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My Niece Janelle, Chapter 2

  • Posted on December 14, 2016 at 3:47 pm

By Muffi

I woke the next morning feeling deliciously lethargic and lazy. I knew that I had to motivate myself to get moving and go help with Janelle’s party, but I stayed under the warm covers for as long as I could. I wondered vaguely why my purple vibrator was lying next to me on the bed, and then remembered that I had drifted off to sleep quickly the night before, following an almost unbelievably intense orgasm. I hadn’t had the energy to even put the toy away.

For the record, before I got myself out of bed, I did take a little time to make an attempt at repeating the pleasure of the night before. I won’t bother to describe it, I’m sure you aren’t interested in a repeat of that so soon on the heels of my last description. I will only say that while it was quite pleasurable, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as the previous night.

Oh, well. As the Rolling Stones said, you can’t always get what you want. I was still feeling something of the afterglow from last night, anyway, so I wasn’t even close to being disappointed. I mean, there really is no such thing as a bad orgasm, right?

Smiling and humming quietly to myself, I padded into the bathroom for a quick shower, brushed my hair and teeth quickly, threw on a hint of makeup, and then went back to my bedroom to get dressed.

I’d decided on a casual look for the day. I knew that most of the little girls who would be showing up would be wearing pretty dresses, but I also knew about playing in the sprinkler. One way or another, the party would end with everyone dressed casually. Besides, I figured that with something like fifteen prepubescent girls in one large gathering, pandemonium reigns supreme — so jeans would be the safest choice.

I pulled on a sheer burgundy thong. Well, you never know. I could meet a bored mom who was looking for a stroll on the wild side, couldn’t I? Okay, admittedly, the possibility was rather remote. The bra that made up the other half of the set was also sheer. It did nothing to hide my prominent nipples, but at least I was sort of following the rules of modesty. It was a bra, right? A barely there bra, true; but a bra nonetheless.

I pulled a thin tank top over my head, black, with rather narrow shoulder straps and a low, scoop cut neckline that was trimmed in black lace. It displayed my cleavage rather nicely, I thought. Finally, I sat on the bed and pulled on my favorite, worn out but immensely comfortable black boots with thick clunky heels. I stood up and surveyed the result in my mirrored walls, satisfied that I looked not only comfy and casual, but marginally respectable as well.

That’s me: Your friendly, admittedly nymphomaniacal, neighborhood lesbian. The epitome of respectable small town womanhood. Yeah, right…

Lock up your womenfolk, fellas. Meagan is flying solo, and her horniness knows no bounds!

Yes, I do think about sex almost constantly. So shoot me.

Janelle’s birthday cake was on a very large wooden cutting board, sitting on my kitchen table. After I had started my coffee brewing, I eyed the dimensions of the cake, then went into the garage to dig out a couple of cardboard boxes. After some skilled surgical work that involved a box cutter and some duct tape, I had an open box that was large enough to place the cake in. It had no top, but I could cover it with aluminum foil. I drive a mid-sized Chevy crossover, so I had plenty of room in the back to set the cake down for the ride.

By the time I had opened the rear hatch of the Chevy, lugged the cake out there and loaded it up, my coffee was ready. I poured a huge mug and snapped the lid on. My travel “mug” holds just over a half pot of coffee. Caffeine addict? Me?

I took a quick sip of rich, hot black coffee, set the mug down, and went to the hall closet to dig out the birthday presents I’d bought for Janelle. I grinned. My sister was going to have a hissy fit. Oh, well. This was about Janelle, not about her mother. Truthfully, I was going to enjoy Kate’s reaction every bit as much as I would Janelle’s.

The largest of the two brightly wrapped packages had to go in back with the cake. That actually worked. I wedged it between the front seats and the edge of the cake box, which help to steady the cake in place. The smaller package went on the front passenger seat. There was a third package, as well, but I needed to wait to load that until I was just ready to leave. It would go in the front seat as well.

I went back inside, picked up my coffee, and went into my office to check my email. My graphics work is almost exclusively computer generated, created for various web applications. I do some work for print media also, but the majority of my work is for cyberspace. Email is my main form of communication with clients and prospective clients. I check it faithfully several times every day.

Nothing pressing. That was a good thing; I wouldn’t spend the day with half of my mind trying to solve any work related issues. I turned off the computer monitor, leaving the machine running. I almost never shut down my computer for any length of time. Just a daily, five minute shutdown to clear the RAM and cache space.

I grabbed my denim jacket and pulled it on, made sure everything was turned off except the computer, checked the doors to be sure they were locked, and grabbed Janelle’s third present. I went into the garage, set the package on the front passenger seat, and started up the vehicle. I punched the garage door opener, and when it was fully raised, I backed out into the driveway. I hit the button to close the garage back up, and headed off to my sister’s house, about a mile and a half away. I turned on the CD player and sang along with Sarah McLachlan, only slightly off key.

It was still several hours until the party. I pulled into Kate and Michael’s driveway just a few minutes before ten o’clock. It was a beautiful, early autumn day, bright and sunny, with the promise of warm temperatures by noon. I parked the Chevy in full sunlight, got out and opened the rear hatch, and unloaded the cake. It was heavy enough that I had to use both hands, so I’d have to come back to close the hatch.

I used my elbow to ring the doorbell, because I couldn’t open the door. My hands were full of birthday cake. My brother-in-law opened the door, grinning at me.

“Hey, Meagan,” he said, “come on in. You need some help with that?”

“Just with the door, thanks,” I replied.

“You got here just in time,” he said, laughing. “Janelle is about to go into meltdown. Kate’s been pretending that she forgot to bake the cake, and telling Janelle not to worry, she’ll get to it soon.”

I shook my head, unable to hide my smile. “My sister, the eternal bitch,” I said.

“You said that, not me,” he grinned.

“I can say it,” I said conspiratorially. “You, she’d probably murder for that.”

“She would indeed,” Michael said. “Slowly, and very painfully.”

His face as he spoke gave lie to his words. Michael loves my sister with everything he’s got. The only other person he loves even near as much as Kate is Janelle.

“You can think it, Michael. I won’t tell, I promise.”

He laughed, showing gleaming white teeth. “Come on,” he said. “That thing must be getting heavy.”

As we walked into the kitchen, Janelle was wailing at her mother. “Mom, come on! You hafta get my cake made!”

“Look who’s here, guys,” said Michael loudly.

Kate and Janelle turned as one and saw me. When Janelle saw the box in my hands, she spun back to her mother, glaring at her with an accusing look. She didn’t say a word. She didn’t have to. She just glared, and that look said it all. Then she spun back to me, all smiles again. “You made my cake, Aunt Meagan? Is it chocolate? Can I see it, please, please, please, please, please?” The words spilled out in a rush.

