Any Chance We Could Ch. 21byReindeer58©
This is a work in progress and chapters will be submitted at regular intervals. This is a continuing series, no chapter is written to stand alone. If you're just starting I recommend you start at the first chapter.
Monday, October 15
In between waves of lightening, thunder and strong gusty wind we dozed off until my cell phone rang at 1:30 am. "This is strange," I thought as Veronica picked it up off the nightstand and answered. "Hello"
"Mr Appleton?" the voice asked.
'No, this is his fiancée; do you need to talk to Scott?"
"Yes, please, is he there?"
Veronica handed me the phone across Cindy who was stirring. "This is Officer Flanery, Officer Dickens and I were at the party you gave last night, Saturday. Where are you now?"
"At home. Really my fiancée's house where the party was held. Why'd you ask?"
"I'm glad to hear that you're not at the house on Oak Haven," said Flanery.
"Oh, really, why's that?" I asked.
"About a half hour ago your next door neighbor heard a very loud crash that wasn't thunder and looked out and could see by the lightning flashes that your oak tree was now almost horizontal across your house. They called 911 and we responded. I'm glad we don't have to do a search and rescue. Do you have a gas line into the house?"
"No," I replied. I still couldn't get my arms around what had happened. I was too groggy.
"Good, the tree took down the electric drop so there's minimal chance of a fire."
"So, do I need to come there now?" I asked.
"No." Flanery said. "Stay dry and come by after first light. If you came now you couldn't see much and it's raining hard again. We'll pass here several times tonight. Lots of trees down in the neighborhood, and we'll be making sure there isn't any looting."
"Thanks, officer, I appreciate the call. Good night," I said.
"That didn't sound good," Veronica said. "What happened?"
I related what Flanery said. Veronica jocularly said, "There goes a good listing for tomorrow. I'm so glad you're both living here now."
"Me too, for a lot of reasons. Can't do anything until morning except go back to sleep, I guess." Veronica and Cindy fell quickly back to sleep. I tossed and turned for awhile then I got up and went to Katrina's bed, snuggled in against her and woke her to tell her about the tree.
"We still had some stuff there, like clothes and books, I hope they're OK," said Katrina very drowsily.
"We'll know tomorrow after we go take a look," I said.
Katrina and I tossed and turned until I climbed over her and got between her and Ashley. Katrina wrapped herself around me and we fell asleep in each other's arms with Ashley pressed against my back.
I awoke before dawn and went back to bed with Veronica and Cindy. Entering the bedroom I noticed Veronica spooned against Cindy with her arm over Cindy and a hand cupping a breast. When I spooned against my love, she turned and wrapped her arms around me and whispered, "Missed you."
Not too long after I awoke I was joined in the shower by Veronica. We didn't say much but we did caress a lot and when finished dressed casually. Several times she hugged me and by doing so assured me that all would be well.
As we were about to leave the bedroom Cindy stirred, rubbed her eyes and said, "Good morning."
I bent over and kissed her on the forehead. "Good morning sweetheart, did you sleep well, there was some coming and going during the night."
"Oh, yes, very well. The two of you loving me last night and the orgasms I had must have completely worn me out. I especially liked you licking my asshole while I ate Veronica. You really do that well. Sorry about the blow job, it was a first for me, and I'm sure after talking to Katrina, I'll be better next time. Can we play some more now," she asked as she stretched her toned lithe body. No wonder she's a good shortstop I thought.
I told her that we couldn't and why. But the next time she wasn't working a double shift at the hospital she was welcome in our bed as well as the girls.
"God, you both have nice tongues, especially when you stick it in my pussy. Mmm, can't wait for next time," softly said Cindy.
I started the coffee and asked Veronica if she would go with me to look at the damage.
"I'm surprised you thought you had to ask, handsome. I wouldn't have it any other way," as she gave me a longing kiss.
The girls came into the kitchen while we were still embracing. Ours were both dressed in jeans and sweatshirts and tennis shoes. "Why aren't you dressed for classes?" I asked. "Cindy are you leaving for work soon.?"
"Yes, I have to, I need to get home and change. I hate to cum, sleep and run, but I do have time for some coffee and this," as she melted into me and passionately kissed me. Backing away from me she did the same to Veronica. Looking at the girls Cindy added, "I loved loving and being loved by your parents last night. You don't know how lucky you are."
