“As to that panty collection of yours…” Tinya spoke with a pout.
“Hah? Oh, that…” I gave an awkward glance behind me as I stood at the door.
“Do-don’t fill it up with too many girls!” She turned away with a blush.
“This world won’t let me be selective…” I said wryly.
“Just let me worry about that!” Tinya stamped her feet.
I nodded slowly, looking at the familiar back of Tinya with a gentle smile. “As you wish.”
With those words, I left the room. Syph and Brianna seemed to materialize as if from smoke, escorting me back out. That was good, as I didn’t remember all of the twists and turns within the corridors and I was just as likely to stumble into the section that was being watched and end up alerting the whole city to a break in. All I needed was a violation such as that to absolutely destroy all credibility I had left in my case.
The two girls chatted among themselves as they lead me to the trolley. I didn’t really pay much attention to their conversation, which was about classes or something else seemingly trivial. The trolley they lead me to was being guarded by a group of Freshman girls as if to punctuate my safety. I boarded the trolley and waved the girl’s goodbye. A few of them blushed or whispered to each other, giggling as they did. Meanwhile, I felt a bit naked, and it wasn’t just because I actually was practically naked with my blouse and skirt nearly ripped off. When I reached the bottom station, Brooke was waiting there tapping her foot.
“I’m sorry…” I said as soon as I got out of the trolley.
Brooke lifted her hand. “Don’t.”
I gave a wry smile, feeling a bit conflicted. Brooke was likely feeling like a failure at the moment. She hadn’t been able to successfully protect me. However, I also proved myself to be a particularly infuriating guy to protect. I wanted to tell her that I wouldn’t put myself in any more danger anymore, but I felt like that would be just repeating old lies. I let out a sigh.
“We’ll need to discuss heavier security once the court case is over. That is if I don’t end up in prison. These two girls here have strong wills, and I trust them. With some training, they might make good security.” I explained.
“Huh? Us?” Syph’s eyes widened.
Brooke’s initially angry expression turned thoughtfully as she turned to two Freshman girls who had kept me safe. After a moment, she nodded.
“Come to the mansion tomorrow. Your training begins immediately.”
“Training? Bodyguards? When did we become bodyguards?” Brianna cried.
Brooke put on a dark grin. “You only got one shot. I expect promptness. Don’t blow it.”
“Y-yes!” Syph responded tearfully.
“Ma’am!” Brianna added.
As the trolley turned on, bringing them back up to the island, I heard the two continuing to speak.
“D-did we just get conscripted as bodyguards, Syph?” Brianna was crying.
“H-he’s as bad as his sister! It runs in the family!” Syph responded in a shaky voice.
I scratched my head and pretended I didn’t hear that, instead, entering the car waiting for us. Brooke got in as well and we headed back to the mansion in silence.
We had been out very late, and by the time we pulled into the Mansion driveway, the sun was just starting to come up. I yawned, feeling very exhausted after such a long night. Brooke had bags under her eyes as well. At the very least, my days as Clarice were ended. I wouldn’t be going back to school for the next week. If I had plans to attend schooling after that, I’d need to come up with something. Maybe I’d need to hire a personal tutor. Perhaps Dia would tutor me. For some reason, her name popped up first in my mind. Then again, Mako was the teacher, so shouldn’t she be the best tutor?
As I drowsily entered the house, thinking of such inconsequential things, there was suddenly a shout. “Clyburn, get your ass in here!”
Brooke and I glanced at each other, but I headed into the side room the shout emanated from without further hesitation. The light was on, and standing in the middle of the room was Oswald. He was wearing a suit with an untucked shirt. It also looked like he had opened father’s old alcohol cabinet and had a glass of whiskey in his hands. Aunt Rose was watching him in a nearby seat. She looked uneasy. Her eyes immediately snapped to me when I walked into the door and she gave a breath of relief.
“Oswald,” I said with a stiff expression.
“You’ve made a fine mess of it this time, haven’t you?” He growled, shaking his head in agitation.
“You heard about that?”
“Half the city has already heard about it. I already have a lead that the newspaper tomorrow is going to be headlined ‘Accused Rapist Dresses As a Woman to Further Taunt his Victims.’”
