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Tales From Home   ©2010    Shirley Ann Howard


Chapter 1




Sandy sat on the floor of her kitchen. The Italian tile felt cold next to the light shorts she wore, as she leaned against honey oak cabinets and listened to the voices of her husband and children who were swimming and shrieking outside. She bent her head back and closed her eyes, a flood of memories invading her confused mind. Seventeen years had passed since Sandra Scott married Leonard Bachenweiler. During that time they built a modern colonial mansion on Duxbury Bay, thirty-five miles south of Boston, and became parents of four children: two boys, now ages fifteen and thirteen; and two girls, eleven and nine. Boston University promoted Lenny to full professor of Biochemistry, and Sandy became Managing Officer of their skin regeneration company, partners with his cousin Cory, a physician.

The business had grown into a lucrative venture, but a sticky—check that, horrendous—situation caused Lenny and Cory to threaten to withdraw their interest, both intellectual as well as financial.

Sandy stared at the phone in her hand and considered her options. She could call their attorney to start proceedings to disband Bachenweiler Skin Regeneration, but the financial ramifications would be monumental.

She could hire someone to take over her management duties. Ming Won, a long-time colleague of Lenny’s, would jump at the opportunity, but Sandy preferred to keep her at arm’s length. 

Sandy fantasized about giving in to Cory’s allure—having a little fling. That would certainly get Lenny’s attention.

Then at least he won’t take me so for granted.

But the last thing she wanted was to get in the middle of two strong-willed Bachenweilers.

I’m already in the middle between the two of them.

Her youngest daughter called to her, breaking her trance. An east wind had blown in from the Atlantic, and the late afternoon sun had disappeared behind tall pines.

“Mommy, I’m cold,” Amy said, shivering at the slider.

Sandy got up and wrapped a thick towel around her and dried her dripping hair. At nine, Amy Helen Bachenweiler was a slight child, and tended toward timid.

“They kept splashing and Carol has a big water pistol.”

The little girl found it hard to hold her own with three older siblings.

“Let’s get you into some dry clothes,” Sandy said. “And the hair dryer will warm you up.”

“Daddy made her stop, but there’s chlorine all inside my nose and ears.”

Lenny had always protected Amy from Carol, who was aggressive and sometimes ruthless. The boys were generally well-mannered with their sisters, properly schooled by their parents, but Carol had a mean streak that extended to her father, and upon occasion, her mother.

I will figure all this out and do what’s best—for my family, as well as myself.


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