THE WAGES OF SIN—PART 3 >>>>>> I did talk to the girls, lining them up as I cooked a pound of bacon before frying two eggs for each of us. After my "discussion" they all understood to mind their own business and not Amy's and mine. I kissed everyone goodbye afterwards and drove off to work. Fridays are always hectic. The men turn in their time sheets then Carolyn and her assistant Barbara review them, compute their wages and withholding for taxes and benefits using a payroll program I had bought last year.
Finally, the program told me not only how much money I needed, but the exact number of each bill denomination, as well. Carolyn and Barbara were salaried and so was I. With all that information in hand I drove to the bank for a withdrawal and returned so the payroll was ready before noon.
I always tried to visit the men on their jobs to deliver their pay personally. I had learned that this was an effective way to bond with and support my employees. I usually wished them a great weekend, but this weekend would be special. I left early as was my habit on Fridays, but first I stopped by to check on the Johansen job. It was making great progress.
The skylight was in and the roof completely repaired. They had selected a top brand that could be opened with a remote control, a wise decision in my opinion.
It would be much easier to open and close than a manual and it would close automatically in the event of rain. The tile work was done and grouted. Only the placement of the plumbing and electrical fixtures and final painting of the upper walls and ceiling needed to be done.
Mrs. Johansen was ecstatic. She told me how pleased she and her husband were with the job. Even better, I had earned similar jobs with three of her neighbors. Gotta keep up with those Joneses! >>>>>> Saturday morning the girls knew they were responsible for their own breakfasts so Amy and I lingered in bed. Okay, we did get up to pee and use mouthwash, but then we were back in bed for even more fun and games.
Amy had proven to be an adventurous, imaginative, and energetic lover. I had always tried to please Terri and now those lessons were used to Amy's advantage. We had worn each other down last night and now we barely had the energy to move. I pulled the blankets over us again, whispering, "I love you" in Amy's ear before we fell asleep again. I knew that Amy planned to take the girls out to do their nails before their hair appointments, but she gathered the three of them in the living room just before lunch.
I knew that something was up. "Tim, the girls want to get their ears pierced. I think they're more than old enough." I agreed. It was Terri who had refused them earlier.
Amy told me she would buy them two sets of posts, one in gold and one in their birthstone, also in gold which I knew was good at avoiding infection. I agreed, telling Amy I had a few things to pick up for the party.
I'd take their dresses and shoes to a room adjacent to the Coffee Pub's office where they could change before the party. They left at 1:30; I left at 1:45 to go to the restaurant and then to the airport. I stood outside the exit's security area with a sign saying "MELTON" as I awaited my future in-laws. I recognized them immediately from the photos I'd seen on Facebook.
We waved then I shook hands with George and received a hug from Margaret as they thanked me over and over for bringing them to see Amy and Amber.
"I can't wait to meet your daughters, Tim. Amy phones us every week and Amber always has so much to tell us about them." "They're good kids, Margaret, just like Amber. They've really stepped up since their mother disappeared." I grabbed their suitcase from the carousel and led them out to my truck. Two minutes later we were en route to the Sayville Motor Lodge. I explained that they were only a few miles from the restaurant.
It's not the best motel in the area, but it has always been clean and I could testify about the quality of the plumbing. I dropped them at their room, gave George $30 to cover the cab and told him to call for it at 5:30.
I didn't know much about the restaurant's history, but I'd always considered the name "Irish Coffee Pub" to be a misnomer.
It sounds like a bar or coffee house, but it really is one of the area's most elegant restaurants and catering halls. With an open bar for my guests I'd pay substantially more than $100 per person for tonight's party plus twenty percent for the tips. I didn't mind at all. I returned home to shower and shave before dressing. Amy phoned around 5:00 to tell me that they should be able to leave the salon around six. I replied that I'd meet them at the restaurant's entrance. I was there at 6:20; Amy's parents were already seated in the bar behind menus when we strode past.
Twenty minutes later what I now referred to as my harem joined me in the restaurant. Our table was near the door so I would be able to greet our guests as they entered. I had arranged the seating so Amy was on my left and Amber, Andrea, and Chrissy were on my right. I planned to put my parents next to Amy and hers next to Chrissy. Everyone was there by seven so I stood for some introductions. "I think that everyone here knows my daughters Andrea and Chrissy." They stood as I mentioned them.
Then I moved to my parents who had been thrilled to meet Amy and Amber. Finally, I pulled Amy and Amber up beside me.
Before speaking I whispered into Amber's ear, "Turn your head when I push against your cheek. It'll be a surprise. Okay?" She nodded and I returned to my remarks. "You all know that I've asked Amy to marry me so now I'd like to tell you about our courtship." I explained how we had met at the supermarket and how we had gone for more than two months spending every weekend with our girls before Amy's housing emergency had finally brought us together.
"Not only did I get a wonderful woman, but I also got another beautiful daughter. I intend to formally adopt Amber once Amy and I are married." I nodded to the restaurant manager who had been standing in the doorway as requested before continuing.
"Now I have the pleasure of introducing our final two guests. I just met them this afternoon, but I can already tell that I'm going to love them. They came all the way from western Pennsylvania to be with us tonight." I moved Amber's head with gentle pressure from my finger.
She screamed and jumped for joy when she saw her grandparents. "Grandma! Papa!" She pulled away and ran to them before Amy even had a chance to react. Amy looked at the doorway then at me and finally back to the doorway. "How? How did you get them here?" By now they had approached the table and Amber was introducing them to my daughters and parents.
Finally, they reached Amy and me. "You have the most wonderful fiancée, Amy. He phoned me Thursday morning and invited your dad and me to join you. Tim offered us his office sofa-bed for a few days." She hugged Amy and then me before taking her seat next to Chrissy. "I still don't understand how you managed this." "It was simple, Amy.
I went online to a white pages site I sometimes use. There aren't that many Meltons in McKees Rocks so I phoned and tried to explain who I was and why I was calling. Your mom recognized my name right away. In fact, she asked if I was 'Amy's Tim.' I guess I am. The rest was simple." "Maybe, but I think you're just amazing." And then she proved it by kissing me. Once she broke it we turned our attention to drinks and dinner.
I've never been much of a drinker. Sure, I'm Irish on both sides, but I've always hated how I felt the next morning so I never have more than two.
After that I switch to ginger ale. We were into our soup course when Margaret asked me how I got into the plumbing business. My dad and my girls laughed. They'd heard the story too many times. "My parents wanted me to go to college, but I knew at an early age that it wasn't for me. I was smart enough. I graduated in the top twenty of my class which was more than 600 by the time we graduated.
