John ambled back to the house from the driveway. He stood on his porch with an odd expression on his face. He turned and went back inside to rejoin Virginia—his publishing agent and guest.
He regained some of his composure from earlier in the day. “Thank you for your patience. Now what would you like to ask first?”
Ginger looked back to the front door and with an overwhelming sense of curiosity asked, “Who exactly were those people? You said distant family? I certainly felt right at home around them; it was a very comfortable feeling.”
He looked to the front door and porch; the last several months flooded his memory, “They would say that they were just ordinary people. However, I can personally attest that they are in fact: most extraordinary individuals.” He let go of his recollections and focused on her. He saw her very clearly for the first time; smiling he offered, “Take that necklace you’re wearing,” her fingers went instinctively to it from long habit, “I happen to know a story about its little agate pebble that just might surprise you.”
“Is this a part of your manuscript?” Ginger was very interested now, “We can kill two birds with one stone if you wish to elaborate—I’m all ears!”
He began, “It seldom appears to the casual observer that any thing is truly out of the ordinary, save on those rare occasions when the extra-ordinary sneaks into everyday life…”
He added another couple split logs to the fire and they settled into comfortable seats. “To understand the whole context of the story,” he reached for the cup of coffee that had grown cold, yet he took a sip and smiled as he continued, “I should begin by explaining: Wang Fu Kong was the youngest son of a Chinese entrepreneur. He inherited a portion of his father’s fortune. In order to avoid losing it or his life at the hands of his greedy brothers, he sailed into the sunrise looking to make his fortune in the New World. Once in San Francisco, he promptly adopted the name of George Livingson…”
Through the evening, through the night, even throughout the next morning and into the afternoon, during coffee, tea, sandwiches and snacks, he regaled her with the tale of all the generations of Livingsons just as it had been told to him. When he got to the parts that mentioned her own family’s roles in the story—the Spelmans, Bessamers and Mastersons—he noticed she closed her eyes as if to etch those histories into her memory forever. The story of ‘Papa’s Pebble’ naturally held her spellbound. They were sitting quietly after he’d brought the story up to the present—omitting the delivery of the watch and his father’s medal only minutes before she’d arrived.
“I wasn’t even told that I was adopted until receiving this little trinket…” she dangled the pebble at her throat absently.
John then listened to her tell him of how she returned home from the reading of her mother’s will with the information of her birth mother’s real name, who her mother had really been, and of her own actual family… somewhere. How, when she returned to Indiana and confronted Harvey and Peggie, her adoptive parents admitted what they had done when driving home from an auction the foggy cold night she was born—How they had encountered an overturned bus, a pregnant woman giving birth on the grassy shoulder of the road, and of taking the woman and child into their car with the intention of traveling to a hospital. Then how, since they couldn’t have children, their desire for a child of their own overwhelmed them at the cost of the woman’s life.
Ginger felt again the anger and vitriol that always arose in her with that recollection, “I am thankful they are now long dead,” she admitted without emotion. “That may sound heartless and ungrateful, but it was confusing and difficult while they were still alive.” She looked at his face and recognized there was actually what appeared to be compassion behind his eyes.
She demurred, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I’ve certainly been analyzed and therapized enough to have gotten through these emotions… but…” He still held her in his gaze without judgement. “Harvey was a nice man, really; he was just spineless when it came to Peggie’s whims and demands. Peggie was doting to the point of obsessive and could never understand why I was so rebellious. I was smarter than both of them put together; I despised being trotted out to ‘perform’ for their family and the few friends they had. She wanted a Barbie; she got me instead—I was a real disappointment. She told me so often enough… She wanted a girl-doll and I was a hoyden with a mind of my own. She screamed at me; slapped me around when screaming didn’t work, then sobbed to her husband to ‘do something about that tomboy’.” Ginger was digging her fingernails into the cushions of the sofa and suddenly realized it. She took a deep breath, tried to smile and sat back with her legs crossed and arms folded.
