How to Love a Blind yet Faithful Submissive

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“Mr. Saint Croix? Ms. MacNeil is on the way, but she has also a few other friends with her fore your luncheon,” the waiter said as he handed me a few menus. “Shall I-“

“Yes, Hosea,” I replied, already knowing that Clarissa was bringing along the Franklin siblings and the business guru’s tomboy daughter Marcia Hamilton. “Set a few places for them as well. I believe that this meeting will get a bit lively. And with the Franklins arriving-“

“I’ll have some of the desserts from Firenze Bakery on hand as well,” Hosea answered as he led me to a private dining area hidden from the public eyes of the other patrons of La Venizia, one of LA’s top restaurants for the upper-class. After a morning of business meetings and working on a few of my brother’s designs, I was ready to hear what MacNeil had to say about Ryan Callaway and how he had shattered my sightless beloved’s heart.

Speak of the devil and she shall appear: the stunningly beautiful blonde ex-mayor’s daughter sauntered in behind Hosea, looking immaculate in a blue floral sundress and sandal heels by Miu-Miu with Marcia dressed in her business-chic/femme fatale glory (red and black Chanel suit and matching stiletto heels) and the sassy Franklin siblings (Yavier dressed in all FUBU and Yasmine in Lane Bryant) following suit. “Glad that you all could arrive,” I noted, taking notice of Clarissa’s calm demeanor. “And you know the reason for this meeting, right?”

“Yes, I do,” Clarissa said as she plopped her clutch down on the table, her eyebrows furrowed in anger. “Ryan Callaway, the bastard that never learns.”

Okay, I thought. Just the name alone makes her pissed off more. “And I assumed that you’ve heard from recently.”

“If only you knew,” Marcia drawled, her eyes perusing over the menu items. “He called her this morning when he learned the news of you dating- or should I say being engaged to- that Van Blackwell kid with a keen sense of smell. You really know how o get your man, Saint Croix.”

“Tell me what Callaway said,” I piped up as waiters silently set out our drinks- tea for the Franklins and Marcia (“I have to attend a PR meeting for Jarvis’ line,” she explained) and some wine for me and Clarissa.

“Well, first off, I need to say this and I’m only going to say this once,” Clarissa said in a firm tone that had an edge to it. “My mother and I are first cousins to Natasha, Isaiah’s roommate and she and I basically introduced him to the idiot in the first place. We shouldn’t have done it because when Isaiah was ready to confess his love for Ryan on their first-month anniversary, he called the poor kid a blind baby and laughed at the whole thing before practically pouring a pot of spaghetti on him- right in front of everyone, no less. Thank was during spring break because the kid basically stayed in his room, licking his wounds and painting up a storm. He only left to get fresh air and something to eat for Natasha. And it was then that Isaiah vowed to keep his heart guarded so that he’d never be jaded like that again.”

“Ouch,” I said, though my mind was raging, wanting to rip the guy in two like that into pieces.

“Uh-huh,” Yavier said, sipping on his iced tea. “Yasmine and I just met the kid before all of this when we saw him at Mariah’s before Drag Night there started and he was heading home. Looked like a great kid with his head on straight, yet his heart was hurting so slightly, I could basically feel it.”

“And he could cook up something mad with his skills,” his sister added. “Took us over to his place before inviting Marcia over to make us and Tasha girl some dinner. Amazing what he could do with a lot of frozen meals.”

“I could still taste the butter from his no-fuss cheddar-herb biscuits,” Marcia said dreamily. “They paired well with his Missouri stew and the quick berry pie he made with it.”

Another waiter came to take our orders-, myself settling for the chicken parmesan and three-cheese rotini while the twins ordered the panini special with the truffle fries and Clarissa got herself the baked ziti plate with the chicken fettuccini Alfredo. “Sounds like you all really know him well,” I commented, back to the matter at hand. “And that’s fucked up the way Ryan did that to my love. And I take it that he said something about-“

“Yeah,” Clarissa said unhappily. “He wanted to know how Isaiah got that lucky into meeting you after being rejected by Vibe. I simply told him that the kid just have better connections like that. Then he begged me to have Isaiah call him. I told him to go fuck himself and his newfound lover before hanging up on his ass.”

