The Brass Ring

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

A story about a bus ride. . .

One spring evening, Clark was sitting by the fireplace with his twin five year old daughters, Sarah and Amy. His wife, Marie, was just coming into the room. She sat next to him and put Amy in her lap. Clark did the same with Sarah.

Sarah said “Tell us the story again, Daddy.”

“Alright. Do you girls know what it means when someone grabs the brass ring?”

“Yes, it means they get a really special prize,” Amy added.

“OK. Once upon a time, there was a very pretty princess named Marie. She was riding a bus to Iowa when she met a mean, ugly prince named Clark. He was. . .”

“Stop it, Daddy!” Sarah interrupted.

“Yeah! Tell it the right way!” Amy declared.

:”I can't get anything past these two, Marie. OK, girls. Here we go again.“Once upon a time, there was a very pretty princess named Marie. She was riding a bus to Iowa when she met a handsome prince named Clark. . .” He was telling them the G-rated version of the story of how he and Marie met and married.

The story began one day, when Clark got on the eastbound bus headed to nowhere in particular. His only certain destination was Ottumwa, Iowa and then to Northern Missouri to the home of his college roommate. He thought about getting off at any interesting place and having a look around and then proceeding at his leisure. He was the first on board and staked a place in the middle of the bus. At the stop in Reno, a pretty young woman got on. She made her way down the aisle, looking around for an agreeable place to sit. Clark smiled at her.

And she smiled sweetly and said “Hi. Mind if I sit here with you?” She smiled at this attractive man with a warm smile.

“Not at all. It will be a pleasure to have a pretty lady to talk to on the trip.”

She smiled again and said “Thank you.” She sat fairly close to him.

“Where are you headed?" he asked.

“Ottumwa, Iowa. I was in Reno interviewing for a teaching job. I give violin lessons at home.”

“That’s an amazing coincidence. I’m headed to Ottumwa, too.”


"I’m going to visit my college roommate, Will, and his significant other in Missouri. He’s picking me up in Ottumwa. I'm visiting for two weeks.

"Where does he live?"

"On the outskirts of Memphis. Her father left her a few acres and they decided to settle there. I have his number and address written down in my suitcase. What kind of teaching job were you interested in?"

“Teaching music at a high school. I went to the University of Iowa in Iowa City and graduated with a Masters in music. I was first violin in my senior year and during grad school. I was even considered by Julliard."

"Impressive. Being considered by Julliard is a high compliment. My name's Clark."

They gently shook hands.

"I'm Marie." Their conversation ended there for a time. For most of the next hour, she gazed out the window and he read a book. She broke the silence.

"What are you reading?"

"It is a historical novel. My friend Will recommended it. He and I like history. We went to college together in Oregon. We were a couple crazy archaeology majors.”

"That sounds very interesting! What kind of work do you do?"

"Historical archaeology. I work for a small company in Northern California.

"What made you decide to come to Missouri to see him?"

"I've never seen this part of the country and I called him and when I told him I was taking two weeks vacation, he invited me to stay with them. I needed a break from work and I wanted to see him and Adele again. He said there are a lot of pretty women there. I think I've already met the prettiest one."

"Thank you, Clark. That's sweet. Would you mind if I got some sleep now? I've had a long day."

"Pleasant dreams! See ya' in the morning!" She slept and he read some more. He also looked at her face and gazed at her beautiful hair and hands. She stirred and her face had a look of mild discomfort. She repositioned herself and seemed to get more comfortable and she leaned in his direction. She laid her head on his shoulder. He put his arm around her. She seemed to be more content. She slept more and he gazed some more. Her liked her face the longer he looked at it. This is crazy! I'm not a college kid anymore. I'm sitting here with my arm around a woman I don't even knowand I feel like I'm in love. She's got great hair, lovely hands. . .she’s lovely in every way but I don't really know anything about her and I'm afraid I won't see her again. I'd love to hold her hand and kiss her and hold her close and make love with her but rushing into things could cause me a lot of grief. I should sleep. My brain is definitely tired. He rested his head on hers and slept soundly until he heard her say "What time is it?"

"Let me look." There was just enough light to see his watch. "7:15."

"Already?" she said. We just met and already we're sleeping together."

"She's pretty and funny, too." The bus turned off the highway and pulled into the Salt Lake City depot.

"Marie, Let me buy you breakfast. After all, we slept together and it would seem to be the respectful and gentlemanly thing to do. I don't want you to think that I think of you as just a one night stand."

"I accept your offer. I can't seem to find my money. I'll pay you back when I find it."

"You're covered for breakfast. This way looks productive." He touched the small of her back and directed them both toward the sign over the coffee shop door.

"When you said that you didn't think of me as a one night stand, I knew you were kidding but please don't think that I am the kind of girl who sleeps around."

"I know you're not! I can tell! I don't know much about you but my impression is that you have your head screwed on straight. I also want you to know I think you are quite bright and articulate and you have a voice that is sweeter to hear than any piece of classical music I have ever heard. Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms would all be envious! You should share all that with a man who appreciates all those things and not just sex."

"Thank you, Clark." She kissed him on the cheek. “Do you mean a man like you, Clark?” He touched her back again. She stopped and said "I know this seems crazy but I want to kiss you. He held her at the waist and they shared a deep, meaningful kiss.

"Wow! That kiss bought you breakfast AND dinner."

"Clark, I want you to know that this trip has been a pleasure so far. You seem to be a very nice guy but please don't . . . I don't know. . . We might not see each other again and I would like to see you again . . . I was hurt in college when my boyfriend took off and married another girl. If we got involved how do I know you won't leave me too? You'll be going back to California soon and. . . "

"I'm content to share this bus ride and maybe we can see each other again. We're a long way from being involved and you might get to know me and find out I'm really an ogre and run away. Seriously, I can't give you any guarantee except my word. I hope you are never hurt again. I know what it's like. I was hurt like that too. She was beautiful and seemed devoted but the star quarterback took some interest in her and she suddenly treated me like a poor relation. Will and Adele helped me through it. They're the people I'm visiting. It'll be good to see them again. I will be in Missouri long enough to spare some time away from them Adele. Maybe I can borrow their car and drive up and see the area where you live and Ottumwa. I'd like nothing better than to spend a day with you. After all Ottumwa is the home of Radar O'Reilly! How often will I get a chance to meet such a famous war hero?!"

She laughed and said "I doubt you will see him but who knows. If you can visit for a day, I'll show you around."

