Her Two Johns by Phyllis Scott

 

HER TWO JOHNS

(How far would they go to keep her? How far would she go?)

By Phyllis O Scott

BOOK ONE

Perhaps this tall tale should be called “Her Two Johns (and a Kevvin)” because there is a Kevvin—interloping gnat that he is—a minor player yet in a major way that should not have had a role in this story at all. But he did, by happenstance, and therefore cannot be, nor would he care to be, trivialized.

So, for now, as in Hamlet, let’s leave him to heaven.

This is a novella. In name only. In a novella, you expect certain fiction formulae. Not so here. So if you get off on conflict and conflict resolution; dramatic or situational irony; morality or a message of some kind, or any lesson to be learned—readers, put your literary libido away—you won’t find it in these pages. What you will find is one ordinary female transitioning from novice to nymph via the cocks of two sexually incautious males living a three-way with her that in theory and practice is perfect.

[Caveat: If the term cock offends you, stop! The indelicate parlance ratchets up going forward. If not, please continue….]

But perfection carries a mean stinger.  The stinger is its own antidote; and it is worst than any fly in any ointment as the Johns will tell you today.

So, if you get off on sexual speculation, you’re in the right place. Readers, unzip! (Your minds.)  There will be sex. Titillating sex. Gourmet sex.

Here are the players:

Shay Lyn DeBurgo

John Howard Cross

John Raymond Marshall-Bey

 Oh, yes, and:

Kevvin Leon Marshall-Bey III

This salacious polyamorous love story is a tall tale not because it’s a lie but an improbable truth. You know the kind of truth that causes people’s minds to writhe in abject disbelief. Because you think: Well, I would never do that. What was she thinking?          

We know what the two Johns were thinking and what they were thinking with.

Was their desire for Shay powered by obsession, lust, or true love? Or none of the above. But in fact, was it a billion-dollar con game perpetrated on our lovely heroine?

What is true the Johns personalities were sex-obsessed and compulsive; though, not clinically so, that is to say, they were not crazy. They were of one mind: they had a plan and they were determined to carry it through. Did it play out the way they envisioned? Were their dreams exceeded? Well, we’ll see.

And so, Shay, a woman with book smarts and common sense, and little in the way of street savvy, fell “unvictim” to a master scheme perpetrated on her by the Johns, self-described tacticians of the diabolic; and while we may judge her for not walking away when she certainly had that choice, we must understand it simply never occurred to her to leave John Howard Cross and John Marshall-Bey. Not even in her most exacting hour.

Shay would be the first to admit she was not one vested in farsighted aspirations or grand works. She had no ambition to set the world on fire. She had found a comfortable niche in the yoga business along with close friend Janae Ware. So how did our girl Shay Lyn DeBurgo find herself in this love crisscross in the first place?

She received a job offer via an old acquaintance. (Or what do you call a guy who took your innocence and dumped you?) Either way, she’d had no contact with John Howard Cross in twelve years!

Was their desire for Shay powered by obsession, lust, or true love? Or none of the above. But in fact, was it a billion-dollar con game perpetrated on our lovely heroine?

What is true the Johns personalities were sex-obsessed and compulsive; though, not clinically so, that is to say, they were not crazy. They were of one mind: they had a plan and they were determined to carry it through. Did it play out the way they envisioned? Were their dreams exceeded? Well, we’ll see.

And so, Shay, a woman with book smarts and common sense, and little in the way of street savvy, fell “unvictim” to a master scheme perpetrated on her by the Johns, self-described tacticians of the diabolic; and while we may judge her for not walking away when she certainly had that choice, we must understand it simply never occurred to her to leave John Howard Cross and John Marshall-Bey. Not even in her most exacting hour.

Shay would be the first to admit she was not one vested in farsighted aspirations or grand works. She had no ambition to set the world on fire. She had found a comfortable niche in the yoga business along with close friend Janae Ware. So how did our girl Shay Lyn DeBurgo find herself in this love crisscross in the first place?

She received a job offer via an old acquaintance. (Or what do you call a guy who took your innocence and dumped you?) Either way, she’d had no contact with John Howard Cross in twelve years!

Was their desire for Shay powered by obsession, lust, or true love? Or none of the above. But in fact, was it a billion-dollar con game perpetrated on our lovely heroine?

What is true the Johns personalities were sex-obsessed and compulsive; though, not clinically so, that is to say, they were not crazy. They were of one mind: they had a plan and they were determined to carry it through. Did it play out the way they envisioned? Were their dreams exceeded? Well, we’ll see.

