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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31





Chapter Eight

            'I hope you're thinking about babies,' Martha Cockranger said, her round cheeks flushed.

            'What?' Rosarita said, as a Martha trailed her around the ground floor of Saks.

            'Babies,' Martha repeated with a coy chuckle. 'Little ones.' A confidential whisper. 'Dick wants three, you know.

            'How many times do I have to tell you? He's not called Dick any more,' Rosarita said irritably. 'And while we're on the subject, how could you stick him with a name like Dick when your surname is Cockranger?'

            'Dick was his grandfather's name,' Martha said, managing to look hurt. 'He never should've changed it. His daddy is still upset.'

            Oh, Christ! Rosarita though. What am I doing here? This unsophisticated dolt simply doesn't get it.

            'I'm not planning on becoming pregnant any time soon,' she said, putting what she hoped was Anton end to that discussion.

            'You're not?' Martha said, disappointed.

            'Definitely not,' Rosarita said, dragging her mother-in-law over to the accessory section, and quickly pulling a long chiffon Armani scarf off the stand. 'What do you think of this?' she asked.

            'It's lovely!' Martha exclaimed.

            'I'll buy it for you,' Rosarita said, waving her Saks charge card at a salesperson.

            'I can't let you do that,' Martha objected.

            'Why not?' Rosarita said airily. 'Dex'll pay.'

            'Please, no,' Martha said, getting all flustered. 'I can't have him spending him hard-earned money on me. He works so hard, and this scarf is.' her voice rose in horror as she took a peek bat the price tag '.three hundred and fifty dollars!'

            Ha! Rosarita thought. Works hard? He goes in early, has makeup slapped on his face, sits around with a bunch of mediocre actors, then comes home. What's so hard about that?

            Instead she nodded understandingly. 'I know, it must be tough for him.' 'Yes,' Martha agreed. 'But at least he has you come home to.' Another confidential whisper. 'He adores you, dear, you should see the letters he writes us.'

            'He writes you letters?' Rosarita said, surprised.

            'Once a week we get a handwritten letter from him telling us all about your exciting life together.'

            'What does he say?'

            'He tells us about the places you go to dinner, what you wear, the meals you eat. I love to hear all the details, and he knows it.' A happy sigh. 'He's such a good son.'

            I', sure,' Rosarita muttered. Good and boring and he won't give me a divorce. It'll be the death of him.

            'The morning he appeared on Regis & Kathie Lee was the most exciting day of my life,' Martha confided dreamily. 'Kathie Lee's my favourite, you know, such a delightful woman. I don't believe a word about those nasty sweat shops, it's all lies.'

            'He wasn't on the show by himself,' Rosarita pointed out. 'He was there with the rest of the cast, and he only appeared at the end of the programme. It was actually Anton interview with the witch who plays the lead.'

            'Ah. Silver Anderson,' Martha said admiringly. 'Such a lady! I'm hoping Dick .I mean Dex, will take us to the studio one day to meet her.'

            'I'm sure he will,' Rosarita said, bored with this conversation.

            'What night are we seeing that lovely daddy of yours?' Martha inquired, flinging the chiffon scarf around her neck and parading in front of mirror.

            'I'll call him later,' Rosarita said, spotting a girlfriend in the distance. Quick as a flash she pulled Martha round to the other side of the counter. She couldn't be seen with her. It was far too humiliating.

***

            'When are you starting a family, son?' Matt Cockranger said, as he lifted weights in Dexter's makeshift gym.

            'Dunno,' Dexter mumbled, busy on the rowing machine. Clearing his throat, Matt lowered his voice. ' I shouldn't be telling you this, but when I married your mother she was already pregnant with your older sister.'

            'She was?' Dexter said, quite shocked at this intimate revelation. 'She'd kill me if she thought I'd told you,' Matt said, looking around to make sure that Martha was not about to appear suddenly. 'The secret is to start early.'

            'Thanks, Dad,' Dexter said, hoping to shut him up.

            Matt had no intention of shutting up. 'No point in waiting,' he said. 'Knock her up, boy, that's what you've got to do.'

            'Dad,' Dexter said, frowning, 'where did you learn phrases like "knock her up"?'

            'I was quite a ladies' man in my time,' Matt said, with a boastful chuckle. 'Handsome, like you. Captain of the football team. And my Martha was the prettiest girl in school. All the fellows were after her.'

            'They were?' Dexter said, eyebrows rising at the thought that his dear old mom might once have been a sex magnet.

            'Yes, indeed,' Matt said, moving over to the Life Cycle. 'But I knew she was the one for me as soon as I met her.'

            'Really?' Dexter said.

            'Oh, yes,' Matt said, nodding to himself. 'She wouldn't let anyone else near her except me. Had to wait weeks before she'd give me so much as a good-night kiss. What a girl! To this day I'm the only man she's ever had.'