"I'd like that. To see the heartland escorted by one of its prettiest ladies! Sounds like a slice of heaven to me!"

"I like it when you call me pretty." Breakfast arrived and they ate quickly.

"We should be going. Our silver chariot will be departing in about fifteen minutes."

They paid the check and quickly bought some sandwiches, sodas, and chocolate milk for lunch. The bus left about five minutes after they got back.

They took their original seats and they turned to face each other. "Tell me more about college. How did you meet Will?"

"He was my roommate. I got to the dorm and was escorted to my room by the resident manager and there was Will. We shook hands and have been best friends ever since." He took a breath and gazed at the light over his seat. "Will and I spent a lot of time together studying hard and put in long hours. When we graduated, we both wanted to go to grad school. We did a joint project for our Master's thesis. Our faculty advisory committee was very impressed. We got good jobs because of it. We worked together for a while. Then he stayed in Oregon and I got a job with the federal government in California. I've had two jobs before this one. My current job is in one of the northernmost counties in California. I'm sorry that I don't have any sordid tales to tell you. Your turn. All I've got is the boring stuff. Tell me about you and Iowa."

"I was born in Kentucky. I started violin lessons when I was seven and we moved to Iowa the summer before I went to high school."

"That explains the accent."

"Yes. I had one boyfriend in high school. His name was William. I thought he was cute even though he was kind of nerdy. He had to quit school to help on his family's chicken ranch. We drifted apart and that was when I played the violin a lot. It helped me to avoid my sadness but I got to be pretty good at playing. I auditioned for the orchestra and was made first violin during my junior year. I was accepted by University of Iowa on a partial scholarship. I graduated in four years and my grad work was there, too. I almost got into Julliard. Boring you?"

"No. That's interesting to me. I love listening to you. I can't carry a tune in a bucket but I enjoy classical music very much. I've always been in awe of anyone who can play a musical instrument. Especially someone who can play it well and it sounds like you can."

"I could play for you sometime if you visit."

"I'd like to see you again. What’s in Ottumwa for you?"

“I live with my mom and dad. Dad’s a general contractor. Mom’s always been a stay at home mom. They’re pretty good parents. I love them a lot. What about your family? Have any girlfriends in California?”

“No girlfriends. I lost my dad about a year and a half ago, just after Will and Adele visited. He was a pretty good guy. I can remember most the times he took me fishing and playing catch with him. And we lost Mom about two years before that. She died of an unexpected heart attack. Dad and I were very surprised until I looked into her ancestry and found a family history of heart trouble.”

Marie added “My dad took me fishing too but I never caught anything. I think I was too squeamish and probably too little to make a good fisherman.”

Marie laid a sympathetic hand on his arm. “I’m sorry about your parents.”

“Thank you, Marie. They were good ones. Will and Adele helped me a lot when Dad died. They’re the best friends I could ask for and Sam, my boss has been like a big brother or a second dad.

“I’d like to meet them. We may have the chance at the bus stop.”

“I’d like them to meet you, too.” They chatted comfortably about everything and nothing. They learned that their political and religious views were very much alike.

Before they realized it, their trip was nearly over

The bus bumped over some railroad tracks and Marie stirred. She had dozed off for a short time.

"Where are we?" she asked.

"Next stop Ottumwa," he quietly said." It was about 7:30 in the evening on a Wednesday.

"Ottumwa already?"

"Yes. Home again."

"Marie I want to tell you something. I know this sounds silly but I want to tell you that I felt afraid that I might not see you again. Here's my address and number and Will's number and address. You're the best traveling companion I've ever had! I'd really like to see you again."

She took his pen and pad and wrote down her name, number and address. "I'd like that, too."

The bus stopped and Marie looked out the window and said "I don't see my parents."

"If you need a ride, I'm sure Will and Adele will be glad to give you a ride."

They got off the bus but he couldn't see Will or Adele but saw their car.

"There are my parents by the blue car." She waved and her father went to the trunk and opened it. When she got to them, she and her parents hugged.

She turned toward Clark and introduced them to him.

"Mom, Dad, this is Clark. We met on the bus. Clark, this is my Mom and Dad, Jane and Jim."

Jane's brow furrowed a bit. "Are you the Clark who was Will's college roommate?"

"Yes, I am. He was supposed to meet me here."

"They went to use the bathroom. We've been chatting with them while we were waiting. We see Adele's mother regularly but haven't seen Adele for ages. What a nice coincidence!"

He got their address out of his suitcase and showed it to them.

"That is just over the Iowa-Missouri boundary. Not far from us, about an hour and a half," Jim noted.

Will and Adele emerged from the depot. As he approached, Will called out "Hey Roomie! Over here!"

He and Will exchanged a vigorous handshake. Clark saw Adele. She said "Don't I rate a hello?"

They hugged and Clark loudly whispered to her so Will could hear "I keep telling you could do so much better than that old dirt-scraping buzzard!"

He introduced them to Marie. "You already know Jim and Jane. I met their pretty daughter, Marie, on the bus."

"Hi, Marie" Adele said "Don't believe anything those two say bad about the other. They're the best of friends!" Clark added "We three are the best of friends."

Adele hugged him again. "Yes, we three are the best of friends! Great to see you Clark!"

"What have you been up to, Will?"

“Scrappin' dirt! What did you think, Smart Aleck?"

I thought you and Adele might be married."

No. I think she is starting to believe that she can do much better! I told my boss you were coming and he wants to talk to you. We're having our county fair this Saturday. He will have an information table and you can meet him there. There'll be lots of food and things to do. Why don't you bring Marie?"

Great idea. Marie, would you like to join us?" Clark asked.

Mom , Dad, do you have any plans that require me?"

No. I think Will's idea sounds OK," Jim added.

OK. It does sound like fun."

Will put Clark's suitcase in the car. While they were busy with that, Adele told Marie, "Don't worry Marie, Clark's OK. I've known those two crazy guys for about 20 years, ever since college. It'll be fun."

Thanks, Adele."

Clark said "Goodbye for now. You are the best traveling companion I've ever had. Thank you for being so pretty and interesting." He kissed her on the cheek.

She watched as Clark walked away with one arm around Will and one around Adele.

"Call Me!" He turned around and said "Tomorrow." She continued to watch until they pulled out of the parking lot.

Jim took her suitcase and a piece of paper fell out of her hand. "What's this, Marie?"

She took it from him. "It is Clark's number in California."

They got in the car. Jane said "A kiss on the cheek? His number? That must have been some bus ride!"

