Disclaimers: See Part 1
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A while back, Addy asked Phillip to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Karen's mother. She specifically asked him to only talk to only to her about this investigation since this was a delicate matter for Karen and because it was she who was asking him to investigate. She explained to him the delicate nature and consequences of the possible findings of the investigation. Phillip clearly understood the confidentiality of the investigation. It was not until Karen's third month of pregnancy that Phillip called Addy on her cell phone.
“Addy, I have a report on Karen's mother. What do you want me to do with it?”
“Oh dear God! Is it good or bad?”
“Well from what you told me and having read the report, I would say that it is good.”
“Should I send it by mail, courier, email, which would you prefer?
“Email it to my private account.”
“Alright, give me a few minutes to scan it and I'll email it. It's 3 pages long. You should receive it within the next 15 minutes. Please, email me back to acknowledge receipt.”
“Phillip, I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. Please, bill me for your time and any expenses.”
“It's no trouble. You and Karen are family. We always take care of family.”
“Thanks again, Phillip. You are great.”
“Listen, I was going to ask you something. We have a couple of cases dealing with financial matters and I thought of asking Karen to help us out. I just wasn't sure whether to call her or not because since she's expecting now I don't know if she's up to it. What do you think?” Phillip occasionally tapped Karen for complicated financial matters. At first Karen did it because she liked it, but later on he insisted on paying her because it was a lot of very specialized work and also very well paid by the clients. Karen didn't need the money but she liked the work. She had a bright financial mind and thrived on the work.
“You know, Phillip, I think it's a great idea. I think that working on things she likes to do would help her keep her mind busy. I think she needs some distraction and this might help. You know how much she likes it. Yeah, call her and ask her. I don't know what she will say, but I personally I think it will be good for her.”
A few minutes later Addy had the report in her hands. It was good. Unbelievable as it was, the report clearly stated that the glass next to the door was broken and that the perpetrator then unlocked the door to get inside the house. It was all there in black and white.
So the issue now was how to bring this to Karen's attention. The news was good and Karen was already controlling her morning sickness, so it all seemed well.
After dinner that evening, Addy decided to tackle the issue. “You okay, baby?”
“Yeah. Are you coming to watch some TV with me?”
“Hey can we talk for a minute? I have something to share with you.”
Karen turned around to look for her. “What?”
Addy took the remote and turned off the TV. The minute she did, Karen became serious. She thought Addy had some bad news. When she saw Addy smiling, she relaxed. “First of all, the only reason why I'm sharing this with you at this particular time is because I have good news.”
Karen smiled a bit relieved. Addy continued. “It's a delicate subject, but I think one that might give you peace. Some time ago, I asked Phillip to do something for me. I asked him to find out details of your mother's death.” Karen recoiled. Her face was drained of color and emotion. She looked scared, and then she remembered Addy's words that the news was good. “What is it, Addy?”
“Karen, the intruder broke in.” Karen brought her hand to her mouth, her forehead immediately frowned and her eyes became two swimming pools. With a quivering voice she managed to speak. “How do you know this?”
“Police report. Here's a copy. It's in black and white.”
Addy handed over the report and Karen took it. As she began to read, she pressed her hand against her mouth and the tears in her eyes began to fall. She continued to read, as she wiped the tears away. Of course the gruesome description had been eliminated and all the report contained was how the intruder gained access to the house. The window next to the door had been broken and the intruder was able to reach in and slide the door's latch. Karen never saw the broken window because the curtains covered it. She only saw the open sliding door. The report specifically described how the curtain concealed the broken window.
When Karen finished reading, she looked at Addy, who was patiently and expectantly waiting for Karen's reaction. The tears seemed like rivers parting from the gorgeous green eyes. Addy's heart ached. She opened her arms and Karen crashed into them and sobbed, letting the tears fall on the shoulder that was home to her and releasing years of anguish from her soul. Addy caressed her, and ran her hand through her golden hair placing innumerable kisses on her head. “Oh, baby….” Addy wished she could stop her form crying, but deep down it was better for her to release all the fears and frustrations she had kept inside for so many years.
