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Falling For Your Boss

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When Jacqueline got home with the boys, Ian was waiting for them with Chinese food. The boys greeted their father with polite hello’s before going and washing up to eat.

Jacqueline already told them Ian was leaving back to the Ukraine, they weren’t that phased. At this point they were used to their father always being gone.

Jacqueline for her part wasn’t showing how nervous she was for the upcoming conversation she was going to be having but like Jane, she was also a little nervous. Ian has had nothing but animosity since he overheard her talking to the boys.

How was she going to explain to Ian that she cared for him but only as the father of her beautiful son’s that he gave her. Jacqueline was tired of hiding though. It’s been exhausting all these years.

After she was assaulted, she just felt empty inside. She pushed it down though when she made the choice to not report it. She went back to work everyday like nothing happened. She stopped seeing girls and hid that part away from herself.

It was several weeks after her assault that she met Ian. He was sweet, kind, and charming. She wasn’t interested in him in the least for obvious reasons but she was hiding away from herself. So when he asked her out for lunch she agreed. They were both in the journalism world so they ran into each other a lot.

When her parents got word of Ian they were excited. They didn’t know their daughter wasn’t into him that way or that she was hiding behind him. They didn’t know she was assaulted. All they saw was their daughter finally going out with someone so Jacqueline continued seeing him.

It was easy. Ian knew about the assault, Jacqueline had to explain why she was jumpy and didn’t like to be touched. He took it like a gentleman at the time. He never pressured her or expected more from her then she was willing to give.

Jacqueline was working all the time and they only saw each here and there between both their schedules. She was career driven and Ian knew this. Ian was also career driven so it worked for them. 

The boys come back from washing their hands, sitting at the table knocking Jacqueline from her thoughts. “This looks great, dad.” They both say before digging in.

Ian smiles at his boys as he starts to eat himself. “How was your day with your grandma?”

The boys glance at each other before James looks towards his father, answering for the both of them. “It was good. We went to the museum and we had ice cream.”

“That sounds like fun.” Ian smiles while taking a sip. “Jacqueline, how was your day off? Do anything fun?” he asks her like he knew something more than he should have.

Jacqueline starts coughing as she chokes on her wine, eyeing Ian across the table. When the coughing stops Jacqueline answers him suspiciously. “What is that supposed to mean Ian? My day is none of your business. For your information though I was there for a friend today. That’s all you need to know.”

“I got a text earlier today. I know exactly what you were doing today.” Ian tells her arrogantly.

Outraged by bringing it up in front of the boys, Jacqueline tries to calm herself before she answers. Glancing at her son’s, Conner who is puzzled not knowing what is going on, and James who looks concerned for his mother, knowing exactly where she was. “Ian, we can discuss this after dinner. This is not a conversation to be had in front of them!”

“Then when Jacqueline, when is it a good time to discuss it hmm.” Ian snips out.

Before she’s able to reply she hears her phone beep from the counter. Jacqueline excuses herself to grab it in case it was Jane.

“Really Jackie you’re going to answer that now?” Ian angrily asks out for the interruption.

“Dad stop, it could be important.” James tells his father, hating how he’s talking to his mother.

Smiling at her son’s defense she opens the text from Richard. Hey Jacq, sorry to interrupt but just letting you know that Ryan texted Jane again and Jane invited him over in an hour to hear what he has to say. She’s okay, freaking out a little bit. We are going to be here when he comes so she’s not alone. Promise.

Sighing in annoyance for not being able to be there herself - Jacqueline opens her thread with Jane. Hey beautiful Richard told me Ryan was coming over. You okay? She sends.

I’m kinda freaking out honestly. But I need to get it over with. How’s it going on your end?

Wanting to reassure her she replies - Just remember I love you and if you need me call me! And it’s going, Ian isn’t too thrilled obviously, but you should know, Ryan sent the photo to Ian. Not sure what he expected to gain from that but it’s not working.

She glances back towards the table and her phone beeps once more with I’m sorry Jacq. I can’t believe he did that! I love you too. I’ll let you know when he leaves.

Locking her phone before placing it back on the counter she takes a steadying breath before taking a seat back at the table.

“Everything okay mom?” James asks his mother knowing it was probably about Jane.

