Love and Other Murders

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Chapter 55

Magda blinks her eyes open startled by the shrill light invading the room. She feels like hell. Her head is pounding, her stomach is heaving, her mouth is dust-dry. And still worse: she can’t remember how she got into this bed; but of course she can! She followed Elijah out of spite as no one of importance gave her a second glance at Alex’s party! She must have been raving mad to get that soused. Didn’t she learn enough about the dreary consequences of a boozy night back in Budapest? Though there she had no other choice than to get smashed to endure to party with lecherous villains and let them get wild on her benumbed body. This was indispensable as how else could she have gotten away from the Communist paradise? This time she had no worthy excuse for it!

She kicks off the sheet to keep stock of the damage. Her neck and breasts are marbled by hickeys; the bed linen is fouled with the gluey remains of a care-free greedy coupling. Instead of a sweet fatigue as a serene afterglow of an inspired lovemaking she feels like having been mauled by a corny bear at the very start of the mating season. What Eli did to her was more than a normal fuck. His was the unappeased hunger for sex of a male who has spent most of his life having no other means to assuage his arousal but jerking off.

Heaving a sigh, Magda decides to get up, cover the damage as well as she can and do something constructive for her future. By the way, where is this brute? Why doesn’t he bring her a Bloody Mary and a cup of strong coffee before some hearty breakfast? And where is the appropriate morning-after gift?

The apartment looks empty. She climbs out off bed holding her head erect and goes looking for Elijah.

-Sorry for not being able to stay to thank you for the hottest night of my life. I had to rush to Alex who needs me urgently. See you later!

Your grateful lover Eli.-

She crumples the note and throws it on the carpet. OK, Eli’s desertion has its advantages. She is going to explore his living quarters and get some information about his enigmatic existence. Judging from the size of his apartment and its furnishing he must be loaded. Better a sparrow in the hand than a pigeon on the roof! All in all Eli isn’t too bad. And she would be a fool to put all her eggs in one basket. Having sex regularly he’d stop to be famished and it’s only up to her to teach him good bed manners. He may be a hetero after all and go after Alex and not his money. That wouldn’t be a problem. She is not the possessive kind and not being a one-man girl herself it would give her free space.

Magda steps into Eli’s spacious dressing and admires the designer clothing meticulously ranged on hangers and folded on the shelves. Trying the pockets for some loose change she hits upon a handful of banknotes. Shall she or shan’t she? He won’t notice if she relieves him from just a few of them. Where is her handbag? Has she left it behind in the cab? This would be a real disaster only second to having left it at Alex’s. Some of his guests would have pinched it. Searching for it she discovers some more goodies. She can call herself happy that she hasn’t run off in a rush. Who would believe that this boy in his off the peg T-shirts, jeans and a battered leather jacket owns an Ali Baba cavern filled up with designer garb? She slings a platinum Omega watch on her wrist; she has seen the same on Norton, but it was only in gold! It costs a packet! She must think twice before giving Eli free rein! Only a fool wouldn’t keep them both, Norton as her spouse, Eli as her moneyed lover. Pleased with herself she dials Norton’s number.

“No, Mr. Norton isn’t in.” Norton’s over-polite secretary informs her having been instructed by her boss that Miss Horvath be handled in kid gloves.

How strange! Playing hooky isn’t Norton’s usual style. She decides to try his home number even if it is highly improbable to find him there during his working hours. She is about to hang up a woman’s voice cuts in.


Irritated by the silence on the other side of the line, she asks brusquely “Who’s calling?”

Magda decides to shoot from the hip.

“I am his girlfriend Magda! Tell Frank I must talk to him urgently!”

“I’ll see whether he is available. Hold the line.” She says icily banging the receiver down.

’Has she been replaced that shortly and easily?’ Magda’s throat is dry, she starts sweating.

’It wouldn’t be the end of the world,’ she consoles herself. Still good that she knows how things are before dumping Elijah.

“Magda, my sweet little darling, how wonderful!’ Norton’s voice is full of joys of spring!”

“My daughter is visiting for a couple of days. That’s a good occasion to make both my little girls meet! You will become great friends! What about joining us for luncheon in some cozy, informal place? My little Edith adores the Drugstore and lost her heart to their banana boats. Would it be possible for you to meet us there in about half an hour? Wait, I have a better idea, we’ll come and pick you up.”

“Sorry, Frank, it won’t be possible as I’m not at home but I can make it easily to the Drugstore on time.” Magda finishes the conversation on the sound of a kiss that freezes on her lips when she realizes that she doesn’t know where she is and how long it would take to go home and change into something more appropriate. Her clothes, scattered all about the floor of the bedroom are in a sorry state. Even if she takes a cab, that’s if she knew to which address to call it, she can’t pace the world in her torn dress as she can hardly squeeze into Eli’s garb. There must be something suitable to borrow! She tears the closet open, grabs a raincoat and tries it on. Squeezing desperately into it, her reflection in the mirror looks more like a teaser in the Hustler magazine than a girl on a rainy day. In her ultimate despair she hears the key turning in the lock and Eli calling brightly from the corridor: “Anybody home?”

“You scoundrel, look what you have done to me!” She pounces on him like a raging tigress pummeling him with her fists.

He draws her closer, his lips sucking on hers in a passionate kiss and backs her towards the bed.

“How was I as a lover, honestly, Magda?” He asks after having caught his breath.

“You are a quick learner, Eli! Honestly, it wasn’t too bad.”

“Nothing hinders us from starting a new lesson.” He chuckles nibbling at her tit.

“Not now, you greedy boy, it’s noon and I am starved.” Magda scolds him readying to dump her lunch with Norton at the Drugstore. She’ll find some excuse later, she always does!

