THE SISTERHOOD.           4 26 10

                                                            ROY GARDE.

The wailing of a cornered, uncomprehending and therefore terrified cat woke up all five occupants of Betty and Jim Norman’s suburban home. One of those five was the family cat that hadn’t been allowed to go outside for years but comprehended very well what was going on and it jumped off the chair in the master bedroom, where it slept most nights, and onto the screened windowsill that was nearest to where the caterwauling was coming from.

The cat’s name was Moana and it was its constant complaining nature that had made Betty’s task of finding a name for it an easy one. They’d had it since a month after it was born and they’d let it give birth to four kittens before having it spayed. It used to have free and easy access to the outside through a cat-flap in the rear door but something, a dog or a coyote, had bitten one of its front legs clear to the bone and it never healed properly and so that handicap ended its freedom to roam.

It was just after five on a Sunday morning and dawn was only beginning to show but the cat could easily see the tableau down on the lawn play itself out. She saw that the tom knew that it was just a matter of time before it got its way and so it was content to sit there and not allow the female that it had cornered against the fence to escape by running past him on either side and he maintained the Mexican stand-off and waited for Mother Nature to work her magic and sanction consensual rape.

When She did it was with the unfair tactic of making the female’s built in fear capitulate in favor of even deeper impulses which made her stop yowling and stand up and then turn so that her posterior was towards the male and then she stayed there, locked in place, with her tail held clear as she waited for – she knew not what. On seeing that, the tomcat unhurriedly move into position for mounting and then got on with it, energetically, and when he’d forced entry she let out a peculiar cut-off-squeaky-yelp which she repeated every time that she got penetrated which happened a half dozen times that morning at differing intervals.

Betty heard the yowling start and end and then the first tell-tale yelp and because she had been brought up on a farm she had often seen the patterns used by various animals when mating and so she knew that the two cats would sit close to each other for hours while the female, now sure that she wasn’t going to be killed or injured unduly by the big male, hung around waiting for him to get the wherewithal together to want to mount her again and she wouldn’t quit and wander off until the right signal from her reproductive control center was sent to her brain.

Hearing them making kittens made her remember, with sadness even though it had happened more than ten years earlier, that she hadn’t found out until long after her whole family had moved to a townhouse that her father’s method of birth control for her beloved house and yard cats had been, when she was in school, to drown all of the kittens when their proud mother brought them out into the open for everyone to see how clever she was. Her sadistically inclined brother had saved up the telling of the story until an appropriate moment and, pleased with the results that he got, had then gleefully gone on to tell her that their father had used two buckets – one three-quarters full of water and the other one empty – and he’d put the kittens in the water and would then push the bottom of the empty one down on top of them and keep them below the surface until there were no more bubbles evident.

She became hysterical after hearing the second part and wasn’t calmed much when her parents explained to her, through her continuing tears, that it was a necessary form of animal husbandry because otherwise they would have been up to their knees in cats but she hadn’t bought it then and she’d never become reconciled with the fact that the brutal act had been carried out frequently and as a matter of course by her own father and with the knowledge of the rest of her family and, evidently, with its full approval too.

                                              //                                                                         //

When they got engaged she and Jim had agreed to not have children for at least five years and on their honeymoon he’d made a list of all the places that he wanted to visit with her, “before getting encumbered by kids and their baggage and all that,” and that had been more than five years ago but he was adamant about their waiting some more because unexpected set backs had messed up his schedule of what and where and when and he told her that it would take close to three more years to complete properly.

He was a virile man and he wanted to make love to her every night and again in the morning and yet again as soon as he got home from work on weekdays. She objected to the morning ones until she’d verified his claim that he always woke up with what he called a “chubby” and, she told herself, in all fairness what else could he do to deal with it but turn to his wife for relief? Her objection was lessened when she realized that he didn’t enjoy it much except for the last few seconds and the rest of the time it seemed to her that it was only something that he had to get over and done with, like a chore.

On the first few days in their new home he’d come home and walk in the door and shout, “Hi, babe. I’m home. When do we fuck?” but that soon got old and, anyway, he didn’t have to ask, even in fun, because it became evident that she thought that it was a wife’s duty to accommodate her husband whenever and however he asked her to. When she realized that he was going to want her, first thing after coming home every day, she took to waiting for him in the living room with only a robe on and up the stairs they’d go as soon as he’d taken his coat off and she’d invariably have to climb them slowly, and awkwardly, because his hands and fingers would encumber her progress.

One afternoon, perhaps six months into their marriage, he got home early because he’d been with a client until after four o’clock whose office was near their apartment and going back to his own office afterwards would have been pointless. He found Betty in the kitchen making a roux for his favorite meal at that time – gumbo.

He closed with her and expected that she’d turn the heat down under the pans and go upstairs with him but she told him that it wasn’t possible because, “a roux, once started, can’t be left for ten seconds no matter about for twenty minutes or so.”

He was clearly disappointed and he showed it by cussing as he let his hands drop away from her breasts and because of that she felt sorry for him – also because she’d felt his erection poking at her bottom and the presence of the strange object had, as always, excited her – and so she asked him if he’d like to do it to her “from behind.”

The words weren’t fairly out of her mouth before he was reaching up under her skirt, with both hands, to pull her panties down.

She bent over for him but after a minute or two of being humped by him – he went at it very slowly so as to relish every movement because the novelty of doing it in the kitchen in broad daylight enhanced his pleasure no end – the roux told her, unmistakably, that it was ready so she turned the heat off and that meant that she could give him her full attention.

She wasn’t comfortable bending over the sink because it was too high to let her adequately cope with his thrusting and, besides that, her neck was hurting from the strain that was caused by the way that she had to hold her head – she couldn’t rest it by lowering it because the sink was front and center and the adjoining counter top was crowded with pots and pans – so she tried to get him to stop for a second to be able to tell him that but it was like talking to the wall. She finally got his attention by closing her legs tight and that, of course, forced him to stop moving and he was about to follow his nasty exclamation with a protest but stopped when she’d told him what her problem was. She suggested that they move over the table because she’d be able to not only rest her head on it but, seeing that it was lower than the counter top, she’d also be able to move her hips more freely for him and thus increase his pleasure, and, not a bit incidentally, her own too.

