Forget All That
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This material is Copyright, 1997, by Uther Pendragon. All rights reserved. I specifically grant the right of downloading and keeping one electronic copy for your personal reading so long as this notice is included. Reposting requires previous permission.
All persons here depicted, except public figures depicted as public figures in the background, are figments of my imagination and any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Forget All That
The Kitten behaved a little better than she does at our home church, but Bob still had to take her into the narthex and carry her back and forth. His father relieved him at the end of the sermon, and was surrounded by his friends commenting about how sweet she was when the rest of us came out.
At Sunday dinner, my attention wandered to a sound from the next room, but I decided that The Kitten didn't need me. When I was paying attention again, Bob and his father were talking about bubbles. It took me a minute to see that they weren't talking about her bubbles. It was economics. "1987 did it," Bob's father was saying. "People learned then that a sharp drop could be recovered from. The problem is that they learned that one would be recovered from. There is still air in the US market, but it will leak out. Can it happen without a 'whoosh'? I don't know."
"Bob was telling me," I said, "that you could show that the claims I read are wrong that stocks are a sure thing for the long run. I didn't get it all."
"I don't know it all," said Bob. "I only remember the joke and the conclusion. 'Mr. Morgan, Mr. Morgan,'" he said in a falsetto. "'What will the market do?'"
"'Son,'" his father answered in an artificially deep bass, "'the market will fluctuate.' Well," he continued in his usual voice, "the market has fluctuated ever since. This is easier on paper than it is across the table..."
"You never spared me across the table," said Bob.
"And who would want to spare you?" his father asked. "Anyway, I'm not going to spare her, only apologize in advance.
"This is easier on paper than across the table, but there is a simple formula for the value of this year's stock market in any future year."
"That sounds like it would make you a fortune," I said.
"No!" he said. "The formula is the product of multiplying four numbers together. It is impossible to know those numbers, but it is possible to estimate their range.
"The first number is GDP, or the value of everything that the country produces in a year. The second number is the percentage of the GDP that goes to corporate profits. Multiply these two together and you get the corporate profits for the year.
"The third number is what we call the price-earnings ratio. This is more usually applied to a single stock, but here we mean the ratio of the value of the stock market in that year to the profits which support that value. Because the stockholders can put a quite different evaluation of the same profits. Multiply that number times the first two, and you get what the stocks of that year are valued at.
"The fourth number is the percentage of stocks that year which actually exist this year. Because companies continually issue new stock and new companies come into being and issue stock. So in any year, the stock includes stock which didn't exist the year before. If the stock market is worth twice as much in fifty years, that doesn't mean that the average stock bought this year is worth twice as much. Also stocks disappear through failures.
"Okay. Now there are four numbers. The first one increases over time, usually but not always from one year to the next, but increases in the long run. The fourth number almost always goes down. The numbers in between generally fluctuate. The percentage of the GDP which goes into profits fluctuates slightly except in real recessions, when it takes a plunge. If Brewster would be working at 70% of capacity, we'd have -- not 70% of the profits -- but a disastrous loss.
"Anyway, aside from a few years, that percentage fluctuates within rather narrow bounds. The price-earnings ratio, however, is a roller-coaster. This year it hit highs that it hasn't seen in recent times.
"Now, the snake-oil salesmen point out that, historically, this product has increased over almost any twenty-year period. The history, with apologies to our historian," he nodded to Bob, who nodded back, "includes the price-earnings ratios of the past. Buying into a market with P-E ratios above fifteen is a sucker's game, historically. Individual stocks can support it by growing much faster than the economy, but the market cannot."
"Y'know," Bob said, "the philosophy of history considers 'History' to only mean the written analysis of what happened in the past. It's a useful distinction, but we don't own the word." Great, just what my mind needed. A summary of economic theory followed by lecture on philosophy and semantics.
"That's nice, dear," Katherine said. And the subject changed.
Undaunted by his previous experience, Bob's father insisted on feeding The Kitten her cereal and fruit. She wore a bib with "Grandpa's angel" on it in fancy lettering. We hadn't brought it. He wore his suit pants and dress shirt, which was tempting fate. Fate resisted temptation no better than the rest of us do.
Bob hauled his mother upstairs for an undisclosed purpose. That meant that he had mailed my Christmas gift to her and meant to wrap it now. Just why this needs the heavy hand of secrecy every year, I don't know. Bob specializes in clothes in a package that rattles and tiny gifts hidden in large packages. Packing them in suitcases tends to crush the packages, and mailing them would be worse. (I can imagine postal inspectors calling the bomb squad after x-raying one of his specials.) Mailing them unwrapped so I never see my gift makes sense. Pretending that I haven't figured out what he is doing doesn't. Not after ten Christmases, one of which involved a gift which had to be mailed back North, it doesn't.
On the other hand, Christmas is a matter of tradition.
Bob's father brought The Kitten back in after washing off the disaster. I will say this for her, The Kitten readily forgives the people who try to inflict baby food on her. He sat down in his armchair and began a this-little-piggy game. He stopped when she tired of it, turned her so that she was facing him, and recited "Plus que possible, ma poule noire, ..." I was intrigued. French verse that I hadn't heard before. He followed it with the English version, significantly different.
"What is that from?" I asked.
"The Black Hen is a poem in various languages in a book that we must still have. You'd like it." Actually, nobody in the Brennan family considers it possible that people won't like a book. This man's son thinks that Decline of the West is the sort of book that one can't put down and that Scientific American is good popular reading. However, the books that the Brennans recommend are surprisingly often good reading; go figure! "Kate," he called to Katherine who was just coming back down stairs, "where is 'The Black Hen'?"
"She's in the relative-when laying eggs. Is that a trick question?"
"You know what I mean. Where is the book?"
"The book, dear, is A Space Child's Mother Goose. It isn't my book. I have enough trouble keeping track of my books and library books in this house." She had a point. Everybody in the family had a stack of books by their beds which they had put aside because something came up which meant looking in another book. At home, I limit Bob to four. When there are five books in his stack, I put the bottom four back on the shelves in the living room. When I was vastly pregnant, so pregnant that I could get almost anything from him that I wanted, he put them back on my request.
Bob's father changed to the game where he tries to catch The Kitten's nose with his finger while she tries to impale her eye on the finger. "You should let her play on the quilt while she still wants to be in your arms, dear," Katherine said. "Never let her get sated." He obeyed, but settled back where he could watch.
"Are you happy about your decision?" he asked.
