AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well, it's been a long time since I've really sat down and written much...I honestly haven't felt much like writing lately. It's been for various reasons...some writing-related, such as lack of motivation or lack of ideas (hence why "Growing Up", Melissa's tale of her younger years in life, has gone on hiatus for the time being...I'll get back to it again in the future, though!), and some personal (my grandmother died from cancer recently, and I had to go and visit her in her final weeks of life...it wasn't pleasant seeing a loved one suffer like that in their final days). So I hope you'll understand why I haven't written very much lately.
However, my recent trip to visit my dying grandmother has gave me some inspiration for a story idea that's been in the back of my mind for quite a while now...I honestly intended for this storyline to be a major part of a future sequel to "Beat the Clock", but when I really thought about it, I think it's strong enough to stand as its own separate story...Melissa has been hoping perhaps she could find any lost relatives of hers, but alas, she's had no luck, and she's resigned herself to the fact that she and her young son Michael are the last two living members of the Mulligan family...but, one day, things change when a strange man who lives far away calls her claiming to be a relative of hers...What will happen in this story? I won't spoil much (I'm going to be cutting back on all these Author's Notes from now on!)...you'll just have to see what happens! I don't think this will be a long story (8-9 chapters is my guess)...hopefully I can get this one written fairly quickly! Anyways, since this is going to be a multi-chapter tale, onto the amazing legal disclaimer now...
The Most Wonderful Legal Disclaimer Of The Year!: I do not, nor will I ever, own the rights to the Raccoons or any characters from the shows. They belong to Kevin Gillis and Skywriter Media and Entertainment Group, not me. (I wish I could say I owned the rights to the characters, but I'd be a foolish man to ever believe it could happen...) I do not intend to make any profits off of this fanfic (as I'm 100% sure that would be grounds for me to be sued into rags). A few original characters will appear in this fanfic (for some, this is their debut appearance); they are the property of myself and myself alone. Use any of my characters without my permission and I will track down your personal information, appear at your front doorstep in person, and bash your skull in with a baseball bat (only kidding, but seriously, PLEASE ask my permission first if you ever want to use an original character of mine...) A few songs may appear in this fanfic; I don't own the rights to any of them either, as they belong to their respective copyright owners. Any and all resemblance to real life people, be they living or dead, is unfortunate, but most likely VERY much intentional! Sheesh, I wish I didn't have to write these...
And now, with that out of the way, I hope you'll enjoy:
ANOTHER FAMILY SECRET-A Raccoons Fanfic
CHAPTER ONE: Don't You Feel Small
TO SAY Melissa Raccoon lived a very happy, fulfilling life would be definitely be quite an understatement.
First of all, Melissa has a career that she really and truly loves: she's the longtime photographer for the local newspaper, the Evergreen Standard. She co-owns the paper with her husband, and though they've always been a small local paper, they've really seen it grown over the years. When they first started the paper many years ago, they ran it out of a old, small, wooden shack. Melissa only had a small darkroom to develop her photos in. Now, the Standard operates out of a considerably larger, roomier office building, and Melissa has her very own photography lab, as well as her own assistant.
Along the way, she has published numerous books of her best photographs-with the aid of her hubby-and has received quite a fair bit of attention and praise in the media world. Over the years, many newspapers, magazines, and online publications have asked her to leave the Standard to come and work for them. Though the offers may at times be somewhat tempting, in her heart, Melissa knows she'll never leave the Forest behind, as the place and her friends and family are far too dear to her...
Melissa also has the support of a loving husband. She has been married to Ralph Raccoon for many years now-over twenty, to be precise. Ralph and Melissa met when they were in college, and dated for a couple of years before they tied the knot. Ralph is certainly not every woman's ideal man...he's definitely far from the most handsome guy around, as he's pretty stocky in build and fairly average in appearance. But Melissa doesn't really care...she still thinks he is handsome in his own way.
Plus, she knows Ralph has a very good heart. In the past, he seemed to spend more time focusing on his career than on her, but now that they are an older and more mature couple, he's more attentive to her than he was in those days. He always tries his hardest to spend quality time with her and let her know he appreciates her. If Melissa ever has a bad day or feels upset, she knows he'll always be there to try to cheer her up. Likewise, if Ralph needs encouragement, she'll always be there to give him that extra little confidence boost. More than anything else, Melissa loves Ralph for his kindness and generosity. Though they may have their disagreements sometimes, they know in their hearts they'll always be together.
