Jelly Bean and Her Bail Bondsman Ch. 02bybeagle9690©
Jelly bean and her bail bondsman
I thought my heart was going to break when Danny opened up to me like that, and especially when he had me get his wallet. Danny removed an old, faded photograph of him when he was a little boy of eight. Danny looked so sweet and innocent, and he looked so happy, hugging his dog, his border collie, Patsy.
I didn't know what to say to him even though we talk about almost everything.....god I love him so.
I come from a large family with numerous Aunts, Uncles and cousins on both sides; especially on Dad's side of the family. Dad is the oldest of eight siblings. They are all married with three or more children. I'm the odd girl out so to speak. I simply took things for granted.
Danny became thoughtful as he ran his fingers through my hair and held me close to him. I love it when he does that. I knew he didn't want to talk about it further; I have been studying him these past months and know his ways. Content to be with him I snuggled up to my Grumpy Bear as he gently stroked my hair and I drifted off to sleep........
Danny was up and dressed before me in the morning. I found him in the kitchen listening to the radio. There was a storm front coming in from the west off the Great Lakes with high winds and up to three-feet of snow.
I was just getting ready to bring you a cup of coffee. But since you are up, will you make us breakfast, please?" Danny asked as I walked up to kiss him good morning, "I'm going outside to start up the backhoe to plow out the driveway and unplug the gate," Danny pulled me close and put his cheek against my head, his fingers in the soft hair at the nape of my neck, "Thank you for understanding, Anita. I have been holding those feelings about the adoption inside of me for far too long. I never told anybody how I felt about it before." (And he hadn't, not even Barbara)
I met him at the door with a hug, with a kiss and a steaming cup of coffee. We had a light meal of raisin toast, poached eggs, orange juice and coffee; it was a nice and cozy breakfast.
Afterward we went to the basement to do stretching and aerobic exercises. All my exercising these past months paid off. I was able to match him sit up for sit up and keep up with him for the rest of our aerobic and stretching exercises. Danny then did his daily work out on the heavy bag.
When he finished Danny's shirtless body was glistening with perspiration, accentuating the strong ropey muscles on his arms, sculptured barrel chest and flat washboard stomach.
I could hardly stand looking at him I was so horny. I wanted him to make love to me, now!
"Anita, do you know how to defend yourself?"
"I really never thought about it. Dad always took care of that for us. Did I ever tell you he carries a .38 special Colt Detective Special snub nose revolver everywhere?"
"No and that's interesting. You grew up around guns. Have you shot it?"
"No but I learned from an early age not to touch it. When I was six years old Dad took me shooting to show me how dangerous it is. Dad shot a few pumpkins and they blew up. I'll never forget that, Danny, he was so serious, he said to me, "Anita, this handgun is very dangerous and you must never touch it or let your friends touch it or this could happen to one of you."
"You are not six years old anymore, Anita. Would you like to learn how to shoot and be safe and proficient with firearms?"
"Yes, I'd love you to teach me."
"OK, we will start as soon as the weather clears; for now I'll teach you the basics of self-defense using your hands and feet, and we will drill until it is second nature to you.
Monday I'll get some mats and show you basic judo throws. We will also purchase gloves in your size for the speed bag. Consider it one of your job perks."
During that snowy winter morning in our fortress, Danny started teaching me some basic kick boxing techniques on the heavy bag, specifically maintaining my balance when kicking.
Danny also showed me some basic strikes to the face and throat with the palms and edges of my hands, not leaving out the family jewels and he worked me hard. My hair was plastered to my head with perspiration and my work out clothes drenched, but I felt so alive and stimulated, perhaps over stimulated, and oh so very horny.
"You did well for your first time. I'm very proud of you, "Danny complimented, pushing my hair behind my ears and taking my face in his hands so he could kiss my lips, "mm, you taste salty, baby."
"Thank you, so do you, Grumpy Bear."
"What have I been telling you all these months, Anita?" he asked, still holding my face in his hands so that I would look into his eyes.
"That I can do anything I put my mind to. I just need to be disciplined and strong."
"You said that I can be feminine and girly as well as being strong and disciplined."
