tagLoving WivesYou Can Go Home Again

You Can Go Home Again


Please pardon the extended author's note. Greetings, and welcome to Legends of Loving Wives. These are the legends who have agreed to contribute stories. Many others were contacted, but either declined, or did not respond. One had to withdraw for personal reasons. Some, we deeply regret, we were unable to reach. Some have passed, and others, no doubt, just do not check the email accounts we have any longer. Such writers as Josephus, TheCelt and CastleStone come to mind, and we mourn their passing.

These are the ones who responded and agreed to write. We did make a good faith effort to contact as many of the legends as possible. With the anonymity that writing erotica requires, it can be difficult. No doubt, many will think of authors who do not appear here. We all have our favorites. Please feel free to contact those authors and ask for a story. We certainly do not mean to slight anyone who was not asked to contribute. There may be many who would qualify as "Legends" who simply did not come to mind, or we could not find. No slights were intended.

This really isn't about us, as authors, it is about the readers, those of you who have read our stories down through the years and been so kind as to leave nice comments, send kind and helpful feedback and give us those views and votes.

Some of us now write professionally, some have retired and this may be the last story you see from some of us. Some, may be, and have been, inspired to write more often. We wanted to give you, the readers, this thank you. We hope you enjoy Legends Day, Thank you to all the authors who participated and thanks to HDK who encouraged me to go ahead and try to put this together. Thanks to those who provided addresses so we could reach everyone, Randi.

I need to thank my editing team, PapaKilo14, Hal, Pixel the Cat, GeorgeAnderson and OldDave1951. You guys are the best in the business and keep me from making stupid mistakes. Harddaysknight is my mentor and gives me critical advice. SBrooks103x also gave me a prepost read and helped with the writing. I love you guys.

She was at one of those standup tables when I saw her, eating hot wings. I had just pulled out my chair at a single. There were only three singles in the place. Most of the tables were quads, and three of them were standup. She was by herself, and my eyes just slid over her without even registering what I was seeing. Then I did a double take. She was gorgeous!

She had long red hair, that sort of flaming orange you see sometimes. She had on a tight skirt and top that showed off all her advantages, and she had plenty of advantages. Some loser wandered over and tried to strike up a conversation with her. I saw her give him the brush-off. She was gorgeous! She was also lethal and deceptive, and she would break your heart. I knew because I'd been married to her for five years. Her name was Ripley, she worked for a huge radio station as their star attraction and I hoped she wouldn't see me.

I ordered my pizza. The Cellar had a wood-fired pizza oven and they made good hot wings, too. I got a basket of the wings, a good dark beer and I was enjoying them, watching the Razorbacks play basketball on one of the big screens. I sensed danger, and when I looked around, there she was.

"Hello, Kaine," she said. "Mind if I pull up a chair?" Her voice was everything I remembered, low, husky, sounding like she was giving you oral sex just by talking to you. It was good whiskey, a Dominican cigar and Nat King Cole on the stereo.

"Yeah, I kind of do, Ripley," I said. "I'm trying to enjoy a good meal here."

"Tough," she said. "What's it been, three years? How many times have I tried to call you? How many times have I showed up at your house, camped out at your office, tried to talk to you?"

"Way too many," I told her. "I don't have anything to say to you, Ripley. Why don't you just leave me alone? If you try to sit down here, I'm leaving. They'll stick you with the check."

She threw back her head and laughed. It was a low, thrilling sound and at one time, it would have sent a jolt through me like nothing else in the universe. Now, it just made me sad. "I don't mind that," she said. "I think my credit card can stand it." It could, too. She was probably making more than I was.

"You're not stupid; you know I want nothing to do with you. What do you want, Ripley?" I asked her.

"I want to talk to you, find out how you're doing, tell you what I'm up to, ask how Kelly and Sam are doing, how Atlas is getting along and tell you some things. What would it hurt? Am I that ugly that you can't stand the sight of me? Are you still that mad at me? Do you still hate me that much?"

"Why?" I asked. "Why do you give a damn about Mom and Dad, or my dog? I'm not interested in what you're doing. We're not friends, Ripley. I'm sure you aren't interested in my life and I damn sure am not interested in hearing anything you have to say. Leave me alone, Ripley, or I'll tell the manager you're stalking me."

She cocked her head to one side and raised one eyebrow in that gesture I knew so well. She sighed. "Okay, Kaine. Have it your way. I guess I'll just have to break out the big guns. Don't move, now." She went back to her table and I saw her get her phone out of her purse. She took the purse and went to the restroom.