John was nearly in tears. Her emotions weren’t too far from those he’d carried for years, but from different causes. He said softly, “I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like. You see, no one paid any attention to me; there were no parents, no expectations, no one to disappoint, no screaming or abuse at all. I was simply alone: surrounded by other kids; most of them actually did have parents—but parents who couldn’t afford to feed themselves let alone their children. So they ended up where I was: in the orphanage. I had all of the same disgust and anger that it sounds like you had. I was disgusted and angry at the world at large, or the parents I didn’t have, or fate… hell, I didn’t even know who to be mad at, and that was hardest part I guess: just not knowing…” He was suddenly as quiet as she now was.
Ginger’s thought, ‘Jeez, I had it bad, but at least I had someone to blame and be mad at…’ Aloud she said, “The Amoursons were conscienceless bastards, but at least they weren’t faceless—I knew who to detest and attack: Peggie!” She realized she was saying that out loud because John’s head came up and he was looking at her. She softened and sat forward, “When I was finally told the story of my real mother, that I was essentially stolen at birth… I felt liberated and justified—but at the same time I felt very alone. After the confrontation with Harvey and Peggie I went on to college and tried to forget. But the realities of my childhood constantly haunted me. There was: what to do at holidays, the stacks of unopened letters from them, and the infrequent messages on my answering machine…” She softened even further, “They did provide me with everything they could afford—however misguided and twisted Peggie was. It’s just that once I was told the truth, I only wanted so desperately to have been able to have my own mother instead of them!”
They both stared out the windows into the lengthening shadows of evening. John said quietly, “…John Doe is the only name I have known. You weren’t told the truth of your birth and real family until you were eighteen—I am forty this year and was just told yesterday that my name is actually: John Robert Backhouse of a remarkable family and startling lineage. That I was—just as you were—lost at birth.”
As he showed her the watch, the medal and his ‘alleged’ birth certificate, Ginger’s eyes widened. It hadn’t occurred to her for a even a moment that that long story wasn’t just for her benefit alone.
Her thoughts flashed, ‘Oh my God! What was I thinking?! That this whole tale of the Livingsons was just a salve for my own wounds… That all this was about me! Ginger-girl! How self-centered are you?! Cripes! Whose daughter are you really? Peggie’s girl after all?! Grow a Conscience! This guy is hurting too! There are other people in the world besides the great and wonderful Ginger…’
Aloud she said, “You mean the Backhouses… like from the story?! Just as I am Virginia Kaitlyn Belle Spelman from those Spelmans…”
The implications were boggling. It was one thing to hear family stories and want so badly for them to be real—to be your story too; it’s another thing entirely to know they are very probably real—that one is finally: not alone.
John interposed cautiously, “If this story is true, then there is a large piece of evidence remaining—besides your necklace and inheritance, this watch and medal of valor… and this birth certificate. I am supposed to be receiving registration papers in the mail for a yacht! If my guess is correct… I mean if I really am the great-grandson of Aaron and Hipolyta Livingson Backhouse… through their son William Henry and Eleanor and son Robert Henry…”
Ginger had one of those minds that absorbed nearly everything; she was way ahead of him, “…Then the yacht in question should be the Bodhi!” she said excitedly. “A sixty foot metal-hulled trimaran built in Gotland, Sweden in the late thirties or early forties.” They sat quietly for a long while occupied in their own thoughts and speculations—already very weary from the marathon story-telling then fully exhausted after the emotional turmoil relived during the personal confessions.
She mused aloud, “I wonder what my grandparents did with their yacht the Tygress?”
He was no longer one of her publishing clients at all—why she was sitting with him in his house had been wiped from her attention entirely. He was a fellow traveler struggling through the maze of their mutual revelations.
“Do you suppose we could find out?” Her last words were almost incoherent since she was yawning while trying to speak.
John must have been equally exhausted; he asked, “You said you would only be in town these two days?”
She smiled and stretched her full frame across the sofa, “I do have some leeway on that score;” She yawned again, “I’ll call the home office and have someone else cover the other few appointments…” then she yawned still again.
