Saturday, January 9, 2016

Her Two Johns by Phyllis O Scott / Book Two (PART FOUR)


(Will the Johns prevail? Or will Kevvin triumph, winner takes all?)

By Phyllis O Scott


Paris is burning

Four weeks following her tryst with Kevvin, DHL Couriers delivered a package at the mansion door addressed to Shay.

            From Paris. No return address.
            Her heart sank.
            She knew only one person in Paris. Kevvin. Why was he sending her stuff?  She tore open the package, her fingers encountering a book.  Kama Sutra.  There was a scrawled note in part cursive, part print inside the cover—“No excuses. Bone up. Forever, Kevvin”.
            Forever! He knew what he could do with his forever!
            A small card fell on the floor.  She picked it up: Kevvin’s business card. “Shay, call me when you change your mind.”
            Change her mind to leave the Johns for him. She knew what he meant. When not if. His arrogance knew no boundaries!
            Well, he could go to his grave waiting!
            There was a nice fire going in the library and that’s where the container and the card ended up. She couldn’t bring herself to add the book to the flames. She secreted it in her luggage in her closet.
            If she didn’t loathe him before, she double loathed, triple loathed him now.
            Next day, John Marshall strode into Shay’s office, his mouth drawn in a grim, angry line.
            Well, he certainly wasn’t here for kisses and cookies.
            Lil Bonnie was in her playpen next to Shay’s desk. She reached up her chubby arms for her daddy but he was oblivious. It was unlike John Marshall to ignore his daughter and pass on an opportunity to spoil her with affection. The baby fretted for a second then stuck her thumb in her mouth.
            Shay did not like that at all. Her daughter was not going to start substituting her thumb for affection. And grow up making wrong life choices because daddy dear didn’t love her enough.   
            “What’s wrong?” she said, tossing her pen down. Obviously, something was brewing beneath that handsome dark scowl.
            “You tell me, Shay.”
            She threw up her hands.  “John, I have no idea. But that frown on your face tells me something is.”
            “Perhaps this?” He flipped up a charred business card between his fingers like a prestidigitator.  Kevvin’s. Shay closed her eyes and gave a guilty sigh.
            “I was cleaning out the fireplace in the Library, and I found Kevvin’s card—with a note written to you. Change your mind about what, Shay? What the hell, Shay?” John flicked the offending card onto her desktop.
            Shay rose and met the agitation in his eyes. “There’s a reasonable explanation for heaven’s sake, so don’t get all huffy.”
            “Too late.” His eyes went to her stomach following the action of her hand. Knowing John Marshall, he would soon figure out she was pregnant because he kept a calendar of her cycle. If he was suspicious now, he kept mum about it.
            Shay feared it was only a matter of time before her world crumbled around her. It only took Kevvin getting anxious. Despite his cool, overconfident demeanor that man wasn’t to be trusted with his feelings for her.
            “Kevvin saw my video and he called me a few weeks ago with some crazy idea of helping me to start a singing career. He wanted to manage me. First, however, he wanted me to consider a singing cameo in his new movie. He asked me to come to Paris. I told him no thanks. The card arrived soon after.”  Well, most of that was true.
            “What damn video?”
            “The wedding video.  Janae posted it to AllView right after the wedding without my knowledge and it went viral, as they say. Three million hits. I even got an AllView invite to perform. I turned that down too.”
            “Why didn’t you tell us he contacted you?”
            “I didn’t want the two of you upset for nothing—like you are now.  I rejected his offer; that was the end of it. Plus, I had Janae take down the video.”
             John Marshall sighed. “You were sensational that day. I thought of encouraging you myself. But I’m selfish. I don’t want to share you with the rest of the world; it’s daunting enough I share you with John Cross.” He managed a kidding-not-kidding smile.
            “Well, you can relax. I absolutely have no interest in pursuing a music career. It’s a crappy business and you know my family background.”
            He nodded, pulled her from behind her desk into his arms and kissed her. “It’s just that I love you so much. I’m sorry I was so pissed. You know how I feel about my brother. I want you to have nothing to do with him again.”
            “He raped me—by deception. I'm not happy about that, you know.”
            “I know, I know. And I’d kill him for that alone. Shay…he claimed…you enjoyed it.”
            “I did.  Immeasurably.  Because I thought it was you! If that makes sense that I’m human. All those women you bedded while being in love with me—did you get hard? Was it good? Did you come with them? In the end, it was just sex.”
            “I’m not faulting you,” he defended, exasperatedly, not liking his own dismal behavior thrown back at him.
            “John Cross faults me. He thinks I beguiled Kevvin some way.”
            “John knows better. He’s just popping off. You know how he gets.”
            “Why would I ever encourage Kevvin’s attentions?  I’ve got everything I’ve ever wanted. Why are you afraid of him?”
            “He’s a threat, Shay. He’s got the power to split our family apart just like that! And he knows it. He’s banking on having you too if he gets custody of Bonnie.”
            “I’m very much aware. I’ve certainly done my part to discourage him on that front. On all fronts.”
             His eyes narrowed. “Like what, Shay?”
            “Like…he texted me and I made it quite clear to Kevvin I wanted nothing to do with him, professionally or otherwise. And if he didn’t leave me alone, I’d…I’d press charges against him for rape. Maybe they’d stick; maybe not. But it was worth a threat."
            "May I see your phone?"
            "I deleted the messages. You'll have to take my word for it, John."
            They faced off. He blinked. "Alright, Shay. I trust you."
            "Anyway, you were able to buy him off, right?”
            “He took the money.”
            And he got paid twice.
            Shay knew that was what happened. He would have to negotiate with the Johns to keep their deal in play. He had not ratted her out. Nor had Landra exposed Shay's infidelity. Yet.
            “You never know with Kevvin, though. He’s not the most trustworthy individual. If he tries--”
            “I will. Let's talk about something else. The email I forwarded to you from the Texas Democratic Party, scheduling an urgent meeting—what was that about?”
            He stalled by going to the playpen and gathering Bonnie up into his arms and cooing to her.
            “Oh, the state senate.”
            “Hmm. Are they after you again to run?”
            “There’s an empty seat. The Marshall-Bey name carries prominence here in Texas. Some think I’m a shoo-in.”
            “The Honorable John Raymond Marshall-Bey. Sounds befitting.”
            “Of course, I turned it down.”
            “Of course you did. You turned it down for us. If that’s something you want, John—John Cross and I would not stand in your way. We’d take the baby and clear out of here; out of your life as we know it.”
            “I’d have to be vetted. There’d be media attention. Secrets would be exposed. We might even lose Bonnie. I’d rather cut off my hand. Besides, I’m not enamored with politics. I admit it was a pipe-dream at one time…before you came into my life. Shay, our future is set now.  Pre-set. We’re leaving all this behind next year to live the life we envisioned for ourselves. Free and unhampered. Where would you like to go, my love?”
            Shay stood beside John and caressed Bonnie’s tiny feet. “Well, there’s this little community in Tibet that sanctions a woman having two husbands and two fathers for her children. Let’s go there.”
            Let’s go where we can’t be pestered by child custody laws and reverse paternity suits.
            John Marshall gave Shay an indulgent look. “Tibet, Shay?”
            Bonnie held out her arms for her mother and Shay took her, grinning: “Not an option? Okay, my second choice: Atlanta. To be near my mother.”
            “I have something more remote in mind. Like Canada. I have dual citizenship there, you know. Maybe we can arrange to take your mother with us.”
            She kissed her baby’s cheek. “Remote’s perfect! Something agrarian, rural…with strawberry fields forever. Lots of space for children to run around; and where I can grow double delight roses; and run an animal sanctuary.”
            He scratched his head. “Are you serious? Animal sanctuary? A rose farm?”
            “I’m serious. See? There’s a lot you don’t realize about me. Anyway, that’s what I want and I won’t settle for anything else.”
            “Okay, then. Hope John Cross is on board for this.”
            “He will be.”