"Oh Mother! It wasn't like that at all! He was a perfect gentleman!

"I think something happened," Jim said.

"And she is going to see him on Saturday!" Jane added.

"You two stop it! You're always trying to get me married!"

"You can't blame us for wanting our daughter to be happy, can you?"

Marie slept in the next day to recover from her bus ride. After unpacking, she had lunch and took a bath.

While she was in the bath the phone rang.

"Marie, Clark is on the phone. Are you available?" No sooner had Jane asked the question, Marie burst out of the bathroom, still wet and with a towel wrapped around her.

"Hi, Clark. How are you?"

“Rested. We stayed up and insulted each other half the night."

“You three seem to have fun together."

"Yes but I'm the most fun, Adele's second and what's-his-name is last."

In the background, she could hear Will say, "Hi Marie. Don't believe a thing he says! He's demented!"

"How are you, Marie?"

"Rested too. I just got out of the bath. That trip was more tiring than I thought but I feel much better now after a good night’s sleep."

"Me, too. We were thinking we'd pick you up Saturday about ten. Will that be alright?"

"Sounds fine. What can I bring?"

"I'll let you talk to Adele. Here she is."

“Hi, Marie."

"Can I bring anything Saturday?"

“No. We'll have everything we need. We'll eat at the fair and have dinner here. It may be a long day so you are welcome to stay here. I promise to muzzle those two so we don't stay up all night!"

“OK. I'll see if Mom and Dad have anything planned. Put Clark back on, please."

Hi." she said. Clark I want you to know that we won't be sleeping together Saturday."

“Ok. They have two extra bedrooms. You'll be perfectly safe. Will said he'd put a bear trap outside my bedroom door if I have any libidinous ideas. May I have a hug and a goodnight kiss on the cheek?"

“You may have one kiss if I may have one too and I want a hug."

“Deal!" Two kisses and two hugs with chaperones! I'll see you Saturday. Say hello to your parents. Bye for now Pretty Lady."

“See you Saturday at ten, Clark."

Marie called on Friday. Will answered. "Hi, Will, this is Marie. Is Adele there?" I need to ask her some questions about tomorrow."

"I'll get her. One minute. She's outside. I told her you are on the phone. She's coming. Can I help?"

"No. Maybe another time. I need some of her help tomorrow."

"Here she is."

“Hi, Marie. What's up with you?"

"If you don't mind, I was wondering if we could find some time tomorrow to talk."

"Sure. What's the subject?"

"Clark. I really like him. My heart says go for it but my mind says slow down."

"Sounds like good things to talk about. We'll make as much time as you need.”

Saturday, Marie arrived about 9:30. Marie had done her hair, nails and makeup. She wore jeans and a floral blouse.

"Hi Pretty Lady," Clark said. “You look wonderful.”

"Hi Clark. Hi Everybody," Marie answered.

After they said there hellos and goodbyes, they hurried off. They wanted to get going to have as much time as they could. The drive was pleasant and uneventful. They recounted some of their college days and Marie told them about her college studies and a bit about her life after college. They arrived at the fair about 11:00.

"Let's find Bernie first." Will suggested. He said his booth would be just inside."

They easily found him.

"Bernie, I want you to meet Clark and his new girlfriend, Marie."

"Nice to meet you Clark, Marie. Will has told me a lot about you Clark."

"I hope he said something good in between his lies."

"All of it was good."

Adele broke in. "Marie and I will leave you guys to talk. We'll meet you here in a half hour."

“Adele, thanks for doing the artwork for this display. You’re a genius!”

“Stop it, Bernie! You flatterer!”

They walked a short ways when Adele spotted a coffee stand. "Let's get some coffee and talk. My treat," she said.

"OK, Marie. What do you want to know?"

"I don't know much about him. So far, he seems like a terrific guy but I still don't feel I know him as well as I want or need to."

"I think it would be best if I told you a little of my history and then our common history. Along the way, you'll learn a lot about Clark. It looks like we'll be spending a lot of time together if you and Clark stay together, so you need to know a little about we three."

"I sure hope he stays with me. I'm afraid he might be like my other boyfriends and take off. I suppose that's my greatest fear."

Adele sat across from Marie and took her hand. "Girlfriend, it’s up to you how long you stay with him. One of the things I can tell you with complete certainty about Clark is that he is the sticking kind. One of his girlfriends treated him horribly just before she broke up with him and he stuck with her to the bitter end. So it's up to you. Anyway, I need to tell you a bit about our mutual history to tell you about my first impressions of Clark. I was an art major and in my freshman and sophomore years, I lived at an artists' colony. Anything you have ever heard about artists colonies being wild and eccentric, was true of this place. Sex, drugs, partying all the time, anything you wanted you could get in the way of sex or drugs. I like fun but after a while it felt crazy. Drugs weren't fun anymore and I started to run out of money. I slept with a lot of men but they were all users who rarely gave. I wanted to get out. At the start of my junior year, I met Will. He was taking a ceramics class and I was the teacher's assistant so I had a key to the ceramics lab. Will and I got acquainted during that class. He seemed bright and I thought he was cute and funny and I liked him when he was serious, too. He was one of the more serious students and he asked me if he could get into the lab on Saturday. I had some things to do so I said sure. We met at the lab and after we were done, we started kidding around and I used my finger to smear some glaze on his face and we smeared each others faces and I put some clay down the back of his shirt and he put some down the front of my blouse. A couple of the buttons of my blouse had come undone earlier and he smeared some glaze in between my breasts. For some reason that got us really hot and we made love on one of the tables. When we were done, we decided to go back to my room and do it some more. It was before visiting hours, so we snuck in and got in the shower. Two of my girlfriends stood watch while we were in the shower and we did it in there too. We snuck into my room and spent the rest of the day in bed. We've been together ever since. When I met Will and Clark I found I could have fun and not feel used, that I could give and get something back instead. More coffee?"

"Sure. That's interesting. Since they were roommates, you met Clark through Will?"

"Yes. My first real date with Will was also with Clark. We three decided to go to a movie. We spent almost the whole night laughing. My sides hurt the next day. We have been the best of friends since. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for Will or Clark. I consider myself to be a very fortunate woman who has such a good man as Will and as good a friend as Clark. I have always known both of them to be gentle, loyal, faithful, and thoughtful. If you have a positive impression of Clark, you're right.

"Adele, He is very generous with his compliments. . ."

