JUST LIKE OLD TIMES I had a dream last night, I held you in my arms so tight. We were in love again, The way we were in love back then. Well, after tonight you'll go away, But tomorrow I can look back and say That is was so (so) fine, just like old times When you were mine... ____________________________________________ The return flight from New York to Dallas was more exhausting than she had anticipated as she stepped onto the marble floor and glanced around the terminal lobby for her limousine driver. A traditionally attired limo driver stepped forward in the line of other similarly dressed drivers. He was holding a sign inscribed with her last name and he nodded his head in her direction as she stepped onto the concourse and hurried towards him. She breathed an audible sigh of relief when she quickly counted her luggage and smiled contentedly upon realizing that all of her bags had arrived without issue. The limo driver lowered his head in a solemn gesture of respect for her social position as he patiently waited for her to walk ahead of him through the terminal exit to the awaiting limousine parked in the loading area in front of the bustling terminal. The dry, Texas wind greeted her as though she were a long, lost friend and she closed her eyes and lifted her head towards the sun; grateful to feel the sun on her skin and the wind in her shoulder-length, auburn hair. , "It will be so good to be back home." She said aloud as she reached into her handbag for her ringing cell phone and climbed into the passenger section in the rear of the limousine. Slender, impeccably manicured fingernails clicked on the touch screen of the mobile device and her sultry voice sounded into the mouthpiece as she answered, "This is Sue Ellen Ewing." ______________________________________________ JR Ewing was lost in thought as he absently gazed at the computer monitor on top of his desk in his darkened office at Ewing Oil. He and his youngest brother, Bobby Ewing had finally arrived at an equitable arrangement regarding how they would share joint ownership of the company their Daddy willed to them years earlier, before his untimely and accidental death in a helicopter crash into a deep and murky lake in a remote, South American jungle. JR's intensely deep thoughts turned dark as he recounted how angry he became at their Mother, Miss Ellie Ewing-Farlow, when she openly vowed to sell off Ewing Oil in pieces, if necessary, because she had grown tired on the constant arguments and fist fights he and Bobby had perpetuated over the years to the point that their bickering and scheming had cost the Ewing family dearly in terms that JR and his younger brother never fully understood until their sons would be old enough to run the company in their stead. "Forty some odd years of hell...for what?" JR gruffly muttered to no one in particular as he violently turned his chair away from his desk to stare out the window as the sunset cast an ominous shadow over the downtown Dallas business district. JR and Bobby mutually agreed to stay on board as dual CEO's; mentoring and guiding their son's footsteps and business deals on a daily basis. John Ross' business acumen rivaled JR's own and although he was admittedly proud of his son's achievements in the Oil industry, he couldn’t help feeling slightly bitter knowing that Bobby's adopted son Christopher controlled an equal share in the company JR still considered to be rightfully his own. "Ewin' Oil is my birthright!" He emphatically grumbled as his mouth formed an immature pout and he folded his arms across his broad chest in his typical act of defiance. The look of anger and frustration mirrored in the darkened glass was replaced by a smirk as he added, "Daddy always told me that the opera ain't over until after the fat lady sings..." He turned away from the window and locked down the access to his desktop computer. The spring in his step that had been absent for months returned unexpectedly as he walked toward his office door and reach for his grey Stetson. He reached behind his back for the door handle and without missing a beat, continued speaking "…the orchestra might be packin’ it in, Bobby, but the opera ain't over, yet." The door lock clicked into place as JR wickedly added, "Not by a long shot!" ______________________________________________ "Hello Sweetheart! How are you" Sue Ellen's facial expression brightened when she heard John Ross' voice on the other end of the phone. "I'm good Momma. How was New York?" "Oh, my God! Don’t get me started!" She said with a laugh. "It was noisier than I remembered and so unbelievably crowded, I couldn't wait to get back home." "I'll bet." John Ross replied. He could barely contain his excitement as he continued, "You'll never guess what happened while you were gone!" Sue Ellen released an audible sigh as she responded, "I'm too tired to play guessin' games, John Ross, so you’re just going to have to tell me what happened!" "We did it, Momma! We hit oil!" "What?" She asked sitting forward on the rear seat. "When did that happened? Where was the strike?" John Ross was initially reluctant to respond because he knew that his Mother wouldn’t be happy to learn where he and his team had