Love Is In The Air

Chapter Two

I made my way to my seat slowly, watching that amazing butt moving in front of me, desperate to touch it, run my hands over it and see if it was as hard underneath the cushion of soft muscle it was encased in, beneath the jeans covering it. I almost started salivating when he twisted in the aisle to maneuver into the window seat. He moved with such grace, so effortlessly as he stowed his small duffle bag under the seat in front of his, bending over to do so right in front of me. I took the aisle seat and did the same from my seated position, stowing my carry-on bag with my laptop in it, but retrieving my Ipad from it so I would have something to occupy my time on the flight, assuming that my next seat neighbor might not be in a talkative mood.

He had pulled out his own tablet and settled in his seat, buckling his seat belt as I did my own. I so wanted to buckle his for him, getting the buckle snug over the mound in the front of his jeans, making the button fly ripple and cause the fabric of the two halves of the fly separate a bit, only held together by the strong rivets of the manufacturer of those marvelous jeans. He wiggled his butt around and was soon comfortable in his seat and began to search for something on his tablet, not at all paying me any heed as I too settled in and brought my Ipad to life and began to make some notes about a story idea that had come to me on the way to the airport. We were instructed in all the proper protocol for a water landing, assuming we crashed into the Mississippi River and after we were served a bland lunch of stale sandwiches and tepid coffee and it was during this that I finally introduced myself to the young man who as it turned out was only three years younger than me. He had a very handsome face and a very pleasant manner and when we shook on our introductions he didn't grasp his hand back, he kept his eyes on mine and I was swimming in his deep blue with flecks of silver eyes as he seemed attracted to my green peepers. We both blushed a bit at this and then he asked what I did for work, and I told him I was actually filling in as the managing director of the Monroe County Library in Key West and was just returning from a trip I had been on.

I, of course, asked him the same questions and I found out (legitimately, not by glancing over his shoulder at the boarding desk in the airport) that his name was Riley Spencer, graduated from the University of Denver with a doctorate in finance, but a secondary degree in education, just off on an extended vacation from his father's brokerage firm(he told me he couldn't stand working for his father, but it was expected of him and he just couldn't refuse his parents, so he was in effect, running away, to Key West). He was quite amusing and devilishly handsome with the nicest set of dimples when he smiled and of course, I wondered if his butt cheeks also had dimples when he smiled too.

With about an hour left in our Miami leg of our trip, we both reverted to our tablets, after he asked me to make sure he didn't get on the wrong plane for the flight to Key West. We were both occupied for about 20 minutes and after I had put down what my thoughts were for the next story I happened to glance at the lap of my neighbor and instead of just staring at his fully packed crotch I also noticed what was on his tablet, the ebook edition of my best seller. I thought for some reason how funny that was, and I would have loved to autograph that for him.

Instead, I reached into my carry on and removed the last one of the promotional copies of the hardbound first editions Mark had gotten for me to hand out whenever I came across someone I thought would appreciate it. I opened the front cover and on the fly page, I wrote a short note, signing my name, and my pen name under it. (You just can't wait can you, OK, the note said; "To Riley, may I always be able to provide you with something to occupy your time with".) I closed the book and slid it onto his lap.

He glanced up at me and then down to the book and then he put his tablet down and picked up the book and looked at the cover, and then the back, probably to see if there was a picture of the author there, there was, one of my better headshots if I do say so myself (Mark teased me that it was the picture that was selling the book). He then opened the book and read the note and I got to see the dimples on his cheeks again as he looked up at me with his eyebrows raised and I said I had written it after a friend had died and had to occupy my time, that I really was the former head of the Key West branch library and I was going to fill in there until my replacement was hired. He said he had another copy of the book at home but had brought the tablet for his trip.

He told me he really was enjoying the book and he thought I had looked like the guy on the back cover, but the real thing was a lot better. Again, his eyes didn't leave mine and we were still staring at each other when the announcement came over the PA for passengers and crew to prepare for landing in Miami. We busied ourselves putting our belongings away and then I enjoyed watching him look out the window as the plane descended. He occasionally looked at my reflection in the window behind me and smiled each time he did. When we were about to touchdown he reached back and held my hand in his, squeezing it lightly.

