“Well thank you son. I felt something was going on with her and I must admit your mother and I have not had marital feelings for each other in a very long time. I tried, but she did not have time for me” he said. “I only hope that this travesty will not affect you Kent.”
“No, I am an adult and if anything, it made me realize that one can have a relationship with love”. Kent stated as he looked lovingly at Atari.
After dinner, Atari and Kent had conversed for what had seemed to be hours. He explained that he was not certain what he would do if his father decided not to sell the business or ask him to run it. He said that he was in actuality an architectural engineer and had given up offers to pursue his profession to join his father.
He told Atari that he knew he wished to spend the rest of his life with her on their first date. After what had happened today, he was absolutely certain there was no one who would complete him but her. He knew that he could not be without her for long and it pained him that with his father’s situation, he would have to delay being with her. He had hoped they would at least have two weeks together. “I love you Atari and I do not have a ring to give you to solidify my commitment to you yet.” And as he bent down on one knee, he said “Atari, I know that this may seem too soon for you, but will you do me the honor of being my wife?”
Atari took his hands in hers and asked him to stand. She looked in his eyes and said “Yes”. “I love you Kent and I have loved you since the time I fell into your arms at the factory. I know that I was fearful of commitment but I know that I no longer have a problem committing to you because you are the one I am meant to be with.”
He grabbed her and held her close while finding her subtle lips where they responded to each other passionately. He then said, “Sweetheart, if I stay any longer, I will not be able to refrain from making love to you.”
“Then, darling, that will be my commitment to you for the future. Please be with me tonight. I want your love” she said breathlessly. Soon the two were rapidly removing clothing which was thrown to the floor as they barely made it to the bed. There she gave up her virginity to the man she loved as he gently penetrated her providing her a joy she had never expected to experience.
Madeline tried to sleep knowing that her daughter was probably allowing Kent to make love to her as she had wished to love Carlisle. She found it most difficult to break away from him after numerous passionate kisses which awakened her utmost desires. He agreed that it was probably best if they did not culminate their love until such time as the ugliness of his divorce ended. She was upset that she was so logical but knew it was for the best.
Madeline told him that Adelaide would be able to leave the hospital in the following day. She had decided that it would be best if they travelled to San Francisco so her sister would not have to face Ken. In fact she was wondering whether his attorneys would be available for her sister, if Adelaide wished to have the paperwork completed before they left. She said that since the Stevens men had much on their minds, it would be best also for Atari to go with them so she could settle in with her schooling and position at the Dupree Fashion House.
“As much as I hate having you leave, my dearest Madeline, I know you are right. Call me tomorrow as to the time in which you wish to leave and I will make certain the pilot will have everything ready” Carlisle stated. “Or if Adelaide wishes to speak to my attorneys first, I will make certain they take time out for her. Just come by my office in the morning.”
“Dear Carlisle. You do not have to retain your original offer. We can fly commercially” she said.
“No, Madeline. You have all of Adelaide’s clothing as well as your own and Adelaide has not yet fully recuperated. I wish for you to be comfortable and if I send the three of you home, no one can say that I am having an affair with you. I know this divorce will be messy. But, I will be there to join you at the first moment of opportunity. I do not wish to retain the company and I have had previous offers. Now it will just be a matter of determining what share Sandra will settle for. And, from the way Kent is acting, I know he will not desire running the company because he can join a firm in San Francisco as the architectural engineer he is destined to become.”
“I love you Carlisle and I have always loved you. I cannot tell you that I am not happy this happened. I have always desired to be with you even when I was a young teenager. And if I have waited for you this long, I can wait for you longer” she said.
“Madeline, are you certain? You heard what Sandra stated. She obviously was not happy with me sexually” he said.
“Carlisle, I do not believe Susan knows what she wants. As for me, I know that I love you and I believe you love me. If we have such a love for each other void of sex, then when we finally have a union it will be fantastic and I doubt if either of us will wish to be out of the bedroom for weeks” she said as she giggled.
“God I love you Madeline and you do not know how hard it is to leave you. I just wish to throw you on the bed and make love to every part of your body” he stated breathlessly.
