(Daddy/Ben, February, 28 months since Kitten and Daddy started dating, six months since Chapter 10)
I walked into my house and shivered. Everything was such a blur when I left that I must have forgotten to set the automatic timers. And I never trusted “smart” houses. The last thing I needed was some asshole hacker trying to kill me in my sleep by turning on the oven and burning down the house.
I made a quick adjustment on the heating panel and then headed to the living room’s fireplace. Winter in Kingston wasn’t bitter like the prairies or the arctic but was cold and damp enough. A fire would keep us warm until the heaters got the rest of the house liveable.
It also gave me something to do. Having something to focus on had become an essential thing for me in the last few weeks.
I heard the presence of the other two people coming into the house. One moved into the kitchen and began rustling around. I was betting it was Meg using the pretext of the cold to steal some more of my expensive coffee. The other came behind me and rested her small hand on my shoulder.
“Are you ok, Daddy?” she asked.
Kitten had been asking me that a lot the last few weeks. It was a reflex for her by now, and I could almost feel her regret asking it once again. However, my response was pretty rote by now.
“I’m fine, Kitten. Don’t worry,” I said.
There was zero chance that Kitten and Meg were not worried about me. They’d been a constant presence for weeks, and I hadn’t been alone for more than a few minutes without one of them near me, keeping an eye on me to make sure I was ok.
I would be frustrated with the hovering if I didn’t understand why they were doing it. Past precedent has shown I don’t handle the death of a loved one well. And I had just lost my mother.
With the fire going, I stood up, gave Kitten what I hoped was a reassuring kiss on the head. Then I turned and limped over to the window. The cold and damp were doing a number on my knee, so I leaned on my cane more than usual. It was dark out, so it’s not like I could see much. But at that moment, I just wanted to stare into space and get my thoughts in order. The window worked as well as anything else.
I could feel Kitten wanting to do something more for me, but instead gave me the space I needed. She backed off and went to the kitchen to help Meg fuss with things. But I could still feel them looking at me from time to time, making sure I was all right.
I sighed and reflected on the last few weeks. I took comfort that I could remember my mother’s funeral.
Beth’s had been a blur. The painkillers, grief, and rage meant I recalled little of it. I’m told I behaved myself and sat in a disbelieving daze through most of it. I’m suspicious if that was actually the case, given my behaviour in the months that followed, but I hope that’s what happened.
But at least for mom, I knew the end was coming and I could prepare. Every time I flew out to see her and dad, I said goodbye, knowing full well one of those times I really was going to be saying goodbye forever.
And then I got the call from my shell-shocked dad at three in the morning, and that was that.
Kitten had the preemptive conversation with me over Christmas when we knew it wasn’t going to be long now. Summed up: Do not even, for a second, try to be the stoic hero and go out there for the funeral by yourself. I’m going, that’s that.
Part of me wanted to argue the point because she was having a challenging year. Her workload was massive, and on top of that, she was trying to help Kris with a difficult transition from Saskatchewan party girl to a somewhat responsible adult with questionable success. I wanted to spare her the extra pressure of having to deal with a grieving fiance.
Standing in the grey Vancouver rain days earlier, listening to the minister and clutching Kitten’s hand, I was glad I listened to her and didn’t try to be heroic. Maybe I could have handled it on my own; I’m glad I didn’t have to find out.
But after weeks of making sure I was ok and keeping a close eye on me, the two of them had to head back to their lives in a couple of days. Kitten desperately needed to get back to Montreal. She’d been doing her best trying to keep up with her classwork long distance, but this was crunch time. She couldn’t afford to miss too many more days of school.
Meg needed to get back to work. She’d taken a job in Ottawa with an advocacy group encouraging diversity in elections.
“The pay is brutal, the hours are long, and I’m listening to so much bullshit from politicians and their lackeys that it’s a miracle I haven’t strangled them with my bare hands. It’s the only sane reaction to have if you’re around them long enough,” she complained to me a few months ago.
“But you couldn’t be happier, right?” I asked. I knew my friend well.
“Fuck yeah! With luck, I’ll help get these assholes unelected, and we’ll put some useful humans in there. Much less jail time involved than strangling,” bonus veren siteler she said.
