Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Like a Lead Balloon - Dec. 25th later - Shirley, Fred and Gwendolyn

*****WARNING*****This blog post contains graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Shirley walked on autopilot into the hotel room in Amherst, Nova Scotia. She was slowly processing the end to their evening. As their dessert digested after Christmas dinner she had painfully told Roberta the truth about Fred being her father. The revelation was met with a long stony silence from Roberta and absolute stunned expressions on her son in law Brad and grandchildren; Gwendolyn and Simon's faces. Finally Shirley couldn't take it and had begged Roberta to say something to which she had replied coldly "Get out. I don't want to see you Mom. Just get the hell out of my sight right now!" Shirley had simply nodded respectfully and stood up to go put on her coat and boots. Fred followed her a minute later. She had heard Roberta bolt up the stairs but didn't chase after her. Brad had followed them to the door clearly not knowing what to say or do but insisting on driving them to their hotel at least. It was a short and quiet drive. They had exchanged goodbyes like strangers. And now Shirley hung her coat again in the hotel room closet, kicked off her boots and crawled into the bed, under the covers fully dressed, curling into the fetal position and closing her eyes.

Fred had eaten and enjoyed the dinner at Roberta's as well as the desert, although he was anxious. Roberta's reaction had not really surprised him. He could understand the problem, and in some ways was glad it hadn't come to blows. At the hotel room, he also took off his boots, but took a moment in the bathroom before he came out. He saw her curled up in the bed and joined her, not bothering to undress either. As angry as he had been for as many decades as he had been mad, he was not now going to rub anything into her face. Instead he lay on his side and gathered her into his arms, just holding her. Speaking first did not seem the wise course of action.

Shirley let herself be gathered and silent tears began to fall. She expected it might go badly, expected Roberta's anger. How could she not? But even the expectation hadn't prepared her for how horrible it would feel to face how much she'd hurt her daughter, and Fred with her own denial of this for so long. She inhaled shakily and on the exhale hoarsely whispered "I don't deserve your comfort. I know this is my fault."

Fred kisses the back of her head. "Well, I am older and wiser than I was fifty years ago, Shirley." he murmurs. "And I forgave you the moment you admitted that yes, Roberta was my daughter." he sort of rocks back and forth. Comforting people was not his strong suit.

Shirley rolls towards him and wraps her arms around him, sobbing into his chest and shaking. The fact that he forgave her is overwhelming to her. After a long time she starts working to get her breath under control again so she can speak "I can't say I'm sorry enough. And to Roberta.....Fred this is the kind of stuff that breaks families forever. I might have just done that......"She chokes on another sob but it doesn't overtake her like the last round of them.

Fred holds her and lets her cry. "I understand. Part of it is my fault too, you know. I didn't communicate properly and I was just ... so ... no kids .. like it was forever." he strokes her hair. "If it comes to that, I'll speak to her. I don't know what I'll SAY, but ... I'll put it on me and my ability to be impossible. There thousands of character witnesses to what an inflexible ass hole I can be."

Shirley can't help but chuckle through her tears at his offer "I love you, and that's very kind. But I did this Fred, and I have to own it with Roberta, no matter how hard it is." Letting a bunch of the emotion out through her tears seems to have given her back some strength. Her last statement is resolute, almost matter of fact. She wipes at her face, takes a deep breath and then kisses him tenderly on the lips.

Fred offers her a smile and after the kiss wipes some of her tears away himself. "I love you, too. And ... you may have to own it, but I'll stand beside you. Support you." he blows out a breath. "If I'd swallowed my own damn pride I would have tried to be husband number three ... but ..." he shrugs. "We just got in another of our super polite fights that Winter and next thing I knew you were married again. I thought maybe .. it wasn't to be." he rests his forehead against hers.

Shirley winces as their foreheads touch "Sorry...I guess I'm lonely too easily. I probably married at least two of them way too fast. It should have been you. I was stupidly afraid of....this....denying us both. I'm not hiding anymore Fred. I don't think I have anything left to hide from...or from you."

Fred grins. "I'm not going anyplace." he tells her. "You got me till death do us part, if that's how you want it. I mean ... if knowing each other for sixty plus years isn't too soon." he chuckles.

