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“What are you wearing?” asked Tom.
Since their heated romance began two weeks earlier, the young man had asked Angelina that same sexual foreplay question over the telephone a number of times. On this occasion, however, his tone was different, and far less attractive. He sounded desperate, nervous and clingy.
“Ugh! Will you please stop?” answered an annoyed Angelina into the mouth of the receiver to her young lover. “We’ve been through this already.”
“I’m just curious, that’s all,” replied Tom. “I mean, you’ve said that you weren’t going to lead him on, but I also know you never leave the house without looking your best, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too sexy, or anything.”
For a week now – ever since Angelina’s most intense former flame, Harry Seymour, had emerged from her distant past to outbid him at her school’s charity bachelorette auction – Tom had been in a state of panic. Now his fear had reached its peak, as tonight was the night when Angelina would finally have to meet the terms of her bachelorette-auction obligation and go out on a date with Harry. And Tom was worried. Very worried, that despite her protests to the contrary, his new girlfriend might be tempted to return to the arms of the man whom she’d carried on a passionate 6-year affair with. After all, unlike all her other bachelorette-auction dates through the years, Harry was no stranger. Harry and Angelina had an extensive romantic history together. Meanwhile, Tom and Angelina were only 2 weeks into their relationship. Having just gotten started, it’d seemingly be easy for Angelina to drop her new lover and take up again with the man who she’d romantically been with longer than any of her numerous ex-boyfriends.
“Enough, already!” said an exasperated Angelina. “I’m just wearing an understated beige and Kelly green checkered skirt and a black top. It’s something I wear to work all the time.”
“Of course. You know how I love my boots. Now, STOP!”
“Okay, okay, but you will tell him about us right off the bat, right?”
“Now, I’ve got to go. He’ll be here any minute and I need to finish putting on my makeup.”
“I’ll talk with you tomorrow.”
Angelina placed the phone on its cradle on her vanity table, cutting off her neurotic young beau in mid-sentence, leaned toward the dresser mirror and resumed the careful painting of a coat of sugared maple, Clinique lipstick to the inviting lips that dozens – maybe even a hundred – romantic partners over the years yearned to kiss. After a few strokes, she set the lipstick down and gazed intently back in the mirror, looking for areas on her face or hair to touch up. There was none. From dark eyeliner, to light blush on her cheeks, to the now glowing lips, her face was flawless, the makeup fully complementing her already-striking features.
Rising from her chair, she turned to the full-length mirror a few feet away to give her body the same treatment. After smoothing her knee-length, pleated skirt, she rotated on the 4.5″ heels of her trademark black leather boots to catch a glimpse of her shapely rear end. Again, perfection.
For a woman who allegedly wasn’t going to any trouble to make herself look too attractive for her date, she was failing miserably – and by design, really. Even though she would deny it to Tom, Angelina most certainly did want to show her former boyfriend what he was missing out on after their messy breakup four years earlier. To show him that she still retained every ounce of the sex appeal that made him put his marriage in peril for six years. Angelina’s exquisite attention to detail over every aspect of her look was part of her subtle retribution plan.
Only the buzz of the doorbell broke the spell the mirror had over Angelina. Returning to the here and now, Angelina rushed out of her bedroom and down the flight of stairs. At the front door she placed her hand on the knob, paused and took a deep breath. Exhaling, she turned the knob and opened the door.
“Hello, Harry,” she said with little trace of emotion, upon seeing her date on the stoop.
“Hi, Angelina,” responded Harry, with nearly 1000% more warmth. “It’s good to see you again. You look gorgeous, as always.”
Apparently too stunned by Angelina’s appearance to speak, Harry just stood at the door admiring her beauty.
“Is there something wrong with your arm, or do you have something you want to give me?” asked Angelina, sarcastically.
“Oh, yeah,” he said, snapping back into the present. “Ummm…these are for you.”
Harry brought back his right arm he’d been hiding behind his back and handed Angelina a bouquet of a dozen red roses.
“Thank you. They’re lovely,” said Angelina stiffly.
Harry leaned in for a kiss on the lips. Angelina pulled back, then turned away. Harry, though, kept coming, and connected rus escort awkwardly on Angelina’s left cheek.
“Let me put these in water,” said the librarian, who quickly retreated to the kitchen.
