Home > The Red(6)

The Red(6)
Author: Tiffany Reisz

After all, she was a businesswoman.

She was glad Malcolm had given her instructions for what to wear and how to wait for him. It made it easier. No second-guessing. Before dressing to leave her apartment, she stood in front of her full-length mirror and examined her naked body. She wasn’t thin exactly, certainly not skinny. She had breasts larger than her frame but no man had ever complained about that. Her legs were her best feature, if she did say so herself. The face? A straight nose, full lips, high cheekbones, high forehead, which is why she wore blunt bangs. The verdict? She’d make a passable Olympia and a very fine whore indeed. She was getting used to that word. In fact, she was starting to like it. It gave her a thrill to think of herself that way. A goldmine, that’s what Malcolm had called her body. A goldmine. Who wouldn’t go digging if one were sitting on a goldmine? Only a fool.

She could only hope she wasn’t fooling herself.

Mona dressed in a long breezy skirt, sandals, a white bra, white panties, and white cotton top. Her usual casual summer uniform. The streets were humid when she walked to the gallery four blocks away and by the time she unlocked the door, she was sweating. It was a relief to step into the air-conditioning. In her office, she caught Tou-Tou sleeping in the leather club chair Malcolm had sat in.

"You know better than that,” she said to Tou-Tou, as she scooped him up and set him on the floor. "Company only. You have your own bed.”

He looked at her, affronted, as if to say "How dare you judge me? I know what you’re doing here…”

Or perhaps she was merely being paranoid. Tou-Tou followed at her heels as she went into the back storage room. She switched on the floor lamp, as the room was windowless but for the single skylight above the bed. This had always been her favorite part of the gallery. It was full of odd and gorgeous clutter. Here were the strange paintings her mother had loved but could never unload. Erotic paintings mostly. A woman in a red dress with one strap dangling off her shoulder, a bare breast exposed. A naked couple fornicating on a boat while the ship sank and sailors drowned. A lady in Victorian garb whipping the corpulent ass of a naked man with a branch of holly. All good company for such a liaison as Mona’s tonight.

She wondered if the paintings would give Malcolm any ideas.

In addition to the paintings, antique furniture was scattered here and there—a red velvet fainting couch, a cheval mirror with an ornately carved frame hidden under a white sheet, a Rococo-style chair with carved wood arms and red and gold striped fabric. They were for parties, special events. When she was a little girl, Mona would come here after school and nap on the fainting couch, dance in front of the mirror, sit in the Rococo chair and read her little school books, while her mother in the other room hobnobbed with artists, art critics, art lovers, and anyone else who wanted to come in from the rain.

And, of course, there was the brass bed. It had been her bed as a girl growing up in her mother’s apartment. She’d lost her virginity in that bed and taken Ryan’s in it as well. Her memories of that bed, in that bed, were potent ones. After tonight it would hold even more memories.

She prayed they would be good ones.

Funny, the last night she’d slept in this bed was the night her mother died, the night her mother had made her promise to keep the gallery, no matter what. And now she’d keep her promise in that bed. She only hoped her mother would understand. Mona looked over her shoulder at the portrait of a handsome, randy old duke naked from the waist down with his penis poking inside the squirming girl on his lap.

Oh yes, her mother would very likely understand.

And approve.

Mona had stripped the bed of sheets and blankets when it was brought to the storage room. They’d been old flannel sheets, pilling and faded. If she were going to whore herself, she would do it on high thread count Egyptian cotton. In Manet’s Olympia painting, the sheets on the bed were white, as was the coverlet. She’d found an old white quilt in her mother’s things and put that on the bed. When she finished, the bed looked lush and inviting. The temptation to lay in the bed was strong, lay in it and touch herself. Should she prime her body a little bit before Malcolm arrived? Would he want her to be wet when she greeted him?

Well, it’s not likely he’d be displeased if she was.

She stripped naked and put her clothes on the seat of the wooden chair she’d placed at the end of the bed. Olympia wore a flower in her hair, so Mona tucked one into her side bun. She tied the red velvet choker around her neck. Finally, she adjusted the lamp so that a gentle golden halo of light surrounded the bed and left the rest of the room in shadows. Then she lay down to wait.

Though the sheets screamed luxury, decadence, and comfort, she could not relax. It was eleven now. Malcolm would likely arrive at midnight as he had the past two times he’d visited the gallery. She felt so awkward lying there naked. This wasn’t her. Not at all. No matter what Malcolm said, this wasn’t her. But for the sake of the gallery she would try anyway. She imagined herself lying stiff and unmoving underneath Malcolm as his cock jabbed at her tight, dry vagina. That wouldn’t do. It would be agony. He’d tear her and she’d bleed all over the white sheets. She wished she’d thought to bring wine and drink a glass or two. Instead she’d only brought a few bottles of water, a bowl of cut strawberries, and apples.

Closing her eyes, Mona breathed deeply into her body, pulling the breaths into her lungs and belly. She imagined the real Olympia. She must have existed, or a girl much like her. The painting had shocked viewers for the forthright way Olympia held up her head. Shameless, she was. Unapologetic. Why should she apologize? It was the men who paid her for sex. She was merely doing what she’d been told to do all her life: submit her body and will to men. How dare those men judge her? They’d created her. A woman can’t sell her body without clients to buy it. Olympia would laugh all the way to the bank and then likely spread her legs for the bank president in exchange for free checking.

What a girl.

Mona smiled. She wished she’d had Olympia’s courage. She wouldn’t be shaking on the bed while waiting for her next customer. No, she would bathe herself—a whore’s bath, washing the leavings of her previous client out of her. She’d repair her coiffure. It must be just right. She’d dab perfume between her thighs, behind her ears, between her breasts. She’d drink white wine to wash the taste of the last man from her mouth. She would recline on her bed and massage her breasts to bring her nipples to hardness so that when her next client came into the room, he would think she was aroused at the very sight of him.

She heard the door opening.

Mona lifted her head. Malcolm stood in the doorway in his three-piece suit.

"Ahh…” he breathed. "My Olympia.”

Mona didn’t know what to say, so she said nothing. Malcolm didn’t seem to mind her silence. He came to the bed and sat beside her. She sat propped up on her pillow and frozen on the sheets, shivering.

"You look so lovely,” he said softly, his gaze grazing her naked body from face to feet and up again. "I’ll enjoy you tonight.”

"I’m nervous,” she said.

"Of course you are. I wouldn’t want or expect anything else.”

"You want me to be nervous?”

"Very much. It will make the triumph all the sweeter. I love the challenge of overcoming reluctance.” He bent and kissed her chest over her racing heart. Then he stood and walked to the end of the bed where he proceeded to undress. First the suit jacket came off, then the vest. He unfastened his buttons with agile fingers. He didn’t make a production of undressing, and yet she couldn’t take her eyes off him as he peeled out of his shirt to reveal strong sculpted biceps, a flat hard stomach, and a broad chest. The shoes were next and then the trousers. Her eyes widened at the first glimpse of his cock, already erect and glistening at the tip. She watched it as he walked back to her, taking in its impressive size and even more impressive girth. She would need to be very wet to enjoy that inside of her.

"You’re pleased with me?” he asked and she sensed the question wasn’t a question at all. A statement of fact. He knew she was. He simply wanted her to admit it.

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