tagBDSMSecret Smiles and Three Little Words Pt. 40

Secret Smiles and Three Little Words Pt. 40

byCJT©

Chapter 56

"Hey Trouble and Trouble Jr," Al smiled at the two girls as they entered the hospital room.

"Just remember, there are two of us and only one of you!" Alex warned him with a smile. Nora climbed up on the bed and kissed him.

"How are you feeling today Grandpa?" she asked him as she pushed her hair back with her fingers and a slight tilt of her head.

The simple gesture made Al blink his eyes quickly to keep the tears back. How many times had he seen Livy do that same gesture over the years? Hundreds? Thousands? It was so subtle, so quick, but the soft gentle way she pushed her hair back reminded him instantly of Livy.

"I'm good," he said, recouping his voice after a few moments of it being stuck uneasily in his throat like a kernel of popcorn. "I feel like I could wrestle an alligator!" he teased her.

"Grandpa, you are so silly! An alligator would eat you!" she said laughing.

Her laughter carried and Al looked to Alex who seemed to be seeing the same things. Little mannerisms that Nora picked up from her mother that no one noticed until recently. Now they were on display for all to see. At least those who were still coming to grips with the fact Livy was gone.

"Hey!" Trevor announced as he came in.

"Hey," they called back as a collective. Alex steeled herself and waited for his mother, Krista, to come in, but she didn't so she looked to Trevor.

"I had a friend from school drop me off," he explained her questioning eyes.

"Ah," Alex nodded, thankful that Krista didn't come. She didn't want to argue today, she didn't want her father to become aggravated either. So having just Trevor was good for keeping things light.

"I do have some things to tell you," Trevor said with a mischievous flick of his eyebrows. Alex cocked her head. Obviously it was going to be good but he wouldn't say in front of Nora.

"Where is Gavin?" Al asked.

"Back in Chicago," Alex frowned.

"That makes sense," Al nodded. "You guys have a lot of wedding stuff to put together, or is mean old Queen Madelyn handling all the details now?" He teased tickling Nora.

"The wedding," Alex frowned. Al snapped his eyes to her. "It's been postponed." She said carefully.

"What?" Trevor and Al said at once, shocked that the one happy thing they had going in the family right now was now cooling off.

"Well," Alex shrugged. "We thought it was best, so you can concentrate on getting better and I can concentrate on Nora a little. You know, new school and things like that."

"Oh my God! I'm so sorry I have wrecked everything!" Al groused, his anger weaving into the words.

"You haven't wrecked anything," she assured him. "We just need to take care of some priorities."

"Your wedding should be a priority!" Al told her. She shrugged.

"It's not off, just pushed back," she told him. "Don't go getting up panties in a bunch!" She smiled at him, using one of his favorite sayings to her when she was growing up. She didn't know how many times he had thrown that statement at her, but she was sure she heard it at least once a week.

Walking down to the cafeteria with Trevor for coffee she was dying to hear what he had to tell her. As soon as the elevator doors closed he turned to her.

"You ready for this?" Trevor asked with a broad smile.

"Yes," she smiled, smiling because he was.

"Mom, Aunt Brandy and Grandma had back pew designation Wednesday night!" Trevor announced happily.

"No shit," Alex gasped.

"You know what that means?" Trevor asked her.

"I grew up in that church, I know that is not a good thing!" Alex nodded.

"I know I shouldn't be happy about it," Trevor frowned.

"I know the feeling," Alex agreed. "Aren't you relegated to the back as well?"

"No," Trevor grinned. "I usually sit with my friends elsewhere...we are counting the days until we pull our Alexandria."

"Your what?" Alex asked.

"Our Alexandria," he smiled sheepishly.

"Explain," she demanded.

"You are a legend in our church," Trevor shrugged.

"What?" she scoffed.

"Yeah," he nodded. "Our parents have told the cautionary tale of how you went to Chicago and fell in bed with the devil!" Trevor waved his hands in showmanship fashion. "The only problem with that is, I've been bragging on the fact you found a great guy, have made tons of money selling your art and did a mural that the entire world was blown away by!"

"Ginny," he smiled. "That's my girl, she even went online and printed out pictures of you standing by your mural from an online paper...we then stuck them in every hymnal!"

"Oh man you should have seen all the faces on everybody when they opened their hymnals to sing and found you staring back at them! The so called devil's puppet from Chicago!" Trevor laughed. "Worth every minute of punishment they hit us with when they found out we were involved."