"Do you mean The Kitten instead of full-time school? I'm quite happy. My greatest unhappiness is dread that some of this might be taken away from me. I have a husband whom I love and loves me, a child whom I love and who needs me. I'm not certain that it is love at this age. I and mine are reasonably healthy. We make enough to keep us warm and fed and such. What more could I want?"
"A house of your own," said Katherine, "a car of your own -- I mean 'ta auto.'" (She meant "ton automobile.") "You might want jewels or a fur coat or a housemaid or a nanny."
"A housemaid would be very nice, a nanny would be awful. I'd like a girl to come in and change her and then go away. A house with a yard would be nice when she's walking. If I won the lottery, I could figure out how to spend it. If he won the lottery, Bob wouldn't quit teaching; you know that."
"But," Bob said from the foot of the stairs. "I would take every summer off and spend it taking my family to France."
"You could spend alternate summers with us," said Katherine.
"Jeanette and I could go to France and leave The Kitten with you here. We're really de trop."
"It's a deal," said his father. "When can we expect her?"
"I was thinking of the terrible twos and most of her teenage years." That brought the subject to a laughing close. I shivered and reached out to knock on the table. We have so much.
The Kitten gets fussy late in the afternoon, even when the two of us are alone. The difference on this trip was that her fussiness took the form of wanting maman. I took her upstairs to nurse her, looked at the rocker, and decided for the bed instead. With the covers rolled up on one side and me on the other, she is totally safe in the middle of the bed. Besides, she is unlikely to try going far from me in those moods. I lay down with her on my breast and spoke to her maybe three times. Bob woke me an hour and a half later.
"Do you want supper?" he asked. I did. He called down, "Ten minute delay." Then he changed The Kitten while I was in the bathroom and getting my top back on. I don't often use the nursing bra in private.
"Sorry," I said when I joined the table.
"Don't be," said Bob's father. "You were caring for our grandchild. For that matter, caring for our daughter-in-law is a priority, as well." Now, that is not a warm emotional statement; but it's a genuinely loving one.
After supper, the conversation moved to church that morning and then the mechanics of getting The Kitten to the Christmas Eve service. That moved on to our church in Michigan. Bob mentioned that I had joined and had been attending more often.
"That's backwards," I said. "My attendance went up first, and then the baptism, and then I joined. I couldn't see any reason not to. Actually The Kitten was the reason that my attendance increased."
"Yes, dear. Parents start thinking about what sort of circles they want to raise their children in."
"That isn't it at all. If I went to church with Bob more than once a month, the next time that I slept in, people would tell me that they had missed me. This would embarrass me. So once I had slept in, I had reasons to avoid attendance for a while. The Kitten is a great excuse. I can sleep in, and the next week it is all her fault. I'll bet the first time she goes to church with her father while I sleep in, my attendance drops again."
"Or," Bob said, "as soon as actually sleeping-in becomes an option once more." I don't know. I think that I had just shown that sleeping around The Kitten was quite possible. When she gets to the crawling stage, I could set up a child-proof area, move in with the sleeping bag, and let her choose her own feeding times. But that was too nebulous to suggest then.
My attention drifted away, and they were comparing former pastors when it got back. Which was a good excuse to let it drift again. Soon The Kitten wanted to come back to the familiar. "Maman," she said when I held her.
"That's right, darling," said Katherine. "That's mama."
But The Kitten had definitely said "maman."
"Isn't she the cutest baby in the whole world?" asked Bob. The agreement was unanimous. Even the conversation tailed off, and the three of us went upstairs soon thereafter. "Happy?" asked Bob.
"Very," I said. As I had told his mother, I wasn't continually happy or ecstatically happy. I was usually contented. "Bob, I'm scared."
"Why? What can I do?"
"We have so much." He came over to hug me.
"We aren't taking it from others," he said.
"But what if we lose it?"
"Then it would be stupid to not have enjoyed it while it was there," he said. "Look at Mom. She enjoys every day with my father. It might be the last. And The Kitten is surer if not so sad. She won't be a baby much longer. Let's enjoy her while she is." I'm sure that his words made sense, but his hug was the only comfort.
Three is a crowd in a twin bed, even if one of them is tiny. Rather than risk The Kitten on the edge, I laid her between us. Bob held the bed frame all the time I nursed her because, I would guess, he was in danger of falling off. He was right at the top of the bed kissing my forehead or hair occasionally. Mostly he patted me or rested his arm on my side. I felt much better by the time The Kitten was done.
I went to the bathroom and made my preparations for the night while Bob changed The Kitten. We used to change her both before and after feedings when she was newborn, but in those days she ran like a spigot and also had more delicate skin. These days, we try for a change right before sleep but make an exception if she is smelly or really wet before the feeding.
"Y'know," I told him when I came out, "you have done more changes than I have since we came here."
"My mother decreed that you wouldn't do any changes at all unless their changing her would mean one of them would have to invade our privacy. She figures that one person handling the input doesn't balance three handling the output anyway. They aren't interested in lowering my workload; but they have. When both of us are around and awake, I had better do the work. Otherwise I'll spend Boxing Day at Mickey D's. She's right, anyway. You do more than your share of the work."
"Not counting that you earn our income."
"Well, that didn't affect housework when you earned all of our income." That isn't quite the same. In those days, he was a full time student. These days, he does the breadwinning and I do most of the housework and child care, mostly child care.
"You're sweet," I said.
"And I have hidden motives for being sweet."
"Not with your pants off, you don't." He was laughing when he kissed me.
"I love you like this," he said. He loves me all the time. He prefers me like this. For that matter, I do too.
We had a nice, long, quiet, kiss with our mouths closed. He pecked me on the nose, hugged me briefly, pecked me on the forehead, and came back for a real kiss. He kneaded my butt while our tongues played. When we paused for breath I said, "Should we be standing up?" He pulled off the top bed clothes and motioned for me to lie down. Then he covered me and tucked everything in at the bottom before sliding in beside me.
This time he stroked everywhere while we kissed. Then he stroked only my mound and thighs. I parted my legs to ease his access. He played with my outer lips for a minute before beginning a frenzy of tongue play. During that, he slipped a finger between my inner lips. I smiled at his attempt at sneakiness. I think half the nerve endings in my body are near there; does he really think that I don't notice?
All those little nerve endings not only noticed his arrival; they enjoyed it. He stroked toward my clitoris but stopped short, a little closer each time. Just when I was about to ask him to keep going, he kissed me so firmly that I couldn't speak. Then he did cross the magic spot. I gasped. I could feel him grin at that.
His kisses and caresses were lovely; but, as they became lovelier they became less adequate. Rather that break the kiss, I trailed my hand down his chest to ask for more. When he let me continue across his belly, I knew that we would have more very soon. He was erect and hard and hot. He was the one who broke the kiss.