…the forest for the trees

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long by Otis Redding was streaming in the bedroom when she entered.
             John Marshall turned from the media center, held out his arms to her and they began to slow dance to the bluesy rhythm. They both were good dancers; both loved to dance and often did before making love. That was their thing. Their foreplay.
            “I love you, wife.”
            “I love you, husband.”
            “I’ve been waiting.”
            “I’m here.”
            “Bonnie ‘sleep?” He kissed her shoulder laid bare by the thin strap of her sexy red teddy.
            “Lullaby land.”
            “Hmm. And John Cross?”
             She kissed the center of his bare chest. “He left earlier. So no interruptions.”
            “What’s up with him these days?”
            “I suspect John’s cheating on us.”
             He whirled her round and did a quick one-two then fell back into step.
             Nuzzling her neck, he said: “I doubt that. But we are spending more and more time together.”   
            “Are you complaining?” She slid her hand down inside his loungers and fondled him.
            “Shay. Sweetheart. I’m getting my share and most of his. What do you think?” he said thickly.
            “That he can stay gone for all you care?”
            “I’m a selfish bastard. But you love me anyway. Let’s get in bed…is this thing edible?”
            “No, but it is crotch-less.”
Much Later:

            “… hire a private detective to follow him?”
            The disturbing words pierced John Marshall’s half-sleep; his sated state; his peace with himself and all mankind. He didn’t want to deal with the messiness of relationships at three a.m.
            He wanted blessed sleep after the blessed love-making he’d just experienced with her.
            Their spooned bodies lay revealed in the ceiling mirror he’d installed; the perspiration of their efforts dried to a fine sheen and reflected back to them.
            The lovers smelled of sex. Smorgasbord sex.
            Shay still wore her teddy (what was left of it) beneath which his hand splayed possessively over her barely-there baby bump. She was four months now.
            “Shay, you’re doing it again: bringing John Cross into bed with us. How am I supposed to feel about that? Jealous, maybe?”
            “Don’t be jealous, my love.”
            “When you’re with him, I brood over what you’re doing; but when you’re with me, I shouldn’t have to think about him or worry about him. Do you think I discuss you with him? Have some respect for my feelings.”
            “I respect your feelings. I respect his feelings. Honest I do, sweetheart. But he’s your best friend. Aren’t you the least bit curious…or do you already know?  Is he screwing around?”
            “God, Shay, he doesn’t tell me everything. Maybe it’s work, like he said. He owns a successful business. You know he’s a workaholic. Stop obsessing about it or straighten it out with him. One or the other. I’m not getting involved, alright?”
             This did not placate her, but made her more suspicious. She didn’t buy his clueless act.  Few secrets existed between the Johns; that much she knew.
            John Cross was a hold-the-whip-cream-kind-of-guy. And handcuffs weren’t his thing either.
            On the other hand, every other quirk was fair game if Shay was alright with it; and as long as she was not injured, she let him experiment with her body all he wanted. He kept a picnic basket under the bed filled with sex toys, gadgets, and sensual oils. His kinkiness was exhilarating and the flipside of John Marshall’s intuitive lovemaking. She loved both sides equally, damn it!
            However, the triad was swiftly becoming lopsided.
            Since their ménage á trois, John Cross had been distant. Oh, he was there, when he was there. The trouble was his frequent absence.
            “Are you angry with me?” she asked him the last time she zealously invaginated him.
            “No, angel,” was his response as he surged up into her heather.
            “Perhaps you’re subconsciously punishing me because of our threesome.”
            “The threesome was awesome, Shay. You were awesome. Baby, it’s just work.”
            Work never stood in the way of intercourse before. John Cross would come home for lunch whenever he got nature. She reserved that time for him. That was no longer the case.  And she grieved.  Her vagina grieved.
              Thank goodness her other John was there to lift her spirits…and her hems.
            “Are you commiserating with me?” she had asked John Marshall, as their bodies fused. “Is this you being compassionate?’
            “This is me being a pig,” he said, as he pushed upward and she pushed downward. “…and greedy…and selfish…and opportunistic…”
            “And filling a void, I know.”
            “One man’s void is another man’s sanctuary.”
             With a push of a button, he reclined them in his desk chair. “There! Be still…don’t move…isn’t this nice?”
            “Yes, very nice...but you’re…you’re pulsing.”
            “Then pulse with me.”
            “I don’t think I can stay still that long.”
            The magnanimous John Marshall-Bey.
            And yes, her heart belonged to John Marshall and she was crazy in love with him.
            And yes, John Marshall set her soul and body on fire. She was half herself without him.
            Even so, John Cross was her first love and no matter how redundant that love was, she still cared for the man deeply and she didn’t want any other woman to have him..

