Wednesday, March 09, 2011
SONS...The final chapter...for LB
Lettie, Mrs. Sellers and I made the trip into Milford to see the baby. A Sister was holding him, rocking him while she fed him a bottle. Rose was sitting up in her bed applying lipstick when we knocked on the open door.
“Well, if it ain't the Lord and Ladies of the Manor. Never expected to see you here,” she said as she put the lid on her lipstick and threw it into her purse. “Miles just stepped out for a cup a tea. Should be coming back any minute.”
“How's the baby doing, Rose?” I asked.
“Oh, I expect he's fine. I'm the one who's not doing so well. Been crying a lot. Sister says it's normal, but not for me.”
“I'm sorry to hear that.” Mrs. Sellers and Lettie held back at the door. Miles walked up behind them.
“Rose, dear, look who's come to see thee. Come on you two, she don't bite. Much.” He laughed as he gently pushed them into the room. “Lettie, I'll bet thou art itching to get yer hands on him. Aren't ya?”
“Ye certainly may. Sister hand over Little Jack to Lettie, if ya will?”
The nurse stood and handed the baby gently to Lettie, who lit up like a candle, smiling down at Little Jack.
“Oh, how can ya not believe in God when ya look into the face of a baby? What a little miracle he is.”
“Miracle alright. It's a blooming miracle either one of us survived that delivery.” Rose said.
We stayed for a few more minutes and then made our excuses and left. Mrs. Sellers said not a word to Rose, but hugged and congratulated Miles on the birth of his first son. Lettie's eyes teared up as she gave the baby back to the Sister. She hugged Miles and then turned to Rose and said, “You take good care of the both of them, you hear me?” Rose just looked back at her and smiled.
“Oh, I'll take good care of my men. You can be sure of it.”
I shook Miles' hand and looked over at Rose. She had a self-satisfied look on her face that turned to triumphant.
“Congratulations, Rose. I hope you all will be very happy.”
“Thank you, Stevie.”
“Who told ye ye could address Mr. Reid like that?” Miles was outraged. “He is our benefactor and don't ye ferget it!”
“Oh, I won't forget it, Miles. I won't forget it.”
“Sorry about that, sir. It won't happen again, I'm sure.”
I left the room and heard them shouting at one another as I walked down the hall, hating the formalities and artifice of the whole situation as much as I hated Rose. When would I be able to hold him in my arms again? When would I feel the touch of his hands on my body? When would I surrender again to his sweet kisses? She had taken it all away.
Two months went by before I saw him again. He walked into the kitchen one morning carrying a brace of dead rabbits and his rifle. He looked worn and tired. When I remarked on this he replied, “Not getting much sleep these day, I'm afraid. Baby seems to cry all the time and Rose leaves it to me to make him stop. I swear she's the worst...I shouldn't speak ill of my child's mother, but sometimes I wonder how she came to be the way she is. Hardly has anything to do with Little Jack.” His eyes started to tear. “Here's a brace of rabbit for thee, Lettie. Wouldn't mind a bit of yer rabbit stew one day. I'm afraid, my Rose ain't much of a cook either.”
“Anytime lad. Come round tomorrow and I'll have a bowl ready fer ya.” Lettie had a look of deep concern on her face.
I had to hold him. “Miles, may I speak to you in the library please? Excuse us, will you Lettie?”
“Certainly. I've got some rabbits to skin.”
Miles followed me through the dining room and into the library. I closed the doors and he all but fell into my arms weeping.
“I'm miserable without thee, Stevie. I..I..” He choked and stuttered as I held him close. My hand went to the back of his head as I ran it through his hair which had grown very long. He smelled of the outdoors. Fresh and clean. I held my cheek to his feeling the tears wet them. He sobbed and his knees seemed to weaken so I tightened my hold on him. He was so vulnerable and I loved him all the more for it. I wanted to hold him like this forever as all our cares dissolved and our world was made right. After a few minutes his crying wore itself down to a few sobs and sniffles.
