Part 3 Business Proposals
The quiet contemplative Max was nowhere in evidence the next morning when he stood on the trading floor. He had five days to make John’s fortune, and realized quite early on he was swimming with sharks. He just had to be a bigger shark. He seriously watched the trading, certain stocks rising and falling, none of which he was interested in at the moment, but still someone was playing the game. That of course made it more interesting for him. He played, weaving in and out making money for the banks investors, and near the end of the day he struck, whoever his opponent was had hit on a stock he wanted and he got it. Cheers went up from the traders when he called it a day. He heard quite distinctly “Amis won’t know what hit him, ha ha.”
Amis, Max smiled…he should have known his old nemisis was real. Well, it was nice to know who one was playing against. He checked his watch as he left the building, he’d worked late and he was supposed to pick Toni up for dinner, he gave her a call.
“Sorry love, I’m just leaving the bank now and on my way.”
“No problem, Max…I have a surprise for you.”
“Oh really, looking forward to that,” he grinned.
Toni hung up the phone and turned to Connie, “He’s on his way.”
She’d picked Connie up around 4:00 and took her home with her. She wanted to talk to Connie about Max.
A pot of tea and she began, “You have to understand, Connie, how much I love Max. I almost took him out for my husband, if he hadn’t hesitated at a crucial moment I would have. It was that close, and he has explained since then what he was about that day. Now I don’t regret for a moment chosing Terry, we have a wonderful loving relationship and a child. But…I know in my heart I don’t need to spend a lot of time with Max, and its not his doing…its mine. We don’t need to spend a week together in London, and I know that we would. We just would, so that’s why I called you.”
“You called me to come save both of you.” Connie reached over and touched Toni’s hand. “I love Max too, Toni, it’s not easy for me to know how Max feels about you, but I’ve accepted it. Terry is a very good negotiater you know,” she smiled. “He spent a month with us and I got to know him, I know what you have, Toni. I guess in a way I envy you. You have the love and devotion of four of the most remarkable men I have ever known.”
“But you have Max, Connie and there is no one like him. I can’t tell you what to do and maybe you have valid reasons but I think you need to marry him, bind him to you. He needs that, he needs home and family, and only you can do that for him.”
“You know I was married before, I think he must have broke every vow he made and I was supposed to stand and take it as his wife. I swore I would never be in that position again. If Max and I don’t make it I can walk away…anytime I want to.”
“Max is not like that, Connie do you know Sunday evening I wanted him to stay, yes I did, and he said no, not in Terry’s home. I don’t know what you think but I’ve only been with him once since we left the House, I will always love him, but I don’t want it to be in that way, I really don’t. I wonder, Connie, do you love him enough?”
“Enough…we’ve been together for over a year; yes I love him enough. Maybe I’ve been selfish and not thinking about him and what he really needs.”
“With Max, he has to be first, take care of him and he will take care of you, oh so well, Connie. Marry him, he needs that commitment. He will honor it, I know he will.”
Half an hour later Max knocked on Toni’s door expecting to take her out to dinner and back to his flat. Connie opened the door. “Connie?”
“Hello, darling Max,” she gave him a quick kiss and grabbed his hand pulling a bewildered Max inside.
“What…are you doing here, where’s Toni?”
“Upstairs with Jacky, I didn’t realize how much I missed you and I thought well, I’ll surprise him, and so here I am.”
“I like surprises,” he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
“Have you booked a table somewhere nice?”
“I have actually,” he managed a sheepish grin knowing somehow Toni was involved in this.
Connie smiled, “What are we waiting for, I have my bag here, only one. Toni and I are going shopping tomorrow for London clothes so I don’t have to pack everytime we come over, was there something?”
“Oh, no, nothing at all,” he picked up her bag and followed her out of the door.
Toni watched from the window over the landing upstairs as he led her to the car and opened the door, stowing her little bag in the boot. She smiled to herself and said aloud, “Terry, you will be so proud of me.”
“Terry did ask me to keep her company.” They were seated in the restaurant and Max was trying to explain the dinner invitation.
Connie was way ahead of him but she looked at him seriously, “That’s very sweet of you, Max and now that I’m here we can both keep her company.”
“Good idea,” he blinked and smiled and reached for his wine glass.
“Oh by the way, I was over at your chateau yesterday, they have begun to demolish the kitchen.”
“Lord, how many months do you think we’ll be without?”
“I don’t know, its France. Ludivine said she would cook for us and bring our meals over.”
“You know, Connie, I like it when you say us and our much better than your chateau.”
“But it is yours, and the meals are ours because you share with me.”
“I’m sharing my life with you, I think of it as yours too.”
“But it isn’t is it? If you decide tomorrow that you don’t want me around anymore or we have a big fight and I don’t want to be around anymore then it’s still yours.”
“Connie, I can’t conceive of not wanting you around and we’ve been together for over a year, no big fights have happened. It’s almost like…”
“We were married?”
“Something like that.”
“I look at Toni and Terry and how much in love they are; and Donna and John, how happy they are, and I know some marriages are very good. It takes a strong love to make such a bond.”
Max caught her eyes with his, “How strong are you?”
“You didn’t want a piece of paper.”
“It’s not the piece of paper that impresses me, it’s what it stands for, it has to be honored, the saying of…things.”
“Promises and vows; do you think I wouldn’t honor those I make to you?”
“There may be some that you couldn’t, Max. Forsaking all others, how could you do that with Toni?”
“There is a special bond between us that you know all about, that can’t be broken, it’s for eternity. I respect the fact that she’s married to Terry, and we’ve been in situations where it was awfully hard to respect that fact. I’ve been to bed with her once since she left the house. I can’t sit here and promise you that it won’t happen again. But there has been no one else, Connie nor would there be.”
“And if I accept that? I’m trying to be reasonable about it I know the history there.”
Max took a drink from his wine glass, “Are you trying to get me to propose…again?”
“Why is this so hard? No I’m not, I’m asking you, Max, will you marry me?”
“Only if you’re sure, knowing what I am and who I am, if you’re willing to take a chance with me, Connie, I would love to marry you.”
Connie smiled broadly, “Let’s don’t tell Daddy.”
“Deal”, Max smiled and touched her glass with his. They took a sip and he leaned over and kissed her right there in the upscale trendy restaurant in full view of everybody.
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