16

The Rebound Guy

In the wee hours of the morning, Garret and I had finally surrendered to exhaustion, and I fell asleep in his loving arms. We had expressed our pent-up desire, along with the frustration and overwhelming sadness of knowing this would be our last night together. When I awoke, I looked to my right and saw that Garret’s side of the bed was empty. Tears filled my eyes because I knew in my heart he was gone. Garret’s side of the bed — when did I start calling it that? I closed my eyes and remembered my last night with Garret. It was an amazing, incredible night — full of passion and longing and an intense desire for the night, and our relationship, to go on forever.

Alas, as Garret and I had discussed last night, it wasn’t in the cards for us. I had to let Garret go, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was afraid I would never love a man this deeply again. Love — I could never bring myself to say the “L” word to Garret, or any other man. It just made breaking up with them that much more difficult. But, I did love Garret, and I knew that he loved me. It was our unspoken truth.

I was wallowing in self-pity, and I had to shake myself out of it. I went into the babies’ room to see our children. When I saw the triplets, I was immediately drawn to Kevin. He looked so much like Garret. I took a deep breath, picked him up and held him close. And, I smiled a little for the first time that day as I looked at his angelic face — the face that reminded me so much of his father.

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The teens were being particularly helpful today. I wonder if they heard me crying earlier or if they just sensed that I was sad. In any case, I was grateful for the help. Looking at three mini Garrets was bittersweet.

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Jayden and Jenna were playing out in the backyard, happily oblivious to the way I felt. I was grateful for that.

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Isaac even tried to cheer me up with the latest gossip. It worked for a minute or two.

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I put Kylie in the walker and enjoyed watching her toddle around the kitchen without a care in the world.

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Meanwhile, Isabella taught Kendra to talk. Isabella was definitely going out of her way to be helpful. So many times, I’ve caught her trying to steal candy from her youngest siblings and stopped her in the nick of time, scolding her for her outrageous behavior. It was as if she knew today was not the day to try my patience.

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A while later, I sat outside at the picnic table with Isaac, watching Jenna and Jayden play with their blocks. Jayden was getting the hang of it and had built quite a structure.

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Later in the day, Isaac worked out to a fitness program on TV. He was naturally athletic, like Jerrik, his father.

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After school the next day, Isabella and I taught Kevin and Kylie how to talk. While I concentrated on teaching Kylie, Isabella worked with Kevin. Kylie was the easiest of the triplets with whom to spend time as she looked more like me than Garret.

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Tonight was prom for my three eldest. Though none of them had asked dates, they were all excited to attend. Isaac and Isaiah had been talking to a couple of girls earlier in the week and were planning on spending time with them at the dance.

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They got all dressed up. Isabella looked beautiful in her long gown, and Isaac and Isaiah were as handsome as could be.

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While the triplets were at prom, I got a call from Jameson Scott, asking me out on a date. I had met Jameson several times before. He was roommates with Jerrik and Alec. Although I didn’t feel ready to start dating again, I knew I had to get out of the house and stop feeling sorry for myself. I agreed to meet Jameson at a cozy little spot by the beach.

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“Jill, hi! It’s so nice to see you. How are you?”

I lied and said, “I’m fine, Jameson. How are you?”

“I’m doing well, Jill. I’m really happy you’re here. I wasn’t sure you’d come.”

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“Let’s have some fun, shall we? How about a game of foosball?

“Sure. Sounds good, Jameson.” That’ll help distract me from the fact that I’m on a date, and it’s not with Garret.

“I have to warn you, though. I’m pretty darn good. I hope you don’t mind losing.”

“Is that right?” I said with mock confidence, since I’d never even played before.

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Jameson started out taking it easy on me, although I didn’t realize it at first. He planned on waiting until I had figured out the gist of the game before playing at his usual level.

At first, I often threw my hands up in the air, saying, “What the heck do all these knobs and spinning guys do? What’s the point of this game again?”

Jameson would patiently explain the rules of the game, all the while showing me how easy it was for him to score a goal against me.

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“Jameson, have you been holding back on me?” I glared at him, feigning anger.

“Well … sort of … maybe a little. You’re not mad, are you?” Jameson looked nervous. It was kind of adorable.

Then my grimace faded away, and I said, “Mad? That was incredibly sweet of you to not kick my butt when I clearly didn’t know what I was doing.”

