After giving me a ride home Sunday morning, I next heard from Hunter on Thursday night. I was at the office working late on a presentation I was giving the president, Mr. Harris, and the senior account reps the following week, and was debating responding to his text message asking me what my plans for the night were. I'd sent him the same text message the night before, and had been a little annoyed that I hadn't gotten a response. I decided to call him and see what he had in mind—after all, I could always say no. Deep down I knew that I should have stayed at the office and gotten a little more work done—this was my chance to really make an impression and separate myself from my peers in the office. Unfortunately, Hunter wanted me to go out for a couple drinks with him, and wouldn't take no for an answer. He said he'd be waiting outside of my office and to come down in fifteen minutes.
I took my time shutting down my computer and packing up to leave, probably taking more like twenty-five minutes than fifteen. As I was getting into the elevator on my way down, my phone started ringing and it was Hunter. I bitch-buttoned him, and proceeded down to the lobby. After his call, I exited my building expecting Hunter to be waiting for me, but didn't see his car anywhere. I began fishing through my bag for my Blackberry to call and see where he was.
"Hey hot stuff, need a ride?" a heckling voice called from a grey BMW X5 that pulled up to the curb. I ignored it at first, and continued searching for my Blackberry. I found it as it was beginning to vibrate—Hunter of course.
"Where are you?"
"Turn around, hot stuff!" Looking up I realized it was Hunter in the BMW.
"Hey there," I said opening the passenger door, "what happened to your Range Rover?"
"Oh that piece of shit?" he said sarcastically, "That was my mother's. I was borrowing it while I was waiting for this baby to arrive. You like?" he said in a quick joking way, but something about him made me feel he was looking for approval. It later occurred to me that the crowd he ran with bought Porsches and Bentleys.
"You can't go wrong with a BMW. How long have you had it?"
"I literally just picked it up. I thought I'd call you and see if you wanted to go for a joy ride with me and get a bite to eat?"
"Umm, okay I guess. What happened to going to get a couple drinks?"
"I had a change of mind on the way over."
"Do you mind if we stop by my place so I can change first."
"Of course. I was going to suggest it."
"Why, not approving of what I'm wearing?" I asked sarcastically. Hunter rolled his eyes in response. As always, he looked very delectable in a pair of dark jeans and a fitted t-shirt.
We drove to my apartment building, amazingly finding a parking spot half a block down the street. Hunter came upstairs with me, and I realized that it was the first time he'd been to my apartment. I gave him a quick tour of the place before I changed from my suit and into a pair of corduroys and a t-shirt. Hunter sat contently on my bed, I'm sure enjoying the show as I stripped down to my underwear. Somehow I managed to be in and out in under fifteen minutes.
I picked up Hunter's iPod once we were in the car, scrolling through the long list of artists looking for something good to put on. Feeling that I was being watched I looked over to meet his smiling face.
"What?" I asked.
"Nothing," he replied.
"Then why are you looking at me like that?"
"All smiley like you just were."
"Just smiling at you. You had a really cute look on your face as you were concentrating on my iPod. You were biting on your lip," he said tussling my hair a little.
Becoming self-conscious, I looked back at the iPod, making sure not to bite on my lip. Hunter laughed, and then put the car into gear. Fifteen minutes into our drive we were speeding down 23rd Street past the Lincoln Memorial, over the Memorial Bridge and then merging on the highway in Virginia. I settled into a comfortable position in the seat—for some reason I think it's very comfortable to sit with my left ankle tucked under my right knee. I wasn't paying much attention to where we were going, figuring that Hunter had an idea. However, after a few minutes of looking out the window and watching the scenery go by, I did notice that wherever we were going, it was at a high rate of speed. I looked over to the dashboard and noticed that the speedometer was hovering near 90 miles per hour.
"Are we in a hurry to get somewhere?"
"No, just having fun playing with my new toy. Do you want me to slow down?"
"I'm happy as long as you don't kill me."
"Good," was all he said as he glanced in my direction with a devilish grin and then I was jolted back into the seat as he floored the throttle and we accelerated to a speed that I'm sure would have had him arrested had he been pulled over.