“Darling, I do know how hard you are and it shows. You are not the only one who is hurting over this situation. Just know I will be waiting for you. I will call you tomorrow once Adelaide is released from the hospital” she said.
He then took her in his arms and kissed her passionately, never wishing to leave, but realized the longer he held her, the more difficult it would become. “Good night, my dearest Madeline. It will not be long. I will make certain of that. I do not care what Sandra desires. She will receive her fair share and my share will be enough to allow the two of us to retire and let our children carry on.”
“Carlisle, please just take care of you and Kent. I have made a great life for myself and you are welcome to share that life with me as well” she said.
“An independent woman……What more could I ask for? I do have one surprise for Sandra, however. Do you remember the estate my grandfather left me? Well after my father’s death, since I had sufficient money from my father’s estate I had grandfather place the money in an irrevocable trust to equally be shared by any of my natural children.
Since grandfather owned many businesses with my father, outside of my purchasing the company from the proceeds of my father’s will, the balance of the estate remained in my grandfather’s name by contract. He ran the businesses which had been transferred solely to his name. The Stevens men had decided that no spouses would affect their business plans even at death. They made other provisions for their spouses.”
“At my parent’s death, I was also willed a couple of million dollars which consisted of my father’s private investments which normally would have been my mother’s. Of course, I was willed my parents home and its possessions.
“The manner in which the trust was handled by my grandfather before his death is not something Sandra can touch because it is solely in Kent’s name. In fact, I am not certain she is aware of it or she would have demanded a portion of the money be placed in her account even if I had to do it illegally. Yet she will be paid handsomely.”
“Good Night Sweetheart. I hope you do not mind me thinking out loud, but I also wish to assure you that I also may provide for you.” Carlisle then left her room and started toward his Mercedes, which finally was in his possession but which he would give up if his wife decided she did not wish to retain the Lexus. Tonight he would be alone in Kent’s apartment and he had a lot of planning to do before meeting with his attorney and Kent.
Kent did not disturb Atari as she slept. He knew if his father wished to have a meeting with the attorneys, he would have to go over some things with him prior. His father was ready to leave for the factory as Kent arrived. He told his father he would take a quick shower and join him within the half hour.
Once he arrived at the factory, Carlisle advised Kent that he no longer wished to retain the factory but would most likely sell it. He advised Kent that he has kept a family secret from him throughout the years. It was then that he finally told Kent that his grandfather had an irrevocable trust whereby Kent was the sole heir.
Kent was somewhat stunned since he had felt everything had been left to his father when his grandfather had died. Carlisle explained that it was his father and grandfather’s wish that in the event of one of their deaths, the estate would remain solely in the name of the remaining owner. And since his grandfather was not assured of his relationship with Sandra, it was decided that the entire estate would be placed in trust until his living grandchildren would reach the age of 25.
Kent was currently 24 years of age and would be 25 within a couple of months. He could not believe that he was the sole heir to his grandfather’s estate. Although his father was uncertain as to the exact amount, it was felt the estate was valued at some $16 million.
“But father, if mother demands your company and the residence, what will you have?” he said. “I am willing to share anything I have with you once the divorce is final”, Kent said. “In fact, let me purchase a house for you, at least.”
“You will not have to Kent. Originally I received $2,000,000 of my father’s private investments as well as his residence and the factory. Currently, outside of the home values and the factory I have holdings of ten million. Since she is unaware of your inheritance, we will not discuss this further” he said. “She would be hurt that I kept that from her and it is not my intent to hurt her. We just need to get a divorce since neither of us are in love with the other” he said. Kent agreed.
Then he continued “Although your mother is entitled to one-half of everything I own, she will have to decide whether she wishes to retain our residence and give up the factory or whether she wishes to pay me for my portion of the equity in both. I am hoping my attorneys may be able to negotiate a settlement whereby I retain the company and she may retain our residence.”
But do you think mother would consider allowing you to retain the business, especially when it will generate far more money than the residence and $5,000,000 of your personal investments?” Kent asked.
