Thursday, March 30, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 20

Nigel pulled onto their street and felt his heart drop as a wave of panicked fear washed over him. There was a police car parked in front of their house. For a second he debated turning around and leaving but there was no way he'd desert his lovers and the babies.

On the other hand he wasn't going to just march into the house without knowing what was going on. He continued down to the end of the street and then into the alley behind the house. Parking, he picked up the boxes of diapers, which were the reason that he wasn't inside. Cautiously, he moved up the walk to the back porch, setting the boxes down silently by the back door.

With infinite care, he unlocked the door and slipped inside. Silence greeted him for a minute then one of the babies started to cry. Without a thought he snatched open the door to the living room, expelling a sigh of relief. Page sat on the sofa, Marcia at her breast, while Vaughn held Brian on his shoulder, patting his back to make him burp.

"Very domestic," Nigel said, a bit of tension in his voice. "What the hell's with the cop car out front? I aged ten years when I saw it."

"The end of a traffic stop. They should be leaving soon, hopefully," Vaughn replied. "But I'll tell you what, when I heard the siren—well, you weren't the only one who put on ten years. I think this may be the last impetus we need to finish packing up and get our asses out of Dodge."

"I'm all for that," Page agreed. Smiling at Marcia, she expertly put her over her shoulder and burped her before getting up to set her in the bassinet. "How soon can we get a van?"

Putting Brian down next to his sister, Vaughn replied, "As soon as I make the call." Which he did seconds later. When he'd finished, he said it would be available in an hour.

"Good." Nigel tossed him the keys to the car. "You go for it; I'll get what's left boxed up."

With a chuckle, and a salute, Vaughn left. Nigel immediately went into the bedroom to put the last of their clothes, other than what they'd take in suitcases, into the open boxes on one side of the room. Page joined him minutes later to finish dressing and then clear out the bathroom.

"Put all the babies' things in there," she told him, pointing to an empty suitcase on the desk in front of the window.

By the time they heard Vaughn pulling up behind the house, they had all but the very essentials sealed in boxes. While Page tended to Marcia and Brian, getting them bundled up and ready for the trip, the men moved the boxes to the van.

"Good thing we travel light," Nigel commented when they got the last of them in. "Anything more and we'd need the car too."

"Which isn't an option since it was the trade-in. Let's make one more check to be certain we haven't forgotten anything and then get the car seats installed."

It took half an hour before Vaughn was satisfied that everything was as it should be in the van. Once the babies were in their seats, Page got in beside them while the two men settled down in the front seat.

"Portland, here we come," Nigel said with a smile as Vaughn pulled the van out of the alley onto the street. "A new life and a real home."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 19

"Brian Craig, welcome to my world," Vaughn whispered in awe when the nurse handed him the baby. He looked over at Nigel whose expression was just as awestruck as he handed Marcia Anne to Page.

"They're beautiful," Page said so softly both men had to strain to hear her. Vaughn took Brian over, placing him in the crook of Page's other arm. Then he sat beside them while the nurse explained to her how to start their first feeding. To him it seemed complicated but Page appeared to understand immediately, adjusting the twins so that both could feed the way each of them needed to.

Again, Vaughn looked over at Nigel, smiling at the wide grin on his lover's face. "Pretty spectacular, isn't it?"

"Oh yeah. But poor Page." Nigel pushed a loose strand of dark hair back from her face. She looked exhausted, which was no surprise considering the labor and delivery took almost eight hours, but her eyes gleamed with satisfaction.

When the nurse deemed that the twins were finished, explaining to Page how she would know, she took them from her, saying that they would be in the nursery. "Page needs to sleep while she can. When you take her home," she continued, giving the men a stern look, "you are to make certain she rests as much as possible. Which," she added, her eyes twinkling, "should be no problem with the two of you there to do all the housework for her."

Nigel gave a mock groan of horror, earning him the requisite, if weak, smack from Page.

"I'll be back with them in a couple of hours," the nurse said as she left the room.

"How are you doing?" Vaughn asked, leaning over to kiss Page's forehead.

"I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck, but other than that I'm okay." She gave him a worried look. "They are all right, aren't they? I mean, well, you're not trying to keep anything from me."

"Page, they're perfect. Ten fingers, ten toes, all the other requisite parts, and the doctor pronounced them just fine."

"You done good, Page," Nigel added to reinforce Vaughn's words.

"We done good," Page replied, taking both their hands. Then she yawned.

"Go to sleep," Nigel said, getting up but not before he also kissed her forehead. "We'll be right outside."

Vaughn chuckled at her small look of surprise. "You bet we will, at least till the next feeding is over. Then we're going to take turns being here. After all," he patted her hand, "we want to bond with our kids too, right from the get-go."

"Yeah, yeah," she murmured sleepily as her eyes closed.

"Now what?" Nigel asked quietly once they were in the hall.

"Now we start getting ready to move. We've pressed our luck in staying here for as long as we have."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 18

"If we're going to settle down, and I'm not saying we are," Vaughn said, pacing the living room with his hands clasped behind his back, "we need to decide where."

Nigel nodded. "Somewhere that we've never been before, for starters. No sense in taking any chances."

