Wasn’t this abject humiliation in its finest form!
Violet stood, wearing that sexy little thing, in ridged mortification feeling as defenseless, naked and ugly as a newborn vulture. Of all the reactions she expected from Victor upon him seeing her like this, laughter was not among them. And here she had worried she’d overcome his senses, cause excessive drooling and/or have to fight off unwanted advances. Okay, not exactly unwanted, but she thought she’d have a hard time keeping him off of her. Instead, Victor was laughing his head off.
Fancy that, huh?
Although too late to prevent the complete annihilation of her pride, she imagined covering up might stop him from waking up the entire house and give her back an iota of dignity. She stumbled over the dress tangled at her feet and headed for her bag. She frantically rummaged through it, but it wasn’t there.
“Looking for this?” Victor said, holding up her night gown and satiny bath robe.
“Yes,” she said, reaching for them. Much to her dismay, however, Victor tossed them over his shoulder and they flew across the bed landing on the floor on the opposite side. “Victor, why did you do that?”
“We won’t be needing those tonight,” he said, with barely a trace of amusement. He advanced with a new sparkle in his eyes, eyes which raked her figure with extreme interest.
“Oh, snap,” Violet muttered. There it was, the lustful look, the gleam of desire she had expected. Now she was in trouble! At least he wasn’t drooling, and yes, her ego just got a good shot to it, but now she kind of wished he was still laughing at her. He obviously had something on his mind which wasn’t at all comical.
“Victor…” she said breathlessly, taking two steps backward for every one he took forward until her back was to the dresser against the wall. “We should go to bed…and sleep,” she squeaked.
He grinned devilishly as he held her prisoner against the dresser, his arms on either side barring her escape. “I couldn’t agree more, except for the sleeping part,” he said and he leaned down and kissed her, wrapping his arms around her.
Before she knew it, she was airborne and being taken to bed. “Victor, what are you doing?” she shrieked.
“Something I should have done ages ago, ravish you until we’re both quite exhausted,” he said, feasting his eyes on her, before he joined her on the crisp sheets. “I can’t believe we wasted two whole months. You look good enough to eat, Violet, and I think I’ll start…here.”
She gasped as she felt him kissing and nipping at her neck and shoulders, working his way slowly down. “Victor, you can’t do this,” she mumbled.
“Watch me,” he replied, between tiny nips and little bites.
“Victor, you can’t,” she said, pushing against his chest. She was as effective as an ant moving a ten ton boulder.
“Think I can,” he mumbled dropping kisses at the swell of her breasts. “I think I’ll stay here for a while.”
“Oh, God…” she moaned almost overcome with sensation after sensation.
His hands were doing their own sort of magic, touching this, rubbing that, kneading the other thing, all the while pulling her closer and making her quite aware of how much he wanted her. She felt one hand tugging at the laces on the front of her corset. Up until then she thought they were purely decorative, but then she felt the bodice give way and one hand sneak under the satin fabric. “Victor, you have to stop!”
“Give me one good reason,” he said, taking her hands and holding them over her head, where they would cease to resist him. She writhed underneath him and much to his delight it set him further aflame. “I like that, keep doing that,” he mumbled.
“I won’t,” she said, instantly stopping.
“Why not when all I’m trying to do is please you?” he asked in a semi-hurt voice. He went back to nibbling on her neck.
“Because…because of Richard. You have to stop because I’m thinking of him…not you.”
“Sorry, that’s not gonna work anymore,” he said.
“So beautiful, Violet…my lovely little tease,” he said, dropping kisses here and there, especially there.
“Oh, God…Victor…do I have to say it?” she said, trying to get out of his grip. He let go of her hands, lest she hurt herself, and hovered above her.
“Say what you will,” he replied. He kissed her then, stopping any words she might have spoken.
“Victor, stop! I can’t think when you’re doing that,” she pleaded.
“Good… thinking only gets in the way,” he muttered and he kissed her again.
“I… can’t do this,” she whispered, almost lost in a strange and wonderful abyss.
“Why?” he asked watching her heaving chest before passing fingertips over the tips, just to hear her sharp intake of breath which so delighted him. “You’re amazing.”
“It’s…’cause you’re a lawyer and this is …rape,” she said.
“Is it?” he said, smirking, dropping a light kiss on the tip of her breast. “You really think so?”
She moaned. “Uh…maybe,” she said.
“You’ll never convince a jury that way, Honey, if you can’t even convince yourself.”
“I…I’m appealing to the decent man I know you are. You won’t do this when you know I don’t want to.”
“Oh, really?” he said, intrigued. “Can you honestly look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want this?”
Oh crap! He knew as well as she did that she couldn’t lie to save her life. “Okay, so my traitorous body does, but my head doesn’t.”
