Gender: Male Age: 55 Location: N/A
|Introduction: The last chapter about eternal love|
For those who were kind enough to read my story, “Bill and Amber,” but were disappointed in the conclusion, I have added a fourth chapter. It can probably stand alone; however, if you haven’t read the first three chapters I believe this will make more sense to you if you do.
I hope you will enjoy the story, and as always, your feedback is welcome.
Now, the fourth and final chapter.
Bill and Amber
It was so warm and peaceful. A bright light shown through the clouds and seemed to bathe his whole body with a quiet calm. He had never felt so safe, so relaxed. He could hear a voice coming from far off in the distance, it seemed to be calling to him. He could see the image of a man approaching, but it was so far away it was hard to focus on the figure, yet… he could hear the man’s voice more clearly now. The voice was familiar, but he hadn’t heard it in many years, it was his father’s voice, calling to him. He wanted to run to his dad and put his arms around him, it’s been so very, very long since he’s seen him, but he can’t seem to move.
He can hear his dad much more clearly now. “Son it’s not time yet,” he said, “you have many years left, and you have some unfinished business you still must make right. You will be happy again son, I promise you.” The voice is drifting away, he can hardly hear it now. “I love you son,” he hears faintly, “We’re all waiting for you son.”
Wait, wait, he thought, there’s so much I want to say, so much to tell you, but it was no use, his father slowly vanished into the warm, soothing mist.
What was that smell? It’s a strong, pungent odor. It’s familiar but…not really. He could hear the sounds of someone moving around him. Bill tried to open his eyes but found it difficult to do. He concentrated hard and soon, with a flickering of the lids, he was able to see light. His eyes moved from side to side as he tried desperately to make some sense from his strange surroundings, but his vision was still very blurry. He could barely make out the shadowy form of the pretty, young woman standing next to him dressed all in white.
“Well,” she said in a sweet voice, “Mr. Meyers, you gave us all quite a scare.”
Bill’s mind was straining to remember what happened, how did he get here, and where was here…where was he? He felt extremely weak, his body non-compliant with his thoughts. Slowly he started putting things together, the smell, it was alcohol, the room, the woman…she was a nurse, he was in the hospital. He thought back and could remember sitting at his desk, then came the pain. The last thing he remember was having sharp pains in his chest and not being able to breath.
“You had a massive heart attack,” the young lady told him, “we lost you once but we were able to bring you back again.”
Bill had questions to ask but was so weak he couldn’t speak yet.
“You just take it easy, Mr. Meyers,” said the pretty nurse, “you’ve been through an awful lot in the last several days. You’ve had open heart surgery and it’s going to take some time to heal.” She looked at him with such a sweet encouraging smile on her face.
“You have a visitor,” she said. “she was here by the time you got out of surgery, She’s been here all this time, she won’t leave the hospital. She’s been sleeping on the sofa in the visitor‘s waiting room every night. She just walked down the hall to get a cup of coffee. I’ll go find her and tell her you‘re awake.”
In his weakened condition, Bill couldn’t even turn his head. He was staring up at the white ceiling when he felt someone take his hand and hold it gently. The nurse approached him from the other side of the bed. “Here she is Mr. Meyers,” she said with a big grin on her face.
Bill could see someone bending over him but his vision was still not very good. He felt her full lips as she place a light kiss on his forehead. He knew immediately. It had been almost fifteen years since he felt those lips, but there was no mistaking them. “Amber,” he managed to say in an almost inaudible whisper.
“I’m here honey,” she said, “you had me so scared,” He could hear her voice trembling as she spoke.
Bill’s eyes were focusing a little better now. He blinked and concentrated to see more clearly. He fought hard to move his head in her direction and once again, looked into the face of an angel, an angel with tears in her eyes.
Just then the doctor walked in. “Well, Mr. Meyers, they tell me you’re finally awake, it’s about time,” he said with a small grin. The doctor took a hold of Bill’s hand. “Bill can you squeeze my hand for me?” he asked. Bill did his best. “That’s fine,” said the doctor and proceeded with his short examination of his patient.
“You’re doing fine Mr. Meyers, we’ll have you up and out of here in no time,” he said. He looked at the aging, but still very beautiful woman standing on the other side of the bed, then back down at Bill. “You’re a very lucky man Mr. Meyers,” he said. The doctor conferred with the young nurse as they looked over his chart, then left.
“Mr. Meyers, I have other patients I have to see so I’m going to give you two a little privacy for awhile.” With that the bubbly, young nurse left the room.
He looked again at Amber. Tears were running down her smiling face. “How,” Bill was trying to speak so hard, “how did you know?” He said through a hoarse whisper.
