[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins, the late Polly Holliday as the Waitress Madge, Donald Sutherland as Aldus Warren, Teri Polo as Lillian Warren, Ewan McGregor as David Warren, Noah Lomax as the 5 yrs old Daniel Wakeforest, Soleil Moon Frye as the 5 yrs old Ellie Wakeforest, a young Tom Cruise as Drew Wakeforest, and others as noted.]
Author’s Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Author’s Recap from the Previous Chapter: When the twins Daniel and Ellie were a tumultuous 5 years old in 1961, Sam and Olivia had a houseful of children that included 3 year old Joshua and 1 year old Suzie. Though the twins often vied for dominance, Olivia and surprisingly Sam were nurturing and patient parents. Sam lives for the day when his children will mellow out.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 47 (PG-13, D, S): Young love is tested
(dedicated to my cousin, who served his country)
Sam and Olivia Wakeforest’s children’s older Wakeforest and Delaney cousins—and the whole extended family—will find that the turbulent decade of the 1960’s will bring times of change and times of personal challenge.
In the Fall of 1961, the now nineteen year old beautiful and brainy Alice Trent Delaney [(2) right] is starting her sophomore year at Bemidji State College near Duluth, Minnesota. She wants to become a teacher like her Aunt Olivia. Her similarly aged cousin Andrew “Drew” Wakeforest—Sam’s brother Kevin’s eldest son—elected to follow his Uncle Sam into the military and he joined the Air Force.
Though the U.S. is in peace time [(3)], there are always conflicts around the world where the U.S. seems to have a presence, on a consultative basis—in Europe and Asia especially, such as in Korea and the former French held territory of Viet Nam. And though the Wakeforest family have always done their patriotic duty when called to serve, they are glad that Drew is not likely to see a battle anytime soon.
So while Alice studies literature and art history at college, Drew is getting a crash course in avionics. He wants to be a pilot like his Uncle Sam was in WWII. And their Uncle Sam is in the reserves and pilots for rescue or medical flight missions which keeps his flight license current. And just like her Aunt Olivia does of her husband Sam, Alice thinks her cousin Drew is very handsome in his flight suit [(4) below]—with Drew serving in the 2nd chair behind the pilot on jet training exercises.
And though related by marriage, but not by blood—especially since Alice was adopted into the Delaney family—Alice and Drew had started dating her last year of high school two years ago. So this separation will test them both as they sit in the Delaney family home’s backyard gazebo—the site of many a generations romantic yearnings—as they say their farewells before Drew must travel out of state to Rantoul, Illinois for more Air Force flight training.
Sitting side by side on the padded bench with the gazebo’s sides installed for the oncoming winter in October 1961, they hold hands and kiss sweetly.
Alice: “Drew? Why must you go away to get more flight training? Can’t you learn to be a pilot at the Valley View Air Base? Then you would only be an hour away and we could see each other.”
Drew: Caressing Alice’s soft hair, Drew gently rubs her cheek. “We have been over this. The Air Force has plans that we can’t know about. We have to trust them that they know best. It worked out for Uncle Sam in WWII. I’ll be home before you know it.” He smiles that high wattage smile of his that can melt icicles.
Alice: “But six months! You won’t even be here for Christmas! How can they do that to you, and separate you from your family?”
Drew: “It will be hard to miss everything. And I will miss you most of all.” Drew leans down and softly kisses Alice’s lips. For several moments, their lips are the only communication they need. Their lips mold themselves together, opening and closing, cleaving one to the other as their breathing becomes rapid and their temperatures rise. Then just as Drew would like to deepen their kisses and their making out, he realizes that he shouldn’t–and he pulls back from Alice and groans. “We need to stop, Alice.”
Alice: “Why?” Leaning forward and wrapping her arms around his neck, she leans up and kisses him again. “What if you have a plane crash and I never see you again? What if they send you overseas? What if this, right now, is all that we ever have together?”
Alice bursts into tears and Drew tries to console his weeping love.
