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by Rich
Rated: XGC · Novella · Friendship · #2115745
A teacher went on a school trip that changes her life She’ll discover love and evil.

The door was slammed opened with a violent bang. It jolted the sleeping man from a fretful sleep. Pete quickly pushed Big Tony into the room, gesturing at him to turn on the overhead foyer light.

Lisa clutching her shoulder bag, was combative, kicking, cussing, jostling Pete all around the foyer as they entered.

Pete hurried into the room. One strong hand held the tied-up woman next to him.

She tripped knocked him into the TV. He put his valise on a countertop, held tightly to her arm to keep her standing.

Big Tony went as quickly as he could around the hotel room, as he turned on lamps.

Lisa smelled something sweet as soon as she entered, a distinctive hospital room like smell. As the room became brighter, she saw a man, his head slightly raised, wearing a hospital gown on a hospital bed, a raised sheet covered his hip area.

“Sorry Boss, but I thought you’d want to see her?” Big Tony looked fearful from Pete to the man lying in bed, who had an IV in him for a pain medication.

The man looked at them, still not fully awake and saw a stranger struggling, half pulled/pushed a woman into the room.

Pete jerked his head, wiped his face on his arm. “Bitch, I’ll teach you to spit on me.” He moved in front of Lisa.

The man saw his hand go up then quickly came down. He heard a loud violent smack, the man not expecting it flinched.

The man’s eyes now fully wide awake, saw the woman’s head appear sharply on the stranger’s left side. He saw something that looks like a bloody white tooth fly from her lips. Her clothes torn, hair disheveled, black eyes, lacerations, dripping blood from her face, arms onto her clothes.

Lisa screamed loudly, cried, stared defiantly at the stranger, bristling. “Little twerp!”

The man in bed watched as the woman looked like she was going to spit at the stranger again. The stranger stood in front of the woman, the man heard her spit. The stranger swung at her. The man heard another loud smack, which plummeted her next to a wall, moaning and crying. The stranger stood menacingly over her, looked at the bright-red gore dripping from her mouth as she tried to claw her way up the wall.

Lisa started at him defiantly, refused to show any submission.

Pete looked at Big Tony as he wiped the red spot from the front of his shirt. “She’ll behave now.”

She used her arm to wipe her mouth, noticed her hand was shaking involuntarily. She was sweating without realizing it.

Big Tony stood stock still next to the window, looked from the guy to the man in bed.

“Okay. Boss this is the bitch who was there that night.”

“She is who?” He looked at him perplexed, blinked his eyelids.

“This is the whore who got off at her school board disciplinary hearing, and a few nights ago, remember?”

The man, his eyes now filled with hostility. “This the cunt who . . . Yeah now I recognize her.”

“Yeah, this is the one boss.”

“How did you get her? Who is this guy?” He demanded his subordinate to obey quickly.

Big Tony’s eyes faltered as he looked at the stranger. “This guy is from New York. He got her under a contract we had out on her.”

“From New York? I don’t recognize him.”

“He’s from New York. Not one of ours, but they do some contract work for us time to time. When we need the muscle.” Big Tony stammered, his body shook imperceptibly.

“How did he get her?”

Pete snarled, approached him menacingly, his eyes dark, empty, fearsome, bored through his skull. “None of your business, capisce? I have a contract. I did my part. Now I want my money,” spoke with authority, without hesitation.

The man noticed the stranger’s clothes, stained with blood, as he approached. His face scratched and streaked with blood.

Big Tony cowering, stayed away from the fearsome man. “You’ll get your money. Show some respect. This guy is the Man.”

“I don’t give a rat’s ass who he’s pretending to be.” He scowled, quickly moved toward him. Big Tony instantaneously backed away, put his back immediately against the wall, quivered noticeably.

He looked at the stranger, threatened in a barely loud voice, “I’m The Man. Don’t you dare use that language with me. I’ll have you-.”

Lisa moaned, spat a red streak toward him. “Your nothing but an inept bedridden schmuck— douche bag." Watched Pete out of the corner of her eyes, unsure what he’ll do next.

The incensed stranger, quickly stepped to the Man, grabbed his hair forced his head back, compelled his startled eyes to look directly at his lifeless eyes. “You’ll do what? You’ll do-nothing chump.” His strong hand around his throat, ready to rip apart the unprotected gullet of a frightened little man.

Shocked being manhandled like a common nobody, flinched noticeably, being jerked up suddenly, despite the pain medication coursing through him, a frontal vein throbbed, bulged. The stranger ignored the strong smell from the man in bed.

Big Tony just stood there, the Man’s eyes pleading for help, noticed his chief enforcer not doing anything to come to his aid.

Rattled, seeing Big Tony stay back. “Okay . . . Okay I was wrong. How much were you to be paid?”

The stranger smiled smugly as he backed away to arm’s length from the smell. “Fucking A you were. Fifty thousand alive. Five thousand dead. I like money.”

He heard that dialect only in movies, the stranger was from New York.

The Man hesitated, looked at the woman. “That’s a lot of money for --.”

Pete released him. “Are you dissing me? Our contract? Then I’ll hand her over to your Mounties. I’m sure they’ll like to talk to her about you.” Walked to the whimpering woman, grabbed her under her arm started to stand her.

Realizing what he said. “No wait. Okay . . . Big Tony, give him his money.” A chill back in his voice.

“Okay boss, you come with me. I’ll give you the fifty.” Big Tony carefully stayed away from the stranger, hurried around the bed toward the door.

He released the woman, approached the bed scowling, his rock-hard fist in the Man’s face. “Okay, I better get all of it. Otherwise, I’ll return and that bed will be the last comfortable thing you’ll ever feel. Ciao.”

The man noticed the strangers hand had crimson streaks and scratches on it, when he came close.

The Man saw the stranger pull the struggling woman across the carpeted floor, tied her up to a table.

Pete turned toward Lisa, bent down. “Don’t let the bedbugs bite, Princess.”

The stranger and Big Tony left the room. Lisa moaned, laid on the floor whimpering. The Man smiled, knew his revenge would be long, sweet, and painful once Big Tony returned.

Lisa laid on the floor, red fluid running out of her mouth, disappeared into the dark-brown carpet. She never expected anything like this to ever happen to her. She looked around through half-closed eyes, remembered how this started with her going on the trip with her students’ months before.

The Trip

Lisa was a teacher, on a week’s field trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with students and six other adults. She, ‘Volunteered’ to go on that trip. She wanted to go when she was first told about the trip. Later, she hadn’t wanted to go, as she recently became engaged to a fantastic person.

They arrived at the Inn by 5:30 PM Saturday. At the Inn, she went in with the student who she thought showed the most leadership, Susan. They paid for their stay and received card keys. Susan distributed the keys to the students as Lisa watched over everything.

Day 2 Sunday

The next morning, they had breakfast and talked about where they were going, the Great Lakes Forestry Centre. Susan obtained some literature, and maps of the area where they were going that day and handed them out to the group. She walked outside with two other adults to see how it was. It was getting warm, bright blue sky, hardly a cloud in the sky. After a few minutes went to her room. They had to be outside by 9:00 AM to board the bus.

Lisa placed a welcoming smile on her face upon hearing a knock at her door. Her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She hurried to the door. Opening the door noticed her young visitor’s eyes looked to the right then lowered, a distraught facial expression, and head down. “Hello, Linda anything wrong?”

“No . . . Yes my boyfriend. He wants us to have sex. I don’t,” Linda managed to say through her sad frown and tears.

“Your boyfriend, please come in.” Lisa, looked down the hallway, left the door partly open, and guided her toward a chair by the window.

Linda’s eyes avert away from her eyes said, “Yes, I don’t know if I should be telling you this?”

“It’s okay take your time.” Lisa interrupted with an open pleasant face, knew her student was nervous.

Linda shyly continued. “We’ve been going steady for months. you know how it is . . . He wants to do more.”

“I see. Do more?” Lisa asked frowning.

Trembling, she answered, “Yeah do more. Like go all the way, he wanted us to have sex before I went away, that last night. However, I don’t want to do that. At least not yet.”

She noticed her wringing her hands. “Okay, how do you feel about having sex with him then?”

Gaining a little confidence, she continued. “We did other things, like petting and things, but a few times he got too close . . . I couldn’t do it. He wanted to do it when I didn’t. I had to really push him off.”

“Okay, why not?” Lisa queried.

Confident, she defiantly answered, “Why, not? I’m not ready yet. I want to be sure. I want it to be beautiful. Not something we do fast or in his car or on the ground.”

“Then you want to—”

“I want to wait until I’m married before I do that. In our marriage bed, where I can enjoy it. Without looking over my shoulder. With my husband."

“But you love him!”

Linda’s mood changed to frustration. “Yeah I guess. I don’t . . He’s been after me to let him fuck me. I think at times that’s all he wants from me. Sex. Not a steady full-time relationship.”

“You want a mature loving relationship with a man who will be your spouse for life?” Lisa stated.

“Yes, exactly, I want a man who loves me, care about only me as his woman.”

“He’s seeing someone else?” Thought there was more to her story.

“No . . . Yes, I’m sure he is.” She lowered her eyes.

“Why do you think that?”

Lisa held her hand. Linda stared out the window. “He gets calls on his cell . . . walks away at times, talks low where I can’t hear him. He goes off with his buddies for the night. When I talk with his friends, sometimes they said he wasn’t with them, when he said he was. Some girls at school I can tell they’re talking about him, then when they notice me, change the subject.”

Lisa calmly advised, “I believe you need to look at your relationship very seriously. You need a boyfriend who is open with you. He doesn't hide his cell phone conversations. He doesn't lie about being with friends when he wasn’t. He understands that when you say stop, he stops. Not pressure you to do more than your ready for. Most importantly, only sees you, if he’s serious. He may tell you he loves you, just to have sex with you.”

“Yes, I know. I wanted him to be the one but— “

“You have a good head on your shoulders, Linda. You know what you want. You have to listen to what you feel. If you want to wait until you’re married, that’s up to you. You should have a boyfriend who is considerate of your feelings. Not his jollies. Where he only satisfies, his animal instinct.”

“Yes, your right. It’s just so hard—”

“I know it is, you need to communicate with him. So, he knows what you want. You can’t just put it off, not saying anything. You have to be honest about your hopes and desires for your future.”

“I know, Miss Lisa. I’ll tell him how I feel.” Linda took a deep breath, nodded, stood up.

“Linda if you ever need to talk, you can always come and talk with me, okay?”

“I know I can. Thank you. I’m sorry I took up—”

“Don’t be sorry. I’m glad you came and spoke with me. You can see me or call me any time. Okay?”

“Okay thanks, Miss Lisa. I feel better now.”

She draped her arm over her shoulder, walked her toward the door.

“Good. It will be a nice sunny day today. A day to enjoy with your friends here. You take care, and don’t hesitate to talk to me when you want to.”

“Okay, Miss Lisa, I will. Thanks.” They hugged, and Linda left, walked to the bus.

She knew she had to get to the bus. She tried calling her fiancé, knew he’d be in his apartment. The phone rang, he never picked up.

By now, Lisa knew she was running late, grabbed her folder and hurried out of her room to get to the bus. She ran down the stairway to the lobby. As she opened the door to the parking lot, she didn’t see the person walking by. He didn’t see her either, as he had his head up looking at the clouds. They collided, and Lisa dropped her folder causing her documents to scatter.

“My god, don’t you look where you’re going?” Lisa shrieked, bent down to pick up her documents.

“I’m sorry I didn’t see you. Can I help?" Apologetic mumbling reached Lisa’s ears as she gathered her documents. He started to pick up her papers. Lisa sharply grabbed her documents from him gave him a dirty look.

“No! Be more alert and watch where you’re going.” She furrowed her brow, her eyes bored into him, as he backed away, looked genuinely contrite.

He was a scruffy looking guy, with fresh mud on his knees and a growth of beard. Not at all like her fiancé, who always dressed meticulously. Lisa gathered her documents and ran to the bus. Everyone looked forward to the first day at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre, near the St. Mary’s river.

Lisa received special permission to visit the Center. A Center guide showed the students around as part of a National Science program. For lunch, Lisa told her students', they could visit the Bellevue Marina. The group watched the boats leaving and returning to the jetties as the group waved to them, the people on the boats waved back. Lisa with other adults and students hiked a nearby path just to enjoy being outdoors. After lunch, they returned to learn more, the center promoted their interest in science and technology. After the visit, they started back to the hotel.

As they arrived back at the hotel, she told the students, they could have one hour at the pool. At the pool, she noticed that scruffy looking guy she collided into that morning enter the pool, just before they walked out. She appraised him judgmentally, she quickly got her girls to leave.

Supper was next, and Lisa arranged to have tables together. The aroma of food wafted through the air, animated her group, anticipated the mouthwatering food. As she ate, she noticed that guy sitting in the far corner eating alone looking around.

He saw her, realized she was with the boisterous group of students, who were exasperating their chaperons.

“Excuse me.” Lisa’s eye lids narrowed, jaw muscles tightened, got up.

“Yes, how can I help you?” a waitress asked.

“That guy over in the corner. Do you know him? I have young ladies with me and wondered if he is some kind of pervert?” Pointing him out, her nose crinkled.

“No, I don’t. However, I’ll get the manager. She’ll know.” The waitress, left to find the manager.

“Hello, I’m the manager. I understand you have a question about a guest?”

Lisa pointed across the room. “Yes, that guy sitting in the corner, do you know him? I’m a teacher responsible for my teenage girls, and don’t know if he’s a pervert or not. I’ve seen him around when my students were around.”

The manager saw who she pointed at. “Usually, I wouldn’t comment on any of our guests, hotel policy. But knowing your responsible for your students. You should be concerned, and I know you're accountable for your student's well-being. I’ll tell you what I know. Yes, I know him. He’s an American, named Travis McLaughlin. He’s been coming here a number of years. He came with his wife. She had an accident on the ski slope, and hit her head. It was in all the papers. She didn’t think it was anything, but hours later started to have a headache. She lost conscious and never came to. He has returned to hike the trails and just be around the places he used to go with her. Some of us tried to get him to go out, but he had politely declined. They were only married a year. So, please rest assured he’s not who you thought he was.”

“Okay, thank you.”

Lisa felt relieved. He was not who she thought he was. Sad too, knowing what he must have gone through.

After dinner, Lisa heard a girl crying in the lounge, and found Linda, hands covered her teary eyes.

“Linda what’s wrong?” She placed a caring arm across her shoulder.

“My boy-friend he’s . . . he’s seeing another girl.” She sobbed, looked around to see if anyone saw her.

It took her over an hour to calm Linda down. Finally, she got Linda to take a walk with her to smell nice fresh air, and hopefully relieve her problem somewhat. As soon as they exited the hotel, they smelled fresh-cut grass.

Lisa saw that guy walk out of the hotel with a camera. He didn’t notice them, just walked into the woods disappearing in the woodlands. As they walked along a path, into the tree line, it felt slightly cooler. She knew smelling the pine trees and listening to the murmur of the woods would be relaxing for them.

She spotted him just off the path, taking a picture of what looked like a tree. As they walked closer to him, Linda spoke first before Lisa could change their route.

“Hello, my dad used to have a camera like yours.”

“Hello --.” The guy turned around, saw the teacher glaring at him.

Her arms were crossed, standing next to her student. He thought she didn’t want him to talk to her student, which he could understand.

Linda, a normal inquisitive student asked, “What are you taking a picture of?”

“That woodpecker in the tree,” pointed as he answered, while trying to move away to discourage conversation.

Both women looked but could not see the woodpecker, even though they could hear it pecking.

Not taking the hint, Linda stated, “My dad loved birds, which got me to like looking at birds too. Would it be okay if I looked at the woodpecker with your camera?”

The guy looked at Lisa, who nodded her head. He gave Linda the camera with its telephoto lens. She looked for the woodpecker.

“Oh, that’s a pileated woodpecker, their beautiful. My dad had a camera like yours, but I never understood it,” she exclaimed, to their amazement, she knew what type of woodpecker it was.

He looked at the teacher, for her silent nod of permission to show Linda how the camera operated. Lisa noticed Linda was forgetting her boyfriend problem and thought of her dad.

She glanced at him. “I think she would like you to show her how your camera works, if that’s alright with you?”

“Yes, of course. I’m Travis McLaughlin.”

“I’m Linda. This is my teacher, Miss Lisa.”

He nodded to both.

He then explained how the camera worked. Linda asked more questions as they walked along trying to find other birds or animals. Lisa walked quietly behind them, saw he was just giving her information without flirting.

As they walk and talked, Lisa became more comfortable with Travis. He tried to help Linda understand the camera. With rapidly waning light, they walked back to the hotel as fireflies started appearing.

“Thank you for letting me use your camera Mr. McLaughlin. I always wanted to know more about them.”

“You’re welcome Linda. I hope you get one for yourself someday.”

“So, do I. Well, time for me to go in. Thanks again, night.”

“Good night Linda.”

“Good night, Miss Lisa, see you later.”

“Good night Linda.”

Linda walked away. They watched her enter the hotel's main doorway.

“She seemed to enjoy looking for the birds and other animals we saw.”

“Yes, she did. I want to thank you too for letting her look at them with your camera. Take some pictures as well."

“That’s okay. I liked showing her how to use it. I hope you didn’t mind me taking so much time showing her?” Standing there not looking directly at each other.

“No, not at all. In fact, it helped her forget an issue she was having for a time. She needed something like that tonight.”

“That’s good. Being out here does help you feel better.” He looked up at the darkening cloudless sky.

“Yes, it does. The hiking around here was nice for her. I should be checking up on my students.”

