Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 54

“Good morning, Nathalie!”

More a fashion model than a cripple he leans over her, his breath fresh, his body, still moist after a shower, smelling clean after the mint scented soap.

“Ready for breakfast, my love? What shall it be? No need to tell me, I know; a freshly pressed orange juice, buttered toasts with chestnut honey, one soft-boiled egg and killer-strong coffee with cream. Here it goes!”

Before she can protest that she’d like to take a shower and brush her teeth first, Elijah comes in with the breakfast tray.

“Good morning, Nathalie, Alex,” he mutters, his eyes glued onto the carpet.

She draws the sheet over her naked breasts shooting Alex a reproachful glance. How shockingly cross to use Elijah as a lackey serving his mistress still warm from their love night.

Elijah puts the tray on the bed the cutlery rigorously laid out as if for a surgery, his lips clamped shut in a shriek of muted protest.

“Thanks, Eli, you may dispose.” Alex releases him with the grudge of a handicapped against a man in his full.

“That’s not a way how to treat the poor Eli, Alex! Haven’t you noticed how embarrassed he was seeing me in your bed and naked?”

“I don’t know why this should make him embarrassed! Isn’t it quite normal that two people in love sleep together? Eli is no more a child and one night with Magda makes a guy adjust to more than seeing a naked woman in her lover’s bed. And then again, I don’t suppose he has ever taken you for anything but his big chief’s woman. Correct me if I am wrong. Now I ask you to be excused, see you later, my lovely!” He maneuvers his wheel-chair out of the bedroom with the same nonchalant ease as he used to handle his Ferrari.

She pushes the tray with her untouched breakfast aside and goes to take a thorough wash to clean her body and soul from Alex. Lashed with the alternate streams of hellish-hot and ice-cold water she tries to reconstruct her last night out of its debris. Resigning that she will never know what really happened she slips on the Courrège gown. She decides not to over-dramatize her uneasiness. It could have been worse. The coffee is still hot and she wolfs down her breakfast, suddenly ravenously hungry. Fortunately, she is on time for her consultation as the Sorbonne is conveniently near to Alex’s apartment.

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