intrigue

Note: This is a work of FICTION! Although the areas this story takes place in are real; all of the landscapes depicted, the people described, and everything else this story uses to make it enjoyable reading for you are NOT REAL. As you read this story, try to remember:



This is a Novel




82. A Dress Rehearsal



It was bound to happen sooner or later, but with Patricia’s wedding quickly approaching on October 16, and Sharon’s wedding planned for December 18, the wedding gowns had to start coming together. Carolina did not realize that the families were interconnected in any way. She scheduled fittings for both brides on a Sunday, at noon, when only they and their entourages would be in the salon.



Paul and Rita flew Patricia to New York alone, where she was picked up by limousine, and driven to the salon. After she undressed, she was told to stand on a low platform. Women, standing on short ladders, began lowering the gown over her head. Every few inches, they would stop; add a piece of tape or a straight pin to hold the fabric together, and continue moving it down her body. The process was painstakingly slow. Patty’s arms had to be held up in the air during most of the transition time.



Sharon Williams was flown to New York by Julia Atwater on Friday. However, she was not alone. Debbie and Danni pouted all week, until Sharon gave in and allowed them to go with her.



Dolores, Harmony, and Melody Free, completed the group going to New York. Sharon and Dolores could not count the times they told the girls to stop giggling. Their telepathic communication was in high gear.



Dolores asked, “Sharon, you are sending these 2 to the University of Maryland, right?”



“Yes, why do you ask?”



“That settles it; those two are going to University of Oregon. We have to keep them apart for their own good.”



Harmony said, “Mother, if you mean that, I am going to fail every course, I take this year, and when I take the SATs, I will get the lowest score anyone ever received.”



Sharon laughed. “Dolores, the problem with children today is they are smarter than their parents.”



“Disgusting, isn’t it?”



They landed at LaGuardia Airport, where a contingent of FBI cars was waiting for them. The four youngsters piled into one GMC Yukon, before their mothers could say anything. Sharon, Dolores, and Julia got into another one. Traffic was light, and it took them only 35 minutes to get to their hotel. They spent Saturday going to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the World Trade Center site. That evening, after dinner, they went to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway. By the time they returned to their rooms, the girls barely had enough strength to undress and climb into bed.



Patty was standing in the center of the viewing area, while Carolina looked on. The seamstresses continued the delicate process of putting her dress on, because in its current state, a sneeze would tear it apart.



Patricia heard people walking in to the viewing room, but could not see any of them because of the position of the dress. She did hear comments on how beautiful it gown was as it was positioned more closely to her head.



Everyone took a seat around the perimeter of the area, except Harmony, and Melody. Their brains were working overtime. They knew something special was happening, but they could not put their fingers on it. When her head cleared the high collar of the gown, the twins yelled with glee, ‘Patty,’ and charged at her.



Carolina and the seamstresses looked on in horror as the girls tackled Patricia to the ground. The dress was no longer a dress. It was now 10 pieces of fabric lying on the floor. They could not understand why Patty was laughing hysterically, and kissing both girls.



Sharon and Julia’s mouths were on the floor. Dolores was trying not to laugh as she explained to them how her two children had bonded with Patty, and when she disappeared and then had her stroke, they were heartbroken.



Finally, Dolores yelled at her two children, “Enough, you have ruined her dress, and now these ladies have to put it back together quickly. Her wedding is in three weeks, get off for now.”



Harmony replied, “We will get off her if we can go to the wedding.”



“Your father and I were invited, not you.”



Patty said, “Your invitations will be in the mail tomorrow.”



“Michael is going to have a fit when he hears you invited them.”



“I don’t think so Dolores. Just ask him how his new computers are running. I have been working on a new program that is better and more covert than the ‘Garden of Eden.’ I would love to try it on the NSA’s new Cray 5 Computer, if he will let me.”



Julia interrupted all this talking to introduce the only two people in the room that did not know each other. “Patricia Zabo, this is my niece, Sharon Williams.



Patricia smiled at Sharon. “My father and your uncle are very good friends. I hope that we can become friends also. How is Fred doing in his recovery?”



“He wants to go back to work now, but my uncle will not let him until after the first of the year.”



“Isn’t the Attorney General going to announce his resignation after the first of the year so he can run for president?”



“Aunt Julia, I guess the cat is out of the bag.”



“Sharon, it is the worst secret ever kept. You should see the guest list for my wedding. I have no family except my father and his wife. Stephano’s family is tied up with the New York Mafia, and 99% of them will not be invited. James Green, your uncle’s political strategist, sent us a list of people to be invited to our wedding. All of them are political bigwigs and people with very deep pockets. The price of admission is a minimum of $5 million towards your uncle’s campaign. We have not received a negative response yet.”



Carolina yelled, “All this family talk is wonderful, but I have to put Patricia dress back together, and work on Sharon’s dress. If you two teenagers can back off for a while, we can get to work.”



Patricia told the twins to sit down and they would talk.



Melody pointed to Danni and Debbie and said, “They can too.”



“Really, this should be fun.”



******



Four hours later, Patricia’s dress was back together, and stitched in areas that had been held together by tape.



Sharon’s sitting was easier. They were still using paper to make outlines of her body, and deciding on fabrics to be used. Julia, Dolores, and Carolina were arguing over the best fabrics to use on Sharon.



Patty sensed Sharon’s mind and she knew the fabrics she wanted for her gown. She stayed in the background, because she felt everyone else knew better than she did.



Patty asked, “Whose wedding is this? Is it Sharon’s, or is it yours? She knows the fabrics, designs and colors she wants to use, but you three are bulldozing her into things she doesn’t want. If you keep this up you are going to have one unhappy bride on your hands.”



Julia took Sharon’s hands in hers, and apologized. “I can be a little overbearing at times, can’t, I?”



“Just a little; but with a little bit more, I am sure you could move Gibraltar. You are going to make one fantastic first lady.”



“You, my dear, are going to be one heck of a politician. First, you insult me, and then you kiss my ass, so I can’t be angry with you. Pick out your fabrics, and let’s get this show on the road.”



By the time everything was done it was nearly 6 o’clock and the girls were moaning for food.



Patty asked if they wanted the best Italian food they had ever eaten.



In unison the girls yelled, “Wendy’s!”



Patty looked at them, and repeated her question, subliminally.



They responded, “Yes Patty, we would love Italian food.”



Patty took out her cell phone, and punched in Imperiali’s restaurant. Lucinda answered the phone, and Patty asked if they had time for a party of 20.



“Absolutely Patty; you bring them, and we will feed them.”



She called her father, and said, “Dad, I have the Attorney General’s wife, Julia, and a host of other people. We are going to Imperali’s; would you, Jemma, and Junior like to join us?”



“Give my regards to Julia, but we cannot join you tonight. Jemma is feeding little William now, and the way he is going at her breasts, that young man will have her back to a 38D in no time.”



“It sounds like he takes after his father.”



“No Patty, I think he is better than I am.”



“Alright, dad, I will see you another time.”



“Alright baby, have fun tonight.”



They did have fun that evening, and Julia wanted to know why Michael and Lucinda did not open a restaurant in downtown Manhattan and become famous for their food.



Michael took out a folder containing accolades from every newspaper food critic in the five boroughs, New Jersey, and Connecticut, extolling the virtues of his restaurant. He told her he was already famous, and when Lucinda took over, if she wanted to open a restaurant downtown, it would be her decision, not his.



The girls had school in the morning, and dinner broke up at 10:30 PM. The FBI team got onto the Major Degan Expressway using its lights and sirens to speed to the airport. Julia’s Jetstar was ready to go when she got there. Everyone buckled up, and the aircraft was in the air 15 minutes later. Several commercial jets waiting for takeoff were not happy when this little jet received priority in the takeoff queue.



By the time Julia was wheels up at LaGuardia, Patricia was landing at Glens Falls. Stephano greeted her, she cleared the rotor blades, and the helicopter took off for the Airpark, on the other side of the city.



“Why are you so late?”



