guy couldn’t commit to the next day together, she knew it was going to be difficult for him to commit to anything in the future. She sighed as she slid back into bed.
Sergio rolled over and pulled her to him, she snuggled into him, enjoying the closeness.
“Mmm, I think we should head down to the Gardens for breakfast. How does the Magazine Restaurant sound?” Sergio purred into her ear and before she knew it her body was responding to him, again.