“Magda!” He nears her, his pupils dilated, his legs giving way under his agonizing need of her.
“You are so beautiful! I can’t believe I am the lucky one!”
She offers him her hand for a kiss.
“Would you like to have a drink in the bar or shall we wait until the restaurant?”
“As you wish,” she says magnanimously.
“Then let us set out for the restaurant.”
He hails the porter to call a cab and leads her inside.
She removes his hand sneaking through the slit in her sheet onto her knee. In order to make her London stay a win she must make herself hard to get. He gives a start. Her rejection hits him where it hurts. Has he misunderstood her intentions? It seems his expectations of a great night of passion and ecstasy vanish into thin air.
“I am so sorry, Magda, it won’t happen again.” A bundle of misery he retreats into the far corner of the cab.
“Excuse accepted!” Magda says soothingly. Offending his male pride is the last a smart girl would do.
“I too have to make you an excuse, Jean, and explain you the reason of my over-reaction. I find you attractive and desirable, who wouldn’t? As a Catholic girl I was taught to master my passion. The touch of your hand put me on fire and made me fear I’d be unable to behave like a lady.”
Magda stops short realizing now she is making another blunder. How will she get from him the compromising photos if she wants him to treat her like a blushing virgin?
“You do understand what I mean, don’t you, Jean?”
“Of course I do, you sweet girl. Having lost my heart to you doesn’t imply losing also my head.” He leans over her breathing an ethereal kiss upon her brow.
“We have arrived. I hope you’ll approve my choice.”
“It looks like a church!” Magda stares at the pseudo-gothic building feeling blasphemous.
“But then a protestant temple can’t be really considered a house of God, can it, Jean?”
“It used to be a temple once but after a long period of staying unoccupied it was sold off to a famous three stars chef to become one of the best London restaurants. Don’t worry, my sweetheart, you won’t commit a sin enjoying a gourmet dinner in a church. Like you I was raised as a catholic and I can understand your discomfort.”
He enters holding proudly the elbow of the most beautiful woman, not daring to believe in his luck, while remembering with repulsion the drudgery of the social dinners he had to endure in company of his mousy spouse. How will he ever be able to go back every night to his villa in Versailles to be with Chantal and their ill-bread kids?
“Is anything wrong, Jean? Tell me! Maybe I can help.” She whispers, her hot breath teasing the lobe of his ear, clinging still tighter to his flank plotting her next move: To lean on him shivering with cold is part of her strategy and comes natural because according to a long established English custom the place is under-heated.
“My darling, you are cold! Your flimsy gown, as gorgeous as it may be, doesn’t keep you warm. We must find for you something more adequate to the English climate and I’ll see to it first thing on the morrow. There is an outstanding fur department at Harrods’ and I’ll love to explore it with you! I’m sure we’ll find something appropriate for a gorgeous girl! Until then my jacket must do, may I?” He throws it over her shoulders resisting the temptation to allow his hand to glide into her cleavage and alight upon her gorgeous breast. A camera flash gives him a start.
“What was it?” He looks up, his alarm signal triggered off.
“ A photographer took a snapshot of the two turtledoves at the next table celebrating their engagement. Lucky them! Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a photo of our first dinner together? Please, Jean, let’s have it! I’ll treasure it until the end of my days!” She asks pleadingly and, without awaiting his approval signals the photographer to come nearer.
“I’d like to have our photo.” She coos charmingly ignoring Polland’s desperate attempt to prevent it. She shakes his jacket off and, entwining herself around him, mars his effort to liberate himself from her clutch.
“Say cheese, Jean!” Puckering up her lips for a kiss she draws him chokingly near and, releasing her tits from her décolleté, makes them sling over his shoulder.
“See, Jean! Aren’t we a couple made in Heaven?” She shows him the photo beaming with pride of a well done job
“It’s a great photo, thanks! Isn’t it wonderful that with the new technology we can get it the very second it is taken? ” She congratulates the photographer while Polland gets his wallet out to pay lordly for his social suicide.
“May I keep the photo, please? You can have it duplicated even if I don’t see why as I’ll paste it into our family album as the first but not the last shot of our bliss.”
“Wait! I’d like to have your name and address; there will still be many occasions where we’d need you!” She calls the man back.
“It would be a shame to let him go, wouldn’t, Jean? He is so talented! Look, aren’t we the best looking couple in the universe? Imagine him taking pictures at our betrothal party and then of our marriage at the “Sacré Coeur”! We’ll have a great church wedding, won’t we, Jean, with lots of guests, our families and all our friends. We could even charter a private airplane to Budapest, I know a man who does it and I’m quite sure he’d make us a price!”
He glares at her horror-stricken, unable to stop the stream of her wishful thinking. With the dread of a ski-jumper standing above the void aware he is not made for such an exploit he feels he is rolling into his death.
“Jean, is anything wrong? Have I disappointed you in any way, tell me, I can’t take your sudden coldness: what have I done to make you treat me like this?” She whimpers covering her eyes with her hand still innocent of the diamond ring she plans to get from him shortly.
“Excuse me, darling”, he lifts up her hand and puts it to his lips.
“I’ve just thought about a problem concerning my appointments on the morrow. It’s solved, now I am completely yours. Tell me, sweetheart, what would you like to have for dinner?”
“Your choice, Jean, you know best. I haven’t had yet the chance to eat in such a lordly place.”
He orders a lavish dinner to stun her vacillating between the fear he might not be inventive enough to take her breath away on their first love night and the hope he’d sweep her off her feet and let him rob her of her virginity.
Suddenly the errors of his past make him doubt Magda’s honesty: what if her denial of sexual favors were just a cold, cruel calculation to decoy him into doing whatever she wants? What does he know about this foxy redhead?
Magda swallows bravely the oysters reminding her the gluey mucus from her runny nose when she caught a bad head cold in their never enough heated flat during the grey winters in the shady suburbia of Budapest. She restrains herself from grimacing and feigns to enjoy their foul taste. Everything else is better than being sent home in case she wouldn’t be up to her assignment! She also forces herself to swallow the bloody squab without puking and answers mannerly “who wouldn’t” when he asks her if she enjoyed her “pigeonneau en sang,” one of the many jewels of the French culinary patrimony.
“It was surprising”! She sighs out without précising what “surprising” means. The only thing she’d have really enjoyed, the “foie gras,” is banned through the intervention of animal lovers since the geese are stuffed cruelly to fatten their liver, as Polland explains to her. She, Magda, doesn’t give a fig about the wildly funny hysterics trying to counter the laws of nature, namely ‘let the fittest and strongest survive and dominate’ as she avows to her dinner companion and is met with his approval. They finish their night out under the dim lights of a fashionable nightclub coupled tightly together and Magda, befuddled with too much drink, tries to change Polland into Vincent when readying herself bedding him.
Collecting their keys at the desk the receptionist informs Polland about the numerous calls of his spouse and her wish to be called back immediately while Magda is biding discretely her time by the elevator. Uncertain how to announce her that he has to pass first to his room before entering the heaven’s gate he nears her concocting an excuse for his absence.
“Oh, Jean, I am suddenly dead-tired. Be an angel and call it a day, a wonderful one. We’ll meet tomorrow fresh and ready for a great day. It would be a shame not to give our first night the very best of us!”
He jumps for joy. This wonderful girl! She has just spared him a painful explanation and let him keep his face.
“Of course, you are right, my darling!”
He escorts her to her room and leaves her on a hand kiss avoiding an embrace that might not stop at that.