tagIncest/TabooBeyond the Setting Sun

Beyond the Setting Sun

bykurrginatorX©

To hear my mother tell the story, she knew full well when she married my father that she was nothing more than a trophy wife. He was fifteen years her senior, and wealthy enough that he could afford to buy any woman he wanted, and he wanted her.

There was a prenup, and it stated that if they separated amicably, then she would receive one-fourth of his total wealth plus one thousand dollars per month in alimony. However, if she were ever caught cheating on him, she would forfeit that. On the other hand, if he were caught cheating, then she would receive three-fourths of his wealth and $25,000.00 per month in alimony. As it stands, my father did have an extra-marital affair, and it cost him well over ninety million dollars, plus the house, plus the Mercedes and the Beemer.

Regardless of how insanely wealthy she may now be, Mom was really devastated by Dad's infidelity. She believed that he loved her as much as she loved him, which is why it hurt her to be proven wrong. She eventually moved on, but there was a piece of her that would forever remain in that secret place of puppy dogs and rainbows and fairy tale dreams come true.

I can't say that I hated my dad, but his actions certainly put a strain on our relationship, simply because of the effect I had seen it have on Mom. She encouraged me to not judge him, though, and even promoted a continued healthy relationship between he and I.

Every year, on the anniversary of the divorce, I would treat Mom to dinner at the restaurant of her choice. Though she masked this as a celebration of liberation from him, the fact was that she just did not want to be alone on a night that held too many bad memories for her.

Her pick this year, as it had been for the past four years as well, was The Angus Farm Steakhouse. We would always order the same meal, prime rib with their best in-stock red wine. This year, we were lucky enough to get a 2013 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. It was $550.00 per bottle. I bought the bottle. About that:

When I say, "I bought the bottle," the reason I had the means to do so was because when Mom received her settlement from the divorce, she put both our names on the account. She had cautioned me about spending money frivolously, and I always respected that; I never spent insane amounts of money, and when I did purchase something, it was usually for her.

She looked stunning, as usual. Her long, blonde hair flowed across her bare, tanned shoulders. She wore a black choker with a cameo to match the black Alexander McQueen Strapless Evening Dress that had set me back roughly $4,000.00 when I purchased it for her birthday a few months ago. Her Oscar De La Renta Long Silk Tassel earrings and Salvatore Ferragamo four-inch Sculpted-Heel Suede Ankle-Strap pumps completed the ensemble.

I wore the Armani black suit that she had purchased for me for Christmas last year.

For some reason, we did more drinking and talking than eating this night, and continued upon arriving home. We had finished the bottle of Chateau at the restaurant, and were now indulging ourselves with a twenty-five-year-old Dalwhinnie Highland Single Malt Scotch. Normally, one would have two fingers of this and retire it until next year, but Mom and I were knocking them back like there was no tomorrow until it was gone.

I shook the empty bottle in the air and announced, "We're through."

"So am I," she responded. "Help me to my room, please, Thomas."

I escorted her as a proper gentleman should. We reached her doorway, passed through, then she asked me to unzip her dress. I did so, and then she balanced herself on my arm as she made to remove her shoes. She had gotten one of them off, then lost her balance and fell sideways. I reached for her, yet as I wrapped an arm around her, her dress fell to just above her navel. I stared at her naked breasts, which, at her current age of forty-seven, were still naturally firm; the areola and nipple of each were perfectly centered.

Admittedly, I didn't want to take my eyes off them, they were so beautiful. I did, however. I looked upon her face, at her beautiful, unashamed smile, and into her alluring, blue eyes. Her smile faltered a bit, then she whispered, "You can, if you like. Nobody ever has to know." A lightning-fast smile flickered across my lips, but I just continued to look into her eyes as I held her. She placed a hand behind my head and slowly guided my mouth upon her, and I willingly took her nipple into my mouth.

She let out a soft moan as did I. I pulled her closer. She reached a hand between my legs and felt the firmness that had awakened there, and lightly gasped. My eyes returned to hers, which were now misty with tears. Still whispering, she said, "I haven't known a man's touch since your father left me, Thomas. It's been so long; so very, very long." As I continued to just look at her, she reached back and undid the strap of her other shoe. I heard it fall to the floor just as she straightened herself.