I went to Wilson Tech afternoons after taking English, social studies, math, Spanish, and science in the morning. In the afternoon I went through my plumbing apprenticeship. "Dad was a small general contractor, specializing in renovations and additions, and I always enjoyed working with him.
Doing that I learned how reliable the plumbing side of the business was. Plumbing almost always thrives because of repair work, remodeling, and sewer problems and in good times there is always a lot of new work. "Anyway, I worked as an apprentice for a year which is fairly typical of tech school grads then became a journeyman plumber at age nineteen which is not.
My boss was an older man who knew that I wanted to become my own boss. I took the master plumber license test and passed it at twenty-three then he retired and sold the business to me.
Two years later I married Terri and the rest is history. I did eventually change the company name and we grew from eight employees to seventeen. Next year we'll be even bigger. I have an important announcement to make later." There was a break in the service so I asked Amy to dance while my dad took Andrea, then Chrissy, and finally Amber to the floor. Everyone at our table had the Coffee Pub's outstanding prime rib for dinner and we boxed up several large pieces we'd use for tomorrow's lunch.
I stood again, tapping on my glass to get everyone's attention. "I'm glad that everyone was able to attend tonight. It's a small way for me to thank you for all your work during the year. You'll be happy to know that the Johansen remodel has resulted in three more jobs that will eventually be even more elaborate than theirs.
But, that's small potatoes in comparison to what I'm going to tell you now. I spoke to Joseph Weiss this afternoon. We got Yaphank Pines." The room exploded in cheers and applause. I spoke again once quiet was restored. "For the benefit of the wives and my future in-laws, Yaphank Pines is a projected 3500 home development in the Yaphank pine barrens.
There will be community buildings, three big shopping malls—each with a big modern supermarket--churches…everything to make it a small city. There will be work for the next ten years and I want you to know that we were NOT the low bid.
We were close, but there were two major factors in the decision. There are to be no sewers in the development so that means cesspools. Our closest competitor was going to use concrete block, but my bid included pre-cast concrete which all of us know is far superior in strength and longevity. "The other factor was my reputation for quality work and we all know that really means YOUR reputation for quality work, so I thank you again.
Now let's dance and have a great time." And that's exactly what we did, leaving just before midnight. Amy's parents went with her; the girls drove with me in the truck, their preferred mode of transportation. >>>>>> Amber pulled her grandparents into the house and up the stairs. Amy, Andrea, and Chrissy followed her as I carried the suitcases, leaving them in the hallway before joining everyone just as Amber was pointing out Andrea's bed, dresser, and desk.
Then she began to mist up as she said, "And this is MY bed, and this is MY dresser and MY desk." She turned and hugged Chrissy then Andrea. "These are MY sisters." She hugged me saying, "This is MY daddy." Then she broke down, crying openly as she declared, "And THIS is MY family!" I held her as she wept into my chest.
I didn't care at all that she destroyed my expensive silk tie. Instead, I whispered, "We all love you, Amber. We're proud to have you in our family." Chrissy and then Andrea joined in with the hugging.
We held each other for almost five minutes before I suggested that the girls shower and get ready for bed. Chrissy went to the master bath as I led George and Margaret to my office. First, I rolled up a thick set of blueprints--almost fifty pages thick—the plans for Yaphank Pines—then folded my drafting desk against the wall and pushed my chair under the desk.
In seconds I had the bed open, explaining that I had made it earlier this afternoon. After showing them the two dresser drawers I had cleared for them I suggested that they join Amy and me in the living room. "You won't be able to get anywhere near the bathroom until the girls finish." A minute later they were seated on the couch while Amy and I settled in on the loveseat. "I'm so pleased for Amber, Tim." Margaret explained how she had always asked what Amber had wished for on her birthday. "She always said the same thing ever since her cowardly father deserted Amy and her; she always wished for a family of her own.
Her wish has finally come true. Thank you so much for everything, Tim." "I'm not the only one responsible. Amber bonded with Andrea and Chrissy immediately and Amy was really the one who realized our relationship's potential." "That's true, Tim, but you're the one who started the ball rolling. I doubt that one man in a thousand would have given a strange woman $50 for her groceries and then refused to take the change.
If you hadn't done that we'd never have had any kind of relationship." Our conversation ended then as three young girls ran laughing down the stairs. I had to join them in laughing. I knew they had at least a dozen nightgowns each, but they insisted on wearing t-shirts and what I had always called gym shorts to bed. They hugged and kissed each of us before returning up the stairs to bed. I agreed that we should all sleep in, commenting that I thought God would understand if we missed Mass once in our lifetimes.
I also explained that the girls would get their own breakfasts and showed Margaret how to operate our single-cup coffee brewer in case they were up before us. Finally, I suggested they leave the bathroom light on in case they needed to use it during the night. We hugged and retreated to our respective rooms. Amy's parents stayed through Christmas as we all got to know each other well and had an incredible holiday.
George and Margaret left on December 28th, receiving hugs and kisses all around. This time of the year is usually slow—who wants a plumber in their home over the holidays? Well, you might if you had a sewer stoppage, but otherwise—no way. I went to work every day, but only worked through noon. We had enough work to keep the men occupied and after the New Year we'd have much more. We celebrated New Year's Eve at home.
I drank a few gin and tonics, but Amy only had ginger ale. She prepared frozen hors d'oeuvres that were absolutely devoured by the girls. My parents joined us, but left early. We stayed up long enough to ring in the New Year, but tumbled into bed by 12:30. Two weeks later I joined Amy in Walter Peterson's office. "I have good news and bad," he began. "Tim, there's no sign of your wife or her boyfriend. Pinkerton's thinks he changed his name and social security number to hide from his wife and to help escape his past employment problems.
However, Amy, they have found your husband even though he's changed his name. He lives just outside Boulder, Colorado where he owns an insurance agency. His new name is Michael Clarke and here's the best news—he's married with a family.
He'll have no choice but to sign off on your adoption paperwork, Tim. "Amy, I was going to move forward with your petition, but now I think we should wait. We can call in the law if he balks at signing…and then there's the issue of child support." We talked for a while before agreeing that he and I would travel to Boulder the following week for a friendly chat with Mr.
Clarke/Chambers. We flew first class early the following Wednesday morning—Walter's treat--arriving in Boulder after a four hour flight. He rented a car for the day and I drove to the Clarke Agency. "Good morning," I said to the agent who greeted us.