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“Now, however, all bets are off. Show me what you’ve got, Jameson.”

“Yes ma’am! Coming right up.” Jameson immediately scored a goal, and his face lit up.

Hmm … It seems Jameson doesn’t mind a woman who takes control. I like that in a man.

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“OK, Jameson. I give up. You win. I know when I’m beat.”

Jameson laughed, and I found the walls around my heart come down just a little.

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I think he sensed it, because Jameson started looking at me differently. Over the course of our date, we had cultivated a good friendship, but now he was flirting with me.

“Jill, I have to use the bathroom, but I’ll be back in a minute. Don’t go anywhere, OK?”

“I’ll be right here when you get back.”

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While Jameson was in the bathroom, I decided I would open my heart to him and ask him to father my next child.

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It was a beautiful night, and we went out onto the back deck to continue our conversation.

“I like you, Jameson. You’re a good man, and I’m attracted to you,” I began.

“I’m glad to hear that, Jill. I’ve wanted you from afar for a long time now,” Jameson said as he blushed a bit.

“Being with me is complicated, though…”

“Jill, you don’t have to explain anything to me. I’m roommates with Jerrik and Alec. I know the deal. I’d be honored to father a child with you. I won’t ask you for more than you can give.”

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“Thank you, Jameson. That means a lot to me — especially since my life is especially complicated right now.”

Then, knowing Jameson wouldn’t make the first move, I kissed him gently on the lips. I could tell he was surprised, but happy.

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Then, I took his hand and whispered in his ear in a sultry voice, “I don’t suppose there’s a shower in that bathroom you just visited, is there?”

Jameson smiled and said huskily, “As a matter of fact there is!” I could hear his breathing become more ragged as the words escaped his mouth.

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Jameson went from shy to overcome with lust in the blink of an eye. He pulled me into his arms and kissed me deeply, while gently stroking the bare skin on my back.

Jameson groaned, “Mmm … Jill. I’ve wanted to taste your lips for so long. They’re even softer than I imagined.”

My body responded to Jameson’s, and I willed myself to stay present with him. His kisses were gentle, yet urgent and laced with desire.

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After a short while, Jameson looked at me, eyes heavy with yearning. He took my hand and led me to the bathroom. Upon entering the room, Jameson leaned up against the wall and held me tightly to him, kissing me eagerly. When Jameson’s lips left mine, I took a step back and asked, “Jameson, how well can you see without your glasses?”

I had caught him off guard. “Um, I can see enough to get by, but details are fuzzy. Why?”

I replied flirtatiously, “You’ll see soon enough. You should keep them on for now.”

I began tugging Jameson’s blazer off his shoulders and down his arms. Jameson tossed it to the side. I ran my hands underneath his shirt and rubbed his chest and abs, smiling as I felt his strong body. With Jameson’s help, I lifted his shirt over his head. He kicked his shoes off to the side. I looked up at Jameson and smiled, then unzipped his trousers and slipped them over his hips, letting them pool on the floor. His breathing became labored in anticipation of what was to come.

I leaned up against Jameson and kissed him, rubbing my hands all over his nearly naked body. Jameson moaned in pleasure and then said, “Hey, no fair. You’re still fully dressed.”

“Mm-hmm. Shall we do something about that?”

“Oh, yeah. I’ll be happy to help you out of those clothes.”

“Fair enough,” I said with a provocative smile.

With my permission, Jameson slowly lifted my top over my head. I wore nothing underneath. Jameson looked at me like a starving man looks at a steak dinner. While he recovered, I kicked off my shoes. A moment later, he unzipped my trousers, ran his fingers along the edge of my waistband and slipped them over my hips. His mouth agape, Jameson said huskily, “My God, Jill. You take my breath away.”

Jameson pulled me into his arms and kissed me more fervently than ever. The feel of his bare skin against mine was exhilarating.

The next thing I knew, Jameson took off his glasses and turned on the water. We both removed our underwear and entered the shower stall, where we made love in an attempt to conceive a child.

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Making love in a public shower held a certain thrill, and we were lucky that no one showed up and caught us in the act. Afterwards, we got dressed and kissed each other goodbye. I didn’t know if I would see Jameson again. My heart needed time to heal. I guess that’s why the term, “rebound guy,” was coined. Jameson found me at a vulnerable time in my life, and I was grateful that my rebound guy was someone as sweet as him.

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