Monday, January 14, 2013

Ch 146: Man in Love




Anders, looking very much like a man in love, approached the hostess, with Violet securely at his side. Anyone would think she was his date. He gave the hostess a winning smile which she returned in kind. 

After some pleasantries he said, “We are four all together.” He then looked behind them and smiled.
Violet marveled that Anders had no qualms whatsoever when his girlfriend of ten years was making quite a spectacle of herself with all that untoward attention on Victor. Anders appeared completely unconcerned that Victor had taken his date, effectively switching partners. On the other hand, Violet was alternately seething inside and unduly hurt.

Had she made Victor so very angry that he would totally neglect her so; that he would abandon her, forsake her, forget all about her, and would it be like this the entire night or perhaps forever?

“What say you, sweet Violeta?”

She looked up at Anders’ expectant face at a loss for what to say. She hadn’t heard one word of his conversation with the hostess. “I’m sorry?”

“Should we take two tables for two and leave the old friends to themselves vile ve continue our own acquaintance?” 

The sensual way he spoke made the words sound rather more provocative than Violet was comfortable hearing. Continue our own acquaintance may as well have been an invitation to join him in his boudoir. 

Surely he was joking! Violet stood in impotent, stunned disbelief. She had opened her mouth to protest when Chenille beat her to it.

“Anders, do not be troublesome. We will dine together, of course,” Chenille said.

Violet turned to look at Victor’s reaction to this suggestion. He wore an odd expression, one she couldn’t decipher, and what he said only served to confuse her more.

“Perhaps, Violet and Anders have private matters to discuss of which we should not be privy,” he drawled, his dark eyes piercing Violet’s.

Was he serious? What in her stiff countenance could be misconstrued to say that?

Chenille’s tinkling laughter set Violet’s nerves further on edge. “Don’t you mean us?” she cooed, hugging Victor's arm to her.

Violet might have smacked the coquettish woman good and hard had Anders not chosen then to move forward, following the hostess to their table and taking Violet along with him. Although Anders held a chair out for her, Violet refused to take it. She waited for Victor to come, hoping against hope he would choose to sit beside her.

She stared at him, silently pleading, “Sit with me, Victor, stay with me, please!”  But, he didn’t notice or simply ignored it. He removed the lacy shawl from Chenille’s shoulders, allowing his fingers to needlessly skim over her silky arms before helping her to her chair. Then, despite Violet’s eyes on him, he choose to sit beside his chum, and she had no choice but to take the chair Anders still held out for her. 

Violet sat down and nearly jumped back up when Anders went to remove her shawl. 

“Surely you are varm?” he said.

“I…no, I’m still cold,” she mumbled, clutching at it.

Anders gave her that sexy smile again and leaned down to whisper, “Do not you vish to punish Victor for his betrayal? To do that, let him see vat he is missing. Let him, as you Americans say, eat his heart out.”

“I have never in my entire life said that!”

When she still clung to it, he spoke louder, “Come, Violeta, surely our admiring gazes vill varm you sufficiently. Do not you agree, Victor?”

“Along with every man here, she ought to burn to ashes,” Victor taunted.

“Ashes? A woman does not burn upon being seen,” Chenille said, rolling her eyes. “She glows. Do sit, Violet, unless you wish all eyes to remain only on you.”

Violet glanced around and sure enough, most men were indeed looking at her—or rather her scantily clad form. Now she definitely didn’t want to remove the shawl.

“Come now, Love,” Ander said tugging it out of her grip.

Reluctantly, she allowed Anders to take the protective covering away exposing her to Victor’s view, and he took full advantage of it, his eyes leisurely traveling up and down her curves. It seemed to give him some perverse pleasure even if he did look simultaneously annoyed or perhaps tortured. 

Well, it was his own fault if he didn’t want to look at her. He was the one who choose this dress and he was the one who chose to sit across from her and not beside her as he ought to have done. 

Violet reproachfully stared back at him and their gazes locked. Only then did it occur to her he may have done it deliberately. If they had gone to dinner alone, as they had intended, wouldn’t he have been exactly as he was, sitting across from her and perfectly positioned to stare at her all night?

This knowledge emboldened her--well, as emboldened as a shy little Violet can get. She felt a ray of hope warm her from the inside out. She drew in a deep breath which made her breasts strain against their satiny bondage. She saw his eyes drift down to her chest, linger there a moment, then slowly go back up to meet her gaze again. She could just make out what she guessed was desire in his expression. 

He wanted her. So, why was he playing these cat and mouse games? Why was he punishing her? And for what?

“Violeta?” Anders said.

“Huh?” Violet replied, ripping her gaze away in time to see the hostess handing her a menu. “Oh, yes, thank you.”

