Sandy Krause was the picture, the very picture of contentment. She had, at a very early age, set her sites on not only being a lawyer but being a prosecutor. These days, as assistant county prosecutor, she was a happy woman.
Of course, she still got feed back from her family, mostly from her older sister Mona, since her Mom and Dad were now both gone, about being what Mona called 'an old maid'. But Sandy argued that the concept of 'old maid' was no longer a viable category in a society where women could excel just by virtue of their innate abilities.
Sandy herself was a retiring beauty. At 5'6" and a solid 130 lbs she secretly thought of herself as fat but didn't worry about it terribly, since one of her passions was running. She had been in love with running almost as long as she had been enamored of being a prosecutor. She started each day, except Sunday, which was her 'day off' from her morning run, with a good 5 mile or so run. She called it stretching her legs.
She also was quite a lovely figure with her reddish-auburn hair, and her lycra running pants, capri style, and tee shirts. She normally did her morning 6 miles at a nearby lake with a good running path around it.
Over a period of time she'd met various other runners and was a favorite on the lake scene in the mornings. There were both men and women who were there on a fairly regular basis to run.
It's how she knew Johnnie Marely, local handy man, city fireman, and general good guy. He even did some work now and then for Sandy around her place, and especially in her back yard.
If there was a person that Sandy could, would go for, it was Johnnie Marley. But she wasn't serious enough about it to do anything. She was certainly at ease with her own 'old maid' status, at least for that time of her life. She was a very sensible, very pleasant, and very happy 32. She hadn't felt much trauma at all, when she passed 30, though some of her friends had had a kind of grim birthday party for her.
But running wasn't her only passion. The other passion was gardening. She loved to be on her hands and knees with her fingers in the dirt. She'd been working at transforming the soil of her yard with mulch and fertilizer for years. She'd bought the place because of its potential for a grand garden, and she spent a good deal of her 'free time' working on the flower beds that she'd put in and fooling with the plants.
There was only one fly these days in Sandy Krause's life's ointment, that was her niece April.
And that was all up to Mona. She loved her sister Mona flat out, and always had. Her big sister had perpetually been a joy in Sandy's life. So that, when Mona called and asked if April could possibly live with Sandy, while she attended a local college in the city, Sandy had not even thought of saying 'no' to her. Mona was overjoyed.
Sandy remembered the conversation clearly:
"Sandy, hon," Mona had said, "She's a spoiled child; I admit that. But she loves you so much. I'm sure that it will work out."
Sandy knew that it was important to Mona. She'd raised April as a single mother and did well enough but Sandy knew that all the school expenses were weighing heavily upon her. She was determined to do her part.
What she pretty quickly discovered was that Mona's statement about how much April 'loved' her aunt was pretty much overstated.
April Haig was pretty much the opposite of Sandy. She was lithe, a blonde, and as self centered a young lady as Sandy had ever come across. From the start there was not really any attempt on April's part to communicate with her aunt, about anything.
April had a tendency to listen to whatever her aunt was saying, much as Sandy always remembered April just 'listening' to her Mother in a semi-tune-out kind of fashion. It drove Sandy wild but she had made a commitment to Mona and was going to carry it through At a fairly early state in the 'relationship' Sandy made it plain to April that things would be okay, if she did what she needed to do and abided by her Aunt Sandy's rules. Those rules were stated and made plain.
It was also clear to April that her Aunt Sandy, unlike her own Mom, would not be a person that she could mold or, as she put it, 'handle'. So abide by the rules of the house it was.
They settled into a quiet kind of stand off. Sandy was willing to settle for that, if it was the best that she could expect from the girl.
The relationship started to take an unexpected twist one morning during one of Sandy's runs.
That morning there was a group of people out, since it was fall and gorgeous. Johnnie Marley was out running also, and unexpectedly settled into a stride next to Sandy and ran with her.
"I see you have a house guest," Johnnie said.
"Yes," Sandy said brightly, always enjoying his company. "It's my niece April, my sister Mona's girl. She'd been at a community school for her first two years and is here at the university for her last two. She's living with me, so that I can help out."
