I was fifteen minutes late and I could see Svetlana through the restaurant window, her dark beautiful face smoldering with anger. She had gotten up from her table and was buttoning her suede jacket. Of course, any restaurant manager would seat her by the window. She was so damn beautiful. Long black hair, dazzling green eyes, a thin athletic body that only a twenty-five year old could have, and legs that could stop a man’s heart. I felt lightheaded just looking at her. I knocked on the plate glass window and her eyes seethed as she glanced at me. Then she looked away and left the table.
I caught her as she rushed from the restaurant. “You told me twelve thirty,” she said coolly, her voice thick with a Russian accent. She pulled her arm free from my hand and started to walk quickly away. Along with her suede jacket, she was wearing a short black skirt and suede boots that went half way up to her knees. I watched her for a moment and felt dizzy. I don’t think I ever wanted anyone as badly as I wanted her right then.
I ran up to her about the time she was opening the door to her BMW convertible; a car I had bought her after our first month together. “Please, Svetlana,” I said, “I couldn’t help it. I had a meeting that ran late.”
“I don’t know why I agreed to see you,” she said. “There’s nothing left to say.”
“Please,” I pleaded.
She stood quietly for a moment. Her eyes seemed to soften. “Okay,” she said, “you can get in but I don’t know what good it will do.”
She got into the driver’s seat and I joined her on the passenger side. As she drove I looked at her profile and felt a lump form in my throat. “You’re all I can think about,” I said.
I reached over to kiss her, but she pushed me away. “Nothing has changed,” she said dispassionately. “I’m not going to be just your mistress.”
“You love me too, don’t you?” I asked.
She sat quietly for a long moment, her eyes focused on the road. “It doesn’t matter,” she said at last. “You’re married.”
“I can’t divorce Cheryl. I’ve told you that. She’s funding my research. But if you could just wait three years, four at the tops—”
“I’m not waiting three years. I want to enjoy life now while I’m young, with or without you.”
We sat silently after that. My heart ached as I looked at her. I wanted more than anything to taste her lips and to hold her body. Svetlana, though, just stared straight ahead, a harsh determination hardening her face. After a long time she broke the silence.
“If your wife would disappear everything would be fine,” she said at last.
I didn’t say anything.
“You don’t love her,” she said. “I remember all the times you told me she’d be miserable without you. That you didn’t even think she could live without you. You’d be doing her a kindness.”
I didn’t say anything. Of course I had been thinking the same thing for months. About how much better everything would be if Cheryl didn’t exist.
“If it wasn’t for your wife, I’d be all yours. Body and soul,” she said.
“It wouldn’t work,” I said quietly. “The police would know it was me.”
Svetlana kept staring straight ahead, her face hard and beautiful. I noticed the whites of her knuckles as she gripped the wheel with her small hands.
“Let me think about that,” she said after a long while.
Part 3 tomorrow