Sex stories

Erotic fiction and short sex stories




"Little" Sister Pt. 07

Author's note: We have come to the final verse of this song. It ends with a wedding, mostly. Sex is not the point, but what else do newly-weds do? I hope you have enjoyed Siobhan's story. She is very dear to me.



Chapter 32 – Primary School

New Hampshire has two Congressional Districts. The smaller 1st District covered Manchester and the thickly populated coastal region between Massachusetts and Maine, plus some rural upstate areas. My apartment in Hooksett would have filled the residence requirements. The 2nd District covered the Capital and Nashua, but also large thinly, populated areas toward Vermont, including Hanover and Dartmouth, and up to Canada. This was my district. My official residence was the apartment in Nashua, but the district also contained Cloudrest.

It took a long time to come to terms with the state's Republican establishment, largely because Richard Webber, the Chairman of the State Committee, did not like me. It was pure bigotry, nothing personal. He didn't like Ivy Leaguers, social sciences or anyone born out of state. After years of being discriminated for my looks, my sexual preferences and my sex, he was almost refreshing.

His problem was threefold. First, the party was in a bind for a candidate in the 2nd District. Longtime Representative Howard Bass was defeated during the Presidential election. He declined to try again. Second, Mr. Webber was honest enough to know when he was being irrational. Third, he was feeling heat about not already having a good candidate.

Eventually, he agreed to meet me in a public place. We literally settled our differences over a pool table. From that point on, it was a matter of whether I would have the amount of freedom I required. In the end, the party caved for lack of viable alternatives. To say I was their last hope would only exaggerate a little. So, I enlisted to take on a family politician in the mold of the Bush's.

Everyone knows that President George W. Bush is the son of President George H.W. Bush. What is forgotten is that he is the grandson of US Senator Prescott Bush. There is a third George Bush following him in Texas politics. In New Hampshire, the incumbent was Anne Custler, daughter of Concord Mayor John Custler and State Senator Susan McLaine. Her grandfather was Governor Joseph McLaine. Several uncles and cousins were also in politics. She was a Dartmouth graduate, though she went to law school in Virginia.

First, I needed to win the primary. There were two opponents. One was a former Concord Mayor and State Representative. I should not say I dismissed him out of hand, but I did. Morgan Robertson's comment, "John Adams. Named after a President. Next." The other opponent was also a former State Representative, but with a better reputation. He was a self-made millionaire named Roscoe Anderson. He was the type of person I would want on my Congressional staff, if I ever had one.

When I decided to enter the race, time was short. I had been not-running (as opposed to not running) for a couple of months. The distinction has to do with posture. I was holding myself as a potential candidate, without declaring. There are a lot of legalities about funding and communication with Political Action Committees that change when a candidate files the formal paperwork. To the extent I could manage, my name stayed in the news and the political conversation.

After declaring, I invited both candidates to a semi-private (no press) meeting in a Concord restaurant. Both candidates confirmed my first impressions, Mr. Adams by drinking and Mr. Anderson by nursing one drink. I asked them what they would do if the expected happened—they lost the general election to Anne Custler.

I posed the question to assume that each of them won the primary. Only Mr. Anderson picked up on it. He and I exchanged a knowing glance while I explained this to Mr. Adams. He had no plan. Mr. Anderson had business interests that he would pursue. I asked him if he could see himself backing my campaign in the fall. Glancing at Mr. Adams—who had clearly lost the thread of the conversation—Mr. Anderson allowed that it was a possibility. I said, "Good." and nodded. Though it was never formalized, we had agreed to fight fair and support the winner.

I stated earlier that New Hampshire's Republican party was desperate for a good candidate. Mr. Anderson was not a good candidate because he had a speech impediment. You have only to watch The King's Speech to understand how difficult this made things. I undertook the campaign with misgivings, because of this basic unfairness. It quieted my mind when Mr. Anderson and I reached our understanding. We are friends to this day.

Concerning the actual campaign, I was in luck in one regard. Cloudrest had become an event. Knowing that any broadcast of related programming would not be allowed during the campaign, three networks rushed their coverage to air between the holidays. The luck had to do with a regional show wanting a follow-up interview. Thus, I was on New England Today just hours before my formal announcement. It was the perfect opportunity to mention my part in Sheila's wedding. Concord's ABC station ran the clip as part of their coverage of my announcement.

After the New Year, we had a debate. This is unusual for Congressional campaigns, and very unusual during the primaries. Television ratings would not justify the expense. I proposed an online debate, with text responses rather than verbal. Mr. Anderson jumped at the chance. Mr. Adams came along rather than be left out. He might have been better off if he had passed.

Nothing in the questions was really unexpected. I had the usual questions about my family and childhood in New Jersey, my sexual preferences and general lack of experience. I had answers prepared. Mr. Anderson had questions about his speech impediment and lack of education. In my rebuttal time, I mentioned that Sheila and Francine both had high school educations. Uneducated did not mean stupid any more than a degree meant smart.

Mr. Adams immediately proved the second half when he considered a college degree the minimum. Mr. Anderson asked if more was better. Mr. Adams answered that it was, only to be reminded of the letters after my name. New Hampshire is proud of having an Ivy League University. A better man might have recovered, but Mr. Adams essentially quit at that point.

The rest of the debate was almost enjoyable in a kaffeeklatch sense. At a keyboard, Mr. Anderson was quite witty. I particularly liked when he asked if I was suited to take office, or only for a wedding. I answered with a comment about make-overs and their impact on self-perception. When he did not fire back a response, I knew I had him.

The immediate impact of the debate was mixed. I told my people to wait it out. Sure enough, both Mr. Adams and Mr. Anderson soon reduced campaign spending. I had another dinner meeting with Roscoe Anderson. He thanked me for not taking cheap shots at his disability. I told him I felt the same about my own limitations. We shared a laugh and all was forgotten. I still consult his opinion.

The press would have it otherwise, which it is why press coverage should be suspect. If one believed the coverage, Mr. Adams was my principal rival and Mr. Anderson was implacably hostile. I suppose it would make the reporting easier if these things were true. It is sufficient to say they were not.

I won the primary with a comfortable 51-37-10 edge. That meant I would face Anne Custler in November. On one hand, Mrs. Custler was doing a reasonable job in her first term. On the other hand, she had been elected on the coattails of a Democratic President, who was increasingly unpopular.

Chapter 33 – And They're Off

For the first few months, nothing would have mattered. I gave speeches and interviews, attended rallies, fairs, livestock shows and anything else with a stage. I could not really attack Mrs. Custler's record because she did not have one. On several normally controversial issues, e.g. gay and lesbian rights, we had the same position. I tried to pick at her few public statements and get her to poke her head out in the open. Time and money spent talking to Thomas Riley produced nothing better.

Through the late spring and summer, it was very tedious. I had little money coming in and only my own time as a resource. Though the national picture was looking good for the Republican party, I was not their fair-haired girl. Their money went to more promising situations. We made jokes about trying to spin straw into video cable, but only managing an elephant's tail.

As a sidelight, we played word games with my opponent's name. There were many unfortunate possibilities, "Custler Fuck" being the most obvious. I gave strict orders to never use the phrase, even in-house. However, using "CF" in a graphic was fair game, as were any rhyming words (can you believe there was a professional hockey team called the Ducks?). We had contests to see who could come up with the wittiest play on Mrs. Custler's name. My personal favorite was, "No AC to DC", which I had printed on bumper stickers.

