Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jenny Lomax Ch. 1 Amour Fou

Jenny Starts Over...

When Larry Max threw her out the night he caught her with Lonnie, Jenny had no plan in mind. That is, she had a plan when she’d started but things went wrong.  She ended up staying in a hotel for a while and began looking for a small house. She had just enough money for that.  Lonnie took off and at first wouldn’t answer her calls. Eventually they made up but first she drowned herself in other men to compensate.

She went up to Galaxy Arcades and met the owner, Bob Blackford. Jenny had always known how to flirt and flatter a man to get his attention and get what she wanted, beginning with her father and then Larry Max right through to the present day. It wasn't currently working so well with Lonnie, probably because she cared too much. However; in the case of Bob, she soon had him eating out of her hand. She didn’t want too much; just an evening’s dalliance and a wealthy friend for the future, in case he was needed.

The very next afternoon Bob arrived at her home. They played video games and then got passionate. In the morning Bob didn’t know it but he was getting the royal treatment when Jenny made him a pancake breakfast. Ordinarily she made sure her men left before dawn, hungry or not. It was a little more discreet, neighbor-wise, and besides, the first time she had awakened with a handsome stranger beside her instead of Larry Max it had totally unnerved her. When she first moved to this house she still felt married to Larry Max somehow and it seemed odd to have another man with her in the morning. It was strange; she often had weird dreams of her old house, too. Somehow she was locked out and had no key to get in; she would stand outside in the darkness and wish for her old life. The dreams frightened and troubled her. The only man she ordinarily would let stay over—because he was the only one she really wanted—was Lonnie Hammond. Time was helping her make adjustments and now she didn’t feel quite so uncomfortable about Bob staying this time.

There was an awkward moment after breakfast, though, when one of her neighbors, Heather Ferguson, stopped her morning walk to speak with Jenny just as Bob was leaving. Jenny had already kissed him goodbye in the house so she blithely ignored him as he walked by and gave no explanation to the wide-eyed Heather. Just as if the thing had never happened at all. Brazen it out was frequently Jenny's motto.

A few days later Jenny went to Woodland Park with Bobbi Jo Cooke, the woman who lived across the street from her. The park was busy and very pleasant and one could fish there at a lovely large pond. Jenny made a note of it because she dearly loved fresh fish and was an excellent cook. Perhaps Lonnie would like a dinner of blackened catfish some time. While she was there she saw John Lassiter, who was a very good-looking older man and, from what she heard he was even more loaded than Remington Goth. He was discreet about it, but she knew he noticed her. She filed the information away for future reference. Matthew Picasa was there, too, but he was married with a new baby—nothing there that could of any help to her.

Jody Broke called asking to see Jenny again and she agreed, mostly because Lonnie currently was not answering his phone most of the time. When he did pick up he was cold and sometimes abrupt; still angry about her using him to ignite her divorce.

“Your old man could have shot me—didn’t you say he likes guns?” he pointed out the first time they’d talked after the incident, “You are poison, Jenny; stay away from me.”

She was desolate when he said this originally. All these other men were meaningless; she wanted Lonnie. That was the point of her divorce; to be with Lonnie forever. Never accepting defeat for long, Jenny made her mind up that she would win Lonnie back somehow.

But meanwhile, here was this handsome Dr. Jody Broke seeking her company. He was rich, cultured and he was considered one of the most desirable bachelors around town. He had black hair like Lonnie, but blue eyes and if she didn’t look too hard she could almost pretend he was Lonnie. So she would console herself with attention from Jody for the time being. But she never seemed to fully realize that these things always get around. Small towns thrive on rumors and she was keeping the gossip mills working full time. Jenny was not the only creator of rumors and innuendo in Pleasantview, but she was one of the most prolific at the moment.

Dr. Jody Broke

To her relief Lonnie began to get friendlier again, asking her how things were going, hinting that he missed her. In fact, Lonnie actually was still hung up over Jenny, but her behavior was so impulsive and erratic, and so opportunistic, that she made him very cautious. Always, it seemed, Jenny was the author of her own sad stories.

