Dorothea Benton Frank
New York Times Bestselling Author
Dorothea Benton Frank
"This moving story of love, of heritage and a wonderful book." —Bret Lott
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Sullivans Island (Continued)

I should not have been in the least surprised when I made it to the library that I had left the support materials for the charts at home. Well, I thought, I could put a Band-Aid on that one too. Instead of lunch, I'd just fly home as fast as I could, grab the papers and fly back in time for the two o'clock meeting. It wasn't a big deal - just a mosquito bite in the scheme of things.

I gave my diskettes to our Development Department secretary who swore up and down that it was no problem to print the graphs on sixteen by twenty paper for the easel. I blew her a kiss and ran back home at around eleven. If I got back by twelve, it would give me two solid hours to assemble everything and go over it again.

It was a gorgeous South Carolina morning. I don't know why, but I was struck by the clearness of the sky - all that blue. So beautiful. I raced down Meeting Street, passing all the tourists crossing the streets, thinking how pleasant it was to live in a place that everyone wanted to see. And, Charleston was no cheesy resort. She was noble and grand. People came here to learn, to be enriched. Of course my enthusiasm was tempered by the natural reserve with which Charlestonians have the good fortune to be born. No, no. During Spoleto Festival, we do not drive down Murray Boulevard, blowing our horns and swilling beers like the football towns. Heaven forbid. We open our gardens and serve iced tea with mint sprigs to total strangers, treating them like favored friends.

I was thinking about all this graciousness and hospitality, and singing Sixty-Minute Man along with the radio, as I swung into my narrow driveway on Queen Street. I didn't even slam my car door, but left it open, intending to stay only long enough to get what I needed. I was already bounding up the steps to Beth's room (somehow the family word processor had migrated there) when I heard the voices. I stopped dead. Someone was in my house. Someone was in my bedroom! Oh, God! I heard a distinct female voice. Oh my God! Was it Beth? Was someone hurting my Beth? It sounded like someone having sex! ith my heartbeat loud in my ears, I sneaked back downstairs as fast as I could and grabbed the fireplace poker. I was shaking all over. I didn't know whether to call the police first or try to stop what was happening myself. I stood outside my bedroom door and listened for a minute. My box spring was creaking and groaning.

"Ride me! Yes! My tiger!"

Then an all too familiar voice said, "I'm gonna give it to you like you want it! Tell me you want it!"

"Oh! Yes! Please!"

It took me about one split second to realize I was about to confront some major bullshit. My heart sank. I could've walked out of there and maintained my dignity, but oh, no. Not me. Something made me open the door. The tiger - whose bare backside faced me - was none other than my husband, Tom. The female he rode - whose ankles he held high in the air while she clung to my headboard - was the chemically enhanced and surgically improved young woman who ran the New Age bookstore on St. Phillip's Street. I stood there in the doorway with the poker, anger rising like a geyser, waiting for them to realize they had company, thinking for a split second that a poker was a rather Freudian and humorously named weapon to have at the moment. I cleared my throat as loudly as I could when it was clear my husband and his love puppy didn't have a clue. She was the first to react.

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