Written by Mercedes Keyes
Interracial drama series
[Overall] Rated R

To read further – http://amberswann.com

Deidre & Her mother

Chapter 43

They were back.

Oscar hadn't been home long himself. He'd begun in setting matters into motion. He'd wrestled with his conscience on one matter in particular but his weightier needs won out. He was truly at the point of no return. Georgiana was more and more out of control. Something in the way she leered at him gave him the feeling, that soon, she might just up and ask him for a divorce. She was home, less and less, and tolerated his touch only when she was desperate for a touch. Their relationship had always be precariously balanced on a precipice that with a shift of a current or wind, off it would tumble. He was surprised it had lasted as long as it had. Mainly due to the old man. Georgiana's father. While they were away, the phone call had come in from the nursing home, he had passed on that morning. From the moment he'd drawn his last breath, all of the financial empire that had been built within the family for over a hundred years now belonged to Georgiana and her daughter, Deidre. Oscar had no choice but to see her as that, Georgiana's child. For what he had planned, he must block all possible reasoning that she could be his.

Georgiana had cheated on him. Often. In the past and certainly now. That's all there was to it. There was a fifty-fifty chance that she was his… his mind was made up, the fifty he chose lay on the side of, 'not.'

He cast his conscience in the trash because simply put, he would not return to being a poor man. Granted, if all went belly up, he'd walk away with a few million of his own earnings. But it wasn't enough to maintain the lifestyle he'd become accustomed to. He'd lived for years in the lap of luxury and convenience, working hard hour after hour, day after day, year after year to learn all the ins and outs of this family empire. With 5 banks, 4 mortgage/finance companies, and various investments in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and the fashion industry, this family would never see the end of a rapid growth dollar. For Oscar, his few millions weren't enough, he wanted this empire, an empire that harvested billions – what was a few millions compared to that? He wanted the top spot, the king of the hill position. There were also many political ties, there was power in controlling the political arena – he wanted that. He'd worked his way in good with Georgiana's father but the man had never really come to trust him entirely. He hated him for that. Didn't matter if he were right in not trusting him, point was – now he must stoop to whatever means possible to take, what he felt, was rightfully his. He'd been flexing his power muscles too long to just leave them over to soften as all was turned over to Georgiana and her daughter. He was not about to be any woman's lackey, begging for his place, kissing her ass while she as much said to the world, 'I'm married to an impotent cuckold, what new way should I disgrace him today?'. No – time was closing in for that chapter in his life to end. He had to be careful and take slow baby steps toward his goals. Should he move too hastily, a slip up may be his reward and he'd lose all. He had to think hard, strategize carefully and consider all the possibilities while getting his men into place. To set all in motion, would take him longer than he wished to carry it all out, but it was too risky to make an error. He knew what he must do, he would have to work backward to make things look as if they'd taken place of natural circumstance. As much as he hated having to start where he would, there was no way around it…things had been set into motion.

He walked to the door of his office and opened it. Georgiana, as usual, was in the midst of a dramatic entrance, ordering herself a bath and complaining about the drain of flying such distances, while Deidre walked past him without a word and gracefully ran upstairs.

"Would you come in here please? I'd like to know what's going on." Oscar asked kindly, watching and waiting for her reaction. She stopped at the stairs as the household help went about setting up her baths and calling for a masseuse – that was the way they interpreted her orders when she was being dramatic about the stress of having been inconvenienced. In the mood to indulge him, she smiled a catty smile and turned from the stairs and made her way past him into the study.

"So… I take it she decided to leave her?"

"Oh no, we hadn't decided anything of the sort. The little shit has made an all out drama about her life here! Oh she's stirred a right nasty little storm, that one has. She is now in the hands of the courts there. They've decided that Deidre somehow needs to improve her life circumstances before they will turn Angela back over to her. In other words, she's with her father…for now that is. Albeit in foster care of his – so called – fiancée. A Negro! I mean we actually saw her! Can you just imagine-…" She stopped suddenly, looking at him cunningly as her memory served up back data. "Come to think of it, you can imagine it… can't you?"

"We're not going to start that are we? Because by no means is my track record anywhere comparable to yours." He defended tightly.

Georgiana smiled a touché, she would give him that. "Anyway, I've set up an appointment with our attorneys – we'll get this matter over and done with in no time. Who in hell do they think they are? And that little ingrate saying such nasty things against the Wherrington house! How dare she! Oh we will get her back, then we shall convince Deidre to send her off to school since she's so unhappy with her home here!"

"Why would we waste time with that? Why can't you both see the girl is better off with her own kind!? She doesn't fit in here – she never will! Leave her to him!"

"NO! She's a Wherrington! She belongs here! And I will not rest until she's back here!" Georgiana declared.

"You think you're so clever! Getting her back here has nothing to do with being a Wherrington! This is about McPherson! I know it! You know it!"

"Don't be absurd! I loathe the man! I once figured him intelligent and with standards… yet, I've been mistaken about the true nature of men before… haven't I? You're all the same, you'll do anything for money and fuck anything on two legs!"

Oscar tossed his head back and laughed at her, coming down to wipe a tear, "Are you talking about us? Or yourself? Aaah, oh well, we know what this is all about don't we? Still haven't gotten him to fuck you again hm?"

Georgiana reached out to slap him; he caught her wrist. She growled in his face, "You're just angry because I won't let you fuck me!"

"Let me explain something to you…" He grated out and turned her, twisting her arm up behind her back.

