Appearances Can be Deceiving

Anal

You would think that after thirty years on the planet, not much could surprise you about everyday things, especially your own family. But for me, the last couple times that this little blue planet has revolved around the sun, has brought me endless days of mystery. It all swirled down the drain on the day my father was laid to rest. When Richard Thomas Sr. passed away last year I thought that I knew him well. He had been a life-long tinkerer who could work with tools in the way Mozart played the piano. He could build, adapt or fix almost anything and his specialty was unique and creative designs with wood.

One would imagine that our house would have beautifully crafted dressers and fine tables so that a wife would be proud to show her artfully decorated home. And that his only son would have an ornate toy box filled with hand-made wooden playthings that were the envy of all other kids. And he would grow-up having learned the secrets of wood-working at the feet of an artisan. None of that happened.

He never had time for me, didn’t show me his secrets and infact he grew ever more distant and seemed to not want or even care that he had a family. And I’ll admit that as I aged, I didn’t do much to foster a relationship with him. After college I began to look down on “the working man” and believed that money could be made faster and easier than by growing callouses on your hands. The distance between us became physical, too. And a coldness developed.

My ailing mother suffered in silence. She grew heart-broken at the divide between us and though she always professed her love for me, she abided my father’s wishes and was reluctant to entertain me in our family home. We would sometimes meet at coffeehouses or in my new home, and she seemed more worn-down and resigned to the splintering of our family. Soon she would only speak in general terms about her “new” home life.

Mother died two summers ago from cancer and my dad developed a lung infection soon after. I flew-in for her funeral and noticed the decline in him, though it seemed that his sickness was more than skin deep. However I wasn’t there long enough to form any opinions. At the same time, a world wide depression took hold and my little nest egg disappeared while my thirty year mortgage became a crippling anchor around my neck. Just as my “dot-com.” investment was sinking, dad called me home to talk about a business deal and possibly thawing-out our family dynamic, I had no better option. As I hung up the phone it occurred to me that his voice sounded weak, but he was hinting at a life-changing proposition.

The years of swallowing sawdust and probably excess bile, had affected his breathing. I was hesitant to return, figuring that our talents and asperations were entirely different, and I wasn’t exactly thrilled to follow in his footsteps now , or to be dependent on his unknowable expertise. Before I could settle my tangled affairs he was rushed to intensive care with only days to live. I went directly to the hospital but we were never able to communicate again. After a quick, sparse funeral populated by more people that I did not recognize than those that I did, I solemnly started back for the old homestead where I assumed that some sorting-out must be necessary.

“Richie,” the shouted voice belonged to my dad’s old drinking buddy Sam Walker, “Son,” he started in a greasy condescending tone, “Your father was a good friend and a helluva businessman and as soon as possible you, me and your step mother should talk about the estate.” I was annoyed at the intrusion and only considering how fast I could make my exit. Then I thought that this “friendship” was hollow, and if he was looking for some kind of paycheck out of my father’s will, he was in for a tough time. And than his words struck home. Step mother! Estate! What was he smoking?

Nothing that he just said made any sense to me, and I wondered for a second if he was at the correct ritual… or maybe I was burying the wrong guy. I cornered him as we walked to the cars. “What estate?” I blurted out. “And who is this step mother that I never heard of?” My head was spinning. “Oh, and one more thing, who the hell are you and how do you know more about this than I do? Answer the step mother question first!”

It turns out that Sam was my father’s attorney, (I didn’t even know that he could afford one,) and I was about to meet my new step mom. Sam suggested that we go back to the house where he would make the introduction to my “mom” and while there, he would explain the intricacies of my father’s will.

I’m not a hard drinking man but I was ready for a double. At home we were met at the door by a young woman dressed in black that I vaguely remembered from the cemetery. Sam, who I never realized was a lawyer, introduced me to Angel.

