The exotic, dark-eyed beauty with brilliant red lipstick sauntered wantonly up to the groom-to-be. He remained seated, simply pivoting on the back legs of his chair until she stood over him, holding the rose in front of his face.
‘Madre de Dios,’ the hot-blooded twenty-three-year-old muttered under his breath, his blood pressure already simmering just below boiling point.
To create the desired effect, the showman feigned exhaustion and scanned each face in the group, casually flicking the cap off his lighter and lighting a cigarette. His friends began a slow hand-clap, led by his irrepressible band members. Even though he could hardly wait to stand up and dance with this enticing woman, he milked the scene for as long as he could. He owed Lynn nothing less.
‘Why me? Why not one of them?’ he cried in vain, looping a long arm aloft.
‘I need a Latin lover,’ the girl crooned, in her best husky Spanish. ‘Un hombre apasionado. Con fuego en el corazón.’
‘But I’m a Polish Jew!’ Jeff exclaimed in a pronounced Yiddish accent, attracting another roar of laughter. ‘Polish Jews can’t dance el Flamenco. They dance the Hora.’
‘Fucking know-all,’ his bass player yelled from the other side of the table. ‘Get up, you asshole. We want to see her taunt you, like on that TV show in LA. Butt-naked, both of you!’
Through the jet-lag and the added effort of having his sister to chaperone, the star had almost forgotten their recent festive performances. That’s right. Lynn had lit the fire in his heart, and it had been fun. He wished she were here right now, exacting a metaphysical yank on their invisible elastic connection in the hope that she could pick up on his longing. A divine frisson slithered across his shoulders, and all became right with the world.
Wild, tempted eyes fixed on the woman in the red and black Spanish costume, and he let out a long sigh. ‘Be gentle with me, señorita.’
The confident dancer nodded subtly, and their accompaniment faded up through the speakers. Jeff allowed her to place the rose between his teeth, leaning forward to steal a kiss before shaking his mane in defiance. A strumming guitar accelerated in the background. Game on!
‘Now we definitely need a camera!’ Junior stood up and clapped.
Most of the guys were also on their feet, some even stamping them in time with the beat. The dance was a tango; the young man’s favourite. There could be no doubt that his dream girl had put them up to this, he smiled. She was the absolute best. She knew exactly how to excite him, and his loins were all set to give them the show they had foreseen.
The talented dancer grabbed his partner’s side roughly, tugging her slim frame into his. Someone whooped behind him. The music had been started again, slowly and quietly, but soon its volume climbed in line with its tempo. He span the girl around, pouting his lips close to hers and then pulling them away with high drama. She responded to the hint and began to spice things up a bit too, her hands running up and down her graceful Latin lover’s body.
The tango continued in the same format which Jeff Diamond had acted out a hundred times on stage, written up in many a rave concert review. The music became faster and faster and louder and louder while the performer wheeled his co-star in creative circles, in turn grabbing her and sending her away.
After a while, he spat out the rose, comically wiping the saliva away from his mouth. ‘That’s better!’ he gasped, whisking his partner around as if as light as air. ‘I can breathe now.’
He could almost make his heart believe this lithe woman were Lynn, but not quite enough to want to engage with her luscious lips. Both dancers were breathing heavily as the track came to an end. They finished with a flourish, and the striking stag hugged his pliable quarry close, kissing her on the forehead.
‘Thanks very much. That was fantastic. What’s your name?’ he asked into her ear during a prolonged and steamy embrace.
‘Julia,’ the dancer answered. ‘You too. You’re the best partner I’ve ever had, by a long way. And I think it’s great you’re marrying Lynn. You really go well together.’
‘Thanks. We think so too,’ the happy man replied, treating her to a final extravagant move.
After having accepted verbal accolades galore from his friends and the entire staff, Jeff sat down and beckoned to Julia to sit on his knee. She obliged, putting an arm around his shoulder, and they relaxed into each other, still breathing hard. Different music played this time, and the troupe took their places for another choreographed set. The men were enthralled, and a rarefied atmosphere had descended on the room, the air perfumed with cigar smoke and liqueur spirits.
The handsome groom squeezed the young woman’s ribcage. ‘You deserve to sit this one out. Can I?’
On a natural high from the overdose of endorphins racing around her body, the giddy dancer kissed her famous partner directly on the lips. It felt wrong, almost to the point of depravity, yet he chose not to back off. With his nearby spies cheering him on, his confused mind wondered if this spontaneous decision was the result of peer pressure or whether he was truly intending to go through with it...
‘Jesus, guys!’ the songwriter exclaimed, giving in to the allure of someone else’s vagina pressing against his balls. ‘For Christ’s sake! I’m still single.’
Lacking the inclination to look round and catch his fiancée’s father watching him too, he was sure Bart wouldn’t miss a trick. But what the hell? It was his bucks’ night after all, and Lynn and he were as safe as houses. Why should he care what Big D saw or which conclusion he might draw?
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