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Introduction:

Jeremy learns that you actually can go home again
[[[-RECOLLECTIONS12.TXT-]]]


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Recollections
Written by: Kaadorix

M/F, F/F and a whole lot more
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Chapter 12: "Homecoming"
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-*- Saturday, May 13, 2017 -*-
-*- Lake Quivira, Kansas -*-


I was roused awake on Saturday morning as Merissa pulled
the bed sheet over her naked, burgeoning belly and sat up. I
stifled the urge to lean up and kiss my wife's barely parted
lips. Merissa was in the final, home stretch of her pregnancy,
and really needed to sleep in a bit more. It was only 5:30am.
Alexa was already up and gone; she awoke at 3:00am on mornings
when she had to work, and was at the health club by 5:00am to
begin her shift. Since today was an overtime day for her, her
sixth day of the week, Alexa was only working a four hour shift.
That was good, because we had big family plans for later on.

I was silent, motionless in bed, as I watched Merissa between
one barely-open eyelid. Now I had the inkling to run my hands
through her tousled wisps of auburn-brown hair, which complimented
her pretty eyes and set them off like jewels. And I desperately
wanted to kiss Merissa, as Alexa and I had done a lot of last
evening during another one of our memorable, romantic three-somes.

Merissa and I talked until after midnight as Alexa slept
beside us, needing to wake up early for work. Merissa had been
comfortably tucked into the curve of my arm, her head against
my chest, when we too dozed off in the overnight hours. Our
connection was as powerful as ever and I knew in my heart that
Merissa, along with Alexa, made me the luckiest man alive.

Unaware that I was awake as well, Merissa reached over and
traced an exploratory fingertip along the outline of my jaw.
She smiled but then winced, pressing the palm of her hand on
the mattress to push herself to her feet - not an easy task at
38 weeks pregnant. As she raised herself off of the bed, I
reached for her, but whiffed terribly.

Yet I decided to maintain my silence as Merissa held the
bed sheet to her breasts and slowly made her way into the
adjacent washroom. I made a few, subtle shifts in bed, just
enough so I could eavesdrop on her via the big vanity mirror.

Merissa dropped the bed sheet at the sink and splashed cold
water onto her face. "Naked baby momma," she then declared,
inspecting herself in the mirror with a roll of the eyes.
Merissa turned sideways and promptly frowned, "Beached whale."
She swiveled to the rear and looked back over her shoulder at
her own reflection. "Oh God, that's even worse."

"Look at you!" Merissa exclaimed, turning back to face the
mirror. "No more sleeping naked!" She ran her hands along
the pockets of flesh that had accumulated just above her waist.
"Love handles!" she whined. "Babies are supposed to grow in
the uterus, not above your hip bones!" Merissa let out a loud
but quick sob, and then brushed her hair into submission.

This was nothing new. After our daughter (Madison) was born
two years ago, Merissa worked incredibly hard to regain her
pre-pregnancy form, and get down to 110 pounds. It was a minor
miracle on her part (in her eyes, at least), but then Merissa
became pregnant with our son, Asher, nearly nine months ago.
This second pregnancy was totally unexpected; not planned. The
process of gaining weight began to repeat itself and, like most
expectant mothers this late in their pregnancies, Merissa was
subconscious, and every little emotion was amplified ten-fold.

I listened to Merissa's little crying fit as she put on a long
bath robe and cinched it tight around her otherwise naked figure.
"Lexi's body is the epitome of fitness and perfection, and I
look like a big, overstuffed rain barrel! Shamu the whale!" It
was the hormones talking; that's all it was. Emotions getting
the best of her. This was not the first time that Merissa had
berated herself in front of the mirror in recent days and weeks.
Usually, these little outbursts took place first thing in the
morning when she was tired, and at her most vulnerable.

Merissa was still sobbing, albeit very gently, as she sulked
her way back to bed. Again through clenched eyelids, I watched
as she felt her love handles through the bath robe and sighed.
They were silently taunting her. Just knowing the love handles
were there was making Merissa even more cranky.

Yet I knew how to handle this situation.

Really, Merissa did not mean any of this. She was just
feeling overwhelmed and looking forward to our baby finally
being born sometime within the next week or two. Merissa was
just so jittery and on edge lately. Yet I was always there
when she needed me most, as was Alexa; we were calm and very
empathetic, and constantly reminded Merissa of how sexy and
beautiful she looked, and how wonderful of a mother she was.
None of it was a lie. Simply reeling Merissa into secure,
loving arms usually cured whatever ailed her.

When she sat down on the bed and then reclined back, I
suddenly curled into Merissa, my knees tucked under hers and
my arm across her narrow hips, just below her enormous belly.
Merissa seemed to hold her breath, somewhat startled, as I
then rested my head on her shoulder. I pretended that I was
still sleeping as I brushed a tender hand across the front of
her neck and opposite shoulder, feeling the bath robe.

"Why aren't you still naked?" I then whispered at my wife
in a groggy, somewhat exaggerated voice, not wanting her to
know that I had witnessed her little meltdown in the nearby
washroom. "God, Merissa. You look so incredibly hot naked."
That too, was no lie on my part. I had a fetish for pregnant
women, and Merissa was well aware of it.

Even more, I had a fetish for all things Merissa.

"Because I don't want to be," she squeaked in response.

Indeed, I knew exactly what to do - what to say - to make
Merissa feel better. She always felt incredibly safe with me.
It was no surprise she hadn't put on any clothing last night.
I talked her into cuddling up right beside me, nude. Merissa
believed every word I said because I was always spoke the truth.

I snuck my hand between the folds of Merissa's bath robe
and moved it slowly across her pelvis, then traced gentle,
loving circles along the underside of her belly. "But you're
so beautiful, and I prefer you naked."

"You're not doing this to me again," Merissa countered,
smiling despite her apparent desire to dwell on her worry for
just another minute or two. She brushed my bangs away from
my forehead and took a deep breath.

"Doing what?" I asked innocently, now opening the front of
her robe and letting it fall to either side.

"Jeremy..." she faintly protested.

I scooted in even closer and whispered in her ear, "Last
night was incredible with you and Lexi. Especially you. I
went to sleep so happy last night. You made me feel so good."

Merissa giggled. I could tell that the stress of her love
handles and the nagging worries were quickly fading.

I nuzzled against Merissa's neck, bringing my hand over the
high ridge of her abdomen, and then dragging my index finger
along her sternum, between her breasts and finally up to her
collarbone. Merissa shivered in pure delight beside me. She
hooked a leg around mine for added stimulation and closeness.