"Let go of me!" She panted as he pushed her face down over his desk, shoving her down and pinning her there with his forearm, pulling her skirt up and ripping her panties aside, followed by freeing himself. "…I can fuck you… any time… I feel like… like now….Uhhhh – like now…." He groaned thrusting deep into her, finding her to be ready as it were, pumping hard as he held her down, Georgiana's eyes rolled back as she gasped from the shock of him forcing himself into her and began panting. His taking her as he did thrilled her, drove her lust meter clear to the ceiling. She had been randy for days, but interference of Deidre's problems had blocked her usual routine of finding a suitable male to satisfy her rioting needs. Now this, "Yes… harder… emmmm, harder… oh yeah!" She panted, he pulled back and turned her over, pulling her legs up and grabbing her knees to spread her as he went on to re-enter her, pounding out his aggressions with gnashing bared teeth.

"Yeah… you'd forgotten hmmm, forgot what a good fucking I could give… yeah… you forgot…"

"OH! YES – Ooo – ooo – oooh, emph!"

He went on, rubbing her with his thumb, pounding away at her until she exploded, then doing  the same himself.

Sweating he backed away from her, his legs shaky – a smile on his face. Georgiana sat up and stared at him. Yes, she had forgotten about him. She'd been so busy trying to humiliate him she'd lost all memory of the pleasure she once found sharing his bed. Way back when – before all the facts came to the fore and they started hating each other.

"Yeah… I still got it baby! So while you're out chasing Tom cats for a hot shag… think about that."

She wouldn't give him the satisfaction. "Hmph… think about what? I've forgotten already. As far as I'm concerned, you've done nothing but fire me up for someone else to finish me off." The changed expression on his face made her laugh. She stood, dropped her skirt back into place covering herself and walked toward the door. "Good thing I ordered a bath, hm?" She murmured nastily stopping at the door to leer back at him, then smiling asked, "By the way, who's the new chauffer? And where is Craig?"

He knew what she meant asking that in that tone, she'd gotten the last reaction from him with her cutting tongue. He answered cool and detached, adjusting his clothes, "Something must have happened to him. He didn't show up for work, I needed a driver… hired the new guy." Oscar informed her, swallowing down his hatred of her, he'd pack it away in that tight, hot spot to fester with all the other reasons being married to her had emotionally castrated him.

"I sure hope you checked his references." She finished smartly, leaving him standing in the doorway as she made her way up the stairs, a smile of satisfaction on her face. 'Oh life is wonderful.' She grinned to herself.  Oscar stood peering up the stairs as she disappeared. "

Yes… I checked, I checked alright… he's just right for the job… believe me he is." He declared softly.


*   *   *


Deidre lay back on her bed with her eyes filling with tears. Sniffing as the images in her mind would not let go. Shawn with adoring loving eyes, cast toward another woman. "My god, he's really in love with her." She muttered with one hand  resting at her forehead, holding a hanky, and the other at her stomach, she felt sick with heartbreak. She knew Shawn, the way he was – and she knew when he was well and truly smitten. She lay trying to purge her body, her mind of him – but it was harder than she'd ever imagined it would be.

'How did a woman get over losing a man like him?' She wondered. "There should be something to take to help with this." She whispered to herself. It was the ache within. It was so hard, so unrelenting. All the things she remembered about him added salt to the wounds. How it felt to be adored by him. To be the recipient of his smile with eyes that would twinkle devilishly. The smell of him that was distinctly his when they kissed. And when he kissed, all the power and passion that was the man came with his tender, and sometimes powerful kisses. His laughter was like a heady wine, that went to all the right places, making one wish to hear it again and again. She turned over in the fetal position. Suffering from the memory of him making love to her. Filling her and riding her endlessly. He was an amazing lover and that too she missed, there was no sense in lying to herself. He had been her one and only lover. No other man had touched her. She feared no other man would give her the absolute fulfilment he had. If that were so, she was doomed. Because she knew that she must find the strength to move on. To let it go. To let him go. He was happy. He deserved to be happy. He deserved a woman by his side who would give him all the things he'd longed for. If she had the chance to do it all again, she would do it all differently. Starting with leaving California from the moment they said their vows.

"Stop thinking about it Deidre! Its time to move on!" She chastised herself, gripping her hair, pulling it back from her face. Her mind went to Sylvia. With a deep sigh and softening expression, she hated to admit it, "She's beautiful Shawn. You always did go for the very best. What are you like Sylvia? My daughter is with you. How are you treating her? She's a good girl…really she is." She sat up in her bed and looked around her. Things, expensive things were everywhere. "They mean nothing. Nothing at all. You're just like your daddy Angela, it meant nothing to him either." She sniffed and pulled her knees up folding her arms and dropping her head there. "Is there a GOD?" She wondered out loud. "Are you real? Really real? If so, could you please…please… give me a little help here. Should I let my child go? I do love her…I do. And yet, I don't know how to." She sat thinking quietly for such a spell that the knock at her door startled her, lost as she was.


"Its me, can I come in?" Oscar called from outside.

Deidre rolled her eyes toward the ceiling, wishing he would just go away.

He knocked again. "Are you decent?" He asked.

"What do you want?" She asked.

"Obviously to talk to you." He answered opening her door carefully to look in. She was sitting in the center of her bed looking as if she'd been dunked in misery. A pang of conscience struck him, he squashed it.

"I'm not in the mood to talk right now." She returned staring at him with hostile eyes.

"Considering the moods you're often in, can't wait around for the right one to suddenly strike, now can I?" He replied walking in. "Your mother has mentioned that you all plan to fight McPherson for the girl. Do yourself and her a favor, leave her – to him. You need to focus on the business and getting your life in order. Hanging on to her will only lend you the silly notion of hanging onto him."

"She's a human being! She's my flesh and blood! My CHILD! I had her! She should be with me!"

"Since when does giving birth to a child automatically mean you must have her? Visit her, provide for her, leave her a legacy – but leave it to others to rear her. She wasn't happy here anyway, nor are we inclined toward young people."

"I'm leaving here." She informed him discarding all that he'd said. Granted, just seconds ago she was contemplating leaving Angela to Shawn, but anything that fell into agreeing with Oscar or her mother automatically made her wish to rebel.

