Gender: Male Age: 36 Location: Washington State
Chapter Twenty Four: My Wife and Kids
“Daddy, Daddy, Wake up!” spoke as soft yet excited voice from my side. I opened my eyes slowly looking out on the deck.
“What’s wrong Cassie?”
“Sara fell and she’s hurt,” she said looking panicked.
“Calm down baby girl,” I told her as she took my hand pulling me off the deck. We walked to the tree house where I found Sara laying on the ground by the stairs holding her bloody knee and crying.
“Sssssshhh,” I whispered to Sara picking her up and carrying her back to the lodge, “You’ll be ok sweetheart. Let’s go find a band aid and get you cleaned up.
“Thank you uncle J,” she said with her tears subsiding.
“There’s my brave girl,” I said walking in the side door and setting her on the downstairs restroom counter. I grabbed a paper towel and wetted it cleaning away the dirt from her scraped knee.
“Cassie sweetie can you open the first aid box there and hand me a band aid?”
“Ok daddy,” she said and set about doing so.
“There we go little one,” I said to Sara as I had cleaned up her wound. It wasn’t that bad at all, a small scrape really, “You girls shouldn’t be ruff housing so much on those old stairs.”
“We weren’t daddy,” Replied Cassie handing me the bandage strip, “She just slipped on the third stair as she was coming down.”
“Ok, well were all better now. So go back out and play for a while and I will call you back for dinner.”
“OK,” the girls said in unison. Sara jumped off the counter and they both ran outside. I followed after sitting back down on the deck chair again. I hadn’t realized I had fallen asleep, that seemed to happen to me a lot lately. I reached over to the side table and took a long swig of my ice tea finishing it.
It was mid-August and the island was really warm today. Most everyone had gone down to the beach but the girls had wanted to stay at the lodge and play in the tree house so I volunteered to stay there with them. It made me happy to see how well Sara and Cassie got along with each other, I could see in them a y0ung Lilly and Cassie playing in the tree house and it made me happy I had finally made good use of my families money and property.
I had never intended to come back to the island when I asked Ash to marry me but as life has its own agenda at times it was a fools notion that I wouldn’t ever come back here. As I watched the girls play in the tree house I was really happy I had changed my mind about staying away. I was happy they got along so well despite the fact that they really didn’t see each other that often. Our schedules didn’t link up enough now a days to allow the girls to see one another much.
I was just setting my empty drink bottle back down when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I actually jumped at the light touch as I had been so in thought I hadn’t heard anyone walking up. I turned my head and smiled up at the new arrival to the lodge.
“Hi Anne,” I said standing up and pulling her into a hug, “I’m so glad you guys finally made it out.”
“Me too, I was so sad we couldn’t come last year,” she said giving me a fake pout and we both laughed, “Mom’s up in the room and she will be down really soon. Where is everyone?”
“Down on the beach, your welcome to join them.”
“I think I will, I’ll come catch up with you in a little while,” she said walking towards the trail to the ocean.
It had taken a couple years of asking to finally get Jenny to come out here and I was really happy she had finally chosen to come. She had already met Katie after my dad died but she was a little leery of meeting the rest of the family. Lilly was overjoyed to see her the first year she had come to the island, she actually cried to see Jenny/Jessica all grown up now. Jenny had only vague memories of Lilly but was happy to see her again as well. Jenny had come every year ever since only missing last year.
“Hi Joe,” Jenny said walking up behind me as I was about to sit down again. I turned and hugged my sister.
“Hi sis,” I said smiling, “Anne just walked down to the beach, the whole family is down there. Except the girls of course,” I explained leaning my head to indicate Cassie and Sara.
“That’s ok,” she said walking over to the outdoor cool and pulling out a beer, “I think I’m fine right here,” she told me sitting down on the deck chair next to mine.
“So I got your letter, I think it’s great that your adoption finally went through,” I told her.
“Yeah, it took a while but Anne is legally my daughter now,” She said smiling, “As far as that go’s it’s great to see the girls getting along so well.” I looked over towards them again to see them playing with their dolls at the bottom of the tree house stairs, “Do the girls know?”
“No, they’re too young to really explain it all to them yet, but we will tell them when the time is right and they are old enough to understand.”
“I guess you’re right, how old are they now?”
“Cassie is 9 now, she had her birthday a few weeks ago,” I began, “And Sara just turned 7.”
Jenny and I talked for about an hour before she began to doze off in the chair, she decided after such a long trip she wanted to go back to her room and take a nap. I got up and walked to the cooler pulling out another ice tea and sitting back down.
It wouldn’t be long before the family came back the lodge and began to shuffle around before dinner. I closed my eyes enjoying the last few minutes of relative quiet I had for the moment. I was always happiest when I was here with my family every year.
I thought back to how this phase of my life began. It started when Ash came back to my life. I had just asked her to marry me and we had moved off the island into our new house. The first person we called about our engagement was Lilly
“I’m not really surprised at all,” She admitted giggling slightly, “You guys didn’t do as good of a job hiding things from me as you thought.”
“I’m surprised you never tried to intervene then,” I replied with a slight laugh.
“Intervene?” she stated with a puzzled tone, “I was the one who told you to accept her flirting and be nice to her, I knew she loved you then.”
“You little sneak!” I exclaimed.
“My only concern was that she was just to young then, as much as I wasn’t opposed to the idea of you two getting together someday I thought she wasn’t ready before you went to college.”
“Yeah, and it was all perfectly innocent back then,” I told her sarcastically.
