tagRomanceDilemma Continued Ch. 06

Dilemma Continued Ch. 06

bynorthlander©

This chapter does not stand alone, and should not be read without reading the preceding chapters. In keeping with the original story, there is no sex, it just deals with the wrong done to Lorelei. and Chris. I hope that this has been a worthwhile journey for the reader.

The beginning of the end

I became very busy setting up our Austin office, so much so that for about five months I was either jetting to Philly or driving between Austin, Houston and Dallas. I had rented office accommodation and an apartment in Austin and hired several programmers, engineers and office staff so that we could service our existing clients. I advertised our services in the main newspaper in each city and we began to build a base of steady clients both long term and individual. The upper echelon in Philly were becoming very impressed with our earnings and I was feeling very satisfied with myself and the expanding office.

In my spare time (what there was of it) I was taking computer courses either online or on campus. With all the technical material I had come into contact with, most of it was a snap, but I had to complete the material before a degree would be granted. Fortunately the University was very obliging in allowing me to work at an accelerated pace and I was looking forward to an early degree, (well early when you discounted the six years from that fateful day in Houston).

One thing was a must of course and that was my weekends at Pflugerville with my children. Mom was overjoyed to have them and the children just loved it having their doting grandparents at their beck and call. I had bought Mom and Dad a laptop complete with camera and microphone, and was in touch with them every day. The twins were fascinated that Daddy could be in that little tiny thing.

While she was in Philly, Lorelei had become attached to the twins, spending time with them before she went back to Austin, and once Mom and Dad were back in Pflugerville, she made it a point to go home to her Moms and call in to see the twins when she did, taking them for walks etc.

She didn't come over at the weekends when I was around but the kids kept me well aware that they had seen Any Lo from time to time. I called her once a week to see how she was doing and she kept me in touch with the pregnancy. I was thrilled the day that she called me after her first ultrasound to tell me that I was the father of a daughter and even more pleased to see the picture of the baby that she sent by e mail.

I had not heard much from Pete, and was surprised to get an e mail from him telling me to watch the local news one day. I did so and was tremendously excited when I saw a news report showing Professor King being led from a court in handcuffs after being charged with five counts of rape, and numerous other sexual offences along with a number of other defendants. Two days later while I was at my office a courier brought over an envelope from Pete. Inside was this letter.

"Dear Chris, I and the University want to thank you for your assistance in wiping out a nest of sexual predators that had been giving the University a bad name and some of whom were still here. As you saw the other day, King has been charged with raping Lorelei and four other women! What happened to Lorelei and you was a complete set up. There wasn't a thing that the two of you could have done to prevent it unless the two of you had decided to stay home from the Dallas trip. The whole thing was orchestrated from the beginning to the end by King."

When I re interviewed Lorelei, it was obvious to me that King had been hitting on her a number of times during the semester and was getting nowhere. She didn't want to tell you because she was scared that you would do him some physical injury, and end up in trouble and she felt that she could handle him. Even going to Houston with him, there were others in the car, and she was in the back. Everything went wrong after she had the drink, and she would not have had that except that he was with others when he bought it. What she didn't know was that the others were in on it."

When we talked to Grayson and told him what we had against him, he couldn't start talking fast enough in his haste to make a deal. He named all of the people involved, and which students and teachers had been the targets of the group."

By the way, Grayson has been charged with the rape of Minoku Sagowa. We got video evidence of the whole thing including her being dosed with the date rape drugs. King was the leader, of that there was no doubt but there had been several very active members. We struck lucky with one, who we might describe as King's second in command. Not only did he know all that had happened, he had also documented everything that went on."

