by Misty ©

 Chantelle had now worked for The Ministry of Parks, in their headquarters office for two years; and from the very first moment she met Daniel there seemed to be a very strong connection between them. To explain it, or even understand it was impossible, all she knew was it was there.
It was as if they had met and known each other in another time and another era.  He was a Regional Office Director, and the region he was responsible for in hectares and staff was to say the least very large, as was his responsibilites.
He was tall, ruggedly handsome, impeccably dressed, well spoken, and highly intelligent.  His nature was a caring gentle one, with a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humour.
Now this day he had arrived in town for the annual Park Director's Meetings, which usually went on all week.  He made his usual phone call after arriving in town to the headquarters office, and Chantelle just happened to be doing relief duty while the regular clerk was on her break.
"Hello, Provincial Parks, Chantelle speaking how may I help you, she spoke softly?"  Well here I am back in town, and no one to meet me at the airport, no champagne in my hotel suite, or friendly faces to greet me, Daniel rattled on jokingly, as he loved to do.
"Oh it's you she laughed, I should have known."  He replied back laughing, what do you mean you should have known, does that mean you would have been a happy face greeting me?  "You never know Daniel, I just might have, Chantelle flipped back at him, knowing he would of course have a quick response."  Well, I don't mind a bit of a wait, especially if it's someone worth waiting for he chuckled.   She paused for a second, and to this day has never has figured out what got into her for that moment.
Well then I will pick you up at 7:00 p.m. sharp outside your hotel how's that?  There was a long, long, pause at the other end of the phone, and then he spoke, "Chantelle are you serious?"  Yes I am, are you?   Well I, ah, um, heck yes, I will be ready at 7:00 p.m. sharp, he finally answered.  Good, "my car will be the one with me in it," she laughed and then hung up quickly.
She smiled to herself, she'd never done anything like this in her life before, but she was now glad she had.  She never would have before either, as she knew Daniel was married, but had only recently been told he had been seperated for almost a year, now she could really get to know him.
Daniel was 53 yrs. old and 12 yrs. her senior, but he was everything she had hoped to find in that special someone.  After her divorce she dated several men, but none could even come close to being all that Daniel was.  She could not believe now she would have the opportunity to get to know him outside of the workplace and see if what she felt for him was real. 
She chose to wear her new designer jeans, and a nice off the shoulder white blouse, complete with her new white summer sandals.  Her shoulder length redhair was done up in a pony tail, she was so completely opposite from the way she dressed for work, there she was always tailored and chic, and hair done just so.  If Daniel was going to see her after hours he may as well see the other side of her too she thought.
As she drove into the parking lot there he stood, good lord he was handsome, being tall and carrying himself so straight, to her he looked like a greek god.  He had beige dress slacks on, and an expensive white polo tee shirt, with a soft cashmere vee neck cardian in soft yellow it suited him.   So he had also dressed far more casual than the usual tailored business suit he always wore at work, and which he looked so good in.
He opened the car door, and as he got in, his gaze swept over Chantelle, he smiled that slow, easy smile he did when he was deep in thought about something, and this time it was about her.  You look different, but nice even to the pony tail, I like it, yeh I like it a lot, and I like you either this way or how you look at work too.  His comment pleased her.
Good, you look different too no suit, but dress casual hmmm she laughed softly. He leaned over just a bit closer to her and said, you surprised me, you surprised me a heck of a lot when you said you would be here.
She gazed into his eyes, "I scared myself, I have never done anything like this before so I don't want to hear any complaining about friendly faces not greeting you anymore."  I can assure you that I will never complain about anything to you ever again, his eyes twinkled.
He then put his big hand gently over her's and raised it to his lips, you are beautiful and not only that you smell good too!  Chantelle couldn't help herself she laughed out loud, oh I do hmm, how eloquent and nice of you to notice.  "I have always noticed you Chantelle, but I think you already know that at least I hope you do."
Now back at her apartment after going for a lovely evening drive along the waterfront as the sunset, it was a beautiful pink and red color which seemed to reach across the night sky and into the heaven's.
Once inside she turned to Daniel and inquired, would you like a nice cup of fresh coffee or something stronger, and maybe something to eat?  Coffee is just fine my dear lady, and I hope you are going to be joining me, "of course I am she replied," he stood just behind her in the galley kitchen of her apartment while she put the fresh coffee in the pot.
That task now completed, she turned around and was now facing Daniel with not too much room between them.  They both seemed caught up in the moment, and he moved towards her and drew her gently to him as his hand slipped around her small waist making it easy to pull her closer.