He's a Smooth Operator – a brief history of Lonnie Hammond

From the moment he moved to town Lonnie charmed the women of Pleasantview—those who wanted to be charmed, that was. He never seduced a woman unless it was obvious that she craved seduction. He had a classy house on Professional Row and he liked his life just as it was. He did not want to get married and really didn’t even want a long term relationship. Telling himself he did not even know how long he would stay in Pleasantview, he made no commitments and promised nothing but temporary pleasure.

His neighbors Meadow Thayer and Doralee Ottomas were his very first guests for lunch. He could not cook at all then and they had to make out on salami sandwiches. He managed to restrain himself this first day and both ladies’ virtue remained intact, although blonde Meadow had definitely caught his eye. As for his new maid, KayLynn, she quickly succumbed to his friendly advances. Unfortunately she became so territorial about Lonnie that he had to dispense with her cleaning services. He couldn’t have a woman over only to have the maid rush in and slap her. He was very neat and decided he didn't mind cleaning his own house. Next was Brandi LeTourneaux who, unfortunately, cried many nights over him even though she knew all along he was not for her. Brandi realized right away that Lonnie was a player but she hadn’t planned to fall for him. These things happened frequently in Lonnie’s wake.

What Lonnie loved best was music, his tropical fish, women and freedom. He played several instruments and was careless about his talent except for the piano. It wasn’t that he was so traditionally handsome in the usual sense, because in fact, he was not. But he had thick shiny black hair that he accented by often wearing the color black, big brown eyes and a great smile. His slightly upturned nose cost him points on classic beauty, but none of the women he beguiled would have agreed with this. He didn’t come across as a stud at all, but more like an adorable puppy dog that women wanted to take in and house-train. There was no secret mean streak in him, nor did he have any special intentions when he met people, other than the obvious one regarding women. Even that was not secret or aggressive. If you turned down Lonnie he would still be glad to remain your friend and no hard feelings. He was never sneaky so he didn’t like schemes and tricks from other people. All women, unfortunately, were about the same to him. There were beautiful women, average women, and plain women; some were young and some old. He loved them all equally and thought each one had possibilities—for a time. He was an equal opportunity Casanova.   

Lonnie’s love nest with a revolving door was his pride and joy. There were three floors with a large wrap-around pool and he could entertain one person or have a party with a group of people. In addition he now prided himself on the fact that he was learning to cook and by now his chili and his pork chops were quite good. He was still working on salmon but he knew he'd conquer that soon.

 The first floor held the the living room, downstairs bathroom, dining room and kitchen.

His bedroom did not immediately indicate that it was a playboy’s lair. His décor was just as dedicated to sports as to romance, but portraits and photos of various especially attractive women he had known graced the bedroom walls. This did rather give him away as someone who appreciated the "female form divine".

On the third floor was his hydroponic garden and a large and inviting hot tub.

When Lonnie met Jenny Lomax, she struck him as very attractive and lots of fun. He thought redheads were hot anyway. Since she was a self-admitted player herself there would be no conflict of interests between them, or so he thought.

Then she starting intimating she was in love with him and that she would be willing to be exclusive to him. This made him extremely uncomfortable despite the fact that he was beginning to really care for her, too. He definitely didn’t want Jenny to know that. He did not want to care for anyone. He had a couple of male friends with whom to pal around, lots of women who took up his time and he didn’t want to be exclusive to anyone. He was not really even serious with his music and his job was just a slacker one; he preferred to keep his days free. He had enough money to get by and that was fine with him. If he needed more, he would get a better job.

When the whole thing went down at the Lomax house that afternoon, Lonnie felt terrible. He had no interest in tormenting Jenny’s poor husband. He’d been hearing that he was nice guy. Of course, he hadn’t felt guilty enough to break it off with Jenny, but still he had not wanted to rub the man’s nose in it. He lit out because there was nothing he could say and the guy was ready to explode.  When Lonnie figured out Jenny had known all along her husband Larry Max would be coming home while they were at the house--although not so early--he was furious.