And so, Shay, a woman with book smarts and common sense, and little in the way of street savvy, fell “unvictim” to a master scheme perpetrated on her by the Johns, self-described tacticians of the diabolic; and while we may judge her for not walking away when she certainly had that choice, we must understand it simply never occurred to her to leave John Howard Cross and John Marshall-Bey. Not even in her most exacting hour.

Shay would be the first to admit she was not one vested in farsighted aspirations or grand works. She had no ambition to set the world on fire. She had found a comfortable niche in the yoga business along with close friend Janae Ware. So how did our girl Shay Lyn DeBurgo find herself in this love crisscross in the first place?

She received a job offer via an old acquaintance. (Or what do you call a guy who took your innocence and dumped you?) Either way, she’d had no contact with John Howard Cross in twelve years!

SEPTEMBER 13, 2015

Atlanta: Shay and Janae’s apartment,  Cobb Co.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2015

“Janae, come in here a minute!” Shay called out. “I want you to look at something on my laptop.”

“If it’s not a naked stud muffin, I’m not interested,” Janae stuck her head in Shay’s bedroom.

“You and your naked men obsession. This is serious stuff!”

“Okay, okay. Let me see what you got.”

“First, take a look at this picture,” Shay touched her interactive screen. “What do you think?”

Janae peered over her shoulder. “Freakin’ hot for a white guy.”

Shay swiped and brought up another head shot. “And this one?”

“Two peas in a freakin’ pod. I can just close my eyes and pick either. So who are they? And why do you have to choose one?”

“I don’t.  I don’t have to choose one. They are a packaged deal.”

“Okay, I’m lost.”

Shay Lyn leaned back, patted her bed. “Here, sit.”

“Is this going to take long? I’ve got something on the stove.”

“Turn it off.  You’re going to want to hear this…it involves Janae.”

“Me?” Janae’s favorite topic.  Janae returned presently with diet sodas, passing one to an edgy Shay and sat back against the headboard. This was Sunday, their lazy do-nothing-day.  The best friends had served together in the Peace Corps and now co-owned Shayland’s Yoga Studio. They bought the building and established their living quarters above the business. Janae was a silent partner, pursuing her career in casualty insurance. Shay was the “face” of the three-year operation.

Janae pulled back the tab to her soda.  “Okay, my ears are open for business. Go.”

“I never told you how I lost my virginity, did I?” Shay began. “Silly me. Of course I didn’t.”

“I don’t think that particular subject ever came up, no.”

She pointed to one of the photos. “That man, John Cross, took my virginity.”

“Blondie? Took…as in raped you?”

“Not exactly.”

“What part of not exactly am I confused?”

“Well, he did and he didn’t.”

“What?”

“But he promised he wouldn’t.  Does that make sense?”

“Not. At. All.  Have you had your head in “The inner city Mother Goose” again?”

“Do you want to hear my tale of woe or not?”

“Is Obama bi-racial? Hell yeah, I do? Can I grab some popcorn?”

“No, sit your butt down. This is not entertainment. It’s the story of my broken heart.”

“So far, I’ve got sex, a white guy, a broken hymen, and a broken heart: and none of it sounds remotely like you.”

“Does selling my body to John Cross after the fact sound like me? Well, I did. Keeping my mother in an upscale sanitarium like Peachwood Valley cost money. The kind of money I didn’t have.”

“I assumed your dad was footing the bill.”

“And I let you and everyone else think that. Sorry.”

But the truth was Jake Deburgo had long ago abandoned wife and child for a new life in Japan, where he relaunched his singing career. Shay was tri-racial. She inherited her velvet brown skin from her mother; her soft Asian features from her crooner father who was Japanese/Irish. She could also thank his affair with her mother Bonnie—one of his back-up singers—for her conception. He married Shay’s mom, treated her horribly, had affairs with other women, and when his wife suffered a breakdown, he skipped out on mother and child.

“Girl, what did you get yourself into?”

“I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you everything. It all started when…”

_______________

Between Shay’s freshman and sophomore years at UT Austin, she took a summer job that she was recommended for by her swim team coach: The Cross Estates at Houston as a companion to Emma Cross, John’s mother who was recuperating from heart surgery. Shay’s duties were mainly reading, correspondence, observation, conversation; monitoring Emma’s therapeutic swimming and preparing the occasional lunch. Her off days were Monday and Tuesday, so she was present when John was there on the weekends. Otherwise, he worked and resided in the city for the summer and her contact with him was minimal. He was friendly enough and they were convivial when they greeted upon his visits. Often, she would quietly excuse herself to give him privacy with his mother.