She slid her dress the rest of the way off to reveal a black garter belt, black, thigh-high stockings, and a black thong. She removed the thong, then lay on the bed. I removed my clothes as well, but just stood naked before her, unsure of what to do next. She held her hand out to me. "No one will know, Thomas. I promise." I took her hand and allowed her to pull me on top of her. She reached between my legs, grabbed me, and guided me into her. Our twin moans of ecstasy filled our ears while fueling our libidos. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful experience of my life, and at that moment it mattered so very little if that was self-awareness or the inebriated musings of someone experiencing for the first time society's darkest taboo.

The following morning, I awoke to the scent of my mother. Even without opening my eyes, I could smell her all around me. I reached out to an empty space, then opened my eyes to verify that she was gone. I went to gather my things, but saw she had already picked our clothes off the floor. I walked to my restroom, performed my morning dailies, got dressed, and made my way to the kitchen; the smell of bacon cooking had reached me several minutes ago.

I took a seat at the breakfast nook and noticed for the first time that Mom was wearing my shirt from last night, and I had to admit that the adage about a woman looking sexy in a man's shirt was true. "Good morning," I called out to her.

She turned, smiled, and greeted me in turn. She poured me a cup of coffee, set it before me, and asked, "How did you sleep?"

"Very well, considering how much we drank last night," I answered, then amended that to, "or because of it. Yourself?"

She smiled widely. "Like a baby." She continued looking at me with that dreamy smile for several seconds, then turned and finished preparing breakfast. She set two plates of bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns on the nook, then took the stool beside mine.

"Look who's been the busy little beaver this morning," I said, and regretted it immediately as I was struck by the double entendre that could be applied.

"Hyup," she laughed, then slapped her hand over her mouth.

"Sorry."

"No need to be," she assured me with another smile.

I half-committed to a forkful of the eggs, then returned them to the plate as I asked, "Do we need to discuss last night?"

Her elbows went to the countertop, and her face went into her hands. "Oh, Thomas. Please tell me you have no regrets. Please don't tell me you think it was wrong."

I saw her shoulders shudder. She was crying, all because of me. I gently placed my hands on hers and drew them from her face. She looked at me as twin tears spilled down her cheeks. I slowly moved toward her and softly placed my lips against hers. She cried harder as she wrapped her arms around my neck, and when I finally pulled away, she whispered, "Thank you, Thomas."

"No, thank you," I responded. I took her hand, kissed it, and we ate the remainder of our meal in a comfortable silence.

Around noon, Mom joined me in the living room. She handed me a glass of wine, then took the empty space next to me on the sofa. After sipping from her own glass, she said, "Tell me what's going on with you."

"Tara left for Spain this morning," I told her. Tara was my girlfriend of two years. We had never officially become engaged. It was more one of those When I ask you to marry me, will you promise to say yes? kind of engagements. She was to be gone a whole year to study abroad, after which, upon her return, we would more seriously consider our futures together.

"Oh, is that where you got off to after breakfast?"

"Yeah. I was seeing her off."

"I've always liked her, and I know you do, too. I know you're going to miss her."

"Yeah, but it's not like I haven't planned for this, you know? I mean, it was an eventuality just waiting to happen. I'll miss her, sure, but I've made my peace with it, so to speak." I looked at Mom. I had always thought she was a beautiful woman, but I never thought of her that way in the sense of she being my lover. It brought a whole new dimension to her beauty. "Besides, it would appear that I have other things with which to occupy my mind."

She sighed heavily.

"What?"

"Do we really want to entertain thoughts of that, Thomas? Of us? It was wrong of me to coax you into it last night. We can blame it on the alcohol and two hearts yearning for something both were being denied. I just ... I don't want you doing this just to appease me, is all."

