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Welcome To Another Free Chapter Of
    Hit The Sand Running ~
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      Hit The Sand Running

      By Duke Stevens


      ©Copyright - All Legal Rights Reserved







      Chapter 3
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           Jack opened the passenger door of the Black Lexus, LS 460.  Lucky got into the car.  Before closing the door, he leaned over and asked her if she would enjoy visiting Santa Monica beach.  She felt an unusual flash of lightheartedness spread through her.  


           She grinned up at him, “Yes.”


            Snuggling back into her seat, she glanced at Jack.  He lowered himself into the driver’s seat.  Looking over the interior, she said, “Nice!”


            Pleased, he smiled and nodded his head in agreement, “Zero to sixty miles per hour in a little over five seconds.”


            She responded playfully, “If we ever have to leave someone far behind us that will come in handy.” 


           He chuckled softly.  His light laugh was pleasing.  She felt the sense of that pleasure flow through her as though he had reached over and briefly touched her


            Her remark brought back the memory of her dash on the beach and in what he remembered as an apparent instant decision her return to where he lay on the beach towel.   He wondered if now would be a good time to ask her about it.


            Deciding to wait for the right moment for that conversation to take place, Jack maneuvered the car into traffic and headed for the freeway entrance toward Santa Monica; letting the idea go.


            After entering the freeway he glanced toward her,  “Have you been married?”


            She sat quietly for a moment.  Thankful that he had assumed that she was not married at the present time.  She replied, “Yes.”


            Instead of presenting a perspective on her married state within a past scenario she made the decision to move directly into what she had been doing the last seven years.  It was an attempt to avoid talking too directly about marriage, itself.  She hoped he hadn’t heard much about her during his marriage to Lynette.


            Taking a chance that Lynette had been too absorbed with her new marriage to provide an account of their estrangement,  Lucky made the decision to stick as close to the truth as possible.


            “I enjoy painting.  I love the impressionist style of art.   An amateur, sad to say.  I have lived in Paris for the last seven years.  I've wanted to spend a decade in Paris for a long time.  Not quite a decade, but it finally happened.”


            She glanced at him quickly before continuing.  She noticed he had smiled at her last comment.  “Recently, I decided to come back to the States.  I am now back in New York.  I have some friends in California and I decided to come out here to see them.  It is an extended vacation.”


            She paused and then concluded, “I’m glad I came back to the States.”


            “How long is your vacation?”


            “Three months.”


            Jack felt a sense of expectation rise up to meet his increasing interest in her.  He changed the direction of their conversation by asking, “How did you like living in Paris?”


           Lucky felt a sense of relief flow through her.  He had not exposed any obvious reaction to where she had lived as being something her step-sister might have talked about regarding a member of her family.


            “It was wonderful!  Lots of interesting areas to explore, people to meet, events to attend.  Most of the people we met in Paris would accept us within a beginning stand-offish manner that could be broken down in time to a more friendly acceptance.”


            Jack asked, “We?”


            Her heart skipped a beat.  She hesitated then replied, “My son came with me and I met several Americans in Paris.  We became friends.”


            “Yet, you missed the States.”


            “Yes.”


            She saw an expression cross his face that implied something had caused him to move deeper in thought.  She wondered what she had said that might have triggered the response.  Perhaps he doubted rightfully, that it had not been merely friends or her son, who had explored Paris with her.


            Lucky felt a brooding sense of emotional wariness flow over her.  Once again, she experienced the reality that spinning a tale that must avoid so many areas of her life, brought a hyper-vigilant stress to the situation.


            She attempted a conversational move away from herself by asking, “You said you were on vacation.  Do you still live in New York?”


            He glanced at her, “I retired early and moved to Wyoming.  Picked-up a small ranch about an hour's drive from Laramie.  I do consulting through the net to stay in touch with the business.”


            Lucky smiled, “Quite a change from New York.”


            Steering the LS460 into the off-ramp, he nodded, “Yeah, it is.”



            A swift picture of Jack in ranch-clothes stepping into the saddle entered Lucky’s mind.  She smiled inwardly, thinking that he would look good in anything or nothing.  Her eyes followed the fleeting signs of rippling muscles under his shirt.


