Forum Life

I heard a lot about forums and stuff but never tried to visit or join one. I have this site where I read stuff, it has forums and members, I was hesitant at first but after visiting the site for Two months I decided to get registered, free registration actually.  Fixed up my profile, posted pictures, sketches, joined groups and started visiting the forums. I found myself posting replies to the games and got hooked. Then I started to have friends, spending the usual reading time (online) with them chatting, exchanging stories and opinions on stuff, comments and reviews. I then got myself so involved in their “personal lives” yet always having the benefit of the doubt. Is he/she telling the truth? I really found most of my so-called online friends truthful but there are still people who’d make up stories after stories. Some I even received emails from their personal accounts, even knew their real names and their life stories. We get to share a lot of things in their “real world” too. But when I visit other threads where they also post, I get to see the other side of the mask, their mask…how they perceive things, how open-minded they are and who they really are…I guess it’s all in the matter of what you want others to see you as…or what you want to tell others, what you want to share with them…the real life or the forum life. So the question is right now…which side of ME have I really shown them?

2010 to 2011

As the year 2010 bids farewell, I suddenly had these flashbacks of the events that happened, the highlights and the not so wonderful things that made me what I am now. I learned from the different sides of ME, I got acquainted with the vulnerable side which I tried to suppress for years, got to see the stronger side of ME, I even got the chance to be acquainted again with my childhood. I felt pain, sadness, overwhelmed, overjoyed and at peace.

Still at times I tend to forget and return to the old ME that I dealt with and keeping  what I’ve learned to proper use. Keeping myself in check and facing the challenges up ahead, I can say that I am looking forward in welcoming 2011 with a fresher and more positive outlook. I have indeed learned a lot from 2010 and a part from that I know I have accomplished so much from the old “ME”.

Chapter 8: Revelations

Confused and nowhere to go, that is how I am now. It is very agonizing , how I came to this point of my life. There is nothing left for me, no reason to live and continue this journey called life. Before I have everything that I could wish for and easily dispose off things, now in a blink of an eye I’m reduced to nothing. I used to wear lovely couture dresses, shoes and bags. Young women my age envy me for my beauty, fame and fortune. Graceful, elegant and seductive, I am Valerie Blanc, from a noble family in France and the Princess of Tango – the renowned Blue Rose Tango. I guess you can say that I have experience a great loss in love that I can express the Tango’s real emotion exquisitely. I have enchanted many men through my Tango. But that is now my past as I ended up destitute and now seeking refuge under this bridge away from the prying eyes.

“Wake up, Princess your carriage awaits you.”  jolted by harsh hands and their mocking laughter, they blindfolded me and dragged me. I guess it took me an hour or so being  dragged and driven to nowhere I guess. The next thing I saw was a blinding light and Alec’s angelic face then I passed out again. The dreams continued to haunt me, I kept seeing daddy, Claudette, Charlie and Monsieur Duncan. I kept chasing them as the scenes from my childhood to my wedding day flash back. Then a sudden soft comforting voice called my name, “Valerie, are you alright? Everything will be fine from now on cheri.” I know that familiar voice, when I opened my eyes I saw Alec sitting beside me in the bed holding my hands. “I guess you are having a bad dream again cheri, you kept mumbling and grunting in your sleep. You are safe now, the doctors came earlier and gave you these dextrose and medications, plus a bit of sedative, you should rest now Valerie, I promise I won’t leave you. ” then I passed out again. I woke up a bit refreshed and rested the next day, Alec was really there beside me and attended to my needs then I slept again for the day. On the third day I woke up by mid-day and surprised to see Alec extracting my blood. “So you became a doctor now?” I smiled. Alec kissed me on the forehead and said “Hello there, sleeping beauty, you’ve been in and out for 3 days, I guess you are feeling better now, you can even smile sweetly at me. I’ve done all extractions from you and I even inserted this dextrose on you, we’ll just finish that bottle and off it goes. I want to take care of you first hand and make sure nothing happens again.”

It took me a 10 days to fully recover, now that I have my strength back, I can go out and catch some fresh air. Alec brought me to the gazebo where my favorite breakfast awaits, croissant, freshly squeezed orange juice, diced tropical fruits and brewed coffee. After breakfast Alec and I had our very first long talk since I came back.

