Dazzling Comeback

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Her husband is murdered and within a year her widowed mother dies. She goes Down Under to Australia for a settling vacation and unexpectedly her sex life resumes, with circumstances quite unexpected. She returns to San Diego, ready to start living again, and very soon her life is together again with romance with someone nearer her age underway.

Submitted: January 13, 2017

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Submitted: January 13, 2017

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Chapter 1

Molly Spock arrived to visit her mother but called first at the principal nurse’s office of the Greenway Home Care for the Infirm. She had an appointment at 2:00 to see a visiting physician, Dr. Lewis, and was taken through to him.

The doctor said to the middle-aged and somewhat drab woman, “Good afternoon Mrs Spock, do you have concerns about your mother?”

“No but do you have concerns about her?”

“I can report she’s in fairly good shape and is cruising along nicely. In many respects, I don’t know why she is here.”

Molly frowned severely.

“It could be she has an inoperable brain tumor, suffers anxiety attacks and falls over and breaks something, usually her glasses, but both wrists have been broken, along with her left kneecap and her nose and top denture.”

“Ah yes and her age of seventy-eight doesn’t assist with her physical stability.”

“Actually mother is sixty-seven.”

“Oh, I was thinking of Mrs Brookes.”

 “She died last year.”

Dr. Lewis sighed and said, “What is it you want Mrs Spock?”

“I wish to go away for two months. Mother said that would be desirable because I need a break and she’s urged me to go.”

“Then go.”

“Oh, you believe Mrs Yates will not be distressed by my absence?”

“Mrs Yates?”

“She’s my mother.”

“Oh, yes go. We’ll keep an extra eye on her, you can count on us Mrs Brookes.”

“Mrs Yates.”

“Oh, yes.”

“Thank you Dr. Lewis. Good afternoon.”

Molly, who’d got rid of her stupid and philandering husband eighteen months ago. She suggested he should travel to Bali where he could chase after women without embarrassing her.

According to the police report, her husband had moved in with a transvestite who mugged him, stole his money and then dumped him on a sidewalk where he was found. Mr Spock was identified as a foreigner and taken to hospital where he contacted an infection and died.

She’d concluded it would have caused her less stress had she killed him herself, um providing she’d gotten away with it and eradicated any memory of him.

After sending two hours with her mother, who prattled on about the same things she usually did, including she’d hadn’t seen that nice Mrs Brookes for a while and that nice Dr. Lewis’s daughter was expecting a baby after five years of waiting for pregnancy success.

Three hours after leaving her mother, Molly was back at the facility to be with her mother who’d died. The nurse said she’d heard Mrs Yates emit a shriek that sounded like laughter and she went in and found Mrs Yates had expired.

Ah, expired was an appropriated word, softer than died while being more explicit than ‘passed on’.

Molly called her daughter and son but they decided not to come home for the funeral because they would scarcely know anyone there.

Lucille said, “Dad won’t be there of course and grandma will be in the coffin and you will be busy running around after people.”

Danny had said, “I’m really busy at present mom; can I be excused? Anyway, why come all that way only to be in a small crowd of strangers.”

Molly excused them but was disappointed in their lack of support.

She planned move into her mother’s vacant and smaller house Her late husband Stan had not taken out life insurance and once the loan on the house and bills were cleared, Molly expected to receive little over $200,000 in her hand if her house sold at close to the asking price. She planned to give the kids $25,000 each and.

Molly, who would turn 48 in three months, had the nagging feeling her life was effectively over, um more over than it had been. Her money would run out in time and her only option would be to resume writing novels.

“Oh crap.”

In the meantime, the still reasonably attractive brunette decided to proceed with the planned six-week tour of Australian and left San Diego a week after the funeral.

Molly, as the sole beneficiary, has instructed her late mother’s attorney to sell the house and liquidate all investments and in so doing received news about her secretive late mother.

“Your mother had become rather wealthy as the result of two more marriages after divorcing your late father,” Mrs Reeves said. “I need to go through everything with you.”

“Look, I’m rather in a rush to finish clearing out my house and dispose of my and my mother’s personal effects I don’t wish to retain before I leave for Australia on Friday. I’ll sign the necessary authority for you to sell down those assets with prudent timing Mrs Reeves.”

The attorney said, “There will be modest fees involved in doing that of course.”

“Of course.”

Molly arrived in Sydney and next day boarded a flight to Adelaide.

After four days squirreling around like a tourist, she joined a mini-tour in a custom-fitted white Mercedes mini-bus that her travel agent in America had booked for her. The party of eight were to travel to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas and then inland to Alice Springs, taking twenty-eight days and diverting to various side-highlights along the way.

Molly’s fellow travelers on the vehicle were a couple from England accompanied by their 23-year old son Nick, who’d just completed his engineering degree, a sheep farmer and her veterinarian husband New Zealand and a couple who ran a health foods business in Munich. 

Although their laconic driver Ted suggested people split up and sit by other people as the tour proceeded to become ‘a more homogenized group’, Nick told Molly his choice was to sit by her and do everything with her.

Ooh, what was ‘everything’ thought Molly, softly stroking across a breast, out of Nick’s vision of course.

On their first evening after an 8-hour drive including stopping at the former whaling port of Port Fairy, Nick suggested they room share.

“No Nick, I’m old enough to be your mother.”

“What if I clear it with her?”

“Try that and she’ll swing at you with her handbag.”

Next morning Nick and his parents, June and Ivan Fryer, shared a four-seat breakfast table with Molly.

June said, after the exchange of greetings, “Nick has asked us would we mind if he room shares with you. Ivan said you were old enough to be his mother and Nick said that’s what you said when turning down his request. I’ve asked Ted to rearrange the schedule of room bookings to allow you two to room share.”

“What?”

