At Noah’s next therapy session, he told Sarge about what happened at the barbecue. Sarge wasn’t surprised by Noah’s reaction, but Sharlee’s reaction concerned him. He knew that Sharlee’s pregnancy was high risk and that getting so upset wasn’t good for her. He decided that he’d need to help Noah start changing his jealous reactions even sooner than he’d planned. At least when it came to Kristian.
“Noah, has Sharlee ever done anything to make you distrust her commitment to you?”
“So every time some other guy has shown an interest in her, she’s made it clear that it’s you she wants?”
“Yes, she has.”
“Yeah and she’s got the personality to match.”
Noah showed him her picture.
Noah didn’t answer.
“Sharlee seems perfectly capable of letting guys know she’s not interested and that she’s happily married to you. Every time a guy shows interest, try to remind yourself that you’re the one she’s going to sleep with that night. She doesn’t want that chump. She chose you. She loves you! Isn’t that true?”
“Of course, if a guy doesn’t keep his hands to himself, and he won’t take her no for an answer, that’s a different situation. Though even then, it’s best to try to reason with the guy before resorting to a fight. What is it our parents teach us when we’re young? “The cops are our friends!”
Noah rolled his eyes and Sarge laughed.
Then they talked about how Noah was going to handle the fan girls.
“As Sharlee’s pregnancy progresses, her figure is going to change, and she’s going to feel insecure about how you see her. Especially in comparison to the beautiful slim women who will be throwing themselves at you. How are you going to handle that?”
“I know I’m not going to be interested in any of those women. I love Sharlee no matter how her figure changes. She’ll still be the most beautiful woman in the world to me. I actually can’t wait to see the changes because I know it’ll mean our baby is healthy and growing inside of her.”
For the rest of the session, they talked about other things. They still had not discussed Noah’s childhood and relationship with his parents. Noah wasn’t ready for that yet. That would come with other sessions and Sarge would continue to give Noah more tools to manage conflict peacefully.
He asked Dale, “Is this normal?”
Dale answered. “It’s probably the turbulence making her sick.”
Dale got out of his seat and leaned over close to Sharlee. He quietly asked her a few questions. He was relieved by her answers. She wasn’t having any pain or other major symptom, and so he reassured Noah that it wasn’t anything serious.
As soon as they checked in at the resort, Sharlee went straight to bed. Alissa had room service bring Sharlee some ginger tea. She hadn’t been able to keep her breakfast down and just the smell of lunch had made her vomit again on the plane. Sharlee sat propped up against pillows and sipped the tea.
“Noah, I’m so sorry.”
“Sorry about what?”
“What if they take one look at me tomorrow and change their mind about the deal? I mean all they’ve seen of me anyway was a picture. I don’t look as good in real life as I did in that picture. If I look as awful as I do now it will be even worse.”
“Well, ever since you told me that they wanted me for their spokesperson too. If I’m still sick tomorrow, then I will look even more terrible!”
“Babe don’t cry! You’re more beautiful than most women even as sick as you are right now! If you’re sick tomorrow though, you’re not going to the seminar.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I told you, Sharlee. You and our baby are the most important people in the world to me. More important than any dealership or anything else. If you’re sick you’re staying right there in that bed. Do you want some more tea and maybe some crackers?”
“Sharlee you need to start being honest with me. It’s even more important if we accept this deal.”
“I’m always honest with you! What do you mean?”
“I don’t mean that you lie, but you don’t tell me everything. Like with Dean. You didn’t tell me how he was treating you until too late because you thought it would make me happy having him around. The bad effect on you didn’t matter to you. You’ve got to stop doing that.”
Sharlee didn’t say anything.
“I mean it Sharlee. If it hurts you, how in the world can you think that would make me happy! If you aren’t feeling well or you’re too tired when it’s time for Harley to take pictures, or shoot a commercial, or something, you’d better speak up. I would not be happy if something happens to you or our baby because you are being self-sacrificing.”
“Noah I understand what you’re saying, and I will try to do better. Especially now that I’m pregnant. I just love you so much that I want you to have everything that you want, all of your dreams fulfilled.”
Noah kissed her and then Sharlee sipped more tea. She fell asleep after she finished drinking it. Noah undressed and got in the bed with her. The sound of the ocean was so soothing that he ended up falling asleep too.
“Much better but hungry!”
Noah laughed. “I’m not surprised after the way you emptied your stomach today. How about we order room service, and you just stay in bed this evening.”
“Oh alright. I’ll stay in bed if it will make you feel better.”
Noah called Alissa and Dale to let them know that Sharlee was feeling better, but staying in bed. Then they ordered some dinner.
“Yeah, at least for the occasional weekend. Matthew and Kaye love any chance to be with the kids and now that Noah and Sharlee will be living in Santa Fe too, it should be easier.”
“Yeah, it is.”
They walked for a while longer and then went to the hotel restaurant for dinner.
