Disclaimers: See Part 1
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They soon began to gear up for their vacation, and when September came, they were off to the beautiful Caribbean . They arrived in Culebra on a perfect tropical day. The sun was bright, there were those very white clouds in the clear blue sky, and the breeze from the ocean was a perfect coolant to the warm temperature. “Ummm, I'm going to love it here.” Karen savored the warmth and the breeze.
“There's nothing like the islands of the Caribbean . This is as close as paradise as one can get.” Addy loved it there also.
When it was time to unload their luggage Karen stood there shaking her head. “My God traveling with this little one is going to be a challenge. I can't believe all the stuff we brought! Whoever came up with the idea of packing light sure didn't have a baby!” Karen continued to complain as she unloaded.
“I think this gives us one more reason for buying a summer place and doubling up on all the baby stuff.”
They had to bring a stroller, and a portable crib as well as a ton of other baby items. They were going to be there for an extended period of time and were going to need all those things to accommodate the baby.
Fortunately, since they had the financial means they didn't have to fly commercially and that made it easy. Whenever they needed to leave the country, they'd hire a private jet company to fly them. In the past, when there was no baby, they would combine their vacation with a business related trip so as to write off the trip as a business expense. This was the first time they had done it for personal travel and they were very satisfied with the service.
“This place is beautiful. I could get used to this view.” She had just put down the last of their luggage on the floor.
Addy had just finished setting up the play yard. So that when Alex woke up they could put her in there and finish unpacking and getting the place ready. They also had to go to the grocery store for supplies.
Until now, Alex had been asleep on the master bedroom's bed. They had placed pillows all around her to prevent her from falling off the bed. Not that it would happen since the bed was king size, but they never took chances with the little one. Alex had fallen asleep on the car ride to the house. She was not used to the heat, so the few hairs on her head were damp with sweat. Karen got near her on the bed and kissed her lightly on the head. “God, even her sweat smells good, she takes after you on that Addypooh.”
Addy chuckled. “Ker, that's because it's clean sweat. We bathe her every day and put baby powder, baby lotion and cologne on her. How could she not smell good!?”
Karen came over and put her arm around Addy's waist. “So, we know her secret. What's yours, sexy? Can't be just your perfume. You know I've tried it sometimes and it doesn't smell as good on me as it does on you.”
Addy grinned. “That's because it's the combination of the perfume and something else.”
“Then, it's got to be that something else that drives me mad….care to show me the something else?” Karen came around from behind her and started to nibble her neck.
“Ker, look around you, do you not see how much stuff we need to unpack?”
“I see, but the tiny one is sound asleep and there are three other beds in this house. I think that we can take some time off to investigate the source of the something else.” Karen grinned and continued with her teasing and her nibbling, as she tightened her arms around Addy's waist. Addy was grinning as well. She obviously had no defenses when it came to Karen, and Karen knew she would give in.
Just about then, Alex cried from the bedroom. She didn't normally cry whenever she woke up. She'd make sounds as if calling for them. But this time when she woke up, she found herself in an unfamiliar environment and was scared and cried. Both women seemed disappointed that the investigatory process could not take place immediately, but ran to the master bedroom to tend to the little one. Karen was the first to arrive and picked her up. Alex crawled towards her mom the minute she saw her. Addy was delighted to see the pair.
Karen looked at Addy while the little one pouted and cried holding on to her. Addy sat down on the bed next to Karen and hugged them both and kissed Alex. Alex immediately climbed on to Addy needing her comfort as well. Being in the arms of both mommies was comforting and Alex soon calmed down.
Later, after they unpacked, they went to the grocery store for supplies. The house had a beautiful pool surrounded by a colorfully tiled patio. Beyond the pool and patio, which was fenced in as well as the house, you could exit and stroll down the hill to the beach.
They all got in the pool, even though it was late because the water was still warm. When you have 90 degree weather throughout the day, water remains warm even at night.
They didn't let Alex stay in for too long. She was only six months and they limited her activities always not wanting to over expose her to anything.
Alex loved the water, but as soon as she was out, took her bath and had her meal, she was done for the night. They had tired her out playing in the water. She had a life saver ring and she loved to paddle her feet and move in the water. They agreed to sign her up for baby swimming classes as soon as she was old enough. They put her down to sleep and came back out to the patio to enjoy the pool and have their dinner. After dinner they stayed outside enjoying the evening on the patio.
“Addy, I can see us buying a place here, but rather than buying an already made house, I would rather buy the lot and design a house myself.”