"Are you looking forward to us having lunch with your mom?"

"Mmmmmm-hmmmmm," I moaned in response, kissing Merissa's
shoulder, fondling one of her breasts in the process.

"Your mom has never approved of me as a second wife, and I've
never really spoken all that much to her. I'm kinda nervous."

I was able to slide Merissa's arms out of the bath robe so
it simply lay in a pool beneath her, like a cuddly blanket.
Yet again, her entire body was exposed for me to partake and
luxuriate in. She arched her neck and back, her ultra silky,
chestnut-brown hair showering down around her face. "Don't
be nervous, honey. Everything will be fine." Then I was on
my knees beside Merissa, one arm on either side of her body.

Merissa traced the permanent tattoo I had, a nod to her,
on my left bicep as I lowered my mouth to her breast. She
gasped as I flicked her nipple with my tongue. Pregnancy had
heightened her senses, of course, and I played into them with
tantalizing care. She put her head back and purred in pleasure.

The tattoo on my left bicep read "Together forever, never
apart 3.31.2015", a reference to my personal love with Merissa,
and our wedding date. On my opposite bicep, I had another,
very similar tattoo, but this one for Alexa and our own wedding
date. "Eternally lost in love 5.8.2011". I really had no
interest in tattoos, but decided to get the permanent artwork
done a year or so ago at Alexa's behest. I remember how happy
Alexa was when I got the everlasting tributes to her and Merissa.

I shifted to Merissa's opposite breast and she grabbed the
back of my head with a needful moan. I then teased my tongue
along the outer edge of her breast and lapped at its sensitive,
delicate skin. "Do you want me to stop?"

"No," Merissa replied breathlessly. Her hormones had been
out of control since her third month of pregnancy.

My lips explored her side, her ribs, even the area just
above her hip. Merissa guided me back up, away from those
newly formed love handles, and drew my mouth to hers, opening
as my tongue delved slow and deep, exploring her, wanting to
consume her. When my erection nudged against Merissa's thigh,
she pressed into me. That was almost too much. Every nerve
ending I had suddenly flamed with heat as she arched into me,
her belly the ultimate barrier between us.

The 25-year-old sat up, and I moved with practiced, precise
care onto my back. Worries and angst seem to ease from her as
my hands reached for Merissa's hips and she straddled me,
hovering just above the hard tip of my cock. I was the one to
arch this time, but Merissa backed off, and a sly grin came to
her face. This had become one of her favorite parts of pregnant
lovemaking; she enjoyed taking control, and making me wait.

Merissa leaned forward, her hair circling our faces, and
tenderly kissed my forehead, my cheek, my chin. I tried to
catch her lips with mine, but she was too quick. Merissa took
her hands in mine and secured them under her knees and then
leaned into me again, gently licking the edges of her lips.

Merissa lifted her body higher and pressed the full length
of my erection flat against my abdomen, then lowered herself
onto me, teasing me, not allowing me to enter her. She glided
up and down along my torso until I was so overcome with hunger
that I was ready to beg and grovel just to finally enter her.
Merissa relished this power. She kissed my chin, my neck and
then nibbled on my ear. Merissa trailed her tongue down my
chest while I writhed beneath her. Finally, adhering to her
own desires, she reached between her legs and guided me into
her, sucking in air as I filled her completely.

I opened my eyes and pulled her into a deep, passionate
kiss. My hands slid down Merissa's sides and she flinched,
watching me carefully, it seemed, the doubt causing her to
search my gaze for any displeasure at the thickness of her
expanding waistline. Yet all I saw was my vivacious, gorgeous
wife at the sheer pinnacle of womanhood, 38 weeks pregnant.
My eyes fluttered as I nearly melted with desire for her.
Merissa relaxed into my touch, her ongoing worry disappearing
with every blissful, sensuous movement...

* * *

Merissa looped her arm into Alexa's, clearly feigned a
smile, and looked to be pulling off her bravest face. "Here
we go, Lexi," she said sarcastically, as they headed from our
minivan toward the old farm house where I originally grew up
here in Pleasant Grove, a bit later on, just after noon-time.

Alexa raised an eyebrow as I followed closely behind, a
toddler on either side of me. "It'll be fine. Jeremy's mom
is looking forward to seeing you, really meeting you, and I
bet she falls in love with that belly that's carrying sweet,
little Asher inside." Alexa then motioned back toward Cooper
and Madison. "Plus, there's them. How is it possible to NOT
fall head over heels in love with these two goofballs?"

"I hope so." Merissa was the more grounded of my two wives,
and she seemed to worry about pretty much everything. Alexa
was much more carefree and jovial, and tended to be upbeat and
positive, always looking on the bright side of things. There
weren't many things that could actually keep Alexa down.

Merissa put her hand on her belly. Unfortunately, her
overall worry and anxiety had really ramped up during her
pregnancy. Today, she was especially nervous.

"Ouch!"

"What?"

"Your arm is hooked so tight around mine that you're
squeezing the life out of it," Alexa whined. Merissa quickly
unlinked, and Alexa rubbed her forearm and elbow with a pouty
frown. "You okay, baby? You need to sit down for a while?"

"Just a little stressed. And we just had a 40 mile road
trip. I've done plenty of sitting."

"I suppose REALLY meeting an in-law for the first time can
make a person stressed." Indeed, today was going to be step
one in the rehabilitation process between my mother and I
following the death of my father over three weeks ago.

Aside from a few words at the funeral, I had not spoken to
Mom in two-and-a-half years. She and Dad simply cut me out
of their lives once they found out for sure in late 2014 that,
in addition to being married to Alexa, Merissa was actually
going to become my wife as well. Merissa, in fact, eventually
became OUR wife - she married Alexa on March 31, 2015 too.

Mom and Dad were strictly religious and old school, and did
not want to believe that they could have a son who was part
of a unique relationship; a three-way marriage. It horrified
them, even, and they basically disowned me as a result.

But death, as shocking and it was painful as it was, could
sometimes bring about a positive change. In the days following
the funeral, I actually reached out to Mom and asked her if we
could get together and hash things out. I really wanted her
to sit down and make an effort to talk to Merissa, and get to
know her. They had met before, but always under the guise
that Merissa was our close friend, just a platonic house-mate.
Thus, Mom and Merissa never really spoke in-depth. I also
told Mom that I wanted her to finally meet and interact with
her little granddaughter, Madison, who was going to turn two
just ten days from now. She had never even met Grandma, I
told her, and I wanted that to change. Cooper, I even said,
was very curious about Grandma, and wanted to know her, too.

