The next morning, Dale called Alex and told him what George had said about Betty. He didn’t ask to speak with Alissa, which surprised Alex.
When Alissa went out to check the mail, there was something for her from Dale. She opened the envelope. It was an invitation to join him that night for dinner and a movie. She decided to accept his invitation.
When it was time for Dale to pick her up, Alissa was very nervous. She didn’t understand why.
Alex walked into the bedroom carrying Sharlee. “You look gorgeous, Alissa. Of course, I loved your blond hair, but I really like that black on you too.”, he told her.
“Thank you, Alex. I had started to go with red, but I decided that red heads are more noticeable.”, she said.
“It doesn’t matter what hair color you have, Alissa. You are always noticeable.”, Alex told her. “Don’t worry about Sharlee. We’ll be fine! You have a good time.”
Alissa smiled at him. They both heard the doorbell ring and were surprised that Dale hadn’t just used his key.
“You stay here, Alissa.”, Alex told her. He put Sharlee on the floor.
He retrieved his revolver and crept downstairs quietly. The hit man wasn’t likely to ring the bell, but you never know. He checked out the window unobtrusively. It was Dale! He let him in and put his revolver away.
“Why didn’t you use your key?”, Alex asked.
Dale looked at Alex. He seemed to be very much at home here. Maybe a little too much at home.
“Since I’m not living here now, I thought it would be best to ring the doorbell.”, he answered.
“Oh. You wanted to make sure that you weren’t interrupting anything? How considerate of you!”, Alex teased.
Dale didn’t like the joke.
Before he could respond, Alissa came into the room.
His eyes widened at her appearance. She looked amazing!
“You look beautiful, Alissa!”, he told her warmly.
Just the sight of Dale made Alissa’s pulse start racing. “You look great too!”, she told him. “I like your new hairstyle!”
Dale was surprised. He hadn’t cared about how he looked since she had left, and he had forgotten to get a haircut before their date tonight. Since Alissa liked it this way, he wouldn’t change it.
They didn’t say much to each other in the car on the way to the restaurant. They just kept glancing at each other.
When they were taken to their table, Alissa was pleased to see the balloons and chocolates that Dale had sent ahead.
“This is so nice. Thank you!”, she told him smiling.
“You deserve much more!”, he said.
As they ate they talked. “, I read your letter. I never had any brothers or sisters, but I do know that sometimes it can be competitive. I am just surprised that it was that way for you and Alex. Your family seemed so close!”, she said to him.
“We are close. Well, Alex and I were close. Whether you want to accept it or not Alissa, we both want you. You may be my wife, but when Alex wants something, he goes after it.”, Dale told her.
“You talk like I don’t have a choice.”, Alissa said.
Dale just looked at her. She flushed and glanced down at her plate.
“Alissa!”, Dale said softly. “I know you haven’t cheated on me. I know that you love me, and I am really sorry for my behavior. This isn’t your doing.”
Alissa thought about how close she had come to sleeping with Alex. She would have hated herself afterwards and could never have looked Dale in the eye again. She also realized a huge difference between Alex and Dale.
She knew that if their positions had been reversed, and Dale had been in love with Alex’s wife, Dale would not have pursued her. He would have respected his brother and his brother’s wife and left her alone. Alissa knew that she had chosen the right brother.
“Would you like to dance for a little while?”, he asked her.
“Yes, please.”, she answered.
They went out to the dance floor and Dale put his hands around her waist. As they moved slowly to the music, he drew her closer. Dale let his hands drift gradually up and down her body as he looked into her eyes.
He felt her breathing quicken and saw a spark of desire in her eyes. He knew his wife, and what she liked.
He didn’t want her to become too tired, and so they left the dance floor.
They headed to the movie theater.
The theater was not very full, and Dale intentionally selected seats near the back. Then he went and bought them some snacks.
After the movie started, Dale gingerly put his arm around Alissa. He wasn’t sure what her reaction would be. She didn’t draw away. He slowly moved his finger across the bare skin on her bosom and was rewarded when she quivered in pleasure.
Then he kissed her passionately, and she returned the kiss with a passion matching his own.
“I know it doesn’t mean that you are ready for me to come home, but would you like to go with me to my apartment?”, he asked her.
Alissa knew that she needed to be with him tonight. She wanted to be with him.
After they arrived at the apartment, Alissa looked around. It was just a plain apartment. Dale saw her looking.
“It’s just a place to stay. I hope I won’t have to be here long.”, he told her. “I’m not trying to rush you!”, he added quickly.
“It’s okay, Dale. I understand.”, she said.
Dale took her into his arms, and started kissing her deeply.
Their passion quickly rose, and Dale took off his clothing and helped Alissa remove her dress. Then he carried her to the bedroom and placed her on the bed.
“If you start to feel uncomfortable or any pain, we’ll stop! Okay?”, Dale said concerned. This was their first time since the shooting.
Alissa agreed, thinking of how considerate of her feelings and needs Dale had always been until the other night.
They made love, and Dale was extremely gentle with her. They enjoyed being together and satisfying each others needs and desires.
Hours later, Alissa suddenly realized how late it was.
“I need to get back home!”, she told Dale.
Dale pulled her back down onto the bed with him. “No. Please stay with me tonight, Alissa.”, he said and started kissing her hungrily. He had missed her and wasn’t ready to let her leave again. Alissa didn’t complain.
The next morning, Alissa awakened before Dale. She quietly got up and watched him sleep for a few moments. She smiled. He looked like a little boy as he slept.
Then she went down to the kitchen and prepared breakfast for Dale. She left it warming on the stove, and wrote a note for him. Afterwards, she returned home.
Dale awakened from the best sleep that he had had in days. He noticed that Alissa was no longer in bed, but he smelled the delicious scent of eggs and bacon. He rushed downstairs.
Alissa wasn’t there, but he read the note that she had left for him.
“Dale, I really had a wonderful time last night. You were so romantic, considerate and loving. Thank you for everything! I love you, but I am still not ready for us to stay together again.
Dale read the note, but he wasn’t discouraged. He knew it wouldn’t be long before he had his family back.