He crossed the threshold, letting his fingertips brush her bare arm as he passed.
“And you look stunning April. It’s so nice to see you again.”
She demurred, fluttering her eyelashes.
“Thank you kind sir. So where are we off to?”
“Oh, a little bistro on the west side I discovered awhile back. I think you’ll like it.”
She offered a glass of wine and they settled on the couch. He raised his glass.
“Here’s to chance.”
She smiled and clinked glasses, studying him as she took a sip. They made small talk and then went to dinner. He put all of his considerable skills into play, displaying his knowledge of wine in making a selection and suggesting items from the menu. She was openly impressed.
He had to hold himself in check throughout the evening. He wanted to savour it all for as long as he could. At the end of the evening he walked her to her door and gave her a light kiss goodnight.
She watched him walk away and he glanced over his shoulder just as she turned to unlock the door. It was all so good. He felt light-headed as he drove home. He allowed himself to think again of Jenny. He compared her to April. He couldn’t believe his luck. It was as though it were meant to be.
When he got home he resisted the urge to visit his secret chamber. He was too emotional as it was. He needed to maintain control. The next few days he forced himself to put all thoughts about April to one side. He threw himself into his work. Come Thursday when he got home he made himself a light dinner and put on some music and sank into his lounge chair.
He sipped a beer and let himself get lost in the music until he felt the time was right. Without thinking about it he found himself at the bookcase and he pressed the button and watched the case slide away. He entered his chamber and brought forth the key. Kissing it, he unlocked the gleaming steel cabinet and opened the door wide. He ran his hand over each jar in turn, myriad emotions flooding over him until he could take no more.
He locked up and went back into the lounge and sat down again. He allowed his mind to go blank and picked up the phone. It was time again.
“Hello April. Have you missed me?”
“Hi Harold. You know I have. How are you?”
“I’m good. I was just sitting her listening to some music and thinking about you. I want to see you again.”
“Sounds good to me. What did you have in mind?”
The weeks passed quickly and everything fell into place, as he knew it would. Still he would not allow himself to anticipate or rush. He courted her like a genteel throwback to a bygone era.
At last after, after two whirlwind months of dating he seduced her. She had all but thrown herself at him on the preceding date and he could tell she was perplexed by his slow-hand approach.
He made love to her with a grace and attentiveness that he knew would take her over the edge. As they lay together afterwards he took her face in his hands and gazed deep into her eyes.
“April, I love you.”
“And I love you Harold. My heart is yours.”
In that moment he thought he would pass out, but he got control of himself and kissed her deeply. He felt the deep sense of satisfaction that was usual in that most important of moments, but he vowed to himself to wait just the same.
Tomorrow, Part 4