Fiona brought the paper to her that morning, folded and presented the quadrant that had the photo.
It was of Oscar, they were using the photo Fiona had taken of him in Shanghai. Fiona had taken some candids of him. The article was about Fiona’s photography, questioning how she had gotten such photographs of Oscar who was usually depicted very stern.
Eliza often saw pictures of Oscar in the newspaper. His business made it so and now that she knew him, she was hyperconscious of it.
Her hand caressed his image on the page as she waited in the Grammercy Park restaurant for their assignation. She sipped fresh-squeezed orange juice, and looked around for him she hoped not anxiously.
When he walked in, her heart raced and she stopped breathing. It always felt like a prelude to death, the violent reactions she had to the sweetness of him entering a room. His kiss on her hand, palm and mouth in that order ranged from sweet to playful and…something else.
“It’s good to see you,” Eliza purred, her entire being filled with that sense of something else.
“And you Eliza.”
She reached for her orange juice.
“You know, I know this sounds…weird…but even though I knew about your girlfriend…even though she is beautiful, and I know you deserve someone that is your own…even though it is hard for me to see you with someone.”
Oscar stared at her, digesting what she had rambled she thought.
“You mean to say you still want me? You still want to fuck me?”
Eliza felt a bead of perspiration burst about her temple as she looked at him. His scent was warm because of his nearness, his body masquerading as business man on a business meeting with her as a client it could have appeared. She had her tablet on the table because she did have some work while waiting for him. To distract her so she would not burst out with her pathetic sidestepping of her desire.
It was Oscar who had gotten her wet the night before, and even the steak she took out to defrost had not roused her the way it usually did. Reminding her of that frisky moment with Rafe that had ressurrected their sex life.
She had taken the steak out on purpose to remind her, but this close to Oscar it was very hard not to remember the first time they met in a hotel not nearly as civilized as this.
“Yes, and yes…”
He leaned back, the gaps between the buttons on his shirt showed his undershirt, but she imagined his bare chest beneath her hands.
“I’m not engaged. Severine and I are not exclusive. But you…”
“Don’t taunt me, if you don’t want me…”
He stood up, Eliza looked down.
“Are you coming with me or not?”
“You want me–”
He came around to her at the table.
“What is it with you and hotels? Are you going to make me drag you upstairs? This breakfast thing was your way of making it nice Eliza, like we are just two people who are going to converse about the stock market. Not like we are two people who want to fuck each other.”
“You’re being so abrasive…”
“I thought you liked me like that.”
“I did, I do…”
He turned around, she followed him. Between her legs slicker than they had been the first time he ordered her around in a hotel.
The elevator was not empty when they went up, until one floor from his. He pulled her close to him.
“I miss you,” he buried his face in the crook of her neck which was her undoing. She had tired of playing the coquette, leaning into him when he lifted his head. Drunk with desire, she clung to him as the elevator door opened.
The reflection of the couple in the hallway was of pure lust. The woman was barely dressed, kissing the man’s suited chest as he tied his tie.
Eliza knew that if she made eye contact in the mirror, she was making eye contact in earnest. She remembered the photograph coming to life in the restaurant last night of the woman Oscar was dating, now in the mirror beside Rafe.
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