“You did, but since Eric is your boss and he gave me the job...”
“You think because you’re screwing him, that it gives you the right to any job you want.”
“What is wrong with you? There is nothing going on between us.” Amy stepped back and shook her head. “I don’t care what you think or why it would bother you so much if I was.”
“Because he is mine, do you understand?”
“Yes, mine and I don’t appreciate you sleeping with my man.”
Amy opened her mouth again to reply, when Eric entered the area as his voice echoed and bounced off the walls, telling her to go to her office.
She glared at Amy, as her face turned red and then rushed out of the door.
“Amy, would you mind waiting for me in the car. We’re going to take a long lunch, but first I have to deal with Emily,” he said handing her his keys. Penny watched her eyes widen and smiled at her with a knowing look.
Amy rolled her eyes and took the keys from his hand, not daring to touch his skin.
She walked through the building, her head down until she reached the reception and walked out to his car, unlocked it and sat inside. She waited for Eric to join her.
Twenty minutes later he did.
He climbed inside and took the keys from her hand, not saying a word as he started the car. He remained silent the whole journey, until he parked the car and turned to face her.
“Before you say anything I didn’t fire her, I should have, but, she works for me, not the other way around.”
“Eric, what she said, I…”
“About me sleeping with you.”
“That you wouldn’t do that, because you still love Tom. I get that.”
“I did, do, but my feelings for him. It seems were not returned as much as I thought. It was an act. I don’t think he ever loved me.”
“He did love you, I know he did.”
“Then why was he seeing those other woman. Did you know Penny’s daughter is his?”
“You didn’t notice?”
“I didn’t want to believe it. He was my big brother. I told you I looked up to him, and…”
“He was a liar and everything we had was a lie. I am beginning to believe we were only together because of the girls.”
“No, don’t think that, I know he really loved you.”
“Loved me. He loved me that much he did more than flirt with every woman he met. Our marriage was fake, it was all for show. That trophy wife they all thought I was?”
“I’m sorry he did that to you,” he said, taking her hand, but she removed it. “Sorry.”
“It’s fine, but you can’t touch me like that, I…”
“Because, I can’t fall for you.”
“But you could?”
“Easily,” she admitted.
“Would it be wrong if we were sleeping together?”
“Of course it would be, you’re his brother, it would be…”
“What if I was in love with you?”
“If I said, yes, would you believe me?”
“I can see it in your eyes, but…”
“Because I do and I’ve always loved you. My brother knew that. I saw you first, that night you met.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“When I saw you together. I knew I stood no chance. I never allowed my feelings to get in the way, until now.”
“Yes. When my brother asked me to take care of you if he died, I of course agreed, not just because of how I felt for you, but I would do it for him, because he loved you. Not that either of us knew it would be this soon after I made the promise.”
“When did you make that promise?”
“On your wedding night.” He paused. “You looked beautiful that day; I could not keep my eyes of you. I wanted you as my wife.”
“I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. I love you Amy and nothing is going to change that.”
“I don’t know what to say. I like you, but I don’t know if it’s because you are like him or because I miss him or…”
“I understand that, but even though I know all that I don’t care.”
“You would want me even if I was thinking of your brother?”
“I should say no, but I have kept my feelings for you quiet long enough. Now I can’t and won’t.”
“What did you say to Emily?” she said, attempting to change the subject as she could sense him looking at her, in a way that made her heart race.
“That our relationship is none of her business.”
“Eric, I thought I knew your brother. I loved him, but the more I find out about the man who I thought I had married, the more those feelings diminish. In his death I discovered the truth, but had he not died. Would I have discovered what he was?” she paused. “I will not tell the girls, they don’t need to know what their father did. To them he has to be the man they believed him to be.”
Amy was still talking when Eric leaned across the car and kissed her. At first she kissed him because she missed being kissed, but seconds later, the kiss was so much more. Her relationship with Tom had dwindled to sleeping only in the same bed. She had never told anyone, but it all made sense now.
He ended the kiss and stared at her.
“Sorry, I should never have done that, but…”
“Eric, take me home?”
He looked at her briefly and started the car. No words were spoken as he drove her to the house and parked outside his home. Had he not kissed her, she would not have allowed him to take her back to his and lead her to his room, where he kissed her again. She had not meant to allow this to happen, but he had awakened a fire inside her. One she had missed and even if she should not have thought it. She had a feeling they both knew it would; now she knew the truth. She was not nervous or ashamed of her body; she removed all her clothes and stood before him. He removed his own and then pulled her towards him, kissing her again.
