Mrs. Correlli's LoverbyMarciaRH©
I rubbed my forehead and thought: Oh, God. What has he done now?
"Mr. Correlli," I said. "I'm sure you're mistaken about that. My son would never--"
"You're son's a goddamned menace!" Mr. Correlli yelled into my ear. "And a seducer. I ought to call the goddamned police on his sorry ass, the little bastard."
My son is not a bastard, I thought distractedly, and he's certainly not little. But he is more than capable of getting himself into trouble with your goddamned slut wife, Mr. Correlli.
"I ever find that goddamned little prick in my house again, you'll be getting a call from the police--or the fucking coroner!" he hollered at me.
I almost got out "But--" before he slammed the phone down in my ear. "Oh, Brad," I sighed. "When are you going to learn?"
My son is the horniest young man I have ever known, worse even than his father. And Maria Correlli, with her lush red hair, sensuous looks and--let's face it--voluptuous body, was not a woman my son would not be attracted to. Given the chance, Brad would go after her like a piranha after a bleeding cow. And someone had given him the chance, obviously.
The back door opened and banged shut again.
"Brad? Is that you?"
"It's me," he called out.
"Would you come in here, please?"
The refrigerator door rattled open and I heard something dragged across the shelf, probably the gallon of milk because Brad was a growing boy, in need of his calcium. "What's the matter?" he wanted to know.
"Mr. Correlli just called."
Not a pause. "Oh yeah? What'd he want?"
As stiffly as I could, I answered: "An explanation of why you tried to rape his wife."
He appeared in the kitchen doorway with a milk mustache and a huge grin on his face. "He said that?" he asked.
"He said that," I confirmed.
"Wow. He was more pissed off than I thought. He'll get over it."
"I'm sure he will," I said. "And so will you. You're grounded. For life." I pointed at the ceiling and the second floor above it, where our bedrooms were. "You may start your sentence immediately," I said.
He laughed and used the back of his forearm to wipe his upper lip. He was hot and sweaty, the blonde hair covering his head matted in places, spiked in others, and generally an adorable mess. His blue eyes sparkled and so did his perfectly white, orthodontically-perfect teeth.
"I'm serious, Brad. You're grounded."
"I'm 18," he reminded me. "You can't ground me."
"As long as you live under my roof, you're--"
"--subject to my rules," he finished for me. "Yeah, yeah, sure."
I crossed my arms and tapped my foot impatiently.
"Aw, come on," he said, rolling his eyes. "It's not like I raped the bitch."
"Bradley Collins!" I exploded. "She is not a bitch! And even if she were, you have no right messing with a neighbor's wife! It's . . .it's idiotic!" I exclaimed, unable to come up with anything stronger.
His grin turned lopsided. "You didn't see her," he said.
"In her shorts and this tight tube top."
"I don't want to hear it," I said, shaking my head.
"No, I mean, it was really tight," he said, creating the shape of her bosom with his hands. "And stretched so tight across her breasts that the nipples were showing through."
"Bradley!" I gasped, almost strangling on laughter. "You stop that! Right now."
He laughed again and told me: "I was cutting her grass. I always cut her grass on Wednesdays; you know that. I went inside for a drink of lemonade when she called me in, and we were standing there in the kitchen talking about the weather. Maybe a little too close, but that was all. I didn't know her husband would come home."
"And catch you trying to seduce his wife," I finished for him.
He tilted his head, the way he always does trying to decide if he wants to confide in me or not. I kept my expression neutral and finally he said. "I--"
I held up my hand. "No more. I don't want to know any more." Of course, I did, but it would only have offended me, hearing his confession. And made me jealous. I always get jealous, damn it.
I sighed and started tapping my foot again. "You know he could make trouble for me, Bradley. You know that, and you still go on, carrying on like this."
John Correlli was a deacon at my church and president of both the Neighborhood Watch group, and the homeowners association. He was a boor at the best of times, and spiteful and vindictive at the worst. A few deftly placed words and he'd have little trouble turning the congregation against us, and make living in this development a nightmare. He had done it before. And with his ties to the University of Maryland alumni association, he could possibly even cause problems with Brad's athletic scholarship. I didn't need that headache.
