Sophia Pt. 02byCastleStone©
Sorry it took so long to get Part two submitted. Life just got in the way and it was more work than I expected. I want to thank people for all the praise that I was given for Part one and I hope that this lives up to your expectations. Part Three should have a fair amount of humor and some erotic scenes. Thanks again for your positive feedback on Part one.
Special thanks to my new and first ever editor Yellow Peril, he did a whole lot of work on this story, with repairs and some positive additions to the story.
Thanks for Reading
Disclaimer: None of this is real and actually right now, you are dreaming this story. So, if it really sucks just wake up.
We packed up and every one exchanged hugs and kisses. Freddie and Kathy surprised Don by kissing him on the lips. I think Kathy even tried to insert her tongue. I was ready to strangle her.
I promised Don's girls that I would invite them back for the ski season.
We got in our separate cars and started the drive home. Since we were following Don's car to the highway, Megan and Robin could wave back to me every once and awhile. I made a comment under my breath that my friends overheard about how I wanted to ride with Megan and Robin. Kathy and Freddie gleefully suggested that I call Don on his cell and we could switch passengers for awhile. They said that they would be happy to keep Don company. Like, I would trust them alone with Don. Our routes finally diverged on the highway and I finally waved goodbye to Megan and Robin.
The weekend had been wonderful. Megan and Robin talked non-stop about what a good time they had. The only thing that made them depressed was that they wouldn't see Maria for a while, which reminded me about the decision for us all to go to therapy together. I didn't feel comfortable with or want to drop the bomb about the therapist right then. I figured that when I eventually did, I would mention that Maria would be going with us and that would probably make things a whole lot easier.
Damn, I had had a great time! They had been the best two days in my life in years. Those women flirting with me was sure good for the old ego! They obviously weren't really serious, but the gesture had been really nice.
They even got me thinking about dating again. But first I had to get my head straight. I would give my own therapist a call on Monday and arrange an appointment ASAP. I've got to get my rage under control, and suddenly I have the motivation to do it.
That thought got me feeling guilty, though. My love for my own daughters couldn't motivate me, but four pretty women could. I must be a completely worthless shit!
We finally got back to my apartment and I made dinner for the girls. I made something that is my own invention, I think. It's similar to lasagna, but I include thick slices of Italian sausage in it too and lots of cheese; my girls love anything with cheese!
During dinner I discussed with them my and Maria's concerns about their emotional welfare. I told them how both Maria and I felt that a visit to a therapist might be in order for all of us together. I wanted them to know Maria was involved because they liked and respected her so much. I went on to stress to them how much Maria liked them, and how she had recommended a therapist to me for them. I explained how Maria was even willing to go with us to visit the therapist. Up until that point they looked kind of fearful and almost sick, but when they found out Maria was coming they brightened right up.
They immediately started pestering me with questions. "Is Maria staying for dinner?" I lied and told them yes; I didn't know for sure, but I would beg Maria on my knees if necessary. "Could they have a movie party?" I told them only if Maria has the time, and only one movie. They also had to have their homework done before we went to see the therapist if they wanted to have fun with Maria. Their dismayed reaction to that was when I found out they still had homework to do for tomorrow, the little stinkers! They had promised me that everything was done before we left. I had doubted them, but they swore on a Hershey Symphony Milk Chocolate bar that they were telling the truth. In my home that is a solemn oath. So I had to crack the whip on them and get them working. I understood why they had done it, and I really hated to play the bad guy because they had had such a terrific time, but at least they still had this evening to get caught up with their work, and they were darned well going to get caught up or no desserts and no video games for a week. I'm such a mean task master, heh heh.
I got them off to school on time the next morning. They would be heading to Barb's house directly after school and I wouldn't see them again until Wednesday. I gave my own therapist, Dr. Huff, a call and she was delighted that I wanted to work on breaking through my rage issues. She was so excited that she wanted to see me that evening. Awfully smart lady, she seemed always willing to go the extra mile for her patients.
