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Authors: Rosemary I Patterson PhD

The Wager

BOOK: The Wager
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The Wager
Rosemary I Patterson PhD
BookSurge Publishing (2005)

The scene is set as six wealthy senior ladies make a large wager to reward the charity of one of them with $60.000.00 for managing to get a new lover by Christmas from the widowed, divorced or single members of their Dog Walking Group for Seniors. The result is a hilarious romp through the unknown territory of Senior Sexuality.

About the Author

Rosemary I. Patterson, Ph.D. is a retired School Psychologist. She is the author of eleven novels including 5 Star Midwest Book Reviewed "Aloha And Mai Tais. Her screenplay adaptation of "Journey Great Barrier Reef" set in Australia was a winner in both the 2003 Telluride Indiefest Screenplay contest and the 2005 Key West Indiefest Screenplay Contest.

The Wager

Copyright © 2005 Rosemary I. Patterson, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 1-4196-0802-9
Library of Congress Control Number : 2005903947

To order additional copies, please contact us.
BookSurge, LLC
www.booksurge.com
1-866-308-6235
[email protected]

ROSEMARY
I. PATTERSON, Ph.D.
THE
WAGER
A Humorous Novel About Dog
Parks, Seniors, and Gambling
for Love Later in Life
2005
The Wager:

Copyright

Dedication

Chapter 01

Chapter 02

Chapter 03

Chapter 04

Chapter 05

Chapter 06

Chapter 07

Chapter 08

Chapter 09

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Dedication

To My Daughter Catherine Patterson-sterling, M. A.,
The Author Of The Self-help Book "Rebuilding Relation-
ships In Addiction" For Her Creative Suggestions For This
Book.

To My Good Friend And Fellow Author Edward Michel
Bird Whose Latest Mystery Is "Crime Too Perfect" For
His Excellent Suggestions And For Listening Patiently As
I Plotted The Book.

To The Members Of The West Vancouver Canadian Au-
thors Association Group For Their Invaluable Feedback.

To Margared Hume And The Members Of Her Bkota (Be
Kind One To Another) Writing Group For Their Helpful
Suggestions To This Manuscript.

To Julie Schmidt And The Ladies Of The Tri Cities
Women And Words Writing Group For Laughing At My
Early Chapters And Making Suggestions.

CHAPTER 1.
Dog Park.

E
ven in late fall, Linda 'Canine Lover' Daniels was overcome by the beauty of the area designated as being for the dogs. Although much further north than Hawaii, the area around the designated dog walk reminded her of her vacation trips to Waikiki. The dazzling blue of the sky refected in the colour on the ocean. She could hear the sound of the waves as they crashed on the shore. The sea wall resembled the one along the shoreline at Waikiki and the mountains were in the same location, behind the high rises built along the shore.

The Dog Park was right where the river flowed into the ocean and the dogs could frolic on the beach, swim in the river, chase each other around trees on grassy knolls and gallop in uninhibited bliss down the concrete walkway. Humans would have to stay alert and leap clear, not the dogs.

It was Linda's sixty-third birthday and the attractive, trim, never married veterinarian chose to spend it along with her dog and human friends at the Dog Park in the hope that company would provide relief from the pain of her two major problems in life. She had never come to terms with her mother's prolonged and traumatic death from colon cancer and for ten years she had been in love with a man who seemed completely oblivious to her subtle and not so subtle attempts to move beyond friendship.

A burst of nervous giggling brought Linda back to her group of dog and human friends spread out over several of the large and comfortable logs on the sand in front of the Dog Park walkway. Linda made sure she had Cleo, her large Doberman, in sight before she tuned into the cause of her friends' hilarity. Cleo had a tendency to take off for long distances after dog acquaintances and then panic if she could not locate her owner visually. A quick glance assured her that Cleo was doing her usual imitation of a submarine and swimming enthusiastically alongside her canine friend, the Wheaton Terrier, Pegasus.

Pegasus was infatuated with Cleo, despite the fact that Cleo could never respond appropriately to his obviously amorous intent. Pegasus would not leave her side and following her usual putdowns of his attempts to seduce her, seemed content to lick her mouth and ears in a series of affectionate slobbers in the hope that sometime in the future Cleo would be more accommodating. Linda managed a short laugh at herself as Pegasus's unrequited love situation somehow reminded the semi-retired vet of her own.

"She can't be serious," Linda thought to herself as the challenge that her wealthy friend Gloria had issued penetrated her brain. "She wants to include Malcolm in the bet this time."

"A new wager," Gloria Amorous' Gustafson had said to her five, financially well off friends seated closely together on the logs. They all lived in a beautiful and exclusive gated area on the slopes of a mountain overlooking the ocean.

"Sixty thousand to the one of us who gets Malcolm Brooks into bed by Christmas."

"Good luck!" Linda thought. Her friend Malcolm was a wealthy industrialist who never dated anyone over thirty-five years of age.