Addy was listening attentively. She liked to see Karen all wrapped up with an idea. “Tell me about it, Ker. What would you have the house look like? And the lot? What's your vision?” Addy smiled. She had been the one with all the so called ‘visions' until now. It was amusing to hear Karen imagining something and making it happen.
Karen grimaced but had trouble holding back a smile. She thought that if Addy liked the idea, they'd do it. Spending cold winters away from Scotland was an appealing idea. At least for the next four or five years until Alex started school, and even after she started school, they could spend Christmas and summers there. Alex would get plenty of sun, learn to sail, scuba dive and so many other water sports that would enrich her life plus she would get the added benefit of learning to speak the language.
In addition, people here were like in Altee. A small knit community where everyone knew who lived where and what they did. Karen could work from anywhere, if she wanted to and Addy had been thinking about what she once told Karen she would do one day: write their story. This was the perfect place to do it.
“Well, Addypooh, the house would be on a hill, a lot like this, with beach access and a pier for a boat. I'd fence the perimeter and alarm it, of course.” She chuckled. “I would build in cement like most places around here. But here are two things I would do that houses around here don't have. I would build a basement for hurricane protection. I'd also have an outhouse for a generator. And I would have hurricane shutters for all the windows. I would look into making it either circular or ‘v' shape with lots of windows. I would also have a huge underground water reservoir.
“Wow! Looks like you are giving this project serious thought.”
“Do you like it?”
“Winters in the Caribbean ? Of course, I like it. Let's talk to a realtor first to see if we can find a lot. Then we can look for an architect and you can tell him what you want.”
“Are you serious? Do you really want to do this?”
“Why not, Ker? I love Scotland and would like Alex to live and go to school there, but I think living part time here would be great for us and will culturally expand Alex's horizons. One day, it will all pay off. Yes, I like it, let's do it!”
Karen smiled mischievously. “Mirror over the bed?”
Addy gave her the look and wiggled her eyebrows as she got up to go in the pool. She always liked to entice Karen. Karen smiled, and followed her in. They had turned all the lights down and the baby slept in the room steps away from the pool. The pool area was dark and private. In the pool the women caressed each other tenderly and kissed. Soon Karen's hands found their way inside the bottom of Addy's swimming suit and the water activities were quickly moved to the comfort of their bedroom.
They loved the place. They fished, went sailing and to the beach. Dinning in the rustic restaurants in the small town and mingling with the locals was also fun. Everything was relaxing and pleasant on the island. Of course, before they ever put a foot out of the house, Alex was covered from head to toe with sun block. They'd always be very careful not to put any on her hands because her hands could easily go to her eyes and then she'd have the lotion all over them and that would begin another calamity. This happened once before, so they learned from that experience. Also, Alex had several sun hats to protect her from the sun, as well. The hats of course were more often off her head than on, but the women battled the odds. Alex kept them on their toes and they had fun with her.
On one of the trips to town, they contacted a realtor and the search for the lot began. They soon found that there weren't many lots for sale. The island was not very big. It was considered to be prime real estate, and of course, the available lots were the most expensive. A couple of lots even had some sort of house or structure on them. The realtor also told them that building there would not be cheap since everything had to come from the main island of Puerto Rico . They went to see the lots and focused on one in particular. It was high and on a hill and had a gorgeous view of the ocean and access to the beach.
Spending time there was great. They soon fell into a routine where they would get up have breakfast and then go down to the beach or outside to the patio and pool. The time was spent on a lounge reading or they would go, with the little one, in the water. Alex seemed to prefer the pool. Whenever they had gone to the ocean the salty water had gotten in her eyes and she'd end up crying. She was too young to play in the sand, so floating on her pink floaty in the pool seemed a lot safer and fun for her.
While staying on the island, one night, Alex began to cry. This was unusual because she slept most of the night. The women ran to her. The minute Addy picked her up she knew that Alex was running a fever. “She's warm, Ker. I think she has a fever. Get the thermometer, and that ear thing.” A worried Karen came back within two seconds with the requested items. Alex had a fever of 102 degrees. “ We need to give her some Tylenol.” Again Karen ran and brought it back. Addy knew all the mishaps of childhood, so she always had her Tylenol, Benadryl and other common household medications both in the child and adult versions. Addy was always prepared to cure the common things. She even had an otoscope to look into Alex's ears. She knew very well how a healthy ear looked versus a sick one. Years of experience with Joey and Laurie had served her well. Karen brought it with her also.
Addy looked into Alex's ears and saw it. “She has an ear infection.”
