tagInterracial LoveProper Charlotte

Proper Charlotte

bySyleusSnow©

Author's note:

My apologies for any errors in the French and cultural inaccuracies. Corrections welcome.

~~~~

I kept sneaking glances at her as she sat at her little table, scowling at the menu. I couldn't help it—she was stunning. She was also darker than anyone I had ever seen in my life.

When I checked in, Mrs. James said there was only one other guest. That wasn't a surprise for a country inn in October, almost an hour from the nearest town. I only picked the place because it was near the gypsum plant I had to inspect that week.

"And what would you like for dinner, dear?" Mrs. James was hovering over me. "I do all my own cooking, so if there's something in particular you want, I might be able to manage."

I ordered something quick. Sometimes at home, I'd cook myself something interesting, but I was too hungry to be fussy.

When Mrs. James asked the woman, it became a long back-and-forth about the food and then the choice of wines. The woman had a thick French accent and Mrs. James was struggling to understand. I could understand it a little better—in high school one of my genius plans to impress girls was to learn Spanish and then French. I quit both after one semester.

When our meals arrived, I caught the woman's eye and raised my beer in greeting. She looked at me blankly and focused on her food.

She had to be a couple years older than me. Her face was feminine and regal, her frizzy hair cropped close. Her eyes were compelling: dark and oval-shaped, unlike any I had ever seen.

More captivating, though, was how dark she was. I'd been all over North America for my job and thought I'd seen every variety of person. Not so. This woman was darker than a moonless night.

In contrast, I was terribly pale—light blond hair, pasty white skin, and light-colored eyes. My great-grandparents came from Scandinavia somewhere, so I was told. Even my eyelashes were light. I hated it.

When she finished eating, the woman stood and left without a glance.

The food was excellent, so I took my time and chatted with Mrs. James.

"You really run this place by yourself?" I asked.

"Only this time of year, dear. My sons come help in the summer. All the tourists, you see. But now in the fall I only get one or two people a week. I can handle that myself just fine."

"And this was your home?"

"We converted it to an inn when my sons left home. It does well in the summer. Now dear, I know our rooms are a little small, but there's our sunroom addition in back and downstairs is the gym and sauna. Use them any time."

When I finished, I thanked her and helped carry dishes to the kitchen. As I walked up the narrow staircase back to my room, I ran head-to-stomach into the woman coming down.

"Ooof! Regardez où vous allez!"

"Sorry!" I said. "I didn't see you."

She gave a chiding look and slipped past me down the stairs.

In my room, I set up my laptop to prepare for the week. I did pre-sales surveys for industrial machinery. There would be interviews, measurements, and blueprints to study. The first day was always the worst.

Thoughts of the woman distracted me. Was she visiting from France? Why was she alone?

It had taken hours of driving the West Virginia roads to get to the inn. I was stiff and full of restless energy. I decided to see if the gym was any good.

The basement gym had a good set of machines and free weights. A large bathroom at the end of the room had a shower stall and a supply of towels and guest robes. It was all I needed.

After an hour of working out, I felt better so went to find the sauna. I'd read how they were popular in places like Sweden. With my Nordic heritage, I figured it was time to try one.

Pulling off my sweaty shirt but leaving on my shorts, I grabbed a guest towel and found the sauna's wooden door down the back hallway.

Hot, wood-smelling air blasted me when I heaved open the heavy door. A single dim bulb lit bare pine walls and benches.

Only after I closed the door did I realize I wasn't alone. The dark woman sat on a towel on the far side of the room. She was naked, her dark skin gleaming.

She sat leaning forward, palms on the bench at her sides, her full breasts jutting out proudly between her arms. The whites of her eyes flashed as she peered at me in the gloom.

"Crap! Excuse me. I thought I was alone down here."

I turned to flee, but in that French accent she said, "It is okay. There is room."

"No, no," I said, "I'll come back when you're done."

"Ridiculous. It is for all."

When I turned she looked back with a blank expression, not seeming to mind her nakedness.

I sat on the opposite side. The woman gave a curt nod, and then drooped her head, ignoring me.

The room was shockingly hot. I concentrated on getting used to it and fought to keep my eyes off the woman.

That was impossible. As I adjusted to the gloom, I could make her out more clearly. Her breasts were full and capped by midnight-black areolas. Her legs were smooth and toned and her entire body shone with perspiration.

She must have felt me looking. She lifted her head and observed me. I looked away quickly like a guilty child.

"It is not sanitary," she said.

I met her eyes, confused. "Uh, pardon me?"

She indicated my shorts. "Clothes in the sauna. It is unhealthy. Les bactéries pousseront."

"Bacteria?" I said.

"Oui. Enleve-les. Take them off."

I remember reading that in Sweden everyone used saunas naked. Men and women together. Something about nudity not being a big deal with them, but I had also read it wasn't that way in other places like France. In fact, I didn't think saunas were a Nordic thing, not French at all. I explained my confusion to the woman.

"Je ne suis pas de la France," she said in beautiful, rolling French. "Mais de la suisse. I am Swiss. Comprennez? There we sauna correctly."

Well, okay. I wasn't going to let this very correct Swiss lady think I was breeding bacteria in my shorts, so after a hesitation I stood and slid them off. She eyed my crotch quizzically, then nodded in curt satisfaction and focused on the floor again. I sat on my towel and tried to ignore her too, concentrating on the penetrating heat.

After ten minutes, she stood. I had a brief view of her hourglass figure, firm jutting breasts and incredible round ass. She was stunning. She wrapped herself in her towel and left without a word.

Ten minutes later, I had all I could stand of the heat. I went back to the gym, a towel around my waist.

The woman sat in a corner chair, wearing a white robe and reading a novel. She didn't look up.

I showered in the bathroom. The cool water felt wonderful after baking like a potato.

Donning a robe, I went out to the gym where the woman still sat. I decided to introduce myself.

I extended a hand. "Hi. I'm Travis."

She regarded me, then shook my hand primly and said, "Charlotte."

"Nice to meet you, Charlotte. Staying here long?"

"Until Friday."

"Me too."

"Okay," she said and turned her attention back to her book.

I had planned to return for another session in the sauna, but after Charlotte's frosty reception, I just went up to my room.

