tagIncest/TabooMandy and Me Ch. 13

Mandy and Me Ch. 13

bySSW_1050©

Writer's Note: If you are new to this series, I would suggest you begin at Chapter 1, since each chapter builds on the previous. This chapter picks up immediately following the end of Chapter 12 and covers about seventeen days as the families move further into 1967. As always, a grateful thanks to the loyal readers for following along, and a special tip o' the hat to Ciguardian, for his suggestions. Enjoy, and please vote.

Literary critics are advised -- I am a retired cabinetmaker, not a professional author. I write in the East Texas dialect, common in the area where this story is set, since I feel it adds a touch of reality. I do realize it may make the story a bit harder to read, but so be it.

Legal -- All persons engaging in sexual activity are 18 or older.

Standard Advisory -- This is NOT a one-page stroke story. If that's what you want, look elsewhere.

Standard Caution -- There is tobacco use (smoking) in this story. The setting is 1966-1967, and I am writing to reflect those times. If this bothers you, go elsewhere.

***

Chapter 13 -- A New Arrival and a Late Gift

9 Feb

Mike:

Due to having our sleep disturbed by the middle-of-the-night phone call, both Mandy and I overslept by nearly half an hour, this morning. We weren't late, as we'd been getting up an hour early for 'morning sex', but we did have to forego that little pleasure in order to get me to the shop and her to school, on time.

"Did I hear the phone ringin', in the middle of the night?" Mom asked, as she put our breakfast plates in front of us, the next morning.

"Yeah, you did," I nodded. "Larry called, about two o'clock, to tell me he was takin' Karen to the hospital. He said she'd gone into labor, so I guess that means they'll be havin' a baby, sometime today."

"I thought she was about due," Mom said. "Her baby dropped a few days ago, so I figured it was close."

A thought occurred to me, as Mom made her comment, and I chuckled.

"What's so funny?" Mom asked.

"The English language," I shrugged. "We sure do have some funny ways o' sayin' things."

"Such as?"

"Well, what you just said -- about Karen's baby droppin'. What the heck did the baby drop, anyhow?" I laughed.

"Actually, that last phase of pregnancy before labor is called, 'lightening', Mom explained. "The baby gradually turns around so that it's hangin' head first, an' slips down lower inside the mother's belly, so that the head is inside the pelvic girdle -- the sort o' 'cradle' formed by the hip bones. This puts the baby's head pretty close to the cervix, so that it's ready to be born."

"So, why do they call it 'lightening,' Mama?" Mandy questioned.

"When the baby's head drops down into the pelvic girdle -- which is why we say that 'the baby dropped,' it does a few things. First, the baby's mass is lower inside mama's body. It ain't stickin' out front, or 'wide an' to the side' near as much, so the weight is more on mama's hips, not hangin' out front. The baby's also movin' away from the bottom end o' her lungs, so it makes it a bit easier on her breathin'. Overall, the result is the mama feelin' that her load's a bit lighter to carry, even though the weight ain't changed a bit. Why you askin' this, Baby? You ain't pregnant, are you?"

"Not that I know of, Mama," Mandy chuckled. "Still, I am a married woman, now, an' I 'spect Mike'll be gettin' me that way a time or two, 'fore too many years get past. Watchin' Karen go through her pregnancy almost from the beginnin', an' talkin' with her about how it's felt, at different times along the way -- it just has me curious, is all. Some o' the words an' terms about it have been ones I didn't know, just like that whole 'baby droppin' thing, an' 'lightening.'"

Mom surveyed Mandy with a critical eye, but said nothing further to her, on the subject. Instead, she turned to Grandma.

"Mama, do we need to get someone to come out an' stay with you today?" she asked Grandma. "It's pretty obvious that Karen ain't gonna be here, today."

"You think so, daughter?" Grandma snorted, a big smile on her face. "Y'all just go an' do what you hafta do. I'll be fine by myself, for a while."

"As far as I'm aware, Pats," Junior spoke up, "Mike an' I are scheduled to be workin' in the shop, all day, today. We'll be around, an' either he or I can walk up to the house, every so often, to look in on Mama."

"That's true, Mom," I nodded, when Mom looked back over at me. "We don't have any measurements or installs on the schedule, for today, so he an I'll both be in the shop from start-time to quittin' time. We'll keep an eye on Grandma, don't worry."

With the major issues taken care of, we all went our separate ways to begin the day.

