The colour of the dancer’s swirling skirt matched the eyes of the woman who rested her back against it whilst drinking her martini. Her brown hair was neatly combed back off her face into a bun leaving her bright eyes visible and searing in black kohl. Her tanned skin glowed with health and a thin veil of perspiration in the hot evening. Red lips stung with passion. Slender legs stretched out from her chair, ankles teasingly caressing one another as she looked out through the window and onto the street.
Despite the thick waves of cigar smoke in the air she was visible to all, her beauty cutting through the haze and her striking sensuality warming like the whisky in the men’s glasses. Everyone saw her and her beauty, but no one saw the man in his neatly buttoned blazer and sinister black moustache slip a little blue into her glass whilst he flattered her with dishonest charms, compliments rolling forth from his lips whilst dark thoughts whirred in his mind. The men watched him with mingling feelings of male camaraderie, avuncular protection and primal competition. All of them secretly smiled when they heard the heels of his black shoes walking away from her table and out the door.
They thought she had fallen asleep. They all said how calm she looked, how happy. Her fiery glow becoming a warm luminescence. Once they had wanted to kiss her, now they wanted to lay next to her, wrap her up in a content blanket of dreams.
Hours later, whisky drunk, games played and cigars smoked, they saw that the woman was still there. Still asleep. Elbows jostled, and eyes winked at one another. Finally, the youngest walked over to her. He rested his hand on her, to gently wake the beautiful woman. He imagined himself like her prince, waking her from a slumber.
She was cold. Dead cold.