been drilling, but he mustered the necessary courage as he bravely answered, "Uh...the back forty." "No!" She cried into the mouthpiece of her cell phone. "You know how much your Grandmother loved that ranch! How in the hell could you have done such a thing?" John Ross' overwhelming elation was replaced with disappointment as he answered, "I didn't think it would be a big deal, Momma. It is Ewing property, after all..." She could hear the disappointment in his voice as he added, "I thought you’d be proud of me?" "I am proud of you sweetheart! I'm proud of everything you've ever done..." "Then why not this time?" "I don’t expect you to understand or even appreciate what your Grandpa and Grandma Ewin' left for you. Not now, but perhaps, someday, when you have a family of your own, you'll understand." "I don’t need a lecture, Momma..." "Like hell!" She retorted. "Bein' a Ewin' should mean more to you and amount to more to you than drillin' for oil and schemin' against Christopher..." John Ross rudely cut her off as he selfishly interjected, "Dad told me you'd say something like that." His voice rose in pitch as he angrily added, "Forget that I even called you!" Sue Ellen scowled and pulled the phone away from her ear as soon as the dial tone went dead. "Like father, like son!" She viciously hissed as she hastily dropped the now silent cell phone into her handbag. _________________________________________ The sweltering heat of the day still hung heavy in the air over the ranch. The evening breeze was unusually warm as Sue Ellen stepped onto the moon-lit balcony. She normally felt rejuvenated after a cool shower, but not tonight. She was grateful for her choice of attire. Although the billowy summer dress she slipped into offered no relief from the warm wind, the loose fit of the gauzy fabric felt good as the gusts of wind swept the material back and forth against her bronzed skin. She relished evenings alone at Southfork. There was a great deal of comfort to be had in peaceful, quiet, unfettered evenings at home. She would occasionally indulge in the guilty pleasure of an evening swim in the pool or she would allow her thoughts to take her back in time when she and JR were still married. “No one can fault me for lookin’ back to some of the better times we had, JR...” She whispered with a distinct air of regret. Times had certainly changed since then, she mused in silence. She was in control now, and no one – not even JR could take that away from her. She had amassed more knowledge about the oil Industry than she ever thought possible; at times, more than she ever really wanted to know about wheeling and dealing with the arrogant bastards and lecherous cads who occupied the upper echelons of the major Texas oil companies. She had once overheard Jock ‘reminding’ JR that power wasn’t something that was given, it was something that had to be taken. She laughed to herself as she contemplated what chauvinistic Jock Ewing would say if he knew that his ex-daughter-in-law was running the show? She was lost in her reverie and oblivious to the set of automobile headlights reflecting on the darkened driveway as a gun-metal grey-colored Cadillac sedan rolled up the tarmac and onto the cement parking area near the multi-car garage. JR smiled as he glanced at her slender silhouette, illuminated beneath a veil of stars. Sue Ellen was leaning over the balcony railing as the French doors opened and JR’s seductive drawl greeted her as he softy whispered, “Welcome Home, Honey.” “Hello, JR.” She said as she slowly turned around to face him. “When did you get back?” He asked, stepping closer towards her to bridge the distance between them. “We landed at DFW a couple of hours ago. Why do you ask?” She replied, deliberately sidestepping his efforts to engage her in polite conversation. “Have you been out here long?” He queried as he reached for her arm; trying to pull her towards him. “I didn’t realize we were playin ‘Twenty Questions', JR?” She said with a sarcastic drawl as she abruptly pulled her arm away from his half-hearted grasp. “I’m not playin’ games, Sugar. Although, now that you mention it…” He quickly wrapped his arm around her waist and roughly pulled her against his chest as he added, “…it has been an awfully long time since we’ve played around together." “Not long enough!” She said with a smirk as she pushed her hands against his chest in an attempt to break free from his grasp. He tightened his grip around her waist and said, “Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t miss the way it used to be between us?” She lifted her head in defiance and met his curious stare as she coolly and calmly replied, “I don’t miss the way it used to be between us at all, JR!” “Liar” He countered as his smile increased in size. “No one knows you better than I do, Sue Ellen. No one could ever love you as much as I did…” He was unrelenting in his efforts to convince her of his feelings as lowered his head to her neck and huskily added, “The way I still do…” She could feel his warm breath on her skin as his lips hovered in earnest over her freshly washed skin. His pursed lips grazed the bare flesh on the side of her neck where her long neck met the curve of