tagMatureLife in a Northern Town Ch. 09

Life in a Northern Town Ch. 09


Night was a blur. We made love in more times and more positions than I could remember. All I knew was that after each time, Peter cuddled with me, pressing kisses all over my face and holding me like I was the most precious thing on the planet.

"Did you mean what you said?"

"Mmm ... what?" I was half-asleep, cuddled against him.

"I said, did you mean what you said? About making a baby?"

"Yes. Very serious." He squeezed me so tight that I yelped, laughing and giving him a punch. "Geez, Peter! Are you trying to kill me?"

"No, sorry." He just settled me back against him. "You just made me very happy."

"I'm glad, honey. Now can we go to sleep?"

Morning came quickly and we were awakened by a knock on the door. Peter told me to stay in bed while he pulled on a robe and went to answer it. When he came back, he handed me a robe. "Your father's here."

I couldn't get out of bed fast enough. "Daddy!" I raced across the room and threw myself into his arms, squeezing him tight. After I pulled back and saw his face, I realized what he was seeing: his daughter and a man in robes. I knew what he was thinking; I just didn't know how he felt about it. "I'm so glad to see you."

"Are you all right?"

The question was more directed to Peter but we both answered, "Yes."

"I'm really sorry, Mr. Garland ... "

"Peter, please."

"Then call me Alan." I watched them shake hands a second time and we all sat down, Dad in a chair and Peter and I on the couch. His eyes followed our movements and he hid his expression behind his hand. "So ... you want to tell me what's going on?" It took about thirty minutes to tell my father everything. He listened, at times awestruck by the scope of mother's interference, but didn't say anything until I had finished. "I had no idea that things had gotten this out of hand, Taylor. Why didn't you tell me?"

"She's your wife, Daddy. I assumed that you'd take her side."

He smiled warmly. "You assumed wrong." I jumped off the couch and again flung myself into his embrace, crying for all that I had lost. Daddy held me tightly, rubbing my back and whispering soft words. When I sat back, he was still smiling, his eyes misty as well. "That was my grandchild, baby. I would never have let anything happen to my grandchild, no matter what."

"I'm sorry, Daddy."

My Dad looked up at Peter. "Did you know about the child?" Peter nodded negatively. "Would you have wanted the child?" Again, Peter nodded, this time in a positive manner. "You would have wanted a child at your age?"

"I'm in love with your daughter, Alan. I would have taken anything as long as I got her."

I stood up, holding my father's hand and he looked up at me, then over to Peter. "And do you feel the same way?"

"Yes, sir. Very much so."

I gave my Dad's hand a gentle squeeze. "I love him, Daddy."

"Good." He stood up and gave me another hug. "I can leave knowing that you're in good hands." He started toward the door. "I'm going to go take a shower and get some breakfast. Anybody interested?"

Peter smiled, putting his arm around my shoulder. "Sounds good to me."

* * * * *

Four years later

"Come on, Peter! We'll be late." I pushed the last suitcase into the back of the Expedition and slammed the trunk down just as Morgan came around the corner with his kite. Every time I looked at him, I saw the beauty of his father: the dark eyes, the unruly hair and a smile that warmed my heart.

"Mom, do you think Grandpa will fly my kite with me?"

"I think he'd like that very much. Run and go get it." He grinned even wider, tearing off toward the house. "And tell your father to hurry up!"

I slid into the front passenger's seat and tucked my purse into the cubby with a smile. So much had changed for us. My prediction had been true; we did make a baby that night and nine months later, Morgan Peter Garland came into the world. Our wedding had been hasty but Peter wouldn't hear of waiting until after the baby was born. He wanted Morgan to have a proper start in life and he told me that he couldn't live without me.

Morgan hopped into the car, carefully setting his kite in the opposite seat, then buckling himself in. Peter got in behind the wheel. "Sorry. Phone call." He couldn't stop grinning.

I stared at him for a long moment. "Tell me."

"No. I want to wait until we reach Dad's."

"You're not going to make me squirm for three hundred miles. Tell me or no ... " I pointed to my crotch and he feigned sadness. "Now, tell me."

"A million."

"What?!" I shrieked in joy. Peter had worked two years on a book of Shakespeare's soliloquies, aimed at high school students and his agent had been shopping it around. What he had just said to me was that one of the publishers had offered a million dollars to publish his book. "Oh, Peter! That's wonderful!" I hugged him, pausing to kiss his mouth lingeringly.

"Wow! If I'd have known you'd kiss me like that, I'd have told you sooner."

"Don't sit there and act like you don't get any, Mr. Garland." I kissed him again, savoring the softness of his tongue against mine. "You've gotten so much that I'm in trouble."

"In trouble? What do you mean?"

I grinned at him. "I'm pregnant again."

"Oh, baby." I could tell that he was going to cry by the sound of his voice and he jumped out of the car, came around to my side and pulled me into his arms, burying his face in my hair. "I want a girl this time. A cute little girl with her mother's eyes."

"You aren't worried?"

"About what?"

"Being close to fifty and being a father?"

"Not at all." He cupped my face with his hands, searching my eyes. "I love you, Taylor. I love you so much." When his mouth covered mine, I shivered, wanting him inside me as always.

"Would you stop kissing so we can go see Grandpa?"

We both laughed and wiped our tears away. Peter got back in and started the car, beaming goofily as we headed down the road toward my Dad's house. I laid my head on his shoulder, sighing in happiness as I watched our town melt away, glad that I had come back to find my love and my life in a northern town.

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