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Our honeymoon period continued long after we returned home from the spa. We were always kissing and stealing moments to fool around. I figured the reason why our desire for each was so strong was because we were not intimate before marriage and we probably felt like we needed to make up for lost time. I certainly did not mind having Zachary ravish me whenever he had the chance.

1170

“Wow!” I gasped as I broke away from the kiss to catch my breath. “You need to kiss me like that more often!”

1171

“There’s a lot more where that came from but first there’s something I want to talk to you about.”

“Talk? You really want to talk now? You should be ravishing me right now.” I giggled flirtatiously.

“I will get to that soon but I have an idea and I’m hoping you’ll agree with me.”

“You don’t want to do anything…weird do you?”

“No, no. I was gonna ask if you think the timing is right for us to start trying for a baby.”

1172

“A baby?” I swallowed hard, not expecting that at all. “But we just got married. Don’t you want to take some time to enjoy being newlyweds first?”

“We can still enjoy even while you’re pregnant Gemma.”

“Yes I know that but I’ll be fat and moody the whole time and that doesn’t sound sexy to me. We have plenty of time to think about having babies.”

1173

You have plenty of time but I don’t. Remember I’m older than you. I celebrated my mature adult birthday while we were on our honeymoon. I don’t want to wait too late to start trying and then by the time they’re children, I’ll be too old to play with them or see them graduate from high school.”

“That is true.” I thought about it for a minute and he was right. Sometimes I forgot that Zachary wasn’t the same age as me. I also don’t want to be too old and raising children especially by myself if Zachary was no longer around. “Let’s do it then.”

1174

“Really? Are you sure it’s what you want as well?”

I nodded. “You’re right, we shouldn’t wait too long. I don’t want our children to grow up without you and I don’t want to be pregnant as a mature adult and risk having complications. Let’s start trying tonight. What do you…whoa!”

1175

Without warning, he pulled me close, spun me around and then dipped me so low to the ground I thought I was going to fall before finally kissing me passionately. This was new and I loved it! I completely melted into his arms. We tried making that baby at least four times that night and not knowing for sure if we were successful or not only added to the fun.

1176

The following morning, Uncle Felix revealed over breakfast that he and Jackson would be moving out into a house of their own. He said that since Zachary and I were married it would only be a matter of time before we would have a child and that we would need the extra room. It was very sweet of him to be so considerate of us. Mother tried to convince him to stay but he already bought the house and they planned to move into it within a couple of days. So typical of her to try to spoil things for me, isn’t it?

1177

Speaking of spoiling things… as a consequence to my earlier poor judgement, Mother started causing troubling for Dad and me by extension.

Dad and I met in a secluded area behind the local art gallery. I thought it was strange that he wanted to meet me there since he would usually come to the store or ask me to meet him at The Rattlesnake.

“Is there a problem? Why did you want to meet me here, Dad?”

1178

“Your Mother’s put a tail on me.”

“What?”

“Yes. He’s some junior detective, I think. The guy’s been following me around wherever I go ever since your wedding. That means I can’t go to the hideout and I especially can’t go to your store or be seen with you.”

1179

“What if he followed you here?”

“Impossible. I always know where he is. That idiot has no clue on how to discretely tail someone and I have my lookouts to inform me if he’s close by but I still can’t take too many risks.”

I wanted to slap myself. I had compromised the entire operation by insisting Dad come to the wedding and now we might be in big trouble. “I can’t believe it! Why can’t she just leave things alone?!”

1179a

“It’s okay honey. It’s pretty much under control. As long as we don’t leave any record of contact with each other or be seen together we’ll be fine. I’ll just need you to contact the gang for me and let them know to hold off on our current operations until further notice.”

“But why?”

“Because, she might find out who my men are and have them followed as well. I can’t risk having her or her puny detective discover you’re involved with me. Plus, if we move the goods we have no way of cleaning all that the money unless we deliver it to you and like I said, I can’t risk you getting into trouble.”

1180

“So there’s no other way?”

“Not unless I get rid of Detective Primley but if he disappears she’ll obviously think I was responsible.”

“Primley…wait a minute, I know him.” I met Jeff Primley around the same time I met Zachary. We interacted a few times after that whenever he would come to the house to see Mother and every time he would try to flirt with me. Even when he knew I was engaged, Jeff still flirted with me and invited me to his place to check out his new couch, ugh! He was such a gross man! “Don’t worry Dad. I’ll take care of him.”

