While at Gisela’s, Justin had quickly responded to Katelyn’s text without giving it too much thought. Back at home, parked in the drive, he remembered her message. It was comforting to learn she’d
made all plans ready for Olivia’s wedding, three days away.
His muscles tensed with the chaos in his life. Gisela was obsessed with him and all this because of his fault. For pity’s sake, he ought to be fair and show her some love. But he’d just won back
his family, something he’d feared he’d lost and had promised himself never to be stupid again to risk it. Stress smeared through him like ink on paper. He took in a deep, ragged breath before he
leaving the car. What he really needed now to think straight again was sleep, at least eight hours. But for that to happen, he’d have to skip the get-together with his family and relatives who’d
visited ahead of Olivia’s wedding.
Drizzle still fell, but not as heavy as when he’d been at Gisela’s. He strolled past the puddles of water, ducking the drops hanging on the lower tree branches. Once in a while, he jumped, skipped,
and hopped on the patch of hailstones spread over the thick layer of succulent, fleshy grass until he reached the door.
Before he pressed the bell, his cell phone rang.
He checked the caller ID. Gisela!
“Hello, sorry to bother you. Just wanted to know what time you’ll be available we go for the paternity test.”
He stepped back. “I’ll make plans for you to be picked up.”
He didn’t want to say much, lest Katelyn overhears. But he called Doctor Parkinson thereafter. As it turned out, he didn’t have to be physically present for his samples were still intact. After
making all plans ready for tomorrow, and introducing the doctor and Gisela on the phone, he went back to the door.
He pressed the bell, and the door swung open. What a surprise! It was Susie. She hugged him. “Was wondering where you were.”
Her daughters came running too. “Uncle Justin! Grandfather’s been asking for you.”
Holding hands with his nieces, he walked in.
“Oh, look who’s here.” He offered his hand to his young brother, who’d be a candidate next year.
The house was full of relations from both his side and Katelyn’s. He went around, saying a few words to each, sometimes sitting down for a few minutes before moving to the next. Katelyn was busy
upstairs with the girls.
Susie’s eldest daughter, Elsie, asked, “Can I tell grandfather you’re around?”
“Where is he?”
“With Mike in his room.”
“It’s okay, I’ll go there.”
After climbing the steps, he put an ear to Mike’s door and figured he’d just be a hindrance to the tête-à-tête between his father and son. He climbed another flight of stairs, past his daughters’
bedrooms to the master bedroom.
Just when he’d dropped on the couch, Katelyn showed up. “Hey, honey. Everyone’s been waiting for you. Where have you been?” She pecked his forehead.
“Ah, I’m so exhausted.” He yawned, covering his mouth with a hand. “I had an impromptu meeting with the minister and it took longer than expected.”
“Oh, that reminds me.” She took out a big envelope from the table and handed him. “This came from the minister’s office.”
What a perfect coincidence!
“Yeah, he told me it’d been sent.” He opened the envelope. “We got the deal. Ryan will be so happy. This boy’s a genius.”
“I’m so happy Olivia is marrying him.”
“He loves her so much.” He removed his wristwatch and placed it on the table. “I’ll collapse any minute. Just wanna lie down.”
“It’s okay, I’ll bring you dinner here. Ambrose wanted to see you, but I’ll explain to him you’re so tired.”
“Yeah, with Uncle Stephen and Aunt Melissa in the guest house.”
“Ah, I’ll see them tomorrow.”
After dinner, Justin didn’t take coffee, as he usually did, but wine. He wanted something that’d drowse him. Katelyn settled herself beside him. “You look dreary. Is there something else bothering
“Nope. Just tired.”
He knew his wife could see through him, and he wasn’t about to give her that chance. Better to go to bed now. He quickly changed into his sleeping pants and jumped into bed.
She came over and kissed him. “Will I find you awake after about an hour?”
He pressed her hand. “How about you go down after an hour?”
“Nope.” She eased away. “Everyone will know what I was up to. As it is, they must wonder why we’re locked up in here. Lemme go. I’ll wake you when I come.”
She gave him a long kiss and switched off the lights on her way out.
© Copyright 2021 reaganwyatt. All rights reserved.