            Jack Savage was now focusing on weaving his way into off-freeway traffic toward the Santa Monica beach.  He drove with calm concentration.


            In spite of a small truck nearly side-swiping them his reactions were fluid and spontaneous within an apparent easy and instant response.  No outburst of irritation or even a frown appeared on his face.


            Watching him drive, Lucky thought, “He is too good to be true.”


            Images of sudden and angry outbursts from Dan during many driving situations popped-up in her memory as though she were clicking herself to and from different web sites stored in her brain.  It flashed through her mind that no surname seemed less connected to what appeared to be real about Jack Savage than his own name.


            When he turned the car into the Santa Monica Pier Deck looking for a parking space, she glanced around the pier environment.  The sky was clear with the sun overhead sparkling off the water.


            They entered an environment where laughter and the mixed sounds of human activity of men, women and teen-agers, younger children running away from their parents and back to them, all walking and talking together, choosing their entertainment, filled the air around them.


            The relaxed atmosphere worked on Lucky to activate a relieving escape from reality perhaps only to be found within the moments of their chosen activity here.


            Finding an open space, he turned the car into it.  Taking the key out of the ignition, he glanced toward her.  When she reached for the door-handle, he said, “I’ll get it.”


            He swiftly clicked the seat-belt free and was out of the door in what seemed one fluid move.  She smiled up at him as he opened her door.  “I thought you were on vacation.  How long do you keep up this gallantry?” she asked.


            He smiled, “I do this for free the first month of getting to know a woman.”


            “And after that...?”


            “You’ll see,” he grinned.  Lucky felt a weakness flow through her as the implications of his words caught her off-guard.  Something was taking place between them that couldn’t be explained by the romance of the dance.


            They walked in the direction of the ferris-wheel.  He asked her if she would like something to drink.  She smiled, “Maybe after the ride?”  He nodded.


            The ferris-wheel security bar snapped into place.  Jack placed his right arm across the back of their seat.  His hand touched her shoulder lightly as though establishing a presence of immediate response, if needed, for her.  She felt an almost child-like sense of safety.  It was an emotion she had forgotten could exist within her personal experience.


            The ferris-wheel cars began their ascent which allowed an increasingly opened-up view of the water.  When they hit the peak of the ride, Lucky looked out over the panoramic view of the ocean.  Turning her face toward his, she saw that Jack was gazing out to sea.


            “Isn’t it beautiful?” she said.


            “Yes, it is,” Jack replied.  “It has always seemed to me to be a vast work of ‘art’ in motion.”  He turned toward her, looking directly into her eyes and smiled.


            Returning his gaze far out to sea, he spoke quietly,  “This glorious ocean of water rushing forward to embrace the shore, then receding into the horizon within an almost live, pulsating rhythm, is irresistible.  It draws me back to it, again and again.”


            His voice carried a tone of supreme compliment to the ocean panorama before them.  His eyes seemed to draw her inside his reverie, as seen by him, as irresistible as the ocean view.


            She felt as though he had reached out and embraced her.  She experienced a slow, emerging fear uncoil itself from some unknown space deep within her.  Lucky had known this man for only a few hours and she felt at this moment, gripped by a terrible, unyielding desire for self-imprisonment to any place where he might choose to be.


            Her mind flashed back to her step-sister.  She brought into view, within a new clarity, the early suspicion that it had been Lynette, who had destroyed her marriage to Jack.  To Lynette, self-imprisonment was a place only naive fools dwelled within.


            Lucky felt regret when their ferris-wheel car jolted to a stop.   Lifting the security bar, he stepped out onto the platform.  Turning toward her, he gave her his hand.  She put her hand in his and stepped out onto the platform next to him.


            Walking back toward the pier deck, he playfully challenged her to a few competitive games in the Playland Arcade.  She laughed and accepted the challenge.


            Stopping to pick-up a couple of soft-drinks, they walked into the arcade.  Playing the games, they found themselves laughing and yelping whenever they fumbled their plays or were the victorious winner.  Jack delighted in her easy laughter.  He enjoyed watching her focused concentration to best him.


            He felt a rush of gratefulness that she had made the decision on the beach to run back to where he lay.  When in her excitement, she bumped into him, he fought the desire to pull her to him and kiss her.