I smiled. “You’re one tough broad,” I replied.

She glared at me., her eyes trained on me as if to have me killed off. “Listen, Salim. You look and sound like a decent guy, but I still have my doubts on your intentions for Isaiah. He’s been through too much hell and indifference to have his heart shattered again. And you know how he has his queens and how they have their contacts?”

I nodded.

She gave me a smirk which had alarm bells ringing in my head. “I’m connected to the mafia as well through Lady X’s connections. Through my mom’s family, I’m also related to the McCarran clan in Ireland and the O’Connor clan in Scotland,” she purred. “So is Natasha, whose father is related to the mafia on his side of the family- the Lincellos of Naples. And they’re linked to Honey Envy.”

Damn, Isaiah! You and Jarvis really lucked out on friends like that!

“We got the Germal mafia from Nigeria and the Sebastiao folks in Angola and Mozambique,” Yavier assented, his sister nodding in agreement. “And your secretary, Miss Pereira? She’s our distant cousin from our father’s side.”

Marcia sighed. “I’m not connected, but my uncle is through the Dubuque and Saint Matthieux clan of France,” she warned me, her eyes lighting up at the sight of our food. “All the same, we came to like Isaiah like we do with Jarvis, so you know that he’s got a lot of friends though us and others in high places, even if they don’t know it. And we’re very lethal when someone crosses us or hurts them.”

Clarissa nodded, pointing a manicured finger at me. “You hurt Isaiah. I will come after your cock with my pocket knife before I shoot you and grind you into meat patties,” she threatened. “You may be the top dog of the fashion world, but bitch, I’m Dorothy and you’re Toto and if you value your life, you better stay in that basket!”

If I wasn’t afraid of her then when I met her at the wedding, I was now. “Noted,” I squeaked. “And as for Ryan-“

“You let me deal with that bastard myself,” she hissed. “His parents knew of this and they basically shunned him for breaking his heart, so Isaiah’s got their support while Ryan’s marrying some dumb bimbo who’s interests mainly lie in shopping, Botox, and spa days. She’s a negative zero while Isaiah and Jarvis are five-star boys with talents in the sewing room, their art studios, and in the kitchen. You know how Jarvis can put Rachel Ray to shame. Well, Izzy boy can make Cat Cora and Bobby Flay drop down and weep with the way he can burn. Together, they can put Gordon Ramsey out of business if they opened a restaurant and he even had Jarvis over for a cooking workshop at one of his restaurants.”

That was true. The chef himself was blown away on how Jarvis could turn simple family meals into high-quality dishes. Witness the oven-fried ham-and-Swiss-stuffed chicken with lemon-herbed risotto and sautéed collards or the beautifully crafted stir-fried penne with creole sausage, spinach, and tomatoes. One bite and Gordon Ramsey was begging to have the kid take over one of his restaurants in Las Vegas. He and the other chefs from his reality show (in his final season) ate the dishes and his berry-fudge tart down to the last crumb.

“I bet,” I murmured. “But Ryan-“

“Not another word about him,” Clarissa warned. “That bastard may have claimed to have some remorse. But in my eyes- once a dog, always a dog. And if you’re not careful and you end up being reckless to Izzy-“

“All bets are off,” her friends finished for me.

“Duly noted,” I replied, already wanting to have dessert and knowing that Mama Mauretta sent over those tartlets and one of her glorious brownie cakes make with Lindor Truffles and topped with Lindt chocolate. “Isaiah and Jarvis are lucky to have you all as friends.”

“You damn right,” Yavier piped up, taking a giant bite of his Caesar salad.

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