"Wait! I can answer that question before you finish it. Believe all his compliments. I want you to know something else. He means what he says. I think you are what Clark needs. I haven't seen him smile like he has been here since we visited him in California about a year ago. I saw how content he looked when you two were cuddling. You seem to like him for the man he is and not for the same reasons the girlfriends I knew. Has all my yammering helped?"

"Yes. I think so. I'll think about it. Thank you, Adele. Marie couldn't find the right words for her thoughts. She slowly started "Do you think, well, this is all happened so quickly. . .we don't know each other very well. Should . . . I. . ."

Adele finished the sentence for Marie. "Marry him? I don't know if I can give you a good answer. He may not be the right man for you but I can say with complete confidence that he is a good guy. Can I give you a piece of friendly advice?"


“Enjoy your time with Clark! He's an honorable man and not a user. If he says he will be back, he will be. With Clark what you see and hear is what you get."

They slowly wandered back to Bernie's booth. When they were about a hundred feet away, Adele stopped and said "One thing you should know about Clark. He and Will are both demons with their work. We visited Clark about a year and a half ago in California and Will and I went one day to the site he was working. The two of them got wrapped up in the dig and they seemed to ignore me. I felt neglected. I was angry and told them so and why. They treated me like the Queen of Sheba the rest of the day. Will opened the car door for me and Clark pretended to put his imaginary coat over an imaginary mud puddle like Sir Walter Raleigh. They explained later how involved they can get with their work. After he explained, I knew that it wasn’t a personal affront. They have their priorities straight and know when to be serious and when to have fun. They have their fun but draw the line well. They know moderation, too.

The day passed too quickly. They ate Chinese for lunch and won some prizes. Native Americans from local tribes were represented and many carnival rides were present. The merry-go-round was Marie and Clark's favorite because they could hold hands and rest their feet. They had candied apples in the midafternoon. When Clark and Will tried to ring the bell and didn't, the ladies kidded them.

"How can we tolerate such weakness in our men." Adele pretended to be dismayed.

"Oh woe is me!" she declared

"We will be the laughing stock of the village!" Marie added.

"Watch out, Clark! It looks like she can dish it out!" Will warned.

"Will, if the ladies persist in destroying our dignity, I won't tell them of the news."

"What news?" Marie asked.

"Bernie offered me a job here."

"Are you going to take it?" Marie quickly inquired.

"I don't know. It is tempting but I'd be working with Will some of the time. That’s a drawback!"

They and the other fairgoers began to leave just before sunset. They got to the car and Clark held the door for Marie as Will did for Adele.

Clark said "Bernie offered me more money and I will be in charge of most digs I am a part of. I hate the thought of leaving Sam. He has been great. His respect for my work and his concern makes me think of him as a second father. Leaving him would be like loosing my father again. How about you three help me decide? We'll brainstorm tonight if you all are in the mood."

"Sounds fine to me,” Will said. Adele and Marie nodded in agreement. They got back to Will and Adele's house quickly. They went into the family room. There was a large fireplace and a very large soft sectional sofa.

"That’s a great fireplace. I love fireplaces!" Marie said. "Can we have a fire tonight?"

"As the lady wishes," Will said. "Help me bring in the firewood, Clark."

"Let's get dinner started first. Marie I could use some help, Adele requested."

"What can I do?"

“Here's the makings for salad. We bought some steaks and mushrooms and corn. How's that sound?"


"Marie, it was fun having you along today. I hope we see a lot of you."

"Me, too. I will think a lot about everything you told me. I hope it didn't seem silly."

"Not at all. You have a right to know things if you and Clark stay together. You'll find them out yourself in time but since this might be a long distance romance, finding out quicker is a better way."

Will and Clark returned with the wood for the fire and Will built it. Within minutes the fire was fully started. The ladies brought dinner into the family room. "Anybody hungry? “I thought we could eat at the coffee table," Adele said.

"It looks great! The fire is going and we moved the table closer to the sofa." Clark said. "Let me help you with that." He took the salad from Marie and put it on the table.

She set the places and sat down on the sofa. Adele put the bread and corn between them all. "Enjoy!"

When their appetites were partly sated, they began to talk about Clark's decision. Clark began the discussion "I'm going to write down the ups and downs, and see what that does for me.”

“First, a little more money here and you and Marie could see each other more often.” Adele said.

"GOOD POINT!" Marie said. She moved closer to him and put her arms around his middle.

"Marie dear, I can't write with you sitting so close."

She took his note pad and tossed it on the table. She said "That is the only reason you need to take the job."

He put his arm around her and they sat close. Adele got up and started to pick up the dishes. "Anyone want anything else?"

Everyone said no and what a great meal it was.

"Marie deserves some of the credit."

“Thank you both for a terrific dinner," Will said.

"Here, here,” Clark echoed.

"Adele, you stay here. I'll put the dishes in the kitchen."

"I'll help you, Marie. I want to talk to you a bit." They put the dishes in the sink.

Adele turned to Marie and said "You fit in with this crazy bunch. Best of all you fit with Clark. Let's go see what the guys are doing."

They all cuddled at opposite ends of the sofa while they all talked.

"Thanks for the fire guys." Marie said. "This is great! A good fire, good friends, and a good guy to cuddle with."

"Here, here," Will said.

“Marie, it was a real pleasure having you with us today.”

"Yes, it was," Clark said. He leaned over and kissed the side of her head.

"I concur," Will added. “You are welcome here anytime, Marie."

"Here, here," Adele said. "Four cheers for the four musketeers!"

They all laughed at the new appellation for their gang. Marie was the fourth member and a very welcome addition indeed.

They got comfortable by the warmth of the fire and cuddled and talked. "Adele, why did you and Will come back here from Oregon?"

"After college, we settled near Will's first job. We were content to stay there but after about ten years I realized I wanted to build a long term future with Will. I realized we didn't have any plans for our future and I started becoming restless and Will resisted any of my suggestions for change. Then my dad died and left me this property. I quickly came up with a plan. I thought about this area and I thought it would be a good place to live our life. I like the people and it is an intimate community. I also didn't want to just have everything everyone else has. . .I wanted a lifestyle that was somewhat different than folks typically have here. I thought that with this property we could have a unique home and have a lifestyle that suits us. I got to the point of complete frustration with Will. One day I heard an old song that had a line '. . .Tell him you'll be on the next train if love don't get there first. . .'

"Do you want to tell the rest, Will?"

"No. But I have some things to say when you’re finished."