“It’s all right Molly. We approve, we don’t suffer the insecurity of Americans. Our view is Nick is an adult and we are confident he’ll come to no harm being with you. Of course, just because you are room sharing it doesn’t follow that you will wallow in sex.”

Molly slopped her coffee.

“It’s lovely to see you are nervous about this Molly,” June said. “I always knew not all Americans were insensitive.”

Ivan said, dabbing his pencil-thin mustache “I think what won June’s approval was I said if she was worried about Nick room sharing with you, that Nick should share with June and I’d bunk down with you.”

“Oh no, I’d rather have Nick sleep with me,” Molly blurted.

Ivan raised an eyebrow and pretended to frown while June and Nick laughed loudly.

Molly didn’t know where to look.

“Very well, I agree,” she said. “Actually, it makes economic sense. We’ll be refunded some of the single-person supplement.”

Molly decided she didn’t care what others on the bus thought. It was none of their business.

But when boarding for the drive to Melbourne via the awesome Great Ocean Road route, another long day of driving with scenic and meal stops ahead of them, Molly saw Ted the Aussie driver give Nick a huge wink and she flushed.

As they drove off sitting in their high-spec leather seats with padded arm rests, Nick said quietly to Molly: “Thanks for agreeing to this. You are a lovely woman and really cool. Jesus just look at the comparison between you and my mother; you two are not in the same league.”

“Your mother is lovely.”

Nick just grinned.

June was short and carried sufficient extra weight to be called chubby. Her face and hair appeared to receive minimal attention. On the other hand, Molly was almost six feet tall and with very little extra weight because she attended yoga classes and cycled and swam a lot and was particular about her diet. Her skin was almost flawless and makeup and brunette hair were well maintained and her teeth – her own – were beautifully maintained.

She had even upgraded her wardrobe for her exciting vacation.

Initially, Molly thought June really wasn’t a good person to connect with. June spent much of her time talking about the weather, the cost of things and worrying about her cat back in England who was in the care of what June called ‘deceptively friendly’ Oriental neighbors. Did June suspect they would do away with the cat or eat it?

Nick bent towards her and asked, attempting to sound lewd, “Will we have sex?”

“I expect that will happen at the rate you are pushing for it. Are you experienced?”

Recovering from that shock, he bleated, “Jesus Molly I’m not yet twenty-four and have high expectations. I studied at a university where half the females practically acted like nymphomaniacs.”

“Oh, how educating.”

He chuckled and said, “I really like you Molly.”

As for Molly, she didn’t know what to make of him.

Leaving aside Nick, who was twenty-six years her junior, Molly was aware she was the youngest person on the bus by a few years. God, she couldn’t have sex with him; he’d be thinking was she wasn’t still up to it and she’d be thinking he was such a child.


They arrived in Melbourne almost nine hours after leaving Port Fairy that morning, with stops to look at all top sights on the GOR (Great Ocean Road).

Normally, driving that distance with only a brief meal and refuel stop would have taken around five and a half hours. But this was the type of tour the travelers had paid considerable money for, to travel in relative luxury and to progress leisurely. For example, they’d had a long lunch at Apollo Bay and meandered on foot along stretches of beach and on cliffs of the incredible coastline and took in what the blurb in the brochure called ‘the world famous sight’ of the 12 Apostles (large surviving slabs of eroded land in the sea beside the cliffs) to achieve ‘the sense of seeing and feeling everything’ during the entire tour.

At the hotel, she stopped short of the door to the shared room.

“Aren’t you going to enter?” Nick asked, almost breathing down her neck.

“I’m not sure.”

He pushed her into the room, ignoring her squealing protest.

“You animal,” she said, turning ready to slap him but his boyish grin told her Nick was bored traveling with a bus of old farts, as he called them, although surely that would include herself.

However, she had to admit she and Nick chatted easily all day and laughed a lot. Perhaps she was growing on him.

“Good, we have twin beds.”

Nick smiled. “Ted suggested it and said if you and I do get together and want a double bed he’ll call ahead and changed the booking to honeymoon suites for us.”

Molly hissed through clenched teeth, “You have that discussed our unusual relationship with Ted?”

“Yeah and perhaps he gave my good advice, telling me not to rush you.”

“Oh, he did the swine.”

“Yeah and warned me you’d have to agree with that advice.”

Molly just groaned and went into the bathroom. She called in delight, “There’s a full bath here, do you wish to join me in the bath?”

“Huh, in a bath, nude?”

She giggled and couldn’t stop. His reaction had sounded so boyish.

“Keep your underpants on if you’re shy of old ladies.”

He came to the door and eyed her as she sat on the bowl peeing and slowly she turned brick red.

“You are not an old lady. Don’t put yourself down Molly. You need to rev up and stride around looking to nail your next husband.”

“Do you mind; I’m peeing.”

“No I don’t mind. Are you aware women urinating make a sound like a twinkle, whereas a male sound is more like a tap flowing?”

“Omigod, you make that sound almost as exciting when Ted said we were five minutes from our first sighting of the 12 Apostles.”

Nick smiled and said, “You are really funny. I really like you Molly. Perhaps I could undress you.”

She said a little too sharply, “I understood the plan was to take things slowly.”

“And I agree. All I wish to do is to undress you for the bath.”

“Okay and will you join me in the bath?”

“I have to think about that.”

Molly said brightly, “Ah you want to call your mother first and ask her advice about what to do?”

“No Molly. I’m old enough to make my own decisions. I have to ponder the consequences if you lose it in the bath and decide to use me to gratify yourself.”

“Me lose it? Well that’s something I hadn’t thought about. Possible I might just lose it and ravish you.”

Nick gaped.

“Um d-do you mind if I go down to the House Bar and have a drink with dad? He suggested we join him. Mom would want to have a shower and mess around with make-up.”