To Room 437

That’s why she found herself three nights later at the downtown Sheraton knocking determinedly at room 437.
            Who would she catch him with? Mindy, his full-figured receptionist? His ex-wife Pamela Sue? Any one of the two ex-fiancés—Pearl and Sharon? A prostitute? Who?
            There was the sound of voices and rustling within and then a woman’s voice said: “It’s your wife, Shay.”
            “Yes, his wife,” Shay called. “Open the door.”
             A pause. Then the door opened and Shay was face-to-face with Evelyn Childs.
             Older women had a thing for boyishly charming John Howard Cross and apparently he had a thing for them. She was not as shocked to see Evelyn Childs there as she should have been.
            “Councilwoman Childs,” she greeted her with a well-as-I-live-and-breathe tone.
            However, Shay was not here for drama, scratching out green eyes, and pulling out platinum-rinsed hair. She wanted her husband home. “Where’s my husband?”
            The older woman stood aside. “Come in, Shay.”
            Shay walked further into the modest-sized room, spotting her beautiful blond husband seated at a round table, exquisitely dressed in a business suit as was Evelyn Childs, papers spread out in front of him. Shay rushed to him as he stood. Surprised, he enveloped her in his arms.
            “Shay, what are you doing here?”
            Shay pulled back. “Spying on you. John, sweetheart, what’s happening here?”
            John hesitated.
            He saw her eyes shift to Evelyn’s face as if seeking confirmation of the lie she expected from him. He gave her a little shake. “Look at me, Shay. I love you. Do you love me?”
            Right this moment, she never loved him more. “Yes,” she answered to his azure-blue eyes then shot another haughty look over to the older woman who was snatching up her purse and briefcase from the bed.
            “Then believe me, baby. Nothing wrong is going on.”
            “Tell her, John,” Evelyn paused to advise him, giving Shay a disapproving once-over before leaving them alone to sort it out.
            “Yes, by all means, tell her, the clueless wife. What’s this? Is Evelyn Childs your mistress? I know your affinity for mistresses, John. When you were married to Pamela Sue, you asked me to be your mistress. You said any man worth his salt has one. Remember?”
            “No, I don’t. But obviously it struck a chord with you. Evelyn Childs is not my mistress. She’s my mother.”
            “Your mother?” Far from the defense she expected to hear. “Did you say, your mother?
            “My biological mother.”
            “You have my attention,” Shay commented thoughtfully, planting a kiss of relief on his sensual mouth, ecstatic that her suspicions were unfounded. Crisis averted. Illogical stuff made sense now.  “And I want to know everything, but can it wait?”
            It could.
            The room was booked for the night. A big comfortable bed beckoned them; and as they had not been intimate with one another in weeks, they abandoned their clothes and answered the call. Normally, their lovemaking was a protracted event with many parts; not this frantic mating, fraught with contrition and emotional crying, as though the world was going to end.
            “Why wasn’t she at our wedding?” Shay asked as they grabbed several more minutes of post-coital tranquility before leaving for home.
            “I invited her. Regrettably, she disapproved of the marriage.”
            “You mean me.”
            “I mean…she is aware of our communal living agreement with John Marshall because I told her.  She thinks we’re playing a dangerous game in which there will be no winners. She doesn’t want to see me hurt or unhappy. Hence, she could not see her way clear to give me her blessing.”
            “She judged me.”
            “No!  She’s in no position to judge anyone and she knows that. She had an affair with my father, a married man, and I was the result. She avoided a scandal by relinquishing her maternal rights to my father, Coleman Cross. His wife’s heart condition prohibited her from having children. I only learned the circumstances of my birth when I was 21; around the time I met you. I sort of went off the rails.
            “It was Evelyn Childs’ mother I inherited the money from. So I had to be told. I’m still a well-kept secret, but we’ve been bonding over the years: mother to son; son to mother. Now Evelyn’s fighting breast cancer and doesn’t know what the future holds. I’m helping her with legal decisions. She doesn’t agree with bringing children into our mess, as she calls it. Never the less, she’s prepared to include any biological children of mine in her will.”  He placed a soothing palm over her growing belly as he said this.
            Any biological children. The least of Evelyn Childs’ concerns.
            “So, all this time she’s been talking you against me.”
            “Yes, but I shut her down. She knows I don’t want to hear that shit.”
            “I’m glad.”
            “I know John Marshall is in Dallas for a day or two. Who’s minding Bonnie?”
            “I dropped her off at the concierge’s desk downstairs. Kidding. No, really, she’s in good hands. I called Elite Nanny once I learned where to find you. John, I’m sorry. And I’m sorry I thought the worst. Does John Marshall know?”
            “He’s been clued in for years.”
             But neither man saw fit to tell the wife.
            “I must say, you didn’t seem all that incensed to find me with another woman. I expected you to at least slap my face before I could get a word in.”
            “Incensed? Oh, I was. But I was also ready to forgive as I hope you will forgive me one day.”     
            “Forgive you for what, baby?” he kissed the heart beat in her throat.
            Things like Kevvin Marshall-Bey the third. The phony baloney third.

