Quiet contentment mixed with the faint smell of a Cuban cigar filled the intricately decorated, majestic master bedroom and made it’s main occupant smile a wide smile. The day had been long and overly stressful, but the evening held great promise, thought the tall, athletically thin, distinguished Robert Petrovic as he took a long drag on his cigar. Anticipation burned brightly behind his piercing mahogany eyes. It had been a long time. Too long since he had been in the arms of the one he loved, and in the arms that loved him back.
Great attention to detail was displayed in Robert’s choice of clothing. Charcoal gabardine, pleated trousers with a black cashmere sweater. He cut quite a dashing figure, a swashbuckling, debonair mixture of worldly diplomat and a Casanova spy. It was quite an accomplishment for a founder/owner of a construction company.
Robert looked down at his Rolex, glanced a quick glimpse into the mirror with a smile, and started to walk down to the main part of the house. The house was not as ostentatious as it could have been, but Robert preferred to simply call it a house, not a mansion like it really was. He had overseen every aspect of the construction and made sure every minute detail was constructed to perfection. The beauty of the exterior, and inside the home, was for him alone, for it was his sanctuary from life and the stresses of business. The three-story, twenty-six room brick home was shared with no one, with the exception of his lover when his lover wanted to stay over. There were servants who came to cook, clean, wash and do small errands for Mr. P., as they called him, but no one stayed on as live-in servants.
Robert came into the dining room and smiled at the lovely table setting. His cook had even remembered to put out the candles for his intended, romantic candlelight dinner. He called out for his cook, but no one answered. As he was walking toward the kitchen, he noticed a small piece of stationary lying at the far end of the table. He nodded with understanding as he read the note …
Dear Mr. P.,
I had to leave early, but the meal is prepared and is warming in the oven.
All you have to do is serve. Enjoy your evening.
Robert folded the note and placed it aside. Everything was perfect. The food was prepared; the ambiance was warm and romantic. The only thing missing was the guest of honor. The doorbell rang as if Robert willed his guest to the front door. With a spring in his step and a glint in his eye, Robert gracefully opened the door. The smile quickly dissipated from Robert’s face as he spoke with unsuppressed annoyance. “What are you doing here, George?”
“I want to talk to you,” George uttered with equal annoyance.
“Now’s not a good time. I’m having someone over for dinner.”
“Someone?” George said with mock surprise. “Please! Your queer friend can wait. I can’t,” George said with undisguised hostility.
Rage and anger spread like wildfire through Robert’s veins causing him to involuntarily squeeze his long, thin fingers in taut fists. “Get out of my house,” he shouted. “Nobody comes here and insults me or my friends.”
“I’ll leave after I’ve said what I came to say.”
“Say it and then get the hell out of my house,” yelled Robert as his blood pressure continued to skyrocket.
George nonchalantly walked into the living room and sat down, all the while knowing that his actions were pushing Robert toward the breaking point. George glanced at the dinner table and back at Robert with venomous eyes, “Who the hell do you think you are?”
“State your business, George, before I have you removed,” answered an annoyed Robert.
“You can’t stand to see your mother happy, can you?”
“I love my mother, but she’ll never be happy with you.”
“What is it Petrovic, you jealous? Can’t leave your mommy’s apron strings?”
“I have no problem leaving mama’s apron strings as long as someone else’s hand isn’t on her pocketbook.”
George jumped out of his chair and stood face-to-face with Robert, glaring into Robert’s unblinking eyes. “I don’t want anything from your mother except her love and companionship.”
Robert chimed in without missing a beat, “And access to her bank account.” George looked as if he was going to choke Robert, but Robert continued, “Isn’t that your M.O.? Get an elderly lady with a nice bank account to fall in love with you?”
George struck out at Robert, but only caught hold of his collar as Robert, sensing an attack, moved out of the way. Robert grabbed George’s hands and removed them from his cashmere collar. “I know all about you George. I know you never married until you were in your sixties. Wasn’t that about the same time you started having financial problems … from gambling?”
“I didn’t get married until I was in my sixties because I was a content bachelor enjoying my career.”
“Did you say bachelor? More like gigolo from what I heard.”
With hatred emanating from his eyes and dripping from his every word, George responded, “You don’t know anything about me.”
Confidently and calmly, Robert replied, “I know that when you ran into money problems, you took an instant liking to a well-off elderly widow in your neighborhood, but that you didn’t marry her until she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.”
This time the blow found it’s mark on Robert’s chin. Robert’s head snapped back as he fell to one knee, but the blow only encouraged the verbal assault that Robert had launched upon his mother’s boyfriend. George came for a fight; Robert obliged. “Truth hurt, does it George?”
“You bastard. I loved Grace and I took care of her until the day she died.”
“You took care of her bank account and life savings too, didn’t you?” Robert slowly stood and straightened his clothing, “Bottom line, George. How much will it take to get you out of my mother’s life?”
“You little faggot! You can cook your little dinners for that other little queer, but you can’t stand to see your mother happy.”
“You speak to me like that again and I’ll forget my manners and destroy you.” Robert was now shouting, “Do you hear me?”
George started walking toward the front door, but turned toward Robert with sarcasm dripping from his words, “I’ll tell your mother you said hello!”
Robert’s eyes, totally devoid of all emotion, glared at George as he spoke with cold determination, “My mother lives very comfortably, but I’m the one with the money. Her lifestyle is provided by me, remember that.” Robert walked up to George and got in his face, “You may end up in my mother’s will, but I control everything. Good day, Mr. Pennington. Give my regards to my mother.” With that, Robert opened the door and escorted George out, just as Robert’s guest was pulling into the driveway.