Drew: “Shh. Shh. You can’t get rid of me that easily Alice Delaney. You’re stuck with me—for life.”
Alice: “But you don’t know what will happen when you’re away. And what’s to say that you won’t forget me and fall in love with one of those Air Force floozies? I have heard about those kind of women.” She sniffles and pouts.
Drew leans back from Alice with a bemusedly incredulous expression on his face.
Drew: “Even I haven’t heard about those kind of women. Where did you hear about them?” Alice starts to speak and he stops her with his hand. “No. On second thought, I don’t want to know.”
Alice: “It was Mommy.” Drew winces. His Aunt Tessa is a force to be reckoned with. “She said that I must be brave and sensible because you and I might fall out of love with each other while we are apart during your training and find someone new. But I won’t! I love you and I want to marry you and be your wife!”
Drew: Smiling, Drew affects a mock insult. “My my! Aren’t we forward! Don’t tell me that you’re one of the modern gals who want to order their men about.”
Alice: “No, silly! I would never do that.” Then she proceeds to do just that. “But I want us to get married before you leave. Then we have to stay together—no matter what.”
Drew: Drew rolls his eyes with a smile. “Hmm. Well, I guess your declaration makes what I was going to say moot.”
Alice: “Why? Don’t you want to marry me?” Alice pouts and is on the verge of tears again.
Drew: “Now who’s being silly?” Drew embraces and kisses Alice again, with sweet tenderness, and restraint. “Of course I want to marry you!” Then Drew pulls a small square velvet box out of his jacket pocket and hands it to her.
Alice: “Oh! Really? Truly?” Alice gushes becoming excited by the implication of the box in her hand.
Drew nods, then he opens the velvet box to reveal a small one quarter carat diamond in a gold raised Tiffany filigree setting. Alice puts her left hand out, splaying her fingers in eager anticipation of receiving her engagement ring as Drew slips it onto her ring finger.
Drew: “Now this is not as big nor as grand a ring as I would like to be able to give you, but it took all the money I had saved to buy it.”
The beautiful engagement ring cost all of $500, a king’s ransom to Drew. And although his Wakeforest family is rich in land and lumber—them owning Wakeforest Mountain—their children work to earn what they want to buy. No one is handed a trust fund at a young age, though they may apply for stipends to cover needed expenses for education, housing, and such.
Alice: “Oh Drew! It’s beautiful! And it fits me perfectly! Thank you!” Alice and Drew kiss tenderly for several moments.
Drew: “I thought that it would suit you. Though small and dainty—like you—the diamond sparkles and shines. I’m glad that you like it.”
Alice: “I do like it. Shall we tell our parents? Or do they already know? Did you ask Daddy for my hand?”
Drew: “Ha ha ha ha! Your hand? We don’t live in some ancient historical period. This is 1961! And I have asked you to be my wife. Well, I guess technically, you beat me to it. But I was thinking about it.” He smiles holding up the now empty velvet ring box.”
Alice: “But Daddy is old fashioned—very old fashioned.” She leans in to Drew, her eyes wide with worry. “He will expect you to ask him first. And I am underage at not quite twenty. If we are to marry before you leave in two weeks, then you have to go to him, now, this instant.” Alice has moved from coquette to weepy to independent lady as she and Drew have been chatting.
Drew: “But is your Dad in a good mood today?” Roger Delaney is many things, a solid businessman, a philanthropic citizen, a loving husband, a doting father, and he is getting to be a grumpy older man at now fifty five years old. And Drew is not looking forward to that conversation with his Uncle.
And though Alice and Drew drop large hints that they would like to marry soon, their parents—including the now fifty five year old Roger Delaney—was adamant that Alice completes her college degree and that Drew finishes basic training and then attend officer candidate school. So their marriage would not be for another three years at least. This did not sit well with the young loves, Alice and Drew.
