Authors: Colette Cabot
Tags: #Contemporary Romance
That was exactly what they did, the whole crowd of them marching to the police station together. They immediately contacted the authorities in Kansas City and soon learned the award was still valid. Mrs. Comstock's DNA was already on file, so in a few days, they had their confirmation.
A meeting was arranged and the same group drove with Kathy Mae to the Comstock mansion together. The four of them rode three hours very comfortably in Mason's new steel gray Honda Pilot. He had room for livestock equipment; it was powerful enough to pull the trailer loaded with camels; and, Kathy Mae liked it. Their schedule left plenty of time to stop for a meal along the way, but Kathy Mae had no appetite.
Pulling up the long, circular drive, Mason held Kathy Mae by the arm. He had dressed with care, wearing a nice button down shirt, a dark green sport jacket, and khaki’s. Kathy was wearing a high-waisted purple dress and a set of knock off pearls. She looked the best she had ever looked, with the help of Dawn's advice. Mason beamed with pride at her appearance, and that was enough to encourage her recently developing interest in style. Although they all went inside, everyone hung back as she made those last few steps toward her mother, whom she didn't expect to see in a wheelchair.
The woman rolled forward, squinting for a good look at her facial features. She had already been assured that the DNA test had proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was her long, lost baby. Kathy Mae was doing the same thing, looking for resemblances, hoping for memories to miraculously pass through the chasm of thirty years time.
“I'd know you anywhere,” said Mrs. Comstock, with tears in her eyes. “You look just like my sister.”
“She does,” agreed Timothy Comstock, “I can't wait until Aunt Hannah sees her.”
“This is your brother Timothy, dear,” said Mary Comstock, “You have a whole family waiting to meet you, but we didn't want to overwhelm you on the first night.”
She stretched out her arms for an embrace, and Kathy Mae ran to her, falling to her knees so that they could be at eye level to each other. Looking up into her eyes, she saw and felt love pouring over her.
“I remember you,” said Mrs. Comstock, “It's the eyes. I held you in my arms when you were a baby, and you had those same dark eyes and lovely dark lashes. Come into the living room, you and your friends. We have some refreshments ready, and I have a pile of scrapbooks to show you. I've got the whole family history glued in pages and pages of memory books—as well as your baby pictures. It made Timothy, your father, feel sad, but I loved to look at them anyway.”
The thought thrilled her, and now she actually began to fell hungry. Her smile showed Mason she wanted him with her, and he felt encouraged to walk forward. She waved for the others to come also, and they followed.
Timothy addressed Phillip, thanking him for his diligence, and then he shook Mason's hand welcoming him to the family. Somehow, they had been informed of the engagement. He glanced a puzzled look toward Phillip, who played at mock innocence, rolling his eyes upward and trying to look angelic.
The evening progressed with chatter, laughter, and joyful tears. Mary Comstock kept calling her Catherine and Kathy Mae was finally was able to view her real birth certificate. It was featured prominently in her baby book. There were her footprints imprinted in black ink and the signatures of both her parents. Just as she saw that her real name was Catherine Mary, the lights dimmed. A procession of servants entered carrying a large decorated birthday cake. She had almost forgotten that this day was her thirtieth birthday. She was hoping no one would remember, and she wasn't even sure if the date was correct. That was now confirmed, and the name wasn't too far off as well.
Mary Comstock told her that her nursery had remained exactly the same as the day she had disappeared. The offer was made to redecorate it to her taste and have her move in, taking her place as a valued and welcomed member of the family.
“Though I would love to spend lots of time with you and try to make up for all those missing years—for both of us—I have a life that means a lot to me. I have friends, a job, and a fiancé,” she said glancing toward Mason, who was feeling uncomfortable all of a sudden.
He hadn't expected that kind of offer, though he realized he should have, and it didn't seem fair to marry her and take her away from all of this. Kathy Mae deserved to live here, and yet they had been discussing making a home in his barn. He wondered if she might be sorry she had settled for such a lowly status someday. This was a wonderful life before her for only the taking—after all the years she'd suffered. He was so lost in these thoughts that he hardly noticed Mary Comstock approaching his side.
“I know exactly what you're thinking, young man,” she said, smiling and scolding him playfully. “I recognize the look on your face, and you need to stop it right now.”
The whole room silenced, and every eye was upon them.
“When I married my husband, I was a waitress in the restaurant where he came in for lunch every day. We fell in love over my slipping him extra croutons for his salad. Don't let all this money intimidate you. It means nothing.
“I am not a stupid woman. It is obvious to anyone that you two love each other. Money is a nice thing, if it's used with wisdom. It makes things possible, it makes thing easier. But, that's all it is. It doesn't mean anything. Tell me something, Mr. Wheelwright. Do you love what you do for a living? I mean really
“Yes, I do,” he admitted easily. “I love every part of the exotic animal business—the care-taking, the promotion, meeting people—especially the kids. There's nothing in the world I'd rather do.”
“Then you will succeed,” she continued, “in your business, yes, but more-so in life—with your marriage, your family—everything. This is what I could only dream of for my daughter. Do you think I don't want her to be happy after all she's been through? I can tell that
make her happy. Do not let this money come between you. I want your promise that it won't. Let me hear it.”
