Womb for Rent (Amanda Brian) – Chapter Seven

We find Talli in her room, thinking about what just happened: Good Lord, she had turned into a shameless hussy! Because all women who act upon their sexuality are shameless hussies, you know. Because only men have sexual needs.

To be loved by a man like Derek Cameron every night of her life, to share his bed and home, to await his return at the end of the day.  With a snort, she shook her head.  Her thoughts were definitely taking a twisted turn.  Somewhere along the way she had taken a side trip down fantasy lane.

I would see the twisted turn differently… Obviously, being loved by a man like Derek means that you turn into a housewife who does nothing all day except wait for the return of her man. Ugh. Not even in the fifties it was that bad…

But it doesn’t matter anyway because Derek had been hurt so badly in the past that nothing short of a miracle would bring Derek to her bed for anything more than contractual conception reasons.
Contractual conception reasons. Wonderfully said.

Derek thinks  about everything, too. He’s confused about experiencing feelings for Talli. He even took her panties with him. (What is it with guys collecting panties? What’s the thrill?) But, he decides, every feeling for her has to be shoved to the back of his head and stay there. And we all know how well that works.

Anyway, the next day (or some time later, who knows), Derek is in his office and Margaret brings him some twenty books he ordered about pregnancy (one of them being the manual Blodgett’s Book of Conception, by Doctor Emmanual H. Blodgett, which I find great – Emmanual, not Emmanuel who writes a manual, not a manuel). He spends the afternoon reading in his office (doesn’t he run a company? Why does he have time for this?). 

A month after THE SEX (the first and last because of Derek’s busy schedule), Talli sits at home and is nervous because of her 10 year High School reunion. Wait, 10 years? Derek says he’s ten years older than her and he says that he’s thirty, which makes Talli twenty. If Talli has her 10 year reunion, she has to be 28. That would make Derek 38. Which again points us to the question how they were ever in High School together. Dammit, I hate it when writers don’t think.

However, Talli introduces us to her two best friends from High School, K.C. and Emma, who are obviously such good friends that Talli hasn’t even bothered to talk with them about the whole “getting paid to get pregnant” thing or mention them to us before.
Talli thinks about bringing a date but can’t think of anyone but Derek to ask. And she doesn’t want to bring Derek because (h)ow would she have introduced him to her friends?  “This is my boss, Derek Cameron.  We’re having a child together, then I’m leaving.”  Because that should always be the deciding factor when you think about going to a date – how to introduce him to a friend. And btw. how about “That’s Derek. We’re not sure about our age difference, but we were in High School together.”

The night of the reunion, Talli is achy all over and doesn’t want to go. Maimie basically pushes her there, all the while wondering, as we do, “Achy all over, hmmm.  I wonder?”.

Josph drives Talli to the reunion. In the meantime, Maimie lets Derek know about the reunion and although he is so busy that he didn’t have time to talk to Talli for a whole month (because he was reading pregnancy books in his working hours), Derek drops everything so Talli doesn’t have to be alone that evening.

Maimie cackled out a loud laugh, her ample bosom shaking with her merriment.
I think that is the worst sentence in the whole book. At least so far.

Well, Talli is at the reunion and meets Emma with her husband Jason in tow and K.C.
Talli linked one arm through K.C.’s and the other through Emma’s and looked at her friends.  A blonde, a brunette and a redhead.  The “Three Moussettes” as they were termed their senior year of high school. 
Why Moussettes? I don’t get it. If somebody else does, please let me know.

Although Derek heard about the reunion when Talli already left (and Joseph already was back), he manages to arrive there before Talli’s friends can ask her if she has a date.
After short introductions, the inevitable gossiper comes along. Does every class have one of those women who play nice to get the information they want from you and then talk about you all the time? I feel cheated now, because my class didn’t have one.

