Chapter 6B – Blue Cottage

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Sunrise in Coboconk

A mist covered the surface of the water. And we swam at daybreak. Peter tried to be brave. Suddenly he buried himself in my arms, And he cried. Like a baby. He was scared. But not for the reason I thought. “I don’t want to die” was all he said. Over and over. I held him close and rocked him. He tried to show strength. But he couldn’t hide his feelings any longer. The reality of his life was just too close. And his tears came out like a flood. I made a mental note to inform Dr. Willowby privately of this development.

***

The day after Dr. Willowby’s phone call didn’t allow for a lot of extracurricular activities if you know what I mean. Peter and I had to get quite a number of things done prior to the radiation treatments and we had precious little time in which to do it in. I was hoping to get Peter more relaxed the old fashion way – sex. However, we had lots to do, and Peter suddenly going to pieces wasn’t making things any easier. He was as nervous as a long tail cat in a room crammed full of rocking chairs and I don’t blame him. We drove into Coboconk, Coby for short, with a rapidly growing list of things to get. We got the collarless tee shirts in Norland. Mr. Lemay had them in the aisle for garden supplies. We got six of them -one for every treatment. And shirts with simple button-snaps so you could tear the thing open like Superman if you had to. We also had to find a drug store that stocked Lubriderm for Peters skin and a liquid meal replacement called Boost. I had heard of it, even seen it. But in only small quantities. We had to find someone who sold it bulk. We finally found a store in Miners Bay which was just north of Norland that sold it in bulk. We had three cases of it in the trunk with each case holding 25 drink boxes. I know Peter said this would be a journey that I wouldn’t want to document but it’s not often you have 75 drink boxes inhabiting the fridge. So I took a digital photo of a box.

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Peters ability to chew and swallow solid foods could be severely impacted in about two weeks. So I’m going to put him on the scales every day. He’s 182 pounds right now and my job is to see he stays that way. He’s not going to be a happy camper if he has to sit in from the TV and drink from that box with his left and suck on a fudgsicle in his right hand.

***

Yesterday was so hot. We spent most of the day down by the water. Peter is terrified. I tried to snap him out of by wearing one of my most revealing bikinis. When I walked in front of him he didn’t make one sound. Not even a mildly approving growl. Nothing. So I tried shock therapy. No, not that kind. When we were inside I took my bikini off and stood right in front of him and asked him if he wanted to play. Peter was sitting on the couch and “she” was at eye level. He just shook his head. At least “tab” was interested in me. That was a mildly encouraging sign. At least part of him was paying attention to me.

Later in the evening, I sat on the couch in just my panties and my feet were propped up on a table. I didn’t feel like caging up the girls in a bra so I didn’t wear one. I was fanning myself using an old magazine while I sweated. It was just so humid. Normally, Peter would be all over me like a cheap shirt. But he wasn’t. And I was worried. And it scared me to death. Was he losing interest in me? Did he fall out of love with me? Did he still want to marry me? I made another mental note to ask Dr. Willowby about this too.

As Monday drew closer Peter started to pull himself together. He was back to his old croaky, horny self. He tried to get inside as often as possible. But he seemed to completely miss the concept that maybe I just didn’t feel like it. When I didn’t say yes he got snarly and nasty. Sometimes when I didn’t move fast enough for him he picked me up bodily and moved me out of the way. I had to find out what was going on. I didn’t want to lose him but at the same time, he was starting to scare the hell out of me.

The day came and Peter and I got a really lousy sleep. I was not in the best of moods. Peter tried for an early morning quickie. I tried to let him know I just wasn’t interested at that time. He wasn’t listening. I was so angry at him I slapped him. He turned his back to me and gave me the cold shoulder. A few hours later the alarm clock rang and I told him to get up. He still didn’t talk. We had breakfast in total silence. I was really concerned. If every morning was going to be like this I was going to move back to Blue Cottage. I just didn’t know what else to do.

