After partying and learning with an amazon group of literary women at the GCLS conference in Chicago, it’s back to work. My WIP is tentatively titled, Get Yourself Another Butch and here is a short excerpt to tease you…
Chapter 6: Spring 1968 – 20 years old
Waking alone in her bed on Friday, May the tenth, Traf was relieved. She had work to do and didn’t want to waste a moment of time arguing with Ana. They’d barely spoken a word to each other when she’d returned last night.
She dressed and hurried to the base. Starting in the Base Commander’s secretarial pool once more, she asked about Lt. Roberts and was directed to the pilot training wing. It didn’t take long to find him. He was pacing back and forth in front of a group of uniformed pilots, describing some new piece of equipment being installed on the planes.
Traf stood nearby and watched him. The tall blond American took self-assured strides looking each of his men in the eye. Those muscles on his chest and arms mean he’s in good health and enjoys physical activity. Aurelito needs a daddy who can play with him. After he’d dismissed his men to their duties and stood alone, she approached him.
“Lt. Roberts?” she asked. When he nodded, she offered her hand. “I’m Lt. Mendes, from VIP drivers.”
“Yes, Lieutenant?” he said pleasantly. “What can I do for you?”
She cleared her throat and thought of Aurelito. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve heard rumors that you and your wife are thinking of adopting a baby. Please, stop me now if I’ve been told wrong.”
The Lieutenant, although surprised by her statement nevertheless did not contradict her. Instead he nodded his head, keeping eye-contact with her. His cheeks darkened.
She hurried on. “Due to completely legal circumstances, I have a three-month old baby boy that needs a loving family. I understand that Americans can adopt Portuguese babies fairly easily?”
“Yes,” he said, eyes widening. “We’ve looked into it, at least in theory. It can take between six months to a year, but we’re stationed here until ’70. We haven’t approached the orphanage, yet, which is the next step.”
“Not necessarily,” Traf said. “If you and your wife want the baby boy, it can be arranged within hours rather than months. You’ll become his biological father on record, and your wife can be added as his step-mother.”
“How is that possible?” Lt. Roberts asked, leading the way to a small canteen with a large coffee pot and ceramic cups. They poured themselves a couple, Traf adding her usual four sugars. Sitting down at a table, she told him everything about Conceição and Aurelio, up to and including her promise to never give him to the orphanage.
“But why did you adopt Conceição’s baby as your own?” he asked, regarding her over his coffee cup. “Why register him as your son if you’re not able to keep him?”
Ah, that is the question. I’d ask, too. She cleared her throat and began. “Conceição is the employee of a dear friend of mine. All of us were agreed that no baby should be raised in a whorehouse. I thought I could raise him as my own, so I agreed to register Aurelio as my own flesh and blood. But it’s too hard for me to take care of him by myself.” She gritted her teeth, knowing she hadn’t planned to raise him alone but decided to leave Ana out of the story altogether.
“Yes, you do seem rather young,” Lt. Roberts commented. “How old are you?”
“I turned twenty last January,” she said proudly.
“Really? You look seventeen.”
“Yes, really.” She pulled out her international driver’s license and showed him. “How old are you and your wife?”
The lieutenant leaned forward, elbows on the table. “I’m almost thirty and Vanessa’s twenty-seven. We’ve been trying since we got married, but no luck.” He rose and refilled both cups, handing hers back with four packets of sugar as he reseated himself. “To tell you the truth, Lt. Mendes, we’re both afraid we’ll never have children unless we adopt.”
“Would you like to come with me and meet the baby?” Traf asked, excited by his words.
“Yes, I would,” he said, shaking his head no. “But I won’t until I know for sure that Vanessa is interested. I don’t want to fall in love with the little guy if my wife doesn’t want him.”
“I know what you mean,” Traf said, tugging a lock of hair ruefully. “When will you know?”
“I’ll talk to Vanessa about it over the weekend,” he assured her. “I’ll let you know on Monday.” They shook hands and Traf left still not knowing the fate of her baby’s future.
Walking the few blocks home, she rehearsed what she was going to say to Ana. She’d been thinking about it all three months she’d been in Spain. She would give her an ultimatum, either give up this idea of getting pregnant or get out. Okay, you don’t want Aurelito, that stinks, but okay. We can find another baby that both of us can love, but not one you make by having sex with a man. That I can’t accept. I won’t.
Rounding the last corner, Traf looked up and saw Ana’s pinched face watching her from the doorway. She walked right past her as if she weren’t there, going through the living area into the kitchen where she took a bottle of beer from the refrigerator. She drank it while hanging her uniform carefully in the closet and changing into jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. Walking back into the kitchen past a glowering Ana, she tossed the empty beer bottle in the trash. Without a word between them, Traf left Ana standing there and went out their front door.
She was irritated. She’d hoped Lt. Roberts would have jumped at her offer and they’d already be signing papers at the civil registry, but now it would be Monday before anything could be done and that was only if his wife wanted a ‘whore’s bastard’. The words rattled around in her head, an ugly, dirty label that sweet baby Aurelito might never escape.
~ from Get Yourself Another Butch, the sequel to When Butches Cry