The grill was hot and sending enticing aromas floating throughout the neighborhood. Everywhere there was laughter and conversation as the family caught up at the last blast of summer — the annual Labor Day cookout.
Zach stole a glance at the cooler as his uncle fished out a beer. Daydreaming about how good an ice-cold beer would go down, he sighed. There was no way he was going to risk trying to snatch up a couple with the whole family in the back yard. Twenty-one was the drinking age, and his father would hear no argument to the contrary.
Fortunately, there was a distraction available to more than compensate for his lack of alcohol. His sister-in-law Marie sat on the porch, one hand resting on her very swollen tummy.
Zach had been smitten from the moment he saw her, all those years ago. His brother Richard had started dating Marie in high school, and she soon became a fixture at family functions. Her own family was dysfunctional — to say the least — and his had all but adopted her.
His ears burned as he remembered the first time Rich had brought her home for dinner. Zach had slipped in behind her chair to give her a shoulder massage, feeling the need to be close to her. He was only thirteen at the time and full of raging hormones, so everyone had been kind enough not to mention what they were thinking to his face until much later. His infatuation had proved the highlight of the evening behind amused grins, though.
For everyone except his brother.
The enmity that started that night only grew as time wore on. Richard didn't want his girl around any other man, and Zach hated the way his brother treated her. Rich took her for granted, watched her like a hawk, and frequently got into fights with any man who dared make her acquaintance. Zach knew that his family was on his side, because it was a regular topic of conversation whenever his brother wasn't around.
Nothing proved that and the family's affection for the brunette more than Marie being invited to the cookout today, when his brother wasn't.
Days after she'd told him that she was pregnant due to a broken condom, he'd ran off with another woman, leaving his responsibility behind. As soon as the family found out about it, they rallied around her and disowned Richard. Now, she was two days past due, and everyone was doing their best to help her through it.
Sitting in a lawn chair with a pair of dark sunglasses on, Zach drank in the sight of her and daydreamed. She'd always been a goddess in his eyes, but for some reason, her pregnancy had made her irresistible to him. She'd put on weight as her tummy expanded, but it seemed to gravitate primarily into her boobs and butt. Other than the pure physical attraction of that, there was something infinitely sexy about the glow of motherhood surrounding her.
Sunglasses weren't going to do anything to hide the reaction his thoughts were causing, and neither were his shorts. He talked down his erection just in time, because his cousins cajoled him into a game of horseshoes. Shortly after beating them, his cell buzzed. When he pulled it out of his pocket, he saw a text from a friend, telling him to check out something on Facebook.
His cell was annoying to use on the internet, so he headed inside. Everybody was outside in the back yard, so there wouldn't be anyone in the den, where his sister's computer was. He loaded up the site, and added his comment to a friend's embarrassing auto-correct blunder, which had changed an innocent compliment on his mother's lasagna to, "I love Mom's vagina!"
A few clicks revealed that not much else was going on, as everyone was either out with family or otherwise partying. It would heat up later in the evening, but for now, his feed was pretty dead.
After a glance back at the closed door, he shutdown Facebook and opened his email. A series of well-practiced clicks took him to an email he'd managed to forward from his sister's account one day. The picture opened up, and he let out a quiet groan.
The image was of Marie in all her pregnant glory, taken about a month earlier. It was a semi-profile shot, showing her from the neck to the knees. Only the brunette's hands covered her body, hiding her nipples and the garden of pleasure shaded beneath her swollen tummy. Zach looked at the picture several times a day, and it never failed to make him as hard as a steel bar.
The email was no less arousing, describing how swollen and heavy her breasts felt, as well as fears that they would begin leaking more as she went into her last month. She also mentioned frustration about how her hormones were causing spikes of arousal only slightly less frequent than her need to pee.
He couldn't count the number of times he'd wished she'd let him help her with that.
Knowing that people would be wondering where he'd gonebefore long, he reluctantly closed the email, gave his erection a squeeze, and stood up to put his mind on something else before walking back out to the yard. He was milling about near the door, looking at some family photos when he heard voices coming from the front room.
