She opened the door to her villa.
Belle…ravissante…in her long pink satin robe…her thick, black cotton candyhair, billowing her warm brown, delicate face. he thought, reassured by being in her presence again. She held a cup of coffee in her hand.
He stood in front of her.
Absolutely adorable, she observed…in his tight jeans, tank top and that silly neck tie…obviously some kind of joke referring to his banking career…incongruously knotted around his neck. His shining, bouncing curls framed his strong, square-jawed, masculine and youthful face in a way that made one think of… Amelia then suddenly realized that she hadn’t noticed his beautiful curls before!
Perhaps he’d been slicking his hair down in order to have what he thought was a banker’s image. She preferred the bouncy curls; they complemented the long, silky eyelashes that handsome men always seemed to possess, regardless of their nationality.
Amelia realized that she preferred his casual image to his banker look. He now looked less like a Maître ‘D and more like the playfully hot-blooded lover she enjoyed in their private time together.
She wanted to run her fingers through his luscious mane…devour his lips, drink his chestnut colored eyes, climb atop his majestic….
A street mime. A friggin’, devastatingly sexy, street mime! What on earth is my world coming to?
“Would you like some coffee, Jean-Claude?” she asked simply, revealing nothing of her wanton thoughts. “I had coffee on the plane…it was rather putrid…really, but Amelia, I’d gladly have a sip of yours. You like to take your coffee with cream, am I correct?” he smiled, taking her hand to sip from her cup.
She turned away from him, keeping a firm grip on her coffee cup and walked toward her living room.
Following her and her Jasmin-scented trail of perfume, he said, “You could have mailed my shaving things to Paris, you know. Why have you asked me to come?”
He watched Amelia sit down on her big, plush white sofa…he had fond memories of that sofa…and cross her pretty legs. She was wearing the thin, golden rings he had bought for her on the second and middle toes of her slender, sexy, bare feet.
He sat across from her on the other sofa…a large comfortable wine-colored piece…he had fond memories of this one as well. They had traveled to ecstatic places together in this bright and lovely room.
“I invited you here, because I feel that we should have a proper good bye,”she said, placing her cup on the coffee table in front of them.
“How proper are we talking about, ma puce?” he asked, a vulpine grin spreading on his face.
He had felt that those naked, bejewelled feet with wildly red painted toe-nails and that slinky robe didn’t exactly look like farewell attire’to him.
She’s acting preposterous, he thought, laughing out loud.
“Proper! That’s all!” she snapped at him, picking up her coffee. Flustered by the sly expression on his face and his mocking laughter, she ended up spilling some coffee all over her table.
“Merde!” She placed the cup back on the table. A subtle gesture caused her pink robe to open downward toward her navel. His eyebrow lifted in a wry expression as it appeared to him that she was wearing little…or perhaps absolutely nothing underneath.
“I’ll clean that up for you…” he stood up.
“Just leave it, cher…uh…Fouret,” she looked away from him. He stood gazing at his chocolate mousse girl…who he could see was struggling to maintain her attempt at sophisticated poise. She reached over to the end table next to her seat and grabbed a hand full of tissues and began cleaning up the coffee spill.
“Jean-Claude…I have to ask you…”
“Anything, Amelia. You have read your dossier about me, so now you can…”
“Where did you get all the money to spend on our outings? Did you take it from Maxine?” Did she buy you that Porsche that you drive? ”She refused to look at him.
She figured that she’d just have to deduce the truth of things from the tone of his voice.
He sat back down on the wine-colored sofa and said, “No. I have never taken money from her. As I told you…I have my own. You have read your dossier, have you not?”
“But how? How much do…?” she stopped in mid-sentence recalling the deceased parents, and said, “Oh…that’s right…I forgot.”
“When my parents were killed in the auto accident my brother and I were left some money and property. It became ours when we turned twenty one…you understand?”
“Where is this brother of yours? Where does he live?”
“He lives in Zimbabwi…in Africa…the last I heard.”
“I don’t know, Amelia. I haven’t seen him in years. Perhaps…like me…he is drawn to products of Africa,” he smiled at her.
She leaned toward him with an expression that changed from suspicion to sympathy and stated, “It must have been devastating for the two of you to loose your parents at such a young age.”
“It was. But I don’t remember much of the details after the…”
“So that is what you meant, at the restaurant the other night, when you said…‘what you could remember of them’” she looked at the expression on his face. She could see he was struggling to hold the pain in check.
“That’s right,” he removed his shoes with his feet and leaned back into the sofa, his eyes avoiding hers.
“Well…” Amelia began.
He interrupted her, still leaning back on the sofa, “Why would you pay someone to investigate me, yet not thoroughly read the dossier, chérie? It seems like such a waste of money, and someone else’s time.”