Sometimes, he would find them in the garden, take snapshots with his cell, and include her in the conversation—though she mostly kept her mouth shut. She learned he was in his last semester at UT Austin. Their paths had not crossed on campus yet. Of course, his beauty did not escape her notice. He was so lovely as to be effeminate…such a sensual mouth…glorious eyelashes, and such a dandy about his appearance down to his manicured nails. Shay would not have been surprised if he were gay.  However, Emma Cross would announce regularly, beaming with pride: “My John—he has such a way with females. He has to literally fight them off.  If he would just quit stalling and marry that pretty little Pamela Sue across the road…”

________________

“So, he already was involved with someone,” Janae accused, not liking him already.

Shay nodded.  “He called her his betrothed, arranged by their parents. Who arranges marriages in the 21st century? The rich, I guess, trying to make a financial match. Pamela Sue, it turns out was an oil heiress. At first, I thought his mother was baiting me, trying to scare me off in case I had designs on her son. In truth, I was a pushover, ripe for seducing. I was so flattered that John Cross found me attractive; I was total putty in his hands. He had money and ambition. He was smart. And so beautiful it burned my eyes to behold him directly. So I often would look away and he mistaken that for shyness which I guess intrigued him. Honestly, it was like flash blindness! I had no idea that he fancied me. So when he cornered me in the laundry room a several weeks after I was employed, thumbed down my lower lip, ran his tongue over it then kissed me senseless…and said that I was in his head 24-7 and that he had the biggest—and I quote—fuckin’ hard-on for me, please say yes—I told him that I was a virgin, saving myself for marriage.” 

****************

MAY 9, 2003  

Then he said: “What a waste. Shay, look at me. We can make it work, you and me.” Shay dragged her timid brown eyes up to his sea-green ones, blushed, and dropped her eyes again. She took in a breath and asked what she knew was a preposterous question in light of the fact they hardly knew each other; but what other could he mean?

“Are you proposing to me?”

His blue-green eyes twinkled. “Don’t be absurd. You are such an innocent. Who would have thought it with a body like yours? Shay, you don’t have to be married to have sex. I do have a proposal for you in a manner of speaking, however. Sweetheart, there are other ways to satisfy ourselves. Let me show you the joy, the ecstasy you are created for. Let me show you what you’ve been missing. I want to give you orgasms, baby. Lots and lots of orgasms.”

Orgasms.

She repeated it louder in her head: ORGASMS.

          Shay had heard of them. That’s all her roommates talked about. They must be a really good thing.

Even the word, the way he said it, made her tremble inside. Her mother never discussed orgasms. She only drummed into her head to keep her legs closed. Boys were bad news. They’ll just get you pregnant and leave you. “You are a beautiful girl and boys will come after you to destroy your life. You must stay a virgin for the right man, a man who respects you: the man you marry.”

“I’ll do what the brothers won’t do,” John Cross was making his case.

Shay was intrigued. “What won’t the brothers do?”

“I’ll be your candy licker. I’ll lick your body all over and make you come. You ever come before?”

Goodness gracious! His words were truly scandalous! They excited her to no end! Shay Lyn couldn’t believe he was saying these naughty, insane things to her. No boy, no man before him ever had! No, she hadn’t ‘come’ before but she had been curious, listening to other co-eds who had experienced penises inside them speak in glowing terms about sex; and in as much as he was willing, nay, eager to give her that pleasure and still preserve her virginity—why would a girl in her right mind say no to John Howard Cross?

He said: “I love the taste of pussy in my mouth, Shay. I’d rather eat it than bang it.”

His words were vulgar and electric; an abhorrence coming from his angelic face yet had the knell of truth. Besides, why would he lie?

“Honest?” she breathed.

“Honest. You have nothing to fear.”

And so it began. That summer, Shay placed her virginity in John Cross’ hands for safekeeping. In the mid-night hour, he would steal into her alcove bedroom for their perfect new passion; her untutored body a literal sponge for the vagaries of oral sex John Cross promised and delivered. She could never look at his tongue the same afterward.  It was an extraordinary appendage, actually, with a furl in it that he had to roll back into his mouth. Or so it seemed. When he talked her mind would glue to his tongue and relive the ecstasy promised at the tip of it. He rocked her sheltered cosmos each night he came to her.