"What happened?" Alex asked, shocked that her nephew had gone through with the practical joke. Not so shocked they were punished for it.

"We had to clean the church for like two weeks," he shrugged. "Just gave us more time to plot our next act of rebellion!"

"Oh man," she shook her head. "I've inspired monsters! Funny as hell monsters, but monsters nonetheless."

"We like to be called your minions," he corrected.

"My minions!" she laughed. "How did your mom respond to being banished to the back row?"

"Oh man," he shook his head. "She was humiliated! Ducked out of church right after service, ranted and raved like a clucking chicken at home! I bet she starts to shun grandma next!"

Alex looked to the floor. She thought of how her mother must feel. To have her idea of what was her rock crumble under her like sand in an on rushing tidal wave. What would her mother do now? How would she handle the new banishment to the back? A small part of her felt sorry for her mother. To have something you believed in ripped from you was a hard thing to handle. She knew this because she had her mother ripped from her by Rev. Sellers' beliefs.

***

"Good morning Jack," the priest called out to him.

"Morning Sy," Jack said not taking his eyes off the pond.

"Nice out here this morning," Sybian said to him.

"It is," Jack agreed with a nod, but still not looking at the psychiatrist.

"How did you sleep?" Sy asked him.

Jack shrugged and shook his head. Sleep? He wasn't sleeping, if he slept he had dreams about her. Dreams no priest should have. At least if he was awake she would keep her clothes on.

"You know, you are only hurting yourself here, I could prescribe something," Sy offered.

"No, no pills," Jack said firmly.

"Alright," Sy shrugged. "So, are your dreams still sexual in nature?" Jack nodded. It took a few therapy sessions before he finally admitted to Sy the nature of his dreams. It took a few sessions more to reveal his feelings for Livy.

"I should just drop the collar," Jack told him.

"Let's not go there just yet," Sy suggested softly.

"Sy," Jack said gasping in disbelief. "I'm having dreams of a woman that...I shouldn't be thinking of her that way!"

"Love is a curious thing," Sy shrugged.

"Love?" Jack asked.

"Jack," Sy exhaled deeply. "You fell in love, that is not a crime...its most definitely not a sin!"

"I'm a priest...I'm her...I was her priest," he pointed out sharply, correcting himself in mid-sentence. "I made a promise to God!"

"A promise you could have kept," Sy suggested with an upward shrug of his shoulders.

"How do you figure that?" Jack snapped, his lack of sleep making him edgy and irritable. "I took a vow of celibacy!"

"Jack, you were called to God, but that doesn't mean you have to serve him in a priestly capacity! You could have stayed with the church, married Livy and still maintained your calling," the man told him. "Our Father called you to do His work, He didn't say 'Jack become a priest!'" Sy smiled as he dropped his voice to a deep baritone for the last part. Jack shook his head. He wished he could smile.

"How do you figure?"

"You could have done marriage counseling, it would have been beneficial to you to have a priest background but be able relate to them as a married man," Sy pointed out.

Jack sat back and thought hard on that.

"You received a call to serve God," Sy said standing up. "How you serve Him, is what you have to work out. That may mean giving up the collar, it may not. But one way or another, God will tell you what He wants you to do."

"What if He isn't listening to me anymore?" Jack asked him.

"He listens to all the prayers," Sy said calmly. "But you know, as well as I do, sometimes the answer is no."

Jack leaned forward and put his face in his hands. That's the problem, He said 'no' to the one prayer he wanted more than anything. The prayer to save her life. To keep her in this world. Not only for Nora, but for him as well.

The soft scent of her perfume wafted around him and he looked up to see her by the pond, squatting to look at the baby ducks there. She looked over at him and gave him a half smile. He smiled back at her and she blew him a kiss from the ends of her fingers.

"Livy," he said to her as she walked away. "I miss you so much!" She looked over her shoulder at him but continued walking until she was nothing more than the soft wisp of the morning fog.

***

"Hello you evil Bitch," Gavin said lovingly as he kissed her temple. He made his way to the seat next to her at the table.

"How is Alex doing?" she asked him immediately pulling her glasses down and setting the newspaper to the side.

"About like you would expect," he told her pouring himself a glass of wine.

"What kind of answer is that?" she barked testily. Gavin sighed, he should have known that Madelyn wasn't going to except anything less than a complete answer.

