08 October 2004

Story: Lizbeth's Adventure

Part of the Lizbeth series.  Parts I & II joined.  Lizbeth sneaks out to see her friend and gets caught by his father.  She receives two spankings -- one from her friend's father, and one from hers.

Lizbeth's Adventure
by Breanna Carter

I hated it when Javier or someone had Friday night off because that meant Katrina had to work and I'd end up having to stay all night watching tv with a bunch of drunk Mexican men. It might be amusing sometimes, but usually I just ended up getting aggravated and going to my own house to watch tv by myself. At least when Katrina was around we could *do* something and I could get myself out of the house. But this particular Friday, I wasn't able to do anything.. because Papa was off in the daytime and Javier was off at night. So I spent all day at home and it was driving me crazy!

When I heard Katrina pull up to bring Papa home, I nearly died running down the steps. "Katrina! Katrina! Pleaseeee take me somewhere!" I begged.

Papa looked at me in utter confusion, then at Kat, then back at me and muttered, "what did you say?"

I told him that I'd asked if she could take me out and it was followed by a bunch of English curses and finally a, "No, Lizbeth. You need to stay home tonight and it's too late to be going out anyway."

"But Papa!" I whined, but he ignored me and just walked off.

I considered greatly just going with Kat anyway, but I didn't want to get her in trouble again.

"What's up, kiddo?" she said, ruffling my hair. "Haven't seen ya all day! I've missed ya!"

I grinned slightly. "Nothing, bored shitless."

"Heyyy, watch your mouth!" she teased. "Why so bored? Javier and the guys didn't have anything exciting planned for you today?"

I shook my head. "The only plans they had consisted of getting drunk... and that didn't include me."

"That's probably a good thing, though... I don't think your dad would've been too please had he come home to find you drunk."

"It's okay, beer is gross anyway."

She giggled. "I'd love to stay around for a while, but it's getting late and I'm exhausted. Pinche people.."

I loved it when she cursed in Spanish.

"Anyway, go on to sleep... I'll be over early in the morning and we'll do something fun. Make some spiffy plans, okies?"

I nodded. "See ya, Kat."

She sped off and I slowly ambled back up the stairs, opening the door to my own apartment, praying that Papa would take me *somewhere*. But he was dead asleep, and I knew that Kat was right about the mucho pinche people.

"Hey, Papa," I whispered, shaking him slightly.

He groaned.

"I'm going to go next door to watch tv, okay?"

He nodded and told me not to be back too late. I promised him that I wouldn't and tried to ease my thumping heart. I'd never been good at sneaking out or lying... even back in Mexico with my Mama. I tried to sneak out of the house once and made it clear across the yard before I heard her screaming my name and chasing after me with a wooden spoon. But now wasn't the good time to be thinking about that experience... because if it were Papa who caught me sneaking out, he'd be chasing me around with a leather belt, and that seemed much scarier than that wooden spoon..

So I decided I'd actually go over to Javier's place for a few minutes, just so if Papa asked about me being there, they could honestly say that I'd come over. He wouldn't take into consideration that they were drunk and probably wouldn't remember me being there anyway.

But of course, they were watching a soccer game and shouting profanities at the other team. It was actually quite amusing... tons of drunk Mexican men cursing at the tv. At least I thought it was funny. I don't even think they noticed I was there until I muttered, "Yeah, I think I'm going to go now..."

Then they all turned to me and Freddy started giggling. "Where you goin', chica?" he asked, in English.

"Home," I lied, turning my eyes away because I could never look someone straight in the eyes when lying to them.

"Ohhhh, I see," he chuckled. "Goin' home."

He knew I was lying.

"Well, be careful at home," he muttered softly, still speaking in English so no one else would hear. "There's a lot of crazy people out there."

I bit my lower lip. "The only crazy people I see are you guys in here," I said in Spanish, winking at Freddy, this time looking him straight in the eyes because *that* wasn't a lie.

Everyone laughed and I waved goodbye to them, saying goodnight.

My stomach turned inside of me. Freddy knew what was up... and that scared the hell out of me. Oh, so yeah, Freddy's a guy who moved in with Javier a few weeks after I'd moved in. Just so you know. He's awesome as hell... listens to heavy metal and has devil horns and a goatee, also speaks English (as you might have noticed). Drinks too much and smokes weed. Kat and Freddy get a long great. Probably because he and I are the only ones who she can actually talk to, but still. Freddy's a cool guy. And I didn't know if I could trust him not to tell Papa anything or not.

