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KELLY split second was ten years


"Kelly's Eyes" (MF, rom)
by Souvie
A "Foursome Moresome" story
Permission is granted to repost, given that my name and
copyright information are left intact. Comments or
questions are encouraged and can be directed to:
More of my stories can be found at:

Oh yes, another sun-kissed day of fun in the sun. The third day of
a seven day cruise to the Caribbean and I was bored out of my mind.
Hard for even me to believe, but there's only so many times you can
work out in the ship's gym, play shuffleboard or flash the upper
deck bartender to get free drinks.

I rummaged in my suitcase for my blue bikini. I wanted to read, and
sitting out by the pool beat staying in my cabin; at least there I'd
be able to people watch when I got bored with Faulkner. I tied the
strings on either side of the thong panty and then reached behind me
to do up the one around my neck. The dolphin on my hip winked back
in the mirror at me. Michael had said that tat suited me to a "T" -
cold as a fish and as likely to stay in one place. The same Michael
who had dumped me a couple of weeks before the cruise, yelling at me
about maturity and commitment and responsibility. Oh yeah, I can
learn a lot about maturity from a dope-head who lived in his
mother's basement and worked nights at Safeway. I was better off
without him.

I gathered my hair up in a ponytail and slipped on some shades,
protecting my baby blues. With beach towel and book in hand, I was
ready to hit the pool.


I noticed them almost as soon as I sat down on the lounger. man and
woman, mid-thirties probably. The man had a wedding band so I
assumed they were married, whether or not to each other was hard to
say. They were staring at me, but acting like they weren't. You
know, quick furtive glances, and doing such a bad job of it, I hid a
smile behind a fake yawn.

I checked the ties on the sides of my bikini bottoms, for show,
stretching out my long legs and giving them a nice expanse of skin
to look at. I rolled over onto my stomach and reached back to untie
the top from around my neck. I wasn't fond of tan lines, but going
totally nude was against ship's policy. I wiggled around a little,
getting comfortable and pushing my breasts up nice and tight against
the hard plastic lounger. I reached for my book and pretended an
interest in the words on the page. In reality, I was watching the
couple out of the corner of my eye, and wondering just how hot I
could make them.

The thong wasn't bothering me but I reached back with my left arm to
straighten it anyway. I ran a finger underneath the material,
sliding it from the top to the bottom, caressing the crack of my ass
with my knuckle. In the process, I'd raised up off the lounger high
enough to let a dusky, puckered nipple show. I sighed deeply and
wiggled back into position. The husband got up and padded over to
the high dive. I almost laughed out loud when I saw the start of his
erection poking against his swimming trunks. I lowered the glasses
and stared right at the woman. I don't think her eyes had ever left
me, since I first sat down. I smiled widely, and flicked the gold
stud in my tongue against my upper teeth. She flushed and turned
her head away, watching her husband do laps in the pool.

Finished with my fun for the time being, I opened my book back up
and immersed myself in "Absalom, Absalom!"


Two hours later I'd forgotten about the pool couple, when the woman
took a seat at the bar next to me. I was in the Seafarer's Lounge,
my drink courtesy of Johnny the bartender. Johnny wiped the bar in
front of her. "I'll have what she's having," she said, pointing at
my shot glass.

"One screaming orgasm, coming right up." He winked at me and turned
to mix the drink.

"A what?"

The look on her face was priceless. I couldn't resist. "Don't tell
me you've never had a screaming orgasm before? You look like a
screamer to me." I licked my lips.

She blushed and ran a hand through her wind-tossed auburn hair. She
took the drink and swirled it around in the glass, avoiding my eyes.

"Drink up. All it is, is vodka, Kahlua, Irish cream, and amaretto.
It won't bite." I tipped my glass up to my lips and downed it in one

She slammed back the shot and then choked. Laughing, I slapped her
on the back. You're not a hard drinker, are you?"

"No," she wheezed out. "I stick to mainly wine." She wiped a tear
out of her eye and then stuck out her hand. "I'm Stacey, Stacey

Geezus, people still shook hands when they met? I took her hand;
nice smooth skin and manicured nails. Not working hands at all.
"Kelly Thomas. So what brings you to the Caribbean, Stacey?"

"My husband and I are on vacation." Her voice was strangely flat
when she said it.

"Well then, why aren't you off bouncing the bedsprings, instead of
talking to a strange woman you just met?" I motioned for Johnny and
ordered a club soda while I waited for her answer.