            Leaving the arcade, they walked out onto the pier and sat down on one of the wooden benches fastened to the rails of the pier.  Enjoying the sound of surf and the feel of the breeze playfully pulling at their hair and clothes, Jack bent slightly over to place his elbows on his knees. He turned his head upward to look into her face and asked, “What is your son like?”


            “He is fourteen.  His dream is becoming a lawyer.  He is an excellent student.  I’m proud of him.”


            “Nice.” Jack responded.  “I’ve wanted children.  It didn’t happen.  I’ve missed that.”


            Lucky's mind turned back to her step-sister.  She remembered that Lynette had not wanted children.  She explored the implications to what Jack had said. Lucky had never known Lyn to have hidden her lack of desire for children from anyone.  How could this man have so misread Lynette, she wondered?  Or had he?  Surely, if his comment reflected his genuine desire for children wouldn’t he have known that Lynette had been the wrong woman for him from the start of their relationship?


            Lucky felt as though she had been walking through a maze of confusing hallways leading only to a blank dead-end.  What could she trust and what couldn’t she trust about this man?  Could her step-sister have possibly hidden her lack of interest in children from Jack?


            Lucky couldn’t imagine it happening.  If it were true, what would have been behind Lyn’s choice to allow this man to believe she did want children, when she had never allowed any other man to believe it?


            Jack reached for her hand, “Let’s walk to the end of the pier.” Lucky got up from the bench keeping her hand in his.  They strolled toward the pier’s end.


            She liked the feel of his hand around her own.  She wanted his fingers to open momentarily so that she could move her fingers through his and feel his fingers enclose her hand once again.  She was afraid to open her hand.  He might think she wanted him to release it.


            Wondering how far she would allow this relationship to go, she felt a ribbon of guilt wind it’s way into her determination to involve herself in her step-sister’s case by moving into Jack’s life.  Perhaps getting to know Jack Savage wouldn’t provide any direction at all regarding Lyn’s death.  It might turn out to be that the only thing she was doing was experiencing the man who had married her step-sister.


            Wondering if she were on the wrong track, Lucky decided to plunge back into his marriage to her step-sister.  “You weren’t married long enough to have a child with your wife before you decided on divorce?”


            “We were married four years.  We could have had a child, but after we were married, I found out that she had no real interest in children for herself.”


            “...after we were married....”  The words explained that her step-sister had kept her lack of interest in having a child from him before they married, but why, Lucky asked herself.  She said, “I’m sorry.”  He squeezed her hand gently.


            They walked the rest of the way toward the pier’s end in silence.   The wind became stronger the closer they got to the end of the pier.  Walking around the corner of the Mariasol Cocina restaurant they moved under its awnings for more shelter.  They watched the waves increasing in strength.  The ocean spray flipped-up around them with greater energy.


            Staying a while longer, enjoying the moment, he looked down at her.   Since their encounter on the beach, Lucky had entered his life within a mystery that had now become a lure to him.  Their encounter had intrigued him.  Her beauty attracted him.   Her laughter delighted him.  Their dance had mesmerized him.  Her sensuality excited him.


            He realized, watching her, that he wanted the answer to her unusual behavior that had begun on the beach.  After hours with her, today, he felt a stronger commitment within himself that he was not going to walk away from this woman, if it could be helped, without solving the mystery that was his “Lady Luck.”


            Lucky moved closer to him.  He asked her if she would like to go back.  She nodded, smiling.  They began slowly to walk back toward the pier’s entrance.


            Approaching the Playland Arcade, she felt the vibration of her cell phone in her jeans pocket.  She thought she had turned the phone off.  Not wanting to answer it in front of Jack, she said, “I would like to find a public rest room.”


            Jack replied that there was one in the aquarium and turned them toward the building that held the carousel.  The aquarium had been built underneath the carousel building.  Entering the aquarium lobby, she spotted the women’s rest room and entered.   She walked into the nearest open stall.  Pulling her cell-phone out of her pocket, she saw that the call was from Dan.


            Listening to the message, she heard Dan say, “Hi Baby, I got your call. Sorry I didn’t pick-up.  I was still burning from being forced out of your ‘adventure.’   Call me when you ‘get’ a minute.”  His sarcasm was heavy.  Dan was still using his classic battle voice.  A small sigh escaped her lips.  She turned off the phone and put it back into her jeans pocket.  Leaving the toilet stall, she washed her hands, combed her hair, and reapplied a light gloss to her lips.