"She puts on a great front," Gavin told her. "She appears so strong on the outside...but at night, I hear her crying."

"So what are you doing about it?" she asked.

"There is no medical cure for a broken heart," he told her. "All I can do is hold her when she lets me, take care of Nora when Alex is crying and keep my shit together."

"I'm so proud of you," she smiled taking his hand.

"Why?" he asked incredulously.

"Do you realize how far you have come?" she asked. He looked at her blankly. "Sweetheart, you have changed dramatically since the beautiful Miss Alexandria came into our lives!"

"How do you figure?" he asked smiling.

"For one thing, you're smiling," Madelyn pointed out.

"I smiled before,"

"No," she disagreed. "This smile is happiness, the other was a mask to cover your loneliness."

"Get a grip," he laughed. "I've had very little time in between subs to be lonely."

"I don't care if you had a hundred women at the same time," she said sharply, showing this wasn't up for debate. "You were alone until Alexandria."

Gavin shrugged as he took a sip of his wine. He felt different now, that was for certain. This relationship was different. Not only in the fact he was getting married, but it was the fact he didn't like being away from her.

It wasn't a possessive need, but one of feeling out of place when he wasn't by her side. If felt like a major piece of him was gone. Like a recent amputee, you feel the appendage there, but it's not. Your eyes look, but can't come to grips with the fact it's not there and you feel a little lost and dismayed.

"When are you going back?" she asked him.

"Not soon enough!" he lamented. "I have a couple appointments in the morning, then I will head back after that."

"Do you want the jet?" she asked.

"No," he told her. "I'm taking the Aston back, that way I can stop flying back and forth."

"You could use the jet, then you wouldn't have to fly into Pittsburgh all the time, you could fly into Averin, it's closer and Alex won't have to drive as far," Madelyn suggested.

"It's an idea," he said with furrowed brow. He rubbed his face with a tired hand.

"Looks like you could use a good night's sleep," Madelyn pointed out.

"Sleep? What's that?" Gavin teased. "I'm fine."

"Still thinking you are Superman?" Madelyn asked with a shake of her head.

"No, I'm SuperDom!" Gavin joked.

They began eating and Madelyn watched him, his whole demeanor was exhausted. His eyes heavy, his body not a sharp, his shoulders slightly slouched forward. His forearms resting on the edge of the table. Everything about him screamed exhaustion.

"Charles?" Madelyn said when he came in. "Make sure Gavin's room is ready, he will be staying here tonight."

"I will?" Gavin asked with a slight uptick smile.

"This way I can have you for breakfast too," she smiled. "No sense in wasting time driving into town."

Gavin knew better than to argue with her. Not with the tone she was using. It was demanding and forceful, something he had grown accustomed to over the years. The motherly way she doted on him, always watching out for him.

"How are you adjusting to the idea of having a child in your condo?" she asked him.

"Again, I know nothing of kids," Gavin prefaced. "So I don't know what to expect. I'd like to prepare...but I don't have the first damn clue."

"And seeing how you are a man that likes to have everything planned out, how are you handling that?" she laughed.

"Not well," he admitted. "Still wondering how we handle our lifestyle with a child."

"I don't think it will interfere that much," Madelyn told him.

"Yeah?" Gavin coughed out. "She was at our place over the holidays...it was hard to do anything. She interrupted an extremely passionate moment at least once. It was hard to keep things on the down low."

"How?"

"We thought she was going to walk in on us," Gavin explained.

"That is why they make locks!" Madelyn laughed.

"I know," he laughed with her. "But sessions take time, you know that."

"During the day?" Madelyn half suggested. "While she is at school?"

"Sure," he agreed sitting back and crossing his arms across his chest. "Let's have a schedule for it, hey Beautiful, I have time between 9:15 and 10:45...," Gavin shook his head as he mocked talking to Alex to the side.

"It doesn't have to be like that!" Madelyn told him with a laugh.

"No...but it does kind of kill some of the spontaneity. It means that I can't have her when the mood strikes. I will have to factor Nora in everything now," Gavin shrugged. "Again, I don't like to share...and I'm going to have to share."

"I like the fact that Alex and I can just go when the mood strikes us," Gavin sighed. "I like the idea of not having plan out babysitters and Nora if I want to take Alex on an island getaway again," Gavin told her. "I know its selfish...but our life is going to change...maybe for the better but it's still change and you know how well I like that!"