“I know better than that, but I didn’t want to interfere too much because I love us both so much.”
“Thanks,” I told her sincerely, “We went through a lot to get here today and your blessing means the world to me.”
“Thank you Joey, I hoped years ago that if I stayed out of it you guys would work things out. I’m so happy you did.”
After moving in to our new home I opened my second used store location off the island in Kayak Falls with Ash as my one employee at that location. I had told Ash I was going to run this location myself until I found an employee and asked if she could help me from time to time. I had told her she could stay home and take care of the house but she was excited to help when I needed her. Before long the second location proved to be way more profitable than the island shop and it was too much for just myself and I found that I needed her more than we had planned.
What made things worse was that with me spending so much time at the business I didn’t have time to help out Tommy with the remodel designs anymore. His projects were coming to an end with no new clients lined up. After about six months Tommy had closed out all of our jobs and decided he’d had enough of the island, he said he had made enough money to have a good start anywhere; he wanted to go so he was leaving.
It was around this time we found out that he was dating Gia, and they felt awkward about it. Apparently they had begun dating just after she had moved home. Tommy had still been renting the Apartment above the garage and with them hanging around all the time they had begun a relationship. I was fine with everything as business is business and personal stuff shouldn’t come into play but they decided to leave together. I was happy for Gia as I knew she really wanted to leave the island and never come back. She had said so when we first met.
It was around this time Brooke also decided that it was time to get back to school; she had at one time been studying to become a real estate agent putting that on hold to come work with her friends. Brooke had also done something I thought was imposable, she had fallen in love. After Katie’s wedding she had continued to see my cousin Chase and she decided to go back to school near him so they wouldn’t be so far apart. I thought it was cute that she was finally settling down and I had no ill thoughts about her moving on with her life other than I would miss my friend.
This left me shorthanded at both stores however. I talked to Abby and we made the decision to close down the island location and consolidate everything to Kayak Falls. Katie now having lost Gia as her employee and Abby not running my shop anymore the girls decided it was time to move on as well. So that April Katie went ahead and sold her accounting business to a local competitor who was just getting started on the island.
Katie said that she loved the island but the girls had been taking a lot of criticism from the locals about her marriage and with me not living next door anymore they’d had enough and had no reason to stay. They took what money they had left from dad’s settlement and her business sale and moved two states away. Katie decided it was time to use her law degrees from college and she got an entry job at a law firm. I was sad to see my sisters move so far away but I understood that we all couldn’t stay in the same place forever.
In May of that year Ash’s friend Terra came up to visit. She had recovered from all of her injuries and missed Ash terribly so I flew her out. After hearing what had happened to her I was really surprised that she ever wanted to come back to Kayak Falls but she said it hadn’t been the town that caused that situation. She stayed with us in our guest room for a while and she decided she wanted to stay. It turned out to be good timing as Ash was so tired by then she couldn’t hardly work anymore. I hired Terra to fill in for Ash over the next few months as things were getting close to time. After a couple weeks I even helped Terra find an apartment in town, she was excited by that as she had never lived on her own.
That June Ash gave birth to our daughter, I was so over joyed I sat in the delivery room and cried. I was finally a dad; I was so very happy, proud, amazed and scared out of my mind all at once. The baby had come a few weeks early and delivery was very hard on Ash and her little body, she came very close to dying giving birth. I held her hand during the whole delivery willing any strength in my body to her. In the end she pulled through very weak and her color pale form loss of blood.
The baby however didn’t fare as well as her mother. Due to the complications at birth our daughter didn’t make it. Ash and I were devastated at the loss of our child, she became so inconsolable she wouldn’t even talk to me and told me to leave the room when I would come in. To make matters worse the doctor told us it would be highly unlikely we would ever have another child.
I was lost as I felt like my life was crashing down around me. This was the second child I had lost one way or another. What was worse was with Ash’s anger towards me and the situation I thought I had lost her too. I was crushed about the loss of my family. I closed the store for a week and Terra stayed by Ash’s side the whole time she recovered. It was Terra who helped me through the worst of things that week. She told me to be strong and Ash would pull through this depression and I shouldn’t fear losing her.
When things were at their worst for us Lilly showed up with Katie and Abby. It was Lilly who helped pull Ash out of her depression as she held her and talked to her telling her things would be ok and that she just needed to get well again so we could try again. Ash and Lilly cried things out together and in the end Ash asked for me to come back to the room.
“I’m sorry I made you leave,” she said pulling me to her and holding me tight. I climbed onto the bed with her and we held each other, “I love you so damn much.” She told me as she began to cry on my shoulder. I wanted to say something to her but felt like my words would only fall short. I kissed the top of her head and just held her all night.
Before Katie and Abby left the hospital I talked to them about my next plan. We had two abandoned houses next door to each other just going to waist on the island and I wanted to change that. I convinced Katie to officially sell me her house because she loved my idea so much. Katie sold me the house and land for only 10 dollars so that I would officially own the land but she said she felt like she was donating it to a better cause.
When Ash had recovered and returned home we had a surprise visitor come to see us. Terra was helping me bring Ash into the house when we found Mandy sitting on our doorstep, she had heard about the baby from Linda and come to see us. She had more bad news and wanted us to hear it in person. She began to cry as before she could get the words out and Terra held her tight for ten minutes before she explained what was going on.
