Retreat, hell! My friggin' wife wanted me to go to a retreat. That's what she just asked me to do before I left for work this morning. She's got to be damned crazy if she thinks I'm going to spend my vacation listening to some jerkoff expound on how to connect with my feelings. She claims I'm angry all the time. Why wouldn't I be? I bust my ass and she never contributes a damned penny to the household anymore. Where in hell is all her money going anyway?
I thought about all of this while driving into the city to my desk job at the insurance company. I knew deep down I probably would give in and go with her. That is if she forgave me for blowing up at her when she asked. Well I would have to straighten it out tonight. I'd better cancel the order for the new boat I had my eye on. I wasn't going to need it if I was listening to some asshole talk about things that were too private to share--for me, anyway. Hell, I didn't even share them with Connie.
Connie had become Mrs. Steven Davenport seven years ago. I met her just as I had been promoted to office manager in a fairly large company. Connie arrived from the secretarial pool to take the first dictation I required in my new position. She was nice looking, not spectacularly so, but nice just the same. Before the day was over, she asked me if I would ask for her the next time I needed a secretary. I said I would.
Four months later, Connie announced that she was quitting. This surprised me, for we got along really well and she had become my private secretary a month previous to her announcement. "Steve, I'm falling in love with you I think, and you can't date me because of the company policy. I can't be this close to you all the time because it's driving me crazy."
I did want to date her. In fact I lusted after her and now I had free rein to pursue her. I had at times seen down her blouse and one time I had seen her panties when some things fell off the desk and she bent to pick them up. It took a while, possibly three more months before I was able to take her panties off and enjoy what was kept from me while we worked at the same company.
Connie found another job starting over in the pool there. We married and I started talking about having a kid. No way. Connie wanted to live awhile without being tied down. She said that eventually she might consider having a child. We worked during the week and enjoyed ourselves on the weekends. Connie finally worked her way out of the pool and into a better position. The job required some trips out of town and some evening work too. As the years went by I became tired of it, because she never seemed to have enough time for me anymore. We had purchased a home. It was larger than we needed, but I was thinking ahead to the kids we might have. Connie dressed well so most of her salary went for her personal items. I was always proud to show her off and have a beautiful woman with me when I went out.
Sex that had been hot, heavy and frequent the first few years was now having to be asked for. Never any more spontaneous sex and more often than not it was a quickie. My life wasn't going as I planned when Connie and I married. I couldn't see where I had changed, except I was getting pissed and frustrated more often. The costs attributed to the house were a lot more than I had anticipated, compounded by Connie being often away. I hired a person to come in and do the cleaning and laundry. I told Connie that she should at least help pay for the cleaning, but I never saw any money from her.
Now she said she had signed me up to go to a damned seminar. The week of vacation I looked forward to being in a boat on the water somewhere. The conversation went downhill when I got home that evening. Connie did have dinner on the table, so I knew I was going to be hit with more arguments. We both got pretty hot and the fight ended with me refusing to go at all. Connie ended the fight when she said she would be going with Franny then.
Dumb-ass me, I never questioned who Franny was, just assuming it was a friend that Connie worked with. You know--one of the girls. I slept in the spare room that night, but Connie warmed up in the days after and even started talking about maybe having the child I wanted.
The retreat wasn't for a month after the fight. The next week I offered to go with Connie as the relations had warmed between us. Connie said that she had promised Franny and it wouldn't be fair to renege. She rewarded me with some of the best sex I had in a long time for making the offer. I rented a boat instead of buying one and thought to myself I had made a wise decision in canceling the order if we were going to have a baby.
Connie was off to the retreat and I was off in my rental boat. The boat, I found, was a piece of shit. The damned boat motor wouldn't start half of the time and on the third day I gave up and bitched so much to the marina, I received my money back from the owner.
