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In our last chapter Sam’s nightmare ended. Of course it was with the death of Lester, the man who ended her Aunt Nicole’s life. Who knows what his plans for Sam were? With his past they could not been anything good. The events that put Sam in our life are desperately sad. I would never want Sam to have to go through anything that bad again. Kathryn and I would do our best for Sam, her happiness and wellbeing means everything to us.

We saw last night at Kara’s birthday party the happy end of her infatuation with me. I’ve always worried about hurting her feelings I’m happy it worked out the way it did finally. I think Daniel is going to ask her out this weekend. I will support any relationship that Kara has as long as it keeps her happy. I’ve always wanted the best for my sisters since I’ve decided to marry Kathryn. Of course that was on the front porch swing as I gave Kathryn her necklace, the first day I met Kathryn.




Today after getting Sam up we skipper morning swim to have an early breakfast so we can drive Mom, Alyssa and Johnny to the airport. They will fly to California to handle Alyssa’s divorce.

We say goodbye at the security screening, that is as far as Kathryn, Joan, Sam and I could go without a ticket, there are tears in Kathryn’s Joan’s and Sam’s eyes as they waved goodbye. They will be back in a week or two, and will be here to meet them.

This is the first time actually I’ll be away from my mother more than a day. I will miss Alyssa and her cooking too. We have been eating in a lot more than normal, a few of the restaurants in town I really want to show Joan what they can do. Kathryn informs me that Misty and she will be cooking tomorrow night for us. But tonight we’ll eat out.

Kathryn takes the opportunity to go shopping since were only ten minutes away from the mall she likes. The first stop this time is the mother daughter shop, Sam’s slips from my shoulders and she picks out another red dress with yellow highlights for her the matching dress for Kathryn is another yellow with red highlights, the two dresses go well with the two girls and their jewelry. Sam is constantly in her necklace just as Kathryn is in hers. The two do most everything in them but swim and sleep.

I stop at the computer store and pick up a few things, I looking at the newest tablet, that tablet actually has more power than the first desktop computer I had as a kid. It’s hard to think in ten years what will come out, considering ten years ago if someone told you about a smart phone what would you think. Hell tablets can do everything including what a smartphone will do. I go ahead and buy everything I need to assemble two new computers, along with my software that I will use.

Sam is riding on my shoulders as I take everything out to the SUV. Once it is loaded Sam and I walked back into the mall to find Kathryn and Joan has gone to their favorite store. Sam asks, “Daddy do we have time for a cookie?”

With a chuckle I say, “If you want to share one we should have time.”

Sam giggles, “Okay Daddy.”

It’s early enough that a snack is not going to hurt Sam’s appetite when it comes to lunch in a couple hours. That girl can eat and still not gain an ounce. I should know she rides on my shoulders often enough to be able to tell. I think she will grow taller before she gains any weight. That something I’m actually looking forward to Sam growing into a beautiful woman. I know she makes me proud each and every time she calls me Daddy.

At the cookies shop, I buy dozen chocolate chip, dozen oatmeal cookies, and single chocolate chip to share with Sam now. I also purchased to take home, dozen chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, and a dozen raisin walnut cookies, and a dozen peanut butter cookies for the Coach.

Our timing is nearly perfect today Sam and I have finished the cookie we were sharing as Kathryn exits the store. Sam has chocolate on her fingers so were still busted. Kathryn only giggles and holds out her hand for the bag of cookies. I had them hidden under another bag, but quickly retrieve her bag of oatmeal cookies for her. Joan waves off the offered bag of chocolate chip cookies.

Kathryn slides into my lap as Sam giggles, she loves seeing her Mommy’s face all lit up in a smile. It’s moments like this that makes my life worthwhile, not the millions of dollars that I have. Feeling the love from Kathryn and Sam and sharing their happiness truly is what makes me feel rich.

As Kathryn sits on my lap she mentions about an art gallery, and how she like to add a few paintings to our home. Kathryn wants one in our bedroom for sure, maybe one for the family room and a few other places in the house.

There is an art gallery in town and Kathryn wants to go today, we have more than enough time before lunch, and Joan is interested too. It’s a short drive from here to an upper-class renovated neighborhood. That holds an old store, once abandoned and neglected now renovated and repaired. The art gallery is housed within this old 1930s five and dime store. The store was built with hardwood floors that are obviously been restored. They have made no effort to disguise the patchwork in areas. Some of the old light fixtures now hold modern fluorescent bulbs. It’s very interesting how they took their time and restored the place.

As Kathryn and Joan look about at various works of art. That all have prices are displayed on small tags directly under the artwork. Sam walks hand-in-hand with Kathryn as we look at various styles of the paintings within the gallery. There’s everything from modern Impressionist to the classics style portraits. As they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Good art elicits a response in its viewer. Good art will elicit either love or hatred for it nearly immediately. If you love the message concealed in the painting it’s easy to figure out how you feel about the painting. Some people never truly understand why they feel what they do about artwork. Others immediately know that the art will be a part of their life from then on, and will travel distances, sometimes great to view the art from the same artist.