A while later, as Karen composed herself, she looked at Addy. “It wasn't my fault….it wasn't me.” She again collapsed in Addy's arms sobbing. “No, baby, it wasn't your fault.” They remained laying on the sofa for hours. Karen was comfortably snuggled in Addy's arms. She patiently ran her hand along Karen's back endlessly until the sobbing stopped. Eventually, she felt how the tension left Karen's body and she was again relaxed.
Years of guilt were finally put away, set aside. Karen finally had concrete evidence to really put away all her guilt. “Thanks, Addy. This removes a dark cloud from my past. Thanks for doing this baby.”
“I only wish we had talked about this sooner and that all this had been done a long time ago. You would have been happier.”
Karen frowned. “I'm happy, Addy. You make me happy.”
Addy smiled and smacked a wet kiss on her lips. “By the way, Phillip is going to call you. He asked me whether you might be interested in some work. He didn't know whether to call you because he didn't know how you were feeling, anyways, I told him to call you.”
“You don't mind if I take on some work from him?”
“Ker, I never mind that you work. I didn't like it when you were overworking yourself and getting grumpy. If you can work without overdoing it or getting grumpy, I'm perfectly fine with it. Also, don't get me involved with any legal issues. I'm through with the law. I guess that makes me an outlaw!” She laughed and leaned against Karen.
“Come sexy, let's watch a video.”
Karen looked at her, smiled and reread the report. She placed it on the coffee table, reclined the love seat, and leaned her head into Addy's shoulder. This had become the customary way to watch TV, sprawled on the love seat, holding each other. It was cozy, warm and loving. Occasionally, without any reason a kiss was imparted on the head, neck, hand, arm, or lips.
Sometimes, an extended kiss on the lips led to other activities that required stopping the movie. Karen's pregnancy had not affected her sex drive in the least, something for which Addy was enormously grateful. At least the pregnancy had not altered everything! It was not until around the eight month of pregnancy that the dry season began.
A few days later, Addy was making a sandwich in the kitchen when Karen walked in.
What kind of creation are you making now?”
“Rye bread, honey ham, Swiss cheese, fennel, garlic paste and mustard.”
“Umm, okay, make me one.”
“My mother used love rye bread.”
Addy looked up in amazement.
Karen noted her look. “What? What did I say?”
“This is the first time since we've been together that you have mentioned your mother? Except for that night, of course.”
Karen looked up, shocked by Addy's observation. “Yeah, you are right.”
Karen sat in one of the kitchen stools. “Yeah, I don't usually talk much about her. So much happened. I just wanted to forget it all. Why do you think is that? Why would I have never talked about her and then now I just did?”
“Maybe reading that police report freed a part of you that was still imprisoned by your doubts? Maybe now there are no more unanswered questions? Maybe whatever was left of your guilt is gone and you can bring her back into your life? I think that you wanted so much to forget what happened, that you buried it all. Including the good. I think you need to remember the good parts. I think you will, slowly, at your own comfort level. When you are ready to talk about her, I'll listen.”
Karen was trying to make sense of Addy's words and at the same time felt overwhelmed by her own comprehension that she had bought her mother back to her life. That it felt good to remember her and her love. Karen was stunned as Addy came close to hold her. Karen grasped her hips and wrapped her arms around her resting her head against Addy's shoulder. Addy ran her hands up and down her back as Karen continued to hang on to her like a child in fear.
“Addy, you know how you've always wanted me to go and help you organize the attic? I think we should now.”
“Now?” Karen, never before had any desire to go up and check what was in the boxes. She was of the opinion that it was better not to stir the past. She had never suggested looking at any of it until now.
Addy pulled her away. “Yes, I think we should definitely do that, but not now. I don't want you climbing up that ladder. It's dangerous. Plus it's cold up there. I don't want you getting sick either. So, we are going to do it but not just now.”
The way to go to the attic was by pulling down a chain on the second floor landing. When the chain was pulled a folding ladder slowly lowered itself. Once all the latches were hooked, a person could go up into the attic. The attic had floor a floor safe to walk on, and it also had electricity. When they renovated the cottage they had insulated it and also put up drywall, not so much wanting to make it livable space, but more to keep it as storage space because the cottage was small. And as Addy had mentioned there was no heat.
