Luke and I were invited to a dinner party by Luke's boss. I knew this was important to Luke; he needed to impress his boss - even though Luke was planning to take his job. I slipped myself into a black dress I wore when I knew I had no one to impress. The dress made my skin look white, my hair look darker and my figure even slimmer than I was proud enough to claim. The satin against my skin made me think of Corbin's fingers. It had been months, since our first meeting. I ached to see him.
I had to pretend that my husband satisfied me sexually and mentally. I had become so used to Luke that his faults no longer bothered me. Whenever I thought of Corbin's silence and value of me, I thought of how much I had begun to fall out of love with my husband.
It pained me greatly to continue being married to him, but it was who I was. I was Nolita Cornelius. I had been since I was eighteen. I ran a comb through the curls in my hair, letting them feather out and down my back. Luke was ready and standing beside the bed setting his silver cufflinks.
Luke's dinner parties were a big deal. The hall in Carnegie was hired out with magnificent chandeliers and champagne. The aristocrats would come out to play, the women would bitch and the men would bicker - all too concerned with themselves to think of anyone else.
The drive there was spent with Luke singing along to Cher, he pulled the car up against the curb. I stepped out and began a slow walk up the stairs and up. Luke's cold hands wound around my shoulder, in a possessing way I didn't enjoy. I was met by old and familiar faces of the people that Luke worked with.
I shook hands and kissed cheeks, all the while Luke held onto me. I felt uncomfortable, I sipped on champagne and pretended to be interested in what Luke's boss Colin had to say.
Whenever I heard his name being called, I heard "Corbin" and my heart lurched with hope. I was sick with this want. It was like Corbin had left an imprint on me that I couldn't budge. Half of me thought I was insane, and that this addiction wouldn't last, but the other half of me wanted it to.
Finally I was able to escape. I stood leaning against a large white pillar in the great hall, the ocean of people before me. I loved that I was invisible to them; after all I was only an aviation manager for NZair. No big deal. I was staring into space when suddenly; something was placed in my hand. I didn't turn immediately but felt it with my fingers, it was some sort of material or string and when I looked it was the black thong I had worn the night I had been with Corbin I turned around frantically just to catch Corbin's figure in the dark, behind another pillar.
His hands were in his pockets, he wore a black suit over a white shirt - no tie, the buttons low. His hair pushed back. Without thinking I placed my glass onto the floor and stepped into the darkness with him. He pushed me against the pillar roughly, I didn't even know where to begin, I wanted him everywhere. His mouth met mine as his hands pawed over the satin of my dress. His lips moved fast across mine, his tongue full of urgency. I clawed at his arms, trying to get him closer to me.
"Corbin..." I whispered when he released my lips. I was out of breath with relief. It was like his presence was a cure to the disease of my life. "What are you doing here?"
"I had to see you" he kissed my breast, and then lifted his head to my eye level.
"You took your time" I couldn't help but feel bitter and hurt.
"I can make it up to you" he had a tempting mysterious look on his face; he leaned forward to kiss me again.
"Not here, you can't" I moved myself away a little, feeling very aware of the people around us. The wall behind us sheltered us from the light, but any random partier could catch us if they got close enough.
"Can you come with me tonight?" Corbin asked, his deep voice making the question sound more like a demand. Before I could really think over my answer, his fingers slid between my legs, rubbing in a circular motion.
"Yes..." I breathed, hypnotized.
I left Corbin in the corner of the room, where I knew he would be watching. I hoped that my dress was all in order and that I did not look too frantic and eager to leave.
Luke was telling a joke to a large group of men, they were all listening - completely absorbed. Luke had his superior voice on, the voice he used when he wanted attention from everyone.
"Luke, honey?" I moaned quietly at his side. He held his finger up to me so I would be quiet until he finished. I felt like a child and I saw Corbin's shadow move out into the light. He was still watching.
"Yes my love?" Luke said once he had finished, only a few men had laughed at his joke. I had heard it before.
"I'm not feeling very well...would it be alright if I left early?" I batted my eyelashes and tried to look ill.
He didn't really look at me. He just nodded and said
"Yes, you do look rather....ill" he jutted his lip out as if pretending to contemplate a treatment. None came.
I smiled weakly and left him there.