“That’s fine Nick. Perhaps we were rushing it a bit but I can’t wait for you to get your first look at my breasts and to satisfy your curiosity if I’m bushy, or clip my pubic hair or have removed most or all of it.”

“Um how did you know I’d wondered that?”

“I have some idea about how guys think darling. Off you go. I’ll join you in thirty minutes. In the meantime, you can tell your father how brazen I am.”

“I’ll tell him no such thing. What you and I do in private will remain private.”

“Oh, gee thanks Nick and please exclude any reference to me whenever you chat with Ted. Actually, that was very mature comment from you about confidentiality. I would think after a few drinks and a good meal we really could be in the grave situation of being on the point of losing it tonight. That’s how it’s meant to happen and I’m reminded of that song by Doris Day ‘Que Sera, Sera’.”

“You are such an interesting person Molly. I suppose it’s the American in you. Bye. I’ll never forget this image I have of your sitting on the toilet on the first occasion we were alone as roommates.”

“Oh god,” she giggled.

During dinner Molly had the unexpected experience of Nick running his foot up the side of her left leg and at one time his father somehow managed to run his sneaker up her other leg and to momentarily rest it on the top of her thigh.

She thought yes, an appropriate name for those soft shoes was sneakers. She glared at Ivan and he pulled away his foot, bumping the table as he did so and toppling the salt and the wine list.

June on the other hand transformed with the help of two quick wines.

She became lively and quite funny at times and promoted quite worldly conversation without mentioning her cat, the weather and consumer pricing.

Before long Molly could see why Nick really liked his mom. She even leaned over after two more red wines and stroked Nick’s hair, making Molly wonder if those two had ever involved in improper behavior. June’s current gaze certainly hinted at that being a possibility.

“Behave June,” Ivan barked and June sat back and her lights seemed to switch off.

That was very interesting and it made Molly aware she now liked June better, knowing she was not necessarily an ‘old fart’ as Nick had labeled the older six of their party. It was likely Ivan suppressed his wife which suggested he had a nasty side to him, but that was none of her business.

When they returned to the room, Molly stood at the door that Nick had opened and he’d stepped back politely.

She didn’t move.

Finally, he pushed her in and fueled by alcohol they both stumbled about laughing. He banged the door shut with his foot and steered Molly to her bed.

*  *  *

Next day in Melbourne the party had a free shopping day and were in arguably the best shopping city in Australia.  During breakfast, June invited Molly to go shopping with her.

“Do you mind Nick?” Molly asked and he looked pleased.

“No go for it. Dad and I had been thinking of joining Ted for a game of golf. He said he’d arrange it.”

Molly worked at getting Molly out of her somewhat ‘stuffy’ mode and more relaxed. A couple of wines with light lunch assisted no end and when they arrived back at the hotel, hot and near-exhausted, June hugged Molly and said in a tone and more appropriate for addressing a guru, “I truly thank you my lovely American for so expertly setting me up to enjoy one of the greatest days of my live in at least three decades.”

During breakfast next morning and watching Nick talking animatedly to his parents Molly blushed at the thought that she enjoyed watching her lover with pride.

Her lover? Hadn’t she been regarding him two days earlier as a boy, um older boy? For heaven’s sake, she was already turning him into a man. God, what would her children think if some how they ever found out about this?

She felt blood drain from her face.

Two nights later in Sydney, Molly and Nick attempted to enter an up-market nightclub but were refused admission because the beefy guy at the door said Nick was inappropriately dressed wearing in a Manchester City Soccer supporter’s jacket.

Well he was traveling light.

Fuming, they went to another bar where people were drifting in unrestricted. Next day after the party of travelers returned from a ferry trip up-harbor to Manly for lunch, Molly took Nick shopping

Against his protests, she bought him an expensive semi-formal jacket of his choice. That night they were admitted by the same ‘bouncer’ at that club they’d tried to enter the previous night.

They had a great time and teamed up with two couples travelling together, from Ireland and Sweden. They went to a restaurant to dinner well after midnight which was totally a first for Molly. Normally she was in bed by 10:30.

Ted had a hike planned for them after their visit to the Australian Walkabout Park north of Sydney and told Nick he’d need better footwear than beach thongs (flip-flops), business shoes and sneakers.

Molly took Nick to a shoe store where they purchased soft hiking boots, Molly paying.

“I can pay for mine,” Nick protested.

“Darling you are making me so happy,” she said truthfully. “You are making my feel reborn and I feel I’m making a comeback. Besides I have plenty of money.”

He purchased Australian bush hats for them and his mom and thereafter the three of them went on short hikes wherever Ted recommended was safe for them providing they kept to the tracks.

The farther north they went the greater the variety of wildlife and they found the bird population in northern Queensland in the sub-tropics almost unbelievable in variety and vivid coloring.

With all their hiking, beach swimming and night tennis, plus other activity, Molly and Nick looked leaner, fitter and both had become sun-tanned.

“God excessive sex appears to suit your two,” June said one evening in Townsville after they’d had several cocktails.

“Mom we two are into other fitness stuff ,” Nick smiled.

They laughed and Molly joined in but Ivan sat poker-faced.

When arriving in Alice Springs, the penultimate night of their tour before they separated, Ivan seized the opportunity when alone with Molly and tried to get her to go with him for a walk.

“No Ivan, you want more than a walk.”

“Please Molly, you are driving me mad with desire.”

“Back off Ivan, that’s all in your head. You don’t want me to whack you do you?”

“No,” he said sulkily and within thirty minutes was back to his normal unremarkable self.

The tour ended back in Sydney a week later.


Chapter 2

Molly returned to American tanned, leaner and with a shaven vulva that she’d decided to keep that way and would try to make romantic connections. Back in San Diego next day, she called her attorney.