“Addy, I'm pregnant, not disabled!”
“I know, Ker, but that stuff has been there forever, it can certainly wait a few more months. There is no need to do this now.” Then she thought that maybe Karen now needed to reacquaint herself with her mother and that going down memory lane was a necessary thing, so she came up with an idea. “However, if you really want to rummage through the stuff up there, I can get help to bring the stuff down and then you can go through stuff down here. I'm totally opposed to your climbing up there, though.”
Karen sighed, pursed her lips and rolled her eyes. “I hate it when you get into this protective mode! But, I'm not going to argue with you. You win. Let's do it your way. Let's get someone to bring the stuff down. I guess I will have to act the pregnant woman role for now!”
Karen was not one to have things done for her. She also didn't shy away from tough, rough or dirty jobs. If it had to be done, she'd do it. She was not one of those women who thought certain things were for men only. She thought she was as capable as anyone and if it was something that required the type of brute force she didn't have, she was of the opinion that her ‘superior' intelligence would allow her to figure out how to do it.
“Thanks.” Addy didn't say much more. She knew that accepting her condition was hard for Karen and that she was coping as best as she could. The least Addy could do was let her rant about it.
Karen was quiet as she resumed reading from her tablet.
Two days later the two men Addy hired to clear the attic came over and began to bring the boxes and trunks down. They move the furniture around and things were neatly arranged to be accessible for Karen.
Although the living and dining rooms looked like a bomb had gone off with all the clutter from the attic spread everywhere, this was preferable to Karen going up there. As soon as Karen was through looking at boxes, Addy had the guys come back to put the stuff back in the attic.
The boxes in the attic contained things from Aunt Charlotte, but there was a lot of stuff that belonged to Karen's mother and father as well. There we also personal belongings of years past. When Karen's dad passed away she came back to Scotland for the funeral and to liquidate all his assets. When the house sold, the furniture sold with the house, but Karen put away in storage many boxes that were full of memories. This all came to the cottage after she and Addy came back from trotting around the world and decided to settle back in the cottage. They took the boxes from storage and stored them in the attic along with Aunt Charlotte's things.
A lot of stuff from the past surfaced. Some good, some not so good. Addy was delighted with some of the finds. After all, this was where she had found the old Scotch recipe from Karen's grandfather that was making them so much money. Addy was looking out to see if there was any other buried treasure to be found. Karen kept kidding her about it. A couple of times, Karen screamed excited at finding something and Addy came running only to find that it was another tease from Karen. “Baby you are too easy!”
“And you are just plain mean! Awful woman! Sometimes I wonder why I love you!”
To which Karen would reply. “Because I'm sexy and you like the way I shake my butt when I dance.”
“Ha, ha.” Addy made funny faces as Karen grinned still rummaging through all the old stuff. Addy enjoyed the teasing. It was true she did like the way Karen moved her butt when she danced. There was a song called ‘Yeaa' that Karen danced to years back with JP at the party in her apartment. The song had like a Middle Eastern sound to it and thus, when danced well, it required the moving of the hips like a belly dancer.
Addy didn't know until that day that, while in college, Karen had taken belly dancing classes as part of exercise training and probably to meet other woman. The point was that Karen knew how to move her hips like a belly dancer and, as Addy would describe Karen's butt as the ‘low' type, Addy found it extremely fascinating and sexy to see Karen perform her hip-butt shake dance. Seeing Karen do her thing had taken them many times straight to the bedroom. “Baby, when I see you move your butt like that, I get all turned on and just want to be all over it!”
Karen would laugh every time. “I don't know what you see there! I barely have any to show! You on the other hand…”
“Oh, baby, but sometimes is not quantity that matters, but quality. Yours is very fine. I find it cute, tight and perfect!”
Karen loved to get Addy all hyped up, so she'd conveniently use her lower ‘attribute' to lure Addy in. The song was conveniently very accessible on her iPod.
Among the tons of things in the boxes, there were many picture albums of Karen as a child and growing up. Addy was enchanted. “Oh my God! Look how cute you were! You were adorable, like a little doll! I can imagine our little girl looking just like you. She will be beautiful! Awwww! Look at you here! Karen! Oh my God! This is precious. I hope our baby looks like you.” And on and on she went. At times Karen would stop doing whatever she was doing just to look at Addy. Karen loved to see her so happy. And while Addy wanted the baby to have Karen's looks, all Karen wanted was that the baby would turn out to be like Addy and have her great sense of humor and happy disposition to life.
