tagRomanceRita Remembers Ch. 03

Rita Remembers Ch. 03

bywarmhoney1©

Author's Note: My thanks to Ronnie Wachuka for his help and also for providing a male perspective. My thanks, also, to my friend Gloria.

It might be helpful to read Chapters 1 and 2.

There is no sex in this chapter, but just hang on for Chapter 4!!!


*

Rita pulled herself from her bed and groaned as she made her way to the bathroom, kneeling in front of the commode. Her stomach was rolling and she could feel the bile rise in her throat as she threw up for the third morning in a row. "Oh God," she shivered as she rinsed her mouth out and went back to lie down. "What in the world has made me so sick?" She truly didn't want it to be what she was thinking.

She had been in Tuscany and Florence with her parents for a week to see the sights and the beautiful old art work, architecture and vineyards. They had thought it would be good for her to get away. She had always been such a cheery, loving young woman, but in the last few weeks she had become morose and disinterested in everything. She missed Frank.

His face loomed up in her mind and she could see him. She could see his laughing eyes and that dark hair that she loved to run her fingers through. It made her still queasy stomach knot with desire as she remembered his soft sweet lips kissing her gently, becoming more demanding as he led her to heights of desire she had not known existed. She could hear in her heart his low sexy voice urging, "cum for me, Rita. Open your eyes sweetheart and cum for me. I want to see your pleasure." She nodded and whispered "Yes, oh yes," as tears slipped from her eyes and her fingers found her clit. She bit her lip and whimpered as she trembled through her orgasms.

"Oh Frank," she cried softly, "What did I do that you left me? I don't understand."

A knock on her bedroom door shook her from her thoughts and her mother came in. "Hurry darling, we must be ready to go as soon as your father...." Her mother looked quizzically at her daughter. "Rita, what's wrong? Are you sick, dear?"

She sat up and swung her feet to the floor as she looked at her mother briefly before running to the bathroom to throw up again. As she finally was able to stand on wobbly legs, she leaned against the sink to wash her face.

"Marie, are you and Rita ready?" her father called from the doorway.

"Not quite," his wife replied. "Rita isn't feeling well. We may need to see the Doctor at the Embassy when we return."

He walked to the bathroom door and looked at his daughter. She was white as a sheet and shaky. "Is it something you ate, pumpkin?" he asked.

Rita sighed as she walked past him into the bedroom. "You might say that."

Her mother was fussing with packing Rita's things and mumbling about what all they needed to do before going back to Rome.

Rita didn't realize she had screamed at her mother until it was done.

"Stop it! Nothing matters? Don't you see? Just get out and leave me alone!!!" She was sobbing as if her heart was breaking as her mother stared in shock. "RITA!!!"

Before his wife could finish, Rita's father gently ushered her into the hall. "Go back to our room and I'll talk to her. She'll be fine in a few minutes. Finish packing and then we can check out."

Rita sat on the bed, her hands covering her face, crying as he crossed the room to take her in his arms, sitting beside her. She laid her head on his shoulder and sobbed. "I'm sorry, Dad. I don't know why I did that."

"It'll be all right. Your mother will get over it. She's just never seen you this upset. Shhh! Now, dry your tears and tell me about it."

Rita sat up and wiped her eyes, smiling wanly as he handed her his handkerchief. "You always make me feel better, Daddy, but this problem you can't solve."

"Oh, I don't know," he smiled. "Tell me, and we'll see."

Rita dropped her head and new tears slid down her cheeks.

"Is it a man?" he asked gently.

She nodded.

"Want to tell me about it?" he asked.

"I can't," she choked out. "He...he left. I don't know where he is...and...."

"Oh sweetheart, it will be ok. Just talk. I'll listen."

The words tumbled from her through more tears and he held her close.

"Dad, I think I'm pregnant." She sobbed. "I'm so sorry. I know I'm a big disappointment to you."