But in the end, Alice’s mother Tessa Delaney smoothed it over with her husband Roger, who begrudgingly relented and consented to Alice and Drew getting married—albeit grumpily muttering about kids wanting to do things so quickly these days. Even with the short time frame—just four days to plan the wedding for this coming Saturday—Mother of the bride Tessa was ready to pull out all the stops! And Alice and Drew had only two requests—to keep it simple, and to have the wedding on Wakeforest Mountain, their family’s ancestral home for over 100 years.
So the Wakeforest Family XMAS Tree farm barn at the base of the mountain was quickly transformed into a wedding and reception hall with the aid of a dozen or so cousins, and more aunts, and uncles. Even the littlest cousins in Sam and Olivia’s twins helped out staying with their Mama Olivia in the kitchen area to pass out donuts to the family of wedding decorating workers. The decorations included stringing XMAS tree lights from the roof rafters lending a romantic glow for the afternoon wedding, and making an altar area in front of the fire place.
Alice and Drew’s school mates and his military friends—as well as family friends, the Perkins, as well as, past Wakeforest County Orphanage kids now adopted to homes and such—attended Alice and Drew’s joyous nuptials. The bride wore her senior high school prom dress—and Drew was her date once again. Drew wore his military uniform. It was a lovely wedding and celebration—especially since the XMAS Tree Barn was where Alice met and became a part of the extended Delaney and Wakeforest families nearly six years ago. And then, the bride and groom—Alice and Drew Wakeforest—spent their honeymoon night and following days at their Uncle Sam’s Wakeforest Mountain cabin, with no avalanche’s predicted since it was early October.
It was difficult for Alice and Drew to say farewell to each other just one week after their wedding when Drew had to leave for his Air Force advanced flight training in another state. Alice was in tears, her being a wife for only seven days was not enough—a lifetime would together would never be enough. And though Drew was stoic before his military comrades at the Wakeforest train station, when he was seated on the train and as he watched Alice’s waving figure fade into the distance, a lone tear fell upon his cheek.
Life for Alice returned to her usual routine with her living at home at Delaney Manor. Though it didn’t feel usual to her. She was a woman now, a married lady, a much loved and adored lady. She and Drew corresponded and she managed to visit him in Illinois for a few weekends he had leave after the new year and again for Valentines Day weekend in 1962. But these were stolen moments of love and hope, always ending in Alice’s tears in farewell and Drew’s apologies for not being able to be her husband every day, and in every way.
Then in late March during the start of the Spring thaw, Alice woke up feeling nauseous in her bedroom at Delaney Manor and promptly threw up—barely making it to the toilet. She wasn’t sure what it was at first, her thinking that maybe she had the flu, or that she ate something that disagreed with her. But then when Alice felt nauseous and threw up in the mornings over the next few days—and her Mama Tessa smiled at her with a gleam in her eye—Alice told her that she thought that she was going to have a baby. Naturally Tessa squealed. Tessa always squeals at life’s big moments. Roger just stared in shock at his daughter Alice—him now having incontrovertible confirmation, that his little girl was now a woman. Of course, the rest of the family were elated as well—especially, Drew’s parents Kevin and Martha Wakeforest.
Unfortunately, Alice had no way to get word to Drew about this joyous news of her being pregnant. When she called his Air Force base in Illinois, she was told simply that his unit was on maneuvers and they could not say more. What Alice was not told was that Drew’s flight squadron team were being sent to Hawaii and then to the Phillipines, then on to a place called Viet Nam. Drew was not a fighter pilot, but he had done well with his flight training and was now a Senior Airman co-piloting troops and supplies where they needed to go—just like his Uncle Sam had been.
It was only a month later in April 1962 when the Air Force mailed Drew’s letter of explanation for his departure—after the military had redacted anything it thought top secret—that Alice and their family discovered that Drew was overseas, in a war zone. The war [(3)] was to help protect civilians from a marauding army. The cause was a noble one, yet it would become a costly war, for the American lives lost.