“I have so many things to tell you cheri, which may answer most of your questions.” he led me to our comfy Cleopatra chairs and started talking. “When your father had his first heart attack he contacted me immediately and asked me to help him run the empire, discretely of course, I was also given the power to run Le Blanc in the absence of the heir. He also  knew that there was a plot to overrun his place as the president by the board of directors, I was also leading a team who investigates that matter. And when your father died I was pulling all the strings for you and Monsieur Duncan in the empire, but when he died I devoted myself and the team in nailing the board of directors. The day you got kidnapped was the day they were almost caught, I was in the midst of an agreement,  the seven board of directors, who were really pulling the strings for the overtake and Monsieur Duncan’s death and all those threats you received, when their goons took you as assurance and tie my hands for any entrapment they thought  I was planing.” Alec reached over to me and checked my pulse out of impulse. “Are you okay cheri? Do you have any questions? Do you still want me to continue or should we rest first?”  I smiled and assured Alec I was fine and I wanted to hear more. “Okay. My team searched for you for 3 days and 3 nights and on the 4th day just before you were to be brought back to Cannes, my team intercepted those bad guys and brought you back to me, where I raced back as soon as I sealed the agreement from the board of directors, I had the three directors signed a confession implicating the other seven directors being the masterminds of the mishaps and most of the fund loses since the past 8 years.”  I looked at Alec and smiled, “So that’s what you’ve been up to those times and you don’t know how great it felt when I saw your face after that blinding light that day. I had a recurring dream for that three scary nights, alone and cold, I kept seeing my childhood until my wedding in flashes, I saw daddy, Claudette, Charlie and Monsieur Duncan, then the dream would usually end up with me in rag clothes and under a bridge alone and shivering just like a pauper in the streets. I guess it was because I was not fed for three days and nights not even a single drop of water grazed my lips, but since that is all in the past now and I am really grateful that you kept you promise to daddy and cared for the empire and me, you never left my side since I came back, I know daddy and Claudette is looking at us and happy of what you are sacrificing for me and Le Blanc. I just wish Charlie is also here with us.” I blinked back the tears that were starting to blur my vision. “And lastly, Bruce called me this morning and said that they found Charlie’s plane in the Congo and are on their way back to London, he will be treated at the mansion, the private jet will be sent for you in four days.” I embraced Alec. “This is great Alec, won’t you come with me?” “Cheri, as much as I’d want to I can’t I need to make sure that the trial goes smoothly and I also need to put the empire back on its feet and prepare it for the time you’ll be managing it. But Bruce also mentioned that Charles did not receive any severe injuries except for an amnesia, but they are not sure about what degree it is yet.” When Alec saw the concern in my eyes he embraced me tighter and whispered words of encouragement and wisdom. “Now I think it’s time for you to rest in your room, get all the strength and energy you’ll be needing for the flight back to London. For the remaining days here in France, I’ll make sure to treat the princess as a queen and give you all the best that you want and need, I made arrangements at the office, I’ll stay with you till you return to Charlie.”

