tagIncest/TabooA Matter of Betrayal Ch. 07

A Matter of Betrayal Ch. 07

byAngeloMichael©

CHAPTER 7: YOU SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY

Aileen's birthday was coming up and Colin was in a quandary over what to get for her. His mother always seemed to get a little depressed on her birthday and the day after. When she turned eighteen, she had married Colin's father the next day after. Colin was determined to make it a good day for her. The problem was that her birthday was January 29 and Valentine's Day would be coming up only two weeks later. Colin all ready had plans for what he wanted to do on Valentine's Day and he had the gift picked out that he wanted to give her. He had saved up some money from when he worked at his uncle's pub and he had just received his first paycheck from his job at Buddy's Diner, but he simply couldn't afford two expensive gifts.

The gift he planned to give her on Valentine's Day was very special and he wanted it to be on that day he gave it to her. So what gift could he get for her birthday that showed how much he truly cared for her but didn't cost that much? Colin thought this over and over and couldn't seem to be able to come up with an answer until one day he saw it staring right at his face.

The University of Pennsylvania had close ties with Liberty High. The college was located on the western outskirts of the city and would often publicize events going on at their school on Liberty High's bulletin boards. It was an effort on the University's part to attract prospective students into checking out the campus.

When Colin walked by the bulletin board he noticed that Francis J. O'Connell was scheduled to give a lecture at the University on the Saturday right before Aileen's birthday. O'Connell was an author who had written a few popular books and one of them, Dublin Daze, was his mother's absolute favorite book. Colin must have seen her read that novel at least three times. Colin had a basketball game that day but the game started at two and the lecture was scheduled to begin at ten in the morning.

When the Saturday came, Colin got up early and told his mother he had some errands to run. He arrived at the University of Pennsylvania at about a quarter of ten. Carrying his backpack with him, he made his way over to the lecture hall where O'Connell would be speaking, paid five dollars for a ticket, and found a seat.

A few minutes past ten a man came out and introduced himself as the Dean of the English department, though it looked like most of audience knew who he was. He spoke for about five minutes about how honored the University was to have this guest speaking today and then he introduced Francis J. O'Connell.

The author came out to the lectern while the audience clapped enthusiastically. He was about average height for a man but he looked younger in real life than he did on the picture on the back of his book. There he sported a full beard and mustache and had longer hair, now Colin saw that he had trimmed his facial hair to a goatee and his dark black hair was cut short. The man looked like he could pass for someone in their early to mid twenties.

O'Connell mainly talked about how he became a published writer, the current book he was working on, and his own thoughts on the creative writing process. Colin learned that the man was in fact twenty-eight and had sold his first book, which was Dublin Daze, at the age of twenty-six. He claimed to be more surprised than anyone at how popular the book became. He had published two more books since then which were well received and was working on his fourth.

At the end of the lecture he took some questions from the audience. He was mainly asked about his writing techniques, what he thought of other authors, and what he thought was the best way to become a successful writer. His answer to the final question was, of course, write a good story. But then he elaborated on that. "You can't choose to become a writer for the profit," O'Connell said. "The chances of making a career out of it are very slim. I just signed the contract for my fourth book and only now am I making enough money that I no longer have to find ways to supplement my income, and I'm one of the lucky ones. If you want to be a writer, you have to do it because you love writing, no other reason, and if you want to be a good writer then no matter what, just write; even if you feel what you are writing doesn't make sense or isn't good, just write. As with everything, practice improves your skills." That was the last question he answered.

Colin had no intention of ever becoming a writer, but he found what O'Connell had to say interesting and the impression that he got from the author was that he was a kind and generous man. Colin hoped so for the favor he was about to ask.

The lecture had lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, now that it was over many of the people from the audience were approaching O'Connell to autograph books of his that they had brought with them. Colin was relieved to see that O'Connell seemed to have expected this and was happy to sign the books; this was what Colin was hoping for. He made his way down to the lectern and got into the line that had formed of people wanting O'Connell's autograph.