He offered something she didn’t expect, “You’re welcome to stay here if you wish. There is a rarely used guest room on the other side of the house…” now he yawned, “…has its own bathroom and everything.”
He yawned again, “I have got to go get some sleep or I’m going to fall down right here.” He was already heading for the stairs as if her still being there was moot.
Ginger was too tired to think of a reason not to accept the offer. She was a grown woman after all and could sleep anywhere she wished. She heard the sound of a door closing upstairs; she rose and stumbled toward the guest room. She fell onto the bed asleep.
She had been in the publishing business most of her life. Now at thirty-one she still had the habits of sleeping little and working long hours. Rising from the bed before dawn, she found the light switch in the bathroom and closed the door. She took off the clothes she’d been wearing for two and a half days and stared at herself in the mirror. The image that stared back was of a tall auburn-haired woman with lingering freckles across her nose and cheeks, wide shoulders and long legs. Her body was well-toned from weekly trips to any nearest gym—in whatever town or city she happened to be in at the time. She leaned forward and looked more closely into her own eyes.
“Those green eyes are a little redder this morning Ginger-baby, great for holiday decoration but this puffiness is not very attractive at all!” She turned sideways to the mirror and inspected her profile. Putting her hands to her rear end she muttered, “And this is not where I need more ‘puffiness’ either—too much sitting!”
She ran the hot water for a bath and found a fresh bar of soap, shampoo and towels. “At least John keeps his house well supplied for guests.” She slipped a foot into the water, “Aah…” then once fully into the tub, she relaxed, “…heaven.”
Just as the sun began to turn the morning sky into a rosy promise, she padded into the kitchen in a borrowed robe and was greeted by the cat. “Good morning little one,” she smiled and picked up the purring furball. She looked at the counter and range.
“Your pet, John, certainly has proper taste in morning beverages…” and she went about preparing the coffee press for service. While the kettle of water was left to heat up, she went back to the room and retrieved her cellphone. A glance at the time and after a moment of figuring time zones, she dialed her boss to leave a message for him to call her back when he got into the office.
With a cup of hot coffee in hand she went back to the den, curled her legs under her and began reading through John’s notes for the book. Mocha followed her every step, hoping for a new napping lap.
“Kitten, it appears the story he told me over the last couple days wasn’t too far from exactly what’s written here… good memory!” She picked up another notebook and began perusing its pages as well. “This material didn’t make it into his story however…” She gazed at the charts, symbols, marginal notations and descriptions as she flipped through the pages.
She looked up when John ambled from his room. “You look like crap, Mr. Doe-Backhouse!” she snickered.
He looked at her and tried to smile as he headed to the kitchen. She called, “Coffee’s made. I didn’t know if you had a favorite mug or anything; I just grabbed one and poured.”
He took a first sip and answered, “Whichever one I’m holding at the time… and still has coffee in it… is my favorite.” He looked at what she was holding in her hands.
Ginger was a little self-conscious at what appeared to be snooping through his things. She covered quickly, “I thought this was part of your story notes… my mistake. Sorry.” She wasn’t, but she was polite at least, she thought.
John did smile now. “Those are the results of a part of the story I didn’t tell you,” he said cryptically. “You wouldn’t have believed me if I had; so what’d be the point of that?”
Ginger was pragmatic. “I am used to judging that sort of thing for myself,” she answered calmly.
“But neither am I trying to pry.” She changed subjects, “I left a message with my office; they should be calling back…” she looked at the gold watch on the end table, reached and opened it, “…in about half an hour or so.” She became all professional, now that she was rested and herself again—that she was in fact sitting in his den, wearing one of his robes, after spending the last three days in his house without leaving for a moment didn’t faze her in the least. “Now why don’t you tell me how you were thinking of presenting this story of yours. What person, what tone, what voice?”
She knew if she stuck to business her mind wouldn’t wander, but it did.
