Chapter Fifteen: Profit and Loss
Two babies born just months apart. I now had two sons. My mother would be so happy. Perhaps by now my father’s heart would have softened a bit at the sight of his grandsons. I gave Kay and Carl as much time as I could, seeing them only after work. I wasn’t ready to tell Celiene that I fathered another baby. I was afraid if I told her, she would leave me and take Tevin with her.
Tevin. Just weeks old, he hadn’t started sleeping all night at that point. I wish he had. With him waking up in the middle of the night, he would often interrupt me making love to my wife. I was not exactly happy when Celiene would make me stop mid-stroke, so she could get up and take care of him.
I lay in the bed next to Celiene, when Tevin started crying. I got up to see what was going on. I’m almost certain it was time for a feeding and a diaper change. I pulled my legs over the side of the bed, and Celiene did the same, almost at the same time.
I walked to her side of the bed. “No babe, I’ll go.”
“No baby you have an early meeting. I’ll go.”
I wanted some time to bond with my son. “You let me worry about that. Go back to bed. Get some rest.”
“Thanks Darren. I love you.”
Tevin screamed louder. “Okay son, okay. I’m coming.” I walked into the nursery. “Daddy’s here son.”
I picked him up and changed his diaper. Then I walked to the kitchen and warmed up a bottle for him. I held him as he finished his meal. I took him back up to the nursery and sat in the chair and played with him for a little bit. He was wicked cute. I loved him. I wish I had more time to spend with him. When he got older, I was certainly going to find some time to spend with him and Carl. I was not going to treat my sons how my father treated me. However now that I’m a father myself, I totally understand my father now. He was busy.
Tevin was tuckering out and so was I. I put him in the crib and went back to bed myself. I woke up three hours later, and took a shower, preparing for my work day.
I got dressed and went down to the kitchen to see if there was something I could snack on, on the way to work. Again, Josephine caught me going through the refrigerator.
“Good morning, Darren.”
I turned to face her. There was nothing good in the fridge. “Good morning, Josie.”
“Would you like some breakfast?”
“No, no. I have to go. I’ll grab something on the way. Josie, Mrs. Smith is still sleeping. I would appreciate it if you would help her out today.”
Josie and I had a code when I wanted to go see Kay and Carl. “Oh, and I will be working late tonight.” She nodded and understood what she was supposed to do next. “I have to run, Josie. You have a good day.”
“I will thank you, Darren.”
Once I was gone, Josie sent a text to Kay letting her know that I was going to see her later that day. She replied with a simple thank you.
I was sitting in my office talking on the phone with one of my clients, when there was a knock on my door. I looked at my watch to see what time it was. Almost at the same time, my cell phone buzzed with a text message.
I ended my phone call. “Thank you for calling, Reggie. I’ll get back with you on the details…He’s beautiful. You should come by and see him…” There was another knock on my door. “Hey look. I gotta go. Talk to you later.”
I hung up my phone and picked up my cell phone to read the text, simultaneously telling the party on the other side of my door, “Come in!”
The text was Josie letting me know she contacted Kay. Good. I looked up to see my assistant. “Yes, Amanda, what is it?”
“Mrs. Smith called to remind you of your son’s doctor’s appointment tomorrow.”
“Okay. Anything else?”
“Mr. Leonard Long is here to see you.”
I nodded. “Okay, send him in.”
Amanda turned away to do as I asked, when I noticed that she was not dressed to go to the club, she had on a suit. “Oh, nice suit by the way.”
She turned to face me and smiled widely. “Thank you, sir. I’m glad you approve.”
Amanda left my office and in her place, Mr. Leonard Long appeared. President and CEO of Long and Associates. Leonard was a tall, tanned, older man with a great head for business. I really liked him and looked forward to working with him and his firm.
I smiled at him as he entered my office. “Good afternoon, Leonard. What brings you here to see me?”
“Well, I know you and Jeffrey have been waiting on the final paperwork, so I thought I would bring them in personally. I left them with your assistant, and they are ready to sign.”
“Fantastic! I look forward to working with you.”
“Me as well.”
“Hey, I was just getting ready to go to lunch would you like to join me?”
He shook his head. “I’m sorry, Darren. I can’t today.”
“Well how about you come by my house and we eat dinner next week?”
His eyes lit up. “Your wife won’t mind?”
I smiled. “She will if I don’t tell her that you are coming.”
We both shared a heartfelt chuckle and chatted about a few more things, before my stomach started to take over my brain. I said goodbye to Leonard, gathered Jeffrey, and Amanda, and we went to lunch to celebrate.