“Yes, I made your cake, Sweetie. Of course it’s chocolate; do you think I’d make any other kind for you? And no, you may not see it. It’s a surprise. You’ll have to wait until the party.”

Janelle gave me a mock pout that lasted all of about two seconds. Then she was all smiles and giggles again. “Wait’ll you see the outfit Mom got for me to wear today, Aunt Meagan. It’s so awesome!”

“We’re waiting until about noon to put it on her,” said Kate. “We want to minimize the amount of time that she’ll have to get it dirty.”

Janelle blushed. She has a tendency to get dirty pretty quickly sometimes, and she knows it.

“I can’t wait to see it, Sweetie. I’ll be here all day. There’s no rush.”

“You wanna see it now? I can show it to you.”

I shook my head. “Nope. I want to wait to see it when you’re in it. It won’t be half as pretty on a hanger as it will when you’re wearing it.”

She blushed prettily again. I was struck by her innocent beauty. My sister and her hubby make awfully pretty kids, I thought.

The rest of the morning was spent bustling around the house and the deck, decorating and preparing everything for the arrival of a pack of half-wild girl children. There would be a few of the Moms there, as well, which would provide Kate, Michael and myself with some much needed technical support. We were going need all the help we could get.

At about noon, we figured that we were about as ready as we were ever going to be. There were balloons floating in the air everywhere; Michael had rented a tank of helium and bought balloons of every shape, size and color. They bounced lazily against the ceiling inside the house, and they were attached by strings from railings, table legs, anything that you could tie a string to. My major contribution to the party had been a huge banner that I’d designed and had made. It was suspended from the eaves of the house above the deck, a bright pink banner with white lettering, each letter outlined in a different primary color.

HAPPY NINTH BIRTHDAY, JANELLE!!

My sister had rolled her eyes at me when she saw the banner. Across the bottom, I had put stylized images of Ellie and Nellie, my two boa constrictors, smiling brightly at whoever was looking at the banner. Janelle likes my snakes. Not every little girl prefers puppies or kittens, you know.

Janelle had gone upstairs to change into her new outfit. The three of us were standing in the kitchen, taking a break and trying to psyche ourselves up for the impending chaos. Actually, I really was looking forward to this. It was going to be fun.

I turned at the sounds of clunky footsteps coming down the hallway towards the kitchen. Janelle pranced proudly into the kitchen, her eyes locked to mine, grinning from ear to ear. I looked at her, then I glanced at her mother, who was also grinning at me. She was dressed up, alright, but not in what could remotely be thought of as a frilly little girl outfit.

She was wearing an almost perfect duplicate of an outfit that I favor, and that Janelle had more than once labeled as “awesome.” I gulped. She looked adorable! Around her neck was a black velvet choker, with a silver heart suspended from the front. She wore a white, long-sleeved blouse that was heavily ruffled down the front and at the cuffs. Over the blouse, she wore an open, black leather vest with silver buttons. Her pants were also black leather, with an exposed button-fly, again with silver buttons. On her feet, she wore a pair of boots that were identical to the ones I had on, only smaller.

She stood in front of me grinning for a moment, then slowly spun in a circle. When she was facing me again, she looked up at me, still grinning. “Wha’d'ya think?” she asked.

“I think,” I replied, “That except for the fact that you’re much prettier than I am, you look like a miniature Aunt Meagan!”

Janelle beamed at me, then rushed forward and wrapped her arms around my waist, hugging me tightly. I returned the hug, happily.

Kate was still grinning. “She’s been after me for months to let her get an outfit that matches yours,” she said. “She finally wore me down.”

“She’s good at that,” Michael added.

It was a pretty expensive outfit to get for a little girl who would most likely outgrow it within a year. But then, we all tend to indulge Janelle. Kate can’t have any more kids; she’d had to have a hysterectomy following Janelle’s birth. They’d discovered two malignant tumors. She was their only child, and all the more precious to them because there would be no others.

Indulging Janelle never seemed to spoil her, though. She didn’t develop that attitude of just expecting to get whatever she wants. She was truly appreciative of anything that she was given.

When she stepped back away from me, her mother noticed that Janelle had forgotten to brush her hair. It was tousled wildly. “Janelle! Are you going to greet people with your hair looking like that?”

Janelle reached one hand up to her head to touch her hair. Her mouth formed a surprised “O” shape, and she spun around and ran back upstairs to take care of it.

“She really adores you, you know,” said Kate quietly. “Everything is, ‘Aunt Meagan this, Aunt Meagan that.’ She wanted that outfit so badly, so she could look like you.”

It was my turn to blush. “Yeah, well, don’t tell her, but the feeling is mutual. I love her like she’s my own.”

Michael grinned. “No one has to tell her. She knows she has you wrapped around her little finger.”

I glared at him. “You should talk,” I said.

“Yeah, I know,” he said, ducking his head with a sheepish grin. “She’s pretty special, isn’t she?”

“That she is, dear brother-in-law,” I replied. “That she is. You should be proud of her.”

“Trust me,” he said quietly. “I am.”

“Okay, you guys,” said Kate. “This concludes our regular meeting of the Janelle McCarthy Fan Club. We need to focus. It’s going to get insane around here very soon.”

That statement was followed immediately by a hesitant knock at the front door. I glanced at Kate, then headed down the hall to answer the knock. I heard Michael mutter behind me. “Let the games begin.”

I opened the door to find a rather plain, mousy, tired looking woman who was probably in the neighborhood of thirty years old, but looked much older than that. Next to her was a slender little girl with coal black, shoulder length hair and very pale white skin. I smiled at both of them brightly.

“Uhm, is this the right place? For the birthday party, I mean?” the woman asked.

“You got it,” I said, grinning. I looked down at the little girl again. “You must be Sara.” The little girl nodded shyly and smiled.

I looked back at her mother. The woman looked defeated. By what, I couldn’t tell, but there was defeat painted all over her face, and in her posture. I wondered vaguely what had happened to make her this way. “I’m Colleen Davidson,” she said quietly. Her eyes shot to the floor, then back to my face. “Are you Janelle’s aunt?”

“Meagan Bristol,” I said, nodding. “It’s nice to meet you in person.” I extended my hand, and the woman took it, shaking hands with me rather listlessly.

“Sara, Janelle is upstairs fixing her hair,” I said. “You can go on up if you want to.”

Sara was holding a large white envelope, and a rather worn out looking backpack. She looked at her Mom, then smiled shyly again, and walked past me and up the stairs to find Janelle.

I looked back at Colleen Davidson. She met my eyes steadily, but with a wariness that I didn’t quite understand. “Would you like to come in and meet Janelle’s parents?” I asked her.

