Paul kissed her with the certain feeling that magic was in the air, that the very fabric of time had been sundered by Heather's summons. Her tongue danced with his; her fingers slipped under his shirt and caressed their way up his chest. He placed the palm of his hand on her belly and rubbed in slowly widening circles, letting his fingers find their way past the elastic hem of her waistband, the leather of her belt. He felt his fingertips sliding past the fabric of her panties, felt them weave into the tapestry of her pubic hair. He could hear her breathing increase, feel the warmth of her need in her shallow gasps as his fingers dipped into the narrow crease between her lips.
He could feel her undoing his belt, unsnapping the button of his trousers; her fingers were soon wrapped around his semi-erect cock, massaging it to life. Given that it had been more than two years since his last sexual encounter, being a medical student having completely destroyed his social life, he was certain this was going to be an embarrassingly brief interlude. She dropped slowly to her knees and took his head gently in her mouth, rolled her tongue around it. She began to slowly move her mouth up and down the shaft. With almost explosive fury, his back arched as his hands sought her head, and his orgasm overtook him - an unleashed beast beyond his control.
The surprise of his orgasm was a shock to Heather MacDonald as well, but this was soon overshadowed by the sheer volume of cum that erupted from the young man's cock. The first wave thrashed against the back of her throat; pulse after pulse followed, cresting in her mouth like breakers on a storm-tossed beach. She almost came herself just from the force of his need, never mind that she was afraid she would gag on his huge load. But she accommodated his need, she swallowed all he gave her, milking his cock with her hands as he spent himself, working to get every drop of cum out of his balls. Soon she stood up, licking errant pearls from her lips, smiling contentedly though with her mouth quite openly inviting him to spend the night in deeper explorations.
"That was a surprise," he said.
"Oh?" she replied, looking at him expectantly.
"Unexpected. Really lovely. I just never..."
"You never thought of getting it on with someone your mother's age," she interjected. "Let alone your mother's best friend." She smiled, kissed his cheek. "I know that you have mountains of unpleasant things to sort through, that you have your sisters to care for. I know the next few days are going to be simply hell, Paul. I don't want to add to your grief by confusing you. But, Paul, I could see into your soul this morning, you were so tired, you looked so confused and defeated. I wasn't feeling sorry for you, I just wanted to give you something that would lighten the burdens of the day. Please forgive me for wanting to give you something so...extreme..."
"Gad, Heather, do you know how totally lovely you are? Why should you need forgiveness? You've given me so much more than relief. But let's face it, we've asked more questions here than we've answered."
"Oh, Paulie, let's not make this complicated. Let's not make this about love, O.K.?" she grinned and laughed lightly. "But you better take me inside and take care of me or I'm going to be a really bad camper in the morning!" She laughed as she took his hand and pulled him back toward the house.
The few remaining fireflies drifted away from the heat, back to the trees and stars. The music as gently faded from the night.
Paul Carter sat deep in thought about Heather as she went about fixing breakfast for his sisters and Brooke. She was in so many superficial ways like his mother; in age, perhaps, but also in her ability to make people around her feel comfortable, indeed, loved. But she was so very different. In profound ways. Where his mother had been a homemaker, Heather MacDonald had been a dynamic force on the Boston political scene, working for JFK while in college and a steady succession of democratic candidates ever since. She had often been accused of furthering the careers of others over the interests of her family. And while his mother had been a refined, indeed, an elegant woman, Heather was frankly sexy, and made no excuses for the effect she had on both men and women.
But the simple fact was that she had aged rapidly in the past four or five years. Her divorce, too, had apparently devastated her since of well being. Paul thought of the standard cliches; a post-menopausal women, abandoned for a younger women; a woman used to her physical beauty, and the way men responded to that beauty a constant turn-on, a head trip, and that being taken from her as well by the simple passage of time. Now, her best friend dead. Perhaps, Paul thought, his own mother had been a major source of strength and support for Heather when her husband had walked out. Perhaps she was trying to reconnect with that sense of security so horribly taken from her by acting out with Paul what she could not in any other way. Hard to understand women even on a good day, he concluded.
