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He was stunned. The
"Wow!" that left his mouth was unintentional.
"That's what makes all this so
surreal," she sighed. "But I thought that was all over and done
with. And now ... it's happening again."
"I never knew," he said,
"Of course not," she
said. "That's not the kind of thing you toss into a casual conversation. At least not outside the home where it's going on."
"You mean others knew it was
"Yes," she said. "My
mother caught Sydney and me just like I caught Mallory and Randy." She
blinked several times. "It's like history is repeating itself."
"What happened?" he asked.
Now she looked directly at him.
"Why do you want to know?" There was something in her eyes that
looked like wariness.
"What do you mean, why do I
want to know?" he asked, incredulously.
"Does the idea turn you
on?" she asked, her voice hard.
"What? No. Of course not.
What do you mean?"
"Well, you obviously got turned
on by the idea of having sex with Samantha. And from what I understand you did
that while letting Randy and Mallory have sex ten feet away from you. You
sound a lot like Brad. He was a satyr. He never could get enough sex and
wasn't satisfied with only me."
"I'm not Brad," said Bob,
stiffly. "You know that."
"I don't know what I
know," she said.
"I just want to
understand," said Bob. "I know this sounds lame, but I don't
understand how any of this happened. I mean I never intended for any of
it to happen, didn't plan it. Not any of it. Not Mallory, and certainly not Sam. I know you don't believe that, but it's true.”
"So you just lost
control," said Lucy.
"Yes!" he said. "I
know I shouldn't have, but I did. Things happened so fast I didn't have time to think about them. That's the only explanation I have.”
She sat back again.
"Why couldn't you have just
lost control with me?"
"Because I couldn't bear the
thought of losing you," he said. "I was afraid you wouldn't
want that, and that it would drive you away."
"Is that true? Really?"
"Of course it is," he
said, again automatically. "That isn't the same thing as groping your niece because she'd being cocky. If Mal had blown up about it that would have been fine. In fact, I expected her to get pissed off. But then she didn't, and everything got all Twilight Zone on me." He sighed. "But I could never take the chance that you'd turn away from me because I couldn't control an urge."
It was that automatic, immediate
response that caused her to believe him. It was his heartfelt, pleading tone that caused her anger to thaw.
"As much as we talked, we
didn't communicate very effectively, did we," she sighed. It wasn't a
"I guess not," he said,
softly in response.
She suddenly stood, and began pacing
again. The change in her demeanor was startling.
"Well, maybe we should improve
on our communication," she said.
He sat, thinking about the changes
that had taken place in only the last half hour. He had started out expecting
her to yell at him and then call the police. That expectation had only been
partially fulfilled. She'd yelled. But then things had turned sideways. Now,
suddenly, it was a whole different situation.
She continued to pace, but then
started talking. The revelation she exposed stunned him.
"As I said, I had two brothers, both older
than me," she started. "I was the youngest of the three of us. When
we were little, we compared parts. Actually, the boys made me get naked out
behind the barn. We were raised on a farm. Did I ever tell you that?"
"I knew it," said Bob,
"but you never talked about it much."
"You'll understand why in a
little bit," she said. "At first, they made me do things. Touch
them. Let them touch me. Kiss them. Stuff like that. It wasn't serious and
other than the fact that my big brothers always ordered me around, I didn't actually
mind. And I didn't mind when they wanted to play doctor or explore things
sexually. They didn't hurt me or anything. In fact, sometimes it felt really good. But I knew, because they always
did this in secret, and told me not to tell, that we were doing something
"Eventually that waned for a
few years. And then I hit puberty and filled out, and they took notice of me
again. I don't want you to think that's all they were ever interested in, because it
isn't. We did all the normal things every family does. But girls always feel
insecure when those kinds of changes occur in their bodies, and I did too. And
the fact that my brothers insisted I was pretty, even sexy, made me feel
"I still knew that what we were
doing was wrong, but I kept playing with them. It wasn't 'play' back then, but
that's what I told myself when I got older. Anyway, puberty had changed how I felt about it, because they learned how to make me feel really good. Anyway, we just kept doing things
until one night Alvin - he was the oldest - wanted to put something in me other
than his finger or tongue."