After calling her, while driving from one customer site to another, I had time to call Maria to try to talk her into going to therapy with us.
"Hello Maria, it's Don. Do you have time to talk now?"
"Hold on a moment Don, give me a minute………….. Okay, I'm ready what's up?"
"I talked to Megan and Robin about the therapist you suggested. They were pretty nervous at first, until I told them that you were going, too. The thing is, I spied on them last night and I overheard them talking in their room. I know it was a bad thing to do, but I had to. What had them so upset about seeing the therapist was that they thought that you might think they were crazy or something and wouldn't want to be their friend anymore. They really like you, Maria."
"Oh no, those poor kids! Why would they ever think something like that? I really like them, too. I miss them already."
"I've got a favor to ask. They would really like you to have dinner with us after we all see therapist; I'll make a snack before we go, so we don't get too hungry. You are still going to go with us, you haven't changed your mind, have you?
"No, I said I would go with you and I will, don't worry."
"Then could you, maybe, spend some time with them afterward? We could even have a mini-movie night?" I said it all in a rush and kept talking rapidly. "I was also thinking that by that time of night it would be awfully late for you to drive all the way to your home on the other side of town. I've got a guest room; I know that they would be thrilled if you spent the night with us. It would be such a big surprise for them. Please, Maria? I'll cook whatever you want for dinner. I am getting on my knees here and begging."
Keeping my girls happy was my primary reason for living and, during the dark times it was my only reason. This would be such a huge treat for them, if Maria would only agree.
"Don, I can definitely spend a late evening with Megan and Robin. I'm not sure about spending the night. Let me get back to you on that. Wait, this is not a no. I just might have some other commitments that keep me from spending the entire night. I'll get back to you soon."
"Thank you so much, Maria, I really appreciate it. Think about what you want for dinner, too. Bye, and thanks, Maria."
"Bye, Don, take care."
Well, I got three quarters of my request; that was a whole lot better than nothing.
Later that day, I received an automated email stock alert. That caused me to think back about all the financial problems I had had after my divorce. During that depressing time, I had found it nearly impossible to find a job. I was slightly burned out with programming and I couldn't see starting my own company as a contract programmer. The way my reputation had been trashed, I wasn't certain if I could get any work. I also needed a place to live. For years I had heard that the only way to really make a profit on a small apartment building was to employ yourself as the maintenance man and/or manager of the complex.
It made sense to me, so I started looking for an apartment building to buy. I was lucky to find a condominium project that was going under in the same school district as my kids. Phase 1 of the build wasn't even complete and they were bankrupt. During talks with the township and county I had ascertained that they would have no objections if I changed it into an apartment project rather than condos.
I made a bid on the uncompleted Phase 1; it included one large building that only had the exterior shell erected. A little of the framing had been done on the inside, but nothing more. The Phase 1 parcel also came with enough land that I could build a second structure if I ever decided it was economically viable to do so.
To make a long story short, I won the bid. Initially I had to fund everything myself to the tune of almost a million dollars. This included the initial purchase, additional construction costs, and my own salary. Later on, I was able to get financing and was able to pay myself back half of it. I did have to subcontract some of the construction, but I did a lot of the work myself. That together with the very selective purchase of quality materials (I love a good deal), saved me a bundle. A year and a half later I had an apartment building that looked like it cost twice as much and had full occupancy.
It was at that time that I finally got a job offer for a tech support position, taking care of corporate clients and solving their daily computer and network problems. It was far beneath my skill level and only paid about half my former income, but the hours were light and the stress was nonexistent. My new employers knew that they had struck gold with me, so they tried really hard to keep me happy.
At the same time my own corporation, MegRob Inc., was paying the apartment loan off from the gross revenues. I was paying myself a salary of just under fifty thousand a year plus bonuses and medical. MegRob provided me with a large apartment at no cost to me. In addition, I got unlimited use of the company vehicles, my SUV and an old pickup truck.