Harry invited himself in the house and stood on the welcome mat.
“Your place looks great,” he said in a raised voice, so Angelina could hear him from the kitchen, gazing around the open first-floor. “Looks like you’ve had the living room painted since I was last here four years ago.”
Barely pausing to run a blast of cold water from the faucet into a vase, Angelina carelessly crammed the bouquet in the glass bowl and returned to the front door.
The temperature outside was uncommonly mild for a late October evening, so Angelina didn’t bother to reach into the hall closet to grab a coat. Instead, she paused only momentarily at the small, console table located near the entrance to stuff a pair of black leather gloves into her thin, rectangular, brown leather purse, which she neatly tucked under her left arm.
“Shall we go?” she asked, coldly, ignoring the living room compliment, as she approached Harry.
Harry quickly backed up from the welcome mat to the front stoop, before the oncoming Angelina bowled him over.
Closing the front door behind her, Angelina continued down the walkway to Harry’s 1977 silver Cadillac that was parked in her driveway.
“I see you have the same old car you had four years ago,” Angelina said disdainfully, as she waited for her date to open the front passenger door.
“That’s right,” Harry responded, seemingly oblivious to the putdown. “I’ll never get rid of this baby.”
The elderly man opened the door and Angelina slid in. When she’d finished folding in her lovely booted legs, Harry shut the door then walked around to the driver’s side and entered the vehicle.
After a silent, five-minute car ride to Rotini’s, the estranged lovers checked in at the reservation desk and were promptly led to their intimate table for two by the maitre’ d. Opening up her menu, Angelina held it up like a screen in front of her face – as if she wanted to hide from Harry.
“Since this is your neighborhood restaurant, what do you recommend?” asked Harry, as he attempted to break the ice with Angelina.
No response came from behind the large menu across the table.
“I said,” Harry tried again, in a somewhat louder voice, “what looks good here?”
“I’m sorry, did you say something?” asked Angelina unconvincingly incredulously, poking her head over the menu.
“Angelina, if this is the way it’s going to be, maybe we should just call it a night right now. Since I picked you up, you’ve been as cold to me as the water probably is in the lobster tank in the lobby of this place.”
Angelina snapped her menu shut and forcefully placed it down on her dinner plate.
“Well, tell me why I SHOULDN’T be cold to you, Harry!” she answered, her voice rising in anger.
“Will you please lower your voice,” Harry responded in a near whisper, looking around self-consciously to check that none of their dinner companions were listening in on their conversation. “You’re going to make a scene.”
“Oh, you mean like the scene YOU made at the bachelorette auction!” said Angelina, in a matching hushed tone.
“What scene did I make?” he answered, still whispering, but clearly agitated. “I was just innocently bidding for a date with you. YOU were the one who caused a scene by fainting in front of everyone, remember?”
“After four years of no contact whatsoever, how was I supposed to react to seeing you again coming from so completely out of the blue? Honestly, Harry, could you blame me for fainting? That kind of shock should have put me in a coma. I wish you had made your re-entry a little more subtly.”
“C’mon, Angelina. I know you. You’d have fainted at seeing me again, no matter what the setting, whether it was public or private.”
“Maybe. But it was still embarrassing. I don’t know how many times I passed out that night.”
“I lost track. Every time you awoke back stage and saw me you passed right out again. I finally thought it best to leave, so you could have a chance to recover.”
“That was the best judgment you showed all night.”
Flustered, Angelina opened up her purse and hastily withdrew her black cigarette holder and gold cigarette case. Fumbling with the case for a moment, she finally cracked it open, removed a Virginia Slim and rather clumsily stuffed the thin cigarette into the circular end of the holder. Angelina rarely NEEDED a cigarette. She usually only smoked to seduce a lover. But there was nothing seductive about the way she was acting now. There was no motive to get Harry in bed. Rattled, she had to have a cigarette to calm her frayed nerves.
Ever the spoiled prima donna, though, Angelina was not SO anxious or distracted that she didn’t expect her dinner date to light her sıhhiye escort cigarette.
“Umm, don’t you have a light?” she snapped at Harry.
“Oh, sorry. I gave up cigars a couple years ago, so I don’t carry a lighter anymore,” he said.