"Don't you dare do that," I said a bit defensively. "Don't you dare cheapen what happened last night by blaming it on booze or heartache or anything else. If you coaxed me, it's because you wanted it, and if I submitted to you, it's because I wanted it just as badly." I looked at her. My eyes became wide as realization dawned on me. "I ... I did want it, Mom. I never fully realized until now, but that's the reason I could never fully commit to Tara. You ask her, ask her how she thinks I feel about her, and she'll tell you that she knows I love her, but she also knows I am not in love with her. She's told me that much herself."

"Wh-What are you saying, Thomas?"

"I'm saying that you are the only woman I have ever truly wanted, Mom, and that's not the sex talking. It's real. I feel it in my heart."

I saw cold realization on her face as well. "Oh, Thomas. Dare we?"

"Ask yourself how you truly feel about last night, Mom. If you have a single regret, then no, it stops right here. If you don't, then ..."

She was silent. She bowed her head. When she looked back at me, it was with tear-filled eyes. "It was so beautiful, Thomas. No man had ever made love to me that sweetly in my life. I will admit, the fact that it was you, my own son, drove my passion for you over the edge, but ... I don't want to lose what we so dearly found in one another. Not now, not finally, after all these years. If you say no, then no, but if yes, then ... I will love you as no other woman ever could."

"Oh, Mom. I want that from you. I want that with you. You are every fantasy I could ever have, and every reality I could ever hope for."

"Then take me yet again, Thomas. Here. Now. Take me as your mother, and your lover."

I did, and it was just as beautiful this time as it had been last night. We lay there kissing one another, me on top. I pledged my undying love to her, and she pledged her never-ending devotion to me.

At no point since last night could I say that I had fallen in love with my mother, because the truth of the matter was that I had been in love with her all along. Last night? Today? This was just about admitting as much to myself, and her, and yet, the feeling was so new, as if I were falling in love with her all over again. My heart was full to bursting with emotion, and I let her know exactly what I wanted from her, what future I desired most.

"I don't want to be afraid of being seen in public with you, Mom. I don't want to have to be careful of saying the wrong thing or touching you or even kissing you. I want the world to know that the woman I am with holds my heart. The only question now is, can we do that here in Macon, or do we move someplace else where such worries are beyond us?"

"I've always loved Savannah," she said in way of a response. "It is such a romantic and sultry city. What do you think?"

"I think I would follow you to the ends of the earth if you bid me do so."

She kissed me. "One other thing, though?" I nodded. "If we are going to do this, then perhaps it's best if you start calling me Allison." I looked at her with a raised eyebrow, silently asking if she were sure. "I know it will seem odd at first, but you'll get used to it."

"Okay, Allison." Her name felt like a lump of lead as it escaped my mouth, but I supposed she was right. We couldn't very well go someplace new and me tell her that she was the love of my life in one sentence and then refer to her as my mother in the next. "Allison," I repeated, and it felt a little bit better. "Allison."

"I like how that sounds coming from you."

In less than a months' time, we were living in Savannah. The house in Macon sold quickly as well, so we didn't have that weighing on our backs, either. Allison and I had really settled into our relationship. We were sleeping in the same bed, attending outings as a couple, and everyone we met commented on how genuinely in love we seemed to be. We made a lot of new friends, and even more as we were invited to one social function after the next.

It was around this time that a thought occurred to me. "You know, we never established what 'our song' is." Was this fueled by my immaturity, or a very mature desire to associate our love with some timeless piece of music? Allison answered that question with,

"You do know the protocol for that, don't you?"

"Yes," I said as I smiled, for I truly knew, "and it's not too late to find it."

We made love, sweet, tender love, as we always do, and once we were finished, Allison turned on the radio, and the first song she found could not have been more appropriate: "I Just Died in your Arms" by Cutting Crew. We made love again, and died just a little bit more.

Shortly after her divorce from Dad, Allison legally changed her surname of Bedford back to her maiden name of Howell. This worked ideally for us in our new city as it would not draw unnecessary attention to our relationship. No one knew us, therefore there was no one to care.

