She stared at me across the little table. She looked intense—no—determined.
"I'm sorry Quinn, but I have fallen in love with Henry. Neither he nor I planned it, expected it; she looked away as she said this last, and then back at him. "It just happened. Please try and understand," she said. "And—I've already moved in with him."
"Understand? It looks pretty straight forward to me, Kimberly. You've been fucking my brother, and now you're dumping me and damn the consequences," I said. "And where's Sam? She should be here; it's 5:30."
""She's at the house her—uh—uncle Henry's house. I needed to be alone with you to settle things. Quinn, both he and I know that this is going to be a tough nut for the family. We couldn't, wouldn't, do it while your mom and dad were alive, I mean you know, but..." she started.
"But his brother, cousins, aunts, uncles et cetera are less meaningful, less of a problem for him to do without if it came to that. That about it?" I said.
"It doesn't have to be that way, Quinn. You're a good looking guy. Once you find another woman, the way we figure it, things will calm down and everything will be okay. Henry is sure of it. Unless..."
"Unless what, Kimberly? Unless I make waves? Is that what you were going to say. You need me to put my okay on your plans, what, for the good of the family. That about it?" I said.
"It would make things a lot easier on everybody, Quinn, not just me and Henry," she said. "I think you can see that."
"And what about Samantha? What about custody. You going to give me custody; I mean physical custody? Or, am I to be denied there too," I said. "Because if that's your plan then we go to war."
"Heavens no! You're not going to be denied seeing or being with Sam. I thought, well, I thought, joint and equal custody. She'd be staying with us during the school year. You'd have her summers and one weekend every month. Ideally we'd still be together sharing all of the major holidays; I mean we'd all be there together like always," she said.
"Hmm. How about I get her during the school year 'and' summers; and you get her one weekend a month," I said. Okay, I was testing the waters. Samantha, our fourteen year-old daughter was everything to me. Being a part time dad was not going to fly, not even.
"Quinn, please, I'm willing to go a long way, compromise, but she would be better off with us during the school year because I will be there twenty-four-seven. You have to work. It just makes sense that during the school year she'd be with us.
"I won't be asking for anything in the divorce, not the house, nothing but my clothes and personal stuff. Really Quinn, you'll have your freedom, and we can still be a family. I mean we do have a beautiful daughter together," she said.
"Yes, we do, but it's also more than clear that Sam being our daughter is not enough to keep us together as a family. I've given you my answer. It's all or nothing. I get primary year 'round physical custody of Sam; you two cheaters get each other and Sam one weekend a month.
"Oh, and while it's true that I work; I also get off every day 5:00; caring for her won't be a problem," I said. I could see she was becoming frustrated—no—irritated with my intransigence. And, I was becoming intransigent
"Quinn, I didn't want to go this route, but if I can't get you to be reasonable; well, the family will be hurt, and we—I—will go to war. It doesn't have to be that way, Quinn," she said. I changed topics—for the moment.
"What was it, Kim? His money, is that why you're dumping me?" I said. "He's rich and I'm not. Is that the reason?" I said.
"No! Quinn, really. It has nothing to do with money," she said. "It's—I fell in love with him that's all. And, Quinn, if it matters, I still have feelings for you too. It's just that..." She seemed to run out of words.
"You know, Sam's fourteen. She might get to choose. Wanna go that route, Kimberly, Wanna leave it up to her? You know to choose your plan or mine?" I said. "Does she know that you've been doing her uncle?"
"Quinn, we can't be putting that kind of pressure on a kid our kid."
"Oh, but you can dump her dad, keep her with you most of the time, and expect her, let alone me, to just accept it!
"And, yes, what about me? You actually expected me to be all right with what you've laid out here today? I mean as regards my baby!" I said.
"All right with it? No. But maybe understanding and willing to work with me and Henry to make things as painless as might be," she said.
"Let me lay it out for you the way, the only way, I will sit still for you doing this to me," I said. "I might be willing to do my best to minimize the fallout in terms of the family. Even go so far as to be in the same place as you and my asshole brother on holidays without throwing my beer in his face. But that will be happening only if I get primary and year 'round physical custody of Sam. Are you with me here Kimberly Harris?" She nodded, slowly, but now I could see steel in her eyes.
