Maxwell Anderson Jr., or Max to most of his friends, had waited years to be allowed to attend his parent's annual Mardi Gras party. It was considered by many in their social circles to be the grandest party of the season. Max's mother, Edwina Anderson, was born and raised in New Orleans, and left when she married Maxwell Sr. so he could take a position that ultimately led to his running his own law firm. Edwina, like so many other wives of wealthy and successful husbands, was a 'bored housewife' who did charity work, worked out, and drank too much. Max knew his parents' marriage was more about appearances than anything else, but on some level, he believed they still loved each other in their own way. Max was the middle child, his older sister Rosaline was a legal intern at their father's law office, and his younger brother Alexander was in college to become a doctor. Max had just graduated in Business Management and was working for a corporation run by Mr. Thornton Hudson, a friend of his parents.
Max, like his brother, was tall, with thick black hair and a muscular build. His sister had the same black hair but a more slender build. The key difference was he had green eyes, his sister had ice blue eyes, and his brother had gray eyes. Max was friends with the sons or daughters of most of the guests who would be coming to his parents' party, and looked forward to seeing some of them, and their parents. The dress code was tuxedos for the men, evening gowns for the women, and everyone had to wear some form of a mask. Max had chosen a basic black tuxedo and a green mask that matched his eyes. The house was decorated with colorful beads and streamers, giving the whole 'New Orleans' feel to the party. Edwina hired a local jazz band to keep the party rolling and provide music for dancing. Though Max wasn't much of a fan of jazz, he understood it was part of the party's theme and enjoyed dancing.
The guests began to arrive about 5 pm, and it was clear they came dressed to impress. Most of the men were wearing basic black tuxedos and simple masks, but the women were in elegant evening gowns and wearing some of the most exquisite and ornate masks Max had ever seen. Every woman Max saw was wearing thousands of dollars of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, or other precious stones with gold and silver, in form fitting gowns with varying levels of cleavage showing. To him, it seemed like the ladies were playing, 'who could out-bling whom, ' a game he never understood. Max had brought his on-again, off-again girlfriend Suzette, who was wearing a short, sexy dress and matching mask. Max didn't want to bring a date, but his parents did say he could bring someone, which meant they didn't want him to be dateless. Suzette tried to guess who was who behind the masks, and Max found that annoying. He enjoyed the air of mystery that came with an event like this, even if some of the guests were more easily recognizable than others.
Soon the party was in full swing, the band played assorted jazz songs, and Max and Suzette danced a bit, but she complained her feet hurt and decided to sit down. Max spotted his boss, Mr. Hudson, talking with his dad and some other men. Mr. Hudson wasn't hard to miss since he was such a burly man with graying brown hair. Mr. Hudson was also a notorious flirt with the ladies, especially the younger ones, and it was rumored that he was having an affair with his assistant who was Max's age. Max decided he needed a drink, and asked Suzette, who politely declined. He walked to the bar and ordered himself a Martini. A petite blonde woman in a form-fitting strapless wine gown stepped up. Her dress showed off a lot of cleavage. Around her neck, she wore a simple diamond-drop pendant that sat elegantly on her chest, and her mask matched her dress with silver trim around the edges that covered her forehead and cheeks, but not her nose or full, luscious lips. He noticed she wasn't going for the most 'bling for your buck' but rather went for a more simple elegance that he found sexy. Though he didn't know who she was, there was an air of familiarity to her.
"What can I get you ma'am?" asked the bartender.
"Champagne please," she said. Max found her voice soft and sexy.
"Coming right up," said the bartender.
"Nice mask," said Max.
The woman smiled and it seemed to light up her face. "Thanks. You too."
Max's eyes were drawn to this mysterious woman. Her blonde hair hung in curls over her bare shoulders and down her back. The amazing view of cleavage, unmarred by the necklace she wore, gave Max a naughty sexual shiver. "Did you match the dress to the mask, or the mask to the dress?"
"Actually, a friend of my son's made the mask to match the dress."
Max had an idea who the mask maker was when he asked, "Is your son here?"
