Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Look Back 

We all have our quirks, small patterns of behavior that friends recognize. One of Francis' is when we were together whether for an evening or an hour, we would start our intimate time by having a drink and chatting. This completed he would signal for me to go to the bedroom, undress and wait for him.  Francis saw me several times a month for over a year. Effectively I was his mistress and his associates identified me as such with the assumption that I was kept.

On one of the last evenings of winter in 2008, we had been at the symphony, returning to the suite at the Ritz. As usual we had our drink, cognac straight up for him over ice for me. He had been preoccupied throughout the evening and my attempts to draw him out had failed. This was no surprise for me as his view of me was that I was a bauble whose purpose was to entertain him. This didn't bother me as long as he transferred the funds and he called me for our next assignation

There was a knock on the door, Francis got up to answer it and two men entered the suite. One of the men was Joseph, Francis' security officer and guy Friday. The other I didn't know, but while Joseph ignored me, the other man repeatedly shot glances toward me. They spoke for a moment in hushed tones and then Francis asked me to leave. I went to the bedroom and undressed to await my lover. When Francis finally joined me, he told me that I needed to leave and that Joseph would arrange a hotel for me and see to my transportation.

While Francis considered me a bimbo, I listened carefully to what went on in my presence and I had learned quite a bit about his business. Francis, came from a well to do family and he built upon that start to a position of significant wealth. He rode the growth of the technology bubble in the 90's and made a lot of money and was prescient enough to recognize the peak, so he made money on the way down. His plan was to do the same thing during the credit bubble.

He was long and deep in mortgage backed securities and the derivative investment vehicles, but he grown complacent and didn't see the end coming, or maybe refused to see it. Over the next few weeks, I kept picking up hints of what was happening. He was trying to unwind his investments and trying to do it at a pace and in a fashion that no one would notice. But they had. By the time Lehman Brothers was liquidated in August, Francis had a fork in his back. He had booked me for 10 days in late that month, but the engagement was cancelled and the funds reversed. After Labor Day, Joseph called to tell me that my services were no longer needed and that this message was his last official act as Francis' employee as his position was also eliminated. I asked him if he received a severance and he allowed that Francis had honored all obligations. Francis is that kind of guy. Today Francis is doing fine, but the Arnage is gone, along with the driver and the retinue of advisors. Recently I saw him driving near the Tuileries in large BMW sedan.

With my bag packed Francis showed me to the door, Joseph was in the hall waiting. He took my bag and we headed to the elevator. We didn't speak till we were in the car and I asked him where he was taking me. "The Hilton near Charles de Gaul, do you object?" He replied. I shook my head and turned to him and asked, "will you stay with me?" More than a little desperation slipping into my tone. "No, I need to get back," he replied. He placed his hand on my knee and I spread my legs slightly, allowing him to slip his had between them resting it on the hollow just above the knee joint. He squeezed my leg gently. "Please stay with me," I asked again. He simply shook his head. 

Joseph reached into his jacket and placed an envelope on my lap. "What's this?" I asked. "It's from Francis." "For what, I've already been paid for the evening?" Dryly he replied, "Francis deprived you of the pleasure of his company, so he wants to make it up to you." I put the envelope in my purse and smiled, "yes, that is like Francis."

Joseph is French of Lebanese heritage and  a former military special operations officer, who for reasons he doesn't talk about left the service. His intent was to got to work for one of the mercenary security firms such as XE but he met Francis, who hired him as his security officer. Almost from the start of my relationship with
Francis, I noticed Joseph watching me and not in the manner of a guard looking out for the interest of his master. I'd catch his gaze and in his dark eyes I detected a mixture of lust and contempt. He wore his black hair with gray creeping onto his temples, closely cropped. He is handsome with a trim body that was muscular and hard  That Joseph is a misogynist was a flame to this moth, so I began to taunt and tease him, coming right out on a couple of occasions to tell him that if he wanted me that he should be a man and take me. Taunting a viscous dog on a lead is one thing, dealing with that dog when the lead breaks is another.

Joseph took me one afternoon after leaving Francis and then it was his turn to
taunt me he dared me to come to his apartment that evening, which I did. In a small, spotless room in gritty Saint Dennis was an experience that I had never had and one that for which I kept returning. Affectionate touching to Joseph is slapping, nipple twisting, biting and hair pulling with his terms of endearment being, slut, whore, bitch and cunt in 4 languages. I'd leave sore and sometimes bruised after each meeting and I'd swear I wouldn't see him again, but when the bruises faded, I began wanting to be with him. Looking back, my mistake with him, if you could call it that, was to tell him that I wanted it rough, but what he saw as rough was violent to me. We never together more than once per month, which was enough. More frequently and our relationship would have denigrated to being abusive, if it wasn't already. At the hotel, we said our goodbyes, when the Arnage pulled away I asked the bellman to call me a taxi. I was in Paris, why should I sleep alone in a hotel, when the comfort of my own bed was nearby?

In the months following the market's crash, I scrambled to save Kim & Co, our demise was much closer that I could admit then. If not for the sacrifice of my employees and the patience of our partners, we squeaked by and found a new direction. Francis pretty much went into hiding, licking his wounds and plotting his return. That September I asked Joseph what his plans were and he told me that he had never been to South or Central America an oversight that he intended on correcting. 

About eighteen months later I heard from him, he was running an adventure vacation business and a small inn. His website pictured him in the company of a constantly changing pair of young women. I asked them if they were prostitutes and he said no, that he had an arrangement with a brothel if his clients sought that type of excitement. No the women were his girlfriends and I knew why they didn't stay.



Blogger J said...

I find it very strange that Francis would do so well, yet miss or denigrate your high intelligence. Obviously Joseph is a much finer judge of beauty and the cerebral cortex that comes with it.


1:17 AM  
Blogger J said...

I find it very strange that Francis would do so well, yet miss or denigrate your high intelligence. Obviously Joseph is a much finer judge of beauty and the cerebral cortex that comes with it.


1:19 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Jean,you and Francis want different things. Its not that Francis underestimated me, he just wanted me to be a bimbo and I was happy to do so.

Every now and then we'd acknowledge the facade and then return to the game.

12:18 PM  
Blogger J said...

Yes. We want very different things in our women.


4:40 AM  
Anonymous VJ said...

Excellent story that. Full of mischievous adventure. I saw 2008, and foresaw what was happening. We had our credit vaporized about a half a dozen times in the interim. Luck and perseverance saw us though too. Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rough sex, fine. Being abused and going back, not fine. - M

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time reader and lurker, but first time commenter. I recommended your blog to a friend recently, then noticed that the archives, including very recent ones, are gone. Is this an error on my end, or have they been removed?? Thanks. . . And keep up the great writing and storytelling :)

1:33 PM  

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