Drew Forner settled down in his seat and gave a sigh. The latest court sessions had been time consuming and difficult, he was glad that the court was in recess for a time period. It gave him this opportunity, the kind of opportunity that he looked forward to every year with increasing joy. He was going to the Florida house!
It had been a treat for his Mom and Dad, though, after building it with such care —- his Dad had been an architect and did the planning and carrying out of the plans with both love and excitement —- they didn't live long enough to enjoy it very much. It had been part of what they'd settled on their "Drew" via their will, leaving him very well off and the absolutely proud possessor of the Florida beach house. That's where he was headed now. The phrase rattled around in his head over and over again and it never failed to get a smile from him. He got away there these days as often as he could, though not nearly as often as he wanted.
His enjoyable reverie was broken then by a voice saying: "Excuse us, we're in these two seats."
Drew looked up into the very blue eyes of a lovely lady and was struck immediately by a smiling face that was just opposite his own face. The lovely lady and the little girl, pretty little girl, were to be his seat mates, it seemed.
"Oh, excuse me," he said, and got up and moved out of their way, as they filed into their seats.
The lady went in first and the little girl, apparently content, sat in the middle seat.
"Is this okay, sweetie?" the woman asked.
"Yes, Grandma," the little girl said. "This is fine. I'm so excited!"
The lady smiled at that and said: "Yes, I'm excited too!"
It was then that the little girl turned to Drew Forner and said: "We're going to Florida, my Grandma Katherine and me!"
"How marvelous!" he said, "That's where I'm going too!"
"Is it a vacation for you?" the little girl continued and then, almost as an aside, she said: "I'm Amanda Fetter, and I'm traveling with my Grandma Katherine on the way to a Florida vacation: beaches and shells and all! Isn't it great?"
"Great!" he said, and held out his hand saying: "Hi, Amanda Fetter, I'm Andrew Forner, Drew to my friends."
The woman was looking on at all of this with a smile on her face. Then Amanda took it upon herself to broaden the circle of friendship a little bit.
"Mr Drew Forner, this is my Grandma Katherine, Katherine Griggs; Grandma, this is my friend Andrew Forner, but it's Drew to his friends."
"Then I guess it'll be 'Drew' to both you and me," the woman said, and shook Drew's hand.
They went through the routine then of getting to know the plane's safety exits and had the demonstration by the cabin attendants regarding oxygen masks and all.
"Exciting!" Amanda said and both her Grandma Katherine and Drew agreed. For the takeoff, Amanda clutched her Grandma Katherine's hand and grabbed onto Drew's hand also, holding his hand too.
When they were airborne, Amanda, very excited now, continued her conversation with him.
"My Grandma's a great cook!" Amanda said.
"Is she now?" he said, interested.
"Yes," Amanda continued, "She cooks in a fab restaurant. She's the big cheese there! That's what she tells me."
He laughed and, looking at Katherine, was joined by her in the laughter.
"What do you do?" Amanda asked him.
"I'm a judge," he said.
"Really?" Amanda asked, "Like in a court sentencing people to hang and all?"
This got another round of laughs from the grownups but Drew hastened to say that he wasn't a 'hanging judge at all'.
"It's other kinds of cases that I hear," he said.
"That's so cool," Amanda said and turning to her Grandma, she went on: "Did you hear that, Grandma, Drew is a judge but he doesn't sentence people to hang."
"I'm certainly glad about that," the woman said.
At this point in his life, Drew Forner lived alone in a large house that had also been part of his Mom and Dad's endeavors. He was divorced, having had a wife who had developed some psychological problems over the years and began to 'act out'. It had been her desire to have the divorce, she'd said at the time, to be free and not have to worry about 'the judge' anymore.
It had taken Andrew a good long time to get over the betrayals involved, the acting out, the infidelities: all of it. But now at a very comfortable 53, he was living a kind of life that he really liked. He was constantly thrilled by having been selected for the court and enjoyed his professional life immensely. He tempered that with his junkets to Florida to go to the beach house and it was all a treat.
