I spoiled my girls at every chance. For Sam's birthday I commissioned Sam a necklace very similar to Kathryn's. It was roses as well but Sam's favorite color is yellow so I had yellow sapphires for stones instead of rubies. I am fortunate the jeweler knows a supplier who has the stones available. He only has six days to make it before Sam’s birthday and I pay extra to have it rushed.
Life begins to get a routine with Sam, every morning she wakes up on my chest. Most of the time when she senses me and Kathryn awake. If I say anything she comes awake immediately. Sometimes Kathryn kisses Sam awake, and Sam giggles merrily when Kathryn does that.
We dress in our bathing suits and go for our morning swim. If we don’t have anywhere to go after the trading day is over our little class usually ends up in the pool. Sam and Kathryn have a running contest on seeing who can float the longest, and Sam is in the lead so far. Kathryn is not making it obvious that she’s letting Sam stayed barely in the lead but she’s keeping a challenge up for her. Kathryn really enjoys a float. She says, “By forcing herself to relax so she can float is calming, and gives her time to reflect.”
Sam picked up swimming very quickly, first I had her roll over in the water as she floated then instead of just waving her hands I showed her how to raise her head move her arms and kick in five minutes she was doing the breaststroke. The next big step was to teach her how to tread water and transition to floating or back to swimming. It didn’t take her long to learn that either. Sure her form is not very good yet. Give Sam a few years and who knows.
When I’m not working with her I have Sam wear her life vest, that gives her the freedom to move around in the pool without Kathryn and I worrying. To get Sam swimming better we play lots of games with her favorite is a form of tag to make it fair for Sam she gets to call a stop and we have to stop swimming for thirty seconds. When Sam is close enough she can tag us, but you can’t tag the person who got you. Sam is usually it every third fourth time.
After playing in the pool for a good hour and half Sam is pretty tired, and after a shower to clean off the pool chemicals. Sam likes a nap to recover.
Sam is really taking to her grandmother’s. Although Sam sleeps with us every night so far, she spends the afternoon with her grandmothers. She always naps with one of her grandmother’s sometimes for an hour or two after lunch, Mom and grandma will usually stay with her entire nap. Helen sometimes comes over just to be with Sam for her nap. MC really loves to read to Sam and does on the weekends or non-trading days and occasionally would nap with her. MC falling asleep reading to Sam, Kathryn spreads a blanket over the two of them and lets them sleep.
Alyssa loves spoiling Sam with food; it seems to help Sam was a little thin for her age when we first got her. According to the pediatrician she was on the light side of the growth chart, not to the point of being malnourished thank goodness. Alyssa has a snack ready for Sam shortly after her nap. Sam absolutely loves Alyssa’s grilled cheese sandwiches and I have to agree with Sam they are very good.
Sam loves riding in Kathryn’s speedboat, and Kathryn at the helm Sam keeps begging her to go faster, Kathryn eventually does. But now with the drought the lake is falling and I wonder how long it will be before we can’t use the boat for a while. If we get a few good rains the lake will recover quickly and we can continue using our boats.
Sam loves to take long walks with Kathryn and me, although Kathryn and I do most of the walking while Sam rides on my shoulders. It really doesn’t matter what we’re doing Sam just loves being with Kathryn and I.
If she’s not with the two of us, usually Sam’s grandpa will take her swimming after her nap; her aunt Kara and Karen always comes too. They promised Kathryn to keep an eye on her Dad to make sure he doesn’t get too rough with Sam.
I come to realize I been ignoring Kathryn’s sisters. Mostly because they teased me, well tease is in the right word more like temp me. It always worried me that one time I might give in even a little to the temptation. I avoided it by avoiding them. The truth is I love them as my sisters, but they still had a crush on me even after four years. Hopefully now that I married Kathryn there flirting will be a little less intense. Kara a year younger than me in three years older than Kathryn, the truth is she was the girl I wanted to meet at the mailbox the day I met Kathryn. Strange how things work out sometimes isn’t it, but there’s no way I’d ever change a moment of my life so far, not that I could.
During Sam’s naps especially during one of her long ones or when she was in the pool with her grandpa, I used the time to give driving lessons to Joan and Kathryn. During the early afternoon there’s very little traffic around our town, especially on the weekends. Of course I made them go to the farmers market, and would pick up fresh vegetables for Alyssa.
When I brought home two dozen tomatoes she just looked at them and smiled. The next day we had homemade tomato soup with our grilled cheese. I went to complement Alyssa on it she informed me it was Misty who made the soup. I give Misty a very good complement on her soup as I asked for thirds. Misty just giggles and says, “Alyssa’s right once you learn to have self-confidence cooking is really easy.”
I smile and say, “The same is true in all of life. Self-confidence is the first key to success, believing in yourself makes everything easier.”
Misty giggles and says, “That and a good recipe.” That was last Friday, and Alyssa sent us back to the farmers market for another two dozen fresh tomatoes.
The days have passed quickly, today is Sam’s birthday. The class has done so well that they don’t mind taking the day off and we have a big day plan for Sam. First her great grandma makes a special breakfast for Sam with Alyssa’s help. Alyssa is learning how to make country gravy for breakfast. Country gravy, biscuits, bacon and eggs as the breakfast menu today, it’s simple but oh so good.
After our breakfast Sam goes to her room to dress. When I came into her room to wish her happy birthday in the morning I had a dozen yellow roses. Sam's remark was, “Oh Daddy, are those for me?”
I smile and say, “Of course there for you Sam, happy birthday.”
Kathryn is helping Sam get dressed she dresses Sam in one of the outfits from the mother and daughter shop, Sam’s outfit is red with yellow highlights with her brown hair looks very good on her. Kathryn takes Sam up to our bedroom so she can dress. When Kathryn pulls out a matching outfit Kathryn’s outfit is yellow with red highlights same style and cut as Sam’s and the two blend together nicely. Puts on her Ruby necklace and looking at Sam she says, “Except for the necklace Sam we’re match perfectly but I’ll fix that right now.”
Kathryn placed Sam's necklace on her. With Sam's new necklace around her neck Sam had the brightest smile. Sam says, “Oh mommy I love it.”
Kathryn giggles and says, “You better thank your Daddy then he’s the one who got you that.”
Sam runs and jumps into my arms she says, “Oh Daddy thank you for the necklace. It looks just like mommy’s necklace but yellow gems in it.”
I ask, “Then you like it?”
Sam excitedly says, “No Daddy I love it.”
We spent the day shopping with Sam. The entire day Sam picking out items for the family. Sam told me, “Daddy you said I could get anything I wanted. So I want to get presents for my family.”
I interject, “Sam it’s your birthday.”
Sam says, “I’ve already got everything I wanted and more. I wanted a new Mommy and Daddy. I got you and a whole big family. I wanted to learn how to swim. You and grandpa taught me how to do that. Mommy always looks after me, and you spoil me, you do just like a really good Mommy and Daddy should. I want to get things for everybody because I love them.” Again the little girl’s logic can’t be faulted especially when it comes from such a good little heart like that’s in Sam.
