All Mixed UpbyRedHairedandFriendly©
Author's Note: The following is a story that starts out with incestuous undertones and a scene that is thwarted by an unlikely source. Also there is heterosexual intercourse that some would say places this story in the "Loving Wife" category as well as the Non-consent/Reluctance. I struggled with where to place it. Incest/Taboo -- Loving Wife -- Non-con/Reluc., in the end I submitted it under Non-erotic, because the story has a lot of emotional context that gives life to the characters. I also asked the "powers that be" from Lit. to choose where they want the story instead of allowing the "computerized system" to place it. Wherever the story is found and however you have stumbled across it, I do hope you take the time to leave me your opinion and to vote. ~ Red
Steve stared at his shoes. They were caked with mud and broken blades of grass. His eyes were red and his heart heavy as he held his daughter Jamie's hand. It shook as the Minister gave a final closing message. Steve looked up and watched the clergyman sprinkle dirt onto his son-in-law's casket. His daughter sobbed softly; he pulled her close to him and held her as she cried. For the millionth time he wished that her mother were here to hold her. Steve was not good with emotions. He had closed off that side of himself three years ago when he buried his wife, Jamie's mom, Patricia -- Patches for short. A nickname he'd given her when they were in grade school, because she was forever showing up to school with new blocks of material covering up a new tare or hole in her clothes.
Jamie pulled her hand free of his tender grip; he watched her take the small bible the Minister had read from. It had been Freddy's. He had carried it with him during his time in the military and often pulled it out whenever he sought guidance from the Lord. Freddy was a religious man, Steve was not. He believed in God, but he didn't truly speak to him, not when he was married to Patches and certainly not after her death. Steve knew that when his time on Earth was done, he would find himself either standing at the gates, or embracing the fiery pits of Hell.
The service concluded and he and his daughter rose from their graveside chairs. He kept his palm at the small of her back, supporting her diminutive stature. She was certainly her mother's daughter. Patches had been a small woman too, and as she grew more and more sick from the cancer she seemed to shrink before his eyes. Patches death had been expected and they had had time to prepare. It had still been hard, but Freddy's death - it had been sudden. After witnessing a car accident, he had gotten out of his car to give aid at the scene. Another vehicle rounded the corner at a high rate of speed, and struck Freddy. The injuries left him unconscious and later he was pronounced dead at the hospital. Jamie had been with him. They had just come back from their first ultrasound.
He stared down at her brown curls and prayed to the God he never spoke to. She looked so lost and broken. He wanted her to bounce back before it was too late for her and the child she carried. He knew her emotions were playing havoc with her body and the first trimester was always the riskiest.
"Hey man, I'm really sorry."
Steve felt a strong grip on his shoulder. He turned to face his closest friend, Walter. He released Jamie and shook the other man's hand, before pulling him in for a hug. Walter and Steve had attended school together, along with Walter's wife, Susan. Susan and Patches hadn't really cared for each other and they were often seen arguing, but for the most part they were able to put their differences aside and co-exists, for their husbands' sakes. Susan moved around them and offered Jamie a warm embrace. The four parted and Walter hugged Jamie. Eventually the small crowd of friends and family dispersed, leaving Steve, Jamie, Walter and Susan.
"Steve, if you and Jamie want to come up to the house, I have lunch ready and there is plenty for the two of you," Susan offered.
"Thanks Susan, that sounds like a good idea, but I put some roast in the crock-pot early this morning. It should be ready by the time we get back to the house and get settled," Steve said, as he urged Jamie away from the casket. In the distance he saw the funeral director and the men who would finish the tasks set before them. "I do have one thing to ask, I don't know why I didn't think about it before, probably because with Patches' service Jamie took care of the small things and well," he took a deep breath, "I forgot about the flowers and gifts. Do you two mind gathering them up, the ones that come home with us, the others -- well you know what I mean, the funeral director will take care of those."
Susan reached out and touched Steve's arm. He felt the comforting squeeze and knew she would take care of everything, much like she had in regards to arranging Freddy's service for Jamie. Steve thanked them both and took his daughter back to his truck. He opened the door and helped her inside. His gaze traveled over her stomach. There was no evidence of his grandchild growing deep in her womb, but he had seen the picture -- if one could call it that. There was a little Jamie, or a little Freddy looking forward to life and he would do all he had to make Jamie return to her jovial self.