Melissa considers herself especially fortunate to have two special men in her life; that other man being her young son, Michael. For many years, the thought of having children never really crossed Melissa's mind; she was more focused on her photography career, and just enjoying her life with Ralph. But when a baby boom occurred in the Forest, her mind began to change, and soon she realized she wanted to have a child herself. Though it took a while to convince Ralph that becoming parents was a good idea, ultimately, it paid off as Melissa eventually became pregnant. While pregnancy wasn't the most pleasant experience for her, it ended up being worth it when she gave birth to Michael nine months later. Though she was given plenty of medicine to dull the pain of child birth, she can still remember how her eyes teared up and her heart melted when she got to hold her new son for the first time...
Michael was a very small raccoon when he was born...he fit pretty easily into the palms of Ralph and Melissa's paws. Michael has really grown a lot since then; he is now seven, going on eight, years old, and continues to grow more and more with the passage of time, although he is still small for his age. Michael is a very bright, sweet, and curious little child, although he can be somewhat shy and nervous in unfamiliar situations. He always loves to help out if he can, although he isn't always able to do so. And Melissa absolutely adores him with all her heart. She personally feels that having Michael is a bigger and prouder accomplishment than any photo she's taken, and she's always there for him when he needs her. Michael can sometimes get himself into trouble, but she knows that for the most part, he's a very good boy, and she's proud of him for that. Whenever she hears his adorable little laughter or sees his bright smiling face gazing up at her, it never fails to warm her heart. Melissa truly relishes being a mother, and she wouldn't trade that for anything else in the world.
Yes, Melissa certainly has a wonderful life. She has practically everything that a woman could ever want to have; indeed, many of the Forest's other women are somewhat envious of her happy life. Things seemingly couldn't be any more perfect for her...
And yet, not all is happy in Melissa's world...for there is one thing in her world she wishes she could have that she never really got to have...
It was a early summer evening in the Evergreen Forest, about the first week of June or so. It had been quite a pleasant day for Ralph and Melissa Raccoon, and now, things were unwinding for them at the Raccoondominium...
Melissa Raccoon sat on the sofa in the living room, watching TV. Peanut, her son's little bulldog, was sleeping on the couch next to her, snoring somewhat loudly as she drowsed. Melissa really wasn't paying all that much attention to the TV show that was airing, however...she was thinking about what happened earlier today...
"I'm glad that Michael had a lot of fun at his Grandma's today," Melissa smiled. The couple had the day out from work today, and so, Ralph decided to take Michael over to his mother Millie's house to play for the day. Melissa hadn't gone along with them, however, as she had plans of her own, so Ralph and Michael told her about when they all got back home. "Millie really likes seeing her littlest grandson," Melissa thought to herself. "She doesn't have a lot to look forward to in her life anymore other than visits from her sons and grandchildren...I'm sure that really made her day." Speaking of Michael, he was currently upstairs taking a bath before he went to bed. "That reminds me...when Michael gets out of the tub and gets ready for bed, I should talk to him more about his time with his Grandma..."
Melissa took a quick glance at her arms. The reason she hadn't gone with her husband and son to visit Millie today was because she had gone to the gym today with Nicole to work out and get some exercise. Melissa had put on a lot of extra baby weight from having Michael, and so, not long after she gave birth to him, she started going to the gym to work it off and try to get back to her old weight. She ended up enjoying it so much that she now frequented the gym once or twice a week. Ralph didn't object to her going off; after all, they did love spending time together, but it was always nice for them to have some time apart. Melissa glanced at her arms and legs again and smiled at what she saw; her exercise was really working wonders on her body. She was quite a bit more muscular than she used to be; particularly in her forearms and thighs. "Ralph really loves my muscles," giggled Melissa to herself. "He really likes seeing me in such great shape..."
At that moment, a familiar face appeared on the TV screen: a handsome-looking lemming walked into a comfortable looking room and sat down in a sleek recliner, beside the fire. He began to speak to the TV audience.
"Hello," quipped the lemming, "I'm Lance Lemming. No doubt you probably remember me from other such brilliant infomercials as the Do-It-Yourself Home Brain Surgery Kit and the Tornado-Be-Gone 9000. Now today, I'd like to introduce you to..."
