The Party Favor
Chapters : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Epilogue
Jennifer leaned back, relaxing, and ran her hands over her swollen
belly. She did this as often as possible, both because she was
sure the baby could feel it, and perceive it as love, and because they
had decided this one should probably be their last. She would be
forty in two weeks, which was one week, to the day, after her due
date. Josh had, as he loved to tell people, "knocked the old
broad up" two times previously, and, if they stopped with three, then
they wouldn't have to move into a bigger house.
True, it would be "cozy" for them, in the three bedroom ranch they'd
moved into after the divorce was final. But the boys already
lived together, and that left one bedroom for the daughter who caused
the bulge she was currently running her hands over. She was sure,
in her own mind, that one reason Tiffany had gone so wrong was because
she was an only child, and that if she'd have had to muscle past a
sibling or two to get possession of the bathroom once in a while, her
social skills might have been better developed. Not to mention
actually having two, caring, present
She realized she was tense. She got that way every time she
thought of Tiffany. Tiffany, who had believed that, if you got
drunk enough, it would abort a pregnancy. She'd been right, in
one sense. While Tiffany had survived the alcohol poisoning, the
baby had not. The only bright spot in that whole episode was that
Todd, who told her about the sure-fire-get-rid-of-the-baby plan, had
also supplied the alcohol, and got prison time for doing so.
During the divorce, Tiffany had claimed her mother tried to pimp her
out to "her dancer friends." When investigators could find no shred of
evidence to support her claim, she had simply said "She ruined my
life. I wouldn't live with that bitch if she was the last woman
She'd ended up in foster care because of it. She had run away
three times. The last time she'd been found with heroin tracks on
her arms, and wasn't even aware she had been pimped out for real.
She had turned eighteen in the middle of rehab and when the state
kicked her to the curb and stopped paying, the rehab center kicked her
to the curb too. Jennifer had no idea where her daughter was
now. There had been no word for more than two years.
Visualizing an imaginary finger, she located each tight muscle with her
mind and intentionally relaxed it. It was something Josh had
taught her how to do. She hadn't had to take an aspirin in
years. It took five minutes, but finally she was relaxed again.
Bradley, her five year old, came into the room. He saw his mother
rubbing her belly.
"Can I read her a story?" he piped.
"Of course. You know she loves it when you read to her."
"How do you know?"
"She moves around. I think she's trying to clap her hands," said
He got a book from the coffee table. There were books strewn
everywhere. She and Josh picked them up and put them away two or
three times a day, but Brad and his little brother, David pulled them
all out again. The boys loved books.
He brought the book to the couch, where Jennifer was leaning
back. As if he had every right to do so, the little boy pulled
his mother's T shirt up, bunching it just below her breasts, and baring
the tightly stretched skin of her belly.
An elbow, or maybe a heel, made a protruding bump that slid from her
side to the middle of her stomach, right where her navel was.
"See there?" she said. "She knows you're about to read, and she's
"Goody!" he said. "Hi, Jasmine," he said, reaching out to touch
the bump, which promptly disappeared from under his hand.
He was just finishing the book when Josh came in. David was in
his arms, having been removed from the BOB jogging stroller he loved to
ride in as his daddy pushed him along at breakneck speeds. When
Josh bent down and the boy's feet hit the floor, he immediately ran to
rub his mother's belly while his brother finished the book.
"Ja'min," he cooed.
"How is jammin Jasmine?" asked Josh, leaning down to give Jennifer a
"Impatient," said Jennifer. "Like her mother."
Josh smacked his lips. "I'm impatient too. Yummmmmm."
Jennifer smiled. He was referring to the fact that, with Brad,
she'd gotten to fulfill one of her dreams, to nurse her baby.
When Josh saw how eager his son was to latch onto a fat nipple, and
wanted to know what the big fuss was about, she said he was insane, but
let him sample her milk.
They were astonished at the pleasure involved ... for both of
them. The months long delight had been repeated with David,
and Josh was obviously looking forward to having a lactating wife again.
"When we put the boys to bed, perhaps you can toughen up my nipples,"
she said, her voice coy. She was alluding to their first
Lamaze classes, when one of the nurses who was teaching the class said,
with a completely straight face : "It might be necessary for you
fathers to bite the bullet and toughen up mom's nipples by sucking on
them gently for ten or fifteen minutes, four or five times a
day." After the laughter had died down, she said "And I know it's
a lot to ask, but please remember ... both
nipples need to be toughened up."
Jennifer smiled as she remembered that session. There had been a
disturbance at that point. A woman had yelled "Stop that!"
The members of the class had looked to see one young woman's face
bright red, her hand slapping at the man with her. It turned out
her coach was her brother, rather than the actual father of the
child. He, of course, was grinning from ear to ear.
Jennifer remembered thinking of the line in Hamlet: "The lady doth
protest too much, methinks," at the way the girl was reacting.
Josh sighed. "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, I
guess." He struck a pose. "I will be brave! I will
sacrifice for the sake of my unborn daughter! Perhaps I should
see the targets even now, so I will know what to look for when the time
"Not in front of your sons," said Jennifer, who scooped David up onto
the couch so she could give him a kiss. "They have their father's
genes, which means in ten or fifteen years virgins will have to be
locked up all over the country, for their own protection."