Some of the art here, I immediately dislike, some I enjoy, but there’s one that I actually love I’m standing in front of it as I feel Kathryn slip her hand into mine. Sam gives me a tug and I’m so used to it I immediately lift Sam onto my shoulders, and then retake Kathryn’s hand.

Sam’s looking at it too. She gives a giggle and says, “Daddy I like it. It feels like sunrise.” I have seen a few sunrises that would remind you of this, a few sunsets too. It does give me the feeling of change, either night giving way to day, or day given way to night. I guess that’s why they titled it Change.

I guess we’re standing there long enough that the owner finally decided to show some interest in us. The old saying the clothes makes the man, apparently applied here. I was wearing blue jeans and a simple button down shirt. Kathryn a similar dressed nothing really fancy. Joan was also in jeans and a T-shirt. Sam dressed in jeans as well and a nice blouse that match Kathryn’s. I’m sure he didn’t suspect he had a millionaire and two billionaires in his store. If he had I’m sure he would have been pointing out several of the more expensive pieces by some of the more popular artist.

I really don’t pay attention to prices on things like this. On art it’s if you love it or not should be the only reason you buy it or not. Even though this art spoke to me its price was so low I’m sure the art gallery wanted to move it just for the space.

As the man approaches, Kathryn gives me a wink letting me know it is fine with her if I buy the art. I bet she even has a place selected for it. The man begins, “If you excuse me, we’re not a museum. If you’d wish to make a selection I may help you.”

I cut him off before he sticks his foot in his mouth and Kathryn drags us out of here. “I’ll take this one. Does the frame come with it?”

He’s almost shocked, but recovers quickly he said, “No, none of the pieces come with frames.”

I smile then said, “That’s good I love the art but hate the frame.” The frame is totally wrong for the artwork. Even the lighting for this artwork isn’t right. Whoever set it up obviously wasn’t trying to or didn’t know how to display it correctly. I’m no expert in it of course.

A reflection from a car on the street strikes the painting bathing it in a warm golden light; it changes the colors ever so slightly. The true beauty in the artwork now revealed. Only for a few fractions of a second but it is enough for me to understand why I was attracted to this work. This particular piece needs natural light or lighting that will give it the appearance of being in natural light.

The owner had left with my check to complete the sale. The look on his face told me he half expected it not to be good. I’ve seen this happen a couple times before a message comes up and he makes a phone call. It usually occurs when I’m buying someplace new like today. The owner is skeptical as he is explaining what I look like to whoever’s on the phone. It only takes a second before his eyes begin to widen in shock.

Some days I truly wish this would not occur, other times like today I find it extremely humorous. Here I am dressed more or less like your average young husband. I can easily pass for someone who only made a few thousand dollars a month instead of a few thousand dollars a minute.

Kathryn and I will easily have over two billion dollars by the end of the year. In December we will retire again we decided to have a class with Alyssa and possibly Sam’s Aunt Michelle and maybe one or two others. When their class finishes it should be early December with us taking more time to support the local charities through the holidays.

Marshall and a few others from the football team helped last year, we should even have more help this year. I have a secret weapon, my Princess Sam. I’m sure with just a little minor coaching Sam is so cute once I tell her what to ask very few people would be able to turn her down.

Once the gallery owner returns he smiles at me in a friendly manner. I ask him, “Do you have any other works from this artist? I like to see them, and learn a little more about this artist.”

He doesn’t realize some of the things I saw. The artist actually managed to put on the top layer of paint so thinly it is translucent. I know of one other artist who managed to do that, of course is art goes for millions and hangs in the Louvre.

He has three other works by the same artist, all poorly displayed as the first painting was or worse. I was looking at and they are equally as good. I look to Kathryn and she has an expression of agreement and I don’t need to ask. I have him total their price of the three additional paintings and purchase them all.

Once he returns he goes into his salesman’s routine, he points out several of the more popular local artist indicating their work will move very quickly. I just asked him if he has any more from this artist, he indicates he doesn’t and probably will never again. I take one of the paintings over to the window asking him to follow. In the natural light from the window the work now shows its true beauty. I tell him due the poorly done display of the artwork you didn’t get their full value from me. Having him examine the art closely, if he’s done any study of the Masters he will see this artist looks like actually had studied under them.

Only slowly he reluctantly looks at my insistence, his eyes go wide and then he rushes away coming back with a magnifying glass he again looks at the work. Seeing it for its true beauty in the natural light, seen a masterful paint strokes and the layers so translucent it’s only truly visible in the bright natural light here in the window.

He offers to buy the artwork back at twice what I just pay for it. I jokingly say, “I wouldn’t sell it back at ten times what you offered. I will buy any additional works this artist does.”