“Well, I had better get going to. I want to get my gear ready for tomorrow.”

“Your gear?”

“Yes, I’m going to Agawa Canyon tomorrow, to do some hiking and sightseeing. I like taking the train to get there. Just want to be sure I have everything I need when I go.”

“That’s a good idea. Well, I should be following Linda, check up on everyone.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Night Mr. McLaughlin.”

Lisa went in the main entrance. Travis found the side entrance.

Lisa did not mention her group was also scheduled to take that train the next day too. Later, that night she called Jack, he didn’t answer. She looked in on Linda to see how she was doing. She was sleeping. She asked her roommate to let her know if Linda seemed upset at any time. She checked on the other rooms, some students were still awake.

She went to her room. She saw the light on her phone blinking with a message. Jack had called said he had a cold, going right to sleep, and to have a nice night.

Day 3 Monday

Lisa got her wake-up call, and called Jack. He didn’t answer his phone, or his cell phone. Down at breakfast, they discussed going to Agawa Canyon that day. She saw Linda, and Linda did not look too happy. Another student started talking to her, and she got caught up in his problem, he was homesick.

The group rode their bus to the Agawa Canyon Tour train terminal. They boarded the train and found seats. She forgot for a short period of time anything else. She looked out at the magnificent scenery.

Lisa did a head count, and found a few students missing. She walked the train, found most in the dining car. She found Linda, her roommate and a boy student talking to someone in the dining car. It was Travis, who as soon as she came into view stood up.

“Hi, Linda and her friends had stopped by to ask me some questions about taking pictures, which I hoped you would not mind me telling them.”

“That’s okay, but my students should let me know where they were, as I’m responsible for them,” in a serious voice due to the present situation, looked at them with her professional teacher demeanor, unsmiling.

Linda looked apologetic. “We’re sorry, Miss Lisa.”

“Would you please stay with us? Have something to eat or drink?"

“I have the other students to watch over too. I have to return to the others. You guys should go with me,” she said somberly.

“There are other adults with those students, please stay for a few minutes to have something to eat with us?”

She looked at the students, knew they would like her to sit and talk with them.

“Okay, but first I have to let the others know where everyone is.”

She was back within a few minutes.

Linda looked at the scenery. “This is magnificent scenery, have you ever been there before?”

“Yes, a few times. You’ll love seeing the waterfalls, streams, or trails they have there, as well as the wildlife that are in the area. You should take your time and enjoy the beauty of the place.”

As they traveled along, the group talked and looked at the natural beauty of the land. The kids went for some desert.

Travis leaned over. “Would you mind if I say something to you?”

“Of course.”

“In talking with Linda, I think something is bothering her. She is hiding something and thought you should know.”

Lisa at first didn’t know how to respond, not knowing him and being defensive.

“Thank you for your information. We should get back with our group,” she snapped, rather coldly, lips formed a tight seam. Quickly standing, turned on her heel and stormed off, found her three students, took them back with her.

The students stepped from the train at Agawa Canyon to a warm, bright sunny day, scattered clouds moved quickly across the sky.

Linda, with two of her friends approached her. “Can we ask Mr. McLaughlin to show us how to take better pictures here, please, Miss Lisa?”

Lisa gave them, her disapproving teachers look. “Maybe later, but for now, I want all the students to stay together to enjoy this trip with the group.”

Travis was nearby and heard. He knew she was responsible for all of her students, and understood her position. He walked off in a different direction then the students.

The students talked to canoers, who were going down the river to shoot class two white water. The students wished they could go, were denied permission. After hiking up a hill, the group watched painters paint the beauty of Agawa Canyon, included a hawk they saw flying on air currents. The group saw dams that beavers built across a stream.

At noon time, they purchased their food from the canteen, and ate on the ground, or at picnic tables near pine trees overlooking the river. The group waved at canoeists traveling down the river. Some adults with students visited the souvenir car to purchase train memorabilia, pins and jewelry.

After lunch, Lisa as a matter of course counted heads, and came up one short. She got the students together and found out Linda was missing. One of the students said they saw Linda sitting beneath a tree, she looked upset. She tried calling Linda’s cell phone, went right to voice mail.

Lisa found one of the attendants, who said she must be around, but she would call her supervisors to alert them. They organized themselves into search parties. She took three students and started looking. After an hour looking, she noticed Travis walking on a trail nearby.

She waved to him. “Mister McLaughlin, have you seen Linda? She was with us at lunch, and we haven’t been able to locate her since then.” Her expression was a mixture of hope and help, a worried tone in her voice.

“No, I haven’t seen her. Do you know where she was before you discovered her missing?” He noticed her worried expression as he walked to her.

“During lunch, we ate lunch at the picnic area. She had gone into the bathroom and didn’t return. One of my students saw her near where we had lunch.” Lisa looked around worried, pushed a wisp of hair over her ear.

Travis got out his topographical map of the area. Showing where she could have walked away from where the students were. “She might have walked this way.” Pointed out where Linda could walk away without being seen.

“Could you help us find her?”

“Yes, of course.”

Travis wanted to look in a different area from where they were. As they walked that way, they met another group of students. Her students said they were tired. Lisa let them stay with the other group, who was returning to the picnic area. As they walked she looked beat. They heard the cawing of crows somewhere across a field.

Travis suggested. “You look beat you should go back.”

Lisa half looked at him. “No. I’m fine, let's continue.”

Their faces covered in a sheen of sweat, she put her hair into a bun to stay cooler. They saw wood ducks fly overhead.

Bushwhacked to the top of a hill, Travis pulled out his binoculars from his backpack. Scoping the area, noticed a very faint figure by a distant lake. Travis led the way to the lake. He looked through his binoculars, and then handed them to her. It was Linda, who looked like she was crying.

When, they were close to Linda.

“Stay here, I want to talk to her first.” He nodded understanding.

“Linda?” At first, Linda didn’t seem to hear her.

“Linda?” She called again, going closer.

This time Linda looked up and saw her, looked away put her hands over her eyes.

Lisa went to her, cradled her in her arms.

Linda tried to tell her between crying what happened. “I called Serge this morning. I wanted to talk to him . . . See if we could straighten everything out between us. I knew he went out with someone, he told me that. I wanted him to know I still wanted to date him but not get too serious like we were going. He said he asked Lilly out. They went and parked where we used to, she didn’t push him away.”

“It’s okay Linda. He’s not worth getting yourself this upset.”

“I was stunned. I just hung up on him. Serge called me when we were at lunch. He said he didn’t want to date me anymore. That I was . . . a cold heartless bitch. He was only going to date girls who fucked. I hung up on him. I feel it was my fault I wouldn’t --.”

“It’s not your fault at all. Listen to me please. You should not have any second thoughts. You were being mature about your relationship. He wasn’t.”

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t face anyone. I just had to be by myself for a while. After going to the bathroom, I just wanted to walk and get myself together. Not face you or the others. I was going to start back in a little while. You believe me don’t you, Miss Lisa?”

“Yes, I believe you. Just take a deep breath, relax. You’re going to be fine. Trust me on this okay?”

“Okay thanks, I’m glad you’re here.” Linda placed her head, on Lisa’s shoulder.

Travis heard almost everything, stayed away. He heard distant thunder, looked up, and noticed dark ominous clouds quickly approaching.


“Yes?” She looked at him.

Linda looked up jittery.

“It’s okay. It’s Mr. McLaughlin, he’s a friend.”

“There’s a storm over there, we’re going to get rain very soon.” He pointed toward the quickly approaching black rain clouds, with the sounds of rumbling thunder and flashes of lightning in the distance.

“I see it. Think it will be bad?”

Travis noticed her hands trembled slightly. “Yep, you can see the rain falling in sheets.”

“Linda, see that storm coming?” She pointed out the rain clouds nearby, getting her to stand up.


“I’ll help you. We have to leave now. That storm will be here very soon.” Lisa nervously looked around for shelter, Travis noticed.

“We'd better start walking. There’s no shelter around here. That storm is going to hit us before we can make it back. We’re going to get wet.” They noticed the grass bending from the wind, started to become cooler.

Travis noticed neither woman had rain gear.

“I have this coat and rain suit in my back pack.” He removed the backpack, took out his summer coat and rain gear, handed it to Lisa. He quickly looked at his topographical map.

“Linda put this on. I’ll help you.” She helped Linda put the coat and rain suit on.

Lisa called one of the adults as Travis led them back. “I have Linda . . . she’s fine . . . yes we’re starting to walk back . . . Okay see you soon.”

Lisa flinched slightly hearing the now closer rumbling of the storm.

“What’s that?” Linda gave a small cry, jumped rearward.

“What was it?” She startled Lisa, who looked around them.

“I’m not sure. I thought I heard something over there.” Linda pointed to some bushes near the path.

“It could be the wind. I noticed the bushes moving too.”

“I’m scared.”

“Why, are you scared Linda?” she asked, looking apprehensive at the rapidly approaching clouds.

“That storm coming. Are you scared of the storm Mr. McLaughlin?”

He looked at the menacing clouds rapidly approaching. “Me scared . . . Yes, I am.”

“Why, are you scared? I thought you weren’t frightened of anything.”

“I’m frightened of lots of things.”

“You! You’re frightened of lots of things? I’d never think you could be.”

“That’s the front I put on.” A strong westerly wind bent the trees, and the grass swayed wildly.

“I’d never believe that.” She moved a strand of hair out of her eyes.

“It’s something I try to hide from people.” Lisa saw him look at her, giving her a slight nod.

“What are you scared of?”

“Okay promise not to tell anybody?" Their hair tousled from the stiff breezes.

“Okay, I promise.”

“I’m scared of heights. I fear falling.”

“Okay, anything else?”

“Yes . . . hmmm. Afraid of the dark.” He removed two bottles of water from his backpack, "Here, have some water, keep hydrated.”

“You’re afraid of the dark? When we first met, you were out in the woods in the dark.”

“Yes, true. I would have been back in the hotel if both of you weren’t with me.”

“Then with us being with you, you were okay being outside in the dark?”

“Yes, you keeping me company helped me overcome my fears of the dark that night.”

Lisa by now realized Travis was distracting her, to have her think about other things.

He didn’t have a flashlight. If he was scared of the dark, he’d surely have one, seeing how well prepared he is. I don’t understand it? Why, do I now feel he can be trusted, and a little while before I was very wary of him. And, I just called him a friend. What a strange man he is, the last few days I was antagonistic toward him, and here he is helping me.

“Wow, that’s so cool. I didn’t think I helped you.”

“Yes, you did.” Dark rotating clouds soared quickly over their heads.

“Where do you come from? You have an accent.”

“Accent? I don’t have an accent. I thought all you folks up here had one.”

“Us? No, we don’t. You’re the one with an accent. Doesn’t he have one, Miss Lisa?”

“Yes, he does.” She looked at him from the side of her eyes, goose bumps on her arms. She knew his kidding was helping both cope.

“See you do have one.” Linda jumped as lighting flashed nearby, the wind roared steadily.

“Are you afraid of anything else, Mr. McLaughlin?” Lisa knew what he was doing, kept that train of thought going.

Claps of thunder getting closer, reverberating off the low clouds, caused chilling sounds all around them.

“Sure do . . . It’s getting darker now.” He looked up at the dark clouds currently passing overhead.

Linda put her hood up. “You can hold my hand Mr. McLaughlin. This should help your fear.” Daylight became as dark as twilight, with loud claps of thunder and bright flashes of lightning all around them.

Linda held his hand, as they walked.

She knew the light banter Travis was having with Linda, was helping her, as the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. The wind howling like a banshee, was curling the hair around her face, she swept the hair out of her eyes.

A violent western wind hit them, with sheets of bone-chilling rain. Lisa and Travis were drenched within minutes. Travis knew the danger of lightning on high ground and in the open, kept them walking on a low path through the trees, longer but safer, realizing there was nothing around to hide in for shelter, praying nothing happened. Shivering from the cold as their teeth began to chatter. It took over an hour walking through puddles, rivulets of cold water, to return with intense lightning, and thunder reverberating all around them.

The railroad held the last train for them. Lisa stayed with Linda as the train returned to its starting terminal, then their bus to the hotel. At the hotel, she had one of the other women stay with Linda.

She had to get out of her wet clothes and take a hot shower. Afterwards, she checked on Linda, she was asleep. She checked on the other students and adults. As Lisa was finally relaxing, she got in her warm bed, her phone rang.

“Hello?” Lisa’s voice hardly recognizable after what she had just gone through.

“Lisa . . . its, Jen. That you?”

“Yes, a cold coming on. Why, are you calling? Are you okay?”

“I’m okay. I thought you should know something.” Jen responded forlornly.

“I’m sorry but it has just been a very stressful day for me. Could this not wait until I get home?”

“No, I think you’d want to know this right away. I saw Jack out partying with another woman, not once but a few times at different bars, the last few nights. I even took pictures which I’ll send you if you want?”

“Yes.” She was stunned, her voice became tense. Her shoulders sank.

Jen sent five different pictures to Lisa’s cell phone. They were small, but she could make out Jack with a woman. The pictures came with a time, and date stamp. Jack was out on the nights he was supposed to be in his bed with a cold.

“Thanks, Jen.” saying it with no emotion, quietly hung up.

She remembered his charming behavior signified his confidence, a great dancer, his bright white teeth made her smile. She sat there speechless. She couldn’t think straight.

I should have stayed home, this never would have happened if I was there. What am I gonna do now? God I’m so tired.

With an emptiness in the pit of her heart, felt her safe secure world ending in a horrible nightmare. Her world was crumbling around her, eventually fell asleep.

Day 4 Tuesday

Next morning, she picked up her cell phone, put it down, used the room phone to call Jack’s apartment. He picked up on the fourth ring.


“Hi, I have missed you a few times when I called, is everything alright?” She tried to stay calm.

“Hi . . . Yes, of course. You don’t sound too good.” He sounded fine.

“I have a cold. How are you feeling?” She held herself in, bit the inside of her lip.

“I’ve been taking medicine . . . for a cold, fallen asleep early the past few nights, that’s why you may have missed me. I just haven’t been feeling that well. I’ve been going to bed. . . early. How’s your trip going?”

She heard something in the background. He covered the mouth piece a few times.

“It’s going fine. I have a few pictures for you, if he’d liked to see them?” Lisa’s been waiting for this.

“Yes, that would be great.” She sent two pictures of him in different bars when he said he was home sleeping. She waited as Jack received the pictures. She could tell when he looked at the first picture, dead silence.

"Where did you get these? They must be old pictures . . . Lisa?" Jack was speaking fast.

"Look at the date and times, they were the past two nights when you said you were nursing a cold home in bed." She got her dander up.

"Lisa, let me explain. I didn’t know the girl that well. She’s a friend’s sister, and I was being nice taking her out. That's all." Jack answered, still calm.

"You slime ball, you leech, you contemptible thing, you bastard. Your fucking two timing me and can’t be a man and admit what you’re doing." Even with her croaky voice she was making herself understood.

“Lisa . . . Lisa!” Jack knew he’d been caught.

“You worthless piece of shit, how could you do this to me? I never saw anyone, but you since we went steady. Now I find out my fiancé is going out to bars with another woman. If she is your friend’s sister, then why didn’t you tell me? We swore we would remain true to each other until we were married," she screamed at him.

"Lisa, believe me, she means nothing to me."

With that she heard a female voice in the background, "You didn’t tell me that last night." Before the mouth piece was covered up. Tears swelled up in her eyes.

“We can talk when you get back. Okay sweetheart?” Jack asked hopefully in his normal voice.

“Go to hell, you god damn son of a bitch, fucking bastard, the engagement is off!" her voice choked on revulsion, knew her voice was failing. She slammed the phone down. She yanked the engagement ring off, threw it to the other side of the room. She buried her head in the pillow, cried her heart out.

Lisa wasn’t ready to face her group, knew the others would be waiting for her at breakfast before heading off for the day’s activities. She got herself together splashing water on her face, knew she was still the leader. She walked into the dining hall, and was greeted by the students and adults, saying how much they thought of her for finding Linda. A lot of them gave her a hug. She needed the hugs, though not just for finding Linda.

She was able to maintain her composure during breakfast. The adults knew she must have gone through a terrible ordeal, with Linda missing. Additionally, she sounded and looked awful with the cold she caught.

Lisa was talked into staying back to take care of her cold.

She went to the bus, to see the students off. Linda came by to see them off too, going right up to her, hugged her.

“Thank you for staying with me, Miss Lisa. I would have got soaked without you and Mister McLaughlin helping me.”

She had forgotten about him, until just then.

She talked to Linda, found out one of the mothers and two girls would be staying with her at the Inn. As she was walking back through the hotel to her room, she saw someone sitting toward the rear of the dining area. She walked toward the table. She barely smelled the coffee brewing.

"Hello, thank you for helping me yesterday." She was coughing, sniffling.

“I was glad to help, how is Linda doing? Would you like to sit down and join me, for some coca?"

"Okay. Only for a minute . . . Linda seems much better today. She’s going to rest and relax." She sat and tried to relax.

“That’s good. I was hoping she’d feel better. Can I get you something for your cold?”

“Yes, thanks. I know I need to eat and drink something. Coca would be nice.”

“Okay, be right back.”

"This should help your cold. Looks like we both have the sniffles." She inhaled the coca deeply through her nose, of a smell that reminded her of an early-childhood morning breakfast, with a sense that used to leave her with a warm feeling.

She sat there, looked far away, did not talk much. Travis carried on the conversation, realized Lisa was not really paying attention. He knew she had a rough time of it with Linda yesterday, but there was something else, he couldn't put his finger on. Finally, they left the dining area, walked her to the elevator.

