Margie Wendt looked at the charge sheet and realized that she did indeed have one more patient to work with before she could give in to her day long, no, week long, anxiety and go home to worry with Dale, her son, about the fees for his med school education.
It had been so totally on her mind lately that it was almost the whole of her mental environment.
It's just that med school was getting more and more expensive and they were only barely keeping up with it as it was. The prospect loomed for the two of them of having to go to the bank to see about a mortgage on the house to pay for it.
Margie was determined not to leave it up to Dale and his wife Susie alone. She had pledged herself to aid her son's education as far as he needed.
The baby, little Sylvia was one of the complications. An unexpected surprise, she was the joy of their lives but still it had meant that Susie had to take time off from work to have Sylvia and care for her initially and then the job just wasn't there anymore.
That marked the true beginning of their worries. And now it was looking like the worries were big time.
She was having a cup of tea with one of the other physical therapists, Janie Raymond, and complaining about the pressure of it. It was a topic that she'd been free to go over with Janie before.
She was in the middle of describing her worries, when she saw that her next, Foster Wayne was waiting for her. She checked the clock and said to Janie:
"Gotta go, my Foster is here for his hour."
"Such a gorgeous man," Janie said.
"Yes, he is," Margie said, casting a glance at the tall elderly man waiting for her.
(It is possibly not fair to call Foster Wayne 'elderly'. He was, indeed, in his early 60'as but that's not, by our current standards any longer considered 'elderly', is it? So, that's the last time we'll call this gentleman 'elderly'.)
Margie set her tea cup down and said: "Thanks for listening, Janie; I appreciate it. I just hate to have to go through with this mortgage thing but I will not abandon Dale and Susie in this. I've made that promise."
"You are so good," Janie said, "Someone needs to notice that and take care of you!"
Margie smiled at her friend and said: "I know but fat chance."
Margie Wendt, physical therapist at a major mid west hospital, was, at 39 about as lovely as a woman could hope or expect to be. She was compact but in absolutely excellent shape. She worked out almost daily. She was small breasted and fairly broad hipped but very, very pleasing nonetheless.
She had an outgoing personality and was fierce in her allegiance to and defense of those whom she loved. Her concern for her son's medical school education is a case in point. She had married a high school sweetheart and had Dale already at the age of 18. Of course, the sweetheart turned out to really be a meathead, which he proved in a short amount of time. Margie never had time for a man in her life after that.
Right at that particular time, Foster Wayne, her next patient, the 'not so elderly' gentleman, had heard the conversation between Margie and Janie Raymond.
As Margie used the loo, Foster casually wandered over and engaged Janie in a conversation about Margie's son and his school.
He found out that way that Dale was in medical school at the local university. He was a second year student.
At 62, Foster Wayne was in possibly the best shape of his life. He had taken to exercising ever since his mild heart attack that had occurred some sixteen years earlier. They were years during which he devoted himself to a cardiac rehabilitation program and worked out, pushing himself always, ever since that time.
He was 6'1" tall and carried his 190 lbs very well. He had white hair, and had had such since his mid thirties. He also sported a white beard and mustache. He was a fairly dapper dresser. All in all, an attractive man.
His wife, a flighty, fidgety woman, had committed suicide years before even Foster's heart attack. He had no other visible family, and as an only son had inherited from his parents his father's company and, using that base, had increased that until he was worth in the billions.
He led a simple life, was not a womanizer and was a very outgoing person. He was in PT at this point as a result of a knee replacement. He had struck up an easy and good friendship with Margie Wendt, almost as soon as he was assigned to her as his therapist.
She came for him then, apologizing for being a few minutes late.
"Margie," he said, "You look all in!"
"Last of the day, Foster, sorry!" she said.
"Hey, you never have to apologize to me," he said, smiling, "We're friends, after all."
"Yes," she said, smiling back, "Friends."
She realized then and there that she really believed that, and genuinely liked this distinguished looking man.
"Well," he said next to her, "What kind of torture do you have devised for me today."
She gave him a thin smile and said: "Oh the usual."
"But Margie," he said, "What's wrong; you look so worried, so down."