Shay wanted very much to reciprocate. He tried tutoring her and she was surprised that her inept, gauche efforts satisfied him as awkward as she was with her hands. The evidence was clear as the dried semen he left behind on her sheets.  Sometimes he lost patience with her fumbling and took care of it himself and it was fascinating to watch a man masturbate. Did women masturbate? She didn’t think so. She could not imagine touching herself that way.  Yuk!

But all good things, salacious and clandestine, must come to an end; her tenure was ending at the Cross Estate and so would their torrid liaisons. She doubted he would continue to see her outside the mansion. And so three months later, their last night together packed in every little wanton thing, helped along with the bottle of wine he brought to her small bed.

Shay was not prepared for what happened next. Never in a million years! She lost count of her orgasms, and she lay in an orgasmic stupor, her knees folded en arrière like a bird’s wing as her lover’s attentive mouth mopped up her spill. As always, she anticipated John’s sex-saturated lips to cover hers for a simmering kiss to conclude the matter.

Instead she got a jolt of hard reality when she felt a dynamic force against her opening! She heard the sonic rip of her hymen before she felt it. Then he crashed through, burrowing deep, and it was all pain.

She panicked. No! This could not be happening! NoNoNoNoNo….

          Just like that…in mere seconds her virginity was smashed to smithereens as were her dreams of her gift to her husband on their wedding night. Damn John Cross and his betrayal!  She could only curse him. She couldn’t fight him. Her arms were locked in his elbows, his palm covering her cries.             

        “Shhh…shhh. It’s done. It’s over, sweetheart.”  He kissed her throat.  “You’re mine now.”

The mattress gave beneath her as he forged harder; the length, the breadth of him stretching her to capacity and Shay felt every tormenting, dominating inch of his custody.  John was high on the fact that he had total control of Shay’s body. Such power may never come again as he might antagonize her as well as he might convert her. Whatever the result, he would be master over her tonight.

He broke her like a dominant mare, taking her from combatant to passive. And passive was good, considering. She bucked beneath him trying to unseat him but he was steadfast, not budging a millimeter within—until she realized the fruitlessness of struggle and settled down, taking him as stalwart as she could, but her body complained with every thrust.

Shay glared up at him as he labored above her. “You’re hurting me.”

“No I’m not.  Relax.  Let me make it good for you.”

“I hate you.”

“You do not hate me, Shay. Your easy heart won’t allow it.”

Her easy heart indeed. That’s what got him into her bed in the first place. That and his lies.

When he was satisfied everything of her was his to own, he finished, rolled off her, and sprawled on his stomach.  “Wow. Shay—baby… ”

She turned on her side, folding up fetal, giving him her back. (That’s right. Talk to the back!)           “Don’t ‘baby’ me. I trusted you. You got what you wanted.  Now leave me alone.”

“Do you want to talk?”

Shay pulled a pillow over her head, her voice muffled: “I said, get out.”

Leaving the bed, he stared down at the stains of bright blood and virgin sacrifice. Surely, the contrast of the white sheet made it look worse than it was.

“I’ll make it right,” were John’s parting words to her.

Make it right?  Could he regenerate her hymen? Anesthetize her pain? Could he turn back the clock to a time when he was not a barefaced liar? Rapist?

“I’ll hold my breath, sure,” she said, flippantly, feeling everything but. She cried all night and the rest of the next day.

********************

“The next morning when I chucked the empty wine bottle in the trash, I noticed the brand: Cherry Kijafa. I imagined he got a laugh out of that.”

“Goodness!” Janae said her eyes wide with astonishment.

“So was I raped or not?”

“You’d lose big time in court with the ‘we-were-naked-in-my-bed-‘cause-he-said-we-were-only-going-to-do-oral’ defense.

“That’s what I thought.  So I took his penitence money.  He inherited two million from his grandmother on his twenty-first birthday.  He split it with me. It’s all in trust for my mother’s care.”

Hhump! That was generous. But what did he have to say for himself?”

Shay laughed. “Get this—he wanted to make it up to me with more intercourse because I didn’t get the full glorious experience of screwing him.”

“What crock!”

“He was an ass. Do you know that he was with me because his betrothed wanted to save herself for their wedding night?  I was hurt and outraged that he had not afforded me the same respect, the same right for my wedding night as I vowed. I was so naïve, Janae. He manipulated me the whole time. He said he could not bear the thought of another man being the first.  He had to stake his claim. So he drank wine for courage and tucked away his conscience in his loins. So yes, I tucked away my high-mindedness and I took his money. I allowed myself to be bought.”