“Look at this ear.” Karen did, it was the good ear. “Do you see how the light reflects at the end of the ear canal?”
“That's how a good ear looks. Now look at the other one?”
“No light reflection. In fact it looks kind of red.”
“What do we do?”
“Tonight we give her Tylenol for pain and see if we can get her to sleep. Tomorrow we take her to the doctor for an antibiotic.”
“Okay. Here's the Tylenol. I'm looking at the instructions for the right dose. Okay, here it is. How do we do this?”
“Put the dropper in her mouth and squeeze it slowly.”
Alex had been fussy dealing with her discomfort. She kept rubbing her face into Addy's chest. Addy position her on her lap and held her hands so that Karen could insert he dropper in her mouth. Alex was not happy and the minute she felt the Tylenol in her mouth, she spat all of the medicine right into Karen's face.
“Shit! ….This kid! Now what?”
Addy had to laugh. “Go get cleaned up. We are going to try this differently since our warrior princess here is putting up battle.” Karen came back from the bathroom and Addy handed the little one to her. “Hold her hands.”
Alex was putting up a bigger fight this time. She was hurting and she certainly didn't like the crap they were stuffing down her mouth. She also hated being held down. Battle and all, Addy pressed her cheeks and stuffed the dropper in her mouth and squeezed the liquid. Unable to spit it because her cheeks were pressed, she had to swallow it. Addy immediately stuck a bottle of apple juice in her mouth so that she could wash the liquid down. Alex still tried to spit out the apple juice and even gagged. But in the end she swallowed the medication. She was crying for a while until she realized that the apple juice was good and began to suck harder and drank it all. As she drank, she fell asleep.
Karen was still holding her.
Addy looked tired. “Looks like she's not an easy patient; like mother, like daughter!”
Karen scrunched her nose and smirked.
The next morning, they took Alex to the local pediatrician and she prescribed amoxicillin. Karen allowed Addy the honor of being the first one to medicate her. It had a nice fruity flavor and thankfully she liked it. The second time, when it was Karen's time to give Alex the medicine, Karen came wearing her sun glasses. Addy cracked up laughing. “If I had a welder's mask, I'd use that too!! You wouldn't believe all the places where I had Tylenol last night! This fussy thing is not getting me anymore.” From then on, any time Alex needed any kind of medication, Karen always wore some kind of protective device on her face. Addy would crack up laughing every time it happened. A few days later, Alex was already feeling like her old self.
On their third week on the island, the weather started to turn. The National Weather Service reported a hurricane coming up the lower Antilles . If it continued on that path it would go right through the island. The hurricane was expected within the next five days.
“Oh, no! Ker, this is not good.”
“Addy, I think we should pack and leave, our time here is almost up anyways. If it was just you and I, I wouldn't mind staying, but with Alex it's a different story. We don't know anything about this house or how this island responds to emergencies. Everyone here is pretty laid back and I haven't seen any emergency plans around here. Can you imagine being without power and drinking water for days with a baby?” The security freak in Karen immediately kicked in. To a certain extent Addy liked that she was like that, Karen was always prepared and ready and that worked out for her because since she was a worrying person by nature, this was one thing that she didn't have to worry about.
Addy raised her eyebrows. “I'm on it, babe. We are out of here. Make the travel arrangements with the pilot. I'll start packing.” Karen contacted the pilot immediately and made the arrangements. They were leaving the next day at two in the afternoon.
The next weather report was even worse. The pilot called around noon and said that if they wanted out it had to be that evening. Tomorrow things were going to be very risky.
“Addy, let's just pack our bags, everything else stays. We have to be at the airport at 4 today.”
“What? I thought you said tomorrow at 2?”
“The pilot just called and moved things up. He doesn't want to take any chances.”
Both women got busy packing. “We need to notify the real estate office. How about the keys, what do we do about that?”
We'll leave them inside the house. Keep moving!”
By 3 pm they were already in the car heading for the airport. Karen had the baby hanging from her chest in a nap sack. They had three bags with them nothing else. They boarded the plane and at exactly 4 pm they were taking off.
Once on the plane, Alex fell asleep. “If we build here, it's going to have to be a hurricane proof house.” Addy commented.
“Don't you worry about that baby. I'm building us a bunker! I'll make sure that we survive anything there.”
Addy smiled leaning back on her chair. I love my maniac! She was sure that by the time they arrived home, Karen would have had a complete blue print plan for their bunker-beach house in her head. Bunker beach-house, I like that name!
“Ker? How about if we call the beach house ‘the bunker'?”
