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Introduction:

Emily learns more of her new families secrets.
After everyone was done eating and had retired to the living room, Kat could see both Evan and Tekkla urging her dad to do something. He got up off the chair that he was on and walked over to Emily who had her back turned, talking to Cindy. He had something small in his hand.

Chapter 1

Mark was more nervous now then he had ever been in his life. He knew that if Emily rejected him then his happiness would come crashing down. Kat would probably be pissed at him for life and he would never be happy again. Despite the risk Mark knew that he had to do this. He loved Emily with all his heart and he desperately wanted her to be with him for life. Sure, she had said the same thing but this was going to make it real. He kneeled behind her and put his finger to his lips to silence Cindy, after all she was looking right at him.

Gathering up the last remaining courage that he had left he started:

“Emily” She turned around, looked down at Mark and her hands flew to her face. She couldn’t believe what was happening “I know that you’re way out of my league and I know that you’re much smarter than I ever hope to be, but.” At this Emily cut him off:

“Mark shut up, stand up, put that ring on my finger, and kiss me you silly fool.”

Mark not being that stupid, did just that and smiled:

“I take that as a yes?”

Emily jumped up into Mark’s arms, wrapped her legs around his waist and shouted: “YES, YES, YES. God yes!! I love you Mark and I promise here and now that I will love you no matter what life throws at us.” She then gave him a deep long passionate kiss.

So, this is what her Dad was up to thought Kat while crying for joy. She didn’t think that her Dad had that kind of romance in him. That’s why she never even considered the possibility of her Dad proposing. After quickly drying her eyes she joined everyone else in looking at Emily’s ring. Then admitting that her Dad actually had good taste. Who would have guessed that?

“Is this what you were whispering to Evan about earlier Dad?”

Mark nodded at her.

“But why didn’t you tell me beforehand, I mean I’m your daughter?”

“Because my dear Katelynn” this instantly got her attention and she knew that she’d crossed a line “Emily wasn’t the only person I was wanting to surprise. I know what you have always wanted a mom. I see the way you two interact and I knew that Emily was the right woman. If I had told you, Emily would have found out.”

“But wouldn’t that have been easier Dad?”

“Katelynn, when you meet someone special, you’ll understand why I did what I did.” At this Mark turned around and went back to Emily leaving Kat with her mouth open. Of course, by this time the questions started. Emily asked Cindy to be the matron of honor and of course Cindy agreed. Emily then asked Kat and Tekkla to be her bridesmaids. They both agreed to this. Mark asked Evan to be an Usher, after they told him what an usher would do, he agreed. Then Kat asked the question. “So how bout the date you lovebirds?” Mark and Emily looked at each other puzzled. Tekkla then spoke up.

“How bout on my birthday. I mean you got engaged on Evan’s birthday so it’s only fair that you two get married on mine.” Mark turned pale

Emily being naïve about Tekkla asked “When’s your birthday?”

“October 20th” She announced with pride. Emily suddenly knew why Mark had paled but she was determined not to worry Tekkla.

“Well what day does your birthday fall on this year?” hoping that it would be during the week

“It’s a Saturday this year” said Cindy “Is this OK with everyone?”

“That works for me” said Mark in a somber tone

This time everyone caught Mark’s sudden mode shift including Tekkla:

“It’s OK with me Uncle Mark if you two want to get married on some other day. I just thought that” Mark cut Tekkla off

“No October 20th works for me as long as everyone can get it off.” Said Mark

“You sure darling?”

“Yep. In fact, I can’t think of a better day in fact.”

At this Tekkla lit up. Of course, she didn’t know the significance of that date for Mark and he wasn’t about to tell her.

“So, who’s going to be your best man Dad?”

“I’m thinking maybe Tim.”

“The nerdy jewelry store guy?”

“Yep. What’s wrong with him?”

“Nothing at all Dad.”

“Katelynn, lets step outside for a minute. I think we need to talk.”

After they stepped out and to the side Mark hissed at Kat:

“OK Kat what the fuck is your problem with me marrying Emily?”

“What makes you think I..”

“Kat!! I taught you to read people so don’t give me that. So, I ask again, what’s your fucking problem?”

Kat knew that she was defeated and that she would have to level with her Dad. This was something that she really didn’t want to do for she knew her temper.

“When I first saw you and Emily together, I was happy, I mean you two were meant for each other. But as time passed, I started to get scared, I started getting worried that you would forget about me. Then when you didn’t trust me to keep from Emily that you were going to propose that confirmed it. So, I guess now I’ll be going now.”

“Katelynn, please stop. If nothing else just give me a minute.” Kat stopped but didn’t turn around. “You’re right Kat. I did forget about you. I was so excited about meeting and getting to know Emily that I completely forgot about the other very special young lady in my life. For this I know that I was wrong, I should have trusted you. I know that you never betray close to you and, in my rush, to forget my past I forgot that part of my past lives with you. I know that you told Emily about my past and that it was you that got us together in the first place. For that I’m eternally grateful to you. I know that I have no right to ask you to stay and I wouldn’t blame you if you did leave, but Katelynn please stay, help Emily and I because you know better than anyone about what a dumbass I am, hell I just proved it again.”

With her back to her Dad, she knew that he wouldn’t be able to see her crying. She had never intended for things to go this far but her temper had got the best of her and she said things that she knew she shouldn’t say. That hadn’t stopped her Dad from taking the blame for everything yet again. She knew that he was taking the pain for her. In that moment she knew just how much her Dad loved her. She doubted that he even realized what he had done. So, she took a bit to make sure that her eyes were dry before turning around and running to her Dad and jumping in his arms.

“I love you, Daddy!” she yelled at the top of her lungs

Her Dad just smiled a tear running down his cheek and whispering in her ear, “I love you too, Katelynn. I love you too.” Then they heard more crying. They turned and looked and Emily, Cindy, and the kids were standing there sobbing. Mark and Kat looked at each other and each held out an arm to welcome the others into the group hug. After holding the hug while everyone cried themselves out. Mark finally stepped back.

“Ok know that I’m done making an ass of myself, I believe we have a birthday to celebrate!” He then kneeled down in front of Even so that they were eye to eye. “So Evan you want to do go-carts, mini-golf, bowling.” That was as far as Mark got before Evan erupted in a shout:

“GO-CARTS!” The adults giggled at his enthusiasm.

“Well, everyone let’s get to the track.” Said Mark. Cindy by this point was looking a bit nervous:

“What’s wrong Cindy?” asked Emily

“Go-carts make me nervous. How bout y’all go and I’ll be here when you get back. Besides I can’t afford the money to go.”

“Cindy” Emily said with a very serious look on her face “You have nothing to worry about. I’ll pay for your tickets and don’t argue about that. Also, I’ll stay at your side for as long as you need me to.”

Mark just laughed at Cindy saying: “Cindy just give up and come with us. You need to unwind just like the rest of us do. Actually, a lot more than the rest of us do. This trip will be a lot of fun for everyone including you. Also knowing Emily, she won’t give up on you, she almost more stubborn than my Katlynn.”

“Alright fine. I’ll go”

The kids cheered and Mark, Emily, and Kat all smiled. What followed was more fun than Cindy had ever had in her life and her and Ben had done a lot of fun stuff when they had been dating. It took her a bit to loosen up, but once she did, she turned out to be just as competitive as her kids. Eventually everyone was wrung out from all the driving. Cindy turned to Mark:

“Thank you, Mark. This turned out to be just what we needed.”

“Don’t thank me. This was all Kat’s doing.”

“But how?”

“One of the other kids she goes to school with. Their family owns this track, so Kat paid for us to have the track to ourselves for two hours. Speaking of that we probably should get going because they’re getting ready to reopen the track for the rest of the public.”

Cindy pulled Kat to the side: “Thank you Kat.”

Kat smiled and put one of her arms around Cindy as they walked back to Mark’s truck. Behind them walking hand in hand Mark and Emily watched. Emily then asked Mark “Did Kat really buy this track for two hours?”