"Ready sweetheart?" he asked. He buckled her in and closed the door as she stared silently at her husband's grave. Steve looked back and saw Walter and Susan moving with the funeral director around the various flowers and tokens of condolences.
"I'm ready, dad."
He took a deep breath and walked around the car. The hot summer sun beat down on the interior of the car and he found himself thankful for the sudden breeze that shot through the open windows. He climbed in behind the wheel, shut his door and buckled his safety-belt. The drive back to the house would be short; he and Patches had bought two-hundred acres of farm land shortly after they got married, a loan from his father had made it possible.
The church they both attended as kids and later were wedded in rose up to greet him. He thought of Freddy's service. It had been held there before the graveside ceremony. It had been full, packed to the brim with folks that knew not only him and Patches, but his daughter and her young army husband. A flag had been presented to Jamie, he knew his daughter had handed it over to a friend while she took the bible. Walter would see to it and Jamie would have the honor of one day giving it to her and Freddy's child.
"I don't know what I'm gonna do, dad."
His lips pulled into his mouth and he sucked on them before taking a deep breath and trusting his voice. "You're going to bounce back. This is hard Jamie, but you're not living for yourself any more and you're not living for Freddy. Right now you need to focus on that baby and I know you've not been eating right, or sleeping right -- and before you say I don't understand, you know I do. But you can't keep pushing your food around and telling me you're not hungry."
The driveway appeared; Steve turned the truck into it. The tires gripped the gravel and they bounced gently along the worn path of dirt and stone until they reached the main house. It was a simple farm house. Two stories with a basement and an attic. It was white, the paint chipped and faded in some places, like new in others. The windows were new; he had finally given in to the reality that heating his home was costing more than he was happy to spend, so last year he had paid an arm and a leg to have them all replaced. His garage was more like a work shop and if he could pull his truck into it, it would never come out because it would get lost in all the junk.
He shut the engine off and unbuckled as did Jamie. "Come back home, baby girl. There's plenty of room for you and the little one. If you want your own place you can have that little house down by the lake. It's not much, but I can get it ready for you and little Fred before he gets here."
"Little Fred? What about little Jamie?" his daughter asked with a soft smile on her lips.
Steve smirked. "Nah, don't need another female around between you and Susan, that's all the women I can handle. So a little Fred is brewing in there, I just know it."
Jamie laughed softly, pressed her hand to her stomach and sighed. "I don't know Dad. A boy might grow up and look just like him, and I don't know if I could handle that."
He reached out and stroked his daughter's hair. "You're a strong woman. You can handle anything and your child, boy or girl will always remind you of Freddy, just like you remind me of your mom."
She lifted her gaze and smiled.
"Yep, your mom's looking right at me," Steve told her before he exited the truck and made it over to her side, which he helped her out of. "Come on, let's get some of that roast in our bellies before Walter and Susan show up. Walter will still be hungry even if Susan made enough food to feed half of Giles County."
"I'm glad you didn't take her up on the offer dad. I really am not prepared to listen to her comments regarding mom and how Susan taught her everything she knew about how to be a proper wife."
Steve heard the annoyance in his daughter's voice. "You're mom put up with a lot from that woman for the sake of my friendship with Walter. But taking lessons from Susan -- no it was the other way around. Susan -- well I don't know why Walter saddled himself with her, but he did. Your momma, she was everything Susan wasn't."
"Maybe that's why Walter was around so much when I was growing up. He was hoping mom would wear off on Susan," Jamie laughed softly.
"You're probably right!" Steve added.
The two of them made their way to the house where they were greeted with the aroma of a crock-pot meal.
~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~
Jamie stared down at her swollen belly. She was now in her second trimester and her stomach showed the first real signs of motherhood. During the first three months she had fought bouts of depression and anxiety. Her weight had not increased by much and had caused both her father and her doctor concern. It wasn't until she found herself on the bathroom floor that she realized she had to get her act together. She had passed out and had been lucky enough to wake up before anyone found her. When she had, she called her doctor, made an appointment and swore to follow everything he told her to without question.