If the woman at Philip’s Toys thought they were sleeping together, why not give in and just do it.
She never thought when his lips were on hers that she would feel anything at all. She had imagined she would think of the man she believed to be her husband, but the moment he touched her, Tom was as far from her thoughts. He lowered her on the bed and made love to her, thinking more about her pleasure than his own.
Tom in the beginning had been a passionate lover, but over the years their love making had been one sided, all about him. Nearer the end, it was over before it started. He barely touched her.
Eric made love to her and when they done, satisfied, they lay in his bed wrapped in each other’s arms, staring at each other.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“Don’t spoil it,” she said.
“I don’t want to, but I have to say it.” He stared at her, before he spoke again. “Amy I want you to be more than someone I sleep with, because I don’t want this to be a onetime thing. I want you in my bed every night and every morning. I want to wake up to see your face and make love to you every night. I want you as my wife, because you should have been mine from the start.”
“I know, you need time, you need…”
“You,” she replied. “I need you; Eric, but I can’t be your wife.”
“I need to know that this between us isn’t just sex.”
“For me, this is more than that, more than just sex.”
“I know, but you have to understand that as much as I know this feels right…”
“You’re also worried what others will think?”
“Maybe, but it is not just that. I, we have to think of the girls. What they think matters too.” She sat up in the bed, pulled the blanket to cover her naked body.
“You’re right,” he climbed out of the bed and pulled on his clothes.
“I should never allowed this to happen. I was being selfish.”
“No, don’t say that. This is as much my fault as it yours, but I don’t regret it. We did nothing wrong.”
“No, but I want you to be happy and if this isn’t what you want. I will stop this before it starts.”
“Don’t you dare do that? This is what I want,” she said, standing at his side, as she pulled him to her. “I want you, but we should take it one day at a time.”
“One day at a time,” he said, kissing her again. “I can do that, starting now.” He released her. “Get dressed. We should eat and then I need to get back to work.”
“Do you think I should come back with you?”
“No, by the time we eat. It will be time to collect the girls.”
“You’re right,” she said, getting dressed, his eyes on her the whole time.
“What about I make us something?”
He left half an hour after they ate.
As he walked out the door, she filled the sink with hot water and began to clean the kitchen. Her mind on him, the girls and what others would think when they found out that they were together.
Maybe they should keep it quiet, but why should they. Tom had not divorced his first wife and slept with Penny and they had a child together. She owed him nothing. He had lied to her. Any love she felt for him left her with each lie she heard.
She had not meant to fall for Eric.
Tom over the years had made her feel second to everything. To their children she understood, but she was second when it came to everything else, because maybe he was still seeing his first wife, his only wife, and possibly Penny. She had no idea how many more women he had been seeing. Had he ever loved her? Amy was not sure; she wished she had found out the truth when he was still alive. It was unfair for him to have treated her the way he had.
Placing the cups and plates away, she wished now she had met Eric first. He said he loved her and had made love to her thinking more of her than himself. Tom barely touched her once she had the girls. Of course, now she knew why.
The clock on the wall ticked silently as she finished cleaning the kitchen. She looked up at the clock one more time, realising she would need to pick the girls up in less than forty minutes.
Pulling on her coat, she made her way to the door, opened it to find Eric pulling up in the driveway.
She looked at him, and tilted her head.
“I realised you don’t have a key, and your car has been playing up, so I will take you. Afterwards we are getting you a key cut and a new car. No arguments.”
“A key is fine, but a car??”
“I won’t allow you to drive around in an unsafe car, besides it’s more for my niece’s safety.”
“Okay, if it’s for my daughter’s safety, I will accept, but only one condition.”
“What is that then?”
“I get to pick the car?”
The girls were excited about their uncle picking them up. They held his hand, chatting to him the whole time. The looks on the faces of the other parents she knew would cause the rumours to start. Amy listened to the girls as they chatted to Eric as they walked to the car and insisted he buckle them in. He drove them to the key cutting shop, had two sets of keys made and then drove her to a car dealership.
Together they entered the lot and walked around, the girls holding his hands.
