Ofelia Ch. 04 Pt. 01-03byCervanServidor©
The next week at work was not what Ofelia had envisioned, not at all. Daniel was his usual cheerful self, and she discovered that he was just as demonstrative with her at work as he had been with his friends. He took every opportunity to put his arm around her waist, to kiss her. Ofelia was not used to this kind of showiness in public, and she didn't like it. As far as Daniel was concerned, Leonard was a done deal and Ofelia was his girlfriend; and he wanted everyone to know it. If only Ofelia felt that kind of affirmation. In fact, she felt quite the contrary. She felt an emptiness inside her that was actually the absence of two important presences: that of her fiance and that of her secret lover.
Even though she still had Daniel, he was no longer her secret lover, he was her boyfriend. And being that Leonard had cast her away, there was nothing daring, romantic, or terribly exciting about being Daniel's girl. The more she thought about it, the more she feared that what had happened the night before at Daniel's place had done a measurable degree of damage to her feelings for him. There was so much she didn't like about what had happened, she hardly knew where to begin:
She didn't like that he had chosen not to ask her about the pictures. What was even worse, the way he reacted, she believed that he never had any intention of telling her he had taken them. He had taken something that could have been exciting and fun and turned it into something... sleezy. Oh, she would have loved to pose for him, that was true. She would have posed in such a way he would have been blushing for a week.
But there would have been an agreement: that he promised never to show them to anyone without her permission. If he wanted to share them, if he wanted to show those pictures of her to Mitch, Philip, Carlos, even to Curtis and Kenneth, that would be just fine. He would have her blessing, as long as he asked. If he did it without her permission, he would be violating her. Plain and simple. It wasn't being seen naked that bothered her. Obviously not! It was the idea of having no knowledge of who was doing the looking, of not consenting to it, and, maybe worst of all, it robbed her of the opportunity to take pleasure from it.
Despite all that, Ofelia still had strong feelings for Daniel, so strong in fact that the good in their relationship was outweighing the bad, and by a pretty fair margin. After work when they were together she would lose herself in love-making. It seemed to just get better and better, the more they knew each other. They knew exactly how to please each other, they were intimate with every facet and nuance of each other's personality.
But, the camera never showed itself again, and this only made Ofelia worry more. Did he not want to take more pictures of her? Or did he only like doing it when she was unaware? Did he have a kink too? Did he like to see a woman when she didn't know he was there? Was his greatest fantasy merely to be a pair of secret eyes in the dark?
If he did have this, she would find out, by hook or crook, and she would find a way to make their kinks work in concert. It couldn't be too hard, since one of them liked to be watched and the other liked to watch. But then again. If she knew he was watching her, he wouldn't like it; and if she didn't know she was being watched, she wouldn't consent. Oh, stop it Ofie, you're getting too far ahead of yourself, she thought. It's probably not anything like that. He was probably just trying out his camera, like he said.
The new Ofelia decided to get some mental duct tape and silence the old Ofelia's trap once and for all; but the old Ofelia yammered and screamed under the tape, and kicked around on her little abstract chair. The new Ofelia could hear her words distinctly, despite their muffled delivery: "He was lying you know he was lying you saw it in his face one thing you can spot girl is another liar - all boys are liars! - you know that Esa don't fool yourself hello!"
"Chale. Be quiet already. Sheeeez." The new Ofelia shot back.
Ofelia had the following weekend to herself since Daniel had to go to a management seminar in Oakland. He wouldn't be back until late Sunday evening. He wanted Ofelia to come with him but she knew that Dominga would never allow it. Ofelia did want to go. She liked to visit big cities, and she liked to stay in hotel rooms. But on the other hand it was nice to have some quiet time.
The job didn't work out with Manuel and their cousin Jose. Manuel had worked one day and quit. He refused to discuss the whole affair, and was acting quiet and discouraged. The three of them had a pleasant breakfast on Saturday morning: chipotle chili-and-egg burritos, strong French Market coffee, bacon, chorizo and beans, followed by fresh cantaloupe and sweetbreads Dominga had bought from a Mexican bakery in town. Ofelia was in a good mood, and tried to cheer up her brother. He hardly ate a thing and kept his nose buried in a paperback edition of Octavio Paz.
