Business and Pleasure Don't MixbySlirpuff©
"Let's see, shoulder length dark brown or black hair, medium build, dark eyes, mid to late thirties and I think five foot four to five foot eight should be about right," I thought to myself as I filled out the questionnaire. "Good sense of humor is a must and intelligent was a no brainer;" I laughed to myself at the pun I'd just made. "Needs to speak a second language preferably Spanish or Japanese and must like kids, that was a huge requirement." I looked at my answers to the questionnaire and tweaked a few of them before clicking send. I had also included a little paragraph on who I was, without mentioning names, and exactly why I was doing this. I wasn't expecting a runway model, far from it. I was looking for a normal woman who would be satisfied with me and my life style that also included my two children. You see, I loved the feeling of being in love and really enjoyed being married; just not to the woman I was currently married to.
Confused? You wouldn't be if you were married to Heather. We've been married for eight years and will not make our ninth. Looking back, I probably never should have married her. But hell, we've had the same arguments before we even tied the knot, although I thought that she would eventually grow up and change. I'm sorry to say she never did. Even after having two kids and countless arguments she never saw anything wrong with what she was doing. Heather would just say that's the way she was with a flippant tone in her voice and leave it at that, but not this time. She had crossed the line one too many times and I was done.
We didn't marry out of high school or even college. I wanted to be set in business. I wanted to have a stable life before I settled down. My two best friends in the world and I went into business together and spent six miserable years building our advertising business. We weren't huge but had a good customer base and we were growing every year.
I met Heather at a friend's party two years earlier when our business was into its fourth year and growing slowly but steadily. She was blonde, tall and very good-looking. I am not a troll but don't have the look women swoon over. I guess I'm a little better than average looking and if you didn't like me, well, that was your loss. I can remember back in college, once asking the hottest girl I ever saw to dance. I was a freshman and my two buddies dared me to go ask her. She'd turned down ninety-nine percent of the guys who asked her to dance and was just standing there with her group of friends looking great when I walked up to her.
"You want to dance?" I asked knowing fully well what she was going to say.
She gave me a holier than thou look and told me she'd rather not.
"Thank God," I said loud enough so everyone could hear. "For a moment I thought you were going to say yes and then I'd have to actually dance with you. I only asked you to be nice, you see an arrogant, self-centered cunt like yourself probably doesn't get to dance much what with her head shoved that far up her ass, but I thought I'd ask you anyway. But with that said, if you'll excuse me I needed to take a piss anyway," I said walking away from her and her stunned group. More than a few people started to snicker. As you can see, I have no problem calling a spade a spade. Well I never use to, that is before I met Heather. I guess I overlooked what she was really like.
Getting back to Heather, for some reason she decided to go out with me when I asked her. I wasn't exactly sure why, but was happy nonetheless. I was always busy so we didn't go out much; hell her dance card was often pretty full anyway. She was always friendly when we ran into one another and after our fifth year in business, things started settling down and my thoughts turned to women again. I had a few bucks in my pocket and for the first time in a long while I could now show a woman a better time than just a movie and pizza afterwards.
"Steve, how have you been? Still burning the midnight oil?" Heather greeted me, catching up to me in the mall.
"Work is still there, but we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. How about you? "Are you still at that accounting firm?"
"Four years next week," she crowed proudly. "You want to grab a bite sometime and catch up?"
"Sure, that would be great. Why don't I look at my schedule and give you a call," I told her surprised as hell.
"Great, I'll expect to hear from you soon," She even had a big smile on her face. "Well, I've got to go, I've got a hair appointment and don't want to be late." She waved goodbye and was gone in less than two minutes.
I won't bore you with the details of my dates there after, or my feeble attempts at courting Heather; let's just say I gave it my best and had some degree of success. Oh, all right, for me I was in seventh heaven. We'd been going out on and off for six months when we decided to become exclusive. We'd done a lot physically but she said that she wasn't going to go all the way with me until she was good and ready.