"Oh, it's stuff at home," she answered, not aware that he already had information on her problem from Janie Raymond.
"I'm sorry," he said, "I shouldn't pry."
"Oh, you're not prying," Margie said, "I know that; it's just that my son's bills for medial school have me, have us, on the ropes. I've promised to help him and his wife with this and she had the baby, then she lost her job and they're having a tough time. It's just time to step up to the plate and go to the bank to see what has to be done..."
She trailed off then and apologized to him for unloading her grief onto him.
"Not unloading, dear! Friends help friends that way," he said.
"Thank you, Foster," she said, "You are such a caring person."
"And you're going to hurt me now?" he said grinning.
"Exactly!" she said returning the grin, "It's what I do!"
They let it go at that but Foster was already thinking ahead.
He had a meeting the next afternoon with the Dean of the medical school. They had been cultivating him for a good while for a possible donation and he'd decided to do what they wanted.
He was in the office of Dr. Cherry, the Dean, who'd been in touch with him through a mutual friend.
They had some pleasant chit chat and then they got down to the business that Dr. Cherry wanted to talk to him about. They were asking for a donation of a quarter of a million dollars.
"Dr. Cherry," Foster said, "I will make that donation, and be open to more in the future but on one condition."
He smiled at the Dean who smiled in return and said: "Mr Wayne..."
Then Foster interrupted the Dr and said: "It's Foster, please; excuse my interruption."
"Foster, of course, thank you; but what I was going to say was that there is always a condition. We can probably live with that," the Dean said.
"Here it is," Foster went on, "You have a student, Dale Wendt."
"Yes, I know Dale; he's doing excellent work," the Dean said.
"Well, I want all of his bills sent to me; I will make you out a check now for what is owed," Foster went on.
"That's very generous, Foster," the Dean said.
"I am a friend of his Mom," Foster clarified, and went on: "She is my physical therapist for this knee replacement."
"Ah, I see," the Dean said.
"Will you do that for me?" Foster asked.
"Yes, of course," Dean Cherry said, "Am I free to tell Dale about this?"
"Yes, I won't make it a secret," Foster said, "I know that at some time I will have to be answerable to his Mom for doing this but I can handle that."
The Dean smiled and said, "I'm sure you can."
"Then we are agreed?" Foster asked.
"Yes, we are, and I'd like to thank you both for your donation to the school and also for your support of one of our students; both are very handsome gestures."
He then turned to the intercom and asked that his secretary bing in the file with Dale Wendt's material.
"This will tell us what we need to know," the Dean went on.
"And in the future, his bills will come to me?" Foster asked.
"Yes, unless he or his family object," the Dean said.
"As I said," Foster went on, "I'll deal with that."
"Fine," Dean Cherry said, and then there was a knock on the door and the secretary brought in the file. It gave them the information that they needed.
"I will have that donation ready for you tomorrow," Foster said, "I'll talk to my banker and I will have a check for all of these fees and costs for Dale Wendt."
"And you don't mind if I tell the family?" Dean Cherry asked.
"No, not at all," Foster said.
They shook hands and left it at that.
It was toward closing time at the therapy suite at the hospital. One of the technicians strolled in, on his way out the door. Margie and Janie were left there, still talking. Margie was still worrying out loud about what she was going to do.
"Hey, guys," he said, his name was Les. "Who's the rich dude who was here today?"
"Rich?" Janie asked.
"Yeah!" he answered. "There was a gigantic black Mercedes in the lot, driver and all. Mucho denaro!"
"No idea," Janie said.
"Nor do I," Margie said also. She laughed, "Maybe it's someone who's looking to shower money on us!"
All three of them enjoyed a laugh about that, and Les left for the night. Janie and Margie talked for a bit longer, not thinking any more about Les' question.
The next page in the unfolding drama came, when Margie got home. The phone rang and it was Dale on the phone.
"Mom, I have to talk to you!" he said, sounding urgent.
She tried to head him off by saying: "Dale, I will go to the bank tomorrow; the mortgage will be fine; I can manage!" (She wasn't as confident as she sounded but wouldn't let him know that.)