Chapter 4 : Débutant

As expected from my father my birthday is like one of the Queen’s banquets. Among the families and relatives that I really don’t know were my father’s business associates and their sons of course. This début will be meaningless for my father if I would not end up with a great offer. Having a very hard time with my elaborate gown as I been tagged along by my father from one party of old businessmen to another, introducing me to their sons and talking about the stocks and their business not really paying close attention to me. As I try to sneak away from the senseless chatter I found myself being hauled into another set of old men. “Merde! – damn.” I muttered under my breath. “Just smile and nod sweetie.” Jolted by a familiar deep husky male voice, I turn around and I saw the devil’s smile and my best friend standing before me. I politely excused myself from my group trying very hard to contain my excitement as I dragged the two outside. I took them to my rose garden, my Blue Rose garden which I’ve spent practically every free time that I am away from father. “Claudette! Alec! ” I almost shrieked as I hugged both of them. I thought you guys wouldn’t come, I thought you both forgot my birthday.” teary eyed I held them both. Then I composed myself and shot them questions after questions. “When did you arrived?”, “Why did you not even call or emailed me?”, “‘How are you two now?” ,”How was the Caribbean cruise?”, “So when is the wedding date?”, “Don’t tell me Claudette you’re pregnant already?” …I wanna be the first to know, the maid of honor and the godmother of your first child, you don’t know how happy I am right this minute, and I can’t even seem to stop talking.” We all laughed, Alec was the one who talked first, “I thought you won’t stop cheri! Sit down Mademoiselle first we came here to greet you a very happy 18th birthday, and of course, Claudette do you mind?” Claudette took my hand and said, ” We would like you to be our maid of honor four months from now, we will have our wedding in London.” I embraced Claudette as I looked at Alec and said, “I’d be honored you silly. But you both have to promise me one thing, no match-making please, I’ve been dealing with that for a month now, since I came back from London daddy kept me in tow in every business meeting and luncheons he had, introducing me into the business world and into countless husband candidates, and I am very sick and tired of it. Even tonight , my very own birthday turned into a grand match-making party.” Claudette took my hand and said earnestly, “You poor thing, I know your father only wanted what’s best for you.” I suddenly turned to Alec and glared at him, “I was expecting for a god-child as soon as you both arrived from that cruise, you disappoint me Monsieur Mowatt.” Alec laughed and stated mockingly, ” I beg your pardon madame Blanc, you sound like a grandmother eager for a grandchild, sorry to ruin your fantasy missy but we both agreed that we will wait for another year before we start our family.” we were chatting happily when the butler interrupted us, “Mademoiselle Blanc, forgive my rudeness but Monsieur Blanc request your presence in the hall.” I gave a disgusted face and told Alec and Claudette that I will have my little villa ready for them and that they should stay with me for rest of your trip.”I want to see photos and hear more of your stories tomorrow, we’ll have brunch by the garden.”  With that I left instructions with the butler for their luggage and food. As I went inside I immediately put on my façade, my mask, the polite, aristocratic figure of Valerie Blanc, that matches everyone inside.

It’s almost midnight and I was hoping to go back to my quarters, when I the last guest arrived. It was the son of the business tycoon daddy met in New York a couple of months ago, “Monsieur Charles Austen Graham” the butler announced. He strode gracefully towards me, kissed my hand and led me in the middle of the ballroom, instantly the orchestra played a tune where we danced the Argentine Tango. He led me with confidence and clear, precise execution, every step we made was synchronized. The manliness, the arrogance and the strength overflowed as I flawlessly swayed and turned, it was like being hypnotized by the music and by his radiance, he was like the movie actor Brad Pitt in the persona of Lestat, The Interview with the Vampire. The music ended with a powerful bang and as we walked towards my father who was aghast by what he saw if it wasn’t for the Monsieur I definitely would receive a piece of his mind. “Don’t worry about your father my dearest Valerie, I’ll deal with him. You danced so well I bet it was all thanks to your nightly escapade at The Crypt.” Then he laughed mockingly as he ushered me back to my father’s side. “That was quite a spectacle mademoiselle you may excuse yourself for the night, I will see you tomorrow at breakfast.” my father dismissed me with that, but to my surprise Monsieur Graham interrupted my leave with a shocking proposal, “Marry me and you can do whatever you wish Mademoiselle Blanc. Monsieur Blanc you know that I do not care about your empire for I have my own, established and continuously expanding. All I wish is to marry your lovely daughter and see her happy.” His hand snapped in the air and suddenly a gentleman brought a small box, where a big diamond ring glistened in front of me, he inserted the ring in my finger ” I will be back tomorrow night to discuss the details of the wedding but I must take my leave now, I have business to attend to in the morning. I bid you bonne nuit Mademoiselle Blanc.” He kissed my hand gently and bowed at my father then left us both speechless. Now that was a spectacle, the chattered started the minute Monsieur Graham left and a continuous “Congratulations” echoed across the ballroom and one by one the guests left leaving me still in shock. ” I better hurry back to my villa and tell Claudette what happened, I’m so confused. I’m engaged to a man I know nothing of and danced the most passionate and powerful Argentine Tango ever.” I started running towards the Blue Rose garden where a hidden path leads to my villa.

