Dating Her Own Husband?
Brent was waiting at the curb outside their house, standing by the passenger car door obviously waiting for Joellen to leave the house. She stopped halfway down the path so he walked up to meet her.
“I thought we could drive together. I’ll take you over in my car,” he offered, putting his arm around her shoulders as if to lead her to the car.
Joellen backed away, turning her body away from him to release his hold on her. She walked a few steps further and then stopped again.
“Why are you doing this?” she asked before she thought about it, about what this conversation might do to their new agreement.
“I just thought it would be easier. And then maybe we could go to lunch. You know, like a . . . ” he didn’t finish the sentence because Joellen interrupted him.
“A date?” she asked. “Is that what this is? We’re dating?”
“Yeah,” Brent smiled. “That’s a good way to look at it. Dating.” He walked to the car and opened the door. “So come on, let’s enjoy ourselves.”
“You want to think of me as some piece you’re getting on the side?” she asked, coming right up to him and facing him.
“Aw, Jo,” he said, his shoulders drooping a little. “That’s not what I meant. Give me a break. I’m trying like hell to find out what it is you want. I’m sorry about what happened. I really am. I wish I could get a do-over but I can’t. So this is the best I can think of. If you play hardnose, then we all lose. You, me, the kids . . . ” his voice trailed off, but that did it. Joellen slid into the passenger seat and he shut the door. If she could have seen his face she would have been furious. He looked like a cat that had just caught a mouse and was now playing with it just for the chase.
They both signed the agreement. Monika even complimented them on how well things were going. She made sure they both understood the agreement. She read it aloud going over each point, asking each of them in turn if this was what they meant, what they agreed to, what they would sign. She had her assistant witness it.
Brent said he had already found a nice lady who was ready to help with the children and the house while Joellen was away and then when she went to school. He said she was a grandmother and had raised five children of her own. He said he understood everything and thought this was going to be a whole new marriage for them and that he was – again – sorry about what had happened.
Joellen was elated. She signed quickly and pushed the papers over to him. He took his time, reading over them once again. When they had finished they all shook hands.
Afterwards, Brent and Joellen left the building and got into his car. He drove downtown to the Hyatt and pulled up to the front door, got out and handed his keys to the parking attendant.
“Why are we here?” Joellen asked as Brent opened her door and reached out his hand to help her out of the car.
“They have a great restaurant. I’ve been here with clients. You’ll like it,” he said and led her to the entrance. He took her arm and led her through the lobby and then steered her to a side corridor where an unoccupied elevator was waiting for passengers. He led her into it and pressed a button. They began to climb and, as Joellen watched the floor numbers, she realized they were going up to one of the top floors.
“Isn’t the restaurant on the ground floor?” she asked.
“That’s the general one. The nice one is up here,” he explained s the doors opened.
He took her arm again, this time sliding his hand around her waist, and turned to the left and led her down a long hallway to a door, where he pulled out a card key and slid it in the slot. The little green light came on just as Joellen started to object and he swung the door wide to a large suite, filled with vases of flowers, and in the middle of the living room a table had been set up for a private lunch, with champagne chilling and silver domes covering the food.