"A big city, though," Page added. "We'd stand out like sore thumbs in some small town."

"You already stand out like one," Nigel told her, grinning as he rubbed her belly. "Are we sure it's only twins?"

"Yes," she grumbled in reply, swatting his hand away and then immediately apologizing. She'd been experiencing mood swings, which her doctor had told her were perfectly natural during the last few weeks before the babies' births. As a result she'd tried very hard to let her men know that she didn't mean it when she growled at them.

Nigel pulled her closer to him, stroking her long, dark hair, murmuring, "Sorry."

"Me too. I just wish—" With a sigh, she returned to what Vaughn had been saying. "Did you have somewhere in mind?"

"Yes. Two places and they aren't big cities. I did a little research—"

"Of course," Nigel muttered, earning him another swat and the admonition from Page not to interrupt.

Vaughn chuckled, coming over to sit down on the other side of her. "One of them is Portland, Maine; the other is Portland, Oregon."

"Got a thing for the name Portland," Nigel asked, one eyebrow cocked in amusement.

"Not really. They both just came up as being good places that we've never even been close to. Portland, Oregon is definitely a city, though not a big one by New York standards. It's about the same size as here. The one in Maine is much smaller."

"Easier to get lost in a bigger place," Page pointed out. "What's the school system like in both of them?"

Vaughn chuckled. "You're really getting into this mother thing."

"Well, it is important," she huffed.

"I know, I know. I'll check that out. But we haven't decided yet if we do want to end up somewhere on a permanent basis."

Nigel tapped his lip. "Nothing wrong with it. It's not like we have to go legit, we'll just have to spend more time on planes or driving."

"Page?" Vaughn looked at her.

"He's got a point, as long as we take turns. You two are not going to cut me out of this. Understood?"

"Never," Vaughn stated emphatically, hugging her carefully. "You're our inspiration and our brains."

"Aww, thanks for that, and I am not going to break, mister," she grumbled.

"I know, but you have to admit getting my arms around you is harder these days." He kissed her quickly before she could growl at him again.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Guardian Angels – Protection (6)

(Note: Due to the imminent closure of the It's Raining Men blog - - this story will be continuing here, on my blog, on Sundays)

The rest of the afternoon dragged on. All Kip could think about, while he smiled and thanked people for their sympathy, was what Agent Easton had told him and Emily.
Some faceless enemy could be after us, if that really was why Mom and Dad were killed. I suppose it has to be. It's too coincidental otherwise.
He found he was checking every ten minutes on Jamie, and Emily's kids, who were still happily playing in the backyard. Two of the neighbor's children had joined them while their parents were inside attending the funeral reception. At one point, the kids had a rousing game of tag going on. Kip watched, laughing when Jamie dashed onto the porch to hide behind him to get away from his cousin, Beth. For a moment, life was back to normal. Then the weight of all that had happened descended again. Sighing, Kip went back inside.
It was evening by the time the house finally emptied of all the guests. Rob suggested going to a local restaurant for supper and then heading back to the hotel, as their flight left early the next morning.
If it hadn't been for the kids, who acted as if this was a short family vacation, the mood at supper might have been very tense. Kip found he was looking at everyone who came through the restaurant door, wondering if one of them was the killer. When he caught Emily doing the same thing, he shivered.
Even when they were back at the hotel as he helped a very tired Jamie get ready for bed, Kip couldn't relax. When his son was finally asleep, Kip stood staring out the fourth floor window at the city spread out below him.
Are you out there, somewhere? If you are, why come after us now? If we did know anything… if Dad told us anything, don't you think we'd have talked to the police already? He rested his forehead against the windowpane for a moment then looked up at the stars. If there is someone up there, God, Gaia, whomever, please, please, keep us safe until the bastard is caught. He chuckled softly. I suppose I shouldn't have sworn when I asked for your help, but then you've probably heard much worse in your time.
* * * *
Dave laughed silently, saying to Hal as they left Kip's hotel room, "Much worse."
"And whether he believes it or not, he is being watched over. Nothing is going to happen to him, or to Jamie, if I have anything to say about it," Hal said adamantly.
"If either of us do," Dave said aloud, now that they were outside the room. "I'm not losing my first charge, come hell or high water."
Hal winced. "Unlike me," he muttered.
Dave wrapped his arms around his lover in a tight embrace. "You did all that you could. Yeah, I didn't die an old man, but in the end, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I have you now, wings and all sometimes, so I'm not complaining."
"Me neither," Hal replied, before kissing him soundly. "Now, shall we find a vacant room here, if there is one, and see what making love without wings is like?"
"You have to ask?" Dave grinned.
Hal looked down at Dave's crotch and shook his head. "Silly question, wasn't it?"
"Very," Dave agreed. Taking Hal's hand, they headed down—invisibly—to the front desk to look over the desk clerk's shoulder at the computer screen when he checked for vacancies for a newly arrived customer.
Luck was with them, there were several. Moments later, they were in a room on the top floor, doing what any two men in love would do under the circumstances—without having to deal with the logistics of wings, now that they were in the real world.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 17

"She's in room 410," Mr Leigh said as he and Vaughn entered the hotel.