“It wasn’t like that at all! That’s not fair!” I cried out.
“Fair?” Oswald’s face twisted. “You want fair? What are you, twelve? It’s never fair!”
“I’m fifteen actually,” I squared my shoulders.
Of course, I had memories that made me much older than fifteen, but I already didn’t like the way this guy made me feel. I didn’t want to think about should haves or could haves. I made the decisions I thought were right at the time.
“You were clumsy…” Oswald muttered, taking a drink.
“Me? Aren’t you the one who told me to sneak into Amaryllis and get close to WRATH?’
“That’s the thing about sneaking… when done correctly, you don’t get caught!” Oswald shot back and then sighed. “At least, you’ve had a month. Tell me what you’ve learned.”
I bit back my anger, remembering that mom asked me to not turn away his help. He seriously pissed me off though. I really didn’t like this bastard at all. However, if he could get me out of this trouble, then it was worth it, I guess. Therefore, I took a breath and began explaining everything that had happened in the last month. I tried to keep my personal emotions out of it. I concentrated on anything I noticed about Rebecca or the rest of the group. That turned out to be fairly little. I instinctively tried to avoid getting involved with WRATH. For good reason, considering what had happened tonight when I finally did.
“The WRA is willing to do anything to hurt me, even if it sacrifices a few of their own.” I ended my talk with that.
“So… a month of infiltration, and you didn’t learn a damn thing…” Oswald shook his head in disgust.
I blinked. “Well, as to that…”
“You couldn’t even impregnate one woman, that Mako chick. Can you even call yourself a man?” Oswald clenched his fist.
“Oswald!” Rose partially stood, but I stopped her with a hand.
“I did the best I could…”
“The best you could?” Oswald shot me a disgusted look. “Tell me you did the best you could when you’re rotting in a jail cell! Tell me how unfair it is when the government is pumping out your seed for their own gains. Then it’ll be too late! You had two things you needed to do, and you failed at both of them. You… are a failure.”
“He’s not a failure!” A voice stopped me just as I was about to explode in anger.
I spun in surprise to see a familiar face standing there. It was Lyra. She had a stubburn look on her face as she looked at Oswald, but for me she glanced with worried eyes. She gave me a tight smile and then stepped forward, approaching Oswald.
“Sorry for butting in, but I’ve been making my own attempts at getting closer to WRATH the last month.” Lyra walked up and put a folder down on the desk next to Oswald. “This is a copy of several of the reports and strategies the prosecution plans to use. It also has detailed information about each and every one involved during the rape case. It includes their names, medical records, and police testomonies. The WRA tried to keep this stuff sealed by having all of the girls go to an on-campus Spellman, but I managed to get a copy.”
Oswald’s frown dissipated and he raised an eyebrow as he started flipping through the folder. It was thick, consisting of a few hundred pages. It was… exactly the kind of work I should have spent the last month doing. I had wondered why Lyra kept showing up around Rebecca so much in the last month. Now I knew. She had been taking the initiative to help me. Suddenly, my feelings for her started to swell, and I regretted shunning her so completely before. Lyra wasn’t simply beautiful. She was competent and hard working. She wouldn’t have become a Queen of the school without at least those features.
“Well, Clyburn may be an idiot, but at least his girlfriend has some sense.” He muttered, finally closing the folder before reaching out and patting Lyra’s head. “Although, you did have good genes. You did well, Lyra.”
Instantly, my anger returned at his bold movements. More so, Lyra didn’t seem to want his touch, shying away from his hand slightly and giving me a complicated look. My mind started to fluctuate upon seeing this strange dynamic between the two of them. Why was he acting familiar with her all of a sudden? However, before my mind could go wild with the possibilities, Lyra said two words that caused my jaw to hit the floor.
“F-father!” I cried out in complete disbelief.
Oswald sneered at me, “Oh, I’ve fathered many capable women over the years. Lyra’s mother is a particularly wealthy businesswoman. She wanted one of the best and brightest studs. That would naturally mean me. Of course, I have a report with Lyra more because she happens to be sister to my only son, Aaron. Don’t give me that look. I think you’d find I fathered a good 5% of the population of Amaryllis Academy. Some of the girls you’re flirting with are undoubtedly my children.