“Hey—I’m not judging you. I’m no angel—I’d take the louse’s money too.”

“I know.  Right?  At first I did hate him. But we had bigger problems. So we had to kiss and make up. There was the baby to consider.”

“You had a baby? I need something stronger to drink.” She set aside her half-imbibed soda.  “We’ve been friends a long time and you never breathed a word about a baby!

“I should have said baby scare. He left a gob of semen inside me! I missed my period.”

“So…no baby.”

“No baby.”

“And…was that the end?”

Shay wheezed air. “You would have to ask that.”

“Well…you have shocked me with this much…there’s got to be more. So let’s have it.”

“With John Cross, I learned one more thing about myself.  I’m a pushover.  Fool me once and I give you a clean shot at me again! That’s me!” Shay laughed in self-derision.  “Yes, you’re right, there’s more even before we knew there was no baby. Our schedules conflicted so we would alternately skip classes to be together, ostensibly for rides in the countryside: parked beneath orchard trees to plan for our phantom child; the discussions inevitably ending the same—John begging me, heating me up, my breast in his mouth and my body twisted like an Austrian pretzel on his penis. We assumed I was already pregnant, so why not take advantage of it, he reasoned.  Okay, it wasn’t one-sided.  It got less and less painful and I started liking it more and more.  So who was I fooling?  Not John Cross. I would hop on his wang-wang faster than you could say ‘giddy up’! And if I wasn’t pregnant, I was bound to be after all the free-wheeling intercourse, right?”

“Wrong. On both accounts, I gather.”

********************************

SEPTEMBER, 2003/John Cross and Shay

       “According to the test I took I’m not pregnant. That’s what you want to hear, right?”

“I’ll feel better when you actually have your period, won’t you?”

“Silly me, getting used to the idea that it might not come.”

“Me too.”

“Truly?”

“Shay, I care for you. I’d care for our baby. What do you think this is?”

“A dalliance…one that will end when you marry her.

“Baby, the good news is—this doesn’t have to stop. We can do this…for as long as we want.”

“You are still getting married?”

“The date’s been set but that’s not a problem for us.

“Do you love this girl?”

“I don’t want to talk about her with you. Be my mistress, Shay. Every man worth his salt has one. Even my father.”

“Poor Mrs Cross.”

“Don’t feel bad for her. She undoubtedly knows it and takes it in stride.”

“How callous! That’s your mother!”

Who would understand. She loves him and he loves her. She has a bad heart and is unable to perform her wifely duties. What do you say? I’ll buy you an apartment. Your studies won’t be disrupted. Let me take care of you. Let me make it up to you with this bit of happiness.”

*******************

“That’s mighty white of him,” commented Janae. “Imagine—his whore as a consolation/slash/booby prize. Just more of his crap.”

“I was his undoing, he said.  He adored me. He wanted me. And along the way I had fallen for him. My period came.  So we knew I wasn’t pregnant but we didn’t stop our activity in the orchard.  Again in April, I was late. Yet, when June rolled around, he married virgin her.  I feared I might succumb to my base desires and do the wrong thing. I didn’t want to be the ‘other woman’.  His concubine. Fortunately my period put in an appearance again and I bailed on the relationship, thankful to the gods that I had dodged another bullet. I vowed I’d never look at another penis as long as I lived! I transferred home to Atlanta U. He did not pursue me and I never heard from him again. Until today.”

Janae shook her head as if to clear it of all the muddling.  “What a story!  Now he’s tracked you down on Facebook. One guess what he has in mind. He wants his darkie back.”

“Not even close. We both moved on. He married. I got over him. End of story.”

“So what else could he want lo these twelve long years? Child, please.”

“Come work for him in Houston…or rather an associate of his named John Marshall-Bey.”

“John Marshall-Bey!” Janae hopped off the bed.

“You know him?”

“Yeah I do.”  Janae affirmed. “Not personally, of course.  I’m very familiar with the name. My insurance firm was one of the entities involved in a discrimination lawsuit against his Foundation a few years back. The suit was later dropped, never went to court. What is it that he wants you to do that somebody else can’t do better?”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Shay said.

