This is the opening chapter of the first book 'Towering Expectations' in the trilogy, The Ville Rose Series. All three books are available on Amazon.
15 Rue d’Embarthe, Toulouse
He was still in bed. It was four o’clock in the afternoon and he was still in bed.
Patricia opened the door to their bedroom in the flat on the third floor of the house in Rue d’Embarthe and frowned. Normally, it would have amused her and she’d have climbed in next to him and they’d have made love. Instead, today, she was irritated by his laziness.
“Have you been in bed all day, Gabriel? Haven’t you even been to one lecture? You must be the laziest student this university has ever had the misfortune to educate!” She turned away with an impatient sigh and went through to the kitchen to make tea. She heard him chuckle and as she busied herself with taking cups from the cupboard, she felt his strong, brown arms encircle her waist. He pulled her into his nakedness and kissed her neck and shoulders. Her simple sundress left her arms and shoulders exposed to the afternoon sunshine of a spring day in southern France. His lips ran down one arm and then he was snuggling into her neck again, nudging away her long, dark hair.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” he mumbled into her softness, “keeping our bed warm and ready for you. Come on, come back to bed; it’s been a long day without you…” She shrugged him off and took her cup of tea over to the sofa. She sank into it, an uncomfortable twinge in her stomach making her wince. “What is it, Patou?” he said, the concern in his voice very real. “Are you OK?”
They were speaking in French, as always. Because she was at the University of Toulouse - Jean Jaurès to improve her knowledge of French, she relentlessly avoided using her own language. He had just completed a one year course on Vinification - although the word ‘completion’ was incongruous. Gabriel bitterly resented his time at university and regarded the course as a complete waste of time. Born and bred on a vineyard in Albas in the Cahors region, he said that the only way to learn more about growing grapes was to work alongside the men in the fields. However, his parents had insisted that he should take the course and because he’d met and fallen in love with Patricia just weeks after the first term had started, he had relaxed and enjoyed his year in Toulouse. There’d been no further complaints and his parents were happy, thinking that that their son had settled down to his studies.
“I’m OK, just tired,” Patricia answered, her eyes closing. Tall and beautiful, her olive skin was tanned from the Toulouse sun. She stretched out her long, bare legs and eased off her sandals with her toes.
“Then come back to bed and sleep in my arms,” Gabriel said, sitting down beside her. “And when you awake, I’ll make passionate love to you,” he chuckled, pulling her into his arms. She pushed him away gently and looked up at him, her astonishing green eyes filling with tears.
By Gillie Bowen
From: United Kingdom
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