When we got back we went on about our business, whatever that was at the time. Close to the end of my normal work day, I called Celiene from work to let her know that I was going to be working late. Of course, that wasn’t the truth at all. I had to go see my other son.
I left a little early to get ahead of normal rush hour traffic and headed out to Kay’s place. I rang the doorbell, and it took a minute for her to get to the door.
“Coming!” She yelled from the other side of the door.
The anticipation of seeing her was killing me. Though I was still in love with her, I had not slept with her. I couldn’t do that to Celiene. I did however kiss on Kay whenever I had a chance.
The door opened, and she stood there wearing a gorgeous smile, tight skinny jeans, and a tank top that showed the cleavage of her ample breasts. Damn she looked good.
“Hey babe,” I greeted her with a kiss on the cheek.
She smiled back at me. “Hey.”
Carl was still an infant. I couldn’t do much with him other than hold him for a little while and try to get as many giggles from him as I could when I played with him. I was excited to see him. “Where’s Carl?” I asked.
“He’s laying down. You can go see him if you want.”
I kissed her on the cheek again. “Thanks babe.”
I went to the nursery and saw Carl laying in his crib sound asleep. I wanted to pick him up, but he looked so peaceful. I loved him just like I loved Tevin, but I was finding it very hard to divide my time. I couldn’t leave Kay a single mother. I still loved her, and that would just be wrong. Still trying to think of a way to spend equal time with both of my sons, I went back into the living room.
Kay was sitting on the couch watching some show. I sat close to her, but not too close. “Babe he is getting so big so fast!”
She nodded. “I know right. You are missing out on everything.”
There was a hint of sadness in her voice. I didn’t like it. “I’m sorry honey. I get here when I can, don’t I?”
She nodded. “You do. But it’s not enough.”
“Kay honey look. I do have another son now, and I have to be home more.”
She jumped up from the couch, so she could look me directly in my face. “You still haven’t told her, have you?”
Damn it. “No, and I’m sorry babe, I will, I will.”
She was really upset. “When Darren? When both boys are grown?”
I had no idea when I was going to get the courage to tell Celiene about my other child. “Kay, I’ll tell her. I promise.”
She was relentless. “When?”
I had no real answer for her. I hated to disappoint her. “Soon. It’s just kinda hard right now.”
She was really angry. “You need to tell her. Does anyone else know?”
I was suddenly embarrassed. I hadn’t told a soul about Carl. The only one who knew was Josie, and I swore her to secrecy. “You mean like Jeffrey and Melissa? No, they don’t know either.”
She gave me a look of disappointment and turned her back to me. Moments later, I watched as her arms were constantly going to her face. Oh, holy shit she was crying. I didn’t want to hurt her.
“Kay, are you okay?” I asked, hoping she wasn’t going to push the issue. No such luck.
With her back still to me, she said quietly, “I thought we meant something to you, Darren.”
Yes, she meant something to me, and so did Carl. I loved her, and I loved my son. I got up from the couch and hugged her from behind. “Oh baby, don’t cry. Okay, okay look. I will tell everyone next week.”
“When next week?” she asked, sniffling, and rubbing my arms that were around her waist.
“I have invited one of my clients to dinner next week. We’ll do it up big, and you can come. Bring the baby. Josephine can take care of both the kids. Will you come?”
She turned around to face me. Her eyes slightly red from crying, but she wanted to see if I was telling her the truth. “If it means you are going to come clean, then yes.”
I was happy that she agreed. Once I got everything off my chest, I would be a better man.
I gently stroked her cheek and looked into her beautiful brown eyes. I reached for her hands, and backed up slowly, pulling her back to the couch. She sat in my lap straddling my legs. She was so pretty. “Oh, by the way, you look fantastic.”
She gave me a sexy half smile, and replied, “I didn’t think you noticed.”
She leaned in and kissed me. My brain on fire as usual, I let my hands wander. I gripped her firm, well fit ass with one hand as the other played with her ample breasts. My erection growing rapidly, I wanted to sleep with her. I was going to do it…if she let me. I reached to pull her shirt over her head. She didn’t object. I unfastened her bra, and still she didn’t object. She softly moaned as I kissed and sucked on her breasts. My desire was growing with every passing moment. Would I be able to contain it? Nope. I went for the zipper on her jeans, and halfway through, I felt her hand on mine. She stopped me.
“Darren, we can’t.”
I pulled her closer and took in her smell. I have never wanted a woman more than I wanted her at that moment. “Kay, please.” I whispered.
