tagNovels and NovellasSolace & Rosanna Ch. 06

Solace & Rosanna Ch. 06


2003: Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik played relentlessly as Rosanna squirmed out from under Casey and began searching frantically for her cell phone.

“Dammit! Where the hell is my briefcase, Casey?” She yelled as she ran from corner to corner.

“Calm down, Ross! It’s only the phone,” Casey said languidly, enjoying the spectacle of a very sexy, very naked Ross run around her living room. She did not budge from her spot on the carpeted floor.

“No, it’s not just the phone. It’s Matilda!” Rosanna shot back.

“Matilda? Who has an old-fashioned name like that these days?” Casey asked sarcastically.

“Matilda does, that’s who,” Rosanna said through labored breaths. At last, she located the dreaded phone.

Casey listened to Rosanna’s end of the conversation intently.

“Hi Mattie. Yes, I know we had plans. Listen, I had an accident. No! Calm down. I’m fine. Really. No, I’m not in the emergency room. It wasn’t that bad. I met a friend from high school. No, she isn’t an old flame. Why would you say that?”

At that moment, Casey leapt to her feet, crossed over to Rosanna and wrapped her arms around her from behind, pressing herself to her suggestively. She began softly stroking Rosanna’s abdomen and then ran her fingers up and down the length of her body.

“Stop that!” Rosanna hissed. “No, Mattie, I wasn’t talking to you. I was…trying to fix my pants and they’re not cooperating. The zipper broke and they won’t stay—“ She abruptly broke off her impromptu explanation as Casey’s tongue found its way to a very sensitive area on her neck and she moaned involuntarily.

“No, I mean, yes, Mattie. I hurt my knee. That’s why I moaned. Where am I? I’m—“ Rosanna became so flustered that she employed the juvenile trick of making static noises, pretending the connection was faulty. She pressed the End key. Boy, she was in deep shit now! She gently extricated herself from Casey’s probing hands and tongue and went on a search for her clothes. Casey stood there, pouting. Rosanna was completely oblivious to her plight.

“Ross, you can’t just leave me like this,” Casey whined.

“Casey, I am in such deep crap right now I can’t even think about anything else. I have really screwed up and now I’ve got to try to fix this. I am so sorry I led you on.” Rosanna put her clothes on in record time. She held the sides of her pants together and looked up pleadingly.

“Do you have a safety pin, Casey?”

“If I wanted to be really cruel, I’d say no, but I can’t do that to you, Ross.” Casey sighed and left the room. She returned with several safety pins. She helped Rosanna fasten them down the front of her pants. She made one last attempt at seduction, but Rosanna kissed her lightly on the lips and moved her out of the way of her goal—the front door.

“Thanks, Casey,” Rosanna called back as she flew out into the hallway.

“You still owe me, Ross!” Casey shouted as Rosanna entered the elevator that had just arrived.

“I know. I know.” Rosanna called as the door closed.

“We meet again. Rosanna, was it?” Rosanna looked up to see Leander Collins standing there. He was holding a laptop computer under his arm. She always noticed anything having to do with her line of work.

“Yes,” Rosanna said curtly.

Sensing that the woman was not in the mood to talk, Leander did not proceed with the conversation. He would have to ask Casey what had transpired with her sexy, Latin friend. He was sure that she would be dying to spill those beans. Had they or hadn’t they was uppermost in his mind. Perhaps he could use the episode somehow in his new book.

They reached the main floor and Rosanna dashed out of the building and hailed a taxi back uptown. She lived in a one-bedroom luxury apartment in a new building on York Avenue. She paid the driver, scrambled out of the car, flew into the building, and sprinted to the bank of elevators that went from floors fifteen to twenty-five. She did this with as much grace as she could manage. When the elevator finally arrived, she stepped quickly inside neither looking left nor right. She barely noticed the other passengers who boarded with her. Rosanna was perspiring profusely and she could feel it trickling down her back, causing her silk shirt to stick to her, which was extremely uncomfortable. Her cell phone rang again, but she did not press the talk button because she certainly was not about to talk in a crowded elevator. She simply looked at the display, saw that it was Mattie, dropped the hand holding the phone to her side and held it loosely in her trembling hand. She had to collect her thoughts and her story before she spoke to Mattie. When the elevator stopped on her floor, she tried very hard to walk out with a shred of nonchalance.

