The Tahitian Affair
Having passed the Real Estate exam she accepted a secretarial/research assistant position with the promise of climbing the corporate ladder and eventually to step into commercial sales.
Two brothers ran the firm. She found George’s longish hair and stubbled beard ruggedly attractive, but he was a flirt.
“You should go for a drink with us after work, we all do that as a team you know,” George said on his way out the door.
She didn’t feel like one of their team yet and that was a good reason to show up at Cason’s a little after six pm.
George was sitting alone at the bar when she entered.
“Looks like it’s just us, I wonder what happened to Richard?”
Richard was the unmarried brother. Even though she didn’t care for Richard, it was possible that George was setting them up. She didn’t wish to be rude and so she relaxed and perched on a stool crossing her leg under her skirt.
“Red wine, please.”
While she sipped George leaned in and touched her long hair. Bringing a lock between his fingers up to his nose, he breathed in her flowery scent.
“I enjoy seeing you in the office every day, you’re like a breath of spring.”
She uncrossed her leg and tugged her skirt down searching the room for anyone else who might see them together and get the wrong idea.
“I have a date later George, so can’t stay long,” she lied.
George put his hand on her knee, sliding his fingertips under her skirt.
“You know Tanya, I’d like to get to know you better. My wife’s out of town if you want to hang out tomorrow evening, I’ll buy you dinner.”
She pressed her hand over his to prevent his ascent, looked at her phone casually and feigned a practiced worried look.
“Oh my, I will be late.”
She thanked him for the drink and ran out.
Tanya slid into her car and called Amy.
“I hate messy situations, and this definitely feels messy. I wish I’d slapped him, like in the movies, Who do you think you are, you fucker!”
“I’d love to see that action, next time call me so I can be a witness,” Amy laughed.
“Yeah, right, then lose my job.”
“Surely you exaggerate, Tanya”.
“It wouldn’t be the first time!”
Tanya profoundly knew of her feminine appeal. They had worshiped her for her beauty all her life. As an adolescent, men followed her, and they had bewildered her, ashamed of her budding body. She decided early that it had to do with how she was built. No matter how demure she dressed, they admired the lines of her plump breasts, tiny waist, and long slender legs.
Pursuing a career was fraught with potholes. She’d threatened to drop out of college because she couldn’t abide by the assaults of her professors. Men who only saw her body, not her brain.
“I should have been sent to a monastery!” She often lamented.
But enduring all the messy entanglements of youth, Tanya found sex didn’t trouble her. Those early experiences only enhanced her cravings.
“I long to be worshiped by the right man,” she sighed.
Only then could she open herself to the depths of divinity she found in lustful bliss. Or was it blissful lust?
When George hired her, he flirted and made promises he would not keep. Especially since she had rejected him. He hadn’t cornered her until tonight, but in the office, he stared at her breasts and watched her like he would take a bite. She’d grown used to that but longed for some respect.
“I can’t afford to lose another job due to sexual harassment, Amy.”
Several weeks went by when Richard (the unmarried brother) invited Tanya up to his private office. They were getting along fairly well, and she felt comfortable now that George wasn’t bothering her so much. She slipped into the leather chair in front of Richard’s massive desk.
He peered at her, his chin resting on his clasped hands.
“You’re doing great Tanya, and George and I want to reward you for that terrific referral you found with your talented research.”
Tanya raised her eyebrows and smiled.
“That’s great, then they followed through?”
She knew she had laid some progressive groundwork with one of their new clients. It was time for her to receive her well-earned accolades.
Richard cleared his throat.
“Tanya, because of you, I need to spend seven grand quick.”
Tanya didn’t understand what that meant. She guessed it was for tax reasons. None of her business. She’d learned not to ask questions. She knew she was fantastic at her job, and this was proof of her brain power.
He threw two plane tickets across the desk.
“Two tickets to Tahiti. You don’t have to go, but if I were you I’d take advantage of a free vacation.”
“Why me?” she asked calmly.
“Because you’re the only woman I can think of who would know how to spend it with some class, and I trust we would make good traveling partners.”
“I’d need to think about it. When is the flight?”
“Two weeks in Tahiti. Next week on Friday!”
The following morning, Richard brought it up again.
“I must know soon so I can find someone else to use that ticket, Tanya.”
“I’ll let you know after lunch, okay?”
She hadn’t thought it through, and she didn’t want to make a snap decision on something that sounded too good to be true.
Tanya met Amy for lunch across the street at Cason’s.
She was picking at her salad.
“I’m not sure I should travel with my boss, it seems just wrong.”
