Gentleman’s guide to Dinner Etiquette “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world
“Not many readers on this platform are aware of a fiction story I have been working on for a few months now. The story narrates the mystery that Benjamin has been grappling with since he received a strange call from his boss who had passed on 4years ago!”
This is a Sneak Peek into the 4th Chapter. Please enjoy!
The mind’s unrest
The time was 4am and Benjamin had been in front of his desktop computer since midnight. Sleep eluded him and he found solace in front of the crystal screen as it reflected back his now unshaven face with sunken and glum eyes. There was no better way to channel his energy than into his collection of romantic short stories.
“Grace had enough time to select a dress for her date night with Mike. She had 3hours to kill and couldn’t figure out how much of her skin to show. The last time the two met, Mike’s eyes were practically dancing about her low neck dress all evening. She imagined him drooling and could sense lust written all over his face.
There was something about Mike that made her feel so young inside, but not in a childish way. He had awakened the pure and best side of Grace’s personality. Every moment spent with him felt like a never-ending evening.
The energy between them vibrates in such a unique way, each the perfect compliment of the other or so it seemed. They had met only a months ago and she was content with just being around him, close enough to smell his cologne and sinking into serenity while in his warm company. His smile alone burnishes her soul into a beauty it could never have achieved on its own. Mike could do no wrong. She had to admit that she wasn’t simply “in love”, she was “ well and truly smitten.”
Grace was determined to make this budding relationship work although she was yet to consent to Mike’s torrent of sexual advances. He made ‘sexual’ comments, jokes, gestures so often during their dates. At other times, she intercepted signals that were subtly sultry directed at her. He made no pretence about his desires. His eyes would turn into a cold stare while he would ‘accidentally’ brush up against her, or linger his hand longer than it was usual when they shook hands.The sexual tension was now very palpable and she could sense that her defence was ebbing away faster than she had hoped.
Grace was a huge romantic, and her intense sexual nature ensured that she was vulnerable, noticing every move, never missing a hint. She hadn’t been with a man in months and Mike came the closest to her ideal sexual partner.
At the last date, he had hugged her, not a perfunctory gesture mandated by social etiquette, but it lingered enough time for his hands to travel the distance from her shoulders to her buttocks, glazing over her butt cheeks in a gesture mixed with sexual innuendos. There was no way she could miss that. She thought it was inappropriate, but at the same time she liked it. In her head, she imagined herself saying “Stop it, I like it”
She had only started dating again a couple of weeks after her marriage of six years crashed following her husband’s arrest, subsequent trial and public disgrace for corporate fraud.
The pressure of his fraudulent activities was telling on their already tense and loveless marriage where the center could no longer hold. She had stayed faithful and invested her energy in her career hoping that he would sort out his financial dealings with the banks and get their relationship back on track. But it wasn’t long before the fault lines in their marriage turned into gaping holes they could no longer suture. Holes large enough to consume them both.
Grace was an On Air Personality on a local radio station in the city. She had a degree in communication and hosted her own radio talk show every week. Her strong voice, excellent public speaking skills, and positive attitude endeared her to many, making her popular in the entertainment and showbiz circuit. The news of her broken marriage was therefore in the media and gossip columns for weeks before the news of the Intercontinental world cup overshadowed the scandal, offering her some respite from the public eye. Occasionally, updates on the trial featured in small columns in the newspapers, but other than that, her husband was now confined to her past. He was somewhere languishing in prison.
That was a difficult period for her and she struggled everyday to stay sane amidst the pressure of work and life. She longed for company and her body in particular yearned for love.
Mike offered a different kind of friendship. He had a listening ear and barely interrupted her during their conversations. This attitude made him handsome from the depth of his eyes, in silent contemplation,to the gentle expressions of his voice. With him, she could voice her fears, concerns, frustration and hopes and his eyes told her that he was not judging.