A hurt expression displayed on his face when he has to confess, “The artist, she refuses to sell anymore works to me.”

Shaking my head I say, “I don’t blame her, as poorly as you had them displayed no one could see the true beauty, or how masterful her work truly is.”

I say, “I will give you five hundred dollars for her name and address, and you can even call her to introduce me. You tell her I bought, no rescued the last four of her works from you.”

He says in a whiny voice. “She’s no one special, she hasn’t even gone to art school she’s just some kid about sixteen. I basically agreed to sell them at 50% commission.”

Then I tell him, “I would’ve purchased them ten times what you had listed if they had been displayed correctly. Her art really speaks to me.”

When he gives me her name Kathryn and I look at each other and break out laughing. He has a confused look on his face until we tell him, “We know her. There are three reasons why you will never sell her art again, first she’s a multimillionaire, and second I helped her make her millions, and third I’ll make sure whoever sells her work from now on displays it correctly. By the way she just turned seventeen a few months ago. I was the best man at her wedding, and Kathryn my wife was her maid of honor.”

Sam giggles adding, “And I was Aunt Misty’s flower girl.”

We have him pack the four paintings gingerly and special shipping containers made for art. We load the back of the SUV with these after rearranging our cargo. After stopping for a lunch, we quickly drive the rest of the way home to unload our art and search for new frames. When Misty sees her paintings she says, “You should’ve heard that asshole begging me to paint some more. Apparently someone showed him how good my work is.”

Marshall comes down from upstairs he smiling and he tells us, “Guess what we’ve been doing today, we tried our hand at trading using everything you taught us. We actually made half a million today. Not too bad for our first solo.”

MC giggles and says, “We would’ve done better, but we panicked on one when it dropped a little it was coming back up and we sold it too soon. We only broke a little better than even on it. If we had stayed with the original estimates we’ve been closer to one million today.”

I smile and say, “How many people you know can say they made half a million in a single day? So don’t sell yourself short because of one mistake, you aired on the side of caution it’s always better than make the mistake and hanging onto it for too long when it really drops.”

MC says, “I imagine if you were here, you would keep us from panicking and selling it short.”

Kathryn adds, “That comes with experience. Once you trust your own research more, and what you need to do is due in independent verification. You will take the same stock or commodity and see what each of you think is going to do. If you both are in agreement the chances are a lot less that you made a mistake. JJ and I do that all the time.”

I continue, “If either of us aren’t sure, we simply go to a different stock and try it again. I usually let Kathryn pick she’s best in finding the undervalued stocks. We once purchase stocks that were ten cents, once we showed interest in them so did others before long the same stock was going at twenty-five dollars a share and climbing. We sold at thirty-five dollars a share.”

Misty is hugging Sam, with tears in her eyes. Sam was telling her how much she loved her painting called Change. I ask Misty, “My favorite artist, when did you paint Change?”

With a giggle Misty says, “The first day Marshall and I became lovers. I painted it just before Mom and Dad kicked me out.”

Looking at it I say, “It looks like you took a month to paint that.”

Misty says, “When inspiration hits me I can paint so fast I don’t even remember doing most of it. At the end I step back and I know it’s done.”

I chuckle and say, “Whatever works for you Misty. But if you want to sell anymore or do anymore, will find a much better gallery for you to display them in. That guy had the worst lighting possible on your work. It’s no wonder they had not sold.”

That Saturday even without Alyssa, Johnny and Mom there we had breakfast like normal for the family. Joan helps with breakfast this Saturday, and has actually learned a few things from her mother. She has a scrambled eggs and cheese with the few additional spices that’s to die for. Joan is now the official scrambler of our Saturday morning breakfast.

After breakfast Uncle George tells Sam that they know for sure Lester is dead and will never be coming after her again she gives him a hug. I hope Sam will never have another nightmare about Lester.

Still didn’t stop her from coming to our room, if anything in the night woke her. She would come up the elevator and tiptoe across the bedroom. Coming onto the bed opposite Kathryn she would softly crawl over to me slide onto my chest and under Kathryn’s arm. She would always give Kathryn a kiss then she would say, “Love you Mommy. Love you Daddy.” Lay her head to my chest and go to sleep.

The second time Sam did that, she was surprised when Kathryn and I answered her. Sam asks us, “Do I have to go back to my bed?”

Kathryn giggles and says, “I would miss you if you did.”

I raise my hand in place in on Sam’s back. I say, “I would get cold. I love you sleeping on my chest you keep Daddy nice and warm.”

Sam giggles and says, “Daddy you keep me warm too.”

Sam did not do that every night she can tell when Kathryn and I need to be alone. On most nights unless she had a nightmare or felt lonely Sam would stay asleep in her room. Only after watching a horror movie with one of her aunts Sam would have a nightmare, I think they do that the torture us. Of course after the second movie like that I put my foot down; I actually restricted the satellite from showing R-rated movies.