If it seems childish, it was. Through most of the spring and summer, I was down at least 20% in polling. Since my personal money was also tight, I spent almost as much time in Concord on business as I had the year before. That is why I was in Concord when the raw sewage encountered the rotating ventilation blade. My part was was being sandbagged by a scandal on live local news. The bit would later win an award.

As scandals go, it was small change. Mrs. Custler's son was pulled over for running a stop sign. The moving violation escalated to driving under the influence of narcotics and marijuana possession. Candace Williams was Concord's alternative to 60 Minutes. She liked to surprise politicians and attorneys on live television, typically using closely held information. I was getting my morning coffee when she accosted me. Like the day I did my orals at Dartmouth, poor poker faces gave me a heads up.

ABC local reporter: This is Candace Williams. I am with Republican candidate Jo Richards. Ms. Richards, what is your reaction to Conrad Parsons' arrest early this morning?

Me: I assume you are asking me because you think it has some bearing on the campaign. Why do you think that?

CW: You do not think it is important that your opponent's son was arrested for possession of narcotics?

Me: I take it you are referring to a small amount of marijuana as 'narcotics'. While I do not condone his actions, Mr. Parsons is an adult. He will deal with the justice system as an adult, not as his mother's son. Other than as a distraction for Mrs. Custler, I do not see it as having a bearing on her campaign. I plan to make no mention of it.

CW: So you have no comment?

Me: No. I made my comment. Other than as a distraction to Mrs. Custler, I do not see Mr. Parson's arrest as having an impact. Was there anything important?

As it played, it was fun. I picked up the bit about marijuana from one of the camera crew. After I handled the question smoothly, he asked his buddy, "I wonder who tipped her off." The question came up repeatedly. My stock answer was that I read my response off the teleprompter.

Candace Wilson was good at constructing traps. Most had at least two jaws. She would ambush the person of interest while someone else did the person's business or family. My offices were staked out. The lack of activity was a story in itself. When a reporter floated the question, my staff looked baffled because they knew nothing. By the time I arrived, the question was who had leaked what to whom?

The story of the day became the story that got away. Since my interview ran live, there was no way to retract it. It was out there and we had a copy. After I won the election, it was submitted for an award, which probably embarrassed Ms. Williams. Still, if you look at the news coverage—print, blog or video—it was a blip. My short comment was well received. I even had a thank you call from Mrs. Custler.

Behind the scenes it was an earthquake, with aftershocks that kept coming. Thomas Riley was over the top in love with the way I handled the question. He told me he could stir the pot, but it was probably better to leave it alone. My opponent's judgment was called into question. The less I was involved the better.

After the first cycle of commentary, observers started to wonder why I had not made hay. My spot decision to downplay everything was called into question. From the start, Tommy disagreed with that view. Slowly, the public view turned, as Tommy predicted. Among arraignment, hearings, pleading and sentencing, the story took over a month to wind down. Mrs. Custler took significant damage, while I stayed very publicly hands off. By the sentencing, I polled within five points and was closing. The spread was down to two percent the day before voting. The last bit of the margin was outside my control.

You know what happened that year. The midterm elections were a disaster for the Democrats. Republicans voted, while Democrats stayed home. The big story was the Republican's failure to take control of the US Senate. That would wait til the next midterm. One of the side stories was the that the Republicans did take control of the House. I was one of the sixty-nine freshman Representatives. Huzzah.

It was not particularly close. The polling had narrowed to two percent, but I still trailed. Tommy told me to have hope, because unpublished numbers were looking good. This proved an understatement. For my race, I knew early that I would likely win. The writing was on the wall when I took a couple of Democrat-leaning precincts in Concord and Nashua. Mrs. Custler called about eleven PM. When she conceded, she thanked me for being gracious and fair.

I put the machine on record and went to bed. The only call I took was from the President, because I had a special ringtone set up for the White House. This was not ego. It is traditional for the President to congratulate every new member of Congress. I felt for the guy. He had to congratulate sixty-six new Republican Representatives, versus only three new Democrats. That had to suck rocks.

Chapter 34 – Opening, Presents

As with being elected Alderman, it did not feel quite real the next morning. The media felt quite convinced. I was still in a bathrobe at the first knock on my door. Rather than put up a fuss, I told them I would have a small news conference on my patio. The rules were no more than six, including a blogger from each side, a local reporter, and both print and video. They could share feed and headlines. I unwound to allow two cameramen.

In this, I had an ulterior motive. Most of them were freelance, likely from out of state. It was November in New Hampshire. I could keep it short without complaints. It was the first day I really appreciated having a penthouse apartment. Rather than a small porch, I had a rooftop patio. Six floors above the street, there was a stiff breeze blowing. Slowing things down, the cameras needed care and tending. I was comfortable in my trademark sealskin coat and a wool cap. Most of the reporters had light coats or jackets.

I started by thanking Mrs. Custler for running a clean campaign. The two New Hampshire reporters snorted at that, but it was true. The rest was the standard Academy Award speech, thanking everyone in sight. I expressed hope for a productive term in office and commented that the President had called with congratulations. By the time I finished my opening remarks, most of them were ready to leave. They asked just two questions, neither worth mentioning.

Back inside, I gave everyone a stiff shot of Irish whiskey before sending them out. One remarked to another that he thought I was supposed to be new at the political game. I had to bite my tongue. Woodrow Wilson learned politics at the University of Virginia, not in Washington.

The lone woman in the cluster lagged behind and caught my eye. I figured I could loosen up enough to talk to her. I glanced at my watch and held up five fingers. She nodded and followed the crowd out. When she returned, I told her I was not giving an interview. Instead, I would return a favor by giving her contacts.

Starting with my hometown political reporter, Frank Costello, I covered how I came be standing where I was. I highlighted Mimi, Drs. Gupta, Steele, Kerlinov, Morgan and Veronica. Along the way, I mentioned Beacon Light Project, Francine, MBC&L, Paroles and Pardons and the Manchester bridge project. I also warned that Elspeth handled most of my personal correspondence. I hoped she was recording, because I had no intention of repeating myself. As she left, she said she always wanted to meet someone important on their way up. Years later I remembered the line, but not her name.

The rest of the day was about my businesses. When my election was confirmed, the shit hit the wall. I may have been thinking about possible futures, where I was not around, but no one else had been. When I said that I had planned ahead, you would not believe their level of relief. Truth be told, most of my de facto Board of Directors assumed I would always be there to second guess their decisions. Surprise! I would not even be at Board Meetings. Sean calls it the stress test.

It took a while, but everyone started to cope. Veronica was the slowest. Eventually, she understood she had even footing with a career politician like Morgan Robertson and career military like Harold Richards. That had to be eye opening. Veronica was much more in tune with manipulating the system than with running it. It made her one of my most effective brakes. She could see all the potential abuse before we had to endure it. If Veronica vetted a project, it stayed vetted.