“Miss, you dropped your cell phone,” A voice called.

Rosanna spun around, and her jacket flew open, exposing a row of safety pins holding her pants together. She was in such deep thought she didn’t even think to try to close her jacket.

“Thank you,” Rosanna said as she took the offending instrument from an outstretched palm.

Two senior ladies looked at one another.

“Maybe she’s not doing so well. She can’t even afford to get her pants fixed properly,” said one.

“Such a shame. That’s a nice suit, too,” said the other.

Rosanna heard this little exchange as she raced to her door. God, they’re going to think I can’t afford to live here anymore. It’ll be all over the building by tomorrow! Conyo!

Rosanna opened the door to her apartment and placed her briefcase in its place in a nearby closet. She would retrieve any necessary articles later. She sat down in her black leather recliner, not even stopping to remove her jacket. She knew Mattie would continue to call until she got her. What she was going to tell her she could not think. The truth was not in the realm of possibility, but maybe she could tell her a version of the truth. What version that would be she did not know, but she stripped off her clothes and jumped into a cool shower to try to clear her head and refresh her body. She was uncertain of how long she had been sitting in her comfortable chair, but she was startled to hear the doorbell ring. She looked at her watch and saw that about an hour had passed. What had she been doing—daydreaming?

“Just a minute!” Rosanna called out as she ran into her bedroom to change out of her bathrobe and into something casual. She rummaged in her drawer for a pair of white walking shorts and a red t-shirt with her company logo on it and went to answer the door.

Mattie stood there, looking elegant in a tailored skirt suit of navy with a white blouse. She looked fresh and crisp and royally pissed. Rosanna swallowed hard. She leaned over to kiss Mattie on the cheek but the woman swept by her so quickly that her lips met nothing but air. Oy vay!

Mattie sat down, placed her Coach handbag next to her, folded her arms and waited. Her blonde hair was loose and fell just passed her shoulders. Her makeup was flawlessly applied and her fingernails freshly manicured. Matilda Harper rarely dressed down. She didn’t even like to wear sneakers. She wore only expensive walking shoes.

Rosanna sat next to her on the nearby sofa. Mattie turned to face her.

“Mattie, I’m so sorry I missed our dinner engagement. I really did hurt my knee.” Rosanna said lamely.

Mattie looked down at Rosanna’s knee. She spotted a large bruise and gasped.

“Rosanna! Oh my gosh. Does that hurt?” She reached out to gently prod Rosanna’s knee. Rosanna winced at the still tender area and inwardly thanked the Goddess that she had something to show.

“Have you cleaned the area with antiseptic? How did it happen? Oh, Rosanna, I’m so sorry. I thought--” Matilda said in a rush of words as she stood, removed her blazer and folded it neatly over the back of the chair. She went back to her examination of Rosanna’s knee.

“I tripped on the sidewalk…stupid accident. I wasn’t paying attention. You know, my mind is always a million miles away.” Rosanna thought she better quit while she was ahead. She knew she’d have to brace herself for the next round of questions.

“Do you have any Bactene?” Matilda asked.

“In the bathroom cabinet, but—“ Rosanna tried to protest but Matilda was out of her seat, headed for the bathroom. She returned with the bottle and some cotton-balls. She knelt in front of Rosanna and began swabbing the area. Rosanna gazed affectionately at Matilda as she performed her task. She put her hand on Matilda's head and began stroking her hair.

“You are so sweet, Mattie,” she said, meaning it.

Matilda looked up. Her hazel eyes pinning Rosanna’s green ones with their intensity.