Bob saw the blush flow upwards from
the skin her shirt exposed, until it suffused her cheeks. She continued to
pace, and never looked directly at him, so he just sat there, enthralled by her
"After that, of course, Sydney had to try it."
She stopped, both physically and
verbally. She stood as if frozen. Bob couldn't read in her face what was
going on inside her, but her sudden catatonic-like state worried him.
"They raped you?" he
Her frozen stance vanished and she
finally looked at him.
"Not at all," she said.
"I loved it. I was scared at first, but only until I felt what it was
really like. After that I let them do anything they wanted to."
"Wow," he whispered again.
"I was thirteen, but they made
me feel like I was years older. I wasn't allowed to date yet, and boys at
school ignored me. This was our fantastic secret, something we all loved to
do. I knew it was wrong, but I didn't care."
"How long did it go on?"
"Until they both left for
college," she said.
"But I thought you said you got
"We did. My mother caught me on top of Sydney in my bedroom one night. I was fifteen at the time. It
had gone on so long that we got careless."
"And they let you keep
"My parents didn't react to it
like any of us thought they would," she said.
"Wow," said Bob for a
"I expected to be sent to a
convent, or for the boys to be sent away somewhere else, but instead, our
parents decided that the best thing to do was regulate our activities."
"What?" he gasped.
"My mother had a long talk with
me. I think my dad talked to the boys too. I think they knew that once you
become sexually active, you're going to find a way to keep being sexually
active, and they decided that keeping it in the family was preferable to all of
us going out and having casual sex with outsiders."
"This is incredible," said
"You're telling me?"
"Wait," said Bob. "A
little bit ago you said you thought this was all behind you. Normally that
means you tried to forget something negative."
"Just because we did that
doesn't mean we thought it was normal," she said. "The whole world
loudly proclaims that incest is horrible. We knew that. And our parents made
it clear that they wished we hadn't done that. Their acceptance of things, and
I use that phrase because I can't think of any other way to say it, was very
conditional. My mother put me on the pill and the boys had to start using
condoms. We had to ask for permission if we wanted to have sex and if it was too
close to my fertile times that permission was denied. They never approved. It
was more that the idea of us having sex with strangers was worse than the idea
of letting us satiate our normal lust together."
"Oh," said Bob.
"Of course I didn't know how completely radical that was back then. We knew it was taboo, but so is walking around in your underwear ... unless you're at home. So it was easy to think that maybe lots of other people did the same thing, but didn't admit to it in public. Even so, I always felt guilty about what we were doing. But I also loved it. I was allowed to date, but had a nine o'clock curfew. But that didn't matter because I was crazy in love with my brothers. I loved both of them. It wasn't until I
got to college and saw so much of the rest of the world that I realized how much I had missed out on, and that both my parents and I were using my brothers as a crutch, of sorts. Of course they got girlfriends and got married. So that's what
I wanted to do too. I wanted to be normal, like everybody else. Part of that
was trying to pretend that I'd had a normal childhood, too."
"And you met Brad," said
"That was the problem,"
she said. "I met both of you. I liked both of you too.
You were brothers, and despite trying to forget the past, I was attracted to
brothers. It's crazy. Maybe I was warped by what happened to me."
"I don't think you're
warped." His voice was firm, confident. Then he frowned. "Do you
think I'm warped?"
"The politically correct answer
is yes," she said. Then she frowned too. "But I'm having a hard
time with that. I know I should be disgusted with what you did, but I
did the same thing, basically. I remember how I felt about them. I'm not disgusted. What I am, I think, is
"You want to hear something
"Go ahead," she sighed.
"I think the reason Sam wanted
to ..." He faltered, but then went on. "The reason she wanted to do
things with me was because she was jealous about me doing them with Mal."
"I have no trouble believing
that," said Lucy. "Those two have always done things together and
wanted the same things."
Neither of them said anything for a
while. Lucy sat back down. Eventually Bob spoke.
"It's a crazy world."
Lucy was quiet for a little longer,
and then asked a question.
"Do you think there's some kind
of genetic component to all this?"
"You mean Mal and Randy?"
"I don't see how it could be
genetic. I don't think they planned on doing anything together. It was
supposed to be me and Mal, and him and Sam. In fact, when I asked Mal if she and Randy had gone all the way she laughed and said he was only for practice."
