Serendipity - Version Charlie

by Lubrican

Chapters : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Epilogue

Epilogue

Deciding to do something completely crazy is one thing.† Making actual preparations is something else.† More than once, as I put plan B into action, I thought I must be insane.

Some things went very well.† I talked to one of the local realtors, who hooked me up with one of her colleagues in Lubbock.† Both of them worked their end of things.† My house sold almost immediately.† The buyer wanted to move in right away, but I put in the contract that I'd pay them rent until I found a new house.† Luckily the realtor in Texas found me something soon after.† The details took two months to work out, and the process was interrupted by me having to fly to California to be there at my niece's high school graduation.

That went pretty well too.† Having put plan B into action, that injected both of us with some patience and control.† Which is to say that we didn't take any chances, in terms of trying to have sex while I was there.† Since my flight left California at 10:30 PM, the day she graduated, that wasn't really so hard.

There were bumps in the road, of course.

Such as when, in June, Caitlin couldn't go surfing any more because if she put on a swim suit the bulge in her tummy was obvious.† At that point, she had to come clean.† She told her mother first, privately.

Hannah was furious.† Some of that was aimed my way, but most of it was because Caitlin had known for months that she was pregnant, and her unwillingness to tell anyone had, as a side effect, avoided prenatal care.† That was what Hannah was most upset about.† Plan B came out in the process of them talking things out.† Hannah reacted the same way I did.† It is possible that Caitlin's arguments in favor of the plan won her over.† I sort of suspect the thought of her daughter trying to go to college pregnant and alone was what got her fully on board.

Luckily, the timing was obvious, to both parents.† But as unhappy as Hannah was, she didn't blow our cover, and let Phil assume that "the boy Caitlin met while she was hiking and camping during spring break" was responsible.†† He was pretty unhappy that she couldn't identify this boy as anyone other than "Josh".† When pressed, Caitlin got all teary-eyed and said, "We only did it once, Daddy.† I didn't think anything would happen.† All I know is that he's from San Francisco."

Hannah rolled her eyes.

The road continued to be bumpy when Phil said, "Well, obviously you can't go to college in that condition."

It was good that Hannah knew what was going on, because she got to play the bad guy.† She later told me she had a lot of fun as a co-conspirator.

"Stop right there!" she barked at Phil.† "She made her bed, and now she's going to lie in it.† She will go to college, and she will take care of this baby while she studies and graduates."

"She can't do that," said Phil.† "It would never work."

"Well she's going to have to make it work," growled Hannah.† "She's not living here.† I will not raise my own grandchild while my foolish daughter goes out with her friends and works at some minimum wage job."

That argument went on for more than a week, until Hannah called me and "found out" I was moving to Texas.† The house they'd found me was in a suburb called Ransom Canyon, which was about ten miles from Lubbock.† That was fine with me.† I don't like crowds or traffic and a nice, peaceful setting is perfect to work in.† Anyway, when Hannah "discovered" her brother was moving to Texas, Phil got on the phone and said "Where in Texas?"

"It's a town called Ransom Canyon," I said.† "I got a big contract down there and it's easier to just move there than commute."

"Yeah, fine, whatever," said Phil.† "How far is it from Lubbock?"

"I don't think it's that far," I hedged.†"Why?" I wasn't ready to tell him I was moving to a suburb of the town his little girl was also moving to.

"We have this little situation, Bob," he said.† "Caitlin is going to school in Lubbock."

"That's a situation?" I responded, sounding confused on purpose.†

"No.† The situation is ... well ... hang on."† He covered the microphone, but I still heard him ask Hannah, "Does he know about Caitlin?" I heard Hannah say, "Of course not."† They had a little discussion, in the middle which Phil came back on the phone and said, "Just a second longer, okay?† Don't hang up."†Hannah played her part flawlessly and, in the end, Phil sadly informed me that his step-daughter had used some bad judgment and gotten herself pregnant.† Then he asked if, at all possible, since I would be a lot closer to her than they would, might I be willing to sort of keep an eye on her, just for a while, until she got her feet under herself.† His voice got lower.†I later found out he left the room before he said the next thing he said.