I saw Claudette with Alec sitting next to each other at my favorite wooden swing in the porch, their smiles vanished as they saw how miserable and disturbed I looked. “What happened in there sweetie you look distraught?” Alec reached his hand for mine and seated me in between them. “You wouldn’t believe what happened.” I raised my hand and showed them my engagement ring. “I danced the Argentine tango with a certain Monsieur Graham of New York, got proposed in front of everyone, got engaged without me answering yet and he left as soon as he placed this ring in my finger. I did not get the chance to decline, to get to ask why and how he knew about my trip to The Crypt and a lot of things in between. I’m so confused, I want to pack my bags and return to London with you both.” Claudette and Alec were now laughing softly, “I guess all we need to do now is to celebrate your birthday and instant engagement and plan what our next step is.” Alec lead us two inside and pour wine as Claudette and I sat comfortable in the den. My eyes caught a glimpse on Alec’s and a disturbing look and grin was across his face, the devil’s grin again, what’s with him all of a sudden? I thought to myself. We stayed up till 3am, talking about the endless possibilities on how my so-called fiancé found out ‘The Crypt” and what will I do when I see him again. My birthday ended the minute Monsieur Charles Austen Graham left and another chapter of my life starts to unfold as I face a new day…

Chapter 3 : Au revoir London

My vacation is almost over, I will be leaving London tomorrow leaving behind the most interesting and memorable days of my life. I never expected that I would enjoy this birthday vacation my father planned for me. Aside from the occasional afternoon tea parties and opera nights that I obediently attended with the les vieux (old folks), my nightly Tango escapades at The Crypt gave birth to the new “Valerie”, the Blue Rose of Tango. I will be leaving with a heavy heart, I will miss The Crypt, dancing Tango, the tea parties I got used to, and most especially I’ll miss my best friend – Claudette. “Penny for your thoughts cheri.” It was Alec with Claudette in tow. “We were looking everywhere for you, and to think of the least place you’d go. I thought you hate bars? Why are you sitting here alone cheri? ” Oh, you two love birds should not worry, I’m a big girl, in a month’s time I’d be of legal age. Come!, let’s celebrate, I don’t want my last day here at London be gloomy.” I stood up and took my glass of champagne and ushered the two at a vacant table. glancing briefly to the bartender, “une bouteille de champagne s’il vous plaît monsieur .” I poured them as graceful as I can, and declared a toast. “To you two lovebirds, may you both live happily every after and to my last day here at London.” We all held our glasses up. “santé!” “cheers!”. Okay drink up guys, we are off to The Crypt for my last Tango.

We spent all our energy dancing and drinking at The Crypt and went back to my hotel suite by midnight and stayed up till 4am recounting our days together and the adventure we three shared. By noon my bags were all packed and Claudette’s too, she will be living with Alec from now on. We had lunch in my suite and continued our stories like every minute is precious that we need to make the best of our time together. I was holding back my tears, for 10 year I spent every waking hour with my best friend, my sister, my confidante, my Claudette, now she will leave my side and be with Alec, but I am happy for her. One last afternoon tea for us, when I’m back in France this will no longer be included in my daily routine. I went straight to the airport where a private jet awaits me, when the limousine fetched me at the hotel by 6pm,leaving Alec and Claudette at the lobby. I don’t want farewells, I’m not good at it. I hate to see Claudette cry and let her see me cry, I know she will just worry. As the jet took off I remembered how happy Claudette was when Alec proposed to her the night we won the contest. Claudette just came in from The Crypt with Alec’s friends, Alec and I were talking at my sitting room. He was so passionate on proposing to Claudette that night that he bought a diamond ring the day before the contest and was intensely asking me things about Claudette. I knew from the first day we started practicing that Alec had a thing for Claudette and that she too was very attracted to this guy, though I know both were just thinking of me. Claudette immediately said YES to Alec and shared a very passionate kiss forgetting that I was still there. I know they will love my surprise engagement gift.

“I’m so happy Alec, I can’t believe this is real.” Claudette was unpacking her clothes when she discovered and envelope with both their names in my handwriting. When she opened it she cried instantly as she held my favorite locket, in it was a photo of us two and an inscription that says “ma sœur bien-aimée”  – my beloved sister, also enclosed in that envelope was a round trip ticket to a Caribbean cruise and a note that states: “To the two most important people in my life and for a new beginning. I love you both. till then! Valerie” Alec embraced me warmly as the tears ran down my cheeks. “Alec, I miss her already, she is the only family I ever had since I was 7 years old and now she will be alone. I feel so guilty.” Alec dried my tears and said, “Don’t cry my love, I understand, but you also now have me as your family and it was also thanks to her that we met. We will soon see her again, we’ll visit her at her birthday, in France I promise!” Then the two shared a passionate kiss.