There was an interesting find for Addy for which Karen was not too thrilled. “Karen is this mom?”
Karen looked. “Yes.” Karen was now browsing the web, her eyes were fixed on her tablet, and she did not want to look at the pictures. Although she now knew she had nothing to do with her mother's death, looking at her pictures was like opening old wounds and doors that she was not ready to face yet.
“Lady Catherine MaGuill Larsen. You look like her. She was a beautiful woman. Did she go by Lady? Did she use her title as a surname?”
They had forgotten all about the title thing, after the feud with Karen's family over the property.
Karen spoke from her recliner. “Addy, I hate all that stuff and all it represents. You know that!” Then she reflected. “After my mother died, everyone wanted me to claim the title and assume the role when I grew up. I didn't. I don't believe in any of that crap, and I don't care for it now or ever. That is one of the reasons I left here, and is the reason my Aunt Charlotte wanted to bring me back. She thought I shouldn't….
“My God, Karen, and to think that we almost sold all of these to International Hotels! How could you not have tried to stop it?”
“Addy I think I left it to fate. When you decided to sell everything, but this place, I couldn't believe it. I thought that it was as if this place had a hold on me!”
“It does. You just don't see it, do you?” Addy though for a minute. “Look, you left here to get away from your family and went to America . There you found me. In turn, look what happened, it was me who convinced you to come to the reading of the will, and who convinced you to stay and who decided not to sell and who proposed coming back here.”
Karen listened attentively. “This was meant to happen. This is where you belong. Can't you see it? This is where our baby needs to be born. Where her roots are!”
Karen rolled her eyes. “Yeah, she has roots here and somewhere in Sweden ! Karen said this because since the insemination had been in Sweden , presumably, the sperm donor was Swedish. However, did you just hear what your oracle mouth just said as you explained how fate brought me back here?”
“All I heard was that if it hadn't been because of you, nothing of what has happened would have happened at all!”
Addy remained silent, she later smiled.
“If that is true, either I am your fate, or the one leading you to it. Either way, I will now tell you what I think should be done to lead you further into your fate. I think that you should call Phillip and tell him to finalize all that paper work to claim your title so that you can pass it on to your child, if she is a girl, come the day.”
“Oh, God! Woman, are you ever going to stop having all these crazy ideas? Do you think I'm just going to put on a happy face and say ‘Okay let's do it' to something I've rejected all my life? I was going to do whatever needed to be done at that trial so that we could keep the property, fortunately it was not necessary. Now I don't intend to do anything about it. Just let it rest, Adriana Marcos, because my dear, that is my final answer!”
Karen got up and walked to the kitchen. “Oh, you know what? I don't really care what you do! You can reject it for the rest of your life if that is what you want.” Karen looked back to find Addy's eyes, all of a sudden lost, not knowing what new twist Addy was going to give to this matter.
“So what's your point? Why were you then proposing that I reclaim it?”
“Because it's not yours to give away.”
Karen continued to stare very thoughtful. “I don't get it. What do you mean?”
“It's a family thing. It belonged to your mother and if you don't want it, it belongs to our child, if she is a girl. And by the way, I think it will be a girl! I think that if your mother used the title, it was probably because she was proud of the family name. It was your choice not to use it, as the brat you are. However, have you considered the possibility that your mother might have wanted it go to her granddaughter.”
“What?!!!” Karen chuckled. “You definitely have a screw loose today! To begin with, and to end this conversation, I never even thought of having a kid, so it's not like it would have gone anywhere beyond me. And my mother probably knew this!”
“Well. In my opinion, you can reject it all you want to, but I also believe that you have to give the same option that you now have to your child. You don't know if she will reject it or accept it!”
“Well she can claim it later if she wants to. And look at us, arguing about the stupid thing when we don't even know for sure that the kid is going to be a girl. Addy, is just a stupid title there is no money, there is just this property which the kid will get anyway! The title is an empty pompous thing!”