The social dynamics of my company would be a publishable paper, if I ever chose to write it. Initially, Morgan Robertson and Richard Harold formed an uneasy alliance. Between them, they would shape an idea to float past Veronica. If Veronica got on board, Vivian would crunch the numbers. If those made sense, the thing worked. Otherwise, chaos. I could not have planned it better, even given a year and a dozen graduate assistants to run data.

It came as a bit of a rush when I realized my approval was still the bottom line. As a Representative, my involvement was strongly curtailed by law. Yet, everything was structured to gain my approval. "What would Jo do?", was the fundamental question behind every decision. Vivian may have started the phrase, because it was common during the wedding preparations. That said, it could not last. In practice, Morgan Robertson eventually emerged as the CEO, in all but name. I always wondered if this was what she had in mind from the start.

I spent the holidays in New Jersey, where things were simpler. After eleven years at the top, Sean was very secure in his CEO chops. He could relax and spend some time with family. Just like during our school years, Sean supported me above and below the line. One small part was to sublet me an apartment that Richards Enterprises kept in Alexandria, Virginia. I moved there between Christmas and New Year.

Representative Leonard was a Godsend. He walked me through the complex orientation process and helped with much of the housekeeping. His staff went a long way toward forming my own. One of his deputies, Vincent Jackson, became my new office manager. Between the two of them, I claimed a decent place in the pecking order.

When the shakeout was finished, I had one of the better offices in the middle ranked office building. My committee was Small Business, but I also had a sub-committee of the important Ways and Means committee. That was Human Resources, chaired by Chuck Boustany of Louisiana. Representative Leonard told me that Mr. Boustany was not long for Congress. As freshmen Representatives go, I did well in my assignments.
To me, a larger interest was Siemens International. Lars was permanently assigned to the New York office. While no one would ever confirm the relationship, this happened three days after the elections. He would take his new position two weeks after I was sworn into office. That early in my first session, I could not leave Washington. Lars was equally tied up in Manhattan. At least I could help with that. Given my connections, I expected to find a good real estate agent, so I made some calls. I was not expecting Donald Trump to call back.

My relationship with the Donald is ironic when you consider his later run for President. At the time, he was two years removed from almost running. I think Rudy Giuliani talked him out of it, but no one is likely to ever know for sure. In any event, Donald Trump is in real estate and also in entertainment. Francine asked him to call. I always assumed Sheila told Francine, but I never asked.

On the phone, Donald Trump was warm and witty, which you would expect from a salesman. He gave me the name of a condominium broker. I gave him Vincent's direct line. I explained that I needed to go to the City to meet Lars. The Donald promised us dinner. It was an enjoyable conversation.

In Washington, things were less friendly. All the freshmen Republican Representatives were herded into several "orientations", which were more like indoctrinations. Some of it was good. One of the speakers was former Representative JC Watts, who is black. He spoke of how the Congressional Black Caucus refused to allow him membership. I was already getting the cold shoulder from feminist groups, even ones I agreed with.

Outside the office, I was able to join up with the rest of New Hampshire's Republican delegation—1st district Representative Frank Guinta and Senator Kelly Ayotte. Former Senator John Sununu took the three of us to dinner at Smart's Chop House near Capital Hill. It was rather like dining with Francine, because of the way they each worked the crowd. The thought was comforting.

Eventually, the first push of the session wound down. There was a two-week break, beginning March 14th. I flew to Liberty International in Newark. I expected to meet Lars, Elspeth, Sean and Sheila. Instead, there was a crowd—Lars, Elspeth and my family from New Jersey, of course, plus senior employees from Boston and New Hampshire, Francine, Jason and their son, and a few others. Sean told everyone dinner was on him. In Newark, that meant paella.

As you might imagine, there was no chance to get alone time with Lars. Given that we were going to Casa de Espana, I could cope. Senior Ortiz had the true touch with a paella pan. Introducing Lars would be a privilege, but first things first. Once everyone was settled, Sean introduced Lars to Cindy. She asked, "Are you older than my Daddy? You grew up more."

Sean said, "No, Honey. Grown ups stop growing. We call them that because they have grown up as tall as they can. Lars grew taller before he stopped. That's why Jo is going to marry him. She needed someone to look up to." I did not know whether to laugh or punch him. My turn.

I said, "Cindy, it is not a person's height that makes you look up to them, except in the most boring sense. Many people look up to Francine. Your father even looked up to her once, before he married your mother. Mommy is the one to look up to. She will never show you wrong."

Cindy screwed her face in concentration. After a minute (literally), she nodded once. "Nanny CC looks up to Mommy, but Mommy looks up to Daddy. Doesn't Daddy look up to Mommy too?" She was four.

I said, "That's right. The best relationships are when both people look up to the other. Your Daddy has to be really special, for your Mommy to look up to him, because your Mommy is really special." Once again, Cindy gave a firm single nod. That settled, I looked around. No tears were falling, but eyes glistened around the table.

Francine said, "Damn Skippy, no wonder they pay you to talk." It was the best compliment I ever heard Francine Martel give anyone. I blushed. She said, "Don't let it go to your head. You have a long ways to go before you catch me."

I said, "I'll remember that, next time I need to pick you up." I once inverted Francine out a second story window.

Francine blanched. Sheila looked reproachful, but Christine mimed a camera shooting. Francine turned even whiter. Christine had videoed that event. Fortunately, we were interrupted by food.

Hours later, Lars had questions about the conversation. His written English was fluent, but his verbal skills lagged behind. Rather than explain, I pulled out my phone and replayed the conversation several times. Once he sorted all the references, Lars asked if this sort of arcana was normal. I told him it was, unless Sheila played. Lars was dubious that anyone would be that much better than the rest. Someday he would find out for himself. I hoped his ego survived.

Instead, I told Lars of the first time Sheila and Cindy met Adele Cabot. Cindy was a precocious two-year-old. She would ask a question about something in the room. Sheila would look at Adele, who generally nodded permission. Sheila would explain what the object was, often with comments about manufacture or something unique about the specific object.

For example, Cindy asked about the silver tea set. Sheila explained that it was a tea service, made by hand, in Boston, by the famous patriot Paul Revere. She paused while Adele supplied the year, then went on to discuss how silver ingot would be hammered thin, then shaped over a mold.

A few items had history specific to the Cabot family, e.g. Henry Cabot-Lodge's walking stick. In these cases, Adele would supply the answer. Invariably there was a drawing, painting or photograph which showed the item. Sheila pointed them all out. In one sepia colored photograph, Sheila pointed out a detail that caused Adele's brows to rise. Either Adele had not noticed, or almost no one else had.

The four of us were in the parlor from two PM til dinner was served at six. I said no more than ten words, mostly yes or no. As we prepared to leave, Adele asked Sheila to call her by name. Sheila thanked Adele for their conversation, though they had not spoken to each other.

Lars nodded understanding as I related this. His own great-grandmother had a reputation similar to Adele's. Reading between lines, Lars was one of her favorites. I resolved to introduce him to Adele, but that was for another day. More pressing were plans for the wedding.

I already had sufficient experience with big weddings. Sean and Sheila's enormous party was enough for two lifetimes. As an alternative, I suggested a judicial marriage in New Jersey. Representative Leonard was a judge before running for Congress. He was still authorized to perform weddings in his former judicial district. It would be easy to control the crowd and the press. For comparison, Donald Trump already offered the bridal suite at Trump Taj Mahal. Thanks, but no thanks. That was topical, because we were about to dine with the Donald.