“I had a marvelous time today, Steph. I met Michael’s twins and his wife, Dolores, while I was being fitted for my gown. The girls were so happy to see me; they charged, and tackled me to the ground. My dress came apart, and everyone, except the girls and I were in shock. They had to put it back together, while I was there. Sharon, the Attorney General’s niece had her first fitting for her gown. By the time we were done, everyone was starving, so I took them to Imperiali’s for dinner.”



“Did you bring me back anything to eat?”



“It’s nearly midnight, Steph; I thought you would be in bed by now.”



“You went out for Italian food and didn’t bring me anything to eat? Prepare your backside woman; that is a capital offense, and I am going to take it out of your hide.”



“That is the reaction I thought I would get from you. Go back to where the helicopter landed, and pick up the two large thermal bags Rita left for you. You are not getting your hands on my ass, until after we are married, and maybe not even then.”



Stephano kissed her and said, “Don’t count on it. Our wedding is still three weeks away, and heaven knows you will screw up between now and then.”



“Tomorrow morning, send Michael’s twins an invitation to the wedding. Also send an invitation to Fred Hastings, Sharon Williams, and their four children. Sharon is the Attorney General’s niece, and Fred is the man who saved his life. Those six young women will have a blast together. I think we are going to need a larger dance floor.”



“Will one half acre be enough?”



“I think that will be fine, as long as you make a separate area for the orchestra.”



“No problem, I will call the contractor in the morning, I want it up and inspected a week before the wedding.”



“Did you order a bright sunshiny day for my wedding?”



“Patricia, I don’t have any control…”



“Stephano Valentino, I don’t want any excuses. I want a bright sunshiny day for my wedding. If I don’t get one, you will be a gelding that evening.”



“If your mother pays me a visit, I will discuss it with her.”



“Don’t discuss it with her, tell her. I am pissed with her that she’s not going to be here.”



“Patty, she told you it was the only way for us to meet.”



“I know, but it is still a very hard choice for me. You have no idea how much I miss her.”



“How much would you miss me, Patricia?”



“I would miss you desperately Stephano; that is the truth. That is why I said it would be a tough choice for me. I want you both, but I can only have one of you.”



“She said she would be here for your wedding.”



“Yes, but it won’t be the same. She won’t be able to help me dress. I won’t be able to hug her, kiss her, and cry with her. It won’t be the same.” She leaned into Stephano’s chest, and began to weep.



He kissed her snow-white hair, but could not offer any words of consolation. He walked her in to their motorhome, put his packages on the kitchen table, and sat with her, until she had recovered from her somber mood.



Three more weeks of this, he thought. My father caused all this pain, and there is not a damned thing I can do about it. I will just help her hang on through the wedding, and kick Brad’s ass if he doesn’t come through with great plans for the house tomorrow. If the construction can start, it will give her mind something else to think about.



*******



Donna and Brad Goodman arrived the next morning, at 10:30 AM, with the plans for the new house. Donna stayed in the background as Brad explained every detail. He had done magnificent job, both inside and out. However, there were two glaring errors, and Patty asked him what they were.



Donna smiled like a Cheshire cat, because she knew what they were and never said a word to her son. He had poured his heart and soul into these plans. He knew that this was the best work, he was capable of doing.



“What did I screw up on, Patty? I don’t see any errors on these plans. If there are any, I have to find a new line of work.”



“Brad, look at your mother’s face.”



He turned, looked at his mother, and said, “You know, and you didn’t tell me.”



Donna smiled at her son. “All you had to do was look at the design specifications; they were right there in front of your eyes.”



Brad rolled the huge blueprints over to the design specification page and went down each one line by line, and ticked them off with a light pencil mark. When he got to the roofing material, it read, “50 year asphalt shingle roof.” He was ticking it off with his pencil, when he saw a very light asterix*, and as his head hit the table, he mumbled, “SHIT!” He went to the addendum page, where he found the manufacturer, and design specifications for the solar panels to be installed on the roof.



Donna said to him, “There is one more mistake; find it, and fix it.”



“Mom, you could’ve told you that in the office, and I would feel like such an idiot.”



“Architectural design is a learning process. You are learning. This is not school, where your professor gives you grade. The mistakes you made could cost you a commission. Find your errors, and fix them.”



Brad returned to the design specification page, and continued to tick off everything he knew he had done. When he got to the windows, he spotted another *. He made sure that they were solar coated with 80% refraction rate and was not sure what he had done incorrectly. He returned to the addendum page and read what they wanted.



He turned to his mother, and asked, “Do they make windows that produce electricity for private homes?”



“Yes they do. They are mostly designed for commercial buildings, but you can special order them for private homes.”



“I had no idea. I just graduated and they never mentioned it to us in school. I am going to have to refigure the amount of energy the house is going to need from the barn and the windmill. We may be able to use a smaller dual-walled Heartland tank for the natural gas backup system, and if I change to a natural wood fireplace in the great room, you may not need to use the backup system at all during the winter.”



Stephano said, “No Brad that would add pollution to the area. Run the natural gas line to the fireplace, because we can use it for an outdoor grill also.”



“That will work out fine, Stephano. I will take the plans back to the office, make a few calls. I will have the plans back to you, in less than a week.”



Donna said, “Brad, go to the car and bring me the plans that are in the back seat.”



He brought them back in, opened them, and saw the house with the two modifications.



His mom said, “You did such a wonderful job, I wasn’t going to let Patty wait any longer to have the crews start working on her house. Sign your name at the bottom of the blueprints and let’s take them down to Building and Zoning for their approval. I’m very proud of the work you did on this house. If you keep it up, you can become a valued member of our firm, or do you still want become a gigolo?”



“No mom, I think I can become pretty good at this.”



“Good, in that case, grandma said you can have your Corvette back.”



Patty laughed, “Remember Donna, ‘Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child!”



“You have him for 7 more months, Patty. I am sure we can figure something out between us to keep him on the straight and narrow.”



“You mean the three of us, Donna. He just loves ‘Timeless.’ Would you like me to show you?”



Brad shouted, “You keep that god damn horse away from me.”



Patty said, “Be nice, Brad, or I will have her shit all over the drivers’ seat.”



“I’ll get her a bucket of oats now.”



Stephano laughed heartily. “Brad, how many times have you been told not to piss her off.”



Brad turned blue as he held his breath, and his tongue, but did not reply.



“Brad that was is probably the smartest non-sentence, you have ever not spoken.”



*******



As the responses began coming back from Stephano’s family members, they all replied “No.” Letters came back with congratulations, but if you cannot invite my father, uncle, brother, or cousin, I will not attend. He was not surprised. However, this left him with a problem; he did not have anyone for a best man. When he discussed it with Patty, they were both at a loss. She did not have a male relative that could stand in for him. Then, they looked at each other and smiled as they came to the same conclusion.



“Patty, he will shit a brick.”



“No, he won’t; because I will have his best friend standing next to us.”



They called him and asked him to come out to their house on a matter of great urgency. When he arrived, they were standing in the meadow with ‘Timeless,’ and several other horses, feeding them grain.



He proudly drove onto the property, in his gleaming yellow Corvette, and parked close to the motorhome.



He walked over to them and asked, “What is the problem guys; is it the house?”



“No Brad, we absolutely love the way you planned the house. We have a problem only you can solve for us.”



As Patty began discussing this with him, she had the horses make a circle around the three of them. This made Brad very uncomfortable.



“What can I do for you, Patty?”



“Our problem is no one from Stephano’s family will be attending our wedding. This leaves him without a best man.”



‘Timeless, ‘come here baby.’ The horse walked a few feet to Patty, and she was rewarded by having her ears scratched, especially the left one, which she loved the most.



“As I was saying, Stephano does not have anyone for a best man, and we would like you to stand up for him. We know you would love to do that for us, wouldn’t you, Brad?”



Brad snarled, “I wouldn’t stand up for either of you, even if you were both going to show up at the church naked.”



Patty said, “‘Timeless,’ “Yellow car baby, go to the yellow car.”



Stephano laughed. “Brad, how many times do I have to tell you not to piss her off?”



“Patty, you wouldn’t dare do that to my car. I just had it washed.”



Stephano looked at him in wonder. “Brad, do you want me to hit you over the head to knock some sense into you. She will do it, not only this time, but every time you come here, and you will have to clean it up time and time again. Remember, you owe her more than seven months of your life. You could be picking up horseshit, with your bare hands, for the duration of that time.”