As far as he was concerned she was off his list. When his phone rang and he saw it was her number he would not pick up. The nonsensical thing in his opinion was that he was already starting to miss her. Who knew why; she was pretty but not beautiful and she was older than him; she had four kids to boot. Even though she had been a child bride, she easily had fifteen years on him. Yes, she had a great body and a wild imagination that he could appreciate, but she was also manipulative and, frankly, a little crazy. He didn’t want to be with a woman he couldn’t trust. Once in a while, though, he would answer the phone. She didn’t say anything he wanted to hear so he usually cut the call short. No, Lonnie thought; the whole thing was a big mistake. The thing was to forget her and move on.

In a relatively short amount of time he was ignoring his own advice and taking all her calls again. He kept seeing other women, but his heart was not in it quite as much as before.

“You are a fool,” he said to himself after he agreed to see her again, “This can’t end well.”

Before Lonnie again began taking her calls, Jenny was desperately hoping to either win him back or meet someone new who could take her mind off him; at least for a while. She almost found that in Nicky Ferguson. They’d been introduced long ago when she was still married and been immediately fascinated with each other. They'd had a few assignations, but he'd been out of the state for a couple years. A couple of months ago he called to say he was back. She had invited him over for dinner a day or two later. Nicky was known to be a real womanizer, too, but that didn't bother Jenny. They both had an intense interest in painting and talked for quite a while about art before falling on each other with abandon. She was always attracted to the wild ones and easily welcomed him to stay the night. They saw each other a number of times after that, but Jenny would back off whenever things were going good with Lonnie.

That weekend she was considering Nicky’s invitation to go away to Twikkii Island with him when Lonnie called and finally asked to come over to see her. For Jenny, any chance to see Lonnie, especially after this long separation, meant canceling all other plans.

Lonnie had never once mentioned the men she saw and she never mentioned his women, but they soon got in an argument over her recent fling with Nicky. She had not known that Nicky was one of Lonnie’s best friends. Nicky was ignorant of the fact that Lonnie was seeing Jenny again because Lonnie never talked about women to his buddies except in a general sense. So Nicky mentioned in passing that he’d seen Jenny recently. But Lonnie knew Jenny well enough to know what that meant. Then Nicky said he was thinking of asking her to go to Twikkii with him that weekend. That clinched it; Lonnie had to get to Jenny before she could decide to go. Nicky sensed something was wrong, although he had no idea what, and asked Lonnie about his change of mood. Lonnie shrugged it off with a smile, “No problem, Nick, I just have things on my mind.”

After he had his say about her seeing Nicky, Lonnie grew quiet and Jenny pouted. He knew he had no leg to stand on; he had not wanted her to remain exclusive to him before this. He never asked that of any woman because he didn’t want them to make the same request of him. Maybe it was because he knew Nicky or because he hadn’t seen Jenny in a while, but he’d been jealous for the first time in his life.

Finally he reached over and drew her onto his lap.

“I had no right to question you on this; you don’t owe me anything,” he gave her his old line, “This is an open relationship.”

Jenny smiled at him, but stated frankly,

“Yes, but that sucks and I hate it.”

Lonnie laughed, “Okay, maybe we should redefine the boundaries then. But let’s just take it slow, okay? This is all new to me, I don’t even know if I’m ready for it.”

Jenny practically purred and the rest of the evening was very sweet. 

The next morning she made omelets for their breakfast. She had made up her mind that, whether he stayed with her or not, she would be true to Lonnie. No one else made her feel the way that he did; so, no more men. When she voiced this opinion to Lonnie he began back-pedaling. The idea of sticking to one woman was almost unthinkable to him. He wanted Jenny, but he didn’t want to be a couple. He didn’t understand it himself.

“I didn’t say you had to be with me, just that I no longer want to play around with other men,” Jenny pointed out, becoming somewhat perturbed.

That was actually what Lonnie wanted, he finally admitted to himself, but caution made him question her motives. Certainly most women would never say they would be faithful to a man, but that he could fool around with other women. So what was she really after?