When it was Colin's turn he opened his backpack and took out three books. "It's a pleasure to meet you sir," Colin said as he handed O'Connell two of the books, they were Siberian Summer and Kilimanjaro's Shadow the other two books the author had written.

O'Connell opened one of the books putting a pen to it and said, "The pleasure is all mine...?"

"Colin. But could you please make the autographs out to Aileen? She's my girlfriend and she loves your books." Colin said. He had rehearsed what he was going to say before coming up to the author and he knew that for what he wanted to ask it was definitely wise to let O'Connell think Aileen was his girlfriend.

"Of course," O'Connell said and asked how she spelled her name as he scribbled in the first book. "Why isn't she here today?"

"I want to surprise her, it's her birthday this Thursday," Colin said.

"I see," the author said and nodded his head. A broad smile broke out on his face and laugh lines appeared at the corners of his mouth as he scribbled into the second book.

Colin took the two books back and held out a brand new hardcover copy of Dublin Daze. Colin had brought the other two books from home, but he had bought a new copy of the third book because he had something special planned for it and Aileen's copy had become kind of dog-eared. "I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor?" Colin asked before O'Connell took the last book.

The author hesitated and looked wary, "What kind of favor?" he asked.

Colin unfolded a small piece of paper and handed it to O'Connell. "Write this in the book," he said. The author read the paper and then looked back at Colin, before he said anything Colin said, "It's for her birthday and I know she would love it and it would really mean a lot to both of us."

The author studied Colin for a moment then asked, "Do you really mean this?" he waved the piece of paper.

"Every word of it Mr. O'Connell," Colin said sincerely.

The author hesitated another moment and then the smile returned to his face. "You're lucky I'm a romantic at heart," he said. He took the copy of Dublin Daze opened it up and began writing in it every now and then looking at the piece of paper Colin had handed him.

While O'Connell was writing Colin looked at the inscriptions in the other two books. They both said:

To Aileen, Best wishes, Francis J. O'Connell

The author's signature was barely legible but Colin supposed if he had to sign his name thousands of times his signature would get pretty sloppy too.

O'Connell finished writing in the book and handed it and the piece of paper back to Colin. Colin opened the book and read what the author wrote, his eyes widened in surprise. "Will that be sufficient?" the author asked.

"More than sufficient," Colin said. "It's terrific! You went beyond what I asked for; you don't know how much I appreciate this! Thank you so much Mr. O'Connell!"

"You're welcome, and call me Jack," the author said as he held out his hand. Colin shook it.

"Thank you Jack," Colin said. Before Colin left he said, "Mr. O...Jack, do you have a true love?" Colin didn't know why he asked that question, he supposed it was a combination between Jack mentioning he was a romantic and what he wrote in the book.

"Yes I do," Jack said wistfully. Then he pointed to the books Colin held and said, "You can find her in each one of those. She may go by different names, have different looks, different backgrounds, but it's still always her." Colin was confused by the answer but the people standing behind him had passed impatient long ago and were bordering on irate.

"Thank you so much again!" Colin said. Jack nodded and Colin moved on. With each step he took as he left the lecture hall the more excited he got. He couldn't wait until Thursday!

* * *

The week started off well...sort of. On Monday it was announced the school board investigator, Mr. Miller, had concluded his investigation and would not be returning. When the news came over the intercom you could hear the cheers erupting from all the classes, Mr. Miller had been there every day for the last two weeks and he wasn't well liked at Liberty High. Usually when the student body acts up the teachers are quick to call for order, however it seemed like the cheering was allowed to go on for a little longer than normally would be allowed. The teachers were not all that fond of Mr. Miller either.

Colin was happy he would no longer see Arnold Miller and his sour face around school but he had a sinking feeling about the results of the investigation. No one besides Colin and Coach Fletcher had come forward with their beliefs that there was rampant game fixing going on throughout the school's athletic programs. How could the investigation prove anything was going on if no one admitted anything?

Colin decided not to think about that. His mother's birthday was this week and he didn't want to dwell on what the future may hold regarding the investigation when he had such a happy occasion to look forward to.