“It's prestigious, and although you did not take advantage of its prestige, maybe our child will. You really have no idea, if one day, that title may open doors for her.”
Karen remained quiet and serious. It was true a nobility title was prestigious and a door opener in certain circles. But she never wanted any of it. She was not fit to fit the mold of the nobility and she ran from it as far and as fast as she could. “Whatever!”
“Does that mean you'll call Phillip?”
“I didn't say that. I don't know. I'll think about it. I don't want to talk about it anymore tonight, please. I don't even know why I put up a fight anymore with you! Look at me! Pregnant and now the Lady thing! Ugh! What will you have me do next? Shave my head?”
“Actually, if a woman could get away with being bald, it would be someone as gorgeous as you.”
Karen rolled her eyes, and looked the other way to hide first her annoyance and then her smile, but Addy saw her. All her life, she hated when people told her she was beautiful. Maybe it was because she knew she was and saw no point in people telling her. However, for the strangest reasons on earth, she loved it when Addy told her she was beautiful. Karen's reply was that beauty was in the eye of the beholder, and that she only wanted to be beautiful to her.
Karen grinned. “Flattery is not going to get you anywhere, Ms. Addy!” Karen still thought that Addy was trying to convince her to claim the title by now being sweet to her.
“Have I told you lately how beautiful you are and how much I love you?” Addy got close to her and flutter her long, and dark eyelashes.
Flattery did get her somewhere! It always worked.
Two days later, Addy heard Karen on the phone. “Phillip, there is something I would like to do. Since this is your ‘cup of tea' I thought you might help me.” She told him. As she did, she walked into the kitchen where Addy was standing and reclined on threshold of the door, knowing that Addy was listening. She never hid anything from her, she couldn't. There was no point hiding something from someone who knew you so well. Addy could even tell when she was smiling no matter if it was pitch dark! Addy knew every little expression, every little detail of her face that would give her away. No, she would never hide anything from her.
Karen smiled as Addy got closer. Addy was staring into her eyes as Karen continued to talk to Phillip, Karen held her gaze.
When she was done talking to Phillip, she closed her eyes and leaned her forehead to Addy's as she inhaled her scent. She closed her eyes, and caressed Addy's hair with her face. “Short hair, you are either my perdition, or my redemption. Whichever you are, I cannot fight you, woman. I surrender to your charms!” Addy kissed her. Her arms went around Karen's neck. “You surrender? To my charms?” Addy raised her right eyebrow, in the way that she knew Karen liked.
Karen looked at her straight in the eyes. “Yes.” Her heart ponded in her chest as the intensity in the brown eyes burnt her with desire. Addy laced her hands through Karen's hair and held her head back. “I'm your redemption, green eyes, and for that I claim your heart….. and your soul.”
Karen eyes looked like ping pong balls again. Addy loved it when that happened. It only meant that she was burning with desire. “It's been a while since you've had both, Ms. Marcos. What are you going to do with them now?” Karen's eyes were incredibly dark now. She loved to feel possessed by Addy. Ironically, and an another inconsistency in her life, the woman who had always like to possess others, now wanted nothing more than to be ravished by this one, unique, and still unbelieving and reluctant lesbian!
Addy smiled, she knew that look too well and she was already a puddle. Addy smiled and knowing her power over the green eyes, she pressed. “Woman, I'm so wet that if I were pregnant, I'd think my water just broke.”
Karen chuckled and gave the order. “Upstairs, now!” Addy turned and started to make her way upstairs. Karen smiled as she was being pulled upstairs. Pregnant and all, I can still charm her! A very smiley Karen followed. As she was going up the stairs behind Addy, she teased her some more. “Since I will be reclaiming the title, at your request, I may need to be referred to as ‘your highnesses from now on.”
Addy laughed out loud. “Ha, Ha, dream on, cutie!” Then she turned around and grabbed Karen by her waist. “Consider yourself twice lucky today.”
“Oh, yeah? Why twice?”
“One, you are getting laid big time and two….that I'm keeping your secret!”
Karen bit her lower lip trying not to laugh at how terribly cute and sexy Addy looked.
“And what exactly is my secret, since you appear to know more about me than I do?”
