Friday, July 26, 2013

Simply Amazing - Chapter 7

The flight back home departed the next morning on schedule.  Promising to be back soon Jessica hugged everyone as they said their sad farewells.  It was hardest to see Summer with tearful eyes and the little frown that pulled down the corners of her little mouth.  It was heart breaking to see as Will, who had come along to see Jessica off, held her close for comfort.  Jessica waved with a sad smile before walking away.  I will be back soon…she silently reminded herself. 
Once on the plane and after locating her seat, Jessica sat with her head back, eyes closed, missing this place already.  It wasn’t necessarily the place but the people who lived here.  Sure she still had her family in Calabasas but Robbie had been so busy with work it was hard to find time to spend with her younger brother anymore.  She had her parents of course but they lived a different set of lifestyle that she really didn’t want to spend more time around than need be.  Then there was Jason…correction, there had been Jason.  Great…not even off the ground yet and he’s flooding back through my mind…she thought.  He hadn’t tried to reach out to her since the night before she left for New York.  So much for wanting to prove himself like he claimed he wanted to do in order to save their marriage.  It was just another one of his lies he was now accustomed to.  Not that there was ever any chance she would be able to forgive him.  No, he played her for the fool and she would not allow it to happen again….her heart was just not up for that.
Drifting off into a deep slumber as the miles separating her from the pain grew closer and closer.  Views of the happy times with Jason played across Jessica’s dreams.  Jason smiling at her as he did when first setting eyes upon her during one of Prof. Gordon’s lectures on Challenging Laws.  It was love at first sight and Jessica smiled shyly back before needing to look away.  Jason approached her as soon as the class was over out in the crowded corridor hoping to get a name to go with the face of an angel.  Offering his time to study with her Jessica agreed to meet at the coffee shop across from the school later that evening.  The imagines faded to white nothingness still hearing the sound of his voice.  “I would face anything if it meant you would give me a chance to claim your heart…” he had once said during those early study dates.  Little had Jason known, her heart was already his for the taking.  Another imagine filtered across as Jason stood hand and hand with her on the beach as they over looked the ocean’s waves crashing in the moonlight.  The sense of being watched gave Jessica goose bumps as she looked up at her boyfriend seeing his intense eyes roving over her beautiful face as her hair danced in the wind.  “You are gorgeous and I know I haven’t said this before but I’ve known for awhile…Jessica, I love you.  I love you more than you could ever imagine.”  Again those memorable loving imagines faded into bleak nothingness as his voice echoed again.  “Marry me, Jess…I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” Jason had claimed the night he proposed as he gazed into her eyes right before making love to her one night.  It was such a good dream and Jessica felt content as she snuggled up a bit more comfortably in her seat.  Memories of their quickie wedding flittered across next as they ran through the halls at the court house giggling with excitement at finally becoming man and wife but instead of the happy memory she had of that special day her dream suddenly changed.  Jason, looking down at her as the smile faded and the dazzle in his eyes lost their sparkle, dropped her hand before turning to slowly walk away.  “Jason!” she called out to him but he never turned around as he continued walking to the entrance doors.  “Wait!  Don’t leave me!”
The flight attendant was knelt down aside Jessica’s seat gently shaking her arm trying to wake her up.  Jessica’s eyes flashed open with a start.  “I’m sorry Miss, but you were having a nightmare,” the attendant quietly announced noticing Jessica was out of sorts and had no idea where she was at the moment.
Taking a few deep breaths she looked at the kind older lady who was offering her a box of Kleenex finally remembering her flight.  Jessica felt the moisture left on her cheeks from the tears she had unknowingly shed.  “Thank you,” she said feeling embarrassed.  Noticing that other passengers were glancing over at her didn’t help with the burning red tint on her cheeks.  Trying to recover her composure by ignoring the stares she pulled out a magazine she bought at the airport reading every page in detail until their flight landed at LAX.
The drive from the airport to her parent’s house was long so Jessica cranked up the volume and sang along to her favorite playlist.  The compilation was a mixture of different genres from Matchbox 20 and Katy Perry to classics from Aerosmith.  Music was one of her passions and there was always a song that fitted her mood appropriately.  Right now she was belting out the lyrics of TLC’s “No Scrubs” as she zoomed through the traffic on the busy LA freeways.  Dancing around and singing as loud as possible, Jessica lost herself in the music and didn’t care about being embarrassed this time as people would turn and look her direction when she passed them.
Once home and wanting to keep the good mood flowing she flipped on her iPod and danced around while unpacking.  Music was the cure.  Of course it wasn’t going to take everything away, but it was enough to get the blood flowing through her veins and off her butt.  Really starting to enjoy herself Jessica decided to make this a daily routine.  Maybe even call up a few friends and go to the club for some drinks and dancing.  This was definitely a time when she needed to unwind from all the stress in her life.  Before she could change her mind Jessica picked up her phone and sent a message to her closest friends asking them out for drinks.  No one knew what was going on yet so she would enlighten them when they were all together. 
Her best friend Amy was the first to respond with a quick “Hells yes!!!” which always made Jessica laugh by her over-the-top responses.  It had been way too long since she had a girl’s night out and Amy was ecstatic that Jessica was finally making some time to hang out and agreed to call up Meghan and Tory and give them the details they planned for Thursday night.  Everything was set, the plans were in motion and Jessica was determined that the night would be epic.
With nothing left to do for the rest of the evening and with her parents gone to support one of their charity fundraisers, but mostly for the socializing, Jessica roamed the big empty house trying to find something to do as the good mood she had earlier began to diminish.  There was nothing that looked appealing on television.  It was too late to call Jackson and Robbie was at work.  Walking over to the large overstuffed chair in her room, Jessica plopped down and scanned through her social media page which had been neglected recently.  There were updates from her friends posting about their plans for Thursday night already which made her smile.  There were new messages in the inbox from her friends, her brothers…and Jason.