Sam picks out presents that are thoughtful and appropriate for the person. An example a cookbook for her Aunt Misty, because she loves a good recipe, a videogame for Johnny because that’s something he loves to do, for her grandma Alyssa she chose a charm bracelet, Sam had me get Kathryn a pair Ruby ear rings, just simple stunts. The sporting goods store she picked out fishing tackle for her Grandpa and Uncle George. By the end of the day she has something for every member of the family. The back of the SUV was full and not a single thing for Sam she had gotten for herself, other than what me and Kathryn quietly gotten as a surprise for her not a single item was Sam’s.
We asked Sam when she was going to hand out all the presents she had gotten Sam’s reply was, “Tonight right after dinner I want to give everyone my gift to them.”
At the end of day Sam is hungry for dinner when come home to find a surprise party waiting for Sam, all of her relatives and a few other friends where there. Ms. Clark came and she brought a few young girls near Sam's age. Sam talked to them but they seem to be younger than Sam in so many ways. Ms. Clark noticed as well.
Sam was using my e-reader and I place several books on it for her. One of the present she got was her own e-reader from MC. I transferred her books to it. At the end of the party Sam was reading to the young girls that Ms. Clark had brought to the party. Sam's parents and grandmother had been using my baby can read, and Sam is reading at a second grade level already. Sam holds their attention easily with her sweet voice as she reads.
Ms. Clark leaves early with the children, almost as soon they are out the door Sam has me begin to bring in her presents she’s going to be giving to the family. Kathryn has her on the table as Sam explains what she’s going to do. Sam says, “Daddy let me have anything I wanted for my birthday. Since I have already gotten everything I wanted and more. I decided I want to give you guys something because I love you. Dad is going to get everything out of the car for me. Hope you don’t mind I didn’t wrap anything.”
Everything still is in shopping bags not bring in about a dozen at a time is still took me three trips to bring everything in. Once I had everything inside Sam begins handing out her gifts to the family. Sam gives a hug and kiss with every present she gives.
One thing she proves is that Sam listens to us. When she gives Marshall a pair of tennis shoes, she says, “Here you go Uncle Marshall, because Misty is a better cook now, and you don’t want to get fat I got you some new tennis shoes.” I guess she planned out because she even got his right size.
Sam caused chuckles and a lot more tears of joy before the evening was done. I realize something else Sam had the same type memory that Kathryn and I do. We remember everything and so does Sam.
The delivery of Sam’s new bedroom furniture happens the day after Sam’s birthday. Sam is moving into the bedroom right next to Mom. Delivery was early in the morning and Sam had picked out the bedroom, so it was empty and ready to begin placing Sam’s furniture. Lunchtime it was all done. Kathryn comes down from the class look over our handiwork. Sam cheerfully says, “Mommy look at my new room. I love the furniture we got.” Sam pulls Kathryn into the room fully.
Kathryn picks up Sam and carried her over to her bed, she lies down with Sam and says, “Sam this was the best idea. You having a large bed makes it easy for me to take a nap with you.”
I kept trying to talk Mom in to changing bedrooms with us so we could stay near Sam. Mom told me finally, "You two make too much noise. This way I can watch Sam and she can get some sleep, most of the time."
Sam takes her nap in her room with Mom that afternoon. We move her clothes into her closet. Mom, Alyssa and Helen gives her a bath in her own bathroom just before bedtime. Sam is excited about sleeping there tonight. She told us she would sleep alone before her grandma died, but after that she always slept with Nicole. We tuck Sam in for the night in her new bed. We start reading her bedtime story then Sam relaxes and not long Sam is asleep. We turn the lamp out and quietly exit the room by the nightlight.
We leave Sam’s door open Mom will check on her through the night. Sam hasn’t had any bad dreams while she was sleeping with us. But it has severely limited Kathryn’s and my love life. The last two weeks since Sam’s been with us, Kathryn and I hadn’t managed to make love more than once. Then as we cuddle together we notice Mom holding Sam. Mom giggles saying, “I told you your Daddy wasn’t hurting your Mommy.”
Kathryn giggles saying, “No Sam your Daddy was making me feel very good. It feels so good I make those funny noises.”
Sam giggles a lot and Mom takes her away. Kathryn and I shower dress and change the bedding. Sam had woken up early from her nap, she was taking with Mom. Hearing Kathryn howling she was afraid I was hurting her Mommy. Lester left her with a distrust of men, and even I wasn’t immune from it.
We stop and say good night to Mom and Alyssa, who are drinking coffee in the kitchen. We walk on to the elevator as the doors close Kathryn turns pulls me into a passionate kiss and says once we break, “JJ I really need you tonight.”
I say, “I love you Kathryn. I need you just as badly.”
Playfully Kathryn turns and begins to strip as she struts across our bedroom, before she gets to the bed she is fully nude and shaking her beautiful ass as she looks over her shoulder at her stunned husband.
It only takes me a second to recover once Kathryn smiles at me. My clothing quickly joins Kathryn’s on the floor. Once I reached the bed I roll Kathryn onto her back as she giggles. I go straight to her pussy and begin to lick. My tongue barely touches her before her outer lips parted and the inner lips already moist and protruding. I take my time believing Sam to be asleep for the night. It’s now time to spend with Kathryn, to give her all my attention and my love, to be her husband, her lover, her playmate and hers totally.
As I lick her pussy I notice her taste is slightly different but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it. I start by licking and teasing her lips of her labia. I continue until Kathryn is moaning and shaking with each pass now I finally start paying attention to her clit as it is fully out and ready. Wrapping it in my tongue around it and clapping down on its base with my lips I gently suck and begin moving my tongue over it. Kathryn immediately arches her back with her hands on my head tight to her pussy she tries not to scream but can’t. She lets out a small howl as she climaxes. One hand leaves my head and Kathryn places a pillow over her face to muffle her irrepressible cries of pleasure. I continue giving Kathryn pleasure through two more orgasms and she begins to push my face away.
I rise up, kissing up her body as my chin neck and chest drip with her cum. I stop and tease each of her fully hard nipples. Shudders run through Kathryn with each touch to her breasts. She finally pulls me up to her face and we kiss passionately. One of her hands wrap around my cock and pulls me to her she breaks our kiss long enough to say, “Please my husband I need you in me.”
I move forward as Kathryn guides me into her as soon as my head stretches its way into her body her hand leaves my cock in her legs wrap around me pulling me deeper. She moans, “Push it in all of it.”
That’s not normally something I do, but my love asked and I do her bidding. I push slowly the entire length of me into her very tight pussy. Even without another single thrust I touch her cervix and she begins to orgasm immediately, strong spasms milk my cock in a rush of energy from Kathryn causes me to orgasm. I pee a fountain of cum against her cervix, days of cum is pumped into my love and I needed it as badly as her. I push my energy into her causing her orgasm to increase tenfold, Kathryn howls now into the pillow that barely muffles her cries. As we recover from our orgasms breathing hard, I am still hard as a rock and I begin to pump myself in and out of her not waiting until either of us has recovered.