"All right." Vaughn headed toward the bank of elevators, Mr Leigh following slowly behind him. As Vaughn pressed the button, he realized the man had stopped a few yards away. Going back to him, he said, "You're not having second thoughts, are you?"

"No, yes, no, I guess not. But what if she denies everything? I mean isn't she going to wonder why I brought someone along?"

"She's not going to know I'm there until after you hand her the money." Vaughn frowned before starting back to the elevators.

Mr Leigh hurried after him. "What's wrong?"

"It just occurred to me that she sometimes works with a partner, a man."

The elevator doors opened just then and the two men stepped on, Vaughn pushing the button for the fourth floor.

"This won't work if he's there, will it?" Mr Leigh asked, looking as if he was about to change his mind.

"It will. We'll just have to alter our plans a bit," Vaughn said confidently. "The first thing is, when we get to the room you'll put the briefcase on the floor by the door and knock. If Ms Del Gado answers then we're good and you pick it up. If it's the man, you make an issue of needing to talk to Ms Del Gado, not to him. He might tell you she's not there, in which case you step into the room and look around."

"Is he—will he be upset if I do that?"

"No. He's just her protector. She'll be there, only not where you can see her immediately. The minute you do, you say her name so I know it's a go. Got it?"

By then they were off the elevator, Vaughn swiftly hustling Mr Leigh to room 410. Mr Leigh put the briefcase down then knocked on the door.

It opened and Nigel said, "You're early."

"Where's Ms Del Gado?" Mr Leigh replied, trying to look past him into the room.

"She's here, see for yourself." Nigel moved aside to let the man enter. When he had, Nigel stepped into the hallway, closing the door swiftly behind him. Vaughn grabbed the briefcase and seconds later he and Nigel were on the move. They'd chosen room 410 for a reason, its proximity to the emergency stairs. They raced up them to the fifth floor then walked calmly down to room 520 and knocked.

Page opened the door, smiling when Vaughn handed her the briefcase full of money. "With Mr Leigh's compliments," he said, grinning.

"As if." She put it on the desk and opened it. "Baby's getting a new pair of shoes; both of them are, in fact."

"And while we wait for things to calm down, because you know he's going to call the cops, I suggest Vaughn and I take a shower to get rid of the hair coloring and what have you," Nigel said pointedly, wincing as he pulled off the dark mustache he'd been wearing.

"Not without me," Page told him, swatting his ass. "So strip, I'll get rid of your clothes and then join you."

Nigel smiled wolfishly as he yanked his T-shirt over his head. "I so love the aftermath of a good game."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 16

Vaughn walked into Mr Leigh's front office three minutes after Page had left. He stopped at the receptionist's desk, flashed a badge, and told her that he was Detective Sinclair and he needed to speak with her boss. She immediately let Mr Leigh know and then told Vaughn to go right in.

"Thank god," Mr Leigh said. "I was just going to call the police."

"About Ms Alexis Del Gado?" Vaughn asked.

"I guess that's her name. She never actually told me. About so tall"—he held up one hand—"shoulder length blonde hair, pregnant?"

"That's her, although she's not really pregnant, that's just part of her con. We've been after her for the past year, but until now we haven't found anyone who's willing to help us stop her. I'm hoping you might be the one."

Mr Leigh frowned deeply. "She's a criminal then?"

"Oh yes. She runs confidence games on married men, like you. Her favorite one is pretending that she's pregnant and blaming her victim. Once she's got him believing her, she asks for money. The problem is, as I said, none of the men have been willing to help entrap her."

"I—how would I be able to help do that?"

"First, I need to know how she asked you to deliver the money, presuming of course that you didn't already give it to her."

Mr Leigh shook his head. "Believe me, I don't keep that kind of money here. I'm supposed to withdraw it from my bank and then meet her at her hotel."

"Perfect," Vaughn replied, smiling. "I need you to do exactly that."

"I don't know," Mr Leigh replied hesitantly. "How will I explain withdrawing that much cash?"

Vaughn seemed to be thinking for a moment, and then told him to tell anyone at the bank who might question it that he was in the process of making a down payment on a vacation home and the owner requested it be in cash.

"I can do that," Mr Leigh said slowly. "And then what?"

"Take something with you to carry it in, obviously. Do you have a briefcase?" Mr Leigh nodded. "Excellent. From the bank, we'll go to her hotel. As soon as you hand over the money, I can arrest her." Vaughn checked his watch. "We should get moving. The sooner we get this done the sooner I can get her off the streets and you can stop worrying."

Mr Leigh still hesitated. Then, with a sharp nod, he put on his suit jacket and picked up his briefcase.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 15

Mr Leigh listened, a horrified look on his face, and then asked tautly, "What do you want from me?"

"My husband lost his job. We can't afford the doctor bills and, well, much of anything actually, so I was hoping you'd understand and help me out with this."

"No." He shook his head almost violently. "I'm not paying you one red cent for a kid that only might be mine."

Page leaned back, crossing her arms over her belly as she stared at him. "I didn't want to do this; I was hoping that you'd see reason. But since you seem fit to pretty much call me a liar without coming out and saying it—" She took another envelope from her purse.