At five months along it was obvious that her decision had made a definite improvement on her and her unborn child's health. She pulled on a sweater and a long skirt. Her bra was tight and she promised herself that a quick trip into town would be necessary before the end of the week. Her breasts were growing and her back was having a hard time supporting them with the delicate lingerie she'd worn for Freddy's enjoyment. It was time to be practical, not sexy.
The sound of two men laughing and a woman giggling came up the stairwell. Jamie rolled her eyes as she recognized Susan's voice. Her stomach twisted in knots. She didn't like Susan. Even as a child she hadn't found the woman enjoyable, and now as an adult she was forced to be polite for her father's sake. She brushed her hair, slipped on a pair of pumps and decided she would head into town today instead of waiting. Anything was better than hanging out with Susan and her cackling laughter.
Jamie left her room, walked downstairs and greeted her father and his friends. She kissed his cheek, wiped away her lipstick and offered Walter the same familiar greeting. When Susan opened her arms for a hug and a kiss, Jamie stepped forward to offer it, then covered her mouth. "Excuse me," she said and quickly darted away; her steps carried her to the downstairs bathroom.
She heard Susan say, "Morning sickness still?"
Jamie closed the door and sat on the toilet seat. "More like Susan sickness," she muttered to herself. She wasn't sick, but she certainly didn't want to kiss the woman. Walter was her dad's best-friend and so he was like her Uncle. She knew by all rights that made Susan her "adoptive" aunt, but she didn't have to treat her like a real one. She was twenty-two for God's sake, she didn't have to touch people she didn't want to touch.
After a few minutes Jamie opened the door and headed back to the room. Her father stood there with his arms crossed. "Feel better?" he asked.
She saw the look in his eyes and the questioning smirk. "Yeah, where'd they go?"
"They went home." Upon seeing her smile and her shoulders relaxed, "but we're meeting them for dinner at Gridiron."
Jamie's body slumped. "Aw dad. Really? Why?"
His laughter filled the room. "Because she invited us and as much as we don't like her, she's my friend's wife and well, I don't want to cook tonight."
"Hell, I can cook," Jamie said. "I'll cook a year's supply of food if it means not sitting across from Susan and having to listen to her chatter non-stop about the right baby formula to use and what diapers are best for the baby. You'd think that being as old as she is, she'd want me to breast feed, not bottle feed."
"She's not that old. She's as old as your mother would have been -- forty and I'm forty-three are you saying I'm old too?"
Jamie smiled, hooked her arm through her dad's and kissed his cheek. "You're the new twenty," she said. "Susan's just so strange dad. Walter needs to kick her to the curb and find a real woman."
"What are your plans?" Steve asked, changing the subject.
"Well, I was going to head into town to do some shopping. I guess I can wait till the weekend."
"We can go now, if you want. I'll tag along and after you're done we can meet up at the Gridiron," her father said.
"I guess, though maybe my morning sickness will come back and..."
"Jamie Ann, you were not sick, so don't be trying to pull that shit with me. Little Fred hasn't made you sick one time, has he?" Steve asked.
"Not really," she whispered, mindful of how little her father knew of those first few months. "Shopping and dinner it is. But I have to do 'girl shopping' dad. You know -- special shopping."
Steve chuckled. "I'm sure I can find something else to do while you do your 'special shopping'."
They left the house, each one consumed by their own thoughts. The day progressed rather swiftly. Jamie found spending time outside of the house with her dad was just what she needed. He was honest when she asked his opinion on clothes and when she had to disappear into the lingerie department, true to his word he was later found in the tool section of the mega-store. She welcomed his aid in carrying her packages to the truck and noticed that he didn't seem to mind carting her over to stores that provided her with shoes and accessories. "Okay, how much time do we have left before we meet up with Walter and Susan," she asked as she buckled herself up.
"Another hour, but that's all the time we need. We've got one more stop to make," Steve told her.
"Oh?" Jamie asked.
"Yeah, I want to do some baby shopping."
Jamie squealed and clapped her hands in delight. "I'm so excited daddy! Soon this little person will be kicking up a storm and..." She stopped speaking and stared at her stomach.
"What?" her father asked, as he slowed the vehicle to a crawl.