"So what changed it?"
"I told you. Sam got jealous.
I think it surprised her as much as it surprised me."
"So she fell out of love with
"I don't think that's it,"
he said. "She still says she's going to marry him. I've thought about
this a lot. I think that what confused her is that she's been trying to be the
woman of the house, and that usually includes a sexual component. She said
something like that at one point."
"Hmmm," was all the
response he got.
"It was crazy," he said.
"Things happened so quickly that I think events developed in ways nobody
intended. None of us."
"Sex is like that," said
Lucy. "Lust and passion make you do strange things."
The hint of a smile touched her lips
for the first time that night.
"Actually, the lack of sex
is what makes you do strange things," she suggested.
"I'd like to be able to blame
it on that," said Bob.
"I thought it was wrong for so
long that it always hung over me. But we did it so long that it just felt
normal after a while."
"Can I ask a question? It's
kind of personal."
"Why not? Things have been
pretty personal already."
"Did you ever get
The inference was clear. If she had
gotten pregnant, she hadn't kept the child. One way or another.
"No," she said. "I have no idea why not. As much as we did it, it was a miracle of some kind, I guess, but it never happened. Not before we got caught. After that great pains were taken to ensure that didn't happen."
"Can I ask another
"After your parents found out
... how often did they ...?"
She stared at him for a few
"There is a bit of the pervert
in you after all, isn't there."
"Was there ever any
question?" he asked, frankly.
"If you're asking if I'm
branding you as a pervert, then I'd have to brand myself as one too," she
said. She seemed to think about it for a while and then answered his question.
"The schedule our parents set up was once a week for each of the boys and they had to ask Dad for a condom each time. Of course once a week wasn't enough for either of them, and they both always wanted to do it bareback, so both of them managed to sneak in an extra time that wasn't on the schedule, and I wasn't about to stop them. And while I felt a lot of guilt, I never felt like there was
anything wrong with me. I felt completely normal. It wasn't until I
got out into the world that I began to wonder if we had been normal, or
abnormal or whatever. I decided to believe that, for us, what had happened was
normal. It wasn't some kind of lifelong addiction. That was clear. I've seen
my brothers hundreds of times since then and neither one of them has ever tried to get
me to do that again, not even after the divorce."
"I don't know whether to feel
normal or not," admitted Bob. "I mean nobody would approve, but it
doesn't feel like what I did was wrong. I don't know how that's possible, but
that's the way it is."
"I understand that," said
Lucy. "I agree that probably nobody else would, but I do."
"You have no idea how much that
means to me," said Bob, with relief.
She tilted her head, as if examining
"The reason I understand your feelings is that, even after getting caught and being restricted to something that was actually somewhat antiseptic, I still snuck off and slept with one of my brothers every night I thought I could get away with it without being caught again." Another hint of a smile touched her lips. "Unless I was mad at them for some reason," she added.
"Shit!" Sam said, for
perhaps the third or fourth time.
Mallory had calmed down enough to
plead for forgiveness as she confessed to blurting out everything to her
"I don't know what
happened," she moaned. "We got caught, and I was terrified that
something horrible was going to happen, like we were going to be arrested, or
sent so some institution or something. I didn't know what to do, so I blamed
it on you."
There had been a period during which
the kids tried to figure out what to do. A number of scenarios were discussed,
but nobody knew what was going to happen next, so no real planning could be
Eventually Sam looked at her watch.
"Wait a minute," she
said. "It's been over an hour."
"So?" Randy hadn't said much
during the whole process. His attention was captured pretty much exclusively
by the fact that the male is usually assigned all the blame whenever some sex
scandal is exposed to the public.
"So, they've been talking this
whole time," she explained.
"So?" Randy didn't assign
any particular importance to the time span.
"So, the police haven't showed
up. There haven't been any gunshots."
She was kidding about the gunshots,
her intent being to point out that violence hadn't erupted next door. At least
not violence they could hear.
"What if she stabbed him?"
gasped Mallory, her imagination running rampant.
"Come on," said Randy,
dismissively. "Mom? Stabbing somebody?"
"What could they be talking
about?" mused Sam.
"Us," said Randy.