her collar bone. Her back stiffened with newfound resolve as she forcefully pulled away from him. She eyed him suspiciously as he released her and she countered, “There was a time when I would have fallen head over heels for your seductive techniques, JR; but not anymore!” His blue eyes sparkled with a fire she hadn’t seen in years as he responded, “I may not be as young as I was back then, Honey, but I haven’t forgotten how to satisfy a woman in bed.” She defiantly folded her arms across her chest as she decided to play along with him and added, “Your sexual prowess has never been in question, my Darlin’!” His eyes narrowed as she continued, “However, I must admit, I wonder if you could really satisfy me after all this time?” “Is that a challenge?” He replied, feeling somewhat optimistic as he straightened his posture and rose to his full height of six feet, one inch. Time served on her knees at the foot of his relentless deceptions and unimaginable cruelties had taught her not to attempt to beat JR at his own game, but she found it next to impossible to resist playing along with his twisted exercise in futility as he once again bridged the distance between them with one step and brazenly queried, “Why don’t you kiss me and we’ll see where it goes from there?” His arms instinctively traveled the length of her spine as he casually pulled her against his chest. She coyly smiled at him as his warm breath fanned her skin. Their lips met in a delicious sensuality that only JR could evoke. She parted her lips for him as his tongue gently probed her mouth; seeking her permission and approval at the same time. He gasped for air as he reluctantly released her imprisoned lips. He scanned her facial features for an indication that she enjoyed his kiss, half expecting her to smack him as she had done so many times in the past when he kissed her without her consent. “Was that as good as you remembered?” He shyly asked, hoping that he had outdone himself. She nodded her head at him as she clasped his necktie between her fingers and silently guided him back into the house. ______________________________________ John Ross raked his fingers through his hair in frustration as he kicked the toe of his boot into the oil-soaked ground on a patch of land known as 'the back forty'. He knew his Mother wouldn't be thrilled to learn that he had convinced and cajoled his father into telling him the precise location where he could drill for oil on Ewing land, but he never expected her to react as negatively as she did when he spoke with her on the phone. " "Jesus, what have I done?" He grumbled aloud as he leaned back against the edge of the fence as he gazed across the darkened landscape of Southfork Ranch. He had lived in only two places in his young life; Dallas, Texas and London, England. Although he had traveled to various exotic and exciting destinations since returning home to Texas following his mother's divorce from the world-renowned British movie producer, Don Lockwood; he would always call Texas his home. He glanced up at the sky and smiled to himself as he remembered the words to an old song about Texas. "Grandpa Farlow was right; the stars at night really are brighter out here." John Ross stared into the starry night sky, searching the very depths of his soul for a way to make amends to his Mother for drilling on the ranch. It's not as though it's hallowed ground or anything... Then again, I should have talked to Mamma about it first... He walked towards the main house in silence, absently kicking clods of dirt and grass as he searched the depths of his soul for an answer to his dilemma... _________________________________________ He paused briefly in front of the door to his bedroom, motioning his hand towards the door and asked, "Your place, or mine?" "You decide." She demurely purred as she tightened her fingers around his loosened necktie. With that, JR smiled at her as he lifted her into his arms and boldly kicked open the door to his bedroom. Sue Ellen began to wonder if she'd gotten in over her head until JR gently released her onto the carpeted floor. He closed the door within its frame and turned around; timidly leaning against the door as he deftly locked the doorknob behind his back. His voice was thick with unrestrained and burgeoning need as he softly spoke, "Would you believe me if I told you that I was nervous as hell?" Sue Ellen exhaled the breath she had been holding until the closing of the door as she answered, "No more nervous than I am right now. I can assure you of that." She began to lower one of the straps of her sundress as he quickly stepped towards her and timidly asked, "May I?" She nodded her head in docile agreement as she focused her attention on his ever-changing facial expressions. His nimble fingers worked their magic on her clothing; slowly, yet systematically revealing traces of skin her had been longing to see since their last tempestuous encounter years earlier. He lowered his gaze to her torso, eyeing her taut breasts appreciatively as he cupped her bronzed flesh in the palms of his hands. "Oh, my God!" He muttered as he lowered his head to her left breast; covering the darkened semi-rigid bud with his mouth. His