New Beginnings: Bob and Jolynn Ch. 01byTexasFarmBoy©
It began in early March and Bob Collins was sitting alone at a table in the middle of the large meeting room nursing a single malt scotch on a Saturday night. His eyes wandered around the room noticing various people. He knew most of them having been to many of these meetings before. The industry he worked in had semi-annual meetings usually in Dallas because of its central location. Somewhere between 100-150 people usually showed up for a few meetings and some socializing. The meetings gave everyone a chance to check what the competition was doing, make a few new contacts, find vendors, and otherwise tell a lot of lies to each other.
In his early days with the company, he had enjoyed the meetings. Later he went because his boss asked him to. The fact was that Bob would always do what Mr. Jay Crimini asked him to do. His loyalty to the man was well-known in the industry. Several companies had tried to hire him away only to be met with a "you-have-got-to-be-kidding" stare in return. No one tried to ask him anymore.
It wasn't so much that the others didn't offer him more money; they always did and often it was a lot more than Bob was currently making. Although they didn't know it, Bob Collins wasn't really motivated by money. He was motivated by his work and he was motivated by loyalty. Without talking or thinking about these motivations very much, Bob wore these issues like a closely fitted sweater every day. He was content. The other side issue that kept him in Dallas was that he had no desire to leave Texas and more specifically the Dallas area.
So he sat in another meeting since Mr. Crimini hadn't been able to attend. That concerned Bob because Crimini was 68 years old and he sensed that his health might be deteriorating. If Bob had a concern it was what he might do if Crimini died or sold the company. He wasn't sure if he wanted to go looking for another job or if he wanted to work for high pressure, MBA-led company that seemed to dominate most of his industry. In fact, there were only a few old style companies still left: family-owned, owner-operated, and stable companies like Crimini.
Quietly, Bob had begun simplifying his life. He had saved some money and still had the insurance settlement from his wife's death, so he knew that he could survive quite a while without having another job; but he knew that he needed to find satisfying work to keep his mind sharp. There was only so much he could do with the little 20 acre farm he had bought about an hour or so south of Dallas. He had spent three years fixing the house up and starting a garden. His didn't want the responsibility of raising animals at least at this time. To date, the only person in Dallas who even knew about this place as Mr. Crimini. He had met a few folks in the nearby town on the weekends he spent there, which had become almost every weekend. But they knew little about him except that he was a part-timer.
In short, Bob was content if not exhilarated by his life, his work, and his avocation. At that moment, Bob was unaware that his life was about to take an unexpected turn that would totally change his life in just under a year. This change began that night at the meeting when he noticed a very attractive young lady walking purposefully toward him. She was about 5'5" and in the 120 lbs range. He noticed that her body was well proportioned and that she knew how to select and wear clothing that enhanced that body, not in a slutty way but in a confident, almost elegant way. He had seen her mingling during the evening but did not recognize her. He was also aware that almost every important man in the room had spent some time with her and that the horny vultures had paid their respects also. But now she was walking across the room directly towards him carrying two drinks, one clear and one the color of scotch. Bob thought that if she tried to sit with him, he would be polite and talk to her briefly, and then make excuses and leave.
Sure enough, she walked straight to him, stopped, and delivered an award-winning smile directly at him before she spoke. "Would you pull the chair out for me, please? My hands are sort of full." Bob stood and pulled the chair out as she put the two drinks on the table and then sat down. Bob helped scoot the chair to the table like the gentleman that he always was.
As he sat down, the already confused Bob could only reach for the drink she had brought and found that it was a single malt scotch.
"So where are you taking me for a drink when this thing is over which should be about 30 minutes from now?" The beautiful smiling face asked in a perfectly natural way.
"I guess that I wasn't aware that I would be taking you somewhere so I hadn't planned anything." Bob struggled awkwardly. "And can I ask, why would you want to have a drink with me?"