She looked into the eyes of the only man she ever loved and gently stroked his hair. “Judy called me,” she said. I never lost touch with Judy and Gary. We talk almost every week. I know you visit with them when ever you’re out to the west coast. They never told you they still talk to me because they didn’t know if it would hurt your feelings or not. One of your co-workers found Gary’s number in your address book and called to let him know what happened. Judy called me immediately and I flew down on the next plane.”
She squeezed his hand a little tighter like she never wanted to let it go again. “I hope you don’t mind that I came,” she said, “I was just so afraid, so vary afraid I would never see you again. I had to come, Bill, I had to, please don’t be mad.”
Bill could feel his newly repaired heart beating faster at her touch. He closed his eyes and smiled. Amber could see how tired he was and knew he needed rest. She bent down closer to his ear and spoke softly. “You’re tired, Bill. I’m going to let you get some sleep but I’ll be sitting right here for you when you wake up. You go to sleep now, get some rest.”
Bill was almost asleep before she quit talking. Amber pulled a chair up to the side of the bed. Between the worry and sleeping on an uncomfortable couch, she hadn’t had a restful sleep in three nights. As she closed her eyes her mind drifted from the conscience to the unconscious, her thoughts traveled back to a happier time, before all the hurt, before all the sorrow she caused.
Amber was awakened by someone entering the room. She looked over her shoulder and saw her oldest and dearest friends, Gary and Judy. Amber jumped up from her chair and ran to them throwing her arms around Judy and hugged the woman she still considered to be her best friend. She looked at Gary. “Oh God it’s so good to see you guys.” Amber said, just before collapsing in near hysterics. Judy tried to hold on to her and Gary grabbed her just before she hit the floor. All the emotions, the regret from years past, the sadness, and the worry came out in a flood of uncontrollable tears. “It was so close,” she painfully exclaimed, “he almost didn’t make it, it was so close.”
Gary and Judy helped Amber into the sparsely furnished visitor’s waiting room and helped her to the office style couch that had doubled as her bed for the last few nights. Judy sat next to her with her arms around her friend trying to comfort her while Gary got Amber a paper cup filled with water in hopes it would help calm her down. Both Gary and Judy talked to their distraught friend trying to reassure her. Bill will be fine, they told her, he will live a long, healthy life. After awhile their assurances seemed to be working and Amber was starting to relax a little. Just having her friends with her made all the difference in the world. Making sure the girls would be okay for a while, Gary left to visit his old friend.
Bill was just waking up. Groggy, he was still burdened with his blurred vision. He felt the presents of someone in the room but had to force his head to the left before he could see who it was. He saw Gary standing at his bedside. A big smile stretched over Bill’s face. “Is Judy with you?” he asked still struggling to speak.
“Yeah old buddy,” Gary said, “she wouldn’t let me come without her. Right now she’s with Amber trying to calm her down. Amber’s pretty upset, pal. That woman still has a deep seeded love for you my friend, it’s obvious she loves you just as much now as she ever did, that’s for sure.”
Bill smiled and nodded his head. “I know,” he said, “she’s been here the whole time.”
“I told you the last time you were in L.A. that you were working too hard there old buddy, maybe now you’ll listen to me.”
Still with a smile on his face, Bill nodded in the affirmative.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t here sooner, I was on location in the Rockies shooting some mountain scenes for a book I’m putting together. It took me a couple of days to get back home and get Judy. I talked to the doctor on the way in, he says you’re going to be just fine. He said you were very, very lucky. Did you know you actually died before they could get you to the operating room? They literally brought you back from the dead. Thank God they can do the things they can do these days, it’s a miracle that you‘re still with us my friend, a real miracle.”
Bill remembered seeing his dad who had past away more than twenty-five years ago, was that a dream, or was it real? He thought of his dad’s words, “you still have some unfinished business you must make right. You will be happy again, I promise you.”
It had been a long time since Bill had been a happy man. After splitting with Amber he threw himself into his work a hundred and ten percent. He not only negotiated for the biggest contracts in the history of his company, but he helped with developing the software applications as well. He moved up the ranks quickly even jumping over Mr. Anderson, the man who originally hired him.
Bill took the company public and then bought the controlling shares of stock. In addition to his lucrative salary and bonuses, Bill‘s net worth tripled over night. He had become a very wealthy man. And yet, in spite of his success, his meteor like rise through the company hierarchy, and all his amassed wealth, he would go home to a lonely apartment and sleep in his bed by himself.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying, at least at first anyway. He dated several women, beautiful, successful, confident women, but as much as he tried not to, he couldn’t help comparing them to Amber…and they just never seemed to measured up. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t force himself to have any real feelings for anyone but his long lost love. Finally he gave up and just stopped dating all together.