I wondered if Alexa felt the same type of anxiety that
Merissa did as we made our way toward the front porch of my
old home. Hell, the same type of anxiety that I felt, even.
Alexa did not appear to, and there was no way that she would
ever admit to it. Just not her style. Alexa had been a
proponent over the years of me making more an effort to hook
back up with Mom (and Dad when he was alive). Yet I was an
expert at dodging advice and, at times, Alexa would make me
so upset and exasperated that she finally gave up trying to
force me to make amends with Mom and Dad about six months ago.

Now, at least with Dad, it was too late. He went to his
grave without either of us ever making peace with each other.
I did not want the same sad story to be written about Mom. I
knew that she would never really approve of our lifestyle
and marriage choices. I just wanted Mom to accept them, and
allow me back into her life. The woman was 76 years old,
and I honestly did not know how much longer she had left.

After I knocked on the door, there was no answer, or even
a slight noise from within the house, for well over a minute.
This made Merissa even more uneasy. "Maybe Judith isn't home.
Did you check your voice mail, Jeremy? Maybe she canceled."

Alexa laughed. "You wish."

"She's not gonna be happy to see me," Merissa fidgeted. "I
haven't seen her since 2014. Judith probably thinks of me as
the demon spawn that was added to your marriage, your
relationship. I'm the one that ruined it, to her."

"Well, you definitely don't look like a demon spawn,"
Alexa chuckled, taking a step back and eyeing her wife. Desire
flashed across Alexa's lovely face as she licked her lips.
Merissa wore a casual maternity sweater and a straight pair
of linen pants, and a soft felt hat. "You look super cute,
pretty, like a fashion model." Alexa shifted her focus to
Cooper. "Hey, wild man. Doesn't Aunt Merissa look pretty?"

"Yeah," the three-year-old responded.

Alexa threw her hands up. "There you go."

"And there she is," I said, my own eyes wide, as I motioned
toward the little garden on the side of the house.

"Oh, Judith changed her hair!" Alexa observed.

I led my little family over toward the garden. Mom looked
much different than she did at the funeral three weeks ago.
She no longer had the harsh streaks of gray in her hair and
appeared to be in an upbeat, lively mood.

"Red?" I asked, shocked, reaching down and helping my
mother to her feet as she had been tending to her flowers.
"You have red hair now?"

"Hello to you too, Jeremy."

I winced at my mother's sharp retort and noticed Merissa
swallow a hard, nervous lump in her throat.

Yet Alexa stepped forward and hugged Mom like there had
never been any animosity to begin with between us. "You look
awesome, Judith!" Alexa stepped back and held her hands out,
as if she was presenting a beautiful painting. "Oh my Gosh.
Red suits you so well!" Alexa quickly hugged her again.

Alexa reached out and touched Merissa's stomach. "Look,
Judith. Merissa is going to have another baby. A boy, due
less than two weeks from now. Another grandson for you."

I watched Merissa's face flush with embarrassment as she
looked on and observed Alexa weave her magic wand. Alexa was
an expert talker, a true people person, and could have
literally anyone eating out of the palm of her hand with just
mere words alone. She knew exactly what to say and when to
say it, and was even better with body language and mannerisms.
It was a gift, not an acquired trait, for her.

"Merissa," Mom said, sizing her up. "My, it's been a long
time. How are you doing, dear?"

Mom's gracious, accepting attitude toward Alexa and her
fiery red hair painted an image of a completely new person,
one that I did not recognize. Perhaps that was a good thing?
Where was the disdain for the personal choices I had made in
life? The woman who never even said a single word to me for
two-and-a-half years straight? Yet just seeing Mom brought
the pain of Dad's funeral back, the apologies that were left
behind, forever lost between father and son.

"I'm doing good," Merissa murmured, frightened.

Mom reached out and gently grazed Merissa's belly. "A
boy, huh? Does my newest grandson have a name yet?"

"Asher," Merissa gulped. "I... I really like that name. I
always have. I always thought whenever I have my first son, I
wanted to name him Asher."

Mom smiled. "Just like Jeremy wanted to name his first son
Cooper. He talked about that name when he was growing up."

Speaking of Cooper, as well as Madison, they were standing
back and looking at Mom with tentative, scared eyes. The red
hair was probably a shocker to Cooper and, of course, Madison
had never even met Grandma before. It would take them both a
little time today before they were able to warm up to her.

"Hey Cooper, Madi," Alexa said, kneeling down between both
toddlers and pulling them close to her in a double embrace.
"Hey. That's Grandma. Why don't you go over and give her a
hug? That's Daddy's Mommy." Cooper simply stared at Mom as
Madison shook her head and glanced away.

Merissa displayed another familiar twinge of emotion as
she brought a hand to her mouth when Mom stepped forward and
willingly embraced me with both arms. "I'm sorry that your
father and I pushed you and your family away for such a long
time, Jeremy." Now I felt overcome with emotion, yet was
able to control it, as Mom added, "It is the one thing I
regret most in life now. Your father felt the same way.
Even if we did not approve of your choices, or understand
them, William and I still should have supported you." A
forced smile quickly replaced the momentary regret that
flashed in Mom's eyes. "How is your practice doing?"

"Great," I answered, trying my damnedest not to cry after
what she had just said to me. "I love being a doctor, and I
still appreciate it that you and Dad helped push me to be my
best when I was in college, and going through medical school.
It's just that, recently, I haven't worked much. I took two
weeks off after the funeral and just went back to work this
week. Yet I will be taking another two or three weeks off
once Merissa goes into labor, and Asher is born. Some of my
patients may forget that I am their doctor!" I took a sip of
water to calm my nerves. Was I really, actually talking with
Mom so easily, so candidly? Making jokes with her?

"Cooper, Madi," Alexa continued, "I bet Grandma would like
a hug." She was still trying to work on the little ones.
"Can you give her a hug for me? Pretty please?"

"You gave up your desire to pursue Gastroenterology as a
sub-specialty so quickly after meeting Alexa," Mom recalled.
"Do you have any regrets about that, Jeremy? Not meeting and
falling in love with your wife, of course, but the decision
to give up furthering yourself as a doctor?"

Once I met Alexa seven years ago, my life changed in ways
that I never thought it possibly could. I had gone from being
a conservative, semi-uptight family physician to a relaxed
individual who allowed myself to be more spontaneous, and to
give in to my inner man a little more. Okay, a lot more.