After we had deplaned and were out on the concourse I led him to the next departure gate and after we were checked in we were allowed outside and led to the smaller plane for the short flight to Key West. We had side by side seats on the right side of the plane, the left side seats were singles. On the 45-minute flight, I learned that the friend who had died was a family friend who was about 55 and had been his gay mentor as he grew up. He had been someone he could go to with questions or advice all through his teens and college years and Riley told me it was like losing an uncle. I also learned he was booked to stay at Monty's guesthouse, the one I now owned a ¼ of. I told him it was only a half block or so from my cottage and the library and I wondered if he would like to join me for dinner after we had a chance to set settled once we reached our destinations.

He brightened considerably after that and he gratefully accepted. It was a Friday afternoon about 4 PM when we were heading to Fleming Street in a cab and I told him I'd walk up the street about 7 to pick him up for dinner and we parted, having the cabbie drop me off first. I took my two suitcases and my carry on down the short lane to the end and my cottage. As I turned the key in the lock I wondered for the first time all day what the renovations would look like. I had nothing to fear, the removal of the wall between the living room and the kitchen made the rooms much brighter and they even looked bigger. The workmen had done a fantastic job and both areas had been cleaned up to perfection. I then exited the back door and walked out onto the enclosed patio. No cheap screen enclosure here. It looked wonderful with a heavy raised panel running around the lower third of each wall with a wire mesh screening running up to the cove molding on the top of the windows. The new door on the outer wall was perfectly lined up with the two-foot by two foot-pavers that led to the pool and the wide area of pavers around the pool. The outside of each screen panel was able to be protected by storm shutters that would roll down from the soffit over the walls of screening.  I was pleased with all the work that had been done, but now I had to make a reservation for dinner and get in the bathroom and freshen up with a shave and shower.

When it was seven minutes to 7 I walked up to the guesthouse and there was Riley, talking to the manager who happened to be one of my fellow owners of the place. They both smiled broadly at my arrival and greetings were exchanged all around.

As we walked the three and a half blocks to the restaurant several people stopped to talk or just greeted me as we moved along the streets, and Riley said he knew now what it felt like to be out with a celebrity. I laughed and told him it was because I had been the town's librarian, not that many people knew I was the author Mike Monroe. I told him why everyone knew me at the guesthouse and Monty's legacy to me, and how I used some of his old tales to build my stories around. He told me about how frustrating it was to work with his father and his antiquated methods of investing client's money and how he had enjoyed his practice teaching months for his education degree, how much he had enjoyed working with young people.

I took him to the Old Mexican Cafe and we were warmly greeted by that night's hostess, who told me that Gail was sorry she wasn't on tonight, but everyone had been told to treat me like she was here. Gail was the owner and always made a fuss over me when I came in. She was a good patron of the library and besides that; she was a really nice person. I helped Riley to choose from the menu and we shared two appetizers before our meals were served and we spent a lot of time looking at each other's eyes.

We took a stroll back, taking a long way and talking the whole time, he asking questions about the places we passed and me acting the tour guide and giving him the information he requested. When we got to the opening of the lane I lived on I invited him for coffee at my place and we held hands as we walked down the short lane to my cottage. When the door was unlocked and the alarm turned off I led him into the house and he walked around as I set the coffee machine on brew and then I turned on the outdoor lights and showed him the screen room and the garden and pool outside. We were looking up at the full moon when he moved closer to me and for the first time I bent my head down and kissed him.

It couldn't have been more perfect. The emotions were bursting within me and from his reaction, Riley was feeling the same. We only broke apart when the buzzer went off signaling the coffee was brewed and we went back inside with our arms around each other's waist. We fixed our coffees and took them out to the table on the screened patio, sitting close and I asked if he would like to spend the night. I got the full benefit of those dimples and spent some of our time out there trying to get a correct tongue count of his teeth, but for some reason, his tongue kept trying to wrestle with mine. He was a really nice guy who turned me on to no end, more than anyone had done for some time. So I gave up counting and went with the tongue wrestling, for now.

The undressing began as we made our way to my bedroom after the house was secured for the night. I was pleasantly surprised when it was revealed his butt was indeed full and rounded with no dimples visible from where I knelt behind him as he bent over the foot of the queen-sized bed in the room. I munched on that hole I found between those muscular but pliable cheeks and tried to penetrate that tight pucker repeatedly with my tongue. My left hand was in constant movement, stroking his big nine-inch uncut prong as I used my right hand to gather the copious amounts of natural lube dripping from the lips of his cock's head. I occasionally got several streams from my own to mix in with his, but my tongue kept up its work until he begged me to fuck him, which I did after we had a little talk about safe sex and our most recent exams to assure each other we were safe not using condoms. I had been using the lubed fingers of my right hand while this was going on and as the three middle fingers of that hand were corkscrewing in and out of that oh so tight hole, I maneuvered us both up on the bed, Riley on his back and his muscular legs over my shoulders. My entry into him was accomplished with both of us participating, he grasps my equally large uncut dick as I fed it into his now very receptive hole and by the time I had bottomed out in him his lips had found my engorged right nipple, my most sensitive one, and I literally was in heaven.