Shirley looks at him in joyful disbelief "That IS how I want it. So we both better live long and healthy so we can make up for some very lost time." She pulls back from their foreheads leaning and tilts her head, kissing him again, this time deeply, passionately. Her arms wrap around him and squeeze tightly.

Fred gets into the kiss, but then breaks it. "Well, they say only the good die young. That means I should have another twenty years in me at least." he pulls her just a little closer. He's happier now ... in the last several days .. than he has been in ... 50 years.

Shirley giggles and leans into him as he pulls closer. Then she gently rolls on top of him "Mmmm twenty MIGHT cover it..." She kisses him again, this time a little hungrily. She starts on his mouth and then moves to his earlobe, sucking at it and down his neck. Her mood shift is becoming very clear but then she pauses as there's a knock at their door and frowns at Fred before looking towards it.

Fred grins and looks up at her in mild surprise when Shirley lays on him. Then the knock comes and he rolls his eyes. "Well, at least we're dressed?" he offers. "Want me to get it, honey?"

Shirley rolls off him to the side and smiles "It might be the hotel. You didn't ask for more towels or anything did you? Order a nightcap to try and calm me down? " She jokes.

Fred sits up. "No, I thought my innate charms would work." he teases and stands. "I'll get it." he moves to the door. "Who is it?" he asks, even though he also looks through the peephole.

Through the peephole, Gwendolyn stands on the other side. She heard footsteps coming towards the door and made a ridiculous fish face at the peephole and then calls out in a faked low voice "It's Donald Trump....invading Canada starting with the BC mayors!" She has her brown black hair almost shaved on one side and a whole chunk long and half over her eyes. Gwen has a tiny little nose stud in one nostril and wears a pair of retro looking glasses. Like her mother, she has the same deep brown eyes and Shirley. Like her father, she has a face full of freckles. Gwen has a red plaid vest style jacket over a black turtle hoodie and a pair of brown untied hiking boots over a pair cinched at the bottom of khaki cargo paints, portrait of a Canadian teenage hipster.

Shirley laughs "Gwen." She nods to Fred "Let her in before she scares the other guests.....Donald Trump..."

Fred opens the door, eyebrows arched high at the clothes. "Welcome Mr President Elect." he greets her. "You're make up is MUCH better than Ronald Regan's was." and he backs up to let her in, closing the door behind her. With Shirley he is far nicer than without her influence.

Gwen saunters in and just unabashedly greets Fred with "Thanks Grandpa Fred. Someone should really write cue cards for that moron like they did for Regan....and ban him from Twitter." She looks past him to her grandmother who is now sitting on one end of the bed "Grandma, are you OK? Mom's been talking on Skype to Grandpa Elliot for ages now but she doesn't seem to be crying anymore..." She walks right in with the big snowy boots and sits on the bed beside Shirley with big sad eyes "I don't want you and Mom to fight..."

Shirley ignores the boots and the snow on the carpet and hugs Gwen "Oh sweetie....sometimes families fight. I'm sorry. this one's on me....and it could take awhile. How did you get here?"

Gwen shrugs "Everyone was busy, so I took the car. Mom's on Skype still and Dad and Simon are doing the dishes. I just got my licence last week."

Shirley pulls back from Gwen and looks at her sternly "Do your parents know where you are?"

Gwen looks sheepish and shakes her head "Not exactly.....but I wasn't planning to be long. I just wanted to know you guys were OK."

Shirley looks stern "We're fine but please text one of your parents before they notice you've gone. I don't want them to panic."

Gwen takes out her phone "I'll text Dad....."

Fred starts being addressed as Grandpa, but then he smiles a bit. "I might take a page out of that young mans book. Of course, I had no idea what a Tweet was, really until all that nonsense down there." he shudders and listens. He considers a moment speaking, then decides against it. It's a family matter, and he is still getting used to being family. Plus ... his relationship with Elliot was never terribly close and after he married Shirley and let everyone just believe Roberta was his ... it had been very cold when the two men HAD met.

Shirley watches Gwen texting and then looks relieved. She did not want to be in it for anything else with Roberta tonight. "That's better. I'm sorry I caused a bad end to the dinner."

