If you can bare with me please, I'm trying to get some sub forums created for our writing so that the forum not only looks tidier but so that you can go to your own individual favourite section when you want to read something. I've written a new scene which I hope you will enjoy. The reason for the title is because it combines a mix of things that happened during one period. Some things which have changed for the benefit of the reader: * Sue Ellen isn't an alcoholic * JR and Sue Ellen haven't had extra marital affairs * Sue Ellen's hair is long I'm hoping to add to this particular thread with some more stories. I firmly believe it is okay to experiment with how you would have liked things to have been, without criticism that things have been changed too much. I hope you enjoy. "I am truly sorry....." JR said, almost pleading. "I didn't mean anything that I said". Sue Ellen's expression didn't change. She was done. Exhausted. All she knew was that she'd cried and punished herself enough. How could she have known that when she'd left her son earlier that week that the diagnosis would be of acute appendicitis? She wasn't a doctor. John Ross had said he'd been feeling okay when she left and Miss Ellie had encouraged her to go ahead and enjoy her shopping with Pam for her birthday. The two friends had had the day planned for weeks. JR had been at work but was supposed to come home that evening and the two of them were to have dinner together to celebrate. Little did Sue Ellen know when she left that morning that by the evening, things were to descend into madness. Miss Ellie had called to say that John Ross' condition had worsened at that he he had been taken to Braddock Emergency - by the time Sue Ellen got there, he'd been transferred to Dallas Memorial. By the time she got there, JR had beaten her to it - she'd missed the call to say her son had been moved for surgery and had arrived at the children's ward in Dallas to find her husband standing in wait, like a shark waiting on a seal. Pam hadn't left her side as he'd berated her in front of her family, on her birthday of all days. Tears had openly fallen from Sue Ellen's big eyes as she begged him to stop, telling him she didn't know - just the way he didn't know. But JR being JR didn't accept or acknowledge that. He was angry, angrier than she had seen him in a long long time. Aside from berating her for - in his eyes - leaving John Ross when ill - he didn't even speak to her. Pam became so angry she had to walk away in disgust. Sue Ellen had eventually got in to see her son, who was heavily sedated. She'd stayed with him for close to an hour, but he was so groggy he didn't appreciate her being there. She kissed him softly and whispered how sorry she was, hoping he could hear her. There was nothing else she could do so she decided to go home, but JR had left. Luckily Pam had the good sense and grace for her friend to wait. "I don't know how you do it Sue Ellen", Pam said in quiet frustration. "That man is a total bastard, I'm sorry." Sue Ellen was too deflated and upset to respond but nodded, rolling her eyes in agreement. "How is John Ross?" "He's asleep. Operation went well..." Sue Ellen said. "Oh Pam....! she said, breaking down. "I feel so responsible!" Pam put her hands on her friends arms and stressed "This is NOT your fault Sue Ellen! Even Miss Ellie said that we were fine to go out! JR is being - as usual - completely unreasonable!" "I'm a terrible mother!" Sue Ellen cried in despair as Pam embraced her. "Sue Ellen you are not! You love John Ross more than anything! It was a genuine mistake! You aren't a doctor!" "I don't think either of them will ever forgive me.." Sue Ellen said sobbing. "There's nothing to forgive Sue Ellen..." Pam said, directing her friends' attention to her face. "If anything, JR should be begging for your forgiveness! After the stunts he's pulled over the years! He's hardly perfect himself!" "John Ross is his life...." Sue Ellen said. "Well aside from the oil business...! I'll be punished for this...", Sue Ellen said, her fear only overtaken by her heartbreak. "Bobby and I will make sure that doesn't happen..." Pam said. Sue Ellen didn't look convinced and over the next few days, she was proven right. She did know JR better than anyone else after all. JR didn't speak to Sue Ellen for days. It had become so uncomfortable for her that she'd moved into the guest room. If he saw her at breakfast, he left. Despite Miss Ellie, Clayton, Bobby and Pam - as she had promised - trying to get through to him, he just wouldn't listen. JR was angry. And it seemed he was absolutely determined to take it out on the person closest to him. Come the end of the fourth day, Sue Ellen had had a quiet word with Miss Ellie and asked if she could use the Ewing Condo to escape for a while and gather her thoughts. She feared her marriage was over but all she knew for sure was that she needed to put some distance between her and her husband. John Ross was due to come out of hospital in a couple of days and the condo was also closer to Dallas Memorial. That's if JR didn't take over again and try to stop her from visiting the hospital for John Ross' release. Miss Ellie had agreed it was a good idea and agreed to keep her daughter-in-laws whereabouts a secret. She was disgusted at her eldest son and wondered in her own mind where she had