~~~~

That night, I tossed trying to get used to the too soft mattress. It curved like a salad bowl, a big central depression formed, I guessed, by years of couples fucking. I could only think of Charlotte. What a puzzle: from Switzerland but French? I thought they spoke German. And black? To me, Switzerland was one of the whitest countries imaginable.

Images of her lush, dark body blazed in my mind. Her beautiful face, her eyes, her breasts, that shapely ass, that smooth gleaming skin.

I had many questions. Too bad she was so damn unfriendly.

~~~~

At breakfast, Charlotte again sat alone at her table dressed in a tailored suit jacket and skirt.

Mrs. James set my breakfast before me and asked, "Are you two working together at the plant?"

I looked over at Charlotte. "You're working at the gypsum plant too?"

"Oui. I review their finances this week."

"Oh? You're an auditor?"

"C'est ca. My client may buy them."

"Oh, right. I heard something about that. You might have a hard time though... apparently the workers aren't happy being bought by foreigners."

She went back to her breakfast but said, "And you?"

"They're buying machinery from my company. I'm planning out the location to make it sure it has all the requirements before they finalize the purchase."

"Ah."

It was a twenty-minute drive to the plant. No other car was in the parking lot when I had checked in, so I asked, "How are you getting there?"

"They come for me."

"Oh? How about you drive with me? I'm going there every day this week."

"They are already coming."

"Phone them. Tell them you have a ride. I think they'll be grateful not to waste time playing chauffeur every day."

Charlotte looked at me with suspicion, but pulled out her phone and called.

"I must be there at nine hours," she said after hanging up.

"Great, so do I. Meet me at my car outside when you're ready, okay?"

As we drove, Charlotte looked out at the trees and kept to herself. Though a series of short, clipped conversations, I managed to get out of her that she was from Zurich and that she was an auditor of mergers and acquisitions for her firm.

I said, "I thought they spoke German in Switzerland."

"Yes, and of course I do. But my family speaks French. There are many French speakers in Switzerland also."

"And your family is from Switzerland?"

She sighed. "I was born there. My parents migrate from Cameroon."

"That's, uh, Africa..."

Charlotte cast me a scornful look. "To the south of Nigeria."

"A long way from Switzerland," I said.

"And you? Where are you from?"

I told her, and also explained how I had traveled across most of the U.S. and Canada for my company.

"But I've never been to Europe," I said. "I want to go. Switzerland looks beautiful."

"Yes, beautiful." She said nothing else until we arrived at the plant.

At the gatehouse, a portly, impatient-looking man was waiting.

"I'm Mr. Warner, plant manager. And you two are only here because I allow it, okay?"

I mumbled some pleasantry. Charlotte frowned.

"The owners say you're here all this week. Waste of time if you ask me. I could have given them all the information they need. But you're here now. And while you're here, neither of you will disrupt production, got it? We have orders to meet and we will meet them, understand?"

"Of course, Mr. Warner," I said.

"That includes getting killed. I don't expect pansy desk jockeys like you to understand, but we process gypsum here. It's dangerous. Conveyors that'll rip your arm off, kilns, rolling mills, yard traffic. So you two will stay with your escorts at all times. You will not wander. You will not touch anything. You will go only where I allow, when I allow it. Got it?"

Mr. Warner harangued us about safety for ten minutes then spent another twenty trying to impress us with his importance and knowledge. When our plant escorts arrived, it was a relief to get away. Charlotte was escorted to the main office while I was taken to see the site where our equipment was to go.

I started by talking to the site supervisors and electrician, took measurements, scouted the HVAC, electrical, and water feeds, and collecting drawings.

Mr. Warner dropped by often, always to make unnecessary comments or incorrect assessments and always with a nasty, superior tone. The planned location was ideal, but Warner kept insisting on another spot. When I tried to reason with him, he cut me off and insulted me. I tried to be professional, but by the end of the day, my patience was worn thin.

At 5:00pm, Charlotte got in my car without a word. She sat with her arms crossed as we drove back to the inn.

"Did Warner bother you?" I asked and explained my experience with him during the day.

"Yes. He interrupts. And is... very rude."

After that, Charlotte was silent all the way back to the inn.