“I’m glad I took the evening fight, tomorrow when I wake up I’d be the old dutiful heiress once again, always in Monsieur  Blanc‘s tow, showcased as a priceless commodity ready for exchanged if the price is right. But I bet all I’ll see are the old folks’ arrogant, snobbish, irritating, money-loving businessmen sons that will just treat me as a bond, a living currency that ties them to my father’s empire… oh well, I guess my nightmare will now start…better brace myself…but before that it’s au revoir London, au revoir Blue Rose…till we all meet again – soon.”

Chapter 2 : The intimate dance

As we race against time every minute of practice counts. We are exploring each others soul through this new style that I’ve recently learned, Argentine tango. I am enjoying our practices but I just can’t stop myself from looking into Alec. He is so intensely sexy, his movements are flawless and yet so masculine. He leads me with immense strength and care. And as  look closer I seem to get attracted to his lovely boyish yet manly face. His square forehead, prominent cheekbones, angular jaw – balanced, strong, masculine, perfect nose, small smiling eyes and lips that gives an intriguing smile that would mesmerize you. “Oh, enough of those nasty thoughts, practice Valerie and make sure you two win tomorrow night.” I whispered as I walked towards him. “Valerie, I guess we have to hit the sack now, we practiced for 6 days straight I don’t want you wearing out on me tomorrow night. get a good night’s rest and I’ll take you and Claudette out for lunch.

I woke up the next day feeling so nervous and excited at the same time. Claudette immediately pulled me out of bed and took me to the bathroom where she has set up a spa treatment for me, complete with music and candles. She gave me a nice relaxing body massage to calm my nerves. I must have dozed off because when I came to my senses I was laying on my stomach with only a towel on my butt as I felt big warm hands giving me acupressure around my nape, I almost jolted upright when the person spoke. “Are you relaxed enough Mademoiselle?” That deep husky voice belonged to Alec, I tried very hard to compose myself as I replied, “Very much kind sir, now if you’ll excuse me I need to dress up and prepare for our luncheon. And do you mind calling Claudette on your way out?” Alec did not seem to budge yet continued to put pressure on my nape. “I sent her out, I asked her to pick up your costume for tonight’s contest and I already asked the cook to prepare our lunch here at your room, I ordered French cuisine specially for you just like the first diner we had. I know you are not that fond of English teas and menu. And don’t worry I can help you in your bath, I prepare a nice warm tub already and your clothes are all pressed.” He said with his wicked smile. I thanked him and stood up naked and went to the tub. I know I put up a brave face but at the back of my mind I was rebelling against this hideous man. But to my greater shock he stayed in the bathroom with me until I finished dressing up, he even zipped me up and combed my hair. When we went to the dining room food was ready and Claudette just came in. “You look well rested Valerie, I guess Monsieur Mowatt really knows how to pamper a lady that he abused for the past 6 days.” She said as she glared at Alec. “I have here the dress you asked me to pick up. Now we have to eat because Mademoiselle hasn’t eaten a morsel of food since this morning.”

Lunch passed on quietly to my surprise neither Alec nor Claudette spoke. “Je vais vous chercher ce soir à 8.” with that Alec left us. Claudette was amused, “So he does speak French, you still have enough time to rest cheri, I’ll make sure you are ready by 8pm.” It was a minute before 8pm when Alec knocked at my door. Claudette received him as I checked my reflection one more time and went out to greet him. The look on his face was priceless, I made the devil drop his jaw in amazement. “I almost did not recognized you. You look étourdissement – stunning yet it’s like a totally different person and the dress fits you perfectly.” turning to Claudette who is now helping me with my frock. “I must say, you did great missy.” offering his arm he leaned down and whispered to me, “Je vais profiter de cette nuit.” The ride to The Crypt was nerve-racking not because I’ll be competing but because of this annoying yet handsome guy beside me. Though he is just my age he doesn’t act like it. there is an air of arrogance now but before it was gallantry. He shows off such confidence that makes him so masculine yet still boyish. But on the dance floor he is a totally different persona. You see Argentine Tango maybe described as a”conversation on the dance floor” or “a way of life” but to me “it’s a passionate dance, an intimate exchange of souls”. There is no pulling or pushing even though its concept is to lead and follow, its radically different from the other dances. I follow him by “feeling” his shoulders or the space between us, essentially trying to keep our bodies parallel and in front of him. Thus, requires my permanent attention – the connection, his needs are my focus or else I cannot follow him. On the other hand Alec in turn has to be very clear and decisive with what he is doing or is intending to do, otherwise I don’t have a chance to follow him. So as we danced Tango both our attention are focused on each other, our souls are conversing in a passionate and graceful dance. We ended our dance with a very passionate kiss, took my breath literally, good thing Alec was holding me as we left the dance floor. We won the first place and left immediately for my hotel where we had a nightcap. Claudette went out with Alec’s friend to go bar hopping.

