Even this early, before the late evening dinner rush, Eloise's is packed with celebrities, many from Bill's own label. Unlike his talent, Bill could go out into the 'real' world and remain totally incognito, but why should he, when the people here will treat him with the same obsequious respect they pay to D. Piddy and Ladonna Queen?
"Oh, is that Nico at the bar?" his wife asks in a hushed whisper, tugging at his sleeve.
The man at the bar she's gesturing towards has his back to them, and from this distance Bill would never identify him so easily. But Nico is Libby's son-in-law, so he takes her word for it.
"Nico," Bill says, slapping his hand against the guitarist's back, "I've been trying to get in touch with you. We need to talk."
"I'm having a drink," Nico mutters, "I'm not interested in talking business."
"This isn't business, it's family," Bill says, forcing a jovial tone, trying to break through Nico's gloom.
Nico presses his lips together into a tight frown and says nothing. Family...does step-father-in-law even count as family? Either way, Nico doesn't want Bill's interference.
"We're just worried about you, Nico," Libby says, "You and Jacklyn. If the two of you could just sit down and--"
"Libby, I appreciate your concern. Really, I do," Nico turns toward his mother-in-law with a weary sigh, "But now isn't the time."
"You have a daughter to think about," Bill says.
Nico slumps over his drink, "I think about her all the time."
"Hang on, I have to take this," Rainier says, pulling his buzzing phone out of his pocket, stopping in front of the restaurant's doors.
"You promised, no business," Portia admonishes, laughing.
"It's my best man," Rainier explains.
"You better be calling me to tell me your plane just landed and you'll be on time for fitting tomorrow."
"No, brah, I'm still in Sydney. I missed my flight. But, no worries, I got another one, and I'll be there tomorrow. Just calling to let you know."
"If you miss this flight, I'm coming to get you myself," Rainier warns before he hangs up.
"Maybe the stoner best man wasn't the best idea," Portia suggests, "Are you going to be able to count on him?"
"Coby will be there," Rainier promises, taking Portia's hand and leading her into the restaurant, "But I may have to reschedule the fitting for his tux tomorrow to a later time."
"Couples go through these things," Bill says, trying to be reassuring. But knowing what Libby had gone through with her first husband, Jacklyn's father, and his own marital problems with Mercedes, he can't help but feel his words are hollow. Couples go through things that ruin them, destroying their families in the process. And from where he's sitting, that looks like what Jacklyn and Nico are going through now, and their mess is dragging their career down with them.
Their conversation is interrupted by the approach of Rainier and Portia. Bill and Libby put smiles on their faces as they greet his daughter and her fiance.
"The wedding is so close now," Libby enthuses as the couple joins them at the table, "You must be so excited, both of you."
"And stressed out," Bill adds with a laugh and a knowing smile at his future son-in-law.
"I am excited," Portia agrees, "But I'm so worried all the time, that something will be off, that I've forgotten some crucial thing..."
"Everything will be perfect," Rainier reassures her, taking her hand.
"It had better be perfect," Bill quips, "It's certainly costing me enough."
"Are you thinking of buying house?" Libby asks, "Or are you planning to stay in your condo in Santa Monica."
"We do want to move into something bigger," Rainier answers, "But we aren't looking at houses until we get back from our honeymoon."
"Rainier! Mon Dieu, is that you?" a young man with a French accent stops in front of Portia and Rainier as they are leaving the restaurant.
"Maurice," Rainier greets the man with a kiss on the cheek, "It's been years. Comment vas tu?"
"Bien, bien," Maurice answers, "And you? You are looking well."
"Portia, this is Maurice Gauthier, an old friend of mine from Brussels. Maurice, this is my fiancee, Portia," Rainer introduces.
"Ah, so lovely. But you always had a taste for the best," Maurice says with an ingratiating smile, taking Portia's hand and kissing her fingers.
"I'm Nick," Maurice's forgotten boyfriend introduces himself.
The couples exchange pleasantries, and Rainier and Maurice make empty promises to keep in touch, then they part and go their separate ways.
"Maurice was your lover, once?" Portia says, not quite a question, as she throws her legs over Rainier's lap.
"In college, yes," Rainier answers.
"I could tell," Portia says with a nod.
"Are you going to miss it?" she asks in a quiet voice.
Rainier cocks his head to one side, not getting what she's asking.
"Being with men," she clarifies.
"I wouldn't be getting married if I had any doubts about us, chèr," Rainier answers, stroking her leg with one hand while the other glides over the small of her back, "You are everything I've ever wanted, and I won't be missing anyone or anything."
"I feel the same," Portia says with a smile, sitting up to lean close to him, her lips just inches from his own, "But, I am serious, Rainier. I don't want to put you in a position where you have to deny what you are..."
"Ah," Rainier says, getting it now, "I'm not denying what I am, my love. I will always be attracted to men as I am to women. But I'm marrying you, and that means something. Cheating on you with a man would be just as wrong as cheating on you with woman."
"I wouldn't want you to cheat on me," Portia says, "But I'd be open to sharing."
Rainier laughs at her suggestion, "You know that I'm far too selfish to share my toys, love."
"Technically, it would be me sharing my toy," Portia purrs, "And I'm fine with that as long as I get to play, too, and they to coms home with me after the play date."
"You're getting turned on by the thought of watching me screw another guy," Rainier observes.
"Well, yeah," Portia says, running her tongue over her teeth suggestively, "So hot."
Rainier laughs, and then sweeps her down onto the couch, "You know I would do almost anything for you," he murmurs, all the joking gone from his voice, "But what we have is too special to me to let anyone else in on it. Not even for one night. Not even for an hour. You are mine, and I am yours; we don't need anyone else."
Portia slides down onto her knees on the floor in front of him, her lips meeting his in a hungry kiss. "I've wanted you for so long," he whispers in her ear, "There is no one else for me."
Her fantasy of the moment gives way to his devotion, "I don't want to see you with anyone else," she says, purring with arousal, "I want all of you for myself."
She tugs his shirt over his head, and leans forward to let her tongue play over his chest.
Rainier grasps her shoulders, "Let's go upstairs," he suggests.
"Let's get your pants off," Portia counters.
Free of his clothes, Rainier eases back against the couch, enjoying the play of her tongue on his thighs, his stomach as she teases him with kisses before finally taking him into her mouth. "Portia, mon amour," he murmurs, his fingers in her hair moving in rhythm with her.
She takes him to the point of ecstasy, pulling back just before he comes, making him wait. She dances a little as she undresses in front of him, but she's too aroused to tease him for long. "I love you," she sighs, her thighs straddled around him, holding tight to him as she slides herself down onto him, giving him what he wants above everything else, herself.