Tag Archives: Sea of Destiny

Sea of Destiny – Part 20 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverKyle Scott finds himself hopelessly smitten by the quiet, fragile Emily Geraci. Not since his wife’s death has he ever been interested in a woman. He enjoys her company and delights in seeing her smile.

“Would you like to go sightseeing with us tomorrow? We’d love for you to join us.”

“I’m more interested in Cozumel,” Emily admitted. “I went to Cancun on my honeymoon. Honestly, I’d rather forget it.”

“That bad?”

“Cancun is gorgeous. The honeymoon was that bad. I should have known the marriage was doomed to failure from the beginning. I wouldn’t let myself see it. He didn’t love me—not even for a minute.”

“What makes you say that?”

“I know you loved your wife a lot, Kyle. I can see it in your eyes every time you even think of her. You’d never have ditched her to go out drinking with total strangers on your honeymoon, would you.”

“He did that?”

“Nearly every night. And not all the friends were male either. He came back to our cabin drunk and stumbling, smelling of alcohol and stale cigarette smoke. Sometimes he even smelled of other women. I was a fool to keep him around. I’m sure he thought that I thought he was charming and wonderful in bed. The truth is, I was lonely and didn’t want to have to go out and find someone else. We were together two years before we married. I was used to him.”

“Why marry him in the first place?”

“He kept insisting. Once we divorced, I realized it was because he thought he could get something from me in a settlement. But since he walked out on me in the doctor’s office in front of twenty people, vowing loudly he’d have nothing more to do with me. He didn’t get a penny.”

“Ironic. Does he pay you anything?”

“Bob? He’s worthless piece of shit who can’t keep a job for more than two months at a time. I don’t need his money. I do all right…. Oh, look at Mindy!”

His five year old sat on the shoulders of one of the young male lifeguards, running after people as they played Marco Polo. Mindy had her eyes closed, but the young man didn’t. She was calling out “Marco” as the others answered, “Polo”, catching everyone because he ran right to them before they moved.

The game broke up when the last, laughing participant got tagged. Mindy was declared the uncontested queen of the pool and got to pick the next game.

“Bally ball!” She yelled.

Cindy translated five year old speak for the supervisors, blushing attractively when the young lifeguard swam over to her with a volleyball.

“I’m gonna have to warn that kid my daughter’s only fourteen,” Kyle said darkly. “I hadn’t realized how much she’d matured over the last year.”

His daughter was developing her mother’s physique. Margo had been tall, slender, narrow hipped and full busted. Cindy wasn’t quite up to Margo’s 38C, but she had decidedly graduated into a B cup and the bikini she was wearing did little to cover it up.

“As long as he keeps his hands to himself and you can keep them in plain sight, don’t embarrass her. Take him aside later or…. Oops, I don’t think you need to. Look.” She pointed cautiously, not raising her arm.

Randy walked over to the lifeguard, taking him aside quietly pretending to ask him something. Tall and muscled from swimming, he looked older than 12. The young man listened calmly. A startled glance over his shoulder told Kyle his son had taken care of it for him. The young man was still friendly when he came back, but much more careful about the level of his flirtation. He got Cindy involved with a group of kids her own age and went to supervise the younger children.

“Smart man,” Emily said with a smile.

“Which, my son or the lifeguard?”

“Both. You should be proud of him. He handled that well. He didn’t embarrass his sister or let that boy make an ass of himself.”

“He shouldn’t be hitting on her anyway.”

“He wasn’t hitting, he was flirting. There’s a world of difference.”

“Oh, yeah? Explain the difference so I know for future reference.”

Emily sighed, leaning back in her lounge chair with her arms behind her head. “Mostly it’s a matter of intent. If you approach a woman with the intent of getting in her panties as expeditiously as possible, that’s hitting on. If you are feeling the waters, testing parameters, but haven’t quite moved into more dangerous territory, that’s flirting.”

“Oh, I see. And what have I been doing since I met you?”

She sighed happily, gazing at he pool. The sunshine reflecting off the water glittered in her eyes “Sweeping me off my feet,” she admitted quietly.

© Dellani Oakes 

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Sea of Destiny – Part 16

sea of destiny coverKyle and Emily are spending time getting to know one another. His family seems quite taken with Emily, especially Mindy.

 “My mommy was sick,” Mindy’s little mouth pouted.