"What do you mean, leaving here?" He asked taken aback by her announcement.

"Moving out. Getting my own place. Setting up my own life! I should have never returned here, doing so has cost me everything!"

"Nonsense! Your life lacks nothing! If it's a man you need, get yourself one, there's nothing wrong with you, but this ridiculous pinning for that trailer trash you married."

"If you're going to start insulting him, that will draw a conclusion to this discussion!"

"How in god's name can you go on defending him after seeing what a low and despicable character he is! The man has no morals, no self-respect or values!"

"Oh certainly you're not going to stand here and tell me you're in any position, you or mother for that matter, to point out another persons short comings!"

"He slept with your mother!"

Deidre stopped and stared at him, certain that she'd heard wrong.

"Yes… you heard correctly. He used to be her lover! You see while I was trying to break you up from him for your own sake. Your mother's motives were because she wanted him back. I have all the photographs of her constant trips to your place when you were out – she knew that Shawn was there alone. I'm not fooled by her. Angela… you think she wants to help you get her back for you?! For Angela?! HA! She wants her back here to get her away from him…McPherson! So here you are, angry with me for telling you the truth – angry with me because all I've tried to do was protect you – from him! Count your blessings! You're better off without him!"

Deidre sat staring in disbelief. She could not wrap her mind around it. "Are you telling me that my mother carried on an affair with my husband? While we were married?"

"Oooh, I'm certain she would have loved to. Problem is, I don't think McPherson was interested."

"Then what are you talking about!? How else would it have happened if he weren't interested?"

"I'll leave that to your mother to explain."

Chapter 44

With a towel wrapped around her naked body, Georgiana tested her bath water dipping her toe, about to drop the towel and step in when she heard a commotion in her rooms. Her daughter's voice was raised, asking Charlotte of her whereabouts. Georgiana walked to the bathroom door and looked out to see her daughter charging towards her and Oscar standing with his arms crossed at the door, leaning in the frame of it with narrowed green eyes and a look of satisfaction on his face. He was back to a calm cool collected look after their study office encounter, not a strand of his blonde hair was out of place, blonde that was slowly switching over to grey. Soon his hair would be pure white. He wasn't a bad looking man for fifty-seven, in a blood sucking, vampiristic, con-artist sort of way. He stood 5'10 while maintaining good health with a slim body. He wasn't your classic looking handsome, but there was something about him that attracted women to him. He might not be able to brag about his size – but there was nothing for him to be ashamed of either, he was a good average and he knew how to use it. All those years ago, he'd certainly pulled the wool over her eyes, Georgiana thought. She'd certainly spent the last thirty some odd years getting back at him for it. Her eyes passed from him back to her daughter who stood before her boiling. He'd done something to get back at her, he was such a, 'Sore loser.' she thought.

"I was about to take a nice relaxing bath, what is this-…"

"You had an affair with Shawn!? You slept with my husband?!" Deidre demanded to know.

Georgiana lifted one brow as she looked beyond her daughter to Oscar. "Could this not have waited for later?" She asked.

"Don't talk to him! Talk to me! I asked you a question?! Did you sleep with my husband!"

"As much as I really would love to stay and watch this mother and daughter bonding, I'm afraid I have other more important matters to see to. Good day to you ladies."

"You go to hell you bastard!" Georgiana spat with his exit.

"Wrong dear… I'm leaving hell now – but I'll be back later." He leaned back to inform her.

Georgiana turned to stare up at her daughter who stood two inches taller. "Look. It's been a long couple of days. Do the decent thing and let me-…"

"Decent thing?! DECENT? What would you know of decency? How dare you use that word at me!"

"What exactly did he tell you?" Georgiana asked afraid she was going to have to endure a boorish argument.

"That you and Shawn had been lovers! Is it true!?"

"What do you care!? He's not your husband anymore!"

"He was my husband and now its become abundantly clear why you expended so much energy in splitting us up!" Deidre argued hotly.

"Trust me darling, I expended no energy. You want a real man – learn how to be a real woman!"

"You BITCH!"

"Hmph, I can live with that! And first of all…back up out of my face! Bitch or not…I am still your mother! Second of all, what we shared was long before he met you! In other words, he'd been mine first!"

"YOURS FIRST!?!? YOU WERE A MARRIED WOMAN! OH MY GOD! I can't believe I came from you!"

"Oh Deidre really! He's not even yours anymore! ITS OVER! GET IT!? NOW GET OVER IT!!!"

Deidre felt tears come to her eyes as she stared at her own mother feeling as though she'd like to claw her face to ribbons. That was the problem, hate it or not, this person before her was her mother, and nothing would change that one ugly fact in her life.

"Where?" She couldn't help herself, she just had to ask. "When did you meet him? In his porn days? That where? Saw him screwing the day lights out of someone and thought, 'Ou, I think I'll try a bit of that.' Is that how you met him?"

"What do you mean his porn days?"

"Oh don't play stupid mother! I've seen the tapes! So I know you have too! Down in daddy's little office safe, where you two hid them to drop the bomb on me!"

"For your information, I never knew of any porn tapes! However, considering how he's hung, it figures … we both know how he can go, and go and go…don't we. Yeah, porn for him, easy." She grinned licentiously.

"You – make – me ill!" Deidre swallowed back nausea staring at this creature from whom she'd orginated.

"Consider yourself lucky! He's out of your life now! As it is – since he's no longer between us – we could actually be friends. We could work together."

Deidre started laughing, a laugh of clear distaste and revulsion. "You must be kidding! I wouldn't trust you-…" right then she stopped and her expression changed, her eyes grew round, her breathing deepened, and tears rushed to her eyes. "You… you had something to do with my miscarriage didn't you? I told you I was pregnant again and that I wanted Shawn back, and you put a stop to that right away – didn't you? Did you? Did you intentionally make me lose that baby?"

