Chapter Eighteen: Happy Couples
“Mr. Smith, can I chat with you please?” Jessie asked walking into my study.
I didn’t look up from what I was doing, “Certainly Jessie come on in.”
“Are you busy?”
“Not really. Just doing a little research. What’s up?”
“I realize that I was the one who kissed you first, but...”
I put my book down and looked at her. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she was jealous. “You’re wondering about my company the other night.”
“Well yeah. Is she your girlfriend or something?”
I shook my head. “That is not your business. I let what happened between you and me go too far. You and I will never be together again. You are here to take care of my son,” I said trying not to sound like a dick.
“I’m sorry sir. I just kinda thought since we slept together...”
I crossed my arms in front of me. “That you and I were together? Heaven’s no, Jessie. Look. I find you are a very attractive woman. But you are here to work for me.”
She hung her head. “I understand sir.”
I didn’t mean to disappoint her, but I was trying to let her down easily without losing her as an employee. “Jessie, look. There are several reasons why we can’t be together. My father cheated on my mother with our housekeeper. I don’t want that to go on in this house again. I was hurt to know that my father couldn’t contain his desires. My mother was a beautiful woman, and I hated to see her hurt. I wasn’t supposed to find out that my father was sleeping with our housekeeper, but I caught them kissing once, and it almost destroyed me. I don’t want to be like my father, Jessie. This ends now.”
She nodded. “I understand, Mr. Smith.”
“Very good. Now please go check on Tevin, and let Josephine know I’m ready to eat.”
She nodded. “Yes sir.”
As she walked out of the room, I couldn’t help but watch her extremely firm ass leave the room and thought, I cannot get close to her, or I’m gonna have another baby.
It had been a month since Celiene left. I still hadn’t told Kay. I still loved her, but I was enjoying myself.
I had a scheduled meeting with Mr. Harrison. I hoped he was finally ready to close the deal I had worked so hard on for months. Before my meeting, I got a phone call. It was my soon to be ex-wife.
“Woman, are you nuts! Five grand a month and that’s it!”
“Darren, how do you expect me to live on that? I want ten.”
I rolled my eyes and continued to yell. “You are being unreasonable, Celiene!”
“I don’t think so!” she yelled back.
There was a knock on my door. “I have a meeting right now. We will discuss this later!”
I hung up the phone. “Come in!” I said, and then took a couple of deep breaths.
Amanda came into my office to witness my anxiety. “Are you okay, Mr. Smith? I heard you yelling.”
I took another deep breath and answered, “I’m fine, Amanda. Thanks for asking. Is Harrison here?”
“Good, send him in, and have Mr. Hughes join us.”
She nodded. “Yes sir.” She witnessed me take a couple more deep breaths. “Are you sure you’re okay, sir?”
“Yes. I’m fine. Go on now. Fussy client, waiting.”
She giggled and walked out of the door. Moments later, it was not Richard Harrison Sr. That walked into my door, but his son.
Just as swarthy as his father, Richard Jr. did not have the look of a typical millionaire businessman. He strolled into my office with his Aviator shades still on his face and his leather jacket. His dark hair, shaved on both sides to form a Mohawk. However, I guessed that during business hours, he left the gel at home. His look was kind of unusual, but he was as smart as his father, just not so ruthless.
“Hello, Darren,” Richard said extending his hand.
I shook his hand. “Richard, what are you doing here? I was expecting your father.”
“My father had another meeting, so he sent me instead.”
“Do you know what your father and I have discussed?”
He nodded. “I certainly do. He briefed me well.”
Just then, Jeffrey entered my office.
“Very well then. I guess we will get started.”
“Hello Richard.” Jeffrey said, extending his hand for a handshake.
We got on with our meeting. The meeting went okay I suppose. It was almost lunch time, and I had a few minutes. I started thinking about Kay again. I had to tell her that I was divorcing Celiene. Then perhaps we could get back together, and I could do things the right way.
I have got to tell Kay about my pending divorce. Perhaps I will go see her after work. I decided that is what I was going to do. I drove out to Jericho. I thought she would be happy to see me. I rang the doorbell, and she answered the door in her pajamas. She looked quite cute.
She smiled at me, and said, “Hey sweets. Carl is sleeping if you want to see him.”
I gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll go see him in a minute. I have some news, and I don’t want you to be mad at me.”
“What is it?”
I took a deep breath. “It’s over between Celiene and me.”