He tore it open, took out two more pictures and a folded sheet of paper.

"The letter is a copy of the one I will send to your wife," Page said quietly, "along with the originals of those pictures."

"You bitch!" he barked out.

"I have to think of the baby."

He stood up, looking down at her angrily, his fists clenched. She pulled back as if afraid he was going to hit her. Turning away, he paced angrily to the door, started to open it, obviously changed his mind and went across the office to stare out of the window, his hands fisting and relaxing spasmodically. Finally he turned around to look at her. "How much?"

She named a figure, telling him she wanted it in cash. "After all, you might have a problem explaining to your wife why you'd written a large check to some strange woman," she pointed out when he seemed ready to protest.

He nodded, his shoulders slumping in resignation. "It will take me a day to get that much cash together."

"You have three hours. I'm sure you can get to the bank and then to my hotel room in that amount of time."

"I—I don't know."

"I do." She used the arm of the sofa to help her stand up. "Three hours or I send the letters and the photos to your wife."

"This is blackmail," he growled. "How do I know you won't contact me again, asking for more money?"

"That," she replied softly as she walked to his desk to write down the name of the hotel and a room number, "is a chance you'll have to take. Honestly though, all I want is enough to see me through until our baby is born and this should do it quite nicely." With that said, she handed him the slip of paper and left.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

It's release day for 'The Elevator Murders'!

The Elevator Murders
When Tony Watkins discovers a dead man in the elevator of his apartment building, he has no idea there will be more murders. When the second body is found, he and his friends at the club he goes to put their heads together to try to figure out what's happening and who the killer might be.

Kirk Logan is a man with problems. At twenty-nine, he still isn't out to his parents. On top of that, Tony thinks he's easy -- which is true -- and will have nothing to do with him, even though he wants to help Tony solve the murders. That is until he finally opens up to Tony about why he's the way he is.

What Tony learns about Kirk, in addition to a third murder, changes everything. Can Tony deal with his feelings for Kirk while trying, if possible, not to become the next murder victim?

    "So how was your day?" Dan asked as soon as Tony took a seat at the table in the club Monday evening.

    "You do not want to know," Tony told him, flagging down a waiter to order a beer.

    "Story not talking again?"

    "It babbling, thank God." Tony nodded at Greg, who had just taken another chair at the table. "And I finished the article on upcoming events and attractions for the local tourist magazine, so that's out of my hair."

    "Then what's wrong?" Dan asked.

    "As soon as I get my drink I'll tell you." As if Tony had said the magic words, the waiter showed up seconds later to put the bottle on the table. Tony paid, then took a deep drink. "I needed that." He noticed his hand was shaking as he set the bottle back down.

    Greg rested his elbows on the table, staring at Tony. "Problems?"

    Tony nodded, lowering his voice as he said, "Someone was murdered in my apartment building and I found the body."

    "The hell you say." Dan practically shouted, before clapping a hand over his mouth. "Tell all," he said, keeping his voice down.

    "I thought I heard someone in need of help, so I went looking. I got as far as the third floor, walking up because the elevator was ... well, being the elevator."

    "Meaning slower than molasses," Greg said, having ridden in it a time or two.

    "Yeah. That's what I figured, anyway. I was going to knock on doors to see if anyone else had heard the same thing. Actually, I did knock on a couple of them but no one answered, so I decided everyone was probably at work because if they had heard what I did, they'd be out in the hall. Anyway, I tried the elevator again and while I was waiting a guy who lives on three appeared. Older man, maybe in his sixties. Not that that matters. So we talked until the elevator came. The door opened ..." He shuddered and took another drink.

    "The body was in there?" Greg asked with macabre relish.

    "Yeah. Damn. Thank God Alan, that's the old man, was there, too, or I'd probably have lost it. We called the cops. When they showed up I had to explain what I'd heard. I think they believed me."

    "Or they think you killed the guy ... It was a guy, right?" When Tony nodded, Dan continued. "They don't, do they?"

    "They didn't act like it, and I'm here, not in jail, so I sure hope not."

    "Was there lots of blood?" Greg asked ghoulishly. "How was he killed?"

    "I think ... stabbed. I sure didn't go in to check but that's what the wounds looked like," Tony replied, shooting him a look of disgust. "You're getting too much fun out of this."

    "Blame it on my misspent youth, watching too many horror movies."

    "Youth?" Dan eyed him. "You went to one just last week if I remember right."

    Greg shrugged. "So I'm a fan of blood and gore. Shoot me."

    Tony hissed in a breath, finishing his beer in one big gulp then holding the bottle up to let the waiter know he wanted another.

    "Is your name going to be on the news as a witness?" Dan asked.

    "I hope not. I'm not a witness. I just found the body. I snuck out the back door of the building to the parking lot, as soon as the detective said I was free to leave. When I say snuck, I mean it. I didn't want to be accosted if there were reporters hanging around. Got my car and beat it the hell away from there."

    Dan smirked. "And came here to cry on our shoulders."

    "No, I came to get a drink or ten so I can forget what I saw. It was horrible."

    "What was horrible?" someone asked from behind Tony.