He was happy to hear that last part but was understandably loathe to pull out of her and so, because her aching neck was demanding relief, she told him that, to save time, he should grab her hips to maintain their connection as they moved over to the table. She then forced the issue by easing away from the sink and turning and, still bent over because he’d told her, urgently, not to straighten up so as to not injure him, she got him to follow her, in a frog march, across the kitchen.

After taking half a dozen steps she stopped moving to find out why he was shouting out as if in pain but when she did so his cries changed immediately to orders to keep walking and so, from that, she understood that the cries had to have been caused by pleasure and so when she started moving again she exaggerated her swaying motion and knew that she could ignore his renewed and even louder outbursts and so she didn’t stop until she got to the table.

When he’d gotten her to adjust the height of his target for optimum effect he went at her like a rabbit and getting it done exhausted him and when he’d sat down and had panted enough to recover his ability to breathe normally, and then to speak, his words fell over themselves as he tried to tell her how especially wonderful it had been for him when they were locked together and were moving in unison. He used descriptive phrases that she’d never heard come out of his mouth before like “Twinges of exquisite delight” and “Inexpressively delightful sensations” and “Never-before-dreamed-of nuances of pleasure” and she put that down to his having recently bought a reader for use on his train commute that had a hundred classic novels in it.

From then on some lock-stepping was always included in their evening sessions and when she wanted to reward him for something nice that he’d done for her she’d say, “Well now darling, that deserves a procession I think,” and she’d take his hand and lead him to the kitchen and when they had coupled up she’d lead him to the dining room and they’d do a few laps around the big table in there before heading back to the kitchen table which was ideal for them to work together effectively and render his towing bar inoperative.

                         //                                                                           //

After seven years of marriage – much traveled but childless still because she’d been on the Pill for all of that time – it occurred to her that the number of spermatozoa that he’d pumped into her over those years had to be an enormous one so she’d sat down one afternoon when she had nothing pressing to take care of and she used her computer to work out that he’d pumped a staggering 3 trillion spermatozoa (give or take a multitude) into her up to, and including, that morning. The huge total made her gasp, and made her check her figures, and she felt weak because she couldn’t bear knowing that vast herds of them squirmed and struggled to find their way up and into her core every time that she and Jim did it, especially seeing that she knew, as none of the squiggling animalitoes could, that all of their efforts were doomed to failure.

She decided to do something drastic about it and so she gave it some thought and when Jim came home from work that day she told him the lie that she’d decided to use: She’d been advised by her doctor to not take the pill anymore because she’d reached the seven year limit and that continuing to ingest it could affect her adversely at once and for a long time after stopping.

Her reasoning – she didn’t tell him her real one which was that if she didn’t let the sperm get pumped into her in the first place they’d never come under her jurisdiction and thus she couldn’t be blamed for their bleak fate – cut little ice indeed with Jim but in the face of her doctor-authorized statement there was nothing that he could do about it even though he knew that it meant that from then on he’d been forced to go to the trouble and inconvenience of rolling on a condom every time.

Being able to stop any and all of his semen from entering her salved her conscious and she thought that she could live her with compromise but a few weeks later a program on TV showed, in real time, the amount of effort that every spermatozoon had to put into the task of wiggling its way up to find the egg after a ‘normal injection’ and that led to her being bothered by the fact that, in her case, their dilemma was far more calamitous than that seeing that all of the willing and eager applicants were being brought to an abrupt halt, just outside of what would be paradise for them, in the bulb of a condom made of horrid man-made latex, and she found it painful to contemplate the amount of turmoil that had to be happening in that little space and, most of all, that she was a party to getting it to be repeated every night – his demands on her had eased off somewhat over the years and were reduced by then to once a night and several times over the weekends – and her imagination forced her to contemplate the futile round and rounding that had to go on until the last poor thing had died from exhaustion or, she thought more likely, frustration.

Following up on that, after more thought, she imposed another new rule on her husband – in an attempt to cut down on the number of doomed spermatozoa produced – which was to limit poor Jim to having sex only every other night from then on. She knew that it wasn’t much of a solution but it was something at least.

When he found that she insisted on keeping to this new rule he thought that it was part of a sneaky, continuing scheme of hers to coerce him into letting her get pregnant but he knew better than to even hint as to his misgivings and so he wore a condom every time because he was still stubbornly set on following his itinerary that called for checking out all the parts of the world that interested him while he could still do so unencumbered with kids. By then they’d already visited most of them that were outside of the western hemisphere and he was keeping the ones in the Americas until last.

After several weeks had gone by under her newly imposed rules Jim was surprised to find that being limited to every other night wasn’t nearly as rough on him as he’d thought it would be because having to wear a condom diminished his pleasure so drastically that it was only because Nature forced him to seek relief that he bothered to exercise his conjugal rights – the first time that he went to sleep on a sanctioned designated night without mounting her first astonished Betty and himself – and, as more time went by, he even began to wonder if asking for her participation at any time was worth it seeing that when he’d been refused fusion by her one night when he’d really wanted her – she’d told him that it was for a ‘female problem’ that she had – he’d found that he could get as much, or more, pleasure from his own, unaided, efforts because they came at first hand, as it were and as it were.

On the weekend that some friends were staying with them she let Jim have sex on the Friday night when he asked for it – in the event of his not wanting to do it she probably would have insisted on it because just as they were getting into bed she heard their guests’ bed springs complaining as they went at it in the next room.

On the Saturday night when they were alone in their bedroom she blatantly propositioned him for sex because she’d drank several vodka and tonics – the two couples’ friendship went back all the way to high school and they always had a lot to talk about and their cocktail hour always got extended well into the plural – and had had some wine with dinner and liqueurs after it.