"We'd like to see Mr. Clarke." "I'm sure I can help you." I smiled as I informed him, "I'm just as sure that you can't. It's a personal matter." We waited about twenty minutes until Amy's current—soon to be ex—husband walked out of his office to greet us. He closed the door as Walter introduced us. "We have an important matter to discuss with you, Mr.
Chambers." He started for just a second before replying, "I think you've made a mistake. My name is Clarke." "Let's cut to the chase, Michael. You were in the United States Army for two months before breaking your leg and getting a medical discharge.
The Army always fingerprints their recruits for a variety of reasons. Shall I phone the sheriff and tell him we have a bigamist for him to arrest?" I joined in then. "Michael, we have no desire to harm you or your life. Mr. Peterson is a well-established attorney in New York. I want to adopt your daughter Amber. I plan to marry Amy as soon as we are both divorced and I want her as my daughter.
If you will allow Walter to explain the document I think you'll agree it is completely fair to you.
I have plenty of money so we're waiving any claim to past child and spousal support and we agree never to disclose your current identity or whereabouts. All you need to do is have your signature notarized and we're gone." Walter pulled the four copies from his briefcase and placed one in front of Clarke.
He spent the next half hour reviewing and explaining.
Amy and I had already signed before a notary in Walter's office. There was a space under our signatures for Michael Chambers to sign. "Okay," he said at last. "I selected Clarke as my name because I could basically use the same signature. My penmanship is pretty bad." He called his secretary in and signed in her presence.
She stamped all four documents. He kept one, we shook hands and left. "Not too shabby, Walter; now all we have to do is sweat out mine." He laughed. "Just leave it to me. It won't be a problem. You'll see." We were back on Long Island in time for a late dinner. We had an appointment in Family Court ten days later when Walter showed just how right he was.
Amy and I sat at the table watching Walter Peterson work the judge like Michaelangelo had worked the marble when he created the Pieta and the statue of David.
He produced evidence that both of us had been abandoned. To this day I didn't understand how he managed to get the judge to handle both cases simultaneously. The judge agreed to Amy's divorce almost instantaneously.
She had been abandoned almost nine years previously, after all. The judge balked initially at granting my divorce without Terri being present. However, Walter brought a high ranking official of the Pinkerton's Detective Agency to the witness stand. Over almost an hour he detailed every step they had taken to find my wife. "My client should not be penalized because his adulterous wife has skipped town with her lover, leaving him to care for his two daughters and manage all of the household duties while running a successful local business." "Adulterous, Mr.
Peterson?" "Yes, your honor. I have here photographs taken by Mr. Moran showing his wife and her lover--her former supervisor--going at it in their marital bed." He handed the photos to the clerk who marked them for identification and passed them to the judge. "I think you'd better put Mr. Moran on the stand, Walter." Now I understood; Walter and the judge had a personal relationship.
I doubted we could have asked for more. I testified under oath about finding them, meeting with Chet Collins and Mrs. Ernst and about my subsequent discussions with Terri—everything right up until I found that Terri had left us.
Then, to my surprise, he told me to continue—even getting into my relationship with Amy and Amber. When Walter produced the agreement with Michael Chambers the judge smiled. "You wily old coyote; why didn't you show me this earlier? Am I to understand that you want to marry the current Mrs. Chambers and adopt her daughter, Mr. Moran?" "Yes, your honor. It's a long story, but that pretty much sums it up." "Let's assume that I have all day.
Tell me all about it." That's exactly what I did, spending most of the next hour reviewing our past right up to the current day. "…and that's why we'd like to get married as soon as we can." "You mean like today?" "Well, we'd like to have our families present." "From what you've told me I can understand that.
It isn't often that I hear a story like yours. Okay, your divorces will be granted and final in thirty days. That should give you enough time to find a church and just let Walter know if you can't. I'll be happy to do the job myself. See you at the country club on Saturday morning, Walter. I'm gonna beat your sorry ass this time.
That's off the record, clerk." He banged his gavel and we were done. "I'm going to hate losing my secretary, but I'm glad for both of you." He shook my hand and hugged Amy then we left the courtroom as the clerk announced the next case.
>>>>>> Amy and I drove immediately to our church to speak with Father Werkel, the pastor. We were optimistic having read recently that the pope had announced that divorced couples could now partake of the sacraments in the Catholic Church. Apparently, Father Werkel didn't believe him because he absolutely forbade it. "That doesn't mean that I want you to leave our church, Tim. We've always enjoyed having you and your family here with us." "You hypocritical bastard!
Your only interest in me and my family is the $10,000 I always contribute at Christmas plus my pledge to the building fund. I can't believe that you'd go against the pope, but, knowing you as I do I should have realized that you live in the nineteenth century.
Good-bye, Father; you'll never see us again and consider my pledge revoked." I took Amy's hand and led her from the parish office. I was steaming when Amy stopped me in the parking lot and moved up to kiss me. "What's plan B, Tim?" "I don't know, but I know someone who might be able to help us." I phoned my friend Chet Collins. Sure enough, he had the answer. At his suggestion I phoned his pastor, Rev.
Paul Roberts of the United Methodist Church. He was happy to have us and offered to perform the ceremony himself. And that was how we all became Methodists. It was Thursday the first week in March when we returned to court.
This time there were five of us in addition to Walter Peterson. The judge called Amber in front of him. "I want to speak with you, my dear. Would you be more comfortable if we spoke in my chambers?" "No, your honor; I know you want to ask me about being adopted by Tim. I want that more than anything.
He is already my daddy. I love him and I'm so happy that he wants me to be his daughter, just like Andrea and Chrissy." My girls raised their hands when Amber mentioned their names. "May I ask you for a favor, your honor?" She proceeded when he had agreed. "My middle name is Evelyn after my birth father's mother. She has totally ignored me ever since he left us. I'd like to change Evelyn to Margaret, my maternal grandmother's name." "I assume you'd like your surname to be Moran.
Is that correct, Amber?" "Absolutely, your honor!" "Very well, I order the divorce in the matter of Chambers vs. Chambers to be granted as requested by the petitioner. In the matter of Moran vs. Moran, the divorce is granted to the petitioner. I also order that Amber Evelyn Chambers be adopted by Timothy Michael Moran, said adoption to be effective once he and Mrs. Chambers are married. I understand that will occur on Saturday morning in the United Methodist Church." "Yes, your honor," Walter stated.
