"...Here I am, baby...signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours...", Stevie
Wonder belted from the radio, to which I tuned in an oldies station just
as the song started. We had just crossed 30th Street and Claude was
crooning the lyrics and doing little shimmies in his seat. I laughed out
loud at this sudden display of silliness. This man who is always so
poised, so cool and confident, regal and aristocratic, allowed
himself to "turn it loose". But, after what he'd been through, I didn't
mind him indulging in a little fun.
I convinced him a long time ago to lighten up, get a little silly, when things got him down. Back during that fabulous summer, he was astonished at my ability to be proper and low-key one moment, and then completely off-the-wall the next. My tastes in music and literature intrigued him. I read Nikki Giovanni, Ida B. Wells, and Zora Neale Hurston, quoted Lincoln, Kennedy and King, collected old slave and Civil War narratives, and sang blues and jazz along with the the old Motown and R & B I grew up on. I think everything about me intrigued him, as I was intrigued by his complexities.
Claude became suddenly quiet. I switched off the radio and glanced at him. "What's wrong, baby?"
Claude just sat there, staring out the window. "I ruined your evening. My darling Danisha, my dear sweet...", he began as his hand softly caressed my face, "I completely forgot that you had previous plans. This whole evening has been a shambles. I go out for some refreshing activity...blast that damned soldier! Not to mention the girls chasing me as if I was..."
Claude fell silent, then, "If THEY ever find out about this, I'll never live it down".
"They", of course, referred to the Disney people. "Now, Claude", I began, "you know and I know that you have this reputation for being a....how can I put this? Heartthrob? A sex symbol? I mean, Disney insisted on portraying you as this evil, cold-hearted villain but WE all know the real Claude Frollo is..."
Claude interrupted with a burst of hearty laughter. "Me? A sex symbol? Oh really, darling! I can assure you that I'm..."
"Baby, you can't help it if you're so good-looking. Tall and lean, that sexy smile. You dress fabulously; you have the best moves. Oh, and let's not forget that deep, smooth, MANLY voice. Power, wealth, well-educated. No wonder you have the women chasing you, present company included. You got it going on, sugarbritches, and you know it!"
Claude Frollo looked at me with sultry, smoldering eyes, and in a deep, wildly sexy, almost growling voice, replied, "Well...what can I say? I cannot help being so...mmmm....gifted."
He flashed a wickedly seductive smile as he leaned back and continued to croon love songs. By now I was getting a little flustered. I was trying to concentrate on the road and he kept giving me that `come-on' look, pursing his lips in imaginary kisses, and mouthing "I love you's" as we waited out the light at 38th Street.
We continued our northbound journey up Meridian. From 40th to 86th Street, North Meridian becomes solidly residential, a wide, tree-lined boulevard of stately pre-Depression era mansions and manicured lawns. Claude tried to steer the conversation in another direction, as he observed and commented on nearly every home we passed. I knew exactly what he was doing. His previous antics had clearly turned him on, not to mention what he was doing to me!
"You should live in such a house, my love", he said, indicating a large Georgian-style mansion with stately columns.
"Claude," I tried to reason, "these homes are expensive! Mid to upper six figures! And I'm not going to begin to tell you the property taxes and the expense of heating and cooling and..."
"Just a thought, darling. Hmm...Danisha, don't you have a birthday coming up? I can't think of a more appropriate gift."
Now I was too dumbfounded! Claude Frollo actually offered to buy me a Meridian Street house! "You don't have to do that, sugar. I like where I live. It's a nice gesture but..."
Claude leaned over and kissed my cheek. I could feel his warm breath and smell his spicy, musk-tinged cologne. "You know I would do anything for you, dear heart. I just want you to be happy." He caressed my shoulder, "Oh, you are so beautiful", he cooed in my ear. "Such lovely coloring, almost like dark, wild honey. Mmm...and tastes just as sweet", he sighed as he kissed my cheek again. "A woman such as you deserves the best."
"I already have the best, baby, and he's sitting right beside me."
Claude Frollo smiled, then whispered in my ear, "I love you, Nisha. I love you, my sweet, precious darling." With that, he leaned back in his seat, and resumed crooning love songs in his deep, smooth, sultry style as I made the left turn onto the canal road. My house was less than five minutes away.
Go to Chapter 5!
Copyright©Sept. 1997 by FrolloFreak