"No, Mom, I just had a meeting with Dean Cherry at the school and someone has paid all my fees and has indicated that they will keep doing that."
"What?" she exclaimed, "But that's crazy there must be some mistake."
"No, no mistake," Dale said, still out of breath. "Mom, do you know a Foster Wayne?"
"Foster?" she said suddenly getting a hint of what had happened.
"Yes, I do," she answered
"What do I do?" Dale said.
"Leave it up to me," she said, "Honey, I'll get to the bottom of it."
She rang off then. She thought for a while about it, and was still confused at the end of the time. She took a shower, and went to the phone.
It was 8 PM that evening, when Foster's phone rang.
"Hello," he said.
"Foster?" it was Margie's voice.
"Yes, Margie, is that you?" he asked.
"Yes, it is; Foster I have to talk to you," she said.
"Yes, I guess maybe you do," was his answer.
"Can I pick you up in a few moments and we'll go out for a drink and talk?" he asked.
She hesitated for a moment and then said: "Yes, that will be fine."
She told him where she lived and he said he'd be there in about 15 minutes.
He drove himself taking his Mercedes sports car. He had a chauffeur but had given Stan the night to take his wife out to dinner.
He pulled into the driveway of Margie's house, and she came out of the house right away. She was wearing a pleated skirt, dark colored, and a blouse.
He got out and held the door for her.
"Foster!" she said greeting him with an outstretched hand but a suspicious look on her face.
"Hi, Margie!" he said, and his obvious friendliness calmed her down immediately. She didn't know why he had that kind of effect on her but he did.
"Love your car!" she said, sliding into the sports car.
"It's my run around," he said.
"We need to talk," she said.
He held up at hand, "Can it wait until we can sit face to face and do it? I not trying to avoid anything; I just think it would be more pleasant that way."
"Of course it will," she said, sitting back and just enjoying the beauty of the lovely car.
He drove her to one of the large hotels. They went into the cocktail lounge, where he was greeted by name. They were seated in a darker corner at a round table.
"Sorry about the name," he said, "I come here now and then and they got to know me."
She only nodded.
"I don't exactly know where or how to start," Margie said.
"Let me help," he said, "You're wondering why in heaven's name I have made arrangements to pay for your son's med school bills."
She looked at him, obviously relieved that he got right to the point.
"May I answer?" he asked.
"Please, Foster," she said.
"First I need to establish one fact. We've known each other only a short time but I really have a sense that we are friends. I mean we do not only have a therapist-patient relationship. Do you agree with that?"
She thought just a bit and said: "Yes, I do."
(Her answer was based on the fact that they did take time now and again, when his therapy was done to sit and have a chat and a cup of coffee. It had become a usual thing for them over the short time involved, being something, she realized that she had been enjoying.)
"Fine," he said, "Then there are two answers. The first is the short answer, and then the more complicated one. May I please ask that you hear both answers fully before you react?"
"Yes, certainly," she said, becoming more and more mystified.
"Okay," he went on, "First is the short answer:--and I assure you that I will only be truthful; I will not at any time with what I say be making a joke, making fun or any such things. I simply do not treat my friends with disrespect in that way."
"Thank you," she said, realizing that she did appreciate what he'd just said.
"With that in mind," he went on, "the first, short, reason is that I can."
She just looked at him a bit surprised by this answer but still giving him time.
He looked at her earnestly and said: "My longer answer is an off shoot of the first, and gives more detail."
He thought for a moment or two and then went on:
"When I say that I can, what I mean is first of all that I have the means to do so. Let me explain. When Forbes does there richest in America, for a number of years I have missed that list only by a few billion dollars. And telling the truth, I have made business decisions that would make me sure to lose a little to keep my name off of that list. I simply don't want the notoriety."
Now she was regarding him with wide eyes. He held up his hand, indicating that he was not finished.
"I am a very careful man; I do not wish to have all sorts of people hanging on me for financial reasons. But I also am a man who has a determination to help his friends, when I discover a need that a friend of mine has that I can satisfy. I make sure that I do."