I wanted to do dinner at Civitano's, but Donald Trump was showing us off. We had the command table at India House. The list of political, legal and financial people we met was intended to impress. It backfired on the Donald, because a full third of them had either been at the dinner in White Plains or worked closely with someone who attended.

The phrase of the evening was, "You may not remember me, but we met..." It was the perfect segue to, "This is my fiancé, Lars Gunter. He is the new systems manager with Siemens Financial." Business cards passed back and forth. After the fourth or fifth one, Mr. Trump asked how I knew Georg Karl.

Lars answered, "When we engaged became, my senior managers were, hmm, distressed. I, a meeting arranged. Herr Karl was with my Jo most impressed. He, my judgment commended."

It was the first time I ever heard him call me "my Jo", but it sounded habitual. In old Scottish, "jo" means dear or darling. Robert Burns used it in his poetry. As pet names go, one that translates "my Dear" is pretty harmless, at least from a spouse.

I had a warm feeling, but I had missed what Donald Trump was saying. So, I cocked an eyebrow. Rather than repeat himself, the Donald sat back in his chair and folded his arms. If you watch the show you know the pose. It is rarely bad for the person that inspires it.

He said, "He did. That crusty Prussian bastard called you impressive. And he was right. You worked the room for Lars better than I worked it for you. Too bad I can't have you on my show. You would kick ass."

After dinner, we went to a club for drinks. Still, it was before one AM when we arrived at Lars' hotel on Duane Street, in the Financial District. It was too late for me to spend the night, but I stayed the rest of the morning. We even managed some sleep, though not much.

For a while, I thought I managed to get pregnant. Oh well.

Chapter 35 – House and Housing

One thing about my whirlwind life was the trail of residences. I had, and still have, the Residence in New Jersey. My time in New Haven, Boston, Hanover and Hooksett had apartments, though the leases had expired. Not so Nashua, Concord and DC. I had active leases in all three. What's more, I used them all. The penthouse in Nashua was my official New Hampshire residence. The one in Concord was very useful. The one near Washington was necessary.

All that paled beside Cloudrest. After spending my time with Lars, Elspeth and I drove to New Hampshire. While we were in Nashua, I made time for a walk-through of Cloudrest. For a change, this tour was guided. Dr. James Lu of Yale was the official architect. Quentin, Maneesen & Cox did the hands on work, as general contractor and engineer. James Maneesen showed us around in person. \wile I had invested a year on the campaign trail vast changes had taken place.

The first thing I noticed was the pier. It was designed to handle a river barge and wide enough for forklifts. There was even a powered hoist. Upstream, the small boat dock had been updated with driven pilings and a handrail, but it bore a strong resemblance to the original Boy Scout project. Between the docks and the house, little else was familiar. A wide path, covered with crushed granite, wound up from the pier. Above the dock was a run of stairs, leading to a gravel covered walk.

When the crown of the hill became visible, my first thought was of log cabins. Mr. Maneesen later corrected me to log buildings, which is a more permanent structure. The ones I saw were the garage and machine shop. They were built on the site of the original hay barn and stable, because the underlying rock was most level there. During colonial times, they did not have our technology, but they were not stupid.

The garage was quite large, with room for at least five cars. At that time, it was used for generator trailers and equipment storage. One bay could handle a mobile home. It housed the satellite and uplink equipment. Next to it was the machine shop. I guessed this was for the metal work the blacksmiths could not do. There was a back door, with a path worn through the grass to the smithy.

That was another thing. When I was last on the hill, the smithy was just completed. This time there was smoke rising from the chimney and the clanging of hammer on anvil was common. Behind the building was a rail, to which three horses or mules were tethered. At a guess, we had a farrier working. Cool. I was about to investigate, when I saw a man waving. Elspeth waved back.

James Maneesen was about fifty-five. He was big, maybe 190 cm (6'3") and at least 115 kg (255 lbs). However, he did not move like someone that stayed behind a desk. After greetings were exchanged, he started pointing out the new construction. It seemed that rebuilding the house required several new structures. While temporary shelters could have been used, why not make an episode of a show?

PBS, Discovery, TLC, History channel, HGTV, TBS, even ESPN had gotten in on the project. I asked about ESPN. Lumberjacking was a recognized sport. Felling a seasoned hardwood tree with an ax or handsaw is not my idea of fun, but evidently someone thought so. The big gun was HGTV. They not only had shows about design competitions and house remodeling, they also had shows about logging and log house construction.

Mr. Maneesen introduced us to David Bromstad, one of HGTV's big stars. He had hosted an entire season of room design competitions for the big house. If you want details, go to the reruns of the season titled "New Hampshire Manor." My favorite is episode five, "Country Dining." It was where our tour started.

The kitchen was rustic, with both a wood stove and an LP gas stove. LP gas suppliers were a sponsor, so this was a theme. One pantry had been converted to a walk-in refrigerator and freezer. The refrigeration ran on LP gas. The central heat was LP, as were the on-demand water heaters. Most of the fireplaces had LP space heaters. There were even working gas sconces for lighting.

In the next room, David (he was easy to call by name) had done a fresco mural on one wall. The eight remaining contestants worked, in teams of four, to furnish and decorate the room for dining. The eventual winner of the season found a pair of enormous antique doors. The ornate central panels were framed as decorations. The rest was used to frame a large piece of countertop granite, to make a tabletop. Fully assembled, the table was gorgeous, indestructible and nearly immobile, weighing over half a ton.

After the massive table, the thing that caught my attention was the woodwork. It was everywhere. The oldest part of the Residence dated from the same period, but it was nothing like this. That was all native oak. This was oak, maple and black walnut, accented with beech, black cherry and hickory. The workmanship was not as good as in New Jersey, but the wealth of wood was amazing.

David saw where my eye was drawn. He told me everyone had the same reaction, sooner or later. I was ahead of the curve. Even the flooring was over the top. Normal upscale construction of the period was joined quarter sawn floorboards, usually pine. Cloudrest's common floors were jointed oak boards. Public areas used mixed woods. The main Parlor was tiger striped in beech and black walnut. There was an eight-foot wide starburst pattern inlaid in front of the main staircase. I had never noticed either under a century of grime and dust.

Paneling was even worse. At the Residence, the oak panels were quarter sawn but nothing more exotic. At Cloudrest, most of the paneling was rift sawn tiger maple, flavored with other woods. The trims were also of several different woods, including one I had never seen. When I asked, David became quiet for a moment. It was American Chestnut. A fungal blight in the late 19th and early 20th century had wiped out the mature trees. Heartwood like this was almost non-existent.

There was stonework as well, though not nearly as much. The kitchen floor was slate, as were the floors in front of the fireplaces. All the fireplace mantels and the entrance steps were granite, possibly from the property. Most of the fireplaces were simple fired brick, but the Parlor repeated the tiger stripe theme in limestone and slate.

More important were the exceptionns. The unpaneled walls were plaster, almost all of it crumbling. Many of these walls were removed to facilitate flow. The rest were stripped and redone. In keeping with the general theme, plaster had been manufactured on-site, using a traditional limestone and kiln method. The resulting wet wall was perfect for fresco painting. Enter David Bromstad.