"There are several reasons why. The first ones have to do with the fact that you are the only man here who hasn't hit on me tonight, you are the only man who hasn't ogled my breasts tonight, and because I told all of those guys who were hitting on me that I had a date with you after the meeting. Those are the three current reasons why you are taking me out. Oh and just for the record, they are real, C-cup, and very sensitive. In fact, everything about me is real as you will discover when the time is right."
Bob sat silently for a moment trying to digest what was going on. Finally he decided to respond with something that he felt was awfully lame. "Now that that is out of the way, may I ask what your name is?"
"Oh yes that; I forgot my manners. I am Jolynn Cremona. I graduated with an MBA from SMU but I live and work in St. Louis."
"Ah, you work for Cremona Brothers."
"Yes, and you are Bob Collins and you work for Crimini."
Bob now put his guard up a little. Crimini did a lot of work with Cremona. He now suspected that this whirlwind introduction was a softening up exercise to get him to do something for Cremona. But he wasn't sure what it could be. There hadn't been any rumors or hints that their relationship was in trouble or that there was a major new product in the wings. He decided to play along and see if he could discover what was going on here.
"Since your name is Cremona, I assume that you are related to one or both of the Cremona Brothers."
"Both actually, one is my father, the other is my uncle."
"Probably not, but that is OK for now. It's only been twenty minutes but I am so bored with this meeting and so ready for you to take me out of here, let's blow this dump. Have you decided where we are going yet?"
"Well there is a bar across the street........."
"Not another boring hotel bar. I want you to take me to that special place you would take someone special to. The place where you are most comfortable, is quiet but has some light music, and we can talk."
"Oh, that place." Bob's mind whirled as he tried to think of a place like that.
"Don't burn out your brain cells."
"It's just that I haven't had anyone special to take anywhere special for a very long time so I don't have a list of those kinds of places right on the top of my head. There is a place I've only been to for lunch that I think is open late. As far as I know it fits all of your requirements."
"Then that is where you will take me. I don't have a purse, so finish your drink and lead me out of here."
There was only a drop left in his glass, so Bob finished it and stood to pull her chair out for her. As she was standing, he said, "I assume that since you want some place quiet, we have some business to discuss?"
"You could call it that, I guess. We'll probably talk a little about business. The main thing is that I think we need to start getting to know each other since you will be marrying me probably in about a year." She took his arm, leaned close to him, and led him toward the door. With no conscious awareness of where he was or why, Bob dutifully followed her lead as he tried to process what she had just said.
When they reached the sidewalk in front of the hotel, he stopped her and asked the expected question, "Would you repeat that?"
"You heard me perfectly well or you wouldn't have that struck-by-lightning look all over you face."
"Then perhaps you should tell me why I am going to marry you."
"Because you will want to. So tonight, we are starting the process of getting from hello to I want to marry you. Now do you understand?"
"Yes, that makes perfect sense." Although Bob still had no clue what was going on.
"Don't worry, you'll figure it out. I have confidence in you otherwise I will say no when you ask me. But I have confidence in you so when you do ask, I'll say yes. We'll have to take your car because I didn't rent one. I knew I wouldn't need one."
Deep in thought, Bob took her arm and led her to the garage where he had parked his car. He opened the door and let her in. When he sat down, she turned to him and said, "I like the smell in your car, it smells like you. I don't even smell lingering perfume."
"That's probably because there has never been a woman in the car before."
"Good, let's keep it that way."
Bob pulled out of the garage and drove across town to an area that had been old and run down but was being restored to an elegant up-scale style. He parked and took Jolynn's elbow and led her to a nice but unassuming entrance. On entering, they were greeted by a very attractive young woman who met them with a smile. "Hi Bob, it is nice to see you again. Two for a nightcap?"
"Yes, that would be nice."
The greeter led them around the perimeter of the room and between two partitions and through a curtain. She turned them to the right and into a booth that was behind one of the partitions.
