Love Is A Silk Blindfold Ch. 04byangiquesophie©
Whores and Moustaches.
The Marriott Marquis at Times Square is a huge hotel. It has a vast lobby, and a mezzanine for conference rooms. The guest rooms and suites are all on much higher floors and can be reached with fast, glass elevators.
The most remarkable item, however, is the big circular rooftop restaurant and lounge. It slowly revolves to give a breath taking view of times Square, Broadway and the skyline of Manhattan.
I had taken the elevator and had settled in the lounge. It gave me a view of the restaurant's entrance. I wore an outfit I would never want to be seen in dead. Which of course was the point. No one would expect me to wear it, least of all Betty. It was ugly, loud and baggy.
Judy had lied for me. She had been a convincing cousin of Betty's who called her office to say there was an emergency. A family matter. She needed to speak to Betty and could not get her on her cell phone. She wasn't at home either, so now she tried her at work.
The little watchdog had a problem. In the end she gave her a number. We backtracked it to the Marriott Marquis. And yes, a Mr. Mancini had booked a suite there.
I bought my stuff at a second hand store.
I took care there was at least a tie and a jacket. I might be refused entrance otherwise. I also got a silly golf hat. The glasses were a miracle, so was the pepper and salt moustache. They made me feel a perfect fool. But would it make me an unrecognizable fool?
Like: would I myself ever believe I wasn't me?
I had walked away twice, before entering. Now I sat here, trying to keep the entrance under surveillance. Who the hell was producing this cheap B-movie? B? C and lower. And why on earth did I think they would come in here? There were hundreds of bars and restaurants in the direct neighborhood. Better ones too.
But something told me I was right to choose this place. Something else told me I had not many alternatives anyway. But I had convinced myself that there was sound thinking behind my choice. I thought: if they cheat on me, they wouldn't want to increase their risk of being seen by spreading their presence over a lot of places. They would stay in the hotel.
Sound thinking, Jules. So where are they?
Two hours and four very slow beers later I thought my sound thinking needed a revision. It was past ten by then and the place was filling up nicely. Just to be sure I had made a careful round every quarter of an hour to see if I had missed them. I hadn't.
At eleven I decided to call it a day. A night, rather. I rose and walked to the glass elevators. They drop you fast and give you a nice view all the way down.
I saw them come in when the lift reached the hall.
They were two business-type men and two rather spectacular women. One was a platinum blonde. She seemed a bit tipsy and hung on the arm of the elder of the two men. There was another girl too, a pretty redhead. She was also very happy and clung to the other, younger man.
I left the elevator.
The group had walked over to the reception, where the men picked up the keys. They then came over to me, no doubt to get to the elevators. For some reason I don't understand, I retired halfway behind a pillar. Maybe it was because I am brought up with rather conservative ideas about being paid for sex. And about showing off your sexuality in public.
The blonde sure did that.
Her tiny dress was black, very short and very tight. Her high, round tits almost popped out of its decolleté. She swayed a bit on towering stiletto heels, which gave the man a nice opportunity to be chivalrous.
He held her firmly.
Both girls giggled. Their faces were made up outrageously. The redhead squealed when the young man slapped her tightly packed ass. She also wore a revealing dress that left her belly bare. She obviously didn't wear a bra, nor needed one.
They passed me, totally oblivious of my presence.
I did a double take on the blonde. I watched the face under the make-up, the body, the posture. Then I lost her. She cried out and laughed a throaty chuckle when they entered the glass elevator.
"Ah, mais vous êtes tres méchant, monsieur...olala!"
I heard the voice. I heard the French. My heart sank.
It felt as if something wet and heavy slapped into my face. A dizziness came over me. I carelessly lugged forward to get another look of her face. Right before the glass booth rose, I saw a big hand disappear inside the top of a black little dress.
Red lips opened eagerly.
I sat in the chair. From it I watched the door into our apartment.
I had called Betty about four times on her cell phone. It stayed dead the whole night. Now it was morning. The first sunlight had thrown its merry rays through the windows an hour ago.
It did nothing for my mood.
I was deadly tired. I had tried to sleep when I came home, but sleep never came. There were only images of Betty fucking the men. Sounds of her squealing and giggling voice. Of her damned whorish French endearments. And most of all of her laughing, her pointing at me, sticking out her tongue and making obscene gestures about my male incompetence.