“Oh, no, thank you,” she said. “I have to get going and get ready for work. Maybe another time.” She paused for a moment. “I’m sorry we couldn’t get Janelle a gift.”

I waved a hand at her. “Stop, please,” I said. “Janelle is thrilled that Sara’s here. I saw the card. She’ll be perfectly happy with that.”

The woman nodded and smiled briefly. At that moment I heard a Janelle give a happy shriek from upstairs, followed by shy laughter that must have been Sara. “I think Sara found Janelle,” I said.

“You’ll take Sara home after the party?” she asked.

“Of course,” I said. “Just give me the address.”

“We’re off of McConnell Road,” she said. “It’s the third right after you turn off Route 5. About two miles. You can’t miss it. Sara will get you there.”

“I know the area,” I said, nodding. “I’ll run her home as soon as everything dies down.” I smiled at her again.

Colleen nodded at me. “Thank you,” she said quietly. She hesitated for a moment. “For everything.”

I wonder what that means, I thought. “Thank you,” I replied, “for letting Sara come. Janelle really wanted her to be here.”

“I need to be going,” she said. “Thank you again.”

“You’re welcome,” I said. “I’ll make sure to tell Sara to call you as soon as she gets home.”

“That’s not necessary,” she said quietly. “My husband will be there.”

“Oh, okay,” I replied. Must be a one vehicle family, I thought.

The woman turned and started to her car. “Goodbye,” I said. “Try to have a good day at work!” No response.

What an odd woman, I thought.

Over the next hour or so, more and more kids showed up. Some came with gifts, some with just cards, all of them were chattering and laughing in that way that’s peculiar to little girls. Before too long, it was utter pandemonium, with sixteen, count ‘em, sixteen hyperactive eight and nine year-old-girls shrieking, laughing, giggling and running madly through the house and around the back yard.

Make that fifteen. I noticed that little Sara hung back from the rest of the kids, looking a little shy, and very lost. I wasn’t the only one who noticed, either.

It didn’t take long for Janelle to notice that Sara hadn’t been included in the chaos. Then the count dropped to fourteen hyperactive little girls, and two quiet little girls sitting at the picnic table on the deck.

I shook my head slowly. You continue to amaze me, Janelle, I thought.

I watched as Janelle stood up, taking Sara’s hand and leading her out onto the lawn to join the other kids. Though she still looked shy, little Sara was at least taking part now, joining the other girls. Then I noticed Sarah-with-an”H” off to one side, whispering to a couple of other girls, pointing in Sara and Janelle’s direction. Uh-oh, I thought.

Sarah-with-an-H is one of those picture-perfect, Barbie doll looking kids who always looks as though she absolutely knows that she’s better than everyone around her. Since she had inherited her looks from her mother, I can only assume that the attitude comes from the same source. But while genetics and environment might explain the kid, they aren’t an excuse for her behavior. I don’t know the little girl well enough to actually dislike her, but I trust my sister’s opinion. She already looked like a supreme little bitch.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being a bitch from time to time. I embrace my own inner bitch quite regularly. It’s a girl thing. Get over it. I stop short of outright cruelty, though. I had heard enough about Sarah-with-an-H to realize that she probably enjoyed being cruel.

I heard Sarah-with-an-H call Janelle’s name, then saw her motioning to Janelle to come over. Janelle walked over to the small group of girls, and Sarah-with-an-H leaned close and whispered something in Janelle’s ear. Janelle froze for a moment, then stepped back, a look of rage — not anger, but true rage — slowly spreading over her features.

Here we go, I thought. It’s show time.

Janelle must have been speaking very softly, because I could see her lips moving, but I couldn’t hear a word. I stood up and started towards the group of girls. Then I heard one word come from Janelle, loud and very strong. “Now!”

Janelle had raised her arm and was pointing towards the house. I moved towards the girls, seeing surprise, then confusion, then anger on the face of Sarah-with-an-”H.” She masked it quickly, fixing a smug, haughty little smirk in place.

I was close enough to hear what Janelle was saying now. I was thankful that she’d had the sense to keep her voice low.

“You’re not welcome here anymore, Sarah. I want you to leave. Now.”

Sarah-with-an-H wasn’t going to be discreet, though.

I’d come into their field of vision now, and Sarah-with-an-H shifted her gaze towards me for a moment, then flicked back to Janelle.

“Fine,” she said, loudly enough to make sure that everyone heard her. “You think I want to stay here anyway, with your dyke girlfriend and your queer old dyke aunt hanging around?”

With a hateful look in Sara’s direction, then another in mine, Sarah-with-an-H stalked off towards the deck, calling for her mother. Her two sidekicks followed in her wake. Moe, Larry and Curly, I thought.

I sighed. Some things never change.

Janelle was on the verge of angry tears, but she held them back. She looked up at me.

“You okay, Sweetie?” I asked her.

She nodded. “Yup. I’ll tell you later what she said.”

Janelle glanced in Sara’s direction. I followed her gaze, and saw the little girl standing by herself again, looking distressed and ready to cry. She probably thought this scene was her fault.

Without another word, Janelle went back to Sara, whispering in her ear. I don’t know what she said, but it worked, because I saw a huge grin spread across Sara’s face. In under a minute, the remaining kids were beginning to return to their normal activities.

I headed back to the house, and went into the kitchen. I was in time to see the three little girls heading down the hallway towards the front door, three gift wrapped packages in their hands. There was an ice-queen-resembling woman standing in the kitchen with Kate, her face a mask of anger. The mother.

She was almost screaming at Kate. “You let her be around these children? What’s wrong with you?”

I knew what that meant. I smiled to myself. Time for me to embrace my inner bitch. Beware of flying venom, please.

I saw Kate open her mouth to speak. I raised my hand quickly to stop her. Her mouth closed slowly. I can fight my own battles, thank you very much.

“Excuse me,” I said, as coldly as I could. “Is there something you’d like to say to me, uhm… Miranda? It is Miranda, right?”

The woman spun to look at me. A look of haughty distaste spread across her perfect features as she looked me over from head to toe and back again.

“Is this true?” she asked me. You’re a… a… ” Her voice faltered.

“A lesbian?” I finished for her. “Am I a lesbian, Miranda? Is that what you want to know?” She stared at me with loathing in her eyes. “Why don’t you tell me, Miranda? Do I look like a lesbian?”

I raised my hand to my mouth and ran a finger over my teeth. “Hmm… No fangs. No claws that I can see on my hands. No slobber running down my chin looking at all these pretty little girls. I don’t know, Miranda. Tell me, am I a lesbian?”

That icy stare continued to try burning holes through my skull.