David was an artist. He had used my whole house as his canvas. I was very grateful he was good at it, though a couple were a little crazy. Since he was there, showing me his work, I realized he craved validation like every other artist. I told him he was going to have to leave the frescoes in place. Pulling whole walls for a museum exhibit was not going to happen. He took me seriously for a moment, then started laughing.

What can I say about the rest of the house? It was not the way I would have done it. So what? Elspeth was my style guru. She had signed off on all of the work. You can see the pictures on HGTV's website. When it was done, I would have a furnished, six bedroom historical landmark, and much more.

David turned us back over to Mr. Maneesen. We pulled on coats and went outside again. Next to the Woodshop was the saw mill. The big ripping blade was installed early in the spring, because heavy timbers were the first necessity of the house. Once that was done, the permanent mill was constructed. In addition to the big ripping blade, a row of table saws cut normal sized boards for the kiln. Again, compressed air was used instead of electric power.

We took a quick look at the Woodshop and another into the kiln. Between the kiln and the smithy was row upon row of stacked firewood. Mr. Maneesen explained that Elspeth wanted normal commercial operations to begin as soon as possible. Tree removal had long been a priority, which meant large piles of trimmings. Cloudrest Firewood was a going concern, selling two boatloads a week to the citizens of Nashua.

Not all of the wood was sold. Some of it was boiling maple sap. The gathering of the sap was the subject of at least three shows. The copper rendering pans were a fourth. Cloudrest brand syrup would be available in another month. Mr. Maneesen said that inquiries for specialty hardwoods were getting serious. Demand from the shows had been substantial, but that was mostly complete. Cloudrest Mills would soon be selling to the public.

I was finally starting to understand that Mr. Maneesen had a problem he wanted me to solve. He did not own Cloudrest, I did. Too many of his decisions were at ownership level. Elspeth could cover some of it, but the decisions were becoming commercial, which was not her strength. Since I was tied to Washington, I needed a site manager right away. I would also need a house manager by summer. There was more, but those were the highlights.

In terms of the tour, we had covered most of the major items. The apple/cherry orchard had been difficult, but now looked like an orchard. A lot of the wood had been used in the various show, while apple firewood sold at a premium price because it scented the air. Elspeth told me that an Amish orchardman would be visiting soon, to supervise the final pruning. That was one more commercial project outside of Mr. Maneesen's purview. I could see why he was antsy.

A more pleasant prospect was at the far end of the trail. I had envisioned a picnic area near Knob Point, with a boathouse below. The path was unimproved but well worn. A lot of foot traffic had come this way. Still, what was at the end took me by surprise. There was a gazebo, as expected. Atop it, there was an observation deck, covered by a cupola. The view from the deck was worth every cent someone spent. I could see all the way to the County Courthouse in Nashua, which meant I could see Cloudrest from downtown. Cool.

I asked why the trail continued down the slope. Mr. Maneesen said that this was the best fishing spot on the property. The inlet was full of darters and sunfish, particularly the oddly named pumpkinseed. Naturally, larger predator fish, such as bass, would hang around. In addition, there were various overhangs, which catfish favored. Fish and Wildlife would be doing a salmon spawning report in a few weeks. Some Atlantic salmon had been spotted the previous spring.

The bad news was that the boathouse was still only an idea. Mr. Maneesen agreed this was an excellent location, aside from the impact on fishing. However, none of the producers had wanted to cover the costs of construction. It made me wonder how much money I had saved on the house. Other than the initial purchase, I had only invested about $100,000 more. Much of that was for the Woodshop, where I had supplied building materials, and the driveway. Yet, in another year, I would have a sizable home and at least three businesses going.
We went back to the main house. Other than the beginnings of the water project, we had seen all the work. Elspeth and I thanked Mr. Maneesen for his time. I promised to have someone on-site soon. To that end, I suggested getting one of the rooms ready for a resident. When I asked Elspeth which room she and Trip wanted, her mouth fell open. It was not the first time I had struck her speechless, but it may have been the record for time.

I explained to Mr. Maneesen that I intended to offer the site manager position to Elspeth's fiancé. Until a room was ready, they could have the apartment in Nashua. I warned him that Trip was not the most politic of persons, that he would have a fountain of ideas and that he would assume everything would be done his way.

Mr. Maneesen was getting nervous. I told him that Trip would respect boundaries, provided they were sufficiently clear, and that he would assume immediate responsibility for any commercial decisions. This brought considerable relief. I also told him that Elspeth would be available to act as his liaison, at least by email or phone. Then we took our leave.

On the boat, crossing the river, Elspeth asked me when I decided to put Trip in charge. I told her at the orchard. She stared at me. I said, "Trip would have done something very similar. Sean does it all day. Do not worry about it, because you need to plan a move. Trip can have the apartment, at least til there is room in the house. Keep me a guest room." That apartment is still their official residence. The room at Cloudrest is just their room, not their home.

The apartment in Concord did not work out as neatly. If it had been suitable for company use, I might have had the company pick it up. Unfortunately, it was a badly furnished starter apartment. Since I was not going to use it, likely no one would. Eventually, I just let the lease expire. It was too bad the nicer place in Hooksett was already gone. That's life.

Concord also underscored my growing celebrity. Before the election, I was often the topic of conversation at the Capital building. As a seated Representative, everything stopped when I was around. At FDC, it was even worse. By law, I was restricted from taking an active role in company management. That made my visit something of a farewell tour. We have words like "bittersweet" to describe such things.

After Concord, I squeezed in a few hours in Nashua, setting up my official US Representative office. As luck would have it, it was in the same building as Edward Gregg, the accountant I met the first day I investigated the Nashua real estate market. I considered dropping in on him, but decided to handle it through his aunt. Edna Gregg was the first of my lady's circle ladies. She was thrilled to hear the news.

On the way back to Washington, I managed a few more hours with Lars. We set Memorial Day weekend for our wedding. The actual wedding would be on the 27th, with a reception at the Residence on the 28th. That put Sean and Sheila one day ahead of us, which I thought was appropriate. Lars joked that we could also do it on the houseboat. Just thinking about the bobbing catwalk made my stomach turn.

In the end, there was very little hug and cuddle time. We sat in the back of my Infiniti, doing some heavy petting, when my monthly arrived. I rarely swear, but that time I was tempted. Not only did it ruin the time I had with Lars, it proved I was not pregnant. Instead, we went to the nearest drugstore, so I could restock on pads. The checker was about eight months along. Sigh.

Back in Washington, everything seemed to revolve around the situations in North Africa. In what become known as Arab Spring, a wave of violent protests swept the region. There was much debate as to whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. As a PhD in Sociology, my opinion was regularly sought. When a position opened in the Middle East and North Africa subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs committee, I was plugged in over several more senior people.

For a while, it was like being back at school. My reading list was brutal. I suspect most Representatives would have had their staff do it. Tempting as that was, I was by far the best-qualified person in my office. I did the reading and let my staff cover everything else. A series of major tornadoes was a respite, though not a welcome one. My diligence paid off quickly. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, asked me to read her brief on regions showing signs of violence.