Again the girls cleaned up after the meal. Paul went to the study and opened the letter from his father that had been drafted with such a contingency in mind. It contained an overview of his parent's wishes, instructions on whom to call, what bank accounts were to be used for what purpose, tax accountants, stock brokers, life insurance information...all detailed, all very clear.
There were also letters rubber-banded together addressed to Paul, Edith, and Melody, as well as Heather and Brooke MacDonald, which he found odd. There was a note to Paul taped to these letters stating that all recipients were to sit together after whatever funeral services were held and read their letters at the same time and discuss the contents together. Paul was advised to keep these letters secure.
Paul spent the rest of the morning calling attorneys and brokers, discussing matters with the airline's representatives, and began to discuss arrangements with the family's church for a memorial service. He pulled a date for the service right out of thin air, called the newspaper to place an announcement, and began the difficult process of calling all of the family's close friends and business partners. He called aunts and uncles, cousins, his parent's old college room-mates, and made arrangements for a very large family dinner to be held at his parent's favorite restaurant following the service. When he finally looked up it was early afternoon. And Heather MacDonald sat in the living room, quietly looking at him with a very gentle smile on her face.
"How long have you been sitting there?' he asked.
"Oh, I don't know. Maybe an hour or three. Since we finished cleaning up breakfast. I thought I'd come help you, but it looks like you have things under control."
"Control? Yeah, right. Well, I wish you would have just come in and sat with me. It would have been nice to have something pleasant to look at," he said wistfully. "Who knew things could get so complex?"
"You've turned out to be quite a man, Paul. I can't tell you how proud I am of you, how proud your mother and father would be of you right now. What a life you're going to have."
"Ah, well, I hate to say it, but if I don't get some lunch I'm going to expire right here and now."
"Well alright! Let's get your dad's car and go into town."
"Done deal! Let's go...do you think I ought to get the girls?" he said.
"Nope. I sent them in to Boston to buy some clothes and...things."
"Would you rather go upstairs?" he asked hopefully, mischievously.
"I thought you were hungry," she retorted playfully.
"Oh, well, yeah, you could call it that..." He looked at her with resolve in his eyes.
They managed to get out for some lunch just as the girls were coming in.
Services were held at the Harvard Club, presided over by the college chaplain. Family and friends gathered at the Four Seasons for lunch afterwards. Heather MacDonald was at Paul Carter's side during all of the events; she was not overtly possessive or in any way inappropriate, she was just - there. If anything, Paul thought, she had assumed a protective role, and people seemed to understand.
From Heather's point of view, she had just stepped into the maternal role, feeling most particularly that the girls needed the reassuring presence of their mother's best friend by their side. After lunch the immediate family, and the MacDonalds, went back to their homes in the limousines that had been engaged for the day. The girls and Brooke MacDonald sat in the first vehicle, while Paul and Heather sat together in the second. The ride was very quiet out the Pike, the mass of potholes not-withstanding.
Paul assembled the girls, and Brooke and Heather, in the living room soon after they returned. He explained his actions taken so far in dealing with his parent's affairs; he wanted to keep his sisters in the loop, so to speak, to avoid any appearance of impropriety. He also explained to Brooke and Heather that his parent's had requested their presence at this meeting, and that seemed to wake Heather MacDonald right up. She began to fidget a bit. 'Now, what's that all about?' Paul Carter thought to himself.
He pulled out the five letters and held them in his lap, then he read aloud a short note from his father to the assembled group.
'Molly and I want to thank you for being here together. I can only say that I think I understand the grief and uncertainty you feel. Hopefully over the days and weeks ahead each of you will find your way to peace with the contours of your new world.