“I hope Linda gets a new boyfriend, she ---.”

She stopped suddenly. "All men are fucking bastards, scum of the earth, worthless pieces of shit," she screamed at him, blood rushed into her face, poked her finger into his chest.

He stood there immobilize, not knowing what triggered her vehement reaction to be like that.

“I don’t under --.”

She was too emotional, just slapped his face. A look of shock appeared on her face of dread. She put her hands up to her mouth. Looked at him, tears formed around her eyes, she hunched over, broke down in sobs.

Knowing something was wrong, placed his arm around her shoulder. Travis took her to his room on the first floor, not wanting anyone to see her like this. In the room, he had her sit on a chair by the window.

Finally, she calmed down. “I’m sorry. It wasn’t meant for you, but for ---. “

“That’s okay.” She started crying again.

Travis thought it was not for him. He covered one of her hands with his hand softly.

“I don’t want to intrude on your time, and should go back to my room.” She stood up but at the door stopped, knowing if she went back to her room, the mother might come by or the girls, and saw her.

“Could I just stay here for a few minutes to get myself together?” she asked in a muffled shaky voice, not looking at him.

"That’s fine, you can leave any time you want."

“Okay . . . thanks.”

“Would you like some more coca or something to eat? We both could use it.”

“Yes, that may help me. Thank you.”

“Okay, I’ll be right back.”

By the time, he returned, she had composed herself. She was seated on the patio looking at the countryside. The grass glistened from the droplets of the storm. the sun burning off the last of the mornings lingering mist. He brought back steaming cups of coca, orange juice, milk, bacon, toast, French crescent-shaped rolls and fruit.

“Hmmm a lot, and smells nice.” As he sat the tray on the table.

“We have a saying back home, feed a cold, starve a fever.”

“So, do we up here.”


“Your gonna die, sir.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He grinned shyly.

She saw his handsome smile.

“Thanks for helping me yesterday with Linda and my ---.” She looked sheepishly at him.

“That’s okay. It’s called astraphobia I believe?”

“Yes, how did you know?”

“I had a neighbor who had it. Used to hide in her closet until it was passed.”

“I’m sorry about slapping you before, I ---” Inwardly cringing, remembered what she did.

“It’s okay, you don’t have to say anything. That was some right hook you have to." Travis touched his jaw.

She knew he tried to make light of what she did.

Her eyes downcast, not able to look at him. "This morning I found out my fiancé, has been cheating on me. A friend sent me pictures of him out with another woman. When I asked what, he was doing the nights I was away, he said he was home sick. When I showed him the pictures of him with that girl, he tried to say she is someone’s sister. That sister was in his room when I called early this morning. I told him the engagement was off." She dabbed her eyes with a napkin.

"I’m sorry he wasn't the person you thought he was."

"No, he is a two-timing cheat. We vowed to each other, we'd only see each other. And then, I find out he has been cheating on me with that bitch. If he can cheat on me with her, then who else could he have been having sex with?"

Travis don’t know how to react, never having that happen to him before. "I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. I know it’s very hard for you, to find out he is cheating on you.”

They sat and looked out at the grounds. A light breeze was blowing the last of the clouds alone.

“Would it be all right if I asked you, something about yourself?”

“Yes, of course.”

“I heard something happened to your wife? You okay if I ask about her?”

Travis looked at her, then outside. His mind a whirlwind, trying to determine what to do.

He sighed softly felt his throat tighten. "Yes . . . we were married just over a year. She loved skiing, and we took a winter vacation at a ski resort up here. I couldn’t ski at all. She could. She could ski the diamond trails, me only the beginner slopes and even that not too well." She started to listen, forgot her troubles.

“We were very happy. We did everything together. I met her in New York. She was from Canada. Her name is Karen. At first, we just knew each other, and then became friends. That friendship grew to love and marriage.” As he talked, she became more comfortable finding out about him, his soul was peeking out.

"We came up here a few times before getting married to meet her family and see what Canada was like. She wanted me to see what she loved to do. We went to Agawa Canyon, hiked around here. After getting married, during Christmas vacation, I surprised her with a ski holiday. We were enjoying ourselves. She could have skied on the more advanced slopes but stayed with me. She was skiing down a beginner’s slope, with me, when some young kid on skis crossed in front of her. She swiveled to avoid the kid. She looked around at the kid to be sure he was alright and went into a tree. She was knocked down, but got right back up saying she was fine.”

“Later, she started to have headaches, which she took some medicine for. Her headache and condition deteriorate fast. I took her to the local medical facility, the doctor said she needed immediate surgery.

She had swelling on the brain due to the crash. We got her to a hospital, she went into surgery, but died before they could operate on her.

I blame myself for that accident, I never should have set up that trip. I visited her the first day I came here.” She looked quickly at the knees of his pants, realized why Travis had dirt on his knees when they bumped into each other.

“I never wanted another woman. She was the women. I was going to get old with, then . . . I haven’t dated, just couldn’t. I felt it would be wrong if I did."

He was a completely different man than what she thought.

Travis never told anyone about that time as he now told Lisa. Somehow felt secure he could tell her about that time. There was something about her, which made him trust her.

She placed her hand on his. "You shouldn’t blame yourself. You couldn’t know that would happen." Travis looked at her eyes blinking back his tears.

"Would Karen want you to continue to go on living?"


"You mourned enough, now you should go on with your life."

"I know what you’re saying." They sat looking at people walking around the grounds, both deep in thought.

They talked endlessly about their lives, where they grew up, what they did as kids, teens. Their hobbies, likes, dislikes. Talking about everything neither one thinking about the time. They ordered lunch in, just relaxed. Around five, she knew she should go back to her room and her duties of looking after her students.

As she approached the door, she hesitated for a moment, not sure why. "We have a scheduled off-day tomorrow, where the kids can go explore by themselves and us too, if we wanted. Would you like to take a walk or see something with me? You know what’s around here better than me."

"Yes, I’d like that."

Lisa was a hugger, always had been, she could tell Travis was hesitant, not sure if it was appropriate, it was for her, then she returned to her room.

The light on her phone was blinking. Jack tried calling her a few times, left hurtful messages accused her of cheating on him.

Lisa saw him walk in, he started to go to the rear. “That’s Travis, Mister McLaughlin. He helped me find Linda yesterday.”

The other women saw who she was pointing at.

“You should invite him to eat with us. I’d like to meet him.” Mrs. Wineland said.

“So, would I.” Mrs. O’Brien remarked.

She got up and walked to him.


“Hi.” They looked steadily at each other for a second.

“I saw you walking in. Would you like to meet the other people with me?” She gestured toward her group.

“Meet them.” Travis looked at her tables, saw everyone looking at them, some waved. He waved back timidly.

“Yes, please. I’d like you to meet the other adults. They know what you did for Linda the other day.”

“Okay, if you don’t mind.” They walked to her group. His timorously intrigued her, after him being so helpful with finding Linda and getting both safely back.

“Ladies I’d like to introduce you to Mister McLaughlin . . . Travis. Travis, as you know, helped me find Linda the other day.”

“Hello, I’m pleased to meet you.” Travis thought he’d just say hello then return to his table.

Mrs. Hightower said, “Would you please have a seat and have something to eat with us?”

Mrs. O’Brien found another chair. “Here you go.”

He looked surprised. “Thank you. I wasn’t expecting this.”

A waitress came over for his order, as they introduced each other.

After eating they sat talking about everything. Discovered Travis came from Brooklyn, New York, where he worked for the telephone company, a varied career as a frameman, installer and now a switchman, in his spare time served in a volunteer ambulance corps, as an EMT.

After eating, sitting around the table, talking and learning about him. Most of the other students looked at them, chatted quietly about the handsome stranger amongst themselves.

“Mr. McLaughlin, will you please excuse us. We need to huddle. Ladies if you’ll join me.” Mrs. Hightower asked.

“Okay I can leave.”

“No. Just put your fingers in your ears Mr. McLaughlin. No peaking, as it were, okay?” Mrs. Livingston asked him.

“Okay.” He put his finger in his ears.

“One second. Can you hear us Mr. McLaughlin?” Lisa asked lightheartedly.

“Nope, not a word.”

“I see. Susan, can you and Linda talk to Mr. McLaughlin while we talk?” She asked them cheerfully.

“Sure, Miss Lisa,” Susan giggled.

“Okay ladies let's talk.” They walk a little way away. They put hands over their mouths tried to lower their voices.

“So, Mr. McLaughlin, how do you like the weather?” Linda asked him.

“The weather? Well it’s been nice, for the most part.” He watched the ladies talk, at times they looked over at him.

“How is the weather where you come from, Mr. McLaughlin?” Susan asked him, blocked his view.

“The weather back in Brooklyn about the same as here.”

“Travis?” Mrs. Wineland in a serious voice.

“Yes, Becky?”

“We talked and we’d like to ask if you’d care to join us later as we sit talking. In addition, if you’d like to join us on some of our activities?" Mrs. Hightower asked him, grinning.

“Join you when you ---” He saw her nod her head. “Yes, I’d like that. Thank you.”

The group sat around the lounge. The smell of smoke from the wood-burning fireplace floated through the air.

Time went fast and before they knew it, only the two of them were left. They looked at the fireplace and the logs' burning. They sat and talked, firelight flickered off their faces. She put her head on his shoulder, fell asleep. He gently nudged her, she awoke. He walked with her to her door. Said good night, they gave each other a hug, hearing someone get off the elevator, separated shyly. She went inside her room. Travis returned to his room.

Day 5 Wednesday

Next day, after breakfast, she had the students’ pair up. She told them, do not leave their group and go off by themselves. They both stood in front of the hotel, after seeing the students off under a bright sunny day.

“How are you feeling this morning?” She smiled, sounded, and looked better.

“I feel much better than yesterday. You look better than the other day, too.”

“I do? How did I look the other day?”

“Like a drowned rat . . . ahhh . . . I . . . I mean you looked okay.”

“A drowned rat. I see. Well. I never got that compliment before.” Outwardly solemn, inside she enjoyed his pickle.

“Darn, I didn’t mean it that way. I talk too much. Just that you always look so nice, you always smile. You sound better too. You look much better today also.”

“No, you don’t. I like how you talk. I feel much better too. Sooo wonder what today will be like.” She looked at him, questions in her eyes. Her hands behind her back, rocked back and forth on her heals, waiting.

"Hmm. Would you like to look at a Bush Plane Museum, with me?"

"Yes, I’ve always wanted to see one." A slight smile on her lips, her captivating eyes sparkled with laughter.

After visiting the Bush Plane Museum. They found a restaurant nearby for lunch, they sat at outdoor tables, eating slowly. Other patrons enjoying the day chatting as they were, enjoying the delightful atmosphere. Some sparrows looked for scraps around their tables, which they threw some bread for them.

After lunch, walking through town, they passed a clothing store, shoe store, pizza shop, greeting people as they passed.

She spotted a hair salon, ran her fingers through her hair. “My hair is a mess from that rain, would you mind if I went in to have them help me with it?”

“No, not at all. I’ll sit over there.” He pointed at a bench beneath a tree.

She entered the hair salon, had her long hair cut to a shorter style and dye her brunette hair, with dark blonde highlights.

She left the salon, saw Travis look up but not recognize her.

“Hi, sorry I was so long. Like my new hairdo?” Lisa smiled, saw the look on his face as she stood in front of him, her hair flowing naturally around her face.

He quickly stood up. “Yes, very nice. I . . . I didn’t recognize you at first.” She was jaw dropping stunning, with her thick hair flowing naturally around her face.

She watched his surprised look. Her fingers ruffled through her mid-length hair, springing it to life.

“My new look. I wanted to change it. So, what’s next?” She enjoyed his reaction.

“Care to take a walk? There’s a nice park over there.” Pointed to a town park, which had a path and benches under trees.

“Sure, that sounds nice.” She grinned, saw him still looking at her hair. They walked into the park found a beach, watched parents with children playing at the playground.

They chatted about the park, the parks they went to as kids. The times they went to amusement parks with friends, family and school. Summer vacations, they took. The day went quickly. She had to return to the hotel, to make sure everyone was back. Riding back in his jeep, they were silent. Each lost in their own thoughts. They watched the farms pass by, mostly agriculture, homely houses with bright green lawns. At the hotel, sat in the lobby, greeting the students and adults as they returned. Everyone returned safely, with stories to tell, at dinner and later.

Day 7

At breakfast, the kids ate more subdued than usual.

When Travis saw her, both looked at each other a moment, then had breakfast without talking. After breakfast, they all were busy packing.

She answered a knock on her door.

"Hi, may I come in?" Sounded, looked sad.

"Sure." Cheerless eyes, let him enter, closed the door.

“I wanted to say good-bye privately. I didn’t want your fellow teachers to be able to talk about our good-bye." He looked at her dourly.

She replied bleakly, "Yes, I can understand that."

"I know you’re going to be busy with the students, getting them ready to leave. I should start to get on the road myself. As it’s about a fourth-teen hour trip home for me."

"That is a long trip. I hope you have a safe journey home."

"I like getting to know you."

"I did too, getting to know you."

“Well, I better be off, bye."

"Safe trip home." Travis went to the door, hand on the knob, could not open it.

“I want to stay in touch, if that’s okay with you?”

“You do? Why?” she inquired politely.

“You have something very natural about you. I feel I can talk to you. I think I talk too much. Don’t know if you feel anything?”

Lisa heard his sincerity, made her heart do double flips. "I do. You’ll stay in touch?"

"Yes, as long as you want me to, I will."

"I want you to." Looked at each other, they drew close and hugged. Travis took her hand, bowed, kissed the top of hand as he looked deeply in her eyes.

"Bye." He reluctantly opened the door.

"Bye,” said it sadly as the door closed.

As they were boarding the bus, she looked at the parking lot. She saw him in his jeep, he was just starting to leave. They both saw each other and waved bye. The bus trip back to Brandfort was long and tiring.

Lisa was rushing all over to make sure the students had ride's home. She was talking to parents, saying good-bye to the other adults. As she was talking to someone, she saw Jack, walking with an attractive woman. She forgot what she was talking about with those people. She just looked at them, knew she recognized her from somewhere. The woman was laughing, smiling, held Jack’s hand. They didn’t see her in the crowd of people. She had a dead feeling in her heart. She excused herself, walked toward her car. She rode home in silence. At her house, she unpacked and sorted her clothes to be laundered. She didn’t think he'd mind


"Hi, remember me?"

"Lisa! Hi, how are you, is everything alright? I wasn’t expecting you to call."

"No, I saw Jack and that floozy, and I . . . I."

"Let me pull off the road, give me a few minutes, and I’ll call you right back, is that okay?"

"Yes, please call me back."

She received his call a few minutes later. "Hello, Travis?"

"Hi, this is better, now I can talk without worrying about traffic."

They talked over an hour, breaking the ice, to stay in touch. They didn’t talk about her seeing Jack. They talked about the trip to Sault Ste. Marie. They finally hung up, with him promising to call, when he was safe at home.

Which Travis did at eleven that night. They talked for hours, until they both had to go to bed.

The following week Lisa accepted an invitation from her cousin to visit her cousin’s parents farm, which she had been going to for years to relax.

Sunshyne, had been wanting to get her alone to discuss her breakup with Jack, and meeting someone new right away.

After swimming for a while, they laid on chaise lounges, letting the dazzling sun and soft breeze dry them.

“You know I told you about Jack. You wouldn’t believe me.” Sunshyne tilted her head slightly to look at her.

“I know. I should have listened. I wanted to make my own decisions with my life.”

“I understand that. A few of us noticed Jack, undressing us with his eyes, at other women, even teenage girls.”

“I didn’t think it was serious. Just something a guy does when he’s out.”

“Not openly with people watching, they do shyly, and especially not when they are in a serious relationship and specifically when they get engaged with his fiancé next to him.”

“Well, I found out before it went further and broke the engagement.”

“I’m happy you came to your senses. Have you returned the ring?”

“Yes, tied to a rubber fish. I wouldn’t use a real fish. I think too much of real fishes.”

“Too bad you didn’t return the ring on an old dead smelly fish. That would have been poetic justice.”

“Your right. Travis kidded me to return it to him tied to a dead fish.” Her face brightened noticeably.

“Speaking of which. You said you only just met him. You should wait a while before taking up with another guy. Especially one who lives in a different country. I hope you’re not just on a rebound with him.” She looked seriously at her.

“I know what you ---.”

“He could be worse than Jack. You know nothing about him, his friends or family. You said he is way too serious too. You’re not like that at all.” They look when they hear birds chirping in the trees.

“I know that Sunshyne.” She watched a beautiful hummingbird streak across some bushes, to feed at the bleeding hearts.

“You’re talking to him now, aren’t you?” Her eyes narrowed slightly.

“Yes, we keep in touch. He’s so sincere and easy to talk to. I like him it’s as simple as that.” She knew she was an altogether different woman since she got to know him.

“He may just want you for your body. You know those Americans. Besides you said he was married, and she died on a ski slope? How do you know that’s true?”

“I looked up the newspapers that had the article of his wife dying. It’s true.”

“Oh! I see. And he’s a bit older than you. You’ve only been going out with guys your own age.”

“I know all that, yes he is older than what I’ve been dating, and he’s more serious too, but there’s something about him. I just feel comfortable with. I feel his sincerity is genuine, I’ve dated lots of guys, and I never felt that with anyone before. We are different in lots of ways. Opposites attract. I know he wouldn’t lie to me or hurt me in any way.”

“All men lie. Trust me on this. I don’t want you to be hurt again, that’s all. You’ve gone through enough with guys.” Wind blew across the field, stirred the tree limbs.

