ONE AFTERNOON, A FEW DAYS LATER, IN
Callison?" Lorraine spoke up
as she knocked lightly on the door. "You have a visitor."
"Who is it, Lorraine?" Charles
shuffled papers around on his desk as he worked on a report. "I'm a
little busy at the moment."
Charles looked up immediately and took a deep
breath. "Well....send her in, Lorraine." He leaned back in
his chair and tried to prepare himself for Annabelle's entrance. He was
sure she'd use the guise of official business as a cover for her own personal
agenda. Soon, she breezed into the office.
"Charles! Douglas just sent me down
with these papers that need you signature." She went straight to the
desk and laid the forms in front of him. Charles grabbed a pen and quickly
scribbled his name before handing them back to her.
"Now, is there anything else? If not,
you're more than free to go."
"Oh, Charles," she purred as she moved
closer to him. "Why do you work so hard to stay so distant from
me? That's not going to accomplish anything."
"It's going to accomplish exactly what it's
supposed to." He looked at her sternly. "Now, I have a lot
of business to take care of, so if you don't mind..."
"Charles, when are you going to admit to
yourself that you want more than what you already have?" She leaned
into him and reached out to caress his cheek. He quickly responded by
pushing her hand away.
"Annabelle, I've told you over and over that
I love Francis and I will never even consider betraying that love. I am a
Callison and we have a standard of honor to uphold!"
"Ah, yes, but you're still a
man." She swiftly moved from the desk to a spot on Charles'
lap. She softly nuzzled his neck and ran her fingers through his
hair. "After 23 years of marriage, I'm sure things can get boring and
dreadfully routine. I can fix that for you, Charles. I'm not asking
that you end your marriage, just that you broaden your horizons to the many
other experiences that life has to offer..
"Annabelle, you need to go." He
forced her out of his lap and got up to move away from her.
"Charles, I've said it before, and I'll say
it again." She smiled at him seductively. "You'll wake up
one day and realize exactly how much is missing from your life. You'll
want a little taste of the forbidden. When that day comes, you'll come
looking for me. I'll be waiting." She licked her lips before
she turned to saunter out of the room. Charles slumped back down in his
chair and began to wipe the beads of sweat that had begun to form on his
brow. He knew she was more trouble than he needed in his life, but her
words were beginning to ring true.
I can't let her get to me. he
thought. I love Francis and I won't let Annabelle ruin that. I