Shenanigans 2 - Anticipation

by Sandra Davies

At last, the Private View, and Annabel's anticipation was tinged with understandable apprehension:  all those months of work, the last two especially intensive, and alarmingly soon the results would be exposed to the public's gaze, and judgement.
Felix was in two minds, relieved that the increasing abbreviation of activity between him and Annabel, which had become quick and simple to the point of famine as time was taken up with frantic framing, was at an end and, as one of the few who had seen the finished work, smug in the belief that he had been the inspiration for her subtly erotic imagery.
Dan, despite or perhaps because of his lack of understanding, was proud and delighted that Annabel had rediscovered her artistic drive - it was what had drawn him to her in the first place - and he had long ceased to be embarrassed at her obsessive drawing of him, her open-eyed observation whenever they made love, as a result of which their marriage had been re-ignited:  the ending of his liaison with Liz could not have been better timed.
ChloĆ« hoped that the evening would bring recognition, both for her recently opened gallery and for Annabel's talent;  Tony's expenses were escalating, his idleness increasingly irritating and his duplicity deserving of a denouement which she determined to deliver as soon as she was able.
All were aware of Caroline's apathy about such artistic affairs — she attended over many as Felix's wife, initially mute but increasingly loquacious as the matching levels of alcohol and art bollocks rose, and her propensity for aggravation was infamous — tonight, did she but know it, there were additional alarm bells to be rung.

Liz was fizzing, not only because Leo was due home, after four months' absence, nor solely because this would be her first full scale evening buffet event (a new diversion for her already successful home dinner party business) but also because her amicably ended fling with Dan had boosted her confidence:  any nervousness she now felt rested on placating Leo for the evening — he'd have to be patient! - and covering her tracks.