Stormy Surrender - By Nicole Andrews Moore

Falling in love is like jumping off a really tall building; your head tells you 'idiot, you're gonna die,' but your heart tells you, ‘don't worry you can fly.


There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.

--Willa Cather

“I could never live here,” Suzette remarked as she surveyed the room. Throwing back the snowflake patterned flannel sheets, she slipped purposefully from the pencil post bed and began to dress in the clothes she had carefully hung over the back of the black parson’s chair.

Blaine nodded. “It’s just as well. Martha wouldn’t allow it.” He was serious. All the time. He stood in front of the upright mirror and adjusted his tie in an effort to create the appearance of order and harmony even as his life was bathed in chaos. He never intended to begin the affair. He had no plans to end it. He was quite content juggling them. And he was rather good at it. Martha was a creature of habit with a set schedule, as predictable as the weather in California. Suzette was his office manager. She was a gold digger. He knew that. He also knew that she was clever, calculating, and planned to keep him. For now, he didn’t care. Of course, it did make sense to weigh his options. “How do you feel about kids?” He asked, studying his reflection in the mirror. He ran a finger over his perfectly bleached teeth, tugged at the sides of his face, and practiced his smile.

From the bedroom, Suzette came into view. She was smoothing her burgundy silk shirt and checking for panty lines. “Are you serious?” She asked in disgust. “Do you have any idea how hard I work for this body?”

His smile was genuine now. At least he was guaranteed a child free existence if he let Suzette have her way. He leaned against the sink and studied her a minute.

Suzette glanced at her watch. “So, if we leave now,” she began, “you’ll have time to drop me off at the office before you have to scrub in for that rhinoplasty this afternoon.”

In silence they finished getting ready, re-made the bed, checked for anything that might give them away and headed down the stairs and out to the Land Rover. Suzette was quiet at first, but Blaine could tell that she was thinking about something by the way she kept sighing. He knew this was the part where he was supposed to ask what was wrong and try to make everything all better, except that he didn’t care what was wrong. Fortunately for Suzette, he did care about keeping the peace. “So, what troubles you?” He asked without even trying to sound sincere.

“She has got to go,” Suzette announced.

Blaine looked at her blankly. He had no idea what she was talking about. “I’m sorry, but who?”

Suzette turned on him so quickly he was sure she had suffered whiplash. “Martha,” she snapped. “Your wife must go. I want her out of our life.”

He cleared his throat to cover for the fact that he had no idea what to say. “Well, I don’t see how that’s possible,” he said earnestly. “After all, the holiday season has just begun. Thanksgiving is next week. She has no family. How can I shove her out on the street? And the house is half hers.” He was preparing a list of arguments. He didn’t want his neatly ordered world disrupted. A messy divorce and ensuing scandal could do just that. What would happen to his career? It took years to build up a nice lucrative plastic surgery practice. If word got around that he left his barely thirty-five year old wife for his significantly younger office manager…

“By New Year’s,” Suzette said threateningly. “I want to start our life together.” He opened his mouth, but she placed a finger on his lips. “I mean it. You tell her before I have to.”

He shut his mouth and bit his tongue. He despised ultimatums. At the same time, he would protect his livelihood at all costs. Blaine spent the rest of the drive trying to figure out damage control.

Martha sat in the waiting room of her gynecologist. She had been stopping in regularly for years. When she was in her teens, a burst cyst cost her an ovary and threatened her ability to conceive. It was no big deal not having a cycle every month. She rather liked it. And an arrangement was made that if she missed more than three cycles