***

Long about mid-afternoon -- shortly after Mandy arrived home from her classes -- she and I were going over some figures. Oh, alright; I don't even have to see your faces, to know where your minds are going, hearing that. And I suppose you'd be right enough; I was surveying my wife's lithe figure, while she was goin' over the financial books. We were still in her temporary office because our intended office area was undergoing its final stages of preparation for use, now that Junior's things had all been moved out of it and either into a corner of the storage area, or up to the house. Out in the shop, I had Jim and George assembling some special cabinets I'd sketched out plans for, to be used as another desk in the office, and we already had a line of base- and wall-cabinets finished and attached to one wall of the office, for storing various office supplies as we'd accumulated them. We'd applied two coats of paint to the walls, earlier in the week.

Shortly after 2:30, we heard a commotion out in the shop, so I opened the door and looked out to see what was going on.

The guys were all gathered around Larry, who was in the midst of a highly animated conversation with them. He had a box of cigars in one hand, and a huge smile on his face -- the sort that I couldn't have removed with 60-grit sandpaper -- so I knew there was good news being delivered about Karen and the baby. He saw me looking out the door, and excused himself from the other guys, who returned to their tasks as he headed for the office.

"It's a boy!" he crowed excitedly, as he walked through the office door. "He's twenty-one inches long, an' weighed in at seven pounds four ounces. He was born at 11:14, this mornin'!"

"Congratulations, Larry!" I said, clapping him on the back. "We've all been wonderin' how things were goin'. What'd you name him?"

"Karen wanted to name him for the grandfathers, so we decided on James Lawrence. We're gonna call him James."

"That sounds like a real good name, Larry," Mandy smiled. "But, what in tarnation are you doin', here? Shouldn't you be with Karen?"

"She was in labor from about 1:30, last night, until 11:14, when James finally popped out. Most of it was pretty hard labor, an' it took a lot out of her. The doctor said she needed some rest, an' suggested that the excited father oughta take a breather, too. I figured I'd come let you guys know."

"You could've phoned, Larry," I chuckled.

"Yeah, I suppose so, but I had cigars to hand out, anyway, an' ya can't do that over the phone. So, help yourself." He held the box out to me, and I took a cigar.

"Take a couple, Mike," he suggested. "You're my boss, an' I only have the grandfathers, yet, to hand some out to."

"Thanks, buddy," I said, taking two more and slipping them into my shirt pocket.

Larry closed the cigar box and turned to leave, when Mandy fixed him with a look.

"Where's mine?" she asked him, smiling.

"Yours?" Larry returned the question hesitantly, a stunned look on his face.

"You heard me; I didn't stutter," she quipped. "Where's my cigar? After all, I'm the one that signs your paycheck!"

"You really want one of these?"

"Why not?" she asked him pointedly. "Is there some law that says a woman can't smoke a cigar?"

Larry cast a glance at me, looking for all the world like he was begging me to step in and intervene. One look at the grin on Mandy's face told me that she was having some fun, teasing the already-flustered new father, and I knew enough to let her be.

"Don't look at me, amigo," I laughed. "You oughta know, by now, that Mandy ain't your average, run-o'-the-mill woman; she's somethin' special. Even I've learned not to expect the usual, out o' her, 'cause she never ceases to surprise me. I'd listen real careful, to what she's askin'. She's got a point, on that whole 'signin' your paycheck' thing!"

"I'll ask you again, Larry," Mandy called his attention back to her, "is there some law that says a woman ain't supposed to be able to smoke a cigar?"

"I, er, uh, I guess not," Larry admitted.

"What do you think women smoked, 'fore cigarettes were invented?" she pressed her advantage.

"I don' know," Larry shrugged. "Pipes, maybe?"

"Well, yeah," Mandy gave him that one. "But they smoked cigars, too. You see that little paper band, around the cigars? Do you know the story behind that?"

"There's a story?" Larry gulped, helplessly, and I wondered if he was beginning to wish he'd never walked into the office.

"There sure is," she nodded, grinning. "Catherine the second, also known as Catherine the Great, was the queen o' Russia, back in the 1700's. Back in those days, it was considered proper for the noble women to always wear these little white gloves, in public. But Catherine loved smokin' cigars, an' she hated gettin' stains from 'em on her gloves. So she had the fellow who made her cigars for her wrap little strips o' red or purple ribbon around 'em, so she wouldn't get her gloves dirty!"

"I never knew that," he admitted. "I'm sorry, Mandy."