Gwen shrugs "It was interesting at least." She looks between Fred and Shirley "You guys look like you've been together a lot longer than a bit. How come it took you so long? I mean I love my other Grandpas....don't get me wrong. Even when Grandpa Elliot gets on my case all the time about my grades....."

Shirley looks awkward "It's complicated Gwendolyn. Relationships are complicated. Sometimes we screw them up. And Grandpa Elliot just wants you to have all the opportunities you can in life. He's a big fan of university, having been a professor. Be kind. He's an old man."

Gwen rolls her eyes "I know he's old. I'm not the academic type. I'm not Mom...or Simon. I hate school so I flunk a lot of it. He's just going to have to deal when I don't go to least not for some job where I have to keep doing stuff that feels like school forever.....blech!"

Fred seats himself near Shirley. "Well, we've known each other now .... maybe 62 years now. Lost track .. got back together ... mostly very strained since the 70's." he admits. "What DO you want to do, Gwen?" he wonders.

Gwen slumps, like she's been asked the question in ways that already annoy her but then softens. Grandpa Fred had no idea of the arguments she'd had with her mother and Grandpa Elliot every time she got a bad report card, which was EVERY time she got a report card. After a moment she says "I love shops class, metal shops. Got an A+ even - the only one ever. My teacher said I should be a welder. I love molding the metal, making it all fit together. It's really satisfying."

Shirley rubs Gwen's shoulder "You can do anything your set your mind to Gwen. They'll come around."

Fred looks interested. "That sounds like a GREAT career, actually." he strokes his chin. "You can make sculptures, fences .. brass beds." he nods to himself. "And nice looking security bars. Some of those things just look terrible. I'd commission you to do some work ... if you're any good, of course." he huffs. "I became a lawyer because they told me I couldn't. And I ran for mayor to get that accursed school closed." even all these years later, he growls when he says that.

Shirley looks lovingly at Fred for his encouragement to Gwen and nods along.

Gwen sits up straighter and looks at her new grandpa with bright eyes and a growing smile "Cool! You closed a school?" She has no idea what kind of school of course but the way she's feeling, any school would do.

Shirley pats Gwen's arm and says gravely "A residential school dear. A blight on Canada's history and part of our cultural genocide....and Fred's.....well he went there...."

Gwen's smile fades into a deeply disturbed expression "I'm sorry. Glad you got to stick it to them though Grandpa Fred."

Fred can't help but chuckle. "Things were much different back then. I was born in Alexandra and when I was found I was sent to the school. So I was raised there." he tells her without trying to lecture. "And I did. Now it's one of the most prestigious music schools in BC for children." he grins. "I met your grandmother during a summer camp we were both counselors at." he remembers and smiles a bit.

Gwen looks both sympathetic and fascinated "Wow....did you ever find out who your parents had been?" She smiles a bit at the look on his face when he talks about meeting her grandmother. If only her mom could see it too.

Shirley listens quietly but then get a twinkle in her eye at the end and stage whispers to Gwen "He was so charming and handsome and a bit of a bad boy....I was smitten immediately...still is of course..."

Fred shakes his head. "I was told that she was an Aboriginal who went into labor on the island. She told them my father was white. Maybe she thought that would get me sent to an orphanage and not a residential." he shrugs. "She spent the night with me, gave me my name and in the morning ... she was gone." he chuckles. "I was at that. Somewhere I have pictures. But there are official ones in the Town Hall of me in my 30's anyway, when I became mayor." he chuckles and looks at Shirley. "I was an idiot, as proven by our entire history up to this point." he argues. "I wound up in school and she wound up married ... and we met again ... she was divorced and I was planning on being the mayor." he sighs. "Timing has never been my thing." he's missed out three times on being her husband or giving her the opportunity to at least turn him down.

Shirley smiles sadly at Fred and then Gwen "Better late that never."

Gwen looks at them like they're simply adorable and then her phone pings and she takes it out and glances at it with a look of annoyance "Smart ass Simon's refusing to wash more pots...because I haven't done my share yet.....and Mom wants me home..." She looks up awkwardly "It was nice to talk to you both." She stands up and starts for the door.

