“Oh—nothing, darling,” Valeria says haltingly, and sits down, sweeping her chiffon kimono out of the way. She gazes critically at her daughter. “I wish you’d keep out of the sun. You’re starting to freckle.”
Lolita’s concerned expression hardens into irritation. I grit my teeth. Valeria is Valeria once more.
One of the staff brings the first course, soft white cheese and crusty bread. Lolita helps herself, and I watch her fingers as she lifts a knife. Just to brush my knuckles over hers in this moment would be enough to make me happy. With my wife present, I keep my hands firmly on the tabletop.
Valeria’s still eyeing her daughter critically, hunting for something else to reproach her with. “What do you do all day? I see you out by the pool, scribbling away.”
“You know what I’m doing, Mama. I’m studying,” Lolita mutters, spreading the fresh cheese on a slice of bread.
“Tch, study. If you overeducate yourself you’ll be a bore to your husband.”
Lolita’s eyes flash and two spots of color burn in her cheeks. “I hardly think an education is going to make me boring. And I don’t believe it’s possible to be overeducated.”
“You would say—” Valeria begins.
“Leave her alone,” I rap out, placing bread on Valeria’s plate and my own, and cutting a portion of cheese with more vigor than is necessary. “Let the girl do a little study if that’s what she wants.”
Valeria glares at me. “I suppose you’re the one who let her have those textbooks. I don’t remember a delivery.”
“Yes. I did.” I raise my eyes briefly to Lolita’s and find she’s gazing back at me. A moment of affinity seems to crackle between us, but it’s so fleeting that I wonder if I imagine it. More likely she was remembering how I threatened to murder any man she danced with at the ball.
The rest of the meal passes in silence. Valeria is cold and haughty, but Lolita seems flustered as her gaze lifts occasionally from the tablecloth to my face, only to drop hastily again. When we’re finally finished eating, she grabs a stack of plates and hurries into the kitchen. She never helps to clear the table. She doesn’t have to. Valeria has hired people for that.
On the pretense of being angry she’s broken protocol, I stalk through to the kitchen and find Lolita stacking the dishwasher with one of the staff. She’s bent over and the short hem of her dress has ridden up her bare thighs.
I glance at the other woman. “Out.”
Her eyes widen, and she hurries from the room as Lolita whips round, panic flashing over her face as she realizes we’re alone. Her fear is an aphrodisiac. She should stand up to me. If she shrinks before me, then my desire only grows.
I glance at her bare legs as I approach her. “Someone’s been coming to your room at night, mi niñita.”
“What are you talking about?” She tries for outrage, but only manages a horrified whisper.
“There are marks on your skin.”
She clutches her thigh. “There aren’t! They’ve faded.”
I chuckle as she realizes her mistake.
“I hurt myself,” she whimpers.
“Did you?” I lean close, trapping her against the counter with my arms. I breathe in her ear, “Or did someone do it for you? You entered this house a virgin, but you’re not a virgin anymore, are you? Someone’s been slaking his need in that tight pussy of yours, and you’ve been coming like a little harlot all over his dick.”
“Shut up,” she whispers, tears swimming in her eyes.
She should have known better than to cry. How I love to see her cry. I trace the path of one tear down her cheek with my forefinger. “Do you let him do whatever he wants to you, as long as he gives you the fucking you crave? Does he enjoy marking you and humiliating you and seeing how depraved you’ll be for him?”
My finger travels down her throat and over her collarbone. I hook my finger into the stre
tchy fabric of her top and pull it down. She’s not wearing a bra, and her breasts spring free.
Growling at the sight, I push her harder against the counter with my hips, not caring that I’m playing with fire. I’m going insane with lust for her.
“Did he touch you here?” I pluck the rosy tips of her nipples, then raise my fingers to my lips and lick my thumbs and forefingers. I apply them to her nipples again, twisting them with my slippery saliva.
Her breath comes in a soft pant. “You shouldn’t be doing that. I’ll tell. I’ll scream.”
“No one will believe you. Where else did he touch you?”