Teaser 027: The Deal

“This will do, but where's the nearest bathroom?”

“This way,” Serena said as we stepped out of the bedroom, “down the hall here.” We walked along the wide hall, which I estimated was a good eight to ten feet wide, to where the hall turned slightly to the left. At the turn was a door on the left and Serena stopped to open the door. “This is one.” I looked inside as she flicked a light switch. The bathroom, not exactly small but nothing in comparison to the big bathroom off the hall to the Great Room, was full of mirrors. They seemed to be everywhere. A shower combined with a full size tub, complete with spa outlets, filled the room at the back, a toilet before the shower-tub on the left, a sink along the rest of the left wall, and cabinets and drawers and towel racks galore on the right. “No one will be using this bathroom. All my guests, except you of course, have adjoining bathrooms, but it means you won't have to share it with anyone.”

“Nice, very nice...Lots of mirrors.”

“You noticed that?”

“I can see my reflection everywhere.” It seemed I could. I smiled as I looked down to her face. “Okay, this certainly will do. Is there anything else you want to show me?” I stepped back and Serena flicked off the lights. She moved out to the hall and closed the door, glancing down the hall which ran another hundred feet or so to a large door at the end.

“There's another bathroom at the end of the hall, the door at the end on the right, but use this one instead. I like to keep the one there open for special guests or as my second bathroom. The door at the end of the hall is the master bedroom. Through my bedroom I can reach the garage. It's an unusual arrangement but I often leave early, so I'll eat something light I have in my bedroom and leave from there.” She glanced up to me with a look which seemed to signify gauging my approval.

“Actually, it sounds quite convenient. I was wondering where the garage led. Apparently to your bedroom.”

“That's correct, to my bedroom.”

I smiled my devious one. “So, beyond the door at the end of the hall Serena Dominguez is going to be sleeping...alone, huh?”

She frowned. “It's where I will be sleeping, yes.” She looked up at me severely and added, “Should it matter to you whether I'm alone or not?”

I sniffed. “It seems almost a crime when a beautiful married woman like you sleeps alone, but that is none of my business, and I never should have said anything about it, so I apologize. I'm sorry.” I tried to make it seem like I was sorry. I wasn't. Without waiting for acknowledgment, I turned back the way we had come. “Okay, let me count how far.” I stepped from the bathroom door all the way to the bedroom, counting the paces. “Thirty-two.” I grabbed my bags, set them inside the bedroom, flicked the lights off and closed the door. Serena had followed a few feet behind. When she reached me, I said, “Thank you, Serena, for all your hospitality.”

Serena looked at me with concern, which I knew came from my sleeping alone comment, but when I thanked her and bowed my head briefly, she reached up to tug at my beard on the right side. “What are you trying to do with this, Gregory?” Her big, playful smile returned.

“Provide a safe nesting area for any bird which chooses it?” Serena frowned playfully but still held onto my beard. “You wouldn't want me to shave it off, would you?”

She tugged at it one more time and dropped her arms to each side. “It would be nice to see your face some time.” Those big black pearls sparkled in my eyes for a moment, until I glanced slowly about her face from her forehead to her nose, ear to ear.

“It would be nice to see your face some time, too, without all the make-up on it.”

Serena dropped her head. “I'm not attractive to you?”

“You are, but you would be more attractive to me without the mask on your face. Make-up is designed to do one thing: hide and deceive. I would much rather look upon your true beauty than your made-up idea of how you should look.” That lifted her head and as I stared in her eyes I watched them dart all around my face.

“I'm starting to get wrinkles, you know.”

“Yeah, it's what happens when a human ages. Think I don't have a wrinkle or two myself?” She glanced about my face, looking at those wrinkles, and laughed lightly. “Tell you what. You give me what I want and show me your face without make-up and I'll shave my beard off and show my face. I won't necessarily do it right away. It makes a mess and takes some time to shave this face. It's delicate. I cut it frequently, which is pretty much why I let the beard grow. I get tired of putting toilet paper on my face to stop the bleeding.” Serena smiled so widely, I knew she would take her make-up off for me and soon.

- Just Desserts, Segment ThreeA Taste of Mexican Hospitality” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

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