    He turned to see who it was and wished he hadn't. The man who stood there was beyond handsome -- and a real prick, in Tony's estimation. "Nothing you need to know about, Kirk," he replied coldly.

    "Sorry I asked," Kirk muttered, starting to walk away. Then he said, "You looked angry, or upset."

    "So of course you had to find out why so you'd have a story to tell whoever you decided to take home tonight. Well, that's not happening."

    "Fuck you, too," Kirk spat out as he turned on his heel, heading toward the bar.

    "Also not happening," Tony said under his breath.

    Dan eyed him, almost smiling. "Still got a thing for him?"

    Tony snorted. "I've never had a thing for him, the conceited asshole. Thinks he can have any guy he wants just by snapping his fingers."

Three Lovers on the Grift - 14

"I have an appointment to see Mr Leigh," Page said softly when the man's receptionist finally took notice of her. The receptionist asked her name, checked the book, and then buzzed Mr Leigh to let him know his next visitor had arrived.

When Page entered the office the man looked up, took note of her condition and immediately stood, suggesting that she might be more comfortable on the sofa than at one of the visitor's chairs in front of the desk. Once she was seated he pulled up a chair and sat down opposite her, asking, "Just how can I help you?"

Page's face was woebegone as she said, "You don't remember me, do you, Jonathan?"

"Well, no. Should I?"

"I was hoping—" She opened her purse, taking out an envelope which she handed to him.

He frowned, turning it over in his hands for a moment before lifting the flap and taking out a series of photographs. "What the hell!" He looked at her, and then back at them, as if to make certain she was the woman in the pictures. "What's the meaning of this?"

Rubbing her belly, Page told him, "I'm pregnant, and the baby is yours. Or at least I'm ninety-nine percent certain it is. The timing is right, I'm afraid." Looking directly at him, a tear running down her cheek, she said, "I thought I could do this on my own but—" She lowered her gaze.

"Why should I believe that the kid is mine?" He sounded angry, but his hands were gripped together so tightly his knuckles were white and his face showed a trace of fear.

"Because I say it is, and I should know. We met at—" she named the convention that she knew he'd attended. "You seemed like a nice man and I was lonely so when you asked, I agreed to go back to your room with you." She sighed softly, wiping away another tear. "My husband and I were in the process of getting a divorce although I never told you that. I just needed—needed to know a man could find me attractive." She smiled then. "You did. And before you ask, you were the only man I slept with while I was separated from my husband."

"You just said you were divorcing him," Mr Leigh said, thinking he'd found a lie in her story that could save him from what he thought was coming.

"I was, but when I returned home from the conference we decided to take another stab at making things work."

"Then this baby could be his."

Page shook her head sadly. "I wish the baby was my husband's, but, well, I was honest with him about what had happened, especially since you didn't use protection, which was stupid on both our parts but in the fever of the moment... Anyway, he said we would have to wait until I was tested, you know, and so we did and—" She rattled that out as if afraid if she didn't she'd never get it said.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 13

"Okay, we've narrowed it down to two, so which one will be more likely to fall for it?"

Nigel and Page reread the two sheets of information Vaughn had put together with their help. "I'd say this one. He's definitely more of a player, and has more to lose if his wife finds out," Nigel said, tapping one of the pages. "Gotta love cheating husbands."

"Agreed." Page rubbed her swollen belly thoughtfully. "And as many times as he's stuck it in one female or another the chances of his remembering if I was one of them are slim to none, especially after six months give or take, which is what I'll claim. God only knows the twins are making me look that pregnant."

"Him, it is then. Now we have to set up the approach." Vaughn turned to Nigel. "Where are the pictures from the security camera?"

"There." Nigel pointed to one of several folders sitting at the end of the table. "You just have to insert Page's picture into them."

"Use the ones of me in the blonde wig," Page suggested, getting a nod from Vaughn as he picked the folder up and went to the computer. Half an hour later, while Page made lunch and Nigel did some quick vacuuming, he was finished. After Page set out lunch and they sat down, Vaughn passed the finished pictures around.

"Perfect," Nigel said, smiling. "These will make it much harder for him to deny that he's met her, to say the least of sleeping with her." He laid one hand on Page's stomach. "The evidence of his peccadillo is right here."

"Been reading 'Word of the Day', Nigel," Vaughn asked with a grin.

"Yep, and the one for today is 'wiseass', with your picture to illustrate it."

"I'll show you wiseass," Vaughn growled, pushing his chair back and coming around the table to pull Nigel to his feet. Nigel looked at him in surprise just before Vaughn's mouth descended on his in a searing kiss while his hands kneaded his ass. Then Vaughn stepped away and went back to his seat, a 'cat who ate the canary' grin on his face.

"Umm, damn." Nigel dropped down in his chair, grumbling that Vaughn had better be ready to do something about the 'problem' he'd created as soon as lunch was over.

With a laugh, Page ran her hand up the obvious erection bulging behind the zipper of Nigel's jeans. "We both will." She kissed him slowly, still stroking him before saying, as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening, which it wasn't, "When do we start setting our plan into motion?"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 12

"Twins?" Vaughn looked at Page in horror. Nigel on the other hand was grinning ear to ear. "How the hell—?"