“I’ve been very sick too. But now I’m all better.”

“I’m glad you’re better. I like you, Miss Emily.”

“Thank you. I like you too, Mindy.”

“What’s on the docket for today?” Carmelita asked.

“I don’t know. There are all kinds of activities for the kids. Arts and crafts at nine, swimming, video games. In fact, there’s a Guitar Hero competition right after lunch.”

“There’s not!” Randy’s eyes got huge. “Which one?”

Kyle pulled out the brochure. “Says here, Guitar Hero II and Metallica.”


“I thought that would interest you and Cindy. You two kick serious butt at that game.”

“Randy’s better than me,” Cindy pouted. “He’d beat me.”

“You can compete and different levels. See?”

“You’re the queen of medium, Cindy,” Randy tried to console his sister. “I can’t even play as good as you at that setting.”

“This from the king of expert.” She smirked, nudging her brother. “But thanks. It might be fun.”

Once the children were occupied, Carmelita got her things and lay beside the pool for more hunk watching. Kyle and Emily took another stroll around the deck.

“There’s a dance class at ten,” Kyle told her. “Would you like to go?”

“What kind of dancing?”

“Salsa.” He did a few fancy steps, shaking his hips.

Giggling, Emily agreed. “I’ll need different shoes. I can’t dance in tennis shoes.”

“Ditto.” He was wearing flipflops. “How about we stroll down to the cabins, change footwear and find the class? I’ve got the brochure in my cabin.”

“Sounds good. Where is your cabin?”

“A few doors down from yours.”

“Really? Oh, how fun! Carmelita wasn’t upset that I kept you out half the night, was she?

“No, she thought it was great. The family has really taken a shine to you.”

“I’m glad. I like them too. You have a lovely family. I look at Mindy and I see a lot of myself there. What a darling she is.”

“Thanks. I’m pretty fond of her. She was kind of a surprise after the first two. We thought we’d had our family, but Fate had different plans.”

“Funny how that happens, isn’t it? I hope she wasn’t too big a shock.”

“She wasn’t so much a shock as a surprise. We’d thought about having more kids, but Margo had a few miscarriages.”

“I had a couple myself. That was the main reason we found the tumor. I’d had another one and went to the doctor to see what was wrong.”

“What a lousy way to find out.”

“Yes, so I had several tragedies to deal with simultaneously.”

© Dellani Oakes 


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Sea of Destiny – Part 11

sea of destiny coverKyle and Carmelita are chatting as they board the ship. He compliments her by saying she looks like an Amazon Queen. Carmelita isn’t sure at first if he’s giving her a compliment.

“Believe me, it is. The Amazon women were formidable warriors as well as being great beauties.”

“And you would know this because?”

“It’s from having a totally useless degree in liberal arts. About the only thing it’s good for is winning at Trivial Pursuit.”

“Mm hm. And annoying your housekeeper when she’s trying to tan.”

“Here I am trying to compliment you and you’re shooting me down.”

“I’m an Amazon Queen, after all. That’s my job.” She giggled, closing her eyes against the sun.

“Daddy! Daddy! Look at me!” Mindy called from the pool.

Cindy held her hand and together they jumped into the six foot deep water. With very little help, Mindy swam to the side with her sister right behind her. Laughing and dripping, they did it again and again, the little one never tiring of it.

“Dad!” It was Randy this time. He did a perfect dive off the board, barely splashing as he went in.

“Good one, son!” He called when Randy’s head came above the water. “Excellent form!” He turned to Carmelita. “Kid’s gonna make swim team his freshman year.”

“Takin’ after his daddy for sure,” she grinned. “I haven’t seen them this happy in ages.” She wiped a tear.

“I didn’t realize how bad it was until now. We’re like a normal family again.”

“Oh, what’s that on your face?” She reached over, wiping her thumb on his cheek. “Dear God, boy, you’re smiling! I might fall out!”

He chuckled, hopping up. “Want to see the perfect dive?”

“You gonna get that sexy Olympic swimmer out here? I’d pay to see that!”

“Brat.” He chuckled, walking quickly to the diving board.

Taking a deep breath, he did a perfect swan dive into the pool. Feeling the water slip past him, he scissored his legs, rising rapidly to the top. He spent the next hour swimming with his children, teaching Mindy how to jump off the board, and correcting Randy’s swan dive. Carmelita joined Cindy in the shallow end where they examined every attractive man who went by, evaluating them on some esoteric scale they seemed to be making up as they went along.

