Muse – Stars Collide
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As with my other stories, reading this story while listening to the music playing behind the main scenes can enhance the reader’s experience. The pieces are: Nigel Good feat Sarah Clark – Always Running (original mix); and Matvey Emerson feat Freya – Gimme Your Love (original tropical mix).
Who’s in charge of the world that is you?
Who is in charge of the world that is someone else’s?
Pamela was a Libran. And there are two kinds of Librans – the shallow, intellectually brittle, and rather ego-centric kind; and then the other kind.
The depth of the other kind has unfathomable plangency. When their surface looks shallow, or placid and non-threatening, consider if it is opaque or crystal clear. It is seldom exactly, crystal, clear… And if icy, the ice there may indeed be brittle, but the cold waters below are unforgiving to the un-expert.
Pamela had a particular friend who was a New Yorker, who in turn had another friend, who was French, and who happened to know a lot of French celebrities of course. There were rumours this friend even knew Sarkozy, the sometime Prime Minister. What other reason would you agree to go out to dinner with a stranger, okay perhaps it was to someplace like Delmonico’s – or perhaps not too – but not with just some pure stranger even for a real reason.
And then again, it was not that she was going to dinner alone with the French woman, no of course the friend would be there. But the simple fact was, regardless of past history, important old times and careers and all of that – now there were kids, there was a husband, there was family, TV, YouTube, the washing up, the cat, the goldfish. Seriously, who did this ‘career professional dinner’ thing once you had a family and kids?
Writers did, of course, if some agent found them a magic lamp or something very like to rub. And all writers, especially good ones, did have this thing called a muse, too; not something the ordinary person credits the real existence of or really knows too much about…
Well all retired or semi-retired people with a family can write, at least; and that was about it for them.
And some of them also had a muse…
Muses – real ones – don’t just inspire; they get things to happen that otherwise mightn’t. There are not so many around nowadays because the world is going through changes. Muses are at a premium.
What such being had time on its hands to indulge the whims of writers for god’s sake?!
Gerard Depardieu was interested in Pamela’s writing. Her friend said so and even if it were not true, or didn’t turn out to be true, he was paying at Delmonico’s (or wherever it was going to be) so how could such a pretext be turned down?! Impossible!
And not forgetting Pamela was a Libran. And there are two kinds of Librans, the one that writes for House & Garden – and the one who writes for House & Garden, and for an erotica publisher as well, on the side. Pamela’s husband did need not to be told which skilled output it was, that Gerard Depardieu, was interested in turning into a movie.
When worlds collide, things get strange. There were four people for dinner this evening, not the mere two Pamela had been expecting. The third was another writer, it seemed. And no, not a House and not another woman either.
The French woman of course was absolutely stunning, in that prepared, stylish, beautifully groomed way. Her hands and her nails were exquisite. She was not tall, five six without shoes, maybe. Yet when a power group is genuinely together, and all the players belong there, no one is out of place there, no one really lacks confidence, and the substance bespeaks more, much more, than the surface appearances. And it cuts all ways.
Even so, how come – Pamela thought – all male writers have this ‘Sion Daniels’ from out of Vadim’s ‘Night Games’ look about them? They’re all so utterly, totally, absolutely arrogant, even when they’re trying not to be. When Fleming did this radio interview of Raymond Chandler once, even he, so self-deprecating and insistently modest in the face of the great master – even he was after all, himself the great Ian Fleming; and it came across too in the bland, casual manners and obvious knowledge of the subject material of writing, pure.
So this large, private – possibly government behind the scenes – contractor wanted to have some certain specific words regularly and continuously, inserted into some widely and readily digitally-available fictional material…
Why? Did it matter, really? As long as they were prepared to pay the money they were paying…
And so the clean white attired waiters came and went with their char-grilled bone-in porterhouses and rosemary sprigs and chimichurri and intense fruity olive oil and sea salt and black pepper.
Why oh why did she choose to wear the ice white dress with shiny black polka dots? Yes the black silk capelet was amazing matched to the broad stiff satin waist band in solid black, but when you went inside, and dropped the cape-thingy atakent escort you had this arm-pit exposing, sleeveless, and rather glaring white – alba candida – target for chimichurri sauce! She did not have fat arms, at least. A little touch more voluptuous after children, to be certain, but then it was a mature, a more ‘serious person’ look, too, in that sense…
There was red wine.
