"I'm running over to the office for some paperwork," Blake said to his wife.
"What, now?" Genvra Adams looked at her watch. "It's almost nine o'clock and we have things to discuss."
"It will have to wait. I have a 7 a.m. conference call tomorrow, and I need to review some numbers." He grabbed his keys and went out the door.
Instead of going to the office, however, Blake turned his car toward Jeni DuMont's house in Hunter Ridge. She'd texted him five times that afternoon asking--no, demanding--that he come to her this evening. Over the course of their months together Blake had learned that she was not a woman who took "no" for an answer. The trouble was, neither was Genevra. Blake would have to get home asap, especially since Genevra was in a particularly foul temper. That would be thanks to their daughter, Whitney, who had stopped by just before dinner to announce that she and her fiance, Jack, were pregnant, and all the wedding plans would have to be moved up six months.
Blake knew that the "things" Genevra wanted to discuss involved how much money they would need to donate to the church and country club in order to change the dates she'd already booked for the ceremony and reception. Genevra was insisting that Whitney's wedding have all the bells and whistles necessary to make it the social event of the decade in Pine Lake. It would be a grand display; never mind the kids didn't want a big wedding, and Genevra couldn't stand the groom. She'd be the mother-in-law from hell.
Just before nine, Blake pulled up in front of Jeni's 4-bedroom house in the brand new, upscale development on the edge of Pine Lake. He had enjoyed her company in every one of those four bedrooms, as well as the kitchen and family room. If they were fast, maybe the screened porch would be nice tonight . . .
Jenny was waiting at the door. "You're late," she said, offering her cheek for a kiss.
"Lots of stuff going on at home. I had a tough time getting out here at all."
She led him into the house. "I'll get you a drink."
In the kitchen, Blake tossed his keys on the granite countertop and watched Jeni pour a generous shot of whiskey in a crystal tumbler.
"Where's yours?" he asked, taking the glass from her.
She answered with a sly little smile. "That brings us right to what I wanted to tell you. I'm pregnant."
Blake nearly dropped the glass. "Oh, Christ, not you, too!"
Jeni's smile froze. "What the hell does that mean?"
Realizing how she'd misinterpreted his comment, Blake explained. "My daughter, Whitney. She just told us tonight that she and Jack are expecting."
"Well, isn't that nice for you. You'll have a child and a grandchild growing up together. They'll graduate in the same class at Pine Lake High."
Blake's first thought was that the way his life was going, he'd never live to see that day.