“I know you do Sunshyne. I respect you’re looking out for my best interests too. I hope you could meet him and learn about him yourself someday. If you did you’d change your mind.”

“Your young, when you’re ready to start dating again you have lots of guys here who’d love to date you.” She brushed wind-blown hair out of her eyes.

“I know, some already have asked, knowing I broke up with Jack.”

“One way to know if you want to keep seeing him is try dating others.”

“I know. I accepted a date with Marco Drisco.” Looked at each other.

“Marco Drisco! The Italian Stallion?”

“What? Where did you hear that?”

“The women at my salon, they talk. You better know what you’re doing.”

“I do. Marco tomorrow night dancing. Jon Bartlett the next night a movie. And Tommy Silcox the following evening to a concert.”

“This is unbelievable. Why?”

“Some girl friends told me Jack had been spreading rumors, I’m a cold bitch, an ice princess.”

“I see. You’re a vivacious young woman. You have style, poise, and impeccable taste. This is your time to date. Find out about men and enjoy yourself before you do get married.”

“You got married right after high school. Didn’t you!”

“That’s beside the point.” Winked, grinned, and shrugged her shoulder in acceptance.

“All the guys I went out with pursued me. Travis didn’t pursue me. He was only trying to help me find Linda. We met by accident. I was very hostile to him at first, and that didn’t matter when I needed his help. He didn’t have to go looking for Linda, but he did. I found out he’s a real caring person,” she said softly.

“And he’s in the States, you’re here. You may never see him again.”

“I know.” She blinked a little, sadly. Lisa realized he was as real as anyone she had ever known, his hazel eyes radiated kindness.

Chapter 2 Board of Education Hearing

Lisa received a certified letter from the Board of Education. She was being notified to attend a disciplinary hearing. She was being charged with:

1) Dereliction of duty, Letting Linda become lost during the school trip.

2) Immoral conduct. Acting in a manner not consistent being a moral teacher. Holding a man’s hands, on official school business.

She was suspended, without pay starting immediately. She thought it was a joke at first. She called the district office and was told by the secretary. It was serious, to get a lawyer.

She found out the hearing would be on a Thursday during an executive session for personnel matters. She talked to Travis, told him about the date of her hearing. Travis asked if he could attend. She asked him not to come as that might make the board all the more likely to fire her. They ended their talk that night strained.

Thursday: Board Hearing

Lisa was very apprehensive thinking about the board hearing. Everyone had different opinions about what she should do. The evening of her hearing, she left her house with her parents, Sarah and Arthur St. Clair; nervous and anxious to get the hearing over with. She wore a black jacket and skirt, white silk blouse, black low heel pumps.

At the school, in the auditorium, she saw lots of people there. Her students and parents came out to support her, some school personnel to. Some cousins and their children also present. She greeted them as best she could, putting on a show of not being nervous in front of them.

As she sat waiting to go into the hearing room, she was looking at the floor. A pair of black polished shoes appeared in front of her, thinking it was another parent or teacher. She slowly raised her head.

"Hi, sorry. I couldn’t stay away."

"Travis, you came!" She jumped up, hugged him.

She introduced him to her dad and step-mother. Some of the students, teachers and parents came over to greet him. A stern face board member appeared at the door, asked her to come in. She looked around, fortified by the support she received. She held her head up as she walked into the hearing room, alone.

“Please have a seat.” His voice a statement of fact, as cold as Hudson Bay in winter. The board sat on a raised dais.

“Thank you, sir.” She sat behind an old rickety grey folding a table, on a cold aluminum unpadded folding chair.

“Before we begin, I’m certain you already know us, but let me introduce you to the Board. I’m Mr. Kenny, Chairman.” Mr. Kenny was an Executive Vice President for an International Bank.

“To my right is Mrs. Lacey, Board Member.” Mrs. Lacey had a lucrative private law practice. She lectured on moral issues for local TV and radio stations.

“To Mrs. Lacey’s right is Mr. Harrison, Board Member.” Mr. Harrison was a General Counsel for a wholesale insurance company. Mr. Harrison was running for parliament in the upcoming elections.

“On my left is Mr. Cook, the Board’s treasurer.” A Chief Financial Officer, for an Energy Company. His wife’s father was the CEO of that Energy Company.

“Mildred, the Board’s stenographer.” Mr. Harrison’s sister.

“Hello, I’m pleased to meet all of you.” She responded receptively.

“My board takes pride in our deliberations on any school matter. We take pride in our determination to being fair and impartial. I, and the whole board are role models for the district. We expect all the districts' employees to be role models as we are. Our reputation among other school districts is, well, not being presumptuous, but I am. The other school districts look at this board as something they strive to imitate.”

“Yes, they do.” Mrs. Lacey heartily agreed.

“Most assuredly Mr. Kenny.” Mr. Harrison concurred.

“I could go on all evening reiterating all the accolades we have received,” Mr. Kenny stated very pleased with himself.

“Agreed Mr. Kenny.” Mr. Harrison happily agreed.

“Only because of your leadership Mr. Kenny,” gushed Mrs. Lacey.

“We’re number one sir. Because of your leadership, sir.” Mr. Cook joined in the tributes.

“I know we should get on with the business at hand, so without further ado. Ahem . . . Let me see.” He looked at some documents. The rest of the members also started looking at their documents.

“The charges before you are. One, Dereliction of duty, letting one of your students, wander off by herself. You should have been watching out for her safety. Two, Immoral conduct. Fraternizing with a male, not officially on the trip, while on duty. Showing unethical practices by holding hands, hugging him in front of your students’ fellow teachers and parents.” Looked over his glasses, and wagged his finger at her.

“How do you plea?” Mr. Kenny’s loud authoritative voice was commanding. His manner showed he was used to dealing with all sorts of problems. His demeanor told everyone he was not to be trifled with.

"Innocent of all charges," she unflinchingly stated sitting tall.

“This school district takes pride in being known. We’re known for having a spotless safety record. We not only expect but demand of our faculty to be ever watchful of our students. To always put the well-being and care of our students before anything else. This board has learned that one of your students, this . . . Linda,” He had to look over a document for her name, “disappeared for well over two to three hours,” Mr. Kenny confidently stated his case.

“Mr. Kenny, can I explain, she ---.”

He banged a rosewood gravel on a sound block loudly. “Silence!” His pompous authoritative voice filled the room.

Lisa jumped, his forceful hushing, unnerved her for a moment.

“As I was saying before being rudely interrupted. This young student could have met with unknown dangers. This girl was alone with wild beasts who inhabit those forests.”

“Mr. Kenny, the Park Rangers said there was no ---.” She tried to bring real-life specifics to the meeting.

“Silence!” Mr. Kenny banged his gravel firmer, startled her again.

“Do not make me say this again. Silence! This freighted bewildered young student had disappeared. Her adult teacher was not observant. You did not notice her missing for quite a while. She could have been lying somewhere needing medical care. She could have been injured, bleeding to death. Her role model, her teacher was nowhere near her when she needed help the most. This adolescent girl just wandered away without her teacher noticing her missing for hours. The school trusted you to watch out for our youthful students. We demand the finest from our faculty. From what I’ve read, and been told, you do not meet those standards.”

“Who told you? Where did you learn?” She demanded, being assertive.

He banged his gravel. “Young lady must I remind you, to hold you're . . . be quiet! Who told us is confidential.”

“Exactly right sir. Confidential. None of her business at all.” Mr. Cook backed up his chairman.

“She lacks manners Mr. Kenny.” Mrs. Lacey, looked down her nose, raised her chin.

“She’ll learn manners during this meeting. I can guarantee her that.” Mr. Harrison informed her.

Lisa sat there in disbelief, not able to defend herself in any way.

He looked at her to be sure she was quiet. “As I was saying. This board hires and retains only the teachers who will uphold the rigorous standards of academic excellence demanded of our faculty, and especially our strict safety standards. From what we’ve learned so far, she lacks those standards. How was she hired to begin with is what I want to know?”

“From her personnel files, I see she was recommended by her guidance counselor for an apprenticeship program, in our education program for young students,” Mr. Cook looked at her file.

“Oh, God! Don’t tell me she came from our school system? She shouldn’t be in any school system.” Mrs. Lacey rolled her eyes, looked at her disdainfully.

“I’ll take care of it.” Mr. Kenny wrote something on his notepad.

She looked at them unbelievingly. The hearing hasn’t even started, and already their making sure no other school will hire me if I’m fired. It’s so unfair.

“That’s what it looks like. She went to Fanshawe for Education, Early-Childhood Education, which included the one-year course for developmentally disabled students. The school hired her right out of Fanshawe two years ago. She was certified by the Ontario College of Teachers,” stated Mr. Cook as he read from her files.

“I certainly was,” she proudly stated the obvious. She wished she had brought a water bottle in with her. The room was beginning to get warm. Her craving for water was profound, the members each had a glass of cold water they occasionally sipped.

Banging his gravel. “Enough with your, impudent manners. You’ve been warned enough.”

“You’re being more than fair Mr. Kenny.” Mrs. Lacey, looked at Lisa disapprovingly.

“I agree Mr. Kenny. She’s had her warnings,” Mr. Harrison remarked.

“Mrs. Lacey, will you please continue this fair hearing?”

“Thank you, Mr. Kenny. As our esteemed chairmen, has just mentioned. What our, no excuse me, what this teacher had done was inexcusable. Letting that young girl go out of your,” looked directly at her, “sight and become lost. Requesting the park officials, local police to help find her. She should not have been missing at all. Not only scaring the rest of your students but the girl herself, Londa ---.” Mrs. Lacey’s affluent cultured voice was very noticeable. She was usually in the Society pages of newspapers.

“Her name is Linda, Mrs. Lacey. Not Londa.” Lisa liked pointing out her mistake cattily.

Mr. Kenny banged his gravel, on the sound block. “Silence! Do not interrupt Mrs. Lacey. I thought I made that clear to you. Please continue Mrs. Lacey.”

“Thank you, Mr. Kenny. As I was saying. Our student should never have been missing for one minute. Let alone for hours. Where were you? We expect our teachers to be observant always. Thinking of your students’ whereabouts at all times. As Mr. Kenny so imminently stated. She disappeared when you were responsible. What were you doing when she just vanished?” Her eyes narrowed.

“The whole group was at lunch. At the picnic area. She went to the bathroom and ---.” She again tried to bring fundamental facts into the meeting.

“Immaterial. That is not a satisfactory answer. We expect our teachers to know all the time where their students are. Going to the bathroom is one of the times,” Mrs. Lacey, sarcastically stated.

“This school district has been at the forefront in Youth Protection Training. Two deep leadership. I had six adults on the trip with me. None of us saw her walk away. I cannot be with a young student all the time. I had twenty students with me on that trip. If they go to the bathroom as she did, I cannot be with every single student if they go. All teachers had to take this course. Board members too!” She forcefully stuck up for herself and what she felt needed to be said.

“Excuse me, but you are overlooking the fact that this girl was missing for hours. You’re responsible." Mr. Harrison came to Mrs. Lacey’s defense.

“I agree Mr. Harrison. Mr. Kenny and Mrs. Lacey were very clear on this matter. This teacher from what I can see has been derelict in her duties protecting her students,” stated Mr. Cook, the others nodded their heads in agreement.

“Very true Mr. Cook. Very true. Not only that but having an unauthorized male around her students,” Mr. Kenny stated.

“Good you brought that up, Mr. Kenny. I wanted to broach on this matter myself,” Mrs. Lacey gleefully said.

“Please carry on,” Mr. Kenny smugly exclaimed.

“How could you let an unknown male interact with your students? Not part of the official party. He could have been a child molester, a sex fiend, a pervert. From what we heard you had this unknown male join your group. Sit with yourself and students. Invite him to go with your students on an outing. And dare I say it . . . Let him hold your hand in front of the students and other adults there. Furthermore, hug him in front of everyone. I understand you had recently gotten engaged. What must your fiancé have thought? My god, what were you thinking? I feel ashamed thinking about it,” Mrs. Lacey professed, incensed.

“I have seen all of you hold people’s hands and hugged others at school events. Some I know were not parents or faculty. Even so, people from the township and others I don’t know where they came from, all of you have done that. That was appropriate! Holding his hand or giving him a hug was not? When I did that in the open! After he helped find Linda! My ex-fiancé was seeing another woman. I ---.” She was getting frustrated with the meeting so one sided.

“That’s not a satisfactory answer. Immaterial! In fact, that’s not an answer at all.” Mr. Kenny clearly annoyed at her interruptions.

“I agree Mr. Kenny. None of us would ever think of doing anything of the sort. That was very inappropriate, immoral.” Mrs. Lacey enjoyed hearing herself lecture this insubordinate teacher. “We have very high moral standards. No one sitting up here or in our district would ever be allowed to do what you’ve done. And get away with it.” Mr. Harrison annoyed that Lisa did everything board members had done, wagged a finger back and forth.

“Your actions speak for itself. You were not acting like a teacher we’d want in our school district.” Mr. Cook clearly wanted her to know what she had done was improper.

“He’s an honorable man. You can ask any of the adults on the trip. Can I call them? I saw a few out in ---.”

“Irrelevant! No, you may not.” Mr. Kenny clearly annoyed.

“They all knew he was not a pervert or anything you’ve just referred to. Travis helped me find her.” She attempted to defend him, even if it made them angrier at her.

“Immaterial to these proceedings as Mr. Kenny stated.” Mr. Harrison got nods from the other members.

“Without Travis’s help it would have taken longer to find Linda. The police and Park Rangers couldn’t find her, and they know that area. The other teachers and parents asked and wanted him to join us, not I, because of his assistance finding Linda. They knew he’d watch out for our students’ safety. Which he did. Travis is an experience Emergency Medical Technician like our Emergency Medical Responders and would have helped Linda if she needed medical assistance.” She held her head high, woe betide the board if they had tried to stop her. Saw Mr. Kenny hold up his hand.

“None of that has any bearing on these proceedings. Please carry on Mr. Harrison.”

“Thank you, Mr. Kenny, as I was saying --.”

Lisa eventually realized the inevitable. By their words and demeanor, the board was stacked against her. She noticed when she was trying to explain something, for her defense, the Board’s stenographer stopped taking notes. Thus, any ‘Official’ transcript would not show anything in her favor. She noticed the time, she had been in the hearing already over an hour. She refused to lower her head, sitting up even straighter, even though the chair was very uncomfortable. She looked directly at the Board members individually, projecting her fierce resolve she was innocent. Inside she was extremely frustrated, knowing she was about to be unfairly fired. Each Board member was giving her their opinion, when she faintly heard the door open in back of her.

"Who are you? You’re not allowed in here! This is an executive school board meeting dealing with personnel matters." Mr. Kenny said in his deafening authoritative voice, banged his gravel furiously.

Lisa turned around and saw Travis hurry into the room, she was speechless, not expecting him or anyone to enter the room.

In a strong voice, "I’m Travis McLaughlin. I’m the man who met your students on their trip to Sault Saint Marie, and I have some things to say to your board." He placed his briefcase on her table, continued past her without stopping. Travis stepped quickly to the dais with documents.

“Go call the police." Mr. Kenny, strongly ordered the boards’ stenographer.

She got up, started walking toward the rear office.

"That’s okay if you want to call the police, then I could hand this over to them as evidence if they want to use it." Saw his name plate, walked to Mr. Kenny, placed a matchbook before him.

“Yes, call them. He should be arrested,” Mr. Harrison heatedly stated, rising, clenched his fists, an angry look on his face.

“He has no business in here. How dare he!” Mrs. Lacey furiously declared, stared angrily at him.

“You sir, are insolent. Leave immediately or be arrested.” Mr. Cook fervently challenged the interloper.

“The nerve of this person, how did he get in?” Mrs. Lacey complained, looked around.

“He has no right being in here,” Mr. Harrison said, scowled at the interloper.

“Have some respect for your board members.” Mrs. Lacey’s eyes narrowed stared at him.

Travis looked at the name plates and went to Mr. Harrison. In front of Mr. Harrison placed a single document. Next to Mrs. Lacey, laid in front of her another document. They looked over the documents, then at each other. Mr. Kenny silently picked up the matchbook cover and deposited it in his coat pocket.

"Mildred, wait! Don’t call the police, stop taking notes." Mr. Kenny commanded the board stenographer, just as she got to the door. She complied.

“Why, not call them. This person has no business ---.” She started understanding what the document was, in front of her.

“Call them. He is not ---.” Mr. Harrison stopped when he read the document.

“You should call the police. He cannot barge in here and interrupt this hearing,” Mr. Cook stated arrogantly.

Travis stood in front of them, looking at each one with a steely gaze. "You have a teacher who has done nothing wrong. For over an hour, I’m sure you’ve been criticizing Lisa. Yes, we held each other’s hands as if that’s a crime. I helped Lisa, find Linda after she wandered off. Linda wandered,” held up his hand when he saw Mr. Kenny start to say something, stared coldly in his eyes, “off because she had just received a call from her boyfriend. Telling Linda, if she did not put out to give him sex, he had found another girl who would, and did.”

Seeing Travis affront Mr. Kenny gave Lisa a welcome uplift to her collapsed morale.

Mr. Kenny, gave him a once-over, looked agitated.

"That’s immaterial to these proceedings," Mr. Cook replied heatedly.

"You’re Mr. Cook, the board’s treasurer, correct?" He looked at his name plate goes to the briefcase.

"Yes, what are you here for, other than to make wild remarks?" Mr. Cook shouted it conceitedly.

"Mr. Cook, aren’t you a CPA, and treasurer for the Board of Education?”

