Saturday, December 09, 2006

nearly a year that I’ve been Charles’ mistress, inamorata, paramour, sugar baby, what ever. He started as a client, gentlemanly and romantic even. When he offered a retainer I accepted. But familiarity has brought contempt as he has proven to be a controlling misogynist. Several times I told myself I would quit him, only to cash the check when it arrived on the first of the month. Recently the smooth Charles has been back and I’ve enjoyed it but I know it is only a veneer.

My plan for when I saw him Wednesday, was to inform him that we would be having our final times together as I was ending the relationship at the end of the month and to thank him for his generosity, though I had no illusion that he would be anything but furious.

We had a nice lunch at a small café near his apartment and on the walk there after lunch my eye was drawn to a dress in a shop window. Charles noticed and suggested we go in. I protested, but he insisted saying it was Christmas. I’ve been in this shop before and have been all but ignored; with Charles though the shop girls sensed blood on the water. The dress in the windows was no longer available in my size, but they were not deterred and substitutes were offered. One caught my eye and I held in up in front of the mirror. Strapless, with a banded bodice, the layered skirt hit a few inches above my knees.

“Try it on,” Charles suggested and with that one of the women led me to the dressing room. Just as the dress went on the other woman appeared with shoes and a purse. As I observed myself in the mirror Charles entered the dressing room. I don’t know if he was invited or decided that paying gave him the right. I smiled brightly at him and that is what he wanted to see. “Do you like it?” I tweeted. “You look lovely,” was his reply in a soft voice. I gave him a hug and turned about again looking at my image over my shoulder, the clerks standing and smiling. As we left the store, he slipped my arm under his and said, “You can wear that New Year’s eve. I looked at him quizzically but he said no more.

In our time to Charles has shown that he can be a wonderful lover and that afternoon was special. I had finished cleaning up and dressing, and as I returned to the bedroom I heard a woman’s voice, an angry woman’s voice in the front room with Charles’ mocking tone in counterpoint. “Fuck,” I thought, “his wife.” Since we use their pied a terre, I’ve always been concerned that that she could catch us and then several months ago Charles told me that she knew. “How?” I asked. “I told her,” was his reply. Part of his mind games with her. After that I asked that we meet at a hotel, he refused stating that it was his apartment.

I was panicking and looked around for an escape. Stupid things, the ledge outside the window, but I knew I’d fall, the closet or under the bed. In the end I sat on the bench at the foot of the bed, shut my eyes and took a deep breath to calm myself and then looked out the window and watched the painters in the apartment across the street.

When I let myself think about the wives of my clients, I feel badly for them, but not Charles’ wife. She is his third and was his long time mistress. She pressed him to divorce the mother of his children and should have known what he was and what she was getting, but she wanted the money and the status. The first wife? Gossip says that they married very young and she didn’t stay around for the first anniversary. Smart girl.

I heard the bedroom door open and I turned my head to the left. She stood in the entry. I looked at her hands, they were empty, “thank god she doesn’t have a gun,” I thought. Then I got bemused as I could have been looking at the image of me in twenty years. “He does have a type,” I thought. We stared at each other for a second and then she asked, “Who are you?” My heart was racing and I didn’t know if I could speak, but from somewhere came the words, “Funny, but I was going to ask you the same thing. But we know the answer to that.” She looked at me and then stepped out of the doorway. “Get out,” she ordered. She didn’t have to say it twice.

Charles leaned against a console table in the living room; he smirked and winked at me as I left. In my nervousness I broke into a smile and nearly laughed. When I heard the latch behind me I ran for the elevator and pushed the button frantically. When it wasn’t there I took the stairs and ran out of the lobby past the sneering doorman (who probably called her).

It was after seven when I got home, around nine a messenger came with the package. Pure Charles, I thought as I signed for it, in the box was a note informing me of our New Year’s Eve plans. Around mid night my phone rang, it was Charles. His voice was soft and comforting, he seemed concerned. We talked and I cried. I told him I didn’t want to see him again I couldn’t see him. He ignored that and kept talking in the same warm supportive tone. It is no wonder Charles is successful he is a great persuader. Manipulative as hell but amazing anyway. Soon I heard myself no longer saying that I couldn’t see him, but that I didn’t want to meet at the apartment. He ignored that also but we left it for another day.

After, as I lay in bed, I realized that somewhere the balance of control between us had shifted and not to my favor. I should have told him today and I should have refused the dress, but I was greedy. I know I will to get out, but I also know that it is going to be more difficult than I imagined.



Blogger niadarkandlovely said...


I read your post, and my heart was racing.

Thank god you are safe, and Charles's wife did not harm you.

I wonder whether you feel you can regain some power in any way.

If the will to get out is there, you will get out.

It is so complex, and boy do I know it is easier said than done.

Thinking of you.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Alice W. said...

Those charmers can be seductive and manipulative in equal measure. Or maybe the seductions are just a form of manipulation?

Long ago, I had in my personal life such a man who felt like twilight. That time of evening where there is still enough light to see the shapes of objects, but not enough to notice what danger lurks in that far corner. Nothing good came of it, except the sex that took me to previously undreamed of altitudes.

I wish you strength, and the will to make wise choices,

8:17 PM  
Anonymous VJ said...

We wish you well on your extraction plans Kim, but he's got to go. Things will just sort of spiral down from here, but typically only if this wife wants a confrontation. If she does, for whatever reason, it'll be ugly. If she is resigned to a 'live & let live' attitude, then it might not be as unpleasant as expected, but he's definitely playing controlling mind games with everyone. This is not a good thing in an unequal power relationship, and he'll feel free to abuse his privileges and position whenever the fancy takes him. But thanks for the update, wishing you brighter moments and a better New Year's date, 'VJ'

10:45 PM  
Blogger desert diamond said...

I wouldn't be surprised if he had called her himself. It seems as though he enjoyed the tension, confrontation, and humiliation you and she experienced.
Good luck cutting him loose and standing your ground with that decision.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Pete from Cal said...

Thank GOD you're safe. Definitely uncomfortable and not a situation anyone want to be in. I'm concerned of Charles' charm and manipulation that might put you in that situation again. He might play mind game with his wife now and involving you. When his wife is gone, you might be the one being played. Please be careful!

6:26 AM  
Blogger camille said...


This is a frighteningly familar story to me. Be safe and be strong, you can get through this and come out of the other end intact..but you REALLY have to want that.

Camille x

8:06 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Everyone, thank you for your thoughts and support. It will work out.


11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and need to have a chat. She was writing about going on retainer with her favorite client.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Glengarry: Being on a retainer is fine, but the fact he plays control games is a problem and part of the attraction.

The potential for spousal confrontation is hightened when you see someone on a very regular basis and often the same day, time and location.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I can't add anything here among all the well-wishers and white knights.

So I'll play the devils advocate.

"...I’ve always been concerned that that she could catch us and then several months ago Charles told me that she knew. “How?” I asked. “I told her,” was his reply..."

You knew it could happen. And subconsciously it sounds like you might have wanted it to happen. For some reason.

6:50 PM  

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