maandag 14 maart 2016

Chateau Rouge: Chapter 2

2. Preparations

            There was an enjoyable hustle at the Chateau Rouge. They had closed the castle for a whole week to possible clients. The big party that Beatrice, Katarina’s deceased mother, had planned, would eventually still go through.
            It involved quite a lot of things. A specialized firm took care of an extra cleanup of all the accessible parts of the Chateau. Those rooms that were a bit weathered got a fresh coat of paint. The furniture and accessories, giving the castle his particular charm, had been polished until you could reflect yourself in it. The places, in which the party would go through, were being additionally adorned with veils and new curtains, all in red, the favorite color of the new Baroness.
            Katarina had never realized that this would be a full-time job for her. She wanted to notify personally everybody or contact them through the telephone. Just like her late mother, she loved having a close contact with her clients. Furthermore, she placed dozens of orders with her suppliers for the widest choice of titbits and a sea of champagne. She knew this beverage could perform miracles to the atmosphere and bring it in a short time to the desired level.
            After Jean-Pierre’s revalidation of the wound he had received by jumping in the line of fire of the bullet that was intended for his girlfriend Katarina, he was resolved to take measures so that this would never happen again. He wanted to be able to protect Katarina, who was the woman of his life.
            That’s why he had procured him a gun and a firearms license. Without delay, he had joined a shooting club where he practiced a lot. Beside that he now was practicing karate at the local ‘Senshi’ Karate Club, where he was one of the most enthusiastic students. He knew he still had a lot to learn, but if there came a next time, they really would have to take him into account.
            This week, Jean-Pierre wouldn’t have much time to spend at the shooting range or with his favorite martial arts. Katarina had given him the task to prepare the work schedule during the party. The catering would be taken care for by a group of people who have done this before, so he shouldn’t worry about that. The girls and boys who would take care of the entertainment was his domain for sure.
            He knew there would be people with different kind of preferences in the place. Taking into account their various tastes, he was looking for the proper costumes for his group. Victorian clothing, dazzling ball dresses with a hoop skirt that would make King Louis XIV lick his lips, from knickerbockers to the nowadays SM-outfits in leather for both slave and master. Even the obligate girl school uniform and the Tiroler pants for the young men or the ponytails of Pipi Longstocking would be there as well. All the original clothing was adjusted so that everything looked sensual and erotic. They cut some fabric away at the right places. The girls and boys were pretty to see and, of course, in the context of the Chateau it could be shown.
            Katarina’s fortune allowed her, largely and without financial danger, to go to the edge of the decadence. Not that Katarina or even Jean-Pierre needed this, but the customers got a kick out of that. Their preparations would payback largely in the number of clientele they would enjoy having the next five years.
            Everyone had been briefed and talked to about the procedures of the party and who would be present and their preferences. Everything had to run smoothly, the future and success of Chateau Rouge depended on it. The rooms that were made ready for a secret pleasure during the feast and the servants had to look for that nobody was disturbed during their personal moment. The prices were proportional and the party would partially being repaid by them who wanted to taste the forbidden fruit out of first hand.
            Katarina had looked at the envelope she was holding in her hand several times and still didn’t know who this Marie-Anne Oldman was. Katarina had looked at the envelope she was holding in her hand several times and still didn’t know who this Marie-Anne Lechasse was.  His mail on the old one would still be sent to the castle for a while because Jean-Pierre needed the time to let anybody know about his new domicile.
    The envelope looked pink on the outside, and Katarina smelled a light perfume on it telling her the lady liked expensive fragrances.  She wasn’t a specialist, but the scent of Chanel N°5 was clearly recognizable. Inside, she felt a trace of jalousie rising. Not because she thought that Jean-Pierre was unfaithful or would be, but the fact she didn’t know the woman, enticed her more than all the tension of the preparation of the party.
            ‘Jean-Pierre, I got something for you,’ she smiled, when she bounced on him on the way to the Chambre Verte to change an accessory in that room. She gave him the envelope curiously smiling, waiting for his explanation.
            Distracted, he took the thing and read the read the name of the sender. He furrowed his brow and tore the envelope open. In a hurry, Katarina could just discern a stylish and female handwriting on the letter he quickly read through.
            ‘My God, that also!’ he shouted a bit startled.
            ‘What do you mean, Jean-Pierre? What has happened? Who’s that Marie-Anne Oldman?’ All her questions came out at once. Katarina saw by looking at Jean-Pierre’s face that what he had read was anything but pleasant.
            ‘Marie-Anne arrives here tomorrow. Oldman is the last name of her husband. My sisters' husband from America died and now she wants to consolidate the family ties again. She asks if I can fetch her at the airport.’
            ‘But that’s not a problem, Jean-Pierre. We still have a few spare rooms in the private part of the castle. Of course, she’s more than welcome.’
            Jean-Pierre didn’t look happy. ‘You don’t understand, Katarina. My sister and I, we can drink each other’s blood. Five years ago we parted after a violent dispute. I wonder what she’s up to now?’

© Rudi J.P. Lejaeghere

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