For her part, Katherine Griggs was a widow, and it had been, to a large extent, her lovely granddaughter Amanda who helped her come out of the grim kind of life that she'd led, after the death of her Matt.
The current trip to Florida was a wish that Amanda had mentioned any number of times and it was a treat for Amanda's birthday. They'd go and find a place to stay, most likely a motel, and would be beach bums for a week or so. That was the plan.
Katherine was looking forward to it. Her daughter, Wendy, had made it a point to go shopping with her to pick out new bathing suits, and constantly assured her Mom that she was, at 50, a stunning woman. Katherine normally scoffed at that kind of talk but it was simply the truth.
As a matter of fact, given the chance to speak up with his opinion, Drew Forner would have certainly agreed with Wendy.
"So, this is a vacation for you from the court?" Amanda asked Drew then.
"Yes, it is; I give myself the chance to take a vacation like this as often as I can. It's just a real treat."
"Where do you stay?" Amanda asked next.
It was at that point that her Grandma Katherine intervened telling Amanda to not be nosy.
"I don't mind at all," Drew said, smiling at the lovely woman, "Amanda and I are just being friends."
"I have a beach house that I use for my Florida vacations," he said.
"Oh!" Amanda said, her face enwreathed in a smile to show how excited she was by this bit of news. "That's so cool!"
"Yes, it is," he said, "Very cool."
"My Grandma says that we'll find a place, when we get to Florida. We're going to go to a motel and travel to the beach. That'll be nice and exciting."
It was precisely then that the cabin attendant came around with drinks and bags of peanuts. The cabin service then kind of set their conversation aside, since Amanda got involved in the great fact that she'd be served something to drink on a plane now.
It made Drew chuckle, and Katherine flashed him a smile.
Once the cabin service was done, Amanda spoke up: "Grandma, will you take me and show me where the bathroom is, please?"
"Of course, sweetie," Katherine said.
They excused themselves and Drew got up to let them out to go down the aisle.
When they came back, Amanda asked, before they were seated: "Grandma, can I have the window seat for a bit and look out the window?"
"Yes," Katherine answered pleasantly.
Amanda went into the row first and was busy then with her face toward the window.
"She's lovely!" Drew said softly to Katherine.
"Thank you," Katherine replied, "Sorry that she's been talking your ear off."
"Yes, but she's so genuine and such a treat to deal with," he replied.
"Different than those that normally appear in front of the bench!" Katherine said with a grin.
"I guess!" he said.
"So, you make this trip often?" she wanted to know.
"Yes, I do," he said. "I love the beach house and enjoy Florida so much. Not ready yet to throw it all over and move there. This is a frequent trip for me. It gets easier after a while."
"It must," she said.
"I have someone who takes care of the beach house. He'll have it ready for me. He will deliver my car to the airport lot and I can pick it up there. It works for us very well," he explained.
"My, my that is impressive," she said.
"So where on the coast are you headed?" he wanted to know.
"Friends of mine have recommended the town of Sandhurst. It's supposed to have marvelous beaches."
He laughed, and quickly held up a hand and said: "Sorry for my outburst but that's where my beach house is located."
She gave him a smile and said: "Extraordinary!"
"Are there many quality motels there?" she wanted to know.
"Yes, a number of them," he replied, "Though it might be busy now, vacation time and all."
"Yes, I'm aware of that," she said, "We put this little junket together so quickly that I didn't have time to research a motel for us. I have my fingers crossed."
He thought just a little and said: "When my Mom and Dad had the beach house built, they had an apartment added. It shares the same front toward the beach but is totally private. Up until about a half year ago, the guy who takes care of the place lived there but he moved out to live with a girlfriend in town, and then he married her. So that it's now empty. If you don't find anything, please give me a call. Here's my card with the phone number, my cell number, on it. I'd be happy to let you use it."
"Why, how nice," she said, "Do you mind if I ask 'how much'?"
"Are you kidding?" he said, laughing, "Charge the Grandma of my good friend Amanda Fetter for using the beach house apartment, I don't think so!"
He grinned as he said that and she smiled back at him.
"Thank you for the offer," she said, "We might just take you up on it."
