“If you want me to quit, I’ll talk to Wilshire Monday.”
“Dan, no. I want you to stay and figure all of this out for your dad. I can’t stand to think about him being asked to give up his governorship because of this.”
“If this gets worse, Fi, I’m not going to put off moving you back.”
“Before we talk like that, what if we went back to Kauai for the week of fall break. That would be good for Halia and for me.”
“That sounds perfect. We’ll spend the week forgetting everything going on here,” he promised her.
Relief flowed through her erratic rhythms, and she soothed in his shield. “That sounds perfect. And you promise you won’t do anything about the affair without me?”
“Hey, you’re my partner for this, baby doll. I think I’ll call you Officer Hot-Lips or maybe Sexy-Ass.”
She giggled sweetly. The sound soothed his soul.
“I kind of like Officer Hot Lips.”
“Sexiest damn partner I’ve ever had, Fitzroy included.”
“Aww, how is Fitz? I miss them.”
“Talked to him last week. He harassed me mercilessly for being a mentor. Called me a pussy no less than five times in both English and French and offered me a job in French Iodex yet again. So, I’d say par for the course.”
“That sounds like Fitz.” She yawned.
As Dan soothed her to sleep he thought over her desperation that he only investigate Wilshire’s affair with her. Clearly, she believed somewhere in her soul that Dan could become as caught up in the affair as those actually participating in it. He hadn’t really ever shown her that he could have a real life separate from his work.
He’d worked her family’s Hawaiian farm all summer, but he’d worked it with her by his side. She’d found solace in their togetherness, and Kauai regulated her rhythms for her. She’d spent the summer surrounded by the calming serenity and healing sanctuary the farm provided them. Halia magnified her already overwhelming abilities.
In her homeland, the people she was surrounded by constantly certainly weren’t involved in affairs or any kind of scandalous acts. Her empathic rhythms had been able to relax.
In D.C., she was bombarded at every turn with disturbing emotions from those around her. She had to pretend, for the most part, that she didn’t know what was going on in the mind of the seducer, the mind of the mistress, the mind of the criminal, the deceptive lies that people thought they could keep hidden away, the most terrifying of all, the ones they told themselves. His beautiful Maylea felt them all. She was happiest at home because it was exhausting to expose herself and Halia to the things she felt outside of the nest she’d created for their family.
Dan slapped his hand over his phone trying to turn off the alarm, still deeply regretting setting it in the first place. Once he'd successfully completed his mission, he reminded himself that he needed to get Jeff and Becca moved in their new home. They needed a nest of their own, and he and Fionna needed theirs back.
The fact that Aida had spent the night away from home, and instead of engaging in an evening of more carnal pleasures that lasted for hours, they’d read Facebook pages and cloned laptops to investigate other people’s affairs resulting in his wife sobbing in their bed proved to Dan the desperate need to rebalance their lives.
In one week’s time, he’d let the world invade his home, his family’s safe harbor, and that was going to stop.
Fionna groaned and whimpered still exhausted from her emotional night. “Just stay here in bed. I’ll take them out to the storage unit and then I’ll pick us up some breakfast and bring it back. We’ll stay in here all day until Meredith drops Aida off.”
Fionna grinned against her pillow. She was in her customary position. Arranged on several pillows so that she could sleep half on her stomach and half on her side despite her declaration that it was like trying to sleep on a watermelon.
She shifted slightly and then her eyes flew open in horrified shock. Dan had been gazing at her sweetly and rubbing her back, hoping to coax her into staying in bed.
“What?” he panicked.
“Oh my gosh!”
“Fi, baby, what’s wrong?”
“This did not happen.”
“What didn’t happen?”
A warm heat crept across her cheeks. “Go away. You can’t see this.”
“Fionna, what is wrong? I am not going anywhere. Whatever it is just tell me.”
“I am stuck to the sheets,” she whimpered.