Her reaction was a little surprising. Kay grinned from ear to ear and expressed her excitement. “Darren, that’s wonderful!” She quickly recanted, not knowing how I would feel about what was going on in my life. “I mean, I mean. Oh, I’m so sorry for you.”
I laughed out loud. I was happy that she was excited. “No babe it’s okay. It just means I’m available.”
Her question both blindsided and confused me. “Yes, for you and Carl of course.”
She hesitated. I was sure that I was going to get to make love to her that day, but…
“I don’t know, Darren. I’ve heard rumors that Dude is on the prowl again.”
Rumors? Who in the hell did she hear rumors from? She was way the hell out here in Jericho. She had an infant, which meant she didn’t get out much. Was I that famous that she heard about me just randomly? I don’t think so. I think she was making stuff up because she was scared. My feet instantly got hot.
“Are you telling me you don’t want me?”
She shook her head, quickly trying to back away from her previous statement, but it was too late for that. “No Darren it’s not that...It’s...”
I was pissed. “Are you seriously doing this shit to me again? How many times are you gonna do this?”
She hung her head. “Darren I’m sorry. I love you, but I don’t think I can trust you right now.”
“Fuck it Kay. I’ll come to see Carl another day.” I was not in the mood to deal with her bullshit. I quickly left without giving her a chance to respond and got into my car. I drove home thinking of nothing but her, and how much I wanted her. Did she want to be with me or not? I wish I had a real answer.
Who in the hell does she think she is? Damn it! I have wasted so much time on that woman! If she didn’t have my son, I would be done with her for sure. But now I’m attached to her for the rest of my life. FUCK!
Yeah, I was pissed.
The following day, I didn’t go into the office. I didn’t call Jeffrey to let him know, I just stayed at home. I was busy typing up a new proposal when there was a knock on my door. When I didn’t ask who it was, my door opened, and to my surprise, it was Jeffrey. I looked up, still angry from the day before.
“What the fuck do you want?”
“You didn’t tell me that you weren’t coming to work today.”
I smirked. “I don’t have to fucking tell you every move I make, Jeff.”
He shrugged. “And I’m not here to baby sit either. I have news.”
“Can’t be good, because you are here. What is it?”
Jeffrey sat in the chair in front of my desk. “Well it’s two things.”
I rolled my eyes. “I am in no mood for your games and bullshit Jeff. What is it?”
He gave me a half smile and shrugged. “Well, Harrison accepted our proposal.”
That made me happy. “What? Oh, holy shit! That’s great news!”
Jeffrey chuckled. “I thought you would like that. We meet with Richard Sr. next week.”
“Oh man, I can’t believe after all this time it is going to be over.”
“I know, right?” My best friend grinned.
“So, what’s your other news?”
He grinned widely. “I think it’s about time I asked Melissa to marry me.”
What? No, no. Hell no. He couldn’t get married. Okay so yes, I did it before he did, but my marriage was different. If Jeffrey did it, he was doing it for real. Unlike me. I disagreed. “Don’t do it man. Just love her.”
He crossed his arms in front of him and squinted his eyes. “I thought you would be happy for me.”
Wow. I didn’t mean to say that to him, did I? I guess I should have said something more supporting. He was my best friend after all. I however was still very emotional from the day before. “I’m sorry. I’m just upset.”
“Well that’s obvious. What’s going on now?”
“Celiene is fighting me on the amount of her alimony, and Kay...”
“Oh, holy shit man,” Jeffrey smirked. “When are you going to give up on her?”
“I guess I should. But it’s gonna be hard since she has my son.”
“I’m getting a little tired of this.” The tone in his voice was disappointment.
It should have been. I was a little disappointed in myself.
Six months later, the divorce was final. Wow. Some people move very quickly, and others not so much.
It was insane having to live without my son in my life every day. Though Darren and I shared custody, I still missed my little boy when he wasn’t with me.
The divorce from my very rich husband left me with an average woman’s salary. Sixty thousand dollars a year and I didn’t have to work. That left me with nothing to do when Tevin wasn’t with me.
The rent on my apartment was paid every month; the maintenance on my car was taken care of as long as I took it to the “designated” Mercedes dealer. I thought that was cool. I would just take my car in, and Darren picked up the bill.
