They paddled around tranquilly for a good three hours, at peace and emotionally connected with one another without saying much. It was no longer about Terrie's marriage to Jackson or Kelsey's friendship with him. It wasn't about divorce or other endings (Lucy). It was about saying goodbye – to memories, to the past, and to the lake. The future was unknown and the past was lost. All they had now together was the familiar presence of the present – this moment, this place, together.
They paddled back to the cottage, tied the canoe to the dock, and went into the cottage feeling hot and sweaty from the sun and the paddling. Terrie made them a sandwich and they quietly ate while standing in the large windows in the front of the cottage starting out at the soothing lake.
Terrie brought the plates back to the sink in the kitchen area and Kelsey followed. She turned to see him watching her and she smiled knowingly before moving close to him, leaning in and kissing him. He warmly returned the anticipated kiss, happy for the physical affection and he pulled her close as they continued to kiss, her hands in his hair, his hands rubbing her back as he dropped his mouth down and kissed her exposed neck and shoulders (she was wearing a bathing suit top with cutoffs).
They didn't speak as the physical boundaries – guarded by years of appropriate propriety – fell away.
"Will you make love to me?" Terrie asked.
"Yes," Kelsey spoke into her mouth as he kissed her again.
They ended up in the second bedroom (again). There was the noise of motorboats on the lake and laughing children further down the lakeshore as Kelsey and Terrie made love in the afternoon. Much later, they lay naked on the bed with the scent of sex and perspiration hanging in the air. They lay on their sides, facing each other, Terrie rubbing Kelsey's leg with affection while Kelsey's hand rested on her hip.
"I feel reborn," Terrie told him.
"I feel renewed," Kelsey smiled.
"No guilt or remorse?" She worried.
"Of course not."
"What about Jackson."
"He made his choice."
"And now we make ours?"
She cuddled against him. "Do you think this is what we were supposed to do?"
"Maybe we're just associating friendship and fond memories with a need to be together in our time of need," she worried.
"That's good enough for me," Kelsey told her.
Terrie sighed and Kelsey pulled her closer to him, cupping her chin in his hand and looking deep into her eyes. "Don't over think this," he whispered.
She nodded with surrender kissed him, pushing him onto his back as she rolled on top of him.
Later, they showered, dressed and went out for a nice meal. They returned to the cottage and skinny dipped again, this time making love under the moonlight in the still cool water. They returned to the cottage and made love again and in the morning they ate breakfast in their chairs overlooking the lake. Kelsey loaded Terrie's boxed belongings and luggage into her car while she cleaned the cottage, washed the sheets and made the cottage presentable for Jackson's visit that afternoon, after they were gone.
She sighed as she closed the door to the cottage and joined the waiting Kelsey by the cars.
"You going to be okay?" he asked, kissing the top of her head.
"Yes," she replied, pulling her cell phone out of her pocket and hitting a button. "Jackson?" She asked tentatively. Pause. "Listen, no attitude, please. Just listen to what I have to say." She grinned at Kelsey while talking into the phone. "Call your lawyer. Tell him to do whatever paperwork necessary. Don't let the bank close on Tuesday. You can have the cottage. I don't want you to sell your grandfather's lore and you don't have to buy me out….yes, I'm serious." She grinned at Kelsey. "Well, yes, as a matter of fact there are a few conditions. I get to use it on some weekends. We can work out a schedule…is that okay with you? Good. Let me know what the lawyer says and I'll sign whatever you need. Yes….sure….well, you're welcome….yes, I'm fine." She smirked at Kelsey. "As a matter of fact, I'm more than fine. I'm happy. Very happy! Well, none of your business, actually! Okay, No problem. Goodbye, Jackson, and good luck to you."
Terrie put the cell phone back in her pocket and then she hugged Kelsey.
"That was amazing," he said.
"I don't want being a vindictive bitch to be my Last Hurrah," she said.
"Good for you!"
"Come on," she said, breaking the hug and taking him by the hand and leading him toward their cars. "Let's get on with our new hurrah."