"Oh boy," Melissa uttered under her breath. Back when she was a teenager, Lance Lemming was one of the hottest men in all of Hollywood, appearing in many top blockbusters alongside his real-life girlfriend, the fabulous Ingrid Bellamour. Many women adored Lance back in those days; Melissa being one of them. "I remember how I used to have a big poster of him hanging right on my bedroom wall," she chuckled. Alas, Lance had totally lost his marbles over the years; he was now hopelessly washed-up, and eccentric beyond belief. He appeared all over the place: in bizarre plays, in low-budget movies, in TV infomercials, in instructional videos...anything to try to stay relevant. "It's sad to see how some people change with age..." mused Melissa.
At that moment, a very familiar voice called from upstairs. "Mom!" It was the voice of her young son. "I'm ready for bed now!"
"Okay, honey!" Melissa cheerfully called back up to her boy. "I'll be right up in a minute." She was relieved her son had called for her; she really didn't want to sit through another Lance Lemming infomercial. With that, Melissa got up and walked towards the dining room, where Ralph was seated thumbing through the latest edition of the Standard.
"Ralph," said Melissa to her hubby, "I'm going upstairs to put Michael to bed. Then I'll probably take a spin in the shower. Care to go up too, sweetie?"
Ralph glanced up from his newspaper. "Oh, that's fine. I'll be upstairs in a minute. I'm just looking over our latest edition to see how well everything came together. I promise I'll be up in a few minutes, okay?"
Melissa didn't mind; she knew Ralph always liked to see if their paper came out well. "That's fine, dear. I guess I'll be going, then..." With that, Melissa turned around, headed back through the living room, and began to advance her way up the stairs. As she did, Peanut the bulldog leaped off the couch and began to follow her up the stairs...
Soon, Melissa arrived at Michael's room; the room that had once been Bert's when he lived with them. Sure enough, Michael was already in bed, dressed up in his blue pajamas and clutching his stuffed Pikachu plush doll.
"I'm all ready, Mom," smiled Michael at his mother.
"I see," Melissa beamed at her son. "Did you remember to wash behind your ears?"
"I did," the young raccoon nodded cheerfully.
"And you did remember to brush your teeth really well, right?" she asked, just wanting to make sure.
"Of course I did!" Michael chirped. "I even remembered to floss my teeth after I finished!"
"That's a good boy," Melissa patted her kit on the head. "You know, you have such perfect little teeth; I'd hate to see them all full of cavities..."
"I don't think that'll happen!" giggled Michael. He then looked around the room. "Say, where's Peanut?"
Melissa didn't know. "She was downstairs on the sofa with me...I don't know if she's still there, though..." No sooner had she finished her statement, then Peanut promptly appeared in the bedroom and leaped onto her young master's bed, greeting him with a kiss.
"Hey, hey!" laughed the little kit. "Cut it out, Peanut! I like you too, but it's almost bedtime. You need to calm down!" Peanut promptly laid down right beside Michael, allowing him to scratch her behind his ears. Her small stubby tail wiggled all the while...
Michael then turned his attention back to his mother. "Mom? How did your day at the gym go?"
"Oh, I think it went pretty well, honey," chuckled Melissa, glancing at her arms once again. "I think you can tell it's really working out for me, can't you?"
Michael definitely noticed his Mom's muscles. "I think so; you're pretty strong, Mommy!"
"I think I could pick both you and Peanut up together," his mother laughed. "Although, I don't think that would be the best idea!"
Michael couldn't help but laugh too; mother and son shared a good laugh together. "So, Michael, how did you enjoy your visit to your Grandma's today?" she changed the subject.
"I had fun," beamed Michael, "Grandma's really old and she can't do very much. But she showed me how to play Monopoly today. Maybe we could play that game together?"
"Perhaps someday, if I can find a copy of it at the store..."
"Grandma also told me a lot of stories from when Daddy was my age," explained her son.
"What did she tell you about your father?" wondered Melissa.
"She told me that when Dad was my age, he thought babies came from a turnip patch," Michael informed her. "One day, Dad and Uncle Bert went looking for the turnip patch because he wanted a baby brother. Grandma was really worried and had to look all over the Forest to find Daddy!"