‘John’s actually pretty good-looking,’ she thought, ‘Tall, broad shoulders, slightly receding hairline but distinguished looking. Nice hands, strong looking with powerful forearms, and his face was shaven, a couple days ago at least. I wonder if he’s ever been married? Is he in a relationship? Forty and single… Is he gay?’ She snapped out of the wayward thoughts which she’d tried to avoid; he was speaking…
“…so I figured I’d write it out as it was told to me. Just like a campfire story or something.” He sat down and appeared to be waiting for her to respond.
Ginger picked up the watch again. “Well, unless I have been dreaming the last few days… it is an epic sort of tale. That would seem to be a good approach to take…” she read the inscription aloud. “Time is the uniquely subjective phenomenon. What exactly does that mean?”
John stared at a spot over and past her head. She waited for some response to her last distraction. He answered, “Generally you can take it to mean that time is experienced by each person differently. But the meaning that was intended by the fellow who inscribed it, I think, was a bit more esoteric than that.”
She felt a sudden pang of comprehension and lifted the notebook with the diagrams and charts. “Does it have to do with these other notes of yours?”
He nodded, “Yeah I’m pretty sure it does. But I’m not personally to the place where I can make much more of it than that: Time isn’t what we’ve always supposed it to be…” he shrugged in surrender. Her phone rang and she hopped up and ran back to the guest room where she’d left it.
John ambled back to the kitchen and glanced at the calendar on the refrigerator. “It’s Thanksgiving today!” he announced to Mocha who was just taking over the warm place on the sofa so recently made available. He went to the cupboard and looked it up and down, then he opened the fridge and did the same.
Ginger sauntered back into the room and announced, “I’m cleared for the foreseeable future from work…” She had also taken the time to redress. “Look, I don’t want to wear out my welcome, but I am dying to see if those registration papers arrive… and… I would very much like to travel to Port Isabel and see it for myself!”
There, she had said it. She had argued the point with herself: that she was a stranger to this guy, that she was just his publishing agent, that all these stories may not be true. But if they were! ‘I could never forgive myself for not finding out…’ she told herself. ‘Besides, I would like to know a little more about John…’
John simply smiled and said he’d love the company. “I just realized that today is Thanksgiving! And since you may very well be the closest thing to family I have anywhere, except the improbable existence of some extremely long lived relations…”
He stopped abruptly and queried, “Last night, and just now, almost the last thing you said… Did you really say: …could we find out about the yacht?” He put special emphasis on the ‘we.’
Ginger felt a little exposed. ‘Did I say that? Must’ve been caught up in the moment…’
She answered quickly without looking at him, “Uh huh.” Then followed with a rapid patter as she grabbed for her scarf and hat, “I’ll just pop into town and deal the motel I didn’t use. Yay expense accounts!” she turned back and grinned self-consciously.
‘Good, he hasn’t kicked me out yet. And it appears he doesn’t have a significant other; her… or his… name would have come up in connection with a holiday plan…’ Her mind raced and before she knew it her thoughts escaped into words… “John are you gay?”
Her thoughts screamed, ‘Oh god, I can’t believe I just blurted that out!’
John’s blank expression said a lot; he answered, “No Virginia, I am not gay. Neither do I have a girlfriend, nor have I ever been married—came close once. So, now that we’re acknowledging the elephant in the room… Miss Amourson-Spelman? Is there some lucky fellow… or lady… out there waiting for your return?”
Ginger blushed, “Call me Ginger. And No! So far no one has been able to stand being around me long enough to appreciate my finer qualities!”
‘Essentially true…’ she thought, ‘unless I count the boyfriend I had in college—he stuck around for all of two months.’
John was already speaking again. “…anyway, I have all the fixins for a turkey dinner. It would be my pleasure if you joined me for this holiday meal. We can wait for the alleged registration papers to arrive. If these folks are as punctual in this matter as they have been with the other items, I’m sure we won’t have to wait long.”