"Yes, and I see no point ---. " He looked through the documents, Travis just put in front of him.

"Mr. Cook, I think you recognize that and your signature, of you authorizing the allotment of money for members of the board for trips on school business? And other things?"

Mr. Cooks face changed to a flushed color.

Mr. Kenny silently motioned Mildred, the stenographer, to leave the room.

"Travis, I don’t understand this? What are you doing?" Lisa asked.

"I’m sorry, for barging in on your hearing, but I couldn’t stay quiet. What I showed Mr. Kenny, is a match book cover from a gay bar in Toronto."

"Silence, this has no bearing on her hearing." Mr. Kenny subdued, clearly annoyed, quickly stood.

He cut him off. "It has everything to do with this hearing, as all of you will soon find out. Mr. Kenny, I have heard has been frequently, going to this particular gay bar and others for years." Travis loudly stated looked him in the eye, moved toward him unflinchingly.

"This is an outrage. These unfounded slanderous accusations are contemptuous to me, my reputation, and my professional career. How dear you for bring this up!" Mr. Kenny, shook a closed fist at him, his voice authoritative, did not recognize the danger.

"Okay if you want proof, I can do that with the help of an unimpeachable third party if that is what you want?"

"What are you talking about?" Mr. Kenny taken aback, asked loudly.

"Out in the auditorium, there is a newspaperman, named Dana Andrews, Editor for the Toronto Sun. I believe his granddaughter attends your school here. I can show him everything I just gave to you and your colleagues, if that is what you want.” Travis walked toward the door. “Plus, some other information, I have. The documents I’m showing you are copies, the originals are somewhere safe. He can verify or deny what I just showed you. Of course, he may want to publish what he finds out in his paper. Want me to call him in?" Stood in front of the door, hand on the knob.

She turned enthused, looked at him by the door. What became of the quiet man I knew. What got into him?

Mr. Kenny, quietly talked with the others behind the dais.

“Howard, do you see what he just gave me?” Mr. Harrison stated, gripping a copy of his credit card bill nervously.

“And I. Where did he get those hotel records?” Mrs. Lacey fearfully looked at the board members.

“I don’t know. Damn him to hell.” Mr. Kenny looked at them worriedly.

“He keeps going into that briefcase. What else could he have in there?” Mr. Harrison sounded nervous, looked at the man by the door and shivered.

“Howard is what he said about you ---.” Mrs. Lacey stopped when she saw Mr. Kenny’s penetrating eyes look at her, frightened her.

“We have to stick together. All of us, do you understand?” Mr. Kenny replied, his eyes flickered in distress.

“I don’t like this,” Mr. Cook said softly, his eyes darted from one to the others.

“I don’t either. They clearly show everything on the invoice,” Mr. Harrison reiterated, his hand rubbed his forehead.

“Bastard, how could he get all this. Where did he come from?” Mr. Kenny asked himself, and the others.

“I don’t know but if this gets out. He’s a problem for all of us.”

“Both of them are. He came here because of her.”

“We can’t let him call that newspaperman in. How could he know all this? Where did he get all this stuff? Is he someone local?”

“I think this guy comes from the States. At least, that’s what the information says.” Mrs. Lacey squeezed her eyes shut.

“If that’s true, what can we do to him?” Mr. Cook demanded of his fellow board members. They turned and looked at him.

“Travis, what has this ---.” She looked at him questioningly feeling rejuvenated.

He walked away from the door, back to the briefcase for more documents. The board members returned to their seats.

“Mr. Kenny has been going to that bar for a number of year’s incognito. He has also traveled to Thailand for possible sex with young underage boys.” Travis placed more documents in front of Mr. Kenny to look at.

“Those documents are a voucher for a trip to Thailand, where there was supposedly an education convention. However, if you did any research, there was no education convention there when Mr. Kenny was there. That second document shows a ‘In room Entertainment charges’ bill for guest servers. Now what kind of ‘Entertainment charges’ is there that takes thirty-six hours? It’s on the bill.” Travis emphasized, and pointed with his finger, to the appropriate line, to the board.

“It says there were three different ‘Guest servers'. Don’t you just wonder what a ‘Guest server’ is? Thailand is known for trafficking in underage boys for connected and well healed gentlemen of influence and persuasion. I have a few more documents stating the same thing on various dates when Mr. Kenny was in Thailand.”

Travis got another document from the briefcase. “Mr. Kenny is married to a beautiful young woman. Much younger than him ---."

"None of that matters, the age of people who get married. You should be arrested and jailed." Mrs. Lacey, scowled fuming.

“Don’t let him get to you.” Mr. Harrison patted her arm, tried to calm her down.

“Ignore him Mrs. Lacey. It’s better for all of us if you stay calm,” Mr. Kenny’s voice quaked, gritted his teeth.

"Mrs. Lacey, would you like to tell us what that piece of paper is, I just showed you?" He said with a curt nod.

"You’re going to burn in hell for this." Mrs. Lacey clipped and ferocious, mangled a pen, absolutely livid now.

"What I showed Mrs. Lacey is a copy of her school board bill for expenses while on board business. When Mrs. Lacey was at the Queensway Motel and used her board credit card. Mmm I should say when she or Mr. Harrison used their cards to stay at the Queensway. You see both have stayed there, at the same time, in the same room. Over the years' staying at the motel, a number of hours. One or the other would take turns using their Board of Education credit cards. Both board members are married and have several children between them. Besides both being upstanding members of the community. Active with ---.” Travis stood in front of their table, looked at each of them.

“God, damn you to hell,” Mrs. Lacey shouted at him, her eyes blazing, balled up her bill and threw it at him.

He ignored it as it bounced off his shoulder.

“Or yes, I forget to mention Mr. Cook. Mr. Cook authorized the disbursements for Mr. Kenny’s trips. Yes, he went to a number of Education Conventions over the years to Thailand. Signed off for them too. When Mr. Cook discovered Mrs. Lacey and Mr. Harrison used Board of Education credit cards for their rendezvous. He told them to include him, or he’d spill the beans on them meeting for sex using Board of Education money. So, Mr. Cook joins them at the Queensway and other motels around here and Toronto for three-way sex. Of course, we don’t know for sure who inside those rooms were doing what to whom."

“This is preposterous! Leave this meeting immediately!” shouted Mr. Cook trembled noticeably, red in the face.

“Hearsay, complete rubbish! Get rid of this person, and that bitch.” Mrs. Lacey heatedly said, her eyes enraged.

“I’ll sue you for slander. Stop him.” Mr. Harrison stood nervously, his fists clenched, looked at Mr. Kenny.

For the first time since getting that notice, Lisa realized she was not as nervous.

Travis got other documents from the briefcase. “Besides those times with Mrs. Lacey and Mr. Harrison, these documents show Mr. Cook staying at other motels with a second person. It was neither Mrs. Lacey nor Mr. Harrison. Plus, other trips over the years with a second person. Mr. Cook authorizes the disbursement of his own vouchers.” He placed those documents in front of Mr. Cook.

Mr. Cook looked at them, placed them in his briefcase.

“What are you talking about? Who was he with? George what is he talking about?” An annoyed Mrs. Lacey inquired.

Mr. Harrison sank down on his chair.

Mr. George Cook does not answer but when no one was looking, sneaked a peak at Mildred’s empty seat.

“These documents show disbursements for airline tickets for two. They went to Saint Maarten and another time, Aruba. Plus, items brought at a beach boutique, Speedos and thong bikinis. For educational seminars, of course.” He placed those documents in front of the board. The Board doesn’t say a word.

Travis continued. "This document I’m giving Mr. Cook, shows his signature authorizing a medical procedure, for a Miss. Roberta Kruse. This person had the procedure, and convalescence, after she had the procedure, shortly afterwards Roberta married a Mr. Howard Kenny."

"What does this Roberta Kenny have to do with . . . oh." Lisa started to say, a light bulb went off. She finally realized who that woman was with Jack.

He looked at her, nodded. "Yes, I think you got it right."

“What are you two referring to, with my wife?" Mr. Kenny inquired heatedly, quickly stood up.

"Lisa broke up with her fiancée, because he was cheating on her with a woman, named Roberta."

"That’s a lie. My wife is a good moral person. She has never cheated on me. How dare you accuse my wife of doing something immoral with this women’s fiancé," Mr. Kenny stated strongly, with a steely eye gaze, threw his arms, and papers around.

“I can prove that she has been out to a bar with my ex-fiancé while I was away on the trip. I have ---.” She tried to say, excitedly looked for her cell phone in her pocketbook.

"How dare you say that, we were both home alone while you were on the trip with your students, every night." Mr. Kenny interrupted her, his eyes blazed with fury.

"I think you can clearly see my ex-fiancé, Jack, with a woman, who is Mr. Kenny’s wife Roberta, in a bar.” She continued, disregarded the interruption, quickly went to the dais.

“Look at the bottom and you’ll see a time and date. They were taking the days, we were on the trip." Lisa, showed the cell phone pictures to each board member. She held onto it tightly. The members noticed Travis, right behind her watching the board very carefully.

Mr. Kenny after looking at the pictures sat back down dejected, not saying anything.

The board members, talked in low voices to themselves.

“My god, if this ever gets out, I’m ruined,” Mr. Harrison flatly said to himself, was fighting back tears.

“My contract, my business would be finished. I wouldn’t be in the Society pages.” Mrs. Lacey looked faintish, squeezed her eyes shut.

“I’d be out of a job, out of my house. No income. Oh, my God!” Mr. Cook sighed looked at the floor, felt shocked.

“All of us would be ruined if he ever lets this . . . Let’s talk.” Mr. Kenny got the other board members and talked quietly among themselves about their futures.

Lisa turned to Travis with a look of bewilderment. She would never have thought seeing him now, the same quiet shy man she knew before, could be so determined to defend her against a pack of savage hyenas, now a raging tiger.

"How do you know so much?"

He took her further back.

"While I was waiting outside, some parents and school personnel started talking about what they knew or had obtained somehow. Alone no one wanted to present their evidence.” He looked at the board to be certain they couldn’t hear, “However, together, they became braver. Even so, no one wanted to come in here, because they work within the school system. They still had children in the school system or will be in it for a number of years to come. I said I’d tell the board if they’d give me what they had. What could they do to me, I live in another country? Some people had to go back home to get what they had. When I got what, I thought was enough, I came in. It is those people outside who cared so much about you that have helped you in here."

"Can we have a word with you in private?" Motioned feebly to Travis from a subdued Mr. Kenny.

“Okay. Let’s see what they want.” He walked directly to where the board members were.

Travis went to the side and talked to Mr. Kenny and the other board members.

She could only hear low murmuring. Lisa saw Travis gestured heatedly. The board members nodded their heads, looked despondent.

After they talked, Travis walked back to her table.

“What’s going on?” Never saw his face so intense. His eyes were cold until he looked at her.

“It’s okay.” Travis picked up the briefcase and left the room.

When he went outside, he was bombarded with questions. Travis told them what was said basically. Then they waited. Waiting, Travis spoke with her parents. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the meeting room door opened.

Lisa stepped out, she looked dazed.

“How did it go?” A voice among the crowd asked.

She looked at them, a smile came upon her lips.

"I was cleared of all charges, and reinstated. With full back pay, I start the new school year, next week with my students. And, I got a raise!" Lisa erupted with a big beautiful smile, jumping for joy as she finished.

The auditorium, erupted with loud cheers and clapping, everyone overjoyed, not expecting it. She was overwhelmed with hugs from her supporters. Her Dad went over and shook hands, thanking Travis. They made small talk, as they watched Lisa talking, thanking, laughing, hugging people. Travis saw a guy go to her. When she saw him, her face broke out into a bigger smile, as she gave him a hug. They talked animatedly for a few minutes, as her relatives surrounded them. Seeing her so happy with him, Travis thought he was her new friend. Some people talked to him. He slowly moved toward the exit doors very sad.

Going outside, it’s almost dark, Travis looked around, to see if he could find a taxi to take him back to the airport. He started walking slowly toward the street, felt a hand squeeze his arm.

"Where are, you going mister?" her voice unhappy, eyes looked concerned.

"Lisa . . . " He turned saw her, not sure what to say, could not meet her steady gaze.

"What are you doing out here? Why, didn’t you stay inside to talk with me?" She stood in front of him, touching his arm, looked at his downcast lightless eyes.

"I saw you with that guy and I ---. "

“Oh! You must have seen me with Paul." A shy smile started to appear.

"Umm yes I guess so." He looked at the ground.

Her hand touched his cheek, picked his head up, in her warmest voice said, "I’ve known Paul all my life . . . I love him with all my heart . . . He’s my cousin." She smiled broadly with bright, friendly eyes.

"Your cousin . . . I didn’t know." Travis smiled, brightened considerably every second.

She hugged him, gave him a peck on his cheek, groups of people walking past, beckoned to her, to say bye see you next week. Her parents and relatives come up, to greet him, breaking up their locked eyes on each other.

“I see you found him.” Paul said, noticed she was a lot more relaxed than a few seconds, ago.

“Yes, I did. Paul, this is my friend Travis, Travis my cousin Paul.” She gave Travis’s shoulder a squeeze, smiled broadly. An electric thrill went through her.

Travis felt the warmth of her hand.

“Very nice meeting you Paul.” He offered his hand.

“Good meeting you too Travis. I came in late, but it looks like everything turned out for the best.”

“It has. Thanks to Travis. I feel so relieved.” Her smile radiant, looked at Travis, her eyes sparkled.

“Aren’t you going to introduce us, Lisa?”

Unable to suppress a big smile, interlaced her hand with his.

“Sunshyne, may I introduce Travis, the guy I told you about that helped ---.” It pleased her no end, her family finally met him, after he just saved her job and life’s passion, teaching.

She quickly held out her hand, chuckled good-humored. “Lisa has told us all about you, haven’t you, Lisa?”

A man next to her, offered his hand. “I’m John, Sunshyne’s husband. Thanks for coming to help her.”

A couple next to him. “We’re Kathy and Mark. We heard what the people in there were saying. None of us could believe you offered to go in when so many would not.”

“I’m Mark. Kathy is correct. We never thought anyone would dare stand up to that board.” Some teens stood to the rear looked on, whispered to themselves.

“I’m Beth, Blair and I have kids going here. We never thought anyone would be able to help her. Thank you.” She gave him a hug.

Her dad, stood next to Travis, “What they are saying is true. None of us thought Lisa would receive a fair hearing.”

She looked at her family, less than a year before, she was a different person. She endured a heartbreak of a failed love, the meeting of a new friend, who unasked came to her rescue.

Not hearing about some of the information she was now just hearing. “You all must tell me about what was going on while I was inside. I don’t believe I heard everything.”

Breathed deeply, of a new beginning.

“Your cousins will tell you soon enough. You look so much better now too. I’m glad you kept your job.”

“Dad so am I. Oh, god I have never . . . I believe there was an old Greek saying, ‘Life is short, art long, the crisis fleeting.’' Her prior uneasiness had disappeared

He winked. “My daughter the scholar.”

“It’s over now. You can relax and go home.”

“That’s right Sarah. Speaking of home. Travis. What about you, where are you staying?" Her dad asked, knowing its late.

“I don’t have a hotel room yet. I have too ---.”

“Why, don’t you stay overnight with us? We have a spare bedroom in our house,” Sarah suggested, her cousins looked at each other, grinned.

“I don’t want to intrude . . .” They see her nod her head to say yes. “Thank you. I’d like that.”

“Got any luggage?”

They saw a warm look in her eyes looking at him.

“No sir, I didn’t bring anything with me.”

“Okay, don’t matter. So, everyone ready to leave?”

“I'd better get back to get to my job. Travis good meeting you.”

“Good meeting you too Paul.”

“Wait a minute. I want to celebrate, how about going to your restaurant?”

Sunshyne immediately said, “Excellent idea. Paul, can’t we use your party room. It isn’t being used tonight, is it?’

“No, it’s not. All of you are invited as I’m sure Lisa, wants everyone here to celebrate with her.”

“Thanks Paul. Everyone let's party!”

She held Travis’s arm as they walked to her dad’s car, as the others went to their cars.

Across the dark parking lot hidden from view in a car, a pair of sinister seething eyes watched them, made a call.

“Hello, my friend, you ready to party? I’ve got some ---.”

“No, I’m not.”

“You sound upset. What’s wrong? Your meeting tonight didn’t go well?”

“Not well at all. The bitch miraculously got off with ---.”

“Your joking. I thought you were going to fire her for her misconduct on that trip?”

“So, did I. A riffraff from the states, who she met during the trip came here, and ---.”

“The states?”

“Yes, somewhere from the states came up for her meeting. He ---.”

“How could he do that with everything you told me, you had on her?”

“He brought up . . . I . . . we cannot talk about it on the phone.”

“About our?”

“Yes.” They both hung up rapidly.

At the restaurant, they dined on fried shrimp, pizza, burgers, salads. Her mostly female cousins bombarded Travis with questions about the meeting and his life in the states.

She knew what they’re doing and let them question him as much as they wanted.

The female cousins watched Travis surreptitiously, to see if he looked at the women in the restaurant. The cousins’ all noticed Jack always looking at themselves, other women, and their daughters inappropriately. They see Travis not looking at any women like Jack did, and was treating their daughters as a big brother with a gentlemanly demeanor, as they talked, played arcade games. Jack would brag to their sons how great he was. They observed Travis just being nice and well-mannered to them as he was to their daughters, with no bragging. She loved the revelry, her family being together.

“Lisa! Did you hear Travis telling Paul he doesn’t drink?”