“But I….” He sat up, and looked into her startled big, brown eyes and continued, “I hope you haven’t paid this detective in full, yet, Amelia.”
“Why do you…?”
“Those people are apparently not at all very thorough. I suggest you renegotiate a price, or have him continue his investigation. First of all, my occupation is not a Paris street mime. I am a mime who performs in Paris from time to time, in order to raise money for orphaned children like myself. Let me add, that I feel that for some reason you must explore, your hired detective apparently wanted to prejudice you against me. The presentation of that dossier is like disseminating bad press…yellow journalism…isn’t that what you would call it?”
She ignored his reprimand, sort of, and asked, “Why had you never told me about your parents, Jean-Claude?”
“You never told me about yours, either. It never came up in our conversations, am I correct?” he asked, leaning back again on the sofa, then folding his arms over his eyes.
“What did your family do for a living, chérie?” she asked taking a sip from what was left of her coffee.
“They were manufacturers. But that was for your detective to discover, n’est-ce-pas?”
“What did they manufacture?”
“They manufactured confectionaries.” He suddenly sat straight up on the sofa, and with a sly grin, added, “As a matter of fact, the company specializes in chocolates.”
“That’s not funny, Fouret!” she snapped at him. “Je le te jure! I swear, Amelia. Why don’t you ask your private detective?”
He got up from the sofa, leaned over and took Amelia’s cup, drained the remaining coffee from it, placed it back down in front of her and sat back down across from her.
Amelia suddenly realized that she was intimately familiar with the Fouret chocolate! In fact she loved the stuff. Had almost developed an addiction to it in the past. “I see…” was all she could muster to say.
“What did your parents do for a living, Amelia darling?”
“My father has a moving company, based in New York, called, Action Jackson.“But, I read in newspapers that you were born in the slums of…” he said with raised eyebrows.
“Yes…yes…yes…the newspapers say all kinds of things, you know,” she fanned her hands at him.
“Maybe I should have you investigated,” he laughed.
“Go ahead! If it would ease your silly little…”
“Who cares, Amelia? I don’t want to talk about my family or yours. It is not at all why you asked me to come to see you and you know it!” he stated firmly, leaning back into the sofa and closing his eyes. She ignored his last remarks and continued her inquest, “Okay, then…what about your lover, Maxine Bronheim? Does she know that you are a…?”
“A mime…I am a mime. You just can’t say it, can you, darling?” he smirked.
“I don’t want to,” she said, folding her arms across her breasts, defensively.
“Of course she knows, chérie. But you see…Maxine is a European. European women, especially artists, do not place so much importance on a man’s…”
“I’m not a European woman!” she said, sucking her teeth at him.
“I hate it when you do that, Amelia,” he said, his eyes still closed.
“I know you do.”
“Would you be happier if I had work in the illegitimate theater, ma puce?”
“What on earth are you talking about? What is the….”
“Don’t you American’s call your live theater legitimate? Doesn’t that make the film industry…”
“Stop this! This has nothing to do with our conversation here. You are trying to change the subject and I don’t know what direction this is taking. Besides, I can’t tell you what to do with your life. I am not qualified,” she said twirling some strands of her hair into a coil in exasperation.
“Okay then, what else do you want to reprimand me for?”
“How can you live with her, when you are seeing me?”
“Maxine knows about us, Amelia.”
Amelia, looked over at him in disbelief. “What? Are you crazy?”
She suddenly had images of a large group of crazed, deceived, European women with flaming torches, pitch forks and sickles rushing the door of her villa, screaming ‘give us Jackson…hand her over!’
“I am telling you the truth. I am giving you what you want, my darling. She and I are not married, you know…” he sat back up and scrutinized her expression to see if he could figure out where he stood with her now. “
I know that…but…but…look, Jean-Claude…I can’t possibly understand this sophisticated European stuff. I could never feel comfortable in an arrangement like this.”
“My being a mime or the fact of Maxine?”
Amelia wanted to slap his handsome face into tomorrow. She realized that she didn’t have a ready answer to his question, but leaned forward toward him and hissed, “All of it!”
“My relationship with Maxine is over.”
“Does she know that yet?”
“Well…I see…” She threw the wet tissues from the coffee spill at him. Theylanded on his lap. He leaned over and placed them on the table in front of him.
“So, do you expect me to wait around for you to tell her that it is over?”
Jean-Claude couldn’t believe what she was saying! He was relieved. She had appeared to still want him, despite all of the confusion. He wanted to grab her and make love to her with gratitude. Well…actually…with an instrument of gratitude. He certainly had a profound urge at that very moment to bury his lips in the sweet, succulent, moist place between her warm, smooth thighs and lovingly devour her joli, doux minou and everything else. Nevertheless, he still wasn’t sure how she felt about the street mime profession.
“I think you’re weird, Jean-Claude.”