            'You're telling me too many details, Dad,' Dexter said nervously.

            'I know what I'm talking about, son. You've got to knock your wife up, keeps'em in their place.' 'Right,' Dexter said, thinking that nothing would keep Rosarita in her place.

            'Has she been getting uppity with you lately?' Matt asked. 'Why would you say that?' 'I was in the kitchen last night when I heard shouting coming from your bedroom. Not that I'd ever interfere.'

            'You didn't tell Mom, did you?'

            'No,' Matt said. 'wouldn't do to upset her.'

            'Don't!' Dexter said. 'She'd hate to think we were fighting.'

            'What were you fighting about?'

            'I want to start a family,' Dexter mumbled. 'Rosarita doesn't.'

            'Is she on the pill, son?' Matt asked, slowing down. Dexter shook his head, sweat beading his brow.

            'What does she use?' Matt asked. 'One of those rubber diaphragm things?'

            Dexter nodded, embarrassed to be discussing such a personal subject with his dad.

            'I'll tell you what to do,' Matt said, stopping his machine. 'And you'd better listen to me, ' cause I'm wiser than you-not more famous, but older and wiser.'

            'Yes, Dad,' Dexter said, resigned to the fact that there was no stopping him.

            'You take a pin, find her diaphragm and prick a few little holes in it. She'll never know you've done it, and before long she'll be pregnant. After that things will be fine. Take it from me, son, once they've had a baby they calm down.'

            'You think so?'

            'I know so,' Matt said, 'Heed the voice of experience, son. Matt Cockranger knows what he's talking about.'

***

            Back at the apartment Rosarita escaped to the bedroom, locked the door and sat staring at the phone. Should she call him? shouldn't she? She was ready for action with a vengeance, and Joel was certainly the man to give it to her. But there was no way she could see him over the weekend, not with the Cockrangers on her case every single minute.

            Damn! She wanted him more than she'd ever wanted anyone, and Rosarita always got what she wanted.

            On impulse, she picked up the phone and got through to Chas. 'You know that little favour I asked you to do?' she said, picking at her nail polish - a nervous habit she couldn't shake.

            'Ha!' Chas said. 'Some little goddamn favour. I wanna talk to you' bout that.'

            'Anyway,' she said casually, 'put it on hold. His parents are in town.'

            'Dexter's mom and dad?'

            'Yes, they're here in New York, staying with us. Which brings me to favour number two.'

            'And what's that?' Chas said sourly. 'You want I should arrange whack the whole family?'

            'Funny,' Rosarita said.

            'What do 'you want?' Chas said, thoroughly steamed at his unpredictable daughter. 'Daddy,' she said, reverting to little girl tactics, 'don't be so mean. Dex's stupid parents are here and I've got to entertain them. They're dying to see you. Can we all have dinner tonight?'

            'No way,' Chas growled. 'I gotta hot date.'

            'You can bring your date,' Rosarita said persuasively. 'It doesn't make any difference to me.'

            'The last time you was in the company of one of my dates, 'you ended upcalling her cheap whore to her face.'

            'I did?' Rosarita said innocently, remembering the incident well.

            'Yeah, Anton' that kind a behavior I don't appreciate consider in' me Anton' the broad was in the middle of a very cosy relationship.'

            'You were?'

            'Don't go playing innocent tootsie with me,' Chas said. 'you know what 'you did. My lady friend ran out on me so fast she forgot her panties.'

            'Lucky you,' Rosarita said, with a wicked laugh. 'You can parade around wearing them.'

            'You're getting' a real smart mouth,' Chas said angrily.

            Rosarita changed tactics again. 'Anyway,' she said, as sweetly as she could, 'how about if we all come to dinner at your house? You've got a cook who sits around doing nothing all day. Please, Daddy, please.'

            'Jeez!' Chas grumbled. 'This is all I freaking need. What's their name? Shipranger?'

            'No, Daddy,' she said patently. 'Cockranger.'

            'What kinda name is that?'

            'At least Dex was smart enough to change it,' Rosarita said, with a wild giggle. 'Can you imagine if I was Mrs Cockranger?'

            Yeah, Chas thought. You would've gotten the name you deserve.

            The moment Chas got off the phone with Rosarita he phoned his other daughter. 'Hello, Daddy,' Venice said, 'How are you?'

            Venice always had a happy face and a kind word-not to mention these two adorable small kids and the pleasant, low-key husband whom she was not nagging Chas to dispose of.

            'How 'you doing, baby doll?' he said, happy to speak to her.

            'We're all fine, thank you, Daddy.'

            'Glad t' here it.'

            'I was thinking of brining the children over tomorrow. Would that be okay with you?' 'Sure, I wanna see'em. But I also wanna see you Anton'. 'He hesitated, never quite certain of Venice's husband's name.

