If I were a different man, I might have thrown everything over and remained at the hotel with Edwin. Not that he suggested it, but it would have been interesting to see what might develop between us beyond great sex.
I'm not, though. I have responsibilities—ones I take very seriously—so Sunday morning I told the troupe at breakfast that we'd be leaving around noon to return to the city.
Edwin had already given me a check for our services—as he put it. It was larger than was agreed upon in our contract. "For the second performance," he explained. I wasn't about to argue.
"Despite everything that happened, I'm going to miss this place," Ramsey said as we gathered in the dining room for lunch before leaving.
"I'm not," Kirby said bitterly. He'd taken Jenn's arrest hard. Not, he told me privately, that he was surprised. "I was afraid it was her, but I didn't want to believe it. Not here." He touched his chest over his heart. "I loved, no, I love her. It will take a long time before that fades away."
At Edwin's urging, Kirby had accepted an early morning ride into town to see her. He'd returned looking as if his world had fallen apart, which I suppose it had.
"She…" He stared down at his clenched hands. "She doesn't seem to feel any remorse for what she did. She blames it all on Tessa…and me to some extent. She refuses to believe that Tessa was lying."
"There's nothing you can do about that," I replied. "You can beat yourself up, but it wasn't your fault."
"That's what I keep telling myself but it's not helping."
"Give it time, Kirby."
He nodded, turned, and walked away. I didn't know if he'd remain with the troupe once we got back to the city. I hoped he would.
Lunch was excellent, if somewhat subdued, and I was on my second cup of coffee when Felicia came over to tell me that Edwin wanted to see me in his office.
When I got there, he was seated at his desk. As soon as I closed the door he was on his feet, coming around the desk to pull me into a hard embrace.
"I'm going to miss you," he said.
"Me or the sex?" I asked, trying to make light of the emotions I was feeling at that moment.
He smiled. "Both? I've enjoyed your company, in bed and out of it. You're the sort of man I've always wanted as a friend." That sort of took the wind out of my sails. "You're kind, decent, caring," he continued. "Perhaps, some day in the future, you'll come back to visit? Just you."
"Perhaps I will," I replied.
He kissed me, and I returned it, of course, then he said, "Logan's out front with your bus."
I nodded. "You take care of yourself, and your pack."
We left it at that and I went to tell everyone it was time to leave. With Logan's help, we got our bags, and the wardrobe and lighting boxes, putting them in the back of the bus. Then we climbed in and began the long drive back to the city. As I watched the hotel disappear from view, I wondered if I'd ever see it, or Edwin, again.