Here I sit, overlooking the manicured grounds of my beautiful home, and watching the sun set in bright reds over low hills. The previous owner had taken out all the trees to the west so that I can see just the setting sun and nothing else to block its wonders.
My name is Frank De Quisto and I am a 39 year old bachelor. As you will see I am successful and I have never been married. My first priority is my family. I am the head of the family, I am the oldest male that is why, and I have all the money. No it is not a crime family. While I am not married I have brothers and sisters and they are all married. I learned early that blood was the most important thing, and my blood comes first. Our parents died in a car accident fifteen years before and as the eldest it fell to me to keep the family together. There is noting I would not do for my family. I would kill for them or die for them; either choice was open to me. I would not allow our blood to be shed if there was any way on this earth I could prevent it. Maybe that is why I am not married, I am the head of the family and it falls to me to protect it and them. Not just my brothers and sisters but their mates, their children and even their grandchildren when the time comes.
I am reasonably fit, running daily and doing some gym work, which thanks to some good investments, it is in my house. I am content, but something appears to be missing; but you can't have everything.
I bought this grand home and all of its land at a fire sale. Some dot com went under after building this and I picked it up for ten cents on the dollar. Then he left and never came back. It was the last piece of property he had in his own name free and clear and he took my million and split. I had to deal with some of his angry creditors but there was no lien on the property and no mortgage.
The home is six thousand square feet, all on one level. There is a huge flat roof top that provided an even better view of the estate than at ground level, which also has a great sunset view, and every day at sunset I would go up and watch the world go to sleep. It had a 4 foot clear plastic wind brake all around as well as some tables with umbrellas and chairs. I had a special place where I sat and had a drink during the evening show.
Well there were some problems I had to deal with. There were the servants who had not been paid in months. I paid them and gave them two weeks severance pay and told them to go away, I did not need servants. And then there were a bunch of small contractors and workmen he owed money to, and I brought them all in for a Saturday meeting and we talked about everything. I ordered in pizza and those long sandwiches and all the other stuff men like. I even had their wives and children show up. For them I had more refined food, like lasagna, and some other stuff my sisters told me to get. There was pop corn and ice cream and snow cones and I had lots of toys for them to play with. You know those bouncy things the kids get in and get all wet and tired in but they can't bounce out of. I also brought in swings and clowns, and a guy that did magic. These were little people, not big contractors, who had advanced money for supplies and had payrolls themselves. I wanted to give them and their families a nice day.
I used a wall of whiteboards in the great room and wrote down everything so everyone could see what I was doing. The mothers looked in from the outside to see what was going on. This place had glass walls that went 40 feet so from the patio it was easy to see in. The place had intercoms so I turned them on so they could hear too.
Looks like the dot com had a problem with truth. He sold before any mechanics liens were filed and I could just blow them off, bad karma, if you believe in that shit. There was one guy who thought he was slick and tried to pad the bill and some of the others said that it was bull shit and I could see that without them telling me but I appreciated the heads up.
I understood their positions, I had been there before and at 39 I could be there again. So at the end of the day I paid everyone off. They were surprised how I did it because I did it with debit cards. I had set up a number of accounts with my company name and had debit cards issued under that name with a sub name of the contractor. Then I gave the cards to each person after I funded that particular account on the spot. I paid out over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars that Saturday.
They did not have to wait for a check to clear; they could just use the cards and start buying. I also gave them the password for that account and they could go on line change the password, and transfer the money directly into their own account. At the end of a three month period any money not spent would be sent to them in a cashiers check and the accounts would be automatically closed.
It was a great system and it saved everyone time and money. I should know how great it was, I developed it, sold it to a bunch of large multi billion dollar corporations and they used it for payroll and other things and that is why I could buy this place, I was rolling in bucks. Everyone wanted to use the system. Me and my computer system were happy.
By the end of the day everyone was paid in full. Well sort of. The wife was invited in at the final time to approve the deal, and to a wife, they all accepted the debit card for their husbands. They understood the fact that their men had to lift heavy weights and work hard and they would not be required to strain themselves carrying that card around. Everyone left smiling, even the kids, I had gifts for everyone.
I now had a big beautiful empty house and most of the value was in land. Acres and acres of prime land suitable for building Mc Mansions, or condo's or anything, it was already zoned. I decided to keep it as it was. I brought in a cleaning crew once a month and they cleaned the rooms I never used. A house keeper came in twice a week and cleaned the part I did use, did the laundry, things like that. I cooked my own meals and washed my own dishes.