Georgiana looked away from her daughter and turned her back waving her off, "Enough of this! I don't wish to discuss it any longer! I'm in need of a bath and my massage! I need to relax." She walked towards her bath.

"It's true! Oh my god! You killed my baby! You drugged me, made me miscarry!" Deidre was breathing hard, following her mother into her bath.

"Get out of my bath! I told you – I'm done with this discussion!" Georgiana shouted at her, a flutter of fear tickling her stomach. Her daughter stood staring at her, barely five inches separated them as they both stood breathing deep and long.

Deidre's eyes welled up with tears, because as she stood – she was battling a need to kill her own mother. She knew it was best that she not move for fear of attacking her. The un-natural sensation of actually bringing physical harm to her own mother made her stand frozen with the image playing out in her mind. All she would have to do is just push her back and into that tub. Hold her under water, just hold her. Deidre's heart was pounding because the urge, the need was powerful. Georgiana gulped as her own heart hammered in her chest. There was no one in shouting distance, and yet to move might be the very thing that made her daughter snap. So they stood, staring at each other. Mother and daughter. Two totally different people, opposites … strangers … enemies.

A knock sounded at Georgiana's door. It sprang her into immediate action, she rushed around Deidre thankful that someone was there. "YES! COME IN!" She shouted resisting the urge to out and out scream. She was shaking because she knew she was close to being attacked by her own daughter, and something told her, had she been… it would not have been good.

"Ms Wherrington? Here for your massage?" A good looking, buffed male returned entering Georgiana's rooms.

"Yes… come in please." She made her way to him.

Deidre stood in the same spot, tears rolling. Hearing them in the other room, she finally got her locked limbs to move, turning and without a word, walked quietly past her mother and out of her rooms.

"Where would you like me to set up ma'am?" The young male asked. Georgiana lifted her left hand and pointed to across the room, unable to speak, her throat was locked as she stared at the door her daughter exited. She felt weird, an unwelcome sensation coursing over her. Taking a deep breath she shook it off. "You'll get over it." She whispered, then turned away to the young man, a smile spreading across her face. "You set up, I'm going to step into my bath a moment…I won't be long."


*   *    *


"Oh my goodness mom! I'm so happy for you! I knew it! I just knew…gone try an' tell me wasn't nothing going on! When he called me, talking to me – trying to figure out where you were, I knew what the deal was! I said, em hm, mama think she slick!" Crystal laughed and teased her mother from the other end of the line on the phone. Sylvia stood with her back against her kitchen counter, phone to her ear, smiling as she talked to her daughter and her son. He was coming up next week to meet Shawn. Had heard about him from his sister, but this would be the first that they'd meet.

"Well… I was tryin' to fight it." Sylvia grinned.

"Mama! How you gone fight something that fine!? And anyway…I don't get why you struggled for so long with going on with your life! I love you mama, you deserve to be happy! You deserve to have someone love you the way any woman wants to be loved, so what if he white! That's why you didn't want me to know! 'Cause you talked all that stuff about Victor – now look at you! That's why you tried to keep it to yourself!" Her daughter laughed, and Sylvia did too, there was no way she couldn't – because it was true. She knew she'd talked some serious stuff about Crystal falling for a white boy and letting him knock her up. She still hadn't told her daughter that she was pregnant yet. She just couldn't do it. It would have to wait until after they were married… which would be real soon leaving things up to Shawn. He'd been working really hard the last two days. None stop on the book cover layout for Lowell and Mercy James. She knew he had a deadline to meet and left him to get his work done. Popping up to bring him something to eat, or coffee. He worked, sipped coffee and then stepped away and pumped iron. She'd never known anyone to work as he did. To her surprise he had a full basement like she did but his was unfinished. Yet, filled with all of his free weights,  bar bells and weight plates, bars, curl bars, weight benches, an elliptical, a tread mill, a Bo-Flex total fitness gym, a punching bag, a chin up bar, a huge leg press that she thought must weigh a ton. She had quietly observed him. He'd paint for a couple of hours, break to kiss her and walk into his basement and work out like a mad man. And then run until he was pouring sweat on the tread mill. He'd come up, eat what she prepared for him, hug her tight and then back to painting.

He was due up for a break soon.

He'd given her instructions, and he'd be there soon no doubt to make sure she followed through on them. Ever since everything happened with Angela, she'd been unable to sit and get back into her writing. She couldn't focus her mind, so she would wait until things settled around them a bit.

"Mundo, you still on the line?" Sylvia asked her son.

"Yeah… I'm listening to you two. What'up?"

"Well… I want you two to know about something that I learned just a few days ago." Sylvia began.

"Yeah…listenin'." He announced.

"Ummm, your dad had other kids, well… you both know about the two in Chicago. There's another one." She informed them.

"What'aye!" Her son muttered with the rolling of his eyes, his slang term for, 'What a surprise!"

"So who is he?" Crystal asked curious.

"His name is Derrick Paul McPherson, named after his stepfather. And ummm, he lives right there in La Crosse. He's some months older than you Crystal and by the looks of his picture, you two look quite a bit alike."

"Who he look like?" Mundo asked.

"Your sister. They are both with your father's coloring and features." Sylvia clarified.

"Good! Cause I'm one of a kind! Original fine! Ain't a nigga no where with looks like mine!"

"MUNDO! SHUT UP!!!" Mother and daughter both shouted at the same time laughing and rolling their eyes.

"And uh, if it serves my memory correctly, you look like me!" Sylvia reminded him.

"Mama… you a woman, ain't the same!" He joked. Sylvia sighed shaking her head. "Anyway… also… I have Shawn's daughter staying with me. So you both will get to meet her."

