Derby Line Marriage Ch. 17byjtuf©
Benjamin took a cab to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. His father was waiting for him at a table with two breakfast sandwiches. Benjamin paid the cabbie. "Keep the change," he said to the man as he ran towards his father. "Hey Pops" he greeted his dad. "Thanks for meeting me early today."
"Early? You're late. You said 7 am."
Benjamin shrugged. "Sorry. You know how I am in the morning."
"It's not how you are in the morning. It's how you are at night. If you party all night, you won't be any good in the morning. Where did you go this weekend."
"No where," Benjamin shot back. "Lay off me Pops. I didn't go to any clubs this weekend. I spent all day Saturday packing and repacking, then an hour this morning doing the same. I couldn't decide what to wear on this trip. Francis means a lot to me. I want to make a good impression."
The senior Mr. Cadet almost burst out laughing from his son's defense. "You are dressing to please someone else? What happened to the man who didn't give a care about what the World thinks?" Mr. Cadet handed a breakfast sandwich to his boy.
Benjamin unwrapped the meal. "Not much. I still don't care what 7 billion think of me. Francis is just 1 person. I care what she thinks of me. She's the real deal. She's honest and kind. She helped me for months with my fight against Columbia University. She's just a pure hearted woman."
Mr. Cadet swallowed the food in his mouth. "Good. Maybe she will have a positive influence on you. When is your train?"
"It leaves Grand Central in 32 minutes. I bought the ticket yesterday afternoon." Benjamin shoved his breakfast into his mouth.
"Then why are we eating in a park instead of the train station or a restaurant?"
Benjamin spoke with a mouth full of egg. "I like the view."
Mr. Cadet jerked his thumb at the UN headquarters across the street. "You mean the Hall of Emperors?"
Benjamin pointed to the people tabling at the west end of the plaza. "No Pops. I mean the Rebel Alliance." He gulped down the last of the breakfast and brushed the crumbs off his shirt.
Mr. Cadet grinned. "That's my son. Go. You've got a woman to meet."
"Pops, we're just friends."
Benjamin jogged pass the canvassers on his way to Grand Central Station. "Good luck," he shouted to them over his shoulder. Grand Central was relatively quiet on Sunday mornings. Benjamin looked at the clock. It read 7:39. He had 21 minutes until his train left. He browsed in one of the upscale boutiques, the type of store that he would never step foot in a year ago. The display of chocolates drew his attention. He pondered it for several minutes. Then he called on his cell phone.
Isabella picked up on the other end. "Hello."
"Truffles or liquor?"
"What's that, Benjamin?"
"Should I buy truffles or liquor?"
"OK. Who is he?"
"Who is who?"
"Whoever you slept with last night. He must have been amazing if you're buying him chocolates the next day."
"They're for Francis. Francis is a she."
"Oh. You're dating a tranny?"
"Francis isn't a tranny. She's a woman."
"OK. Post op or pre op?"
"Francis was born female. Francis is a straight woman who happens to be my new friend."
"Francis is just your friend?"
"And you're buying her chocolates?"
"What?" Benjamin got defensive. "You've never bought a candy bar for your friend?"
"Truffles and liquors are not candy bars."
"Francis is just a friend who I care for very much."
Isabella paused. "Benjamin ... are you coming out? Are you secretly straight? It's OK. You can trust me. I just want to know if I should stop changing my clothes in front of you."
"Get lost." Benjamin retorted as he hung up his mobile. Benjamin bought a box of chocolate truffles and a bottle of chocolate liquor. He glanced at the time display on his mobile phone. The train would be there in 17 minutes. Getting to the platform took 6 minutes. He paced the length of the platform for 10 straight minutes. At 7:59 am. The train arrived.