Smiling softly at him she responds. “It will be, thank you baby.”

Seeing the boys are finished eating. “Why don’t you guys go play your games in the room after you take care of your plates.” She suggests wanting to get this conversation with Ian over with.

Both boys get up quietly taking their plates to the kitchen, once out of the room Jacqueline angrily faces Ian. “Now you can say what you wanted to say.”

Ian rolls his eyes. “Really Jackie? We’re doing this now?”

“Yes Ian you said you wanted to talk so now we are talking before you leave again. There is a lot we need to get straightened out before you go!” Jacqueline calmly lets him know before getting up from the table. “Let’s take this to the living room. I need a drink.”

Jacqueline grabs her plate, taking Ian’s as well before taking it to the kitchen to put it into the sink.

“Sure why not.” Ian sighs out, also getting up. He walks over to the liquor table, behind the couch and pours himself a scotch. Taking a seat in his chair by the window as Jacqueline comes in and pours herself a whiskey before sitting on the couch.

They both sit there just staring at each other for several minutes not wanting to be the one to start this long awaited conversation. Finally taking a sip from her drink, Jacqueline starts.

“Look Ian - I know things have been more intense than normal lately. Ever since you overheard the conversation I was having with the boys after the Mandy Awards. I’m sorry about that by the way. But this is one of the hardest things I have had to come to light with. It’s not about you Ian, it’s about me being truly honest with myself.” She softly tells him. “Ian, surely  you have noticed over the years our marriage isn’t a normal one. We sleep in different beds, I barely let you touch me. We have only ever slept together a total of four times and it was when we were completely wasted. Two of those times we got our wonderful boys, who I wouldn’t trade for anything. They are my world Ian.”

Taking a drink of her Whiskey to gather her thoughts she continues. “Look Ian, when we met as you know I was going through a very hard time. Just three months prior to us meeting I was raped by my boss. You know this, but what you don’t know and only one other person knows, is that he raped me because I turned him down and told him I was gay.”

Ian interrupts. “Jacqueline, that’s horrible. You didn’t deserve that. If you were gay then why did you agree to go out with me or even say yes to marring me?”

“Honestly, it was easier at the time. You don’t know what it’s like to feel so broken and lost. A part of myself was ripped away from me and I could do nothing about it. I was scared but if I told anyone about what had happened I would have lost my career. All my hard work would have been destroyed in an instant. My dreams would have been taken and that I know I could not have lived with. So I pushed it down, deep down and just ran away.” She emotionally tells him.

Jacqueline downs the rest of her drink before she continues. “I know that was wrong but I wanted to move on from it. With you, we had the same career driven goal. We both wanted the world but didn’t want to drive it alone. You became a good friend Ian. My best friend at the time. You didn’t push for sex that I wasn’t interested in. It was safe. I know that’s horrible to tell you now after all these years but it’s the truth. I’m sorry if this hurts you, but I wouldn’t trade our years for anything Ian. I am who I am thanks to you. You held me together all these years. It’s just not enough anymore.” She shrugs out. “I need more than just being held together. I want passion. I want my other half and I never thought in all these years I would have found that but I have.”

Ian finishes his drink before getting up to refill it, downing the contents. He turns back around facing Jacqueline trying to digest everything he was just told. “That’s a lot Jackie.” He breathes out.

Jacqueline gets up to approach him. “I know it is. I’m sorry about all this but you can’t tell me you’ve been truly happy all these years. We coexist, Ian. It’s always been coexisting between us. Nothing more. We are friends. And we are good parents, anything more than that I will never be able to give you.” She tells him softly.

“You can’t tell me all these years you’ve been happy or even faithful at that. You mostly live in the Ukraine Ian, you come home to see the boys or attend the occasional Scarlet event to show face. Aren’t you tired of that being all this is? I know I am?”

“Jacq…Yes I’ve been seeing someone there. But you can’t expect me not to when we don’t sleep together and the few times we have as you said we were drunk.” he honestly tells her. “I guess it doesn't matter you know now though since you’ve been harboring this huge secret about yourself over the years.” Trying to laugh it off.