Soon Judy and Amber were also at his bedside. Bill looked up and smiled as he, so fondly, remembered the days when they all had so much fun together. Amber’s face was a dichotomy of emotions. Her warm, graceful smile showed the relief from his survival and the comfort from having her friends around her, but her red, puffy eyes, tear stained face, and worried brow showed the torment she was going through.
Over the next few days Bill was doing well. His strength was returning and, with the help of his nurse and Amber, was even able to take a couple steps. Gary and Judy stayed in town and came to see him every day and Amber, well Amber was always there. She did finally get a motel room close to the hospital and would go there to shower and get some needed rest, but come the next day and she was there bright and early again.
The day of his release was a real event. His executive secretary, Anne, was there along with several employees from his firm all wishing him a speedy recovery. Gary and Judy were there along with Amber and together helped him into the car for his long awaited ride home.
With just the aid of a cane to steady himself, Bill walked into his apartment under his own power. He needed to regain his independence as soon as possible. He just wasn’t used to all the fussing around everyone was doing over him.
Once in his living room Bill needed to sit down. He was exhausted. I guess I’m not quite ready to take on the world yet, he thought to himself.
Gary and Judy motioned for Amber. They wanted to talk to her quietly in the corner. “Are you going to stay with him?” Gary asked Amber softly so Bill couldn’t hear.
She responded in kind. “If he’ll let me,” she said. “We’ve been concentrating so much on him getting better we haven’t really talked. He can certainly afford a live-in nurse if he wants, but I’m hoping he’ll let me take care of him, at least for awhile.”
The three long time friends talked briefly then Gary and Judy said they would give her a chance to talk to Bill and they would come back tomorrow before leaving to go back home. When Amber went back to check on Bill she found him in a deep, restful sleep. She stooped down and carefully removed his wing tipped shoes to make him more comfortable. She then sat down on the plush carpet and rested her head on his leg. It had been so long that she had dreamed of a moment like this and she never wanted it to end.
Bill woke up to a wonderful smell, much better than the alcohol smell he was getting used to in the hospital. He struggled to his feet and gingerly walked to the kitchen with his cane. Memories flooded back as he saw Amber at the stove. “What smells so good?” he asked.
Amber looked back in his direction. “I’ve been reading up on low fat, low cholesterol diets,” she said with a smile, “this is a cooked vegetable dish I got from a cookbook I bought at the hospital. I know how much you love your thick steaks, but I’m afraid they’re going to be few and far between from now on.”
That wasn’t good news to Bill. He didn’t smoke, only drank socially, but he loved his medium rare steaks. He walked to the table and sat down. He didn’t have a lot of stamina and he was already tired from the short walk from the living room to the kitchen. Amber dished up his dinner and sat down to eat with him.
“This isn’t half bad,” he said, “I could get used to this.”
So could she, thought Amber. She wondered if he was talking about the food or the situation. So far he hadn’t kicked her out, so for now, she was just going to continue to take care of him unless he told her to go.
He had a big day so Amber helped him into bed early then found the guest room for herself. She was deep in thought as she undressed. All the trauma of almost losing the only man she ever loved kept bringing back memories of those wonderful days.
For the first time since leaving New York, Amber was able to slip between some smooth, comfortable sheets, lay her head on a soft pillow and relax. She thought of her man being in the very next room and she was aching with the desire to go to him. She wanted to lay down next to him and bring back those wonderful feelings of intimacy that they once shared. She longed to take comfort in having his strong arms wrapped around her just once more, but she knew that was not to be.
She closed her eyes as her thoughts drifted back in time and she tried to imagine his hand dancing across her naked body as she reached down and slid her own fingers between the folds of her pussy. She remembered the days when just thinking of him made her wet with desire, but its been so long since she’s had any human contact down there. Amber was in such a hurry after receiving Judy’s call that she never even thought of packing her plastic lover. She tried harder to visualize Bill, trying to convince her mind that it was his touch she felt and not her own, but it was no use.
Amber took her middle finger and ran it rapidly back and forth over her clit, but without lubrication it was more painful than stimulating. All she wanted to do was take pleasure in reliving some of her memories with Bill being just a few steps away, but it wasn’t working. She rolled over on her side allowing her tears to dampen her pillow and quietly cried herself to sleep knowing she could never recapture what she had lost.
Bill got stronger with each day. He and Amber still hadn’t talked but Amber was just happy that he hadn’t thrown her out yet so she wasn’t in any hurry to rock the boat.
Days turned into weeks and Bill was almost feeling like his old self again. For Amber, not knowing what was in his mind was getting to be too much. She was going to confront him, she had to, she had to know if Bill saw a future for them.
