The Temporary Wife, Addendum
Disclaimer, rating, summary, main author's note on part 1.
I suggest you don't read this right after you read the ending to the original story. Wait a little. The tone of this chapter is diametrically opposed to the previous ten chapters, and so it might be a little off-putting. It's just that I generally turn to silliness after a serious story (see "My Friend the 084", which was written concurrently with "Apolutrosis") to get my mind off of the emotions of the serious one, and this ensued. Once the ending to the story (chp. 10) sinks in and is processed, this might not feel so awkward.
For those returning to this chapter some time after chp. 10, I hope you enjoy the goofiness. So I kind of lost my mind a little. :-)
The newlywed pair sat on the creaky porch swing with her, rocking quietly as they looked over the landscape that stretched beyond the backyard. Behind them was the living room, and through the open windows, they could hear the ruckus: the younger children giggling, and Penny just laughing as Leo tried to get out from under the pile of children on top of him.
Grant was holding his smartphone out in front of Jemma, about to press the phone to start the video call. "Ada will be overjoyed," he smiled. "She asked about you every time I called."
"What did you tell her?"
"I might have...not actually told her what happened." Grant wrinkled his nose a little. "She believes you're with a sick aunt."
"But I don't have an aunt," Jemma began, then realized what her husband had said. "You lied to her?! Grant!" she chastised lightly.
"You told me you were an only child!" he exclaimed in protest.
There was instant silence behind them, as Jemma's five siblings peered out at them from behind the screen door. Leo looked irritated. Penny, ever trusting that her sister had her reasons, merely looked amused. And the youngest three stood gaping at their eldest sister, half-shocked, half-hurt looks on their faces.
The large hammock swung gently in the chill air. Grant tugged the sleeping bag under their bodies higher up, then pulled the thick quilt over their shoulders. "The temperatures drop pretty quickly here," he commented.
"They do," she agreed as she looked up at him, her eyes bright even in the dark night sky. The stars reflected off of them. "You could get a hotel room in town if you like. I won't be offended."
Grant snorted. "I'm not letting you out of my sight," he began, and she blushed. "And I believe you're loath to leave your family."
"I am, but the house is a bit small for seven."
"How did you guys sleep when you used to come out here?"
"Leo and I haven't been here in Idaho together since we all first moved to the United States. He'd come one year for Christmas, and then I would come the next year. The last time we were all together was when we first moved here. Then, Howie and Davey were so small they shared a bed. Mary was small enough to share with me. We squeezed into the two bedrooms and our grandmother always slept in the living room."
"Mm." He tucked her against his side. "Guess I'm kind of an oversized bed partner." He smiled.
She laughed softly, snuggling deeper into his arms. "But a very welcome one."
"Good." He bent his head down to capture her lips, and she smiled against his mouth.
"Oi!" There was furious tapping on the glass and then the sound of the door being pushed open. Jemma squeaked as they quickly separated and rolled over to see a grouchy Leo Fitzsimmons standing there in the open doorway between the living room and the porch. He was glaring, hands on his hips. "No shagging in this house!" He looked at them outside the house on the porch, then amended it to, "Under this roof!"
"I wasn't - " Grant started. Leo narrowed his eyes at him. Remembering that his wife's brother could most likely kill him five different ways with his designs for medical equipment, the older man shut up.
"Leo!" Jemma whispered back in embarrassment. "He's my husband!"
"No snogging in front of the kids, either!" Leo huffed before stomping back inside, shutting the door.
There was a long silence. "He is going back to England, right?"
The Society Desk
All your most updated news on the hoi polloi of the Northeast!
The newly married head of the Ward empire was seen at LaGuardia, deplaning from his private jet with - get this - several children who were not his nieces and nephews. He was finally again seen with his lovely wife, who debuted the night before her father-in-law passed away and then disappeared after the family funeral. Odd children and newlyweds spending weeks apart. Trouble in paradise already?
#GrantStaunton #GrantWard #JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #secretlives #lovechild #troubleinparadise
SECRET LOVE CHILD?
New York and Boston's hottest newlyweds were seen schoolclothes shopping with two young ladies. The first was the easily identified Ada Ward, sole daughter of the late John Garrett Ward. The other was unidentified but of the same age. Has Grant Staunton/Grant Ward's reputation caught up with him? How does the new Mrs. feel about a love child?
#school #AdaWard #lovechild #secretlives #GrantStaunton #GrantWard #JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard
AND THE WINNER IS...BOSTON
As of now, Grant Staunton will remain in Boston, despite the fact that he has inherited his father's New York empire. He and his wife was seen enrolling two little boys for the fall educational semester - boys who were not his nephews. Is the new Mrs. Staunton the one with a secret life and secret children?
The spokesman for the family said that Staunton does not comment on private matters. The head of security for Staunton has officially gone on the record with the following statement: "Buzz off."