Alice was beside herself with worry and dread for her beloved husband Drew, that none could assuage her about. She worried that Drew would die and she would never see him again, that he would never watch his child grow up—or even know that he is to be a father. So Alice wrote to the central Air Force address for posting mail to soldiers and hoped that Drew would receive the news that they were going to be parents.
But Drew never received the letter that he was going to be a Daddy. While on the ground sitting around in a tent with some guys on their U.S. air base in Viet Nam, a soldier buddy of one of Drew’s pals walked in with a flat cylindrical object that he had found in the brush near the base, to show them—joking that it was a flying saucer. Drew knew instantly what it was—an unexploded land mine that this idiot had brought into the tent.
Though Drew tried to keep everyone calm, the young soldiers panicked, and in their panic they jostled the soldier holding the land mine and it dropped in the middle of the tent. The sound was deafening as Drew and the other soldiers hit the floor—either intentionally, or by the force of the blast. The idiot died instantly.
The explosion killed several nearby soldiers outright, and severely wounded the others—with limbs torn from bodies, eyes blinded, ears deafened, and bodies and faces disfigured. The only saving grace—if one can call it that—was that the idiot solider who carried the land mine into the tent, had not picked up a land mine with napalm attached to it. Yet that will be little consolation to the grieving families of the dead and injured. And this day would change the lives of so many people—including Drew’s family and loved ones.
When they were first married, Drew had tried to prepare Alice for him not coming back—as a soldier, he knew that he might have to go to war at somepoint—him asking to be buried on the mountain, or to bury something meaningful to him, if his body was not returned. But Alice wouldn’t listen. She wouldn’t hear of him dying. So when they tearfully parted their last precious life creating visit in February, they had a brokered truce of not speaking of a terrible fate that might never happen, but to live for the moment.
It took five days for the Air Force to notify Alice Delaney Wakeforest about what happened to her husband Drew. It is a Saturday in April 1962 and Alice and Tessa and Olivia are watching the kids play in the backyard at Sam’s and Olivia’s house. Five year old Daniel is being his usual belligerent self, and his twin Ellie shakes her head at him in a worldly weary way. Three year old Joshua is getting better at building sand towers, and even little 18 month old Suzie is having fun on the bouncy horsey that Sam had installed in concrete—no chance that Suzie could bounce or tip over and harm herself.
Olivia’s housekeeper, Mrs. Ventura walks out quickly to the back porch after answering the front door.
Mrs. Ventura: “Mrs. Olivia! Mrs. Olivia!” She cries out in an agitated manner as she waves her hands. She had left two men in military uniform sitting with Sam Wakeforest in his study.
Olivia: “Mrs. Ventura? What is wrong?”
Mrs. Ventura: “You must come! You must all come!”
Tessa: “All of us?” Tessa asks quizzically, but with a sense of foreboding.
Then Mrs. Ventura takes Alice’s hand in hers and squeezes it gently and says in a hushed and reverent voice.
Mrs. Ventura: “You must come, Mrs. Alice! Mr. Sam is in his study. I will stay to watch the babies!”
Tessa puts her arm around her daughter Alice, and she and Olivia guide her back into Sam’s study. When they arrive, the three gentlemen there stand up. Sam looks over at his wife Olivia and his sister Tessa with an inscrutable expression of somberness. Then he turns his caring gaze upon his niece, Alice.
Sam: “Alice, Tessa, Olivia, please come in. This is Major Donaldson and this is Captain Fields.” Sam introduces the ladies to the military men.
Alice: Sensing that her world is being destroyed, Alice asks meekly. “Is my husband dead? Is Drew dead?”
You could hear a pin drop in the room and the military men walk toward Alice even as she faints back into her Mother Tessa’s arms.
Tessa: “Alice! Oh God! No!”
Sam: “Let me lift her to the couch to make her comfortable.”
And after Olivia gets a cool cloth that revives Alice a bit–she regains consciousness and sits up, holding her three months pregnant belly.