"Do you always say what you're thinking?"

She said it in such a way that I was reminded of my mother. In a
split second I was ten years old again and had just been caught
playing "doctor" with little Alex Myers from next door. "I'm sorry,
I sometimes speak before thinking," I said, contritely. I slid off
the barstool. "Nice meeting you, Stacey Robinson."

Her hand touched my arm lightly as I went to walk past. "How about
we have a couple more drinks and I bore you with the story of how I
came to be on this floating city?"

She looked like she needed someone to talk to, and if truth be
known, I couldn't remember the last time I'd had an honest to God
female gab session. I sat back down. "Only if you let me bore you
first." She laughed and I ordered another round from Johnny.

I never got around to hearing her story that afternoon. We sat
around, drinking whatever Johnny brought us, and commenting on the
ship's accommodations, the upcoming ports that we were scheduled to
pull in to, and other non-consequential things. She didn't seem all
too eager to hear my boring life's story, and I didn't press her for
hers. About an hour before dinnertime she put money on the table
for her drinks and asked me if I'd like to get together and do some
shopping at one of the ports. I could never have too many clothes,
plus I enjoyed her company, so I accepted. She promised to call me,
and then walked away. I motioned Johnny over for another drink.


I awoke the next morning with the worst hangover of my life, and I'd
had some hellacious hangovers before. I moaned as I rolled over,
and barely made it to the trashcan by the nightstand before I threw

I sat on the nubby carpet beside the trash can, wiping beads of
sweat from my upper lip and trying to calm my lurching stomach. At
least we were in port and not sailing at the moment.

After tossing my cookies into the wastebasket, I called room service
for some toast and juice, and then made a call to housekeeping to
change out my trashcan.

I spent the whole day in my cabin, alternately sleeping off my
drinking binge and hugging the porcelain goddess.

Stacey called later in the morning to see if I wanted to head into
St. Kitts, our port for the next day, and I told her that I hoped
I'd be feeling better by then. She sympathized with my plight,
asking if there was anything she could do for me. The gesture was
nice, but all I could do was sleep off the drink. We arranged to
meet on the upper deck the next morning, and I went back to my
fitfull sleep.


Day five of our cruise dawned bright and beautiful, same as the
first four days. St. Kitts seemed to be calling my name, carrying
on the soft sea breeze the promise of adventures to come, and I
dressed with a sense of anticipation. Slinging my huge mesh purse
over my shoulder, I headed out to meet Stacey.

I happened to pass by the gym on my way to my rendezvous and noticed
the man who'd been sitting with Stacey the other day. I assumed it
was her husband. He was bench pressing an amount of weights that I
couldn't quite make out from my distance. I looked at my watch; I
was running early so I decided to go in.

He looked even better up close -- sweat-soaked skin and tangy-tart
body odor could be powerful aphrodisiacs.

"Hi," I said, looking down at him. "Remember me from the pool the
other day?"

He grunted and set the weights down in the grooves. Sitting up he
reached for a white towel to wipe the sweat running in rivulets down
his face. "Yeah, vaguely. Blue bikini, right?"

He more than vaguely remembered me, I'd bet on it. "You got it." I
looked around. "Having fun?"

His laugh was as masculine as you could get. "Hardly. One doesn't
work out to have fun; it's done to keep in shape. Either out of
sheer vanity or for solely health reasons."

"Which one are you?"

"I haven't decided yet," he answered honestly. "Sorry about my lack
of manners, my name's Jake Robinson."

"Kelly Thomas," I answered.

"Well, Kelly, it looks like you're dressed for something other than
working out," he said, looking at my clothes and garish pink purse.

"I'm fixing to hit the shops in port."

"Ah, my wife is going shopping, too."

"You're not going with her?"

"I wasn't invited," he said, a touch of something in his voice that
I couldn't quite make out. "Besides, all that touristy stuff isn't
for me. Give me a book and a nice quiet place to read anyday."

"I like to read, myself," I said, an idea forming in the back of my
brain. "Would you care to meet me after dinner tonight for a drink
or two?"

His look indicated that he was on the verge of declining, so I
quickly added, "I promise, it'll just be one drink, and all I want
is to talk about authors and books. You can even bring your wife
along if you want."

He thought of a moment longer and I was on the verge of withdrawing
the offer when he answered, "Make it 10pm on the Luau Deck and it's
a deal."