"Why she staying with you?" Mundo, short for Armundo, asked.

"Its a long story. I'm gonna make it short and sweet, when I'm done… don't ask me nothing else cause I don't feel like getting deep into it. She ran away from home." Sylvia began and then lied finishing it up. "The courts assigned her into foster care until her mother got her life together since she had full custody. She made a big stink about Shawn getting her, so I have her until they get things settled." She finished.

"Mama you know you be liking you some drama!" Mundo commented, reading between the lines, albeit inaccurately, he knew nothing was as simple as that.

"Boy! Mind yo' bidness! Be glad I told you that much."

Just then Shawn stepped up to her kitchen door. She had it open with just the screen locked, walking over to it she let him in.

"Who's that?" He asked her, indicating the phone as he stepped in, bending to kiss her temple.

"My kids. My son's on the phone."

"Yeah! Put him on here, let me talk to this man." They could both hear Armundo's loud voice. Sylvia shook her head as Shawn took the phone.

"Hello?" He asked.

"Aye man! What up dude? We got to hook up man! 'bout to marry my mom and thangs – we ain't even had no discussions man. Wha's up wit' that?"

"Grab a pen and paper, I'll provide all the necessary information myself." Shawn directed him.

"Hang on hang on." Mundo requested.

Shawn grinned at Sylvia holding the phone to his ear listening to her son as he asked his sister. "Crys' gimme some pen and paper right quick!" Shawn chuckled as she answered, "Nigga get it yo'self! I ain't yo' secretary! I do enough fo' yo' butt!" Shawn threw his head back and exploded with laughter. Sylvia was curious. "What are they saying?" She asked. Shawn waved that he'd tell her later and said to Crystal, "Now you know that's not a nice thing to say to your brother."

"Pul-lease! I call him worse things than that! He better get his en' up and start doing somethin'! He gone make me tell mama what he been doing! Nothing! 'Spose to be going to school and getting a broadcasting degree…"

"Don't be telling him all my business!" Shawn heard him shout out.

"You ain't got no business! Sorry en'! What business you got? You bes' talk to him, 'cause you gone need a home pretty soon! Talkin' all that smack! Better get yo' paper and pen and shut up talking to me!"

Shawn stood shaking his head chuckling.

"What are they saying on there Shawn?!" Sylvia asked.

"Go get on the other phone." He told her. Sylvia hurried to her phone in the bedroom and picked it up, listening to them argue in the background, back and forth. She also picked up on the fact that her son wasn't attending school as he was supposed to. Which was the main reason he went to La Crosse to live with his sister, so he could get an associates degree in broadcasting. She stood in the doorway of her bedroom looking at Shawn as he stared at her, both holding the phones to their ears grinning as her children embarrassed her with their bickering. The radio was on in her living-room, with soft music playing in the background and suddenly the gentle cords of a song came on that captured their attention. Roberta Flacks, 'First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' – her kids faded into the background even more as they shared a moment so sweet, they both felt each word of that song. Standing across the room from each other, they knew how much they were in love. The song went off and Mundo came back online after they'd been standing there for more than five minutes waiting for him and Crystal to shut up so he could get back on.

"Hello? Man she get on my nerve!" Was the first thing he said picking the phone back up. "Okay man I'm ready, fill me in m'man."

"Shawn Everett McPherson – home phone – 608 – 777 – 2002, cell phone – 0349 888 6808 – 110 Washbend Road, Camp Daniels – right across from your mom. Anytime you wanna hook up and have a discussion, that's where you'll find me. Don't hesitate."

"Ah'ight man…cool. We gone do that. You know…'cause hey… the ol'lady… you might need t'talk to her a lil'bit for me."

"Talk to me about what?!" Sylvia cut in shocking her son.

"WHOA! Hey mama… I ain' know you was still on the phone!" He stated shaken up.

"HA! So she probably heard that your stupid butt is not in school!"

"Girl shut up and hang up the phone! You done already said yo' piece, now shet up! Don't nobody wanna hear that!"

"Crystal… get off the phone so we can talk. I'll talk to you later." Sylvia instructed her daughter.

"Okay mama, talk to you later. I love you. Bye Shawn! We'll be coming there to meet your daughter probably next week sometime."

"I can't wait. We'll see you then." Shawn returned, they heard the phone click.

"What's going on with you and school Mundo?!"

"Man ma! I was talkin' to m'man – can't we get back to that later?"

"No we cannot! You on my dime! I called there! We gone talk about what I want to talk about – like why the heck you not in school!?"

"Hang on one minute ma! – HUH?! HEY MAN! HANG ON MAN!!" Mundo shouted as if he were talking to a newly arrived friend. Shawn was laughing so hard his eyes filled with tears of laughter because he knew the trick. Anything to get mama off your case. "I'M ON THE PHONE WIT'M'MAMA! WHAT? AAAAH MAN… OKAY I'LL GET OFF NOW!" He continued on holding the phone away from his ear.

"Mundo!?-…" Sylvia started.

"Mama I gotta go, dude friend of mine just showed up. I'ah talk to you later man, love you – bye! Later Shawn!"

There was an immediate click.

Sylvia pulled the phone away from her ear looking at it with disgust as she stood with one hand on hip. Shawn had walked over and hung his phone up still laughing.

"I should call his butt back! He think he slick! I'm not stupid! He knew wasn't no body there at that house for him! Lyin', triflin', low down lil'snake in the grass, Puerto-Negro gone make me hurt him! And here I am – could be pregnant with another one!"

"Noooo, not one…maybe two like that." Shawn grinned walking up to her, wrapping his arms around her waist as he bent his knees to kiss her neck.

"Em hm, and you crazy too if you think it's a joy to have two more like him." She was in the mood to fuss, trying to hang onto it but he was kissing and nibbling at her neck, hugging her to him.