He patted her back and held her on his shoulder so she couldn't see his tears. "You're not a disappointment to me, nor to your mother. We'll see the Doctor and make sure about this. It'll all work out." He was trying to be calm, but it was almost more than he could do. "Do you know who the father is?" She nodded. "Will you tell me?" He asked. "I can't," she whispered.

He sat her up and looked into her eyes. "Rita, he needs to know and take responsibility for what he has done. He is..."

Rita dropped her head. "He can't, Dad. He's a Priest."

Her father sat, stunned. "A...a Priest?" he stammered. "But why...how...?"

"Please don't tell mother. She will be so upset." She pleaded. "Please."

He stood and began to pace the room. "Rita, I have to tell her, at least part of it, but I'll try to keep the Priest out of it. I'll just tell her you won't divulge the man's name. Now young lady, you finish packing and we'll talk more about things when we get back to Rome. That will be soon enough for your mother to know. Until then, this is our secret."

Rita managed a small smile and hugged him. "Thank you, Daddy. I love you."

"I love you too, pumpkin. Now, scoot. Get dressed and I'll make arrangements for you to see the Embassy doctor."

"Yes, Miss Moore, you are definitely pregnant. I'd say 2 months or so," Dr Baker said.

Rita was stunned. She had known there was the possibility of pregnancy, and now she was faced with the reality. She was in her prime childbearing years, so she shouldn't have been surprised.

As she walked slowly back to her apartment, she couldn't help but feel like this child was a gift to her, not a burden. She sat later, still trying to absorb the fact that she was carrying a child. Decisions had to be made, and her first was that no one would ever know who the father was. She would raise her child, boy or girl, as a Catholic. That, she knew, would be what Frank would want, but she was determined that even Frank wouldn't know he had fathered a child. There was no point in causing him problems in his career and in his vocation. She cared too deeply for him to do that.

In the weeks that followed, arrangements were made for her to go back to the States to live with her Dad's sister. It would work out much better for all concerned, and she would not have to live with the look of disappointment on her mother's face, nor hear the angry accusations as her parents argued. Her father tried to protect her, doing what he could to keep her out of the way of the scandal that surely would erupt as she progressed in her pregnancy. Her mother, though she loved Rita, was concerned with their social standing and how being grandparents of a child out of wedlock, especially a Priest's child, could ruin her husband's political career and his ambitions. Even though >>the late 30's were 'progressive' there were very real "limits" and a child out of wedlock was anathema.

Rita quietly moved back to the States. She spent the next six months living with her Aunt Jeanne, who was a head nurse at a Catholic hospital in a small town just north of St. Louis, Missouri. Jeanne didn't know all the details but she was wise enough to figure things out and Rita eventually told her everything except who and 'what' the father was. She kept her secret even through the months of waiting as the country approached war.

Early in 1941, things were getting so hostile in Italy that her parents were transferred home and based in Washington, D. C. Her mother and father made one trip to St. Louis but Rita could barely stand her mother's reproaches and the trip didn't really smooth things over between them.

Six months later, in the Catholic hospital in St. Louis where her Aunt was Head Nurse in Labor and Delivery, Rita gave birth to a girl, 7 pounds 8 ounces and 22 inches long. As she looked into her daughter's face, watching her yawn and snuggle against her breast, she could see how much she looked like her father. She would most likely be tall, as he was. Frances Anne had his features and her hair was dark like his.

Rita smiled. "Is there any part of me you have?" she murmured. At that, Frankie as she would be called, opened her little bow of a mouth and let out a piercing cry. "Oh yes," Rita chuckled, placing her nipple in her mouth as she latched on and sucked. "You, my sweet girl, have your mother's temper."

World War II had broken out and while Rita was giving birth, Frank was on a ship serving as Chaplain. He had joined the Navy and served throughout the War. It had been a challenge for him and he had seen and heard things he would never speak of to anyone.

