With mom and dad gone I tried to stay as busy as possible. I spent time working out.
And fixing things around the house.
Mom loved her garden so much so I started to read up on gardening so that I could care for it like she would have.
I feed and cared for the chickens.
I have been working with Dexter to learn some obedience skills.
He is a smart boy and has learned quickly.
He has been a great comfort and sleeps beside me every night.
I have also been spending time training Shadow. We have gotten involved with show jumping.
We even managed to win first place in a beginning show jumping competition.
I have started to notice something is wrong with the maid Jaclyn. She will be cleaning and suddenly grab her stomach and start to look a little green.
A few times I have even seen her run to the bathroom and throw up.
And I have also noticed that she will break down and cry.
“Jaclyn, are you ok? I couldn’t help but notice that you just don’t seem yourself. You have been crying and getting sick.”
“I am so sorry, Mr. Equidae. Please don’t fire me. I will try harder.”
“I wasn’t planning on firing you. I just wanted to make sure you were ok. So why don’t you tell me what is wrong. Maybe I can help.”
“No one can help me. I have made such a huge mistake and I don’t what to do.”
“Tell me about it. Maybe things are not as hopeless as you think they are.”
“I work for several different families including yours. One of the families is the Chesterfields.”
Mr. and Mrs. Chesterfield are an older couple but they have a son who was in around my age and very handsome. He would talk to me while I worked.
Bring me flowers.
And give me back messages after a hard day of cleaning their huge house.
I have never gotten involved with one of my employers or their families before. It is against company policy. But I fell in love with Andrew Chesterfield.
And before long we started sleeping together. He made all sorts of promises about how he was going to tell his parents about us. He told me he loved me and that I was special.
Then one day I started feeling sick. I also realized I was late. I took a test and confirmed that I was pregnant. Andrew was away on a business trip so I decided to wait until her returned to tell him.
Then one day his mother Virginia called me in to her study to meet with her.
“You wanted to see me,” I said.
“Did you think you could hide this from me?” she asked.
I thought she was talking about her relationship with her son so I said, “No, it was never my intention to hide it from you. We were just waiting for the right time.”
“We? Whose we?”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I think I misunderstood. What do you think I was hiding from you?”
“That you are pregnant,” she said. “I will not have an unwed mother working in my home. My friends will think I approve of such behavior.”
“But, Mrs. Chesterfield, you don’t understand. The baby is . . .”
“I don’t want to hear any excuses,” she said. “You are fired. Please see my husband about your final paycheck. And don’t even think about using me as a reference.”
I was shocked. When I got to Mr. Chesterfield’s office I was surprised to see Andrew.
“Andrew, thank goodness you are home. You need to tell your mom about us. While you were gone I realized I was pregnant. Your mom doesn’t know that we are in love with one another. She fired me. Please talk to her, tell her that you love me. That we plan on being together.”
“Love you?! Are you crazy. I just said all that love junk because I wanted to get you into bed. I am engaged to Kimberly Montgomery, of the Bridgeport Montgomery’s. I was never going to be with you. You were just meant to be a little bit of fun before I get married. I bet you got pregnant on purpose. Well I am not going to let you trap me.”
I turned to run from the room but Mr. Chesterfield stopped me. He had heard the whole conversation. He offered me money to not only keep quiet but to also put an end to the pregnancy. I ripped his check up and threw the pieces in his face before storming out of the house.
After she finished her story I put my hands on her shoulders in an offer of comfort and support.
“I am sorry they treated you like that,” I said.
“The worst part is that Mrs. Chesterfield has been bad mouthing me to all of her friends. She has a lot of influence in this town so a number of my clients have been letting me go. You are actually the only one I have left. I can’t afford my place anymore. Even if I could it is a small studio with no room for a baby.”
“I have a solution,” I said. “Why don’t you just move in here.”
“But I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t want to impose.”
“You wouldn’t be imposing,” I said. “I live in this big house all alone and I admit it is often too quiet and lonely. If you want to keep working that is fine. Just think of it as a live in position. Really you would be a huge help. Between the fire station and the training I am doing with Shadow it would be great to have someone here taking care of the house.”
“Are you sure?”
“Thank you so much, Mr. Equidae. I don’t know how to ever repay you.”
“Well for starters you can stop calling me Mr. Equidae.”
Jaclyn moved in the next day. Every day while I was at work fighting fires she was at home taking care of things.
She would give Dexter his bath.
Make beds and clean the bathrooms.
One day she even raked up all of the leaves.
When she wasn’t working she was reading up on pregnancy and parenthood.
“Jaclyn, I have something for you,” I said one day when I returned home from work.
“You didn’t need to get me anything,” she said. “You have done more then enough for me already.”
“Well this wasn’t a big deal. I asked my sister for some of her old maternity clothes for you to borrow. You don’t need to keep wearing your maid uniform. It can’t be comfortable.”
She thanked me and went off to her room to look through the clothes. I could tell she was thrilled to be out of that stupid uniform.
Even though she was now in normal clothes she continued to work to “earn her keep” as she kept referring to it. She would tend to the chickens.
And one day even tackled cleaning Shadows hooves.
I decided to try to do something for her as a thank you for all she has done to make this house feel like a home again. I thought the least I could do was make her dinner.
Unfortunately I burnt my first attempt.
But my second attempt turned out well. At least I think Jaclyn enjoyed it.
A few nights later I woke to hear Jaclyn crying out from the room next door.
I raced into the room and found her in labor. I quickly got her to the hospital.
Where she gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Joy.
Joy is a wonderful little baby. I love helping with her. She seems to fill a void in my life that I have felt since leaving Sunlit Tides.
I have been trying to help out around the house more and have been working on my cooking. I think I am improving as I rarely burn anything anymore.
Not sure if it is the dry fall weather but we are having more and more fires in town lately. It has meant that I have been super busy.
Before I knew it an entire year had past and it was Joy’s birthday. I decided to surprise both her and Jaclyn by throwing Joy a birthday party.
My cooking skills are still not up to baking a cake but I got one from the store and invited all of my family.
Joy is an adorable little girl.
After the last of the guests left I was helping Jaclyn putting Joy to bed when I was surprised when she turned and kissed me. I think I was even more surprised at how it made me feel. I had thought I had fallen in love with Eve back in Sunlit Tides and even though we couldn’t be together I figured I would never have feelings for someone else. Could I have been wrong? Could I have feelings for Jaclyn?