I wait for the next tuition with mesmerising anguish. It is beyond doubt that, this time, we shall be assigned to Milan and Bessie as Mirak can hardly afford to favour one group over another and I decide to do my utmost to prepare myself for the bodily confrontation with Milan.
Not to be enticed into temptation, I phone Egon on the eve to offer myself to him at the crucial afternoon. God knows he taught me quite a few more tricks, some of them breathtaking and classy.
Faded, I sink upon the seat of his Ferrari. My conscience is clear. I did all I could, and even more, to keep myself away from Milan.
“That was a wonderful way to say “Good-bye”, Lolita! A whole week without you! Monstrous! I wish I could take you to London, sweetheart!” Egon reaches after the car-door and opens it from inside. Blinded with passion, he won’t fail to take precautions.
I limp home dead on my feet reminding me the poor little mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s story. Now I know how she felt stepping barefoot on cruelly sharp shards trudging along on the road of her ruin!
I put on the most modest dress I find, shrouding me into the layers of cloth like a mummy. Even if I can be pretty sure of the results of my “kill or cure” it is better not to run any risk.
Driving to the Rotary, I handle Leo with kid gloves. He doesn’t go over the top although he doesn’t seem to dislike it. I have no reason to panic. Tonight, we shall be training waltz, a frisky, non erotic dance, if compared to the lewd tightness of a tango.
I stand in line for Milan. My pulse is normal, my heartbeat is steady. All is well and good. Milan brings the rose-gowned beaming Anna back to her dancing partner who has been released from Bessie’s coaching out of breath.
“May I have the pleasure, Gnadiges Fraulein?”
I follow Milan to the dance floor, as cool and level-headed as if I were with Leo. Distant, courteous, professional, he treats me like any other young lady, his hand set lightly but firmly upon my touch-proof gown. There’s safety in numbers. I am just one of his professional embraces.
Waltzing around with Bessie, Leo gives me a supportive smile. Dear Leo! The only man immune to Bessie’s charms!
“You dance exceedingly well, Gnadiges Fraulein.” Milan takes leave of me on a compliment and Leo and I whirl together through the evening with the svelte grace of young gods.
When saying “Good-bye”, I put my arms around Leo’s neck and cuddle up to him.
“Thank you, Leo. I had a great time and I owe you a kiss.”
His lips feel refreshingly cool. Smooth, firm and somehow even eager. I open my mouth and tighten my embrace.
“Would you like to come in for a drink?”
He hesitates before saying “Next time, maybe. Thanks, anyway.”
He lets me in and runs away.