"Bob, she's not going to be able to make it down there in Texas.† Not with a baby and going to college and all that.† But they're both stubborn and I can't make them see that.† She'll probably figure it out within a week of having this baby, though, and come running home.† I just need somebody to keep an eye on her while that happens.†You know what I mean?"

"She's a pretty determined girl, usually," I pointed out.

"She's like any other woman.† She has no idea what having a kid is going to be like.† I don't want her to do something stupid when reality hits her in the face."

"Like what?" I asked.

"Like give the baby away," he said.† "That would be a disaster of the highest magnitude. Her mother is already knitting booties for her grandbaby."

"Seriously?"† My voice rose. "Hannah knits?"

"Not literally," said Phil, sounding exasperated.† "But you know what I mean.† She wants to be a Grandma.† And she'll get her chance once Caitlin comes to her senses.† I just need somebody to keep an eye on her until then."

"Sure," I finally said.† "No problem.† I'll invite her out to the house.† I'll tell her it would be a good place to study or something."

"Perfect," said Phil.† "Okay.† Thanks.† I don't know how this happened.† She had such a bright future."

"She still has a bright future, Phil," I said, seriously.† "She is a determined girl, and she's smart.† Don't count her out yet."

"She wasn't smart enough to keep her legs closed," he said.† "But that's water under the bridge.† I'm going to give you back to Hannah."

"Sure," I responded.

Hannah came back on and asked questions about my move to Texas.† When I told her what Phil had asked me to do, she folded that into what was now her plan B.† Or maybe it was still her plan A.† I don't know.† The point is, she asked how close Ransom Canyon was to Lubbock, and what kind of house it was, already knowing that it was big enough for a family.† Eventually she went much farther than her husband had.

"Bob?† Let me ask you a question.† And be honest with me, Bob, okay?† If Caitlin is having a hard time, can she come stay with you sometimes?† Just for a while?† It's going to be stressful for her, in school, with a baby.† You can say no.† I'll understand, but I'd feel so much better if I knew she had someplace to go where somebody might help her out a little."

Hannah missed her calling.† She should be on Broadway, or in movies, because she's a consummate actress.

I thought about saying, "Hell, Hannah, she can live with me if she wants to," but I remembered that I had to be her boyfriend before she moved in with me, later to become my wife.

"Of course she can come visit," I said.† "I'll take good care of her."

And that was that.† Plan B was perking along fine.† Phil was convinced she'd come crawling back home, and he was willing to be happy with that outcome. †I don't think he'd thought out what would happen after that, but he was willing to let her go.† Hannah, of course, knew there would be a different outcome, one that also might be a rough road, but it at least had the potential for a lot happier outcome.

I had the new house set up when Kat parked the new (for her) car her dad had gotten her as a graduation present.† Sheíd driven it all the way from California, driving more or less nonstop, as she had done before ... as young people can often do.†† She had a lot of motivation, of course.† There was school, which was new and exciting.† But there was also me.† I was old and exciting, I suppose.

She came to my house first.† She didnít knock, which is why I was so glad she got the right address.† It might have been a bit awkward had she barged in some stranger's house, pulling her T shirt up and off her obviously pregnant belly to expose bare breasts that were now larger than ever.

But it was the right house and, by the time she called out for me and I got there, she was in the process of pushing her shorts down over smooth hips that had widened since I saw her last.

"I need a shower!" she gasped. "I've been driving for the last ... " She checked her watch, which was the only thing she was wearing. "Seventeen hours," she said.† She was talking fast, like people do when they're on speed, and I wondered if sheíd found somebody to sell her a little help for the drive.† Then she crushed her naked body against me.† "But I want you in bed," she moaned.†† "But I must stink, so I need a shower first!"

I disengaged and gave her an almost chaste peck on the lips.

You go take a shower and Iíll get your suitcase out of the car," I said, gently.† "Thereís plenty of time for getting frisky later."

But itís been so long!" she whined.† "And I want you right now!† Itís so good to see you, to finally be here.† I almost canít stand it. "

"Patience, patience," I said.† "Where is the suitcase?"

"Which suitcase?" she asked.

"The one with your clothes in it," I prompted.