I had all the women money could buy. You name it I had it. They all loved me, really they did, and they all told me so. They would not have pissed on me if I was on fire if I did not have money.
My life consisted of protected sex, work and more work. The sex stunk, but it was better that right hand and left hand sex. No one stayed they left before dawn, that was the rule. I would even have transport ready for them.
Yes I did have family. Brothers, sisters, in laws, nieces and nephews and they all worked with me. I liked having them around. They were not there when I woke up, or when I went to sleep. We did not make breakfast together or wash dishes and there was no silly banter around the kitchen table like I remember from my youth.
One day there was a knock at the door. I opened it and saw a little girl there. She was 4 foot 11, about 110 pounds, long brown hair, hazel eyes, and a cute round face. She was about thirty. "Can I help you?" I politely asked. After this happy greeting she responded with, "You can bring in my bags asshole!" and she walked in right past me. She did have a very cute southern accent though. Well at least this was something interesting in my life. I had just finished my run, taken a shower and was ready for a day of work in the home office when entertainment showed up.
Dutiful as always, I picked up the bags and followed her into my house, looking around carefully to insure that it really was my home. It sure looked like my home. I followed her into the great room which was inside the front door and set the bags down as she dropped onto the couch, obviously tired. Her clothes had that traveled in look but were not dirty. She was wearing Levi's and a long sleeve button down shirt. Yes it was a shirt, not a blouse.
"You have me at a disadvantage" I said and just as I finished she stood and yelled, "You at a disadvantage you asshole, remember Natchez?" Before I could answer she yelled "bathroom, morning sickness" and followed where I pointed to and began talking to God through the porcelain megaphone.
"Oups" this is not good I thought. I headed for the kitchen and hit speed dial. Five minutes or so later Maggie came out of the bathroom and via the closed circuit system I directed her to the kitchen. I was just finishing my last "You heard me" as she came in.
"Maggie I am sorry, you just caught me by surprise. I had my head where the "sun don't shine", I'm managing to get it all the way out now, so my ears are available for listening. What do you want me to do?" I was not really stupid and I fully understood the ramifications of "morning sickness."
As I said this I was finishing pouring some 7up into a glass. "Sip this it will help settle your stomach." Then I poured some OJ as well as some milk and coffee. I also gave her a piece of dry toast. She gave me a funny look until I told her that I was making breakfast and this toast was just to help settle her stomach and get it better.
I had this container of Polenta out and she asked what it was. "Grits to you" I said, and she smiled. I can cook that she said and got up to help. As we started to take out everything for breakfast I went right to the point.
"Maggie, what do you want?" I finally asked. Her mood changed and she looked down at the ground, she body gave a few little shakes and she started crying. I went to her, men are programmed to do that, and taking her in my arms asked again, softly this time, "Maggie, what do you want? Just tell me Maggie."
The damn broke and through her sobs she told me. "I don't want to be alone, and I don't want to be afraid, I don't want to be ashamed."
"Maggie that is what you don't want, what do you want?" She finally told me. "I want to have a healthy baby, and I want my baby to be happy and safe. I want her to go to school, find a good kind man and get married."
I thought with a smile that she did not ask for anything for herself, and did not mention a thing about money. She did not ask for an abortion. This pleased me.
"Ok we will see what we can do about all that. But there is one thing you have to understand and this is a deal breaker. Nothing happened in Natchez, nothing happened at all. But on the same day the same thing happened in Solvang California. There are a few other things but they are minor to that one; Solvang is where it happened."
She did not understand and asked why she was in Solvang and the details. Details later, for now just remember Solvang. I can't promise anything about a happy marriage for our daughter, but most of the other things we can work on; but it has to be Solvang. She agreed. I don't know why I said daughter, it just came out.
"Next you must live here, you must not drink you have to go to the doctor, you can't date, and the last one and it too is a deal breaker, I MUST BE LISTED AS THE FATHER ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE!"
Now she was surprised at the last one and she agreed. She wanted to know why and I told her that the child she carried had the blood of my ancestors in her and I would not let that child go.
"You are a very strange man. You have sex with me one night, and it was not all that great either, and then you leave the next morning without one word, and now you want the child that grows inside of me."
What could I say to that, I pretended not to hear it and I just went on with our conversation? We went back to breakfast. Polenta takes about thirty minutes, just like grits, so I went into the short order cook mode. Grits, bacon, eggs, rye toast, ketchup, butter and Kayro syrup were the food of the morning in the south and in my home too, but only once in a while.
