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Chapter 25

The dance was held in the old gym. It was a relatively small room. The committee had decorated it with a fall theme. The walls were covered with lots of colored autumn leaves. A small band (of students) provided the music. As Ken and Sue Ann walked into the room, the music was playing a familiar tune. It was easy to sense from the noise level that the crowd was having a good time.

Sue Ann created a sensation. Or rather, Sue Ann’s dress created a sensation. Everyone who glanced her way stopped, took a second and then a third look. Ken could see lots of men drooling. To say his date looked hot, would not begin to describe her.

Ken kept to his promise. He tried his best to get Sue Ann dancing with lots of other men. The problem was Sue Ann wanted to be with Ken.

When Peggy and Jeb walked into the dance, people were dancing to a slow number. Some were singing along with the music. Peggy could feel a glow in the room. Everyone seemed to be having a delightful time. Jeb took her hand leading her to the dance floor. It was easy to tell, Jeb was a good dancer.

After a few minutes, Peggy became aware of a mild commotion in one corner of the room. She managed to steer Jeb over that way so she could see what was happening. She spotted a blonde girl with a totally bare backed dress!

“Jeb, don’t look now, but wait till you see that girl in the bare backed dress.”

With that, Peggy spun him around so he could see.

Jeb exclaimed, “Whoa…… who invited her to a faculty dance?” He was obviously questioning the propriety of someone’s judgment.

Jeb turned so Peggy could get another look. Oh my God! She’s dancing with Ken Lister!

Peggy managed to turn Jeb around and away from the bare-back lady and Ken. She needed some time to collect her thoughts…….

First of all, Peggy realized that no one in town knew she and Ken were dating. Peggy had done of good job of keeping him ‘under cover.’ Then she begantowonder if they were still dating. I mean, I did break our date for tomorrow night. And now, he shows up with that bare-backed woman!

Then other thoughts came flooding into her head. I never told Ken I had a date with Jeb. But, he never told me he had a date with bare-back. Surely he knew he had a date last week when we were together. Why didn’t he tell me?

Of course…… we have no arrangement to go steady. I just assumed…………. . Peggy…. . never trust a man…. . never assume…. Peggy, you shouldn’t care a bit if Ken has a date with another woman. Be honest Peggy, you really do care! Damn you Ken Lister. I’ve fallen too hard for you!

Peggy looked over for another glimpse of bare-back. As they turned, she realized it was Sue Ann Hennessey! She was running to lose all that weight so she could lure Ken into her nest! And now she’s a blonde! Surely Ken can see through her……Time to be honest Peggy. With that dress, any normal male will go crazy!

Ken was not the kind of person who enjoyed the spotlight. As a consequence, dancing with Sue Ann in that dress made him very uncomfortable. He felt that everyone in the entire room was watching. When he thought things over, he realized it was Sue Ann was who everyone was examining, not him. In any case, he felt out of place and decidedly uncomfortable.

True to his promise, Ken kept his eyes roving for any single males so he could dance Sue Ann over and give her a shot with them. Then, horror of horrors, he saw a very familiar figure in a blue dress! What is Peggy Waldren doing at a faculty/staff dance? And who is that good looking guy with her?

As Ken danced Sue Ann over for a closer look, he began to think. No one knows Peggy and I are involved. I’m still ‘under cover.’ I have to be careful not to blow my under cover status. When he took a second look he could see the guy with her was short but definitely handsome…. . I wonder what Peggy thought when she saw me with Sue Ann???

I know…. . I’ll go up and ask to have a dance with my banker. That sounds legitimate.

As a dance number ended, Ken managed to be close by Peggy and her date. “I believe that’s my banker,” Ken exclaimed.

“Hi Peggy. Sue Ann, do you know my banker, Peggy, ah, I forget your last name?”

“Hi Sue Ann,” Peggy smiled. “Sue Ann and I have been jogging partners haven’t we?”

“Yes we have, only if you had run as much as I did the last three months you would only weigh 50 pounds.”

Everyone laughed.

Peggy made the introductions. “Sue Ann and Mr. ah Lister isn’t it? I’d like you to meet Jeb Richards. Jeb is a partner in my late husband’s CPA firm.”

Everyone shook hands. Ken thought, Damn it, Jeb gave me a nice firm handshake.

Sue Ann exclaimed, “Are you a CPA? I need someone to organize my financial affairs now that I’m in my own apartment. Is that something you could do?”

“Of course,” Jeb responded.

“Well, can we discuss this while we dance?” asked Sue Ann.

“I don’t see why not. Peggy, will you excuse me?”

“Of course, business is always important.”