Karen's eyes were closed and her head was leaned back on the seat. She chuckled. “I like it. Good name, Addypooh.”
Addy again closed her eyes and smiled. Karen unbuckled her seat belt, stood from her chair and leaned over Addy to kiss her. When Addy felt the known contact she opened her eyes pleasantly surprised.
“Laugh and call me a nut case, but I'll have you both safe at whatever cost!”
“What? Did I say anything?”
“Nope, but you were thinking it!”
Addy grinned because it was true. “Now that you are into mind reading, I'll have to be more careful with my thoughts! Plus the fact that I didn't say anything clearly means that I don't object to your craziness, just like you don't to mine, most of the times, anyway.”
“Mind reading? Addypooh, I don't have to read your mind to know what you are thinking! I just know you too well!”
Addy wiggled her nose, making one of her funny faces.
“Cute, too cute!”
Addy closed her eyes again, but smiled. She knew Karen was watching her.
“Don't even think about it Larsen! I can also read your mind!”
Karen laughed. “I'm not that crazy, you know!”
Addy again opened her eyes, this time raising one eyebrow. “Who are you trying to fool, baby?”
Alex was a very vivacious child. As soon after she mastered the art of crawling, she began to stand up. She started pulling herself up in her crib, then in her playpen and then holding on to any piece of furniture while crawling around the floor. This all happened around her 8 th month.
The women made sure that the entire house was child proof. Nothing was left unsecured. There was not a sharp surface left uncovered, all doors secured with a latch, and anything dangerous or possibly dangerous were kept out of her reach. They even used gates to keep her away from certain areas when necessary. Knowing what a little rascal she was, any and all precautions were necessary and were definitely taken. They operated under the premise that they would never underestimate her capabilities since she had proven to be very adventurous and curious for her age. This had worked for them so far.
One of Alex's characteristics was how fast she was when crawling. In the blink of an eye she could take off and disappear. On one occasion she was with Addy upstairs ready to come down to the kitchen where Karen was setting up the table for dinner. Addy set Alex on the center of the bed to put on her shoes. Alex got off the bed and by the time that Addy heard the ruffle of the bed spread, Alex was already on the way out the bedroom door. Addy called in panic. “Ker!!!! Go to the stairs!!!” she ran out as she spoke. The minute she ran out of the bedroom, her fear was confirmed. Alex sat at the top of the stairs. The gate was open at the top of the staircase.
Alex smiled mischievously, with her beautiful, darling, little face. It was as if she knew she had fooled her moms once again and sat there triumphantly. Her gorgeous green eyes sparkling, and the most humongous smile ever for such a little face. Her little hands waiving in the air and her chin and shirt covered with drool. She was adorable. Addy froze. Her heart sank as all she could see in her mind was her bundle of joy rolling down the staircase. “Oh my God! Ker!!!” Addy yelled in panic.
“I'm here Addy, just don't scare her. She'll be fine.” Karen was at the base of the stairs waiting to see what the little one would do. This all happen in a couple of minutes, of course, Addy running out to grab Alex, Karen running to and up the stairs to catch her as high as she could if the little one fell. When Alex saw Addy coming for her, as if she knew what she was doing, she turned around and took off for an escape going down the stairs, all the time Alex had the biggest smile on her face. She knew Addy was after her and this was more play for her. Masterfully, as if specifically taught, she started her careful but quick descend step by step. She sort of turned around and would drop on her big diapered butt, it was weird and fast how she managed to get it done quickly and safely.
Karen's initial reaction was to run up and grab her, but when she saw how well Alex had figured things out, she stood close and let her complete her maneuvers and come all the way down. When she got to the bottom, Karen picked the smiley little rascal up. “Little girl!!! You are the devil! One smart cookie figuring things out…I like that!” When Karen looked up, she found Addy still petrified in tears with her hands clasped together in front of her mouth. Karen came up with Alex in her arms. Addy could hardly move. Her nerves had gotten the best of her.
Karen put her free arm around Addy and embraced her. Addy snuggled into her and cried. She was still shaking. “Mommy Addy, you are going to have to toughen up. I think watching this little tyke grow up is going to be like being inside a hurricane. But, look, she's fine. Look at her.” Addy did. Alex was all smiles and as adorable as ever.
“She's fine, but she's going to kill me!”
Karen grinned. “Come on, let's have some dinner.” Karen kissed her.
“I think my heart stopped. I don't even know what I thought of!”
“Little girl, look what you did! You scared Mommy Addy to death! You don't do that anymore! Okay?” Alex kept smiling and grabbed Addy's hair while she was still in Karen's arm.