Brad fell to his knees, and begged. “Please don’t do that to my car. I would love to be Stephano’s best man. I will carry the rings with care, I will smile, I will buy my own tuxedo, and shoes. I will do what you ask, but don’t do that to my car.”

“It’s too late Brad; you need an object lesson to understand that I mean business. You must learn not to piss me off. I have a very short fuse with Stephano. I have a shorter fuse with my father, and the Director of the FBI. I have no fuse at all with people like you, when they piss me off. You can ask the Director of the NSA.”



“The Director of the NSA was involved in an accident. He is dead.”



“He will never piss me off again, will he?”



“Holy Shit, you caused that accident?”



“It was not an accident; you should have read that in the newspaper. I take the Fifth Amendment on the second part of that question. Second, the government has settled the case for the NSA’s attempt on my life for $400 million. My dad didn’t have to file a lawsuit to get me that money. He talked to the Attorney General, and brought in one witness. You could say Stephano and I are rich beyond our wildest dreams. It does not include any money we are going to get when we sue his estate. He was worth more than $150 million, and we anticipate getting more than half of it. We can afford your house, the hanger, a pool, and a tennis court, now.”



“Do you want me to add those to the plans now, or add them later?”



“I don’t want to do anything that will slow down the beginning of construction on the main house.”



“Okay, we will add those after we start construction. One other thing, since I had accepted the position of Stephano’s best man, would you please adopt me?”



“Brad, you come from money. You have a grandmother who is loaded. A mother who is very rich, and has a business that is very prosperous. If you work hard you can become rich in your own right. Our house is gorgeous. Use it in your advertising, and if you are really nice, get your head out of your ass and on straight, we will let you use our names as references.”



Patty turned and looked at her favorite horse. “Good girl ‘Timeless.’ Come here, and get your oats.”



Brad looked at his car and saw a load of horseshit on its hood. He screamed, “No, it’s going to ruin the paint job.”



Stephano was laughing away. “If I were you, I would hose it off in a hurry. I believe that is your object lesson for today.”



Brad looked at Patty, and was about to say a few choice words, when Stephano yelled, “Don’t piss her off.”



Brad, closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and said, “You are looking very lovely in that dress today, Patty.”



“Thank you Brad, I have nothing on underneath it.”



Brad could not take any more, and he exploded. “You cock teasing bitch.” He stormed off to clean his car.



Stephano grabbed her around her shoulders, kissed her head, and continued to laugh. “Was that absolutely necessary?”



“No, but it was fun.”



“Can I check to see if you were telling the truth?”



“Sure.”



Stephano knelt down in front of her, picked up the front of her dress, put his head under it, and let it collapse over his shoulders.



“Steph, what the heck are you doing?”



“We are giving Brad another object lesson. Call him; ask him how his car is coming along.”



“Brad, is your car clean, yet?”



He was spraying the hood of the ‘Vette,’ with water, when he answered. “Why do you want to know, Patty? Do you want to send another horse over, so she can dump another load on it?” He turned to hear her reply, and soaked himself with the hose, when he saw the position Stephano was in. “What the fuck are you doing now?”



Patty replied, “Stephano is nearsighted. He is checking to see if I have panties on.”



Stephano pulled his head out from underneath her dress, and stood up. “Brad, she does not have panties on, but I think she is going bald. I keep finding these little white hairs under my tongue, in between my teeth, and they are really a nuisance. I think I will shave them all off her. What do you think?”



Brad was beyond thinking. He yelled, “I am absolutely sure you deserve each other, because I hate you both equally.”



“Would you like to join us for lunch?”



“What are we having?”



“Vegetable Risotto; she has had its simmering since last evening.”



“Sure, I’ll stay.”



************



“Patty, you may be great with numbers, but you are an excellent cook. I have never eaten anything better than the two meals you have given me. If you say that to my grandmother, pick out a spot on your property, and plan to bury me there.”



Patty and Stephano laughed. “Brad, I think I would have to cremate you first, because I believe it’s illegal to bury a body on personal property. I will check for you, but I will try not to mention it to your grandmother.”



“When did you have time to learn all this stuff? You said you had your nose in your books all during high school, and college. You argued with your professors at every turn, and wrote two programs that can shut down and bring back up computers in foreign countries. I find it amazing that you had time to sleep.”



“Brad, you are forgetting that I did not do one thing that you and Stephano did all through college and graduate school. It freed up so much of my time, I could have re-written the entire British version of the English language dictionary with the time and energy you used, pursuing, courting, and screwing everything in a skirt. Mind you, that Stephano is teaching me, within the bounds of my restrictions, that these pursuits are quite exciting, but they are also distracting and very time-consuming. They sap every ounce of energy out of your body, even though your mind is reveling in the afterglow.”



He looked at them and said, “You are talking like that, and he has not fucked you yet?”



“Brad, watch your mouth. She has a wicked right cross, and she kicks like a mule. I have been on the receiving end of both, and I was sore for weeks.”



“Okay, I am sorry for my rude outburst. I was caught very much by surprise. Let me get this straight. You two sleep together every night, and from what I just gleaned from your conversation, I would have to assume that you are thoroughly familiar with each other’s bodies. Am I correct so far?”



Stephano pulled Patty onto his lap, and smiled. “You are 100% correct. We both sleep in the nude. Whenever the mood strikes either one of us, playtime begins. You know her academic grade point average throughout her school years was never below 4.0. In bed, they are going to have to find a new scale, once she gets started. She loves being spanked, and she comes like a freight train. She loves when I am tender with her, and I have to stop her, before we go too far. I have often wished I could take her to the justice of the peace, marry her, and ravish her on the floor in front of him. However, that is not what I promised her. I made mistakes before. I will not make another one; not with my Patty.”



She nuzzled her head into the crook of his arm and chest as he said those wonderful things about her. He had changed into the man she wanted him to be: Respectful of her feelings, but a strong and forceful man.



“Brad, how much longer before you can pour the foundation for the new house.”



“I have to wait until building and zoning gives me the okay. After that it’s full speed ahead.”



“How confident are you they will approve the plans as they are?”



“They will see my signature at the bottom of the plans, but they know my mother has gone over every inch of those plans before we submitted them. They have never rejected any of her plans before, and I don’t expect them to start now. What do you have in mind?”



“Here is what I want you to do. I want you to tear down the fences for all the properties we own. All the families are gone, and the closings are coming up soon. It will not cause any problems, and I want it done now. I want all the building material for the exterior of the house, with the exception of the windows, on-site as soon as possible. As you know money is no problem. Get the bulldozers out here, take up the old foundation, and get rid of it. As soon as it’s gone, I want the surveyors out here. The northern most house is to be torn down. I want the natural gas tank and generator to be located underground in the northeast corner of that property. The remainder of the area will be planted with trees and a meadow to counteract the carbon footprint. The day after our wedding, I want the new pad poured. I know you are going to tell me that you have to run the copper pipes for the water lines and the PVC for the sewage system, but Brad my friend, and my best man, as my mother-in-law has said to me time and time again, “You are a smart young man, you figure it out.”



“Stephano, Patricia’s mom is dead.”



“I know that Brad, but would you tell that to the woman who keeps showing up in my dreams, and on this property and tells me what to do, for and to her daughter.”



Brad got up from his chair, and thanked both of them for a wonderful meal. He said he would get right on the tasks they assigned to him, and wish them both well on their way to the psychiatric ward, because they were both nuts. He bolted out of the motorhome, and started running towards his car. He had not taken 10 steps from the door when he stopped, and yelled, “No!”



A woman in boots, jeans, and a shirt said, “Is this your damn car?”



Brad replied, “Yes it is, and what are you doing?”



“You can’t park the car all the way back here. I have to wash down these horses, until the idiot that built the barn turns the on the water main. It’s real pretty, inside and out, but without running water, it’s useless.”



“Listen lady, I don’t know who you are, but I designed that barn and the water works. It’s been tested by the city and by me. All you have to do is turn on the spigot, and you will get all the water you want. Now get these horses away from my car so I can leave.”