He thought again then and went on: "And it is a very important thing to me, a blessing, if you will, from my friends that they let me do such things. I am open and available to my friends in such a way, by my nature and my desire."
He looked at her for a few seconds, noticing that she was giving him rapt attention.
"As for you, I heard what you said to Janie; I apologize for listening but I did hear it. I already had an appointment with Dean Cherry of the University Med School to make arrangements for a large donation that they wished from me, a quarter of a million. I determined to make one caveat with them. I told Dean Cherry that I would make the donation that they wanted but only if they would allow me to pay Dale's Medical School expenses. Of course they said 'yes'."
She had tears in her eyes at that point, and he continued:
"And I need this favor from you, Margie, I need you to allow me to be a friend to you. It's one of the ways that I am a friend, and you are giving me a blessing if you allow me to do this. It's what I ask."
He hesitated and said: "Those are the long and short reasons."
"This is going to make me cry!" she said.
"That's probably the one thing that would make me back off," he mused, "I mean, if what I did made you sad enough to make you cry."
"No, no," she said, covering his hand with hers, "I mean relief, joy, unexpected, unexpected relief! I was maybe on the verge of losing my house but was determined to see that Dale got the education that he wants. He's so talented."
"So Dean Cherry says!" Foster said.
Then he looked at her directly and said: "Please, Margie, will you please allow me to do this? It's what I'm asking."
She shook her head 'yes' and did start to cry then. He gave her his pocket handkerchief, for which she thanked him softly.
"Margie," he said, "I have no ulterior motives here; I mean, I'm not trying to buy friendship or love or any such motive. I'm simply not that kind of person. I am trying to be a friend."
"I think that I'm beginning to realize that. You are such a special man! I hardly know what to say. I'm am simply swept away here." she said, shaking her head.
"Dinner?" he asked."Have you?"
"Well, no, I really haven't," she said, "So much has happened since I left work. When I got home, Dale called me and asked me if I knew Foster Wayne. Of course I was curious and said 'yes'. But then when he told me that Foster Wayne had made arrangements to pay his Med School bills, I simply had to sit down. I didn't believe it but he assured me that it was true. I told him that I'd get back to him, once I spoke to you. I guess that I was thinking that I needed to find out what you wanted for this money."
"I understand that," he said.
"I apologize for the thought!" she said softly.
He gestured with his hand and the waiter came over.
"Paul," he said pleasantly, "The young lady and I are going to dine; can you have us set up in the Paris Room?"
"Certainly, Mr Wayne," Paul said, going to do that.
"The Paris Room," she said and actually almost giggled--Maggie normally wasn't a giggling type of girl. "I've always wanted to eat there but realize that I would have to save my money up."
He grinned at her: "It's on me!"
"Oh, now you're spoiling me!" she said, not sure if it was a complaint or not.
"It's what I do to my friends," he said.
She smiled and said: "Lovely! The Paris Room!"
They talked over dinner about their respective lives. She told him about her no good husband, whom she married out of high school and turned out to be a womanizer and a louse.
"The only good thing that he ever did for me was Dale!" she said wistfully.
Then it was his turn. He told her of losing his wife almost 18 years ago, and how it affected his living and outlook for so many years.
"I got to a point," he explained,"Where I decided to live again and it was then that I started trying to be a blessing to my friends."
"This was lovely," she said, "And 'thank you' seems to inadequate!"
"Not to me it doesn't," he said, patting her hand.
"Tell you what," she said, "Will you come to dinner Saturday? Dale and Susie will be there with little Sylvia."
"Love to," he said, "What a lovely invitation, to meet them. If he's your son, he must be top rate!"
She grinned at him.
"Home?" he said pleasantly.
She made comments again about how much she loved his car.
"Yes," he said, "Normally I take the Benz with Stan driving; he's my chauffeur and man about everything. But tonight he had plans with his wife, so I drove myself. I normally use this, when I drive."
"It's so lovely," she said.
When they reached her home, a lovely but fairly small place, she sat for a few minutes.
"Foster," she began softly, "I have to think about all of this; it's almost like an assault on my senses."