When she could talk again she said that Jt had drowned trying to save a baby that had fallen into a river. Ash fell to her knees and cried as her two best friends held her. Mandy said that he managed to save the baby but as he handed her off to the people on the shore the current carried him down stream and he had drowned. I asked why Linda hadn’t called and Mandy said she hadn’t been able to reach us in the hospital and that she had told Linda that she would come to us and deliver the news. Mandy had missed Ash and very much wanted to see her and had already had the bus ticket to come, so she told Linda it might be better not to hear this over the phone.
The girls stayed up all night talking about Jt and the old times they had spent together and by morning Terra had invited Mandy to stay with her at her apartment for a while. I told her if she chose to stay she could work with the girls at the store. Mandy accepted right away happy to be reunited with her best friends even if it was under bad circumstances.
It was another month before Ash decided she wanted to get back to work by then it was almost time for us to close the store for two weeks and drive to the lodge. I had intended to rent the lodge myself for our wedding but Lilly insisted on paying for half of it. I tried to argue but she wouldn’t take no for an answer and in the end I gave in. Ash and I drove out together holding hands the whole way like we had done on our first trip there.
This was my third time at the lodge for a wedding and this time it was mine. I insisted that Ash and I take the same room we’d had the last two times. The master suite would have been more roomy and elegant but that corner room had much more meaning to us. I had an extreme case of déjà vu as we pulled into the parking lot but I was so happy just to be there again.
The first few days at the lodge were a whirl wind of family and wedding decisions. I really wanted to have every detail like it was in the past two weddings, but the lodge planner had tried to talk me into doing things different. In the end it was Ash who put her foot down with the woman and explained that family was very important and we wanted to honor my lost father. When she understood we were trying to honor someone who had passed away the planner backed down and everything looked just like dad’s wedding to Lilly.
The first week was really great with family and friends, Brooke and Chase had come early to help then Lilly and my sisters made to out by mid-week. I loved my time with my family so much and I was sad to see how upset James and Linda were when they had arrived. They put on a happy face for everyone but you could see they were still in great pain from the loss of Jt. Mandy ran up to Linda as soon as she arrived and they hugged for a long time.
The night before the wedding Abby and Katie kidnapped Ash and told her she wasn’t allowed to sleep in the same room as me. The girls went out to a club in town as a bachelorette party and I ended up just hanging out in the bar with James. We talked and he gave me some fatherly advice about life, women and love in the end I was really happy to sit and talk to him that night I was sad my dad couldn’t be there and James helped fill that missing spot.
Jenny and Anne called me that morning to wish me good luck and tell me that they were unable to make the wedding. I was sad as I would’ve loved to have her there and to be reunited with Lilly after so many years but that would have to wait. After her call I went to the pool and swam with my family for a couple hours before returning to my room. I changed out of my wet clothes and lay down on the bed to take a nap for an hour before I had to get ready.
Abby woke me a few hours later, “WAKE UP,” she yelled in my ear, “You’re supposed to be ready by now.” I snapped awake and looked at my watch. It was only a half hour before I was supposed to be standing at the altar.
“Sorry,” I said jumping out of bed still naked from stepping out of my swim wear earlier. Abby gave me a smile and slapped me on the but as I ran down the hall to the shower holding my under clothes in front of myself. I returned ten minutes later in my boxers and undershirt my hair still wet and messy from the shower.
“You really are a sight,” she said giggling.
“I know, I’m going to be late to my own funeral someday too,” I said pulling my tux out of the closet.
“So are you ready for this?” She asked.
“I hope so,” I replied sighing, “If not It’s too late to run away.”
“You know it’s not too late for us to get married.”
“Yeah right,” I responded laughing, “How would that work? You’re married to my sister.”
“Not legally and we could run away together,” she said so straight faced I thought she was serious.
“Oh you are priceless,” she said falling back on the bed laughing, “I just wanted to screw with you one last time before Ash becomes the luckiest girl in the world.”
“I love you Abby,” I told her pulling her into a hug, “I’m so glad you’re standing there with me today.”
I finished getting ready and Abby pinned a rose to my collar. We held hands as we walked down the stairs and out the doors leading to the altar. It was that moment I was stricken with a fear unlike I had ever felt before. I closed my eyes and began to breathe deep trying to remember the advice James had given me the night before about remaining calm.
I still had my eyes closed when I heard the wedding march begin to play. I was shaking by then and I could feel Abby’s grip on my hand tighten.
“It’s going to be ok,” she whispered in my ear, “Just look up.” I opened my eyes to see Katie standing opposite us smiling at me; I looked down the aisle to see my love walking to me.
My heart skipped about three beats seeing her in her wedding dress. Instantly I stopped shaking and stood up straight letting go of Abby’s hand, Ash was the vision of an angel in white walking towards me with the light shining behind her. She glowed brighter than the sun as she arrived at the altar. Lilly who had walked with her giving her away left her to sit down as our hands touched.
It was finally here, and it was now, our wedding day, the day I told the world what my angel meant to me. Our hands came together and we held on tight as we looked deeply into each other’s eyes. The minister began the service reading the words we had discussed beforehand but I didn’t hear a word I just saw my Ashley. When it was time to recite the vows he actually had to clear his throat to get my attention away from her so we could continue.
With the words said and the vows made he pronounced us husband and wife, I kissed Ash with an intensity we had never felt before. She wasn’t just my wife she was my balance, she was the missing part of my soul now joined as one. I could vaguely hear clapping and cheering as our kiss seemed to last days.
“Alright get a room you two,” Called Terra in a laughing tone, “You’re going to make us sick.”
