Sandy Ch. 04byBogartsBoss©
Sandy arrived while I sipped my second cup of coffee. She was in shorts and a long sweater. She looked gorgeous. A shiver ran down my spine, even as I stepped out to greet her. Karen came out of the house - JEANS; I breathed a sigh. "Are we ready to go? Mark, I'm going to ride with Sandy, OK? Mark? Are you all right? You look pale."
"No, no, I'm fine. Still waking up I guess. Uh, yeah, you ride with Sandy, I'll follow."
"Shotgun!" MJ always called shotgun and Katie always ignored her brother and took the front seat. As always, he shrugged, popped his earbuds in, and took the back.
It was a pleasant drive as we headed south and east into the mountains and we arrived at the lake in time for lunch. I held my breath as we made the last turn. It was a typical foothills lake; sloping shorelines filled with trees on three sides and a relatively flat section on the downstream side covered in lush grass. A single story log cabin sat in the trees, and yeah, there was a float with a walkway.
I checked my phone - three bars. Looking at the hills I saw a cell tower on a ridge to the southwest.
While Karen opened the cabin, I began unloading the van with the kid's help and Sandy tackled her things.
Inside, it was your normal rustic cabin; a large main room with windows looking out on the lake, to one side a large wood stove with a stack of dry wood to the side. There was a basic kitchen with a gas stove and a propane refrigerator along one wall, a sink with a window on the outside wall, and a table with half a dozen chairs to the other side. A utility room was at the back door.
Next we looked at the bedrooms: first came the main; it had a queen sized bed and basic furniture; dresser, side tables. The next had a double bed and dresser, and the third had bunk beds and two smaller dressers. Instantly MJ called; "TOP" and I agreed. Katie was assigned the lower. Sandy took the double, and of course we had the queen. Everyone moved into their rooms and then gathered in the kitchen for lunch.
"This is a nice place. How can Larry afford it on JC wages?"
"He said this has been his parents for ages. They bought back when it was like a hundred dollars an acre; I think there's about a hundred acres. He did say we might be able to do a time-share with him, if we liked it."
The only real preparations I had to do, in so far as the cabin was concerned, was turn on the propane at the tank. It also fed a generator, and that fed into a battery bank and also ran the water well. If we wanted, there were also kerosene lamps in all rooms.
MJ, Katie and I explored the shoreline to the north until we came against a rock face. We followed that into the woods up a streambed that had only a few inches of water in it. By August it would probably be dry. About thirty yards into the trees a path led off to the right; in the general direction of the cabin. But there was also a moss covered rock face to my left. With names and dates carved into it.
While the kids prowled the creek bed I sat on a large rock; staring at that rock wall. Now, I've experienced coincidences, but this was beginning to get eerie. By now almost the whole dream had come back to me. While my eyes were watching the kids, my brain was running the whole sequence. Dog, Poly, float, bed? I didn't know how I felt about the whole thing.
"Dad! Hey Dad, can we see what's down the trail?"
I shook off the mood and we followed the trail. With the cabin in sight, we found a branch in the trail; right went back to the cabin, left up the hill, and ahead through the trees. "Let's go back to the cabin; I want to see what your mom and Sandy are doing. You guys can swim in the lake."
They were sitting on the porch, talking quietly. When I walked up they pointed out a pair of large birds circling above the far shore. At that distance, and with the sun in my eyes, they could have been eagles, but just as likely large hawks. "Sandy and I were just commenting how peaceful it is here. What did you find on your walk?"
"The shore ends against a wall down that way, and we found several trails in among the trees. I wouldn't recommend running them, but those trails will be great for stretching our legs and getting some walking in, at least one leads up into the hills."
Over the next few days we settled into a routine; walks in the morning, swims in the afternoon. We explored the trails behind the cabin; the one leading to the right went around the lake, the one that headed farther into the woods went up the slope and soon turned into a real work out. I did the trails every day, some days the kids came with me, others the women. When they did I often found excuses to lag behind a bit, the view was great; two beautiful pairs of legs topped by shapely asses. I thought I was being cool about my ogling, until the third day. We had hiked about a half mile through the woods and I stopped to 'study' a tree, Karen looked back and said; "Hey, it's our turn. Why don't you lead so we can admire your butt."
Sandy giggled, "Yeah, I wouldn't mind either."