“You don’t get out much, do you, Miranda? This is a pretty small town, and except for college, I’ve lived here all my life. I don’t exactly try to hide the fact that I sleep with women. Ask anyone in town about Meagan Bristol, and they’ll tell you that I’m queer. Funny thing, though. Most people don’t seem to have the same problem with it that you do. I wonder why that is?”

The stare grew hateful. I was glad that there were no kids in the kitchen at that moment. “You’re an abomination!” She spat the words at me.

I smiled warmly. Okay, okay, not so warmly. But I did smile.

“Ah, now I understand,” I said. “I offend your Christian sensibilities, is that it? Well, Miranda, perhaps it will comfort you to know that when I’m making passionate love to another woman, I regularly call out to God, to Jesus Christ, and to all of the saints in heaven. Sex can do that for you. You should try it sometime.”

I looked her slowly up and down one time, then leered at her. “You’re not too bad looking,” I said. “If your husband can’t do it for you, I’d be willing to give it a try.”

She gasped, a look of horror crossing her face. I heard a choked snort come from Kate.

“If I see you near my daughter again, I’ll have you arrested,” she spat at me.

“I’ll do you one better, Miranda,” I said. “If I ever see that evil little bitch you call your daughter harassing my niece again, I’ll hunt you down and kick your proper little ass. I won’t bother with the police.”

Miranda’s mouth opened and closed several times, like a goldfish out of water. A look of fear flicked through her eyes, but it was masked in an instant. She spun around and stalked out of the house. We heard a car start, and speed off down the street.

The next thing I heard was Michael, laughing quietly. I turned to look at him. He was grinning at me.

“What?” I said.

He stared at me for a moment longer. “And you call Kate a bitch,” he murmured.

Kate sputtered and started laughing loudly. Too loudly for my taste. I couldn’t help it, though. I started laughing with them.

The three of us headed back out to the deck. The other moms came over to make sure everything was okay; the general consensus seemed to be that everyone was well rid of the Ice Queen and her little clone, as well as the two snotty friends. Kate quickly repeated what had happened, in a hurried, hushed whisper so the kids wouldn’t overhear. Peals of delighted laughter rang out as the women got the gist of what had gone down.

One woman, someone I didn’t recognize, broke away and came towards me, smiling brightly. “It’s Meagan, right?” I nodded. “Listen, if you decide you’re going to go beat that bitch’s ass, I want in on it,” she said.

Damn! I thought. I grinned at her. “Hopefully it won’t be necessary,” I replied. “But if it is, you’ll be the first to know.”

She nodded. “Good. I’ll hold you to that.”

I saw Michael smirking at me as the woman returned to the small knot of motherhood gazing out at the children on the lawn. “What?” I said.

“Nothing. Just watching the show.”

I stuck my tongue out at him. See how mature I am? He just laughed, the prick.

Janelle came trotting up onto the deck, telling her mother that she had to “pee really, really bad!” I decided I wanted to take a moment to talk to her, make sure she was okay, and perhaps find out what Sarah-with-an-H had said that set her off. I gave Michael a quick whisper telling him that I wanted to talk to Janelle for a minute; he nodded.

I followed Janelle down the hall to the small half-bath on the first floor. She heard me behind her and turned, her face lighting up in a dazzling smile when she saw who was following.

I went into the half-bath with her, and closed the door behind us. Janelle was squirming in that peculiar way that we females do when we really have to go. She gave me a questioning look as she quickly started unbuttoning her leather pants.

“I just wanted to check with you, Sweetie,” I said, “and make sure you’re okay after that little spat outside.”

Janelle’s face darkened for a moment. “Yeah, I’m okay, Aunt Meagan,” she said. “That stupid Sarah can go hang out with her other stupid friends for all I care. I don’t wanna talk to her anymore. And I sure don’t wanna be friends with her anymore, either.”

Her hips shimmied back and forth as she shucked her pants and undies down below her knees and sat on the toilet.

“What did she say that upset you so much, Sweetie?” I asked.

I heard a sigh, accompanied by the splashing of urine into the toilet bowl. Janelle looked up at me with a scowl on her face. “She just said some nasty stuff about Sara, and then about you.”

“You can tell me, Sweetie,” I said. “I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it all before, anyway.”

“She said that Sara is a queer little dyke, and if I hang out with her, then I must be a dyke, too. Then she said I prob’ly am a dyke, cause you are, and everybody knows that dykes always try to turn little girls into dykes, too.”

It’s a good thing that little witch had left. An even better thing that her mother had gone with her.

“Sweetie,” I said, “I’m so sorry you had to put up with something like that. I wish there was something I could say that would make it better.”

She gave me a puzzled look. “Why? I mean, I know you’re gay, an’ sometimes you call yourself queer or a dyke. But it doesn’t sound mean or dirty like it does when Sarah says it. I know she’s just stupid. Besides…” Janelle had peeled of a length off toilet paper and was wiping herself now, with a complete lack of self-consciousness.

“I know you an’ I’ve met some of your girlfriends. There’s nothing wrong with you. Even if I do turn out to be a lesbian, I don’t care. I’m still me, too.”

Nine years old, I thought. Nine years old, with the wisdom of a forty-year-old. My eyes burned for a moment, hearing those words from this lovely little girl.

Janelle stood up and flushed the toilet, then got her pants back into place. I got myself composed while she did.

I looked at her standing there. For a moment, I flashed on my thoughts of her last night, after I’d masturbated. That made me uneasy for some reason, so I pushed the thought aside.

“Hey,” I said, smiling at her. “Have I told you yet how absolutely “hawt” you look in that outfit?”

She blushed deeply, then stepped forward and wrapped her arms around my waist, hugging me tightly. I put my arms around her and hugged her back.

“I love you, Aunt Meagan,” she said softly.

“I know you do, Sweetie. I love you, too.”

When we got back to the deck, Janelle rushed out to the lawn to rejoin her friends. Michael looked at me and raised his eyebrows.

“She’s fine,” I said. “That’s one very remarkable little girl you have there.”

He gave me a smile. “You and Kate are the two main women in her life,” he said. “How could she be anything but remarkable?”

Sometimes my brother-in-law says the sweetest things.

“Stop it,” I said, “or I’ll tell Kate you’re hitting on me.”

He grimaced. “Fine. I won’t try to compliment you again.”

I grinned at him. He stuck his tongue out at me. The maturity in this family is absolutely boundless.

Kate started clapping her hands together loudly, calling all of the girls back up to the deck. It was time for the main event. The crowd was down to thirteen now, which really wasn’t much of an improvement. Well, okay, it was an improvement. Without Sarah-with-an-H and her two snotty little friends, it was a far more pleasant pack of rather noisy little girls.

