Read Tainted Grace Online

Authors: M. Lauryl Lewis

Tags: #Fiction, #Horror

Tainted Grace (18 page)

BOOK: Tainted Grace
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“Zoe, honey,” she said to try to calm me. “We need to get back to the car now. Let us take you back, ok?”

I nodded.
Gus picked me up and cradled me in his arms. He followed Emilie out of the tree line and back across the highway. I kept my arms wrapped around his shoulders and rested my head close to his heart. Once we were back alongside the Suburban, Gus set me down on my feet. He kept a hold of me until he was sure I was steady. Emilie took hold of my hands and looked me over.

The back doors had been opened wide and Susan and Kelsey were setting out snacks.
Canned fruit, the leftover Doritos, and canned ravioli. Nathan was trying to help them, but I could tell he was in their way. Abbey was back inside the car, trying to warm up in one of the sleeping bags.

“Is Jane still sleeping?” I asked.

“She is,” said Kelsey. “Abbey,” she called into the car. “Can you wake Jane up? She needs to go potty and come eat.”

“Sure thing,” answered Abbey.

I took a few deep breaths and wondered where Boggs was. I was handed a can of fruit, and took it gratefully. Eating was unfortunately a crutch I often used when upset. I finished half the can, and then offered it to Emilie. I wanted to eat the whole thing but knew sharing was critical these days. I had already eaten more than my share when I gorged on the chips. Gus handed me the rest of his can, and I took it without saying anything. My eyes met his only briefly. It was a third full of fruit, and he had left the juice for me. I ate the chunks of pears, peaches, grapes, and two cherry bits. I drank the juice by gulping it. Within minutes I was feeling better, refreshed.

Boggs had crept out of the woodwork and opened a can of raviolis.
I was hoping there was enough for me. He passed the first to Abbey, who had just helped Jane out of the car.

“Here, girls, you can share this,” he told them. “There’s chips and fruit at the back of the car.”

“Ravanolis!” exclaimed little Jane. “Yay!” Her smile was heartwarming.

I looked up at the night sky and saw the faintest hint of dawn on the horizon.
My stomach was feeling overfull, not used to eating much in one sitting anymore. As much as I wanted the canned pasta, if you can really call it that, I figured I better hold off.

“Zoe, you need to eat,” said Gus.
The other adults had finished and were all climbing back into the vehicle.

“You guys coming?” asked Susan.

“We’ll clean up and make sure the girls are full then join you,” answered Gus.

Boggs had joined us at the back.

“Zoe, can I sit by you?” he asked, looking like a puppy dog. I took a step toward Gus, and saw the pain in Boggs’ eyes.

“Brother, I don’t think she’s ready,” said Gus, who had put his hand palm-out toward Boggs.
He had lowered his voice a notch and I could tell was trying to keep his cool. I could tell he was pissed at Boggs.

Boggs placed his hands on his hips, lowered his head in thought, and took a deep breath before turning and walking away.

“Open your mouth,” ordered Gus.

“Gus, I’m not hungry.
Really,” I whined.

“Zoe, Doritos and fruit won’t cut it.
You need protein right now, and despite these being covered in a mystery orange sauce and filled with unrecognizable meat paste, they fit the bill.”

“Let the girls have them, Gus, really.”

The younger girls had finished their can of raviolis and were in front of the car playing a silent game of tag before being car-bound again.

“Don’t argue with me, Zoe, I’m almost twenty years older than you and a lot bigger.”

I swallowed hard, not because he was scaring me but because he was making my insides quiver with a sort of desire. He held a spoonful of cold canned ravioli in front of me, and I opened my mouth obediently. We repeated this four times, at which point I reached my gag-factor. That moment when another bite will literally make you gag.

“Please say you’re happy, ‘
cause I’ll seriously barf if I eat another bite,” I moaned.

“You’re really that full?” asked Gus, seemingly surprised.

“Yeah, really.” I sighed. “My pants are even tight.”

“Hmm.”
He made that noise he makes when he’s thinking. “The baby should still be in your pelvis, Zoe, since you’re just barely two months along. You might be bloated though.”

“Thanks,” I said, pretending to be offended.

“I should check you over next time we stop, though. How are the green lines doing? Still spreading?”

I nodded.
“A little.”

“Stay here, ok?
I’ll be right back.”

Gus headed around to the front passenger side.
I could hear him talking but couldn’t make out what he said. While he was gone I made myself busy cleaning up empty cans. I thought about leaving them in a pile alongside the road, but then realized they might come in handy for collecting water or cooking in. The river wasn’t far below, and I decided I’d suggest we go rinse them out before leaving. My mind was still clear of the dead.

Gus came back and leaned against the back of the car.
He helped me clean up and I suggested we rinse the cans out.

“Sounds good,” he said.
“Smart thinking.”

“I want to take a look at the baby’s growth, Zoe, before we leave.
The others know we need some privacy and why. Let’s go down to the river together, rinse the cans, and I’ll take a look at your belly.”

“I’m sure I’m fine, Gus.
We can do that later.”

“Nonsense.
Now’s the perfect time. Unless the dead are close?”

I shook my head no.

“Ok then, I’ll carry the cans. I’m bringing a towel too for you to lie on. You just keep from falling on the rocks.”

“Fine,” I said.
“But why do I need to lie down?”

“It’s the easiest way to feel your uterus.”

I blushed.

I was paranoid that someone would notice a change between me and him.
We walked to the river, out of sight of the car.

“Zoe, keep your mind sharp ok?
Let me know if anything feels off.”

“Sure.”

We walked down river just far enough to find an area where the water was calm. We found a smooth sandy spit. We were out of sight of the Suburban, which made me a bit nervous. Dawn was upon us, just barely.