For Grace, It took courage to walk into the light after a marriage of semi-shadows and in Mike she could see the chance for that kind of love they say didn’t exist anymore. The type that spanned far longer than one lifetime.
She finally found the dress, it was a black, lacey and clingy short gown and was all shades of sexy. It could easily pass for a deliciously indecent outfit that left very little to imagination. She was absolutely certain that if Mike was on the fence about their situationship, this sexy gown was about to turn the pressure up a notch. He was going to get crossed-eyed no doubt!
She looked herself up in the mirror and she liked what she saw. Her soft, dark skinned shoulders were exposed and her hair, long and fluid, laid gently over her shoulder bones, kissing her soft skin till it reached down her back. Her lips were carefully tinted red and her skin looked flawlessly ebony.
As though on cue, her phone rang, Mike was outside the street waiting for her in his car. She pleaded for a few minutes promising to join him in a bit. In reality, she was done and ready to go, but preferred to linger rather than give a hint of how excited she was to see him.
When she stepped out of her gate and approached his car, Mike’s bright smile revealed a perfect set of dentition welcoming her to an evening she would never forget. His eyes lit up like the sun the moment he saw her in that dress, he simply couldn’t hide his pleasure. He wasn’t sure what to look forward to when he was driving over to her place, but seeing her that moment, there was no doubt in his mind how the night would end.
They shared an intimate hug the moment she sank into the passenger seat of his SUV while he made a comment about how beautiful she looked and how irresistible her perky lips were.
Grace was content to see that her message was well received and hoped that the evening would go as planned.
She looked Mike over as he guided the SUV into the street, they were driving across the town to a nice Lebanese restaurant that he had talked about the whole week. She admired his well shaven and almost symmetrical face. He had a slim, muscular body to die for and a warm and loving personality. Wherever he went, everyone loved him, they were simply drawn to him just as Grace had.
If he wanted to, he could have more friends than hours in the day, it wouldn’t be a challenge at all, his personality was so magnetic that anyone in his company would feel truly honored and privileged that he chose to be with them. He could have had almost anyone, he could have had someone with a bigger bust, a smaller waist, prettier face and with more self-confidence, but he chose her.
When her eyes wandered to his thinly shaped lips, she snapped out of her lustful stare into the empty street down the road.
Suddenly, in one swift move, Mike turned the car into the sharp bend, navigating into a quiet and poorly lit street with gated houses on either side. A wave of panic flashed across her face as she turned to look at Mike”
Benjamin got off his chair in one swift move. He had been sitting down hunched over the computer for hours. His eyes were sore from lack of sleep and inundated constantly by the brightness of his computer screen. He had to take a short break. He looked up at the wall clock, it was 6am. He had been up the whole night. But he wasn’t done yet. He had a story to complete and he wouldn’t want to leave this one half-done.
His mind raced quickly through the events of the previous day and he wondered what next he had to do. He had decided to call Allen in the morning to find out what his friend at the telco could find about the current status of the SIM number of his former Boss. If the result turned out to be positive indicating that the number indeed exist, then he would be 100% convinced that Mr. George was not dead as had been erroneously touted in the last four years.
And then, he would be keen to find out why this is so. He had made up his mind to uncover this mystery, no matter how long it took. But first that phone call from Allen was all he needed to get started into overdrive.
He poured himself a cup of water from the dispenser and walked back to his computer. For now, he had a story to finish.
“Grace’s fears were drowned just as quickly as they appeared the moment Mike turned to her, leaned over and planted a kiss on her lips. One touch and it was over. It was always that way with Grace. That singular lip locking act sent Grace into a sensual state of intoxication. She couldn’t hide her smile. How nice, she thought. He couldn’t even wait!
They closed their eyes, with both their breaths quivering while the still air in the car offered no respite. It started first as a casual non-invasive kiss, Grace then gently leaned in kissing Mike’s warm lips while allowing her tongue explore the depth of his sexual desire. After a brief moment they pull apart, taking shaky shallow breaths with their heart skipping dozens of beats, she says “Thank you,” in barely more than a whisper.