She and I were already familiar. Ileana was one of the strongest Republican supporters of gay and lesbian rights. She had literally welcomed me to the Capital with open arms. In foreign affairs, she had a long history of humanitarian efforts in various parts of the world, which led her to be selected as the first Republican head of the Foreign Affairs committee since 2007. Repressive regimes she could handle. Serious fighting was not her cup of tea.

It showed. Ileana's positions were all over the map. Many of them could be reduced to hand-wringing. When she asked my opinion, I did not try to spare her feelings. She went very cold. While she did not cut our meeting short, nothing more was accomplished. It took her a week to thaw. By then she had made some comments she would eventually be forced to retract. As often happens in Washington, the apology came in the form of an invitation.

The event was nothing much. Ileana was speaking at an LGBT fundraiser. During the course of Q & A, she introduced me as another Republican who supported equal treatment and same-sex marriage. This was greeted with skepticism. I eventually resorted to some before makeover pictures and invited them to see the Army boots in my office. However, the thing that turned the trick was the men's suit I wore at the wedding. Go figure.

In any event, Ileana and I became close. Herself a PhD, in higher education, she respected what I had done academically. I became a regular part of her circle of advisers and sat on several foreign policy hearings over much more senior Representatives. Since Arab Spring dominated the rest of the year, this gave me a very high profile for a freshman Representative.

Socially, Ileana became my Cuban mother. She's in my wedding pictures. My birth mother is not.

Chapter 36 – By the Power Vested in Me,...

People look at the six-figure salary of a Congressman and think they are sitting pretty. Hah. My miserable two bedroom apartment was two thousand a month. I spent another six hundred a month on garage space, not to mention what I paid Johnson. At some point I would need to entertain, which meant serious money on rentals and such. Ileana helped me through a lot of this, as did Representative Leonard.

My wedding was a chance to pay some of it back. The actual wedding was at the Morris County courthouse. We exchanged wedding bands and made our vows. My witnesses were Sheila, Elspeth and Ileana. Sean stood for Lars. Judge Leonard officiated. In retrospect, I was calling Ileana by her first name almost from the start. I never became informal with Representative Leonard. Even at our wedding, he was The Judge.

The Residence staff went all out for the reception. I sort of understood. Everyone that worked on Sean and Sheila's wedding had stories to tell grandchildren. It was a lot of work, which they did, yet I received the lion's share of the credit. Even Sean, who runs a billion dollar company, sings my praises. I only did what needed doing. I never tried to be popular, but for some reason I was.

Unlike Sean and Sheila's wedding, the weather was bad. I have no idea what we would have done with less than perfect weather that whole week. For my wedding, the bulk of the plans were indoors. The biggest loss was the patio seating. It meant dining tables needed to be set up on the dance floor. Still, even Francine did not complain about the quantity of food.

The first real surprise was when Francine announced Michael Foxworth and his orchestra. Dr. Foxworth directed the first wedding dressed as John Phillip Sousa. For Lars and me, he did Glen Miller, including the trombone. The party was World War II swing, which had to be a dig at my German spouse. Lars and I could cope. Besides, it was fun. Francine even sang a few show tunes for us.

Unlike Sean and Sheila, who spent half their honeymoon in airplanes, we had only a short drive to Manhattan, where we did it all again. Siemens and Lars' family went together for a Sunday afternoon white tie and tails reception at the Plaza. Once again, Francine acted as MC, this time in an outrageous flapper outfit.

The music was provided by an exceptional band, which turned out to be our gift from Pedro de la Garza. From Sheila, I received a note, two garment bags and an enlarged photograph. The note said I should ask for a package marked with my married name. The bags contained my long lavender gown from their wedding and a glittery above-the-knee gown in midnight blue. For me, this was beyond daring.

The photograph was of Lars and myself, riding carousel ponies. Lars had an evil grin, while I looked scandalized. What made the picture memorable was the suit I was wearing. It was a modified British men's morning suit, which I still had. The photo was also a challenge, since I was not presented in a flattering manner. In fact, I was acting like a girl. Trust Sheila to show me as feminine, while dressed in masculine clothing. Damn, that woman is good.

Once I followed all the convolutions, there was only one thing to do. I asked a hotel staffer to get the package and gave the picture to Lars, so he could install it at the gift table. I took the short, slinky blue dress to a changing room. Thank God I wore dance heels, because in that gown I would never get off the floor. At least I would get to see Francine's expression. Sheila likes to spring things on her too.

The first hurdle was that the gown could not be donned alone. Fortunately, there was a female hotel staffer nearby. Knowing Sheila, that was no coincidence. The second hurdle was the design of the dress. A card said that straps were optional. I am full figured. Strapless would work, but there would be the constant fear of a malfunction because strapless is also braless.

I trusted Sheila and took off the bra. Getting the gown zipped up was a challenge, but the clamp on my ribs was reassuring. That was Sheila again. She loves corsets and bustiers. Once everything was in place, my assistant showed me something small that I had missed—a garter belt and stockings. Damn. She licked her lips as I pulled off my pantyhose and panties. The hose I discarded. The panties would go on over the garter stays. What's the point of good black lace if you cannot take it off?

While I was at it, I stuck a couple of fingers in to check the oil. I was not fully lubricated, but well on the way. I held my damp fingers under my assistant's nose. Her name tag said Patricia. She surprised me by reaching her head forward and licking my fingers. I allowed her to suck on them for a moment, while I decided what to do. It was almost too easy.

I held out my hand. There was a momentary battle of wills, while Patricia pretended to not know what I meant. When her eyes dropped, it was over except for the details. She took off her shoes and pants, then stood. She pushed her underwear down to her ankles, without bending her knees. Sorry, Dear. Show it to someone that does not know Francine Martel. I stuck the panties in her mouth and told her she could cum all she liked, as long as they stayed there.

Patricia came on the third swat, and the tenth, and the twenty-first. Naughty girl. I wondered if Sheila had arranged a lesbian submissive, or if I was just lucky. I would never know, because hell would freeze over before I asked. My hand was covered with Patricia's moisture, which I allowed her to lick off. Once my hands were dry, I applied scented hand cream. By then Patricia was dressed again, sans panties. I told her to keep them because she would not wear any panties til she found someone to put that pair back on her.

Patricia's eyes were very big as she touched up my make up. While she made sure I was all put together, there was a discrete knock on the door. Patricia looked to me. I nodded. At the door was one of the hotel managers, holding a familiar jewelry box. Somehow Sheila and/or Elspeth had arranged for my ruby and diamond set to be delivered. This was the reproduction set, but it was still Tiffany. Patricia's lips parted in a silent "O".

One nice side effect of the spanking was that I was over my shyness. I needed the confidence for what came next. Patricia pulled my hair back, the pinned it in a coil. The hotel manager hung the necklace, then gave the other pieces to Patricia. One of the rubies hung just low enough to tickle my breasts.

I placed the earrings myself. As Marie pinned on the brooch, I asked her full name. She said, "Patricia Warner. Most people call me Trish, but you can call me Pet." I could not leave that alone.

I said, "I would love to call you, but we both know it will not happen. There is a very tall German I intend to fuck senseless tonight. You may think of me when you get off, if you like. Pet."