I dropped Peter off at treatment room 5. I told him I’d see him after the treatment and gave him a kiss for good luck – on the cheek. He had really hurt my feelings. When I got up to Dr. Willowby’s office I guess he saw my expression and came to the conclusion that things were not all peaches and cream. I talked and cried.

“I don’t understand what’s going on. The day after you called Peter and I were swimming and all of a sudden he starts crying and saying “I don’t want to die” over and over. He seems to have lost interest in me, I offered myself to him several times, and last night he almost raped me. I love Peter but I don’t know if I can do this.”

Dr. Willowby sat in a small chair about five feet in front of me. He tried to get all clinical and professional but his humanity was showing and not his white lab coat.

” Nuts! I was hoping this wasn’t going to happen. It would seem Peter has been repressing some emotions. It also sounds like he’s done an online diagnosis. I warned him about bottling up his emotions. I also told him not to do what I think he’s done. From your description, it sounds like he’s gone online to research his type of cancer”

“How do explain his losing interest in sex, me, then almost raping me last night.”

“OK, since you and Peter are engaged that makes you my patient. That means I can’t mention a word of this case to anyone without your permission. So I want you to call me as soon as something like this pops up again. Cancer patients they tend to bottle up their emotions -especially men. Men need to air them out and cut out all this macho crap!  The sex drive of a great many cancer patients – again mostly male, almost vanishes. He’s not going to feel like going through the motions with anybody, but the hormones in his brain will still want to show you he’s still got what it takes. He loves you wildly. His mind is saying take things slow and concentrate on the cancer. The Cro-magnon in him wants to mate with you as often as he can and show you he’s still healthy.”

Every time Dr. Willowby said, “you”, he put a lot of emphasis on the word and pointed right at me with stabbing motions. I really wanted to understand Peter.

“If I understand you-you’re saying his brain wants to show me he’s still King Kong but his body is saying “not tonight dear I have a headache.” But I had to slap him. Hard!”

“And you might have to again. And if he gets any more violent call the cops then call me. I’ll tell my service to put your call through really quick. But getting back to Peter, his mind and his brain are not in sync. They should be in about a week. Now for the sex part. Since he can’t perform the way he wants to let him cuddle you. Or sooth you. Or you can let him try to please you with his fingers but that parts totally up to you. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Him seeing a positive reaction from you could do wonders for his libido. Try to let him know that you know he’s going through a rough patch but you still really want him. It’s imperative he feels useful in this relationship. If he starts to feel he’s useless and a burden to you things are going to become more difficult for him.”

Just then was a knock at the door and Peter entered.

Dr. Willowby was visibly upset with Peter. He didn’t get out the chair or shake his hand. He simply told him to take a seat.

“I’m disappointed Peter, very disappointed. I rarely have to say this to my other patients but if you don’t smarten up you can start looking for a new doctor. I tell you not to go online and research your cancer. But from what Cassie has said it sounds like you’ve done exactly that. And I can tell you what I think you found.”

Doctor Willowby got out of his chair and went over to his desk. He lifted a file folder simply marked “OOD – 50 years” from his file cabinet and dropped it on his desk. It made a thunderous crash. “These reports are out of date. Fifty years ago when somebody got a diagnosis of cancer it was pretty well meant a death sentence.” But he slammed his fist on the desk for dramatic effect. “But that was fifty years ago. Hardly anybody dies from throat cancer and certainly not from a stage 2 carcinoma. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for you could end up reading fifty-year-old data. Leave the medical research to the professionals.”

Dr. Willowby returned to his chair. Then he leaned forward and looked right at Peter.