“For what?” He replies, his voice low and husky. His eyes glassy from the bliss of their kisses.
“For being you.” Her voice wavers, exhilarated from the tension between them.
Unable to contain themselves anymore, Mike holds Grace’s head in his hands and pulls her into a fiery, more intense and passionate kiss. It was a full, open-mouthed, almost sexual kiss. Caution was getting thrown out already and it felt strangely good.
That moment, it felt as though their lips fit like two puzzle pieces. No spoken word could break the intimacy at this time and Mike’s roving hands were beginning to explore the skin around her neck and bust line. Grace’s hands weren’t idle either, they worked their way around his shirt, feeling each crevasse, each line along his perfect physique.
When they managed to break away after what seemed like ages she looked at him with eyes full of pure lust and dizzy from the intensity of the kiss. They stared at each other in an odd way, as if it were a silent argument while their glances battled each other. That kiss held promise of realness and a primal desire that looked to cut their evening short.
Mike turned the car back on the road and drove slowly until they approached an abandoned field within the quiet neighborhood and it looked like a perfect spot for their spontaneous moonlight tryst.
Grace’s silent protest- if she could muster one, was drowned by the sound of her own heart beat and she loved how the evening had turned. Driving off to a motel or back to her house could easily kill the raw, uncouth and passionate moment they just shared, she had to trust Mike on this.
The moment he killed the car engine, they were up in each other’s arms. In that split second before his touch, every nerve in Grace’s body and brain was electrified.
She felt the electricity in her skin, while her hormones were shutting down her higher brain ushering the rise of her animal self. From there on in it was all passion as intense and intoxicating as it had started earlier. It was her release, her escape, her drug… not that she was easy, she knew well enough to avoid letting a man lay his hands on her. Yet with good chemistry and a semblance of real love, too many of her switches were flicked for a reverse gear to be possible. All she could do now was to go along for the ride and pray her instincts were right.
Out of nowhere, multiple flash lights peered into the car revealing their naked bodies. It was accompanied by voices of men dressed in black. Their voices thick and brash muffled across both sides of the door, jolted them both to reality. It appeared that had just been napped by the police.
“Hold it there! Don’t move!”
If you move! Open the door!
Grace scanned both sides of the car in panic and was convinced there were at least 6 policemen around the car, knocking and hitting the car, all of them speaking at the same time as though in a military drill.
“Oh dear, what have we done!” Grace muttered.
“Don’t worry I will handle this. I got this” Mike assured her.
Mike calmly buttoned his shirt, while Grace pulled her dress closer to her bust to cover her guilt.
The moment Mike opened the door, the police officers pounced on him as though he was a criminal. One grabbed his pants while the other turned into a photographer taking pictures with a mobile phone.
“Stop it” Grace yelped as they opened the door to her side of the SUV.
“What’s this about?” she heard Mike clinging to the last string of ego he had left.
The police officers immediately started off with questions in quick succession. Questions that Mike opted not to answer. But they asked nonetheless.
Grace had heard in the past some people say that there were good and bad cops. But the scenario playing out suggested that it is an oversimplification. True, the police can be honest, courageous, corrupt, devious, malicious, altruistic, cunning or stupid. But these ones here looked and acted like bunch of criminals passing judgement even before they could offer their defense.
They smelled like weed and sweat baked in sun.
“We are going to the police station” Declared one police man.
Mike did not object.
“ It’s okay, let’s go to the station and don’t manhandle the lady” his voice had an edge to it, even the police officer next to Grace winced.
“No, she goes in our van over there and you will drive after us, we don’t want either of you playing smart.” The police officer calling the shot wasn’t mincing words either.
Mike beckoned to Grace and asked her to joins the police officers.
“It’s okay, I will be filing a report myself of this nonsense” His voice now with a hint of anger.