Every once in a while, I had to completely rewrite my perception of the world. This was another one of those times. Finding out Lyra was Oswald’s child definitely sent shimmers running through my body. It really was a small world, though. With the population of 1 man per 1000 women, there likely were only a couple hundred men in all of Amaryllis. In that case, it’d be stranger if I didn’t constantly run into women who were fathered by the same men.
This also meant that Lyra and Madison were half-sisters! Of course, they were both blue eyed and blonde haired, an attribute that Oswald himself didn’t possess. He seemed to have passed those genes on to both of his children nonetheless. As I tried to come to terms with this, Lyra walked over to me and grabbed my arm, looking up at me worriedly.
“I was so scared today, Cly… I’m so glad you’re safe. I don’t know what I’d do if you were hurt.”
Her eyes held such affection that I couldn’t reject them anymore after knowing how hard she had been working for me, especially in front of her father. He was staring at us and after a moment, he shook his head.
“Seriously, you have access to me or your brother, and you decide you want HIM to give you his seed? Women are truly a conundrum.” Oswald frowned.
I fought the anger, instead, wrapping my arms around Lyra and pulling her closer to me so that her nice chest pressed against me. She blushed but didn’t pull away. I put a grin on and gave Oswald a challenging look. I only realized after that he was already glancing down at Lyra’s paperwork again, seemingly completely disinterested in me groping at his daughter. My grin turned quickly into a dissatisfied expression. It wasn’t like I wanted him to forbid me from seeing his daughter, but some reaction would have been better than none.
A light cough from behind me caused me to look back and freeze. With my hands all over the blushing Lyra, it was at this point that Madison had decided to walk into the room. Her hair wasn’t combed and she had a sleepy expression on her face. She was also in a pair of silk pajamas that looked very cute and sexy. Her eyes locked on my arms wrapped around Lyra so tightly I was practically groping her breast. Her expression immediately darkened.
“Sister!” I called out, releasing Lyra immediately.
Rose had been watching this too. Although, being a bit older, she understood the nuance of this situation. If anything, she found the situation slightly amusing. The idea of alpha males was a concept rarely witnessed in this world. To see one man trying to one-up another man, especially when the man was her own lover, was quite cute to watch. Rose found it adorable. If I knew that she was looking down on me as a child, I probably would have been in an even worst mood.
“Ah… Madison, you’re up.”
“I heard the commotion….” Madison crossed her arms, giving me an icy expression. “I came down to see if you’re okay.”
“A-actually, it wasn’t okay!” I said, trying to use guilt and worry to alleviate that jealous frown on her forehead. “I was stripped down by a bunch of lipsticks and they even tried to hurt me.”
“R-really?” Madison’s expression turned concerned and I quietly gave a hurrah that I could still influence her so. “Are you okay?”
Lyra stepped forward and nodded to collaborate my story. “Yes, they stripped him down and he even had sex with one of them, but after he made her cum with pleasure using his penis, he managed to get away!”
Lyra stopped after she heard the words that came out of her mouth. Only when they came out did she realize how inappropriate she worded things, a blush forming on her cheeks as she looked back at me apologetically. I could tell she was trying to help, but Lyra’s mind was already a bit of a perverted one. I had almost forgotten this was the same girl who tried to marry a female prostitute for giving her good oral. As a result, any points I had gained with Madison were burned away in an instant. Madison’s expression grew completely flat.
“Uh, huh…” Madison turned around. “I’ll be going back to bed.”
“Wait!” I ran out and grabbed Madison’s shoulders, turning her back into the room. “Before you go. You remember Oswald, right?”
She eyed the man that should be her father. Last time, she seemed completely disinterested in meeting him, so I didn’t push it. However, now that I knew about Lyra, I felt it even more important!
“What about him?” She responded simply, her voice still devoid of much feeling.
“Don’t you want to say anything to him?” I asked, looking at her face worriedly.