Melissa couldn't help but giggle a little; she remembered Ralph telling her that story before. It was certainly quite an amusing tale. "You know, when I was little like you, honey, I thought babies hatched from eggs," she told her son.
"Yes, I did!" Melissa chuckled again. "Do you know where babies come from, Mikey?"
Michael thought for a moment. "You told me I came from you! That's what you told me, right?"
"That's right," Melissa patted her son on the head once more. "You did come from me. Do you remember those pictures I showed you from when you were inside my belly?" Seeing as Melissa thought Michael was old enough now, she recently showed her young son her pregnancy photos and explained a little more about how he came to be; he'd known he came from his parents, but not much more than that...
"I think so," the young raccoon nodded his head. "I can't remember that, though..."
"No one does remember being inside their mother, Michael," replied his mother. "I don't think that's something you would want to remember! I remember it, though, and it's a very special memory to me. I was very excited knowing I was going to have you...you know, I'm really glad I got to have you for a son..." Melissa smiled lovingly as she placed an arm around her young kit.
Michael glanced admiringly up at his mother. "I'm glad you're my Mommy, too," he smiled as the two shared a hug.
There was one thought in the back of Michael's mind that was nagging away at him...he wasn't sure if he should ask his mother about it or not, seeing as he thought it might upset her. But he was a very curious little child, and did want to know what his mother would say..."Mommy?" Michael asked her as their hug came to an end.
"What is it, honey?"
"Mom, you know I've gotten to meet so much of Daddy's family..." Michael began, a little nervously.
"You certainly have," Melissa nodded, though she was more than a little curious as to what he was trying to tell her.
"Well, Mommy...why haven't I met any of your family?" he innocently asked his mother.
Melissa knew it was only an innocent question, and yet that question really stung her. She hadn't told Michael very much about her side of the family or his Mulligan family heritage. Melissa had told him about her father-his grandfather-but very little else. She didn't know if she should tell him that the two of them were the last living members of their family tree...
Michael noticed the frown on his mother's face. "Mommy...what's wrong?" He had a feeling that question was going to upset her...
"Michael..." Melissa slowly began. She didn't want to tell him, but she knew it was probably for the best to let him know about it...after all, he did ask. It was probably better to tell him now rather than wait until he was older. "Michael...I'm sorry to say...I...I don't have a family, Mikey..."
Michael was confused. How could his mother not have a family? She told him she had a father, after all; wouldn't it make sense for her to have more family members than that? Perhaps that was why she never told him..."You don't have a family, Mom?"
"Well, I do..." Melissa tried to explain. "But they're not around anymore. They're...they're gone, honey..."
Now Michael seemed to understand what his mother was trying to say; he knew what death was as his parents already explained it to him..."Do you mean they're all...they're all dead, Mom...?"
"I'm afraid so," sighed Melissa heavily. "All except for you and me. We're the last two members of my family left..."
"Only you and me?" Michael felt sad hearing that; especially knowing he would never get to meet any of her relatives.
"That's right," Melissa sighed once more. "You see, that's part of why you're so special to me. You're my only relative; you're a little hope for my family. You understand, right...?" Michael was a bright child for his age, but she didn't know if he could understand such a situation.
"I think so, Mom..." Michael glanced up at her with sadness in his eyes. He felt really bad for his mother; he didn't know she was so close to being all alone in the world. He never realized how special he really was to her before now. "I guess that means I can't meet any of your family, then..."
"I wish you could," lamented Melissa, "but you're right, you can't. I wish I could bring them back, but there's nothing I can do..."
"I'm sorry I upset you, Mommy..." apologized her son; he really hadn't meant to upset her.
"No, no, that's alright, honey," Melissa hugged her son once again. "I know you were only curious; I never really told you much about my family. It's probably better that you know that, anyways..."
"I didn't mean to make you feel sad...I didn't know you don't have a family..."
"I know that," Melissa cracked a small smile for her child. "Perhaps someday, I could tell you more about my family? At least my uncle; he's the only one I can really remember..."
Michael was now curious; he wanted to know more about his mother's uncle. But he knew now was probably not the best time to ask more about that. "I think I would like that," he grinned at his mother.
"I wouldn't mind that," Melissa smiled. "Now, it's time for you to go bed, honey. I know you don't have school tomorrow seeing as it's summer vacation, but you still need to get your sleep. You've got plenty of room left to grow, after all!"
