Sex stories

Short sex stories




Talk of the Town

Hey Folks, Happy Thanksgiving,

I wrote this one with the idea that it would be a nice long Holiday read. It's a bit different from my usual Turkey Day stories. Believe it or not this time the turkey survives. There is no flying food in this story. It is a long one, so those of you who just need a quick two page story should steer clear of it. This year as usual, I'm thankful to have all of you out there reading this and all of my other stories. I'm thankful for my wife and my family and Mustangs. I'm also thankful for Barney-R editing this story and all of the other ones, while writing great stories of his own. Those of you who haven't read his latest one, should look for it. Anyway, here we go. SS06.


* * * * * *

Sarah

The tingles started in my pussy and radiated outwards until they filled my entire body. I was lying on my side with him behind me. He lifted one of my thick legs over my head to give him access to my core. I slammed my big ass against him just as hard as he slammed his dick into me.

The wet squishy sounds of body hitting body filled the room. His grunts, and my moans were barely louder than the smacking sounds that we made every time we slammed into each other.

"Fuck me harder," I moaned. "Come on give it to me."

He was puffing away as if he was on the verge of exhaustion. "Come on yourself Sarah," he wheezed. "I've already fucked you three times. I'm dead."

"You're only twenty years old," I said. "Besides, the second time was in my ass. That doesn't count."

"How the hell does Mr. Miller keep up with you?" he gasped.

"My husband loves me," I said seriously. "He would push himself until he had a heart attack to please me if I needed him to. But I think he's just in better shape than you are. He runs a lot."

"Well maybe you should get home and wait for him to come home and finish you off," he wheezed. "I'm drained. And I do have a girlfriend that I occasionally screw."

"You already told me that she hardly ever gave you any," I said. "What are the chances that she'll be in the mood tonight?"

"We'll surely your iron man husband will be ready to go all night when he gets home," he said. "If he floats your boat so much, why do you need me?"

"Get over yourself," I snapped. My anger flashed so quickly that it surprised even me. "Dennis, makes love to me. What he gives me is romantic and emotional. He gets me off without thinking about it. I LOVE HIM ... like there's no tomorrow!"

"I'm sorry Sarah," he said. "I didn't mean anything by it."

"No Brad," I said. "You're right. This has gone on for far too long. You just reminded me of something that I guess I forgot."

"What are you talking about, Sarah?" he asked. "Don't take me seriously. I'm just exhausted. You're the best thing that ever happened to me."

"Brad, I love my husband. You were only a distraction. Sometimes I feel old and fat. Sometimes I need to just have some no-strings fun, or to try some wilder, weirder sex, you know? But I've been feeling kind of weird lately. It's time to stop," I told him.

An hour later, I was at home. I looked around at the house I loved, and I smiled. My life was awesome. I wondered why I wanted anything else. I showered and made myself fresh. I decided to give Dennis a very special night.

I needed to hurry though, he was due home in about an hour, and if I was freshly showered when he got home, he'd wonder why.

I showered and cleaned myself inside and out. Then I started on dinner. Almost like clockwork, I heard the sounds Dennis coming up our driveway. His Mustang's exhaust system was easy to pick out.

"Great job, Honey," I heard Dennis say. He was always complimenting me on something or other.

"Thank you, Daddy. Your car is so much fun to drive. It's almost like all I have to do is think about what I want it to do," said a voice I recognized as my sixteen-year old daughter Chelsea. "Can I drive your car when I take my test, next week?" she asked.

"Anything for you, Sweetheart," he said.

"Frankie is going to be sooooo jealous," said Chelsea. She bounced her way into the kitchen and grabbed a bag of chips and a soda.

"Chelsea, no snacks, dinner will be ready soon," I told her.

"Mom, I want to eat with Daddy. And he's going out to run, first," she said. Dennis went straight up the stairs without coming in to see me. That was unusual. A few minutes later, I heard him come down the stairs and go out the door. I knew that he was headed for the local park. There were running trails and a track there.

A little over an hour later, he came in and headed straight to the shower. He got something to eat and headed out to the garage. One of our neighbors came over, and they were doing something under the hood of the Mustang. I finished cleaning up the kitchen and went up to our room. I watched TV for a couple of hours while I waited for him to come to bed.

He poked his head in after taking a shower and told me that he'd be in later. He had something to do on the computer. I pulled the comforter off of me and showed him my tight and sexy new lingerie.

"That's a nice color," he said. I was very pissed off.

"You can stay down there on that fuckin' computer all night, Dennis," I hissed at him.

"Fine ... I will," he said. I have no idea what was going on with us. What had just happened was so unlike us that I was having trouble figuring it out?

For the rest of the week, we barely spoke to each other, and Dennis seemed to be fine with it. On Friday, I went to my doctor's office and got the shock of my life. I was pregnant. It couldn't be happening again. Our son was twenty years old and away in college. Our daughter, the Apple of her daddy's eye, is sixteen years old and will be going away in a year and a half. At thirty-nine years old, my child rearing days are behind me.

I was sure that the baby had been conceived when Dennis, and I went up to his parent's cabin in the mountains. There's something about that fresh mountain air that does it to me every time. Chelsea and her brother were both made in that Damned cabin.

I had him. My husband Dennis aka Super Dad would step up to the plate as soon as he discovered that "WE," were having another baby.

I waited triumphantly for his return, knowing that whatever funk he was going through would be trumped by my news. As I thought about it, I remembered several times in the past when we'd gone through things like this.

The last one was at the dream cruise a couple of years before. He'd gone to several of the vendors there and discovered that his motor was out of date. All of the newer Mustangs that had the 5.0 motors were running a 4 volt system. Even though he had more horsepower than most of them, he was running a 3 volt motor, and a lot of the new mods wouldn't work on his car.

He pouted like a baby for nearly a month before announcing to me that he had to buy another car for the sake of his fragile emotional state. I asked him how much he expected to get for the trade in on the old car, and he looked at me like I had pissed in his cornflakes.

Dennis had a plan in mind that there was no fucking way I would go along with. His plan was to rebuild our single-car garage or possibly add to it to turn it into a three-car garage. He would then buy another Mustang, keeping the old one and having the garage space for a third one sometime in the future. He was out of his God Damned mind, and I told him so.

"Dennis, we have two kids to put through college," I reminded him. "You are not Jay Fucking Leno. You have two choices here. Choice A is to trade your Mustang in and get a new one. Choice B is to put on your big boy pants and love the car you have. Stop being a follower and realize that you don't always have to have the latest greatest tech out there. You sit there and ooh and ahh over vintage Mustangs. Well ... Part of being vintage is having your car get older. As long as YOU love it, that's all that matters."

He sulked like a baby for another two weeks and finally decided that he loved his car too much to give it up. I was sure that the news of the baby would beat out whatever he was upset about.

When he came through the door preluded once again by the sound of his high-powered Mustang's exhaust system, I could hardly wait to spring the news on him. But once again, he'd stopped off and brought Chelsea home.

"Daddy, I could have beaten him," whined Chelsea. "It was a friggin Honda. And that greasy cowboy driving it was all hat and no cattle. That would have been..."

"That would have been your first and last ticket," said Dennis. "Neither of you noticed the cop car behind the Burger Queen. The Urban cowboy may have wanted another ticket, but you don't even have your license yet."

"Dad I want this car," said Chelsea. She had her serious face on. "You wanted a different car a while back. This is your chance to get it."

"Chelsea, I am not giving a five hundred horsepower Mustang to a sixteen-year old girl," he said. As I watched, Chelsea stuck out her bottom lip and her dad's face changed. I knew that my husband was about to start bargaining. He simply couldn't bear the thought of our daughter, or our son, for that matter, being unhappy. And Chelsea had been manipulating her dad since she was still wearing diapers.

"Chels, I really love my car," he began. "So I really don't need a new one. Maybe we could start a family tradition you know ...? Maybe we could get you your own Mustang?"

"The same color as yours," she asked. He grudgingly nodded.

"But you're getting a v6," he said as if he was being tough. She frowned and nodded her head as if she had just been forced to eat liver.

"Convertible," she threw in.

"Used," he said, holding out his hand.

"Certified used," she said shaking hands with him.

"We'll start looking online tomorrow," he said. "And do some test drives Friday afternoon."

"I love you daddy," she said hugging him. It was like watching her pat her puppy on the head because he'd learned a new trick. I had no doubt that my daughter was going to get exactly what she wanted. And I was proven right less than a second later.

"Chels, you can have a new car if you want it," he said. Her declaration of love for her dad had weakened him even further.

"Dad, we already made a deal," she said. "Besides the new ones are ugly," she threw over her shoulder as she skipped up the stairs.

It was all I could do not to laugh. My sixteen-year old daughter, who didn't even have a license yet had just talked her dad into buying her a Mustang. I had to get Chelsea on my side. But, I really didn't need her. The new baby would take care of that. For the next eight months or so I would be treated like a queen.

Besides, Dennis and Chelsea had always been extremely close. Getting her to side with someone other than her dad was like trying to stop the sun from shining.

While I'd been lost in my thoughts, Dennis went upstairs. He was probably getting ready for his run. Another hour wouldn't kill me or change the impact of my news.

Two hours later, Dennis had come back from his run and had taken a shower. I could hear Chelsea upstairs in her room, singing like no one could hear her. I was sure that, by the way, she argued a point; my daughter could be a great lawyer. She would, however, never be Taylor Swift.

Dennis was at the computer again, and as I looked over his shoulder, I noticed that he was looking at houses. I smiled.

"Honey, I know we said that now might be a good time to downsize. What with the kids both being in college soon, we simply don't need a house this big anymore," I told him. "But ... Things have changed, Daddy. I'm pregnant again." I expected him to be shocked. I expected him to jump up and hug me, or jump up and just stare at me. What I didn't expect was for him calmly to move on to the next house on his list as if I hadn't said a word.

"Dennis, don't you have anything to say?" I asked loudly.

"I was just trying to look at all the angles and possible permutations of the situation, to figure out my position," he said. "But there is one thing I'm wondering, because it's the key to everything."

"What are you wondering, Honey?" I asked. I thought he was joking with me. I thought that at any moment, he would scoop me into his arms and hug me.

He turned around and looked me in the eye. His face was flat. The man I had loved for most of my life was looking at me like a car part. He was evaluating whether or not to reuse me in his engine or to replace me. My husband looked at me like I was a spark plug. Then he spoke, and it was the worst thing I have ever heard in my life.

"I was just wondering whether the baby is mine or Brad's," he said. "Naturally, it makes a big difference."

"Huh?" I said. My brain was refusing to function. I had no coherent thoughts. "Who," I asked stupidly.

"Brad Johnson; you know the college boy that you've been fucking for the last five or six weeks. We live in a small town, Sarah. No matter how sneaky you are, sooner or later someone is going to see you," he said. All I could do was to stand there barely keeping my balance.

"When I found out, we were done. I started planning out the rest of my life without you. I moved some money around to make things easier for the kids and to lessen how much money we have. I did it for two reasons. The first is to make sure that our kids will come out of this financially stable. The second reason was to lessen how much money I would have to give you," he said.

I wanted to do so many things at that moment. I wanted to reach out to him and have him take me in his arms and tell me that everything was going to work out.

I wanted to say something, but my mouth refused to work. And even if it did, I had no idea what to say.

"Of course, course your baby probably isn't mine," he said with as much confidence as he had everything else. "For the past month or so our sex life has been dwindling down to nearly nothing. I've used every excuse and tactic I could not to touch you. And when I did, I never ejaculated in your vagina. I did what they say women have been doing for centuries ... I faked it. Apparently, you were lying when you swore you felt me cumming, because I never did."

"But ... But I ..." I began.

"You probably remember me shooting sperm all over your face like you were a whore," he said. "It was better than putting it inside of you. In a way, it's really good that you've discovered this. It saves me the trouble of dealing with you for any longer than I have to."

"You don't understand," I whined. "This meant nothing. It was..."

"Don't care," he said. "I have no interest in why you did what you did. If you were bored with us, or wanted someone new, you had every opportunity to let me know. At least, you could have given me the chance to compete for you, but you never did. That indicates to me that you were simply tired of being with me."

"No, you've got it all wrong," I said.

"There are clearly two versions of whatever is going on here," he said. "You can believe whatever bullsnot that floats your boat. But I have to look for logical evidence."

"We've known each other for more than twenty years," he said. "You've always claimed to know me better than anyone else in the world, right?"

"I do," I said.

"So surely you must have known what would happen when I found out, right," he asked.

"I ... I ... Never thought that you'd find out," I said. "Dennis, I love you. I swear it. This was a mistake. We all make them. I'd do anything for you."

"Okay, drop dead," he said. "That would make things a lot cheaper and a lot easier."

"Anything except that," I said.

"Then just sign the divorce papers when they come tomorrow," he said.

"What divorce papers," I asked in shock. "Who said anything about a divorce? Dennis this isn't a reason for anything permanent," I said. "We can work this out. I'll never do it again."

"That's how I feel about sticking my dick in your hole," he said. "And since I will also not live the rest of my life without sex, the two of us need to find other partners. People around town seem to think that I'm a pretty good guy. So I'd kind of like to be in a relationship with whomever I'm screwing. And since nice women don't screw married guys ..."

"We can fix this," I said. "In a few years, it'll be like it never happened."

"Nope, it won't be," he said. "I am older than Brad, but then so are you. Neither one of us is anywhere close to being old enough to think about Alzheimer's though. So I won't be forgetting this. And I could never trust you again. I think it's best we go our separate ways."

"No, I'll fight it," I told him.

"I'm going to let you continue to live in the house until Chelsea goes away to college," he said. "Unless, I end of with custody of her; if that happens, I'll move back in, and you'll have to find a place to stay. As soon as you get and sign the divorce papers, you'll get a check for half of our assets. It should be enough for you to live on until your boyfriend graduates.

I don't give a bubbly fart what the law says," he continued. "I am giving you half of everything we've accrued since we got together. You can keep your car, but you will have to make the payments. I refuse to pay you any type or form of support. After all, it was your cheating that destroyed our marriage. Morally, you should have to pay me, but the only thing I want from you is your absence.

I will of course continue to support my daughter and our son. I had them DNA tested, and they ARE my kids. I've set up accounts for both of them. Their college is paid for, and they have money in their personal accounts as well. You, on the other hand, have more than enough money to live on for a few years, but you need to get your ass in gear and come up with a career. Maybe you could become a sex therapist or a hooker or something.

If you do try to take me to court to get something else out of the divorce, it will prove to me that you didn't really love me, you were just after the money. So I'll disappear. With my degree and my experience, I can get a job anywhere in the world. Name changes are a lot cheaper than supporting fat women who cheat on their husbands. On my way out of town I'll put the videos I have of you rutting with Brad on the Internet and paint the web address on the side of the church. Come Sunday, your ass will be famous. You'll be the talk of the town.

On the other hand, take the money you're getting, live here in the house or get yourself an apartment and live your life. We can both be happy. We can both live here with our heads held high. We'll just tell everyone that things didn't work out. We just grew apart. If we run into each other, we'll just smile and keep on going ... Or maybe we won't smile."

* * * * * *

Jaime

"Come in and have a seat, Jaime," she said. I walked in and sat in the chair that she indicated. I had no idea why I'd been called to her office.

"Jaime, do you like it here?" she asked while still looking at a stack of papers.

"Yes Ma'am. I do," I said. "I've been working very hard to prove that."

"Yes Jaime, you have," she said. "You are very good at your job. It's your uhm ... Interpersonal skills that I called you in to speak to you about. Let me get to the point. Half of our employees think that you're a ray of sunshine. The other half thinks that you're covered in the stench of hell."

"No one appeals to everyone, Ma'am," I said. "Personality conflicts can ..."

"Wow, I was hoping for a quick and tidy, "I'll do my best to win them over, Ma'am," she said. "But I can see now that this goes deeper. I don't want to pry, Jaime, but are you a lesbian?"

"No Ma'am," I said quickly and probably more emphatically than necessary.
"Jaime, there's nothing wrong with it if you are," she said. "It would certainly have absolutely no bearing on your work here. We could really care less."

"I'm not Ma'am," I said again.

"Were you raped?" she asked.

"No, not even ever close to it," I said.

"We're you involved in an abusive relationship?" she asked.

"No Ma'am," I said.

"Jaime," she said. Her voice got softer. "Why do you hate men?"

Two hours later, I was still bristling from the conversation. I liked my job. And truthfully I didn't hate men. I just didn't trust them. Men were messy, dirty, sniveling, deceitful beings that stole your heart and your trust and then left you beaten up and broken.

I had promised my boss that I would find something to calm my nerves and help me deal with my anger issues. I'd remembered how much I used to enjoy walking in the woods with my aunt when I was young.

I'd heard that walking was supposed to be great exercise. So I put on my tennis shoes and headed for the park near my house where there was a trail I could walk.

Something about being out in nature was so calming. The sun and the gentle fall breezes did a lot for my mood. By the time I'd gotten back to my car, I was feeling better. I'd even left my cell phone in the car, so I wouldn't be interrupted.

As soon as I got my ass on the seat it started to ring. Looking at the screen all the peace that I'd worked so hard that afternoon to gain, evaporated.

"Hi Mom," I said.

"Wow, it sounds like you're walking to your own execution," she said. "Do you hate talking to your family that much?"

I didn't bother to answer. I knew she'd keep talking.

"Are you coming home for your father's birthday party?" she asked.

From there the conversation went downhill. My mom threw in several statements on how close my Dad, and I used to be. She tried to use the guilt strategy on me when I explained to her that I REALLY did want to be there for Dad's party, but that I REALLY REALLY had to work. I told her how two REALLY's trumped one REALLY, so I wouldn't be attending the party; as much as I wanted to.

With my good mood shattered; I went home or at least back to my house. I'd lived there for six months, and it still didn't seem much like a home.

I'd never met any of the neighbors and to be honest; a lot of my stuff was still in boxes. I have no idea why I haven't unpacked yet. Maybe that's why the place just feels like a box to keep my stuff in, instead of a home.

* * * * * *

Sarah

Two weeks ago, I'd been ... Well I'd felt like I was the luckiest woman on the planet. It had nothing to do with my looks. I'm average at best. I mean I'm pretty but no one with the exception of my husband was going to go crazy over me. I do have juicy boobs and a big butt, but so do a lot of women. When I was younger, guys were into those super skinny model types. Nowadays, men like women with some curves.

I hit the jackpot twice. One way was in timing. I was thinner during my teens and twenties. But after having a couple of babies and looking towards forty, I simply never lost the extra weight from child birth. I'm not a cow. I weight a healthy one hundred and fifty pounds, with Double D boobs and a mouth-watering, jiggly rear end.

The second way that I hit the jackpot was when I picked the guy I married. Dennis is the sweetest man I have ever met. He loves me no matter how I look or what shape I'm in. For most of our marriage, he's always told me that all he wants is for me to be happy.

I guess that a big part of the human condition is that we always want more. I had everything I have ever wanted, but I still reached for more. Maybe it was a mid-life crisis. Maybe it was the onset of the change. Maybe it was simple vanity.

There comes a time in a woman's life when she hits her late teens or her early twenties and realizes that she can pretty much have anything she wants. She realizes that most men will do almost anything to get some of that little hole between her legs.

She realizes that all she has to do is put on some high tight shorts and a low-cut blouse, and every man in any place is going to look at her. It's a gyp though, because it really doesn't mean anything. You don't have to be especially pretty for it to work. You don't have to be well built either. Men are just hard-wired with pussy on the brain. And if there's the smallest chance that they'll get some, they'll make fools out of themselves.