I was upset that he suddenly decided to leave me, but deep down I knew that I could never compete with Kay. I don’t know how I even thought I could. But I had to try. Perhaps I thought he would learn to love me. Not saying that he didn’t love me, but she…she was the true love of his life, and I knew that before I married him. I just wondered how long it was going to take for me to get the invitation to their wedding.
Leonard, knowing what I was going through, was very attentive. I liked that. I also liked the fact that I didn’t have to compete with any other woman. He was good to me. If I didn’t know better, I would say he was in love with me. But that was ridiculous. Or was it?
We had come back to my place after a dinner date. He stroked my cheek and gave me a gentle kiss. How did I feel about Leonard? In the four months that we had been dating, I didn’t really think about it.
“Celiene, when are you gonna move out of this hovel, and move in with me?”
I shook my head. “I can’t Leonard. It is a condition of my alimony.”
“So, he keeps your son, pays you a measly five grand a month. Right?”
I nodded. “Right. I know it sounds crazy, but this is what he wanted.”
“When do you get to see Tevin?”
“Two weeks a month,” I said thinking about my little boy being taken care of by a stranger.
“That’s not a bad deal actually.”
I pushed out of Leonard’s arms. “It’s a shitty deal! I am that boy’s mother! He needs to be with me! Not a nanny!”
“I’m sorry, babe. I’m sorry. But at least you get that. With as much money as he has, he could have given you the summer, and that’s it.”
I rolled my eyes because Leonard was right. “True. He may be rich, but he’s not a monster. I’m grateful for my two weeks a month.”
“So, what happens if you get married again?”
“Oh, come on Leonard. My divorce was just final yesterday.” And it literally was.
He smiled at me with his gorgeous white teeth. “So how come we aren’t married yet?”
I chuckled. “We? Leonard what are you talking about?” Was he serious? He couldn’t have been.
“I have loved you since I laid eyes on you Celiene. You had to know that. I’m a little older with a little less money, but one thing is for sure. I love you.”
I couldn’t believe it. Was he serious? “You hardly know me Leonard.”
He smiled and took my hands in his. He looked me in the eyes and started. “Well, for starters, you are kind, and generous. You are a hell of a cook...”
He went on and on about things he knew about me. Perhaps he did love me.
Jeffrey said he wanted to get married. I told him not to do it. He’s my best friend and expected him to listen to me. And after all these months, I thought he had.
She was the most beautiful woman in the world to me. What started off as just a thing, turned into a real relationship, and I would have never seen coming. I was going to marry her regardless to what Dude said.
My proposal was going to be amazing. Even if she told me no, she was going to remember it for the rest of her life.
I had just finished making love to her. It was early in the morning, and yes, I planned it that way. I rolled out of the bed and pulled her out of bed as well.
“Babe, did I ever tell you how gorgeous you are?”
“You tell me all the time.”
“Well, I mean it. And just to celebrate your beauty, I have a huge day planned for us.”
She grinned widely and clapped her hands together like an excited school girl. “Oh, I always love it when you say that! What are we going to do?”
“Well, today is going to be a surprise, and I bought you some new clothes for the occasion. Go pick something out, and I’ll get dressed too.”
She kissed me on my cheek. “I love you, Jeffrey Hughes. You are the most wonderful man in the world.”
“Aw, thanks babe. Now go get ready.”
The both of us took a shower and got ready to go. She picked out the cute yellow sundress, and I put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.
She looked great as usual. I smiled at her and asked, “You ready?” She nodded with excitement. I chuckled. “Come on.”
My driver drove us to the airport. I gave him instructions earlier in the week not to tell Melissa anything, and he didn’t. When he pulled into the airport, Melissa was confused.
“Babe, why are we at the airport?”
I looked at her, smiled, and pulled out my phone. “Hold on babe.” I sent Dude a text message.
Hey, Dude. I am going out of the country for the weekend. I will be back on Monday. Text if there is a business emergency. But otherwise don’t bother me.
I waited on his reply to make sure he got my message.
Where in the hell are you going?
I chuckled. I will tell you when I get back where I have been. Later.
I then turned off my phone and put it back in its holster. Melissa was still dumbfounded. “Babe, why are we at the airport? And who were you texting?”
“I was texting Dude, and this is part of your surprise.”
“So where are we going?”
“Don’t spoil this by asking Mel. Just go with the flow. Come on let’s go.” I turned and walked in the direction of the private jet terminal. I didn’t look to see if she was behind me or not; we had a plane to catch.