Page snorted. "Well when the two of you put parts A into slot B on the same day and almost the same time, Vaughn—"

"I get that. Damn, woman." He continued pacing the living room, shaking his head. "What are we going to do with twins?"

"Be good parents to them," Nigel told him. "The best that we can be under the circumstances."

"Yeah, I know." Vaughn came back to sit down on the other side of Page on the sofa. "Look, don't get me wrong, I'm really all right with this whole baby thing now. But," he shook his head again.

"It's freaking scary, I know." She rested her head on his shoulder. "But exciting too."

Nigel nodded. "We're going to have to make some decisions though."

Vaughn looked at him over Page's head. "A lot of them; like are we going to settle in one place so they have a real home."

"And should we think about going legit. I mean how do we explain to them that their parents don't make their money the old fashioned way?"

Page chuckled softly. "I, for one, don't have a clue what a real job even looks like, and neither do either of you. Tossing burgers is not my idea of how to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. And before you all say a word, I am not going to stay at home while the two of you go off to do your thing. We share and share alike, as always."

"He gets diaper duty," Nigel said with a grin.

"And you get to wake up in the middle of the night when they start crying," Vaughn retorted.

With a chortle of amusement, Page told them, "This could make my life easy. I'll just hand over everything but the feeding to the two of you, lay back, and enjoy."

"Like hell. Share and share alike, remember." Nigel swatted her arm lightly. "We all trade off, well, except the feeding. Neither of us has the right equipment for that."

She smiled, leaning in to kiss him then turning to do the same to Vaughn. "The three Musketeers plus two. This should turn out to be very, very—interesting."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 11

For the next month and a half the trio ran several small cons, more to keep their hand in than out of necessity. A con was only as good as the practitioners and losing their edge because they were taking it easy was not an option in their eyes. Page, who was second only to Vaughn when it came to planning their games, came up with a variation of the Jamaican Switch that netted them a sizable chunk of change with virtually no risk.

Then the next hurdle hit.

Page had her second doctor's appointment since she'd found out she was pregnant. Surprisingly, at least to her, she was weathering the whole thing fairly well. So far it hadn't been nearly as bad as she's heard it could be. Well, other than the fact that she was already putting on weight, which had her bemoaning the fact that none of her favorite clothes fit anymore.

She arrived at the doctor's office with her two lovers in tow. Leaving them in the waiting room, she followed the nurse back to the examination room. The doctor greeted her and then took her through the usual checks and balances. When he'd finished he told her he wanted to do an ultrasound.

"Is there something wrong with the baby," she asked, feeling a moment of panic.

He smiled, shaking his head. "I just want to check something."

Chewing her lip, she lay back down as the nurse brought the machine into the room. After the doctor spread gel over her belly and pelvic area, he moved the probe over her.

"I thought so," he murmured. "See," he pointed to the picture on the screen.

Page looked, not sure what she was seeing.

"You're having twins." He pointed out the two fetuses, explaining that each one was in its own amniotic sac and had separate placenta. "They're fraternal."

"Oh my god," she whispered, staring in wonder at the picture. Then she had a thought, figured it was a crazy one, and shook her head.

"What, Page?" the doctor asked. "If you want to know something you have to ask. I don't read minds, unfortunately."

"Okay, very off the wall. Is it possible that they're from different fathers?"

He nodded. "Possible. We won't know for certain until after they're born. Can I presume that you've had relationships with more than one man?"

Page laughed. "Often, and they both know so you don't have to dance around it. The two men who came with me today are my lovers."

"Oh." He looked momentarily shocked and then chuckled. "I think you're the first patient of mine that's been in that situation, or at least who's admitted it to me. Are they—" he hesitated.

"They're bi, if that's what you were going to ask, so the three of us are lovers in all the ways possible. I wonder—It would be fantastic if they were each the father of one of the twins. Oh, can you tell if they're boys or girls?"

"Not yet. We'll do another ultrasound on your next visit and see if we can determine it then. Now let's get you cleaned up and then I'll lay down the law on what you have to do to keep the babies and yourself healthy."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 10

Nigel's thought that there would be more hurdles before the baby arrived proved to be correct. The first one came two weeks later when Vaughn decided Page was not going to be involved in any more cons.

They had rented the house they wanted and moved in, furnishing it from several near-new shops in the area. The fence had been able to dispose of all the jewelry and other items they had gotten from the gala at the mansion, reaping them a fairly substantial amount of cash even after he'd taken his percentage. With the money deposited in a blind bank account, and what they'd had in their last bank transferred over as well, the trio felt secure in the knowledge that they didn't have to pull off another job for at least a little while.

That did not stop Vaughn from making plans. Plans that did not involve Page. When she found this out, she went ballistic.

"I am not some coddled little society chick that has to be pampered and babied," she yelled so loudly that Nigel wondered if their neighbors could hear her. "I'm having a baby, something billions of women have done before me. Hell, it used to be that farm wives would work until the end and then have the kid in the fields."

"You aren't some damned farmer's wife," Vaughn had replied angrily. "You're my woman, and Nigel's, and we want you to take it easy so there are no complications. It's your first kid, Page. You don't know what could happen."

