The ball was a sumptuous and eerie affair. The theme for this year was mischief. The masks and Costumes made by the artisan tailors were amazing. And certainly reflected the theme. Jimmy, Lemmy and Boris had V.I.P tickets they dined with eighty other guests upstairs. They were waited on by devils, imps and cherubs. Some of the women were bare breasted but had their modesty covered by body paint. The candlelit dinner in the ornate room was atmospheric indeed. Charged with mischief and sexuality. Women were dressed in bodiced costumes, that left nothing to the imagination. Combined with an array of masks mischief was definitely on the menu. Judging by the lustful looks some of the guests were throwing at each other. Lemmy’s eyes were like organ stops, wide eyed he was mesmerised by the heaving breasts and codpieces on show. “Chroist did ye get a load of the mammaries on that?” Jimmy grimaced he was uncomfortable with Lemmy expressing his approval for body parts. Particularly as he knew that Lemmy and Yuri shared more than a love of drinking and fighting.
To him it felt like discovering that your mother still had sex. A Fingers in the ears lalalallaalalaalalalala cringe worthy moment. The candlelight danced, reflecting off perfect smiles and glowing skin. Boris nudged Jimmy, he followed where his nose was indicating. A devil in a tight bodice was staring at him, she gave him a wave kind of nondescript but definitely all Jeanette. The string quartet were dressed as golden cherubs. They entertained the guests during the four course banquet. The food was simply divine. Jimmy’s heart skipped a beat surely not Jeanette? Boris leaned over and whispered to Jimmy “Remember although what goes on here tonight stays in Venice....You are married and on honeymoon.”
“You wouldn’t have thought so Boris we haven’t even...” Boris waved his hand as if to say too much information thank you.
“She is with child be respectful you had your moment and this is the result.” Jimmy was fuelled with the prosecco wine and angry. He was still seething from the earlier argument in the suite. Glaring at Boris he replied “Respect? She’s been off gallivanting with her friends instead of being with me. Respect you say I should have known this was all a farce. I should have left you rot in Berlin”
“Well my friend she is trying to raise capital to see you through the barren months...which is why I have news I was saving this....but I see that the time is right.” Jimmy looked at him.
Lemmy was busy talking to a pair of breasts. Owned by a dramatic American B Movie actress. She kept pulling him to her breast and laughing. The poor sod was being suffocated. “Terrence Otter rung me earlier at the hotel. He wishes to make you a director...” Jimmy stared blankly. “It comes with a hefty and comfortable salary and a driver. I will give you Lemmy until you can employ your own....now Collins I have a party to enjoy you can carry on being miserable remember only a few people experience this.”
Boris left the table and headed downstairs to the first floor. The devil woman brushed past Jimmy and pulled him to his feet. She silenced him with a finger to his lips. He followed her downstairs to the throng of costumed revellers.
There were acrobats, fire eaters, magicians and a Velvet Underground tribute band called Slang. They were belting out Venus in furs, given all the wonderful costumes definitely a suitable song. The devilled woman indicated to Jimmy that she wanted to dance. Jimmy attempted to retreat, but his eyes caught the floral art on her heaving bosom. The two glasses of prosecco, the music candlelight and whole ambience of the ball. Had worn his inhibitions down. Jimmy smiled and bludgeoned his way through onto the dance floor. He proceeded to dad dance and very badly too. The devilled woman flashed a perfectly white smile and gyrated with him. The revellers were lost within the decadence of the evening.
Jeanette was busy giving Jimmy the eye over dinner. Her costume was a red and black bodiced dress. She wore a devil mask and was covered in red paint with black tattoo designs. Her ample bosom was also painted, and she had a floral tattooist design on her chest. Boris had been looking and she could see that he was trying to work out who she was. Jeanette was enjoying the mystery and mischievous ambience. She knew she looked a million dollars. And she could have her pick of the very rich, young bucks that were in attendance. There was only one person on her mind. Bernice, Cassandra and Mitch were dining at La Zucca. Bernice was a little edgy her expenses account was screaming at her. She had better get the coverage of fashions’ darling Cassandra Friends’ baby. And pregnancy exclusively and copyrighted. Else she would be back working in Fleet Street for a daily rag. Throughout the meal, people were trying to have their photos taken. Cassy was clearly huge here in Europe.
The bodyguards that Boris had hired were controlling things. They were chiselled mirror glasses, Italian hardmen. No doubt on loan from business contacts. But in the UK she wasn’t as well known as the other runway regulars. In time she would break into the UK vogue maybe. It was a good job she was using the company’s gold American express card. Both she and Mitch had gotten through three bottles of Chiaretto. Cassandra had managed to polish off a couple glasses of prosecco herself. But she was mindful of the life growing inside of her. So restricted her intake. She was high on the adulation she was receiving and the pound signs in her eyes. She had already bought herself a few properties in her mind. Jimmy and Cassandra hadn’t sorted out the practicalities of married life yet. He had just bought a cottage at Loch Lomond and was keen to have that as the family seat. Commuting to work during the week staying at Yuri’s flat.