And there was ‘Putin is going to officially agree to let Snowden technically consult…’ And Elton – did that mean Elton would be doing the theme music – or some of the theme music? Don’t know. Nobody at the table knew about that side of it. But the red wine said that probably, yes.
The French woman, whose name was Carol, took out a cheque book, and proceeded to write too, and the two writers opined that she was by far the best thriller writer of them all present as far as they were concerned. Of course she did not write detective thrillers like Pamela did, not edgy erotic detective thrillers, or any kind of detective thrillers for that matter, and she was evidently not too good at creating suspense either, because the size of the numbers on the cheques left no room for doubt or mystery or argument and the only resolution that was possible thereafter could only have been from something along the lines of orgasm.
Pamela’s friend Phil was clearly associated with the French woman Carol in that way too; besides for the business. And that was a good thing, as far as Pam was concerned. Yes, Phil was married too, but hell this was all in another league from the mundane, wasn’t it; that was pretty clear. And there was a mountain of money involved too, obviously.
“Phil, I don’t know how you did all of this,” Pam croaked when Carol excused herself for a few minutes. “But I’m grateful.”
“I didn’t do anything.” He answered earnestly. “I tell you honestly they found me. They were looking for you and found me to get me to ask you.”
“Really?” Was all Pamela could say.
She looked at ‘Sion Daniels’ and mused: what the fuck is this guy’s real story I wonder… Nah, he was a serious writer though, that was pretty clear; you could just tell the way he put himself down all the time over technique when compared to um, Spillane or Robbins or whoever – Hemingway(!) and then all of a sudden he would drop all that insanely knowledgeable biz about what constituted good technique after all. As if he didn’t know! Damn typical conceited -, er, writer guy.
They were going to end up talking about damn writers, she knew. Did she know enough about red wine to talk about that? Nope.
Well what did she want to talk about anyway? Now that the cheques had hit the tabletop. Banged down on to the tabletop like that. God the Frenchwoman was kinda, a bit, unsubtle for all that; for a Frenchwoman. Weren’t they supposed to be all stylish and classy and this? She was going to ask her.
The other woman rolled her eyes albeit rather sweetly. “Ah darling you must know so little of the Frenchwoman, then?”
Pamela raised one Libran eyebrow, the one that bespoke of the hidden and darker depths below.
“Mais non, my dear Pamela?” she continued. “When you desire sex, have you not paid for a man?”
Pamela laughed at the question.
“Non?” Carol laughed along with her. “But of course you know, we French, we love sex. We are in love with the sex. With the sexuality.”
‘Sion Daniels’ smiled wryly. “We Americans have sexual instincts, ma’am. But not a lot of your European cultural methodology.”
Pamela felt very tempted to show him what for. The edge of the money amount on the cheque caught her eye for a second.
“You mean – what you mean is anything along the lines of Basic Instinct, isn’t it?”
“Now now,” Phil piped up. “You two can’t fight you know. Not now. Not with those numbers there,” he too, gestured towards the cheques. “You’re going to have to learn to get along, it seems.”
And that much was certainly true. A collaboration was being called for, being paid for; two viewpoints, two perspectives, one male and one female. But both of course in the world of erotic fiction though. And there was a special condition too: apparently the producers and whoever was pulling at least some of their strings from behind the scenes, were not going to release the movie in the United States. Well – ‘Sion Daniels’ commented, shrugging his shoulders – Malkovich was making a movie that wasn’t to be released for a hundred years, so what of it? It must be some new fad or other. Some latest new thing. You pay the money you get to make the rules, that was what he thought, at least.
And the deep Libran mind was already at work.
Learn to get along, eh, she said to herself. She threw him a look. And deliberately picked up the hem of her dress and moved it up to about the middle of her thigh. Sure it was all from behind the dinner table but her action was quite clear enough. She crossed her legs.
“Do you shave ever, Sion ataköy escort Daniels?” She said, seemingly disparagingly, but that was not what she was thinking inside her poker mind.