Women get used to having that power and then one day ... It's gone. One day, a woman realizes that she is simply invisible ... Even to men. At first, it didn't matter. But I think I just hadn't realized it was gone. I would visit friends and notice that their sons barely noticed me. I started trying to tease them, but it didn't matter. I was no longer tempting or sexy.

My husband still couldn't get enough of me. I could tempt HIM if I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. All I had to do was bend forward. It didn't matter if I was facing him or facing away from him. Dennis would go crazy.

But it didn't matter. He was supposed to. After all, he had married me, so he obviously found me attractive.

And then one day, it happened. I was working in the yard, and I heard the doorbell ring. I went to the door and there was a delivery guy there. It was Brad. I remember him because he was a year older than my son and had helped him learn the plays when he played high school football. As we greeted each other and reminisced while I signed for the package, I noticed that his eyes never left my boobs.

As he looked at them, my nipples rose like he was controlling them with his eyeballs.

"Brad, you ... You're staring," I said breaking the uncomfortable silence.

"God ... I wish my girlfriend had ..." he mumbled. I don't think he realized that I could hear him. We were both out of our minds.

"Big titties ..." I finished for him. He nodded.

"I was going to say a body like yours," he said. "When you bent over to put the box down I almost ..."

"Almost what," I giggled.

"Ruined my shorts," he said.

"Well, you can go home tonight and work it all out on that girlfriend," I laughed. I was really happy. And I was kind of excited myself. My pussy was throbbing.

He just laughed at my words. "What's so funny?" I asked.

"What you just suggested," he said. "I'm lucky if I get any once a month. And even when I do, it has to be a fucking special occasion, and she just lies there like she's some precious diamond that I'm privileged to touch. Then I have to kiss her ass for the next month or so."

"But I thought ..." I began.

"That people in their twenties were fucking up a storm ...?" he said. "Everybody I know tells me how lucky I am. But none of them is engaged to a "good girl." Mary wants everyone to think that she went to the altar a virgin. So she gives me just enough to keep me interested. And one of the problems with younger women is that a lot of them haven't really learned to enjoy sex much.

It's funny; most guys think they're blessed if they get a pretty girl. But in a lot of cases, it's more of a curse. Pretty girls can get any guy they want. So they don't have to work for it or give it up. The girls who aren't so pretty will fuck you for a happy meal. And they've usually had sex enough that they enjoy it too.

Mary and I have been together since her eighteenth birthday. It took me almost a year to get her cherry. She was nineteen years old and acted like I had killed her. We were already engaged, and she made it seem like we had committed the crime of the century. We've been together for three years now; we're getting married next year when I graduate, and I have never gotten a blowjob. I hope your husband realizes how lucky he is."

There was another long silence, and then I pulled him into the house. We were all over each other. I didn't even have the sense to close the front door. Anyone could have walked in and saw us fucking on the sofa.

At the time, I lied to myself. I told myself that it was a one-time thing ... A moment of madness brought on by temporary insanity. I told myself that it had simply been my ego's way of finding out if I was still attractive to men other than Dennis, younger men, especially.

I told myself that it would never happen again and that everyone was entitled to a one-time mistake. I told myself that Dennis would have forgiven me since it had only happened once in our more than twenty-year marriage. I told myself that a one-time fling was not worth ending a marriage as strong as ours over. I knew that we would have a very rough patch, but we would undoubtedly make it through. And all of that was if Dennis found out.

When he came home that night, he was just as loving as ever. He was just as happy to see me as ever. I did my best to drain his balls dry. And I noticed that what Dennis and I did was different from what I'd done with Brad.

It was just a different flavor. Neither was actually better they were just different. I concentrated on being a good wife and a good mother, but about a week later, Brad was at the door and from the way my body reacted when I saw the look in his eyes, I knew that we were going to fuck again.

It took about seven weeks for me to quit and unfortunately, the day I quit was the day that Dennis quit me. I was totally wrong about the way that he reacted to finding out. Dennis seemingly turned off his emotions when it came to me.

He treated me like a math problem, and he was very good at math. Dennis would not even listen to any talk of counseling or anything involving us getting back together. When I got a lawyer, Dennis simply looked at him and explained to the man that if he wanted to get paid, he should get on board the divorce train. There would be no chance of a reconciliation, so counseling wouldn't work.

If there were any attempts to do anything to delay the process, Dennis would simply leave. In leaving he would scorch the Earth, not only would he leave me penniless; he would leave my reputation in tatters. We worked very quickly, and the whole thing was settled in less than two weeks after Dennis confronted me. My head was still spinning as I tried to figure a way out of it.

Of course, things didn't go the way either of us planned them. Dennis finally agreed to pay me alimony, but only for twelve months. After that I was literally on my own. I would also receive child support for Chelsea, but only until she left for college.

That was where things went to hell for Dennis. We had each campaigned really hard for custody of Chelsea, and she made no bones about telling the judge that she wanted to be with her dad. The problem was that Dennis hadn't settled on a house yet. It was actually taking him longer to close on a new house than it took for our divorce.

Since Chelsea lived with me, I got child support in addition to my alimony. In a year and a half when Chelsea left for college, I had to move out of the house. The house had belonged to Dennis' family, and he would not only not sell it to me; he wouldn't allow me to stay there a day longer than Chelsea did.

Dennis had finally found a house to his liking, and he was renting it. According to Chelsea, it was a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Dennis had very liberal visitation rights, and Chelsea had started setting up her room there as soon as Dennis had begun to furnish the place.

Dennis would also pay me child support for the new child, when the DNA proved it was his. I already set up an appointment to determine paternity as early in the pregnancy as possible. I was betting my future on the baby. If it was proven not to be Dennis' child, life as I knew it would be over.

As quickly as Denis had given me the broom, Brad had distanced himself from me even quicker. For the nearly two months of the affair, I had fooled myself into believing that although on my part the fling was a purely physical thing, that it meant something more to Brad.

I found out just how stupid I was when I went to tell Brad that I was pregnant, and there was a very small chance that he might be the father.

I tried to go up to him after he got off work. He pretended that he didn't know me. He'd been with some of his coworkers, and I thought that maybe he wasn't allowed to have personal visitors on company property.

I decided to wait until his friends were gone to tell him.

"Who was the old chick you were just talking to," asked one of his coworkers.

"She's just a friend of my mom's," said Brad. "It's kind of creepy the way she always comes over to say hi to me."

"Well she's got a big ass and some nice boobs," said his friend. "But she's so old they're probably rusted shut." I guess I expected Brad to defend me or at least to change the subject. But he joined in.

"Her tits probably drop to her knees," he said. "And her ass is probably covered in fat. I wouldn't fuck her with your dick. She has to be at least fifty. That's just nasty."

It didn't take long before tears filled my eyes, and I realized that I had just been stupid. I reminded myself that my affair with Brad had been just a quick fling and that there were supposedly no emotions involved, but it hurt me badly to hear him talk about me like I was just some toothless old whore. What was worse was that he was too embarrassed to let anyone know that we'd been together.

I also realized from listening to him talking that Brad was cheating on his fiancé with at least two other women. The other two were in his age group, and he had no trouble talking about them in favorable terms.

What had been temporary insanity on my part had been skilled maneuvering on his. Brad had liked my body and wanted to fuck me and he had. Maybe it was my mental state or feeling unattractive, but I had given it up to him as easily as any whore would have. And I had ruined a perfect marriage to a man who had truly loved me in the process.

Brad didn't care about me in the least. He had just wanted to fuck me. I finally got in touch with him, to tell him about the baby. It wasn't just his words; it was the venom in his tone that hurt me.

"It's not mine," he said quickly. "Get an abortion. I'll pay half, just don't tell anyone that it might be my kid. I thought you old women were supposed to be smart about stuff like that."

I went home and cried my eyes out. Neither Dennis nor Chelsea was much help. Chelsea looked at me furiously, before going over to a friend's house for dinner. And Dennis took one look at me and headed to the garage and his car, but not before I had noticed the tears in the corners of his eyes.

I simply could not believe how badly I had hurt him and for nothing. That evening Dennis went out and drove around until he found Brad. Brad was in a bar with some of his friends.

Dennis approached them; bought himself a beer, took a long swig of it, and spit it all right in Brad's face. Brad was no dummy; he made his excuses and tried to leave the bar with his friends laughing at him, and calling him names.

The bouncers tried to hold Dennis so Brad could get away. They held onto his arms until Brad had gotten into his car and drove away. But in a town as small as ours it did them no good. Dennis drove to Brad's parent's house and caught him sitting out on the porch.

Dennis hit Brad so hard that Brad broke the banister on the porch and fell off of it into his mother's rose bushes. He jumped off the porch, and landed on Brad and started pummeling him.

Brad's parents came to his rescue, but he was beaten so badly that he had to go to the hospital. Brad's mom took him to the urgent care facility in the next town while his father spoke to Dennis.

Dennis called the police himself and actually drove to the station and turned himself in. Brad's parents didn't press charges, and the Sheriff sent Dennis home. He bought a new banister for Brad's parents and a six-pack of beer. Dennis and Brad's father fixed the porch together.

The interesting thing was that reporters from our small-town newspaper dug into the story and put two and two together. Dennis kept his word. He never told anyone about anything, but somehow small bits and pieces of the story got out. My divorce, my pregnancy, my DNA test and Dennis leaving me, coupled with Dennis beating the shit out of Brad, made me the talk of the town. Every day it got worse.

Tomorrow, Dennis is moving out of the house and into his rental home. Chelsea is going to help him along with a lot of our friends. I decided to make a nice dinner for us, so I went to the supermarket. I got a lot of stares and frowns from several of the people shopping there.

I got into the checkout lane with the shortest line and once again fate was against me. When I was third in line I noticed that my cashier was Mary, Brad's girlfriend.

As I got closer to her, I was struck by just how pretty she is. There were all kinds of whispers in the store, and every eye was on us as I stood in front of her. As she noticed me standing there, a solitary tear rolled down her cheek. And with a dignity that women twice her age could not have mustered, she began sorting and scanning my items.

Everyone in the store was staring at the courageous young woman as she rang up my groceries. One tear after another became a flood as she worked.

I looked around and saw everyone staring at me. I felt like shit.

"Mary, I'm so sorry," I managed to croak out.

"No you're not," she said in a tiny voice. "You're sorry that you got caught is all. But I am ... I'm sorry for your husband. He's a really nice man. He didn't deserve this. He loved you so much. And you just pulled his guts out. I'm sorry for your daughter. She has a little bit more than a year left in the school here where she'll be compared to her mother, the town whore, until she leaves there. No matter how good she is, she'll always be compared to you.

I'm sorry that I was stupid enough to think I could trust Brad. But I got off lucky. I was going to marry him. I wanted to be like you, Sarah. I wanted a husband who loved me like there was no tomorrow. I wanted someone who would protect and provide for me and our kids. I wanted to be you, Sarah.

But now I'm glad I'm not. I could never hurt someone who loves me, the way that you hurt Dennis. And you know; I hope that baby that you're carrying is Brad's. Dennis deserves a shot at happiness with someone else. And he deserves to have it without being chained to you for the next eighteen years.

If that baby has to ruin someone's life, I hope it's Brad. I hope the two of you are tied together forever, locked in hatred for what you did to us. Was it worth it Sarah?" As she finished talking, every customer in the store started clapping for her.

Earnest Truth, the owner of the store came over just as I pulled out my credit card to pay.

"Sarah," he said as I pulled out my wallet. "Your groceries are on the house." I had the vague idea that he was trying to make up for the way that Mary had spoken to me.

"It's okay, Earnest," I said. "She has a right to her opinion."

"She's also right," he said. "I've had so many customers who've complained about you shopping here that I have no choice. Sarah, this isn't a big fancy chain store. This store is privately owned, and I'm the owner. Because of all the complaints I got, I'm asking you to take your groceries and walk out the door. You are no longer welcome in my store."

"But I've always shopped here," I said. "It's the only grocery store in town!"

"The next town is only ten miles away," he said. "And thanks to your husband busting his ass, you have a pretty nice car." He too walked away from me, to the cheering of the other customers."

I wanted to cry, but as I looked out over all the angry, yet familiar faces, I refused to give them the satisfaction of seeing my tears.
I drove home and cried my way through making the best dinner I knew how to make. It was also Dennis' favorite meal. When he came home from work, I begged him to sit down and eat dinner with me one last time, since he would be moving out the next day.

I was sure that it was the saddest day I'd had since I met him. We sat across from each other barely able to look into each other's faces and pushed a lot of food around on our plates.

"How are things with your baby?" he asked.

"It's OUR baby, Dennis," I spat.

"That remains to be proven," he said calmly. "But truthfully, I don't think it is."

"Have you given up engineering in favor of becoming a psychic?" I asked him.

"Maybe I always was," he said. It was the first time that I'd seen him smile in weeks. "I probably should have told you this before," he said. "But I always knew before you told me. When we were pregnant with Frank, I felt something. It was our first time, and I really thought that I was feeling something odd about you. But I knew something was different. When we were pregnant with Chels, I was the one who told you that you needed a test. I had the same feeling, and I knew what it was that time. I wasn't feeling anything odd about you, but I could feel my daughter."

"So you're telling me that you can tell that THIS baby isn't yours?" I asked.

"I never said that," he said. "I'm just telling you that I don't feel anything this time. It could be because you and I are no longer connected emotionally or ..."

"Dennis you're wrong," I cried. "I love you just as much as I ever did. I just made a mistake. I was a foolish old woman who just did a really dumb thing. But it didn't mean anything. And trust me, I am suffering for it. Most of my friends are no longer my friends. I guess I'm banned from the grocery store too."

"You and Brad will just have to shop somewhere else," he said. "Big deal, Sarah, don't bring him into my house anymore," he told me. "You can fuck him in a motel room ... Or his parent's house. I'm only letting you live here for Chelsea. If I hear that he's been in my hou ..."

"Dennis, Brad, and I have nothing to do with each other anymore," I sobbed. "He doesn't even admit to knowing me and he bad mouths me to all of his friends. He has them believing that I'm some crazy old friend of his mother's who won't leave him alone. But a lot of people around town know what's going on. I can tell that by people's reaction to me in the grocery store."

"Well once you guys get further into the pregnancy you'll be back together, and I'm sure that he'll be involved with his child," he said.

"Dennis, he says it's not his. He told me to get an abortion," I said. A look of anger flashed across his face and receded within the space of a heartbeat.

"You can't beat morality into him, Dennis," I said.

"His parents are good people," he said. "They'll make him do the right thing."

"Dennis, I want this baby to have the same life that Frankie and Chelsea had," I said.

"That's between you and Brad," he said.

"What if it's your baby?" I asked. "Why punish him because of something I did?"

"If it is my child, I'll do my best to be in his life," he said.

"Dennis, I mean everything. You have to swear it," I said. "A baby can begin to learn things while it's still in the womb. Do you remember how you used to talk to Chelsea before she was born? You spent hours rubbing my tummy and telling her how her life was going to be and how loved she was. You have to swear to be in this baby's life the same way."

"I swear if it's my child, I'll do anything you want until he or she is old enough to understand why things are the way they are," he said. I was happy with that because it meant that I would have him move back into the house until the baby was in his teens at least.

"But at the same time, I need you to swear something too," he said.

"I swear I will never cheat on you again," I said.

"Not that," he said. "You have to swear that if it's not my child you'll leave me alone and let me move on with my life."

"Dennis, I'm really sorry, but I can't promise you that," I told him. "If it was ten years from now, and you had moved on and married someone else; I would still go after you. If I had a sister, and you were married to her and even worse had kids with her ... I would still go after you. I'd be your wife, your side piece, your booty call, or anything else you wanted. I can't help it. I love you."

I was crying so hard I could barely speak. Something in him softened, and he took me in his arms.

"I love you too, Sarah," he said. "A part of me always will. A part of me will also wish very much that what you did had been a one-time thing. I'm not sure, but I think we might have survived it if it had only been once, but you did it repeatedly. You knew what you were doing. And you had to know that there'd be consequences."

I could barely comprehend what he was saying. It seemed like it had been forever since I'd been in my husband's arms. I was in heaven. I let out a contented sigh and squeeze him even tighter to me.

My nipples sprang to life, and my pussy was gushing. I hadn't worn a bra hoping for just the opportunity that was presenting itself. His arms started rubbing my back, and my knees got weak.

I felt his arms tighten to try to hold me up. His hands grabbed my ass cheeks. I pushed my boobs even further against his chest. I wanted him more at that moment than I had wanted anything in my life.

I needed him to fuck me. I needed him to show me that I was still desirable to him.

"Sarah, what are you doing?" he asked.

"Can't we just do it one last time?" I asked. "It doesn't have to mean that you want me back as much as I want it to. We can just be two healthy adults taking care of their urges. As a matter of fact, you know how horny I get when I'm pregnant. You can come over and fuck me whenever you want. I have never refused you Dennis. I won't start now. You can come over every day and every night. Whenever you want some pussy just come and get it. It doesn't have to mean anything. Just ..."

"That's the problem," he said. "Maybe that's why we don't belong together any more. Because to me, it WOULD mean something. Sarah, whenever I was with you, it was special every time. It ALWAYS means something. At least to me, it does. I'm not like you, Sarah. I can't have sex and share myself with someone just for kicks. It's just too personal. I loved you too much for that."

Suddenly, l realized that I had lost him. There was no hope for us, and what's more I knew then that I didn't deserve him. I had taken something pure and special and just ruined it. Even if the baby did turn out to be ours, things between Dennis, and I would never be the same. He would never trust me the same way again. Even the look in his eyes when he saw me changed.

My daughter hated me. She blamed me for her not being able to live with her father when, in fact, it had been the court that'd made the decision. While it was true that I wanted her in the house with me because I knew that Dennis couldn't stay away from her, the judge had made the call.

I also knew to the day when her brother found out what was going on. I knew because it was the first day in the two years that he'd been away at school that he not only didn't call me, he didn't return my calls or texts. I didn't hear from him at all since that day. I had destroyed my family and had nothing to show for it. Everything hung on my baby's DNA.

It was a lot of responsibility to place on the thin shoulders of a fetus. I smiled thinking about it because as much as Dennis wanted to be free of me, he never would. It seemed like I was gambling with my future and my family, but the odds were in my favor. Dennis had cum in me literally thousands of times over more than twenty years. Brad had me only ten or twelve times, and we used condoms. I still remember his disgust at having to take the used rubbers with him, because of my paranoia about Dennis finding them.

The chances of it being Brad's baby were remote. "Let me know when they have the DNA results," said Dennis as he turned towards the door.

"What," I asked. "Dennis they can't even do the test for another three weeks. What will I do until then?"

"Figure out what your next step is," he said. "Start getting ready to have your baby. Mend fences with Chelsea. Find your next man. I think they call it having a life.

Look, Sarah ... I'm going through the same thing. On one hand, the easiest thing in the world would be to wrap my arms around you and say," okay it never happened." I hurt so bad every time I think of you in my house ... Letting that asshole fuck my pussy. I wish it had never happened. I wish our family was still all together. I wish the hardest choice I had to make was where to go on our next vacation. But YOU did this to US. The rest of us never had a say in things. YOU did this, Sarah. So don't look to me for support. I'm still trying to get over my own pain from this.

I'm not even sure where I'll find the strength to help the kids deal with it. You're going to have to fix your own life this time."

Like I said before, I thought it was the worst moment of my life. But I was wrong.

The next three weeks were like a nightmare. I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned all night. I kept reaching for Dennis and wondering where he was, and then I'd remember and cry my eyes out.