“Speak for yourself they’re going to make me horny,” Joked Brooke back at her. It was only then I pulled away from Ash to realize our hands had moved and we were rubbing each other’s sides. Ash stepped back almost embarrassed.
The rest of the day was a blur of congratulations, handshakes and hugs. There was a bouquet toss and a garter belt to throw, cake to smash into faces and dancing but it all went by so fast. Before we knew it, it was after midnight and we both were exhausted. Ash and I walked hand and hand up to our room and stripped out of our clothes before climbing into bed.
“I’m so beat,” she said softly rolling over onto me, “I love you so damn much.”
“I love you too my sweet wife,” I said.
“What’s wrong…?” she asked as I rolled her back onto the bed.
“Nothing, but I can see how tired you are. We don’t have to do this tonight.”
“You don’t want…?” she asked confused and hurt, “We haven’t…… not since we lost the baby.”
“I know my love but I’m really beat too, tonight I just want to be loved,” I told her grinning using the words she had used on me in the past.
Ash snuggled up against me and I wrapped my arms around her holding her as close to me as I could.
“Your right,” she informed me yawning, “This is nice, but you better make it up to me in the morning.”
We spent the rest of the week mostly in our room. We would come out for meals with the family and to go swimming occasionally but our time was mostly spent alone in our corner room where we had fist made love.
I actually was ready to go by the time we left this time. It wasn’t that I was happy to leave the few members of the family who left the same time we did but I was eager to return home with me new wife. It took us two whole days longer to drive home then it had when we had drove up, as we stopped about every few hundred miles to make love again.
After returning home I focused all my time in the store, but as life had settled down I found myself growing restless. With three full time employee’s working now I set about getting on with my next project. I had my mother’s old house demolished along with Katie’s house. I thought about all the money and time I had put into those houses but in the end I wanted to erase the “cursed” house from existence. I went through and pulled out anything savable and put it into storage then had a bulldozer level both homes.
It took me two years and a lot of money, in both supplies and contractors, to build the new structure. I had originally wanted to do all the work myself but as good as I was with remodeling standing structures I realized right away I had no idea of how to start from the ground up and build a new building so I contracted out a lot of the work.
In my original concept I was going to demolish everything including the tree house but when the time came I couldn’t get rid of that. It had meant so much to both Lilly and my mother and I just couldn’t take it down, I had rebuilt it into a tribute to them and thought it would be a great asset to the next generation of children to come. When the lodge was up and built I was really happy to have it still standing.
The lodge I built closely resembled the one where we all had gotten married as that place had meant so much to all of us. The only changes to the design were done for comfort or to make better use of the space I had available. The lodge we had gone to for the weddings was more of a large square design outside; because I had kept the tree house I changed my design to into more of an L shape and added the deck off the back in the L pocket area near the tree house.
The place was a large three story structure with more than enough rooms for the family to come visit, it had an upstairs and downstairs large bathrooms, a dining hall and a large common room lined with couches for visiting, an entertainment room with a big screen TV and movies a game room with a pool and air hockey tables and since I didn’t have room for a pool outside I had a hot tub put in. The reason Katie had basically given me the land was because she liked the idea of building a vacation home for the whole family, which is what it was. Any of our family was welcome to use the lodge anytime they wanted, but I had started an annual family reunion the very first year it was built.
Ash and I had our own room that belonged just to us; I also gave Katie and Abby a permanent room along with Lilly and lastly one for Linda James. All the other rooms were open for anyone to use at any time. The first year we had the reunion in late May for Memorial Day as I was happy to be done with the project and couldn’t wait to get everyone out to the island. Terra and Mandy joined us that year as they were like family to us. Brooke and Chase came out too. It took a few years to get some of the more remote family to start to join us but they finally began to come out too, that made me happy because that was the point after all, to get everyone together.
It wasn’t long after the lodge was completed and the first family reunion came to an end that Ash gave birth to our daughter. Knowing that her birth was close Lilly had decided to stay a few extra weeks staying at the lodge and enjoying some quiet time alone there. I would go visit here a couple times a week and often found her up in the tree house reading. It was great to have to have Lilly around for so long, she really was the greatest mother to both Ash and myself. Lilly had another reason to stay, as she knew as was about to give birth again any day.
Ash went into labor and had another harsh delivery; she again fought to stay alive as she tried to bring our baby into the world. I for the second time held her hand tight kissing her forehead the whole time telling her how much I loved her. I couldn’t breathe as she pushed the baby praying that both mother and child pulled through this time. Ash’s body went limp moments after the birth and the doctors rushed her out of room and into surgery. She had lost more blood this time and she was so white I knew she was gone.
I didn’t know what to do when they took both mother and baby out of the room and away from me. Lilly tried to get me to sit down but I couldn’t and I began to pace the whole floor, the nurses and staff tried to calm me down but I couldn’t be consoled. I had lost another child and the love of my life; nothing had meaning anymore without her. I finally walked back to the room and rested my head against the wall tears running down my face.
It was only a half hour after the baby was born that they brought her out to me, it felt like it had been so much longer but they brought me my baby girl to hold the very first time. I looked over to Lilly and she was crying. It was holding my daughter looking at my step mother that I finally began to calm. Looking into the face of my baby girl my heart melted in a way I had never felt before, she was my baby, my little angel, and I would die for her. It was the happiest moment of my life tempered with what could be the saddest. I had lost family members before but this was my wife, my love and I was running through every emotion in the book at that moment.
