A History Lesson Ch. 03byJakeRivers©
After a couple of weeks James thought back over all that had happened over the last year or so. One person kept coming back into his mind, Beverly. At first he was just curious, wondering how she was doing, was she happy?
As agreed they had their first lunch at the end of Beverly's initial semester. This went really well and James was amazed at how much she was growing, not just with her course work, but personally. She was much more open and more attractive than he had remembered. He chuckled, thinking she must be a late bloomer.
At the end of her second semester, they had their next meeting, this time a dinner at a really upscale restaurant. James again was quite impressed with her continuing progress. She was excited with her studies. She was livelier, with almost a glow about her. Beverly had learned to dress better and had taken a couple of electives in Art and Music History.
They had a great meal and he made some suggestions about her studies. The main one was he wanted her to take each summer and spend in Europe, starting with France. He wanted her to not just learn history but see it up close. He said he would have Mark set it up.
The lunch ended somewhat awkwardly when she finally asked him about the ring on his left hand. She hadn't heard he was married. When he had told her about Erika, she got tears in her eyes and rushed away without saying goodbye.
Thinking back about those tears led him to wonder what they meant. He decided to drive down to Kalamazoo to see her. He had recently purchased a small, but attractive apartment complex close to the University for the use of the scholarship students. There were six buildings, each a two story duplex, clustered around a central picnic and pool area. There was a small stream circling the complex with many trees.
Beverly had moved in early because it was much closer to the University. A couple of other units were leased out to professors, but it would be some months before it was full.
When he got to the complex, it was late, around nine, but he felt it wasn't too late to stop by and see her. The complex was quiet, just the gurgling of the waterfalls in the stream and the whisper of the wind in the trees. There was good lighting, but it was somewhat muted. James made a mental note to get it upgraded. As he approached her unit he noted the lights were on in both the first and second floors. The other unit, to the right, was being repainted and hadn't been rented out as yet.
As he approached the door to knock, he heard a piercing scream from within. The door was locked so he kicked it in and ran inside. There were noises, as of fighting and moaning coming from upstairs. James sprinted up the stairs to the open bedroom door – what he saw shocked him to immobility for a second. There was Mark fighting with Beverly. Her blouse was torn off, and her nose and lip were bleeding from Mark's slaps.
James yelled at Mark and dived at him at the same time. All of his fury from seeing him with Erika and seeing him attacking Beverly exploded in a vicious anger. Mark turned, stunned just in time to meet the blow from James. That was all it took but James didn't realize it. He swung again and splintered Mark's jaw. He started kicking him and stopped only when Beverly threw her arms around him and tried to pull him off. He took a look at Mark and turned to Beverly. He was expecting her to be hysterical but she was calm.
The police took Mark away. It turned out he had money hidden and was on his way out of the country under a different id. He had lusted after Beverly every time he saw her and always remembered James' warning about not messing with her. Now that he was ready to leave he figured he could pay them both back at once.
He had called to tell Beverly that some forms needed to be signed immediately. She didn't want to – she was always a little afraid of him, but he insisted. He said he was going on vacation for a couple of weeks and the forms had to be signed that day so she finally agreed. When she opened the door, he immediately slapped her and dragged her upstairs.
After the police took Mark away in an ambulance, James took Beverly to the infirmary at the school to get checked out. She was fine and he took her down to his car.
"Beverly, the lock is busted on the door of your apartment so I don't want to take you back there. I don't think we can even stop by to pick up anything for you since we have no idea how long the police will be. Why don't I get you a room at the hotel? We can pick up a few things for you to wear on the way."
"James, I don't really want to be a bother!"
"Bev – can I call you that? – I insist!"
There was only one nice hotel in town so James took her there. The only room available was the "Honeymoon Suite". James got a laugh out of that, but Beverly was embarrassed.
After getting her installed in her room, he suggested they go downstairs for dinner. "The grill here is really outstanding, okay?"
Bev had quit arguing with James and just started agreeing; it seemed easier and she was still somewhat shook up.
She timorously asked, "Would they have a steak?"
"Would they? Girl, you are going to get the biggest steak you have ever had."
Putting her small hand in his they took the elevator down to the grill, and yes, Bev had the biggest steak she had ever seen.
Sitting there after dessert and feeling somewhat languid from the food, Beverly thanked him again for saving her from Mark.