"Yes, I realize that," he said, putting his hand on top of hers. "I do apologize for doing it the way that I did. It seemed the best."
"Yes, I'm sure," she said earnestly, "I ... I don't know what I would have done had you just offered."
"I know that, Margie," he said. "And I in no way wanted to or wish to insult your pride."
"Yes, yes, that's clear," she said, and then, as if she'd come to a decision, she went on:
"Foster, I'd like you to get out. I need to give you a hug as the mother of Dale; it's the only 'mother' hug you'll get from me, very likely, but I do want to do that."
"With pleasure," he said.
He got out and she went around to where he was and launched herself into his arms. His immediate impression was of how physically solid Margie was, and how much he enjoyed the feel of her pressed up against him. Then he pushed those thoughts away, for later, if at all. But as she held onto him, she trembled a bit and then sobbed.
"I'm sorry, I'm getting you all wet, and you my knight in shining armor!" she said.
He leaned back and smiled at her: "It was totally worth it just to hear you call me that!"
He kissed her cheek and said: "Good night, Mom!"
She smiled back at him and went into the house. He just sighed at how lovely he thought she was, as she went up her walk.
It was a long and partially sleepless night for Margie Wendt. She sat and for a long time, as she sipped a glass of Rhine Wine simply tried to take in the fact that the huge problem, pressing in on her was simply gone, evaporated.
She lasted in this state for a time period and then the mad thought assaulted her that this was a joke somehow and she had to figure it out.
She did have Foster's number from her records at work and, just as she was ready for bed, called him:
"Foster Wayne," he said, answering the phone.
"Foster?" she said softly.
"Oh, Margie," he said, "How nice of you to call."
"Foster, I just wanted to make sure that his wasn't a figment of my imagination; I'm about to go to bed, dressed in my nightgown and all..." she broke off at that point and said:
"I don't know why I told you that! I'm sorry." Her shame made her face red.
"Got my attention though," he said, and she giggled.
"I'm sorry, Foster, after a while it just seemed like a dream, is all, I'm sorry I called," she said.
"Don't you dare," he said lightly, "Be sorry for calling me on the phone. I have asked Dean Cherry to send you a letter indicating that Dale's expenses for Med School are taken care of. I thought that you'd want to have that."
"Well, I'm astonished again," she said. "But I'll confess that I'm glad I called; I'm just fairly confused at this point."
"I know, Margie," he said, "Sleep on it; I always find that I see things in a better and clearer light, after I do that."
"Sorry that I can't get another hug," she said, again letting her mouth simply say what was in her mind.
"Well, I could come over for one but that might not be the best idea at this point," he said lightly.
"No, perhaps not," she said.
"You might hurt my knee somehow and then what would the Dragon Lady say to me at PT?" he went on, chuckling at the end of the sentence.
"Dragon Lady?" she said suspiciously.
"Good night, Margie," he said softly, listening to her giggle again. "Consider yourself hugged."
"Good night, Foster," she said then, "And thank you; I mean for everything but especially for that hug."
She slept well after that. In the morning early, she called Dale and told it all to him. He too was surprised but over the moon at the sudden good fortune.
"Oh, we have to thank him, Mom," he said.
"He's coming to dinner on Saturday, please come with Susie and Sylvia," she answered.
"Great idea!" he said, ringing off, and eager to talk to Susie.
Margie realized the next day that it would be a kind of a test, and she, having thought about it a great deal during the night, was determined to let things be normal between her and Foster. She didn't want to be in a position of being false at all to what he had said.
She entered the waiting area of the PT unit and saw him sitting there. There was no one else around.
"Well," she said, smiling, "Here's the Dragon Lady!"
He grinned at her, and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
"I'm still gonna hurt you today!" she said smiling at him with careful cruelty.
"I'm depending on it!" was his answer.
About mid way through the session, he asked:
"You slept well last night?"
"Yes," she said, "I guess my call was dumb."
"Don't say it," he said, "Not dumb at all; you were trying to digest a major, major change in your life. I don't blame you at all."
Margie sighed, "Oh, Foster," she said, "You just make me feel so good all the time."