Kathryn moves the pillow to breathe easier. She moans, “Fuck Me, I need my husband.”
Our bodies move together each thrusting into the other our pubic mound meet and spring back repeatedly. I’m not trying to hold anything back and neither is Kathryn. Our bodies’ control our movements it’s all instinct as we slam together giving in to each other’s pleasure. Our breathing hard and exhaustion doesn’t play into what our bodies need for sex even outweighs the need for oxygen.
Kathryn orgasms repeatedly and we continue, we sweat profusely from the exertion of our lovemaking but neither of us want to slow. Finally my balls tighten and I can no longer hold back as another gush of cum fills Kathryn’s womb and we both spasm as our bodies rock together in orgasm.
Our orgasms have left us drained. Our breathing is hard and steady as our bodies struggle to recover we cuddle to each other in the afterglow. We have yet to fully recover as the elevator doors open out and runs a crying Sam she’s had a nightmare and she screams in a very frightened voice, “Daddy, Lester is after me!”
Sam runs across the bedroom tears running down her face Kathryn and I moved apart and she jumps into bed and clings to me. To her it didn’t matter that I was nude and sweating. She needed her Daddy no matter what.
We didn’t make a big deal about Sam running in on us like that. It’s not what she needed and wouldn’t help Sam for us to be upset with her. Kathryn and I tried to comfort Sam. We pet on Sam’s back as I tell her, “Don’t worry Sam I won’t let anything bad happen to you.” I know that’s an impossible promise, but it’s one I’ll do my best to keep.
Sam takes a deep breath and says, “I know you won’t let anything bad happen, Daddy. But sometimes they still do.”
I reassure Sam, “I know Sam, but you’re my daughter and I’ll do anything to protect you. Even if that means killing a big old bear like I did to protect your Mom and your aunts.”
Sam’s sighs, “I think Lester’s meaner than that bear Daddy.”
I chuckle and say, “The bear was bigger and tougher than Lester so it’s about even.”
That seemed to satisfy Sam and she begins to giggle and says, “Daddy, Mommy you smell funny.”
I chuckle again saying, “I guess we will take a shower if you’re all right for a little, your Mom and I should be back shortly.”
Sam asks, “Daddy, Mommy you take a shower together?”
Now with a laugh I say, “Sam I will let you in on a little secret, you and Mommy are not the only ones to take a shower together. I used to take a shower with Mommy every morning.”
Sam giggling says, “But Daddy you’re a boy.”
I tell Sam, “Well Sam, as you get older a girl becomes a woman, and a boy becomes a man, things change and men and women like being together. When a man and woman are in love they just have to be together, like me and Mommy does.”
Sam says, “I know you love mommy, and mommy loves you a lot too. Is that why you like to hug each other and make funny noises.”
I never thought I’d have to explain sex to a four-year-old, even though she’s a lot more mature than she should be. I want to keep her innocent as long as possible. I look to Kathryn for help, but she’s doing her best not to break out in laughter at the situation with her hand held tightly over her mouth at least one or two tears coming from her eyes. She would be rolling on the floor normally when she’s like that. So I do say, “Yes, Sam that’s why.”
Sam giggles and says, “Okay Daddy.” Kathryn gets up and runs to the bathroom, and I put Sam onto a clean area of the bed before I too run into the bathroom. As soon as the door closes behind me Kathryn breaks up laughing on the floor of the shower no longer able to contain herself. I slide in beside her and set there with the water running over us as we both laugh. Eventually we do bring ourselves under control and wash the smell sex off of us. Fortunately we have robes in the bathroom and put those on before returning to Sam. Sam has fallen back asleep and we move her to the sofa as we change the sheets and dress in our pajamas. Then we bring Sam back to sleep with us.
Sam had nightmares nearly every night she spent alone in her room, they all involved Lester, her Aunt Nichols boyfriend, who abused Sam and ended Nicole’s life. As a result Sam would run to the elevator and jump in bed with us three or four nights the first week.
I found out no matter where I lay Sam down on the bed, in the morning I would always wake to find her on my chest sound asleep. After the third or fourth time, I simply lay down with Sam on my chest. Kathryn snuggled into us with one arm over Sam. As soon as Sam felt Kathryn's arm wrapped her in a hug and could hear my heart beating she would relax. Sam felt secure like that. It is what always worried about Sam’s sense of security had been lost.
Sam’s sense of security was lost because the loss of her parents followed by the loss of her grandmother. They were the three most important people in Sam’s life to that point. Sam’s Aunt Nicole took up the mantle of mother. Her old Mommy as Sam called her. Nicole had not prevented Lester from being abusive to Sam. To Sam it must’ve been something terrible, three tragedies followed by an injustice. All work together to strip Sam of her sense of security.
The first person I talked to about this was Ms. Clark. She said it is common but Sam’s case was worse than any four-year-old she knew of. I inform as far as Sam being four years old that’s only by the calendar. I reminded her how she acted around the other children. In reality Sam probably is a mature as most eight or nine-year-olds.
Ms. Clark had to agree with that. The oldest child, or the only child tend to be more mature, and Sam was that. Also her life experiences so far had served to mature her faster than normal. Ms. Clark and I knew there was two things we needed to do for Sam. First was to give her a sense of security, the second was to let Sam be a four-year-old. My own experiences didn’t serve me very well here, my father died when I was three and my mother through herself into her work. I remember in day care I was reading to the other kids, I think that is why Sam is with me. Maybe I was the one person to truly understand Sam and her life and needs.
Every day I would try to do something with Sam typical for a four-year-old, Kathryn and her sisters was a lot more help here. Kara quickly becomes one of Sam’s favorite aunts along with Karen they would spend more time with her and often took Sam for swimming with them. I insisted that Sam always wears her lifejacket when she was just playing in the pool. Sam’s favorite thing to do was to jump into the pool and let the lifejacket bring her right back up to the top of the water.
It comes time Kathryn’s period and she does miss it, we purchase a couple early pregnancy test and both come back positive. Kathryn makes a doctor’s appointment with her OB/GYN. Sam and I wait what seems like forever in the waiting room at Kathryn’s doctor’s office. I stood up and began to pace back and forth. Sam giggles and held up a book asking, “Daddy will you read this to me?”
It is a children’s book and I know Sam can read it easily, but she gives me her puppy dog face I can’t disappoint her. Like Kathryn says it works on me every time. I pull Sam into my lap and begin to read the book. It makes the time pass by less noticeably. By the time the book is at its end Kathryn is rubbing her hand on my shoulder. With a bright smile she says, “The doctor believes I’ll be delivering on the tenth of March.”
I asked Kathryn, “Did you ask him about if I could stay in the hospital room with you?”