Fred nods and stands with her, opening the door for her, old fashioned gentleman that he is. "Send me tome pictures of your work and I'll see if I can't put you to work." he urges her and stands back so Shirley can say her goodbyes.

Shirley walks with them and hugs Gwen "I'm glad you popped by. It'll be OK Gwen." She sounds like she's trying to convince herself too "Drive carefully sweetie."

Gwendolyn hugs her grandmother back "I know and I will. I love you Grandma. We'll email." She lets go of her and unexpectedly steps forward and hugs Fred too "And welcome to the family Grandpa Fred."

Fred is a little taken aback by the hug, but soon returns it. "Thanks." he watches her head off and looks at Shirley as he closes the door. "Well ... one seems alright." he offers, taking her hand, knowing she is still worried.

Shirley looks after Gwen and smiles "I love that girl. Simon will be a tougher sell. Stubborn, like his mother...." She looks at Fred and trails off, thinking but not saying, like you. She chuckles to herself and squeezes his hand back and then lets go, walking to her suitcase and pulling out her nightgown. She casually says "Could you lock the door Fred? I don't expect any more visitors tonight." She looks down at her nightgown and then at the bathroom door like she's contemplating where to change. Then she just shrugs, grins at Fred and disrobes in front of him, scars and all. She stands there in the buff for a moment or two while she settles the clothes she wore that day into the case and then starts pulling the nightgown over her head like she's been doing it with him watching her for the 60 plus years.

Fred turns and locks the door. "It'll all work itself out." he turns and watches as she decides to change right in front of him. He takes in her body while it is naked and then watches her change into her nightgown. He takes it as high praise that she is that comfortable. "Well fine then." he moves to his suitcase and opens it. He has his pajamas, which he sets out and then, as she did, undresses. For his part, there are no exterior scars, but he IS 80, almost 81 and there are wrinkled aplenty. The only thing on his body that Shirley may remember is a tattoo reminiscent of their shared tribe with her initials on either side of it. It is not a huge tattoo, but it is directly over his heart. He got it in his youth, during their first time around. It is something he never for a moment regretted getting. After his couple of minutes naked he gets into his pajamas, which are quite plain, and stands looking at her. "There ... no more secrets between us." he announces with a shy smile.

Shirley blushes and bites her lip while he changes, looking him over. the wrinkles don't dissuade her at all. She can still see him as she did, just evolved through time. Her breath catches as she both notices and remembers his tattoo. she lets him fully dress and then steps to him and slides her hands up his chest, laying one palm right over the tattoo beneath it's fabric "You kept it..." She exclaims happily and then tilts her head up and kisses him gently on the lips.

Fred puts his arms around her when she steps up to him. "Of course I kept it." he tells her and after the gentle kiss he raises his brows at her. "I loved you then. I love you now. Might be a little late for us, but were not dead yet. So you will never lose it all, Shirley. Not as long as I'm alive." he's not sure what consolation it will be. If she loses her daughter ... he loses very little as he can hardly lose a daughter that only now found out about him. But he isn't sure anything he'd hoped to spring on her would make up with what she is facing now.

Shirley smiles "As long as I'm alive too. I love you Fred. I couldn't do this without you tonight. Come to bed with me......" She smiles shyly "I don't know how it will go...but I'd like to give it a try." She's blushing now. She just can't help it.

Fred swallows hard and blinks. There is a lot of emotion for him in hearing those words from her again. "It will be beautiful. It always was with us." he remembers and smiles at her blush He leans in to kiss her, slowly deepening it. She isn't the only one wondering how things will go, but if he's going to do it ... he wants to do it with her.

Shirley feels her heart quicken, opening her mouth and accepting the depth of his kiss, his tongue meeting hers as she returns it eagerly. She runs her hands up the back of his bald head, caressing him and moving to his back and then around his shoulders back to his chest and the buttons on his pajamas. Her fingers tremble as she starts to undo them but she manages to get through them all. She pulls at the shirt, peeling it off of him and then giggles "Maybe we should have just stripped...but I still like undressing you..." She feels the shirt drop to the floor and pulls him towards the bed. There are only two more garments after all....

Fred chuckles as his pajama shirt is removed. "Lets have fun with it." he suggests. He stops at the edge of the bed and , his hand at her hips, begins to gather the fabric of her nightgown in his hands, as he kisses her. Then he breaks the kiss and moves to get the nightgown over her head and off her body. "That's one of the best parts .. undressing." he takes in a shuddering breath. "You're so beautiful, Shirley." he has to admit that he is glad neither of them wound up effectively perfectly round. He moves in again and lets his hands go from her waist to her butt, sort of feeling along the body he once would have done anything for ... in between their in hindsight, incredibly petty fights.

Shirley smiles through her returns of his kisses. Her own hands explore him too, tracing, caressing, getting to know his body again. The feeling of his skin against hers was intoxicating one she lowered her hands after her nightgown was off. His words washed over her with love and she melted a bit "Thank're still incredibly handsome." His hands moving on her made her close her eyes and her lips parted as she lightly inhaled. God it all felt so good. Why had they been so foolish when they could have been doing this all the years instead? After a moment she found herself kissing his chest, one slow soft kiss on the tattoo and the rest just exploring more, with her hands in the game too again.

Fred smiles softly as their hands begin to explore each other. He nuzzles her neck a bit, kissing and licking a bit. Shirley's touch is bringing back wonderful memories, although his body is slow to react. He cannot help but chuckle a bit as her hands explore but his body seems not to respond. He knows it will. Eventually.

The kissing and licking at her neck triggers her just the way it used to and she lets out a soft moan and tugs at his pajama pants. She happily anticipates what might spring out to greet her when she pulls them down. She's been thinking about it, more than she'd like to admit. When they were young people she'd feel the bulge against her in Fred's pants the moment they were against each other and it drove her wild. God the things their bodies could do together! She pressed her pelvis against him, waiting for it as the pants slid down, her hands ready to explore to the south next. His body was warm but no greeting from the male member. She swiveled her hips. Maybe it was just at an odd angle....mmm nope. Shirley kissed from his mouth to his neck and discreetly peeked down. It was there....just not awake yet. Hmmm....she decided to let her fingers do the walking. That would surely do the trick. She let a hand drop and caressed at first, just teasing and then boldly took it in her hand, still soft. Come on then! She gripped it and lightly rubbed, trying not to smile as she went back to kissing him.

Fred enjoys and well remembers the way they played. But his body .... it didn't ... oh .. wait ... there was some movement. Like an old man waking up from a short nap. He keeps kissing her as he begins slowly to react to her touch. Back in the day she would be wet and ready for him before either of them got properly undressed. But ... seems she isn't waking either. But he strokes softly at her nether regions, seeing if he can excite her.

Shirley sighs, relieved as his body responds finally but can feel that her own is being uncooperative and inwardly feel frustrated at herself. She tries to pull him to the bed, breaking this kiss just to try and tug him on top of her. Maybe if they roll around. Nothing like being naked in sheets for a jump start to the juices flowing. Aside from the few hiccups, this is all still heaven, being close to him.

Fred moves to the bed with her, He lays down, still stroking, but she remains dry. On his end, he realizes he is perhaps a quarter hard. His ego is definitely not inflated either. Thinking back, he tries to remember two things; their ages ... and what she liked the last time they were together. But for now, despite not being hard, he is loving just being with her ... learning her all over again.

Shirley eventually stops Fred's hand "I'm so sorry. You're doing all the right things. I'm just having......'s happened on my own too but I thought with you.....well I'm sorry. Why don't we focus on you?" She rolls them carefully to their sides so she can reach better. Something's happening for him at least. Shirley keeps stroking him, enjoying however it's going to go. She doesn't need a big explosion. she just needs him with her in this bed, with her in her life.

Fred nods and for a couple of minutes lets her play, then me moves his hand to stop her. "It's like an 80 year old car that hasn't been out of the garage in 30 years. Takes a while to warm up." he teases. Then he confesses. "I don't think we're getting any tonight, my love." he tells her. He can get it up tonight ... just not all the way up. Taking her in his arms, he hugs her. "What if I gave you your gift?" he suggests. "And from there we can figure out what we can do to BOTH enjoy sex?" he offers. He doesn't want her to focus on him. He wants it to be mutual .. they are not so old and broken they cannot enjoy each other. So if she can't ... neither can he.

Shirley hugs him back "Sadly we have 2 of those cars and not a mechanic in sight." She giggles "At least we got to see each other naked and fool around? You got me a gift? Oh you're so organized....alright then." She grins.

Fred chuckles. "Yes. Naked and fooling around, which works just fine for me." he gets out of bed and moves to his suitcase. "I wouldn't call it organized, since I got this in 1965." he takes something out and comes back to the bed. "They say better late than never."

Shirley watches him retrieve something and return and then looks down at it and gasps. It's an old engagement ring .... very nice and fashionable in its day.  "Fred! meant it for me?" She's completely taken aback and just staring at it.

Fred sits on the edge of the bed and nods. "Yes. Then we had that fight and .... you married that Drake Sinclair ass hole." he scoffs. "I celebrated when I read that fucker died." he tells her with no shame. "And when we got back together in the 60's, I got it out again and ... well I didn't know why you were so mad with me at the time, but ... then you married Elliot." he straightens and looks dignified. "At this point, I refuse to fight with you about ANYTHING! I have delivered the ring. Now I know marriage is .. well might not be POSSIBLE for us, being mayors in two different towns, but ... that ring is yours. You deserve it .. even if it IS an antique .. like the man giving it to you."

Shirley starts both laughing and crying and hugs Fred "Oh my god....I love you. I had no idea. I would have said yes both times and ditched Drake and Elliot if I had known you wanted to ask. I'm so sorry. We could do it Fred. We could get married. The living arrangements would be complicated but we could. I honestly want to retire. I keep waiting for some qualified younger person to show enough interest in the town, and in politics. I'd call an election tomorrow if there was someone I knew would take care of Cedar Point. I love the town but I don't want to be it's mayor until I die." She thinks about the living arrangements bit again "Do you like dogs Fred? I'm not sure if you've met Coco? She's small and a little loud...and her bladder control is a little off some days....." Before the dog can potentially be a deal breaker she quickly puts on the ring. It fits her perfectly, like it's been waiting to be on her hand.

Fred smiles, very glad that she would have said yes. At the time, he would have bet money she would have said no. He considers. "I can live with dogs. I've been thinking of moving to some apartment in that new Greybar building. They take animals." he strokes his chin. "Or we get married and commute back and forth until someone decides they can take over properly." he snorts. "I expected to be mayor of Alexandra until I died. There hasn't even been an ELECTION for the last twenty years."

Shirley chuckles "We've had several elections. I keep winning. Once or twice I've been glad but the last time I was almost a little annoyed. I lose my house if I lose an election. The house I live in now is the mayor's house. It always has been. The town would give me a severance package and I do have a pension, so I won't be homeless. But I'll have to move regardless. To be honest, I never got attached to the place since I knew that going in. But I do have really nice neighbours. I would miss them. You mentioned that building before. If you don't like where you are now, you should move, or we should." She smiles.

Fred chuckles. "They love you. And you'll never be homeless. Not anymore." he gets back into bed beside her. "Well the house was a gift to myself when I graduated law school, so it's paid for. I just have to sell it. No way am I buying a condo at my age, but they will let me rent one. It's very modern. Coco gives us an excuse to take walks." he takes her hand. "You'd move in with me?" he sounds a little amazed. "Do you think we should retire together? I mean ... I can find someone to take over if I have to." he is already considering options.

Shirley smiles "Whatever we do, I don't want to waste a single minute we could have together. We've lost too many. Yes I'd live with you. I feel silly that we know nothing about each other that way after all these years." She wraps her fingers around his and snuggles into him "What are you like to live with?"

Fred considers the question. "No one's ever lived with me before." he admits. "Besides the boys ward at the school." he scratches his chin. "I'm pretty neat. My cooking skills are passable. I had a housekeeper, but she was also my assistant so ... she's dead. So I've been doing it on my own. I take my shoes off at the door and don't put them back on until I leave again. Barefoot every chance I get inside. Even in my office, but i keep my shoes under my desk so I don't freak anyone out." he thinks a bit more. "You already know I don't snore. I had high blood pressure for a while, but first controlled it with medication and now I just watch my temper. No one notices. Apparently I am a hell of an actor." he cants his head. "And you?"

