This story details explicit gay sex between men, teens and boys. If you find this kind of thing distasteful, or if you are underage wherever you live, then stop reading this now, and delete this file. The story is completely fictional; the author does not condone or encourage any of the acts contained herein.



Chapter 86

By: Tim Keppler (nemoami@yahoo.com)

 Edited by: Bob Leahy


We're cuddling after sex, and it was serious sex. It took Dinh a close to three hours to get off because I just would not let him cum. By the time he finally got off, he was so utterly frustrated that he was sobbing, begging me to let him cum. I think he enjoys the frustration after the fact, but while we're doing it, well, he's...umm...frustrated. I had him attached to the whipping frame with a bi-polar butt plug up his ass that was powered by my T.E.N.S. unit. The intent today was not to hurt him with the T.E.N.S. It was to frustrate him. A bi-polar butt plug can be adjusted very precisely. If you get it just right, the jolts of electricity from the T.E.N.S. unit don't hurt, but they do make you clench your asshole. Then, when the electricity stops, you relax. Each time you clench your asshole, you pull the butt plug further inside you. When you relax, it slides a little further out. So, basically, what this becomes is a fucking machine, but you're the one doing all the work. The involuntary clenching of your sphincter muscles caused by the surges of electricity is what's moving that butt plug in and out of you. So, imagine being hooked up to this butt plug for two hours. Your nipples are clamped and sore, and you're carrying two pounds of weight from a stainless-steel cylinder attached to your balls. It's a cylinder that encases your balls and allows a compression screw at the bottom to be tightened slowly, applying more and more pressure to your balls. Pain and pleasure. That's what turns Dinh on. His balls ache mightily, his nipples are screaming with sharp pain, and his asshole is...itching with every clench. His dick is rock hard and drooling, and every now and then, I stroke his thighs and suck on that dick. And when I do, he screams and begs. "Please, Tim, please...please...I don't think I can take any more of this. Please...please...I need to cum. Please let me cum." As I move away from him, he slumps and starts to sob as the bi-polar butt plug continues to do its work, massaging his prostate relentlessly.

After about two and a half hours, I relent. He's bathed in sweat and tears. I turn off the butt plug and remove it, give the compression screw on the ball cylinder another half turn (eliciting a scream from Dinh) and, standing in front of him, I remove my clothes. He knows what this means, and he's nearly beside himself. I take the bottle of lotion, squirt it onto my dick, spread it evenly along the shaft, and then move behind him. I enter him in one quick thrust, and begin to fuck him at approximately the speed of the butt plug. He's sobbing again. After several minutes of this, I reach around and begin to stroke him, slowly at first, then more quickly, and then more slowly. I want this to last. I want to keep him on edge.

It takes us twenty minutes, and when he cums, he shoots clear across the room, which is eight feet at least. There are ropes and ropes of cum. Then he slumps, sobbing.

I remove the ball cylinder, and the nipple clamps. I detach him from the whipping frame, and I carry him upstairs to the bedroom. I lay him on the bed, and crawl in next to him. He attaches himself to me, still crying, and we cuddle for probably half an hour. Then he starts to kiss me. His dick is hard again. "Umm...Tim...could I...umm...try fucking you?"

I'm stunned. Dinh is a confirmed bottom. I don't think he's every fucked anyone or anything in his life. "Umm...sure."

He lubes himself and enters me quickly...a little too quickly. It hurts a little, but not bad. Dinh's dick isn't especially big. It's slender, and maybe four inches long when he's erect. I think he plunged into me as fast as he did because he was worried that he wouldn't be able to stay hard. He's never done this before. He's not used to fucking. He's used to being fucked. Ultimately, he doesn't cum, but I think he enjoys it anyway...sort of. There's a sense of...control when you fuck someone. Your partner is ceding to you the responsibility for his pleasure and well-being. If you're a nurturer, as I am, that responsibility brings with it a certain euphoria, a sense of being trusted. And, I think that's what Dinh feels. But...he can't get off doing this. It's just not who he really is. After a while, he pulls out of me and flips over on his back. He looks sad. I lean over and kiss him while I stroke his dick. "It's okay, baby," I whisper. "I love you however you are." He smiles and we continue to kiss, and soon I have a handful of spunk.