She was a vision. A terribly sexy young Latin woman of indiscriminate age, fiery eyes with pouty lips and the soft warm skin of a velvety sheen. “I’m very pleased to finally Isparta Escort meet you,” this young lady said as she revealed a fetching, gap-toothed smile. “I guess I’m your step mother.” It was time for another double, I thought as my eyes unconsciously scanned her lithe, lean frame. She made mourning clothes look sensuous. A luxurious swarm of pitch-black hair was swirled atop her smiling face. A mocha flesh tone showed small dimples and full plump lips that formed a pleasant smile, but it was the vibrant liquid eyes under black lashes and brows that hinted of something smoldering beneath the surface. A lacy wrap covered her shoulders and neck but could not hide the obvious full bustline that protruded like an opened top drawer on a delicately carved armoire. The black dress dropped straight down from her bountiful chest, was cinched at her waist, then billowed-out over a fine set of curvy hips. Long legs encased in sheer black stockings set on three-inch stilettos, finished the look. I appraised it all in a second but I fear my glance was spotted by the young lady, though I believe that I was the only one blushing.

The new lady of the house continued, ” This probably took you by surprise. Richard told me he had a grown son, but that you two were estranged for some reason. I hope that we’ll have a chance to get to know one another.” She spoke in a clipped, throaty Latin accent that only completed the seductive ensemble. Her appearance didn’t quite disarm my initial apprehension and the manner in which she made funereal dress alluring, led to a completely different avenue of deliberation.

She invited me into my own childhood home and smoothly began to pour drinks and arrange the furniture for our meeting. I couldn’t take my eyes from her. Pretty girls are just pretty, I know that. And her shapely figure was certainly a compliment to her, and she was not flaunting her figure or attire… not really. But as she moved so easily around the room I stole side-long glances at her, sweeping her graceful curves with hungry eyes. Most of the guests had been dressed in black, but Angel wore it better. While others were draped in unadorned crepe, or hid shallow tears behind veils, she modeled a clingy satin A-line barely to her knees. It was not a plunging neckline, for surely only a turtleneck could have concealed her obvious endowments, but the summer sun would have certainly freckled the rounded tops of her full globes.

Her back would have been exposed to her bodacious backside if not for the knit shawl, still it was possible to watch the play of her back muscles and the bottom of her ribcage. Not to mention the sensual dip of her lower back that then hinted at the firm glutes that swayed so charmingly as she strutted around the room. Those strapless spiked heels must have made walking on fresh-mown grass an adventure but now the heel-slap and clatter on tile made for erotic dreaming. I thought when I first spotted her at the grave sight that she must be the girl friend of a mourner. And for the son of the deceased to be gawking her would show poor taste. Still I imagined that I caught a hint of a more-than friendly smile. How little I knew!

I must have heard what she had been saying because I had entered the room and was nodding my head like a fool. But really everything was a blur. My tongue was performing double-duty in trying to speak coherently and to catch the slobber oozing from my mouth. Sam broke-in and said that we should have some coffee and sit down while he defined the strange codicil to my father’s will.

The secrets were about to come tumbling out. After Angel served coffee with a couple of warm snifters filled with brandy, Sam cleared his throat and the story began. “Life-changing” would be an accurate term, but it would be wholly inadequate.

First, he repeated and emphasized that he was my father’s lawyer, and that even if he advised against some of my dad’s weirdest bequests, he was bound to fulfil his final wishes, and distribute the money as the estate specified. And again, I was compelled to ask, “What money, what estate, how could he even pay you… and when the hell did he get re-married?”

After the first few pages of legal mumbo-jumbo was dispensed with, he emptied his brandy and explained it like this: “Richard, about four years ago your father perfected and patented a gadget that could rapidly reproduce the most intricate details and patterns in the most exotic woods, so that every piece appeared hand-carved but matched identically for various designs (don’t ask me how it works.) When several architects and designers started to recommend it to high-level customers, a certain “Big Box” lumber company offered him thirty million dollars for it. Those men you saw at the funeral are the buyers and they brought the check with them, and are only waiting to hear how you’ve decided to bank it. He continued as I downed my brandy and asked for two-fingers of whiskey.