She opened it up and tried her best to hide behind it. She didn’t want to be seen. She didn’t want to be there at all. She suddenly felt like crying and she didn’t even know why.

******

The day John Yearly made himself a total nuisance at the fireman’s carnival had been Violet’s idea of the ultimate torture…until this night. John himself had also become the one and only person upon which she’d wish harm…also until this night. 

“Where is a good marzipan pineapple bomb when you need one,” she muttered into her wine glass before she took a sip.

“Forgive me. I did not hear you,” Anders said, setting his drink back on the table and giving her his full attention.

She forced a smile and shook her head. “Nothing, I said nothing.”

To her astonishment and chagrin, she found she couldn’t not like Anders. He had been so charming, attentive, solicitous and kind throughout dinner; all the things Victor normally was. He seemed to take it as a personal challenge to entertain her. He tried without success to distract her from the antics and conversation of the other two, but that would be impossible when Chenille made it a point to include them when least they were needed.

“Anders, remember that one time when you wrote on my calendar. You’ll love this, Violet,” Chenille said, interrupting Anders. “We hadn’t seen each other in several weeks, Anders and I, and I started dating… oh, who was that? Do you remember his name, Anders?”

“My pet, I should not be made to remember all your lovers,” Anders said, in what could only be called a bored voice. “I vould not have memory left over for anything else.”

“Oh, whoever it was,” Chenille continued after a sip of her gin and tonic. “He was looking through my calendar and found Sex with Anders written on Valentine’s day. And he was like, who the hell is Anders? I think he put a big red X on that date. Isn’t that a hoot?”

Violet blinked several times, thoroughly disgusted and trying her best not to show it. She failed miserably, of course. “I’m dying for laughing,” she retorted, through clenched teeth.

Anders laughed at her reaction and patted her hand. “You should tell us a story, Violeta, of you and Victor. How you met perhaps?”

“Nothing as exciting as… this,” Violet muttered, glancing at Victor. She was taken aback by the look on his face; something like wistful longing. She suspected he remembered that day as well as she did.

“Then I shall tell you a story, shall I?” Anders said.

Did she have a choice? She forced yet another smile and tried her best to listen to him, but the conversation across the table would not allow that.

“Well,” Victor said, his tone low. “You were the first girl I ever…you know.”

“You liar!” Chenille shouted.

“I have no reason to lie about that,” he replied.

Anders leaned over when he knew Violet’s attention was no longer on him and whispered in her ear, “He is a lawyer, is he not? Stands to reason not to believe him whatever he says.”

Violet might have laughed, had Chenille not scoffed loudly.

“You are forgetting Emma Dawson,” she said. 

“Emma?" Victor said, incredulous. "Are you kidding? I didn’t so much as hold her hand.”

“You are such a liar, Victor. She told me everything. You and she in the old abandoned barn down Opperton Lane, the hay loft and…”

“First, just think about what you just said. That barn was so dilapidated if anyone went up in the hay loft, assuming the ladder didn’t give way, they would fall straight through the floor and break their necks. Then there’s all the mice living in the hay and bats sleeping in the rafters. It’s romantic to think of a tumble in the hay, Chenille, but it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be in reality.”

“And you obviously know this because you and she...”

“It never happened."

"Yes, it did. She told me."

"You’re going to believe her over me? Emma was nothing but a manipulative, little brat who lied just for the hell of it.”

Anders made as if he was weighing scales in his two outstretched hands, “Manipulative lying brat or a lawyer? Who should we believe, Violeta?”

“I couldn’t say,” Violet replied, outraged by this unseemly discussion. “It’s quite possible Emma became the best lawyer in town or at least a politician.”

Anders burst out laughing and patted her hand in appreciation. Violet shot up out of her seat a moment later, startling everyone.

“Violet?” Victor said, also standing and frowning at her. “What are you doing?”

“Violeta, ve did not offend you I hope?” Anders said, looking anxious as he stood by his own chair.

She thought about telling Victor to go stick it, but her mama taught her better than that. She clenched her teeth for a second then muttered, “Lady’s room.”

“Ooh! I’ll join you,” Chenille piped in.

“No need,” Violet said. “It’s no longer the seventeenth century. As we all can see I don’t have any petticoats to worry about. I can empty my bladder quite on my own, thanks.”

They all gaped at her retreating back.

Chenille made a face. “What the bloody hell does that have to do with anything?” she said. “It’s always good to have someone tell you if you’ve got your dress tucked into your panties.”

“Recall, my Pet,” Anders said soothingly. “You vould have to start vearing panties first.”

She giggled, stood up and planted a passion filled kiss on him. She left the men alone. They re-seated themselves and stared at each other, as opposing males will do. 

One man amused, one not so much so. One man in love, one eliciting lust. Now which was which?

                



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