“That you are no lady!”
“Oh my God! You are so going to pay for this!”
“I know!!!! Which exactly proves my point.”
They laughed. Karen kissed her with passion and brought her down gently onto the bed amidst tickling her. Karen was over her watching her laugh her heart out. Addy looked enchanting. She was the picture of life and Karen basked in her beauty and in her laughter. She combed her short hair back. Somehow the front of her hair was always loose over her forehead. “Gorgeous woman, be mine.”
Addy looked at her smiling. “Green eyes, I am. I thought you knew that by now.” Then is seductive whisper she added. “Today and always!”
Three weeks later, Karen received notice from Phillip. All the paperwork had been filed to secure her title.
In the initial conversation with Phillip about the title business, Phillip and Karen talked about work. Karen accepted, but explained the terms she and Addy had discussed. Also there had been talk about whether she would need to travel, which Karen immediately rejected because she did not like being away from Addy. As for the matter of whether she would have to occasionally go down to the Edinburgh office to meet and discuss issues with clients, she reluctantly agreed, as long as it was kept to a minimum.
The next few months of the pregnancy were delightful. Karen's morning sickness subsided and as she began to focus on the work that Phillip sent her and she stopped concentrating so much on herself. She was busy and felt good all around. In addition, because she gained little weight during the first few months, her pregnancy barely showed. Karen was also tall and her height helped to conceal her stomach. She was already on her fourth month and except for a couple of extra inches around her waist, her pregnancy didn't show at all. Her clothes pretty much still fit. Around the house she could get away with wearing drawstring pants and big sweaters. For this she was extremely happy. “So far so good. If I can just keep it like this, we'll all be fine.”
Addy always smiled at any positive comment. There was no point in predicting what she knew would be happening after the sixth month when the baby started to grow. Until about that time the baby would be developing and it is not until the end that the baby begins to gain weight.
The possibility of having to meet with clients and going to the office in the following months required that Karen would have appropriate clothing to wear. Until now, she only had to go to the office once during her third month but in the months that followed she had to go in several more times. One of those times during the fifth month, she could hardly find anything to wear and had to go with the buttons of her slacks open.
Addy had been trying to get her to go shopping for some maternity clothes but Karen had refused. “See! This is why I told you we should have gone shopping. I just hope your pants don't fall off in front of the clients! Or that you don't get up and your zipper is wide open.”
Well, while at the office Karen was so worried about her pants not falling off or exposing herself at the meeting that when she came home she announced that they would go shopping for maternity clothes.
“Good grief! What happen? Did the pants really fall off?” Addy smirked.
Karen grimaced. “No, they didn't fall off! I was so self-conscious about the possibility of them falling, thanks to a certain someone, that I was afraid it would actually happen and two, when I zipped up I had difficulty breathing!”
Addy was all smiles. I was right!
Shopping for maternity clothes was a unique experience. This was aggravated by the fact that neither one of them liked to shop. There were always two things in their favor when they went shopping that made their trips short and successful. Number one, price was not a problem, so they weren't looking for sales or bargains. If it fit and looked good, it didn't matter how much it cost. Number two and most important, the two of them were in excellent shapes and had enviable bodies, which meant that anything good and expensive was a perfect fit. Needless to say, their wardrobe was full of name brands even their most raggedy pants were of some particular brand.
However this trip was different. Just approaching the maternity section raised the hair on Karen's neck. “I cannot believe for the life of me that I'm doing this! If someone had shown me a picture of me at this precise moment years ago, I would have denied to the death that it was me. This is like a nightmare! Look at these clothes, for God's sake, they are made for hippos! I'd look like a blimp if I'd wear this!” Then she'd look at something else and say “look at this, who would wear this?” People occasionally looked at her with unbelieving expressions.
While Karen ranted, and ridiculed half the items in the store, Addy kept picking up stuff from the racks in different sizes. “Here, stop complaining and go in there and try some of this stuff on. We don't even know what size you are, we need to get some idea and start somewhere.”
“Well! Why didn't you ask? I could have told you! It is probably the giant size or the gigantic size, or wait! Is there a hippo or an elephant size? Because that is precisely the one I need! Give me that!” She took the clothes from Addy's hand and with a menacing face she headed from the dressing room. Addy rolled her eyes and exhaled when Karen turned for the dressing room.
