“This is dreadful,” Mrs. Knightley said, shaking her head. “I’m so very disappointed right now. I was so looking forward to your wedding. I can’t believe that there isn’t going to be one.”
“I’m very disappointed to, Son,” Mr. Knightley said.
“So, was not being in love with you the only reason why she broke your engagement?” Mrs. Knightley asked.
“That was the only reason she gave me,” Boris replied.
“Do you think there was another reason?” Mr. Knightley asked him.
“Like what?” Mrs. Knightley asked.
“I believe that there was another man.”
“Did you ask her if there was another man?” Mrs. Knightley asked.
“Yes and she said that there wasn’t.”
“But you didn’t believe her?” Mr. Knightley concluded.
“No, I didn’t.”
Mrs. Knightley shook her head in disgust. “That’s pretty underhanded behavior if you ask me. I said good riddance to her then.”
“How very disappointing, though,” Mr. Knightley said. “I was rather fond of Cate.”
“So was I. This is all so very upsetting. Does her family know?”
“Her brother, Edward does. He called me and offered his condolences and friendship.”
“I rather like Edward,” Mrs. Knightley said. “I wonder how his parents are taking the news.”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure that they know as yet.”
“Maybe I should call Agnes and–“
“Please don’t do that, Mother. It’s possible that Cate hasn’t told them as yet and it would be quite a shock hearing it from you.”
“All right. I won’t call.”
“Have you told anyone else?”
“Well, Sandy knows. I told her when we bumped into each other on Friday. I expect that George and the kids know by now. My next door neighbor knows because I was unbelievably rude to her. I felt I had to explain to her why I was in such a foul state.”
Mrs. Knightley studied her son. “Boris, maybe things have turned out for the best. A broken engagement is better than a divorce.”
“Still, it must be awful for you. How are you holding up, Son?”
“I’m coping, Father.”
“Good. You were always a resilient chap. You’ll bounce back in no time.”
“Yes, you will,” his mother agreed. “There are lots of good women out there.”
“Mother, I’m not looking to get involved with anyone right now.”
“That’s understandable, Son,” his father agreed.
“The best way to get over this unpleasant business is to get on with your life. You’re young and very handsome. I know several women who would gladly love to help you to forget about Cate Hardwicke.”
“Mother, I’m not interested in dating right now. I just want to be left alone.”
“That’s perfectly understandable, Son,” his father said, rising to his feet. He went over to him and put his hand on his shoulder. “It would not be a good idea to rush into anything right now. Take as much time as you need for yourself.”
“Thanks, Father.” He could always count on his father for support. “Mother, I know you mean well but I don’t want another woman in my life for a long time.”
She got up and went over to him. “I’m sorry for what happened, Boris,” she said. “Being rejected by someone you love is a terrible thing but in time, the pain will become less until it’s no longer there. And I hope and pray that one of these days, you will meet and fall in love with the right woman. Until that happens, you have your father, Sandy and me.”
Boris stood up and reaching down, he hugged her tightly. “Thanks, Mother.” He kissed her on the cheek before he said, “I’ve to go now.”
“Aren’t you going to stay and have lunch?” she asked, looking disappointed. “It’s Lancashire Hotpot.”
He smiled and shook his head. “Sorry, but not tonight, Mother. Goodbye.” He walked out of the living-room, accompanied by his father.
“Take care of yourself, Son,” his father said when they were standing in the foyer. “Call me any time you need to talk.”
“I will, Dad,” Boris promised. They hugged and then, he left. He walked briskly to his car.
Instead of going straight home, he took a drive to the Thames Park, parked the car and went for a walk in the park. The sun felt nice on his face as he walked along the trail. It was Sunday so there were many people milling about.
It had been ages since he had been there. He used to cycle along the path and play tennis with friends and his brother-in-law, George. His favorite spot was the bench where you could sit and enjoy the Thames River view.