Addy couldn't help but smile, amidst her tears. The happy face of the little one would make anyone smile. “I don't know if I'm going to live through this one. She's more than I bargained for! And I'm too old for this!”
“Oh no! Don't give me that! You were the one who said we were still young. What about all that Bible stuff you pulled on me? You hang in there and weather this tempest with me!”
Addy shook her head and held the little one and kissed her.
“Come on let's have dinner.”
After dinner, they settled in the living room to read. The three of them sat in the recliner love seat. The little one lay on Karen's lap holding her milk bottle to her mouth and drinking it while looking at Karen with her huge green eyes. Addy was reclined on the love seat as well, but leaning into Karen's shoulder and Karen's arm was over her back. Addy was working on a Sudoku puzzle. Karen smiled as she contemplated the huge green eyes staring at her from her lap while caressing Addy' shoulder with her other hand. She thought she was the happiest woman on earth. She kissed the top of Addy's head and Addy looked up. They smiled at each other and kissed. Then the bundle of joy decided that she too wanted to partake in the loving scene and dropped her bottle and sat up climbing all over Karen and heading to Addy.
“Whoa! Little one, slow down! Ouch, she just stuck her foot in my crotch! They are like little swords!”
“Come here, little Viking, come with Mommy Addy.” Addy sat her on her legs and grabbed her little hands started to play patty-cake with her. The little one was actually laughing out loud. Karen's faced beamed. Addy saw her. “Does Mommy Karen need some kissing too?”
Karen hugged the two of them. “Always. I love to watch you play with her. I could just sit here and watch you all day long.”
“Hum! What do we say to that Alexandra? Alex was standing on Addy's lap jumping up and down.
At exactly nine months and near Thanksgiving the unthinkable happened. Alex got up and began to walk. The women could hardly believe their eyes. Alex was one surprise after another. She had already begun to lift herself up, and had attempted a few steps holding on to things. They had never discouraged her and always looked in amazement at any of her doings. Alex was fun to watch.
She'd stand up and when she fell, she'd always fall on her butt which seemed to, thankfully, always ground her. With the diaper on, het butt was where she had the most volume and whenever she dropped to the floor the diaper would make a ‘woosh' sound as if something was deflating. Alex found it amusing and smiled and sometimes actually laughed when she fell and heard the sound. Her two razor sharp little lower, teeth showed and her drooling soaked her front. They spent half the time wiping her mouth and changing her bibs which, most of the time, she managed to either pull out or dislodged so that the bib was rarely where it was supposed to be to accomplished its mission. It was always on her back or on her side. It bothered her and she figured out how to deal with it. The same thing happened with her shoes and socks, there was always one missing. Not to mention how she sometime unclasped her diaper and ended up naked.
“I think the sperm donor must have been a nudist! This girl always wants to be barefooted and half naked.”
“Well, on the wanting to be naked part, the mother genes had great influence, for sure. That is a no brainer!”
Addy chuckled. She came close to Karen and whispered in her ear. “Nudist!”
Karen smiled. “With you only!”
Karen's phone rang. “Hi Phillip, how are you? We are fine. What's going on?”
Karen listened attentively. “Karen I know that you and Addy are an item that is why I'm going to ask you to put me on the speaker phone because I want her on this also and most of all I need your most strict confidentiality. “
“Okay. Let me just tell her. She's right here.”
Karen explained to Addy what Phillip had just asked. Addy shrugged, “sure, turn it on.”
“Okay, Phillip we have you on the speaker phone.”
Pleasantries were exchanged between Phil and Addy and he began the conversation.
“First of all, let me ask you this, is there anyone else in the room with you other than the baby, of course?”
Addy replied. “No Phil, just the two of us and the baby.”
“Is this a bad time? I can call some other time.”
“No, it's a good time, go ahead.”
“Okay, my friends, I need your help now, your legal help and friendly support.”
This time it was Karen who spoke. “What's going on Phil?” Phil sounded very serious so neither one made any jokes.
“There are some irregularities, of financial nature going on here and I need your opinion.”
“Okay, there are a series of accounts that I believe are bogus. I brought it up at our last partner's meeting and no one seemed to know about them. The subject was immediately changed.”
“What kind of accounts?”
“Receivables from hedge funds.”
“Why are you concerned?”
“The disbursements don't match up with the receivables. I don't know where the money went or is going. This is still going on.”
“What do you mean?”
“The money appears to be disbursed among several accounts unrelated to the receivables.”
“Who's handling these accounts?”
“Three of the partners.”
“Do you suspect foul play?”
