My main priority with Michael was keeping business straight. I had never been in a position where someone whose decisions contributed to my income was also someone who was pursuing me. Also, Michael was very wealthy. I was not. In any normal, non-work-related situation, I would have been skeptical as to why he was attracted to me outside of my looks and youth. However, being his partner in business, I believed his attraction could be less superficial, so I got into it.
I continued to go to his office to finalize the advertising agreement. Every meeting was just the two of us. We flirted. Any time I would call the office, calls were transferred immediately. He answered immediately when I called his cell phone. We began meeting for drinks and dinner at Fleming’s Steak House where he dined regularly. I did my best to balance business and pleasure. I handled business first always because that was my money.
I’d dated men with money, but I’d never dated a man who was twice my age with money, and I wasn’t comfortable just rolling with it. I like being equals in relationships, and even if I can’t match the money, I like to match the care. So, as his account manager, I took advantage of work perks to take care of him, his company, and to show I appreciated his business. I didn’t want to feel like I was using him because in a way it felt like I was or could have.
My company was having a sales incentive: any client that purchased at least $10,000 in direct mail fliers in one month would win a LA Kings package in our suite at the Staples Center. The package included food and alcohol for 25 people. Michael qualified, so I gave him the package. This was my first grand gesture as his account manager and love interest.
His entire company came. I invited a few of my girlfriends too. His three adult sons were also there. We were both very comfortable. At this point we were still exploring what we were, so there were no public displays of anything. We were flirty and friendly. We were still just two people getting to know each other. He was also going through a divorce with his third wife, so it was best to keep things subtle.
Throughout November and December, we spent more time getting to know each other. I was definitely learning more about him. He was moving his mother from her own condo to The Jewish Home for the Aging. He purchased a multi-million dollar home in Calabasas where his soon to be ex-sister-in-law and niece were moving in until she could get on her feet. This was why I believed, at the time, I was never invited to his home. His first wife, and mother of his three adult sons, was trying to get another half a million dollars out of him. She’d never remarried, so by California law, she was entitled to keep going back for more. He loved Jaguars, which also happened to be my favorite car. Not that I own one, I just think they are beautiful. He purchased a gorgeous, limited edition XKR-S convertible. We were meeting more at Fleming’s.
The next “date” I took him on was to the Rose Bowl. It was the new year and a beautiful, sunny day. We drove the Jag with the top down. At the game, we were seated near some of my colleagues, so I kept it professional. He told me he had no interest in the game and only came to be with me. I had no interest in the game either. However, I was caring for him the best way I could: on my company’s dime.
On our next date, I took him to a Lakers game in my company’s suite. This was the night we shared our first kiss walking down an alley on our way from dinner to the game. Caroline, my friend and co-worker, was in the suite too with her client. By now, we acted like a couple. She remarked on how great our chemistry was. And it was.
Michael was a very busy man, so I didn’t get a lot of date time. I got more client time. At times, awkward business discussions ensued. But I always got through it. As my client, he was always very good to me. Whenever, I needed a client to show up to a sales pitch event hosted by my paper, he’d come. He’d purchase the best space in all special products the paper published. He was very pleased to make sure I got paid and rewarded. I was growing more comfortable dating someone twice my age. He was older, and wasn’t hiding it. He had white hair and looked older than his 56 years really. We got stares, but I didn’t care. He didn’t seem to either. His divorce was final too.
One Friday afternoon in late January, I got a phone call from him. He was in San Diego on business for the weekend. He was staying at Tower 23 on Pacific Beach, and he was hoping I would drive down to stay the weekend with him. I could only stay the night because I had a commitment that Sunday. After contemplating whether to go or not for just a short trip, I decided to go. I knew it was a big gesture that we needed to take our personal relationship to the next level. We were going to share a bed in one of my favorite cities on one of my favorite beaches.
When I arrived, we shared some drinks with his business partner in the hotel bar. Shortly after, we went to bed. While lying there, he told me that it meant the world to him that I drove down. I knew this too. We began to make out. We didn’t have condoms, and I wasn’t on birth control, so we decided not to make love. He said he’d love to have a daughter with me, and he’d want to name her after me. We laid there in silence, thinking. He was on his back. I was on my right side turned away from him. I put my hands between my thighs because it made me feel better. My entire pelvis was burning. I had never felt this much painful pleasure from abstaining in my life. I wanted him to just fuck me, but he wasn’t going to. I rolled over and got on top of him. We went on for about a minute before I stopped. It made the throbbing between my thighs worse, but, eventually, we fell asleep.
To be continued…
Part Three – How It Ended