“It’s a business trip, Tanya. You can write it off; or can you? I’m not sure. But since it is a business trip don’t you get paid? And ask him about accommodations, shit like that. Wait a minute, you haven’t earned a vacation yet, right? So tell him you want full pay for travel.
“Also, is he cute?”
“Yes, he’s cute, but he’s not my type… at all!”
Tanya laughed, “He wears the same suit all week. He never shines his shoes, he wears wrinkled suits. He probably throws them in the dryer instead of taking them to the cleaners. You know how I admire a meticulous dresser? And I definitely wouldn’t date him anyway, because he’s my boss.”
“That’s good. Then you’ll be fine. You’d be crazy to not go.”
Richard kept passing by her desk the rest of the afternoon like a buzzing fly she couldn’t swat away. She finished a phone call to a client, steeled herself, and climbed the stairs to his office.
“Richard, I’ve been thinking about this, and since we can classify this as a business trip, I expect to get paid my full salary while we’re away.”
She took a breath, “And naturally, I want my own accommodations.”
“Not a problem,” he said.
She spent a week’s pay on swimsuits, sandals, and sunscreen. Her pale skin was like parchment, but if she really tried, she could coax a light golden tan.
Richard picked her up at her apartment with her carry-on and a large suitcase in tow. They caught a bus at LAX from the parking lot to the terminal. Richard was wearing a rumpled Hawaiian shirt with distressed khakis. He wouldn’t be bad looking if he stepped up his game a little, had a decent haircut, or got rid of those aviator glasses that were much too large for his face. It didn’t matter, but it embarrassed for someone to see her with him.
Tanya got deep into a novel most of the sixteen-hour flight and napped while Richard drank heavily and caroused with the stewardesses in the lounge.
When they arrived on the Tahitian mainland, Papeete, the capital Of French Polynesia, Tanya discovered her checked bag was missing. The airline promised to find it. She had her carry-on that contained a change of underwear, the novel, her cosmetics, and suntan lotion.
Richard was weary and hung-over but insisted on taking Tanya shopping for swimsuits in the exotic French-speaking city. Richard didn’t understand French. He became exasperated trying to negotiate prices with the Chinese merchants. He yelled when they refused his offers and ended up snarling and sulking. His behavior mortified Tanya, and after all that, she ended up with two very expensive French swimsuits, and a pareo to wrap herself in.
That same afternoon they flew Air Tahiti to Bora Bora where they would spend their two weeks. When the tiny plane landed on the dirt airstrip, as far as her eye could see, the entire island seemed an elaborate set of stunning waterfall landscapes, palm trees, and jungle.
It enchanted Tanya when a nearly naked young Tahitian boy rolled up pulling a rickshaw and offered them coconuts with a straw in them.
On arrival at the resort, they followed the young man down a long pier to a thatched roof bungalow on stilts in the middle of a lagoon. They entered the large round room with a towering palm frond ceiling. One king-sized bed stood in the center with a pendulous ceiling fan whirling above it.
The glass trap door at the foot of the bed intrigued Tanya. She peered down into the crystal clear water longingly. Their host showed them how to open it, and pointed to the snorkeling gear, then led them out to the exquisitely tiled outdoor shower.
“Where’s your room, Richard?”
He shrugged his shoulders.
She had a fire in her eyes.
“Not funny,” she snapped.
She’d huffed her way to the concierge.
“Sorry madam, the resort has no vacant rooms available.”
“Richard, you better find yourself a bed to sleep in tonight,” she said fiercely.
He ignored her.
Too tired and too hungry from the long flight she hadn’t the energy to focus on Richard’s lies.
Famished, they set out to find food and fight over the room later. The restaurant was closed. The concierge told them locals served food to tourists from their own kitchens. He pointed the way, and they set off down a dirt road in search of dinner. A white sundress with sandals was the only clothing Tanya had besides a swimsuit and pareo. The air was balmy, filled with the scent of flowers. She was already developing a heady tribal feel for this exotic place.
A heavenly scent of food aroused her. They rounded a bend to find a stand of palm trees sat a little grass house with a sign that read Cuisine Francaise. They stepped up to find two tables in a small round bamboo room.
A large woman wearing a pink apron greeted them.
“Bienvenu à la cuisine française.” She pointed to a table, then scuttled back into the kitchen giggling.
They pulled out their soft rush chairs and sat in silence. Tanya had nothing to say to Richard. A moment later a man in a chef’s apron appeared with menus.
He bowed and spoke.
“Notre spécialité est la soupe de poisson soir estar” (our specialty this evening is fish soup)
Richard pointed to the menu, “What’s this?”