“Sonny, you look like a bright young boy, you turn on the spigot and bring me back a bucket of water. If you do, you can pour it over my head. If you don’t, I’m going to pour a bucket of horseshit all over your car.”



“You come with me; I will pour the water, over your head, in the barn.”



Brad turned on the exterior spigot and not one drop of water came out. The woman turned, and started walking back towards the car.



Brad yelled, “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”



“I am going to fill a bucket with a shit and throw it in your car.”



“Get over here, and let’s find out who sabotaged this system. Patty paid a fortune for this barn, and as you said, without water it’s worthless.”



He went to each spigot and none had water. He went into the kitchens, and they did not have water, either. He turned and looked at the circuit breakers and they were all in the on position. He could not think of anything else that could possibly keep the water from flowing. As they were walking back to his car he said, “It couldn’t possibly be.”



The woman said, “You’re a smart boy, what is it?”



“I wonder if they tested the emergency relief valve and forgot to close it.”



“You test it. I’ll fill a bucket with horseshit just in case you’re wrong.”



“Please don’t do that to my car.”



“You have been disrespected me, and the horses. You have taken up 20 minutes of my time. It is the very least I can do for you. You need an object lesson in the very worst way.”



As he walked back towards the barn Brad said, “I hope this works. I can get the shit out of the car, but that smell will be there forever.” When he reached the pump, and grasped the relief valve, it was open. He breathed a sigh of relief as he tightened it down, and closed it. He recycled the pump, it click on, struggled for a moment as it primed itself and started gushing water out of the air purge valve. Brad breathed a sigh of relief as the water started flowing, through the system. He walked through the barn, and opened the spigot in the front. It purged all the air from the system until water flowed smoothly through it. Now he was going to apologize to the woman, who was tending to all the horses.



When he rounded the corner of the barn, the horses had dispersed and were grazing all over the field. There was a bucket of horseshit by the front door of his car, but thankfully, none was inside of it. He thought she might have been called inside, by Stephano, or Patty, so he went and knocked on the side of the motorhome.



They came to the door, in tandem, and Patty asked, “What are you still doing here, Brad?”



“I need to speak to that woman who is inside your home. I have to apologize for my behavior.”



“You have to apologize to someone. You must’ve done something awful. However, there is no one here but us. Did you check the barn?”



“That’s where the problem started. She was getting ready to wash down the horses, but my car was in the way. She said there was no water in the barn, and I told her she was a liar because I tested it, the city tested it, and the water was working fine. She said she was going to put a bucket of horseshit in my car, because I was wrong. She went with me, and there was not one drop of water anywhere. I checked everything, including the breakers and I could not get it to work. On our way back to my car I said, “I wonder…”



This woman replied, “You are a bright boy, you will figure it out.”



Patty and Stephano looked at each other and started laughing hysterically.



Brad knew they were crazy, but this concerned him, and he wanted to know why they were laughing at him.



“Do you to think you could control yourselves for a little while, and help me find this woman?”



“Brad, I think you had better come in out of the sun. I don’t believe you are going to like what we are going to tell you.”



He sat down at the table, they gave him a glass of wine, and after he related the complete story to them, they began telling Brad about the similarities in discussions Laura had with Stephano and Patty over the last six months.



Brad was incredulous. “I do not believe in ghosts.”



Patty took Brad’s hands in hers, and said, “Neither did I Brad, until I returned here. I did not want to come here. It was the last place on earth I wanted to be. I bought this motorhome so I could travel around the country, and be as anonymous as possible. I never wanted to be in the same place for more than a few days. I don’t know how I got here. I was just driving, not paying attention to the roads I was on, and suddenly, I was here. I stopped and I screamed at the top of my voice, “No.” That was when I did I saw my mother standing in the driveway, and she kept yelling at me to come to her. I yelled that she was not really here. She said she was always here, waiting for me to come home. I couldn’t refuse her.”



Stephano told him about her mother’s intervention while Patty was in the coma, and the more Brad heard, the more he began to believe Laura Garret’s spirit still remained on this property. Finally, he had to leave, return to the office, and begin on the assignments they had given him. As he reached his car the bucket of horseshit was no longer by the front door. When he opened the door to his car, it was there, on the drivers’ seat, with a note written in the most perfect penmanship, and on the most delicate paper he had ever seen.



“Do you believe in the spirit world now, Brad?”



He threw the paper and the bucket out of the car and raced off the property as quickly as he could.



Rita knocked on the door to the motorhome bursting at the seams with laughter.



Patty opened the door, and asked her friend what was so funny.



“Patty, didn’t you realize it was Paul and me putting those moves on Brad?”



She put a big smile on her face, and replied, “You two have to be the most terrible friends ever. You scared that poor man to death. Come on in; let’s figure out how we can do it again, before he gets back here the next time.”



82. College Rites



Sandy and Cindy were on their way across campus to their economics class, when the two handsome young men stopped the beautiful twins, said ‘Hello,’ and introduced themselves as members of the baseball team. They asked for their names, where they were going, and if they could accompany them.



Sandy smiled, and said, “Give us one moment, please.” The girls turned towards one another, and discussed the situation telepathically.



One of the young men asked, “What are you doing?”



Cindy frowned at him and said, “We were discussing your proposal. It was very rude of you to interrupt us.”



Both men were taken back by her statement.



A short time later, Cindy said, “We have decided that you may accompany us to the Math building, but no further. However, we must warn you that we are being guarded, unobtrusively, by the Secret Service. Our uncle is the Attorney General of the United States, Clark Atwater. So if your intentions are anything but honorable, you will be in more trouble than you can handle.”



“I don’t see any men in dark suits and sunglasses around.”



“You are very observant. Our escorts are female, and young enough to blend in on a college campus. If you would like me to prove it, all I have to do is raise my right hand, and you will be on the floor in 30 seconds or less. Oh shit, Margaret just looked at her watch. It means we are getting close to being late for class. Goodbye gentleman, the pleasure has been all yours.”



They brushed by the two men, and started walking at a brisk pace. They were shortly enveloped in a group of more than 15 young women moving towards the East side of the campus. None of them was a Secret Service agent.



These two men spread the word around the athletic community that these twin beauties were strictly hands off; and the reason why.



******



Sandy called home, spoke with her mother, and asked if they could come home to speak with them. They had a problem that needed a resolution quickly. The rules that were set up for them stated that they were not allowed home during the week, and only every other weekend, so they would get used to studying and being on their own. Sharon and Fred knew that whatever was going on must be extremely important for them to ask to break this rule.



Sandy and Cindy walked into their home shortly after 2 PM, and found lunch and their parents waiting for them at the kitchen table.



Fred said, “Children, eat first, and we will solve your problem second.”



It did not take long for the girls to eat their lunch, because they wanted to discuss the problem they had run into.



Cindy started. “Dad, you told us, before we started college, to always think of Uncle Clark and his future. He got us into this wonderful university and even into this sorority. This sorority is a mistake. I have not found out how they do it, but they keep their scores high by getting a copy of the exams before they are given. All they do in the sorority house is party, take drugs, and have sex. Men are not supposed to be allowed past the first floor, but they have the run of the house. We have to keep our doors locked, and a chair blocking it to make sure no one comes into our room. Can you get us into the dorms or can we live at home, and drive to school. We don’t want to stay in that sorority house any longer.”



Sharon was aghast at what her girls said. Fred on the other hand, maintained his lawyers cool, as his mind clicked off the things he was going to do to that sorority house, and very short order.



“Cindy stay with your mother, I want to talk to Sandy, privately.”



Fred took Sandy into his office and closed the door. “Sandy, I want you to sit in my chair, relax, close your eyes, and rest. I want you to think only about the things you may have heard about the girls in the sorority getting the test, before the exams given. Relax, there is no time limit. I will be here, holding your hand.”



After a few minutes Sandy said, “I’m sorry dad, I can’t think of anything.”



“Sandy, you are pressing. I want you to relax first. If you fall asleep it’s fine. I will still be here. It is very important that you relax first.”



Sandy closed her eyes, but this time Fred kissed her lips tenderly. “Relax, my little love, you are all wound up inside like a spring ready to explode. Would you like to sit in my lap and try to relax?”

