Chapter Nineteen: Richard Harrison Sr.
Jeffrey did it up big. Well, at least bigger than I did. The venue was the same as my wedding, but well, it was just bigger. He had Melissa’s dress sent from Paris, invited everyone on our staff, and then some. The some included our clients. He even asked Leonard to be his groomsmen, and I was obviously his best man. I was quite surprised that he did that seeing that we knew Leonard was dating Celiene.
What surprised me most was Melissa’s choice for her Maid of Honor. It was Kay. Of course, it was Kay. Despite of how Kay and I felt about each other, Kay was Melissa’s closest friend. I wasn’t finished being surprised. Mel’s choice for her bride’s maid was Celiene. Oh, fuck my life. Both of them together in the same wedding? I think Jeffrey and Melissa did this shit on purpose just to torment the hell out of me.
I learned later that Kay and Celiene patched things up, after Celiene and I separated. They weren’t as close as Mel and Kay were, but they were talking. What did they talk about? Did they discuss me? They must have. I digress.
As best man, it was my duty to walk the Maid of Honor down the aisle. Again, I think we were set up, but I was still going to be there for my friend, no matter my feelings for the beautiful woman who I was still insanely in love with. But she didn’t want to accept me (Dude and Darren both), so I decided to end it regardless of my feelings.
I walked her down the aisle, waited on Celiene and Leonard, and the ceremony began.
“We are gathered together on this beautiful evening...” the priest started.
Everyone seemed to be very excited for Jeff. All except me. I did however keep the smile on my face.
“By the power vested in me, and the state of New York, you may now kiss your bride.”
Well, it was done. My best friend was a married man. Was I happy for him? Sure. But I was curious to see how long it was going to last.
The reception started as soon as the hugs and congratulations were complete. As the night went on, everyone was having a good time, or so it seemed, and that was good for Jeffrey and our business. I was standing in the middle of the floor speaking with Richard Harrison Sr. I looked across the room to see Jeffrey speaking with Leonard.
“Glad that you could help me out Leonard,” Jeffrey smiled.
“Not a problem.”
Jeffrey leaned in, “So I hear you and Celiene have gotten pretty close.”
Leonard was shocked. “Where did you hear that?”
“Mel and Celiene are friends, you know.”
“That’s right.” Leonard looked across the room to spot someone. “Is that Richard Harrison Sr. over there?”
Jeffrey proudly crossed his arms in front of his chest. “It certainly is. We closed a deal with him some months ago.”
“That’s pretty impressive,” Leonard gave an approving nod. “I hear he is a real bear to work with.”
Jeffrey laughed out loud. “Man, you don’t know the half of it. Would you like to meet him?”
The night moved along with lots of dancing, drinking, and eating. I watched Kay from afar but didn’t try to talk to her. I figured that if she didn’t approach she wanted nothing to do with me. Not even casual conversation, so I just stayed away from her.
The night moved on. I danced with my friends and drank a few drinks. I was having fun, which was a good thing.
I had to use the restroom, and to do it, I had to walk through my living room. I opened the sliding door and turned to my right. When I reached the threshold of my living room, I got the shock of my life.
There was Harrison standing behind my couch sucking face with Kay. What the hell? I thought. I didn’t want Dude to see what was going on, so I had to break it up. I walked closer and cleared my throat.
“Excuse me, I don’t mean to interrupt.”
“I will talk to you a bit later, my dear,” Harrison smiled and walked away leaving Kay alone to deal with me.
Knowing how Dude felt about her once, and in my gut, I knew he still loved her; I was just a bit angry. “And just what the hell was that all about?” I asked.
She pursed her lips, put her hands on her hips, and rolled her eyes all in one motion. Holy shit she was mad. “None of your business, Jeffrey.”
I thought about what a relationship with Harrison could mean to our deal. I shook my head. “I’m making it my business. You can ruin everything.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Do you know who that is?” I asked. Of course, she knew who he was, but she didn’t know who he was.”
“A wealthy and handsome man who has been admiring me all night!”
I shook my head. “There are plenty of wealthy men here who have been admiring you all night. You just can’t kiss on that one.”
She rolled her eyes at me again. “Fuck off, Jeffrey. I will kiss who ever I want when I want.” I took a deep breath. Before I could explain why she couldn’t do what she wanted, she lit into me again. “Oh, I see. This is about Darren. Fuck him too. He doesn’t love me anymore. I’ve moved on.”
