It was hard to take in all the surroundings and not gawk. Russell had taken her to some swanky places before, but this certainly outshone them all. The ambience was of such peace and tranquility, and overlaid with the smell of wealth and privilege.
His hand rested comfortably on her lower back, his fingers lightly flexing along the curve of her ass, teasing and warm. She was so hot for him. She glanced over her shoulder at him, smiling into his handsome face. His dark hair was combed back, gleaming in the muted light of the restaurant. His full lips smiled just a bit at her in response, as if to say, “I know what I’m doing to you, lover,”. She pushed back against his hand, a little movement, barely visible to anyone else who happened to be watching.
She would be glad when this dinner with his boss would be done and they could tumble into bed with each other. She was feeling exceptionally horny today, and dressing up like this, her highest heels, the slinky hose, the perfect hair and makeup and perfume to tantalize him, all combined to add to her lust.
She smiled politely when Russells boss, Caleb Mabon, rose from the corner table where the hostess led them. It was quiet, tucked away from the main flow of the restaurant. He took her hand, a gentleman, and raised it to his lips. They had met before, several times, in fact, over the course of the five years her husband had been working for him. He complimented her on her beauty, looking perhaps a moment longer than was seemly at her cleavage. Then again, she had chosen this provocative dress, so it went with the territory. He seated her first, then gestured to her husband to sit to her right, where the walls formed a small ell, adding to the feeling of being secluded. Once they were seated, Mr. Mabon took the seat to her left. The round table was not over-large, but put just a bit of distance between them all. The linen tablecloth was snowy, the napkins a deep mossy green. The flatware gleamed in soft, golden tones under the glow of the candles flanking a round bowl of white and pink peonies.
The champagne arrived just as Mr. Mabon was seated.
“I took the liberty of selecting a wine to…” he paused, looking at Russell, then Shiloh in turn, ” ….to celebrate tonight’s occasion.” Shiloh and Russ shared a glance, a small smile playing on his mouth. The promotion to partner. At last! The waiter circled the table, filling each glass to perfection.
“A toast,” added Caleb, raising his flute, “To successful endeavors.”
They murmured after Mr. Mabon, “endeavors” and the three drank. She was surprised that champagne could taste so wonderfully different from what she was used to. If this promotion went through, then perhaps they would accept champagne like this as a matter of course as well!
“I also took the liberty of placing our dinner orders. You see, I own an interest in this restaurant, and know well it’s specialties. I hope you will indulge me.”
Russell and Shiloh shared another glance. They were far enough apart at this round table that they could not touch. It was strange, granted, but who could fault the guy if it was partly his place?
She spoke before her husband could. “That’s fine Mr. Mabon. We are happy to be here. Thank you, too, for allowing me to attend this dinner. I’m so proud of my husband, his accomplishments!”
She turned sparkling eyes to Russ, missing the narrowing gaze of his boss.
“Do you?” his voice was silky, just a bit cooler.
“Well, ” she responded, flustered a bit by the sudden change in his attitude. “He works long hours for you, I rarely see him and…” she trickled into silence at the look on Caleb’s face.
“You mean he is very busy, stealing from me?”
She gasped, and Russell, paling, began to sputter.
He cut them both off with a look. His eyes bored into Russell’s, daring him to deny again. He turned to Shiloh.
“I will grant you the benefit of the doubt, little girl, as I believe your husband has fooled you as cleverly as he attempted to fool me. I have incontrovertible proof, arrestable, convictable proof that your husband has been stealing from me for several years.” He lifted a folder from his lap, dropped it on the table in front of Russell. A second folder lay secreted in the briefcase beside his chair, but it was not time for that one quite yet.
She sat and watched as Russ turned pages, growing paler and paler. The very last page he held in his hand and read it, twice.
“Russell?” her voice broke, shaking. “Russ, did you do this…this …” ? A tear escaped and slid slowly down her cheek.
Caleb scooped it up with a blunt finger.
“Of course he did, little girl. Now all that remains to be seen is what he will do about it.”
Russell looked at the paper in his hand, shaking gently in his fear. Laying it back on the table, he looked at his vibrant, beautiful wife.
“Forgive me, ” he whispered.
He turned to his boss.
She wasn’t quite sure why, but her heart began to race, even as Russell spoke one single word.