Mrs Reeves reported, “The house sold above your asking price and I’ve made good progressed in disposing of investments that I will brief you about when you come to my office.”

“Excellent,” Molly said, and arranged an appointment for the day after next. She then went to bed, dog tired and hoping to avoid long-haul travel weariness. A 12-hour sleep certainly helped and the next day she kept off alcohol.

“Omigod,” Mrs Reeves said in surprise when greeting Molly.

Molly blushed as if Mrs Reeves had detected she was without pubic hair.

“You are so tanned and have lost weight. God, please excuse me for being so personal but you look like a mid-life Venus.”

Huh?

First Molly requested Mrs Reeves arrange for Molly to formally change her name in legal and other documentation, reverting to her maiden name of Yates.

They began on the paperwork to effect that change.

Molly was pleased that the house has sold for $66,750 more than the asking price.

“Gee thanks Mrs Reeves, that’s brilliant work.”

“Molly, please call me Caroline. The Realtor was responsible for that. Her marketing program attracted a number of prospects including three who fought out to the finish with offers and counter-offers.”

Molly learned the $180,000 her mother had inherited from her second marriage had tripled in value since the original prudent investment.

She was sad her mom had not sold off some of that investment and gone on expensive vacations to include seeing old friends but for years her mom had not liked leaving the house.

“There’s a couple of smaller investments involving commodities with depressed prices that you would be best to hold till their markets lift again,” Caroline said. “And that leaves us with this investment in the company operated by the stepson of your mother’s third marriage, a Scott Bond.”

“Oh yes, I met him just the once, at the wedding when his jerk of a father divorced mom because he wanted to marry a young hottie.”

“Men with money tend to operate like that dear as they know time is no longer on their side. But he had to pay expensively to settle that divorce.”

“How much do I have on loan to his company?”

“A little over $2 million.”

Molly gasped. “You have to be joking.”

“I don’t believe you realize that on paper you are worth approximately $7.78 million but probate is not yet settled.”

“What you must be joking. I need to sit down.”

“You are sitting,” Caroline smiled as if pleased to have a client who was not dissatisfied.

“I-I don’t need that much money.”

“Well think about that before your do anything rash Molly. Money is not really a curse.”

Caroline called for coffee and that helped settle Molly.

“And what’s the problem with Scotty Bond?”

“He took a financial hit when he divorced his two-timing wife who will soon marry one of his pals. Mr Bond claims he’s mortgaged to his eyeballs became of the divorced settlement and if you withdraw that two million that’s included in that total figure I gave you earlier, his business will collapse because he won’t be able to raise alternative finance. Although his wife had signed a pre-nuptial agreement, the company had prospered after their marriage and Mr Bond had to borrow heavily earlier this year to raise the $2.7 million demanded by his departing wife to achieve settlement without going to court.”

“God, doesn’t life for some people fall apart because of excessive sexual appetite?”

Smiling, her attorney said that it would be unprofessional of her to comment on that.

“Why?”

“Mr Bond is a client with this firm.”

“Okay, then please give me Client Bond’s phone number. I think he and I need to talk. The truth is I need to have my money placed somewhere.

*  *  *

Next day Molly arranged for the sale of her mother’s house and rented a furnished apartment for two months, taking immediate occupancy at a rather stiff rental. She decided to call the kids home because she missed them.

“Danny I’m back. I want you here for the weekend, arriving Friday.”

“Aw mom I’m busy but I’ll come if you have cancer.”

“No, my charming son,” she said to the 25-year. “I’m as fit as a fiddle but I want you home this weekend.”

“Aw mom.”

“That’s an order Danny.”

“Okay.”

He asked where had she been but she ignored that, having told him about her vacation and having called him twice from Australia.

“I’m renting,” she said and gave him the address.

She rang his sister immediately.

“Oh, hi mom, how was New Zealand?”

“I went to Australia and I called you three times from there.”

“Oh yeah. It’s been full on here.”

“I want you home this weekend Lucille.”

“Aw, mom I have plans for this weekend.”

“Well now your mother wants you home you have a new plan.”

“But it will cost four hundred bucks to fly at such short notice.”

“Really? I gave you $15,000 when you turned twenty plus my share of the cost to bring you up and for your years at college, remember?”

“Oh yeah,” sighed the 23-year old recent graduate. I’ll try to be there by 6:00 Friday.”

Molly gave her the address and ending the call she swore, adding “Kids!”


After that hard work, Molly called Scott Bond.

“Oh hi Mrs Spock, I really do need to meet with you.”

“I’ve reverted to my maiden name of Yates but you should call me Molly.”

“Um, any chance of meeting soon Molly?”

“You may take me to dinner tonight if you are free.”

“It’s my bowling night and I willingly will scrub that for you.”

“Ooh, what a charming man. I have met you just the once but we are linked somewhat what through marriage.”

“But probably less tenuously that you might think. Your mother married my stepfather.”

“Oh, tenuous indeed. What say I book at Searsucker 611 on Fifth? I can get in because I’m known there.”

“Well do that please. I’ve heard people talking about that restaurant very favorably.”

“Will 8:30 suit, arriving any time from 7:30 at the bar?”

“That sounds really great Molly. Um, may we also talk business?”

“Yes and that was the purpose of this meeting unless you had something else in mind?”

“Something else…?”

He appeared to choke to a stop.

“Until 7:30 onwards,” she said, in her sweetest voice.

Molly made green tea and looked up the company website of Chas. Bond Importers and Distributors, Inc, a business established by Scott’s late grandfather that Scott had purchased from his father four years ago at a time when his dad was financially stretched after his latest divorce.

Scott was named as managing director and the summary said the company had a payroll of 79 people and so that made it reasonably large.

