How to Love a Blind yet Faithful Submissive

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CHAPTER THREE: EVENINGS AT MARIAH’S

“You have got to be kidding me.”

That’s the first thing that left Natasha’s mouth the moment I told her, Marcus, Shadie, and Mr. Vinson about the day that I had- the job interview, being passed up for the position at Vibe, and the opportunity to design at House of Suez. After a lengthy chat with Mr. Sayers, I gave him the address to the apartment complex I shared with my roommate and told him to have the limousine pick me up as early as eight a.m. in the morning so that I could meet one of the Saint Croix brothers and his parents over for brunch. “I know, but it’s all true,” I said after relaying everything to the stunned small group as I changed into my waiter’s uniform for my lunch/dinner shift at the bar and grill. “And Shadie, you and Marcus were right about having an opportunity such as this one. I mean, I never expected to be given an offer outside of the one that I hoped to earn.”

“That’s what I kept saying, Shadie said, munching on some of Mrs. Vinson’s “sick-bed” stew- a spicy gumbo made with sausage and peppers and a bit of Tabasco and ginger. “And those last two candidates at Vibe were twice as good, yet they got stuck over there. Anyway, what are you going to wear for tomorrow morning?”

I emerged out of my bedroom, wearing my usual dark blue Polo shirt and black dress slacks. “I don’t know,” I replied. “Maybe something a bit dressy-causal, like some tan cords and a button-up shirt.”

“No way!” Natasha exclaimed, polishing off her bowl of soup before sitting up, eyes lit in determination. “I’ll be calling up one of my contacts to drop you off the perfect outfit to meet the Saint Croix family tomorrow. Plus, it’s imperative that you get enough sleep for tomorrow, so no working late hours.”

“Girl, you know that the rent is due in a few days and that we need to earn as much money as possible to stay afloat,” I pointed out. “And besides, you’re still caught up with eating those fish tacos from yesterday. I gotta pull both weights for the both of us.”

“You really don’t need to pay me,” Mr. Vinson said. “And besides, you always have the utilities paid up as early as two weeks due.”

“Hey, the brother’s gotta make sure that he leaves nothing to chance,” Marcus replied. “With the economy how it is now, most folks got to stay in the clear. But for real, Isaiah, you do need to rest a bit.”

I sighed. “I’ll talk to Mariah and Crowne about all that,” I replied. “Plus, they’ll need to hear the news about what happened to me. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll give me a lighter shift or tomorrow off, though. Knowing them, they’ll need all the help they can get.”

***********

“Child, you’re taking tomorrow off and working a light shift tonight.”

That’s the first thing that left the mouth of my assistant manager Crowne Royale (aka Va’Shawn Lynch) after telling him and Mariah Canfield after making the announcement of about being offered a position at House of Suez. “But what about the late lunch and dinner shifts tomorrow?” I whimpered out. “You guys are still reeling after the success of the Saint Croix-Frazier wedding and need to make a few more-“

“Honey, you just hit the lottery after being denied that position over at Vibe,” the matronly woman and my main boss pointed out, peering at me behind her cat-eye framed glasses. “And like that HR man said, most aspiring designers like you nowadays would kill to have what you got. So, you take tomorrow off and get yourself ready. It’s tomorrow morning, right?”

I nodded. “but I don’t know if it will last the whole day or just take place in the morning,” I said. “Which is why I’m certain that-“

“Don’t be silly, Isaiah” my fellow waiter Mark Caiman (aka Zsa-Zsa Grab-Our) said. “We can manage a day or two without you. Just make sure to tell us everything once you do.”

“Honey, y’all do realize that Isaiah will have to sign some sort of non-disclosure agreement if he wants the job,” Va’Shawn retorted. “Those high-end designers are very strict on privacy nowadays and they can fire anyone who doesn’t keep a lid on it.”

“Oh yeah,” Mark replied, his cheeks reddening. “Anyway, Isaiah, ready to get half of the day in?”

I sighed. “Might as well,” I replied. To Mariah, “See y’all later.”

“All right,” Va’Shawn hollered after me. “And make sure to eat a little something after your shift. I can see you swaying in the breeze, you looking like you’re about to be blown in the wind.”

I laughed at that statement. Never let it be said that Lynch can’t be as catty out of drag as he is in it.

Three hours after my shift, I was chilling out at a private booth, tucking into some of the restaurant’s fare ranging from spicy chicken wraps with seasoned rice to honey-barbecued buffalo wings and a steaming plate of lasagna, with enough to take with me home for the night. “Looks so good,” I murmured, helping myself to a spoonful of lasagna and a baked potato. “I bet Natasha would appreciate this.”