That night, after dinner, Amber asked him to sit next to her on the large, wrap around couch. “I have to talk to you,” she said, “I want you to listen to me and not interrupt, please.”
“Of course,” he said, figuring he knew exactly what she wanted to say, but Bill already had a plan and he knew what she had to say was not going to alter that plan.
“First, I know I’ve done this in the past but if I do it every day for the rest of my life it will never be enough, I want to tell you again how sorry I am for the pain I put you through. I had always experienced so many men before meeting you, that in spite of the love we shared, I thought I could have my cake and eat it too, just as long as you never found out. That day in the motel room, when you told me you had known all along was the worst day of my life and I have relived it every day since.
Amber thought she was emotionally ready for this talk. After all she had been waiting fifteen years to talk to him, but the tears were already starting to flow. “When I found you that night my intentions were to do anything I had to, to get you back, I would have crawled on my hands and knees and begged, but when I realized how badly I hurt you for all those years, I knew there was no way you could ever forgive me no matter what I did, or said.”
She choked back tears as she continued. “For the last fifteen years I have existed in my own little world of regret and the knowledge that my selfish, insecure, self-centered stupidity, lost me the only thing in the world that I truly loved, you.”
At this point Bill would have stopped her. He already knew what he had to do and nothing she said at this point would have any bearing on his plans, but he promised not to interrupt her so he let her continue.
“I know you’re probably not going to believe this, but several months before you confronted me I had called an end to it, I had decided I would never have another affair, but when I realized how much suffering I put you through, I knew that was irrelevant. Since then I have never been with another man. Yeah, ironic isn’t it, I learned the only man I wanted to make love to, was the man I lost because of infidelity. Bill, it’s been fifteen years and I’m hoping that time has helped heal, at least some of the wounds I inflicted. I guess I don’t really expect you to ever have any real feelings for me ever again, but I need you in my life, Bill, at least as a friend. Do you think you could ever find it in your heart to consider me as a friend?”
Bill hated to see Amber hurting so badly but having her as a friend just wasn’t in the cards. “Amber,” he said, “we’ve both been through a lot and I think fifteen years is too long for either of us to suffer our loss, but I just don’t see us having a future as friends.”
Amber was crushed. She lowered her head in total defeat as the life just drained from her body. She had so hoped she could find some way to have him back in her life, even if it was for just an occasional visit. Bill stroked her cheek with a light, sensual touch reminiscent of days long ago. “Hey,” he said with a smile trying to cheer her up a little, “listen, everything happens for a reason in this world. I didn’t say it was the end of the road for us. Cheer up.”
Amber looked up at him with her tears flowing freely, trying to force a smile. She nodded her head knowing Bill was now simply being nice. Bill softly wiped the tears from her eyes then put his arm around her and pulled her into his body just as he did that night in the motel room. She laid her head on his shoulder and they sat cuddled together, each recalling happier times.
Finally Bill spoke. “Listen,” he said, “I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I’m hoping he says I can go back to work. Can you take me?”
Amber nodded. “Of course,” she said.
“Okay, well I want to be rested up for him so what do you say we both get some sleep.”
They both went to their bedrooms. Bill felt guilty for not being able to accept Amber’s request for friendship, but he knew that could never be.
Amber went to bed with her hopes of any kind of relationship with Bill dashed to pieces. Bill was probably capable of taking care of himself now, if the doctor gave him the okay to go back to work tomorrow she would make plans to return to New York.
The next day his appointment went well. Amber waited in the outer office while Bill went through his check up. Bill was buttoning his shirt back up and smiling as he and the doctor emerged from examining room. “The doc here says I can go back to work on Monday,” Bill said with great big smile across his face, “isn’t that great?”
Amber was less enthusiastic. Bill going back to work meant that she would return to New York. She found it hard to return his smile. “Yeah, that’s great,” she said.
Bill and Amber were on their way out of the doctor’s office when Bill said there was something he forgot. He asked Amber to wait in the hall and told her he would just be a minute as he turned and went back inside closing the door behind him.
“Hey doc,” Bill sounded excited, “what about sex, would it kill me?”
The doctor chuckled under his breath. “No Bill, your heart is as strong as it ever was, sex won’t kill you but remember, you went through a hell of a trauma, both physically and mentally. You may not be able to get an erection.”
“What about Viagra?”
“That’s an option, certainly, but only if you need it. Why don’t you give it try without and let’s see. If you need the Viagra I’ll write out a prescription for you.”
“Thanks doc,” he said again smiling from ear to ear.