She did an Elspeth and crushed herself to me. I told her she was desirable and responsive. After a long moment, we separated. I went to look at myself in a mirror. Damn Sheila is good. In the blue dress, with black heels and gray pattern stockings, my legs seemed to go on forever. The bustier pushed my size Ds together and up, showing impressive cleavage. The red of the rubies play well against Marie's understated makeup. When I nodded my head, she seemed to glow. Then I opened the door and let life back in.

I would like to say the party had more surprises, but not. As a dance, it was enjoyable and exhausting. Lars proved quite adept at swing, while half the men lined up for my unclaimed dances. I flatter myself to think it was only partly a shortage of other women. After a couple of hours, my feet were getting seriously annoyed with me. I asked Lars to call the last dance. The two of us had the whole floor for Begin the Beguine.

As we finished, Francine said, "If I didn't know better, I would swear they knew each other." There was laughter, but it cut short. Most of the people there knew how little we had seen each other over the last three years.

I shot back, "Did the Gideons stop by? I want a Biblical reference." That played much better.

Francine tried another shot, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mister and Doctor Gunter-Richards, or is it Richards-Gunter?" Not bad.

I said, "We're going now. Try to leave room service something to serve for breakfast. Maestro, everyone, it has been an honor." If Francine said anything, it was covered by applause. Francine still had the last laugh. Our room had a basket of sex aids, running from condoms and lubricants to restraints and floggers, complete with explicit how-to videos.

As Sheila says, you have to love Francine or strangle her.

Chapter 37 – Kraft Disziplin Kinder

Fortunately, we did not notice Francine's gift for hours. We were busy. I may not have Sheila's liquid grace, but she had taught me a lot about staging a scene. Lars was already kissing my neck on the elevator. I stopped him just inside the door.

Moving back, so he could see my whole length in his peripheral vision, I held his eye. I removed the heavy earrings, then pulled up the hem of my gown. Using my thumbs, I hooked the skimpy black lace panties and pushed them down below the dress. Still keeping eye contact, I lifted each knee through the leg hole, then dropped them to the floor and stepped out. His arms were out as I strode into his embrace.

Hours later I knew several new things. I had already known that Lars was not as long as his height suggested, but I learned to appreciate his thickness. I learned I could take it all into my mouth and throat, without too much effort, but the better approach was to kiss the balls while I stroked the shaft. He was circumcised, which made the underside of the crown another interesting place. I licked it while stroking his balls, or his anus, with one fingernail. We met in a bondage club, so some kinks were expected. The way Lars reacted to small touches on his anus were interesting. Girls don't have prostates, but they usually like having that portion of the rectum stroked. I resolved to see how a man reacted to genuine prostate massage, but that was for another day.

Most of the other things I learned were about myself. Lars shot his first load into my mouth, per my plan. He understood my thinking but added his own touch. He pulled me to my feet and kissed me with his cum still on my lips. My heart swelled a little right then, which distracted me from what he was doing. He picked me up and threw me on the bed. It was a page out of my own manual—let them feel your strength.

For the next few minutes, we had a very straightforward wrestling match on the bed. I had always been the biggest and strongest. Lars was bigger and stronger. It settled out with him holding my hands over my head while he nuzzled my neck and nibbled on my jaw. I was more than ready when he moved between my legs and slammed home with a single thrust. I liked that I still had on the gown and he still had on most of his tux.

We did straight missionary position the first time. Don't knock it. It let me look at his face. After we finished undressing, we did a long period of exploration with fingers and tongue. For the next round, I rode cowgirl. I found he liked me wearing stockings and heels in bed. What I liked is the way he played with my ass during a slow ride and with my tits during a faster one.

We showered together, though we were too exhausted to do much. I was drying my hair when Lars found Francine's gift. In our condition, some of the videos were hilarious, but we did not linger. Instead, we dressed casually and went to find food. Dining at the Plaza was not my idea of fun and my expectations were low.

We did stop at the Tearoom to discuss their selection. Their tea expert was very taken with Dr. Gupta's family blend. I gave him my on-hand stock. He promised to have a pot delivered in the morning, with complimentary scones. I never gave him Dr. Gupta's contact information, but I did mention his name and that he was a Yale Professor.

We walked down 5th Avenue. After days of rain, the stars were out. Everything was well washed and smelled wonderful. A few blocks away we found an Albanian bar, Fund Day'e, which the Plaza's doorman recommended. In truth, it was more Greek than Albanian, but that was fine. I like ouzo, even if you call it raki. We ordered drinks and stuffed grape leaves. Things were a bit silly when our waitress asked if we were newly wed. I realized I was playing with my rings.

Lars had given me a family heirloom ring at our engagement years before. This was a concession to American style, since German's traditionally use only the wedding band. This ring was a simple floral pattern in white gold. As the engagement grew lengthy, I usually wore it on a chain around my neck. It was on my finger during the ceremony, when we exchanged matching bands. So, I had two rings on a left hand that was used to having none. No wonder I fidgeted. I held them up for her to see.

Lars was amused. He suggested I wear the promise ring on my right hand or put it aside for a daughter. That was very Lars—simple, practical, family-oriented. In that light, I gave up trying to get the rings to coexist. The band was the one that mattered. It gave me an idea. We had passed Tiffany on our way down 5th Avenue. This would give us an excuse to go back. We dined on gyros and cucumber salad, then went back to our room to make our first child.
Memorial Day was memorable. We rose late. As promised, tea and scones were delivered, with the promise of more the next morning. Central Park was all out for the holiday. We saw performers and dozens of artists. Lars and I had a pencil sketch drawn. After a couple of hours, we rode the subway to Yankee stadium.

The Yankees beat the Mariners 7 – 1, behind CC Sabathia. I would have explained the game to Lars, but I was a little fuzzy myself. That was OK. It was child's play to get half a dozen of the local fans to explain things to my German husband. When the crowd learned we were newlyweds, our money was no good. We soon had our fill of dreadful nachos and warm beer. Lars allowed that the bratwurst was edible, though not the style he was accustomed to eating. He even made a couple of business contacts.

In addition to explaining the game of baseball, our friends-for-the-day had a lot of advice on what to see in Manhattan. Not far from the stadium, we attended a free Philharmonic concert at one of the big churches. It was too late in the day for the Fleet Week events, but the Naval Museum was open late. We dined at Civitano's. To my surprise, the owner remembered me. Lars paid for dinner, but the wine and dessert were on the house. It was after midnight before we made it back to the Plaza. We were almost too tired for sex.

Tuesday was our last time together. Lars had the morning off, so we had time to walk over to Tiffany. He was a little bemused, since the wedding was already over, but he followed my lead. I asked the jeweler to engrave "Kraft Disziplin Kinder" in each of the wedding bands. Lars' smile was like the sun rising.

We made arrangements for Lars' ring to be messaged to his office. For my band, I would return after checking out of the hotel. As I left, I asked to have a jeweler to look at the contents of a thumb drive. It was a copy of the documentation of my four piece set. If possible, I wanted to speak to the artisan that did the work on the reproduction. At the Plaza, I asked the concierge to deliver the jewels to Tiffany.

Lars and I parted over street vendor food. He took a cab to the financial district. I walked back to Tiffany. The store manager, a striking Indian woman named Akta Lake, met me in person. It turned out my jewelry was disrupting the day's work. While the copy had been crafted there, it was something of a mystery. Records of the original work were on file, but no one had referenced them until recently. Even that was at arm's length, since Sheila never left New Jersey.