“It may be the best for her. If she decides she wants one-half of my business investments, she will have to determine who she wants to run the company for her. She knows I am the company and I will threaten to leave it for her to handle. You know she has no business acumen and I would be very surprised if she would attempt that demand. And once she signs off, I have a couple of managers who may be interested in running the company as well as owning shares. And possibly if all are in agreement, such additional shares may be purchased from me through a stock option by all employees. In that manner, I would receive regular payments as the investments are made and the employees would share in the profit as they work toward employee ownership of this company.” Carlisle stated. “I know that it will not be a fast buyout, but acting only as a consultant and remaining as CEO, until the company is solely owned by the employees, I will still have the opportunity to semi-retire or at least spend some time in San Francisco.”
“That is fantastic because you already may know I do not wish to run the factory. Your plan gives the employees a greater opportunity to have ownership as well as to make certain the company works like a finely tuned machine. After all, if they have ownership, they will wish for the company to succeed. It will then give you freedom. But, I don’t know if mother will be able to live on a $5 million budget, even if she owns the house” he said.
“Well that will be her problem. I obviously will be on a budget as well and I do not have a home to live in. The only things I want out of the house are my parent’s personal possessions and artifacts such as the oil paintings of our family members throughout the centuries. Those may also be kept by you if you so desire since it is part of your heritage” he said. “Anyway, your apartment will have to remain our storage area until the two of us are settled. I hope that you do not mind.”
“No it should be interesting, father because we haven’t lived together for a long time. But since neither of us plans on seeing women, it should work out relatively well. And, when I do need to get out, I have a friend to go with me” Kent stated to his father.
“I will like that very much, Kent”, said Carlisle.
“I am curious though, who will own the Lear Jet?” Kent asked.
“I’m considering selling it with the business since it is owned by the Company now.”
“Perhaps, Father, since we both love travelling, once I receive my estate, I can purchase it outright. But if mother decides she wishes this as a settlement, you may have to pay her portion and I can reimburse you. Nevertheless, we will work it out” Kent affirmed.
Then Carlisle inquired. “Kent, both your mother and I have always loved you. And, although I am extremely happy that you have stood by my side at this time, I guess I am concerned that you have had to make a choice between your mother and me. I really hoped that if something happened with our marriage, you would not have had to be in the middle or to have to take a side.”
“Father, I have watched the two of you for years. You were and are a workaholic and when you came home, you always seemed to find time for me. Mother continually was going to the club, the spa, to her women’s luncheons and the like and I hate to say it, we really had nothing to say to each other. In fact she spoke to my friends more than to me.”
“She continually bickered at you and it seemed all she wanted was possessions, jewelry, cars and furs. I felt that all women were like that and I certainly did not need a loveless marriage someday. I initially decided that I would never marry because having a woman in one’s life was far too expensive.”
“Well, do you feel Atari will be too much of an expense?” asked Carlisle.
“I have to admit, I fell head over heals with Atari when I first met her. But I have been far too cautious and even though I had feelings for her, I was capable of turning them off as fast as they were turned on. It was on our first date that I realized she was a treasure. Although I realized her family situation, she seemed fine with her upbringing. In our twenty questions, I found she loved the simple things in life. It was then that I could not hurt this beautiful woman or treat her like I treated the others. God help her when she is involved in Madeline’s world because I feel it will be totally different for her” said Kent.
“What if she does change Kent? Will you allow her to grow into the person she is meant to be?” Carlisle asked.
I’m certain you remember Rand Paul, my best friend and fraternal brother. Thank heavens his parents were the exact opposite to your relationship with mother. His parents adored each other and his entire family had meals together and conversed even though they both had their own professions. That is why I spent holidays with Rand and didn’t complain when you and mother flew to Europe or went on a cruise. I guess this last bout knowing she had been sleeping with your best friend, really upset me. I guess I love you both but I respect you more. And I feel, Atari and I can grow together because we have a great foundation now.”
“I figured that out when you stated you wished to slow down the process because the Stevens men do not slow down when there is something they wish to attain. Yet, I do not feel you will have to worry about Atari. You will have to allow her the time in which to determine what she desires for herself. After all, working with Madeline will not be easy and she will be introduced to an entirely new world.”
