Before we got out on the main highway we pulled off into a grocery store parking lot to put the convertible top up. Then we powered onto the road going south. It was easier to talk and hear the radio with the top up. We traveled about twenty minutes due south, across the state line, before heading east on a smaller county road. The terrain was rolling farmland, mostly pastures separated by lots of woodlots.
After a couple more turns we pulled onto what I thought was a gravel road but was actually the driveway to their house. The home sat on top of a hill in the middle of about 20 acres of land they owned. The house was only a few years old and was a modern version of a brick plantation house-- red brick with four white columns in front. The garage was a separate structure that looked like a miniature of the house but held four cars with room to spare. As we pulled through the circular drive in front of the house I could see several buildings down the hill behind the home. Marsha told me that was where her father's construction company was based. I could see there was a separate entrance off a different road and there were a half dozen pick-up trucks parked in a gravel lot next to one of the buildings. There was a long path from the garage at the top of the hill down to the buildings but not a driveable road.
Marsha parked the Cadillac in the garage and we walked up to the front door of the big house. Once inside she locked the door behind us and took me on a tour of the home. It was spectacular. Being a builder Marsha's father had spared little in detail. The furnishings were excellent and tasteful. Marsha was an only child and, clearly, used to luxury. I guess I had always noticed that she had nice clothes and her grooming was impeccable but I never really thought of her as being wealthy especially. However, unless everything I saw was mortgaged up to the moon, she was a rich kid.
"I'm going to make dinner for us, Wil. I hope you like steak, green beans, and potatoes."
"Sure. Sounds great Marsha," I said.
We were playing music, talking, drinking wine, just hanging out. There was a nagging thought buzzing in my brain: How would I play things later in the evening? I decided I would just ask her for pillows and a blanket so I could stretch out on the couch. If she wanted something different, I was certainly up for it, but I wouldn't presume anything. That seemed like the best plan.
Dinner was great. We opened a second bottle of red wine and, between the wine and the big meal, Marsha was getting a little sleepy by 8 o'clock. She asked me if it was OK if she took a nap. I said sure and she disappeared to her room upstairs. I sat in the huge downstairs family room watching TV. Bob Newhart was on at 8 and then some stuff I half paid attention to followed. It was twilight when I heard a vehicle coming up the drive. I stood off to the side at a front window and looked through the blinds as a pick-up truck roll onto the circle drive. The white pick-up went clockwise around the circle so that, without leaving the truck, the driver was only a few steps from the porch. He never looked towards me but I studied him as he stared at the front door and then the upstairs windows. The name of Marsha's father's construction company was painted on the door of the truck. The outside lights must have been on a timer or sensor and, while he was looking at the house, the porch light switched on. He rolled up the window immediately and headed back down the drive.
I didn't know what to make of it. Was this why Marsha didn't want to stay by herself? It dawned on me that all of the guys who worked for her father probably were aware that her parents were out of town-- at least they would know that her father was out of town. I thought the guy in the truck looked like a rugged, handsome, decent working man. Probably mid-30s. Did he have a thing for Marsha? For Marsha's mother even? Or, maybe, he'd had a fling with one of them and got dumped. I was beginning to think that Marsha had not invited me over for a night of passion. I was feeling pretty disappointed actually despite the fact I didn't know anything for certain. For all I knew he was the guy who installed the light system and wanted to see if they were working properly.