He looked more handsome than she remembered but it was a studio photo. She wondered if he still had sex. She read his profile and thought yes. he would when noting his age given of forty-two.

His children were listed as Tony fifteen and Rebecca thirteen as his children. Molly hoped if Scott had custody of the children that he was living with a dependable and well-adjusted woman because at that age kids needed an attentive mother and not just a bimbo who was daddy’s plaything.

Molly surprised herself by feeling the urge to dress up. Perhaps it was instinct, to do the right thing with Scott on behalf of those poor kids even if they were running around on the loose now like little devils.

She went off and the hair salon receptionist said the business was about to close for the day.

“It’s okay Sheryl, I’ll do it. Hi ma’am, this way please. I’m Sheryl.”

“What Sheryl O’Dare, owner of this salon?”

“Indeed and that suggests you are very observant. I’d much rather do your hair than have a prospective client feel rejected. Also, it keeps my hand in. And where are you living?”

“In a rented apartment above here; I’ve just moved in for two months.”

“Ooh that’s so nice and we are about the same age, I did say about. We must have lunch across the street at Mimi’s Deli some time. It’s very good even if she’s my sister-in-law and I’m telling the truth about the deli’s standard of cuisine.”

“Great, I’d love that.”

“You’re Molly Yates, the novelist, I believe.”

“Well yes. I’m surprised you know that because it’s five years or so since I was last published.”

“Your hardcover, ‘The Wickedness of Bess’ is one of my favorite romances. Most writers have white-faced and ruby lipped and rather virtuous heroines and that’s just great for retired female librarians retaining a sense of armchair adventure. But your naughty Bess is my kind of heroine. She’d notched up 42 different lovers from the time she turned twenty until she married at twenty-four and she ripped into sex as if it might be her last one. Oh, I just loved it and your writing had me panting as times and my vibrator buzzing.”

“Oh really, I thought I was writing fiction?”

“God, you are deceptively interesting Molly.  You damn well know you set out to get your readers going. There are not many romance writers that will allow their heroines to call a fuck a fuck outside the bedroom like you did.”

“My mother always said I had a foul mouth.”

“I bet she did and good on her for not eradicating your unladylike weakness.  Now this hair. Just some light trimming and backcombing or piled on top?”

“Can you do it Contessa style? This guy tonight is new.”

“Oh, I certainly can. You are a romantic. I can keep one of my girls back if you’d like a full wax?”

“No, my only head hair. So, I guess you have tried to write as well?”

“Yes. and the rejection slips comment about lack of character development and plot weaknesses. My husband Al says I ought to go to night writing classes.”

“Providing you are exhibiting promise in your writing I’d agree with that and the way you talk I’d expect to find you show good potential. I guess you didn’t do English lit at college?”

“I didn’t go to college. I became a hairdresser instead.”

“Not a problem and you appear to be doing well in business. This is a big salon. You can be set up with appropriate software… oh…”

“It’s okay darling. I can operate a computer and did my manuscripts on MS Word.”

“Good girl. When we lunch give me what you think is your best effort to date and after I read it we’ll work on getting that one up to speed and we’ll submit it to my old publisher with a covering letter from me.”

“Omigod Molly, are you an angel.”

They cackled away and Cheryl said, “Already I’m believing in you. Christ, no one has spoken to me like this since I left home sixteen years ago.”

“Well you’re a hairdresser first and foremost. Our task, if you are up to it, is to develop your split personality of Hairy O’Dare as an author.”

“You mean Hairy and not Cheryl?”

“I do because O’Dare is a great surname but you need to stamp yourself with a great first name as well and Hairy… well just how unusual is that?  Intelligent people will make the connection when they read the puff with your photo note you great hair in the photo.”

“Let them attempt to picture whether you have pubes. I just used my given name as an author and by the time I realized the benefit of having a stand-out name as an author it was too late because I already had an established following under the name of Molly Yates.”

*  *  *

Molly was seated at the bar talking to another woman waiting for her late-arriving date to show when she saw the close-cropped blond Scott Bond arrive. She watched him scan up and down the bar, pausing twice briefly when reaching her but that was probably because, well, she really was the most striking woman in the lineup and that wasn’t kidding herself.

Her hair was piled up and cascading down, and she’d made up her face to look white and used cherry colored lipstick with a slightly darker liner and applied a gloss finish. She wore a black cocktail lacy dress with a silver brocade bolero jacket. 

She became nervous as she watched Scott beginning to walk up the line of seats to take a closer look at the women. God what if he thought she was out to hook him?

As he reached her and Jackie, Molly said with high question urgency in her voice, “Scott?”

He almost dropped his chin on his chest, lifted his jaw back into place and said, “Molly. Omigod.”

“Come, there’s a spare table over here. Bye Jackie… oh this looks like your guy in a hurry.”

“It is and bye Molly. Have a good night.”

Well, why not go for it? She’d decided she should revert to how she was in Australia where she’d been set free of inhibitions.

“You heard that woman Scott, will I have a good night?”

“I hope so,” he grinned. “I must say you are beautiful.”

“It’s all smoke, paint and mirrors Scott. I’m forty, um, one and that’s ageing.”

“Forty what? I would have sworn you were in your thirties.”

“Careful Scott, lavishing compliments might get your more than you can handle. To tell you the truth, I’m approaching fifty.”

“I don’t think so,” he began and stopped.

Well, either it wasn’t on or he was about to say he didn’t think she’d be too much to handle. Either way it didn’t really matter. Other men eyeing her earlier had reminded Molly she had the face, the hair and the figure that made her appear pretty good for her age.

God, Scotty had pulled out a chair and was waiting to seat her.

“Thanks,” she said sitting and instead of praising him for being so gentlemanly she said, “You are not looking bad for a reasonably recent divorcee or have you remarried?”