“As Isparta Escort Bayan for my fee,” Sam began again, “Your father was paid a healthy advance, that’s how I was paid. He did (ahem) a little bit of traveling, and bought himself a few luxuries.” He gazed guardedly around. “Also, your bills and expenses are expressly covered by the terms of the will. And if you consent, I have set-up a trust that should provide you about two million bucks per year until you’re about seventy.” This was absolutely remarkable and ridiculous. I couldn’t believe my ears. I held out my empty glass and the golden liquid magically reappeared.

But Sam wasn’t quite done. “As a dying request, your father asked me to assure you that your well-being was all that he ever wanted, and that he desired that this next codicil might mellow your feelings toward him.” I listened cautiously for the punch-line, and Sam- I’m sure- saw my brows arch skeptically. “This house and everything in it at this time,” he rambled, “belongs to you.” I took a quick appraising look around the modest, little home and assessed it at about a hundred thousand dollars in today’s market. It had a nice carved oak bookcase, and a beautiful wooden staircase and matching crown molding that must have been examples of my dad’s invention. But really I wasn’t that impressed, it was like race horse harness on a jackass. Maybe with the inheritance I could purchase another home like the one I recently lost. This house held no particular charm to me.

“So,” Sam was winding-down his presentation, “that about covers things. You’ll probably want to take a good look around.” He was nervously scanning the room as I was, but I believe that we were seeing things differently. One more little detail reared its head. It was unavoidable as she was sitting demurely to the side, studying me intently and just crackling with sexuality.

“Wait Sam, don’t dash off just yet. There’s still one more elephant left in the room.” I saw her anguished look and realized that she didn’t understand the expression. I apologized and explained. “Sam,” I nodded, “Just who exactly is Angel? And where does she fit in this arrangement?” Once more I glanced in her direction and saw her sitting with her long legs crossed, one shoe dangling delicately from the pink-painted toes of her left foot, as it jostled softly from its sexy perch. She had let her silken hair down now and brushed it to a shimmering halo that laid gently across her shoulders. Angel leaned slightly forward, smiling in my direction but appearing as if she was concentrating on something just over my head. The position allowed me to peer down the front of her dress and catch a tempting impression of the heavy, rounded breasts, and just the shadow of her dark, twin areolae.

I swallowed briefly and plaintively asked, “Does Angel get taken care of in this crazy affair?”

Sam chuckled abit, unnerving me a little. “It’s funny that you should use that particular phrase,” now both he and her snorted a tiny laugh, she understood that. “As I said before, everything currently in the house belongs to you. And that, in a way, includes Angel here.” They both shifted uneasily in their seats while I remained perfectly still, except for my lower jaw hitting the floor. I was trying to determine if I needed one more drink, or if I’d already had one too many. He was gathering his papers and preparing to leave when I tugged his sleeve and pulled him back to his seat.

“Wait just a second,” I stuttered with my eyes bugging out of my head like a cartoon character. “Let’s maybe run through that one more time. What in hell are you talking about!?!” I noticed that at this moment, Angel refilled our drinks and excused herself from the conversation, starting to climb the stairs. I could hear her on the floor above, opening closets and drawers, I assumed she was packing her belongings. “Okay Sam, let’s have it. Is this a fifty-fifty split? Did he leave her a condo or something? What is our relationship supposed to be? Or is she some little gold-digger whose scheme fell apart before she got him to change the will?” I recognized her obvious selling points, but all of a sudden I was anxious about the money. “And oh yeah, when the hell did they get married!”

“This is where it gets a bit dicey.” Suddenly beads of sweat appeared on Sam’s forehead and upper lip and he developed an urgent need for another drink. And once again he reminded me that he was my father’s attorney and that he was just following his client’s wishes. “Your mother passed away a few months before Richard finalized his business deal. I saw you at the funeral that day, but you seemed to be in a hurry. He met Angel right about then.”

I broke-in, “He didn’t wait until mom’s body was cold?…” I just had to get in a dig.

