tagRomanceFrigate Cove Ch. 13-14

Frigate Cove Ch. 13-14

bycoaster2©

Chapter 13 The Deed is Done

"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Cameron and Glynnis Stuart," the minister said with a broad smile.

The service was short and happily without incident, either before or during. Cam and Glynnis's smiles mirrored the happiness of their parents and families. The gathering almost filled the little church on a glorious, sunny day in Frigate Cove. The morning fog had burned off by noon and while still cool, the day spoke of the perfect setting for the wedding.

The wedding party walked slowly to the Community hall and the festivities began. The church and hall were side-by-side, walking distance from the Stuart home. Ian had arranged for a car to take the couple back to the house so that they could change before returning to the hall. They would be leaving later that afternoon for their brief honeymoon at Yellow Point Lodge, near Ladysmith. The parents would stay behind to look after the house and the children, while enjoying their brief holiday as well.

"Well, Mrs. Stuart, do you feel any different?" Cam asked as they lay together that night.

"Yes ... I do," she murmured. "I can't quite explain it, but I feel secure and relieved. I'm happy to be with the man I love for the rest of our lives. It does feel different."

Cam rolled toward her and kissed her gently. "I feel that way too. It is hard to express just how it's different ... but it is. "You have no idea how happy you make me, Glynn. I think it was fate that brought us together, and I have no intention of tempting fate."

They lay quietly in the afterglow of their lovemaking.

"Do you think your parents will move out here?" she asked.

"I think it's possible. Mother said she had no idea just how peaceful and beautiful it was in this part of the world. She's having a hard time thinking that it's winter still. If Dad suggests it, I'm sure she'll agree. I would be nice to have at least one set of parents in the area."

"Grandparents, remember," Glynn poked him. "We could use a handy babysitting service now and then."

"There is that, too," he agreed. "But, it's up to you to decide when you want to try for more children."

"We already have," she grinned. "I quit my birth control pills yesterday when they ran out. If you don't want to start this soon, now's the time to tell me."

"No," he smiled. "I'm ready if you are. It will be the perfect result from a perfect romance."

~*~

It was four days later that the Stuart household was restored to normal. Jamie was back in school, the parents, sisters and brother's-in-law and their offspring had left for their homes, Aaron had left with his wife for San Francisco, and Marjean had returned to New York.

"We've officially graduated to an 'old married couple,'" Glynnis remarked as they readied the evening meal.

"I've finally got the wedding and all our guests out of my mind and got some proper work done today. Marjean's pretty sure we'll have number three ready for printing in October. If that looks like it's going to hold, I'm going to book a trip to Hawaii when Jamie's out of school for the Christmas break. Is that okay with you?"

"You know it is," she beamed. "I can't wait. "I'll let Howard know that it's possible. When would you do the tour?"

"Likely the last two weeks of November and the first week of December. That's prime time for book selling," he grinned.

"I'll call the school and see when Jamie's classes will end," Glynnis said. "I'm sure we can have two weeks at least."

"Ah, two weeks of sun, sand, and sex. What more could a man ask for," he chuckled.

"Of course," Glynnis said thoughtfully, "if you've already got me pregnant, I might be a bit bloated ... or worse, ready to go."

"Hmmm ... I hadn't thought of that. Well, either way, it will be a great occasion," he said, wrapping her in his arms and kissing her lovingly.

"Are you guys kissing again?" Jamie complained as he came into the kitchen.

"Yeah ... you caught us," Cam admitted. "That's what married people do, you know."

"All the time?" Jamie asked.

"Yup ... all the time. Get used to it," Cam kidded.

~*~

"Looks like our strategy is working, Cam," Aaron told him on the phone. "That vacation I took seemed to cement the idea in their heads that we weren't about to budge and accept their terms. Faschinau's office left a message that they were still discussing the matter and would get back to us. That was two weeks ago. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for those deliberations."

"All we can do and wait to see what their next offer is, Aaron. So far, they haven't given any indication that they're going to go away."