Shirley takes it all in and it's all acceptable to her "Well I've lived with a few men, and of course Roberta. I'm a great cook, a little lazy about the weeds in the garden, I'm a quiet person to live with because I love to read. But I also like to fall asleep to the TV in bed which I've been told can be annoying. I do sometimes snore...I may not have the night we spent together but sometimes. Just roll me on my side and I'll stop. I'll support your barefeet but I love socks, wool ones even. Maybe I can help you with the temper control..." She offers as her last comment with a little smile.

Fred nods. "Well in an apartment there isn't much garden, but ... maybe a kitchen garden ...." he muses. "And I have been known to fall asleep with the TV on. Mine's old .. hell I haven't been furniture shopping since I moved into my place." he grins. "You are the only one that can calm me when I get truly angry, you know. Most of my outbursts are for the public. They expect me to be crazy. I oblige them." he puts his arms around her. "Shirley, are we talking about moving in together and maybe even getting MARRIED?" he asks, trying to contain his rising excitement.

Shirley turns to face him and traces her pointer finger around the edge of his face "Well you did just give me an engagement ring. If your public ants crazy, let's deliver." She's looking excited too but then turns serious "If we're really getting married...I'd like Roberta..." Her eyes fill up with tears "I don't want to marry my daughter's father without her in the room.....but I don't know how to do that part yet..."

Fred chuckles and nods. "Let's deliver." he agrees and adds. "But my guess is they will think it is YOU who are batshit crazy." he cups her face. "Then we won't. Not until she agrees to be there." he offers her a lopsided grin that in his bad boy youth days was evilly charming. "In the meantime we can live in sin together."

Shirley blinks, calming a little, one tear escaping over his hand and then she sees the grin and her heart skips a beat "We just need to figure out how to sin again, because I quite like that idea too."

Fred takes her hand and chuckles. "Well ... if the problem is lubrication ... well ... spit is a lubricant ... isn't it?" that devilish look is still in his eyes. "It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of pleasing you orally." he speaks rather formally, but remembers her taste as a younger woman. And being teased by her about having an oral fetish. "Or we can wait until one of us gathers the courage to go out and buy lube." he smirks. "Or both ...."

Shirley shivers at the thought and then sighs "I think some of the fun with that involves me already producing some lubrication of my own. They even have flavoured ones. I've looked at the tubes in the store, discreetly. They have a few in the pharmacy back home. But honestly, we'll have to shop in Vancouver not to stir up the towns. Even if I'm just buying decongestant, a day later I have someone elsewhere in town asking if I'm over my cold. Can you imagine what they'd be asking if I bought THAT?" She laughs "I should do it just to shut them up." She gets a thoughtful look "You know we could mail order from Megan's little place. She can keep a secret and they have all those things."

Fred laughs. "A very good point." he admits and looks at her with concern. "Did he ring your bell, Madame Mayor?" he asks and then leans back, hugging her. "We can do that. Brate can keep a secret too. Honestly if it weren't for his age, I'd make HIM Mayor."

Shirley giggles pokes Fred lightly in the chest "You should. Adum's a good man. Although I hear Tamela say he and Meg want to have some babies, so it might be an even bigger job than being police chief. I dunno, so much more danger there....almost lost him to it."

Fred considers it. "Well, he IS a good man. I'll definitely consider it. His wife would probably love the idea. He's less likely to get shot again, as mayor." he strokes his beard. "I'll think on who would have to be shuffled around. Maybe I will let him choose his own replacement." he grins. "Shirley, I always figured if I retired, I would be dead inside the first week."

Shirley frowns "Well if there's any danger of that...then I'll retire and you can work until you outlive me..." she jokes.

Fred shakes his head. "Well .. all I had was my job. Now .. I have you back. And a granddaughter. The rest ... well .. it'll work itself out. But basically it means NOW I have something to live for. You want to retire with me and live out the rest of our days together ... I'll do it, Shirley. I'd love to."

Shirley melts into his arms and sighs "Me too Fred, me too."

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