I was very picky about my tenants. I wanted polite people that knew how to use a plunger and what a circuit breaker was. I created a website where they could report problems to me. In an emergency, if they couldn't reach me, they were given the phone number for a local handyman service that I trusted.
I also started trading in the stock market again. I had up to one million in play at any particular time. I wasn't a day trader; I worked on a larger time frame. Of my remaining seven hundred thousand or so in reserve, I had most of that in certificates of deposit. I was ready to risk some of my reserve and had started tracking several promising stocks whose prices were falling.
The automated email alert that I had just received was for one of the stocks I had been tracking. The stock was down to less than $3.50 per share and I just couldn't understand why. The company had always been a good and stable performer. Their management was making sound and well thought out decisions, if a trifle conservative. I reviewed everything I knew about the company. Their management hadn't changed and didn't look like it was going to change. Their products up until now had always received good reviews. They had new cutting edge products close to release and, most importantly, they had a large cash reserve that was sufficient to weather most financial crises. In my mind there was no way that that particular company could go belly up. The only thing that explained the low stock price was panic. I decided to take a gamble and commit $200,000 of my reserve to buy stock. In a couple of years they should have their stock price back up to between twenty-eight and thirty-two dollars a share, giving me a tenfold return on my money. And, if I blew it, always possible, it still wasn't going to put me in the poor house.
It was that evening that I went to see Doctor Huff and we started to work through my rages issues. Of course the primary factor causing my rage was how incredibly hurt I actually felt. My ex-wife and sisters had stuck a knife in my heart and twisted it. Well, I started to let it all out for the first time in two and half years. I wasn't a very manly man for almost three hours. Doctor Huff promised to keep it a secret. I also mentioned how I felt badly about being motivated to try to work this rage out of my system by four attractive women instead of by my daughters. She told me that that was utter nonsense.
"Megan and Robin have kept you alive for almost three years. Don't think about these other four women as being your sole motivation to seek help. Think about them as being the additional motivation that put you over the hump to seek help."
Early Tuesday evening I got a welcome phone call from Maria letting me know that she could spend the night! As for dinner, she said to surprise her. Damn, I owed her big time. I had to come up with a dinner that would knock her socks off.
On Wednesday, Megan and Robin let themselves into my apartment after school. When I got home they were hard at work doing their homework, good kids. Maria would be here in about half an hour, so we would have another half hour to snack and then leave for the therapist.
I made some coconut fried chicken wings and a vegetable platter for a snack. Megan and Robin smelled the food and wanted some early, but I told them they had to wait for Maria. I wanted us all to sit down and eat together; I didn't want Maria to get here and find they had already eaten, I was worried that that would make her feel uncomfortable, like she was late and we had to rush for our appointment because of her.
Maria arrived about ten minutes early. Man that woman is FREAKING GORGEOUS. Down boy, she is way out of your league. Megan and Robin ran into her arms, and she clutched them to her like she was their own long lost mother. It was so sweet that it brought tears to my eyes and I had to turn away. It also really sucked. She wasn't their mother and she would one day move on. That day would devastate my girls and me! I told myself to think happy thoughts about the here and now, screw the future and live in the moment.
I busied myself in the kitchen instead of properly greeting Maria, but I just couldn't look at her right now; my eyes were too damn wet. I could hear them chatting in the living room. Finally, I brought the food out to the dining room; my kitchen table was too small to seat all four of us comfortably.
They fell on it like a pack of starving wolves. They were actually competing with one another to see who could eat the most chicken wings. Not one of them touched the vegetable plate. They were girls, for god's sake! I thought they all liked rabbit food? I was stuck eating the carrot and celery sticks, and they just grinned at me; but my babies were happy. For that I would happily eat kibble.
