A Man for Mom
Click on image to enlarge.
by Linda L Lattimer
Description: Lizbeth holds onto past memories that still haunt her concerning her dead husband. Now ten years later she marries a man younger than her, still having doubts if she should even go through with the marriage. The ghost of John still haunts her on occasions. She would do anything to rid herself of all these images. She keeps a journal since all the torment started when she met and married John, hoping that it would end her heartache. When she marries Mark, and he discovers her secret journal, he has to know what is really troubling his new bride. After she finds out that her journal has been taken and read, will she still have a happy marriage with Mark or will betrayal once again push her further away from any men? Does Mark really want to help or hurt the situation?
eBook Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc., 2006 2006
eBookwise Release Date: December 2006
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [304 KB]
Reading time: 220-308 min.
Mark shook his head. He wished more than ever now that he could get into her head, find out what that monster had done to her. This was more than just needing a bathroom break. Ghosts. He caught himself staring into the back seat. Stop it man. Look at yourself, get a grip.
"Lizbeth, you have to come to terms with me on this. It is going to tear our marriage up if you don't." * * * *
Lizbeth looked under the stalls, no one inside but her, good. Steam issued from her nostrils. She was like a charging bull. "Okay, John, now I want you to hear this and hear it now. I want you out of my life once and for all!"
She waited a second. He materialized in front of her.
You're just upset with Mark and you're taking it out on me.
"Excuse me. You're dead--gone. Why do you keep popping into my head?"
Come on, Lizbeth, I am the same as Mark. I loved you just as much as he loves you, if not more.
"But his love for me is different. His is genuine. Husband Number Two is not gay, husband Number One was. You put me through a living hell, John. I have scars so deep they will never go away. If you had x-ray vision you could probably see all the torture you put me through. Not to mention damaging my self-esteem. Something that I find hard to get over. Now I am begging you, get out of my life. Stay out of my life. I'm happily married to a wonderful man. Please leave me alone. Please." She begged with all the strength she could muster.
Lizbeth closed her eyes for a moment then opened them hoping he would be gone. And he was. She breathed a sigh of relief until two women on the other side of the bathroom walked around to see if she was okay. Lizbeth almost soiled her pants in that very spot.
"Oh, hi," she smiled. Think, think. "I was rehearsing for a play I'm in when I get to New Orleans. I'm sorry. I didn't realize anyone was in here."
Apparently her performance hadn't been convincing enough to warrant her any stage production. The expression on their faces told her they weren't buying it. She was certain they'd be heading out the door screaming insane woman and a guard on duty would be manhandling her out of the bathroom straight to Mark.
The tall, slender redhead smiled at her as she held to her mother's hand. Lizbeth found out later that the gray-haired woman was indeed the young girl's mother.
"I've been there. He told me he was completely straight from the get-go until I caught him many times when I came in from work. I tried making it a go, since we had children, but I couldn't. I didn't know how to compete against another man. I was fighting a losing battle."
Liquid quickly filmed Lizbeth's eyes. She knew exactly what pain had troubled the woman. She explained how she was on her honeymoon with a wonderful man who was indeed an all beefy man, but she couldn't get the ghost to leave her alone.
The woman offered her sympathy and even gave Lizbeth her phone number and address if she ever needed to talk. It was unbelievable. Lizbeth wiped her face, hurried to empty her bladder, then joined Mark outside. The woman was getting in her car when Lizbeth stepped over to Mark. She gave a wave.
"You okay, Hon?"
"Oh yeah, I am much better now."
He pulled the lids of her eyes upward and looked deep inside. "You appear to be all right. Your color is better now. You ready to get to our city of fabulous food, sounds and fun?"
"Let's go, you handsome man."
Mark pulled her close, kissing her softly as his hands cupped her rear, giving it a squeeze.
Lizbeth beamed. "Oh, I've never had a kiss like that before, especially one with a remarkable squeeze."
"Better get used to it."
She returned the favor, squeezing his buttocks.
"Oh, Lizbeth, we better get in the car before people start phoning the police."
"I can't wait to get you in the hotel room."
He held her hand as they edged to the car, then helped her buckle the seatbelt. "Now, no more stops until we are there, you hear me, little lady?"
She arched her brows seductively. "Why are you taking so long? Get this car on the highway, mister."
As the wheels turned taking them to their next playground of fun-filled pleasures, all she could see was Mark's exuberant body, as it covered hers like a blanket. She thought about the moment in the bathroom for a second, as she quickly scribbled the events inside the small notebook she carried everywhere. It had become her own personal diary that she kept most of the time.
In fact, she'd kept notes right after she started discovering a good many new informative facts on John. They had been an eye-opener that she never wanted the children to read about, or know the secret concerning their father.
