Éveiller Drive, Book 2
Published 2016 by Book Boutiques.
Copyright © 2016, Melanie James.
All rights reserved.
Kara was in a panic, her mother-in-law was coming for a visit, and that always spelled trouble. She had tried hard for the first four years of her and Dave’s marriage to play nice. She truly wanted the woman to like her. Now, two kids and six years later, she was beyond caring what the woman thought. The only thing that bugged her was the incessant bitching, nagging, and misery that Victoria brought with her each and every visit.
Victoria was a legendary ballbuster of epic proportions. From the moment Kara and Dave started dating, Victoria was in their business. She knew that Victoria expected a more obedient daughter-in-law, but it wasn’t about to happen. Her protests were heard far and wide when they announced their engagement. Dave put her in her place and threatened to disown her if the rhetoric didn’t stop.
The women butted heads from day one. Victoria had accused Kara of stealing her only son. She could only shake her head at the accusation. Since when is falling in love considered stealing one’s child? They were twenty-two when they met—for Pete’s sake! Her future mother-in-law made every part of dating Dave difficult. Nothing came easy to them, that is, when Victoria was involved.
Kara’s family was small and private, believing most conversations should happen behind closed doors. Dirty laundry was not something to be aired before the entire town. Victoria was all about small town gossip and public meltdowns. The woman craved drama. In fact, she thrived on it. They were complete polar opposites, never in harmony with one another.
One day Kara and Dave decided to meet at Dave’s apartment for an afternoon quickie to satisfy a mutual pre-weekend urge. What should have been a mind blowing orgasm turned into red-faced embarrassment when Victoria walked in on Dave pounding into Kara, doggy style. Victoria unleashed a scream that would have been more fitting for someone that had just witnessed a human sacrifice. If Kara even thought about that day, Victoria’s ugly shriek could still be heard reverberating in her head. Kara was mortified by the embarrassing experience, but it got worse—ten times worse. Rather than handle the incident with a little discretion and grace, Victoria just had to turn it into a small town version of a tabloid scandal. She decided to spread the news all over town that she had walked in on her son and his whore having sex. According to Victoria, Kara was going to hell for committing a sin.
Kara was certain once they announced their engagement Victoria would chill out a bit. Boy was she wrong. Their engagement and wedding almost sent Kara to a room with padded walls. As a little girl Kara had dreamt of a private beach wedding in Maui, complete with flower leis on herself and each of the guests. However, Victoria insisted they have a full blown church wedding, complete with a country club reception, five hundred guests, and drama by the truckload.
Dave and Kara agreed that this was their wedding not Victoria’s, and they would celebrate it the way they wanted. Dave would not allow his mother to force them into something they didn’t want. That whole fiasco only caused more grief between the women.
Now Kara avoided her mother-in-law at all costs. She needed to come up with a strategy, a plan, some way to deal with her when she arrived. Granted, it’s not like Victoria was staying for a weekend or anything, but damn, it would be an excruciating afternoon in her presence.
Kara was quite lucky that her mother-in-law didn’t visit more often, as they lived in the next town over, less than twenty minutes away. She counted her lucky stars that Victoria generally stayed away. Though, it would be nice for the kids to have a normal grandmother, one that was active in their lives and close to them. But maybe some things really were a blessing in disguise.
Dave was the peace keeper, ever vigilant when it came to dealing with his mother. He had told Kara on many occasions that he hated to subject his wife to the same torture that his mom put him through his entire life. He admitted to Kara that his mother could be hard to handle, and many people found her personality somewhat abrasive, at the very least. He often told Kara to ignore her, so she did. She let Dave deal with all things Victoria.
Kara had a bad feeling about Victoria’s upcoming visit. Something was up. The only time the woman came around was to stir up trouble. She thought back to a time right after her and Dave were married. They had only been back from their honeymoon for a few weeks when out of the blue, she got a scathing call from Dave. Apparently Kara had been seen with another man, laughing and hugging. Kara had to shake her head at the insinuation. She knew exactly where the rumor came from that she was cheating on Dave. It came from none other than Victoria.