I decided to go and at least visit my wife. I wanted to surprise her and take her out to dinner. When I got to the retreat, I just walked in and asked the attendant for Connie and Franny's cabin. She said Mr. and Mrs. Bingham's cabin was the third one on the left in section A. I could find the cabin and go in, or I could find them in the conference hall where they were listening to the most renowned lecturer they had ever signed up. Wow!
The cabin had one double bed in it. In the bath, Connie's stockings were hung over the shower stall and I saw her teddy crumpled on the far side of the bed. There was a man's shaving equipment by the washbasin. I guess the laundry hadn't been changed today for there were secretions all up and down the sheets. Yuk!
I poked around in the suitcases, his and hers. I didn't see anything that I didn't know about in Connie's except some new frilly lingerie. In his though, I found printouts of some e-mail that stated she had done as he asked. She was protected from me getting her pregnant and timed it right with her birth control so she would be fertile almost all the time here at the retreat.
I didn't have much time to decide what to do. What I wanted to do was to kill them both. But no, I wasn't going to jail over my unfaithful bitch of a wife. I looked for more evidence. Who was Francis Bingham? I found his wallet with everything in it. I quickly copied his address. I also found a photo of Franny and Connie taken when they first arrived at the retreat. The photographer had identified them as Mr. and Mrs. Bingham, Connie and Francis.
I found a cum-soaked pair of Connie's panties. I put the panties, the photo and the e-mail printouts into a plastic store bag and left the cabin. I was crushed and angry. I glanced at the sign over the entrance to the retreat again as I left. This wasn't an anger management retreat. It couldn't be for the sign said "Lovers Retreat."
I went home and pulled a couple of brews out of the fridge. I downed the first one and started nursing the second. Connie and my marriage was toast, that I was certain. Sitting there, I wondered how smart Connie had been in hiding her affair. I couldn't find her checkbook, but I found the statements and canceled checks for the last several months. Her money hadn't all gone for clothes as I thought. She had paid out hundreds of dollars for motels in the evenings, when she said she was working. The bundle of canceled checks that had been returned from the bank had a check made out to the Lovers Retreat. It had been sent before I made the peace offering that I had reconsidered and would join her. The offer that she had turned down.
It looked like Connie had a boy toy and he was quite costly. It was almost dark when I decided to find where Francis Bingham lived. I found the house in a nice middle-class neighborhood. There were lights on and I knew Franny-boy must be married and have a kid because there was a baby swing hooked to the ceiling of the porch. I would check closer on this tomorrow.
Thursday morning I went to my bank and rearranged my finances so Connie wouldn't have access. I talked to my lawyer, Stella Sims, the one who had handled the paperwork on our house purchase. I was impressed with her then and I was more impressed with her after discussing my divorce. She informed me that I would need more evidence of Connie's infidelity. She said she would have an operative gather statements from the retreat personnel on Monday and would have the panties tested at a laboratory.
As for Connie's lover, he would be checked out thoroughly by another operative. She indicated this was going to be costly, however having more evidence would shorten the lengthy divorce process. The waiting I had to contend with was not good, though. I figured that Francis had a wife and she would be an injured party too, so I decided to see her.
I took the signed photo with me and knocked on the door of Francis Bingham's house. A woman came to the door and stood there with a smile on her face and a little boy on one hip. I almost turned and left because in a few minutes I was going to destroy her world. "Hi. Are you Mrs. Bingham? I have a picture of a man that I would like you to identify if you would."
She took the picture from my hand. Just a glance brought tears to her eyes. She almost dropped the infant. I took him as she turned back to the room inside. "Come in. Yes, that is my husband. Who is the woman he is with in the picture?"
I carried the little boy in my arms and placed him next to her on the couch. The kid could sense that his mother was unhappy and started to pucker up. He reached up with his little arms toward her and she hugged him tightly. "My name is Steve Davenport. The woman is my wife, Connie Davenport. I discovered that she was being unfaithful only yesterday. I do think your husband and my wife have been carrying on for several months though."
"Are they together now?"