After showers and naps, it was nearly dinner time. They dressed for dinner and went to the dining room in a quiet, solemn procession. The large, circular tables were laid with fine linen table cloths and beautiful centerpieces of tropical flowers. They were seated with an elderly couple from Minot, North Dakota and a honeymoon couple from Great Falls, Montana. One place was empty. The name on the card gave them nothing, bearing the name, ‘E. Geraci.”

The first course had already been served by the time a solitary person entered. Dressed rather like a gypsy in brightly colored, flowing skirts, blouse and shawl, she walked slowly to the table taking the empty seat next to Kyle. The waiter brought her food as well as a glass of iced tea with mint without even asking her. She accepted each with a stately inclination of her head.

She wore a multicolored scarf tied tightly over her head. No hair escaped and her scalp looked smooth beneath it. Her eyebrows were just growing in, her complexion pale, almost pallid. Kyle knew that look well. This was a woman who had been through chemo.

She was much taller than she looked walking in. Kyle guessed her to be around five nine. What had once been a strong, athletic body was ravaged by her disease and treatments. However, she was still broad shouldered with the build of a swimmer. Her eyes held a spark of determination as she smiled at him, extending her hand.

“Emily Geraci,” she said quietly, her voice slightly hoarse.

“Kyle Scott.” He took her hand gingerly. “This is Carmelita Porter, my housekeeper.

And my three children, biggest to smallest; Cindy, Randy and Mindy. Kids, Ms. Geraci.”

© Dellani Oakes 


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Sea of Destiny – Part 10

sea of destiny coverKyle has been talking to his travel agent. He told her to find a family friendly cruise for his family and Carmelita, their housekeeper. Angie, the travel agent, calls him with details. They are going to Mexico. She suggests he may find love again, but teases that the name of the boat is not the Love Boat. Curious, Kyle decides to see what the name of the boat really is.

 Curious, he booted up his computer and took a quick shower. It was warmed up and ready when he got out. He toweled dry, put on a pair of boxers and flopped onto his bed with the laptop. The e-mail from Angie confirmed all their reservations giving place and time of departure.

Serendipity? The ship’s name is Serendipity?” He laughed out loud, kicking up his heels. “Well, I wanted Fate to decide,” he chuckled. “I’m guessing it just did.”

After breakfast, Kyle and Carmelita made arrangements to move her possessions to the apartment attached to his house. They also decided that she would take the children shopping the next day while he and the Simmons brothers moved her things over.

“I’ll go by today and pack up my breakables,” she told Kyle. “I can’t trust any of you men to do it right.”

“And pack up your clothing. I don’t want to embarrass you by going through your panty drawer.”

“More likely embarrass you if you did,” she commented, raising an eyebrow. “If you knew what I was wearing under these slacks, I venture to say you’d have a heart attack and we’d miss that cruise.”

“While you’re gone, I’m going to pack and get some writing done.”

“You’re going to start writing again? That’s wonderful!”

“I decided last night that it’s time. I’ve cut myself off too long, Lita. I need something to make me feel like me again.”

“Good. Then I don’t have to fuss at you.” She patted his cheek. “I’ll be back before the kids get home.”

“Call if you need me.”

“I’ll do that very thing. See you, baby.” She patted his cheek again and left in a perfumed cloud.

The next few days passed in a blur for Kyle. Between moving Carmelita and preparing for their trip, he was busier than he’d been at the office. It was a good kind of busy, though. It wasn’t the bury himself in work to keep from grieving kind of busy. This was with a purpose—that of spending special time with his family. He couldn’t remember the last time they had a family vacation. Nearly two years, if he remembered correctly.

Monday night they drove to Cocoa Beach and spent the night with friends who lived there. The next morning, they reported to their ship, amazed at how full it seemed, even if it was operating at far less than capacity. Their cabins were luxurious by any standards with perfect views. The children made themselves at home and were enjoying the pool as the ship pulled out of the port. Kyle sat by the pool slathered with sunscreen sipping a vodka martini. Carmelita sat beside him trying to pretend she didn’t know him if any good looking men walked by.