“Not so fast, Romeo. You’re not off the hook yet. I want to know where you were and why you didn’t call me sooner. I just took a chance that you were here. I started to get a little frantic, Rosanna.” She finished, capped the bottle and rose to return it to the medicine cabinet.

Well, now’s the time, Rosanna. You better think of something quick, girl.

“Mattie, I was in so much pain, I sat on a park bench just to relax and before I knew it, you were calling me and my cell phone wasn’t working, and I just decided to come home. I couldn’t think what else to do at that point, since I’d already missed our date.” Rosanna mentally crossed her fingers and prayed that Matilda would believe this hastily contrived excuse. She didn’t think it sounded too bad. Of course, she wasn’t on the receiving end either.

Matilda sat there for a few minutes and said.

“If I were the jealous type, I would have assumed that you were with another woman. Didn’t you say that you met an old high school friend?” she asked, a hint of suspicion creeping into her voice.

Rosanna tried to remain as cool as possible as she answered, “You’re right. I did, but we just talked a bit and she left. She was also going to have something to eat.” Rosanna almost choked on her words when she realized what she had just said. To cover herself, she grabbed Matilda into an embrace and whispered, “You don’t have to ever worry about that, Mattie. You’re the only one for me now.” She was really on a lying roll now! God help her!

Mattie put her arms around Rosanna and squeezed…hard. “I better be, Rosanna.” Although she said it with a smile, Rosanna knew that they were words she should take very seriously.

“Are you hungry?” Rosanna asked, realizing she was famished, having temporarily lied her way out of a near catastrophic situation.

“Of course, I am. Someone stood me up and I haven’t had anything since breakfast,” Mattie answered, her good humor returning.

“Let’s order Chinese,” Rosanna offered.

“I had my taste buds set on CPK. Somehow Chinese just doesn’t sound as appealing,” Mattie said, wrinkling her nose.

“Okay. What would you like, Mattie?” asked Rosanna, her fingers poised over the telephone.

“How about La Contessa’s?” Matilda said.

“They don’t deliver,” Rosanna said puzzled.

“I know. Get dressed. We’ll just go,” Mattie said, lips pouting, giving Rosanna that look that she could not resist. What was it about these women and their pouting lips? She put down the phone. How could she say no to Matilda after what she had done? She didn’t really feel like going out. She felt utterly drained after the day’s events. Sighing heavily, she rose and headed for her bedroom. At least La Contessa’s is only across the street. She returned wearing black jeans, black boots and a form-fitting V-neck black sweater.

“Very sexy.” Matilda commented as she wrapped her arms possessively around Rosanna’s waist and planted a quick kiss on her lips. Before Rosanna could deepen the kiss, Matilda released her and went to pick up her jacket and handbag.

“Later Lover. Besides, you need to rest some. Any injury can be quite draining,” Matilda stated.

“Tell me about it,” Rosanna muttered as she retrieved her keys and wallet from her briefcase and put them into a smaller shoulder-bag.

As they waited for the elevator, Matilda put her hand in Rosanna’s back pocket and squeezed her butt.

“Matilda!” Rosanna protested.

Matilda said nothing as she strode into the waiting elevator. .

No! Please! This can’t be happening. The two little ladies from earlier were standing in the car. What did they do, ride up and down all day waiting for something juicy to happen? Rosanna tried to will them not to ask her any questions. However, the way things were going today, she had absolutely no chance of that happening. so, of course, one began.

“Are you going to take your pants to the cleaners, Dear? You know they can probably fix the zipper,” said one.

“And a very good one just opened up near La Contessa’s. They’re very reasonably priced, too, which is amazing for this neighborhood,” chimed the other. Neither of the women noticed that Rosanna was turning every shade and she had started to finger her bangs nervously. Matilda noticed and she watched Rosanna with mounting suspicion.

“Something you forgot to tell me, Rosanna?” she asked sweetly.

“I’ll tell you over dinner,” Rosanna responded, her accent evident in her distress.

“Yes, you will,” Matilda said with a knowing smile.

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