"I love you," he whispers, and then drifts off to sleep.

Dinh wants one more child, and when he tells me this, I just can't fucking believe it. We have five kids. Technically I have seven kids. Dinh wants one more. Dinh loves kids. He wants an infant.

"A baby?" I say, incredulous. "What the fuck are we going to do with a baby?"

"We're going to watch him or her grow up. We're going to nurture. We're going to give our children a sibling they can nurture."

I honest to god don't know what to say. I'm not especially fond of infants. I mean, Quan was a bit of a stretch until we got him to poop in the toilet. I don't mind urine, I guess, but poop is something else again. And I don't relish the thought of being up at 3am trying to get a squalling baby to go to sleep. Yeah, I know there are kids who'll sleep through an earthquake, but there are no guarantees, are there? For all the happy and contented babies out there, there are an equal number of petulant babies. I'm not sure I'd have wanted to have been responsible for Tan when he was three months old. I love him as a three-year old. I'm just not sure I'd have loved him much as a baby. But, Dinh says he'll take care of the baby. (This sounds like a child committing to take care of a puppy. Hmmmm....)

"And, how do you plan to acquire this baby?" I ask. You can't know how bad a question this was to ask, because Dinh has an answer, and the answer is terrifyingly simple and complete.

Remember Arlo Guthrie? "You can get anything you want / At Alice's restaurant." Craigslist is the modern-day equivalent of Alice's restaurant. Even after the Craigslist murders, it's still the 21st Century bazaar. You can get a couch, or a practically-new refrigerator. You can buy a car. You can even get laid -- or "massaged" in the current parlance. And, you can find a surrogate mother for your child. Dinh found Meilin Dong. Meilin is from China -- Sichuan province. Meilin wants to have a baby, desperately, but she has no interest in children. She's 39, eleven years older than Dinh, and wants to be pregnant. She wants to carry a child. She wants to know how that feels while she still can. She wants to give birth, but once she's done that, she wants to give that child away. She has no interest in rearing children. She's perfect. Well, almost perfect. She does have one significant deficiency from Dinh's perspective. She has a pussy...and tits. She's a girl.

"So this Meilin is willing. How do you propose to impregnate her? I mean, I love you Dinh. I adore you. But...you couldn't even fuck me...successfully."

He giggles. Unfortunately, he has an answer for this question as well, and shows it to me online. When he does, I wonder whether the process of knocking this woman up isn't the real motivation for having this child. It's scary.

Intravaginal insemination can be done in a number of ways. There's the old turkey-baster method, which is popular with the lesbians. There's the more subtle injection method using some kind of syringe. And there's an "automated" method that's recently been perfected in Japan -- where else? All of these methods can be done at home. They're all appropriate for the DIY -- do it yourselfers. The one that seems to have gained the most ground recently, to have produced the best results, is the Japanese method. Its only drawback is that it can cause a fair amount of...discomfort...to the male. In any intravaginal insemination, the idea is to inject healthy male sperm into a woman's cervix. You do that with a "device". The question is, which device. Ideally, you don't want to kill the sperm with the device, and if the turkey baster has been full of turkey drippings, there's a fair likelihood that that dead sperm will be the result. Further, apparently, the fresher the sperm is, the more likely you are to "achieve ignition." This leads us to the Japanese method.

For those of you who are squeamish, it may be time to go watch Dancing with the Stars.

You start by spreading the woman's vagina using a speculum -- plastic or stainless steel. You insert a catheter into her cervix, and you connect that catheter to a specialized device. This device has two functions. Connected to a penis, it sucks like a motherfucker. And, whatever liquid it acquires, it pumps into the woman. The idea, of course, is to extract spunk, so it's apparently a good idea for the male to urinate before starting this process lest he end up mixing his juices. Why is this method better than a turkey baster or injections? Because the semen is absolutely fresh, and the transport mechanism is sterile. It's the third advantage that some men find...off-putting. For best results (and the results have been shown to be quite remarkable when compared with the other two methods), you ideally leave this mechanism running for an hour. You want to pump as much semen into the woman as you can get. You want to flood her with semen. The ongoing extraction of same isn't always...comfortable, especially when the poor guy has just had his third orgasm and is getting his dick stroked off for the fourth time in thirty minutes. This falls under the heading of "Too much of a good thing...." This is basically a milking machine, and it will get him off that fourth and probably even a fifth time, but he's unlikely to remember this moment...fondly. In other words, this process is far more fiendish than any discomfort I could have invented for Dinh in one of our "scenes." If we end up buying one of these machines, making a baby will not be its only use. I warn him of this, and he nods.