She'd swung around to look at Nigel for backup. He shook his head. "He's half right, Page. You shouldn't be in on any con that could put you in the line of fire."

"When have I ever been," she growled in reply. "You're the one who does the physical parts of them. Vaughn and I are the ones who do the mind games and there's no way I can get hurt doing that."

"What about the time that wife broke into the hotel room while you were setting up the game to take her husband for a sizable amount of cash to keep quiet about his 'affair' with you?" Vaughn pointed out. "If I hadn't seen her going into the room she could have done you quite a bit of harm before I saved you."

"Okay," Page admitted reluctantly, "there was that once, but that was all. Besides, I'm not really going to be in any condition for us to run something like that again for a while. I'm just telling you, I am not going to sit around here, or wherever we move next, and twiddle my thumbs."

"We'll figure things out," Nigel said placatingly.

"You'd better, or you're both cut off for the foreseeable future."

Nigel grinned. "You'd better come up with a better threat than that. After all, we still have each other."

For a moment it appeared as if Page was going to do something physical to him, or to Vaughn who was also grinning. Then she laughed and the tension was broken.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 9

"No effing way in hell!" Vaughn glared across the table at Page.

She and Nigel had decided to wait to tell Vaughn that she was pregnant until they were at dinner. They figured that way he'd have to keep his cool while he got used to the idea. Now she was beginning to wonder if that would happen. The look on his face said he was ready to explode.

"Vaughn, breathe," Nigel said quietly. "Breathe and shut up for a minute."

"This has nothing to do with you, so you shut up," Vaughn countered angrily.

"Excuse me? The kid could be mine just as well as yours. And I'm behind her one-hundred percent. This kid is going to be born, like it or not."

"Well, I don't like it and she knows it. How could she have been so—so stupid?"

"She is sitting right here so ask me," Page spat out. Then slowly and coldly she explained how she thought it had happened. When she finished the three of them sat there quietly, each wrapped in their own thoughts.

Finally, Vaughn said, "You won't consider—?"

"No." Tentatively, Page reached across the table to take his hand, happy that he didn't pull away. "I know this is the last thing in the world that you wanted."

"Well," he replied, a small smile on his face, "actually it's the third to last. The next to last is ending up in a jail."

"And the last," Nigel asked.

"Losing either of you." He squeezed Page's hand. "This is going to take me some time to come to grips with, but I guess I'm going to have to because one small baby is not going to drive us apart."

Nigel glanced at Page and smiled. "I knew he wasn't going to go off half cocked. Well, not here anyways."

Vaughn shot him a look that was a mix of amusement and annoyance. "Just how long have you known about this?" After looking at his watch, Nigel admitted it had been a whole five hours, give or take. Vaughn nodded. "I suppose this explains why the two of you were more interested in going to get something to eat than in what happened with the realtor and the man who's going to help us get rid of the stuff we got last night."

"Just a bit. After all, in the grand scheme of things this is more important."

"Yes it is." Vaughn beckoned for Page to move next to him on his side of the booth. When she did, he cupped her face in his hands. "We'll make this work," he told her before kissing her gently.

Nigel sighed in relief as he watched them. One hurdle over with, although he figured there would be a lot more before the baby put in an appearance.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 8

Once Vaughn was gone, Page started pacing the motel room, a frown on her face. Nigel watched, not interrupting her. He knew her well enough to understand that she wouldn't tell him what was bothering her until she was ready.

Finally she came back to settle down beside him on the edge of the bed. After a very long pause, she said simply, "I'm pregnant."

"Shit," Nigel muttered. "You're sure? Damn, Page, that's—" he thought for a second then smiled. "Actually, that's fantastic." Hugging her tightly, he asked, "Boy or girl?"

Page nestled into his hug, laughing softly. "It's a bit early to know, silly man. I'm just a little over a month into it." Looking up at him, she said tentatively, "You're really okay with it?"

"Well, yeah. Why wouldn't I be? How does Vaughn feel about it?" One look at her face and he knew the answer. "You haven't told him."

"I'm afraid to. He's always made it clear to me that kids were out of the question because, well, of what we do and the fact that it's the three of us."

Nigel nodded slowly, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "Well, it's sort of a moot point now, isn't it? We'll have to tell him." He lay back, keeping her in his arms, letting her head rest on his shoulder. "He's going to want to know how it happened."

"It was a fluke, I think." She chewed her lip distractedly. "Remember the job we did just before we moved on to the last city? Well, we were so involved in setting it up and all, and I was so nervous because it was a new con for us. I honestly forgot to take the pills for a few days. Unfortunately," she chuckled morosely, "it was the wrong few days."

"Ouch. So you weren't taking them, and we were doing our best to help you relieve your tension." He stroked her hair gently. "He'll be all right with it once he gets past the initial shock."

"God, I hope so because it is going to happen, whether he likes it or not." Her tone of voice was firm as she said that.

"Of course it is. I'll back you to the hilt on that. After all, the chances are fifty-fifty it's my kid and that being the case, he or she is going to arrive and have at least two parents who want him, or her." He tilted her chin up then, scanning her face. "You do want this kid, right? I mean really and truly and not just because you don't like the alternative?"