The next morning Noah and Sharlee got dressed to go to the seminar. Sharlee was nervous as she finished dressing. At least she hadn’t had to worry about what to wear. Gene had told them to dress casually, but no shorts. Their agent had sent a stylist to choose their outfits. He’d told them that Harley Davidson wanted them, so just be themselves. At this point they had to decide whether or not they wanted Harley Davidson. Noah came up behind her as she looked in the mirror.
“Babe, don’t be nervous. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. Either way we’ll be okay!”
Sharlee appreciated what Noah told her, but she was still nervous.
“Hi, I’m Danny Williams.”
Danny introduced them to the others in the room, and then Gene and Terry entered.
“Your picture doesn’t do you justice. She’s even lovelier than she is in her picture. You’re a very lucky man, Noah.”
“Noah, our legal department has drawn up the contracts and the terms of our offer. I know that you will want to go over them with your legal representatives. This isn’t intended to rush your decision, but please be mindful that we will need to start working with Sharlee as soon as possible in order to follow her pregnancy for the campaign. Also we would like to take pictures today to gauge the reaction of our focus groups. There is a clause in the contract that if the approval ratings are low, then the business contract will be severed.”
Noah told him, “No pictures. I’ve spoken with my agent and as you know his publicity firm is one of the oldest and most well respected ones in the business. He informed me that he has been in contact with you as recently as yesterday.”
“I’m not aware of that.” Terry looked at Gene. Gene raised his eyebrows and shook his head. He didn’t know anything about it either. The office hadn’t passed on the agent’s message to them.
Noah continued speaking. “We’re not your typical actors or models seeking work. You asked us! His agency has sent our pictures out to various focus groups and our approval and satisfaction ratings were at the highest levels of the graphs. He said that he would make his data available to you at anytime. However, unless we agree to take the deal you’re offering, no pictures.”
“Right off the bat I see a problem. The contracts for the spokesperson part of the deal and the contract for the franchise should be separate. The franchise should not be dependent on whether or not we connect with the public as Harley Davidson’s spokespeople. I’ve discussed this with both our lawyer and our agent, and they agree with me that they should not be combined.”
Sharlee turned to Noah in surprise. She’d never seen him speak so professionally and knowledgeably about something as serious this. She was impressed and really turned on by this new side of him.
Gene nudged Terry, and Terry looked up at them. The strong attraction and love between them was evident. Terry nodded his head in agreement. He knew what Gene was thinking. Sex sales, and Noah and Sharlee exuded sex appeal. If Harley could convey their chemistry in the pictures and commercials, then the campaign would be a huge money making success!
Noah pulled his eyes away from Sharlee’s and his mind back on business. “I see that you’ve included the conditions for Sharlee’s pregnancy. However, I do have one more thing I want added to the terms.”
Noah didn’t want Sharlee to feel that the success or failure of any part of their deal with Harley rested on her. He knew that if she believed that, she might force herself to work when she shouldn’t. Also her sickness the day before really concerned him.
He told them, “If at any point in her pregnancy Sharlee’s doctor feels that her part in the campaign is endangering her health or that of our baby, then her part of the deal is off.”
Sharlee’s mouth fell open in surprise. By this time, Terry knew that they would agree to just about anything within reason to get Noah to take the deal.
“Alright, I don’t see a problem with that. However, we would like one more concession for Harley. Not only do we want to do commercials and pictures at three stages of Sharlee’s pregnancy, we want to take pictures and do at least one commercial with the baby after it’s born.”
Noah looked at Sharlee, and she answered. “As long as we can determine the circumstances and timing, then I think that one session for pictures and one commercial should be okay. I just don’t want my baby to be exploited.”
Terry agreed to Noah’s changes in the contracts, and then Gene took Sharlee and Noah to rejoin the others. The orientation program began with a video of Harley Davidson’s history as a company. After lunch, Terry came to get Noah to ask him a question about one of the changes to the contracts. They wanted to make sure that the contracts were ready for Noah to take at the end of the day. Sharlee sat on a chair waiting for Noah to return.
“Oh, can I get you something? A soda or some water?”
“No, but thank you.”
A couple of the other men there for the seminar came over to talk with Sharlee also. When Noah and Terry returned, there were three men talking with her. Noah remembered his session with Sarge and took a deep breath, reminding himself that Sharlee was gorgeous. Of course other guys notice, but it doesn’t mean anything at all. He was the one she wanted, and every time she looked at him he knew that.
He took another deep breath. As long as they kept their hands to themselves, he’d be okay. Even so the expression on his face spoke volumes, and the other men walked away after turning and seeing him standing there.
“Sharlee, it really isn’t necessary for you to remain the rest of the day. Why don’t you let me have the limo take you back to the resort. Then tomorrow if you’d like to go shopping or sightseeing, we can arrange that too.”
“Yeah Babe. Why don’t you go back to the hotel. You can do something with your parents.”
“They are welcome to join you tomorrow if you want to go shopping or sightseeing in the limo. Just make the arrangements with Gavin when he takes you back to the hotel.”
“Please call me Terry.”
Noah headed back inside as the limo drove off.