Pamela turned to her friend Phil. “I don’t want to go to your place, Phil, so you needn’t worry. I’m not a teenager and I don’t do teenager sex in front of friends anymore…”
‘Sion Daniels’ chimed in. “Are you asking me at all?”
Pam laughed at him sarcastically. “No, I’m not asking you for sex. You probably want to go off and call up some Mustang salesperson in the middle of the night to spend your cheque on… Or,” she looked down ritually at the cheque. “Most, well some,” she corrected herself. “…of the cheque on.”
“Gee I thought I was gonna get lucky tonight.”
“Oh I didn’t say I wasn’t going to have sex with you.”
The thing about these sexually deep Librans is that they aren’t even necessarily ‘wet’ or at least damp down there when all the circling was happening. They’re much too much in control for that. Sex was a decision already made. In the head. Not one that her body made for her. It was completely the other way around. That’s why they were so devastating. Those that knew what they were doing.
“No I’m not going to ask you for sex. I’m going to collide with you. Like two worlds. Like two stars.”
“Well if you insist on calling me ‘Sion Daniels’ it seems to me I recall that he drank stiffer stuff than this.” He tapped his Bordeaux wine glass. He looked harder at her. Perhaps it was the fact that she had invited open sexual attention from him that permitted him to look at her directly in that way. Of course he had noticed her. He had a thing for polka dot dresses anyway, as it happened. All of the evening until now, he had been trying to just think about the job, and the money, and only secretly did he dream of the possibility. But now – now it was very different. Now he smelt the musk of her perfume and of its interplay with her own body.
God what do I do now, he thought to himself. He was supposed to be an expert but this was the part where the tyre really bit into the road, wasn’t it?
So he had a thing for polka dot dresses, and ponytails. So what? And musky women sweat. And that softly lilting accent that all of these sorts of girls had in his fantasies. And wasn’t it also true that in his fantasies, ever since he was hardly more than a child even, all these fantasy girls took at least enough control to make his role a whole lot simpler?
So what the hell was going on here…? Really -? Two weeks ago he was bashing away at his keypad and sending off a beautiful, streamlined, perfectly-edited and flowing if marginally erotic piece that he knew he was going to make no money from; something he did for his own self-gratification. The stock market was not making him a fortune… He was not rich by any means. And that was all two weeks ago now…
Now, his rugged looks were if anything at all, 100% testament to his internal substance. And the woman – the mature, serious-minded, ice-blue eyed woman in the white and black polka dot dress and wearing her dark honeyed hair in a ponytail – said she wanted to fuck him.
Now, if he wanted, he could certainly have gotten a seat on some flex-jet private charter and maybe look ahead to even finding a way to eventually finance his own private plane. If the movie took off in Europe and elsewhere.
Now, if he wanted, he could fuck the woman of his dreams. And who was not his wife, either. And it would be a secret.
Over near the maitre d’, at the front end of the vestibule, he caught a glimpse of yet another ‘beautiful people’ type patron. Plain, dark haired; plenty of hair… And a small garland of roses high across her forehead. She was just standing there, almost loitering really, not speaking to the maitre d’. You would have said rather plainly dressed too if you did not know any better; although the designer crushed silk People Of The Labyrinths chemise and linen pants gave things away to the studied fashion eye.
On a stand near the reception lectern, as a feature of art above where a menu was being displayed, was a half-sized silver lyre.
Pamela caught that his gaze had momentarily fixed onto something particular away over off in mid-distance.
And he noticed out of the corner of his eye that Pam had noticed his attention being taken away.
“You watch,” he said. “She’ll go for the harp…” He predicted correctly.
“It’s a lyre.” Pamela corrected.
“Is it…” He whispered, rhetorically.
Maybe mid-twenties, maybe even younger, too too ‘plain’ in the facial features to be so obviously attractive as to have been at least facilely striking at first glance, and perhaps hardly anyone gave the figure much of a second look. But then the high cheekbones… The fine eyelashes… The intense and interesting and clever eyes… And the decisively male-ish slash of lips… Was it female or male even? Certainly it was female, atalar escort of course, but very unusual; the confidence, the strange male-like confidence. When you looked twice – and more times – you saw more. And he was nothing if not an extremely observant person.