I had no idea what the big guns were, and absolutely no interest in finding out. My pizza came and I told the guy to put it in a box, I was leaving. I followed him up to the counter, paid and left. Jesus, another evening shot to hell. I went home and took my pizza out by the pool. I put "Rubber Soul" on and got a few beers, throwing them in the cooler with some ice. I was enjoying the hell out of the pizza, leaning back on the lounge chair, listening to the Beatles when I heard the gate close. I have a wooden privacy fence and the gate has a spring on it to make sure Atlas doesn't get out. I opened my eyes and groaned. It was her. What the hell was with this woman? Of course, she knew where I lived. She kept track of that. Then I realized something: she wasn't alone.

There was a little shadow behind her. It had a mop of curly black hair about a foot long, fair skin, like Ripley's, very blue eyes, and she was the most beautiful little girl I had ever seen. She seemed very, very shy. She tried to avoid letting me look directly at her by hiding behind Ripley. When Ripley stopped in front of me, the little shadow went around on the other side of her and held her hand. Ripley knelt down beside me and gently led the little shadow forward so that I could see her. Her eyes were looking at the ground and Ripley slowly tilted her little chin up with one finger so that our eyes met.

"Kaine, I'd like for you to meet Makenna," she said. "Makenna, this is Kaine."

I really had no idea what to say, so I stuck out my hand. What an idiot! Little girls don't shake hands. This one did. She put her tiny little chubby hand in mine. I could see the baby dimples on the backs of her knuckles. "Hello, Kaine," she said.

"Hello, Makenna," I said. Brilliant, right? I've never known what to say to kids. Most areas of conversation that you would have with adults are just closed. "So, where do you work?" I asked her. She giggled. Now that was worth dying for. I wanted her to do it again.

"I don't work, silly," she said. She had the cutest little voice imaginable. It was low and sort of breathy, just a little bit hoarse sounding. I thought she was going to sound a lot like Ripley when she grew up. "I'm too little to work."

"How old are you?" I asked. She held up three of those perfect little fingers. "Three, huh," I said. "Wow, that's a perfect age. You're a very beautiful little girl, did you know that?"

She blinked those impossibly huge blue eyes. "Yes, I know," she said. We both laughed. I looked up at Ripley.

She was watching us with the oddest expression on her face. "This is the big gun," she said.

"What in the he... what are you talking about, Ripley?" I asked.

"Look at her," she said. "See her."

I looked. She was gorgeous. I still had no idea what Ripley was talking about. She spoke. "Kaine, can I go swimming in your pool?"

"Um, sure, Makenna," I said. "Right now?"

She nodded. "Your dress would get wet, honey," Ripley said.

"Take it off?" Makenna suggested hopefully.

Ripley glanced at me. What the hell? I shrugged. "Okay, honey," she said. "I'll just stay here and talk to Kaine."

Shit, now I was stuck. "Makenna, see that black three painted on the side of the pool?" I asked.

She looked. "What's a three?" she asked.

I took one of those chubby little hands and traced the number in the palm. "It looks like that."

She nodded. "Yes. I see it."

"Don't go past there," I said.

"Okay," she said. "Why?"

"It's too deep for you past there," I told her. She nodded again, kicked off her shoes, pulled her little white dress over her head and handed it to Ripley.

"Hold this, Mamma," she said. She ran giggling to the steps in her panties and was splashing away in seconds. I was frozen. She had called Ripley "Mamma."

When I could think again, Ripley was easing herself down into the chaise next to mine, one of my beers in one hand and a slice of my pizza in the other. "What the hell are you doing?" I said.

"Do you like her?" she asked. "She's beautiful, isn't she? She's very sweet, too. I know you're going to love her, Kaine."

I sputtered for a minute. "Yes, she's gorgeous. Mamma? She's yours, Ripley? When did this happen?"

"Well, three years ago, obviously," she laughed. "Yes, she's mine, Kaine. She can be yours, too, if you're interested."

My brain was very stupid. "What's that supposed to mean? What's going on here, Ripley? Why did you bring her over here? Why are you here? You left me, remember? You needed to 'find yourself.' Why can't you leave me alone?"