"Will do away with the problem of traveling to the beach and back and parking," he said.
He didn't want to press her on the issue, so he left it at that point, and they became involved with the movie that was just then starting to be shown.
When they arrived at the airport, they parted as friends, from the baggage claim, and Katherine told Drew that he might just be hearing from them.
Amanda a demanded a hug form him, before she and her Grandma left to get their rental car.
It worked for Drew like a well-oiled machine. He was pleased but had set up a relationship with a local security company many years ago and they never let him down.
When he'd picked up his car in the airport parking lot and stowed his stuff, he was off, driving down the coast and enjoying the prospects of the drive more and more every minute.
He was especially pleased, when he got to the city limits of Sandhurst. He stopped for a bit first at a favorite grocery store to get a few things that he thought he'd need. He knew that Ray Klein, from the security company would have gotten the 'fridge stocked with some items for him. They had that kind of relationship.
He made sure that he always let Ray use the place, when he, Drew, wasn't in need of it. It benefitted both of them.
Then he left the grocery store and was off on the last leg of his journey. He turned out onto the beach road and was totally pleased to be driving toward the Gulf of Mexico. Soon enough he went over the last bridge that took him onto the beach road itself. Now it was only a few miles down the road to his beach house.
He turned in and put in the pass code to unlock and open the gates to the property. Finally, he'd arrived.
He sat in the car for just a few minutes and looked at it. He never ceased to be impressed with his Dad's great work done here.
The house was a sprawling one. It was white and had parking spaces in the back. There was a wraparound porch that had an extension on the side, the side of the place where the apartment was located.
Drew was only there a few minutes, when he heard a vehicle approaching. it was Ray Klein.
They were, the two of them, by now old friends, and greeted each other with a good natured hug.
"Looks like it's in good shape," Drew said.
"Did some painting on the eaves this year," Ray said, "Seemed to need it."
"Appreciate that," Drew said, "Are we square?"
"Yes," Ray said, "I have the invoices and bills for you to scan."
(In addition to heading the security company that oversaw properties, Ray was the handyman that worked on Drew's beach house.)
"Not necessary, I think," Drew said, "If you cheat the judge, I'd hang your ass!"
They both grinned at this old joke between them.
"Dinner soon here?" Drew asked, "You and Lanie?"
"Like that!" Ray said, "Welcome home, my friend," he concluded.
"Yes, it does feel like that!" Drew admitted and, with another quick hug, Ray left him to his settling in.
The best part was always the first view of the Gulf from the sunken living room. After entering the house in the middle, the sunken living room was right there, off of the entrance hall. It was wonderful and had a wall of glass doors that showed the Gulf and the beauty of it.
He stood there for many minutes and surveyed it, the lawn leading to the steps to the beach and the beauty of the vegetation on all sides.
It was his moment.
"Thank you, Dad!" he said softly to himself and the angels. "Thank you, Momma!"
He turned away from the scene then and went to the left. There was a hallway there that had rooms. He used one of them as an office. It left two other rooms that were used at times for guests. A stairway there led to the upper floor, where there was the master suite, and one other guest room. Both the master and the guest room up here had the same frontage of huge sliding glass doors looking out onto the Gulf. And there near the doorway to the master suite was a set of stairs that led to the observation deck on that side of the house.
He toured, taking it in and loving all of it. Then he began to put his groceries away, and afterwards, wandered into the other wing of the house. It was to this wing that the apartment was attached and there were another two guest rooms on that side of the house.
He passed through the living room and by the dining room platform on the way to that wing of the house, and directly behind the dining room platform, which too faced out the wall of floor to ceiling windows looking out to the Gulf, was the kitchen with a breakfast nook off to the side.
Then it was the best time of all. There was nothing so exciting and refreshing as the very first beach walk, once he was 'home' at the Florida house.
(The beach in that area of the coast was a private beach. There were public beaches on the key, of course, but they were at the upper end of the key and at the lower end of the key. It was a matter of 2 or 3 miles in either direction. That meant that Drew did see some foot traffic but not a huge amount, passing the front of his house.)