Kara and her brother had gone out to eat and catch up on things. Of course, Victoria was there. Rather than act like a normal person and say hello to her new daughter-in-law, she spied from a distance with an ugly scowl. Kara and her brother got a good laugh out of the ordeal. Some people loved to gossip, no matter who they hurt. If Kara had learned anything over the years, Victoria would twist any truth she could into a lie. Victoria knew damn well who her brother was, that’s what made the incident even more insane.
The episode took place right around the same time that Victoria decided to parade Dave’s ex-girlfriends around. It reminded her of a smorgasbord of long legged, blond tarts. Part of the problem was Kara’s own insecurities. Even though she had Dave’s ring on her finger and his promise to love her forever, a shadow of doubt lingered. A flickering of fear that she wasn’t somehow perfect enough. She had always been on the chubby side, but it never seemed to bother Dave. Kara had never been a slim girl or woman. She had ample curves and large breasts. He said he loved her curves and judging by the passionate way he loved her, he honestly meant it.
Despite losing all of the pregnancy weight, Kara didn’t feel sexy anymore. There was something about being the size of a house for roughly six months of her pregnancy that put a damper on her libido. Having twins wasn’t quite all it was cracked up to be. The girls were heading into their fourth month and her and Dave’s lives had changed drastically. Her once pristine house now looked like a zoo. She didn’t have time to clean or look presentable. Having two babies that needed constant attention was all she could handle.
As far as sex went? Well, she was the one who refused Dave’s advances at every turn. Even after the six week waiting period, she wouldn’t concede. For one, she didn’t feel the slightest bit attractive. Two, she was too damn tired by the time bedtime rolled around. And three, she had no desire to risk getting pregnant again.
Kara needed help, plain and simple. Dave was gone all day and most evenings at work. He really had no idea how she spent her day and what she had to deal with on a regular basis when it came to taking care of the twins.
Her family stopped by to help her when they could, but they all had their own lives and responsibilities that couldn’t be put off. She hated to ask any more of them.
She had one day to pull her shit together before her mother-in-law showed up. But, in the meantime, she was going to enjoy coffee with her neighbors. The babies were still asleep and hopefully would sleep for another hour or two, giving them plenty of time to catch up on the gossip.
Kara threw on a clean pair of shorts and dug around for a t-shirt that was free of baby puke. Her wardrobe had become mostly rags for the babies. Who would have thought that two cute, tiny beings could create so much waste? If she wasn’t changing diapers, she was cleaning up snot or puke. Fun stuff! She brushed her long blond hair and quickly worked it into a messy up-do. It kept the girls from pulling her hair out by the roots. A game, she immediately found out, they both loved and excelled at.
She brewed another pot of coffee and put a sheet of cinnamon rolls in the oven. Her home soon filled with the amazing aroma and her stomach growled. Fifteen minutes later the oven buzzed and she pulled the rolls from the heat. She spread the cream cheese frosting across the top of the soft, cinnamon treats.
Her kitchen came alive with the sounds of her friends filling the space around her as they entered in small groups. “Good morning,” Ava was the first to call out.
Kara noticed she looked happier than she had seen her in a long time. She had a certain glow of happiness surrounding her. Her weekend with Will must have been amazing. Ahhh, it would be great to go back to those carefree happy days, Kara thought.
“Well, aren’t you the chipper little chickie this morning?” Jamie teased Ava.
“Spill the beans honey, inquiring minds want to know!” Valerie smirked as she sipped her coffee.
Ava tried to contain the blush that crept across her face. It was one thing to talk about sex with her husband, now that she finally found the nerve, but completely different to discuss it with the group of women—sisters or not. She took a deep breath and steeled her spine. “It was incredible! He fucked my brains out, over and over again. I swear I’m still walking funny.”
“Hallelujah!” The women sang out in unison.
“One down, five to go.” Ashley added.
The women took turns filling their cups and grabbing a cinnamon roll. Kara led the way as they adjourned to the family room. They wouldn’t have to worry about keeping their voices down in there. She had no desire to wake up the twins.