There were some nights when I realized Sam needed us too, and Kathryn I would just bring her to our bed to sleep.

Another week passed and I spoke to Mom and Alyssa several times there were going to take a few more days possibly a week before they were ready to return. They actually have one more court date they had to attend. Because he had to meet demands the judge required a continuance and they would have to show up the next Monday. After a few of the facts of the case became evident the judge struck down several of his demands. Alyssa was stuck with support, the judge limited based on her former income.

Which was fine with me, when Alyssa come back I plan to start a new class with her. The rest of this week we did outstandingly with their class. Marshall, Misty, MC and Joan would take one stock or commodity and Kathryn and I would do another, for the week was over they had made another twenty million. At that point they were over sixty million each well within the target range, and more importantly they had learned the lessons we really wanted them to accomplish. Any one of them could set down with us and go over a selection, explain the research, and how and why it would change in price. It’s important to know when this stock or commodity will decrease in cost as well and the factors that cause that. The four of them are very aware of those causes. They now know what to look for in advance.

I would always be there for them and willing to give them a helping hand and they agreed to do the same for me. They agreed to assist with any new class I would instruct. This would be a refresher for them and an opportunity to make additional money. They also realized how good it felt to help others. They can tell that Kathryn and I were proud of them.

Joan with a giggle said, “Until this last two weeks, it felt like JJ and you Kathryn were just handing us money right and left. I realize now each and every day were a lot of lessons. You made sure we were doing it right.”

Daniel did ask Kara out that weekend, he took her into town for dinner and a movie. She seemed very happy, and they were going to continue dating. He had already asked her out again which she accepted the date. By the time our class ended, Daniel is been working on their blueprints and have them nearly finished, only minor changes in a few spots for Marshall’s and Misty’s again. MC was very happy with hers.

Joan looked over hers and asked my advice. I told her, “You should add a few more rooms you may need them at a later date for nieces to sleep over once in a while.”

She looked at me and giggled before she said, “Instead of them sleeping over, you and Kathryn can go over, and I’ll come over here. My nieces can sleep in their own bed. You will just have to change the sheets on mine.”

I chuckled and ask her, “Where your kids going to sleep?”

Joan gets a thoughtful look on her face, “I never thought of that, I guess I will have to have a couple smaller bedrooms added.” Joan gets Daniel to add total four bedrooms that make her house have a total of seven bedrooms. She has Jack and Jill bath instead of each bedroom having separate baths on the smaller bedrooms.

I also suggest they should have safe rooms built as well. I said, “Just in case we have a tornado or something, you may not be able to get to my house in time, but you’ll be always welcome.”

Daniel adds that to their homes, it really doesn’t cost that much more to add because they all have basements anyway.

We decide to continue on with the class until Alyssa, Johnny and Mom return from California, which may be another week.

Them leaving seem to bring on the rain, we’ve had several inches and the last two weeks and the Lake has responded well, coming back up to a usable level. We have been fortunate that none of them have been severe thunderstorms. Although the Lake is a little murky it would be fine for just riding around in Kathryn speedboat.

After trading today we decide we’re going to go to a movie and dinner out. Of course I bring the entire family and we descend upon a restaurant we like in town. The owner has a bright smile on his face as he ushers us in. We get two waiters considering how large our party is, and we easily take up half the restaurant dining area. It being the middle summer there’s not a lot of people here. Our little town isn’t that much of a tourist attraction. The Lake is not that large and we're too close to the smoky mountains and too far away from the coast.

There is some farming in the wider valleys near here, but not much. Nothing in the way of industry has ever really been part of this area. There is some lumber but not extensively. So this area is pretty sparsely populated it wasn’t for this small town they would be much here at all. That was the reason I initially like this area. I wanted to get away from the larger cities and their major problems. Now I can’t see myself living anywhere but a small town like this.

I bump into one of the chief organizers for our Christmas charities an older man by the name of Jeremy. It’s a chance for me to brag on Sam. I’m telling about how she got such a kick out of giving her birthday present as gifts to the family. He is thinking as well as I am and we both blurt out at the same time. “That’s what we need to do.”

I guess that’s how the idea started, were going to help some underprivileged children and let them do Christmas shopping for their parents and siblings. The only rule is they can’t buy anything for themselves. We may have to limit them to a certain dollar amount for each parent and siblings so we can help as many as possible. The fundraising will begin before this month is over, and I agree to match every Dollar they raise.

We’re talking right at our table. Marshall gives him a check for fifty thousand dollars. Jeremy has an astonished look on his face as he looks at Marshall. MC and Joan wouldn’t be outdone either, and they hand him another two checks for fifty thousand each. Jeremy is eyes go wide he quickly realizes that easily going to be more than three hundred thousand dollars for this new program.

Jeremy places the three checks in his shirt pocket with a large smile. He shakes Marshall’s and gives Joan and MC a peck on their cheek say his thanks before he leaves. That should give the kids between two and three thousand dollars each to spend. It wouldn’t surprise me that he’ll cover to three counties with this money.