Janelle, with little Sara by her side, sat down at the large picnic table. She seemed to have decided that she was going to adopt the new Sara, and I have to say, I approved of the idea. Though painfully shy and self-conscious, she seemed to be a very sweet little girl.

Kate nodded to me. That was my cue. I went into the house and began peeling back the foil from the box that held the cake. Michael was there with me, his job was to bring the ice cream. When he saw the cake, he burst into laughter.

“I did it for Kate as much as for Janelle,” I said, smirking.

“I’m sure she’ll just love it,” he said, still snickering. “Janelle, I mean.”

“She’d better. It took me hours to make.”

I got the cake out of the box by simply tearing the duct taped contraption apart. I stuck nine birthday candles in the main part of the cake, walked to the back door, and waited for Michael to light the candles for me. When we were ready, he opened the door for me, and I walked out to the deck, singing “Happy Birthday” as loudly as I could, and completely off key.

Yeah, I know. I said I don’t sing in front of an audience. Birthday parties consisting of a pack of half-wild little girls don’t count.

Everyone joined in singing with me, and I placed the cake in front of Janelle. Her mouth dropped open in surprise, then she giggled delightedly, beaming up at me. I followed her eyes as they glanced up at her mother, who stood beside her with a shocked, open-mouth look of disbelief on her face.

There were gasps, and lots of high-pitched little voices saying things like, “Coool,” “That’s so awesome,” “Ooh, sweeeet!”

The main part of the cake was a huge tree. It was a full three feet from the base of the trunk to the top of the leaves. At the top, the “foliage” spread widely out, about a foot or more to either side. Suspended from the branches, one on either side, were two beautiful snakes, hanging by their tails. Their bodies hung down, then curled back up towards the branches, where their heads faced out, smiling broadly with Cheshire cat grins.

When I say it took hours to make, I wasn’t lying. The whole cake itself was chocolate, Janelle’s favorite. The trunk of the tree was frosted with dark chocolate icing. The branches of the tree, and the two snakes, were done in white chocolate frosting that I’d tinted with food coloring. The leaves were bright green. The two snakes were colored to resemble Ellie and Nellie.

My snakes are rather rare strains of boa constrictors. Ellie is known as a Sharp Strain Albino boa. Her skin is an almost pure white base color, with very pale yellow markings. Nellie is a Salmon boa. Her skin is a light tan base color with darker tan to salmon pink markings. They’re both very beautiful snakes. I was quite proud of how accurately I’d depicted them on the cake.

“Snakes?” Kate gasped. “You made a birthday cake with snakes?”

“They’re boas, Kate,” I said, grinning. “They won’t bite. Though I have to admit, they are showing a lot of teeth, aren’t they? And they aren’t just any snakes, Kate. It’s Ellie and Nellie, which you’d know if you ever got close enough to look at them.”

Kate gave a long, hard shudder. “I hate snakes,” she said, “You know that.”

I grinned at her. “I do, yeah.”

My sister glared at me for a moment, but even she couldn’t pretend to be angry for long, not when Janelle was so obviously delighted. “Okay,” she said, “you win. Someone get some pictures of this monstrosity before it gets destroyed.”

Michael snapped a few pictures of the cake, Janelle blew out the candles, everyone clapped, and then one of the other moms helped her to start cutting it up and serving it. It was something of a hit — to eat, I mean. Nothing like a good, straight from scratch chocolate cake buried under mounds of ice cream.

I was going to have to be a good girl, and spend some extra time working out this week. No way I was passing up a plateful of my own creation.

When no one could eat any more cake and ice cream, it was time for Janelle to open her presents. I wanted to save mine for last. I went in to help Kate gather the gifts up and bring them out to the deck.

As we gathered everything together, Kate gave me her “special look.” “Thanks, sis. You did a wonderful job on that cake, even if you did have to be a bitch and bring snakes into my house.”

“Don’t call me a bitch… not just yet, anyhow!” I retorted. “You haven’t even seen the presents I have for her!”

She peered at me suspiciously. I blinked innocently. I can look innocent if I try. Really, I can.

Kate wasn’t buying it. “I’m not going to like this, am I?”

“Don’t be silly,” I said. “Janelle’s going to love it, which means you’ll love it because she’ll be so happy.”

“Uh-huh. Why don’t I believe you?”

I shrugged, innocently again. “I have no idea,” I said, giving my beloved sister a mock-hurt look.

The problem with trying to look innocent — at least when you’re me — is that people know you only too well. They’ve learned that I’m seldom innocent.

We brought Janelle’s gifts out to her on the deck. Mine stayed in the house, waiting until the end. There was the usual array of toys, books, clothing, little girl’s purses and makeup kits, etc. Most everyone who knows Janelle is aware that she’s not the type to play with dolls much, though she does have a few. One mom had even given her a student chemistry set. I couldn’t help but be amused as I pictured Kate trying to deal with miniature explosions and foul odors coming from Janelle’s bedroom.

Finally, it was my turn. I took a deep breath, ready to face the music, even though I knew that this was going to make Janelle’s day.

I decided to bring her gifts to her one at a time. I excused myself, went through the house and out to my Chevy to retrieve two small packages from the front seat, then a large one from the cargo area. I headed back in, put two of the packages on the kitchen table, and brought the first one out to her.

Kate watched me suspiciously as I handed the gift to Janelle. Michael stood on the sidelines, ready to run interference for me, I hoped.

Janelle unwrapped the small present. It consisted of two books. One was a very thick, very comprehensive volume titled simply, “Herpetology.” Herpetology, for those of you not familiar with the term, is the study of reptiles and amphibians. Including, of course, snakes. It was probably a little over her head, but eventually, I hoped that it would come in handy for her. I’d also given her a smaller, much simpler book called, “The Complete Book of Snakes.”

I’d written a short inscription in each, congratulating her on her ninth birthday and on her increasing love of snakes, wishing her much enjoyment as she read and learned more about them.

She looked up, smiling. “Thank you, Aunt Meagan,” she said.

I arched an eyebrow. “Oh, I’m not finished yet, Sweetie.”

Kate had a dawning look of horror on her face. Uh-huh, baby sister. I went there.

I brought out the largest gift next. It was huge, but not all that heavy, really. Janelle had to stand to tear the wrapping paper from it. It was a fifty gallon glass terrarium kit, complete with everything that would be needed to keep a snake comfortable and healthy.

She beamed at me. “Oh, sweet!” she exclaimed. She shot her mother a look. “Maybe someday, I can even have a snake to put in it!”

I glanced at Kate. She was still looking horrified, but also a little ill now. She got it. Janelle still didn’t. “There’s one more gift to go, Sweetie,” I said quietly.