~~~~

When we arrived, Charlotte went up to her room, and I called my boss to report my progress. I also explained the situation with Mr. Warner.

"Yeah, I heard he's a bit of a prick," he said. "Just humor him and don't piss him off. He has the owner's ear. He could get them to cancel the deal."

Charlotte re-appeared at dinnertime and sat at her table. I offered to join her, but she shook her head.

She scanned the menu with disdain and had another long discussion about alternatives and preparation.

"Sorry, dear," said Mrs. James. "I only keep so much on hand this time of year, but I can cook most anything. I have to go into town tomorrow for groceries, so tell me what you like and I'll see what I can find."

After dinner, I went down to the gym to work out and again to the sauna. It was empty, but I still stripped naked and sat on my towel, soaking up the intense heat. I was starting to like it.

The door opened and Charlotte stepped in, breathtaking in her naked glory. She nodded at me, sat on the opposite side and ignored me.

As we sweated in the sweltering room, I tried hard not to look. I studied my knees, the floor, the thermometer by the door, but my eyes drifted back to Charlotte's shining body, her breasts and her legs.

Charlotte said, "Why do you stare?"

"Uh, pardon?"

"You stare at me when you think I don't see. It is not polite."

"Oh. Yes, sorry about that. It's rude of me. I'll stop."

"Are you racist?"

"What? No! I mean, I don't think so."

"So why?"

Before my brain could stop my mouth, I blurted, "Because you're so beautiful."

I could feel myself blush. Smooth move, I thought.

Charlotte narrowed her eyes. "Beautiful."

I had already made an ass of myself, so I figured what the hell—might as well double down.

"Well, yeah. You're gorgeous. And so dark. It's... I dunno... fascinating."

"Dark is fascinating?"

"Sure. People aren't anywhere near as dark around here. You're unique. New. To me, anyway."

Charlotte pursed her lips and considered.

"Then you should look," she said. "So it is not new. Then you will not stare."

She walked over to stand before me. I looked up to her gleaming breasts hovering right above me. Lower I saw a trimmed patch of fuzz between her toned thighs and the hint of dark pussy lips. She was so close I could smell her scent, hear her breathing and, despite the intense heat of the room, feel warmth radiating from her luscious body.

Charlotte gazed down as I examined her from head to toe and then she turned to present her back to me. Her ass was round and shapely. I longed to reach out and stroke it.

After a few moments, she turned back toward me. She said, "There. Bon?" Then she gasped. "Oh!"

I was horrified to see I had a throbbing erection. I quickly covered myself.

"Oh, God! I'm sorry," I said.