Ginger smiled and excused herself and ducked into the bathroom. She came out with her coat, scarf and hat on, “I’ll be back before long.” John watched her step jauntily to her car and roar out of the driveway.
Ginger was surprised at herself. ‘The reason no one has stuck around very long Ginger-baby is because you’re too unpredictable… that’s what they’ve said before. And now look at you: You’re practically inviting yourself into this guy’s house and life… Girl, why are you doing this!?’ Her feelings were confused but she knew one thing, and answered herself: ‘If there is a chance of finding any of my family—John is the key.’ That’s what she told herself and ignored the rising ‘other’ emotions just below the surface.
After checking out of the motel, and while she was in town—since the gas station was the only place open on account of the holiday—she filled up the car and bought the only day’s papers that were available. When she got back to John’s house and pulled into the driveway, instead of blocking the turnaround, she backed in next to the red Land Cruiser.
‘This must be his truck…’ she thought, ‘I wonder if he’s the outdoor, rugged camping type? He should have a gun locker and rod racks somewhere in the house…’ She hauled her traveling bag onto the porch as John opened the door and lifted it from her hands easily.
“I’ll take it to your room… If that’s alright?” he announced uncertainly.
Ginger nodded—that was the best she could do. The smells from the kitchen were absolutely heavenly and she was already heading to the pots and dishes for nibbles. He came up behind her while she was ‘testing’ the turkey, “I don’t have ‘old family recipes’—for obvious reasons—but I have my own dishes that I have made since I was twenty…”
She blurted out candidly, “I can’t cook!”
Odd, she realized she was actually slightly embarrassed all of a sudden; though it had never bothered her before.
“I never learned how to do any more than make coffee and spoon out ice cream… Oh and I can make popcorn in the microwave, or follow directions for frozen pizza. That’s it!” She made her best ‘Aren’t I cute anyway’ face.
John grinned and moved close to her; she tensed, thinking he might brush against her or whisper something… He just needed to stir the gravy. She exhaled and chided herself for acting like an adolescent. ‘Pull yourself together Ginger-girl! Just because a man asks you to a home-cooked holiday dinner doesn’t count as foreplay!’
He was speaking again, “…You seem kinda distracted Ginger. Is there something on your mind? Not that you need to ‘bare your soul’ to me or anything… I just hope you’re comfortable is all.”
“Oh I’m fine, really,” she hedged, “The kitchen smells bring back memories of holidays long past is all. I’m comfortable… I am comfortable.” She added, almost surprised herself at the truth of it. ‘I really am. Hmmm,’ she thought.
Aloud she added, “Do you have any music in the house?”
“If you open that cabinet over there under the bookcase…” John said pointing with his elbow, “…you’ll find all that I still have of cassettes and records. My CDs are in the opposite cabinet.”
She was going to find out more about him now. ‘You can tell a lot from a person’s taste in music…’ She looked in the first cabinet: some classical, some musicals, a few bands from the seventies, a lot of solo artists… same for the cassettes. She went to the newer stuff in the other cabinet. ‘Here we go…’ she thought, ‘a bit of new age, vocalists from the forties and early fifties, holiday music compilations, soundtracks, Dylan, the Dead, Brightman, Taylor, Brown, Nelson, Clapton, Enya, Beatles, Stones… Alright John is a good guy…’
Aloud she said, “How about some Christmas tunes?” and she selected the compilation of original recording artists singing the old standards. She set it to playing and adjusted the volume just loud enough to hear—quiet enough for conversation.
“Just in time,” John said, “Your dinner awaits,” and he held out a chair for her. “Would you like some wine? I have a few choices in whites. Turkey: white meat—white wine—That’s the extent of my oenophilic knowledge. Except the word: oenophile…”
She heard herself giggle. ‘Giggling! Ginger?!’
“Anything white will be grand. I like the sweeter ones…”
He toasted their good fortune at finding their families’ identities, and she toasted their ‘new partnership,’ “…in the book I mean…” she added hastily.
