With more time, Lalique had become a little bored and, what was worse, she'd had time to reflect and realized she wasn't feeling so feminine and desirable anymore. This was not something that had ever been a problem for her until now. It was a fact she hadn't found Prince Charming, but she'd never lacked for confidence about her looks nor had problems getting male attention.
Well, that wasn't strictly true. Her old flame, Devon, had dumped her way back when and then recently married his old flame, Grace Lassiter, but that could happen to anyone, Lalique reasoned. Love was fickle. She had told herself his rejection had not been due to any lack on her part. She had to admit she'd been depressed about it for some time and, according to her friend, Jody Broke, she'd become bitter. But that was before she'd given birth to Alain and Desiree.
Of course, there was also that time with Brian Ottomas years ago where she'd spent one enchanted afternoon in his arms and then he'd never called back, but you couldn't win them all. He'd been single and available or so she'd thought, but he went on the road with his band again a day or two later. When he returned to Pleasantview and went to work for his brother, Dylan, she'd stopped by the Club hoping to entice him, but it was no go. He was friendly but obviously disinterested. Several months later Lalique was unhappily surprised and disappointed to learn Brian had married Meadow Thayer. Naturally Lalique assumed the child Meadow had just given birth to at that time belonged to Brian.
At any rate, since the twins were born she could not have cared less about either her looks or male attention, but now some of those interests were returning. She felt a shopping spree was in order.
While at Goth's Apparel she saw her sister Melanie's school chum, Chelsea Lassiter, and they struck up a conversation. Lalique made a vow to check out Chelsea's flower shop and turned to go, literally running right into John Lassiter. He lived right next door to her parents so, of course, she knew who he was, but hadn't spoken more than ten words with him since she was a child. Her older sister, Yvette, used to pal around with his oldest daughter, Grace (yes, the Grace who married Lalique's high school sweetheart, Devon). This was back when Yvette was in high school and Lalique was in elementary. Yvette was frequently forced to drag Lalique around with her in those days--she had always suspected that her mother used to do that so it would keep Yvette from being able to do anything dire--and so Lalique had often been at the Lassiter house. Of course, Mr. Lassiter had been usually been working and even when he was home he was a quiet man, unlike her own father. She'd been a little afraid of him, in fact.
Now she remembered that she'd seen him at Club Dante one time and she'd vaguely wondered what he was doing prowling around a place like that. She'd also noted then that he was very attractive for an older man. Very. He had an almost dangerous look about him; he was a man of power and prestige, not only in Pleasantview but in the nation due to his business acumen and his talents as a writer. There was dignity in his bearing, and good breeding. His hair was silver , but she remembered it used to be jet black and his blue eyes were alert and almost piercing. Lalique surmised he must have really been incredibly handsome when he was young. In fact, even now he had real presence.
"Hello, Mr. Lassiter," she automatically turned on the charm with men, "You're looking wonderful. How's the family doing?"
He was even deadlier when he smiled, Lalique thought, a tingle running down her spine.
"Lalique Flynn, well, how are you?" his voice was deep and rich, "Everyone is doing fine; Lori had twins so Melora and I are finally grandparents. What have you been doing with yourself?"
"Well, I'm no longer in the education field, but I keep myself busy. Right now I'm raising babies; and it takes practically all my attention," she laughed, "Feels like this is the first day I've had to myself in months. I hired a nanny and she's at home with them right now."
As the conversation went on they quickly realized they had an immediate and mutual physical attraction for each other. It was so strange; he was obviously old enough to be her father, but her new feelings were definitely not those of a daughter. In fact he had asked right away that she drop the "Mr. Lassiter" and call him John. After all, she was a grownup now, he teased. A voice inside reminded her that he was married and not available, but she quickly stifled it. They were just having a public conversation in a crowded store; perfectly harmless.
They soon tired of standing there and having to move back and forth so people could get around them so John suggested they go outside and sit at one of the tables on the terrace. Much later Lalique realized with hindsight she should have known at that moment to excuse herself and leave for home. But, of course, there was no way she was going to do that; she was having way too much fun. They talked for a long time. It was dusk, people were still streaming in and out of the store and some were sitting at the tables nearby, before Lalique said she must get home.
A few days after their accidental meeting at Goth's, John called her and asked her to meet him just to talk at the Lost Treasure Maze in Bluewater Village. She wasn't fooled; talk was not necessarily what he had on his mind. Lalique knew that was a place where they would have privacy yet it was public enough that someone seeing them together would not necessarily think much about it. They played chess and after a an hour or so he suggested they go somewhere for a cold drink.
Once ensconced in his sports car, though, Lalique couldn't believe the whole thing was happening. As they sped away she told herself he was a very wealthy and sophisticated man and could have anyone he wanted; but he wanted her. She found this thought intoxicating. Of course, the Lucky Cuss Tavern was an informal night spot where one could sit at the bar, sing karaoke or play poker, it was not upscale or chic, but it was fun and fairly quiet.
When he asked her to slow dance she was surprised, but gratified that he would take the chance in public even if they were in another town. More and more she was mesmerized both by John and the dangerous and forbidden aspect of the situation. Once in his arms she knew she was on a ride that could not possibly end well, but she could not resist him, especially after he kissed her.
From the tavern he took her out for a lobster dinner at the Botanical Gardens Restaurant, definitely a much swankier place. After their meal John dropped her off at the Maze where she'd left her car, and stood watching her as she drove off. Back home and over the next 24 hours Lalique spent time with her babies trying to get her mind off this man who had quickly and unaccountably overwhelmed her. She even went out the next morning to pull weeds and trim the bushes, she'd never been an outdoors girl, but her mood was light and exhilarated and she wanted to be out in the sunshine. Remembering how much she had enjoyed being with him, Lalique would not let herself consider the ramifications of seeing him again.
"Oh, he has to call again," she whispered to herself, "He has to."
Next update: Lalique Flynn Ch. 1 Swept Away Pt. 2