His time spent in the summers working on his parent's ranch proved to be well worth the time spent there as he proved that he could nurse on my nipples as his rectum muscles milked my dick dry. The friction of my muscled abs on the now exposed head of his hardon caused an eruption of copious amounts of spooge to be deposited between us as I lowered myself down on him to taste the inside of his mouth again.

Midway through our shared shower, a half hour later, Riley asked if we could skinny dip in the pool, under the glow of the full moon. Something told me I had found a romantic. We found ourselves floating on our backs, holding hands, the moonlight illuminating the surface of the pool, and the parts of our bodies not submerged in the pool water. There was the soft sound of the water spilling out of the skimmer, the occasional croak of a frog, or maybe a toad, somewhere close by, and the muted traffic sounds on the one-way Fleming Street at the end of the lane. There were also the muted sounds of partiers returning to their roosts for the rest of the night, but Riley and I didn't need words at that moment. I turned my head to look at him, just as he was looking at me and I saw it there in his eyes.

I didn't know if I was being foolish or wise, but I saw love there, and I guess he did too because he pulled me into him, and started kissing me as soon as we floated close enough for our lips to meet. Of course, we ended up on one of the big wide lounge chairs, making sweet love under the stars and the moon, this time Riley was in control and we found that he produced a lot of lubrication, and as he loved me I wept. Not great loud sobbing, but I did leak tears of pure joy at having found someone I thought I could give my heart to, and share my life with. 

We slept late and as I cooked us what we called our brunch, Riley seemed a tad quiet, as he sat at the kitchen table in only his jeans, appearing to be quite at home, as he watched me at the stove scrambling eggs and adding shredded cheeses in just before turning off the heat. I covered the frying pan while the toast toasted and little sausages browned further on the other burner. When I caught his eye after pouring our coffee he gave me a bittersweet smile and I saw tears forming in his eyes as he looked at me and stammered out that he didn't think he could leave when his time was up, he didn't want to go home, he knew, that from our time spent on the plane down here, it wasn't a conscious decision he had to make, he instinctively knew it, that we would be together for the rest of our lives, and he was not going to willingly put any space between us.

I pulled him up from his chair and hugged him as I kissed his eyes and told him that I had been having the same feelings, but mine started in the airport in Denver. He said I was older, so it took longer for the love bug to get through to me. I smacked that magnificent ass and told him brunch was ready, and I loved him, I was sure of it. He kissed me deeply, and if his stomach hadn't growled I think we might just have ended up in the bedroom again, but when he broke the kiss off he told me that was what he had been trying to say, that he loved me, but had been afraid to say it out loud in fear of scaring me away.

I told him, as I dished up our meal, that I didn't scare easily and that to prove it I was going to call the guesthouse and have his belongings brought here and that he was moving in with me, I'd authorize a full refund for whatever he had already paid for his lodgings. He said I didn't have to do that, he could walk up the street and get his bags, but I told him as I sat down across from him, that I would go along to help. Riley insisted on cleaning up since I had cooked and then we went to the guesthouse..Riley gathered his bags while I had a little talk with the manager on duty that Saturday afternoon and he credited Riley's credit card for the room expense before we left to get Riley settled in my bedroom at home. Once that was done we went for a walk and I took him over to the library and showed him my office there, so he could find me during work hours and introduced him around to the staff that was there. While in the children's room we ran into a woman I knew and after introductions were made I asked how the spring semester was going for her at the middle school she was the principal of.

We both shared a love/hate relationship with the board of county commissioners as far as our budgets were concerned and we had worked together on several projects involving her students and the programs we ran at the library. She told us she had two teachers about to leave her for the rest of the semester as they were taking maternity leave in just under a month and would be gone for the rest of the school year. One was a history teacher and the other was one of the algebra teachers. Riley was interested and the two of them were soon talking about the procedure for getting hired by the school department. The two of them went to one of the public computers and soon Riley was at my side again with a sheaf of papers and another of those dimpled grins. He said that he could fax them in and send home for his accreditations, but the school board could always get them from the University of Denver with one phone call, what did I think he should do?