"We'll need to talk to Jason and Kenny about this," I say. What I'm hoping, of course, is that Jason or Kenny will bring up all the disadvantages of having a baby in the house, effectively quashing Dinh's desire for me. Yes. I'm a chicken-shit. I don't want to be the one to say "no" to him. But, to my horror, Jason and Kenny are very enthusiastic. "A baby," Jason screams. "I'd love a baby."

"Me, too," Kenny avers. "They're so cute."

Even Nathan, Evan and Joaquin are enthusiastic.

Me? I'm basically hosed.

Meilin wants $5,000 for her time, which is utterly ridiculous. She cleans houses. $5,000 is going to pay for the time she'll miss work, apparently. I refuse to pay her $5,000. I offer her $10,000, which is still ridiculous, but I suspect it's all she's likely to take. She wants this so much. She wants to be pregnant and to know what that feels like so much. She wants to give birth. She accepts. She also wants HIV test results, it turns out, and that ends up being easy because Stanford requires their instructors to be tested regularly. They don't require that they disclose the results to the administration. They just want them to be tested so that they know their status. Hence, Dinh has test results going back several years at nine-month intervals.

The magic sperm extraction machine costs $5,000. It's a bit of an extravagance, I think. It reminds me of one of those fancy Japanese toilet seats that washes your ass for you after you've taken a dump and probably anoints your now-pristine pucker with frankincense and myrrh. Still, everything I've read says that this is the most effective method of intravaginal insemination, so it's a necessity. Finally, the midwife will cost us $2,000. "Why do you need a midwife?" I hear you cry. Because somebody's got to get the catheter into this woman's cervix, and that somebody's not going to be me. I wouldn't know a cervix if I tripped over it. So, the midwife will take care of the female side of this equation, and I'll take care of the male side. I have no desire to be poking around in some poor woman's pussy, and believe me, she doesn't want me in there either.

So, this baby is going to cost us $17,000, which is very cheap for surrogacy these days.

"You know," I say to Dinh two weeks before the procedure, "this isn't going to be pleasant for you. You're not going to enjoy this."

He nods. "I know. I want to do this downstairs. I want you to strap me to the table, because...umm...I don't want to screw this up."

I nod. The first couple of orgasms might be pretty pleasurable. After that, the relentless stroking is probably going to drive him nuts.

Two days before the procedure, we get the basement set up. The basement is actually quite nice. It's fully finished. If you didn't know where you were, the only thing that would tip you off to the fact that this is a basement is that the ceiling is only seven feet high, and the windows are so high up that you can't see out of them. They admit light, but that's it. I actually have a gynecological exam chair down there complete with stirrups and a motorized table. I got it on Craigslist several years ago because it was cheap, and just looked so...evil. I never expected to use it for anything truly...umm...gynecological, though. But, that's what we're going to use it for now. Meilin will sit in it, giving the midwife access to her...stuff. We push my punishment table over next to it, and separate the punishment table from the exam chair using a portable screen. Meilin and Dinh will be able to see each other's face, but that's all. It's always good to preserve the modesty of new parents, especially as you carry out the impregnation, right?

