Chapter 4 : Truth
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Hermione shook her head under the hot spray of the water, as it cascaded down her body before it slowly washed down the drain. She reached for the shampoo only then realizing she had already washed her hair twice in her dazed memory of the prior night. She had finally hooked up with Harry and she couldn’t remember a single detail. Just her luck.
She turned the dial of the shower, and stepped out of the shower wrapping her body in a fluffy oversized towel. How they had ended up in a suite at the Midland Grand Hotel she wasn't sure, at this point she just wanted to be in her own bed, sleeping off her hang over.
The door to the bathroom opened in a cloud of rising steam, Hermione emerging with just a white towel wrapped around her body. Harry looked up from his current task, ironing. Hermione looked amused, Harry, still in his boxers ironing her skirt free of wrinkles.
"Aren't we domestic this evening?" She laughed, feeling slightly better after the shower. To her surprise, besides the whole marriage issue, it was relatively awkward free.
He laughed, throwing his head back. "Hey, I'm a kept man now." He joked, making light of the whole situation.
On the bed she found her underwear and shirt, folded in a neat pile. He handed her the warm pressed skirt, moving to pick his pants up off the floor. "Jesse called again while you were in the shower to make sure we were on our way. We won't have time to stop by our places, so I figured we could at least have wrinkle free clothes."
She rolled her eyes at Jesse’s urgency. She most likely just wanted to grill them as to why they were together... and then yell at them some more.
"Go, shower, I'll dress and then iron your pants." She shooed him into the other room, trying not to stare at his near naked body.
He flashed her a smile, dropping his lips against her cheek in a chaste kiss. "You’re the best ‘Mione." His lips lingered against her cheek, his warm pants of breath making her shiver. She felt the curve of his smile against her skin before he pulled away.
She shook her head, and not for the first time that evening she wondered what in the hell they were going to do.
Harry and Hermione took one last look around the ransacked room. Both sets of bloodshot eyes settling on the rumpled bed, the sheets, pillows and blankets on the floor. That was definitely ground zero for whatever explosion had taken place the night before. The creamy ivory of the mattress lay bare and partially stripped, the tight fitted sheet no match for what ever they had done.
Hermione felt the heat rise in her cheeks, her gaze settling from the bed towards the low pile carpet, finally starting to feel slightly guilty about everything that had occurred the night before.
"You ready ‘mione?" Harry asked.
He saw her nod her head, her hands clutching around her purse so tightly her knuckles were turning white with anxiety.
In Harry's pockets he had found two key cards, a valet stub for his car, which was still at the club down the street, and a hefty credit card receipt for the rock that kept glistening on Hermione's finger. The diamond would catch a ray of light, bright prisms marking the walls around her every time she moved. He really didn't want to admit how much the thought of her wearing his ring appealed to him.
She walked in front of him, his hand hovering on her lower back as they both exited the room with a sigh. They heavy door fought against the hydraulic spring holding it open until it finally closed with a soft click.
The only had to wait a moment for the elevator to level off on the their floor, the metal doors dinging open into the empty space of the shaft. Both of them let their eyes roam around the somehow familiar space, both dark gazes settling on the space in the corner. They shifted on their feet, the plunge already starting in their stomachs as the elevator began its descent.
Harry looked to Hermione, who was in turn looking at him, both of them flashing quick glances to that one spot. Why was that spot so familiar? They didn't, not in here? But then why was he getting an images of himself pushing her back against the wall, as he devoured her neck and mouth.
"You don't think we..." He suddenly asked his words trailing off, not really sure how to approach the question. He coughed nervously before broaching on, "You don't think we... you know... in here?"
Hermione would have thought his slow stuttering would have been adorable if it had not been for the subject matter. It was her turn to see the image of his large body filling her to the brim, her body shaking around him as she felt her self fall over the edge. She, Hermione Granger, screwed her best friend in the elevator.
Her low groan of mortification filled the small space, echoing off the walls as she buried her head in her hands. The more she closed her eyes, the more images she saw and felt sweeping over her body. She could feel his strong arms supporting her weight as he slammed her back to the wall painfully.
Hermione shook her head; lifting her eyes to Harry whom she was pretty sure was remembering the same thing. His pants certainly looked a bit snug around the crotch, tiny drops of sweat beading on his neck. His skin was taking on a reddish hue, his eyes darkening. Was it just she or was it extremely hot in that elevator? She could hardly breath, the sexual tension choking her until she felt like she was going to pass out.
It was the startling ding of the elevator bell that echoed loudly in their hung over heads that made them jump. They were standing closer to one another then they both had realized, somehow drifting towards each other subconsciously through their shared memory. The metallic doors glided open soundlessly.
They stepped out of the elevator, suddenly both very aware of the other person. Hermione noted how Harry's hair had dried so it was sticking up, slightly puffy from lack of gel. She found she liked it better this way, the short soft strands calling for her to run her fingers through it. He smelled like her, strong generic soap from the room. His face was smooth, obviously having shaved while he was in the bathroom; there was a distinctive scent of aftershave that she couldn't quite place. He looked just as good as he did when he had picked her up the previous evening. If she weren't there, she would have never guessed that he was hung over and exhausted, wearing the same clothes as he did the previous night.
Harry was aware of the tendrils of curls brunette tresses that were still drying around her shoulders. He liked it curly, natural. He could smell him self on her, masculine and deep. He watched her walk slightly ahead of them, back held straight, her eyes roaming the scene around them as she looked for the check out station. To him, despite the dark circles under her eyes, she looked even more beautiful then she did when he had picked her up.