He did a quick change into cargo pocket shorts and a tee shirt and headed toward the rank of glass doors that led to the deck and from there to the lawn that stretched across the front of the house to the beach stairs.
In front of the large, glass doors was a mat that had his beach sandals. He slipped these on and was out and away.
He took in every bit of the walk to the beach stairs: the smell of the Gulf, the rustle of wild life around, mainly but not only lizards, the panorama of the Gulf of Mexico, calm during this time of day. It never ceased to be enchanting, especially this first glimpse of it. It was always a treat for him.
He went down the beach stairs and left his sandals there by the steps and walked off onto the beach.
(Since this part of the key was private, the beach was rarely really looked over or picked over. There were shells in abundance and this part of the beach also had, in fairly frequent profusion, black, fossilized shark's teeth. They had apparently been rolling around the Gulf for centuries untold and washed up onto the beach now and then.)
He paused now and then to look at something or pick up a favorite, if he came across them, mainly keyhole limpets, his very favorites.
Drew walked for a while up the beach and then back down the beach toward his place. He realized on the way that he was feeling a bit hungry, and decided on a quick lunch, maybe cheese and yogurt.
Once he had reached the house, as though it were timed very well, the phone rang, his cell phone.
"Hello?" he said into the phone.
A pleasant woman's voice said: "Judge Forner?"
"Yes," he said, realizing right away that it was Katherine Griggs.
"Ms Griggs," he said, "And it's Drew!"
"Yes," she said in return, "Drew. I'm, um, calling about your offer of the apartment, if it's still available."
"Is indeed!" he said, "I haven't toured it yet but will now to make sure that everything is okay with it. But the service that I use takes excellent care of my property. You are certainly welcome to come and use it. And how is my friend, Amanda?"
"Excited!" Katherine said, "Especially, when we talked about your offer of the beach house apartment. That is so nice of you!"
"It's totally my pleasure," he said. "It's not being used. Let me tell you how to get here. When you arrive, buzz me from the gate out front and I'll let you in."
"Sounds exotic," she said with a kind of barely suppressed laugh.
"The whole place is that!" he said, laughing with her. "Even me!"
They laughed harder and he said a quick: "Not really; stuffy old judge!"
"I doubt that very much and Amanda won't believe that of you, the stuffy part, at all!"
He laughed and said: "I'll be waiting for you. I'm going to look over the apartment now."
"Thank you, Andrew, this is so nice of you!" she replied before hanging up.
He went to the apartment then to see that it was in good condition. It was, Ray had done his usually spectacular job of upkeep and maintenance.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS AND A DECISION:
It took Drew only a short time to inspect the apartment, which had one small bedroom and one big one, with the big one in the very back. It had its own set of glass doors that led out to the deck/porch that the apartment shared with the big house. The two were, of course, attached.
It didn't take Katherine and Amanda long to arrive at the gate to the property and, as he'd instructed her, she buzzed him and he said:
"Who goes there!"
"It's us! Judge Andrew!" came the excited, squeaky voice of Amanda.
"Well, welcome to my lair!" he said, and pressed his access button, which caused the big gate to roll back and let Katherine and Amanda drive in.
He was waiting for them, at the edge of the gavel that was strewn over the driveway. Amanda waved to him, as soon as she saw him standing there. He waved back.
Amanda's reaction, as she bounded out of the car, was almost atomic.
"Here?" she fairly shouted. "Grandma, Drew, here? We're gonna vacation here?"
She was, by that time, rushing at Drew and pulling him into a hug. Over her shoulder, Drew saw Katherine mouth a 'Thank you!' to him. He mouthed a 'Welcome!' right back.
"Oh, come, Grandma, let him show us; it's so grand, isn't it?" Amanda went on.
"Yes, sweetie," Katherine said, "It's really grand!"
He led them then, saying: "We'll take a look first at the big house, if you want and then on to the apartment."
"Fine," Katherine said, and Amanda was too antsy to notice what he'd said.
He showed them around, taking them upstairs to see the master suite, the guest room and the observation deck. Both Katherine and Amanda were positively enchanted by what they were being shown.