As she was waiting for him to join her in the bed for the extra-curricular love session – she’d offered it to him partly because she had no patience with the interminable amount of whining that he was capable of when drunk and horny but mostly because she was feeling a little frisky herself – her despondency about having to keep on using birth control methods increased no end when she heard the bed springs in the guest room start complaining again as they informed all and sundry that Helen was opening herself up yet again to welcome Peter’s swarms of sperm – earlier on that day they’d let the world know that they were going full out to try to get her pregnant – and was enthusiastically encouraging him to greater effort to maximize their pleasure and augment her receptivity.

When Jim had put the lights out he sat on the bed to take his shoes and socks and pants off and then he pulled the covers all the way down to the foot of the bed and she knew from that that even in his alcohol befuddled state he was feeling the need to have an extended oral connection with her and she didn’t mind a bit because she liked having him do that even more than she let on and when, after several satisfying minutes, he showed no inclination to move around to get into the sixty-nine position, to get her involved as was his usual practice, that made her even more content and she reached down and let her fingers convey that to the parts of his head that she could reach.

When he’d ‘slaked my thirst by drinking from the hairy cup’ – as he always called it – he wiped his mouth on the hem of a sheet and then he crawled up until he’d come alongside her and when he moved to mount her it came to her that she hadn’t heard the bedside table’s drawer get opened and closed.

When the time came to guide him in she did it automatically because that was one of only two rules that he insisted on in bed – he’d asked her to please oblige him that way the very first time that he was allowed into her bed and she’d done it for him ever since. Back then he’d explained, when there was time for talking, that he figured that her doing so not only gave him a license to proceed it was also proof positive that she wanted him to penetrate her as much as he wanted to do it even though he could never bring himself to believe that that was actually possible – and there was another reason that that was necessary and it was that she was blessed/cursed with flowery inner-labia, which, to her vast relief, he’d instantly learned to love “because it’s yours” just as her mother had told her he would and had advised her, from her own experience, that she was not to have surgery until she’d let “whoever he will be” – implying that the first man in her bed would also be the last – see it first and, depending on his reaction, she could then decide if what she had “down there” was, in fact, a curse or a blessing. However, because her foliage was profuse getting entry to her was difficult and an attempt to do so by force stood a very good chance of causing her hurt and bringing the whole enterprise to a screeching halt.

When her fingers had located his organ they touched hard, warm flesh instead of touching a smooth sheath of latex. In consternation she moved him off target just in time and that made him bruise past her clitoris on the way to get to be parked between their two bellies and when he protested, vehemently and crudely, she told him what he’d forgotten to do. He became contrite instantly and he apologized and then got off her and went to the drawer to rectify the error.

When he was properly shod and was inside her he moved very slowly and she relished every second of it, just as she’d done so on their early years together in college when he’d learned how to prolong the whole thing, but this time it went on for a long time because not only were they both older, but, as is well known, the wearing of a condom dampens the overall effect by a high factor. She also knew, gleefully, that high alcohol intake dulled his senses even though it always enhanced hers and when she came down from her first climax she said to herself for the hundredth time, “Thank God that men don’t get all the breaks,” and then she forced her body to calm itself and to open up again for him, long before it wanted to, and thus allow him to start in again which, through Nature’s excellent design, allowed her next orgasm to get a footing that it could build on.

When he did at long last have his own climax – and well after she’d become satiated which made his action from then on not distasteful to her exactly but pointless and bordering on being boring and, besides that, every stroke forced her to acknowledge that he was not using his beloved life partner’s body so much as he was using any and every woman’s body – she let him wallow until he fell asleep and then she turned to make him topple off her. She got out of bed and walked around to take the condom off him and she tied it and then disposed of it by flushing it away. When she went back to him she pulled and pushed him onto his side and then walked around to her side and she got into the bed and then worked her way into the spoon position, for comfort while trying to put together a master plan to get pregnant in a way that would render her blameless.

She found herself in that same position when the yowling cat woke her up.

 The noise caused by the mating ritual also woke up their guests, Helen and Peter Strand, and Betty was made aware of that when she heard the bedsprings complaining yet again as the pair took advantage of the early rude awakening to start in on a mating ritual of their own. She exasperatedly added up the number of times that they’d done it that weekend and the one in progress brought the total to five – they had taken an inordinately long time to take a shower together after tennis on Saturday morning – and, although Helen had told her the night before that she was pretty sure that she was pregnant they were evidently so accustomed to doing it as often as was possible that they’d forgotten how to stop. Betty thought that, either way, five times in one weekend on a noisy mattress in someone else’s home was pushing it a bit. She made a mental note to look into buying a new bed for the guest room and to do so before inviting any other possibly over-sexually-active couples to stay for the weekend.

She settled down and tried to find the exact place in the confused but pleasant dream that she’d been in and just as she was slipping back into it she was brought abruptly back to her wifely duties by a hand that was searching for a breast to squeeze.

When Jim had been woken up by the cats – his horrendous hangover had made the noise take longer to get through to him – he heard the bedsprings in the next room getting a workout and although he’d had a long and satisfying love session only four or five hours earlier, and therefore getting some more of it for himself right away was far from his mind, that same mind perversely brought up the image of Helen’s lovely body and forced him to visualize her laying there with her legs wide open to welcome the pounding that was going on at that very moment and his penis stiffened immediately and kept on getting harder until its pressure made him whimper with need.

As always, and for all men, that condition brought with it a close to insupportable urge and it forced him to try to get some relief from his wife because she was his wife and she was right there and, in his befuddled state, the restrictions as to access to her didn’t register as having nearly enough import in the face of his primeval need.

He reached a hand over to find a breast, which had always been his way of informing her that he wanted to close with her, and she used her recently acquired method of rejecting an advance of his – which was to pull at his hand and then drop it back on his side of the bed as if it was a prosthetic limb – and then she rebuked him in an urgent whisper.