He smiled at her: "My only aim, Margie, lovely Margie."
Then he apologized for what he'd called her.
"Now it's my turn to say 'Don't you dare!'" she said back to him. "I'll take that compliment and put it away where I can visit it now and then."
She was smiling all out at him, when she finished.
Just before he left the unit, he asked:
"Dress code for Saturday?"
"Oh, casual!" she said. "But I promise that I won't be sloppy."
"Hey, I like sloppy!" he said. "Especially if it's..."
She cut him off and said: "I'll hurt you again buster if you tease me!"
"Wouldn't dream of it," he said holding up his hands. "Until tomorrow!"
"Until tomorrow!" she said. "Thank you, Foster."
He smiled at her. "It's totally my pleasure."
Janie was the only one left, when Foster had gone.
"Hey what's up with that?" she asked nudging Margie.
"Oh, Janie," Margie said, sitting down and taking the cup of tea that Janie offered her. "Let me tell you."
She explained the whole thing to Janie, who was both big eyed and enthusiastic.
"Hey, he likes you," Janie said, "I can tell."
"Well maybe," Margie said.
"No, no 'maybe', I'm telling you," Janie said.
"We'll see," was Margie's answer, giving her friend a hug. "But I intend to be careful."
"You call me if you need, sweetie!" Janie said, as they left for the night.
Margie spent the rest of her day thinking about all of it again. She knew that Dale and Susie were busy and put off her urge to call Foster. She took her self out to dinner for Italian at a favorite place and spent the evening in her night gown watching tv, and hardly paying any attention to it.
"Girl," she said to herself severely, "Stop this mooning about! What's happening to you?"
She was afraid that she knew the answer to that quickly enough but just pushed that part of her growing reality away and went to bed.
She had just settled down into bed, when the phone rang.
"Hello," she said softly.
"Margie?" he said.
"Yes," she said, "Hi, Foster. It's probably a good sign that you didn't call me 'Dragon Lady'." She laughed and so did he.
"Don't know why I'm calling," he said earnestly.
"Of course you do," she said settling the issue, "It's your turn."
"Oh, yes, my turn!" he answered. Then: "Margie, I'm not normally so adolescent in my relationships. This is beginning to overwhelm me."
"Yes, I know," she said. "We need to just let be what will be; that's the only thing that I can say."
"How nice of you to say that," he said, sounding relieved. "I guess I should say 'good night'. You must be ready for bed."
"Already under the covers, pink nightie and all!" she said giggling, and not apologizing for saying it or feeling bad about it.
"Hmm, nice mental picture," he said, "I can sleep on that."
"Sending a hug, Foster!" she said.
"Thank you, Margie," was his reply. "Until tonight!"
"Until tonight!" as her reply, and she realized that she bit off, just barely the phrase: 'I love you, Foster'. That scared her as much as anything in recent memory, including the possibility of having to maybe give up her house, had.
She lay and thought about it for a long time, but drifted off to sleep pleased with herself.
Saturday was a bustling day. She'd decided on a pork crown roast with small potatoes and carrots. She didn't know about wine but did have a box of burgundy and thought that she'd serve that.
She hadn't known exactly what to wear and settled for a pair of linen pants that didn't really hide the outline of her panties and a beige over blouse that served to cover her butt mostly. She was nervous but thought that she looked okay.
In the later afternoon, Dale and Susie came over, with little Sylvia and helped her with the final preparations.
He was right exactly on time. He pulled into her driveway in his pale blue Mercedes convertible, and she greeted him at the door.
His first words were: "Margie, you look ravishing!"
She reddened and thanked him and said:
"I see you came in your run about!" she said.
"Yes," he said, smiling, "I gave Stan the Man and his lovely lady the night off."
"Stan the Man!" she said, "I must meet him sometime."
"Oh, I assure you that you will," was his response.
Then he handed her a bouquet of roses and a bottle of wine.
"Oh thank you," she said. "I only have a box of burgundy, and was half ashamed to serve it."
"I promise not to be a wine snob!" he said smiling, and by then Dale and Susie had come into the hall from the living room.