I was skeptical, but it has been night and day since she quit her old firm, went on vacation, and started this job. She looked ten years younger and I couldn’t be happier.
So yeah, now I had to convince them I was all right and to leave me alone. We’ll see.
I heard rustling behind me, so I stopped staring at nothing and turned around. Meg was managing with three mugs of coffee and Kitten was coming out with a plate of food she’d managed to forage from the cupboards. Surprisingly, I was hungry. My appetite vanished since mom died. The two of them threatened IVs to get me nutrients at one point.
“Thanks, guys,” I said, grabbing some cheese and crackers. I sat on the couch and Kitten immediately jumped on it and cuddled next to me. Partially to comfort me, but also to steal heat until the place warmed up. Meg plopped down in the armchair. For a few minutes we didn’t do much other than snack and warm up.
“Did you text your dad to let him know we landed safely?” Meg asked.
I nodded. Meg still had an aggrieved look on her face.
“I always knew where you got your pain in the ass stubbornness, but I think this is a new level even for him. He all but shoved you on the plane,” she said.
“It was kinda weird,” Kitten agreed from my side.
“No, it wasn’t,” I said, sipping my coffee. I was trying to figure out a way to phrase it that didn’t make him sound cold or heartless. “Meg, you’ve seen this before. He never understood why I reacted the way I did when I lost Beth. Sure you could be shocked and upset for a few weeks because it was so sudden. But carrying on the way I did for so many months, he never understood.”
“I know, but that was a little different. It was your wife and there was always a little tension between her and them….”
I could feel Kitten shift, and when I glanced down she was looking at me quizzically.
“They believed Beth ‘tricked’ me by not saying earlier in our relationship that she couldn’t have kids. Or, more importantly, give them grandchildren. It was a whole thing for a while in our 20s,” I said.
I could see her eyes get wide, as if that was a thing people fought over.
“He’s mellowed a lot, Kit,” Meg added. “For the better, I should add. This is why I’m surprised he isn’t more upset about losing his wife. Or that he didn’t want you around longer to grieve with him. Instead, he practically tossed you out the door.”
“He grieves in his own way,” I said, staring at the fire. “We all do. He would never break down around other people because that’s not who he is. If I were still single, maybe he would have let me stay around. But I have Kitten and you, so there’s no need to worry about me. And he’ll handle things in his own way.
“Plus, when I lost Beth, it was a shock. I had no time to prepare. He had months to get ready for this. He’s done a lot of his grieving already.”
Kitten muttered, “I wished I’d gotten to know her better. She seemed nice.”
I kissed her head. “She would have loved you, little girl.”
We were all quiet again for a few moments. If nothing else, the living room was getting warmer. No better time to make things awkward and address the elephant in the room.
“So, I love you, but you’re both leaving at the end of this weekend, right?” I asked.
Meg sat up straighter in the armchair and Kitten detached herself from me and sat up on the couch. Both of them started protesting at the same time. I was unsurprised. I put up my hand to quiet them. Surprisingly, they listened to me.
“You can’t stay with me for the rest of my life waiting to be 100% sure I’m not going to go off the deep end again,” I said. “I’m on my anti-depressants, I’m talking to my therapist, I have a fiance and best friend who are keeping an eye on me. Plus, I feel alright. I’m sad, but I’m not shattered.
“You have lives. You need to get back to them.”
“Daddy, I worry about you being in this house by yourself. Maybe you should at least come to Montreal for a few weeks just to make sure,” Kitten said. I saw Meg nodding her head. Their relationship had evolved into something unique over the last two years. They went from wanting to kill each other to being good friends.
“I appreciate the thought, Kitten, but you have a lot of school work to catch up and I’m not distracting you. Plus, you still have Kris rattling around your loft and I think that’s one person too many in your tiny place,” I said.
I could feel her shift and look at me.
“If we need the space it’s a pretty easy choice on how to make that happen. It’s been six months and nothing. I hoped for more than her getting fired from bartending jobs and partying her way across Montreal,” she said.
Kitten felt responsible for Kris after seeing where she was in her life during our brief stop in Saskatchewan. They’d drifted apart and Kitten wanted to mend things. It was admirable, reaching bedava bahis out and trying to make a difference. I think she hoped Kris would come to Montreal, see how hard Kitten was working, and figure things out.