“Yes, dad, I think I could relax more being in your arms.”



They changed positions, and Sandy sat down on her dad’s lap and pressed her head onto his shoulder. He held her tightly, letting her know that nothing and no one would ever hurt her, as long as he was around. She was not in this position very long before Fred heard the soft breathing sound of Sandy sleeping.



Sharon opened the door to see if they needed anything, and found Fred, holding Sandy in his arms. She walked over to him, and kissed the top of his head. She was preparing to leave when Sandy sat upright. “Dad, it’s the computer nerds. They are fucking the computer nerds, and getting the tests from them.”



“Okay Sandy, calm down, and tell me what you remember and how you are sure that is how they are doing it.”



“Dad, all the guys that come to the house are handsome, rich, a member of one of the sports teams or politically connected. If a professor is going to spring a test on us several guys the girls would never be seen with outside the sorority house, get treated like kings. They are there for hours. The girls bring them food, liquor, drugs, but most of all, they get laid until they can get it up anymore. When they leave, they can barely walk. Shortly afterwards, someone posts the tests that are going to be given, regardless of grade level, on the bulletin board, on the second floor.”



“Thank you Sandy, go to your room and get some sleep. I am going to ask Cindy the same question and see if I get the same answer. If I do, I can start a criminal action against the sorority, and the people in the computer division.”



Cindy was a harder nut to crack, but then again, she always was. Finally, her mind clicked and she came up with the same information Sandy did. It was late in the day, but he called the Maryland State Attorney’s office, to give him a heads up on what was happening.



“This is Mister Gangsler’s office; how may I direct your call?”



“May I speak to Mister Gansler please? This is Fred Hastings from the U.S. Attorney General’s office.”



“This is Doug Gansler, Mister Hastings; how can I help you?”



“I am calling to give you a heads up in reference to a criminal action we will be looking into at the University of Maryland/College Park. Two of my daughters started there this fall and noticed a discrepancy immediately. They brought it to my attention today. It seems the girls in the sorority, Delta Sigma, are receiving tests prior to them being entered into the computer for the rest of the student population. They are doing this by having sex, using drugs and other means with the computer people assigned to put these exams into the computers. My daughters also inform me that the standard rules of sorority life are not followed in this house. Men are given free rein to all floors. They had to lock their doors and bar it with chairs to make sure they were not accosted. We will start this investigation tomorrow morning. I just wanted to let you know in advance.”



“My daughter is in that sorority. I can’t believe she is involved in anything like that.”



“For your sake Mister Gansler, I hope not. All the girls in that sorority have grades will above the school average. Since they are partying all the time, and not studying at all, either they are all geniuses, or they are all cheating on their exams. I would get on the phone with your daughter immediately, and get the truth out of her, before the press gets wind of this.”



“Thank you Mister Hastings, I am calling her now.”



Sharon asked him, “What are you going to do now?”



Fred smiled and said, “I am going to give your uncle a news conference.”



The following afternoon, in front of the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Department building, Clark Atwater announced a wide-ranging probe into the activities of all fraternities and sororities nationwide. Colleges and universities were to make sure nothing like the shameful practices that had occurred at the University of Maryland was happening on their campuses, or they would be denied government funding. He praised the two young women that saw girls in the sorority breaking societal norms, and refused to be a part of it. “These are the type of young people we must nurture, and get into politics. They will make our system of government work properly, without the rancor we see between our political parties today. They are my grandnieces, but I can take no credit for raising them. They were raised by my niece, Sharon Williams, who guarded them from an abusive husband all her married life. She told no one about it, for fear of her own life. If these two wonderful young women can develop out of a home life as terrible as that, there is hope for all women who find themselves in similar situations. I would rather see them seek help, and get it, rather than do what Sharon did, but there is hope.”



There was an explosion of questions that followed the news conference, which lasted an extra 25 minutes. Many news channels, including CNN, Fox, and CNBC wanted the girls for their live television shows.



As Fred stood by Sharon’s side, she adamantly said, “No. My daughters are going to be under enough pressure at school for speaking out against fellow students. Speaking to the press will only add fuel to the fire. We want you to respect our privacy, especially when they are on campus, trying to get the best education possible, and leave them alone.”



When the press is told to leave someone alone, the opposite always happens. Fred had arranged for them to be transferred to the dormitory, and somehow there dormitory assignment had been leaked to the press. As soon as they exited, video cameras and microphones were shoved in their faces, and questions were being asked.



Cindy and Sandy had been briefed on this possibility. They kept their heads up, smiled, kept silent, and kept walking towards their class. Their fellow students watched on ambivalently.



The girls could not even go to the cafeteria to have a meal without the press hounding them. When they called home and asked for help Fred said, “Kids, try to hang on until Wednesday. News cycles rarely last more than one week. If you can get through that day, I think this will be over. If it isn’t, I will pull you out of school.”



Monday morning found another mob scene of reporters in front of their dorm. Cindy and Sandy took a deep breath, and walked the gauntlet again, all the way to their classes.



Tuesday morning Sandy said, “Last day Sis, tomorrow we will not have to put up with this shit anymore.”



“I know I don’t have to tell you this, because I could feel you inside my head. I can’t take any more. One of those reporters is going to shove a microphone in my face, I am going to take it and shove it down her throat.”



Sandy laughed. “If it is the tall, fake blonde one, I will grab her hair, and hold her mouth open, just to make it easy for you.”



“You got it; she’s the one. Her voice is so annoying. I don’t know how she got on television.”



“Come on Cindy, no one listens to her; they just look at her tits. We are running late, baby sister, our press is waiting.”



They exited the dorm to the usual crowd of reporters, and cameramen and proceeded towards their first class. The reporters were running ahead and alongside them, when they saw a phalanx of students lined up across the pathway the girls had to take to the biology lab. As the people from the press got closer, they had to veer left and right to avoid the students. As Sandy and Cindy prepared to do the same thing, the phalanx of students opened, clearing a path along the walkway. As soon as they passed the first rank, it closed, prohibiting any members of the press to follow the two girls.



The reporters that went left and right found that the phalanx kept getting wider. They realized they were not going to be able to get near the two girls any longer. The student body had made a decision. Cheating was not going to be allowed on this campus. Students who had the courage to bring these matters to the attention of the school administration were not going to be vilified. They were going to be praised for keeping in mind the University of Maryland’s commitment to excellence, both morally and academically.



As the girls made their way to the dorm that afternoon, the marching band formed up behind them, and played the school’s fight song. Cheerleaders, members of every sports team, and Greek House surrounded the two girls, and escorted them to the quadrangle. They twins were unsure about what was happening. The quad was filled with students, and they cheered and applauded as they walked in at the head of the marching band.



Then they saw their parents, sisters, Uncle Clark, Aunt Julia, and members of the school administration, on a small raised platform, awaiting their arrival. As they ascended the platform, the cheers and applause became deafening.



Oh yes, the press was there to cover this event.



Sharon and Fred hugged their daughters. Their mother said, “This is for you; an outpouring of love and admiration from your classmates, and faculty for your strength and honesty.”



Both girls kissed and hugged their mother. When they turned to Fred, Cindy said, “You gave us the strength to do the right thing. Thank you, dad.”



As they hugged him, Fred cried, as he remembered the circumstances that brought them together.



The press had a field day with those pictures.



The girls were strategically seated, between their mother and their Uncle Clark.



The ceremony was blessedly brief. However, president of the University did blast the press for its behavior, during the past week, concerning the two freshman students. He announced that every member of Delta Sigma has been questioned by the authorities at the university, and the state attorney’s office. They have been suspended from school. They are facing criminal charges for theft of school intellectual property and other charges. Members of the computer staff are under arrest, also, for leaking information to this sorority and possibly others, which are now under investigation.



This cancer could have gone on at this university forever, if not for the bravery of two young women; two freshmen, who have only been with us for seven weeks. They had the courage to tell their parents that something was rotten at our university. They wanted to move out of the sorority house, because they did not want to be a part of anything illegal. Their father works for the Attorney General of the United States, and could not leave it that way. That’s why we are here today to thank these two young freshmen, her father, mother, and the Attorney General of the United States for moving so swiftly to cut out this disease from our university. This school will continue to look for any signs of abuse of our rules, but for today, students, members of the faculty, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sandy and Cindy Williams.”