I once made the mistake of going to my daughter Chelsea's room. I thought that maybe we were both feeling alone, and I really needed a hug.

Her reaction stunned me. She sat straight up in her bed, looking at me like I was crazy.

"Chels, we both miss your dad," I began.

"I don't miss him," she spat. "I just got off the phone with him. He picks me up after school every day, and I'm spending the weekend with him. Maybe if you hadn't chased him away you wouldn't miss him either."

"But Chels ..." I sobbed.

"Do you know how hard it is for me right now?" she asked. "What you did is what everyone in town is talking about. Half of them think that I'm going to be like you. Go back to your room mother."

On days when I was really depressed, I did things that I'm not really proud of. I called his phone and hung up when he answered. And I ... Okay I stalked him. After being together for over twenty years, I knew his goings and comings. So I drove to his job and watched him go into the building to work. I went back at lunch time and saw him go out to eat with several of his coworkers.

I got really angry when I noticed that one of the group was a woman. She was about my age and was even built like me. It would be the ultimate insult for Dennis to dump me and just roll out my fucking clone. If he liked me that God Damned much why not give the original another chance instead of settling for a poor copy?

I felt like shit when they returned. I'd been ready to confront them when I noticed that the woman was holding hands with and kissed one of the other men. I also noticed that Dennis wasn't paying her any attention. I drove home and told myself that I was just being silly.

A couple of hours later, I jumped up and ran to the window when I heard the sound of his Mustang's exhaust system. As usual, he'd picked Chelsea up from school. She hopped out of the car, hugged her dad, and headed into the house as he roared off. He hadn't so much as looked toward the house.

Every day I missed him more. It just seemed like everything I did reminded me of what I had lost. When I went into town, the reaction I got from people only served to remind me even more how they saw it. I already had to shop at a market in the next town. The punishment I received was definitely inversely proportionate to the pleasure I received from my mistake. And I suffered through it alone. I was the butt of all kinds of jokes, but Brad ... Except for Dennis beating his ass; he seemed to get off scot free. People simply laughed about it and patted him on the back.

He lost his pretty, young girlfriend, but she quickly rebounded and was already seeing another boy. And truthfully, Brad wasn't ready to settle down anyway. So from my point of view, I was the only one suffering for what had happened.

According to Chelsea, Dennis was miserable too. I just didn't understand why if we were both hurting, we couldn't help each other.

Three weeks later ... Three weeks during which I sank further and further into depression, the bottom fell out. I called Dennis on the phone.

"Dennis, hi, Honey, it's me," I said. "Are you surprised?"

"I'm only surprised that you actually stayed on the line long enough to say something instead of just hanging up as soon as you heard my voice," he said.

"I've never ..." I began.

"Sarah, before you lie to me AGAIN," he said. "You should remember that they have this wonderful thing called caller ID."

"Okay," I said. "I may have called you two or thirty times. But I have never lied to you."

"Sarah, this is all water under the bridge, but I seem to remember you claiming to love me. I also remember you promising to forsake all others or some other bullshit like that," he said.

"But Dennis," I sobbed.

"Why did you call Sarah?" he asked. His voice was no longer as angry as it had been the last time we spoke. It was as if he'd just accepted the fact that we were no longer together and was moving on from me. It made my heart hurt to know that he was trying to erase me from his heart like the wrong answer on a math test.

"Straight to the point, huh, Dennis," I said. "Just like we were strangers ... No polite greetings ... No how are you, Sarah ... Just straight to the point. It's like I was a salesman or a Jehovah's Witness."

"How are you, Sarah?" he asked. And in a testament to his character, there was no trace of sarcasm in his voice. It sounded as if he really wanted to know.

"I'm fucking miserable," I told him. "I'm a pariah. I'm the talk of the town. No one talks TO me. But everyone talks ABOUT me. I'm lonely, and this is the worst pregnancy ever. It's not fun having a baby alone. Whatever happened to you being with me? I remember you rubbing my tummy and talking to the baby. No one does that now. And your daughter clearly hates me. We both know that the only reason she's still on the house with me is because the courts ordered it."

I sighed. I blew out a breath and felt better. Just the act of telling someone what I was going through had made me feel better. It was funny that the only person who would listen to me was the person I'd hurt the most.

"How are you doing?" I asked, feeling guilty that I hadn't asked before.

"Not good," he said, "People won't leave me alone. They're all so busy trying to help me that they don't give me any time just to sit back and figure out where the hell I went wrong. And everyone seems to be trying to fix me up with someone. I never realized that there were this many women in town. Even some of your friends who never spoke to me are calling and asking me to go out. But I'll get over it. What do you need?"

"Uhm ... Tomorrow this all ends," I told him. Truthfully, I was so pissed at hearing that some of my supposed friends were hitting on my husband had me about to come unglued. "Tomorrow, I'll get the results of the DNA test, and maybe you can start taking care of me like you promised. So I will call you as soon as I leave the doctor's office and ..."

"Don't bother," he said. "I'm going to meet you there."

"I knew you'd want to be involved in our baby's life," I gushed happily.

"Sorry to rain on the parade," he said. "But the real reason I want to be there is that I just don't trust you enough to take your word for it. I know it sucks, but I'm being honest with you."

I nodded my head as a tear rolled down my cheek. It was a bitter pill to swallow. Dennis had told me before that he couldn't trust me, but this was more than words.

The next day we met up at my doctor's office. She was all smiles. She reached into her desk and pulled out a huge envelope. She put on her glasses and looked over the report.

Her smile was no longer present as she looked up at us. I felt my stomach lurch as if I was about to vomit.

"There's no easy way to say this," she said. "Sarah, Dennis isn't the father."

I really have to give Dennis credit. As I passed out he caught me and prevented me from hitting my head on the edge of the large hardwood desk we were sitting in front of.

When I regained consciousness, he was still holding me.

"You probably don't believe this," he said. "But I really am sorry, Sarah." He sat me up in the chair. The doctor gave me something to drink, and Dennis took my hand.

"I wish you all the luck in the world, Sarah," he said. "You're a great mother. You've been through this before. You'll do fine."

And then Dennis was gone. When he moved out of the house, it felt like someone had reached into my chest and yanked out my heart. That day it felt like someone had just dropped a chunk of cement into the still bleeding hole.

* * * * * *

Jaime

I didn't realize it on the day my life changed. It seemed like any other Saturday morning. My plans weren't chiseled in stone. They were more like penciled in on the cocktail napkin in my mind. I would wake up at 10 ... 11... Noo ... 1 o'clockish. And go out for a nice long walk in the nearby woods to get rid of all the stress I'd built up during the week. Hopefully, there would be no annoying calls from my mother or anyone else. All I wanted was a stress-free weekend of relaxation.

So why did I hear jarring and clanking and then a very loud vroooooom sound at the ungodly hour of 9 o'clock?

I pulled the pillow over my head and tried to get back to sleep, but the sounds persisted. I couldn't get back to sleep. It was as loud as if they were building a fucking road in my front yard.

I was angrier than even my mother could make me as the peace and quiet of my lazy weekend was destroyed. As I threw on a robe to cover my nakedness, I had one thought in mind. I wanted a chunk out of someone's ass. One of my stupid neighbors was about to get a dose of my anger.

I threw my door opened and stepped out onto my small front porch. There was a huge moving van parked in front of my house. There had to be at least eight men carrying furniture that looked brand new into the house next door to mine.

There were two or three smaller trucks from a furniture store, an electronics store, and one that I couldn't make out lined up down the street waiting to unload.

The men were all going about their business very efficiently. As I looked around my temperature rose. And then I spotted him. He drove up in a glass black Mustang GT. The car was very heavily customized. It was completed blacked out. Even the things on the car that would normally be black had been replaced with custom upgrades.

The normal black plastic honeycomb mesh grills had been replaced with metal bar billet grills that were so shiny that they had to have been the expensive anodized aluminum versions.

The rims were black chrome split spokes that had to be at least twenty inches in diameter. The tires glowed, shone, and looked either expensive or lovingly maintained. Even though the car, which I thought was a generation down from my own Mustang, looked much more aggressive and much newer.

But truthfully, I had simply neglected my car the way I neglected so many other things in my life.

"Breakfast, guys," he shouted enthusiastically. At once the drivers and loaders all ran over to the house and sat down on the stairs and porch to scarf up the offered free breakfast.

I almost laughed when I looked at what he called breakfast. There were several huge boxes of donuts, a couple of bags of McDonald's breakfast sandwiches. Then there were a couple of bottles of orange or Apple juice and a couple of cases of beer.
Almost to a man they each grabbed a breakfast sandwich, a couple of donuts and a can of beer or two.

I was amazed. These weren't kids. They were all grown assed men. They all gathered around on the porch guzzling beer and munching on donuts.

Who does that? Who drinks beer with donuts? I noticed by looking at them that there were a mixture of types and body sizes among them. Very few of them were actually wearing the uniforms of moving or sales companies.

That meant that a lot of those guys were simply friends of his. I looked again and noticed that I knew or had seen a few of those guys around. A couple of them lived on my street.

He walked around as chipper and cheerful as a God Damned chipmunk, making sure they were all eating and having a good time. It made me even more pissed. How dare he bring that many MEN to MY house?

I looked around and saw a few more people on the block out on their porches. That was a good thing I thought. Someone besides me was pissed about the intrusion into our peaceful Sunday morning.

Then I saw something that made me smirk just a bit. The woman who lived across the street from me, all two hundred pounds of her was heading over to the porch. Her lazy assed husband was trailing behind her. She had a full head of steam up and searched through the guys on the porch. Her eyes settled on Mustang guy, and she marched up to him.

"Dennis, you were supposed to call me when you got here," she yelled. He put down his sandwich and marched over to her. Despite being much smaller than she was he hugged her so hard he lifted her off her feet. She squealed like a school girl.

"Put me down, you idiot," she squealed. "I don't need all of these guys trying to look under my skirt."

I noticed that none of the guys had even noticed her, they had beer; they had donuts and the woman was huge.

"Dennis, I called my sister; she's on her way," she said. "But it would have been better if you'd let me get her over here first. She's going to help you arrange your furniture. You men suck at stuff like that."

She turned around looking for something. "Bert get your lazy ass to work!" she shouted at her husband. He had grabbed himself a beer and two donuts and was munching happily with the other guys.

It was not the reaction I was expecting. 'Fuck!' I thought.

Apparently I either spontaneously developed the ability to project my thoughts into the minds of others, or I had gotten so mad that I had actually shouted the word on a bright sunny Sunday, when everyone except me was having a good assed time. I really believe it was the latter because as one, nearly every eye on the block turned to me.

He was on me in a second. "Good Morning, Neighbor," he said. His words were so cheerful that I wanted to yell a chirpy, "Good Morning," right back at him.

It was the weirdest thing; he got so close to me that I could smell his aftershave or cologne or whatever he was wearing. It smelled really good on him. He wasn't a pretty man. His looks were actually kind of average. He had dark-brown hair and really nice blue eyes. He was wearing a Mustang T-shirt and black jeans. He wore black moccasins on his feet with no socks.

I think that he thought it looked good. But it was too stark. There was simply too much black without any small hints of color to make the outfit pop. I laughed inwardly thinking about it. I realized suddenly that he had dressed, not to make a fashion statement but to look like his fucking car. It was not only funny, but endearingly sad.

Despite myself, I wondered what it would be like to kiss him.

"Oh my God, she's beautiful," he gushed. I began to blush until I noticed that he was looking straight past me at my car through my open garage door.

"Can I?" he asked.

"Can you what?" I screamed. "Just what do you want to fucking do, now? I mean besides waking me up at the crack of fucking dawn on a God Damned Sunday morning ... What next?"

"Sorry," he said. I noticed the way his eyes dropped. The bright as a shiny penny smile faded. I felt as if I had kicked a puppy. "I did leave you a notice warning you ... sorry." Then he stepped slowly away from me.

Most human beings have a kind of empathy. It's a way of sensing how those around us feel. And in that moment with him backing away from me, as if I was a danger to him, I got the feeling that the happy-go-lucky image was only a mask he had put on to cover up the fact that he was as broken as I was.

Back to his friends, he started to smile again. But for the first time I could see the cracks in the mask. Men don't notice things like that. They hide from true displays of emotion. "It's always the pretty ones," he said, shrugging his shoulders. The guys all got back to eating, drinking, and burping and farting and all the other things that men do.

"Uh ... guys," he said suddenly. "It's eleven o' clock. Kickoff is at one. I have several huge pizzas scheduled to be delivered at one fifteen, sharp. We need to get all of this stuff into the house in the next two hours and have that big-ass TV set up, or we're gonna miss part of the game!"

I have never seen anything like it. Almost as one they all chugged the rest of the beer they were holding and practically ran for the trucks to finish unloading.

As the army of men headed back to work even faster than before, my eyes locked onto his. "I really am sorry," he said just loud enough for me to hear him.

I wondered many things in that moment. I wondered if I could have handled the situation any worse. I wondered why more than a year after my divorce, I was still so angry at the world. I wondered if he really thought I was pretty.

But before I could wonder anything else the huge fat face of my across the street neighbor Ernestine Briggs, aka Ernie, obscured my vision.

"You're a piece of work," she said angrily. "Ever since you moved into the neighborhood a year ago, everyone here has been nothing but nice to you. Once we figured out that you weren't really the neighborly type, we left you alone. We try not to bother you because I guess we got the message early on that you didn't want to have much to do with us.

So we don't invade your privacy, but we still look out for you. We don't invite you to neighborhood get togethers, because you've made it clear that you're not that kind of person. Shit, we don't even send the kids to your house at Halloween. We also endure without comment the fact that you rarely ever cut your God damned grass, and let your leaves pile up until they blow onto everyone else's yard. But what you just did..."

She shook her head as if she was trying to keep from hitting me. Ernestine had been one of the first people in the neighborhood to try to reach out to me when I moved in.

She was one of those motherly types. She was kind to everyone, so to see her upset was a rarity.

"Unlike when you moved in ..." she said icily. "He didn't just show up on the spur of the moment out of nowhere. He let everyone know exactly when he was moving in. He even came to a meeting of the block club and introduced himself to the people around here that didn't already know him."

"But ... But I didn't know," I said. "I don't go to the block club meetings ..." She pointed to a bright blue piece of paper that was taped to my screen door.

"Maybe there's another reason you were standing out here in broad daylight in a thin silk robe with your nipples threatening to pop off of your titties," she said. She shook her head in disgust, turned, and walked back to her house as men scurried around me, spurred on by thoughts of football, pizza and even more beer.

I walked back up onto my porch and pulled off the bright blue paper.

"Hi, my name is Dennis Miller. I'll be moving in on Sunday. I'm truly sorry for any noise caused by the move and will try to keep it as brief as possible. Feel free to stop by and meet me or have a snack. You don't need to help, but any and all help is welcome. Thanks in advance for your consideration."

I wondered then why I hadn't noticed the flyer. In the back of my mind, I realized that it had been there for a couple of days at least. I ignored it. I'd thought it was another thing stuck to my door, inviting me to a fucking bake sale or to see yet another mind numbingly boring school play or concert that somebody's kid was appearing in.

I went back into my house. For the rest of the day, I sulked. I brewed a pot of coffee and watched from my bedroom windows as the near army of men, boys and even some girls and women moved my new neighbor in.

It took me weeks to get all of my stuff moved in. I had hired people several times to help with larger pieces that I couldn't move by myself. After a year, there were still things in my house that weren't unpacked or that needed to be assembled or moved.

In most cases, I simply didn't bother. For the first time, I wondered why I continued to live out of suitcase and a few drawers. What was it going to take to make this house into a home? The life I'd left behind was over. There was no way I could or would ever go back there. This was now my home, like it or not. For not the first time I wondered if my anger would ever abate or if I would be this way forever.

It's been said many times that life, and our experiences shape us and make us into the people that we become. I have no idea when it happened, but my life thus far had turned me into a first class bitch.

It was three days before I saw him again. I heard him coming and going a few times during the week. The deep thrumming sound of his exhaust couldn't be mistaken. But he usually drove up his driveway and straight into his garage. He had some sort of motorized fence and one of those electric garage doors that opened automatically. It closed as soon as his car was inside of it.

Anyway, Wednesday evening, I noticed that after he got home and then went out to wherever he went every evening, he came back and armed with another batch of bright blue papers he walked up and down the block. He knocked on almost every door and spent a few moments talking to people at every house.

If no one was home, which only happened once, while I watched, he taped the flyer to their screen door. The route he had taken made a big rectangle, and I would be the last house he stopped at. A lot of the neighbors invited him in so it took a good two hours for him to do the entire block.

I waited nervously for him to knock on my door. I looked at the clock and then noticed that it had gotten dark. I figured that someone had probably invited him to stay for dinner.

Then I noticed that he had already gone home. I could tell because lights were going on and off in his house. I looked through my front door and saw a bright blue notice taped to my screen door.

I opened the door and snatched it down. This time he was notifying his neighbors that he was having a pool dug and installed in his back yard. He expected it to take two weeks, with the first few days, while the digging machines were here being the loudest. The next loudest would be a few days later when the cement was poured.

He wanted to impact the noise levels in the neighborhood as little as possible so the crew would only work from ten in the morning until five in the afternoon each day. They would also work part of that time on Saturday, but there would be "NO" work done on Sunday. I had a big suspicion that the Sunday part had something to do with me.

He was also inviting everyone over to a pool party when it was finished and outfitted.

I wonder why he didn't knock on my door, and the only other person he hadn't spoken to was the one who wasn't home. It bothered me more than I wanted to admit.

The next thing that affected me was on the following Saturday. Since I work during the week, and wasn't home during the day, the digging of his pool never affected me. I could look into his back yard from the upper level of my house and see its progress but the noise never happened while I was home.

But that next Saturday, I got up and went out to walk in the woods. I did some shopping afterwards and when I got home, I was surprised. My grass was neatly cut and edged. It looked amazing. I just stood there and stared at it.

Seeing how good it looked made me notice for the first time how bad it had looked before. It wasn't hard to figure out who'd done it. He lived right next door and while he wasn't the only person on our block who'd cut his grass that morning, he was the only one who edged his grass.

I was on the verge of walking over to his house and cursing him out, but something made me reconsider it. I wondered if that was what I really wanted to do. After thinking about it for a few moments, I decided to take a different approach.

I did walk over to his house. I knocked on the door and heard a response telling me to come into the backyard.

I blew out an angry breath and tried to calm myself down. I walked around into his backyard, and my mouth dropped open. I noticed that in the two weeks that he'd been here, the house was looking a lot better. But I had stared out into that yard for over a year, and it had always been ... Kind of barren to put it nicely.

But now, it was transformed. He had clearly sodded the entire yard except for where the pool had been dug. There was still an area about two feet in width around the periphery of the yard that was bare soil. He obviously intended to put plants or shrubbery completely around the yard. There was already a six-foot privacy fence around the yard, but he was looking more for ambiance than privacy.

The pool had not only been completely dug, and the thick fiberglass liner had been installed. It was larger than I expected. It looked as if it could be long enough to swim laps in. As I watched there were three workmen in the pool. Two of them were installing pumps and hoses; the other was drilling a hole that looked like it might be the main drain.

Dennis was busy as well. He seemed to be multitasking. On one hand, he was installing stone tiles from the edge of the new deck down to and surrounding the pool. On the other hand, he had parts, pipes, and hoses from a hot tub that he was installing on the small deck. I almost stepped onto one of the thick stones he was installing, but I stopped before my foot touched it.

He looked up at me and smiled. "You can step on it," he said. "That's what they're for."