            Jack had visited the men’s rest room.  When she saw him waiting for her, she noticed that he had taken the time to comb his hair.  He caught her looking at him and pointed toward a sign that invited people to Rusty’s Surf Ranch where live music and dancing were offered nightly.  He suggested they eat dinner there and do some dancing before they call it an evening.


            She agreed, “I would like that.  How about taking a break and go back to the hotel for a while.  We can meet again in the hotel lobby for the dinner date.”


            He said, “Good idea.”


            Lucky added, “I’ll call your suite when I’m coming down.”  He nodded in acceptance.


            Walking back to the Lexus, she considered the three-hour difference in time between New York and California.  Going back to the hotel would mean that she could call Dan within a reasonable New York time.  If Jack and she stayed out late again, she would have to call Dan the next morning and he would see it as another slight.


            Lucky decided not to take a risk of activating a response in him that would make things more difficult for her.


            Once back in the hotel suite, Lucky slipped off her shoes, poured a small glass of milk and sat down on the upholstered chair before making the call to Dan.  She heard Dan’s “hello” within seconds of dialing his cell phone.


            “How are things at the restaurant?” she asked.


            Dan laughed, “I called Glenn.  Didn’t have to go in.  I hire good managers, remember?  Glenn is the best.”  She smiled, relieved that he sounded in a good mood.  Dan quickly referred to the situation in California, “So, what gives? Learn anything important?”


            “It will take some time.  I am limited by the fact I am playing a part.  It is even more stressful than I thought it might be.  I have to be careful what I reveal and I can’t make what should be an ordinary conversation sound like a ‘grilling’ session about his marriage to Lyn.”


            Dan squashed a desire to say, "I-told-you-so."  His voice became cautious, “What did you learn from the appointment with Ron Evans?”


            Lucky felt instantly alert wondering how long it would be before Dan’s voice held an unpleasant tension.


            “Ron received a delayed report about an earlier marriage Jack had nineteen years before he married Lyn.  No children, but the divorce appeared to be combative.  She accused him of being abusive.”


            “What does that mean, exactly?  Were there charges against him?” Dan’s voice remained controlled,  but the tone of his voice cooled.


            “The report only mentioned that he was never charged.” she replied.


            His voice now held an edge, “Look, Baby, I know you have heard this all too much before, but this choice of going after Jack is too risky for you. Doesn’t the fact that he was accused of being abusive, bother you at all?”


            “It would bother me more if he had been charged with abuse by the police. He wasn’t, apparently.”


            Abruptly, Dan raised his voice,  “For God’s sake, he is a womanizer!  You think he may have murdered Lyn.  You know almost nothing about him.”   His finish was filled with exasperation, “You don’t know what the hell you’re doing!”


            The implications of his words struck her with as much force as if it had been a blow from his hand, “How do you know he is a womanizer?  You even questioned the idea that he murdered Lyn.  You have always believed she killed herself -- that my ideas were chasing wind.  Now, all of a sudden, you are claiming you know something about him.”


            Dan’s voice dropped low in reluctant surrender, “Lyn told me.”


            Lucky felt as though she had stepped outside the real world,  “You talked to Lyn about her husband?  Why would you keep this from me when you knew how upset I was that the police thought she had killed herself.  You knew I believed that she had been murdered... perhaps by her ex-husband.”


            Dan’s mind whirled with irritation at himself for his display of anger that had initiated the exposure of his deceit,  “I thought it would merely give you another reason to suspect him.  I didn’t want you to get involved, remember?”


            Lucky felt herself internally contract with revulsion.  “Don’t you ever get tired of attempting to manipulate things?”


            Her mind rushed to sort out the implications of the information he had kept from her and why.  Several seconds of silence hung between them.  Speaking slowly, she said, “Glenn has been with the Restaurant for ten years, yet for seven of those years, you have been coming back to New York to provide management support?  When did he become this perfect manager?”


            He held his breath, she was too much like her father.  He knew what was coming next.  She had paused.  He pressed the phone to his chest and looked up and sighed.  Hearing her voice speaking again he brought the phone back to his ear.