Kathryn says, “After I told him, that I could not sleep without you at my side He called the hospital and checked on a VIP family room. Unlike normal rooms they only have one large bed. As long as you behave yourself you can stay with me. Even Sam can be there too.”
Sam has a bright smile and she gives her mother a hug. For the first time Sam shyly ask of Kathryn, “Mommy I get to be there when the baby is born?”
Seeing how important it is to Sam Kathryn says, “Of course you will be there when your sister is born. Why would I have you anywhere else?”
Sam says, “Because Great Grandma said she hoped I would be with her when the baby came.” Now a little nervous Sam asks, “Is Great Grandma going to take me away? She said, her house would be finished soon and she would be going home.”
Now Kathryn takes Sam off my lap and holds her tightly to her chest she says, “Sam you are my daughter just as much as the child I’m going to have. Great grandma loves you and would love for you to come to visit. That doesn’t mean you’re going to stop being my daughter.”
Sam now a lot more relaxed asks, “I don’t ever have to stop being your daughter?”
Kathryn kisses Sam and replies, “No my beautiful little Sam, you’re never going to stop being my daughter. I will always be your Mommy from now on. No matter how many babies I and your Daddy have, you will always be our first daughter.”
With a smile I say, “That’s right Sam you’re always going to be the biggest sister to all your little sisters.”
With large eyes Sam asks, “How many little sisters am I going to have?”
Kathryn and I both say in unison, “Twelve.” Kathryn giggles and says, “Not all at one time Sam.”
Sam says, “That is a lot of little sisters to look after.”
With a chuckle I say, “That’s mine and your mother’s job, you get to help a little. Your real job is to help them have fun and be little girls like you.”
Sam interjects, “But Daddy I’m a big girl.” I’m coming to realize Sam hates for me to refer to her as a little girl. The look of displeasure on her face is really enough to tell me that.
I say, “That’s why you get to help a little. Family always helps. Sam, you’re always going to be my daughter.”
Sam hides her face against Kathryn’s chest as she holds to Kathryn tightly after a moment or two Kathryn gently pulls Sam’s face back to look into it. We see tears rolling down Sam’s face and Kathryn asks, “Why are you crying my beautiful little Sam?”
Sam says, “Mommy you and Daddy made me very, very happy.”
After that Sam seems to be more secure about being a member of the family. Sam is still a little Angel, maybe just a little bit precocious, and more willing to ask a question or two. She lets her curiosity out now she feels safer. She also isn’t afraid to love and she’s even managed to sleep in her room a couple nights, she said she wanted to try to do that.
After Sam’s next nightmare about Lester, I had her tell me everything she could remember about it. I hoped having her fear out in the open would help her to overcome it.
Sam told me, “My dream is the same every time. It starts with a phone call and you making Mommy take me to the safe room. You know Daddy where you make us go when bad things happen. Grandpa and Uncle Marshall comes in they got guns. Uncle George comes too and he’s got a gun too Daddy. You make Uncle Marshall stay with Mommy and me in the safe room with everybody else, the whole family but you guys are there.
Even inside the safe room Daddy we hear the booms and uncle Marshall gets real nervous, and Mommy begins to cry. That’s when I wake up Daddy. I can’t stand to see Mommy crying.”
While we were going on with our lives, Lester’s lawyer was working to get him out of jail.
The wheels of justice seem to move slowly, but as the time went on more, and more evidence mounted against Lester. A balloon bag which only has his fingerprints on it was identical to the balloons found in Nichols stomach that contain the drugs.
The District Attorney filed first-degree manslaughter charges against him. The DA felt he could not prove pre-meditation therefore no murder charge. But he had all the evidence he needed for an airtight case of manslaughter. Lester had been on the run for so long that he had two prior convictions in absentia. With a conviction here he will receive a life sentence as a career criminal.
Justice is blind, and your innocent until you’re proven guilty. That gives the innocent and the guilty the same chance to prove it. Unfortunately the guilty use that against the rest of us. Without witnesses a case becomes much harder to prove. Lawyers get evidence thrown out against their guilty clients. Every mistake by law enforcement is exploitable. The exclusion of video evidence from the courthouse damaged the DA’s case. No sign warning of videotaping was present. The sign torn off by a drunk the night before and not replaced till the fifth. That left only the witness testimony of the Sheriff and the deputy doing the processing.
As far as I know, he was nearly forty years old having been a criminal since his teenage years. He still had outstanding warrants for other felonies in other states including another manslaughter charge. Apparently he had beaten his last girlfriend before Nicole so severely she died from her injuries. Lester was a violent individual with no remorse for his actions. His lawyer who came from out-of-state hired by his family seems to be just as lacking morals. But the law says you will have the best defense possible or you are a free man. Lester’s lawyer proved he was ruthless in the pursuit of his client’s freedom.
Uncle George said, “I hated seeing what was going on and could not be part of it, other than being a witness. I do worry that the judge assigned to the case would allow Lester to have bail. Although it may be fairly high due to the fact he is a high flight risk. If he ever gets a bail set I’ll let you know and if the asshole ever makes it. I will clear my schedule just come out and teach you how to shoot skeet.”
Well enough about Lester right now.
Uncle George showed up every Saturday spent time with Marshall and Misty, shortly after Alyssa’s cooking classes Marshall had to start running with us in the morning. Marshall chuckles saying “Be careful what you wish for, I wished Misty was a better cook. Now that she is I have to exercise or I’ll get fat.”
When the weather was too hot, we invited him to do laps with Kathryn and me. Now Sam was trying to do laps as well, her first day she got through three laps before I saw her floating to rest. The next few days sees a steady increase in the number laps Sam and Marshall did. Misty came by too and plays in the pool with Sam when she wasn’t doing laps.
Sam’s form continuously improved, her Grandpa although not good at initially teaching someone to swim turned out to be a good swim coach for Sam. After Sam got the very basics down he helped her a lot with the finer points. Sam took to the water like she was part mermaid. In two weeks Sam was swimming ten laps, and knew three different forms of swimming very well.
After our morning swim one day I asked Sam what she wanted to do and learning to swim laps. Her first answer was, “So I can do it with you Daddy.” Then she said, Grandpa told me the youngest person to swim the English Channel was only fifteen. That gives me ten years to learn to swim that far, and then I will be the youngest person to swim the English Channel at fourteen.”
Kathryn giggles and says, “Don’t let your Grandpa talk you into doing something you don’t want. We’ll love you anyway Sam, even if you never swim the English Channel sweetie.”
I pick Sam up and look straight in her face and say, “That’s right Sam if it’s something you want will help you with it, but don’t let anyone talk you into doing something you don’t want to.”
Sam asks, “So I don’t have to?”
I say, “That’s right my beautiful Sam.” Kathryn can get away with calling her little but I can’t, she hates it when I do.
Sam asks “If it’s something I want to do you will help?”
I shake my head yes. Sam smiles and gives me a kiss which is my signal to let her down. Setting Sam back down on the ground I scoot her off to the showers saying, “It’s time to get ready to make breakfast Sam.”