“Which begs the question, what’s wrong with this pretty little head that it doesn’t like what I’m doing?” he asked, one finger twirling around a strand of her hair.
“It’s not right,” she whispered. “It’s not...because Richard’s here.”
Victor cocked an eyebrow. “Is he now? Didn’t see him as the type to want to watch as another man makes love to his wife…excuse me…I mean his widow.”
“He’s here cuz he knows this isn’t right. He knows that I shouldn’t forget him so soon. Me and you like this would be the ultimate betrayal, Victor. Can’t you see that?”
“But we’ve already done it once, Violet, and Richard’s ghost hasn’t done anything to either of us.”
“We have not!”
“You’re pregnant for Cripe’s sake. Isn’t that enough proof?”
“Why in the world do you keep saying that?” Violet said, suddenly sitting up and moving out of his reach. When his eyes dipped to her chest, she gasped and tugged at the laces, closing it again.
“Why bother, babe? I’ve already seen your treasures…nipped and kissed and licked at them, too. Mighty fun, like to do it again. C’mere,” he said, grinned and pulling her towards him, but she resisted and scooted further out of his reach.
“Like I was saying, no angel came to me for an immaculate conception in the middle of the night and I haven’t known you or anyone else…in the biblical sense. I’ve only ever been with Richard and since he’s been gone for more than a year, I cannot be pregnant.”
“Staying with that story, huh?” he said, shaking his head. “Would you be shocked if I told you that we have had sex? Yes, indeed we have and man, it was a wild ride you took me on. Best I ever had…and that’s saying something.”
She rolled her eyes. “Fantasies and dreams don’t count, Victor.”
“It would be nice as just a fantasy or dream…I’m sure dearly John Yearly would have loved it, but this really happened. Do you recall my birthday weekend?”
She rolled her eyes again. “I’m not totally senile yet,” she huffed.
“Good. Then you also recall the storm?”
“Yes, of course. We had to stay in that crappy little room in the middle of nowhere with no electricity and…” She stopped abruptly remembering how she had awakened sans a stitch of clothing with Victor’s body pressed up against her back, his hand possessively around one breast and his breath warming her neck. She gulped and stared at Victor who wore a knowing smirk. Fine time for him to be able to read her mind!
“You raped me that night?” she squeaked.
He frowned. “You like tossing that word around, don’t you? Well, if anyone can cry rape it would be me. There I was minding my own, trying to fall asleep, the woman of my dreams inches away from me torturing me with her presence, knowing that I wasn’t allowed to touch her, when all of a sudden my innocent little Violet turns into…well, if I had been dreaming I would have thought it more likely to be a sex kitten like Chenille or my hot-for-me ex-wife slithering her luscious body all over mine and doing unimaginably wonderful things to me.”
Violet gaped. “I…I would never do that!”
“Aww, honey, really? We’re going to do this the hard way?” he said, reaching out to undo the laces again.
She slapped his hands away and moved to the edge of the bed. Blast the man for his extra-long arms! “There is nothing to do the easy or the hard way. You’re lying and making up stories and that’s that.”
“Might I convince you with a thorough description of every single amazing thing you did to me that night? Starting with you straddling me and then slipping out of my shirt, the one you were using as a night gown. I recall you desperately looking for it come morning.”
Violet’s eyes widened and he smiled, hitting a target.
“Yes. You see, I wasn’t really asleep when you finally woke up---how could I sleep with you so close, so appealing, so extraordinary in my arm as I had wished for so long? No way I could! Remember how you very carefully and very slowly removed my hand from your…” he paused here to look at her almost covered chest. “very pretty breast? It was the left one if I remember correctly. I just pretended to be sleeping. Why you may ask? Because I knew you would be embarrassed. At least, I imagined you should have been after everything you did to me. Who knew, my sweet, prim and proper little Violet, that you were capable of …”
“Shush! Shush! I won’t listen to this! I couldn’t… there’s no way I did anything…not without remembering it!” she shouted.
Victor sat up and held a finger to her lips. “We must be quiet, my love. We don’t want to awaken the whole house, do we? Unless you’re willing to let me try to make you…scream again.”
“Victor! Stop it right this minute,” she said, her chest heaving again. “This can’t be. I would not do that. You must have dreamt it.”
“I don’t dream that good.”
She covered her mouth with her hands and stared at him. “What… what did I do then?”
He grinned and leaned toward her. “Well, you started by kissing my chest,” he whispered. “You see, when you fell asleep you cuddled up to me, your hand rested on my chest, but after a few minutes…” He paused here to take her hand and place it on his chest, moving it around as she had done then. “Just like that you were playing with the hair right here until you decided to play with something else.” He then moved her hand down his chest, down his abs, down all the way to…
She snatched her hand away and gasped. “And you didn’t think to stop me?” she shrieked.