As we continued our stroll I told him that since he was going to use his father's business as a work reference, he ought to at least call his parents and explain what was going on here, at least as far as his applying for a job teaching went, but, (by now we were in front of the fire station on Simonton Street where there were two benches out front) and I pulled him down beside me on the nearest bench, he could always call them and tell him his other news too, that he had agreed to become my spouse and that we'd like them to come down and attend our wedding, as soon as he had a contract with the school board. I had seen him happy in the last few days, but I had never seen him totally ecstatic and the dimples were there to catch the drops of tears as they appeared on his cheeks and I knelt down on one knee in front of him and asked him to be my lawfully wedded spouse.

I reached into the key pocket of my jeans and retrieved my father's wedding band, a simple gold raised band with several small diamonds embedded in the ring in a line right around the whole ring, a style that was popular in the 70's when my parents wed. Riley was at a loss for words, but as I held his left hand and slid the ring on his ring finger he was in my arms whispering, "Yes, Yes Mike, I love you so much".

Ron Jacobs had been hosing off the parking pad in front of the fire station and called over to me," Hey Mike, do you two need the hose?" I chuckled and held up Riley's hand in the sunlight and Ron called over his congratulations, catching on right away. On our way back home, I explained the ring to Riley and he told me it was perfect, just what he would expect from a sentimental old fool like me, but it was said with a kiss as we neared the library and home.

Once there I set about making a shopping list as Riley worked on his application. At about 4 PM he went into our bedroom to call his folks and I took his application to my home office, the third bedroom, and faxed it to the human resources department at the school board's office. I then went out to tend to the garden and pool while Riley talked to his folks. He was an only child and he thought that his parents would be pleased. I, on the other hand, had a ton of family but really wanted my older sister and her husband here for our big day, if I could just figure out a way to just have them here, that would be perfect. I, of course, could afford to fly them all down, even the nieces and nephews, but that wouldn't have made me happy, but my older sister and her husband and their boys were more like close friends rather than needy family. I called their house and when my sister answered I asked if she and her husband could get away for a long weekend sometime in the next two months, hopefully, the first weekend of April. She asked why the visit and I explained about falling in love with Riley and proposing with Daddy's ring. She squealed like a high school girl and said that even if Ben, her husband, couldn't get away; she'd be here with bells on. I then asked her if she had seen or read that new book, Forbidden Love, and she said she was on the waiting list at the library for it and she asked me if I knew that it had been sold to a movie studio. I explained that the movie rights were sold to the studio, but that it still belonged to the author, me. Again, I had to hold the phone away from my ear and I swore her to secrecy, telling her that the others would find out sooner or later and she was not to give out my cell number to anyone.

She agreed and told me she'd call at our regular time on Monday night. Then we ended our call and I went in search of Riley, as I was already feeling a little lost without him at my side. He was just coming out from the bedroom with another big smile on his face and I grabbed him and gave him a big smooch, asking how his call went as if I couldn't see all was well. He told me they were surprised but very happy for him, and they told him they knew he wasn't cut out for the corporate life they led and was happy he was looking forward to teaching if that was what he wanted to do. They said that they were anxious to meet this librarian he had fallen for. He hadn't told them I was the outgoing librarian and a successful author; he thought that was my news to share. I told him about the call to my sister and that I had just told her today that I was also Mike Monroe, author.

We decided to eat in, which meant that we had two hours before the grocery store down the street closed so we took my shopping list and off to Fausto's Grocery we went, walking the one block to the store. Many people greeted me as we shopped and quite a few got introduced to Riley as we went up and down aisles replenishing my larder and replacing the items already used that had survived my month away. The staff was pleased to see me at the deli counter where it had been my usual practice to stock up on barbecued ribs on Fridays and their loaded mashed potatoes when they had them. I had gotten into this habit while I was working during the day and writing at night; it cut down on the time away from the computer and I could stock up and get at least three meals a week I wouldn't have to prepare from scratch after working all day at the library. The staff all knew me there and it was a pleasure to be able to introduce Riley to them.

Once enough shopping was done to supply us with fresh food for a few days we headed back home to prepare the baked chicken thighs we had decided on. While walking home I mentioned taking Riley out for a ride in my car to get him familiar with the island and how everything was laid out, so he'd be able to get around both in the downtown area we lived in and also in the more commercial area where the big stores were located.