He couldn’t know that Jenny was cutting off all the other men so that she could be sure ahead of time of the parentage of the baby she hoped to conceive in the next couple months. If she couldn’t have Lonnie forever; she would have something of his; his child. She wanted to be sure he was the father. And she had to move quickly—she wasn’t getting any younger.

As usual, Lonnie could not stay angry with Jenny for long and before he left that morning they were kissing and cooing. He felt he’d swung things his way; at least he had made sure there would be no romantic trip to Twikkii with Nicky—for the time being, anyway. Jenny had promised to be true, but he was not at all sure she would or could keep her promise. Lonnie was crazy about Jenny but not crazy enough to trust her. And he seemed to overlook the fact that he had no intention of avoiding other women now—in fact, just the opposite.


Jenny was fairly sure Lonnie had been keeping close tabs on her ever since she announced her intention to see only him, but she did not know how. Whenever they saw each other Lonnie would make oblique references to her movements around town. Since she was no longer being promiscuous Jenny shrugged, let him follow her around, then he’d know the baby had to be his.

Jenny remained true to Lonnie over the next six months and was rewarded when she became pregnant at last. The problem was she didn’t know whether to tell Lonnie right away and brave his wrath or just wait for him to catch on. She was in this alone, she realized. Lonnie had not wanted a baby, he was still seeing other women as far as she knew. 

After she had made a couple of regular visits to the obstetrician in town, Jenny got an angry call from Lonnie.

“I think you have something to tell me?”

“You’re right, I do.”

“I’ll be over in a couple minutes,” he said tensely and hung up on her.

When he got there he went through his usual tirade about being perfectly happy as a single man with his freedom and his own place. No changes were desired by him. Then he said,

“Now I find out you’re pregnant—is it mine?”

She nodded.

“How do I know that it’s mine? You’ve had a herd of men over here!” Lonnie rarely lost his temper but he was seething now.

“I’m positive it’s yours; think what you like, though. Whoever your spies are they must have told you no one is ever here unless you count the gardener and he’s not my type.”

“They’re all your type, baby,” he drawled, but he seemed to calm down, “Anyway, you could have gone elsewhere to be with someone.”

“True, but I didn’t. I told you how I felt months ago, no more men for me. You’re the only one I wanted and I said you didn’t have to promise the same to me.”

Lonnie finally sat down on the sofa and said,

“Yeah, I remember, but—wait, what do you mean “wanted” as in past tense?” suddenly her wordage bothered him.

“Okay, you’re the only one I want, then, present tense. I just don’t want you to think I’m begging you to stay with me because I’m not doing that anymore. I wanted your baby. End of story. Now I’m going to keep the child and raise it. You can do as you please. You always do anyway.”

Softening, Lonnie said quietly,

“It would never work, anyway, Jenny, don’t you know that? We’re too much alike; selfish, egocentric, willful. If I gave in and married you; we wouldn’t be happy. We’d never trust each other; we’d both be trapped.”

“I told you I’m not asking anything—why don’t you just go if you feel I’m still trying to coerce you into marriage?” Jenny tried to hide the tears in her eyes,

“I’ll go,” he kissed her cheek softly, “But I’ll be back. I can’t seem to help myself.”

He was right; two weeks later found him over at Jenny’s and shocked to discover she had somehow popped out overnight. It was really true; she was definitely expecting a child. Somehow he'd thought she might just be bluffing. And it was probably his, he thought—although he planned to ask for a paternity test after the baby came.

The two back-and-forth lovers sat and tried to discuss calmly what should happen next.

They came to no conclusions but afterword Jenny couldn’t resist offering a Swedish massage to Lonnie on her next massage table. She had a knack for making a man feel really pampered in various ways. Lonnie loved the massage and gave her a big hug afterward.  

“You can’t stay in this little house,” Lonnie said as they talked on the bed, “There’s barely enough room for you.”

“I can’t leave now and I don’t have the money anyway.”