"This is so grand," Katherine said.
"Yes, my Dad was an architect," Drew answered, "This was one of his favorite projects."
"It must have been!" Katherine said.
"Oh, Grandma," Amanda gushed, "I Love this."
They went downstairs then and toured the kitchen area, sunken living room and saw the rooms on the left.
"Shall we go next door now?" he asked softly.
Then the difficulty started to occur. It was Amanda, who realized just then that they were not indeed meant to stay in this lovely house.
"We'll be next door in the apartment," Katherine said to Amanda.
Her face noticeably fell and she said a soft: "But, Grandma, I thought that we were going to stay here for the vacation."
"Next door in the apartment," Katherine said, "Come on, sweetie; Drew will show it to us now."
Drew had certainly notice the effect that the thought of not living there for their vacation had on Amanda. His decision was instantaneous.
"No, that's not right!" he said firmly. "This is a big treat for Amanda and so you two will stay here. I can lug my stuff to the apartment. It will be fine with me."
Amanda brightened noticeably, when she heard this. She certainly hadn't been asking for that but wasn't able to wipe the disappointment from her face, at the time.
But then Katherine spoke: "No, we won't do that! We won't barge in here and push you out of your home."
"Grandma?" Amanda asked, wondering at that point what was going to happen.
"Let me talk to Andrew, honey," Katherine said, and Amanda nodded, and walked toward the large wall of windows/doors that showed the outside deck and the Gulf.
"Let's compromise," Katherine said softly to Drew. "You're so nice to let her have her treat here. That is something that's almost beyond repayment, as far as I can see. Why don't we just share?"
"Share, yes!" he said, nodding and liking the idea.
"We don't want to put you out of your room," Katherine said. "May we have the guest room upstairs? It has such a lovely view and the bed is certainly big enough for me and Amanda."
"Granted!" he said, and then, embarrassed by how he'd phrased that said: "Sorry, talking like a judge here!"
She simply laughed at that and gave him a smile. "Honey," she called to Amanda.
"Yes, Grandma," Amanda said, "Shall we go and look at our apartment now?" The little girl turned to Drew then and said, in a very sensible tone of voice: "I'm sorry, Judge Drew, I didn't mean to be making a difficulty."
"No," Drew said, going down on a knee, "Your Grandma has the best idea. We're simply going to share. You and Grandma Katherine will have the big guest room upstairs and I'll have my own room. Both of them have a matchless view."
"Oh!!!" Amanda said, her chin quivering with the emotion. "You're making my vacation so nice! You must be the best judge of all!"
Both he and Katherine smiled at that.
"What's first?" he wanted to know. "Get your bags or visit the beach right away?"
"Beach!" Amanda said, fairly jumping up and down, and Katherine was nodding her head in agreement.
He led them out the door and across the front yard to the beach stairs, and down onto the beach. The women rolled up their pant legs and took their shoes off for the stroll on the beach. The beach walk lasted a bit, with him showing Amanda the various kinds of shells and naming them. He produced a shark's tooth for her, and it pleased her no end. They walked into the water to feel how warm the Gulf of Mexico was.
It was Katherine who interposed then: "Okay, honey, come on. I want you to have a nap now. You can have an extended day today and don't have to go to bed early but I know how much excitement there has been for you today. You must be ready for a nap."
"Yes, Grandma," she said, "I am."
Then turning to Drew Amanda said: "This is all so lovely; thank you. I think that I love you!"
Drew colored and went down on a knee: "I love you too, honey! Let's go and we'll get you settled, so that you can look out the big glass door and see the Gulf, as soon as you wake from your nap. After your nap, we'll look over the rest of the surprises that the beach house has for you."
"Oh, goodie!" she said.
He carried her then and she was almost asleep, before they got back into the beach house. They put her down on the bed in the guest room up by the master suite and she slept immediately.
"I'll help get things from your car," he said.
But as soon as they were out in the hallway, Katherine turned to him and put her arms around him:
"This is so totally grand!" she said, "Thank you. It's being so nice for her, and for me too!"
"My pleasure!" he said, as she got up on her tip toes and brushed his lips with her own.