gone wrong with him. "JR, your treatment of Sue Ellen is again unacceptable. She loves you, she loves her son. She made a mistake". But JR wouldn't listen to reason. Truth be told, this was more than just about what had happened to John Ross. For the past couple of months, JR had felt Sue Ellen's attention being drawn away from him, and towards the young camp counsellor who had been coming by Southfork to help his son after the trauma of the fire. John Ross, like his father many years before him, was a shy child. But he had become even more withdrawn lately and Sue Ellen had convinced JR that he needed some professional help. JR had reluctantly agreed. It had been hard enough for him to watch while his son started to idolise the young man. But after hearing his niece accuse Peter of being 'in love' with her aunt, JR's blood had slowly but surely begun to boil. Somewhere in between the craziness of their every day lives, Sue Ellen had fallen pregnant but had sadly miscarried after an accident outside Jenna's boutique. They'd been heartbroken. But JR's grief was then overtaken by something worse - the suspicion that he felt Peter may have been the father of the child. He had no proof of course. Just his own warped mind making assumptions. He had seen how close Peter and Sue Ellen seemed to be. How he seemed to show up everywhere she went. How he had come to the hospital with his little cheap bouquet. He wouldn't have blamed the boy for his attraction to Sue Ellen but would Sue Ellen have betrayed him like that? He felt ridiculous, but as had happened so many times before concerning Sue Ellen, he had become consumed by a jealousy that threatened to overwhelm him. JR knew Sue Ellen loved him. He knew she loved only him. But he couldn't help but be driven to near madness every time he caught Peter Richards making her smile. JR was a busy man and he was the first to admit that it more often than not took priority over his family. Sue Ellen was a sensual, sexy woman with needs. What if she was starting to move away from him and find fulfillment elsewhere? Peter had a good, ribbed body but he was still a boy. Is that what Sue Ellen wanted? There would be absolutely no denying Sue Ellen's beauty to the young man and JR wasn't shocked to hear that Peter may be in love with her. But JR kept convincing himself it was nothing. He couldn't just accuse his wife of sleeping with a 19 year old college kid. Miss Ellie had often told Sue Ellen that in terms of temperament, JR was often like a child. Petulant, stubborn and known to - to coin a phrase - throw his toys out of the stroller if he didn't get his own way. Miss Ellie had spent most of her life battling Jock in one way or another and she had learned to be stronger to survive it - a trait she had tried to instill in her daughters-in-law when they married into the Ewing family. The age old saying rang true 'Ewing Men are tough - so Ewing women have to be even tougher'. However she was very aware that it was doubly hard for Sue Ellen. JR was, on the outside anyway, the toughest of them all. Sue Ellen did her best, but often felt she was fighting a continual and losing battle. Bobby, Gary and even Ray didn't have that part of Jock in them that JR seemed to have inherited. But even at his worst, Jock wasn't as callous and as frighteningly insecure as his eldest son seemed to be when something rocked his ideal of what the world and people in it should be like. Each afternoon when she knew JR wouldn't be there, she took the opportunity to visit John Ross, right up until he was ready to be discharged. When word came that he would be, she and JR had put on a united front, one which she had hoped would lead to him at least talking to her, but to no avail. As soon as JR's car pulled up into the Southfork driveway, he got out, shut the door, didn't help her as he usually would, and carried John Ross into the house. Sue Ellen had spent the next few days driving to and from Southfork to visit him and when she left John Ross' room, JR hadn't been present, apparently determined to keep up his pentulant mood in his bedroom. Once her son was home, Sue Ellen packed a bag while JR was at work and left. She explained to Miss Ellie that she would come by to visit John Ross every day and that she would explain to her son that she just had to spend some time in town visiting his other grandmother who had recently bought a house in Turtle Creek. It was only when, on the second evening that Sue Ellen wasn't present for dinner, that JR's mood seemed to change. The first evening had been passable. Miss Ellie had told him Patricia was back and that Sue Ellen had gone to visit her. It seemed believable to JR. "Mamma where's Sue Ellen?" JR asked as the family took their usual seats at the Southfork dining table. "Why do you even care JR?" came the quick and sharp response from Pam. "Sorry was I talking to you Pamela?" JR shot back. "JR that's enough", Miss Ellie scolded. "Pam's right JR", Clayton interjected as if the family were slowly starting to release the pent up frustration and anger they had felt over how JR had treated Sue Ellen over the past couple of days. Luckily the boys were up in John Ross' room enjoying being together again. "Well what the hell is this?" JR asked, Miss Ellie noticing the same frustrated little boy she had watched grow into this man she could