I made sure there was a lot of sway as I led up the slope. The laughter and applause was worth it.
At one point Karen asked Sandy to lead while she talked with me. ""She does look beautiful from here. I see why you like to follow us."
"Ah, but your missing half the picture."
"Sure. You look great too. Every time you're ahead of me, I have to rearrange myself."
"Are you sure that isn't because of her?"
"Oh, she gets me going too. I won't deny it. But don't you underestimate your butt; it's great."
On Sunday Karen announced we had officially run out of food. There was nothing left but peanut butter, jelly and bread heels. ""Mark, I saw a large grocery store in Packwood as we came through, will you go? I'll give you a list so you'll know what I want."
A trip into town? Sure. As nice as the peace and quiet was, seeing other humans had appeal. Plus I could get myself a treat. "Can I come along?"
"Sure Sandy, I'd love to have your company."
All the way into town we talked. Nothing of great importance; just friends talking. Half way down the main drag was a large grocery store with a huge, and very busy, parking lot. As I cruised around looking for a spot I heard Sandy mutter; "Oh no ..." I was too busy driving to look around, but asked if there were a problem.
"No. I just thought I saw something, but that's impossible."
"Someone you know?"
"It's too weird to explain. Never mind."
Call it Fate, or Karma, or Kismet; maybe it's just ... I don't know ... serendipity, but there can be a moment when all the forces of the universe click together; like the cogs of a giant watch all meshing in proper sequence. The only spots available were to the side of the building, so that's where we parked. Strolling to the store, she'd interlocked her arm with mine, her right hand resting on my arm also - something I really didn't mind. But when we rounded the corner she locked up on me and stopped. There before us sat a woman in her twenties dressed in jeans and a light blouse. Beside her sat a young girl dressed similarly. And between them a rust colored Australian Shepherd. The woman held a sign before her; and I felt I knew what it said before I saw it. Sandy dragged me back around the corner, something bordering on fear in her eyes. "I ... Mark, I'm afraid. I haven't told you or Karen or anyone, but I had a dream, and that woman was in it."
"In your dream, why was she there?"
"Her dog. She had to find a home for her dog."
"In your dream, what was the dog's name?"
She gave me a long look before answering; "Katie." She almost whispered.
I sighed; "Let's do this. Waiting won't change it."
"What do you mean?"
"In my dream, the woman's name is Jessica."
"In mine, Jamie."
"Well, let's go find out who's right."
As we stepped around the corner, the young woman looked up; from ten feet away I heard her gasp. She clutched at the sign, almost shaking. As if in a trance I asked; "Hi, what's happening?"
With shaking hands she held up the sign.
"Free dog to a good home. Loves children"
With a lump in my throat I said; "My name is Mark, this is Sandy. Why are you giving away your dog?"
"I'm Jenny, and this is my daughter; Annie. Mister, we're broke, I can't find work, and I don't know where we'll end up. Something told me to come here and try to find Katie a new home."
"Your dog is Katie?" I asked the girl. She just nodded, tears forming in her eyes.
I looked over at Sandy. Tears rolled down her cheeks.
Looking back at Jenny, and feeling I was reading from a script, I asked; "What sort of work do you do?"
"I was raised on a farm, so I can run all sorts of machinery, plus I've worked as a short order cook, a maid, just about anything honest. Why?"
"Have you ever been to Tacoma?"
"Just passing through. I don't normally stay in larger cities."
"I may know someone. In the meantime what can we do about the dog?"
I turned slightly; "Annie, my name is Mark and I have a daughter just about your age. Would you like to see what she looks like?"
I pulled my phone out as she nodded. "This is my daughter, her name is Kathleen, but we call her Katie. And this is her brother; we call him MJ. Would you mind if my Katie and your Katie were together?"
"Will you take good care of her? She likes peanut butter cookies."
"Honey, I promise we will take the best possible care of her."
"She will be alright. I know it just as sure as we are sitting here. I won't agree to just anyone, you know that. But these are the people we came to town for. I told you yesterday Katie will go to the perfect home. Now I'm sure. She'll be fine, and we can get our life straightened out."
"Jenny, how about Sandy and Annie hit the store, we came for shopping, and Annie can show her what Katie normally gets. In the meantime, stay with me and Katie, I have some calls to make that might affect you. Okay?"
