“Yes but it’s a good tired,” she snuggled into him closing her eyes.
“Well it’s a long flight to France. Settle in and get comfortable,” Gene kissed the top of her head.
“Don’t worry I’ll be ready for anything,” Aimee mumbled.
“Anything?” Gene smiled “we could join the mile high club” he teased.
Lifting her head to stare at him a moment “no thanks,” she dropped her head on his shoulder. “I’ll wait until we’re on the ground.” Her head bounced lightly on his shoulder as he chuckled.
As soon as they touched down in Paris Gene collected their bags. “I think you forgot the kitchen sink,” he complained as he lifted the bags from the carousel .
“I didn’t know what I’d need” she protested.
“We could have gone shopping for anything we needed or forgot” Gene told her kissing her nose.
“Can I help?” Aimee offered after watching Gene struggle to carry all the bags himself.
“Yes” he said handing a few bags to carry. “What?” he asked at her stunned expression.
“I” she shrugged “I didn’t think you were serious about me helping carry the bags.” She lifted the first bag he handed her frowning “this feels empty….”
“Because it is,” he shrugged “I wanted to make sure we had plenty of room for souvenirs and gifts.”
Squealing Aimee flew into his arms “you’ve thought of everything.” Kissing him firmly on the lips she said “I’m the luckiest girl alive.”
“Come on babe let’s get going before we cause a traffic jam” Gene ushered her along while people gathered to snap pictures.
Someone rushed up gushing “OMG I can’t believe it. Your my absolute favorite celebrity. It would absolutely make my day if I could have a picture of us together.” The girl batted her eyes up at Gene trying to maneuver herself between them.
Looking over at Aimee Gene shrugged when she gave him a slight nod of approval. The girl seeing she was going to get what she wanted screamed in delight causing others to turn and gawk at them in the terminal. She handed her camera to Aimee to take the picture. As Aimee snapped the picture the girl pulled Gene into a kiss.
Struggling to push the girl off him Gene spluttered “what the hell?” he wiped his sleeve across his mouth. He felt somewhat sick to his stomach at the unwanted physical contact.
Seemingly oblivious to his anger the girl smiled brightly up at him with star struck eyes “I love you Gene Bennett.” She tried to grab his hands while he took several steps backwards tripping over the bags he had dropped. Sprawling on the floor with the crazed girl standing over him made him feel vulnerable.
The girl moved to press her advantage when someone grabbed her arm distracting her from her target. “You have your picture,” Aimee snarled “take it and go.”
The girl wrenched her arm from Aimee’s grasp “who the hell are you?”
“I’m his wife and I don’t appreciate some crazy girl manhandling him,” Aimee replied.
Looking around as a crowd formed the girl smiled “we’ll see how long that lasts.”
Gene stood up staring after the girl as Aimee wrapped her arms around him “are you alright?”
“I’m fine” Gene shook his head at the retreating form of the crazed fan as she slipped through the crowd. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled into Aimee’s hair.
Reaching up stroking his face “for what?” she asked “you didn’t ask for that girl to attack you.”
“No I…” she shrugged unable to voice how he felt. “I feel like I need to wash my mouth with soap to get her taste off me.”
Smiling Aimee moved closer “I think I can take care of that,” she brought her mouth on his smothering his protests.
“That’s much better thanks,” Gene smiled down at her.
Picking up their things as the crowd started to disperse. Walking outside Gene flagged down a taxi to take them to the little villa they were staying in for their honeymoon. Sighing in relief Aimee turned to Gene “thank you.”
Lifting her hand to his lips he smiled “for?”
“For everything,” she waved her hands around “for this, for loving me.” Snuggling into him she kissed his cheek “I love you.” Glancing out the window at the passing scenery Aimee sighed happily “what do you want to do once we get to the hotel?” Turning towards him she laughed “I can guess by that look we won’t be leaving our room tonight.”
“No we won’t,” Gene replied in a husky voice that sent shivers through her “unless there’s something you’d rather ….”
Putting her hand up to silence him “our room will be all the sight-seeing I want to do tonight.”
