It has taken me three weeks since Myles and I went to dinner to find the words to describe that night. Partially because I have been overanalyzing it and partially because I know the circumstances of our arrangement are hopeless.

Earlier that day, I was a nervous wreck, which was eased only because Myles and Davis were working downstairs in his office. At least then I wouldn’t have to see him. I didn’t want him to see how jittery I was. I know, it sounds silly, even a little immature, but I like him and if nothing comes of this I’d still hold him in the same regard. So why was I was nervous? Because there was something in the way he looked at me, something in his voice when he asked me to dinner.

We had an 8:30 reservation at The Olive Room, a trendy candlelit supper club. It took me an hour to find an appropriate outfit after June picked up the kids. I settled on a chic halter neck crimson cami, a fitted high-waist indigo skirt, and a pair of heels that in hindsight were too high. By the end of the night my feet were killing me. I had just enough time to straighten my hair and touch up my face before he knocked on my door. As nervous as I was at that moment, when we were sitting across the table from one another, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Myles was all charm and, heaven help me, I love a well-dressed man. He caught the attention of every woman in the room but his eyes rarely left mine. Against my better judgment, I allowed myself to imagine there was no impediment and we were on a real date, rather than two people who “could use “a night off” as he put it. Strangely, it felt real. We talked, debated, and laughed as was the norm but it felt different. I didn’t want to read too much into it, so I left it there.

I didn’t think my respect for Myles could deepen, however, when he gave me the full account of Rachel’s death, his grief and anger thereafter, my fondness grew immeasurably. He spoke passionately about his anger that year following Rachel’s death. He didn’t want to know if Shelby was his biological child, it didn’t matter. But even in death, he’d forgiven Rachel for giving up on them. Slowly, as if she were guiding him, he learned it wasn’t his forgiveness she sought. She couldn’t forgive herself. He went on to admit it was Lori’s and June’s insistence that drove him to hire a nanny. I wasn’t upset. Myles is protective of his privacy and his children; bringing someone else into their flock was serious business.

Dinner was fantastic. He ordered a pesto crusted rib-eye and I had the blackened halibut. Sadly, the wine was forgetable, thank goodness it was a demi bottle. We ordered cocktails thereafter. I even persuaded him to try a “Fallen Angel”—he didn’t complain but his disappointment was evident. For dessert we shared a slice of black and white cheesecake and I told him about Derek. To portray Derek as anything other than a stop-gap boyfriend, a totem to ward off the evils of loneliness, somewhere to go when my friends marched home to their dull lives would’ve been an oversell. I conveniently left out the bit where I became physically ill when we’d walk past jewelry stores. That’s TMI I’m not prepared to explain. Our conversation flowed so easily. I doubt he realized he kept touching my hands, never holding them, just a touch every now and then. Intentional? I can’t say. Nonetheless, I can say without hesitation that I didn’t want him to stop.

By the time they opened the floor for dancing, I was quite beside myself. I can’t remember the name of the first song we danced to. What I remember most vividly is him bending down and removing my shoes, one by one, when he saw my discomfort. He held them in the hand that rested on the small of my back and I danced in my stockings. Before long, so were most of the other women. Soon, even they disappeared leaving only me and Myles swaying to the music. I lay my head against his chest, and breathed him in deeply. It was out of place and presumptuous but I couldn’t help myself. I wanted, for that split second, to be a real woman on a real date with him. Maybe he didn’t want to cause a scene…maybe he didn’t want to hurt my feelings but he didn’t want to cause a scene…maybe he didn’t want to hurt my feelings but he didn’t stop me from making a fool of myself. He held me as if I were a real woman on a real date with him. Yes, I crossed a line. Yes, there’s a part of me that regrets having done so. But there always a part of me that says to hell with it! And it was this reckless part of me that made the events later that night possible.

We arrived home shortly after two a.m. Myles went into his office and I came to my room to undress. It wasn’t until then that I looked down at my stockinged feet—Myles had my shoes. I went to retrieve them, meeting him on the stairs. I thanked him for my shoes and returned to my room where I fought like a rabid badger to free myself from my damn skirt before I gave up and knocked on Myles’s bedroom door. He turned me around and he too fought like the devil. I felt a little better knowing it wasn’t just me; there was something caught in the zipper. We went to his bathroom; I leaned over the counter while he snipped the fabric free, a couple of good tugs on the zipper and it was done. I should’ve left but I didn’t. And he wasn’t in a hurry to let me go. We made a few funny yet uncomfortable jokes. Why didn’t I leave? Every ounce of me told me to leave. We were so close. I wanted to kiss him; moreover, I wanted him to want to kiss me—just once. And like that, the moment was lost…and I felt like a fool.

Then, he kissed me. Myles kissed me. It was so soft, so beautiful, and finally…it was real. I felt his lips on mine. As cliché as it sounds, I lost track of time. His long, seeking kiss took my breath away. Regrettably, I was brought to my senses when our lips parted and he apologized. I don’t remember his words exactly…I don’t want remember. He’s apology spoke loud and clear. I know now he hadn’t felt our connection as strongly as I. He’d acted on impulse rather than….I can’t even say it.