“I have to have thee, Stevie. At least one more time. She doesn't need to know. We can meet tomorrow at the hut. I'll build a fire in the wood burner and it'll be just like old times. Please, say thee will, Stevie. I can't live without thee. She makes my life a livin' hell, she does.” He kissed me softly on the lips. “Say you'll meet me, Stevie.” He kissed me again, my mouth hungered for his as saliva, mucous and tears mingled together in our mouths. His tongue found mine and they danced together. “Please, Stevie.” He pressed against me, our hard cocks kissed as he continued kissing my mouth.
“Tomorrow in the afternoon.” I whispered breathlessly. “Come here for lunch and then I'll meet you around three.” I had to have him, but my heart broke at the thought that it may be the very last time.
He brought my hands to his lips and kissed the back of them. “Oh thank thee, Stevie. Thank thee.” He turned my hands over and kissed the palms. He looked up at me. “Thou art truly beautiful.”
He came the next day and had two big bowls of Lettie's stew. I begged off saying I was going into the village for the afternoon and would return just before dinner. While Lettie and Miles sat chatting and gossiping, I drove the car into town just to make sure someone would see me. I stopped in at the pub for a pint of beer, knowing that Millie, the proprietress, would be sure to make note of my presence in town. She set my beer down and stood for a moment looking awkward.
“Not sure if I should even mention it, Mr Reid, but that tart, Rose that married Mr. Sheffington's been in here spreading her viciousness. Just thought I might mention it, sir. Maybe you could have a word with Miles about her.”
“What is she saying, Millie?”
“Lies. Lies and slander. She's a wicked one, she is. I don't trust her as far as I could throw her.”
My face was turning redder as I held back my embarrassment and rage. “I'll speak with Miles the next time I see him.”
On the way back to the manor I considered the options. So, she was not living up to her end of the bargain. What a deceitful little bitch. I had already given her eight hundred pounds for keeping quiet and all the while she was telling others about Miles and me. Something had to be done. I would speak with Miles. Murderous thoughts began to grow inside of me like a cancer as my mood got blacker and blacker. How could we do it and not get caught. The last thing I wanted was be hanged for murdering Rose. Out of the question. Or was it? My mind raced with plots and scenarios. None of them seemed foolproof. Well, I certainly was not going to give her any more money. I would confront her and perhaps I could convince her to leave. She seemed to understand money. I would ask her how much it would cost for her to leave and never come back. But Little Jack. What would we do with Little Jack?
I turned into the driveway, parking the car behind a stand of trees and bushes where it could not be seen from the road or the driveway. My mind was still racing as I hiked the three miles to the hut. I was practically running when I reached the path just outside the yard of the hut. The chickens had been moved to outside the kitchen at the manor where Lettie now tended them so all I heard was the sound of the wind in the trees. I stopped to catch my breath and saw a trail of smoke coming from the chimney on top of the hut. Spring was fast approaching, but winter still held the countryside in its grip. I could see my breath as I noticed a glow of candlelight in the window. In another month it would be a year since I met Miles. So much had happened in such a short amount of time. I loved him beyond words, beyond anything I had ever thought possible. What had I brought to him besides my love. He was trapped in a loveless marriage with a son. I was considering murdering or blackmailing his wife. Soon we would be the talk of the village, if Rose continued her slanderous ways. Was I doing him or me a favor by meeting him in this way? Perhaps I should walk away. Go back to the Bentley and go home.
As I opened the door to the hut I was crying. Miles was on the bed with his legs crossed and he smiled when he saw me. His smile soon turned to concern as he jumped up and came to me. He put his arms around me.
“Stevie, my darling darling man. What is it? Why art thou crying?”
“I want to kill her Miles. I want to kill Rose.”
“Believe me, I given that some serious thought myself. But we can't do it, Stevie. She's my Little Jack's mum. It would never do. We'll find a way. We'll find a way.”
“She's talking in town, Miles. She's spreading her wicked filth around town.”
“How do you know?”
I told him of my conversation with Millie and we discussed our options. I told him I had been paying her blackmail money and he flew into a rage.
