Six months later
Roger hurriedly crossed the lobby of his apartment near Washington Square and pushed the revolving doors. He was late for a cocktail party he had no desire to go to.
The sun was so blinding that he did not see the woman trying to come in, not until he bumped into her.
"Holly?" he gasped, squinting to get a better look at her face. "Is that you?"
He could see her blush slightly as she nodded. "How are you Roger?"
"I'm fine...I'm good," he stammered. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to see you. On business," she added quickly. "Blake gave me your address."
"Oh. Well, come in."
Holly looked past him at the lobby. "I'd like that, but it looked like you were on your way to someplace important. We can meet later if you want. I'm here for a few days."
"No, come on in. It's nothing that I can't get out of." He motioned her to follow him. They took the elevator in silence and got down on the last floor.
"Would you like something to drink, some tea or coffee?" Roger offered before leading her to the living room. Holly shook her head and went to the window. "That's quite a view you got here," she remarked, pointing at the square below. Throngs of people were hurrying by in the typical New York fashion.
Roger smiled briefly. "You know me; I like to be in the thick of things."
He glanced discretely at her left hand. There was no wedding band yet on her finger. The wedding should take place any day now, he thought. He had not spoken to her since their trip to Acapulco; in fact, he had barely seen her at all. The few times that he had, Ross was by her side. Blake had offered bits of information about her mother from time to time, speaking of a possible move to Washington if Ross ever considered running for the Senate, until he had asked her not to mention her mother anymore. Although she did not know the entire story, their daughter did suspect that something had happened between them during that trip. She had, however, respected her father's wish.
Holly sat on the couch and Roger took the armchair. There was an awkward pause before Holly started. "You caused quite a stir when you left Alex and Springfield behind last spring. It was all the town could talk about for weeks."
"You sound surprised."
"I'm surprised that you did it, yes. I never thought that you would actually walk away from Spaulding Enterprises and its millions."
Roger shrugged. "I told you that I would. There was nothing holding me back there after Acapulco. I never got the chance to thank you, though, for not telling Alex that I had broken the prenuptial agreement. If you had it would have been hard for me to come here and start over. Financially speaking, of course."
"You know I never would have betrayed you. Alexandra is having enough of a hard time as it is since you left; I saw no need to turn the knife in anyway."
"I bet Ross would not have taken the news too well either," Roger said.
Holly cleared her throat. "No, and he must never know about what happened between us."
"I know." He went to the bar to fix himself a whiskey and soda and briefly glanced at her in a small mirror on the wall. She was fidgeting with her watch and did not notice him staring at her. She was as lovely as ever, he thought, with her soft curls and her classic gray suit. She had been on her mind constantly for the last few months, waking up with her image ingrained in his brain, going to sleep with her voice whispering in his ears. He had wondered if he would ever see her again; now she was sitting on his couch. It seemed surreal.
"So, what is it that you need to discuss with me?" he asked. He could not for the life of him guess why she would need to talk to him, and more importantly why she would have to come to New York to do it.
"I came to ask if you might be interested in selling your shares of WSPR."
Roger stared at her for a few seconds, trying to comprehend the implications of what she was saying. "Not especially. I thought that you didn't mind my financial implication now that I had reverted back to being a silent partner." Was even this tenuous link between their two lives too much for her to bear?
"It's not what you think. Ross and I are both want to sell our shares of the station, but neither of us has enough money to buy the other out. We did find someone who might be interested in buying our shares, but only if you would sell yours too. Unless you're telling me that you might want to buy the whole station?"
"No, I couldn't afford it either. Who's the buyer? Alex?"
"No, it's Billy Lewis, actually. He's looking to diversify his investments."
Roger fell back on the couch and took a sip of his drink. Selling to Mindy's father? Why not.
"I don't understand why you would want to sell your shares thought. I thought you loved your job. Are you and Ross moving out of Springfield?"
Holly looked at him briefly, and then stared at her clasped hands. "I thought you knew. Ross and I broke off our engagement two weeks ago."
"WHAT?" Roger exclaimed. He was on his feet before he realized what was happening. "What happened?"
Holly smiled sadly. "It was never the same between us after Acapulco. I tried to be at peace with my decision but I guess I just couldn't.
"You couldn't?" Roger asked with a trembling voice.
Holly shook her head. "I kept thinking back about the time that we spent together, how it was supposed to help me put our relationship to rest, when all it did was to raise all these new questions and feelings. I couldn't go on with the wedding plans. It would have been unfair to Ross to bring him into this marriage when I was so unsure of myself."
"Does he know what happened?"
"No, but he knows that my decision has something to do with you. He's not stupid, he noticed how distracted I got sometimes after I came back from that trip, and how quick you were to ask for a divorce and move out of town. In fact he asked me point blank a few weeks ago if I still had feelings for you."
"What did you say?"
"I said yes, and that was the end of it."
Roger blinked, almost reluctant to believe what he was hearing. Was this really happening? He went to sit by her side and spoke cautiously. "If you really mean that, why didn't you come to me sooner?"
"Because I was upset about the whole thing! Ross is devastated and so I am. It was not an easy decision, Roger," she said as she ran her hand trough her hair. "Then there's Mindy. I know that she came to New York to be with you, Roger."
"She did." Roger recalled a night, a few days after his arrival in New York, when Mindy had come to knock on his door. It would have been easy to let her in to his apartment, and into his life. He had chosen not too. "I turned her down, Holly. I think that she's in Paris now. I meant it when I told you that it was over with both her and Alex."
"So you're not seeing anybody?" Holly said as she finally faced him. There was a gleam of hope in her eyes that sent his pulse racing.
He grinned and shook his head. He had had his string of flings when first coming to the city. A long parade of blondes and brunettes – never redheads – coming in and out of his bedroom. No one that really counted, like he knew it would.
"I'm free as a bird, Hol."
"Oh, well. That changes things."
"I'd say that it does."
They both glanced at each other before Roger took her into his arms. He hugged her until her rib cage cracked while she burst into laughter. "Oh, Roger," she said as she traced the contours of his cheeks with her hands. "I think this is the first time that I've smiled in weeks."
"I can't believe that this is happening. I CANNOT believe it!"
The sun had set but they had been too engrossed in their conversation to even bother turning on the lamps.
As they both reminisced about the last months, they laughed and cried. Holly was now snuggly nestled against Roger's chest.
"So, what are you going to do now?" Roger asked. "Would you consider coming to live in New York?"
"I think it would do me good to leave Springfield, yes. I won't lie to you, it's hard running into Ross. I thought I might rent an apartment –"
"Nearby," Roger interrupted her smilingly.
"-Nearby, okay, and look for a job."
"Sounds like a wonderful plan," Roger said as he bent over her to kiss her lips softly. His hands moved from her waist to her face while the kiss turned more passionate.
After a few seconds, she gently pushed him away. "I need to take things slow, though. You understand, don't you?"
Roger hesitated. If he could have his way, he would have her move in that very night, but he knew that it might end up ruining his chances in the end. She was still grieving over the end of a relationship. Change took a while to adapt to, even when it was for the better.
"My door will always been opened to you, and you can drop by whenever you want. I hope it will be often."
"I think I'll find my way here more days than not."
"Good." He kissed her again then helped her on her feet. "I'm starving. How about you?"
"Perfect, because there is a little Italian restaurant that I think is high-time we revisit."
Well, that's it! I really wanted a happy ending for these too, but one that was plausible to me. I hope you enjoyed the story!