He bent down and kissed her softly and deeply, and Chantelle's legs almost gave out on her, as she felt Daniel trembling all over.  He held her firmly so she did not fall, and kissed her again.  His very touch sent electric like shocks through her whole body.  Each could feel the strong connection they shared at that moment.
What just happend Daniel, I almost fell down, my legs became like jello.  I know love, and I am still shaking like a school boy, I feel like one too.  I have always cared for you Chantelle from the very first moment we met, it was (and please don't laugh, for this is not anything I believe in), like I have known you in another lifetime. 
Why are you smiling at me he asked her softly, do you think I sound stupid?  No, never, It's just that I have felt the same way Daniel and after what just happened am truly wondering if it could be possible.
The coffee was now sputtering and ready, they came back to the moment and poured themselves a cup and took it into the living room with them, putting in down on the coffee table, then sitting closely together on the sofa.
You do things to me I never knew were possible, or even consider I could feel this way Chantelle,  did you know that.  No, but I am not sorry that I do make you feel this way, because I feel the same way Daniel, in fact I think I could fall in love with you very easily.
You shouldn't say that he said.  Why not, it is what I am feeling at this moment, only time will tell as you well know Daniel.  What am I to do with you woman, his eyes were ablaze with desire, as he put his arms around her and kissed her softly, but passionately.
He then backed away saying, have to cool down, we need time and to go slow, I respect you too darn much to act like a kid with hormones raging.  She laughed and ran her finger over his sensuous lips.  Yes, your right and that's another reason why I think your special Daniel, you really care.  Of course I do, it's something I never even considered or thought would be possible, but what I have shared and felt with you tonight certainly gives me hope my sweet lady.
On that particular visit for the Director's Meetings Daniel stayed a whole week, and each night he spent with Chantelle, either taking her out for dinner, a movie or just being together and cuddling on the couch.  They talked and talked and found each of them shared so much in common and not one minute of the time they spent together was boring for either of them.
They had been seeing one another now for several months on and off, whenever Daniel came into town, and phone calls in between which of course led to large phone bills, but who was counting.  They had both realized their true feeling for each other, and the passion they shared was also mutual.  Love deep, wonderful, blow your mind love, they both felt it, and for the first time in her life Chantelle was on Cloud 9.
Then all of a sudden the phone call came the one she didn't want ever to hear.  Hello, she answered.  Chantelle love, it's Daniel.  Yes my sweet man I know your voice by now, and how lovely it is to hear you.  Honey, this is not easy to say to you or to even begin to tell you, please just listen my dear, cause I don't think I can say it twice, this is killing me.  What's wrong Daniel, now I am concerned please tell me darling.
Daniel took a deep breath and spoke.  It's my wife Chantelle, she's taken a stroke and the kids phoned me, she is asking for me, I can't turn my back on her she is ill, and I don't know how bad or what the prognosis is, all I know is she was my friend when we parted and is the mother of our children.
I love you with all that I am Chantelle, you have given me so much I have never felt with anyone what I have shared with you darling, please know that.  I have to go to her, and I don't know what the outcome will be.  I couldn't lie to you or not tell you, I care too much.
Oh Daniel, I am so sorry, truly I am and I understand everything you have said, you must go to her, she needs you, and know that I will not stand in your way or stop you, I love you, and sometimes when you love someone as much as I love you, you must let them go.  If you come back to me Daniel then it was meant to be, if not then your place is with your wife.
Oh god Chantelle, I don't want to hurt you this way, I love you too, very much, but I would not be a man if I turned my back on her.  I know, your right Daniel, and that is only one of many reasons why I love you so.  Go to her Daniel, but always remember the time we were given to be with each other, and to know a great love.  One day it maybe only a sweet memory, but nonetheless, it will always be our memory dearest.
You are a special lady Chantelle, and yes I do not regret one minute of the time we shared and loved, you will always be a part of me know that.  I can't say I will come back, lord knows what will happen, but please dearest take care and do not think to unkindly of me.  Never, I never will Daniel you are a honourable, caring man, and the man maybe one day in looking back, I can say you are the man I had loved.
With the call made and the declarations made by both Daniel and Chantelle of their love, the phone line went dead.  Days, months and many years have passed since that day and somehow the essence of what they had shared ever lingered in Chantelle's heart, yes, Daniel was the man she had loved.  She knew not whether she would ever meet such a man again, but then again one never knows do they.