Flash: Gold Bands

Image acquired from the Interweb

“Tell me again how you have more in your 401K than I do?” Amanda asked with an edge to her voice as she nervously shifted the prenuptial agreement paperwork in her lap. “I’ve been working twice as long as you.”

Jeffrey glanced to the driver in their hired car, deciding that keeping his pregnant not-girlfriend distracted was more important than financial discretion. “I only have you beat by $20, but mostly I just been putting in the max since I’ve been hired.”

“So have I.”

“No, sweet cheeks,” Jeffrey said cautiously. At five months and on her second month answering to Jennings and without Aksel’s steadying influence, the barracuda never was far from the surface. He really wished Aksel came to Los Angles with Amanda, but he had stayed in Copenhagen to help the next manager. Or, more accurately, stayed with his wife and children in the country of his birth. “I started putting aside the full maximum by law, it’s like $15,000 or something crazy like that, as soon as I was hired. You’ve been flying around the world, making business happen, and setting aside the company match. Which for a manager is nice, but not the maximum allowed.”

Shifting through the paperwork again, she looked for something else to complain about. “My lawyer said you did everything utterly fair and reasonable.” She snarled at the legalize in her lap, working her way down the pile to their mutual wills.

“You told me what you wanted, and I did it.”

Amanda had shocked him with a ring when he picked her up with Mandi at the airport when she first arrived in America. She didn’t have time, working on bringing everything up and running for the new office and management, so he had arranged for the prenuptial and the wedding and the dozen of other tasks involved in combining two lives, three lives, or whatever the number was now.

“Of course you did. You are a god, and you always do everything perfect.”

Jeffrey leaned into the growling woman to whisper in her ear, “And I will prove that again tonight after I become Mr. Reid-Hall.”

A blush happened across her bosom and raced up both sides of her neck to color her cheeks. She whispered back, “How the hell are you making me feel sexy? I’m a blimp.”

“Yep, but I love blimps, my Mistress Troglodyte. Especially when I get to hold them close instead of just looking at them on the other side of the world.”

The car slowed outside of the chapel where Jeffrey had arranged for their wedding. Outside stood his mother. Mandi squirmed out of her arms as soon as she saw her parents climb out of the hired car. The toddler raced two steps ahead of her fall until she landed in her Daddy’s arms who swung her up and around. Amanda watched the brown, wiggling mass of giggles settle against Jeffrey with a bemused smile. The corners of her lips lifted up in what Jeff called her “gentle” smile, the one she saved just for Mandi and him.

Jeff turned to Amanda, the engagement ring on his finger sparkling in the Los Angeles sun, and asked, “Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be.” Amanda rubbed her rounding belly.

“We don’t have to do this.” Jeffrey looked at her, concerned. “I don’t need it, and Mom can tell the Major to stuff it.”

“Yes, we do.” She shifted her shoulders, straightening the tailored white jacket. “It protects the children in case anything happens.”

Jeffrey understood that is what she convinced herself this was about, but a variation of prenuptials and wills could work just as well for the legal aspects of asset combination and protection for the children. No, she wanted to be married, and more importantly, wanted to be married to him. She insisted he find a house here and got his primary work location transferred here, even though she will be overseas about as often as she would be in town. The few hours she was here and not working, she wanted to spend with him.

He wasn’t sure he would ever hear the words, “I love you.” from her, not with what had happened in her past. But at least he could say them to her now and have her believe him. And for him, “You are a god.” works pretty fine.

Together Amanda and he entered the chapel, with his daughter on his hips and his son being carried by his wife. His mother there to act as a witness. Inside the electronics were set to send the ceremony back to Utah and Denmark to their friends, and across the world to the half-dozen countries his family lived or were stationed. Trish, the new technical division manager, nodded as they walked in, indicating everything was good to go.

And everything was good to go.

The End and the Beginning

(Words 818; first published 4/14/2019)


The complete Red Mug series:
3/17/19 – Red Mug
3/24/19 – Green Cheeks
3/31/19 – Copenhagen Blue
4/7/19 – Clear Glass
4/14/19 – Gold Bands

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