"Do you think that you could be on top this time?" he asked. I thought about it. The motions of his hand, if not exactly conducive to thinking, were very conducive to agreement.
"That would be lovely," I said. He moved toward the middle as I retreated to the very edge. Then I climbed over him. This position, even after all the years of practice, takes a little adjustment. He held me with one hand and himself with the other. As I eased down, he fitted us. I had to move an inch lower in the bed, but I sat on him until I was totally impaled.
He inhaled with a hiss. "Darling wife," he said. "I love you, Mrs. B."
I said, "I love you, Mr. B," tightening his favorite muscle as I said "B." I leaned down so he could lick my breast. "Gently," I said. He was very gentle, and very loving, and very exciting. Soon, I had to move.
I concentrated on making the motions that felt best for me. Bob had taken a while to convince me that this was what he wanted, but I can tell that he enjoys it. My eyes having adjusted to the night light, I could see his frown turn into a grimace. His hand reached between my moving thighs. He stroked me in time with my motions, first on the lips and then on my center. Suddenly, I couldn't keep to the rhythm. Flame swept through me, and I went away into sensation, and into joy, and into ecstasy.
When I came back, I was sprawled on Bob. He was hugging my hips to him, the only hug which wouldn't interfere with my gasping breaths. "Sleep here," he said. I couldn't, but I could stay for a few minutes. All his careful adjustment of the bedclothes had gone for naught. He was out of me and all the mess was running out on him. I didn't even mention that; I know his priorities.
I had gone from comfort, to desire, to joy, to fulfillment, to being held in love. Okay, some times I am ecstatically happy.
Bob points out that I am fifty times The Kitten's age and argues that a week to her is like a year to me. I'm not persuaded that it works like that. Still, each day is an adventure at her age. She'd recovered rapidly from whatever trauma had resulted from the train trip. Katherine, who had stayed mostly in the background so that her husband could get granddaughter time, was now an old friend whom The Kitten hadn't seen enough for the past two days. And the beads were still fascinating.
Bob brought the rocking chair down the first thing in the morning, and I was ensconced in it when he brought The Kitten to me. Katherine had made waffles for breakfast again. I ate last, but otherwise was treated like a queen. Katherine suggested that Bob and I might want to have some old friends over to meet The Kitten. "Vi is going back Sunday dear. You wouldn't want to drag The Kitten on that trip." (The train north is late with notorious frequency. The trip would take less than an hour each way, but might last five hours including the wait. I did not want to take The Kitten into that.) "Why don't you set up a party for then. It wouldn't kill any granddaughter time. I can take care of the munchies."
When we agreed, she reached out her arms and said, "Come to Grandma Brennan, dear." The Kitten reached out her arms in return. Bob and I made our list and the calls while she played with The Kitten.
Lunch was light but on time. Bob and I played hooky again, leaving Katherine to the baby-food wars. I swear that she was wearing the same clothes when we returned, and they were spotless. That woman never fails to impress me. She handed The Kitten to me immediately on our return. "Maman," said The Kitten.
"Yes, darling," I replied. "Ta maman." I gave her a big smacking kiss on the top of her head. Satisfied that I was on call, she soon tried to see the rest of the room. I can't believe that it helps to do this lying back with her head upside down, but that is the method she uses. Half her genes, I constantly remind myself, come from Bob.
We all moved into the kitchen to watch Katherine prepare dinner. Bob held The Kitten for a while. He had been doing his share of the diaper time, but not getting his share of the play time. "Isn't she the cutest baby in the whole world?" he asked for the umpteenth time.
"I believe so, dear," his mother said. "But I might be somewhat prejudiced."
"Nonsense. Sober fact."
He was doing "This little piggy...." when I asked his mother about his life before I met him. He studiously ignored the account, putting all his attention on The Kitten.
Those stories led to what the courting of Jeanette Jacobs had looked like from the home front. Not much, apparently. "He said almost nothing dear. From the time that your father permitted him to drive you on dates (and I've never faulted your father on that, though Bob was always a careful driver) until the letter arrived asking me to deliver the enclosure to you (and Bob always was good enough to put some news in the cover letters; more than half the letters I ever received from him were cover letters those two summers), I never saw your face. Of course, you knew that.
"Anyway, when a high-school boy who misses most of the football games starts going to every girls' track meet, you suspect something. It was like the discovery of Pluto. You couldn't see it but you knew it was there from the behavior of the other planets. Or was it Neptune, dear?"
"Both actually," said the man who wasn't listening to this nonsense.
"Maman," said The Kitten. Bob immediately gave her to me. She hadn't intended that, but she is going to learn the meaning of that word.
"And then," Katherine went on, "there was the time that Russ set him up for the road-construction job. Russ wasn't half furious. He'd pulled in a favor from a friend, after asking Bob if it were a good idea. Everything, as far as we could tell, was set up. Then Bob said that he had to think about it, and could he borrow the car the next day."
This is an important event in my relationship with Bob. I sent a loving look toward him, expecting one back. He was staring at his mother flabbergasted.
"Anyway, Bob took him to work before driving to school. He picked him up after work. He didn't say a word about road construction. That night he gave Russ the application for the work, all signed and filled in. Russ said that the only thing that kept him from strangling Bob was that Bob looked so happy he doubted that he would have noticed."
Bob looked so shocked that I was glad that I was holding The Kitten. I don't seriously believe that he would ever drop her, but still.
"We finally figured out what must have happened," Katherine continued. "We couldn't fault him for consulting you, although 'The other party did right,' doesn't diminish Russ's anger any more than it diminishes anyone else's. Just the opposite, don't you think, dear. It's one thing to forgive your neighbor's faults and quite another to forgive the damage which your neighbor does to you with his virtues." She didn't really expect an answer. Which was nice, since I didn't have one.
"Anyway, all we could picture were those two preadolescents whom we drove to those dances. You two were so cute with those innocent good-night kisses." (Innocence is in the eye of the beholder. Those good-night kisses involved closed mouths, but they nearly melted my braces before we got rid of the chauffeur- chaperons. Then we could touch as well as kiss.) "We'd seen Bob mature, of course; but our picture of you hadn't changed. Brought to consciousness, that couldn't be right." Bob had recovered by that time. I handed The Kitten back to him.
"Russ, however, was both grateful that you had saved his bacon with his friend, and impressed that you had taken the long view. We had come to expect the long view of Bob."
(I don't recall Bob asking directly if he should go away for the summer. It was whether I thought that we might have a future. I believe that he was so sure that having a future made going away the right choice that he hadn't articulated that. Maybe not. It had been the high point of my life that far, but not a time of clear communication.)