       Janae stood over Shay, her arms folded imperiously. “I’m on your side. I’m just trying to help you figure it out,” she said, all of two years wiser. But being a transplant from New York had put her ahead of the curve. Her favorite catchphrase was: the trouble with you naïve southern girls….     

      “John Marshall-Bey’s Girl-Friday. Ombudsman. Event coordinator.”    

       “Oh, a glorified party planner.”     

      “My bachelor’s in Hospitality Management; my master’s, Organizational Development—I’ve yet to put either degree to use. And most significantly, I have Lifeguard Certification.  John Marshall is mildly epileptic; swimming alone is dangerous for him. But it is also one of his health regimens and must be supervised. If I take the job, I’ll have to live at the Foundation’s mansion with him…and guess who else? John Cross himself. They are housemates as well as best buds.”

“It’s a traappp…” Janae sang.

“A hundred thousand dollar trap. Plus a new BMW to tool around in. Of course, I have to travel a lot for the Foundation and I’ll have the private jet at my disposal as well. Looks good to me.”

Janae was unconvinced. “Sure—if you’ve got…what?—cataracts.”

“Ha-ha. Very funny. Now ask me what’s in it for you.”

“Hit me. What’s in it for me?”

“Double your investment in Shayland Yoga, plus 10%. Interested?”

“I wouldn’t turn up my nose, exactly.  I still say these two are looking for a brown-skinned playmate. Look at them!  Single. Dripping sex. And John Cross has already sampled you. Can you spell “threesome”?  It’s all the rage with the beautiful, the rich, and the bored. And even a true lifestyle of some so-called modern progressive, free-thinking people.”

“If that’s the case, there are plenty of willing women right there in Houston, brown and otherwise.”

Janae tapped Shay on the forehead. “Hello! Wake-up in there! Those two aren’t looking for some Houston back alley crack-head slut. They want a clean, noble woman they can turn into a slut!  A homegrown slut that they can mentor to satisfy every vile act they fancy in bed. You’re perfect for that. Look at you! You’re gorgeous. John Cross still has a hard-on for you, Shay. I ain’t mad at him. I can imagine you were Ms Hot Stuff at eighteen.”

“You are one suspicious woman.”

“I’m an insurance investigator, sugar.  They pay me to be suspicious. On the other hand, John Cross might have sprung a conscience and wants to make amends.  He’s done his homework by looking into your financials. You haven’t spent a dime of the money he gave you on yourself—only on your mother’s care. And you’re not getting rich on your yoga business. So maybe you’d jump at the chance to switch career gears and make three times as much while living in the lap of luxury.”

“I’m not hired yet…only recommended.”

“I’m sorry…who’s recommending you again?”

“Still, I have to sell myself to the Board of Trustees. They want me for a six-day interview at the mansion in Houston. Look, here’s a picture of the place.”

A stately red brick Victorian of 4,000 square feet with wrap around veranda and attached gazebo.

“Nice. It even looks wicked.”

“Forty rooms.”

“Bet you get screwed in every room. Uh-huh.”

      “God, please make her stop! There are three other buildings on the grounds. And lots of acreage. I would hardly be hemmed up with them. What do you think? They’ve narrowed the field to three, two other candidates are invited.”     

        “We’ve had some bracing experiences in the corps, but this? What do you want to do?”     

         “Go, of course. I’m curious about the job. And perhaps, I want to rub it in a bit with John Cross that I’m not the dumb, wide-eyed, trusting fool I was in college. Besides, what have I got holding me? My mother is taken care of.  I’m responsible only to myself. When I eat a banana, I’ve fed my whole family.”     

        “Blah blah blah. Six days with all that testosterone, you’ll be singing another tune. You’re asking for trouble, girl. Oh, and how special…both their first names are JOHN. That will come in handy when you’re jumping out of one John’s bed into the other.”    

       Shay laughed. “I’m not even going to listen to you, girl.”     

      “If the Johns photos are any indication, these fellas can charm plumage off a peacock. I’d recommend putting a prayer cloth in your panties, but you don’t wear panties.”    

     “Not true. I wear them when the occasion calls for it.”     

     Janae laughed. “You might like to trade up to a chastity belt. Just sayin’.”    

     “My chastity belt is one word, an iron-clad NO.”      

     “That might work with regular guys like Leonard Jackson who tried for months to get in your pants. I don’t think many women have said no to these guys—singularly. Combined?  Uh-uh. The dark-headed one with the wavy hair and five o’clock shadow resembles a gorgeous vampire and your blond green-eyed Adonis can give the Sexiest Man Alive or Dead a run for his money.”