While still cooking in the kitchen I called the office. Maggie listened as I spoke with Louise and told her that I would be out for two weeks because I had some personal matters to attend to. I also told her that she should go through my private appointments book and call everyone that I had a meeting with and cancel them and tell them that there would be no further private appointments until further notice. I also told her that I needed an appointment for an ob-gyn to help with checking on a pregnancy about 10-12 weeks in. We will need a full work up and set up follow up appointments, so let's get something on calendar for tomorrow. She said she would and we ended our call. Within thirty minutes I had a call back with the appointment time.
Maggie just looked at me funny and continued with the Polenta. We did not talk until we finished the cooking and eating. Maggie did not get sick during breakfast.
I took her on a tour of the house. I had a bunch of bedrooms for her to choose from and we looked at them all. She picked the one with the best bathroom; second best bathroom, mine had the best. I brought her clothes in and piled them on the bed, and started looking through all of them all. Maggie was aghast that I would do that, but I had my reasons. After looking at everything, with her comments about invading her privacy ringing in my ears, I just told her that she needed new everything, and after she rested we were going shopping, from the skin out. "No matter what you say or do I'm not having sex with you, it was not all that great the first time anyway" she said. I laughed at that remark.
She took a long bath in the best bathroom, mine and rested until noon, on my bed. It had the very best body molding mattress and when she laid on it she was out. What I mean by that is she passed out cold after a good hot bath in my huge whirlpool bathtub. Once again I checked to see if it was my home but apparently it was and I just had a minor infestation of a tiny pregnant woman. It was like a play that was happening in my home and I was the only person in the audience and I could interact with the cast, of one. Actually I was enjoying the entertainment.
I had to knock on the door like crazy to wake her up. When she started to make awake noises I knocked again and brought in some herb tea and a sandwich. She gave me a little smile and told me she was not hungry and I told her she might not be hungry but my baby was. I told her I would be back at 1:00 and she had to be ready to shop.
She was nice and clean and fed and we headed off for shopping. I jumped into my 53 Chevy pick up after putting her in the passenger side of the bench seat. We headed out and then I pulled back in and parked. With the solid front bumper, 454 cubic inches of fuel injected, blown, fire breathing Chevrolet, it was a bumpy ride but fun. But not now, now it would be too bumpy. I pulled back in and got Maggie out and put her into the Cady. I told her that the harsh ride would not be good for her pregnancy and we had more trunk space in the Cady. She smiled and told me I was very weird.
We did a "shop till you drop" thing knowing that in a few short months we would have to do it again. But it took her mind off the fact she was thirty and pregnant and unmarried. It took my mind of the fact that I was almost 40, unmarried, and about to be a father.
She told me that she did not even know my full name so she had the hotel look it up for her. As we talked I learned that she worked there as a full time maid and part time waitress. She was going to school to get a degree in business but was not really into it. She preferred home economics but no one paid you to do that, so it was just a minor. She came from a family 12 plus her parents. They were not poor but not rich either. 12 kids needed a lot of money to properly raise but they always had it and a little extra for fun things. Maggie was the oldest and there were 11 behind her.
Truth be told, there is just something exotic about a woman with a southern accent. No "exotic" is not the word, it is "fresh", that's it, fresh and wholesome too. She was from Trion Georgia and her daddy had a small cotton mill and employed more than half of the town. So in a way his family was huge, it included those in the township. He supported the schools and the roads and he supported all of the merchants. He was the font from which the life giving money flowed to the rest of the town.
As we walked in the mall we passed Victoria's Secret and I asked if she wanted any thing from them. She smiled so sweetly and looking lovingly at me said "Not even in your dreams, so don't even think about it." She was just a joy to be around. I really wondered if a bar would do well in a mall like this, I could sure use a drink.
Yes she did get some panties, granny style, big huge white things, about the size of a French battle flag, white and so big the enemy could see if for miles. She smiled one of those toothless, lips only smiles that meant a lot of things but none of them good.
We even went into a maternity store and got her a bunch of clothes, but at this moment she was hardly showing. She had what is called a baby bump. I had her get some things to grow into.
We went to the furniture store and I ordered her a mattress like mine for her room. It was on order but would take a week or more to arrive, they would call me. I had no idea what an omen that was, but I was blindly playing the night in shining armor and failed to understand the significance of it.
Then we went to the cosmetics counter of the store, or should I say stores, we hit them all. I was making clothing runs to the car all afternoon. It looked like Santa's Sleigh. She bought every skin cream they had, but not too much in the way of eye shadow and lipsticks and that kind of thing. And there was vitamin "E" that you spread on like honey.