Jacqueline just smiles softly at him. “As long as she makes you happy Ian. You deserve more than I’ve been able to give you. I love you Ian, I do - You are the father of my kids but I’ve never been in love with you and I’m sorry for that. I think it’s time we got a divorce. I’ve been wanting to keep things simple for the boys but it’s time Ian.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry I’ve been horrible these last few weeks. I never thought about how you were feeling Jackie. I know all this is coming to light because of, what’s her name, Jane?” Ian questions.

“Yes Jane. You met her when I brought her to the house that one time.” She responds.

“You know I thought I saw something between you but I didn’t want to question it then. I didn’t want to see it.” Ian laughs out. “What’s with this Ryan guy who sent the photo of you two?”

Sighing out in frustration. “That would be her ex. She broke up with him at Sutton’s Wedding. He doesn’t seem to take the break up for what it is.”

“That’s what was wrong with her that night?” He questions her.

“Yes.” She nods, replying softly. “He cheated on her during his book tour and she only found out recently after he lied about only kissing someone else.”

Ian shakes his head. Knowing he himself cheated many times over the years. Jacqueline noticing the look stops the thought. “Ian, it’s okay. I never knew but I figured you had. I honestly don’t care.” 

Nodding his head in thanks. “He’s not stalking her is he?” He questions.

“I’m not sure. He was trying to get her to talk to him and she didn’t want to. He spooked her pretty badly. They are supposed to talk tonight. That’s what the text at dinner was about.” She lets him know.

Ian nods his head. “So James knows about Jane then?” he asks.

“Yes he does. We talked last night about it. I’m sorry I told him before you Ian.”

“It’s okay, I understand Jackie. I wasn’t making it easy for you.” He laughs out in guilt.

“No you weren’t.” Jacqueline answers. “Just so you know, Jane and I have only just started to admit our feelings for one another. More like she broke down on me and it spilled out.” She laughs softly. Smiling by the memory of Jane asleep in her arms. “I wanted to talk to you about the divorse before anything started. I need to do things right, by her.”

Ian takes in the smile gracing Jacqueline’s face. He smiles to himself seeing for the first time since Conner was born that missing sparkle behind her eye. Taking her in his arms for a quick embrace. He softly lets her know. “You deserve to be happy, Jackie.” Pulling back from her. “I haven’t seen that sparkle of joy since both of the boys were born.” 

Jacqueline, shocked from the hug, just smiles back at him. “Thank you Ian. So when is your flight? Shouldn’t you be leaving soon?” She asks.

“Actually I changed my flight to tomorrow afternoon. I wanted to spend the morning with the boys.” 

“They will love that Ian. Why don’t you go and tell them to get ready for bed and let them know.” Jacqueline tells him glancing at the clock seeing it’s eight thirty. “I’m glad we finally talked. I’ll have my lawyer fax you the papers when you get back to Ukraine.”

Ian nods in acknowledgement before heading down the hall.

While Ian goes and gets the boys ready for bed Jacqueline heads back to the kitchen to grab her phone off the counter. Seeing a couple texts from Jane, she sighs in frustration for missing them when they came in. Just great - she thinks to herself.

The first text that came in at eight read I’m not sure if you’re still talking with Ian but I wanted you to know Ryan left. Hopefully he will leave me alone now. Richard had to step in though. Not liking where her mind goes she opens the second text that came a minute later. I’m sorry I…never mind.

Jacqueline, puzzled and concerned with both of those texts, immediately replies back. Darling what happened? Are you okay? I’m worried! I just got done talking with Ian. It went well. He doesn’t leave till tomorrow afternoon and plans on taking the boys out in the morning before he goes. 

Thirty minutes with no reply Jacqueline really starts to panic. Opening Jane’s contact, she tries to call her. It rings several times but then goes to voicemail. Growing more concerned by the second she comes to the decision. I’m just gonna go to her. She thinks.

Grabbing her phone before going to the room to grab a bag with clothes for tomorrow. She kisses the boys good night before she goes and finds Ian. She knocks on his door. “Hey Ian, since you have the boys tomorrow I’m gonna go over to Jane's. She's not answering and her last text has me concerned. I’ll be back after lunch before your flight.”

“Sure, go ahead. I hope everything is okay. Night Jackie.” He tells her.

Jacqueline doesn’t waste time; she grabs her coat and keys and heads down to her care to go where her heart needs her.