"Not at all, Mom. I'm happier now than I have any right
to be. If I pursued Gastroenterology, as I did Nephrology,
it would have taken up all of my free time going to class and
then having to go through yet another internship. Back then,
when I met Alexa, I just wanted to devote all of my free time
to her." I glanced at Alexa, who was still trying to loosen
Cooper and Madison up. God, I loved that woman so much. She
was an angel! "I think I made the right decision."

"And now you got a second wife to boot."

"That I do," I agreed, as Merissa blushed once again.

"And you, dear? How has your pregnancy been?"

Merissa appeared to be standing on pins and needles, just
waiting for my mother to say something negative or derogatory
to her. "I feel good, health-wise, and I think Jeremy, Lexi
and I are about as ready to meet baby Asher as we ever will
be." She patted her belly. "I just wish he would pop out
already. I feel and look as big as a cow." Merissa suddenly
sighed, probably wanting to kick herself for saying that. She
did not want to come across as pouty and moody in front of Mom.

"That's not true," Alexa piped up. "You're not as big as a
cow. You're just a little... stout."

Merissa broke out into laughter. "Stout? Seriously, Lexi?"
Merissa took a swig of _Gatorade_ to help quell her anxiety.

Mom reached out and grasped Merissa's hand. "Honey, that's
part of being pregnant and motherhood. Besides, look at you.
You're glowing! You're the most beautiful pregnant woman I've
ever seen in my life!" Mom patted Merissa's hand for emphasis
as my wife stared back at her, slack-jawed.

A cell phone rang, and Mom unclipped the device from her belt.
Alexa quickly looked at me and we exchanged curious glances.

"Hi. Yes. Oh, that would be great. I'm sure they would
love that. Okay. See you soon. Bye."

"Who was that?" I asked.

"Hudson and Janae are both coming over for a visit," she
said, referring to my older brother and sister. Mom's phone
buzzed this time and she apparently read a text, and then
began typing out a response as I spoke.

"It's been a long time," I admitted. "Last time I was
here, Mom, you didn't have a cell phone. Or red hair." I
watched Mom smile as her bony, little fingers moved in rapid
succession over the tiny touch screen. "You text now too?"

Mom shrugged her shoulders. "A lot has changed. My hair?
That was a suggestion last week from a friend of mine, Maevis.
We were at the gym, and..."

"You go to a GYM?" I interjected.

"I may be 76, but yes, I do. I'm not dead yet. It's good
for osteoporosis and my joints. My doctor recommended some
light exercise work. Anyway, I met Maevis there. She's a
little bit younger than me, and suggested a fresh start with
the hair. Lord only knows your father would not want me to
be all down and depressed over his passing. So I've been
trying to stay active, upbeat, working in my garden a lot
and going to the gym a few times a week."

"You dyed your hair, you joined a gym and who's the
person you just texted?" I asked, thinking of Mom's thin,
frayed voice from just three weeks ago at the funeral. She
and Dad had been together for the past 58 years. How was
she coping? There was not a trace of the frail, unhealthy
woman that I had known as my mom for the past ten years. I
did not know whether I should be happy for her, or curl into
a ball and wish for the mother I once knew to come back.

"I was texting your sister. Hudson was on the phone.
Both of them will be here soon with their families."

Merissa smiled at me. "A family reunion for you."

"I think it's great, Judith, that you are going to a gym
and getting exercise," Alexa told her. "You know, I'm still
a personal trainer and fitness instructor at [Health Club Name]
over in [City Name]. I love it there, but ultimately want to
get into the medical field and become a physical therapist. I
finished my schooling for it last year." Alexa smiled and
added, "You know, we have senior courses and classes at my
gym, too. I would love for you to check us out some time.
I've been a health nut now for over ten years myself."

"Oh, you've been in such great shape ever since I met you,"
Mom retorted. "I could barely tell that you were pregnant
when Cooper was about to be born." Merissa frowned and took a
step back at those words. "How is your health? Have you had
any setbacks with the anorexia you battled as a teen-ager?"

Alexa shook her head. "None whatsoever." Still kneeling
between the toddlers, she then reached out and grasped my
hand. "Jeremy keeps a very close eye on me. So does Merissa.
Neither of them will allow me to have a relapse of any kind."

"It's just a tad overwhelming," Merissa told us earlier
during the 40 mile trip from Lake Quivira to Pleasant Grove
in the minivan. I could tell that Mom's comment about Alexa
barely showing when she was pregnant with Cooper irked her.
"I'm really antsy about the baby, and every morning I wake up
and worry about how unattractive I am." Alexa scoffed at
those words as Merissa sat back in the passenger seat and
tossed her hair over her shoulder. "My ankles are already
swelling and it's not even lunch-time yet, and I will be
totally exhausted not even by the end of the afternoon."

"My God, Merissa! You're beautiful!" Try as she might,
but Alexa had to give our wife that reassurance every single
day now - just as I did - especially during these past couple
of weeks. Merissa's hormones were totally out of control.
"There is NOTHING more beautiful than a new mommy-to-be!"

Mom was eyeing Cooper and Madison, trying to smile and
interact with them, but the two toddlers were still a bit
uneasy, simply not interested. That was fine with Mom. She
seemed willing to wait for them to become more comfortable
around her. Mom did not want to force herself on them.

"We wanted to take you out for a late lunch to _Terrebonne_
up in Lawrence," I said to my mother, "but I suppose Janae and
Hudson - and whomever they bring with them from their families -
would be more than welcome to tag along, too."

Alexa beamed. "I LOVE _Terrebonne_! I used to go there a
lot when I went to school at the University of Kansas. I'm
going to text Janae and Hudson, and tell them we're going
there. Hopefully, they haven't had lunch yet."

"I don't want to go to _Terrebonne_!" Merissa suddenly
whined. "I want to go to _Perky's Cafe_!" She let loose
with an adorable, little pout. "I want doughnut muffins."

Alexa lowered her cell phone and stared at her wife with
surprised, bulging eyes. "I just brought you two doughnut
muffins home this morning after I got off of work."

"I want more!" Her words tumbled out, driven by a rush of
adrenaline, and no doubt the anxiety she felt over properly
meeting my mother. Merissa, unfortunately, was a wreck right
now. She was a bundle of hormonal energy and needed to relax.

