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“I want strawberries,” she declared airily. She was lounging on the huge, round bed, lazily staring at the vermilion baldachin, her head on a fluffy, pink pillow, her ebony hair spilling over alabaster shoulders. I was sitting at the edge smoking a cigarette.
“What do you mean – strawberries?” I asked, taken aback. It was seven in the morning, for Christ’s sake.
“Well,” she shrugged, still not looking at me. “Like, strawberries? You must’ve heard of’em?” She rolled over on her belly in a swift, catlike movement and fixed her hazelnut gaze on me. Her voice went all monotone, “Fragaria × ananassa, commonly known as the strawberry or garden strawberry, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit, the common strawberry. It is also called the pineapple strawberry, or ananas strawberry…”
I waved surrender, “Alright, alright, strawberries, got it.” I looked her up and down. She was only wearing an expensive, light negligee that let her regal, pale skin shine through. As she turned on her back again, the dark triangle of her secret garden stood out, and the blood red tips of her young breasts pointed at me like an invitation I preferred to ignore. A man could only take that much.
“Can you get me some?” she asked, idly licking her thick lips.
“I’ll ring James.” I stood up, snuffed out the cigarette and started to search for my robe.
“James. Short, puffy guy?” When I noticed her quizzical look, I added, “Like, your butler?” Jesus, she should at least know her butler’s name!
She sat up and shot me a sheepish look. “Oh, James. He’s… uhm not there.”
“Well,” she started strumming the golden bed cover with her long, red fingernails. “I’ve given him the day off.”
“I’ll ring someone else then,” I proposed.
“Sorry, hon, but there is no one else. It’s only you and me.”
“Come on! Out of – how many are there? Two hundred people? No one? How’s that possible?” I couldn’t believe it.
“Well, I wanted to be alone with you. It’s been our wedding night, after all. I was afraid we’d be overheard doing… you know, that.” She winked at me. “So I’ve sent them all away for the day.”
Why on earth would she do such a thing? Alright, she was a noisy girl. And almost insatiable – we had been at it all night long. I had imagined her shy and frightened, but good Lord, no, she hadn’t been! She wasn’t even a virgin as one would’ve thought, what with her young age, sheltered upbringing, and the fact that she’d virtually overslept the last few months. Last night, after our first, sticky melee I had discreetly pointed out that I had expected her to be a maiden. Not that I cared but certain things were implicit in a bargain such as this wedding. She had dodged by insinuating some teenage-fiddle-y-diddling with her first lady in waiting, the duchess of Darkwood.
That Darkwood chick must have been some skilled fiddle-y-diddler then, I had been thinking. Yet I wouldn’t complain. This had made things a lot easier. Uncapping beer for the first time could be such a messy business.
She caught me staring at her. “So?” she said.
“So what?” I asked back.
“So will you get me those strawberries?” she purred and stretched out on the kind size bed. She managed to create the image of an innocent young wife whose sudden whims a genuine love-struck husband would not only excuse, but heed without complaining.
Don’t get cross, John, don’t get cross, I tell myself. It’s too early into our relationship for that. How could I explain that it might be difficult to find strawberries right now, though? It was not the season at all. Anyway, this country only seemed to know two seasons: the cold season. And the freezing season.
“Okay,” I said demurely and kissed her on her forehead. “You want strawberries, I’ll bring you strawberries.” Daft girl. “Dear baby!”
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- English version "Small Portions" on amazon.com (or any other local amazon-store)
- German version "Kleine Portionen" on amazon.de (or any other local amazon-store)
- French version "Petites portions" on amazon.fr (or any other local amazon-store)