There was a loud roar from the student body, and the band played the school fight song, again. Everyone on the dais stood up and applauded the twins, who were eventually dragged to their feet and pulled forward to the front of the stage to accept the adulation of the crowd.



Silently Cindy asked Sandy, “Does this mean the press is going to be after us again?”



“Baby girl, if they are, I’ll race you to the school bus, and drive you home.”



“You are only nine minutes older than I am. Don’t call me baby girl.”



“I am older and smarter than you are; I will call you what I want.”



“Wrong, I am smarter than you are; Fred said so.”



“We have an economics test next week. That will let Fred, know, I am smarter than you are.”



“I will bet you 10. I match or outdo your score.”



“10, what?”



“You know what.”



“You want to spank me?”



“I have wanted to spank you, since you came out of mom’s womb first.”



“Okay, but no cheating. You have to stay out of my head, while we are taking the exam.”



“Agreed; but I want to spank you, in front of everyone.”



“You bitch. Okay, but I get to do it the same way.”



“You said I was a bitch.”



“You are going to regret getting me angry, and betting me on an economics test.”



“We will see, won’t we?”



******



The girls canceled a trip home that weekend telling their parents. They had a big test the following Thursday. Fred looked at Sharon and said, “Our little ones are up to something. They could just as easily studied at home, and have their meals here, rather than eat in the cafeteria. Do you sense anything?”



Sharon replied, “It’s definitely not a boy, because it would not happen to both of them at the same time. If it did, they would have been giddy on the phone with us. I think we should take a drive to the college Sunday, say hello to our little darlings, and find out which way the wind is blowing.”



“I agree. We will leave Danni, and Debbie, and hope there is a house here when we come back.”



They arrived at the dorm at 10:30 AM, expecting to find the girls still sleeping. When no one answered the door, they asked a passing student if they knew where their daughters were.



The girl said, “Oh yeah, they have been studying like animals for this economics test Thursday. Sandy is probably with her study group in the library, and Cindy is probably in the math lab.”



Sharon asked, “Why aren’t they studying together, like they always do.”



“We wondered also, because they are inseparable. Finally, we found out that they made a bet, but they would not tell us what the bet was. All they did was giggle.”



“Thank you very much; we are going to try to find them.”



Fred looked at Sharon and asked, “Which one do you want?”



“I’ll take the library. I know where that is.”



“Great, now I have to find out where the math lab is.”



Sharon smiled and said, “That is why you make all that money dear.”



He grabbed her around her waist, “I think I’m going to take you waltzing tonight.”



“Like hell you are. I remember the last time I went waltzing with you, and it was not exactly what I had thought it would be.”



“I enjoyed that night very much. Afterwards, you got to meet your uncle. It all turned out well in your ‘End’.”



“It is my end, and you are not getting into it, while we are waltzing.”



“Okay Sharon, but it is much more difficult to get to the tango.”



“In all seriousness, go fuck yourself, Fred.”



“Baby, that’s what I have you for.”



“Get away from me and go find Cindy.”



“Okay, my dear, I will be thinking about the music we can dance to, for the rest of the day.”



“Fred, what is it about you and asses?”



“I was celibate for more than five years before I met your girls, and you. The women and girls in my apartment would take the elevator down to the pool wearing bikinis, if that’s what you call those two pieces of cloth that are supposed to cover the bottom part of a woman. I didn’t dare look at the top, because I would have been sporting an erection for the rest of the day. So I became an ass man. You show me one, and I can tell you everything about it, within a millimeter.”



“I knew there had to be a good reason. Now let’s go find my daughters, and find out what is happening between the two of them.”



It did not take Sharon long to get to the library, and ask if there were any study groups going on that morning. There were only three and they were all cloistered on the third floor. Sharon took the escalator up, and immediately found the three groups. She took the position opposite Sandy, and looked at her.



Sandy had a feeling she was being watched. She raised her head, turned around, looked left and right, and saw nothing. She was about to start studying again, but the feeling did not go away. She lifted her head, stared straight into her mother’s eyes, and her mother was not happy. She got up from her seat, walked over to her mother, kissed her, and said, “Hi mom, what are you doing here?”



“Young woman, do you have something you wish to tell me.”



“No, everything is fine. Why do you ask?”



“Do you want me to smack you here, in front of your friends, or should I take you home to do it? You just lied to me, missy.”



“Honest mom, everything is fine. Cindy and I are fine. My grades are fine. I didn’t wreck the van. Why do you think something is wrong?”



“Who is missing from that table?”



“Oh, is that what this is about. How did you find out?”



“You skipped home-cooked meals in favor of cafeteria meals, because of a 40 minute drive. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes, or Doctor Watson to figure out something was going on.”



“Mom, this is personal, between Cindy and me. We have a bet on this week’s Economics test. Please don’t ask me what the bet is.”



“Okay, I will leave that private between you and your sister. However, I have to know about this bet. Just answer yes or no.



Question: Is it safe? Answer: Yes



Question: Is there any possibility of damaging your sister’s face? Answer: No



Question: Are you going to hurt your sister? Answer: I certainly hope so.



Question: Is that a yes or no? Answer: I don’t know. I am going to try to, yes, but I do not know if I will succeed.



Question: Are you looking forward to this? Answer: Yes



Question: Are you with just thinking about it? Answer: Yes



Question: If you lose does your sister have the same rights over you? Answer: Yes



Question: Will this affect your GPA? Answer: Yes



“This ends my question. You and your sister have overstepped your bounds, and have treaded on an area of parental rights. When this bet is over, and the punishment is meeted out, your father and I will discuss what is to happen to you and your sister.”



“Mom, how has our bet infringed on your territory?”



“You will know when the results of your exams come back.”



*****



It seemed to Fred that he had walked around in circles forever taking directions from one student, and then another on how to get to the math lab. Finally, he lucked out and a maintenance engineer walked him 30 feet to the side entrance of a building, opened the door, and said, “Welcome to the math lab.”



Fred wanted to kiss him, but the room was full of students looking at the intruder. Cindy was one of them, and she stood up and waved at her dad.



He walked silently over to her, gave her a hug and kiss, and asked if they could talk.



Cindy folded up her books put her backpack on, and led her dad out into a garden area. They sat down under a shade tree and Cindy asked, “What’s up, dad?”



“Your mom and I want to know the same thing. You canceled our weekend together, so you could study for an exam. Then we found out you and your sister were not studying together. We knew something was amiss, and came to find out what it is, before it got out of hand.”



“Dad, everything is fine. Sandy and I are fine. We could not be better.”



“Why are you studying together for this big exam Thursday?”



“Can I take the Fifth Amendment just this one time? I promise you, it is nothing terrible. No one is going to be harmed permanently. It is going to be funny, and the entire family is going to be involved. Whether I win, or if Sandy wins, the results are going to be the same. It was my idea, and I got her to bite at the forbidden apple. She said she was smarter than I was. I reminded her. You said I was smarter and she was. We have both been studying like crazy for this exam. What she did realize was when we made the bet was she gave me two options to her one.”



“You sneaky devil you; taking advantage of your sister.”



“Dad, how can I take advantage of someone who is smarter than I am?”



“Good point Cindy, if you win the bet, make sure you point that out to your smarter sister.”



“Thanks dad, the test is Thursday, the results should be posted by the following Tuesday. We will both be home for the weekend, and explain the winner’s prerogative.”



“It sounds like a lot of fun to me Cindy, would you like to join your mother and me for lunch?”

“As long as you are paying, and we’re not going to Burger King, I will tag along.”



“Let me call your mother, and see what she has done with your sister.”



*******



It was after 3 o’clock, when their parents drop them off at their dorm. Sandy asked, “Cindy, why were you all smiles at lunch. Didn’t dad talk to you about our bet? Did you tell him about the whole thing?”



“Yes, dad asked me about our bet, and he let me take the Fifth Amendment on telling him about it. I asked him to trust me, and no permanent harm would happen to anyone, or anyone’s property.”