He found it and thankfully, it was vacant. He sat down. He reflected on his talk with his parents. He was glad that they knew about the broken engagement. Tomorrow, he would break the news to his friends and colleagues.
His mother meant well but he had no desire or interest in dating. Relationships were off the table indefinitely but what about Tulia? For now friendship was all he wanted from her–at least that was what his mind told him but his body was a different matter. Right now, it was reacting to the memories of what happened between them in her flat.
He wondered what his mother would say if she knew that he had had sex with his next door neighbor the same day Cate jilted him. Of course, he hadn’t meant to have sex with Tulia. It just happened but he knew that if they were alone again either in her flat or his, it would definitely happen again. Would it really be such a bad thing if it did, though? He thought about it for a long moment and then, he got up and headed for his car.
Tulia was in her bedroom getting ready to step out for a bit when the doorbell rang. Quickly pulling on a dressing-gown, she hurried to find out who it was. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw that it was Boris.
After pulling the folds of the gown together and tying the sash, she opened the door. “Hi,” she said.
His eyes raked her. “Hi,” he muttered before he stepped inside. “I hope I’m not dropping by at a bad time.”
“No, you’re not.” She was always happy to see him. She closed and locked the door and then, preceded him into the living-room.
“I went to see my parents earlier,” he said as they faced each other. “I told them about the broken engagement.”
“Oh. How did they take the news?”
“They were understandably upset and extremely disappointed.”
“Do you feel better now that you’ve told them?”
“Yes, I do. My sister, Sandy knows too. I told her when I bumped into her on Friday.”
“And what was her reaction?”
“Shocked but very supportive.”
“It’s good that you have your family’s love and support.”
“And I have your support too.”
“Yes, you do.” And you have my love too. “Have you had lunch?”
He moved closer, his heartbeat accelerating. “Tulia, the last thing on my mind right now is food…” He reached for her and pulled her roughly against him, making her gasp. His desire filled eyes met hers before he lowered his head and kissed her. Tulia wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed him back.
For several minutes, they exchanged hungry kisses and then he drew back to loosen the sash on her dressing-gown. He dragged it off to reveal the bra and pants she was wearing underneath. She placed her hands on the wall behind her as he frantically removed his clothes, his breathing heavy and labored.
When he was standing stark naked in front of her, fully aroused, he braced her against the wall as he kissed her feverishly on the lips before pressing his mouth against her neck. His hands moved up to pull down the straps of her bra so that he could kiss her on each shoulder before he pulled it down, freeing her breasts. Groaning, he fastened his mouth to each nipple, driving her wild. Her hand went up to grip his hair, her head thrown back and her eyes closed.
Then, he stooped down and pulled off her shoes before his hands went to the waistband of her pants. He hauled it down and her french-cut underwear followed. When she was completely naked, he got down on his knees, his arms wrapped around her legs as he buried his flushed face between them. Moaning, she gripped his hair tightly as waves of pleasure swept over her, making her weak at the knees.
This sweet torment lasted until she shuddered uncontrollably against him and then, rising to his feet, he scooped her up and carried her over to the rug in front of the fireplace. He set her down and mounted her, his mouth devouring hers. Then, he parted her legs and entered her, groaning as he buried himself deep inside her before he began to move his hips. This was beyond bliss.
“Were you going out when I showed up?” he asked sometime later when they were sitting at the dining-room table having lunch.
“No. I was going to pop upstairs to visit Mrs. Dusabe.” Was that relief she saw on his face?
“The Rwandan woman?”
“I’m lucky I stopped by when I did, then.”
“Yes. I’ll visit her this evening.”
“Tulia, as you know, I’m not interested in dating or being in a relationship. All I want right now and possibly for a very long time, is friendship.”
“If friendship is all that you want from me, Boris, you have it.”
“You can have both from me.” she said.
“Thank you, Tulia.”
“You’re welcome, Boris.”
Source: Hartford Courant;