When I met Marcel, I was wearing a slinky gown that reached to the ground. It hugged me in all the right places, and every penny I had spent on my spectacular body was on display. My breasts aren’t large, but they are pretty. My dress caressed them and exposed just enough. I wasn’t wearing panties or a bra because it would have ruined the fall of the dress —the dress I purchased only for this occasion.
One of my husband’s friends was receiving an award so the banquet hall would be full of uncomfortably dressed men imitating penguins and fabulously dressed women, all trying to impress each other while comparing their husband’s incomes.
When I first saw him, the dining hall was receiving its finishing touches. None of the bustling staff paid me any attention — one more weepy woman — what did I have to be unhappy about? An observant person would say my life looked perfect. The girls, earning minimum wage, while arranging crystal wine glasses, probably wanted to be me.
My husband disappeared into his career a long time ago, but he still expected me to adore him even though he’s a stranger. If he had found a woman who was prepared to play his game I’m sure he would have left me, but instead, we occupy the same house, and our schedules mean that we occasionally bump into each other.
Marcel was dressed like a penguin also, but he wasn’t a guest he was working — a hired gun, so to speak — an experienced chef moonlighting as a head waiter — just for the night.
“You are unhappy, beautiful lady?”
“Just a bit — nothing to worry about,” I said.
“Why are you alone?”
“I’m not. My husband is in the other room — networking.”
The anteroom was full of well-dressed people exchanging business cards.
“If you were with me, I wouldn’t leave you alone for a moment.”
I lowered my eyes as I smiled demurely. I searched for something to say, but his words took me by surprise. I’ve had men say such things to me in the past, but there was always an edge to their voice that made me uncomfortable.
I sensed a gentle sincerity in Marcel — he meant what he said. That’s not to say that he wasn’t trying his luck — trying to get into the pants that I wasn’t wearing.
He moved closer, and I lowered my eyes a little more. He leaned into my personal space, and I could feel his breath on my bare shoulders.
“You are very forward for a waiter,” I said as I finally found my voice. I didn’t move away from him as a married woman should have while spurning an unwanted advance. Instead, I looked up into his eyes and my rebuke held no venom.
“I am many things and a waiter for only one night. I am also a man who recognises an unhappy woman. I can make you happy,” he said with a devilish smile.
“I doubt that my husband would like to hear you say those words.”
“You are a woman who should be cherished. Your every wish should be granted. Your man should put his hands on you and show you what heaven looks like.”
“And I suppose that you are a man who can achieve that for a woman?”
His attention was arousing me. I didn’t see the harm in encouraging him; I wouldn’t see him again after this night — we come from different worlds.
“I would take you anywhere you want to go,” he said with that same smile.
I had butterflies in my tummy, and I was moist. A trip to the ‘ladies’ would be necessary before we sat down for dinner.
I went to find my husband to tell him of my cheeky adventure, but he was deep in conversation with a couple of penguins — he ignored me, once again, so I stood by until we were called for dinner.
The banquet hall buzzed with conversation. The food was good, and the wine was better than expected. The hotel staff hovered around the table and made sure that we were well looked after. Marcel found any excuse to service my end of the table. He smiled at me constantly. He made funny faces and caught my eye. No one noticed his interest in me, but I loved the attention even though I did my best to look as though I was discouraging him — he saw through me.
Despite my beauty and position in society, no one had shown me this kind of blatant interest. I swear he would have made love to me there and then if I had let him.
“Hello, Elizabeth. Are you still sad?”
I was going through my notes for the lecture I was to give the next day — I was glad of the distraction. I recognised his voice, but I made him work for my attention.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know to whom I am speaking.”
“It’s Marcel, from last night’s banquet. Tall, dark, handsome in an irresistible way. Marcel, the head waiter,” he sounded cheeky, but a bit disappointed that I did not immediately know who he was.
“What can I do for you Marcel the head waiter?”
“You can meet me for coffee.”
“Will you be wearing your Tux? I meet so many handsome men. How will I recognise you out of uniform?”
There was a moment of silence. Maybe he was trying to work out if I was kidding him or not.
“The Tasty Cafe at about three tomorrow. I know you will recognise me because I remember the way you looked at me.”
“I might be able to drag myself away — we’ll see.”
I hung up the phone before he had time to answer. I felt like a naughty school girl planning to cut classes for the day.
The audiobook is free if you preorder a print copy before the publication date.
Okay, so it took a little longer than I thought, but it is worth the wait. The book now includes two novellas — UNEXPECTED and READ ALL ABOUT IT was well as a bunch of stories written specifically for this anthology. As a special treat, there are a series of Sam and Scarlett stories that follow Sam’s journey as he rediscovers his love for Scarlett after his near-fatal car accident. These stories are lifted from the ill-fated and as yet unpublished novel, YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS. These are adult stories and not for anyone who is upset by depictions of lovers doing what comes naturally. The book, DOT, DOT, DOT … will be available in late December or early January, and if you preorder a print copy, you will receive the audiobook for free. So don’t just sit there, order your advance copy now. This is a limited print run so don’t miss out.