She took forever in the dressing room. “How are you doing in there? Does anything fit? Can I come in to see you or will you be coming out?”
Karen pulled the curtain of the dressing room a bit to address Addy's comment. Addy was standing right outside. When Karen showed her face with her eyes narrowed in a menacing look, she was practically face to face with Addy. Addy bit her lower lip to contain her laughter. “Don't eeeven think…. about me coming out there dressed like this! I'm resolved to maintain my dignity at whatever cost!”
Addy chuckled, hardly able to contain it. She couldn't, this was just too funny. Even Karen had to smile, she also blushed. She realized she was being childish. “Can I, at least, come in, to see how things fit?”
“Addy!! I don't want you to see me dressed like this!!! Go out there and continue to look for something that may allow me to respect myself when I look in the mirror! If something looks reasonable, I'll let you see it.”
After three hours, they came out of the mall with two pairs of black pants two sweaters, same style but different t colors, a blouse and a blazer. “I really don't like the blazer. It makes me look like I'm a badly wrapped gift! Oh Lord! When will this be over? It's like a nightmare!!”
Two weeks after James had gone to California , he came back. He was a responsible fellow and he loved his job at the distillery. It had taken years for him to fit into a job that he really liked and came easy to him. He was an excellent manager and Karen and Addy thought that he was the heart of the distillery. He was an honest person and the women had given him carte blanch with all the aspects of running the distillery. He had done a fabulous job. The Scotch had acquired international recognition and sold very well at home and abroad. The quality of the Scotch was excellent and the management and marketing were state of the art. James ran a tight ship and was very proud of his accomplishment. So were the ladies. He was precious to them, business wise as well as on the personal level.
The separation from JP had hurt them deeply on the personal level because they felt for James. Karen blamed JP for the whole incident and, in her heart, there was no way that she could forgive him. Addy tried to redeem him in her eyes pointing out his good qualities, but Karen was hurt beyond belief by her friend and Addy didn't see a way to fix the matter.
“Ker, you were the one who said he had a bad childhood.”
“Yeah, Addy, but we cannot blame everything on our childhood and our parents. There's a point in a person's life when you have to tell yourself ‘I want to be better' ‘I want to do better.' I thought that JP had matured. And of all people, he had to mess with James? James who is probably the most decent man I've ever met! You have to admit it Addy, James didn't deserve this! God, I'm so mad!”
“Do you think that if he comes back, James would forgive him?”
“I don't know. Personally, I'd always wonder if his coming back was because he realized he really loved James or because he realized he's too old and couldn't find anyone else to care for him anymore.”
“Maybe JP needs that type of realization for him to appreciate what he has.”
“I don't know, Addy. I don't want to talk about it anymore. It makes me mad.”
A few days passed and James had not called. So, Addy called him.
“Sorry I haven't called, but JP came home.”
Addy was silent. When she opened her eyes wide as if in amazement, Karen knew something was going on.
“We are talking. That's what's going on. He's not here right now. I will tell you, Addy. I've thought a lot about this. I don't know if I should take him back. If I did, it would be conditional on this not happening again. If it were to happen again, that would be it for me.”
“I'm not going to say anything either way James. This is between you and him.”
“Yes, I don't expect you to say anything, Addy. I understand your position. We are both your friends.”
“Where's JP now?” Karen was very attentive listening to the conversation.
“He went to Edinburgh . He needs to do a few things there. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted. For now I need time to sort things out.”
“Okay. You know where we are, if you need us.”
Addy hung up.
Karen asked. “Is he taking him back?”
“Can't really say from what he said. I think James is thinking about it.”
“ Edinburgh . Taking care of a few things, he didn't say what, though.”
“If James is thinking of taking him back, he might have sent him to get tested. I mean, who knows who he's been with.”
“Oh God! What a terrible situation.” Addy was thoughtful.
“Yeah. Come on. Let's sit on the love seat and find something to watch.”