“Yep.”

“You two really are the best of people. How did I get so lucky to find you?”

Mark just smiled, gave her a peck on the check and continued toward the truck. Once everyone was back at Cindy’s the children were exhausted and passed out almost as soon as they thanked Mark, Emily, and Kat. Then it was Cindy’s turn to thank them. She really didn’t know what she would have done without friends like these. Mark then told Cindy that they had to get going. Tomorrow would be a busy day for them with moving Emily out to the farm. So, everyone said their byes and left.

On the way home Emily was finally able to ask:

“Ok what did you give Cindy that made her break down into tears?”

“Kat and I gave Evan a trust fund for when he gets older. It should pay out about five grand a month starting the month after he turns 18. Those were the documents for the fund. The only thing that we asked of Cindy was that she not tell him until he turns 18. Kat and I want him to do well in school and we figured the best way to do that is to make sure that he doesn’t know that he will be well off after high school. When Tekkla turns eight, we’ll do the same for her.”

Emily started to cry. What had she done to deserve a family like this? A family that always thought about those around them before themselves. What had she done to deserve a man that would willingly shield his loved ones from being seriously hurt even when they were the cause? She knew that she had some serious work to do in order to prove herself worthy of the honor of being with this family. All through Emily’s crying Kat had a hand on her shoulder just gently rubbing. Neither her or Mark said a thing. When they got back to the farm everyone was exhausted and pretty much went straight to bed. Emily snuggled up extra close to Mark that night though.

Chapter 2

For once Emily was the first up at about quarter till six. She carefully side off Mark and went to the bathroom. She hoped that she hadn’t woke him up but as she was finishing, he walked in.

“Morning Emi. Sleep good?”

“Morning Mark. I always do when I’m with you. I haven’t had a nightmare since we started sleeping together and I barely have flashbacks anymore. How bout I throw some clothes on and start breakfast?”

“Sounds good to me. I’ll be out in a bit.”

As Emily was working on breakfast Kat came out “I thought I smelled food. What’s cookin’?”

Emily just shook her head, “Oh to be young again.”

Kat just gave her the look usually reserved for people who make idiotic statements but didn’t say anything. After eating, the three of them got dressed for the day and did the farm chores. Emily found that she was getting stronger every day and was now able to keep up with Kat and Mark for the most part. She was amazed that even with Mark missing part of a leg he never slowed down. If fact if she didn’t know, she would have never guessed that Mark was missing part of his leg. After chores Mark hooked up to a big tri-axle box trailer. Kat pulled totes, boxes, tarps, and a cooler out of storage. With the supplies packed Mark told Emily to lead the way.

When they pulled up, Mark decided that it would be best if he parked on the street in front of Emily’s apartment. When the three got to Emily’s apartment Kat asked

“So, what goes and what stays, Mom.”

“Well, the fridge, couch, and blinds stay, but everything else is mine. That does include the drapes.”

“So, your drapes do match your carpet.” Snickered Mark

Emily gave him a hard elbow and told him to behave himself. Mark was in a mischievous mood so he started kissing Emily’s neck where he knew it drove her crazy. She didn’t disappoint when she let out a low moan.

“Mom, Dad save that stuff for home or anytime I’m not around please. That’s not something I want to see.”

Emily and Mark laughed at Kat’s discomfort.

“Just want till you have a boyfriend, Kat.” Kat just rolled her eyes.

Mark decided to behave sort of and the three of them got Emily’s apartment packed up in just a couple of hours. Of course, they still had to figure out where to put everything but the big stuff could wait. As Mark and Kat were finishing up, Emily went to her landlord’s office and turned in her keys. They of course were sorry to see her leave for she was one of their best renters but when she told them that she was moving in with her fiancé they didn’t argue. They informed her that they would inspect the apartment later that day and as long as the apartment was clean with no damage, they would cut the check for your security deposit Emily took one last turn through her old apartment to make sure that they hadn’t missed anything. The only thing Emily would miss about the apartment was that she only had a three block commute to work and most days she would either walk of ride her bike.

Once they were back at the farm, they put the clothes that Emily wanted to keep in the closet and put the rest in bags for the Salvation Army. Mark and Kat also went through their clothes and both got rid of some stuff. Mark moved one of the farm vehicles out of the attached garage so Emily could park her car there. The third spot in the garage held Kat’s vehicle, a Ram 1500 Eco-diesel that she had delated the emission controls on.

By the time they finished, it was late afternoon and none of them felt like cooking, so they ordered a couple of pizzas. By the time the pizza arrived all three had gotten showers and put on comfortable clothes. Emily paid for the pizza and the three settled down for a movie. By this time, she noticed that she had a voice mail. It was her old landlord wishing her luck and telling her that she would be getting her security deposit back. After all her apartment was in better shape than some of the ones after they had been worked on. After some discussion they settled on The Hunt for the Red October.

Chapter 3

After the movie, Mark decided to go make some fishing lures, for both him and Kat were getting low, and now they also needed to make some for Emily too. This was the first time Emily had ever seen this room, in one of the smaller barns. In it was everything needed for lure making. From a fume hood for pouring soft plastic and lead lures to a full complement of fly-tying materials.

“So, we going fishing tomorrow?” Asked Emily kind of hopeful.

“I’m guessing you haven’t seen the weather forecast for tomorrow Mom. They’re calling for some heavy storms. Which is Ok because I’ve got a big order to fill.”

“Big order to fill?”

“Yep, one of my part time gigs is making and selling fishing lures.”

“Yep, so I figured that we would take you to Cabela’s so we can get you outfitted with your own fishing and hunting gear after we get chores done tomorrow.”

Mark and Kat took a couple of hours to start teaching Emily about lure making. Everything from small trout flies to hard body muskie lures. Emily was just amazed at the range of lures that Kat and Mark could make.

About 8 pm Mark decided to stop for the day. Emily was starting to get frisky and he definitely wasn’t about to let a good opportunity get away. As they were on their way back to the house, the sky opened up and it started pouring. Mark was now thrilled because Emily had a white shirt on and no bra. The two of them laughed and played out in the rain until the lightening started. Being outside with lightening was a bigger risk than either wanted to take. Of course, by the time they got in, both were covered with mud and although the rain was cool, they were on fire. As they went to the bathroom to take a shower, they left a trail of clothes in their wake. Barely did they make it into the shower when Emily wrapped her legs around Mark and moved his hard cock so she could slip it into her soaking pussy. Mark had one of her ass cheeks in each hand, had pushed her up against the shower wall, and started pounding her in the shower with the steam rising and the warm water raining down on them, Mark and Emily’s senses were distorted.

“OH GOD MARK, FUCK ME HARD. MAKE ME YOURS!! Emily yelled at loud as she could.

“Ya Emi, this what you want? You want me to pound your tight cunt without mercy?”

“Yes, Yes, YES” Emily sang

Mark was lifting her up and slamming her back down on his cock so hard that everytime he thrust into her, he would hit her cervix. The pain of this drove Emily wild and she wasn’t normally into pain with sex. But with the hot water, Mark’s strong arms holding her, and her complete trust and love for Mark Emily’s body was taken over completely with lust and she couldn’t have stopped him if she wanted to. Emily wasn’t even sure how many orgasms she had or maybe she just had one long one. Finally, her body said more and she passed out, still in Mark’s arms and his cock still inside her. Mark carefully turned off the water and got out of the shower. He dried both of them off the best he could and took her to bed. He sat on the side of the bed, rotated both of them so that he could lay down with his head on his pillow, and pulled the cover up over them. He passed out within a minute with Emily still impaled on his cock. Sometime during the night Mark slipped out of her and she assumed her normal sleeping position.

It was 5am when Mark and Emily woke up. When they went out to the kitchen to start breakfast, they found a note on to counter.

“Seriously can’t you two EVER pick up after yourselves? Anyway, I put your clothes in the washer.