It hadn’t quite worked that way. Instead of Kitten ‘pulling’ Kris up, Kris did her best to make the opposite happen. There had been at least one blowout that I knew about, and probably a few others besides. Kris was frustrated her friend was not fun anymore; Kitten was frustrated by her friend’s behavior.
When she complained about Kris’s immaturity, I had the luck not to be looking at her. By the time I did, I had a neutral look on my face. I should have won the Oscar that day.
“Kris is going to be out on her own soon enough. You’re finished school in a couple of months and then she will have to make some choices. But until then, I’m not staying at your place unless I have to. If I feel bad, I will come up to see you or Meg. But I think I can handle spending four days a week alone,” I said.
The scowls on their faces let me know neither one of them were pleased with the decision. There were several more attempts to get me to change my mind while the house warmed up, but I was firm. It was time for things to get back to normal.
Later that night Kitten and I were in bed with just the lamp on the end table providing light. Courtesy of a three-hour time zone difference, we were also still wide awake. Our sex life the last couple of weeks had been practically non-existent. But she was lying naked on top of me and while she wasn’t trying to seduce me, a naked petite redhead will have an effect. She was being patient, waiting for me to make the first move.
I was getting there, but first I had some apologizing to do.
“You had a pretty shitty birthday this year,” I said. “I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”
Mom’s passing had many consequences, but one of them was that her birthday was a couple of days after the funeral. Nobody felt like celebrating. But even if I had been tempted to put something half-hearted together, Kitten was adamant it was not an appropriate time. I was hoping to convince her to let me do something now. I wasn’t expecting her to make it easy.
“I turned 22, Daddy. It’s not like that’s a milestone birthday. Besides, you know how I feel about my birthday and Valentine’s Day. I’m fine,” she said, running her hand through my beard. I felt my cock get harder.
“Yes, and you know how I feel about trying to change that. It’s your birthday and you’re young. It should be a happy occasion for you,” I said, running my hand down her back. She smiled, which gave me some pause because I recognized the kind of smile it was. It was the type that meant I had walked into something.
“If you want to give me something, come to Montreal,” she started. Before I could protest, she gave my beard a little tug to focus my attention. “Not this week; I know I’m not going to win that battle. But give me a week or so to get caught up at school and then visit me. We’ll go out, have a nice romantic supper.
“Maybe we’ll go shopping at Rachelle’s store again and pick out some new outfits. Plus, I need some wedding night lingerie and I suspect she might have some ideas about that. Then we spend a night or two at a nice hotel. That’s all the birthday gift I need.”
Kitten squirming on top of me was enough to get me hard, but her suggestion of visiting Rachelle’s store stirred things. It had been a while since I’d even thought of her, let alone visited her store. Some of Kitten’s outfits and toys were showing some wear and tear. So that sounded like an excellent birthday plan.
She must have felt my cock twitch, because her grin got larger, and she began moving her hips back and forth a bit to help keep my interest. Then she got a strange look on her face.
“Can I ask one more thing for my birthday,” she said. I started answering immediately in the yes. Whatever she wanted. She’d help keep me together the last few weeks. But she gave me a look.
“No, you need to hear this first before you say yes. I’m not sure about this,” she said. Kitten had the oddest look on her face. It had been a long time since I’d seen her embarrassed and, frankly, a little scared. She took a deep breath and got started.
“The first time we went to Rachelle’s, I was pretty young and naive,” she started.
“As opposed to the elderly, worldly woman you are now,” I said, trying to make her laugh and relax. It didn’t work. She scowled at me in a way that indicated that I should stop talking. I lifted my hands off her back and put them up in surrender. Placated, she kept talking.
“Back then Rachelle said if we ever wanted to get into the local swingers club she could arrange it,” she said.
Well, this evening just took a turn into the profoundly odd.
“Kitten, do you want to go to a swinger’s club?” I asked.
She flushed a bright red and then, nervously, nodded her head slightly.
I had several things deneme bonus I needed to process quickly so that this didn’t blow up into something disastrous. And, to put it mildly, I wasn’t operating at 100%. But the first thought was “don’t judge this,” quickly followed by the second thought of “Why now?”