After Sandy and Annie went into the store, Jenny looked at me; "Do you believe in deja vu? I feel like today has been nothing but."
"Yeah, me too. And I think Sandy also. Look, I know a guy; he's the Business Manager of my union. If he can find you something, are you willing to go where ever he sends you?"
"Mark, I'd go to Seattle, or Portland, or anywhere else, if it means we can have a stable life. Annie needs that. She should be in school this fall, but if I'm wandering from job to job ... how can we do that?"
I got on the phone. By now you know I was calling Dick Durant, and yes, he said send her up.
A month later, I ran into Jessie/Jenny; she was working as a temp helper in the Water Department with a chance to take the civil service test in the fall. It wasn't perfect, but a start. A year later Jenny was in the Water Department apprentice program. If she stuck to it, in two years she would have a Journeyman ticket and a permanent job.
We drove back to the lake, the dog sitting on the back seat, whining. I couldn't blame her; we were taking her away from the only family she knew.
The kids were out of sight; which was just as well, I had to explain this to Karen.
Karen was stretched out on the float when we arrived; but stood, hands on hips, when we stopped. Bare breasted and tanning nicely, my wife looked great! But there was a look on her face...
"Well, that certainly took long enough. How much did you get that wasn't on the list?"
"Ahh, one or two things."
Sandy was chewing on her lower lip, but spoke up; "Karen, um, something happened while we were at the store ..."
"Where is it?"
"What?" I said stupidly.
She sighed; "The dog. I've been waiting. If you came in with a dog, any dog, ... let's just say I've been waiting."
I opened the sliding door, and holding her leash, allowed Katie's exit.
"Oh Christ. Tell me about the owners."
And we did, everything; Sandy's dream, mine, Jenny's. And that's when she told us about hers.
"That's it! I'm out of here."
"Sandy! No, please, don't go. We want you to stay."
I wanted to grab her, hold her there, but I knew that would be totally wrong. "Please, stay. Let's talk this out. Maybe it's just been a bunch of coincidences. But, don't go."
"Coincidences my ass. This is just strange."
"Now that I'll agree with. Let's do this: the kids are coming around that corner any minute; its lunch time, let's have lunch and then sit and sort this out. Sandy, I really don't want you to go, but I want us clearing the air."
Not a minute later the kids did come around the corner; dirty as can be and smiling ear to ear. They came to a sudden stop seeing the dog sitting next to me. Surprisingly, they didn't charge over as I expected. Instead, MJ leading the way, walked up very calmly. "Um Dad, whose dog is that? Did you find it? Can we keep it?"
So I filled them in, saving the dog's name for last; "...and her name is Katie."
My daughter's eyes opened wide. She had been looking the dog over but now; "But that's my name! Can we change her name?"
"I thought about that driving back. How about we call her Katie Dog? She's had her name for almost two years, she's too used to her name now; if we try changing it, she'll just be confused, but if we add Dog to the back end, she won't really notice. Will that work for you?"
Katie eyed Katie Dog for a moment, and was eyed in return; "Okay. Can I walk her?"
"Yeah, but don't let go of the leash; she's not used to us yet, and she might get lost."
Kids and dog wandered off after lunch and we sat on the porch; a light breeze keeping us cool in the July sun. No one spoke at first. I just didn't know how or where to begin, and maybe they felt the same way. When the silence was too much I cleared my throat; "This isn't the end of the world. And the more I think about it, the better it is. Look, let's play 'I'll show you mine' - I'll tell my dream and you guys tell yours. I'm curious how close they are."
They nodded agreement, but neither spoke; so it was up to me for sure.
I ran through my dream up to bringing the dog back (the rest of the dream might spook either or both of them), I specifically mentioned some of the interplay among the three of us, and then pointed out all the events in real time that matched to the dream. "Even Jessic ... I mean Jenny ... had at least some premonition to be in town at that time and that place. When we saw her, I stopped thinking 'coincidence', and began thinking 'fate'."
Sandy spoke next: "The night before we came up here ... Karen, please understand this was just a dream; the night before we came up here I dreamed I was making love. I didn't know who it was ... it was dark ... then I saw a face. It was Mark's. But then it changed, and it was you. Then I saw a woman and a child and a dog, and, and, I'm just confused."