Every Saturday morning Kathryn Misty Marshall and I make breakfast for our family, MC gets up and sets the table and helps wherever needed. Sam always is on my shoulders as I cook the pancakes she’s excellent at knowing when to flip them over.
Uncle George arrives, coming up the River on his bass boat he and Grandpa Michael had been out fishing early this morning. The two old friends had begun spending more time together, and it was an excuse to be around here. Alyssa’s divorce although not final didn’t stop the two of them from dating. Although no one could ever say it was more than just friends spending time together. It seemed to be good for both of them and Alyssa was as happy as I’ve ever seen her and Joan and Johnny would agree with that. According to Marshall his father had more life in him too.
We always make sure Alyssa had plenty of free time on the weekend or whenever she needed, telling her we couldn’t live without her now that she’s here. But still not fair to make her work twenty-four seven, I want you to have a life as well. So Saturday night she would usually spend with George out to a movie or sometimes they would take the afternoon and head off to the city to spend some time together but was always back fairly early.
I purchase a new car for Alyssa after talking to her to find out which one she wants, of course I didn’t get the exact one she wanted I ended up getting the top of the line for the model she asked for. She grinned realizing I did that on purpose. Like I always do, I spoil my girls.
Joan asks she could drive it and Alyssa says, “When you have a real driver’s license.”
Joan grumbles for a second then realizes she says, “When I have a real driver’s license I will have my own car and not need to use yours.”
Alyssa giggles and says, “I know that sweetie.” She gives Joan a hug as the room breaks out in laughter. It was Saturday morning and everyone was there, after a second Joan laughs too as she hugs her mother back.
George and Alyssa take Joan and Johnny off to the city to spend some time together, a movie, and lunch at a good restaurant a little shopping and then back home, maybe dinner in town or Alyssa make something here for them.
Alyssa and George are beginning to get closer and closer, Marshall is happy about it as well as Joan and Johnny. As far as I know the only one who doesn’t know about it is Edward, Alyssa’s husband, and the man lost his right to say anything when he filed for divorce.
That Saturday in the mail comes a notice for Alyssa from California and late that afternoon after they return she sets down at the dining table and opens it. It has the court date and it’s only two weeks away, Edward even asks, for alimony now that he no longer has a job, and Alyssa is still working for me. Jokingly Alyssa says, “JJ if I quit, would you make me move out?”
Sam answers for me, “Daddy would never make you leave Grandma Alyssa.” I give Sam a kiss on the cheek having to lean over because Sam is in Kathryn’s lap.
Then I look at Alyssa and say, “Well you heard my daughter, as long as your family and that’s not changing. You always have a home here whenever you want or need it.”
Alyssa stands and comes around the table once she reaches me she pulls me into a hug and gives me a soft kiss on my cheek is tears run down her cheeks.
Joan and Johnny join their mother, they both give me a hug but Joan gives me a kiss too.
Joan then tells her Mom, “Mom you know JJ is helped me make so much money that he would be easy to buy a new house or have one built. All we need to do is find some land near here. I don’t want to move too far away from my brother. Besides that I had too much fun with my niece.”
Uncle George pulls Marshall over to the side and asks, “Would it be all right if I sold some of the land we have to Joan?”
Marshall chuckles and says, “I would prefer you give it to my sister, I know Joan will be sooner or later.”
Uncle George only raises an eyebrow and gets a wide smile and says, “I guess I can make it so cheap is practically would be given it to her.”
Alyssa asks, “What are you two talking about?”
George smiles and says, “You wanted to buy some land near here, just so happens I have some land that’s very close if you like to see it.”
Joan asks, “Really, you willing to sell some land?”
Marshall says, “The land is partly mine, so it would be me and Dad selling it to you.”
Joan says, “I don’t have a problem buying land as long as you are willing to sell it.”
Uncle George says, “Okay hop in the car and we would drive you to it.”
Michael stops me from getting in my car to follow them, Kathryn has a wide grin on her face and I wonder what inside joke I missing. Michael pulls me down to the fence line, as Uncle George drives down the driveway. At the end of the driveway he stops in Marshall jumps out, on the other side of the fence line Marshall opens the gate and the judge drives through as Marshall closes the gate behind them. The slightly overgrown roadway is just the opposite side of my fence line. Uncle George pulls up to where we stand before stopping.
Uncle George gets out and says, “Howdy neighbor.”
I say, “Uncle George when you say close you weren’t kidding.”
Misty says, “Hey Marshall you think we have enough money to build a house too.”
Michael says, “You know my crew built JJ’s house and wasn’t all that expensive once you pay for the solar cells, other than that it cost about the same as any other house around here per square foot.”
Joan asked, “So what did it cost you for your house JJ?”
“Well cost have gone up a little bit in the last four years, so probably 3 million would cover it.” The coach shakes his head yes.
The Judge looks at me not realizing I’d paid that much for the house, Joan and Misty both realize they have more than enough money to cover that easily, and could make that much money next week probably five times over. Marshall just looks at Misty and says, “We’ll need to get an architect to help figure out the floor plan we will want.”
Joan says, “I want the land here, please.”
Marshall says, “We have eight hundred acres on both sides of the river right through here. I’m sure I can afford to sell you had unbelievable low cost enough land for a house seat.”
Joan says, “Excuse me Misty while I hug your boyfriend.” And she does giving Marshall a big hug.
Jokingly Marshall says, “Now the question is do you get land on this side of the river or the other. I am pulling for the other side of the river.”
Joan asks, “Why you want me on the other side of the river?”
Marshall pats his stomach and says, “That way I can put in a toll bridge and charge one meatloaf a month from your Mom.”
Alyssa giggles, “My meatloaf is that good to you? You know I’m teaching Misty and Kathryn how to make it.”
Marshall says, “I plan on being invited to whoever’s house who has meatloaf on the dinner menu, and especially yours Alyssa please.”
With a chuckle I say, “Marshall we will trade invitations, okay?” Misty and Kathryn punch each of us for our little joke.
MC coming to see with all the fuss is about and ask, “Could you knock a thirty acre piece off for me too?”
Uncle George chuckles and says, “Michelle what would you do living out here?”
MC says, “Once I retire, I think I will become a novelist. I love to write and a few stories about a local hero have given me quite a bit of inspiration. The stories may sound like fairytales but I think a lot of people need to hear them now that times are so tough.”
I jokingly say, “Only if you change the names, to protect the guilty.”
MC says, “Only if I get to exaggerate just enough to make people believe it.”
Now little more seriously I say, “I won’t have any problem as long as you don’t try to make me a saint, Lord knows I’m not quite that, I haven’t done my number of miracles required yet.”
Marshall chuckles and repeats, “Yet. He says looking like he is planning on doing them.”
Now chuckling I say, “I got a give Michelle something good to write about don’t I.”
MC giggles and says, “It would be better than me making up the last half of the book.”
Sam asks, “Aunt MC, am I going to be in your book?
