Relationships, Part III

Love Reclaimed

Synopsis: A man receives a call from an old flame who manipulated him and used him for cash and favors when they were dating, and he no longer wishes to have anything more to do with her, but when they meet again at their 25th Class Reunion, he finds she has changed for the better and old emotions of lust come flooding back. She later becomes pregnant, making the situation just a bit more complicated for our hero.

Chapter 1--Chance Encounter

Samuel Byron was a man that was rational and empirically minded. He also believed that causality was something that worked, without fail. Yet he had never thought his old flame, Crystal Valentine, would call him simply to 'see how he was doing'. Sam remembered Crystal and how manipulative, conniving and selfish she was. She used her beauty and feminine wiles to wrap men around her pinky finger. Once she had what she wanted from them, she dumped them and moved straight away to the next man. She had earned herself a nickname due to her self-serving existence, 'Beauty's Leech'.

One night coming home late from work, Sam heard the typical jovial tip-tappings of his Siberian husky's nails on his marble floors.

"Sasha ! Sasha, honey, it's good to see you too !", he said as Sasha jumped all over him, giving him wet kisses and nearly knocking him over, due to the fact that she was pleased to see him. She wanted to play fetch with him in the worst way and without delaying, the young man went outside in the bitter cold and played a rollicking game of fetch with her.

Suddenly, his Iphone rang and 'Beauty's Leech' appeared. He nearly froze but decided to take the call anyway.

"Sam Byron, is this Crystal ?", he asked, his voice tinged with hurt and hatred. Sam didn't consider himself someone full of grudges, but this grudge against Crystal he had a difficult time letting go and now it had returned, rearing its ugly, grotesque head.

"Yes, it is ! How did you know ?", Crystal questioned, tittering merrily as she often did back in college when that particular laugh could turn the most stoic man into a puddle of protoplasm.

"Never mind that now. How are you doing ?", Sam replied, feigning congeniality. Talking this way hurt him not only emotionally but physically. He had to return inside and find someplace to sit before his knees gave way beneath him.

"I'm fantastic. I was thinking maybe you and I could have a cup of coffee at Becca's Bistro, where we used to hang out back in the day. Wouldn't that be fun ?", Crystal asked, her voice full of mirth and excitement.

It made him sick to his stomach, but Sam lied.

"Sorry, but I really have something I have to do. I have a meeting I need to be present at and everyone's counting on me to make certain all the paperwork is filed and printed for tomorrow's presentation. I'm really sorry, Crys.", Sam stated, feeling his stomach begin to tighten as he ended his conversation with his least favorite person in the world. Little did he realize that his life was about to change once he received an invitation to his 25th class reunion.

Chapter 2—A Tall, Crystal Drink of Water

Sam was certain he would never bump into Crystal again until he received his 25th Class Reunion invite. Having made a New Year's resolution to 'get out of his comfort zone' more often, reluctantly, Sam decided to attend.

That evening, Sam wore his best tuxedo and left Sasha in the caring hands of his next door neighbor, Dinah. Sam was able to chat with all his old friends, councelors and even teachers from long ago. While he was talking to his best friend, Luke, Crystal waltzed up to him and asked him if he wanted to dance. Sam nearly spat out his punch when he saw how blazingly sexy Crystal looked and instead coughed, practically choking. His heart racing, he finally sputtered, "S-s-s-sure. With a woman as bedazzling and enchanting as yourself, who could resist ?" Sam wasn't trying to be smooth, but his words humbled Crystal. She remembered why she had fallen for the intelligent, well-groomed man to begin with.

For a long while, Sam and Crystal reconnected and any hate or malice he had felt for her was completely gone. She had her arms longingly draped over his shoulders and had begun looking at him rather seductively. Sam tugged at his cerulean necktie, feeling sweaty and as though his cheeks were beginning to flush.

"What about you and I head to O'Malleys and have some drinks just like we did when we were back in college ?", she offered, her voice husky and mellifluous. Sam laughed apprehensively, tugging at his sweaty collar and shook his head left to right.

"I don't know, Crys. That seems like a bad plan from where I stand. You know I'm a lightweight, and so are you.", he warned. She stood back, pouted and batted her eyelashes at him, giving him a doe-eyed stare. Her violet gaze was almost too much for him and made him feel powerless. It didn't seem as though she was after his money or for his massive intellect like she had been when they were attending college together. Sam hadn't gone to a bar in years and had forgotten the taste of liqour. He was more of a wine drinker, though he didn't drink wine often. When he did drink, it was a small glass of red wine with steak infrequently, like once or twice a month.

"Come on, Sam ! Where's your sense of exploration, of adventure ?", Crystal pryed, her full lips seemed to cause his blood to course through his veins like hot lava. He blushed once again and gave in to temptation.

"Very well, we're going to O'Malleys. But after that, we are getting a taxi and going our separate ways.", he said, with conviction. That, however, was not what happened.