That week-end went quickly. Bill seemed to be distracted for most of it; Amber assumed his mind was filled with plans for his return to the job.
Monday morning, after Amber had fixed him a healthy breakfast she watched as he got ready for his first day back in the office. He looked so handsome, she thought, as she saw Bill dressed in his suit and tie, her Sir Galahad in his modern day suit of armor. Before he left Amber had to tell him of her plans to return home. “Bill,” she said with sadness in her voice, “you don’t need me anymore, so now that you’re back to work I’m going to go back to New York. I’ll book a flight out tonight.”
“Nope,” said Bill.
“What? What do you mean no, you’re fine, you don’t need me anymore.”
“Two more weeks,” he said, “I need you to stay for two more weeks…please.”
Amber was confused, why two more weeks, there didn’t seem to be any point to it. “Are you sure?” she asked, “You don’t really need me anymore, why two more weeks?”
“Just promise me you’ll stay for two more weeks,” he said.
“Okay, two more weeks.” Amber wasn’t going to complain, it meant she would share his life a little longer.
Bill walked through the two large glass doors that marked the entrance to the firm he had known as his home away from home for over twenty five years. As he reached the rich carpeting of the outer offices, his co-workers, the men and women who felt it an honor to work for him, stood at their desks and applauded his return. He was truly humbled and a little embarrassed at the outpour of affection. He felt he had to acknowledge each and everyone personally as he walked from desk to desk shaking every single person’s hand and thanking them for their support and well wishes.
As he reached the reception area for his own office, Anne, his secretary for more than twenty years, in a true show of friendship and compassion, put her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek. “Welcome back Bill,”
“Thanks Anne,” he said as he hugged her back. “It’s good to be alive,” he said. With that Anne hugged him even tighter.
“Okay,” said Bill, “time to get back to work. Anne, give me about five minutes to get situated then could you come in with your pad please.”
“Yes Sir,” was her reply. It felt so good to have him back.
Bill took a moment to sit down, it was the same desk, the same chair he was sitting in when happened. A cold chill went through his body. He took a deep breath and looked around.
Anne entered with her steno note pad and pen in hand. She walked to one of the two black leather chairs facing Bill’s executive sized mahogany desk and sat down crossing her legs and getting comfortable. “What’s the first order of business?” she asked with a smile on her face.
“How have things been running since I’ve been gone?” he asked. “Was Ed able to take care of things?”
“Yes Sir,” she replied, “he did very well. He did all the negotiations on the Landis deal and pulled it off without a hitch. He’s learned a lot from you. That sounds funny seeing he’s the one who hired you, but it’s true.”
“That’s good, that‘s very good. You don’t know what a relief it is to hear that. Would you ask him to come in and see me when he has a minute.”
“Also, please get Gary Asher on the phone for me? Then I need the travel agency we use to book all my trips.”
“Yes Sir, where are you going? I’ll need the details to get everything arranged for you, Sir.”
“Actually Anne, I’ll take care of that myself this time. I’m planning something special.”
“Oh, okay Sir,” Anne said a little surprised. She had always made all the arrangements for him before. That way she always knew when and where he was if she needed something.
“Then,” he continued, “I need an appointment with the lawyers at their office. I’ll go to them, I don’t want them coming here. That can be any time this week, just let me know when.
“Then I need to call and emergency stock holder’s meeting for a week from this Friday.”
“Sir?” Anne’s voice inflection showing confusion as well as surprise.
“Yeah, you heard me correctly Anne, I need a stockholder’s meeting in two weeks, think we can pull it off?” he asked smiling at his long time secretary.
“Ah, well…sure, I guess, but what’s it all about?” she asked.
“Well, while I was home I made some plans that will involve the future of this company and I want to share those plans with the staff and our stockholder’s. Which reminds me, make sure you send out a memo to all employees, I won’t make it mandatory, I hate to do that, but please let everyone know that their presents at this meeting will be greatly appreciated.”
“Yes Sir,” Anne answered still a little shocked. “May I ask about these plans you have?”
“Not this time Anne, this time I’m keeping them under my hat until the meeting. Now, if you would get Gary on the phone for me first, then if Ed has some time, I’d like to see him next, then I’ll talk to the travel agency. In the mean time, you’ve got a lot to do sending out that memo and contacting all the shareholders about the meeting.”
“Yes Sir,” she said in her most business-like voice. “I’ll get Gary right now for you.”
At his apartment Amber was dialing Judy‘s cell. “Judy?”
“Hi Amber, what’s wrong you sound strange?” Judy was so hoping things would work out for her and Bill, but at the same time, was worried they might wind up hurting each other again and that neither one of them needed.