I could also see that Kitten was on the verge of having a breakdown if I didn’t respond quickly.
“Kitten, I’m going to be hard-pressed to ever say no to you. If you want to visit the club, then sure, I’ll contact Rachelle and make the arrangements. But you understand I’m curious why you want to go now?” I asked. “Are you…unhappy? Do you just want to explore things or people… “
Honestly, it was always a worry lurking just beneath the surface. I’m in pretty decent shape for a man now over 50 and I have a pretty healthy sex drive. But she’s 22 and has a very active one. Did she need more?
Judging by the way she was vigorously shaking her head, I shouldn’t worry.
“Oh God, no Daddy! Fuck, I knew I was going to screw this up. I shouldn’t have brought this up now, but you said earlier we need to get things back to normal and then you mentioned my birthday and I thought now would be a good time, but of course, it isn’t because we just got back and….”
I grabbed her by the shoulders, pulled her up to my chest, and kissed her. I found it the best way to stop her when she started babbling. For the next couple of minutes we kissed and I ran my hands down her back and ass to reassure her everything was ok.
When we stopped, she looked calmer, but still nervous.
“Ok, so I’m going to ask you some questions. I’m not judging or upset. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on,” I said. “First, why is this coming up now after two years?”
She took a deep breath and started.
“I ran into Rachelle a few weeks ago. A couple of days before we had to fly out to Vancouver for your mom’s funeral. There was no good time to bring it up before now,” she said.
Well, that was a bit of news to drop.
“How….” I started.
“Kris and I were having coffee, well, arguing over coffee, and Rachelle swung by the table to say hello. Kris had a hard time pulling her jaw off the table because, well….”
“Rachelle is stunning,” I said.
“No duh. Anyway, we chatted for a few moments. Rachelle told me I should swing by the as she had some fun new things in the store. And I said I’d try and convince you, which made her laugh,” Kitten said.
That was fair. Like I needed an excuse to take Kitten to a high-end lingerie and sex toy store.
“And then, just as she was getting ready to leave, she looked back and said the invitation to the club was still open and that we should think about it. Then after dropping that little bomb, she said adieu and walked out.”
I sighed. It was harmless, of course. Rachelle didn’t have a vicious bone in her body unless you asked her properly and then, well, yes, Mistress Rachelle could be quite vicious. Or so I had heard. She just had the bad timing to say it in front of Kris.
“Let me guess, Kris was unrelenting,” I said.
Kitten gave an exasperated look.
“She would not leave me the fuck alone about it. ‘What kind of store?’ ‘Can we go there?’ What kind of club?’ ‘Would you seriously go there and can you take me?’ Unlike Gillian and Soo, I’ve kept quiet about the kinkier aspects of our relationship. I don’t trust that she’s not going to blab that back to her friends in Kipling. She still doesn’t have a solid idea of everything we do.
“But this a chance to visit a real sex club. I’ve already gotten a text tonight asking if I’m going to bring it up with you. She desperately wants to go, although I don’t know if it’s to fuck around or find out what we will get up to,” she said.
Kitten rolled off of me at this point. She sat with her back against the headboard.
“At first, it was easy to tell her no, I’m not going to a swingers club. I didn’t see the point. I only want you and no other guy. And you’re possibly the only guy in history who has been with their girlfriend for two years and never asked if they wanted to do a threesome…”
I laughed, which felt fantastic. It was hurting muscles that needed to be stretched and flexed again. Not for the 1000th time I thanked the gods for this woman.
“You are more than enough,” I said. “I wouldn’t know what to do with another woman. It would honestly probably be more stressful than fun.”
Kitten nodded, as if I had given the correct answer.
“Kris asked once if we would be into that sort of thing…”
“What?” I said, turning to look at her. She didn’t look back.
“Oh, don’t even get me started. We made out a few times when we were younger, because that’s what you do to tease boys. Now she’s curious to see what has me so willing to toss away my ‘freedom.’ Besides, I know you would never go for her, but she’s exactly the type to try and make things difficult,” Kitten said, giving an exasperated sigh.
I knew she was in a hurry for school to be over. Now I understood why she was eager to leave Montreal and move on with things.
“Anyway, back to sex clubs,” I said, trying to inject some levity into the situation. It worked as I got Kitten to giggle.