            “During our seven years in Paris, you divided your time between there and New York.  You told me that you were going back to New York periodically to check-out the restaurant and to run interference when things piled-up for Glenn.  Are you now telling me now that you were in contact with Lyn all during the time that she and I were estranged?  Why didn't you tell me at the time?”


            He cursed himself for allowing this to happen,  “I didn’t see her every time I got back.  Glenn is good, but you know there are times, he needs me around.   I didn’t tell you when I saw her because she asked me not to tell you.  You two weren’t speaking, remember?”


            Lucky felt a sense of betrayal and anger rush through her, “It would have been nice if you would have ‘remembered’ which one of us you were married to.  What else have you kept from me?  Were you having an affair with Lyn?”


            Dan felt panic flare-up inside him, “No!”


            Lucky didn’t believe him.  She placed his response somewhere she could look at it later, “What else did Lyn tell you about Jack?  I would like to know all of it.”


            Dan quickly examined what was taking place between them and made the decision to give it to her, “You know Lyn.  When she talked about other people she usually went for the throat.  They weren’t getting along.  She mentioned that it shouldn’t have surprised her.  She claimed he was a womanizer.  The more she talked the more would come out about him.”


            “Such as...?” Lucky asked.


            “You’re questioning this, aren’t you?  Why are you questioning this?  You must have considered that he probably didn’t remain without a woman for that long between marriages.  Nineteen years is a long time.  Didn’t that imply to you that he must have had other relationships during that time?”


            Lucky understood the implication to the words, “Nineteen years is a long time.” She held the thought, “She told him that too?”  Aloud, she interjected, “Does that automatically prove that he was a womanizer?”


            Dan snapped back, “Come off it, Lucky!   Some of the relationships were with married women and if none of his relationships with single women worked toward a marriage until nineteen years later, what does that logically tell you?”


            “It doesn’t prove that he is a womanizer.  You are taking Lyn at her word and you should have known that was risky to do.  I’m not saying that all of her statements to you were probably lies, but certainly they are suspect.  You don't know what his single years mean.”


            She knew Dan well enough to know he was smiling his incredulity behind his cell-phone.


            “Interesting, you now want to defend him.”  he quipped, his voice ice.


            “You aren’t suggesting, are you, that it is unreasonable to look at someone’s history within some semblance of fairness?”


            Dan snorted, “Before you met him, you were thinking he might have murdered Lynette.  You appear to have made the decision he isn’t capable of doing that.  So, why aren’t you here?”


            Before she could reply, Dan decided to shelve the mocking tone, “According to Lyn, he had many women before he met her, and after.”


            Lucky ignored the renewed challenge regarding her reasons for staying in California, “Did Lyn actually say he was cheating on her?”


            “Not in so many words.  That's what I picked-up from her conversation.”


            Dan was through talking.  Kicking himself for the direction their conversation had taken, he wanted to get off the phone.  “I’ve got to go.  I’ll talk to you later.  I’m sorry, Baby.  I messed up.  I love you.”


            Frowning, he punched out of the call and flipped the cell-phone shut.   Lucky shut off her cell-phone with his words, “I love you,” moving around in her brain looking for a solid place to find footing.  She couldn’t find it.


            During their marriage she had never before consciously doubted that Dan loved her.  In spite of recognizing that they were very different people from very different backgrounds, she had believed that it had been the love between them that held them together.  Dan had pursued her with diligent determination until he won her over to his view their marriage could work.


            Their life together hadn’t always held such tension.  During the early years of their marriage there had been many pleasurable days of adventure, fun and shared sensuality.  She had believed that their lifestyle choices had been worked out within a genuine desire to meet the requirements of his career choice and her desire to live in Paris for a decade.


            Lucky had provided the financial backing through her grandfather’s trust to get the restaurant established.  He had agreed, once that had been accomplished, he would live in Paris for ten years.


            Agitated, she got up and began pacing the floor.  She looked around the room.  Such little space for a pacer.  She thought briefly of circling the table.  She gave it up and sat back down in the chair.  Making an effort to concentrate, her brain felt overloaded and she tried to relax.


