Chapter 19

Kevin debated as he stood in the barn, he was aware of which direction she went but he wasn’t sure if he should tell her now or not.  He knew he had to speak to her about tomorrow.  If they were going to get Annie’s hearing aids, he wanted to make a day of it. 

Mounting up he headed in the direction that Cass had taken, following the slight path.  As he did his thoughts turned back to what had taken place earlier in the day.

He was observing the scene in front of him from the doorway between the kitchen and the hallway. 

“Annie are you ready to go?”  Cass grasped her daughter’s face in her hands.  Annie had been ignoring her for two days under the guise that she didn’t have her hearing aids.  Cass knew better. 

Annie signed, ‘No I don’t want to go, they tease me.’

Cass grabbed her hands to still them.  “Stop Annie.  Why are they teasing you now?”

Annie dropped her head and didn’t answer her.  Cass gently lifted her daughter’s chin with her finger, “What’s wrong?”

Little tears trickled down the girls face.  “They tease me because of my sneakers and clothes.”

Cass dropped her head and looked down at Annie’s sneakers.  Nothing was wrong with them; they were beaten-up but clean.  “I’m sorry Annie but there is nothing wrong with those sneakers.”

“I know but they aren’t new,” Annie spoke awkwardly.

“Sorry babe, we can’t afford new,” Cass shook her head. 

Kevin shook his head as he walked into the kitchen.  Pulling out a chair, he sat down across from Annie.  She smiled a happy smile just for him.

“Good morning, are you ready for school?” he asked.  Hearing Cass exhale loudly, he moved to look behind Annie to find Cass giving him an icy stare.

Kevin shrugged as he ignored her.  “So Annie, how is school going?  Pretty good?”

Annie started to sign and Kevin quickly closed his eyes.  He wouldn’t look at her. 

“Hey!”  Annie shouted, unusually loud and gruffly.

Kevin kept his grin to himself as he opened his eyes.  “You’re are not suppose to be signing and you know it.  So how is school?”

Annie’s face was agitated as she spook, “They tease me, I’m not cool, my sneakers aren’t cool.  They pick on me because I talk funny.” 

Kevin was light hearted when he spoke but Cass stepped back at the hardness in his eyes.  “Want me to go to school and beat’em up for you?” 

Annie looked up to her mom; she was wearing the scared face again.  “Nooo,” Annie looked at him.  She didn’t understand but she knew her mom was upset again.  “Thanks,” she smiled as she left her seat, grabbing her backpack along the way.  Latching on to Cass’s hand, they strolled out the back door.

Kevin followed them with his eyes as they hopped into the truck and headed up the road to catch the bus.  The phone rang just as the truck disappeared from view.

Looking around, Kevin could see he was going to have to answer the phone.  Picking it up, he spoke, “Collins residence.”

“Hi this is Dr. Griffin.  Is Cass there?”

“Ah no Dr. Griffin, this is Kevin, Kevin Richardson.”  Kevin wasn’t sure if he should listen to the woman or just take a message for Cass. He had already stepped on Cass’s toes a little to hard lately.

“Well I hear congratulations are in order dad,” came back to him.

“Ah gee thanks, you heard about the DNA test results,” he responded on an upbeat. Kevin hung up the phone with a huge smile.  She called me Dad, he smiled.

Hearing noises carried by the wind, Kevin stopped the horse.  Dismounting he followed the sounds.  Listening intently, he heard it again.  It was Cass’s voice he was hearing and she was talking to someone.

Tying the reins off at the nearest tree he ventured further up the ridge.  Climbing up he discovered a clear blue lake.  Having never come up this far he was shocked at the sight before him.

The landscape took his breath away.  A pool ringed with old, tall pine trees, a rocky outcropping above the pool provided some shade.  An outer circle of large boulders provided a sense of privacy and security.  His eyes drank in the natural beauty as his mind came to the conclusion that he would have never seen this had he not taken a sharp right.

Cass’s voice was as clear as a bell, his head swung to the left.  There Cass stood at the edge of the pool, stark naked.  Kevin slid behind one of the rock and hid. When he heard his name spoke he peered between two of the boulders.  His eyes now focused on the nude woman before him, the scenery taking a back seat.  His gaze swept from the unruly red curls on the top of her head then down her body.  Stopping at her breast, he sighed slightly.  He wondered if she had breastfed Annie.  He had remembered when he had the chance to suckle on Cass, that the soft pliant tissue becoming rock hard in his mouth.  A tingle began in his groin, closing his eyes he tried to regain his composure. 