Love Kat

PS, please let me sleep in, in the morning. I didn’t finish my lure orders until 2am. Thank you”

Mark and Emily decided to flip a coin to see who made breakfast. The winner chose what was for breakfast and made it, while the loser did dishes. Emily won, so she served English muffins with a fruit platter and a glass of milk. After they finished breakfast, they went out to do the farm chores. It was raining so they were quickly soaked. Looking at each other in their wet clothes, they started getting horny. Emily thought that they would go back inside but Mark had a surprise in store for her. He pulled her clothes off and threw her into the hay. Mark quickly jumped in after her and, even though the hay was a bit itchy Mark and Emily had a hell of a good time. Moving like a jungle cat she mounted Mark and since she was on top, she didn’t let up on him until she knew that he had cum twice. She really didn’t care if she cam, but she did have a pleasant one. Mark on the other hand was a wreck. This time he was the semi-comatose one for once. Emily snuggled up next to him and if she had been a cat she would have been purring. After recovering Mark and Emily finished the chores without even bothering to put their clothes back on. On their way back to the house, Emily wanted to run being embarrassed to be walking through the yard in her birthday suit, but Mark picked her up and threw her over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. This made Emily squeal and squirm but Mark had an iron grip on her. She stopped squirming and to keep her lively, Mark spanked her, first one cheek then the other. This got her going again. Walking through the door, Mark was face to face with Kat.

“Did you two at least get the chores done?” asked Kat with a smirk on her face.

“Yep” said Mark without flinching and not putting Emily down. She was now more embarrassed than she had ever been in her life and all four of her cheeks were fire engine red.

“What’s wrong Mom?” teased Kat “Couldn’t wait till you got to the bedroom?”

“Blame your Dad!” yelled Emily with her embarrassment deepening.

“Um Mom, you do know that you’re getting redder? I didn’t know that shade of red was even possible for humans.” Giggled Kat. Emily was wondering how she would ever live this down.

“SHUT-UP!” yelled Emily again. “Mark, take me to the bedroom this instant!” By now Mark was about to burst his gut holding in his laughing. Kat didn’t even try to keep from laughing. Of course, Mark didn’t take her to the bedroom. He went to the kitchen and got himself something to drink and got an ice cube out of the freezer.

“MARK! What are you going to do with that?” Ask Emily nervously. She knew that she couldn’t do anything to stop him from doing anything he wanted. He took the ice cube and ran it over her ass and down her puffy pussy lips. Emily was now thrashing and shrieking. She tried to get even by completely relaxing but Mark took the ice cube and ran it between her pussy lips and over her clit. Emily was instantly back to dancing on his shoulder. Kat was by now rolling around on the floor; she was laughing so hard. Mark finally relented, after the ice cube had completely melted. He tossed her up in the air and caught her in his arms with Emily back to giggling and carried her to the shower for they were both dirty.

Once in the shower Emily bent over,

“You got me cold down there so warm me back up!” Mark knew want she wanted but he wasn’t done being mischievous. He took removable shower head and used that on her pussy. Emily started moaning “uhh if you ummm want to fuck me umm again you uhh better stop using that water and sink that beautiful rod in me umm.”

This time Mark did as she asked and thrust up into her with one thrust. This caused Emily to yip before she went into her opera singer mode. With Mark entering her from behind he felt bigger and he could get even deeper into her. Emily was flooding Mark with cum within a minute, and she didn’t stop until Mark shot his six shots of cream deep inside her. The whole thing took maybe five minutes but Emily was so exhausted that as soon as Mark released her, she slid down the wall and onto the floor. She couldn’t even move so Mark washed her off, shut off the water, picked her up off the floor and sat her on a stool in the bathroom to dry her off. He carried her to their bed, laid her out, and threw the blanket over her. He then got dressed and quietly walked out to the living room leaving Emily to sleep off her orgasms.

“What did you do to Mom, Dad?”

“Oh, I just wore her out. She’s sleeping pretty good right now. When she gets up and dressed, we’ll take off for Cabela’s”

“You know Dad, I hope that whatever guy I end up with will be like you.”

“Don’t worry kiddo, you’ll find one. It might take a while but I’m positive that you’ll find someone to make you happier than you’ve even been before.”

Chapter 4

Mark and Kat sat down to watch some TV and talk about Kat’s lure business while waiting on Emily to get up. It took Emily almost an hour to get up and dressed. When she finally came out into the living room Mark and Kat were still watching TV.

“Hi Mom.” Said Kat without turning around “It’s nice that you finally got up. I was beginning to wonder if you were going to sleep the entire day.”

“Kat, shut up, just shut up.”

“You ready to go Emi?”

“Can I eat first?”

“I don’t know, can you?”

“Really, is everyone in this house a smartass?”

“Better to be a smartass then a dumbass.” Said Kat and Mark together. Emily gave them the bird and went to the kitchen and made herself a big bowl of popcorn.

“Ok ready to go.” Said Emily with the bowl of popcorn in one hand and a bottle of Mountain Dew in the other. Mark and Kat just chuckled as they got off the coach, turned off the TV and went out to the truck with Emily.

When they got to Cabela’s, Emily was like a kid in a candy store. She was actually amazed at how fast she had taken to fishing and although she had never even thought of going hunting, she couldn’t wait to do that too. Of course, she was thrilled to watch the fish swimming around the big aquariums. She was even able to identify most of them and tell Mark and Kat the best ways to catch them and in what type of habitat to find them in. She had been studying endlessly ever since they had taking her fishing. Emily was able to get her own rods, reels, life jacket, and tackle box. Kat and Mark told her not to bother with buying lures; they would teach her how to make her own. They went over to the hunting section and Emily got warm weather and cold weather camo, hunting boots, and an upland hunting vest for rabbit and pheasant hunting. The entire time Emily was trying on hunting clothes, Mark couldn’t take his eyes off her. There was something about her in camo that set him on fire. Kat actually walked up to him a couple of times to push his mouth closed.

“Just wait till she’s packing heat Dad.” Kat would tease. Mark didn’t even acknowledge her; he was so entranced by Emily. Emily wasn’t helping Mark any either. She was giving him flirty smiles over her shoulder and attempt to hide behind a clothes rack but wouldn’t try hard. Since Mark was pretty much useless right now, Kat helped Emily get all the gear that she would actually need for hunting with her and Mark. Mark finally snapped out of it when Emily gave him a passionate kiss. This disappointed some of the younger salesmen hovering around Kat and Emily. They were hoping for a shot with Emily. The three of them looked at some guns for Emily but didn’t see anything that fit Emily properly and wasn’t a rip-off.

“Don’t worry Emi. We still have plenty of time to find you something and plenty of places to check out. We also need to get you into a hunter safety course as well.”

“Oh, do I need that?”

“Yep, if you want to get a hunting license, and even IF the course was voluntary it would still be a good idea. Don’t worry the courses are free through the DNR.”

Of course, Kat picked up some ammo that she was needing. Mark would have to buy it for her of course, but the ammo was hers. Kat could never get out of an outdoor store without getting at least one box of ammo. Of course, Mark was just as bad. Yes, they did reload for their target practice and some of their hunting, but sometimes it was impossible to police their brass when hunting, especially when they were using .22s.

On their way back, they stopped by a couple of gun shops to look for guns for Emily. They found her a Browning A5 20-gauge 3 inch semi-auto for a steal. Mark knew that this is a very reliable firearm that work serve Emily for many years to come. Emily asked,

“Why not a 12-gauge, Mark?”

“The 20 is lighter to carry, the ammo is cheaper, the recoil is easier to deal with, and for the most hunting in this area, a 12 is overkill. Plus, both Kat and I have 20’s so we already have plenty of ammo. Now that being said, for waterfowl hunting, you really do want the 12 gauge. But there you’re not walking miles fighting through brush, and the extra range and hitting power makes taking the birds down much easier, making it less likely that you’ll hit a bird and cripple it.”