He looked at her as if she’d opened a no-no subject.

Molly said craftily, “My husband was murdered in Bali last year so we both have gone through the wringer. I suggest you think about what I discovered, that it’s easier not to pretend in didn’t happen or whatever than to bottle it up and have your friends tread gently in fear of upsetting you. Did you play around and she divorced you?”

He looked scandalized as Molly expected, having learned he was the victim.

“No, that bitch was having it off with one of my friends and they’d been at it for more than a year. That bitch broke up our marriage.”

“Then think about being prepared to say to people who inquire that your ex-wife the bitch broke up your marriage.”

“Oh, no I couldn’t say that.”

Molly said, “Actually that’s what you just told me.”

She waved to a waitress and who took Scott’s order and Molly she said she’d sit on her Martini.

Scott appeared to be thinking deeply. Suddenly he said, “My ex-wife the bitch broke up our marriage.”

She said nothing but looked at him sympathetically and he said, almost shyly, “God, that made me feel better.”

“Scott, here’s another little piece of advice my late mom taught me: never go to sleep being angry. Do something to fix it before closing your eyes if only promising yourself to try to make amends as an alternative to grabbing the phone or whatever.”

“Never go to sleep angry? Wow it’s true, I have been angry with her all these months.”

“Well in telling me that bitch was responsible for ruining your marriage, you may have just exorcised that demon.”

“Do you think so?”

“There’s a good chance you have and time will tell.”

Molly caught his gaze.

“Now listen to me: Scotty Bond it’s time to get on with YOUR life.”

He smiled and said his closest friends often called him Scotty.

“Well in that case I don’t mind becoming a friend of yours Scotty.”

“God, this is unfolding like a novel. Please become my friend Molly.”

“Why did you mention the word novel?”

Scott shifted his weight on his chair and looked up and smiled when he saw the waitress arriving with his beer.

When the waitress left, he said, “I searched the web for your name and up it came. You were a successful novelist but haven’t written for some years. I bought your ‘Liquid Amber’ with its lurid cover in the ordinary area of a bookshop, not in a restricted area. Christ, sex was practically dripping from some of the pages.”

“Ooh, are you a well-known book reviewer? I rather like that description.”

He said, “I had thought of passing the book on to my mother but…”

He shrugged.

“But you didn’t?”

“The answer to that deserves a big NO.”

“Scotty there are two things I can say about that. The first is it’s only sex and the second is do you have any idea of what fiction your mother actually reads?”

“Are you saying she reads stuff like that?”

“I’m suggesting for all you know she may well read hot descriptive romance fiction like that.”

“I should remind you that once your book would have been banned from normal book shelves.”

“Indeed, and haven’t we moved on? Scotty is there any difference between me writing like that when I was writing and you and the guys swapping yarns about your sexual experiences in detail when out fishing on a boat or around a campfire during a hunting trip?”

“I certainly think… um on the other hand you are probably right. Do I need a mind shift?”

“That’s up to you.”

Later at the table when starting on his third glass of red wine, Scott said expansively, “Are you dating anyone at present.”

“No. What about you?”

“No.”

“What does that suggest Scotty?”

He leered, yes leered.

“I think we should date whether or not you leave your money in my company, and I mean that sincerely.”

“Okay, but what if I want my money out.”

“Then I’ll have to sell my business and when the dust settles I will be without work and broke.”

“But would you still date me?”

“Yes, if you were still interested in me.”

“Well I guess that establishes your sincerity. I’ve been thinking of leaving my money in your business and would like to open talks about putting more in because I’ll soon have money to park somewhere.”

“What has brought on this interest?”

“I noticed on your company’s list of products it imports the brand of lady shaver I use and the company distributes it throughout about one-third of the US. I thought, irrationally perhaps, that this must be a good company if that little finding is magnified hundreds of more times, if you know what I mean.”

“No I don’t really but such philosophies mean different things to different people.”

Molly smiled and said she’d agree with that.

Scott looked at her thoughtfully.

“If you really are interested and to ensure I don’t inadvertently misrepresent anything and you don’t venture into any deal you are uncertain about, I suggest we share the cost to have the company professionally appraised to try to get an accurate assessment of its true current value and prospective value, all things being equal, in the next two and the next five years. I believe to focus on a period further out than that would be akin to crystal ball gazing.”

“Okay, then let’s do that.”

“It could take a couple or more weeks to gather information and then for the consultant to analyze the findings for the report and that means it will be rather expensive.”

“So be it,” Molly said. “I need information and advice if I’m to make a sound business decision. Well that’s enough about that. Why don’t you tell me about your personal life?”

“Are you interested in that?”

“Well you have two children and I have two children. Let’s swap information.”

They left for home separately, having their own vehicles, and hugged but didn’t kiss as they parted but Molly wasn’t concerned about that, knowing he was fighting to conceal his growing interest in her and she knew why he was holding back. He was attempting to be ethical because they were also involved in important business discussions.

He’d suggested going out somewhere on Saturday but she said her adult children were coming home for the weekend.

“Some other time them?” he said, making that sound casual.

“Yes and please, let’s make that happen,” she said enthusiastically, attempting to douse any uncertainty in his mind.

Molly and Scott had exchanged contact details and next day he sent a phone text to that the consultant that had been recommended to him could start on the appraisal report for them the following week. He said it was best to get this recommended woman than to grab just anyone claiming to be an expert in that field.

Molly replied she was happy about that.

*  *  *

Molly’s children had arranged to meet up at the city’s airport and they arrived together by cab just before 7:00.  and they boggled when noticing a new medium-sized Mercedes coupe in the garage.

Molly answered the doorbell excitedly.

The kids looked at her and were obviously wowed.