Ofelia dropped her sandal onto the floor and stuck her little foot out under the table until she found Manuel's leg. She tickled his bare shin, managed to grab at the little hairs there and tug them playfully. She was acting nonchalant so that Dominga wouldn't take notice. Manuel looked at her a few times. Then he said, "Mama, I think we got rats."
"I feel something on my leg."
Dominga swallowed a bite of sweetbread, "That's not a rat, Manuelito, it's just some crazy skinny girl."
"I don't think so!" Ofelia protested, though she kept playing with Manuel's leg, scratching him with her toenails now. But by this time she was sliding down in her chair, her tiny bottom on the edge of the seat. Dominga laughed and reached under the table, grabbed hold of Ofelia's bare foot and pulled her so that she was almost falling out of her chair.
"Mama!" Ofelia squealed. She was laughing and trying to chew at the same time. Manuel was still not amused. Dominga pinched his chin as she started to clean up the table. Ofelia helped.
Later on they went down to the pool. Ofelia made a few calls on her cell and after a while there were plenty of people there. Ofelia was hoping that having something like a little fiesta might cheer Manuel up. She didn't want him to be in a bad mood when it was time for bed later. The one thing Ofelia was learning about herself was that she had a nearly insatiable appetite for sex. She sincerely doubted that Leonard would have been able to keep up with her. Even with her secret lover, or lovers, she would still be in bed with him at night.
And if you're in bed with Ofelia Silva, boy, you had better be ready, she thought to herself.
Aldo came, and Diablo too. As usual, they spent most of their time teasing Ofelia. Still, they both noticed something was different about her, even though she was still her playful, bubbly self for the most part. Ofelia's cousin Ana came too, and it was nice to have another girl there. Ana was pretty, but not beautiful like Ofelia. Still, Ofelia coveted Ana's well-rounded figure. Manuel bobbed about in the pool and occasionally swam from one end to the other, impressing everyone with his skill in the water. Ofelia especially. She watched his firm body glide through the water, his dark muscular legs. She was truly bewildered that her brother wasn't constantly under siege from young ladies. So what if he wasn't pretty like Ricky Martin? He was smart, he had a good physique, he was gentle and compassionate. What the hell was wrong with these girls?
At around two in the afternoon, about an hour after the gathering at the pool got under way, Ofelia took out her cell phone and dialed a number which she had never dialed before but which she had committed to memory. It was Kenneth's number. Luckily, his card contained both his business number and his cell phone number. Ofelia punched in the latter. Her heart beat under her ribs like a little bird trying to get out. She felt her face flush. While she waited for an answer she told herself that she was calling only to invite a friend to a fiesta. There were other people around. She would tell him to bring a girl, if he wanted. She tried to tell herself that the old Ofelia was still tied up, her mouth taped shut. But in reality, this was that old girl, that old sly fox herself.
Kenneth answered. Ofelia could tell he was surprised and pleased to hear from her. "I was beginning to lose hope." he told her. Then he quickly added, "Only kidding of course."
"Oh, I know you are." Ofelia said, while inside she said, yeah, and it's fun to sleep with scorpions. When she invited him to come swimming, he seemed hesitant, but he eventually agreed. He told her he had to stop off to see a client first, but that he would be able to swing by at around four. Ofelia gave him directions, and Kenneth told her that he had been to those apartments before to run a cable connection.
Ofelia went up the stairs to check herself in the bathroom. "Ofelia has to peeeeee!" Aldo shouted out, and Diablo whistled and made a sound like a coyote. Ofelia looked at herself in the little bathroom that adjoined her and Manuel's bedroom, because Dominga was occupying the main bathroom. She was slightly irritated because the light was dim in this one. She leaned in and looked at her teeth, her lips. She checked her nose, her eyebrows, looked in her ears. "Damn, Ofie, you're perfect." she said out loud. And it was true.
She went back down to the pool and decided to paddle around in the water for a while. As soon as she lowered her tiny body in she was surrounded. Diablo had brought a friend, a guero named Bobby, and Aldo brought along two friends, twin brothers from El Salvador, Oscar and Javier. Ofelia snapped and swiped at Diablo several times. Maybe he thought that with all those bodies in the water she wouldn't notice a single finger tugging on the back of her bikini.
"I was just noticing," Diablo said in his defense, "You need a new butt, girl"
"Oh yeah, why's that?" Ofelia played along.
