[This is a relationship story about honoring a promise at all costs]
[The sex is mentioned, not detailed]
It is a warm sunny spring Saturday as I relaxed in the den reading through a lease contract my secretary finished typing late Friday. About half way through it I found an error in a clause of the contract. Not wanting to walk to my study on the second floor, I walked over to my husband's desk in the corner hoping to find a highlighter and a pen handy.
I found the highlighter in a drawer. When picking up the pen off his appointment calendar, I smile as I notice he has marked "Jenny" in red across the afternoon of this coming Friday. It is a celebration luncheon for my making partner at the firm in only 15 years.
Frowning at the red box drawn around the following Monday with 10:00am circled, I also notice every Thursday afternoon marked out with an "L" in it. It is that way for next month also, as was every prior Thursday afternoon since the start of the year.
What or who did Thomas have to see all afternoon that began with "L"? After returning to my chair to highlight the error and marking the corrections in the margin, I make a mental note to subtly ask Thomas what he has planned for Thursday afternoon. Setting the marker and pen back on the desk I returned the contract to the brief-case in my study. A few moments and several distractions later, I forgot all about the calendar.
I heard Thomas coming from the garage where he has been washing and vacuuming the cars. Most men in the neighborhood are playing golf or relaxing around the pool enjoying the pleasures that a great career bring, but Thomas came from the lower middle class side of town where you do your own work and only hire what you are not capable of doing. I heard him wash up in the utility room and walk into the kitchen where he removed a can of his constant Dr. Pepper from the fridge and opened it.
"Jenny, I'm going over to the office to finish a proposal that needs to be completed before noon Monday. I should be home by 6:00pm."
Soon his car starts and the garage door closes as he drives away. Lately it seems he stays away more or maybe he was always busy. Perhaps I just started to notice now that I'm home more recently because my dream of making partner is about to be realized. A lot has changed in our lives since we met 15 years ago.
We met at a chamber of commerce business mixer. I had recently passed my bar exam and was hired by one of the prestige law firms in the city. I specialized in contract law and hoped that my killer little black dress might make me a few contacts with the local businessmen.
I saw this short smiling guy across the room talking and laughing with everyone he came in contact with. His honest looking face and soft smile seemed to attract everyone as I found myself walking toward him like I was being pulled by some magnetic force.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," He said in a cheerful voice as he looked into my eyes, "I'm Tom McNeil, and might I say you are the most beautiful woman I have seen tonight. I hope you take that as a compliment and don't happen to have a huge jealous husband close by."
The disarming way he smiled and held onto my hand when he talked made me want to stay there and listen to him for the rest of my life.
"Jennifer Anderson," I announced in my practiced professional voice, "I am a contract attorney now at The Winthrop Group."
"Well Jenny," he chuckled, "I see you are a short little spitfire to be reckoned with. I imagine your name will become legendary around this area in a few short years. In the meantime, how about having dinner with me Saturday evening? I will pick you up at say 7:30pm for a relaxing evening of good food, decent wine, and pleasant conversation."
I was staring into his clear hazel eyes like in a trance. I eventually nodded my head. He finally broke the trance when he handed me a pad and pen asking for my address and number.
I lived with my parents in Preston Parkway, an area people from Thomas's neighborhood referred to as snob hill. It was where a lot of his people were employed by the residents that lived in Preston Parkway, either in their homes or at their businesses. My father was plant manager of the chemical plant on the edge of town that had 2,000 employees, many of whom came from Thomas's area.
I went to private school like the rest of my friends in Preston Parkway. Then on to Yale for my business and my law degree. My father arranged my interview with the Winthrop Group.
Thomas picked me up on Saturday evening promptly at 7:30pm. I introduced him to my parents before we left. They later told me he was very nice for one of those people. He took me to a quiet little Italian restaurant in his old neighborhood where the owner and his wife treated him like family. I had never been to any place that treated me like that.
Thomas was right; the food was delicious, the wine good, and he made the conversation very pleasant.