Major Donaldson: “Let me first say that your husband is alive, Mrs. Wakeforest.”
Tears and shouts of joy spring from Alice’s and her family’s lips. However, the Major looks troubled.
Captain Fields: “We are sorry to delay this notification to you, Maam. But after the explosion, it was difficult to identify some of the dead and wounded soldiers—since their dog tags and been blown off them in some instances. And their medical status was so precarious that we were uncertain what to tell the families. It was only when your husband regained consciousness that he identified who he is.”
Alice: “Explosion? What happened?”
Then the soldiers proceed to explain the series of unfortunate events—with Sam interjecting and referring to the soldier carrying the land mine into the tent as an idiot. By that time, Drew’s Dad Kevin Wakeforest has arrived—Sam having called him at the Lumber Mill earlier to get right over to his house. Then everything was re-explained to Kevin.
Sam: “So what is Drew’s medical condition?” Sam asks sternly and commandingly with his shoulder’s back—looking very tall and imposing.
Major Donaldson: “Senior Airman Wakeforest sustained devastating injuries to his left side.” He begins cautiously.
Kevin: “Out with it! Drew is my son!”
Captain Fields: “His left leg was shattered and had to be amputated below the knee.”
Olivia sways and Sam catches her—both of them remembering her leg injury from the avalanche that almost cost her her leg as well.
Everyone is either crying or moaning with distress. All that is, except Alice. She looks directly into the military men’s eyes.
Alice: “I want you to bring my husband home to convalesce. Valley View has a Veteran’s Hospital and our town of Wakeforest also has an excellent hospital. He will get well with his family around him.”
Major Donaldson: “You understand, Maam, his leg will not heal. And … there were other injuries.” He finally reveals.
Sam: “Stop beating around the bush and tell us what his condition is!”
Captain Fields: “The force of the blast knocked him back against a wooden table, he has a spinal injury that has left him partially paralyzed and he cannot walk at the moment. And it may have … implications for… other … bodily functions. He cannot travel just yet—not until his condition is stabilized.”
What the Captain is not saying leads them to speculate about Drew’s bladder and bowel control—and his ability to father future children.
Alice: “I see.” Alice becomes very quiet. Then she rouses herself. “Gentlemen, I am three months pregnant with our first child, and should not travel. But I will, if that is the only way that I can see my husband.”
Tessa: “Alice! Darling! Let his father Kevin go and bring Drew home.”
Alice: “No! At the very least, I will go with Papa Kevin to see how Drew fares and stay with Drew until he is allowed to return home. Now where is my husband?” Alice pins a steely gaze at the military men.
Alice has an inner reserve of strength that she has had to rely upon much in her young life. And she is resolved to help her husband get well and to see that Drew has a good quality of life with her and their yet to be born baby.
Major Donaldson: “Senior Airman Wakeforest was airlifted from Viet Nam to a Veteran’s hospital in California where he was operated on and has been receiving continuing treatment. We are instructed to offer you a seat on our return flight. But we leave within the hour.”
Alice: “That will be fine. I can be packed quickly. Papa Kevin?”
Kevin: “Yes, I will accompany you, Alice Dear.” Kevin puts his shoulders around his diminuative but strong daughter-in-law.
Tessa: “I will come, too.” Tessa nods her head in solidarity.
Alice: “No Mama.” Tessa looks hurt, then Alice clasps her hand in hers to explain. “Though I would dearly love to have you with me, you have to stay home to be with my little brother Bobby, he needs you.” Bobby is still only about seven years old now—much younger than his nineteen year old sister Alice.
After Alice packs enough clothes for a week—including some of Drew’s casual shirts in case it wants to be comfy—she and her father-in-law Kevin Wakeforest take a short car trip to the Airport and board the military plane to California where Alice’s husband Drew is receiving medical care at a Veterans’ Hospital. Though it was her first plane trip, Alice didn’t much think about it—her whole focus was upon seeing her husband and helping him get well, or as well as he can be.