MC giggles and says, “Of course Princess Sam, at least three chapters is going to be all about you.”
I pick Sam up and with a chuckle I say, “I’ve already been told that us adopting you sounds like a fairytale, maybe someone should write a children’s book about Princess Sam.” I get a kiss before setting Sam back down.
MC says, “That’s not a bad idea there JJ. I can use a Pseudonym and author it without hurting my credibility for more serious works.”
Sam gets big eyes and says, “Really they will be a book about me. Will I get to read it?”
MC says, “You get the first copy and I’ll sign it.”
Chuckling I say, “First we have to make enough money so you guys can retire.”
Marshall says, “We’re close to that now, once we take out the house construction cost we still should be able to finish within two weeks.”
Kathryn says, “No need to rush that hard at it Marshall. We can play it a little safer and do it in three or four weeks. Not take the chance of being sent back even further.”
Uncle George laughs and says, “What’s two more weeks when you’re retiring for the rest of your life.”
I smile and say, “I’ll probably come back out of retirement once in a while to help others like we did with this class. But helping them I made nearly one hundred million at the same time.”
Marshall smiles and says, “No good deed goes unpunished.” He reaches across the fence and tickles Sam’s belly.
After just a second or so a giggling Sam jumps back and hides behind my leg tugging on me to lift her on my shoulders. Once on my shoulders and out of arms reach of Marshall, Sam playfully sticks her tongue out at him. “Now you can’t get me Uncle Marshall.”
Marshall chuckles and jumps the fence and says, “That’s what you think Princess Sam.”
With a squeal Sam pleads, “Daddy, don’t let Uncle Marshall get me!”
I back off and Marshall chases us, we run around the yard Sam on my shoulders dodging Marshall. Marshall playfully chases us as Sam giggles. We chase around for about ten minutes until Sam stops giggling. When I set Sam down she has wobbly legs from all the quick turns I was doing.
Marshall asks, “Are you okay Princess Sam?”
Sam falls on her ass and says, “Dizzy, I’m dizzy.”
Marshall chuckles and says, “Just sit there for a while it will go away by the time I’m ready to tickle you again.”
Sam giggles and says, “You still have to catch me.” She gets up and still a little wobbly half runs to Kathryn.
I chuckle and say, “You think I’m protective, don’t mess with momma bear when she got her cub.”
Chuckling Marshall says, “Misty is protective of her too. They are both great moms.”
I asked my best friend, “Marshall, are you and Misty expecting?”
Marshall says, “Yes, if the early pregnancy test is accurate. But don’t tell anybody yet Misty and I are going to get married this week. You still have that tux?”`
With a chuckle I say, “Just got back from the cleaners last week. Does Kathryn know that you are getting married?”
With a sigh Marshall says, “We are telling everyone in about an hour at dinner. Try to look surprised.”
With a chuckle I say as I help him up off the ground, “I’ll do my best. But you’re not the only announcement at dinner today.”
Grinning Marshall says, “Everybody already knows that Kathryn is pregnant, look just how she is glowing.”
I say, “Now that you mention it, so is Misty.”
Marshall with a smile says, “Oh God I love that woman. I’m so happy, thanks JJ for giving me the courage to chase her.”
With a light punch to his arm I say “Don’t forget to think Misty. She had the courage to let you catch her.”
With a chuckle Marshall says, “I do.”
Alyssa surprises us, she holds dinner off for a while keeps us ran out of the kitchen and she makes dinner with Kathryn and Misty. Sam is standing guard not letting anyone in to the kitchen. We went downstairs playing pool or waiting a turn until we can play next. Sam says, “When it’s ready I’ll come and get you.”
I finally get a turn to play against the Judge, Uncle George easily defeats his competition so far. But I’ve been practicing whenever I had the chance. His third shot and the ball breaks funny which happens. This gives me my shot. We are playing nine-ball with six balls left on a table. I sink five balls and have it easy shot on the nine.
Sam bumps me just as I was shooting and I miss badly. Sam says, “Oops, sorry Daddy. Dinner’s ready.” Sam scampers off to chuckles around the room.
Uncle George quickly makes his shot easily and grabs the cash from the table as we head to dinner.
I shake my head chuckling I chased after Samantha as she climbs the stairs I catch her quickly taking Sam into my arms and give her a kiss. She giggles merrily as we finished coming up the stairs.
Dinner is on the table and the smell of it fills the air, causes my stomach and several others to growl. With Sam’s still in my arms I take my place with Sam on my lap. There is actually two meatloaves it’s a very popular dish, I guess Alyssa figures one would not be enough. Maybe this way I get a meatloaf sandwich later on. With several different dishes and I notice Misty’s cookbook on the counter. Instead of mashed potatoes there’s a potatoes casserole dish I’m not sure of the name. Through several other vegetable dishes along with fresh baked bread.
Marshall seems to recognize the potatoes casserole. He says “You’re going to love the potatoes.”
Alyssa begins dishing out the plates with portions of food on them. Like always, I feed Sam and get one mouthful to her three. Fortunately she does fill up faster than I do. Alyssa started putting extra on my plate too. After she’s full Sam snuggles against me and lets me eat.
Marshall and Misty set together and feed each other, it’s kind of cute and it’s something that Kathryn and I have done in the past. Now we take turns with Sam on our laps and feeding her. We only do this on Saturdays, most of the time there’s room and Sam sets between Kathryn and I and feeds herself.
Sam would say, “I’m a big girl Daddy. I should feed myself because I can.”
She makes an exception on Saturdays to give someone a place to set. With Sam seated in our lab, she enjoys being fed by us. It’s something that we gladly do me especially I love to spoil her and it is one way I can. Although Sam seems to be unspoiled, she hadn’t gotten mean, self-centered, or any bad trait that I know of. She is a little needful when it comes to attention, but having gone through what she went through that is totally understandable.
As dinner nears the end, Kathryn and Misty bring out two cakes. Written on the cake that Kathryn carries is I’m having a baby. The other cake, carried by Misty has written on it Marshall and I are getting married. I do my best to look like a little surprised as I shake Marshall’s hand. I smile and say, “Welcome to the club.”
The Coach slaps me on the back and grins he says as he grabs my hand, “Welcome to the club Daddy.”
Mom isn’t all surprised, neither is Alyssa, MC or even Joan. Sam giggles saying, “Goody it’s not a secret anymore.” From the reactions around the table, I don’t think it was much of a secret to start with. Kathryn sisters give a giggle as they go hug her. Helen still has tears as she comes to hugs Sam.
Uncle George is hugging Misty as tears running down his cheeks. He kisses her forehead and says, “I know I did wrong by you. I hope you can forgive me.”
Misty giggles and says, “It turned out all right. If I can just get my father to come around too.”
We spent the next hour and half speaking with family. We had fallen out of touch with what they were up to. Michelle has decided not to return to school. Mom had a project in town she basically started a week ago. Kathryn and I have been so busy with ourselves that we didn’t even notice that she went into town three days this week for at least four to five hours. Mom was letting Alyssa do many of the things she used to, which freed her up quite a bit.