He laughed. “Are you kidding? You really expect me, a red-blooded male who hadn’t had sex in a heck of a long time, that I would dare stop a woman—and not just any woman, mind you, but the one I’ve been craving desperately for several years—I was supposed to stop her from doing whatever she’s willing to do to me? Surely, you’re not that naïve and you don’t think that highly of me.”
He watched the color rise in her cheeks. As his one hand moved up and down her thigh, he told her exactly what she did that night, not leaving any detail untold no matter how small. He told her how she did it, how it made him feel and what she said during it all. He could feel her trembling under his touch as he spoke, as if she was reliving it. He could feel her succumbing to his seductive voice and just when he thought he had her in the palm of his hand and he could ease her back onto the pillows to continue what he started….
“Oh, my God! I did not do that!” she said, hiding her face in her hands.
“Babe, you did, and blast it all if you didn’t do it extremely well. You called me an expert just before. Well, in truth, you seemed to know your way around the male anatomy all too well for you to call yourself a novice; well enough that any guy could mistake you for a pro. I could definitely see why Richard wouldn’t want to let go of you, even in death. Who would?”
She remained silent for several minutes, playing with the laces on the corset, and Victor waited. She could feel his eyes boring into her, but she refused to look at him. This occurrence, if in fact it was true—and thinking back now, there were telltale signs which she had conveniently disregarded then, but she simply couldn’t do so now, proving that Victor spoke the truth—was all entirely too humiliating, mortifying even.
That Victor praised her performance was something to delight in, she supposed, but at the same time she couldn’t help feel let down. It had been their first time together and she had zero memory of it. She didn’t even know if she had enjoyed it. Not that it mattered, she supposed, just as long as Victor liked it, and by his account he did. Still, it would be nice to know. No matter how embarrassing it was to ask, she knew she should.
“Victor,” she said, “Did I…did you…um…did we…”
“You brought me to the highest peak right along with you and you didn’t stop until we were both quite spent…if you know what I mean. It never occurred to me that you could get pregnant. It was the furthest thing on my mind at the moment. You’ll forgive me, but not a man in a million could. I’m sorry about that, but in all honesty, not too sorry.”
“I’m not,” she said quietly.
“Not what?” he said frowning slightly.
She finally raised her eyes to him. “I’m not pregnant. I had proof of that a few days ago…if you know what I mean. So, you don’t have to worry about having a bastard child.”
He winced at the vile term. “Worried I was not. I would have done everything in my power to fix that, had it been the case. I meant it when I said I would love to have a child with you,” he earnestly said.
She smiled. “Funny, didn’t you tell me a while back that you were too old to start a family?”
He shrugged. “I still think I am. Doesn’t mean I can’t wish for the impossible.”
She nodded and they lapsed into another long stretch of silence. “This changes nothing, you know.”
“On the contrary, Violet, it changes everything. There is no need to keep me at arm’s length. We can’t go back to our version of normal, not after going over that hurdle.”
“No, Victor. This just makes me want to…I must have disappointed him so…Richard, I mean. Now I feel even more guilty for…for so many things.” Unexpectedly, her eyes filled with tears. “I’ve completely betrayed him now.”
“Aww, Sweetheart, don’t say that,” he said, putting his arm around her. “He wouldn’t blame you. You were asleep. You didn’t know what you were doing. You don’t even remember it. He would blame me.”
She shook her head. “It started long before that, when we first met. I should never have…never have…”
“Spoken to me in the supermarket? Gone to dinner with me at the Mont Claire? Allowed me to buy a car for you? Taken you to Weston…”
“Wait…what did you say about the car?”
He grimaced then shrugged. “Oops,” he muttered sheepishly. “Yes, I bought a new car for you, because you refused to buy anything unless you thought you could afford it. Those cars were simply not good enough for you. I got the guys at the dealership to pretend your car was used, then they created a fake invoice with a price you were okay with. Your payments which I had sent to my offices in the city, I’ve been investing for you. You’ve got a pretty little nest egg now. So, now, ironically, you can afford a new car. Ask your accountant.”
She blinked stupidly at him. “Freddy knows about this and he didn’t tell me?”
“What can I say? He agreed with me. He wanted you in a safe, reliable car as much as I did.”
“Why did you do that? You barely knew me then,” she said. “I didn’t even know you a month, I think.”
“Do you really have to ask?”
She stared at him. She clearly saw love in his eyes and she slowly shook her head. “Guess not.” She sighed and added, “More wonderful things you did for me that I didn’t even know about and I’ll bet there’s more you still aren’t telling me and I’m not supposed to feel guilty about that?”
“And now you know of some that you’ve done for me that you didn’t know about before…until now. I think we’re even,” he said smiling.
“How can you possibly say that,” she huffed.
“Easy. Your one very special gift to me on my birthday weekend was better than everything I ever did for you put together. Actually, I think I still owe you,” he said, winking at her. “Yes, baby, it was that good.”