"My!" he said, coloring and she smiled at him, as she led the way down to the car.
They brought her and Amanda's stuff into the house and put it aside, deciding to deal with it, after Amanda was up from her nap.
"Coffee, tea?" he asked.
She grinned at him and said: "Or?"
He got red in the face again but grinned at her and nodded.
He made the coffee and they had it up on the observation deck. He had intercoms so that they were able to hear Amanda, if she got up, while they were having coffee.
"This is such a lovely house," she said.
"My Dad's best work, I think," he said.
"He must have been very talented," she remarked.
"He was," he said, "In a part of my mind, I still miss them."
"It is so nice of you to share it with us!" she went on.
"Well," he replied, "My intention is for Amanda and her lovely Grandma Katherine to have the best possible vacation!"
She smiled at him and barely kept herself from kissing him. They both noticed.
But she changed the subject then: "No wife?" she asked, and immediately apologized for prying.
"No, it's okay," he said, "After all we're all but roommates!"
They shared a chuckle over that.
"Divorced," he said, and explained a little. "She was flighty. Had problems of her own. We tried counseling but it never worked for her. She discovered the joy of withholding sex as a kind of punishment or control tool and then she had a string of boyfriends. It was grim."
"Sorry!" she said.
"Old history now," he replied, "Since then it's been my job, especially when I went to the bench, and loving Florida and the Florida house."
Then, as though it were clearly her turn, she talked about the loss of Matt and how very important to her 'coming around', as she put it, Amanda was.
"She's been such a love for me," Katherine said, "It's given me a whole new outlook on the future."
"What a great gift that is!" he said.
She smiled at him then and it was precisely at that time that they heard Amanda getting up from her nap, and saying a soft: "Grandma?"
They both went to where Amanda was waiting for them.
"Ready to see the rest of the marvels of this house?" Drew asked the little girl.
"Oh, yes!" she said.
They went, hand in hand, with Amanda holding both her Grandma and Drew's hands.
Drew stopped, once they were at a door that was off of the kitchen. It led into a little hall way that had a shower stall and then to another door that opened to the pool.
"This is for days, when the Gulf is too riled up for snorkeling or swimming," he said, and opening the door, showed, to an excited little girl the screened in swimming pool.
"Oh, I love it!" she said.
They went out to inspect the pool and he showed them the large jacuzzi tub that was there too.
"This is remarkably wonderful!" Katherine said.
"Oh, it is, Grandma," Amanda said, "And isn't Drew nice to share it with us?"
"Yes, he is!" her Grandma agreed.
"We need a conference," he said, "To decide if it's dinner out or shall I cook something."
They decided, for that first evening, to eat out, and Drew insisted on paying for dinner for the three of them. They had, indeed, become such good friends in such a short time period.
The next day or so was filled with a swirl of activities. Both Drew and Katherine gave Amanda some swimming instructions. She could swim but needed practice, which they made sure that she got in the pool.
Drew took them out in the shallows to do some snorkeling, which Katherine and Amanda really enjoyed. Amanda was excited about seeing all the fish, as they snorkeled around.
They did a good deal of beach combing every day, and many times a day. Both Amanda and her Grandma Katherine took some time to lie in the sun. It was a grand time for the three of them.
They'd gone to the store and Katherine took over the kitchen duties, preparing the meals. She showed how much Amanda's statements about her being a first class chef were certainly true.
One of the unspoken treats, in those first times, for Drew was when Katherine first appeared in one of her new bathing suits. She was a bit shy about it, as she came out of the house but Amanda led Drew in clapping for her and setting her at her ease. She just stood and bowed for them.
The suit was a tan one that was cut a bit high on the thighs. Wendy, Katherine's daughter, had insisted on it, telling her Momma that it would 'show her off' in the best possible way. As a matter of fact, Katherine told Drew that, when they were on the beach and his reaction was immediate:
"Well, your Wendy certainly knew what she was talking about!"
It was then Katherine's turn to redden up a bit and she turned to him and hugged him, after the comment.