I heard her yell, “But babe I don’t have any suitcases or anything!”
I didn’t stop. I just kept on moving. “Come on Mel!” I looked back to see her standing with her arms crossed in front of her. “Melissa Ann! Bring your ass on, or we will miss our plane!” I turned and kept walking. She finally got the hint.
I chuckled as I heard her running behind me. When we got to the terminal, it didn’t take long for her to realize where we were.
“A private jet? Where are you taking me? Why can’t we fly commercial?”
I sighed and smiled. “Because if we did that, then you would know where I was taking you.”
She suddenly reverted to her ten-year-old self. She crossed her arms and literally stuck out her lip. She was so cute!
“I am not getting on that plane until you tell me where we are going.”
I gave her a smug smile. “I bet you will.” I walked outside to get into the car that awaited us. She still hadn’t moved. She needed some motivation. Knowing her affinity for new clothes, I held the car door open, and threw her a bone. “I’ll buy you some new clothes!”
She didn’t move for at least thirty seconds. I waited.
“Okay, okay. Coming,” she said in defeat.
I laughed hard as she got in the car, and I closed her door. Thirty minutes later, we were in the air. She and I talked about various things for the first few minutes of our trip. She tried very hard to get me to tell her where we were going, but no such luck. After two hours, my beautiful girlfriend rested her head on my shoulder and drifted off to sleep. It wasn’t long before I was asleep as well.
We slept for the remainder of our trip, and I was so excited to show her what I had done for her. As we were flying in, I could see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Now was the time to wake her up.
“Mel baby, you wanted to know where we were going?”
“Yeah,” she replied, sleepily nodding her head.
“Look out of the window.”
She rubbed her eyes and glanced out of the window. Thinking she may have seen a famous landmark, she rubbed her eyes again. This time, she was certain.
“Oh my God, Jeffrey! Paris! I can’t believe it!”
I chuckled and gave her a chaste kiss on her forehead. “It just gets better from here baby.”
We checked into the very exclusive La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa. Six grand a night, but she was worth it. The following morning, I kept good on my promise and took her shopping. We traveled from store to store as she picked up a pair of shoes here, and a top there. It was getting late, and I had to get on with my plan. I had one last shop that he wanted to go into. We walked into a high-end wedding dress boutique.
Mel was confused. “Okay, why are we here?”
I shrugged. “Oh, I don’t know. I just thought we might have a little fun.”
She knew exactly where I was going. “So, I can try on wedding dresses like on that show on TV?”
I nodded. “Sure. This trip is all about you babe. Have fun.”
“Do they need to know that I’m not getting married?”
I shook my head. “Nope. Just pretend you are. That way they will work harder for you. You will have them giving you all of their attention.”
She was excited as I was. “Yes! This is going to be fun.”
We weren’t in the store long when a woman approached us. “Welcome to Robe de soiree. I am Julia. How can I help you?” She asked in a strong French accent.
Melissa looked at me and giggled. She turned back to Julia. “I am looking for a dress...” and that started a whole afternoon of shopping for a dress she thought she would never wear. Julia asked me what my budget was, and I told her I didn’t have one. That would ensure my babe got the dress she wanted.
The last dress she came out in she seemed to be most happy in. Is this the one you want babe?”
“Most definitely. I love it!” She exclaimed.
It was at moment that I dropped to one knee. I reached for her hand and held it as I said what I had to say. “I kneel at your feet because you are a queen and live to serve you. You are the queen I have loved for a very long time, and I desire to make you mine. If you say yes, we will be together forever. If you say no, I would still love and respect you.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out the ten-carat diamond and placed it on her delicate finger. “Melissa, will you be my wife?”
We had the entire store caught up in our love. Everyone was applauding, and Mel was softly crying. The next thing I knew, Melissa fainted before she could give me an answer. Talk about embarrassing.
Later that evening, I tried the proposal again over dinner on our patio with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. “I love you, Mel. Will you please do me the honor of being my wife?”
She got up from the table, went to the railing, and looked out over the city. Was she going to turn me down? I hoped not. I got up and stood next to her. I put my hand on the small of her back and waited for her to speak.
“You’re not going to get tired of me?”
I shook my head. “No babe, not at all. We will be happy for the rest of our lives. Marry me.”
My best friend came home the following Monday. Three weeks later, Jeffrey and Melissa got married. I was feeling sorry for myself again...and that is never a good thing.