Examining her objectively, Kyle could see that she would probably have very little trouble finding male companionship. Nearly six feet tall, she had the statuesque build of a goddess. Her legs were long, shapely and muscular making him feel scrawny and weak. No slack himself, he wasn’t much taller than she was, but very wiry of build.

“You look like an Amazon Queen, Lita,” he commented quietly.

“I hope that’s meant to be a compliment, or else you won’t live through this first day.”

© Dellani Oakes 


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Sea of Destiny – Part 9

sea of destiny coverKyle and his house keeper, Carmelita, are having a chat about the cruise. Kyle invited her along, not because he wants child care, but because she is part of the family. She agrees, trying to appear reluctant, but she’s really delighted to be included.

“Oh, this isn’t buff enough for you?” He held up his T-shirt, strutting around like a super model.

“We ain’t goin’ there, baby. I told you, you ain’t man enough for me.”

“How do you know? I was man enough for Margo.” Somehow that statement, usually funny, hurt his feelings.

“Because, Kyle, I would never do anything to jeopardize our friendship. You and those kids are too important to me.”

“You know I’m kidding when I say that stuff, right? I don’t mean it, Lita.”

“I know and that’s part of the problem. If you ever did mean it, I would rock your world, little man.” She smiled sweetly, remembering happier times. “Go get a shower, sweetie. I’ll have this ready when you get back.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He kissed her cheek. “Carmelita, you’re an absolute treasure and I love you.”

“Love you too, baby.” She patted his cheek. “Now go bathe, sweetie, cause you stink.”

Laughing, Kyle trotted up the stairs. The phone rang as he got to his bedroom door. He called down the steps to Carmelita. “I’ve got it.”

It was Angie. “I’ve got details.”

“Great! Tell me.”

“You leave from Cocoa Beach Tuesday morning.”

“Great! So we don’t even have to fly down.”

“Nope, hour’s drive, badabing. Do I do good work or what?”

“Where are we going?”

“Cancun, Belize and Cozumel.”

“Angie, isn’t Mexico dangerous right now?”

“You’ll love it. I got a super price on the tickets. You’re benefiting from everyone else’s paranoia. I got you suites on the top deck. These are usually way out of your price range.”

“Wow, I’m gonna feel like a jet setter.”

“I’m e-mailing you the itinerary now. The kids will need something nice to wear to dinner. There are themes for some of the evening meals.”

“We’ll go shopping this weekend. Lita can help the girls. I know nothing about female clothing, except how to remove it with my teeth.”

Angie giggled. He could picture her blushing, her artificially golden hair glittering in the sunshine from her big front window. “You sure know how to spark a girl’s imagination.”

“Sorry, Ang. I’m reverting to my pre-married self. Got to get my head back in the dating game.”

“I’ve got a couple single daughters your age,” Angie started.

“Yeah. Don’t fix me up, Ang. If things didn’t work out, I’d feel bad about never speaking to you again.”

“The offer stands. I’d be happy to help you find your true love.”

“Who knows. Maybe I’ll find her on board the ship?”

“Could be! The ship’s name isn’t the  Love Boat though.”

“What is it?”

“You’ll see when you get your e-mail. Bye, sweetie. Call if you have any questions.”

“Thanks, Angie.”

© Dellani Oakes 

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Sea of Destiny – Part 8

sea of destiny coverKyle’s decision to take his family on vacation may have been forced on him by his boss, but he’s looking forward to it. He’s felt lost and alone, burying himself in work to keep himself from grieving for his wife. But the time has come for him to put that behind him and move forward. A short exchange with his 12 year old son makes him realize how out of touch he’s been. Randy has developed a sarcastic edge he hadn’t noticed.

“Smart ass. Where does he get that from?”

“You aren’t serious?” Carmelita said.

Kyle laughed. “I know exactly where he gets it from. Poor kid. Most sarcastic—that’s what it’ll say in the high school yearbook his senior year.”

“How do you know that?”

“Cause that’s what it said about me and he’s twice as caustic as I was.”

“Not necessarily something to pride yourself on.”

His face clouded slightly as he remembered himself in high school. “When you’re the skinny, geeky kid with bad eyesight who’s more interested in chess than sports, you take your recognition where you can get it. I was the funny guy, the one who could always make chicks laugh.”

“Bet you didn’t get laid as often as the jocks, though.”

“Not as much, no. Quality, not quantity.”