“Yes. I don't know what to do. I can't blow the whistle if I don't have proof. And even if I did, and I had the proof, the firm goes down. If I quit, and they get caught on something illegal, I may be their scapegoat. I see no alternative but to stay investigate and report and let the shit come down.”
Addy raised her eyebrows. She had never heard the very proper Phillip utter anything near a bad word ever.
Karen pursed her lips. “Phillip, it seems to me that you have already set your course of action. What do you need from us?”
“I need you to help me figure this out.”
“How can we from here? I don't think you should be sending any documents over the internet.”
It was then that both women looked at each other.
“Phillip let me think about this and I'll call you tomorrow. You think also about what approach you would like to take. We will resolve this.”
“Thanks Karen. Good night Addy. I'm sorry to burden you with my problem. I know that you are busy with the little one and all. Good night.”
“What's on your mind?” Addy asked.
“I need to think carefully about all this and any possible ramifications. Do you mind taking care of Little Bit tonight so that I can work on this?”
“Not at all, babe. Come on, Little Bit, let's you and I go up and get ready for bed.”
“Addy, do you mind if I stay up and….”
“No, babe. You do whatever you need to do. Phillip has always been there for us and he is the one needing help now. I'll support you in whatever you need to do.”
Karen kissed her. “Thanks, baby.”
Addy and the Little Bit went onto the nursery to get ready for bed. Addy sat in the rocking chair, fed her and rocked her to sleep while singing softly to her. Addy would sing Spanish songs, even Christmas songs. It was a ritual for years. Alex loved them. Karen locked up and went into the office to work on ideas for Phillip.
It was about 2 AM when Karen came to bed. She didn't want to wake up Addy, so she came close to her but didn't cuddle up to her as she normally did. However, Addy sensed her proximity in bed and moved back fitting her buttocks into Karen's pelvis. Karen realized that Addy knew she was there, so she snuggled into her and placed her arm around her waist and tucked her chin into Addy's shoulder and gently kissed her neck. On the delicious contact, Addy pushed back even more, feeling Karen's body heat. Karen kissed her again and caressed the body she always craved for. Addy turned around and embraced her. “Are you ready to save the world already?” Addy asked sleepily and sensually. Karen combed her hair back placing gentle kisses on her eyes, and along her jawline and neck. “No, I need my strength first. I need you.”
“You already have me, baby”
Karen took a deep breath to take in her scent and caressed the soft skin under her hands. Brushing her arms, her stomach, her outer thigh, and her breast with the tip of her fingers. She kissed her behind the ear and along her neck and buried her face in her hair. “I love all of you.”
Addy held her face between her hands. “Sometimes when you make love to me, I think I'm dreaming. Do I make you feel as good?”
“It's not just you dreaming, Addy. If I were to die making love to you, I'd die happy. There's nothing as absolutely wonderful as when we are like this. This is my favorite moment of the day, when I feel your body in my arms and when we touch. You make me feel alive.”
“Babe…” Karen couldn't find words. “It's always like the first time for me.”
They kissed with their usual passion and want. Their hands searched, caressed, grabbed and felt. They were one in body and soul and they shared themselves with reckless abandonment because there could be no wrong where everything was perfect.
Karen's only purpose in life was to make Addy happy. She never thought of herself. There was absolutely nothing on earth to match their moments together. She sometimes thought that there was no drug on earth that could put her as high as she was in those very moments. Adoring and being adored, was an overwhelming experience. Emotions consumed them as they sensed and felt each other. Sometimes their eyes met swelled with tears. Both were unable to comprehend the incredible need and want of each other. Their tears expressing what words couldn't. Then finally exhausted, but satisfied, they'd fall asleep in each other's arms.
In the morning they'd wake up when the little one called. “Mamamamamam…”
A sleepy Karen would mumble. “Ummmm…I hear the call of the wild,” or “your daughter is calling you.” Addy would smile at the comments. Karen would kiss her on the neck and get up to check on Alex, or Addy would instead. “Stay, let me go today.” When both were really sleepy, they ask the other to go. “Please, go. I need sleep.” “Okay, but you owe me one.” They really never kept track. It was a game they played.
The only one not playing games was the Little Bit. She was up at six every day, rain or shine, weekends included. She was relentless. “She takes after you, you are always hungry.” Addy would always kid Karen about her appetite.
“Well, all our extracurricular activities take a lot of energy. I have to replenish my energy to keep up with you. I don't know what keeps you so energized.”
“Certainly not food. If I ate like you, my butt would be even bigger.”