After Mark explained the whys to her, she bought the 20 gauge and a couple of boxes of shells. The rest of the trip home, the subject was hunting. Mark and Kat were able to answer every question that Emily had, from why go hunting to what was the best way to cook it. Mark offered his bow to Emily to try to see if she might be interested in bow hunting. Mark and Kat were both crack shots with bows. They even used their bows for squirrel, rabbit, and bird hunting when they felt like they needed the challenge. They also each had a bow set up to bow fish with during the open water season.

When they got home and had put Emily’s stuff in the house, Kat got out the skeet shooting gear. It was time for some serious fun! Mark got his and Kat’s guns out, grabbed a shitload of ammo, and three pairs of safety glasses and ear muffs. While Mark was doing this, Kat was explaining the ins and outs of hitting a flying target to Emily. As Kat was finishing up, Mark said from behind them;

“And Emi, don’t worry if you miss more then hit. It takes some practice to reliably break the clays.”

With that, he passed out the safety gear and Kat took her gun from Mark and some ammo. What followed for Emily was another steep learning curve, but Mark and Kat never gave up on her. Within an hour Emily was able to hit about 80% of the time. She was still a bit disappointed because Kat and Mark almost never missed. They explained that was what happened after many hours of practice and thousands of rounds. The three of them policed their brass so they could be reloaded and went in for dinner.

Chapter 5

The next week continued Emily’s learning. Kat taught her how to reload and more on lure making. Mark started teaching her how to weld and had gotten her, her own welding helmet when she shows a natural aptitude for welding. Emily continued to get stronger through the farm chores. With her eating better and getting a lot more exercise, she started to lose the weight that she gained when she had let herself go. In addition, her ass started to build muscle making it firmer and more round much to Mark’s enjoyment. Their love making continued to get even better as they continued to figure out each other’s buttons. Emily was determined to make the most of this week because she was due to go back to work the next Monday and Kat started back to school.

Friday when Mark got home from work, he hooked up the john boat. This meant river fishing was on the agenda and Kat quickly figured out where they were as soon as she read the DNR’s fishing report. The Skamania steelhead were running, plus catfish, smallmouth, and walleye were being caught. Mark confirmed Kat’s deduction as soon as he walked through the door.

“One of the guy’s at work took yesterday off and limited out in an hour.” Mark said. Kat was now really excited. She loved fishing for steelhead especially with her fly rod. Kat was giddy all through dinner and as soon as she was done, she ran out and started trying up some flies that she knew in the past and under similar conditions had done well. As Kat was running out the door Mark called after her:

“Can you tie a few for me please?”

“Yep, sure thing.” Called back Kat over her shoulder.

“I don’t think that I’ve ever seen Kat this excited” stated Emily

“Yep, every time salmon or steelhead are running that’s about all that’s on her mind.” Chuckled Mark as he did the dishes.

“Have you ever given some thought to getting a dishwasher?”

“Why bother? If you wash them right after you eat then they are easier to clean, and doing them by hand does a better job. Plus, you don’t want to put cast iron pans or handmade knives in a dishwasher and all the knives in this house are handmade by either Kat or me. That’s usually a wintertime thing for us, making knives.

“Oh. Why winter?”

“The forge runs and 2000 degrees and it’s much more comfortable to work when it’s below freezing outside.

“That makes sense.”

After Mark got the dishes done, they went out to make sure all the gear was ready to go and all of Emily’s gear was rigged correctly. After they checked that, they went out to the barn to see what all Kat was working on. Emily was still blown away at just how beautiful some of the flies were that Kat tied. Some of them were works of art. This evening through she was working on simpler flies for not only steelhead but smallmouth bass as well. By nine everyone was tired. They would have an early start in the morning so they all needed their sleep.

The next morning was hectic to say the least. The farm chores still needed done before they could leave and Kat was in a particular hurry. She wanted to make sure that she got as much fishing time as possible for once she started school the amount of time that she would have for fishing went down to almost nothing. By 4:30 am, the three of them were on their way to the river and by 5:30 they were on the water. Kat and Emily started getting the gear ready to fish as Mark drove to where he knew the steelhead liked to gather. When he anchored, they were downstream of a large dam that completely blocked the steelhead. Almost right away they knew that they would have a busy day when Kat hooked a decant fish on her fly rod. Emily quickly followed suit by throwing a jerk bait. Of course, Emily then had to tease Kat about her fish being bigger. This made Mark smile because he knew that this would get Kat really fired up. Mark in the meantime was targeting walleyes. He figured that even targeting walleyes he would catch a steelhead or two. Within two hours Emily had limited out in steelhead and had switched to fishing for catfish. Mark had caught all the fish that he wanted and was just goofing off with random lures. Poor Kat in the meantime was having a bad day. She was stuck on three fish and had been getting hung up constantly. After catching her forth fish she was ready for a break. Mark pulled up the anchors and they drifted downstream to a stretch that was good for swimming. Both girls stripped down to their bikinis and jumped off. Mark and Kat had both warned Emily to be extra careful about river swimming and to never jump off head first. Mark had seen too many people do that and end up paralyzed or dead. While the girls were swimming, Mark stayed on the boat and worked on catching some panfish while keeping an eye on the girls and the position of the boat. In years past some people had been shot in this area by gang members that thought they owned that part of the river. Granted during the day the threat was really low, but Mark never would let up vigilance in this area and he always had his handgun within reach. Another reason for him to stay in the boat was that he could watch Emily better and this was quicky becoming his favorite activity.

The girls ended up swimming for about an hour before they climbed back on the boat and dried off. Mark took the boat to a long stretch of rocks, prefect smallmouth habitat. Kat had her fly rod out and Mark gave Emily a crash course on jig fishing. It didn’t take Emily too long to get the hang of it and between the three of them, they caught and released thirty plus smallmouth bass and a few largemouth bass as well. Kat even caught a small northern pike which wasn’t big enough to keep. Emily got an important lesson here, don’t put anything into the mouth of a pike. Kat used a leather glove to demonstrate and the pike shredded it. Eventually it was time for lunch, so Mark anchored near to the bank in front of a city park. This allowed everyone to take turns using the restroom while someone else minded the boat and the food cooking on a camp stove the Mark kept in the boat. He actually kept a camp stove in both boats for this very reason. Today’s lunch was a bit of surf and turf with 8 oz. steaks and a baked potato smothered in mushrooms and he cleaned one of the smaller steelhead for the surf part. Mark and Emily also had a beer while Kat had to be satisfied with a mountain dew. Mark would let her have a beer when they got home. After their lunch was eaten and cleaned up; Emily decided to stretch out on the bottom of the boat and take a nap. Kat and Mark meanwhile continued to fish. After an hour, Mark woke Emily up, just as she had asked. By this time, both Kat and Emily were starting to turn red so the decision was had to head in. The entire time Emily was excited. Not only had she been the only one in the boat to limit out but she had learned several new techniques that also worked well for lakes. On the trip home, it was Kat’s turn to take a nap. She had in fact put a pillow and light blanket in the truck for this very purpose. Mark and Emily talked quietly the entire trip home. They decided that since their wedding was only two months away that they needed to figure everything out and Emily wanted to visit her parents to show Mark and Kat off.

“Well, you might want to call them Emi. Afterall you haven’t seen them for how many years?”

“Ya I probably should. I’ll do that when we get home, I don’t want to wake Kat up.”

When they got home and the boat was put up and the fish cleaned, Emily called her parents.

“Hi Mom, it’s Emily.”

“Hello dearie, how are you?”

“I’m doing much better now than I was a year ago.”

“Why’s that?”

“Well, you’re not going to believe this but I met a wonderful man, truly the best one that I’ve ever met, and we are going to get married on October 20th.”

“Another black guy?” her mom asked with a sarcastic tone.

“Seriously Mom, you know I can’t stand that racist shit and no he’s not. His name is Mark, he works for the local refinery, he lives on a farm, and has a wonderful daughter who is extremely smart, very beautiful, and will turn fifteen in a couple of weeks.”

