Note to the reader: I wanted to write a realistic, romantic mother/son incest story with a strictly PG-13 rating. I'm happy with the results but readers not interested in a story without an explicit sex scene might want to avoid this one and move on to the next offering. I just wanted to be upfront about it and save readers grief.
It started the day Rachel Fleming almost blinded herself with drain cleaner. This was just after Michael's 18trh birthday, a Saturday afternoon, and he happened to be in the kitchen only by chance. A minute earlier or later, and Rachel would have suffered serious chemical burns, if not been disfigured. She was a klutz, almost painfully uncoordinated, and Michael had spent a good deal of his teenage years watching out for her. Especially over the last 14 months when there was nobody to perform that chore but him, and to a lesser degree, his 9 year old sister, Effie. Rachel was legally separated, pending a divorce.
"Be careful of that," Michael cautioned. Taking a break from lawn mowing and edge trimming, he was standing at the refrigerator contemplating a can of Coke or a glass of Mom's homemade lemonade. He disliked anything dangerous as Liquid Drano anywhere near his mother's grasp, or within spill range. "Why not let me do that," he scolded. "I didn't even know the drain was running slow. Which one is it?"
She hesitated, looking uncertainly into the side with the disposal and then at Michael, and then at the instructions on back.
Great, he thought caustically, about to pour acid down the drain and you haven't even read the directions. He tightened when she placed the open bottle at the edge of the counter and squat to look at the disposer, as if that would tell her anything. He'd just started forward, saying, "Mom, what are you looking for?" when she raised her head and banged it sharply on the opening, yelping and grabbing her head with one hand and the open door with the other. It was just enough vibration to upset the bottle and send it toppling over. "Mom!" he shouted, too late.
Two things happened: Rachel instinctively reached up and hunkered down, her head tilting forward reflexively. One act threatened to cause her terrible injury where the other probably saved her eyesight. Had the bottle simply fallen it would have been far less dangerous a situation. But Rachel's up thrust hand caught the bottle and instead of falling and hitting her back, the bottle lay on its side, gurgling the bulk of its contents onto the back of her head before Michael arrived and batted it into the sink. Rachel was screaming by then, on the verge of panic.
Michael slapped up the faucet and grabbed the sprayer and yanked it out to the full extent of the braided steel hose and forced Rachel's head back, shouting at her: "Eyes shut, Mom! Keep your eyes shut! Squeeze them as tight as you can!" He triggered the sprayer and blasted the Drano seeping onto her forehead back into her hair. "Keep your eyes closed!" he commanded, grabbing the bottle of Palmolive liquid and squirting a stream across her forehead.
"Scrub your face," he ordered. "Keep your head back while I get this out of your hair." Caring less about his hand, he concentrated the spray on her scalp and ran his fingers through her hair, forcing the Drano out and down her back. He realized what was happening even as she began to squirm from the chemical burning her skin. She was turned away from him and Michael instinctively reached down and grabbed the front of her shirt, spraying water sidewise across the kitchen. Apologizing, he ripped it open and yanked it back over her shoulders, buttons ricocheting off the front of the cabinet and out across the floor.
"Michael!" she cried in panic.
"Sorry, but you got to get out of this shirt!" He wrenched it down her arms, and flung it away and then sprayed her back and shoulders and then squirted detergent from one side to the other and worked it across her already reddening skin with his bare hand. He directed the spray into her hair sideways, making it run down her front rather than down her injured back. He made sure plenty of water followed the Drano and diluted it into near harmlessness. But he had another worry.
"You gotta get out of your jeans, Mom!"
Her jeans were sodden and Michael knew exactly what Drano soaked into the material would do to her down there. Squirting the rest of the Palmolive onto her hair, he hit it with the spray and then lathered it until her hair turned white with bubbles. Then he ran his hand down under her bra strap and side to side while directing the spray against her back. He could see where the straps had concentrated the liquid and burned welts into her skin. He ran his hand far enough around both sides to encounter her breasts. She reacted as any mother would.
"Sorry!" he exclaimed, laughing despite the circumstances. "I wasn't copping a feel, I swear I wasn't. Stand up. Get those jeans off." He directed the spray across her chest and down across her stomach. She was experiencing this entire thing blind, her face covered with bubbles. It took a moment, but she got the button unhooked and the zipper down and worked the jeans off her hips and down her thighs while Michael followed her progress with the sprayer. The important thing was to keep as much water flowing over her as possible. She would not like what he planned to do next.