They walked towards the check out, Hermione's flat heels clicking against the marble floor, her navy skirt lapping at her knees. They were almost to check out when Hermione felt a small tap on her shoulder. She turned her head, expecting to see Harry, but instead found a brunette woman near her age smiling at her. Hermione looked to Harry, who just shrugged, taking a protective step toward Hermione, wrapping his hand around her waist.
"I just wanted to wish you guys congrats again, it's hard to find true love in this city. But I can really see it in you two. It almost gives me hope for my future... maybe Mr. Right is out there." The young woman started to babble as if she was talking to long time friends. She had stars shining in her eyes as she looked at them admiringly. "Anyway, I'm surprised to see you guys out of your room though! You got in so late, figured you'd sleep the night away." She winked suggestively.
"Congrats again?" They replied at the same time making the woman before them smile even wider. Both Harry and Hermione looked at each other, neither knowing whom this person was. It was just another layer of fog in their already hazy memories.
She laughed, her elegant hand resting on her chest as she calmed her breathing. "Sorry, I'm Vanessa... I was working the front desk when you checked in. You guys were pretty distracted. Couldn't keep your hands off of each other, the sweetest thing I've ever seen. You two attracted quite a bit of attention, a couple like you two is hard to forget."
They look at each, still confused. Not enough sleep or coffee for them to be piecing together the facts. It was as if by mutual agreement, they would try to get a few more pieces of information. "Us, hard to forget? Um... what did we do?" Hermione was almost afraid to ask and her tone conveyed that.
This gathered even more boisterous laughter from the brunette, her large green eyes filling with clear tears. "We must have had 20 noise complaints about you two... but we didn't have the heart to break it up or tell you to keep it down.."
"Oh Merlin." Hermione moaned, wondering if she could die of embarrassment. She looked to Harry for support, hoping he was finding this who experience as mortifying as her.
Nope. He just stood there blankly, watching the scene unfold, saying nothing that could even remotely help the situation. She really couldn't wait to kill him.
"Besides... the whole elevator thing... very hot." She continued.
Hermione choked, coughing wildly as her face turned beet red, "The elevator?" Dammit! Something did happen in that elevator; it wasn't just a very pleasant dream.
Panic flashed in Harry's eyes, his large hand patting against her back as he tried to get her to start breathing. It was just his luck, from the sound of things they had had one amazing night, and he could barely remember anything.
"Oh yeah," the woman kept laughing her stomach muscles starting to ache, "they keep playing the tape over and over in the surveillance room." Her eyes flashed approvingly over Harry's lean body, her eyes traveling up and down, while Harry shifted uncomfortably. She quickly continued, as a faint hue of blush lit her face. "It was... impressive. A little quick, but impressive all the same. That doesn't matter though, you proved your stamina later on if all those calls had anything to say about it."
It was Harry's turn to cough and blush, his hand automatically covering over the front of his pants where the woman's eyes were glued. He could feel Hermione tense in his arms, her eyes flashing with jealousy and anger.
Hermione turned her head towards Harry, growling between tight lips, "I want those tapes. Now."
Harry didn't miss a beat before turning his attention back the bold stranger in front of them, "How much?" His dark eyes looked pleading at her, he would do what ever it took to get them back.
It was 46 minutes, $575 dollars and five calls from Jesse later that Harry and Hermione sat tiredly in the Harry’s BMW, both to shocked to say a single word.
Harry wondered if there was anyway he could get away with taking the tape that had captured their indiscretion so nicely. He didn’t want to watch it again, he just wanted something tangible for him to hang onto after she annulled the marriage and left him with bitter memories. He couldn't explain the jealousy he had felt walking into that room, the leering stairs that had been directed towards Hermione, towards his wife. It had taken all his strength not to punch the bellhop when he had said something especially crude towards her. But punching him, while it would make him feel better, would not have gotten that damn tape back any faster or cheaper.
They stayed quiet for the remainder of the drive towards Jesse’s apartment, Hermione sitting stiff as board in the seat next to him, her lip tucked between her teeth. He wondered if she had any idea how crazy she made him, how one look from her had his mind spinning for hours.
They pulled into the parking lot, both sitting still for a few minutes before they turned to look at one another. "You ready for this?" He asked gently, laying a hand lightly on her leg.
She nodded, his touch calming the part deep inside of her body that was screaming for him. Hermione pulled away first taking a deep breathe as she fought through the last remaining waves of churning nausea in her stomach. She hoped that tonight wouldn't be especially hectic or gruesome; she wasn't sure how much she could handle. She did however make another vow. After she kicked Harry's ass, she was never drinking again.
They walked side by side, making their way towards Jessie's apartment building. Harry looked at her from the corner of his eye, watching as she played with the heavy ring still on her finger. She had tried to take it off, but it was stuck. The more she pulled, the bigger her finger got until it was red and irritated.
"Still won't come off?" He asked, the front doors of the Jessie’s apartment looking scarier and scarier by the minute.
"Yeah... I should just stop messing with it, my finger is starting to hurt. I have no idea how you got this thing on my finger. I'll give it back as soon as I can get it off." She gave him a tiny smile.
"Keep it." He said nonchalantly, as if it was nothing.
Hermione stopped walking, mouth hung open. "What? No way Harry. This must have cost a fortune. Save it for when you find someone you really want to marry."
"I don't know how much it cost and I don't really care." He lied, knowing damn well there was a credit card receipt in his pocket for $2750.00, "Maybe I already found the one I wanted to marry and married her. Ever think about that?" He asked seriously, his voice sounding tired and a little bit gruff.
Hermione rolled her eyes, mistaking the tone of his voice as playful. Even though she knew he wasn't serious, his words touched something inside of her heart. "Funny Harry. But I'm serious, I'm giving this back as soon as I can get it off." She started to walk again, not waiting for him to catch up as she strolled through the entrance of Jesse’s apartment building.