"Faschinau has too much time tied up in this to quit now. Even if they do come down to $100,000, Ms. Delahey will be lucky to see half of it. I've confirmed that the wait to get a civil case of this type on the docket in Ontario is twenty-seven months. That's more money spent that the plaintiff can't recover. I'm sure they'll eventually find what we are willing to accept. In the meantime, I haven't had to do very much work on this file, so the costs aren't running amok. I'll keep the pain as small as possible."

"Thank you, Aaron. There's nothing good that will come of this, but I've accepted that I'll have to pay something. It just galls me that she can pull this kind of stunt off and profit from it."

"I don't feel any better about it than you do, Cam. But, it's the system we have in place, for better or worse."

"Call me anytime, Aaron. I'm always happy to talk to you."

Cam hung up and sighed. This process couldn't end too soon. The bitch was going to get something, but it wouldn't make her rich. That was the only satisfaction he was likely to get.

~*~

"Cam, if you do finally settle with Andrea, will you have any trouble raising the money to pay her and Aaron?" Glynnis asked.

"No. I've already alerted my bank that I may need access to a substantial amount and I've held some back from my book earnings to make it available. I don't want to pull anything out of our tax sheltered savings, so I'm preparing for the worst ... whatever that is. It will be better, tax wise, to borrow the money and pay it back out of future earnings."

"This is so wrong," Glynnis frowned. "She shouldn't be able to do this to us ... even if we can afford it."

"Marjean said it was because I'm a public person now. I'm a target and I always have to be on the watch for someone trying to take advantage of me. A successful author is automatically rich by association with Stephen King or John Grisham or Robert Ludlum. I don't even come close to that, but because people see my name on books and reviews in the newspaper, they assume I'm in that category."

"That's awful!" Glynnis snapped. "I hope we don't have any more of these things crop up."

"I'm with you on that. I'll just have to be careful. It's the price of fame, dear. The good news is that it provides us with a good living. That bad news is that celebrity brings other things with it that aren't particularly pleasant. I've taken care not to make our specific location public. Our phone is unlisted and the number only given to family and other necessary people. Most of my publicity work has been done in the U.S., and I don't advertise that I live here. That's all I can do."

"I guess I never really thought about the downside to your success," Glynnis admitted. "It's going to take some getting used to."

"Don't obsess over it, Glynn. I don't expect it to be a part of our everyday life. I'm not a rock star, or on TV, or the movies. It's a different kind of fame ... less visible."

She nodded, still a bit discomforted by their conversation. Cam's picture was on the back cover of his novels. That made him more visible, and that was what baited Andrea Delahey to try and extract money from him.

~*~

"Mom and Dad called this afternoon," Cam announced as Glynnis arrived from work.

"Oh, that's nice. What did they have to say?"

"Dad's retiring at the end of June and they have decided to see if they can find a place to live out here," Cam said with a smile.

"Out here ... on the Island?"

"Yes ... in fact, in this area. They were both really taken with our little village, and the more they thought about it, the more they wanted to live in a place just like this."

"Oh ... I guess that's not really a surprise. I knew they really enjoyed their brief stay. It would be good to have them close by, don't you think?"

"I'd be very happy if they could find something they liked nearby. Their home in Toronto is worth a small fortune, so even with the inflated prices here, they could have a very nice home for themselves."

"I wonder how your sisters will feel about them moving away?"

"I'm sure they've covered that base, dear. I know my mother would certainly have tested the idea out on them. Pamela has been telling them to find a retirement home and not worry where it was. When we add to our family, I'm sure they will want to be close."

"Well, it's been three months and I'm still not pregnant yet. Are you worried?" she asked.

"No. I had a full medical before we married and I was assured I was carrying plenty of little soldiers willing and able to do the job."

"And I've already got one to prove I'm capable, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see what develops," she sighed in resignation.

"I think I'll call Brian at the realty office and see what's available for them," Cam said. "He usually has a lot of listings for the whole district, so I can forward his site address to Dad and they can look up the various listings and get an idea of what's available."

"I'll bet your father has already done that. I'll bet he already knows more about this area than you do."

"Hah! That's entirely possible. The Internet listings are the number one place people look for homes these days. I should have thought of that," Cam admitted. "Maybe I'll have a look myself. It would be interesting to compare homes to this one. I'll bet our place has appreciated quite a bit, despite the housing slump."