Moments later, Mark tapped the air control. The weather had turned a bit warmer as they headed further south. He lazily allowed his eye to wander and get a glimpse of Lizbeth's actions as she recorded events in the notebook. When she finished, he noticed she hid the notebook inside the center compartment under some other papers. He didn't inquire what it was all about, but he hoped to one day be able to get a peek. Maybe it would give him insight to her behavior with a man. At least he hoped so. * * * * Nine
Mark had chosen another wonderful stop near the French Quarter to retire and enjoy their honeymoon. Everything was within walking distance. They'd have three incredible days and nights to explore the city. Lizbeth could hardly wait to go to Café Du Monde and taste the exquisite beignets.
She was glad he hadn't driven over the very long bridge. She'd always feared bridges and the length of water underneath. At night when she had bad dreams, the bridges she crossed usually came crashing down and she ended up drowning.
Mother used to tell her and Diane that if they dreamed they were dying by someone's hands, or some other unforeseeable object in their dreams, and that they didn't immediately awake, they would indeed die. That always bothered her, wondering if that tale was true. It was something that had been told her mother when she was young, something she had heard passed down from others. Lizbeth had no desire to find out if it was true. Lizbeth fought furiously in her dreams, making sure she always awoke.
Most people would have no doubt found her behavior somewhat baffling, but that was the way she had always been. A grin creased her lips. Probably no more baffling than seeing her dead husband's ghost appear whenever she was enjoying herself. And now, when she experienced mad, captivating pleasure, with a man that sent shivers of delight straight to her heart, all would surely be bizarre to many folks.
Her attention turned back to the anticipation of the grand city of New Orleans. There would be Bourbon Street with all the gaiety, rich food and wonderful music to the ears. The sights and sounds were deliciously sinful. And once again, it was a place that she had been with John, only once, but it had been dull. As always he never wanted to wander out of the room. It was just another time in her history that had been lost. Unaccounted for. The more she thought about it, the more she realized she had indeed wasted most of her life.
Well, darn it, Lizbeth, if it had been that bad for you, you should have given me the divorce and not taken me back.
John once again stood before her as she unpacked her luggage. She turned her head wondering where Mark was. She found him looking out past the French Doors, enjoying the balcony.
She whispered, "I need you to leave, please. What part of that don't you understand? You never wanted to be here before. You never paid me any attention when you and I were here, so why come now?"
Why don't you answer me first? John drilled.
"I wanted the girls to have both parents, you know that. I don't need you here on my honeymoon, which if I may add, is more enjoyable than my first one. So scoot, goodbye."
You're having too much fun, Lizbeth.
"What, are you jealous because you couldn't show me this much rapture? Oh, wait a minute, perhaps you want to feel what his arms feel around you, or particularly, how his lower half can drive you to the point of insanity." She crossed her arms and stared straight at him.
John was speechless.
"That's it, I'm right. You're jealous because you didn't get to have a stab at him yourself. Well, I'll tell you something right now, John. Mark Stuart is a complete man. All beefy, all solid and one hundred percent male stud. And you know what? He's all mine. You will never have a chance with him."
You should think about this, Lizbeth, before I leave. Don't you find it odd that your new husband takes you to all the places you love? The places you and I have traveled? Not to mention having your second marriage in the same month as your first. I bet none of that has even really settled in your mind. You should think seriously on it, my dear.
Mark was moving away from the balcony doors as Lizbeth continued to stand cross-armed, looking toward the wall. She couldn't get over what John had said. It had never occurred to her, but she'd never admit it to John.
"Lizbeth, what are you doing? And what is that look for?" Mark's attention focused toward the wall and then back to her. "Wait a minute. Don't tell me you were seeing him again."
She didn't give him the chance to say anything more. She flew into his arms, stood on tiptoes, then pulled his head down so their lips could claim each other. The kiss was fiery hot, sizzling as she allowed her hunger for him to grow stronger. Her tongue savored his, mating, stinging like a fire out of control. Once he tried to break free to catch a breath, but she only tightened her grip.
Finally Mark pulled away. He was gasping for breath. "Okay, okay, give me some air, little darlin'. Where did that come from?"
She took the easy way out and lied. "I was standing here thinking how amazing you have made our trip. You chose the best possible places to sleep and to share walks. It was completely thought out. I'm sure you had to get some insight from my sister and daughters, before you put the package together. And speaking of package." Her fingers traveled around his neck and chest.
"Wait a minute, little darlin', there's more to this, I'm sure."
"Okay, it just seems strange that you've taken me to all my favorite places. Not to mention you had your heart set on a June wedding."
He waved his hands in the air, "Okay, you got me. I did do some research with your daughters and sister. I know you've been here with your ... well with your late husband. But Diane told me that it was never enjoyable. Face it, Lizbeth, I wanted you to have memories you would never forget in these two places."
He paused, raking a hand over his chin. "As for June, I have always wanted to have a June wedding. I know it's something that women usually prefer, but I love the month of June, and well, it just struck my fancy."
She feathered a finger over his moustache. "Oh sweetheart, how thoughtful. How did I rate finding someone like you?"