The morning of the procedure, Meilin arrives at the house at 10am, and the midwife arrives five minutes later. I lead them down to the basement first so they can get set up. After twenty minutes, the midwife comes back up to say they're ready to go. The catheter is in place. It's now a matter of getting Dinh into place. Dinh is in the living room, sitting on the couch in a bath robe, fretting. "It's time," I say. He looks up and nods. He looks absolutely terrified, but of what? I'm not sure. He's going to get his dick stroked to within an inch of its life, and that's probably not going to be pleasant, but it's only for an hour. He looks very, very frightened. Very frightened! He gets up off the couch and crosses the room to me. I hug him, and we make our way downstairs. Meilin is completely obscured behind the screen. Dinh doesn't see her until, having taken off his robe, he lies down on the table. Then he sees her face. She smiles happily. Dinh, too, smiles, but his smile looks forced and

nervous. I buckle the restraints that will keep him immobile, and lube his dick with some baby oil, careful to avoid getting any on the dick head, which, the instructions for the sperm-extraction machine tell me, "could contaminate the sperm". "Baby oil," honest to god, is what the machine instructions said to use. I must have laughed for ten minutes.

Once he's lubed and ready to go, I slide the "extraction sleeve" onto his flaccid dick. It looks like a three-inch-long metal pipe. It has a clear-plastic tube extending from one end, and an electrical cable that extends from the side of the tube. Both of these connect to a control unit that sits next to Dinh on a stool. The catheter that is now, apparently, inserted into Meilin's cervix extends from the other side of the control unit. "Are we ready?" I ask the room as a whole.

"Yes," the midwife responds.

"Yes," Meilin says softly.

"Yes," Dinh says, his voice cracking. I think he's more frightened than I've ever seen him, and that's saying a lot.

Holding the extraction sleeve in place, I switch on the device, and set it for sixty minutes. I'm not real sure how to describe this, but I'll try. Initially, the extraction sleeve is very loose fitting. If I didn't hold it in place, it'd slide off Dinh's dick, both because he's flaccid, and because the diameter of the sleeve is a good deal larger than his dick. When I switch the device on, though, there's a hissing sound, and I can feel the sleeve abruptly "grasp" Dinh's dick. I realize later when I slide the sleeve over one of my fingers, is that a rubberized membrane inside the sleeve inflates, enveloping Dinh's dick and forming a contact that holds the sleeve in place, both because it's expanded around him, and because there's suction that's actually pulling the sleeve down toward his balls. It's like a mechanical blow job. It's no longer necessary for me to hold it. This membrane becomes quite warm, and a mechanical feature inside the sleeve is stroking up and down the shaft of his dick. At the same time, there's a brush of some kind that's circling his dick head, stroking it around and around. Both the up-and-down shaft motion and the dick-head brush can be adjusted for frequency. What the instructions tell you to do is to work with the "subject" to find a frequency "likely to achieve orgasm". They also warn that once you've achieved the "optimal frequency," you shouldn't vary it, even though the subject may ask you to. "Be aware," the instructions read, "that the objective is to produce the greatest volume of semen possible. An hour is an optimal period for its production. Once you've adjusted the unit for maximum semen production, reducing the frequency of the stroking for the male's greater comfort will also reduce semen production." I love the Japanese. They're some of the purest production engineers on the planet, viewing even the male anatomy as a production system that can be carefully optimized. Thank god for W. Edwards Deming, the father of Japanese quality manufacturing. Without him, a man's dick might be merely a source of pleasure. Because of him, it is instead an engine that can be efficiently tuned to produce ever greater output. This is the six-sigma of child manufacturing. No wonder this machine works so well!

The instructions advise that semen production is increased by "stimulating the male subject." I found this statement fascinating, and it made me wonder about who this machine was designed for. I mean, think about it. If you're a heterosexual couple and want a child, wouldn't the easiest and cheapest way to achieve that goal just be to get laid? Yeah, I suppose that might not be the most efficacious or efficient way to deliver sperm in some cases. Some couples, faced with infertility issues, might find that a device such as this will get them pregnant more quickly than the primitive method. But still, you have to wonder, don't you? If your wife is lying on a table somewhere with a catheter up her snatch, and you're off to the side with a milking machine sucking on your dick, who is it that the manufacturers of this machine expects to "stimulate the male subject"? His mistress? And what form will that stimulation take? I mean, it's not like said mistress can go down on him. She basically has four choices. She can tickle his balls, which he might like. She can play with his nipples, which heterosexual men hate because it's so...well...gay. She can penetrate him up the ass with her finger or other non-digital devices, which he's even less likely to find...endearing. Or she can kiss him. But, in any case, it's not his wife who's going to be "stimulating the male subject," is it?