            'Eddie,' she reminded.

            'Yeah, yeah - I know, Eddie, for Crissakes. I want you Anton' Eddie t' come for dinner tonight at the house. Rosarita's in-laws are in town.'

            'Martha and Matt,' Venice said. 'I remember them from the wedding, they're nice people.'

            'I'm glad somebody remembers 'em.'

            'What time shall be there, Daddy?'

            'Around seven thirty.'

            'Should Eddie wear a tie?'

            'Yeah,good idea.' He heisted again - Venice was his sensitive daughter, he didn't want to shock or surprise her. 'Uh.hon - is it okay with you if I got a date? It won't upset you or nothing?'

            'Why on earth would it upset me? I know how much you loved Mommy, which is why you never remarried. I'm happy you have a date. I'm sure if she's with you, she must be someone special.'

            'Yeah, honey, she is, she is.'

            'What does she do?'

            Chas fumbled for a moment. 'She's uh.she's a nurse,' he said finally, trying to decide how he was going to tell his current stripper girlfriend that she had to pretend to be a nurse for the night.

            And how was he going to get her to hide those huge silicone jugs?

            Jesus! Problems, problems. Nothing he couldn't deal with.

            'See you later, kiddo,' he said, and hung up.

***

            Dexter felt like a criminal, he'd done as his father had advised him, located Rosarita's diaphragm - which he'd found conveniently stashed in her bathroom cabinet- and poked a few minuscule holes in it. Doing such a thing had made him feel bad about himself. Was it right to trick her? On the other hand, was it right that she wanted a divorce after only eighteen months of what he considered a pretty good marriage?

            Since their argument last night Rosarita was behaving. She'd taken his mother shopping and bought her a beautiful scarf. She'd actually sat down and had a conversation with his father about a Clint Eastwood movie they'd both seen and lied. Then she'd informed him that she'd organized dinner at Chas's house.

            The Cockrangers were duly pleased. 'What shall I wear?' Martha kept on fussing. 'Don't worry about it,' Matt said, winking at his son. 'I suggest we all take Anton afternoon nap and let the two lovebirds alone.'

            Dexter knew exactly what his dad had in mind. After his parents retired to the guest room, he followed Rosarita into the bedroom, shutting the door behind them. 'Good idea,' he said.

            'What's a good idea?' she said.

            'Taking a nap before we go to Chas' tonight. You're had a tough day. I know it's not easy taking my mom shopping. She doesn't make quick decisions like you.'

            'Is that a dig?' Rosarita asked suspiciously.

            'No, what I mean is you're Anton excellent shopper. I remember when we went to Bloomingdale's and you bought me some shirts. It was like wham-bam. You chose right, and they looked great. I still wear them.'

            'Why are you being so nice to me?' she asked, regarding him with narrowed eyes.

            'Because .I love you.'

            Rosarita sat down on the edge of the bed. 'Love's not what makes the world go around, Dex,' she said. 'Sorry about that.'

            'You look beautiful today,' he said.

            'I do? She replied, enjoying the compliment. She'd never told him about her various plastic surgeries and he was under the impression she was a natural beauty. God! She'd better tear up all her old photos, it wouldn't do to get busted; her previous face had been a horror.

            Dex walked over and stood in front of her. Her eye-level was at his belt buckle, and she couldn't help noticing that he had the beginnings of a hard-on.

            You're just a raving sex magnet, she thought. As soon as anyone gets near you, it's let's go, Mama!

            Idly she wondered if she should teach Dex a thing or two before bowing out of this marriage. He certainly had the mot gorgeous body. And his cock wasn't had either. Of course, he wasn't Joel, but maybe while she was waiting for Matt and Martha to leave town, she could teach him some new tricks.

            Brilliant red nails sprang into action as her hands snaked forward, preparing to pull down his zipper.

            His dick popped out immediately - one of the advantages of wearing no underwear. 'Oooh, Little Dexie is looking good today!' she crooned, putting on her I'm ready-for-sex voice. He picked up the remote and activated the drapes, closing them.

            Not exactly Joel's style, Rosarita thought. Joel was more interested in people watching his sexual antics, which was a major turn-on.

            She gave Dex a little lick to encourage him, then jumped up. 'I'll be right back,' she said, hurrying into the bathroom.

            He walked over, locked the bedroom door, removed his clothes and lay back on the bed, waiting. He wondered if she'd notice the damage he'd done to her diaphragm and emerge from the bathroom screaming with fury.

            How could she possibly notice it? The holes he'd made were tiny - just big enough for those pesky little sperms to fight their way through. It was a sneaky thing to do, but she hadn't given him any choice. And when they had their first child, a healthy bouncing baby boy, she'd thank him.

            Oh, yes, she certainly would. Dexter was sure of it.

   


Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62