I came out of the kitchen with the other small package. Kate glared at me, shook her head, then a look of defeated resignation fell over her face.

“Be careful, Sweetie,” I said, placing the package in front of her. “This one is a little fragile.”

Carefully, Janelle started to tear off the wrapping paper. She didn’t notice that there were small holes punctured in the paper around the sides. The paper came off to reveal a white cardboard box with small air holes around the sides. Gingerly, she opened the top of the box, and I heard her suck in a sharp breath, then coo quietly.

“Oh, Aunt Meagan, it’s beautiful!” she exclaimed.

Inside the box, coiled tightly in one corner, was a small, immature boa constrictor. I’d searched for several months to find this snake. She was about eight months old, still very young. Janelle was right. She was beautiful.

“She’s very young, Sweetie,” I said. “You’ll have to take extra special care of her. And listen, I want you to know something. If it’s really too hard for your Mom to handle having her in the house, you can keep her at my house, okay? You’re there almost every day, anyway, so you’d be able to take care of her and see to keeping her healthy.”

I glanced at Kate. I wanted her to know that the gift really was about making Janelle happy, and not about trying to irk my sister. She didn’t look very happy, but she forced a smile.

“Absolutely not,” she said. “This is something that Janelle really wants. I can learn to deal with it. But, I refuse to go in that room with the snake in it. I really don’t have to clean in there much anyway, but you’re going to have to vacuum that room every week. If you can promise me that you’ll keep your room clean, the way I ask you to, then you can keep it here.”

She looked at Michael, who had a look of shock on his face. “I can’t believe I just said that,” she muttered.

Every adult present burst into laughter at that.

I turned back to Janelle. “She’s called a Sunglow boa, Sweetie,” I said. “She’s very rare. She’s also one of the most beautiful boas I think I’ve ever seen.”

That was the truth. The snake was a very pale orange-white base color, with bright orange markings that were the color of the outside of a Creamsicle. Her eyes were the same color as her orange markings. She was a gorgeous specimen. I was lucky to have found her for sale.

“Can I pick her up?” Janelle asked me.

I nodded. “Very carefully, though,” I said. “She hasn’t eaten since I got her, but she’s still very young and delicate.”

Gently, Janelle reached into the box and lifted the young snake out. The rest of the little girls all “Ooo’ed” and “Ahhh’ed,” though they didn’t come too close, either.

Correction. Sara stepped closer. “She’s so pretty!” she exclaimed.

Janelle beamed at her. “You can pet her if you want to,” she said.

Very carefully, Sara reached out and gently stroked the top of the snake’s head. The slender forked tongue flicked out, tasting the air, scenting on the little girl’s hand. Sara cooed delightedly. “She’s not slimy at all!”

“Nope,” said Janelle. “Snakes aren’t slimy. They’re dry and smooth, really.”

She gently draped the young snake around her neck, cupping her hand beneath the neck the way that I’d taught her. I saw Kate shudder out of the corner of my eye.

Okay, so at least part of me was having a blast at my sister’s discomfort. Yes, I’m a bitch. Trust me, she’d think of a way to get back at me. She always does.

Keeping an eye on the pack of girls who were admiring the snake, I went to my sister. “Listen,” I said, “she really can keep her at my house if you want. I don’t think she’ll have a major problem with that. It will still be her snake.”

Kate scowled at me, then sighed heavily. “No, it’s okay,” she said. “I’ll learn to live with it. But you’d better watch your back.”

I looked at her innocently. “Why?” I asked.

“Because, you are so going to pay for this.”

“Now, now, little sister,” I teased. “Mind your manners!”

She glared again. “It’s not my manners that you need to worry about,” she said.

I laughed, patted her back and returned to the pack of girls.

“Janelle,” I said, “I think maybe we should take her up to your room and set up her terrarium, okay? She’s still a baby, and she’s had enough excitement for one day.”

Janelle nodded. I picked up the terrarium and headed into the house, Janelle on my heels, the other girls following behind to watch.

For the time being, we’d have to put the terrarium on the floor. I’d talk to Michael about building a stand for it. I set it down, and set everything up. Little Sara ran to the bathroom with the water dish, and returned with it filled almost to the top. I had her put it in the terrarium, back in one corner. Janelle stepped forward. I gasped quietly.

Suddenly, I found Janelle to be exotically beautiful. A slender, strawberry blonde little girl with enormous dark blue eyes, dressed in black leather, with a beautiful boa constrictor draped around her neck. She was only nine, and incredibly sexy.

I felt a familiar pang in my belly, then a flush of guilt. What the fuck? I thought, incredulously. I shook the feeling away. If you ignore something, it will go away, right?

Nope. Not on this plane of existence.

Gently, Janelle removed the snake from her neck and placed it in the terrarium. I showed her how to fasten the top so that the snake couldn’t escape, and gave her directions on using the light and heat lamp mounted in the top. She listened carefully, nodding.

When I stood, Janelle wrapped her arms around my waist in a tight hug, and I automatically returned it. “Thank you, Aunt Meagan,” she whispered. “You’re the best!”

“Nope. You are,” I said.

I rounded up the pack of girls and shooed them out of the room. The poor snake needed some peace and quiet. Me, I needed some time to think.

The party was finally winding down. The kids never did get around to playing in the sprinkler. One by one, the girls and mothers were leaving. Eventually, it was down to me, Michael, Kate, Janelle and Sara. Sara had come out of her shell a little bit, especially now that it was just her and Janelle left. She bustled around with Janelle, both girls helping the adults with the cleaning up.

She really is a sweet kid, I thought.

It came time, though, when I needed to take Sara home. I asked Janelle if she’d like to ride with us. She shot her mother a questioning look, and grinned when Kate nodded to her. I gathered up my purse, and told the girls to head out to the Chevy.

Sara went to Kate and Michael, smiling, but looking down at the floor shyly. “Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy. I had fun today.”

Kate smiled. “You’re welcome, Sara,” she said. “And you’re more than welcome to come and visit any time you’d like.”

Sara smiled again and nodded. “Thank you,” she said, simply.

The two girls tumbled down the hall and out the front door. I heard the doors slamming on my Chevy.

“Bye, you guys,” I said. “It was a blast!”

Kate was still glaring at me. Michael looked like the proverbial cat who ate the canary.

“See you, Meagan,” he said. “Drive carefully.”

“Always,” I said. “I’ll drop Janelle off on my way home from Sara’s.”

They were walking me to the door. I got into my Chevy and started the engine, telling the girls to make sure their seat belts were buckled. I waved at Kate and Michael, then Janelle waved, and then Sara joined in. We headed off.