Katie and Abby arrived by midafternoon and we still hadn’t had any word about Ash. When they arrived they found me finally sitting down, my head against Lilly’s shoulder crying. The staff had come back and taken the baby to the nursery and given us as much information as they could. As soon as they took her I had broken out in tears again.
“Mom, what’s going on?” Katie asked seeing us both crying, “Did something happen to the baby?” Lilly didn’t say anything but looked at me. I sat up and Lilly stood up and hugged her daughter. Abby went straight to my side and hugged me.
“No, the baby is fine,” I told them finally, “its Ash…” I stopped not able to say the words.
“She’s in intensive care,” Lilly finished, “She might not make it through the night.”
That was the longest night of my whole life. I wouldn’t sit down again until my sisters pulled me back down onto the couch and held me tight. Lilly finally went to sleep after midnight lying down on Ash’s hospital bed, I was happy to see her get some rest. I refused to let myself calm down because I thought if I fell asleep I would wake to Ash being gone.
When morning came I went to the nursery and held my baby girl all morning just waiting for some new information on my wife. It was almost noon when we got word from the doctor that she had shown signs of making a recovery. They had given her blood overnight and her color had come back to her, the doctor said she still had a hard road to go but she had stabilized enough that he was sure she would pull through.
It was only then I was able to sleep, the nurses took my baby from me and helped me back to Ash’s room. I passed out on the couch laying my head on Katie’s lap and she stroked my hair until I had fully lost consciousness. I woke that evening to the doctors telling us we could go in and see Ash one at a time; I let Lilly go first knowing that when my turn came I wouldn’t want to leave her side.
Lilly was only gone about ten minutes before she returned and Katie then Abby went to talk to her next. They all returned telling me that Ash was tired but seemed in good spirits, she was waiting for me next and I almost ran down the hall to see her.
“My angel,” I said to her walking to her bed and stroking her hair, “I love you so much.”
“I know,” she told me smiling weakly and taking my hand into hers, “When I was in so much pain and I knew I was dying all I heard was your voice telling me how much you loved me.” She paused and brought my hand up to her lips, “I focused on that through all the pain and it saved me from letting go.” I began to cry as she spoke to me, I couldn’t hold back as much as I wanted to be strong for her I could feel the tears rolling down my cheeks.
“I was so scared… I thought you had…” I tried to explain to her.
“It was you that made me fight; when I was sure I had no strength left it was you that brought me back.” She gently kissed my hand again and I leaned down and kissed her cheek.
“I love you,” I whispered to her again, “I love you so much there isn’t a word for what I feel for you, because “Love” doesn’t say it enough.”
“I know,” she said softly and I could tell some of her strength was starting to give way and she needed her sleep, “You’re not just my heart, your my soul.” We remained silent for a few minutes both of us crying.
“How is Cassie?” she asked when she had rested a couple minutes.
“Healthy and doing well,” I told her unable to keep the smile from my face.
“Good, I can’t wait to meet her.” It was then the nurse came in and told me that Ash needed to rest and our visiting time was up for now. They told me I could come back in a few hours but I had to leave for now.
“Goodbye my dear wife,” I whispered to her and she kissed my hand again.
Lilly took my sisters and I out for dinner that night, we went to a local Mexican restaurant near the hospital. I didn’t want to leave my wife and child but Lilly convinced me that they were doing fine and getting out for a few minutes would be good for me. I don’t know if it was the cooking or that I was relieved that things were looking up but the food tasted so good that night. I was grateful to have the three people I loved so much around me to help me feel better.
Ash was in the hospital for over a week as her little body recovered, she had remained in intensive care for another day before getting moved back to her room. Abby stayed the whole time but Katie had to return home to her job, she had just taken a week off for the family reunion not that long earlier and her job said they understood her relative had almost died but they needed her back. Abby’s job had told her to return as well so she quit her job telling me family was more important.
I would only leave the hospital to go home to shower and change. On those occasions I would stop into the store and make sure Terra and Mandy were doing ok, they were handling things well and one or the other of them would come to the hospital when they weren’t on shift. Linda and James flew out a couple days after Cassie was born both concerned with Ash and wanting to see the baby.
Once we returned home Abby stayed a couple extra weeks to help with the baby and make sure Ash was ok. This allowed me to take Ash’s shifts in the store so the two girls didn’t have to work all the time. It didn’t take Ash long to get back on her feet after coming home which was great for her but I felt it was nice to have Abby in the house, despite her cooking, since the girls had moved off the island a couple years ago I didn’t get to spend the time with them that I would’ve liked to.
Before I knew it Cassie was turning a year old and it was time for another family reunion again. I moved the date back from Memorial Day to August that year as to enjoy as much sunny weather as possible. Lilly, Linda and James were the first ones to arrive then Brook and Chase and finally Katie and Abby. Other family came and went as the week wore on and it was a great time as always with my family. Everyone was fawning over little Cassie as most of the extended family hadn’t seen her yet, I don’t think she was set down the whole week. Every time I turned around I saw my baby girl being carried around by a different relative, for her part she was a very happy baby and always had a smile on her face.
It was at the end of that week that Ash came to me with an unusual request.
“Joe, do you want more children?” she asked one night after we had made love.
“It doesn’t matter,” I said softly in her ear wrapping my arms around her.
“I’m serious, would you like more children?”
“Ash, don’t do this. You know the doctor said you couldn’t have another child,” I told her not wanting to go down this road of discussion, “Even if you got could get pregnant again I wouldn’t risk losing you again.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about,” she said pulling away from me and turning body away from me looking at the wall.