"I'm doing my best!" chirped the kit. "Goodnight, Mommy...I love you...and thank you for telling me about your family..."
Melissa leaned down and gave her son a tender kiss right on his cheek. "I love you too, Mikey, with all my heart...I hope learning that doesn't bother you too much. Try to get a good night's sleep, sweetheart," she whispered to him.
"I'll try, Mom..." Michael managed to smile as he rested his head on the pillow and closed his eyes.
"Sweet dreams, my little cutie pie..." Melissa trailed off as she slowly closed the door behind him, stopping for just a moment to smile as her son scratched his now sleeping bulldog's head. She made her way down the hallway, but went past the bathroom and headed straight for her and Ralph's bedroom. She didn't feel like taking a shower just yet...her conversation with Michael filled her mind with so many thoughts...
Melissa opened the door to the bedroom and sat down on the bed, placing her head in her paws. "I know it's for the best that Michael knows about my dying family, but I just wish he could meet some of my relatives...Oh, if only it were possible..."
Melissa's mind thought of a few years ago, she discovered a genealogy website on the Internet and decided to sign up for it to research her family history a little better. She thought that perhaps the website would help her learn more about who she was, and perhaps find any missing family members she didn't know about. "I thought that maybe, just maybe, that website would tell me that Michael and I aren't as alone as we are..."
Alas, the website hadn't helped a bit. Sure, she had indeed learned so much more about her family history and heritage, but it hadn't turned up any missing family she didn't know about that might still be out there. If anything, it had only confirmed her fears that she and Michael indeed were the last living members of the Mulligan family. Still, she continued to try to search, but no matter how hard she tried, it didn't turn up anything new...and it frustrated her so...
"I guess it is true..." Melissa deeply sighed, glancing down at the floor. "Michael and I have no family..."
Meanwhile, Ralph Raccoon was slowly making his way up the stairs. He was finished looking through the last issue of the Standard; everything seemed to turn out pretty well with this edition. It was due to be delivered tomorrow..."We all do such a fine job putting her together," Ralph whispered to himself. "Maybe the Standard isn't the greatest paper out there, but I can always sleep comfortably knowing how well done it is..."
Ralph soon passed by the bathroom door in the hallway. He noticed something odd...there was no sound of running water in there. He could have sworn Melissa said she was going to take a shower in there. "Hmm, I wonder why she's not there?" mused Ralph. "Ah, never mind, I think I should go check on Michael and see if he's asleep or not..."
Ralph slowly opened the door to Michael's bedroom, in order to not wake him up should he be asleep. Sure enough, the kit was sound asleep in bed, a smile on his face. He was clutching his Pikachu plush doll in one paw, and the other paw was placed on his sleeping bulldog's head. "Aww, out like a light," Ralph whispered happily to himself. "He looks so peaceful in his sleep..." Moments like these made Ralph wonder how he could ever have been afraid at the thought of having children...and yet, years ago, that had really been the case. "How silly I was to think such a thing..." murmured Ralph. "Michael's one of the best things that ever happened in my life..." No matter what, Ralph knew he would always be there for his little son; he would always be there to lend him a guiding paw when he needed it. "Sleep tight, little guy..." trailed off Ralph as he closed the door.
Ralph then made his way to his bedroom...but he got quite a surprise when he opened the door; there, sitting on his bed with her head in his paws, was his wife. She looked pretty glum about something or other; he could only wonder what...
"Honey, what are you doing in here?" asked Ralph. "I thought you were taking a shower...?"
"Oh, I'll take one later. You can go through if you want to; I just wanted to sit in here for a while," said Melissa lowly as she glanced at her husband.
"What's the matter, Melissa?" questioned Ralph worriedly. He didn't like seeing his wife upset; it was so unlike her to feel sad about anything. She was always so bright, cheerful, and spunky...it just didn't seem right to see her sad about something. "Is something bugging you...?"
Melissa didn't really feel like chatting right now. "Oh, it's nothing, dear," she sighed. "I just wanted to sit and think by myself for a little while; that's all. You don't need to worry yourself; go on and take your shower, dear."