“Yes, he told me that. It’s up to him.” She watched him talk with her dad comfortably. Travis had a strong character, and resolute of thought from what she saw.

“And you drink like a fish from your college days.”

She ordered a soda tonight. “Sunshyne, I’ll still drink in moderation of course. And Travis, well let’s see what time brings.”

During the night, they noticed Paul and Travis discussed something, unable to hear, and Paul gave them a thumb up sign.

“Watch this.” Sunshyne saw someone. She went to the pretty blonde, talked to her. She showed some cleavage, the slit in her dress showed off a well-developed leg.

The blonde sauntered to the arcade games with a flirtatious smile, stood next to Travis, placed the side of her breasts directly on his arm.

Travis looked at her quickly. “Excuse me.” And moved away.

The blonde moved away, looked at Sunshyne, shook her head no.

Sunshyne looked puzzled. “I know her from my salon. She agreed to try and get him to ---.”

“Didn’t work, did it?” She said smugly, knew it was not part of his creed.

“No, it didn’t. Lisa, when he’s in your home tonight, are you going to check his equipment? You should before anything gets serious.” Her cousins bunched up waited to hear her reply.

Fainting shock. “Sunshyne . . . of course not.” Fluttering her eyelids. Winked.

She looked at Travis with her nieces and nephews. He has a good job he likes, volunteers helping people, listens to my troubles. He does not play head games, he’s much too quiet, for the most part, and very perceptive. I’d be fired, possibly not able to find another teaching position, without his help.

She had a deep peaceful feeling for him. Conflicted with so many feelings and thoughts.

She walked over, and hip-bumped him with a shy smile. Stood next to him swaying to imaginary music, her shoulder touching his as they chatted with her nieces and nephews.

She looked at the table, saw all her cousins look at them grinning.

Looked at Travis, saw him looking back. “That’s okay, my family would be drooling by now too.”

“Your gonna die sir.”

A grin began to appear. “Yes Ma-am.”

She smacked his butt to a happy squeal of “Ooooo.” from her cousins.

Lisa looked around at her family, seeing everyone enjoying themselves.

She turned away from his eyes. He touched her chin bringing her eyes to look at him.

“I’m sorry, it’s just…” her eyes mist over.

“Your fine now, your safe and that’s behind you. Your family is here looking out for you.”

“I know they are. You too.”

She breathed deeply feeling a relief from the anxieties she had felt for weeks.

He brought her hand up, and kissed the top of her hand looked into her eyes.

Making a face. “Dishpan hands.”

“What! Now I know your gonna die.” Laughs mightily, finally letting go of what tension was still left over.

They put their arms around each other. She sighed with pleasure putting her head on his shoulder, looked at him tenderly. He kissed the top of her head.

Her house was the third house on the street, a three bedroom, one bathroom, detached home, attached two-car garage. Her father brought the home new, twelve years before. Comfortable house, contemporary paintings on the walls, modern kitchen. Sara proudly showed him the vintage and antique figurines, she had collected from all over the world.

They talked with her parents for a while, then she took Travis to her backyard to talk privately under a moonless sky. A birdfeeder hung from a poll at the end of her deck. Beyond her property, past a walking/running trail was a silent creek.

Lisa very happy held his hand, skipped through her yard toward the creek, fireflies darted all around where nighttime insects trilled.

“Look, that’s the Milky Way. Over there to the south is Venus, glowing brightly. You can see lots of stars up here. You usually can’t see this in Brooklyn.” Travis was amazed at the clarity, pointing out the stars on a crystal-clear night. They sat on a park bench.

“That’s normal here. It is beautiful.”

Looked at her. “It is beautiful.”

They sit quietly for a while, looked at the heavens.

“My father told me he talked to you, you told him you had donated your deceased wife’s clothes and things to charity.”

“It’s true, or I threw out. I finally had to let her possessions go.”

She reached out to hold his hand as they looked at the creek, and each other.

"Was Mr. Andrews ready to take your evidence and find out if it was true?”

"Mmm, no, actually Mr. Andrews was never there. I found his name in The Sun and used it hoping to buy me some time to show what I had to the board. Scare them into giving you a fair hearing."

"Then you told them a lie?" She gave him a surprised look, her eyes softened.


“How could they know about Mr. Cook and the other two? If they only used two of their cards?”

“Someone just in talking, mention at one time, Mrs. Lacey and Mr. Harrison didn’t get along with Mr. Cook. Talking with them, we put two and two together, thought they might have done something with each other to change their relationship. So, I was guessing they were together in those hotel rooms.”

“I think you were right. And the second person on Mr. Cook’s other stays?”

“Don’t know who she was. They only saw his receipts, so they didn’t know who the woman was with him.” They listened to an owl deliver a series of hoots, as they looked at the slowly moving peaceful creek.

A couple strolled down the path, deep in conversation. They nod to each other as they passed by.

“What about Roberta, and her procedure?”

“Roberta from what I learned was a low-paid b-grade actress, wanting a sugar-daddy. They think Kenny married her for the status of a successful older married man with a very good-looking trophy wife. To deflect any of his other pastimes.”

“My god I never knew.”

“The procedure was for her treatment of STD’s She ---.”

“Oh, my God!”

“There was a document showing she was in some sex videos with ---.”

Shivering, held her hand up. “Please I rather not know. What about Mr. Kenny in Thailand, did he?”

“Not sure. He might of. One of your clerks said they had to contact him for something. When he called back he must have used that hotel’s phone. She was curious, wanted to know what grade hotel he was at. She did some checking and found out that hotel supposedly served guests with young boys. She was there tonight and when everyone started saying what they knew. She told what she knew. Remembered his many vouchers, said she didn’t know of any educational meetings when he was there. They made copies, and I went in with that. Even so, the way he acted when I brought that up ---.”

“I know. I saw his face. He was a lion before in the meeting. Once you started to show them what you had.” Remembered how in command and forceful Mr. Kenny was, never backing down, until Travis confronted him.

“I wish I could have come in earlier. You must of went through hell with them.”

“It wasn’t easy, they . . . I never expected them to be so unfair. They all have a superiority complex. Everything I said was --.” Lisa told him what happened during her time alone with the board.

"Dad says you were going to go back to New York tomorrow morning. Can’t you stay around for a few days?" She touched his cheek in a warm affectionate gesture.

"I did have reservations for a flight out of Toronto tomorrow. I’d like to stay, but you’re going to be busy, getting ready to start school next week. I’d be interfering with you to get ready."

"Yes, I will be busy getting the materials, I need to start school, but you can come with me shopping. You could help me to, by carrying the things I’ll be getting. You wouldn’t be interfering with me, but helping me get ready for school. Besides we have a lot of talking to do, you and I." She shifted her hips to touch his, looked into his eyes with a coy expression.

"Okay, if I’m not interfering with you, I’d love to stay. We should talk." Travis ached with a sexual attraction for her.

"Sarah said you can use the spare guest room, on the first floor. I’m in my room on the second floor. I think they did that so we don’t try to do anything funny." Her eyes looked at his, as she parted her lips with her tongue. Her deep breaths caused her bosom to swell noticeably.

"Something funny? We haven’t even kissed yet.” He looked at her passionately, heart racing. She smiled her tantalizing smile. She hooked her hands behind his head, cradling the back of his head. Her lips parted and the tip of her tongue flicked out, her lips lightly brushed his lips, with a quickened heartbeat.

Travis’s heart beat was bursting out of his chest, started kissing passionately, hesitated.

Lisa pulled him to her, placed her wandering hand on his inner thigh. She kissed passionately, enthusiastically. Letting a soft moan escape her lips as he ran his hands over her back and through her soft hair.

She laid her hand on his chest, rubbed his nipple, hoped he’d couldn’t resist the temptation.

He shifted on the bench as she sat on his twitching lap, his hand softly traced the side of her covered breast. He kissed her jaw, neck, ear lobe, quickly to the swell of her breasts.

Her hand on his chest she felt his heart racing wildly, and his heavy breathing, which matched her own emotions, as a melody of nature sounds surrounded them, crickets chirping, the mating call of frogs.

Another couple sauntered past them, just as she felt his fingers fiddling with her buttons. He looked nervously at the couple and both ways on the path, dropping his hand to embrace her. She looked disappointed, wished they had the night to themselves.

They eventually go back inside the house, stayed up with her parents for hours, talking, getting to know each other. After her parents went to bed, they sat on her couch, hugged, kissed uncontrollably, with mind-blowing passion.

She put her head on his shoulder, and they slowly fell asleep on the couch, where her parents found them asleep next morning, fully clothed.


Lisa looked at him side eye, as they walked toward her car. “If you ask me for a date for lunch or supper, I’ll check my busy schedule to see if I can go.”

Travis stopped short, stood next to her, bowed. “If me lady would honor me with a date for lunch or supper. I’ll find the most scrumptious dining establishment that you select, and I can afford.”

“Let me think about that . . . Okay. I accept your request for a date. Of course, it will max out your credit card. But I’ll be happy.” Her eyes caressed his eyes.

Saw a sparkle in his. “That’s what I thought.”

He opened the driver’s side door for her, as she got in.

“I’ll remember it too, for later.” She naughtily winked as she unbuttoned a button on her shirt.

“That’s what I was hoping.” He felt his blood pressure skyrocket noticeably.

“Fresh!” She felt a tingle course through her body.

“Yes, ma’am.” He closed the door, ran around to the passenger side.

After a quite scrumptious lunch, they go off shopping for her supplies. She knew where she had to go to obtain what she needed, in various stores.

Travis followed her around, holding what she obtained. By late afternoon, they’ve been to a few stores.

Lisa brought him to the Yorkdale Shopping Center, Toronto. They grabbed a bite to eat at Moxie's Classic Grill, which put her into a very good mood. It’s after six by then, and as they walked, she saw a lingerie shop, Desiree.

Outside the shop, a sign announced a lingerie show at 6:30, with lingerie from other dealers included.

"Would you like to go in and see what some women wear to bed?" She said with a wicked grin, sparkling eyes.

"Mm I have never been to a lingerie show before, you sure a male is welcome to see the lingerie?"

"I’m sure they will not throw you out, you can say you’re looking to buy something for your ‘Friend’ if you like?"

"Okay, as long as you’re okay if I look at the lingerie."

"Not only will you be seeing the lingerie but the models that wear them."

"You mean women will be in the lingerie?"

She realized Travis wasn’t a very man-about-town, as she thought.

"Yes sir, live women model the lingerie for you to look at. Just think what I’d look like in one of the pieces, for your pleasure."

"In that case, I’ll be happy to see what you might wear one day, for me." A charming smile.

Lisa, giggled, held his hand, they walked into the store.

They’re greeted by a lady, who asked if they’re interested in attending the lingerie show.

She gave them a brochure with a list of articles, to be shown along with the prices. They found seats in the rear.

The manager, goes to a podium and welcomed all for attending. She gave a brief speech on why women buy the lingerie, the history, and what they would see.

She, rubbed his foot with her foot, coyly.

He winks at her. She winks back. The show started with lingerie from Desiree.

Travis was amazed when he saw the first model, she was wearing a Chiffon Plaid Baby doll.

Travis could see a lot. He looked at her, who watched his reaction on seeing a live model modeled lingerie.

Then another model came out wearing even less. Travis can see almost everything. A Sheer Mesh Baby doll.

Travis was beginning to like the lingerie show, other men and women looked and enjoyed the show too. Other models showed other Lingerie, as the show progressed.

After they had shown the lingerie from Desiree, they started showing lingerie from other lingerie dealers. They watched even more almost bare models displaying even skimpier lingerie.

Lisa said, “Be right back, going to the lady’s room.”

She left, and Travis watched more models, a little embarrassed now that he’s alone, looking at almost bare women paraded just a few feet in front of him.

A model came out. Travis looked, then does a double take.

It’s . . It’s . . Lisa!

Lisa had a long black wig, covered with a golden mesh Cleopatra headpiece. She wore nude lip color with a coral undertone, eyebrows elegantly elongated, blue eye shadow with a shimmery gold-tone high lighter, to alter her appearance.

She was modeling a costume as a Greek Goddess. It’s sheer white mesh.

Travis saw her look directly at him all the while she was modeling that costume. His heart, skipped a beat. He could see slight tan line breasts through the thin material. Does not see any dark spots under her thong. He saw her sexy ass with that thong on.

She walked across the stage, turned around, then went back behind the curtain, on stage less than a minute.

Travis didn’t realize how hot she got him, until he realized he was breathing heavily. Travis noticed some people were looking at him smiling. Then he realized, if he can see all of her, everyone else in that room could too. He noticed the men still looked where she went, all of them smiling. She had just shown more of her body to them, then to him. As the show was now over, the people start to leave, some stayed to buy the lingerie.

Travis composed himself, stood up after some time. He stood near the hallway to the rear, away from the rest of the people, when Lisa comes out smiling.

She hugged him, noticed something.

"What’s wrong?"

Twice he started to say something. "It’s nothing." Not looking at her.

"Come on, I know something’s wrong. Tell me." Put her arm in his, pulled him to her.

"It’s really nothing."

"Is it because I modeled that costume? I wanted to do that to make you happy."

"Yes, it was the costume. I could see all of you, and . . . So, could all the guys in there, see all of you."

"Your jealous? I didn’t mean to make you jealous. I wanted to be daring and naughty for you. I didn’t even notice anyone else when I was modeling, just you." She placed her hand on his arm, stroking his arm.

"It’s just that we haven’t done anything. I never tried anything to see you, and here you were showing them your body."

Her heart raced, she looked at him. Travis is jealous! Does he love me?

"They may have seen a little, but I promise you, you’re going to see lots more." She held him, looked deeply into his eyes, her heart pumping a mile a minute. Hugged him seductively, a devastating smile.

Travis buried his hands in her luxurious hair, looked at her shining eyes with a gleam of desire.

She wrapped her arms around him.

"I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to. I do want to see you, all of you."

Her thinking went into hyper drive.

"I promise you, I want you to see all of me too. Just as I want to see all of you. Deal?" She said it with a smile that would make a blind man blush.

“Deal. But I’m not that, ahhh big.” He looked a little uncomfortable, looked around to see if anyone could hear.

As they’re at the door, the manager said, "Nice seeing you again Lisa."

“Night Shannon.”

Travis looked back at the manager.

"Who was that? Why, did she say ‘nice seeing you again?’ Have you been here before?"

She held his arm, pulled him determinedly toward the exit. She knew she had an innocent look, but her wild and naughty exhibitionist ways suggested other possibilities.

"She has a child in my school, that’s all it is, sir." She waved over her shoulder, smiled that innocent smile, as they departed the store. She took his arm and tucked it hard

against her breast, they window shopped until they left.

They arrived at her house by nine. Her parents greeted them, asked how the day was. Lisa told them, leaving out the lingerie store.

Travis talked to her Dad. Lisa in the kitchen talked to her Step-Mom.

She went to her room, to her computer, saw a message from her best friend Amy.

She turned on her cam and talked with Amy.

“I wish you could meet him, you’d like him.”

“I do too. I ‘ll be home Monday, will he still be around?”

“No, returns to his home Sunday.”

“That’s too bad. Sounds like you really like him.”

“I do. He’d like you too, it takes a while for him to get comfortable knowing new people though.”

“So, you said. Conservative too from what you said. You should check out his equipment before anything serious happens.”

“Oh, Amy! Your just like Sunshyne, she said that too.”

“She’s right too.”

“Your bad. I better go. My parents have him alone and . . . Hmm Sunshyne is trying to get me now.”

“I hear you. See you next week. Bye, love you.”

“Love you too. Bye.”

Connected to her cousin. “Hi Sunshyne, what’s up?”

“Is he up sweetie?”

“Sunshyne really!”

“Didn’t he try anything with you today?”

“Not at all, a perfect gentleman. We went shopping for my class, had lunch, showed him some stores, we have here. Just a lovely day I enjoy being with him.”

“Aww too bad. You really have to check him out, see if he fits so to speak.”

“Sunshyne your so naughty. You sound just like Amy. Told her the same thing, no.”

“Spoilsport! Good, listen to us. You only have a few days to find out.”

“Uh-huh, I know . . . listen I really must go, they’re down stairs, and I’ve been up here too long.” She heard them laughing downstairs. Looked at her door, started getting up from her desk.

“Okay tell me if he does anything, okay? Bye.”

She hurried downstairs.

“What’s all that laughter I heard?”

Sarah replied grinning, “Just Travis telling us about some of his cousins, what they used to do younger.”

They moved to the living room. Her parents were in chairs, they sat on her couch. She shifted her thighs to touch his as they talked to her parents. After a while, her parents go up for the night.

They sat on the couch, Lisa showed him old photos of her growing up.

“When was the last time you showered?” She looked at him winkled her nose, she felt the stirrings of excitement rapidly heighten.

“Wednesday night after work. I know. I should take a shower, I wasn’t ---.”

“No time like present.” She quickly got off the couch, took his hand, pulled him up the stairs, held her hand over her mouth giggling.

Travis walked softly on the creaking wooden stairs.

Lisa got on the landing, Travis tripped made a sound, which made her giggle more as they entered the hallway bathroom. It’s an average-size bathroom, has a shower/tub combination.

“You can use the shower. I’ll get extra towels.” A spark of naughty pleasure appeared on her mischievous face.

“This may not be a good idea,” kept his voice to a whisper, looked toward the door dubious.

She hurried out and brought back bath towels, closed the door with a flourish.

She put the towels down, placed her hands behind his head. Fingers went through his hair, looked intensely in his eyes, started unbuttoning his shirt, put her finger to her lips when he started to say something. She pulled his shirt off and unbuckled his belt, pulled his shoes, and pants off, stood back, looked at his masculine physique. She quickly removed her shirt, shoes, and pants. Slowly and seductively unhooked her bra and quickly pulled her thong down.