“She's been holding out on our family with all that money when we can hardly make ends meet? I will kill her, Little Jack or no!”
After a while we had both settled down and were lying next to each other fully clothed on the bed. We stared at the ceiling.
“Is this to be it then, Miles?”
“Not if I have any say in the matter. We should probably not meet again for awhile. So, maybe the last time for awhile, until we sort things out. Until we figure out what to do about Rose.” He was crying when I looked over and saw the tears streaming down the side of his face. “We'll figure something out, Stevie.” He turned to me and with the tearful voice of a little child asked, “Won't we, Stevie?”
I kissed him. I kissed his tears, licking the side of his face. He closed his eyes as I began unbuttoning his shirt. I kissed his chest and his nipples. He held my head as I moved to his belly with my lips and tongue. He forced me up and kissed my hard on the lips, searching for my tongue with his. Both of us were hard and breathing heavily. My breath came in shorts gasps as I tried to control it, but my passion and love for Miles were beyond my control. He matched my intensity as we scrambled out of our clothes and he fell onto my hard cock with his mouth. I raised my hips to meet him and thrust myself into his mouth. He gagged and went down again, grabbing my ass with his hands, forcing my cock and hips into his mouth. I felt myself on the verge of coming and tried to pull away.
“Not yet, not yet!” I whispered hoarsely.
“Give it to me, Stevie. Give it to me!” he begged.
I came with deep shudders that convulsed my entire body as Miles greedily drank my cum.
“Fuck me, Miles. Fuck me.”
He straddled me and wet his fingers, moistening my ass and the head of his penis. His fingers penetrated me slowly as he guided them in and out of me, adding another and yet another. I writhed and moaned with pleasure. He spit into his other hand and grabbed my already hard again cock. He stroked it gently, rubbing his thumb over the head, spreading the precum. Looking up at Miles I saw him smiling down at me, pleased that he could make me feel this way. With both of us still gazing at one another he positioned himself, sliding his cock into my ass. I let out a small gasp as he penetrated my sphincter muscle, relaxing as he slowly and gently made his way in to the depths of me. When he had gone as far as he could go, he leaned down and kissed me gently and then began to fuck me slowly, his passion building with each thrust of his cock and his tongue. I fucked him back with both my ass and my tongue as we began to create a rhythm, syncopating our movements like a musical duet. Miles fell onto his side, keeping his cock buried deeply into my ass. I turned onto my side and lifted one leg into the air while he continued fucking me from behind. He reached through our legs, grabbing my hard cock, stroking it in time with his thrusts. I was crazy with lust. I forced my ass back onto him, riding him and the wave of emotions that we both were feeling simultaneously.
“Oh, fuck, oh, fuck!” he cried as he came inside me. The warm liquid filling me. He continued stroking me, keeping his cock buried solidly inside me. I shouted out as another stream of cum flew out of me onto the bedclothes.
Both of us were out of breath, while Miles held me from behind.
“Never get soft and never take it out. Let's just stay like this forever, Miles.”
We lay quietly, Miles softly kissing the back of my neck and my shoulder, while I slowly stroked his forearm. I closed my eyes.
I woke with a chill, noticing the fire had gone out. Miles snored softly into my ear, his arms still around me. I turned slowly as his limp penis extricated itself from my ass. The sun was beginning to set and the area around the hut was growing dark.
“Miles, darling. I have to go.” He still had his arms around me, holding me tighter.
“Not just yet, luv. Not just yet.”
“I'm afraid so, sweet man. We can do this again. Soon.”
I freed myself from his hold and dressed. He pulled the quilt over him and watched me with a smile.
“Thou art truly beautiful.” I was just finishing dressing and smiled at him. He had placed the emphasis on the word truly for the first time.
“As art thou, my love.”
“I guess I better get up and clean myself. She says she can smell thee on me. Don't wanna give her more reason to be nasty.” He jumped up and came to me, throwing his arms around me. “One last kiss before we take a break from all this joy.”
A fortnight passed and it was my time to pay Rose. I usually mailed the checque with no return address, but decided to pay her a visit instead of mailing it.
Their flat was up a flight of stairs over a bakery. Odors of baking bread filled the stairwell as I made me way to the door. Little Jack was crying and I heard Rose yell out something. I knocked.
She was wearing a robe and slippers, smoking a cigarette when she opened the door.
“Oh, Stevie, don't think I'm quite ready to be receiving guests yet. I must look a fright.” The baby kept crying. She combed through her hair with her fingers and dropped ashes on the floor. “And the flat is a right mess. What are you doing here anyway? Decided to bring the checque yerself, did ya?”
“There's not going to be anymore checques, Rose.”
“What the hell are you talking about? Get in here before the neighbors start nosing about.” I walked into the flat and she closed the door behind me. It smelled of dirty nappies and cigarettes. “Now what are yougoing on about, Stevie? No more checques? I thought we had us an agreement, Stevie?”
“Oh, we did, Rose, until you broke it.”
“Whaddya mean I broke it?”
“Well, it has come to my understanding that you have been spreading filth around town regarding Miles and myself. The agreement was that I not see Miles and you would not say anything about what has gone on between us. So you see, Rose, the damage has been done and I have nothing to fear from you anymore.
“Please let me finish before you try and lie your way out of this. I have another proposition for you. I want you to leave the county and move to London. I don't want you to ever return or I swear I will kill you.” Rose was backing away from me. She put out her cigarette. Little Jack was still crying. “Don't you want to see to your child, Rose?” She lit another cigarette.
“Oh, he'll be alright.”
“Then would you mind if I did?”
“Help yerself, yer Lordship. Be my guest.”
I went to the small bassinet that the child was obviously too large for and looked down at him. “He needs a larger crib.”
“Oh, is that so yer Lordship. And just who's going to pay for it?”
“What about the money I've been sending you?” I reached down and scooped up Little Jack into my arms.
“That's my nest egg. Not touching it.”
I looked down at Little Jack who had stopped crying and was looking up at me. He smiled.
“I think he just wanted to be held.”
“Then hold him! Hold him all day, for all I care. And just what do I get out of leaving and moving to London, because believe you me, the thought has crossed my mind more than once?”
I looked at Miles' child and my heart opened. This is the child of my beloved. I need to embrace this child as if it were my own.
“I am fully prepared to make out a checque for ten thousand pounds if you will leave and leave the child.” I hadn't planned on saying that last part.
“Are you out of your mind? Do you think I'm going to leave my little boy with a couple of poufters? Now I know yer crazy.”
“This child has been a burden to you since the day he was born. I have not seen you show one ounce of motherly concern for him. If you go to London without the child you shall go unshackled, free of the huge responsibility of motherhood. Free to make your way as a new woman. Think about it, Rose. I'll give you one week to consider it.”
“Oh yeah, then what? Are you gonna kill me? You haven't got it in you.”
I held Jack closer to me. “Try me, Rose and just see what I am capable of.” I kissed Jack on the forehead, putting him in his bassinet and hating every moment he would have to continue to be with this harridan. He began to cry again as I walked out the door.
The week passed and Rose contacted that she had made her decision. I was to open an account for her in London and deposit the ten thousand pounds. She would make the arrangements regarding Jack.
A few days later Lettie came running into the library crying.
“Oh, Mr. Reid, something terrible has happened. Something horrible!”
“What is it Lettie?”
“It's Mr. Miles, Mr Reid. He's in the hospital.”
“I just got a call from that nasty wife of his. Says he's in the hospital and they say he might die. She going on telling me that they got no money to pay for the bills and that you need to do something, cause she's done with him. Says he got in another fight and this time it was a couple of fellas and they did some terrible damage to Miles. Damage to his brain. Oh, Mr. Reid, I love that boy like he was my own son. If anything happens to him. Oh, Mr. Reid I know you love him too. I ain't judging any love any person has for another one. God is love and if you love him, then it's alright by me, Mr. Reid. I don't sit in judgment of nobody.”
“Thank you, Lettie. Now let's get to hospital and see what can be done.”
Miles was in a coma. It seems he had been kicked in the head with the steel tipped boots by a pair of miners. They were being held and awaiting trial once we knew what condition Miles was in. From what I gathered, Miles had not been drinking, but was defending me when the miners began talking about what they had heard from Rose.
The doctors were unsure of his condition. They said he could recover, but he may end up a vegetable for the rest of his life or regain some of faculties but any recovery would be slow and laborious. All we could do was wait.
I took care of all the expenses and worried how this would affect Rose's decision. Five days after Miles went into the hospital, I came downstairs with the intent of driving into town to confront Rose. It made me sick to think of Jack there all alone with her with Miles not there to care for him. I heard Jack crying in the kitchen. I walked to the kitchen door and listened.
“It will just be for a few hours. My mum's come down with something and needs my help. Miles is in the hospital and I got no one else to ask.”
“Give him to me.” I heard Lettie say. “There, there, Little Jack, now what's all this fussing about? Go on then, do what ya gotta do. He's better off here anyways. And while yer out caring for the sick, Florence Nightingale, why not pay a visit to yer husband?”
“I'm I don't know what yer talking about. I visits him every day.”
“That's not what I heard. I been there every day and I ain't seen ya and asked about and none of the Sisters has seen ya neither.”
“I come just before visiting hours are over and don't like to make a fuss.”
“Is that so, is that so?”
“I brought ya some clean nappies and his bottle.”
“There's enough nappies in there to last a few days. What you got planned anyways?”
“Nothing, I swear. I gotta go, the cabbies waiting. Give us a kiss, Jack. Now you be a good boy, you hear.” There was a catch in her voice. Maybe she had some feelings after all.
I heard the door close and waited a few minutes before I walked into the kitchen.
“What's this? Little Jack has come to visit?”
“That girl is up to no good. I can feel it in my bones.”
“Let me hold him, Lettie? Hello Little Jack. How are you today?” he smiled and again my heart melted.
After a few days, it became obvious that Rose was not coming back for Jack. Lettie took up permanent residence at the Manor and we made arrangements for her husband to come live there also. Between Lettie, Mrs. Sellers and Mrs. Phillips, Jack now had more mothers than I'm sure he needed. They fussed and bothered over constantly. Of the three, Mrs. Phillips was the only one who had a child; a daughter who visited occasionally from a neighboring village. She was married and expecting her first child. Mrs. Phillips was delighted to have Jack in the Manor.
Miles came out of the coma a few days after Rose left. I sat with him and explained what had happened. His speech was severely impaired and he had lost most of the control of his right arm. I worked with the therapist and we developed a routine for his recovery.
After a month I brought Miles back to Fair Oaks and set him up in his own bed in my bedroom so I could keep a close eye on him. He resisted his therapy at first, becoming angry and frustrated with his lack of coordination and speech, but whenever I brought Jack into the room to visit him, he brightened and the routines went smoother.
Life at Fair Oaks is very different now. We are a small community of eight. Jack has made a huge difference in the way we all view life. His presence has opened up possibilities and futures we could never have seen before. We're an odd threesome, Jack, Milea and me. Two orphans with a common thread and now another motherless child, but in actuality, Jack is hardly motherless. It seems the sins of the fathers and mothers have been put to rest and we have broken the bonds of the past.
The wind blows through the leaves of the trees here at Fair Oaks as Miles and I sit on the back porch watching Jack run through boxwood maze. Four years have passed and Miles has worked hard and can walk with a cane and his speech has almost fully returned. We heard from Rose's mother that she had married again and left the country for Australia. I suppose one day Jack will ask about his real mother. Perhaps even go look for her down under. But for now he is one of the happiest children I have ever seen. He fills our life with happiness at every turn.
The past four years have washed away so much hurt and guilt. I feel cleansed by my new life. We plan for Jack's future and are planning a trip abroad as a family when he turns eight.
As we sit and watch Jack, Miles reaches over and grabs my hand. I look at him and see a tear fall from his eye and he smiles. He turns to me and says in his new vocal pattern that I have learned to love. “Thou art truly beautiful.”