He celebrated Mass on Sunday on several ships. Some were destroyers, some carriers, some supply ships, but they all had one thing in common...men that needed and wanted to talk with him.

At the end of the War, he was approached to join The Company. His work among the enlisted men and the Officers was well known, and his other abilities in a crisis situation had been forwarded to the powers that be. The Company was anxious to recruit him. In time, he joined, and his cover was that of a Jesuit priest. His vocation worked well for him. He was assigned to St. Mary's Church in Stamford, Connecticut.

As Frankie grew in the next few years, Rita met and married an Air Force pilot. Captain Mike Thompson was ruggedly handsome as well as witty and Rita found herself falling for the pilot. They had met at the hospital where Mike had come for some tests, and she was working as a Red Cross Volunteer. They were married March 3, 1950, and their son was born a year later. Mike had adopted Frankie as his own child. They had accepted her parents wedding gift of the old home she had grown up in on Long Island. It was important to her that the family have stability with Mike being gone for months at a time and the Korean Conflict loomed like a cloud on their future. He was assured that his family was safe, and he was able to focus on his military duties.

It was now June of 1953 and Rita stood beside her husband's grave, her children at her side, as she barely heard the playing of Taps and then the mournful wail of the piper as he played Amazing Grace and walked away until the sound was faint and then no more. She raised red, puffy eyes to the man in uniform that laid the flag in her hands and heard his voice crack as he saluted. Her look was one of confusion, almost as if, is this all that's left? What do I do now?

The old Priest wrapped her in his arms and whispered, "God go with you and your children," and then she was led, numbly, to the car. She laid her head back on the soft leather of the seat and sighed. This part of her life was over.

At home, she walked into the library to get away from the groups of people that wanted to console her. She wanted to be alone. Mike was gone, she would raise her children alone. She didn't want to be rude, and she wouldn't be; but she needed to be alone, at least for a few minutes. The mail was on his desk and she picked it up, thumbing through it. One letter caught her eye and she opened it. It was from the U.S. Conference of Bishops based in Washington, D.C. inviting them to a reception for the new United States Bishops. Her hands shook as she read the names. Frank's name was there. "You've done well for yourself, my darling," she whispered as she sat reading the invitation over again. Her fingers softly touched his name on the paper as if touching him. RSVP? Yes, she decided, she would go. She didn't want to be in the line meeting him, but she wanted to see Frank. She wanted to bring closure to that part of her life; to the wondering, and she could stay on the fringe of the crowd and see him. Yes, she would go.

Rita stood at the entrance to the Mayflower Hotel two months later and took a deep breath, smoothing her salt and pepper hair in its tight chignon. Her black dress fit gracefully over her soft curves. Having two children had only enhanced her figure. She had the classic elegance and beauty of a mature woman now, but anyone guessing her age would have been wrong. It had been a long two months since Mike's death and she had fought with her impulsive decision to come to Washington, but deep inside herself, she knew she had to see Frank. She just wanted to see him one more time and that would be enough. She wouldn't go near him, just to see him across the room would be enough. She grinned softly, thinking, I just want to see if Frankie really does look like her Daddy.

She was ushered into the ballroom that had been decorated with flowers and finger foods for the Reception and cocktails. Soon she began to relax as she mingled among the dignitaries and acquaintances she had known for many years when her father traveled back and forth between Rome and Washington. She sipped champagne as she chatted easily with old friends and caught up on news and even some gossip.

As she excused herself and started up the marble steps to the ladies room, she heard a deep, masculine voice speak softly. "We've met like this before, haven't we?"

"Frank," she breathed softly as she stopped mid step. "Oh my God, Frank."

Rita turned to look into the eyes of the man she had known so well so many years before. He hadn't changed, well, not that much. He was older, more distinguished looking. She fleetingly remembered something she had heard as a young woman...men grow better looking with age, women just age. How true, she thought, at least for THIS man. Her eyes traveled over the now salt and pepper hair, to the tanned face, lined with experience, to the black suit and collar that were so familiar to her. His physique was still well toned and her gut knotted with desire as in years before.

