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"Tenure track," he replied. Then he thought of her situation. "You'll have to start over, though." He'd dragged her off to Canada, and now he was dragging her back to the US, but a part of the US in which neither of them had lived.
"Told you once, whither thou goest.... Anyway, does this make us rich?" Odd question. Sylvia didn't really believe in the trust. She didn't doubt him; she just had never wrapped her mind around that sort of possibility.
"Certainly comfortable. We can easily live on my salary; yours is for extras and luxuries. The trust payments have been paying nothing more than their taxes. What do you want to do? Buy a house? Quite possible." Depending on how fancy a house and the real-estate market in the Chicago area, they might even have enough in the bank to buy one for cash.
"Well, maybe.... But, now that Kim is old enough, I thought that we might try for another baby."
"You cut out the Pill?"
"Nope. This is a joint decision. I just thought you might like it."
"Well..." And he might well like another baby. He could remember holding the soft, sweet, tiny, Kim in his arms. But holding a baby in his arms for an hour or less at a time was one thing. Sylvia would have to hold her in her belly for nine months straight. And, even afterwards, he never had any illusions that he did nearly half the work.
"Think about it. I have. This news is just the occasion."
"And a weird occasion it is. This means we'd have to pay for delivery." Saskatchewan had paid for Kim's delivery and still paid for doctor's visits.
"If we can't afford it..."
"We can afford it. Monetarily, that is. The problem is whether your body can afford it."
"And whether you can bear to be deprived of that body. Awkward positions, another child intruding on your favorite playground."
"It's not like that. I mean you didn't cut me off entirely, after all. I don't worry about the minor inconveniences that I might face. I do worry about the major ones you are certain to have." He loved Sylvia. He loved Kim, too, of course; he would doubtless love her sibling if they had another child. But since that child wasn't here, choosing between him and Sylvia was no contest. "Well, since the real cost is on you, figure out whether the benefits -- benefits to you -- are worth that cost.
"You deal with Kim." They'd reached their house. "I'll drive Susan home. We'll continue this some other time." She went in, and the baby sitter soon came out. "Any problems?"
"Kim was a sweetheart. Usual objections to bed -- then she dropped right off." He drove her home before consulting his watch. He counted out the money.
"If she was a sweetheart, does that entitle me to a discount?" She grabbed the money and walked from the car to her family's door. He waited for the door to close before he drove away. Susan had argued seriously the first time he'd raised the discount idea. Now, she just treated him as a silly Yank -- a description she seemed to consider redundant. He parked the car in the garage. He looked in at Kim and blew her a kiss from the doorway before going to his own room. Sylvia was half undressed.
"You didn't tell Susan why we were celebrating?" he asked. He hadn't warned Sylvia that it wasn't public information yet.
"It didn't come up. We talked about Kim. Why?"
"Well, I haven't told Vrooman yet. He deserves to hear before the grapevine does." Vrooman, the chair of Regina University's department of anthropology, would feel both sad and happy about the announcement. He liked George's teaching and his reputation; he was a friend. All that would make him sad. He was a friend and a mentor to George, and his success would make him happy. He was a department chair who would have one more position to offer a new instructor, and that would probably make him happier than anything else. But Sylvia was way ahead of him. He concentrated on getting his clothes off.
He visited the bathroom in underwear, robe, and slippers. He stripped when he got back and climbed beneath the sheets. When they kissed, he slid his hand down her back to grip her haunch through her nightgown.
"Not done celebrating?"
"Celebrating something different. Not a future job, but a present marriage -- marriage to a sexy lady."
"Wrong on both counts." But she cooperated in the kiss. A little later, she cooperated in his removal of her nightgown. Once she'd worn nightgowns to entice him; now she wore mommy nightgowns. Well, as she pointed out, she needed to be dressed for Kim and she didn't need to be dressed to entice him. A peck on her lips, a chain of kisses down her chin and throat, soon he had reached her breast. He kissed a chain around the near one. Then skipped to the peak of the far one.
Meanwhile, he combed his hand through the hair on her mound. When she spread her legs, he stroked over those lips. He found them already moist. He kissed down one breast and up the other. He managed to suck that nipple at the same time as he stroked over her clit.
"I love you, Sylvia Jennings Foster." Then he went back to kissing her breast. He could tell that she was getting close. Her hand slid between his thighs. He raised his knee to give her access.
"George." She was almost whispering. She held his balls in her hand. He moved over her.
"Mommy!" Kim wasn't whispering -- more like shouting, and she was right outside the door.
"Coming, dear." Although she wasn't. And neither of them would be for a damn long time.