So I decided when going down the stairs, I'd duck a little to make sure that no one saw me escape. I don't think anyone did because as I passed the window they were still shouting profanities at the tv, probably already having forgotten that I had been there. As I hopped off the last step, I wiped my brow of the sweat and headed away from my house. I knew my destination... His name was Carlos and he was a fourteen-year old half-Mexican, half-American kid. He lived about two blocks from Papa's house and he was really nice and really cute. He spoke more English than Spanish and had met Kat enough times to pick up on her slang words and music, so he listened to different kinds of music and wore baggy jeans. How cool was it that I was hanging out with a fourteen year old?

I skipped down the road humming the fight song of one of the teams that had been on tv. I hated that damn fight song. Surprisingly, I wasn't scared... I mean, I feared Papa's wrath if he found what I was doing, but I wasn't scared that some weirdo drug dealer would take me and try to rape me. Besides, I'd learned on a movie that Kat and I watched together if you let the rapist know that you're HIV positive, they won't try to rape you. I wanted ask Kat what exactly HIV was, but I didn't want to seem as ignorant as I felt. But I figured if it worked in the movie, it'd work in real life. (The movie was Anarchist Cookbook or something and it was GOOD!) So I just ambled down the streets mumbling stuff about having HIV probably in too happy of a tone.

I finally made it to Carlos's house. He wasn't really expecting me, and I guess I should have called before I came barging in, and then I realized that his father was friends with mine, and that it'd be better if I kind of... you know... snuck in rather than knocking on the front door. I took a deep breath and paced myself, then walked over to the side of his house and peeped through the window. There he sat on his bed, watching the soccer game. Surprise. I tapped softly on the window and stood on my tiptoes so he could see more than just my eyes. I giggled when he jumped, then he realized it was just me and held his hand over his heart.

He came over to the window and opened it. "Chinga tu madre! You scared me shitless!" Now you see where I got that phrase from.

"Tsk tsk, dirty mouth, Carlos. Can I come in? I'm bored out of my mind and need to hang out for a little while."

He looked behind him then back at me. "Sure, but Pop's mad at me, so if we hear him coming in, you have to hide and quick! I'm half-grounded because I was messing around at the grocery store today with some potheads from down the street... and he swears he's told me before not to hang out with them... I just think he's losing his mind.."

I giggled. "Probably so."

The next problem was how I was going to actually get inside. See, the window was a little too high for me to just climb in, and I didn't have much upper body strength...

"What's been up, babe?" he asked, reaching a hand out to help me inside. He was sooo strong! And sexy, might I add.

"Nothing," I whispered, trying to climb up the wall and holding onto his hand and the window until I fell back down. He laughed at me then reached down and hauled me up from my armpits and threw me onto his bed.

I giggled a little, but he put his finger over his lips and said "shhhh" so I bit my lower lip to keep from laughing. He was sitting there in only blue-jean shorts and I thought that made him even sexier. I won't go into description on his muscles and such... you probably don't care to hear that.

"Watching the game?" I asked stupidly, hearing that damn fight song again.

"Hell yeah! This is a big game!" he nearly yelled, but put his hand over his mouth and started laughing again.

We lay there for a while watching the game, making fun of the people, and hearing his father shout profanities at the other team. And I guess it all started during a commercial when I poked him in the stomach and he squirmed and I thought it was so cute I had to do it again. And again I did it, and again, and again, until he got sick of it and started tickling me. I giggled as softly as I could, begging him to stop the tickling until he just.. kissed me. Right on the lips.

I kind of blinked after that, but I liked it. I'd never exactly kissed a guy before... you know... like that.

We just stared at each other for a moment, and then he brought his head back down and kissed me again, this time slipping his tongue through my lips and doing all this amazing stuff and my heart began pounding wildly... He stopped again to make sure I was okay, and this time I was the one to lean in and kiss him, attempting to slip my tongue through his lips... but we were interrupted..

Okay, I didn't even *hear* his father open the door. I was too busy concentrating on the kiss... What I heard was his father clearing his throat... and that's when I realized that we were being watched. Holyshit... you can't even imagine how far apart we jumped from each other, Carlos and I. You'd have thought the bed caught on fire.

"We were just... I..." he stammered.

"I was just leaving.." I muttered, wanting to make a quick leap out of the window but was stopped.