The next day they decided to tour the winery. Aimee was fascinated with the art of wine making. Gene leaned over whispering in her ear “kind of like mud wrestling accept with grapes” he teased his eyes sparkling.
“You should try it,” Aimee pushed him towards the demonstrators asking for volunteers.
“We have a willing volunteer” an excited winery worker said approaching Gene shaking his hand.
“Err yeah,” Gene said turning to Aimee who waved him on.
“Follow us sir and we’ll give you an appropriate outfit to wear.”
Coming out of the small room in a bathing suit Gene felt exposed in front of so many people gawking at him. The crowd of onlookers seemed to have grown while he had been in the changing room. Smiling he tried to put the cameras and people out of his mind like he would do before and during a performance. He concentrated on the instructions he was given into the art of wine making. He stepped into the vat. His face scrunched into disgust at the sound of the grapes popping beneath his weight. The feel of the grapes squishing and oozing between his toes left him feeling nauseated. He was ready to quit before he started. Gritting his teeth he continued to stomp the grapes until he was told the grapes were the right consistency. Getting out of the vat he glanced up into the crowd. His eyes caught movement as someone ducked down. It looked like … but it couldn’t be. Shaking his head he followed the instructor over to one of the machines and watched what levers to push and pull to finish the wine making process.
Several minutes later he was given a bottle of the wine he had stomped with his very own feet. Thanking his instructors Gene carried the bottle over to Aimee. Bowing he handed her the bottle “wine de foot for me lady.” He presented the bottle to her.
Smiling Aimee took the bottle with a smile “did you wash your feet?”
Shaking his head “protein added protein” he said laughing.
Looking at the bottle then at Gene Aimee wrinkled her nose “I doubt we’ll ever drink it …” noticing his attention was elsewhere she asked “Gene is something wrong?”
“Hmmm what?” he asked distracted “No I … I just thought I saw … never mind it’s just my imagination.”
“Excuse me sir?” the instructor interrupted them “if you would like to change….”
“Oh” blushing Gene realized he was standing in the middle of the winery in his bathing suit with congealing grapes sticking his body “I’ll be right back” he told Aimee who was busy laughing at him.
Changing into his clothes after removing the remnants of grapes from him Gene’s phone chimed informing him of an incoming text message. Opening it – For your eyes only – the attached picture was one of him and the girl from the airport. The text ended with – – with another picture of him stomping grapes. He had been right. He did see that crazy girl in the crowd. Was she stalking him? How did she even know he was going to be here? How did she get his number? He had heard of celebrity stalkers but he honestly hadn’t believed it would happen to him. He didn’t think he was that well-known or popular outside of Starlight Shores.
Scanning the crowd for the girl Gene felt vulnerable realizing he had no way of knowing when or where she would turn up again. Aimee put a hand on his arm peering up at him in concern “is something wrong?” she asked again.
Shaking his head he smiled down at her “no just wondering how much my fans would pay for wine made with my bare feet.”
Over hearing his flip comment someone offered “I’ll give you a thousand dollars” as someone else offered “5000 thousand dollars”.
Laughing Aimee took Gene’s hand and ran for the exit. Sighing in relief when they settled into a waiting taxi. “That was ridiculous” she laughed.
“And gross,” Gene commented somewhat distracted.
Sitting in silence on the drive back to the hotel Aimee wondered what was wrong. Gene had been so up tight since being forced into participating in the wine making demo. Did she push him too far? He hadn’t seemed upset at the time but now? She could tell something was weighing heavily on his mind.
Glancing over at Aimee, his wife, lover and friend Gene sighed. He should tell her but he didn’t want to upset her. What if she was so upset it spoiled the honeymoon? He just wanted to spend this time with her, enjoying her without the pressures of performing, kids and all the other things that made up their life in Starlight Shores. What if it was just a lousy prank and he upset her unnecessarily? Throwing an arm across her shoulders he decided he would wait. Wait to see if he received any other messages. “Tomorrow how about we check out some of those tombs we’ve heard about?”
Wrinkling her nose at the idea “I was hoping we could go to the museum…”
“Wouldn’t you rather check out some real live tombs with traps and treasure like some of those games you like to play?”