“What are you thinking about a surrogate or adoption?”
“Not exactly…” she said biting her lip slightly.
“I’m lost then.”
“Well… I was talking with Katie…”
“And…?” I asked wishing she would get to the point.
“Well she and Abby really want a baby.”
“Where are you going with this?”
“Well… I guess they’ve really wanted a baby since Cassie was born but they, of course, can’t do it themselves…”
“I get that,” I replied sarcastically.
“So I might have suggested… that we could help.”
“You’re joking right?”
“No,” she said sharply, “I love them so much and they love you so much.”
“But Ash I can’t father a child with my sister!”
“She’s not your real sister,” she pronounced sharply again, “Besides I know all about you guys in college so it’s not like you haven’t done it before.”
“Yeah, but I wasn’t married then,” I said pulling her back to me again, “I would never cheat on you!”
“I wouldn’t think of this as cheating,” she informed me, “Not in this circumstance.”
“How wouldn’t it be cheating? I would be having sex with another woman.”
“Katie always played a part in our relationship when we were young, and I would be giving you my permission this one time. I know you want more kids don’t even say that isn’t true. I can’t give them to you and it would be so wonderful to give them that kind of blessing.”
“But it really wouldn’t be my kid if it was being raised to think of Katie and Abby as its parents.”
“Joe, I know this is a hard decision,” she said turning back to me and kissing my forehead, “Don’t answer it tonight, just think about it. Look at how happy Cassie has made our lives. We have the opportunity to do that for them.”
I told Ash I would think about it and that’s exactly what I did. I thought about it all the time, the pros and the cons of what this would mean for my marriage and for my sisters. I can’t lie and say the idea of making love to Katie again wasn’t on my mind too. My first thought was if I did this for them I should get Abby pregnant not my sister but then I realized that wouldn’t work, I remembered Abby saying that she couldn’t have children.
Ash did good not to bring up the subject to me again until I went to her with my answer; it was about two weeks after the family reunion I told her that I would do it for my sisters. I called my sisters to tell them that I was agreeable to the idea and both were overjoyed that I would do this for them. The girls flew out to my house at Thanksgiving for the first attempt at getting my sister pregnant.
Despite having made love countless times in the past I felt really awkward as I led my sister by the hand into our guestroom. I had made the decision that if we were going to do this it wouldn’t be in Ash’s and my bed, I couldn’t make love to another woman there.
“Thank you so much for this,” Katie told me as we began to undress.
“Can I be honest with you?”
“Yes, please.” Katie stood before me both of us fully reviled and I felt the old longing for her I hadn’t felt since I was young.
“Joey…” she looked at me as I began to shake. She walked around the bed and held me tight, “We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”
“I’m sorry Katie it’s just that as much as I love you, my hearts not in this.”
“SSSSSSShhh,” she whispered in my ear, “Let’s forget this, you don’t have to do anything that hurts your heart.”
“It’s just that I love her so much and… I feel like I’m betraying her.”
“I understand, it’s ok, I know this is a lot to ask of someone who loves like you do.”
“I want to do this for you… I really do… I just don’t know what to do right now,” I said resting my head on her shoulder. We talked without getting dressed for a long time; it was late when there was a light tapping on the door.
“Are you guys in the middle of anything,” asked Ash in a low voice.
“No, you can come in Katie said pulling the blanket around us as she entered.
“What’s wrong?” She asked taking one look at my face. Abby walked in the door behind her.
I told them I couldn’t do it and I told them I was sorry as I got up and left the room. The girls talked for a while before Abby came into my room. She lay down on the bed next to me and took both of my hands in hers.
“It’s ok Joey, we really love that you wanted to do this for us and I understand about feeling like your cheating. I felt that way so many times when we would make love when Katie was at college.”
“Really? I thought you both were ok with our arrangement then.”
“We were, but I loved her so much that some nights after we made love I actually cried when you had fallen asleep, I felt like I had totally cheated and I hated myself for it,” she told me in a very soft tone. I could hear regret in her voice I had never heard there before.
“I never knew you felt that way or I wouldn’t have…”
“I know, and that’s why I never told you,” she cut in, “You’re always so noble and you try so hard to do the right thing. But on those nights I would wake up and call Katie the next day and talk to her about it. In the end she was ok with my being with you and I loved being held by you at night so much I never let on that sometimes it hurt.”
“So what are you saying?” I asked confused.
“Just that sometimes I felt like you needed to hold me as much as sometimes I needed to hold you,” she tried to explain but had a look on her face like she wasn’t getting her point across like she was trying to, “I never told you that it hurt sometimes because I loved you too much to ever let you think you did something wrong. I never want you to feel like you did something wrong. If this all feels wrong to you then we understand.”
I looked into her eyes and I rested my forehead against hers like we had done so many years ago in the library. My sisters had always been there for me when I needed them, always giving and loving without thought of reward, I made up my mind in that moment that I would give them their baby, I might feel like I cheated on Ash but I would carry that guilt if it made them happy.
I walked back into the room as Katie and Ash were still talking.
“I’m ready,” I told Katie then turned to Ash, “Are you sure you’re ok with going through with this?”
“I am,” she said confidently, “I’ll leave you two alone.”
