by Fallen ©
*** CHAPTER 14 ***
Karen drove home wondering if this was still the same town and if she was the same person who had left yesterday. Everything looked brighter, cleaner, and friendlier. Paul's car was in the driveway when she got home and it didn't even make her mad.
Paul was busy packing his things. He looked up when she came in, "I'm glad you're here. I found an apartment and now I need to know how you want to divide this stuff that kind of belongs to both of us." They sat down and went through all kinds of things that they had bought, found, or just accumulated. Paul commented on her changed mood, "You sure are in a good mood today, why you are even willing to talk to me. Is not having the kids here making that much of a difference?"
Karen didn't think it would be wise to tell him the real reason so she said that it was from them finally deciding on what was going to happen in their lives. She hoped that he would want to be a big part of the kids' life but that after the New York trip she just didn't want him to a part of her life. Paul assured her that he wanted to be a daddy to his kids but told her that the company was thinking of transferring him to the plant in California.
"When do you have to go? Did you just find out or what?" Karen was dizzy from how fast her whole world was changing.
"Well I guess pretty soon. They just talked to me about it and offered me a management position if I go." Paul looked at Karen to see how she was reacting to the news that he might leave. "If we are going to get divorced it might be best to do it quick before I have to leave and we have two different sets of state laws to deal with."
"That seems real fast but I guess we could work out the details of support and settlement and get a quick one as long as there aren't any contested issues."
Paul couldn't believe that Karen was being so easy to get along with. He had expected her to fuss and drag him through the mud. Paul was sure that he could get time off from work to take care of all the details and he would check in with the office in the morning. Late that evening as they loaded up the last of his stuff, he asked Karen if she would have a last drink with him before he left. They went in and got a bottle of wine. Paul poured them each a glass and they talked about the times that they had enjoyed together. By the time that he had finished the bottle Paul was feeling brave and asked Karen why she had been so mad about what had happened in New York.
Karen warned him, "You are treading on very thin ice here and as one of the ones who helped rape me in New York you shouldn't have to ask."
"Rape! What are you talking about rape? You had me thrown out of the club, with nothing to do but sit in the limo and drink till I pass out. I woke up and you were screwing my two friends."
"I did not have you thrown out of the club and while you were getting drunk, the gang that ran the club dragged me downstairs, raped, and drugged me. Then your two friends and you raped me in the limo while I couldn't even protest."
"Oh Honey I'm so sorry, I didn't know. The two big guys threw me out the front door and wouldn't let me back in. Then when I woke up in the limo you were busy getting it from both ends and weren't fussing or fighting about it. I thought that you were mad and drunk. I decided you were doing it just to get back at me for letting the guys see you."
"Letting the guys see me was bad enough but then taking them with us to go out clubbing and with me dressed just for you. Then you wouldn't take me home after I learned about it. Why you made me feel like a slut and treated me like one too." Karen was crying as the memories welled up from where she had them sealed off.
"I am so sorry. I arranged to get the limo before the guys saw you and I had no idea that you would go out dressed like that. Is there anything I can do?" Paul was really feeling bad now that he knew what had happened.
"Hearing that you didn't just abandon me in the club helps and I guess that I can see how you might get the wrong idea in the car. It doesn't make it right, you should have made them quit." She dried her eyes and said, "You should go now but I am glad we had this talk."
In the weeks that followed Karen heard from Paul and Fred. Paul arranged for a quick divorce settlement. He gave Karen the house and a good support plan for her and the kids. Karen was happy with the settlement and glad that it hadn't gone to a long court battle with all the messy details becoming everyone's business. Even now there were rumors about both her and Paul making the rounds.
Fred had called regularly and they had spent many a dollar on phone bills. She had made one trip to Phoenix and seen Fred but they were keeping a very low profile. Fred told her that the Red Baron had burned down and that they had discovered 8 bodies in the room under the bar. The police believed one of the bodies belonged to the leader of the gang that had used the bar as their headquarters. Police were still investigating the fire as being suspicious due to the fact that a stolen fuel oil truck had crashed into the side of the building. Its tank had ruptured spilling all the fuel oil down into the basement. The wreck had cut the power lines igniting the oil and killing all the men in the basement. Police believed that another gang or drugs might be involved as no driver was ever found for the wrecked truck.
Fred hoped that Karen and the kids would come to New York even if it were just for a visit. They hadn't set a date to get married but he was hoping she would come up and meet his family. He was very proud of his family and they all wanted to meet her. He just hoped she didn't get tired of the Italian cooking. His family was pushing for them to marry in New York especially if they were going to live somewhere else. He mentioned something about one uncle having already given them a wedding present but wouldn't tell her what it was.
Fred teased her saying that now with the Red Baron and the gang that had run it gone, she really didn't have any reason to be afraid of coming to New York except him. She finally agreed to bring the kids up as soon as the divorce was final.
Paul and Karen's divorce finally happened and they parted friends. Paul would get the kids for weekends, etc. when he got settled in California. He didn't mind if she wanted to fly the kids to visit with friends, even out of state. In fact he encouraged her to find some one, to get out of the house and date. She felt bad about it but just couldn't tell him that she had found someone already.
Fred arranged for Karen and the kids to fly up right after her divorce was settled. He and Karen made their wedding plans and they stayed at his house, which was a very nice old home in the suburbs. Karen wanted the wedding to be informal even if was going to be a big one. Fred's family was great and made them feel like old friends instead of newcomers. The whole family was so glad that Fred had found someone. They had decided that he wasn't going to remarry when he wouldn't date or go out after his first wife had left him.
In just 2 months Fred and Karen were married and moved to Phoenix. They bought a nice home near the airport with lots of bedrooms and a pool in the backyard. Karen gave birth 4 months later to a beautiful little baby girl who they named Juanita. She had the cutest smile and the curliest black hair.
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