The middle of the end

It was Sunday morning. John Cross woke to the sound of his name.
            He lifted his head from the pillow he shared with a sleeping Shay and Lil Bonnie who was curled up to her mother’s breast. His eyes focused on John Marshall standing at the foot of the bed.
            He squinted at the clock/radio on the end table. Almost six a.m. The room was still dark except for the muted glow of a nightlight.
            “What’s up, man?”
            “I need to talk to you. Join me for a run. I’ll wait outside at the gazebo.”
            “Sure. Give me five.”
            John Cross bent and grabbed his ankles, stretching his hamstrings. “So…what are you saying?”
            John Marshall swung his legs forward and back, hand balanced against one of the many acorn trees on the desolate Marshall-Bey two hundred acres. They could run naked if they wanted. There were no neighbors in that they were the neighborhood. 
            “I’m saying that there’s a 99 % probability that Bonnie is not ours.”
            “We suspected something like that already.”
            “As you know, I was in Dallas last week, having myself checked by fertility specialists.”
            “I got the results yesterday. What I assumed all along—my sperm count is low…I’m practically sterile.”
             John Cross straightened. “Goddamn.”
            “Right.  If I’m sterile, odds are you are too given that we were subjected to the same experiments. You should get checked.  I suspect the baby Shay’s carrying is not yours either.”
            “That can’t be true.”
            “Oh, it’ll be my bloodline alright. By proxy.”
              John Cross frowned, his brain slow to compute. “Kevvin, you mean.”
            “He strikes again.”
            “You think she’s fucking Kevvin?” John Cross was indignant.
            “I checked.  He flew in to Houston over a month ago, stayed only a day.  I think…he extorted sex from her somehow. He backtracked too easily to our money offer.  And she has admitted he’s been in contact with her.  I discovered a business card he sent her from Paris. Sure, she had an explanation…but I believe it goes much deeper than that.”
            “What did she say?”
            “Just business. He wants her in Paris to sing in one of his movies or something.”
            “Explain to me again why we just didn’t kill him?” John Cross mused.
            “Shay.  I believe she intervened.  Tried to reverse the situation. I know her and she’s been acting outside herself.”
            “I hadn’t noticed anything different.”
            “That’s because you’ve been immersed in your own issues with your mother; but I’ve been paying attention. Her guilt shows in every aspect…even in bed—not that she wasn’t generous before, but…wow.”
            “I think I know what you mean. And the threesome on the mat that surprised us both—we thought she’d never go for, let alone initiate. But she did.  So where do we go from here?  I’ve invested too much into this thing to lose out now.  Just when things were going so perfectly. Damn it! I desecrated my body with a fuckin’ tattoo for her.”
            “I left the damn country for her. Caught malaria and was quarantined.”
            “Hell, I married her!”
            “So did I!”
            “I married her, man. Two weeks before you did.”
            “You son-of-a-bitch. When were you going tell me?”
            “I planned…Shay and I planned to tell you when we were all safely living our new lives in Canada. So are you angry?”
            “About you being her legal husband? That my marriage to her is invalid, null and void?
Naaaa…not a bit. We both love her. That’s the important thing.” 
            “I promise we’ll discuss it later.  We’ve got a bigger problem on the docket. We’ve got to contain the situation with Kevvin. Or ‘bye-‘bye Shay...”

  …among secret lovers

            The text read: Flying into Houston today. Prepare to see me tomorrow. No games, Shay. Will text you location and time when I arrive. Kevvin.
            Shay was caught in a vise. She would have to meet with Kevvin.  A grey cloud descended upon her mood accompanied by a thrill of infuriating expectancy she hated herself for.