Ava filled her friends in on the weekend, trying to keep the sex discussion to a minimum. She didn’t want her neighbors knowing what she and her husband liked to do behind closed doors.
“I am thrilled for you and Will, Ava! What a relief to know everything is getting back on track for the two of you.” Laura beamed with joy for her friend.
Kara was happy as well, but part of her was on edge. It was something her friends easily picked up on.
“What’s wrong, Kara?” Ashley asked, a look of concern splashed across her face.
“I’m happy for Ava and Will, don’t get me wrong. I guess I’m just hoping that Dave and I can find our way back to each other. Plus, my monster-in-law is coming over tomorrow and I have no idea what the beast wants.” Kara rubbed her hand back and forth across her forehead. It was something she frequently did when she was overwhelmed with stress.
“What’s been going on with you and Dave?” Valerie asked, her voice tipped with unease.
“Well, to be honest. The pregnancy was really tough with twins. And I’ve always been chubby, but now I feel like a whale. It’s stupid, I know, but I don’t want Dave to see me like this. I’ve lost all the baby weight, but everything seems to be out of place still. I have parts that jiggle like never before.” Kara sighed, wishing her body would cooperate and go back to her pre-twins size and shape in the blink of an eye.
“Honey, all women change after childbirth. It’s perfectly natural.” Jamie said as she blew on her coffee.
The women all agreed. Kara was the youngest of the bunch and needed time to adjust to motherhood and everything it entailed. Not to mention the fact that her body was forever altered. She was full of doubts about her abilities as a mother, as a wife, and even more so as a woman. Like most new moms, she felt like she bit off more than she could chew. She had no idea how to get everything that needed to be completed in a day done.
“I think it would be good for Kara to take this weekend,” Laura suggested. “Alan is still out of town on business and the kids have sleepovers. So I can come here and babysit, or I can take the kids to my house, if you’d like.”
“Oh, I don’t know if I can leave the girls, yet. What if they need me?” Kara worried. She was suddenly filled with anxiety at the prospect of leaving her children for a weekend getaway. The thought sounds so nice to have a little bit of peace and quiet. What would Dave think if I wanted to ditch the kids, already? The thoughts turned in her head. “I think I would feel like the worst parent ever.” She admitted to her friends.
That statement earned her a few chuckles from the cozy group. “You need to relax some. Kids, especially babies, pick up on your stress. Laura will take good care of them, and you can get the time you need to catch your breath—maybe rekindle the romance with your husband.” Ashley vocalized what everyone in the group already understood.
“Most people have supportive families that will offer to help when a baby is born, especially when twins are involved. Has Victoria even come by to visit or offer to help at all?” Ava’s words were laced with worry for her friend.
“No. She has only been here a handful of times since the girls were born. She flipped when Dave and I referred to her as Grandma. She believes that she is far too young to be a Grandmother. She even told us the kids can call her Auntie! My family, on the other hand, stops by all the time. My mom is so busy with her shop and well, my brother has his hands full with his own kids. So I really don’t even want to consider asking them for anything more than they are already doing.”
Valerie was the first to stand and hug Kara. “Honey, why didn’t you say something before? We are all here for you! I think I speak for each one of us when I say we would be happy to help in any way we can!”
“Dave offered to hire a housekeeper and nanny, but I think I’d feel like a failure. What kind of mom or wife would I be if I couldn’t take care of my husband, my kids, or my house? If I had to hire someone to do it?” Kara choked out the last few words, her voice strangled by the sudden stream of tears.
“Kara, honey. Don’t feel like that. It’s normal to need help! You’re not super woman, none of us are. And it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.” Laura reassured her.
“Are you still writing your column for the paper?” Ava wondered.
“That’s another thing. My boss has given me six weeks to produce at least four articles or he is going to find someone else to do the column.” Kara felt as if she were ready to snap, each one of her nerves was past the breaking point. Her stress wasn’t aimed at any of her friends, it was the fact she had no idea how to make life work with two small babies.
“If you are going to work, you are going to need someone to watch the girls. It can’t be easy to get any work done with the girls still being—well, needy.” Jamie expressed her concern.