I gave him a flirty smile and headed off. The day was shaping up to
be pretty great indeed.


My day in port with Stacey was wonderful. I'd found out that she
and I were almost the complete opposites in what we liked to wear
and the colors we chose, but that only made our shopping more fun.
I convinced her to buy a spaghetti strapped evening gown in fire
engine red, and she'd wheedled me into purchasing a tailored skirt
with matching A-line jacket in multi-toned browns.

We'd also had a chance to share more of ourselves. I told Stacey
about my go-nowhere relationship with Michael, and how I still
hadn't decided on a major yet. Stacey started telling me about how
she and Jake had come to be on vacation, and before long she was
spilling out the whole story of their romance, from the beginning.
They'd met while in college and married shortly after graduation.
She worked at a bank during the early years, helping to put him
through law school and then when he landed a lucrative position with
an up-and-coming law firm she quit to be the trophy wife she thought
he wanted.

I sat and listened, fascinated at the wealth of emotions playing
across her face and in her voice. She'd laughed afterward, an
embarrassed little chuckle, and apologized for "boring me." She
said I was easy to talk to and it just felt nice to confide in

"Think nothing of it," I replied. "I had a great time today."

"Me, too."

At that point, we were both foot-sore from all the walking we'd
done, so we headed back to the ship.

I took a short nap, ate an early dinner in one of the quiet, rarely
used restaurants and then walked along the upper deck of the ship
until time to meet Jake.

He was handsomely decked out in a charcoal grey suit and snow white
shirt, and our one drink quickly turned in to two and three and
after that I lost count. I didn't think to ask where his wife was
and he didn't volunteer. I also didn't mention that she was the one
I'd been shopping with earlier. If she'd not said anything to him,
and I felt certain he would have told me if she had, then I wasn't
going to clue him in either.

We started out by talking about some authors we both liked, and
found some common ground. We both liked Faulkner and Shakespeare,
but we did have some differences in among all the likes. He liked
erotica while I preferred historical romances.

"That's not very surprising; a man who likes to read smut," I said
with a laugh.

"No," he answered with a shake of his head, "not smut or porn, but
erotica -- stories with more than just straight sex to them. I'm
talking about stories where if you took the sex out, they could
stand all on their own."

"Then why put the sex in them in the first place?"

"A lot of times the sex helps move the plot along, adds spice to a
long narrative or series of adventures, and oftentimes helps
illustrate the growing relationships of the characters."

"Wow, you must have given this a lot of thought." I was certainly

His grin was a tad bit self-conscious. "I, uh, used to write
erotica for Stacey when we were dating," he confessed.

I blinked. "You did?"

He nodded. "Yes. She used to get so turned on by it. I'd write it
out on paper, then leave it in an envelope for her, either on her
pillow, stuck in her backpack or sometimes I'd send it through the
post office. I could always tell when she'd found it, because there
would be this impish little sparkle in her eyes and an extra, subtle
vibrancy in our lovemaking that night." He was lost in his memories
for a moment, then came back to the present. "I'm sorry, this is
probably all boring you."

"No it isn't," I answered, putting my hand over his and squeezing.
"I think it's sweet." He removed his hand from underneath mine but
I didn't say anything or try to take it again. "Do you still write
stories for her?"

"No, I haven't done that in a long time."

"Why not? She doesn't like them anymore?"

"I don't know why. I guess I've just been busy with my job, and then
I thought that she'd outgrown them."

He shook off the momentary pallor that had gripped him and steered
the conversation back to novels.

It was 3am before we knew it and he gave a gasp of surprise when he
looked at his watch. He mumbled something about Stacey waiting up
for him, thanked me for a good evening and walked quickly away.

I watched until he turned the corner and disappeared from view.
Slowly, I made my way to my cabin.


I spent part of day six in town, exploring St. Maarten, and the
other part of it thinking about Stacey and Jake. I knew why I was
so preoccupied with Jake - I was attracted to him. Very attracted.
I could also tell, just from our talk last night, how much he was
still in love with his wife. Maybe if I hadn't gotten to know
Stacey, I wouldn't have any qualms about seducing Jake, but the fact
of the matter was I considered her a friend. I could tell she was
hurting and I didn't want to add to that hurt.