"I believe so, unless they discovered that I was onto them. I did take some evidence from their cabin. Some of the evidence is the picture you hold in your hand. I also got some printouts of e-mails my wife sent your husband. They are pretty explicit and leave no doubt that both are totally involved in keeping their affair hidden from me and you. I gave those to my lawyer. She is putting together all the facts I have and is looking to bolster my case with more outside help."
"Would you be willing to share the evidence? By the way, my name is Margaret--Peggy for short. I have no way of getting anything on him. Christ, what a mess. Jimmy is not much over a year old and I'm two months pregnant with another baby. I'd like to kill the bastard!"
I looked at Peggy. I had seen dozens of young mothers just like her at the mall pushing baby carriages in and out of stores. She was at least five or six years younger than me. She was neat and as I looked around the house, it was neat and clean, too. "My first thought was to kill them too, but then I thought that wouldn't solve anything for me. I have a terrible temper, but for once I kept it under control. How long have you been married?"
"Four years next month. How about you?"
"Seven years, and I knew Connie about a year before we were married."
"Would you tell me all you know about them? I'll make coffee."
The little boy, Jimmy, was keeping his eyes on me and when I smiled at him, he hid his face against his mother's breast. Presently he peeked out and we soon had a game of peek-a-boo going. Over coffee Peggy shared with me her life and I did the same with her. I hadn't been this relaxed with anyone for months. I described my wife to Peggy telling her what I liked about her. Then I began on Connie's faults. Most of these faults surfaced in the last few months.
Peggy's story about her Franny ran nearly parallel. She did say he had the habit of looking at and commenting on other women, but she had passed it off as a man thing. "You say they are together at this 'Lovers Retreat' place and they are there right now? They probably won't be home until Sunday when Franny said he would be back."
"I would guess so, as that is when Connie said she was returning. I have one other thing to tell you, although I don't know as it will affect you. My wife is planning on getting pregnant this week. I read that in the e-mails."
"Damn him, if he gets her knocked up that will put any child support for our children in jeopardy. He doesn't pay much attention to Jimmy now. I have been worried about that when the new baby is born. Would Franny treat the new one like he does Jimmy? Damn! Damn! Damn!"
"Don't blame your husband entirely. This might even be Connie's idea. She certainly is going along with it. Look, tomorrow is Friday and I have to see my lawyer. Why don't you go in with me? She said that the more she knew and the quicker she could get it together, the cheaper it would be. I think before this is done, we are going to wish we both had more money."
I left shortly after this conversation. I felt sorry for myself, but I felt sorrier for Peggy. She couldn't be more than twenty-three or four. Goddamn my wife, what was she thinking. I went home and mowed the lawn. I had a few brews and by the time I was done, I was pretty well loaded. The phone rang. "Hi Steve, I wondered if you were home."
"Yeah, I'm home. I thought you weren't going to call. Some stupid rule or for some stupid reason you couldn't. That's why I didn't want to go to your stupid, damned old anger class. Are you getting laid up there? You could have you know if I were with you, or is that another of those stupid rules?"
"Damn it Steve, of course I'm not getting laid. You would've if you had come with me. I just called to tell you that someone broke into our cabin. We think it was a panty thief. Whoever it was stole a pair of my panties. Can you believe such a thing?"
"Did Franny lose hers too? I'd hate to think of you two women running around up there without panties on."
"No there was just mine stolen. Actually I was missing you and wanted you to know I was going to be hot and wet when I came home on Sunday. You keep it stiff for me and don't give it to anybody else. Remember we talked about having a baby? I think I'm ready."
"No I won't give it to anyone. My marriage vows are still as sacred to me as they ever were and we will talk about the idea of having a baby when you get home. I was going through our finances and I don't know as we can swing it, unless you are willing to pitch in with a little of your income."
"Don't say you don't want a kid now. I'm ready and I want to start on Sunday."