“I do wish for you to understand son that I never wish for you to dislike your mother. This entire mess is unfortunate and obviously, we should not have married so young” Carlisle continued. “I probably should have spent more time with her before making the decision to marry her.”
“But you tried father and she always found other things to do. What did great-grandfather see that he did not will his estate to you, father?” Kent asked.
“My grandfather was extremely wise and although the contracts were already in place, your mother acted extremely greedy at the reading of my father’s will. In fact she argued about a couple of charities father had left money to and she questioned why grandfather owned the businesses which he had paid for. That was when he spoke to me and stated his intent. He said he felt badly but that I was a Stevens and he knew I would be successful with the factory” Carlisle explained.
“Well I hope that Atari moving to San Francisco will not change her feelings for me. I have to tell you, I proposed to her last night…and if it is possible, I really need to get a ring on her finger” Kent said.
“I’m a little surprised. I guess she said yes. Well why don’t I call the jeweler in to bring various rings for her to pick out? He can deliver them to your office at about 1:00 pm” said Carlisle who immediately got on the phone. “You may have to prepare a pre-nuptial as well, Kent, for your own safety” Carlisle warned.
“I will consider it, but in my estimation, we will be having an engagement of at least one year, if not longer. I promised Atari that” Kent stated.
The attorneys arrived promptly at 9:00 am. One of the attorneys worked with Kent to go over the provisions of his future estate while Carlisle worked with two of the partners and a paralegal so that the paperwork could be prepared for the impending divorce. It was determined that a joint meeting would be set up with Sandra Stevens and her attorney the following week to begin the preliminaries and that Carlisle’s primary attorney would contact her. In the meantime the attorneys would work out various options relating to the house and business.
It was then that Carlisle’s secretary entered the board room. She explained that Madeline Dupree and her daughter arrived at the factory with her sister Adelaide. He told his attorneys to wait because he may need their further assistance.
As he greeted the ladies he said “Adelaide, I am so pleased that you are out of the hospital. How are you feeling?”
“Oh Carlisle, other than the cracked ribs and a sling for my broken arm, I am doing great. Yet, I have no pain because of all the pain pills they have prescribed” Adelaide responded with laughter.
“Well I am happy that you are being taken care of Adelaide. Will you be leaving with Madeline to San Francisco?” he asked.
“Yes, and I am most grateful that you will allow us to use your jet. I am uncertain how I would handle a commercial flight. Also, I understand that I may be able to use one of your attorneys to prepare my divorce papers. I really do not care about joint property and I just wish to get out of the relationship” she said. Madeline then stated she would be responsible for the attorney’s fees.
“Yes Adelaide. I will make certain it is taken care of. And, Madeline, I will be handling the fees. They are on retainer anyway. It is my pleasure. Please ladies, come to my office and I will have one of the attorneys join you shortly. We are just concluding our business in the board room” he said.
In the meantime as sandwiches and beverages were being delivered to all those in the board room as well as to Madeline and Atari in Carlisle’s office, the jeweler arrived earlier than planned. Once he was announced, Kent took him into his office and asked that he spread the various rings out on the desk, as he moved paperwork around. He called for one of his security men to be situated at the door.
It was then he knocked on the door to his father’s office and asked whether Atari could break away for a few minutes. When she agreed, he then led her to his office. Once they both arrived Atari said “Kent what is this?”
“Sweetheart, you did say you would marry me? Right?” asked Kent.
“Yes, but I did not expect a ring so soon” she said.
“Does that mean you really do not wish to marry me? You can decide when it is right for you but I really would like for you to wear my ring” he said.
“Of course Kent, I wish to marry you. Please do not be hurt by what I said. It is just that with everything happening all at once, I did not expect for you to go out of your way to get me a ring. I love you and I would be proud to wear your ring. That is not even a hesitation on my part” she said.
He then grabbed her and held her in his arms, kissing her passionately as the jeweler viewed the entire scene. Once they parted, she was led to the cases where Kent told her she could pick out any ring she desired. Instead of going toward the more expensive cases, she found a small ½ carat marquise diamond ring which she fell in love with. It was simple and elegant and the sizing fit perfectly.