And then the head-turn, the eyes over – straight over in their direction – and the casually outstretching hand, the complying, obedient single pluck of a string. The smile-less private irony…
“What are you guys talking about?” Phil inquired.
“That girl over there,” Pam replied.
“What girl?” He rejoined.
“The one that you can’t see,” Sion Daniels remarked, enigmatically. “Over there, by the silver harp.”
“There’s no one there.”
Phil shrugged. “I don’t see anyone. It’s completely empty over there.”
“She was too plain for you to have noticed her before, Phillip.” Pam suggested. “And now she’s gone away.”
Dessert was the incredibly famous celebrity dish of ‘Pavlova’ created by ex-Viennese chef Bert Sachs to commemorate the equally famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.
Hardly before the silver spoons had touched any of the meringue and cream and the hissing, misty frozen ice cream and forest fruits, the maitre d’ came over with a pair of dull grey plastic bank card sized hi-tech slivers in his hands, and addressed Pamela: “this lady came to our reception, madam, and asked that these should be handed to you, if that is very well.”
“Oh yes. Thank you.”
She took them and eyed them, turning them in a hand before passing one over to Sion Daniels. It read on both cards, quite plainly and openly – ‘Consulate General of the Russian Federation Biometrics ID.’
“See Sion Daniels?” She said to him. “You can spend the night in the library after all. It won’t be The Library Hotel of NYC, of course, but it will be just as, um, edifying.”
They each took different cabs to the address – which was, as far as each cab-driver was concerned, somewhere on East 91st Street, and that was all they needed to know.
‘You go in first,’ was all that Pamela had told him.
Now here he was, outside of John Henry Hammond House, beneath the rather silly green canvassed hotel-esque port-cochère that was the entrance to the Russian Consulate. No large iron gates, or high-tech fencing, no special guard-post that anyone could see; and just the white, pale blue and red flag flying on an angled post overhead. There was only token and fairly normal and old-fashioned black wrought iron fencing away from the seemingly open entrance-way around the building that one might see around any brownstone.
Just get me inside, he thought. He was thinking almost exclusively about Pamela.
She was hanging back a good few hundred yards adrift.
He had never had his biometrics taken, as far as he knew, so how was this going to happen. There was a simple sign on the heavy glass doors: ‘present ID card to screen.’
So he took his out and showed it to the tiny lens with the red LED light. And it turned green and the glass doors pulled open.
He went inside.
It was a good forty-five minutes before he was joined in one of the library-style waiting suites by Pamela. The question was not if, there was surveillance outside, but how much surveillance, and by whom – private companies, contractors, international media, NATO, government agencies, which of them, how many different governments… Did Pamela enter with Sion Daniels? …Only a blurry ‘possible’ affirmative correlation on that.
The place was relentlessly, uncompromisingly luxurious inside, and especially inside specifically where they were. It was a vast suite with its very own drawing room area and two complete walls of leather-bound volumes of books on wide-ranging subjects and extremely varied tastes.
Pamela possessed an All-American schoolgirl broad smile; innocent, wide mouth, prominent and perfect teeth…
Of course she was many years from being at school now.
Certainly it was the way she moved with utter confidence around the incredibly-appointed suite – and when she easily located and opened the hidden fridge, to take out one of the ice-cold bottles of Roederer Cristal champagne – he could hardly hesitate any longer to ask.
“Well I have but two questions, Pam -,”
“Yes, and I’m sure I can guess what they might be, of course.” She said, rolling her ‘r’s’ in her Michigan accent and smiling all the wider, it seemed to him.
“So are you some kind of spy and am I going to get into a whole bunch of trouble?”
“Oh-o,” she fake frowned and tut-tutted at him. “No-oh! I’m just a luxury watch salesperson on the side,” she laughed. “But you know, those really expensive, high end watches. I just take a few special samples out to celebrities and world figures every now and then, and get them photographed in the press. It’s a marketing thing.
“And that is how they let me into places like this,” she lied.
A door-buzzer sounded, very mutedly, and she casually went to a particular side-door and opened it, letting in a man with a covered silver tray.
Not missing a single beat she continued, “It is so easy to get the press photographers to notice the expensive watches and then all the editors just, mindlessly run the pics.” She ran an up-stretched slender finger through the air.
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