( I'll bet you are, bitch.) You're probably carrying Franny's bastard right now and want to stick me with it. "We will talk about it Sunday." I hung up after hearing how much Connie loved me. If I didn't screw her, maybe she should worry a little. I hoped so.
Little Jimmy recognized me when I picked up Peggy and wanted to play peek-a-boo. I introduced Peggy to Stella Sims. Right away Stella cautioned both of us about being together. She said the judge was more likely to rule heavily in our favor if there was no contact between us. I told Stella that money was an issue, especially with Peggy. Stella said she would work something out. Stella promised to engage a lawyer for Peggy who would appear to be uninvolved in my case, but would actually be under Stella's guidance.
Sunday afternoon was a bit difficult when Connie came home looking for sex. Gee, I just sprained my back. I just couldn't tolerate the pain! Talk about someone being frustrated. Connie was going wild. She had a whole week of sex with Franny in her most fertile period and here her husband, the one who was supposed to father the child, couldn't perform to give her cover.
Friday of the next week, it didn't matter. Connie was served with divorce papers. She couldn't believe it and almost had a breakdown right in our front yard. The process server met her when she got home from work. She also had a restraining order against entering our home. I did allow her to pick up some personal items so she could check into a motel.
Connie wailed to me before she left. "Why are you doing this to me?"
I replied, "It has a lot to do with last week and your anger management class and your girlfriend, Franny. Or maybe it was because of last week and of you fucking the week away at the Lovers Retreat with your boyfriend Francis. You tell me?"
Ignoring my question, she changed the subject and asked, "May I make a phone call from here before I leave?"
I stood where I could hear her. She dialed. "May I speak to Francis, please?--He doesn't?--No, no message." Connie turned to me. "You know all about Franny and I, don't you?"
"Yes I do. What's the matter, isn't Franny-boy living at home anymore? You better get a lawyer as soon as you can. I think your troubles are just starting. Now you go along and have your lawyer talk to Stella Sims who represents me. Just tell me one thing, Connie, what in hell were you thinking?"
Sadly, with her head down, Connie picked up her bag, got into her car and drove away. I actually felt a little sorry for my wife--for just a few minutes. This was different than the anger I felt recently.
Splitting our assets wasn't as difficult as I had feared. She wanted to keep the house. It had a sizable mortgage, but we had more than fifty percent equity in it. To preserve some of my liquid assets, I agreed to give her title in return for my keeping most of them. Connie was working, but I don't think she saw what a burden it was going to be. The mortgage and maintenance made me struggle to keep up. Maybe she was depending on her lover to help. He was having his own troubles though. He was going to have to support one kid and another that was due in six months. His wife didn't work and she got a stipend for alimony.
Before the final date before the judge, Connie announced that she was pregnant and wanted support from me for the baby. Stella used Connie's own diary and daily planner to refute this and the judge ruled that I was not the father of the fetus. I did make the stipulation that if she could prove the child was mine, I would gladly claim it as my own. The final judgment came down and now all I had to do was wait sixty days and I was single again.
Connie was back living in our home--hers now. Franny was living with her. It wasn't legal, but I didn't care. I had bought a condo to live in until I decided what was next in my life. There were still fifty days until the final decree when I answered a knock on the door. It was Peggy with Jimmy perched on her hip.
"May I come in? I was lonely." I was very glad to see her for I was lonely too. I took Jimmy in my arms. Peggy stepped back out and picked up an overnight bag. "I think it might just take all night to relieve some of my loneliness. If you don't mind, that is." She looked beseechingly at me.
Peggy had started to show her condition and it made her look sexy as hell. I just leaned forward and kissed her. Jimmy started bouncing up and down in my arms, "Kiss, kiss, kiss." I kissed him too.
Peggy and I had met infrequently in the lawyer's office and each time I saw her I wanted to see her again. Here she was and by indication she was all mine, for the night at least. "I'm not only lonely, I'm damned horny. I've put off seeing you as long as I could, but here I am. I'm hoping you feel the same way."