Mom’s house in California sold so fast it wasn’t funny. I wonder if it been underpriced but her realtor there assured us it wasn’t. Saying sometimes it just happens like that, right seller, right time, and the house as soon as it goes on the market right buyer walks by. So Mom invested the money in a property in town, an old theater she wanted to do some renovation too.
Sam figuratively has pulled Kathryn and me out of our bedroom where we concealed ourselves. We’ve ignored family members far too long. Later that afternoon I asked the Coach why he permitted Kathryn to accept my proposal at twelve years of age.
Michael chuckled and said, “I didn’t think it would last for two months let alone two years or go as far as it did. I figured the two of you would have a fight and it would be over. Shows me how little I know sometimes, I should’ve realized you’d made her happy so far and that wouldn’t change. I come to understand you and Kathryn are soul mates. That is why I let you go ahead and get married.”
Smiling I say, “It’s probably a real good thing that we are, Kathryn and I would not have the chance to keep Sam otherwise. You and Helen have eight kids already, and God knows how many grandkids you too will have. Michael Junior already has his wedding planned. Mom just had me, but I don’t know about a single mother adopting. If it wasn’t for the wedding I doubt those two would have come here, and would never have stayed as long as they did. So Sam being in our life is a great thing. Maybe an accidental thing but one I never wish changed.”
The Coach jokes, “In that case is the best money I ever spent. But you know why I will ask for a lone when the other girls get married.”
With a smile I say, “I can’t let my sisters have less of a wedding than my wife. Consider the loan approved just asked for the amount you need.”
Two of Kathryn sisters, Michelle and Maria were attending college while Kathryn’s other two sisters Kara and Karen are still in high school. I don’t know if any of them has a serious boyfriend, Michelle and Maria had pretty bad reputations when going to high school here. Kara and Karen have much better reputations but haven’t dated very seriously. Kara will be a senior this year, and her seventeenth birthday is only a few weeks away. Michelle and Maria have come home for the summer. Maria will return to college this fall. Michelle has decided to work instead of continuing college.
With all the help Kara has been given us lately with Sam I really want to do something special for her on her birthday. I wish I knew a guy, like Marshall for her but there are only so many really good guys that are unattached. Most of the boys that I know of I would not let date her, the few that I would set her up with already have long-term girlfriends.
Karen and Matt have been dating since the wedding. He was one of the few decent unattached young men. Now he seems attached to Karen, and I’m happy for her and hope Matt makes her happy.
I’ll get Kathryn to talk to Kara, maybe there’s a guy she’s interested in. I love my sisters and would do anything to ensure their happiness. As long as it doesn’t involve me being a lover, I really dislike them flirting with me. I hope it was just as a joke after all Kathryn and I were easy targets.
I talk to my father and mother in law, I tell them I want to do something special for Kara’s birthday and ask if they would remove the limit on gifts since I’m now her brother-in-law. I’ll make sure I do something equally nice for all my in-laws. Kara will be the first birthday after our wedding. Then Maria’s, followed by Michael’s and Michelle’s birthdays then Christmas this year, I would really like to be able to do more for my family.
The coach points out the things I already do, “JJ you take them on a shopping trip once a year giving them five thousand dollars to spend any way they wish, and you spend another five thousand dollars on every birthday gift and Christmas gift. That’s fifteen thousand dollars a year on each of your in-laws. You cover their tuition and buy them a new automobile before they leave for college.”
Helen asks, “How much more were you thinking about doing?”
I say, “I was thinking about going ahead and getting her a car. Last year she rode with me to school, if she had a car her own she could drive herself and Karen to school.”
Michael says, “That’s a pretty good idea. I don’t want her making me late like she did several times when she was in junior high.”
Helen says, “The reason we put a limit on it, it’s only other kids didn’t feel too terrible about getting a gift that didn’t cost that much.”
I point out something to Helen, “Helen you limiting me to five thousand dollars is like limiting them to five dollars apiece. I know it doesn’t sound right, and I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging but I make so much more a year and have so much more money. I realized doesn’t seem fair than I can buy so much better of a gift, but when I get a five dollar gift from one of the girls or boys I realize it’s much more of all their money than my five thousand dollars. I appreciated like that. I know how much harder it is for you or they to even come up with a little bit to spend on me.”
Helen giggles and says, “You know the kids are saving a little that gift card. That way they can use it to buy Christmas presents with. In a way you are buying your own Christmas present from them.”
I smile and say, “You raise a smart family. You know I’d give anything to you or them. When I give them five thousand dollars it’s theirs to do with whatever they want.”
The coach has an idea, “What if we went together and got the car. I know the one she wants it isn’t that expensive. You and Kathryn combine your birthday present along with us and that will cover the car.”
We agree on that, and the car Kara wants is only about twenty-one thousand dollars fully loaded but they insisted the ten thousand dollars is all Kathryn and I get to give.
The coach and I go to the dealership the next day. the car is ordered and will have it here in just enough time for Kara’s birthday. We arrange a surprise birthday party for her, at our house. Alyssa loves the idea and is already planning out the menu with Helen and Mom. Mom Helen and Alyssa plan also for Marshall and Misty’s wedding.
Marshall’s wedding will be on Friday, will have the reception here at the boat house. Misty’s father still refuses to even talk to Misty. He will not allow anyone else in the family to have any contact with her also.
That breaks Misty’s heart. She was hoping her father would at least soften now that she’s getting married. But his pride is getting in his way, now instead of having a son in Marshall he is lost his daughter.
Marshall and I try to see the man. Hopefully we get him to see reason. It’s even worse than I thought as soon as Marshall’s face is seen by him he pulled a shotgun and threatens us until we leave his property. He may come around eventually, but I seriously doubt by Friday his attitude will change.
Our trading is secondary to Misty’s wedding and the preparations, Mom and Helen have taken over what Misty’s Mom should be doing. They say they just couldn’t let her not have a good wedding being part of the family and all. For some reason I think a Princess of a daughter had something to do with that.
First thing Monday morning Marshall and Misty went to the courthouse for the marriage license. After that I run Marshall over to where I got my tuxedo. We spent the rest of the morning getting him a tux too. Fortunately for us they had one that would fit Marshall with only minor adjustments to get it perfectly sized to him.
At the same time Helen, Mom, Alyssa, Kathryn, MC, and Joan take Misty off for a wedding dress. Helen is arranging for a church, she calls the wedding that Friday. Of the six in town only one is available, and just happens to be the same church her father attends. The Rev. agreed to speak with Misty’s family on her behalf.
Tuesday their wedding announcement is in the paper.
Wednesday instead of trading we meet with an architect Michael wants us to work with. He’s a former student, a fellow quarterback he did attend college under scholarship but during his senior year suffered a career ending injury and now walks with a knee brace.