"What baby?" He answered still kissing her, backing her up towards her bed.

"That boy is not in school! I'm not having it! He is not gonna drive me crazy with his foolishness!" She carried on although Shawn was laying her back in the bed, taking the phone from her hand and reaching over to lay it on it's cradle and turning back to Sylvia whose mind was on her child. He lay there beside her, watching the play of expressions on her face. He took her chin gently and turned her eyes to him. "You do know that whatever it is he wishes to do with his life, he's going to do it. Doesn't matter what you say, or how you reason with him, he's at that age darlin' where he's coming into his manhood. It's a dangerous cross over rife with pit falls and bad decisions, and every man and woman has to come across it. No matter where we stand on the other side, yelling and coaching them to, "Come this way! Come through here! Don't go that way!" – They don't listen. I didn't listen."

"I don't want my son making those kinds of mistakes!"

"Darlin' of course you don't! No parent does. But – all you can do, is pray and be there in case they should come around. It will be no different with our own. When the time to let go comes, we have to let go." He reasoned with her, bending down he kissed her nose. Sylvia sighed, "It's just so hard to go through. And you want me to go through it again." She accused.

"Not alone. I'll be here with you baby…every step of the way….every step."

Sylvia smiled and looked up into his eyes. "I love you…so much. I need to hear that, I'm glad."

"I'm glad that you're glad. Did you make our appointment at the clinic for a check up?" He asked.

"Yes I did. Its two weeks from now on a Wednesday, I marked it on the calendar." She promptly answered.

"Did you call your mother and tell her?" He asked next.

"Emmmm, no. I was kind of hoping you would do that. She likes you."

Shawn laughed out again. "Okay, but I think its safe to say, she likes you too, you are after all her daughter."

"Still… you can call and tell her. She'll love it that you called and talked to her."

"Okay, as soon as we get back, you ready to roll? Its a beautiful day outside, I brought the bike out."

"For what?" She asked bluntly, making him chuckle again.

"For us to ride into town." He answered trying not to laugh at the look on her face.

"Why do we need to ride into town?" She asked.

"Marriage license. You know, that little thing that the county you live in gives you, to say its okay to get married."

"Today?" She asked nervously.

"Yep! Today… I'm all showered and fresh, so are you… let's go."

"Aaaaah – do we have to today?" Sylvia moaned as he stood from the bed, grabbing her hand and pulling her up into a sitting position.

"Yes we do madam…to your feet." He ordered grinning.

"I feel queasy." Sylvia groaned rubbing her stomach.

"You'll be fine when that fresh air hits you." He promised pulling her against him for a hug. She stood leaning against him with her head to his chest and her arms hanging down by her sides, looking like she was being forced to go clean the toilet of a roadside fill-up station with no gloves on.

"Aaaah baby, perk up! You're starting to make me feel as though you don't wanna marry me."

She looked up and wrapped her arms around him then. Staring up at him, she confessed. "I'm scared. Aren't you?"

"No. I know what I'm getting. I believe in you, and that I've made the right choice, totally and completely. Now why don't you feel the same way about me?"

"I do Shawn. Honestly I do. But -…"

"But what?"

"It's different for a woman, than it is for a man. I mean… oh I don't know what I mean. I'm sorry."

"Hey… I understand okay? Give me a kiss." He leaned down as she tipped up to kiss him. After it lingered a bit, he stood straight again, caressing her cheek. "Come with me and see what I have for us."


Chapter 45

"Oooh Shawn." Sylvia whimpered, her fear clear to see.

Shawn couldn't help himself, he had to laugh. She made the most comical, adorable faces he'd ever seen.

"Baby…you'll love it. Come on try it for me." He coaxed her sitting out on his Harley Davidson, he had his leather on and his shades, holding a specially ordered helmet on his lap. He'd paid quite a bit for the two helmets. They were equipped with radio microphones and speakers.  As they rode, they could talk to each other without straining to hear and communicate. The pair cost him close to a thousand dollars, but they were of the highest quality made by 'Bose'. He couldn't wait to try them out. Sylvia was standing whimpering, looking her helmet over and then at his bike as if it were a mighty beast she should fear.

"Oh Shawn… why do you have to be a motorcycle rider? Shawn there's nothing on that thing to protect us if we wreck! What if someone hits us? What if you hit something! What if we fall off going 80 mile an hour!?"

Shawn was still laughing. "Baby… trust me, I won't go 80 miles an hour – I wouldn't go that fast with you on here."

A thought suddenly occurred to Sylvia, "Have you ever gone 80 miles an hour on that thing!?"

"Well yeah….a few times." He admitted honestly. "And more."

"SHAWN! I can see it now! Husband number two! Down the motorcycle crash up drain!"

Shawn was rolling, "Baby why are you tripping?!" He asked laughing.

"Don't you baby me! That's another thing! I'm carrying your baby! In my womb your child is laying and trusting me to make wise decisions! And here you are trying to get me on that thing! It's not safe Shawn! It's suicidal!"

"I'll be careful! Honest I will. Have you never ridden? Ever?"

"NO!" She shot, lip out and curled under. "I ain't crazy! My mama didn't raise no fool!"

"Do you trust me?"

"Yeah." She answered pitifully, her trepidation was clear.

"Then come here. Put the helmet down for now. That's a girl, now come on…closer…closer…now just put your hand on my shoulder and put your leg over and just sit on it a bit, get used to being on it."

Sylvia gulped and did what he said. "Putting my leg over and sitting on it a bit is what got me in this condition."  She joked trying to laugh her way out of her anxiety. Shawn threw his head back at her comment laughing hysterically. Sylvia eased herself onto the seat and shouted in a panic, "Don't start it up though!"

"I promise I'm not gonna start it up yet. You let me ride Isaac on it." He pointed out.

"That's different, you were going slow and being really careful because he's a baby."