"Oooh," The Kitten said.
"No, Kitten," said Bob. "It's not August. It's December. Say day- som-brrrr." To be fair, The Kitten's pronunciation of "Aout" is at least as accurate as Bob's pronunciation of "Decembre."
"Does that ever change?" Katherine asked at the third repetition.
"She'll grow out of it," I answered.
"Yes, dear, but will he?"
"Maman," the Kitten said suddenly. Bob handed her back to me, and I gave her a big kiss. "Maman," she said happily.
"I am being sorely wronged," Bob said. "My conversation with my daughter has changed over time."
"Hush," I said. "I think that The Kitten has just figured out the meaning of 'Maman.' Here Kitten, I'm Maman."
"Oooh," she said. I kicked Bob before he could respond.
"It will happen, dear," Katherine said. But I wanted it to happen now. She went back to food preparation, and her next comment was on the spice she was using. "Powdered ginger loses half its flavor, but I only use the real root for major feasts. I wouldn't want to use it around the baby, anyway, since the juice stays on your hands. Gorgeous smell, though, from chopping ginger."
Even with merely-powdered ginger, the dinner was a feast in my book. Chinesish, it featured chicken and vegetables all stirred together and put on a bed of rice. Katherine, wouldn't you know, stir-fries in a wok.
After dinner, though, she left us to go to her room and read. She figured that her husband would monopolize The Kitten. He did until she wanted the familiarity of her mother. Bob took the far end of the couch, I lay with my head on his lap, and The Kitten lay partly on me and partly against the back of the couch. I didn't trust her near the edge; that girl has no respect for the law of gravity.
I was fully ready to doze through another Brennan debate on politics or literature, but that was not to be. Katherine came downstairs soon after I got The Kitten back. This must have reminded Bob; or, perhaps, he wanted both his sources present to see if their memories agreed.
"Were you really furious with me back before I started the road construction job?" Bob asked his father as soon as Katherine was in the room.
"Wouldn't you have been?" his father answered. "You had been asked, and raised no objection. I had called in some favors. My family can't work for the corporation, but Jeremy had taken a job with another firm. He had been an ally, but we had exchanged no more than Christmas cards for several years. Then I called him up and asked him to find a job for you. He had to go down several levels. If you hadn't shown up, he would have looked ridiculous.
"Anyway, he comes through. Then you ask for time to think it over, and you want to have the car for that day. Meanwhile, I keep trying to think what I'll do if the answer is 'no.' So, finally, you show up in the parking lot at the plant, fifteen minutes late."
"I was on time," said Bob. "You were still in your office."
"If you were an hour later," his father said, "I'd still have been there. The CEO doesn't wait around in the parking lot. You come sauntering in, obviously walking on air, and give me the keys. I'm too afraid of my reaction to ask until we are alone. So, I wait until I have started the car to ask. I can give our conversation word for word to this day.
"I say, 'Are you going to take the road job?'
"You say, 'Y'know, I really think she really likes me.'"
I couldn't help laughing. The Kitten complained, but she's held on through worse. Bob was laughing, too. He reached over to help me hold The Kitten on.
"Well, you may laugh now," Bob's father said. It sounded like he was near laughter, himself. "It was not funny at the time. The only reason that I didn't slit your throat on the spot was that you were so clearly anesthetized that you wouldn't have felt it. I drove home very carefully under the speed limit. If I hadn't concentrated on that, I would have been going ninety. You went straight to your room. At dinner, you handed me the job app. with your signature. By the next evening, you were almost normal. Normal for Bob, I mean.
"What could I do? You had decided the way I wanted you to."
"It was mostly my fault," I said.
"Well, you indicated that you might have liked him, unless there was another girl out there who I never heard of. (And we hardly heard of you.) But he could have worked that summer if you didn't like him. All that sweat would have helped him forget."
"It was perfectly logical," Bob said.
"I saw your face, sonny boy. Logic had nothing to do with it."
"Logic had everything to do with it," Bob said. "If I went to work that summer, I would have had to leave Jeanette. We were having a wonderful time together, and leaving her would tear me apart. It would also, I hoped, have cut into her happiness. (That doesn't sound right.) In the long run, however, I knew that this job made my chances better all through college. If we had only another year, it wasn't fair to Jeanette to cut the summer out of it. If we had a long future, then she would share the benefit; we could both survive the parting.
"I could swear that I told you that I would take the job."
"I'm not sure that you were communicating very well that day," I said. "My first impression was that you were asking me to elope. I wasn't old enough to get married without permission."
"No wonder he was walking on air," Katherine said. "He was newly engaged."
"We weren't exactly engaged," said Bob. It wasn't anywhere near an engagement. It had been closer to a mutual confession that we had each already thought about marrying the other one.
"He was remarkably disengaged," his father said. "It was a miracle that he got the car there without an accident."
"I'm not sure that we ever got engaged," I said.
"Well, dear," Katherine said. "I can remember two kids who came home from college with a date all picked out. If they weren't engaged, I don't know what they were."
"I don't know," I said. "That day -- the one which bothered you, sir -- was 'It is possible that we might, perhaps, someday, be the person that the other would marry.' And we picked the date in college. We spent most of that semester picking the date. I don't know that we ever really had a time when we decided to get married."
"If we had known that the date was up in the air, dear," Katherine said, "we might have argued about it."
"Not," said Bob, "if you had known the alternative dates." It was more complicated than that, to use one of Bob's favorite phrases. "Anyway, we were engaged by that time. There just never was a time when we got engaged."
Three Brennans were silent, an event to record for posterity. Really four Brennans, I'm a Brennan too. The fifth Brennan saved us from the record books. "Ooh," she said.
"No, Kitten," said Bob. "It's not August. It's December. Say day- som-brrrr."
"How can you claim that you have changed that," I asked. Bob ignored me through four repetitions and until The Kitten was clearly tired of the game.
"How soon they forget!", Bob said. "Originally, I told her to say Novembre." We all laughed, but my laughter disturbed The Kitten, who didn't like being shaken and said so. I decided to take her upstairs. "The rocker is still down here," Bob reminded me.
"Bring it," I said. It's easy to get used to being served. Anyway, I was going to use the bed for that feeding.
Bob didn't object in the slightest. After bringing up the rocker he left for the bathroom and came back in his robe. "Can I help you off with your slacks?" he asked. That's a service as well, despite his ulterior motives. I raised my hips to help him remove my slacks and then my panties. He pulled the sheet up to The Kitten's waist before coming up to the head end of the bed.