"I think we do, thanks," sighed Ashley. "Classes? We're not going. We're going to the house with you. When do you want to leave?"
"I guess after we eat something," I said.
We took Katrina's car with Veronica cuddled next to me. As we pulled in the driveway a passing police car pulled in behind us. After checking my driver's license he left. The view of the damage from the driveway was just incredible. The whole roof was badly damaged with many limbs simply piercing the roof deck. The ridge beam was obviously broken. The stone chimney was shattered and some stones looked to have holed the roof. The branches overhung everything. We walked around to the back and after pushing some branches aside we were able to get in the back door. The kitchen had an inch of water standing on the floor, the office and living room were the same. As I was surveying the den I heard Katrina shriek and ran toward the sound which had come from her bedroom. Katrina was on her knees sobbing. A substantial branch had pierced the roof, her ceiling and sliced into the heart of her mattress, breaking the bed and pushing it to the floor.
"My God, Dad!" exclaimed Katrina shaking. "If we had been here instead of Veronica's, I could have been killed. I had a strong sense that I should be sleeping with you before we moved. I couldn't explain it but I felt I couldn't sleep in my bed any longer," sobbed Katrina in my arms as I held her tightly and kissed her hair.
Meantime, Veronica and Ashley walked down to my bedroom and surveyed the damage there. The ceiling was cracked and there was still water dripping on everything. My closet was dry except for the carpeting which was damp, not flooded. My chest of drawers was wet on the outside but the drawer contents seemed undamaged.
I heard water running and looked down the basement steps and saw at least two feet of water covering the basement floor. The basement drain must be clogged, I thought, but where is the water running? I looked in the kitchen, my bath and then Katrina's. The wall was shattered and the water to the shower handle was gushing in the wall.
While I took off my shoes and pants I sent Katrina to the kitchen to retrieve a flashlight. She returned and I went gingerly down the stairs barefoot and sloshed my way to the front corner where the water line came in. I located the valve and turned the water off. The running sound stopped.
The shelf where my camera collection was stored was against the wall under the water flow from the bathroom and everything was wet. My collection of vintage photographs was in a waterproof cabinet nearby. At least I hoped it was waterproof. I'd been collecting the photos since I was nineteen, and wouldn't want them destroyed. Everything else that was above the water level seemed to be okay. I sloshed my way over to the drain and saw that some newspaper was causing the blockage, I moved it aside and the water began draining. I watched for a few minutes and pushed aside a few boxes that started drifting to the drain. Veronica came down the steps stopping at the water line and asked if I was okay.
I gave her a brief report on the damage and walked over to her and stood on the third step with her, she wrapped her arms around me and said, "I love you, I can't tell you how glad I am that you live with me, us, and weren't hurt. Now that you're homeless, let's set the wedding date."
"Oh, Veronica, I love you so much," I quietly replied as she hugged me. "As soon as the water drains and we can leave we can talk about it. The sooner the better is fine with me."
After another ten minutes we went back upstairs and told Katrina and Ashley about the damage in the basement. Katrina had retrieved a few remaining jewelry items from her bedroom and had gone into my dresser drawer and gotten mine. All three of my ladies carried what dry clothes they could find and put them in the trunk. There weren't many that had stayed dry.
I called my insurance agent who had just gotten into the office, related the damage to him and he told me that he'd send someone over to assess the damage as soon as he could get in touch with him. He did tell me that the guy's name was Dave Hawks. He also advised me to leave the house, it didn't sound too safe. He would arrange for a cleaning company to retrieve and try to save whatever personal property was still salvageable in the house. He made sure he had my cell number and said to leave the back door unlocked for the cleaning company. Dave Hawks would call me as soon as he could get to the house. We left and on the way home I called Emerson and Veronica called Hazel.
"Scott, where are you?" Emerson asked with alarm. I had left him a voice message saying I wouldn't be in due to a family emergency. I related what'd happened and he remarked, "I guess you're technically not homeless since you both live at Veronica's, right?"
"You know Emerson, strangely, I'm not upset. Just last week Katrina and I were talking about the house and neither of us really had a connection to it, it was just a shelter. Turns out not to have been a very substantial one, though."