Grace was disappointed with the way the evening was playing out. Her plans for the night had no police disturbances and certainly no random make-out in an open field. But for once in her life she gave in to her moment of weakness and now this was going to be a public shame by the time news hit the stands in the morning.
She could see the headlines.
“Popular OAP caught pants down” or even worse “Popular OAP caught having sex in the Rayfield”
“Oh dear” There was no telling how bad this could get.
Quickly she scanned her head for a quick solution to this messy quagmire, but none readily came to her mind.
She walked gingerly to the police van just parked a few meters away.
“How didn’t they notice the van?” It was cleverly parked in the dark so it would appear unnoticeable.
She shook her head more in disgust than disappointment.
She could hear their sultry and unguarded remarks as they were just a breath away from calling her a prostitute. She opened the door and sat in the van smelling like urine and sweat and waited until another police officer joined her in the front seat, sandwiching her between the driver.
“Lets go, lets go” yelled one police officer.
Lets, Go, Lets Go, Lets Go.
Ben had to use the bathroom, he was loving the turn of the story. His wrist ached and he needed a break.
As he opened the toilet door, his mind wandered to his girlfriend. He hadn’t spoken to her since the day it rained. Linda had travelled back to the university and was too serious a student to call Benjamin every other day. Somehow they had both gotten used to not speaking as often and he wondered if they weren’t already drifting apart.
The few times she sent a message, it was a request for some money. He was starting to get frustrated at her nonchalant attitude and he could tell that their relationship was hitting the rocks in a few months. Perhaps she had found herself a school boyfriend, he thought. He couldn’t be bothered.
He needed to find a lady as passionate and smart as his fictitious Grace.
He took his seat at the computer, rubbed and twists his palms together excitedly.
“It’s time to finish this story” he mouthed loudly.
Mike was joined by three police officers. The one in front asked him to follow the police van ahead.
The officer in front started a small talk, but Mike was not having it. He kept his face grim while his mind raced to his next line of action. He picked up his handset and dialed an old friend of his, James.
James was an excellent and highly respected senior police officer with an impeccable track record in the criminal justice system of the country. Just as the phone rang, the police officer in front slapped the phone off his cheek in a well calculated move that barely avoided hitting him on the cheek physically.
A brief tussle ensued as Mike and the police officer got into a fisticuff, in between swear and curse words. The two police officers at the back intervened by holding Mike’s hand and restricting the officer in front seat.
“You are in trouble, now you have assaulted a federal police officer, no oga-at-the-top will save you today” ranted the police officer in the passenger seat in front as Mike got a grip of the steering wheel and edged closer to the police Van where Grace was being conveyed.
They had only driven a distance of 500meters on the main boulevard when the police van suddenly pulled up to the curb in a gestapo style with all its four doors opening at the same time.
Mike’s eyes opened wide wondering what was going on. He watched as two police officers hurriedly carried Grace out of the police van. They seemed to easily pull her out of the door, lifting her into the arms of one of the other police officers, who walked briskly to the sidewalk, roughly dumping her down on the concrete floor.
One other police officer walked briskly to his SUV and quickly beckoned to the other to get out of the car.
“Lets go, lets go, lets go. Quickly”
Bewildered, Mike watched as the officers hurried out of his SUV and chased after their van as it made its way back to the boulevard getting away from the scene.
“What’s going on?” Mike muttered as he wheeled the SUV to the sidewalk before getting out of the car to find Grace lying on her back with her eyes half shut, wriggling on the floor as though in epileptic fit.
He had never dealt with an epileptic person before and he was clueless about what to do. He looked around to find the police van far off and disappearing into the night traffic with no one else in sight.
As though on cue, Grace’s eyes opened up as she suddenly sat upright, looking to both sides of the road and then settling in on his face.
“Have they gone?”
When Benjamin checked the time, it was 9am. time to call Allen.
If you enjoyed this chapter, please visit “The Prisoner of Fate” via the menu to catch up on the story.
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