I wondered what I could do to help them salvage their marriage.
Then I wondered why it mattered so much to me. I'd never been one
to analyze a situation; I usually just jumped in feet first and to
hell with the consequences. *I* could see what their problem was,
so why couldn't they?

That train of thought somehow led to an examination of my own life.
I was a 21 year old college student with a string of dead-end
relationships behind me. I'd changed my major three times and still
didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I viewed the world as
one huge playground, which was fine if you were four years old, but
didn't bode well for my future if I kept on that way. I knew all
this before, on some level, but it'd never bothered me before.

I decided to sleep on it, and maybe an answer would come to me
overnight. It was a long shot, but it couldn't hurt.


I awoke to a knocking on my door. I padded to the door, not
bothering to throw something on over my tank top and panties, and
opened the door. Stacey stood there, cheeks stained with tears and
handful of tisses clutched tight.

"Oh, Kelly, I'm so sorry, but I didn't know where else to go."

"Come in, come in," I said, slipping into a "mother-hen" mode I
hadn't even known I possessed. I put one arm around her shoulders,
and led her into the room, shutting the door behind us. I steered
her toward a chair. "What happened?" I asked.

"Jake... Jake and I had a fight. I don't even remember what it was
about now. He stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door. I
can't stay there tonight, I just can't. Please can I spend the night

"Stacey, Jake's going to wonder where you've gone and be worried. I
know I would be." I held her hands in mine.

Stacey looked into my eyes, and leaned forward and pressed her lips
against mine, light as gossamer. I was so surprised I didn't move
at first. I got my wits about me and pulled back, a frown creasing
my brow. "What was that?"

"Didn't you like it?" Stacey asked, hesitation and a trace of worry
in her voice.

"Stacey, this isn't right," I tried to explain.

"I'm a little bit experienced. There was this girl in college and --"

I put my fingers against her lips to silence her. "That was then,
you're married now. Do you really care so little about Jake, about
the vows you made, to go through with this? Because I sure don't."

To my dismay she started crying. Loud, wracking sobs and shook her
whole body. I leaned forward and put my arms around her, rocking
her like my mother had done to me when I was a small girl. "Shhhh,
it's okay." I could have laughed at the irony - irresponsible,
carefree Kelly Thomas being the mature one for a change.

I stayed like that until her sobs had subsided, and her breathing
had become more even. She pulled back and wiped her face. "I'm
sorry. I seem to have just made a mess of things."

I smiled. "We all do."

"You're not... not mad, about what just happened?"

"No, Stacey, I'm not mad at all." I smiled slightly. "Why don't
you go in the bathroom, splash some water on your face, and then go
back to your cabin. Don't make Jake worry, and I'd bet he is."

While she was in the bathroom, the seed of a plan started to form in
my head. When she came out I hugged her tightly, and asked if she'd
like to spend part of our last full day aboard ship with me - we
could go into St. Thomas or either stay on the ship, whichever she
preferred. She agreed with a shaky smile and it was set.

Too wound up to go back to sleep, I pulled out my Faulkner book and
curled up in a corner of the tiny couch.


The next morning after a late breakfast, Stacey knocked on my cabin
door once again, ready to tackle the day. I chewed the inside of my
cheek as we walked along, wondering just how to get my plan rolling.

We were walking by the gym, on our way to catch a local festival
that the ship's cruise director had called "unforgettable." Out of
the corner of my eye, I noticed Jake, back at his weights. The imp
that makes my life interesting at times took over. I stopped and
pointed into the gym. "Now that's what I'd call a man," I said,
sighing with the just right amount of wisfulness to get Stacey's


"He's wrapable."

"Kelly, what language are you talking in?"

I laughed. "Wrapable - he's the kind of guy I'd like to wrap my
legs around." Stacey looked at me like I'd sprouted a second head.
"Look at him, Stacey." I pointed to Jake again.

Stacey turned to follow my finger.

"I'd say mid-30's. Probably a career man; he's a little soft around
the middle, but look at those biceps. Wow! Large hands, too. Can't
you just feel them squeezing your thighs as he presses you against
the wall and nibbles your neck? And the lines around his mouth and
eyes, laugh lines. He's a man who has learned how to enjoy life.
Mmmmm . . . you don't even want to get me started on the bulge in
his shorts. If you look carefully you can just--"

"You don't even know who he is," Stacey interrupted.

"It doesn't matter." I shrugged. Let her believe what she wanted.

"Kelly, you're serious."