"It's okay, Larry," she laughed. "I was just havin' some fun, with you."

Looking rather chagrined, he opened the box and held it out to her, and she immediately selected one.

"Take two or three," he suggested, trying to make up for his error. "I've got plenty left. I already set a half-dozen aside for my dad. Karen's folks don't smoke -- man, did they ever have a royal conniption fit, first time she ever lit up a cigarette in front of 'em -- so her dad'll like as not hand his off to one o' his fishin' buddies, or somethin'."

"That's better," she giggled, going ahead and taking two more cigars from the box. "Thank you, Larry. By the way, have you had anything to eat, since last night's dinner?"

"Uh, no," he shook his head.

"Well, then you really ought to get out o' here, an' go find a place to eat, 'fore you head back to the hospital to be with Karen. Although, I think you can eat down in the hospital's cafeteria, if you'd rather stay close to her."

"That's a good idea," he nodded. "I'll do that."

Closing the cigar box, once again, he went back out into the shop, and I turned to my wife -- who, as it turned out, had already peeled the cellophane wrapper from one of the cigars, and was holding it to her lips, drawing air through it.

"Gimme a light, Big Boy," she said, more than a hint of seduction in her voice.

"Are you really gonna smoke that thing, Sugar?" I asked her, chuckling, even though part of me was already overly interested in the sight of her with that big cigar between her lips.

"Why not?" she asked me. "Just suckin' air through it, it tastes kinda sweet, not like a cigarette. I know cigar smoke smells different than cigarette smoke, an' I wanna see if it tastes different, too. What's wrong? D'you think I look funny, or somethin'?"

"Not at all, Baby," I told her. "Matter of fact, I think it looks kinda hot an' sexy."

She scanned her eyes down my body until she noticed the beginnings of a bulge in the front of my jeans.

"I guess you do, Honey," she giggled around the stogie. "So, are you gonna gimme a light, or what?"

"Not here, Sugar," I sighed. "Much as I'd love to see you smokin' that thing, right now, I've gotta think o' two things -- the first one bein' that the rules say no smokin' in the shop. Even the bosses have to go along with it, 'cause we have to set the example, an' not be goin' by a double standard."

"Oops!" she giggled, taking the cigar from her lips. "I kinda forgot about that, in all the excitement. What's the second thing you hafta think of?"

"That this ain't a fittin' place to be doin' what I'd want us to be doin', after about a minute o' me watchin' you smoke that thing," I chuckled.

"You're probably right, on that, Honey," she admitted. "I'll tell you what; how about we go to bed a little early, tonight, an' then you can give me a light, an' we'll see what comes up?"

She flashed me a seductive smile and wink.

"That sounds like a plan, Sugar!" I agreed, leering at her and twirling my imaginary handlebar moustache.

"Then, we'll do it," she nodded. "Meanwhile, how about you go get a couple more o' these, for me, before he leaves. Based on how I see you're reactin', already -- an' if tonight goes the way I think it will -- I'm thinkin' I may need a reserve supply, to use on you."

"Okay, Baby," I nodded, grinning in eager anticipation at the thought of seeing my lovely seductress wife smoking a cigar.

I walked out to the break area, to find Larry still there, talking with Junior, who'd just come back after taking his turn at checking in on Grandma.

"You're still here, Larry?" I asked him. "I thought Mandy an' I told you to get out o' here, an' go get some food an' some shut-eye!"

"Well, I was about to leave, when your uncle came back from checkin' on your grandma, an' he wanted to know all about the new baby, an' all. I promise you, I'm leavin' in a minute or two."

"That's alright," I laughed. "Junior'd probably have been upset, if he'd missed talkin' with you, anyway. It worked out just as well, 'cause I need to grab a couple more of those cigars, for Mandy."

Junior cocked his head at an angle and raised an eyebrow at my comment, but said nothing.

"Sure," Larry said, opening the cigar box again. "Take however many you want."

I took two, and closed the lid.

"Now then, why're you still hangin' around here?" I asked him. "You need to go get somethin' to eat, an' then be at the hospital with Karen an' your new son. Take tomorrow off, with pay, an' take care o' your family. I'll square it with Mandy, an' we'll see you back here, ready to work, on Monday. Now, git!"

"Thanks Mike. I'll be back Monday, ready to go," he said, as he turned to leave.