            Moments later, she attempted to move all else out of her focus but their marriage history.  She examined once again the problem areas they had been willing to work on together.  She went over in her memory the many counseling sessions they had both agreed to attend.


            In spite of their many problems, she had continued to believe throughout their difficult marriage that Dan had remained with her because he loved her.  She had loved him for his unwillingness to give up on them.  It had been this acceptance that love remained between them that had brought to her mind a powerful sense of guilt when she had responded so strongly to Jack Savage.


            This conversation had profoundly changed that perception.  She could no longer believe that her husband loved her.  He had wiped out years of automatic trust.   She could see now, it had been blind trust on her part.  “What is wrong with me to have not seen more,” she asked herself.


            Lucky couldn't stop thinking about their conversation.  There emerged a small comfort in recognizing this newly revealed truth.  It suggested to her that this fresh sense of what is real, against what had probably never been real, may explain her unexpected reaction to Jack Savage within a greater depth.  It seemed to present a more reasonable perspective beyond the initial attraction she felt for Jack Savage that day on the beach.


            During their shared movement through today, she had experienced the same affinity between them, she had felt on the dance floor.  She wondered if what had been taking place between them could be explained by an unrealized reality that she had been living within an emotional void for years and she had finally met a man who was able to fill that lonely and empty space.


            Lucky got up from the chair.  She stretched herself out on the bed. She felt stranded on an island of illusions.  She wandered around within a new concept.  Could a wounding emptiness that she hadn’t been willing to admit existed, until now, have been the thing that had made her so vulnerable to Jack Savage?


            Picking up the clock, she set the alarm for thirty minutes in case she fell asleep.  Emotionally drained, she didn’t doubt that Dan and Lynette had an affair.   “I wonder when the affair with her started,”  she questioned of the past.  Her eyelids closed and she drifted off to a fretful sleep.


            The clock’s alarm was tinkling its warning that thirty minutes had gone by. She woke with a start.  The first thing that presented itself in her mind was the suspicion Dan had activated during his conversation with her, that he had been seeing her step-sister, when he had flown back to New York.


            “We were in Paris for seven years.  How long was it before you contacted Lyn or she contacted you, Dan?”  she asked aloud.  She doubted that their affair had started before her step-sister had married Jack.


            New questions emerged in her brain.  Had Dan initiated the affair some time after her step-sister’s marriage?  Had Lyn initiated it?  Could he have impacted Lynette’s new marriage so seriously that it had caused her step-sister to walk away from her husband?  Lucky knew that Dan could be charming and fun when he was in the mood.  She had seen the draw Dan had on women many times.  She wanted to know how serious the affair had become.


            Walking to the window, she gazed out of it with no clear visual awareness of what the scene held.  She hadn’t thought Lynette angry enough at her to sleep with her husband.  How could she have been willing to do that to her?  It was something Lucky would have never contemplated doing to her step-sister.


            Turning away from the window, her mind remained on the conversation she had with Dan.  Lucky's estrangement with her step-sister had continued in spite of Lucky’s early effort to end it.  She wondered if the affair explained why Lynette hadn’t been interested in repairing their breach.  If so, it may imply their affair had begun not long after Lynnett’s marriage to Jack Savage.


             Lucky made a turn in her examination and explored a new perspective which included the possibility that her step-sister’s marriage to Jack may have been mere camouflage to provide a screen protecting Lynette's affair with Dan.  If that were possible then their affair may have begun before Lynnett’s marriage to Jack Savage.


            Lucky was gripped by the implications within this scenario.  If Dan had wanted Lyn, why hadn’t he simply asked for a divorce, and married her step-sister at some point after the divorce from Jack?  Lucky kept trying to put the puzzle together.


            It crossed her mind that Lyn may have wanted Dan on a permanent basis but he hadn’t wanted her on a permanent basis.  If that were the right “take” on their affair, could the rebuff by Dan have caused her step-sister to threaten to tell Lucky about their relationship.


            She turned away from the window with a chill flowing through her.   She spoke into the room, “Could Dan have killed Lyn?”


            Looking toward the clock, she could see that she had to make a quick psychological adjustment before meeting Jack Savage.  She wanted to calm her racing mind so that she would appear unchanged and rested.