"Don't worry, this is Virginia. This is my state," he said matter of factly.
"What does that mean exactly?"
"Never you mind."
His comment about Virginia allowed conversation turn to where we grew up. I found out that he was from outside of Richmond, and had spent much of his youth between there and Washington—the way he spoke it almost seemed as if he had the city in his blood. I told him I was from the north shore of Boston. He had two siblings, both of whom were older than him, and a few dogs. I have an older sister, and a dog, which my mother treats like a younger brother—and much better than she ever treated my sister and me. I found out that, of course, in high school he'd been class president, valedictorian, and co-captain of the lacrosse team. As he went on, he was starting to sound a little too perfect.
"Did you live in the Barbie Dream House too, Ken?" I asked sarcastically.
"Oh shut up. Though I may look perfect, I'm really not," he replied with a smile.
"Yeah? Name something."
"I'm an awful speller, I chew my fingernails, and it appears I'm turning into a pedophile." I laughed at the last imperfection.
"That reminds me, I have to ask this and it's kind of embarrassing," I said a little sheepishly.
"You've never expressly said it, and I've kind of been wondering, but how old are you?"
"You think that's embarrassing for you? I have to admit it's a little more embarrassing the fact that you had to ask," he said laughing. "I'm 28."
"You sound a little relieved to hear that," he said inquisitively.
"Yeah, I'm not going to lie. Part of me has feared that you're over thirty. You don't look it, but you're a pretty successful guy for and I was afraid it was a little too successful for the twenty-something," I replied eliciting a laugh from him.
"At the beginning of that sentence, the first thing that popped into my head was `Oh God, do I really look thirty?'"
"I'll be nice and hold my tongue," I state with a grin.
"So now the old man jokes are going to start?" he joked.
"Who said that hadn't already?"
"You best behave boy. We both know you don't want me to pull this car over!"
I had been so involved in our conversation that the mention of the car made me realize we were still barreling west down the highway, and it was starting to get late.
"Where are we, I thought we were just going for a short drive?" I asked a little concerned.
"We're on I-66 West."
"OkayÉ Well are we going to turn around soon?"
"What do you mean, no? Where are we going? I thought we were just going for a quick drive somewhere."
"Yes and no. I may have bent the truth a little to get you in the car with me. However, I'm not at liberty to discuss our destination for it is a secret."
"You've got to be kidding me!" I exclaimed getting a little annoyed.
"Hey calm down, it'll be fun," he said tussling my hair.
"Hunter! I have to be to work tomorrow morning," I said now really annoyed.
"Just call out sick, it'll be fine."
"Hunter! I've called out sick too many Fridays, and I really don't want to deal with my boss."
"Hmm, well let's fix that. One second," he said and picked up his Blackberry, began to scroll through his contacts until he found the correct number and then dialed.
"What are you doing?" I asked nervously as he sat silently with the phone to his ear.
"Hi, Tom, it's Hunter Blume. I realized I'm going to have to cancel our lunch Tuesday, I think I'm heading out to the West Coast, but we'll catch up another time next week. Also, please excuse the absence of one of your interns, Phillip Beauchamp, tomorrow—Friday. He's a family friend, and he's been feeling home sick, so I've kidnapped him for the weekend," Hunter said in a voicemail.
"You did not just leave a voicemail for Tom Harris?"
"That I did."
"You've got to be shitting me!" I said shocked and not completely sure whether to be pissed or not.
"I told you, I'm the all powerful K Street Lobbyist."
"I can't believe you just did that. That's likeÉ" I said trialing off, not sure how to express in words what I was feeling.
"A thank you is all that is necessary."
"I'm not sure if what you just did was a good thing," I responded with a serious tone.
"Trust mean, stud, you'll thank me later for that. Just relaxing."