“You do realize you have dad wrapped around your little finger.”



“Don’t you believe it. He has control over all of us. He lets us do what we want to do, as long as we stay within his rules. Break one of those rules, and see how fast any of us have control over him, even mom.”



“Are you going back to the math lab?”



“No, I have an English Lit paper I have to start writing. I am going to do that for the rest of the day.”



“I am happy we have some classes that are separate. I think it makes it easier on both of us.”



“You see, sometimes it pays to be the smarter sister.”



“That is why I came out first, and you took your time and came out last.”



“We will see about that sister. Prepare your ass for a thumping.”



Thursday morning came, and the girls were in a fine fettle on their way to take their economics exam. They had studied hard, went to bed early, and were prepared for this exam. They opened their computers, signed in, and the exam popped up on their screens. It was the last time either of them could remember breathing for the next 90 minutes, until the bell rang, and their computers went blank. When they looked up, the room was nearly empty. Nearly everyone else had completed the exam, and left. They began to wonder if they had done something wrong. Tuesday could not come soon enough for them.



There was no time to dwell on that exam, because they had four more waiting for them. Spanish was a no-brainer, because of the neighborhood they grew up in. In their high school, in New Jersey, over half their school’s population was Hispanic. For the teachers, it was like teaching English as a second language. Both girls could read, write, and speak Spanish fluently.



Cindy liked biology, while Sandy thought it was icky. Dissection was fun for Cindy and she was good at it. Sandy was great technically, and took notes voraciously. As always, together they made a great team.



Fred didn’t give the girls a choice in their history class, and much to their amazement the class was sold out on the first day. It seemed like, “The American Political System” was a very popular course at the university. The reason why became evident later in the year. Senators and representatives from the United States Congress lectured at almost every class.



However, first up was there English Literature papers, which were due on Wednesday. This meant many hours of library time and many students trying to get access to the same material. Thankfully, the library was computerized and very few books had to be taken from the shelves for research purposes.



The literature papers handed in, the sisters immediately dove into “The Articles of Confederation” for their history exam on Friday. When that exam was finally over, they returned to their room, locked the door, threw their books on the floor, crawled into their beds, and slept the day away. Their brains and bodies were fried.



By the time they woke up that evening the cafeteria was closed. They were not supposed to use the credit card to eat Off-campus without permission, so they called home.



Fred told them they had two choices: They could go out to eat, or they could come home; eat here, and then, he would eat them.



Without discussing it with Cindy, Sandy said, “We will be home in one hour. Macaroni and meatballs would be wonderful.”



Sandy started throwing her laundry into a bag, when Cindy asked what was going on. Sandy replied, “Dad made me an offer I could not refuse.”



“What offer did he give you?”



“He said for us to come home and eat; and then he would eat us.”



Cindy was finished packing for the weekend, before Sandy was. She said, “I’m driving.”



“You know what will happen if you get a speeding ticket.”



“Yes, I know, but he fuck’s me in the ass anyhow, so what difference does it make?”



Sandy thought for a moment, and said, “None, I guess.”



“Let’s go girl, our dinner is going to get cold.”



“Are you talking about our dinner, or dad’s desert?”



“Dad would eat that dessert, straight out of the freezer, or in the oven for that matter.”



“We did get lucky meeting him the way we did; didn’t we?”



“As far as I am concerned, the only better day we had was the day we were born. Mom deserves Fred. After all the terrible years she had to put up with our dad, I hope their marriage lasts forever. I will do whatever I can to make sure it does.”



“The same goes for me, Cindy. Whatever needs to be done, I will be there. The thought of being a hooker or call girl numbs me to my soul.”



******



Sandy hit the remote control button to the garage door opener, allowing the van access inside. As soon as the windshield hit the tennis ball, which hung down from the ceiling by a string, she stopped. She heard the door close, and applause coming from behind her.



She yelled, “Be quiet you two, or I will back up.”



“She sounds like she is in a good mood, Fred.”



“After I take care of my promises, she will be smiling; I guarantee it.”



The girls pulled their belongings out of the van, walked over to their parents, and hugged them tightly. “Thanks for letting us out of that pressure cooker for a while. If these tests are only midterms, finals are going to be hell.”



Fred kissed them both, and said, “Tomorrow, I will tell you how to prepare for finals. It will not make the subject matter easier, but it will make preparing for them much more organized, and give you more time to study for each of them.”



Their mother said, “Come on girls, dinner is waiting.”



Fred and Sharon led the way through the laundry room, into the kitchen. The girls stopped to drop off the laundry and yelled, “Where are Debbie and Danni?”



As they entered the kitchen, their younger sisters hit them in their faces with huge pillows, nearly knocking them on the floor. Debbie and Danni screamed as they ran for cover.



Cindy yelled, “You two our dead meat,” and started chasing after them with Sandy close at her heels. As they reached the second floor, looking for telltale signs of their sisters, they heard giggling. They approached Danni’s room quietly, and heard it again. They burst in looking for the twins, only to find her computer on and the girls laughing at them from it.



Sandy said, “I bet they are in one of our rooms.”



They walked into the hallway, only to be knocked down by pillows again, and their sisters running away laughing into their parent’s bedroom. Cindy yelled, “We have them now.”



What they did not know is Danni, and Debbie had a plan. Upon entering their parent’s bedroom, Danni darted into the walk-in closet, and hid among her parent’s clothes. Debbie slowed down, opened the door to the deck, and waited for her older sisters to see her. When Cindy and Sandy ran into the room, she screamed, left the door open, ran towards the other end of the deck, with her sisters 20 feet behind her. She opened the door to Sandy’s room, went in, locked it, and waited to see the furious faces of her sisters. They were yet to know the good part.



Cindy and Sandy pounded on the door yelling at Debbie. Finally, Sandy pulled Cindy and started running back to their parent’s room. When they got there, the door was locked, and Danni was smiling at them.



Sandy whispered, “We forgot your room. They can’t be in three places at one time.” They went to the center room of the balcony, only to find their parent’s smiling behind the locked door.



Cindy yelled, “You set this up?”



“No, this idea was your sisters, and we thought it was the funniest thing we had ever heard of. You two college students fell for it, hook, line and sinker. The thing that would have made it better was rain. Right now you would look like drowned rats.”



“Can we come in, we are hungry, and someone promised to use us as dessert.”



When everyone was inside, and in their parent’s arms, Fred said, “Come on children, dinner is in the oven, let’s eat.”



Debbie and Danni yelled, “Ow,” while Sandy and Cindy had angelic looks on their faces.



“No retribution, until we go to Ryan gym, Sunday. Is that understood ladies?”



The four girls answered, “Yes, mother,” as Sharon took the steaming bowl of spaghetti out of the oven. Fred followed her with a large bowl of meatballs and sausages. Cindy carried a large cauldron of extra sauce. The other girls put water, butter, and a sliced loaf of Italian bread on the table. They worked like a well-oiled machine, and in moments, they were seated at the table. Fred dished out the spaghetti, as the girls attacked the meats. It was a normal family dinner. It was something the girls had not experienced with their real father.



While they were living with their Uncle Clark, everyone dressed up for dinner. It was a more formal affair, and was served by staff.



This was home, and they reveled in it. Conversations were fun, free flowing, and unrestricted. It could go anywhere from atoms to zoology. Fred played referee and judge, when it came to a question of who was right and wrong, because the children thought he knew everything, about everything. They were overjoyed when he did not have an answer to a question. They would dance around him and sing that they stumped their dad.”



When dinner was completed, the girls took over the kitchen and cleaned it until it sparkled.



Sharon and Fred went to the den to read a magazine, newspaper, or to their computers. There were no televisions in the house. There was a very brief argument about the televisions, when they moved in to the house, but when the girls looked into their father’s eyes, and then saw the boxes of personal computers he had by his desk, the argument died quickly.



Sharon finished her emails, looked up, and said, “Fred, did you hear that?”



“No, I didn’t hear anything.”



“Exactly, they are being too quiet, and you know what that means.”



“Turn out the lights, the party has started?”



“Exactly, and they started without us, or they are planning something. That is almost a spanking offense, isn’t it?”