I remember when I was four years old, wanting to buy Mom something for the holiday. Once I was older I asked her for an allowance and I would say that up, she didn’t get a surprise under the tree but she usually had a tear in her eye at the store. I hope this makes some kids holidays brighter.

I know that some parents never get a single Christmas present until the children are out of the house and on their own, they much rather spend the money on their kids, then even give the kids allowance to have the kids spend money on them. I feel sorry for those children. They never get to feel the joy of giving. So they definitely lose out on part of the fun, and maybe the most important lesson in the holidays.

It still July and that’s a lot of time for Jeremy to raise money, and I tell you the truth I hope he raises a lot. We have a lot to do ourselves, ought to figure out what to get the family. This year I have Sam help me. She did an excellent job with her birthday gifts. Misty definitely used her cookbook. You need only to flip through it to realize that. There’s more than one stain on the pages. Marshall is very happy with his present too, he is wearing his tennis shoes right now. Alyssa was wearing her charm bracelet when she boarded the plane. Joan got her a good luck bead for her bracelet. Mom bought her best friend bead for it.

Sam like normal is on my lap, after Jeremy leaves Sam slides over stands on the edge of the chair and kisses me on the cheek. Sam giggles and says, “Mommy don’t you just love Daddy when he does things like that.”

Kathryn giggles, “Why yes I do Sam. He makes me so proud sometimes, especially when he does things like this and doesn’t realize how many people’s lives he’s going to touch.”

Coach chuckles, “Your Daddy used to try to hide all the good he was doing. But it just made it all the more obvious to the people who knew him.”

Helen with a giggle says, “Why do you think there were three ministers that insisted on helping with JJ’s and Kathryn’s wedding. Nearly eight thousand people showed up for it. Why we hired every restaurant in town to cater. Sam it’s because, soon after your Dad moved here he started doing things. Money appeared like out of nowhere for charities. The county hasn’t been able to foreclose on a single house. Someone always pays their taxes just before their houses auctioned off. He learned to cook from a retired teacher, as a way to feed her and few of her neighbors.”

Misty giggles, “Marshall is that why, were taken lessons from Ms. Sims.”

Marshall shakes his head yes with a smile. Then he says, “Maybe we’ll take your younger sister to start classes soon. She’s getting a little suspicious because you’re getting too good.”

Kathryn’s eyes light up, as she says, “I need to gets some lessons on dinner. JJ and I got breakfast down pretty good.”

Chuckling I say, “I’m better now that Sam is helping me. She’s a great spotter for the pancakes.” I give her a kiss and then place her back in my lap.

Sam giggles, “That’s because you keep looking at Mommy.”

Now I confess to Sam with a chuckle, “Whenever your Mommy is around I have a tough time paying attention to anything else very long, but maybe you Sam.”

Sam giggles, “That’s good Daddy, I know that’s because you love us.”

The food arrives in cuts our conversation short. This is one of the better restaurants in town, but you really couldn’t tell it other than us there are only two tables occupied. I know some of the other restaurants are having it tough too. The first thing when the economy goes bad people stop eating out, of course when the economy recovers the few restaurants that remain usually do very well.

We take our time eating, and the conversation goes well a lot of lighter subjects. The wait staff here is always right there when you need them, my tea hardly ever gets empty as well as anyone else’s around the table. When Sam says she didn’t like one of the sides I ordered, they bring order mac & cheese for her. The way the owner runs this place is like a well-oiled machine. Considering two of the wait staff is his daughters, and seemed to be born to the business.

The wait staff still does their job well, but they’re missing the cheery attitude, especially his daughters that I’m accustomed to seeing around here. I can tell something is wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the food is excellent. There’s something else that seemed to hang in the air, like a low cloud over your airport. It’s there and there’s nothing you can do about it, you can’t fly forever so sometime you just going to have to trust your instruments and land. Right now my instruments are my instincts, and what they’re telling me is there something happening that they don’t want to share with anyone else.

When one of the tables gets up to leave and stops of the cashier, the owner, Robert everybody calls Bobby, simply smiles and says the check is on him tonight. They gleefully think him and leave. I move Sam to Kathryn’s lap, and she can tell I sent something is wrong. I walk up to the teller, where the owner still stands. He smiles and says, “JJ there’s no charge tonight, you can tip your wait staff if you wish.”

With a look over my shoulders at the table I realize they’re serving desserts to everyone. I shake my head before I ask, “You can’t really afford this can you?”

He shakes his head and says, “It’s either give it away or let it go bad. As much good you’ve done around here, I can’t think of anybody better to give it to than your family.”

I chuckle looking straight in the face I say, “Haven’t you heard no good deed goes unpunished.”

He raises an eyebrow before asking, “What good deed deserves punishment?”