I stepped onto the stones of the path he was putting in and got a surprise. The stone wasn't actually stone. It was a very realistic-looking rubber piece. It cushioned my feet as I stepped on it. Despite myself, I smiled.

"There's no digging or hammering going on," he said. "I didn't think the noise was that bad?"

"I'm not actually here about noise," I said. "Did you cut my grass?"

"Did I cut it in a way that you don't like?" he asked. "Is it too short or not the way you like it done?"

"I'm more interested in WHY you did it?" I said.

"Two weeks ago, I ruined your Sunday morning," he said. "And the people in the neighborhood were getting pretty pissed about you letting it "grow wild." It was a big topic of discussion at the last block club meeting. I figured I could kill two rats with one rock. I pay you back for disturbing your peace and calm down the restless neighbors at the same time. No one gets hurt, and everyone is happy. It's a win/win situation."

"Unless of course, I just wanted my grass to "grow wild," I said. "Maybe I was looking for more of a natural look as opposed to that neatly trimmed suburban look."

"Ohhhhh," he said. The look on his face was one of horror. He looked so surprised that it almost made me laugh. Up close he really was kind of good-looking in a rugged manly sort of way.

"Relax, cowboy," I said. "I was just too pre-occupied to cut it. And as for you ruining my Sunday ... I guess we're even."

"Wait," he said as I turned to go.

"Did you get the latest note I left on your door?" he asked tentatively.

"The one about the pool and the pool party," I asked. He nodded.

"Look, I should tell you ... I really don't do parties or groups of people. As a matter of fact, I don't do people at all. So thanks for thinking of me, but I'm going to have to decline." I turned to leave again.

"Wait," he said yet again. I turned back to him and this time it was even harder to suppress my smile.

He tore off a piece of paper from the wrapper of the tiles he was installing. He quickly scribbled something down on it and held it out to me.

"You don't need to come to the party," he said. "But you can use the pool anytime you want. Just call me and I'll leave the fence open. I won't even come out here until you're done."

I was amazed at his offer. I had no idea, whether or not I'd use his pool. But slipping into that hot tub after one of my longer hikes sounded like heaven.

"I'm not promising you anything," I said. "But maybe..." He nodded.

"In the meantime are there any other chores around my house that you're just burning to do?" I asked. He nodded with a smile. The way he looked at me was almost sensual. My body was definitely reacting to him.

"I would love to wash your car," he said.

"Uhm, that's kind of personal," I laughed. "We're gonna have to work our way up to that."

I took one more look at the oasis he was turning that barren piece of dirt into and shook my head. He really wasn't that bad for a man. As soon as I got back inside of my house, I balled the piece of paper he'd given me up and threw it into my trash can.

On a whim, I retrieved it. I took a few minutes and saved the number in the contacts on my phone. Then I threw the piece of paper away again.

* * * * * *

Sarah

My stomach churned, I knew that I should get up and eat something. What was the expression? "Eating for two," well one of us, two, didn't want to eat anything, so the other would simply have to make do.

If Dennis had been here he'd never have allowed me even to think about it. He'd have forced me to eat if necessary. But that would never have been necessary. My previous two pregnancies were joyous occasions. Dennis had been there pampering me and spoiling me and making it all seem like bringing a child into the world was a wonderful thing. We'd talk endlessly about how special he or she would be, and we'd discuss, argue, and bargain for weeks about what to name it.

But this time it was so different. I was all alone. Not only was no one glad about the event, everyone I ran into either sneered at me or laughed at me.

The whole thing was fodder for discussion and derision all over town. And now that news of my pregnancy had spread like wildfire, there was a new dimension added to the level of scorn I had to bear.

Before, I was just a whore that had destroyed a family and made a good man miserable. Now I supposedly ruined Brad's life as well. I didn't have the chance to tell Brad. But the grapevine was in full effect. He showed up at my door, screaming and calling me names. This time he'd demanded that I get the abortion before it was too late.

He screamed, demanded, and finally cried. I escorted him to the door, all of his bluster and demanding had morphed into begging and whining. He was pathetic. He was, in fact, as pathetic as I was. I realized for not the first time, the fool I had been. I also realized how wrong I had been in my assessment of my mistake.

If you ask anyone in town, they'd tell you at the drop of a hat that I cheated on my husband by sleeping with another man. I was a lustful harlot or maybe even a rampaging nymphomaniac.

But the reality was very different. Right now, I am as horny as a mountain goat but the thought of ever letting anyone other than Dennis touch me made me want to throw up.

Another thing they were incorrect about was the fact that I had not cheated on my husband with another man. The sniveling, whining, lump of flesh in front of me wasn't a man.
Sure, he had a fully grown male body. He had all the hormones and muscles necessary to be called a man in the eyes of the law. But that would be like calling a Boy Scout a soldier because they were both guys who wore uniforms.

A man in this situation, would step up and shoulder his responsibility. Even in the case where neither of us wanted to be together, a man would take care of his child. Calling or even insinuating that Brad was a man was an insult to my husband and men everywhere.

I had thrown away a lifetime of love with a MAN who worshiped me and supported my dreams, for some forgettable sex with a boy who at the first sign of trouble started crying for his mommy and looking for a way out of trouble.

He was brave enough to stick his dick into another man's wife, but not brave enough to accept the responsibility for his actions. Dennis had been man enough to put aside his anger at me long enough to make sure that his children were provided for. And after that he had made provisions for the possibility that the child was his. And thinking back on it, he'd been sad that the baby wasn't his.

Everything would have been so much better if the baby had been HIS. I knew for a fact that Brad would turn out to be a shitty father. Not only was he unprepared and unwilling to take on the role, he was unemployed and had no prospects. What the fuck had I been thinking?

And everyone seemed to be coming out of this situation well ... Except for me. Brad's girlfriend was pretty. She'd found out what a skunk he was and had quickly found a better man for herself.

Brad was seen by his friends as being some kind of stud. Chelsea, had seemingly become even closer with her dad, if that was possible. I could hear her telling her friends over the phone how much she loved his new house and how it was really HER house because he seemed to put everything she wanted in it. She had asked him for a pool and two weeks later they were building one.

Even Dennis had found something to throw himself into, trying to get over me. I didn't speak to him. He seemed to be avoiding me like I was a bad dream or something. Even when he dropped Chelsea off, he was gone before she stepped into the house. The only way I could tell he was there was by the sound of his rapidly receding exhaust note.

If I knew what was good for me, I would just have the procedure done and try to get my husband back. The funny thing about it is that despite the DNA results, I had the feeling that this WAS Dennis' child. And for that reason alone I had to carry it. I knew that Dennis would love this baby as much as he had the others. That thought refused to leave my mind. But I didn't dare tell anyone.

And that was a big part of my problem. I doubted everything I did because recent events had proven that I had no idea what was good for me. My fling with Brad and what it cost me proved that.

* * * * * *

Jaime

There I was hiking one of my favorite trails. It was another of those rare fall days. The leaves had changed into their awesomely beautiful fall colors. It was a wonderful day. And I had a sneaky secret. A few days ago after a hike, I'd used Dennis' hot tub.

My legs had been aching after a particularly difficult hike. I'd noticed that he was going somewhere as I pulled in. So I'd hopped the fence into his yard. The pool was beautiful. The grass around the fake stone tiles was soft and comforting.

I climbed the beveled wood of the stairs to the deck. The wood felt good under my bare feet. It was obvious that Dennis had lovingly picked out everything in this yard with comfort in mind.

I looked around in every direction. The tub was already on. I began to wonder exactly how stealthy I was. Did Dennis somehow know what I was up to? Or was he getting ready for another visit?

The thought of Dennis dragging another woman over here to enjoy his yard with him made me feel something I had never felt before. I think it was jealousy.

I kicked one of my long legs over the side of the tub. The water caressed my skin like a liquid glove. It wasn't hot; it was just warm. It was like some sort of comforting blanket of moisture. I sighed as the water covered me up to my shoulders leaving only my head out.

My aching back, legs, and shoulders all cried out in unexpected pleasure. Aches in places that I didn't know were sore suddenly thanked me as my entire body relaxed.

I knew then that I would be using this tub a lot. I did feel guilty about not calling Dennis to tell him that I was doing it. I felt like an asshole for abusing his ... His what? For a moment, I had almost forgotten that Dennis was a man. He was no different from the rest of them. They always wanted something, and they were never honest about it.

Then I heard it. I looked at my watch. I swear I had just gotten into the tub, but somehow more than an hour had passed. That fucking tub must have been a time machine. I heard the distinctive sound of the exhaust system Dennis had in his Mustang. I jumped out of the tub and didn't bother trying to use my towel. I just grabbed it and ran down the steps. I used one of the trash cans as a launching platform and shinnied over the top of the fence between our yards just as Dennis pulled into the driveway.

I ran up my stairs trailing drops of water with every step. I ran into my room and looked down into his backyard. And there I saw it. As I've said before men are extremely loathsome creatures. A part of me really wanted him to be different. But, then again, no one could be as nice as he seemed to be.

I mean no one is perfect. We all have our skeletons in the closet. Now I knew what Dennis was covering up. I also knew why he needed the high privacy fence.

Dennis pulled his high-powered Mustang into the yard, and the fence closed behind him obscuring his car from prying eyes. His garage door opened automatically, and he pulled the car inside of it.

Away from almost any possible onlookers, Saint Dennis got out of his car with not one but two very young women. They were all laughing and joking as they went into his house. My blood seethed as I watched him. A part of me was relieved, but another part died. I guess, deep down, I really did want him to be different.

Twenty minutes later, the two women, girls really came out onto his deck. They obviously wanted to show off for Dennis. They were both wearing swim suits. The two girls couldn't have been more different. One had brown hair; the other was a blonde.

The one with the brown hair was slimmer. Her body was nice but as I said on the slim side. She looked as if she was only seventeen or eighteen and due for a growth spurt. Her friend, on the other hand, was gifted.

The blonde was taller than her friend and very curvy. Her boobs and backside were bigger than mine, and I'm a grown ass woman. From the way, she swung her ass as she walked around she probably had far more sexual experience than I have. And the swim suit she wore left nothing to the imagination. The brown-haired girl wore a far more sensible one-piece suit.

The blonde dove into the pool and got out shivering. She ran back onto the porch, and I laughed.

The stupid whore obviously forgot that it was, despite our string of warmer than normal temperatures, November. She joined her friend in the hot tub.

Dennis came out onto the deck then and deposited a pizza on the table. In a fashion that was typical of teenaged girls, they squealed in delight and started devouring the pizza. The blond was especially animated. She was really trying to earn whatever she was getting paid. For some reason, she found it necessary to lean as far forward as she could while deciding which slice of pizza to eat.

Her position caused her sizable young breasts almost pop out of her top. She was clearly trying to show herself to him. She couldn't have been more obvious if she'd just jumped up and down screaming, "look at my titties."

But somehow Dennis didn't seem to notice. That pissed me off even more. He clearly chose the smaller, more innocent of the two girls. There was definitely a chemistry between them. The sluttier girl obviously was brought in for a threesome.

I turned away in disgust, vowing never to speak to him again. I was happy in some ways and disappointed in others. I made myself a cup of tea and thought about it.

It suddenly hit me that I thought about Dennis a lot. There had only been one man in my life that I'd spent as much time thinking about, and I'd married him.

I realized then that I was happy that Dennis was a possible pedophile because I needed a reason not to let myself like him. I was disappointed in him because on some level I had already begun to see him as a part of my life.

I turned the lights off in my house and sipped my tea as I stared out the windows and into Dennis' house. Who's the pervert now? I wondered, as I searched his lit up windows. Was I excited by the thought of seeing Dennis with the two young girls or had it simply been so long since I'd had sex that I was desperate to live it out if only vicariously?

One by one all the lights in the house went out, leaving only one. I looked into it and saw only the two girls. They were both in nightgowns, and they were laughing and doing something on the computer. Where the fuck was Dennis? Something was off. Another thing that was odd was the fact that he didn't spend any time with the girls. He brought them food and then went about his business.

He couldn't be asleep could he? What was the purpose of paying money for hookers and then not using them? There was something weird going on.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted it. I'd been so busy looking at the house and all the brightly lit windows winking out one at a time that I failed to notice the very slight glow illuminating the rear deck.

I ran to my bedroom where I could see the deck. And there he was; Dennis was on the deck, alone. And suddenly, I don't know how I knew. Perhaps it was a subconscious reading of his body language. Perhaps it was some sort of innate empathetic connection, but I knew that Dennis was hurting.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who sensed it. I saw the smaller girl get off of the chair in the room, leaving the slutty girl at the computer. I knew immediately where she was going.

I ran as quickly as I could to my side door. It faced away from Dennis' house. I opened it and slipped out as quietly as I could. I stealthily made my way around my house until I was kneeling by the fence as close to Dennis' deck as I could get.

I heard the girl sliding the door open and stepping out onto the deck. The next thing I heard almost caused me to cry out in surprise. With one sentence, everything changed.

"Daddy, why are you out here crying in the dark?" she asked. "I thought you were over her. She's not worth your tears. That's why you divorced her. And you had to. You have to get over this. You can't let her ruin your entire life. What do you always tell me? You have to move past it and get on with your life."

My head exploded. I had to get away. I quickly crept back around the side of my house and into the door. I screamed out in frustration as soon as the closed door gave me the privacy necessary to vent.

I truly was crazy. Why was I trying so hard to find something wrong with Dennis when he'd given me no reason to suspect any type of ulterior motive? The girl as no hooker, she was his daughter. The other girl was simply one of her friends. The bigger girl was at that awkward teenaged stage where she'd just come into her body and was testing her limits. Dennis didn't pay her any attention.

The conversation on the porch revealed something else. It had been something I could identify with. Dennis had clearly just gone through a very nasty divorce. And from his daughter's tone and words, it was obvious that he hadn't been the one at fault.

It was also obvious that whatever the woman had done; Dennis was trying really hard to make a new life for himself, but he had yet to fully get over her. We were more alike than I had ever considered. But there was a difference between us.

Dennis soldiered on and tried to make a new life for himself. He got a new house and threw himself into making it a new place for himself and for his daughter's visits. He got to know his neighbors and tried to make new friends and start a new life. He treated everyone with kindness and hid his own pain behind a mask of being the happy-go-lucky friendly guy. He took all of his pain on himself.

I, on the other hand, hid behind a mask of being angry all the God damned time. I literally took my divorce out on every man I met. I painted them all with the same brush strokes. Two men had hurt me so in my twisted point of view; I hated all men.

I think the biggest difference between us was that Dennis was brave while I was a coward. He had tried to plunge back into life, while I hid from it. He had embraced the idea of making new friends, while I closed myself off from everyone.

If we continued on our chosen paths, the results would also be different. Dennis would eventually meet another woman and start a life with her. I would end up one of those angry old women who lived with twenty six cats.

* * * * * *

Sarah

Life just kept getting better. Too bad there was no one around to appreciate my sarcasm. I went over to have coffee with my next-door neighbor. I decided that it was time for me to stop hiding and start trying to put my life back together.

There was no reason for me to continue hiding. Everyone in town already knew or thought they knew what was going on in my life.

Rhonda and I had gone through far worse than this together. I was sure that our friendship would survive this. I walked out of my house and over to hers. I knocked on the door and heard her moving around in the house.

She opened the door, recognized me and her eyes widened in surprise.

"Hi Rhonnie," I said. "I thought I'd stop by for ..." I paused as I noticed that the look of surprise on her face was replaced by revulsion.

"Why," she asked.

"Well ..." I smiled. "We always have coffee a few times a week."

"What I meant was how you could do that to Dennis, Sarah?" she gushed. "You cheated on him with a kid. And now you're trying to force the kid to help you raise your ... Uhm ..."

"Baby," I said. "It's a baby Rhonda. It isn't responsible for my mistake. Brad, on the other hand, is over eighteen. He's a fully grown adult male. He can be drafted. He can vote. He can get married. He can get a mortgage. He can as sure as hell consent to sex. But it's all my fault, isn't it Rhonda?

Once we got started, he was always after me. He couldn't get enough of ramming his dick into me. It's really funny that there were two of us there fucking away like there was no tomorrow, but everyone in town wants to blame me for something that both of us did.

I was out of it, Rhonnie. Just like you, I'm getting older. I'll be forty soon. And unlike your husband who's already old, Dennis with all of his running and crap just seems to be getting younger. Did you know that several of Chelsea's friends have crushes on him? Okay he's never noticed it, but they do.

The only person who ever had a crush on me is my husband. My ass is too big. My tits are the size of gallon jugs, and my tummy will never be flat again. What would you do if some younger guy started making moves on you?

At first, it was flattering, and I laughed about it. Then I grew to crave that attention. So I started to feed it. I showed a little cleavage and some leg, that was all. We all do it Rhonnie. The next thing I knew, we were fucking. And that was all it was, Rhonnie. It was only sex. Do you know that he never kissed me? I never kissed him either. I never wanted to.

We had no illusions about growing old together or making a baby. When I gave in the first time, I only intended for it to happen once. The rest is history. And you should know that he used me as much as everyone seems to think that I used him. He deserves to have to alter his life the way mine is being altered. It's not fair Rhonnie. I lose my husband, my family, my home, and even the respect of my children while he goes off and starts screwing a bunch of other women. I end up branded a whore. He ends up branded a stud. How does that work?

I don't give a fuck about what happens to Brad, Rhonnie. He cost me Dennis.

I love Dennis, Rhonnie. Did you notice that I didn't say loved? I love him to this day, and I always will. I am hoping and praying with all of my heart that someday he'll forgive me and give me a second chance. But right now, he's just too angry.

The man that I love threw me away and is starting his life over. Did you know that he has another house? Did you know that he had a pool put in and a hot tub? Dennis is starting his life over without me. What the fuck will I do if he starts dating?"

"Sarah, this is all your fault," she said. "It's easy to say that Brad was old enough to make his own decisions. But while you're saying that you have to remember that you're almost twice his age. So surely you're old enough to be just as responsible for your decisions as he was for his.

You talked about getting older and Dennis staying young. It sounds like even more bullshit. Dennis stays in shape because he runs, and he works out, but at the end of the day you said it yourself, Dennis never so much as looked at another woman.

Didn't you just point out that some of your daughter's friends ... Some of those hot young girls with springy asses, and jiggling tits had crushes on him, and he never paid them any fucking attention. He loved YOU, Sarah. And I for one hope he does find someone else. Stop playing the fucking victim. You have no one to blame for what happened to you except for yourself. I mean, think about it. Once you did start cheating why not invest in that new invention they have out. I think they call them condoms. Even if you didn't think you could get pregnant you could still have given Dennis a disease. Brad fucks every whore he can get his dick into. Grow up and take responsibility for what you did, Sarah. No one in this town has any fucking sympathy for you. If there's anyone we feel sorry for, it's Dennis." Then she closed the door in my face.

Over the next few weeks, I was met with rejection everywhere I turned. I couldn't so much as get close to Brad to discuss our child or our options. I turned to his parents, and they had absolutely no willingness to talk to me. When I brought up the fact that the child I was carrying was their grandchild, the mother turned on me.

"How do we know that?" she hissed. I was shocked.

"I had a DNA test done," I told her.

"We know that," she said. "Everyone knows that. It was the talk of the town. But your DNA test only proved that Dennis ISN'T the father. It didn't prove that Brad IS."

My jaw hit the floor. "But ...!" I gasped.

"But nothing," said her husband. "How do we even know that Brad was the only guy you were cheating on Dennis with. And you need to stop running all over town claiming that Brad is the father of that child when it hasn't been proven. If we have to, we'll get a lawyer and sue you for slander."