"There are four of them," she said.† "I donít know which one to have you get.† I wasnít thinking about clothes.† I was thinking about bed! "

"Go take a shower.† Iíll go bring them all in.† We can take them back later."

"One of them is for here," she said, suddenly no longer manic.† "It has the clothes in it I 'm going to leave here."

"I see," I said.

"I canít believe Iím finally here," she sighed.† "Oh, Uncle Bob, Iím so horny." Her hand went to stroke her clit.

"Shower!" I barked, just to get her moving.

When I got back in with the last two suitcases, one of which had been buried under a clothes hamper full of books and about six boxes crammed with all the other indispensables a girl has to take to college with her, I stuck my head in the bathroom.† I heard the shower going and humming.

So I got naked and joined her.

I suppose you could say the first socially acceptable time I slid my prick into Caitlin's hot sheath, was that day in Texas.† At least it was socially acceptable in Texas.

It wouldn't be the last, of course.

Caitlin would have done well on Broadway too.† Maybe she got that from her mother.† She played the role of poor, young, pregnant freshman well.† Some of the friends she made were quite possibly because she was pregnant.† She was invited to a support group, for example.† Turns out there are more poor, young pregnant girls going to college than one might think.† And these days, of course, there are resources for such young women.† We won't argue the merits of tax dollars going to support girls who make mistakes early in life.† I won't, at least.† It was my fault, but I pay my taxes too.

We "met" for the first time at the South Plains Mall.† She had called to tell me she was going with some girl friends to the mall and told me to sit down at a table in the food court.††When they got there I was sitting, sipping my third cup of coffee and reading the paper for the fourth time. I was surprised I hadn't been approached by the mall security guy who had walked by me a dozen times.

It was crowded, but there were tables the three girls could have sat at.† But Kat guided them to my table, where she stood, holding a tray upon which her wrapped tacos lay, and boldly said, "You remind me of my Uncle Bob.† Is this seat taken?"

"Caitlin!" squealed one of her friends.† She was a pretty typical college girl, cute, but not classically beautiful, in fairly good shape, and who knew better than to approach strange men.† I didn't get much of a look at the other girl.† I was looking at Caitlin.

"Well," I said, ignoring the outraged objection to Caitlin's forward behavior. "As it turns out, my name is Bob.† But I'd be really surprised if you were my niece.† I could only wish to have a niece like you."† I looked at the other two girls.† The second girl was Hispanic, and had lovely eyes.† She was also a little pudgy, which I knew bothered her, based on the small salad on her tray.† "And please, by all means sit and share the table with me.† It isn't every day I get to eat with three lovely women."

"Caitlin!"† Now the squealing one's voice carried a note of warning, instead of outrage.†

"I'm harmless," I said, folding my well-read paper up and putting it on my lap.† "Please.† Sit.† You can chat if you like, or simply eat.† I won't bother you."

Kat sat, which pretty much put the other two in a bind.† Eventually the outraged one sat down, gingerly, as if there might be a tack on the chair.† The Hispanic girl sat down quickly, as if she felt conspicuous, standing alone.

"This is Shannon," said Caitlin, nodding her head toward the angry one.† "And this is Marie.† My name is Caitlin.† We go to Texas Tech."

"I am not surprised," I said.† "What course of study are you all in?"

This, too, was part of Kat's plan.† When she said "architecture" I whipped out my card and gave it to her.† The other girls leaned in to look at it.† Shannon was majoring in music education and Marie didn't know what she was going to do.

"I'm the first one in my family to go to college," she said, shyly.

It was a rocky start, in some ways.† Caitlin carried the conversation for a while, but eventually the other two decided I wasn't going to jump up and abduct them all, and relaxed a little.

That was when Caitlin started talking about what a terrible crush she'd had on her Uncle Bob since she was twelve and he accidentally walked into the bathroom while she was taking a bath.†

"Accidentally?" said Shannon, who was apparently naturally suspicious.

"He was running away from my mother at the time," said Kat with a straight face.† "They were having a water gun fight and he was out of ammo."

"You're kidding," said Marie, who looked fascinated.

"Nope.† And he ran in and slammed the door closed and locked it.† He had no idea I was in there.† He started filling his water pistol at the sink and about had a heart attack when I said something."

