Chocolate Kisses Ch. 11bycalibeachgirl©
We make decisions and we live with them
Copyright @ calibeachgirl
All rights reserved, 2011
Thursday, February 18th, 1932
El Segundo, California
The morning sunlight lit him up and she could see the exhaustion in his eyes. Another lengthy, enthusiastic night had worn him out and the lack of sleep was starting to take its toll. He sat down and laid his head on the table. "Ohhhhhhhhh..." Even though she was 25 years old, he never thought he'd be so tired at only 37 years.
"Jimmy? You all right, Jimmy?" She tousled his hair and then turned back to the stove, smiling. Each night since Christmas, except for that awful time when she had broken his heart, they had slept together. Well, there wasn't much sleeping, that was the problem. Maybe she should sleep in her old bedroom... no, that wouldn't work. She had sworn to him that she would never leave him again. She looked at the plain gold band around her finger.
'Where the hell is Eliza?' Bethany was a little miffed, like any good sister would be. While it was obvious that her sister was finally enjoying a satisfying love life, she still should attend to the business of the house and put some damn breakfast on the table.
Then she remembered the afternoon she and Jimmy didn't come down until well after two. 'Good times,' she thought, 'good times.' She felt herself becoming damp and instinctively, absentmindedly rubbed herself through her dress.
A look out the kitchen window showed John's Model A still sitting next to Jimmy's Chevrolet. That John had spent the night again came as no surprise to her. Ever since Sunday, he had practically moved in and for once, it was Bethany who heard her sister moaning during the night.
She wondered why Jimmy had not said anything to her about it. Another man in the house, especially this house, changed its dynamics. This new relationship between the two men was based on something neither she nor her sister understood but as long as both sisters was happy...
Bethany Rose went upstairs and knocked on her sister's door. "Eliza! Wake your sorry self up and get downstairs! It's almost eight o'clock!"
When there was no answer, she opened the door and turned on the light. Her sister didn't answer because she had taken John in her mouth and was swallowing as fast as she could. John looked at Bethany and just smiled as Eliza began moving her hand faster.
Almost half an hour later, the two lovers came down to the kitchen, John grinning, Eliza shyly keeping her head down, unable to look are her sister.
Bethany Rose sat waiting for the coffee pot to finish percolating. She was still wearing the pearl necklace her Jimmy had given her for Valentine's Day and as she fingered it, she remembered the 'pearl necklace' he gave her earlier that morning. She had aroused him even further when she took her fingers to scoop up the translucent white drops and then to her lips to be licked clean. She was more than damp, now, just thinking about it.
Finally! The mad bubbling of the coffee had stopped and she poured a cup. Eliza, or Liza as she wanted to be called now that John had renamed her more to his own liking, was still shyly looking down. Bethany decided to still call her Eliza just to irritate her. After all, what are sisters for?
She put her cup of coffee in front of James. "Here you go, honey. Drink up. I'll have some bacon and eggs ready for you in a minute."
He ate his breakfast slowly, each bite taking forever, each bite chewed so slowly he forgot what it should have tasted like when he swallowed it.
She poured coffee for Eliza and her lover. Handing the cups to John, she went to her Jimmy, leaned down to kiss him and slowly ran her hand across his crotch.
"What... are you... Oh...uh... uh, oh Jesus..." He was squirming under her groping. "Ah, fuck it," he said, grabbing her hand and pulling her up the stairs back to their room.
John started laughing, and then realized he was holding both coffees and was standing by himself. He set the mugs down on the table and then went looking for Eliza.
"Damn, we've been up here for over an hour! We've got to get... what are you doing? Now, Beth... oh, Jesus Christ! Spread those..."
"Damn, what time is... oh, baby, that's good, but we've really..."
"Really, Bethany, we've... oh, yeah, do that again..."
"Baby, it's after lunch time... what do you mean you'll give me something to... oh... haha..."
"Well, now that we've all had something to eat, shut up, Bethany, we've really go to get going. We're going to drop you off at the market and then John and I have... well, we had an appointment with the real estate broker. Don't forget to get the shopping list from Eliza. What time is it, anyway?"