At this point, Oswald noticed he was being stared at so he glanced up and met Madison’s eyes. If anyone said that a parent always recognized their child, it didn’t apply to this situation at all. He didn’t have an ounce of recognition for my dear sister.
“Oswald, do you know who this girl is?” I asked, trying to push this situation forward.
Even if Madison said no, she still had a living father. It was important that they at least had exchanged words with each other. If he died with her never talking to him, that would be way too sad.
“She’s your sister, Madison?” Oswald asked. “We met once.”
“No, I mean, when you first slept with Mor-Mother… you got her pregnant. Madison was that baby. Madison is your daughter!” I announced, giving a grin of triumph.
Oswald raised an eyebrow. “Oh…”
That was the only response he gave. He immediately looked away from Madison and didn’t glance back. Madison also seemed completely fine with this answer, starting to turn again to leave the room. My face fell. When they had first met, I had assumed he just didn’t recognize Madison and Madison didn’t want to put herself out there. Now, I was realizing that they never cared to know each other in the first place!
“And… what do you think about that?” I demanded, trying to force this reunion.
“Hmm…” Oswald shook his head. “I think that bastard Noah took credit for my pregnancy. That bastard lied and accrued on my conquests.”
I blinked, completely taken aback by his lack of concern. Rather than giving up, I then glanced at Lyra.
“Lyra here is also his daughter. That would make you half-sisters!”
Lyra nodded politely. “It is nice to meet you, Madison. I’ve heard much about you.”
“…” Madison only responded with a quiet nod back.
That was it? There was no joy or excitement. These women didn’t seem to care much about finding out they were half-sisters at all! They might have found out they both had a birthday the same month for the amount of wonder on their faces. Although Lyra reacted more than Madison, it seemed more to do with wanting to make me happy, and recognizing Madison as another girl in my life.
I knew I had heard about how inconsequential being half-sisters was, but it took seeing it first hand before it finally clicked for me. I could only stare in disbelief at these women who shared the same father but didn’t care about the relations at all. Half-sister meant almost nothing to women in this world. More than that, a daughter meant almost nothing to his father. Perhaps seeing Oswald pat Lyra on the head had given me a false hope that he’d care about Madison too.
He had explained it himself. Lyra was sister to his son Aaron. At the very least, men had some attachment to their male heir. I felt a bit gloomy after seeing this.
“Wh-why don’t you care?” my voice came out weak, some tears forming in my eyes.
This finally got Madison to turn her head, a bit of worry creasing her facial features.
“You’re half-sisters. Even if there are fifty of you, who cares. You’re connected by blood. Can’t you care even a little?”
Madison’s face turned complicated while Lyra’s eyes widened, having never heard this sentiment from me before.
“And he’s your father… mine is already dead. Even if he has 500 babies, 1000 babies… can’t you care… even a little?”
Oswald looked up as well, seeing the odd atmosphere growing in the room. Everyone was a bit speechless over my words. The reason was that this was the common sense of this world. I might as well have been asking why water had to be wet. To these people, half-sisters didn’t matter. Daughters didn’t matter. It was so normal that I seemed like the weird one.
“Lyra, Madison…” I put a hand on each woman’s shoulder. “I don’t want my babies raised alone. Okay? When we have our babies, we’re all going to raise them together. That’s why you two need to be able to get along! You’re not just half-sisters, you’re my family. You’re each other’s family. So, I won’t allow you to be distant. Rose, Hannah, Mia, Aiko, Brooke… all of you girls have a place in my heart, and only by staying close to all of you will I be at peace!”
Lyra gasped. “Do you mean, we can have one?”
I nodded. “Lyra, I will have your baby.”
“I don’t think I can… we’ve already tried.” Madison looked down.
I reached out and lifted her chin so she looked at me. “We’re together as a family. We’ll have a baby. Together! And we’ll raise it, together.”
Oswald and Rose watched this scene. Rose had a slight smile on her face, being reminded once again how I was completely unlike any other man she had ever met. Oswald had a complicated look on his face. He had never heard a man utter such crap before. However, he also noticed the look these girls had on their faces. When they looked at me, there was something in their eyes. Oswald had laid with hundreds upon hundreds of women in his lifetime, but no woman had ever looked at him the way these women were looking at Clyburn.
