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Catarina Dulles - twenty-four years old, vibrant and her husband Warren at sixty-four years old was no longer able to keep up. He gave her permission to have a lover. The only man she trusts is her best friend - Cole Saunders also twenty-four. Cole has always loved Catarina but he would never risk losing her friendship. He never even hinted that he was interested in anything else. Warren on the other hand saw how he looked at her when her back was turned. So he set his plan in motion and hoped that his death would bring the secret to light and he would leave his wife in the arms of a man she deserved.
In life we all need balance. Whether it be work, pleasure, relationships - we all need that focal point which brings our inner peace to the forefront of our existence. Sometimes the scale tips to one side causing chaos and pandemonium, but all we need is to find that one person who brings it all back to a level we can be ultimately satisfied with. It is there we find our Equilibrium.
Catarina used to be plus size model. She made quite a fortune from the time she was 16 a fashion designer snatched her up to model his teen lines. She started to drop weight and the designer dropped her and told her she was too small for his designs. She continued to drop the weight until she was at a comfortable 175lbs. By the time she was 21 she had graced every plus size magazine cover in the fashion world. She met Warren at one of his department store openings. She was standing at a cocktail table sipping on a Grasshopper while reading one of the brochures. She turned around to get some finger food and ended up with her drink inside her dress. She looked up to berate the person who ruined her Versace Baroque Print dress. The warmth in the honey brown eyes that stared back at her, told her she would fall in love with their owner.
"I am so sorry, I should have looked where I was going. Come let me fix this." Warren Dulles signaled to his right hand man, who was always nearby.
"Rene, take Miss ........?"
"Reid, to my suite, let her choose a dress from the Versace line and send this dress to be cleaned."
Rene motioned for a stunned Catarina to follow him and she did so without a word or backward glance at Warren. Rene avoided the crowd and took her through the store to a secret panel. He pressed a tile on the wall and a door opened up into an elevator.
"After you miss."
It took less than a minute and the elevator doors opened into the homeliest penthouse suite ever. The blending of earth tones was artistic to the point that you became a part of the room. She hesitated and Rene sensing it, spoke softly, belying his size.
"I will let you in on a secret. The boss meant for you to spill your drink. He has had his eyes on you quite a while. I have never seen him plan something down to so much detail. Now, let's get you out of that dress and the boss will be up to see you as soon as I leave. No fear, he won't hurt you. The bathroom is that way and I will bring a dress for you. There is a robe if you want to take a shower and undergarments are in the closet on your left."
Rene disappeared into the kitchen and Catarina went into the bathroom. She hung the dress on a laundry style hanger and hung it on the outside of the door. She took a towel from the rack and a robe and went into the shower. The thoughts running through her head concluded to a mess of madness. She wasn't ready for a relationship, far less with a man such as Warren. He was sexy as they came and for a man heading for 65, he was as feisty as a 16 year old. He ran his business like he ran his life. Controlled and never in a rush. A knock on the door jarred Car from her thoughts.
"I am beginning to think you are afraid to come out."
"A few more seconds."
Cat, turned off the shower, stepped out and grabbed the towel. She dried her skin quickly and put on a still in the bag butterfly thong and put on the robe over it. She opened the bathroom door to see Warren propped up against the back of the sofa.
"How come you have a bathroom that's doesn't have a bedroom?"
"For nosy people excluding you. People have a tendency to search your bedroom on the way to the bathroom. Here."
He leaned over the sofa and pulled up a garment bag.
"Your dress madam."
"Thank you Mr. Dulles."
"When you become Mrs. Dulles will you still call me that?"
"All you have to do is propose and we will find out."
"Marry me Catarina."
"Yes Mr. Dulles."
"Next week. This is one thing I want done in a hurry."
True to form, Warren Dulles got married to Catarina in Royal style. Doves, a chariot with 12 horses, 5000 helium balloons with their pictures, silver goblets with their names and the date engraved on them. Gourmet gift baskets from Godiva, a Hermes watch for each guest, and 100 bottles of champagne.
The ceremony and reception lasted an entire day. Warren told the guests they did not need any gifts but they could donate money to a charity on the list at the door.
Catarina was so happy, she knew Warren was a fair man and so far she had not heard a bad thing about him. He married to his high school sweetheart when they were 21 and her father loaned Warren $50,000 to start a business and he paid him back within a year. Within 10 years Warren brought his business from the ground to the most successful department store chain in the world. The Letters WD could be found in every state in the US, 6 Caribbean countries, Italy, France, England, Germany you name it he was looking to be there. His wife died when she was 58 of breast cancer and Warren retreated from society and spent three years in mourning. One morning he woke up and jumped right back into work. He kept a photo of his wife on his desk.
Catarina was sitting on the bed when he came in.
"Hello Warren. You look beat." She sounded disappointed.
"Nothing a shower won't fix, then I can peel you out of that dress."
"It cost too much."
"For you my sweet, it was too cheap. At least you got to pick your own ring, the one I saw cost 2.5 mil." He looked smug.
"I hope you don't make that a habit."
"I will try not to spend too much on you. Now I'm gonna go get that shower. Join me?"