“So what are you gonna name your snake?” I heard Sara ask.

Janelle was quiet for a moment, as though she was thinking about this. I glanced in the rearview and met her eyes, looking at me thoughtfully.

“If it’s okay with Aunt Meagan,” she said, “I think I’m gonna name her after her.”

Pleased, I smiled in the mirror.

“Is that okay Aunt Meagan? Do you mind if I name her after you?”

“She’s your snake, Sweetie,” I said. “You get to name her anything you want to name her.”

“You’re sure she’s a girl snake, right?”

I nodded. Janelle knows that determining the gender of a snake can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. “Yup, she’s a girl,” I said. “She saw the vet yesterday morning for a checkup, and I had him make sure. He also said that she’s in very good health.”

Janelle grinned hugely. “Cool! Then her name is Meagan!”

I felt that familiar little stabbing sensation in my lower belly again, this time accompanied by a little “skip-thump” of my heart. I was beginning to feel a little confused.

Okay, a lot confused. Not to mention guilty. I was still doing passably well with the denial thing, but I knew exactly what that stabbing sensation in my belly meant.

The only thing about denial is that you know you’re lying to yourself, even while you do it. I wasn’t at all comfortable with this reaction to my niece.

My nine-year-old niece, I reminded myself firmly.

I noticed that the closer we got to Sara’s home, the quieter she got. That also made me a little uneasy, but for a completely different reason. When a kid is that apprehensive about going home, there’s usually a reason for it.

At least it gave me something to focus on other than my own feelings. I needed that.

I kept a surreptitious eye on Sara as we got closer and closer to her home. She seemed to pull in on herself, almost physically. Her face started to take on that same look of defeat that I’d seen on her mother’s face earlier in the day. Something wasn’t right.

I tried to lighten the mood a little. “Sara, do you think your parents would let you have a sleepover with Janelle tomorrow night? The two of you could stay with me for the night, and I can bring you both to school on Monday morning.”

Sara looked at me in the mirror, a look of stunned surprise on her wan little face.

“Oh, that would be awesome!” piped up Janelle. “You think they would, Sara? We could have a blast at Aunt Meagan’s house. She’s got two snakes!”

“I can ask my Mom,” she said, a shy smile on her face again.

“Why don’t we just ask your Dad when we get to your house?” I asked.

The smile vanished. “Uhm, no, it’s better if I ask my Mom,” she said quietly.

Yup, I thought. Definitely something not right here.

“Would you like me to call her at work and ask her?” I said.

“No, you can’t call her at work or she’ll get in trouble,” said Sara. “But you could call her at home tomorrow, if you want to.”

“Okay, I’ll do that,” I said. “Is it okay to call early?”

Sara nodded. “Mom’s always up early,” she said quietly.

We were turning into Sara’s driveway now, a long, winding unpaved strip of dirt that led to a rundown old farmhouse set back from the road. It wasn’t a bad looking place, but it could use a little TLC.

I pulled up in front of the house and parked the Chevy. Janelle and Sara got out of the rear seat. Janelle was murmuring to Sara, but I couldn’t hear her. I got out and joined them just as Sara was turning away to walk up the porch steps.

“Bye, Sara! Thanks for coming to my party!” Janelle said.

“I’ll call your Mom in the morning, Sara. Thanks for coming!” I said.

Sara lifted one hand in a wave, without turning around. Her head hung down now, her shoulders were hunched forward. That one word kept knocking around in my mind. Defeat. The little girl walked like she was completely defeated.

Janelle sat in front with me on the return trip. I gave it a couple of minutes before I started to question her.

“Sweetie, do you know anything about Sara?” I asked.

She looked at me with a puzzled expression. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, do you know anything about what it’s like for her at home? Does she have brothers or sisters? Do you know where she lived before she came here?”

“I don’t think she has any brothers or sisters,” said Janelle. “If she does they’re not in school yet. And I only started talking to her yesterday, so I don’t know anything about home or where she’s from. And she doesn’t really talk to anybody at school, so I don’t know. Why?”

“Just curious,” I said. “I know she’s not from around here, or I’d know her parents.”

Janelle was silent for a few minutes. “She always seems so sad, Aunt Meagan,” she said quietly.

“Yeah,” I said. “I kind of thought that, too.”

We were quiet the rest of the way home. When we got to my sister’s, Janelle unbuckled her seat belt and opened her door. Before she got out, she stopped for a moment.

“Thanks again for my boa, Aunt Meagan,” she said, smiling. “She’s just too awesome for words.”

“You’re welcome, Sweetie. I know you’ll take good care of her; that’s the main reason I went ahead and got her for you.”

She nodded soberly. “I will, I promise.”

“Fill your Mom in about the sleepover idea, okay? And ask her to call me a little later on.”

“‘Kay, I will,” she said. “That would be so cool if Sara can come.”

“Well, why don’t you plan to stay over either way. Hopefully Sara will be able to come, but if not, you and I can still have a sleepover.”

She grinned happily. “‘Kay. Bye, Aunt Meagan. Thanks again!”

Maybe Sara won’t be able to come, I mused. I immediately slammed a lid on that thought.

Janelle jumped out of the Chevy, slammed the door, and ran to the house. I waited until she went in the door, then pulled out and headed for home.

I deliberately and very forcefully kept my thoughts occupied with things other than Janelle when I got home. I was beginning to be very afraid of what I was feeling.

When the phone rang, I jumped. I’d been involved with some tricky vector graphics on the computer, and it startled me. I checked the caller ID. It was Kate.

“Hey, little sister,” I said, by way of greeting.

“Hi, Meagan. What’s up? Janelle said you wanted me to call?”

“Yeah. Did she tell you about the sleepover idea?”

Kate snorted. “What do you think?” she said. “She’s upstairs packing some things now.”

I laughed. “Okay, great.” I said. “That’s not the main reason I wanted to talk to you, though.”

“What’s up?” she asked.

“I don’t really know,” I said. “Did you happen to notice anything odd about little Sara today? Sara with no “H” I mean.”

“Only that she seems to be really quiet and shy. Why?”

I described how Sara had changed as we got closer to her home, and the way she had looked as she was going into the house. I also made mention of her quick refusal to have me ask her father about a sleepover.

Kate was silent for a minute. “That does sound kind of odd,” she said quietly. “What are you thinking?”

“That’s just it,” I said. “I don’t know exactly what I’m thinking. But if her mother lets her come over here to spend the night tomorrow, I’m going to see what I can find out. Something just isn’t right there.”

“Okay, well, don’t go jumping to any conclusions too fast,” she said. “She might just be really shy. But keep me posted, okay?”

“I will,” I said. “You want me to pick Janelle up tomorrow, or do you want to bring her over?”

