Jenn’s eyes popped open and felt like someone had taken a hammer to her head. She looked around and didn’t recognize anything. She was still in the same clothes. What’s going on and how did I get here she thought. She tried to get out of bed and immediately fell back. She was too dizzy to stand. I’ve got to get out of here she thought. She heard footsteps, the door opened and an incredible hunk filled the doorway. Now she was scared.
“Where am I and who are you?” she demanded.
“For someone in your circumstances, you’re pretty spunky”, he said.
Once again Jenn tried getting up out of bed. Once again, the dizziness overtook her and fell back onto the bed.
“Take it easy, Jenn. My name is Ben Harper, we met last night at Murphy’s. You were in no shape to drive and wouldn’t tell me where you lived so I brought you here”.
“Call me a cab” she told him.
“I’ve done better than that. Your brother Will is a friend of mine. I’ve called him and he’s on his way.
“Why should I believe you?”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, handing it to her: “Here, call him”.
She dialed the number and Will answered with “Ben, I should be there in a few minutes. Tell Jenn to hang on until then.”
“Will, this is Jenn,” she said with a sigh of relief.
“How are you feeling, Jenn?” Will asked. “Groggy” she replied. “I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.
Will told her they would straighten it all out when he got there. He was there within ten minutes of the call. He and Ben talked outside the bedroom door for a few minutes then Will walked in and went over and hugged Jenn.
“What happened?” he asked. Jenn told him that’s what she wanted to know. She remembered getting to Murphy’s and ordering a drink and nothing after that.
“You don’t remember running into Ben and I. You said you were supposed to meet Shannon.”
“No, my head hurts and I can’t think about it. Can we get out of here? I want a shower.”
Her brother told her to gather her things. He thanked Ben for taking care of his sister and told him he would be in touch.
“Aren’t you going to thank Ben for stepping in?” Will asked.
“Yes, Ben, thank you for being there and for calling Will. Sorry if I inconvenienced you any,” she said as she reached over and kissed him on the cheek.
“You’re most welcome and it wasn’t inconvenient at all. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed meeting you and would like to invite you back here again under different circumstances.” Ben responded.
She blushed and walked out the door. As she got in the car, Will asked if she was still feeling dizzy and if she wanted to go to the ER. She told him she was feeling better all the time but would really like to know what happened. She asked him how well he knew Ben and if it was possible he may have slipped something into her drink. Will said there was no way and why would he have called him if he was guilty.
Jenn supposed he was right but felt uncomfortable about the whole situation. She planned on calling Shannon to see if they ever met up and if so what happened. Right now all she wanted to do was get home and take a shower.
Once Will left, Jenn hopped in the shower, took a couple of aspirins and laid down. When she awoke the sun was low in the sky and she couldn’t believe she had slept away most of the day. She found her cell phone and was ready to place a call to Shannon when she saw the twelve messages from her. Apparently, somewhere along the way she had turned down the volume on her phone and never realized it. The last message from Shannon was that she had finally gotten in touch with Will and to call her when Jenn was able.
When she reached Shannon she found that she had never met up with her last night. By the time Shannon had gotten to Murphy’s, Jenn was already gone. Jenn called Will and asked him if he could accompany her to Murphy’s . She wanted to talk to the staff to see if they could give her any answers but she didn’t want to go alone. He said he would pick her up about 9:00. When Will showed up he was not alone. Ben Harper was in the car. Obviously Ben had been there last night too and if the wait staff knew anything he might be able to help her piece together what had occurred.
As she hopped in the car she told him hello and he told her he was glad she had enough sense not to ask for help and not go into Murphy’s alone.
“What is that supposed to mean?” She asked.
“I don’t think a woman should go into a bar unaccompanied. It’s asking for trouble” he told her.
I”ll have you know I neither asked for nor want your outdated opinion” she replied haughtily.
Ben just shook his head and kept quiet for the rest of the trip. In Murphy’s, neither one of the guys ever left her side and they didn’t get any answers as to what might have happened the night before. The bartender said no one had reported anything amiss but said he would contact them if he found out anything.
