Anna Maria Munson was disgusted. "This is obscene." She said to herself. Lots of things are considered obscene. Pictures of people's private parts on a signboard or painted on the side of a ten-story building are obscene. Pictures taken unknowingly of a girl by her boyfriend and posted on the internet or sent through his cell phone to his friends is obscene.
Anna was led through the hallway to the library. She had been hired by Donnie Battle to play background music at a party. He was an ex-NFL tight end. He had injured a knee, somehow, and had been unwillingly retired. Fortunately for him, he had been such a high first round draft pick. He had been given a huge contract over several years that still had to be paid. It was easy to see as she clip-clopped down the honed limestone hall behind the butler that this was a home owned by one of the upper 1% aristocracy of the country.
The house was sitting back about 200 feet from the tree-lined country road. The house was built like a compound. It was a square "doughnut: with a huge clearstory in the middle. The entrance was carved out by cutting out part of one corner of the building, so the main entrance was under the overhang of the upper story. Just within the main double doors, there were matching symmetrical curved stairs going up to the upper floor. It was a half flight to the upper floor, and a half flight down to the upper floor.
The lower floor had a series of rooms for storage of exterior activity items. There was space for a Porsche, a corvette, A 1913 Duisenberg, and a number of motorcycles. A 1913 Harley and Henderson were the most noticeable.
Other rooms had more cars up on lifts being restored or under repair. They were working on the 6-cylinder aluminum engine block and cylinder heads for the 911GT1. They had removed the heads and were installing a different one with 2 intake and 3 exhaust valves per cylinder. They were changing the 2 exhaust gas turbo chargers for bigger ones. They were putting in larger gears to run the dry sump.
The main floor had a living room, formal and informal dining area, a small residential scale kitchen and a larger commercial kitchen, pantry for fresh foods, pantry for canned food, a room for dishes and glasses, a game room, media room, a pool room, and a library. The library had shelving up to the 12'-0" ceiling on all walls. On one end there was a baby grand piano. This was the area she was normally set up to play in. Tonight however, there were going to be more guests so she would be playing in the three story courtyard. The main floor was actually on the lowest level, where the cars were kept. There was about a 10'-0" walkway around the edge that was on the main level, and also on the floor above. The top story had a series of bedrooms with their own bathroom, walk-in closets and seating areas.
To Anna, this house was the epitome of obscenity. The clearstory above the second floor had windows above and a retractable skylight. This was her definition of obscene.
Workers were bringing the baby grand down the elevator to set up next to where she would be playing. She had come early to make sure she was comfortable with the arrangements and there were no surprises.
"Welcome! Welcome to my humble little cottage." She heard a booming voice behind her. She turned. It was Donnie Battle. Every time she met him, she could not get over how big he was. He had played for ten years and had now been out of the NFL for another ten, but he looked like he could still play. There was no fat on him. His daily runs and hours on the weights kept him in shape. It was his ego more than anything that kept him looking the way he was. He had refused to accept that he could no longer play. He must have kept thinking that he might get another call any day, and he better be ready.
Donnie smiled and kept eye contact with her. He didn't want to let on his inner lecherous instincts. He was always enamored with this middle aged woman. She had a sort of Dana Delaney sort of face; not mesmerizing yet in a strange way, intriguing and compelling. She was not your typical stunning looker like he was used to seeing. She was not, at least at first glance, the typical NFL Cheerleader type.
She turned and extended her hand to greet him. Her long red hair was in a French braid. If it had not been pulled so tightly and braided, it would have been curly. The way it was, the long braid hung down her back; almost to her waist. Her wire rimmed glasses gave her a studious look that seemed to match the violin she was testing. She seemed to be dressed typically for her second chair position at the Kansas City Philharmonic.
He knew she must have had high heeled boots on. He had recognized the sound. Her floor-length dress had a strip of green the width of her Décolletage front to the floor. The sides of the button front dress were black, which only tended to make her already athletically trim body even leaner. She looked like a woman half of her forty years. Her summers of running the back county roads had kept her trim long after she had run out of her college eligibility.
Donnie took her hand, but instead of shaking it, he raised it and kissed it. Anna was flattered and a little embarrassed. He always did that and it made her a little uncomfortable. She was married. "Is he flirting with me or is this just how he greets women all the time?" she wondered. "How am I supposed to respond?" she wondered. Anna was being well paid for her time.
She didn't want to insult him, and she was reluctant to encourage him if he was interested in her. It was always a delicate balance with beautiful women. It was a struggle she had tried to handle ever since she had changed from an awkward gangly runner in college to a late blooming well toned well defined grown woman. She had been homely so long as she grew up, that it was a struggle to deal with her new found beauty in her late college years.
Although she had become a late bloomer in beauty, she had been an even more naïve person to style and taste. She had married her first chair partner in the Philharmonic after being there for over a year. Joe Don Munson was a good twenty years older than she. He had coached her on the fine details of sophistication after she had been selected for the orchestra. He had groomed her on her hair, make-up and dresses because of so many formal events they had to dress for. He had grown to be a little bit of a Svengali the longer they were married. At first she was intrigued and flattered with his clothing selections. Lately, he seemed to develop more of a flare for clothing a little more scandalous.
Anna stayed in the library for an hour or so while the men moved the piano. She fine-tuned her violin and looked at her list of music she planned on playing. She was going to use some formal tunes she was familiar with from the philharmonic. Because Donnie was black, she was going to include a number of jazz pieces from Stephane Grapelli, Paidassi / Wagschal and a few others.
She could hear the guests starting to arrive. She knew Donnie wanted her next to him when they arrived, so she put her violin down and met him at the front door. Donnie introduced her to the guests as they arrived. Anna escorted them into the courtyard and showed them where the drinks and hors d'oeuvres were. Once she had enough guests, she went to stand by the piano. The piano player from the philharmonic had just arrived. They introduced themselves and started playing. It wasn't a concert; it was just background music that Donnie liked to have rather than turning on the sound system.
They played for about 45 minutes, and then would take about a 15 minute break. The couple would get a snack, use the bathroom and circulate to meet the guests. Most of the men would make subtle advances toward her. It was a difficult balance of being nice but trying to not encourage them. As the night went on, she spent more and more of her time adjusting her make-up in the bathroom. It was always difficult to know the most diplomatic way to handle the flirting. She had such a shy naïve manner of smiling that it was more captivating than the overt giggling and hanging on that most of the younger girls displayed.
Anna had retreated to the half bath behind the small kitchen to re-do her lipstick and check her hair. The house was an old stone mansion which had probably been built 150 years ago. There were fireplaces in almost every major room. Heating ducts had fed off of the fireplaces, and steam radiators to supplement the other rooms.
The half bath that Anna was standing in had been a renovation. It got its heat from the kitchen as an afterthought during the remodeling. Anna did not mean to be spying, but she realized she could hear parts of the conversation from that room; not all of it.
"That violin player is a goddess" came faintly through the vent. She could hardly make it out, but her face flushed. There was more, but it was hard to hear. Out of childish curiosity, Anna knelt down and unzipped her high heeled boots. She quietly pulled up her dress and climbed up on the vanity to see if she could hear better.
"I would have paid twice the amount she asked for her to be here" she heard somebody say. It had to have been Donnie. "Oh, fuck; I should have asked for more" she thought through gritted teeth.
"You guys are going to have to work a little faster. We have another order to ship pretty soon. Maybe you need to start working a little later; nights if you have to. Don't forget to bring those dogs over. We need to check everything up before the bottoms are welded on. We don't want some home security dogs finding anything."
.... There is more of this story ...