"What did you say?" asked Marie, breathlessly.

"I think I just said his name.† Things are a little fuzzy after that."

"I don't think I'd forget something like that," said Shannon, raising an eyebrow.

"What I remember is the way he looked at me when he turned around and calmed down," said Caitlin.† "Nobody had ever looked at me like that before."

"How did he look at you?" asked Marie, leaning in.

"It's hard to describe," said Kat.† "I saw approval in his eyes.† And he smiled.† It was like being naked in front of him wasn't any big deal, but I could tell he liked what he was looking at.† It made me feel ... I don't know ... pretty?"

"What did he do?" asked Shannon, who looked like she expected Caitlin to say this mythical uncle threw her to the floor and raped her.

"He laughed," said Kat, her voice light.

"He laughed at you?"† Shannon was incensed again.

"No, no.† He wasn't laughing at me.† It was more like he was laughing because he was happy the whole situation had happened. It was like he was saying 'Wow, how lucky am I?'. It made me want to laugh too."

"What happened then?" asked Marie, who had forgotten her salad completely.

"Mom started pounding on the door and he leaned down, right next to my face and put his finger to his lips.† He whispered, 'See you later. You're gorgeous,' and then he unlocked the door and started shooting through the crack as he opened it.† He chased my mother back into the kitchen."

"What did she say when he found out he saw you naked?" asked Marie.

"I didn't tell her about it!" said Caitlin.† "Are you crazy?"

"I would have," said Shannon.† "What did he do next?" She said it like she assumed Uncle Bob stalked his niece after that.

"Nothing," said Caitlin.† "Well, he still hugged me and stuff like that.† And he told me I was beautiful all the time.† He said I was going to be a heart breaker when I grew up.† I loved him so much."

"Wow," sighed Marie.†

Shannon took a bite of the pizza that had grown cold during the story, but said nothing.

"A man of restraint," I commented.

"Restraint?" Caitlin repeated.

"Well you are beautiful," I said, as if I were merely stating the obvious.† "He restrained himself from taking advantage of you."

"There were times when I wished he would have done something," sighed Caitlin.

"Caitlin!"† Shannon was shocked again.

"Well there were!" said Kat.† "There's nothing wrong with a little fantasy now and then.† Who else was I supposed to fantasize about?"

"Maybe boys?"† Shannon's reply was a little frosty.

"Did you fantasize about boys your own age when you were fourteen?" asked Caitlin.† "Because I didn't.† I fantasized about rock stars and sports stars and guys like that."

"I thought you fantasized about Uncle Bob," said Marie.

"Him too," said Kat, carelessly.† "Probably because I got to see him so much.† I miss him."† She looked at me.† "That's probably why I decided to approach you.† You really do remind me of him."

"I'm honored," I said.† "Perhaps we could have dinner some evening?† You have nothing to fear.† I am a man of restraint too."

"Oh please!" snorted Shannon.

"Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!" laughed Caitlin.

"I beg your pardon?" I said.

"That's my bullshit bell.† It rings like that when a guy makes a lame move on me."

I stiffened.† "Sorry I'm not urbane enough for you."

"Oh, you've got a silver tongue," she said, still smiling.† "But you're also a little long in the tooth for girls like us ... don't you think?"

"Is Uncle Bob too long in the tooth for you to have your little fantasies about him?" I shot back.

She grinned.† "You have a point.† I apologize for calling you a geezer."

"Caitlin!"† Now it was Marie who was shocked.

Caitlin stood up and mimicked a curtsy.

"Good sir, I have offended you, and for that I am sorry.† I will gladly accept your invitation to dinner, to salve the wound I have caused."

"I do not believe this," said Shannon.† "Are you crazy?"

"Probably," said Kat.† "But I came to college to experience new things, and expand my horizons, so why not?"

I took a chance.† It was on impulse, and it could have screwed things up, but her baby bump was obvious by then.† I pointed to her belly, which was now much less exposed than it had been while she was standing.

"It appears some of your horizons are already expanding."

All three girls went silent, and I had a bad feeling.

"Is that a problem for you?" asked Caitlin, her voice careful.

"I don't poach on another man's property," I said.

"She's not property!" said Shannon, angrily.