She got off me and quickly pulled her shirt over her head. “No. You are married. I will not get between you and Celiene.”
I took a deep breath and agreed. “Okay. I understand.” I stood up and got myself together. “I will see you next week. I’ll call you and give you the details. It is going to be formal. Do you need a dress? If so, I will put some money in your account.”
She shook her head. “No. I will get something.”
“I’ll see you soon, Kay.” She nodded, and I was out of the door with my pants extremely tight in the front. I didn’t know how much longer I was going to be able to keep my hands off her.
I went home and told Celiene my plans. She gave me a bunch of shit, but she eventually agreed.
The following week, Celiene and I had gotten out of the shower, and I wanted to ravage her before our guests arrived. She, like Kay, didn’t let me.
“Babe we should probably get dressed,” she said as I kissed her gently on the neck.
I whispered in her ear. “I don’t want to. I just want to keep kissing on you.”
She pulled away. “No babe. Go get dressed.”
I sighed. “Okay, okay.”
I went into our huge walk in closet and put on my tux. I looked quite good, if I did say so myself. I walked back into our room. “How do I look?” I asked, turning around so she could see all of me.
Celiene nodded with a dirty girl smile. “Quite handsome. But I think I’m gonna knock your socks off.”
Celiene left the room and changed into her dress. When she stepped back into our bedroom I was floored. “Wow!”
She smiled and turned around. “You like?”
I nodded. “I do. Babe, you look fantastic.”
She smiled for a moment. She crossed her arms in front of her and said something totally unexpected. “We’ll see if you still think that when Kay gets here.”
Holy shit, Celiene was jealous. She wasn’t supposed to be jealous. I had to get her mind off Kay being in the same room with her, though I had no idea how I was going to do that.
Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rang. I was in the formal sitting room dancing with my wife. I gave her all the attention I could before we had a house full of people.
Minutes later, Josie interrupted the private moment I was having with my wife. She interrupted because she had too.
“Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. Long has arrived,” she said in a professional tone.
I kissed Celiene on the cheek, grabbed her by the hand, and went to greet Leonard.
“Leonard, glad to see you could make it.”
He smiled in my direction, and then turned his attention to Celiene. “I wouldn’t have missed it,” he said, trying hard not to smile at my wife.
I introduced them. “I would like you to meet my wife Celiene. Celiene, this is Leonard Long.”
He lowered his eyes to her giving her a gentle smile. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Smith.”
She returned the favor. “Likewise, Mr. Long.”
The three of us chatted, and all our guests arrived, almost all at once. Jeffrey and Melissa, Danny and Cha Cha, Lucy, Walter and a few others. It was almost time for dinner, and I was still waiting on one particular guest. Kay had yet to show up. I hope she was going to make it.
We were all in the sitting room having a good time when she arrived. Josie walked her into the sitting room. She looked nervous as she looked around the room. I assume she was trying to see who was there. I saw Josie give her a gentle smile, Kay smiled back, and Josie left Kay where she stood.
I looked around the room trying to find Darren. I saw Celiene giving me the evil eye. Suddenly I thought I should have waited. I shouldn’t have come. I was invading her personal space, and it was clear by her expression that she wasn’t happy to see me.
I looked away as my hands began to sweat. As I did, I saw Melissa and Jeffrey walking towards me. I hadn’t seen them in what seemed like forever, and it was comforting to see their faces.
Melissa greeted me with a hug. “Kay! Where have you been?”
“Hello, Mel. Hello, Jeffrey,” I said with a simple smile.
“It’s been a long time. How have you been?” Jeffrey asked, kissing my cheek.
“Doing pretty good I guess.”
Out of the blue, Mel asked, “So how’s Jacob?”
Both Melissa and Jeffrey could see the discomfort on my face. “Jacob? Why would you ask about Jacob?”
Jeffrey shrugged. “Didn’t you two get married?”
I shook my head. “No. Not at all.”
Melissa turned to Jeffrey. “See babe, I told you.”
“Okay, one up for you.” He then looked at me and asked, “So what are you doing here tonight?”
I didn’t want to talk about the real reason I was there. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach. “I was invited. Hey, it’s been good seeing you,” I said and quickly left the room.
I made my way to Josie’s room. Both boys were in the nursery just off Josie’s room, asleep.
“Josephine, you in here?”
Josephine emerged from the nursery. “Yes ma’am. What’s the matter?”
“I can’t do this,” I said almost in tears.
“Do what, Miss?”
“Be here. I don’t belong here.”