Angelina rolled her eyes in annoyance, then dove back into her purse, retrieved her gold cigarette lighter and – for the first time since she’d met Tom, nearly two weeks before – flicked the lighter and placed the holder in her mouth. When it was lit, she slid the holder out from between her lips and let out a long, satisfying exhale, hoping to expel as much of the tension from the moment as possible.
“Not to preach, Angelina, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you quit smoking, too.”
In no mood for health tips from her ex-lover, the irritated woman shot him a look that could break glass, before bringing the black holder back to her mouth, inhaling, then blowing a cone of smoke in his direction.
“Ack…ack…thanks for that,” coughed Harry sarcastically, waving away the cloud from about his face. “Really, though, you should think about quitting.”
“Well, my boyfriend doesn’t mind,” answered Angelina, conceitedly, hoping these words would injure her old flame more than the smoke did.
“Boyfriend?!” he asked.
Harry thought for a moment.
“Wait. Was that the guy who was kneeling by your side when I came backstage to see you after you fainted?” he wondered aloud. “And was he the one who I was bidding against?”
“Yes, his name is Tom. Tom Bailey.”
“He’s a little young for you, don’t you think?”
“What a rude thing to say. For your information, he happens to be the best I lover I’ve ever had – and that includes YOU.”
“BEST lover, Angelina?! I think you’re forgetting some of the more intimate details of our time together, don’t you? I don’t recall you ever having any complaints about my performance in the bedroom. I seem to recall pleasuring you so intensely that nearly every time we made love you lost consciousness.”
“Don’t flatter yourself, Harry. Many men have had that effect on me. With Tom, I’ve even passed out while he were kissing, he’s so passionate. He could teach you a thing or two about how to make love to a woman.”
“I’ll bet. How old is he? 23? 24?”
“He’s 22, if you must know.”
“22?! Where’d you meet him, at a malt shop?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but he’s actually an ex-student. Tom came into the library about two weeks ago, specifically to see me. We talked and then met here later for dinner – as a matter of fact. He worked up the nerve to tell me he’s had a crush on me since he was 13. He was shy and awkward, but he was so innocent and cute. Emotionally, he just melted my heart. And physically, well, I couldn’t resist. Tom’s about 6’2”, strong, with wavy brown hair and deep blue eyes. He’s sinfully gorgeous!
“A crush?! he exclaimed, slapping the table with his open-faced left hand. “Aw, isn’t that special? So, you’ve only known him for two weeks?! Seems a bit premature to call him a boyfriend, isnt’ it? You know what, I think you’ve got your own little boy toy, not a boy friend.”
Angelina now turned defensive over her relationship with Tom.
“Stop it, Harry. Just stop it, she barked. “We’re not together anymore. You have no right to question my choice of sexual partners.”
“Okay, relax,” he said. “Take it easy. But honestly, where exactly do you see this relationship going? There’s about a 30-year age difference. Please tell me you’re not in love with this kid.”
“Maybe I am! Even in that short amount of time, we’ve had a whirlwind romance.”
“C’mon, Angelina. I’m too old to be conned. What’s the real story?”
“That’s none of your business!”
Angelina took a stressed pull on her holder, blew out the smoke, then put her hand to her forehead as if she was experiencing a migraine.
“Where’s our waiter?” she said to no one in particular, while raising her right hand that was grasping her cigarette holder to gesture for any member of Rotini’s wait staff. “I need a drink.”
The signal apparently worked. Seconds later, a waiter appeared at Harry and Angelina’s table.
“Good evening. Would you care to hear our specials for this evening?”
“Not right now, thank you,” Angelina answered. “I’d like a scotch on the rocks, please.”
“Okay,” said the waiter. “And for you, sir…”
“I’m good with water, thank you.”
“Very well. I’ll be back with the lady’s scotch in a moment.”
“Why don’t you make it a double?” answered Angelina.
“A double, huh?” cracked Harry, after the waiter left the table. “I guess you’ve got to squeeze in your drinking when your boyfriend’s not around, as you wouldn’t want to corrupt him. Oh, wait. Pardon me. He’s been legal to drink for a year now. Never mind.”
“You know, just because he’s only 22 doesn’t mean he’s immature. sincan escort His youth has nothing to do with anything. Tom’s handsome and intelligent. He just graduated from Fairfield. Sensitive, thoughtful, romantic, and a perfect gentleman. Tom never keeps me waiting for a light when I take out my holder.”