"But how could it take an hour
for her to yell at him and call the police? Something is weird here."
"We don't know if they've been
talking the whole time," moaned Mallory. "What if she did kill him
and is trying to clean up the crime scene or something?"
"She hasn't killed him!"
"How do we know?"
Mallory's voice was tragic.
"We could go over there,"
said Sam, quietly.
"But she told us to stay
here," complained Mal.
"Look," said Sam.
"If it's taken an hour, and nobody's dead, that means they're deciding our
future. I don't know about you, but I don't think I want anybody deciding my
future without me having a say in it."
"You're as crazy as Mal,"
said Randy. "We're kids. We don't get to decide our futures. Grownups
Sam looked at him with something
"How old are you, Randy?"
"Seventeen. You know that.
You're seventeen, too."
"That's right. And in less
than a year we'll both be eighteen. That's when the law says we're adults.
When we turn eighteen we can do whatever we want."
"Unless it's against the
law," Randy pointed out sarcastically.
"Getting married isn't against
the law," Sam shot back. "What if we went over there and told them
we're getting married? Maybe that would calm things down, and they wouldn't do
Randy had always assumed he would
marry Sam. That concept wasn't strange at all. But the thought of getting
married imminently struck him like fear. He didn't have a job. They
hadn't even earned their diplomas yet. How could he possibly support a wife?
Still, as terrifying as that concept
was, he was even more petrified when it came to facing the legal music for
being in an incestuous relationship with his sister. He wouldn't feel guilty
until much later for never thinking once about what might happen to Bob.
His reluctance was obvious to Sam's
"You don't want to marry me
anymore?" Her voice was tight.
"It's not that," Randy
said. "But how could we live?"
"We can worry about that after
Aunt Lucy calms down," she said, with the callow confidence of youth.
"What about me?" whined
Mallory. "I'm only sixteen."
"Do you want to go to
jail?" asked Sam. "Or get sent off somewhere and be separated from
"Of course not," moaned
"Then we need to do something
to make sure that doesn't happen."
"Okay," Mal capitulated.
"We have to go over
there," said Sam, assertively.
"What if they yell at us?"
"I hope they do," said
Sam. "Let's hope that's all they do."
"So ... what now?" asked
"I have no idea," sighed
His confidence had returned, but he
still felt like the situation was fragile.
"They're not going to want
things to change," he hazarded.
"I know," she said.
"Believe me, I understand that problem."
"We could do what your parents
She glanced at him.
"Spoken like a man," she
"I'm not trying to get out of
this," he responded.
"Meaning you want to keep doing
it with Sam," she snorted.
"Look. I admit that this is
all twisted up. I have feelings for her. And I'm fully aware that they aren't
the normal feelings a father should have for his daughter. But I've told her
that someday she's going to meet a man and marry him and that this phase of our
life will come to an end."
"And she's agreed to
"She insists she's going to marry Randy," he started, but then realized she was completely comfortable having two sexual partners. It was surreally like what Lucy had described her own adolescence to be like. "We haven't agreed on when anything would stop," he admitted. "Of course that was before you became aware of all of this."
It was quiet for a bit.
"I have an idea," said
"You're going to think it's
crazy," she said.
"What?" he asked anyway.
She paced, glancing at him. Finally
she stopped and came to face him.
"Okay ... here it is," she
They felt like they were sneaking
around in the dark, even though it was only 6:30. They crept in a line, with
Sam leading and Randy pulling up the rear. Had anyone seen them it would have
been assumed they were up to no good. But nobody saw them and they approached
the back door, which Sam had chosen as the best place to enter the house.
She stopped to listen, her ear not
quite pressed against the door.
"I don't hear anything,"
"If she killed him, she's
trying to be quiet as she gets rid of his body," whispered Mallory, her
imagination still on a hysterical run.
"How would she be able to get
rid of his body?" snorted Randy. "She couldn't lift him. And where
would she take him?"
"I don't know," moaned
Mallory. "Maybe she cut him up or something. That's what we did to move
She stopped, her hand going to her
mouth as her stomach lurched. Images she'd seen on the TV show, Bones,
rushed into her head, unwanted.
"Stop it!" snapped Sam.
"Nobody's dead. Come on. Let's do this."