"Merissa," Alexa said, standing up and latching onto both
of her hands. "Merissa, honey." She looked her straight in
the eyes. "Basehor is 35 miles away. How about we stop at
_Perky's_ on the way home, later tonight? I'll even call
them ahead of time and put in an order for doughnut muffins
to ensure that they'll have them. I will also get you some
of your favorite coffee. Can you wait until later?"

"I guess," she quaked.

"Judith," Alexa smiled, "do you mind if I take Merissa
into the house? She really needs to relax and sit down."

"Do not!" Merissa protested, like a little girl.

"Of course, dear," Mom responded. "By all means, the
front door is open. Make yourself at home."

When Alexa guided Merissa into the house, Cooper and Madison
were quick to follow them. That left me alone with Mom.

"Merissa usually doesn't act this way," I defended my wife.

Mom flicked her wrist at me. "She's pregnant and about to
burst. You may be a doctor, Jeremy, and you may have dealt
with hundreds, if not thousands, of pregnant women over the
years. But even YOU have no idea how rocky and turbulent those
last few weeks are for an expectant mom. Sometimes they are
easy, but often times they are not." Mom took a deep breath.
"I can also tell the poor girl is scared to death of me."

"It's good to finally see you, and talk like mother and
son again," I offered. "I know you don't approve of the type
of lifestyle I lead. I just hope we can look past that.
Whatever you think, Mom, those kids are innocent. I want them
to have their Grandma in their life before... it's too late."

"Like it's too late for your father."

I frowned. "Yes."

"You're right, Jeremy. I don't agree with your marriage,
nor do I condone it. I thought you and Alexa were the perfect
couple. Then you get another girl pregnant and marry her. Get
her pregnant twice, even. Yet you're still with Alexa, too.
And Alexa is... with Merissa too, even, I guess." Mom shivered.
"That... makes no sense to me. It just doesn't add up at all."
Mom shook her head and seemed quite torn for a moment or two.
"That's not the way God intended it, either." She shrugged her
shoulders. "But I'm going to try and work with it because
you are my son, and I love you. No matter what, Jeremy, I have
always loved you." Mom hugged me to her and ended, "I've
missed you so much since we had our falling out."

Now, I was crying.

"I've missed you too, Mom..."

* * *

After lunch with Mom, Alexa, Merissa, the kids, my brother
and sister, and their respective spouses at _Terrebonne_, we
all returned to the old family farm here in Pleasant Grove.
Of course, I treated everyone to lunch. Cooper and Madison
were interacting with Mom by now, which was excellent. All
it took was for Mom to help them with their coloring books
while we waited for our meal in the restaurant. Personally,
I ordered the muffaletta sandwich and creole gumbo mix.

As evidenced by our prior discussion once we had the chance
to be alone, Mom was not about to open her arms and pull out
the welcome wagon as it pertained to my marriage with Alexa
and Madison. Yet she was cordial and friendly toward both of
them thus far today, and did not show any outward animosity.
That was good; it was progress, even if it ultimately turned
out to be fleeting. Small, baby steps were satisfactory.

Best of all, Merissa seemed to become more and more relaxed,
and was easily talking and conversing with Mom halfway through
lunch. She was suddenly peppy and energetic, brimming with
confidence, and laughed heartily with Mom at silly stories
about me and my childhood. It also helped that Merissa got
along great with my brother and sister (Hudson and Janae),
and they had always been staunch supporters of our three-way
marriage. I was their brother, and I was happy. That's all
that really mattered to either of them.

Several hours later, with everyone still inside the house and
reminiscing, I ventured out to the back yard for a personal
stroll down memory lane. Yet I stopped at the side garden first
and admired the fresh flowers that Mom had always worked so
diligently to upkeep and maintain. She loved her little garden;
always had, always will. The house itself was old, but had its
charm. It was built in 1949, and Mom and Dad moved here in
1962, well more than a decade prior to my birth. I grew up in
this house, on this farm, and had plenty of cherished memories.

I remembered how, when I was a little boy, Mom would wake me
up at the crack of dawn on the weekends. Saturday or Sunday
could not start until I had a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of
chocolate milk. "Drink your milk," Mom would tell me, "so your
bones will grow big and strong." As I got older, into my teen
years, I would scoff at how ridiculous that sounded. Of course,
I was teaching those same lessons - with that same terminology -
to Cooper and Madison nowadays. Like mother, like son.

It felt weird to see Mom in her current state. Not only
without Dad by her side, of course, but with Mom's red hair and
dedication to physical fitness. And her cell phone. Five years
ago, Mom refused to accept a cell phone from me as a birthday
present. She did not want one, she claimed, and would never
use one. Cell phones were for _young people_. I still cannot
believe that Mom actually texted earlier with such ease.

Speaking of Dad, as I walked further out onto the 20 acre
farm, I came across the old field where he and I would play
sports while I was young and growing up. One-versus-one
football was always fun and challenging, but what I missed
most was simply tossing a baseball back and forth with him.
In my mind's eye, I looked across the field and saw a vision,
an old memory of Dad, throwing a baseball my way. For a
split-second, I had to choke back the emotion it brought.

Sometimes Dad would throw bullets, other times soft, lazy
fly balls so I could camp underneath them like an outfielder.
It was good practice, he said back then, because one day, I
was going to be a major leaguer. Yep, I was going to play
right field for the Royals and be a perennial all-star.

That dream was shattered when I tore my rotator cuff in a
freak accident during a game and needed extensive surgery as
a sophomore in high school. No matter, I never had the talent
anyway to even play ball at the college level.

The injury and subsequent surgery, though, forced me to
re-evaluate, and I eventually chose medicine as my career path.
Originally I wanted to be a veterinarian, but changed my mind
shortly after high school graduation and majored in Chemistry
and Biology. Back then, a bachelor's degree in either was all
but required if you wanted to be accepted into medical school.
Today, students with all kinds of majors are being accepted.

God, I missed Dad, and being back home - where I spent the
first 22 years of my life - brought back a lot of memories.
I continued to walk along and rediscover the farm in silence.
Of course, this was the first time I had been back here since
2014. In the past two-and-a-half years, I was not exactly on
good terms with my parents. It was not like I revisited my
old stomping grounds as often as I would have liked to.

Even though my two brothers and one sister were all much
older than me, I still grew up with them. Janae moved out
of the house when she was 18 and I was just five. Mom was a
bit too controlling for her, I remember, and Janae craved
independence. Dad secretly helped her financially, yet Janae
was around the house often. To me, back then, my big sister
was a rock star. Having a sleepover at her apartment when I
little was always a massive deal to me.

