“No time for sad eyes. Get packing, chérie, it’s time to get that violin for your Daimon.”
The moment we debarked the plane, Chantal called over an iconic black taxi. I didn’t have much time to admire anything around me as Chantal pulled me inside and told the driver to take us to Madarin Oriental at 66 Knightsbridge.
“Where are we going?” I asked Chantal.
“To the hotel to check in, and then we will meet the seller at the hotel’s bar. Don’t worry, chérie. We’ll get your violin.” Chantal smiled brightly.
“Are you always this confident?” I questioned her.
“Always. I have to be in my world,” she reassured me.
God, I hoped she was right and I would finally get one ticket back into Daimon’s life. My stupid pride prevented me from even allowing myself to step into his world without admitting I was no longer angry, that I missed him and that I loved him beyond reason. It had to be beyond reason. What sane woman would want a man who lied and manipulated her? I guessed all those years of punishing myself meant I was a glutton for those who treated me like shit. But then again, did Daimon ever really do that? Yes, he vented his anger at me, but because I was the only one who he let in.
“Why are you crying?” Chantal asked concerned as she took my hand into hers.
“I am?” I wiped my tears away, not realizing they were there until she pointed them out to me. “I’m just tired.” I nodded as I let my head fall back on the seat. I needed that violin. I needed an excuse. I needed Daimon.
“Listen to me, chérie; I will do the talking. You will just come with me. D’accord?” Chantal said as we both headed to the bar to meet the seller.
We had checked into the hotel. This place was ritzy; it felt odd being in such a grand place without Daimon; I’d only ever been to these rich places with him. This was his world and I wasn’t ready to walk into it, but for him I would. The British were different from us back home. An air of sophistication was apparent as they walked around the lobby. Their accents were divine, something new and exotic. I felt almost stupid when I said something to the concierge.
“Relax. I will handle the seller. You just look sexy,” Chantal said as we finally made it to the bar and looked around. A younger man waved at Chantal, signaling us to come over.
“Allô Shaun. How are you?” She extended her hand and shook his.
“Brilliant, now I have seen you.” Shaun winked. “This is Mr. Richard Cove.” Shaun introduced an older gentleman. He was laid back with his jeans, button-down shirt and short coat.
“Hello,” he said huskily.
“Addie, this is my colleague, Shaun Abbot from Christies here in London,” Chantal introduced.
“Hello.” I smiled.
“Blimey, Chantal, you should have told me she was a looker.” Shaun took my hand and kissed it. “Let’s sit down and order some drinks, shall we?” Shaun pointed to the booth for Chantal and I to sit. “What do you fancy, love?” he asked as he waved down a waiter.
“Glenmorangie, neat,” I said without hesitation. I needed a drink, like right then.
“Interesting,” Mr. Cox said as he narrowed his eyes at me. I was mesmerized by how much this man seemed in control. He sat back relax and at ease, yet a quiet power rippled through him making me feel slightly uneasy. The waiter came back with our drinks and placed them down carefully. Mr. Cove not once took his eyes off me as he glared. “Your name is Addie?” He seemed to be asking but already appeared to know the answer.
“Yes,” I answered nervously as I turned to Chantal to cue her in and let her take over negotiations.
“Monsieur Cove, if you would allow….”
“Addie what?” he ignored Chantal.
“Addie Evans,” I replied nervously.
“I would have never guessed it had it not been for the drink you ordered,” he said, seemingly angry.
“Guessed what?” I asked.
“You are Daimon Evans’ wife,” he noted.
“How did I know? He orders the same drink as you, Glenmorangie neat. Says it reminds him of his wife, Addie,” Mr. Cove hissed as he stood up. “This meeting is done. I am not interested in selling my precious Stradivarius to the likes of you, who is married to a dick like him.” Both Shaun and Chantal fell silent as they eyed each other.
“Mr. Cove,” I called after him as he walked through the bar. “Please, just hear me out,” I begged. But he wouldn’t stop, he continued to the lobby, heading for the door. I ran as quickly as I could and stopped right in front of him. “Please I’m begging you just hear me out,” I said, trying to catch my breath.