"You go ahead. I'm going to change and get dinner started. Is Jamie home from school?"

"Yes. I've got him working on his homework."

"Good for you. You're getting to be a really good dad for someone who hasn't had any experience."

"Thank you. All compliments gratefully received," he grinned.

~*~

"I think we're getting close to a settlement, Cam. Mr. Faschinau called and offered to settle for $150,000 plus costs. I refused, of course. I reminded him that Ms. Delahey initiated the action and that my client was going to have to suffer costs no matter what the outcome of the negotiations were. Any settlement, if there is to be one, would be cash only, and told him the number he was offering would not be accepted."

"What did he say to that?" Cam asked.

"He wasn't pleased, of course, but I got the sense that he knew it wouldn't be. I think he's as frustrated as you are with his client. Our strategy is playing out just as I hoped it would. It's a war of attrition. We wait them out until they can't stand it anymore and come to the understanding there is no giant pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I suspect we are getting close to that point."

"Won't they just surrender and give it up as a bad deal?" Cam asked.

"No ... that won't happen. Faschinau has too much invested in his client to give up and have nothing. That's the danger of contingency cases. If you quit, you get nothing, especially your own costs. No, he'll stick it out to the bitter end. He has no choice. It'll be a Mexican standoff at some point. It's turning out about the way I expected it would. I can see a $100,000 cash settlement and that will end it. Paperwork will be required to guarantee she can't initiate another action and can't reveal the details of the settlement. It can't end too soon, as far as I'm concerned. This has been a very distasteful business, Cam. She doesn't deserve a penny, as you've rightly pointed out, but the settlement is the lesser of all evils."

"Okay, Aaron. Call me when this is all over."

"Will do. It won't be long now, Cam. It's almost done."

Cam hung up and turned to Glynnis. "We're almost there, dear. Aaron thinks it's going to end up just as he predicted in the beginning: a single cash payment of one hundred thousand. There will be some documentation that says this is the end of her claim and she can't come after me for more, and she can't talk about the details with anyone."

Glynnis just shook her head in disgust and walked back to the kitchen.

~*~

"Your mother phoned, Cam. She was all excited. She and your dad are coming out this weekend to look at a house in Ladysmith. Apparently it's right on the water and almost new. She gave me the web address and it looks very impressive."

"Wow, that was quick. Let me have a look."

The screen saver dissolved immediately as Cam moved the mouse and he could see the listing with at least thirty photos of the outside and interior. The list price was five-ninety-nine, well within the budget they had set. The property wasn't very deep, but that wasn't a big issue with his parents.

"Why don't we drive up and see it for ourselves," he suggested.

"I thought you might want to do that. Let's do that after dinner," she suggested.

The house was just as advertised on the realtor's website. The lot was quite shallow and very vertical, with the driveway on the front running up to the road level which was above the roof of the house. The beach was below the base of the basement, so the whole building was virtually hanging on the side of a cliff. A huge deck sat overlooking the harbour. If this was the kind of house they were looking for, they would have a hard time finding one better. Cement tile roof, concrete aggregate driveway and walkways, covered patio below the deck, and a minimum maintenance yard. Privacy seemed good as well. Cam almost wished he'd found this house first, but when he thought about it, he was happy with his big piece of property, his privacy, and the home he had chosen for himself.

"I can see why they would be attracted to this home," Cam said, looking around at the house and the location. "The only negative might be if it was too big for them. They'd certainly have plenty of room for entertaining. Three bedrooms and three full baths. The half basement is finished with a wet bar and a view of the harbour. There's access from there to the patio. It's got everything they could possibly want. I have a hunch they'll put an offer on it," he grinned.

"It's not too expensive for them, is it?"

"No, not at all. Their home in Toronto is worth over a million, so this will put money in the bank for them," he reassured her.

~*~

Cam was right. They came, saw, and offered within hours of arriving. There was no need to drive around looking at other houses. This was exactly what they wanted. It had been on the market since late January, so the realtor was confident their offer would at least be countered, if not accepted. As it turned out, there was a modest counter and the Stuarts' accepted it.