The consternation that her act of denial awoke in him made him collect his wits in order to concentrate on how to rectify the outrageous rejection and that meant that he was brought back into the real world with its very real limitations. He fought down his primitiveness and when he’d mastered his rage, and some of his urge, he resignedly turned away and he positioned his body so that his erection was offered a little comfort by having the weight of his belly pressing down on it.

Just then Betty’s cat, that was sitting on the window sill, gave up on expecting any more interesting action out on the lawn – as long as it wasn’t happening to her their fourth and fifth couplings weren’t of much consequence nor interest – and it let out a tiny meow to alert her and she looked over in time to see that it was about to jump and clearly not to the floor but directly across to the bed and although she knew that it would, as always, cleverly rearrange it’s landing gear in mid air so as to not land on her legs she obligingly moved her stretched-out leg away to give it more room to touch down easily.

Unfortunately for her, her foot went too far and it touched Jim’s ankle and that signal was all that his still stiff penis needed to reassert its imperial claims and it made him turn and roughly pull her onto her back and then he massively invaded her space by finding her mouth with his own and by grabbing a breast and by bringing his erection front and center until it was laying alongside her inner thigh where he made it nudge at her front and center with zero subtlety.

On his purpose-driven way to finding a haven inside her he’d barely paused to mouth at her nipples and to kiss her breasts and he only kissed her mouth because it was right there as he was fine-tuning his position between her legs.

She recognized his all encompassing affront for what it was – uncontrollable male lust – and so she wisely and resignedly acquiesced. Besides knowing that what was coming was close to being inevitable she also didn’t want to remonstrate when there were guests who would overhear her protests and, given their present state of mind, abhor her for stating them. Also, as always, she was very aware that her unusual physical attributes – viz. flowery inner labia – meant that she could get hurt if she didn’t take charge of the proceedings immediately and so she employed the calming signal that she used to assure him that he wasn’t to worry about whether he’d be allowed access or not but that he had to wait until she’d taken the necessary steps to let it get to happen. The signal was – in their time-honored way in similar but happier circumstances – her reaching a hand down to encompass his penis and hold it out of line as she helped herself to some choice frottage.

They were both still naked, after their unscheduled and semi-intoxicated session the night before, and as he held his hovering-on-hold position it came to her that, unlike outside in the garden, it wasn’t Mother Nature who had taken a hand in the proceedings that was about to give him a second extra-curricular session, it had been her hand maidens – two sisters called Common and Garden Sense – and from that her brain went on to conjecture that maybe Mother Nature’s ultimate goal, and her own, should be given a hand by the self-same ever-competent and ever-ready and ever-redoubtable fore mentioned two ladies-in-waiting.

Having achieved her immediate goal with her right hand she reached down with her left hand to adjust her inner labia to allow for safe-passage and, as she did so, she considered her options.

Jim, as she well knew from long experience, had depleted his supply of semen earlier and would now settle for finding relief for his erection by being allowed to insert it and then get some wallowing time in, rather than wanting to go all out for an ejaculation, and it had been with that objective in his mind that had made him decide against wasting the time necessary to find and then fit on a condom – his decision had been strengthened by alcohol once more but this time it wasn’t through its brain-addling properties it was due to its after affects, which were giving him a brain-deadening hangover – and because of that she found that she was once again directing naked flesh instead of sheathed flesh.

Her brain moved at commendable speed and in the amount of time needed to decide on whether to divert it or introduce it properly she had worked out all of the essential details of a master plan.

When the head of his penis was nudging at her entrance she said, “All right, dear,” although she knew that her advice wasn’t a bit necessary because for him it had been ‘all right, dear’ at the split-second that his target had been acquired and his lower brain had sent that signal to headquarters at the speed of light and the answer that it got back was an order to drive on in and to not stop until pubic bone met pubic bone.

When that order had been carried out he’d accomplished all that he really needed – that is, full immersion into the comfort zone – but that condition wasn’t allowed to last for long because new signals started coming in that said, “Hey, babe, lookee here. I’m talking flesh to flesh, man. No latex, all natural. How do you like them apples, hey? It’s Christmas time, man!” and in response new orders came down which authorized full indulgence and ended, “God speed.”

When he’d found and had settled into his long-term self-indulgent rhythm she knew that she didn’t have to brace herself any more and she relaxed into her acceptance mode knowing that he wouldn’t need her aid until he’d speeded up at which time urgency would flood his entire body and he’d have to change from barely moving into a frenzy of driving action.

One part of his MO had always puzzled her and that was that in the final stages when it seemed to her, for all the world, as if he needed to get it done in the shortest possible time in order to end what he thought of as being agony and that he never learned to identify correctly.  It was evident to her, of course, that it was the rapidly approaching state of ecstasy that all women know about and how to welcome it and embrace it and encourage it to flood their senses rather than stupidly want it to hurry up and get to be over ASAP.

Until she had to concentrate to help him through his crisis she was able to sharpen the details of her plan and when she was satisfied with it she settled into extracting whatever pleasure she could get out of his mighty striving but she didn’t follow Helen’s strategy of urging him on with imprecations because maximum delivery at this time wasn’t a part of her plan in that she’d already determined that she was going to a drugstore later that day to buy some RU 486 pills to ensure that her first child – or any other child of hers, come to that – wasn’t formed from an egg that was most likely contaminated by the alcohol that was in her blood and that had been reached and breached by the one spermatozoon out of millions that was evidently the most alcohol-tolerant one. However, her plan did call for the transfer of his fluids, and the proper reception of same, so she worked her hips for him as if she meant it when the time for that was at hand.

She was dry, from being given zero love play, and so he was continually hurting her a little and that made her complain by groaning and then she remembered about her guests and so she added some cries and grunts and she made them progress into being much louder and stronger than they needed to be – her own bed was a very expensive model that made no sounds – because she wanted Helen to hear and to know that they were sisters in suffering and were having to submit to their brute mates and that soon, although that part was unlikely to get transmitted and recognized, she, Betty, would join her, Helen, in the grandest search of all. She increased the volume even more when it came to her that she also wanted the poor young cat out in the garden to hear her and learn that the forced subjection of females to males’ drives is universal.

