It was only 90 minutes or so after Lalique had seen John talking with Mrs. Ferguson at Goth's when she got a phone call from him; an opportunity had come up, could he come over and talk to her as soon as possible?
She told him breathlessly to give her thirty minutes and then head over and she'd make dinner for him. Then she ran to her bathroom to brush her teeth and touch up her makeup while she made her plans.
Arlene was leaving, she had vacation time coming and was taking a few days off to go to Three Lakes with friends from college. This was actually with Lalique's blessing, however; she had not expected John to have time on the weekend like this. Arlene would not be leaving until tomorrow around 10:00 am, so for tonight it would be all right. John rarely got to come over at night so Lalique was thrilled. She had a sexy blouse she'd been hoping to wear for him but she felt it looked ridiculous in the middle of the day. Tonight was the night for the semi sheer baby-doll top though!
Waving a silent goodbye as Lalique started down the stairs, Arlene shut herself up in her bedroom with her video games and mini-fridge. She was right next door to the nursery and had the baby monitor turned on as always. Bless that girl, Lalique thought fervently.
As she was making supper she got a look at her reflection in the kitchen window. Hmm, maybe this top was a bit obvious?
"Oh, the heck with it," she muttered, "It might be tacky, but I want him to be totally unable to take his eyes off me."
She's also doused herself liberally with that new sexy perfume. It was crowding out the smell of the salmon she was sauteing.
She had decided before that, in light of her situation, her cocky attitude previously expressed with single men would not do. John required a different approach. Not quite vain enough to believe he would leave his wife for her she'd already decided she'd take on the role of mistress, but if he wouldn't ditch everything to have her for longer than a day, she'd still be the one he'd never forget. So when he arrived she teased him by offering a short massage and made sure during the meal that followed that he had anything he wanted before he even knew he wanted it.
"I'm sorry about this morning," John apologized, "I didn't dare speak to you of course. Madeleine has known me for years and she might have detected something in my voice or..."
Lalique put her hand over his,
"Don't worry, John, I understand--and I hope I didn't give anything away."
"No, you..." his eyes softened and he looked at her with admiration, "You were just fantastic."
She beamed at this.
"I wanted to explain why I haven't been able to see you this week," he went on,
"Due to several things going on in the household there just wasn't a way for me to meet you anywhere or even get by here. We're hands up in renovations on the house and Melora can't handle it all alone, I need to be there."
Lalique nodded and tried not to let her smile falter. She hated it when he referred to his wife by name and he evidently recognized that because he rarely did it.
"But things changed at the last minute," he was still talking, "She's going away for a few days to Twikkii Island. She has four sisters and they're all meeting at Twikkii for a reunion--just the women. Three live in North Carolina and one in Kentucky. Anyway, it was very impromptu and they just booked it this morning; she left a few hours ago. So, I'll be free for, oh, a couple days. I know that you prefer I not meet the twins or even be around them; but maybe we can..."
"No, it's okay, John," she decided, instantly reversing her previous position on the subject, "I'm prepared to do that now; to have you meet them, if you are ready that is. They're asleep right now, of course, and Arlene is in her room, but she's leaving tomorrow on vacation and I'll need to be with them here constantly for the four days she's gone. Of course, I'll understand if you don't want to hang around, under these circumstances."
The reality was that she was in terror that he would prefer to leave. She'd looked forward to being alone with the twins, but she also was longing to have John to herself tonight. If he decided to stay by her side while he had the chance she'd possibly even have him all night and she could still be with Alain and Desiree. He'd get to meet them and to know them--and she suddenly realized that she wanted that very much--and she wouldn't have to give up her own time with her children to be with him. It would be almost too perfect.
"I was hoping you'd ask me to stay," John said, "And, yes, I want to meet them as long as you're okay with that. I'm surprisingly good with kids for a grumpy old guy."
"You're not 'old', John--and I'm in a position to know," she teased. It was true, she no longer thought of him as a "senior", he was the most exciting man she'd ever known.
It's more than I could hope for Lalique thought happily and whispered to him,
Not surprisingly they didn't get a lot of sleep and it was rather late when they woke. Lalique had planned on having a little time with the babies and John before she made him breakfast; she was dying to make her special Eggs Benedict for him. Knowing his wife had once hostessed her own cooking show she wanted to let him know that while she was no sous chef; he'd never want for delicious food when he was around her. But now time was short. Arlene had left, but she'd bathed and fed Adrien and Desiree when they woke before dawn; Lalique had stirred once and heard Desiree laughing in the bathroom. Then Arlene had put them in for their late morning nap and quietly went downstairs to catch a taxi.