Planning, execution and results, he had it all in his diaries and on video. Fortunately for the good guys, some criminal masterminds are really stupid, and these guys proved that .King had even taped his adventure with Lorelei and unfortunately for King it showed Lorelei at the start was pushing him away and telling him, "no". That alone is enough to send him down for life"

The upshot of it is that we have tremendous evidence against the group, who are looking at serious prison time. Grayson and several others have been cooperating and there are some lawyers looking for deals so time will tell. One thing for sure is that the only deal for King is that he might avoid a death sentence and to get that he will have to roll over completely He won't be seeing freedom for a long time, if ever."

I'll keep in touch and let you know what is happening as the cases go forward. Thank you for your assistance and knowledge. Your help got the case going much faster than it would have done doing it the hard way. The only thing that I regret is that it happened to you and Lorelei."

"PS I hear congratulations are in order. Your degree in computer sciences has been granted, see you at commencement if not before."

Pete

I carefully re folded the letter and slipped it back into its envelope. Then I picked up the phone and called Lorelei's office, asking for her. The receptionist who had grown used to my voice, told me that Lorelei had gone back to her mother's until the baby was born. I walked out of my office and told my secretary, "Rearrange all my appointments for the next few days as I have a lot to think about, I'll be at my parent's home in Pflugerville if needed!" My next stop was at my apartment where I packed a suitcase then down to my car and off to Pflugerville where my children, all three of them, waited.

I pulled into the driveway of the house where I grew up, walked in, and suffered the excited chatter as my children clambered all over me, delighted at this unexpected get together. I looked at Mom, and saw the tears in her eyes as she watched us fooling around and she said to me quietly, "Call me an interfering old woman if you want, but they need their father home as much as possible.

As much as they are a part of your father's and my life, they need a mother as well. It's time you thought of that." I'm sure that the first one to agree would have been Cindy. Pop and I are getting older, and while you can hire nannies, none of them can provide the love that the children need."

I replied, "Mom I know that, right now that is the utmost in my mind."

After we had eaten and I had put the twins to bed, lots of fun for a father who wasn't there all the time I excused myself and said I was going for a long walk. I walked past my old school, bigger now as it had been extended, into the park where we always played as kids, and where Lorelei had been taking the children on just about a daily basis. I sat for a while on a bench just reflecting on where my life had taken me since those days when I was growing up.

So much had happened in my life, first with Lorelei, then with Cindy, I realized that when Lorelei and I first married, we were so idealistic and young in experience and life that we would likely have run into problems anyway. It took Cindy and the problems we shared to mature me, round off my edges and make me the older and I hope wiser person that I am. I walked back to my old home and for the first time I had a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted, I just hoped that I wasn't too late.

Next morning, I walked over to Lorelei's mom's house. Lorelei was out at her doctors for a checkup so I called her cell and asked her if she was able to meet me for lunch at Greco's restaurant downtown. She said she would, so I called and booked a table. We were meeting at one, and I was there by twelve forty five sitting at the bar. Promptly at one Lorelei walked in. She looked the picture of health and absolutely radiant. If anyone suited pregnancy, she did. She was carrying the baby high and her back was straight, a beautiful advertisement for motherhood.

We were seated at our table and Lorelei said, "Chris, I'm sure your daughter is going to be another soccer player, she is really kicking my insides, come round here.' I stood beside her and she took my hand and placed it on her well rounded belly. For the first time with this baby I felt the pressure of a child in the womb and I just marveled at it and it became so real for me.

There were some amused looks from other diners as I stood there, so I sat in my place with I'm sure quite a red face. After we ordered I said to Lorelei "I've been thinking a lot about what happens in the future, do you have time to go to a quiet place where we can talk".

She said "Well I did have a date, but I guess I can break it this time", my face must have fallen a little and she said, "Relax, the date was with two little people at your Mom's who have a special place in my heart, we can catch up some other time."

During lunch we just chatted about generalities and enjoyed a great Italian lunch. She told me that she intended to stay at her mother's till the baby was born and for a few weeks after till everything was settled. Her partners were holding the fort at the office apart from the odd telephone call. I told her that I was going to be around for a few days to spend time with the boys. I had been an absentee dad during the week for too long.