All this brings me to the conclusion that this device was designed for...us. It was designed for fags who need to clinically knock up some girl for the purpose of procreation because they can't get it up. I find this fascinating! Why? Because the Japanese aren't publicly very supportive of gay relationships. They probably have more of them than any country in the world per capita, but they're publicly tabu. Every Japanese man is married, no matter who he's fucking. I know that sounds a little...racist. It sounds very reductive, and I got seriously admonished by an Asian friend when I made that statement at a party, and when I further opined that the Japanese were among the kinkiest people in the world. Good kinky, but still kinky. But, that Asian friend was Chinese, and when I asked a Japanese friend at the same party if those statements weren't in fact true, he laughed and nodded. "Yes," he said, "as a nation we are very repressed sexually, but we have turned our repression into an art form and enjoy it very much." So, my suspicion is that this automated ejaculator was designed for gay couples pursuing surrogacy -- or maybe something else. Given the nature of the Japanese, I suspect its appeal isn't just procreation. I expect that Dinh and I, for example, will enjoy this machine for years after we get Meilin pregnant.

I decide to "stimulate the male subject" by attaching Dinh's favorite nipple clamps, the ones that get tighter as you pull on them. Then I kiss him. It's long and passionate kiss, a rather frantic kiss, a kiss that is so hot that it takes his mind completely off the mechanical nature of what we're doing here today. I think the mechanics of this thing will also become hot pretty soon, but right now, it's just...mechanical. After we've kissed for a minute or so, I move south and take Dinh's balls in my mouth, rolling them around, compressing them a little, and squeezing them in my mouth. Dinh groans, in pain and pleasure, and then he stiffens, and I watch as the first load of his spunk courses its way through the clear tube connecting the extraction sleeve to the control unit.

I begin to lick his perineum and along his ass crack, parting his ass cheeks to give myself optimal access. He begins to groan and to squirm a little. I don't think he's comfortable having his dick continuously manipulated so soon after his last orgasm, but the extraction sleeve isn't giving him any break. It continues to massage up and down his shaft and to lightly brush his dick head at exactly the frequency we set. I think it's that endless brushing of the dick head that would be the greatest torture for me. Mine is so sensitive right after an orgasm.

I lick around the crease in his ass, and then back up the perineum. Finally, I tickle his pucker with my tongue, barely touching it, before planting my wet tongue right on his asshole and licking upward. He groans again, and I watch as the second load of his cum gets vacuumed up by the control unit. It only took ten minutes for Dinh to reach his second orgasm, and he's now squirming quite a lot. I move back up to his face, kissing him while pulling on the chain connecting his two nipple clamps. He starts to groan, I kiss him more passionately, and intertwine my tongue with his. And, I reach down with my right hand and slowly stroke his asshole, tickling it softly, but barely touching it. He's crying softly now. He knows he's got another forty minutes of this, and it's not pleasant. Moving back to his ass, I coat my finger with baby oil and slowly penetrate him, searching for the prostate. When I find it, I stroke it. He starts to moan again, and to thrash his head back and forth. And then the third load of spunk gets sucked up by the extractor.

Dinh is crying freely now, pulling against the restraints holding him to the table. He's writhing as his dick continues to be relentlessly stroked by the extraction sleeve. "Please...please," he begs, "please make it stop."

"You've got another half hour," I tell him, sealing my mouth to his in a kiss. Meilin looks concerned and a little freaked, but turns her head back and waits for the next infusion. I wonder if she can feel it as Dinh's cum is delivered to her. I wonder what the velocity of the delivery is. I guess those are things I'll never know.

