“I’m actually a very flexible person. The other girls are always giving me dirty looks because I have so much stamina.” She gave me a very seductive look while she twirled her hair with her finger. “I just wish I had something to… work me hard, you know?”
Her uniform had been unbuttoned to the point her tits nearly popped out the top, and they were fairly nice tits too, pale, soft, and full of cleavage. However, her cleavage being shoved in my face was probably not up to code. She was a cute twenty-something woman with dyed blond hair and blue eyes. In another world, she’d be the kind of woman I’d only dream of dating. If she was hitting on me normally, I’d be completely flustered. Right now, she was giving me some really heavy signals. Even worse, the reality was if I pushed her down right here, she’d probably spread her legs without a thought.
It was attention I would have been happy to receive was my Mother not being loaded into a stretcher behind her. This woman was wearing an ambulance uniform. She was the professional who was supposed to be making sure Mom was alright, yet here she was in front of me while two other women, both a bit older, did all the work. It left me with a sour taste in my throat.
“That’s nice… but my Mother?” I pointed out towards my Mom looking past the woman in my way.
The woman moved, as trying to block my view with her boobs, my finger ended up poking into her warm cleavage. “Oh, your Mom will probably be fine. Let’s talk about us! Ooh… you’re touching my boob, you naughty boy.”
I pulled my finger back while she reached out and put her hand on my chest in an overly familiar way. By moving her chest into my finger so I ‘touched’ her, she took it as permission that she could start touching me as well.
The only reason I didn’t shove her away at that moment was that my Mom’s pain had diminished. In the end, the blood that leaked out was very little. One of the other women said that for the moment, the baby was fine and that they’d take Mom in to have a doctor look at her. In a world with magic, there was very little risk for the baby. Pregnant women were revered and every pregnancy was treated as precious. Although medical understanding lagged in this world, stillbirths were virtually nonexistent.
With a lot of my anxiety diminished, and my body in a relieved state, I had ended up allowing this girl into my personal space, which I regretted immediately.
“Actually, I must go speak to my Mother, so if you’ll excuse me.” I tried to sidestep, but the emergency worker followed me.
“Ah, I’ll take good care of her, I promise,” the woman said smoothly, while simultaneously not even looking at my Mother, “Since we’re taking such good care of your Mom, maybe you and I can-”
“Daphne quit your chitchatting and help us,” the oldest of the two other women barked.
The EMT talking to me turned and shot the other lady a hateful glare before turning back to me. “Ah, sorry, duty calls.”
She pulled out a card and handed it to me, then as she ran back to my mom’s side, she put her fingers up to her head like a phone and mouthed the words ‘call me.’ I shivered a bit as I stood there with her card in my hand. It looked like a card a high-end escort might make to hand out, with her name, number, email… and a lipstick kiss on the edge. It also smelled like perfume, a floral lavender smell.
I wanted to thank the other two women for calling their coworker away, but from the looks on their faces, they had called the other woman out of spite and jealousy. All three women looked like they wanted to run over to me and ‘chat’ and were only performing their jobs reluctantly at the moment.
“I don’t like the way they look at me,” I muttered under my breath.
“It’s just the way things are…” A voice came from behind, causing me to look back and see Aunt Rose approaching me. “If you go outside, this is the kind of behavior you can expect anywhere. This is what your Mother has been protecting you from. Forming a networked relationship with a man is every woman’s dream. Even if the woman herself has no desire to get pregnant, every woman knows someone who could use a man. It’s a great bargaining chip for getting ahead in the workplace.”
“I want to go with Mom to the hospital,” I said, ignoring Rose’s words.
I took a step forward before Aunt Rose grabbed my arm, stopping me in my tracks. I looked over at her and she gave me a sympathetic look that caused me to relax for a moment. I was growing anxious with Mom. However, Aunt Rose was here, I wasn’t alone.
“I wouldn’t recommend it. If you want the doctors to focus on your Mom and not you, then you shouldn’t be present. I mean what I say. Even nurses and doctors will be throwing themselves at you.”
“Tsk! It’s my child, how can I not be there for her. For both of them.” My hand made a fist and my lips peeled back.
Aunt Rose looked over at me, her expression somewhat strange. “You really meant it, didn’t you?”
“You want to be in the lives of your babies. My baby…” Aunt Rose touched her stomach again.
“They’re my babies too,” I said with a straight back.