"Turn around," he told her.
"Why?" She was scared and utterly helpless.
"You have to take off your panties, Mom."
"What?" she cried.
"I swear to you, Mom, your modesty is less important right now that what might be happening to you down there. Please don't make this worse than it already is."
Frustrated and humiliated, she turned and squirmed out of her panties and let them dropped into her jeans, bunched around her ankles.
"I suppose my bra's next?" she spat angrily.
Michael laughed mirthlessly. "Please. You know I'm not doing this to embarrass you." He kept his eyes on the back of her head and sprayed water down her front and backside blindly.
"The floor," she moaned. "Oh, my God. This is such a mess. Is my face okay, Michael?"
Michael told her it was.
"Can I rinse the soap off it, at least?"
Michael released the trigger and slid the sprayer back into the sink.
"Wait," she said dispiritedly. He waited as she fumbled open her bra and clumsily peeled it away and let it drop on the floor. "You were right. My boobs are burning like crazy." She scooped lather from her hair and used it to scrub her chest. "This wouldn't be so bad if I could see, damn it." Michael said nothing, keeping his gaze safely averted. "I'm sorry to be such a horrible pain in the ass, Michael, I really am. Thank you so much."
She was near tears, and without thinking, Michael reached out and put his arms around her waist, drawing her tight up against him.
"You have no idea how absolutely fucking scared I was." His voice cracked with the strain. She gripped his arms with hers, and squeezed them tightly.
"You won't tell your father about this, right?"
Michael laughed bitterly. "How about the National Enquirer?"
"Oh, they would definitely love this," she retorted. "Psycho Mom in Shocking Drano Striptease!" They both laughed.
"I really need to rinse my face and get upstairs to the shower." She groped blindly for the sink and Michael leaned around and guided her hands to the faucet and eased it up. One at a time, she freed her feet from the jeans and then kicked them aside. "Can you put these in the washer for me? I don't know if they can be salvaged, but I'm sure the shirt's a write-off." She splashed water against her face.
"How are your eyes?" Michael asked.
"I don't think it got near my eyes. Thanks to you, Michael. Oh, God. I handled that so badly, didn't I? I would have run blindly for the shower if you hadn't been here and probably disfigured myself for life. I never even thought of the damned sprayer. I was so shocked when you pulled it out and shot me in the face. I honestly had no idea what it was at first. Did I scream? This could have been so, so much worse, Michael. It really could."
In the ease-down from his panic, Michael was beginning to think he'd way overreacted. His left hand showed no reaction to the caustic liquid and he saw no worse on his mother's back than the welts from her bra strap and a slight pinking on her upper back and shoulders. He imagined her scalp had taken the worse of it and he'd been very fast with the sprayer and Palmolive. Had he just stripped his mother naked for his own benefit, rather than hers? It took all his will power to keeps his eyed from straying below her shoulders. He was aware that he'd seen a good portion of her naked peripherally.
Michael, for God's sakes, she right here, completely naked! What are you doing? Quickly, he turned and squat to retrieve her discarded clothing, shirt included, and headed toward the laundry room. The faucet shut off and Rachel opened the cabinet over the sink, for a for a hand towel to wipe her face, Michael imagined. She would not be wrapping herself in it, he thought ironically.
"I'm so sorry about this mess, Michael. I'll help you clean it up when I come down."
Michael snorted. "Will you go shower, already? I'll take care of the mess. You take care of yourself." He opened the washer and dropped her clothes inside. "I'll start the washer until you get in the shower. Make sure you wash your hair really good, Mom. Three or four times at least. I didn't get it all out, I'm sure, and I don't know how long the soap will neutralize it. Thank God it was there."
"Thank God you were there," she argued with almost comic intensity. Michael snorted and grabbed the bucket out of the corner, a yellow contraption with wheels that he'd always looked at with a fair sense of disgust, but was now grateful to have. There was a lot of water on the kitchen floor. He listened to his mother pad through it on her way out of the kitchen and then wheeled the contraption out of the washroom.