Not a word about what Bethany saw. She kept that to herself, knowing she wasn't any better than her sister when it came to swallowing.
James looked at John. "So, we...?"
"Yes. I can't believe I'm getting married to her. Jim, there's no way I'm ever going to forget what you've done for me. I can't believe I was so damn stupid all those years. God!"
"Well, great, but I've got to sell everything first or there's not enough money to do it.
"Ah, here we are."
The two men walked into the real estate office and shook hands with Bill Mines.
William Mines Realty, Los Angeles
In the middle of January, Bill Mines telephoned, representing aircraft companies wishing to relocate near the new airport. Over the next hour, the broker explained the entire proposal.
Ewart had an idea. "Any chance you could expedite a sale of my markets?"
Mines waited anxiously for James Ewart to arrive. He was worried when Ewart missed his appointment but then, finally, a call came from him.
The opportunity to broker a second sale this size would set him up for the rest of the year. He had already arranged the airport's original lease for 640 acres and then, the damned stock market collapsed bringing everything to a halt.
Following the Crash, both investors and major airlines had shied away from the new airport. Fortunately, though, several aircraft companies, Douglas, Northrop and North American arrived to establish aircraft factories and both jobs and money were at last starting to come back.
Now, the property just south of the field was needed and as luck would have, the owner was in a position to sell.
James and John walked in and the broker immediately jumped up. "Good morning, gentlemen. Mr. Ewart?" He looked at John but John said nothing.
James shook his hand, "Morning. We're here to listen to your final proposals." While he hoped to maintain a poker face during the negotiations, he knew he would take anything reasonable so they could move to Hawaii. He just wanted to leave.
"Of course, you realize if we could have sold these properties four years ago, you would have gotten five times as much. That's just the sad fact. It's now a buyers' market."
Mines looked sadly out the large window out to the street, mourning the lost commission. "Now, if you hold on to it, it eventually will go back up but God knows when?"
Ewart nodded his head. Stating the obvious but honest enough to mention it... property values could continue to fall...too many things chasing too little money.
He looked at the bottom line. It was twice what he was hoping for. For just a split second, he considered holding out for more and only one thing stopped him: he wanted to marry Bethany Rose and every day in Los Angeles was one day less as husband and wife.
Mines spoke up. "Good news, bad news. Safeway is interested in the markets but countered at eighty percent."
"That's for ALL the markets?" Damn.
"I'm afraid so. I know you were hoping for more, but..." Mines threw up his hands, what could he do?
Ewart put up his hand while doing a quick calculation in his head. The two offers together were almost forty-two thousand more than he expected. Unbelievable... God must really love him... 'bout time, he felt.
"Done. Where do I sign and how long will it take to close escrow?" He reached for the pen.
"Nothing to worry about, there. Two weeks, tops. You should have both checks on the Thursday, March 3rd or Friday the 4th.
"OK, John. We've got to get everything packed. I'm putting you charge of that, all right?
"I've a stop in Culver City I need to make." He stopped talking after that. John knew there was something more happening than just a quick stop somewhere. Jim's voice had almost chocked to silence.
A half-hour later, they pulled into Holy Cross Cemetery and he walked into the small office.
"Good morning, I'd like to arrange for the disinterment and transport of three graves, please."
John walked in.
"Please fill out this form, sir, and I'll be right with you. What are the names you are looking for?"
"Ewart, Catherine... and my two daughters. They're all together."
The form was relatively simple: name, date, location and destination. Destination... he knew it was going to be Hawaii but exactly where he had no clue.
"Can I make arrangements to have the... the bodies shipped in early March? I can give you the exact date tomorrow when I buy passage."
"That can be arranged easily enough. We'll need a cashier's check or cash for..."
Watching Jim arranging shipment of his wife and two children's bodies was hard enough for John to take. He knew Catherine and her two little girls. "It must be impossible for him,' John thought. 'God, I hope I never have to do that.'
Through all this, John remained silent. He already respected Jim for his war experiences but since meeting Liza, as he was want to call her, he had come to like the man greatly. Without Jim's unselfish act, the two sisters would still be living in poverty and they all would be alone, still unloved.