He was smiling and his eyes twinkled knowing that he and justice had triumphed. The judge banged his gavel and we all hugged. Amy folded herself into my arms and gave me the most incredible kiss right in front of the judge and his entire staff. I took her hand once she broke it and led my family out the door for lunch before going to the Islip MacArthur Airport to greet Amy's parents.
We'd spent the past month becoming familiar with the Methodist church. It was a very welcoming place. Saturday morning I stood at the altar, my dad acting as best man, as Amber walked slowly up the aisle followed by Amy and her dad. He kissed her cheek and handed her to me. We stood together in front of Rev. Roberts and ten minutes later we had exchanged rings—simple gold bands--and pledged ourselves to each other until death do us part. As happy as we were, I thought that Amber was even happier.
We returned to the house for a catered lunch and a joyous family afternoon. I hadn't been hugged so much in longer than I could remember. Our honeymoon was delayed until the school's Spring Break—ten days that ran from Holy Thursday through the following week.
I'd obtained passports for both Amy and Amber and enrolled them in the twice-a-week Spanish lessons that Andrea and Chrissy had been taking with a Mexican scholar who worked at one of the local universities. I'd taken six years of Spanish beginning in seventh grade and continuing until I had graduated. Initially, I had worked with several Hispanic workers who were now two of my most trusted employees.
Unlike some in our country, I had the highest respect for the work ethic most Mexicans possessed. Yes, we were taking our daughters on our honeymoon. They'd been a huge part of our relationship so far, so why not? I had already arranged for a two bedroom suite overlooking the large freeform pool and the deep blue Sea of Cortez in San Jose del Cabo. The resort was all-inclusive, but I never drank all that much. Our daughters would make up for that at every meal.
I did enjoy seeing them dress up for dinner nightly in the resort's ala carte restaurant. We had flown out of New York La Guardia for Phoenix and, from there, direct to San Jose del Cabo. I'm always amazed at how other countries organize their immigration and customs so efficiently whereas here in the U.S. the process of entering the country can take hours.
Today was no exception. We waited on line for no more than ten minutes before rushing en masse to the highly amused official. He was even more amused when first Chrissy and then Andrea calmly greeted him in his native tongue. It was only two minutes before we proceeded to retrieve our baggage and a few minutes more to pass through customs. Then we walked outside to the sunny mid-eighties day to find our resort's representative for our complimentary transportation.
Meeting him was yet another opportunity for the girls to practice their Spanish. This time it was Amber, who had proved to be an enthusiastic student, who greeted the man. Twenty minutes later we walked together into the cool dark lobby of the resort. Of course, our room wasn't ready, but we'd planned ahead, packing tee shirts, bathing suits, and sandals in our carry-on's.
We headed straight to the buffet lunch once we had changed. The afternoon was spent at the pool with Amy and me relaxing in the shade while the girls frolicked in the water and participated in the games organized by the resort's entertainment staff. We had a wonderful time and, yes, the girls gave us plenty of "private time," not that we needed any. We made love every night and almost every morning, too. Thank God I was able to relax in the shade or in the hot tub virtually every day, conserving energy for the rigors I faced every evening.
We took a snorkeling/lunch trip down to Cabo San Lucas where the girls marveled at the archways carved in the rocks by the mighty Pacific before checking out the multicolored fish at the reef. It was a wonderful day, but not the vacation's best.
That was the day we all went fishing. We drew lots to determine the order and chance it was that found Amber in the chair when a big yellowfin tuna took the hook. I'd caught a yellowfin earlier that our captain told us was a respectable 40 pounds, but it was dwarfed by Amber's fish. She struggled for almost an hour, but refused help in landing her adversary.
We all helped her any way we could--giving her bottled water from the cooler and rubbing her shoulders and arms. Finally—slowly—the fish tired and was brought to the stern where the mate gaffed the fish. Amber beamed as Amy took her picture several times with what the captain claimed was the largest yellowfin he'd ever seen.
It was put on ice and weighed in at the dock at just over ninety-four pounds. We took several steaks back to the resort for our dinner that evening, giving the remainder of the fish to the captain and crew. The three tuna and five dorado we'd caught would bring them more than a hundred dollars—a lot of money in Mexico.
All too soon the vacation ended and we flew back to Long Island to get on with our lives. >>>>>> Once we were home I started a DIY project in the basement. I wasn't at all surprised when Chrissy asked to join me. I began by measuring an area ten feet by twelve along a wall with two small windows. Using a chalk line on the floor I nailed several two by fours directly into the concrete.
Chrissy was a big help here. She'd done this before and was careful to use her safety goggles, exactly as I had taught her. Next we nailed two by fours directly overhead into the floor joists. Chrissy marked every sixteen inches as locations for the vertical beams to support the sheetrock and paneling I planned to use. I was surprised that she hadn't asked me what we were doing. That came at dinner that night. "Daddy, I know we're building a room in the basement, but why?
What is it going to be?" "Amy and I have decided to move my office down there." "But…Daddy, you love your office. Why would you want to move it?" "Hannah will need it." I could see Amy's smile as I teased our daughters with my answers. Amber joined in once she had finished chewing her pork chop. "Who's Hannah?" "Let's just say that my harem is getting another member." They looked at me and then at Amy until the light flicked on in Chrissy's brain.
"Oh my God! Mom's having a baby! It's going to be another girl…a girl named Hannah!" She looked to Amy who simply smiled and nodded. All of a sudden the dam burst and I knew I'd never get another word in for the rest of the evening, at least. Chrissy and I worked again on Sunday afternoon, finishing the room's framework before dinner. We applied sheetrock to the outside walls and a light oak paneling to the interior.
Years ago I had installed a split unit heat pump to the basement, mostly to moderate the temperature and remove the humidity and mold that plagued many basements in our area.
It was a simple job that I had done myself—one of the benefits of being a plumber. Now I added a smaller unit to my new office. We glued white fiberglass panels to the ceiling, adding recessed fluorescent lighting. Carpet on the floor finished the job. We moved my furniture down and began planning the baby's room.
For this I just tried to stay out of the way of my four women. Hannah was the main topic of discussion most days and decorating her room was something that received a lot of attention.
Eventually, Amy and the girls picked out wallpaper that Chrissy and I applied over a weekend and a new carpet to match. I let the carpet people handle that. We shopped together for a crib and furniture. Amy and I agreed to buy a set that could be used as she grew older instead of strictly baby furniture that Hannah would outgrow in a few years.