* * *
It took the entire length of her long shower for Michael to handle the mess. He'd just wheeled the bucket back into the corner when the water upstairs shut off. He waited a moment to be sure, and then restarted the washer. He'd forgotten until halfway through the first wash-cycle to shut it off, causing him appropriate guilty. Not half as much guilt as he felt for what he'd done to his mom, though.
20/20 hindsight is pretty revealing of human nature, he thought. Maybe a better reveal of someone's motives. He was convinced that everything he'd done in that five-minute catastrophe was motive-driven; specifically, that he'd relished dominating the situation and making Rachel do his bidding. He was pretty sure that ripping her shirt apart had given him an erection. He suspected getting to sleep tonight would be an ordeal. He prayed for the willpower not to replay this over and over in his head for dark purposes. He was surprised a moment later when he turned to discover the object of his anxiety in the washroom doorway, hair wrapped in a towel and her body wrapped in her thick white terrycloth robe. He went to her immediately and hugged her tight. She clung to him, trembling violently.
"Are you all right?" he asked, alarmed.
"Delayed reaction," she said through clenched teeth. "You should have seen me in the shower. I had the water turned all the way over to hot and couldn't stop shaking." She compulsively drew her arms in against her chest and began to shake so badly that David walked her out to the living room and down on the couch beside her and held her tightly against him.
"I caused that stupid accident myself," she said bitterly. "I must have a hidden death wish, I swear I do, Michael. If you hadn't been there..." She shuddered hard enough to dislodge the towel from her hair. They both tried to catch it, which made them both laugh. Then Michael pulled it free to inspect her scalp.
"Ouch...that's not from the shower I don't think." He leaned out to look at her forehead, wincing slightly. "You need to get some lotion on this, Mom."
She touched the reddened skin just below her hairline. "I saw it in the mirror--and my scalp, or course. My shoulders got it a little bit, and my back I think." She reached up and tapped the location of her bra strap. "This really hurts right here. And right here," she indicated, touching her chest and laughing in embarrassment. "I didn't get it off fast enough, I guess." She turned to look at him, almost timidly. "So how does it feel, having seen your mother completely nude?" Her lips trembled, and her eyes shown with tears. "Sorry. The anxiety, I guess. It could have been so much worse."
"But it wasn't," he said, patting her knee. "I'd like to see your back and shoulders, if that's okay?" He cleared his throat. "It would be better if you put on a bra first though. I've had enough of my mother naked for one afternoon."
She laughed and let him assist her to her feet. "No mother should ever have to be naked in front of her mostly grown son. That was truly embarrassing, Michael.."
Upstairs, he waited in the hallway while Rachel went to her dresser and opened the top drawer and removed a bra and pair of panties. He watched her do this in his mind, and then tried, unsuccessfully, not to watch her disrobing and putting them on. He saw this just as clearly as had he stepped into the open doorway and watched her bend over and slip one foot after the other into her panties and pull them up. He blanked his mind to keep from imagining her donning her bra.
"I'm good," she called uneasily. She stood before the vanity mirror with a bottle of aloe-based lotion in her hand. She held it up wordlessly and tilted back her head for Michael to do her forehead.
She could have done this herself, he thought, squirting lotion into his palm and then scooping it onto his fingertips. She eyed him with her eyebrows arched questioningly as he dabbed lotion onto the finger-like incursions from her hairline. What scalp he could see through her matted blond hair was bright red, like a bad sunburn. He wondered if they shouldn't go to the hospital. Following his eyes, the same dark blue as her own, she read his thoughts and mirrored them: "It's no worse than a bad sunburn, Michael. It'll be okay."
"Turn around," he said softly. "I'll do your back and shoulders."
She turned and worked the robe back over her shoulders and let it slide down to her waist, catching it in the crook of her arms. Her bra was a deep, nearly black purple; he tried to remember the color of her bra in the washer and couldn't. He wondered, not so idly, if she wore matching panties under the robe. There was an angry redness above and below her bra strap, though her back and shoulders were no worse than the pink she'd been earlier. She moved her hair safely away and he ran a bead of lotion across her shoulders-she shivered in response-and another short stream down between her shoulder blades. He worked that lotion in first to keep it from running down to her bra strap.