Jim finally moved to the last stages and so she braced herself as best she knew to avoid getting bruised unduly and when it got to be the time to lift her ankles up onto his hips – which was the other rule of his, “because it tells me that you want to receive my fluids as much as I want to give them to you” but she obeyed that one only when he was still aware of what was going on outside of his own pleasure zone so that she could keep some vestige of pride and her sense of self worth – she did it and told herself, as he labored mightily for all the world as if he wanted to pound her into little pieces, that in the near future she’d be so good to him that he’d have to think up a never-before-needed signal for use when he’d want to, or had to, convey the message – “I don’t want to do it again right now, thank you, dear.”

After getting injected she felt bad because although all of his animalitos were now under her jurisdiction and were swimming freely in their preferred métier and were carrying out their allotted task, one of them – in her mind it was always “Reggie,” although when it penetrated her egg its name would change to “Reginald,” and when the resulting child, if a son, was born she knew that it would have to be changed to “Charles” because that was the tradition in the Norton family for firstborn males – would find her egg and enter it in triumph but the poor thing couldn’t know, as did she, that its success would be lamentably short lived.

When he rolled off her she knew that he’d go back to sleep in about three seconds so, as an important part of her plan, she reached to switch a light on and then sat up and pushed/pulled him onto his back and then she put a hand onto his flaccid penis and then got his full attention by asking him, in an urgent whisper, where had his condom had gone?

He came fully alert and felt for it and then looked around for it and then he asked her if it was inside her still and when she’d obediently checked and had came up empty his face took on a real look of alarm and he asked her “Can’t you go and do something about it, right this very minute?”

She got up and went into the bathroom and she left the door open so that he could hear everything that went on. She urinated, noisily by positioning her bottom on the seat just so, and then douched several times and after each injection, by the turkey-baster syringe, she forcefully ejected a cascade of water into the bowl.

When she re-joined him she, unnecessarily, told him what she’d done and then accentuated his concern by informing him that her urine had smelled of his ejaculate. “Just like it did all of those years when I was on the pill,” but that he wasn’t to worry over much because “it is highly unlikely that just one inadvertent ejaculation of yours could impregnate me.”

She got him to turn towards her and then she turned away and maneuvered herself until they were in the spoon position again and she still had a smile on her face when she went to sleep and part of it was there because she’d felt from his tenseness that he wasn’t going to get much of it himself for an hour or so.

Both couples slept in until around ten o’clock and when they met up in the living room – and were drawing on coffee for support as they tackled the newspapers – their frequently-fornicating-friends had the bright idea of inviting their hosts to go with them to a restaurant for brunch to show their appreciation for being invited for the weekend.

They took both cars to avoid having to return to the house unnecessarily and they drove to a diner that they all liked and that was in a mall that was close to the entrance to the turnpike.

 When she’d asked her husband to order a Bloody Mary for her, and scrambled eggs and bacon and toast, Betty excused herself by saying that she had to pop into the mini market to buy a few items but she went instead to a drugstore where she bought, and consumed on the spot, the correct first dose of RU 486 pills and then she purchased two pregnancy test kits and asked for a small sealable-plastic-sample bottle.

After their meal, when the check had arrived and Peter had corralled it, she asked Helen to accompany her to the Ladies Room and when they got inside she asked her to please fill the plastic sample bottle with her urine. Helen was understandably puzzled and so Betty had to tell her what her scheme was. She also told her that she needed to practice the technique and so, after Helen had presented her with the three-quarter full container, she put one of the test-sticks into the warm fluid and, after the appropriate wait, sure enough it showed positive, as they both knew that it would.

Betty carefully sealed the little bottle and put it into her handbag and then they both went back to their table.

It was difficult for Betty to seem to be non-conspiratorial with Jim over the next week and especially when he fitted a condom on before mounting her on one of the designated nights after pleading to be allowed to, “get myself – uh, ourselves – some lovely loving.”

On waking up on the Sunday morning she woke him up too and told him that she felt ‘strange’ and then she went into the bathroom and she left the door open again to let him hear her urinate and then she put a new test stick into the container of urine that she’d saved from Helen and soon after that she let out a groan of despair and then took the ‘evidence’ for him to see for himself.

She sat down heavily into a chair that was to one side of the bed and she let her robe fall open as she did so and after a while, seemingly unaware of it due to angst, she moved her shoulders and then held herself so that her left breast hung straight down but her right one leaned away provocatively, just so, and because ‘she hadn’t thought’ to wash and dry herself after urinating, due to that same pseudo despair, her untrimmed pubic hair was thoroughly plastered to her inner thighs – although that didn’t usually happen and wouldn’t have this time if she hadn’t artfully arranged it and had then splashed water on it – and consequently her flowery vulva was in view, in full glorious color, and because of the way she was sitting it was in his direct line of sight and – who could have guessed? – an exhibition of ultimate femininity confronted him and, for a reason that was beginning to form in his brain, that happened to be the number one sight for turning him on at that moment because by then he’d gotten over his surprise, and partly over his disappointment, from learning what the blue stain meant for his future and so he indulged himself with some protracted ogling and, after a while and with rising intent, he said, “Well, so be it. I guess that we’re going to be parents sooner that we hoped. – – – – – Well, can’t be helped I suppose and there’s one thing for sure – our parents will be delighted and, uh, we will be too as soon as the shock has worn off, I guess – – – – – Oh, but listen, Bette, there’s an up side to this isn’t there?”

“Oh, what’s that?” she said despondently and lack-luster-ly as if she couldn’t imagine what he was referring to nor that she was seeing unbridled lust build up in his eyes.

“Those restrictions of yours are no longer operative, right?”

“Which restric – Oh! You mean for every other night and using condoms? Yes, that’s true. Yes, indeed, that’s very true. We can do it as often as we want to again now, and ‘bare back’ as you call it, because your sperms won’t mind that they’re too late and will accept it as being the norm, right? So, that’ll be nice for them and for us, won’t it?