"So what are you going to do?" she asked him.

"What choice do I have?" Gavin fired back. "I have to adapt."

"You don't have to," Madelyn smiled knowing better.

"The other choice is losing Alex," Gavin replied anyway. "And that is completely unacceptable."

"The father?"

"Unacceptable," Gavin told her firmly.

"Why don't you just admit it," Madelyn told him. She knew what was really bothering him, but she had to pull it out of him. If he didn't admit it to himself, it would fester and not be addressed.

"Ok," he griped dropping his fork. "I know I'm a selfish prick for saying this but, I know deep down, if she had to choose...she would choose Nora over me."

"What?"

"If I would have said, I don't want Nora or even if I suggested we think about not taking Nora...I would lose Alex," Gavin told her. "As a Dom I have been accustomed to having been the one in control...with Nora, I lost some."

Madelyn sat there looking over her glass at him.

"I know, I'm a fucking selfish prick," he admitted aloud.

"No," she disagreed. "Just interesting. I've not seen you out of your element before. Never seen you uncomfortable."

"Not very flattering is it?" Gavin admonished himself.

"I don't now...I'm not in your shoes, I don't know how I would react to being pushed to the back a little with a child," she told him. "As women we have a biological and a psychological need for children." She went back to her dinner.

"I've just never had to look at it from a man's point of view," she admitted. "How does a husband, who is used to having his wife all to himself, handle the fact her attention is now going to be split in between them and probably, whether she wants to or not, it will not be split evenly but favor the child?"

"And rightfully so," Gavin admitted.

"I imagine it's also tougher with the fact that the child isn't yours," Madelyn shrugged. "I mean Alex has a biological link...even though it's as an aunt. You have no vested interest."

"I have Alex, which means I'm fully vested," Gavin corrected not liking the tone of the conversation anymore.

"Not the same," she told him. "Have you mentioned any of this to Alexandria?"

"Not the time for that," Gavin told her. "First I have to decide if it is going to be a problem. If I can't adjust."

"Time is a luxury a parent doesn't have," Madelyn pointed out. "Time to leap."

"Fuck," Gavin growled as he returned to eating.

***

Sunday came, Marylyn was anxious as to how this day was going to go. She walked up the steps nervously and pulled open the door. Rev. Sellers was talking to a just arrived group of parishioners. She waited in line, when one of them turned and saw her behind them they tilted their head for the other's to go. It was as if she was a leper now, people uncomfortable just being in her vicinity.

"Good morning Marylyn," Sellers said with a smile as she moved up.

"Rev. Sellers," she smiled her best smile trying to hide the pain she was feeling.

She looked into the sanctuary and saw Krista and Brandy back in their normal seats near the front. She smiled. She was right, it was just a one-time thing. She then saw the group that was standing in front of her sit down in the same pew as her daughters, taking up her spot.

"I'm glad I have a moment to talk to you!" Sellers smiled taking her hand in his and leading her into the sanctuary. "Oh my, it looks like your pew is full! Oh well, this is open," he said as he sat with her. In the back pew. Her heart was crushed by this.

"Any seat in the House of God is a good seat," he winked at her.

She knew this to be a downright lie! He had once given sermon deriding those who sat in the back of church as 'hiding from God'. So she knew that was a line to make her feel better. A mask of the true intention of this spot...banishment. What hurt the most was that her daughters didn't protest that she needed a spot in which to sit. They allowed the group to take her spot without so much as a whisper of a protest.

"I was wondering if you had a chance to think about what we talked about on Wednesday?" he asked her. She knew he was talking about the money. This smacked her across the face harder than physical slap Alex had done in the hospital.

He didn't ask her about how she was doing. He didn't ask her about Al, or how they were doing with their sorrow of losing Livy. He didn't ask if she was needing anything! The only thing he brought up, was the money.

"I really haven't had the chance," Marylyn lied, trying to keep her tears at bay. "With Al's surgery and extended hospital stay...I'm sure money will be tight."

"Don't you have insurance for that?" Sellers asked her.

"Yes," she told him. "But it doesn't cover everything. Let me talk to Al, I'm sure I can do something that will make amends."

"Good, good, good!" Sellers smiled.

He got up and left her in the back pew. She looked around the church and saw everybody was looking straight ahead, none looking around. Her eyes landed on Trevor and he looked to her. She smiled at him, a mask against the tears. Trevor looked away and she looked down.

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