He had seen something like this look before though. It was the look a mother gave her child shortly after birth. Once or twice, out of curiosity, he had observed the birth of a few of his kids. Every time, when the mother held the baby, she would look at them like that. What was it called, love? These daughters of his were looking at Clyburn with love. As the three people embraced, for reasons he couldn’t even fathom, Oswald felt a pang of jealousy.
“What about me?” A voice came from behind the three people hugging.
Clyburn’s back stiffened as he turned back to the door, seeing yet another woman standing there watching him with his hands all over other women. The woman standing there was none other than Mako.
“Are the bodyguards letting everyone in this morning?” I asked in disbelief.
“Brooke let me in,” Mako explained. “I wanted to see if you were alright after last night. I got the majority of the story from the students. I want to apologize for Diba’s behavior. It doesn’t excuse it, but she had some trauma during her own time at Amaryllis that led to her… unorthodox views on men.”
“Mako?” Oswald glanced over at the woman standing in the doorway. “You’re the one that Clyburn has been accused of raping!”
“Mmm…” Mako nodded as if this was a simple matter of fact. “I no longer believe Clyburn was my rapist. I’ve seen enough to know right and wrong. I would like to help him.”
Oswald snorted. “The only help you could provide him is becoming pregnant with his baby.”
“Y-yes… I know…” She looked away, a blush appearing on her dark-olive skin. “Don’t make me say it.”
Oswald’s eyes opened wide, genuine astonishment appearing on his face. To him, I had seemingly done nothing this entire month except screw off, yet, suddenly, everything fell into my lap. For this woman to come voluntarily, to offer to become pregnant with my seed… it could be considered miraculous. Oswald had to look at me again, but he just couldn’t see it. He saw me as a complete mess. So why were these women here? Was it that nonsense I said earlier? For a normal man of this world like Oswald, this situation was just too strange.
“I made the offer before, but you never came back and finished the job,” Mako spoke quietly. “I waited for you.”
Suddenly, every eye in the room was back on me. I coughed lightly, feeling a mixture of shame and embarrassment. It wasn’t like Mako wasn’t a beautiful woman. However, she was also a teacher and currently part of the accusation that I raped her.
“I… didn’t come back.” I sighed. “I didn’t want you to become pregnant that way.”
Mako cocked her head, putting on a confused look. This was echoed by Madison and Lyra, who was also watching this. Only Rose seemed to have a bit of understanding in her eyes, perhaps having spent the most time with me personally and knowing me the best.
“What do you mean?” Mako demanded.
“If I got you pregnant just to help my trial, then I’d be no better than any other man.” Oswald’s eyes widened and he gave a huff, but I ignored him. “If we have a baby, I don’t want it to be for any selfish reason. I’ve decided I don’t like slices. I don’t like using my children for what I want. If I had a baby with Mako, I want it to be because I want to spend the rest of my life with Mako.”
Mako’s mouth fell open, looking a bit stunned by my words. The other girls seemed to be shocked too. Only Oswald rolled his eyes, seeming to ignore my pronouncement as garbage talk.
“Mako, I want you to have a child when you’re ready, with the man you’re ready to. I don’t want it from some sense of guilt or duty. Okay?” I let out a rough breath, finally getting out the thoughts I had been having.
I had been avoiding Mako, and it was exactly because I didn’t know how I felt about her. Mako had offered her body to me, but was I prepared to have yet another baby? With Madison, it was easy. I knew I loved her. I knew she loved me. We were going to be staying together. With Mako, she had her own job, her own home, and her own life. There was nothing to connect us together.
“I see…” Mako said slowly as if considering the words coming out of my mouth. “In that case, I’ve decided.”
“Hmm? What did you decide?” I asked curiously.
“Clyburn, I want to have your baby.”
“Mako, like I said…”
“If you want commitment, I will leave my job. I will stay at home in this mansion. I will marry you. Or work as your maid. Or… I’ll even be your slave.” I grew stunned as I saw the tears in Mako’s eyes. “Clyburn. I’ve decided. My heart, my body, my mind… I’m yours!”