"Yes, and you have exceeded my expectations, girly girl. Being able to defend yourself in a pinch is a good thing to know."
"I love you, Anita, more than all the stars in the sky..."
By mid-afternoon the lake effect snow storm hit us full force. I received a telephone call on my cell from Mom telling me that Dad threw his back out shoveling snow and the pilot light on their furnace was out. To make matters worse there were no service people willing to come out and light it. Mom didn't know how to light it and Dad was in no shape to attempt it.
When I told Danny, "Not a problem. I'll call your folks and tell them we will be there as soon as we can. In the mean time bundle up while I get the backhoe ready for the ride over."
Fortunately the backhoe was quite large as those machines go. There was plenty of room for me in the cab. Those big knobby tires went through the snow drifts like a hot knife through butter.
Even so it took us an hour to get there, allowing for a fifteen minute stop at a 24 hour market to stock up on milk, bread, eggs, flour, butter, onions, potatoes... hams, we bought two, and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Danny lit the pilot light as soon as we arrived. He then went outside to clear the driveway and sidewalks of snow. Mom was baking him cinnamon rolls when I met Danny in the mudroom with a kiss, with a hug; more kisses and hugs, plus a big steaming mug of coffee.
Dad was sitting in his recliner with a heating pad behind his back during the introductions; this was the first time they met.
"I'm Daniel Skinner, Mr. Jones," Danny offered, holding out his hand for Dad to shake.......
"You will excuse me that I don't stand to shake your hand," Anita's father said, holding it out for me to shake, "Marvin Jones, and thank you for lighting the furnace and clearing away the snow."
"You are welcome. How is your back?"
"It goes out occasionally but I should be fine in a couple of days. How is the weather?"
"It's snowing to beat the band and colder than a witch's tonsils."
"I'm sure it is. Will you stay for dinner? Apparently we are having ham and scalloped potatoes."
"Of course, thank you for asking. Ham with scalloped potatoes is one of my favorites."
"You are an attorney and a bail bondsman. That is rather an eclectic combination of occupations under one roof."
"I suppose, but it fills a niche and business is very good."
"Yes, so I have heard. Mary says you have that old armory restored quite nicely. My grandfather was stationed there the latter part of WWI after he was wounded in France.
"Yes, sir, I'm happy with it."
"I've driven by there a few times. I remember how run down the property was before you bought the place. You caused quite a stir in the paper when you challenged the decision of the zoning board and made Mayor Bloom look like a fool. I never liked that insufferable jackass, particularly when he got caught with that prostitute."
"Bloom is a condescending corrupt fool. Property rights and what a man does with his are guaranteed by the Constitution. I wasn't about to make a donation to the Mayor Bloom to smooth things over."
"Where do you attend church, Daniel?"
"May I ask why?"
"God and I were on speaking terms until I was eight. After that it was a tenuous relationship at best and I stopped praying entirely. Since then it has been a mutually agreed non-interference policy."
"Well, perhaps I can change your mind, man to man.
Anita, honey, why don't you go into the kitchen and help your Mother while Daniel and I get better acquainted," and when Anita left, "Good, now that the small talk is out of the way, what in God's name are your intentions with my daughter?"
"Totally honorable I assure you."
"Honorable? You spent the night with her!"
"Anita is a consenting adult."
"Don't you think you are too old for Anita?"
"I can ask you the same question about Mary."
"This is my daughter we are talking about, not Mary."
"Mary is somebody's daughter; how did your father-in-law feel about it."
"Dad didn't like it, and I don't like it."
"I see, your father-in-law thought you were too old for his daughter. Apparently you got along with him, perhaps even liked him because you refer to him as Dad."
"Of course I did; it is a matter of respect."
"Obviously everything turned out fine. You and Mary have been married how many years?"
"All right, you made your point. I wanted it out in the open. I will speak my mind in my own house."
"And so you should, Mr. Jones."
"You strike me as a bit of a playboy, Mr. Skinner, dalliances with waitress's and such. Can you honestly tell me you can change and remain true to Anita?"
"Yes, I have had my share of women......."
Marvin interrupted, "Do you realize whom you are talking too? You are not helping your case, especially after admitting to be an atheist, a heathen, and agnostic, choose your own title; do you deny having dalliances with women while my daughter was under your employ?"
