Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chapter 17:LIly Meets Lord Rothschild Again With Georges - Georges Du Roy of Bel Ami and Lily Bart of House of Mirth

A portrait of Mrs. Joanna Lloyd and her sister by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)
exhibited in 1776 - only Mrs. Lloyd is shown above
acquired by Lord Rothschild in the late 19th century
You can look, but you can't touch

I don't think I like you much
As we enter our name is announced: Lord and Lady Du Roy de Cantel! All eyes turn towards us and a hush announces Lily's presence, a compliment to her loveliness. And then we are swept up in the crowd bowing and acknowledging so many people. I see Clo and catch her eye as she shyly turns away smiling slightly but looking downcast.

Lily is beside me as we greet some of my acquaintances and business connections. She is pale and lovely and neither the men nor the women can take their eyes off her. The women are wondering about her dress and the men about what's inside it.

I watch an elegant man come towards us. He is moving directly to Lily. He stops in front of her and addresses her, "Lady Du Roy. The last time I saw you was in New York and you were Miss Lily Bart." He takes her offered hand and leans down to kiss it tenderly. I hate him already.

"Lord Rothschild, what a surprise to see you again, and here in Paris. My husband Lord Du Roy," she says as she turns to introduce him to me. "Georges, an old acquaintance, Lord Rothschild."

 "I met your wife under unusual circumstances. She presented a series of tableaux vivants  in collaboration with a Mr. Morpeth at a large elegant social evening in New York City, and she was in the final tableaux as Mrs. Joanna Lloyd in the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Of course she was - and is - so incredibly beautiful that no one there that evening could take their eyes off her. I see the same is happening tonight." He smiles at Lily and then at me. "She was unforgettable in that tableaux  and unforgettable still I see," as he acknowledges Lily's beauty.

"I was so taken with your performance that I desired to own the painting. Mr. Morpeth, seeing my admiration, told me the painting was being auctioned at Sotheby's the following week hoping the price would increase after seeing the tableaux tonight. He asked me if I were interested in it and I was. And that was how I acquired your inspiration of that painting, the one of the two sisters, and Mrs. Lloyd carving her husband's name on the bark of the tree imitating As You Like It." Lord Rothschild laughs and says,  "You drove the price up very dear, my dear. I had to outbid Mr. Rosedale for it. Alas for him he was not going to bid his entire fortune for it, so I easily added it to the Rothschild collection. It hangs in my Berlin home in the sitting room just adjacent to my bedroom, where I can look at it every night I am in Berlin and be reminded of that marvelous night."

I know who he wants to imagine before he sleeps each night he is in Berlin. I want to kill him, kill him viciously and torturously.

"Had I not been already married Baroness............." and he subtly lets his sentence hang in the air. Yes, he is after her all right. Before she was protected by her unmarried proper status, but now he sees her as fair game.

Lily is uncomfortable now and catches the eye of Clo who comes over to us trying hard to smile vivaciously. Lily reaches out to her and says,  Madame Marelle, I should like you to meet Lord Rothschild, an old acquaintance of mine from New York."

And my god, Lily has just done the same thing to him that she did to me in New York. She has artfully distracted him and freed herself to turn to Madame Walter and join her, leaving me with Lord Rothschild to talk business. I cannot accompany her and so I must stay here with Clo and Lord Rothschild.

My bewitching bitch I think, as I am now cornered. Lord Rothschild murmurs over Clo's hand, charming her. She smiles bewitchingly at him, and then excuses herself. Now the duel begins.

"I heard that your newspaper is wishing to expand into Berlin. Is this true?"

"It is certainly something we have been thinking about." I know just where he is going now.

"Please accept my invitation to be my personal guests when you come to Berlin. And please, have your beautiful wife accompany you and I shall personally show you both our lovely city. And I shall definitely show you the original painting that inspired your wife's exceptional performance."

"The original is here in Paris," I say coldly.

Lord Rothschild chuckles and says smoothly, "Of course. I was forgetting Mrs. Lloyd has left us long long ago and Sir Reynolds also, but a far more lovely original is with us now. I do wish you had known her then and seen her in that role. Incomparable. You will see when you view the painting."

By now I am in a rage that this all happened before I met Lily, and he senses it and is amused.

"Yes, come to Berlin and I think we will be great friends. Your newspaper should do very well in Berlin. We have many readers and speakers of French there."

"I was hoping to also have a German edition, with the French viewpoint of course, on political affairs. Do you think that would be too disruptive?"

"No, not at all. The German citizens need an alternative way of seeing the world. We are inclined to be too ............ well, perhaps too insular, too conforming. It will help us to see another side, the French side. Yes, I welcome differences. I think many Germans will also, even the ones we least expect it of." and again he laughs smoothly at his own joke.

Yes, I think he is charming. But Lily is mine. He will never have her; however, I will allow him to look.

End of Part One.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chapter 16: Lily In Paris: Georges DuRoy and Lily Bart - Bel Ami and House of Mirth

Luna Moth

I am waiting for LIly to finish dressing with Tav who can't contain his excitement waiting for her. At last we can hear her heels as she pauses at the top of the circular staircase. Then she walks down and both of us just gape at her as she descends the stairs.

