Chapter one – Prologue, Summer In The City
It didn't have to do with silence. She had it as soon as she passed the doors of the building and made her way to the upper floors. No. It had to do with perceptions and how the world looked blurry all of a sudden – almost lost in the distance. A feeling of safety wrapped her up then and as the fluid movement of her body sent an echo to the waters, Karen began to swim.
Always by night - when Manhattan vanished under a thousand lights in the darkness of the sky and the moon seemed to slide on the tiled floor until its pale shade reached the large, private swimming-pool of her penthouse. Sometimes she thought about nothing but the moment Stanley would retreat to his office while his children would go to bed accompanied by their nanny and finally alone, she would climb the stairs leading to this world of blurriness. A foggy perspective of the metropolis that spread below – still boiling in spite of the late hours.
Her feet brushed the edge of the pool as she turned around and – plunging into the water – she headed back to the other side for another length. Swimming released her tension. A stress she never alluded to for whatever reason. Too personal, perhaps. But all of a sudden her eyes caught up the figure of a man walking towards the bench where she had abandoned a bath towel. She didn't stop though – focused on the fast cadence of her heartbeats instead – and only emerged from the waters after having reached the opposite side of the pool. Slowly – her eyes locked with his – she swam towards him then settled there. Her chin against the edge of the floor – her feet balancing innocently in the water. Playfully.
"You are ahead of schedule, honey. He leaves tomorrow."
As Will approached the edge of the pool to sit down there only a few inches away from her, her gaze wandered from his own eyes down to the rest of his body before making it back to his lips. She knew them by heart now - from their taste to their softness on her naked skin.
"I know. I went out for a few drinks with some colleagues and since it was in the area I thought I could stop by afterward."
She didn't try to hide her smile. As a matter of fact, she had stopped trying to hide them for a while now because it didn't make sense anymore. Because she liked the sensation it stirred up throughout her body to be completely honest. Her fingers let go of the tiled floor and she laid down on her back – floating in a nonchalant way – and exposed her whole body to him. It wasn't fair play but she couldn't resist.
"So you assumed that a quick fuck would close the night on a rather pleasant note?"
In a last pirouette – a last second under the water – Karen reached back the edge of the pool and headed out before going straight to her bath towel. The large windows offered a breathtaking view over the city from The Upper West Side to The Empire State Building on her left. She could have spent hours there observing Manhattan by night in silence. There was something fascinating – an odd attraction to it.
"Watch your mouth."
A quiet laugh slid on her lips as she raised her eyebrows to look – amused – at Will. It was in his eyes – an almost invisible light that she had learned to recognize little by little. A tiny detail that made a whole difference and all of a sudden she knew whether she was standing in front of Jekyll or Hyde.
"Why, you don't like where my mouth lands at times?"
As her eyes stopped on the zipper of his pants, she bit her lower lip and shrugged as if pondering some existential question. Not for too long though. Always in control – of time, of everything. And wrapping herself in the bath towel, she sat down on the teak bench before talking again.
"You know that I hate when someone interrupts my late night swimming."
The unzipping of his pants resounded loud in the quiet – large – room lost in the middle of a summer night. Passing her tongue over her lips, Karen let him come and sit on the bench by her side. At times she wondered why she liked that – this whole scheme that didn't sound right at all – but since nothing came up to her mind she simply pushed it away to focus on what she had.
"Will Truman, you have absolutely no manners... Not that I really care about that."
She bent over to reach for his boxers and shivered as her mouth – cold from the pool – made contact with his warm flesh. She heard him sigh in the immensity of a lonely night. Completely hers. And perhaps at the end it was what she actually liked – this odd sensation to have him at the mercy of her hand. At the corner of her eyes.
Cool town, evening in the city
Dressing so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat, looking for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I'm wheezing like a bus stop
Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop
Summer In The City, Lovin' Spoonful