The door opened more or less soundlessly, the tiny creak easily covered by the air-conditioner humming along at full blast. Able to hear clearly out in the hall, he walked toward the back door so he could act as if he were just coming in if anyone happened upon him.
"Oh, but the fun's just starting, Marie," his sister said.
Marie responded, "I know, and I really want to stay, but I'm just miserable. I don't want to be a rain cloud for everyone."
"Everyone understands. You know that."
"I know, but it doesn't make me feel any better."
"But you can't go back to the house alone. What if you go into labor? You could go lie down in the bedroom."
"I swear that I'm never going to go into labor, Samantha. Ow. Calm down in there, little man."
Samantha laughed. "I saw that one. He's feeling confined, and that's all the more reason for you to stay. Besides, everyone's been drinking. I doubt anyone's okay to drive right now."
Thought and action were simultaneous. Zach walked down the hall and into the front room. "Hey, Sam. Marie."
Marie smiled, forcing him to suppress a shiver. "Hello, Zach."
"I thought for a second that it might be time when I saw you two were gone," he said.
Samantha shook her head. "No, but that's exactly why I'm trying to convince her to relax here and wait until I can run her home this evening and stay."
Trying to appear non-committal, he gave a little shrug. "Yeah, you shouldn't be home alone when you're already past due. If you really want to go home, I could drive you and hang out, though."
Marie's eyes brightened. "Could you?"
"Well, yeah. I mean, I'm just watching everybody else get drunk. I can only win at horseshoes so many times."
Marie turned back to Samantha. "Would that be okay with you?"
His sister looked off-balance at the sudden turn of events. "Well, I suppose. All he would have to do is get your bag and help you to the car if you go into labor, I guess."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Sis."
"I didn't mean it that way." She sighed and took Marie's hand. "If that's what you really want?"
"Okay. But, you're not leaving without food. Give me a minute or two to put things together."
"I'll go start the car to get the air running," Zach offered, "Back in a minute."
"Thank you, Zach."
"No problem, Marie."
Heart pounding in his chest, Zach hurried out front to start his car. He felt foolish almost as soon as he recognized how his pulse was racing. It wasn't like he was going on a date with her. He was probably going to be sitting around watching television while she napped.
Try as he might to rationalize it, he still couldn't wipe the smile off his face.
After moving the passenger seat back as far as possible to accommodate her comfort, he held a hand in front of the vents. Satisfied that it was cooling off, he headed back inside.
They didn't get out of the house fast — or empty handed. Zach's sister packed an entire picnic basket full of Tupperware containers and foil-wrapped bundles, providing a sampling of the entire feast. Finally, he led the way to the car with the heavy basket in hand.
Once they were both settled, he asked, "You okay? Comfortable?"
"As much as I can be. Thank you, Zach. I really do appreciate it."
The drive wasn't long — only a few blocks away. Once at the house, Zach took Marie's keys and the basket, unlocking the door in advance so she wouldn't have to stand out in the heat.
Marie sighed as she stepped into the air conditioning. "Oh, that feels so good." She stepped over to a couch and leaned against it. "I have to warn you, since you're going to stay, I'm going to put on something more comfortable and look all frumpy."
Zach shook his head and laughed. "I'm not worried about it." He held up the basket and said, "I'll go put this stuff away."
"And I'm going to take a bath." She gave a smile, and then proceeded to the bathroom.
Naturally, he started daydreaming about her sitting in a warm bath, her tummy, breasts, and knees poking up from amongst the bubbles. The picture he'd looked at so many times let his imagination easily fill in the blanks. He could see her running her hands over her body and bubbles hiding what he longed to see. Then the bubbles washed away.
The weight of the basket in his hand eventually snapped him out of the fantasy, though the image lingered as he put everything in the fridge. An almost overwhelming temptation hit him to go stand outside the door and listen to the water lapping, but he resisted with a surge of willpower. The last thing he wanted to do was have to think of an excuse if she happened to hear him or otherwise notice that he was standing outside the bathroom door.
Instead, he took a seat on the end of the couch and picked up the remote. That was as close as he got to turning on the television, though. The show once again running in his head was far more interesting than anything Hollywood could possibly come up with.
