All The Time.
Music, This Chapter: Tiikk – Breathing In.
That man, that man, was there again. He had come back in through another other door to the study, not the one they had come through.
“I thought you had gone already!” Liz threw her agitated statement like a ‘curve shot’ around the body of Sara - to that man...
“Yeah well you guys had better knock it off. And you had better get some rest.” He stabbed a finger at Liz. “Because late this evening there will be a private dining room thing happening up the road a little bit from here. Just a very boring... ...dinner. ...And you’re expected to be there. And I’ll be there.”
He produced that smile, that kind of one you could learn to fear if you knew what could be behind it -, sometimes.
“Just a dinner?” Liz prompted for an expanded explanation.
“You like just barking orders, don’t you?” She pressed.
“And what is this then – you standing up to those orders, I suppose? And you have something better to do this evening, I imagine? Something else? Messing around more with that young thing in back there maybe... ...Xan! ...Where is that Xan? Maybe she should take you back upside for a little ‘re-education.’”
Liz turned to Sara for some moral support. She was just standing there with her arms folded, smiling.
“He’s my Xan. Not your Xan.” Liz countered. “Not yours to push around. And he’s a ‘he’ not a ‘she’ – why are you all so intent on saying he even looks like a ‘she’??”
“Anyway, doesn’t matter.” He answered her. “You just do as you’re told.”
“W-a-a-a?” She dropped her mouth open but then shut it again. The look in his eyes was not taking any exchange back from her.
“Unlike all these others around you -,” he waved his hand around vaguely but it seemed he meant, including Sara... “I am just a plain old ordinary human being, and I need to sleep a lot. Before all of this fun-and-games stuff and other stupid nonsense too that goes on all the damn time with this crowd.”
What is he -, complaining about it? Liz asked herself.
“Anyway. Tonight – I will be going over with you, how you are to acquire a stack of cash suddenly. And...”
Well that at least sounded good, she considered.
“...The dinner. Mn. Oh yes. Well. What you will be able to learn about the composition of great sex from the composition of a truly great meal. Now well that is really going to be something. Something extraordinary. Isn’t that so, Minister... ...Lots of tasty treats there.”
Sara chirped in: “I didn’t know Luis was a good cook.”
“Not Elizondo,” he answered the Sarim. “Irizar.”
“Ah.” She winked. “Both Cubans though, I seem to recall.”
She turned to one side, almost school-girlishly. “Don’t suppose we could sell them all on that the Cubans...”
The man smiled thinly. Shook his head. “Don’t think so. It’s all too late now. You’ll just have to smash a few things up now...”
“But do remember our eternal covenant, my friend, and let us smash things up together, and at least - my way.”
“Yes, yes, I will remember. But let us leave these people alone now. Come. We have things to prepare.”
“Hey! Wait!” Liz almost screeched at him. “I can’t sleep now! And why do we have to sleep all the time, anyway? And when ‘*’ gets up she is not going to want to go back to sleep now is she?” Her voice reflected the ludicrousness of the idea.
Sara looked at Liz, as if really considering what she had just said to them. And she looked at the man there too, acknowledging what he said about the evening that was to come and what things were being foreshadowed concerning it.
“Let us arrange to have some massage therapists look after the two of you here then – during the rest of the day. And you can relax that way at least. In order to be sufficiently ready for the affairs of the evening. And in the afternoon, I shall have a designer brought up to you to advise the both of you on the required attire, and no doubt he will want to have a say regarding, um, your -” She waved a hand around in front of her face. “Make-up.”
“‘*’ has her own stylist and I’m not sure she will just accept anyone with their cosmetics kit.” Liz opined.
“Yes.” Sara concurred. “I know. But she will accept this one...”
What Liz could most easily remember of the whole entire rest of the main part of the day, was just pale turquoise satin tie-around spa robes dancing around her face and body.
...And hands, the firm touch of extremely competent hands, working all over her entire body, over her face, and sometimes using portable electric hand-held warm water shower heads dispensing a warm therapeutic stream over her skin, and even a mist on occasion.
‘*’ was there too in short order, and undergoing all of the same procedure.
There was eventually a bit of a break and everything was in quietness, but after not very long, the same massage girls came back in, wheeling in chrome clothes racks of dresses and various other garments and items of clothing accessories.
Adriaan, who had evidently been briefed that all was indeed quite perfectly going as it should have been, ushered in next, an old old man, attired in a severe black suit. He had with him a hard shell roller-mounted case that he was pulling along behind him as he entered. He was tall and austere-looking, with a rather serious, structurally long face with high cheek bones, coal-black eyes and prominently long and arched thick black eyebrows.
He was immaculately groomed.
His voice was soft-spoken but then, at the same time all his words were carefully chosen and the tenor of their projection sonorous and moderately deep. Was he gay? Liz couldn’t tell. His voice gave nothing away.
Although it seemed that he asked them very politely if they liked this outfit, or that one, and if they preferred this accessory or that particular one added thing – in fact there was no going against him at all and he seemed to have assertively had them eventually both completely attired in the way that, Liz formed the opinion, he had all along intended for them to be dressed anyway.
Moreover, he was very apparently directing the girls with their cosmetics kits too, who presently re-entered in there with all of them seated around -, and then it came to be that he was subtly ordering those cosmetics girls around in exactly the same way too, that he had done with the matter of the women ‘choosing’ their clothes.
Liz had of course already for a long time recognised that ‘*’ was easily led, and almost by anyone that was in her close proximity, but this was not what was really going on here.
The old man asked, ostensibly, but then he explained, and his explanations always made sense. His sense of taste was exquisite, his knowledge and understanding of the actual personalities of the two women he was working on – simply stunning. What was he, Liz questioned in her own mind – a psychologist, as well as a dress designer and stylist?
Eventually he had the both of them in deep Tyrian blue, slim-fitting, narrow-cut jersey fabric dresses, whose stretchable jersey circumference felt comfortable around the waist and hips and was so easy to step into because of that. But then, there were silver embroidered large arabesques fluting downwards at an angle from the waist to just above the knee, where they curled around and tightened the effective stretch so that it was actually quite difficult to walk normally, and only relatively small steps were being ‘encouraged’ by those hobbling embroidered ‘designs’ and effectively therefore, surreptitious constraints around the knees.
Still, they were beautiful, body accentuating and glamorous svelte pieces, with lifted bodice sections, not panelled, but with subtle padding beneath the breasts to all the way around the rib cage to the back. Sleeveless arms cut in deep at the top, exposing a lot of flesh, under the arms, shoulders and sides of breasts -, with piped grosgrain edging in a lilac colour under the arms, and with a high roll-neck in ribbed, padded jersey -, same as the material throughout the rest of the whole item but thicker. ...Then lilac and gold flowing thin silk capelets with gold clasps.
The girls with the cosmetics cases worked on their faces assiduously, and in the end, with the tall black-haired man insisting on a luscious, almost sexually lurid red lipstick for both women, along with the typical French classic evening glamour make-up format.
But the coup de grâce, literally, and not that either woman really realised it at that point -, were the thigh-high black velvet and leather with silk lace front tie-up boots...
High high heels.