We sat in silence, for a little while. I was a little pissed he just called my boss, and in my head I was going through the ramification. My first thought was that Tom Harris was going to think I was trying to use connections to get ahead and was going to hate me. The second thought was a little more relieved that everything was going to be fine and it wasn't going to mean anything. The third thought was that Tom Harris actually hated Hunter but was just nice with him to keep seeing each other around town civil and that I was going to fired—I have to admit, this one was a little neurotic. My last thought was that even if Hunter and Tom Harris were good friend and things worked out amazingly for me, would it always be nagging in the back of my head that my success was only because of a phone call Hunter made for me? The worst part was that Hunter now seemed to have a smug grin stretched across his lips.
We merged exited the highway and my mind left my issues with work and began to wonder where we could be going now that the roads became much more scenic. Conversation didn't pick up much after Hunter's phone call. I had a moment when I realized that I didn't know Hunter all that well, and was wondering what I was doing driving through scenic Virginia with him. After all, we'd only fooled around a few times—we still hadn't actually gone on a date yet. From my irritation from the phone call and this new realization, I wasn't as interested in chitchat. I was about to ask how much longer it was going to be until we reached our destination when we reached a small town, and after a couple of stop signs Hunter turned off the road and into the driveway of a very cute colonial era house.
"Is this your house?" I asked.
"I wish! No, this is the Inn at Little Washington."
"What is it? A bed and breakfast?"
"You've never heard of it?"
"Nope, I can't say that I have."
"Well then you're in for an treat."
"With the chance that I might get fired tomorrow, I certainly hope so."
"Are you still mad about that?" Hunter asked with sympathy in his eyes, placing his hand on my knee again.
"I was never mad, a little annoyed and taken aback, yes."
"I'm sorry then, but honestly you have nothing to worry about," he said and then leaned forward to kiss me.
"Now lets go eat some amazing food!" he said exiting the car.
Whereas the exterior was quiet quaint, crossing the threshold into the Inn was like being teleported to France. The place was exquisitely decorated and reminded me of a couple chateaus in the French countryside I've been to with my grandparents, but with a cozier colonial feel.
"If I'd known we were coming here, I'd have worn more than this. I feel really underdressed," I said to Hunter.
"I don't think anyone can ever say they're underdressed when they're wearing an Herm¸s belt," Hunter replied looking down at my waist. I merely mumbled a response, and began walking around the lounge area we entered into.
"Ahh Hunter, glad you could make it tonight. I haven't seen you around here in a while," an odd-looking, reddish haired man entering from a side hallway said to Hunter.
"Thank you Patrick. It's been a couple months, but I just couldn't resist the urge for one of your masterpieces tonight," Hunter replied.
"Is it just you tonight?"
"No, it's two tonight," Hunter said gesturing toward me. I smiled toward the friendly figure.
"Oh, I didn't see you there. Welcome to the Inn at Little Washington, I'm Patrick O'Connell, one of the owners."
"It's a pleasure to meet you," I said extending my hand to shake his.
"Well, if you'd like to follow me toward the kitchen I can have you seated and eating in no time," Patrick said turning to what I assumed was the way to the kitchen. The rest of the Inn that I saw was just as exquisitely decorated. The beauty of the place made me feel very calm and at peace, like there was nothing wrong with the world. We entered the kitchen area, and Patrick showed us our table. Hunter ordered a bottle of Veuve, and we were left to ourselves.
"This place is amazing!" I exclaimed.
"Definitely worth missing a day of work, right?"
"If the food is anything like the dˇcor, then I hope it's worth being fired for."
"Now that's what I like to hear," he stated with a laugh.
"After all, you have always said you've wanted me to be your concubine."
"I never said the word concubine. Though it'd be nice to have you in bed with me more often," he replied playing along.
"I'm only a phone call away, you know."
"Touchˇ!" he said smiling.
The sommelier came over with the champagne, greeting Hunter and introducing herself to me. Before opening the Veuve, she offered us other champagnes, but we felt the Veuve was good enough.
"Do you know what `veuve' means in French?" I asked Hunter.
"I do not, no."
"It means `widow.'"
"Interesting. So Veuve Clicquot means `Widow Clicquot?'"
"Yes. The Clicquot's started a company that owned a vineyard and some other stuff. His wife's name was Ponsardin, hence Clicquot Ponsardin, the full name of the wine label. He died, leaving her a widow and it was she that started focusing solely on producing wines, specifically sparkling wine, and helped make champagne the preferred spirit of the royal court."