“Well, then you need to make an addition, I’ll help you out,” he insisted.

“You? You don’t have any money either with that crummy slacker job.” Jenny was usually not so blunt or tactless, but she was stressed and thought Lonnie was just blowing smoke anyway.

He shrugged, “I got a new job ten days ago; that’s why I haven’t been over here; long hours.”

Jenny was amazed.

“So, anyway, let me call around and get prices for you on building an addition, just one or two rooms even.”

“I already have a nursery decorated, Lonnie. Why do you think I need so much room?”

“Look the kid isn’t going to stay a baby forever—what if he shows a musical inclination or something? There’s no room for a piano. Where you going to paint? You’ve got your easel and stuff crammed down at the end of your bedroom.”

“But why do I have to do it now when he will still be a baby for a while? I won’t be able to stand the paint smell while I’m pregnant.”

“Why do you always argue with me? They shouldn’t need to paint anywhere near your room. Let me just call someone to come and look and see what they say. If it can’t be done before the baby is born, at least you’ll have the information and you can do it then if you want.”

“Well, all right; if you think it’s best,” she suddenly lapsed into the submissive mode she used in conversations with men but this time she did it because she actually was exhausted. She wished she could just leave everything up to him. When she’d had her other children she was younger and she was married to Larry Max, both things had made it easier than this pregnancy was. Suddenly Jenny realized she just had to have something cold and sweet from Sam’s Snappy Service. So Lonnie got up and drove off to get her a parfait sundae, wondering how this kept happening to him. He must be losing his mind traipsing off at 10 pm to get ice cream from a little drive-in restaurant halfway to Bluewater Village.

After Jenny gobbled down the parfait, and Lonnie finished the ice cream cone he'd got for himself, he neatly disposed of the container and returned to the bed.

Stretching out, he kissed her tenderly, then couldn’t keep from asking,

“So, um, have you been thinking of any names?”

Ordinarily when Lonnie came over to Jenny’s house he stayed the night with her; tonight, for the very first time, he got up to leave as soon as she fell asleep. The lovemaking had been fantastic, but the domesticity was suddenly making him feel claustrophobic. Food cravings, baby names; the conversation that he been the one to initiate and had deemed necessary a few hours ago; now seemed unreal. He could not figure out what was wrong with him and decided he needed to get back to his bachelor digs and chill; right away. He quietly slipped out of the warm bed and dressed quickly. A pang of conscience hit him when he looked over at Jenny, asleep and vulnerable.

Should he leave a note? Saying what, though? He had no real excuse for hurrying away; just unreasoning terror and craven cowardice.

As he walked through the living room he heard her get out of bed and hurry to the door. She called his name and Lonnie stopped. Turning around he caught her in his arms as she flew toward him.  He had to smile; he should have known he wouldn’t get away with sneaking out like a teenager. They kissed deeply and Jenny said goodbye. She didn’t even ask why he was leaving at 3 am. And he didn’t explain.

“I’ll be back,” he whispered as he reflected that he was starting to sound like the Terminator.

Jenny smiled as she watched him go down the steps. He’d taken all of this better than she ever would have expected. A deep wave of love passed over her. He was so handsome, she thought, but then she supposed she was just a little prejudiced. She hoped their baby would look like Lonnie. He still made her swoon.

Running In Place

Lonnie went home and spent the next two weeks trying to pretend none of this with Jenny had happened. He was bent on renewing his many female acquaintances. His little black book held the name and numbers of many women; including some with whom he had not yet pursued romance and these were the ones he concentrated on. It was as though he were in a frenzy to pack as much of his single and studly life as possible into a couple weeks. Like someone on the last couple days of a magical vacation trying to visit as many tourist attractions as they can before they leave.

The trysts were basically all one night stands with single women like Bonnie Candeloro’s daughter, Belinda, and Lalique Flynn. Lalique in particular, was an enthusiastic girl in the hot tub and Lonnie was blown away.  He also reflected that there was a real possibility she might put him in the hospital if he ever saw her again. Wild thing. Of course there had been that one brief but exciting get-together in a changing booth with the very beautiful, very married Bella Cullen. Not planned, but golden opportunities should not be lost. Nicky Ferguson later told him that messing with Mrs. Cullen was a real good way to satisfy a suicidal tendency. Oops.