"Only a metaphor," I assured her.

"There is no other man," said Caitlin, putting a note of tragedy in her voice.† "This was a mistake."† She put her hand on her abdomen.

"Nonsense," I said.† "Birth is no mistake.† It's what keeps the species going."

"I meant it wasn't a planned pregnancy," said Kat.

"None the less, you have obviously accepted the responsibility for your actions, and you are to be applauded for that."

"Seriously?"† Shannon's voice sounded odd, suddenly.† "You're okay with the fact that some other guy knocked her up?"

"Why wouldn't I be?† I have lots of friends who are women.† Should I stop being friends with them because they get pregnant sometimes?"

"You don't think she's a slut?"† Shannon's eyes were wide now.

"Do you think she's a slut?" I asked.

"No!"† The voice was strident, but something was missing from it that would have constituted real conviction.†

"Shannon?"† Caitlin's voice sounded vulnerable.

"I don't!" insisted Shannon.† "Maybe I did at first, but not any more.† Honest, Caitlin."

"Why did you decide to be my friend?" asked Kat.

"Because back home I didn't have any friends.† Everybody thought I was a freak because all I wanted to do was learn how to play another instrument."† Tears formed in her eyes.† "I just wanted a friend," she moaned.

"Even if she was a slut," suggested Caitlin.

"I don't think you're a slut," said Shannon, softly.† "Please believe me."

"Doesn't matter," said Kat, carelessly.† "We all have our flaws.† Like the little letch I have for Uncle Bob.† Maybe I am a slut.† Who knows?"

"You're not a slut," moaned Shannon.

"I agree," I said.† "The urge and drive to have sex is natural.† I can't blame you for doing what comes naturally."

"That's because you hope I want to do what comes naturally with you some day," said Caitlin, coyly.

"I do not believe this is happening," moaned Shannon.

"I do," said Marie, "and it's the coolest thing that I've seen happen in as long as I can remember."† She smiled for the first time since I'd met her.

"Let's take things one step at a time," I said.† "As I said, I am a man of restraint.† I'd like to think I'm interested in getting to know you.† I don't have lots of lady friends your age."

"That's because you're old," said Shannon, artlessly.

"I think I have something to offer any woman, regardless of her age."

"Which brings up the question of what woman's territory she might be poaching on," said Marie, pointing at Caitlin.

"Alas, I am not in a relationship at the moment," I said, sadly.

"Why not?" asked Kat.† "You're kind of gorgeous.† And an architect too?† I've heard architects make a lot of money."

"Caitlin!" groaned Shannon.† "Have you no tact at all?"

"Probably not," said Kat, grinning.† "So what's wrong with you, Mister Bob?"

"I'm picky," I said, simply.

"Oh my," said Kat, putting her fingertips up to a mouth that was in the form of a small "o".† "Now it is I who am honored."

"You should be," I said.†

"This is so cool!" sighed Marie.

And that is how "we met," and why, when Kat started going out with me on a regular basis, at least two of her friends understood why she was going out with an older man.† By the time she announced she was moving in with me, none of her friends were surprised.† A couple of them warned her not to expect too much, but nobody counseled her not to do it.

That casual acceptance wasn't so much there when, with a belly swollen by eight months of the gestation of our child, she happily showed everyone the diamond on her left ring finger.† A number of people thought that she, or I, or perhaps both of us were nuts.† A number of people couldn't understand why I'd raise another man's child.† Lots of people didn't understand her attraction to an older man, and thought she was milking me for support.

I'll say this.† I think more people would have come to the wedding to assuage their curiosity about us, as opposed to celebrating our union.† But we handled that by having a private ceremony.†

The only others there were Phil and Hannah.

Phil, as things turned out, didn't take things as badly as everyone expected him to.† This wasn't because he was broad minded.† Rather, it was because he was her step-father.† And, while he was fully committed to his role as her surrogate father, there was a small part of his mind that reminded him, occasionally, that she was not his blood relation.

And he saw her in all those bikini's too.† Not to mention the fact that she ran around the house in a T shirt and panties sometimes.

Suffice it to say that Phil understood why I was attracted to Caitlin.† And I wasn't his real brother either so, to him, the relationship just didn't seem as close as other people might have viewed it.