"You can't sue me for slander," I yelled. "Dennis hired a PI. He has video of Brad and me together. I can prove that we had sex."

"Can you prove that he was the only one?" he fired right back. "I've heard of a few other guys who claim to have ..."

I ran out of the door. What he was saying was simply not true. I admitted from the first to cheating on Dennis. But it was a simple lapse of judgment not a character flaw. Brad had been the only person I had EVER cheated on Dennis with. Things in my life were getting worse and worse.

Surprisingly, I turned to the one place I had always found support. I called Dennis. He always found time to talk to me. I would tell him about how I was being treated and how I hated it. He always listened and even gave me advice occasionally. His most constant pieces of advice were to ignore the people in town. Eventually, they would get over it. He also told me that looking back would only make things worse. I had to look forward to the rest of my life.
Despite the seeming truth of his advice, I learned from my daughter's seething tirades against me that Dennis himself was having trouble moving on. She came home just last week looking for a fight. Chelsea was the master of manipulating her father, but I could see through her.

My daughter was sure that she could goad me into an argument, and I would tell her to get out. Then she could go and live with her father, which was what she really wanted.

But she unknowingly gave me a piece of information that helped to give me hope. In the midst of our argument, she told me about finding Dennis out on his deck crying.

Despite the fact that he was telling me to look forward, and get over the past, he was having as much trouble as I was doing so.

I tried then to take a serious and unbiased look at my situation. I had screwed up my marriage to levels that were probably improbable if not impossible to repair. But if I corrected the problems one after another maybe there was hope.

It would, of course take time, but time was all I had.

The first thing I had to do was to take care of the baby. As my daughter had pointed out, one of the primary reasons that Dennis would talk to me on the phone but wouldn't ever come into his own house was the fact that seeing me with my belly swollen with another man's child was torture for him. It was simply too big a reminder of how I had destroyed our relationship.

The strange thing was that now that I knew whose child it was, I would have had a termination done in an instant, but it was too late for that. I would have the child and then give it up for adoption. It would be better for all concerned.

I know that it is a terrible thing to blame all of my problems on a child who even had yet to take its first breath, but I had my priorities. And my priority was getting Dennis back.

No one seemed to want this child. I didn't want it. Dennis said it himself. If I hadn't gotten pregnant, or if the child was his, then we would have had a chance. Brad didn't want it. He was denying paternity and hiding from me. Not even Brad's parents, the child's presumptive grand parents wanted anything to do with it. The best thing for all concerned would be to give the child up for adoption where he or she could have a family that wanted a child.

After that, I could work on getting Dennis back.

* * * * * *

Jaime

After my mistake, I avoided Dennis. I felt like a fool every time I looked into his eyes. Every time I thought about how nice he was to me, I felt like shit. He was everything that I should have been. He had been through a divorce like I had. But instead of crying in his beer and hiding from the world he plunged back in. The fact that I saw him sitting on his deck crying his eyes out told me that he had his share of set-backs just like I had. But he tried very hard to get over them.

Seeing him made me feel like I hadn't tried hard enough to get over my issues. I also felt bad because from the very start, Dennis had been nothing but kind to me. Even after my enraged bitch routine when we first met, maybe I wasn't ready to move on just yet. We all get there in our own time, maybe it wasn't time for me yet. Maybe for the meantime it was better for me to be alone.

I was out as usual that Saturday morning that my life began to change. I was hiking a particularly difficult section of the woods that I had never been to before. There was a tiny, creek meandering through it. The water was still moving, even though it was November. Normally, it probably would have been frozen by now. But again that abnormally warm November weather was working in my favor.

I breathed in the clean air. It was untainted by chemicals or exhaust fumes. I was walking along the edge of the creek occasionally stepping from rock to rock to avoid getting my expensive walking shoes wet. That was all I remember.

Apparently, I slipped on one of the rocks and hit my head. When I woke up, I was wet to the point of freezing. And I had the headache to end all headaches.

I pulled out my cellphone and called 911. They asked if I was in danger and my location. Once the operator found out that I was in the park and not in danger, she transferred my call to park services. Unfortunately, because of budget cuts, park services didn't work on the weekends. The recording asked me to leave a message, and they would get back to me. I was on my own.

My foot was wedged between two rocks, and my ankle was throbbing. Luckily, the cold of the stream was probably keeping the swelling down, but it really hurt. And for some reason, I couldn't reach it. Then I remembered my phone. I went through my contacts. My mom and sister were in a different state; they were no help.

It suddenly dawned on me that I had no friends. Okay, I had one person that seemed to want to be my friend. So having no choice I called him.

"Dennis, this is Jaime," I said. "I hate to ask but I need a favor."

"Okay," he said. I almost hung up on him then. He was so kind, and so eager to help me that I felt awful about it.

"Where are you?" he asked.

"I don't know," I told him the situation. His response showed me that not only was he kind; he was smart as hell.

"Okay obviously your phone works and you have a good signal," he said. "What kind of phone is it?"

"It's an older iPhone," I said. "It's an iPhone 5. I didn't want to upgrade." He laughed.

"Go to the iTunes Store and download one of those geocaching apps," he said. "Then call me back. If you're on AT&T you don't have to hang up on me."

I looked through the apps and picked one of the free ones. "Why am I doing this?" I asked. "And I should probably tell you I don't have much battery left."

"We need to work quickly then," he said. I heard rumbling in the background.

"What are you doing?" I asked as I watched the download progress.

"Coming to get you," he said. I swear it sounded like he was warming up a TV dinner in a microwave. Then I heard the sound of a car door closing.

"Got it," I said proudly. I had no idea why I was doing it. I didn't even know what geocaching was.

"Open it," he said.

"Well duh," I said sarcastically. A touch of my inbred bitch crept out.

"Okay, look at the screen," he said, ignoring my attitude. "Somewhere up there is a series of large numbers. Read them to me slowly."

I did as he asked and felt good about it, for some reason. "Now what," I asked.

"Now talk to me," he said. And I did. I told him how afraid I was. I was somewhere in the middle of the large park. I hadn't seen another person since I woke up.

"You have other things to worry about," he said.

"Like what," I asked.

"I would have come and gotten you no matter what," he said. "But you framed the request like a favor. That means that you owe me a favor in return, and you never know what I might ask you to do."

"What you're doing is ..." I began. I stopped. I was too emotional. Then I just popped it out. "I'd do anything you want."

"Ooh, that was not something you should have said," he gushed. "You're a tall, pretty redhead. There's no end to things I could want." I was trying to think up a snarky answer when my less than 10% of battery remaining warning came on.

"You think about what you want," I said, aware of what I was hinting. "I'm going to turn the phone off to save the battery. Please hurry, Dennis. You have a big area to search."

I knew that it would probably take a few hours for Dennis to find me, if he could. Then I realized that I hadn't told him even where to begin searching. I just decided to relax for a few moments. Even if he knew the park he'd need to get to the park first, and it would take him a few minutes to drive there.

I don't know if it was the pain in my ankle or the cold of being partially submerged in the four inch deep cold water, but I drifted off to sleep.

When I woke up, not very much time had passed. I felt hands all over me. The next thing I knew, I was being lifted and put down on a soft cushion. My eyes opened and there was Dennis leaning over me.

He sat me up and handed me a cup of warm coffee. I sipped it gratefully. He wrapped me in a huge fluffy towel.

"I'm going to get out of the jeep, and you can slip out of your wet clothes and into these," he said. "They're going to be big on you, but they're new and clean, and they'll let you get warm."

I quickly skimmed off my wet top and bra. I put on the thick sweatshirt he'd left. I took my shorts and panties off with the sweat pants covering me and slipped my legs into the sweat pants. Then I put on the thick warm socks. I knocked on the window, and Dennis came back. He took all the wet clothing and the towel I had been wrapped in, and put them in the back behind the seat.

He wrapped me in a huge blanket and then laid me down on the seat behind the driver's section.

He gave me a couple of pills for the pain in my ankle. Then he got in the front seat, and we took off.

"Dennis, where are we going?" I asked.

"Hospital," he said. "You need X-rays."

"Where'd you get the Jeep?" I asked.

"It's my winter car," he said. "It's four-wheel drive and it protects my Mustang from having to go out in snow or rain." I dozed off after that.

I was asleep when we drove into the parking lot. He wrapped the blanket around me, picked me up like a baby, and then carried me into the emergency room.

He put me into a wheel chair and rolled me to the desk where he registered me and rolled us over into a treatment cubicle. One of the good things about being in a small town is that there weren't very many people there.

He spoke to the nurses and the doctor and never left my side. He watched from the control room as they did the x-Rays of my ankle. He held my hand and spoke to me to cheer me up while we waited for the results.

"Where are my shoes?" I asked.

"In the back of my Jeep," he said, "with the rest of your wet clothes."

Then I remembered that the warm clothes that I was wearing were his.

"Don't worry," he said. "I'm sure they can be washed and will be as good as new. It would be a shame to lose that outfit. Whoops ... I shouldn't have said that."

"So ... You're interested in women's clothes?" I asked.

"Can we change the subject," he said.

"Nope you started this," I quipped. His statement struck a nerve with me. "What's so special about that outfit. I have lots more like it."

"It's not the outfit," he muttered. "It's the way ... I ..."

"Dennis, just spit it out," I said. I was worried again. But I had been wrong about him before. Somehow I needed to know if Dennis had some hidden fetish for wearing women's clothes or something. I had been fooled before.

"Alright," he said, "But you're only going to get pissed at me again. We were getting along really well. I just don't want to ruin it."

"Just tell the truth, Dennis," I spat.

"Fine," he said. "I don't give a fuck about your God Damned outfit. I don't even remember what color it was. What I liked about it was the way it made your ass look. Those long legs and that heart-shaped butt were driving me crazy. I can't help it Jaime. I'm a guy. I'm sorry if it ruins things when we were on our way to finally becoming friends."

I laughed so loud and so hard that everyone in the waiting room looked at us. Dennis tried to pull his hand away from me, but I grabbed it back.

A few minutes later, a doctor approached us.

"I have good news and bad news," she said. "But it's probably not THAT bad seeing the way he carried you into the hospital and can't seem to let go of you even now."

She smiled at us and sat down next to me. "Your ankle isn't broken. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's a really bad sprain. You're going to need to stay off of it completely for at least two to three weeks. After that you'll probably need some PT. But three weeks from now, probably just after Thanksgiving, you'll have forgotten that it happened. At least, you were smart. You went hiking together. I'd hate to think of you out there in the woods alone. Have a good evening, folks."

"Wait," I said. "What am I going to do for two to three weeks?"

"Enjoy it," she smiled. "Let your husband wait on you hand, and foot. And it's doctor's orders. Don't try to put any weight on that ankle, or you may be back in here for surgery. And the surgery is really messy. They end up using a lot of pins to re-attach the connective tissue to the bones." She shuddered.

"And those ortho guys ..." she shuddered again. "They're like the mechanics of the surgery world. It would be far easier just to take it easy for a while. Once you have a bunch of metal screws holding you together, you're never without pain. Your hiking days would be over. You'd be lucky to walk without a limp." She smiled at me again. Then leaned over and whispered in my ear.

"And look at him. He's just like a big puppy. He's dying to take care of you; so let him."

As she walked away, I looked at Dennis. "You CARRIED me into the hospital?" He nodded.

"There weren't any wheelchairs in the parking lot," he said.

Even as he gently put me back in the wheelchair for the trip back to his car, my thoughts went back in time. I remembered another time and another man. That time it was a case of severe gastric distress. That time I WAS married to the guy. He spent the entire time that we were in the emergency room on his phone. He called everyone we knew to let them know that HE had brought me to the emergency room.

He called all of his friends and a lot of mine. He called MY parents and HIS parents. He was so busy calling people that he never noticed when they moved me to a room and pumped my stomach. It turned out to be food poisoning. Apparently the new Cajun-Japanese fusion restaurant that he'd insisted we try, used some sort of ingredients that irritated the lining of my stomach.

Once he got off of the phone and came up to the room they'd put me in. He spent time chit chatting with the nurses, found out what was going on with me and then started a whole new round of calls to tell everyone what was wrong with me. He'd spent more time on the phone telling people about what happened than he had with me.

Dennis had never left me. I thought about that as he drove us home. He put me back down on the back seat wrapped in the warm thick blanket again. The movement of the car and the painkillers they'd given me, conspired against me, and I was asleep before we got home.

I did vaguely recall him telling me that he was going to get my car. I think I laughed when he talked about how bad it was to leave a Mustang alone in the woods.

Several hours later, I awoke and the pain in my ankle was so bad that it was throbbing. I reached for my bedside table, and it wasn't there. I felt a moment of fear as I wondered where I was.

I settled back and noticed that I was on a big soft bed with a really thick comforter on it. There was a table beside the bed, but it was on the opposite side. I found a lamp and found the switch at its base. I turned the lamp on and realized that I was in a man's bedroom. There were huge posters of cars on all four walls. The cars were all Mustangs.

"Dennis," I yelled. It took him only a few minutes to come into the room. He looked as if I had awakened him from a sound sleep.

"Dennis, why am I here?" I asked. He yawned and sat down on the edge of the bed.

"I'm supposed to be taking care of you," he yawned. "I also didn't have any keys for your house, and you never said I could go into your house."

"Dennis, who said you were supposed to care for me?" I asked.

"The doctor did," he said. "Remember, you have to stay off of your feet for two to three weeks?"

"Dennis, my ankle hurts really badly," I said. "And I'm hungry."

He left the room and came back in a few moments with a pill container and a glass of water. "What would you like to eat?" he asked.

"It doesn't matter," I said, "as long as it's quick."

He came back in about five minutes with a tray with a bowl of soup and a salad. I took a spoonful of the soup, and it was really good. There were big chunks of meat in a thick broth with all kinds of vegetables in it.

A drop of the soup ran down my chin and onto my chest. Dennis took the spoon from me and started feeding me like I was a baby. I remembered what the doctor had said about him wanting to take care of me.

Maybe I had just been alone for too long. It has been my experience that any time someone did something for you; it was usually because they wanted something from you. But in that situation, I just gave in. Whatever Dennis expected from me; I'd pay it. It may have been a mistake, but I needed him at that moment.

It was three days later that I realized I was in trouble. For the sake of my sanity, I needed to get out of that house. Dennis was simply too kind to me, and if I allowed myself to become accustomed to it, who knew where it would lead.

I'd fallen once. I had sworn that it would never happen again. Dennis had called the hospital and found out how to take care of my ankle. For the first three days, he'd iced the ankle three or four times a day. I hated that.

Then he'd begun soaking my ankle in warm, scented water. I loved that. But I loved it even more when he would gently massage my aching leg. I never saw it coming, but I soon began not only to enjoy his attention, but to crave it.

So I cheated a bit. I milked my ankle injury for much longer than I needed. I actually could have gone home after the first week. Dennis did ease his way back to work then, but he came home to check on me every day at lunch time. So I was never alone for more than four hours. Even after I could put enough pressure on my ankle to hobble around, I just didn't want to go home.

We did the silliest, most fun things that I had ever done. We watched the first snowfall in swimsuits on his deck, in the hot tub. Dennis had a fire pit on the deck that kept the immediate area warm. Dennis was always trying to come up with things to keep me occupied.

"What do you want for your first favor?" I asked him one evening while we were playing scrabble.

"First favor?" he asked.

"I owed you a favor for coming to get me," I told him. "I figure I owe you another one for taking care of me."

"Okay," he said smiling. "Dinner."

"That's too easy," I laughed. "We have dinner together every night. A favor is supposed to be something that you need me to do for you."

"What I want is a dressed up, sit down, upscale, downtown, grown-up dinner with the most beautiful redhead I've ever seen," he said. It was over. I was in full warfare. I was a woman torn in two. Two different aspects of my personality were fighting.

One side of my psyche told me that Dennis was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The other told me that I had been fooled once before and that if I allowed myself to be fooled again it would destroy my sanity.

"Are you talking about me?" I laughed.

"Jaime, I don't know any other redheads," he laughed. "And to tell you the truth, the little bit that I did was more for me than for you. I've thoroughly enjoyed having you here, and your ankle is healing fast. Soon you'll be at home, and I guess I'm hoping for a way for us continue spending time together."

"Dennis, you idiot, after this, we're always going to be friends," I told him. "I know I can be a bitch, but even I know when someone is on my side."

He looked down at the floor. I knew that something bad was coming.

"Jaime, I'm divorced," he said. "My divorce seemed like it was easy to people who watched from the outside. But it ripped my heart out. I'm not like you Jaime. I'm not confident and secure. I fell in love with one girl. We were together for the past twenty years. There was never anyone else for me.
I found out that she was cheating on me, and it nearly tore me apart. To make it worse, the guy, she was screwing is only a year older than our son. She's also carrying his child. I could kick her out of my life but not out of my heart.

I walked around trying really hard to act like it didn't hurt me, Jaime, but it nearly killed me. I tried to keep things positive. I did that for my daughter. Because of her, I couldn't afford to sink into depression and anger. But then something happened that made me think that there really was a future out there for me.

Okay at first, it was pure lust, because let's face it; you're hot, but these past few days I got to see how you are when you let your guard down. Jaime you can't hide it from me. There's a really nice girl in there when you're not being the wicked bitch of the west."

"Short or long," I asked.

"Sorry, I guess I'm boring you," he said. "Sometimes I forget when to shut up. Maybe it was a bit long, but for the longest time, I thought I had nothing, and you just came along like a star shining on a dark and empty night, so I ... tend to go on..."

"Should my dress be short or long?" I asked. His face lit up like nothing I had ever seen before. It surprised me. Even my husband had never reacted like that.

"I don't know," he said. "Let me think about it for a second." As I watched he actually started rolling options around in his head.

"Okay," he said. "With a short dress, we get those incredible legs, but if it's one of those things with a frilly bottom it would hide your butt, so I don't know ... But you're so damned pretty ... I can't make up my mind."

For the first time in longer than I could remember, I was excited. I think it was just the fact that he was so awestruck at the thought of going out with me.

"Dennis, I'll surprise you," I said. His joy and energy were contagious. The next day I went back to work. My boss called me into her office again just after lunch.

"Welcome back," she said, "How's your ankle?"

"Getting better every day," I said.

"Apparently, it's not the only thing," she said. I looked at her in confusion. "I've heard from more than one of your coworkers today that you were actually pleasant to be around. One of them, told me that you were caught smiling." I laughed when she said that.

"Jaime, you know that you're fully covered under our health-care plan, right?" she asked.

"Yes ma'am," I said.

"When one of us is sick or injured, I typically call the hospital to check and make sure they've received payment. The insurance companies sometimes make them jump through hoops to get their payment. We live in a small town, and the hospital's resources are limited at best. So I tend to pay the bills and let the insurance company reimburse us.

Anyway, I was surprised when they told me your husband put the bills on his credit card. And that he paid for it on the spot. I thought that you were divorced."

I started laughing as I realized that the doctor must have processed the paperwork. I felt even better when I gave it some thought. Dennis had simply stepped up and done what was necessary. I explained it to her, and she started laughing too. Then she looked at me.

"Do you mean Dennis Miller," she asked. "Is he the engineer out at the big manufacturing plant, just outside of town?"

I nodded. "You know him?"

"Yep," she said. "My brother handled his divorce. But you probably know all about that. The guy is too nice for his own good. He even let that skank he was married to live in his house until their daughter moves out. He should have thrown her out on her ass after what she did to him."