"Stay away from Mrs. Correlli," I told him.
His head remained tilted. "What about her grass?"
"Fuck her grass! Let her cut her own grass. Or let that wimp of a husband cut it for her," I replied, angrily. "If he knows how."
Brad's grin spread to full intensity again. No doubt he wondered how a miserable prick like John Correlli landed a woman like Maria in the first place. Short, scrawny, balding, nearsighted: it didn't make any sense. Unless, of course, it was a money thing. The creep had money.
"Just for the record," he said, turning back to the kitchen. "We're not intimate anymore. The creep got all boiled up about nothing."
As he disappeared around the corner and into the kitchen, I kept my features neutral and my breathing steady, even as I wanted to jump in the air and shout, Yes! Thank God for that into the air.
* * *
You already have this figured out, right? Wrong. I have not had sex with my son. At least not yet. I have these impossible to control fantasies and desires; urges and frustrations and he knows as much, just as I know he has designs on his mother. He eyes me constantly, no longer only when he doesn't think I'm looking. Until three weeks ago, neither of us had acted on these impulses. I often wondered, What would I do if he did? What would he do?
I am 36 years old. I had Brad when I was 18 and just out of high school. His father was 20 at the time, in the Marines, stationed overseas, and we didn't marry until he returned home in 1993 when Brad was almost a year old.
Brad's younger sister, Geena came along two days after his fourth birthday. I was 22 at the time and working for my father at his plumbing supply store in Bethesda. Dad co-owns one of the area's largest plumbing, heating and air-conditioning companies, but I can't tell you the name of the company without telling you who I am.
Next out of my personal baby-factory was Bradley's sister, Lettie, born two days before his 8th birthday. Last was the baby of the family, Tisha, the final peapod ever to be fertilized by the man of this particular household, because the man of the household is now gone, four years split. Tisha was born one day after Brad's 14th birthday.
I don't know what it is about me and mid-October.
* * *
Brad has seen me nude. He has seen me in just my panties, and in my bra and panties, and in various other states of undress. I don't think it's an unconscious compulsion as much as pure bad luck on my part. I always seem to be running into him half-naked in the morning, dashing from my bedroom into the bathroom across the hall. Or I'll leave the bedroom door cracked only to find it has swung inward at the most inopportune moment, to reveal me braless or worse, panty-less, just as Brad trundles by. And it's always Brad that trundles by, never his sisters, as though some built-in radar guides him there. Maybe he's clairvoyant. Maybe he's, what do you call it, telekinetic, like that woman in the X-Men movies?
I'm always startled and red-faced and tongue-tied when it happens; Brad thinks it's just the funniest thing in the world. He teases me about it shamelessly for days afterwards, sometimes even getting his sisters into the act for an extra laugh. Innocent fun, right?
Not always. One morning this past winter, while in my bathroom getting ready for work, I turned away from the mirror, completely nude after my shower except for the towel wrapped around my hair, to find Brad standing in my bedroom doorway, just staring at me.
"Oh, Jesus, Brad!" I cried, grabbing for my bathrobe. My cry startled him out of his trance and he spun and stood looking out into the hallway.
"How long have you been standing there?" I demanded, bundling myself safely into the robe.
"Just a moment or two," he lied.
"Did you get enough to see?" I demanded, furious with embarrassment.
This stung him, and he turned his face away, expression pinched, looking almost like he was going to cry. That's when I knew. That's when I knew for sure.
He had broken the rules, standing there staring at me like that. But I had broken them as well, coming down on him. Our relationship had strayed beyond the, Oh, look! Seen you nude in the mirror and got to embarrass you mercilessly about it phase. It embarrassed me further.
"Brad," I had said. "I think you better leave."
He stood motionless for a time, continuing to look back over his shoulder, not at me, but at my presence in the room, deciding upon a proper response.
What response did I want him to make? There was no mistaking the thrum in my body, the hormonal content of my blood, the thump of the blood beating at my temples. I shook with its intensity, feeling breathless and weak. I had begun ovulation overnight, or would very shortly, and if stupidity and animal passions clouded my judgment badly enough, I could damn well find myself pregnant.