Karen took Sandy's hands. "I dreamt about the dog also. But I also dreamed about you. At first I didn't understand, but I do now. I love you. I still love lunkhead over there - but for the first time in my life I love a woman, and it's you."
With tears in their eyes they turned to me; "Mark ..." said Karen, "Where are you in all this?"
"My dream included both of you. It didn't get to the point of me making love with you, Sandy, but only because I woke up. I know I wanted to, and truth be told, I want to now. Actually I want both of you now. But then again that's just me."
"Typical male; thinking with his little head."
"Actually Karen, no. Yeah, I know you're just teasing; But first the dream, and now the time we've spent together ... I like Sandy. And that is important to me. I have to like before I can love. But let me ask you a question: did you bring books up on expanding our marriage? Or was that just a part of my dream?"
Man, the silence. Karen stared at me for minutes. "How did you know about the books?"
"I told you, it was part of my dream; you gave us a long spiel about loving without jealousy and if everyone knew, then it wasn't cheating. I remember us reading those books back then, but I don't recall any magazines. Well other than the Swinger Connection. Remember how we looked at those and just couldn't see us going there?"
We talked for maybe another hour. Sandy asked about our reading, Karen and I tried really hard to answer without seeming to pressure her. Soon I felt the three of us were in synch; using the same terms to express common feelings, and yes, when it came to jealousy and cheating, Sandy did see where we differed from her first conceptions.
At one point Karen slid into my lap, a hand caressing my chest. Leaning in, kissing me lightly, she turned to Sandy; "Truly, I love this man. There is only one person on this planet I'm willing to share him with, and it's you. I can't make it any plainer than that.
Sandy had been sitting, watching; "Wow, I'm stunned. I have a confession to make; I have come to love you guys. At first it was friendship, but it kept getting deeper, and it scares me."
""I've had two boyfriends, neither proved to be what I needed. Oh, I had sex with them sure, but always, something ... didn't feel ... um ... right, I guess. I mean, yeah the act was okay, but afterwards ... nothing. I see you with Mark and I know you have that ... whatever it is. Sometimes Karen, I envy you. I'm not jealous, I know that, but I wish I had the love you have. But how can I?"
I asked Karen to move back to her seat, then reached for Sandy's hand. Tugging gently I led her to my lap. She didn't resist. "Let's try this: Let yourself express love. I don't mean go wild and throw yourself at me or Karen (but I won't push you away if you do), just let the physical side come out. For instance; I so want to kiss you. Will you let me?"
Without a word, she closed her eyes, and leaned in...
"Mom, we're hungry!"
Yeah, that figured. When I laughed, and Sandy lifted an eyebrow I just said; "that was in the dream too."
Karen took them in the kitchen and Sandy and I picked up at her closing her eyes and leaning in. For just a moment, I held her there and when she reopened her eyes and asked: "What?" my reply was; "You're gorgeous.", and I pulled her to me. She has the softest, sweetest lips and I lost myself in them.
When we broke for air she had the most serious look on her face. "You'd better have meant that kiss, because I'm not going to be used and tossed away. I mean it. I ..."
Karen came back out. "Well, was he good?"
Squeezing me tightly, she nodded at Karen. Tears formed in her eyes. "I don't want this to end. Please, please, are you guys really asking me to love you?"
"Sandy," Karen said as she kissed her several times, "we love you, and you've said you love us. Let's just go with that. Let everything else flow out from there."
After the kids went to bed I clipped the dog on her leash and took her for a walk. When I returned, Karen and Sandy had a blanket spread on the grass and they were talking quietly. I put her in the cabin and joined the ladies. They were stretched out, holding hands and whispering as they watched the stars come out. I sat at their feet, not wanting to disturb a special moment. It took me several minutes to realize both were topless; nipples standing in the evening air caught my attention first, then the lack of cloth penetrated.
Gently, I massaged their feet, first one, then the other, until they both sat up and wiggled fingers at me; Karen patting a spot between them. Before I could stretch out Karen's hands ran up under my shirt, lifting it up and off; "You were overdressed."
Do you know just how nice it is to have a pair of half-naked women rolling on you, whispering sweet nothings in your ear? Well ... I found out that night. Truth be told I did my share of whispering too. At one point I rolled Sandy to the center; Karen was waiting, and was kissing her immediately. Not little, light kisses; serious ones designed to inflame desire.