That had passed by now. I felt as if I were a stranger living inside my skull, looking out. I had drunk cups of black coffee until my stomach surrendered.
And all the time I had gazed at the door.
Of course I had run to the other elevator when I came to my senses. It took ages to come down. By the time I rode up, the other one was already empty. I got out on the floor where it had stopped and started pulling and pushing at random doors. I even slammed my fist on a few.
It is a huge hotel.
I got no response, of course. So after a while I took the elevator down again and went to the desk. I asked where Mancini's suite was, but they said they were not at liberty to tell. I gave them money to tell me where the hookers went. I even pulled one of them by his lapels over the desk. I felt the silly moustache slide off my lip. That was when the doorman interfered. He threw me into the street.
I waited for another hour, totally humiliated. I watched the entrance. Then I went home, raging, yelling.
I didn't know what to do when she'd come home. I had no plan. I even had no rage left in me. My insides were filled with cotton. Weak, soft, shapeless balls of cotton. My brain was mush. Apart from that there was nothing left.
I felt sad. I was in mourning.
I had cried, of course. I had cried a lot. I had raged too. I had smashed half of our precious china. The pieces lay all over the kitchen floor, brilliantly adorned with broken crystal.
I had also emptied her closets and torn up dresses, suits and lingerie. It was childish, I know. I felt entitled to be childish. I felt permitted not to give a damn.
But now I was spent. I was calm and empty.
I was ready.
Her key rattled in the lock.
It was almost seven o'clock. She looked fresh like a bedewed apple. Her lovely brunette hair was in a neat pile. Her designer suit looked spotless. I'd say it was decent with a sexy twist. She carried the leather briefcase we bought on our trip to Paris.
She looked shocked.
"Honey! What is wrong? What happened?"
She rushed to me and took my weary head into her hands. Her eyes were wide and worried.
I shook myself free and stood. That is when she saw the mess behind me. The broken china. The torn up clothes. She groaned.
"Oh God! What happened here? Did we have a break-in? Were you mugged?"
I turned slowly, watching her kneel and rummage through the sorry rests of her expensive wardrobe. She sobbed. She turned her face to me, holding up a torn-up blouse.
"Yes," I croaked. "Robbed. Raped. Mugged. But don't worry, honey, it was only me."
She looked puzzled. Then she rose and walked back to me.
"Are you all right, Jules? Did they hit you? Let me see."
I avoided her.
"Don't bother, Betty," I said. My voice got stronger. "I only got beaten up, fucked over and killed a bit. It was all in a night's job, really. Don't worry, please. Vous êtes tres méchant, monsieur. O...la...la..."
I stretched the last vowels, my eyes locked on hers.
She never winced. She just wanted to damn hug me.
"Oh God, Jules. What did they do to you? Please lie down. Take an aspirin. Did you call the police?"
I grabbed her wrist, turned her around and marched her to the couch. I pushed her until she sat. She looked scared now. I kept standing, looking down into her upturned face.
"You scare me, Jules." Her voice was tiny.
"No, Betty. You scare me. I thought we were so close. You tell me you love me more than anyone, anything. But it is all a lie, isn't it, Elizabeth? It always has been, hasn't it?"
"I...I don't know what you mean, Jules. Yes. Yes, I love you more than anyone, anything. Yes, Jules. And I would never lie to you."
I almost hit her. My hand stopped less than an inch from her face. She flinched, gasping.
"LIAR!!" I cried.
She started crying. It got to me, but I clenched my teeth and dismissed the feeling.
"You look tip-top this morning, honey," I said. "Nothing a good long shower can't wash away, I guess. What did you do with the sleazy outfit? The wig, the crazy shoes? Drop them down the chute, no doubt? Or donate them to the Needy Hooker Association?"
I actually chuckled. She stopped crying. She looked dumbfounded.
"Jules. Are you on drugs?"
I just stared.
"I have not the faintest idea what you are talking about," she went on. Her voice got steadier. There was even a hint of anger.
"Dammit, Jules. Here I come back after a late night of hard work and not much sleep and I find this! And you talking gibberish!"
"Late night, hard work," I repeated sarcastically. "Backbreaking work no doubt."
"Hard work, yes!" she cried. "And I had to be at the office early again, but I wanted to see you. Just to see you. I felt sorry to have thrown last night on you at such short notice. Just had to see you and now look! Now look!"