We came together as a family that spring and by summer it seemed as though we'd been together for years. We sat in the living room on the Friday of the last week in June as our daughters brought their report cards for our review. I was surprised when Andrea's was accompanied by a letter from Mrs. Kelly, the school principal. We learned then that we had a lot to celebrate. Not only were we expecting Hannah in mid-September, but our daughters had finished the school year very well. Amber and Chrissy were ranked second in seventh and sixth grade respectively and Andrea, always very competitive, had placed first in the eighth grade.
Amy and I couldn't have been prouder. We were basking in the reflected glow when Amber asked if Amy remembered her promise. "Oh! A lot has happened since then, Amber. I didn't anticipate meeting and marrying Tim or becoming pregnant." I could see Amber's disappointment so I asked, "What was the promise, Amber?" "I asked if I could have a puppy if I had a really good report card, Daddy, but that's okay." "Hmmmm." I sat silently for several minutes reflecting on Amber's request and Amy's promise.
"It's okay…really, Daddy. I understand." "No, Amber; a promise is a promise, but I think we need a dog, not a puppy. We'll have our hands full with Hannah come September. We have an alarm system, but I'm sure that it could be defeated by a team of professional burglars. It's one thing to have crooks come in when nobody's home, but soon Amy and Hannah will be here most days.
I think a dog would discourage most burglars. We can go out to the SPCA and the Humane Society tomorrow morning. I want to check with a friend to get his recommendation as to what kind of dog might be best. Don't be disappointed if we don't find one right away. We'll keep on looking until we're successful." Amber was so excited that she jumped into my lap to hug and kiss me.
Amy looked on with an amused smile. Andrea and Chrissy sat there in shock. They'd wanted a dog for years, but Terri wanted no part of one.
One of my friends from Kiwanis was Dr. Jon Nichols, a very well regarded veterinarian. I sent him a text, but he phoned back, giving me several key points to consider. Bottom line—his recommendation was to get a mixed breed of either a black or yellow Lab. A big dog was almost always better with children and was more likely to be an effective deterrent when faced with a threat.
I treated the family to breakfast at a local diner on the way to the SPCA. Jon had warned me not to expect too much and he was right. There were plenty of puppies, but of the wrong kind and most of the grown dogs were too old for our needs. We fared better at the Humane Society. There one of the workers asked what we were looking for before leading us out to the kennels. "I think we have just what you're looking for. This spayed female was brought in only a few days ago.
She's just about twelve months old and belonged to an elderly woman whose husband passed away. She had to move in with her daughter's family and one of the kids is allergic.
She's a yellow lab mix. Ah…here we are. Come on, Lady." All three girls held their hands out for Lady to smell before petting her head and scratching her ears. Judging from Lady's tail I guessed their greetings were well received. I looked at Amy and she nodded. We had a dog. I made a hefty donation and we led Lady out to the truck.
She sat between Amber and Chrissy with her head leaning on the back of Amy's seat all the way home. Lady was already a sizable dog at more than forty pounds, but Jon told us to expect her to reach ninety or more by the time she was fully grown.
I could hear the girls laugh as Lady capered between them or chased the lacrosse ball Jon had suggested we buy for her. Our favorite trick though involved Lady sitting in front of me while I placed her Nylabone on her nose, telling her to 'Stay!' She moved like lightning, catching her bone in her teeth every time as soon as I told her to go.
We always rewarded her with hugs and doggie treats for her good behavior. She was a valued member of our family by the time she had been with us for a week. >>>>>> Summer is a busy time in the plumbing business. We'd begun our work at Yaphank Pines and I'd picked up some big renovation jobs at our local school district in addition to normal repair and renovation work.
We were so busy that I had to hire two additional journeymen and one apprentice. It was either that or turn away profitable work. In spite of that I managed to take at least one day a week off from work to spend with my family. I walked in the door in late July as Lady ran up to greet me. After scratching her ears I strolled in to the kitchen where I found Amy seated glumly. "What's wrong, Amy? Are you okay?
How about Hannah? What did Dr. Gordon say?" She looked up at me with a pout on her face. "No more penetrative sex—that's what she said. I'm so upset." I leaned down to kiss her gently. "Don't worry," I whispered. "I can still lick you." "I know, but it's not the same. I love having you inside me." I kissed her again, telling her that I could still be inside her, just not her pussy. She laughed as she slapped my arm, but we both knew where my cock would be tonight and every other night until she gave birth—trapped between those sweet lips.
Amy had never shied away from sucking me to completion and swallowing just as I had always enjoyed licking her G-spot and nibbling on her clit, often for as long as thirty seconds after her orgasm hit to prolong the sweet agony as it coursed through her body. It seemed that the new school year had just begun when I rushed Amy to the Stony Brook University Hospital on a Thursday afternoon.
Glenda Hoskins had agreed to pick up Chrissie and Amber from the middle school and Andrea from the High School in her almost-new minivan. I'd "sold" Terri's van to her so she wouldn't have to pay gift tax on it and bought Amy a new Toyota SUV. I liked the idea that she would have four wheel drive available if conditions warranted. Our area on the north shore of Long Island was very hilly and we've had more than a foot of snow on several occasions during recent winters.
I readily admit that I was a nervous wreck as I waited in the room with Amy. Then we were joined by our three girls. They hugged and kissed Amy before retreating to the waiting area to sit with my parents. I held Amy's hand while we waited and responded eagerly when she wanted to be kissed which, fortunately, was often. Her doctor was in to see her several times, telling us over and over that it wouldn't be long now. I wanted to strangle the bitch after the fifth time. I had brought Amy to the hospital around two in the afternoon.
Thank God she'd been able to reach me in the office. I was about to visit the Yaphank Pines job about twenty miles away where cell phone reception sucks and would suck until the developers installed new towers in the area. Now it was almost ten at night. I had taken my family down to the cafeteria around six at Amy's insistence. I had gulped down some cold meat loaf in congealed gravy with lumpy mashed potatoes in an effort to return to my wife.
I began to wonder after all this time why any woman would want to become a mother and I knew from experience as did Amy that the worst was yet to come. Her water broke almost an hour later and then her work began in earnest. I mopped her sweating face and fed her tiny ice chips, listening sympathetically as she cursed me.
Finally, just after 1:30 the following morning I heard my daughter cry. I held Amy's face, telling her repeatedly how much I loved her. Hannah was cleaned and measured and weighed before she was brought to her mother's teat. She suckled hungrily even as she gripped my pinky in a death grip. In that moment I thanked God for bringing Amy into my life and for helping her and Hannah through their ordeal.