“Well,” Amber replied, “I’m not really sure. Bill went back to work today. We saw the doctor last Friday and he gave Bill a clean bill of health. That’s great news, I know. I’m so relieved I can’t even tell you how worried I’ve been about him. But, now that he’s okay again I figured I’d go back to New York.”
“I’m sorry Amber, I know how hard it will be to leave him.”
“Well that’s just it, he asked me to stay, but only for two weeks.”
“Two weeks? What’s in two weeks?” asked Judy.
“I don’t know, he won’t tell me. I’m a little scared. You don’t suppose Bill would plan some terrible revenge do you?”
“Jeez, of course not, this is Bill we’re talking about here, the man still loves you.”
“Well, I’m not quite sure of that either. The other night I pretty much poured my heart out to him and asked if we could just be friends. He said no.” Judy felt so bad for her friend and was a little surprised that Bill would still be carrying a grudge.
“I guess I shouldn’t have really expected anything different,” Amber continued. “And now this, this two week thing. I just don’t know, he’s been kind of mysterious lately. I just can’t figure out why he wants me to stick around for two weeks.
“Are you going to do it?“ asked Judy.
“Of course! I wish I could spend the rest of my life with him but that’s not possible, so I’ll take all the time I can get. I’ve got to call Julia at the agency and let her know. I already told her I would be returning today or tomorrow, she‘ll probably be a little pissed but I can‘t help it, she‘ll get over it. I‘ll work extra hard when I do get back there.”
At that moment Gary walked into the bedroom where Judy was sitting and was just finishing talking. “Okay Bill. Yup, no problem, I wouldn’t miss this for the world.“ Gary was grinning from ear to ear as he disconnected the call.
“Just a minute Amber, I think Gary is talking to him now.” Judy turned toward her husband. “Was that Bill Meyers you were just talking to?” she asked.
“Yeah, he invited us to Chicago in two weeks,” he said.
“Two weeks, there it is again. Did he say what he had planned? I have Amber on the phone and she’s a little worried. She was going to go back home today since Bill is doing so much better but he asked her to stay for another two weeks. She has no idea what’s going on. Do you know?”
Gary looked at her like the cat who eat the mouse. “I’m sworn to secrecy,” he said, “I can’t even tell you, but I will say that Bill has made some plans that affects a lot of people and he wants those people there when he announces those plans, and that’s all I can say.”
Now Judy was wondering too.
About the same time Ed Anderson was just leaving Bill’s office. To Anne he had the proverbial look of a deer in headlights.
“Ed, is everything okay?” she asked him.
Ed looked at her still in a slight daze. “Huh, oh yeah, everything is great,” he said. “Ah, listen, Bill wants to start out easy, you know, not too much stress at first, so he’s asked me to give him a hand with some of the projects he was working on so I’ll be coming and going quite a lot,” he said.
“Sure Ed, no problem.”
The next two weeks passed shrouded in mystery. Gary, Bill’s very best friend, knew part of his plans; Ed Anderson, long time trusted friend and loyal co-worker, knew another part of the plan, but only Bill knew all the details.
It was the night before the big meeting. Amber made a wonderful, nutritious, and heart healthy dinner (she was getting good at that) then Bill spent most of the night going over some paperwork while Amber sat watching his wide screen TV.
Time was getting short for Amber. She had so much enjoyed just being with Bill for the past few months. She was still heart broken that Bill wouldn’t consider extending their relationship, even as a friend, but she understood. She knew tomorrow was the end of the two weeks Bill had asked for.
Bill walked into the living room and announced he was tired and was going to bed. Amber, having nothing else to do and knowing she had to mentally prepare herself for going back home, decided she too would retire early.
Bill went in the direction of his bedroom and Amber turned to go to hers. “Tomorrow is the end of the two weeks you asked for, Bill, I’ll leave tomorrow evening if that’s okay,” she said.
“I want you to go to the meeting with me tomorrow, Amber. You can catch a flight out over the week-end,” he said.
Now she was really confused. “You want me to go to a meeting at your company?” she asked. “Why?”
“Everything will be explained there. Just wear something nice. It’s a stockholder’s meeting, kind of a big affair. Good night.”
Amber found it hard to get to sleep from worrying. She hadn’t a clue why he would want her at his company’s meeting. She finally drifted off.
The next day Bill seemed a little nervous. He kept going through paper work making sure he had everything he needed.
Amber emerged from the guest room looking ravishing. She smiled when she saw Bills face and it reminder her of Harry’s Bar the night she went looking for him.
“My God, Amber, the years haven’t hurt you one little bit. You’re still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Hearing those words made Amber feel a little better. She still had no idea what he had in store for her, but she no longer was worried that he was out to hurt her in any way. Together they left for whatever fate he had in store.