"Does your father know where you are, Young Lady?" he asked.

At this point I didn't know if it would be better to lie or not, so I stayed silent, thus implying that Papa had NO idea where I was.

"You stay in here, Carlos," he yelled, then turned to me. "You, come with me," he ordered.

I wasted no time in getting towards him and following him out of the room. He slammed the door shut and lead me to his own bedroom, where there were curtains on the windows and everything was a little girly and the bed was tall and big.

I guess he thought it better to yell at me in Spanish so no one could understand what he was saying.

"Just what exactly do you think you're doing?" he said.

"Uhm.. I was just... hanging out?"

"You call *that* hanging out?"

I nodded.

"No, Young Lady... hanging out is when you come over, knock on the door, I let you inside, and you and my son sit on the couch watching tv. It isn't sneaking in through the window at odd hours of the night and making out with him on his bed."

"I-.."

"I don't want to hear it Lizbeth. You're old enough to know better than to do what you did. I won't tolerate this in my house." With that he sat on the bed and then I remembered a silent agreement that Papa and all of his friends had with one another -- if one's child misbehaves in your house, it's okay to spank them. Shit... why hadn't I thought of that before? "Over my lap, Lizbeth," he commanded. "This is going to be nothing compared to what Carlos gets, just to let you know.." I quivered as I dropped myself over his lap, feeling smaller than ever. Papa was nothing in size compared to this guy... Meaning, Carlos's pop was a pretty big guy, not fat, but tall and very muscular... the thought of how my backside would feel was one thing I *didn't* want to think about.

He circled my waist with his arm to keep me steady across his lap. I clenched my fists and closed my eyes, only imagining how painful this would feel, even if it was over my thin pants.

And oh geeze... you'd think those pants would help it not seem as hard... Yeah right! He whacked my bottom for the first time and I thought I was going to die before he got finished with me. I yelped as loud as I could and kicked my legs, but it didn't phase him in the bit. He just landed one sharp smack after another, lecturing me that I was not to sneak into his house at night, much less make out with his son. I just apologized through my tears, assuring him that I wouldn't do any of it again, begging him to stop, both in English and Spanish because I didn't know if he could understand one from all the crying I was doing.

"And I'm sure your father will be glad to know what you've been up to tonight, huh, Lizbeth? Since clearly he has no idea you're not at home right now.."

"Nooooo, pleaseeee don't tell him!!"

He ended with a solid smack in the middle of my bottom and lifted me. "Get home, Lizbeth. And don't worry, your father will know about this.."

I sniffled and wiped the tears from my eyes, then rubbed my bottom a little and scurried out of the house, running all the way home so maybe he'd think I was at Javier's the whole time...

*****

I reached my house out of breath and nearly collapsed as I made it to the stairs. But I knew I only had a few stairs to climb, then I'd be in Javier's house. I stopped for a moment, catching my breath a bit, then hurried up the steps, peeking in the window to see only Freddy, lying in the dark watching tv. I tapped softly on the window, motioning for him to answer the door. He just nodded and I climbed the rest of the steps and went inside, instantly falling onto the couch.

"What's up, girl?" he asked, eyebrows raised.

I was shaking from fear and breathing heavily because I'd run so fast. "Nothing," I stammered.

He shook his head and leaned back on the couch. "Nothing bad, I hope? No drug dealers try to hurt you or anything?"

"No..." I began, considering lying again and telling him I hadn't been in the streets at all, but Freddy was a friend of mine, and at that point I needed a friend. Desperately hoping that he wouldn't lecture me, I said, "I went to see a friend and his dad found out and said he was going to call Papa... so I ran home hoping that he'd come over here to make sure I wasn't here and then find me and believe that I hadn't left.."

Freddy nodded slowly. "Wow," he muttered.

"Pleaseee.. can you tell Papa I was here all night?"

"You're better off not lying to him, Liz. He knows that you were gone, your friend and his dad are two witnesses... all you need on top of that is to lie to him and get yourself into more trouble."

I sighed. As much as I hated to admit it, Freddy was right. "Well, maybe he didn't really call Papa... maybe he was just trying to scare me."

Freddy smiled. "I hope so, for your sake."

We watched the tv for a little while, a silent agreement for me to stay over there until I calmed down a bit. I did feel better, though, after I talked to Freddy.. and I'm glad he didn't take the fatherly approach and start lecturing me. Hell, with my luck, he might have just turned me over his own knee and spanked me! But he didn't... just listened to me and gave me some advice. And that's what I needed.