"Here," Jim said, "you drive," and tossed him the keys.
While John enjoyed driving, not this time and it was a long, silent trip back to the house.
Sitting at the table while they were eating lunch, Jim outlined the plans for the next day.
"Tomorrow, I'm going down to book passage for us on the Matson Line. They have four ships to Honolulu. I'll get the first one out of here after we get the money.
"Eliza and John, you start packing all the small stuff. The movers will take care of the big stuff. They'll be bringing out the crates early tomorrow morning.
"Could one of you get me another couple of these cookies, please?"
Eliza rose but not to get any cookies. "We're going to Hawaii! We're going to get married!" She kissed him. "Oh, James, thank you so much."
"You're welcome. Now, can I have some cookies?"
Eliza brought over the plate, set it in front of him, poured him a glass of milk and then kissed him on the mouth just enough to fluster John.
She looked at John, his face red and his hands tight and started to laugh. "Oh, John... it's you I love like that but I will always love James... I'm just a thankful, friendly sister, that's all."
She took his hand and led him back up the stairs. Eliza checked on the children. Glory was still sleeping with her nap and the other two were coloring on their bedroom floor. Satisfied, she led John back to her bedroom, closed the door and reached for his belt.
"Hey," James yelled, "remember, there's a lot of work to be done tomorrow; don't wear yourselves out too much!" He stood up, swept Bethany into his arms and then, kissing her deeply, ran his hands down below her ass and lifted her up into the air. "WE are going to Hawaii, baby and WE are getting MARRIED!!! WE ARE GETTING SO MARRIED!!!"
"Hey, shut up down there! We're trying to have sex up here!
"Hey, where's the kids?"
The next morning...
"All right, I'm leaving now... I'll stop at the bank." He wrote down the amount thinking it would have been more.
Talking from the other side of the line... James continued writing down the information from the ticket agent.
"Maybe hour, hour and a half... depends on how long it takes." Highway One, Pacific Coast Highway as everyone was want to call it, was the best way to get to the harbor but even then, it was going to be a long ride through all the beach cities.
More talking from the other side of the line, much longer this time... He continued writing, each pen stroke another step closer to freedom from the immoral laws keeping them apart.
"All right... Thank you." He hung up the phone and walked to the foot of the stairs. "Bethany, you ready, honey?" Women were all the same... taking forever to get ready. At least, in the bedroom, she was always the first one ready... for anything he might have in mind and some things he never imagined. She was talking to someone.
"Be there in a minute, Jimmy." She knew the way to a man's heart was to keep him wanting more and if that meant making him wait a little... 'Besides, I'm worth it,' she laughed to herself.
When she did finally come down, he had to blink his eyes. She and Eliza had taken to wearing more and more of Catherine's clothes. There was no reason not to but sometimes, it seemed like his wife's spirit was still walking through the house. Rather than feeling upset or nervous, it gave him a warm, comforting secureness like a warm blanket on a chilly winter night.
Just the same, come Hawaii, there would be a LOT of new clothes. He always wanted to go 'native.' He imagined what she would look like in a sarong... right before he took her hand, led her to whatever bedroom they would have there and watch her remove those new clothes.
He was going to get a beachfront property; that was for sure, he promised himself and they were going to run around naked on the sand.
The chilling morning drive to the harbor did take the time he thought it would. He looked at Bethany, wearing one of the full-length coats she found in the closet, the fur collar gently caressing her neck like a lover's kiss. He wondered how she felt, wearing Catherine's clothes. It seemed like she was becoming Catherine at times. 'No, no, no,' he thought, 'she was like the other side of a golden coin, different yet the same.'
They walked into the Matson ticketing office. There were several people in line and a few looked at Bethany Rose standing with him. The agent behind the counter, himself, looked past him. 'You'd think they'd never seen a well-dressed colored woman. How insular could you get? Well, let them look, we'd be gone soon enough.'
"Good morning, I believe I spoke to you on the phone this morning about passage to Honolulu. James Ewart."
The agent was still looking at Bethany.
"About that passage?"
"Ah, yes, sir... you asked for one double suite and one single suite, starboard side. We have two of the one and six of the other. But there's only one pair that is together."