"Well, now for the great news. The time Hazel spent with Veronica yesterday was evidently well spent. When she got home she changed into a knee length fitted skirt and a scoop necked shell top. In her new attire she came into the kitchen and threw her arms around me, smothering me with kisses. She actually moved her pelvis against me! I noticed as she was walking toward me that she was wearing slim high heeled shoes and hose. As our embrace deepened I began caressing her playful ass. She told me she loved me and would I please fix us some wine and come into the living room."
I walked into the living room and sat on the couch. She leaned over in front of me and I saw her cleavage. The top was thin enough that after she sat down I could see her nipples tenting the front of her top. She kind of turned toward me with her legs apart, took my hand and guided it up under her skirt to the top of her hose. My heart was pounding in my chest. My wife had never been so playful. God, Scott is that what Veronica does to you?"
"Every day," I said.
"You are a most fortunate guy," he laughed. "After enjoying the wine, her legs, and each other's mouths she stood and unzipped her skirt letting it fall to the floor, then raised the shell over her head. I'd forgotten what a beautiful pair of shapely tits and a nice round full ass. Did Veronica dress her? She unzipped me. I got undressed and we made love on the couch, several times, with the lights on. With the lights on can you believe it! Jesus, Scott what a change and I owe it all to Veronica," he enthused.
"Hazel's always been a beautiful woman Emerson. She's a generous woman. Give her encouragement and your eager attention to help bring out her inner sensuality. You and I got sidetracked with our business success and kind of let our personal lives go in the toilet. Speaking of success, what have you heard any more from CitiGroup about their proposal to buy us?"
"Nothing yet today except that they're interested in setting a date to perform due diligence analyses within the week. If this keeps moving as quickly as it started I expect an offer within the next two weeks. They've been on a buying spree and're eager to get this done to help offset some of their subprime risk. Are you coming in today?" Emerson continued.
"No, not unless you need me, you can always get in touch with me by phone or email. We're taking a small load of some dry clothes and jewelry home now. We also have a couple bags of wet clothing that we may be able to salvage after a good wash and dry. The girls will probably stay home too. They only had classes this morning and they skipped them. I think Veronica and Hazel are going shopping this afternoon, You'll probably have a wife with an entirely new wardrobe tonight, and a lighter wallet," I kidded him.
"I can live with that. If I have a new Hazel, no matter what she spends I'll view it as a bargain. Give Veronica my thanks, will you," he said just before hanging up.
As I was talking to Emerson, Veronica was on her cell talking to Hazel. She stayed on the phone with Hazel until we pulled into our driveway. After carrying in a load of stuff, she told me essentially the same story that Emerson had. She said that Hazel was actually sorry to see him leave for the office this morning but he promised to be home at a reasonable hour this evening. "I'm looking forward to spending the afternoon with her," smiled Veronica. "I'm going to make a few calls about a bed before Hazel picks me up about noon."
Veronica called some special-order bed places and hit the jackpot with the fourth one. The dealer had just last week taken delivery of a solid cherry sleigh style bed with hand-made carvings that was ten feet wide along with seven sets of sheets and a dozen pillows. He also had two blankets, a comforter and a bedspread. Since we lived just over thirty miles away he offered to email us pictures he had taken of the bed when it arrived.
Within ten minutes we received ten pictures of the bed. Veronica and I were immediately taken with the it. We smiled at the erotic carvings in the headboard. It looked like there were several small carvings of couples making love, male and female as well as pair women with each other. I kidded her that it's so large and with those carvings that we should call the bed, "Bryce Field". When Veronica's eyes glowed and she kissed me I realized that she took me seriously and that Bryce Field it would be called.
When we called him back to ask the price, he said that as of Friday the purchaser's financing had fallen through. He was on the hook for the whole setup minus the twenty-percent non-refundable deposit. The original purchase price for the other buyer was $23,750, but if we would take delivery of it tomorrow we could have it for $17,500 if we paid in cash or used a debit card. I offered $14,500, we settled on $16,000 which I suspected still gave him a slight profit rather than facing a significant lost.
After he agreed and I'd hung up, I called the bank and make sure that the account behind the debit card had at least a $25,000 balance to take care of the bed and today's shopping.