1181

“Gemma, you can’t…”

“It’s done. This is my mess and I’ll be the one to clean it. I know exactly what to do.” Suddenly I felt an upset feeling and had to stop myself from retching.

“Are you sick?” Dad asked.

“I probably shouldn’t have had that questionable smoked salmon bagel this morning.”

1182

He looked at me knowingly. “Could it be something else? Like good news, maybe?”

“Good news? I don’t …oh!” It could very well be good news although I didn’t think it would happen so soon after trying for the first time. I was nauseous and bloated, perhaps I really was pregnant. When I left I went to my doctor to get a test done and while I was waiting for the results I came up with a plan to deal with Detective Primley.

“You know I’m really surprised you actually took me up on my offer,” Jeff said as we sat on his couch.

1183

It was nothing impressive and barely comfortable making it more apparent that the only reason he invited me over was to try to get into my pants. “Yes, well, being back at the house is quite boring.”

“Fed up of married life already?”

“You could say that. He’s just so conservative and he barely wants to try anything new. I need a little excitement in my life, you know?”

1184

“I get it. I’m the right guy if you’re looking for a little adventure. I’m down for almost anything.”

“Seriously?”

“Yup, my friends call me the CPO, the chief party officer!”

I laughed excessively over his dumb joke. Talking to this man made me feel like my brain was frying to a crisp. “You are hilarious Jeff!”

1185

“It’s my job to put a smile on the faces of pretty ladies like you, babe.”

“How about you make us some drinks while I go freshen up a bit?”

His eyes widened in excitement. He thought I was playing right into his hands when it was the other way around. And this was Mother’s protégé? This guy? What a fool!

“Don’t take too long babe.”

“Oh, I won’t.”

1186

I stood in the bathroom running over the plan in my head to make sure I had everything covered. Once he had the drinks prepared I would distract him long enough to slip the sleeping pills I brought with me into his drink and once he passed out I would implement phase two. I took a deep breath wondering to myself if I was doing the right thing and then I thought about Dad getting into trouble, me losing my business, Zachary who might end up going down with us because of his involvement, and the baby I was carrying whose existence I had only learned about that afternoon. I could not allow him or her to be born in a prison to be raised by my mother, the woman responsible for the whole mess, or my nut bag sister who only recently swore revenge on me.

This was the right decision.

1187

The pills worked faster than I had imagined. He was out cold within fifteen minutes and I didn’t even need to give him a strong dose which was perfect because if an autopsy was done the medical examiner would find a normal dosage of Ambien in his system. Once he was passed out, I quickly washed the glasses and removed my fingerprints from any surface I touched the entire time I was there before slipping on some gloves to begin tampering with the stove. That also did not take too long and as soon as I smelled the gas and double checked to make sure all the windows were closed, I got out of there.

1188

Surprisingly, I did not feel all that bad about what I had just done. Yes, I did just kill a man. I mean, technically the gas he’ll asphyxiate on would be the true killer, so I didn’t truly kill him, but I was still responsible for it. Oh well. I was just so happy and nothing could bring me down from my high. I was pregnant and I could not wait to return home to give Zachary the good news.

“Where have you been? I was getting worried.” He asked as he met me outside. He truly was concerned. It was written all over his face.

1189

“I was at the store.”

“You’re lying. I went to the store and you weren’t there. What’s going on?”

I sighed realising I needed to come up with a better excuse. Then I realised telling part of the truth could work. “Okay, I wanted to wait until we went inside so I could surprise you but I’ll just tell you now. I was at the doctor’s office and then I went for a celebratory milkshake to mull over the good news. Zachary, I’m pregnant!”

1190

“You’re kidding? Really?”

I nodded. “Yes, you’re going to be a Dad!”

He squeezed me tightly as he laughed gleefully. “Oh Gem, this is the best news ever!”

1191

Zachary was so happy. He always said he wanted to have lots of children and I know he’ll make a great father. Now with Primley out of the way in what would appear to be a tragic accident involving a faulty stove, and Dad miles away at a bar in Newcrest having not left the bartender’s sight since evening to solidify his alibi if needed, business could resume as usual. I thought about telling Zachary the truth but he wouldn’t approve of what I had done to Primley. Dad was right when he said I would have to keep things from him for the sake of our marriage. In his eyes, I could do no wrong and I wanted to keep it that way.

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