“My boobs are stuck to the sheets because I’ve been leaking all night long,” she finally managed.
Dan bit his lips together trying not to laugh.
“I am just a big, fat, huge mom blob, and I will never be sexy again,” she buried her face in her pillow in abject defeat.
“Hey, stop that.” Dan eased her off of the circular wet marks on their sheets and onto his chest. “You have never stopped being sexy. You are gorgeous, and I know there are a lot of things going on in your beautiful body, sweetheart, but I still want you just as badly as I did that night I followed you home from Anglington’s.”
“I don’t even want to nurse. Why am I leaking?” she demanded.
“I don’t think your body knows that yet. You’re getting ready to nurse the baby, in case you did want to.” He explained though he knew that somewhere under all of the confusing emotions and wavering rhythms brought on by her hormones she knew the answer as well.
“Now my nipples hurt.” She gave him an adorable pout.
Chucking, he kissed the top of her head. “Want me to see what I can do about that, Mrs. Vindico?”
“You aren’t afraid you might get more than my energy?”
Determined to prove to her that he thought she was phenomenally gorgeous and that he loved her, leaky breasts and all, Dan turned and slid down her body. “What makes you think I’d be offended if I did get more than your energy?”
He delicately swirled his index finger around her right nipple. It was throbbing red and raw. He watched it darken and begin to pulsate as she watched him. “Can’t let my baby hurt.”
Her chest rose and fall in rapid pants. Scooping the heft of her breasts in his palms, he massaged, working her in rhythm. Her eyes went to half-mast as she let him have the worry and the fear she was experiencing. She was going to let him wash them all away. A feat he planned to work on throughout their day.
Moving slowly reminding himself that they were tender and fevered, Dan lapped his tongue in slow vacillations over her throbbing nipples, one and then the other, back and forth.
“Oh God, yes!” She arched her back desperate for more.
Smiling, Dan continued his slow torturing moves on his wife. He sucked her fiercely pulling the erotic energy from her. Switching sides, he spun his tongue over her left nipple and then proceeded to draw it deeply into the heat of his mouth.
She laced her fingers in his hair. “Don’t stop. Please.”
Moaning against her flesh, Dan realized what the added nerves and changes in her breasts might afford her if she’d let him own her. He pulled with more ferocity, massaging them in his hands, edging her closer and closer towards the depths of ecstasy.
Her eyes flashed open. Gauging her sensitivity, he nipped before sucking away the slight pain.
“I’m gonna ….”
Her rhythms tightened and whirled around them in a scarlet hue. “I know, baby. Let me give you this. Let it come.”
Her eyes rolled back in her head as she gave in to the overwhelming sensations. Dan nipped her and sucked, marking her breasts all for himself. She went wild. Her body rolled against his. Her nails dug into his shoulders.
“More,” she pled.
Groaning from her allowing him to own her desires, he set to work, leaving his purple markings of ownership along her breastbone and neck, just like she preferred. But her rhythms stalled. Determination stormed through his veins. Tracing his fingertips down her torso, he let his fingers dance down her slit. She was wet. He growled out his approval before dipping his fingers deep inside.
It took hold of her forcefully as he pushed her over. The climax consumed her. His name flew from her lips as she writhed beside him. Her breath washed from her body. She convulsed and clung to him as her lungs begged for air. Perfection.
Trying to hide his cocky smirk, Dan held her tightly to his chest.
“Never quite got you there that way before you were pregnant with my baby girl. Pretty fucking sexy if you ask me.”
“So maybe June and Bonnie being overly sensitive does have its advantages,” she laughed.
“You know I don’t think you’ve ever told me which is which.” He shook his head.
“Bonnie is just a little bigger,” Fionna pointed to her left breast. The heat of her climax still clung to her cheeks.
“I see. Just so long as you know I’m a huge fan of both.” Dan summoned and began healing the purple markings from her chest and neck.