Her hand fluttered like a lame little bird.
"You sure did." I now whispered. I sank into the club chair in front of her. "You sure threw it at me, Betty."
Her anger disappeared. She reached for my hands.
"Honey...Jules. I don't know what is wrong with you. But if it was something I did, please...I am so sorry. I really don't know what you are trying to tell me."
A kernel of doubt started churning its sharp edges inside the weak mush of my mind. I shook my head to silence it.
"How can you be so cold, Betty? I saw you at the Marriott. I goddamn saw you. Don't tell me you weren't there. Stop the goddamn lying."
She sat straight.
"Yes, I was at the Marriott. Robert rented a suite for a client and a conference room annex suite for us to do our presentation. But why did you go there? How did you see me? I never saw you?"
"Honey," I said. "I may be a blind cuckold who begs to be fooled because he can't see past his love for you. But please, don't treat me like a child. I saw you and the other hooker get into the elevator with two guys. I saw you kiss him. I saw his hand slip into your whorish nothing of a dress to grab your tits. I heard your voice and your silly French hooker phrases. GODDAMMIT BETTY! STOP LYING TO ME!!"
Somehow I had fallen to my knees. Somehow tears had come to my eyes. Somehow I did everything I had sworn not to do. Her hands touched my face. She leant into me, her eyes were very close.
"Please listen to me, Jules." She whispered. "I don't know which hooker you mean. But I...Wasn't...Her. Please believe me... It...Wasn't...Me. We wrapped up the presentation around ten. Around eight we'd had some catered food. The client decided to get out for some entertainment. It sure sounds they found some, if they were who you saw. Robert and I worked at our reports and a contract for them to sign today. We stopped around one in the morning. I took a shower and went to sleep."
"Alone," she added.
I sat, feeling her soft hands on my face.
"I saw you," I said.
She sighed. She threw up her hands in desperation.
"I know you, Betty," I went on. "I know you maybe better than you know yourself. I know your eyes, your voice. The way you move, the sound of your...laugh."
My voice broke.
"IT WASN'T ME!!"
She sounded exasperated. She also sounded hurt and defenseless.
I rose, shaking off her hands.
"Please let me alone, Betty. Go to work or whatever. I need to be alone. I can't be around you. I don't trust myself. Leave."
She rose too. Her hands fumbled in front of her.
"Please, Jules, don't..."
"Do it, Betty. I can't talk anymore. I just can't. When I close my eyes I see you fucking that man. It kills me."
I am not a cook, but I can do a mean little chicken tandoori.
I had cleaned out the kitchen and dumped the rags of her destroyed clothes. I had gone on cleaning the entire apartment. I needed to do something while wrecking my brain. Anything.
I had called in sick.
Judy was great. She must have been burning with curiosity. And maybe I owed her for helping me. But I couldn't. I told her I couldn't, yet. I promised I would later. She said she understood. I would have kissed her for that had she been with me.
Betty called me all day.
I ignored her calls. I did not even listen to my voicemail. I wanted to be alone. I am like that. When I am not sure about myself, I am ashamed to be around people. Especially the ones close to me.
I did the chores swearing.
I cursed and muttered all morning. I was mad, but the focus had shifted. I was mad at myself. For not being able to keep my cool. For not having pinned her down onto her blatant lies. For having been so damn emotional.
But most of all I was mad because I wasn't sure anymore. I poured coffee and sat down, thinking. I tried to relive what had happened around the elevators. Her face behind the whorish make up. The color of her eyes. Rethinking the color of her hair. Even the shape of her exposed tits.
I tried to recapture her voice.
It had been the voice that convinced me most. The choice of words, the French. The sound of it. It sounded native. Betty's French is amazing. But was it really hers? Everything had been conspiring to make me believe the woman was Betty. The actual hotel, the timing, the men, her voice, her bubbly self. And all the suspicion that had been poured into me, these last weeks.
Was I wrong?
I tried to sleep. I even succeeded for a few hours. Then I took a long shower and dressed in slacks and a sweater. I looked in Betty's wardrobe as I dressed. I saw there were still some clothes that had escaped my rage. It was a relief.
I could not keep my hands from running through the silk, wool and soft cotton items. I smelled their freshness. It took my breath away. But at the same time my mind wanted to check if I knew them all. If there might be some she never wore for me.
Sexy ones, whorish ones.