Maybe Brad sensed this sudden realization in me, and the resulting panic, because he walked away, fists clenched at his sides, stiff-legged down the hall.
I wanted to call him back, but I didn't.
* * *
Brad had injured his knee against Springdale High School in the fourth quarter of last year's Homecoming game. The knee had healed up fine enough, but I worried what would happen to that knee when he began playing ball again in the fall. As a freshman, he'd see precious little, if any playtime for most of the season. At least, that's what I hoped. According to his coach, Brad would start out on Special Teams and Special Teams players are prone to getting hurt. Badly hurt.
I was there the night that he was injured, cheering him on in the grandstands just like everybody else. I will never forget that moment of panic when he didn't get up after a bruising tackle. I'm sure you understand what I go through, both wanting him to succeed in a blazing streak of glory, and not wanting him to get off the damned bench.
"How much have you gained?" I asked him. We were in the workroom, just off the kitchen, what people up north call the mudroom. He banged his knee hard with both palms, switched the piece of Slim-Jim from one corner of his mouth to the other, and grunted: "About five pounds."
"Five pounds," I repeated dubiously.
He grunted again and flexed his thigh muscles, tried to pull his ankle out of my grasp, and very nearly succeeded. I put pressure against his knee from either side, one hand gripping his ankle, the other on the rock-hard muscles of his calf. This was a job for his father, I thought, not some wimpy, flabby mother.
His father was currently in Greenwich, Connecticut, shacked up with his bimbo.
"How much are you supposed to gain?" I asked, trying to keep that ankle immobilized and failing at it miserably.
"You have to hold it tighter," he complained. "Here. Like this." He removed my hands and jammed his ankle between my left breast and my biceps, repositioning my hands on his calf. I was very aware of the backs of his fingers having scraped along the swell of my breast--and was trying hard not to show it. He seemed unaware of either the contact, or of my uneasiness.
"How much are you supposed to gain?" I repeated.
"And you've gained five? Are you going to make it? You have barely a month left, Brad."
Classes at College Park didn't begin until after Labor Day, but football practice started in mid-August, even for the freshmen. He had less than a month remaining, actually.
"It'll be fine," he said, unconcerned.
"How much do you weigh right now?"
He grumbled, irritated now: "What difference does it make?"
"It makes a lot of difference," I pressed. "You're supposed to weigh two-hundred and twenty pounds to make the Special Teams requirements. How much do you weigh? Right now?"
He glanced at me, mouth pulled down at the corners. "Two-oh-five," he grumbled.
"Brad! You've lost weight!" I cried.
"So what," he said, shrugging angrily. He smacked hard on either side of the knee again, making me grimace. "You'd be happier if I didn't play, anyway."
"That is not true!" I lied. "I just want you ready to play. Not an underweight punching bag for some upperclassmen to beat up on."
"I'll be fine, Mom. Stop nagging."
"I am not nagging!" I said hotly. "This is nagging."
I smacked the side of his foot and stood up.
"Your room is a total disaster, young man. I don't think you've cleaned it since the day school let out. Coke cans all over the place, microwave pizza boxes stacked up three high on your dresser. I don't even want to talk about what your bathroom looks like." I put my fists on my hips. "I want it cleaned up. Now. Today. Before you leave this house."
"Before you leave this house," he mocked. "You're cute when you're mad, you know that, don't you?"
I stuck up my middle finger at him. Then I put it away, embarrassed. "Don't disrespect your mother," I mumbled at him.
"What I'm going to do," he said, glancing up at me as he adjusted the laces on his left cleat, "is take you over my knee and paddle your bare behind, you do that to me again, woman."
I raised my middle finger at him again, very deliberately. "Bite me. How's that?"
He looked at me for a moment, then, faster than I could dodge away, grabbed my elbow and the waistband of my sweats and had yanked me down over his lap.
"Bradley! Bradley! Don't you dare!" I hollered.
His hand went up, then up higher, then up as high as he could manage and not drop me off his lap. Then it came slowly down and made gentle contact with my right buttock.
"Okay," he said, laughing nastily. "You are so busted, woman."
He yanked down the back of my shorts; his hand went up and down in rapid-fire succession five times, stinging my backside before he let me go.
