Remember The Nights Ch. 09
A week passed, then another and Charlie fell into a workable rhythm, sharing his time equally with Cynthia and Tamiko while handling cases and fielding wedding questions. Sex with Cynthia was perfunctory. She picked up the wedding dress, then came over, drunk on champagne and declared his performance as 'sheer perfection', before she passed out. Charlie used every opportunity since then to get her loaded and leave her unconscious in his apartment while he went to visit Tamiko.
His visits with Tamiko had a clearly different slant. She welcomed him with open arms and an open mind, willing to love or listen to him at turns. He was surprised at himself; surprised to find that sex wasn't always on his mind when he paid his nightly visit. Being able to express himself, to release the tension that had built up all day was so beneficial that he often found himself giggling with his head in her lap. Her conversation swept through him like a forest fire, burning away the dead wood and scraping old scars away so that new growth could burst through.
And when they had sex, it wasn't just fucking any more. He felt the subtle change and knew that she did as well, though they were both reluctant to give voice to it. Doggie style gave way to missionary and he learned to take great pride in her ejaculations, often brought about without any touch or tactile stimulation. He loved to take her this way, looking down in her eyes and seeing the love he knew she felt as she came, taking him along with her.
Their nights became more than mere trysts and he found himself craving her company, aching for the melody of her laugh and the thrill of her touch. But weeks added together too quickly and soon, it was five days before his wedding to Cynthia and Charlie lay in Tamiko's arms, his brain racing. She had noticed his distraction but said nothing, her heart already knowing the truth.
"You're going to marry her, aren't you?"
"I have to, Tam. Everything's all arranged."
"It can be un-arranged. You know that, Charlie." She smoothed the hair back from his face. "I know you don't want to marry her."
"It can't be helped, Tam." A tinge of sadness colored his voice. "I told you before; I'm an attorney who does what he's told."
"And I told you that you had more depth than that." Tamiko felt her heart growing cold with each passing moment and she knew, deep down, that she'd have to let him go. This beautiful relationship, a relationship that should have turned into her wedding, would have to fade away to nothing and she would have to take her heart back. "Why, Charlie? Why?"
Charlie turned to her, his eyes brimming over with tears. "It just can't be, Tamiko. I'm not allowed to be happy. I've been convinced of that for some time now. Meeting you has just been punishment ... "
He nodded, looking away from her piercing gaze. "Punishment. Giving me an indescribably beautiful woman to fall in love with and then taking her away."
"Why does it have to be punishment?"
Charlie couldn't speak. The pain of their impending separation was just too strong and he couldn't handle it. "Tamiko, I love you, but I can't have you." He arose from their warm bed and dressed, his face wet with tears. "I'm sorry, Tam. If I could, I would call the wedding off and I would marry you."
"It's not too late." Tamiko jumped up, throwing herself into his arms. She kept her arms tightly looped around his neck while his hands traveled the length of her body, gently caressing her breasts, floating over her nipples and teasing her flaccid penis. "It's not too late to be happy."
"It is for me." He whispered, peeling her off of him and grabbing his briefcase. "Be happy, Tam."
Tamiko pulled her robe on, suddenly aware of her nakedness. "Goodbye, Charlie."
* * * * *
The street was dark and cold but Charlie didn't feel it. He was numb. He hailed a taxi from the curb and rattled off his address without thinking ... and without seeing the sleek, white X-19 Jaguar that was idling just a few yards away.
Cynthia Winslow released the smoke from her cigarette in a slow breath, the calm control she showed belying the fact that she was absolutely livid with anger. Her driver, Simon, an ex-boxer sat in the front seat, his eyes following Charlie's flight from the apartment's doorstep to the taxi.
When the vehicle left the curb, the cool blonde spoke, "Make sure she understands, Simon."
The black man nodded and left the car, heading to the door and pressing a number of buttons until someone buzzed him in. Two sets of stairs and a sharp rap on number 23 and the woman, Tamiko Nagasura was in front of him.
Simon spoke no words but his fists conveyed Cynthia's message. Every punch and kick warned the slight Asian woman not to mess with her fiancé and when he left, turning his back on her bruised and bloodied body, he was sure that she got the message. And he was sure that Cynthia was pleased.
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