Charlotte scowled and shook her head as if disappointed by the antics of a small child.

That is exactly how I felt.

~~~~

At breakfast, Charlotte barely acknowledged me. On the drive to the plant, she again stared out the window. I couldn't tell if she was angry about my reaction in the sauna, or if she was just being her usual cold self.

Mr. Warner interfered with my work at intervals all day, being a domineering ass and insisting I plan out placing the equipment in his preferred location.

After work, Charlotte was angry when she got in the car.

"Warner was rude again?" I asked.

"Rude. Yes. He is sexist as well."

"Why do you say that?"

"He calls me 'bookkeeper.' I have a master's degree in Banking and Finance from University Zurich. I am not a bookkeeper. And he calls me 'girl.' I am a woman, not a girl."

I said, "Uh, exactly how did he call you 'girl'?"

"'Come here, girl.' 'Do you get it, girl?' Like that."

I sighed. "I think that was racist, not sexist."

"What do you mean?"

"I think he meant 'girl' like people used to call black people 'boy'. It's a term from when there was slavery and segregation."

Charlotte considered. Then she said, "Yes, I think you are right. Sexist and racist. Le cochon."

"Huh?"

"Pig," she spat.

I recalled my high school French and said, "Oui. Il est trés un cochon."

"Ah? Tu parle français?" She looked at me hopefully.

"Oh, barely enough to ask where the bathroom is and to order more beer."

"Ah. Je vois." She nodded with resignation and was silent.

~~~~

At the inn, Mrs. James greeted us with a bruised forehead and her arm in a sling.

"Are you all right?" I asked. "What happened?"

"Just a little tumble dear. While I was getting groceries. It's only bruises and a strained arm. The doctor said I'll be fine."

"That's terrible. Is there anything I can do for you?"

"No dear. But I'm afraid I can't cook tonight. Maybe for the rest of the week. But don't worry. There's a lovely restaurant in town. You can eat there."

"But it is forty-five minutes each direction," said Charlotte. "Inacceptable."

I said, "Mrs. James, did you get all your groceries?"

"Oh yes. They're in my van."

"Then why don't we do the cooking? You show us where everything is. I'll bring in the groceries."

"No, dear. You're guests. I can't make you cook."

"Oh, I want to. I cook for myself at home. And what else is there to do here at night?"

In horrendous French, I said to Charlotte, "Est-ce acceptable pour vous?"

She protested that we were not licensed food service workers.

"Who's gonna know? Does everything have to be proper with you?"

"Yes, certainly."

She only agreed to help cook when Mrs. James assured her we were following local regulations if we were supervised.

It was a small kitchen. Charlotte and I struggled to find bowls, knives, and ingredients while Mrs. James sat on a stool directing us.

I decided to make biscuits. I was shaking flour from a bag into a bowl, eyeballing the quantity when I looked over at Charlotte. She had measuring cups, ingredients and utensils arrayed before her like a surgeon preparing for a heart transplant. I watched her measure out ingredients with the precision of a chemist, double-checking the recipe at each step.

As we worked, we bumped into each other and she dropped a mixing bowl. "Quel imbécile," she muttered.

When a baking pan slipped from my hand and crashed to the floor, she exclaimed "Allez! Idiot," her eyes flashing with annoyance.

"Quel désastre!" she yelled when I tipped over the milk and it spread across the counter.

Later, I turned not knowing she was behind me. We both dropped what we were holding and Charlotte stamped her foot. "Imbécile. T'es con comme un balai."

I had no idea what that meant, but that was enough.

"Nasty bitch! Pull that bug out of your ass, will ya?"

She looked confused, then gave me a sideways scowl. I scowled back, scrunching my nose and sneering theatrically. She jerked her head back and studied me with uncertainty. But after that she stopped calling me names.

It took us an hour to cook. The kitchen was a disaster but dinner was cooked and we weren't bumping into each other as much.

The three of us ate in the kitchen. Mrs. James told us about her family and her years running the inn. She had endless stories of stupid things guests had done. I laughed at them, but Charlotte only nodded in acknowledgment.

However, Charlotte did contribute to the conversation. She told us it was her first time traveling outside of Europe and how unfamiliar everything was.

"Everything is far," she said. "At home, in one hour the train can cross three countries. Here I will not get to even the next village. And the food!"

"You don't like the food, dear?" asked Mrs. James.

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