She’s raiding her closet for something to wear, looking through the rack of dresses, tops, skirts, for something perfect. It needs to be perfect because William is flying down for the long weekend to see her, but also to congratulate Charlotte on her new promotion.
She called him in San Francisco and he told her that he would be on the very next flight out.
She wants to wear something subtle, sexy, maybe that he hasn’t seen before, but she hasn’t had the time or the money to go out since she decided on her final independent study.
She stops rifling through the fabrics when she get to the black halter. It definitely is sexy, but too many memories of a different kind are attached to it. So she keeps going, all the way through until she reaches a satiny dress that has been hiding in shame behind almost every other piece of clothing she owns.
It’s perfect, she thinks, as she thumbs the capped sleeves.
She and Lydia drive to the restaurant with Charlotte because William’s flight only got in a few minutes earlier and he texted her very formally to say that he would meet her there.
They sit at a long table, with Maria and Mr. and Mrs. Lu all sitting together smiling proudly at Charlotte as she raises a glass of wine to join in Maria’s toast to her big sister.
Lizzie’s own wine is a bit sweet and just a touch dry. She sips at it gently pursing her lips after each, trying to avoid looking at her cell phone to see if she has a message from William.
It’s a little bit horrifying how much she wants to see him. It’s an impulse she fights almost every minute. And with him being so close to her, it gets worse. It’s as if her entire body is completely tuned to his like she can feel -
A hand on her shoulder, just above where the dress falls into her neckline. Half heat on her shoulder, half smooth cool satin. She sets her glass down and turns, almost propelling herself into his arms, because she hasn’t seen him, in real life at least, for three days and every one of those days burned inside her.
She doesn’t know how she’s ever going to make it five more weeks.
He looks beautiful standing in front of her, his red tie perfectly straight as if he hasn’t just been at work for six hours and then on a plane for another hour or so.
He doesn’t move to kiss her though, and with him being so much taller, there’s isn’t a whole lot she can do about that until he bends.
He looks down at her curiously, but it’s not until his hands start to run over the dress she’s wearing that she remembers.
"I thought it might be nice -" she starts to say. One of his hands is stroking over her back, finding the cut out of skin there. She forgets everything but the feel of his fingers against her.
"A new memory?" He asks, mouth pressed close to her ear. She smiles into his shirt, before wrapping her arms around his neck tightly and pulling herself up to kiss him hard and fast.
"Exactly," she says in a blur of joy full of greys, oranges, and reds.