She laughed again. "Which one of those do you want me to answer first? How about this: I brought her here so she could meet her father. I've been trying to do that for three years, but you're too big a coward to face me so I could introduce you. If you hadn't run away at The Cellar, you'd have seen Kelly drop her off."

I was going into panic mode. "Her father? I'm not... what the... fuck you, Ripley. I'm not a coward; can't you get it through your head I don't want to be around you? I think it's time for you to leave."

"I'm not leaving," she said. "You'll have to call the police to get rid of me. Do you really want to get rid of her?" She nodded in the direction of the pool. "You are her father, Kaine. Look at her; can't you feel it?"

That little wet beauty had found some pool toys and was happily playing with them. "I better get her some towels," I said. There was a huge lump in my throat and I could feel myself beginning to lose the control I so desperately needed around Ripley. I got up, went inside and got some big fluffy towels. Atlas eyed me, sleepily, heaved himself to his feet and ambled out after me. He saw Ripley and his stump of a tail began to wag furiously. Then, he spotted Makenna and he began to wiggle all over. He trotted over to Ripley and she threw her arms around him.

"There's Mommy's big guy," she crooned. He licked her face, his huge pink tongue nearly covering it. She looked up at me, a bit of drool hanging from her chin and laughed. "Is one of those towels for me?"

I couldn't help but chuckle. All mastiffs drool. The Neapolitans drool more than most. Atlas is a 160-pound male Neapolitan Mastiff. I got him as a puppy when Ripley and I were still married. "Yes," she cooed at him. "Mommy does love you. She's been missing you very badly."

That soured my mood. I seemed to remember that she'd been the one who left. If she'd missed him so badly, she knew the cure. Makenna saw him and shrieked with delight. She came splashing up the pool steps and I wrapped her up in one of the towels. "Is that Atlas?" she asked. "Mamma told me about him. Can I pet him?"

"Yes, he'd love that," I told her. She ran on her tiptoes over to him and her mother and threw her arms around his neck. He panted with joy, all that loose wrinkly skin jiggling with the effort. She looked up at her mother.

"I want him, Mamma," she said. Ripley looked at me and raised that eyebrow. She dried Makenna off, slid her dress over her head and watched her scamper away, throwing Atlas's ball for him to chase.

"I don't believe you," I told her.

"Yes, I know," she said. "I'll get proof. I'll get a DNA test done. I was never unfaithful to you, Kaine. You know that."

I didn't know that at all, but it didn't matter. "I'll need to see that proof," I told her.

Her bottom lip came out in a pout. It was adorable and made you want to kiss her and suck on that puffy lip. Until she broke your heart, that is. "I figured you'd say that. You'll have to cooperate. I'll need a cheek swab. I'd have done it long ago if you didn't run every time I tried to talk to you. I began to lose hope that I'd run into you. You've been hiding pretty well."

"Ripley, you left me, remember?" I said. "You weren't happy. That's what you told me. We got married too young, there was all of life waiting for you out there and you wanted to explore. That's what you said, and that's what you did. You tore my heart out. I loved you with everything I had. That wasn't enough for you. You wanted more. I don't know what the hell you wanted. I only know you moved out, went on your merry way, 'exploring' or whatever. Fine, you had every right to do whatever the hell you wanted. It's been three years. Why are you here? Don't give me any bullshit."

"Kaine, did I divorce you?" she asked.

"No, you just left me," I said.

"That's right," she said. "You divorced me, not the other way around."

"What did you expect?" I asked.

"Not that," she said. "Why do you assume I didn't mean exactly what I said, Kaine?"

"Well, there was the fact that I saw you at the White Rhino with 'The Big Dog'," I said. "He has dark hair and blue eyes, doesn't he?"

"You bastard," she practically spat it out. "So do you. Charles is a colleague, we were there doing a live show, and he's the biggest asshole on the planet. What, did you think I would ever voluntarily be with him anywhere?"

"Looked like you were having a good time to me," I said.

"I'm a performer," she snarled. This was the Ripley I remembered.

"So, how's the search going?" I asked. "Did you find yourself?"

"Jesus, you can really be a prick sometimes, Kaine." She drew in a deep breath. "I didn't come here to fight with you, the opposite, in fact. I need to explain some things to you."

"I don't want to hear it," I said.

"Well, that's too bad," she shot back. "You have a daughter, Kaine. I'm her mother. She's our daughter and you need to listen to me. She needs her father in her life."

"Maybe the 'Big Dog' would be interested in hearing your story," I said.