“You are on thin ice my friend, very thin ice. Every cancer patient will have mood swings but you don’t forcibly move someone, and you certainly do not under any circumstances try to force somebody to have sex with you. Now, because I heard about this first you get a get out of jail card. But if you ever try either of those things again with Cassie or anyone else the cops will take you away for so long you’ll never get your voice back. And there won’t be anything I can do. I understand what you’re going through. I had throat cancer, stage two, just like yours twenty years ago. I survived through the love of a very patient, understanding wife. You scared Cassie. Very, very badly. If you’re smart, and I think you are, I’d wine and dine this wonderful young lady and apologize like you never have before. I know you can’t perform the way you want. But you can still cuddle, hold hands, sooth her, stroke her hair, and something Cassie will tell you about. Just remember to be a gentleman 24 hours a day. And no wine or spirits for you. You’re on the wagon till I say differently. The only alcohol that should be in your system should be from a cotton swab. Now take this gorgeous young lady to lunch. And you drive home. When you get home start to write a new book. And maybe in a few weeks, if all goes well you can autograph all three of your others for me.” 

As we got up leave Dr. Willowby asked me to stay behind.

“OK, I threw some ice cold water on his face. Text me in a few days and let me know how it’s going.”

I wanted to ask Dr. Willowby another question.

“Can I ask you another question? Why are you taking such a personal interest in this case? We’re no different than any other case.”

“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong. You and Peter remind me of my wife and me some twenty years ago. Plus I think you really love that big monkey and he really loves you. I just don’t want to see this relationship go up in smoke.”

As I walked towards the door I stopped and said a very impulsive thing.

“Somewhere, under that white lab coat, is a hopeless romantic screaming to get out.”

“Cassie Carter, you’re beginning to sound like my wife. See you next week, and make a note of any problems.”

Dr. Willowby handed me a list of all Peters appointments for that week. Times, locations, everything we needed.

Before we went home Peter began to apologize for his horrible, scary behavior. He asked what Dr. Willowby and I talked about before he arrived. I told him. Point blank. I said either he straightens out or I walk. I could have mentioned my simplistic version of the diagnosis, my King Kong and the headache bit, but I thought he’d had enough cold water for one day. Besides, I was hungry!

He took me to a little sidewalk bistro. He ordered or at least tried to. I had to help him with that. I was then I discovered how just how helpless he really was. No iPad, nothing to write on. Nothing. When the person taking our order finally moved on Peter let me in on a little secret. He had already started work on a fourth book. From what I could understand it was based on us. He said it was a piece of romantic fiction. I asked when he started it. Peter said he started it the day he met me. Peter prefers to write at night. He says there are fewer distractions. When I asked if I could read some of it he initially said no. Then he changed his mind. “No, I’d really like your opinion. Normally I don’t let anybody but my agent read anything I’m still in the process of writing but I would like a woman’s opinion.” What he said next answered a great many nagging questions I still had. Questions I had about us. “I’d like my fiancée’s opinion.”

I couldn’t help it but I asked him if he any ideas for a title. “Right now I’m toying with two titles.” But he didn’t tell me what they were. He just sat there looking at me. It was a little unnerving.

“Well, are you going to tell me? The suspense is killing me.” He started to chuckle. “I love looking at your face when you’re like this. Your face is gorgeous and your curiosity infectious. You remind of a little kid on Christmas morning.”

I couldn’t stand it anymore. I kicked him. “Peter James Christopher. Are you going to tell me or not? Do you realize that what you’re doing could be called cruel and inhuman torture?” He started to chuckle some more and slapped the table.

“PJC, are you ever going to tell me or are you toying with me too?” Peters’ face took on a semi-serious expression. “Alright. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t help not doing that. I’m working with two titles. One is The Lady Next Door and the other is The Woman From Blue.”

Neither one really grabbed me. I tried to imagine myself in a book store and seeing two books on the shelves with those titles. If I simply saw the title and didn’t see the actual artwork neither one would garner enough interest to make me want to pick it up and give it a quick glance.

“Mind if I make a suggestion? What about The Lady From Blue Cottage? A title like that would interest me enough to pick it up and take a look at it.”

Peter looked like he was thinking. “I like it. It’s short and memorable. It’s on the list.”

Then I asked him how many chapters he had written. “Only twelve chapters” My eyes bugged out in surprise. Then I asked if I could read some chapters expecting a strong no. “Sure. Will three chapters do?”