Amanda noticed and asked, with her usual flair and innocence: "Grandma, are you going to be Judge Drew's girlfriend?"
Both Katherine and Drew laughed at that and Katherine said, right away: "Well, honey, we're not sure but will tell you as soon as we know."
"I bet you are!" Amanda said and the adults laughed.
Then Amanda turned back to playing with a sand pile and Drew leaned toward Katherine and said: "Hmmm, not a bad idea!"
It made Katherine giggle.
Drew also said then: "You look gorgeous in that suit!"
She grinned and said: "Didn't think you'd notice!"
"Not dead am I?" he countered with.
Then Amanda asked them to come and help her build a sand castle and they busied themselves with that task.
BOYFRIEND AND GIRLFRIEND:
They came up off the beach that day, after a while and Amanda took a nap. Since it was later in the afternoon by then, Katherine went into the kitchen to begin to organize dinner. Drew went along to talk to her and simply be a companion.
"This is being like a whole new kind of life for me," Katherine said. "Amanda might have been the prime mover but I want to thank you for being such a large part of it too."
She turned to him and the seriousness of her declaration was written on her face. His answer was quick: he kissed her.
She put down her large spoon and put her arms around his neck, plastering herself against him.
After the kiss, he said softly into her ear: "Glad you're not wearing that bathing suit now."
She giggled: "Why?"
"I'd probably explode!" he said.
"Very un-judge like!" she said with a grin.
"Totally!" was his response.
Then they heard Amanda's voice from the doorway, where she'd come, after her nap: "Boyfriend and Girlfriend?"
They both smiled at her and Katherine said: "Maybe!"
"Goodie!" Amanda said.
They spent time after dinner that night up on the observation deck to watch the sunset. There were large rounded bamboo chairs there and Amanda was curled up on Drew's lap, as they viewed the multi colored fireworks that the Gulf of Mexico were throwing up for them.
"This is so beautiful," Katherine said.
But Amanda, by that time, was simply asleep.
"Shall we take her in?" he asked, and Katherine nodded. They took Amanda then and put her to bed.
"I'm for a bath," Katherine said. "Wash off some of the sand and Gulf winds."
"I'll be in my room," he said. "There's some reading that I want to do."
She went on tip toes and gave him a quick kiss before turning away and going into the room that she shared with Amanda.
He was in the master suite, sitting in a chair and reading, when a bit later there was a knock on the door.
"Yes?" he said, and Katherine entered.
They had been both of them a bit careful after the incident of the kiss. They weren't just willing, either of them to jump into an affair quickly. They needed thinking time, each for his and her, own reasons.
But nothing could prepare Drew for the way that Katherine looked, as she came into the room saying: "I'm here for a hug before bed."
"Yes," he said but then fell totally silent.
She was standing in the door way wearing just then only a pair of beige panties. (They were those kind known as 'grannies' but despite the name, they made Katherine Griggs look like the most tasty woman alive. At least that's how Drew Forner saw it right then.)
"My god!" he muttered, almost moaned, when he saw her.
It should be mentioned that at her age, 50, Katherine Griggs was in the very prime of her beauty. She tended to be petite but a bit large in the breast and she certainly had a lovely heart shaped butt. She was showing all of that just then.
"Are we okay here, your Honor?" she asked softly.
"'Your Honor'?" he almost snorted. "You and your matchless beauty have me almost like a drooling teenager!"
She put her hand over her mouth and giggled at that.
As he strode across the room to where she was, his erection popped out of his pj bottoms, and she giggled again.
"He's after me!" she said joyfully.
"He is!" he affirmed and then had her in his arms.
As his arms encircled her, she said to him: "Everything is encouraged here!"
His hands swept down to her butt cheeks, patting and rubbing them, feeling the sheen and softness of the panties against her skin.
"Oh, wonderful!" he said.
She looked up and giggled.
"Say it," he said, knowing right away what was on her mind.
"Here comes the judge!" she said and buried her face in his chest laughing.
"Soon!" he said.
"Boyfriend?" she asked.
"Definitely!" was his answer. "We must tell Amanda tomorrow."
He bent and scooped her up in his arms then.
