Chapter Twenty-Four

Having never been to Paris before I tried to at least look up some basics to make the following chapters believable and as accurate as possible.  I apologize in advance for any mistakes.  Enjoy.

After a series of delays, a detour in New York, and catching a connecting flight in London Marah and Tony finally arrived at their destination.  Tony had been quiet the entire trip.  Marah had chalked it up to the stress of travel but the minute they touched down she had felt Tony pulling away from her.  As they stood at the baggage claim in silence the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife.  “Are you okay?  You’ve been acting strange since we left Springfield.”

Tony looked down at her with a semblance of a smile, “Just a bit travel weary, nothing to worry about.” He pointed to the baggage carousel, “I think that’s us.”

She knew he was lying, she just didn’t know why.  As they walked towards the waiting taxis she decided to try another approach, “Are you hungry?  There are some good bistros by my apartment, I am pretty close to Les Deux Magots.”  She hugged his arm, “We are in the city of love we should have some fun before packing up my apartment.”

“Maybe later, I’m more tired than hungry right now.”

Marah sighed and hailed a taxi.

Tony knew he was being an ass but he couldn’t help it.  Despite what Danny had said he couldn’t shake the feeling of dread.  Marah was immensely talented at what she did.  Why would she want to give that up to live in Springfield?  Springfield was a far cry from Paris, one of the epicenters of the fashion world.  How do you compete with that?  And if she did give it all up there was always the chance she grow to resent him later on for holding her back.

On the other hand he knew from experience that a life without Marah was no life at all.   Like Danny said all those years ago, she was good for his soul.  But was he good for hers?

“We’re here.”

Tony was so lost in his musings that he hadn’t paid any attention to the scenery or that they had arrived until that moment.  He finally looked around at where Marah had been living for the past six years.   “Nice place.”

She looked up at what Tony was seeing for the first time.  It was nice but it never gave her the same feeling that she got when she was in Springfield.  Not even close. “I guess.  It really belongs to my boss, but he leased it to me at a pretty good price as a favor to Aunt Mindy.” She paid the driver and opened the door. “Come on.  Let’s get started.”

***

Marah stood silently while Tony surveyed her apartment.  “Make that a really nice place Marah. ” He turned towards her, “Don’t take this the wrong way but it just doesn’t seem like you.”

She tried to see it through his eyes.  The furniture was nice but she couldn’t take credit, it had been there when she moved in.  Really the only things in here that belonged to her were the drafting table and a few odds and ends.  That was a sobering thought.  After six years you would think that she’d have something to show for it, something of her own.  “That’s because it’s not, all this was here when I moved in.” She headed towards her bedroom, “Well make yourself at home.  I’m going to put this away and get freshened up.”

Once she was gone Tony didn’t know what to do with himself, he felt out-of-place and on edge.  So much that he didn’t even notice when Marah had rejoined him in the living room.  He must have been out of it longer than he realized since her hair was wet like she just stepped out of the shower.

“Are you going to tell me what is wrong or are you going to lie to me again?” She raised her hands in exasperation, “Because I have to tell you Tony I don’t know what I did to make you push me away.”

Tony couldn’t take that hurt look on her face, it cut him to the core.  He gathered her in his arms and held her close, “I’m sorry I’ve been an ass.  I guess I’ve just been nervous.”

“About what? Us?”

“Not that exactly.  Nervous that once you got here you would decide that this is where you belong.I don’t want you to give up your career just to be with me.  If you want to stay in Paris we can.  That is if you would want me to move with you.”  Tony felt her tense in his arms.  This was not going to be good.

Marah pushed herself out of his arms and began to pace angrily, “What is wrong with you?  First off I wouldn’t give up my career unless if it was what I wanted.  And for your information I was already feeling burnt out before you came back into my life.  Second this is not my home.  There are no family dinners at Company, no annual bar-b-ques, and no friends I can truly rely on.” She stopped pacing and nailed him with an angry stare, “Once again instead of talking to me you shut me out.  If this is how it is going to be than I might as well stay here.”

If Tony was worried before now he was downright terrified, “Marah I just want you to think about and make sure you are absolutely sure this is what you want.  I just want you to be happy.”

“I am happy, or at least I was.  Look at this place,” She spread her arms to encompass the room, “You said it yourself this isn’t me, and it’s not.  I live in an apartment that doesn’t belong to me and certainly doesn’t reflect my personality and my name is only known to very few and even that is because I am an assistant to an assistant designer.  I have nothing of my own.” All the anger seemed to pour out of her and she sat on the sofa as if she were suddenly drained of all energy.

Tony sat beside her tentatively, “You have me.”

She let out a weak laugh and only then did he notice her tears, “Do I?  Because first you shut me out and then question my decision to move back to Springfield. ”

“I was an ass and I’m sorry.  But yeah you have me, you’ve had me since the first day we met.  I just wanted you to think if this was the right thing for you to do.  I know how talented you are and didn’t want you to think you had to give up everything to be with my stupid ass.  Come here.” He pulled her to him and held her tight.  He could tell she was still mad but she wasn’t pulling away which he took as a good sign. “I should have trusted that you knew what you wanted so once again I am sorry.  But at least I admitted I was wrong which is at least some progress right?”

Thankfully she laughed like he intended.  “I guess.  But we still have to work on your communication skills.  Because they really suck.”

“Agreed.” He looked down at her and grinned, “Our first fight.”

“This time.  I’m sure it won’t be out last.”

“Can’t wait.  Come on,” He stood up and extended his hand,”Let’s go explore Paris.”

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