He kissed my nose and all over my face before settling on my mouth. It was a warm, wet, kiss. The Kitten could go without a French lesson this night; I liked her father's French much more. Finally, however, Bob broke the kiss. He scattered some kisses on my torso, and two on The Kitten. She shrugged in discontent. "You're wasting those," I said. "Save them for her mother who appreciates them more."
"I dunno," Bob said. "The Kitten's wiggles don't prove that she doesn't like them. Her mother wiggles when she appreciates the kisses the most." He swept the sheet off to attack my navel.
It wasn't really fair. He was using a nursing mother's instinctive protection of her infant as bondage, keeping me motionless under torture. So I dug Bob under his ribs with my free hand. He grunted and moved beyond the range of my arm. To be more precise, he moved to the foot of the bed and started kissing at mid calf. He raised my leg to make his access easier, which was not going to work when he got where he was heading.
I went back to murmuring to The Kitten in French. Rather than anything complicated like the experiences of the day or her father's degree of progress, I stuck to "Ta maman t'aime, ton papa t'aime, nous t'aimons, ..." Bob's kisses on my thigh tickled, but they excited me in another way as well. If Bob didn't hurry, he'd be in danger of drowning when he reached his goal. I wanted him to hurry, but I loved the sensations of his slow progress. My murmurs to The Kitten had become simply "Douce Catherine, belle Catherine, habile Catherine...."
After a few decades during which I had to resist writhing, Bob finally reached his goal. He kissed my mound and then lifted me by the legs to fit something under my hips. I was too far gone to inquire and too busy with The Kitten, who didn't like the upset. He kissed my outer lips before parting them with his fingers. The first touch of his tongue on my inner lips almost drove me crazy. I grabbed The Kitten, who was almost done, by her diapered seat. Then I let myself writhe.
Bob stayed with me as well as he could. He licked at my inner lips until they parted. I was ashamed of the messiness I could feel down there, but I knew that Bob wouldn't mind. "Oh beloved," he said before starting to lick it up.
"Bob, please," I gasped out, louder than I had intended. I couldn't reach for a pillow, I was holding The Kitten with both hands. Bob stopped the infernal teasing. He licked up my valley with steady strokes. My tension seemed to build forever; but his first sweet, sucking, kiss shattered the tension. And it shattered me. Fire swept through me in regular waves, and I went very far away.
When I came back Bob was holding me by the shoulders and murmuring in my ear. "Sweet girl," he said. "Darling bride, lovely woman, beloved wife. I love you. I adore you. I desire you. I cherish you. You are the most wonderful woman in the world...." It was very nice to hear; but, as I lay recovering my breath and my brains, it sounded awfully familiar. Bob had said similar things to me many times, but that wasn't it.
This wasn't a major puzzle. I basked in the glow of what Bob was saying to me and what he had done for me. There was only this question tickling the outer edge of my mind. Then the answer came to me. Aside from the language, what Bob murmured to me was remarkably like what I had murmured to The Kitten.
I tried to keep my laughter silent, but both of them were to close to miss it. "What's so funny?" Bob asked. The Kitten was less articulate, but even more disapproving.
"Take your daughter," I told Bob. "I didn't change her." And why should I change her? Maybe we could stay with his parents until she is toilet-trained.
While he was changing her, he asked, "Are you okay?" I was fine. I had attained a climax and a revelation. Oops! I hadn't inserted the contraceptive.
"No. I haven't had my time in the bathroom tonight." I would get up in just a second. Meanwhile, I took a rolled pair of towels from under my seat.
When The Kitten was in her crib, and the Kitten-goes-to-sleep tape was playing, Bob looked out. "Someone's in there," he said. He came to bed and snuggled against me. "Will you ever tell me what was so funny?" I snuggled even closer to him. He felt nice and warm.
I woke up with a really full bladder. I grabbed my robe on the way to the bathroom. I sat there trying to decide whether to insert the diaphragm or not. Of course, I hadn't thought to bring it with me. I had to make another trip to insert it. I also brushed my teeth and cleaned myself up generally.
Bob's warmth felt comforting after the cool bathroom. He stirred in his sleep. A hand came out to hold my breast. Since the nipple was rather sore, I moved it down. After resting on my stomach for a while it moved even lower. Bob began kissing the back of my neck. Glad that I had inserted the diaphragm, I turned on my back.
Bob wasn't awake enough yet to raise himself for a real kiss. He contented himself with kissing my shoulder while his hand played with my mound. When he tried to move to more sensitive areas, I spread my legs to help him.
I was not yet certain that anything was going to happen. I don't know quite when The Kitten wakes for her middle-of-the- night feeding; since I usually go through those in a trance state. If she interrupted us, we probably wouldn't resume. Even without interruption Bob could fall back to sleep, although the likelihood of that was decreasing by the minute.
I certainly wanted something to happen. I wanted several things to happen, in fact. First, I wanted a real kiss. I removed Bob's hands from my sensitive flesh before rolling over. I put it back, however. He wasn't awake enough to avoid hurting that area if I moved into one of fingers, but I certainly didn't want to suggest that those fingers were unwelcome. Once on my side, I gave Bob a real kiss. Our tongues met and parted and met again. Then he thrust his tongue into my mouth. His fingers became busier below. My lover was awake.
When he had caressed me into readiness, I rolled onto my back. He didn't take the hint. Instead, he continued to explore my mouth with his tongue and my valley with his fingers. Beyond readiness, well into need, I tensed as the heat spread through me from the fire his fingers were igniting. I didn't want to take this trip alone. "Bob, please," I cried. He rolled over and positioned himself. He slipped up and down my valley several times, then found my entrance. I was so anxious that I pushed back against his slow entry.
Once he had filled me, he stopped to say, "I love you."
"I love you too," I said. "But I want you to move." He kissed me first, but he finally began to move in and out. His slow steady strokes soothed my need. Then they intensified my need. The fire was peaking within me, moving my hips up to meet him faster than he was coming forward. The tension spiraled upward, but couldn't find relief. Aching, I grabbed his hips with both hands and pulled him into a faster rhythm. That intensified the ache, and I know that I moaned in frustration.
Then everything shattered. The flame leaped within me, poured through me in waves, passed out of me. Blissfully sated, I felt Bob take his last strokes while he was already pulsing and spurting deep inside me. We rolled over half way, taking his weight -- and most of the covers -- off me.
My next awareness was of The Kitten's crying. Her diaper was full; and I shoved the special, only just before feeding, pacifier in her mouth. She spat it out and cried more loudly. It works for Bob, but his breasts don't leak when she cries. I gave up on the diaper. I glanced at the bed on which Bob was sprawled over a tangle of sheets and blankets. I took The Kitten to the rocker.