We didn't push things. I played with Jimmy until he finally went to sleep. Then I started unwrapping my prize. Peggy was something. Her breasts were round and full. They were getting ready to be filled with milk and they had that special resiliency that was so pleasing to the touch in a pregnant woman. Sensitive, too, for they made Peggy squirm as I massaged them. Finally she brought my head down to where I could suckle gently on each one. Peggy lay there quivering as I administered to her needs.
I started to run my fingers lower and lower over her little round belly, but she stopped me. "No, not yet. Let me love you a little."
Peggy could kiss as no other I had ever known. She used her fingers on my upper body and laughed with joy as she every once in awhile passed the palm of her hand over my erection. This always made me jump and I would try to push into her hand before she moved it away.
Then it was my turn again. I started where I had left off when she had stopped my exploration earlier. This time I used my tongue and my lips and didn't stop until she came with a shuddering climax. I relished the taste of her. I knew we had the night to explore each other, but for the moment, I couldn't be denied. I needed to enter her. Being very aware of the baby within, I let her govern the depth of my penetration. It is always exciting to be intimate with someone new and I relished every moment.
Peggy was exquisite and so compatible as we moved together. The little mews and groans she made guided me in what she required as she moved ever upward to her ultimate climax. "My God Steve, if you can do that for me once a year, I'm yours forever."
"Let's take a shower. Maybe we will be able to talk a little before we sleep." Later as we lay in bed together, I asked Peggy, "What made you come over tonight?"
"Steve, I watched you through your divorce with Connie. I know you were hurt and awful angry at her in the beginning. I saw you reach the conclusion that you couldn't still love her after what she did to you. With all that against her, you still left her something to go on with. You didn't try to beat her down or take advantage of her for the mistakes she made. There is not one man in a hundred that would treat her as you have done, given the circumstances.
"I know that I'm no prize myself. I'm divorced with practically two kids, an ex-husband that most likely will not fulfill his court-ordered commitment. He swears he will, but I don't know. Anyway, I had a feeling sex with you would be really great. I'm being honest when I tell you that I would like a long-term relationship with you. If it doesn't develop, I still have had great sex tonight. I'm really not like this all the time either, it is just that I'm hornier than hell when I'm pregnant."
I was not used to a woman being so blunt and honest with me. I took a few moments to collect my thoughts before I answered. "Peggy, am I that great a catch? I must be at least eight years older than you. I'm flattered. I really am. I couldn't hold onto the woman I had and here I am making love to someone younger and prettier than the one I just divorced. Why would you even consider hooking up with me?"
"You may be older, but you're not old. You know how to please a woman in bed. You can't fake about liking or not liking kids and it warms my heart when I see you with Jimmy. Most of all, you are not mean. I can grow old with someone like that. Now, I'm going to share one more little secret with you. Last time I was pregnant, I found I could have an orgasm just by going down on my husband. I would like to see if I can have one by kissing and making you come that way too."
She could and did. We did get our nightclothes on afterwards. "Jimmy will be in when he wakes in the morning and crawl between us. I've let him do that since Franny left." We snuggled up together and soon went to sleep.
Breakfast was fun. It started when Peggy went through my cupboard to see what she could put together for the three of us. "Froot Loops. I don't believe it. My man eats Froot Loops." And then she went into peals of laughter.
I was grinning, for the one time I had been in her house I had seen the cereal on the counter. When I was stocking my cupboard I had walked down the cereal aisle and not knowing what to buy, remembered what I had seen. I actually did enjoy them. Before Peggy left for home she asked me to check some of the papers she had brought with her. She first brought out the deed to her home and then asked if she had enough insurance on it. I thought she should increase the coverage by at least thirty thousand to bring it up to the replacement value.
