Over the next few days, Justice and her friend strategically arrange to “coincidentally” appear in the same restaurants and gathering places as Justice's estranged mother and her mother’s new lover. Camille has seen very little of this daughter since her appearance in TEKville months earlier but is still smarting over the defection of her erstwhile paramour. She had been convinced that she had Player firmly in her grasp until the day she opened the door to his hotel room to find him in bed with Justice. Seeing her daughter again under these circumstances makes her very wary indeed, but her fears are put to rest when Marlow appears to take no interest whatsoever in the lithe blonde.
It does not take long, however, before she realizes that Marlow seems unable to keep his eyes off Justice’s exotic companion.
Furious, she resolves that this time, she will not be cast aside.
Camille redoubles her efforts to keep Marlow firmly on the hook. She knows that she does not look her age due to excellent genes and the multiple procedures she has had, but knows that the allure of youth is difficult to deny. She is very experienced in the ways of love and only hopes that it is enough. She makes it a point never to allow Marlow time to himself, occupying his every moment with her constant demands.
For his part, Marlow had been quite content with matters as they stand . . . until his first glimpse of Korinne. As busy as Camille keeps him, catering to her every sexual whim, more and more often he finds his thoughts wandering to the mysterious dusky woman’s exotic face and enticing form.
Inevitably, the constant stress of finding new and varied ways to keep Marlow interested takes its toll on Camille, and she falls ill. At first Marlow is attentive, but gradually this loses its appeal as his thoughts return again and again to the mystery woman. One evening, after indulgently fluffing Camille's pillows and bringing her soup, he is pleased to see her fall into a deep, healing sleep.
Smiling to himself, he slips out her apartment door and heads for the NY, hoping to find the dusky-skinned woman there as she has so often been in the past few weeks.
Justice is the first to spot him enter the bar.
She kicks Korinne gently under the table, smiling with satisfaction.
Pointedly she makes eye contact with her friend, and unspoken words pass between them. She rises and makes a show of not feeling well, exiting the bar not long after Marlow’s appearance.
On her way out, Justice says something very quietly to the waitress.
Marlow celebrates his good fortune and immediately moves toward Korinne.
Korinne hides her smile of self-satisfaction as Marlow approaches.
“Hello! I’m sorry your friend had to leave. I am also alone this evening . . . may I join you?”
Korinne smiles and gestures at the empty chair across the table. "Please."
Marlow has other ideas, however, and suggests that they move to "more comfortable" seating in the back of the annex.
Korinne readily agrees, and Marlow practically drags her to the out-of-the-way booth he has selected.
Jenna has already delivered Korinne's favorite drink to the table, courtesy of Justice, and takes Marlow's order.
Korinne and Marlow are soon completely engrossed in their flirtatious give and take. This does not go unnoticed by other patrons of the bar.
He buys her more than one drink, not realizing that plying her with alcohol is completely unnecessary. It’s the way he works, and she immediately recognizes his style. She has known many just like him and revels in the knowledge that this time, this one time, she will take him down.
As the afternoon progresses, Marlow becomes increasingly aggressive, and Korinne responds in kind.
He wracks his brain, trying to figure out how – well, actually, where – to get this woman into bed. He had given up his room at TEK Hotel to move into Camille’s apartment and now finds himself in a quandary.
Surmising much of this, Korinne is almost unable to hide her smile. Mais oui! He is mine!
She allows him to squirm for several minutes, amused at his all-too-obvious thought process, before finally touching his hand and whispering huskily, “Would you like to take me home, Marlow?”
Marlow’s sudden physical reaction to this question surprises even him. Careful not to betray his condition, he replies fervently “Nothing would make me happier, Korinne. Where . . .?”
“It is not far. Do you have a car?”
Marlow most desperately wishes at this moment that he could answer affirmatively, but a car is one of the luxuries he has given up in order to keep up appearances in other arenas.
“No, but I . . .”
She cuts him off. Having enlisted Player as an accomplice in their plot, she and Justice have arranged to bring his convertible to the bar this afternoon, and Korinne knows that Justice has taken a cab home for this very reason.
“We will take mine.”
Marlow signals the waitress, trying very hard not to appear frantic.
Korinne hides her amusement behind her hair.
Korinne hands him "her" keys as he fumbles in his wallet for cash, not wanting to take the time to use a credit card.