It was 1:42 when I decided to go back home. I thanked him for helping me out and said goodnight, ambling slowly towards Papa's apartment. I could tell before I opened the door that he was sound asleep... because I could hear his snoring from outside. At least that would be the reason I would have a hard time going to sleep, and not because I'd gotten spanked twice in the same night. Rubbing my bottom softly, I opened the door as quietly as possible and went to my bed, stretching out and almost instantly falling asleep. There weren't many nights that I stayed up so late.

The next morning I had no idea what time it was when Papa got in the shower. All I knew was that it was dark outside, I was tired as hell from staying up so late and that Papa was a horrible singer!! (he always sings LOUDLY in the shower) I tried pulling the pillow over my head to drown out the singing, but it was useless, and by the time he was out of the shower, I was wide awake.

"Oh, good, you're up," he said, coming into the room clad in a pair of jeans and towel draped around his shoulder as he dried his hair with it. He sat down on the couch. "You know, Carlos's pop called last night... said you were over there, but I could have sworn you told me that you were going to Javier's house for a little while.."

I bit my tongue to keep from lying to him. Freddy had told me, lying would just make it worse. I had to listen to Freddy's advice. The truth was the answer. "I went to Javier's house... no intentions of going to Carlos's... but I was bored over there and wanted to hang out with someone my age and you were dead asleep!" So much for listening to Freddy's advice.

He shook his head. "Walking the streets that late at night is dangerous, Young Lady," Papa told me.

I put on my best puppy face and the tears began streaming down my face, remembering all to well the position I was about to take over his lap. No lie could get me out of the punishment I was about to encounter.

"I told you that you couldn't go anywhere but Javier's house and you did. That's blantant disrespect, Lizbeth, and I don't like it at all."

"I know, Papa. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking.."

"You're old enough to know better than to do what you did.." Hmmm, hadn't I heard that before? I didn't like being so old anymore! "You think it's okay to just leave the house whenever you want to?"

"No, Papa, I don't... I just.."

He interjected. "Too late, Lizbeth. Excuses won't work. I'm disappointed in you for disobeying me. Disappointed that you'd go wandering around at night by yourself. Do you understand how dangerous that is? There's plenty of prostitutes and drug addicts that wander around that that time of night... rapists..."

"But I have HIV!" I told him.

He blinked. "What?"

"I mean... I was going to tell a rapist that I had HIV and he wouldn't rape me!"

Papa gave me a weird look and shook it off. I wish I'd known what HIV was in Spanish, that way he wouldn't look at me so funny. "I doubt it'd have worked, Lizbeth.."

"But I saw it in a movie."

"That's just a movie, it's not real life. And anyway, you're getting off the subject. It's not safe to wander around at night, whether you're telling someone you have HIV or not. Kids get hurt on the streets, okay? It is VERY dangerous, Lizbeth. There's crazy people around here, and I don't want you to get hurt, you understand?"

"Yes, Papa."

"So you understand why I'm going to spank you."

I groaned, still feeling the pain in my bottom from the night before. "Papa... I learned my lesson already.."

"Not well enough, Young Lady."

"Pleaseee, Papa... I don't want a spanking.." I begged.

"I know you don't want it, and I didn't want you to go out last night, but you did anyway."

"But I won't do it again."

"No, you won't. Because you're getting a spanking."

The tears began streaming down my face again. "Please, Poppy.." I pleaded.

"Come here, Lizbeth."

I just kept crying, not having the strength in my legs to take those few steps towards him.

"Lizbeth, I'm going to give you to the count of three..."

"Papa... please don't spank me... I'll be good.."

"One.." he began, and I took those fateful steps, somewhere finding the physical strength and letting it lead me.

He looked at me in the eyes, wiping some of the tears away. "Lizbeth, you're my baby girl. Don't do this to me... don't make me worry like so. If I hadn't heard you sneak into Javier's place last night I'd have been wandering around the neighborhood all night looking for you."

"I'm sorry, Poppy," I whispered.

"I know, baby. I know you are. And I know that you know you deserve this spanking, right?"

I bit my lower lip and nodded, knowing that this nod would seal my fate, and I'd be over his lap bawling my eyes out in a few minutes.