"Let me finish my sentence, Mr. Jones. Perhaps you don't like my answers but they are what they are. I am not an atheist nor agnostic nor a heathen. I recognize the existence of a supreme being , god if you will. If God chooses to ignore me and I him so be it. I have free will and if I go to hell it's on me. At least then I won't be your problem in the afterlife when our venues in the afterlife are so diametric; we will never see each other. Those mentioned women are in the past. I will remain true. I love Anita more than all the stars in the sky."
"Flowery words, but we'll see. I did some checking on you; what do you think I found?" Marvin said leaning forward while dropping his voice to almost a whisper.
"I know you did," I replied, speaking the same.
What Danny omitted was that the private investigator was compromised, something Marvin didn't know. One of Danny's contacts in the public records department telephoned Danny to warn him what might be going on. Danny went to the private investigators office and did not so much threaten him as embarrass him. The man would be a laughing stock if the word got out, and that was implied, rather than openly stated.
Danny provided the investigator the information he would have found, regardless, saving the man much leg work, thus owing Danny a favor for his silence, despite the fact the investigator returned the check since he didn't earn it. As a matter of fact, Danny encouraged him to dig all he liked, stating no harm, no foul.
"Then, you are not offended? Marvin asked with a surprised look on his face; certain that he had been both clever and careful. To his credit, Anita's dad recovered quickly, keeping a neutral expression.
"Maybe, it depends on you, Mr. Jones. There is one thing I want you to do for me," I replied, handing him an envelope from my front shirt pocket containing an unendorsed cashier's check made out to cash from the private investigator, "I know you are a religious man and a Deacon in your church. You can put this check in the poor box as an anonymous donation where it will do some good."
Marvin looked inside and then gave me a hard look, "Does Anita know about this?"
"There is no need for Anita to hear about it from me, ever.
It won't serve any useful purpose. It implies you don't trust her judgment. I won't hold it against you; you are only trying to protect your daughter. I know a great deal about your family Mr. Jones, mostly through Anita's eyes, some from Mary.
I assure you that Mary will never hear it from me. Mary is a lovely woman by the way."
"What makes you think my wife doesn't know?"
My silence was my answer. His silence, grudging acknowledgement....after a tense moment, "Where do we go from here?" Marvin asked.
"How about a little trust; as far as I know I've done nothing for you not to trust me. You may never like me and so be it. If nothing else I'm an honest bastard. But you already know I'm a bastard, Mr. Jones. Being a bastard has its advantages."
"I hardly see any advantage in that."
"The biggest advantage for you is there will be no conflict of interest as to which side of the family Anita and I will be spending all our holidays."
"You are getting ahead of yourself, Mr. Skinner. You speak as if you plan on marrying Anita."
"Anita and I haven't discussed it yet. We both know in our hearts it is going to happen; it's an unspoken truth. When the time comes I will ask you for your blessing and Anita's hand in marriage."
"Good luck with that. What if I don't give you my blessings?"
"You will come around to it when you get to know me better."
"What makes you think I want to get to know you better?"
"You will for Anita's sake."
"How about I accept you on a trial basis, Mr. Skinner?"
"I can live with that."
"You agree when I put the check in the poor box that will be the end of it? I have your word on that?"
"I do, Mr. Jones, however, you must agree never to discuss your transaction with the private investigator and the subsequent outcome with anybody, including Mary. Pray about it if you must, but man to man we will take this to our grave."
"I agree, Mr. Skinner, and we will agree to be polite to each other in front of the women?"
"What are you boys agreeing about?" Mary asked, bringing out a tray of fresh baked cinnamon rolls and coffee with Anita right behind her with the first stack of family photo albums. Mary only heard Daniel's last agreeing but not any of their previous private conversation.
"Pops agreed to go ice fishing with me when his back is better. Isn't that right, Pops?"
"Pops?" Mary said laughing, while handing her husband a plate with a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee, "That's what Marvin used to call my father to annoy him. My father was really old fashion. Dad considered "Pops" to be very disrespectful from that upstart; that's how he referred to Marvin at first, as that upstart. Dad insisted that Marvin call him Mr. Palmer."