"I gave him an ultimatum that I was leaving for Missouri in exactly one week with or without him. He decided that coming to Missouri was better than the alternative."

"My turn,” Will said "The night Adele gave me her ultimatum, I snuck out of bed and started packing. I didn't want to be late! I continued to pack until Adele woke up and said 'You have plenty of time. It'll keep until morning.' Her intuition was right. We have a better life than we would have in Oregon. If it isn't better, it is darn good! More coffee anyone?" Will asked. "Did we answer your question?"

"Yes, all three of your stories are interesting. Am I really welcome with you three?"

Clark was the first to answer. "I had a better time with you and these two knuckleheads than I ever had with any other woman and these two knuckleheads. Anytime, Pretty Lady. anytime."

"Here, here!" Will and Adele called out in unison.

Will put another log on the fire. They cuddled in silence for some time. Clark picked up his book and read a few pages with only moderate interest. Marie watched him and put her hand on his leg. She was debating in her mind if she should sleep with him. I'll wait to decide. She kissed him on the cheek. "That's one of your kisses."

"I'm not sure that will qualify as one of the kisses. I wasn't prepared so I didn't fully enjoy it."

"I'll consider redoing it but I think you are just maneuvering for an extra kiss."

“You’re right!”

She put her arms around his middle again and they held each other very close.

Will and Adele announced they were going to bed.

"We should go too," Marie said. They walked hand in hand to their respective rooms. When they got to Marie's room, Clark said "Is this a good time to ask for those kisses?"


He leaned over and kissed her tenderly on one cheek and then the other. He put his arms around her and hugged her firmly.

He leaned over again and she kissed his cheeks. "Your hug now, Clark."

They pulled a short way apart. He looked deeply in her eyes and said "Can we amend our agreement?"

"How would you like to amend it?"

He cupped her cheeks in his hands and gave her a deep, meaningful kiss.

"Or we could amend it like this." They kissed another kiss like the first. He caressed her back and hair and she returned his caresses.

They held each other and kissed for some time. They finally went to their bedrooms. As he turned to go, he said, "Marie, I need to go back to California and resume my life, but I'm coming back."

"She said "I think you have all that you need to make your decision. Goodnight."

She was on her way home fairly early. They had agreed he would call that evening.

"Hi, Clark."

Hi, Marie. How was the drive home? I take it that you got there safely?"

"It was fine. I thought about you a lot and what a nice time I had."

"Me, too. . . about you."

"I told Mom and Dad about our day and they suggested that I invite you for a day here, dinner included. Would you like that?"

"I'd love it! I'm still hoping for that tour of your area and dinner would be fine. Maybe you'll play your violin. I'd love to hear it."

"OK. That's all doable. I have violin lessons to give on Monday and Tuesday. Will Wednesday be alright?"

"Fine. I'll be working on Monday and Tuesday with Will. Wednesday suits my schedule perfectly."

"How about being here at 11:00?"

"Sounds fine. Can I do anything besides showing up?"

"No. We have everything. What would you like to hear me play?"

"Surprise me. I just want to hear you play. I've always thought 'Send in the Clowns' would be wonderful on the violin done in a deep key to avoid the higher pitched sounds. I've always preferred the deeper tones."

"I don't know that song but I'll pick out something short. Have fun with Will."

"Thanks. I will. Can I call tomorrow night?"

"Sure. How come?"

"No reason. Maybe I'll need you to rescue me from Will. He can be a real slave driver at work!"

She laughed and said "If you need to be rescued, I'll be there for you!"

He paused. Be there for me for many reasons. "I'll keep you posted on their shenanigans, too."

"OK. I’d like to hear any news about them. I'll see you Wednesday. Bye for now."


How is Marie?" Will inquired.

"Fine. She invited me up for a visit Wednesday. To look around and dinner and to hear her play her violin."

"Sounds like fun."

"Yes, it does."

"What else is on your mind, Clark?" Adele asked. “You look pensive”

"I've been thinking about Bernie's offer and what to do. I am still having a tough time sorting things out."

"Anything you want to talk about?"

"No. I'm just going to give it a couple days. Maybe my mind will clear or a solution will come to me. Thanks for your support."

"We're always here for you. Anything we can do for you, we will," Will said.

"That goes for me, too," Adele added as she hugged him.

Clark called on Monday.

Jane answered the phone. "Hi, Clark. I suppose you want to talk to Marie?"

"I would but could I have a bit of your time first? I have a question that I think you can best answer."

"I'll try. What is it?"

"Marie seems like an extraordinary woman. She is perfect in the ways I value most in a woman. But. . .she seems afraid of involvement. Do you have any thoughts?"

"Yes. She was hurt badly by her boyfriends in college. I think that is most of it. Another thing you might want to know is that she saw herself as an ugly duckling. She wasn't a part of the popular groups and has always felt there wasn't anywhere she fit in. “That explains her question Saturday. She wondered if she fit in with the three of us."

"I see. Does she?"

"Beautifully. We all enjoyed her company immensely."

"Does all this help, Clark?"

"Yes, very much. I'll see you on Wednesday. May I speak with Marie now."

"Here she is.

"Hi, Clark."

"Hi, Marie. Will and Adele say hello and they want to know when you are coming down again."

"Tell them it will be when I have recovered from Saturday. My side is still sore from laughing!"

"Mine, too. I had a good day with Bernie and Will. Will was tolerable. I think he was trying to fool me into believing he is easy to work with."

"Oh stop it! I'm laughing again. Tell me about your master's project."

"The final result was that we nearly restored a Chinese gold rush town. Grad students since us have completed the restoration work. It is very satisfying to have had a substantial part in preserving that town. Will was the better writer and did most of the writing and I did most of the cleaning and cataloging. We shared the other tasks."

"I think you should be proud, Clark."

"I am. Thank you, Marie. How did the lessons go?"

"They went well. The little girl is quite good for her age and seems to enjoy playing. She'll be ready for her first recital soon. I should be going. I need to get ready for tomorrow's lessons."

“OK. I'll call tomorrow."

"I'd like that."

The next day was much like this one.

When they talked on Tuesday, Marie said "Clark, are you still coming tomorrow? I can give you a tour of the area and I can play something on the violin for you. My parents have invited you to dinner and you can spend the night on the couch if it gets late."

"Great. I'd like that. I'd most like to hear you play. You will receive a reward of one hug for your efforts with the violin. Can you see if Radar O'Reilly will be in town?"