I kissed Amy's cheek quickly before dashing down the hall to the waiting room. I had wanted the girls to go home, but they refused. Instead, I found them sacked out on the uncomfortable chairs.
They woke immediately when I told them, "Come and meet your new sister. She's absolutely beautiful just like her mom and just like you." I hugged each of them and then my parents as we returned to the room where Amy was busy burping our tiny sleeping miracle. >>>>>> It was almost half an hour later that we kissed a weary Amy good-bye and I drove our three exhausted, but elated daughters home.
I knew they were in no shape to go to school that day so I let them sleep in and take the day off. I woke at 7:30 and spoke to John Lynch about the day's work. Everyone in the shop knew that I had taken Amy to the hospital yesterday so they were keen for news and were especially glad to see the photos on my phone and hear that mother and daughter were doing well.
That's one of the things about a small company—there was a real feeling of family that didn't exist in a huge impersonal corporation. I drove Amy's SUV with our daughters back to the hospital around two the following afternoon.
Chrissy agreed to sit in the third seat so there would be room for Amy and Hannah when we returned. Twenty minutes later Amy was in a wheelchair with Hannah in her arms. I took her with the utmost care and placed her carefully in her rear-facing car seat. Chrissy was already in the rear seat and Amber and Andrea took their places on either side of their sister. I made double sure that Amy was belted in and comfortable before beginning the ten mile drive home.
Traffic at this time of day figured to be relatively light, but almost anything can happen on Long Island's roads. There have been times when an accident has tied this two-lane road up for hours. Today, though, fortune smiled on us. I drove into the driveway only fifteen minutes after leaving the hospital. Mom rushed out the door to greet us, followed immediately by Lady. Amy opened her door to greet our pet and also to get her under control before Hannah was in her arms. People say that dogs can't think like we do, but somehow Lady knew that something special had occurred.
She followed Amy into the house, sitting by her feet while Amy carefully laid Hannah on her lap. Lady leaned forward just a little to sniff Hannah's tiny hand then looked at Amy and me. She curled into a ball next to Amy's feet until we placed Hannah into her bassinette then she moved to lie just in front, staying there until Amy had to feed Hannah about an hour later. Mom and Dad stayed with us for two weeks.
Mom was a big help, but I knew that Dad was only there so he'd get some decent meals. He had never been too good with young kids although he was great with our three older girls.
Amy's parents came over the weekend and stayed also for two weeks so we were really crowded. Chrissy moved into her sisters' room so Amy's parents could sleep in hers on an air bed. The girls showered in our bathroom so the grandparents could use theirs. I know that Amy appreciated the help, but we were relieved once everyone had gone home.
We slowly adjusted to Hannah's schedule and Amy regained her strength by taking Hannah and Lady for long walks so three months later I walked in the door on a Friday afternoon to find the house incredibly quiet. "They're at your Mom's," she said as she walked into the living room from the kitchen carrying two glasses of merlot and wearing even less. Her long silky peignoir was black, but transparent, with her tiny bra and thong barely covering her assets. "Guess what my doctor told me today?" "Ummm, that you're a beautiful woman?" "No, that's your job.
Try again…you're only getting two more guesses." I gulped as I decided to play it safe. "You're going to screw me tonight until I can barely crawl, let alone actually stand up?" Amy laughed as she pressed her almost naked body, breasts still swollen with milk, into my chest.
"That's close enough. Let's grab a shower and then you can show me how much you love me." We drank the wine a bit too quickly then walked slowly up the stairs, kissing each other on every step.
Amy stripped me even as she slipped out of her sexy outfit. I laughed as she slipped on her shower cap. That told me a lot. She wasn't going to waste even a second of our precious time on her hair. She washed me hurriedly then spoke in a low feral growl. "Fuck me, Tim. Make me feel the way you did our first time. Take me right here and drive that beautiful cock deep into my core." She gripped my hair and rammed her tongue past my tonsils into my throat as I easily lifted her by her thighs.
She held my head with her right hand as her left found my cock and pulled it into her slit. I pushed home in just a single stroke, that's just how wet and ready she was. Her ankles rested on my shoulders as we moved together. All of those months of enforced denial melted from our memories as our orgasms rose like the relentless tide.
Amy and I had some form of sexual relations every single day other than right after she gave birth. She was weak and tired and I was willing to take no chances with her health or safety. Tonight was something else. Tonight our freedom to love and be loved would know no boundaries other than what God and nature had imposed on all men.
If I could get it up&hellip. We came together, reaching our peaks simultaneously before slipping over the edge into the abyss, suffering what the French call "the little death." Our breathing slowed as we began to return to normal. I carefully moved Amy's legs to the floor as my flaccid organ popped from her tight tunnel.
I realized then what she had meant when she had spoken about her exercise regimen. She had clearly been exercising more than the large muscles of her legs, back, and abdomen. She was in my arms again once I had turned the shower off and grabbed a towel. We dried each other haphazardly and rushed into the bed, ignoring the clothes strewn all over the room.
Amy laughed as water dripped from my hair, but I kissed her anyway, pulling her down to the bed. Amy had considerately pulled the blanket and top sheet down so we slipped under them to warm our bodies as we continued our groping and tongue-laden kisses. "Have I told you how much I love you?" "Not since breakfast; you're overdue, Tim." "Well, I do; I love you more than anything. Not a moment goes by that you're not in my thoughts." "That's nice to know. I love you, too. I hope you know that." "I have about ten pounds of beautiful baby girl that proves that.
I think that I have to shut you up again." I did that by kissing her again and again. We kissed for more than half an hour until we heard Lady run into the room. That always meant that Hannah was waking up. I kissed Amy again then pushed myself out of bed to walk down to what had once been my home office, but was now home to my youngest daughter. She was there in her crib exploring her toes with her mouth when I walked in the room and smiled when Daddy picked her up.
That I was naked and dripping Amy's fluids onto the carpet went entirely unnoticed. I lay Hannah between us—a momentary respite in our planned lovemaking that evening.
I could tell from the look in her eyes that Amy had further plans for me. We kissed our baby—her hands, her feet, and her tummy in addition to her cheeks. I held Hannah while Amy adjusted herself against the pillows before leading Hannah to her breast. She leaned over to face me in invitation while Hannah fed. "Multi-tasking, I see." Amy laughed. "That's what motherhood is all about," she joked. Then I leaned over and kissed her again.