'We have asked Paul to have each of you read a letter that Molly and I have written. Each letter is different in minor ways, but each letter contains a core of information that is vital each of you understand. The information in your letter will unsettle some of you greatly; I am sure that a few of you will be completely devastated. Molly and I apologize for this, and I hope that all of you will come together to help each other come to terms with this information.
'Paul will have information and instructions for each of you in his letter. Whatever your feelings as you read your letter, please remain together after you are finished, and listen to what Paul has to say. I am sure that each of you will find the information of use in the coming days.
'Before Paul gives you your letter, let Molly and I tell each of you of our profound and total love for you. You all have been the best family and friends we could have hoped for, and we will miss you.'
Paul stood and handed out the letters to his sisters and the MacDonalds. He repeated his father's instructions that everyone remain together until Paul could relay the information contained in his letter. He noticed that Heather MacDonald was plainly agitated and uncomfortable as he sat down to his letter.
First off, again, thanks for taking care of this; we know you alone will be able to handle this information with grace and care.
Your mother and I have always known we would move on together, so if that has been a question for you, just put it down to one of those mysteries of life. Funny, but a mystery.
Paul, this letter primarily contains information you need to know about the MacDonalds, specifically Brooke MacDonald. Please read this carefully, and between the lines as you see fit.
Not long after Rod married Heather they tried, unsuccessfully, to have children for several years. Rod and Heather eventually sought medical advice, and learned that Rod was sterile, and that there was no way to effect a remedy.
Heather was devastated, to put it mildly. She confided this information to Molly, who of course let me know. We both thought it tragic, knowing that Rod and Heather would have made terrific parents.
Several months later we had a dinner party here at the house. We were celebrating the news that your mother was pregnant, with you, Paul, and we had wanted to share this news with our friends. After our guests had left and I was helping your mother clean up, Rod came back in and asked to speak with your mother and I. Your mother and I were very concerned because Rod looked completely devastated, and very unsure of himself.
Rod explained how Molly was coming apart, that he couldn't help her, and that the problem was his, Rod's, infertility. He told us that he and Molly had talked to their physician at length about alternatives, and the physician replied that some couples, when confronted with such a situation, try to use a surrogate to achieve a pregnancy.
At this point your mother and I had a pretty good idea where this was going, and I guess you could say we were shocked, as I know you are right now.
Rod asked your mother specifically if she would allow me to act as his surrogate, to help them bring a baby into the world. He told us that Heather was upstairs in their house, waiting for me. Paul, I have never loved another woman; your mother was and always will be the only woman I will forever love, and that night I guess I loved her more for her humanity than any other person I have ever known.
Your mother sent me to Heather's bed. Call it an act of providence if you will, but please never call it perverted or wrong.
Nine months after that night Brooke MacDonald was born.
Paul, I am Brooke MacDonald's father. And she is your sister. And most importantly, Paul, Heather and Rod MacDonald are our greatest friends, and they always will be. It gave your mother and I no joy to see them break apart after so many years together, and I suspect that night so long ago played no small role in their coming apart.
It is perhaps no surprise that your mother and I kept out of Brooke's upbringing, but it gave us great happiness when we could help Rod and Heather buy their house, so that they could be near us as Brooke grew up. In point of fact, Paul, the MacDonald house - in name and deed - belongs to your mother and I. The first action I want you to take, Paul, is to structure a transfer of title, and put this property in both Heather and Brooke's name.
Your second task, Paul, will be to insure that Brooke becomes a complete part of our family, and that her family takes care of her, now and forever. She must know that this love is unconditional, and it will be in no small measure your duty to insure that this comes about.
Paul, do not fail your mother and I in this request.
Your mother and I need to do this as Rod has become, in our estimation, somewhat unstable. He hasn't seen Brooke, at the time of this writing, in quite some time, and he is not helping Heather out financially at all. It seems he's not very good with money. He never was, for that matter. But he will always remain a dear and true friend of ours, Paul, so please, never think badly of him. Think of what he gave away to give Heather her child.