"I'm very impressed."
"So what's the story behind this place? Why have I never heard about it before?"
"Well, I don't know too much of the history of the place. I think they started the Inn around thirty years ago. It's won a bunch of awards, was one of the first establishments to be five-star rated, and the restaurant is one of the best in the world. It's definitely my favorite—Patrick is absolutely brilliant in the kitchen."
"It sounds like you come here often, no?"
"I try to come about once a month. I usually just come for dinner and then head back to the city, but sometimes, like tonight," he said with a wink, "I spend the night."
After a couple glasses of bubbly, I started to feel warm and fuzzy. When our food arrived I almost died. It was by far the best meal I've ever had—each course outdoing its predecessor. On top of it, we'd ordered a second bottle of champagne, and I was beginning to get a little drunk. Between the champagne, the superb food, and the great company, all in all, the world was absolutely perfect for that hour or so while we ate in that divine kitchen. Once we were finished eating, I sat lethargically, not wanting to move. Patrick came with the bill, and Hunter began fishing for his wallet in the pocket of his jeans. I pulled mine out as well, and handed Patrick my Amex card.
"Whoa there, bud. Dinner is on me," Hunter said handing me back my card.
"No, split the bill please. I insist," I said handing my card back to Patrick.
"Are you sure? It's going to be a little hefty," Hunter said politely.
"I don't think anyone can ever say a bill is too hefty for someone wearing an Herm¸s belt," I replied with a smug grin.
"I knew I was going to eat that comment sometime," he laughed.
"Honestly, it's not a problem. The platinum card goes to my grandparents, who I'm definitely going to have to call and tell to come visit just for dinner here. However, if you ever see me reach for the Amex gold card, make me think twice. My parents can get a little crabby about what I put on it."
When I it was time to sign the receipt, I winced a little and made a mental note to make sure to call my grandmother tomorrow and say hello. We thanked Patrick for our fabulous meal, and then a petit brunette lead us upstairs. The room we were to sleep in was, like the rest of the Inn, impeccably decorated. Hunter went into the bathroom, and I did a quick loop around the sitting area, taking in all the details. There was a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington hanging above the fireplace, which I wouldn't be surprised to be an original. Eventually I made it to the bed, laying back as exhaustion was finally beginning to set in. I had been in such wonder of my surrounds that I forgot it was a little after midnight, and between the long day at work and the champagne, my eyelids were getting a little heavy.
Hunter returned to find me half asleep, sprawled out on my back and pulling me closer to the side of the bed, leaned down and kissed me on the lips. It was very gentle, but very enjoyable. We didn't say anything for a minute. I smiled up at him from my comfortable position on my back.
"Thanks for bringing me out here," I said sincerely.
"Thanks for coming out with me, it's always more fun with company."
"Something tells me I'm going to be coming here a lot."
"Ut oh, we've got another addict on our hands."
"I'd died a very happy man if I could have one of those truffles and a glass of champagne every day."
"I'm sure we could get a few more brought up here if you want," he kindly offered.
"Mmm, they were delicious, but I ate way too much, and I'm exhausted."
"Yeah, you look like you're having a hard time keeping your eyes open,"
"I am. You got me a little drunk."
"I did? You're the one that ordered the second bottle of champagne."
"Don't you want to take advantage of me?"
"I might be up for that," he said and then leaned down and kissed me again.
He kissed me tenderly, but I wanted more. He quickly got the message and stood up from his seat at the edge of the bed, kicked off his driving mocs, pulled his t-shirt up over his head, and then jumped onto the bed, pinning my hands above me head. I struggled for a moment, but gave into his demands as he began to kiss my neck and then started nibbling on my ears. I was putty in his hands. He kissed his way from my neck down my chest to my stomach. The slight day's scruff he on his face was driving me crazy, which he knew of course and held my hands tightly to my sides as he torturously kissed every inch of my stomach. When his lips finally reached mine again, I devoured him. We continued to kiss for a few minutes, as I tried to free my arms from his vice like grip.