Amber had assumed the meeting Bill was talking about was to be held at his company’s location so she was a little shocked as he walked her into the lobby of the Sheridan Hotel. Just as she was about to ask why they were there, she spotted her first real surprise of the day, Judy and Gary. She screamed as she ran over to them, hugging and kissing them both. This was only the second time she had seen them in many years and the situation was so somber the first time, she really didn’t get a chance to enjoy their company. Bill also walked over and greeted his friends.
Bill had them all follow him down the red carpeted hall to the large conference room where everyone was already congregating. Amber looked through the door and could see a couple hundred people being seated. In front of the mixed crowd of stockholders and employees was a stage containing a dark wooden podium with the logo of Bill’s company facing the seated assembly. There were several chairs lined up on the stage behind the podium where Bill instructed his secretary to seat his three special guests. Only Gary had an inkling of things to come as they took their seats.
Soon the murmuring crowd quieted down and Anne introduced her boss. Amber couldn’t help but be impressed as every person in the large meeting room stood up and applauded as Bill walked on stage and clipped the remote microphone to his tie.
Bill motioned for everyone to please sit down but the adulation continued for another minute or so before people finally took their seats. “Thank you,” Bill said, the microphone transmitting his voice throughout the large room. I appreciate everyone coming, especially on short notice like this. I know you all have jobs, homes, and families and I’m sure you would rather be there with them so I will keep this brief.”
Bill started the meeting by introducing Gary and Judy as his best friends and Amber as the love of his life. Those words had a tremendous effect on easing her tensions, but Amber sat, still completely oblivious of the reason she was there.
Bill continued. “I know you are all aware of the heart attack I suffered a few months ago. As anyone who has had a brush with death will tell you, the experience makes a person so much more appreciative of life itself. You start to examine what you’ve done with your life, the things you did right, the things you did wrong, and the things in life that are truly important.”
“Excuse me,” said Bill, filling a glass from the pitcher of water that sat on the podium. He took a swallow to refresh his dry throat. “My father once told me, son you have some unfinished business you must make right. I intend to heed those words and dedicate the rest of my life to making things right and I intend to start right here.”
Bill moved to the side of the podium. “Amber would you step out here please.” Amber was stunned, the fear was back, what was he going to do? She looked at Judy who was looking back at her, also showing fear in her face. Gary reached over and gave Amber’s elbow a nudge to get her off the chair and moving toward the stage.
She cautiously walked forward and faced Bill. He reached down and took Amber’s hands in his. “Amber, my darling,” he started “from the moment I laid eyes on you my heart has never belonged to another.” He let go of her left hand and started to reach into his suit coat pocket as he lowered himself to one knee.
“Oh my God,” Amber exclaimed, “Oh My God, OH MY GOD!” she screamed. Amber heard another scream and looked over her shoulder. Gary was seated next to his wife sporting a, Cheshire Cat, like grin. He had his arm around Judy who was stunned at the scene unfolding in front of her and who openly wept with tears of joy for her friend.
Amber turned back to see her Sir Galahad on one knee holding up a small open box. Inside was a ring with the biggest diamond she had ever seen. “Amber, my darling, will you marry me?”
“YES! YES! OH MY GOD, YES, my darling,” she shouted at the top of her lungs. Bill raised up and she immediately threw her arms around his neck and smothered his face with kisses. Bill took her by the waist and pulled her closer. He looked into her teary eyes brushing her hair from the side of her face and slowly lowered his lips to meet hers. He kissed her with all the passion that made her heart swell in years gone by. She looked into his face. “My darling, darling man,” she said, “I promise, I will never hurt you again.” Bill just smiled. He knew that already.
The entire audience was on their feet cheering and clapping. It was a reaction that would have been worthy of a five-star, Broadway production. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place including Anne who saw her boss truly happy for the first time in many, many years.
When it looked like everyone was going to start coming up to the stage to congratulate the pair, Bill had to take podium again. He wasn’t done. Bill still had more surprises up his sleeve. He asked Amber to take her seat for a few more minutes as he started to address the jubilant crowd.
“Please, everyone, please take your seats. Everyone, please.” The audience started to calm down as everyone found their chairs again. “I started with this company a little more than twenty five years ago and I am extremely proud of what, we as a whole, have been able to accomplish,” Bill said. “As I’m sure most of you are aware, the man who gave me my start here was Ed Anderson. Without his unselfish support I would not be where I am today.”
Bill took another drink of water as he continued. “While I was laid up, Ed stepped right in and took over. Thanks to his efforts, I’m proud to tell you the company has contracted to completely upgrade the software for the world wide conglomerate, The Landis Corp.”