Aunt Rose looked up at me with a smile. She wasn’t as tall as my mom, about the same height as Hannah, which put her almost a head shorter than me. She was still a beautiful woman in her own right.
“I’ll go with your Mom to the hospital, okay? Just stay home. I’ll call and let you know when I hear anything,” Aunt Rose said.
I gave her a nod. “Can you distract the EMTs for a moment so that I can speak to Mom?”
Aunt Rose let out a wry laugh. “Those girls are certainly shooting you some naughty looks, aren’t they? That blonde one, in particular, she’s pretty cute. Are you sure you don’t want to claim her as well?”
“No… she’s not really my type. Her personality is bad. I like women who are hard workers, kind, and generous,” I gave another shiver and then noticed Rose was silently shaking. “What? Why are you laughing?”
“Hahaha. It’s nothing, sweetie. It’s just strange hearing comments about personality coming from a man.” Aunt Rose held up her hands quickly. “Not that I’m saying it’s bad, you’re just the first man I’ve met who’s cared about such things. Most men I’ve known are extremely shallow and selfish. To hear a man speaking of wanting a girl with personality is like seeing a dog recite poetry.”
“Did you just compare me to a dog?”
“Ahem…” Aunt Rose coughed, ignoring my question as she immediately raised her hands and walked over to the three women who had gotten Mom up into the back of the hover ambulance. “That is to say… ladies, ladies… my nephew here has taken a bit of favor in you for how well you’re taking care of his Mom. Although he’s only fourteen now, in two years’ time he’ll need to start producing babies. If you’d follow me, he asks that I take your image and fill out an application so that he may repay you when the time comes!”
I frowned for a moment as Aunt Rose spoke, but her words were shockingly effective. No sooner had she said those words than all three women started bowing to me and shouting out their thank you as my Aunt lead them into the mansion. I scratched my neck and looked away. Some things the women shouted out were not very appropriate. The oldest one, who I thought was the most level, shouted that she’d name her baby after my mother upon me getting her pregnant. The blonde said that if I gave her an email, she’d send me lewd images of her for the next two years so I don’t forget her.
Under the onslaught, I could only look away and blush shyly. Even with the memories of a thirty-five-year-old man, I wasn’t used to being the kind of person who women pursued. I had no resistance to women coming on to me. It could be that reason that I had spent so much money on prostitutes in my old life. A little flattery caused me to quickly break down.
When the women finally disappeared into the mansion, I ran up the ambulance and got in. My mother was still lying there. She was snuggly strapped to the bed to keep from moving on the drive. Of course, she had heard all the words spoken, but had she wanted to say anything, she’d have to fight the EMTs strapping her down or yell out for me. Mom’s propriety as a lady didn’t allow her to be so shameless. I had never really thought of my Mother as a noble lady, but after seeing how bad normal women were, she seemed so much more reserved.
“Mother… I…” I didn’t know what to say, my voice becoming choked as I looked down at her.
Mom smiled back. “It’s okay, my love. I’m sorry you had to see such ugliness. I truly wanted your childhood to be nothing but pleasantries. However, it seems impossible now for men to live any semblance of a normal life.”
“That’s fine, Mom, don’t worry about me. I’m worried about you! Our baby!”
Mom let out a chuckle. “Is it wrong for me to feel a little happy when you worry about me?”
“I don’t want you to feel anything but happiness,” I said, leaning down and kissing Mom on the lips.
“I’ll… be okay,” Mom spoke slowly, “What I saw shocked me, but it was a long time ago, and it helped bring me three children I love. I grieved over your father over a decade ago. At the moment, I’m happy, and Noah was part of what allows me to be happy now. I’m a bit sad to find out I wasn’t as special as I originally thought, but I promise I won’t become resentful. I hold no grudge. You’re the man I love.”
I let out a breath, “What about Aunt Rose? My sisters…”
Mom’s smile grew slightly. “If you want me to say I’m not jealous, I won’t say it.”
Mom let out a soft chuckle. “I said it before. You were never intended to be just mine. The fact you worry and want your old Mother to be happy is enough to make me happy. I think Rose is a good woman, and if you take care of my sister and my daughters, I couldn’t possibly be angry about it.”
I nodded at her words. Mom was a bit unique in that she had what she thought was a monogamous relationship with Noah. However, she still grew up in a world where men slept around excessively. Her son doing so was only expected. It seemed like it was my own hang-ups from my memories which left me worrying the most. As far as Mom, I had her approval to sleep around.