"Well you're my baby…you think I'd do anything to hurt you. OR that baby of mine you're carrying?" He asked looking back at her.

"No…but its other people. I mean you can be ever so careful, but the next person might not be."

"Baby… to enjoy life to the fullest, you have to take some chances, stepping out of your door everyday is a gamble. But – I know you Sylvia… I got a feeling you're really gonna like this."

The look on her face said she wasn't so sure about it.

"Let's have a bit of a practice play with it. I'm gonna teach you how to ride on back. I'm just gonna put the kick stand back and teach you how to flow and lean with me on it."

"Oooooh Shawn – careful – don't drop it."

Shawn had to stop because he was laughing at her, and it was making him weak. "Baby stop it, you keep making me laugh and I get weak when I laugh."

"Okay okay…just don't drop the bike! Are you sure you can hold me and this thing up… it's so big! My goodness it must weigh a ton."

"Not quite. And yes, I can hold you both. Now get comfortable and put your hands on my waist, sit forward close to me a bit so you can feel how I'm moving. Now the key is this, as we ride at a certain speed and I head around curves, I will tilt the bike-…"

"SHAWN – SHAWN! OH my god oh my god!-…"

"I gotcha I gotcha! Relax and lean against me and feel how I'm leaning, you just follow through with me. Let me lead and don't go against me. Flow with me." He continued on for the next half an hour, laughing on and off until she got the hang of it. He then sent her into the house to put on a leather so they could do a slow little practice run down their road. Shawn helped her fit her helmet on, then put on his own. He turned on his microphone, which sent Sylvia into another fit of nerves. Shaking his head, he helped her tune in her helmet so he could get the volume settings right.

"Can you hear me?"

"Wow… I can… loud and clear! Can you hear me?" She asked back. He smiled and winked at her, "Loud and clear. Now I'm going to start the bike and try them again with it running." He explained and started it up. Revving the engine as Sylvia stood by with her helmet on, observing him. As scared as she was, it wasn't enough fear to override her sense of pride in him. Everything about him did something to her from deep within. She stood waiting and watching him, and falling deeper in love again. He was so patient, finding humor in most of what she did and said. Never failing to give her a moment to adjust, talking to her with such respect and kindness, it made her eyes water.

"You ready to get on?" He asked.

She could hear him clearly through the speakers of her helmet. The microphone was nothing more than four small holes on the side of the helmet, that she would have thought wouldn't work, but they worked perfect.

"Well?" He asked again, "Can you still hear me?"

"Yes." She answered softly.

"What's wrong?" He asked noticing her stillness.

"I love you…so much."

"Aaaah baby, that's nice. I don't get that often, what brought that on?" He asked.

"It's just the way that I feel."

"Even though I'm forcing you to ride on my motorcycle?"

"Yep… even though we may die tonight on this thing… I love you."

Shawn chuckled and she smiled.

"Come on, get on. I'll go slow and pick up speed gradually. Remember, don't fight me on the curves, just lean right along with me okay?"

She nodded her head and then answered, "Okay… I'll try."

"You'll be fine, we'll ride around town first before we head for the courthouse." He assured her.

And they rode. Sylvia closed her eyes, laid against his back, took a deep breath and let herself go. She figured if she died, she'd be with him and at the moment, there was no better way to go. She relaxed her body and felt him move and lean and she went with him, keeping her eyes closed, too afraid to open them to see.

"You're doing good baby…wow." He said to her, encouraged by her soft pliancy against him.

"I'm keeping my eyes closed." She said as she felt and heard him chuckle.

Twenty minutes later he decided she was ready. "Let's hit the highway and head for the courthouse, you have all your id's?" He asked.

"Yeah…let's do it."

Shawn put the bike to the real road feeling like a king with Sylvia at his back. "Highway coming up baby… you okay? I'm gonna put some speed in it."

"Come what may – do what you do best." She encouraged softly.

And he did, she could feel the increase in speed. A fearful, but heady feeling stole over her. Something about the speed, the power, the man, the freedom began doing its magic on her. "Eyes still closed?"

"Yeah." She answered.

"Pick up your head and open your eyes baby, don't be afraid…I gotchya."

Sylvia obeyed, and had to bite her tongue not to squeal at the speed they were traveling, especially when they went down the ramp onto the interstate to merge in with the traffic. She wouldn't tense up, she knew she had to remain relaxed and let him drive it. Her heart was pounding, her temples throbbed and her soul without warning lifted off and soared. She couldn't help it, a chuckle escaped.

"Uh oh… was that laughter I heard?" He asked.


"You like it don't you?" He asked grinning, moving through the traffic and passing cars and trucks to put them in open clearance so they could fly.

"Oh my GOD… I can't believe it…but I think… I think I like it. I'm still scared, but …. I …. feel… soooo – …" She swallowed, feeling emotions rush her.

"Free." He finished for her.

She couldn't speak and thanked GOD she didn't need to see, because her tears were flowing from such euphoria she felt as if she were high from good wine. "I love you." He said softly. She squeezed him. "Thank you… thank you for this… I love you too." She laid her head back down and closed her eyes. She didn't need to see, she could feel. And the feeling was like no other she'd ever known before.

They made it to the court house in one piece. Both of them laughing at the way she reacted when she stepped off the bike after riding. They went in, signed the registry, waited to be called, supplied all the necessary identification and left 20 minutes later with their marriage license. From there, they went to get a bite to eat, then went shopping and Shawn purchased her two riding ensembles at the Harley Davidson shop.

Back home, they took their things in and he talked her into packing an overnight bag, as she packed one, he rang her mom and broke the news to her. Sylvia stood in her room gathering the things she would need, listening to him and watching him charm her mother. He laughed out two or three times, a wonderful rich way down deep laugh that brought her joy to hear it. She finished and spoke with her mother next, letting her know as had Shawn, that she would be expected to attend the wedding. With that out of the way, she turned to her future husband. "So I'm all packed, where are we going now?" She asked.

