Life after Death Ch. 07byExecutive Gent©
The weirdest thing was that my life had taken such a dramatic turn in the last 5 weeks, I had spent a weekend with a great woman and we had taken time getting to know each other over the following weeks. We found that we seemed to be able to talk for hours but also, as you will have noticed from previous chapters, I had also had some of the best sex I could remember.
I needed to get to know Rachel better, and how she felt about taking our relationship further, I was enchanted by her and Alice, there was no doubting that. But Issy and Tim had been through so much recently. Jane and I had always agreed that I could do anything with my life after she died, and that she wanted me to find happiness after her death. But she made me promise that whatever I did, would be in all our interests, and that I would safeguard them beyond anything else. Obviously, as a parent I would do that, but it was what we felt in those last months was critical to safeguard our family unit.
Today, it was easy to rationalise that during the last two years I had not functioned as a whole human being, but even in my darkest hours I had tried to be a good father, I knew that I could never take the place of their mother, but I the fact that I loved them was never in doubt. I always made sure that there was food on the table, the washing and ironing was done, doing everything in my power to ensure that I kept a sense of normality and routine, even if my heart was breaking on the inside. I also tried to balance my business and home life making the children secure in the knowledge that they were my number one priority and that I loved them very deeply. They knew that I was hurting and I made sure how much they understood how I loved their mother and how much she loved them, as I said she had made a tape before she died, and it was always available to them when ever and however often they needed to watch it. She was to be an integral part of their life, but they needed to be secure in her love and not let her death stop them developing as rounded human beings. This was sound advice from a caring and devoted parent, however as you will have seen, I had been almost incapable of following my own counsel during that period.
Miles and Helen, Jane's parents and my own had been fantastic support but until the day when I had the vision about being with Jane again and the chance meeting with Rachel at the dinner party in February I had not seen my need to move on. I had just existed. I had told my in laws and my own parents about meeting and seeing Rachel, although I hadn't gone into graphic detail about how far we had progressed.
Helen however, was her usual perceptive self and when she called into my office on the pretence of try to get the boss to take out to lunch, I knew I was in for some serious interrogation. My PA knew how close she was to us, and always greeted her as if she was family, which meant that as long as I was not in a meeting, she walked into my office unannounced.
"Darling boy, its Friday and I need a very long and expensive lunch and Sarah just told me you have nothing in your diary for the rest of the day, so you can spare time to take me to Rudolfo's for lunch. Miles dropped me off and you can take me home later, so I can have nice glass of wine too"
She looked at me with a butter wouldn't melt smile. I laughed out loud, knowing that between Sarah and Helen I had just been seriously stitched up. Now Rudolfo's is a little piece of Italian heaven and people travel from all over Britain to indulge themselves in a celebration of great taste. By keeping the menus seasonal and the produce local, its individuality and excellence can be seen in nearly all the forty its different dishes that this unique little restaurant offers.
I made a couple of excuses, that I was far to busy for lunch today, then grinning got up from my desk knowing that it is always hard to turn down lunch there, I asked Sarah to get my Jaguar stored securely in the underground garage for the weekend, and that I would use the Range Rover or Focus which were at home if I needed. With that I told her that I would be back but knowing Helen, goodness knows when! The great thing bout owning your own company is that every now and then you can take time out without having to ask permission or explain your reasons. I felt strange in many ways walking out of the building with her, She was a tall, almost willowy blonde who at 40 something didn't try to hide her age, but because she spent so much time outside with the horses, always seemed healthy looking and almost had a classical beauty that comes with age, expensive clothes and extreme personal confidence. Today, she was wearing a light beige, trouser suit with a classical button through cream silk blouse, with brown patent stiletto heels. But however she was dressed, it was her startling blue eyes that always caught your attention. You knew Helen had class and money, in that order. Heads always turned when she entered a room, she knew her key attributes and always played to their strengths.