Breaking the kiss, I move back to his ass. There's no way I can fuck him. There's no room at the end of the table, and I'd probably dislodge the extraction sleeve. So, instead, I've laid out the T.E.N.S. unit along with a bi-polar stainless-steel "bullet". This is a lozenge of about two inches in length and three-quarters of an inch in diameter. It has two poles to complete an electrical circuit. This is nothing like the butt plug I used on him last time. This will slide completely inside him and, if I get it correctly positioned, will lay directly on his prostate, lighting him up with each jolt of electricity. I plan to make sure that those jolts are...jolting. We're going to crank this baby up today. I coat the bullet with a saline-based lube for optimal contact, and slide it inside him, connecting the cable to the T.E.N.S. control unit. I slowly crank up the intensity while trying to make the frequency of the jolts match the mechanical stroking of his dick. I have to readjust where the bullet has come to rest inside him by pulling back on the cable just a little, but soon we have everything working as I'd imagined. With every down stroke of the extraction sleeve, Dinh gets a fairly significant jolt of power. He tenses and grunts, and then relaxes, only to face the next jolt. He's soon covered in sweat, and I'd guess that his abdominal muscles are plenty sore because he's been tensing them so often. And then, he tenses his whole body, and a new load of cum, his fourth, gets sucked up by the control unit.

I leave the T.E.N.S. unit firing inside him, and move back to his face. "Please...please...," he sobs.

"Twenty more minutes, baby," I say, kissing him again while pulling on his nipple clamps. He screams, a scream that's absorbed in our kiss. He calms a bit as we continue to kiss, and so when we break the kiss, I dial up the intensity of the T.E.N.S. unit a bit. He begins to scream with every jolt of electricity, finally shrieking in one long and continuous, nearly ear-shattering scream, as he fires a fifth load of spunk into the clear-plastic tube.

In all, we get seven loads out of Dinh, although the volume of spunk gets smaller and smaller. By the time the control unit shuts itself off, and the extraction sleeve slides off Dinh's dick, he is utterly spent. He's soaked -- in sweat and tears -- and nearly out of voice. I pull the bi-polar bullet out of his ass, remove the nipple clamps, and release him. He doesn't move. He remains on the table, sobbing. I cover him with the robe he came down in and carry him up to our bedroom, where I lay him down to rest. Then I return to the kitchen to wait for Meilin and the midwife, who appear maybe fifteen minutes later. "He okay?" Meilin asks.

"Yeah, he's fine. He just needs to rest."

"He call me later?" She looks very concerned. How touching.

"I'll ask him to when he wakes up."

She nods. She and the midwife leave, and I return to the bedroom where Dinh is still crying softly. I crawl into bed with him and hug him, and he latches onto me. When he finally stops crying, he looks into my eyes and smiles. "That was the most intensely-painful thing I've ever done in my life. You just can't know how much that hurt. How many times did I cum?" he asks, suddenly curious.

"Seven times, I think."

"And that was only an hour?"

I nod.

"Jesus, it seemed a lot longer than an hour." Then he sits up and pulls back the covers, staring at his dick. He rolls back the foreskin. I think he wants to make sure that he still has a dick, but I notice that, as he touches it, he cringes. Too much stimulation! Finally, he lies back down next to me and we hug.

"So, was it good pain, or bad pain?"

He thinks. "I don't know."

"Would you do it again?"

"Yeah," he says, urgently. "I want to do it again. But...umm...not tomorrow."

I laugh. I guess that means it was good pain, seriously-intensely-good pain.

The distinction between pain and pleasure among different people fascinates me, because for some, like Dinh, I'm not sure there is a firm distinction. Pleasure is pain. You find this lack of distinction all over medieval literature, in which words like "ecstasy" and "passion" didn't necessarily describe joy, as they do today. Christ's passion was conceived to have occurred as he was nailed to the cross. "Ecstasy" in most primitive religions was often an out-of-body experience that occurred as a result of intense pain, so intense that you had to "pass through it;" you had to leave your mind at the door. What's most interesting, though, is when pain becomes sexualized. That was never a part of the medieval concept, or at least not explicitly, although you could argue that it's sort of a sexual subtext to tales like "Sir Gawain" or Spencer's "Faerie Queen". When pain is sexual, it becomes an objective in itself, as important as ejaculation. In Dinh's case, it's usually a necessary precursor to ejaculation. Unless we're having group sex, Dinh rarely can cum without an element of pain, sometimes pretty-intense pain. But, I'm not sure whether it's the pain itself, or the surrender. It's probably both. Dinh shows his love by inviting someone to hurt him. It's the ultimate act of surrender, and surrender is love for Dinh. Why? I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with his relationship with his parents, or something else in his background.