“I promise, Mrs. Comstock. I will marry Kathy Mae and love her forever. And, I will overlook her being rich,” he said, smiling largely. Everyone laughed.
It was too late to drive three hours back to Borough, Missouri that night. They had all done a moderate amount of celebrating which included several glasses of champagne, so no one wanted to trust Dawn Buggerby, the only non-drinker, behind the wheel of Mason's new Honda Pilot. They stayed until the wee hours of the morning getting acquainted, becoming family, and eventually they decided to get rooms at a local motel.
Kathy Mae kissed his neck, and chest; then moved lower down the smooth flesh of his abdomen, hard and muscular from physical labor. She felt his erection thickening against her chest as he began to move it between her breasts. It already peeked at her from above the waistband of his underwear. Unable to resist the shiny pink cone with its intricate ridges and creases, she kissed it with her tongue and engulfed it in her mouth. Mason jerked at the sensation of warmth and wetness from her mouth and the pressure of her lips squeezing him firmly.
Mason moaned in ecstasy, raising her up toward him, kissing her and throwing her on her back then covered her with open-mouthed kisses all over her body. Kathy Mae spread her legs, moving with the rhythm and movements of his tongue flicking her playfully and his lips brushing against her teasing her passions to a frantic exquisiteness. This new sensation was almost more than she could endure. Her swollen inner lips almost pulled away involuntarily, but he held her firmly down. She began hyperventilating and almost lost consciousness.
“Breathe slower, Kathy Mae,” He whispered, “and let it happen.” She groaned and growled, gasped and shivered, and finally collapsed in complete release, every inch of her body feeling as if it were floating, no longer a part of her.
Mason fell beside her to bask in the glow of her face. Her skin shimmered in the dim light of the moon pouring through the open drapes. She looked so beautiful to him at that moment—surely she could never be more radiant than she appeared now. She shook for a few seconds, as though her body was experiencing an after-shock.
“Are you okay?” he laughed, causing her to smile.
Kathy Mae had barely any strength left to speak. She simply nodded an affirmation, and he snuggled next to her to fall asleep. That notion paused briefly as they began to chuckle softly hearing Dawn squealing in the room next door. Obviously, they had been heard. They had inspired their friends to enjoy the night as well.
Shortly after they arrived home, Kathy Mae arrived at the courthouse along with the lawyer the Comstock family had arranged to assist them with a series of legal procedures. Before the wedding, Kathy Mae's name was changed to Catherine Mary Comstock. Her driver's license, bank account, and employment records were all made to agree. The difficult part would be getting used to signing the new name, especially considering that it would be changing again in just a just a few months to Wheelwright. Everyone agreed, after her approval, to continue calling her Kathy Mae.
Mary Comstock took joy in helping make plans for the wedding, and Kathy Mae had never had more fun making all the appropriate decisions. It would take place in Kansas City because they could find no location large enough to accommodate the huge crowd made up of family and friends of her new family. Dawn agreed gleefully to be her maid of honor. And, after learning that protocol these days was compromised easily to suit the bride's wishes, Kathy Mae asked her mother to accompany her down the aisle and give her away at the ceremony.
She had searched everywhere for the perfect dress. Even the ones that cost thousands of dollars, the ones her mother suggested did not seem to suit her feelings nor the image she saw in her mind of herself marrying Mason Wheelwright. After a discussion with her mother over coffee after a shopping venture which, again, had ended in failure, Mary Comstock suggested a tailor that she knew.
Kathy Mae described a lovely vision of white lace from another era, much in the style of the early 19
century. With the help of a composite sketch, the tailor nailed it. When it was finished, Kathy Mae loved her dress, hardly able to understand herself how a simple piece of clothing could mean so much. When she tried it on she felt like a character in a Victorian romance novel. Her life had become a real life love story. This was exactly how she wanted to appear before the man she adored on her wedding day.
She remembered some lines from
“If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.”
On that day, as she walked down the aisle, Kathy Mae hardly noticed the hundreds of guests, the lovely music, the immense display of candles and flowers. All she could see was the gaze of her groom smiling at her with love.
They had written their own vows. Kathy Mae began:
Happiness in your eyes
Love in your touch
I will love you when you are gone
I will think of you when you are here
With you, love is eternal
The years of life will not harm us
Our love will endure
My heart is yours forevermore.”
Mason began his, and the crowd stayed hushed to hear his soft low voice:
“Love is not afraid to talk
It is not afraid to leap
Good or bad, we will hold on
Time will not break us
For all the days ahead
I promise to look into your eyes,
To touch your face
And you will know that today is everyday forever.”
The kiss sealed the ceremony Kathy Mae opened her mouth to offer her eternal self to Mason Wheelwright, her new husband. She didn't notice or have concern that everyone was watching. It was as if only the two of them stood there together.
Mason and Kathy Mae had their wedding pictures taken at both the church and the reception with at least one shot which included Zimmer, Mason's favorite camel, standing between them. These pictures made the national news. One of the reporters asked Mary Comstock how she felt about the livestock being part of the wedding.
“I absolutely love it,” she said, smiling with tears of happiness in her eyes.