“You seemed so angry before, though, when Aunt Rose-” I didn’t finish what I was going to say, but Mom seemed to understand.
“I wasn’t upset because Rose wanted to have your baby. I was upset because I don’t like being used. I hadn’t known… about Noah and Rose-” Mother’s voice broke for a second with emotion, but she shook her head and gave a firmer look. “When Rose left when I needed her, I had held resentment, and when she came back wanting a baby, I felt used. Knowing her reasoning, I understand now why she made the choices she made, and it leaves my heart at ease, knowing that she genuinely wants to respect you. Do you understand?”
“I-I think…” I scrunched up my brow under Mom’s intense gaze.
“Clyburn, you can sleep with whatever woman you want. It’s your right as a man. However, promise your Mother something, will you?”
“Yes, Mom, anything.”
“Promise me you won’t let women use you. Promise me you won’t be with a woman who will disrespect you, or screw you for just your seed.”
I sighed. “It might be too late for that… Nada…”
Mom shook her head. “Being tricked or forced are unfortunate, but that’s not what I mean. I don’t want you to just be another man who sticks it in anyone…”
“I won’t, Mom, I promise.” I immediately made this promise, pushing down on Mom’s shoulders to keep her from sitting up.
“Can you make me one more promise?” Mother asked shyly, finally relaxing back down.
I let out a laugh. “Mom, I would make you a thousand promises and keep every one of them.”
“Puff… smooth talker.” Mom puffed out her cheeks in a cute way, looking up at me through her long eyelashes.
“Alright… I’ll just say it. I’ll be fine. I likely just stressed myself out too much emotionally and physically. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with you… the day I found out my husband died. They’ll cast a spell on me, I’ll stay two or three days at the hospital for observation, and then I’ll be on my way home. So, don’t worry about me and the baby. Rather, I vaguely recall Madison and Hannah being very upset. I know I’ve never been a good Mother to them, but I want you to talk to them and bring them around. I want our family to stay together. Rose can help a little, but she’s usually very timid, so you’re going to have to step up and be the man of the house. Can you do that for me?”
I gave an assertive nod, “Yes, Mother. I’m already the man of the house, though, so when you get home, you’re just going to have to accept it.”
“Oh, ho, is that so?”
I give an affirmative. “Of course, by the time you come home, you better treat me like a man if you don’t want a good spanking.”
Mom smiled. “I look forward to it.”
“Eh? Me being a man? Or the spanking?”
Mom’s smile grew wider, but she didn’t answer. “I love you so much. Go, before those three EMTs return and try to have their way with you in the back of the van while I’m tied here. You don’t want your Mother being made to watch. I couldn’t handle that level of teasing!”
Mom assured me one more time she’d be fine, but I didn’t leave until I gave Mom one more lingering kiss. I waved goodbye and leaped out of the van. It was at that point I noticed Madison. She was standing in the doorway. It was dark out at this point, and the light from the house illuminated her like a fairy. Her arms were crossed, and she was deliberately not looking in my direction at all.
I walked up to Madison, who wore an expression mixed between concern and anger. She was clearly very worried about Mom, but also still upset over what happened before.
“Is she okay?” Madison demanded curtly, still not turning to face me.
“Yeah… it seems to just be stress pains. She’ll get a checkup, but Mom and the baby are fine.”
Madison gave a single curt nod, turning away. I instinctively reached out and grabbed her arm, stopping Madison from fleeing inside.
“Do you love her?” Madison suddenly asked, only turning her head slightly in my direction, still not looking at me.
“Mother? She’s my Mom, of course, I love her.” When Madison slowly nodded, I added. “I love you, too.”
“I’m nothing to you,” Madison responded curtly.
“You’re my sister.”
“Half-sister. You have hundreds of those, thousands. Who knows how many people the government gave our dad… ahem… your dad’s semen to. Not including the… affairs he’s had. I know of at least three girls at school who have Noah’s genes.”
“And none of those girls are you…” I added, only to be met with cold silence.
Just when I was about to say something, she started speaking again, “The Academy has dorms available to most students. I commute for thirty minutes every day to get to school. It’d be easier if I just lived on campus. This upcoming year I’ll be staying in the dorms. It’ll be easier this way.”
“Don’t I have a say in this?” I asked.