As we walked along the crowded street toward Rudolfo's, she linked arms with me and chatted about Miles and her life, telling me that she had just bought a fantastic stallion for her herd of horses. Then she started to tell me all about her daughter and her first year of University and how she would love to be a student again. All the time she chattered on, she was oblivious to the stares she was getting from people as we walked along. Knowing her as well as I did I knew that this was all a preamble to whatever she really wanted to talk to me about. We chatted about my kids and how well they were adjusting to life without their mum, and wouldn't she be proud of them, if she could see them. I felt the sense of great loss still, but it was heartening to know that I no longer felt the urge to run away from the world and lock myself away, everytime her name was mentioned.
Finally, we arrived and were greeted by the Maitre D and ushered to a lovely corner table, with the comment that Helen's favourite wine would be brought along any minute, just as requested. If I didn't know already I knew I was being set up now for sure! Smiling to myself I waited patiently for whatever topic it was, she wanted to discuss with me to be tabled. Finally as we sat there reading the menu, she casually asked; -
"How are things with you and Rachel darling?"
Smiling I answered; "fine I think, unless you know different!"
"No ofcourse not, I was just interested that's all, you seem happier than you have been in a long time and I wanted check everything was ok that's all" she smiled innocently.
"Ok Helen, what on your mind? I have known you too long, and you have been too good to me recently to play games. Tell me what's on your mind?"
"Its nothing sinister Steve, really I think she is wonderful for you, and you seem to equally good for her"
"Don't get defensive Steve, I'm a bit worried that the children will get too fond of her and Alice of you too, what happens if it doesn't work out?"
The menus arrived just then and I took time to think before I answered. In truth I had worried about this as well, but I had put it aside, because I had been so happy.
"Why shouldn't it work out Helen?" I asked tersely.
I knew I might have been a little hostile, but I was happy and I didn't want to think about the negatives.
"Well you both have been badly hurt sweety"
"So you want me to go home and end it for the sake of the children do you?" I asked petulantly.
"Oh Steve, grow up, you are like my brother, Jane was my best friend for nearly 10 years, if anything happened to you, you know Miles and I would bring up Tim and Issy like they were our own!" Her voice was harsh now as she said; "I just want you to be happy and not get hurt again, it's been a long time since I have seen you smile so easily. We love you all to much not worry that you are trying to substitute Jane with Rachel"
"If it was anyone else Helen, I would walk out about now"
With that the waiter, came and Helen ordered Pan-fried fillet of halibut on a tomato & Mollusk fondue with grilled potatoes, whilst I barked my order of a rare grilled sirloin steak with fresh guirdiniera of vegetable and red wine jus, my anger clearly expressed at the poor guy as he scurried away with our order.
She just said; "Acting like a spoilt child will not help you Steven, I will not stop caring about you all, just because you bluster at me. Rachel has been hurt too, what about her and Alice? They need to be sure that you care enough not to hurt them again"
"What do you think I am Helen? This is the first time in over two years I feel alive, and you seem to be trying to take it away from me!"
"All I want is to be sure you are be true to yourself Steve" she covered my hand with hers, just letting me know I suppose, she was trying to help not interfere.
"I think I love her Helen, If I thought she would say yes I think I would ask her for more commitment, but I am more scared of driving her away than me waking up and not wanting her anymore"
"Her husband treated her so badly, he beat her, mentally abused her and she told me the first day we spent at her house that she would never remarry"
"So I'm scared to ask her to commit anymore right now than she is ready for, and anyway it's only been five weeks well, nearly six infact"
"But that is a long time in the minds of 7 and 8 year old girls Steve" she smiled
"What shall I do? End it then?" I asked sarcastically
"No just be careful and acting so petulantly doesn't help either.... Talk to Rachel about how you feel, take a holiday ...alone together ...get to know each other. That way you can know how you both feel sweety that's all"
I smiled almost apologetically, knowing she was right...I needed to get to know her better; perhaps I'll suggest it to her later when we meet at her house. I decided to ring Rachel and suggest that as Alice was with her Dad and that my two were with Jane's parents who were taking them to the coast for the weekend, that she and I also spend the weekend at her house and relax. I also said that I would book a table at the local village pub/restaurant for that evening and we agreed that I'd get to her house around six.