After my last run to the car she stood there with one bag left. She had bought a bathing suit, she showed it to me, it was one of those support pregnancy ones, one piece; I am sure if they had them down to her knees with a high collar she would have bought it.
Now the market was on the list of places to go. She bought vitamins, lots of vitamins. She also bought collard greens, and fresh beets, rhubarb, tons of white flower not that whole wheat stuff, Crisco and lard, real sugar too. She grabbed a large box of grits, smiling she said "Grits, not polenta." She got every fresh fruit you can imagine.
She also got those glass things for preserves and canning. Tomorrow we are going to start some canning and I need to get some preserves down before the fruit is all gone. If you are very nice I will make you some brandy cherries, but you have to wait a few months to eat them.
Nothing was fast food it would take a while to cook everything. She was big on chicken, pork, steaks, roasts, you name it. I thought we were going to open up a food bank. Not one of the things was on the "healthy" for you list. When I mentioned tofu she made a face. When I mentioned meatless lasagna she laughed. Tofu burgers almost caused her to lose the baby she laughed so hard. This was my kind of girl.
I could tell she was getting tired so home we went. Tomorrow would be a long day too and it would take an hour just to unload the car. When we got home I sat her down on the couch and started to do the unloading. The food was first and she had already moved to the kitchen to "help me" with this. Put this here put that there, that kind of help. This was all new to me but I was having a good time, despite the cause of it. Then we got to the moving part. Move that up and this down, I will not be able to reach it there. I went out and brought in a step stool for her, she smiled. This time it was a real smile. Now why the hell would I care if a girl I just met today smiled at me?
Then I moved her back into the front room and we started unloading the clothes. She had everything out all over the couches. Made herself right at home she did.
I started the bar-b-que and got ready to do some steaks for us and other easy things for me to cook, like corn, baked potato, salad. I told her to sit but I could see she did not want to, but she was tired and at the moment weaker than me. She nodded off as I cooked.
I woke her just about sunset and had her come to the roof. It was my special place and time and I wanted to share it with her. We ate there and watched the sunset turn the sky red. I could tell she loved it, no surprise there.
She carried inside her body the future of our family and I wanted her happy and content; but I realized for some unknown reason I wanted her happy and content just for her too.
We went back in the house and we did the dishes together. Yes I had a dish washer, but I did not use it very often. Then I told her off to bed and she smiled and went to the great room and got some night clothes.
I needed a drink and I sat down and looked at the clutter around me. Now this was going to be an experience I thought to myself. Then I made a few more obscene phone calls and went to take a shower and go to bed.
I went to get into the bed and had the shit scared out of me. Maggie was there. Then I thought well this isn't all bad so I jumped in and got right in behind her. I was standing tall and moved to lift her night gown when she reached back, took a strangle hold of Jr and told me I had done enough damage with him and it was not going to happen. She told me to put some bottoms on and like a child being scolded by his mother I got up and put on some boxers, but I showed her, I pouted when I did it. But still Jr seemed to come out the fly just by himself but she took a hold of him, giving me an over the shoulder funny look, and said if that ended up anyplace other than in my shorts I would find it on the kitchen counter in the morning.
"Then why the hell are you in my bed?" I demanded. "It's the best bed in the house and the baby needs to be near her father, so you be nice but not naughty. You can and should touch the baby but any higher or lower is off limits." Damn am I married?
Really, what the hell was I doing? I did not know shit about her but what happened one night. I was letting her break the no overnight rule; damn I even told her she had to live with me!
I reached over and put my hand on her stomach. Then I felt her lift her top and put my hand on her skin. She snuggled back into me, did the little "um" noise that girls do so well, and went to sleep. I did not go right to sleep. Jr kept me up most of the night, he was restless but I did want to find him where I left him that night and not on the kitchen counter.
Early the next morning it was up and head out for a run. Ten miles and one hour later I was back in the kitchen watching Maggie make breakfast, telling me that I smelled and I needed a shower. I went to the front door and looked at the address, it was mine, but what happened to my house, it was taken over by a pregnant munchkin; and pushy too.
So I got a shower and dressed and made it down when the phone rang. We had the doctor's appointment at ten and I told Maggie. She ignored me and kept cooking. Holy shit, I was married.
The visit to the doctor was uneventful except for the sonogram. We did not tell the doctor the date of conception and waited for her to tell us. Damn, right on the money, right in the middle of her fertile time and on the right day too. Oh, yes she was right, it was a girl too. Well we would be absolutely sure positive and stuff like that by the 12th week. Do women have some kind of radar for this stuff? And yes, I paid for it and I was listed as the father on all the paperwork. It had to be that way.
