When Olivia Met K: Chapter 11 - The Seduction of K, a series by Michael McCarthy at Spillwords.com

When Olivia met K

Chapter XI

The Seduction of K

written by: Michael McCarthy

@FlateyeFiction

 

Olivia’s parents were very wealthy but although they were people who led active social lives they tended to live them separately. Olivia was always very vague about what her father, Dirk, did and if asked usually yawned, ‘‘He’s chairman of a group of companies. He never ever talks about his work. He insists on a complete separation between family and business.’’

Dirk left shortly before I moved in, although I saw him briefly a few times. Gone but not forgotten; tense, short, and wiry with grey curly hair, he’d become an almost peripheral figure like a supporting actor in a soap opera. He didn’t seem to be a warm person; according to Olivia her parents’ marriage was ‘‘a loveless and barren zone,’’ but she said ‘‘he idolized me, you could see it in his eyes as he followed my every move. But I felt strangely indifferent towards him.’’

Her mother, Else, was a cheerful, large, warm-hearted, flirty, blonde-haired woman, a bit like the cliché of an old-fashioned barmaid. She was always dressed in flowing white ensembles which served to highlight her seemingly permanently bronzed skin; at the merest hint of sun she’d be outside on the terrace, eyes closed facing the source of her life force and a glass of white wine was never far away.

What Dirk couldn’t stand was the fact that he worked out almost to the point of obsession and ate and drank sparrow-like portions except when he was at an event when he would and could consume with the best of them; in his own eyes, he exercised superhuman self-control whereas Else lived and drank often to excess without in any way damaging her attraction to men, especially younger men.

Dirk clearly fancied himself as a macho, there were rumors of underworld connections, and he expected his partner to be a dazzlingly beautiful piece of arm candy hanging onto his every word, in fact he went on to establish a reputation for squiring ditzy topless models around town.

When I walked into the family home for the first time it was almost blinding: the hallway ceiling was dark blue and the walls were adorned with large, shrill, abstract paintings featuring weird animal hybrids all executed by Else. Every room I entered, front room, kitchen, bathroom or lounge were all abused in this way. Else and Dirk slept in separate bedrooms at opposite ends of the house; Dirk’s was all manly furniture and dark green walls, and Else’s was a garish nightmare, with more lurid paintings including very life-like nudes, single and coupling. That reflected their characters; Else: volatile, spontaneous, open, and unpredictable and Dirk: guarded, measured, and suspicious.

There was a heavy almost tangible atmosphere in the house post-Dirk, as though he was watching us all through the eyes of one of Else’s creations.

Olivia told me that her mother was ‘‘A restless, free spirit, code for sexually ravenous. She had never had a job or any kind of training,’’ but she added, rolling her eyes, that Else ‘‘had been at one time or another, or still was, a painter, a fashion designer, an interior designer and a lifestyle adviser among many other things.’’ Else was a city person and was fond of spending weekends in European capital cities where she would, ‘‘Gorge herself on the culture and wallow in the company of kindred spirits.’’ Olivia told me.

Olivia’s parents had two part-time maids and an odd job man, Niko, a young, sporty, muscular, good-looking, model type who popped in on a surprisingly regular basis.

After I’d been living with Olivia and Else for a couple of weeks, Else began to become very tactile towards me and was fond of putting her arm around me giving a gentle squeeze, and wishing me good night with a fleeting peck on the cheek.

Then Olivia surprised me by going off camping with several girlfriends for a few weeks. ‘‘You’ll be OK.’’ She said to me. That was the way she’d always been, impulsive and not a little egoistic. But everybody forgave Olivia. What choice did we have?

It was almost as though Olivia’s mother wanted to fill the gap, because Else and I began to have chats on a daily basis, just the two of us. She’d sit on the terrace basking in the sun and looking out at the exquisitely landscaped garden and, in particular, keeping a keen eye on the showy exertions of their well-sculpted, odd job man as he strove to keep himself and the superbly manicured grounds and plants in perfect condition.

We sat there our chairs touching, Else with her glass of white and me sipping from a beer. Then the content and tone of our chats moved on to heart-to-heart talks, she listening and patiently holding and stroking my hand. Initially, we spoke about me, my childhood, and my parents.

‘‘You’re right not to be angry. That’s not to condone their actions. But they seem, with their close friends, to lead an exclusive existence. Not of this world.’’

That phase gradually came to an end with her telling me a number of times in a soft and reassuring tone, ‘‘You’ll always have a home here.’’ And taking my head in her hands and kissing me firmly on the forehead, then the nose, and finally the lips.

She told me about her paintings: ‘‘I specialize in nudes in domestic circumstances with a degree of surrealism thrown in. I’ve had some small shows in galleries in Munich and Amsterdam and I’ve sold a few pieces, here and there.’’

