Jewels didn’t seem appropriate. Although, since Corina was back living in the mistress house he probably should try something glittery to catch her eye. But instead Andre opted for flowers. Knowing roses were her favorite, he’d found a man who grew beautiful ones.
So here he stood on the steps like a chump with a huge bouquet of red, pink and white roses. Of course, it was still bloody raining.
Nassar opened the door. This time he grinned at him. “Ah, you come back. You court. Very good.”
For all the good it would do him. After two long days and two lonely sleepless nights, he’d finally decided to come.
Nassar stepped back letting Andre walk into house which was still decorated in gaudy, gilded red and gold with the pictures of naked cherubs and erotic statues that they used to laugh about. They’d once felt deliciously wicked here. This use to be his retreat, a place that he could be himself and let his dark passions run free. Being here used to bring him comfort. Not only was he surrounded by objects of sexual promiscuity, but he had also splurged on outrageously extravagant furnishings for the house that Corina never asked for. Chandeliers of crystal, full sets of silver dinnerware, even a well-equipped kitchen; although he rarely gave her time to eat. He’d set her up with a very generous allowance too, which to this day he suspected she put in the bank. Now he felt empty standing among the ruins of their once happy life.
“You stay. I tell.” Nassar bowed as he disappeared.
Not knowing what else to do, he stood holding the flowers, wondering if she would actually see him.
What would he do if she didn’t?
Before nerves could fully get the better of him, the huge man reappeared.
“She see you.”
He led Andre into a room that looked like the boudoir in one of London’s finest men’s clubs. The thick carpet, marble fireplace and rich, decadently upholstered furnishings boasted of a kept woman. E’gads he’d forgotten how elaborate it was. Mirrors graced a number of walls along with silk and gold enrichments from ceiling to floor. His gaze caught on the oil painting of a Rubenesque-like nude reclining on a chaise displaying her body to the viewer. He was getting hard just thinking of all the ways they’d made love in this room. Even more so when he turned to face Corina, who sat perched on the edge of the red velvet chair that looked like a throne from some erotic tale.
Corina stood, trying in vain to hide her shaking hands. At least she was as nervous as he was. Maybe that was a good sign.
“I brought you some flowers,” he said, stating the obvious as if she couldn’t see that. E’gads he was babbling like a school boy.
“Thank you.” She handed them to Nassar. “Have these put in water for me, please.”
Nassar hesitated, but then nodded before he left.
Now that they were alone, he needed to talk to her. They weren’t going to get anywhere staring at each other. He might as well get right to the point. Who knew how long the big man would be gone?
“I’m not going to let you divorce me.”
“I should have known you wouldn’t be reasonable.”
“I am being reasonable. You’re the one who is not. Damn it, Corina, what do you want from me. I gave you the protection of my name and—”
“And a chance to be respectable. Well no thanks. I’d take the passion of being scandalous over cold respectability any day.”
“What the bloody hell is that supposed to mean?”
“The moment I became your wife you started treating me differently.”
“I had a staff of respectable servants. I couldn’t very well have sex on the floor in every bleeding room of my house. Besides you were pregnant.” As soon as the word escaped his mouth he regretted it. Saying that word out loud sucked all the pretenses out of the room, leaving them both vulnerable and naked.
“And we both know that’s why you lowered yourself to marry me.”
“I…” He opened and closed his mouth. They both knew it was true, so there was no sense in denying it. He would have kept her his mistress if she hadn’t gotten pregnant.
“We can’t correct the past,” he said quietly.
“No we can’t.” She folded her arms over her chest protectively.
“So what do you want?”
“A man who makes love to me with passion. One who doesn’t treat me like I’m glass.”
“I back.” Nassar reappeared, looming large in the doorway. “You go. Pay more tomorrow.”
He was beginning to think he was going to pay for a lifetime.