Jenn didn’t think she’d had that much to drink. She had no credit card receipts and still had quite a bit of money left in her wallet, so someone had either bought her more drinks than she could handle or they somehow affected her like never before. Anything was possible and she was just going to have to let it go.
When they left, Ben said “Now you know why it’s good to have someone with you when you are out and about. I may be old fashioned but I frown on any female going out alone”.
“Who are you Ben’s Personal Escort Service?” she asked sarcastically.
“I could be, why don’t you give me a chance and call me the next time you go out. I will be happy to be your escort,” he told her
“Yeah, when pigs fly and hell freezes over.”
Will stepped in and said she was being a brat and to knock it off. He said if it hadn’t been for Ben who knows what might have happened to her the previous night. Jenn never said another word. Ben and Will talked sports the rest of the way to Jenn’s apartment.
Ben got out and started to walk Jenn to her door, while Will stayed in the car. She told him it wasn’t necessary and he told her it was.
“You are a bit of a stuffed shirt, you know” she told him.
“I guess so but I was raised with the idea a man is responsible for a woman’s safety and to always treat her with the greatest respect and care.”
“You are probably one of those guys who want a Stepford Wife”
“You couldn’t be more wrong. I want my wife to be a strong independent woman who can make decisions, have her own opinions and express them freely. I may not always agree with them but I would want to hear them. She would just have to understand that I would make the final decisions regarding the care and safety of her and our family.”
“And what if she didn’t agree with that?”
“Then I would exert my role as head of the household and she would be made accountable”
“Accountable how” Jenn asked.
“There are a number of ways and we would have discussed them all prior to the marriage."
“Loss of privileges, extra chores, or possibly spanking”
When he said spanking, Jenn felt a shiver go through her body. She had read those novels where the hero always spanked the heroine. There were many books in her bookcase with those passages clearly marked. She just didn’t think there were any men like that anymore, at least in the real world. As much as she liked the fantasy and thought it terribly romantic, the reality came up against everything she felt as a woman.
She didn’t respond to his last statement and when he asked if she had anything to say, she didn’t know what to say except different strokes for different folks. They reached her door, she opened it, thanked him, said good night and closed the door.
Two weeks later she picked up her cell phone and there was a message from Ben asking her if she would like to go to dinner with him. He was a handsome man, Will liked him and he seemed nice enough but his ideas about women and marriage scared the heck out of her. She decided not to call him back to see if he would try to contact her again. If he did, she would go, if not it wasn’t meant to be.
Three days went by and he didn’t call. He did however show up on her doorstep on Thursday night.
“Did you get my message?”
“Why didn’t you call me back?”
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to go out with you.”
“What, you don’t eat dinner?”
“Dinner is fine, I’m just not sure I want everything else.”
“We can talk about it over dinner.”
And talk they did. She was amazed how much she liked him. He was so attentive and she loved how “girly” he made her feel. She didn’t think she had ever been treated so royally. He was very much like the heroes in those romance novels.
They began dating pretty steadily and everything was going along fine when she told him she was going to Las Vegas for a weekend. It had been planned for a while and she was really looking forward to reuniting with an old college friend. She didn’t tell him the old college friend was Peter Sands. They were great friends and they had never been anything more than that but Peter was an entertainer and his life was a little rowdy. She figured the less Ben knew the better.
Unfortunately, Will told Ben the friend was a male and what he did for a living and he was very upset. He considered it a lie of omission and she was lectured that lying destroyed trust and was one of the things he hated most. He told her if it ever happened again he would give her a sound spanking as a reminder to always be truthful. She told him that wouldn’t be happening. He told her that it would if they were going to be a couple.
“Then we are no longer a couple. I don’t want that kind of lifestyle Ben.”
Three months later Ben sent Jenn a text message. He told her he would like to talk to her. After much hand-wringing she agreed. She missed him and wanted to listen to what he had to say.
At dinner, he told her he had fallen in love with her and missed them. He said he would be willing to try things her way.
They were married six months later and a year later, on their first Anniversary, Jenn’s present to Ben was a card saying she would be willing to try it his way for the next year.
(By the third year, their marriage was so great they never looked back. )