Torment Me Forever

Contributor: John Laneri

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Dominique Episode - 3

Whenever I travel overseas on business, I try to avoid Paris. While I thoroughly enjoy the city, being there always reminds me of Dominique.

We met initially at a party in New York and quickly began an intense relationship, or better said, a series of relationships that always ended just as our hearts were beginning to unite.

Several weeks ago, I had to be in Paris on business, so I stayed at the Ritz. At the time, I wondered if I'd ever see her again. It's not often that two people fall in love and feel as if they had known each other since the beginning of time.

Shortly after arrival that first day, while waiting for a taxi at the hotel, someone hurrying along the sidewalk accidentally bumped me. “Excusez-moi, m'sieur.”

Turning about and much to my surprise, I again came face to face with Dominique.

“Why Dominique.. Is that really you?”

“Mon Dieu, Eric... I never expected to see you again!” she said, as she embraced me warmly.

We must have remained together for several minutes, feeling old memories once again begin to surface.

Stepping back to look her over, I noticed that she was wearing the simple gold necklace I had given her the last time we were together; otherwise, she looked just as beautiful as I remembered.

“I like your necklace.”

“I'm never without it,” she replied softly.

“Do you have time for coffee?”

Taking my hand, she replied, “I would love to, but I was due at an important conference an hour ago. Can we meet later... perhaps at your hotel bar at ten o'clock?”

We again briefly embraced, and then she hurried away, leaving me with that same sense of pleasure I always experienced when we were together.

Later, after dinner, I headed to the bar where I ordered wine and waited until well past midnight. Finally, I signed my tab and went to bed unsure of why the she had failed to keep our rendezvous.

Around two am though, I heard a knock on the door.

It was Dominique.

“Can I come in?” she asked softly.

“Of course you can.”

She came to me and pressed her body warmly against mine. “I've missed you so very much. I still think of you every day.”

“And, I've missed you too. But, why so late? I thought you'd forgotten me.”

“Another business meeting,” she replied, as she kicked off her shoes and padded toward the bed where our passions ignited just as ravenously as in the past.

The following morning, we awoke in each other's arms thoroughly exhausted.

She whispered softly. “I've never been so aroused.”

“You continue to have a remarkable way of bringing out the best in me.”

Later, we showered together then ordered breakfast, and eventually, headed in separate directions. My agenda called for a sales meeting with a client. Her day focused on visiting several properties owned by her uncle.

That evening, we met for dinner.

“You selected an interesting place,” I said, looking about. “The oil paintings on the walls look old school.”

“They're part of my Uncle's collection. I try to come here often just to enjoy the beauty and quiet ambiance.” She smiled pleasantly. “It's also a perfect place for two lovers.”

While our dinner was a culinary masterpiece of French cuisine, it was overshadowed only by our attraction to one another.

Eventually, she touched my hand, letting her fingers intertwine mine. “Can we discuss something important?”

I indicated yes and ordered another bottle of wine then settled back, wondering what seemed to be so pressing. By then, I was again in love and mellow enough not to ask questions. When she had finished, I learned, much to my surprise, that she had recently become engaged to a business acquaintance, a man she had known for several months.

Surprised, I said, “I thought we had something special together, but I guess I was mistaken.”

She again touched my hand. “We do have something very special together. And, you have every right to be upset, but you do need to know that I love you with all my heart. I always will. Jacques is someone my uncle incests that I marry. I don't love him, but he's rich and well connected. You did, after all, turn me away the last time we were together.”

“You've made your point,” I replied, as I motioned to a waiter. “It's obvious that I need to bow out of your life. It's been fun while it lasted.”

“But, we have something together that few people ever experience. I don't want to lose you.”

“I can't be your silent lover – the person hidden away in another part of your life.”

“I don't want you to be merely my lover. I want more of you. Please say you want me forever.”

When the waiter came, I paid the check and indicated to Dominique that we needed to leave. Reluctantly, she followed. Once at the curb, I hailed a taxi. By then, my thoughts were spinning in multiple directions.

She took my arm, her green eyes directed to mine. “Don't you want me tonight? It's still early. I need to know that our hearts are still one.”

“Not tonight,” I replied as I waved at another taxi. “We'd be cheating Jacques.”

“Don't leave me like this,” she said pleading. “I only love you. Pleases don't be that way. We need to talk.”

Within seconds, I had bundled her into a taxi, handed the driver several Euro and turned away.

The following day, I returned to the States, unable to come to terms with with the flood of emotions drowning my senses. At the time, I hoped that Dominique would eventually become a distant memory, but knowing myself, I feared that she would always remain in my heart and torment me forever.

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John is a native born Texan living near Houston. His writing focuses on short stories and flash. Publications to his credit have appeared in several professional journals as well as a number of internet sites and short story periodicals.
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