“How could a grown man choose that line of work? Why did you work in a circus, anyway?’
“Line of work?” he coughed then continued, “Don’t be silly, Amelia. Nevertheless,I was a kid when I joined the circus. The circus is filled with gorgeous, glamourous, interesting, talented people and exciting travel experiences. Not unlike your American show business, wouldn’t you say?”
Amelia, just rolled her eyes at him. She couldn’t believe this conversation!
“Didn’t you tell me, Amelia, that you left your circus group in order to be independent? Well so did I. It appears to me that we have some things…quite a few things in common.”
She stared at him. Why was he so friggin’ sexy?
"Well…what about that dead tiger and those dead trapeze artists…what was that all about?” she asked pointing toward the ceiling.
“You don’t have strange deaths in American show business, Amelia? I hear that there are Americans who believe that Elvis is still alive. But actually, looking back on the whole situation…I have come to the conclusion that it was some form of corporate downsizing as you Americans call it. There were no convictions, but everyone was old…the two trapeze artists and the tiger….” He laughed drolly and continued, “although who’s to say what “old” is among circus artists. It was weird…I was frightened…so…needless to say…I fled!”
He let out a soft chuckle at the expression on his chocolate mousse-girl’s lovely face.
“Stop this, Jean-Claude! You’re making the most ridiculous comparisons I have ever heard!” She leaned over and slammed her fist on the coffee table.
“I don’t think they are ridiculous at all,” he said smiling at her perplexed expression.
“Although I didn’t know about this woman, Maxine Bronheim, you did tell me about your two-year affair with that English, Opera star, Gloria Steed…A cold flash of memory…involving an unfortunate misunderstanding while in Gloria Steed’s kitchen…caused Jean-Claude to rub the scar on his arm, again. “…that is after you took me back stage after one of her performances. Has part of your questionable career also been the seduction of famous, wealthy women?”
“Career? Why do you insult me? I enjoy the company and love of accomplished women. What’s wrong with that?” He crossed his legs. “I love my women in silk and lace. I enjoy women who adore pearls and satin…lipstick and diamonds. I love making love enveloped in the scent of my woman’s expensive perfume. And now, I have fallen in love with a woman with lovely, bejeweled toes.” He smiled. He uncrossed his legs, because things were happening in his body which made it anatomically impossible, in his tight pants, to keep them crossed.
“You sleep with rich men’s wives as well, Jean-Claude?” the uncrossing of her legs, now mirrored his. “It has never been necessary. No. You see…I prefer loving my own women not someone else’s. But, you see, I have always been attracted to beautiful women who have the kind of intelligence and talents that enable them to earn their own emeralds and villas. What’s wrong with that? The way I have experienced things, I find that I fall in love with women who survive in the masculine, competitive worlds of their careers and need to satisfy their deliciously feminine appetites in the privacy of their boudoirs at night…or…” he added quickly noticing the morning sun streaming into Amelia’s living room, “…in the day light.
“I’m going to the bathroom to get you your things.” Flustered by this strange but erotic talk, she got up to leave the room.
“Amelia…sit down. I still want to talk to you…please…” he pointed to where she had been sitting. She sat down, looking at him sceptically wondering what other strange tales he might want to reveal to her.
“You realize, don’t you, cherie, that we could have had this conversation earlier?”
“What do you mean, earlier?” she asked, folding her legs under her in a yoga fashion.
“When you received your dossier on me, I asked to talk to you. Instead you told me to leave your house. Actually…you threatened to call the gendarmes.”
“I did. I left…am I correct? Were you even interested in what my explanation would be?” She was looking a bit disoriented and guilty at the same time.
“What could you have possibly said? You knew who I was…”
“What do you mean?”
“I knew what you did for a living. But I didn’t know who you were. Nor did I know how you arrived there. When I first saw you, in a concert in San Juan, Puerto Rico, over ten years ago, I fell in love with you…”
“What? Have you been stalking me since you were 24 years old?”
She was beginning to feel a bit creepy.
“Don’t be ridiculous! And stop glaring at me like that,” he said putting his index and middle fingers to his eyes. “I have always had a life of my own…in fact, at that time, I was living with the Puerto Rican singer, Maria….”
“Shut up Jean-Claude Fouret! I don’t want to hear about your harem…or whatever it is you would call it.”
“Okay. Well…anyway…You were so lovely…but I didn’t know you.”
“When I saw you having tea on the Piazza Navona, in Rome…alone…years later…I thought that that was finally my opportunity to meet you. You know, Amelia…I was hurt when you told me to leave your house because you saw papers from your detective. I understand why you would have employed him…I really do. But I don’t know why you didn’t want to…”
“Because you had recently started acting so strange that I became afraid of you, Jean-Claude.”
“Why didn’t you investigate me after we first met?”
