Chapter 197

After another restless night we went to breakfast at the Hop. It was not as good as the breakfast that I made on Sunday morning, but it hit the spot. I had waffles, one egg, a sausage patty and orange juice.

Jenny ate for two again. I kept the smile to myself but it may have been because I hurt so much that the flutter seemed stronger. I noticed it before she started giggling. I rubbed her tummy and pulled her close as I could stand so she would not wake anyone.

I made sure that my group pulled both Dan and Ellie May to interview. The interviews went off without a hitch. We had good candidates again; the final selection was going to be tough. We ended the interviews in time to go through them and rank them in order of preference.

Then Jason and Roseanne called the twenty of them to report for drug testing on Monday at the contractor we had hired. The testing site was open from 5 AM until 9 PM. That gave them plenty of opportunity to make it. We would have the results by noon Tuesday and make the final offers by the end of the day. Then we could move on to the next group, and that included the part-time people.

Our flight was wheels up at 8:00 and we were back on the Island at 10:30. Everyone was still up; they were waiting on us. The garage at the end of the house was all set up for a private party. Mom, Dad, Lisa, Joey, Corry, and their boyfriends, Jason, Roseanne, rest of my mates and Jeanna were there.

Marcy said, “We needed a break from all the stress of this week. There is nothing better than a party with one’s best friends and family. Besides, it’s summer – you always have a party just for fun.”

Hot dogs, hamburgers with all the fixings, Lisa had made a crock pot full her famous bake beans, and all the summer crabs you could eat. Lisa had even cooked some of Joey’s rockfish catch. The coolers had several kinds of beer, wine coolers and sodas. We had a nice family party.

Sunday morning I was up early. The night’s sleep was a little better but still rough. I quietly went through my morning ritual. Jenny was in a light sleep and starting to wake up. Before I left the bathroom I left the test kit with her toothbrush and mouthwash. Those were the first things she did every morning like clockwork.

I worked in the kitchen getting things ready to go on the stove. I was working on homemade hash-brown potatoes this morning. I cut the potatoes up nice and small and did the same with an onion. I threw the ingredients into an oiled pan and added some parsley flakes and other seasoning and put on a lid to let it slow cook and simmer for a while.

The sausage patties went on the griddle next; they would take the longest to cook of the rest of my Sunday menu. Bacon was the next item on another griddle and it was always a challenge. Marcy, Lorrie and Vicky liked it chewy. Jenny, Chin Lee and I liked it done well, almost ready to be made into bacon bits for salad.

I mixed the ingredients for waffles as the big coffee percolator started doing its thing. By the time the fresh coffee smell had everyone up, everything would be ready.

I stirred the potatoes and flipped the sausage, pressing down on it hard to force more of the grease out of it. I flipped the bacon and put several bacon presses on part of it to hold it flat and help make it crispy.

A stack of plates and silverware on the table with napkins and six coffee cups by the coffee maker made everything almost ready.

The bacon came off the griddle to be replaced with eggs. Those that needed to be cooked hard went on first. I heard the coffee cups rattling as I poured the mix on the waffle maker and closed the lid.

I put the bacon, potatoes and sausage on the table as I finished up the rest of the eggs, some over easy, some scrambled and stacked the waffles on the table.

All of us were fixing plates. The girls were picking spots at the table. I always had the same spot at the head of the table. Jenny still had not come in. I knew what she was up to; she could win any contest that had a gargling competition.

Jenny came into the kitchen with her hands by her side, hiding something in her right hand. She looked over the table at me and said, “Daddy.”

The girls looked at the front door to see if Jason had come in and saw no-one, and then back at Jenny.

Jenny looking straight at me said, “Daddy is what you would be called if things were normal. The first part of the plan has worked so I hope you have a sound plan for the next part. I’m pregnant.”

Mouths and forks dropped and surprised looks were an understatement. I walked around the end of the table and opened my arms as Jenny and I met.

We were both crying. I was holding her tight. She was saying over and over, “We did it, I’m pregnant.” I moved us back, sat in her empty chair and pulled her into my lap.

When we stopped crying joyful tears she asked, “How did you know?”

“You have been eating saltines at night and morning a lot, your stomach has been getting unsettled on the planes lately and you have been eating for two lately. That flutter you have been feeling in the night has been getting stronger,” I said.

“How long have you known?” she asked. The look in her eye was very serious.

“A little over 3 weeks, when we did the deed the last time things looked different; that is why I changed the method. I did not say anything because I did not want to get our hopes up and be wrong. You are 2 weeks past on this cycle. You could be 8 weeks along,” I replied. “I think there is a tiny baby bump.”

Vicky asked, “There have been no men. What do you mean you changed the method? Who is the father?”

Lorrie perked right up, “That’s what that tank is in your closet. Artificial insemination, you have been trying for months and kept it a secret.”

“Yes, that is how it was done and all of you have to keep our secret for a while longer. There are test that have to be done before we can tell anyone. Then we have to decide how to tell everyone.

I hated to keep it a secret from you but we didn’t know if it would ever work. You know I cannot have a child. Mindy is sterile and both Dad and Mom so desperately want grandchildren, and Jenny and I both want children. This is the only way that I can share in the experience.

I love all of you, we love all of you. I hope you understand. If you should decide later that you to want a child as part of our family we know it can happen now,” I said.

“Who is the father?” Marcy asked.

“My brother donated the semen to make this possible. So the baby is true family by blood. There is enough for a lot of children and it can be stored a long time if we store it right,” I said. “That has to remain a secret forever.”

“The food is getting cold. Let’s eat and then we can talk more about family and try to answer your questions,” Jenny said. “I’m hungry.”

I watched as Jenny devoured two plates of food before she leaned back in her chair.

“That was good. What are we planning to do for lunch?” she asked.

“You are supposed to feed it just enough to grow and be healthy and not be a line backer the day it comes out,” Lorrie said. “For you it’s some light exercise till lunch time.”

“I want to be a fly on the wall when you tell all the folks,” Ching Lee said.

“Oh, you are not going to get away that easy. We are going to do this as a family. We need you for support. Well, maybe protection too or a witnesses to testify at the murder trial,” Jenny said.

We talked for another hour before we went over to the gym. We spent a while in the office trying to plan for the next unknown from the county.

Then we worked out in the gym. Jenny may have a valid excuse to gain weight but the rest of us did not. We worked out hard; she worked out with light exercises. No more heavy weight bench and fight training for a while.

If any of my mates had any resentment about Jenny being pregnant it was gone by the end of the day. Talk now was about a baby shower, a nursery and breast feeding. Then there was the discussion about a boy or girl and names.

Edit by Alfmeister

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