“As much as I would like to say yes, it is not. However, instead of reacting, why don’t we act on our own? Come here, gorgeous, it’s party time.”



“Mister Hastings, we are not married.”



“Miss Williams, we are practicing for that event.”



“Okay, but no dancing.”



“You knew my plan, before I planned it.”



She may not have wanted to dance but when Fred took her into his arms, it was the first thing he did. He started humming a soft tune into her ear, as she pressed her head against his chest. They were in no hurry; they had a lifetime ahead of them; a lifetime, or until the girls found out they had been fooled.



“I love you, Miss Williams, I never thought I would get a chance to say that to any woman before I turned 50, but I am overjoyed to say it to you now.”



“I love you, Mister Hastings, with all my heart. It’s not because you saved my four girls from a disastrous life, which I can never repay you for. It’s because of how you changed my life and the way I see the world today.”



“You deserve to be in silks and satins for the rest of your life, and I am going to make sure it happens.” He kissed her deeply, while running his hand up her back, pressing her to him.



She moved her arms up around his neck, pulling him down to her height. She said, “I prefer naked, Fred. I understand our couch is a very comfortable. Should we test it?”



“Yes, but I think we are overdressed for the test you have in mind.”



They remedied that fact quickly, and not quietly.



The four girls were upstairs with their trap baited, waiting for their parents to fall into it.



After an hour of waiting, Danni said, “I think they smelled a rat.”



“I told you we should make more noise.”



“We all can’t be as brilliant as you are Cindy.”



“Just remember, the test results are posted Tuesday, smartass. We will see just how much your ass is smarting after that.”



“What are you two up to now?”



“We have a bet on a test Debbie, that’s all.”



“Bullshit, something is up between you two; I heard mom and dad talking about it.”



“You will know more about it next weekend when we come home again. Right now we have more important matters to deal with. What are mom and dad up to, and have they set a trap for us to fall into?”



Sandy said, “There is only one way to find out, we go downstairs and fall into it together; or we send out a scouting party, and only one of us falls into their trap.”



They looked around at each other for the one who wanted to be the guinea pig, and no one volunteered.



“I guess we all fall into the trap together. Be careful, dad is an evil genius.”



Quietly, like church mice, they descended the stairs; diverted through the living room, and into the formal dining room. A listening for sounds of their parents who were supposed to be in the next room; they heard nothing.



Cindy whispered, “This is not good.”



The kitchen was clear. They stepped into it to see as much of the den, as they could. There was no sign of either of them. He peered around the wall to get a better look and still no sign of their parents.



Danni said, “Fuck, look at the floor.”



Groggily, Fred said, “Guess who’s getting a spanking?”



In chorus, the four girls said, “Oh shit, they were fucking on the couch!”



Sharon laughed, “Fred, darling, I believe that’s three spankings for Danni, and two for the rest of the girls. Your hand is going to be very sore.”



“Mom, that’s not fair, you two were supposed to be upstairs with us, not playing hanky-panky down here alone.”



“We have to take one away from Danni, babe. When was the last time you heard anyone use the term ‘Hanky-Panky’.”



“I guess she did not want to say ‘Fucking,’ because that would’ve meant another spanking. I think you should buy a paddle, it would be easier on your right hand when you have to raise to be sworn in.”



The girls looked at her mother in horror. “Whose side are you on, mom?”



“My future husband’s side, of course. Sooner or later, all of you will find a wonderful man like Fred, and believe it or not, you will leave me. We will be together for the rest of our lives. You will come to visit, your rooms will always be here, and I will always love you. Don’t ever ask me whose side I’m on, because it will always be with Fred. He saved me from your father, he also saved you from him. Fred will also save you from your husband’s, if they turn out like your father; I will guarantee you that here and now. One word from you that your husbands are mistreating you, and they will be in jail, before the next breath. Do you understand now why I am Fred’s side?”



Cindy replied, “Yes, mother, but Fred got us to come home, by making certain promises, and he has not lived up to them yet.”



“Has he ever broken a promise to you?”



“No.”



“Are you leaving to go back to school right now?”



“No.”



“Then, he has time to keep his promises to you, doesn’t he?”



“Why are you so darn logical when I am horny?”



“I am sorry to tell you this baby, but you are my daughter, and for the rest of your life, you are going to be horny every day of it, especially when you get your period.”



“Is that why everyone stays away from us, when we have our periods. I knew we were edgy, I guess we are…”



Sharon laughed, “The word you are looking for Cindy is hostile. Even your father stayed away from me, those three days of the month.”



“You haven’t been that way with me, babe.”



“You haven’t got on my bad side, yet, Fred. When you do, beware the ‘Ides of March’, and every other month of the year.”



“Miss Williams, I have a remedy for that, I could get you pregnant.”



“Mister Hastings, do you want my girls to see you turned into a gelding.”



“You would miss it, and so would they. Does anyone have any studying, or homework to do for Monday?”



The answer was a unanimous “No!”



Fred kissed Sharon, and said, “To the bedroom ladies, it’s playtime.”



“Are they always this obedient, Sharon?”



“Do pigs fly Fred?”



“I saw an elephant fly once, no twice. I saw Dumbo and another movie, where an elephant was flying.”



“Fred, do you want to go upstairs and play with my girls and me, or do you want to die down here of a painful death?”



“Let’s go upstairs, the girls should be naked by now. I have spankings to meet out. I will go easy on them, if you will give out half of them.”



“You want me to spank my babies?”



“Are you telling me it would be the first time you spanked them?”



“I never laid a hand on my children in anger.”



“This is not in anger; this is for fun. If you don’t join me, yours is going to be the fifth ass that gets spanked, because you did not raise your children correctly.”



“I thought you liked the way my children turned out.”



“I love the way your children turned out. It has nothing to do with teaching them about discipline. My dear, is your hand in, or is ass sticking out?”



“Fred, I am beginning to hate every girl that was in the elevator with you wearing a bikini.”



“You did not answer my question; hand or ass? Your babies are going to cum one way or the other.”



“You know that is your fault. You were so gentle with them, they are now addicted to sex, just like their mother.”



“This is your last chance Sharon; answer the question. If I answer it for you, just think about those bikinis, and you know which way I will go.”



“I think I’m beginning to hate you, Fred. Either I hurt my girls, or I get hurt.”



“Yes, but very pleasurably, and you will love it.”



“I think I will spank my babies instead. I don’t want to have trouble sleeping tonight.”



“Good answer, because I am going to fuck you in the ass later.”



“Don’t even think about it, Fred.”



“I already have, my decision is made, my future wife will acquiesce, and I will make her cum like she has never cum before.”



“Now you are bragging, Fred.”



“There is only one way to find out, isn’t there, baby?”



“I hate lawyers. They set up a trap, and let you walk right into it.”



“Yes, but he is such an enjoyable trap. I love looking into your eyes when your body explodes into orgasm.”



“I am never wearing a bikini again.”



“You don’t have to babe. I have your bottom memorized; every square millimeter of it.”



“Oh Shit.”



“Spanking!”



“You will not touch me without repercussions, Mr. Gelding.”



“Rules are rules dear, and they apply to everyone in the household.”



Cindy yelled, “You tell her dad. Keep her in line, just like the rest of us.”



Sharon asked, “Daughter, whose side are you on?”



Cindy replied, “Fred’s side, mother, just like you.”



“Oh Fuck!”



Cindy laughed. “That’s two, dad, shall we try for three?”



“You are doing great, Cindy. At the rate you are going your mom won’t be able to sit for a week.”



The four girls laughed at Fred’s comment.



Sharon said, “I am going to put starch in your underwear. If you think you are horny now, wait and see what happens then.”



Debbie said, “Could you put heavy starch in mine, mom. If it is that good, the boys will be all over me at school.”



“Fuck, she got me again.”



Cindy yelled, “That’s three mom, want to try for four?”



“I don’t like you, Cindy. I will get even you know.”



“Yes, I know mom, but the four of us can sit down and watch as dad gives you a tanning.”



Fred chimed in, and said, “Who said I was going to spank my bride in public?”



“That’s not fair , dad. You always spank us together.”

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