Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (32) It Happened at the Seaview Hotel (Part 03)
Francine was still wearing jeans but she now wore a white smock top decorated with tiny pink roses and she was made up to perfection and was already halfway through a large glass of white wine.
“Hi” he said as he leant in and kissed her cheek
Her hair was freshly washed and was subtly scented with the fragrance of apples, while her skin exuded the aroma of coconut and he lingered by her cheek, perhaps a little longer than he should have.
While he was in such close proximity to her his senses were assailed by the scent of just a little too much Channel, which was unusual for her, she was normally more subtle than that.
She was always a very subtle girl, or at least she had been when he’d worked with her.
“You look lovely” he said when he had come up for air.
“And you smell good enough to eat” he added to himself
“This is the only thing I had left that didn’t smell of baby sick” She confessed “but to make doubly sure I doused myself with perfume”
Well that cleared up for him the little mystery of the unsubtle scenting.
“You smell delicious” he said “not a hint of baby sick”
“Honestly?” she asked
“Honestly” he replied just as he caught the barman’s eye “Do you want another?”
“Hmm yes please” she replied and drained her glass
When the drinks appeared they made their way to the restaurant, it was a walk they had done many times before during his mentoring days.
It was a favourite of Iain’s and they had stayed at the Seaview Hotel many times before and had eaten in the restaurant more often than not.
But that was in the distant days when he was mentoring her in his avuncular role and fancying the pants off her.
Iain and Frankie sat in the restaurant and as they ate their starters they talked about the old days, the colleagues they both knew, mutual friends and how both their careers were going.
However what Iain really wanted to talk about was her, the personal stuff, what she had been up to in her life over the 18 months since they had last met and the two years since they worked together, and more importantly who was in her life.
“What about you?” she asked taking him by surprise as he tried to frame that same question in his own head.
“What?” he asked
“What about you?” she repeated this time with more than a hint of a slur “are you spoken for”
To his amusement he watched as she appeared to rerun the question in her head and seemed alarmed by her realization of what she had actually said
“What I meant to say is… um… err… are you… erm…”
It tickled him to watch her struggle and getting more flustered but decided to put her out of her misery.
“I’m still single”
“Oh” she responded trying to appear indifferent “still not met the right girl?
“I wouldn’t say that exactly” he replied but didn’t elaborate, the truth of the matter was he had met the right girl but she didn’t want him.
“What about you then?” he asked
“Still footloose and fancy free” Francine replied