I said, “Well you fed me for free. The least I can do is keep you in business. Besides that this is my favorite restaurant in the area. If you went out of business, I would have to hire your chef, and there’s no way I can keep her busy enough.” His chef happens to be his wife Mary.

He takes deep breath he says, “That’s a nice offer JJ but you don’t know how deep in the hole I am. I mortgage my house and this restaurant to try to keep going. I owe almost two hundred thousand dollars and the bank is threatening to foreclose in a week or so.”

With a grin I say, “Did you read the article on how much money I actually have. If you will agree to feed my family once a week for the life of this restaurant, I give you three hundred thousand dollars as a retainer, plus another twenty thousand dollars a year.”

He begins to stutter, “JJ, I, I, I can’t.”

I chuckled and say, “You are correct much as these guys eat. I will make it four hundred thousand and twenty five thousand per year negotiable.”

He comes around the counter pulls me into a hug with his strong arms, with a laugh he drags me off to the kitchen and explains to his wife. His wife is a beautiful woman, but her eyes are a little red and puffy I know she’s been crying for a long time. The wait staff is mostly their children, they overhear as he excitedly explains to his wife.

His thirteen-year-old daughter, Deborah who everybody calls Debs, had been waiting on the other tables quickly sets down a picture of tea before she comes to hug me. Her eyes are a little red, but now new tears form in them.

His older daughter Sandra, one of the ones waiting on our table, stands there in shock seeing her mother and younger sister embracing me. Giggling she says, “Kathryn is going to kill him if you don’t have a good reason for that.”

Her father quickly wrapping her in a hug and tells her what has transpired. Sandra now with happy tears running down her face says, “You better make sure Kathryn understands it’s not because of her cooking.”

With a chuckle I say, “That’s something I’ll definitely try to do.”

Mary looks at Bobby before she says, “I really want to keep the restaurant, but just feeding JJ and his family once a week isn’t right. That isn’t enough, he saving our lives.”

Bobby starts to agree, and before they offer me the restaurant. The idea hit me, what one other Bobby was doing. He was using his wealth to help others to stay in business and expand, start businesses and even a few corporations. Smiling I look at Bobby and Mary before I say, “No good deed goes unpunished.” I pause while Bobby laughs, “You two want to make me work here don’t you? Well it’s not going to work; I’m going to be your silent partner. I’ll put up the money, and keep you guys going. But you guys got to manage the restaurant, I will only help with the finances and any other business issues you have. You get four hundred thousand dollars for allowing me to be your silent partner, plus twenty-five thousand dollars a year prepaid for my meals.”

Bobby shakes my hand, and Mary gives another hug, her thirteen-year-old daughter steps up on her tip toes and gives me a kiss on my cheek. Of course that’s when a curious Kathryn walks through the doors Bobby just pulled me through not five minutes before.

Kathryn, Sandra and I were friends from high school. Sandra had been in one of my self-defense classes. Her quick wit and friendly personality has won her many friends including Kathryn and I. Sandra sees Kathryn and says, “Your husband just can’t help himself when it comes to helping others.” She walks over and hugs Kathryn, then whispers in her ear.

Kathryn has a slight confused look for second then she says with a giggle, “That’s seven so far, if what I am thinking is correct.”

Sandra says, “If you are adding the four of us, yes.”

Kathryn giggles, “That’s one reason I love him.” Then she holds up a glass, “Sam needs a little more milk.” Sandra practically sprints to the refrigerator to return with a gallon of milk and refills Sam’s glass.

The two of them returned to the table with Sam’s milk.

The table goes quiet and I hear Sanders voice explaining why I’m in the kitchen. I said to Mary and Bobby, “I will be by tomorrow and will settle everything. You two have a great night sleep, and don’t you worry about your finances we’ll fix those.”

Mary went back to fixing food for the other table. While Bobby walked me back to the table to cheers from my family and the rest of the restaurant. He smiles and says, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

We caught the early movie; while we’re in the theater the clouds raised high into the air. These towers of moisture would bring about a thunderstorm just as the evening sun set. Living in the southeast have these exquisite thunderstorms occasionally, with lots of lightning showing how brilliantly Mother Nature can put on her own light show. The lightning bolts are massive discharges of electrical energy, some containing enough power to light up an entire city, yet so wild and unpredictable.

When Kathryn and I first started dating, I saw my first thunderstorm with her in my arms. We sat on her front porch swing and watch the approaching storm. It was just a little after sundown in the massive lightning bolts reached all the way from the ground to far above the clouds. As they come closer you lost the perspective of being able to see them continue on skyward. The sound of the thunder shook us in that porch swing. From that day forward I’ve always loved spend time with Kathryn just watching a thunderstorm. Since we became lovers we would watch the thunderstorm during the height of the storm we would move to our bed to make love.

You could almost feel the static in the air, and knew the thunderstorm would approach this evening. Kathryn and I grinned at each other knowing we would watch the thunderstorm and then make love like we had so many times before.