“Well, they don’t scare me. Just one inappropriate move and I am whish! sooo out of there!”

“I just got a gut feeling.”

Houston, Texas, Marshall-Bey Foundation Mansion

Of course, Janae’s gut was dead-on as usual.

The wingman and best John for the job of seducer is John Cross, who was born with not only a silver spoon in his mouth but a silver tongue. Plus, he had a built in advantage—having seduced Shay before.

John Howard Cross summoned to the Rec Room by John Marshall-Bey found him in the Ms Pac Man alcove, joystick in hand, skillfully gobbling up pellets and vaporizing ghosts in his coveted, custom-manufactured video machine.

“What’s up?”

John Marshall-Bey nodded to the manila envelope on the glass top without diverting his attention from the challenge at hand.  “Where’s our girl?”    

       Packing. Her flight’s in the a.m.”

“We can’t let her leave just yet.”

“Problem?” John Cross asked, half–sitting on a high stool and opening the envelope.

“Doesn’t have to be.”

John Cross scanned the medical report in his hand, flipping the pages. He stopped at John Marshall’s red circled item and whistled. “I don’t like the sound of that. Bad for her and could put a finite kink in our plans.”

“Not really. Just another tool in the toolbox.”

“Okay. What are you thinking?”

“We get her to stay.  Check out things with our doctors here in Houston. We take care of the medical necessities. How is your rapport with her? Still tenuous?”

“I think I pierced that shield surrounding her cold, cold heart.”

Two Days Before…

“So… the Peace Corps, huh?” “You read my vitae.”

“I wondered what had happened to you. Vanishing from my life like that. I wanted to follow you to Atlanta.”

“But you didn’t.”

“No, I didn’t. What was the use? You had made it clear you didn’t want us.”

“I didn’t want us the way you wanted us.”

“Touché.”

As they toured the grounds, they chatted about the countries of her sojourn. Then out of the blue Shay remarked, “You’re still as handsome as I remember, John.”

After a thoughtful second, he returned: “And you’re still beautiful if not more so. But tell me, Shay DeBurgo, are you hitting on me? Because you know I hit back.”

Then he caught her close and kissed her mouth, making good his threat.

Shay broke the kiss—a hot kiss by any measure—putting distance between their hyper-tensed bodies.  “Exactly what I don’t want to happen if I take this job, John—picking up where we left off.”

“What we had was pretty damn fantastic.”

“Sex. That’s what we had…fantastic sex.”

“I’ll back away if that is your wish, Shay. John Marshall wants you for this job. I agree with him that you are the perfect choice. I don’t want to screw it up for him or for you. So, hands off. I promise.”

“You promise? My virginity…remember that insignificant little thing? Forgive me if I’m skeptical of your promises.”

“I was a callow jerk back then. I was in lust and I knew only one way to handle it. I’ve learned to be a better man. And if it’s any consolation, I felt bad hurting you at the end. I cared about you, Shay.”

“I got past it. There were lots of Johns in my life after you,” she lied.

“Figuratively, you mean.”

“I didn’t exactly go off the deep end. But there were…others. I didn’t waste my life pining for you.”

He bowed to her. “Good for you. Still, out of all these so-called others, you never married.”

“Is that an accusation?”

“An observation.”

“And you’ve been married three times.”

“Married once; engaged twice more.  Bad mistakes.”

“I was curious. I researched your engagement announcements online. Your fiancés are all very attractive women. I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you.”

“I got past it,” he grinned, repeating her words. “But I haven’t gotten past you.”

“I can keep my hands to myself; can you?”

“You masturbate too? I’d love to watch. We could get ourselves off…together.”

She punched his chest, playfully. “You haven’t changed.”

      *********************

         “You busted her sweet cherry and introduced her to orgasms,” John Marshall said.

“A coddling vise of Langeskov cherry that woman. Once you’ve been there, you’re spoiled rotten for anything else. Believe me, man, I have mourned her loss.”

“No doubt you know your cherries. I suspect the feeling is mutual. She hasn’t gotten over you no matter what she says.”

“I’m counting on it.”

John Marshall looked up from the all-pervasive Ms Pac-Man to spare John Cross a glare.   “So you know what that means…what you have to do…I want that contract signed before our dove takes wing back to Atlanta.”

“So…no qualms about exploiting an innocent,” John Cross challenged.