***

When we got home he handed me the first three chapters. He went to bed early. I stayed up reading what he had written, then re-reading it. The detail was frightening accurate. Even Mr. Lemay was in it. But Peter had changed his last name to Murphy. When I came to bed he was already asleep. As I looked at him I tried to imagine the monster of the night before. And the longer I looked the monster disappeared.

Chapter 6A – Blue Cottage

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I was face down on top of the mattress. Exhausted. The sheets were sad shape. They were torn and in need of a change. I had all the energy that you can find on the pointy end of a pin. But just enough energy to open one eyelid. I felt whole and wonderfully complete. I finally found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. From what I could hear he was doing something in the kitchen. I could smell something yummy but I was just too tired to identify the smells. I heard pans clang together. Peter soon walked into the bedroom wearing a big fluffy robe he probably got from some hotel, carrying a small tray. I could see a stack of waffles was on one dish while toast was on another. A glass of orange juice sat beside the dishes. And there was life-giving coffee!  But it was the way he woke me up. He put the tray on a chair and started to gently rub my tummy which was oh so soothing I almost fell asleep again. And he gently kissed my lips just barely touching them. Then he ran the tip of his tongue over the surface of them. That stirred feelings deep inside me that made me want oh so much more. He was standing at the side of the bed and knelt down till he could see my face. I loved the way he looked into my eyes. He stood up and bent over and whispered into my ear. Talk about a wakeup call!

“Good morning sleepy head. Oh, by the way. I do love you, Cassie Carter. Will you please be my wife…please?”

That got my attention. I was engaged to be married. At least, I think I was. As I sat up my brain started functioning. I came to the conclusion I really was engaged and Peter really was going to be my husband. And then I remembered everything else that led to that conclusion. And the feelings that followed the conclusion. Those warm yummy feelings. I felt so warm inside. But as much as I wanted food I wanted something else, something a lot more satisfying. I tried reaching for Peters robe but he was just out of reach. I really wanted to untie that damn robe and get to what was behind it.

“Stop swatting my robe. Eat first then we can….well you know. Put tab A into slot B.”

I’ve heard the physical act of sex described in many ways, some in dreamy romantic ways, some really graphic and gross. But I’ve never heard it described in quite that manner. I lifted up the sheets and peeked trying to figure out which part I was. Then I decided I that at that exact moment in time I really didn’t care.

A minute after I stopped swatting at Peters robe (he actually made me promise to stop swatting!) he finally sat on the edge of the bed. I sat up and looked at the contents of the tray while I slowly slipped a hand onto his thigh and…well, I think you can guess where my hand was headed. I discovered there was a small dish of crispy bacon on the tray.

“This looks so good. The bacon, the waffles, the orange juice. But what I really want isn’t on the tray. It’s nearby and it’s so obedient too.”

I felt a slight stiffening. I had done it! I got him all hot and bothered. I think it’s safe to say it has been a while since a woman did that to him. Peter took off the robe with great flair and flung it on a chair. He got back in bed with the speed of a rabbit after a carrot.

“All right woman. Prepare to be tabbed.” I already was.

I surprised him and rolled on top of him. I got on top so I could eat and “be tabbed” at the same time. I almost spilled my orange juice on Peters’ face. But I discovered something rather interesting. I could munch on the bacon while we played “tab and slot”. I even fed Peter a strip of bacon but I think he preferred munching on me. After a toe-curling shudder, I know he preferred munching on me. His grin told me that. For a little variety, I lifted up one of my breasts and put a little butter on the nipple. What that man could do with his tongue! Then I put a dab of jam on my other nipple then put my hands on either side of his head. We rubbed our noses together then kissed. He ran his fingers through my hair while he sucked on the nipples. What a feeling. I arched my back and purred. I don’t know which was better. What he was doing to me or what I was doing for him. He whispered that he wanted some more bacon. There was only one slice still on the dish. I picked it up. It was stone cold. I told him it was cold. He insisted on the bacon saying I’ll like the result. I noticed that the further I inserted bacon went into him the more he inserted “tab” into me. There was no on this earth I was going to argue with that, and he got the bacon. I really wish there was another slice on the dish. After another shudder, I got off of Peter. I sat on the bed panting while he reached for what was left of my orange juice.