            Kevvin flung open the apartment door to a room furnished only with a white leather sofa the little that she noticed before he caught her up into his arms and kissed her with four months of built up lust and Shay returned it to him two-fold.  She was short of breath, climbing five flights of stairs and Kevvin took the rest of it into his mouth and down to his lungs.
            “Your elevator’s broken,” she wheezed.
            “I want you like crazy.”
            “Then take me,” she beseeched like a harlot in a B-movie.
             Kevvin took her down to the floor.
            How embarrassing it was to smelt like gold between her legs at the thought of being with him again; to get wetter for him than she was with the Johns without so much as a touch. He dragged her slacks off and wedged his head in the V of her thighs. His tongue was hot and lashing and unrepentant as her orgasms kept on repeating. So immersed was Kevvin into his oral spree-for-all, Shay had to beg for the main event—penetration.
            Which he granted by ordering:
            “On your knees, Shay.”
            “Kevvin, please…”
            The last time she was down on her knees, she wasn’t praying and she wasn’t having fun. But John Marshall was having a bang-up time as they recreated a raunchy scene from Debbie Does Dallas. Of course, before that, he had angled her over a desk or two for expedience. But doggie-style was not the Johns’ default position.
            “Please what, Shay? We both want the same thing. How we arrive there—I can’t promise. I am not in a merciful mood. You want this or not?”
            Shay turned on her stomach, rump raised in abeyance, eyes squeezed shut, making little hiccups of qualm in her breath. “The baby…”
            “What am I? A brute?  I know you’d like to think so, but quite the contrary, Shay bird. I have more control from this position. I won’t harm the baby. I want this baby.”
            He may not have hurt the baby; but her backside took some punishment.
            “I see you’ve been studying the Kama Sutra I sent you,” Kevvin said after their big thermonuclear finish. “You’ve learned to convert pain in your brain: pain in, pleasure out.”           Shay also learned she liked getting spanked.
            Amid his thrusts, grunts, and dirty talk, he slapped her fanny unremittingly. Each whack harder than the last. Pain and pleasure blended. Tears stung her eyes. She bit her bottom lip to keep from crying out.
            “You like that, Shay. I can tell. Your muscles quiver and contract when I spank you.”
            “I hate myself,” she blubbered into the plush carpet as she crouched on her knees, still attached to his penis. Beneath her smock, her breasts curved in his palms, his fingers plucking incessantly at her nipples, keeping her in a heightened state of agitated lust. “You’ve got me panting like a bitch in heat.  Do you get your jollies watching me fragment into something I despise?”
            He snorted. “Let me get this straight—you hate yourself for enjoying what we do to each other?  Crazy. And, no—there’s no added dimension to my pleasure which is already incalculable, you adorable winch.”
            “The Johns’ will know something is amiss with me. They’re very in tuned to me.”
            He clucked his tongue. “No spanking at home? Gee, for kinky guys, they’re not very liberal.”
            “They are too!” she defended. “They’re tempered, that’s all.”
            “Tempered,” he mocked. “For your sake, I hope that’s not what it sounds like.”
            “You’re instinctively driven by your feral dispensations, okay. And that’s not a criticism. I expect you to be sexually raw with me; but I don’t expect to relish it so much, Kevvin. But I do.”
            “Because you were such a nice, simple missionary girl before I screwed you,” he said sarcastically.
            “Yes! I want to go back to that girl before you corrupt me with your fat tongue and your overwhelming cock.”
            The pressure on her nipples turned into a sharp pinch and she sucked in her breath, painfully reminded how spiteful Kevvin could be when goaded. “The overwhelming cock that’s inside you now giving you aftershocks? The overwhelming cock being squeezed by your muscles as we speak?”
            “Please, knees...”
            Kevvin rolled onto his side taking her with him.
            “How’s that?”
            “You forgot your penis.”
            “Patience, woman,” he laughed, withdrawing with a resounding plop.
            “Come on, let’s go to the bedroom,” Kevvin said, hopping up, kicking his jeans off.  He had been too hasty to do much more than unzip. That’s how insanely he was hopped-up wanting her.
            Shay stood up too; jerking her tunic over her head to the floor because she was still so erotically blitzed she couldn’t bare anything touching her skin just yet.
            “If you don’t know it already, I’m thrilled to see you again, Shay. You’re looking delightfully pregnant. I love that.” He took her hand and led her into his bedroom.
            “Kevvin! Is that a bed?”
            “Bad ass, huh? It’s called a pit.”
            “It’s gorgeous! Why were we doing it on the floor when you’ve got this?”
            “I don’t think we could have made it up the steps.”