I moved back a few minutes later to fetch a diaper so I could burp Hannah once she was done. Thirty minutes later Hannah was safely in her crib with her faithful watchdog at her side. She was able to sit up now and she loved playing with her musical ball and her colorful rings; Chrissy had shown her how to fit them over the plastic post.
While she was playing Amy was killing me with her love. She rode me like I was a wild bronco in the rodeo, bending my poor cock in directions I had never even imagined existed. I loved every second. Having cum less than an hour earlier I was able to give her three mind-blowing orgasms by the time I was able to shoot.
My cock felt like it had exploded when I erupted into Amy five times. I sagged into the mattress once I was done and Amy collapsed into me. "Thank God you finally came, Tim.
I don't think I could have gone much longer, but…it was beautiful…incredible…breathtaking!" "Exhausting!" "You!" She swatted my arm, but whispered, "I love you, Tim. I love you with every fiber of my body. I love you with my heart and with my soul. You mean everything to me." "I kinda like you, too." I could see the exasperation in her eyes, but rather than say anything she leaned down and kissed me.
I kissed her back with everything I could muster. "Okay," I said when we broke it. "I lied a little. I love you every bit as much." "I know! I assume you're hungry. I didn't cook so we'll have to call for take-out--pizza or Chinese?" We agreed on Chinese. Half an hour later we had Hannah in her playpen while we ate at the dining room table. I fed Lady later, giving her some of the General Tso's chicken and a bit of leftover pork fried rice.
Amy and I retired to the bedroom once I had put Lady out and closed up the house. Amy had bathed and changed Hannah before placing her in for the night. We washed her now in the tub, kneeling on the rug while holding her every second. We were careful in that regard, but we agreed that we should get her used to water in her face. All of our girls were good swimmers. Hannah would be, too once we had enrolled her in infant swimming class over the summer.
Somehow Amy managed to get me up two more times that evening, kidding me about being old. I'd passed the Big 4-0 in early December and I heard about it almost every day mostly from Chrissy. I'd gotten even with her recently when I told her I'd remember this when she wanted to learn to drive. I was really beat after the last time, falling asleep immediately and sleeping through Hannah's interruption around two that morning.
Thank God I had a young wife at only thirty-four. I was in the kitchen the following morning when Dad and Mom drove the girls back home. Chrissy ran in first and, seeing Amy with Hannah in the living room, asked, "You didn't kill that poor old man last night, did you?" "Hey…I heard that!" Chrissy ran into the kitchen and jumped into my arms for a big hug.
"I'm glad, Daddy. I'd miss you. So…did you have fun?" "What were you told about minding your own business?" Chrissy looked down immediately and I knew she was contrite. "So, what did Grandma give you for dinner last night?" "Pot roast, Daddy; it was yummy. I had three slices." We walked into the living room where I hugged my mom, thanking her. She just laughed and muttered something about old men and their needs. I got hugs from my other daughters and watched as Mom took Hannah from Amy while whispering something in her ear.
Amy nodded, laughed, and shot me a knowing look, and laughed again. Nice to know my sex life is such an open book. After that night we were back to every night just as we had before Hannah had been born. Damn, but love was grand! >>>>>> Amy and I had just finished up the dinner dishes about two weeks later on a Friday night. No homework, so the girls were watching TV or playing on their laptops in the living room.
We always stressed the need to get together as a family and I thought we had one of the closest families because of that. Amy and I sat on the love seat while I bounced Hannah on my knee, playing horsey and other baby games. Chrissy ran to the door in response to the bell.
That was surprising. We rarely had visitors, especially at night. She opened the door, looked outside, and closed it quickly. "Who was there, Chrissy?" "Umm, nobody, Daddy; it must have been the wind." She stood stock still as the bell rang again. "I think you'd better answer it, Chrissy." "Do I have to, Daddy?" A wave of my hand gave her the answer. Her reluctance was evident on her face. She opened the door and stepped aside to allow Terri to enter.
"What the hell's going on here? Why doesn't my key work and why is my van in Hoskin's driveway?" We had all stood as she walked in to the room. Terri looked around then continued, "And who the hell is that?" I was hardly surprised when Chrissy responded. "Please allow me to introduce everyone. I'm Chrissy Moran." "I think I know that, Christina." "I'm surprised you remember." "Don't get sassy with me, young lady.
I am your mother!" Chrissy ignored that remark and continued. "This is my eldest sister, Andrea Moran, a student now at Smithtown High School. She's in ninth grade." Then, walking another step she said, "And this is my older sister, Amber Moran.
She's in eighth grade. This is my Daddy, Tim Moran—owner of Moran Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning. This is MY MOTHER, Amy Moran." Then taking Hannah from me she said, "This is my baby sister, Hannah and this is our dog, Lady. Go ahead, Lady—bite her!
She deserves it." "You have some nerve, Tim, inviting some woman here to live with you when we're still married." "Enough!" I'd had enough of her. "First of all, WE ARE NOT MARRIED! I divorced you almost a year ago.
I can't say what appalled the judge more—your adultery or your desertion of your family, but he was more than willing to allow the divorce after only thirty days so that's why your keys don't work and why I have remarried. I adopted Amy's daughter and I'm sure you can figure out how Hannah became my daughter.
Lady was promised to Amber if she did well in school which she did. In fact, they all did extremely well not that you would care. "So, may I ask why you are here? Where's Dickbreath?" "There's no need to be vulgar in front of the children." "Like screwing Dickbreath in Daddy's bed wasn't vulgar? And don't tell me that you're my mother. My mother is standing right there next to Daddy." "You tell her, Chrissy.
I'm just as mad at you as she is--ex-mother. I know that I have a mom who really loves me now, not some stranger who hates me and my father." "Take a good look around, Terri.
Take a really good look at our wonderfully close family. Take a look at the daughters who want no part of you. Take a look at the home you threw away. This is what you've earned with your duplicitous and adulterous behavior. These are the wages of your sin, but I must thank you from the bottom of my heart. I finally have the loving family I always wanted. I thought I was happy with you, but I've learned over the past sixteen months what real happiness can be." I was pleased when Amy wrapped her arm around my waist and moved close to my body.
Terri stood there shocked and silent until I asked once again why she was here. "Umm, I ran out of money. Robert couldn't find a decent job. He could never get any references and when people learned that he had lied by making some up he always got fired. He took my jewelry and split. I had to pawn my engagement ring just to get bus fare here. I don't know what I'll do or where I'll stay." She turned and walked toward the door, head down in despair.