Their plane arrives in the late afternoon since they gained time flying West and Alice insists upon seeing her husband after they check into guest quarters at a nearby hotel. Drew’s Dad Kevin urges Alice to be calm in her response upon first seeing Drew—because his other injuries are likely to still look and be terrifying. Kevin found out that Drew also broke his left arm and his nose during the explosion and that he also sustained facial lacerations and has severe bruising.
But Alice will not be held back and as soon as they enter the ward filled with several injured men, Alice nearly trips over the nurse to get to her husband. When Alice is brought to her husband’s bedside, she does not recognize him. His face is so heavily bandaged to make him impossible to identify. He is sleeping at the moment. Alice approaches cautiously.
Nurse: “Sernio Airman Wakeforest? You have visitors.”
Drew: Having been merely dozing, he wakes up, but his vision is still cloudy from the blast. “Who is there?” He asks in a hesitant voice as he raises his right hand with the IV in it since his left arm is in a cast and sling.
Alice is speechless. She thought that she had prepared herself for what state she would find her husband Drew in—but this is much worse than she imagined. She tears up as she goes to stand on Drew’s right side and takes his hand.
Alice: “It’s me, Drew. Alice. Your Dad and I are here with you until they feel that you’re well enough to travel home.”
Drew does not respond to his wife. He knows the sight of half a man that he must present to her and his pride can’t stomach it. Then his father Kevin touches the top of his head which standing on Drew’s left.
Kevin: “Drew, It’s Dad.”
Drew: Drew closes his eyes. “Get her out of here, Dad. Please.” He pleads. “I don’t want her to see me like this.”
Alice: “But Drew? I’m you’re wife! I love you!”
Drew: “No! The man you loved doesn’t exist anymore. Just go away.” In Drew’s weakened state, his wife Alice reminds him of what he used to be—whole. Something he will never be again.
Kevin: “Drew, you should rest. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
Drew: “Don’t let her come back, Dad. Promise me!” Drew has tears in his eyes. He has lost so much—not the least of which is his dignity as his urine bag hangs on a hook on the bed on the side that Alice is standing.
Alice: “Andrew Samuel Wakeforest! I am your wife! You are my husband and I love you!” Then she grabs his hand and before he can stop her she places his hand flat on her stomach. “And our baby needs his father.”
Drew: “A baby?” Drew gently pats Alice’s tummy.
Alice leans over Drew’s uninjured right side and kisses him, then she gingerly sets her head next to his on his pillow
Alice: “Our baby needs his Daddy, Drew. So no buts, soldier! We are getting you well enough to travel and then I’m taking you home via a military airplane. Are we clear?” Alice says firmly with a resolve that even astounds her father-in-law Kevin.
Drew: “Yes, Maam!” Drew smiles for the first time
Alice: Then she softens, her voice shining with love for her beloved husband. “I love you, Drew. I always have, and I always will. Come home to me and to the Mountain.” Drew smiles and he and Alice kiss again.
Kevin: “We’ll see you again in the morning, Drew. Then we’ll sort this all out. You’ll be fine.”
After his wife and father leave, the patient in the next bed over to Drew quizzicallyt asks him.
Patient: “You’re going home to a Mountain? Is that a euphemism?”
Drew: “No! Ha! It’s a real Mountain. It’s been in our family for generations. We are its conservator and we also have a lumber mill.”
Patient: “Well, lumbering is out for you with missing part of your leg.”
Drew: “I guess so.” Drew mourns the loss of the freedom that the Mountain means to him—a freedom that he will now no longer have with him needing to be dependent upon others. And he wonders how he can make a living without being able to walk.
Nurse: “Don’t listen to him, Senior Airman Wakeforest. He’s just an ornery cuss.”
Patient: “Hey! I’m the patient here!” He demands.
Nurse: “You just rest and sleep now.” She says soothingly to Drew. Then the nurse walks over to the mouthy patient. “As regards to your assertion that you’re a patient, then start acting like one. If you want to be treated well by others, then you need to treat others well. And that starts with Senior Airman Wakeforest. Lay off him.”