We talked a lot about the island and its history as we prepared dinner and also while we ate. Mark called while we were cleaning up and told me that the book had now made its way to number two in the Times bestseller list and he thought it had been due to my promotion tour. He had been told who had been approached by the studio to appear in the film version of my book and I had to admit that I was a tad surprised that they had gotten positive responses from some very well-known actors to play the main characters in the story. I asked Mark if he was free to travel down here again, around the first weekend in April and he asked what was being celebrated in town that weekend, and I told him that that was the weekend we were hoping to celebrate my wedding to my fiancé. He sounded just like my sister had, squealing like a school girl over the phone. Of course, he wanted to know how this had all developed, so I gave him the short version and he said he was jealous, that he had never in all his travels encountered love, lust maybe, but not love, especially not while flying from one location to another. He assured me that he would be here for our big day, and he couldn't wait to meet Riley.

I realized that we hadn't really set an official date yet, so Riley and I sat down with a calendar and we both agreed that the first weekend in April was the best time for both of us. We discussed a civil ceremony versus a religious one and we agreed that a civil ceremony was what we both wanted, as neither of us was very church oriented. We then had to decide on where we would wed, and I suggested the big garden right next door, the one next to the library. We walked over, and I unlocked the gate on our lane and showed him the space and he too saw how it could be a special place for us to exchange vows and become a married couple. In the meantime, I thought we should have another rehearsal of our wedding night and Riley was all for that so after locking the gate we returned to the cottage and rehearsed our brains out for the next two hours before falling asleep all snuggled up.

We spent a good part of Sunday touring the island, getting Riley familiar with where the middle school was, the large stores that serviced the residents, the movie theaters, the hospital, the botanical gardens, and the chain restaurants. It was also a chance to show him the various beaches along the island's shores, and the big marina where the ocean going yachts were docked,  the Mallory Square shopping area and the big cruise ship docks. It was a full day of touring and Riley was really good at being able to orient himself wherever we were, being able to determine where North, South, East and West were.

On Monday I returned to work and thankfully there wasn't a month's worth of work to catch up on, my assistant manager had done a very good job while I was on the book tour and again I encouraged her to take over but she just didn't want the responsibility. I heard from Human Resources that they now had three viable candidates for my job and they wanted to start formal interviews at the end of the week. I made note of that on the calendar I kept on my desk, so I'd be sure to be available for those interviews, as agreed upon at my resignation.

Riley called about 11 AM and asked what I was doing for lunch, he wondered if he could bring something over, or did I want to come home for my hour off? I really didn't have much to do so I told him I'd see him in an hour at home. We were just sitting down to eat, after a very welcoming kiss when I walked through the door, when the phone in Riley's pocket began to ring. He answered as I began to eat, and his dimples grew as he nodded and said he knew where that was and confirmed a time, set for the next day, right after lunch, 1:15 PM. The call ended, and he pocketed his cell and said to me that he had a first interview with the school department for the next afternoon.

I assured him that was a good sign, I mean they had only seen his application this morning and I also told him that if he would like to he could use the car in the garage anytime he needed to, and that the keys were kept on the hook on the door into the garage. I also asked if he needed a suit for the interview and he said he had asked the secretary that and she said slacks and a long-sleeved shirt would suffice, as they knew that he had come here for a vacation and they wouldn't hold him to such high standards under the circumstances. She told him that almost every day in the schools was a casual type of dress day, they didn't always dress up, she said.

Apparently the principal of the middle school, the woman we had talked to at the library the other day had "greased the wheels" for this interview and as Riley told me the next day, he thought she had done more than that, as she was one of the interviewers and had steered the questions to his practice teaching  semester at college and why he had enjoyed that so much, something they had already covered at the library, but that his enthusiasm about it was something she wanted the other four interviewers to hear. He was nervous about one of the male interviewers asking if he was married as he had indicated his engagement ring, but Riley said that as soon as he had asked that he (Riley) had touched the ring and the love he felt for me gave him the courage to tell the group that no, he wasn't married yet, that this was an engagement ring from his fiancé and they hoped to be married the first week of April.

The principal seemed pleased at this pronouncement and bluntly asked if he was engaged to Mike Hampshire, the manager of the library, and Riley told me he proudly replied that he was and that everyone around the table had then congratulated him, and me. I told him that the county was a very equal opportunity employer and that she had thought that by bringing it up during the initial interview there would be no surprises if there was a second interview or even later on after he got hired. I told him he had nothing to fear by being "out" in this town; it was a very gay-friendly town.