I was nursing a stinking baby, sitting naked on a hardwood rocker, in a cool room, with semen dried all over one thigh and a little more leaking out onto the seat. The Kitten was harder on my nipple than was really comfortable. I was conscious of every single discomfort.
The individual discomforts, however, couldn't overcome my general satisfaction.
As The Kitten settled down to her usual rhythm, I told her about our first visit to Paris, all about it. I usually look forward to the day when she can talk. However I know that later, when she finally understands the words, I'll miss these little uncensored chats.
"Let's leave the rocker upstairs today," I said to Bob.
"The spot is hardly noticeable," he said. Well, I knew that it was there. Katherine wouldn't say a word even if she noticed it. So I would be sure that she had.
"I won't sit in it down there." Thus there was no reason for him to carry it down.
We didn't go down for breakfast until The Kitten was fed and mostly cleaned up. After breakfast, I bathed her in the kitchen sink. Katherine took her namesake from my hands as soon as she was dry. "Come to Grandma Brennan," she said. "Let's go get a diaper." I cleaned up the sink and took the special soap and shampoo back upstairs.
Bob was settling down with the work we had brought along with us.
The two of us are collaborating on a book. I start with photocopies of documents in French, typed, handwritten, or both. I type this into a word processor, spellcheck it (there are French spellcheckers, luckily), see whether the misspelling was mine or in the original, and turn out a fair copy. Then I translate the fair copy, a quite literal translation.
Bob looks over the English and sees whether it makes sense in the context. Sometimes he catches a real blooper that way, but that isn't the only problem. Diplomacy has a technical language just like any other specialized field. It also has a formally- agreed-upon set of translations. That way, a treaty translated from French into German will be translated into the same English from both the French and the German.
A smooth-flowing English sentence which translates the French sentence acceptably for a novel may not be the right translation. A relatively clumsy sentence might be needed in order to accommodate the agreement that this French term is identical to that English term in every case. Bob catches a lot of that. We have a diplomatic dictionary, and I have immersed myself in it so I can catch more of these on second rereading.
Bob knows more about the Fashoda Incident, when the United Kingdom came perilously close to war with France, than almost anybody. By now, even I know more about the details than most historians. But details are only part of it; how governments reacted depended on party histories and individual biographies. These depended, in part, on previous issues. The popular press was important by that time, but salons were still important as well. Bob has that context, and I don't.
And the Fashoda incident was never the only thing on the plate of the diplomatic corps. We were not printing the thousands of pages of the trove, or a very great fraction of it. However, we were printing the entire document when we printed any part of it, and arguments over tariffs and incidents of prominent men of one country who had run afoul of the law in another were in some reports which also involved Fashoda.
Moreover, while the Fashoda Incident was the most important event of that brief period, we aren't simply covering that. There were other matters going on simultaneously, and documents which shed important light on those will be in the book. These can be real bears.
A question about the relationship of Germany and Italy or about Dutch colonial problems can be illuminated by correspondence in the files of the French foreign office. Simply figuring out if that information reveals anything requires an intimate knowledge of what is known now and what is in dispute now.
Fashoda was, at least, most critically a conflict between France and the UK. Diplomatic reports from other countries, most especially Germany were relevant, however. Which means that we have to check the reports in our documents against anything which is publicly known about the reports to other governments. Bob can deal with German when he has to, but those sources might be hard to find in Michigan.
So I translate more documents than we are going to use, and Bob goes through those translations and marks them for inappropriate terms. Then he evaluates whether they illuminate any outstanding questions. Then he marks down a load of questions on note cards. Then he takes those note cards into the library to find some answers. Well, as Ecclesiastes might have mentioned, there is a time for filling out note cards and there is a time for crossing off note cards. Without a library, this was a time for Bob to read the literal translation and fill out note cards.
I was available for consultation, "Could this sentence mean...?" Otherwise, I was off work until I was back at my little computer.
Katherine had The Kitten; I started lunch. "Oh, you shouldn't have, dear," Katherine said. I actually should have been doing more of the work, and said so. "Nonsense, dear. I'm a teacher for more than half the year; I enjoy being a cook on breaks." (I can believe that she enjoyed making the fancy chicken for the night before. But tuna salad?) "Although I admit that I enjoy being a grandmother more. Encourage her to have children young, dear. Grandmothers have much more fun than mothers."
"We could form a child-care partnership," I said. "I'll do the breastfeeding, and you change the diapers." Her laugh admitted my point.
"You weren't including pregnancy and labor in that balance, dear. Besides, what is joy for a day can be drudgery for a year. You and Bob used to go camping, for example." A good point. It's fun, but I wouldn't want to live in a tent for the entire year. "Playing with The Kitten is fun, changing diapers compensates for it. Besides, she is our granddaughter; part of the care is our responsibility."
She put The Kitten down on the quilt and called Bob. "Tuna salad," he said. He added "Y'know, we hardly ever have that any more," before spreading his bread with the catsup he adds to it. Said catsup is the reason that I stopped making it entirely when I was suffering the nausea of pregnancy. I never did like to look.
"You never met a meal you didn't like, dear," his mother said. (Oh yes, he has! But I will admit that he has a wide-ranging appetite.) "Isn't it a joy to cook for appreciative eaters, dear? Now Vi (I must get into the habit of calling her Kathleen before tomorrow) went through those stages of regarding each calorie with horror, but she never went off particular things. Bob was a fussy eater when he was very small, but from age nine he ate almost everything which was on his plate."
"And anything in the refrigerator which wasn't clearly marked," I put in.
"Well yes," she said. "I learned to skip those articles on clever things to do with leftovers. You know, a third world family couldn't have eaten out of the Brennan garbage can when he was home. It would have starved a goat."
Now, while Katherine went from huge plenty to tight budgets, cheese-paring would never have made any appreciable difference. From the perspective of our early marriage, however, leftovers were a resource, not a problem. Bob had tried, though; I'll give him that. Still, his appetite had been a bone of contention. I wished that I could change the subject; Bob must have felt the same way.
"I think this thing is coming together," he said. Chez Brennan, you can change the subject with a nonsequitur. "We have enough on Fashoda to make the book significant, and enough on the rest to make the book of general interest. All the dreaming I did of you up in that room there, I never dreamt of you as a research assistant." I doubt that he dreamed of me as a cook or fellow parent either. I know he didn't dream of me as house cleaner, cleaning isn't one of his dreams.
"Has she been a great help, dear?" Katherine asked him.