"I'm 28, I earned my law degree from Yale and I work at The Winthrop Group. I specialize in contract law. My dream is to make partner before I turn 45."
"Well Jenny, I'm 23, the second son of a family of 4 boys and 2 girls. My father works in the factory and my mother works nights in the local bakery. I dislike sports and have been working since I was twelve when I started a lawn mowing business. I worked my way through college becoming a CPA and Financial Planner."
He pointed out his office as we walked back to his car It was 3 dates later when we first had sex that I found out he lived in one of the apartments above his office. His dream was to have a healthy happy family and help people.
Like I said, on the fourth date, I let him bring me back to his apartment where we had some of the hottest monkey sex I have encountered since spring break at college. He also made some of the slowest most passionate love I have ever known to this day. I fell in love with him and a year later against my family's wishes, I agree to marry him.
"Jenny darlin, I am on my knee to ask you to be my wife. I promise I will support you in any way I can to achieve your dream."
"Oh Thomas! Yes, I will marry you! I will do everything I can to fulfill your dream."
We kept the wedding small and quiet so my parents wouldn't be embarrassed in front of their friends. We were married in the church in his neighborhood, my sister was my matron of honor and Thomas's friend Ryan was his best man.
We had a reception in the basement of the church and I think the whole neighborhood showed up to congratulate us. I know my family slipped out after the first 15 minutes. We honeymooned in Hawaii at my parent's condo for a week making love and seeing the sites; then walking on the beach and making love.
We lived in his apartment for the first couple of years until I got a couple of raises and Thomas built up his client base, then we bought our first home in an upper middle class neighborhood. I tried to talk him into moving his business closer to home but he wanted to stay where his client base was even though I pointed out the increased business available with the higher income people. He said he wanted to do business in his old neighborhood because they needed the assistance more than the wealthy.
My customer base was slowly building because Thomas made me go with him to the different sponsored business events in town where he would introduce me as one of the best contract lawyers in the area and also his wife.
I was a little offended when the receptionist would tell me the caller wanted Tom McNeil's wife. He was my support and cheering section when I would come home after a bad day. He would hold me and tell me how tomorrow would be better because no one could hold the little spitfire back for long.
I only saw him sad once during this time, when a close friend of his died in a train wreck with his 5 year old son. The man's wife wasn't handling the tragic event very well and he was worried about her. I got involved in work but it must of came out OK because he didn't mention it again that I can remember.
About a year later, Thomas approached me at dinner with the idea of starting a family now.
"Jenny my love. Now that your career is moving upward and my business is doing fine, I want you to carefully consider having a couple of children now while we are still young. You still have plenty of time to fulfill your dream."
"Let me think about it for a couple of days Thomas, and I will give you my answer."
In the meantime he took it upon himself to make love to me every night, just to help the cause. I finally quit my birth control pills and decided to give him his wish at least one time. It also became a time when my workload increased but Thomas would patiently wait for me every night so we could start a family.
I was working to 9 and 10:00 almost every night and many Saturdays on a contract negotiation. Thomas was still my rock keeping up with the household duties and still loving me at night.
We finally negotiated an agreement between the two sides and got the contract signed. After the clients left, our team broke out the liquor and celebrated. It was during the celebration that my trouble began.
I had been working closely with Eric, as the two of us basically hammered out the agreement for our client. The two of us were celebrating in his office when he pulled me to him and kissed me hard as he ran his hands over my body.
The alcohol, the adrenalin rush from the contract, and the aggressiveness from Eric made me return his sexual advances in kind. In a matter of minutes I was naked on his couch with him fucking me for all he was worth and me loving every minute of it. We fucked twice before showering in the executive washroom and leaving.
It was on the way home that I thought about what I did and that I was in a fertile period. I showered again when I got home and begged off having sex claiming a migraine from the completed negotiations. I found out 3 weeks later I was pregnant, but now I had a problem.
