I love her family; but one of them too much – part 2

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The cleaning crew came in twice a week, and worked around her. As soon as they left, she’d start cleaning behind them. I wasn’t sure if having cleaners was a great idea, she seemed to take offense to it, especially during her weaker moments, when she seemed to think she was in her twenties, and they were doing her job.

My contracting job provided work in bursts and lulls. I was hit with a couple of days of very light tasking, and found myself in Grandpa’s workshop early one morning, looking at the unfinished chair he’d been working on. It hurt me to see it like that; Grandpa was one of those men who couldn’t stand to see something half-done.

I hadn’t been in his workshop for more than a couple of times total, since we’d lost him. It wasn’t air conditioned, and in the summer it took some getting used to working out there. A big fan in the back and opening the garage door up front provided some ventilation and made it almost bearable.

I looked around, remembering my months there under his guidance, working on Kate’s and my marital bed. I wandered the large space, recalling the time spent learning each of the major tools, thinking how sad it was that they were idle.

I turned on my heel, and walked briskly back to the bedroom, where I put on my woodworking duds. Grandpa had definite ideas of what should be worn in the shop. It was a uniform, carpenter pants, steel toed boots, long sleeve western shirt. Heading back to the shop, I checked on Grandma, who was still in bed, not uncommon. I closed her door quietly, and headed back out.

Just inside the door were the work-belts and painter caps that we wore. Beside those were the earmuffs we used when working with any of the power tools. I buckled a belt around my waist, and put on a cap, feeling good about doing something other than pecking away at my keyboard, or managing the work going on outside the building.

I examined the chair he’d been working on, dry-fitting all the pieces. I scraped off some old glue, and sanded where it had hardened. Grandpa’s large bottle of carpenter’s glue still sat where he’d left it. The glue had hardened at the opening, and it took me a minute or two to clear it out, and verify that the glue inside the bottle hadn’t gone bad. I lined up my clamps and some clothes to make sure I didn’t damage the wood, and started putting the chair back together.

I was about half done, when Grandma came into the shop. I was having a difficult time fitting a couple of pieces together, and clamping them in place, when I felt her hand on my shoulder.

“You’ve been working out here in the heat all day, Bob,” she said.

“I couldn’t stand to see this left half done,” I explained.

Her girlish giggle was a surprise, though not nearly as large as when her hand caressed my rear. “Don’t I know it. Once you get started, there ain’t much I can do to convince you to take a break, is there?”

Only then did it hit me that she had called me Bob. I looked back at her, and she gave me a big smile. Then she leaned in and kissed me on the shoulder. “You finish up that chair, and I’ll make us something for lunch. Unless there’s something else you’d like to do?”

Her hand slid across my rear, and between my cleft from behind. I fumbled the pieces I was trying to hold in place, and she laughed. “I’m sorry. Don’t be mad, Bob.”

“I’m not mad, Kate,” I said, turning slightly to break the contact with her mischievous hand. I recognized that she was having one of her episodes. She thought I was her husband, and she was back in her twenties. I didn’t want to cause her any anguish, and played along.

“I could never be mad at you,” I said, leaning back against the workbench as she moved in close, her arms reaching around me.

She looked up at me and smiled. She had a beautiful smile, still, and it warmed my heart to see her eyes light up. “When you finish up with the Conroy’s chairs, come in and I’ll fix you something to eat. You skipped breakfast again, didn’t you?”

“Wasn’t hungry,” I said. “I had an apple.”

Her arms moved upward, around my neck, as she pressed her body against mine. I felt awkward, and nervous. Grandma, on the other hand, seemed quite comfortable. She gave her hips a little wiggle, pressing up between my legs. I’m more than a little ashamed I responded to her overt come-on. Her smile grew wider, when she pulled my head down for a kiss.

It’s weird. I know that, but you have to understand, I loved the woman. The way she’d taken me in so easily, accepted me as part of her family. The only family I’d ever had. There was nothing lustful in my feelings, but my heart broke for her. She’d lost the love of her life, the man she’d spent more than 50 years with. She was losing her mind, and for that brief moment, she was happy, reliving her past, her early days, and I was her Bill.

I kissed her. I put my arms around her and kissed her. Softly, nothing crazy, but I did, I kissed her. And the woman melted against me. She was still in her nightgown, her skinny body barely covered. I could feel her skin through the material, and ran my hands down her back. She hummed her happiness against my lips, and I almost jumped when her hand slid between us, rubbing my erection. Her eyes had been closed, and she opened them. She stared into my eyes, and I felt a warmth I couldn’t deny.

Then she was pulling away. “I’ll bring you a sandwich in a bit. I’m making your favorite roast tonight, so don’t stay out here forever.”

Her hand reached out and ran down my chest, before she turned away and walked back toward the house, with a teasing wiggle in her walk. She turned and looked back at me, grinning at the doorway. “Get back to work and stop staring at my butt,” she teased, then left me stunned.

It took me a while to get back to what I was doing, feeling weird, and oh-so-wrong. Thankfully, I was able to push the thoughts about Grandma’s behavior out of my head and finish most of the chair, before the serenity of the shop was interrupted again.

Grandma was back, and I could see that she’d changed. She had on a bright yellow sundress, and her hair was tied back in a simple ponytail. She walked past the big fan at the end of the workshop, and her lightweight dress blew up, exposing her thighs. I’m pretty sure she did it on purpose. In one hand was a plate with a huge sandwich on it, as well as some chips. In the other was a tall glass of iced tea.

“Break time, Bob. You need to eat.”

I stopped what I was doing, and capped the glue. She cleared a space for the plate, and emptied her hands before turning to me. She reached up and pulled off my hat, running her fingers through my hair. “I still don’t understand why you insist on wearing these stupid hats,” she said.

“It keeps the sawdust out of my hair, and keeps my hair out of the work,” I explained, as Grandpa had once explained to me.

Her hands moved down, and she was unbuckling my toolbelt. I would have backed away if I could, nervous about where things were going. “You’re so tense lately,” she said, pulling the belt away and laying it on the bench beside me. “We’ll be fine. Business is a little slow, but it always is this time of year.”

“I’m almost out of things to do,” I said, stuck for a reply.

“Then you need to go out and drum up some business. You’re the best, and you need to remember that. Jeanie said the Destin’s are adding onto their house. I bet you could get some cabinet work out of them.” Then she slid her arm around my waist, and turned me toward the lunch she’d brought. “Eat. Finish the Conroy’s stuff, and plan on making a run up to the Destin’s. The wife’s name is Leslie, and Michael is her husband. The oldest they call Mike, then there’s Margaret, and John. Tell them Jeanie suggested you contact them.”

“I’ll do that. I should be done here within the hour.”

She gave me a squeeze, then a quick kiss on the shoulder. “Perfect. I’m making your roast tonight.”

She gave me a pat on the bottom, then waltzed off again, with that teasing walk of hers. It was hard to believe that a woman in her seventies could walk that way without breaking a hip.

“Thanks, Kate. Love you,” I said, picking up the sandwich.

See, that’s the problem with having a wife named Kate. It was automatic. I didn’t even think about it, the words just spilled forth.

She laughed, not even turning around. “We’ll see. Get some work from the Destin’s, Bob, and I’ll let you show me just how much you love me later.”

I was a little optimistic about the time it would take me to finish the chair. I was happy with the job I’d done, and cleaned up the work area. I looked around while I was at it, and under a couple of tarps, found some old cabinets that Grandpa must have been working on. I decided I’d found my next project.

 I love her family; but one of them too much – part 2 will continue in the next page.

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