TIME FOR ROMANCE - Chapter 1 - 2
TIME FOR A BUSINESS TRIP Chapter 1-2
Julie had worked extremely long hours in the hot summer sun of coastal Georgia, talking with families about their insurance needs. Sales went well and she qualified as the leading agent for the up coming Convention.
It would be nice for the agents from her office to have a holiday without any children along.
The date was announced for September; the destination: Datona Beach, Florida.
Now, with all the long hours and hard work behind her, she was enjoying the sound of the ocean waves rolling into the shore.
One of the fellows was strumming a guitar as he sat out on the large deck overlooking the Atlantic. The lights of the hotel glowed in the night sky.
Julie slipped into a comfortable chair preparing to listen to the soft music, when a tall sandy headed man asked, "Is anyone sitting here? " motioning to the empty chair beside her.
"No, please sit down" she replied smiling up at this handsome fellow.
He introduced himself as Richard Alexander, asking Julie how long she had been with the company. She told him two years and found out that he had won his state's number one position within his first year.
Such a friendly fellow, and like most successful men, loved to talk, especially about himself.
So she did what she did best: she listened.
Richard seemed to be the typical American salesman: married once, two teen-aged sons, nice home with a swimming pool, president of the men's organization at church, "But something is missing. I can't quite figure it out", he said.
Tomorrow Julie had to drive two hundred fifty miles back home, so she was not interested in any deep psychological discussions this night.
"It was nice meeting you. Hope your second year is better than your first. I'll see you again sometime," Julie said as she left the beach scene and walked to her room.
She kept thinking about his steady, blue eyed gaze on the drive home the next day.
The winter days were cold but the thoughts of winning the all expense paid convention trip to warm and sunny Florida kept Julie working long after darkness had descended on south Georgia. She was in the top slot in her district month after month.
The company published a quarterly report concerning the sales' force production numbers. She found herself checking out the progress of Tennessee's number one agent. Richard Alexander was on schedule to be the winning agent once again.
There were new agents continually coming and going. Julie was happy to make friends with Cathy, the only other female agent working in the field.
They had so much in common: they both were married to guys who sat in front of the television, sneaking porn magazines out from under the couch, and could not understand why their wives complained. Didn't they realize that help was needed to pay the bills and get everything done around the house?
The clothes needed washing, the bed linens needed changing, not to mention the condition of the kitchen. Instead of "running her mouth", as her husband put it about needing some help with all the chores, finally Julie hired a maid to come in once a week.The house was back in order.
Both Julie and Cathy had teenage sons who were active in sports and gave them no trouble, so the mothers found a sense of personal accomplishment in the insurance business.
Cathy, a Sagittarius, and Julie, an Aquarius, loved their freedom. Their fifteen year old marriages had them feeling caged in....and unloved.
They poured their energy into sales with paychecks reflecting their hard work and long hours. Julie was able to buy her first car: a brand new white Chrysler with sky blue interior.
The year passed quickly. It was time for the Florida trip; this time to Panama City.
Seven of the agents qualified for the convention trip: everyone was excited. Julie finished first, Cathy, third place in the local district. All of the qualifying agents agreed to go to their seacoast destination in Cathy's nine passenger van.Thankfully the two "stuffy managers" could not go due to family issues.
The ten hour road trip was fun.The beer and wine flowed freely as did the light conversation. Most of the group were in their 30's; the one fifty year old agent kept asking to stop for a "personal break" He said he enjoyed a 12 ounce beer but only had an eight ounce bladder. This remark brought laughter to the group and they shared stories all night.
Julie stretched out on the couch at the back of the van and fell asleep.
At dawn they arrived at the beautiful beach with the aqua blue waters and white sand. What a perfect way to begin a holiday!
After goofing around on a wooden dock that stretched out into the clear water of the Gulf Coast, the winning agents agreed to check in at the hotel. The company had made all necessary arrangements except for room assignment. The hotel was not new, nor plush, but very comfortable and cozy. There was even a set of stairs leading from the first floor down into the peaceful waters of the Gulf. The steps reminded Julie of a 1960's Johnny Mathis' recording "Stairway to the Sea".
Julie and Cathy gathered their things from the van. As they walked to the elevator from the parking lot, Julie saw Richard. He was more handsome than she remembered. She said simply, "Hello Handsome".