            Three wide, sturdy steps led to the box-styled platform that dropped down like an above ground swimming pool. Like the living room, this room boasted only one piece of furniture.
            He helped her negotiate the steps.
            “Awwww….” Shay sighed.  “This is heaven.” They lay on their backs, arms and legs spread apart, luxuriating in the comfort of the king mattress.
            “I’m glad you like it. I have this identical bed in my bedroom in France,” he said as though that should be of importance to her.
            After a few minutes of wallowing, he drew their naked bodies together. “Shay, what I did in the living room…was it the first time?”
            “You mean when your tongue slipped and accidentally licked my anus…then kept on licking. You saw how I freaked out. Need you ask?”
            “I couldn’t resist. Hell—who powders their asshole? Are you OCD?”
            “No but it’s okay to assume I’m high maintenance. I bathe several times a day. And sprinkle a little talc down there for chafing."
            "Chafing? Those bastards."
             "Don't start in on them again."
            “It smells like baby powder.”
            “It is.”
            “You haven’t heard my pitch yet.”
            “Save your breath.”
            “You have a cute, tidy little pucker, you know that?”
            “Cute, right. And virginal…and it’s going to stay that way.”
             “I was hoping you’d be more…open…to adventure. So are you repressed or inhibited?”
            “And you have the nerve to call the Johns pervy.”
            “I didn’t call them pervy for what they did in bed; but for sharing one woman between them as a lifestyle choice. There’s something mentally disturbing about it.”
            “So I’m mentally disturbed.”
            “You’re a victim of their sexual depravity.”
            “I like to think I brought a few requirements of my own to the table.”
            "What was that? Sunday's off?"
            Her cell pealed from the living room as she spoke. She had abandoned her purse when Kevvin literally swept her off her feet.  “That’s probably one of the Johns. I’ll go check. Let them know I’m okay.”
            “Where do they think you’re off to in the middle of the day?”
            “John Cross is out of town on business.”
            “What about my brother?”
            “He’s on conference calls most of the day. Bonnie’s in her playpen in his office. He loves looking after her. But I can’t be away too long. I asked for the day off to shop for new maternity clothes since I prematurely gave mine away to the Goodwill—as it turns out.”
            When she returned:
            “That was your brother. Couldn’t find Bonnie’s favorite toy. Crisis averted.”
            “Hmm. You were saying something about your sex drive.”
            It was Shay’s misfortune that her vagina was capable of autonomy. It wanted what it wanted. It didn’t listen to reason or common sense. And it was never, ever satisfied for long.
            “As I got more involved with the Johns, I discovered that I was truly a sexual human being in my own right with desires and needs. Before, I carried my celibacy like a badge of honor, tightly between my closed legs.”
            “You may have caught the boys off guard with the depth of your appetite.  But not me.”  He indicated his porn-sized cock by holding it aloft like a platter of bratwurst and potatoes.  “Size matters.”
            “Most women would take one look at that beast and run for cover.”
            He gave a ‘you-can’t-win-them-all shrug. “Some have. You didn’t.”
            “Did I have a choice? Anyway, I only have two to compare yours to.”
            “And they come up…short?”
            “Ha. They’re remarkable. I think yours is deformed. Have you seen a doctor? Maybe there’s a pill you can take to shrink it.”
            “Or surgery to reduce it. Certainly it’s more than I need. Perhaps I can donate a few centimeters to the Johns.”
            Shay hugged her knees to her chest, and looked aside. “I’m through playing this game.”
            “Ah, Shay doesn’t want to play the game of which lover has the biggest pole. You’re right. It’s juvenile.” 
            He let his pole flop to the mattress with a thud.
            “You are such a show off.”
            He laughed. “Let’s take a bathroom break, and then we’ll eat something. I’ve got turkey subs in the fridge. We need to replace some electrolytes or risk heart attacks.”
            After a short break, he wanted her again. He fell upon her missionary-style, urging her leg over his shoulder. He rooted his tip around in her sauce, then drove the shaft into her like a stake…not giving her body time to absorb the shock of relentlessly insistent cock, his massive balls thumping her butt in rhythmic distraction.
            He took her breath away; she grabbed his hair as she strove to keep with his pace, and wondered whether sex between them would ever be tame.
            “Is it good?” he growled, after a minute of this insane pleasure.
            “I didn’t hear you,” he said, reaching between their bodies, circling the pad of his finger over her tidy, little pucker and dipping in, causing her to yelp…and yes, combust and cum out of her skin.
            “Oh, God, Kevvinnnnn….I’m dying…
             Shay lay face up and Kevvin face down beside her as she continued to quiver.
            He palmed her mound, murmuring over and over: "it's okay..."