After all the years and countless encounters, he amazed himself when he pulled that event from the recesses of his mind. The memory of her underneath him, the challenge she had issued him and how he had squelched it by tying her up, is something he would never forget.  That patch of time would be a resident of his mind until he was old and gray.  His daughter was conceived that night.

“I don’t know what to do Gage,” Cass was talking as she entered the water. 

Kevin stayed in his hiding spot but peeked in the crevice.  The red triangle patch of curls drew his attention.  “Shit,” he muttered, as she turned and her naked ass was presented to him for viewing.  The tingle in his groin had now turned into a twinge.

“I’m scared Gage.  Gary says I should go to Kevin for help…”  Cass paused as if she were waiting for Gage to agree or disagree with her.  “If I do though Kevin we’ll have something to hold over me.  I don’t want him to take Annie from me.  Hell, I don’t even know if he would or not.  I miss you Gage; you would tell me the right thing to do.  Of course if you were here, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Kevin was trying to assimilate the fact that Cass was consulting with her dead fiancée’ and not the father of her daughter.  “Great, ask the dead guy,” he whispered under his breath. 

Kevin watched as she floated on her back in the pool, staring up to the sky.  Her breast pointing to the heavens.  “It only took one time and I still don’t know how it happened we took precautions…” 

Cass dipped under the water, backwards, giving Kevin a full frontal.  She surfaced like a red headed siren.  Her hair now darkened since she had dived down.  She bobbed in the water like a cork.  “Maybe I could just ask him for one big loan?  If I was really nice to him, he might cut me a deal on the interest.  But I would make him sign something that he wouldn’t take Annie away from me.”

Kevin closed his eyes, recently he had figured out that the condom was most likely too old or had some sort of defect.  “Nice to me, hmmm,” Kevin’s thoughts went rampant rather quickly.  Bedding Cass again would be a short-term fix to a long-term problem.  A wicked thought entered his head and he wondered if she would go for it.

“I wish I could trust him Gage.  I would tell him about the Cochlear Implants that Doctor Griffin told me about.”

Kevin’s jaw dropped, he had seen the information in the office the other day.  He wanted to bring it up to Cass but so far Cass had been unwilling to do anything but fight with him.  He wanted so much for both of them, he wanted Annie to know he was her dad, both of them to meet his family.  If he could help Annie hear again, his own heart soared.  “Please Gage, help me out on this one,” a soft prayer he uttered.

Walking behind the boulders, he made his way to Cass’s clothes.  She was busy swimming in the water to bother to pay any attention to the shore.  Slowly he pulled the items from their resting spot.  Balling them up he tucked them under his arm as he headed back to his hiding place.  Looking down at his feet, he spotted the sheer purple panties that had fallen from under his arm.   Picking them up he ran his fingers over them.  Raising them to his face, he rubbed against his cheek.  “Well Cass time to play,” Kevin smiled.  Sticking the panties in his pants pocket he jumped up on the rock.  “Hey Cassie baby, we gotta talk!”

“AHHH!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”  Cass stood in the water with arms clasped around herself.  Her eyes darted to the spot where she had left her clothes. 

Kevin’s eyes followed hers, “Looking for these?”  His laugh was a little too loud and a little too cheerful as held her clothes up in the air.

Cass was stunned that he was there and fuming that he had her clothes.  “Leave them where you found them and then go back to the ranch.”

“It’s not gonna work that way baby.  We need to hammer out a deal, right here, right now.  I like the odds.”  Kevin sat on the rock, on top of her clothes.  Swinging his legs over he began to whistle.  “You can swim some more, I was enjoying it.”

“You bastard, how long have you been there?”  Cass’s temper erupted.  She started to swim to the shore.

“Don’t pull a Lady Godiva, as much as A.J. would love it, I think Annie will be down there by now.”  Kevin glanced at his watch, “Yep she’s there.”

Cass clenched her mouth shut.  Of all the stupid things I have done in my life, this has to be the topper.  Swimming to the center she was out of his reach.  Her eyes ran down Kevin from head to toe.  A slow smile spread over her face as she noticed that Kevin had more than appreciated what he had seen.  The bulge in his pants wasn’t being hidden well.

Kevin looked to where Cass was looking.  “You’re hot Cass of course you turned me on.  Being the mother of my only child is an even bigger turn on.”  Kevin flashed her a cagey grin as she tried to splash him.  “You ready to talk now?”

Cass frowned, she knew she had to talk to him eventually but he didn’t need to have the upper hand and be so smug about it.  “Yes,” she sighed.

Kevin gave her a shit eating grin, “Suck it up Cass, it could be worse.” 

“Sure Kevin, what twins?” Cass treaded water.





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