The home had stayed in her possession through the divorce from Franny by right of previous ownership, as it had been her mother's house. I inquired if she had any life insurance. She said that she and Franny both had a policy. His was still in her possession and I said for her to make sure the premiums were paid on both, for this was her children's only protection if he died. He didn't have much of an estate now. If he died she would probably have to ask for assistance from the state as there would be no child support from him. With her policy, she should change the beneficiary to her estate or name a guardian as soon as convenient.
Peggy thanked me for going over her papers with her. I asked if Franny was visiting Jimmy often. She said he had come to see him eight days ago and again two days ago. Two days ago she wouldn't let him in because he had been drinking. He was also cussing her out for divorcing him. He said his life was now in the toilet. She thought it was frustration over having to pay support for both her and Jimmy and soon for another one as well. He griped he was never going to have a life.
"You may have to get a restraining order if he causes trouble or abuses you."
"I know. Franny has changed a lot and I don't see where I am to blame at all."
"Well, you be careful."
Peggy and I agreed that we should not contact each other too often. There were still seven weeks until we both were able to date freely. Three times I went home to my condo for a long noon hour. Peggy left Jimmy with a neighbor and met me there for a couple of hours. We did talk on the phone evenings. Connie and I had no contact at all. I didn't even know if she and Franny had continued their affair.
The day my decree came, I wanted to take Peggy out. Her divorce was delayed for some reason so we put our outing off for two more days. It was a Thursday and two in the afternoon when I received a call in my office from Peggy. This surprised me for I planned on picking her up at six for our dinner celebration. "Steve, the police just informed me, Franny is dead. They found his car off the road and he was apparently killed instantly."
"I'm so sorry Peggy. What can I do?"
"I don't know. I don't know at all. I feel awful. I don't want him dead. Do I have any responsibility in this? Can you find out?"
I called Stella Sims. She promised to get back to me. I told her I would be at Peggy's house and to call me there. I left work immediately. I wanted to be near Peggy because with her being six months pregnant, I wanted to keep her as calm as possible. I was going to tell her tonight that I loved her. It would have to wait now.
Apparently the police informed Peggy because Franny had never changed the address on his license. Stella contacted Franny's lawyer and he called Connie. Franny was living with Connie and she had not been notified about the death before her lawyer called.
After Peggy got over the first shock, she and I sat and talked about how awful Connie must feel about the death of her lover. "Do you want to call her? After all, her baby was conceived by him just like yours. Connie must be four months pregnant and she is going to feel abandoned with this happening."
"You wouldn't mind?"
"No, of course not."
I held Jimmy while Peggy talked with Connie for over an hour. When she finally came and sat beside me, I held her, for the tears were running down her face.
"I feel so sorry for Connie. At least I have you. I guess in the last few weeks the charm had worn off Franny. She told me that she and Franny were fighting daily. He was also drinking some. This bothered Connie, but Franny had stopped when she asked him to. Connie admitted that she had screwed up her life big time, but was sure that she and Franny could have worked it out. She still loved him, although things weren't as smooth as they thought they would be.
"She also made the comment that she didn't know where her ex-husband was. Her words were that Steve used to be so good in unhappy situations like this and knew how to console people. I let the comment go by. She is really going to be hurt when she finds out we are seeing each other. I think you had better go to her and give her some of the consolation she needs right now."
"Aren't you worried I will succumb to her unhappiness?"
"No, of course not. She threw you away and I know that doesn't work for you. Weren't we supposed to go out tonight so you could tell me you love me? I was going to tell you I love you. So it has got shoved back temporarily. That's life. Now hold me for a little bit."
I went to visit Connie. I found out one thing that surprised me. Before we ended our conversation, I came to the conclusion that she had really loved Franny. She had become disappointed in him, but that was because he couldn't seem to deal with having to pay child support for two kids and alimony. Soon he would have another woman and baby to be responsible for.
"I'm sorry about all of this Connie. I'm sorry for you. If only he hadn't died some of that responsibility would have gone away."
"What do you mean?"