“Playing with yourself don’t count.” She raised an eyebrow, glancing down at his pants.

Kyle’s manhood wanted to shrivel up under that stare. Instead of letting her get to him, he stood up straight, hips thrust forward proudly.

“How about letting a girl play with you? Does that count?”

“You let some chick give you a hand job? Now that’s an interesting fact about you I hoped never to find out.”

Kyle laughed, picking up a slice of red bell pepper she was slicing. “Something like that,” he raised his eyebrows like Groucho Marx. “What can I help with?”

“Not a thing. I know how you are in the kitchen. Destructo Dad.”

“Hey, be fair, it only happened once. Okay, twice, but it was Mother’s Day. The kids wanted to fix Margo breakfast.”

“Mm hmm…. and who ended up scraping pancakes off the ceiling?”


“And who stood there making sure you did it right?”

“Okay, but in all fairness, the ones that didn’t hit the ceiling were really good.”

“I’ll give you that. They were tasty. Sit, keep me company.” She snapped the knife down on the board as he tried to grab another slice of pepper. “Keep that up, we’ll be calling you Four Finger Scott.”

He grabbed a slice, slipping around to the other side of the island before she could hit him.

“So, where are we going on this cruise?”

“Angie’s going to call me later and let me know details.”

“You didn’t tell her where you wanted to go?” She was shocked.

“I wanted Fate to decide. Angie’s never let me down before.”

“Oh, so that seven hour layover in Atlanta last year was well planned out?”

“Wasn’t her fault. She couldn’t control the weather in Charlotte. All the flights got diverted to Atlanta. What was there to do?”

“Mm hmm.”

“When you do that, it’s very disturbing.”

“Mm hmm.”

“It makes me think I did something bad—or incredibly stupid.”

Her dark eyes focused on him, no expression in them. “Mm hmm.”

“Trust the Force, Lita.” He wiggled his fingers like he was trying to hypnotize her. “It will be fun.”

“So long as it’s tropical and there are buff bodies to look at by the pool, Carmelita will not be bored or disappointed.”

© Dellani Oakes 


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Sea of Destiny – Part 6

Their trip plans made, Kyle feels better about his vacation. He knows he’s been distant, grieving over his wife’s death. Now, before it’s too late, it’s time to show his children that he’s something more than an automaton they call Dad.

  They finished their movie marathon around 10:30. The older two children went to get ready for bed while Kyle and Carmelita cleaned up the paper plates and napkins from the living room.

“I’ve got a question for you, Lita.”

“I’m not marrying you, Mr. Scott.”

“No, it’s not that. However, it would entail your moving in here.”

“I beg your pardon?” She looked like she wanted to bury him alive.

“I need you to move into the apartment, Lita. I need more help around here, full time. My boss gave me a raise and told me to hire a nanny, but I can’t think of a single person I trust with my family but you. Would you be interested?”

“Be here full time with my babies?” Her eyes filled with tears. “Oh, you precious man! I can’t think of a thing I’d rather do!” She kissed his cheeks.

“How about we move you in this weekend then? Save you next month’s rent?”


“We’ll get those big, buff neighbors of yours to help. The Simmons brothers. I can give them all a few bucks to help.”

“They’d do it for food, if I’m cooking. You lay in the stuff for a barbecue, I guarantee the work force.”

“Great! Set it up and let me know what you’re cooking and I’ll leave cash for it. Oh, do you like ships?”

“What are you talking about now? I swear, Kyle, you’ve done gone crazy all of a sudden.”

“We’re going on a cruise, Lita. A family cruise. The kids are going to be occupied so you and I can work on our tans.”

“Am I expected to sun with the redheaded step child?” She raised a curious eyebrow.

“You can sun wherever and with whomever you want. I don’t expect you to babysit unless you want to and I won’t cramp your style if I can help it. I realized a little while ago, you’re a part of this family too and I couldn’t see going on vacation without you.”

“Where are we going?”

“No idea. I told the travel agent, ‘kid friendly’ leaving sometime after Monday.”

“You don’t give a girl much notice.”

“I didn’t get much myself. Forced leave, remember?” He pursed his lips. “I’m gonna have fun if it cripples me.”

“I’d love to go.” She patted his cheek again. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna go to bed. I don’t much feel like making that drive.”

“Take the guest room. The beds in the apartment aren’t made up right now. Since Margo’s mom left, everything is covered up.”