“I miss you and I wish you were here…” one said.
“Jess, you don’t know how sorry I am.  Please come back…” another said.
The one that brought tears to her eyes said, “I know I don’t deserve another shot with someone like you.  I feel like I’ve lost everything since you left.   You are the one who can save me, you’re all I need.  Please come back to me…” 
Jessica’s mood had shifted so suddenly without warning all she could do was sit there crying uncontrollably.  Tears flooded out and the sobs racked her body as the world crashed down upon her once again.  She had been a fool to think she could try to get over this so soon.  Jason had been the love of her life and his betrayal had cut her to the core.  There was no way to hide it or cover it up as she had tried to do the last few days.  There was no cure to a broken heart, not when the wounds were so fresh.  She pulled her legs up, burying her head against them with her arms shielding out any light as she released the fresh waves that washed down her face.  With no one else in the house Jessica paid no mind to the loud wrenching sobs that echoed through her room and down the halls.  She paid no mind to her parents who had arrived home and heard her moans as they walked up the stairs to their room.  The door quietly opened, her parent s said not one word looking in to see if they could do anything to help their grieving child but there was nothing anyone could do to heal her broken heart.  They left as quietly as they came as their daughter continued this pain alone.
“There must be something we can do, George,” her mother had said looking at her husband as they entered their room at the end of the hall.
“Beth honey, let her be.  You are not to interfere.  Jess has made up her mind; this is her marriage, her decision.”
“She just needs time, a little coaxing is all.  She will realize Jason is a good man but if she waits too long he may give up and move on.  Just think of the life she is throwing away over this.  For goodness sakes, they’ve only been married for three months, how can they give up so quickly without even trying on making it work?”
George Tramane walked over to his wife, placing his hands on her shoulders.  “Darling, Jessica is a grown woman and has a mind of her own.  We will not interfere and will not judge her decisions.  I will not lose my only daughter like I almost lost my oldest son.  In all honesty, I’d like to get that Jason alone to show him exactly how I feel about the way he has treated our daughter.”
“I just worry about her future.  I want her settled down and Jason has a promising future and will be able to provide for her,” Elizabeth carried on.
“Jessica has a bright future ahead of her too.  She doesn’t need anyone to provide for her and even if she did we have all the proper documents in place and all of our children will be well cared for once we’re gone.  She’s still young, she has plenty opportunities to find another husband.  And if she doesn’t then she has Jax and Robbie to take care of her not to mention us.  She will make it through this, you’ll see.”  Jessica’s parents went to bed after that.  George Tramane laid there in silence as he imagined different ways to hurt Jason Stanhope.  Elizabeth Tramane however, contemplated how to bring these two back together. 
Jessica continued weeping alone in her dark room.  No one in the house rested much that night…

Friday, July 19, 2013

Simply Amazing - Chapter 6

            The next morning had come all too soon after the late night not to mention Jessica was still on pacific coast time.  Although Jane insisted they let their guest sleep in, Summer was anxious to see her aunt.  It was just too cute the way she would lie on the wooden floor trying to peek under the door looking for Jessica.  Finally, after hearing the babblings of the anxious little one, Jessica finally climbed out of bed, just as eager to see her as well.
            Summer squealed in delighted excitement as the door swung open with a flourish before she turned and started to run.  It was so refreshing to be here, to play with Summer and to have her family around.  Jessica swooped in and picked up the running little girl as she swung her around and around, screams of laughter echoing throughout the house.  With Summer planted on her hip, she walked into the kitchen where Jane was busy fixing breakfast and Jackson was standing alongside her playfully trying to distract his wife.
            Jessica cleared her throat, not wanting to be caught watching the pair who where so much in love.  “Good morning,” she said with a smile as Jane quickly returned her focus on cooking and Jackson had the signs of defeat. 
            “Good morning,” Jane announced rather brightly with a hint of embarrassment.
            “Morning, sis,” Jackson replied in more of a saddened way.
            “I hope we didn’t wake you with all of our noise,” Jane smiled over as she brought a stack of pancakes over to the table.
            “Oh no, I was up already.  These look delicious,” Jessica stated as her stomach yearned for a bite.  With everything going on lately her appetite had been scarce.  The smell of the warm pancakes made Jessica’s stomach growl in protest at the lack of attention she has paid to her diet.
            “Good, eat up because I made plenty,” Jane smiled over as she took the seat next to her husband after putting Summer in her highchair.  Breakfast was enjoyable not only from the good food but the company as well.  It felt good to joke and laugh as her family kept her mind occupied. 
When Will showed up later that afternoon the men suggested the ladies go into town and shop for baby items.  Jane rarely had the time to prepare for the new baby with her busy schedule.  Caring for Summer who wasn’t even a year old yet plus her recovering husband made leaving the house difficult.  On the days when Jane visited her doctor she always rushed back home worried that she would be needed even though Jackson had hired a housekeeper to tend to the daily activities.  Shopping for baby items excited the ladies and they agreed to the jaunt. 
In the city Jessica and Jane gushed over the cute baby items they found.  They decided to stop off for lunch at one of Jane’s favorite delicatessens when they ran into her friend Charlie. 
“Charlie!” Jane exclaimed as soon as they made eye contact.  Charlie smiled as he walked over to give Jane a hug.  “How have you been?  It’s been so long.”
“Hiya Jane,” Charlie cheerfully replied.  It had been a long time since he seen his good friend and former love interest.  After Jane and Jackson had married Charlie stepped back knowing it was the right thing to do but hating every minute of it.  He still didn’t care for Jackson but it had been Jane’s decision.  “It has been long.  Look at you, you’re glowing.  Pregnancy really does suit you.”
“Thanks.  You remember Jackson’s sister, Jessica,” Jane announced as she turned to include her sister-in-law in their conversation.
“Sure.  Hi, good to see you again,” Charlie said always the friendly type.
“Hey Charlie, it’s good to see you too,” Jessica replied.
“Please, have a seat with me.  I was just having a snack before rehearsal.  So how is Summer doing?”  Charlie asked Jane as they all sat down at the booth he had been seated at when they walked in.  Jane spoke with pride of her daughter as the three sat eating their sandwiches.  Charlie seemed enthused about hearing all Jane was sharing with him but it was apparent that he was still suffering heartbreak as the sadness was barely hidden in his eyes.  Jessica wondered if that look would ever fade knowing it had been months for Charlie and just mere days for herself.  She didn’t want to be the sad, unfortunate lonely woman barely able to push herself through the day to day motions of her life.  At least for Charlie trying to get over Jane should have been less difficult.  It’s not as though they had ever really been a couple let alone married as she was with Jason. 
Jessica joined in the conversation when something was directed to her.  Other than that her mind drifted over her dilemma and wondered if she would be able to fully overcome this.  It was such a depressing moment in her life when just a week ago her life had been happy and full of promise.  She felt the depression slowing bringing her down into a dark and meaningless hole of pain and despair.  When Jane announced they should be heading back home it was what she had been silently praying for. 
The drive back to Westchester had been quiet and long…very long.  Jackson had told Jane everything that was going on with Jessica and Jason so she knew her sister-in-law needed some quiet time to reflect what should happen next.  It was easy to see just by glancing at Jessica that she was lost in deep thought, her brows drawn into a furrow as she tried to understand her complicated life.  She would be leaving tomorrow morning back to California and the thought was not appealing.  Being here helped clear her mind…well being around Summer helped clear her mind.  The thought of Summer sparked a bit of happiness in her heart.  Smiling as she thought of the little girl’s infectious laughter and her bubbly personality Jessica’s mood had brightened up.  Looking over at Jane as they drove in silence it occurred to her that with the right people around she would make it through this difficult time in her life.
“Jane, I wanted to thank you for today and to apologize for just dropping in on you guys like I did,” Jessica said as she smiled over at her sister-in-law.
“You know you are always welcome to drop in anytime and stay as long as you want.  We have plenty of room and we’re family,” Jane smiled back.  Family…Jessica knew Jane had no other family and she embraced her new family with love and open arms from the moment Jackson introduced them.  There had been trust and comfort from the very beginning for them so Jessica knew she could talk to Jane, girl to girl, without judgment.
“Did Jackson mention anything to you about Jason?” 
Jane looked over at Jessica with sadness without pity.  “Yes,” she answered solemnly. 
“Being here with you guys has really helped me keep it together.”
“Well, like I said before, you can stay as long as you want.  We love having you here.  And Summer, she adores you.”  They both giggled at that.
“I’m going back tomorrow, just for awhile but I will be back before the baby is born.  I don’t want to go back and face everything.  I know the news is starting to get around by now.  I just dread seeing people look at me and feel sorry for me then turn around and talk behind my back.  And I don’t know how I’m going to handle seeing Jason at court or anywhere else for that matter.  I feel sad and depressed one moment then the next second I will feel angry to the point I want to physically hurt him.  I thought…well, I just thought we were happy.  I’m trying to understand why he did this but I just can’t,” Jessica said in a rush as all the thoughts she had been keeping inside found their voice and tumbled out.
“I don’t know why people seem to hurt one another.  Jason seemed like he was really devoted to you when you guys were last here,” Jane acknowledged.  Jane had met Jason right after the shooting.  He was very attentive to Jessica then.  It was as it should be.  He was there for her, a shoulder to cry on, he was the perfect fiancĂ©.  So what changed?
“I know and that’s what gets me the most.  I mean how could a person be so caring one moment then completely do a turn around and hit you when you least expect it?”  It was mind boggling to think of.  Jessica would never bring this up to Jane, but secretly she wondered how she dealt with Jackson’s indiscretion while they were engaged.  She loved her brother more than anything but at times he could be just as idiotic as the rest of them.  Sure it had turned out to be a misunderstanding as Jackson called it…but the fact of the matter is Jane still had to endure the pain it caused.  Jane was ready to leave Jackson after that and had planned to move on with her life, pregnant and all.  Luckily things worked out for them in the end.  There was no future for her relationship with Jason however but she could be strong as Jane had been and move on.  “I know I have to move on and it’s not that I’m scared to move forward without Jason in my life,” she announced as the thought crossed her mind, “It’s just that it’s…”
“Hard.  I know.  You are smart and independent and you can come out on top of this situation.  And you don’t have to go through this alone.  You have your family and we will stand by you through anything.  Jason will realize what he lost because he will never find another woman like you.”  Jane was a positive beacon on the other side of dark and murky waters.  Her words of encouragement were uplifting.  Hearing this from another woman made it seem possible…achievable.  She smiled for the first time feeling like there was hope again.  Maybe she didn’t have to sink any lower while trying to trudge through this mess.  It was going to be an uphill battle but Jane was right.  She was strong enough to do this.  And if she stumbled along the way her family would be there to catch her. 
“Thank you, Jane.   I know it’s still in the early stages but for the first time I feel optimistic that things will be alright,” Jessica breathed with a sigh of relief.
“Of course it will be.”
 For the time being, Jessica welcomed the distraction and her evening was filled with laughter and playful chatter with her brother and his family.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Simply Amazing - Chapter 5

            At the office Jessica and Spencer worked together on the legal forms to dissolve her marriage.  Spencer had offered to deliver them to Jason himself and Jessica laughed because he actually looked giddy about it.  After they finished up the petition Jessica left the office to stop by the house to pick up a few more things before Jason was due home. 
            The house seemed eerily quiet and unfamiliar.  It was the weirdest feeling to be there now and feel as if it were the first time stepping foot into this place.  Making the rounds checking to see if she had everything she needed she stopped by Jason’s office.  There was nothing in there that belonged to her but something pulled her to go in anyway.  Walking around the room looking at various items they had picked out together she went around and sat at the large cherry wood desk.  The picture frame that held an image of Jessica laughing at the park that once sat at the corner of the desk was now propped up in the middle, half a bottle of scotch and an empty shot glass sitting next to it.  Jason probably had to drink half the bottle just to get through the night…but that was by his own choice.  Unable to sit in this house any longer, Jessica picked up the box with her belongings and left.
            The evening was spent up alone in her old room as the quietness of the house only added to her desolate feelings of failure and heartache.  When her phone began to ring she ignored it.  She was in no mood to talk to anyone at the moment.  The phone rang a second then a third time before she finally picked it up.  “Of course…” she said to the empty room as she seen the id of the caller. 
            “What do you want, Jason?”  Jessica sounded irritated and didn’t care to come across mean to this man who had wrecked her world.
            “Jess, I…” he paused not sure what to say now that she finally answered the phone.  “Uh, I guess I just wanted to apologize.  I had no idea that you were at the restaurant.” 
            Like that made any difference, she thought.  He was still out in public with another woman.  “Save it, I don’t need your apologies.  You wanted to live the single life, you’re free, don’t feel sorry about it now.”
            “I, uh, got the divorce papers,” Jason said in a low voice.  Did he feel bad about that too?  What did he expect would happen next?  “Your boss dropped them off not long ago.”
            Wow, Spencer put a rush on completing those for her.  She would have to thank him again in the morning.  “Good, there’s no need to prolong things.”
            “Jess…shouldn’t we talk about this?” 
            “What?  Are you seriously asking me that?”  Jessica yelled into the phone.  The nerve of him!  “We’ve already gone over this and you’ve made your decision, Jason.  There’s nothing left to say.  I could never trust you again.  I could never forgive you after all of this.”
            “Thirty days…give me thirty days to try and make things right by you.  If I can get you to forgive me then stop the divorce.  If you still feel the same then I won’t contest the petition,” he pleaded, waiting for her response while holding his breath.
            “Jason, why are you doing this now?  You made it perfectly clear you want that whore I keep finding you with.  It’s no use, what we had is over and done with.  Good bye Jason,” she said then hung up on him.  Why does he want to play these mind games with her?  They both knew he had thirty days to contest the divorce petition and six months before it was finalized.  If she had been asking for anything in the settlement then she would have expected Jason to contest it, but she wasn’t asking for anything.  This should be an open and shut case.  Perhaps he wanted to keep the divorce from going public just yet.  He did have the Dawson case right now so their divorce would shed an unwanted spotlight on him and the case.  Well, that was just tough.  He didn’t care about her feelings when he had the affair, why should she worry about his career because of their divorce?
            Tossing and turning all night Jessica had very little sleep.  At least it was Saturday and she didn’t have to be up early for work.  But she was up early as usual with a need to get out of town for the weekend.  Packing a bag she marched out of the house with a spur of the moment idea to go visit her niece.
            The flight was a few hours so Jessica tried to rest up on the plane.  One look at the dark circles under her eyes and Jackson would bring down the inquisition.  It had been a relief that her parents had not mentioned the situation to anyone, including her brothers.  If they had she would have known about it.  Instead she had not heard from either one in days, which in this case was a good thing.  She couldn’t wait to show up at Jax’s place for a surprise visit.  Spending time with him and Jane would definitely help her mood, not to mention the enjoyment she would get from seeing her beautiful little niece again.  The last she heard she was crawling around non-stop. 
            Finally arriving in New York, Jessica headed for a taxi and gave the driver the address as she sat back and enjoyed the view.  New York was beautiful and so was the countryside they had to travel through to reach Jackson’s house in Westchester.  The place looked very welcoming and she couldn’t hold back the grin that spread across her face.  There was a car in the drive she recognized at once as Will Avery’s.  Will was a good friend of Jackson’s from their childhood and she knew he had spent most of his free time there helping out as much as he could.  Their friendship was more of a brotherly bond.  They were both very lucky to rekindle that friendship after a decade long feud.
            The taxi pulled up to a stop just outside in front of the French doors in the rounded drive when the door burst open with Will bounding down the steps to greet her.
            “Jess, what’s up?  I didn’t know you were coming for a visit,” Will announced as he ran out to meet her followed by a very pregnant Jane wobbling towards them.  Jessica smiled in earnest as she hugged Will before heading over to Jane. 
            “It was a last minute decision.  I missed you guys so much and I wanted to come see Summer.  Where is she?”  Jessica looked around just in time to see Jax walking through the door, noticeably at a slow pace and still using a cane, with Summer taking her own wobbling steps.  “She’s walking?  Jax, why didn’t you tell me,” she admonished.  Summer squealed with delighted laughter as Jessica picked her up and spun around while kissing her chubby little cheeks.
            “It’s her new thing,” Jane beamed, every bit of the proud mama shining through.
            Jessica hugged her brother next with a kiss on the check while Will paid the driver and grabbed her bag.  “So you came alone?”  Jackson asked and noticed the change on his sister’s face at once.  “Where’s Jason?”
            “Home,” she stated flatly, not offering any other details.  They all returned inside and sat around the living room.  Summer left Jessica’s embrace to go exploring around the room as every eye was focused on her.  “Wow, I can’t believe how big she has gotten.”
            “Tell me about it,” Jane agreed. 
            “How are you feeling, Jane?  Any news with the delivery date yet?”  Jessica admired Jane.  When she first met her she knew they would become close.  Jane was perfect for her brother.  He settled down and was a stable family man now.  And even Will had changed since Jax settled down. 
            “No, the doctor said everything looks fine and we still have some time before this one’s appearance,” Jane smiled as she rubbed her extended belly.
            When Jessica looked up she noticed Jackson was eyeing her suspiciously.  It was unnerving and she had to look away.  But Jackson was not the type to let it go so he asked, “So why didn’t Jason come with you?”
            Jessica looked straight into the eyes that resembled hers so much, her mouth in a flat line, as she silently cursed at him.  “He’s busy with work.”  The look she gave her brother had not gone unnoticed by him.  She was definitely demanding him to stop asking about Jason…for now he would give in to her silent demands.  As soon as they were alone he meant to get to the bottom of things.  Most importantly is why she showed up unannounced and why would her newly wedded husband allow her to go off on her own after only three months of marriage without him tagging along to accompany her?
            After dinner Will said his goodbyes as he had to go meet his date for the evening.  The group broke out into laughter when Jessica asked, “You just had dinner.  You’re going out to have a second dinner?”  His response was what generated the laughter as he deviously replied, “Who said anything about eating dinner?”  With a large toothy grin and a wink he headed out the door.  Jane was the next one to leave the group.  It had been a long day and she was going to put Summer down for the night and planned to retire herself once she finished up the dishes.
            “Honey, just leave them.  That’s what we have a housekeeper for,” Jackson tried to persuade Jane.
            “Yes, and you know I don’t want her to think we live in a pig sty,” Jane retorted.
            Laughing at the couple Jessica piped in, “Don’t worry about it, Jane.  I’ll take care of the dishes.  You should go lie down and rest.”  With a quick hug and a thank you, Jane left the siblings alone and Jessica knew the inquisition was about to begin.
            “Alright enough is enough…spill it,” Jackson’s tone was firm as he meant to finally get to the bottom of things.  He kept replaying the last conversation he had with his sister a few days ago when she expressed her concerns with Jason and his workload.
            “Jax please, there’s nothing to tell really,” Jessica tried to delay retelling the events of the past few days.
            “I don’t buy it, sis.  Just tell me.  It’s better to get it out in the open sooner rather than later after all.  You know I owe it to you since you did the same with me and Jane.”  He was right about that.  Jessica had pestered Jax daily trying to get information from him when she suspected he was running from something.  That something happened to be his love for Jane.
            “Fine, but please don’t say anything until I finish telling you everything.”
            “Agreed,” he stated as he mocked locking his mouth shut and tossing the key.
            “I’m divorcing Jason.” 
            Jackson opened his mouth about to ask why when he suddenly stopped as Jessica looked over with one eyebrow raised reminding him to stay silent.
“I left him after I found out he’s been sleeping around with someone from his office.”  Jackson’s face froze and she could see the anger and rage emanating from the tight clenched jaw of his.  To her amazement Jackson kept his word, he did not utter a single word as she continued to explain in detail what she has gone through the last couple of days.  That could be contributed to Jane as well, Jax always let his temper take control in past but now he held it in check.  When she finished her story she sat and eyed her brother as she said, “Ok, go ahead…tell me what you’re thinking.”
            “I think I’m going to kill him.  I mean literally, I’m going to kill him.”  Jackson’s tone was deadly serious.  Knowing this response was very much the brother she had grown up with, the fighter, she knew he really wanted to enforce bodily harm to Jason.  It was touching in a way, big brother wanting to still protect his younger sister even in adulthood. 
            “Jax, it’s a nice gesture that you want to beat Jason to a pulp but reality is you are still recuperating and we’re adults now.  You can’t just go and threaten to beat up everyone that hurts me.  You would end up in jail and I would have to call mom and dad to bail you out,” she joked. 
            “Jess, he’s not going to get off without retribution.  No one is going to treat you that way and get away with it.”  His look was menacing with the tightened jaw and the clinched fists while flexing his muscles.
            “I’ll be fine Jax,” she smiled at her brother.  “Of course it has been a shock and yes, I am very hurt because I really thought what we had together, our love for each other, was the real deal.  But I’m glad if this had to happen that I found out about it now rather than later.”
            Jackson looked over at his sister trying to see past his anger to give her some kind words that showed he supported her through this…through anything.  “So what are your plans now?  What do you need?  Just name it and I will see to it that you have it.”
            “Honestly, right now I’m just trying to take it day by day.  I just needed some time to breathe so that’s why the unannounced visit.  It’s just for the weekend but I will be back when the baby is due.  I still plan on being here for my niece’s arrival.”  Jessica smiled feeling really good at the moment.  If there was anyone she could count on it was her brothers and right now all she needed was a place away from the distractions in LA and to have some familiarity. 
            “You know you can stay as long as you want, whenever you want,” he replied as they both stood to head to the kitchen to tackle the dishes.  The rest of the evening the siblings stayed up while laughing over old photos and memories of their youth.  The topic of her failed marriage had not come up again nor had the thought of Jason. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Simply Amazing - Chapter 4

It didn’t take too long for Jessica to gather up everything she needed to take with her.  The rest of the stuff she would arrange to have picked up at a later date.  Next she had to figure out what to tell her parents when announcing she was moving back home with them.  She would find out soon enough since she was turning into their drive.  Not wanting to start an inquisition as soon as she walked in, Jessica thought it best to leave her belongings in the car for awhile. 
The house always smelled of fresh cut flowers when you walked in.  Her mother had a regular weekly delivery set up with a local florist for this purpose.  The Tramane’s had always enjoyed entertaining and had friends or acquaintances drop by often.  They loved living as socialites, it was their thing.  Jessica and her brothers on the other hand stayed as far away from it as possible.  Walking through the house she found her mother sitting in the dining room having some tea as she flipped through a magazine.
“Darling, what a nice surprise...I didn’t expect you by today,” her mother greeted her as she walked into the large room decorated in Champaign color.
“Hi, mom…Where’s dad?”  Hopefully he was around so she could speak to them together.  She really didn’t want to have to retell the situation more than need be.
“Oh, he’s out golfing with Tom and the Garbers,” her mother announced as she took the seat opposite her.  “Jessica, sit up straight.”  This was a pet peeve of her mothers.  That and everything else you would find in The Book of Etiquettes.  At times it felt like they were living during the renaissance with all the proprieties that were thrust upon them during their childhood.  Jax and Rob had to learn to waltz along with every other ballroom dance they were expected to do.  But out of the three of them Jessica had the worst of it, constantly being bickered at for not practicing on the piano or not acting like a lady when she would get out of hand with her brothers.
“Yes, mother,” was her usual reply when her mother scolded her. 
“How is Jason?  I haven’t seen him lately.”
With a heavy sigh Jessica knew she had to enlighten her mother on her current marital status.  “Mom, I need to talk to you about something…about Jason,” she started.
“Oh for heaven’s sake, don’t tell me you’ve gone and gotten pregnant already,” her mother looked mortified as she said this. 
“No, I’m not pregnant.  Mom, please just listen to me.  I don’t know how to say this…”
“Darling, you always had a flare for the dramatics.  I’m sure whatever you have to say isn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be.”
“Jason is cheating on me so I’ve left him,” Jessica stated flatly.  It was bad enough that she had to go through this ordeal in the first place but dealing with her mother was taking it to another level of insanity.
“Are you sure?  Are you absolutely positive about this?”  Her mother asked in disbelief. 
“Yes, I overheard him talking on the phone last night and I caught him with her today.  Oh Mom, what am I going to do?”  Jessica broke into tears.
“First, you’re going to stop crying and you’re going to be the strong woman I raised you to be.”  She reached over and took Jessica’s hands into her own, looking directly into her eyes.  “Then you’re going to go home and tell Jason to end this now.”
Jessica pulled her hands away, shocked that her mother could suggest she go back to a man who had little regard to her feelings by lying and cheating.  “No, I can’t go back to him.  I won’t.  He’s been cheating on me, who’s to say this hasn’t happened before?”
“This is your husband.  You need to find a way to hang on to him, handle your relationship with him.  You cannot allow every cheap floozy trying to get ahead in life to come in and take what you have worked for.  Jason is a man, darling.  Men have trouble with temptation.  Some misdeeds must be overlooked.  But darling, if you simply tend to your husband the way a woman should then having an occasional dalliance will not take him from you.  Listen to what I say.  I know about these things.  I’ve been married for thirty years.”
“I can’t stay with Jason after knowing this.  I was going to try after overhearing the phone call but then he lied to me and said he had ended the affair.  But it wasn’t true.  I caught them together after he promised he was done.  How can you expect me to accept that?  To accept him treating me like that and just go on acting like nothing was wrong?  Mom, how would you feel if dad was sleeping with other women?” 
“Jessica, this is not about me or your father.  I’m just trying to give you the best advice.  Think of what everyone will say when they find out you left your husband after only three months,” her mother stated. 
This took Jessica back by surprise.  Is this all she was worried about…what people might think?  This was not exactly what she expected to hear from her mother but of course she should have known what her stance would be on the situation.  It always came back to how people perceive the family.  This would no doubt be interesting gossip among her friends.  Elizabeth Tramane’s daughter was unable to keep a husband.  The feeling of betrayal spread through her heart.  It was a realization she should have seen coming.  Wasn’t it the same reaction when Jackson had gotten Ramona pregnant all those years ago in high school?  It was a shame to feel hatred for your mother but right now those were the feelings she had towards her.  “I could care less what anyone has to say about the matter.  If anyone,” and Jessica really stressed the word, “can’t stand behind my decisions on this then they can go straight to hell and stay out of my life.”
“Well darling, I’m only trying to help do what’s best for you.  Do you really think you will be able to find another man like Jason?  He has a bright future ahead of him and he will be able to provide for you the way you are use to.  You will not want for anything,” her mother said honestly believing that wealth could make up for heartache.  This was a waste of time.  It was apparent that she was not going to stay here without interference from her mother.  Who knew how her father would react, they pretty much felt the same on certain things.  Wealth and social standing was one of them.
“Mom, I just stopped by to tell you what was going on.  I’ll be staying at a hotel until I find my own place.  I’ll call you in a few days to let you know where I’m staying.”  Jessica stood up to leave when her mother seemed to have a change of heart on the matter.
“Jessica, wait…you don’t have to do that.  Stay here, you still have your old room and if you’re not going to change your mind on this then you will need your family for support.”
She was hesitant but really wasn’t in the mood for being alone.  “Thanks, mom…I’ll get my things from the car.”
Jessica stayed up in her room the rest of the evening.  When her father had arrived home and was brought up to date of her breakup he remained supportive.  The knock on the door was what Jessica had been dreading all evening.  With no way to have any sort of clue of her father’s reaction she decided it was better to get it over with.  To her surprise all he did was walk over to her while she continued to sit on the bed and give her a reassuring hug.
“You stay here as long as you need to,” he had told her making the tears start to fall once again.  They sat quietly as he comforted his daughter with a broken heart.  “You should try to eat something.”  He left the room and there had been no more interruptions that night.
The next morning Jessica went to work just like any other day trying not to let this whole Jason thing crush her entire world.  Although she was numb inside she still had to try to maintain her daily responsibilities.  Work was a relief since she could throw herself completely into researching evidence and had little time to think of anything else.  It wasn’t until Spencer walked in that she realized it was almost lunch.
“Hey, ready for lunch?”  Spencer asked in his usual friendly mood.
Jessica had forgotten all about their reservations for lunch today.  She hated to tell him no since this was meant to be a celebration.  Plus she was a little hungry.  All she had was breakfast, and that was yesterday.  “Sure,” she smiled back at him as she stood up and grabbed her purse.
Spencer did most of the talking on the way to the restaurant as they rode together in his car.  Jessica politely listened of his stories when he was first hired at the firm.  It was nice not to think of anything right now, she even laughed at a few of his tales which really helped lighten her mood. 
They had reached the restaurant in no time and were seated immediately at one of the available tables by the grill.  Their table now complete as they joined the other patrons, the waitress took everyone’s order for drinks before leaving.  Spencer continued on with his previous conversation about his first time in mock trial against the CEO himself.  “It was nerve wracking but definitely a privilege to be chosen out of the other associates,” he had said.  It was a tremendous privilege indeed.  The partners always decided on who would go to the annual mock trial and they only chose the best of the best.  If you were chosen then chances are you were moving up in the firm, they had trust in your performance and you better be on your best game to prove it.
“So there I was with my case being picked apart by Hardam as the other partners looked on.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…” he continued as Jessica smiled lightly listening with only half of her concentration.  It wasn’t until Spencer asked, “Can you believe what luck,” when she really tried to focus on the conversation knowing it was time for a response.
“Wow, Spence, that’s amazing,” she falsely beamed.  It seemed to do the trick because he continued on talking until the waitress came back for their lunch orders before he finally decided to turn the conversation in her direction.
“So Jess, how are you and Jason adapting to the workaholic married life?”
“Um, fine I guess.  He has been really busy lately,” Jessica answered not really wanting to go public with her separation just yet. 
Spencer shook his head with a smile.  “I’m going to have to have a word with him.  It’s great to be so motivated and eager to get ahead in the business but you still have to make some family time.  Believe me.  If I could I would have done things a lot differently with Sloane.  She was the one and I let her slip through my fingers and when I realized it then it was already too late.”  He took a sip from his tea as a way to cover the hoarseness constricting his words.  “Anyway, we still talk you know.  She is having a baby this spring.  Do you and Jason talk about kids?”
“No, we haven’t spoken on it.  My brother Jackson and his wife are expecting another baby in a couple of months,” Jessica informed him steering away from discussing her relationship with Jason.
“Really,” he sounded sincere, “and this is your older brother, correct?”
“Yes, Jackson lives in New York and I hope to visit them when the baby is due.  Jane is going to need some help at first since they also have a little girl just under a year.”
“That’s right.  I remember seeing her picture in your office.  So, Jackson is the brother who was shot a few months ago?”  Spencer leaned forward placing his chin atop his closed fist.
Jessica nodded confirming, “We almost lost him.”  Although Jason was not a subject she cared to discuss right now, the devastating situation they went through when Jackson had been shot had finally settled as he continued to recuperate and was clear from the initial danger and she was now able to discuss it without crumbling into tears.  “It’s funny how something so dramatic can change how you perceive things…life…your future…”
“Sure is, I bet your brother appreciates life more since going through that too.  So what exactly happened anyway?  I remember he was recently married and had a baby the last time you went to New York just before the shooting.  It wasn’t much longer after that, was it?”
“No, just a couple of months really after Jane gave birth to Summer and they were married days after the birth.  Then some crazy estranged ex of his showed up one day and wanted him back in her life.  Blaming Jane for Jax leaving, her only thought was to get rid of Jane and he would be free to be with her again.  Anyway, Jackson jumped in just as she took a shot at Jane and he was hit instead.”  Jessica retold the story as the salad was served.  It sounded like some kind of dramatic love story you would see on cable but every word of it was true. 
“Wow, it’s amazing what people will do these days,” he responded while shaking his head with disbelief.  Glancing up as more patrons walked into the dining area, a familiar face stood out among them.  “Hey, there’s Ja…” 
Spencer’s words were halted as he watched Jason make his way over to the table by the window with his arm draped around a very attractive brunette.  She swayed her hips seductively as she giggled at something he smilingly whispered to her.  It was obvious to see that there was something going on here.  Something a married man like Jason shouldn’t have going on with another woman.  Jessica’s gaze turned in the direction that Spencer was looking and landed on Jason and that home wrecker just as he held out a chair for her before giving her a quick kiss on the lips before taking his own seat.  Spencer was speechless for the first time that afternoon.  Looking back over to Jessica and he knew this was no surprise by the look in her eyes.  The pain etched across her face was apparent as she turned away unable to stomach the scene any longer. 
“Jess, what’s going on?”  Spencer finally asked.  Taking her hand into his, he gently squeezed it for support as he watched her intently.  “Talk to me Jess.”
She shook her head trying to hold the pieces of her being together not willing to break down in front of everyone around them.  He realized she was on the verge of losing the battle so he quickly stood, dropped some money down on their table then grabbed her hand and swiftly guided her out of the restaurant without being seen by her husband.  It wasn’t until after depositing her into the car did she releases her despair sobbing into her hands.  Anger boiled over inside of Spencer.  She was his associate, his colleague…his friend.  He could not stand by and watch someone disrespect her like the way Jason had.  Turning back towards the restaurant Spencer marched his way over to where Jason was seated.
“You miserable excuse of a man,” he growled.  Jason looked up surprised to see his wife’s boss and mentor hovering over him in such a rage.  There was no time to react to the outburst because it was immediately followed by Spencer’s right hook which landed a direct hit to Jason’s eye toppling him out of his chair.  Sprawled out across the floor Jason held his eye shut looking at his attacker with his one good eye. 
Spencer smirked as he looked at the man he had come to like through his friend and associate as he resisted the urged to lunge for his neck.  “You never deserved a woman as good as Jessica.  You’re nothing but a sniveling, conveying piece of shit and you just lost all hope at a decent future.  You were only tolerated because of your wife.  I promise that you will regret the day you threw away your marriage.”  Just as he was about to turn around and walk away he took one last look at the pathetic piece of flesh on the floor.  “Oh by the way, if you think you’re going to press charges against me for that eye then go ahead and try it.”  Spencer smirked again, “I’ll demolish you.”
Spencer heard the whispers of the patrons as he left the restaurant but didn’t care what anyone thought.  How dare he treat Jessica with such little regard by flaunting that other bitch around town.  Jessica was a terrific woman.  A prominent up and coming attorney but most of all had become a dear friend.
  Back at the car Spencer seemed agitated but said nothing.  There had been no words spoken by neither he nor Jessica as they drove away from the restaurant.  At least her sobs had ceased and she concentrated on the buildings as they passed.  The anger was still emanating throughout Spencer as the encounter played over and over in his head.  Finally after hearing the barely audible sniff from Jessica did he finally let go as he burst out, “Are you going to tell me what the hell all that was back there?”
Jessica was startled at the tone of his voice and faced him with wide eyed uncertainty trying to decipher if he was angry with her for what had just happened.  He noticed the shocked expression and felt guilty immediately as he shook his head and changed the tone as he had to get to the bottom of things.  “Sorry, but what the hell just happened?  I don’t understand…”  His look of sadness was registered with the pity in his voice.  He pitied her and it was the last thing she wanted. 
“Well isn’t it obvious?  Jason is cheating on me,” Jessica stated plain and simply. 
“But I thought you two were happy?”
“Yeah well I thought so too,” she sarcastically replied.  Spencer felt awkward after that comment.  He decided if she wanted to talk about it he should let you do so on her own.  No more questions even though it was killing him to understand the situation.  After a moment of silence Jessica felt a twinge of remorse at how she had come across.  After all Spencer was only trying to be a friend to her.  Of course he would have questions about it.  “Jason started coming home late a few days ago,” she began quietly.  “One night I awoke and he wasn’t in bed so I went to look for him.  He was on the phone in his office downstairs and that’s when I overheard him talking to…her.”
Since she was opening up about it he decided it was alright to ask questions now.  “Did you confront him?”
“Not at first.  I sat there and listened…It wasn’t until he had hung up and was headed back to bed did he realize I was just outside of the door and had heard everything.”
“What did he say about it?” 
“He denied it of course.  Then after awhile he finally admitted to it.  He said he would end it and she didn’t mean anything to him…” she trailed off as a fresh wave of tears threatened to spill over her lashes once again.
“Apparently that didn’t happen,” he stated, finishing her sentence.  It was hard to believe that Jason Stanhope had turned out to be such a slime ball.
“No, I went to his office the following day to talk to him and I seen them leaving together.”
“And you followed of course,” he asked knowing the answer before she responded.
“Yes…straight to a hotel.  I called Jason and he picked up right away and agreed to meet me for lunch after originally saying he was busy.  So he left her there at the hotel and went to meet me instead.  He promised me he ended things and he wanted our marriage to work.  As soon as he left he headed straight back to the hotel and I busted in on them in their room.”  It sounded like some kind of bad breakup video, minus the song, instead of her life.  She shook her head in disgust.  “I left him and moved back to my parents’ house.”
“Wow Jess, it’s unbelievable.  I would have never imagined Jason would do something like that.”
“It is what it is.  I’ll be fine,” she stated more to herself than to Spencer. 
Spencer reached over and squeezed her hand, a friendly gesture of a friend supporting another friend.  “Of course you will be.  You are a smart, independent woman, Jess.  You will overcome this and come out a stronger woman than you already are.”
Jessica squeezed his hand back with gratitude for the support and the inspiring words of confidence in her.  “Thanks Spence.  I really appreciate having someone to talk to right now.  My parents, well you’ve met them.  And Robbie has been so busy at the hospital lately and I don’t want to bother him.”
“What about your other brother?”
“I haven’t told him about it yet.  He has enough going on with his therapy and Jane pregnant and due so soon and of course little Summer.”
“Didn’t you request a week off already?”  Spencer had an idea forming and although he would miss the help at the office he knew it was the best thing right now for her.
“Yes, but that’s not for about another month or two,” Jessica answered.
“If you want, go ahead and take off now.  Come back after the baby is born.  I can manage a few months,” he tried to sound convincing.
“No, I’m not going to let Jason run me out of town because of what he’s done.  I’ll take the week I requested, maybe two,” she stood firm on her decision.  There was no way she wanted to look like the poor helpless ex-wife that had to run and hide out.  Spencer was right when he said she was a strong woman.  She would stay here in town and continue her day to day life as if nothing had changed…only it would be without Jason.