There was a series of blood tests to check for everything under the sun, and when I thought it was all over Maggie surprised me and asked the doctor to take some of my blood and run complete scans. I knew "complete" was woman talk for STD's. She just gave me that straight closed lip pseudo smile that Maggie can give and the blood was drawn and away with hers for testing.
"Maggie, I know the rubber broke but you said you were on the pill, were you? What the hell happened?" Maggie told me that she was on the pill but nothing was 100% and it was as much my fault as hers.
This was day two and I was already losing arguments. Actually I was having fun, real fun, for the first time in my life. You know what I mean, fun with a woman where sex was not involved and she did not ask for anything from me. She did order me around a little, but that was kind of cute.
This time she cooked. She baked a pie, did some canning, and put a roast in. There were periodic stops in her work for back and shoulder rubs, low back massages, hand massages, and foot massages. She would get these for the rest of our time together. Do something once for a woman and that is the sign that you will do it forever. She was so darn cute I had a hard time keeping my hands off of her.
As she worked I looked on line at everything baby, from names to what keeps a pregnant woman happy. The answer to that last one was really simple to find, NOTHING! I was in for a wild ride, but at least I know the ups and downs as well as the turns and they had nothing to do with me.
Sunset was upon us and up we went for the show. I had made little things for us to nibble on and a few different drinks. I had frozen some OJ and some grape juice, as ice cubes. Then for her drink I gave her some OJ and dropped the grape juice ice cubes in it. Tomorrow I would reverse it. A few apples and some cheese and we were content. If you promise me one billion dollars I will never know why, but as the sun went down I just reached over and held her hand. With her tiny warm hand she gave mine a gentle squeeze and we remained that way until the sun went to sleep.
We had dinner at the table, with conversation, just like when I was a kid. I learned more about her family and told her about mine. I said a few stupid jokes she flipped her hair and laughed. That was a first with her. It was definitely flirting. Then I saw the kitchen counter and looking down I could tell that Jr was hiding.
It had been a long day and tomorrow I was taking her to Solvang so it was baths and bed. Maggie used the master bath, and I used the bath in the guest room next door. Somewhere deep down inside there was a little voice saying something was not actually right about all this. Actually there was something right about it and I needed to accept it. There was an empty space in my life and Maggie had somehow managed to start filling in some of those spaces.
I chastised Jr and told him to be nice before I entered what was just a few days before my domain, the center of my universe; the one place where I was in total control. I found her there, happy ensconced in my bed, covers up, looking at me with a pixie smile. The munchkin spoke, "come to bed and be nice." Despite the smile I kept waiting for the glint of the sharp blade. No, Jr was safe. She pushed that very nice little ass against Jr and he woke with a start. Her hand grabbed mine and I was on her naked belly. I could actually feel the bump. She moved deeper into me and I actually kissed her neck, more than once. Then to sleep I went.
Wake up, get up, run ten miles and come back. Maggie was up and had breakfast close to ready. She smiled as I came in, kissed me on the cheek and told me to get cleaned up. I did with a big smile on my face. Later we drove to Solvang. It was a nice day so we took the 1969 327 Camaro vert. It was a fun drive but we had to stop for lots of breaks. Women have bladders the size of pea and when they are pregnant they get even smaller. But I seemed to like taking care of her, not exactly sure why. Oh shit, I am beginning to think touchy feely. Damn.
When we got to Solvang we stayed in the hotel I was in that night 10 weeks ago. I wanted her to see it. We stayed for only a few minutes and then we walked the town. A little wine tasting would normally be in order but not with Maggie pregnant. But there were cute shops and nice people and good food. We walked holding hands and sharing memories. Separate memories at least for now. We were just learning about each other. Why should we bother I thought? Then I answered myself, because I want to know about the mother of our child. Two days, two nights, no sex, good nights sleep, that is what we shared.
When we got back I knew it was necessary to introduce Maggie to the pride, which is what I called all the sisters and wives. All at once they could be overpowering but one at a time, well that was different. Her introduction would be through Jenny, my youngest sister. I told Maggie how it would go down and she accepted it.
Jenny came over the next day. Already the house showed evidence of turning into a home, flowers, a few little things we got at Solvang. It was beginning to lose the man cave look and was taking on a softer feel, just barely, but the signs were there. Would I miss the smell of stale cigar smoke and empty beer cans? Probably not, I did not allow anyone to smoke in the house and rarely drank beer.