Ladylike Belinda

Lovely Lalique

Mysterious Bella

All these women quickly melted away from his consciousness after he invited Meadow Thayer over. He’d met her the very first day he’d moved in and she was different from the others. Fun and easygoing, happy in her single life. Extremely independent; she’d traveled extensively over the past five years, mostly going by herself on vacations to Twikkii, Three Lakes, Las Vegas, Cancun, and Takemizu. A really pretty woman, Lonnie thought, and savvy businesswise; she was thinking of opening a hairstyling salon in Bluewater Village now that she had retired from the corporate world. It was unusual for him, but Lonnie actually admired her very much. 

At lunchtime he made his excellent chili for her; his was a special recipe, and she was impressed. Over the last few years he had honed his cooking skills. Now he never served salami sandwiches. He promised to make a special dinner for Meadow the next time she came over. In fact, his new job was in the culinary field as a prep cook, hoping to turn one of his hobbies into a lucrative profession. This way he could work and still find a way to have fun.

The afternoon date became something more when Lonnie invited her up to the third floor to enjoy his hot tub. She was not brazen, simply adventurous. Lonnie had noticed that even though Meadow was slightly shy she was also playful and he liked that; so was he. They were up there a long time cuddling and talking. He loved that she asked no uncomfortable questions like, “Will I hear from you again?” 

By the end of the evening Lonnie decided that Meadow with her sunny disposition was one of the sweetest women he had ever met. He was surprised to realize that, had he not already been locked into the intense situation with Jenny, he would actually have contemplated a serious relationship with Meadow. Lonnie had never wanted to have a serious relationship before in his life. He’d accidentally fallen into it with Jenny. It wasn’t until the next morning that Meadow admitted to Lonnie that he was the first man with whom she’d intimate in five years. This made Lonnie feel sad; he considered that fact a total waste of a beautiful woman. And here he'd been doing his level best to make all the women in Pleasantview happy, yet poor Meadow had been suffering.

A visit from a gentleman... 

During the weeks Lonnie was gone cutting a romantic swath through Pleasantview Jenny kept to herself. One afternoon when she took out the trash, however; she met Edward Cullen. His manners seemed almost old world when he very courteously introduced himself. His hand was as cold as though he’d been juggling ice cubes. Poor circulation, probably, she thought briefly.

Amazingly he looked quite young, younger than her son, Andy, and yet she knew from the Pleasantview grapevine that he and his wife had a grown daughter who lived with them. They talked for quite a while until Edward could see she was drooping a little and said,

“You must be very fatigued standing so long, I didn’t mean to keep you,” he smiled gently, 
“Congratulations on your blessed event and I sincerely hope all goes well for you and the baby.” 

Then he actually took her arm and gently guided her up the steps to her front door.

What a really super guy, Jenny marveled. Two days later she received a gift in the mail. It was an blue antique toddler’s dress with edgings of real Val lace. The card said “Best wishes to mother and baby from The Cullen Family, Edward, Bella and Renesmee.”

“How lovely and thoughtful, “Jenny remarked as she put it away in the nursery. This made her start hoping the baby was a girl even though she had longed for a boy since she thought Lonnie might want a boy.

Momentary Truce 

It was the last few days of Jenny’s pregnancy and Lonnie called her up and asked to come over. When he got there Jenny saw he’d brought a small overnight bag with him.

“I don’t think you should be alone now,” he shrugged and then emphasized, “I’m not moving in or anything, I’m still keeping my place, I just thought I’d stay for a few days until the baby is born.”

He patted her tummy and talked to the baby as usual. As a rule, Jenny loved it when he did this. Yet suddenly it occurred to her that, yes, Lonnie could very well end up loving his baby and want to visit a lot, but perhaps he loved the baby already and only put up with Jenny since she was the mother. She knew he'd been seeing a lot of women recently; in fact, she’d heard he had been on a regular tear.

