I could tell after Nicky left an hour had passed that Hugh wanted to be alone with me. His answers were short the bimbette and her husband and although he was polite I could tell he was getting irritated that it was getting late and we hadn’t talked. I assumed that he was starting to realise that the night events (little did he know exactly what) were testing my patience and that I was getting quieter and quieter as time passed.

He began texting me begging me not to go. We had gotten so good at hiding out text tests in the company of others. He would message me. I would let my phone go for about three minutes and then I would check it and respond before he repeated the same pattern.

I said I wouldn’t but after another hour had passed I had no idea what I was going to do. I was exhausted and they just didn’t look like they were going anywhere.

I got up and said that I was leaving. I said goodnight to the couple and to Hugh and walked out into the main foyer. On my way out I texted him and told him that I would be outside and that he could message me when they left. I felt if I left maybe they would think about leaving as well as it was almost 2 am. I was exhausted and I felt so emotionally and physically drained that I just couldn’t sit in that spot anymore.

I walked outside and walked around the corner for a cigarette. I kept checking my phone but nothing back from Hugh. I decided I would walk back into the hotel and walk up to the main desk to ask for a cab and knew that Hugh would see me as it was in the direct line of the bar.

I heard his familiar footsteps cascading down the stairs and running straight towards me as I walked towards the front desk.

“Ava, please don’t go. Come up to the suite. We are all going for drinks and it won’t be much longer. I haven’t seen them in a long time. Please.” he begged.

I turned around and looked at him with heavy eyes I agreed and limply began walking with him into the elevator.

We all piled into the elevator and made our ascent to the top floor. Walking across the carpeted floor I felt a chill grace me. I was a little uncomfortable. I had never felt this level of anxiety before and yet this was something out of this world.

I had never felt this in his company but for some reason the situation made me really uneasy. I think it was because I had never arrived in a hotel with him and his friends before going up to a room. Maybe it was my fear of any intimate settings however this just felt weird. I knew Hugh would NEVER hurt me but these people I did not know. If I was honest the first thing that crossed my mind was that something REALLY bad was going to happen. I felt something really evil about this couple and I had no idea why I felt this way. The first thought that popped into my head was that I could be attacked by these two people and what would I do?. I felt helpless but trusted that Hugh would never let anything happen to me. That was one thing that I can say honestly. Hugh had always looked out for me and no matter what I feel about him or have felt about him I know I would never come to any harm as long as I am with him.

When I go out my mother doesn’t really worry about me anymore being that she knows if I am with Hugh, I will be fine. She may have her own thoughts about him be them good or bad but she knows that nothing would ever happen to me if I was with him. That night at the strip club when I was sick was the first instinct I had that he cared. I had been sick and he immediately took me home. No questions asked. He really did care for me and I hadn’t even said a word. He just knew.

When we walked into the vast suite I still had the odd feeling in the pit of my stomach but willed it away as I knew I was in no trouble.

I walked in, put my bag down and grabbed out my phone before sitting on the sofa. The bimbette sat at the office table and began asking me how I had met Hugh and how long we had known each other. I answered with no elaboration. I really didn’t like her.

“Well I have known Hugh since he was 15. He is a real catch but too many women try to take advantage of him. Don’t you dare be one of those gold digging whores” she said venomously before the men walked into the room.

I was gobsmacked. Did I really send off those vibes?. Then again I think back now and think that she may have just been protective…it was wrong how she said it but somehow I understood.

After about twenty minutes she went to the bathroom and returned jovially. Hugh was sitting next to me on the sofa and I had my hand on his knee with my legs crossed so she couldn’t see to make any further snide remarks. He flipped my hand over and began drawing circles and hearts on my palm with his finger.

Hugh got up to go to the bathroom and about 5 minutes later I went to look for the powder room. As I passed the bathroom I saw him at the counter out of the corner of my eye. I caught him. He was bent over the bench with a rolled up $100.00 note halfway up his nostril as the white powder disappeared on the bench disappeared up his nose in a perfectly straight line. I walked straight into the bathroom and closed the door slightly.

There were three other lines on the bench and he looked at me with wide eyes and a pained look on his face. He looked at the bench and then at me, subtly offering me a line. I returned his look with a slight shake of my head. I was not interested. I had never done coke and I wasn’t about to start now.

I couldn’t understand, why was he doing this? How often was he doing this? I had a million questions running through my head and none of them was able to escape my mouth. He looked at me and could obviously see the look of disappointment in my eyes. I felt the prickle of tears sting the back of my eyes. He grabbed my chin with a tender and delicate grasp before kissing me lightly. I stayed still. I couldn’t move. The coke was at that present moment coursing through his system and I was frightened to see the effects take place. I didn’t know what it did to a person and my fear of the situation dissipated before a fear for him grew. I was scared of what he was doing to himself. I didn’t know how often he did it and that worried me.

He saw the fear growing in my eyes and he pulled me into his body.  He kissed my forehead and held me there for what felt like forever. I breathed in his scent and tried to push the image of him snorting out of my head as I closed my eyes. I fought hard to remember why I had fallen for this man and that he was no different because of his drug of choice was anything far from legal.

He was still my knight in shining armour but for some reasons it just scared me, I had seen this before, I had seen coke being snorted by many influential people but never by someone I actually cared for. Never by the man I loved. I knew he did it but I had never seen it.

What I realised more than anything in that moment was that even though I had been through cancer I still smoked…It made me just as bad as he was so who was I to judge.

“Baby, please stay. Don’t go anywhere. They will leave soon and I really want the chance to talk…about everything.” He looked straight at the bench as if to explain that too.

I had so many questions floating through my head but knew I would never ask about what I had just witnessed. I knew that no matter what the strength of my unconditional love for this man was far greater than his activities. I did know that no matter what. I would never get caught up in that…I would never be the coke whore that so many people in this industry were and I would never be busted for doing something like that…that could bring down everything I had worked so hard for…I was ready to offer him the silence on what I had just witnessed…I knew better than to try and understand…It would be as if it never happened.