“He’s got a fifteen year old daughter, just how fucking old is he?”

“He’s 31 Mom.”

“So, he tells you.”

“You know Mom, I was hoping that for once in your life you actually might at least pretend to be happy for me. At least now I know that we don’t need to waste in invitation on you and Dad. Good bye.” And Emily hung up.

“I’m sorry Emily, I thought your parents would be happy for you.”

“Don’t worry about it honey. I was expecting it as soon as you suggested I call them and if we had just showed up at their house it would have been many times worse. At least this way, we save a day to do something else and we save an invitation, because although they would most likely have shown up for the wedding, they would have made everyone miserable.”

“As long as you’re ok with it, Emi.”

“Oh, hell ya. So, while we’re talking wedding just how many people are we thinking about inviting because we really need to get the invitations out. I’ve got four people that I work with that I would like to invite. A couple of aunts and uncles, one of the other corpsmen I served with, and a few old friends.”

“So rough estimate?”

“A first estimate about twenty. How bout you?”

“Well let’s see, there’s five people I work with and I know that they all have families, one aunt and uncle, and a sweet lady who use to babysit me before my parents were killed. So that’s probably another twenty for me.”

“I wish your parents could see us get married, Mark. They sounded like they were they best and they had to be based on how you came out.”

“They were the best Emi. I wish your parents would put aside their prick attitudes for at least a little while so they could see their only daughter get married.”

“It’s just the way they are, they only care about themselves.”

By the end of the day Mark and Emily both had their invitations made out. They decided to just have the wedding at their house. If it was nice out, they would have it outside. If the weather sucked then they could have it in the equipment barn. For their reception, Kat suggested doing a hog roast. After all a couple of their hogs would be the prefect size by then. Mark and Emily both agreed quickly. The three of them decided on the menu, going with simple wholesome foods and having an ice cream bar for dessert. Emily shot down the idea of her wearing a wedding gown, favoring getting a dress that she could wear for other events as well. Mark had a nice suit that he would get cleaned. Kat would get a new dress at the same time Emily did for none of hers fit anymore. After clearing it with Cindy, the bridal party would go dress shopping on Sunday and even if they didn’t buy, they would at least know what all was available and their sizes. Emily also told everyone that any dresses that needed bought were on her, and she wasn’t accepting any arguments on the matter. Since the ladies were going dress shopping, Mark would take Evan and Tim out for food and to get Evan a suit and tie.

Chapter 6

About ten am the next morning, Emily and Kat took off to pick up Cindy and Tekkla. Mark left about five minutes after them to go get Evan. Tim wouldn’t be joining them for shopping because he had to work, although he told Mark that if he needed a consultation to send him the pictures that he needed an opinion on. Tim also promised to clear his calendar for the wedding. Mark knew that Tim would, for Tim was one of his oldest friends and also couldn’t pass up free food.

When everyone met back again at Cindy’s, the atmosphere was electric. Of course, Evan didn’t want to go clothes shopping and this made everyone laugh. Mark knowing what made Evan tick bribed him with trip to the steak place of his choice afterwards. Evan didn’t need to be asked twice. Mark would swear that kid could eat half his body weight and never gain a pound. Mark and Evan were in no hurry. They just had to find a suit and tie for Evan. The ladies however were rushing to get into the car. Mark and Evan just chuckled as the ladies left.

“Well Evan should we go get this over with?”

“The sooner the better, Uncle Mark. The Bears game is on TV this afternoon and they’re playing the Packers. And da Bears are going to stomp them cheeseheads.”

“Only in your dreams Evan. Only in your dreams.”

This fact made the guys hurry up a bit. Evan was a diehead Bears fan while Mark was a Parkers fan. They were both looking forward to the game. While out shopping Mark would pick up a six pack for him and a fridge pack of pop for Evan. Since they were just looking for a suit and tie for Evan, it didn’t take them long to find him one that looked really, really sharp on him, even Evan thought so and he hated shopping with a passion. The sales lady actually told Evan that when he got older to look her up if he ever needed a date. Mark doubled over with laughter, not only from the comment itself but Evans obvious discomfort at being hit on. After all he was at the I hate girls’ stage.

After getting his suit, Evan decided on his steak house and Mark treated him to a 22 oz porterhouse cooked medium rare with a large baked potato. Mark had a ribeye cooked rare with a potato and everything covered with mushrooms. Evan of course had to have dessert and then they rushed over to Mark’s to watch the game on his big screen TV. They cheered and yelled as the game was a back-and-forth game and ended with a one-point victory for the Packers. Evan was jumping up and down yelling at the TV while Mark was doing a victory dance. After the game, Mark took Evan back home with a stop by Dairy Queen for an ice cream Sunday for the both of them. All in all, they both had a really fun day hanging out together.

While the guys quickly picked out Evans suit and were able to watch the Bears/Packers game. The ladies were out shopping all day. They all agreed that Emily just couldn’t pull off any kind of white dress. Despite the fact that Emily had been spending a lot of time outside she was still had snow white skin and that most likely wouldn’t change. They all decided that Emily looked her best in an Emerald green dress that had just a little sparkle, spaghetti straps, flowed all the way to her ankles, and had slit that went all the way up to her upper thigh. Kat ended up with a blue dress that stopped just below her knees and had a slit up to mid-thigh. Cindy got herself an older fashioned dress in light yellow while Tekkla got one in light yellow as well but it had white polka dots. In between looking for dresses the ladies ended up at a Chinese place for lunch for which Kat swiped the bill before Emily could get a hold of it and then told to shut up when she complained about it. This made Cindy smile. There wasn’t much anymore that could make her give a genuine smile but Emily and Kat seemed to always find a way. They beat the guys back to Cindy’s by only five minutes. After everyone talked about their day. They all agreed not to show off their new clothes until the wedding. Mark, Emily, and Kat were a bit anxious to get home. After all Mark and Emily had to work the next day and Kat had her first day back at school. Plus, Emily was on fire and wanted Mark badly. By the time they got home however Emily and Mark only had time for a good quicky, but that was ok with them. Both Mark and Emily were in for long days at work. Emily knew of course that she was going to get bombarded with questions once her co-workers seen her engagement ring. At Emily’s request, Cindy hadn’t told anyone about it.

Chapter 7

The next morning Emily volunteered to make the breakfast while Mark and Kat did the chores. She did this because she was making biscuits and gravy with a side of homemade hash browns. Mark and Kat came back in as Emily was setting the table. After breakfast all three went to get dressed and got ready to leave. Mark was first out of the house, followed by Emily. They both had twelve hour shifts a head of them. Kat would ride the bus, just as she always had done. She couldn’t wait until she could legally drive to school. It would save her almost forty minutes each way. After school she had volleyball practice. Even though she was only 5’7” she could still spike the ball over the net and was very quick all over the court. She would go to her friend’s house until Mark or Emily got off work. Her day went about the same as it always did. Dumb boys trying to flirt with her, and teachers boring her. This year however there was a new boy that made Kat and all the other girls very nervous. He was one of those that absolutely wouldn’t take no for an answer and would react violently if anyone opposed him. Kat knew that it was only a matter of time before she was one of his targets. She also knew how she was going to handle him when the time came.

Emily’s day was crazy to say the least. She was barely in the locker room when one of the nurses seen her engagement ring. It was kind of hard to miss after all. She spent almost half an hour telling the story of her and Mark and showing off pictures of Mark, Kat, and the various things she had been doing over the last couple of weeks. Getting onto the floor finally, she was accosted by the same RN that had his nose busted by Mark and was told off by Kat.

‘Oh, this is going to be good’ thought Emily. He didn’t disappoint either.

“Hi doctor O’Neal, you miss me?”

“Nope, didn’t even notice that you weren’t around Sean.”

“Oh, I bet you noticed. That empty feeling between your legs is because I wasn’t there to fill it.”

Emily held up her ring and Sean’s face reddened a bit.