"Of course I'm serious." I took her by the shoulders and turned her
so that she was directly facing the glass gym wall. "Don't you see

She stared at her husband, at me, and then back at her husband.

I started walking again and she followed. I hoped she didn't see my
smug smile. Let her chew on those words for a while.


I considered the day productive. Stacey was more pensive than usual
and I could tell she was thinking about what I'd said earlier.

When we got back to the ship, fate was on my side because I ran into
Jake coming out of one of the tobbacco shop. "Jake! How've you been

"Okay," he said, but I could see the weariness in his eyes.

"Care to have a quick drink with me?" I hoped he'd say yes.

I could see the indecision in his eyes. "I promise it'll be a quick
one," I added hurriedly.


Seated at a table back in the Seafarer's Lounge, I twirled the lime
around in my Corona and tried to think of a way to get my point
across. The problem was that Jake was a lawyer - it'd have to be a
damn good argument. I scanned the room while the conversation
lapsed into companionable silence. Ah! I happened to see just what
I needed.

"That's you," I said, matter of factly.

"Excuse me?" We'd both been lost in our own thoughts and I'd
startled him out of his.

I nodded my head at a couple sitting a few tables away. "That guy
over there, the one with the phone glued to his ear and laptop where
his plate should be. That's you, in say, another five or six

"I don't look anything like him," he scoffed.

"Don't see the surface, Jake, look deeper. There he sits, the
ultimate businessman, able to leap tall stock markets in a single
bound, while his wife drowns herself in martini after martini, bored
out of her skull. She's got at least four empty glasses on the
table beside her, and who knows how many more the waiter already
picked up."

Jake was watching and listening, paying attention now. Good.

"See the way she's eyeing the busboy? That's lust, my dear Jake,
pure animal lust. I bet she's already thought of at least six ways
to Sunday on how to get him alone in a dark closet. Meanwhile, her
husband sits, engrossed in his own little look-how-successful-I-am
world. Do you think his wife cares anything about that, Jake?

His eyes turned guiltily to his own drink and didn't answer.
Truthfully, I hadn't expected one.


Now that'd I gotten Stacey and Jake thinking about each other and
hopefully seeing things in a new light, I had to get them to talk
about what was bothering them. I'd heard many times in Psych 101
that communication, in any relationship, was important. It seemed
to me that Stacey and Jake had forgotten how to communicate.

I picked up the phone in my room and dialed through to their cabin.
Stacey answered. "Stacey, this is Kelly, are you alone?"

"No." I could hear her puzzlement.

"Well, do you think you could meet me now? I *really* need to talk
to you. I'm here in my cabin."

"Sure," she answered and I could hear the questions already forming
in her head.

"Great!" I hung up and then waited for a couple of minutes, long
enough to make sure she'd left and was on her way here. I picked
up the phone and dialed their cabin again. Just as I'd hoped, Jake

"Jake, it's Kelly, do you think you could meet me tonight, after
dinner, in my quarters? I *really* need to talk to you."

"If it's that important I could come over now."

"No, now is not a good time. I've," I searched for a viable reason.
"I've got company - male company."

"Oh," he said. "Okay, then I guess I'll see you later tonight."

"Great!" I hung up just as a knock sounded at the door. I got up
and turned on the water in the shower, the shut the door to the

I answered the door to see Stacey smiling at me. "Stacey! Um..." I
hedeged a little shifting from one foot to the other, "I know I said
I needed to talk to you now, but I've sort of got company. Can you
come back after dinner, please? I really do need to talk to you,
but.." I let the sentence trail off and nodded my head toward the
batrhoom door.

"Sure," she said, a bit puzzled, but willing to go along with my
quirky nature. "See you later."

I shut the door and leaned against it, letting my breath out in a
loud "whoosh." I crossed my fingers and said a silent prayer to the
gods that I could pull everything off.


"Stacey, thanks for coming," I said, closing the door as she stepped
into my quarters. She'd gotten there before Jake, and I was already
starting to sweat. I was fairly sure that I could do this.

"What did you want to talk to me about?"

"Well, it's not so much me--"

Another knock at the door. I answered it and Jake was standing
there. "Come in," I said, sweeping my arm back with a flourish and
then practically pulling him into the room. I slammed the door and
stood with my back against it.

Jake looked at Stacey and Stacey started at Jake, her mouth open.
Jake found his voice first. "What's going on, Kelly? What is my wife
doing here?"