#GrantStaunton #GrantWard #JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #lovechild #secretslives #moresecrets #scarysecurity
WHY THE HASTY MARRIAGE?
On a girls-only outing, the two sisters-in-law were accompanied by the same two young ladies seen a week ago. The newest Mrs. Ward was seen drinking only water and choosing a very healthy lunch - a choice for her own health or for another's as well? Is the legendarily single and childless Staunton desperately wanting to start a family?
When asked for a comment, Celia Ward replied, "I made Jemma order water to screw with your head." Charming as always.
#JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #CeliaWard #CeliaSnark #lovechild #secretslives #babyontheway
SEAL-IA OF APPROVAL
Staunton's new wife has the approval of the two Ward women. The sister of the late Catherine Ward, Victoria Staunton-Hand, has said that her new niece is a brilliant and lovely young woman, and she approves. High praise coming from the well-known drill sergeant. Not that the legendary social matriarch would allow any but family to see her disapproval.
Celia Coulson Ward was more effusive in her praise. "She's perfect," the woman gushed about her new sister-in-law. "And kudos to my brother-in-law for picking somebody who's just an awesome sister, too. I believe I like her ten times better than I like him."
#JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #VictoriaNoLastNameNeeded #CeliaWard #CeliaSnark
A source close to Celia Ward claims that the sisterly bond the Ward ladies show in public is for show. "Celia was the beloved of the Ward men and now has been usurped," says the unnamed "old friend".
Celia Ward says it's a load of hogwash, and if she finds this source, she won't rest until he is dumped in some foreign city - say Hong Kong - without any money to get home. "'Miles to go before I sleep,'" she said cryptically, "Miles to go before I sleep.'"
#JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #CeliaWard #CeliaSnark #anon #WTHRobertFrost
HUNT IS ON...DON'T SHOOT A FRIEND IN THE FACE, THOUGH
There seem to be no wedding pics from the most hotly anticipated wedding of the decade: Grant Staunton to whomever. Odd that there is no photo documentation of the Fitzsimmons-Ward wedding. The officiator, Jerome Triplett, is a well-known judge in Massachusetts - and notoriously close-mouthed. His brother and close friend to Staunton, Dr. Antoine Triplett, just laughed when asked about the wedding. "Yeah, I was there. She was the perfect choice, more than Grant knew." And that's all he'll say.
Even our hacker source, who is currently located in Hong Kong for some reason, sneaked into and provided photos of the lovely but oh-so-private Celia and Leonard Ward wedding - but has nothing on the far more public eldest Ward brother. How did the new Ward patriarch find his lovely English rose? And why the #$% are there no photos?
(Sorry ladies, Grant and Jemma are actually married - Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a legit license.)
The spokesman for the family said that Staunton does not comment on private matters. The head of security for Staunton has officially gone on the record with this statement: .:glare:.
#GrantStaunton #GrantWard #JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #secretlives #moresecrets #DrBringingNoiseandFunk #ScarySecuritywithGorgeousEyelashes
The leading lady of Boston is now to be greeted as Dr. Staunton or Dr. Ward. With proud husband and huge family hogging the first three hundred rows of chairs, Jemma Fitzsimmons Ward received her doctorate from Hah-vard in something we don't know how to pronounce. Her doctoral thesis, titled something so long we forgot the beginning by the time we got to the end, is being published not by her alma mater but by the school from which she transferred. Available to all geniuses from Cambridge University Press in December.
#JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #TheDoctor #smartypants
TWO NEW WARDS DEBUTING
The last eligible Ward (of legal age) is off the market! Third Ward son Phillip, currently a judge advocate in the Navy, has tied the knot with the heiress to all non-Party-owned businesses in China. Mae Qiaolian Song looked every inch the Song she is as she and her new husband walked under the saber arch. Welcome to the Wards, ma'am.
In attendance was all Phillip's family, which comes to our second point - it seems eldest brother Grant is excited (if one can call that stone face excited - he makes Captain Ray Holt of the 99 look like an emotional mess) to be welcoming his first child. Dr. Jemma, who is giving Queen Sofia and Duchess Kate a run for their money in fashion (she's already beat them in the academic part), looked appropriately lovely in a wine-colored dress covering her now significant baby bump, and an adorable fascinator to match. Here's to Doctor-Professor Jemma schooling Americans on what real hats are (and no, colonies, baseball caps are not real hats). The second Ward to be joining the family this year is expected in three months, and the little tot will most likely have both brains and beauty. (Have you seen Mummy and Daddy?) Some people have all the luck.
#ohsayitaintsoPhil #PhilWard #gentlemanandofficer #songempire #MaySongWard #dresswhites #ApologiesToRayHolt #dresstoimpress #babyontheway #JemmaFitzsimmons #JemmaWard #GrantStaunton #GrantWard #wasthatactuallyasmilewesaw