“I still don’t understand why that woman came down, lived here three months and left. That made no sense at all. What was she thinking?”

“She wanted to be around Margo.” He shrugged. “But she left us in the lurch, you and me.”

“That she did, the selfish bitch. Has she even called you since she left?”

“Once. She forgot something and asked me to send it.”

“Please tell me you didn’t.”

“I can’t even remember what it was and she hasn’t called back.”

Carmelita yawned loudly. “I’m goin’ to bed, sugar. I’ll cook us a nice breakfast after the kids head out. You gettin’ up with ’em?”

“That’s my plan. Thanks, Lita. You’re the best.”

“I know.” She winked. “Too bad my ex-husband didn’t figure that out.”

“I always told you he was an idiot. If I had a woman like you, I’d never let her go.”

“She called over her shoulder. “G’night, Kyle. Sleep well, baby.”

“Night, Lita. You too.”

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Sea of Destiny – Part 5

On forced vacation, Kyle decides to make the best of it. It’s time to reconnect with his family. Instead of rushing to ballet lessons, he decides to have movie and pizza night with his children. He announces it to his eldest daughter.

 “Really?” Cindy bounced on her toes. “We haven’t done that in ages. What movies did you get?”

“Guess. I got three of our favorites.”

Pretty Woman?”

“Correct.” He laid the movie on the counter.

“Um… Princess Bride?”

“Correct again.” The second movie joined the first.

“You had to get something for Randy, cause he’d kill you if you didn’t.”


“Something action packed. Maybe some hot chicks, fast cars…. Transporter 3?”

“Close. Fast and Furious.”

“How’s that close? One’s Vin Diesel, the other is Jason Statham.”

“Buff guys who drive fast. They didn’t have Transporter 3 in.”

“I knew you’d thought of it first. I can always read you.”

“Just like your mother.” He smiled, brushing her chestnut hair from her cheek. “I’m gonna go for a swim. Want to join me?”

“Yeah. If I’m not gonna go sweat it off in ballet, I need a few laps.”

“Go change. I’ll be out in ten minutes. I need to make a call.”

He called Angie once more. “Hey, Ang, I’ve got an addition to that list. Can you book an extra adult? My housekeeper, Carmelita.”

“Same room?”

He laughed loudly. “Nooo, not for Lita and me. I’ll share with Randy. She can share with the girls.”

“Great. I’ll add her. I had a rush right after I talked to you. I’m looking at ships now.”

“Thanks, Angie.”

For the first time in months, Kyle enjoyed a swim with is daughter. He hadn’t realized quite how out of shape he was getting until she beat him across the pool, leaving him breathless. After a shower, he called for the pizza and set up the first movie. Princess Bride was Mindy’s favorite, so they watched it first. Once she was in bed, they could put in the other two. He invited Carmelita to stay and the five of them sat on pillows on the floor eating pizza and drinking root beer.


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Sea of Destiny – Part 3

Kyle’s life has turned upside down since his wife died. Will booking a cruise and going on vacation make things any better? 

True to his word, Kyle called the travel agency his company used and talked to the owner personally. Angie was a divorced woman about Web’s age.

“I’ll take care of everything. We want kid friendly, Dad friendly.”

“Yeah. Can you find something like that?”

“You’d be surprised what I can do. There will be plenty to keep the kids busy so you can relax.”

“Thanks, Angie.”

“How soon do you want to leave?”

“I need a few days to make arrangements and pack. So no sooner than Monday. Call me at home or on the cell. I’m officially on vacation.”

“Will do, Kyle! Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything.”

“You’ve always taken good care of me, Angie. Bye.”

“Bye, honey.”

Carmelita was surprised to see him walk in the house so early. He explained the situation quickly, hitting the major points in an off-hand manner.

“You want me to stay with Randy when you take the girls?”

“I’m gonna call off ballet tonight,” Kyle decided. “I got some movies and I’m going to order out pizza.”

“I got dinner started already.” She sounded offended, frowning.

“We’ll eat it tomorrow night. I didn’t think to tell you. It was a last minute idea.”

“It’s not a problem. It’s spaghetti. It’ll keep.”

“Thanks for understanding, Carmelita.” He hugged the tall, dark skinned woman.

“It’s okay, baby. Lita will take good care of you and those kiddies. Don’t you worry.”