As they danced off, Ken announced, “I’ve never danced with a banker, would you do me the honor? Peggy smiled, opening her arms. The second he felt Peggy’s incredible body next to him, his heart began pounding.

“This is the first time I’ve ever danced with you,” Ken began.

“It may be the last time,” Peggy replied in a disgruntled voice.

“You can’t mean that. I can explain everything”

“Well, this will be interesting, so you’d better begin.”

“Do you remember when you saw Sue Ann holding my hand before our first date?”

“I thought it was our second date.”

“You’re right it was our second date…. . Anyway, that night Sue Ann told me she realized I was not attracted to her because she was heavy. She told me she had a killer dress, size 12. She wanted to lose enough weight to get into the dress by the night of this dance. Only she needed a goal. Having a date with me was her goal to lose all the weight. I never thought she had a chance to lose all that weight in 3 months, so I agreed. I’m sure you would have done the same thing.”

“Did you see the dress before you made the agreement?”

“No, of course not.

“Hummm……I think people call that a ‘not-dress. ’

“A knot dress? There are no knots in that dress.”

“I am not discussing K- N- O- T- S. I am talking about N- O- T. A dress is supposed to cover up a woman’s skin. A ‘not-dress’ reveals more skin than it covers. That red thing is a ‘not dress. ’

“I agree. The back is really too much.”

“Too much! Don’t you mean too little.”

“Well, whatever you call it, the back is truly something.”

“The back! What about the front. I bet you can see 75% of her anatomy!”

“Peggy, I’ve no idea about that. I never look at a woman’s anatomy.”

“Right…. Ken Lister, I may be gullible, but there’s no way I’m falling for that line.”

“Well, OK, but my calculation is that the dress only reveals 67.5% of her anatomy.”

“Oh you have it down to a decimal figure! You’re terrible!”

“Peggy, why don’t you look over at where your date’s eyes are fixed? His face has been buried in her cleavage ever since they started to dance.”

Peggy looked. “Well, she’s taller than Jeb. He can’t help it.”

Ken decided to shift to the offensive. “Peggy, why didn’t you tell me you broke the date with me tomorrow night so you could be with Jeb tonight?”

“For the same reason, you never told me you had a date with bare-back.”

“But I explained the reason for my date. I have yet to hear why you are with Jeb.”

“Mr. Lister, I have no arrangement to go steady with you. Consequently, there’s no reason for me to explain anything. Now, it’s time to go back and reclaim my date.” As Peggy looked she added, “That is, if he can get his nose out of her cleavage.”

“Are we still on for a week from tomorrow night?”

“That will depend upon subsequent phone conversations……. . Are you planning to kiss bare back tonight?”

“Not a chance.”

“What about untying any bows?. . . . . . . Do you realize if you untie that bow she will be bare back, plus topless? That dress should be outlawed!

“You need to understand, Peggy, I’m walking on a high wire with no net! I need to be nice, her mother gave me my job, remember. In addition, when she begins to believe I am involved with someone else, I don’t want her so upset that she returns to the chocolate box and gains back all the weight she just lost. Consequently, I’m keeping her at arm’s length.

“What do you mean when she begins to believe you are seriously involved?”

“I told her I was in love with someone else on the way over here. After I shared that with her, I promised to introduce her to all the single males I could find at this party tonight.”

“You didn’t tell her about me?”

“Not you specifically, Peggy. I just told her I was seriously involved so that she would not feel betrayed and fall back into the chocolate box. Trust me, I leveled with her.”

“Trust you? Humph…. . I’ll bet you’ve had designs on that bow ever since you saw her dress.”

“If I did, and I’m quite sure she’d allow it, it would be very unsatisfying. You see, I’m deeply in love with another woman.

“I used to think that was the case. Now I’m not so sure.”

“Peggy, are you going to kiss Jeb tonight?”

“None of your business, Mr. Lister.”

When Jeb brought Peggy home, there was an awkward moment as they approached the front door. Peggy sensed Jeb wanted to kiss her. Because Ken was the only man she had kissed since Peter died, she decided to let it happen.

The kiss left Peggy indifferent. She decided to nip this in the bud.

“Jeb, I’ve had a lovely time. But, I think I should tell you that I would be much happier if we could keep our relationship on a business level. The truth of the matter is…. I have been seeing someone for several months and …. well, I think it’s becoming quite serious.”

“Peggy, I had no idea.”

“I’m sure you didn’t. I’ve been keeping him ‘under wraps’ until I’m sure how I feel about him. I don’t want Ned to get all upset until I am confident he is the right person for us.”

“Well, if it doesn’t work out, be sure and let me know.”

As Peggy crawled into bed that night she had the horrible feeling that Ken was untying that damn red bow.

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