"Is that so?" I asked surprised, "Anita never told me that but I'm honored to be let in on a family secret. Would you prefer I call you Mr. Jones, pops?"
"Marvin will do, Daniel," he replied, keeping an even expression."
"I'm happy you boys are getting along so well," Mary said smiling, "Marvin loves to fish. You should see all the photos of Marvin and his brothers fishing, especially with Bob. They used to fish together all the time but not so much anymore..."thank you Anita," Mary said as she handed her mother the two red albums on that subject.
Anita and Mary sat on the couch on either side of me showing me Marvin's fishing photos and then all the rest of the family photo albums, narrating each picture.
Marvin sat in his chair against the heating pad. He smiled from time to time when a particular story came up; sipping his coffee and eating his cinnamon roll, content to the ladies do the talking.
As for me, I was finding out what caring families are all about, getting lost in all the names, Aunts, Uncles; Cousins, twice or more removed; Grandparents and Great, Grandparents, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren...who was married to whom until dinner was served.........
Despite being in pain, Dad managed to struggle out of his chair to take his place at the head of the table; there the conversation turned to Danny. Danny told them about his life growing up and Mom was particularly interested in Danny's time in foster homes. Danny started to tell them when he was almost adopted, but stopped.
I squeezed his hand, "It's alright Danny; they are going to know eventually. It is better that you tell them. We are all family here. Even Dad has accepted you; otherwise he would have never agreed to go fishing......."
His absolute love for Anita sustaining him, Danny held her hand as he told this painful story to her parents. He didn't let go of Anita's hand until he finished. That wasn't lost on Mary who was watching him intently. Mary's mothering instincts held her in rapt attention to his every word, and her heart was going out to him, and Danny sensed it, even if he couldn't put it into words.
The second time was much easier because Daniel trusted these people; he had too. It was they who raised Anita to help make her the delightful and loving young woman she was; a woman who turned his heart to mush and gave him a new, fresh outlook on life. He managed to keep his composure telling the story as if it was no big deal; Mary was not fooled at all.
When he finished, Mary got up from her chair wiping a tear from her face. Mary hugged Danny, touching his face gently, as would a mother with a small boy "We will be your family from now on, Danny," and from that moment on that is what Mary called him, not Mr. Skinner, not Daniel or Dan but Danny.
Almost losing his composure, for the first time in his adult life, Daniel Skinner wanted someone's approval other than his own. He was doing it for the love of a woman so that they might have the blessings of Anita's family...he owed Anita that.
Inwardly, Marvin sighed as Mary hugged this interloper. Mary's motherly instincts were always right. Mary had spent many a lunch hour with the interloper...he hadn't, regretting that he hired the private investigator. Marvin looked up at the ceiling momentarily and then down in an informal silent prayer, 'I've already lost this battle, Lord. Mary is convinced beyond all doubt this interloper Daniel Skinner is perfect for Anita and should marry her, but damn it, there is nobody good enough for my little girl, if you don't mind me saying so; after all it's a father's prerogative to think that. You blessed us with Anita, Lord. Mary and Anita are my life. Perhaps I'm jealous, I'm afraid of losing Anita; but the boy (Danny) doesn't even attend church.
For all I know he is sleeping with Anita now....sometimes Mary is just too trusting and open-minded about discussing sexual matters outside of marriage......and especially with her sister and my daughter. When I enter the room they stop talking and just smile knowingly at me....perhaps I'm being a bit of a prude....Yes Lord, I know I slept with Mary before we were married but that was different because my intentions were good. I always intended to marry her....all right, all right.
I haven't forgotten about all the carnal delights I had with Mary before marriage and then confessed to you years later in my prayers...marriage makes them a sacrament, you say so in the Scriptures so there is no need to discuss that subject...you know what is in my heart.... yes, the boy has had a life of hard knocks but he's doing fine now; you were always there for him. Even though the boy only sees one set of footprints in the sand when you carried him .....Is it my job to convince him of it, Lord?"
"Marvin," Mary asked, as she put her arms around her husband's neck and hugged him, kissing his cheek "is there something you would like to say to Danny?"