"That's one way of putting it," he answered. "The way the book is shaping up, I may contribute almost as much as she. When we envisioned it, it was her book. 'Help' doesn't quite cover it.
"You know it's odd. When you two financed the tape," (He meant an entire taped course of French with supporting materials) "we all spoke of it as Jeanette's education. Some tiny fraction for her. Without it, however, she might have gone on with the literature." (I doubt that; but any "might have been" might, after all, have been.)
"I very much doubt that I could have written the dissertation without that and the radio and the magazines. When we got to Paris, Jeanette knew what was going on. She was au courant in a way that most French majors wouldn't have been. The magazines and the short wave taught her about twentieth century France in a way that nothing else could have."
"Those magazines were a success then, dear?"
"It was more than Bob said," I answered. "Every year, there was a subscription to a different magazine, a new subject area, a new version of the language. I hadn't learned how to deal with archivists nor how to read bureaucratic reports, but I had learned how to deal with a new subject. My French was over- correct, of course; but I'd learned some of the slang. The course was business-centered, not tourist-centered; that helped."
"Russ wondered whether the gift of the magazines has gone on too long." I'd wondered the same thing. I'd stopped reading the magazines during my pregnancy. I had translation to do and literature to read. I'd stored the backlog and was reading about half the new issues before the next one came.
"It's clearly too late to worry about this year," Bob said. "There is a little backlog now. Nice to have someone else in the house storing old magazines. By the summer, Jeanette will have some idea of her new pattern of living. If the backlog is larger, then she can read it down after the last subscription expires. For that matter, Dad must be running out of possible magazines. We have money, Jeanette can subscribe to one of her favorites from the selection that he gave her.
"The real gift was the experience. That is permanent. On the other hand if he gave her Science, ..."
"He is adamant, dear. The gift is to her. A lever to persuade her to read the Scientific American might be a possible gift to you, but taking your side against her isn't in the cards."
"My father's taking my side against anyone isn't in the cards," said Bob.
"Now, dear," Katherine said. Bob's father would back him against the world. He would not, however, say so to Bob's face.
"But Bob is right about the magazines," I said. "They were an incredible gift. So was the radio."
"And the tape recorder," Bob put in. "He always sees how things will work together." The tape recorder plugged into the radio so that it could record programs directly. It had two speeds, and I spent months listening to slowed-down tapes of RFI news reports. Then, it all came together, and I could follow it in real time.
"He also wondered about your subscription, dear," Katherine said to Bob, "even if he thought of it after your last birthday. It was one thing to give a child going away to college who would have ignored the world if it hadn't been shoved down his throat. After all this time, it might feel as bad as giving the French version of Scientific American to Jeanette." Now these subscriptions aren't our only gifts from Bob's father, but they are significant ones in terms of cost.
"I've thought about that for two reasons," Bob said. "Not about it being shoved down my throat. He was right in the past. That wasn't where I would have spent my money. I never objected to reading Newsweek, though. I did think that it might be time for an assistant professor to buy his own.
"Then this fall, I was ready to drop the magazine altogether. Four pages to Mother Theresa, and 24 to Princess Di. Does anyone have a sense of proportion? They tried to make it up later, but that was so clearly covering their asses that it made my opinion worse." This was the first time that I had heard him express this, but it didn't surprise me. I had had the same reaction at first.
"My first response was just like yours," I said. "But look. If one of your fellow teachers told you that his neighbor had just died, and he was devastated, would you tell him that you didn't know the man and so he shouldn't be concerned?"
"Of course not," Bob said. "But Di was a public figure."
"Sort of. But she was a major part of the experience of most of the people we know. She was hardly part of our experience at all. You can't judge their response any more than you can judge the response of the man at work who lost a neighbor."
"Most of the people we know don't read the tabloids," Bob said.
"They watch TV. Many of them read People. Bob, there are parts of current common life in which we simply don't participate."
"Not even your French magazines?" he asked.
"When she died, of course," I said. "And she was frequently in Paris Match. But that was years ago, and I was mostly learning the words. Some of them weren't even in the dictionary. Do you remember the Frenchwoman in Boston that I traded language lessons with?"
"Right. I keep imagining somebody from France trying to read Variety."
"Paris Match is not anywhere near that bad," I said.
"Or the sports pages," Bob said. "But do you really think that we're out of it without the boob tube."
"In some ways. And we haven't gone to the movies in ten months. Not that movies showed Princess Di, nor that this is your fault." I had called moviegoing off one night after we had put on our coats to go to the theater. Pregnancy has many drawbacks, but it does have its privileges.
"I'd hardly call it a fault," he said. "Movies are entertainment, not duty. When you stopped enjoying sitting still that long, they had no value to us. Anyway, my fellow faculty members don't go to movies, they go to 'fillums.' But they do watch TV."
"Y'know, dear," his mother said, "your father thinks that you are cutting off your nose to spite your face."
"So he's told me. 'What everybody knows is important,' he says, 'even when it isn't true -- especially when it isn't true.' Of course, he was only talking about network news. He does have a point. As doesn't he always?"
"Well that is a connection to the common mindset," I said. "You'd study what people read in the 19th century."
"Yeah, but the twentieth isn't my century. Are you suggesting that we get a TV set?"
"I've thought about that, too," I replied. "The Kitten will want one in a few years."
"Then you think we should?" Bob asked.
"I think we shouldn't. Let her ask for one and learn that it's a juvenile thing. Not grow up seeing her parents hooked on it."
Bob's laugh was explosive and a little messy.
"Just be glad," he said, "that I was drinking water when you said that, not chewing food."
"We'll have to teach her not to talk with her mouth full, too." Suddenly I was overwhelmed with all the things that she would need to learn.
"Unlike her father," said Bob. "Oh well. 'But Mom, if Bob didn't eat and talk at the same time, he wouldn't have time for anything else.'" This was a famous quotation from Vi. It is a bone of contention to this day. She feels it unfair that she had been sent to her room for the night, and then quoted with glee for years.
"Your sister was being nasty, dear," Katherine said.
"She didn't say inaccurate," I pointed out.
This time Bob's laughter was unencumbered. "I'm glad I married you," he said.
"That's convenient, dear," Katherine told him. "Do you want me to feed The Kitten again, dear." The latter was to me.
"Please, today it is vegetables. Nothing is open, so choose anything but peas." The last vegetable had been peas.
"You know, dear, I swore that I wouldn't be that sort of grandmother, much less that sort of mother-in-law."
"I'll take no offense at suggestions," I said. Actually, Katherine had raised two fine kids. I've wanted to be like her for years. I would be glad for her advice.