“Well dear, shall I go and get breakfast started or what?”

Her “or what” won out and what followed was a series of ultra satisfying get-togethers that lasted well past lunchtime and each one of which far surpassed in sheer depth all of their previous efforts.

Their amazing session of love making was, as they both knew well, not only because he didn’t have to use condoms anymore but was also due to her extra special efforts to accommodate and please him and, on later analysis when he was lying on his back recovering from a bout that had called for particularly savage over-exertion on his part, it came to her that her previous semi-inhibitions about going all out for him had been there because when she’d been chemically protecting herself by using the pill she’d been playing at lovemaking and when he’d used condoms she’d merely been the one who was providing a tunnel of soft flesh for his pleasure but now that she was in earnest about baby-making the intricate details of her reproductive organs loomed large in her mind while it was going on and she stayed aware that if she did things for him, before and during, that succeeded in making him extra hard and extra big and extra eager to deliver his sperm under extra pressure when he was all the way into her – plus an extra, bruising, eighth of an inch – then their entry into her uterus would, very likely, be aided tremendously.

That afternoon he couldn’t do much except read and rest and when he’d finished with the newspapers he spread out maps on the dining room table and began to set up an itinerary with the new circumstances in mind and he decided to postpone seeing the west coast and the interior of the USA until they could do it as a family and he worked on a tour that would cover South America – Angel Falls and the Galapagos and Machu Pichu and Impanema Beach and the must-see capital cities – and another one that would deal with Central America and the Caribbean and he hoped that they’d be able to fit all of them in before the airlines rules wouldn’t allow her to book a seat anymore.

Betty rested upstairs with her legs elevated on pillows and, although battered and bruised and sore, she gamely held herself ready for more action if and when he chose to come for it and in the meantime she did a whole lot of planning about special meals to help his libido and stamina. She’d never forget what eating the best part of the dozen oysters that his brother had asked the night manager of their honeymoon hotel to send to their room – a follow-up to his other schoolboy antics that had included the tying of tin cans to their car bumper and putting a tube of K-jelly in the pocket of Jim’s tuxedo – had done for him all through that night in bed. She also did a whole lot of praying because of what might not come to pass in spite of her conniving efforts. She knew that while many things can be made to happen many of them can abort too but she didn’t dare try to relate that fact to her deception about conception and deceiving him about conceiving.

Her natural bent towards procrastination kicked in and that, combined with her built in caution, made her decide to not use another test-stick because she felt that she just wasn’t ready for disappointment right then and she also feared that the anxiety that would build up as she waited for a positive or negative result to show on it could well dislodge the fetus, if any, so she decided to wait for Nature, via the red-tagged days on her calendar, to come along but on the due dates she couldn’t bring herself to dab at herself nor to look into the toilet bowl because she figured that it might jinx everything and so she decided to wait until her belly swelled and when it did she faked going to a Gynecologist even when the whole lot of kicking that was going on inside her tried to persuade her that the growth in her belly couldn’t possibly be due to a phantom pregnancy. Even when her waters broke she wasn’t one hundred per cent sure and she remained that way until her eight-pound daughter was put into her arms.

She found that her love for her baby was all encompassing but she’d had to go through such excruciating pain for such a long drawn-out time to deliver her that she knew that she couldn’t possibly suffer through that again. When she’d stated that, emphatically, in the hospital recovery room the doctor and the nurses had all sniggered – even though they all agreed that hers had been one of the longest labors and the toughest deliveries that they’d ever had to deal with – and one of them explained that every new mother said that and that they’d reserve a bed for her for a couple of years down the road.

It was an argument that she couldn’t win so she wisely left it there as she grimly assured herself that she’d already done her part to make her country grow.

A couple of months later found her completely exhausted and bedraggled from not having had even one uninterrupted night of sleep since she’d brought the baby home and the only way that she could get through every day was by trying to switch her brain off and relegating herself to a life of existing solely to service her demanding child but, even so, when the baby did go to sleep she still had to go and check that she was all right every twenty minutes or so.

She couldn’t so much as let her husband touch her no matter about letting him have sex and that didn’t make for a good relationship at all. They communicated mainly with grunts and when her mother, who had come clear across country to see her new granddaughter, asked about their obviously strained relationship she told her, tearfully, what the main problem was and her mother made her come to her senses by warning her that her behavior was unacceptable and foolish in that he was a man wasn’t he and, like all men regrettably, he had to get relief regularly if there was to be any chance at all of her having a happy home. She also told her that it was dangerous to let a man leave home every morning and go out into a world that is full of pretty women while subject to the yearnings that millions of spermatozoa were sending to his brain about wanting to be released from their prison in his over-full and ever-aching testicles.

On the night of the day that her mother went back home Betty went to bed at her usual time, after feeding the baby and after putting her to sleep in her cot, and she did not put a pillow at her side to keep her husband away, as had been the norm ever since they’d brought the baby home.

When he came into the room an hour or so later he saw that the pillow wasn’t there and he let out a huge sigh of relief and he undressed in record time. He reached for her as soon as he’d joined her in bed.

She held him off and hurriedly set the rules and restrictions that she wanted him to follow – that she insisted on him following.

He sheepishly agreed to her terms and was grateful for the concession because he realized very well that the colicky baby was his daughter too and that his wife’s unhappiness with her lot stemmed directly from having to feed her every couple of hours and to care for her night and day. By then he’d already conceded that if he wanted to have a boy child in his family it would have to be via adoption.

From that night on their procedure was that whenever he got into bed next to her and was desperate to find relief, and couldn’t possibly wait much longer to find it, he’d reach for her hand, hoping every time that that was the night that she’d use it to bring his hand to her center to signify that the difficult times were over and that he could mount her normally and then lose himself inside her, but that blessed state of affairs wasn’t allowed to happen for months more because until then she’d seriously doubted if her lower birth canal would ever revert to being a love canal again.