I went to my sister and kissed her gently on the lips. I held her as we kissed slowly laying her down on the bed. She moaned loudly as my hand made contact with her breasts, gently grazing her nipples. I slowly began to kiss her neck moving my way down her body. We had done this so many times before but that was years ago, and all my yearnings were coming back to me. We were here to make a baby but this was Katie and I couldn’t just jump into having sex with her.
I kissed my way lower making my way to her breasts, I needed to taste them again but found myself teasing her instead, circling my tongue around her nipples teasing both of them before I finally took one into my mouth. Katie gasped loudly as I began to suck her nipple gently biting down on it as I did so.
“Oh MY GOD!” she blurted out, “I forgot how good you make me feel.” I didn’t respond with words I simply turned my attention to her other nipple and began work on that one.
I moved my kissing down her body, replacing my teeth and lips with my hands as I made my way down. Katie opened her legs wider as my lips made contact with her dripping wet slit. I slipped my tongue along her outer lips savoring her flavor. Her hips bucked as I began to turn my attention to teasing her throbbing clit.
“Please Joey I need you,” she said pulling my head back up to hers kissing me with a fury, “I haven’t been with a man in sooooo long, I need you now!”
I moved into position above her rubbing my cock on the outside of her pussy. I could feel how ready she was but I was feeling a little devious at that moment. I remembered those nights a decade ago when I was so horny for her and she would let me get so close to making love to her and then we wouldn’t. I wanted to torcher her for a couple minutes before giving her what she wanted.
“Stop teasing me,” she begged, “Please make love to me.”
That was all the prompting I needed as I couldn’t resist her any more. I pushed my way into her and began thrusting as hard as I could. She felt so good and yet so familiar; all the old feelings I’d had for her began to well inside me as I made love to my sister. I used those old feelings as a focus point as I tried to thrust deeper insider her with each stroke.
It didn’t take long that first night for her to find her orgasm, her body bucked under me and she cried out in ecstasy as her orgasm hit her, feeling her body tense up caused me to explode into her. I shot load after load of seed into her womb until I collapsed on top of her.
“Thank you Joey,” she whispered as I rolled off of her, “Thank you so much. I love you my toy store boy.” I smiled at the nick name. It had been many years since she had called me that. We held each other and she stroked my hair. It was the middle of the night before I left her there dozing peacefully. I pulled on my boxer shorts and walked down stairs looking for something to drink.
I had just stepped into the living room when I found Abby laying on the couch crying to herself. She closed her eyes and acted like she was sleeping but I sat down on the edge of the couch next to her.
“What’s wrong Abby?”
“Please tell me,” I requested of her, “I can’t stand to see you crying.”
“It’s nothing; I’m just having one of those nights we talked about.”
“I thought… I thought you were ok with this?”
“I am, don’t get the wrong idea. It’s just been a while since we shared each other and I’m just having a hard time tonight.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t be,” she said harshly sitting up, “Don’t be sorry, if this works out you will have given us a gift we can never repay.”
I leaned over and held Abby until she fell asleep; she pressed her head into my shoulder as she dozed of whispering a very soft “Thank you” before she was taken by sleep.
I walked into the kitchen and drank half a carton of orange juice before returning upstairs to sleep at Ash’s side. It was only when I climbed into bed next to my sleeping wife that the real guilt hit me. Looking at my sleeping angel I felt the first real stirrings of what I had done and I felt like a complete ass for going through with the plan. I just tried to focus my mind on what Abby had said, that it would be all worth it in the long run when I could be there to see the look on the girls faces once they had their baby.
By morning I was starting to feel a little bit better, I woke my wife and made love to her for over an hour before we got out of bed. I needed to be with her so much that morning. The next three nights were a repeat of my time with Katie making love again as to better her chance of becoming pregnant. The next mornings I always made sure to make love to Ash in intense sessions to reassure her who I loved best.
My sisters returned home after only a few days with us as Katie had to get back to work again. We called them every day for two weeks but to see if Katie had gotten pregnant only to hear that she hadn’t. All four of us were disappointed as it seemed it wasn’t meant to be. I felt really guilty now for having made love to another woman all for nothing. My mood took a turn for the worse as I felt like I had betrayed my marriage.
After days of sulking around the house Ash sat down with me one night and told me to stop worrying about it. She said that she wasn’t upset with me and I hadn’t done anything wrong as they had pushed me into this decision. She was very patient with me as I gradually pulled myself out of my depression. Part of what made me upset is that I had got myself excited to have another child and I had felt like I failed.
Katie and Abby came back for again at Christmas so that we could try again. I found myself less willing to try again. I still hadn’t gotten completely over my guilt from the first attempt and I didn’t think I could go through it all again. Ash again came to my sister’s assistance; she suggested that if we were making a baby for my sisters then maybe both of them should be there for the conception of the baby. I pulled Ash aside to talk with her alone after this suggestion.
“Let me get this straight,” I said confused, “You want me to have a threesome?”
“Well in so many words, yes,” Ash stated, “You’re doing something that affects both of them and last time I know your heart wasn’t in it because of what you thought you were doing to both Abby and I. This time I think Abby should be involved and I’ll be there with you to hold your hand and tell you how much I love you.”
“I… I can’t… make love to her with you there that’s so… just wrong,” I informed her, “Also I felt bad enough doing it with Katie, I can’t cheat on you again with them both.”
“I keep trying to tell you I don’t see it as cheating!” She exclaimed, “Your sisters have always been wrapped up with our relationship in the past, I’m ok with doing this.”
“But that was when we were kids; things were different when we got back together.”
“Do you trust me Joe?”