Your mother and I did not want Rod here today, especially under these circumstances. We have told Rod that in the event of our death we would be taking these actions, so they should not come as a surprise to him. I suppose I will be cynical for a moment and add that should he be angry about Brooke being informed of her paternity, perhaps the Trust established for him will ameliorate his anger somewhat.
To that end, Paul, you will find at UBS downtown a safety deposit box that contains six packages. In each package are documents that describe the contents of each Trust that we have established for all of our children and Heather and Rod. These monies and the guardianship we have established for these funds, will insure that none of you will ever have to worry about money. With care, neither will your grand children.
Paul, these duties fall to you. I know that they will be difficult, but that you, Paul, of all our children will be up to the task.
And now, one last bit of advice. Get those girls and your skinny ass in the car and get down to Legal's for some chowder.
We love you, son, and always will.
Mom and Dad
Paul looked up from the letter with tears in his eyes, and at something of a loss for words. He was the first to finish reading, and this gave him a chance to look at the others, perhaps gauge their reactions.
Melody was reading in silence, her eyes wide, her head cocked to one side as if suddenly off balance.
Poor, innocent Edith, Paul thought, was reading her letter as if she were reading the New York Times. Her fingers moved along the text on the paper as if she was reading Braille.
Heather was gripping the arm of her chair with one hand, her white-knuckled fingers digging into the fabric. In her other hand she held the letter, which was visibly shaking.
Paul looked last at who had once been his one true love of the ages, who now for God's sake was his sister. Her face was ashen, looked for all the world as if she was going to unravel into a million strands of transparent yarn. She was straining to hold back a reservoir of shattered tears; in fact the letter she held in her hands was already damp from several tears that had so far fallen in silence.
Paul Carter kept his seat; he looked at the women of his life who would be forever bound to him. He knew that Melody and Heather would easily come to terms with the new reality of their lives, that Brooke would become a bigger part of their lives than she already was.
He also knew that he would love Brooke MacDonald for the rest of his life, just not in the way he had wanted all those years ago. He smiled at the irony.
He thought of Heather MacDonald. Oh, how he wished she were younger. Or was that really what he wished?
He was scheduled to begin his internship at Mass General in only three weeks. He had planned to take an apartment downtown to be close to the hospital. Oh, who was it that said reality can be so messy!
He had always thought the idea of soulmates was a ludicrous one. Love had become, in the calculus of his academic life, a utilitarian exercise one engaged in to consummate the drive to breed, and nothing more. Then he thought of his father's words; that was no utilitarian calculus, that was pure love. Love of family, love for friends. But most of all, total love and respect for the woman he had chosen to be his wife. How stupidly old-fashioned that was, he thought, and how magnificent.
He looked at Heather as she finished her letter; she had folded the letter and placed it 'just so' on her lap. Her posture was straight, legs close together; she looked the very essence of defensive posturing. She crossed her hands in her lap, closing that gap in her defenses. Paul smiled inwardly, then made eye contact with her. She held it for but a moment, then looked down at the letter in her lap.
Melody and Edith had both finished; they looked over at Brooke then at Paul. Edith had an expression on her face that reminded Paul of someone lost in a maze. 'Aren't we all,' he thought.
He looked at Brooke. She was finished with the letter, at least for now. Her head was down and she was silently crying. He watched her head bobbing up and down as tears fought with breath for dominion; presently a long string of snot and tears ran from her nose directly toward her lap. Paul got up and rushed to her, and kneeling down to eye level, gave her his handkerchief.
Brooke just as suddenly looked up toward the ceiling, her tears in open conflagration. Her hands moved as if to ask a question or make a comment, but no sound came. Confusion rippled through her heart and shuddered to the surface like eddies across a pond. A few tormented moments passed before a ripple of laughter bubbled through her tears, as she caught her breath, tried to speak.