Benjamin jumped on. Soon, he was zipping through Westchester County. The view from the window was unimpressive. Rich people may live next to a train station, but they rarely live next the tracks between the stations. A long train ride is a tour of a region's low income housing. After Tarrytown the view became more scenic. Less than an hour north of Manhattan, there was seemingly endless forests on both sides of the Hudson River. Crossing Interstate Highway 84 brought Benjamin into Upstate New York. Farms were the dominant feature there. Benjamin shook his head. With so much open space available, why is Columbia University stealing my little brownstone? Why is Albany giving them the green light?. The next highway was over an hour away. It was the beltway for Albany. Inspired by the protestors at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Benjamin got a marker and a piece of paper from his satchel. He wrote, "You may take my land, but you'll never take my freedom," in big bold letters. A short bridge brought the train over the narrow Hudson into Albany. Benjamin keep the sing pressed against the window for all to see until he left the capital.
As Benjamin passed through Saratoga Springs, the cradle of the American Suffragette Movement, he began to feel like his situations wasn't quite so hopeless. Benjamin was serine by the time the train reached the shores of Lake Champlain. Soon, he would be out of authoritarian New York and in libertine Quebec. I'm going north on the railroad to freedom, Benjamin thought jokingly. His quiet chuckle attracted the attention of a man who was walking down the aisle.
"Bonjour, Hello." The man greeted him.
Benjamin paused. He had been practicing French for months. Was he ready to try it out? "Bonjour," he smiled. "Je suis un New-Yorkais."
"Oh." The man turned up his nose. "You're a Yankee."
Benjamin stood up. "You've got something against Americans?" His tone dared the man to start a fight.
The gentleman grinned warmly. "Not as long as they're from bellow the Mason-Dixon Line." He struck out his hand for a handshake. "I'm from NOLA. 100% Cajun here."
Benjamin shook the hand and slapped the man on his upper arm. "Good to hear. How's the rebuilding going?"
"Oh, bit by bit. I'm an architecture student at Cooper Union. I'm headed to Montreal for the Jazz festival."
Benjamin scanned the young man's body. "Me too. What instruments do you like?"
The college student noticed Benjamin's roaming eyes. "Eh, saxophone, of course. Then there's clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. I have very good breath control," the young man lowered his eyelids, "and I love playing the flute." He leaned forward to whisper into Benjamin's ear. "The flesh flute." Those words made Benjamin's blood begin to rush. "Are you a member of the mile long club?"
"What's that?" Benjamin quietly asked.
"It's like the mile high club, but with trains instead of airplanes. I've done it before. I'll show you how."
The Cajun man lead Benjamin to the bathroom at the end of the railcar. Once inside, he unzipped Benjamin's fly. He got on his knees to look at Benjamin's basket. "Oh yeah, Daddy. Give it to me. I kneed that cock."
Benjamin lowered his pants and underwear to expose his manhood. Daddy? He looked himself in the mirror. His hand went up to his cheek. Do I look that old? Maybe I need an anti-wrinkle cream. Benjamin hardly noticed the hot willing mouth sucking on his nuts. The aspiring architect worked Benjamin's erection. Benjamin passively looked down at the youth. The young man placed Benjamin's hand at the back of his head. With a sigh, Benjamin played along. The blowjob was over by the time the train reached the border. Both men were in their seats when the train crossed the St. Lawrence River into Montreal. They had exchanged business cards more as a formality than out of any expectation to ever see each other again.
Benjamin was glad when the train pulled up to the platform in Gare Centrale. Francis was there to greet him with a hug. "How was your trip?" she asked.
"Uneventful," he replied. "So where can we go to eat at this time in the evening?"
"There's a bagel shop nearby. You'll like it."
"A bagel shop? I came all the way from New York to have a bagel?"
"A New York bagel is to fill the stomach. A Montreal bagel is to please the palate."
Francis gave Benjamin a sly look. "The French perfected the art of pleasing."
Benjamin felt uncomfortable with Francis's words. She had never used that sultry tone with him over the phone. "How is your husband doing?" he asked as they walked to Francis's car.
"Fine." Francis snapped.
The pair was silent as Francis drove them to the restaurant. They did not speak again until they were eating dinner. Benjamin had a poppy seed whole wheat bagel with feta cheese and salmon. Francis had a sesame seed barley bagel with a tofu spread. Benjamin presented his gifts to break the silence. "For you."
