|Canvas of Beauty
Author: LadyOfTruths PM
Looks can be a killler.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Chapters: 5 - Words: 10,290 - Reviews: 59 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-31-03 - Published: 09-24-02 - id: 982537
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
" Canvas of Beauty"
"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion"- F. Bacon
It has been said that the Spanish sun never sets upon a wasted day. It is Monday afternoon, and the intense orange glare beats down over a city crafted over a plain of evolution. Narrow roads wind around Arabic Fortresses, palaces and the ancestral homes inhibited by the rich and well to do. To the travelling eye, Cáceres is a sore city of defence, a victorious battler, and home to its many Spanish fighters. Plazas, churches, covenants, museums and archways line a series of medieval streets, decorated with an Arabic, modern gothic and renaissance Italy architectural depth.
In the direction of the slowly shading east, where hilltop crescents presided over the land, a silver Audi Quattro pulled up in front of a large sandbrick mansion. The automatic window, on the driver's side, glides down and an olive hand reaches out to type in a security code. The heavy 'clink' of the gates sound and make way for the slick sedan.
Annette Reiriz emerges from the car and heads toward the stained-glass doors at the front face of the house. Her raven hair slips over her shoulders, from refined cleanliness, and falls at the sides of her cheeks as she bends down to fetch a set of keys out of her small briefcase. Upon rising, she smoothes down the newly made creases in her navy linen pantsuit and raises the key to the first of a set of locks. Before she could proceed her actions were halted by the sudden swing of the inward opening of the door.
"Buenas tardes Sra Reiriz" A short bald man stood in the hallway and stepped aside to let her through.
"Buenas tardes Derrick." The woman politely strode past the hired help. "¿Mi hogar del esposo es? She inquired.
"Sí. El sr. Reiriz está en su oficina." He informed her smiling.
Depending on the mood the occupants, several languages were spoken inside the house. Annette and both her husband Marco and their older butler Derrick spoke fluently in their native Spanish, as well as English, Italian and German.
"Gracias Derrick. Eso será todo." She dismissed him and hurriedly made her way up the large flight of stairs.
The Reiriz's were commonly known for their strong financial backbone. Their home was just another esteemed tangible goal achieved by the couple's success. Inside, the dark walls were lined with classic and antique masterpieces; some originals, others immaculate copies. Their's was a relationship that developed and revelled in the fine streams of life; their belongings were a direct reflection of that.
Annette opened one of the large, wood-panelled doors and entered her husband's office. Apparently he had come home to work.
"Here you are! Derrick told me you were up here" She approached the opposing side of his desk and leant against the polished timber.
The elderly man looked up to his slightly younger wife.
" Speaking English today, Annette?" His voice was thick with a Spanish accent.
"Yes. Its working with Andres, he prefers English at work." Her dark eyes drifted over the piles of her husband's paperwork.
Marco Reiriz had learnt, with age, that efficiency and organization were of top priority when dealing with corporate matters. His job was tedious; bank managers can lead very boring lives if they don't take the time to tend to social callings. Marco was neither boring nor spontaneously exciting, he preferred to walk along a neutral line. Unfortunately, his schedule clashed with Annette's interests, and more often than not, she found herself alone, dealing with life's hiccups in solitude.
"You're home early. Are you unwell, Marco?" The sound of this name echoed through the large open room. She held onto the common habit of rolling her r's.
The distance in the room seemed to further their slight hostility.
"No. I just thought it might be nice to work the afternoon here." He offered a smile which was partially distorted by his dark bushy moustache. "How was your day?" He looked back down and continued his reading.
"Oh. Fine. I hadn't much to do really. Andres insisted that I have been overworking, so he told me to take it easy for a while. He's wonderful to work for." A light smile played on her lips. Perhaps, if her husband had looked up, he may have seen her fight off a slight blush.
"So you've said." He refrained from taking his eyes off the paperwork.
The room suddenly filled from skirting bord to ceiling fan with a mocking silence.
Nothing moved except the fan circulating the stale air and Marco's fountain pen, scratching madly over the forms.
"Though I suspect we'll have a lot to complete tomorrow. There's a new line arriving. Everything will have to be marked off on the inventory…" She stepped backwards into a faint shadow, waiting for his reaction. There was none. "So I may be home quite late" She let her words hang for a moment, before moving towards the exit.
" Dinner will be at eight. Perhaps you should take a shower and get changed hmm?" Marco watched his wife's shoulders slump upon her leave.
"Yes. I will." And then she shut the door, leaving the room as she'd found it upon entering.
The man of about sixty-five sighed to himself and fell back into the comfortable leather of his recliner. In her absence he felt the restraints unlock from around his chest. He shut his eyes and took a moment to focus. He loved his wife, and he knew she returned it, but their problem was like, their fondness towards each other had worn thin. Love was insubstantial without like. Alas, he would not bring it to attention this evening, not in her state. No. Such matters should wait until they have fully painted out their consequences.
Another sigh escaped him as he muttered to himself before returning to his work.
"Mi amor. Malgastado"
He had been right. Of course he had, she would never deny him the flawlessness of his observation. After taking a long bath, Annette changed and stood in front of the large mirror standing behind her drawer. Her dark locks rung wet at her sides in long bundles. At fifty-seven, jet back was not a natural hair shade, but an upbringing brimmed with vanity taught her the sly tricks of delay the aging process. What was left of the afternoon sun splashed through the louvered windows. The light caught and held peacefully in her dark brown eyes. She examined her skin and brought a hand up to cup the side of her face.
Wrinkles. The inevitable product of time etching away at the human form.
She sighed in disgust. Her mother had never aged as she had. She would be turning in her grave if she could see her now. Her dark eyes narrowed into sceptical slits.
Look at the senile creature you have grown into! Each coming day is sentencing you to your deathbed.
Was that her, or her mother talking? She was unsure. She shook her head, sweeping her hair up in a small clip. She had to look away from the mirror, it was her worst enemy at times; a reflection of the truth more painful than an army loaded with a thousand lies.
A smooth olive hand plunged into a small bucket of crème labelled "Afternoon". Annette looked back to the mirror and began furiously applying it everywhere; face, hands, shoulders, legs.
There is enough beauty left in me. Marco may not see it, but Andres does. Andres does.
She looked up again, meeting her own gaze squarely. There was a passion burning this time, something furiously untamed waiting for a chance to escape.
Andres does. Never mind about his pretty young wife.
She smiled at herself before making her way downstairs to the dining room. For now, it was a satisfactory end to a day which had not been completely wasted.
A/N: Here I am trying my hand at a few original characters. Rest assured the favourites will make their appearance shortly. This piece follows the book cannon (Yeek! Something a bit different for me) I hope you enjoy the ride; I'm thrilled to be your driver. Please review, your comments are greatly appreciated.