"Speak of the devil, she just did it. She just kicked me. It was soft, almost would have missed it if it wasn't for the belt rubbing me the wrong way, but she did it. She kicked and...oh dad, Freddy's not gonna see her." Jamie's hands moved to cover her face.
She cried into them as her father pulled off the road and into a parking lot. He unbuckled, slid over and released her belt. Jamie crawled into his lap and curled herself against him. She felt her father move and twist himself so he could better hold her. Her hand curled around his neck and she buried her the crook of it. She wept openly and hard for the loss of her husband and father to her child. Steve said nothing and she was grateful for it. Jamie had tried hard to not cry these last few months, telling herself that the emotions were too raw and would only cause harm to her child, but there were times, times like these -- new experiences that she had to share alone.
Her father's hand stroked her hair. She heard his voice whisper to her that it would all be okay. In her gut she knew it would be. He had offered to let her move back in, she had readily accepted it. He had allowed her to take over the duties that he'd neglected. The home lacked a woman's touch, though she knew Susan had certainly tried remedy that. She even suspected Walter's wife of wanting to sleep with her father. The idea disgusted her, and was just another reason she didn't like the other woman.
When her sobs softened and her tears dried, she looked at her father. He stared back and kissed her forehead. "Even when you cry you're like your mother," he confided.
"You miss her a lot don't you daddy?" Jamie saw the answer in his eyes. She hugged him tight and scooted off his lap. He reclaimed his place behind the wheel, and she opted to sit next to him in the middle of the seat. After they were both once again buckled, Steve pulled back onto the road. "I miss her too," she whispered.
"I know. I know you miss Freddy too, and whenever you want to talk to me about him, you can. I know what you're going through -- at least some of it. We had time to prepare for your mom's passing -- but the pain is still raw. Sometimes when I look at you I see her and it is like she's still with us. I think you'll understand after Little Fred is born."
Jamie rolled her eyes. "Or Little Jamie."
"Walter and I are bettin' on a Fred, but honestly, it won't matter."
"I know, dad," she rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. "Do you mind just driving to the restaurant. We can wait inside for Walter and Susan. I don't want to baby shop right now."
"I don't mind at all. In fact, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to take care of the furnishings myself. I saw those magazines you've been looking at and I know I could easily afford the pieces you've got marked with big smiley faces."
She grinned and agreed to let him handle the more costly end of preparing the nursery. In truth she was glad he'd suggested it. She had her own funds, as well as the money from Freddy's life insurance, but that money she wanted to keep for a later date. Jamie understood that her situation was temporary with her father. He may want her there now, but eventually he would move on with his life. He had said so himself, he was only forty-three and as much as it might pain her to admit it, he needed a woman in his life. At least one that would keep Susan's claws out of him and Jamie couldn't stay with him forever, she too would have to move on.
~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~
Walter and Susan arrived on schedule; Steve took note of the way the other woman gazed upon his daughter. He had seen signs of jealousy before, but now as she took in the glow from Jamie's pregnancy and the way other men tried to catch Jamie's eye, he couldn't help but feel the hostility rolling from Susan. Nothing had changed. The disdain Susan had felt for Patches was now shown to his daughter. Steven welcomed the couple and ordered Walter a beer, for Susan he ordered a glass of wine and Jamie's orange juice was topped off.
The conversation started out light. Walter shared with him the politics one deals with when serving on the police force and he shared with Walter the cost of grain being on the rise. Susan tried to gain his attention by lewdly pressing herself against Walter's arm, which caused her breasts to mash together. He shifted in his seat as he tried to not notice his friend's wife.
His eyes spared a quick glance toward Jamie. He saw her staring at Susan and knew that she was very much aware of what the other woman was doing. Their meals arrived and Susan was forced to occupy her line of vision with Jamie's. Walter seemed to relax once his wife was no longer clinging to him. Steve found himself curious as to his friend's marriage. Issues like marriage weren't discussed between them very often. Usually their conversations were crypt and emotionless. When Patches was sick he had broken down countless times in front of Walter, but after her death he had returned to the normalcy of two men bonding over beer, but not discussing romance or desire. It was apparent that Walter's love for Susan was not as deep as Steve's love had been for Patches.