"'Cos yours has a crack in it!" Diablo said, and everyone laughed. Ofelia waved dismissively at him and paddled along, making her way over to her brother. She heard Aldo add something to Diablo's creaky old joke, making it a lot cruder, but Ofelia pretended not to hear. Manuel was sitting on the side of the pool, his feet in the water. Ofelia turned around and leaned back so that she was standing between his legs. Manuel could smell her wet hair, the lotion on her smooth skin. He leaned over and admired the soft rise of her breasts under her top, the way her nipples pushed through the stretchy wet fabric. She looked up at him, and smiled.
"So, who did you call?" Manuel asked her, and gently pulled a lock of hair off her cheek. "Or I should say, who'd you invite over here?"
"A boy." Ofelia answered. "Well, a thirty four year old boy. He's a friend of Daniel's. I met him the other day. He's nice. He doesn't have anything to do so he's coming here, maybe later."
"Someone else for me to hate?" Manuel asked her. He wanted to kiss her, but so far they had joined at the lips only that one time, even though they were having sex. A lot. He wanted to kiss that spot under her ear that made her go crazy.
"You don't have to hate him. It ain't like that..." Ofelia stopped herself. Then she looked up at him again, "It really ain't, Manuel. I can't win, you know? If I say I don't like some boy you won't ever believe me."
"I think they should do a movie about you, mi amor. Call it, 'The Girl Who Didn't Know What The Hell She Wanted'."
"Gimme a break!" Ofelia said, and she was offended for real this time. She pushed herself away from Manuel and vowed silently to herself to cut him off cold. That will show him, she thought.
She didn't keep her vow.
Kenneth arrived at four-fifteen. Ofelia introduced him to everyone and Manuel made his exit. Kenneth was dressed in some fluorescent blue trunks and a tank-top. He had expensive sunglasses, and the sun glistened off his stylishly spiked short black hair. When he took his tank top off, Ana rolled her eyes at Ofelia and put her hand to her heart. Ofelia laughed. Then a thought occurred to her: why not try to set up Kenneth with Ana? Ana didn't have a steady at the moment. She was the same age as Ofelia, and she was pretty; plus she had big breasts, which every man liked whether he admitted to it or not. But Kenneth barely noticed Ana. He hovered beside his hostess and attended to every word she spoke, laughed at her jokes, showed interest in whatever it was she was talking about. He was either a model guest or he was smitten with Ofelia. Or both.
Kenneth was so attentive to Ofelia that she began to feel a bit self-conscious. They went into the pool. Kenneth was a good swimmer. He told Ofelia he could teach her how. "Ana swims real good." Ofelia said, and looked over at her cousin who was nonchalantly hanging around a few feet away, talking to Aldo and Bobby, but keeping her eye on Kenneth. Kenneth took the hint and immediately began to pay more attention to Ana. He engaged her in conversation so skillfully that Ana was talking rapidly and un-self -consciously about something that interested her only a few moments later: starting her own web site from scratch. Ana was taking courses at the local community college, learning all about computers, with a focus on web-design. The way Kenneth managed to direct their conversation so quickly to that area was quite impressive to Ofelia.
Damn, I'm good at this match-making stuff, she thought to herself. The only problem was, deep down she didn't want Kenneth to like Ana. Not too much, anyway. But her fears were unfounded, because eventually Kenneth made his way over to Ofelia one again. It would be rude to ignore his host for too long.
Two hours passed, and Kenneth remained the perfect gentleman. Ofelia never once saw his eyes flit down to her breasts. He kept a modest distance from her in the water. They were sitting on deck chairs as the cool of early evening was approaching. Tia Delia came to pick up Ana, Diablo, and Bobby. Kenneth cordially said bye to everyone by name, and was especially cordial to Ana. He gave Ana one of his business cards, and Ofelia felt a sting of jealousy, an emotion which up until now had been largely a mystery to her.
Shortly thereafter, Aldo and the twins made their exit. Now Kenneth and Ofelia were alone, and Ofelia began to fear that Kenneth would go too. She didn't want him to go. They were talking casually about Daniel. Out of nowhere she began to talk, and her words just spilled out in a manner that she had long been accustomed to. It was almost as if she was hearing someone else speak:
"I don't really know if Daniel is like, the One, you know? Sometimes I feel like its great and all that, but. I don't know, I can't explain it."
