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Dorsai

Close knit family

I met my wife Judy when both of us were attending the local college. We started out as lab partners in a physics class, and by the end of the semester, we were dating pretty regularly. By the end of the school year, we were a couple, and by the time we graduated, we were engaged.

With both of us going to a local college, there were plenty of times and occasions for me to meet her family. I got along pretty well with all of them — even her Dad, much to my surprise. Judy's sister, Teresa (who was two years younger), sometimes made less-than-flattering comments about Judy, but I simply chalked it up as a sibling rivalry thing. Also, Teresa wasn't able to go to college the way she wanted because she'd gotten married right out of high school; her husband, Doug, worked in an insurance office and didn't make enough to pay for her to go to school. In fact, Teresa had to get a job, too, to help support them when she started having kids — three of them, all daughters, all born within a couple of weeks of the same date in successive years.

Donna, the oldest, was a cute little pixie of a blond; the next oldest, Karen, had coal-black hair and looked somewhat elfin. The youngest was Wendy, who was stunningly beautiful, even as a child. All three of them thought their Uncle Ted was the greatest thing since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and were always delighted to see me; their Aunt Judy, not so much — something that annoyed her.

Judy and I didn't have any kids of our own (despite frequent and enthusiastic efforts on both our parts), so I was more than happy to have Teresa's three even as part-time family. When Teresa's husband got transferred to a distant city, all three of the girls were heartbroken and all but inconsolable. Only by my promising that I'd come and see them 'soon' were they willing to be relocated with their mom and dad.

I didn't get the opportunity to do as I'd promised, due to a sudden and dramatic increase in business for the electronics company I worked for. That lasted several years before a sudden downturn in the economy resulted in my losing my job. I was a good engineer, but not senior enough to survive the staff reduction.

While we were married, Judy and I had the usual assortment of marriage problems. One of them was her tendency to buy things that she not only didn't need, but had no use for. I mean, we lived in a city, so why would she need a horseback riding outfit?

Another issue was the lack of kids. I tried to talk her into the two of us going in and being checked out to see if there was anything medical going on, but she was adamant that she was fine. As the years passed, things progressed from her being fine to there must be something wrong with me. I dutifully went in for a variety of tests, and they all came back saying that there wasn't anything wrong — which only aggravated Judy even more.

So when I got laid off from my job, our relationship took a sudden and dramatic downturn. Not only was Judy continuing to spend money we couldn't afford, but she started bitching at me about my inability to father children — or support them, for that matter. I tried to deal with it as best I could, and even tried to get her to agree to marriage counseling, but she wasn't having any of that. Instead, she would denigrate and berate me on a daily basis, even while I was trying to keep myself together so I'd be able to present myself well in job interviews. Unfortunately, there finally came the point where the two of us had an argument that ran damn near an entire weekend, off and on. The following Monday afternoon, I got a call from her telling me that she wanted a divorce — something I agreed to, just to put an end to all the fussing and fighting.

Her family knew what was going on, of course, and uniformly supported ME during all the hubbub — even to the point of refusing to give Judy the money she wanted to hire a divorce lawyer. The little bit she was able to get from the friend she was staying with limited her to hiring someone that would only file the paperwork for a 'no- fault' divorce; each of us was allowed to keep a limited amount of personal and professional property (such as my laptop I used as an engineer), the rest was to be sold, and the money equally divided. Judy literally signed off on the agreement, only to be horrified to learn that it meant almost all of the clothes and other things she'd bought would be sold, too. By that time, I was so sick of all the bullshit that I actually laughed when the auction company hauled off the solid oak dining table and chairs she'd been adamant we 'needed', among other things.

With the sale of our house, and the money I got from the property auction, I was able to find a smallish one- bedroom apartment I could afford while I continued my job search; Judy not only managed to spend all of her share in a matter of a couple of months, but got herself kicked out of her friend's home for all her shenanigans — something that I considered eminently fair and appropriate.

Things were starting to turn around in the economy when I heard from Teresa that her husband had stolen several thousands of dollars from the insurance company he worked for, and disappeared — leaving her to try and take care of herself and three kids. It took a while, but she finally found a better-paying job and was able to rent a house for herself and the kids after she had to move out of the one she and her absent husband had been buying.

I continued my job search, and it was just a couple of days after I got notice from the courts and my lawyer that the divorce was final that I got an offer for a new job — in a different city.

When I found out where they wanted to send me, I knew that my life had started to turn around, too — it was the same place that Teresa had moved to. When I called her to give her the good news about the job, the first words out of her mouth were 'Congratulations!', immediately followed by 'So how soon can you get here?'

I thought that she meant she was looking forward to me being in the same town with her, but she soon set me straight; I was expected to move in with her and the girls, at least to start with. The basement of Teresa's place had been finished for occupancy, so there would be plenty of room for me to set up housekeeping there, and it would help both of us if I paid her a little bit of rent.

Not only would I be able to save some money toward my own place or anything else I needed or wanted, the additional income would obviously help her with her expenses. I was welcome to spend as much or little time with her and the girls as I wanted, and with the door between the house proper and the basement, I'd have however much privacy I wanted, as well. Teresa and I got along better than Judy and I ever had, and I adored the girls; so with the other assurances I'd gotten from her, I was happy to agree to her proposal.

Just over a week later saw me pulling into the driveway of Teresa's house. I'd barely shut the door on my car when I was all but knocked over by the sudden impact of a squealing young female. When I looked around, I saw Teresa coming toward me, with Donna close behind, and Karen at her side. That meant that the not-so-small body fused to me must be Wendy; when I got her arms peeled from around my waist and was able to push her back far enough to see her face, I saw that it was her — and that she was easily still as beautiful as she'd been.

How long it had been since I'd seen her last hit me when I didn't have to bend over as far to pick her up, and she was heavier than I remembered. It took me a few moments to work out that she must be 12 years old then — no wonder she was bigger!

I managed to give her a kiss on the cheek before she wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me again; it was when she did that that I realized what '12 years old' and 'female'

meant together by the feel of a couple of small but distinct breasts pressing into my chest.

Feeling a bit guilty that I'd noticed, I quickly set her down again, and looked into her beautiful brown eyes as she told me 'It's soooooo go to see you again, Uncle Ted! Even if you didn't come as soon as you said you would…', that last with an accusing tone, and look.

By that time, Teresa was close enough to remind the girl 'Wendy, Ted had things he had to do, just like we have. Instead of making him feel bad, why don't you just be glad he's here now?'

Wendy quickly wrapped her arms around me and said 'I'm sorry, Uncle Ted. I just missed you so much, is all.'

Softly patting her back, I answered 'That's okay, honey. I've missed you, too.'

Finally satisfied that I really, truly was there with them, she released her hold on me and stepped back. That gave Karen, then Donna, the chance to come up and show me their broad smiles before hugging me tight and giving me a kiss on the cheek and telling me how much they'd missed me. I didn't try to pick either one of them up, and couldn't help noticing that both were even more developed than Wendy had been. Then it was Teresa's turn, and there was no mistaking the fact that I had a full-grown adult woman in my arms. The kiss I got was full on the lips, and went far enough beyond a simple welcome that it made me a little uncomfortable.

Teresa had never given me any indication that there was anything more than friendship between us, but that

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