By Margaret's reckoning, they saved enough on the counter offer to pay for the moving expenses and some interior painting. They would be moved in by August, and Cam and Glynn celebrated his parents' retirement and their new home by taking them to dinner at a very nice restaurant only a few minutes from their home. Donald was not a man to get very excited, but for the first time in a long while, Cam could see just how enthusiastic he was about his new home and its location.

"It's good to have family nearby," Glynnis said as the four drove home from the restaurant.

"Yes ... you'll be only twenty minutes from our house," Cam noted to his parents. "I'm very happy how quickly you found something you liked and wanted. I know you will want to put your personal stamp on the place, Mom. I think Dad was imagining all the boating they could do in the Gulf Islands. I think you are going to be very happy there."

"Did I hear you say your house was already sold?" Glynnis asked Donald.

"Not exactly," he said, "but we have competing bids on it at over the asking price, so selling won't be a problem. We live in a very nice district and there is a waiting list for good houses in the area."

"We've had offers to sell over the past few years," Margaret said, "but were never motivated to move until Donald retired. Now, the timing is right and the market is hot. We will do very well selling our home."

~*~

"So, they were seduced by the west coast, huh," Glynnis grinned as they lay in bed that evening.

"Yeah ... just like I was seduced by a certain lovely blonde."

"I didn't have to work very hard at it, did I?"

"No ... you had my undivided attention right from the beginning. I was an easy catch."

"When are your parents flying back to Toronto?"

"Not sure," Cam said. "They have some legal papers to sign and a home inspection service has to give them a report. They don't want to fly back and have to turn around and come back here to deal with a possible problem. They'll be fine here. They can use my car to get around and get familiar with the area."

"You don't think they've been too hasty, do you?" she asked.

"No ... I can tell both of them really want that house. So, if the inspection says there are no problems, then I can't see them having any second thoughts. Mom and Dad are pretty much in sync. Over the years, I don't recall very many situations that they weren't in agreement with each other. I know it seems impulsive, but Dad says they have been thinking about retirement for a while now and trying to figure out just what they wanted. When they were here for our wedding, I think that their desires crystallized then."

"That's nice," Glynnis said, slipping her hand down his body toward her target.

Chapter 14 All's Well in Frigate Cove

Cam's effort to have his book to the printers before November proved successful. He worked tirelessly toward that goal, but never at the expense of his new family. His parents moved out from Toronto in August, taking possession of their new home on September 1st. Margaret had already directed the necessary redecorations and was happily arranging furnishings and assorted bric-a-brac as she unpacked it. Donald had discovered the Cowichan Valley Golf and Country Club was suited to his game and was a regular for several weeks before taking out a membership.

"I've booked the reservations for our flights and accommodations in Maui, Cam," Glynnis announced one evening in late September.

"Good. I'm done with the revisions, and Marjean says it will go to the printers in mid-October. We can time the launch on our own terms this year. I can't see anything getting in the way of our plan."

They had examined a number of possibilities before settling on a very nice, new resort in the Napili Bay area. They planned to spend a couple of days in Honolulu before they returned home, but most of their time would be spent exploring Maui. Jamie had all the brochures and was pouring over them constantly, marking off places he wanted to see. He was fascinated by the whales that were commonly seen off the island, and that was his first objective. In early September they applied for passports for Jamie and Glynnis.

Cam had purchased a new camera, a digital SLR with an optional long lens. Glynnis had stepped up her visits to the exercise room at the community centre to prepare herself for a new bikini. She hadn't worn one since she was a teenager and wanted to look her best for her husband and herself. At first they worried that there would be enough things to interest Jamie, but that concern was put to rest when the boy went over the long list of things he wanted to do while on vacation.

They had fallen into a familiar routine now that Jamie was back in school and it seemed almost effortless as they moved through the days. It was as if they had been married for years. Cam spent some time each day helping Jamie with his schoolwork, particularly reading, spelling and arithmetic. Glynnis smiled and shook her head at the connection that the two had formed so easily. There was no doubt that Jamie was his son, even though the paperwork was not yet complete.

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