He hugged me tightly, then tugged my pajama pants down and helped me over his lap. Only a few hours ago had I been in this very position, only a different Papa, a different house... It felt so much better being my own Papa, though. Even though it didn't feel good at all.

I felt my panties being lowered to my knees and I quivered slightly and bit my lip again. "Please, Papa... not too hard.."

He didn't answer, just rested his warm hand on my bottom. I closed my eyes. "Lizbeth, you will not sneak out of the house again, do you understand me?" he lectured, lifting his hand and giving each of my cheeks a solid smack.

"Owww! Owwww! Yes, Papa!" I answered.

"You will not wander the streets at night, *SMACK SMACK*, and you won't sneak into someone else's house, *SMACK SMACK*, understand? *SMACK SMACK!*"

"Yesssss," I cried.

He kept up the rhythm, alternating cheeks, which was nice and predictable. It didn't help the fact that he was spanking with nearly all of his strength and my bottom was on fire.

"Owwwwwwww, Poppyyyy... pleaseeeee," I begged. "Pleaseeee stopppp."

"No, honey," he answered, now concentrating on the sit spots. "You disobeyed me and I'm teaching you a lesson, Lizbeth. I'm far from finished."

That sentence made me cry even more... maybe I was even howling a bit. I was crying so hard that everything was blurry and all I could concentrate on was the rapid fire being inflicted upon my aching bottom. I kicked as best as could, squirmed a little to dodge smacks (was futile), and clasped my hands together with my face buried into them. "Popppyyyy," I cried, "I'm sssooorrrrrryyyy!!"

"I know, Lizbeth." But he kept the spanking, occasionally hitting the sitspots, and even hitting my thighs a couple of times. He even started spanking *harder* which I didn't know was possible at the time.

I began choking on my tears... "P-leasee... I w-on't d-do it-t again!" I sobbed. "I'll be g-good!"

I couldn't feel his heart breaking with my pleas. "I'm sorry, baby. I have to do this."

Even though I was bobbing up and down and kicking with all my might, I knew he was right -- he did have to do this. I deserved it, as much as I hated to admit it.

My sobs increased as the spanking neared its end. I finally held onto the couch and buried my face into the cusions, not squirming anymore, not kicking, just crying. He took this time to give me a final smack, covering my entire bum, and then resting his hand there. "Oh, Lizbeth. You're my babygirl and I love you so much."

"I love you, too, Poppy!" I cried, feeling like a six year old.

I felt him take a deep breath in and then move his hand, and that's when I realized that it wasn't over...

"I'm sorry baby. Just a little spanking with the hairbrush and I'll be finished," He told me.

"Poppppyyyyy, pleaseee nooo!" I cried, lifting my head and looking at him in the eyes. I didn't notice the tears that he had in his own eyes, only the hairbrush that he had in his hand that I hadn't realized had been lying on the couch the whole time.

He gently pushed me back down, only to make me cry harder as I buried my head again in the already tear-stained cushion.

The first whack with the hairbrush was nearly deafening... a loud crack as like that of one car running into another (and you know this if you've ever been in a car accident). The screamed that followed that first blow was just as loud, probably louder. The noise echoed through the house, probably waking up Papa's roommates, if they hadn't already been awake. "Pleaseeee, Poppyyyy... no moreeee," I begged, trying to catch my breath.

But it didn't work. He crashed that damn hairbrush down on my backside a dozen times, and by the time he was finished, I was a baby, bawling and shaking to no end, trying to apologize but not having the strength.

"Shhh, Lizbeth, honey. I'm finished down," Papa said, rubbing my back.

I choked out a few apologies but he just scooped me in his arms.

"I love you, baby," he said.

"Me too, Poppy," I blubbered, burying my head into his chest, smelling the cologne and using that as well as his warm embrace to comfort me past tears. He held me tightly, rubbing my back and talking to me in a soothing voice until I was all cried out and only sniffling.

"Te amo mucho, mucho, mucho!" he said (sorry, that was too cute to put in English).

I smiled, sniffling and wiping away the last of my tears and letting him kiss my forehead. "I love you lots, too, Papa," I answered.

"Why not have a shower and then we can have a talk, okay?"

I raised my eyebrows. "A talk? I thought.."

"No, not that kind of talk," he said, tickling me.

I giggled and sniffled again. "Okies!" I said, stealing one of Kat's words.

He rolled his eyes, but I got some clothes and went on my way..