            Eventually, her body calmed down and he took his hand away, transferring it to her rounded belly.

            “Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

            "Too much...too much..."

           "Let me be the judge of how much, Shay."

            “How many lines do you intend to cross?” Shay sniffed.

            “There are no lines between us, Shay. Start accepting that fact.”

            “The line has to be drawn somewhere. I can’t let you rule my body.”

             His hand paused its caress. “Yes, you can. And you will.”

            “No, I won’t.”

            “Trust me, baby, you will.”

            “You’re scaring me.” She removed his hand from her belly.  “I trust you will keep to your word.”

            “Boy or girl? Do you know yet?”

            “Why did you do it?”

            Aah. Why did I do it? I figured you and I are obviously crack shots at fertility getting pregnant after only one load from my loins.  We both love children…so, why the hell not…while I had the opportunity. You’re not happy about the baby?”

            “I’m happy about the baby. I’m not happy about the father.”

            “The truth is, Shay, you were never going to get pregnant again with your John situation… unless I was the father.”           

            Staring up at the ornate ceiling fan, she had no come back to that obscure statement, so she changed the subject: “Nice place. Is it yours? Your elevator’s broke.”

            Her BMW GPS brought her here. She’d never been this side of Houston.  Upscale, true, but a bedroom community all the same.

            “They’ll fix it today sometime. And yes, it’s mine. I crash here when I’m in town. As you can see, I don’t need much in the way of accoutrements. A couch…a bed. ”

            “Why are you here this time? You didn’t fly all this way for sex. Be honest with me.”

            “Truth is, Shay, the laws of Texas forces me to act sooner than I planned; sooner than you planned.”

            “The laws of Texas?”

            “Custody laws.  I’m here for what’s due me.  And I’m not going back to Paris without my claim.”

            She was alarmed. “Your claim?  Like what?”

            “Like you.  Like my children.”

            Aaannnddd…they were right back to the touchy topic. 

            …unless I was the father. What did that mean?

            “By what wizardry?” she scoffed.

            “If I tell you now…you’ll get upset…and we won’t have anymore hot sex…today at least.”

            Her stare was unflinching. “That suits me fine. This gateway to paradise is closed for the day.  So go ahead and tell me. Don’t jerk me around. You’re up to something. It can’t be good, considering who you are.”

            “Sorry you have such a low opinion of me, Shay.  I’m not a bad person nor am I always a good person. I can be illusory…or loyal to a fault. If you covet me, you accept that.”

            “So, I covet you now?  No to that.”