Seeing the chocolates gave Francis hope. "Thank you. You know, chocolate is an aphrodisiac."
Benjamin coughed. He took a sip of water. "Sorry. Wrong pipe. Who told you that?"
Francis hesitated. "My husband. Patrick is a biologist. He's got a way of turning everything into a lecture. He gives a box of chocolates, and he explains about its medicinal effects, it's ecology, the economics of coca bean production. Every bouquet of flowers is a case study of evolution. Apparently, flowers are plant genitals, and genitals are the key to understanding evolutionary relationships. The plant kingdom is divided according to how the plants have sex."
"Is he teaching now?"
"No. He's just a bean counter. He couldn't handle his PhD program, so he settled for a Masters."
"A Masters is still more than I have."
Francis's foot moved between Benjamin's legs to gently rub against his right ankle. "I'm sure you have more than him in other departments."
Benjamin lifted his ankle up to rest it on his left thigh. "Francis. I'm so glad to have you as a friend."
Francis frowned. "I'm glad to know you too."
The companions finished their meal. The waiter brought them the bill. "I'll pay." Benjamin offered.
"No. It is my treat. I promised that. Remember?"
"I recall our conversation. So, what is that favor you need."
Francis took a credit card from her purse and inserted it in the folder with the bill. "Benjamin, Patrick and I have been trying to conceive for over a year. Patrick is infertile. We need a sperm donor. We want it to be you."
Benjamin was skeptical. "You and your husband want me to knock you up?"
"In short, yes. We want you to get me pregnant. A sperm donation is a simple medical procedure. We just need a quick office visit. We can talk about the details at my house tomorrow morning. Patrick is going to the jazz festival early for a show. I'll be home alone all morning. It will give us plenty of time."
Benjamin was torn. It was much to ask of him, and Francis's body language indicated that her thoughts were less than medical. On the other hand, she had just given him thousands of dollars worth of free legal advice during the summer. How could he deny her something so simple as jerking off in a cup? TANSTAAFL "I would like to talk to your husband about it before I agree."
"Certainly." Francis dialed Patrick's number on her mobile. She spoke to her husband, "Hey honey. I'm here with Benjamin. He wants to talk to you about the plan." Francis handed the phone to Benjamin and instructed her friend. "Talk to Patrick. I need the ladies room."
Benjamin spoke into the phone. "Hi. I'm Benjamin."
Patrick responded. "Nice to meet you. I'm Patrick. What did Francis tell you already."
"She said you two want my sperm."
"That sums it up. There's a clinic in the city. You go into one room and produce your sample. The nurse brings it to the room with Francis and me. The doctor inserts it. And 9 months later, we finally have a baby."
"I see. Francis was right. You are a biologist."
Patrick laughed. "So do you like jazz?"
"Like it? I love it."
"Good. There's a jazz festival in the city. Francis is going to her office in the morning for work. I'm headed to the festival first thing in the morning. Come with me. Francis can join us after she catches up on her legal briefs."
Benjamin growled quietly. "I'll join the two of you in the afternoon. I have something to clear up tomorrow morning. Bye Patrick."
"See you later, Benjamin. It was good to meet you."
Benjamin looked at the credit card that Francis had placed with the bill. The name on it read "Patrick O'Connell". That slut. he thought. Benjamin placed the credit card next to Francis's plate. He inserted his own credit card in the folder with the bill. The waiter processed the payment before Francis returned to the table.
"The bill is paid," Benjamin told her.
Francis returned her credit card to her purse. "Good. Will you help us out?"
"I haven't decided. It depends on the details."
"There's no rush. Becoming a father is a big decision. Will you meet me at my house tomorrow at 9 am?" Francis handed him a slip of paper. Her address was already written out on it.
Benjamin put the paper in his back pocket. "You should get business cards printed up. They're only $30 for a batch of 500."
"I wouldn't put my home address on a business card."
"I don't see why not. I'll be there at 9 am sharp. Be ready for me." Benjamin stormed out of the restaurant and took a cab to his hotel.