Kent asked why she would not choose a larger stone and she advised that it was not the size of the stone that mattered but the love he showed her by allowing her to choose a ring she really loved. She asked whether he did not like her choice. He smiled and said he loved it and it looked beautiful on her. The two of them then kissed as the jeweler removed the balance of his collection.
Kent thanked him and asked his security man to accompany him to his vehicle. He then led Atari to Carlisle’s office. As they entered the office, he announced to Adelaide and Madeline “Atari has accepted my proposal of marriage” and Atari placed out her hand for all to see her ring.
“That is wonderful. I am pleased for the both of you. Yet I must question, how soon will the two of you be married?” asked Madeline.
“Don’t worry mother, we will be taking our time. It is just that we will not be seeing each other for a while and we must have time to place our lives back together before we marry” she said.
Kent then added “I promised Atari last night that she would be the one who would decide when the actual marriage would take place. I just did not wish for her to leave before she knew my intentions.”
“I am happy for you both” said Adelaide. “But with so much happening in such a short time, I am pleased that you will take the time to know each other better before plunging into marriage immediately. It is not that I do not love you both. It is just that Atari has not experienced the world and she has not even dated during high school. I am surprised that her relationship with you happened so fast and I just wish to make certain you both feel it is right” said Adelaide.
“I understand. It is fast for me as well but I cannot see spending my life with anyone else, Adelaide. And my promise to each of you, Adelaide and Madeline, is that my love for her will not falter. I will give her the time she needs and I know how important her career and education are” he said.
“Will you be running the factory here, Kent?” Madeline asked.
“No father and I will be moving to San Francisco once everything is taken care of here. Dependent upon mother’s desire for a divorce settlement, it is father’s intent to sell the factory but I would rather he explain the details to you Madeline. I do not believe that you are aware but I am an Architectural/Structural Engineer. I intend to set up my own office in San Francisco after getting some exposure with another firm. That most likely will take a year. Since I was at the top of my class there were two engineering firms in California who initially had contacted me; one on Lafayette and another on Grand Avenue in San Francisco. I will probably be contacting each of them for interviews. I already have a great portfolio and in this economy, I can assist in the structural engineering area until I have a firm reputation as an Architectural engineer in the area.”
“That is wonderful” both women stated at the same time. Madeline then told Kent that this was an excellent idea because it would leave both he and Atari the time to become established. Then both Madeline and Adelaide rose up so that Kent could hug them. He then excused himself and left his father’s office so that the matters could be concluded. He had been told that the girls would be leaving the following morning so he wished to tell his father to make certain the pilot was ready and to confirm the time established.
It was 3:00 pm before all the attorneys left with their paperwork in hand. The ladies went back to the hotel to relax and pack for the following morning’s trip. Only Atari agreed to leave the hotel to meet Kent for dinner.
When Kent and Atari arrived at the local restaurant, it appeared the parking lot was full of vehicles, which Atari commented that it seemed strange for a weekday night. Kent said he really hardly ever went to this restaurant so he wouldn’t know and the two continued toward the door. Once they entered, they were taken to the back room where Carlisle, a few of his managers and supervisors and all of Atari’s friends and co-workers were found. Susan ran up to Atari “Congratulations! I understand you and Kent are engaged.”
“Susan, how did you know?” Atari asked. “Both Kent and I have retained that information as a secret.”
“Well you know how this town is. Yet, his father confirmed it tonight. Can you believe it? His father is paying for the entire party…but we each are limited to three drink tickets because of what he said were his company’s liabilities” Susan said.
Atari excused herself and approached Carlisle to thank him for the wonderful send-off. She kissed him on the cheek as she embraced him. He was grinning from ear to year. Then Kent teasingly told her that he didn’t want her getting too attached to his father and then he winked at him. Carlisle just smiled and realized Kent would definitely be in for a surprise when the girls were sent off in the morning.
A local band was brought in so the employees could dance throughout the night. The restaurant provided fantastic hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks as well as alcoholic