We spent that entire weekend avoiding one another and walking on eggshells. The children’s return was a relief. At least then we had a diversion. Maybe it’s best we haven’t talked about what happened since that night. It certainly isn’t worth bringing up now that we’ve moved on and there’s no more uneasiness between us.

He’s working diligently on his campaign and I am planning a trip to Paris. If all goes well, Myles will allow the children to come along.

Gloria’s pen stopped mid thought…then she finished.

We are, as we were.

Gloria closed her journal and tucked it inside her desk drawer. Myles’s crew could be heard from downstairs. It was after ten o’clock; surely they’d be wrapping up soon. She hated going downstairs when Ronald was around but her hankering for mint Milano cookies won the day. Gloria released her top-knot and her tiny ringlets sprang to her shoulders. She checked her attire. Yoga pant and a t-shirt would have to suffice; she wasn’t changing. Not that anyone would’ve seen her anyway; they occupied the living room and dashed back and forth between there and Myles’s office.

Gloria pranced past the living room undetected, grabbed the bag of cookies from the cupboard, and made a hasty retreat to the sitting room just off the kitchen. She turned on the television and curled under a throw blanket.

An hour past undisturbed before the phone rang. It was after ten o’clock and the children were asleep in the bed. She answered without bothering to check the caller ID; no one but Linnea called this time of night.

“Yello?” Gloria answered. There was a dead pause, as if Linnea were questioning her decision to call. It was serious. “Linnea, what’s wrong?” She sat up.

“I need someone to talk too.” Her voice was small. “I don’t know what to do.”

Gloria looked towards the living room. “The children are asleep. Myles won’t mind me leaving for a while. Tell Amy you’re stepping out. We can meet for coffee.”

“I can’t leave Ronny alone.”

“Leave him alone? His mother is there, isn’t she?” Gloria closed the bag of cookies and returned them to the cupboard.

“It’s not that simple, Glo.” Linnea said.

“Fine,” Gloria peeked inside of the living room, spying Ronald packing his briefcase. “Ronald is heading home. As soon as he walks through the door, you call me. I’ll pick you up.”
“No. Tomorrow we’ll leave the children with Josie;, both of her children are in school. I’ll call you tomorrow.” There was a hint of relief in Linnea’s voice. She hung up.

Gloria leaned against the counter waiting for Myles to surface from the living room. She detested the autocratic hold Ronald had over Amy and Linnea. He’d battered Amy free of any semblance of self-worth. The few times Gloria and she met, it was awkward. Amy spoke very little, she was always watching—she was, as it were, firmly in her place. Her dull lifeless auburn hair and pale almost transparent skin aged her well beyond her years, but it was her vacant eyes that were most disturbing. Gloria’s Grandmother once said the eyes are windows to the soul. The most hardened men possess a spark of humanity, of life. In Amy’s eyes, Gloria saw no such spark; she was literally dead inside, a husk of a person satisfied with her emptiness. She and Linnea were polar opposites. Linnea was passionate; she lived out loud…though there were times when the other nannies wished she put a muzzle on it. She was good for Ronny. Having two emotionally detached parents, Ronny needed all the love and affection Linnea could spare. Ronny was a clever, untamed yet endearing child; he and Shelby were soul mates in this sense. How much longer would Linnea be able to protect him from the grim reality of his parents’ divorce? Would it even matter?

“There you are.” Myles said, breaking Gloria deep thought. He placed his glass in the sink and leaned beside Gloria, so closes he could smell her shampoo. “Sorry about the noise.”

“I’m going out with Linnea tomorrow.” Gloria said curtly. “Shelby will be with Josie. I won’t be gone very long.”

Gloria’s irritation wasn’t lost on Myles. He was in the same aimless boat; neither here nor there, not anywhere…trapped in a mental undertow of his own making. How could he tell her that she was his constant thought? How could he tell her that he was open for more—that he hadn’t taken advantage of her? “Gloria,” he lowered his voice. “We need to talk about…you know.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. No harm. No foul,” she shrugged. “It happened and I regret it.”

Gloria’s frankness didn’t deceive Myles, yet they stung. “If it’s all the same to you…” Looking down he intertwined their hands, then met her eyes again. “….I don’t regret anything. But I apologize if I was too forward. I thought I felt something between us.” He smacked his lips. “Perhaps I’m out of practice and mistook your friendship for more and for that alone, I’m sorry.”

Gloria’s heart pounded in her ears. Had she heard him correctly? “Don’t be….”

“Myles?” Ronald came into the kitchen. “Rick needs to see you.”

Myles turned to Gloria. “We’ll talk when everyone leaves.”

Gloria smiled as he left. Ronald rocked on his heels, looking at her. There was no sense in pretending he hadn’t seen her and Myles’s exchange. Gloria asked sassy as ever. “Do you need something?”