"Only one man in the bet. That's too competitive! We need one for each of us." Linda reeled as Esther 'Perky' Goodenough, a power house, older member of the dog walking group and Pegasus's owner, requested adding more men to the bet.

"My God, this is the second time this year they've had this bet. And now they're including Malcolm. I'll just refuse again."

Linda grew further determined to avoid the bet as Gloria agreed with Esther to add more men to the list of eligibles as long as they were from the single, divorced or widowed members of the dog walking club. Gloria also stated that the relationship had to have a sexual component and be maintained for at least a month and that the winner or winners would donate the prize money to a charitable cause of their choosing.

"Are we including you again?" Esther asked.

Linda felt herself losing the effect of the prescription tranquillizer she had taken just before bringing Cleo to the dog park. She recalled that Gloria had won the last four bets of this type. The years did not show on the former leading lady of her movie producer husband's many successful films.

"What if Gloria is successful in getting Malcolm into bed?" Linda thought. "How humiliating. Ten years and I've got absolutely nowhere. Would Gloria succeed in just thirty days or less?"

"I'll be in the bet for sure!"

Linda reeled as the redheaded senior added that it took a lot of brain power to cope with ramifications of an affair.

"You mean it keeps the brain cells moving."

"Exactly! And you all know how much I like a challenge. What about it?"

"Well, some of the single and widowed men do still have their own teeth!"

Linda could not believe her ears as even Virginia 'Prissy' Kelly, a former minister's wife, seemed interested in the wager this time.

"Most of them are still sexually functional," Gloria assured her friends. "Take the one that interests me, Malcolm Brooks, he's a hunk, for someone becoming a Super-senior next month of course."

"Super-Senior!" Linda wondered if that could be true. She was shaking with surprise. Linda recalled again that she had been carrying her crush for close to ten years on Malcolm Brooks, who was one of her most frequent clients. He kept a menagerie of pets up in his immense estate and constantly needed help from Linda.

"Over eighty." Gloria replied, glancing competitively at Linda. Linda started. She had not realised that Malcolm was that old. He looked many years younger.

"Such a thing is possible?" Beatrice 'Plucky' Broughton, a sixty-year-old former university professor demanded.

Linda glanced at Beatrice in disbelief. The slim, attractive lady was slightly paralysed from the car accident that had ended both her husband's life and her University career.

"You should know," Gloria shot back, "being scientific and all. Pharmacology has given those guys their sex lives back."

"What do you mean?" Esther demanded.

"Viagra, Darling. All my beaux use it."

"Well, I did see a recent study that said that sixty-three percent of men over eighty and thirty percent of women over eighty were still sexually active."

"But you're married!" Linda felt glad that the ethics question had been raised as Virginia queried Gloria.

"Gus and I have an agreement, Darling. At our age we figure anything that will keep us from senility is a go."

"Sex keeps you from senility?"

"But of course," Linda grew slightly amused again as Gloria told them that sex was the secret of the fountain of youth.

"Maybe that's what is wrong with me?" Linda thought. "With Malcolm's resistance to my overtures and my resistance to dating others in case he would mind maybe I'm aging too quickly. No wonder I'm afraid I'm becoming addicted to tranquillizers."

Conversation suddenly ceased as a large, greyish, Sheep Dog charged into the centre of the ladies and attempted to lure Gloria's white, Standard Poodle, Gigi, out toward the beach. Gigi pulled desperately at her leash and Virginia's little Boston Bull Dog, Lazarus, started barking loudly and lunging toward the water. Honey 'Y'all' Pratt, a recently retired, Afro-American, Lounge owner from New Orleans grabbed onto her Pit Bull, Bourbon, as he pulled on his leash to get in on the action. Bourbon spit out his cherished, red, phosphorescent ball, pulled out of his collar and joined the large Sheep Dog with his attempts to lure Gigi toward the water.

"Let Gigi go!" Esther advised.

"Gigi's just been to the Voluptuous Canine Grooming Centre. I don't want her fur getting messed up."

"That Sheep Dog is Malcolm Brook's latest dog, Trump."

"Named after Donald Trump, of course!" Linda added, recalling that Malcolm was a wealthy industrialist and worshipped the multimillionaire.

Gloria immediately reached down and freed Gigi. Trump jumped on Gigi and tried to mount her. Gigi used her body to fling him off and headed toward Cleo and Pegasus still swimming in the river mouth. Trump and Bourbon followed in hot pursuit. Linda felt herself smiling a few moments later

as four dog heads protruded from the water and the gaggle of Canadian geese that had been paddling around the immediate area shot into the air. Trump, Malcolm Brook's independent minded Sheep Dog, harassed Gigi and Pegasus, the large Wheaton Terrier, frolicked with Cleo.

