Dana made her way to the nearest chair and sat, feeling weak. She’d known that Brett and Janice had scheduled a meeting with a client on Saturday morning, but he hadn’t spoken of buying clothes for Janice or that she had accompanied him to Mrs. John L. Strong. When she’d been upset at his behavior after dinner Saturday night, he had softened her mood by reminding her that he’d saved her time by picking up the wine journals himself. As for choosing Janice’s wardrobe, buying clothes for another woman was not something husbands did.
The weekend had been a rollercoaster, with Dana’s emotions vacillating between hope that her marriage was on the mend and disappointment over Brett’s thoughtless behavior. She’d decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and concentrate on her challenges at B. Altman, which had thus far been met with overwhelming success, buoying her spirits. She was now devastated, however. She could not imagine Brett giving her a satisfactory explanation for spending time with the brassy blond from his office, and yet she would have to broach the subject head-on.
She took a couple of aspirins from her purse and quickly swallowed them with a glass of water. She didn’t believe that having a successful career and marriage should be this difficult. She nevertheless decided to take life one day at a time . . .
. . . or one hour at a time, if need be.
• • •
Janice had accomplished everything she’d set out to do at the meeting upon learning that Brett had been summoned to court at the last minute. Brett’s decision to go after the Hartlens and take a few personal risks in the process was something that had frankly surprised her. And yet she had always sensed a bit of the rebel inside Brett—sensed that he was, to some extent, a man who did not want to be constrained by the buttoned-down existence he’d grown accustomed to. His fear of turning into a stodgy landmark had given her the opening she needed, and she had gotten what she wanted—as she usually did. But now Brett held a greater fascination for her. She didn’t think he was cut out for the institution of marriage, and his boldness was a trait she thought she might be able to cultivate. She now desired a relationship that went beyond a casual fling, and she had therefore intentionally planted a few weeds in the garden of his marriage. And she had relished every minute of the contentious meeting. Women like Dana, with their pearls and pretentious manners, still irritated her just as they had when she was growing up.
She walked to the subway, intending to ride to the Village. She was expecting a visitor at her apartment in the afternoon.
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