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Paramour

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José walked through the marble floored lobby and over to the reception desk to retrieve some mail left for him earlier that day, he smiled politely at the young French guy and thanked him. Casting his eye across the desk he saw a large brown paper covered box and in big black letters it read: FAO Ms Vida Carter.

“This is for my neighbour?” he enquired innocently.

The young man looked down and nodded “Yes Sir, it is”

“I can take it with me if you like?”

José had been living in the upmarket Salford Quays for near on 6 months now, it was a tad clinical but it was as near to home as it could be and the staff had been beyond discreet - promptly dismissing unwanted paparazzi and various other media pests to protect his privacy. Vida had moved in about two weeks after him, she had arrived with only a few boxes filled with possessions and had very few visitors. José had seen her a few times at the neighbouring Italian restaurant dining alone, always exchanging looks of acknowledgment as though they belonged to the same clandestine club but never actually conversing or dining together. She must have been twenty years younger than him, maybe more and the time she spent occupying his thoughts had become concerning of late. Usually, when he returned home from a long away trip or even training at Carrington he would walk past the door to her flat and slow down in the hope she might suddenly open it and invite him in.

“Idiot” he had whispered under his breath in the lift going up to the top floor where only his and Vida’s apartments were situated, why would she want to talk to him he thought, and then shook his head.

He slowed down as per usual when he approached her door, the knuckle on his index finger lightly tapping the black glass and waiting patiently.

From inside Vida gazed through the hole in the door, her shoulders slumped and then her phone let out a loud message alert meaning she had no choice but to open the door to him.

“Yep?” she asked bluntly, staring right at him - he cut a tired figure she noticed, had his team lost? Drawn? She would check once she’d gotten rid of him.

“I erm..” he stuttered uncharacteristically nervous “I picked up some mail and saw this had arrived for you” he explained shoving the box towards her midriff.

Vida eyed him suspiciously “Have United sacked you then?”

José looked on confused.

“Because I really think a man of your supposed stature and narcissistic nature can do better than to become a postman, don’t you?”

Wow, she had some bollocks this one.

José’s jaw slackened and a bemused look began to materialise, “Just trying to be neighbourly” he said, not realising for a second how goofy he looked smiling at her with appreciation for her acid tongue.

Vida gripped the box and placed it on the sideboard next to her, she protectively folded her arms and grimaced “That all?”

José took a step back, still smiling and then nodded bashfully “That’s all Ms Carter”

Vida closed the door and then stood with her back flush against it for a few minutes while he stood the other side rooted to the ground still shellshocked by her bravado. She smiled to herself and pushed back, strolling down the hallway and into the kitchen she flicked on the TV and caught up with the day’s results, so he’d drawn. At home. Again. Vida giggled and then switched it off, her satisfaction in his failure amusing her greatly. She had communicated with him now though, and by the looks of it he rather enjoyed it, she wouldn’t be making it easy for him but after almost 6 months of longing looks and long distance lusting they had finally gotten around to breaking the ice.