For the rest of the afternoon, I looked forward to the evening ahead. I left work early to get my hair done. It was funny; I had to ask one of the women at work where to go. I had lived in the town for a little over a year and had never gotten my hair done.

The woman there was really nice. She was full of suggestions. She wanted to straighten my curly hair. She also told me that she thought I would look really great as a blonde. In the end, I just got a wash, a deep oil conditioning treatment and had her clip my ends.

I could hardly wait to get home. I'd driven fifty miles one way to the nearest large city to go shopping at the mall and find just the right dress. I then explained my problem to the woman at the store.

"So your guy doesn't know if he likes your legs or your ass better, huh?" she laughed. "Honey, that's a problem I would love to have. I don't think my husband knows I have legs or an ass. Does the term football widow mean anything to you? From August to February, the only way I get laid is if I put the TV on top of the headboard and shave my pubes into the shape of a goalpost." She laughed again.

"I think I have just the dress for you," she said. "The color will bring out those pretty eyes of yours, and the shape of the dress will show off that slim figure and those long legs. There's also nothing frilly that would cover up your butt."

Back at home, I was nervous. I was a ball of jitters and raw nerve endings. It started my mind working overtime. I'd had only one serious relationship in my entire life. Dennis and I had that in common, would the second time would be the charm for both of us?

As I waited for him, the thought occurred to me that I had never thought I would need a second chance at love.

While I was putting the finishing touches on my makeup, Dennis arrived. I called his phone and told him that the door was open, and he should come in and wait.

I could hear him pacing downstairs as I put my shoes on. He was clearly as nervous as I was. I smiled at the thought of it. And then I had another thought. What if he didn't like the dress. My ex-husband had been very critical of my appearance. And Dennis had already been very vocal in expressing what he liked.

Maybe it was a defense mechanism, but I got angry. Fuck him, I thought. I spent a lot of time, effort, and money to look good. If he couldn't appreciate what I'd done, he could just go shit in his hat.

I got so angry that I stomped downstairs and left my purse behind.

And the asshole had the nerve to play games with me. He was lying on my sofa pretending to be asleep when I made my grand entrance at the bottom of the stairs.

"Dennis," I said loudly. He pretended to wake up, but when his eyes opened, and he saw me; it all changed. He nearly fell off of the sofa, and I could tell it was real. His mouth had dropped open, and no words came out.

There were no quips and no comments he just stared at me for the longest time. And then it happened. His mouth turned from its usual smile to a straight line.

"Okay, what's wrong Dennis?" I asked. It was the same expression my ex always got when he pointed out something that was wrong about the way I looked. Just before I told Dennis to suck it, he managed to speak.

"Are you sure you want to waste your time on me?" he asked in a very small voice. He was looking at the floor, the TV, which wasn't turned on and everywhere else except in my eyes. I knew something was wrong.

"What's wrong Dennis?" I asked.

"Jaime, you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," he gushed. "I've told you before how pretty I think you are. I mean ... I guess I knew that all dolled up you'd be even prettier, but I didn't expect ... I mean you look like you should be going out with a movie star or one of those really hot guys on TV."

"Dennis, I'm going out with the really hot guy next door," I gushed. "Are you ready?" I couldn't help it. His reaction had made me feel better than I had in my entire life. I felt like a fucking movie star. It had been so long since a man had appreciated me that I was just floored.

I suddenly realized that I'd left my purse upstairs. I turned to go and grab it, only to hear Dennis suck in a huge gasp. I turned to see what was wrong and noticed that his mouth was open again, and his eyes were huge.

"Dennis, were you staring at my ass?" I asked. He nodded like a little boy who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

"Sorry," he said.

"Mine had better be the only ass I catch you staring at," I told him. When I got my purse, he was still standing there waiting for me to come back down.

"So where are we going?" I asked.

"I made reservations at a restaurant," he said. "It's a bit of a drive, but I think it's almost worthy of that dress." He was almost out of breath as he said it, and he couldn't take his eyes off of me. It told me that his reaction was real. It felt really good to be with a man who thought I was beautiful.

As I got ready to leave I began to realize just how floored Dennis was. He was usually smooth and easy going. He was always prepared and comfortable. But this time he was off of his game.

"Dennis, what's in that box?" I asked.

"Huh? What box," he asked.

"The one on my dining room table that wasn't there a couple of hours ago when I had a snack before getting ready." I told him as pointed to it.

He looked at the box as if seeing it for the first time. "Oh that," he said with a worried tone in his voice. "It's nothing. Don't worry about it."

I went to the table and got the box. I opened it and found a beautiful corsage in it. It looked like something that guys bought for their prom dates in the old days.

"Dennis, this is beautiful," I said. "Is it for me?" He nodded nervously.

"I know it's corny," he said. "It's just that ... " and he stopped.

"What, Dennis," I asked.

"I guess I wanted you to know how special I thought tonight was going to be ... It's corny. Don't worry about it," he said.

My ex had never done anything like that for me even when we did go to our prom. I was beginning to get the feeling that Dennis was far more nervous than I was.

"Dennis can we just pretend that I'm the same woman you rescued and took care of?" I asked. "Just pretend that it's a normal night, and I'm about to beat your ass in scrabble."

"That's only because I let you win," he quipped.

"Bullshit," spat. "I win fair and square."

"Yep, because I let you get away with words like Flobidia," he said. "We both know that word is not in any dictionary."

"It should be," I smiled, taking his hand. "Dennis where should I wear my corsage?"

"How about on your wrist," he asked.

"How about on my breast ... Near my heart?" I smiled. He looked so nervous that I smiled. "I guess you just noticed that I have boobs too, huh?"

"How about here," I said. I took the ribbon in the box that was supposed to attach the flowers to your wrist away and used the comb in the box to attach the flower to the side of my head where it mixed in with my long red locks.

A few moments later, we were in his jeep headed for the freeway. After a few minutes, my hand snaked out and found his. In the darkness of the car, I looked over to him. As we passed under a light pole on the freeway, the inside of the car was illuminated for a fraction of a second, and I saw his smile.

For more than a year, I had been so busy looking back at the past in anger that I had forgotten about the future. All of a sudden, I had one. As we drove we talked about everything and nothing. Dennis asked me a lot of questions and answered mine. Every time he found out some new bit of minutia about my life, he filed it away as if I had given him top-secret information.

And then a large white building came into sight. I stiffened as we drove past it. Then Dennis made a sharp right turn and drove into the parking lot.

"Dennis, are we going here?" I asked. "Do you know what ..."

"La Chateau Blanc," he said. "It's supposed to be ..."

"The most expensive restaurant in the state," I said, "Maybe even in the region. There's no way. You cannot just walk in here, Honey. They're booked up for months at a time."

"I know," he said. "I made a reservation." It was my turn to be floored. I'd expected something a bit less pricey and a bit less ritzy.

As we went into the restaurant, Dennis opened doors for me and did all of those things that showed how great his manners were. I looked around and saw people that I only saw on TV. There were a couple of state senators, and the local news anchor sitting in the same room with us. Sitting across from us was a famous actress who'd recently moved into the state and was running for mayor of one of the neighboring small cities.

She was wearing a dress that probably cost more than my house and showing more cleavage than any stripper would dare to. Every time she let out a loud fake laugh half of the heads in the room turned, and men looked down her top hoping for a glimpse of those famous titties. The whole time that we were there, Dennis never looked away from me.

Throughout the night, Dennis surprised me over and over. We did all of those silly romantic little gestures that showed me he was interested in me. But he was a gentleman the whole time. I was in heaven, until I went to the ladies' room just before we left.

There was an older woman sitting in front of the mirror re-applying her lipstick.

"Honey, what I wouldn't give to be you," she said.

"Why," I laughed. "I'm not the prettiest woman in the room."

"Probably not," she said matter of factly. "Don't get me wrong, Sweetie, you're a good-looking woman. But almost every man wants something different. Some men like a woman with a great big ass and big tits. Others like blondes or exotic women, you know like Asians or black women. I know a few guys who like goths, or even those tattooed bitches that look like they just escaped the fucking circus. I wonder what they're going to look like when they're my age and their skin sags, and the tats look like shit. Or God, what happens in a couple of years when tats are out of style. The younger girls are already beginning to shy away from them.

And oh please, I can barely look at those freaks with those piercings, ugh! But there are guys out there that think that shit is sexy. There's a guy out there for almost every woman, Honey. But you got yourself one of the good ones. My husband and I were watching you two the whole time. He never looked away from you. It's like in his eyes; you hung the moon, Honey. I don't think he even noticed that there were other women in the room.

I won big money on him, you know," she said.

"How," I asked.

"When you get to be our age, you do all kinds of things to keep life interesting. I don't think the two of you will ever get bored with each other, but we have to play games. My husband bet me a hundred bucks that your man would stare at the broadcast boobs, like every other man in the room within ten minutes. It never happened. That guy has eyes only for you. In a room full of very rich and very famous people, you were the only woman in the room to him. I hope you're gonna give him something special tonight."

Her words made me smile. "I think I'll comp your dinner tonight," she said. "The rest of the week will be pretty boring after seeing the two of you."

"You eat here a lot?" I asked. She nodded and yawned.

"I have to, Honey," she said. "I own the place. Don't let that guy get away. He's a good one. And don't play any games either. There's too many skanky whores out there who'll roll him into bed in a second and leave you high and dry. Morals are great on paper. But when you're all alone your morals are not going to keep you company or keep you warm." She smiled and left the restaurant. And then it hit me. I knew that I was in trouble. I'd been fooled again. I was so angry I started to shake.

Dennis was waiting for me when I got myself together and left the ladies room. He had a peculiar look on his face.

"Jamie, they didn't charge us anything for our meal, tonight," he said. "And the nicest lady gave me a card with a special number to call if we ever want to come back here. You're my good-luck charm." I didn't say anything. I knew that in under an hour, the fantasy would end. The bubble I had been floating on for the past few days would burst and leave me even more of a bitter bitch than I had been.

Dennis drove us home and barely noticed that I hadn't said much about the evening. It was the best night of my life, but also the worst because I'd come to my senses. I was still reeling at the fact that I'd been fooled again.

Dennis walked me up to my doorway, like a gentleman. He took my hand and looked deeply into my eyes. I looked away and opened the door.

"Where are you going?" I asked.

"I was hoping for a good-night kiss," he said disappointedly. "But it looks like you're not in the mood."

"You can have all the kisses you want, while we're fucking," I spat. His surprised look almost made me laugh.

"Huh?" he said.

I grabbed his hand and pulled him inside of the house, closing the door behind us. "You've been talking about my ass and my legs for days now," I said. "Do you only want to look?"

He had no idea what to say. I took his hand and guided him up to my room. "Forgive the mess," I told him. "I wasn't expecting to do this tonight."

"We don't have to ..." he began.

"Yes we do," I said. I pulled the dress over my head and dropped it on the floor. The dress cost me two weeks pay, but I was treating it like a used dishrag.

I dropped my bra beside it, and his eyes got huge as he looked at my breasts. I turned around and shook my ass like a stripper, then pulled my panties down. He had never seen any woman act the way I was acting.

"Jaime are you okay?" he asked.

"Dennis, do you like me?" I asked.

He sighed. "Dennis, this is real," I said. "Tell me the truth. No bullshit!"

"Jaime ... You probably don't want to hear this, but sometime while you were staying with me, I think I fell in love with you," he said. The voice of my sanity and my conscience told me to stop. But my anger was talking the loudest. "So, it's a lot more than LIKE. I love you Jaime."

"Then get over here and fuck me," I hissed.

"Jaime are you drunk," he asked.

"Dennis, it was a simple God damned request," I hissed. "If you ever want to see me again get your ass in this bed."

He stripped off his clothes and dropped them where he stood. He climbed into the bed with me tentatively. I grabbed his dick and began to rub it. I had only been with one man before him. I expected to have to suck him to get him hard. But as soon as my hand touched it, his dick was harder than anything I had ever seen.

He pushed me onto my back and spread my legs. Dennis stuck his head between the legs that he loved and started licking my pussy like there was no tomorrow.

There was no way that my ex would ever have considered doing that on a bet. Dennis not only did it, he seemed to be enjoying it. It had been a long time since I'd had sex, and I had never experienced what Dennis was doing to me. I didn't last very long at all. It took less than fifty licks before I was screaming my head off. I had never had an orgasm that powerful.

The next thing I knew Dennis had pushed his dick inside of me. He was out of control. He was ramming my pussy so fast and so hard that I was already losing it.

I was involuntarily thrusting my hips back at him. "Fuck me, Dennis," I whined. And he did. He slammed me full of his meat again and again. We were both sweating before too long. We didn't talk. We just fucked. It was as if both of us had something to prove.

Suddenly, he got the weirdest look on his face and the next thing I knew I felt him spurting inside of my unprotected pussy. It was too late to worry about it by then. Spasms erupted inside of me, and the warmth of his semen set me off again. I felt really weird. My insides were clutching at his dick as if it was a part of me that I didn't want to let go of.

I had no idea what to say to him. I was wrong about him as usual. I looked over at him and saw a look in his eyes that scared me. He flipped me over onto my stomach, and then I really got scared. I thought that he was going to try to fuck my ass.
My mouth filled with bile at the thought of it, but I was wrong again. He slid his dick back into my eager hole from the back, and we were doing it again. It felt so good; I screamed at the joy of it. And then it got better. He started to caress and squeeze my sensitive breasts as they dangled and swung.

He slammed his lower abdomen against my ass and then slapped my ass. "Oh fuck," he moaned. We settled down and started again. He thrust himself inside of me again and again. I pushed my ass back against him matching him thrust for thrust. It felt as if my insides opened up in preparation for being bred. My entire body was tingling. It felt as if I had started to glow.

And then it happened. At the precise moment that he grunted and collapsed on top of me, he unleashed another flow of semen. He must've been storing it up for a long time. At the same time, I let out a gusher of my own.

Every nerve ending in my body exploded at the same time. It was the most powerful orgasm I'd ever had. It dwarfed even the first time that he'd set me off that evening. I collapsed onto the bed, insensate. It was the best sex I'd ever had in my life.

It felt like the first time I'd been really fucked. I slept for most of the night exhausted. I woke up alone.

I looked across at Dennis' house, but all the lights were off. I figured that he was as worn out as I was. I missed him. I wondered why, after the romantic night we had and the wonderful things he'd done to my body that he hadn't wanted to spend the night with me. Dennis seemed like the kind of man who would sleep with his woman and hold her.

I wondered why he'd run home. As I dozed off, I figured that we'd work it out the next day. We had the whole weekend to talk.

I would explain to him that what had happened the night before was kind of a test. I needed to know that we were sexually compatible before we moved forward because I was falling for him too.

Maybe I could find a way to say it so it didn't sound like I was testing him.

When I woke up later that morning, it all made sense to me. Dennis had his daughter over. He'd probably gone to pick her up early in the morning and didn't want to wake me.

I wondered if he would want me to meet her this weekend. But the whole day he never came over. I called him, but he didn't return my calls. I texted him but he didn't return those either. Finally, there was a knock at my door.

I ran to the door and threw it open expecting to see Dennis. Instead, a pissed off teenaged girl with Dennis' eyes stood there.

"Shit!" she said. "You really are as pretty as he said." She shook her head and then started again. "What the fuck is your problem, Bitch?"

I was floored. No one had ever spoken to me like that in my life. She pushed her way into my house.

"Do you realize how badly you've fucked this up?" she screamed.

"Huh?" I said.

"He was almost back," she hissed, "His confidence, his laughter, all of it. Over the last few weeks, his joy has come back. So I didn't mind giving up some of my time with him, so he could help heal you. I thought you were good for him. I don't know what you did, but he's a wreck. Stay the fuck away from my dad or I'll hurt you, lady." Then she got up and walked out slamming my door behind her so hard that I thought it would come off the hinges."

I sat down on my sofa and cried the whole night. I had a serious problem. When my marriage had broken down, I had fallen into a morass of anger and depression. I was imprisoned by my own madness.

Then Dennis came along. He was like a ray of sunshine, guiding me out of the hole I had dug for myself. Despite the fact that he was barely out of his own darkness, he had chosen to drag me into the light with him. Instead, I somehow managed to pull him back in with me.

It was so easy to give in to despair and mistrust. It was so hard to fight your way back to the light. Somehow, as much as I'd wanted to believe in the future I couldn't let myself be fooled again. It hurt too God damned much to go through it twice.

The worst part about it was that I knew. Deep down, when Dennis had told me that he loved me, I knew that he was different. And as much as I wanted that love ... As much as I loved him back, my anger took me. I felt like a girl at a Who concert screaming along with Roger Daltry that I won't get fooled again.

Only I did get fooled. I fooled myself. I took something pure and beautiful ... It was probably far purer and more beautiful than anything in my life had ever been, and I ruined it. Through my tears, I can still see the light in his eyes as he saw me in that dress for the first time. I can still see the smile on his face as he sat across from me.

I should have seen it then. He even said the fucking words. He bared his heart to me and said the fucking words. "I love you Jaime," he'd said. And I knew he'd meant it. I also knew that he hadn't been lying. But my anger needed to be fed so in search of proof of something I already knew, I forced myself on him like a whore and ruined it all.

I wonder what he thought of me now. It was Sunday morning. I realized it when I heard him come out of his house. I looked out my window and saw him taking his daughter somewhere.

He was back in about an hour. When he got out of his car, I ran out to meet him. I didn't care that I was naked under my thin robe, and it was late November.

"Jaime, you need to go back in your house and put some clothes on," he said. His voice was flat. All the joy he usually brought to everything was gone; I had taken that away from him. I couldn't let him go. I needed the man like the air I breathed.

"I need a favor," I said. "You once told me that we'd always be friends no matter what. Even when I was being a bitch, you were nice to me." I was crying and blubbering so loud I was sure the whole neighborhood could hear me. But it didn't matter. If a bunch of stupid, fat old women all wanted to come out and laugh at me while their husbands stared at my tits it didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was the man standing in front of me trying to get away from me.

"Jaime, go home and get some clothes on," he said. "I'll come over later."

"Dennis, NO," I loudly said. "I have to fix this. I have to fix things between us. My place is with you. Dennis, that's what I really want. You told me something the other night, and I should have told you then. I love you too, Dennis. I know I had a shitty way of reacting to our date, but if you let me explain, maybe you'll understand it. Please let me explain it to you. If you really feel about me the way you said you did. You'll give me time to explain."

We sat down on his big comfy sofa, and I spilled it all. I told him my life story. I told him about my divorce and its cause. I told him about my depressions and how he'd pulled me out of it and how afraid I was that it was happening to me again. I told him why I'd done what I'd done and finally how I had cried when I realized what I had lost.

"You can't lose me, stupid," he said. "We're both like broken toys. It's going to take some work, but if you're up for it, I think we could be really happy together."

I snuggled into his arms and yawned. "Didn't you get enough sleep last night?" he laughed.

"I actually didn't get any sleep at all," I said. "I was too busy crying over you."

He wrapped his arms around me, and I felt loved and protected. I don't know how long I slept for. It must've been hours. But when I awoke, he was still there, wrapped around me as if I was the most precious thing in the world.

He was lying there beside me staring at me. It was as if he was trying to memorize every line and pore in my face as I slept. When he saw me staring back at him, he smiled.

Our faces drew closer and closer together until our lips merged. It wasn't just a peck like the ones my ex gave me. I got the impression that Dennis liked kissing me.

We kissed and kissed and until our tongues tasted the same. The next thing I knew my robe was open, and he was kissing my breasts. It wasn't like Friday night. He was very gentle. My nipples seemed to stretch themselves out to keep contact with his tongue.