Helen, smiled at me as I chatted, to Rachel, with a knowing grin when I hung up, she laughed and said why bother with a holiday when I could spend a dirty weekend at Rachel's house!! I burst out laughing telling her that it was nothing of the sort just a chance for the two of us to do adult things together without having to worry about kids being around.
"Exactly" she grinned "Sex, Sex and let me see ....Oh yes...More Sex!!!"
I shook my head extremely embarrassed telling her she was incorrigible and that I just wanted to spend time with Rachel alone. Gently she touched the back of my hand and smiled warmly, saying she knew, and that she just liked to see me squirming a little. However, she wanted us to be happy, for me and for the kids. I knew she was worried that because Rachel had been so badly hurt she would not be able to fully commit if things got more serious. Little, did she know how I was beginning to feel about Rachel and I am sure she would have had something to say on the subject, but I decided that it was best to keep quiet for the moment.
Lunch carried on and we had a lot of fun, just chatting about business, kids, her horses and Miles obsession with old cars. Just two old friends sitting in a restaurant putting the world to rights, and enjoying the lack of pressure that comes when you don't have to watch the clock. At about 2.45 we decided that it was time to leave and I paid the bill. I then rang Sarah and told there had been a change of plan and that I wouldn't be back for the afternoon, but could she send a car to pick us up and take us home.
Now, I never have been extravagant with my money, however, one indulgence I have always enjoyed is the fact of having a driver to take you to meetings or important events, so on days like today, this was the perfect solution, although I was not over the limit, it meant that we could relax and travel home in comfort, rather than have hassle of finding a taxi on a busy Friday afternoon. Phillip, my driver arrived just before three, and as we got in the car, he said there were some papers that needed my signature, and he had picked up my brief case from the office also. I thanked him and said that we'd deal with them when I arrived home, so once again Helen and I fell into an easy conversation, as the Jaguar swept out of town and out into the country towards my home.
Dropping Helen off at her home some twenty-five minutes later, she thanked me for a lovely lunch, and grinning she told me to enjoy my weekend!!! Laughing, I thanked her for her concern and assured we would have a lovely time. Waving she got out of the car and walked towards her door, and as the car turned and moved slowly down the driveway, she blew me a kiss and almost skipped into the house.
Sitting quietly in the car I could reflect on all she had said today. I smiled to myself knowing that when I met Rachel, I had met someone who I loved, and although we had only been together a short time I knew that I had found someone special to share future happiness with. I could think of Jane with love, remember how special it had been, safe in the knowledge that if she had not been ill, we would still be blissfully happy together. However, I had a chance with Rachel to find true love for a second time, I just hoped that the pain of her abusive and emotionally destructive marriage would not stop her being able to commit fully to me in time. I didn't care how long it took, I knew that I would work to gain her trust and increase her love for me over time.
Arriving home, at about 3.45pm, Phillip brought in the papers from the car and I went through them, signing what was necessary, responding to some of the questions asked, either in writing or in one case by phone to Sarah, as I wanted her to sort a couple of things out for me before she went home. So within 20 minutes I was finished, Phillip was going back to the office and then would be finished for the day. So I was beginning to look forward to my time with Rachel alone. My in-laws were picking the children up from school and taking them on their trip, so I wouldn't see them until Sunday, although there was no way Issy would not ring me in the next hour just to say hello, but other than that I had some rare free time to my self.
I decided to ring Rachel at the practice, knowing that she would not have patients at this time today. The phone rang and the practice receptionist answered, asking for Rachel, she put me on hold until she answered sounding out of breath.
"Hey sexy, how are you?" I chuckled into the phone.
"Hardly sexy lover, I'm in the middle of removing a bowel obstruction from an aging and foul tempered tom cat!!!" She laughed.
"I'm sorry sweety, shall I call back? I got home early and missed you, so I thought I'd ring you and see if I could get anything on the way over?"