“You know my fiancé has already given you one beating and that was by accident. I would hate to see what he would do to you if he knew of your current behavior. You know that he’s already killed two people to defend his family and he did that when he was a young teen. Of course, after I get done with you there won’t be enough left for him to beat.”

She then showed Sean a picture of Mark and Sean’s face lost all of its color.

“Yep, you remember him, don’t you? If you try to harass me once more, he’s going to find out about all your shit and your days will be numbered. So why don’t you run along now.”

She was chuckling when he tucked his tail between his legs and took off. Word of this quickly got around the hospital and the guys stopped trying to flirt with her. Apparently, Mark had made a bigger impression on the staff than Emily had realized. She also found that she was the envy of every single female and a number of the married ones working in the hospital. This only increased when Emily told them about what all Mark did to her. The other woman turned green with envy. Emily found that she enjoyed the attention that she was starting to get. Unfortunately, it was also a day for people to get injured in some of the worst ways. From getting their foot caught in a spinning lawn mower blade to a child getting burned by hot grease spilling all over her. Emily had to remind herself to check all her emotions but now it was much harder for her to do then before. When she left the hospital that evening, she was exhausted. What was supposed to be a 12 hour shift had turned into a 16 hour shift.

Mark’s day was full of the same shit as always. At least he was able to get off on time, pick Kat up, get home and make dinner. Emily had told them just to put her dinner on a plate in the microwave and she would eat whenever she got home. Mark woke up about 11 pm when Emily had just shut off the shower and was crawling into bed.

The rest of the week went about the same except Emily only had to work Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Kat told Mark and Emily all about the new kid and they were both concerned. Yes, they knew that Kat could take care of herself, however if he managed to get the jump on her, she might end up in serious trouble. Emily suggested that Kat put a spy app on her phone so that she and Mark could check up on her whereabouts if they suspected anything happened to her. Kat not only agreed but went one step further when she got a can of bear rated pepper spray to carry with her. This really drove home the point of just how nervous this new kid made Kat.

Chapter 8

It was almost the end of September when Kat caught the eye of the bully at school. Kat had the reputation of being an icy bitch that was dangerous for guys to push too far. In Kat the bully, Adam seen a worthy challenge for himself. If nothing else he figured that she would be tight if he had to rape her to get into her pants. He quicky found that her reputation didn’t due her justice. Not only did she shoot him down but had also exposed all his shortcomings to the entire school. Adam couldn’t let this bitch continue to embarrass him like this. She had to pay and he knew how, or so he thought. He would follow her home, rape her in her own bed, and beat her to within an inch of her life. He didn’t want to kill her through, he wanted her to suffer. He wouldn’t hesitate about killing the rest of her family though. It was the last Friday in September when he found out where she lived. With the recon, Adam made his plans and gathered his weapons. He had bought or stole a number of illegal guns and body armor. He would strike early the next morning. He had seen Mark come home so Adam knew that he would have to kill one person.

Just as Adam had planned, he broke in, by picking a lock, at about 3 am the next morning. He quickly started checking out the house. Locating Kat’s room and seeing that she was sleeping soundly, he went to look for his first target. Conveniently there was another bedroom at the end of the hall. When Adam pocked his head in, he could see the shape of someone sleeping. This was going to be easier than he thought. Adam brought out his knife, no need to make extra sound. As he approached the bed, there was a scream.

It was just before 3 am when Emily had to get up to go pee again. Damn all that water that she drank yesterday, but it had been a long hard day as she had been working on getting some of the farm equipment ready for the harvest season and finishing up planning the wedding. As she was finishing up, she thought that she heard the bedroom door creak.

“Probably Mark getting something to drink” she thought

At night they never flushed the toilets so as not to wake the others up. Emily walked out of the bathroom and seen a shadow creeping across the room with a knife in hand and Mark’s sleeping form still in bed. Emily knew in an instant what was happening and she had to stall this intruder long enough for the rest of her family to wake up. She shrieked at the top of her lungs.

The intruder paused and Mark snapped awake in an instant. The shadow quicky dove at Mark and Mark grunted as the knife went in. In Adam’s haste he missed the vital organs and the knife plunged into Mark’s hard abdomen and Mark had a grip on Adam’s arms. Emily quickly attacked from behind, but all she had was her bare hands. Her gun was under her pillow which was on the other side of Adam. She quickly found that he was wearing armor as one of her punches bounced off. Emily got a tight grip around Adam’s neck, but Adam’s first-hand fighting experience came to his rescue, when he got a handful of Emily’s hair and pulled so hard that she was flung over his shoulder and onto the floor on the other side of the bed. This dazed Emily and now everything was going in slow motion for her. She watched as Adam was able to pull his knife out of Mark’s stomach and raise it to finish Mark off. So, this was the end of her, having to watch her second fiancé be killed while she couldn’t do a damn thing to stop it.

Then time seemed to stop as there was a flash of light and an explosion. Then another and blood started coming out of Adam’s mouth as he coughed. Emily was puzzled for she was still in a daze. As Adam collapsed, there was a shadow behind him, a pretty shadow holding something small. The shadow walked up and kneeled down to whisper something to into Adam’s dying ear.

Kat had been awakened by the sound of a door creaking for she never had slept soundly, but she figured that it was either her mom or dad getting something to drink. Emily’s shriek caused Kat to jump out of bed. She heard her dad grunt, and knew that he had been stabbed. Fortunately, she was ready for stuff like this. A Christmas from her dad serval years ago was in a box on one of Kat’s shelves. She pulled it out and checked it to be sure it was ready. It was a Sig 9mm pistol and she was a crack shot with it. She had been careful to never mention this gun to anyone but her dad, she had never even told Emily about it. Kat got the gun out, held it was the proper two-handed grip, and headed toward her parent’s room. When Kat peered in, Emily was on the floor on the other side of the bed just looking at what was happening, she obviously had been hit on the head. There was a body kneeled on the bed with a knife in its hand and her dad was on his back on the bed. The figure then started to plunge the knife toward her dad.

Kat brought her gun up, aimed at the left side of the figure and squeezed the trigger once and then again. The figure stopped in its tracks and tumbled off the bed. As Kat walked up, she seen who the figure was. She kneeled down next to Adam’s dying body for although he was still alive, that was just a technicality. Both of Kat’s rounds had pierced his heart.

“Looks like this cold bitch was just too much for a loser like you.” Kat whispered into Adam’s ear. Just to add insult to Adam’s injury, she reached down, grabbed his balls and squeezed. The last thing Adam felt was his balls in Kat’s vise-like grip.

With Adam dead, Kat stood up and started checking on Emily and Mark. Emily, Kat could see was starting to come out of her daze. Her dad was in serious trouble though. While the knife had missed all of Mark’s vital organs, it had pieced his intestines and he was bleeding severely. Kat ripped off a part of her night shirt to fold up and make a temporary press for her dad. With this done, Kat went and got the first aid kit that was kept in the house so that Emily could start working on Mark. Of course, by this time Emily was a mess. She had seen one fiancé die and now she was seeing another one die, but this time her training just wouldn’t kick in. Kat threw the first aid kit to Emily and went to grab her phone. When she got back, Emily was still in a panic mode.

Kat walked up to Emily and slapped her hard across the face. Once on the left and once on the right.

“Mom. Mom, snap out of it!” Kat yelled at Emily. “Dad won’t survive if you don’t pull it together.” This was said in an even, cold tone that nobody had ever heard Kat use before. It was almost like Kat was saying that snow is white. This frigid tone finally snapped Emily out of her panic and forced her mind back to her training and experience. As Emily began working on Mark to stop the blood flow, Kat called 911. The dispatcher was amazed at the evenness of Kat’s voice. After all, here was a teen that had just killed an intruder that was attempting to murder her dad and almost step-mom, and yet Kat sounded like all she was doing was ordering at a fast-food place.