“This can be helped easily. I’m bringing heaps of goodies and the fridge is full. Here, put on the bathrobe not to lead me into temptation.”

“OK, lover, be it as you wish. But as for now I have to make a call. A private call! It will give you some time to feed me properly.”

Resigning to take life as it goes Magda concocts her excuse for Norton. Anyhow, to have lunch with his daughter at such common place as Drugstore isn’t her idea of fine dining. Does he consider her as a teenager stuffing herself with heaps of ice cream topped with whipped cream?

“What’s going on, Magda? Why haven’t you called to let us know timely you won’t come? This wasn’t very polite, neither to me nor to Edith who can’t wait to meet you! Now I’m on my way back to the office and I hoped you’d stay with Edith as I may work until late tonight. I hope you’ve got a good reason for having stood us up!” Norton’s voice is seething with rage. Does this silly old geezer think he owns her and has a patent right on her life?

“This is no way how to treat a lady, Frank! I wish your daughter a pleasant stay!” Magda hangs up. She needs some time to invent a good excuse for having missed her date, not necessarily to have amused Eli in bed! Magda chuckles imagining Norton’s shocked expression when hearing the truth.

“It seems your call was quite eventful. May I participate in the joke?” Eli embraces her slipping his hand under the robe.

“You may not, naughty boy! Stop it! First things first, start feeding the body and we’ll think about its other needs later.” Magda says firmly tearing Elijah’s fingers from her breast.

She enjoys thoroughly her meal feeling more and more confident about her future. For the first time in her life she has a lover for now and after; since who else would want him? On a second thought she might be wrong. Once she takes Eli into her hands he will turn into an inspired lover. And not exactly a poor one! Just his apartment must cost him arm and leg…

“Is this place really yours, Eli?” She starts cautiously her investigation.

“Really and truly, Magda, why do you ask? In case you wish to move in you are most welcome.”

“I don’t think Alex would be pleased if I do and, as we are both dependent on him we must take this into consideration.”

“I’m willing to risk it, Magda. You may do just the same provided you care about me and are really serious about sharing our lives.”

“Do you realize what you are getting yourself into, Eli? Living with me will cost you dear. Are you rich enough to afford me?”

“Let it be my worry, my sweet fiancée! What I earn from Alex is just pocket money. My father is in the up-market real estate, I am his only child and I don’t think that after his disastrous and ruinous divorce, not to talk about the other troubles his marriage has brought him he is ready to start a new family. As you see, breaking up with Alex won’t cause us any financial problems whatsoever. Anyhow, I work for him just for fun and fun is hardly something I’d miss having you!”

“Are you serious, Eli? Have you just proposed to me? Then as your bride I expect from you total abstinence until our wedding night. A propos, during our marriage, I expect you not to look elsewhere for what you can get at home – and better!”

“Shall this apply to you too, Magda?”

“Of course it does, you moron! Whom do you take me for? As a good catholic girl I do believe in the saintliness of marriage and I intend to be rigorously true to the vows taken at the altar. As it goes about a marriage you have in mind, right, Eli?”

“Not exactly, sweetie pie, neither of us is the marriageable kind! What I have in mind is an open co-existence of two responsible adults who can give a lot to each other if they really and truly make an honest effort at it. Are you willing to risk it, Magda?” He asks sweetly drawing her nearer.

She pushes him off with a fierce glare; ‘That scoundrel!’

“Aren’t you one sly fox, Eli, lusting after a free ride on my private parts? Whom are you taking me for, you filthy profiteer? Now do compensate me for my ruined dress and provide me with something to cover my nakedness! I’m leaving!” She snaps.

“Wait, Magda! Not so fast! You misunderstood me completely. Of course you’ll get your dues. Money is no problem. Just tell me how much and we’ll reach an agreement. I didn’t mean not to getting seriously involved with you, I am just shy of any ceremony, the religious one in the first place.”

“In this case you have to put me under contract and sign a legal document that will state our formal agreement attested by a lawyer. Have I, this time, understood you correctly, Eli?”

“But of course, Magda! You’ll have anything you ask for provided that you live with me as my lover.”
“OK, Eli, but before jumping in bed again let’s make an appointment with a lawyer of my choice. As for the compensation for my ruined dress I’ll tell you later how much it is. Can I borrow something from you to put on before you drive me home?”

“With pleasure, Magda, take your pick!” He opens a closet full of clothes a woman would die for.

“It’s for Alex’s new recruits; all of it is designer stuff.”

“May I have anything I choose and have it for the keeps? Are you serious, Eli?”

“Naturally, Magda, serve yourself freely and profusely.”

“You are the best, Elijah! I will! Can I have a private moment now?”

“Of course, my dear, take your time.”

Rattling the hangers Magda is in seventh heaven! It doesn’t last long. One after one she disappointedly lets fall the clothes down. It was to be expected! They are all much too tight for her! At last she succeeds to squeeze into a Calvin Klein’s spaghetti gown whose transparent emerald green silk embraces flatteringly her curves. Alas, that’s all she finds. The first thing to do after becoming Eli’s contractual lover is an extended shopping spree even if she knows in advance they won’t find a lot as the mostly gay designers are shying from a real woman’s body.

“Eli, come in and have a look!”

“A “look’ I said, no freebies!” She pushes off his grabbing hands.

“One ruined gown a day, enough is enough!”

“Your fault, gorgeous!” He protests drawing her nearer!”

“I told you, Elijah, not just now! I have things to do. And do remember; until our agreement is signed forget about free schmoozing, understood?”

“I am afraid I must accept your limitations, Magda, you are a very determinate young lady.”

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