Kara looked around and saw all of her friends nod in agreement.
Valerie started off the next statement very carefully. She didn’t want to hurt Kara’s feelings, or make her any more insecure than she already was. “Here’s the thing, hon, a lot of women decide, after they have kids, to give up the career. Some take their kids to daycare so they can work. It’s a choice that you make, not a judgment on your abilities. There is no right or wrong. Do you want to go back to writing again? Or were you planning on taking a few years off?”
The look on Kara’s face was one of astonishment. The thought of staying home, trapped in the house for the next four plus years scared the daylights out of her. Just because she had kids didn’t mean she wanted to give up her identity. Her job wasn’t fulltime and she worked out of her home office. Maybe it was time to start looking into childcare options.
“I—I never really had a plan. I assumed once the girls were born I would still be able to write, since I do it from home. And I can work any time. Day or night.”
Jamie finished off her cinnamon roll before asking, “Do you want the girls to go to daycare or are you looking for someone to come here and take care of them? Our daycare is good, but I didn’t want my kids there when they were just little babies.”
“My preference would be to hire a nanny for the girls. That way I can check in on them whenever I want. I think I would have a lot less guilt. The thought of sending them to a daycare gives me anxiety.”
“I know someone that you might really like. She’s super sweet and watched my niece when she was born.” Valerie grabbed a pen and slip of paper out of her purse. She quickly jotted a name and phone number on the paper then handed it to Kara.
“Well that’s settled! This is your weekend. For you and Dave to get things fired up again.” Ava squealed with excitement.
“Wait! I still don’t know if I’m ready. I mean, we haven’t had sex since, well…the beginning of my sixth month of the pregnancy.” Kara wanted to die of embarrassment. She couldn’t believe the words she had just spoken had actually escaped her mouth.
“Uh—why?” Ashley asked.
“Well, there were a few complications towards the end of the pregnancy and the doctor thought it would be best to wait until after the girls were born. Which was fine at the time. But now I’m terrified of getting pregnant again. I can’t handle any more babies right now!” Just the thought of adding another baby any time soon made Kara want to curl into a ball and cry.
“Are you on any form of birth control pill?” Valerie questioned.
“Of course, I am. But I was on the pill when I got pregnant! So—let’s just say, we need more protection.”
“Wow! That really sucks!” Jamie’s eyebrows raised in surprise.
“Trust me, I know.” Kara had to laugh. These were all the things she thought of many times over. The truth was she really wanted to have sex with her husband, but she was terrified. Would he think she was too soft and flabby now? Would she get pregnant again? Would it hurt after childbirth? And what about him? Would he still like her, down there—after having twins? Would it feel the same for him?
The women offered ideas and solutions that Kara listened to. She didn’t want to alienate her husband any more than she already had or force him to look outside of the marriage for sex. She loved Dave and she wanted to be with him again. The problem was she had given him the cold shoulder for so long that he stopped any advances towards her. He no longer came on to her or kissed her with the passion he used to—and she missed it. Kara liked the idea of rekindling their passion. Ideas formed in her mind and she started moving forward with it. Her face started to heat and several blushes formed due to some of her friends’ suggestions while other ideas had her giggling like a schoolgirl. Who would have ever thought her best friends were such perverts?
“This is a great plan, but first I have to see what my monster-in-law wants tomorrow. It will be my luck that she already has some horrendous agenda for us. Not only that, but somehow I have to make this house look presentable by tomorrow.” Kara looked around her home. She cringed at the piles of toys, kids’ books, and various baby paraphernalia that cluttered her once spotless family room. “Victoria will have a heart attack if she walks in and sees this mess.”
“It’s really not that bad.” Ava offered, her voice laced with compassion. “I can hang out and give you a hand today. I’m sure we can tackle the problem pretty quick.”
“I’ll help, too.” Jamie added. “I don’t have to be anywhere until the kids get home.
“Thank you so much, but I couldn’t ask you to do that. I’ll do what I can, and Victoria will just have to deal with it.”
Ava and Jamie looked to one another and shook their heads. “We’re staying to help and that’s final.” Jamie blandly stated.