I took a warm shower, letting the hot water soothe me as I ran my fingers through my hair, using one of Papa's roommates' shampoo. The man had gorgeous hair and I figured it was all in the shampoo, so I took it upon myself to use it every so often. And today was one of those days. And besides, Kat would be coming soon and we'd be doing something fun, so I'd have to look "spiffy."

I finished my shower and dried off, dressing in my baggy jeans (because anything else would have hurt!) and a T-shirt. I brushed my teeth and stretched out a bit, seeing the sky lighting up outside. Papa must've gotten up super early! I wobbled outside to where Papa sat on the couch watching tv, noting that the roommates were snoring again so at least they wouldn't hear *this* talk. I think at the time I had some kind of idea what it might be about, but didn't want to admit it.

Papa was now fully dressed, ready for work. "Sit down, honey," he said, patting the floor in front of him. "I'll braid your hair like I used to."

I gave him a look as if saying, yeah right, like I can sit down after *that*, but I sat down anyway, wincing terribly when my bottom made contact with the hard floor. Papa brushed my wet hair softly, running his smooth fingers through it and nearly putting me to sleep. I had always loved it when Papa did my hair... he was always more gentle than Mama. Surprising, seeing as his spankings were *way* worse than hers were.

I could tell he was uncomfortable when he cleared his throat. That, if anything, should have given me the hint of what he wanted to talk about. "Lizbeth," he said, voice almost cracking as he sat the brush down and began braiding, "what exactly... were you and Carlos... doing?"

I looked up at him, causing him to stop braiding for a second. "What do you mean?"

He took a deep breath. "I mean, when I talked to Carlos's father, he said that the two of you were lying on the bed kissing..."

"Oh.." I said, then blushed. *Now* I knew why Papa was uncomfortable! I was, too! "We, er... were."

"And..?"

"And that's... all."

He began braiding my hair again, making me feel a little more comfortable, but still uneasy. "Lizbeth, you know about sex, right?"

My heart thumped wildly... were we *really* having this conversation? I hesitated, but answered: "Yes, Papa."

"Do you have any questions?"

Questions! Why would I put myself through the torture and embarassment of asking questions! "No, Papa.."

"Okay, well... if you ever do, you can ask me, or Mama, or even Kat, okay? And one of us will answer.."

"Yes, Papa," I answered, wishing the conversation would be over.

"And I want you to know to be careful... you're too young to be getting into that kind of stuff yet. Carlos is a bit older than you and might want to try some stuff that you needn't try. You know?"

"Yes, I know, Papa," I said, blushing.

"A kiss is okay, but make sure that's as far as it goes."

"Okay."

"And when you are ready to go farther than that, make sure that you use some kind of protection... because I don't expect you to tell me or Mama, but I expect you to be smart about it. You don't want to end up with a disease or a baby.."

"A disease?" I asked, stupidly. "I could get a disease from that?"

"Well, sure, baby," he said, and I could feel him relaxing a bit. "There's a number of them.. called STDs. Most of them are curable, but some aren't, like AIDS and herpes.. But even the ones that are curable aren't any good. And if you ever have a problem with something you might think is an STD, you need to tell someone right away, okay? Some of them can make you go blind if you don't deal with it in time, and some can make you never be able to have kids.."

I knew within the next couple of weeks I'd think *something* was an STD, just because he mentioned it. "That isn't good, Papa... how would I know if it was an STD or not?"

"You'd have to go to the doctor.."

Ew, I hated doctors.. "But how --"

We were interrupted by a knock at the door and I think we were both relieved. Papa finished braiding my hair and put a rubber band in it, then answered it. There was Kat, standing in the doorway, very sleepy. "Hey," she mumbled, smiling weakly.

I giggled and lept up. "Hey, Kat! Spiffy plans for the day?" I asked.

She smiled and nodded. "Sure, kiddo."

Papa kissed my forehead and gave me a big hug. "We can talk later, okay? Think about any questions you might have and ask them... or you can ask Kat, okay?"

"Okay, Papa. See you later! Love you!"

"Yeah, yeah!" Katrina said, all giddy. "Hasta luego, te amo, too!!"

She loved it when she understood what we said.

We just giggled at her and Papa ruffled her hair, telling us that he loved us and all that stuff. I invited Kat inside to sleep a while, but she didn't want to. She had a spiffy day planned and couldn't wait to get started, even if she was sleepy. First thing on our agenda -- coffee shop :)

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