That evening as Sam is getting ready for bed we can hear the low rumble of thunder in the distance. Sam asks, “What’s that sound?”

Kathryn says, “It’s a thunderstorm Sam. That’s the sound of lightning.”

Sam giggles, “Lightning is very noisy Mommy.”

I didn’t think any more of it, as we tuck Sam in for the night. We passed grandma she was in the kitchen had a cup of tea before she went to bed. She tells us, “That’s going be a pretty big thunderstorm tonight. The way my arthritis is acting up, really lets me know.”

We wish her a good night, and Kathryn gives her a hug and a kiss. We head to the elevator and go to our room.

We have a partial covered balcony that overlooks the River, and the meadow with the boat house. Kathryn and I have a long porch glider, most of these are between four and six foot long, but I specially ordered mine to be 7 and a half foot long. Constructed from redwood and has cushioned seats. It’s more like a couch than an outdoor piece of furniture. Kathryn goes into the closet she says, “I’m getting a blanket and an extra pillow. It feels a little cool to me, and once the rain starts it should start getting cooler fast.”

I do notice it has cooled off, as the cool air sweeps out from the thunderstorm. That wind seems to sweep the mosquitoes and other insects away as well. It makes it a lot more enjoyable to be outside just to watch the lightning. The sun set hidden by the dark and foreboding clouds to the west. Kathryn comes out carrying the pillow and blanket wrapped around her. She sets the pillow down getting my attention. With a giggle she opens the blanket to show she is nude underneath. She wiggles her hips and says, “I think my husband is overdressed.”

As I start to pull my clothes off Kathryn giggles and says, “If you take them off out here they will blow away.”

I walk in and continue taking off my clothes bringing my shirt with me. Now that I’m fully undressed I step back out onto the balcony and pull the door closed behind me. Kathryn giggles seeing my hardened manhood. She says, “I think my husband likes this idea.”

I slide in beside Kathryn as she wraps the blanket around me as well. Our lips meet as the hunger in me reaches its height. I hunger for Kathryn, and only she can satisfy it with her love. She cuddles in close to me, and the cool air makes the warm feeling of her body so much more enjoyable.

The sound of thunder is so much stronger now; the wind now carries a mist with it that chills the exposed skin of our bodies. This increases the contrast from where our bodies come together and where they don’t. As my hand travels over her it’s as if the skin underneath my hand instantly heats to my touch. Kathryn pulls back with a shiver, and her nipples hardened from the cool air and mist.

The first flash of lightning overhead lights up Kathryn’s beautiful face. The boom of thunder shakes the whole world around us. Her eyes are green and happy as she raises herself positioning my cock and situate herself as she slowly sinks down my manhood, enjoying every millimeter as it slowly forces her pussy open. She’s hot wet and tight compared to the cool air that did surround me. I do so much want to feel her warmth. I lean forward and pull her close into a long passionate kiss. Kathryn wiggles the last of me deep into her. We grind our bodies together giving pleasure to each other. Another flash followed by another boom and Kathryn begins to move her hips back and forth. We make love with no great urgency, just wanting to spend the time together in each other’s arms.

We’re making love for a very long time, as Kathryn has several orgasms and spurts wetting me several times. The smell of sex is strong even with breeze blows it quickly away. Kathryn has moved into a reverse cowgirl position so she can watch the storm as I play with her breasts. The storm seem to have lightened up some will last few minutes but as Kathryn approaches her orgasm and I do too huge bolts of lightning flashed across the sky. Kathryn in my orgasm hits us as the deafening sound of thunder vibrates are very souls.

Kathryn leans heavily into me breathing hard and she rises and falls with my breath. Our bodies tingle from the afterglow of our orgasms. Another deafening roar of thunder shakes us and I hear a small high-pitched squeal that has to be Sam. I look over my shoulder into the bedroom and see Sam standing in the middle of the room. Sam stopping there once she realizes the bed is empty. Sam stands there trembling is another boom causes her to scream again. Kathryn is noticed her screams in calls to her, “Sam it’s okay, it’s only thunder. It’s not going to hurt you my beautiful little Sam.”

Now that Sam knows where we are at nothing can stop her, she runs throws the door open and jumps into Kathryn’s arms. We’re both nude and covered in sweat. Again Sam doesn’t care she needs us to run the fear away. Kathryn’s close the blanket before Sam’s gotten there and she jumps into Kathryn’s lap and clings to her Mommy. When my hands slipped from underneath the blanket to hold Sam I feel her trembling against us. Kathryn slowly calms her down.

I finally ask, “Sam haven’t you seen a thunderstorm before?”

Sam shakes her head no before saying, “I lived in Oregon with my grandma. I never saw anything like this before.”

Sam is paying a lot more attention to the storm now that she feels safe in our arms. I have to admit their site to watch. This is easily the most intense thunderstorm we’ve had lately. Another loud boom causes Sam to bury her face into the blanket. She gingerly lifts her eyes back up to see what’s going on.