"Ahhhh, but you weren't a virgin," he said, beaming.
"What's a virgin?" asked Bradley.
"Never mind," said Jennifer.
"You were a MILF," said Josh, beaming.
"What's a MILF?" asked Bradley.
"Would you stop that?" said
Jennifer, frowning at Josh.
"What? And stop being the man who got you to walk down the aisle after
you left the courtroom and yelled, 'Hear me, world. I will never get
"I walked down the aisle because I didn't want the baby you knocked up
the old broad with to have a last name I couldn't be proud of."
"So you're proud of me!" He beamed.
"I was proud of you ... back then ... years
ago ... when you were a buff, hot dancer, who swept a poor lonely woman
off her feet in one of her weak moments."
"Hey! I'm still buff," he said, striking another pose and flexing his
"I can't tell," she said, tickling David until he squirmed.
"Hey, me too!" objected Brad at being left out.
"You'll have to take off all those clothes before I can see if you're
the saggy, baggy old man I suspect you to be," she said.
He grinned, said, "Gladly!" and began to strip.
"Not in front of the boys, you boob!" she laughed.
"The boys have the same equipment I have," he said.
"Which reminds me!" she said. "David, do you need to go potty?"
"No," said the little boy, and then promptly grabbed his penis through
his pants and squeezed.
"I thought so," said Jennifer. "Tell daddy to take you potty."
The little boy bounced off the couch and held his hand up toward his
father. "Mommy says you have to take me potty."
"Wait!" said Jennifer. "Daddy needs to help Mommy get off the
She held her hands up and Josh pulled her to a standing position,
giving her a quick kiss before taking David toward the bathroom.
Jennifer pulled her shirt back down and waddled toward the kitchen to
start supper. She glanced at her desk, which was festooned with
papers she needed to organize. Her CPA business had grown.
It would actually support them if Josh wasn't going to college.
When he graduated, with a Masters in petroleum engineering, they
wouldn't need to take money from their savings, and it could be left
alone for the children to go to college on themselves some day.
Until then, though, the money awarded to her by the court had to
supplement her income.
As she entered her well equipped kitchen, she thought about that
money. She had been wise, as it turned out, to let Baldwin
represent her in the divorce proceedings. He was the one who had
found the documents that proved Roger was a full fledged
bigamist. His marriage to Susan would have been completely
legitimate, never mind what he told her, if he hadn't already been
married. Baldwin's private investigators had also found the
receipt for the ten thousand dollar engagement ring Roger had given to
Lucinda, after he filed for divorce. She ended up testifying
against him, saying the only reason she had let him impregnate her was
because they were engaged to be married as soon as the divorce was
So, in the end, Roger was shown to be a bigamist who had four children
to support, and a wife who could legally and legitimately claim half of
the community property. By the time sufficient assets were placed
in trust for child support, and the claims for damages made by Susan
and Lucinda were paid, he had nothing left. But then he didn't
need anything, really, since the bigamy conviction got him two years in
jail. She had no idea what he was doing now. He'd been
disbarred while he was in jail.
Jennifer banked her half of the assets, except for Roger's
Jaguar. She was thinking about selling it now. It was just
too small. Josh drove it to classes, but it was of no use as a
The baby moved again, rolling in her womb as she entered the
kitchen. The delicious scent of the Jasmine flowers in the
window-box green house they'd installed filled her lungs as she thought
about what to prepare for their meal.
As if the odor of the flowers penetrated inside to their namesake, the
child rolled again. There was a flood of wet, and Jennifer looked
down to see fluid dripping down her legs. She squatted as the
first contraction rolled across her belly.
"Honey?" she called out. "I need you."
"He's not finished yet," Josh called back.
"Yeah, well I am," she yelled. "You need to call Mrs. Abernathy
and tell her to come watch the boys."
Doctor Robert Vanderburg swept into the labor room as if he were making
a grand entrance. His eyes flicked to various screens before they ended
up on the woman in the bed. He had delivered her other two
children, and knew her well.
"How are my girls?" he asked.
Jennifer hee hee'd her way through a contraction and pushed sweaty hair
off her face.
"I want this baby out of me," she groaned.
Doctor Bob, as his patients were known to call him, approached the bed
and slid his gloved hand under the sheet. He let his fingers
slide up her inner leg and she pulled her knees up, opening for
him. He lifted the sheet to see what the vulva looked like, and
prodded them with his fingers, before sliding his middle finger in to
feel the cervix.
"Don't tease me, Doctor," panted Jennifer. She said that every
time he checked her effacement.
He smiled. "I think it's time to move to the delivery room.
Let's get this party started, what do you say?"
"I'm all for it," she groaned. "But Josh went to get something to
"I'll send somebody to find him. We need to get you to where you
can push with those lovely abdominal muscles of yours."
"You're such a flirt," she said, and then concentrated on breathing as
another contraction wrenched at her.
They had just gotten her on the table, with her feet up, when Josh
hurried into the room. He had the camera ready.
"Okay," said the doctor, settling on a stool between his patient's
wide-spread thighs. "Now can we get this party started?"
Jennifer held out her hand to Josh.
"I can, now that I have my party favor."
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