I learned this as we had drinks one evening.† It happened to be the evening of the day he found out that Caitlin and I were engaged.† He flew to Texas to discuss it with me.† When Caitlin tried to manhandle him, he simply said, "I'll talk to you later."

His initial confusion was about the possibility of marriage at all, considering our familial status.† I explained that Texans didn't think about it like other people thought about it.† He knew Caitlin had been spending a lot of time at my house, though he thought that was because I was doing what he'd asked me to do.

"How did this happen?" he asked, taking a fairly big sip of his bourbon.

"I think that, over time, we liked each other so much it just turned into something more," I said.† It was the truth, really.

"I get that," he said.† "Who knows she's your niece?"

"Nobody," I said.† "We sort of neglected to tell anybody that."

"I see," he said.† He took another slug and ordered another.† "So this ... something more ... happened a while back?"

"I guess it did," I admitted.

"And you didn't say anything about it to us?"

"Would you have said anything?" I asked.

"I guess not," he acknowledged.† He looked over at me.† "Before she got here?"

I swallowed.† I wasn't going to lie to him.† He was a permanent part of my life.

"Yeah," I said.

"This why you moved to Texas?"

I nodded.

"Did Hannah know?"

I decided maybe I could lie to him ... now and then.

"No, of course not.† Speaking of which, why isn't she here with you?"

"She said she didn't want to come to a state crawling with guns," said Phil.† "The inference was that she would try to find one and use it on you."

"Oh," I said.† "I had hoped we could work this all out."

There was a period of time that is often referred to in literature as "a pregnant pause." Then he took a deep breath. "Is it your baby?" he asked, his voice tense.

"Yes ... it is," I said. I think my own voice was a little tight just then too. I had no idea what he was going to do.

"Thank God," he sighed.

"What?"

"We couldn't get over the idea of her letting some stranger mount her like a whore and then go off to San Francisco like nothing had happened," he said.† "Every time I thought about it I got all pissed off."

"It was an accident," I said.

"Of course it was an accident," he said.† "You were insane for doing it in the first place.† I get it, but it was still insane."

"I can't argue with that," I said.

"But at least this baby came from love, rather than some random act to satisfy a horny girl."

"I can guarantee you that it was because of love," I said.

"So ... did you go hiking with her in the mountains?"

"No. She didn't stop to hike. She came to my house instead."

He shook his head. "I guess it's pretty obvious you didn't force yourself on her."

"I would never do that," I said, trying to keep my temper under control.

"I know," he said. "I didn't think you'd do something like that. All this just kind of bends my mind, you know?"

"Oh, I know how mind bending this must be," I said. "For both of you," I added.

"Well, as crazy as it sounds, all this makes me feel better.† A lot better.† And I think Hannah will come around too.†And you're sure this is all legal in Texas?"

"Absolutely," I said.

"Well fuck me to tears, then.† You have my blessing, for what it's worth.† Is that crazy or what?"

"Thanks, Phil.† This means a lot to me."

"It had better.† I can't wait until we have a family reunion and you two come in wearing wedding rings and toting a baby made in what every swinging dick will think of as an incestuous relationship."

"We know there will be hurdles to jump," I said.

It was after that that we sat there, getting slowly sloshed, until he finally admitted he'd had more than one fantasy about putting a baby in her belly too.

Hannah did come around, in an encore performance of also being relieved that her daughter hadn't humped some stranger one night in the woods.† And, when they came for the wedding, they stayed with us in the house I had picked out to raise their grandchildren in.† They looked at it in a new light, of course.† The nursery wasn't quite finished, but that's because Caitlin had finals and there was more work for me in Texas than there had been in Oklahoma.† That's because Lubbock was much bigger, and was expanding.

Hannah, of course, was elated at the thought she'd get to work on the nursery.† I think Phil was just glad to be on vacation and not have to worry about work.

And that's a pretty good example of how things went from there.† There were bumps in the road, but we kept control of the car and kept it on the road.

