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Unpublished Scenes from White Picket Fence

Phil breaking up with Kim (this would have happened in the very beginning of WPF – after Lina found the tie)

Phil was at his desk working on a brief when he heard Kim’s voice just outside his office asking his secretary if he was in. He lifted his gaze from his computer screen as she came through the door.

“I’m really tired of her looks of disproval.” She closed the door and turned the lock on the knob. “Have you been ignoring me intentionally today or have you been busy?” She crossed to the bar in the corner of his office. “Scotch?”

It had been four days since he’d last fucked her. As he watched her across the room, pouring him a drink, her tight dress clinging to the curve of her hips, he felt nothing but regret. It was like he’d stepped out of a fog and he could now see the world clearly again.

“I don’t want a scotch.”

“No?” She looked back at him over her shoulder. “How about a blowjob?” 

“No.” He shook his head.

“Are you serious?” She laughed. “What’s wrong. Why are you looking at me like that?”

“This was a mistake.”

“Excuse me?” Her eye’s widened. “What are you talking about.”

“I’m talking about what we’ve been doing. It’s over. It’s done.”

“What?” She blushed. “What’s wrong? I don’t–.”

“It was a huge fucking mistake,” he interrupted. He rose from his chair. “I’m not making it again. I’ve already talked to Wayne. You’ll be transitioning off my cases and–.”

“Oh, so you’re just dismissing me? You no longer need my services? I’m not a fucking whore, Phil. You can’t just toss me to someone else.”

“I don’t expect you to fuck Wayne. I expect you to work for him.”

“I don’t want to work for Wayne.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I like working for you. You’re who I want to work for.”

He rounded his desk and strode to the door. “That’s not an option. I’m sorry.” He unlocked the knob and pulled open the door. “You’re reporting to him effective immediately.”

“You’re sorry? Are you fucking kidding me?”

He slowly closed the door before turning back to her. “Let’s not make this more difficult than it has to be,” he said coolly. “You knew I was married. You knew I was never leaving my wife. I was very clear about that.”

“I don’t understand.” She walked across the room, joining him at the door. “We’re good together.” She stroked her hand over his crotch.

He clenched her wrist, pushing her hand off of him. “Don’t!”

“We’re just having fun.” She reached for him again, sliding her hand over his chest. “I would never tell her. Why do you want to stop?”

“I don’t want you anymore.” He clasped both her wrists. “Okay?” He raised his eyes brows. “Is that clear enough for you?”

“I don’t believe you.” She shook her head.

“You should. Because it’s the truth.” He released her wrists and opened the door. “Good night.”


Here is the baseball scene (Phil finding out Kim is pregnant) from his POV…

I told you to stop texting me. I’m not sure how many different ways I have to tell you that’s it’s over

I think I’m pregnant

Phil’s hand tightened on the phone. What in the fuck are you talking about?

My period is late. It’s never late.

You told me you were on the pill.

I wasn’t always great about remembering.

“Who are you talking to?” Lina asked.

He darkened the display. “Work,” he answered, staring unfocused at the field. His heart was pounding in his chest. She couldn’t be pregnant. There was no way. He looked back down at his phone

It’s been over six weeks since we were together. What about last month?

I barely had one last month. I didn’t think anything of it until now. You can get a light period when you’re pregnant.

Have you taken a test?

I don’t want to do it alone

He took a deep breath. Just take a fucking test

I’m not going to do it alone. I want you to come over. If I’m pregnant we’re going to need to talk

“Still work?” Lina asked from beside him.

He darkened the display and pushed the phone back into his pocket. “Work.” His jaw was clenched.

“Dad? Could I have some money? We want to get ice cream,” Logan said.

Phil took out his wallet and handed Logan two twenties before once again taking out his cellphone. You’re not pregnant. Just give it a couple of days

Lina laughed beside him. “Why did you make me come if all you’re going to do is text work?”

He lifted his gaze to hers. “Sorry.”

“What’s wrong?” Her eyes were narrowed in concern.

“Nothing.”

“What is going on at five-thirty on a Saturday that is so urgent?”

He lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed the back of it. “I’m done working I promise.” He shoved his phone back into his pocket.

When he stopped in the restroom after the game, he took out his phone. There were three new messages from Kim.

I’m not going to give it a couple of days

What happened to you?

If you don’t come to me, I’m coming to you.

He plowed his hand back through his hair. Fuck. I’ll be over by 9:00.