Most of the negotiations were done by email, often with attached imagery, and confirmed by certified letter. The jewelry was shipped by bonded courier. Tiffany's artisans did a thorough cleaning and repair. During the course of cleaning the original, laser measurements were taken. From these, a rough casting was poured, then crafted to the details of the original. With modern techniques, the reproduction was not difficult.

That said, the artisans were impressed by the original work. Mrs. Lake said that the senior jeweler was of the opinion that my set was an important transition piece. He believed that Charles Tiffany, the owner and founder, did the basic design. Charles turned it over to his son, Lewis C. Tiffany to execute. The result was a fusion of both of their styles.

To make a long conversation short, Tiffany and Company wanted to exhibit the work in their museum. To do that, they needed my permission. Moreover, they wanted to do a second reproduction for the display. I brought Sheila and Sean and into the discussion. We licensed Tiffany and Company the image of me holding the original necklace over Cindy's crib, plus one taken then, using the set I had with me. I showed, but did not release, the image of both the original and the reproduction being worn side by side.

For license of the crib image, release of other images, including those taken during the work, and leave to do the reproduction, Tiffany and Company agreed to do all my future engraving work at no cost. I purchased a desktop sign and had my married name engraved on it. Up to that point, they did not realize I was a member of Congress. Unusually, it did not seem to matter.

Before I left, I asked Mrs. Lake about my engagement ring. She said it was Bavarian work, from the late 19th century, worth about twice the gold value. The Louis C. Tiffany set she valued in excess of $3,000,000. Because of the importance of the original set, the reproduction was worth more than twice what Sheila paid for it. Once the second copy was displayed in their museum, the value would further increase. Mrs. Lake also said that the documentation of provenience was textbook perfect.

It was an interesting dichotomy to chew as we drove to Virginia. The original set of jewels was too valuable to wear. Even the reproduction set was a bit scary. The ring Lars gave me had comparatively little monetary value, hence it could be worn at any time. More than that, I took comfort from the intimacy it gave me with his family.

I let that seep through me. Lars was hours of travel away, yet we were connected. A wedding band is a symbol—no beginning and no end. Continuous. Though he was not with me, his promise was. His commitment was. I resolved to do whatever it took to make the marriage work. And I hoped biology would do its part. Ten days later, in the middle of a vote, my period started.

To add insult to injury, both New York Times Magazine and Unique Bride covered the reception at the Plaza. I was in Congress, but it was also a chance to recap Sean and Sheila's landmark wedding. Both articles ran side-by-side pictures of me—one in the the men's style suit and the other in the short formal dress. Those pictures followed me all year.

That said, I looked damn good. For an ugly child, that is a very important point.

Chapter 38 – Epilogue

I left home days before my eighteenth birthday. Eleven years later, I married. It took two years of weekends and vacations to catch a baby, but I was lucky; I caught two. I was thirty-one when identical twins Frieda and Hannah were born. A year later I had Rolf.

Cloudrest began as a vision, then a project, finally a home. Between donations, fees and grants, I raised about four hundred thousand dollars. Various programs and sponsors contributed thousands of man-hours of expert workmanship and many thousands of dollars in furnishings and decorations. In all, my out of pocket was about seven hundred thousand dollars. I spent an additional hundred thousand buying adjacent lots. Hillsborough County values the whole property at a million and a quarter. Fair market value was estimated at close to five million dollars. The land value alone doubled from the attention.

Cloudrest Industries runs the place. Through the company, Lars and I own a maple syrup brand, an apple and cherry orchard, a canning company, a lumber company and a furniture and cabinet company. Tours are five dollars, children under twelve are three dollars, infants and toddlers are free. After years of complaints, the county finally agreed to upgrade the road enough that school buses are safe. For now the kids are home schooled.

Trip Lusk runs Cloudrest Industries. Elspeth runs the house and the nursery. Between my three and her five, patience is required. It has been a good place to teach our Amish girls the ropes. Cloudrest is a favored place to spend a portion of Rumspringa. In addition, we have two permanent Amish families. One is the blacksmith. The other tends the berry garden, orchard and maintains the grounds. Their wives home school their children and do part time in the main house.

Lars is still in New York City. He made Vice President after three years in Manhattan. We celebrated by taking a working trip to Europe. Lars had two weeks of meetings with senior management. Elspeth and I were able to show the kids a bit of the outside world. I think Rolf's German is better than mine. Meeting Lars' family was interesting. Lars embarrassed me by showing the lederhosen picture. He protested that his thumb was covering my breasts, at least until I punched his arm. That night we conceived Gretchen.

During my third term in the House, the party asked me to run for the Senate. It was a Presidential year. All the Washington insiders were either elated or worried that Hillary might be the Democratic candidate. She was, which is all that needs to be said. I became the newest Senator from New Hampshire.

Three years into my time in the House, Housing and Urban Development started looking into Sean and Sheila's work in my hometown. Sean came to Washington to testify. At the news conference, Sean introduced me as his "little" sister. We were both standing. In my heels, I was about 10 cm (4") taller. Everyone laughed. When he mentioned I had a Sociology PhD from Yale and was attending as an expert, they got quiet fast. I was able to glean a good deal of information from their whispered conversations.

Sean described what K&T Properties had done my hometown. The property group, of which K&T was a founding member, had done similar things in other northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania communities. Sean had his eye on a distressed neighborhood south of the Baltimore docks. By the end of the Congressional term, K&T had permits and waivers from HUD, the State of Maryland and City of Baltimore.

Six months later, I moved into my new loft apartment. Sheila did the design. A Baltimore architect/general contractor did the work. The neighborhood made it work. My experience in Boston paid off. Being the Big White Bitch had its value. Being able to read lips had more. It did not take long to establish myself as a reliable buffer between the cops and the citizens. My "feelings" and "hunches" grew to mythical proportions.

I also brought employment. FDC Security set up a storefront. Initially, it was a karate dojo that doubled as a recruiting office. Eventually, it expanded into a full-scale training center. South Boston kids came to Baltimore. Baltimore's kids went to Boston. In both places, they learned to work closely with the police. Some of the graduates patrolled my building. Before long the Navy set up down the block, on the other side of the drug testing clinic. Clean became a neighborhood by-word.

For me, it was nice. The commute was much shorter. Johnson had an apartment near the garage. I still did not have a place to entertain, which would be a larger issue as a Senator. Washington is a much different place than my first term as a Congressman, though women's groups still hate me and Ann Coulter still thinks I'm a scary bitch.

Today, I am taking a day away from my office, even though Congress is in session. Cindy, my niece is competing in the North East Region, fourteen and under gymnastics competition. Even though she is the youngest girl participating, Sean thinks she has a real shot at medals. Sean is not one to use plurals accidentally. The event is at Syracuse University. I will meet Elspeth and the kids at the airport. Lars will meet us in the morning.

Here's hoping for the best.

*Late addition. Cindy won four gold medals—three individual events and the individual all around. Those are the first gold medals for a participant under age twelve and a record haul for anyone. Cindy complains that she's too short for the bars. It will not last.

"little"   sister  

May 5, 2018 in femdom

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