After lunch Lorelei said, "Why don't you meet me at Mom's, I'm sure that she will give us all the privacy and quiet that we need." I agreed and followed her car across town to her mom's. As it happened, her Mom had gone out anyway so we sat at the kitchen me sipping on a coffee while she drank some fruit juice.

I said to her, "Lorelei the first thing I have to do is say that I would like you to never again think of yourself as someone who did any wrong to me. You aren't an adulterer, you aren't a slut. You were raped just as sure as if King had used force! You couldn't have stopped King in any way." I took the letter from Pete from my pocket and gave it to her to read. As she read it, her head bent over it, I saw tears dropping on to the paper as she read.

She sobbed and said, "We didn't have a chance did we."

I replied, "No we didn't, we were not wise enough to see what was going on. It was an attack on both of us not just you alone, and what I want to say most is how deeply sorry I am that I ran away and left you to handle it alone. I realize that I wasn't much of a husband for you, Instead of standing by you and helping you, I let my own blind stupidity take over and rule my life. I'm afraid that you didn't get a very mature husband when we married."

Lorelei looked up at me and said "I wasn't too mature myself either. I figured I could handle him, never dreaming that others would be helping him. Then when you were gone I really lost things for a bit. Then I decided that King was going to suffer for what he did. I would ruin his life as he did mine. This news is the icing on the cake."

I said "we will have to give evidence at his trial", her answer was "with pleasure".

I started off on a new angle "I have been thinking hard about the children and the future" For the first time in seven years I felt Lorelei's gentle touch as she reached across the table and gently placed her fingers on my lips."

She said, "Can I talk and you just listen for a moment, this is something that is important to me". She placed her hand on her swelling abdomen. "Being a surrogate Mom has become much more than I thought it would be. This little girl has become part of my life. Even though she resulted from your union with Cindy, a woman who became my best friend and confessor, she is a part of me, just as the twins are a part of Sandy."

She has grown inside me, I feel her heart beating, as you know I feel her kicking". She touched her breasts and continued. "milk to nourish her will be forming here. She is a part of me and I can't escape that nor do I want to. I've also had the privilege of getting to know your twins Grace and Lyan. I've lost my heart to them! If you want to shut me out of their lives, it will do more to destroy me than King could ever do! Please give me the opportunity to be a part of their lives, as a doting friend if nothing else."

My mind went back to what I had been thinking of the previous night. "Lorelei, my thoughts have been going slowly along this path ever since you sent me the appointment card. Living with Cindy and what we went through together, and also the work that I did and the contact with Pete taught me something, life isn't always going to be perfect, that things both joyful and ugly happen when we least expect them. All we can do is accept the joyful and do our best to overcome the ugly."

There are people who will stop at nothing to get what they want and there are people who give of themselves without thought of gain. Things are not just black and white there are a million shades of grey. Unfortunately we encountered those who stop at nothing and I dumped you without a thought, without ever talking to you to find out what happened. I just went by what I thought had happened."

Cindy taught me that I was wrong in what I did, that I wronged you! Eventually I realized that when I was full of hate, I had to be still in love as well. If I hadn't been I would not have cared if I heard your name or thought about you but I did."

Lorelei, if it isn't too late, I'm asking you for a second chance. I have been really lucky in having the love of two wonderful women. And yes I have loved them both. I still love you, but that love is a steadier and wiser love and I can't think of anyone I would rather have to help me raise those children than you. Do you still have room for me in your life."

Lorelei placed her hands on mine, "Chris. Years ago I made a mistake and trusted people who abused my trust. I despised myself and hated myself for what I had done to you. Even though we were divorced, I kept my married name. While I have had lots of offers I have only dated a few times nor have I slept with anyone else. The problem was that nobody measured up to you."