"Good for you," Johnnie said. "I met her at Dugan's the other night with a bunch of students."
Sandy laughed, "And what was a big fireman like you doing at Dugan's?"
"Lookin' for women!" Johnnie said with equal glee.
Sandy came back with: "Typical man!"
Johnnie just grinned at her, and finally went on:
"I mentioned it, Sandy, because I want to ask April out and wanted to make sure that you didn't mind."
Sandy was taken back by what he said but reached out for her equilibrium immediately and said:
"Fine, Johnnie; it's no problem for me."
She said that though she felt a kind of pang at the thought of Johnnie Marley and April. But Sandy, as usual was in charge of herself and her emotions quickly.
It was later that day, April was home from classes and said to her aunt:
"Aunt Sandy, I have a boy coming over today; we're going out for a movie."
"How nice for you," Sandy said guardedly. "Is it someone I know?"
"He's a local, a townie," April said with a depreciating laugh, "A fireman. His name is Johnnie Marley. I think he might be fun."
"Yes," Sandy said, pleasantly, "I know Johnnie; he works here now and then for me."
"Oh, cool," April said. "Well, I just wanted to let you know."
"Thank you, April," Sandy replied and didn't look forward at all to the time when Johnnie Marley would come to the house to fetch her niece.
April and Johnnie went out two or three times a week for a period of two weeks. Sandy became used to seeing him come to pick April up and was becoming what she personally described as 'fine with it' during that time period.
It was a few weeks later. Sandy had the day off, she'd had her morning run. It was a balmy Saturday. April had announced that she was meeting a girlfriend to go mall crawling for the morning and maybe part of the afternoon.
Sandy opted to stay in her running clothes and do some pruning in a bed that was dominated by a 'Harry Lauder's Walking Stick' bush. It was a bush that she loved. She was spending the time working in the bed, down on her knees and talking to the Harry Lauder.
"Are you doing well, pal?" she asked. "Just wanted to know."
She hesitated and said: "What is that?' "A drink?" "Of course.
She was interrupted then by a man's voice saying, with a certain amount of glee:
"Uho! Plumber's crack on the horizon."
Sandy turned around to face a grinning Johnnie Marley, her hand went automatically to the back of her waist, where she discovered the truth of what he'd been saying to her. In her kneeling and bent over position, she was indeed showing the top of a pair of pink pink panties, since the black, lycra running shorts had ridden down, and so had the waist band of the panties. It exposed a good two inches of her ass crack.
She got a grin on her face and said: "Johnnie Marley, don't you go fooling with your elders!"
"Oops!" he said, holding out his hands, "Sorry, Ms Prosecutor."
"So, what's up today?" Sandy asked, in a friendly fashion, as she got up.
"Oh, you could have stayed down there!" he said and covered his mouth with his hand.
"Johnnie!" she said.
"Okay, I'm here to pick up April. We have plans."
Sandy's face clouded over at that point.
"She's gone off with a girlfriend; she said that they had plans to go to some malls this morning and this afternoon. Didn't she tell you?"
There was a dumb struck look on his face and he said:
"Gee, no, she didn't!" Then, after thinking just a bit, he went on: "Stood up! How about that?"
Sandy was genuinely upset by it; she suspected that April did this on purpose, although she couldn't fathom why.
"Sorry, Johnnie," she said, "My niece is flighty!"
Then she smiled and said: "How about a consoling cup of coffee?"
"Sounds a treat," he said with a smile, although it was easy to tell that he was upset by the turn of events.
They sat together on her patio and had a cup of coffee. She also had some scones that she'd made the day before.
"Scones are good," he said.
She smiled: "Made them myself."
When the coffee was finished, she said to him:
"Johnnie, I'm sorry about this. I don't understand her."
"No problem, Sandy," he said, "Not something that you did. I only had the morning anyway. My shift starts this afternoon and I have a 24 hours on."
He got up then and said: "Thanks for the coffee anyway. It was a treat to spend the time, and, by the way," he was grinning now, "Nice plumber's..."
He never finished it. She broke in with a warning:
"Johnnie Marley, you don't want to be fooling with the assistant county prosecutor! Now do you?"
.... There is more of this story ...