It was close to 8:30 when Phil pulled his car into the garage. He’d been wracking his brain for an hour about what to say to Lina. He remained in the car as Lina followed Logan toward the house. He rolled down the car window when Lina paused at the door to the house, looking back at him with confusion in her eyes.

“What are you doing?”

“I have to go out for a little while. Someone screwed up at work and I need to deal with it.”

“Was it Kim?”

His heart stopped. “I shouldn’t be longer than an hour or so.”

“Answer my question, Phil.”

“I have to go.” He pulled out of the garage, unable to look at her. Moments later his cellphone was bringing. “Lina,” he answered, “please just let me deal with this.”

“What’s going on? Are you on your way to the office?”

He didn’t want to lie to her, not anymore. “I need you to just let me handle it.”

“Is it work related? Just tell me that.”

“I’m not prepared to answer any questions right now.”

“Not prepared?” she spit out. “I’m your wife.”

“You’re going to have to trust me.”

“Trust you to what? Do I have to call Wayne to find out what’s going on?”

“Don’t do this, Lina. I’m about at my limit right now.”

“Oh, you’re at your limit? At least you know what’s going on.”

He ended the call. “Fuck!”

Thirty minutes later he was outside Kim’s condo holding a plastic bag with the pregnancy test inside. He barely looked at her when she opened the door, brushing past her into the foyer. “Take it,” he said shortly, holding out the bag.

“I’m as upset as you are,” she said. “Do you think I want to be pregnant.”

“Just take it.”

He followed her back toward her bedroom, sitting on the edge of her bed while she went into the bathroom. He leaned forward, his elbows pressing into his knees as her gripped his head. He felt like he was in the middle of a nightmare and he was going to wake up at any moment.

“It said five minutes but it’s already a yes. It turned right away.”

Blood rushed to Phil’s head. He could barely focus on the plus sign she was showing him in the test window. “No.” He shook his head.

“I can’t believe it either,” she whispered. She sat down beside him. “We’re going to have a baby.”

“No!” Phil jumped to his feet. “How do you know it’s mine?”

“I haven’t been with anyone else. It’s yours.”

“You can’t have it. I’ll take you wherever you want to go. You don’t have to go through this alone.”

“I’m not getting rid of our child,” she said. “There’s no way.”

“I’m married. I have a wife and family. I can’t have a child with you.”

“I love you.”

“No.” Phil shook his head, backing away from the bed. “I don’t love you. I’ve never loved you. I love my wife. I’ve always loved my wife. You know that.”

“I don’t really want to talk about her right now,” Kim said. “I’m having this baby. You can’t stop me.”

“Don’t do this, Kim. I’m begging you. Please don’t do this. If you care about me at all, you won’t do this. This will fucking destroy my life.” He ploughed his fingers back through his hair.

“I’m having it.”

“Fuck!” He pounded his fist into the wall, breaking through the drywall. “Fuck!”

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Swimming Naked Discussion Thread

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Swimming Naked…

coming in January 2019

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Update — Swimming Naked is with the editor

Deleted Scene…

“I was thinking about taking Logan and a couple of his friends to see the college lacrosse championship on Memorial Weekend, just the championship game,not the whole tournament,” Phil said to Lina when he arrived home with Logan.

“That’s nice.” She was at the counter, slicing vegetables.

“It’s in Philadelphia this year.” He leaned his hip against the counter as he watched her. “Do you want to come?”

“No.”

“Come on. It will be fun. We could spend the night and check out the city.”

Lina set down her knife and wiped her hands on a towel before closing the small distance between them and framing his face with her cool hands. She stood on her  tiptoes and softly kissed his lips. “No,” she whispered before brushing her lips over his again. “We’ve already seen the Liberty Bell.”

He clasped the sides of her hips, pulling her lower body into his. He knew she’d never really liked lacrosse. She thought it was too physical. When he’d spot her in the stands during his high school and college games, she’d more often than not have her hands covering her eyes. “Logan and I aren’t playing. You won’t have to worry about us getting hurt.”

“I never worried about you getting hurt. I was always worried you were going to hurt someone. I didn’t want to have the memory of it in my mind.” She linked her arms around his neck. “Take Logan and have fun. You don’t need me there.”

He let his gaze drift over her face. He knew every inch of it. Even the laugh lines around her eyes which had come in the past couple of years were etched in his memory. “I’m still making up for lost time.”

“Gross—stop looking at each other like that,” Katie said. “I shouldn’t have to be afraid to come in to my own kitchen.”

Lina kissed him again before stepping away from him.

“Your kitchen?” Phil asked Katie. His gaze remained on Lina, watching the feminine sway of her hips as she crossed to the refrigerator.