I remember Janae getting married young, at 20, and that
marriage quickly falling apart. She did not re-marry until 27.
Three grown kids later, two of which are in the military, Janae
is still in love with her second husband, and they get along
beautifully. Her marriage with Tom, in fact, was the blueprint
I had in mind when Alexa and I married each other six years ago.
I wanted everything that Janae had achieved in life.

Hudson and my other brother, Carl (who currently lives in
Utah) were always around when I was growing up too, despite the
large gap in our ages. Hudson did not move out until he was 26
and got married. Carl tried moving out repeatedly, but ultimately
kept coming back until he was 30. Then, with his hard, tireless
efforts as a cartoon artist, he finally caught a break when a
publisher in Utah offered him a high-paying, lucrative job. Carl
promptly moved there and got married, and had two kids of his
own. I remember Dad urging Carl to finally break free and take a
chance, and move to Utah. Dad was so proud of Carl when he
finally made the big time. Hudson still lived here in Pleasant
Grove, just like Janae, with his own wife and daughter.

While I stood still and looked over the roaring creek on our
family farm - the same creek where I used to go swimming - I
thought about the paths I had chosen in life. Or was it the
paths that had chosen me? I loved this old farm, but I made
the decision long ago that Lake Quivira was going to be my home.
I went to a party there way back in college, and fell in love
with the place. Though a very small and peaceful, upscale,
gated community situated around a beautiful, shimmering lake,
something about Lake Quivira drew me to it, and would not let
go. Perhaps it was the lake itself? I had always loved the
water. No matter, Lake Quivira was bright lights, the big
city, to me. Malibu, Hollywood, New York City; all rolled
into one. I had always looked at it as a glamorous paradise
even though, in reality, it was a quaint, lakeside community.

Even after I moved 40 miles away to Lake Quivira in 2003,
though not physically present on a daily basis, I still helped
watch over the family farm from afar. I was there for Dad
whenever he needed an extra hand to help get the chores done.
Other than Carl, who lived in Salt Lake City, us siblings
were always getting together and visited Mom and Dad often.
Being there for my parents was something that was a given for
me. I never questioned it, just like becoming a doctor.

Which made things all the more difficult when Mom and Dad
found out about the secret engagement Alexa and I had with
Merissa in December 2014. My parents learned that the unborn
baby Merissa was carrying at the time (Madison) was mine. I
was the father. As a result, they suddenly wanted nothing to
do with me. _I_ was the actual demon spawn; not anyone else.
Just days before Christmas, Mom and Dad demanded that I leave
their home, and not come back. Ever. I was... the devil.

Being with Merissa, accepting her into our marriage, was
not some dastardly, lustful whim as Mom proclaimed it to be.
It certainly did not stem from Alexa and I having marital
problems, as Dad thought. Merissa had been a staple in my
life since the very day I first met Alexa. Because wherever
Alexa went, Merissa was not far behind. And vice versa.
The two ladies had been the absolute best of friends for
nearly their entire lives. They could literally finish each
others' sentences, their thoughts.

It cut me to the core when Merissa was brutally assaulted
by her ex-fiance, Grayson, in January 2014. Needing two
surgeries and three weeks in the hospital just to recuperate
to the point where she could get up and simply move on her
own, Alexa and I felt empathy for Merissa, and brought her
into our home. She was broke at this point, penniless, and
we offered to help Merissa finish college and get her degree,
and provide a roof over her head until she got a good job
and could comfortably live on her own. Certainly, I never
envisioned Alexa and I falling in love with Merissa.

Yet in many respects, Alexa and Merissa were two people who
were actually born to be together. They belonged together.
Gender did not matter. Whenever Alexa and Merissa looked at
each other, it was as if their eyes filled with recognition,
and their minds and hearts overflowed with love and adoration.
"Oh, it's you. I've been waiting 20 years, since we were in
pre-school, for you to finally recognize me."

Alexa and I were not a wild and promiscuous couple. I
considered myself the luckiest man on the face of the planet
to have her as my wife. I did not want or need anyone else.
I never even looked at another woman until Merissa came along.
Certainly, Alexa was happy and very content, and we were not
looking to add a third person - even if it was Merissa - to
our relationship, our marriage. It just sort of... happened.
One day, Merissa stepped into our arms, and our hearts.

The rest is history.

And in the process, Merissa has become just as important
of a wife, a figure in my life, as Alexa. I mean that with
all sincerity. Between them, I had no favorite. There was
no alpha wife, not one I would choose over the other. I
loved them both equally, and could not imagine spending even
one day of my life without them in it. Together.

I sighed outwardly and took a moment to gather my wits
about me. Me, of all people being a doctor, I understood what
the cycle of life meant. Even after the falling out in 2014,
I knew Dad was living on borrowed time. Yet how come I did
not listen to Alexa, and even Merissa, and push harder to
get back into his life, and make amends? Knowing that Dad
was gone now, dead and buried, sucked the air from my lungs.

I slumped and sank into the grassy knoll, recollections
of Dad tossing a baseball back and forth with me running
throughout my mind. Oh, what I wouldn't give just to have
one more opportunity to do that again. If I could just be
ten again, just for a few moments, with my old ball glove.

"Hola, chico."

Startled, I turned at the sound of that all-too-familiar
voice and quickly wiped the stream of tears that had been
flowing so freely down my face. "What are you doing here?"

Carrying a duffel bag, Alexa smiled and stepped closer.
"I thought you could use a little company is all." My wife
motioned in the general direction of the main house. "Don't
worry about Merissa or the kids. Janae and Hudson are
playing with Cooper and Madi, keeping them occupied, while
Merissa and Judith are chatting like two long-lost friends
now. I'm surprised, but they've really hit it off."

"You look like you stepped out of _People_ magazine, like
you're about to walk the red carpet in Hollywood." Indeed,
Alexa went for a dash of glitz and glamour in preparing to
visit my mother today. She wanted to look nice. Alexa had
on a pair of dangling silver earrings and a pair of sandals,
and looked way too sexy in a cherry red halter-top maxi dress
that hugged every inch of her fit, incredible body. I would
never get used to falling asleep every night with this exotic,
sexy creature wrapped up all nice and snug within my arms.
Earlier, Alexa left a note on the refrigerator door before
she went to work this morning. _Me-Me and Jeremy, I'll miss
you while I'm gone. Can't wait to come home and hug and kiss
on you both! xoxo, Lexi_.

I folded Alexa into my arms and she set the duffel bag,
which seemed out of place in this particular moment and
setting, on the ground. "Every guy in the restaurant had
their eyes on you and Merissa earlier. It wasn't fun."