‘Geez Ginger-girl! Why don’t you just seduce him and get it over with!’
“Mmm. This is great!” she mumbled as she carved bites from the wonderful assortment on her plate. She got to what looked like cornbread dressing and put a large forkful in her mouth. Alarm bells rang, steam shot from her nose and ears. She grabbed for the water glass. Waving a hand over her seared and lolling tongue, she said, “Holy…!”
He chuckled, “In Texas, cayenne isn’t a condiment it’s an ingredient…”
She contented herself with everything else on her plate and smiled happily as she dished out a dollop more of potatoes and gravy. “This is all so good!”
“Thank you, ma’am. To top this I will be juggling apples later…” she giggled again.
‘Ginger! What is up with you?!’ Then she noticed how he was eating. Every bite was chewed appreciatively and he made a visible point of taking regular breaths. ‘This guy just gets more intriguing…’ she mused.
After she helped to clean dishes, they were again settled in the den at a nice fire. The wine was loosening her curiosity and she asked, “Tell me John Robert Backhouse, what will you do when we find that the yacht in Port Isabel is the Bodhi? Are you just going to sail off and write more stories?”
John looked back at her with his piercing pale green eyes, “That depends…”
She sat up a little, “Depends? Depends on what?”
“I have sailed before… a little twelve foot Sunfish, but I don’t think I have the know-how to just cast off and handle a sixty-foot yacht. Then there are the questions of: Where to go? What else will I write? …Just to name a few things that would ‘depend’ on,” and he held her gaze.
“Don’t look at me: I can drive a car well—and fast, but I’ve never even set foot on a boat before. Unless you count the ferries in Puget Sound, or the Staten Island ferry…”
He chuckled, “I don’t suppose you’d be interested in learning?”
‘Alone? In a sailboat with you? For who knows how long?!’
She sat up, “John! Are you making a proposition?”
He demurred, “I can’t help thinking that if I am to ever find more answers about my family…”
She interrupted, “And my family…”
He continued, “…And your family, then I just can’t get around the thought that it will probably be at sea… and on that boat.”
Ginger had known this man for all of three days now. She had no idea if he was a wolf in lamb’s clothing, if he was nuttier than a fruitcake, or if this was all an elaborate and amazing ruse. ‘But he couldn’t have known anything of my history before I stepped up on his porch… hell, I have never told a soul. And this story does explain all these little tokens: the pebble necklace, the watch, medal, Birth Certificate… not to mention how we both had the childhoods we had…’
Taking a deep breath as if ready to accept her fate, Ginger answered, “If that’s the Bodhi, and if there are lessons we can take: I’ll learn.” ‘What am I saying…’ “And what’s more, Mr. Backhouse, as long as we’re diving down the rabbit hole together, I have a question for you!”
He seemed to be uncertain his expression said he didn’t know whether he should smile or run.
‘Uh oh, I’ve seen that expression before… usually followed by the phrase: I’ll call you sometime, or words to that effect. Oh well… here goes:’
“John, I’m terrible at this,” she hedged, then plunged in head first, “But do you really think you will still want me around after I’ve asked too many questions, after I’ve ignored your kindness and generosity for the umpteenth time, after I’ve yelled at you, kept you awake with my snoring, not cleaned the dishes, come home late without calling—again, taken you for granted and generally treated you like dirt?” She gasped for breath. All that had come tumbling out before she lost her nerve.
‘There’s that expression again. Damn! why couldn’t I just let a good thing alone? Where did that not come home late come from?!Why must I get everything in writing? What is my problem?! No wonder no one ever sticks around…’ Then he was speaking.
“Ginger, you don’t know me anymore than I know you…”
‘Oh God here it comes…’
“But what I do know is this: if this story is as real as it appears to be, and I am who it seems I am… just as you know who you are—then we are from a lineage of remarkable people and I would be forever ashamed of myself and thoroughly regret letting the opportunity to get to know you slip on by, if once you were this close…”
She checked her wince, ‘Wait; did I just hear what I thought I heard?!’