In the interim she’d pin his hand on the mattress and then, being very aware of the warning that her mother had given her, she’d say, “All right dear, if you have to I understand. Uh, do you want hand, mouth or anal this time?”

After a couple of weeks of their new arrangement she knew that her list of options could be dropped to just two because he never chose her hand because he could do that for himself and had had to do so far too often of late. Besides which, she was hopeless at adjusting her rhythm appropriately.

If he chose ‘anal’ she’d be relieved because that method caused the fewest problems for her weary and aching body.

If he opted for ‘mouth’ she’d make a one-eighty degree turn, when he’d pulled the bedcovers away, and she’d take a pillow down there with her to be able to position her head correctly and comfortably.

One morning, when she was nursing the baby in the rocking chair in the living room, her cat stalked into the room and jumped up onto her lap, looking for extra warmth and to get its throat and its head scratched, and when it saw that its space had been usurped yet again by the noisy, pale skinned, miniature human it let out a grumbling miaow and then jumped down and sat on the carpet facing away from her.

“D’you want to know something, Moana?” Betty asked. “For the longest time I envied cats for being able to separate in their minds the act of mating away from the act of giving birth. It seemed to me to be a better way to organize the females of the species’ lives, you know? Correct priorities and all that? They can say to the male, ‘All right then, I’m feeling horny so do you want to have some lovely sex now? Yes? Well let’s get on with it. – – – – Ooooh! – – – – There. – – – – Ready again? – – – – Ooooh! – – – – There. – – – – Ready again? – – – – Oooooh! – – – – There. – – – – Want some more? No? Well, that was super, thank you very much. Now go away.’ And then, a few months later, they can tell themselves, ‘Well, I do believe that I’ll force out a few darling kittens – – – – Uh! – – – – Uh! – – – – Uh! – – – -There. Aren’t they the cutest things you’ve ever seen?’

“Well, that was back then but when I think now of having to have a baby every year for twenty odd years I’m positive sure that our birth control methods are a blessing from the angels and are far superior to yours which, as far I know, still calls for the use of two buckets.”

When she felt better and could contemplate being penetrated normally again she did so – seldom had the act been allowed to proceed so fearfully by a woman who wasn’t a virgin – but that was entirely due to her physical apprehension and not to her worrying about getting impregnated again because she was still adamant about not giving her daughter any siblings, ever. At least not from out of her loins. She really meant it and to that end she’d not only gone back on the Pill but every time that his penis was allowed to penetrate her it found that a diaphragm and a squirt of spermicidal jelly were already inside her to welcome it and to deal with its deposit. Her concern for the welfare of his myriads of seeds never left her but that was then and this was now and she had far too much going on in her life to let it bother her overmuch anymore although she still kept it in mind.

One day, she read an article on vasectomy in a magazine and when she got to fully understand the mechanics involved she realized that the operation was exactly right for her needs in that not only would it offer positive, foolproof contraception for the rest of her life but also all of those wiggling little animalitoes would never leave her husband’s body.

She worked hard to sell the operation to him and her main, and successful, inducement was that because she’d be guilt free she’d lose all of her inhibitions again and, “you remember when I was first pregnant and we did it morning, noon and night and I did all of the things that you like best? Well, when you get a vasectomy that’s how it will be always and not only will spontaneity be the norm but, seeing that my chances of getting pregnant will be about equal to yours, the search for pleasure will be about equal too and knowing that will make us experiment with ways to make the other one’s pleasure get to be ever greater. D’you see? We can’t lose!”

The clinic had told them that it would need a sample of Jim’s ejaculated fluids two days after the operation and when that time arrived they decided to approach the method of extraction clinically but humanely.

They’d been advised that the best way for him to obtain an uncontaminated sample was by masturbating into a cup but she rejected that as being too one sided and too cold and she told him that she’d help him in any way he wanted. He was grateful because that meant that he was free to think up a method that would let him use her body – albeit in a cold, slightly pseudo-masturbatory way – and still ensure that he’d have the mobility that he’d need to transfer his fluids into the cup expeditiously.

 They went up to their bedroom and both cleared their loins for action, as it were, and when she’d coaxed him into getting a full erection – not a difficult task at all because of the forced détente but he was, understandably, apprehensive – Betty followed his instructions and sat on the side of their bed and then leaned back and opened her legs wide.

She guided him in using only two fingers of both hands and then she let go and the next part of the plan was that from then on the only contact between them was to be his penis.

The transfer went smoothly and when the cup had been safely sealed they sat on the bed next to each other and they held hands and stayed silent as they both tried to appraise what had happened and they both knew that it had strengthened their relationship.

 The next afternoon the clinic called with results and she was home to answer the phone. She was told that the sample of Jim’s semen showed that he was now totally sterile and she passed the information on to him at his office but she modified it to, “The operation was 100% successful,” to avoid using the harsh phrase that was open to possible misinterpretation.

 When they went to bed together that night she opened herself up and welcomed him like she never had before. The reason for that wasn’t because her love for him had changed in some way, she knew that that would never happen, but because she found that she was, magically and for the first time in her life, no longer overly concerned about the unfair gender aspect of relationships between all men and all women – that is: the woman being always the one who was penetrated and injected – now that she knew for certain that none of her remaining eggs could be penetrated and injected. In fact, and more astonishing still to her, she was actually happy with her unchangeable role because otherwise how could she keep her beloved Jim interested in what she could bring to the table?

 Also, and besides that, in the afternoon, after she’d fed the baby with mush and white rice, they’d both fallen asleep in the rocking chair and when she, Betty, had woken up an hour or so later she found that a wondrous idea had formed in her brain and that its base was there, right in the front of it, ready for detailing.

 She had no doubt at all that the idea had come to her in response to the splendid news from the clinic that had told her that she’d never again have to worry about getting pregnant nor about having to continuously aid and abet the thwarting of billions of spermatozoa– it didn’t bare thinking about. Billions of them! One man could effortlessly populate an entire planet. What had God been thinking?