Thomas is 5'7" with dark brown hair and dark complexion; Eric is 6'3" with blonde hair and light complexion. I'm shorter than Thomas with blonde hair, green eyes, and a light complexion.
I called my sister, Carol, for advice, telling her everything that had transpired. I knew she would be a good sounding board.
"Carol, I've got a huge problem and I could use your advice. Thomas and I have been trying to start a family so I have been off the pill for quite a while. I was celebrating the completion of a big agreement with the other lead attorney. We sort of got carried away and had sex. I just found out I'm pregnant and I don't know who the father is. The other guy doesn't look anything like Thomas. He's over 6 feet tall with blonde hair. What should I do?"
Carol just chuckled. "Continue what you are doing and I'll call you back in a few of days."
Eric was finding more projects for us to work late but at least the sex was great every night. I had to stop Thomas at least a couple of nights a week because Eric was too rough and I was sore or I found a hickey on my inner thigh or breast.
Carol called late one evening and Thomas answered the phone. He handed it to me with a serious look on his face.
"I told Thomas I have a family crisis and needed to talk to you," said Carol laughing, "I have an appointment with a clinic set up for you next Tuesday. You will have the abortion and the tubal sterilization in the morning. You will be fine in a couple of days but no sex for a few weeks. Tell him you have to come out because I threw Bill out of the house for cheating on me and I'm an emotional wreck."
"But what if Thomas calls and Bill answers? I don't need a marital fight on top of my present problem."
"Bill is away for 2 weeks at some corporate seminar. I already talked to him and he agreed. Bill has always thought you married below yourself when you married Tom."
I told Thomas about my sister's marital problem and he agreed I should go to her. He thought I should leave in the morning but I explained I had to finish a lot of projects at work before I left. He gave me a strange look but accepted my leaving on Sunday.
I told Eric I would be gone next week for a family matter, but we should work late the next three days to clear my calendar. But I didn't want any marking or bruising because I had to also satisfy Thomas before I left. Eric agreed but laughed.
Eric and I stayed late and fucked like monkeys in his office after everyone was gone but the cleaning company. I had a sore pussy and ass but Eric kept his word and never left a mark. I didn't come home until after midnight for the next three nights. Thomas didn't wait up for me after the first night. Now that I think back on it, he was quite withdrawn until the night before I left. At the time I just assumed it was the long hours and the first time we would really be apart for more than a day.
Thomas took me out to dinner Saturday night to a local upscale restaurant which surprised me because he never liked to come to this type of place.
"Did you accomplish everything you wanted to these last three days?"
I thought the question odd at the time. "Yes, I have all my projects cleared for next week." I said as I reached for his hand. "I want to thank you for being so understanding during this difficult time. It is your being so supportive that has made me love you more every year."
Thomas pulled his hand back nodding his head at me and mumbled something but the waiter brought our salads then and I let the moment pass. The rest of the meal was good with pleasant conversation about current events and nothing of a personal nature. After the meal we returned home in relative quiet and had a brandy before retiring to bed.
Thomas had the bedroom lights off when I finished my nightly routine in our bathroom. I came to bed in my nightgown that I removed before sliding under the covers next to Thomas. I wanted to give him a night of passion he wouldn't forget since it would be at least 2 weeks before I could have intercourse again.
I rubbed against him signaling my desire for sex and Thomas responded but with less enthusiasm than I would have expected. He brought us both to orgasm but it was more mechanical than the fiery emotional passion that Thomas evokes when he makes love. As soon as our breathing returned to normal, he carried his boxers and robe to the bathroom.
A few minutes later he left the bedroom in his robe and I could hear him go down stairs. When he didn't return after a few minutes, I cleaned myself up in the bathroom, fastened my robe around me and went to find him.
I found him sitting on the arm of a stuffed club chair, holding a snifter of brandy as he stared out the window into the darkness.
"What's the matter Thomas? You've been quiet all evening. Is it my going to my sister's house tomorrow that is troubling you?"