“Uhm… if you’re offering to come and get her, I won’t refuse.”

“You got it,” I said. “Tell her I’ll be there at about ten o’clock.”

“Okay,” she replied. “And Meagan, thank you. I don’t really like the idea of that thing being in my house, but you made Janelle very happy today. She’s thrilled to death with that hideous creature.”

“Hey! She’s not hideous! She’s beautiful.” I paused, then, “Did she tell you what she named her?”

I heard a deep sigh. “Yeah, yeah, I know. She named it after Super Aunt.”

“Her, Kate. She’s a her, not an it.”

“No, it is a snake. There’s nothing female about it.”

This was fun. I do love to get under Kate’s skin. “Fine. You go right ahead and refer to my namesake as an it.” I was trying to feign hurt feelings.

Kate wasn’t buying it. She snorted again. “You’re the only person I know who would be flattered at the thought of someone naming a snake after you.”

“A beautiful snake,” I said, “Who was given a beautiful name, in honor of Janelle’s beautiful aunt.”

“Whatever.”

I snickered. “Bye, Kate. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“You will if that creature doesn’t kill me in my sleep,” she said.

“Bye, Kate.”

“Night, Meagan.”

I hung up the phone. Now, though, Janelle was at the front of my thoughts. Damn it!

I sighed heavily. I did not want to examine these feelings that I was only now becoming aware of. Feelings about Janelle. Frankly, they scared the crap out of me.

I took my evening shower, brushed my teeth, and got ready to relax for a while. Maybe a good movie will take my mind off things, I thought. Something I’ve seen a thousand times, one that I adore.

I decided to watch Casablanca, and just be a vegetable.

The tactic worked, at least for the length of the film. While I watched it, I indulged myself and had three glasses of a very nice Merlot. By the time the movie ended, I had nice little glowy feeling; I turned off the television, put my wineglass in the sink, and headed up to bed.

So much for good intentions.

I’ll spare you most of the gory details. I’m sure that you really aren’t interested in a play-by-play of my nightly autoerotic activities. I will tell you why I found myself tossing and turning for the rest of the night, even after another mind-numbing orgasm, followed by a second smaller, but no less satisfying second one.

Physically satisfying, at any rate. They left my thoughts in a state of utter turmoil.

I had reached the point where I was clawing hungrily towards that first orgasm, the purple vibrator buried deep within the hot, wet depths of my pussy. My left hand was doing double duty, fingers working the vibrator in and out of my clutching, spasming sex, the heel of one hand pressing down on my clit, sending repeated shocks through my body. My right hand had slipped beneath my ass, also doing double duty. It was helping to support my weight as I held my hips high off the bed; the index finger was probing and teasing at my rosebud. As it slid finally through the dark anal ring, I moaned, and felt the orgasm begin to pour through me.

That’s when it happened. Yup, you guessed it.

In my mind, I had a picture of Janelle sitting “Indian-style,” stark naked, on the bed between my widespread legs. She was watching avidly as my hands feverishly worked at my pussy and ass. As I began to moan my way into orgasm, she looked up at me, a beautiful smile on her face.

I heard her little voice in my mind, breathy and full of wonder. “Are you coming, Aunt Meagan? Is this what happens when you come?”

Even with the shock that slammed into me at such a mental image, the orgasm tore its way into my soul.

I’m not normally a screamer; I’ll moan and groan endlessly, but it takes a lot to make me literally scream. This was one of those rare occasions.

Thank the Goddess that I don’t live in an apartment. The neighbors would have thought I was being murdered.

It lasted for what seemed an eternity. Through the bright, exploding little pinpoints of silver light that peppered the backs of my eyelids floated that mental image of Janelle, naked, sitting between my obscenely splayed legs. I saw a look of sheer delight on her face as she chattered away at me in my mind.

“You’re doing it, Aunt Meagan! You’re coming! Oh my God, Aunt Meagan, it’s so awesome! I wanna do it, too, Aunt Meagan, I wanna come, too! Can I come, too, please?”

Finally, blessedly, she fell silent. Her image remained, though, smiling fondly at me as I slid down the back side of my orgasm, my body twitching and shuddering, then finally collapsing to the mattress.

I was afraid to open my eyes, fearing that I might find her sitting there between my knees. Please don’t be there, Janelle, I thought desperately.

I let my eyes open slowly, heaving an enormous sigh of relief when I found myself alone. It was the first time, I think, that I’ve ever actually been grateful for being alone in my bed.

Sighing again, I slid the purple vibrator from my pussy. Automatically, it came to my mouth, where I cleaned all traces of my wetness from it. I put it to the side, and my hand drifted back to my mons. Without any conscious thought on my part, my hands continued to explore and caress, my body slowly coming down from the orgasm.

I couldn’t get the image of Janelle out of my mind. Not remembered images, but the fantasy image that my perverted, twisted mind had conjured up. The image of my nine-year-old niece, sitting naked between my legs, smiling as she excitedly urged me on into my orgasm, begging me to let her experience her own.

What the hell is wrong with you, Meagan?

Even as the question snarled through my mind, though, that image of Janelle stayed in place. Without any warning, I was suddenly on the verge of another orgasm. Not as intense this time, but an orgasm nonetheless.

As I plunged three fingers into my slick pussy, I heard myself babbling and moaning. Not just thinking the words this time, but actually speaking them.

“Oh God, Janelle, sweetie… I want to come for you, baby… come with me, sweet girl… come with Aunt Meagan, baby…”

The words kept coming as the climax rolled and twisted on an unstoppable course through my body and my mind. I was at once more aroused and yet more dismayed and angry with myself than I can ever remember being in my life. But I couldn’t stop it.

Finally, the orgasm burned itself out. I snatched my hands from between my legs and rolled myself into the covers on my bed, grinding my face down into the pillow. I was sobbing, gut-wrenching gulps of air. There were tears soaking into my pillow.

Eventually, the sobbing subsided. The tears did not. I fell into a troubled sleep, tossing and turning, waking frequently throughout the night. My dreams consisted of half-remembered news reports concerning child molesters, pedophiles, child pornographers.

I woke in the morning, exhausted and cranky. I got out of bed, pulled on my robe, and went to make coffee. When it was done, I sat on the couch, sipping coffee, trying to make sense of what had happened the night before. I glanced at the two glass terrariums that hold my lovely boa constrictors.

Ellie and Nellie seemed to be glaring at me. Logically, I know that snakes have very poor vision, and if they could see me at all from that distance, I was nothing but a shapeless blur to them. Nonetheless, I swore I could read accusation and disgust in their faces. I can’t say that I blamed them.

What the hell have I become?

Continue on to Chapter 3