Before Josephine could answer, Celiene appeared out of nowhere. “You’re damn right you don’t. What the hell are you doing here, Kay?”
I was surprised. “Celiene!”
Celiene crossed her arms in front of her and scowled as she said, “I asked you a question. Why are you back in my house?”
I didn’t know how to answer. “I... I don’t know. I’ll leave.”
Josephine shook her head. “Your son is asleep, Miss. Are you sure you want to wake him?”
Darren walked into Josephine’s room surprising everyone. “No one is going anywhere,” he said in an authoritative tone. “I want you all to join me back in the sitting room please.”
Celiene turned to her husband with a look of pure surprise. “Darren! I...”
“Now Celiene. Josephine, you too.”
The three of us followed Darren back to the sitting room.
I made my way back to the sitting room with Celiene, Kay, and Josephine all in tow. Our guests seemed to be enjoying themselves despite my disappearance. It was time to tell Celiene. If I didn’t say something to her before I opened my mouth in front of my guests, she would have killed me.
“Can I have everyone’s attention, please?” Everyone turned their attention to me. Celiene went and stood next to Mel and Jeffrey, while Kay stood next to me. Kinda awkward, but I went with it.
“Friends, I brought you all here for two reasons. One, for closing one of the largest deals of my life!” I got applause though I know beyond Jeffrey and Leonard, none of them really cared. “Thank you, thank you.” I looked around the room and saw the faces of my friends anticipating what I was going to say next. I continued. “I’m also very happy to be a new father. Tevin is a beautiful baby. I want you all to enjoy yourselves while I talk with my wife.” I looked at her, and she angrily glared at me. I was in trouble, and I knew it. “Celiene if you will join me please.” As Celiene made her way across the room, I turned to Kay. “This is it. Be ready for anything.”
She smiled at me knowing I was going to make good on my word. “I will. Thank you, Darren.”
I smiled at her. “You’re welcome.” I said and again walked out of the room. Celiene followed me but stopped to stare at Kay. I had no idea what was going on in her head, but I can guess that it wasn’t good.
In our bedroom, I was prepared to confess everything. If I wanted a relationship with Carl, I had no choice. I had to confess. Celiene already suspected I was up to something, so she came out and just asked.
“What is it Darren?”
I sighed and looked at the floor. “I have something I want to tell you. Well, really a few things.”
Celiene was pissed, and I had no idea why, but she had it in her head that I was going to leave her. “You want a divorce?”
I shook my head. “No. But after I say what I’m going to say, you might want to divorce me.”
Jumping to conclusions, she let me have it. “I knew it! I knew it! You’re cheating on me!”
I took another deep breath and said, “No, not exactly. Let me explain...”
I told her about the day Kay showed up in my office. I held nothing back. “After my meeting, I did cheat on you. I slept with Kay in my office.”
She was about two seconds from slapping the shit out of me. She held back. I would assume she wanted to hear the rest of the story. However, she still lashed out at me. “You promised me you wouldn’t cheat!”
I sighed and hung my head in shame. “I know, I know. But she was so afraid. I did what I could to help her.”
The look on Celiene’s face was total disbelief. “So, you fucked her. Nice going, Darren.”
Yes, I did what I did, but I had to tell her what was really important. “Baby look. I brought you up here to tell you something more important.” She waited as I gathered my thoughts. What I had to tell her was extremely difficult, but I moved forward. “Celiene, Kay got pregnant that day. She was pregnant around two months before you.”
The slap I was waiting on finally came. I deserved it. “Bastard! How dare you do this to me! Who else knows?”
Remorse, regret, and all emotions in between took me over. “I’m so sorry babe, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I’m sure Kay didn’t either.”
She didn’t seem to care what I said. She wanted an answer. “Who else knows that Kay has your baby besides you?”
“You, me, Kay, and Josephine. That’s all. No one else.”
Celiene was so angry. In all the years that I had known her, I had never seen her so mad. “Josephine? How does she know?”
“She knew before I did. It seems that Kay was pregnant before she left us. Kay made Josephine to keep it a secret, and up until a few months ago, she has.”
She squinted her eyes and I was hoping she wasn’t going to slap me again. “You have got to be kidding me. You haven’t even told Jeffrey about this?”
I hung my head in shame. “No honey. I didn’t want it to get back to you before I was ready to tell you.”
I looked up at her and there was a fire in her eyes I had never seen. She stared at me for a long time before she said, “I will not be sleeping in this house tonight. So, after the party, I’m outta here.”
“Are you taking Tevin?”
“Of course not. How else can I ensure that you won’t cheat on me again? You just stay away from me for the rest of the night.”