"Radar," he said, not for the first time. "The girl has radar." He and Sylvia didn't make love all that often any more, but Kim almost never interrupted them when they were merely talking. While Sylvia took care of the emergency, he planned his tactics to enhance his career.
Since he'd already had his offer from Northwestern, he'd not submit any more papers to the journals until he got there. That should leave him two papers to write and another to research in the more than eight months he had. Maybe more than one to research. He had an old idea for a comparative study of nudity taboos among high-school students. Maybe he could do that before school was out. That would be a second paper to research -- actually, first in order of time. He would have to do more on the acculturation studies he'd been doing on the urbanized Amerinds -- "First Nations" in politically-correct Canadian. That, and the two that he would polish until he was in his new position would give him a fat portfolio of accepted and submitted papers by the time renewal discussions came up. And, if he did the high-school study around Regina, he'd have a perfect reason to do another in a Chicago suburb. One paper and a compare-and-contrast follow-up.
Northwestern, after all, wanted him in the comparatively-new subfield of urban anthropology. He didn't need to stick to Amerinds. And there would be another set of Amerinds acculturating to a slightly-different culture in Chicago. He should have done a paper on the acculturation of Yanks in Canada. Well, it was too late now. His musings went on until Sylvia returned.
"The girl has radar," he told her. "I thought we were quiet enough."
"Paranoia. She wet her bed and wanted her mommy to make it all better and tell her she wasn't a terrible girl."
"And I wanted my wife to tell me I'm not a terrible man."
"But she actually isn't a terrible girl."
"Your faith in me is underwhelming. Come here." And, stopping to take off her nightgown, she did. Her nipples told him that she'd been a mommy too long, and he should start at the beginning. He did, with a deep kiss. He held her far breast, stroked up the smoothness almost to the areola. When he moved his mouth to her near breast, he sucked that nipple while he stroked the other. when both were standing up invitingly, he smoothed his hand down over her abdomen to her mound. Soon, they were lying on their sides with her breast in his mouth and his hand between her legs. He lipped and sucked while he stroked her clit. Finally, she turned on her back.
"Yes, love." It had been so long that he was no longer firm. He climbed between her legs. "Put me in." She held him long enough for his firmness to return and then guided him to her entry. He slid into her welcoming warmth. "Oh, Sylvia!"
He rolled over while fully ensconced. He pulled her hip while doing so. That brought her with him until they were nearly on their sides. He moved in and out through her slipperiness. He stopped on one up stroke long enough to move his right hand against her belly with his thumb at the meeting point of her outer lips. It wasn't touching her clit directly, but it could press the clitoral area down across his stroking cock. She was turned enough so that he could hold her breast in his left hand.
He took long strokes. For a while, he could keep them slow. When she tensed against him, he sped up. When he could hold off no longer, he drove harder.
"Oh, Sylvia!" He throbbed in her warmth. She clutched around him a moment later, milking the last of his seed out of her. When they relaxed, he came out. As soon as they caught their breaths, they lay side by side. His right arm crossed his body to rest that hand on her abdomen.
"Love you," she said.
"Love you. Did the interruption dissuade you from your idea."
"Not in the least. You love Kim, even if, don't you?"
"You'll love another as much."
"Future. Have you decided, then?"
"It's our decision. My vote is 'yea.'"
"Well, it's your body. You changed more diapers, but that wasn't the real imbalance. I'll vote 'present.' Your vote carries it."
"You are silly. What Northwestern sees in you, I'll never know."
"I think that they might be judging me as a teacher and researcher, not as a bedroom conversationalist."
"You think? What odd criteria!" She paused a minute, and he thought she might be going to sleep. "What will Dan say?" Vrooman had asked her to call him 'Dan,' and she did. So did he to his face, but he still thought of him and spoke of him as 'Vrooman.'
"Not much. Nobody in the department will retire in the next decade. Only Vrooman in the next. He needs new blood, and there isn't anyone left who is bad enough to fire. He really did too good of a job in the beginning. The only way he'll get room is by resignations. Besides, there'll be people getting bachelor's degrees at Northwestern who'll be looking for a grad school. I can tell them what I know about Regina."
"Great if you want to study Amerinds, especially if your Spanish ain't so hot. Those in the US have been studied to death, and Regina is closer to the northern tribes, and Vrooman has the contacts with the authorities. We teach the entire spectrum of theory, but we're better at field trips to the first nations." She turned away from him, and he turned on his side. She backed into a spoon. He tucked the covers over her before cupping her breast.
"That's why you resisted." He noticed that she was using the past tense. The decision was final. "You don't want another kid usurping your favorite playground."
"Not my favorite." He moved his hand down to her mound. He wasn't being serious; this was no way to
sleep. She said nothing, and he brought his hand back up before he dozed off.