"I'll try to find out. I haven't talked with him in quite a while! Get here about 11:00 and I'll give you the tour and we'll be back in plenty of time for dinner. Mom and Dad want to get to know you better. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yes, tomorrow."

"Adele, Will. Marie has invited me up for the day tomorrow. Can I borrow your car?"

"Sure. When do you want it?"

"About 10:00. Marie said we'd start about 11:00."

Clark tossed and turned until about 2:00 in the morning. He got up at 9:00 and got ready and then paced the floor with his suitcase.

Will said, "Here's the keys. Get the hell out of here before your pacing makes all crazy!"

Clark rushed out and drove there quickly but sanely. He listened to classical music and thought of Marie when he heard violins. I'm nuts! I must be out of my mind! I feel like a school boy with a crush and I like it! I should have my head examined!

He quickly made his way to the hills of southern Iowa but the drive seemed like an eternity.

Clark knocked on the door. It was a modest home on a quiet street. A moment later, Jane answered the door.

"Hi, Clark. It’s good to see you again."

"Thank you, Jane."

Marie poked her head around a corner "Give me twenty minutes."

"Come in, Clark. Would you like a cup of coffee?"

"Sure. I'm not sure I'll have time to finish it. Marie is taking me on a tour of the area today. She said it would take most of the day and we wanted to get an early start."

They went into the kitchen and Jane poured a cup for them. Jim was finishing his late Saturday breakfast. He stood up and smiled. Clark extended his hand. "How are you, Jim?"

"Good. Jane and I are going shopping and running some errands while you and Marie are on your tour."

"Jane, I wonder what is keeping Marie."

"I'll go see. . .Marie, Clark's waiting."

Jim started "You and Marie are spending quite a bit of time together." He looked down at the table and said "I'm sorry." He raised his head and looked at Clark and started again. "I don't mean to pry or sound like a father trying to find out if your intentions are honorable. My reason for saying that is that I'm very pleased that she is smiling a lot again. We know Adele and her family and she has assured us that you are an honorable man and you've also treated us respectfully.

"I'm pleased that she is smiling about me. Will and Adele told me my face looked like I had plastic surgery to give myself a permanent smile. Jim, Marie has many of the things I want and value in a woman. I love everything about the way she looks and moves and talks. All that added to her inner beauty makes her very beautiful to me. I am most pleased to be with her."

Jane returned. "I'm not interrupting any men-only talk am I?"

"No, Honey. We were talking about Marie."

"Good subject," Jane said. "What about Marie?"

“I was wondering about her history, she told me about a boyfriend in college."

"Oh, yes. That was Jake. She was devastated. Without a word to anyone he left and married another girl. She had another boyfriend. He made her laugh. She has always been drawn to people who made her laugh. He was a charmer. He told her he loved her and swore they would always be together. But he was only interested in sex. I don't think that she fully accepts the fact that he used her. She always seemed to feel like she was an ugly duckling in high school. She was prettier than many other girls but she seemed to compare herself to the prettiest girls. She only had one boyfriend in high school. He wasn't at all right for her. They were more like buddies."

"He has a chicken ranch in the next county. Marie is definitely not cut out for a life on a chicken ranch," Jim added.

Jane continued, "She studied hard and played for hours after they went their separate ways. Her violin was a kind of solace. She decided to study music in college and she was first violin in the University of Iowa orchestra and nearly got into Julliard. We're very proud of her."

"She told us you are an archaeologist."

"Yes Historical archaeology. Will and I did a joint project for our master's thesis. We worked together for about a year after school. I've had several jobs since until the current one. I have to get back there in about a week. I'm going to hate to leave here."

"Why, Clark?" Jim asked.

"I haven't seen Will or Adele for years I'd like to stay longer than the two weeks I have and I'm enjoying Marie's company immensely. It haven't had an unpleasant moment with her but she seems to believe I'm not like her previous boyfriends. I suppose it’s understandable."

"Give her time. She'll know what you are about in time. We do."

Marie came in. "What are you talking about?"

"You." Clark stated matter-of-factly. They were telling me about your boyfriends and how proud they are of you."

"Let's go before they get out the old home movies!" Marie took Clark's hand. Let's run!" They headed for Marie's little red Chevy and drove off. They leisurely drove through the small area towns and Marie showed him the schools she had attended, her teen hangouts, and the local historical sites like the courthouse and library. She pointed out other places that had some significance for her. They held hands as they walked and had a burger and greasy fries at her favorite burger stand when she was in high school.

The same waitress who had been there in Marie’s high school days was still working there.

“Hi, Maggie.”

“Hi Marie. I haven’t seen you in a long time. Still playing the violin?

“Yes. I don’t think I will ever give it up. Maggie, this is my friend Clark. He’s visiting his friends in Memphis and is visiting us for the day.”

“Pleased to meet you Clark.”

“Pleased to meet you too, Maggie. Marie has told me a lot about this place.”

“Since you are still alive, I guess our food didn’t poison you!”

They took seats at the counter and Maggie gave them menus.

Marie gave her order to Maggie. “I’ll have the number 2. A burger with everything and fries. Just like the old days!”

“I’ll have the same Maggie.”

“Two number twos coming up!”

They ate but paid more attention to each other as they did to their burgers. Some ketchup and mustard found its way to their clothes.

While Clark was in the bathroom, Maggie asked Marie about Clark.

“Are you and Clark a couple?”

“No. We met on the bus to Ottumwa in Reno. We’re just friends.”

“Seems like more to me.”

“What do you mean, Maggie?”

“I saw the way you looked at him.”


“Yep! If I were you, I’d grab him quick! He’s cute and funny.”

“Yes he is but we are just friends for now.”

“Suit yourself.”

“Maggie, you’re just as bad as my mother! She’s always trying to play matchmaker!”

“I’ll leave you alone but I want an invitation to the wedding!”

Clark returned. “What are you two talking about?”

“My mother, weddings. Not much.”

They proceeded to the high school. A secretary recognized Marie.

“Marie! How are you? We haven’t seen you here since you graduated. What’s new?”

“I came by to give Clark a tour of Ottumwa. I was wondering if you can tell me how I can contact Mrs. Johnston, my music teacher. Her first name was Edith.”

“Sorry, Marie but we can’t give out that information but we can forward a message for you.”

Marie quickly wrote a short note and handed it to the secretary. Clark made a mental note of the secretary’s name.

Their day passed too quickly for both of them.

"I think we should be heading home. Mom said dinner will be about five."