Ralph shook his head. "I'm not going to do that just yet; I just want to know what's bothering you," he sat down beside her and draped his warm, loving arm around her. "You can't hide it from me, honey...I can tell by your face that you're upset about something. You know you can tell me what's wrong; I would never laugh at you or call you silly for worrying about something. Besides, perhaps I can make you feel better...?"
Melissa sighed; she knew she would have to discuss this with Ralph, anyways. He was always so insistent on trying to cheer her up if she ever felt down...not that she could complain about that; she always appreciated him being supportive or comforting towards her. That was one of the many reasons why she loved him, after all. "Okay, Ralph...you see, I talked to Michael just before he went to bed, and he asked me something really...bothersome, if you will," explained Melissa.
"Bothersome?" Ralph's curiosity was piqued. "What do you mean, Melissa?"
"He told me how he met so much of your family, but wanted to know why...why he's never met any of my family..." Melissa exhaled sharply.
"Oh..." Ralph knew that had to be a very difficult question for Melissa to be asked; he knew it bothered her knowing that she was part of a nearly-dead family tree. "What did you tell him?"
"I told him," explained Melissa slowly, "that he and I are the last two members of my family left, and that the rest of them are all gone. I told him he wouldn't ever get to meet any of them..."
"That must have been really hard for you to tell him," sympathized Ralph. "But it was probably for the best that you told him...I mean, he did ask, right?"
"That's right," Melissa nodded in confirmation. "He seemed to understand, but I have to wonder how he feels deep down inside knowing that..."
"Hopefully, that won't bother him too much," Ralph tried to be optimistic.
"I hope so..." Melissa sighed again, glancing back down at the floor. "Sweetie...ever since I was a little girl, I've always wished for a real family. My uncle died when I was so little and all I had was my father. Now he's gone and all I have is Michael. I'm going to be forty-five this November...and I still wish I had a real family. I've been wishing that for nearly forty years now...It's kind of depressing knowing you're all alone out there..."
"You're not alone, honey..." Ralph gave her his warmest smile as his gently grabbed hold of her soft paws, lightly rubbing and caressing them in a soothing manner. "Like you said, you have Michael, don't you? Besides, I'm here for you through thick and thin..."
"Ralph...you're an important part of this family. You're my best friend...my soulmate...my one true companion. You're the father of my only child; I'm very grateful to have you as a part of my life," responded his wife. "But you're not a Mulligan, and you never will be one. I mean, I'm glad you're not a Mulligan; I wouldn't marry into my own family, after all! That would just cause so many problems..." Melissa did have to chuckle at that...
Ralph laughed a bit as well. "For sure; I can't understand why anyone would want to do that. I'd hate to imagine those poor children..."
"But anyways," Melissa steered the conversation back on topic, "you can't be a Mulligan. You'll never know what it's like to be me and have virtually no family at all. I mean, your Mom's still alive; you still have your brother George, and Nicole; and you have Bentley and Lisa too. You also have all those cousins and a few aunts and uncles, too...Ralph, sometimes I envy you..."
"Well, maybe you're not as alone as you think you are," Ralph replied comfortingly, "I mean...you've been checking out that ancestry website quite often, haven't you? Maybe it will turn up something and you'll find that there's more of you out there..."
"Ralph..." Melissa replied sadly, "I've been using that site for years now. It's helped me learn more about my heritage and who I really am...but yet, it hasn't turned up anything. I'm beginning to think there are no lost Mulligans out there, sweetie...I think if there were, it would have turned up something by now..."
Ralph was surprised to see his wife so pessimistic; this was certainly outside the norm for her..."Well, you never know, Melissa. You shouldn't just give up your search; maybe something is right around the corner...?"
"Actually, Ralph...I've decided that's what I'm going to..." a depressed Melissa interjected. "I'm giving up my search for my family. I haven't found anything by now, and I doubt I ever will. It's best if I just give up...I guess I just have to accept that Michael and I are alone..."
Ralph could see his wife was on the verge of tears; he definitely noticed her eyes watering up. Ralph absolutely hated seeing his wife so sad..."Awww...Melissa...I'm sorry," he sighed. Ralph let go of her paws and outstretched his arms. "Here, honey..." Ralph whispered. "I'm here..."