Bourbon, Honey Pratt's tough, but smallish, Pit Bull, stood glaring at the dogs in the water from the river edge. He apparently did not want to get wet. Linda followed Cleo's cropped ears as the four dogs swam toward the long, narrow sand bar in the centre of the river just before it entered the ocean. The sand bar was only visible when the tide was out. Bourbon finally forced himself into the water as the others moved in the channel toward the bar. He swam rather slowly toward the others with a frown on his face.

"If only Malcolm could be more like his dog." Gloria said plaintively. "He is single, you know."

"I think he is like Trump, but with women half his age and less," Linda supplied. Pain filled her heart as she was reminded of her close friend and client Malcolm's inexplicable pursuit of younger women. He regularly went through two or three a year.

"Malcolm is really a Super-Senior, like me?" Esther's voice betrayed her interest. "He looks years younger."

"He will be eighty in several weeks."

At that instant two Wild Blue Herons who had been standing still in the shallows and waiting for the small fish to return with the tide started flapping frantically. Linda watched the birds with disbelief. The usually still birds took turns displaying their long, bluish-grey, wing feathers and leaping vertically up into the air in a spectacular display.

"Mating behaviour of the Wild Blue Heron," she explained.

"It's an omen," Gloria shouted. "One of us is going to get Malcolm into bed. He's much more like a sixty-year-old."

"I don't know. My late husband would say that you ladies are giving in to temptations of the Devil!"

Linda felt her face grow hot with flushing as Virginia gave them all a look of reproach. Linda realised that Virgie was having second thoughts about the bet. She could feel her own societal conditioning faring, particularly the overly restrictive childhood she had been subjected to by her wealthy parents. She had been sent to a Catholic, residential school at the age of nine.

"Why?" Gloria challenged. "None of you ladies have a spouse and Malcolm's divorced him decades ago. What's the harm? If one of you ladies can get Malcolm interested in a woman over thirty-five maybe there's a chance for me."

"You're married!"

"I told you, Virgie, that Gus and I have an agreement! And besides, think what sixty thousand would do for your church."

Linda suppressed a laugh. The judgemental look left Virginia's face. She sat silently for over a minute. Linda figured she was trying to process her emotions.

"Well, we have been trying to raise money for a new organ."

"You're in then?"

"Where's the money to come from?"

"I'll put up fifty thousand. The other five of you will be in for the other ten. What about it?"

Linda watched with interest as Gloria put out her hand. Virginia hesitated but then suddenly seized Gloria's hand and shook it.

Esther laughed as Gloria approached.

"Another wager. You know what happened with the last one."

"How was I to know that Steven Purdy was a closet homosexual that just wanted cover for his affairs?"

Gloria reached Linda, put out her hand and the semi-retired veterinarian hesitated. She realised she was not ready to risk her close friendship with Malcolm by directly hitting on him.

"But the Retired Veterinarian Association does need money for research," some part of her mind told her.

"Besides, it's not just sex, y'all know!" Honey Pratt declared as Gloria came up to her. She gave Gloria a "highfve."

Linda listened with interest as Honey, a recent senior, though she looked years younger, and former liquor lounge owner from New Orleans, gave a short talk on relationships. Honey told the astonished ladies that relationships had three components that had to be in place for success. She told them that just good physical sex was not enough, that there had to be a mental bond plus an emotional heart connection as well for a satisfying relationship.

"That's just part of your New Age mumbo jumbo," Virginia argued. You were down in pagan New Orleans for too long."

"For good Tantric sex y'all needs a connection into the mind and the heart as well as the vagina," Honey Pratt insisted.

Linda's mind listened with interest again as Honey told them in her heavy Southern accent that a relationship is one way to get beyond the clutches of the ego. She told them that at least in a relationship a person was going beyond their own boundaries and ego. That, in a relationship, energy was blended from both participants.

"With mind, heart and sex," she insisted "y'all can reach new heights of Spirituality."

"You mean the male energy blending with the female energy?" Linda sighed as she realised she wanted more than anything on this earth to blend her energy with Malcolm's.

"Right on," Honey's face lit up with agreement. "With good sex, a mind and heart connection, y'all can lose all sense of self, even blend in with the All, y'know."

"And the warm afterglow," Linda felt herself remembering her closeness with a former lover while in her twenties. Regretfully he had married another. Tears came to her eyes.

"Unconditional love, Sugar," Honey agreed.

"Then you'll join us this time?" Gloria gave Linda another chance.

"Uh, I don't think so." Linda shook her head. She could not believe she was actually thinking of taking part in the wager.

"My mother's death! I don't think I could handle a relationship right now. It still bothers me?"

"Who said anything about a relationship? That's Honey's hangup. This can be just be a month's roll in the hay. Providing you have proof of some kind of consummation. Just what you need if you ask me."

Linda protested that she was still in a bereavement group.

"That's part of your problem," Gloria retorted. "Sitting with a bunch of weeping people. Do something with the living for a change. Trust me, it's impossible for arousal and depression to occur at the same time. You'll see. Move into the future not the past or at least the present."

BOOK: The Wager
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