Margie did the honors: "Foster, this is my son Dale and his wife Susie, and their Sylvia. Dale, Susie, this is my friend Foster Wayne."
"Pleased to meet you, Mr Wayne," Dale said, and Susie echoed that. Then Dale went on:
"Mr Wayne, I am in your debt! And I sincerely appreciate your help."
"Not at all," Foster said, "I did it as a friend of your Mom's, as she will tell you, and you owe me nothing. It's a pleasure to me to be able to help your Mom and you this way."
Margie and Dale had talked about this very subject and they'd decided that they'd let it lie and only bring it up again if Foster did, which he showed no inclination to do.
They went in for an appetizer and then dinner, and they all had a wonderful time. Dale and Susie found Foster to be as sincere and down to earth as Margie had said he was.
Later in the evening, Dale and Susie excused themselves, when he explained that he had to do some studying yet, and Sylvia had to be put to bed. They'd already helped Margie and Foster with the clean up, which he insisted on doing with her.
When they were left alone, they settled in the living room for a bit.
"Lovely home," he said.
"Yes, small but I was on my own all those years and it always fit my needs," she replied.
There was a silence then and he got up to go. She, however, had already thought of this and went to him.
"Real hug now," she said.
"Real hug," was his reply, as he took her in his arms.
"Not a Mom's hug!" was her next statement.
He smiled at her and said: "How do I know?"
She took his hand and moved it, as she was grasping him by the wrist, so that it came to rest on her ass.
"Oh, I see," he said, and then he whispered: "It feels as lovely as it has looked all these weeks."
"You peeked!" she said, with mock surprise.
"Yes," he answered, "The therapy cost but the looking was free."
"I want..." she said hesitating but went on then: "I want to kiss you, Foster."
"Oh, yes," was his answer and he leaned into her and kissed her, still letting his hand roam around her ass cheeks.
"Oh that feels so nice," she said.
"This kiss? My hand?" he asked.
"Both!" was her reply.
She asked him then, her mouth close to his ear:
"Foster, shall I ... uh do you want me to take my clothes off?"
"In the worst way," he said, "It would fulfill all my fantasies but I don't think so tonight. Let me explain. If you did, it might seem, even if that weren't the case, that it was because I've helped and will help Dale. So, we won't tonight. But since we both know that this is the case now, the next time it will be only us and it will be fine."
"Oh, you lovely, lovely man! And 'next time, ' I want a 'next time'," she said, kissing him again.
After the kiss, he left.
She called him that night.
"Hello, Foster Wayne!" he said.
"My turn!" was what she said first. "Only to say good night and tell you that I have only pink panties on in bed tonight!"
"Oh you cruel, cruel wonderful woman!" he said, and she giggled. "Gives me something to work with here!"
"Good," she answered, "Accomplished my aim! Good night, Foster."
Once again, she bit back the phrase that was already in her mouth and on her tongue. She simply bit it back.
The following Tuesday, they had had their therapy session; she was pleased at how well he was doing and how his knee was bending. They shared a cup of coffee and then he left.
She talked with Janie for a bit and assured her friend that they were indeed 'taking it slow and easy'. They still had a giggle about the entire situation.
Margie was the last one out and then her car, an older Toyota, wouldn't start. It just grunted a few times and that was it.
"Oh dear!" she moaned to herself.
She'd let her AAA membership lapse in a cost cutting gesture and here she was. Then she remembered what Foster had said about helping her at any time. She called him hoping, hoping.
"Foster Wayne," he said.
Then in a tiny voice she said: "Foster, my car won't start; I'm afraid something is dead and I don't have an AAA membership any more. I'm sorry to bother you..."
"No 'sorries' for us, Margie," he said, "I'll be right there."
She waited and, true to his word, he was there with the sporty, lovely Mercedes sports car within just a little while. She noticed that he wasn't alone, another man was in the car with him.
He got out of the car, and so real was her relief to see him that she went to him and just held on to him.
"I hate these kinds of predicaments," she said, "Hate them!"
He kissed her cheek, and then he said:
"Margie, this is Stan."