That was probably it; he wanted the baby but not her. Jenny knew all along she could end up alone with the baby; she’d accepted that. What she had not considered was that she might have Lonnie on her hands all the time, but not because he loved her. Just as a way to see his baby. 

“Well, I don’t need you to stay here, Lonnie,” she frowned, “Bobbi Jo lives right across the street and she said she could be over here in a flash if I needed her.”

“That’s not the same as having someone right in the house,” Lonnie didn’t seem to notice Jenny’s rejection as he continued to rub her round tummy.

“I hope you know that even though my due date is tomorrow, you could end up being stuck here another week or two. Predicting birth is still not an exact science. Wouldn’t that be just too awful for you?” 

Finally Lonnie looked up at her,

“What’s the matter, baby?”

Jenny realized he was being patient and tender because of her condition and it made her want to scream.

“Nothing is the matter! You want to stay here days or weeks, fine by me.”

He rubbed her shoulders, “Is it your back again?”

Jenny gritted her teeth, then spoke,

“My back is fine; I feel great! You don’t have to be nice to me just because I’m carrying your baby!”

Lonnie put his arms around her,

“Stop this, Jenny. Yeah, it's true that I want to care for you because you're my child’s mother, but that’s not the only reason. I love you, Jenny, in my own selfish way; I never said I didn’t. I’m just scared to give up the way of life I know best. I’m scared of us; we seem to be combustible somehow.”

Jenny was holding back tears, but not very well. Pregnancy always made her cry over nothing at all let alone something serious. She wanted him here more than anything; she just didn’t want him to stay if he cared nothing at all for her. It probably was best for the baby that he be here, though, so that decided Jenny.

“Well, I guess you can stay,” she said stiffly, “Just until the baby is born.”

“So are you going to start that portrait of me?” Lonnie joked, trying to lighten the mood.

“All right, I'll give it a shot,” Jenny finally smiled.

He posed for a while although he was prone to fits of self-conscious laughter from time to time. When Jenny’s legs were starting to ache from standing, Lonnie proposed that he make the supper.

After the meal Jenny would need a nap, she got tired so easily now. Lonnie cleaned the kitchen—he had always been compulsively neat and he loved cleaning house—while Jenny napped on her bed.

When she woke a couple hours later Lonnie was playing SSX3 and she joined him. It wasn’t very long until he pulled her over to cuddle and kiss.

It was around midnight when they went to bed. At 2 am Jenny suddenly stood up and grabbed her stomach, moaning. Lonnie woke up and launched himself out of the bed. Jenny's pain upset and frightened him much more than he would have guessed. Every time she cried out he flinched. Then, Jenny suddenly calmed down as the pain lessened. She looked upwards with a wondering smile and in the next moment a tiny infant dropped neatly into the circle of her arms, laughing in delight. Their daughter was born. They had already decided on a name; the baby would be called Loni Faye.

Jenny held the baby while Lonnie made a fool of himself over the infant just as he had when she was in the womb, talking to her in a playful way. It was such a thrill to him that when he spoke to Loni Faye now she responded with coos and facial expressions. Lonnie couldn’t believe how small and how sweet she was. When he held her up she reached out to him with her tiny hands and touched his face. His heart and soul were captured forever.

Lonnie insisted he be the one to give her a bottle.

“Don’t forget to burp her!” Jenny warned. Then they tucked Loni Faye into her brand new crib and Lonnie hugged Jenny tight, kissing her forehead,

“Thank you for our baby, Jennifer," he whispered, "She’s beautiful.”

Holding hands, they walked back to the bedroom. Lonnie had ended up being here only one night, Jenny thought, now he would be returning to his bachelor apartment, probably for good. She was still happy for the moment though; he’d been here for the birth, cuddled their little daughter, and was now holding Jenny in his arms as he slept. For tonight anyway, it could get no better.

Next installment of Jenny's story HERE