That wasn’t Cassandra’s plan. She wanted an estate in Cheshire or a large house in Oaktree Drive in a quiet North London suburb. She was intending to have the baby brought up by nanny’s, Jimmy and his family. Whilst she carved out a career for herself. She made enough noises in the right places to keep Bernice interested. Mitch on the other hand, had already had meetings with Vogue and Hello magazines. Jeanette got up and brushed past Jimmy, she grabbed his hand and flashed him an amazing smile. Her look said it all. Jimmy was a little reluctant to dance but soon got into the vibe along with everyone else. Jeanette flirted outrageously with him. She kept holding her fingers to her lips to silence him.
She put on her best fake French accent to disguise her voice from him. It did appear to work. “Come and enjoy the night.” Jeanette gently pulled him towards her and kissed him on the cheek. Jimmy was stunned he smelt a familiar perfume, Chanel number five. He gingerly showed her his wedding finger and started to back away from her. Jeanette smiled and breathed in deeply this raised her bodice a little. It wasn’t just Jimmy who noticed. There were more than a few admirers around. She disappeared with one of the young men into the crowd looking back at Jimmy. Jimmy shrugged and continued to dance with a lady wearing a Georgian wig. The lighting, music, alcohol, costumes and atmosphere were definitely working its magic on the revellers. Boris had sloped off with a couple of bare breasted cherubs and Lemmy was dancing a jig with a group of well heeled party goers who were enjoying his rough edges.
At La Zucca they were enjoying the local Gelato. Bernice was sure that they were close to approaching a deal. Scott picked her up from the restaurant as arranged as she would probably have fallen into the canal. Mitch and Cassy seemed a little too familiar as they walked back to the Hotel Principe. Mischief was definitely in the air. Jimmy kept getting glimpses of his devil woman as he dad danced the night away. A pierrot murmured “What happens at the ball....” to him and smiled pinching his bottom as they slunk off into the party. Jimmy rolled his eyes and went to find his devil. His mind was confused. There was something altogether familiar and very naughty about her. He thought about Cassandra for a moment. Well sod her if she just wants a trophy husband. Unbeknown to Cassy Jimmy had picked up a magazine earlier. The caption he was told by the vendor who gladly translated for him in return for his autograph. Read ‘Who is this mystery man who seems to have tamed La Donna Dolce!’
Jimmy was hurt by the insinuation by the reporter Francesca Chieso. That he was merely an accessory to further Cassy’s career. He didn’t get the opportunity to throw that at Cassandra during their row earlier. Maybe mum was right she was too fickle for him. At that moment Jimmy had a deep and powerful yearning for Jeanette. If only she were here. “It is warm here, care for some night air?” The devil woman had her hands on her hips grinning from behind her mask she challenged Jimmy. Jeanette backed away from Jimmy when he showed her the ring. It felt like a hot knife through butter streaming through her heart. She simply flashed her best come with me look and grabbed an onlooker. She looked back to see if he followed. No Jimmy just looked at her. ‘Still a coward’ thought Jeanette. ‘Well the night is young’. She told her admirer who was dressed as a fool to go and get her a drink.
Whilst he was gone she picked up a glass of wine from one of the waiters. And disappeared into the throng to watch Jimmy for a while. Jeanette remembered the look on Jordan’s face at the wedding. She wanted to claim him but that would have been political, emotional and business suicide to have done that. Jimmy looked at her and grinned back he held her hand and they left the party. They stepped into a gondola complete with singer. As they sat marvelling at the night Jimmy leant across and tried to remove her mask. Jeanette slapped him playfully and whispered in her most seductive voice, “Enjoy the mystery.” She leant over and kissed him. After the gondola she led him through the alleyways to a quiet piazza. That night Jimmy experienced alfresco loving. Jeanette ordered him to close his eyes throughout their tryst. She left him lying on the bench and returned to her hotel. Jimmy opened his eyes a few minutes after she had gotten off him and saw that she had really disappeared. He thought that this was part of her game. He had even managed to resist the urge to rip her mask off during their lovemaking. It was kind of familiar but exciting and really naughty nonetheless. Cassy was far from his mind. Her touch was electric, but the penny didn’t drop. Jimmy managed to find his way to the hotel his mind was a quagmire of emotions. The most riding factor was, he wanted an annulment of the marriage.
He would speak to Boris before dropping that particular bomb on Cassandra. Cassandra in the meantime was far from feeling alone and left out. Mitch’s clothes were strewn about the suite as were hers. “There is enough of me to go around.” Was her answer to Mitch’s sudden realisation of what had come to pass. “Jimmy is my friend....oh God Cassy this is wrong.” Mitch didn’t need telling twice. Here he was in the bedroom of one of the most beautiful women in the world. She was offering it all on a plate.
“Now you are my friend too Mitch.......my most very special friend...Mitch I shall have need of you”
“Cassy...look it was wrong I’m sorry...we can’t I shall resign immediately.”
“I think not Mitch, Jimmy will be devastated if he finds out. I will be the judge of when this is finished.” Jimmy didn’t notice the blushes or awkwardness between them when he arrived at around two in the morning. Neither did he question why Mitch was still there. The concierge was none too pleased at being woken. Most ordinary people were sleeping soundly in their beds. There would certainly be a few sore heads in the morning in Venice and maybe just a few little regrets too.