"Hmmmmm. Jealous?" Alexa arched her neck, giving me
total access to her exquisite, delicious skin. I took full
advantage, trailing kisses along her neck and collarbone,
and then sucking hard enough to make Alexa gasp a breath.

We were on my parents' property, the place where I grew up,
standing next to the creek. I so wanted to rip that dress off
of Alexa and lay her down next to the water, and make mad,
passionate love to her until she could barely breathe. Just
like I once did right here in this very spot with an old
girlfriend of mine, Lindsay [Last Name], in 1990 when I was 16.

Gah, I thought to myself. Alexa hadn't even been born yet!

"Maybe a little jealous," I admitted.

I gathered the skirt portion of Alexa's dress in my fist
and then slid my hand beneath it, along the back of her thigh,
and squeezed a handful of bare, luscious ass. I loved it
when Alexa wore G-strings. I was instantly hard at just the
mere thought of ripping it off.

"Jeremy," she whispered. "Not here. Not now."

Regardless, I did not want to stop.

I spread her legs apart and massaged her little, silken
pussy through the ultra thin material of her G-string.

"You're... unfair." She clutched my shirt in her fists
and even clawed at my pectorals with long, sharp fingernails.
"We can't. The ground is really muddy and I don't want your
mom to get even more of a wrong impression about us."

Alexa whined out a few moans, and then I slid a finger
beneath the material and stroked her clitoris with my thumb.

"Oh God, yes!" she relented.

"I'll just make you cum," I whispered as I slid three
fingers inside her and deftly thrusted away.

"Jeremy!" she whispered, spreading her legs even further
apart. "Oh God. You. I want you."

"Jesus, Lexi. You're so hot. So wet... already."

She moaned at my words, but then shoved off and backed
away. With the sun at her back, and her blonde hair falling
in gentle waves around her beautiful, unblemished face, Alexa
looked angelic, yet also conflicted. Why did she push away
from me? I wanted to give her an orgasm so much.

"You were crying, Jeremy," she murmured. "I saw you. I
know today has to be rough on you. Want to talk about it?"

I shook my head at her and sniffed my nose. "Just a whole
lot of different emotions I'm dealing with right now." The
hot, sexual tension, unfortunately, was instantly broken.

"You don't need to hold back with me," Alexa proclaimed.
"I'd never hurt you or look down on you for crying, Jeremy,
showing your emotions. My God, you just lost your father,
and things weren't right with him. Between you and him. I
cannot even begin to fathom what that must feel like for you."
She closed the distance between us again, and this time placed
a tender, reassuring hand upon my chest. "Believe it or not,
but it's my job to protect you, too." Alexa's toothy smile
was absolutely beaming now. "Just like you always protect me."
She stroked my cheek with her palm. "Talk to me, baby."

Until I met Alexa in 2010, I had never felt more fulfilled,
complete. I look back and honestly do not know how I made it
as far as I did without her being in my life. No woman before
Alexa had ever made me want to do the things that I wanted to do
for her. In all my years, I had never met anyone like Alexa.

Then, of course, toss in a full helping of Merissa, who I
eventually came to cherish just as much as I do Alexa. Good
God, what did I do to deserve this life?

Alexa wrapped her arms around my torso and hugged me close.
I was in such dire pain because of losing my father, yet I felt
great joy and happiness thanks to Alexa and Merissa, Cooper and
Madison, Janae, Hudson, Carl, even my mom. Good friends like
Mike and Pamela, and Wayne, Matthew, Sarah. Life... it was good.

"Jeremy?"

"Hmmmmm?"

"I just wanted to make sure you were there." Knowing that
I did not want to talk about my emotions (yet), Alexa pulled
back and gazed into my eyes. Oh, Alexa had her ways. Before
long, I would be spilling my guts out to her even if it was
the absolute last thing I wanted to do. I actually wanted to
talk to her and open up, yet I was too proud, too stubborn of
a man when it came to showing emotion. It was a major
character flaw of mine. No one is perfect, you know.

"I'm just really glad you're with me. Thank you." My
voice was strained; it was difficult to talk now. Yet I
pressed onward, "Mom and Merissa are really hitting it off,
huh? Mom still... she does not approve of us, what we are.
But at least she is putting forth the effort today to be
sociable and outgoing. That's... a good start."

Alexa studied my face. "Judith finally realizes that her
mother-son relationship with you far outweighs her religious
and moral beliefs, no matter how rigid and narrow they are."
She then smiled up at me. "Wow, Merissa was uptight earlier,
wasn't she? I knew how to loosen her up, though."

My eyebrows raised. "Oh? How's that?"

"While you were outside talking with your mom, I put on
some music with my cell phone, and had Merissa compete in a
dance-off against Cooper and Madi." Alexa smiled at the
memory. "Merissa's insecurities about her pregnant body
just fall by the wayside whenever there is music involved.
I got her to dance, and all was well."

I grinned as well. "Shakin' that belly alongside Cooper
and Madi? Now that's a sight I gotta see." I hesitated,
then smiled again. "I remember when you were pregnant with
Cooper, Lexi. My, you were so whiny at the end."

"I was not!"

"You were a needy, little bitch. Very mouthy, too."

Alexa giggled and slapped my shoulder. "Jeremy! What an
AWFUL thing to say!" She laughed some more, but then relented,
"I probably was, actually. Those last two weeks were terrible.
And then all of the complications I had during childbirth."
Her eyes were suddenly wide with devotion as she looked right
up at me. "No matter how moody or cranky I got, or how much
Merissa screeched during her first and now second pregnancy,
you've always been so cool, Jeremy, so calm. You never once
let any of the things we say, how we act, affect you."

"I think there is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant
woman ready to give birth," were my words. "Nothing at all.
And while I selfishly, secretly relish these final few days
with Merissa before Asher is born, I understand that it is
very difficult on the woman, the mother-to-be. I think I
have it bad, with my emotions, dealing with my father.
Merissa is a million times worse off right now. She has
hundreds, if not thousands, of emotions in constant flux, chaos
even, and they collide together violently at all times."

Alexa chuckled. "I remember, a week before Cooper was born,
you and I were talking, Jeremy. We were having a regular,
normal discussion, but then there was a stretch of silence,
maybe a minute or two, and all of a sudden, I was furious. I
went off on you big-time, yet you just sat there, and took it.
I called my mom and told her how upset I was. You and I had
a fight, I told her, and I was horribly upset. She asked what
it was about. And I was like, Mom, HIS BREATHING. Seriously
Mom, I cannot STAND the way Jeremy breathes!"