“Kay, you don’t understand. Dude is the father of your son.”
“So what,” she replied. “As I recall, Celiene also has one of his children. You don’t seem to mind Celiene’s relationship.”
I sighed, “Kay you are different from Celiene in Dude’s eyes.”
She crossed her arms in front of her and asked, “How am I different?”
I couldn’t go into it at my own wedding reception. I hoped she understood. “I’m not gonna talk about it. If you are going to have a relationship with Harrison, could please keep your relationship private?”
“Fuck you, and fuck Darren Smith! I am a grown woman and I will do as I please!”
She walked back outside to rejoin the party. I watched her go and decided not to get involved today. Shit it was my wedding day.
I watched as she walked back outside to rejoin the party. I really wanted to talk to her. Dude would have ignored her, but it wasn’t Dude who wanted to talk to her. Darren missed her with all he had, and he was going to try and fix what he broke so long ago.
I walked up to her and gave her a gentle smile. “Hey Kay, how are you doing?”
I didn’t get a warm fuzzy. She sighed and replied, “I’m fine, Dude. How are you?”
Dude? What the hell? “Oh, so you’re calling me Dude now?”
“Why not? Isn’t that who you prefer to be? Dude Smith?”
She was really being a sarcastic bitch at the moment, and I was only going to put up with it for so long. My other persona was really trying to get out, and I didn’t want to let him. Darren had to remain in control of the conversation. “Why are you doing this?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Why are you talking to me?”
“Because you are the mother of my first born. I think I have that right.”
She smirked. “You have the right to speak to me when you come by and see your son.”
What the hell was wrong with her? I didn’t do anything except try to love her. Did she not want me to love her? If not, she could have just told me. I would have figured out a way to get over her. Dude again tried to escape. I held him back. “You have got to be the most exasperating woman on the planet!” I yelled and walked away. Shit, I tried to talk to her, but she didn’t want to talk. I left her alone.
A little while later, I was standing close to the patio doors chatting with Leonard when I witnessed something I should not have witnessed.
Kay walked right past me without a second glance. Who was behind her? Richard Harrison Sr. What was going on?
Harrison stopped in front of me with a shit eaten grin on his face. “Thank you for the invite, Darren. I had a good time.”
He winked and followed Kay out of the door. I knew what was going to happen. I didn’t want to think about it…but I did.
Is she trying to give me full custody of Carl? She better not be fucking one of my clients, I mused.
Five days later, it was time for my weekly visit with my older son. I was still very much in love with Kay, pissed at her, and yes, extremely jealous.
I rang the doorbell, and Kay opened the door like she was going out on the town. I didn’t like it.
She let me in. She didn’t even say hello. “Carl is in his room playing.”
I ignored her. I looked her up and down and said, “You’re all dressed up. Where are you going?”
“With who?” I asked, even though I had some idea.
“It is none of your fucking business, Dude.”
Dude? “Aw there you go with that Dude shit again,” I replied in an angry tone.
It was her turn to ignore me. “Do you want to see your son today or not? I don’t have time for this.”
I moved past her without another word. I went to see my son, and his room was pure destruction. I didn’t like it. After hanging out with him for about thirty minutes, I emerged from his room to confront his mother.
“His room is a mess. Do you need me to hire you a housekeeper?”
She shook her head. “No. I just haven’t had time to clean up his room.”
“I think it’s time he started spending more time at my house.”
“Why? He knows who you are.”
I shook my head. “That’s not my point.”
She took a frustrated breath. “So, what is your point, Dude?”
Damn it, she did it again. She called me Dude. I pulled it together and didn’t let it bother me. “You are just trying to get under my skin with that shit, Kay. Cut it out.”
She rolled her eyes. “Fine. I’m still waiting on your point.”
“He needs to get to know his younger brother. They are going to share my fortune.”
“Okay, I’ll accept that. But that is not your point. Spit it out damn it.”
I had no idea what she was fishing for, so I couldn’t give her what she wanted. I moved on. “That is my point. Who is going to watch Carl tonight?”
“Alani is coming over to watch him for me.”
“How come you didn’t call me to watch him?”
“Because you are always so damn busy.”
She was right. “Touché. However, you could’ve at least called.”
“You’re right, but tonight I chose not to.”
I didn’t want to argue with her anymore. “I will be by next week to get Carl. He is going to spend the weekend with me.”