She reached for the door and tried
to twist the handle.
It was locked.
"Shit!" she whispered.
"Front door?" Randy
Again, the line of conspirators
crept around the house. It wasn't intentional, the creeping, that is. They
just felt insecure and their bodies adopted the same stance their ancient ancestors had
used when walking through an area where there might be predators.
Sam gave a sigh of relief as the
lever to the front door moved down smoothly. She pushed the door open slowly,
listening for a squeak that might give them away.
She realized, suddenly, that she was
acting like a scared little mouse. That wasn't going to advance her agenda. A
surge of energy flowed through her body and she pushed the door open suddenly,
walking right in. The others followed her close on her heels.
She stopped to listen, but heard no
voices. The only places she could think of that the adults might have chosen
to "converse" in was the living room or the kitchen. The kitchen
seemed too homey for a confrontation to take place in, so she turned toward the
Again, she decided that being bold
was the best stance, so she strode confidently into the room.
She stopped so suddenly that Mallory
slammed into her back with an "Oof!" Part of that was because Randy
ran into her, and added his kinetic energy to her motion.
Sam staggered. That was partly
because of being hit in the back.
But it was mostly because she had
been frozen in shock at what she saw on the couch.
And that was her father and Aunt
Lucy locked in a torrid embrace, kissing each other ardently. Her father's
hand was firmly groping one of Aunt Lucy's breasts ... inside her shirt!
"Aunt Lucy!" she
As if her words carried an
electrical current, they reached the couple on the couch who responded as if an
electric current had suddenly been applied to their bodies. They sprang apart,
panting, their eyes wild. Bob, no longer being supported by her arms around
him, fell backwards, landing at an awkward angle on the couch. Lucy sprang to
came Mallory’s astonished voice.
Randy aped his sister.
"Have you ever heard of
knocking?" asked Bob, sarcastically.
"What are you doing?" yipped Sam.
"I thought I told you two to stay there!”
snapped Lucy, glaring at her
"You may as well come in and
sit down. We have a lot to talk about."
"I told them to stay at my
house," said Lucy, whose blush had faded. She had decided she had nothing
to be ashamed of. She'd just been surprised. That was all. And those kisses
had been everything she'd ever hoped a kiss could feel like.
"Among other things, that's
going to have to change," said Bob.
"What's going to have to
change?" Mallory's voice communicated extreme interest. Bob was pretty
sure she assumed their sexual situation was going to have to change.
"You, and by that I mean all
three of you, are going to have to start obeying your parents."
"We always obey you," said
Sam, who was more interested in getting around to the explanation for that
kiss. It intrigued her. She felt something she recognized as jealousy, but
more than once she and Mallory had talked about getting Aunt Lucy and Uncle Bob
together somehow. They'd given up on that idea some years back. So she was a
bit conflicted about what she'd seen.
"Not always," he said.
"Such as?" Sam's emotions
were high, so she pushed it.
"Such as when I told you it was
a terrible idea for us to have sex," he said. "You ignored me."
Darting a glance at Aunt Lucy, who
didn't go ballistic at his frank admission about having sex, she tried like
most teenagers try, to come out on top.
"You didn't forbid it,"
"And you, Mallory," said
Bob, ignoring his daughter. "You knew what your mother would say if you
asked for permission to become sexually active, much less to start that out
with me. So you didn't ask her."
"No," said Mallory,
carefully. She was waiting for the other shoe to drop. She was sure she was
going to be told she couldn't have sex with anybody. "Who
would?" she added, hopefully.
"The point is that, without
parental guidance, you have made some foolish choices, and that's going to have
to change. Both of us love you ... all of you ... and we don't want anything
bad to happen to you."
"Daddy," said Sam, still
feeling her oats. "I wouldn't exactly say we didn't have any parental
supervision on the hunting trip."
"I was weak," admitted
Bob. "And I've continued to be weak. That's why Lucy and I have decided
that there should probably be two of us around all the time instead of just one."
Sam's heart leapt for joy at the
same time the green-eyed dragon lifted its head to roar.
"What does that mean?"
asked Mallory, who was still trying to figure out which man, if any, she was
going to be able to have any fun with.
It was Lucy who answered.
"Bob and I have decided to get
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