He found it adorable that his wife loved to name things. She named everything from her cars, to her aprons, to her vibrators, and her breasts. She’d named June and Bonnie when she was eleven, she’d explained. According to her, she woke up one day with buds that had deeply concerned her as she was worried that she would have a more difficult time surfing. Her best friend Malani had developed around the same time, and had announced that they had finally gotten Pointer sisters. They’d named them thusly.
Dan eventually eased to the kitchen to make Fionna. She’d insisted on going to help Jeff and Becca move, but had agreed to coffee in bed with him. As he replayed Fionna coming undone for him with his mouth on her luscious tits, he was startled to find Jeff with Becca backed up to the large center island. His hands were up her t-shirt and he was consuming her mouth rather heatedly.
Clearing his throat, he tried not to chuckle as Jeff leapt back and Becca turned the shade of a tomato.
“Morning,” Dan drawled as he began working on Fionna’s coffee.
“Sorry, sir,” Jeff choked.
“Probably good we’re getting you your own place today.”
An hour later, Dan and Fionna were holding hands in their SUV driving towards their storage unit with Jeff and Becca behind them. Dan and Jeff were going to take his truck to Sam’s that evening. He sincerely hoped Sam could fix whatever might be wrong with it. Having another car would make their lives much easier.
Logan and Rainer had already arrived with Emily and Adeline. The Crown Governor and Mrs. Haydenshire along with Connor, Garrett, and Patrick were there as well.
When the trucks were loaded, everyone headed to the new duplex. They were greeted by the Sapmans and Jeff’s mother.
“Where are your boys?” Governor Haydenshire asked Governor Sapman rather pointedly as he and Dan unloaded Fionna’s old mattress with Rainer’s help.
“They were out late last night, and this isn’t their mess,” Governor Sapman came right back.
Governor Haydenshire gestured his hand to all of his sons that were perfectly willing to help though they had nothing to do with Jeff and Becca or their current situation. “If we only try to help improve the problems that we feel we’re personally responsible for, we end up in a very sad world.”
Dan all but demanded that Fionna sit once he, Jeff, and Garrett carried her old sofa in. It took up a large portion of the living room.
“Becca, sweetheart, would you like Emily and I to put your dishes on the hutch or in the cabinets?” Mrs. Haydenshire asked.
“I don’t know,” Becca confessed. “I don’t know how to do this.”
Fionna and Mrs. Haydenshire shared a knowing glance. “Well, how about a little advice then?” Mrs. Haydenshire offered.
“First of all, it takes very little to make a happy life,” Mrs.Haydenshire explained.
“My hunky husband, my baby girls, and coffee, that’s all I need,” Fionna vowed.
“Coffee and family, certainly” Mrs. Haydenshire agreed. “But anywhere can be a castle, sweetie, if you and Jeff choose love over irritation, try to be patient even when you want to strangle him, and try to assume the best instead of the worst. And, trust me, if your home doesn’t make sense then nothing else will either.”
Becca drank in the advice like she was being given oxygen after drowning.
“I think these dishes would be really pretty on the hutch.” Emily held up the heirloom china dish set that the Sapman’s had saved for Becca.
“And then you can save your cabinets for cookware and food,” Fionna concluded.
“Okay,” Becca agreed as she began helping Emily arrange the dishes on Fionna’s old hutch.
Dan headed towards his wife as their conversation lulled. Grinning at him, well aware that he was approaching to read her rhythms once again to make certain she didn’t need another break, Fionna rolled her eyes. “Try to remember that when he drives you crazy it’s mostly because he loves you so much, and he’s trying to take care of you.”
“When you remember that, call Fi and remind her,” Dan teased.
“I don’t know how to cook anything but scrambled eggs and toast,” Becca continued to confess her concerns. “I’ve never even done laundry.”
“I can do laundry, and I can cook,” Jeff wrapped his arms around her.
“I can come over and teach you whenever I’m not working,” Ms. Harrickson immediately offered.