"It's not even a suggestion," she said. "It's a question. I know the medical profession is as faddish about these things as anyone is about anything. In my day, however, a baby seven months old would be eating supplements two times a day, maybe more often. I don't doubt that you alone can provide all the nutrients she needs. I just wonder if the rule has changed. I know you do what you think is best for her."
"The rule hasn't changed," I said. "It's just such a struggle with her. And they do say that the baby knows what she needs."
"Why don't you watch me this time?"
When the time came, she put The Kitten in her high chair. She got a small spoonful. Then she made a funny face involving a gaping mouth at The Kitten. The Kitten, as she has done for months, made the funny face back. The spoon went in The Kitten's gaping mouth and turned. Katherine and The Kitten closed their mouths. Katherine removed the spoon, scraped up the spillage, and made the silly face again.
The process worked. When The Kitten forgot to swallow, Katherine said "Nice Kitten" or "pretty girl." Then she stroked The Kitten's neck. She wiped The Kitten's face occasionally, although less often than I would have. The Kitten grabbed for the spoon as often as she does with me; but, because Katherine only aimed at an open mouth, this caused much fewer problems. She stopped in the middle to play This Little Piggy. After a bit, the Kitten made hunger signs with her mouth, just as she would have if she'd been stopped in the middle of nursing.
Katherine went back to feeding her. I left to repair my crushed ego.
The Kitten's next feeding, however, was one which Katherine couldn't manage. Whether or not my brain matched hers, my mammaries were much more functional.
Bob went with his father to pick up a tree after supper. When The Kitten wanted to participate in setting it up, I took her upstairs. "Quelquefois, mon enfant, nous sommes les vedettes; quelquefois nous sommes l'audience." She was not impressed. She wants to star all the time; and, so far, she mostly had. "When you are under one," I told her, "being counts for everything. When you are approaching thirty, you have to do things well to impress anybody." I sounded just like a mother. Actually, I sounded just like my mother. And I didn't want to be like her.
"Ne tracasse pas. Tu seras toujours la vedette en mon drame." And we played active games until she just wanted to cuddle, and then we cuddled until it was time to nurse. I was in the rocking chair when Bob came in. He kissed The Kitten on the top of her head and then me on the top of mine. Seeing we were preoccupied with each other, he lay across the room watching us finish up.
"Je vous aime," he said as he took The Kitten to the changing table. I left for the bathroom in slacks and robe. This time, I was careful about the diaphragm.
"Oh Bob," I said when I came back in, "Kiss me." He got up, came over, and tried to reach my mouth. "No. Like you did before."
"In the rocker. On my head." He kissed me as I had asked. Then he hugged me lightly around the shoulders.
"Do you need cherishing, ma femme?" I nodded yes. He kept kissing me above the ear line, murmuring in the pauses. "I love you," he said. "The Kitten loves you. My family loves you. You found your way around on the Metro. You found your way around on the MBTA. You found the handwriting book. You found work every time you looked. You've kept The Kitten healthy and reasonably happy. Your mother can't get you, and she can't even look at The Kitten if she's nasty to you."
"Bob, do you think that that's my problem?"
"How should I know? It's one possible worry. You know the other half of it?" he asked.
"Everybody's very sweet," he said, "about relieving you of The Kitten's messy diapers, but you're left with her messy moods. She's a good kid, and happy most of the time. But when she's grumpy it's back to mommy. And it's unavoidable. But we're going back home in a week or so. You'll have her sunny moods then. You'll have her full diapers, too."
He had a point. Two points: it was happening, and it was unavoidable. The Kitten gets cranky in the late afternoons and again shortly before bedtime. Then she doesn't like her own company, and abhors the company of strangers. That was when I was getting her. The only time I got The Kitten's good moods was when I nursed her.
Any time that something was wrong, she wanted Maman. And, by God, when she wanted Maman, she would get Maman. Sharing her bad moods among adults might be fair to them, but being fair to The Kitten came first.
And I wanted her to experience her grandparents. I even wanted her to experience my parents to a limited extent. It was part of who she was.
Then too, I was getting a respite this trip. The Kitten's good moods are a joy, but twenty-four hour responsibility is not. "You are the smartest husband in the whole world," I told him. Partly, I meant it; partly I was parodying him.
"Indubitably the smartest husband of Jeanette Brennan," he said. He tugged at my robe. "Isn't this awfully heavy?" He helped me out of my robe and then my nightgown. Once in bed, he continued in the "cherish" mode until I was totally relaxed, then through my relaxation and into an entirely different sort of tension. His teasing finger stroked up my valley almost to my center of feeling and then returned to my entrance. I moved my hips up and down trying to get that extra millimeter which provides so much more satisfaction. He kissed me deeply before withdrawing his tongue. Covering my mouth in this way, he finally stroked the entire length of my valley. I moaned into his kiss and moved my hips faster.
"Do you want me inside?" he asked. I think he knew the answer, but he likes to hear it.
"Oh yes," I said. "Now, please." When he removed his hand, I managed to still my motions. When he had climbed between my legs, I spread them wider. He stroked up and down my valley before pausing to look into my eyes. Then he entered me, filled me, pinned me to the mattress. He blew me a kiss before beginning his slow strokes within. I let my legs ride up on his hips and held them there when he withdrew. The exquisite sensations from my entrance took me back up the heights. I clasped my legs about his waist and crossed them behind his hips.
The feeling of his motions within, filling me and rubbing against me, were a comfort, then a joy, then an itch. I needed more and more. "Vite, vite," I begged him. I pulled him tighter into me with my heels against his hips.
Then something swept through me. It spread my legs far apart and slammed them down on the bed. It raised my hips off the bed and impaled my groin onto his maleness. It shook me. It tightened my voice into a screech. It scorched its way through me from my scalp to my toes.
Then it left me completely at peace while Bob grunted above me and squirted within me. I could make absolutely no movement as he softened and left me, panted above me, rolled off me, hugged me awkwardly. Much later, we dabbed at the mess which had already soaked into the sheet or dried on us.
"I love you," he said.
"Bob could you?"
"I Robert, that one?" How could I ever have called him insensitive? I snuggled into the sleep position, then nodded. "I, Robert, take thee, Jeanette, to be my lawful wedded wife. To...."
Continued in Chapter 3 Forget All That Uther Pendragon email@example.com 1997/12/27 1999/12/30 2000/10/01 2002/12/21 This is the second segment one of a series of stories about the Brennans. The first segment of this story is: Parts 1-3 The next segment is: Parts 7-9 The first story in the series is: "Forever" The directory to the entire series is: Brennan Stories Directory The directory to all my stories can be found at: Index to Uther Pendragon's Website