Chapter 1 : The man, The tango and I

Chapter 1 : The man, The tango and I

“Miss Valerie Blanc, this way please. The limousine will take you  to your hotel” the steward ushered me out the jet that flew me from France to London ” also your personal maidservant will attend to your luggage.”

I found this brochure sitting next to me as the limousine moved on through the streets of London. I started reading it out loud. “The Ritz : The world’s greatest hotel, as conceived by the world’s greatest hotelier. For over a century The Ritz has been the benchmark by which other hotels are measured. A London landmark at 150 Piccadilly, The Ritz has been home to the great and the good, the intelligentsia, the glitterati and thousands of discerning guests since 1906. So I guess it is a treat for me to stay here for my vacation.” I sighed as I closed my eyes and dreaming of my beloved France. “I should have not agreed with father, this is not a vacation, this is a nightmare. I want to celebrate my upcoming 18th birthday, my début with all the cousins. I know my father have assigned a very busy schedule for me this month and I won’t have enough time to sulk. As the heiress of his economic empire I’m bound to be doomed, I’m sure after this birthday gift vacation I am to choose a husband to run the business with. My youth and my life is now over.” My ranting was instantly ended as the door opened and I was then ushered inside the Ritz. It was like stepping into the grandeur of its lobby. The drama of everything is just like at home, my father really thought I love these things. As I entered my royal suite my maidservant greeted me with her usual cordial smile, she took care of the tip for me as the bellhop left. I inspected the rooms, first the sitting room , then the dining room and my bedroom. Like in a drill, my maidservant dutifully prepared my bath and clothes. After a wonderful bath I crawled into the bed and took a nap.

Woken up by the familiar voice of Claudette, my maidservant and my confidante. “Mademoiselle Valerie, it’s time!” she said teasingly. Holding up a Valentina 1949-50s Sapphire-blue silk velvet evening gown. “This will look great on you Valerie, it will give you the sophisticated look and you will mesmerize your father’s friends.” I took a pillow and covered my face and shouted ” I don’t want to dine with those old aristocrats and their arrogant wives not to mention their idiotic snobbish sons.” But Claudette knows how to perk me up. She took the pillow and blanket where i took refuge and whispered in my ear, “I know a place where we can dance all night long and I have the clothes ready too. So why don’t you be a big girl and put on a sweet face as you delight your guests.” We both smile widely and started preparing for my dinner engagement.

Luckily dinner was held at the Ritz restaurant not at my royal suite dining room, where I know I can gracefully excuse myself later on. As I walked towards our table I was dumbstruck by the gallantry of the person who held the chair for me. As I sit and turned around looking for the old rascals that my father used to have over at dinner back in France. He smiled so sweetly and said, “You looked surprised? It is only the two of us dining tonight. The old folks are not feeling well and could not welcome you Mademoiselle Blanc. I guess I have to introduce myself now, my name is Christian Alexander Mowatt, I believe we are at the same age, I am the son of Marina Ogilvy Mowatt. It is my grandmother that you are familiar with, The Honorable Lady Alexandra.” as i extend my hand he kissed it so gently “Pleased to meet you Mademoiselle Blanc.” “Please call me Valerie, kind sir.” I said trying to hide my blushing face. “Please call me Alec. Now that introductions are over I guess we can now skip the formalities and have a very delightful dinner.” My heart is beating fast now, this should not be the case. I need to think of an excuse to leave this table as soon as desert arrives. My trail of thought was suddenly interrupted by his deep husky voice as he said “I hope you don’t mind but I ordered us their finest menu on French cuisine and champagne.” To my surprise time flew by fast and for all I know we were at my doorstep bidding each other good night. He took my hand and placed a sweet kiss and departed with a devilish smile that caught my breath.