Another example was that Tiffany Jean, our first daughter, was in the breech position when she kicked a hole in the placenta that had protected her for nine months and it was suddenly time for her to leave the womb.† The doctor couldn't turn her manually.† He tried, I'll vouch for that, but it didn't work.† So she had to come into the world through a slice in her mother's smooth abdomen, rather than through a tight, cramped birth canal.† It was bitter, because Caitlin wanted to have her baby the usual way, working at it.† It was sweet because it was over so fast that by the time Phil and Hannah got to the hospital, it was all over.† Of course part of that was bitter too, because Hannah had planned on being Kat's birth coach, so they didn't get to do that either.

My personal opinion is that babies who don't get born the natural way, which is painful and terrifying and bloody, are denied an event that helps shape them in the future.† Tiffany, by the time she was five, was convinced that the reason Earth existed was merely to do her will and provide her with anything she wanted.

Hannah tells me this is normal, but secretly, down deep, I'm sure it was because she had such an easy birth.

Another bump was that family reunion Phil was so eager to see us attend.† But by the time that happened, Tiffany had been joined by William Randolph, who was only eighteen months younger than his sister.† Tiffany was six by the time the extended family found out about Kat and me.† We usually have reunions every five years, but something or other had caused this one to stretch to ten.

So, while we did make quite a splash when we arrived, and it was obvious Caitlin had two children as she carried one and another circled her like a little planet circling the sun.† At first they thought her Uncle Bob had just transported her to the reunion, and all the comments were along the lines of "I didn't know you were married!" and "When did you have two children and I didn't know about it?" and "Where is your husband?†and You are married ... aren't you?"

Caitlin dutifully introduced her children to the mob, telling them their names and ages.

That was when Tiffany stopped orbiting and looked up at me and said "Daddy?† Who are all these people?"

There was uproar, but surprisingly, it only lasted ten minutes.† By the time people had expressed their amazement that Texas or any other state in the union would allow such a marriage, and asked their questions and made their pronouncements of unhappiness, they turned to find all the kids, including ours, tearing off around the park playing tag.† By then it was too late to keep them segregated.† Which I am sure some of my relatives would have tried to do.

Kat plans to send out birth announcements from now on.

Of course there were the other normal difficulties that all families suffer.† Kat was worn almost ragged trying to finish her degree and be a mom too.† I had more work to do and less time to do it in, at least until Kat did graduate and joined the company as a licensed architect.† Now things seem normal again, even though there are two little hobgoblins who infest the house and make all kinds of demands on our time.

And that's the key to raising a family.† You deal with what happens and keep going.† Kat and I had arguments - fights - but love overcame them.† We tried hard to honor the best advice I could give any married couple: Never go to bed angry.

Then again, maybe if we'd gone to bed angry a little more often, my poor wife wouldn't have a swollen up belly for the fourth time.

Then, yet again, Billy is outnumbered at the moment, what with Tiffany bracketing him on the high side, and Emily toddling along on the low side, so he'll probably be happy if he gets a brother this time.† Tiffany, of course, plans to adopt whatever comes out as her doll.† Just the other day she looked up from stroking her mother's bulge (everybody in the family talks to the bulge) and asked, "Mommy?† How do I get my breasts to get big and drip milk like yours?† I want to feed the new baby too."

Doctor Martin, Kat's baby doctor, has offered to do this incision in a different place, because the original one, which has been used three times now, is pretty noticeable.† Kat told him to stay with the original.† That scar, obvious as it is when she wears a bikini while wind surfing in the gulf, doesn't bother her a bit.† Neither do breasts that now make her look a little top heavy.

And, apparently, make her elder daughter a little jealous.

The fact that we are uncle and niece has faded in our minds.† The circumstances of how all this started, in that serendipitous little accident when I glanced up her skirt and saw her naked pussy, isn't foremost in our minds any longer.† It feels like we've been lovers forever.

We are simply a married couple, raising our family and trying to bring innovative and economically feasible buildings into the world.† The thought that she's my niece hardly ever enters my mind any more.

Well ... except for when, as I lunge into her and tell her I'm about to spew ... she pants, "Give it to me, Uncle Bob.† Give me all of your love. I've wanted this since I was twelve."

I try not to think about the fact that Tiffany will be twelve in just five short years.

I don't know whether I'm glad or sad that she has no uncle to fall in love with.

The End

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