She stormed out of our bedroom, and unfortunately had to go mingle with our guests as she was the hostess.
I gathered all my wits, and minutes later made my way downstairs as well. On my way back to the sitting room, Josie informed me that dinner was ready. I was glad because I was ready to get my secret off my chest. Before I walked into the sitting room, I put on my best fake smile. “Ladies and gentlemen! Dinner is about to be served!” I said loudly over the music.
Everyone began to meander out of the sitting room towards our formal dining room. Before he left the room, Leonard came up to me with an unusual request. “Excuse me, Darren. Would you mind if I escort your beautiful wife to the dining room?”
I didn’t think anything of it, so I replied, “Not a problem, Leonard. I will be there shortly.”
I watched him escort my wife to our dinner table. I took a couple of breaths before Jeffrey walked up to me and crossed his arms. My best friend of many years knew me better than anyone. I couldn’t hide anything from him. Ever. He witnessed Leonard with Celiene and was instantly suspicious. “Alright, alright. Just what in the hell is going on here?”
I took a deep breath, looked at him, and said, “It’s a very long story that I am not going to tell right now. Come on let’s go eat.”
After dinner, everyone mingled over an after-dinner drink of their choice. Jeffrey, Walter, and I spoke of beautiful women, and money. All the while Leonard was getting to know my wife better. Or was it the other way around?
I smiled widely as Leonard and I talked. “So how long have you known my husband, Mr. Long?” I asked with a demure smile.
Leonard took a sip of his port, “It’s been a little over a year.”
“Is that how long you have been working on this deal?” I asked, but I really didn’t care about that.
Leonard nodded. “It certainly has.”
I stepped a little closer. “Well that’s incredible. I’m glad to see his hard work paid off.”
“I am as well. Your husband is a very smart man.”
I didn’t even want to think about my husband at that moment let alone talk about him. I was interested in getting a rise out of my husband, so I changed the subject. “Are you married, Mr. Long?” I asked taking a drink of my wine.
He sipped his port again. “No, I’m not. My wife left me a few years ago. And please, call me Leonard.”
I moved a little closer and whispered in his ear. “I’m so sorry to hear that, Leonard. A wealthy man like you shouldn’t be alone.”
He backed away and looked into my eyes. “Are you flirting with me, Mrs. Smith?”
I took another drink and batted my eyes at him. “I could be. Is that what you would like?”
I might not have seen everything, but that last move of Celiene’s I did see. I quickly made my way across the room. I knew she was angry with me, so I had to handle the situation gingerly.
I walked up behind Leonard and tapped him on the shoulder. “Leonard will you please excuse us for a moment?”
“Not a problem.”
He left the two of us alone. It was my turn to be angry, but again I had to be cool about it. “What the hell do you think you are doing?”
“Isn’t this what you do all the time? Flirt? Don’t try and deny it, I’ve seen it,” she replied. She was still livid. And really, I didn’t blame her.
I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Please Celiene do not do this now.”
She finished off her glass of wine. “Why not?”
I wanted to lay into her, but again, my guests…
“Can we please just get through this party without you flirting?”
She gave me an angry stare. “Alright, alright. But let’s not make this an all-night affair. I’m ready to leave.”
“Babe, look. I know you are angry with me. But please for my sake can you keep it together?” I begged.
“Fine.” She stormed off.
I took a deep breath and watched her as she walked away. As I was watching, Jeffrey came up behind me.
“Okay, okay. What the hell is going on?” He asked.
“Celiene and I got into a fight.”
He nodded. “That’s obvious. What about?”
I was ready to tell him, but I didn’t want him to lose his shit, and he would have. “Stick around after Leonard leaves, and I will enlighten everyone.”
“Provided Celiene doesn’t leave with Leonard,” he said pointing across the room.
I looked over to see Leonard had his hand on the small of my wife’s back. What the hell? Putting your hand on the small of your woman’s back, in my head, was a way to mark your territory. It was supposed to keep other men away. I didn’t like it. “How dare that asshole. I’m gonna kick his ass.”
Jeffrey shook his head. “Hey, hey. You worked a year on this multi-million-dollar deal. You cannot kick his ass.”
Thinking about our firm, I nodded. “Right, right.”
“Let’s just get through the rest of this night.”
I watched as Leonard Long still had not removed his hand from my wife’s back. “Right,” I replied, not hearing a thing.
When Leonard finally left, I was going to tell my friends and family something that should have never been a secret. I wasn’t proud of what I was going to say, but I made a promise.