"Somewhere, as is my daughter."
Max nodded. He was sure he knew one or both of her children, but he decided he'd rather not know who she was, especially since the mystery added to the fun of the night. He sipped his Martini and said, "This is quite a party."
"Your first time?"
"No. My husband and I have been coming for years ... and years," she said with an air of sadness, then smiled, sipped her drink and continued. "But then, we usually hit all the major social events, though I must admit, I like this one the best."
Max was sure the woman knew who he was and was trying to be polite, yet he was curious about her statement. "May I ask why?"
"Well, Mrs. Anderson does such a wonderful job with the decoration and to be honest, she's kept to a specific theme or motif. So often everyone tries to do what's 'in' if you will, but this is always Mardi Gras. Formal wear, elegant masks, a great local jazz band, and Cajun food. That's why I like it. It has an air of familiarity. Have you ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras?"
"Couple of times. In fact, I went last year and had a wonderful time. You?"
"Sadly, never. My husband is a very busy man and has never seen the need to travel to Louisiana when Mrs. Anderson brings it here."
"Well now, that's a true crime!" exclaimed Max. "Everyone should experience Mardi Gras at least once in their lifetime."
"Hmm, you think so?"
"I know so."
The woman sipped her champagne then said, "Well, since my children are grown now, maybe I'll go next year. It's not like I'd miss this party since she holds it before the real one anyway."
"There you go," said Max finishing his drink. "Would you like to dance?"
The woman smiled and finished her drink. "Sure, thank you."
Max took her hand and escorted her out to the dance floor. He noticed Suzette was busy flirting with some men near the buffet table and didn't even notice he was dancing with this woman. He took the woman's hand into his and they danced gracefully together, gliding across the floor. It was now that he saw her bright blue eyes behind the mask as he looked down at her. He also thoroughly enjoyed staring at her cleavage from behind his mask. "You've got beautiful eyes."
"Thank you," she said, smiling. "Oh, and your eyes match your mask. How clever."
"Yes, most men just go for the basic black or the occasional white. You actually thought about your mask. I like it."
Max smiled, pleased she noticed something Suzette failed to do. "Well I thank you ma'am, I actually did pick it for the exact reason you mentioned."
They danced together for a few songs, then decided to part for a few minutes as she needed the powder room, though he didn't want to let her leave. Max noticed Suzette was now flirting with his boss and it upset him, since he didn't need her screwing up his job. He'd only brought her because his mom didn't want him to be alone, but he was pissed she was being such a flirt, especially since she was supposed to be his date. He thought about saying something to her, but decided against it because, truthfully, he really didn't care. Now he could end things with her once and for all, and move on. He'd only started dating her because she let him fuck her on their first date, and she let him fuck her ass anytime he wanted. Though he enjoyed fucking her, they had little else in common, and it made for a difficult relationship. He knew there were rumors about her fucking every guy in their age group, and a few of their fathers.
A young man walked up and said, "Looks like Suzette moving on to her next target."
Max turned to see his friend Christian Edwards, wearing a cobalt blue mask. "I just wish it wasn't my boss," said Max.
"Who was the lady you were dancing with?"
"Don't know. I never asked her name."
"I enjoyed the air of mystery. I like the illusion that she's a mysterious and exotic woman I could ultimately seduce and fuck."
"Careful now Max, didn't you go down that road before?"
"Yeah, and luckily for me her husband was a lousy shot."
"True. But was she worth it?"
"If you mean the sex, then yes. Older women are such amazing fucks. And for the record, she wasn't the only one. Just the only one I got caught with."
"What if it was your mom?"
"You think she hasn't fucked one of my friends by now ... Christian?" Max gazed into Christian's brown eyes with a knowing look.
Christian held a firm gaze before he dropped his head and said, "When did you find out?"
"I'd love to say just now, but I've known for a while. There were rumors of you and a MILF, and it didn't take me long to figure out it was you and her. Look man, I don't fucking care, you're an adult and I know my old man's been fucking around on my mom for years. Why did it end?"
.... There is more of this story ...