“I’m sure you’ve got a lot in common, right?” Harry asked skeptically.
“As a matter of fact, we do,” Angelina replied confidently. “He’s an editor at a publishing house in the city. We share common interests in the arts and books. And our physical chemistry is UN-REAL.”
“Uh huh,” replied Harry, cynically. “If you’re so committed to this so-called boyfriend, emphasis on the BOY, then why were you in the auction?”
“Because it was too late to back out. We needed every available bachelorette if we were to hit our fundraising goals. I figured it’d be the usual stable of loser bachelors. How was I supposed to know that you’d show up out of nowhere and bid for me? And he’s not a boy. Stop calling him that!
“Again, what right do you have questioning who I date? You’re not my boyfriend anymore. You forfeited that title four years ago when you broke up with me, to stay with your wife. Speaking of which, how were you able to sneak out of the house last week to attend the auction and tonight to go on an actual date with me? During our affair, you didn’t want to be seen in public with me, for fear that our affair would be exposed. How is old Mrs. Sensible Shoes, anyway?”
“Angelina, Marian’s dead,” answered Harry, somberly. “She passed away 15 months ago.”
“Oh, Harry,” said Angelina, her mood turning 180 degrees to compassion at the news that the third wheel in their relationship; the woman who’s existence seemingly prohibited Harry and Angelina from becoming a true couple, had passed. “I’m so sorry.”
Returning to their table, the waiter places Angelina’s double scotch down in front of her.
“Are you ready to order now?” he asks.
“Could you give us a few more minutes, please?” Angelina asks him quietly.
The waiter leaves and Angelina takes a sip of her drink, followed by an extended pull on her holder.
“I had no idea she was even ill,” Angelina said, after exhaling the smoke overhead to her right.
“Taking care of her took up all my time. When it was over, I just didn’t have the energy to tell anyone. The service was just for family and close friends.”
A silent, uncomfortable pall settled over the table.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, Angelina,” Harry confessed a couple minutes later, resuming his monologue. “The way I conducted my marriage for the six years that you and I had our affair ranks at the top. But I think I did the right thing staying with her. She was diagnosed with cancer shortly after you and I broke up. She needed me.
“But that’s not to say that I didn’t love you, too. My God, you were so alluring. Were? You still are. I couldn’t believe that a sexy woman like you wanted to be with a short, balding old guy like me. I was so lucky that every time we were together I felt like I had to top the previous time. I had to be more charming, more gracious, more giving, more thoughtful and more of a lover, just to justify you staying with me. I know that you slept with other men when we were having our affair. It bothered me greatly, but I couldn’t blame you either. I didn’t make that full commitment to you, so I had no right to ask for your monogamy. Yet, you always came back to me, and that made me feel like we had something special.”
“You hurt me badly, Harry,” sighed, Angelina, before taking another swig of her drink. “I’ve never gotten over you. But I’m afraid we can’t go back to how we used to be. And it’s not because I’m with another man now. You can say you loved me, but actions speak louder than words and you had six years in which to take action and you didn’t. I patiently waited for you to divorce her and marry me, but you couldn’t. I wasted enough of my life waiting for you to fully commit to me.
“I’ve had five long years to analyze our affair – starting a year before we actually broke up. I even spent time in analysis with a psychologist, who I wound up sleeping with, by the way, but that’s another story.
“I’ve had a lot of relationships in my life. Some long, some short, but I’ve never loved a man like I loved you and it hurt to know that you didn’t love me equally. That I was really nothing more than a common slut to you. Someone to fuck whenever you wanted. I wanted to be in a REAL relationship with you. I guess I thought if I always looked sexy and seduced you enough, it’d be enough to convince you to be with me fulltime – not just when you wanted a good fuck.”
“You’re right, in that I didn’t prove it to you,” admitted Harry. “But you’re wrong! I NEVER thought of you as a slut. I loved you, Angelina! I STILL love you. But I can’t blame you for moving on either. I guess it was silly of me to think I could just waltz back into your life and we could pick up where we left off.
“But we’ll always have our memories. And there were A LOT of good ones. I do take issue with you on not wanting to be seen in public together. Remember that time I took you to Studio 54…
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