"I'm going to lift this." Pulling out the strap-he flinched when she flinched-he ran a bead along the welted skin and gently smoothed it with his fingertips . "Imagine we're on the beach and I'm applying suntan lotion to your back," he said mildly. She laughed and half-looked back over her shoulder, smiling.
"That's what I'm imagining, right now."
Michael was intensely aware how far from the beach they were, both physically and metaphorically. The tension between them-sexual tension, he might as well come right out and name it-was no less palpable than were he doing this to Ginny, his recent, lamented girlfriend. His corralled erection thumped uncomfortably against his jeans and he was so intensely aware of his mother's bare skin and the fresh smell of her right out of the shower that he began to color embarrassingly. This was driving him crazy.
Finished, he lifted her robe and helped her shrug it over her shoulders and then stepped back. Rachel adjusted the front, retied the belt and turned around.
"Thank you so much, Michael." She rose up and pecked him on the lips, something she rarely did anymore as she knew it embarrassed him. He grinned sheepishly and handed her the bottle of lotion.
"Time to finish the grass," he said uncomfortably.
For one long moment, they held eyes and the tension between them was so intense it could practically be seen in the air. She'd been alone in the nearby bed for 14 months now, husband-less and hurting. The breakup had nearly killed her and she'd mostly suffered in silence. During a rare unguarded moment six months ago, she'd let slip that his father was the only man she'd ever slept with. How many nights had she cried herself to sleep since he left, he wondered? Though he missed his father badly, there were times he could blow the man's brains out with a shotgun. How could you cheat on a woman like this? Before something enormously wrong went wrong, Michael kissed her on the cheek and went outside to finish his yard work.
* * *
Things did, and did not return to normal. Michael forced himself into a, 'I love my mother but she is my mother' mindset, while for a time, while Rachel seemed to become more lost by the day. When sufficient time had passed, however she began to pull herself together and be his mom again and put the incident behind her.
Michael was correct about the imaginings. But the sexual undercurrent was no match against the horror of what almost happened to his mom, and his dreams for the following month were plagued by scenarios which played out significantly different, resulting in blindness or severe physical disfigurement because he was outside, or a moment too late in reacting. Rachel had nightmares as well, and more than once Michael and/or Effie ran to her rescue in the dark of night. The real nightmare began one evening in mid-October when Rachel came to him with the news that she and his dad were having dinner Saturday night. Michael was instantly cautious.
"What about Cassie?" he asked warily. She was the 20-something redhead his dad was currently dating.
Rachel, already pink with embarrassment, reddened further.
"I didn't mean that to sound accusatory," Michael cautioned. "I just thought that she and Dad were..." He shrugged, not wanting to embarrass his mom even more. How do you reconcile with a man who has cheated on you with two of your friends, he thought? Two that he knew about, anyway. And with the three additional women during the 16-month separation period, Michael had little respect for his dad when it came to marital fidelity. His immediate reaction was therefore intensely negative, which he tried to conceal.
"Your dad put that on hold," Rachel said uncomfortably.
Michael hoped his angry reaction didn't show, but knew it had when Rachel flushed bright red and lowered her eyes. He put a hand on her forearm. "I know how much you miss him, Mom. Effie cries herself to sleep practically every night, and you do nothing but toss and turn."
Rachel started to protest, but Michael cut her off.
"You don't need my permission. You and Dad were together 18 years and have two kids together. You don't just throw away a marriage without looking at it from every possible angle. Dad made a mistake, sure. He's suffered right along with you though-" In the company of his cute little redhead and the other two bimbos, Michael thought grimly. "-and mistakes can be forgiven. I'm grown, but Effie is suffering without her dad." He transferred his hand to Rachel's cheek. "Just make sure he's worth taking back, okay? It wasn't you that caused this damned mess. Remember that, Mom."
Tears in her eyes, Rachel nodded and patted Michael's hand on her cheek. "I should marry the son and forget the father," she joked, laughing through her tears. She sniffed and wiped her nose with the back of her hand. "I'm such a mess. I should probably say no. I haven't actually said yes, because I wanted to talk to you first and get your...opinion." She was regaining control of herself. "It is only just dinner. For all I know, I could be handed divorce papers." She winced, and Michael winced right along with her. "I haven't felt this confused since I came home pregnant with you."