She saw his eyes almost pop out of his head and ogle every millimeter of her impressive nude body. She looked directly in his eyes, saw the hunger he had for her. She felt on fire. Her breasts jiggled purposely as she looked at him looking at them.

He licked his lips with desire.

She couldn’t expel the delightful naughty thought, that this was audaciously taking place in her bathroom, with her parents in the next room.

She watched his eyes go to her perfectly curved and shaped breast, which made her breathing increase noticeably, the excitement made her stomach quiver, her nipples throbbed with excitement.

Her wicked thoughts went wild with lust and passion as his eyes looked over her curved hips to her hairless vagina.

"I'm up here." She winked at him.

His eyes enlivened, realized he'd gotten caught, winked.

She went to him and swiftly removed his underwear. She looked surprised, as his penis grew.

“Ooo. You’re not small, are you?” She grinned, started to breathe a little heavier, with a gentle touch, her frisky fingers traced across his growing manhood.

“Not anymore.” His reaction was visceral and uncontrollable.

“Lied to me again have you!” Stroked it slowly as it reached its full length and thickness very fast.

“Told you a whopper! That okay?” He tenderly caressed her tingling hairless womanhood.

“Uh-huh, I like how you tell a whopper. Too much hair too. You should shave or just be bare like I am.” She ran her fingers through his pubic hair, hugged him, felt his warm flesh on her warm tingling flesh.

Her skin felt silky, and spirited as she let her thumb trace his mushroom-shaped tip, as it twitched in her hand.

He was breathing fast and heavier.

She turned on the water, when its warm, she took his hand, and they climbed into the shower, pulled the shower curtain close.

Turned off the water, opened the curtain.

She giggled, stepping out. “That was fun. Watch out getting out, slippery.” Her eyes twinkled.

“Slippery in there too.”

She grabbed a towel and started drying his body.

Travis looked at her startling blue eyes, which had an invitation in them, pulled her to him, kissed her soft, moist, very warm lips that sent a fire through his veins.

She wrapped the towel around them, as they hugged he kissed her neck, sent shivers through her.

Travis took a towel and helped dried her.

She wrapped a towel around her hair, held his hand walked to the door.

“Shouldn’t we listen if anyone is ---.” He quickly gathered up his clothes, in front of him.

She giggled, quickly opened the door letting in a whoosh of cool air, pranced out hurriedly. Travis hurried out looked around, followed her into her room, silently closed her door which creaked softly, too loud for him, breathed a sigh of relief. Noticed there was no lock for the door.

He looked around her room, posters of music artists, Kenny Chesney, Shane Yellowbird, the Calgary Stampede, pictures of her with friends/family throughout her life on her wall. Carlton the Bear sat on the pink blanket. Computer next to her corner computer desk with a twenty-two-inch monitor, a leather chair on casters, printer, personal items on the desk. A closed curtain flustered on her window.

Lisa put her fragrance on quickly, pulled the blanket off, threw herself on her bed, kept the towel on her hair as she looked at Travis, patted the bed next to her with a come-hither invitation look.

Travis quickly dropped his clothes, looked at her body. He smelled a light waft of perfume teasing his nostrils.

Her bright eyes alive, enjoyed him looking, as their playful eyes made contact.

He crawled on her bed never looked away from her smoldering eyes, covered her supple body with his, as their lips met hungrily.

Her hands explored every millimeter of his hard-masculine body. Their tongues played with each other. Breathing fast, and deep, their bodies glued to each other.

Breaking the kiss, he kissed her neck, as she breathed deeper. Her breasts raised to his eager hand. He kissed her ears, around her neck, to her collarbone. She closed her eyes, felt his lips touching her fresh body. His lips go down the middle of her breasts, felt her soft curves on his cheeks. She pushed her breasts together, feeling a little of his stubble on her excited quivering breasts. Her eyes closed, her mouth slightly ajar, she was breathing in short rapid breaths.

Lisa’s fingers made circles around her sensitive rock-hard nipples.

Travis massaged her breasts, squeezed and kneaded them, tweaked her aroused nipples.

As he rolled, sucked and tweaked her nipples, she started writhing and moaned, “You're making my pussy so wet." Her breath came in loud, short gasps every time she breathed.

Travis was enraptured by her sweet ecstasy.

“Turn off the light.”

He quickly turned off the light, as she pulled the curtains apart, opened the window, quickly back to her bed. They heard the outdoor night time sounds, wind whistling through the trees, katydids’, occasional firefly’s float passed the window.

The nighttime passionate sounds of two lovers embraced the darkness, until.

A frenzy of delight erupts through her body.

“Ahhh ---I can’t . oh, God --- yes. Yes . . . Yes,” she wailed. She quickly grabbed a pillow held it tight over her mouth as she screamed into the pillow, her body erupted into an earth-shattering orgasm. Lisa clasped his shoulder digging her nails into his flesh. She was bucking like a bronco, it was everything he could do to keep from being unworthy and get thrown off.

“Travis that’s all. Please . . . I can’t take any more. I’ll scream my head off if you don’t.” Blew a strand of hair from her eyes, held his cheek with both hands, looked adoringly into his eyes.

“Like it?”

“Loved it. Thank you.”

“Your welcome. I wanted you to enjoy this.” Moved up next to her cradled her in his arms.

“Did I ever. I’m exhausted, a very good exhaustion too. Looks like our whopper is ready again, gives me energy.” Her bright eyes closing, looked directly into his eyes as she placed her chin on his shoulder, hand on his stomach teasing.

“It’s been some day. I better leave and go ---.” He was getting up.

“No! You’re staying here with me.” She placed a gentle hand on his arm, a smile of reassurance.

“But your parents. Your dad. If he finds me with ---.”

“They won’t. Tomorrows Saturday and dad always sleep late when he’s not working. A sound sleeper too. We’ll be up and down stairs before he awakes.”

“I see. What about pajamas for ---.”

“I always sleep nude.”

“I wear something. I’ve never slept nude unless its summer and hot.”

“It’s still summer so you’ll sleep like I do. Okay?”


They cuddled, he heard the soft breathing from a sleeping woman. He found a blanket and covered themselves. She moved as he got settled, moving her back into him. After a short time, both were asleep.

Next morning:

“You can’t wear your old underwear. Their dirty and stinks.”

“I can’t wear nothing. I’d feel naked around your parents.”

“You can buy other underwear, I’ll take you. In the meantime, you could wear this.” She went to her dresser picked out a satin red bikini panty, held it up.

“Oh, no. I can’t wear woman’s panties.”

“Sure, you could.” She pushed him on the bed, quickly picked his feet up and manhandled her panties on him.

“No, I can’t, Lisa it’s not ---.”

She pulled her panties up his legs, pulled him up. Pulled up her panties to his upper legs, where it got a bit snug. They moved around as she got her panties on a bigger frame, with no help from him.

Lisa pulled her panties up his butt, grabbed his hard cock with one hand as she tried to shove his cock into her panties with grunts and groans.

“Just a little bit more, stop struggling its going in.” As she tried to force his cock into her panties.

They were struggling, dancing around her bed when she almost got his cock in her panty, they stopped suddenly.

At the open door, wiping her hands on her apron. “Lisa, after you finish getting Travis dressed, breakfast is ready.” Sarah slowly closed the door looked at both, just standing there with open mouths.

Sarah tried to silence her chuckles, returned to the kitchen. First time I have ever seen her naked, and she’s with a guy. That’s what happy looks like. Yah Hoo!

“I thought no one comes in here?” Surprised look still on his face.

“Oops. She may have missed seeing you on the couch. Breakfast is ready!” She giggled, tried to sound unhappy, with a fake sad look.

“If they know about me and you.” He shook his head, his eyes had an apprehensive look.

“It will be fine. Trust me. Dad likes you. So, do I. So wanta do something like last night?”

“Yes, no get dressed and find some underwear for me.”

“Before you do that, too bad you don’t have your camera.”

“My camera?”

“Yeah so you can take our picture, I’ll put it on the wall next to Sunshyne and me.” She pointed to her pictures on the wall, with a serious expression.

“You mean now? Naked?”

“Yep, since you don’t have yours, I can use my cell its right here.” She pretended to look for her cell phone.

“Oh, no! Your . . . your dad would be furious if he ever saw it.” He looked nervously at the door.

“Ahh, not too adventurous now, are we?” She giggled softly, hid a mischievous smile.

“Not . . . not like this.” He scampered to find his clothes.

She knew, he was in a panic, forgot about her panties, did not say anything.

They both dressed and went to the kitchen where Sarah was cooking, never said another word, acted normal. Her dad slept late. They went shopping before her dad got up.

Sarah hugged him, innocently said, “Remember when Lisa caught us when we were first getting together?”

Arthur hugged her back, replied, “She never caught us doing it.”

“She certainly did a few times. Remember we thought she was at Amy’s, we came down, and she had supper on the table. We were pretty loud too. She knew what we were doing. I knew she was telling us she knew, and it was okay.”

“All right. What does this got to do with anything?”

“This morning she is telling us that if we could do things so could she, and it’s okay.”

“What are you talking about? Her with Travis? They were doing it?”

“I don’t believe they were having sex but I found them in her bedroom nude. She was hmmm helping Travis try to fit his thing into her panties.”

“They were nude and she was helping him into her panties?”

Sarah tried to keep from smiling, failed. “Yes, Lisa and Travis were completely nude, while she was trying to put her panties on him.”

Arthur sounded indignant. “I can’t believe she’d or he’d do that in our home. I’ll have a talk with both ---.”

“You’ll do nothing on the kind. She’s a grown woman, and she feels safe here like we did.”

“She’s my little girl too. And ---.”

“And she feels safe like we did, and you’ll do nothing of the kind. Don’t you remember what we did before we got serious?"

“That’s different, you were not my daughter! Besides their age difference.”

“Age difference! When we met, our ages were further apart than she is with Travis.”

“That’s beside the point. You married me, and ---.”

“And would you rather she still be with Jack? Or one of her other boy friends?”

“Hell no. That bastard. I had to support my daughter, though I didn’t like him at all. The others only had one thing on their minds.”

“You liked it when Lisa told us yesterday, not take any calls from them. Didn’t you?”

“Loved it. I told them in no uncertain terms, never to call her again.”

Lisa saw who was calling, gave her dad her cellphone, at the restaurant. She asked him to stop them from calling her. They didn’t go to the school, heard she was reinstated.

“I know you did. If I remember correctly, you said you’d break their legs if they ever came close to her. You’ve been wanting to do that for ages.”

Chuckling. “We’re getting away from what we were first on.”

“Which is? Them being naked together?”

“Yes, exactly and him wearing her panties.”

“If you remember we got naked too way back then. You forget a few times I skillfully had you wear mine?”

“That’s unfair! You manipulated me.”

“If I remember correctly you never complained at any time.” She fluttered her eyelashes.

“That’s different.”

“Oh! We used to go naked all weekend while Lisa was visiting Danna and Jerry’s farm with Sunshyne and her family.”

“We were married.”

“Not at first. I distinctly remember her visiting them when we first met. I know she didn’t like me taking you away from her. After her mother left you both.”

“I know. She was only eleven when we met. And, she felt comfortable visiting them to relax. She was a high-spirited girl in her early teens. Marched to her own drummer, as she used to say.”

“I remember. And while she visited them. We played before getting married all day and night.”

“Yes, and after getting married too. I’ve always hoped she’d see you as her real mother.”

“I know you do. As do I. In the mean-time. I like him. I feel he’ll be good for her.”

“So, do I. Before he came up to her board meeting, I had my doubts. Thought she was on a rebound from that jerk. But once I started talking to him . . . well I had a change of opinion. I could feel his pain when he told me about his wife. Reminded me of my pain with . . . I like him. He’s a mature man, not a kid like the others.”

“When she looked around and couldn’t find him. Jakie said he went out the door ---.” Jakie was Sunshyne’s daughter.

“She looked shocked, and ran out after him. I liked that. Showed me, he had what I’d call, a personal code, thought she had another boyfriend. He’d leave her alone if she had another boyfriend.”

“Another way of seeing it, he’s noble?”

“Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking.”

She had listen to the sound of his voice and eyes, and knew he had changed his outlook.

“Know who he reminds me of?”

“No. Who?” he asked with a quizzical expression.

“You! You both come off as very conservative, and quiet. But I have this feeling, he’ll be very good for her.”

“Woman’s intuition?”

“Yes. I know how you treated me. I know that’s how he’ll treat her if they ever become serious.”

“We both have that certain savoir-faire.” He winked.

“Yes, dear you both have it.” She shook her head, grinning.

After they returned, Lisa suggested they go to a water park for the day, being a warm cloudless pale blue-sky day.

Travis suggested they ask her parents to go with them.

Her parents eagerly agreed, happy they were asked. As they were getting ready, Sunshyne called and finding out they were all going to the water park, persuaded her to let her family meet them there.

They visit Wonderland theme park with her parents and Sunshyne’s family. She learned he was afraid of heights. They all enjoyed the rides and being together.


They attended noon Mass at her family’s church. Sunshyne’s, and Kathy’s family attended to.

After Mass, followed her parents out, along with the rest of the parishioners.

Kathy and Mark talked to Travis, Sunshyne buttonholed Lisa.

She looked around saw no one near them. “Nice day, isn’t it?”

Lisa looked at her stumped. “Yes, it is. I love how nice it’s been all weekend. Did the kids like the park yesterday?”

“Yes, we all did.” Sunshyne still looked around. The day before she never could get her alone to chat.

“Is something wrong?”

“No, I hope you’re not too exhausted from all the activity, maybe get a whopper later to give you energy.” Sunshyne quickly moved up the aisle, placed her arm around Jakie, stood by Kathy.

Lisa’s eyes went wide.

She mouthed, ‘Bitch’ as Sunshyne looked at her.

Sunshyne grinned, and winked. As they walked up the aisle, unseen, pinched Sunshyne’s butt. People around them, wondered why those two women giggled in church.

Her priest stood at the door, greeted his flock. As they approached him, her parents talked to the priest, then he saw Lisa.

"Hello, Lisa, it’s good to see you. I heard about your Board of Education hearing. I’m glad your back teaching.”

"Hi Father Jim, thank you, it was awful being accused of those things, but in the end, everything worked out fine."

Father Jim, looked at Travis as he held her hand, with a raised eyebrow. "And who is this young fellow? The last time we talked you were engaged to Jack?"

She never wavered. "I found out Jack was cheating on me when I was on that trip. I called off our engagement right then. One of my students was missing. Travis found her. He helped me get through one of the most awful times of my life. Then he flew from the states to defend me when the Board of Education had its hearing."

Father Jim looked at both unsmiling. "I heard various stories about that hearing, I’d like to hear more if you ever have the time?"

"I’d like that."

"Travis, why did you help Lisa?" He stared directly in his eyes, knew people were waiting behind them.

"She didn’t know me and was not all that friendly when we first met. When I helped, Lisa find Linda, and she found out about Jack, we started to talk a lot. I told Lisa, about my wife who died in a skiing accident, she died before she could be operated on. I blamed myself for her death. Lisa helped me to forgive myself in my wife’s death. She told me about Jack's cheating on her, lying to her. We talked a lot about ourselves at the time. I got to know her, became friends. When she had that kangaroo court, I had to do something to help her. She was innocent of those charges. She should have received a commendation for helping one of her students cope with a personal matter, not put on trial. Her students love her. She’s a very good caring person."

Father Jim, looked at both, a warm smile creased his face. "If you two ever want to talk to me about anything, give me a call, and we’ll talk."

She blushed. "Yes Father." Gave him a hug.

They shook hands.

As they started to walk away, Father Jim chuckled good-humored, “Watch out for the rice on the sidewalk.”

Travis looked down, as he hesitantly tried to step over rice, he could not see.

Lisa has her lips sucked into her mouth. She knew Father Jim, only made that comment about the rice to couples he liked and hoped would eventually get married at his church. He never said that to Jack.

They held hands as they walked to her parents, talking to her family.

Arthur nodded toward the priest. "I see you met Father Jim."

"Yes, he seems to be a really nice guy."

As they talked she, waved to people she knew from school and her neighborhood.

Arthur patted his stomach. "Now, how about some lunch?"

They agreed to go to Paul’s restaurant, not far from the church.

As they were walking, Lisa, suddenly stopped, and shivered like she got a chill.

Travis looked concerned. "Are you okay . . . Lisa?"

"No . . .Yes, I’m okay. I thought I had seen Jack’s car a few seconds ago. It’s nothing."

At Paul’s restaurant, Paul greeted them, talked to them for a few minutes. It’s very crowded for lunch. They had to wait a few minutes for a table. The ladies excused themselves to go to the lady’s room. Travis heard uproarious laughter coming from the sports bar. Her dad, walked closer looked in, to see what the laughter was all about. Travis saw him stiffen, then walked back.

"It’s Jack, in the sports bar. How I hate him for cheating on Lisa, not only that I never did approve of him. It was Lisa’s life, and I had to back up her decision to get engaged to that louse." He looked over his shoulder at the bar.

"Will you try to find Lisa and my wife, make sure they don’t go near the bar. We should find another restaurant for lunch."

"Okay, I’ll get them and meet you at the front door. Don’t go near the bar, all right?"

He stood outside the lady’s room, until they came out.

She winked with a grin. "Hi, waiting to go in?"

"No. Your dad sent me to warn you that Jack is in the bar, and your dad wants to go to another restaurant, we’re to meet him at the front door."