"Okay, it's going to be hard, but I guess we're going to have to go to war," she said. "I know I've shocked and hurt you, but even given that, what you're asking is unreasonable and too much."
"Bring it on soon to be ex-wife and let slip the dogs of war," I said. "I am not going to let that asshole ex-brother of mine become the daddy of my baby, not willingly"
"Is that what you think? That Henry would be taking your place?" she said
"And why wouldn't I? He's already taking my place in your bed," I said.
"Frankly, Quinn, I don't know how you could even imagine that he'd try to take your place with Sam; it's not even remotely logical," she said.
"You're kidding right. I mean you actually said that. I mean, again, in view of the fact that he's taking my place with you and fucking you behind my back?" she was beginning to look angry.
"Okay, okay then, Quinn, I guess we have ourselves a war. I was hoping that at some point you and he—but I guess that was just wishful thinking. Now, a lot of people are going to be hurt," she said.
"Instead of just me, you mean! I mean if I accepted your stinking offer I'd be the only one to be hurt, right? You're putting all of this on me! You know, I no longer care about you now that I've come to understand exactly what you are. I actually hate you. But Sam! I want custody, physical custody, year 'round. And as for my traitorous brother? I no longer have a brother, not in any sense whatsoever; he's dead to me, and unmourned," I said. "Tell him that"
"Jesus, Quinn, I am so sorry for all of this. If there is any way that..." she started.
"There isn't. You brokered yourself and the asshole a war," I said. She was about to cry or spit or something. At any rate, she stood, turned, picked up her coat and bag, and left.
Her naked legs stuck straight up into the air while she pressed hard against the broad shoulders of her lover.
Henry Harris, six three, two-thirty, age thirty-eight, new car salesman and millionaire, hammered his brother's wife with everything he had.
"Ugh-ugh-ugh! She grunted as he pounded into her. His own breath was a series of staccato noises bearing witness to the intensity of his efforts. He stiffened, gave one final pile driving thrust into the pretty woman beneath him and unloaded his sperm.
He rolled off of her gasping for breath. Kimberly Harris, only slightly less breathless herself, let her eyes turn languidly toward those of her lover.
"That was good, even better than usual," she said. "Hope you've got another one in you tonight?"
"Give me a moment to recover, beautiful. I'll get you off again for sure," he said. She laughed.
She'd set the hot teas down on the carved Hickory dinette table, that served as the usual meeting place at the Henry Harris homestead, and looked over at him.
"You say he hates me," said Henry.
"Pretty much. Will he mellow out down the road? That's doubtful, iffy at best. But, maybe given time, I just don't know. But in the short run? No," she said.
"You couldn't even get him to lighten up in terms of how he deals with us vis a vis the extended family?" said Henry.
"No, he wants year 'round physical custody of Sam. I couldn't compromise that much. I understand his feelings, but he wanted too much, just too damn much!" said Kimberly. "I initially I offered him summers and the one weekend each month. But, he spurned that, and then I got 'my' back up. So I guess we're at war."
"But, you're sure he has no inkling..." he stopped in mid-sentence.
"No, and neither does she for now. And, I hope they never do," she said.
"Hmm, yes," said Henry. "But, maybe you should have given in to him."
"Huh!" she said. "Never!"
"Think about it. Sam would be over to our place a lot anyway, way more than one weekend a month. And over time, well, anything can happen. And he's right about her being almost old enough to choose. So you, we'll, be taking a risk going to court, a small one, but a real one unless we play our hole card, and at this stage of the game that would not be useful.
"I'm betting, as time passes, daddy would have been looking more and more like the bad guy, and we'd end up getting de facto primary custody by default. And, when that happened we'd be gracious enough to allow him to rejoin us and Sam and get back on track as a family. I know the guy. Family is everything to him," said Henry.
"I don't know, to be without my baby for any length of time..." said Kim. "No, he asked for too much." He nodded.
.... There is more of this story ...