“No…” Madison shook her head. “I’ve had enough benefits from living with your family. It’s about time I move on.”
“You are my family, Madison.”
Madison acted like she didn’t hear me and continued on. “There is… a boy at school. He’s been hinting all year that he’s interested. I only have two more years to get pregnant before my chances start lowering. I might as well-”
“No, I won’t allow it.” My hand tightened on her arm to the point she looked back.
“As I said, you don’t have a say.”
“Don’t I? Men can choose whoever they want. I want you.”
“You already have two babies to worry about, don’t you? You don’t need me,” Madison responded bitterly, “So, quit treating me nicely. We’re not family. We’re not anything. I don’t need to depend on you or your generosity. Just fuck Mom and leave me be! Stop making this so hard. Next year you’re going to school and you’ll see. Every girl there is prettier than I am and they’ll be wanting you. You won’t give a crap about me after that!”
“This isn’t hard!” I shot back. “I love you, Madison. My mind isn’t going to stop loving you. Be with me.”
“What? You can’t be with me?”
“No, I can’t…” Madison’s expression turned tearful and her hands clenched.
“Can’t love me?”
“No! I can’t stop loving you!” Madison shouted, looking up at me tearfully. “Every time I think about you, my heart hurts. It’s difficult to breathe. My mouth goes dry. I think about you all the time. I can’t… I can’t do it.”
I gave her a confused look. “If you love me, what’s the problem? I don’t understand.”
“Why are you…” Madison throws out her hands in exasperation. “Why are you this way? I don’t understand you! A man and a woman can’t love each other in this world.”
“Mom and dad…” I started, then stopped.
“Yeah… how did that work out?” Madison nodded, finally pulling her arm away and taking a few steps back. “When we were brother and sister, I had thought… maybe… our love could last. You’ll always love Mom. You’ll always love your sisters. However, I’m not… I know you don’t see it that way, but I’m not. The Academy teaches us… don’t fall for a man. If you do, run the other way. I can’t afford to love you, and you can’t afford to love me, don’t you get it?”
“I’ll never get this world,” I said, almost to myself.
This was a world where women shamelessly fought for seed to become pregnant. This was the propaganda I had been warned about. Don’t fall in love. Don’t care for the man too much. Expect a man to use you until you can get his seed. Your best option was to use him while he used you.
These were the kind of life lessons taught to women. Mom had mentioned them to me before, but I had never let them sink in until this moment. I had never thought Madison would abide by these words, but she had been going to Academy for a year now, and thus she had taken the lessons to heart. This truly was a world that was truly fucked.
When I didn’t respond anymore, Madison turned around and left. The women were returning to the ambulance from a side door, so I jumped inside and closed the door to hide from further harassment. In the end, I could only go to my room. The ambulance left, and I sat on my bed staring at the ceiling for several hours. A maid finally came to my room and reported that Aunt Rose called and confirmed what Mom had already suggested. Just a bit of stress pain. Mom should take it easy on bed rest for a few days. A knot in my stomach had cleared up with the news, but it was only one knot of many.
Finally, I stood up and headed over to Hannah’s room. Hannah hadn’t gone to school yet, so naturally, she hadn’t been influenced by the propaganda machine as much. Perhaps, I could instill into her my feelings better than with her sister. I hadn’t given up on my eldest sister, but I also didn’t know what to do. It might have to wait until Mom gets home before I can make a better decision.
I knocked on Hannah’s door, but she didn’t answer. I eventually pushed my way in through her unlocked door. Her room was dark and smelled a bit sweet like she had been hiding some candies under her bed. I glanced around the room to find it completely empty. It was at this point that I asked Charlene to call the security and search for my sister. I was certain she was just hiding somewhere, thinking about everything that happened earlier. Perhaps she was afraid Mom would be angry at her for keeping the video secret. However, Mom had told me earlier she wasn’t upset, she understood both why Hannah had kept it from her, and why she chose to show it to her. In some ways, I wished Mom was a little more selfish. She was willing to take too much abuse from us children.
“Hannah left about an hour ago. Security allowed her through as she had no restrictions,” Charlene said after speaking on the radio for a few minutes.
“Find her,” I ordered.
I returned to my room and lied down. My body and mind both felt numb. The emotional outburst of the day had worn me down, but with my thoughts on both of my sisters, I couldn’t sleep a wink. However, when morning finally rolled around, Hannah was still nowhere to be seen.