When we drove to the therapist they were chattering away like proverbial birds and it was great. I met the therapist; she seemed like a therapist to me, what do I know? No horns, no tail, and Maria vouched for her. At first the kids went in by themselves. Then the therapist came out and fetched Maria. I was happy to be left out. I had my own demons to let go of; having me be in that room wouldn't be good for my kids or me. Their session lasted for almost an hour, and they all came out of the room looking cheerful and upbeat. Life was good.
On the way back they wanted to sing. This time they picked the Beatles, good choice. "Shake it, shake it, shake it, baby now." During some of the songs Maria and the girls would be swiveling their hips in their seats, and shaking their heads, making their hair fly about. I had the pleasure of watching Maria do that for half the ride home. My God, did I ever need a very long, very cold shower after that!
When we got back home I started dinner. I made a modified version of a Korean dish that I had had years ago. I set the table with all the side dishes; sautéed spinach with crushed garlic, spiced bean sprouts, sliced garlic, sliced onion, sliced cucumbers and rice. Then I took thin slices of pork, similar to bacon but not smoked, and fried them up with salt and pepper.
I've got a special grill just for this recipe that I picked up cheap at an Asian market, and it uses butane cartridges. Instead of allowing the grease to build up in the grilling pan, special holes let the grease drain away into a bowl on the side. I was frying up pork, mushrooms, garlic and onions together and all the grease was making one hell of a mess in the kitchen. Normally when I made this particular meal I did it outside, but it was too wet and cold tonight. It was a wonderful meal to eat, simple to make, but terrible on the cook. I felt like I was taking a grease bath and I would have to clean the kitchen floor when I was done.
Megan and Robin showed Maria the proper way to eat it. You take a piece of leaf lettuce, you place a piece of pork on it and then add whatever you want from the side dishes. For the pork I also had dipping dishes of sesame seed oil and soy sauce beside each plate. I liked to add grilled mushrooms, grilled onions and rice the best. Once you're done, you curl it up into a ball and pop it into your mouth, but the greatest thing about this kind of meal is that you can make every ball a little bit different. The trick is to keep the balls small; make them too big and it gets too messy, or you could choke.
This was one of Megan's and Robin's favorite meals, but they didn't have to cook it or clean up afterwards. Maria seemed to enjoy it too. I don't know how they did it, but they ate almost three pounds of pork, plus the side items. I could see the headlines, "Three females devour Seattle." I told them my joke, and they actually snarled at me. Women just can't seem take a joke these days!
After dinner, before they got comfortable, Maria went out to get her overnight bag from her car. When Megan and Robin found out she was staying for the night they went bananas. They hurriedly showed her to the guest room. I had spent a bit of time and money making it extra nice for tonight. I was quite proud of it.
The bedroom contained the first furniture I'd ever made, except for some cabinets. I had made a queen size bed, a dresser and a nightstand. I had finished the oak furniture only about four weeks ago. If I do say so myself, while everything had simple lines, I thought it all looked great. For the rest of the apartment I had been under time constraints and had to buy from the furniture store. With the guest room I had never expected to ever have a guest so I had decided to try my hand at making furniture for it. I had all the tools, I took my time and it was fun.
The previous Tuesday evening after Maria's call, I went out and bought new linens for the room. I tried to find something like she used in her bedroom in the mountains. It was expensive, but I found a duvet/comforter set that seemed close. I bought drapes, pillows and sheets, too. Then I stumbled on a print by that Kincaid guy that Maria likes, so I bought that, too. Well, maybe I went looking for the print, so sue me.
I was worried that Maria might get too bored in a plain room, so I purchased a new LCD television and DVD player for it as well. When I installed it I made sure to connect it to my cable service.
Megan and Robin were surprised to see the blankets and television.
"Daddy when did you get the new blankets and TV for the guest room?" asked Robin.
I lied, I lied. "Oh, I got the TV a few weeks ago. But I did buy new blankets and sheets just the other day, they were on sale." The trick is to tell part of the truth. There was no way that they could miss the new blankets and sheets.