"You're still young, Ofelia, you don't need to settle for anything unless you're absolutely sure. I know, Danny's great, but he needs to do some thinking, you know, he needs to figure out why he's forty years old, yet he's never been married, and he's never had a long term relationship."
"I've known him for ten years. In that time he's had...probably two dozen girlfriends. Either he tires of them or they tire of him, or both. Hey, I know I shouldn't be talking like this. He'd knock my teeth out if he heard me."
"He told me he didn't go with a lot of girls." Ofelia said, and felt her stomach twist.
Kenneth rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well, okay maybe I'm wrong. I shouldn't be saying these things anyway, least of all to you. I should be going."
"No, please, don't go." Ofelia said, and put her hand on his arm.
"I don't want it to look like something...I mean, you and me, down here by ourselves."
"No, of course, yeah." Ofelia said. She thought for a moment, and let her tongue loose. "Do you want to, maybe, go somewhere? Just to talk? It's a nice night and I don't want to go in yet. I ain't like..."
"Sure. I'd feel better if we went somewhere. You feel like eating something?"
"Okay, if you want. Just let me change."
And so within a half hour Ofelia was in the passenger seat of another pricey sports car, this one a brand new Acura. She was wearing a red tube top with no bra underneath, and a tiny pair of black shorts which were similar to the ones she had worn to the clam-bake last week with Daniel. She had put her hair in a thick braid down the back, and Kenneth could see, even in the waning light, that she had gussied up her eyes and lips. She was drop-dead gorgeous without that extra help, he thought to himself. Now she was a shiny, priceless, Ming Dynasty kind of gorgeous.
"What the hell am I doing?" He said, a few minutes into their drive. He was shaking his head. "What the hell am I doing?"
"Que? Pardon me?" Ofelia leaned over, her liquescent, opulent eyes turned upwards at her new friend. Her eyebrows made neat little black arches on her forehead.
"Ofelia, I can't do this. Who the hell am I kidding? Let me take you back."
"Yes. I'm going to take you back." Kenneth pulled over to the side of the road and shook his head. Ofelia was trying to look under his sunglasses so she could see his eyes.
"Why?" Her voice was soft and sincere. Her disappointment leaked out of her mouth like air out of a punctured tire. Kenneth let the engine run, and a couple times made for the stick shift between them, then stopped. After a few seconds Ofelia turned even more towards him.
"Tell me what you're thinking, please? What's wrong? What is it?"
Ofelia paused. The old and the new Ofelia were duking it out, yanking hair, slapping, punching, kicking. She let herself think of Daniel, the way he looked when she woke to find him taking pictures of her. She reminded herself what Kenneth had said about him only a short while before. She remembered how Mitch's wife Betty was obviously trying to sell Kenneth to her, and she knew that Betty was quite close to Daniel and probably knew him as well as anyone. So why would she do that?
Finally Ofelia said, "Yeah. I guess. But. You didn't ask me, I asked you."
"So what's the difference. The fact is, I'm trying to put the moves on my friend's girlfriend. Why the hell am I doing this?"
"Um..." Ofelia smiled, "Because I'm a witch and I cast a spell over you?"
Kenneth was staring straight ahead, his hands on the steering wheel. He chuckled. Ofelia giggled. She leaned over even closer to him and said, "And because I'm so cute. And because you know that I like you."
"No. O-Fel-ia. Like that girl in the poem that jumped into the river?"
"Play." Kenneth corrected her. "It was a play."
"Poem, play, whatever. Except we Mexicans spell it with an 'f'."
Kenneth took his sunglasses off, sat there for a moment, and then suddenly leaned over to kiss her. Ofelia put both hands on the back of his neck and responded to his kiss with her lips parting wide, slipping her tongue into his mouth. Her hands moved to the front and she traced her fingers over the chiseled contours of his face, his temples, his jaw, his cheekbones, all well defined, all movie-star perfect. Her eyes were wide open, shining intensely. Soon she was up to her knees on the leather seat, leaning into him, holding his face in her hands and kissing the places her fingers had touched. Her breath was quick and hot, and sweetly scented. The vein in her neck was pulsing.
Kenneth had been with many women but never one quite so aggressive. Soon Ofelia was pushing his tank top up, rubbing his taut belly and chest. He raised his arms and she pulled the garment up over his head, tossed it into the back seat. Luckily, they were on a side road which didn't see much traffic, but still, someone was bound to come along eventually. "We should..."