She sighed. "Kaine, there are some things you need to know. I never intended for this to turn out as it did. I never intended to hurt you so badly. I was 24 years old, for God's sake. We got married when we were 19. I felt as if I was suffocating. I wasn't leaving you; I just needed some space for a while. I tried to explain it, but I'm afraid I didn't do a very good job. You went all nuclear and divorced me. You moved to Alaska, for God's sake. Alaska, Kaine, really? Is that the place you thought would be the greatest distance you could get from me?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, it was," I said. "You moved out, left me. We were talking about starting a family, and then in one month, it all went to shit. You left. Your choice."

"Yes, I moved out," she said. "I was scared. I was losing myself. The idea of having a baby scared me to death. I just panicked. I know it sounds to you like a bunch of shit. It does to me, too, now that I'm not a stupid immature baby. I felt like there was no me, there was only us and I felt like I was losing my identity. I panicked and got stupid, okay? I never meant to really leave you. I just wanted a little space, a little time to figure out who Ripley really was and what she was all about. I thought I'd see you every week; make love to you, that it would be like we were when we were dating. I wasn't leaving you, Kaine. I didn't want another man; I wanted us to stay exclusive, but you were too busy shouting at me to get that. I was just trying to establish myself as my own person. I thought it would be a few months and I'd move back in. I loved you, Kaine. I still love you. You hurt me a lot when you went nuts like that. I know I hurt you, too, and I need to tell you how sorry I am for that. I'm sorry, Kaine. I fucked everything up. I didn't mean to do that, but I did."

I thought back to our last conversation. I was yelling, furious and frustrated. She had told me she was moving out a week before and my anger, hurt and insecurity had been building all week. When she pulled up with the truck, and I knew she was really leaving, it all came boiling out. It was not pretty and it had been the last time I had spoken to her. Oh, she'd tried. I just wasn't in any mental state to have anything to do with her. I wasn't in any state to do so that day, either.

"What do you want from me, Ripley?" I asked. "It's all good, Ripley? I don't believe a word you say. You realize that, right? I think you've been out 'finding your identity' by sleeping your way around town. I don't know what your game is here, but I think you should leave."

She gave an exasperated sigh. "I expected all this, Kaine. That doesn't make it any easier to hear, but I did expect you to feel exactly like this. You never gave me a chance to explain what was going on. You never showed up at court, you've avoided me like the plague and you run every time I track you down. You know the court ordered counseling, don't you? The problem was, you were in Alaska and couldn't be reached. I finally just gave up and let it go through. Give me a chance, that's all I'm asking for. Let me come and talk to you. Let us come and talk to you. If not for me, do it for her." She nodded toward Makenna, walking toward us with her arm over Atlas's broad back. "What about her, Kaine?"

I couldn't say anything because Makenna was standing beside me. "I love Atlas," she said. "Kaine, when you're my daddy, will I get to stay here and play with him sometimes?"

Now that wasn't fair. There was no way in hell that was fair. It got even worse when she climbed up on my lap and laid that curly little head on my chest. "Hold me," she said. She curled up as if she was settling in. I looked daggers at Ripley but she only laughed. She knew damn well that little girl was irresistible.

"I have a couple of errands to run," she said. "It should only take me a couple of hours. It looks like Makenna is sleepy. Can she stay with you?"

"No, I..." That gorgeous little face tilted up at me and sleepy blue eyes melted my soul.

"Please, Kaine. Mamma does boring stuff and I'm very tired."

"I... well, let's go inside," I said.

I carried her and she was as light as a little feather. Ripley carried the leftover pizza and the cooler. I sat on the sofa and Makenna curled up in a little ball on my lap. "Cold," she complained.

I grabbed a throw off the back of the sofa and put it over her. She wiggled around until she was comfy and her breathing grew slow and deep. I heard Ripley puttering around in the kitchen, putting the pizza in Tupperware and then into the refrigerator. She brought me a beer and opened it, setting it on the table where I could reach it. Damn the woman, she waltzed into my house and made herself at home, as if she had every right to be here, and she got away with it because she knew Makenna would have me wrapped around her little finger in nothing flat.

She looked at us for a long moment and I could see tears welling up in her eyes. I hadn't expected that. The brilliant green of them started sparkling and she turned, grabbed her purse and started for the door. "I shouldn't be long," she said over her shoulder. Her voice sounded sort of funny, and I could see her wipe her eyes as she closed the door.

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