Betrayal of the Virgin Bride
Betrayal of the Virgin Bride
Chapter One - The Set-up
My fate began at twenty-two, when I stumbled upon George Gettys-a flashy older man of thirty-three with a wide grin, impeccable suits and an affectionate hands-on approach to wooing women. I was walking thoughtlessly, head down, along a busy city sidewalk, paying no attention to the throngs of smelly, worried, grimacing folk around me, when I ran smack into George's left shoulder. I believe he might have been staring up at the sky at a flock of geese that were winging their way north. It was early spring. George abruptly turned around, indifferent to the rude jostling and smiled.
"I'm terribly sorry," I immediately announced. "I guess I wasn't looking where I was going."
"Just as I was foolish enough to stand stock still in the middle of this crowd," he replied with a whimsical smirk and a slight, gracious bow. As if in a time warp, we stood immobile, gazing for a moment at the people who hurried by, tucking their heads against the cold wind and scowling because they had to move around us.
Then we giggled. That was just the effect George had on me that so endeared him to me. Otherwise, there was little reason for me to give him a second thought. We were miles apart in temperament-he was lackadaisical while I was a serious workaholic. He was a man of the world and women ; while I was the straight-laced goody-two-shoes, a virgin and proud of it. He was the dreamer; I the pragmatist.
By the time I bumped into him, I'd been to several church-sponsored seminars telling me how to ward off his kind of smarmy, indolent charm, and fend off the lusty, yet inappropriate, innuendo that was certain to follow.
I had learned well. Being an attractive woman, I had to. Sometimes I cursed my looks-the big hazel eyes, chestnut-colored hair and trim build. I liked to smile because it seemed natural and gracious, kind and Christian. But it was constantly misconstrued as taking an interest in the recipient, or worse, as a "come on". I told myself this was my cross to bear; I would not capitulate on my ethics, which required that I put on a sunny disposition and friendly attitude toward everyone. I'm afraid that I also learned a cold shoulder technique-in one of those seminars-which was sometimes necessary for those men who jumped right on my friendliness as an invitation, who refused to accept my kind but firm regrets and move on.
At twenty-two, my life was a terrible struggle between what I believed myself to be and the quiet inner rumblings I had come to ignore. I thought I'd conquered the baser instincts of my sexually driven generation. But with George Gettys, I completely failed in my game plan to thwart obvious, scoundrel men. I knew from the moment I gazed into his heavy-lidded brown eyes that I was in for serious trouble. When he asked to me to coffee, following that first inadvertent exchange, I found that I was far too weak to make my usual excuses. And how easily he wooed me from my staunch purpose. All it took for my carefully constructed world to crumble was one pair of sexy eyes adoring me and a hand lay tenderly on my shoulder as if it belonged there. In reply, my heart raced like some schoolgirl following her first crush. Ten minutes later, there I was, Sally Kettering, the relentless virgin, drinking coffee in a retro diner, seduced by the enemy of our kind, and too head-over-heels infatuated to realize it.
I suppose it was because George was so much older that he succeeded where other men failed. Perhaps I trusted his age. Where I'd never have given in to a younger man, for some reason I was willing to let my guard down with a more mature one. In any case, George succeeded in capturing my interest. I was smitten. With every disclosure he made about himself, and every explanation I gave him about who I was, with every bit of amusing banter and every shared smile, I found myself more deeply engrossed in him. At the same time I felt a grow