By the time the tab is settled, he has regained a modicum of self-control, at least to the point that he does not embarrass himself as they exit the bar.
Once in the car, Marlow marvels at his luck. A beautiful, exotic woman who not only appears eager to climb into his bed, but drives a Porsche to boot? It is all he can do to avoid crowing. He slings his arm over the passenger seat and pulls Korinne close as he turns the car onto a street that will lead into the surrounding countryside.
Her left hand toys with the gear shift before moving to his leg, and his manhood once again leaps to attention as her fingers slide inexorably up his thigh.
Smiling to herself at his obvious arousal, she expertly unzips his pants, and to the accompaniment of his groan, releases him from his fabric prison.
She would like to have sealed the deal by taking him into her mouth, but the front seat is cramped and she contents herself with slow, tantalizing strokes.
Shuddering, he catches her hand in his.
“Wait, Korinne. If you keep that up . . . .”
She successfully hides her smirk and raises her smoldering eyes to his.
“Are you saying that you’re only good for . . . once?”
A ragged laugh escapes his lips. “I’m saying that if you don’t stop, we’re going to wreck this beautiful machine, and neither of us wants that.”
He smiles as he tucks himself back into his pants. She settles back in her seat, content for the moment at the results of her actions.
As they pull up to Player’s mansion, Marlow gulps. “You live . . . here?”
Nonchalantly, she shrugs. “For the moment. Until something better comes along.”
Marlow’s glee knows no bounds. Score!
Having worked this scenario out in advance with Player and Justice, the actual owner of the mansion and his paramour are nowhere to be seen as Korinne lets herself and Marlow in with the key she has been given. She leads him to the bedroom she was assigned when she first arrived, although she has seldom slept in it.
Marlow’s original plan for a slow, sensuous seduction is thrown to the winds as he grabs her and roughly pulls her to him, kissing her savagely as they begin to pull at one another’s clothes.
Later, as they lie together, still sweating from their exertions, Marlow rolls over onto his elbow and drinks in the sight of Korinne lying next to him, her lush auburn hair strewn across the pillows.
“That . . .” he begins, emphatically, “ . . . was incredible. Where did you learn . . . .?”
Korinne smiles lazily. “You do not need to know where, only that I did learn it. You liked it?” she asks, slyly.
Marlow can’t repress a snort. “Like it?? You have got to be kidding me.”
This evokes a laugh. “I am glad, cheri. I know . . . many other such things as well.”
Marlow groans. “You may just be the death of me, in that case, but I can’t think of a better way to go.”
He touches her face gently as he leans in for a kiss that surprises her in its unexpected tenderness. That tenderness soon turns to intensity as Korinne performs one of the tricks she has learned, and before long they are once again fully immersed in the act of love.
Camille awakens with a start to find herself alone.
Puzzled, she calls out to Marlow, but there is no reply, and her condo is suspiciously silent.
She reaches for her phone on the nightstand and quickly dials his number, but it goes immediately to voice mail.
Furious, she throws the phone against the wall with all her strength, just as her bedroom door opens.
The relief that washes over her is short-lived as she realizes that instead of her lover Marlow, her estranged daughter Justice stands in the doorway.
“You!” she shouts in anger.
As she crosses the room, Justice smirks. “Oui. C’est moi. You were expecting zee tres chaud Marlow, c’est ne pas? He will not be returning. He is . . . otherwise occupied.”
Realization dawns. “You bitch! You set this up!”
Unfazed by the epithet thrown at her by the woman who bore her, Justice’s expression does not change.
“Oui, ‘maman’. This is in payment for zee years in the gutters of Paree to which you sentenced me when you dumped me in that horrible French orphanage. You will never be free of me. I am always watching and waiting. Do not forget.”
Without further elaboration, Justice rises, crosses the room and starts down the hallway toward the front door, to which she has somehow managed to obtain a key.
Camille’s anger knows no bounds. Face twisted in fury, she throws off the covers, intending to follow her daughter and confront her.
Stepping from the bed, however, she falls to her knees, too weak to stand.
Tears of fury well up in her eyes. She allows herself a small moment of despair.
But Camille has never been one to waste tears on what might have been. Faced with the knowledge of the damage she has done to all of her children, especially this one, she still wastes no time on self-recrimination. Head high, she returns to her bed, now focusing on damage control.
To be continued . . .