"Bastard, I wish I would never get anywhere near him again. He’s in the bar? That must have been his car I saw, and came here to antagonize me." She bristled, her grin turned to a scowl.

Sarah put her arm around her. "Why, should we leave, we’ve done nothing wrong. Let’s get your father and ask Paul to find us a table that is far away from that bar."

Lisa looked unsure, but nodded. "Sarah your right, he is not going to push us away from eating where we want to eat. Let’s find dad."

They walked back toward the bar, don’t see him anywhere. They heard loud voices in the sports bar.

She looked inside the bar. "There’s daddy, and Jack too." She walked into the sports bar. Sarah and Travis followed close behind.

Jack, his liquor imbued diatribe gave him bluster. "Your daughter is a slut, always has been. She puts on her innocent act, to fool you into believing, she is a ‘Nice girl’.”

"You’re a damnable liar, and a bastard. She is a nice person, and you know it. You're trying to get these other people to believe otherwise, because she found out you were cheating on her. But it will not work." Arthur’s strong hands, solid as a rock, opened, and closed.

Jack stabbed the air with his finger. "We’ve been having sex since our first date. I’m sure she has told you she is still a virgin. But let me tell you, she is not a virgin. In fact, she has had many men, and I’ve been there watching her with them."

Most of the men and women, at the bar looked and listened raptly, others left.

Arthur with an incredulous frown, lashed into Jack, got closer. "How dare you say that, Jack. I know she would never do anything with the likes of you, let alone with other men."

Jack backed up with a snarl on his lips. "Ha, that’s a laugh. I must have had her hundreds of times. Her ass too, which she loves to be fucked in her ass, with my cock and other guys’ cocks. I was telling the gentlemen and ladies here at the bar about our exploits at the swing clubs we went to, when you came in."

"That’s an outright lie, and you know it You’re a bastard and liar," Arthur shouted, his face beat red, his fists clamped up, his knuckles became deadly white.

Travis noticed Sarah getting tense, and put a hand on her arm. She looked at him then Lisa, her face furious.

Jack smiled warmly, made out as if he was reliving that time. "You know the times we were away for a few hours? Well, one of those times I had to take your innocent daughter to a private clinic for her abortion. I’m not even sure if I was the father, she has had so many guys, just before she became pregnant."

Lisa went closer. He put his hand on her arm. She shook it off. She had a murderous eye on Jack. She could kill Jack without hesitation. Her jaw tightened up.

Arthur stuttered, he’s so upset. "That’s . . that’s a despicable lie. You son of a bitch. Do you have any . . . any proof? Any of this happened?"

A woman who sat on a stool, wearing a tube top and tight shorts interrupted. "Yes, I was at the swing club and saw your precious daughter having sex with different men."

Lisa realized its Roberta.

Arthur never saw her before, demanded. "Who are you? How would you know this?"

Roberta moved in front of Jack with a licentious smile, aggravated Arthur. "I like what your daughter likes, sex. Plenty of sex with different men, all kinds of activities, and having them go bareback. I’m surprised, she has not contracted a STD, or has she and is taking medicine to cover it up?" Immediate loud gasps from the patrons, low murmuring by most of the patrons.

Roberta continued as the murmuring died away, looked pleased. "I’ve seen Lisa with two men doing double penetration, with another guy’s cock in her mouth. After those first guys were finished with her, she would ask for anyone else who would like to fuck her. And, there always are. Her pussy has been used so much, you could stick your whole arm in her pussy, with room to spare."

Jack put his arm across Roberta’s shoulder, looked around at the patrons, looked at Arthur, in a loud voice, "This woman is right. Your daughter is a slut. She has even had old decrepit men, and a few women pay her money, so they could use her body for their pleasure. She once was riding this porn star’s cock, and sucking a guy’s cock. He came so much, she could not swallow all of his cum, but she tried. Another time she had six men do a circle jerk over her, where every part of her body was covered in cum."

Arthur was boiling mad now, his face a rage. Jack had just said, she was getting money for the sex. Arthur was so furious he was frozen in place.

Roberta chuckled. "I have seen her go around to the guys in the club one night, asking them to cum in a stein, so she could have a cum cocktail. It took her about five minutes, but she drank it all down!"

Travis used both hands to restrain her, she was furious. She pulled him with her, closer to them. Sarah too was beyond mad, had a hand on Lisa’s arm trying to stop her. People turned around when they heard them.

Jack’s face looked surprised for a second, then snarled. "Here’s the little slut now, just in time to give all the guys at the bar her famous blow job, or if she wants take you all on from the top of the bar, one at a time or with multiple partners."

Her father turned from Jack and stood in front of Lisa, tried to hold her back from getting at Jack, which he could see, she wanted to very badly.

Lisa’s eyes were iceberg cold. "You both are lying! I have never done any of those filthy detestable things your accusing me of, you worthless pieces of cow dune. How could you say this? I’ve never done anything to hurt you. But you have hurt me. Betraying me when we were engaged, while I was on a school trip. By going out behind my back with this . . . this thing."

Roberta saw her being restrained, got inches from her face. "You’re the one who is lying, you know you have done everything I have said. You're trying to hide your sexual secrets. You know why, she is trying to hide her activities?"

Roberta, turned and looked at the bar patrons, pointed at Lisa. "She is a school teacher, teaching your young children the ABCs not to mention maybe, S.E.X. behind her classroom door, or after school with her young students. Would any of you parents want someone like her teaching your sons or daughters?"

There were a few shouts of, "No" gleefully. The bar had more people in it now, they listened and watched. They saw a few men look at her with lecherous eyes.

Travis had both his hands on her arms, held her, she strained to face Roberta.

Arthur saw Travis holding an extremely agitated Lisa, trying to stop her from getting to them.

Arthur, walked toward Jack and Roberta menacingly. "Your scum of the earth, both of you maggots. My daughter has never done those things, and you both know it. You have a foul mouth. And, that . . . that thing over there is a foul-mouthed bitch."

Travis, realized he was going to go for Jack or Roberta, but had to hold her back.

Lisa realized her father could hurt them seriously, looked at Travis. "Help me. We have to stop Dad before he gets into real trouble, he’ll beat him to a pulp. Especially Jack, he won’t strike her as he’s a gentleman."

They surrounded her father, blocked him from getting any closer to them.

She touched his arm pleaded softly, "Dad they’re not worth it. Let’s leave." She felt him relax at her touch.

From the corner of her eye, realized someone had approached them quickly.

Roberta, went up to her father. "You are the ass hole here." Roberta slapped her father’s face hard.

Arthur was stunned not expecting her assault. They stood there not knowing what to do.

Paul had listened, but now that there was physical contact, he stepped in. He grabbed Jack by his arm, turned him around and unceremoniously ushered Jack outside, and made sure he did not go back in.

Roberta saw her boyfriend being unceremoniously removed. "You’re going to pay for this."

Lisa was livid, knew Travis was talking to her father getting him away from there, turned toward Roberta. "You no-good two-bit whore. You leech. If you were a lady, you would have stopped this. I beg your pardon, I forgot, how could you know what’s it’s like to be a lady. Appearing in all your porn movies. You never told your husband, Mr. Kenny, the chairman of the board, of Branford’s Board of Education about Jack. About you and Jack having sex behind his back? Or have you? Maybe the three of you are having fun together? Or with young boys, your husband pays to service your habits?"

Roberta, advanced toward her, with fire in her eyes. "I’m going to fuck you up right here so everyone can see."

Absolutely furious now, her hands balled up into tight fists. She brought her arm back, ready to strike her.

Lisa not expecting it to get physical, stood there unmoving.

Sarah came from out of nowhere, grabbed hold of Roberta’s arm. She pulled Roberta’s wrist back, bending it to its breaking point, causing Roberta to whine, "Your hurting me."

Arthur settled down, looked at Travis nodded to his daughter.

Travis pulled Lisa back from confronting Roberta.

Travis and Arthur got her back behind them, then turned their focus on Sarah and Roberta.

Sarah said sweetly. "I’m going to do more than just hurt you if you ever say or do anything to my daughter. Understand sweetie?"

Roberta struggled a bit but could not break free of Sarah’s hold.

Some people in the bar were saying kick Roberta’s ass, others saying Lisa must be a slut if what Jack and Roberta were saying was true.

Sarah had Roberta look directly at her, and loud enough to have everyone hear her, "Tell me about that swinger’s club you said you saw Lisa at, what is its name?"

"Ahh I don’t know." Roberta replied in a low voice.

Sarah said with a chilling tone, "Speak up so everyone can hear sweetie."

"I don’t know," in a louder voice.

"What town was that club located in?" She moved Roberta closer to the many patrons around the bar.

"I don’t remember the town." Roberta looked worried.

“Did you ever see or know Lisa to do any of those sexual things you just said she did?”


“Louder sweetie.”

“No, never,” in her loud voice, looked embarrassed, she had to correct herself in front of everyone.

"Are you Mr. Kenny’s wife?"

Roberta’s eyes downcast, hesitantly replied, "Yes."

"Why, did you say all those things about Lisa?" Sarah brought Roberta into the group of patrons to have them hear her better.

Roberta, hesitated looked around. "How . . . Jack asked me to."

"Then, what these people heard everything you just said was a fib?"


“Louder sweetie, so everyone can hear you. Why, did you lie about Lisa??”

“Yes, I lied about her, he asked me to help embarrass her.”

“If you ever come near her again or do anything to hurt my daughter, I’ll make you wish you were never born, sweetie.”

Sarah held Roberta’s wrist directed her outside. Roberta screamed bloody murder, being forced to leave.

After Sarah took Roberta outside.

“I’m proud of you, not hurting either one.” She embraced her husband.

“I wanted to smash him to a pulp, Lisa and Travis helped me get myself together, otherwise.”

A guy from the bar came over, talked to Travis for a minute.

Travis looked around for Lisa, she’s wasn’t in the bar. Her parents had not seen her either.

Paul overheard and said, “I thought I saw her walking up the street, when I was outside with Jack.”

They left the restaurant, looked both ways, saw her about a block away, ran after her.

"Lisa, wait, wait."

Travis caught up to her, she would not look at him, turned her head.

He hugged her tightly.

Tears shone in her eyes, her head down. "Did you see and hear what those people were saying, thinking about me? Did you believe what Jack and Roberta were saying about me?" She looked at him with tear filled eyes.

He hugged her. "No. I didn’t believe anything they said about you. I know you, and I know you have not done anything like they said."

She took a deep breath. "How do you know I’m telling you the truth, and Jack and Roberta are lying?"

He looked deeply into her eyes, used a finger to wipe away her tears. "I don’t think you were there when Sarah, got Roberta to admit she lied about you, and Jack lied to."

Lisa stopped sobbing. "Sarah got her to admit they lied about me?"

"Yes, she told her if she ever did anything to her daughter, she would make her wish she was never born"

“She said that?”

“Yes, she did.”

Lisa saw her parents walking toward them.

Lisa quickly went to Sarah. “Mother, thank you. I heard what you said.” They hugged and cried.

They walked back to their house.

Arthur, looked at his watch. "Travis, what time is your flight? It’s after four now."

"I have a seven PM flight."

Arthur looked at Lisa and Travis. "Don’t you have to be there ahead of time to get through security? It will take an hour to bring you to the airport."

"Yeah, I guess I should start to go to the airport. I should call a cab."

Sarah put her hand on his arm. "No, you’re not getting a cab, we’re taking you."

Travis went up to get his few things.

He came back down. "I guess we should leave."

Lisa had not said anything.

They sat in the back. She looked out her window, looked at the floor, at him too in her side vision.

Travis motioned with his finger to hold his hand.

She placed her hand in his, laid her head on his shoulder.

At the airport, Travis checked in at the airline's desk.

At the security entrance, they stopped, knew they could not go through.

Sarah, went up to him with Arthur next to her.

"We want to thank you for your help with our daughter. We got to know you a lot while you stayed with us. You can come back any time, there is always room in our home for you."

"Thank you I’d love to." He hugged Sarah, shook hands with Arthur.

Sarah pulled her husband to the side. "We’ll be over there looking at the airport." Moved away to give them some private time together.

"Will you call me when you get home?

"Yes, I was going to." He traced the side of her face with his fingers.

"I’m glad you didn’t believe them. I wouldn’t know what to do if you did."

Travis looked deeply in her eyes, held her close. "I not only never believed them. I have fallen in love with you"

"I love you too, with all my heart." Her head on his shoulder, held him intimately not wanting to let him go, as the airport announcement system announced his flight was boarding.

She felt his fingers caressing her hair, as the airport announcement system announced the last call to board. She wanted to hold him forever.

"I have to go. I don’t want to, but I’d better say, good ---. "

Lisa, quickly put her finger to his lips. "Shhh, we are never going to say that word to each other."

She hugged, kissed him passionately. They go over to her parents, for a last hug. Then he went through security.

She looked at him as he walked down the corridor.

He saw her with her head on her Dad’s shoulder looking toward him, mom next to her, her arm around her.

She watched him tearfully until she lost sight of him.

“Hello, my friend, did that foreigner leave?”

“Yes, thank God, he’s gone. Big Tony contacted one of his contacts at the airport, and confirmed that bastard left earlier tonight.”

“Great news. Everything should be fine again.”

“I agree. I haven’t heard of any repercussions from our contacts. So, we should be fine.”

“Sounds great. Then we don’t have to contact anyone where he lives to . . . you know.”

“I know. No, but I’ll check. Let’s let everything settle down now. I’ll take care of the other one.”

When Lisa and her parents arrived back at their house, they talked for a long time. Finally, she went to her room. On her bed, she saw a box, opened it. She removed a gold necklace. Looked at the time, called Travis, they stayed on the phone for hours.

A Mid October phone call.

After they caught up about what they were doing since the last time they talked.

“Did you get that new phone you were telling me about?”

“Yes, I’ll send you my number, by mail. So, no one can learn my new number.”

“Good idea. Never trust those phone guys listening in on our conversations.”

“Of course. As if we say anything sexual when we chat. I like it too. Receiving those crank calls, freaked me out. I had to get a new number.”


“Did you hear the latest news about the school board?”

“News, about your school board?”

“Yes. After that newspaper article, a few weeks ago, about what they did while on school time. The same things you used to defend me at my hearing.”

“Oh! I haven’t read anything.”

“Yeah, they all, suddenly resigned en masse.”

“Oh! That’s something.”

“You’re not excited at all. I’d of thought . . . okay mister, fess up. You're hiding something from me. Start talking mister.”

“Okay, you’re getting to know me too well.”

“Yes, I am.”

“Okay, when we encountered Jack and Roberta ---.”

“I’d rather forget that, go on.”

“I thought something was odd when Sarah was questioning Roberta, Sarah asked who was responsible for getting her to say those lies about you.”

“It was Jack.”

“Well, the first word out of her mouth was ‘How’, then she said Jack. I think her husband Howard Kenny somehow got her to go with Jack to smear you.”

“That’s . . . that’s crazy! Why, would he do that? To get his wife to go with her lover to get at me?”

“I don’t know. He may not have even known she’d be with Jack that day. I don’t know.”

“Hmm. I don’t understand. What does that have to do with the newspaper story?”

“There’s something I never told you.”

“You promised me we’d . . . Okay what haven’t you told me?

“After you left the restaurant, this guy who was in the bar approached me. He’s a reporter for a newspaper and overheard everything. He wanted to know more, but I didn’t know him, and I had to find you.”

“You told him, didn’t you? He’s the reporter who wrote those articles?”

“Yep he’s the guy. It stuck in my mind what Roberta said, about ‘How’ a slip of the tongue. I believe she actually was going to say Howard, her husband.”

“Then Mr. Kenny was the person who was sending me those annoying phone calls? I started receiving them days after that hearing.”

“I doubt if it was Kenny or another board member, but someone they got to do it.”


“Anyway, I figured if Kenny or the board was still trying to hurt you with those annoyance calls. I knew I had to do something to expose them. If they left you alone I’d of never thought of that reporter. I asked my cousin who used to be a reporter on Long Island to looked up that guy. He gave me his card. He found out he had an excellent reputation as an investigative reporter.”


“I contacted him, told him a little about your hearing. When he started to ask more detailed questions, I told him I’d only tell him more plus send him the documents I still had if he ---.”

“You still had those documents?”

“Yes, I had a number of copies I still had from the briefcase. Plus, some documents, I never had a chance to show them. I brought them back with me.”

“Wow! Then you had more documents29 about them?”

“Yes, never had the chance to show the board everything. I had him not only give me his word but had him, and his editor send me a notarize letter stating they would never mention your name. Just stick to the facts, which they did, and not bring anyone else; the school’s employees, parents and so on, into the story.”

“I’m happy you did that. You have the letter?”

“Yes, in a safe place. Once I received the letter, and had a legal guy verify it, I sent him the documents and gave him a full description of what happened at the hearing. He investigated what I sent and verified everything, then he wrote those articles.”

“Wow! I never knew. Right after those articles came out, the whole board resigned. I’m not sure what is going to happen now. If the police are doing anything. Then it was you who ---.”

“Yes, ma’am, guilty.”

“Another whopper?”

“Oh, no ma’am, I never considered that lying to you. If it was I apologize, forgive me?”

“Yes, I do. You’re so quiet. I never suspected you to do anything like that.”

“I had to. How’s your parents by the way?”

“You do know how to change the subject, don’t you mister? They’re fine, said to say hello when we talk.”

Travis invited her to visit him, find out what New York City was like.

Lisa said she’d love to come during her Christmas break.

Finally, the time came. (To be continued.)

Continue: "The Trip Part 2

29,607 words

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