Two brothers work a rich and bountiful land ' and one extraordinary woman shares their lives. To Jonathan Gray, Mary is a devoted and giving mate. To Aaron, she is a beloved friend. But seven childless years of marriage haveforced Jonathan to ask the unthinkable of his brother and his wife ' binding the two people he cares for most with an act of desire born of compassion...awakening Mary to the pain of infidelity, and to all the bittersweet joy and heartache that passionate love can bring.
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September 30, 1979
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Excerpt from The Fulfillment by LaVyrle Spencer
The truth had long been settling on Jonathan Gray, sneaking into his resisting corners, but it had finally resounded in the deepest part of him. He'd prayed it wasn't so, hoped that if he willed it untrue it would be. But it was true. He knew it. At last it had to be faced ' and dealt with. After denying it all these years, it had come to Jonathan Gray that he was infertile.
Jonathan and Aaron had suffered together in that winter when it had happened, as they'd suffered most of their childhood illnesses together. As only brothers they'd shared everything from the tin cup on top of the water pump to the bed they'd slept in all their growing years, so it was only natural that what one got, the other one got, from the croup of babyhood to the head colds of childhood and, finally, the mumps of adolescence. It was the mumps that had done it.
Who's to say why they'd stayed up on Aaron and moved down on Jonathan. Their ma had tried everything from packs of icy, burning-cold snow to poultices of boiled beans, but Jonathan's swelling genitals had stubbornly refused to subside.
It was one of the few times he ever remembered Doc Haymes coming out to their house, and maybe that had something to do with his mistrust of the man now.
"There's nothing I can do that you haven't already done, Mrs. Gray," the doc had said, and those words rang now in Jonathan's memory. He blamed the doc because Haymes had found no way to take away the pain.