“Ah, non-monsieur, c’est la specialte’ pour le lundi, pas samedi!” (no sir, this is the specialty for Monday, not Saturday)
Richard complained, “Why the hell doesn’t he speak English?”
Tanya gritted her teeth. “Richard, He’s saying there is only one item on the menu each day, so today it is fish soup!”
Richard tossed his menu across the room like a Frisbee. “Why does he give us a menu if we have no choices?”
The chef ignored Richard and looked toward Tanya. His gorgeous dark eyes with long black lashes and his succulent mouth and gave Tanya an urge to bite his lip. His strong solid tattooed arms, and the hands of an exotic chef, she shook herself, aware that she was hungry enough to devour him.
“ne la belle femme desire un verre de vin?” (Does the beautiful woman desire a glass of wine?)
“Oui s, et l’autre pour l’idiot.” (yes, please, and one for the idiot)
Chef laughed, throwing his head back.
“Ma Cherie, je suis desole que votre mari est si ennuyeux” (my darling, I am sorry your husband is such a bore)
“Oh, no, she smiled, il n’est pas mon mari… il est mon frere! (he is not my husband, he is my brother)
Tanya pointed to her head, “Je suis desole de son comportement, il n’a pas ete bien” (I apologize for his behavior, as he has not been well)
Chef’s eyes sparkled. He picked up Tanya’s hand and kissed the back. “ma chere fille, je suis enchante de vous rencontrer, je m’appelle Philippe, comment puis–je vous servir?” (my dear girl, I am enchanted to meet you, I am Philippe, how may I serve you?)
Tanya felt a tingling in her arm and had the urge to seize him and run off into the jungle. Alas, her stomach was growling, so food had to come first.
She answered him. “Philippe, je suis, Tanya, veuillez apporter Une bouteille de votre meilleur Chablis et deux soupes de poisson.” (Philippe, I am Tanya, please bring a bottle of your finest Chablis and two fish soups)
When the wine arrived Richard drank his first glass down like it was water. The French baguette with rich creamy butter sent Tanya to the stars, and when the soup arrived, it was a mix of soft white fish, clams, and mussels in a rich wine broth.
The woman in the pink apron served them. Is she Philippe’s mother?
Philippe came out at the end of their meal and raised his brows.
Tanya smiled. “Bravo, un merveilleux repas!”
“You liked it didn’t you Richard?”
“Oh sure, for a fish soup, I guess.”
She cringed and looked up at Philippe, apologetically.
Tanya wanted to kick Richard. He had drunk most of the wine and was becoming raucous. What an ass. She thought she would force him to walk it off. And what was she going to do about their sleeping arrangement?
When Philippe came back in and mentioned desert, his eyes moved down. It was very warm, and Tanya had slid her skirt up high around her thighs. Tanya didn’t budge, knowing Philippe was used to bare legs here; women walking around practically naked. But she yearned for him to place his hand on her thigh, slide it up her skirt…and eat her for dessert!
She crossed her legs and her skirt slid up a little higher. “Que proposez–vous?” (what do you suggest?)
He answered in French. “I am taking my walk on the beach at eleven PM.”
“Then I will hope to meet you again soon,” she smiled.
Tanya wished they had more booze in the room so Richard would pass out. Even if she didn’t go out to meet Philippe, it would be a relief. She checked the refrigerator bar, but all the little bottles were already empty!
Showering naked outdoors helped her imagine meeting Philippe. The exotic scents in the air, looking up at the palm trees, slathering coconut oil over her body. She tied the pareo under her arms and set out to meet him.
The moon hadn’t risen yet and Tanya wasn’t prepared for the depth of darkness. She got lost in the shadows of the dirt road, and couldn’t find her way. She finally gave up and returned to the room disappointed because she could not find her French Chef.
Richard had passed out during her shower. But when she returned to the room, he was lying on the huge bed in his boxers.
“Hey sexy, come over here.”
“No thanks Richard, where are you planning on sleeping?”
He growled and patted the space next to him.
“Come on baby, it can’t hurt to be friendly”.
“Richard, you lied to me, now it’s your problem, not mine.”
She wished there was a door to slam when she took off angrily down the boardwalk again.
All was quiet when she tiptoed back into the room. She lay down on her side of the bed cautiously. Tanya was dreaming when she felt fingers creeping up her leg between the soft flesh of her thigh. It took a moment to realize that Richard was upon her.
His heavy body lunged into her peaceful dream. He held her down and tried to force himself into her tender flesh. Unprepared for flight she cried out, but he shushed her,
“This is what I paid for, this is what you get!”
He was a fool, but she was more foolish than him. When he exploded on her thigh, he fell back and snored.