"Not a problem, It's great to hear you, I really missed you today" she almost whispered the last part down the phone.
My heart jumped a beat, just telling me that, made me feel like a kid again.
"Thanks, I been thinking about you a lot today too"
"Good or Bad thoughts...or just plain dirty ones?" she laughed.
"All good my love, with a smattering of dirty ones" I laughed.
She went of into peels of laughter telling me that if I didn't let her get on, we'd be spending Friday night treating sick animals, not having a quiet meal out. She said she would be home about 6pm so could I get there anytime after then. I promised her that I wouldn't be early, she told me not to be silly, and that if I arrived before her, just put the kettle on and make myself at home.
Smiling down the phone I told her; "Take your time love, I'll potter around here for a while and leave in time to meet you at your house later."
I quickly packed the clothes I needed for the next couple of days, and had a shower resisting the urge to pleasure myself whilst remembering the other morning when we both had shared it to together. So by 5pm I was ready to leave, dressed in a short-sleeved white button through shirt and black jeans, I was smart but comfortable. Before I left, I checked the property was secure, went into the pool house and set it on a cleaning cycle, so that it would have a prolonged filtration cycle over the next couple of days. Although, we only lived 15 minutes apart, I had to pass through our local market town, which had a lovely jeweller on its high street, which specialised in quality pieces, I knew the owner well and called ahead to ask her to wait for me, in case she was intending to close early.
Anyway within ten minutes I had parked outside the shop and was ringing the bell for entry into the shop.
On the spur of the moment whilst taking my shower, I had decided that I wanted to give Rachel a present today, not as a sign of commitment but as a token of how I was beginning to feel about her. On arrival I asked the assistant to show me what solitaire diamond pendants she had in white gold. After agreeing a budget, she began showing me a choice of settings. Thinking of how Rachel, always wore simplistic and classy clothes and jewellery, I chose a ½ carrot stone set in a simple claw setting on an 18inch fine chain. Around the neck of the assistant who was also, dark haired, slender with a similar colouring it looked stunning. I paid for it, asked them to gift wrap it and was on my way again.
Driving through the lane to her home, Jane was in my thoughts again; she was smiling at me, almost whispering to me;
"It will be fine babe, you did the right thing, don't rush anything. Rachel loves you too."
I don't know why I think about Jane so much, but it was as if she was guiding me on how to handle my way back to normality. I was so grateful for her acceptance, I can't tell you how I knew, but I did, I knew she was pleased for me. Smiling, I almost missed the entrance to Rachel's house, thankfully nothing was behind me as I sharply swung the heavy 4x4 into her driveway, I remember thinking how you could never arrive quietly here, as the gravel always announced your presence. I was pleased that her Land Rover was already parked near the stable block meaning she was already home, as I pulled up next to her car, the front door opened and she came out to greet me, smiling.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw Rachel again, she was dressed in a pair of faded jeans, which accentuated her legs and bum and a white t-shirt that also fitted perfectly. Running towards me, she threw herself at me... hugging me tightly as I swung her around laughing; as I did I noticed she wasn't wearing a bra either. She kissed me, telling me actually was home by 5 so had showered too, and was really looking forward to our weekend together. She was still wrapped around me, with her arms around my neck and her legs wrapped around my hips, and my arms supporting her back, and crushing her breasts to me. There was an obvious reaction in my pants, which she immediately felt and as I carried her laughing towards the house she ground herself against my hardening shaft.
"Someone's pleased to see me..." she laughed, "Perhaps we should cancel the table and just stay in tonight, what do you think?"
Smiling again as I put her down, I brushed my thumbs gently over each nipple, and circled her breasts with my palms asking her;
"Is that what you want babe? To stay in and enjoy each other?"
"Part of me, wants to strip you naked right here in my kitchen Steve, and ravage you right now, but part of me wants a nice romantic meal, and long slow passionate lovemaking later, without worry of being interrupted, so as much as I am tempted right now. Go get your stuff from the car and lets go and have some food first."