“Marry me, Lita. Then I don’t have to go back into the scary world of dating.”

She kissed his cheek, nearly choking him in the process. “You ain’t man enough for Lita. You got to put some weight on. Besides, you’re four years younger than me, still a baby.”

“Feed me. I’ll grow.”

“I know dating is terrifying. After Jed and me got divorced, I thought my life was over. He was a bastard in a whole lot of ways, but damn that man could sing….”

She broke off her sentence when Mindy, Kyle’s five year old daughter bounced in.

“Daddy!” She rushed at him, blonde curls flying around her.

Kyle picked her up, swinging her in a circle. “Mindy Sue!” He tickled her, setting her on her feet with a thump.

“But you have a meeting!”

“Nope. Daddy canceled the nasty, boring meeting to spend time with his favorite five year old daughter.”

“I’m your only five year old daughter, Daddy.” She gave him a patient look as if she knew he was completely crazy and she was humoring him.

“Therefore my favorite. Carmelita, can a couple of hungry people get milk and cookies in this joint?” He lifted his daughter to the tall stool by the bar.

“They most certainly can. Chocolate chip or chocolate chip?”

“I think we’ll take the chocolate chip with a side order of chocolate chip. Does that sound good to you, Melinda?”

“What’s a side order?”

“It means more cookies.”

“Yes, please!”

The three of them ate cookies dunked in milk, laughing and joking until his older daughter, Cindy, got home from high school. She was a freshman and hating it. Squinting, she tried to focus on her father.


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Sea of Destiny – Part 2

Ordered by his boss to take time off, Kyle thinks about what Web said. How is he going to keep himself occupied for the next 30 days?

“I’m not saying replace her, Kyle. I am saying I feel your pain, kid. You can’t bury yourself like this in your work or the next funeral I go to could be yours. We’ve known each other too long for me to pull punches. You’re like my own kid. I won’t enable this self-destructive path any longer.”

“Nothing I say is going to matter, is it?”

“Not a bit. Full month off with pay. Book that cruise.”

“That an order?” Kyle was being sarcastic but he didn’t care.

“As a matter of fact, it is. I want you relaxed, in control and focused before you come back. Failure to do that will result in termination.”


“For your own good, Kyle! This is not optional or open for debate. I won’t lose another person I care about.”

Hanging his head, Kyle let the tears fall. He couldn’t argue. There was no fighting this. Regardless of how badly he wanted to immerse himself in his work, he had to admit that Web was right.

“Okay,” he sighed. “All right. I’ll book a cruise. I’ll have a few drinks, try to relax….”

“And get laid.”

“I make no guarantees on that one. It’s been a long time since I dated.”

“Like I don’t know that? I was married forty years. Do you think it’s easy getting back in the dating game now? If I can do it, you can. There are plenty of women out there willing to engage in a little casual sex.”

“And if that’s not what I want?” He sniffed loudly, biting his lower lip. “I still love my wife.”

“I know. And the first time, you’ll feel a little guilty. Then you realize that it’s not like you’re being unfaithful. She’s gone, Kyle. She’d want you to be happy.”

He knew Web was right. He and Margo talked about little else the last days of her life. She wanted him to move on, find someone new, enjoy life again even if she wasn’t there to share it.

She even made suggestions about the kind of woman he should look for.

“A blonde. You like blondes. Big boobs—you always liked mine. Someone taller than me.”

“Why taller?”

“So you won’t have to stoop to kiss her. Less strain on your back.”

He’d chuckled, leaning over to kiss his wife’s hairless brow. “I don’t mind stooping.”

“Schtooping? I know you don’t mind that. You’re very good at that.”

“Thanks—like you’ve got any basis for comparison.”

“Maybe not, but when it’s good….” Her breath came out in a soft sigh. “That’s what I’ve missed the most about being sick. We can’t make love.”

Kissing her hand, he’d gazed into her eyes. “I love you, Margo. There will never be anyone else like you.”

“I know you feel that way now, honey. But there needs to be.”

“You still with me, kid? You kind of phased out there.”

“Yeah. I didn’t sleep very well. Mindy had nightmares again.”

“Go home, kid. Rent some movies, order in pizza and book the cruise.”

“I promise I’ll call Angie before I leave and set it in motion.”

“Good, cause if you don’t, I will.”

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