Flash of memory from my premonition I say before I even realize it, “Sam see the big oak tree near the end of the meadow. Sam shakes her head seeing where I am pointing. It’s almost like a countdown in my head as I point to the tree and tell Sam, “Watch.” I snap my fingers just an instant before a large bolt of lightning strike the tree sharing off several limbs only on the side nearest us. This off balanced the tree and then a gust of wind finishes the job as the tree tumbles away from us.

Kathryn and Sam so in shock at the site that they both don’t react until the huge boom shake them. They both squeal hiding their faces against me. I chuckle and say, “I guess we better get in now.”

I lift both in my arms and carry them as they giggle.

Once inside Sam notices the smell and giggles. Sam states, “You two were hugging each other and making funny noises again.”

Another loud boom of thunder and a squeal from Sam answers my question before I even asked. Too frightened by the storm to be alone right now, one of us will have to stay with Sam. I asked Kathryn, “Do you want to take your shower first or should I?”

The crack of rolling thunder and Kathryn’s eyes go wide. I know neither of us is going to have a shower until after the storm has finished. I take used pajamas and put them on. Lay back in the bed Sam immediately scrambles to my chest holding me tightly. Kathryn follows my example lays down in her pajamas beside me. Every flash of lightning Sam’s face is up with wide eyes. When the boom of thunder follows Sam hides her face against me.

After the next flash I count aloud, “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three” boom and Sam hides her face against me again I tell her. “What were you afraid of Sam that was very far away?”

Sam doesn’t get a chance to answer is another flash fills the room. And I count aloud, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four then the boom of thunder but Sam doesn’t hide her face this time. With a smile I say, “See Sam the thunderstorm is leaving it won’t last much longer.”

Sam asks, “How do you know Daddy?”

Sam gets her first physics lesson. I start by saying, “Sam you know thunder is the sound lightning makes, when you’re very close to the lightning the sound sounds like it’s the same time. But the light moves faster than the sound so the farther you are away from the lightning the longer it takes thunder to get to you.”

Sam’s face lights up with another flash more relaxed this time and she counts with me as we get to one thousand six the boom of the lightning reaches us. With a smile Sam asks, “That means is getting further away?”

I tell Sam, “The lightning is, the rain should start real soon.” And just as soon as I finish saying that the heavy rain began.

Again Sam’s eyes widen before she asks, “How did you do that Daddy?”

Kathryn echoes, “Yes, how I did you do that?”

With a chuckle I said, “Well if I told you. How would I have any surprises left? What you know the secret it’s easy, but for right now let’s get some sleep.”

I get two groans from my two loves that cause me to chuckle some more.

“Okay I guess I’ll tell you. I saw it in a premonition my beautiful Princess.” Kathryn knows which premonition I’m speaking of. But because Sam is now our life I wondered how much will change from that premonition. I see now how many things have changed; Marshall and Misty instead of having a wedding announcement in the same paper will probably have a birth announcement. Alyssa. Joan and Johnny now live with us, Kathryn’s and my wedding was on her fourteenth birthday instead of on her sixteenth birthday. We helped four of our friends so far to be financially independent. And the biggest change of all Sam. None of these changes Kathryn and I would undo for anything, especially Sam.

I continue, “Sam some things I saw about my future have come true. Other things are much better. Having you in my life is much better than what I foresaw. You’re the prize that our good deeds have won us. Maybe your Angel Daddy and Mommy knew we would help you from what we’ve done before. They changed my future to help you. I love being your Daddy Sam, and I would never change that. If they changed my future they changed it for the better.”

Sam with wet eyes says, “I love being your Princess Daddy. I love being your beautiful little Sam Mommy. I think they did change your future Daddy. I know Lester didn’t want to come here. But old Mommy wanted him to. She had to beg him to come. Then old Mommy made him leave me outside. Lester had whipped me a couple times because I ran away. Lester was very bad to me Daddy. I’m glad he’s dead.”

Caressing Sam’s back I say, “Me too Sam.”

Kathryn gives Sam a kiss is tears run down her cheeks. Outside the rain still falls but not nearly as having as it did before. Thunder is gone far into the distance and soon the storm will pass. Tomorrow will be bright and sunny just a little more humid and the downed tree will be the only signs of the storm tonight. Course my premonition told me of the treasure we will find. That needs returned to Sam’s great grandma.

Tomorrow morning bright and early before grandma has a chance to leave, I’ll take Sam over to discover her great grandma’s treasure.

It doesn’t take long for Sam finally relaxes and goes to sleep. Kathryn whispers softly, “Are we going to give the gold back? You know she’ll say you bought the land it yours.”

I whisper in return, “That’s why I will have Sam find it. I’ll make her say Sam’s family and since family found it, the gold is still hers.”

Kathryn giggles before whispering back, “That’s my husband, devious with a heart of gold.”
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