Melissa wrapped her arms tightly around her hubby as the married couple shared a tight embrace, a few tears flowing down Melissa's cheeks. Ralph's warm embrace was very comforting, but she still felt pretty sad. "Oh, Ralph...I wish I weren't alone like that..." she sniffled after a couple minutes passed.
Ralph's embrace grew a little tighter as he held her even closer, patting her on the back lightly for reassurance. "Honey...even if you are alone like that, remember that no matter what...you always have two guys who will love you no matter what..."
"I know, Ralph...I know..." Melissa uttered softly as she hurriedly dried her eyes.
"You're so important to me and Michael...without you, I have a feeling that I would be a lonely middle-aged man who never found the love of his life. I don't know if I ever could have found another woman like you...and without you, I don't know if I could ever have the drive to work on the Standard...And Michael owes a lot to you too, as well. If not for you...he wouldn't even be alive, would he now...?"
"No, of course not..." Melissa sighed. "I am very fortunate to have two great guys like you in my life..."
"Think of that, honey," Ralph warmly smiled as he loosened his grip on her a bit. "You shouldn't dwell on the fact that your family tree has dwindled to nearly nothing...you should think of all those important to you, and feel proud of how much you mean to them..."
"I know," Melissa managed a smile. "I try not to think about it too often...it's just been bugging and nagging me for such a long time, though..."
"Well, I really did hope you would find more family members through that site because I know how happy it would make you...but if you feel you really should give up, then that's fine...I wish I could help you out, but you've done pretty much all you can...there's nothing I can really do about I could, I would make a new Mulligan family member appear before your eyes, but it doesn't work like that, does it...?"
Melissa thought for a moment. "Actually..." she smiled, thoughtfully, "it could work like that...We could always try to have another child, after all..."
"Oh, that's right...I hadn't thought about that! Hahaha..." Ralph let out a nervous chuckle.
"Ah, but I am probably a little too old for that now...I haven't hit menopause yet, but at my age it is probably a little too dangerous for me to try to get pregnant again..."
"Yeah, I think it's a little late to give Michael a little brother or sister," Ralph remarked.
Melissa changed the subject. "Anyways, thanks for trying to cheer me up, sweetheart...I do feel a little better..."
"No problem, honey," Ralph beamed warmly at her. "Anything to make my special lady feel a little better. I don't like seeing you upset like that, after all...I'm just so used to seeing you so happy and cheerful. That's the Melissa I know and love," he winked at her.
"You do a great job making me feel that way..." Melissa smiled lightly. "I really appreciate that. Hmm, I think I should probably go take my shower now..."
"Actually, honey..." Ralph whispered, his voice taking on a mischievous, cheeky tone, "how about I join you in the shower...? You know, it might help cheer you up a little bit more...plus you never know, you might need a little help washing up in those hard-to-reach places..." he winked suggestively at her.
Melissa rather liked that idea...she and Ralph always loved showering together. Melissa always found shower sex so arousing, so steamy, so very...hot. It was one of her favorite places for romance, she thought. Plus, they wouldn't have to worry about Michael waking up and hearing them having a go at it together...for not only would the sound of the running water drown out the sounds of their passion, all the rooms in the Raccoondominium were sound-proofed...It was very hard to resist Ralph's offer to share a little wet, slippery fun together...
"Mmm, you know what, sweetie? I think I would like that very much," purred Melissa as a naughty grin came across her face. "That would help take my mind off things...plus, you know showering together is a great way for us to save a little water. I know you're really keen on conservation, Ralphie boy..." she giggled once more.
"Heheh, exactly," Ralph gave her another flirty wink. "I'm always the environmentalist...So, what do you say?"
"I say, I'd love nothing better right now, Ralph," beamed his wife. "You know, I really love it when you come up with sexy ideas like that, dear..."
"Hey, sometimes a girl deserves to be romanced, doesn't she?" Ralph laughed, taking hold of her paw. "Now, c'mon, what are we waiting for? Let's go wash up together."
"You lead the way, dear," Melissa laughed as the couple got up from the bed and headed towards the bathroom, paw in paw. They were certainly going to have a lots of fun together...Melissa knew she was going to feel a lot better afterwards...Alas, the fact that she still had virtually no family at all would still continue to nag at her, anyways...
But, unbeknownst to Melissa, perhaps she wasn't as alone as she really thought...for she was soon to receive quite an unexpected surprise...
END CHAPTER ONE