I opened a drawer and saw I had missed quite a bit of her lingerie too. The tiny lace panties. Soft silk stockings. Pretty see-through bra's. I knew them all. Of some I even knew where she'd bought them.
There were no secrets here.
My phone rang again. This time I decided to take the call.
"Oh, Jules, there you are at last, honey. You had me worried."
"No need, Betty. I'm fine. Please come home soon."
There was a small silence.
"Ehm...," she said.
My heart sank.
Then she suddenly sounded exalted.
"Yes, oh yes, Jules! I'm on my way now! I'm there in minutes!"
I was proud of myself.
I had kissed her, when she came in. A real kiss. Then I had allowed her to shower and change. We had drunk a glass of wine, chatting. I had wined and dined and candle-lighted her. The chicken hadn't let me down.
And all the while I acted cool. I avoided all her questions concerning this morning. Or the night before.
By the time we had coffee, she was at the point of exploding. Funny thing was that I was cooler than I ever had been. I smiled, I touched her. I complimented her on how fresh she looked after such a hard and short night.
I wondered how long it would take her.
It happened with the second cup.
"Goddammit, Jules! Cut the crap. What is going on?"
I smiled and pushed the lovely china sugar bowl in her direction. It had survived the storm. She slammed the innocent bowl away. I caught it before it might fall and join the fate of its brothers.
"Hell, Jules, what are you doing to me?" she cried. "You destroy our precious china, our glasses, half of my clothes and all for something you think you saw. You don't believe a word I say and send me off to work. You never answer my worried phone calls. And now, goddammit, you small talk me to death!!"
There were tears. There also was deep anger. Good.
"Honey," I said. My voice was very low, awfully calm. I had spent my anger on the furniture, polishing, vacuuming. I had decided what to do. She just had worried all day. Good. Why should I be the only one doing that?
"Honey. I must ask you to do something for me."
She looked surprised.
"You must try and see things my way, the next few minutes. Just step out of your point of view and slip into mine. I can't promise you'd like that very much. It has been pretty much hell for me. But please try..."
"I, ehm...well. I don't see what you are getting at, honey," she said. "But, okay. I'll try if it is what you want."
Her fingers played with the coffee spoon.
"Thank you," I said with a smile.
"You see, Betty, these last weeks have indeed been hell for me. The more so since I could not share them with the one I love more than myself."
Her lashes fluttered. She tried to protest, but I shhhhd her.
"It started Tuesday night, three weeks ago, Paul phoned me from a bar. Remember? I had alcohol on my breath that night."
She thought, frowning. Then she nodded.
"Paul told me he had seen you with Robert at the Hilton that afternoon."
She once more tried to break in. I waved her to silence.
"Later, honey. Let me go on and you'll get all the time later. Okay?"
She once more nodded, squirming in her chair.
"I know that you and your boss often meet clients and work in hotels. That you have lunches there and presentations. But Paul believed he saw things he should tell me. Things that happened between you and Robert Mancini. Any idea what he might have meant by that, Betty?"
I sat back, watching her face. She shrugged.
"I don't know what Paul thinks he saw. We had ended a meeting with the guys from American IT and had lunch. We talked about the meeting and planned our next step. Then we went up again to finish the job. What did Paul say he saw?"
"Paul saw you kiss him and it wasn't a peck on the cheek. He also saw Robert's hand on your ass when you returned to the elevators."
She once more shrugged.
"You know me, Jules. I am a kisser. I goddammit know Robert longer than I know you. We are...easy around each other. You know that! It doesn't mean a thing!"
A whine had crept into her voice.
"Exactly what I told Paul, honey." I smiled reassuringly and laid my hand on hers. She slowly pulled it away.
"You...," she said. "You did not believe all that, did you, Jules? Please, please tell me you didn't!"
She had grabbed my hand and pulled it towards her. Her eyes were wide. I smiled again.
"As I said, I did not believe it. Not the way he saw it. But of course you remember what happened in our bedroom that night. How I made you suck my cock?"
Now she winced.
"Betty. I may not believe the seriousness of what Paul told me. I might even doubt his motives for the first time in our endless friendship. But a seed was sown and I am awake."
"Awake?" she said.
"Yes, Betty. Love is a blindfold, you know. You have always been way above any suspicion I might ever have. More than that. I would have kicked the balls of anyone assuming you were not the holiest, perfume-peeing goddess in the damn universe."