Chapter 3—Garden of Desire

After having way too many bottles of Merlot, Sam and Crystal were completely intoxicated. As he had promised, they took a taxi, but not to their separate homes. Being a gentleman, Sam had escorted Crystal to the local hotel, the Easy 8. He hadn't seen the irony in the hotel's name at the moment, because frankly, his inhibitions were gone.

Once inside their hotel room, Sam was the first to perform a very drunken and playful strip-tease for his lover. It wasn't long before he was standing before her naked, and had begun removing her clothes and kissing her from head to toe. He had no idea what he was doing, but before long, he and Crystal were engaging in passionate, earth-shaking sex, and everyone in the hotel heard it.

"Keep it down, you two ! We're trying to sleep.", came some voices from down the hall of two elderly people who had come to simply spend the night and head on their way to the city tomorrow for sight-seeing. Sam laughed.

"Keep it down ? But how can I ? Being in the intimate embrace of a woman so gorgeous ? I wouldn't mind being sent to heaven once more in her company.", Sam said, wriggling his eyebrows supersilliously as he combed back his raven hair with his hand, making it wild and unruly. Crystal laughed and rolled over atop him, stroking his chest gently. She began riding him vigorously, exclaiming in ecstasy. This went on for hours until she collapsed upon him and regained her breath.

"I love you, Sam Byron.", Crystal said, gently as she curled up into his strong arms and went to sleep at last.

"And I too, Crys. You crazy blonde.", Sam said, as he playfully patted her on the behind and fell to sleep himself.

Chapter 4—And Baby Makes...Togetherness

After the steamy encounter, the 'lovers' said their goodbyes and hardly ever spoke to each other again. Then came the call that Sam had dreaded. Crystal had discovered not soon after sleeping with him that she had become pregnant.

"What now ? Are you going to keep the baby to use it against me ?", he asked, positively frantic that he was going to be thrust into the realm of fatherhood against his better wishes.

"No ! Why would you think such a thing ? Even if I was drunk, I meant what I said.

I do love you. I should've realized it long ago. You were the only one for me. You always helped me even when I was merely using you.", Crystal said, hoping her words would redeem her from her past. Sam was so irate he could hardly think straight. He had always been the one who was prepared for any kind of emergency, but that night he had forgotten to wear a condom. He mentally kicked himself for being so thoughtless.

"Look, whatever happens, we're going to get through this. I know I never meant for this to happen, but we can face it as a team. I won't leave you alone in this endeavor. I just hope I can be a good father and a good husband.", Sam stated, his voice wavering. Crystal fought back tears as well, knowing full well where he was heading with their chat. Even though they had only known each other for 2 whole days, Sam asked Crystal to marry him and in 3 months, they had married.

Before long, the baby Crystal carried inside her had begun to show outwardly. It was no longer a secret from her family and friends. Her parents hadn't been too pleased with her at first, but once they had gotten to know Samuel Byron as her husband, their ire cooled and they knew she was with a genuine gentleman, friend, lover and now, potential father.

"What are we going to name our baby ?", Sam said, as he looked at his newlywed wife across the room in her maternity clothes. Her belly was protruding and she had developed a bit of a waddle, which he thought was quite adorable and he would tease her about it. Being hormonal from the pregnancy, Crystal didn't always take it the right way, but Sam understood why.

"If it's a boy, I want to name him Eric Luke after my dad. Eric was my father's name, and Luke was my best friend attending college. I always felt like Luke was the only guy I could relate to and who wouldn't tease me for enjoying quadratic equations.", Sam chuckled.

"Eric Luke is a fantastic name, I like it. But if it is a girl, I want to name her Anne Marie after my mom. She doesn't know that yet, she fears I'm going to give our baby some weird 'alien sounding' monquier.", Crystal chuckled. Over this short amount of time, it had been miraculous to see how much Crystal had transformed. She was a completely different woman, and seeing her as a mother gave Sam a newfound respect for her. He never knew he would love again, let alone a woman whom he once thought could never make amends or repent of her past sins. Yet, he knew now that love was an immensely powerful element and could make people become better as human beings entirely.

Epilogue

Though it took some time for Sasha to entirely adjust to a set of little feet in 'her' house, she came to love little Eric Luke. Eric was into everything, however, and both parents had to be extremely vigilant to make certain the little guy didn't harm himself. Luckily, everyone in the neighborhood had come by to help childproof Sam's reconverted 'bachelor pad'.

Work was more draining on Sam and Crystal, but fortunately, they always had time to play with Eric, watch him grow, and love the dickens out of him. While away, their neighbor, Dinah, was happy to watch him, since she had six grandchildren of her own that she visited with practically every weekend, so one more grandchild to tend to wasn't that big of a deal.

Sam's parents and Crystal's parents at last grew to accept their children and adored Eric Luke. From the way both parents acted around him, they could see that the two lovers had transitioned from friends to guardians. The little guy was a lot of work, but as far as the Byrons were concerned, it was work well worth the effort.

The End