She acted like she was surprised. Well maybe she was. I had never asked for Carl to spend the weekend with me.
“That’s not fair!”
Not fair? He was my son too. “To hell it’s not. Then you will have time to go on your dates.”
Done with her antics, I left. Mad as hell driving home, but it was more than our son that was keeping me close to her. As much as I hated to admit it, I still loved her. I didn’t want to love her anymore, but shit, I couldn’t help it.
Asshole, I thought as he walked his sexy ass out of the door. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He was sexy, made love like a warrior, had shit tons of money, and was good to both me and my son. But after what happened between us, I couldn’t afford to get that close to him again. I didn’t want him to break my heart. I had enough of that.
I put Carl in bed and waited on Alani. About thirty minutes after Darren left, she showed up.
“What’s the matter? Why the face?” she asked, seeing the obvious anger around my eyes.
“Dude just left here about thirty minutes ago.”
She shrugged. “So, what’s the problem? He’s fine as hell, rich, and he loves you.”
I didn’t want to believe it. I shook my head. “Mr. Smith only loves himself and his children. He stopped loving me a long time ago.”
Alani shook her head. “Not at all, Kay. He still loves you.”
I didn’t believe her. “And just how in the hell do you know that?”
“Well I heard from a reliable source that he keeps a picture of you on his desk.”
Still wasn’t buying it. “Who is this source?”
“Well, both Jeffrey and Richard Jr. say you are even on his desk in his house.”
I knew Jeffrey. He wouldn’t lie about something like that. A picture of me in both of his offices? People keep pictures of family and loved ones in their offices for a reason. I learned from Alani that I was one of those loved ones. I couldn’t believe it.
“Are you serious? How can that be?”
Alani smiled at me. “Don’t over think it. He still loves you. Now are you ready?”
Still caught up in my thoughts I replied, “Ready for what?”
Alani giggled. “Your date, silly woman.”
Reality. “Oh yes. My date.”
No sooner than I said it, the doorbell rang. Alani acted like a mother sending her daughter off to prom. “There he is. Go on girl get out of here. Carl is in good hands.”
“Okay, okay. How do I look?” I asked as I smoothed out my dress with my hands.
“Fantastic as always. Go on, go get the door!”
The doorbell rang again as I was on my way to the door. I opened it with a demure smile, and I let him in.
He kissed me on the cheek. “Hello beautiful, are you ready to go?” I nodded. “Well come on, we don’t want to miss our reservation.”
I grabbed my purse and we went to dinner in some fancy restaurant that I had never been to before. We talked about lots of different things, but I stayed away from the fact that Darren and I used to date. I was going to save that little tidbit for later. This was only our first date. I wanted to get to know him, before I started telling him all my personal business.
After dinner, we drove around the city for a bit talking and just taking in the city lights. I was really enjoying his company. He was a good looking older gentleman in every sense of the word. He opened doors; he pulled out and pushed in chairs. I hadn’t had it like that since Darren, and Jacob well, never did anything like that for me.
I was deep in thought thinking about the men in my life when I realized we were heading in the direction of Briarcliff.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“I thought we could stop by my house for a minute. You don’t mind, do you?”
Was it too early for this? No. I had to move on. Just seeing his house wouldn’t hurt. “No, not at all.”
He smiled and seemed to speed up as we made our way north.
I complemented him on his home, and yes, it was gorgeous. It almost had to be. He lived in the same city as Darren. Nothing in Briarcliff but huge mansions and extremely wealthy families, and old family money.
He went to his bar turned to me and asked, “So my dear, did you enjoy your dinner?”
I smiled. “Yes, I did. Thank you, Richard.”
“Would you like something to drink?”
“I’ll take a chardonnay.”
“Ana!” He called loudly.
Suddenly a short Hispanic woman appeared out of nowhere. I would assume that she was his housekeeper. “Yes sir?”
“Will you please go to the wine cellar and bring Miss Jacobs our best chardonnay?”
“Coming right up sir.”
Ana left the room and suddenly neither one of us had anything to say. Richard walked closer to me. I looked into his dark brown eyes and saw something I hadn’t seen from a man in a long time. And no, it wasn’t lust. It was gentleness, and kindness. My heart was all a flutter when he put his hand on the back of my neck and gently stroked my cheek with his thumb. It was soothing. He gently smiled at me, and I smiled back.