“Not really,” Ronald produced a devilish grin. A few seconds of uncomfortable silence fell between them. “How’s Shelby? I haven’t seen her in a while. You’re keeping her stashed away.”

Normally nonviolent, this man conjured dark impulses in Gloria. Her eyes could’ve burned a hole straight through him. “Shelby is right where she belongs. She and Ronny play together all of the time. He’s a good child no thanks to you.”

Ronald gave a short humorless laugh and sat across the island from Gloria. “Why do you hate me?”

“I don’t hate you. I don’t like the way you treat your family and Linnea. You bully Amy like a slave and you keep Linnea chained like a dog. And Ronny…when was the last time you spent time with him?” Gloria met his icy stare. “You have some nerve to ask about another man’s child while neglecting your own. You’re pathetic.”

Ronald was unmoved by her condemnation “Thanks for putting me in my place,” His eyes were cold, but showed no sign of aggression. “But, you speak of things you know nothing about and have even less no power to change, so your opinions mean nothing. Vilify me if that’s make you feel better. But don’t, under any circumstances, presume to know me.” He looked at his watch and stood. “Don’t worry, Myles’s little secret is safe with me. Goodnight, Gloria.”

His voice was so calm, so haunting that his departure snatched the air from Gloria’s lungs. He’d seen them…it was nothing, but in his hands, it could be twist it into a scandal. 


Jackson lie curled fast asleep at the foot of Myles’s bed while Myles lay replaying his date with Gloria and each subsequent moment thereafter. He’d been truthful; he didn’t regret asking her out or kissing her. Had that irksome guilt of him taking advantage of her not crept in, he would’ve kissed her all night. He’d crossed a professional line, in doing so, he’d put her in a precarious position. What happened between them has natural, Myles assured himself. Surely she felt their connection. What if she hadn’t? Would she leave? He wouldn’t blame her if she did.

Myles was fading into sleep when there was a knock at his door. “Come in.” Myles called. “Gloria, what are you still doing awake? It’s almost 2:00am.”

“I need to speak to you…alone. Can you please move Jackson into his room?”

“Sure.” Dressed in only a pair of sleep pants, Myles quickly gathered the limp body of his son and placed him in his own bed. The entire way back to his room he prayed that she wasn’t about to hand in her resignation. “Yes, what is it?” Myles joined Gloria on the bed. He searched her face, suddenly noticing she looked rather tired.

“I’d like to take leave.”

FFFUUUCCCKKK!!! Myles thought to himself. “Really?” He asked calmly.

“Yes and I wanted to know if you’d allow the children to come with me. I’ll be in Paris for a week. Ursula and Josie are coming along as well.”

“You want to take my kids on your much deserved vacation?”

“Yes, crazy isn’t it?” Gloria smiled. “I wouldn’t trust them with anyone else and I’m sure you could use a week without us in your hair.”

“And what about you? You’re always with us.”

“I’m right where I want to be.”

“Thank goodness.” Myles sighed with relief. “I thought you were quitting…”

“Quitting? I wouldn’t quit.” Gloria interrupted. “I love this family. I love...” She stopped, fearing she’d said too much. “I’m sorry…what I meant to say was…”

“No, I know what you meant.” he grinned putting her at ease.

“I love this family….all of you, equally,” she offered a sly flirty smile.

“Even me? After what happened between us?”

“Nothing happened that I didn’t want to happen.” Gloria met Myles’s eyes. “It’s what we both needed.”

“Need,” Myles studied her. “That’s an interesting choice of words or was that a slip of the tongue?”

“I think we understand each other.” Her mind shifted to her frequent thoughts of him grinding between her legs. Thank goodness the room was lit by only the moonlight. The darkness hid the color of her cheeks. Myles wasn’t fooled; her stiffening nipples betrayed her.

“What was that about?” he asked, his smooth voice sent chills down her arms.

“Nothing. I think I’d better go.” She rose from the bed. “Do you mind helping me move Shelby into her room? I need some alone time.”

“I understand.” He replied and followed her fine ass down the short hallway to her room. “Just so we’re on the same page. Are we good?”

Gloria glanced back at Myles; he made no attempt to hide the fact that he was watching her ass. It turned her on. “We’re perfectly fine.” She purred.

Myles scooped Shelby from the bed. She put up a half-hearted protest and drifted back to sleep over Myles's shoulder. As they left the room, Gloria kissed Shelby’s small hand slumped over her dad’s back and kissed Myles on the back of his bare shoulder. Her lips set his skin ablaze.

“Goodnight Myles.”

He gave a short hiss. “Goodnight Gloria.” If he turned to face her, all bets were off.

Gloria closed there door behind them. Crawling into bed, Gloria grabbed a pillow and stuffed it between her clinched legs and panted until her orgasm passed.

Myles was no better off and in the coming weeks, neither would find relief. This dam was on the verge of bursting.