"Oh," she enthused, "Stan the Man!" She reacted immediately and put her hand over her mouth.
But Stan was grinning and held his hand out to her for a greeting.
"Here's what we're going to do," Foster said, "Stan has called an acquaintance and the car will be picked up soon. But he'll stay with it. You can come with me, I'll give you a ride."
She just said 'thank you' to him, as they left, leaving Stan behind.
"I don't know what I'll do," she said, "Damn car!"
"It's taken care of," he said, putting his hand over hers.
"I am a very resourceful and practical person," she said, almost by way of apology, "But this car stuff has always defeated me."
"How well I know, how resourceful the Dragon Lady is!" he said grinning at her.
The name, and his using it served to take her out of her funk, and she laughed.
"Some Dragon Lady!" she said, "Defeated by a car!"
"We all have our weak spots," was his next statement.
"Gee," she said, smiling at her, "I wonder what yours is?"
"I promise that I will tell you one day soon," he said, "But first here we are."
She was confused, when he pulled into the driveway of a very large and lovely house.
"Here?" she asked, expressing her confusion.
"Yes," he said, "My house! I'm going to give you the Mercedes; use it as long as you wish. I'd give it to you outright but that might make you, at least at this point in our relationship, uneasy."
"Oh, Foster!" she said, leaning over and claiming a kiss from him.
"I'm sorry that I do have some things to do tonight; it's ungallant but I must attend to them," he explained.
"No, no," she said, "You are never ungallant, not ever. I'm coming out now for a hug and a kiss, and to remind you that it's your turn to call tonight."
"Yes, my turn," he said, getting out of the car and going to her.
When they'd kissed, he said to her: "Margie would you please come to dinner with me at my house this coming Saturday?"
"Oh, love to!" she said.
"We can invite Dale and Susie some other time but maybe this first time is just for us," he went on.
"Yes, just for us; lovely!" she said.
"Have a bathing suit?" he asked.
"Uh, yes, why?" she said.
"Well, I was thinking that we'd have dinner at my house in the Bahamas, actually!" he said.
Margie's first instinct, which she obeyed, was to squeal!
"I'm sorry," she said, "What a noise but that is so absolutely nice, and I'll shop for a suit. Any preferences?"
"You in a bathing suit sounds delicious to me!" he said, kissing her again. "And pack some overnight things, clothes etc. We'll stay the weekend."
He thought for a second and went on: "And please know that this is not my big seduction move. It's a large house and you'll have all the privacy that you need."
"Yes, I know," she said, "Thank you." Her face brightened then and she said: "Foster thank you for rescuing me again, for the loan of the car and for the invite to your house!"
"Not necessarily a loan," he said, "But I don't want to do things that you would not approve of!"
"Haven't yet," she said, "The Dragon Lady is calm!"
He laughed, "Lovely! I'll call, when Stanley gives me the word about your car."
They kissed again and she left.
"Lovely car!"she sang to herself, "The Bahamas! His house in the Bahamas!"
As soon as she got home, she called Janie.
"Hello," Janie said.
"Janie, it's Margie," she said and then she launched into it: "My car wouldn't start at work," she began.
"Do you need a ride or anything?" Janie said immediately.
"No, honey," Margie went on, "I called Foster and he gave me his Mercedes sports car. I think that he just gave it to me but I'm not sure."
"And he's invited me for dinner on Saturday to his house in the Bahamas!" Margie went on.
Janie squealed again.
"Janie, I need a bathing suit!" Margie went on.
"At least one," Janie said. "Maybe an every day and a sexy one; what do you think?"
"Maybe!" Margie said, "Shop with me?"
"Love to!" Janie said, squealing again.
"Time tonight?" Magie asked.
"Of course!" Janie said, "And one thing."
"Yes?" Margie asked.
"When you finally land him, invite me and my husband to your house in the Bahamas!" she was giggling and laughing by the time that she got to the end of the sentence.
Margie laughed and said: "You're terrible!"
"But accurate!" Janie said, "Promise!"
"I can't," Margie said, "I don't want to jinx it!"
"You're right," Janie said, "We'll speak about this again."