"Just go back to bed Jenny. I have a lot on my mind at the moment and could really use the solitude to reach a decision. You go back to bed and sleep for your trip tomorrow. Don't worry about me, I'm fine. It's just some new things came up and I have to decide if I am going to act on them or not."
I found him in bed when I awoke in the morning. I don't know how long he stayed up but he was in a slightly better mood by the time I left for my sisters.
The surgery went smoothly with only mild discomfort that the pain pills relieved. We spent the rest of the time reliving are separate teenage sexual experiences and the college years when she would come visit me so she could spend the weekend in a motel with her current lover.
The talk eventually came around to Eric and Thomas. Carol and her husband were of the opinion I should divorce Thomas and marry Eric who came from the right kind of family and had the proper breeding.
I told her Eric was already married with a family and I was trading a sexual affair for assistance in rising up the ladder from a junior partner. The affair would end shortly as I was sure to make junior partner this year.
Thomas was cleaning his car when I arrived home Sunday. He kissed my cheek before taking my luggage up to our room. He seemed to be in a better mood so I assumed he had resolved whatever had been bothering him. He was in an amorous mood when I came to bed, but I told him I had developed stomach flu while at my sisters and was still a little under the weather.
The receptionist totally shocked me when I went to work Monday.
"You missed all the excitement last week. Mr. Johanson was asked to resign. His wife had divorce papers served on him naming an unknown female coworker in the adulterous affair. The wife became suspicious when Eric suddenly had to work late every night so she hired an investigator to check it out.
"He got pictures of Eric and a young intern having sex in his office. When the partners investigated, the intern told them Eric threatened to ruin her career with a bad review unless she agreed to have sex with him. She filed the sexual harassment papers for the partners. Mr. Johanson resigned and the partners placed the intern at one of our other offices."
I had dodged a couple of bullets last week. If I hadn't gone to my sisters, that would have been me in the picture. If Eric hadn't been caught, I would have had to make excuses for two weeks why I couldn't stay late.
I was a named junior partner 3 months later. Thomas and I were back to normal again and I convinced him to sell our house and move to the more upscale area where we presently live.
I tried again to persuade him to move his business to one of the new executive office towers, but he declined for the same asinine reasons. Lord knows if he wasn't so damn loyal and supportive I would have kicked him to the curb years ago when I first started to rise in my career, but he was always there in the beginning supporting and encouraging me.
After I received my first promotion, he understood my late hours and the occasional weekend work at the office. One of the only times I ever saw him upset was when I told him some years ago we weren't going to have children because I wasn't producing eggs anymore.
He eventually seemed to get over it, but no longer wanted to make love to me anymore. I threw myself into my career and I assume he did also since we didn't see much of each other.
It was noon Thursday as I looked at my appointment calendar when I remembered Thomas's calendar and the mystery "L" every Thursday afternoon. I hurriedly left the building driving to Thomas's office. I slowly drove past noticing an auburn haired woman sitting in a chair talking to him, before parking on the opposite side of the street so I could observe his movement.
They talked for about half an hour before leaving his office and walking into the diner across the street. I had to wait in the car because the diner was too small and my arrival would be noticed.
An hour later Thomas returned to his office alone. I saw him look down the street as he crossed but I couldn't tell if he recognized my car or not. I waited another half hour and then returned to work when his only visitor was an elderly man who stopped in to see him for a few minutes.
If he noticed me, he never mentioned it that evening as we ate dinner.
"Jenny do you want me to meet you at your office tomorrow or in the lobby of the Hyatt at noon for your luncheon? The reason I ask is I have a late afternoon appointment and wondered if I should cancel it or not."
"In the Hyatt lobby about 11:45am if you would please. You should be able to slip away about 1:15pm or a little after. I will stay there with the partners for a while longer."
As I prepared for bed, I realized that the last time Thomas initiated sex with me was when I made junior partner almost 10 years ago. I have been so busy with my career that I completely let our marriage fall to the wayside, but why didn't Thomas say anything?