Tara called me about every two to three weeks. I would speak with her, and I was truly interested in the stories she told, but I was quick to realize that not only did I not really miss her, but what little love I had was slowly becoming a thing of the past. She was too excited to immediately pick up on it, and since I didn't want to discuss it, I thought it best to just allow her to reach her own conclusions and deal with it at that time. Besides, who was to say that she wouldn't meet someone while in Spain and fall madly in love?

Three months into my relationship with Allison and I wanted to do something truly nice for her; that is, something more than lavish her with fine jewelry, exotic meals, and the latest clothing by today's hottest designers. I loved her. I was madly in love with her, and I knew she felt the same way toward me. Therefore, why wouldn't I want to do nice things for her? I booked a three-month cruise with Cunard World Cruises that promised "one of life's great travel adventures ... travelling among the world's [most] iconic destinations on board ... the world's most luxurious ship." There was something else, though, but that surprise would come later.

Speaking of things coming later, Tara's calls were coming with less and less frequency. Had she actually met someone else? Had she picked up on my almost complete absence even when we spoke? Had she become so entrenched in her studies and extracurricular activities that she no longer had the time to frivolously spend speaking with me anymore? Whatever the reason may be, she was fast becoming an afterthought while moving ever closer to distant memory.

The cruise was set, and Allison and I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. We boarded the Queen Mary II and set sail for a tour that would include Australia, New Zealand, most Asian countries, parts of Africa, and the Suez Canal, with overnight stays in Cape Town, Hong Kong, and Dubai just to name a few.

It took some effort, and a very sizeable tip to the ship's captain, but once we reached Dubai, I set my ultimate gift to Allison in motion; I ensured that the captain had enough money to deliver exactly what I had envisioned for this night.

"Why not wear that ivory Versace silk evening dress tonight?" I suggested to her.

"I was thinking of the red Givenchy," she responded.

"Wow. You are definitely stunning in that, no doubt about it," I responded, "but I'm thinking night-time in Dubai, beautiful scenery all around, and the ivory would play so nicely against your tanned skin."

She wrapped her arms around me and drew me close. Our lips met and rested comfortably against one another's, then she said, "You look good against my tanned skin."

I smiled. "Will you wear the Versace for me?"

"Only if you wear the Saint Laurent tux."

"Get out of my mind," I said playfully. I started to pull away, then embraced her fully and kissed her again, and we stood there for the better part of five minutes, kissing and nothing more.

"Whoa!" she exclaimed when I finally pulled away from her. "If the image of me wearing that Versace does this to you, how will you react when you see me in it?"

I adopted a thicker-than-normal Southern accent and said, "I shall endeavor to constrain myself, dear lady."

"Only till we get back here," she said with a smile born of purest mischief.

We dined at Al Dawaar, then took in the sights before heading back to the dock. Upon arriving, we were met by the captain, a string quartet playing our song, and a procession of the ship's officers, who parted like the Red Sea as we moved forward.

"Thomas? What's going on?"

I said nothing as I escorted Allison to within three feet of the captain, then I stopped. I faced her, took her hands in mine, then said, "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever known, and I'm not just talking about physically, but spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally, where it matters most. I cannot remember a day that I was not in love with you, and that love grows more and more as each day passes."

"Thomas? What ...?"

"You have my heart, you have my mind, and you have my soul. I will never leave your side, that is my promise to you." I then nodded at the captain, who began the ceremony.

Allison was stunned speechless. She just stared as she attempted to wrap her mind around what was transpiring, and once realization hit, she burst into tears. The captain was wrapping up his speech, then asked me if I did, and I answered yes as I placed a ring on Allison's finger. He then asked if she did, and I gave her a ring to place upon mine as she emphatically answered the same. He pronounced us, we kissed, and for all intents and purposes, we were now husband and wife. We returned to our room and made love into the wee hours of the morning.

Allison held her hand in the air and marveled at the 2-carat weight, 24-karat white gold Forevermark wedding band that now rested on her finger. Yeah, it set me back almost twenty thousand dollars, but she was worth every penny of it.

"I still can't believe you did this," she said before kissing me again.

"I just hate the fact that it is pure ceremony and not legally binding," I responded, "but I did have someone film it, so we will always have that."

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