"Bob, since you haven't been here at night, I will tell you that we only have finger food trays and whatever you want to drink available. Here is the list of what we have. If you tell me what you want to drink, I'll get it while you look it over and decide what you might want."
Bob ordered another scotch while Jolynn asked for a white wine. Jolynn looked around. In the center was a small stage where a woman in a long dress was playing a harp. The lighting centered on the stage and she could just make out that there were other booths like theirs surrounding the stage but she couldn't see if they were occupied. It was also very quiet. She couldn't tell if there were others in the room or not.
The girl returned with their drinks. Bob ordered several items including the shrimp that Jolynn wanted.
When they were alone, Bob uncomfortably asked, "You seem to know a little about me even though we just met and I know nothing about you."
"Actually I know a lot about you."
"Like your birthday is January 10, you are 36, you graduated from TCU with a degree in English, you have worked at Crimini for 15 years and are a genius in manufacturing flow and operations, your wife died in a car wreck three years ago, you live in an apartment here but spend weekends at your farm which by the way I am dying to see, and you need to come out of your funk and start living again. Does that satisfy you?"
Bob was shocked. Some of these things weren't exactly a secret and could be found out fairly easily but other things he didn't have a clue about.
"Don't worry about it. You'll find out how and all of the other things I know soon enough. And just so you know, you know more about me than you think you do."
"Since you haven't figured it out yet, I'll tell you. Who have you talked most to at Cremona for the past three years?"
"Well I've talked to the receptionist and John in purchasing and Joy in Engineering Support. Those are the ones I talk to mostly."
"Well it isn't Joy; it is Jo as in Jolynn. I guess when all those Italians say Jo it does kind of sound like Joy."
Bob looked shocked for about the twentieth time. "You are Joy?"
"No, I am Jo but starting today, it is Jolynn to you. I like the way you say it with your Texas accent."
"Ooo, that sounds so Texas and sexy when you say that."
"I can't believe that you are Joy, I mean Jolynn. I've built a picture of you in my mind and it wasn't a beautiful, elegant woman like you are."
"That's probably because when we talk, I usually have ten engineering drawings spread out over my table that I'm pouring over looking for mistakes. Or because at work I wear jeans, a bulky sweater, and my hair in a pony tail. I've got to keep those horny Italians at bay somehow, you know. Or it might be because I yell across the room to get someone's attention and it frequently starts out with "Get off your fucking ass and....."
"Yes, that is the picture of Joy I have, so I'll shelve that one and start a new one for Jolynn."
"Just remember, C-cups and they are real. That will do for starters."
"Is that the image you want me to start with?"
"Why is that important?"
"You told me you were a breast man once. I knew I wanted that seed planted first to get it in on the ground floor of your new image of me."
Bob's face turned red. "I don't remember telling you that."
"Well, you did. After the Super Bowl last year we talked about the cheerleaders. I mentioned that they had dancer's asses and legs. You said that you didn't notice them because of their other assets."
"I guess I did, didn't I?" he said sheepishly.
"Yes, you did. I'd call you a pig except it would get our relationship off to a bad start and besides, I already know that you're not one."
They talked and nibbled and talked some more. At one point, Jolynn dipped a shrimp in the sauce and stuck it in his surprised mouth. Then she licked the excess sauce off of her own fingers. Without knowing it, they had talked for over 2 hours and showed no signs of slowing down when the server approached them.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but we will be closing in about thirty minutes. If you can start wrapping it up; and Miss, can I talk to you alone for a moment?"
Jolynn nodded and got up. The server added with a bright smile,"Don't worry Bob, I'm not stealing her from you, although if there was an available man around, you might have a fight on your hands. I just want to talk to her for a moment."
The server led her out and back to a semi-private area.
"I'm Sabrina, by the way. And yes that it my real name and yes my mother loves the original movie."
"I'm pleased to meet you Sabrina. I'm Jolynn." They shook hands.
"I really like Bob. He has always been a great guy every time he comes in but he has only come in at lunch and always alone. This is sort of unusual but I've been watching you with Bob and I sense that there is something special between you two."