Wednesday night the Eagles played the West Philadelphia High Falcons. The Falcons were another good team and while the Eagles came close, they couldn't pull off a win. There were more grumbles about the Coach's judgment and the fans were definitely losing patience with this Eagles team. It looked like this year might be the first time in five years Liberty wouldn't go to the finals. The worst part of it was seeing the look of smug superiority on Seth's face the next day every time the Eagles lost a game.

Colin wouldn't let himself feel dejected though. Tomorrow was too important a day.

* * *

The alarm went off at seven on Thursday morning; it was the usual time they got up on weekday mornings. Colin woke up in the position he had gotten so used to, spooned up behind his mother, his arm around her warm body his hand pressed against her chest.

"Mmmmmm, five more minutes," Aileen groaned as Colin turned the alarm off. It was not uncommon for her to request a few more minutes to snuggle in their cozy bed together, Colin hated having to leave it just as much. But today was a special day.

"C'mon birthday girl, you have to get up!" Colin said.

"Ugh, don't remind me." Aileen said

"Today's your special day sweetie let's start it off right!"

"There's nothing special about turning thirty-seven," Aileen said. "Thirty-seven! Oh God I'm old!"

"You are NOT old. You are young and vivacious and the most beautiful woman I know."

"Liar. I'm old so let me sleep."

"C'mon get up!" Colin said bouncing on the bed. "Get up, get up get up!"

"There should be a law against being so cheery in the morning," Aileen said.

"I'm just excited honey, we are going to have a very special night tonight," Colin said as he nuzzled Aileen's neck planting kisses on her cheek. "The sooner we get started on the day, the sooner we can get started on the night!"

Aileen turned her head and their lips met and Colin gave her a passionate kiss. "Mmmmm," she said when their lips parted, "don't start anything you can't finish."

"I will finish it, but tonight, that was just a preview," Colin said. "Now get up!"

"All right, all right I'm getting up!" Aileen said.

Colin watched her naked body slide out of bed and the view of her backside made his cock twitch. "That is definitely not the ass of a thirty-seven year old," Colin said with a lascivious smirk.

"I know, it's the ass of a forty-seven year old," Aileen said as she headed to the bathroom.

"You know I'd still love you if you had the ass of a hundred and seven year old!" Colin shouted, "But you don't, yours is perfect! I could bounce a quarter off it!"

Colin didn't hear exactly what Aileen said back to him but he got the gist of it, something about where he could shove that quarter...Aileen really didn't like her birthdays and her mood reflected it. Colin grinned to himself, he hoped tonight would change all that.

* * *

Colin rushed out of school after basketball practice. He wanted to make it home before his mother did and he needed to stop at a neighborhood bakery to pick up the cake he had ordered. It was a simple round chocolate cake with vanilla icing but this bakery always made good food. He had them write "Happy Birthday Aileen" on the cake in pink frosting and there were four red roses with green stems made out of icing placed on the cake.

Colin made it home at about a quarter to five. He usually worked Thursday nights at the diner, but he traded with another worker so he could have the night off. He put the cake away in the refrigerator and immediately started on dinner. Tonight he was making chicken parmesan; it was one of Aileen's favorite dishes. He was also making some spaghetti to go with the meal. Aileen came home when he was right in the middle of making dinner.

"Hi Mom, dinner should be ready in about a half hour or so, if you'd like I could pour you a glass of wine while you wait." Colin said.

Aileen walked straight to the kitchen on a direct path towards Colin. She put her arms up around his neck and drew him towards her for a deep, long lasting kiss. When their kiss ended Aileen said, "I'm sorry how I treated you this morning, you were being sweet and I was a bitch."

"No you weren't Mom," Colin denied. "I was overly animated this morning because I was so excited about making this day special for you. No one should have to deal with that amount of enthusiasm first thing in the morning!"

"That's true," Aileen laughed then sobered up when she said, "But Colin, just so you know, every day I get to be with you is special."

Her arms were still around his neck and Colin gazed deeply into her beautiful green eyes. "I feel the same way," he said. "I love you Mom."