He pointed to the ship's diagram.
James looked; they were too far back, he reasoned, too close to the engines.
"Where did you say the others were?
"Here, here and here... The other double is here."
He turned and spoke quietly to her, she smiled and then he faced the agent.
"Fine. I'll take that one there and this one over here."
"Yes, sir, will that be..."
"Cash." He started adding. A few minutes later, the agent was filling out the ticket information. James registered the women and children in the double cabin and John and himself in the single. Knowing full well that would only exist on paper, when the ship sailed, there would be a quick change in sleeping arrangements. He couldn't wait.
The tickets were put into a small folder and handed over. "Will there be anything else, sir?"
"I also have a good deal to ship. Are you able to handle that with this ship or can you arrange for another?"
"It won't be on this ship, it's not set up for cargo. But, we..." He looked in his notebook and said, "I can accommodate you on the Pacifica. It will leave two days earlier and arrive one day later. That should be the best, I think. What do you have?"
"Thank you. I have two cars, an airplane..."
"Yes, I'll have it ready to ship. There are three caskets. I want those given special care. And, several large crates of household goods..."
"Please give me a moment and I'll see what I can do." He picked up his phone and dialed the other shipping line.
"...all right... that's good... I'll send him over right now." He hung up the phone. "They're expecting you at berth eight.
There was no one there except some old fishermen at the end of the pier. They either didn't notice them or didn't care and their evening's dinner was probably still swimming out there.
"I can't wait until we leave and I can kiss you without looking around to see whose watching." Her gloved hand covered his and then her fingers intertwined with his.
"Do you have a place in mind?" He laughed quietly, hoping to keep what little privacy they had.
Her hands reached up and pulled his face down and she covered him with kisses. 'Public, be damned,' she thought, kissing him again.
Bethany Rose knew, at this point in their impossible love affair, he would do anything to please her and told him to take her to the Somerset.
'He's completely wrapped around my little finger,' she had thought ever since that first night she slept with him. He, on the other hand, was constantly thinking the same thing.
For one time only, there were no stares as they walked into the hotel. She had always wanted to come here and since they were leaving Los Angeles soon, it had become a case of 'now or never.'
Nevertheless, she still surprised him by calling ahead and reserving a room. He had expected they were only going to have an early dinner and maybe some dancing, but he could see she had other plans on her mind.
Bethany insisted they go up to the room to 'freshen up' as she put it, dragging him to the elevators. He thought she would. Their second-floor room was at the back with none of the traffic noise from the avenue below.
He sat on the bed and watched as she took off the great coat, showing a wondrous dress; the deep gold shone on her rich brown skin like a harvest moon against the night.
His arousal was immediate. When would she stop affecting him this way? Never, she hoped. Walking over, she kissed him and whispered, "Later..."
As good as the dinner probably was, he didn't even remember what he had.
"Oh, look, Jimmy, they're playing the Balboa. C'mon, I'll teach you." She pulled him up and they went out to the dance floor.
Named for the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, it was a 'close embrace' style dance. The partners faced each other chest-to-chest in full body contact. They were usually a little offset from each other, so that the right shoe was in between the shoes of the other.
The dance was led with the whole body rather than the arms or some other clue to move, similar to the Tango.
"OK, Jimmy, here, stand like this." Their bodies toching, chest to chest, just offset enough. "Good, now step back with your left, all right, then bring your right one back. Slide your left food forward, then back again. No, like this. Move your right foot up and then your left to it. Slide your right one back pulling your heel off the ground and then forward again."
The swing music began and he tried to keep up with her. She laughed, "I'll get some rhythm into you yet, Jimmy; you've been doing all your dancing in bed with me."
Eventually, he moved with her smoothly enough and held her closely enough the dancing became vertical sex and he felt himself almost cumming several times. Somehow, she held him and stopped it. He had no idea where or how she learned that trick... probably from John through Eliza.
At midnight, they couldn't wait for the elevator and took the stairs.
He set the bottle down on the nightstand. The 1875 Delamain Cognac, bottled ten years earlier, was expensive but he didn't care. Although they had been sleeping together for a good while now, she told him this was their honeymoon night.