"OK. Please help me remember to take this book. "Why did you bring it today?"

"I have only a few pages left and I've been carrying it with me over the last few days in case I get time to read. “

They got back on time and Marie helped her mother set the table while Clark and Jim talked in the living room.

"Clark, would you mind if I asked you some questions?"

"No. Marie and I have been spending a lot of time together for two people who hardly know each other. I have wondered what you and Jane think of this whole thing. You have a right to be concerned."

“Marie has told us you are a historical archaeologist. What is that like?"

"We excavate historical sites unlike sites that predate recorded history. Did Marie tell you about our Master's project?"

"Yes. It sounded fascinating."

"It often is. For some, it can be a lot of tedium. One needs a certain sort of temperament to do it for a living. Overall, I'm quite content doing it. Maybe Will can show you a dig sometime.“

"I'd like that!"

“Or maybe he can dig up a murder victim like we did on one of our first digs after college."


“Yep. We found a skeleton and excavated it and found a bullet hole in the back of the head. We quickly determined it was a male and suspected it was an old burial. There was a lack of soft tissue, only a little hair and a skeleton usually has to have been buried quite a while to be stained as it was. The coroner was able to determine that he had been buried about eighty years before. They matched some buttons with some made about 80 years before to date it.

May I ask you a question, Jim?"

"Sure. You've been open with us. I suppose we can return the effort."

"What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a general contractor. I've been able to support my family comfortably with it for many years."

"What do you and Jane think of Marie and I spending all this time together?” Clark asked.

"Jane and I think you are a good man for Marie and we see you as an honorable man We're not concerned."

"Thank you, Jim. Clark smiled broadly and shook Jim's hand. "I'm getting hungry. How about you?"

"Let's get into the kitchen. The ladies should have dinner ready. How old are you?"

"I'll be forty in April."

"You're quite a bit older than Marie. She's 26."

"Is that going to be a problem?"

"Not for me and I doubt it will be for the ladies."

They sat down to dinner. Jim said "You're sitting next to Marie, Old Man!"

"My favorite place to sit."

Jane asked "Jim, what did you mean by ‘old man’?"

"Nothing much. Clark told me he will be forty in April."

"Oh. That's a good age. Marie is 26. Her birthday is in July."

"What do you think Marie?" Jane asked.

"It is a bit of a shock."

"Is that going to be a problem?"

"I don’t think so. Let's eat!"

They chatted over dinner and learned a bit more about the others.

"Can we ask about your family, Clark?" Jim inquired.

"I have aunts and uncles and cousins spread all over the country. Mom died about four years ago and Dad died just after Will and Adele visited about a year and a half ago."

At one point, Clark said "I'm going to call Sam tomorrow and talk to him. Friday, Will and I are going shopping and touring of his area."

"Please let me know what Sam says, Clark,” Marie said.

After dinner, Jane said "We have a surprise for you and Marie, Clark. Let's go into the family room. The dishes will wait."

Marie and Clark sat together and Jim said "Jane and I thought about this surprise and agreed that it would be a very good idea to do it. We picked it up today and we haven't seen it yet so it will be new for all of us." No one saw him push the play button on the VCR remote.

"What is it, Dad?" Marie asked.

"Watch the TV. We had our home movies put on tape."

"Not the home movies!" Marie exclaimed. This is so embarrassing! Mom, I am disowning Dad!

“Don't you want to see your concerts?”

"Oh. Yes I would. But, Mom, I'm now considering disowning you and Dad! I wonder if Will and Adele will let me rent a room."

The first image on the screen had only the words 'Our Marie' on it. It quickly faded to a little dark haired girl taking her first steps.

"This is so embarrassing!"

"I like it. You were adorable!" Clark said.

"Do I have to disown you, too?"

"You can't disown people who aren't family."

"Then you'll never get to be family!"


"This is so embarrassing!” Marie repeated.

They finally got to her concert at University of Iowa though there was no sound.

"We were so proud of her that night!" Jim said. The video finished and Jane got up and said "We'll see you another time, Clark. We're going to bed so you two can talk."

"Good night." Clark said " Thanks for a terrific dinner . . .and the entertainment!"

"It was so embarrassing!”

They sat again and talked. I'm spending the day with Will tomorrow and Friday we are hanging out in town."

"That should give you some time to talk about guy things."

"Yep!" You're coming down Friday?"

"Yep! I wouldn't miss it! Have you said all that you need to say today?"

"Yes. That about covers it. What is on your mind?"


"Sounds like a terrific idea to me!"

They cuddled and kissed and caressed for about an hour until it was time to go.

"Clark whispered "I want to make love with you."

"Me, too but not here. Friday. . .I have a nightie you might like. . . I'll bring it. . ."

"That sounds wonderful, Honey. I should be going before we embarrass ourselves. I'll save all this desire for Friday."

"Me, too."

Clark went to the door and kissed her a final time. “Good night, Sweetheart."

"Good night, Honey." she answered. "Friday."

He called Sam the next day. "Hello?" He recognized the voice as Irene, Sam's wife and fellow archaeologist. "This is Clark."

"Hi, Clark. We've missed you around here. What can I do for you?"

"I need to talk to Sam."

“Sam is on his cell phone today. You'll have to try him there. How are things going for you on vacation?"

"Terrific!" I've got a lot to report. But I really need to talk to Sam. He can tell you all about it. Thanks Irene. I'll see you next week. I'll talk to Sam now."

"Hi Sam" Clark said.

"Hi Clark. When can we expect you back?"

"Tuesday. But I need to talk to you about a more personal matter if you can take the time."

"Sure. What is it?"

He told him of Marie and his job offer and his feelings about leaving his job.

"You've always been like a second father and friend. You took a chance on me when I was starting out."

"I didn't feel like I was taking a chance. You seemed like a sure thing, Clark. I have long thought that something in your life was missing and Marie sounds like the missing something. I want your happiness as much as if you were my son and families sometimes go their separate ways. You are NOT being disloyal to me by being loyal to yourself. Whatever you decide, you are always welcome here for any reason and if you need to talk, you can call anytime. And if you ever want a job, bring Will with you! How is he?"

"He and Adele are doing very well. They send their best. Thanks, Dad!"

"Talk to you soon, Son! Oh! One other thing, if there is a wedding you have to invite Irene and I!"

"Deal! I'll see you on Tuesday."

“We’ll pick you up if you can call us ahead of time.”

“Great idea! I’ll call from the bus.”