We were coming up on our fourth month of being exclusive when I decided to go all out. Saturday I took her to a fancy restaurant, went on a carriage ride around the lake and ended up at a nice dance club. It wasn't one with all the teenyboppers, but a more mature and upscale club. It was crowded and for the life of me I couldn't catch the eye of a waitress.
"Why don't I sneak over to the bar and get us something to drink. I'll be right back," I turned and began making my way through the crowd. It took me all of ten minutes, but when I returned to our table I noticed she was gone. "Maybe she went to the ladies room," I thought sitting down waiting for her.
At five foot eight and a full head of blonde hair she wasn't hard to spot especially on the dance floor. I didn't believe my eyes so I stood up to get a better view. Yes, that was Heather with some very tall guy. They were dancing to a salsa type of song and she looked hot dancing but way too close to him for my comfort. When it ended and a slow song started I figured she would come back to the table but when they latched onto one another a slow burn started down in my stomach. It had taken me three months to get that close to her and this guys hands were now all over her back and elsewhere on her body. If the music hadn't stopped just then, I was getting ready to go over and stop it myself. She walked back to our table with a big smile on her face.
"You're back," she said picking up her margarita. "It's hot out there," she was fanning herself with one hand and sipping on her drink in her other. "I needed that," she said finally putting the glass down. When another guy walked over and asked her to dance she was about to get up and go with him when I spoke up.
"You leave me again and dance with him, you can find your own way home tonight."
"Steve, it's just a dance."
"And, we're just on a date too, I guess?"
"Steve, you said it yourself you're not a big one for dancing but you know how much I like to dance," she said standing up. "It's just one dance and I'll be back in five minutes."
When she took two steps from the table, I stood up. I slammed down my drink, turned and started walking away. I could hear my name being called, and by the time I hit the door I knew she was right behind me. I gave the valet my ticket and waited.
"Steve, what the hell are you doing?"
"Leaving, what does it look like?"
"You were just going to leave me here without saying a word?"
"Heather, I told you inside that if you left me again I was leaving and you still walked away with that guy."
"Steve, it was just a dance, what's the big deal?"
"It seems to be no big deal as far as you're concerned," I said as my car pulled up.
"Steve, wait, I'll get my purse and wrap."
"I've got a better idea, why don't you stay and have a nice time dancing with every Tom, Dick and Harry. This way you won't have to worry about me being bored while you're on the dance floor," I got into my car. "Don't call me, I'll call you," I called through the window at a now pissed off Heather. I pulled away feeling just like Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. "What we have here is a failure to communicate," I remember him saying out the window just before he was shot; and that's just what Heather and I had.
She never called me nor I her. I dated others and even though I missed her like hell, I wasn't going to be taken advantage of or disrespected. If she had asked me first I probably wouldn't have minded her dancing a fast song or two with someone else; but never, I repeat never, a slow song. There was no way in hell I was going to let anyone that close to my supposed girlfriend.
Sandy and I were having dinner at Tony's; it was our second date, when I heard a familiar voice behind me. I didn't even have to turn around to know whose it was.
"Evening Heather," I said without even looking at her. By that time she had moved to the side of our table along with her man of the hour. "How have you been?"
"Just wonderful now that I'm no longer with an insecure man anymore."
"Glad to hear it. But, excuse my manners, Heather, this is Sandy, Sandy this is Heather, A girl I used to date."
"Steve, we did more than date."
"That's right we did; that is until you let your good looks and ego get the better of you. But that all behind us now, isn't it? Would you like to introduce us to your man of the night? That is unless you plan on dumping him for someone better later on," I said sarcastically.
"Fuck you, Steve."
"That's right, we never did get around to that either, did we? I can't say I'm sorry though. You've probably gone through ten guys since me and I'm sure they don't make a rubber thick enough to protect me from what you could possibly have." I smiled up at her. With that she turned her back and walked away. Her friend scurried off attempting to catch up to her.
"What the hell was that all about?" Sandy asked. "Remind me not to get on your bad side; what the hell did she do? Get you gang raped by a bunch of Hell's Angles?"