After I while I was begging for him to mount me. But again, he was so gentle and so patient that it felt like magic. Our movements weren't frenzied and brutal as they were the first time; it was gentle and loving. Yet somehow it was much more intense. When I came it was so powerful that I never wanted it to end.

"I love you Dennis," I said. And I meant it.

* * * * * *

Sarah

By the time Thanksgiving rolled around I was nearly as big as a house. It was the most miserable pregnancy of my life. I also found out that Brad had skipped town. His parents claimed that they had no idea where he had gone. He was over eighteen and could legally go anywhere he wanted. They looked at me as if I had ruined their lives.

My first two pregnancies had been joyous times, but this one was awful. I was all alone. Even Chelsea wanted nothing to do with me. She'd been bragging about her father's new girlfriend. Nothing hurt me as much as hearing from my daughter's gloating lips that her father was seeing a beautiful redhead who lived right next door to him. My heart broke, but I couldn't help feeling that I deserved it.

I guess I had been hoping that the four of us would get together for the holidays. But Frankie called and told Chelsea that he was spending Thanksgiving with his new girlfriend's family. Chelsea told me that she would be spending the day with her dad and probably Christmas too.

I decided then that I was tired of being the talk of this town. As soon as the baby was out of me, I would leave town and try to start my life over again. I needed to give Dennis some space to realize that the two of us belonged together. Perhaps me staying with my parents for a while would be a good thing for both of us.

I made arrangements with a local adoption agency to take the baby as soon as it was born. Although I had always been a good mother, I knew that I couldn't do it this time. I resented the life growing inside of me. My rational mind knew that it wasn't the baby's fault, but subconsciously I kept going back to the fact that if the baby had been Dennis' child, we would have still been together. If Dennis had stayed with me, my kids would have eventually forgiven me too.

So like it or not, the child represented the destruction of my family. I was simply incapable of separating the child from my actions that had created it.

I had always enjoyed Thanksgiving. It was always my favorite holiday. Unlike Christmas, it wasn't about presents and material things. Thanksgiving was about being with the people you loved. It was about sharing a meal and talking about the things you were grateful for.

A year ago, the four of us were together and very happy. Who knew that one year later our family would no longer exist?

The first time I'd spoken to Brad, I never would have suspected that his flattery and bullshit would result in me losing everything that Dennis and I had built over twenty years together. No affair was worth that. Brad himself wasn't worth that.

I awoke on Thanksgiving morning hoping that it was all a dream. I went down to the kitchen to make breakfast for Chelsea. I was hoping with all of my heart that she would change her mind and stay with me. Maybe the two of us could go out for dinner.

I went to her room, dead set on begging her if I had to. But when I went into her room, I noticed that she was already gone. I spent Thanksgiving alone and miserable. I had nothing to be thankful for. I ate tuna and crackers and wished with all my heart that I was dreaming, and I could wake up and have it never have happened.

* * * * * *

Jaime

"Mmm sleepy," I moaned.

"Jaime, we have to get up; it's Thanksgiving," he said.

My eyes popped open. Our first Thanksgiving together. It was really my first Thanksgiving as a grown woman. When I was married, we always seemed to end up having Thanksgiving at my parents' house.

"Shit, Dennis, I have to get the turkey in the oven," I screamed. "Why didn't you wake me?"

He looked away from me and looked at the floor. "You were staring at me while I slept again weren't you?" He nodded. And suddenly the turkey was no longer important.

I jumped out of the bed and ran downstairs and into the kitchen. At the last possible instant, the fact that my future step daughter was standing in the kitchen registered on my consciousness.

"Good Morning, Jaime," she said. We'd come a long way over the past few days. We got along great. But then we should, considering that both of us wanted the same thing, we both wanted Dennis to be happy.

"Jaime, uhm ... is this a clothing optional Thanksgiving?" she asked.

"I have to get the turkey in, Chels," I said.

"Well you should tell me what you want me to do and let me do it, while you get dressed," she said. "Daddy went to the airport right after he woke you. He'll be back soon, and he won't be alone."

I was glad to have the help, so I showed her what to do. I went upstairs to make myself beautiful. I figured that Dennis had invited some of his family members or friends.

I showered and threw some clothes on. Since I would be cooking for most of the day, I wanted to be comfortable. I put on one of Dennis' shirts and my favorite jeans.

A short time later, Chelsea and I were peeling and cutting potatoes and talking about what Dennis liked for a Thanksgiving when I heard the door open and voices in the living room.

I went out to meet Dennis and his, company and got the surprise of my life.

"Mom what are you doing here?" I asked.

"Dennis invited us," she said. "We haven't seen you in over a year."

"Who the fuck is US?" I hissed. My mom was shocked, but Dennis and Chelsea were floored.

"Uhm, your sister came with her," said Dennis. "Is this a bad thing?"

"No, Honey it's fine," I said. The relief was written all over my face.

"I wanted to surprise you," he said. "I thought it would be good to have some of your family here."

"Baby, you, and Chelsea ARE my family now," I said. For most of the morning, Dennis and my mom got to know each other. My mom brought an album full of photos of me growing up. The two of them sat at the table slowly looking at each photo, and she told him the story behind every one.

My sister seemed to be the only wet blanket on what was a beautiful day.

"Why didn't you bring the other album?" She asked my mom. "You know the one with all the Pictures, of her and Kurt?" I looked at her as if I was going to slap her.

"There's no reason to bring up bad memories," I said. "Kurt is the past."

I knew that my sister had always had a crush on Kurt. So it didn't shock me that she'd defend him. I think that she was more hurt by my divorce than I was. And she assumed that somehow it was all my fault.

When she got me alone she reminded me of how handsome Kurt was. As the day went along she became bolder and bolder.

"You're a really nice guy, Dennis," she told him. "I hope you aren't hurt when Jaime and Kurt get back together."' No one said anything.

I looked at her like she was crazy. "I won't be seeing Kurt until Hell freezes over," I said.

"Well, the devil must be ice skating," she said.

"Jill what the fuck did you do," I asked.

"Jaime don't get upset," she whined. "I did it for you."

"What did you do," I asked again.

"I just wanted to see the family all back together again," she said. "So I gave Daddy your address too. He's probably going to drop by and..."

"And what," I asked.

"Well Kurt might be coming with him so ..."she began.

"Chelsea, call a taxi," I screamed. "Jill, get your ass out on the porch and wait for your cab. You're no longer welcome here!"

"But I did it for you," she whined.

"Stop lying, Jill," I said. "You did it for Kurt. You've always had a crush on him. If you want to stay, call Daddy and tell them not to come." She pulled out her phone just as the doorbell rang.

I watched in horror as Dennis went to the door and invited both my father and my ex husband into the house. Sensing that things were about to get weird, Dennis, ever the peacemaker found a football game for the men to all watch together. Both my father and Kurt were constantly looking at me.

I was just as constantly hugging or kissing Dennis.

"I like the two of you together," said my mother. "I've never seen Jaime this happy."

"You must've forgotten how she was when she first got together with Kurt," said Jill.

I looked at her so hard that she shut up immediately. It was almost like invisible beams of force from my eyes slapped the shit out of her.

So that was how it was on my first fucked up, grown-up Thanksgiving. Dennis and Chelsea flitted around trying to make peace and keep it. I tried my best not to slap my sister.

At some point in the afternoon, I heard a voice behind me.

"You never gave me the chance to explain or to apologize," he said. "I really appreciate you not blabbing it out to everyone. My..."

"There was no need for an explanation," I hissed. "And I'd really appreciate it if you'd stay the fuck away from me."

"So I guess it's too early to talk about us remaining friends?" he said tentatively.

"Just a tad," I smirked. "But check back with me in about three hundred years."

"Come on Jaime," he said. "We've been friends for our entire lives. Even before we got married, we were friends. It's stupid for us to..."

"It's stupid for you to keep talking when I told you to get the fuck away from me," I said evenly. "If I screamed right now, Dennis would come in here and tear you a new asshole, Asshole."

"He is a feisty little thing," Kurt laughed. "A little rough around the edges, but he exudes a sort of strength. He's definitely obsessed with you. I'd be careful if I was you. That kind of obsession can lead to things."

"What are you talking about, Asshole," I hissed.

"Come on Jaime, you're cute," he said. "But that guy acts like you're the most beautiful woman on the planet. While we were watching the football game, they kept showing the cheerleaders. The cameramen are obviously perverts because they kept zooming in on the cheerleader's legs and boobs and butts.

So just to be polite and to make conversation, I'd say, "Wow, she's pretty," or "nice legs," or whatever. And he'd look at me like I was stupid and say, "Jaime's legs are better."

"He loves me dumbass," I hissed. "I'm always going to come out on top to him. That's normal, and I like it. I like normal, Kurt, now get the fuck out of my kitchen. And if you really want to do something for me, make up an excuse and get out of my house."

"I thought you lived next door," he smirked.

A few minutes later, Dennis showed up with a really worried look in his eyes. He squeezed my hand and kissed me on the neck. "I love you, Jaime," he said.

"I know that, Stupid," I said and pulled him in for a more intense kiss. I reached around behind him and grabbed his ass and ground my crotch against his. He slid his hands down my back and grabbed two big handfuls of my ass.

"Oh, that's just great," said my sister. "What a gentleman, just pawing her right here in the kitchen where anyone could come in. That's so caveman of you. Kurt never did anything like that. He's more polite ... He has better manners."

"I guess you didn't notice that I was pawing him back," I said. "It's called being in love. It's this feeling where you can't keep your hands off of each other."

"I think it's cute," said my mom, smiling at us.

"Well Kurt never..." began Jill.

"Sis, you don't have to try so hard to sell me on Kurt," I said. "If you want him so badly, he's yours. We are no longer married, remember?"
"Okay, let's have a nice dinner," said my mom.

Even though it was his ... Our house, Dennis deferred the head of the table to my Dad. My mom sat on my Dad's right-hand side and my sister on his left. Dennis sat at the other end of the table with a similar setup. Chelsea was on his left seated directly across from my mom, which put me purposively by my sister with the hulking form of Kurt squeezed between my sister and me.

As my dad began to say Grace, I noticed that Jill was trying to catch Dennis' eye.

I stood up; interrupting my dad's saying grace. "What the fuck is wrong with you Jill?" I screamed. I looked at Dennis and then back at Jill.

"He was ... He was always talking about how pretty you are," she sputtered. "I just wanted him to know that when you dump him to go back to Kurt that he could have ..."

Kurt laughed. My mother and father were shocked.

"He didn't do anything," she said. "When I started to open my blouse to show him that my boobs are bigger than yours, he just left the room. I was trying to be nice to him."

"You fucking bitch ..." I hissed.

"Dennis, Honey you should have told me this tramp tried to make a pass at you. I would have kicked her ass," I said.

"I didn't want to mess up the Holiday," he said. "Besides, she's your sister. Who would you have believed if I told you, and she said it was the other way around?"

"When you came into the kitchen and saw that I'd been talking to Kurt, why didn't you freak out?" I asked him.

"Because I love you and I trust you," he said.

"And that goes two ways, dummy," I said. "Jill, get the fuck out of my house."

"Jaime Lee," said my father loudly. "There was no harm done. Like Dennis said, it's the holiday. Let's just enjoy it."

"Fuck you, Dad," I hissed. "This is my house. Dennis invited Mom for Thanksgiving. He started talking to her while he was taking care of me for my ankle injury. She called me, and he answered my phone. Mom started telling him how long it had been since she had seen me, and Dennis invited HER to spend Thanksgiving with us to surprise ME.

To tell you the truth, I have missed Mom. We talk on the phone all the time. But she could never get me to come home or to let her come for a visit. I knew that if I came home, I'd see you. And if she came here, she'd bring you ..." I hesitated and rage filled me. "Dad you don't get to make the rules in MY house. You were not invited. Mom brought Jill along, but Jill wasn't invited. Jill, who AGAIN was not invited, gave you my address, and you dragged Kurt's ass along with you." I burst out laughing at my unintended pun.

"Jaime, what's going on," asked my mother. Dennis as usual stood up beside me and hugged me. I drew from his strength. And sat down. I took his hand and held it. I reached for Chelsea's hand under the table too. "I've got your back Jaime," she whispered.

"Jill, sit your stupid ass back down," I hissed. "This is all my fault. I should have said something sooner. Dennis already knows this, but maybe we should all know why my marriage ended."

"There's no need to drag up the past," said my father. "You're happy with Dennis. You and Kurt were just too young. End of story."

"I should probably go," said Kurt.

"Sit down, asshole," I hissed. I looked around the table and began my story.

"I had been in love with Kurt, for as long as I could remember." I said. "He was big and strong and handsome. Every girl in our neighborhood wanted him. But Kurt seemed to want to be with me. I was a good girl. We never tried anything sexual at all. He was always telling me that he wanted me badly, but that he could wait until I was ready.

I told him that I intended to stay a virgin until my wedding night, and he was fine with it. When we turned twenty, he asked me to marry him. I was so happy; I was giddy. I told him yes, immediately. We had a long engagement. We wanted to wait, until we both graduated, to get married.

Since we were engaged, I started hinting around that since we were engaged, I was willing to forgo my promise. Technically, we were already as close to married as we could be. Kurt was stubborn though. He insisted on living with my promise to the letter of the statement.

I think you'll all remember what happened to me on the last year of college. I had a cancerous cyst on one of my ovaries and had to have surgery. They removed both ovaries, which left me unable to have children. I gave Kurt his ring back, and he laughed in my face.

He told me that if I wanted a bigger ring to say so, but other than that I should put my ring back on. It made me even more in love with him. I was as obsessed with Kurt as you all seem to think Dennis is with me.

The doctors told us not to try anything sexual for at least six months after the surgery, so we pushed the wedding back. Our wedding was a large lavish affair. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. Our wedding night was ... I can say it now. It was disappointing. Kurt had uhm ... problems. I of course thought it was my fault. I thought that he was worried about hurting me.

But over time things didn't improve. Kurt just never seemed to be able to maintain an erection. On some of our best attempts, he was able to penetrate me, but it was nowhere near satisfying for either of us.

But I loved Kurt to the point of distraction. I figured that sex was only a small part of our relationship, and every other area was perfect.

Growing up Kurt was the biggest, most gregarious, most beautiful man I had ever seen. Everybody loved Kurt. Women wanted to be with him. Men wanted to be friends with him. But I was the one he chose.

Kurt was always in style. A few years ago, he was a clean shaven metro-sexual in his designer suits and manicured nails. Now I see he's become a lumber-sexual type, with his full beard and close-cropped hair.

Being away from Kurt for any length of time hurt me. If he was a few minutes late for dinner, I had all kinds of fears about him being with another woman. I was always afraid that he was off putting the wood to some slut who could give him the babies that I couldn't.

I need to tell you that it was all my fault. Kurt was very considerate. Any time he was late; he called to tell me exactly where he was and told me that I could join him.

We were almost never separated. The only time we were, was on his annual hunting trip with my father. He always invited me to go along on those too, but I couldn't bear the thought of watching him kill an innocent deer. My mother had warned me that it was a bloody barbaric time. She'd gone once or twice when I was very young and would never go again.

I decided that she was right and figured that Kurt was with my father. If there were any gun toting hillbilly girls after my man, my father would keep things on the up and up.

Things went on like that for years. But every year I missed him more. I know that it was only one week a year, but the problem was with me. When I give my heart, it's a very complete thing. Ask Dennis. I pretty much live here, now. I can't bear to be away from him.

So that last year, after only one day apart, I couldn't take it. Dad always hunted at the family cabin way up north. I called my uncle and got the name of the town it was in and used the Google maps on my iPhone to drive up there and surprise Kurt.

The problem was that I was the one who was surprised. I opened the door to the cabin and ended my marriage. They had been so busy for the last twenty-four hours that they hadn't even unpacked their hunting gear.

The entire cabin stank, they were dripping with sweat. Even now if I close my eyes, I can still see it. Kurt's brow was furrowed with the effort it took to drive his rock-hard dick ... Yep the same one that could never maintain an erection no matter how hard I sucked it ... Up my father's ass. I stood and watched as Kurt shit his sperm and roared like a bull, and then they switched and Dad started to fuck Kurt.

I don't think they would have noticed me at all, if I hadn't lost my lunch. I think it was the realization of how many times I had sucked the dick that he was ramming up Dad's ass that did it. I vomited up everything in my stomach while they stood there staring at me. Then I screamed screamed and ran away as fast as I could. I got back in my car and just drove.

I drove home like a woman possessed. I broke every speed limit from the Upper Peninsula where the cabin was located, back to our home in Lansing. As soon as I got home, I packed all of my things and put them in storage. Then I checked into a motel. I checked the job boards and put in several applications. I took the job here, simply to get away from Lansing.

I divorced Kurt, but I never told anyone why. I didn't want to ruin your marriage Mom. The two of you have been together for more than thirty-five years. I didn't want you to go through the pain that I went through. I was also sure that Dad would quit.

So you see, Jill, there's absolutely no chance of me getting back together with Kurt. You can have him if you want him, but he's just not my type. Chelsea I should really not say this around you, but the fact is that I need a man in my life who wants me. I don't need a man who thinks he's prettier than I am and isn't turned on by my body.

I don't need a man who is disgusted by my vagina and can't get hard if he sees me naked and spread for him. I have nothing against gay men; I just don't want to be in a relationship with one.

The reason why I hate Kurt isn't because he's a closeted gay man; I hate Kurt because he used me. He used me to maintain a facade of being this super macho guy, while preventing me from finding a man who would truly love me and want to be with me.

If Kurt had been honest with me, we never would have gotten married. But we could have stayed friends. And that's my advice to you Chelsea. Don't be a slut. But when you find the guy or the girl that you want to be in a relationship with, make sure you test drive them before you say, 'I do.' That biblical shit about staying a virgin until you're married, only leads to heartache."

I took a deep breath and looked around the table. Dennis as expected looked at me with nothing but love in his eyes. Chelsea was shocked but smiling as she looked at Kurt. I was sure that her teenaged mind was smirking at the thought of that big strapping man getting fucked by my wrinkled up old father.

Jill looked like a fish out of water. She was having trouble processing it. My mom was crying her eyes out. And then she suddenly snapped and launched herself at my father. She raked his cheeks with her nails and drew blood.

"I'm sorry,"he said. "I really do love you Janice. We have two kids together. That has to count for something."

"I wasted my entire fucking life," she said. "It's all been a lie. Severe erectile dysfunction Huh?" Then she threw herself at him again.

"Janice, it's going to take an adjustment," he said. "Maybe we just need to make some changes. But we have more than thirty years together. Thirty years of memories, thirty years of good times and bad ... I ... WE ... We made it through all of it, and we did it together. I was there for you, and you were there for me, Janice. We can make it through this too!"

"It was all a lie," screamed my mother. "I feel like one of those sci fi TV shows where the guy finds out that all of his memories were implanted, and he's really a different person than he thought. The people he thought were his friends and family never existed. It was all just a lie."

"Look at those two beautiful women," said my father. "Janice they're real. They're our daughters. We made them together. Okay, some parts of our life were a lie, but most of it was real. And until this moment, you were happy."

"Dad, what you fail to see is that she was never given the opportunity to choose. She never had all of the facts," I said. "No one is saying that you being gay is bad or wrong. It's not something you had any control over ..."

"I'm not gay," said my dad in a quiet voice.

"Yeah Dad, you are," I said.

"I want a divorce," said my Mom. "I want a God damned divorce, today!"

Jill launched herself at Kurt. "You rotten motherfucker," she screamed. "I hate you!"

"Dad, maybe you and Kurt should start your drive home now and beat the snow," I said.