“He mentioned to me at the time that his only son wanted nothing to do with him, and he realized that he might not have much longer to live. ‘What good is Escort Isparta money,’ he said, ‘if you’re about to die, alone.'” That was a biting counter remark and I was appropriately stung. So I just shut-up and listened to the rest. Sam continued, “Angel was given some small allowance if she accepted his proposal.” I started to interrupt, but his strained expression halted me. “I don’t know what the particulars were, and I don’t want to know, you can ask her if you’re interested.” He paused. “But with his last breath, he had me set aside a fairly substantial amount in an envelope which she can claim anytime up to sixty days if you two don’t come to another amicable solution. She knows about it.” I must have looked puzzled, drunk, or both. “Your father asked me to tell you, that though the two of you never had too much in common, he thought that you might find her enjoyable, and pleasant company to have around.” Sam mentioned that “the envelope” was in his office if she wanted it, and that he would give us time to work-out an arrangement. I was at a loss as he walked out the door. Was I expected to live with my step-mother?

With my head in a fog, I walked Sam to the door and once more accepted his condolences. Then I turned and took a more appraising look of the masterly carved staircase before me. It was truly a magnificent piece of architecture and like the bookcase seemed to be seriously out of place in this rundown hovel. I was thinking that I might move them both when I bought a new place. And then I noticed the clumsy silence in the house. It was time to mount the steps and get acquainted with my step mom. I lingered aslong as I could in the entrance hall trying to familiarize myself with the old place. I spotted a fancy, intricately carved rocker and remembered how my mother liked to rock and sew. Hopefully he made this for her enjoyment. I saw the frayed edges of an old rug. And I opened the door that led to the cellar and took a quick peek. It looked smaller than I remembered. I was never comfortable going down there and I never felt welcome or even adequate to be near his tools. I shut-off the light and closed the door. The only thing left to do, was to venture upstairs.

There were now only three rooms on the second floor, there had been four. He must have done some remodeling. There was my old room which was unkempt and strewn with old clothes, books and assorted junk. A small bathroom at the end of the hall, and my parents’ room which was newly expanded by the addition of another bookcase taking up an odd dimension on one side of the wall. I didn’t realize that he or mother, or possibly Angel for that matter, was such a voracious reader. Anyway, I found Angel relaxing on the bed. The mysteries continued.

She seemed quite at home, but obviously there was something on her mind and we both knew that we had to talk. She was bare-legged now and her nicely-muscled calves led to smooth toned thighs which were just spread apart enough to catch the cooling waves of the air conditioner. But anyone with even a hint of evil intent might believe that she was being deliberatively provocative. My eyes took in every nook and cranny, then I noticed her noticing me. My crass behavior could have been forgiven for the effects of alcohol, but my guess is that she saw right through me. Her smile and the dimples they produced, let me off the hook. And I noticed the additional effect that the cool air was having on her sheer outfit.

The high beams were on. Her perky nipples were poking through the satiny top and threatening to slice holes in her sexy garment. And the knit shawl was no longer around her shoulders, so her abundant cleavage was on display and the way she hunched forward only enhanced the deep valley between her bouncy breasts. I cleared my throat and stood rather unsteadily before her.

After some brief niceties, we came to the point. I began, “I hope you understand that I don’t really need a step mother, and I think I’m going to put this place on the market and look for something new. Sam tells me that he has money for you, so if you need help moving I’ll call someone and we can go our separate ways.” I didn’t mean to sound so harsh or appear this cold, but I was a little drunk and still very confused. I just wanted it to end and to get on with my life, without getting entangled in some incestuous rape scenario, that might even cost me my new inheritance or cause me to wind up in jail. I said “thanks” to her for taking care of my father’s last years, and turned to leave. Then she asked if she could take a minute and explain.

I answered that it didn’t matter much anymore and that I just needed time to myself, as I headed to the door. She said, ” I’m not really your step mother, I’m your property!”

In one of those stop-action moves from the cartoons, I froze in my spot but my eyes continued to bug-out before me and an anvil landed on my head. Slowly, I shook my head and little birdies and dancing stars circled my noggin. I turned back facing her and stuttered an incoherent request for clarity, because certainly she could not have just said that. She was patiently patting a place on the mattress beside her, and spoke in a smooth, sultry tone, “Please sit down Richard, and let me fill you in on a couple things.”

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