Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chapter twelve, page one

Quinn's voice caught me amidst my travels down memory lane.  “Are you alright, Cherie?”

“Yes.  Sorry if I am taking too long.”  I stepped into the full red dress and pulled it up over my hips.

“I was beginning to worry you might not show me anymore outfits.”  I could hear his smile through his words.

Although his words were registering in my head, my thoughts were consumed by what my eyes were seeing.  The red dress fit me perfectly.  It had a v-neckline and the bodice criss-crossed in the front making it easy to fasten solo.  I stood frozen in front of the mirror.  The image in the mirror was captivating even me. 

Slowly I smoothed the dress against my body curves, turning slightly to view the other angles.  ‘I don’t know if you can see this Mitch, but I would take your breath away.  You’d love this dress on me.’

Slowly I filled my lungs with fresh new air and opened the change room door.  This time Quinn was sitting on a comfy high-armed chair.

I was certain as he watched me exit from the small change room he was struggling for breath as I had been earlier.  His eyes closed as his mouth curved into a smile.  He let out a soft moan before opening his eyes.  “Cherie ...” he whispered.

The transition on his face was familiar to me.  I had seen it on Mitch’s face many occasions.  I could even picture it on Mitch right now.  My husband would tell me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  It never made sense to me although I loved to hear him say so.  I would think of all the models and actresses and just ordinary but astoundingly gorgeous women out there.  Once again I can see that look.  This time it is Quinn’s eyes. 

I did a model spin for him and then stepped towards my change room.  He caught me by the wrist.  How he got to his feet so fast amazed me. He swung me into his embrace again and began another waltz step slow and seductive. 

“You look – “, his eyes closed again as he wrestled through which adjective to use.
“That is precisely why I am not buying this one.”  Yet, if the truth was revealed, I really wanted this dress.  I haven’t felt this beautiful and desirable in years.

Quinn opened his eyes and looked at me with curiosity.  “Cherie, you have to get this one.  The skirt swirls perfectly when I dance with you.  Not to mention how amazingly hot you look in it.”

“That is why.  I am not interested in gaining any inappropriate attention.  From you or anyone else.”

Aside from what I saw in Quinn’s face, I had noticed a crowd growing at the change room entrance.  There were three women, one man and the store clerk watching Quinn dance me around the small room.

When he heard my words, I saw his face flash over many emotions settling on a sexy, flirtatious look.  He dipped me and held me suspended in his arms.  "Anyone else?  And what exactly does 'inappropriate attention' mean?”

Nudging him to bring me back to standing, I couldn't dismiss the crowd around us.  "Shh.  there are other people here."

"I am aware of them but they matter none to me."  He straightened our bodies but never missed a single dance step.

I tried to separate our bodies, but he held fast to my waist.  

I murmured to him, hoping our onlookers couldn’t hear.  “Well I could easily guess what images were parading across your mind but I think it’s best if we didn’t voice them in a public place.” 

His prowling look deepened on his face and his smile melted my heart.  “You know what I am thinking do you?  Is that because you were envisioning the same things, Cherie?”

“No!”  Well, not at this moment anyway.  I tried again to press away from him, with no luck.  “Your face showed your imagination went into overdrive when you saw me and that is why I will not wear this dress for you.”

“You are right on every account.  I am imaging many things that are not for the public, but isn’t that what women want?  To invoke a man’s imagination?”

Finally, my strength kicked in and I pushed him away harshly.  “Maybe some but not this one.  You need to forget those images right now.”  Slipping quickly into the open change room, I slammed the door behind me.

“Cathie?”  A small knock came on my change room door.  “What just happened?”

There was nowhere to go.  I was trapped.  Perhaps I had over-reacted.  Maybe I even made a big show in front of a bunch of complete strangers, but I knew what I meant.  I couldn’t expect Quinn to have the same standards of purity that I did when he didn’t believe in God the same way.  However that doesn’t mean I can throw them away, right?

I slid down the back wall of the change room until I reached the firm, cold tiled floor.

“Cathie, are you ever going to speak to me again.  Whatever I did I am sorry.”  His repentant voice carried through the steel door between us.

Well, I would have to face him eventually.  So I stood up and carefully slipped out of the amazingly beautiful, desirable, and dare I say, even sexy, red party dress.  So much I wished Quinn was Mitch right now.  Then I could buy the dress and take the dress and my husband home.  That isn’t my reality.  But nothing inside me would feel right putting Quinn in a situation where those sparkling eyes start to sin because of me. 

I realized at that moment that I had been playing with his emotions for two days now.  I had started all this with throwing my arms around his neck in the pub.  Then again in my hotel, allowing him to kiss me.  He had played it cautious in the beginning but now that he was warming up to me I was invoking things in him that I had no intention of fulfilling.  I was suddenly very ashamed.  Lord, please forgive me. 

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