"Peggy and I are seeing each other and we are really serious. I am planning on marrying her before the baby is born, so it will carry my name. That would have relieved some of his financial responsibilities."
"You are marrying Peggy? I didn't think you even knew her."
"I know her very well and we have been discrete. I haven't asked her to marry me yet. It was going to happen tonight, but that can wait and I will ask her at some later time. Let's all pull together and get through the next few days the best we can."
The funeral was a simple one. Peggy and Franny's friends were there. Connie had just a very few friends, for those that knew of our divorce and why, disapproved of what she had done. I stood between Peggy and Connie. Those that knew Connie and my history were puzzled to see me beside her. Those that knew Peggy wondered who the man beside her was.
Peggy and I waited a week after the funeral to declare our love for each other. I asked her to marry me before the baby was born and she readily agreed. We planned the wedding for the first week of her eighth month. I planned on selling my condo as soon as I could get a reasonable price for it. I had owned it less than six months so it wasn't really home and I wouldn't miss living there. I moved in with Peggy. It was a small house and fine with one child, but was going to be cramped with the new baby.
Connie made no effort to contact us after the funeral, although she had sent Peggy a note of condolence, and another note thanking her for the support at the time of the funeral. I, of course, sent Connie a note expressing my sorrow for her loss.
Jimmy was calling me Daddy and I was loving it--and him. I looked forward to when Peggy bore me another child. I didn't care that it wasn't me that sired it, it was going to bear my name. The day of the wedding came and we went to the courthouse to be joined in matrimony. Now there were two Mrs. Steve Davenports. Peggy's neighbor stood with her and my immediate boss stood with me as witness. He took us out for dinner after the civil ceremony.
Peggy didn't drink at all, but the rest of us had a few to celebrate. Bill, my boss and friend, asked me if I was going to adopt little Jimmy. Peggy and I hadn't discussed this. When Bill brought the subject up, I said that I already had explored the circumstances with Stella. Tears came to Peggy's eyes as I said this. "That is the best wedding present you could give me. I love you so."
"I don't want the two kids to have different names and adopting Jimmy is the only way to make sure. After all they are brother and sister or brother by the same parents. Legally I'm their stepdad, but I just never want them to think of me like that."
Jimmy was to stay the night with a woman that occasionally sat for him. This was so Peggy and I could spend our first night as husband and wife making love without fear of interruption. Peggy was as demanding as she had threatened me with that first time we were together, months ago. Up until now we never had been able to just enjoy ourselves until we were totally satiated. Peggy had become addicted to oral sex, giving and receiving and this was going to be the night we were going to get our fill of sex.
The baby came and I was there to watch. It was another boy and perfect, weighing seven pounds and three ounces. Peggy said he looked just like Jimmy did when he was born. We named him Robert Steven. Peggy was made for motherhood and she had the experience of a newborn two years earlier with Jimmy. I even got to sleep through most every night, which my friends warned me was never going to happen.
Bobby was a month old when Peggy called me late one morning at the office. "I have some news. Some good and something that I don't know how to deal with. Can you come home? You better take a couple of days off if you can."
"Is the baby okay?"
"Yes, we are all okay. This isn't something too critical, just come home."
Peggy wasn't an excitable person so I went and asked for the rest of the week off. I delegated a few things that were hanging and an hour later I was on my way home. I walked in and saw Jimmy playing on the floor with a toy. Bobby was in his bassinet asleep.
Peggy was standing there with a letter in her hand. She passed it to me and I looked at a check for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The letter just said that Peggy had to sign a release to the life insurance company--form enclosed. This was a check for the death of Francis Bingham. The policy amount was for seventy-five thousand, but as his death was an accident, the insurance was doubled under the double indemnity clause.
"I assume this is the good news. What is the other thing you spoke about?"
"Go look in our bedroom and see who is there."