She shyly smiled, but bit her bottom lip staying silent for a long moment.
In the meanwhile, Victor leaned over her to the opposite side of the bed and retrieved her night gown from the floor. “Here you go. We’ll need it after all.”
“Victor,” she said, grabbing his hand. “I’m sorry.”
He grinned. “Don’t be,” he said, laying back against the pillows with his fingers interlocked behind his head. “I’ll just sleep here and wait for my phantom lover to wake me up in a most pleasant way. She’s bound to show up again. I’m such a hottie, you know.”
“Victor! You wouldn’t,” she said.
“I’m not doing anything,” he said, feigning innocence as he turned out the lamp on his night stand. He then closed his eyes and added, “You can change. I won’t look. I know how shy you are even though I have seen the best parts already…and touched them and…well, you know.”
“Victor, you have to promise me you’ll wake me up if I… if I…”
“Attempt to rape me again?” he asked, opening one eye. “I don’t like making promises I can’t keep.”
“Please, Victor. Promise me. It’s not fair that you remember our first time and I don’t. I refuse to miss the second time or I mean…there can’t be a second time.”
He smiled and looked up at her. He then sat up and took her into his arms kissing her passionately. He pulled away from her, breathing hard, and lay back down. “It was like that only much better.”
“Don’t tease me,” she whispered. “Wake me up if I…if I start doing the same thing. Okay? Cuz this can’t happen again. I already feel so guilty. Please promise me.”
"You know what they say about promises in the dark, don't you?"
"No, I don't. Just promise me you'll wake me."
He shut his eyes in agony. “Babe, you’re killing me.”
“I know and I’m sorry.”
He drew in a deep breath and let it out. “All right. I promise to wake you before you do anything,” he reluctantly said. He then mumbled, “God, kill me first.
“Turn out the lights, Violet, and let’s get to sleep before I change my mind.”
She stared at him from her side of the bed. He looked annoyed but resigned as he lay there with his eyes closed. At last, she turned her back on him and removed the corset. Just as she was about to slip the night gown over her head she felt his hand move up and down her bare back, then a kiss at her shoulder.
“Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’ll be good now. Good night,” he mumbled and he settled back on the bed.
A vicious battle waged inside her. She felt the need to stay true to Richard, to keep him alive in her heart and remember him, yet she was now in love with Victor and wanted to please him. Guilt pushed at her from both sides, crushing her. Well, if she was going to feel guilty anyway… she turned off the light on her nightstand.
“Violet, may I ask a favor?” Victor said.
“Yes,” she said, dropping the night gown to the floor along with the corset and the robe, slipping under the covers and turning to him.
“Will you snuggle up to me for a while? Just for a little bit. I just want to feel you for a while.”
“Okay,” she replied, moving closer, taking a steadying breath then pressing her bare body to his, laying her head on his shoulder and her hand resting on his chest.
“Hey! You’re not wearing anything.”
“Yes, I know,” she whispered.
“Violet, are you trying to kill me?”
“No, it’s just…it’s not fair. You remember our first time together and I don’t. I don’t even know if I liked it.”
He held her close to his side and chuckled. “Let’s just say you enjoyed the ride….several times if you know what I mean…unless you were faking it. Sure didn’t seem like faking. If you were, you’re an excellent actress.”
She was silent for several seconds, playing with the hair on his chest. “You’re blushing, aren’t you?” he asked, amusement in his voice.
“Maybe a little.”
He laughed again and kissed the top of her head. “Violet, you are... May I ask you one thing before you fall asleep?” he said.
When she looked at him, propping her chin on his chest, she could only just make out, in the dim light from the hallway, the outline of his face. “What?”
“Do you love me?”
“You’re not seriously going to try that horny teenage boy’s line on me?” she said, putting on a whiny voice an octave lower than her own. “If you love me you’ll have sex with me. Really, Victor, I may be naïve, but I’m not an idiot.”
He chuckled. “That’s not what I meant. I know you’re too smart. I wouldn’t insult your intelligence like that. I would like a serious answer, though. I know you said you did, but I need to know if you truly do or if you’re just saying it to please me or appease me or out of guilt.”
“I know what love feels like, Victor. I’ve lived it once with Richard. So, you should know I don’t toss that word around too lightly,” she replied, reaching out to touch his face. “I do love you, but…”
“But not as much as Richard,” he finished for her.
“I didn’t say that!”
“No, but it’s obviously true. Your loyalty and love lies with him. You’re just not willing to admit it,” he said, tossing her own words right back at her.
“It’s okay, Violet, really,” he said, caressing her back, pulling her closer so he could kiss her lips. “If you love me half as much as you do Richard, it’ll be enough.”
The problem was she was seriously in danger of loving Victor far more.