            The more she tried to leave this new information, the more she held on to the need to explore her past.  The questions kept rushing at her to be examined.


            Why would Dan kill Lyn merely to keep their affair a secret from her?  Dan had never expressed any strong view against divorce itself, so why would he feel so threatened by divorce from her?  Marriage to Lyn would have placed him within the same financial position that he had been in married to Lucky.  He would have had possible access to the trust-fund monies that were marked for Lynette’s use,  if she would have gone along with any of his financial interests.


            Lucky moved to the conviction that she could not have been loved by Dan within any foundational sense of that essential intimacy that real love requires or he wouldn’t have had an affair with her step-sister.  Lucky wondered how long Lynette had been attracted to Dan.


            Wandering around in the past,  she examined the possibility that the estrangement between them may have taken place because Dan and she had married.


            Lucky considered that it was possible Lynette had wanted Dan for herself before she and Dan had married.  In Lucky’s concluding view, Dan could never rationalize away this affair with her step-sister.


            She had never believed women or men who claimed to have forgiven their spouse for infidelities.  Lucky found the idea that adulterous affairs had made marriages stronger, bizarre and beyond comprehension.  She had always been convinced that there were other reasons the claims were made.


            Walking slowly around the room, Lucky felt addicted to the past.


            She couldn't stop thinking about it.  She remembered being tempted to indulge in several sexual escapades during their marriage.


            Exploring the art world in Paris had taken her away from Dan for hours at a time.  His interest in art hadn’t been as important to him as it had been to her.  She had often wondered if he had ever had any interest in art.


            Their marriage had been a roller coaster, not a glider.  She had encountered handsome and intelligent men who had found her enchanting.  She had felt the pull of the sexual power in the moment.  She had always backed-off from beginning an affair because of a simple concept that she had never been able to displace.


            To Lucky, marriage had no real meaning without faithfulness.   She had wanted her marriage to mean something real.  She shook her head as though she might be able to shake the ideas rolling around in her brain into some consistent framework.


            Walking into the bathroom, she brushed her teeth, ran a comb through her hair, washed her hands and patted moisture creme lightly onto her face and hands.


            Walking out of the bathroom, Lucky breathed-in deeply.  She struggled with the idea that Dan would have killed Lynette out of fear that she would expose their affair.


            What seemed now as a resolution that Dan couldn’t have murdered her step-sister, had a calming effect on Lucky.  She had learned early in their marriage that Dan had struggled with anger issues for most of his life, but murder?  She couldn't grasp that concept connected to Dan.


            The longer Lucky looked back at her step-sister’s death the more she accepted the idea that premeditated murder was a long way from the low tolerance for enduring frustration that Dan exhibited by his flare-ups of anger.


            She was convinced that if Lyn’s death were murder, it had to have been carefully planned.  “And that is not the way Dan would kill someone,” she said aloud.


            Glancing at the clock, she saw that it was 6:14P.M.  She rang Jack and asked for fifteen minutes more before she meet him in the lobby.


            He replied, “Great... I’ll be there.”


            She changed into a light blue cotton skirt with a slight flare near the bottom hem, a white blouse and a short matching jacket.  She put on a set of silver earrings with sparkle.


            Looking at her choice of shoes, she decided to wear a pair of light blue leather shoes with two inch heels. “Blue for a ‘blue’ Lady,” she thought.


            Turning to pick-up her purse, she walked out the door.


            Jack Savage replaced the hotel telephone receiver.  He stepped away from the bed with a question going over in his mind,  “Why didn’t she want me to pick her up at her hotel suite door?”  He walked into the bathroom, brushed his teeth, washed his hands and combed his hair.


            Sitting down on a chair, he waited for the minutes to roll by.  “It may be a way to control our separation ‘moment’ at the end of the evening,” he suggested to himself aloud.  He went along the trail of this possibility for several seconds.  Telling himself that it may be her way of maintaining a vacation relationship without losing control of it.


            Aware that vacations aren’t usually the best way to meet someone who might stay in your life, he decided that her choice where they met and departed had been reasonably cautious.  “She is an intelligent and careful woman,” he mused aloud.


            Getting up from the chair to get a drink of water, he concluded, “She doesn’t really know much about me.”








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      By Duke Stevens

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