"Kelly and I are friends," Stacey interrupted me, "and she invited
me here. What are *you* doing here?"

"Invited you? She invited me, too."

I noticed Jake didn't volunteer any information about our
friendship, but I let that slide. We had more important matters to

"Excuse me," I said in a raised voice. Two sets of eyes focused
their scrutiny on me. "I asked you *both* here because, frankly, you
two need to talk."

They both started to talk, their words tripping over each other and
becoming a confused jumble.

I stuck my fingers in my mouth and let out a shrill whistle.
Complete silence.

"Now, this is my cabin and I say shut up and let me talk first." I
pointed a finger to Stacey. "You need to talk to him." I pointed at
Jake. "And you need to talk to her." I put my hands on my hips.
"I mean communicate - someone talks and the other person listens.
Something I think both of you have forgotten to do with each other."

"Stacey, what's your biggest complaint about your marriage?" I
looked at her with my eyebrows raised.

She didn't say anything. "Go on, you've got a tongue and if you've
told me what it is, then why can't you tell Jake?"

Stacey bowed her head and stared at her hands. I walked over to her
and raised her head up so that she was looking at Jake. "Look at
him, Stacey. That's the man you took for better or worse, till
death do you part. Try to see him through my eyes for just one
moment. I see someone who is still very much in love with you, but
is so afraid of saying or doing something to disappoint you, he
won't let himself be himself, who he really wants to be. Just
because he's a man doesn't mean he can't be insecure sometimes, or
uncertain or unsure of himself."

Tears were welling up in her eyes, and Jake hadn't taken his gaze
off of her face. "Jake, look at Stacey. Can't you see her as I do?
She worked after college to help put you through law school, not
because she wanted the perks that come from being a lawywer's wife,
but because she thought that was what you wanted. She quit her job,
because she thought that's what you wanted. Everything she does is
because she thinks it's what you want, or because she thinks it's
expected of her. Her image, the perfect little lawyer's wife, is
what she's been reduced to. And she's dying inside, as surely as
you stand there."

I stood up. Neither of them had spoken, but I had hopes that I'd
broken the ice. I picked up my purse and left the room. I'd find
somewhere to stay the night - finding male company wouldn't be that
big of a problem - and hopefully they'd start to work things out.


I didn't see either of them again until the next day, as we got off
the boat in San Juan. Stacey walked up to me and pressed a piece of
paper into my hand. "Here's my address and phone number, please say
you'll stay in touch?"

"You bet," I said, kissing her on the cheek. I dug through my purse
and found a slip of paper to write my phone number on. I handed it
to her and then waved to Jake. "I hope things went okay last night."

"We cried a lot," she said with a tiny smile, "but at least we
didn't end up fighting like we usually do."

"Good," I said, giving her a quick hug. She walked back to Jake and
I headed down the gangway.


Back in Sacramento, my life settled back into the same routine, more
or less. At school, I went into the registrar's office and changed
my major, this time for the last time. I trudged over to the
building that housed the department of human services, and filled
out my degree plan.

It was almost three weeks before I heard from either one of the
Robinsons, and then it was Jake who called. He wanted to know if I
was free for coffee the next day and I told him I had a break
between classes and would meet him at a local coffeshop near campus.


"Hi," I said, slipping into the booth across from him.

He leaned forward and kissed me gently, which surprised the hell out
of me. "Thank you," he said. "Stacey and I are actually talking
for the first time in years, and listening to what the other has to
say. Things aren't fully back to where I'd like them, but I think
we're getting there."

"That's great!" I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride for my
hand in everything.

We talked about things we'd been doing lately, a high-profile case
he was involved in and my new classes.

We were lingering over a second cup of coffee when his face tensed
up and he clutched his chest.

"Jake, what's wrong?" I could feel my chest tightening with panic.

"," he rasped out, his eyes going wide and his
body starting to stiffen.

"Oh God, oh God." I got up and yelled, "Someone, quick, call 911!"

I loosened his tie and tried to get him out of the booth, to lie him
down. A man rushed over to help me and I rattled off Jake's phone
number. "Call his wife, please."

"Hang on, Jake, hang on."


The longest minutes of my whole life were those spent waiting for
the ambulance. At the ER, I answered their questions as best as I
could, and paced the waiting room, hoping for a sign of Stacey.