Their mom was beautifully tanned, had lost fourteen pounds in weight, she’d been back to the hairdressers and ‘Hairy’ had shaped her hair and highlighted it. As well she’d been out shopping with Sheryl who had talked Molly into modernizing her wardrobe.

She was wearing olive tight-leg pants that finished just above the ankles and wore stylish wedge heel decorative leather sandals and a plain burned orange high neck top and a long coral necklace.

“God, you can’t be my mother,” yelled Lucille, rushing her. “You’re too young. Omigod, just look at your body… I’d pay thousands to have a body like this at your age mom.”

Unexpectedly, it was Danny who delivered the masterly stroke. He stood, hands on hips gazing at her and said simply, “Mom can I date you?”

“Mom did you bring this guy you were with in Australia home with you?”  Lucille asked suspiciously.

“No and there’s no guy on my lead at the moment. Oh darling, here’s something to shock you. That guy I was having sex with travelling around Australia was of the ripe old age…”

“Mom stop,” Lucille said, screwing up her face. “I don’t want to hear.”

“The ripe old age of twenty-four.”

“Mom, how could you,” Lucille yelled.

“That jerk must have known all his birthdays had come at once,” Danny laughed and his sister managed to snigger at that comment.

Over drinks they looked at Molly’s Australia photos.

Lucille snapped up the first photo that came up of Nick and she moaned, “Oh mom, you should have brought him home for me.”

“We have an open invitation to visit them in England. I’ll take you darling.”

Danny said, “He looks sporty. Perhaps I’ll go with you guys.”

Frowning, Lucille asked, “How could you even consider seeing him again?”

“Easy,” her mom smiled. “We both knew we were on a great adventure in a foreign land and besides, his parents agreed to him and I sharing a room and as his mom said we didn’t need to feel compelled to have sex.”

Danny became interested. “Tell us how you nailed him mom.”

“No, what happened in private shall remain private.

During dinner, Molly said, “I called you guys home for a discussion and no I don’t believe I have cancer. Your grandmother left all her worldly possessions to me exclusively.”

“She mentioned something like that when I last saw her.”

“And when did you last see her darling?”

“Oh about two years ago… well perhaps three,” Lucille said, looking embarrassed.

“And it would be much longer for you Danny. I guess that’s why you two were only mentioned in the preamble of the will, her wish for you two to grow up as lovely people and marry and raise great children.”

“She became funny to talk to,” Lucille said, weeping. “I’m sorry mom.”

“I know. Well as least you know you gave her immense pleasure by being at her beck and call in your younger years and you too Danny. In those days. she thought you both were lovely and often said that. In recent years. she simply asked what were you both doing and listened to what I said with considerable interest.”

“Gee mom, I’d been ignoring you as well.”

“Yes, Danny and it’s become a pattern hasn’t it? I hope your wife receives better treatment and the same applies to the guy you marry Lucille and you must know I don’t talk funny to you, at least not yet.”

“Sorry mom. I’m such a selfish little bitch.”

“You’re okay Lucille. You just have to learn to be a little more thoughtful about family. I have my eye on a guy I might try to snare and marry.  He has two kids in their early teens and is recently divorced. I’ve only just met him over business although I did meet him years ago. That’s all I wish to say at the moment.”

“God mom, it was worth coming home to hear that,” Lucille smiled. “That’s really great news and I hope it comes off.”

“I think so too. You are too good looking and energized mom to be sitting alone growing old. You need a guy banging you every night and telling you what a great chick you are.”

“Thanks for your kind thoughts Danny.”

“Your grandmother has left me rather well off and my lawyer is consulting a specialist on how to set up a trust for each of you and for the trust to endow you each with the capital on your thirtieth birthdays.  Knowing my mother so well when she was in a good mental state, I know she’d want me to do something like this.  The proposal is you’ll get income distributed to you twice a year and the job of the consultant is to sort out legal complications, if any, and to minimize the impost of taxation from every aspect.”

“Gee that is very generous of you mom,” Danny said, coming around the table to hug and kiss her. She held him tightly and sniffed.

“Me too mom, I thank you very much and wonder if I deserve this after distancing myself somewhat.”

“By somewhat you really mean a lot?”

“Guilty mom and you are really being generous to us.”

“Well just remember darling that mothers like their daughters being close to them, particularly when they settle down. By that I mean moderately close by, not under their feet, and regularly telephone calls and occasional surprise visits.”

Danny poured them more wine.

“A salute to your mom, Danny said, holding up his glass of red wine. How much will go into our trusts?”

“We have to wait until probate is received and that could take months, perhaps a year. When the estate is permitted to be distributed. I shall place $2 million in each of your trusts.”

The glass dropped from Danny’s hand and red wine spread out for a couple of feet across the white table cloth.

“Omigod,” Lucille, turning white. You are said two million bucks EACH.”

“Yes dear. That’s quite a nest egg, huh? Please fetch a bowl with cold water and a sponge and dilute Danny’s mess. I’d like to salvage this table cloth because it was your grandmother’s and I remember it being used when I was a girl. It was given to her and dad as a wedding present.”

“Oh yes, I’ll get on to saving the table cloth. Mom I’d like to inherit it.”

“Dear I like hearing you say that and I’ll arrange for that to happen.”

Danny said he assumed his mom would be receiving a great deal of money.

“Yes, Danny and I will tell you how much when I’m advised officially. Although you two were excluded from mom’s will, you are free to take a claim to Court asking for a larger distribution than I’m proposing to give you.”

“Well for one I won’t be that greedy,” Danny said.

“I won’t either and anyway you’ll include us in your will won’t you mom?”

“Yes. dear and that’s already taken care of. Oh, ending this talk about money, I propose to allocate a million bucks from your grandmother’s estate to her favorite charities. I know which ones they are. Perhaps tomorrow you guys can help me allocate that money when I work a list of beneficiaries. Now tell me what have you two been doing lately.”

