Sixteen months earlier
“You look so prim. I can see that ordinary seduction won’t work on you.”
I studied her reaction. This was a test of sorts.
Monica and I had been a couple for two months now. Tonight we were dining at Le Petit Cochon. For most of the main course I had entertained her with art world gossip. Now we were waiting for our dessert orders.
“There is nothing for it but to ravish you. To give you any choice in the matter would be wrong. It would ask something of you that is not you. Either you must fight me off with your own strength, or you must succumb. I see no other way.”
Earlier in the day I had taken her shopping, visiting four or five boutiques and having her try on any number of outfits until I found the one that I wanted. A formal evening suit in a button up choker style, vaguely reminiscent of a 1950s movie. She had looked askance at my choices, but I kept my expression inscrutable, admitting to nothing more than that a surprise awaited her. I insisted, and she acquiesced.
Jokes are not funny if you explain them in advance. The same principle applies to other games.
After the boutiques, I escorted her to a salon where I spent a number of minutes discussing hair designs with the Madame before selecting one from a book of samples, a done-up style that exposed her neck and was held in place by chopstick-like hair pins.
I left her in the salon’s charge, with instructions to be back home and dressed in her new outfit, ready for me to pick her up at eight o’clock.
“But ... but that is not fair. You are so much bigger than I am,” she replied, her eyes wide.
“Your best chance would be to scream for help, then. Now, before we leave the restaurant. Put yourself at the mercy of the Maitre’d.”
Her look of bewilderment fell away. A nervous smile ghosted briefly across her face but she overrode it with a pursing of her lips.
“I don’t like to cause a scene.”
Her voice was precise and clear. ‘Oh good,’ I thought. ‘Game on.’