“Though I applaud your diligence, your methods of seduction the first time around were predatory and egregious, albeit thorough. You can hardly view her as innocent after all that.”

“Small theatre in a small environment. Everything went down in her twin bed or the confines of my two-seater.  Her sexual experiences are sure to have broadened in the twelve years since. The same tactics won’t work with her. I have to go back to the drawing board.”

“What matters is you were the man who turned her out; that can only be good for us. A hard cock trumps a soft heart. You, my friend, have work to do.”

John Cross said, slapping the envelope across his palm and heading out, “I’ll get right on it.”

Shay Lyn DeBurgo fit their dream girl in almost every aspect:  5’8”. 118 lithe pounds. Satin brown-skin, lovely even features with a hint of oriental, spirited brown eyes, a lush kissable mouth. Dimples. A thick disarray of curls framing her oval face.  Long legs.  Sweet-Jesus breasts.  Smart.  Intuitive.  Lovable.  Talented.  And a personality on steroids. (Though she tested negative for drugs.)

Of course, sexually, she would have to be re-educated two-John-style.

Virgins, John Cross had his share. Shay was neither his first nor his last. He had married one.  Pamela Sue Woodstock.  A twenty-year-old cry baby. Literally, the girl next door who crushed on him since she was pre-teen; wanted to go home to her mother soon after their wedding and cried every time he took his ‘thing’ out to play.  He was glad to let her go.

Atlanta. Red Lobster Restaurant, Cobb Pkwy

Shay Lyn knew instantly she opened her guest bedroom door to John Cross, that it wasn’t good news.

And this was what she was trying to relate to a shocked Janae Ware after her return from Houston, almost a month later.

“Cancer!”

“That’s what I thought. I’m fine. But by the time I knew it was nothing, I had fallen into John Cross’ sexual clutches again.”

“Stop,” Janae said, after they slid into a booth.  “Start from the beginning.”

They paused to give the approaching waitress their orders.

“What the hell happened? Why didn’t you call me?”

“I texted.”

“One lousy text stating ‘I’m here!’ is hardly informative. And you ignored my messages. I was worried about you. I was about to call Houston police for a welfare check.

“I—I was overwhelmed…my head in a spin. The Foundation required a physical of the applicants. There were three of us at the mansion at the same time, all females; all with similar credentials. During that time John Cross was quite circumspect. The total gentleman. Both Johns were. The other two candidates were released from consideration. And by the last day, I was alone with John Cross. He kissed me. I shut him down. He agreed that if I took the job, he would back off.  So…so good, so far.  Right? Then later, he approached me with the bad news from my physical: it showed a growth in my right breast.I did not take this news calmly…and he was there. There at the doctor’s. There at the biopsy and the biopsy results; there when I got a clean bill of health. There tenderly tending my stitched wound.”

“And he was all sympathy and light. So, you got taken in by him again. Why am I not surprised?”

“It happened so seamlessly. One minute we were celebrating my good news over champagne with John Marshall in the Library and then he was whispering I want you in my ear and next thing we were taking our leave from John Marshall and celebrating privately in John Cross’ bed.”

“The man is good.  Gotta give him props. You were in a vulnerable place and he worked it. Or did he spike your drink?”

“I was in full consenting control. That’s not the worst of it. Hold on to your afro wig: I think I’m falling back in love with him.”

***********************

Shay now understood the meaning of “he had his way with her” in romance novels.  For five days following the prognosis, John totally owned her. While he was at the car dealership he owned as well, she slept, bathed, and revivified. When he was home, he dedicated himself to loving her body; manipulating her orgasms; and dispersing his seed within her. Because that’s what mammals do to procreate. And though his lovemaking was drugging and all-consuming, she was no neophyte this time around; she caught onto what he was doing.

He was intentionally trying to make her pregnant! But why?

“You won’t wear a condom because you want me pregnant?”

“Don’t you want to be? You were prepared to be a mother when you were nineteen. You cried when your period came on—both times. Why not now that we are in our thirties? It makes more sense.”

In point of fact, her crying had more to do with losing John Cross than not being pregnant.

“Shouldn’t we establish first what’s going on between us?”

“I thought that was pretty damn clear: our future is together. You and me. We’re in love, aren’t we? So, what naturally comes next?”

“People usually get married first.”

“Shay, look at my track record on marriage.”

“I know but we should at least discuss…babies.”

“What’s there to discuss? If we make a baby, we make a baby. You’re not a whore, Shay.  I use condoms with whores.”