I opened the door and could see a person lying all covered up in our bed. There were some women's clothes thrown on the chair. I stepped forward so I could see the woman's whole face. At first I didn't recognize who it was for this person had changed so much in the last four months. It was Connie, my ex-wife. Her face was ravaged and lined with care. I couldn't see any of the beauty that she had been known for.
I came back into the room with Peggy. "Tell me about it. Tell me how she came to be here."
"Connie came to the door a couple of hours ago. She looked like hell. She is thin and her hair is lifeless. She was staggering and I thought she had been drinking. I don't think she has been. I think she is starving."
"You got to be kidding. Nobody starves in this day and age and especially in this town."
"Maybe not, I don't know. I think she is awful depressed though, and maybe she just isn't eating. I helped her in and tried to sit her down in a chair. You know what she wanted? A hug! She clung to me sobbing her heart out."
"Why did she come here? Did she come to ask me for help?"
"She hasn't mentioned you. No, she came to me. She came to me because I once loved Franny and I must know how she feels. I don't think you or me knew how much in love she was with him. It must have been as deep as the love you and I have."
"That can't be all of her problems?"
Peggy shook her head. "No, if that was all she probably could handle her loss. She's got money problems too. The house is too much for her and she is way behind on payments. It gets worse. She was told yesterday where she works, her position is being eliminated. When she returns from maternity leave, which is unpaid, she will have to go back into the secretarial pool where she started from.
"She said she wanted to kill herself and she hates the baby inside her. She tried to, but just couldn't do it. It seems that Franny wanted her to have the baby. They discussed an abortion before he died, but he definitely didn't want her to do that. Then he died and for awhile she thought how wonderful to have a baby to remember him by. Life has piled up all kinds of problems, and now she has transferred all of the blame to the baby.
"She came here today to ask if I wanted it. She said it should be with his other two kids. Did you ever hear of such a thing as wanting to give a baby away?"
"Coming from Connie and knowing her and how she feels about kids, I guess I can understand her reasoning. I suspect she thought back to how disappointed I was when she adamantly refused to have any. I also suspect that even though she hasn't mentioned me, this will turn out to be a decision I will have to make."
"Are we going to help her? Morally we don't have to."
"I know we don't have to. Connie has always manipulated me. That's what I used to get so angry about. Maybe she hasn't planned this, but she has put us into a situation where we almost have to help her to save our souls."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm speaking from our sons' perspective now. What if in twenty years Jimmy and Bobby come to us and ask if we let their sister or brother die because we neglected to help the mother. We'll always live in fear of that happening. Or what if through her dislike of the child it dies of neglect or she follows her path downhill and the state steps in and takes the child from her."
What a situation. Peggy went and made a pot of coffee. I sat at the table drinking it. Bobby woke up and it was time for his feeding. Jimmy had tired of playing and was curled up on the floor asleep. My eyes watched as Bobby hungrily suckled at his mother's breast. It was a sight I never tired of and I grinned with pleasure to just have it happening.
Seven or eight months ago I had a wife I was fighting with all the time. Now look at me, I had a woman I loved more than life itself. On top of that, I had two kids I loved beyond imagination. I decided right then I would do whatever Peggy thought was right and I would help her decide about Connie. After all, Connie's unborn was about my kids' sister or brother and not about me.
I guess Peggy was starting to get uncomfortable. I was staring at her unknowingly, as I was ruminating on this problem. She got up and had my attention finally when she rubbed a nipple against my lips. "Want a taste? Bobby likes it."
I started laughing and said, "Not my bag."
"Is too, although I never thought of them as bags. Cows have bags. Is that how you think of me, a fat old cow? Now just for that, do your duty and take a taste."
I leaned forward. Peggy wasn't serious, was she? I'd call her bluff. I put my lips on her nipple not intending to suck. Peggy had her hand on her breast and squeezed just at the right moment and I got some milk squirted right into my mouth. It had a strange taste--to me anyway, and was something I don't think I would acquire a hankering for. I glanced over Peggy's shoulder and saw Connie watching us.