When he saw her, it was as if a light had been turned on in his eyes.
"No, that's silly; it must have been my imagination" Julie thought
She introduced Cathy as her best friend. Richard was polite, but kept looking at Julie. After a few friendly words, Richard insisted that he had to come up and see her "room" later on.
"Sure, come on up; number 234. We'll continue our conversation that we started in Datona Beach" Julie replied.
As Julie and Cathy were going to their room, Julie asked if Cathy had noticed anything special about Richard when he first walked up.
"He just glowed!" Cathy replied. "Well, it wasn't my imagination afterall', Julie remarked.
After unpacking and checking out the view of the gulf, Cathy went to see some old friends who she had worked with in Valdosta, Georgia. She looked pretty in her new size six yellow shorts and top. Julie had on her size ten jeans with an aqua blue blouse; both winning lady agents had blond hair, outgoing personalities and beautiful smiles.
The day had moved quickly and it was almost one o'clock. Julie was pouring herself a glass of wine when there was a knock on the door. It was Richard. When he looked into her emerald green eyes, she felt like fourteen, not almost forty.
"Calm down," she reminded herself as she invited Richard in.
He was just charming, with sky blue eyes that warmed her heart.
"Stop this", she warned herself. She had to control her thoughts that kept racing to visions of being in his arms.
Richard did not have a clue what was going on inside of her mind and body.
He was talking about his two teenage sons, his work with the company, as she thought about him.
He told her that most of the guys were going to a nearby club that featured live music and a dance floor, then asked."Can you meet me about seven?" She agreed.
As Richard was leaving, Cathy walked in. Richard said he would see them later as he closed the door.
"So where are we going?" Cathy inquired. "To where the music plays and we can dance", Julie replied as she spun around with her arms extended as if she was in Richard's arms.
The band was very good. Cathy and Julie were asked to dance as soon as they were seated.
Julie spotted Richard talking with his manager at a small table. She kept dancing to the upbeat music, pleased that he was not sitting with another female. Within a few minutes he saw her and walked over to her table.
She looked a mess: she was soaked with perspiration; she had forgotten how strenuous dancing could be, especially to the upbeat music. Julie was having so much fun.
Richard had been drinking slightly; it agreed with his outgoing personality.
As the lovely song "May I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life" began to play, he asked her to dance. Julie kept saying to herself "Stop this. You are married...he is married".
It did not matter. It was like telling the waves not to come to the shore.
She was on fire when he took her into his arms; her heart was racing. As they danced, he gently kissed her cheek, down toward her neck. "No, you can't do that" He never heard her.
After several dances, Richard's manager wanted to leave. "Come with me", he whispered to Julie. He did not know that her wall of defense was crumbling. She did not want to get involved with this handsome, successful man, but her feelings of desire overwhelmed her as she agreed to go with him.
Richard led her to the parking lot. He opened the door of his manager's beautiful new blue automobile. They climbed into the back seat. He put his hand in hers.The music on the radio played softly.
Richard turned her face toward his, gazed down deep into her eyes making contact with her soul. Then his mouth closed on hers, slow and searching. The kiss was beyond her wildest dreams. Julie knew Richard had just stolen her heart.
Time stopped. Their spirits entwined. "I'll remember this moment for always" Julie whispered as she was totally lost in Richard's embrace.
The car door slamming jolted her back to reality. The manager, Bennett Bowers, was getting out of the driver's seat as Richard held Julie's hand, helping her to get out.
Richard wanted to come to Julie's room but she told him that she could not do that.
They walked on the white sandy beach. The stars were out. The ocean waves rolled gently about their bare feet. Richard stopped. "You are so beautiful" he whispered as his long arms encircled her. She relaxed and returned his deep, hard, long kiss. She had never been kissed like this.
They found a secluded area on the beach. Richard did not force himself on her in any way. They reached out to each other and shared passionate kisses during the hours just before dawn. They both stayed in control. As he talked to her, Julie understood that he was unhappy in his marriage just as she was in hers. She felt so comfortable with him as he was with her.
As the daylight broke through the darkness, Julie knew that these hours with Richard would change her life forever. If they just had more time.
Richard had a golf game scheduled with the company vice president; he had to go
CONTINUED in CHAPTER 3