"You'll see." He answered.

"Are we going on the motorcycle?"

"Yep… we sure are. So lets get going, I want to get there before dusk."

"But… where is there?"

"My folks… its time they met you."

Her eyes got huge.

"Now now, none of that. It's time… don't you think?" He asked, grabbing her bag and taking it out the door to strap onto the bike. "I guess so." She answered, her nervous state returning. "Well, lock up the house, I'm gonna do the same over there. Be right back and we're out of here for a couple of days."

Shawn had spoken and they were back on the road again. They rode for the next hour and a half, and to pass the time, Sylvia thought it was a perfect time for a little discussion.

"Well Mr. McPherson, I'm so glad you supplied us with these types of helmets, because it makes communication easy as pie."

"Oh yeah, and why are you so happy about that?"

"Because you can't escape this absolutely necessary discussion we're about to have."

"Uh oh… why do I not like the sound of that?"

"Never mind that! Now…if we're going to get married and live together, there are things we need to discuss."

"Such as?" He asked.

"Well, I think we should take turns sharing our likes and dislikes about the house, habits, vices, pet peeves, expectations. Know what I mean?"

Shawn groaned, "I'm afraid I do."

"Shawn! We need to have this talk! If we're going to live together forever, or until death us do part, we need to go into it with an understanding of each other."

Shawn groaned again.

"Shawn! If we don't have this talk…ain't gonna be no vows spoken."

"Okay okay okay… you go first. Let's hear your pet peeves and get them out of the way."

"Fine… no problem. I don't like pee stains on the toilet! I don't care if you leave the seat up, because I look before I sit anyway. I don't like  stains in the bowl-… Shawn, stop laughing, this is serious! You asked now I'm telling you."

"I'm sorry…go on." He chuckled trying to keep a serious manner.

"The bathroom must be clean or it will disgust me! I don't like towels thrown on the floor and left there. Hang them up please. I don't like excess toothpaste gathering around the top of the tube to harden there where the cap will no longer screw on. Please clean off the excess and screw the top all the way back on… you're laughing again!"

"I'm sorry baby… go on."

"If you're the last person to empty the toilet roll, please replace it with the loose pull going over the top, not from the bottom. Shawn! I'm serious!"

"I know darlin' that's why I'm laughing."

"Well I'm almost done and then it will be your turn."

"Yes ma'am!" He chuckled.

"As I was saying, the bathroom… please don't flood the sink and basin top. I get crazy when there's water all over the vanity, and when you brush your teeth and spit, please do so in the toilet. Your turn."

"Oookay, don't use the hot water when I'm in the shower. Don't make me buy you tampons or Kotex pads when you're on. Don't yell at me in front of company or my family, that will piss me off in an instant. If we're in the midst of an argument, don't try to lock me out of our bedroom, because I'll kick the door in-…"

"SHAWN!" Sylvia was stunned.

"Hey, just telling you how I am. Don't treat me like an idiot, and realize that I am the man and you're the woman, I believe in the man having the last word, that would be me."

"And what if you're wrong?!"

"I'm reasonable, and I will always hear your side. I will always try to think things through before I make up my mind, but once my mind is made, that's that."

"I know you not serious."

"Yeah… I am. There is not going to be two chiefs, two chefs, and two heads. Don't work that way. I love you, and I will always put what's best for the family first. I will always hear you out because you're my partner in this. But my word is final."

Sylvia wasn't liking this…she was starting to regret the discussion.

"We'll see." Was all she could think to say.

"Sylvia, I'm not a tyrant. I would never abuse you or our children, but I'm not going to let you emasculate me… no woman will do that… you fall into that category. Your turn."

"Let's change the subject."

Shawn barked in laughter. "Baby…it's not as hard as it sounds. I want a traditional, husband-wife, man and woman relationship. I want balance. We'll be fine, you'll see. Come on, don't stop now… let me hear more. What's your favorite food?"

"Asian cuisine… I love it. Yours?"

"Greens and catfish!"

"Shawn!" Sylvia laughed out. "You have to like something more than that!"

"What'ayah talkin' about… that's a perfect food. That's what I like. I never get tired of greens, not ever! If it were left up to me, we'd eat them everyday. And catfish, best fish in the world!"

"Well we're not eating it everyday Shawn. I like it too, but not all the time."

"That's fine… I'll actually eat anything, but that's my favorite."

"Okay…what about music?" She asked.

"I love all kinds of music, even some rap if its good. I don't like trash rap…but there have been some that have come out I don't mind."

"Good…ummm, just so you know, there are times when I'm up early, I turn the stereo up loud and dance and jam as I clean."

"How loud, and how early?"

"Real loud and about 7am or so."

Shawn groaned.

"You have to compromise some Shawn."

"Alright alright, how about this… we get you an mp3 player and you can jam at 7am with your head phones on? Fair?"

"Really good ones?"

"The best baby! Only the best for you." He swore.


"Next thing, you will not ever work outside of the house while we have our babies to raise. I'm the bread winner, I'll get the bills paid, so we better get them all out and see what needs to be done."

"Hmmm, ummm – Shawn."

"Yeah?" He answered.

"Which house will we be living in?"

"Mine of course."

"I like my house!"

"Armundo Payne bought that house! I'm not living in another mans house."

"I bought that house! He never even saw that house Shawn! And when you asked me could we live together, I distinctly remember you saying that you would live there in my house or I could move into yours." She reminded him.

"I was just being generously flexible at the time, I didn't really mean I would move into his house."

"It's not his house, it's my house! And that's where I'm going to live!"

Shawn groaned, "Ah hell… here we go."

"You doggone right here we go! I like my house!"

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