Scenario: Thorne Forrester is fighting depression after the death of his wife, Macy, and the end of what appears to be the relationship
he yearned for. Brooke, the love of his life, has
spurned him because she thinks he has had an affair with
Macy's sister. Tormented and lost, he seeks the solitude of
He swiveled the empty glass on top of the bar. The wetness of its base created a series of broken circles...a pattern that might as
well sum up his life so far.... unfulfilled
relationships. He had failed Macy and she had paid the
ultimate price. He had foolishly allowed himself to be entrapped by Kim and now Brooke, the only woman he wanted, felt betrayed and
humiliated. Who to turn to for help? Certainly not
his mother who probably, at that moment, was relishing
the good news that he and Brooke were finished.
" A penny for them." The woman's voice came from his left.
" I'm sorry?"
" I mean...a penny, a penny for your thoughts."
" Oh! I see. Yes, I guess I was pretty far away." As Thorne
spoke, he turned to view the voice's owner. She had an
interesting face, not beautiful but nice...very nice.
Age? Perhaps a little younger than his mother. Well groomed
and stunningly dressed, she was enough to distract Thorne from his immediate woes.
" Please. May I order you a drink? " Thorne signaled the barman,
confident that she would accept.
" You order me what you think I might like," she replied,
"I'm sure you understand a lady's tastes and
moods......some of the time." The wry smile on her
face was not lost on Thorne. Was she so experienced with men that she could read them that well or was he just an open book? They settled at a table on the far side of the bar. He did most of
the talking. She was a very good listener and
unobtrusive. Thorne couldn't believe that he was
revealing his most intimate thoughts to a stranger. His hurts,
his dashed hopes were aired for her to hear. She was like a balm. He felt a sense of relief as he spoke.
Like a priest listening to a confession, she sat opposite this young man and pondered how she could give him
the means to forgive himself. It was clear to her that, unless he could be kinder to himself, he
could never get on with his life.
" Forgive me!" he suddenly said, "I've been talking about me
and my troubles and nothing else. You must think I'm
quite the egotist. Please...... tell me about you."
" Let's play a game, Thorne, " she replied. 'You tell me what you
think you know about me."
" Well, I'd say from your clothes that you have a great sense of
style. Maybe you're in the same game..fashion,
perhaps. Or maybe you're a writer. Good listeners
make great writers. You could be researching your next book and I could be the basis of one of your characters. There I go again....being big-headed." Thorne blushed.
She laughed gently. "I won't give anything away, Thorne. Suffice to
say that you have made my night by simply being
delightful enough to blush. Let's say that it is my good
fortune to meet you in this little bar and that we have had
a wonderful chat...."
Thorne interrupted, "I think you mean that I had a wonderful chat
while you tolerated it." He smiled.
"You know something, Thorne? You really should do more of that. Smile,
They ordered another round of drinks and she listened some more, but it
soon became obvious that the bar was ready to close for
the evening. She rose and Thorne helped her into a silk
jacket. Uncertain what to say to her, he stumbled over
his words. She put her hand gently on his lips.
" No need to say anything, Thorne. I'm older than you and that makes
me wiser too, "she said. "I consider this
evening to have been one of the best I've spent,
especially since my company has been so handsome and gracious. Please, let me return the favor."
" Favor? I don't understand."
" I shall have to make it clearer. It's not very often that a young
and attractive man confides his intimate thoughts to a
woman who isn't his mother but is old enough to be so. I
want to do something for you now. It may not mean
anything to you in days or weeks to come but I will always remember this night. My intention is to make you happy, even if it's
just for a few hours."
She took his hand. They flagged down a taxi which took them to her hotel.
Thorne's desk telephone rang. It drew him out of his thoughts of the few hours before. Their love making had been gentle and tender. He
felt honored that she had allowed him into her bed.
After they had finished, she again encouraged him to
talk but, when he did fall asleep, it was with a supreme sense
of relief. As he figured, though, she had gone when he awoke. No note, no information at the desk. It was like some crazy dream.
As he thought, the telephone call was to summon him to a
meeting. There he would have to tolerate the ignominy of
facing his parents who were bound to have that, "We
told you so" expressions on their faces. And Brooke? Her cold stares would cut right through him. He couldn't avoid the encounter
though. Taking a deep breath, he opened the door
to the boardroom.
" Well, Thorne. Better late than never." Brooke's sarcastic
comment was not lost on Stephanie, who stifled a laugh.
Brook continued, "We're here to meet our new
Claire Bryan, a very experienced lady indeed. Welcome, Claire."
Thorne had been so preoccupied with his own misery, that he had failed to notice the newcomer seated at the board table. He, like
everyone else in the room, approached the new editor to
offer congratulations. When their eyes met, instead of
embarrassment, there was the sense that a friend, a confidante,
had returned to his life. He smiled as she said, " My intention is to make you all happy with my work. I want to please you all. I'm
sure you'll be satisfied."
Thorne smiled to himself. He was certainly satisfied.
End of Part One
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