MANTRA. Part four

8 Jun

Ellie Hutchinson

Charlie and Jean Paul have sexy times and Lucia feels like a letch in this installment of MANTRA.

Wrapped up in a heavy dressing gown, Charlie raised her recently refilled glass to her lips. Dinner, as usual, had been fantastic, and Jean Paul was now quietly singing to himself as he tidied away.

“Stop tidying and come and sit next to me!” she called out.

“One moment chéri!” he shouted back, “I have to ensure the kitchen is clean for Madame”.

She laughed, she was a terrible housekeeper and if it wasn’t for Jean Paul they would be living knee deep in old cups and year old newspapers. She knew how lucky she was, he was everything she had ever wanted. They’d had their ups and downs, and sure, sometimes he irritated the crap out of her, but they loved, respected and admired each other fiercely. Finally reappearing from the kitchen, she pulled him towards her and kissed him softly. His beautiful face broke into a boyish grin. “I have missed you this week” he said, gazing into her eyes, “and I’ve missed you too” she whispered.

Lying in bed later, the couple contemplated each others hands. Jean Paul’s years of sculpting had left a chalky, rough sheen on his large fingers. Her work inspired his art. She could create, or destroy, through medicine, and he found her power fascinating. He was currently preparing for an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum; it was to be the centre piece of the upcoming Arts festival. Charlie knew it would be amazing, nothing moved her like his art. Vulnerable and strong, passionate yet grounded everything he produced echoed his own personality, and by extension his love for her.

At a young age he became the darling of the art world and had had thrived on the closed circuit clique of high culture. One bad show, however, saw him cast out and starting from scratch.

“You see chéri” he told her once, “I became detached from reality, from what was important. I had nothing to create, no thoughts to express. All my thought were meaningless, it was all just sex, drugs and money. I lost my soul”.

That was how he told her he loved her, and now years later he would say to her “Thank you for helping me find me soul”.

When he had first told her his story, she held back her reflex to laugh. She had never been one for high culture, and often found the world of theatre and arts obnoxious and pretentious. Having grown up in a house of social workers and teachers, she knew that the reality artists often tried to subvert or reflect was meaningless to people living on the breadline, or struggling to cope with daily life. But when Jean Paul told her this, her heart melted.

As she had tempered his pretension, he had enhanced her understanding of creativity and expression. They had met their match. Cradling her in his arms he whispered it to her again. In the darkness their eyes met and once again they fell into a passionate embrace. An embrace that knew each other, that knew themselves, an embrace that satisfied them completely, both now and always.


Stepping out of the shower, Lucia glanced at her naked body. At 35, it still shocked her that she was shocked to see herself naked. Her analytical brain began to tick over. Why am I shocked? Why do I not like what I see? It’s just me after all. The cogs in her mind turned, sometimes she despaired of those cogs, but as Charlie always reminded her, it was those cogs that enabled her to do her job. Asking why, finding the smallest detail that a case could rest on, that’s what made her a brilliant lawyer. Picking out her outfit, Lucia smiled at the prospect of dinner. It had been a couple of weeks since she’d seen Charlie, what with her caseload and Charlie’s 24/7 surgery, it was sometimes hard to catch up.

Quickly checking her smart phone, she noticed a new email from Brent Stone had arrived. They’d been emailing throughout the day sorting through the arrangements for tomorrow. Both lived incredibly busy lives it seemed, and finding a suitable time and place had been tricky. When she had returned from the office last night, unable to sleep, she found herself reading through Brent’s articles. The more she read, the more intrigued she was. How did a man who had started out reviewing rock bands end up writing a remarkable piece on the fashion industry? His style was laid back and interesting, an every man it seemed. He managed to probe subjects expertly on thorny issues, whilst never revealing his hand. His work in war zones was both critical of politics, yet supportive of those whose lives were on the line. He was clearly a skilled writer. But why the Morton case? Lucia wondered. It seemed a strange assignment for someone who had spent the last few years risking their life. The city was an exiting place to be, granted, and the Morton case did have ramifications for the rich and fabulous, but it was no drama of Middle Eastern proportions. Her intrigue had got the better of her, and she had agreed, finally, to meet him at a small French bistro the other side of town.

Despite her misgivings about the media, she was curious to meet him. A small thought popped into her head, one that she quickly tried to dismiss. He was hot. Very hot indeed. Through her research she had come across some photos of Stone, he’d won a prize for his piece on the fashion industry and there were numerous photos littering the internet of the ceremony. This won’t do, She thought to herself. She had nothing against relationships, or men-despite what the media sometimes said, but she enjoyed her independence. Working 14 hour days, sometimes 7 days a week left little space for anything other than the odd hook up at Christmas. She was fine with that, she had an old friend who would sometimes pop over if she really wanted him to. But there was something so very sexy about Stone. That tousled hair, the deep blue eyes, and the tattoo that snuck out from under his Tux shirt sleeve. I am turning into a letch. She thought to herself, and made a mental note to call the old friend sooner rather than later.

Realising the time, she zipped up her new black dress and picked out a pair of small gold earrings and a matching locket she’d found at an antiques fair. “Not bad for an old bird” she thought.



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