Her idea pertained to the void that she felt open up in her center every evening after dinner. It would open up sometime between then and around eleven o’clock because she knew that at eleven forty five, or so, Leno’s monologue would end and it would then be time to go upstairs with Jim.

Ever since she’d gone back on the pill he knew that he could ‘go bareback’ again and consequently his libido had come back in full force and that meant that he wanted to do it every night, and two or three times on Saturdays and Sundays and holidays, and because of having to do it so regularly she’d become accustomed to the regime herself and, consequently, her body started looking forward to the action not long before it was due to start and would pass the signal on and, ipso facto, it would trigger the opening of her void and the need and the ache that that brought to the fore was both welcome and impossible to ignore.

The revelatory part of her idea was: Why not try to use that void advantageously by finding a way to relocate her various fears and phobias and irrationalities into it and thus eliminate them all when Jim filled it up both physically and metaphorically?

 The biggest one of those was, without dispute, fear for her baby’s survival in a cruel world where infection lurks every which way – even, and especially unfairly, in her doctors’ offices! – and where sharp objects abound and accidents loom and wait to happen.

She tried to send that specific fear down and into her void immediately after she’d dealt with the dinner dishes but was brought up short when she found that she couldn’t locate it! She was forced to put the experiment on hold until Jim’s kisses and touches had made its presence evident again later on that night.

 When, at last, they were sitting side by side on the sofa and the eleven o’clock news was on she kept looking at the screen but she didn’t absorb any of the news because she was on tenterhooks to herald the arrival of the familiar feeling and because of that it stayed away, logically and not a bit perversely although that’s what she thought, and so, at eleven fifteen to help it along, she took up her husband’s hand and she slid it under her dress and then helped it to move up, which perturbed him but not enough to make him want his hand back, and, sure enough, when its index finger touched her panties the void reappeared in her core as achingly demanding as ever.

She had to do some clever managing to stop Jim’s hand from going exploring which, if allowed to succeed, would, undoubtedly, have occasioned an early climb up the stairs for both of them and that would have meant the end of her experiment before it had begun and so she pulled his hand away and maneuvered it into her blouse until one of her breasts was sitting nicely in its palm – which was more than all right with him because he liked holding the sweetest flesh known to man while being allowed to stick to their established routine – and then she closed her eyes and concentrated on finding a way to transfer the irrational part of her fear for the safety of her baby to her gaping void.

Of course it was all new to her – indeed it was new to the entire world as far as she knew and because of that there was nowhere to go for advice – and so she concentrated on isolating that particularly debilitating element in her psyche and made it coalesce and become manageable and then she forced it to exit her brain and move down her body but when it got to her belly she found that she didn’t know what to do next because she figured that, for her plan to succeed, it would have to be made to enter her void from outside her body and to do that it would have to take on a physical presence. She willed that to happen and then she forced the resulting entity out of her navel and then got it to crawl down her belly and sidle through her short, dark and curly pubic hairs and then slip between her vulva and, once done, it had no trouble at all with finding her vagina. She put a stop sign at the entrance to her urethra and then she realized that, seeing that she was dealing with a void, it would naturally draw in everything and anything that was in the offing so she had to quickly put another stop sign at the entrance to her uterus.

She then closed her legs tightly and waited to see what, if anything, happened next.

Nothing happened as far as she could tell so she maintained the status quo for a few minutes and then, because she still had time, she got to work on identifying and isolating and then transporting the next undesirable trait that was on her list which was common or garden ‘angst.’

By the time that she’d succeeded with that – and then with two other similarly detrimental aspects of her make up, viz. ‘melancholy’ and ‘sadness’ – Leno’s monologue was ending and when the station went to commercials Jim switched the TV off and they both went upstairs. He went in to the bathroom to clean his teeth and she got undressed and into bed and she waited, with her legs still pressed firmly together, for him to join her and as she did so she worried about whether or not he’d notice that there was something unusual cowering inside her but she was forced to risk it.

When he was hovering above her she regretted having to give up, this time, on the nice frottage that she usually rewarded herself with, to help prepare for the coming onslaught, because she had to be sure that his – uh – his plug was in place before opening her legs, and herself, for him.

When it got to be all the way in he paused and she prayed that it was only to let him appreciate the singular moment, as was his usual practice, and that proved to be true because he soon began reaching and delving again and she knew, from that, that he’d felt nothing untoward in there.

When he’d progressed enough to begin to single-mindedly pound away at her she found that she was getting a good deal more pleasure out of it than usual because she was very aware that by driving into her savagely he was thoroughly pulverizing her ‘now alien presences.’

She knew that his fluids were acidic and when he’d flooded her with them – she still had a stop sign in place which denied further progress to those too – she kept him in place, by pulling at his hips, to give them enough time to get to work on the fragments.

She waited until he’d rolled off her, and had gone fast sleep a few seconds later, and then she eased out of the bed and she capped herself with one hand and then she sidled sideways into the bathroom where she douched herself thoroughly several times and, afterwards, she was careful to not look down into the toilet bowl before closing the seat cover and flushing away whatever was in there.

When she came out she automatically went to the baby’s room and when she was approaching the crib she was delighted to realize that she was doing so only because she wanted to look at her darling daughter and not to check that she was still breathing.

When she went back to bed she saw that Jim, still in the middle of the bed, had turned towards his own side and so she went around there and slipped into the remaining space and she wiggled her bottom backwards until they were in the spoon position. He automatically, without waking up, put his arm around her and she relocated his hand so that she could comfortably fill it with her lower breast and she planned to stay awake long enough to identify and target several more unseemly aspects of her make-up for destruction in the same way on the following night.

She particularly wanted to ponder on whether ‘anguish’ had been contained in the ‘angst’ that she’d already dealt with but that question answered itself when ‘contentment’ overwhelmed her and she would have started purring if that had been possible.

She only had time to form the phrase, ‘best of all possible worlds,’ in her mind before sleep came and replaced her thoughts with dreams – although, it would seem, uselessly after what had happened to her a little earlier.