“Claudette! You wouldn’t believe it, but I enjoyed my dinner for the first time.” I shouted out as I closed the door and ran towards Claudette who was in my bedroom gently putting away my Tango dress and shoes. “He was so funny and full of interesting stories…Hey missy, who told you to keep that? We are still going you know!” I smiled and twirled around the room as Claudette helped me out of my evening dress and ready ourselves for our Tango night. Claudette wore the violet silk velvet dress emphasizing her violet eyes and her strawberry blonde hair while I wore an olive-green satin silk Tango dress with golden-yellow beads all over the backless halter top. I put my hair down and allowed the long silky straight strands to hang enough to cover my back. “The two of us look so bewitching Claudette. Let’s have a wonderful night and tomorrow I’ll tell you my interesting dinner with Monsieur Mowatt.”

The two of us are well fond of Tango Nuevo and are very familiar with this style, here at The Crypt we learned the Argentine Tango in just a few hours.  Claudette and I learned new techniques that aroused us to our very core. We danced all night enjoying every dip and turn that our instructors lead us to. We even drank wine till dawn laughing so sweetly savouring this special night. On our way out I caught a glimpse of a familiar face smiling wickedly at me. Chills ran down my spine as a started towards the door. “Claudette, it’s him! Monsieur Mowatt, he was at The Crypt, I caught a glimpse of his smile as we head out.” I gave a worried look as my confidante hushed me. “Don’t worry Valerie, it’s just the wine my sweetie and if he is Monsieur Mowatt I’m sure he won’t tell anyone.”

The next day I was wearing my favorite floral sun-dress drinking coffee with Claudette while recounting my interesting diner with Monsieur Mowatt ending up with the devilish smile I kept seeing even in my sleep. “I just wish I knew what to do if it was really him missy.” I said as I put down my coffee, when suddenly the phone in the sitting room rang and Claudette answered, making occasional nods and a grim smile. As she walked back at my bedroom, she casually let out a sigh and said, “Valerie, I’m afraid it was him last night at The Crypt and he wants to have tea with you this afternoon at The Palm Court by the lobby. And according to him he has a special proposition for you.” Claudette held my hand and gently giving me an assuring pat. “I believe he is a gentleman and will not make a big deal out of it.”  She ushered me back to my bed and played Sicilienne by J.Bach. I usually listen to my classical piano collection of Bach to ease up my nerves. Well that did the trick, I am calm and well collected as I walked towards Alec, as usual he is looking as gorgeous as ever with a hint of devilish aura in his casual blue shirt and trousers. He took my gloved hand and kissed it lightly and ushered me to my seat. He was now staring at me, checking me out. Giving a soft chuckle “You look very delicate today Valerie, that floral sun-dress enhances your well-toned physique yet showing some of your bosom like that reminds me of how inviting you and your lady friend were last night.” he must be waiting for a disgusted reaction from me but instead I simple replied, “Thank you for the flattery Monsieur Mowatt.” and smiled politely. “I know you have a proposition kind sir, please state your concern so we could finish this tea immediately.” Alec made that devilish smile again and said, “Well I think you are a bit feisty today Valerie, but then again I called for this tea and I will decided when it is done. But I am a gentleman and will not allow a lady to feel awkward, I only have one proposition for you. I want you to be my partner for next Saturday’s Tango night at The Crypt, it’s a yearly underground contest that most élite and royalty attend here in London.” Giving a subtle groan, “Forgive me Monsieur but as much as I love dancing Tango, I cannot grant your wish, my father detests me dancing the Tango for it is a very physical dance to him, it is a sex-dance quote and unquote.” He took my hand and gently squeezed it, “Don’t worry my dearest Valerie, I will do anything in my power to keep it a secret to your old man. You caught my heart and interest last night, you move with your heart and soul, the instructor was not even up to par.” Shocked yet secretly delighted with the idea and with the warmth of his hands that still holds mine. “I’ll take your silence as a ‘yes’, now we will meet every day after diner at my dance studio, I will have the limousine pick you and your lady friend at exactly 8pm starting tomorrow.” He suddenly released my hand and led me out the lobby to my suite. I will pick you up at 6:30pm we’ll have dinner with your friend and proceed to The Crypt, tonight we will just enjoy each other’s company before we start our rigorous training. You see Valerie, I always win and get what I want.” again with that devilish grin he left me speechless at my doorstep.