I struggled off his lap, got myself righted and my clothes twisted back into place just as Lettie stuck her head in the door. "What's going on?" she demanded, all ten-year-old authority.
"Nothing!" I snapped back at her. "Don't you have something to do?"
Oh, the look she gave me and her brother. Rolling her eyes, she went back to eating her apple and walked away.
I stuck my finger in Brad's face. "You are this close!" I hissed at him and stomped away.
* * *
I had liked being spanked. It was that fact, not the act of being upended and taught a lesson by my impudent son, which bothered me.
I sat fuming in my bedroom fifteen minutes later, the scene playing and replaying in my head: the embarrassment, the bare-bottoming, the sharp whack-whack-whack of his hand on my flesh. I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror or I would cry. How could I look at him?
He startled me from the bedroom doorway. "I didn't know it would upset you that much, or I wouldn't have done it."
I turned away from him and said, "Get the hell out of here. I'm not talking to you."
"If we don't talk," he said. "Things are gonna get bad here, Mom. Let's talk."
"We have nothing to talk about," I said, angrily. "You just spanked your mother."
"When any one of your sisters could have just blundered in and seen you."
"Get out of here, now! I don't want to talk to you. Now, I said!"
He was silent a moment. "No."
I whipped around and speared my finger at him and bared my teeth. "Get the fuck out of my bedroom or I will throw you out of this house." I meant to say more, to threaten him with bodily injury and loss of tuition, but in the next instant he was at my bed pulling me to my feet, and then he was kissing me, right on my mouth.
* * *
"Bradley! Bradley, stop!"
I struggled away and turned my face to keep him from kissing me again. I was breathless and disoriented and panicked and sure that at any moment the rest of my family would come barging in to see what their whore mother was yelling about.
"Bradley, let me go," I choked.
He finally let me go and I staggered away, causing him to grab my arm to keep me from falling over the chair.
"What did you think you were doing?" I demanded shakily.
"Nothing you didn't want me to do," he replied softly.
"Brad--" I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and looked at him, then the open door, which I rushed over to close. "For God's sakes," I said, my voice cracking. "You can't do that."
My heart was banging in my chest like a runaway freight train. It felt ready to explode. My hands shook and my mouth was completely dry. I realized I was shaking head to foot.
The most insane thought popped into my mind just then: What would Maria Correlli say if she knew you were kissing your own mother, Brad?
I began to giggle, stifled it savagely with my hand. I looked as far away from Brad as I could find in that room.
For God's sakes, Anita, I thought. This is what you want. You've wanted it as long as you can--
"I--I need a moment," I said in a wavering voice. I couldn't think; I couldn't even breathe. It felt like someone had wrapped me in a steel corset and was tightening the laces with Paul Bunyan's hands. I saw, clearly in my mind's eye, shot from above like a security camera, myself locked in his embrace, my mouth hungrily taking what he had to offer, the panic-start of breaking away from him, pushing off.
I could not deal with this right now. Certainly not in my own bedroom, with three other children around.
"I can't do this," I said softly. "Not here. Not like this." And then a sudden strong breeze cleared away all the brain-fog. I said to him, "In two days, it's your birthday. What would you like for your birthday, Brad?"
He said only three words, and they sprang from his lips immediately.
"A motel room," he said.
I sighed, happily.
* * *
It was 8:51 P.M. I gazed sleepily at the shimmering red digits of the alarm clock, snug within Bradley's strong arms. The covers were pulled up tight around my shoulders, as I liked them. I felt very secure. I felt wonderful, actually.
And I had just committed incest.
"Why do you suppose we feel the way we do?"
He stirred beneath me, his semi-erect penis moving within my vagina. The same vagina that, 19 years before, had delivered him into the world. I should have felt truly awful--at least troubled by it--but I didn't.
"Why do you ask such silly questions," he asked.
Because, I thought, I'm snug as a bug in a rug and enjoying feeling silly.
We lay there for another ten minutes, silent, dreamy, exhausted, me with the secure knowledge that down between my legs, dammed temporarily by his now-flaccid penis, magic baby-fluid was even then swimming upstream through my uterus in search of an egg. It made me so sad.
"It makes me so sad," I murmured.
He raised his head. "What makes you so sad?"