“Would you repeat that?” she ventured. He took a deep breath and looked at the ceiling.
‘Oh Crap! I’ve done it again… and I was so close this time!’
“Miss Spelman-Amourson, I don’t know what ‘too many questions’ even means—I have a bunch myself. I am used to being ignored—one of the charms of growing up an orphan. If you yell at me, it may be because I exasperated you—something I’d like to not do. I probably snore loud enough to drown your own snores out. I already have a habit of cleaning dishes myself—I don’t give it much thought. If you come home late and haven’t called—I’ll wonder I’m sure, and worry no doubt—but that is the kind of suffering I’ll take over loneliness any day. As for taking me for granted and treating me like dirt—I don’t believe it for a second—I do have a few pleasant qualities which may keep your interest and engender kindness from you.”
It was Ginger’s turn to stare. “Uh… No one’s ever said that to me before… In fact, I…” She was instantly lost. This was an unknown frontier. “…What was the question?”
That brought a loud laugh from him, “Actually I merely asked if you would be willing to learn to sail! I’m not sure where the questions about snoring, or coming home late came from…”
She blushed to her toes.
He added seriously, “But your instincts are right.” He took another deep breath, “I am very attracted to you… In fact I’ve been trying everything I can think of to get you to stick around longer… to… to stay here as long as you can… with me.” He looked for all the world like he would break into a million pieces if she made the slightest move. She was very careful not to let that happen.
“Uh, honestly… John… I’m very attracted to you too.”
‘There that wasn’t so hard was it? Go on Ginger-girl: Truth.’
“I don’t know if it’s ‘proper’ or not to skip the months of ‘getting to know you,’ but I’m willing to risk it.” ‘
Whew! I’m pretty good at this…’
“I’ve warned you as best I can—I am not easy to get along with…”
He crossed to sit next to her on the sofa and said softly in imitation of her own words, “I am used to judging that sort of thing for myself. I hope you don’t mind if don’t just take your word for it…”
She whispered back, “You are so doomed!” She put her hand to his neck and pulled his face to hers then kissed him.
When he regained his breath, he said “GingerKat, I think we are going to have to learn to sail!”
The next day was Friday. They woke up in the same room, went down stairs and had coffee, got ready to go out and they went into town. He added her to his own bank account—over her protests.
“You don’t have to do this… I am financially very sound on my own. I have a little flat in New York… in Chelsea—which I rarely occupy—I have been on expense accounts for the last… forever, so my paychecks just go into the bank and pile up. Really John, this is sweet of you but so unnecessary.”
John was just smiling all the while. “GingerKat, you noticed the amounts on those few accounts you just signed onto?” She nodded. “When I left the corporate world, I wasn’t a Rockerfeller or anything, but I had plenty to get the land and build that house…”
She interrupted, “You built that house!?”
“Almost entirely with my own hands, yes. Anyway, I don’t have many expenses so those balances don’t vary much. But that wasn’t the point of adding you onto them! I introduced you as my wife to the Account Manager when we were at the bank.”
She smiled in spite of herself, “Yeah, I didn’t really think I’d ever hear someone saying I was their wife. It was a really nice thing to hear, even though…” It was his turn to interrupt.
“…Honey, this is Texas. That wasn’t just a nice thing to hear… that was a legal act of marriage in this state. I wasn’t being poetic or romantic; I am now your common law husband!”
Her mind raced. ‘Wow, and I thought I was impulsive! Ginger-girl you’ve got a tiger by the tail… Hold On Tight!’
Aloud she said, “Oh.”
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Metaphysical/Fantasy/Action Adventure
Rating – G
More details about the author & the book
Connect with J.L. Lawson on Facebook
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Science Fiction/Metaphysical/Adventure
Rating – G
More details about the author & the book
Connect with J.L. Lawson on Facebook
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Science Fiction/Metaphysical/Adventure
Rating – G
More details about the author & the book
Connect with J.L. Lawson on Facebook
Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.