barely recognise at times. "Everyone ganging up on me huh?" JR attempted to soften it with a short laugh. It didn't work. "Is anyone going to tell me why Sue Ellen isn't here?" "If you don't know where your own wife is JR, it's not really up to us to tell you" Bobby said, taking a sip of his Bourbon. JR stood up, not prepared to be berated by his family any longer. He figured she must have stayed with Patricia, so walked out of the dining room, not bothering to explain himself and looked up Patricia Shepard's number in the directory on the hallway table. Sue Ellen had scrolled it down a few days before hand. The family pretended to eat but where somewhat amused by the fact that the penny seemed to have dropped and JR was now concerned for Sue Ellen's whereabouts. When he didn't say anything, but lifted his grey Stetson off the phone table and exited, Pam looked concerned. She was worried that JR had heard Sue Ellen's voice and was now on his way over to her mother's house. "Excuse me", Pam said, leaving the table. She found her cell phone in the living room and texted her friend: "Sue Ellen I think JR may be on his way to your mother's house...Pam x" "Well well well" Patricia Shepard said from the front step of her mansion in Dallas' upmarket Turtle Creek. "JR Ewing, it's been too long." "Hello Patricia", JR said, not wanting to but removing his Stetson to greet the older woman with a kiss to the cheek. Patricia stared at JR, not inviting him in and leaving him uncertain as to her motives. "Eh...can I come in?" "Sue Ellen isn't here JR", Patricia said firmly. "Well eh...can I wait for her?" "She isn't coming back tonight JR" JR felt his heart sink as he tried to stay calm. "What do you mean? Has she gone back to the Ranch?" "Not that I know of". "Can you give me something to work with here Patricia?" Patricia glared at him, her stare so similar to Sue Ellen's. "She didn't say where she was going", Patricia lied. JR sighed. Reality started to sink in that he had majorly messed up here, but also that no one, literally no one was wiling to help him. "Let me know if you hear from her please" was all JR could manage as he lifted his cell phone from his pocket. He hadn't wanted to call her as he knew her well enough to know she wouldn't answer. He had wanted to see her face to face, so she couldn't run. Pushing 'S' for her name, she was the first entry that appeared as he watched it ring. Nothing. Straight to voice mail. He tried to sound gentle as he said 'Darlin...could you let me know where you are please...and that you're ok...?' He hung up. He was embarrassed and ashamed, not knowing what else to do. Maybe she would call back. After an hour of driving around, combing street corners and waiting for his cell phone to ring, JR looked at the Dallas skyline and suddenly had a thought. He was annoyed he had not realised it sooner. The Condo. Would she have gone there? Regardless of his feelings of anger and resentment towards her lately, JR was doing what he always did. Taking her for granted. Any time they had fought in the past, they had moved on from it, because they did have something special but also because JR knew there wasn't really anything he could do to Sue Ellen that would make her leave. It was almost like a safety net for his bad behaviour. Something felt odd this time though. Two days and she hadn't been home. His thoughts had now moved from worry over John Ross' illness, to what if Sue Ellen was with Peter Richards or worse, what if something bad had happened to her? His conversation with his family earlier in the evening, also backed up by Patricia, led him to believe they knew exactly where she was. They just didn't want to tell him. JR pulled his car into the parking lot of the Ewing Condo. He was right. There, parked in the family spot was Sue Ellen's car, registration Ewing 2. JR sighed once more and looked down at the steering wheel. How far had he pushed her that she found the need to take herself away from home? At the time he had felt so justified in his actions. Now everything that had happened over the past week didn't seem to make any sense to him at all. And he was scared to face her. Eventually exiting the car and pushing the number on the elevator to take him to the penthouse suite, JR checked his appearance before getting off the elevator and crossing the small hallway to the private apartment. Of course at this point he didn't have a key. The key was exclusive and was loaned to any Ewing family member or guest who may need it and reserved to one person, guest or family at a time. This put a dampner on JR's usual plans of entering whenever he damn well pleased. He would have to knock. So he did. No answer. He tried again, a little louder. "Who is it?" came the reply from behind the door. "It's me", he said softly, deliberately trying not to sound as mad as he had been over the past week. When she didn't immediately open the door he tried again, "Sue Ellen please let me in Darlin'". She thought for a moment then unlocked the several padlocks keeping the occupant safe, let the door slide slowly open and walked away from it. After having some time to think, she had decided she wasn't going to stand on any kind of ceremony for him. "I am truly sorry....." JR said, almost pleading. "I didn't mean anything that I said". Sue Ellen's expression didn't change. She was