Clark told Will and Adele about his talk with Sam. "He said I wasn't being disloyal. He was great about the whole thing." More tears ran down Clark's cheeks. They both hugged him.

"Have you made up your mind yet?" Adele asked. "I think the answer is right in front of you."

"Yeah, what have you decided, Friend?"

"I want some more time to think. I told Marie I would call today."

That evening, Marie had a talk with her parents. "Marie, what's going on between you and Clark," Jane asked.

"What do you mean, Mom?"

"You called him Honey and I've never seen such a big smile on your face!"

Oh Mom, you’re always the matchmaker!"

"No! I'm just curious about such a big development in my daughter's life."

"Me too, Marie," Jim said.

“OK, Mom and Dad. Can we talk as friends instead of parents and daughter for a little while?"

"Yes," Jane said. Jim nodded his agreement.

"What is your impression of Clark?"

Jim said, "He acts respectfully and he is certainly intelligent. In the ways I know him, he seems to be the kind of man I would want as my daughter's husband."

Jane said, "I heard the song 'True Love Ways' the other day. With your interest in music, I'm sure you have heard it."

“Yes. I've heard it."

“I think Clark has true love ways."

“Really? That's all you have to say?"

"Yes. I think a man who has the heart and mind to have true love ways is someone who will be good to you. That's about all I have to say. He reminds me of your father in the ways he treats you."

Marie thought for several moments. "I'll think about what you said, Mom. Thank you.

"I think Clark is wonderful and he is many good things but I wonder if we are possibly rushing into things. What if we get married and find out we are wrong for each other?"

"You never really know someone until you live with them. You have to take some chances. Your father and I only knew each other about a month before we got married. We took a chance on each other and we are sure of our decision. I was even more sure then than you are now but I didn't question my decision like you are. The questioning you are doing is good. We will support any decision you make."

"I agree with everything your mother said. Give your mind a rest and give yourself time. Clark will be available by phone if you need to take more time. I think you might talk to Will and Adele about him. They seem the best people to talk to."

"Adele already said Clark will come back if he said so and he has. Thanks Mom and Dad.”

Just then the phone rang.


"Hi, Honey," Clark said.

"Hi, Honey," she said. “What's on your mind?"

"I want to tell you something. I talked to Sam and he said I needn't feel disloyal. His gracious words helped to relieve my guilt or whatever it was I was feeling."

"Good. Have you decided anything?"

"Yes. I want to see a lot more of you."

"Me, too."

"Have you packed your nightie?"

"Not yet. But it's out and ready to go."

"Fine. I'm going to go now. I could use a nap."

“OK. See you Friday.”

He set the phone down and picked up his note pad again and tried to write down some more reasons to help him with his decision but the one on the page remained alone. He slammed the notepad down.

"Screw it!" I'm going to lie down.” He slept until dinner time. When he awoke, he told Adele and Will "I feel better but still no decision."

"It will come to you when it is time."

That night went agonizingly slow for Clark even though his day with Will was very pleasant. They arrived back home about 4:30. Adele said "Clark you had a call from Marie at about 4:00. She said she was leaving then.

Before she left, Marie asked her parents if she could talk to them again.

"Mom, Dad, can I talk to you? As friends?"

"Of course. What is it, Honey?"

"Well, I don't know how to start. What would you say if I said I'm going to sleep with Clark tonight?"

"I think you should make your own decision," Jane said.

Jim took Marie's hand and said "I think you should follow whatever is drawing you to Clark. Follow it wherever it leads you."

"But you two always said I should wait until marriage!"

Jane replied "Times change and we've changed. You are quite capable of making good decisions and if our modern daughter wants to do differently, she should feel free to do it. If I had it to do over again, I would have slept with your dad sooner."

"If I had only known!" Jim quipped. "Have we helped?"

"Are you in love with him?" Jane asked.

“Yes. I am in love with him and I want to be with him in every way. I'm going now. I'll call. . . “ She rushed out the door and sped away in her little red Chevy even more quickly.

Clark stepped out to the front porch with Will and Adele. Will put his arm around Clark's shoulder. "What is it, Friend?"

"Will, I'm in love with Marie."

"What's new?"

"Smart Ass!"

"Remember what we used to say in college? 'Everybody likes a little ass but nobody likes a smart ass.'"

Clark chuckled. "Thanks for the laugh, Friend."

Adele joined them in a hug. "I think you two should be together somewhere. You love each other and you're good for each other."

"I sure feel loved by her. I think you're right but where? How?"

That's a call for you and Marie to make, Clark."

Just then Marie pulled into the driveway. Clark rushed to meet her. They hugged tightly.

"I drove like a crazy person getting here. I love you, Clark."

"I love you too, Marie. Let's go in," Clark suggested. Something Adele said helped me make up my mind about us. . .at least part of us."

Once inside, Adele said "Make yourself at home. You know where everything is."

Marie put her suitcase in Clark's room and came back to the sofa. "Clark, I see your list isn't any longer.”

He picked up the notepad and stared at it "No."

“Will, Adele, will you join us? I've made a decision."

They hurried to the sofa.

"I'm going back to California. . .but only to get my stuff and to say goodbye and thanks to Sam! The answer was so simple! I was blinded by my feelings about leaving Sam and couldn't see it! Adele said 'I think you two should be together somewhere'.

"What Adele said sounds right to me," Marie said.

"It was the where not the who was getting in my way. I want to marry you, Marie, and be with you. The where of it really doesn't matter but I will take Bernie's offer and get married and settle here. "I do want a change of scenery. I'll need everybody’s help. First, Marie will have to marry me."

Marie squeezed his hand and said with a huge smile and "Yes, I will marry you, Clark."

Will and Adele will have to put me up until I get settled."

"It's as good as done!"

"What else will you need?" Adele asked.

"You will be babysitting, Adele. Marie, I recall that you told me during our tour that you want four kids. That sounds like a good number to me."

"Will can call Bernie and I will need a ride to the bus depot on Sunday. Jane will have to make some wedding plans and Jim should help us ge

Submitted: March 26, 2015

© Copyright 2023 SCS21449. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Alyson Williams

I liked this story but possibly it would be better broken into chapters. I have a bit of trouble with real long reads. Probably just me but...

Thu, March 26th, 2015 7:46pm


I have trouble with long reads,too. AND long writes. That's why only short stories.

Thu, March 26th, 2015 4:05pm


Very wonderful story... I like the "Old fashioned" values that it incorporated!

Mon, February 15th, 2016 7:23am

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