He was so deep into his aroused musing that he only noticed Marie when she was a few steps away from the couch. He quickly recovered, tugging the tail of his t-shirt over the telltale evidence of his thoughts. Holding out the remote, he said, "All yours."
She looked anything but frumpy in a top of the palest teal. Thin straps showed off her shoulders, and the neckline revealed an inch or so of eye-catching cleavage. A band of lace below her breasts flowed into pleats draped over her tummy, hanging down to her hips. She also wore what looked like men's boxers, revealing long expanses of smooth, gorgeous legs. Her hair was still a little damp, hanging in ringlets around her face.
She waved a hand at the remote and moved to the opposite end of the couch. "No, I just want to relax. You can watch something if you want, though."
"Nah, I'm fine," he responded. It was all he could do not to blatantly stare at her as he put the remote down on the coffee table.
With a little groan, Marie sat down on the couch and spun on her bottom, pulling her legs up onto the couch.
"Let me get out of your way," Zach offered, starting to rise.
"No, you're fine," she countered as she stretched out her legs, her bare toes mere inches from his leg. "I really do appreciate you playing nursemaid."
"No problem." The urge to caress her leg nearly had him twitching.
"I don't suppose you do foot rubs?" She laughed and shook her head.
Holy shit. Is she serious? Should I? Even as his thoughts whirled, he found himself saying, "I suppose I could give it a try."
She smiled. "Really? I was only kidding, but my feet are aching so bad."
"Sure. Why not?"
He turned, tingling all over, and reached for her right foot. Curling his fingers over the top of her foot, he used his thumbs to knead the sole. The feeling of her soft skin beneath his fingers was like pure heaven. There wasn't a callous or rough spot to be found anywhere.
After only a few seconds, she let out a groan that was so sexual he thought he was going to bust straight through his underwear and shorts.
"Oh, that feels sooo good," she moaned, leaning her head back and closing her eyes.
Serenaded by her continuous stream of moans, groans, and sighs, Zach labored over her feet, caressing and massaging. He had no concept of time passing. There was only the touch of his skin to hers, and the sound of her voice expressing pleasure.
"You could work on my calves a little, if you want," she hinted.
He slowly slid his hands upward, fingers gliding over her skin, and felt her shiver. Another wonderful, sensual moan emerged as he squeezed, working the tightness out of her muscles.
"I didn't know how much I needed this," she said in a soft voice.
"Well, you're walking for two," he said, and chuckled.
"It feels like a dozen — and that feels incredible. You're really good at it."
"Thanks. First time lucky, I guess."
"Mmm — I can't imagine how good you'll be with practice, then."
It was hard to think of anything more uplifting than her words of praise. She slid a hand over her tummy and caressed it, and he felt his fingers itching to join hers.
"They aren't all prickly, are they? I can hardly see around this to shave."
"No, not at all. Smooth as silk."
"I wouldn't be willing to bet on that if you went any higher." She laughed. "You can stop if you need to."
Zach realized that his fingers had slowed as he contemplated going higher. "No, I'm fine."
The last thing he wanted to do was stop. Ever.
"Good. I think you're going to put me to sleep if I relax any more, though."
"Is that a bad thing?"
"Only if I don't wake up in time to get to the bathroom. I swear he's sitting on my bladder. All I done is pee the last few weeks." She sat up a little. "Sorry. Here you are being so nice, and all you're getting in return is a fat pregnant woman complaining."
"You're not fat, and you can complain all you want." The temptation was finally too much. He reached up and patted her tummy. "Free pass."
"You're too sweet, Zach."
"Just the truth."
"I feel like a whale."
"You're gorgeous," he countered.
"Thank you. I know it's silly, but that just made me feel really good."
He grinned up at her. "Mission accomplished."
"I'm going to push my luck, then. Could you do my shoulders, too?"
"Sure." He slid off the couch and negotiated the narrow space between it and the coffee table.
Marie sat up a little straighter as he moved in behind her. The subtle, fruity smell of her shampoo made him want to lean down and fill his lungs with the scent as he settled his hands on her shoulders. Once again, the sexy sound of her voice spurred him on. This time, he was standing above her, with the upper swell of her breasts drawing his eyes. Fortunately, hers were closed, so she didn't notice when the magnetic power of her cleavage overcame his willpower for a second or two.