Lalique was quickly showering before the twins could wake again when John got a call from Glenn Caswell. She insisted that she needed him to come over right away. So now he would have to leave before even seeing the kids.
"It shouldn't take that long, she probably needs something repaired around her house and her son is--"
"I know, Gareth is at Takemizu with Melanie. He's married to my sister, remember?" Lalique smiled. She was disappointed in the extreme, but she refused to show it, "Don't worry about it; just call when you can and if you can come back that will be even better. The children and I will be here all weekend."
John held her in his arms and kissed her with obvious longing,
"I hate leaving you like this, honey. I promise I'll be back soon."
Following him downstairs Lalique tried not to look tragic.
"Need me to bring anything back when I come?" he turned to ask.
She shook her head and smiled,
He caressed her face tenderly and then hugged her,
"Oh, you may depend on it."
Desiree and Adrien were just starting to wake up as Lalique closed the front door behind John. No one was on the street.
But they'd forgotten all about the maid, who was quiet and light on her feet when she needed to be. Lila had immediately recognized John's car and whipped through that house while Arlene was with the kids. Lalique was not aware that she was a real gossip and kept tabs on all her customers. As Lalique turned to go upstairs she was shocked to meet her coming toward the front door.
"Morning, Miss Flynn," she waved and smiled. Lalique could have sworn that the smile was more of a smirk. John was only halfway across the lawn as Lila opened the door.
There was no way to know what she'd seen, heard and surmised if she was paying attention. Lalique knew that some people in her position maintained a "see no evil" attitude and others loved any information they could glean on their employers. She could hardly ask "So, Lila dear, did you happen to notice that married gentleman in my bedroom?"
Nodding dumbly at the girl as she exited and suddenly feeling nauseated, Lalique continued up the stairs. Nothing could be done now, but she wondered what John was thinking; he must have seen Lila, she came out practically at his heels. She pictured him now, shaking his head regretfully and reconsidering his opinion of her,
"How careless of Lalique to let her maid come over when I'm here--and how lazy; why doesn't she just clean her own bathrooms, anyway? In fact, what was I thinking when I started seeing her? This was all a big mistake."
"I wonder if I'll ever hear from him again," she thought forlornly as she tried to fight her Walter-Mitty-in-reverse imagination. Her children were prattling to each other in their cribs and they were a welcome distraction for Lalique. Life went on, right? Especially with toddlers in the house.
John did come back, but not for two whole days. He called her at night, but it would have been a long lonely weekend for Lalique if she didn’t have Alain and Desiree to care for. Thank heaven for her beautiful babies. She told herself to suck it up; this was what she’d signed on for when she started seeing a married man.
When he returned John told her Glenn had kept him tied up helping her move the last of her stuff to her new house. Also, he said that Melora would be gone another two days. And finally he met the children, who seem to take to him immediately much to Lalique's surprise and relief.
A slight smile touched his lips,
“Kids always like me. I don't know; I guess it’s because I refuse to talk down to them. I treat them like miniature adults with opinions and dislikes of their own. And I'm a good listener.”
Lalique realized that was true; she was beginning to turn to him with any troubles she had to ask his advice.
Lalique told him about the maid, Lila, being in the house before he left last time. He nodded with a frown.
"I know, I saw her."
"Should I let her go?" Lalique asked, "I don't know what to do. I'm so sorry about it, John."
"Don't fire her--if she's planning to cause trouble that will just make her angry and possibly vengeful. Let's play it by ear--and don't worry, honey."
"But what if she does say something?"
"Be non-committal, don't promise her anything, but don't threaten, either. Leave me a text immediately, though--and be sure to use the cell phone I gave you. I'll check the messages often during the day until we're sure she's keeping quiet."
Some time back John had bought cell phones just for communication between Lalique and himself. The bill went to a post office box and he kept the phone itself hidden in a special compartment in the Viking convertible he'd bought--his pride and joy. Melora never used it because it felt like a huge tank to her and was also a gas-guzzler.
After John met the twins there was nothing heard from Lila. She came, did her work, then left with a smile and a wave. It was nerve-wracking for Lalique, though, to have the girl around every day, even if only for a short time, knowing that it was likely she was keeping track of everything going on in the house.
Next blog update: The Lassiter Family Ch. 12 "Indiscreet" Part 1
Lalique Flynn Ch. 2 Mountain Idyll Pt. 1
Lalique Flynn Ch. 2 Mountain Idyll Pt. 1