Pretending to be offended Aimee gave in with a smile “alright it should prove interesting.” She put up a hand “on one condition we don’t sleep in the tomb.”
“This is more fun than I thought it would be,” Aimee said as she wrapped her arms around her husband “thank you for making me come.”
“Your welcome,” Gene grinned “haven’t I always told you the real thing is always better than the virtual world.”
“Certain things definitely are” Aimee purred moving in for the kiss she had been wanting for the past hour.
Following her to the floor of the tomb Gene said “this is definitely one of the things better in the real world.”
“Just shut up and kiss me,” Aimee commanded and Gene was more than willing to comply.
An hour later Gene and Aimee were wandering around an open area in the tomb when Gene’s phone chimed alerting him to an incoming text. Frowning as he read it “that should have been me.” Followed by a picture of him and Aimee kissing. Looking up Gene scoped the room they were in. Movement caught his eye near a large pile of rocks, scaling them he thought he saw the girl from the airport. He cried out as he lost his footing on the loose rocks and fell backwards.
Aimee turned in time to see Gene fall backwards. Racing to his side “are you alright?” she asked kneeling beside him.
Struggling to stand up Gene attempted to put weight on his ankle that buckled as soon as he took a step. “Shit,” he grumbled as he sat on the ground rubbing his ankle.
“Is it broken?” Aimee asked her voice laced with fear and concern.
“I don’t think so,” Gene replied as he explored it with his fingers. “Badly sprained I think,” he grimaced as he got to his feet.
“What do you think you’re doing?”Aimee exclaimed as Gene limped towards the stairs they had come down on.
“But…” Gene started only to be silenced by the fierce glare that Aimee gave him. “You’re getting that ‘I am mother don’t mess with me’ look down pat.”
Laughing despite her fear Aimee quipped “it’ll come in handy when the kids are teenagers. I have a feeling we’re going to have our hands full.”
“If they’re anything like me, we’re in trouble.” Gene agreed allowing her to lead him towards a tent in one of the tombs rooms. “Where did this come from?”
Shrugging “I don’t know it was here when I came in here earlier. It’s old and dirty but it’s a place to sleep. Beggars can’t be choosers.” She reached for Gene’s shoe and started to undue the laces.
Gene waved her hands away “better not. I’ll never get the shoe on in the morning.”
Nodding she moved to lay beside him. Running her fingers through his hair she tried to help him relax. “Aimee there’s something I have to tell you,” Gene sighed in the dark “I think that girl from the airport is stalking me….” Before he could continue his phone chimed. Aimee reached for it when he opened the message “next time it will be worse.” The picture that followed was one of Gene falling backwards.
“Is this girl dangerous? Did she push you down those rocks? Oh god we’re trapped down here with a crazy person.” Aimee cried burying her face in his shoulder.
Gene tried to soothe her “I’m sure she just want’s attention. My fall happened because I wasn’t paying attention nothing more than that.” Pulling her tight “there’s nothing we can do until the morning. It’s wouldn’t be safe to go traipsing off in the tomb this late. We’ll stay put and leave in the morning.”
“And you’ll tell the authorities about this girl” Aimee insisted.
“If it will make you feel better I will,” Gene agreed “now let’s get some sleep so we can get an early start in the morning.”
Nodding Aimee heard Gene start to snore softly but she laid wide awake listening to the noises outside the tent wandering what was out there. In his sleep Gene wrapped his arms around her and she felt safer in his embrace eventually she fell into a deep sleep.
Aimee stretched reaching for Gene only to find empty space “Gene” she mumbled opening her eyes. Blinking she looked around the tent finding it empty. Bringing her hand up to brush hair from her eyes something thick and sticky smeared across her cheek. Looking at her hand she was shocked it was thick with congealing blood. Screaming she raced from the tent “Gene! Gene where are you?” Her screams echoed off the ancient walls of the tomb, mocking her. Falling to her knees she rocked herself back and forth. The chiming of Gene’s phone had her jerking upright expecting Gene to be close by until she remembered she still had his phone from he night before. Opening the message she read “hope you enjoyed your time together because it’s time to say goodbye.”