Friday, February 4, 2011

Mothers & Sons, XII

When Servi arrived at Claudia Sacerdotti’s apartment he was nearly a half hour early. He was surprised that her door was unlocked and ajar. Quietly, he peered in to see if he could find Paulo and speak to him before he saw Claudia. But the little apartment was empty and quiet. Then Servi took a step into the vestibule. What he heard sounded like a groaning of rusty springs. In between, in the space between its rhythms, was a hissing sound like the workings of a faulty piston. Then a rapid exhalation, deep and guttural, like the call of some tribal serenade.

Servi walked to the bedroom door and saw a naked man moving on top of Claudia. The man was fast and efficient. Claudia dug the balls of her feet into his sagging flanks. “Tell me…” the man said between clenched teeth. “Tell me…” and Claudia lifted her head and whispered something in his ear. This made the man’s movements wild, and just before Servi turned around to leave, he caught Claudia’s eye.

Servi returned two hours later. The door was now closed, so Servi knocked. Claudia opened the door immediately. She was wearing a light cotton dress with a plunging neckline and a gold cross dangled between her breasts.

“I thought you weren’t coming,” she said to Servi, annoyed, but with a light of mischief in her eyes.

“I was by early, but it looks like you had your hands, or something, full,” Servi walked by her while Claudia laughed. Servi frowned.

“Don’t be such a prude,” she answered, patting Servi on the cheek as if he was a boy. “That was a little gift for Rosario, my ex-husband. You should have stayed to the end of the show. Rosario is a maestro.”

“And where was Paulo during this piece of theater?”

“What the hell is wrong with you, Servi?” Claudia moved past him and into the kitchen. “You have no moral high ground here. As far as I can tell you wander around Rome and stalk women. You got lucky with me – I didn’t call the police but brought you to bed. So don’t get uppity about the terms.” They stood and faced each other in silence. Then Claudia’s face softened.

“To answer your question,” she said quietly. “Paulo is at a friend’s house until 10PM. I thought it would give us a nice romantic night alone,” and she moved toward Servi and kissed him.

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