Daniel graduated this June, and was looking for work when he contacted Michael on Monday just to say hi to his former coach. After catching up the coach asked him if you’d be willing to do some home floor plants for us. He quickly agreed needing the work badly. It would give him a chance to be back in his hometown a little longer.
Daniel is a bright young man. He listens intently to what the four wanted in their homes. I had Joan sat with Alyssa and discuss what Daniel Joan’s new home. A surveyor is already hard at work setting up house seats on Marshall’s and George’s property. They decided that 30 acres would be the right size for each home, that way they’re close enough that we’re all within walking distance, without being too close.
Joan loves Kathryn’s and mine master bedroom suite, and three bedrooms will be similar on her home Joan doesn’t want as many smaller bedrooms in her home that I have. And all her home will be slightly smaller and she doesn’t want the pool, she nudged me and asked, “You mind if I come in use yours if I ever feel like a swim?”
Kathryn said, “Don’t forget you’re coming here every Saturday morning for the family breakfast and you’re going to start helping with that too sister.”
Joan giggles hugs Kathryn. “Okay sister.”
Kara, Karen and Joan have started hanging around each other quite a lot. Considering that Joan will be in the same school next year they will help Joan a lot to incorporate in her new home. Joan had already decided she didn’t want to return to California to finish high school. Johnny will be a freshman and the coach is already talking him into joining the football team.
Johnny is doing laps in the morning usually after breakfast, when the rest of us are trading.
Marshall and Misty have only a few different things they want changed but they also like our master bedroom plan, although Marshall is getting a library added, and the detached garage to their home. Misty suggests that they make an apartment above the garage just in case Marshall gets kicked out into the doghouse. Then Misty kisses Marshall and says, “It’s for when we have to do like JJ did, and keep a friend off the street.”
With a chuckle Marshall agrees saying, “We’ll never know when we have to pay that back.”
MC is been dreaming about her new home for a long time and she has many suggestions for Daniel at a few examples of what she wants.
Marshall and Misty gets the lot closest to the road, Joan’s lot is overlooking the River and next to Marshall’s and Misty’s. MC’s got a lot just up the River from Joan’s. They will share a driveway using the existing road once upgraded a little.
Thursday is also very busy with things for the wedding. Mom has gotten the girls together with some of their friends from high school to decorate the church. Helen is taking Misty to the final fitting of her wedding dress. We have to get the Coach a tuxedo he will be given Misty away. MC has made some calls, and the photographers and video photographers will be on hand to record Marshall’s and Misty’s wedding. She goes to the airport to meet them. She has a hotel room arranged for them in town and rental cars.
Alyssa’s handling the catering and the preparations at the boat house. They’re using the same caterer from our wedding. Given Marshall’s and Misty’s popularity we are looking at a large crowd. It’s too late for invitations so we simply put the announcement in the paper and invite anyone to come.
Thursday night, Marshall is sleeping downstairs in one of our bedrooms. Kathryn and her sisters, Joan and MC are with Misty most of the night. They do walk Kathryn home a little before midnight, to my relief.
The wedding is at noon on Friday. Alyssa gets us up around eight for breakfast, she has a lot to do today and leaves grandma in charge breakfast for us. Marshall almost can’t eat he is so nervous. I finally have to ask him, “Why are you so nervous Marshall?”
Marshall shrugs his shoulders and says, “I don’t know, maybe I’m afraid she’ll change her mind. I love her so much I think it would kill me.”
Sam comes to my rescue and says, “Don’t be silly Uncle Marshall. Aunt Misty loves you just as much.”
Now visibly more relaxed Marshall lifts Sam into his arms and gives her a kiss which causes her to giggle. He asks, “Sam how you get so smart anyway?”
Sam giggles and says, “I was born smart just like Daddy and Mommy and Aunt Misty and you.”
Marshall and I chuckle as he lets Sam down she goes to get dressed for her part in the wedding, she’s going to be the flower girl and spread rose petals down the aisle for her aunt Misty. It’s time for Marshall and me to get ready as well. Marshall goes the room he used last night and I returned to my bedroom I barely dressed when Sam brings me her necklace to put on her. She’s wearing a white dress, not unlike a wedding dress herself. I get a flash of a beautiful fourteen-year-old just wrapped in a towel as she exits the surf in France. Sam sees my expression and asks, “What is it Daddy?”
Just thinking how beautiful you are going to be when you’re your Mommy’s age. I fix Sam’s necklace.
Marshall still is a little anxious calls from downstairs, “Hurry up I don’t want to be late.”
I pick Sam up and carry her downstairs with me as Kathryn follows. We drive Marshall to the church and he waits near the altar over to the side behind a set of curtains. I stand with him and teaching a very powerful meditation trick. I hand him a children’s book and Sam uses a puppy dog face to get Marshall to read it. By the time he’s finished reading the book to Sam. We only have to wait three more minutes for the wedding to begin. I give Sam a wink and she goes back to get her petals and to take her place when the wedding starts.
Marshall’s wedding is a textbook event everything goes perfectly including Sam. They don’t stammer during their vowels. On the way out the door Misty’s Mom is there gives her daughter a kiss wishing her the happiest marriage possible. She tells Misty her Dad will come around shortly he’s just too stubborn for his own good. Marshall hugs his mother-in-law in thinks her for coming.
The reception is even better than we know, the crowd isn’t quite as large due to short notice and a non-holiday some people couldn’t make it because of work and other things. But there’s well over four or five thousand people there. I jokingly tell him, “Forget about it Marshall you’re too honest of a person for politics.”
Marshall laughs and says, “I can always act like I’m dishonest.”
Misty says, “Who says all of these people here for you Marshall my love.”
Kathryn pokes a little fun at Marshall too, “Marshall you’re not that good an actor, they find you out sooner or later. Besides that Misty is right there here for her.”
Marshall proves he is a smart man when he says, “I know I’m here for Misty, and will always be. I love you Misty.” Misty melts into Marshall’s arms to cheers from the crowd.
Sam is running around, she’s found a few kids her age that she’s now playing with. Thankfully we had time to change her outfit.
The reception is great, none of the same problems we had before. And I hand Misty and Marshall my wedding present the keys to a new SUV. I tell them “Look in the glove compartment there’s another surprise for you there.”
Uncle George is beside himself he so happy. He gets the second dance with Misty. He dances her around the dance floor. “I hope you don’t mind I’ve always wanted to dance with my daughter.” He tells her as they move through the steps smoothly.
Soon the food is gone, and getting late people begin the leave. I noticed Matt and Karen setting together holding hands looking happily into each other’s eyes. Kara sets alone, she’s a little sad and my heart goes out to her. It’s like Sam and Kathryn feels it too and the two of them are headed to her side before I am. Sam climbs up into Kara’s lap and snuggles in close giving her a smile. Kathryn takes her hand and gives her a warm smile. I over hear Kathryn say, “Kara we’ll help you look for someone if you want us to.”
Kara smiles but doesn’t say anything she simply with her free hand runs fingers through Sam’s hair lovingly. That only makes me more determined to find a way to help Kara.