“Because I was so swept away by…” she stopped, because she had had nointention of revealing that much about her feelings toward him.
“Yet, you trusted me in your bedroom and with your body.”
“Okay. Maybe I was living a stupid moment in my life.”
“You think our relationship in the bedroom is stupid? Personally, I feel it is sublime!”
He was actually, very, very correct, but she would never tell him this.
“So…when you first saw me…in Italy what did you think…what did you do?” she asked brushing her hands through her hair.
“I approached you…as you know. I knew you were a singer…a big star…but I had no idea what that meant about you as a person. I could have had you investigated, but it had never occurred to me to do that. You could have been a famous woman who was a serial killer…a widow spider. Or a» hazel nut” as your American friends call it.”
“A nut…Jean-Claude…just…a nut! But that’s ridiculous!”
“Perhaps. But if I had told you that I was a mime, you probably would have never even tried to know me. So…now you know that I am not an Investment banker, do you still want me?
“It’s not like that…”
“Yes it is.”
“Why would a man as intelligent as you work in a circus?”
“Why would a woman as intelligent as you want to sing among drunken admirers?”
“I hate you,” she stated with definite uncertainty.
“No you don’t. Besides…I am in love with you.”
He was really convinced that he was.
“Maybe you do. Or perhaps you just want to live with another wealthy and famous woman. You can’t live with me Jean-Claude. This is my home. I don’t want a gig…”
“I respect what you are saying. I am not planning to live in your home. And I am not a gigolo, although I have met a number of them in my life.”
“Is there anything else you want to know about me, Amelia?”
“Yes, but I just don’t know the right things to ask you. You know…as an Investment banker you make sense…but as a mime you make no sense at all. Especially with me.”
“Why?” “I don’t know. It’s just stupid.”
“Do you enjoy all the things we do together? Our mutual love of art…?” She rolled her eyes at him, as she thought about that Maxine Bronheim babe.
“Our love of French cinema…the theater…terrific food? I know that I enjoy all the things we do together. All of it!”
“But what? Let’s make love and start all over again. Just looking at the expression on your face shows me that you love me too.”
“No I don’t. I don’t love you.”
“Yes you do.”
“No, I don’t!”
“Don’t be ridiculous, chérie,” he said, in that arrogant way of his that got on her nerves…sort of. I would rather slit my wrists than tell him such a thing, she huffed to herself. “I will get you your things, Jean-Claude. By the way…would you like me to bring you something to eat?”
Their eyes locked and he smiled at her. She fanned her hands at the silly, sexually predatory look on his face and said, “Forget it…never mind!”
She got up and left the room.
He waited for a few moments after she left and got up to follow her like a male jungle cat in heat.
She jumped back against the outside wall of her shower stall, as she heard him enter the room behind her and close the door.
“What do you think you are doing?”
“I am here to collect my belongings,” he said approaching her.
The manner in which he uttered the word ‘belongings’ caused her to inhale in an orgasmic gasp. She understood, fluently, the language of his chestnut eyes. They were peeling away her satin robe. He moved closer and took her arms, lifted them and clasped them in his left hand above her head, against the wall.
She didn’t resist.
With his right hand, he untied her robe. It fell open, revealing scant, lace panties and pretty, little, upturned breasts, with large, dark nipples, now hardened with anticipation. He ripped the lace from her body, threw the torn, wet and wasted garment on the floor and said into her ear, “You won’t be needing those…at least not for the next couple of days, anyway.”
His lips and tongue met hers…and hers his. They found an ambrosial meeting place.
He moved his hand into the hot, moisture between her thighs and slid the long, thick index and middle fingers of his right hand skilfully into her welcoming thigh lips. Her lips parted as she sighed with uncomplicated pleasure.
He felt her shudder under his touch as he slid his fingers up slowly…stopping briefly to enjoy her moist, responsive button…from her lower lips to touch his now glistening wet fingers to the tongue of her rouged upper lips.
Those were not farewell lips.
“Now…do you see why I love the taste of you, ma puce?”
She gently licked his fingers and answered, “Absolutely. I understand completely, Cheri. I am delicious, aren’t I?”
He grinned and then let go of her arms. Her hands hurriedly began to remove his shirt, and that silly neck tie he was wearing.
She draped his tie over her own shoulders…she knew that she would be able to put it to good use, later.
He lifted her up into his strong arms clutching her enticing, round derriere, inviting his chocolate mousse-girl to wrap her long chocolate legs around his waist.
“Do you want to stay in here, or do you want another room?” he asked tenderly, burying his face into her Jasmine-scented cotton candy hair.
“Where ever you want…my darling…Belgian…hooligan,” she gasped, resting her head against his strong shoulder. He held her even closer and chuckled with delighted satisfaction into her ear.
Together, they began another journey toward their ecstatic place.