*  *  *

Molly and Scott had dated four times and were now into prolonged kissing and she was becoming impatient.

“Molly I have decided no sex while we are in limbo like this. It’s just a moral thing with me.”

“Okay I suppose.”

“And the children, I’ve put off introducing them until we have concluded our current business matters one way or the other.”

“Scotty would you call the consultant now and ask about progress. It’s not late, only just after 8:00.”

“Okay I’ll call you back.”

He did that and said, “Good news. Sally says she’ll give it priority and should be able to meet us around 5:00 pm the day after tomorrow.”

“Thank god for that. And then can we have sex, whatever way the outcome goes. I’ll try to make my decision at that meeting.”

“Yes, I’ve really been hanging out for it Molly. I’m only human and the wait has been almost busting my nuts.”

She giggled and he said oh he shouldn’t have used that language.

“I’m no lady when it gets down to the nitty-gritty,” Molly laughed.

*  *  *

Sally Copeland took just over fifteen minutes with her commentary to explain pertinent points. Her conclusion was it was a very sound company and all written reports on its economic viability under present trading conditions had checked out as being accurate.

“In other words, I’ve found nothing hidden and nothing that would make me doubt the security of your money in this company Molly.”

“Okay and that pleases me greatly. One figure I haven’t been able to find is Scott’s actual equity in the company.

“Well it’s a somewhat crude measurement. It’s what he paid for the company without taking into account whether that investment has moved up or down since the time of purchase and the figure here shows what he paid his father to buy the company, $5,275,000. He had to raise personal loans to finance that purchase of course, with company assets as security.”

Molly said, “So if we consider that translates to a stock holding of 5,275,000 shares valued at $1, I could pay $2,637,500 including the $2 million loan I already have with the company to obtain a 50% share of the company, reducing that back to a 49% holding and plus any premium required.”

Scott said, “Well I need Molly’s $2 million to stay in the business, either as a loan or converted to capital in return for stock allocation.”

“Scott my $2 million stays in the company. It’s your choice whether to proceed with the stock option idea.”

“Well the stock option appeals to me but I should take legal advice. May I have a week before I get back to you on this Molly? I must say the idea of having you as my business partner appeals to me immensely.”

. Walking to their vehicles, Scott asked, “What now?”

“Are you happy with me?

“I’m extremely happy with you. Your decision to stick with investing in the company and expand your financial interest to become my business partner dilutes my ownership stake. But the bottom line means I’m no longer vulnerable through having overstretched financially when buying the company. We were making money but not making it fast enough to keep me afloat.”

Molly nodded and asked what he wished to do.

“I’m in your hands.”

“Come to my apartment.”  I bought a bottle of champagne anticipating my offers would be accepted, although I had anticipated my ceiling for the premium would be only half of what I now will pay, but that’s business. I trained as a nurse and rose to manage a team but that doesn’t mean I’m qualified to run a business.”

Scott said in that case Molly had done exceptionally well and yes he’d love to see where she lived.

“We can cross the street to eat well,” she confided.


They’d entered the apartment without kissing, in fact behaving almost like strangers, Scott looked at the draft manuscript on the table with lots of markings in red and notes stuck to pages.

“Were you successful as an author?”

“Yes. and by working at nights and weekends I managed to get eight books published and developing a good income stream. But both our children began running off the rails and I stopped work and stopped writing to maximize my attention on them, with reasonably successful results.”

“That was a big sacrifice.”

“Well the biggest delinquent of all was my late husband. Perhaps I might tell you about that one day. This is my new friend’s rejected manuscript. She has the fire in her belly to become a writer but lacks knowledge of structure and progressing her story but we are working to remedy shortcomings. The story is good.”

Molly went to hand the bottle of champagne for Scott to open and said, “Do I deserve to be kissed.”

He grinned and kissed her warmly and reached to take the bottle of French champagne from behind her back.

“What’s the story about?”

“An exotic dancer who was paid to dance privately for a prince and they fell in love.”

“God that sounds fifty years out of date and crap.”

“Yes and I thought something like that as well. Now the heroine is the chief mechanic for a small racing team and the hero is the driver who’s determined to go all the way to the top and appears to have the talent to do it?”

“I see,” he said. “I suppose they do it over the bonnet of his racing car.”

“Omigod are you an author?” she joked.

Scott blushed and said he’d began studying English lit at college before switching to business studies.

“Ooh we have another close interest.”

“Yes,” he beamed. “Sort of.”

She waited and he said, “We have other close interests?”

Turning to get some nuts and pretzels, Molly said, “Yes our passion to develop our business operation and possibly we share a passion for great sex.”

Scott appeared a little shaken, having to take in extra air through his mouth. Either that or it dangled open in the shock of such an outlandish statement.

“You… you have a passion for sex?”

“Christ Scott, I might be forty-four but I remain a red-blooded woman whose sexual appetite is rarely quenched.”

“You mean drenched,” he joked and they laughed eyeing each other.

“You’d indicated no sex until that business matter was settled, one way or the other,” Molly said softly.

“I was thinking exactly that same thing,” he said, putting down his glass and moving to her.

“Sit Scotty and I’ll sit on your knee and we can enjoy some of this delightful wine before we more than grope.”

“You will permit me to more than grope you?”

“Yes Scotty. I figure your manly lust and my disclosed desire make that an inevitable outcome unless you are gay.”

“Me gay?” he cried in alarm.

He received nothing by a smile and said emphatically Molly must meet his children.

“And I’d welcome that too. Um, would your child-minder resent my arrival on the scene?”

“The child minder is actually my widowed mother. She’d take one look at you and gasp and think to herself that she’s hearing wedding bells.”

“Scotty,” Molly purred. “Methinks you are a romantic.”


THE END


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