Chapter 9

When the police and ambulance arrived, the personal were also amazed at how calm both Emily and Kat were. The police of course recognized Adam right away for they had a series of run-ins with him but could never get anything to stick. His hot-shot lawyer parents would have him out of jail before charges could even be filed. Now Adam’s parents wouldn’t be able to help him. The police did caution Kat and Emily that Adam’s parents would probably try to file some kind of lawsuit against them and that they should be ready.

Kat walked to the safe room and made two copies of the security footage from around the house that night. It clearly showed Adam sneaking up to the house and breaking in. Kat put one copy in a safe and gave the other copy to the police. She also stayed behind, while Emily and Mark went to the hospital, so that she could take pictures of all the evidence the police found and to give her statement. After the police were done gathering evidence, Kat put all the pictures on a flash drive and put that in the safe as well. This safe wasn’t an ordinary gun safe. It was well hidden in the wall of the safe room. It was also lined with a copper screen to further protect the stuff inside from electromagnetic interference. With this done, one of the police officers gave Kat a ride to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, the officer received word that Katelynn was to be taken to the station. This just floored the officer. This was a stand your ground state and Kat had killed Adam in a clear case of self-defense. Kat wasn’t surprised based on what she had been told about Adam’s parents and what she had been able to quickly research about them.

“I’m so sorry about this Katelynn, but there’s a request to take you to the station for further questioning.”

“Don’t be sorry, was any of this BS your idea?”

“Well, no.”

“I just ask that you please take me to the hospital first so I can check on my Dad and so I can tell Emily what’s happening.”

“Ya, I suppose I can do that. After all we’re almost at the hospital now.”

“Thank you very much. Oh, you probably should come up with me, I’d hate for you to get in trouble.”

Kat and the officer walked into the hospital and quickly found where Mark was at. When they walked into the waiting room, Emily was pacing back and forth, still covered with Mark’s blood. When she seen Kat, she ran over and gave her a fierce hug.

“Thank you, Katelynn. It looks like your Dad will pull through with only minimum complications. If it wasn’t for you, he and I would be most likely dead.”

“Well not to burst your bubble Mom, but I’ve got some bad news for you.” At this Emily just gave Kat a quizzical look. “It turns out that Adam’s slime ball parents got some strings pulled and I’ve got some more questions to answer downtown.”

“Wait. What? Did you just say what I thought you said or do we have a serious miscommunication problem?”

“Yep, I’ve got questions to answer. Apparently, Adam’s parents can’t stand to look bad so they feel the need to silence anyone who has had problems with their son. Which is everyone who’s been unlucky enough to have been around him. But don’t worry Mom I’m sure that I’ll be able to get this cleared up and if nothing else I’ll call you. I love you Mom.”

Kat and Emily hugged again. Then Kat went with the officer down to the station. There Kat met Adam’s parents for the first time and the mystery of how Adam became so fucked up was solved. His parents were worse.

“Oh, this is going to be fun.” Mumbled Kat under her breath. She was led into an interrogation room where a detective was waiting for her.

“Hello, I’m detective Van Der Griff, Susie. It’s a pleasure to meet you Miss Schneider.”

“Hi. I wish I could say the same thing, and please it’s Kat. Calling me Miss makes me feel old.”

Susie snickered at this, “OK Kat it is. Do you know why you’re here?”

Kat just gave her a fishy look. “Why would I waste time guessing when you’re going to tell me anyway?” Susie was a bit taken back by this. She had been told by some of her fellow cops, who knew Kat, that she was extremely intelligent, but Susie had clearly underestimated this young woman.

“Well, you’re here for the murder of Adam Hall. Plus, a couple of weapons charges.” Kat just continued to look at Susie without moving a muscle. “Ok then” said Susie clearing her throat “You and the victim had a bit of a history, did you not?” Again, Kat just continued to stare at Susie without flinching. “Are you going to say anything?” Demanded Susie. She was starting to get annoyed with this girl. “You know the longer you don’t talk the longer that you’ll remain in here. You’re not going anywhere until I get to the bottom of this. So now what can you tell me about your relationship with Mr. Hall?” Kat finally moved a muscle when she closed her eyes, settled a bit in the chair and started to doze off. “HEY” yelled Susie.

“Ok fine what do you want to know?” asked Kat in an even tone.

“I already asked you what I want to know.”

“Answer for your question, we went to school together, well I went to school he went to scope out girls to prey on. He tried to talk his way into my pants and I shot him down and called him out for what he was. Now a question for you, why bother questioning me when you already know what’s going on?”

“Just routine. How did you get the gun?”

“It’s my Dad’s. I keep it in my own safe for just such emergencies.”

“You keep it?”

“Yep, you got a problem with a young woman defending herself. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not near as muscular as most men are. A firearm levels the playing field and in a defensive situation tips the balance in my favor unlike anything else.”

“You know it’s illegal for you to have access to firearms, right?”

“It’s also illegal to break into someone else’s house and attempt to murder the people in it. So, what your saying is that I don’t have a constitutional right to defend myself. Last time I looked there was no age limit as to when my fundamental rights would kick in. Just an age limit on voting and holding office. We bout done here? I would like to get back to the hospital.” Kat then stood up and walked out.

On her way out she bout ran into Emily. “Hey Mom.”

“Don’t hey Mom me. What the hell is going on here? What’s this about weapons charges?”

“Some greeting for someone who saved not only your life but your fiancés’ life as well. As for the handgun, Dad gave that to me years ago to keep in my room in case the house was ever broken into. Now I would like to go visit MY DAD if that’s ok with you.”

Emily just starred at her as she walked past. Kat had once again proven that she was not a person to mess with and she didn’t care who you were. As Kat walked out the door a voice behind Emily startled her, “Yep I had the same reaction when she did that to me.”

Emily spun around to see the Susie standing there. “Yep” said Susie “that is one tough lady.”

“Ya I know. This isn’t the first time that she’s done this sort of thing to me.”

“Oh”

“Yes. I’m Dr. Emily O’Neal trauma surgeon, Mark Schneider’s fiancé and soon to be Kat’s step-mom.”

“I think you and I need to go get some coffee Doctor.”

As Susie and Emily sat in a nearby café having coffee, Emily told Susie of how Kat had repeatably stunned her and how Kat had gotten her and Mark together. Emily also told Susie the story of the previous night from her point of view. By the time Emily was done, she was exhausted and Susie was absolutely in a state of shock which for her was unheard of. She had been to warzones, processed dozens of gang shooting, questioned hardened criminals that had nothing to lose by not cooperating, but never had she came across anyone like Katelynn. To come across someone so mature both mentally and emotionally while so young was unheard of. Not only that but Kat also could easily project an image of absolute innocence until she needed to reveal just how intelligent that she was. She had a supreme confidence, she could read anyone like a book, and get into their heads without much effort.

“So, if you don’t mind me asking detective, what’s going to happen to Kat now?”

Chapter 10

Meanwhile, Kat had walked the two miles back to the hospital, found her Dad’s room, and settled down in one of the chairs in the room. As she made herself comfortable Cindy walked into the room.

“Hi Kat. How are you doing honey?”

“Hey Cindy. I’m doing good. How are you and the kids?”

“We’re doing much better now. I got a new job as a nurse practitioner at a doctor’s office a half mile from my house that I start at on Monday. And don’t tell me that you’re doing good. Emily just called me and she’s concerned for you.”

“Hey congratulations about the job. As to Emily, that’s between us.”

“You know that she loves you deeply, right?”

“Yes, I do and I love her deeply too, but she also needs to understand that I keep secrets for a reason. If Adam had known about my Sig, then he would have come in with firepower instead of a knife. Or he would have tried something at school where there was plenty of innocent lives at risk. Now on to more serious things, how’s things looking with my Dad?”

“Well, he should be out of her in a couple of days baring complications. That knife didn’t do too much damage and with Emily giving him care right after the attack kept the effects to a minimum. So, what are you going to do now Kat?”

“Probably stay here until Dad wakes up.”