“Hum, maybe I should feed you more.”
“What? After all these time, now you are not happy with the merchandise?”
Karen chuckled. “Au contraire, love, just wondering how much better can a great thing get?”
“Don't fix it Larsen! You screwed up!”
“You know better than that! I love your butt no matter what size. I happen to think it's the perfect size.”
“Hum.” Karen began to get all cozy again while grabbing on to Addy's buttocks, but the little hungry one was resolved to get attention.
“Oh no! Looks like the wild one is determined!”
“Ummm, I thought the wild one slept with me.” Addy smiled.
Karen smiled. “I meant the little wild one.”
Then they heard it. BANG!
“Oh, my God, Ker!” Both women ran naked towards Alex's room. The little one was getting to her feet and looked up to them grinning and opening her huge eyes and raising her eyebrows as Addy would.
The women froze on their tracks when they realized that Alex had jumped off the crib.
“Little one!” Karen exclaimed.
“Alex, are you okay, baby?” Addy went down on one knee to check her. The smile was gone from little one's face. All of a sudden her lips dropped and pouted and humongous tears began to fall down her cheeks, her face frowned and she began to cry. Karen's alarmed tone frightened her. Addy picked her up and held her. The little one was drowning in tears. “It's okay, baby, it's okay.”
“Is she okay?” Karen was checking the crib trying to figure out how she jumped. “She didn't remove the latches. She simply climbed over and jumped!”
“Yeah, she's fine from what I can see. Let me check her better.” Addy placed her on the dressing table and checked all over her. Karen stood behind Addy watching. “Yeah, she's fine.” Addy started to dress her up. Karen left the room and came back in her robe, bringing Addy's robe with her. “Here, babe, put your arms in.” Karen helped her with the robe. “Thanks. Let's take this one with us and feed her before she bites a chunk out of one of us!”
Karen followed them downstairs. “Here, you hold her. I'll get her bottle, you feed her and I'll make coffee and breakfast.
Karen smiled taking the little one with her. “So, Alexandra, how the hell did you jump out of that crib?” Addy looked up from the kitchen. “What are we going to do with you now that you have apparently gone into bungee jumping?”
“I guess we should shop for a bed, or maybe just a mattress on the floor, that way she won't fall from too high. I'm afraid that now that she has already had her first free fall”
She looked at the little one making a face and Alex laughed. “She'll do it again. We were lucky this time that she didn't get hurt, but I don't think we should risk it.”
“Yeah, I agree. Maybe a mattress on the floor for now. When she's older, we can get her a nice bedroom set. For now we need to make sure she's safe. Of course, Ker, you do realize that if we do that, she can get up and go anywhere. On the other hand, it appears that she's ready to do just that from the crib and can certainly hurt herself.”
Karen looked up. She was now worried about Alex wondering off. “We are going to have to put some kind of latch high on the door to the hallway so that at least we can constrain her to the bedrooms.”
“Ker, she's not going to wander off, she's going to come looking for us.”
“Oh, God, Addy. She can't come into our bedroom just like that! We may be busy in the middle of something!”
Addy pursed her lips. Karen continued. “We could put a gate at the entrance to our bedroom that way she wouldn't be able to come in and we'd have time to dress up when she's standing by the door.”
Addy raised her eyebrows to Karen as Karen approached the kitchen area with Alex in her arm. “And no! Don't even suggest it! I'm not putting on pajamas! Or t-shirts! And I'd rather if you didn't either. We said from the start that she was not going to change us. So, don't even go there! We have to come up with alternatives.”
“Well, the alternative is that this child will be getting A's in anatomy at school!”
“Ha, ha! Think and think fast. This little thing here seems to have the upper hand and we need to strategize!”
When they added Alex's room to the upstairs part of the cottage, the room was designed with two doors. One of the doors opened to the small hallway as the other two rooms did, the office room and the master bedroom. Alex's room had another door opening directly to the master room. The woman had placed a latch on the inside of the door of Alex's room so that for now the only way in and out of her room was through the master bedroom. However, now that Alex was mobile, precautions needed to be taken. They also placed a latch on the inside of the master bedroom door that they would lock at night. Still there was the matter of Alex walking in on them. The only solution was to gate the door.
“Listen, let's just get the mattress for now and see what happens.”
They did. After breakfast that day, they went to Edinburgh to shop for a mattress for Alex.
“This reminds me of the last time we shopped for a mattress. Remember, Addy?”
“Yes, that old mattress was sort of fun, though.”
“Yeah.” Karen mused in her thoughts. Addy grinned. “If we weren't in public, I'd kiss you right now.”