“This looks good here,” said Gus.
“Lay the towel out?”

This felt really strange, but I obliged by taking the towel and laying it out on the cold, damp sand.

“Ok, darlin’, hang tight while I rinse the cans. We’ll let them drip over one of the rocks then carry them back in the towel.”

I nodded and watched him kneel to rinse the metal cans out.
I took notice of the muscles in his arms. He was fit when I first met him, but even more so now. It didn’t take him long at all to rinse out the cans and set them upside down on one of the small boulders.

“Zoe, it’ll work best if you take your pants off,” he said as he turned toward me.

The feeling drained from my face at his words, leaving behind the tiny tingles of fear and apprehension. Had I heard right?

“Take my pants off?”

He walked toward me slowly. “Awe Zoe, don’t panic. I promise it’s me talking to you as a nurse, not a friend. With you being this early I might need to…well…”

My eyes were wide and my lower abdomen was on fire with that tingly feeling again.

“Need to what?”

He was actually blushing.
“Do a pelvic exam, Zoe.”

“Oh God…Gus…”

My breathing had quickened.

“Do you want me to get Susan or Em?
Would that make you feel more comfortable?”

I could tell he was sincere, and I could tell he wanted me to be comfortable with what he needed to do.

I shook my head no. I hadn’t felt this vulnerable in a long time. He stepped closer and ran the edge of his left hand down my jaw line.

“Zoe,” he whispered.
His face was close to my own. “I promise I’ll be professional.”

I raised my eyes to look at him and nodded gently.

“Ok?” he asked. “Take your pants off? Please?” His voice was soft, comforting.

I nodded again.

He waited for me to undress, and when I hesitated he reached down and unbuttoned my jeans for me. It was difficult to breathe.  His hands touched the bare skin around my waist, and he placed his forehead against my own. I could smell him and was afraid he could hear my heart racing.

“It’s ok, sweet Zoe,” he whispered.
He, too, was breathing heavily.

“I’m scared,” I managed to eke out in a small voice.

“I know you are, Zoe. Don’t be afraid. Not with me. Just be here in the moment and let me be here with you.”

His mouth found mine and he waited for me to respond before slipping his tongue into my mouth.
He moaned against me. His hands slid down the back of my pants, under my panties, and gripped my butt firmly, pulling me against him. A small sound escaped my lips, close to a whimper. I felt my pants being slid down my legs, and suddenly I was off my feet and in his arms.

“Tell me now, Zoe… if you want me to stop…because in a minute… I won’t be able to…”
His breathing was ragged with desire.

I knew I needed to say it, to say the word ‘stop,’ but my body was full of desire and betrayed me.
The bigger part of me wanted to say ‘don’t stop.’ He paused and looked at me, and when I said nothing he lay me down on the towel.

“Zoe, God…” he said again.

The next thing I knew, he pulled my pants the rest of the way past my ankles. My skin was on fire, craving this man’s touch, making the crisp cold morning air easy to ignore.

“What if they find us?” I asked.

“Shhhh, they won’t come looking knowing I’m examining you.”

His hand reached down to my hip and he caressed the skin of my outer thigh.
His mouth found mine again, hot with desire.

He used his free arm to lift my back up, and suddenly my shirt was pulled over my head.
He moaned when he saw my breasts, which were swollen and overflowing my bra.

“Oh Lord, girl, oh God you’re so beautiful.”

He pulled his own shirt over his head. I stared at his bare chest in awe. Everything about every inch of him screamed ‘man.’ He leaned down and kissed my chest, just barely touching his lips to my skin. It was as if he was setting me on fire with desire. Reaching behind me, he expertly unhooked my bra and let it fall beside us. My breasts now freed, he took one in his large hand and kneaded it. He took hold of the other and gently slipped it deeply into his mouth, and then sucked gently. His eyes closed as he tasted me and he moaned into my flesh. He was exciting in ways that were so new to me. His hand left my other breast and trailed down my side. I felt him lift my thigh upward and his hand was caressing the hair of my private area. I clenched my fists and tried to relax, tried to forget how wrong this was. He slid one of his large fingers inside of me and tensed, obviously wanting to do so much more.

He moved his mouth from my breast and looked at me tenderly.
“You’re so wet, Zoe. Oh God you’re so wet.”

I couldn’t take it any longer and gave in to the pleasure, moving my hips upward to meet his hand.

He made a growling noise in his throat. He shifted several times, but his finger never ceased in its probing and massaging. I was so engrossed in the pleasure; I was surprised when I felt his bare skin against my legs. He had managed to take his own pants off while pleasuring me. His erection pressing into my thigh was hard and smooth.

“Here and now, just me and you, Zoe,” he mumbled.
He took his finger out from inside of me and slipped it into his mouth. He moaned as he sucked on it.

My hands were on his bare butt now, pulling him against me with my desires in overdrive.

“You ready, Zoe?” he asked as he pulled my legs back and got into position to enter me.

“No, but I need you,” I managed to say while struggling to breathe.

I looked down and saw his erection.
It looked larger than Boggs and I was scared for just a moment that it might hurt.

Gus made some primal grunts as he placed a hand around his shaft and aimed it toward his target.
The head of his penis stroked me gently, warmly, testing to make sure I was ready. Suddenly he was inside of me, filling me more fully than I had ever known before. My breath was momentarily taken away. I wasn't aware I had cried out and was biting my own lip.

“It won’t hurt for long, Zoe, I promise,” he whispered as he began pumping in and out of me.

He was right. I began to meet him with my own hips in a fevered rush to be satisfied. It was unlike anything I had experienced before. It was wrong but so right. His body was magical beneath my hands.

“Oh Jesus, you’re so tight…” he moaned.
“Oh God Almighty, Zoe.”

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