"If it's as good as the pictures, I'll give him $16,500. The poor guy is desperate and we can afford it, can't we?" Veronica asked as she embraced me as only she could and hungrily kissed me.
"Of course, ten feet wide eh, all four of us will easily fit," Veronica enthused.
"We'd probably have room for two more too," I said with a wink.
"Whom do you have in mind?" asked a smiling Veronica.
"Cindy, Carol, maybe even Mary Claire, I laughed. My phone rang and it was Dave Hawks asking if I could meet him at the house. I assured him that I would and when I told the girls where I was going they both wanted to come along. The only discussion between them was who got to sit next to me.
When we left, with Ashley was sitting next to me, with the understanding that Katrina would ride there on the way home. Hazel arrived in their Chevy Suburban to pick up the love of my life as we pulled out of the driveway.
There was a Ford F-250 King Ranch in the driveway with a man about my age leaning against it gazing at the house. With a digital camera in his left hand he walked to our car to introduce himself. I introduced Ashley and Katrina as my daughters. He told them to call him Dave. He mentioned that he had daughters too, four of them, two who are about Ashley and Katrina's age, a 22 year old and a newly married 24 year old.
We began with a walk around the outside the house and stopped at the corner directly underneath the tree trunk. He took a few quick pictures as we walked. He knelt down and put his hand between the outside edge of the wall and the inside edge of the foundation and said "Uh, Oh." He pointed the camera and the flash went off as several pictures were taken.
"What's that mean," I asked.
"Well, until I get inside it looks like the whole house had been pushed diagonally off the foundation by about seven inches. This house probably weighs twenty tons and the grand old oak probably a two and half to four times that. With momentum behind it as it fell, it wasn't a very fair match. It also appears that most of the major roof joists and the ridge are busted."
He shook his head as he took various pictures of the corner of the house that had buckled at least two feet. He then walked over to the stone chimney, and took pictures of what remained standing. Pointing to a large branch lying across the roof "That's what likely acted as the giant bat that destroyed the chimney. Your insurance agent said you'd been inside, how'd you get there." We led him around back and onto the deck then worked our way through the wet branches to open the door.
Dave walked throughout the house, opening the curtains and blinds to give more light, and at times raising and shining a flashlight tethered to his belt. As he progressed he methodically took pictures and spoke quietly into a digital recorder. When he was done he found me sitting in the kitchen and shook his head, "I'm glad that no one was sleeping in that bed when that limb crashed through. Material things can be repaired or replaced, lives are another matter."
"That's very true," I replied.
He continued with a note of sadness in his voice, "Too many people see life as a series of momentary interactions and transactions. When we discovered that Debra, my first wife, had cancer I became acutely aware that life is about building and cherishing quality relationships. As I watched Debra grow weaker and weaker I wished I had spent more time with her, loving and being with her. Mr. Appleton, you have beautiful healthy daughters, I hope you'll not take them for granted."
"I know what you mean. I've been there and done that. I'm now focused on loving those dear to me and enjoying life rather than working to gather more and more stuff," I replied. He was right. I had been too focused upon things other than those closest to me and having true friends. Up until a few weeks ago, I would have only considered Emerson and Hazel as close and good friends. My bank account was very healthy, my investments strong, and professional success noteworthy, but in the relationship department, I had been poor indeed. Fortunately, I had discovered life while young enough to make changes and to begin to enjoy life.
I looked at Dave and noticed that he was waiting for me to finish my private thoughts. Somehow he knew to let me have a reflective moment. His silence gave me confidence in his character. I smiled at him, "I agree that life is too short neglect those closest to us. By the way Dave, call me Scott. The only Mr. Appleton I know is my father."
"Scott it is. Well Scott, I hate to tell you this, but I have to be straight with you. This house is a very sick puppy." After a pause to let that sink in he continued, "The house has shifted on its foundation. When the house shifted two of the wooden beam supports in the basement cracked, fell over and now need to be replaced. The chimney needs to be rebuilt from the foundation up in order to meet current codes. That chimney wall has a bulge on the one side which suggests that a number of studs have broken. Nearly every room in the house will need plaster replaced below the two foot level due to the water damage. The one bedroom will have to be gutted for the most part. The hardwood floors in most areas are salvageable but there are areas where water the damage will demand new floors. All the carpet is a write-off."