“Do you greet all your female guests with a pile of clothing and a personal visit?”
He chuckled eyeing her almost hungrily. “No, just the special ones.”
He faltered as she walked over to the bed, dropping the towel and dressing unashamedly. She was tall for a woman, broad shouldered and strong. Muscles rippled under her pale skin, the light casting highlights and shadows across her breasts and thighs.
Karl sighed longingly, wanting to touch her. This was what had gotten him in trouble before, her smooth, creamy complexion, hair like golden honey and her eyes, dark, stormy, blue-grey like the ocean in a hurricane.
Half dressed, she sat beside him on the bed, staring in his light grey eyes. He had aged a lot since she had last seen him. Of course, he had been eighteen at the time, and that was nearly sixteen years ago. Time had been hard on him. His brown hair was going grey at the temples. Her hand fluttered involuntarily to move a wisp of hair from his forehead.
He caught her hand in his, kissing it gently, his lips seeking hers. Instead of falling into his embrace as she dearly wanted to, she moved away from him. Resisting him was so hard, but she must. She had never dated married men. Many of her ideals had lapsed over the years, but that one never had.
“I’ve missed you, Hannah.”
“Oh, you certainly seem to have, Karl. I’ve been gone sixteen years, and you have a child fifteen years old? I see you missed me for a week?” Her betrayed her hurt.
“I’m sorry, Hannah. I didn’t want to. The marriage was planned, you know that. Even if you’d stayed, I would still have married Uta.”
“You have four children, Karl. You don’t look like you are hurting for attention.”
“The sex is meaningless, Hannah. I never stopped loving you. You’re still so beautiful. You set me on fire!” His voice grew husky as he rose, walking to her.
“You have a wife and four children! Aren’t you worried your snooty little wife or one of your precious children will walk in on us?”
“Uta took the children to the park. I told her you and your friends needed a quiet house to get a few hours of sleep.”
“How kind of you, that is exactly what I need. Did it occur to you that I might not love you any more?”
Her words caught in her throat, forcing the bile in her stomach to gag her. She couldn’t lie to him, but this time she had to be strong.
“I was young, Karl. I made a mistake and paid dearly. I served my time and lived to tell about it. I’m not that girl any more, enamored of a handsome, gallant, intelligent, charming young man.”
“Was I all those things to you, Hannah?” He moved closer to her, touching her arms gently with his fingertips.
“Karl!” The name was a sob. Uta stood in the doorway.
“It’s not what you think, Uta,” he babbled.
“It looks as if you’re talking to a woman who’s nearly naked. What am I to assume?” Her face was tight with anger.
“Assume the worst, Uta,” Fiddlestix spat. “Just like you assumed Karl and I were sleeping together! Well, for your information, we never had sex. Not for lack of wanting to, but your little trap snared us before we could. You stole my youth, my love, and my life from me, Uta!”
Throwing on the rest of her clothing, Fiddlestix ran down the hall, banging on the doors of Blacksmith and Buzzard. Both of them answered in various stages of undress, eyes bleary.
“We’re leaving,” she told them. “I no longer feel welcome here. Mr. Fumler has promised us an escort. Get dressed. Karl, I’ll expect your team downstairs in fifteen minutes.”
Karl nodded, walking off toward the stairs. Uta stood glaring at Fiddlestix, hands balled into fists.
“Don’t ever come back, Hannah, or I swear to you…!”
“Don’t threaten me, Uta.” She pointed one powerful metal finger at Karl’s wife. “Don’t make that mistake. I’m not the girl I was. If you didn’t have children, I’d have killed you already. But a child needs its mother.” She pushed past Uta, nearly knocking her down, as she hurried outside toward her bike.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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