“Of course my love,” I said hugging her and kissing her cheek, “More than anyone else.”
“Then trust that I have a plan and it will all be ok.”
We all went out to dinner that night at a really great Italian restaurant. We had one of the greatest nights laughing and just enjoying each other’s company. By the time we got back to my house we all were in a very comfortable mood with each other. My sisters went upstairs to the guest bedroom to get ready and I held Ash at the bottom of the stairs shaking. It wasn’t the sex to come that scared me but what I had thought in my own mind it would mean.
“Come on Joe it’s time,” my wife whispered to me. She took my hand and led me upstairs. The girls were naked and laying on the bed when we walked into the room. Ash pulled up a chair next to the bed and sat down as I began to undress. I was so wound up at that moment that even with two gorgeous girls lying nude in front of me I couldn’t rise to the occasion as it were.
“I thought this might happen,” Ash giggled and she hit the play button on the tape deck next to the bed. I instantly began to laugh as that Dumb Ass Song began to play. The girls broke down laughing too and the mood in the room softened instantly. I began to have the usual reaction I had to the song as I climbed onto the bed.
“Now Abby you start kissing and touching Katie,” Ash requested and Abby willingly complied. The girls began to kiss passionately and my reaction to the sight of them made me go harder, “Good, now Joey move in and… well you know what to do,” Ash continued. I moved up Katie’s body and slid into her warm and tight pussy.
“Now close your eyes Joe,” Ash whispered in my ear. I did as I was told and Ash began to rub my back, “I love you so damn much.” I made love slowly to my sister this time savoring every second. Ash continued to rub my back and tell me how much she loved me; with my eyes closed I envisioned I was really trying to conceive a baby with my loving wife. It was a total change from how we had tried to do this the last time.
It was one of those moments in time that can’t be described or ever re-created. As much as I had felt guilty the last time we had tried this, it felt right this time. Here I was with the three girls who had ever meant more to me than anyone in the world. When I finally came I unloaded inside Katie, I released my seed into her with all the love I had ever felt in my life. It was an orgasm unlike any I had ever experienced before, when my body had let go every drop of my load I was so emotionally and physically drained I collapsed on the bed falling in-between Katie and Abby.
“I’ll give you guys all a minute,” Ash said getting up and walking out of the room. I woke sometime later to find Ash lying halfway on top of me. She was naked and had pulled a blanket up over us. I kissed her forehead and rolled her onto her side spooning with her and kissing her neck. She purred in her sleep a little and I stroked her hair until I fell asleep again.
My sisters left a day later we didn’t attempt to conceive again on that visit. We talked about them coming back out in another month if there was no baby this time. We thought if it didn’t work out in January then we would fly to them in February to try again then. I agreed at the time but thought to myself if it didn’t work out on those four attempts then I wouldn’t do it again as it would be obvious then it wasn’t meant to be.
As it turned out my concerns were unnecessary as a week after Christmas Katie called us and explained that she had become pregnant. I talked to Abby too on that phone call and she was so grateful to Ash for suggesting she be there for the conception because she felt it was like they conceived their child themselves. In the end I had to admit Ash had been right, the happiness in my sister’s voices made it all worth it.
The next family reunion was a big hit that year, Katie had just given birth to Sara and it was the first time Jenny and Anne came out to the island. It was also the year that Brooke and Chase announced that they were getting married. I was so happy for them and thought it would be really great to have Brooke as part of my family. Mandy and Terra joined us out on the island as well as their new boyfriends. I noticed a lot of our younger generation had grown up in the last couple years and many brought with them boyfriends or girlfriends. I was great to meet new people and see the start of so many relationships.
The lodge had its first marriage a year later at the next family reunion as Chase asked me to stand with him as his best man when he married Brooke. He asked me to be best man because he said if it hadn’t been for my friendship with Brooke they would never have met. Brooke asked Abby to be her maid of honor because she said that the time she had spent with Abby at the store and on the island had been one of the greatest friendships she had ever had. The wedding was just as amazing as any we had done at the old lodge were I had gotten married.
By that time the store was doing very well, I had to change the hours to keep up with customer demands, meaning I had to work more hours myself. We had never believed in leaving our daughter with a day care service and when Ash and I both had to work we would bring her to the store with us. There were a few times when she was young that some costumers would be upset to wait if we needed to tend to Cassie but most felt it was really adorable that we had her in the store. By the time Cassie was three she spent most of her days in the store, she would sit behind the register and always thank the customers for coming in. It was the cutest thing ever.
It was only a couple months after the reunion that Mandy had become pregnant. She moved out of Terra’s apartment at that point and moved in with her boyfriend. Mandy had saved her money well and had a great down payment for buying a house; I co-signed a home loan for her so she could raise her baby in a real house. Unfortunately Mandy and her boyfriend broke up not long after the baby was born and Mandy was left all alone, she almost lost the house but Terra came to her rescue. She had recently broke up with her boyfriend too so she gave up her apartment and moved into the house with Mandy to help with the baby and rent.
I shook off my memories when I heard the family returning from the beach, I looked up to see Sara and Cassie still playing with their dolls I reached over and drank down the rest of my ice tea before getting up to greet everyone. I walked over to the girls, admiring my children.
“Cassie, Sara come on girls it’s time to go inside,” I told them and reached down. Each took one of my hands as we began to walk inside. Ash ran up behind me and began to rub my shoulders as I walked the girls.
“I love you,” she whispered to me.
“So damn much,” I whispered back grinning.
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