“Hey! That’s mine. Get your own” I said playfully.

As punishment (If you want to call it that), I got back on top. I  think Peter rather enjoyed having me on top. He loved looking at me. All of me. And I loved the attention. It felt perfectly natural to have him look at my body. All of it. When I was on top I asked him which part of me he liked looking at most. He pointed at my tummy. “Life starts in there” he whispered. Of all the places he could have picked. All of a sudden he grabbed my fanny and pushed me down on top of “tab”. I knew what was about to happen. And it felt wonderful. I gripped the sheets, closed my eyes and moaned. My vision went blurry for a while. My eyes must have rolled. It had never happened to me quite like that before. It was just so intense. After the feeling left me I collapsed on Peters’ chest. I was exhausted. I was also covered in sweat. Peter somehow pulled the sheets up so I wouldn’t get cold. He also put his arms around me. Lordy, what a ride! He started massaging the muscles at the base of my neck and whispered something.

“Shower or swim? m’lady”

I was too tired to do much thinking.

“Shwim” I said. I think.

***

I started to wake up in the shower. I was so glad that I didn’t have to think. I was numb but it was a very pleasant satisfied kind of numb. A woman can have sex and experience a lot of the feelings I did. But when a woman loves the man she’s with and willingly gives her body to him the feelings, the level of satisfaction she gets is so much more. I’m not sure it’s the same for a man, but that’s the way it is for me. So far Peter and I have had sex only twice and its been excruciating exquisite each time. I hope it’s like this for the rest of time.

***

We were in then kitchen cleaning up after lunch when Peters phone rang and he handed the it to me. It was Dr. Willowby. He said a spot had just opened up. I put him on speaker phone so Peter could hear him.

“I hope this doesn’t foul up your plans but this sort of thing rarely happens. If we could start your treatments next week that would be great. The sooner we get a jump on this bug the better. You’d be finished two full weeks sooner. Your summer wouldn’t be a total loss. Do you have any questions?”

I turned toward Peter and he croaked out a few words (at least I think they were words), but he was having a really bad day. I translated as best I could. Before I spoke with Dr. Willowby I consulted with Peter if I understood him correctly. “Are you really sure you want me to ask him that?” I asked him. Peter nodded slowly. I turned my attention back to the phone.

“Sorry for the delay Dr. Willowby. I wanted to make sure I understood Peter correctly. He would like to know if somebody had to die in order for him to be put on the fast track?”

I think Dr. Willowby was surprised by the question. You could hear him audibly sigh before answering.

“I’m afraid so. Another patient was already getting radiation treatment when his heart simply gave out. But he had a stage four cancer. Look, I’m sorry to put you on the spot but I need an answer right now.”

I leaned over and whispered in Peters’ ear. “I want my husband whole”. Peter nodded. “Just tell us what time you want us,” I said.

“Great. You really got lucky.-”

All of a sudden Peter smiled and croaked “I certainly did”. He squeezed my hand. He then gave me a surprise. He told me he loved me in American sign language. He pointed at himself, covered his heart and pointed at me. Dr. Willowby got a little flustered after realizing what he had said.

“I…um…oh…All of your appointments will be at 10 AM except for Wednesdays. I want you to wear collarless tee-shirts. Bring your health card and you’ll be good to go. Just one question. Who is your next of kin?”

Peter croaked out one-word “Fiancée”

“Peter, did you say fiancé?” asked a perplexed Dr. Willowby.

I put one hand on Peters’ chest and a finger to my lips. “He sure did Dr. Willowby. We’re engaged to be married!” I said enthusiastically.

There was a pause while Dr. Willowby processed what he just heard.

“Well…Congratulations to you both! All the more reason to start early. Tee-shirt and health card for you Peter. Come to my office on floor number 2 after your treatment. Have you got a notepad nearby?” he asked.