"Actually we just met for the first time tonight. But yes, I want something more with him. Am I treading into a place you want to be?"
"Maybe at another time or place, but I can't now or I'd lose my job; so no, you are not threatening me. But if you were special with him, I thought I would tell you a little more about this place."
"That sounds intriguing. Go on."
"Well it is kind of a combination of a restaurant and a club. Anyone can come in anytime like Bob has. However, if woman likes it and is recommended by someone, only she can register with us. There is no cost or fee, we just ask for you to let us know who you are and some of your preferences so that we can serve you better when you do come in. This place was designed and is owned by a very well known woman who wanted to create a quiet place primarily for women who wanted to have business lunches or quiet dinners alone or with someone special. The key is always no hassle and good service. I won't lie to you, it isn't cheap but I think that you might find that the price is very reasonable for the services we offer. Oh and it is not a gathering place for sex hook-ups. There are many of those places around. There is plenty of romance going on here sometimes with a spouse and sometimes with a lover especially in the evening, but it is all private and discrete. I wanted to mention it to you in case you are interested since Bob can't register himself nor recommend you. We don't usually solicit someone, but I thought that you might be a special case."
"Actually, I do really like this place and I expect I would like to come back regularly, but I don't know anyone who can recommend me."
"You have already been recommended. She said that you might be coming in and that I should talk to you. Her name is Nikki Ronson."
"I should have guessed. She has been telling me about a place she wants to take me to but we haven't been in Dallas at the same time in quite awhile. So what do I do to register?"
"It is fairly simple really, I need your last name."
"Cremona, spelled just like it sounds."
"Great, I like that name. I will put it in the computer. Go to this website and on the right side there is a box that says register. If you put in a name that isn't in the computer, it will take you to a page to buy a tee shirt or something like that. If your name is in the computer, it will ask you for a password. For now, your password will be Sabrina. You can change it if you want after the first time. Then the website will open up and explain our rules and benefits and show you all of our services. And trust me, there isn't any hidden or strange agenda here. It is what we say it is. I will mention that one of the services is that you can select your preference in server. I would suggest that you try several to see who you are most comfortable with. Then if you want to select me or one of the other girls, all you have to do is put our name in the preference box. You also have the option to name a back-up server if your primary one is not available the day you come in."
"This sounds very exciting and interesting. You kept assuring me about things. Why?"
"Most of our women are professionals and get very cautious when they see or hear about something that seems too good to be true. And I think that when you look at the website, you will feel that way too. I try to reassure those people in advance that we are what we say we are. Nothing is hidden. Frankly, I love working here and wouldn't want anyone who registers to be disappointed even if they select someone else as their primary server. That's why even if I thought Bob made Brad Pitt look like street bum, I would never come on to him or try to date him. If I did, I'd be unemployed the next day. The same holds true if I tried to come on to you."
"You have to know how beautiful and sexy you are and that many women would love to get to know you. I am not immune, but I won't risk my job."
"Thank you for the compliment. As you said, in another time and place, I might just come on to you. And to show full disclosure, if I want someone, I always get them."
"Then we would both get what we want."
"But I also would not put you or your job in jeopardy in any way."
"Thank you. I guess we need to get back to Bob or he will think that I ran off with you. You will be in the computer before I leave tonight so anytime tomorrow you can register. Oh we also have a tradition that should wait until next time, but I think that you have earned it tonight even though you haven't registered yet."
"At the end of the evening, it is our tradition to give small kiss to our regulars as a sign that we appreciate their coming. You have the choice of the lips or cheek."
"There are several places I would like to feel your lips and my cheek isn't one of them."
"Very well..." Sabrina stepped up to Jolynn and gave her a chaste 3 seconds kiss on Jolynn's lips. "Thank you for coming and I look forward to the next time."
Then Sabrina led her back to where Bob was sitting still trying to sort out everything.