I’d been thinking about her a lot, fantasizing in fact, and feeling guilty about it. With our chats becoming more personal so the physical expression of her feelings became more unrestrained. It was clear to me that she had to lead the way. She knew what I was thinking. Apart from staff, we were alone in the house. If there was nobody else around she would give me a gentle slap on the buttocks as I walked past, followed by a wink and a lingering smile. Her kisses had also become passionate, she would now pry my lips apart and with her exploratory tongue make her intentions clear.

Eventually, we ended up in bed; it was a learning curve for me, and Else certainly enjoyed my youth and endless energy. It was a short-lived but explosive affair, something I’d always treasure. Of course, it wasn’t just the sex for Else or maybe it was, but it certainly was for me. We slept together about ten times. I knew I’d never forget her. Else was generous and patient and strangely maternal in her encouragement.

One night my body shook involuntarily as a spasm stirred me awake. At first, I was momentarily unsure of my surroundings; then I realized I was in Else’s room and it was cast in a subdued, pale light emanating from a lamp in a corner by the window and I was bathed in its glow as though, abducted by aliens, I was about to undergo some form of invasive examination; the nude paintings on the wall assuming a shadowy presence like a silent expectant audience. Else was sitting by the window in a wicker chair, the lamp illuminating her naked breasts, with a bottle of white wine from which she swigged directly and liberally.

‘‘What are you doing?’’ I asked, groggily.

‘‘Drawing.’’ It took a moment for the answer to register in my tired brain.

‘‘Drawing me?’’

‘‘Yes, you.’’

‘‘Why are you drawing me?’’

‘‘I always draw my lovers.’’

‘‘I’m naked.’’

‘‘That’s why I’m drawing you. Don’t move.’’

‘‘Do you show these pictures to anyone?’’

‘‘Would that bother you?’’

‘‘A bit.’’

‘‘Don’t worry. That’s not why I do them.’’

‘‘Why do you do them?’’

‘‘They tell me about myself at times in my life and sometimes it’s just nice to look back at old memories.’’

‘‘Wouldn’t a photo be easier?’’

‘‘Easier. But it wouldn’t be something personal, that I’ve created.’’

‘‘Can I have a look?’’

‘‘When I’m finished.’’

‘‘It’s turning me on.’’

‘‘I can see that.’’ She tittered, then we were silent for a while.

‘‘They mean an awful lot to me. Once viewed again, although I seldom look at them, they evoke long forgotten, cherished, and some not so dear moments.’’

When she was finished, she was a little tipsy and she made me wait until morning before I was allowed to inspect her handiwork.

‘‘What do you think?’’ She asked me, setting a breakfast tray and my portrait down on the bed.

‘‘It might be more pertinent to ask what you think.’’

‘‘Women aren’t so taken by naked men, not the way men are by naked women.’’

‘‘Yes, but what do you think?’’

‘‘You’re young. You look good naked, you’ve got a nice, firm body.’’ She draped herself on my shoulders, her face touching my cheek. I could smell alcohol on her breath, unsuccessfully nullified by a sharp minty essence. She had convincingly captured the shape and imperfections of my body, the hair on my legs and arms, and even my stubbled jaw.

‘‘It’s funny,’’ I said. ‘‘Now I can see myself for the first time through somebody else’s eyes.’’

‘‘And do you like what you see?’’

‘‘Actually, I’m flattered. All of me faithfully depicted with care and breathtaking attention to detail.’’ I complimented her, embarrassed.

‘‘I’ve had a lot of practice.’’ She answered.

A few mornings later, lying in bed with the smell of newly mown lawn wafting through the open window, she said to me, ‘‘There’s something about you I can’t put my finger on.’’

‘‘What sort of thing?’’

‘‘A good sort of thing. A stillness. I wasn’t sure at first; I thought it was arrogance. Eventually, I realized, it’s a good thing.’’

Finally, it was as though two switches had been flicked simultaneously somewhere inside us as just before Olivia returned from her holiday we resorted to our previous behavior. Else and I still shared looks and when alone some surreptitious touching. In those moments her eyes looked sad and I was sure mine did as well.

Else taught me an awful lot, not necessarily things I can put into words; just how to be, especially around women; she was a major influence on my life. But my relationships with her and Olivia definitely made me question every other liaison I’d have, hardly surprising, and very few if any would ever match up to Else or Olivia. Women know, even young ones, when something is afoot.

I suspected Olivia found out eventually or more likely any latent suspicions she may have had were confirmed. Olivia was very pragmatic, I was sure she examined the situation from all angles and thought, ‘Why not?’

A couple of months later Olivia told me her parents were getting divorced and that there would be no nastiness as her father had said he would always look after both Else and her and, she assured me, he was a man of his word.

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This publication is part 11 of 11 in the series When Olivia met K