tongue flickered over the tip of her nipple as she arched her back to him to aid him in his pursuit. “You taste delicious!” He huskily whispered in a voice thick with desire. She effortlessly moved her hips back and forth as her sundress fell to the bedroom floor in a disheveled heap, leaving her standing before him clad in a pair of lacy panties and little else. He leered at her as she stepped toward the bed and motioned for him to join her. He silently obeyed her command as he swiftly dispensed with his shirt and tie. He was tentative as he approached the bed, unsure of himself for the first time in as long as he could remember. He waited for her reaction as he knelt on one knee the duvet in front of her. She smiled at him seductively as she lowered her hands away from her breasts and arched her back away from him. He released an uneven sigh and he fought to contain his desire to pounce on her and take her without a moments’ hesitation. His eyes roamed over her bare torso and he marveled at her enduring beauty and provocative allure. He had been with countless women since her return from England, but none of those women could hold a candle to her effortless appeal and smoldering sensuality. There had been times over the years when a furtive glance from her in his direction would set his heart ablaze and he had to have her or risk losing his nerve for good. He inhaled deeply to calm his increasingly unsteady nerves as he slowly removed her panties and cast them aside. “So beautiful…” He whispered as he hovered over her. She trembled with excitement as his leg brushed over her right thigh and his arousal became blatantly obvious against her bare skin. “I need you, Sue Ellen.” He boldly announced, then instantly regretted saying anything at all as his words threatened to break the spell. “What are you waitin’ for?” She asked as she ran her fingers through his silver-colored hair and pushed his head towards her hips. _________________________________________ John Ross poured a drink from an ornate Brandy snifter in the empty, dimly lit den. “Here’s to liquid courage.” He said as he lifted the glass to his reflection in the mirror behind the bar and swiftly downed the contents of the shot glass. He lowered the glass from his lips and exhaled as he refilled the shot glass. Hesitating for an instant before raising the glass to his lips. He knew what he needed to do, but his stubborn streak and plain, old-fashioned male pride wouldn’t allow him to admit that he had made a huge mistake by drilling on Ewing land. “Why the hell did I ever allow you to convince me that it’d be okay to drill on the back forty, Daddy?” He asked aloud, forgetting about the overfilled shot glass he left on the bar as he paced the perimeter of the den. “It could have been worse, I suppose…” He drawled as he stopped pacing and leaned against the wall. “You could have kept the news from her and then where would you be?” He smiled to himself as he concluded, “A damn sight better off than you are now, kid!” He headed back to the bar and emptied the contents of the shot glass; wiping his lips with his shirt sleeve before lowering the wall-mounted dimmer switch to ‘off ‘and leaving the den to take a much needed shower and get ready for bed. _________________________________________ JR’s breath caught in his throat as he reluctantly released her. His eyes were still closed as he shyly whispered, “Was it as good as you remembered?” Her voice was a sensuous growl as she replied, “It was better than I remembered, JR.” “I wanted it to feel just like old times..." He turned to face her as he finished, "...when you were mine.” She placed a chaste kiss on the tip of his nose as she rolled away from him and donned her sundress. "Where are you goin', Sugar?" "Back to my room." He rose up on one elbow as he questioned her motives, "Why? Did I do somethin’ to make you change your mind?” She shook her head ‘no’, but said nothing to allay his fears. He continued his query, “But, I thought..." "That's the trouble with you, JR. You never put my needs ahead of your own." "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" He bellowed as his hopes for a reconciliation proved fleeting, at best. "That means that nothing has changed between us and it never will!" He started to protest as she turned away from him to open the bedroom door. "I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you do this to me again, Sue Ellen!" "I believe I already have, my Darlin'!" She used the half-opened door as a shield as she casually smirked at him and added, "One more thing, JR... I know all about your allowin' our son to drill in the back forty." JR stared at her in disbelief as she continued, "I want that well capped and covered in cement by noon tomorrow or you and our son will be the sorriest sons-of-bitches this side of the Mississippi!" JR's eyes narrowed in accelerating anger as she slammed the door behind her leaving him feeling mute and emotionally castrated. Seconds passed in silence as a broad smile overtook his frown and he leaned back against the headboard. "Just like old times, Honey.” His resonating voice filled the empty room as he reiterated, “Just like old times…!” TO BE CONTINUED...!