“Wonderful,” Emma groaned.  “It’s Gloria Van Whos-That-With-You coming.  Quick, everybody hide.”
“Darlings, it’s so wonderful to see you all here tonight.”  Gloria kissed the air perfunctorily next to the three girls cheeks, then stepped back and smiled.  “And who are these dashing gentlemen you’re with this evening?”
“Gloria, this is my husband Jason Thorne,” Emma managed politely, eager to be rid of the boorish woman. [It really is very boorish to want to get introduced… How can she!]
“Jason Thorne, oh of course, you’re one of the workmen at that new radio station here in town.”
“Not exactly ma’am [ma’am? Is she sixty years old?], I own it,” Jason acknowledged politely, but by then Gloria was staring openly in Derek’s direction.
“Well Derek Cameron, as I live and breathe.  What are you doing here tonight?  Slumming it?”  A fake smile pasted itself to Gloria’s mouth. [I don’t think such a cliché of a woman would say ‘Slumming it’ about a thing she attends herself. Stay in character, would you?]
“Gloria, nice to see you again.  I’m here with Talli.  I’m sure you remember Talli Paxton?”
“Of course, we were best friends in school, did everything together, didn’t we Talli?”
“Not that I can recall, Gloria.  Must have slipped my memory.”  Talli smiled blandly, trying to quell her stomach as it lurched in rebellion at the cloying aroma of Gloria’s perfume.
Derek cleared his throat.  “Tell me Gloria, how’s Charlie doing these days?  I hear from my associates at the Internal Revenue Service that he still hasn’t been able to clear up that mess with the missing funds.  I hope it won’t affect your lifestyle if they’re able to make the embezzling charges stick?”
What an asshole! I’m sorry but you really can’t impress me with random insults. Just because you don’t like a person, doesn’t mean that you can treat them without any respect whatsoever.

But of course, that is not my world, so Derek gets his laugh and his applause and everybody thinks him great. Jason even buys him a drink for that and while both of them are away, K.C. and Emma ask Talli what the deal with Derek is: “He’s my employer.  I take care of his dogs,” Talli mumbled, not quite sure of what to tell her friends. How about the truth? I usually tell my best friends that and it is really good for our relationship.
Oh, another hint in the age puzzle: Emma says that Derek graduated three years before them.

After dinner, Talli and Derek dance and both don’t notice how the music stops. Isn’t it romantic? Obviously, Talli gets the same reaction I do from clichés used until they’re traumatising, and runs to the bathroom to throw up.
Emma follows her and like every woman who ever watched a movie where a pregnant woman was featured, she knows the signs – there’s no pregnancy without morning sickness (which obviously can be evening sickness as well) or aching. Also, strong perfumes are repulsive and induce the sickness (see the scene with Gloria), something which Emma obviously noticed because she tells Talli how all these signs together can only mean one thing: Talli is pregnant.

In the meantime, Derek, who has obviously never seen a movie about a pregnant woman, drummed his fingers aimlessly on the table. [Do you drum your fingers aimfully on the table when you’re nervous?]
Talli wants to drive home. They say good-bye to everyone and Derek has decided on some business deal with Jason and tells him to call.

“Don’t forget to call me.  I think we can work something out that’ll be very beneficial for both of us.”

At least I hope it’s a business thing. I could read some slash subtext into this as well… Would make the whole novel a lot more interesting.

In the car Talli tells Derek that she thinks she’s pregnant. He will organise the doctor’s appointment for her, although he can’t come with her.

The next morning, Derek sits in his office and waits for Talli to tell him if she really is pregnant. Of course, she is and Derek is very excited. The baby is due for January 15th. Talli drives home again to get some rest.

Derek swept Talli up into his strong, sinewy arms, one hand curling tightly around her waist as the other buried itself deep in her long tresses.  He bent to brush his lips gently to hers.  Then he lingered, placing tingling hot wet kisses on her moist skin.  His fingers slowly lowered her zipper as his hand grazed her bare skin.  Deftly, he pushed the dress off her shoulders to fall noiselessly to the floor, his mouth moving slowly down her neck.  [Again, this weird grammatic construct…]
She nearly swooned from the ecstasy [that never happens to me… maybe I’m doing something wrong?], as the intensity of their passion mounted.  Drawing nearer, she pressed closer, then closer still, eager to feel his lips on her bare flesh. 
Suddenly, she felt herself falling – falling through the air to land heavily on her backside on the carpeted bedroom floor.

Gotcha! It was only a dream!

Summer comes and Talli and Derek go to an ultrasound examination. It’s actually pretty well explained what’s going on. Kudos to AB! There’s the “you have to drink a lot of water” part and the explanation by the technician. I’m impressed.

So, Talli and Derek are going to have a baby boy. Of course, Talli would have liked a girl and Derek a boy, because it can never be different, ever.
Talli lets Derek feel the baby kicking.

His hand lingered on the telltale bulge protruding from Talli’s stomach.  “My son,” Derek whispered in awe, his warm breath fanning her face.
Talli closed her eyes, swallowed hard and bit back her tears. Our son, she thought sadly.Honey, you knew what you were getting into when you signed the contract. No point in crying now.

 

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2 Responses

  1. …. with your comments this is a pretty lot of fun to read 😛 Go on!

  2. Thank you! Good to have some feedback. 🙂 I will continue with Chapter Eight tomorrow, or probably today. We’ll see.

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