Then…he kissed me. It wasn’t a lustful kiss, but gentle and non-intrusive. It was my guess that he didn’t want to scare me. I let him know that I approved by kissing him back. He placed his hand on the small of my back and pulled me into him as we continued to kiss. Perhaps this is what I was missing all these months. Just a bit of tenderness.
We were interrupted by Ana who came back in the room with a bottle of wine. “The wine, sir.”
Richard didn’t let that shake him. He gently released me and took the time to look in my eyes and smile. I smiled back.
“Thank you, Ana. You may go.”
When Ana left the room, he motioned for me to sit, and he poured for me.
He handed me my wine and sat down himself. We were again without words. He stared at me like he had something on his mind. I could see the wheels turning. What was he thinking about? Then he said…
“Kay, will you spend the night with me tonight?”
Wow, I didn’t see that coming. “Richard, we hardly know each other.”
“I know. But I just want to hold you. It has been a long time since I was in the company of a beautiful woman.”
I thought about it for a second. Darren and I hadn’t been together since he married Celiene. Now that he was single again, he reverted to that whore he was when he cheated on me. So, I refused to sleep with him. Who knew what he was doing, and with who? Just to be held would be nice.
“So, if I were to say yes, then what about my son?”
“No worries. I will send my driver go pick him up for you. We have plenty of room.”
That was so considerate, how could I turn him down? “I would love to spend the night with you.”
He grinned. He had beautiful, straight, white teeth that seemed to be even whiter than they were against his dark complexion. “Wonderful. Ana!”
“Please send Nigel to Miss Jacobs house to pick up her son and her babysitter. You will find her address in my office.”
She nodded. “Yes sir.”
We waited until Alani and Carl arrived before we retired to his bedroom. I was a bit nervous. What if he didn’t want to just hold me? What if he wanted something more? Would I let him? Did I want him too? I had no idea.
He walked close to me, and again stroked my cheek. “You are so beautiful.” I nervously looked into his eyes as I allowed him to touch me. He softly said, “Turn around. It was almost like he was in control of my mind. I did as he asked, and he unzipped my dress, and slowly removed it. It was one of the most erotic moments that I’d had in a while. I decided that if he wanted to take my body, I was going to let him.
I stood there in my lacy bra and matching panties, and he stood there examining me. There was lust behind his eyes, and I could see it. But would he keep his promise? I was hoping that he wouldn’t. I wanted him as much as he wanted me.
He went to his closet and pulled out one of his shirts. He walked back to me and dressed me in one of his button ups. He smiled when he was finished.
“Come on, let’s get some sleep.”
He pulled back the covers and helped me in the bed before he undressed himself. I was quite surprised that he was so comfortable around me. Richard was extremely fit for a man his age. He could seriously give both Jacob and Darren a run for their money, and he was almost fifteen years older than both of them.
He got in on the other side of the bed and scooted close to me. He turned on his left side and pulled me close, so we were spooning. His muscular chest against my back, and my ass cradled in his groin. This felt great.
“Comfortable?” He asked as he kissed the back of my neck.
“Yes,” I replied softly.
That was Richards last word. I could feel his heart beating through my skin, and it seemed to be a normal heart rate. He was true to his word, and just held me, all night.
That, I appreciated.
The following morning, I was awakened by soft kisses. When I opened my eyes, Richard was up on his elbow grinning widely. “Ready for breakfast?”
I smiled. I hadn’t been so happy with a man in a long time.
We agreed to see each other the following weekend. We saw each other once a week for months. Oddly enough, Darren never asked where I was going or what I was doing. Alani told me that he was still in love with me. I didn’t believe her. I did however learn that Alani slept with Richard Jr. the night of Jeffrey’s wedding. Perhaps things were looking up for her as well.
One year later, Walter, Lucy’s son, decided to move in with me. I didn’t mind so much. Just so his mother stayed away from me. I didn’t want to start another relationship. If I were going to be in one, it was going to be with Kay. I will admit, it was nice having someone in the house to talk to besides Josie and Jessie.
By this time Celiene and Leonard were married. I was happy to give up that alimony payment, and everything else we agreed upon in the divorce. Leonard was a fat cat like me, so he could take very good care of her. She seemed a lot happier with Leonard than she was with me anyway.
Kay was seriously dating Richard Harrison Sr., and that didn’t make me happy. But I was not going to interfere. Just as long as I got to see Carl every week. She obviously didn’t love me anymore.