My name around the court building is the Ice Queen and due to my work on behalf of abused women I have been called lesbian and worse. I became hard and in some ways relentless. Cindy encouraged me to forgive myself, and forgive any transgression I felt you had done. I have always loved you, maybe not that fire that we first had but steady long lasting feelings. Yes I want you in my life! as my husband and friend. I want all your children to take care of and love. You are all a part of me and I want you to stay that way."

To the delight of our parents, one month later Lorelei and I stood before the altar in the church where we were first married, and repeated the vows we had first made years before. It was a small wedding, just our families and friends and my two imps were an enthusiastic flower girl and ring bearer. My best man was Pete who had done so much to help me find the truth. Lorelei's maid of honor was Jane one of her partners. Actually I had two best men. Allan had flown down from Philly as had Sandra and Jim, as Sandra said it also gave her the time to see the twins as she really missed them.

After the ceremony, we had a small reception at Greco's in the private room. Both our mothers congratulated us, and told us they were so glad to see us together again. Allan asked if he could say a few words. First he said that it had been a privilege to be a part of our lives to be involved as few lawyers got to be with the family they served.

Then he said to Lorelei "I guess my involvement now is sort of superfluous, with a lawyer in the family you won't need me so I'll ship all the records to your office next week". Then he drew an envelope from his inside pocket, "This is something that Cindy requested I read at Chris and Lorelei's wedding which she was sure would eventually happen, these are her words, in her own writing."

"Chris and Lorelei,

If Allan is reading this to you then my dearest wish has been answered. I wished that if Lorelei accepted being my surrogate, the two of you would find it in your hearts to get back together. It was obvious to me, that both of you had feelings for the other, they just were not being channeled the right way and they were holding two wonderful people apart."

Chris I thank you for being my husband, the father of my babies and the man most responsible for me keeping going as long as I have after the surgery. To you I say treasure Lorelei, remember me with love, be the father of our babies that I know you can be."

Lorelei, thank you for giving me the time with the man I loved. I know that as the result of our being together, Chris has grown into a husband to be proud of. After getting to know you, I am entrusting the care of my babies to your tender hands knowing that you will treasure them as your own. One thing I ask, please formally adopt them and make them truly our children, loved by three parents."

I wish you both happy and long lives and remember that I will be with you always in your hearts."

Your Loving Wife, and Friend, Cindy.

Epilogue

Well that wedding was over five years ago and here we are, still living in Pflugerville. The only difference is that the house is much bigger and I commute to Austin three or four days per week, CEOs do have some perks after all. Cindy Lorelei Duncan our second daughter was born a month after the wedding in the hospital at Pflugerville, the same place Lorelei and I were born. I was with Lorelei throughout, holding her hand. When Cindy was given to Lorelei she fastened on to Lorelei's milk without a hitch.

Eighteen months after Cindy's birth, Lou who was still my boss, called me one day "Chris I have a belated wedding present for you and Lorelei. First I have been in contact off and on with a number of the companies you are servicing. One of the biggest complaints if it could be called that, is that sometimes when they want something done it has to be referred back to us here in Philly, considered by us then we tell you, and you implement."

What the board is proposing is that you buy the branch office, the software be licensed to you (at a very good rate I might add) You would be free to make any changes and add code as needed. All you would have to do is pay us the license fees and advise us of the changes you make in case we wanted to use them, and of course pay you for the use of it. Why don't you come up, bring your lawyer with you and we will offer you a contract and let you know how much we want for the branch office."

Lorelei and I talked about this, and figured nothing ventured, nothing gained As she was three months pregnant with Christopher we decided to drive up and make a holiday of it so we loaded up the kids and off we went. We stayed with Sandy and Jim, having been threatened with dire results if we didn't. Lorelei dressed up in her best lawyer clothes and off we went to see Lou. To say the contract we were offered was generous, was a huge understatement and in the words of my lawyer I would be nuts not to sign it. I did and became the owner of the company in Austin.

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