Tanya crept out to the shower, cleansing and rinsing her defiled body, while she stood weeping, searching the stars above her.
Angry, Richard complained because there were no tennis courts. He demanded the non-existent service.
It thrilled Tanya to enjoy the native offerings and found peace in learning to snorkel. Each morning she’d open the glass door and slide into the silky warm lagoon. She spent her afternoons bicycling the island while she discovered the primitive dirt paths that led down where the indigenous people lived in their precious shacks. Coconut palms and large crabs wandering around like cats enchanted her.
She could have stayed here the rest of her life and been happy, but Richard only bitched about the inconveniences. She stayed away from him far and as long as possible.
“If you touch me again, I’ll cut it off!” She threatened. He must have understood because he never tried again.
On their third day, Tanya walked up to Cuisine Francaise and knocked on the door.
The woman in the pink apron smiled, “Bonjour Tanya, Philippe is just inside.”
Tanya stepped in. He stood there in his Chef’s whites., then he rushed to her.
“Meet me tonight, mon Cher?”
He took her hand, kissed it and instructed her how to find him.
Already used to wandering around in her pareo, she’d not thought of wearing clothing ever again. The island had embraced her. She had never felt such freedom. When snorkeling she removed her top. The sea and the white sand and the incredible living lagoon were her companions, and she dreamed of tonight when she would find Philippe.
Next morning she hired a small canoe with a balancier and paddled out into the main channel. She dove deep because she could see the white sand through the clear water. It was a large conch that lay on the sandy bottom that beckoned her. Determined to dive for it, the water was deeper than she calculated. Her challenge to hold her breath long enough to bring it up from such a depth spent her energy. The effort exhausted her, but she finally won the conch and paddled back to shore with her treasure.
She napped the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Richard was probably at the bar, drinking as usual. When she woke her burnt skin was stinging, and she slathered herself with aloe and coconut oil, then lay down once more. When she woke again remembering her date with Philippe, she wrapped herself in her pareo and slipped out of the room. Richard was face down on his side of the bed snoring.
It was nearly dark, but a moon was rising, a beautiful full moon that sighed with its weight above the horizon. Its light shined on a man moving toward her, his dark figure wore a loincloth like the Islanders and his black hair flowed loosely around bare shoulders. His white teeth sparkled in the moonlight when he smiled, “Tanya! mon amour, tue es venu a moi enfin.” (Tanya, my love, you have come to me, finally.)
She raced to him. He lifted her and kissed her deeply, crushingly. She bit his lips and let him thrust his tongue into her hungry mouth. They walked hand in hand to his private place on the beach, strolling in the wet sand. He stopped to caress her, sarong to loincloth.
Entranced by unencumbered freedom, when there was no clothing to remove, he ran his hand up the back of her thighs. His penis was hard and loose and pressing against her abdomen. She held its firmness in her fist. The palm of his hand cupped her pubic mound. She sighed, feeling her needy pulsing against his palm. She let him press her down to the sand and put his mouth on her when she spread her legs for him in the moonlight.
They lingered for hours discussing wine, and French cuisine. She wanted to know all of him more than anything.
“How did you end up on this island, Philippe? How do you make this work?”
“My mother; it was my mother who brought me here as a child. I could run free, and when we returned to France, I never forgot. I promised to bring her back to our paradise one day. When my father passed, we sold his bakery and moved to Bora Bora. Tanya, I have not seen the mainland in many years”.
Tanya made a wish on a star that night while slinking back to the bungalow.
Richard usually ended up at the beach bar. He ordered drinks and sulked all day while Tanya was having a mad, exotic affair. She spent the following nine days romping in the sand with Philippe in the middle of the night until they spent their two weeks.
That last night the couple lay naked looking at the bright stars. He had brought a large cotton blanket, a bottle of French champagne and a black coral necklace he placed around her neck, ritually. She imagined she was a Polynesian goddess, and he was her god. Equals in the scheme of things.
He began by nibbling her toes. Sliding down he caressed her ankles where he placed a shell anklet. Further up he parted her tender thighs, raised on his knees and worshiped her until she cried out to the heavens above. She crawled over him and lowered herself then she sat back and took him in her mouth lovingly, milking him till he spilled his seed in her mouth.
They made no promises.
When she returned to civilization Tanya fired herself from her job and found a position as the manager of a French patisserie. It was risky, but a passionate move for her, and she could save money for her next trip to Tahiti.
She named her conch shell Boris, after Bora Bora. Every full moon she looks up and thinks of Philippe and imagines the one day they would meet again, under that same moon. She dreams of living a simple life and knows without a doubt that Philippe will send for her.