Larry left, and the rest of us returned to our tasks and finished out the day. We locked up the shop, and headed up to the house, together with Junior. Mom had arrived, in the meanwhile, and she and Mandy got busy with preparing dinner. Of course, the new little baby and his proud parents were the primary topic of conversation around the supper table.

After dinner, we relaxed in the living room, in front of the television. As I was sitting there, with Mandy in her usual perch, I was thinking over an idea had been brewing in my mind, ever since Larry had came to the shop, that afternoon, on his cigar mission.

"Whatcha thinkin' 'bout, Honey," my bride interrupted, poking me in the ribs. "Your mind's on somethin' besides either the television or me, an that ain't like you. What's goin' on?"

"I was thinkin' over somethin' I remembered from several months back, Sugar. I need to ask Mom about it," I murmured in reply.

"Mom, do you remember what Larry's folks told us, back about the start o' last summer? Do you remember them tellin' us about bein' first cousins? If that's the case, I wonder how they were able to get married, with Texas law bein' like it is."

"I do remember them sayin' that, now that you mention it, Mike. At the time, I never thought to question it. What are you thinkin?"

"Well, with Mandy and me bein' first cousins, like them, what if someone finds out, an' says somethin' to the wrong person, an' -- "

"I told you, Mike," Junior broke in, "There ain't no paper trail, leads to that fact. Your birth certificate says that Bill Davidson was your father, an' for Mandy, her birth certificate says that Charles Reynolds is her birth father, 'cause the agreement was for me to remain out o' things, completely. It was only pure, cussed chance that her mama saw that scar on my arm, an' could even remember back to seein' it all those years ago. Even if someone let somethin' slip, there's no way it could be proved. What brought this up, anyway?"

"Dunno. All I know is that it popped back into my head, while Larry was in the shop, this afternoon, an' got me to wonderin' how they were able to get married, without a lotta trouble."

"I don't see that you've got anything to be worried about," he noted.

"Well, maybe I'm bein' a bit paranoid, if that's the right term, 'cause I'm not crazy about takin' the risk on it, not if there's some way to skirt around the Texas laws an' make it legal. The whole thing's got me to wonderin' if we shouldn't invite 'em up for dinner, some night, an' talk with 'em about it. They might o' done it some way we didn't think of."

"I'll call Connie, early next week, an' see if we can get them to come have supper with us, one night, next week," Mom volunteered. "We'll have to see what their schedule looks like, especially with a new baby in the house. You've got me wonderin' now."

"You should probably call Maggie, an' make arrangements for her to plan somethin' with Laura, that night," Grandma added. "As I remember, y'all weren't plannin' on tellin' her 'bout this, 'til after she turns eighteen."

"That'd be a good idea, Mama," Junior noted. "I'd rather wait a while about tellin' Laura, at least 'til after things are settled between me and Patsy, here, an' we're livin' together as a family."

"We're all agreed, then?" Mandy asked. "If so, I believe it's gettin close to time for Mike and me to head to bed. I've got school an' he's got another busy day planned for tomorrow, 'cause I think he wants to finish that cabinet order y'all've been workin' on in the shop."

While I had totally agreed with Mandy's suggestion that we head for bed a little early, that night, neither of us remembered this was Thursday night, and Star Trek came on at 9:00, until we were back in our bedroom.

We hurriedly got ready for bed, and slid onto the mattress, to watch the program. I knew Mom and Junior would check the doors and lights before retiring for the night.

That evening's episode, The Return of the Archons, was an interesting one and, once again we watched Captain Kirk successfully get away with violating the prime directive -- no interference with a sentient world's culture or government -- by destroying the computer that controlled the people of the planet on which the Enterprise crew found itself, that week.

It was a bit of a miracle that we could follow the story, since we were semi-distracted by physical activities brought on by both of us being naked, while watching the program.

"I think they must call it the 'Prime Directive' because it's the primary one that Kirk violates in every episode," Mandy chuckled, as we headed for the bathroom after the episode ended.

"I know what you mean, Sugar. You ain't like him, though, 'cause you've never violated your 'Prime Directive', yet, an' it don't seem you ever will."

"What're you talkin' about?"

"Your 'Prime Directive' is to always work at gettin' me stirred up, every chance you get. You did a pretty good job of it, durin' the program!"

"You were doin' the same thing to me, Honey, so turn about's fair play."

"I reckon it is, at that, Sugar," I smiled, leaning in to steal a kiss from her. "An' I do so love it, when you go gettin' me all turned on!"

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