"I don't really want to talk about it and besides, it's in the past."
"Bull shit! Steve, the way you two were going at each other anyone can see you both aren't over each other; that is except the two of you."
The night kind of went down hill after that. There was a little making out on her couch after dinner but Mr. Happy wasn't cooperating My brain was throwing out millions of pieces of data for me to process.
"Steve, when you're done with her maybe we can try again, or not. I'm not use to playing second fiddle and I don't like it." She was right; I guess there was still something there. I mumbled something about calling her but we both knew it wasn't going to happen. I got one more kiss and I was out of there in my car going nowhere in particular.
The next week and a half was tough. We were running late on two projects and had three others on the line. When Ken told me to get my head and ass wired together I knew just what he meant.
"I can't get Heather off my mind."
"Steve, look, call her, wine, dine and fuck the shit out of her and come back tomorrow with your head on straight. I need you one hundred percent so we can get the rest of the projects done and on time. So, if it's not too much of an imposition can we please get back to work?"
It was easy for Ken and Andy, my other partner, to talk. They both had fiancées who loved them to death and more than understood about their working twenty-four seven to finish up a project. All Heather use to do was bitch if she wasn't the center of my or anyone else's universe. But Sandy had been right I still had feelings for her.
I chickened out calling, and sent her an e-mail instead. I asked if she was busy Saturday and told her I wanted to talk. When she got back and asked if it included dinner I knew she'd be there with or without food. I felt better and so did Ken and Andy when I finished my project and helped both of them complete theirs. You see, we were equal partners and when we set up the bylaws of the corporation we made them super tight. This way none of us could sell our shares without the approval of the other two; majority ruled in all cases. We each had our own specialties. Ken was a dynamite salesman and Andy was phenomenal graphic designer. Me, I could come up with the slogans and pull the whole project together including making sure we made money. We were a good team.
"Steve, what the heck are we doing here?" Heather inquired once we finished ordering.
"Just two old friends having a nice dinner together, that's all."
"Yeah right. And, what's with the e-mail? Were you afraid to call? Afraid I'd say no and hurt your little ego again?" With that I stood up.
"I guess you're right. It was stupid for me to think you've changed," I placed my napkin back on the table and got up to leave. "You're always going to be a self-centered bitch. You are never going to think about anyone else but yourself."
"Sit down, it was a stupid joke for Christ's sakes. Can't a girl make a little joke to break the ice?"
"If it was a joke, it wasn't funny and before we break any ice there are a few things I need to get off my chest."
"Can we at least wait until after dinner for you to lay out your terms and conditions? I'm more than a little hungry and if it get's too crazy I don't want to miss out on what should be an excellent meal. Why don't we have a few drinks, a nice quiet dinner and then beat the shit out of each other after that?" That was said with a smile that could melt the coldest heart.
"All right a truce until after dessert."
"Who said I was going to give you dessert? You may get a kiss but I never said anything about dessert," she said taking a sip of her wine.
It turned out that beating the shit out of each other wasn't she had in mind, and her idea of dessert was a hell of a lot better than mine.
"Now, wasn't that a lot better than yelling and screaming at each other?" she asked as we both lay there out of breath and panting.
"If I recall correctly I heard some screaming a little while ago."
"That was only when you stopped what you were doing when I was almost there."
"I call that giving you a good tongue lashing and you didn't seem to complain too much when I did it."
"Ok, you can give me a tongue lashing like that any time you want, only if we can finish up the way we just did; together." She rolled over on top of me and gave me more than a little tongue. "Now, about those terms and conditions."
That weekend we worked out most of our differences. We set limits for each of us and developed a safe word when one or the other was crossing the line. More than once I would get a call or e-mail from Heather with just one word, chocolate. We both knew what it meant.
"Got to go guys, see you in the morning."
"Steve, where the hell are you going? We can have the Carter layout done by nine if we work together," Ken told Andy and me. Andy looked beat and I was only firing on four cylinders.