"Ahh yes, the rantings and ravings of a lunatic, pregnant
woman," I nodded. "I remember that day. I never did get an
apology. You sounded like you were on the brink of murder."

Alexa frowned and mewed like a puppy. "Oh, I'm sorry,
baby. There, I apologized! Three-and-a-half years later!"
She giggled once more. "Mom thought I was crazy. She had
no response. She was like... okay, Lexi, why don't you sit
down and relax, and seriously think about what you just told
me? Why you are mad at Jeremy, okay? Think about it."

"I knew it was basically inevitable that you and Merissa
would yell at me while pregnant. It doesn't bother me at
all. It's the estrogen and hormones raging out of control.
How often do you hear me say _yes, dear_ to Merissa every
single day? I love you? You are so beautiful? It's not a
deterrent. It's how I really feel. A woman, when she is
pregnant, just needs to be reminded of those things. Always."

Alexa smiled. "You remind us of those things even when we
are NOT pregnant, which I absolutely adore. And appreciate."

I shrugged my shoulders. "It's the truth."

"Why did you come all the way out here on your own?" Alexa
suddenly asked, gripping my forearm. "Everyone was up at the
house, and you kind of just wandered off."

"I just wanted some time alone to think. To remember."

My wife moved even closer to me, her thigh brushing my
knee. "I'm happy that you've been able to reconnect with
your mom, Jeremy. I really am. And I'm happy that in being
here, right now, this will help you cycle through some of the
grief, the heartache, that you are feeling about your dad."

"A lot of emotions," I reiterated. "Memories."

Alexa smiled, because I suddenly sensed that was exactly
the response she had been hoping for. Memories. I then
watched with interested, curious eyes as she took two paces
back and picked up the aforementioned duffel bag with her
right hand. She gave it an innocent, little look, but soon
focused right back on me. "Hey, babe?"

"Yeah?" A strange feeling settled in the silence as Alexa
began to sift through the contents of the bag with her opposite
hand. "We were talking the other night, you and I, and you
said something to me that I've heard many, many times before."
My eyes went wide as she retrieved a baseball mitt from the
bag. It was my old glove, actually; with the faded George Brett
signature, the same one I had kept in the basement for the
past eight years. Alexa smiled sweetly, beautifully, as she
extended the battered glove to me.

"You said that every time you think of this old farm,
growing up, you remember playing CATCH with your dad in the
fields." Unsure of where this was going, I took the glove
from Alexa and stared at it. God, how did she find this old
thing tucked away in all those boxes downstairs in our home?

When I slipped it on, Alexa produced a baseball from the
duffel bag. She smiled, and flicked the ball my way. I
caught it, then watched in astonishment as Alexa fished out
another glove from the bag. It looked more like a softball
glove, but that did not matter. I suddenly realized what
this amazing, little goddess was up to.

"Play catch with me," Alexa requested, smiling brightly,
yet tears streaking down her face at the same time. She
backed up when I made a motion toward her, and kept moving.
"Come on," she sniffed, encouraging me. "You love baseball.
Love the Royals. Grew up with your dad going to games with
him, playing catch with him right here on this very farm."

More tears sprang from my eyes as an entire swell of
emotions raced throughout me all at once. Why was I having
this type of reaction to Alexa, of all people, wanting to
toss a baseball back and forth with me? This was something
she and I had never done before. I saw photographs and even
a couple of home movies of Alexa playing softball when she
was growing up, but this...? This was different.

"What are you? CHICKEN?" she taunted me with a giggle,
yet still dealing with her own emotions. Alexa was crying,
too. This was obviously well thought out on her part, as
was the case with everything she did. The woman had a
precise, meticulous plan for everything. Alexa wanted to
play catch with me on my home turf, just like Dad used to.
Considering how that was one of my most cherished, sacred
memories from when I was growing up, Alexa fully realized
what type of reaction I would have. Especially this being
so close to his passing, and the fact he left on bad terms.

"You afraid you don't have the arm anymore to reach me?"
she jeered, perhaps 40 feet away. "Come on, rookie!"

Feeling choked up, I flung a lazy toss in Alexa's
direction. She had to step to the side, but caught it.
Then the little hellcat zipped a fastball right back at me.
Surprised, I put my glove up and barely snatched it in time.
I stared at the baseball, awestruck. But not because of
the extra _oomph_ she managed to put onto that throw.

"You're not in this alone, Jeremy," Alexa called back to
me. "I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere. Merissa is here
for you, too. You can forever grieve for your father if you
have to. Merissa still grieves for hers 18 years later."
Alexa smacked the inside of her softball glove with a fist,
wanting me to throw the baseball back to her. "Just know
that Merissa and I are going to be there every step of the
way for you, baby, right by your side, holding your hand.
Whenever you need our support, Jeremy, we will be there."

I tossed the ball back to her without effort or thought.

She threw it to me, easy this time. I chucked it back.

"I love you, Lexi." Overcome with several, powerful
emotions, I shook my head as I wiped away the tears. My poor
heart was pounding like never before within my chest. I
missed Dad more than words could say, but I had a feeling
that I was going to make it through. In fact, I knew I would.
"I love you so much that I cannot even see straight. God,
Lexi. You... you own me. Every bit of me. From the very
first time I saw you, and with every smile, every kiss, every
single touch, every... SPECIAL thing you do for me - LIKE
THIS - I fall deeper and deeper in love with you every day.
I... oh my God. You're incredible."

A slow smile crept across her face, a hazy glow hovering
in Alexa's blue eyes. "I love you too, Jeremy." She quickly
closed the distance between us and threw her arms around my
shoulders and buried her face upon my chest. "Say it again,"
Alexa begged. "Say it so many times I hear it in my sleep!"

"Can we just play catch some more?"

Alexa softened, then turned and stepped away from me for a
brief second. "As long as you want to, baby." She turned
again and began trotting back to her prior spot in the field.
Even with the lovely red dress on, Alexa smacked her glove and
crouched down as if she was playing third base. "Let's see
what you got, rookie. Give me the heater!"

"Oh, you're gonna get the heater alright," I promised her,
gingerly tossing the ball her way. "Wait 'til we get home."


<<<- End of Chapter 12 ->>>


==---- -- -- -- - --- -- -- - - --- -- -- --- - -- - - - - --- -- ----==
"Recollections"

(c) 2017 Kaadorix

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