'Keri, hey how you doing?' Tessa smiled.
'Tessa, oh I'm nervous. I'm confused.'
'What are you nervous and confused about?' Tessa laughed.
'Nervous about coming there. Confused---about Max.'
Tessa was silent for a while, 'Keri I can understand you being nervous about coming here. How can you be confused about Max? Hell the guy cheated on you. You caught him red handed!
'He keeps calling me Tessa, begging me to take him back. I can't even begin to describe his text messages,' she sighed.
'Keri aren't you pleased you discovered Max's infidelity before you were married to him? Do you honestly feel comfortable resuming the relationship with him?'
'I don't want to Tessa,' she sobbed, 'but I---I still love him.'
Tessa inhaled deeply. 'Keri, perhaps a week away will do you good. You've never been to Britain,' Tessa smiled, 'there's lots to see, Medieval York; Picturesque Hyde Park; not to forget the museum and theatres, and that's barely scratching the surface. It really is all so beautiful.'
'You sound like a tourism agent,' Keri laughed.
''I do, don't I?' Tessa grinned. 'I've actually taken the time to see quite a bit in the three years I've been year. 'So if you agree to visit, I'll ask the boss for some time off,' Tessa bit on her lower lip.
'Oh will he give it to you?' Keri grinned.
'If I ask nicely, perhaps,' Tessa chuckled.
'How is it, working with your husband?' As Tessa was joint owner of GR Holdings, she was not technically an employee, though she respected, the office of the chairperson of GR.
'Amazingly well,' Tessa smiled. 'When Brad asked me to join him at GR, I thought one of us would strangle the other before the year was out,' she smirked, 'but we understand each other's parameters,' a soft laugh escaped Tessa's throat.
'Brad seems kind of ---intimidating,' Keri voiced.
'Of all the adjectives,' Tessa laughed softly. 'You're probably the first female to think so.'
'Sorry, first impressions,' Keri smiled, 'and the only time I met him,' she added. Tessa inhaled again. That was the day Keri had called Tessa's mobile to tell her, her husband was in her office. She was just returning from court. Brad had come to her office, to ask her to join him on a trip to England. Tessa could not forget that fateful day when Brad had ended their marriage, because he thought his marriage was going nowhere.
'He's mellowed in his old age,' Tessa laughed. 'We will have dinner together one evening.'
'Thank you Tessa. You are very kind, considering, we don't even work together anymore.'
'It will be my pleasure. I shall pick you up at the airport, and as I said, you can spend the week at leisure doing whatever turns you on. I will have a vehicle at your disposal.'
'Oh please don't go to any more trouble. I can use the public transport system.'
'I insist,' Tessa smiled. 'This way you don't have to fit into the schedule of public transportation.'
'Well then, I look forward to seeing you again,' Keri smiled.
'Tomorrow evening then?' Tessa confirmed.
'Yes,' Keri agreed hesitatingly. 'I shall be there tomorrow evening.'
'Just hang in there Keri, see you tomorrow,' Tessa cut the line.
Tessa used her private credit card to book a first class seat for Keri. She instructed the airline to call Keri with all the collection details. She made sure the apartment had been spring cleaned and ready for Keri. Tessa ordered a bouquet of flowers to be delivered the following afternoon, as well as a hamper of fruits and snacks. She was looking forward to seeing Keri again. It would be good to catch up about New York.
'Momma did you call grandpa?' Lyndon demanded to know when she picked up her bundle of joy.
'I want him to see my fish momma. I don't want Lauretta to cook my fish.'
'Ah the fish,' Tessa hid a smile. 'We did call grandpa darling remember. He said he and grandma will come through next week.'
'But what if Lauretta cooks it?' he asked with concern.
'She won't my angel, I promise,' Tessa walked into the kitchen with Lyndon in her arms.
'Good afternoon Lauretta,' Tessa smiled.
'Mrs. Blakely,' Lauretta cautiously responded, wondering why her boss was in her kitchen. Tessa only ever came into the kitchen when they were expecting guests. There were no guests tonight.
'Lauretta, can Lyndon see his fish please,' Tessa instructed.
'Certainly Mrs. Blakely,' Lauretta hurried to the refrigerator, removed a sealed container, neatly wrapped with plastic. Lauretta cleaned it down, removed the packaging and placed it on the counter.