“Well dad is awake. Sort of.” Groaned Mark

“Daddy!” Kat yipped as she jumped up and hugged Mark around the neck.

“Oww, what happened?” groaned Mark as Kat let go of his neck

“You were stabbed daddy by someone I went to school with. Don’t have to worry about him anymore because I shot him twice through the heart.”

“That’s my girl. Why did he attack us?”

“It was the same idiot that I was telling you and Mom about, the one that made me really nervous. Well, I shot him down at school in front of everyone and I highlighted all the reasons that I would never go out with him. As you can imagine, he didn’t like that. Never thought that he would try to attack me at home though.”

“Well, I’m glad you had your Sig. Where’s Emi at?”

Kat now looked really guilty. “Mom and I had a bit of an argument at the police station and then I walked here.”

“An argument is putting it mildly young lady.” A very cold voice said from the door. “especially when you’ve got a weapons charge against you.” Emily said entering.

“Hi Emi” Emily just gave Mark a very cold look.

“We really need to have a talk about our daughter Mark.” Mark just swallowed hard. It had been a long time since he had heard Emily this frigid. “Now Katelynn” Emily swiveled her head to look right into Kat’s eyes and Kat looked away. “Look at me Katelynn.” Emily was getting colder by the second. Kat looked at Emily. “Look at my eyes NOW!” snapped Emily. When Kat finally looked into Emily’s eyes, she froze for Emily’s normally warm, caring eyes were gone. They had been replaced by a hard, cold stare that would have made Medusa envious. Kat now knew what a mouse felt like when it confronted a very hungry cat. Kat tried to melt into her chair, hell she actually hoped that she would die right now so that she wouldn’t have to deal with Emily for Kat realized just how far she had crossed the line and her only hope was that Emily would eventually forgive her. “It took some doing and I had to call in a large number of favors but I was able to get most of the charges against you dropped, Katelynn.” Katelynn broke down into tears, jumped across the room, and into Emily’s arms.

“Thank you, Mom.” Kat managed to say through her tears. She didn’t care if she was still in trouble, she knew that Emily loved her deeply and that was enough for Kat. Finally letting go of Emily, “I know that I was wrong to keep secrets from you. I know I was really wrong to walk away from you in the police station. I know that I have no right to ask this but please can you ever forgive me Emily? Please?” Kat was getting worried again, Emily continued to give Kat her Medusa stare. “Mom?”

“You’re still in trouble young lady, but you should be able to get off with community service for the weapon charge. In addition, your Dad and I will have to talk later about just how long you’re going to be grounded and the possibility of fines for you. Damn it KAT why did you keep that Sig a secret from me? What else haven’t you told me or your Dad? Mark why didn’t you tell me?” Emily asked turning toward Mark.

Mark however, didn’t flinch at Emily’s frigid voice and stare. “Emi we all have our secrets. You never have told me about your first engagement and I haven’t asked because that’s your business. I have always told Katelynn to never tell anyone about her Sig. Secrets like that save lives my dear. There’re things about me that neither you or Kat know and I’m not about to tell, at least not yet. Kat has the right to her own secrets as long as nobody is being harmed by them. Just like me. Just like you. I love you much more than life itself and will gladly die to protect you but if you can’t accept that Kat and I still have secrets then we really look at whether we should even be together.”

Chapter 11

Emily just looked at the man that she loved more than anything. She felt like she had been punched in the face and kicked in the gut at the same time. She thought that she knew everything about Mark but here he was telling her that he still had secrets and didn’t trust her enough to tell her. This and the situation with Kat were just too much for her to handle. She turned around and ran out, tears pouring down her face. She didn’t remember leaving the hospital. She didn’t know to where she was driving, she was just driving. Eventually she felt really tired so she checked into a cheap motel. That night she kept tossing and turning, her life going through her head.

Her parents never being pleased with her, and sometimes leaving her for days at a time home alone as they went to their various social events. They couldn’t even be bothered to hire a sitter for her or even to make sure that she had enough food. Then there was her first fiancé. Smart, funny, strong, and caring; Emily had loved him with every fiber of her being. Then just six weeks before they were to go back home and be married, he was killed by a sniper. There were all her friends that she had turned her back on when she got back home. They would always be trying to fix her up with some of their single friends. They didn’t know what had happened to her. Her parents were glad that her fiancé had been killed and they tried to fix her up to with “proper men”. Then she had met Mark. A man that took her breath away and amazed her at every turn. He was loyal to a fault to those who he held dear. She had no doubt that he would die to protect her from harm. With him came his deeply disturbing daughter. She had a talent for getting into people’s heads and didn’t hesitate to use it. She was extremely smart, but unlike other brainiacs that Emily had met, Kat could hide it completely. To meet her, you would think that she was just a normal teen. Problem was that Kat was about as far from a normal teen as you could get. She was wise far beyond her years, she was smart, and she could be very cold toward other people. She did share some things with her Dad. She cared deeply for the people that were close to her and she never lost her cool as showed when she calmly shot Adam as he was about to finish Mark off. She had snapped Emily out of her paralysis and that enabled her to stop Mark’s bleeding and keep him stable. Then Kat walking out on her at the police station.

The image that she couldn’t get out of her head was her flying across the bed and landing on the floor. The look on Adam’s face that couldn’t be described as human as he was about to kill Mark. Then the blood flowing out of his mouth as Kat calmly shot him from behind. Emily knew that if it hadn’t been for Kat, Mark would have been killed and then she would have most likely have been raped and killed. She knew that she owed Kat her life. Problem was, could Emily accept Mark and Kat keeping some secrets from her. She really wished that her parents were closer to her. This defiantly wasn’t a question that she was comfortable asking Cindy.

The next morning, Emily didn’t feel any better. She checked out and continued to drive. Eventually she ended up at the cemetery where Mark’s family was buried. Emily got out of her car and started walking. Eventually she stopped, she was standing in front of the grave of Mark’s sister. Emily just stood there, for hours she stood there just looking at the stone. Eventually an icy cold wind blew in. This surprised Emily for it had been a warm day. Through the wind she thought that she could hear voices. The voices at first seemed to be arguing. Eventually they turned to her and a man’s voice came through. This voice sent even more chills down Emily’s spine. It had been years since she had heard this voice.

“Hiya Blondie” That was how her first fiancé had always greeted her. “You think that you’re going to find the answers here, do you? Well, you won’t. Everyone that looks at you and Mark knows that you two are meant for each other. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it but he loves you even more than I did and I loved you completely. Does he have secrets, of course and yes, I know what they are. I won’t tell you what they are but I will tell you that you are much better off not knowing them for you would be having the worst nightmares imaginable for the rest of your life. He keeps these secrets from you not because he doesn’t trust you, he keeps them from you to protect you from his demons.”

“Damn it, I don’t want to be protected from his demons, I want to help him get rid of them, I want to help carry them!”

Now a young female voice spoke, “Emily, I’m thrilled that you have found and fell in love with Mark. But trust me, I was there, you don’t want to be exposed to the demons that Mark is keeping from you. They would haunt you and you would eventually end up like me. Now listen to me and listen carefully.” Emily swallowed hard and nodded. She figured that this was Susan, Mark’s sister. “Mark loves you far more then you ever will know and he trust you completely. He has NEVER told anyone else about me. When he would come and visit, he would always make sure that there was nobody around and he would never tell anyone where he was going and I do mean anyone. Heck girl he never even told his daughter about me until you came into his life. He is a far better person for loving you, but you need to trust him a bit honey. If eventually he decides that you’re strong enough to know about his demons then he’ll tell you, but coming from one that knows his demons intimately I’ll tell you now that you’re definitely NOT READY. What I will do for you is anytime you find yourself feeling backed into a corner with no way out, just think of me and I’ll help you out of it.”

Emily had by now completely broken down and was sobbing uncontrollably. In fact, she had never cried this hard before. She now understood Mark completely and knew what she had to do. She stood up, turned around, and her jaw dropped.
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