Patient: “But his wife came for him. Mine ran off when she heard what happened to me.” He says sadly.
Nurse: “I’m sorry about that. But your problems and hurts won’t be made better by trying to hurt someone else.”
Words to live by. And though dozing, Drew Wakeforest overheard them.
Over the next three weeks, Alice and his Dad Kevin visit Drew every day at the Veteran’s hospital. Alice and Kevin are taught how to care for Drew’s personal needs—bathing, toileting, and transferring him from bed to chair and back again. It is initially humiliating for Drew to have his wife emptying his urine and bathing him—even after the nurses painfully remove the catheter, and he is peeing into a receptacle.
However Alice counters to her husband Drew in her cheery upbeat way, that caring for him is just one of the perks of being his wife. But she does demand a kiss from him after every service that she provides him—which he gladly administers, however limited he is currently in showing his wife how much he loves her.
Eventually, Drew lets down his guard with Alice and voices his fears—about being dependent and a burden upon her, and him worrying about not being able to be the kind of husband and father that he wishes to be. The latter chat occurred in a private conversation between he and his wife Alice. But she assured him that as their marriage has not been a conventional one to begin with–with him away being a soldier—that his homecoming will be like them starting anew.
And though Drew’s spinal condition has still not resolved itself—he has some feeling in his legs, but they are too weak to support him, and his urological function is still in question—Drew is allowed to fly home to Wakeforest with his wife and father the first week in May, while lying down and strapped onto a hospital gurney. And though his doctors prefer that Drew remain in a hospital setting—mostly for ease of them examining him and getting him physical therapy—there is a surprise that awaits him when he returns home.
The ambulance carrying Drew Wakeforest drives very carefully and at annoyingly slow 30 miles per hour—great for having a scenic view of Wakeforest Mountain—but that means it takes 30 minutes to reach Sam’s and Olivia’s Wakeforest home. Both Alice and Drew do a double take when they realize that they are being driven to their aunt and uncle’s home, rather than to Alice’s parent’s home. Sam and Olivia and their children stand outside their home waving as the ambulance pulls up to the front door.
As Alice steps out, she asks quizzically.
Alice: “Are we at the wrong place? We are supposed to be going home.”
Olivia: Hugging her niece, Olivia smiles. “You are home—home for now, anyway.”
Alice: “I don’t understand. Won’t Mommy be mad that we’re not staying with she and Daddy?”
Sam: “Oh she was.” Sam grins and rolls his eyes. “But we reasoned with her that our home with its first floor master suite and its large wheelchair accessible en suite bathroom that we have as a guest suite now, are much more user friendly for you and Drew as he convalesces.
Alice: “Oh thank you!” Alice gushes and rushes to hug her aunt and uncle
Drew: “Yes, thanks! No offence, Alice, but the thought of living under the same roof as your parents … was not as appealing as this option is.”
Alice: “I know, Mama can be a bit of a busy body.” Alice sighs.
Sam: “That’s an understatement! Come on! Let’s get you kids settled.”
And after moving their traveling suitcases into the first floor master suite—them having seen that their other clothes and possessions had already been moved over—Alice and Drew receive a brief visit from all four Wakeforest children. But they promise the kids that they’ll see them longer the next day—throwing a ball, reading a story, and such–after they have rested from their long journey.
Then Alice and Drew lie down to take a nap, together, for the first time since his injury. Alice has a bit of an ulterior motive. She wants Drew to see that he can be a husband and a father. And having her little cousins around might just help in that regard. But Alice also wants to see if she can spark Drew’s libido enough to make progress on seeing if they someday might be able to make love again. Alice had already helped Drew pee and remove his clothes down to his briefs for napping. Then Alice had also removed her clothes, putting on a slip like nightgown with satin and lace in all the right places. Alice then lies on Drew’s uninjured right side and cuddles up to him.