"Maman, Maman!" Tav cries. "Tu es belle, tres tres belle!" and he runs to the bottom of the stairs holding his hands out to touch her.

"Tres belle," I whisper. Lily is dressed in a pale seafoam green silk chiffon gown with layers and layers of diagonal wisps crossing and floating like moth wings, fluttering as the air catches the filmy silks when she moves down the stairs, revealing a diagonally cut slim but flowing sheath holding her body. But even in this inmost layer, there are whispy cuts that reveal and conceal her silken flesh that only I know is there.

I want to forget about this social event, and carry her upstairs.

"Tu aime?" She says to me, a little uncertain at this, our first social engagement of importance.

I cannot say a word. I am just eating her with my eyes. Tav, however, is not so paralyzed, and he rushes towards her, grabbing her around the waist. She picks him up, holds him to her and kisses him full mouthed on his neck with her eyes closed, and I catch my breath. My god, how am I ever going to get through this evening without............. and, as she reads my face her eyes darken. I can imagine how wet she is now, how she smells of sex, and I am so ready for her. I blink my eyes and take her hand leaning over it to give her the first kiss of the evening. Every other pair of lips will lay over my first imprint. I open my mouth and the tip of my tongue caresses her, just as I did when I first met her.

"I am not sure I can last the entire evening now."  I frown at her for teasing me this way.

Lily laughs her throaty husky laugh, happy at my response.

"You are a pure sorcery Lily. I know what you are going to do to all the men there." I lean in to kiss her lightly, not wanting to disturb her hair, but my special lock has danced out of her arrangement, and I tuck it back in saying, "Now don't you provoke anyone else. No one else is to touch you. Understand?" and I touch my lips to her before I wind her back in.

I hold her fur for her as she shrugs her shoulders to accept my hands around her. And I lead her to the door where our carriage awaits. She turns to lean and kiss Tav one more time telling him, "Please go to sleep and when I come home I will wake you and kiss you goodnight."

Tav smiles and tells her, "I will be very good Mama." and he watches us with wide eyes as we go out the door.

In the carriage Lily adjusts the layers of her gown turning to me and saying, "Tonight there will be so many other beautiful women. I will no longer be the most beautiful in the room as I was in New York." She bites her lower lip and holds it between her teeth. I gently remove it and I see there is a sheen on her lips I have never seen before.

"Lily you will always be the most beautiful woman in the room to me. Forever."

"That's not what I meant. I am afraid of all the beautiful Parisian women that will devour you with their eyes. I will watch you and not let you out of my sight." She licks her lips and touches me, feeling how hard I am for her. She plays with the buttons and says, "I have been wanting to try something that I heard the girls talking about at the dressmakers." And again she wets her lips.

"Lily, stop this right now. You must, you must or we will never get there. You will not be able to go inside after what I will do to you."

"Ahhhhh. I am looking forward to that. Do you suppose we can find a secluded place for awhile?"

"Oh my god, Lily. I am your husband. You are not supposed to be seducing me like this." I reach out my hand and slide it between one of the diagonal wisps of her dress, then through another and another, my eyes growing wider each second as I realize how this dress has been designed.  "Lily, did you design this dress?"

"There are no wives here tonight," she says.

"Oui. I have been thinking about a couturier shop. But would you approve? Or is that something a Baroness ought not to do?"

"Anything that would please you, you can do."

"Anything?" She asks as she moistens her lips.

We are approaching our destination but I continue with my fingers and finally I gain her entrance through the silken door of her gown. She is wearing nothing between the dress and my fingers and I moan. I can feel her wetness and I can smell her sex mixed with her perfume.

"Do you like my perfume," she says. "I collaborated with my perfumer and I added something to it that he said was perfect." She smiles and I know what she added.

"Lily you are going to drive every man mad in there."

"I only want to drive you mad."

"You have. And now I am going to have to watch your every move tonight. Do not leave my sight."

"Lord Rothschild will be here tonight. I want very much to have the paper extended to Berlin. It will depend on his approval."

"Lord Rothschild?" says Lily and her voice rises an octave.

"What! You know him! How? When? Where?"

"In New York. He was at the soiree  of Mrs. Brys when I directed all the tableaux vivants. I was introduced to him there. I doubt he will remember."

"What tableaux vivants? I never saw one with you."

"It was before we met. I was in the very last scene. It was the night Seldon told me he loved me and I kissed him lightly on the lips and told him never to mention it again."


"Not really. Nothing to say. Just fond memories of my friendship with Seldon."

"He was a fool to leave you free for me. I am so blessed he did."

And now we have arrived. I take her hand to help her alight from the carriage and she smiles shyly at me as we go into our first large social event together. I can smell sex in a light misty cloud surrounding her and I shiver, knowing what that smell will do to every man in the room. She will feel like the most beautiful woman in Paris tonight and I must watch her carefully as many of them will swirl around her, as moths do when they wish to mate. Perhaps I can find an empty room to lure her into.