"Whaaaaa?" she burst out with, trying to keep as quiet as possible.
"Quiet or the cavalry will be here and find us boy-friending and girl-friending," he said softly. She giggled.
He set her down on the bed, on the edge of the bed and knelt before her.
"You're going to..." she never finished because by the time she was in the middle of the sentence, he was already kissing the sensitive inner parts of her thighs.
"Ohhhhhhhh!" she said, putting the back of her hand over her mouth to keep herself from being too loud.
He simply kept doing what he was intent on, now pressing his lips over the sheen of the panties covering her. He worked, with his lips and tongue, down across the plane of her stomach, from her belly button, until he reached her pubic hair, pressing against the panties.
This got another "Ohhhhhhhh!" from Katherine, as she crested her hand lightly on his head. "Yesssssss," she now said.
"Scintillating conversationalist!" he said.
"Eat me!" she whispered fiercely and he replied: "I am!"
"Good!" she said, "Boyfriend!"
"At least!" was his next comment.
"Back to work!" she said to him and he complied.
He grabbed the panties and began to tug them down off of her, almost frantically.
"I'd tear them off of you but I want to keep them as a memento," he said.
"I'd sign them for you!" she giggled, as her panties were taken down her legs and off of her. Then he was at her again, and she was making her noises again.
It didn't last long before she was approaching her end and she knew what she wanted from him right then.
"Here to me!" she said to him, frantically. "Drew! Now! Here! Me!"
He understood and was up, where she was, lying with her and making love to her. Their passion was short lived. Each of them, pent up from what they'd been doing, and not having done it in so long, were on a short leash with their passion.
"We were noisy," he said to her, and she giggled.
Then he got out of bed and she whined: "Oh, don't go."
"Have to," he said, and got a tee shirt for her to cover her and put on his pj bottoms again. "She'll be coming."
They heard the small noise that Amanda made and then Amanda was at the door, with her blanket in her hand.
"Drew," she said in a worried voice, "Can't find Grandma!"
Then without pausing hardly at all, she went on: "Oh, you have Grandma Katherine here!"
"Girlfriend!" he said, and Amanda smiled.
"May I?" Amanda said next and he held out his arms.
She went across the room quickly and joined the two of them in bed, nestling in between them.
She was settling down and heard a rumble.
"What's that?" she wanted to know.
"Storm in the Gulf," he said, "Coming this way but we're all secure here and cozy."
"Storm, yes," Amanda said, "But I don't care! I have Judge Drew and Grandma Katherine here for me."
"Yes, you do, honey," Katherine said to her.
By the time the storm came their way, it had blown out some of its fury and became more of a periodic lightning show for them, with Amanda snuggled down between them and being taken care of. Once the storm had passed, Amanda drifted off to sleep. Katherine reached a hand across the top of the pillow to stroke Drew's cheek and he kissed her hand.
"Good night, Katherine, love," he said, emphasizing the last word.
"Good night, love," she replied, and they were all silent.
The crisis came, as they knew it had to. They were facing the end of Katherine and Amanda's vacation.
During the time, their love making, which was as frequent as they could manage, was never furtive. It was always a treat, as though they were finding each other, discovering each other every single time.
Katherine woke Drew one morning, very early in the morning, by crawling into bed with him and giving him a blow job.
"Whaaaaat?" he said to the night, as he came to his sense.
"Hi, Drew!" she said softly, "Guess who?"
"Katherine the mouth!" he said.
"The very same," she said and continued what she was doing until she'd finished him and then, with a kiss and a hug went back to where she was sleeping with Amanda.
They both, by a mutual, if unspoken, agreement made Amanda's holiday the center of their activities and cares. It worked wonderfully for them all. By the end of the time that Katherine and Amanda had together, they three were the best of friends.
"Hate to leave," Amanda said at breakfast that day.
"It will seem so empty here without you," Drew said, and as he said it, Katherine simply put her hand over his.
He was, had been in fact, mentally preparing himself for their leaving with messages about having the place to himself and settling into his own vacation. He felt, believed almost, what he was saying to himself.