"Bev, I'm really sorry I have somewhat neglected you, I didn't really mean for so much time to go by. It really is good to see you again. I guess the last dinner meeting didn't end well, but I did enjoy it very much. I never got a chance to tell you at the Apartment, but I have been thinking about you."
Beverly blushed a little but she didn't respond to James, remembering he was married to Erika.
After a few awkward moments, James said "we'd better get you to your room, you must be exhausted!"
As they walked to the elevator, Bev tentatively slipped her arm in his.
As James opened her door, she started to enter, but quickly turned to thank him again. He was closer than she thought, and she bumped into him.
He instinctively put his arms around her and gave her a kiss.
Beverly responded with a quick passion that startled both of them, but she suddenly jerked back and pushed him away.
James looked at her white face and asked "Bev, what's the matter! I know it was just a kiss, but I really felt something!"
"James" she blurted out "I felt it too! I don't know how to say it, but I was dizzy all of a sudden. But James, we can't do this, we just can't!"
"But why? What's the matter? It seemed so right."
"God, James! Don't make it hard. You know why."
With that she quickly closed the door and fastened the chain.
Feeling totally bewildered James made his way down to his car. Driving home he thought over everything that had happened. He had really felt a connection with Beverly, or Bev as he was thinking of her now. Once home he got a glass of smoky single malt (Laphroaig, 40 years old) and went to bed. Sleep didn't come easy. He laid there, eyes wide open, the kiss on his mind.
He mused, "I guess I have had her in the back of my mind since that day when she first came to my house asking for help. But boy, with that kiss it seems like she is all I can think about now.
The next day he drove back down, and stopped first at the police station. They gave their okay for Beverly to move back to her apartment, and said they would send someone to clean up the crime scene tapes right away. Next he stopped by a locksmith he knew and arranged for him to fix the lock that morning.
When he got back to the hotel, he went up to see if Bev had had breakfast yet.
When she opened the door to his knock, he quickly asked if she wanted to go down to the grill.
Not looking at him, she said "thanks James, but I ate earlier."
"Well, I can't take you back to the apartment until this afternoon, when the locksmith finishes with the door. Would you like to go for a drive?"
"No, you have already spent too much time with me."
James grabbed her hands and asked "Beverly, what is wrong? Everything was great until I kissed you. I guess I was out of line. I'm sorry!"
"No, it was okay, in fact it was great. And if things were different..."
He took he hand and led her over to the chair.
"Okay! That's enough. I have no idea what you are talking about. If you don't explain what's going on I think I might just have to put you over my knee and spank you!"
Looking scared, half believing he would do it, she stammered "you know... it's your wife, Erika!"
James broke out laughing, causing Beverly to turn scarlet with embarrassment.
Holding up his left hand, he told her "look at my hand, do you see a ring?"
He explained everything that had happened with Mark and his wife. Beverly had heard nothing of this, particularly about Mark running from the police.
Taking Bev's hands and pulling her up, James slowly moved into her and kissed her slowly, tenderly.
When he stopped, she stepped back and looked at him for a long minute and brightly said "Hey! I thought we were going for a drive.
After driving around for a while, he took her to lunch at the golf course club house above Morrow Lake. After eating they sat on the grass above the lake, not really talking, just sitting quietly, both engrossed in their own thoughts. Later, he drove them back to her apartment.
"Even though the lock is fixed, I don't feel right leaving you here after last night. But I guess you want to be alone."
He turned and started walking away.
"That's okay, James."
Confused, he turned back "What do you mean?"
"I mean its okay. I won't be alone because you are staying with me tonight."
"Sure, I guess I can do that and we will work something out later."
"No James, you don't understand. I love you and I will always want you with me. I'm not asking, I'm just telling you that's just the way it's going to be!"
He just stared at her, bewildered and somewhat stunned!
"James, remember when I pulled you off that creep Mark, you looked at me kind of funny, like you thought I should still be screaming. James, James – I knew you would come. I was scared sure, but where it really counts, in my heart, I knew. I guess I have loved you since the first class that I took from you. But I was such a mouse and so afraid of men."
"Now I want you to shut up and let me give you what I offered that day I came to you for help!"
Later that year James and Bev were married. She had their first child, a girl right after she finished her masters and a boy right after her doctorate. James found that she had a passion for something besides history!
Please provide feedback! I know that people like all different types of stories, so please consider this in your responses. Look at my favorite authors. These are the types stories I like to read so these are the stories I'll write. This was a challenging story to write since I've never been to Michigan.