"I love you too."

Colin broke contact with his mother and turned back towards the stove where the spaghetti was boiling. "Well if every day is special, then I'm just going to have to make today extra special!" Colin said with a smile. "Now go sit down and I'll bring you a glass of wine."

Aileen sighed, "There's no way I'm going to get around doing this birthday thing, is there?" She asked.

"Nope," Colin said.

"All right I'll go sit down," Aileen said. She went over to the couch and took her shoes off and massaged her feet a little bit. Colin came over with a glass of wine. Since they were having Italian for dinner, he opened a bottle of Chianti.

When dinner was ready both he and Aileen sat down at the kitchen/dining room table. Colin had the lights dim and candles lit on the table. He had placed the plates with the chicken parmesan and spaghetti along with the bottle of Chianti on the table and had made a salad as well to go along with their meal.

"Mmm, Colin this is delicious!" Aileen said as she took a bite of the chicken.

"Thanks," Colin said pleased she liked it.

"You are really turning into a great chef," Aileen remarked.

"It's just something I picked up and it's fun to do," Colin said modestly. "I thought I would like being a waiter better because I could make more money on tips, but really the cooks get paid better than the wait staff at the diner and I've found I enjoy making food for people."

"Well, I'm glad you like your new job," Aileen said somberly. Colin knew his mother was starting to think about his uncle because it was the rift between them that led to Colin seeking new employment. He didn't want her to be thinking sad thoughts on this day so he tried to get her mind off that track.

"Mom, have you ever heard of the C.I.A.?" Colin asked.

"Of course I have, C.I.A., F.B.I., N.S.A., who hasn't heard of those agencies?" Aileen replied.

"No, no, this is a different C.I.A.; it stands for Culinary Institute of America. Jimbo, the head cook at the diner, was telling me about it. It's a college in the state of New York for people who want to become chefs. They don't even require you to take the SAT's but they offer degrees like any college, but it's all based on cooking. They offer Associate and Bachelor degrees in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts, you can even become a C.M.C., Culinary Master Chef."

"So this is something you are seriously considering?" Aileen said and Colin nodded.

"Between working at the pub and the diner I discovered I really like preparing food for people; I think I would enjoy being a chef," Colin said. "Most people are eligible for financial aid at the institute. All I really need to apply is at least six months experience working in a professional kitchen. Since the diner uses fresh ingredients to prepare almost everything, they count. Most graduates of the C.I.A. go on to be successful head cooks or chefs at highly rated restaurants.

"Mom, no matter what we do with our life, we will make the decision together. I know we were talking about moving when I graduate, I thought this could be an option to think about."

"It's an interesting idea sweetie, get more information about the school, take some time to think if this is really what you want and we'll talk more about it. It's such a daunting thought; moving away after living here all these years, but you're right, it's time for a change and the idea of being able to be seen out in the open as a couple makes me tingle all over with excitement," Aileen said as she finished her glass of wine.

"Have some more," Colin said refilling her glass, "it's your birthday you can splurge."

"Are you trying to get me drunk?" Aileen asked with a smile.

"Well, how else am I supposed to take advantage of you?" Colin said raising his eyebrows.

"And here I thought I was the one taking advantage of you!" said Aileen.

"You can take anything you want from me, I'm yours." Colin said.

"And I'm yours," Aileen replied. Their hands reached across the table and took hold of one another. They continued eating their dinner making some small talk but mostly just gazing lovingly at each other.

After their main course was finished Colin suggested they retire to the living room. While Aileen was getting comfortable on the sofa again, Colin got the cake out of the refrigerator, placed candles around the circumference, and lit them. When he came out of the kitchen singing "Happy Birthday" Aileen's face turned as red as her hair. Colin imagined his face was just about the same color as he could barely carry a tune.

He set the cake down on the coffee table and told his mother to make a wish. Aileen closed her eyes for a second then blew out the candles. "What did you wish for?" Colin couldn't help asking.

Aileen just stared at him with a mysterious smile and said, "For something I really want." She left it at that and Colin decided not to press her.

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