"God you're sexy," I said a little breathless once he finally let go and rolled onto his back next to me.
"You too, stud," he said smiling. I rolled slid over next to him and then rolled onto my stomach so that my head was resting on his chest.
"You're a very interesting person, Philip."
"Yeah? How so?" I said, my eyes closed enjoying being close to him.
"Well first off, you seem like a very down to earth guy."
"What's so interesting about that?"
"The interesting part is that at the same time as being pretty down to earth, you seem like a very competitive intern at one of the best government affairs firms in the country, you wear Herm¸s belts, and known the history of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. People like that aren't very down to earth, and trust me, I'm around them all day," he stated sincerely. I turned my head so that I could see his face.
"Thank you, Hunter."
"You're welcome," he replied with a smile.
"Does this mean I'm a freak?" I joked eliciting a laugh from the bother of us. We laid there in silence for several minutes. I was running the tips of my fingers around his stomach, and enjoying the feeling of his fingers running through my hair.
"Where do your grandparents live?" he asked, breaking our silence.
"Before you said that you were going to have to call your grandparents and tell them to fly in to eat here. Where do they live?"
"Oh really? So you are French after all?"
"From your last name I'm assuming your father is French?"
"Correct, actually my legal name is Philippe, but I've always gone by Phillip."
"Is this why you know what `veuve' is in French?"
"No, my French is atrocious. It was my actually grandfather that told me about veuve."
"And why does he know about the history of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin?"
"You enjoy saying the full name now that you know what it means, don't you?" I asked, getting a chuckle from Hunter that I felt as well as heard. "He originally worked for Louis Vuitton, and then later for LVMH when it came into existence. He decided it would be fun to dabble in the management at Veuve for a little while when LVMH acquired it, but it was short lived—at the time I don't think he realized how much different wine and leather good are."
"Wow, that's really cool."
"Yeah, it's actually how he and my grandmother met. Meaning Louis Vuitton, not Veuve. She worked at Herm¸s, hence the belt, wallet, and cologne—she's still got connections—and they met through the industry."
"You'd be amazed how often that happens."
"Not my parents, they're fields of work couldn't be more opposite," I said with a chuckle
"Let me guess your father is a doctor and your mother a painter."
"Close, but no. My mother is a lawyer and my father makes furniture?"
"Yes, he's big into designing with wood. The bed and arm chair in my room are both his creations."
"You're bed is gorgeous. I'll have to take a better look at it another time."
"So yeah, that's my family history in a nutshell."
"It sounds very interesting. Though, now you're going to have to hook me up with some good shit."
"Definitely. You have anything in mind?"
"To be honest, I've had my eye on a new Herm¸s briefcase. I was thinking about stopping at Tyson's on the way home and possibly getting it."
"I don't know if I can get it for free, but I'm sure at a discount."
"Hey, you're talking to a guy who would have paid full price."
"I'll put in a request."
Our conversation was placed on hold when I got up to use the bathroom. I had broken the seal earlier at dinner, and the rest of the booze must have worked its way through my system. When I returned to the bed, Hunter's eyes were fighting to stay open as mine had been before. I leaned down and kissed him softly on the lips.
"I wish I wasn't so tired, I've been wanting to get you naked all week," he said with a smile after he yawned.
"I'm not going to lie, I've been thinking about Sunday morning most of the week myself," I said pulling me t-shirt over my head. "It was a little distracting at work," I continued, sliding my pants down, and then crawled onto the bed, again kissing Hunter on the lips.
"I'm only a phone call and a few blocks away, you know" Hunter replied smugly as be began unbuckling his belt. Once he had the belt situated, I helped disrobe his jeans. Hunter rolled onto of me, kissing me for a few minutes before he rolled off onto my right side.
"Need anything before I can the lights?" he asked.
"I'm good sailor, thanks."
"Where did that come from?"
"I honestly have no idea."
"Good night, stud," Hunter said turning off the light and then pulling me close against his chest.
"Good night, sailor," I replied. I kind of liked the sound of it.