They sat together and turned on the TV, but neither one was watching anything. They were just staring at it. Addy leaned on Karen and Karen put her arm around her and kissed her on the head. Addy turned a bit and began to caress her belly. Then all of a sudden, Addy leaned down and laid on Karen's lap her face towards Karen's belly. She then began to talk to Karen's belly. “I love you, little baby. You don't know me yet but you will soon. I think you are going to love me and I'm going to play with you. I wonder if you will look like your mommy. She is very pretty.” Addy kept on and on.
Karen chuckled. “You are the craziest person I've ever known!” Karen caressed her face and played with her hair.
The phone rang and it was JP. Karen took the call since she was closer to the phone and sitting upright. She looked at the number. She knew who it was.
Addy immediately straightened up.
“We are fine. We sort of heard that you are back in town.”
“Yes. I got here a few days ago. I'm in Edinburgh .”
“What are you doing there?”
“James doesn't want me home.”
“Are you trying to come home?”
“Yes, baby. I made a mistake. I need to fix it.”
“Start by coming clean and apologizing. Then beg until you feel like shit and then live to make it up to him. If you can't do that for pride, then man up and leave him for good, so that he can find himself a better man. Which I'm sure he will sooner than you think. Addy, do you have any ideas?”
“Do you know anything I don't know?”
“No. You pretty much covered it. I have nothing to say on the matter.”
“Oh, brother! Even she sounds mad at me!”
“JP, you are lucky that Addy is not your partner.”
Karen then looked at Addy with a smirk on her face. Addy wondered what she was up to. “And what I was thinking is that for the last two weeks, you were both free men, weren't you? I don't know what one of you did, but you took a risk there JP, James is a very good looking man, and he went directly to San Francisco , the mecca of gay men. God only knows how he dealt with his feelings while there.”
Addy listened, smiling and nodding.
“Good luck, JP. I really wish you the best, as always.”
JP started to cry. “That's it? That's all you are going to say to your friend in need? After all we've been through in life?”
“Yes, that's pretty much all I have to say. JP….. You fucked up, fix it. Good night.” She hung up.
“He was crying.”
“I don't feel sorry. I think he needs to cry. He needs to cry his heart out.”
“You know, I always thought that I was the most unforgiving of the two of us on that matter, but I was wrong. You've never said it but the cheating thing for you is also unpardonable, isn't it?
“Addy, as great is the love, as great the injury. I think that if you were to hit me, I could still love you, but if you cheated on me, my heart would be so broken I couldn't possibly forget or forgive.”
“Oh, baby, that is so beautiful!” Addy hugged her and kissed her. “Fortunately, you don't have to worry about the hitting or the cheating. I would never do either.”
“I think we need to call James now.” Karen announced.
Addy pulled away from the embrace. Karen dialed James' number.
“Hi, James. I've just talked to JP. For your personal satisfaction, let me tell you that by the time we hung up, he was crying.”
“Oh Lord, Karen, what did you tell him?”
“A few things, but what you need to know and use in your favor is that I made him think that it was a mistake to let you free for two weeks because you are a very good looking fellow and only God know how you dealt with your feelings in San Francisco .”
“Oh! Karen, I didn't stay home. I went out. I needed entertainment.”
“Okay, okay, okay! I don't need details! I think that apparently no one is without fault….you better call him with the excuse to talk to him or something and fix this situation once and for all. It seems to me that the two of you are two horny men who should be together, so get moving!” She heard James chuckle and after saying goodbye, she hung up.
Addy's eyes were huge. “Sorry about the language, baby, but it appears that those two sort of deserve each other.”
“You mean to tell me that he also…..”
“They gave each other two weeks of freedom! I guess it was a free for all!”
“Really? Wow! I think I need a drink. Can I bring you tea or lemonade?”
“What I need is a double Martini!”
“You are going to have to wait a few months for that, baby.”
“Well, since I can't have my second addiction, can I have my first?”
Addy was coming back with a glass of wine and lemonade for Karen and wondering what she meant until she saw Karen's face. .
Karen wiggled her eye brows and smiled at her suggestively. “Oh that!”
As soon as she set the glasses on the table, Karen pull her to the sofa.
“Yes, that! Here and now.”
“Somebody is bossy! I like it!”
Karen grinned. Moans of pleasure were heard for a long time.
To be continued in Part 6
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