“Thank you.” Becca threw her arms around her mother in law delighting Ms. Harrickson, and offending her own mother.
“You and Jeff take just a little of the money you have and pick out a basic cookbook,” Mrs. Haydenshire guided. “Work your way through it. You’ll pick things up quickly.”
“I take Aida to the central library on Thursdays after school. They have tons of cookbooks. I keep checking them out while she listens to the story and gets her books. And that’s all free,” Fionna pointed out.
Becca looked excited to begin her adult life as long as Jeff was nearby. She reached for him and drew from him frequently throughout the day.
Dan and Garrett hoisted Fionna’s old television over the mantle. Logan guided them as to the placement, and Jeff screwed in the brackets.
“Are you sure you don’t mind us using this?” Jeff gestured to the TV.
“It’s been in storage for almost a year now,” Dan reminded him.
“Jeff told me it was a boy,” Dan overheard Ms. Harrickson whisper. Becca nodded excitedly. Ms. Harrickson beamed. “Little boys really love their mama’s.”
Jeff chuckled as he hugged his mother fiercely.
“Yes they do,” Mrs. Haydenshire agreed as she found herself surrounded by Logan, Garrett, Rainer, Connor, and Patrick all forcing her into an awkward five-man hug. The Crown Governor shook his head.
Mrs. Haydenshire continued to offer wisdom which everyone seemed keen to listen to not just Jeff and Becca. “There are very few things that either a cup of tea, a deep breath, or a long nap won’t make better. If you come to a place where you want to pull your hair out, ask for help.”
“Have a seat Mrs. Vindico and I’ll bet Jeff and Becca will let me use your old coffee maker to make you a cup of coffee,” Dan commanded when Mrs. Haydenshire paused.
“Of course,” Becca began digging through boxes. “Do we have coffee?”
“I packed you some things from the supermarket to have until you can get your first groceries,” Ms. Harrickson explained.
“Mom, you did not need to do that.” Jeff sounded concerned.
“Don’t worry. I had a little extra money this week,” Ms. Harrickson assured him with a knowing smile. “I guess I didn’t quite realize how much food I used to buy for you. I hardly spent anything on groceries since I eat two meals a day at the diner,” she explained sheepishly.
At that moment, Garrett hoisted Fionna up in his arms. “My God, babe, what have you been eating? You weigh a ton.”
“Put me down, Garrett Haydenshire! And I do not!” Fionna scolded.
“Now I know why you’re still not married,” Governor Haydenshire quipped.
Dan popped Garrett on the back of the head rather hard as he whisked by, carrying her to the sofa.
“Danny-boy says you need to sit your ass down. I happen to agree. He’s bringing coffee. You take a load off. I’m in charge while he takes Jeff to meet Sam.”
Logan and Rainer helped Jeff attach his enhanced X-box to the television and Fionna’s old DVD player. As the house really only consisted of three basic room divisions, it didn’t take long to have everything squared away.
“You sure you don’t mind taking me out to see the mechanic this afternoon?” Jeff quizzed Dan for the third time.
“Not at all. Fi’s airbag light keeps coming on so I need him to check that anyway, and like he said, I’m leaving Garrett in charge of making my wife rest,” Dan explained. He was determined to dig his way past the jealously that had consumed him for far too long when it came to Garrett and Fionna. His wife had all but demanded it the day before, and just as he’d promised, there was nothing he wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth to give her. Clinging to that thought didn’t make the process of including Garrett more and asking for his help any easier.
“That just means she wants her airbags squeezed man. Can’t believe you need a light to let you know that.” Garrett goaded.
Rainer, Logan and Patrick guffawed. The Crown Governor shuddered, and the Sapman’s looked utterly horrified.
“Garrett, do you think you could behave, son?” Mrs. Haydenshire plead.
“It’s been thirty years, dear. I’m not holding my breath,” Governor Haydenshire huffed.