Moving so that she was lying on top of him, she smiled, tracing a finger over his lips. "Yes, Nigel, I do want this baby, very, very much."

"Then you'll have it, come hell or high water, or Vaughn."

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 7

"We made the papers," Vaughn said as he came into the motel room late the next morning.

"Hopefully not 'We' per se," Nigel commented, looking up from his laptop.

"Nope." Vaughn set down two suitcases that he'd picked up from the shipping company. "The last of the lot."

"Decent clothes," Page said gleefully as she opened one of them.

Vaughn cocked an eyebrow in amusement. "There's nothing wrong with what you're wearing now."

"Or not wearing," Nigel agreed with an enthusiastic grin.

"Lechers, both of you," Page grumbled as she began dressing.

Vaughn chuckled, pulling her into an embrace. "Of course we are. You'd excite even a eunuch, my dear."

"Hands off, mister. We have places to go and things to do right now."

After kissing her lightly, Vaughn released her, crossing the room to sit down beside Nigel. "Anything?" he asked.

"Several possibilities." He scrolled through the list until he found what he wanted. "This looks like the best one to me. The area is gay friendly so we won't stand out. The house is small enough, and the rent's affordable."

"I like," Page put in as she joined them, "Just secluded enough with all those trees between it and the neighbors."

Vaughn looked at the information, scrolled through the other ones Nigel had found and came back to it again. "I agree. I'll get in touch with the realtor."

"Who are you going to be this time?" Nigel asked.

"I've got a couple of identities I haven't used yet. I'd rather that than reverting back to a past one, just to be on the safe side."

"Definitely." Nigel waited until Vaughn had written down all the pertinent information and then shut down the laptop. He picked up the newspaper that Vaughn had tossed on the bed, reading the story about the robbery at the gala in the city they'd left late the previous evening. "We did not take that much," he grumbled a moment later.

Reading over his shoulder, Page nodded. "Someone wasn't being very honest."

"No shit," Nigel replied with a snort of laughter. "Glad to know we could help out the larcenous owner at the same time that we helped ourselves." He turned to Vaughn, who was getting ready to leave again. "Have you made contact with someone to handle the jewelry and what have you?"

"I'll do that while I'm out. I have a couple of names from our last fence. People he trusts." After pausing long enough to give each of his lovers a thorough goodbye kiss, he left.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Three Lovers on the Grift - 6

Vaughn bit back the impulse to smile as the security guard forcefully took him to the front door of the mansion, all the while telling him what a bastard he was to treat his sweet, lovely wife the way he had. When the door closed firmly behind him after the guard admonished him not to return, Vaughn leaned back against it, giving in to the need to laugh in relief. So far everything had gone exactly as planned.

Calming himself, he strode quickly along the long veranda to the steps that would take him down to the side of the mansion. From there he walked silently until he was under the second floor window that they had chosen to use. He stepped away and looked up. It was partially open. He whistled softly and then moved back into the shadows. Moments later he heard a soft thud as a small bag landed in the dirt of the flower bed beside him. After a short wait a second one joined the first. He picked them up, securing them to a belt under his tunic. A few minutes later two more bags landed in the flower bed. As he retrieved them he heard a short whistle.

He headed immediately to the back of the mansion, peering up at the second floor balcony. Nigel appeared and Vaughn tossed a strong, thin coil of rope up to him. After tying it off, Nigel swung over the balcony railing and climbed down. Once he was on the ground he gave the rope a sharp tug which undid the knot. Catching the rope, he handed it to Vaughn and then quickly disappeared around the side of the mansion.

Vaughn coiled the rope again as he walked in the opposite direction. When he arrived at the flowering shrub behind which Nigel had left the bag, he opened the bag and changed into one of the sets of dark jeans and shirts that it held. He folded up his costume, shoving it into the bag, and then sat down in the deep shadows to wait for his partners.

They arrived some twenty minutes later, Page first, Nigel soon afterward. Without a word they also changed clothes. Then, with caution, they left the mansion grounds, Nigel carrying the bag that now held all of the costumes.

Once on the sidewalk, Vaughn put his arm around Page's shoulders and the three of them strolled slowly away, to all intents and purposes just three people out for a late evening walk. When they turned the corner of the long block, Vaughn led the others across the street, up a dark driveway and through a well-groomed backyard to an alley where a small, foreign-made car stood parked next to a garage. The three partners got in and soon they were headed out of town. Four or so miles from the mansion, Vaughn pulled into a parking lot. Nigel jumped out of the car when Vaughn stopped by a donations bin. After emptying the contents of the bag into the bin, Nigel got back into the car. Two miles farther on, they disposed of the bag in a dumpster behind a restaurant.

"Done and done," Nigel said with a grin as Vaughn headed toward the highway. Page laughed happily, leaning across the console to kiss Vaughn's cheek. Not taking his eyes off of the road, he pulled her close enough to give and get a real, if fast, kiss. As she sat back, Nigel reached over the back of the seat to cup her chin in his hand. After he'd received his own kiss from her, he leaned his head back, closed his eyes, and soon drifted off to sleep.