The audience applauded again. “This is a multi-million dollar contract that will increase your dividend checks by ten percent.” Again, the audience stood and put their hands together in appreciation.
‘I mentioned before,” Bill continued, “that my father once told me I still had things to make right and I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing just that. I enjoyed my time here immensely, but I also believe I’ve done everything I can do.” A quiet fell over the crowd. “Effective immediately, I am resigning as C.E.O.”
Shock and awe thundered through the stockholder’s and company employees as well as Amber and Judy. Only three people knew of this decision prior, Gary, Ed, and of course, Bill. Anne, the poor girl, sat in her chair frozen in place, not believing what she just heard.
Once again Bill fought for control of the floor. “Please, everyone, please let me have your attention. For the past two weeks Ed Anderson and I have been working together on ideas for the continuing expansion of the company. I believe Ed’s ideas, knowledge of the industry, and his ability to see things through, makes him the perfect, no make that the only, candidate for my replacement and I sincerely ask you to approve his appointment as your new Chief Executive Officer.”
Stockholder’s and employees alike applauded Ed as he took his place on the stage. In everyone’s mind, if he was good enough for Bill, he was good enough for them. “So,” Bill announced, “for my last duty as your C.E.O. let me introduce Ed Anderson.”
As Ed Anderson stepped up to the podium Bill stepped to the back of the stage, gathered his friends and left through the side door. As they left Bill had one more thing to do. He found Anne, his long time secretary and confidante. He told her, he was hoping she would stay. Ed would need someone with her experience and savvy as much as he did. He told her he had set up a very lucrative retirement program for her that would be there when she was ready. With that being the last good deed he would perform for the company he helped build, Bill, Amber, Gary, and Judy left together.
It was celebration time. Bill really had no idea how he would feel at this point. As it was, there was no regret, no remorse, only joy. Bill felt he had simply closed one chapter of his life and was now opening a new chapter, one of joy and happiness.
Bill’s next stop was the finest restaurant on Chicago’s ritzy north shore for dinner where he would reveal the last leg of his plans for the four of them. Gary and he had already talked and made the arrangements.
“Ladies,” said Bill while finishing his three inch thick, medium rare steak, after all it was a celebration, “Gary and I have one more surprise for you.”
Both Amber and Judy looked at each other. Neither one was sure they could take any more surprises. It had been an extremely emotional day.
“Right after the wedding, we’re all taking a trip around the world. You ladies have been all over, but not with us. We think it’s about time we experienced the world together. Gary is actually going to do his thing and shoot breath taking photos for his new book, “Asher’s World,” and I’m going to finance the trip for a small portion of the profits.”
Both Judy and Amber were beside themselves with excitement. There wasn’t anyone at that table that could remember being happier than they were at that moment.
Later that night Bill and Judy were settled in Bill’s guest room. What they were doing in there Bill and Amber could only imagine.
Amber, knowing she would be sharing the bed with Bill, was nervous and scared. She remember how she felt on her very first time with a boy, and this was worse. She walked into the bedroom and reached around to lower the zipper of her dress when she felt the unmistakably soft touch on her shoulders. She closed her eyes just as a tear broke free and streamed down her cheek. She tilted her head down and to one side as Bill’s lips gently caressed the nape of her neck. Her heart quickened and her breathing deepened as he slowly pulled the zipper allowing the sleek gown to crumple at her feet.
For both of them, it had been so long. Each tenderly undressed the other, their naked bodies touching, craving the intimacy lost so long ago.
The love they shared emotionally was enticing their bodies to react physically. Unexpectedly Amber’s nipples tingled at Bill’s touch. She moaned in heavenly bliss as the sensitive little peaks hardened under Bill’s oral manipulation. Suddenly her entire body was responding. The rapture she experienced so many years ago was again engulfing her entire being, As Bill lovingly worked his way down he found the same sweet pussy he once used to give his woman so much pleasure. It was warm, moist, and waiting for him.
In spite of the trauma Bill had gone through, this was his love and his own body was not about to fail him. He moved between her legs and slowly allowed the moist tunnel to envelop his hard cock. Amber gasped for air as she felt him enter her. Wave after wave of intense pleasure was building. Amber’s mind was incapable of thought, her screams of ecstasy clearly heard in the guest room as her body exploded with passion sending them both into an orgasmic euphoria.
No words of remorse, regret or even love were needed. They held each other close, their passion for one another consuming their souls. As Amber cuddled into her Sir Galahad and Bill held his sleeping beauty in his arms, he envisioned the rest of life embracing a love that would never die and some day, he would introduce her to his father as the love of his life.
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