I was working from home one day when my phone rang. Looking at the caller ID I immediately answered it.
“Hey,” I said knowing it was Jeffrey.
“Hey, just wanted to call and let you know, I’m gonna be a daddy.”
I was excited for my longtime friend. “Oh man that’s wonderful!”
“I know right!”
“We’ll go out to celebrate.” Just then I got a knock on my door. “Oh, gotta go. Someone wants in.”
He ignored me. “We also have a potential new client. Do you want one of the junior partners to handle it?”
The knock came again. “No. But we’ll talk about work later. Someone is knocking at my door.”
“All right man, talk to you later.”
I hung up the phone and invited Walter, Josie, or Jessie into my office. “Come in!” It was Walter. “Walter, what’s up?”
“Hey dad. I wanted to talk to you about something,” He said with a bit of urgency in his voice. It was cool that he called me dad even though he was not my son. He however didn’t know that.
“What is it? I’m a little busy at the moment.”
“I want you to meet my girlfriend.”
He interrupted my work for something as trivial as, girlfriend. “Okay. I wasn’t aware that you had one, but fine. Where is she?” It was important to him, so I had to pretend it was important to me.
Walter called out, “Come on in!”
Walter’s girlfriend entered the room, and she was one of the most exquisite creatures I had ever seen in my life. So sad that I was twenty years older than she was. I however did look at the way she was dressed. Leather skirt and vest with studs everywhere. Knee high boots with buckles and laces.
By just the way she was dressed, this girl reminded me of Lucy. I was also very attracted to Walter’s mother at one point in my life. She changed my life. I just hoped that this girl wasn’t the same as Lucy. If so, Walter could no longer see her.
He smiled as he introduced her. “Dad, I would like you to meet Pearl Miller. Pearl, this is my dad, Darren Smith.”
She was as polite as she was beautiful. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Smith. Walter has told me so much about you.”
I shook her hand and nodded. “Not too much I hope,” I said with a comforting smile.
“Not at all sir,” she replied giggling.
“It is nice to meet you as well, Pearl. Will you please excuse us for a moment? I need to have a word with Walter.” I had to talk to my son. Where did he find this woman?
She smiled at me, and I would think that she even lowered her eyes. I ignored my medieval thoughts. She seemed to be a nice girl, and I may have been over reacting. But I wouldn’t know until I chatted with my oldest.
“Certainly sir. Walter, I will be in the hallway.”
He grinned at her. “Okay beautiful. I will be right out.”
The door closed behind her, and I lit right into him. “So, where did you meet her?”
“At work.” Walter worked at Jimmy’s Pizza in Brooklyn. A little joint with some of the best pizza I have ever eaten. When he moved in with me, he didn’t want to quit his job, so I didn’t make him.
I didn’t believe him. “Don’t lie to me, Walter. This girl does not work with you.”
He nodded. “Yes, she does. It is just her day off today. I promise she works with me.”
I looked at him and there was sincerity in his eyes, so I asked, “Why is she dressed like that?”
“Like what? I’m confused. She has clothes on.”
“Barely. She isn’t some hooch that happened to wander in your store, right?”
I’m sure I confused him even more with that statement. “Dad, what the hell are you talking about?”
I paused and thought that it wasn’t time to talk to him about his mother’s former life. “Never mind. She just reminds me of someone.” I quickly changed the subject. “Do you need anything else? I’m a bit busy.”
“No, I just wanted you to meet her. She will be around a lot.”
“Fine. But please respect the rest of the house and keep your business your own.” Walter was now a grown man juggling school and work. He didn’t want to leave the city, so he enrolled in NYU. His mother didn’t approve, but Walter was his own man. I was paying for school, so he could have gone anywhere he wanted.
He smiled, happy that I approved. “Yes sir.”
Three months later, Walter came to me asking permission for Pearl to move in. I told him it was fine as long as she respected my house, and all my sons, including him. He said she would, so I allowed it.
Ugh! Why in the hell was everyone else finding the love of their lives except me? I knew why. It was me all along. The one woman who loved Darren Smith, I pushed away, and I’m not sure why. But I wanted her back. Sure, she was in a relationship with another man, but after all this time, I still loved her. Do you know what it is like to love someone for years, and not have them at your side? Perhaps not. But I’ll be damned; I was going to get her back if it took the rest of my life.