She stood still, unable to move until he walked up the steps and took her hand in his. "Its so good to see you again," he said a bit louder and inquired about her parents. She realized this was for the benefit of people standing close by. She took his cue and told him about their work in Rome, and now in Washington. As people wandered away, Frank spoke softly. "Rita, we need to talk. I've much to make up to you; explain to you."

"Frank, I...I..." she stammered.

As much as she wanted to be with him again, even for a little while, she wasn't sure if she wanted to hear his explanation. She knew the truth. He had left her in Rome. No letter, no call. He had just left. She had carried his child and given life to her. He had never known, nor would he.

"Please," he begged softly, "please give me just a few minutes. I know I hurt you badly, but there were extenuating circumstances. Let me try to explain."

Rita sighed as she looked into his eyes and could see the pain. "Okay, but not here. I'll meet you somewhere."

Frank breathed a sigh of relief and said, "There's a tea room a couple of blocks from here. Is that ok? Its very quiet and private."

She nodded. "I'll find it. I'll be there in an hour."

"Thanks," he whispered. "I owe you." He turned to rejoin the conversation among the Priests, yet looking over their heads to her.

"You sure do," Rita murmured. "You owe me big time, but you owe your daughter more. Its too bad you will never know her."

In an hour, Rita was seated in the Russian Tea Room sipping tea and waiting impatiently for Frank. He had still been talking with friends when she left, but he had slipped her a message that he would be along shortly.

In minutes she spotted him working his way to her table. He ordered coffee and gently squeezed her hand before letting it go. "I'm glad you agreed to meet. I've thought about you so many times over the years." His eyes rested on her wedding rings. "You married," he said dully. It shouldn't have surprised him, but it did.

"Yes," she said, looking down at her hand as her eyes filled with tears. "He died two months ago." Surprised at herself, she wondered why she had revealed that. It wasn't something important to Frank, only to her.

"I'm sorry," he replied softly. "You must have loved him very much."

"Yes, I did," she replied, and then straightened and squared her shoulders. "Mike has nothing to do with us though. What did you want to explain?"

She sat listening, at first in anger, and then in sadness, to what Frank told her. It was appalling to know all the things that had happened to him.

"There really was a letter, then?" she queried, softly. "I never got it."

"I gave it to Father Vittorio to take to the Embassy. I didn't have time to take it, but I wish now I had taken the time. At least you would have known what was going on." Frank's eyes showed the remorse he felt.

"I wrote to you," Rita said softly. "I wanted you to know about Mike, but none of that matters now. I have two children to raise, and our lives can never be the same."

"Rita, I want to see you..."

She shook her head. "It won't work, Frank. There are too many years between us. It will be better for both of us this way. You have done well for yourself, my darling. I will always love you, but we can't take chances on more, especially with your rank in the Church now."

"I'll think of something," he said desperately as she rose to go.

Rita looked down into Frank's eyes and smiled wanly. "I love you, Frank. I will always carry a part of you in my heart. Good-bye."

She was gone and Frank sat dejectedly, staring into his coffee. "I have to find her again. It can't end this way. I won't let it," he muttered.

"Want some more coffee, Father?" the waitress asked, and he looked up. "No thanks," he replied as he pulled some bills from his pocket. "Will you pay this for me? I really have to find someone."

"Sure," she answered, winking. "She went out the side door."

Three days later, he sat in his Office in Stamford, staring at the phone. He picked it up and dialed a private number. In less than two hours, he received a call giving him all the information he had requested. He looked at the name, the address in New York, her phone number, and her personal and family history. He read and reread it, mulling over the decision he had to make.

In less than a month, he made a "business trip" to New York. After meeting with the Archbishop, he made a side trip to Long Island. As he stepped from the car and walked up the steps to the door, he could feel his stomach knot. He rang the doorbell and waited.

To be continued...

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