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 wasnt 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 Ambers 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 doctors 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 didnt 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 wasnt 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 persons 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 Bills 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."

"Yes Sir."

"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 holders 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 stockholders meeting in two weeks, think we can pull it off?" he asked smiling at his long time secretary.

"Ah, wellsure, I guess, but whats 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 stockholders. Which reminds me, make sure you send out a memo to all employees, I wont 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 Im 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, Id like to see him next, then Ill talk to the travel agency. In the mean time, youve 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. "Ill get Gary right now for you."

At his apartment Amber was dialing Judy‘s cell. "Judy?"

"Hi Amber, whats 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, "Im not really sure. Bill went back to work today. We saw the doctor last Friday and he gave Bill a clean bill of health. Thats great news, I know. Im so relieved I cant even tell you how worried Ive been about him. But, now that hes okay again I figured Id go back to New York."

"Im sorry Amber, I know how hard it will be to leave him."

"Well thats just it, he asked me to stay, but only for two weeks."

"Two weeks? Whats in two weeks?" asked Judy.

"I dont know, he wont tell me. Im a little scared. You dont suppose Bill would plan some terrible revenge do you?"

"Jeez, of course not, this is Bill were talking about here, the man still loves you."

"Well, Im 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 shouldnt have really expected anything different," Amber continued. "And now this, this two week thing. I just dont know, hes been kind of mysterious lately. I just cant 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 Bills 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, Bills 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 wouldnt 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 hadnt a clue why he would want her at his companys 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 Harrys 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 companys 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 didnt 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 Bills 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 couldnt 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 Im 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 youve 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 Im 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, Im 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 stockholders 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."

Stockholders and employees alike applauded Ed as he took his place on the stage. In everyones 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.

Bills next stop was the finest restaurant on Chicagos 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, "Ashers 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 wasnt anyone at that table that could remember being happier than they were at that moment.

Later that night Bill and Judy were settled in Bills 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 Bills 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 Ambers nipples tingled at Bills touch. She moaned in heavenly bliss as the sensitive little peaks hardened under Bills 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. Ambers 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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Pub: 03 May 2024 13:37 UTC
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