“Don't! With so many mattresses around, you would be taking a great risk!” They both laughed.
They found a good quality twin size mattress for the little one, paid for it and arranged the delivery.
As they drove back, the little one fell asleep in the back. A ride in the car always did the trick. They sometimes would get in the car and drive just to get her to sleep. She'd be sleeping like a log with a just five minute car ride. It was the easiest way to get her to sleep. Karen was convinced that Alex liked Addy's singing so much that she would not fall asleep just to hear her sing. Karen would sometime remind her. “No singing!”
“But I like it! And she loves it.” Addy would sing for about thirty minutes before Alex would finally fall asleep.
“I swear, that child is hypnotized by your singing.” Addy just laughed.
“Maybe I missed my calling and would have been a famous lullaby singer.”
“Lullaby singer? Whoever heard of that?”
“Well, apparently, I have a fan in the next room.”
“I think she'd be your fan, even if you stood in front of her and said nothing. She adores you.”
“Jealous again?” Addy had a teasing tone.
“No. It's been a while since I've resigned myself to share you with her. At least, I get certain privileges she will never get.”
Addy smiled and went on about her business as Karen went about hers.
“By the way, I've been meaning to talk to you. Addy, in order to help Phil, I'm going to have to review documents and run numbers. I don't want access to records from our computer. I don't know what's going on there and I want to keep our distance. He could come over and bring stuff, but that doesn't look right either. The only thing for me to do is go there and check things out in person. I really don't want to go to the city, but I see no way to stay distant and at the same time investigate.”
“I already told you, you do what you need to do.”
“I'll call him tomorrow and arrange to go there for a day. If I need to go for a longer period of time, would you come and stay with me? I don't want to leave you alone here, and I also don't want to be alone there.”
“Karen, if you will feel better with us there, we will come. Whatever, honey, just let me know what works best for you. Just arrange your visit and we'll take it from there.”
“Okay. You know, I should check if my old suits still fit.”
Addy smiled. “I'm sure they do, baby, you look just as gorgeous as ever. And…. Since I suspected that you'd be needing them. I sent them to the cleaners and they are all nice and ready for you in the office closet.”
Karen held her. “I like how you take care of me.”
“My pleasure, baby, my pleasure.”
The following morning, Karen went to the closet in the office and there they were. All her pant suits, freshly dried cleaned.
“Which one should I wear?”
“It's hanging inside the door.”
Addy had already picked out her clothes and all. Karen chuckled. Shit, I hope it fits!
The following week, Karen left for Edinburgh . Her meeting with Phil was at 10 am. Leaving home was painful. Anyone seeing the scene from a distance would have thought that Karen was departing to never return. “And you call me if there's an emergency. I already told James to check on you later. I'll call you also. Please, have the phone with you all the time because if you don't, I'll worry.”
“Ker! Just go. We will be fine and don't rush coming back. We want you back in one piece.” Addy kissed her lightly on the lips, but Karen grabbed her and held her tight to her and kissed her with passion. “God, you smell good!” Addy kissed her nose and smiled.
Karen looked all sad. “This is the first time since we've been together that we will be separate for an entire day.”
“I know, honey. Just think that I'm at the grocery store and that it's just for a little while. We are going to be here waiting for you. Be at ease. You have our love. Just call me when you get there for my peace of mind.” Karen kissed and hugged the little bit.
“Be careful, she's going to drool all over you.”
“I want to smell the two of you on me all day.”
“Go! Or you are risking me stripping you naked right here!”
Karen grinned as if signaling ‘what a great idea.'
“Go! Do what you have to!” Reluctantly, Karen started the car and left. In her rear view mirror she could see all that ever mattered in her life.
Karen got to the offices of Sparrow and Finch and called Addy as agreed. She met Phillip in his office and got busy working with him in his conference room. At lunch time they ordered food and ate in the office. Karen called Addy to check on things. “All is well, baby. We just had our lunch and we are going to take a nap now.”
“Make sure all the doors are locked.” They said goodbye and Karen resumed her work. Karen called again at 2 and 4 pm. “All is well, concentrate on what you need to do, baby, really all is well.”
“I'll try to head home around 5.”
She then focused on the ton of papers in front of her. She worked all afternoon. This would not be resolved today. “Phil, this is going to take time. A lot of time and I need to go home.”
“I understand, Karen.”
“I'll come back again. I'll call you tomorrow and tell you how we are going to do this.”
“Alright, good night, Karen, and thanks again for your help.”
To be continued in Part 12
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