Jennifer knew she was quite capable of forcing their old family doctor to come in person to the apartment and decided that it would be simpler for everyone she agreed.
All right. I'll call him tomorrow'.
'Today!' came the firm rejoinder.
'Today,' Jennifer agreed, just to get rid of her.
'What do you think of Matthew Smith?' Margaret asked in a casual tone.
'I didn't think anything about him Why should I?'
'No reason, I just thought you and he had a lot in common'
Oh, no, Jennifer groaned inwardly, not more matchmaking 'Oh?' came the guarded reply. 'In what way?'
'He's as slippery as you are. A friend of mine knows him and his family quite well, she told me he was a widower who didn't go out much but seemed to like blondes.
'Well, that worked out all right, then.' Jennifer was infinitely bored with the conversation and only wanted to get to work.
Jennifer hung up the telephone and sat at her desk staring out at the rain for several minutes, realizing it would soon be November; a dreary month In New York, and that it would get worse. Soon the ice and snow would appear.
A familiar wave of depression began to creep through her, it would be her first winter without Richard and she didn't think she could bear it, she had always hated the cold, the short days, the icy streets and bitter winds only Richard's sunny smile and laughing dark eyes so full of love, had made it acceptable.
The apartment they had shared during their short marriage still seemed to be full of him she still listened for his footstep in the hall, the turn of his key in the lock, his cheerful voice calling her name.
Oh, Richard, she thought, as the tears welled up out of control, why did you leave me? She put her head down on the desk and sobbed brokenly.
She thought of her promise to Margaret to see Dr. Eric, as usual, her sister was right she looks up for the number and slowly dialed.
'Well, you're Healthy enough,' Dr. Eric said after the thorough examination was over.' Just a little run down.' How long has Richard been gone now, Jennifer?'
'Almost a year', she met his gaze stonily.
'A boating accident, wasn't it?
'Yes', she said shortly.
He shook his head 'terrible thing a fine young man, he worked for your sister's husband didn't him?'
Jennifer nodded and shifted uncomfortably in her chair didn't he realize how she hated to discuss it? She half rose to leave.
'Well, if that's all ...' she began.
'No,' he said. 'That isn't all. Sit down.'
'You know you can't go on like this Jennifer' he said in a kinder voice
'I'm going to give you a prescription Just vitamins and minerals and I want you to get some exercise.
Do you jog? Play tennis? Swim?'
Jennifer shook her head slowly at each question.
Then she remembered. 'There is a swimming pool in the basement of the apartment block I just never thought to Use it.
'Well, I think you'd better start. He stood up. 'You'll be all right.
Jennifer hadn't been down to the pool in the basement of the building since the manager had shown it to her when they first got the apartment two years ago. Richard had used it occasionally but Jennifer had never been athletic.
She wasn't even quite sure how to get to it, she realized the next morning when she got off the elevator at the basement level and was immediately faced with a maze of corridors leading in three different directions. Since she had trouble sleeping anyway, she had decided the best time for her prescribed swim would be six o'clock in the morning. At that ungodly hour, she would most likely have the pool to herself.
Finally, she chose a corridor and was relieved to see a sign a short way down indicating the direction of the pool. She came to a heavy metal door with a sign on it "Pool Area" She pulled it open and stepped into a damp cavernous room, well-heated, the light green water of the large pool shining under the dim lights set high on the ceiling.
She also saw that there was someone in the pool, a solitary figure swimming noiselessly up and down with slow, powerful strokes. Her heart sank she had hoped to be alone. She stood hesitantly at a canvas chair debating what to do.
The lone swimmer, obviously masculine, was close to one edge if she swam along the opposite side from him there was no reason why she would even have to acknowledge his presence?
She dipped one toe in the water. It was just the right temperature, not quite lukewarm still she hesitated when she heard a sudden splashing noise from the opposite side she glanced over to see a tall tanned man form heaving itself out of the water
Before she could turn away, their eyes met and she was horrified to recognize Senator Matthew Smith standing not twenty feet away from her.
A slow flush began to spread through her. She hadn't wanted to see anyone, much less someone she knew.
'What are you doing here?' She blurted out at last. Had he followed her? She thought. Had Margaret sent him?
He reached for a towel ran it over his face and head briefly and then draped it around his neck.
'I live here', he calmly replied. He took a step towards her and she took step back.
Then she saw recognition dawning in the hard grey eyes. 'You're William Green sister', he said at last.
'Sister-in-law', she corrected him. The sight of all that bare masculine flesh unsettled her.
He was a powerfully built man, long and lean with a smooth tanned chest. The water-soaked black bathing trunks hung low on his spare frame, clinging damply to his hips and thighs.
'Yes', he said. 'Jennifer. The matchmaker's sister'. His eyes narrowed at her. 'You live here, too?'
All of a sudden she recognizes that he was suspicious of her it was almost funny. How was she going to explain to this man that she had no plans for him?
'Yes. Of course, I do', she replied. 'I've lived here for two years'.
'But you've only just begun to swim in the pool', Came the dry observation.
'I didn't think anyone would be here this early', she explained.
He gave her a nod and slowly began walking away from her towards the men's locker room. 'There isn't usually', he said over his Shoulder. 'That's why I come at this time'.
When he has gone, Jennifer stood for several moments at the edge of the pool trembling with anger at the man's rudeness who did he think he was? Did he automatically assume that every woman who came within a mile of him was out to trap him? A typical, arrogant male reaction she thought bitterly they all think they're God's gift to women she turned and dived into the water more to cool her anger than anything else.
Later that morning, as she worked on her drawings Jennifer thought over the strange early morning encounter the more she thought about it the funnier it seemed.
It was clear that the cold withdrawn senator wanted to avoid emotional involvements as much as she did at least with her then she remembered how he had held himself so aloof from the seductive Lara Jones at the dance after the reception for him two weeks ago.
She wondered what he was running from. Margaret had said he wasn't married. Well, what difference did it make? She'd simply swim at a different time noon she decided and have a late lunch that way she wouldn't have to bump into Senator Matthew Smith at all.