The prices before would never have been something she looked at, but now she looked at every price, every detail, because it was not her money she was spending. It was his, she had nothing. She inhaled and found a car that she could allow him to buy. She checked it inside and out.
“Girls, what do think?”
The girls nodded, Amy was not sure the girls understood what they were being asked, but she liked the car. It was small, and practical.
“I think we can do better, Amy, this car is nice, but how about this one?” he walked her to a newer version of the car she had chosen; it was nearly double the price.
“The other one was just fine, but…”
“We will take this one,” Eric said, leading the man away to fill in the paperwork, as she stared at the car. Her old one was not new; Tom had brought her a second hand one, due to her only passing her test a few months after Olivia was born, four years before. It had been a good car to her, and until recently had started first time. This car it seemed was brand new, she realised had it had no miles on the clock. Tom would never have allowed her a brand new car. Just in case she crashed it, or hit something, he had said she would, as woman drivers were all the same. To busy staring at themselves in the mirror. She was a careful driver, she had the girls in the car and always drove watching the road, only looked in the mirror when she needed to.
The car would be ready the next day, as they needed to tax and insure it. She did not like to admit she was a little more than excited by the idea of a new car.
The girls were as excited as she was and could not wait to have their first drive in it.
“Eric, thank you again for the car.”
“No need to thank me,” he said, standing behind her. So close she could feel his breath on her neck.
“Eric,” she whispered.
“Sorry, I can’t help it.”
“We need to talk to the girls, if we are really going to do this.”
“You know what I mean.”
“I do, but when will be the right time?”
“I don’t know.” She sighed.
“Okay, maybe now is too soon. We don’t want them to find us in the same bed without telling them first.”
“You thought I would be sharing your bed?”
“Don’t think I don’t want to, but I am not sure the girls would fully understand,” she said, placing her hand on his chest.
“Are you going to kiss Uncle Eric?” Olivia asked, making them jump apart.
Amy turned to find her daughters watching them. It seemed they saw and knew more than she realised.
“Why would you say that?” she had no idea what to say.
“Would it be okay if I did?” Eric asked.
Olivia nodded. “Daddy wouldn’t mind, he kissed lots of ladies.”
“He did?” Amy asked her mouth wide open.
“It was our secret, daddy said I should never tell, but he’s not here anymore and…” she ran into her mother’s arms and cried.
Amy hushed her daughter telling her it was fine, she had nothing to be sorry for. Holding her in her arms.
“I should have told you mummy, but he made me promise.”
“Sweet heart, it’s okay, you don’t need to keep anymore secrets, you can tell me anything.”
“Yes,” Amy said, as she sat the girls on the sofa with her, Eric sat beside them.
“Daddy sometimes took us to the park on Sunday?”
“I know…did you not go to the park?”
“We did, sometimes.”
“We met our sisters there.”
“Yes, they are my age, their mummy met daddy there, sometimes we went to a place with a bed. He kissed her, a lot, and …”
“I don’t think you need to remember that honey, but can I ask you one question?”
Olivia and Jane nodded.
“Was their only one lady?”
Both girls shook their heads.
“Okay, but mainly the one lady?”
Both nodded. Amy took a long deep breath and looked into her daughters eyes.
“You know daddy loved you both very much. Maybe he did not love me as much as I once loved him. I don’t want you to ever think I never loved your father.”
The girls remained silent.
“But it is true, I like your Uncle Eric. I wanted to ask you if it would okay if maybe we…”
“Kissed?” Olivia said.
“I guess that is part of my question.”
“What would you girls think if your mum and I brought a house, one where you had a bedroom each again?”
Amy turned to look at him, they had not discussed anything more than seeing if they felt more than lust, but they were telling the girls.
The girls screamed with excitement.
“I take that you like that idea?”
“Good, we will start looking tomorrow. Right now I bet you two are very hungry.”
“We are.” They agreed.
“Okay, well, I have to pop back to work, but not for long. How about on my way back I grab us some take out.”
“Can I come with you?”
“Uncle Eric is a busy man, Olivia, he won’t be long.”
“It’s okay, actually why don’t we all go, we can go out to eat. A celebration of sorts, to new beginnings maybe.”
“Okay,” Amy said, staring at her daughters. The moment they told them the news, in a roundabout way, something in them changed. Amy noticed it; maybe it was the secrets they had been keeping.
“When we get back, you two need to take a bath okay, then straight to bed.”