‘All the way! A fair oz-clock.ru exchange is no robbery. '
I didn't hesitate. ‘Yes! '
‘Oh, good! Do you want a chance to consult Brian? '
‘Not necessary. I know. He wants to eat you, raw. ' I took her face between my palms, kissed her deeply. ‘How do we go about this? '
‘Whatever is easiest for you, Maureen little love. My sitting-room converts into a second bedroom in only seconds, and it has its own little powder room. So it can be either two couples, or all four of us together. '
‘Briney and I don't hide from each other. Eleanor, I have found in the past that, if I simply take my clothes off, it saves time and words. '
Her mouth twitched. ‘I've found it so. Maureen, you astound me. I've known you ten years, I think. Back when we still lived on South Benton and we all attended Linwood Boulevard Methodist, Justin and I discussed you two as possible playmates I told Justin that Brian had that look in his eye but I couldn't see any way to crack your armour. The perfect lady, right out of Goday's Lady's Book. Since in order to be safe this sort of family seduction has to be negotiated between wives, we simply moved you to the Too-Bad list. '
I was unhooking and unbuttoning, while chuckling. ‘Eleanor love, I broke my maidenhead at fourteen and I've been in heat ever since. Brian knows it and understands me, and loves me anyhow. '
‘Oh, delightful! Sweetheart, I gave my cherry away at twelve to a man four times my age. '
‘Then it couldn't have been Justin. '
‘Heavens, no! ' She stepped out of her drawers; it left her in opera-length hose and evening slippers. I'm ready. '
‘So am I. ' I was eyeing her and was sorry, Briney hadn't shaved me, as she was as smooth as a grape - Briney was going to love her! Tall, statuesque, blonde.
A few minutes later Justin placed me on the Persian rug in front of the fire in their upstairs sitting-room. Eleanor was beside me, with my husband. She turned her head toward me and smiled and took my hand, as we each received the other's husband.
I've heard formal discussions at salons in Boondock, complete with Stimulator and Interlocutor, debating the ideal number for polymorphous sensuality. There were some who favoured trios, each of the four sorts of all four or any, and some who favoured high numbers, and some who insisted that any odd number could produce maximum pleasure but no even number. Me, I still think that a foursome of families, all loving and lovable, cannot be, beaten. I'm not running down any other combination and I like them all. I'm simply naming what I like best, year-in and year-out.
Later that night Brian telephoned Father and explained that the streets were getting icy; would he mind being zookeeper for us tonight?
Brian looked down at me. ‘What was the far-away look in your eye? '
‘I was thinking about your favourite girl -‘
‘You're my favourite girl:
‘Favourite blonde girl. Eleanor. '
‘Oh. Granted. '
‘And your favourite oldest daughter. '
‘Something ambivalent there. Positional grammar? Oldest favourite daughter. Favourite oldest daughter. Yes, I guess they both mean Nancy. Continue. '
‘News I couldn't put into a letter. Nancy did it. '
‘Did what? If you mean she did it with that pimply kid, I seem to recall that you concluded that a year ago. How many times can she stop being a virgin? '
‘Briney, Nancy finally decided to tell me. She had a scare and that pimply kid doesn't come here any more, because he wouldn't stop after a rubber broke. So she told Mama. So I douched her and checked her calendar with her and she Game around, just fine three days later, and she stopped being scared. But at last we were women together and we talked. I gave her some hurry-up Father Ira instruction, including the lecture that goes with the Forberg etchings - hey, that thing does have a bone in it after all! '
‘What do you expect? You're talking about Nancy's fancy; did you think I could stay limp? While Nancy's pretty fancy is verboten to me, I can dream, can't I? If you can dream about your father, I can dream about my daughter. Go ahead, hon; get to the good parts. '
‘Nasty man. Lecher. Brian, don't tempt Nancy unless you mean business or she will rum and sink her fangs into you; she's in an unstable state.
‘And now to the good parts. Brian, as we agreed, I told Nancy about the Howard Foundation, and promised that you would talk to her about it, too. .. and I telephoned Judge Sperling. He referred me to a lawyer here in town, Mr Arthur J. Chapman. Do you know him? '
‘I know who he is. Corporation lawyer, never goes into court. Very expensive. '
‘And a trustee of the Howard Foundation:
‘So I inferred from your remark. Interesting. '
‘I called on him, identified myself, and he gave me Nancy's list. For this area, I mean: Jackson and Clay Counties, and Johnson County in Cansas. '
‘Good hunting? '
‘I think so. On the list is Jonathan Sperling Weatheral, son of your favourite blonde. '
‘I'll be a brass-balled baboon! '
Later on that night Brian said, So Ira thinks this city slicker is his brother's woods-colt? '
‘Yes. You will think so, too, when you see him. Dear one, he and I look so much alike that you would swear that we are brother and sister. '
‘And you have an acute case of flaming drawers about him. '
‘That's a mild way of putting it. I'm sorry, dear. '
‘What is there to be sorry about? If your interest in sex were so mild that you never thought about any man but your poor, old, tired, worn out - Ouch! ' - I had pinched him -‘husband, you wouldn't be half as good tail as you are. As it is, you are quite lively, Mrs Finkelstein. I prefer you as you are, good points and bad. '
‘Will you sign a certificate to that effect? '