By Friday morning we both had something to celebrate. I had sat in on the initial interviews with the three applicants for my job and one of them, the front-runner, was actually a great choice and favored for the position as he had been serving as the assistant manager at the branch library in Marathon, halfway up the Keys, the chain of islands from Key West up to the mainland, all connected by the Over Seas Highway. Riley was asked for a second interview with the school department, the field had been narrowed to two he had been told, and privately I knew that it was down to two, one for the history position, and the second was Riley, for the mathematics position, but I had been sworn to secrecy. I was so proud of him though, and our lovemaking out by the pool that night was all about him.

On Sunday evening I had another 10 pages added to my new story, Riley giving me time to work on my new book as he lay on the daybed in the office reading my book. He did get up and start dinner on Sunday night as I was so engrossed in what I was writing that I had lost track of time, but when I heard him out in the kitchen and then smelt the aroma of the salmon being grilled on the stove top, well, I saved my work to the program I was using and joined him in time to help create the salad and set the table outside on the enclosed patio. An hour or so after everything was cleaned up we were strolling along Duval Street, taking in the sights and sounds of the evening and of course, people watching. We strolled along arm in arm and we stopped for an ice cream along the way, returning home about 9, stripped off and went for an evening swim, with just the minimum of lighting turned on. It was another night of great loving and this night Riley made sure it was all about me.

On Monday, late in the morning, I got word that my choice for my replacement was being offered the position this afternoon and Riley called to tell me he had been offered the mathematics teaching position at the middle school. I teasingly asked what he was going to do, and he said it wasn't what he was going to do that mattered, it was what he had done that mattered, and that was that he had accepted right off the bat and then he had asked when they wanted him to start, since there were only two more months left in the school year. They explained that they were willing to have him start as soon as possible, maybe as an observer in the classroom for the first three days. They had substitutes lined up for the rest of this month, another two weeks, and then on the following Monday he would take over the classes for the rest of the school year and the two substitutes would be released back into the substitute pool. He would then use his summer to prepare for the next full school year.

I then told him that I expected Mark(my agent) to set up another meet and greet tour for me after I was relieved of my position at the library and I had suggested that he set something up for late June or July as I hoped Riley would want to come with me. Riley said that was very doable on his part, and we could call that a honeymoon trip.

With my replacement hired and on board I began preparing him for his new position and he was an apt pupil. He and Riley got along, and we started having Bob over for dinner every couple of days, as he settled into an apartment just a block away on Elizabeth Street. Within a month he was seeing someone, a young man his own age, about the same age as Riley, and his visits with us tapered off as they too settled into a regular home life. Bob and Leo were not destined to be our "best friends", but they were a couple we could hang out with at times and enjoy each other's company at functions and out at dinner occasionally. Leo happened to work in the library as well, but the two of them had really hit it off from the moment I first introduced Bob to the entire staff the morning he started.

The week Riley started at the school was a hectic one for us. It was my last official week as a county employee and his first week as a county employee. He had a lot to talk out each evening as we prepared dinner together but by the time we hit the pool he usually found something to help him relax. He loved being in the classroom and after a few days shadowing the person he was replacing he was raring to get in front of his classes and begin to teach and teach he did. Kids he had observed struggling with math became his target and for a few weeks, he worked with them during the regular class time as the students with a good grasp of the fundamentals were assigned something a bit more challenging to do. Eventually he had peer mentoring established in his classes and those with a better grasp of what they were studying were now seated next to one of the ones struggling and by the time of the first round of testing he had almost every student in his classes at the 85 to 90 passing percentile, the ones not that high were in the 78 to 84 percentile, a marked improvement.

By the time exams at the end of the school year were given, his classes all had marked improvement in just the two months he had been teaching and not one of his students failed his classes. I gave him very special treatment the night school let out for the summer, it was also the night of the day I finished the new book, and so everything I did for Riley that night was in effect, really me getting to celebrate a little too.

Mark had kept in touch weekly and when the time had approached for our wedding weekend, seven weeks before school let out for the summer, he informed us he had booked a room at Monty's guesthouse up the street and it reminded me that we had family coming too, and we only had one guestroom in the cottage. Sure, there was a daybed in the office, but we were expecting couples, my older sister and her husband, and maybe their two boys, as well as Riley's parents, who, from what I gathered, were used to top-notch accommodations. What we did was rent the snowbird's house next to us on the lane. I called them and explained the situation and they accepted my offer to rent their unused house for a week at the beginning of April. It really was a beautiful house, the original one on the lane and fully restored. It contained four bedrooms and four baths, just right for two couples for a week.