She arrived, harried and eyes full of worry and fear. "Where is
he?" she said rushing up to me and giving me a quick hug.

"Still back there. The doctor said he'd let me know when I could go
back there."

We sat down on cold plastic chairs and I filled her in on everything
that had happened.

The doctor came out. He said we were lucky. Getting him to the
hospital so quickly very likely had saved his life. He'd pull
through. "Mrs. Robinson, you can go in now." He wasn't going to
let me go back with her - one person per patient in the critical
unit - but she persisted and he relented.

Jake looked so pale and fragile lying atop the harsh white sheets
and surrounded by beeping machines.

"Oh, Jake," Stacey said, lying her head on his chest and crying. "I
love you. I've always loved you. Please, just be okay, we can work
things out, I know we can, just don't you leave me now. Please."

Jake weakly tried to pat her on the shoulder. Stacey grabbed his
hand and held on as for dear life.

I smiled as tears ran down my cheek. Things were going to be just


"Jake, guess what?" I hollered as I slammed the garage door behind
me. I dropped my books and purse on the kitchen counter and walked
down the hall. Jake was probably asleep. I pushed open the bedroom
door and quickly regretted it.

There on the large king-sized bed was Jake and Stacey, in the middle
of some serious sex. I slammed the door closed and could feel my
face turning three shades of red. I went back into the kitchen and
got a soda out of the fridge.

Several minutes later, and fully dressed now, Jake and Stacey
wandered into the kitchen. Stacey's face was slightly flushed but
thankfully neither one mentioned my faux pas.

"So, what's up?" Jake asked, getting a beer out of the fridge and
popping the top. Stacey grabbed it from him before I could, and
replaced it with a bottle of water. Jake made a face but accepted
the change.

"Okay, you know that ever since I got accepted into grad school,
I've been trying to get on at the Women's Shelter downtown?" They
nodded and I continued. "Well, Mrs. Livingston called me today and
told me that my internship has been approved. I start Monday!"

Stacey squealed and I found myself on the receiving end of a group
hug. Jake ruffled my hair. "I knew you'd get it," he said with a
big smile.

After the cruise, I'd changed my major to human services, and in the
three years since that eventful holiday, I'd gotten my BA and been
accepted into grad school. I was working toward a masters in
Counseling, with a specialization in marriage counseling.

I looked at Jake. "So how'd the meeting go with your editor today?"
Jake had also undergone some life-changing events, his directly
related to the heart attack he'd had almost three years before.
He'd quit his job at the law firm and only worked occasionally as a
consultant on some of the more involved cases. He'd told Stacey
about his dream of becoming a writer and they'd discussed his
quitting. Stacey had said that if it was what he really wanted to
do, then they'd find a way to make ends meet. To that end, Stacey
took some night classes and got her CPA certification. Using
contacts she'd made at the bank where she'd previously worked, she
landed an interview with an up-and-coming video game software
company. She'd floored them at the interview and when she walked
out, she was their new financial advisor.

I was brought out of my trip down memory lane by Stacey answering,
"They love it. Just like we told him they would." She laughed and
kissed him. "That'll teach you to listen to us women."

"Yes, dear," Jake said, rolling his eyes and chuckling. "Anyway,
'Forever Eden' should be in the bookstores before the end of the

"Wooohoo!" I said, punching the air with my fist. "I get an
autographed copy?"

"Of course."

"Oh," Stacey said, moving toward the memo pad by the phone. "I
forgot earlier, but that guy from 'Spank!' called. He wants to know
if you can have the article done by the end of the month."

Jake took the piece of paper from her. "I'll call him tomorrow."

I snickered. "Told you you wrote porn."

"Hush you," Jake said. "By the way, don't you have your own place?"

My turn to roll my eyes. "It's the guest cottage right out back.
Getting senile in your old age?"

"Now children," Stacey said, taking some meat out of the freezer.
"Kelly, there's some vegetables in the crisper you can get out and
chop for me. Jake," she gestured to the stove, "find me a pan big
enough for this roast."

I stood at the counter, helping to prepare supper and thought about
how far I'd come from that indecisive, irresponsible girl I'd been.
I looked at Jake and Stacey - the two of them bantering back and
forth and making up excuses to casually touch one another. Three
years ago I would have never imagined a couple like them being such
a big part of my life. Now, I couldn't imagine a life without them.

I smiled widely and, humming softly under my breath, went back to my




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