Lost in what he was doing, he caught his fingers and thumbs on the straps of her top two or three times. When it happened a fourth time, she said, "Just a second."
To his shocked awe, she pulled the straps down off her shoulders.
He couldn't believe his voice didn't crack.
He lasted all of a few seconds. Releasing the pressure of the straps had allowed her top to droop, exposing more of her breasts, swollen in preparation to fulfill their true role. No bra contained them. They rose and fell with her breath in a hypnotic rhythm that seemed perfectly coordinated with the throbbing of his manhood.
"I knew it."
The world snapped back into focus, and he panicked, thinking she'd caught him looking down her top. After the initial moment of fear, he realized that her eyes were still closed.
"You are putting me to sleep."
Zach let out a relieved chuckle. "Is a nap such a bad thing?"
She opened her eyes. "No, but I'll regret it if I fall asleep here. Nowhere is comfortable, but the bed is better than the couch."
She sat up, pulling the straps of her top back into place and saying, "Thank you. That felt wonderful. I can't remember the last time I had a massage, let alone one that good."
"You're welcome." His hands still tingled from the touch of her skin. His pulse raced. His cock throbbed.
"Will you wake me up in two hours, if I don't wake up myself before then? I don't want to sleep so long that it's hard for me to fall asleep tonight."
"Sure. No problem, Marie."
After a quiet grunt of effort, she levered up from the couch. His heart skipped a beat once again as she stepped in close and laid a hand on his cheek.
"You're an angel."
Stunned, he couldn't manage more than a wordless, dismissive sound in response.
Marie laughed, and turned to walk to the bedroom.
Even her slow, shuffling walk was sexy to him. It was going to be a long couple of hours of decompression, after touching her and beholding her beautiful, full breasts.
"I'm going to leave the door open in case I need to hurry to the bathroom," she called back.
"Okay. Have a good nap."
A buzzing in his pocket prompted him to pull out his cell phone. He answered the message from his sister, saying that everything was fine, and that Marie was about to take a nap. A minute or so later, she sent a message back informing him that she would be staying with Marie tonight — a task the family took turns at — and that she would sneak him a six-pack of beer when she came to relieve him, as long as he handed over his keys first and walked home later.
Zach grinned. The beer alone was a small treat. The fact that his sister was okay with him drinking it was something altogether different. Today wasn't turning out so bad after all — other than the sweet torture of being so close to Marie.
Plopping down on the couch again, he gave his erection a squeeze it had been screaming for ever since Marie had sat down. He was as hard as stone again, and surprised that she hadn't noticed despite his shirt tail dangling for camouflage. A few taps on his cell set an alarm for about an hour and fifty minutes, in case he lost track of time.
Back to daydreaming almost immediately, the massage ended far differently than her going to take a nap in his mind. It was hardly the first time he'd imagined being with her, either. He'd even gone so far as to research pregnancy sex positions on the internet, just to make his fantasies — and masturbation sessions — more real. Even when he was dating someone and having sex regularly, Marie still filled any lonely nights.
There was far more than sex to his fantasies. He'd admitted to himself quite some time ago that there was more to his feelings than a crush. For a while, it had even helped him deal with seeing her with his brother. As he'd grown steadily aware of how little Richard appreciated her, that had changed. He would have never treated her that way, and she was married to his jackass brother.
A whimper snapped him back into reality, causing him to sit up and turn toward the bedroom. Though he heard nothing more, he popped up off the couch anyway. He knew Marie's voice well enough to have instantly recognized it.
At the bedroom door, he peeked in — only for an instant at first — and then a little longer. Deciding that she was still asleep, he stepped in front of the door and sighed.
Marie was curled up with a long body pillow, which helped support her pregnant bump. She was hugging the pillow as if it was someone lying beside her, and one of her long gorgeous legs was draped over it as well. Her shorts had ridden up as she slept, exposing glimpses of her butt and a sliver of white from her panties. She was smiling, and so beautiful that Zach stood — transfixed by the sight of her.