Alice: “I’ve missed being able to cuddle with you, Drew.” Alice gently strokes his chest, admiring the muscled planes of his abdomen.
Drew: “I’ve missed you, too, Alice.” Drew doesn’t know how is body will react to his wife lying together with him. And he doesn’t want to get her hopes up—or his own.
Alice: Leaning up to kiss him, Alice smiles. “Hmmn. You’re still the best kisser!”
Drew: “How would you know any different? Or had you kissed someone else at some point?” Drew asks suspiciously.
Alice: “Nope! You’re the only guy I’ve puckered up for. But when you have the best, who needs comparison statistics?” She teases.
Drew: “Ha ha ha! Well, I suppose.” He blushes, because he had kissed someone else a long time ago—before Alice.
Alice: “Drew? Are you comfortable? Do you need another pain killer for your leg?” Drew has been having phantom pain for his missing leg.
Drew: “No, I’m fine. It doesn’t hurt, it just feels sore now and then.”
Alice: “So us kissing and such, won’t be painful to you?” She asks coquettishly as she leans over him a bit, letting her satin covered breasts press into his chest.
Drew: Seeing and feeling where she is headed, Drew touches her shoulders lightly. “Alice, I’m not sure that I can … I don’t know what will happen if we make out and get to a certain point.”
Alice: “Well, we can at least have fun trying? Can’t we?” Alice feels very womanly being pregnant—and desirous of her husband Drew. It must be all of those hormones kicking in.
Drew: “But I might not be able to control … to control my bladder.” He blushes with embarrassment.
Slipping her hand under their pillow, she brings out something she had secreted there earlier, a condom package.
Alice: “I have thought of that.” Drew’s eyebrow raises saucily. “The doctor said that if you wore this, it might help out should things be uncertain the first couple of times we make love—until your body retrains itself to do something like it used to do.” She blushes.
Drew: Taking the condom packet in his hand, Drew cautions her. “Alice, I don’t know if I can make love with you.” Drew sighs, voicing his biggest fear.
Alice: “Oh, I’m sure that you can—we just might be a bit … creative.” Her eyes sparkle. “Besides, I do think that the trying is all part of the fun!” Then Alice bounds out of bed to the bedroom door and locks it.
Drew: “You’re serious? We’re going to try making love now?” Drew feels almost like a virgin, not knowing what to expect from his body. But he is elated at the prospect of finding out.
Alice: “We certainly are.” Alice smiles seductively at Drew as she walks back to the bed—never taking her eyes from his eyes. Then as her loving husband gazes upon her, Alice slowly peels her nightgown off of her body, by lowering the spaghetti straps and letting it fall to the floor.
Drew’s eyes widen in wonder to see his beautiful wife in all of her loveliness—the shape of her womanly curves, and the small but growing baby bump on her tummy. And then an interesting thing happens. A little more hesitantly than before, but it still happens.
Drew: “Ah!” He smiles with a sense of accomplishment.
Alice: “Oh yes, definitely fun in the trying.”
And Alice slides into bed with her husband, she and her husband Drew kiss and embrace and caress each other with loving abandon. Both she and Drew feel hopeful, that in time, he will regain more function. And for now, they enjoy a lovely romantic tryst, creatively.
To be continued with Chapter 48
References for Ch. 47 by Gratiana Lovelace, August 02, 2016 (Post #947)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) Alice Trent Delany smiling is Anna Sophia Robb and was found at http://images1.westword.com/imager/annasophia-robb/u/original/6557239/annasophia.robb.photograph.jpg
3) History link for Vietnam war timeline was found at http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/timeline/
4) Andrew “Drew” Wakeforest in flight suit image is Tom Cruise in 1986 film Top Gun found at http://images.fashionnstyle.com/data/images/full/37275/03343974-photo-tom-cruise-dans-top-gun-en-1986-jpg.jpg
Previous Blog Ch. 46 Story link with embedded illustrations: