Chapter 103

Reaching the hotel, the bodyguards helped the ladies gather their purchases and then led the way inside.  As they waited, Jesse danced around Richie, excited by the things he had gotten her.  She wanted to show them to her father. 

As the door to the elevators opened, Richie’s phone rang and as he looked at the caller ID, he said, “Hang on, Sarah.  I need to take this call.” 

“Meet us at the room then,” insisted Becca as she tried to pull Sarah onto the elevator. 

“Nah….can’t, and Sarah needs to be here.  This has to do with the show this week.” 

“Go on up.  We’ll be there in a few minutes,” said Sarah as she rejoined Richie. 

Before Becca could protest, the elevator doors closed and Richie answered the phone.  “Hey, Howie!....Yeah, it went great…..Becca and Jesse are on the elevator now….We’re in the lobby….Are you sure?  I don’t want to overstep my bounds….Okay, we’ll see you in a couple minutes….Sounds like a plan.....We’re on our way up.” 

“What’s up?” 

“Your husband wanted to stick a fork in Becca and Nick to make sure they were good and done,” smirked Richie.  “Just play along, okay?” 

“Sure.  If Howie is adding to this, it’s GOT to be good.” 

Richie pressed the button for the elevators and the doors opened immediately.  The two stepped on and Sarah pressed the button for their floor. 

Alone, finally….and suddenly, the two were thrown into a tortured silence. 

“Richie.”  “Sarah.” 

“Go ahead,” smiled Richie. 

“I just want you to know that I really do like you and if I weren’t married to Howie….I would LOVE to be with you but…” 

“You don’t have to say any more, Sarah.  I respect your relationship with Howie.  The love is very evident and I’m NOT about to come between the two of you.  I won’t lie to you though…I have completely enjoyed this afternoon.  You are an amazing lady, extremely sexy, and I’d DEFINITELY want to be involved with you if the circumstances were different.”  The elevator doors opened and they stepped out into the hall but Richie put his hand on her to stop her.  “Remember, play along and don’t get spooked.” 

“What are you going to do?” 

Richie smirked, “Wait and see.  Just don’t go in the room completely at first.” 

Sarah shook her head and pulled out her card key as they approached the room.  She stuck it in the door and opened it.  She saw Nick but ignored him as she turned back to Richie who had his hand on the door.  She looked up at him and smiled, “I had a really good time, Richie.  Thank you for everything.” 

“You’re welcome,” he answered moving a step closer to her.  Tenderly, he placed his fingers on the side of her face and leaned in to kiss her.  His lips softly caressed hers. Pulling back, he said, “Meet me for dinner…just you and me.” 

“How can I?” 

“Find a way, baby, please.  I need to see you again…alone.  This afternoon wasn’t enough.  There were too many people watching us.  I want to be with you, alone, to taste you, to feel you.”

”What time?”  

“Eight…in my room,” he said as he slipped her the card key for his room. 

“Richie, what about Howie?  He’s going to suspect something if I get all dressed up.” 

“You don’t have to, baby.  Just come like you are and tell him we’re going to work on music.  He’ll never suspect a thing.” 

“I’ll do my best.” 

“I’ll see you later,” and Richie gave her a quick peck before he left. 

Sarah knew Nick had seen the whole thing but she pretended not to realize he was there.  She closed the door and leaned against it giving a happy sigh, like she was pleased that all of this was happening. 

Anger boiled inside him as he made his presence known.  “After all you and Howie have been through, you’re going to go behind his back like this and CHEAT on him.  You were right….Howie DOES deserve better than you!  You’re nothing more than a slut…using Howie to get into the music industry!” 

“NICK!  What are you doing?  Did you….” 

“I saw and heard EVERYTHING!” 

“Come on, Nick, I do love Howie.” 

“But you’ve been hanging all over Richie today and you’re going to meet him in his room.  Either you tell Howie the truth about it all or I will,” growled Nick getting dangerously close to Sarah. 

“Nick, don’t!  Please!  He’s been so good to me….I can’t break his heart like this.”   

“Then tell him the truth!” 

“Nick, stop yelling,” said Becca as she joined them.  She saw how angry Nick was and Sarah appeared to be distressfully upset.  “What is going on?” 

“Tell her the last little bit….tell her how you’re going to meet Richie tonight, how you’re going to lie to Howie, how you’re going to throw the best damned thing you’ve EVER had out the window.” 


“Becca, I….” 

“What’s going on?” asked Howie as he emerged from Jesse’s room. 

“Your wife needs to tell you something,” said Nick, his eyes burning a hole into Sarah’s soul. 

Sarah knew she wouldn’t be able to hold it together in front of her friends so she moved to Howie and made it look like she was trying to sweet talk him, like she usually did when she was up to something.  She ran her hands across his chest and said softly, “Let’s go into the bedroom, ‘D’…where we can be alone.” 

The couple left Becca and Nick standing in disbelief.  As soon as the door was closed, they broke out laughing. 

Howie held his hand over her mouth and whispered, “Shhh!  We don’t want them to catch on to what is going on.”

“OH MY GOD!  Nick fell for it hook, line, and sinker,” she whispered as she laughed. 

“He has been beside himself all afternoon.  I’m assuming Becca was texting him.” 

“I’m sure she was.  You should have seen the look on her face when Richie fed me the cherry and I did the same for him.  I thought she was going to kill both of us right then.” 

“Nick tried to tell me about it.” 

“What now?  Richie said for me to meet him in his room and Nick and Becca think I’m telling you that I’m in love with Richie.” 

“Ilse is back and she’s going to take care of the kids.  I’m going to grab my overnight bag and leave….supposedly angry with you.  I’ll take a change of clothes and go to Richie’s room.  Then, later, we’ll meet you for dinner.”  

“How are we going to et Nick and Becca to dinner?” 

“Already taken care of.  I’ve already made reservations for all of us.  You’re gonna leave here around 8…to go meet Richie but he and I will already be downstairs waiting for you.” 

“Who’s coming?” 

“Ilse will bring the kids and Jon is going to meet us too.  I’ve already told Nick.” 

“How am I going to last until then with them here?” 

“Stay in here…you little tramp!” teased Howie. 

Running her hands along his chest, Sarah kissed him.  “Do you know how much I love you?” 

“Yeah, I do, ‘Angel’.  I’ve NEVER doubted that.” 

“Think we could make love before you go storming out?” 

Howie laughed, “Not this time but how about tonight, after dinner?” 

“Sounds perfect.  Hmmm, maybe I’ll slip down to Richie’s room and get a little from him….before dinner.” 

“Don’t you dare!” 

Sarah gave a sigh.  “I wouldn’t.  Richie’s gorgeous and I enjoy working with im and if the circumstances were different…sure, I’d date him….but you’ve ALWAYS been the man of my dreams.”

”And you the ‘angel’ of my dreams.  Come on, help me get a bag together to make it look like I’m going to leave for the night.” 

“What are we going to tell Nick…when it’s all over?” 

“Payback!”  smirked Howie.   

“You’re evil!” 

“Uh huh!” Howie kissed her again and got his things together.  When he was ready, he took Sarah by the waist and held her tight.  “This is going to be the hardest part…leaving here and being convincingly angry with you.” 

“Just imagine Kevin has pissed you off because he’s trying to control you.” 

Howie laughed, “That would do it.  I love you, Sarah.” 

“I love you too, ‘D’.  I’ll see you at dinner.” 

With one last kiss, Sarah backed away from him and he took a deep breath to get into character.  Grabbing the door, he said angrily, “I will have Steve contact you with the separation papers!” and he slammed the door. 

Nick and Becca were still in the living area waiting and the slamming door startled them. 

“Where are you going, ‘D’?” asked Nick seeing the bag. 

“To get another room.  I’ll see you both at dinner.” 

“Are you sure you want to meet for dinner?” 

“Yeah, I’m not going to let her mess up my plans.”

“What about the children?” asked Becca. 

“Ilse is here and she’s going to bring them down.  I’ll try to explain to Jesse then what is going on.” 

“Is Sarah…..” 

“To HELL with her,” growled Howie.   

Becca and Nick watched Howie leave the room and looked at each other in total disbelief.  They looked at each other thinking that the bond that had survived so much was falling apart.

Chapter 104            Index