"Kurt, here, take my keys," said my dad. "I need some time away from everyone, right now. Maybe I'll take the train or a bus home."

"Dennis, could you drive me to the airport," sobbed my mom.

"No ma'am," said Dennis. "I think you should stay with us for a while."

My mom started crying and threw herself into his arms. Dennis took her upstairs and came back down alone. He made her a cup of tea and took it up to her.

"I don't like tea," said Jill. There were tears running down her cheeks too.

"Come on Aunt Jill," said Chelsea. "I've got something to help relax you. Have you ever been outside in a hot tub during a snowstorm?"

"Dad, I have an idea," I said, "Hang on for a moment." I got on the computer and canceled my mom's flight home. The airline gave us a rain check. I exchanged the raincheck for a seat on the same flight for my dad. I also got them to give Jill a seat on a flight Sunday night, so she would be back in time to go to work on Monday.

I got the key to the Jeep and was about to drive my dad to the airport, but Dennis took the keys from me and told me he'd do it. I kissed him and told him thanks. I hugged my dad and told him, for the first time in a long time, to call me. "Dad, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. You were right. We will get through this. Our family won't be the same, but we'll get through it. Maybe without all the lies, we'll be better."

"Tell your mom, I said ..." he began. He saw me shaking my head and stopped.

"Too soon, Dad," I told him. "Give her some space and some time. Let her come to you."

Dennis and my dad headed out the door. I heard Dennis trying to turn the conversation to Mustangs and smiled. I loved that man.

"You were absolutely right, Jaime," smiled Kurt. "We WILL get through this, and it's ..."

"Shut the fuck up, Asshole," I hissed. "Get out of my house before I have you arrested."

"But ..." he sputtered. "I thought that with the lies out of the way ..."

"This has nothing to do with you being gay or lying to hide it," I hissed. "Kurt for most of our lives we were friends. Okay, you hid being gay and lied about it. There are millions of gay guys in the world. You're a good-looking guy and people like you. Why the fuck did you have to go after my Father? You pretty much destroyed my family Kurt, and I will never forgive that."

"Your father went after me," whined Kurt.

"You said no to me often enough," I hissed. "There were nights when I would beg you to fuck me. I remember begging you for the chance to give you a blow job, and you always managed to come up with a reason why we shouldn't."

I smiled at him. "Kurt, Dennis wears my pussy out every night, and he loves it. He even gets his face down there and licks it." I smiled as Kurt started to turn green. I thought he was about to vomit. But I wasn't about to let him off that easy.

"You also went after my sister, didn't you, you bastard?" I said. "You charmed the shit out of her to get her on your side. What was the plan? Was she going to be your next shield? Was she going to be the next victim to waste her life protecting your facade of masculinity?"

"We were just friends," he said.

"He's lying," sobbed Jill. "He told me that he needed to know that everything was over with the two of you. He told me to help him try to get you back. And if things were really over between the two of you, then WE could get together. It was even his idea for me to go after Dennis. The idea was that we would get caught, and you would end up dumping Dennis and going back with him. But, Dennis loves you too much even to go for it. He just left when I started to unbutton my blouse."

I turned back to look at Kurt. "Get the fuck out of my house," I said. "If you were a man ... Oh what the fuck. I reared back my foot and kicked him in the nuts as hard as I could. Then while he was screaming and grabbing his crotch in pain, I pushed him out onto the porch.

From that moment on the healing began. Jill went back home on Sunday. Mom stayed with us for nearly a month before she moved out. She hired movers to move her things from Lansing to our town. My mom found a hobby to fill her days. She was developing the flower beds around our yard on the inside of the fence.

It warmed my heart to see her and Dennis working side by side on the yard. My mom didn't have to travel far. She had taken over the rent on my house since I never used it. After Jill found a job in the area, she moved in with Mom. Dennis and I got married just after Christmas. The date that we picked had nothing to do with the holidays, we wanted to be married as soon as possible, and his divorce was final on December 26th.

My mom divorced my dad and also sued him for great emotional distress and tried to sue him for fraud. Our family still has issues, but we're working on them.

As a gesture of faith in our new family, we all got together for New Years. I got to meet Dennis' son Frankie and his girlfriend. I let them know that they were always welcome in our home. Chelsea moved in with us after Dennis did something amazing.

Dennis gave his ex their old house. She sold the house and left town to start her life over. She occasionally calls Chelsea but Frankie still refuses to acknowledge her existence.

About a year after we got married, I started having severe abdominal pain. I went to the doctor immediately. I was terrified that the cancer had returned.

It would be so ironic for me to finally have found happiness only to have it, and my life snatched away from me.

It turned out not to be anything serious. It turned out that I was so in love with Dennis, and our sex life was so intense that my body was trying to make a baby, even though I no longer had the equipment to do so. My doctor advocated a medication that could help me. One of his associates suggested a different path.

"You and Dennis are the happiest couple I know," she said. "Why not give some of that back? Instead of using drugs why not let your maternal instincts go wild?"

Three months later, Dennis and I were the talk of the town, AGAIN. We had gone to the state's local adoption agency that was located about forty miles away from our town. We immediately fell in love with a tiny little girl who was about a year-old.

We spent a couple of weeks visiting her and playing with her and were sure she was the one. The woman who ran the agency was horrified when we filled out the papers. "Are you sure you want THIS child?" she asked.

"Yes," we both said quickly.

"Dennis, I'm not supposed to reveal any information about a child's birth parents," she said. "It's illegal. But in this case, I think you have a right to know."

"Don't say anything that will get you in trouble," said Dennis. "We already know. She has her mother's eyes."

"You mean her ex-mother's eyes, Honey," I said. "I'm her mommy now."

* * * * * *

Epilogue

Sarah

It had been four years. It seemed like forever. But it took me four years to become stronger and learn who I was. At a time when I was at my lowest, the person I had hurt the worst did something for me that was incredibly generous.

My husband looked beyond his own pain and given me his house. Our divorce decree had allowed me to live in the house on Dennis' suggestion until our daughter was grown.

Dennis allowed me to sell the house outright and to keep all of the money. It allowed me to go back to school and to start my life again. I studied both computers and medical billing. I didn't have enough computer classes to become an IT person, but I now knew enough to handle almost any computer problem on my own.
I set up my own medical billing business that I could do from home. While I was studying, I had enough money to travel during the summers. I saw a lot of places and met a lot of people.

While I wasn't a slut, I'd had time to experience more than a few men. There was no reason I shouldn't have. I was no longer married. So there was nothing to hold me back. I tried small men and big ones. I tried blacks, Asians, and Latinos. After a while, I realized what I was doing and the stupidity of it. I did a few threesomes; I even did a gang bang once, and I tried a woman.

What I came to realize was that it was pretty much all the same. In most cases, the men were just using me. Men are always going to take pussy if it's offered. It didn't mean that I was hot or special, and it certainly didn't mean that I was cherished or cared for.

What I had done with Brad was tragic, and it meant nothing. I saw college boys who were eighteen or nineteen screwing sixty-year-old women. To men pussy is pussy.

There was only one way for me to get what I wanted. And that was to get my husband back. Four years had passed and I was a different, stronger woman. Over the same four years, the pain at what I'd done had seemed to have faded for Dennis as well. I was also sure that the people in our tiny ass town had something else to waggle their tongues about.

My daughter Chelsea never mentioned her father or his life when we talked. She had always been uber protective of her dad. She had let slip that he had a lot of women in his life. She occasionally let slip that he was doing something with Jaime, or Jill or Janice or Samantha.

I understood better than anyone would have hoped. I was sure that the time was right for me to return. I could move in and start out as his friend. Then I could join the ranks of the women he dated and move them all out of my way. I could have my family and my husband back. Sure it would take more time for me to get Frankie to come around. I wasn't even invited to his wedding. But the important thing was to get Dennis back.

The thing I had never found outside of Dennis' arms was love. No one else ever made me feel that. I'm not a fat girl, but I do have a big butt and big tits.

A lot of men see me as just someone to fuck and then move on from. Dennis always made me feel like I was the center of his universe. I missed that and I wanted it back.

As luck or perhaps fate would have it, I called my daughter Chelsea, who was now twenty years old on the day I arrived in town. Things had changed a great deal, including the short term rentals that had been built just outside of town.

I'm not sure who came up with the idea, but it's brilliant. Short term rentals bridge the gap between a motel and a lease. You can rent them for as short as a week, with three months being the longest regular term.

You get your own kitchen and other amenities. It's basically like renting an apartment for a week or so.

I wanted to have lunch with Chelsea and catch up. Unfortunately, my daughter had classes all day and plans for the evening. She assured me that she would stop by sometime during my visit.

I sighed as I realized that she was a grown young woman now. She had a life of her own, and it would take time for me to find a new place in her life.

I settled in and began to unpack my clothes. I went into the kitchen to see what kinds of appliances I had. And then decided to go out and shop for food. As a kick, I decided to go to the market that I'd been banned from.

I looked around for the owner and didn't see him. I did see one familiar face though. Brad's ex girlfriend, Mary, was in the manager's office. She was twenty three or twenty-four and had put on some weight. Her face was still pretty but leaving her cheerleading days behind had given her a gut.

There was a picture of her with a normal but dull looking guy and two smiling small children on her desk. She looked up as I wheeled my cart past her office and then did a double take. I nodded, and she smiled and waved.

A few moments later, I was looking through the fruits, and she came up beside me.

"It took me a while to figure out who you were," she said.

"So you want to kick me out of the store?" I asked.

"Nah, that's old news now," she said. "I'm married and very happily, and I have two kids of my own. My husband loves me. And he's faithful to me. I could never have had that with Brad. You did hear what happened to him, didn't you?"

"No, I've been away and I really wasn't interested," I said.

"He left town trying to run away from you and his responsibilities," she said. "Since you hadn't sued him or gone after him for child support he had a clean criminal record. He joined the army, and apparently was still up to his games. He got involved with the wife of another serviceman. But before they could bring him up on charges, he was injured in a training exercise.

He lost one of his legs above the knee and the arm on the same side. His face is also very heavily scarred. For the first year or so he was really bitter. From what I've heard both, he and his parents tried to track you down, but they couldn't find you.

"Why were they looking for me?" I asked.

"Brad can't have kids anymore," she smirked. "Your baby is their only grandchild."

"What does that have to do with me?" I asked. "I put the baby up for adoption. I don't even know if it was a girl or a boy. Besides they swore to me that Brad wasn't the father."

"They hoped that with you on their side, they could go to court and try to get a DNA test and maybe get public opinion on their side," she said. "They're desperate."

"Why don't they just adopt the kid?" I asked. She started laughing. Then she got as stiff as a board. Her eyes were following something behind me.

"They were too late," she said. "For a little over a year, that poor little girl sat in the orphanage, and then she was legally adopted by a couple here in town. A year after that, Brad was shipped home and like I said for the first year that he was home, he was an asshole and no one in his family even thought about her. Their interest started last year and by then she'd been with her new family for two years. Brad never signed the birth certificate and there was no DNA comparison done on him.

The baby's adoptive parents are her fully legal parents. Even if Brad could prove that he WAS the father he would have no legal standing. The new adoptive parents refuse to let Brad or his parents have any contact with her. In fact, they got a restraining order to keep Brad's parents from stalking the little girl."

As she spoke her eyes got bigger and bigger. And then a ball of energy bumped into my leg and tried to hide behind one of the large bins of fruit.

She grabbed a peach from a bin and bit into giggling as she did so. A tall thin young woman snuck up behind the little girl and picked her up, with her mouth still dripping with peach juice.

"Samantha, you know you're not supposed to run off on your own," admonished the young woman. As I saw her, my mouth dropped open in shock. Recognition flared in my brain after it did in my subconscious mind.

The young woman was my daughter Chelsea. I almost didn't recognize her. Her hair was long and curly; I had never seen her with anything except short, straight hair.

She must've been babysitting to make extra money. But when I looked closely at the wiggling little girl, the resemblance between them was uncanny. There was no doubt in my mind that the little girl she held was also my child.

"Chelsea," I said as I approached them. "I thought you had a date after school."

"I never said that," she said. "I said I had plans. My study group is meeting at dad's house. They like to use the pool and the hot tub. I came shopping so we'd have food and snacks."

"Can I hold her?" I asked. Her eyes narrowed protectively.

"Mom, I'm not sure," she said.

"Not sure of what," said a voice from behind me. "Let me guess. You're not sure about whether to tell me that your sister has been sneaking off to eat fruit again, right?"

I looked at the woman. She was a slim but shapely redhead. She had that milky skin that doesn't tan. For a slim woman she had nice sized boobs and a great butt. Her nose was lightly dusted with freckles, and she had a permanent smile.

The thing that shocked me the most was that she had responded when my daughter said, "Mom." My heart sank suddenly.

She looked up at me suddenly. She looked at Chelsea and then back at me. "I can see why he loved you for so long," she said. Despite the fact that her smile never faded, I could feel a hardness in her. This woman was ready to do battle for her man and her child.

But her actions said otherwise. She gently took the wiggling, giggling little girl from her big sister's protective arms and handed her to me.

As I touched the little girl who had no idea who I was, I felt a sense of warmth take over me. This beautiful child came out of my body. She was a part of me. No legal paper or document could ever change that.

She was MY baby! She wriggled in my grasp without even looking at me. "Mama, peeshes," she said. "We need ta get peeshes. I like peeshes. Lem'me go lady. Mama!"

This rejection was worse than Chelsea's carefully worded put off. The little girl felt no connection between us. She was more interested in telling the redhead to buy peaches than she was in meeting her own mother. She reached out for the redhead almost tearing herself out of my grasp with the desperation of her movements. She wanted her mother, and I wasn't her.

The redhead grabbed the girl back, breaking my heart. She kissed HER daughter and smiled. "Sammie you taste like peaches already," she cooed. "Go get some for us to take home."

"Come on Chessie," she screamed, already scampering away. "Mama said we're gettin' peeshes."

My older daughter quickly followed; I had no doubt that she was just as eager to get away from the uncomfortable situation as her sister was to get peaches.

I as looked back at the redhead, she surprised me. In her situation, I would have sent a cheery "Goodbye," her way. Maybe I'd have thrown in a "Nice meeting you," as I walked away.

She was writing something down on a small pad she'd pulled from her purse. "It takes her a while to warm up to people," she said. "If you want to spend a little more time with her come to dinner. Dennis would probably like to see you too. I can't promise you that Chelsea will be very available though. She and her friends have strange study habits, but it works for them.

Sammie is four, so she's usually asleep in her daddy's arms by seven thirty or eight. So I'd come early if I were you."

As she walked away, I noticed that she had it. By IT, I mean she had that indescribable niceness that Dennis had. Maybe it rubbed off on her. She found the time to say "hi," to everyone she passed. She clearly enjoyed her life.

Two hours later, I pulled up in front of a beautiful house. It was the nicest house in the center of a block of well-kept houses.

I heard voices coming from the backyard, so I went and knocked on the back fence. It opened by rolling to the side, pulled by a powerful motor. It seemed like something Dennis would have, so he wouldn't have to get out of his Mustang to open the gate.

The backyard took my breath away. There were flowers and shrubs completely surrounding it. The foliage and Ivy completely obscured the six-foot privacy fence. It was like a beautiful little clearing in the middle of a dense forest. I felt peace, happiness, and love. There was a nice pool, completely surrounded by what appeared to be stones that led up to an incredible deck. The wood of the deck was beveled and stained. On the deck, there was a big grill, and a hot tub that was large enough for at least four people and a big fire pit.

In the hot tub were three young women, one of whom was my daughter Chelsea. They were taking turns reading from a book. It was as her ... I couldn't believe I had almost called that woman my daughter's mother. It was an unusual way to study. One girl would read passages out loud while the others sat back and sipped cool drinks.

I smiled as I saw little Sammie sitting there in the hot tub with them. They had some sort of booster seat in the tub for her. She got out of the tub and shivered at the change in temperature, then took off running across the deck to get something from a table near the grill. She grabbed a glass of milk and took off back towards the tub.

"Forget about it Samantha," Chelsea told her. "If you spill milk in the hot tub again, Daddy will kill me."

"Not gonna sill ... pill ... I'm not gonna drop it," she pouted. My daughter folded like a cheap picnic chair.

"Alright," she said. I could already see where it was going. Someone would be draining that hot tub and flushing the filters.

Suddenly, I heard the sound of a powerful motor. My heart started beating faster as I recognized the exhaust system of Dennis' Mustang. The fence opened, and he pulled into an open garage next to another Mustang.

Samantha, caught with one foot in the tub and the other on the chair she used to scramble into it, forgot about her milk and let it fall as she scrambled back across the deck headed for the garage screaming "dada is home!"

As luck would have it, her milk had fallen outside of the tub. One of Chelsea's friends grabbed a towel and mopped it up. Dennis got out of his car and scooped up my scurrying daughter, who squealed out her joy.

All of a sudden, Dennis noticed me. He stiffened for a second, but anger never crossed his features. He walked slowly towards me, with Samantha cradled in his arms.

"I have no idea what to say," he said. He shifted Samantha to one hip and hugged me warmly. There was no trace of anger in him.

Samantha suddenly spoke to me. It was as if we were old friends. "That's MY Daddy," she said. Her delivery reminded me of her mother's. It was said with many different meanings. It sounded friendly, but her emphasis on the word in the middle implied both ownership and a warning.

It was like this four-year-old girl was letting me know that Dennis belonged to her. She was also warning me that she would protect him.

Then the redhead came out from inside the house. She saw Dennis at about the same time that he saw her, and any illusion of getting Dennis back evaporated. I at one time dreamed of growing old with Dennis. I entertained the whole two old people in love sitting on the porch in rocking chairs surrounded by their grandchildren fantasy.

I could see now that Dennis might be sitting on that porch. He might even have Frankie's, Chelsea's and eventually Samantha's children running around his yard, but I wouldn't be the one sitting beside him. That spot was filled.

The hug and the kiss they shared had the girls in the hot tub cheering. Samantha reached out and tried to push the faces of her parents apart. Then she pressed her tiny lips against her daddy's cheek.

Later as Jaime and I worked side by side in the kitchen making side dishes while Dennis grilled, I asked her. "Jaime, do you think I could be ... I don't know ... Sammie's aunt?"

"Sammie doesn't need any more aunts," she said. My heart dropped. Jaime was clearly protecting her family.

"Do you see all of those girls out on the deck?" They're all Sammie's aunts. My sister is her real aunt. Frankie's wife Millie is her aunt. Sammie has too many friggin' aunts." Her voice softened then.

"What Sammie could use though ... Is a god mother!" she said. "Would you be inter ..."

"Hell yes!" I gushed hugging her.

"Sarah, Sammie is a handful," she said.

"I have really big hands for a woman," I laughed.

I visit Dennis and Jaime often now. I always spend the holidays with them, and I never miss my Goddaughter's birthday. But I couldn't stay in that town. Dennis and Jaime have their life together, and I truly needed to start my own. Besides it's a really small ass town with a long ass memory. I was tired of being the talk of it. I moved across the state to Lansing and got a great job working in a hospital in their billing and medical records department.

I've dated a few men, but I haven't found anyone to replace Dennis in my heart. Dennis was truly one of a kind. Most of the men I meet are only after some no strings pussy. I've come to terms with the fact that by offering just that to someone else, I lost Dennis.

Recently though things are looking up. I've had several dates with a big, strapping man who seems to be a complete gentleman. I think good things may happen for us. We may even have a future together. His name is ... Kurt...

The end

talk   town   the  

May 19, 2018 in romance

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