“Excuse me, is this seat taken?”

I looked up to gaze upon a tall silhouette of a woman, inhaling a faint smell of White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor. “Can I help you?” I asked.

“Sure thing, if you allow me to join you for some of what you have,” the woman said in her Brazilian-Angolese accent. “Name’s Floriana Pereira, Mr. Saint Croix’s assistant from the House of Suez. I was hoping to have a chat with you one of these days. I would do it tomorrow, but I have a dentist appointment that I can’t afford to miss.”

I nodded, gesturing her to sit down in front of me. “Help yourself,” I replied. “And take some of this food, please. My boss and co-workers still think that I starve myself during classes.”

I heard Floriana laugh, her voice as rich as the cane syrup that my mother would serve to me with her buckwheat pancakes. “You have an amazing voice,” I noted. “Are you from Brazil, by any chance?”

The woman nodded. “I’m originally from Fortaleza, just miles away from Rio, but my mother is from Angola, my family’s main roots,” she replied. “So, young Van Blackwell, this is where you work?”

I nodded. “Ever since I started college here,” I replied. “I even got my first internship while getting my bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. But my main love is fashion, though both cooking and fashion complement each other in many ways. Even more so, when you’re blind.”

“Really, now?” Floriana replied. “Do tell.”

“For me, food and fashion is really about the touch and feel of things. When it comes to food, it’s about the smell and taste of the dish intended. When I’m cooking, I usually do it by taste and ear. I listen to when the food is almost ready and smell if something needs a bit more seasoning. For fashion and style, it’s about how one feels and how one moves in a certain garment. Take that pantsuit that you’re wearing. I can feel the subtle warmth of your light pink blouse that interweaves thought the business-cool of the black pants and suit jacket.”

“That’s pretty amazing,” Floriana said, her voice amazed on how I was easily describing her ensemble. “And I bet it all comes down to how people match their accessories.”

“Right, though I do believe that less accessories is more. For you, those hoop earrings aren’t really that much of a good fit for you. They make your head look way off, if not too big. Better to stick with the minimal flame pendant and your silver ring.”

I heard Floriana chuckle deeply. “You definitely have good taste,” she noted. “Oh, how I wish that I didn’t have this teeth-cleaning tomorrow. Maybe some other time you can teach me your skills in the kitchen.”

“I’d like that,” I said. “So, enough about me. Let me hear more about you.”

For the rest of the day, I got to know about the assistant behind the man I was to meet tomorrow. She was a die-hard soccer fan (Team Brazil, obviously) and was very dedicated to her family, who supported her dream to be a career woman. She lost her baby sister to a drunk driver when she was in college and she actually planned on being a lawyer, hence her working as an assistant to the Saint Croix so she could attend law school over at USC.

“Sounds like you’re one classy lady,” I noted as soon as we packed up some of our leftovers (me carrying most of it to Natasha, Mr. Vinson and for myself). “And you keep on holding on for your dream there, Miss Pereira.

“Thank you,” she said as we stood up to leave while Mark came over, in his Zsa-Zsa personality. “And are you okay with getting a ride home?”

“I’ll drop him off,” Mariah said as she joined us. “And you are?”

I introduced Floriana to my co-worker and boss. “She’s been talking to me and wanting to get to know me,” I explained. “She won’t be able to join the Saint Croix family tomorrow due to a dentist appointment, but she’s free to visit.”

“Of course,” Mark said. “Anyway, Isaiah, we do have Drag Night here and the other girls will be wishing you luck for tomorrow. And you need to head on home so you can rest.”

I nodded. “Then let’s get a move on,” I said.

***************

SALIM’S POINT OF VIEW

“Yo,” I said as I stepped out of the shower. “Talk to me, Floriana.”

“The kid is as legit as I thought,” she said over the speakerphone as I got dressed in my favorite skin-tight pants. “And the place he works at is really interesting. You heard of Mariah’s over on South Carver?”

“Mom loves that place,” I said. “Why?”

I heard her chuckle. “It turns out that your interest works there as a waiter and that his co-workers all do drag,” she intoned. “I’m betting Aria Melody and the other queens would love this.”

My eyes widened, giving me another idea. “Tell my mom to invite Aria and the drag queens of Blue Bayou over tomorrow so they can meet the kid,” I announced. “I personally am looking forward to meeting him myself.”

“But are you really going to add in your stipulation of marriage?” Floriana asked me, all trace of humor gone. “The kid doesn’t need any-“

“I’m dead sure,” I vowed as I rubbed body oil on my chest and abs before slicking my hair back, enhancing my Dominant aura. “The kid will be mine, Floriana.” And I’m not taking no for an answer.

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