done. Exhausted. All she knew was that she'd cried and punished herself enough. She swung around to face him, dressed in her light blue robe, her hair tousled around her face and shoulders. She had very obviously been crying for days and as a beautiful as she looked, she also looked worn out. But something had also shifted in Sue Ellen since last week. She had berated and beaten herself more than JR was ever capable of doing and had had time to think since arriving at the Condo. This man, the man she loved so very deeply, whom she had adored since she had first met him was, as his mother said, an overgrown child. A man who despite his skills in business and his own intelligence was at heart, a little boy. He screamed and shouted and gave out to anyone he felt deserved it, threatening to wipe out everyone and anyone who displeased him. It didn't matter who they were. If you got caught in his line of fire, there were no second chances. But out of anyone, Sue Ellen didn't deserve that. She didn't deserve this. And over the past few days she had managed to give herself enough self acceptance to almost start forgiving herself. Her son was fine. He would heal. She wasn't sure the scars of what had happened with JR over the past week would. As much as she loved him, she wasn't even sure she wanted to continue with him after this. And right now she most certainly did not want to see him. "Is that it?" Sue Ellen said, the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice unchanging. JR tossed his Stetson carelessly on to the couch. "I went out of my mind Sue Ellen." "Do you think I didn't?" she went on, once again, without raising her voice, her stare baring through him like no one else's could. "He is my son too". "I know..." JR said, loosening his tie, sighing in both tiredness and inward frustration. As much as he hated to admit it, he didn't find dealing with strong women easy. It was something that had stayed with him since childhood - his mother being the prime example of female strength. "Can we please talk?" JR pleaded, moving from behind the couch to cross the room to where she stood. Sue Ellen rolled her eyes. "Why now? What has happened that you are suddenly gracing me with your presence, let alone permitting me to speak?" "Oh Sue Ellen don't be like that..." JR said, attempting to make a really volatile situation more comfortable. "Don't you dare JR....." she warned. "Do...not....dare". JR turned away from her, her warning robbing him of his ability to speak. JR moved to sit on the large sofa, inhaling and exhaling deeply as he did so. "I'm trying to tell you how sorry I am...." he said, looking up at her with the puppy dog eyes that usually never failed to charm her. But Sue Ellen's stance was unwaivering. She observed him for a few moments before saying "You really hurt me." "I know..." "Deeply" "I accept that" "Why?" Sue Ellen asked. "Why did you do it? What on earth have I ever done to you to make you treat me so terribly?" "Nothin' Darlin'....nothin'" "I don't believe you JR. There is something more going on here than just being angry at me for leaving John Ross." JR didn't say anything. "I mean, have I missed something? Do you not love me anymore?", Sue Ellen asked, bracing herself for an answer that might possibly break her heart even more. JR stood up defensively. "Of course I love you!" he assured her. "Then what? I understand I made a mistake, a BIG mistake but why can't you understand that I love John Ross just as much as you do?" "I do understand that Sue Ellen it's just..." he said as he attempted to move closer to her. Sue Ellen waited for a response. When none came, she said quite simply "I think you should leave. I don't want you here". "Sue Ellen...." JR said looking nearly as lost as she had for the past week. "Go. If you have nothing to say to me and you can't explain your behaviour, I want you to leave." "I need to talk about this!" JR said. "I'm just finding it hard to put it into words..." "If you can't talk to me after nearly 2 decades JR, we have a problem. Give me a call if you decide to grow up". Sue Ellen walked to the door and opened it, leaving JR with no real option but to go. She was too upset, he too depressed for him to pull her into his arms and solve the problem physically. He doubted she would allow him to touch her anyway. Slamming the door behind him and locking it, Sue Ellen was actually quite proud of herself for how she had dealt with him. And how she had so easily turned the tables right around. The next day, Sue Ellen had woken late. She was exhausted, but had slept better knowing that JR had recognised he had been in the wrong. Still, she had no intentions of making it easy for him. Pouring herself a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee, she was about to sit down and watch some morning news when her phone rang. The screen lit up as it rang with the name 'JR'. Making the decision to answer it, she did so with a cool, "Yes?" "Morning..." he said softly. "Damn him..." she thought. He knew exactly what he was doing. JR was a master at changing the tone of his voice to melt her any time he felt like it. She couldn't let it show this time. "Hello JR", she said, with no obvious hint of emotion in her voice. "Are you busy this morning?" he asked. She had planned on lifting her mood by doing a little shopping but was curious as to