I walked over and got the one from the kitchen counter and came back to the phone.

“You’ll be in treatment room 5 which located on level 2B or 2 below. Just come into the hospital, go to the elevator, and press the button marked 2B. After your first treatment you’ll be given a green card which you can simply scan when you arrive each day. When you do that my office will be notified instantly you’re in the hospital and ready to get zapped. After the treatment, I want to see you both. Congrats to you both. You both deserve a break. You two sure know how to brighten up my day. I just sent you a text message with the instructions as a back-up to this call. See you on Monday after the first treatment. Bye.”

I don’t know if it was a good omen but a shaft of sunshine suddenly flooded the living room.

***

That night before bed I was reading on the couch and Peter was in his favorite recliner doing the same. And it just wouldn’t leave my mind. I had to ask him.

“This question has been on my mind most of the day. Do you really like my tummy the most or did I put you on the spot?”.

Peter put a bookmark in his book. He got out of his chair and came over to the couch beside me. After he sat down I put my head in his lap, got nice and comfy and looked up at him. He stroked my hair and for a short time rubbed my tummy.

“This question is really important to you. Why?’ he asked.

The question did mean a lot to me. I didn’t know why, but for some reason I needed to know the answer.

“Most men would have chosen a body part that was much more obvious like my breasts or “down there”. Most men would have chosen something that gives them pleasure and was visible. But you didn’t, and I’m really curious why you chose my tummy. Personally, I think it’s about as arousing as a shoe box. So scribe, tell me why?”. I squirmed a bit trying to get really comfy. I liked where I was.

Peter unbuttoned my blouse and put his hand on my tummy. His voice was a soft whisper at the end of the day.

“Life is special and not something to be taken lightly. You have the eggs” his hand pressed on my tummy “and I have the sperm. By themselves they’re not very useful. But life can only happen when the two are mixed together. In your tummy. I’m hoping you and I can have a boy and a girl. But no matter who we get they’ll all start in same place. And if for some reason we can’t have our own children we can always adopt. Adopting a child that isn’t part of you biologically doesn’t make it any less special. In time, it will become part of us. And in a little more time we’ll become part of it.”

That answer just blew me away. I didn’t expecting any of it. I expected something like “I love your boobs” or “I just love being inside”. But he didn’t go for any of the typical answers. Obviously he had been giving this a lot of thought. His non-answers only brought up more questions.

“Where on Earth did that come from? How long have you been thinking about this” I asked totally unprepared for the answer.

“Let me try to finish my answer to your first question.” He took a breath in. As each day passed it was getting just a bit harder to speak. “Don’t think for a second I’m disappointed with your body. I can’t get enough your breasts” he gave them a gentle squeeze “and I’m totally in love with “her”. He put his hand between my legs and on her. When you were on laying on the deck at Blue Cottage I couldn’t stop looking at you. You, m’lady, have a body that will stop traffic. I am so lucky I was in the water or you would have seen a real lump under my wet suit.”

I was surprised at this admission. I put a finger nail between my teeth as I looked into his eyes. I wanted to know more. I had no idea my body had this effect on him.

“But you hadn’t seen me naked yet. How did you get aroused?” I really wanted to know the answer to this.

“When I was looking at you I was letting my fertile, slightly warped imagination run wild. And when you sat a certain way I could almost see everything. But you needn’t worry. You had to be sitting at at a very specific angle, with me being at an equally specific angle. I assure you nobody else saw or could see anything.”

I sat bolt upright and looked right at him. “What do you mean I needn’t worry? Your goodies weren’t on display for the whole world to see!. I’m burning that bikini tomorrow!” Peter convinced me to keep the bikini for when just he and I were on the deck. I tightened up of couple of thread bundles and everything that shouldn’t be seen soon couldn’t. From then on whenever we were on the deck and he looked at me I knew he was looking at me. Just what his imagination was up to…well, lets just say the jury’s still out.

…still more to come