            Kevvin gripped her face and mashed a kiss on her mouth. His sapphire eyes taunted as he declared boldly:  “Hey, I’m not worried. Not after the…affection you just showed me.  You said it yourself: Sex and love are the same to you.  For my part, I just have to give you good dick. And keep you pregnant. Dependence will follow. Get dressed. We’re done for now. We’ll talk in the front room.”

            Covet him? God, she didn’t even like him.  His smugness.  His arrogance.  His maleness. His 25cm penis! Seven or so inches she was used to was plenty enough for her 10cm vagina. Why did he have to go and have a porn star penis! It was an assault weapon. And to add insult to injury, he knew how to use it to full advantage against her defenses!

            She waited on the leather sofa for him to dress and join her. When he appeared, buttoning the sleeves of his shirt, she blurted, “Keep me pregnant? What do you mean by that?”

            He headed for the refrigerator, extracted two bottles of beer then remembered she was pregnant and put one back. 

            “What did you mean by that, Kevvin?”

            “I calculate you have ten or so more child-bearing years. I want those years.”

            “You’ve lost your mind.”

            “I always said I wanted a baseball team. We’re off to a rousing start and I’ve no doubt we’ll stay the course.”

            “I’m really going to get upset here, Kevvin, if you don’t tell me what the hell is going on with you?”

            “We wouldn’t want that…wouldn’t be good for the baby…so what the hell. Here goes: John, my loving brother, the man you love more than life itself, and granted, who loves you in his own way, paid me to rape you…with the idea of getting you pregnant because you were ovulating. The time was right. Obviously, he keeps up with your fertile days. He suspects he and John Cross are sterile. You wanted a baby. He wanted you to have one. I jumped at the chance. Not for the money. But for you, Shay. I took his money because I didn’t want him to know I had an ulterior motive.  I caught you bathing in the shower that morning: naked, wet, soaped down, and ripe for the take down—you know the rest.”

            Shay sat back on the sofa cushions and stared open-mouthed down at the devilishly handsome man with the fine blue sapphire eyes seated beside her who had just confessed the most outrageous thing and she didn’t doubt him for a second.  She closed her eyes and her mouth and sat quietly for long minutes, allowing the pieces to fall into place in her mind. Kevvin let her, saying nothing further.  He didn’t need to. That summed it up pretty well.

            “You’re telling the truth,” she said finally. She stood up and strode back and forth behind the sofa.

            “You’re telling the truth,” she repeated. “Your brother paid you to force me into a heinous act.  And I can’t muster up enough anger over it. I can only believe he did it out of love…because he loves me very much.”

            “He loves the billion-dollar-trust-fund more, if you ask me. And it wasn’t heinous. It was pretty damn terrific.”

            “Stop putting your brother down to me. It’s not working. You still haven’t told me the true reason for your trip to Houston?”

            “First a little back-story: John tried to conceive with Landra when they were married but it didn’t happen. However, she did get pregnant for me.”

            “Did he have you conveniently rape her too? Is that how you became lovers?”

            “No. We had a straight out love affair.”

            “You encouraged Landra to leave him for you, John told me.”

            “He wasn’t treating her right. Ignored her half the time. Left her to herself a lot. She was lonely, I was there.” He shrugged. “Classic case.”

            “John didn’t mention a child.”
            “She aborted the baby. John never knew. She didn’t want to lose her eighteen-inch waist, her hour-glass figure. She was self-absorbed that way and I hated her for that. I was right to do so. We didn’t want the same things. Children, being one of them. I packed my bags and left her. Moved to Paris permanently.”
            “And because of Landra, there’s bad blood between you and John.”
            “The blood was never good. Even as boys. But it got worst. He faults me for the discrimination lawsuit. But that was all Landra’s doing. She was bitter toward John. Bitter toward me. Bitter toward the world in general.”
            “And yet…you made up…she’s your lawyer, and who knows what else.”
            Kevvin smirked. “I’m not vengeful. I let go of the anger. Because that’s the kind of guy I am. And she’s just my lawyer. I’m happy to know that concerns you, though.”
            “Does John Cross know about your brother’s duplicity?”
            “Does John Cross know about yours?”
            “Mine? You mean thisyou and me?”
            “No, not us.  But go ahead, be in denial. John Cross worships the ground my brother walks on. So, no, he does not know John set up your impregnation by me. Perhaps, if he did, I doubt he’d take this betrayal as nonchalantly as you have. But who knows?”
            “The rape was a non-event that gave us Bonnie. I’m not going to spiral out. I understand John Marshall’s objective, misguided as it was.”
            “Then understand mine and do what I ask.”
            “And that is?”
            “Simple. Leave the Johns. They may chafe at the bit for a while but they’ll survive. Come with me to Paris. We’ll settle all the pesky international details later.  All you need is your passport.”
            “When is this grand exit supposed to happen?”