what he had in mind. "It depends", she said. JR realised she wasn't going to make this easy for him and nor should she. But he perservered. "Would you like to have breakfast?" Sue Ellen took a deep breath before answering. She knew that this could not go on forever. That eventually, whatever the outcome was going to be, they needed to talk. "Okay..." she said. "Where?" "I could come over...any time.." Knowing that if he did there was a chance they would end up in bed, Sue Ellen said, "I'll meet you at Benedicts on Main in an hour." That was the Sue Ellen he knew. She kept him on his toes. Making sure she looked her absolute best, Sue Ellen put the finishing touches to her make up before heading out of the Condo towards the elevator. She had wanted to dress casually as it was breakfast however couldn't miss the opportunity to show off one of JR's favourite features of hers - her legs. So she had chosen a white knee length dress, with a large flower pattern which perfectly moulded to her shape, a lime green wrap covering her shoulders. Not knowing whether to wear her hair up or down, she had decided on the latter. It was sexier. And it was breakfast after all. Of course none of Sue Ellen's outfits were complete without her trademark shoes. Slipping into a pair of white Gucci sandals, she knew that her perfectly manicured toes only further accentuated her long tanned pins. And what was better, she knew that JR would notice too. God she knew how to play that man. She ruffled her hair one more time before stepping out into the Dallas sun. The restaurant wasn't too far away and she would enjoy the walk, giving her time to think before meeting JR. Checking her watch she noticed it was coming up on 10am - she was going to be late. But then she had never been the punctual half of the pair. Arriving at Benedict's, she suddenly felt nervous as if she was going on a first date. Her stomach flipped over as her heart started to beat faster. She looked around and saw JR's car in the car park. Of course he hadn't walked the couple of blocks. 'Typical' she thought to herself. Once inside she was immediately greeted by a hostess "Good morning Mrs Ewing", the polite young woman said, recognising her. 'Mr Ewing is already here'. "Thank you", Sue Ellen said softly and followed the hostess to the area that JR was seated in. Seeing her, he immediately stood up. The restaurant wasn't busy and she noticed he had chosen a booth near the back, private and secluded. Sue Ellen also noticed how JR eyed her from head to toe, almost mentally undressing her as if hungry for a meal he hadn't had in a while. He had hoped it wasn't obvious. It was, but she didn't let it show. Sue Ellen sat and JR followed, not once taking his eyes off her as she ordered a coffee. JR asked for his own and the hostess explained she would return shortly to complete the order. "Thanks for coming..." JR said. Sue Ellen nodded. "You look stunning.." "Thank you" said Sue Ellen as one mental 'ding' went off in head. Points earned. "Sue Ellen....I am so sorry" JR began. "Yes, you said..." Sue Ellen said, deliberately not looking at him but at the menu, flicking through it in an attempt not only to frustrate him but to look like she didn't care. JR wasn't stupid. He'd known this woman long enough to understand her moods. Most of them anyway. But for some reason, this time seemed different. She wasn't giving in the way she had previously. JR wasn't a patient man and seeing her in front of him today looking so beautiful after being - by his own choice - starved of her for so long he was ready to reach across the table and take her in his arms. But he knew with Sue Ellen, he had to play the game too. And if it kept her here for a little while longer, he'd be a willing participant. And then she did something. Something he wasn't expecting. She looked from her menu, straight into his eyes, her eyes looking up without her head moving. It was one of her killer moves which never failed to reduce him to a wreck. JR had never been able to work out if she did it on purpose, or if she was even aware of it. It was a killer. After successfully reducing him to silence once more, the hostess reappeared and took their order - Sue Ellen ordering a breakfast omelette, JR although not that hungry ordered bacon and eggs with some toast. "So what did you want to talk about?" Sue Ellen asked. JR sighed. "I can't stand this Sue Ellen....this lack of connection", JR started, although probably not the best phrase to begin with. It was the first thing that came out of his mouth. "I didn't cause it" Sue Ellen said. "I accept that" "I know now I was wrong to leave John Ross, but I did not deserve your treatment of me", she said defiantly. "You did not. But I have other things on my mind...things that made me react in the way that I did." "And it was things you didn't feel you could talk to me about obviously?", Sue Ellen said, a mix of relief, worry and anger sweeping through her at once. "I'm supposed to be the man in this relationship. The one who you turn to. How was I supposed to talk to you about this?" Sue Ellen's demeanour changed as she creased her brow in worry. "That's a very male orientated way of looking at things", Sue Ellen said. "I'm your wife. You're supposed to talk to me". JR looked to the side and took a deep breath. "OK...." he said. "It's Peter Richards".