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Swimming Naked — the sequel to A White Picket Fence

The draft of Swimming Naked is now in the hands of my editor. I should have it back in about four weeks.

Opening scene of Swimming Naked…

“Dadda…Dadda…up…up”

“Just a second, buddy.” Phil was at the sink, screwing the top onto a baby bottle.

Lina watched Liam’s small hands yank at Phil’s pant leg, his demands to be picked up increasingly loud. She rubbed her hand across her forehead. “I think I’m going to go upstairs.”

“What?” Phil scooped up his son, handing him the bottle he’d just prepared as he turned to Lina.

“I have a headache. I’m going to go lie down for a minute.” Her eyes were on the almost one-year old sucking on a bottle as his head rested on her husband’s chest. She swallowed down the lump in her throat.

“Do you need me to get you anything?”

“No. I just…I can’t,” Lina whispered before rushing from the room.

“Katie?” Phil called out as walked toward the family room. “Katie?”

“What?” Katie paused the television screen.

“I need you to watch Liam.” He set him on the couch beside her.

“What?” Katie retreated to the corner of the couch, her eyes widening. “No way. I’m not watching him.”

“I’m not asking.”

“You said it wouldn’t affect us if you brought him here. I don’t want to be a baby sitter. I don’t even like kids.”

“Watch him,” he said firmly, pointing at Liam. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

 

Lina was sitting on the edge of the bed when she heard the bedroom door open. “I can’t do it,” she said. “I thought I could but I can’t. I’m sorry.”

The mattress shifted as Phil sat down beside her. “It hasn’t even been an hour.”

“I can’t look at him. I know it’s not his fault, but he’s the result of what you did—a living, breathing reminder.”

“Lina.” Phil stroked his hand up her back. “It’ll get easier. Once you get to know him, you—“

“I don’t want to know him.” She came to her feet and headed toward her wardrobe. “I’ll go to Adele’s or my mom’s for the night.”

Phil cursed softly, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees as he gripped his head. “You said you would try. Forty-five minutes isn’t trying.”

Lina finished packing a small bag with pajamas and clothes for the following day before leaving the wardrobe and crossing to the bathroom. “I tried,” she said when she felt Phil’s presence in the doorway. “You have no idea how hard.” She began to toss toiletries into the bag.

“One night. All I’m asking for is one night.”

“I can’t.” Lina shook her head. She’d thought she could. She’d even picked out a crib and decorated a nursery for Phil’s son, but the reality of him was so different than the imagined.

“I’ll leave,” he said, his voice sounding defeated. “I’ll take him to a hotel.”

“No. All his things are here. It’ll be easier if I just go to Adele’s.” Lina lifted the bag and turned from the sink.

“You shouldn’t be the one leaving.”

“This is the best solution, Phil. I’ll be back tomorrow.”

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Swimming Naked – The Sequel to A White Pick Fence

Coming soon…

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All Things A White Picket Fence, Swimming Naked and Everything Else

Let the conversation continue…

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Swimming Naked — Coming December 2018

Phil was half-way home before he was calm enough to call Kim. “When were you going to tell me?” he bit out as soon as she answered.

“That was fast.”

“We agreed that it was better for you to be out of Baltimore.”

“No, you convinced me it would be better if I was out of Baltimore. But it’s not better, not for Liam. He’s your son and you barely see him.”

“I see him once a week. I’m doing the best I can.”

“And your best will be better when I’m closer.”

“He has a nanny and routine he’s used to. Why would you uproot him?”

“I think being closer to his father is more important than his nanny.”

“Do you really think the city is the place to raise him?”

“You don’t live in the city. Maybe I’ll get a place near you.”

His grip tightened on the steering wheel. “Don’t you fucking dare.”

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Swimming Naked

I am now approximately 85 percent done with the sequel to A White Picket Fence — still shooting for a December release date!

 

From Chapter 46 of A White Picket Fence — Lina is 17 and Phil is 18

“Are you going to make me swim alone?” Lina splashed into the surf and dove under a small wave, swimming several yards before she felt Phil’s strong hands gripping her hips and pulling her back into his naked body.

“You’re crazy. You know that?” He wrapped his arms around her.

“For you.” She turned in his arms and snaked her own up around his neck. “Promise me you’ll always swim naked with me, even when we’re old and wrinkled.”

“I promise.”

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Swimming Naked — the sequel to A White Picket Fence

Update — the sequel to a White Picket Fence is approximately 60 percent complete and still on target for a December release date!

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