Control (Page 6)

Control (Songs of Submission #4)(6)
Author: C.D. Reiss

The pool was a huge, bean-shaped expanse in the center of the yard. Close to the house, a flower garden, sectioned by paths of flagstones, spanned from the main house to the pool house. Smaller, cozy areas with benches lined the right hedge, and on the left, wall-sized sliding glass doors opened into the sitting room where I’d had tea.

Aling Mira approached us in a modest black suit, carrying a tray of white wine.

“Hi,” I said when I took a glass. She nodded and walked toward a little table set for two. A middle-aged man lit the last candle on one of the flagstone paths and then the two on the table. I told Jonathan, “You have a nice yard.”

“Come walk with me.” He held out his arm, and I took it. We headed toward the pool on the candle-lined path. “Aling Mira cooked a Filipino specialty for you called kare-kare. It’s made from—”

“Oxtail stew?”

“You’ve had it?”

“I live in Los Angeles.”

He smiled and squeezed my hand. “She saw you slept in my room. So she’s very impressed with you.”

“How long has she worked for you?”

“A long, long time. She’s seen it all. She wants me to be happy as much as my own mother. Well, maybe an aunt or something.”

We strolled around the pool while the staff set up dinner. The sun was setting fast, and the candles lining all the pathways became more visible as the sky darkened.

“You lived here with your wife?”

“Yes. Why?”

“The bed?” I cringed. “Was that…?”

He laughed. “New bed, don’t worry. You’re the only woman I’ve had in it, actually.”

“I feel like a groundbreaker.”

“You’ve broken some ground on a few things.”

“Such as?” I swung to face him.

“This date?”

“And?”

“And showing you off at the L.A. Mod.”

“And?”

“And taking care of you. And wanting to see you again and again. And dressing you for my eyes.”

“You’re making me feel very, very good.” I kissed him gently and breathed in that leather and sawdust smell that was his choice, not his ex-wife’s. “I have to talk about you dressing me.”

He put his arms around my waist and pulled me close. “Yes?”

“It makes me uncomfortable when you buy me expensive stuff.”

He kissed my jaw and neck, as if to belie my discomfort and turn it into heat. “But the diamond was all right?”

I pursed my lips. “No, it wasn’t, but before I could think about it, stuff happened. So you got that one in under the wire. Don’t let it happen again.”

He put his lips to my ear and said, “I have a piano. A Steinway. Would you play it for me after dinner?”

I kissed him and whispered, “I’d love to.”

“And you’d sing for me?”

“Yes.” I dragged my lips across his cheek, listening to him breathing and feeling his hands at my waist. The idea of making music for him was so intimate, so arousing, I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through dinner.

“When we met, you said you wouldn’t,” he said.

“Things changed.”

“So, you’d take this talent, gifted to you from birth, and use it as an expression of how you feel about me?”

I pulled away. “Aren’t you clever.”

“Money is a blunt tool for expression. It’s vulgar compared to art, I agree, but it’s all I have. I want you to accept it. It would make me happy.”

I didn’t know how to argue without making the gifts he was born with somehow coarse and ugly, while mine were worthwhile enough to give. He really had me cornered. “You just did a number on me,” I said.

He bowed. “Captain of the debate team at Loyola.”

“Ah, a good Jesuit education,” I said, walking away. “I suppose now I get to wear all my new underwear without guilt.”

He grabbed my hand and pulled me back. “You said you were Catholic, so you have guilt somewhere.”

“Only until eighth grade. I performed ‘Invictus’ for my graduation recital and earned my escape from parochial school. I entered Los Angeles Unified guilt-free.”

He took me in his arms and kissed me. “‘Invictus.’ Classic. We did that in sixth. Eighth grade was Kipling. ‘If.’”

“Oh, that’s a long one.”

“I had to recite it with feeling.”

I smiled. “Yes, me too. ‘Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole—’”

He completed the stanza. “‘I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul.’” He grabbed the base of my braid and pulled my hair as he drew his mouth to mine. He was so sweet. His kisses were hard and passionate, a controlled lack of restraint in every flick of his tongue, every grasp of his fingers. I pushed into him, feeling his erection against me. He pulled away at the sound of a throat clearing.

Aling Mira stood behind me. “I’m sorry to interrupt. You said I should let you know when dinner is ready.”

“Thank you,” Jonathan said. He rattled something off in Tagalog. Aling Mira nodded to each of us and went back to the middle-aged man who stood in a secluded area.

“What did you say?” I asked.

“I thanked her and gave her the rest of the night off.” He put his hand on my back. “I’m perfectly capable of spooning you stew. And I’d like to.”

We strode slowly to a table set with silver and porcelain. On the side table was a full setting with stew in a silver serving bowl. Aling Mira and the man went to a back gate.

“Who’s the guy?”

“Her husband, Danilo. They live in the back house.”

The metal gate clacked behind them, and we were alone in the yard. Jonathan pulled a chair out for me. I stood in front of it, between him and the table. I was ready to sit, but I wanted another kiss. I tilted my face to him, until I felt his breath on my face, and parted my lips.

He reached for me, and I thought he would put his arms around my waist. Instead, he met my lips with his and leaned into me. In one wave of his arm, he yanked the tablecloth, knocking the dishes off the table. They clattered everywhere, smashing and spinning. His weight continued forward, throwing more plates out from under me, until he pinned me to the table.

I opened my legs, wrapping them around him as we kissed. My dress rode up to my waist. I pushed into him. His c**k was so hard, like a tight fist against me. He groaned into my mouth, then pushed his fist of a dick into me again. He fingered under the garter belt, twisting his fingers in it.