"Heather's waiting dinner on me and I'd rather see her mug than yours over a cold piece of pizza any day," I said putting on my coat. "Besides, she's got a much better body than you do, and I hope to get a little before I'm too exhausted to get it up."
We were an item now and two months later she moved in with me. I still worked like a wild man but I figured I was building a future for the two of us; it would all be worth it in the long run. When I showed Andy and Ken the ring I planned on giving Heather they freaked.
"Look, I have nothing against Heather and I know you love her to death, but have you thought about what would happen if it doesn't work out?" I shot him an ugly look. "Steve, just hear me out. If you marry her and it doesn't work out, she could get half of what you own, including the business. We've worked too hard for some ex to walk in and start causing trouble. All I'm saying is to talk to our attorney and get his opinion on the matter. And if you're ok with what he says, go for it with both of our blessings."
"You guys need to get out more, you are working way too hard. Now that you've brought it up, what are you guys going to do with Ann and Linda? Have you brought up a pre-nup with them?" They both said their fiancées were ok with it and that if I didn't believe them, I could ask.
"Guys, it's just so impersonal and I know it's going to cause a fight."
"Steve, isn't it better to get it all out in the open now before you ask her? If you do it down the road, she's bound to think you have doubts. Get her to agree to it now and then ask her. This way you're protected and it never has to be addressed again. You'll sleep a lot better knowing that you're covered," Andy said. He was wrong, I slept a lot worse especially with Heather's hot body next to mine. All right. I was a wimp when it came to Heather. I was in control with every other girl I ever dated but when I looked at her my knees got weak and my brain turned to mush.
A week later, after dinner and a lot of sex I brought up the issue in I thought a round about way.
"Hon, can I ask you something?" I said starting our conversation.
"Sure babes, anything," she replied snuggling up to me.
"Do you trust me? I mean, do you think I'd ever do anything to hurt you?"
"No, I'd hope not. Why are you asking? "You haven't done something stupid have you?" Now she was sitting up looking at me.
"No I haven't done anything. It's just that I've been thinking about us and our future, that's all."
"Honey, I think about us every day and about how happy I am."
"You know I've worked hard to grow my business. I'm looking at it as my nest egg, you know, for our future."
"You work too hard, and your partners don't appreciate everything you do for them," she responded back making what I had to ask even harder.
"We all have our own expertise and we work together to get the job done; it's always been that way. But when we set up the company, we put in some bylaws that prevent anyone else from owning any shares of the company. This way only the three of us would ever own the company."
"How about if one of you wants out or if one of you dies?"
"Then the other two buy the third person's share of the company and it's kept with the original owners."
"Steve, what does this have to do with us?"
"Well, I'm getting to that," I half whispered, as sweat started rolling down the back of my neck and sides of my face. "Would you be opposed to signing a prenuptial agreement?" I managed to croak out hesitantly waiting for the explosion.
"So, you're asking me to marry you, right? And you want me to sign away my rights to anything and everything so when you get tired of me you can toss me to the curb like a piece of trash; is that about the extent of it?" Heather got up from the bed, and even in the room's dim light I could see the redness on her face. I was just starting to count down from five when she exploded. "You miserable piece of shit, who the hell do you think you are?"
"Listen, hon, let me explain," I tried to say before she shot, stabbed and hung me from the ceiling fan. The last thing I saw was her cute bare butt walking out the door that came off its hinges when she slammed it. That didn't go well. She disappeared for three days. I tried to get her at work but she wouldn't answer my calls.
"Thanks, guys," I told my partners after the second day. "Heather left me because I brought up that damn pre-nup agreement and now she won't even talk to me. Is there anything else you'd like me to tell her? I'm sure you two could come up with a few more things to get her even angrier with me if that is possible."
"Steve, I'm sorry, but how would you feel if she left you and you lost half of what you worked so hard to build?" I guess I knew they were right; it just didn't make it any easier to swallow. When I got home that night she was there waiting for me.