That's when I felt the hand on my arm. "Tim," she whispered as she looked into my eyes. I never could deny Amy so I called Terri back. "Terri, I recall you used to be a very good secretary with excellent math skills. Carolyn is retiring in another five weeks and I've promised her position to Barbara. You can have her job if you wish. It pays thirty plus health insurance.
You're overqualified, but I promised Barbara and she's earned the opportunity. I'll set you up in the Hampton Inn down off the Expressway for a few nights until we can find you a small apartment. I guess you'll need a used car, too. You can start on Tuesday if we get everything done in time. I'll need Monday to warn everyone that you're coming. Let me grab my keys and I'll take you to the Hampton.
Chrissy, please come with us." I wanted her as a witness. I didn't trust Terri and I wouldn't probably ever again, but I had promised Amy and I always kept my promises.
I loaded Terri's single suitcase into the truck bed then helped her into the passenger seat while Chrissy hopped into the rear. Terri hated riding in the truck so this was just one more reminder of what she had done.
We were quiet for the first five minutes until Terri asked Chrissy, "You don't really hate me, do you, Chrissy?" "You should never ask questions if you're not going to like the answer you're going to get. I do hate everything you did to Daddy and to Andrea and me, but I'm like Daddy. I'm actually glad you did. It was worth all of the insulting comments and worse behavior from someone who was supposed to love us to get where we are now.
Amber bonded with Andrea and me right away and Amy couldn't have been friendlier. I still remember our first weekend together when Andrea and I slept over at their place and then Daddy took all of us to the aquarium the next day.
I remember wishing that we could have a family like that and now we do. So, thank you." Terri leaned forward against her seatbelt and cried openly. That was just another of her wages of sin—the bountiful reward for her odious behavior. I checked her into the Hampton Inn, telling her that we'd pick her up tomorrow morning to find an apartment and look for a car.
As an afterthought I asked if she still had her license. She assured me that she did, even as she thanked me for the help.
"Don't thank me. It was Amy's idea which should tell you a lot about the kind of person she is." I dropped her bag in her room and retreated to the hallway. Chrissy spoke first once we were headed home.
"I really do have a great mother, don't I?" "Yes…we're very lucky. Just remember that as you get older." "I will, Daddy. I'm lucky to have you, too." We drove the rest of the way in comfortable silence. I was especially pleased when Chrissy ran into the house to hug and kiss the woman who had become her mother in so many ways. >>>>>> We spent all weekend, but we did find a small furnished apartment for Terri as well as a five year-old Honda Civic that was in decent condition.
I paid cash for the car as well as six months of insurance. Then my duty was done. Now I just had to warn my employees. That happened Monday morning. "Guys, I want you to stick around until Carolyn and Barbara come in this morning. I have something important to say and I want everyone to hear it at the same time so everyone will get the same message." "What the hell, Tim? You're not dying, are you?" "No, Chuck--you're stuck with me for a while yet." We chatted aimlessly for about twenty minutes until the two secretaries arrived.
"Okay, everyone…I want you to know that I've hired Barbara's replacement and I don't want to hear a lot of bitching and complaining about it." "Geez, Tim…who the hell did you hire, the devil herself?" "Oh no…you didn't. That bitch showed up and you hired her?" "There's nothing I could do about it and I wouldn't even if I could." "That only means one thing—it was Amy's idea.
We all know you could never deny her anything." "You're a smart man, John. Why did you become a plumber? You could have been a famous detective. That's right—Amy asked me to hire my ex-wife. You don't have to become bosom buddies with her, but let's not hear any insults. She's lost everything in her life—her family, all her possessions, her self-esteem, absolutely everything—so leave her alone.
Now, get to work. Oh, by the way, you'll get to meet my new daughter tomorrow morning, too. She has an early doctor's appointment. That'll help start the day on a positive note." I knew I could count on Amy to help me through what would otherwise be a most difficult time. There was no question that I had traded up in every regard. The house was even crazier than usual Tuesday morning. For some reason Hannah had chosen that morning to perfect her newest trick—spitting her oatmeal all over the kitchen.
We finally got her fed and dressed and the girls off to school. Andrea now took the school bus to the high school so the rest of us piled into the truck first to the middle school and then to my shop. Amy carried Hannah as I opened the door.
Hannah was clearly the center of attraction even when Terri reported to work. Everyone ignored her except for Carolyn and Barbara who I knew could be counted on to show her the ropes.
What a comedown, I thought, from the genteel world of MBA accountants to what she always called the "filthy plumbing shop" although I paid to have the office professionally cleaned and the floor waxed every Saturday morning. We left at 8:30 for Hannah's 9:00 appointment. She loved her doctor and her exam right up until she had her first shot. Then it was all Daddy could do to calm her tears. Amy and Hannah were home just in time for their daily walk and I drove out to Yaphank where I had eight men actively at work under John Lynch's supervision.
I spent an hour there before returning to the office just before lunch. Amy had made sure that Terri had money for food and gas, giving her a pre-paid debit card yesterday afternoon.
I'd be damned if I was going out of my way to provide lunch every day for the woman who had tried to screw me over. As things turned out I didn't have to worry. Terri left after only a month.
She asked for a reference and I gave her one, explaining that the reason why she had left after such a short time was personal and not a reflection on her work ethic or her skills. She got the job, thanked me, and was out the door a minute later. None of us were sorry to see her go. I went home every night to her replacement, knowing that I'd have her love forever. >>>>>> EPILOG I doubted that our lives could have been better. Andrea graduated at the top of her class and was accepted at Harvard, although she opted for Princeton.
Amber and Chrissy made Salutatorian, also choosing Princeton, giving me three Ivy League students at the same time. Thank God they all received partial scholarships. Hannah was a good, but not spectacular student who attended Clemson, primarily because she liked football, or was it football players? I never could decide which.
I was especially proud that all had solid careers and successful stable marriages, blessing Amy and me with nine grandchildren. My business flourished and I was able to sell it when I reached the age of sixty. By then Hannah was a college senior. Amy and I moved to coastal South Carolina near Hilton Head where I became the world's worst golfer and an average fisherman which proved I could lie with the best of them.
Amy and I still made love, just not every night. I often thought she was afraid she'd kill me. We never did hear from or see Terri again even though she was invited to Andrea's and Chrissy's high school graduations and weddings.
Those invitations were returned as undeliverable. The last I'd heard of her she'd taken off with some smarmy lawyer. Even Amy agreed that he must have been genteel. That was Terri's style. I was just glad that I was Amy's style. She sure as hell was mine!