The other side of the equation is equally interesting, isn't it? Why is the giving of pain so intensely erotic to some of us? It's an issue of power and control, I guess, and sex, psychologists tell us, is often about power and control. Rape is less a sexual act than a means of wresting power from someone else. The fact that the person you're wresting power from is often inherently less physically powerful than you anyway (a woman, a child) suggests that you're acting out an unconscious urge rather than taking power from your specific victim, but the idea's the same. I think there are other motivations, though. In my case, for example, I find causing Dinh pain to be intensely erotic. Squeezing his balls, and clamping his nipples are like "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens". "These are a few of my favorite things." But, the idea of doing any of that to Jason I find horrifying. We did some of that once upon a time, and I ultimately came to conclude that he didn't enjoy it, and the minute I realized that, it wasn't erotic anymore. I like to bring pleasure to my sexual partners. I like that pleasure to be as intense as I can make it. If it's not pleasurable for him, it's not pleasurable for me. Dinh likes pain, and I find causing him pain to be sexually exciting. Jason likes to be stroked and caressed, and I find stroking and caressing him to be sexually exciting. I guess what I find erotic is bringing pleasure to others. This is the Casanova syndrome at some level, but what turned Casanova on was the knowledge that he could do that. He liked the seduction, and the chase. What turns me on is actually doing it.

The timeframe for our intravaginal insemination was based on Meilin. She subscribes to the "rhythm" method of tracking fertility, and had calculated that she'd be in the middle of her ovulation cycle on the day we inseminated her. Her temperature was elevated, she said. Who knows if this stuff works, but she believes it. And, it's not like humoring her was going to cause any harm. Two weeks after the insemination, she called Dinh very excited. "My temperature high for last week," she said. "I pregnant." Uhh hunh. Sure.

But, once I heard this, I found that I couldn't sleep. Dinh couldn't either. I really needed to know.

The home pregnancy tests aren't accurate until several days after you miss a period, and it's not time for Meilin's period, yet. Blood tests, on the other hand, will indicate pregnancy only days after ovulation. I decide to take Meilin to Dr. Cohen, my G.P., whom I figure can tell us definitively and expeditiously whether she's pregnant. Cohen's at a conference this week, it turns out, but Dr. Nguyen, his partner, is in the office. I make an appointment for the next day, and take her in for the test. The reason a doctor can tell whether you're pregnant even though a home test can't is because a doctor is looking for markers in the blood rather than in the urine. They're looking for a specific hormone, and that hormone makes its way into the bloodstream first. The test takes all of five minutes. He takes a small vial of blood, and we're done.

Two days later Meilin calls Dinh again, screaming happily. "I pregnant.... I pregnant.... Doctor call. I have child!" She's elated, and Dinh, talking to her on the phone in the kitchen, is hopping up and down. I don't think I've ever seen him happier. Jason has been cooking. When he realizes what this call is about, he runs out to get Kenny and me, and pretty soon everyone is hopping up and down...everyone but me. Don't get me wrong, babies are fine, I guess, but I'm not big on them, and it's not just the poop thing. I used to change diapers for my niece and nephew. It wasn't a big deal. But...umm...they can't talk, can they? And, it's going to be a while before they can make me laugh. Quan, by now, makes me laugh all the time. It's what keeps me from killing him when he pisses himself. His antics are hysterical, even when he doesn't mean them to be. Yesterday, Thumper, the cat, was lurking in the living room where the boys were playing. The cat walked past, and Quan launched himself into the air to catch him. The cat nonchalantly stepped aside just as Quan landed on the floor, his face mashed into the carpet, crying piteously. I picked him up and bounced him on my knee for a few minutes. Then he jumped down giggling non-stop, and took off after that Thumper-cat, who streaked into one of the bedrooms. Babies can't do this kind of stuff. They can't entertain you.

Jason has noticed my lack of enthusiasm now and before, and has scoffed. "You wait," he's said. "You are going to be more besotted by this baby than any of us."

Yeah, right....

But, I do feel the excitement, even this early in Meilin's pregnancy. Everyone is excited! We have Meilin over for dinner fairly frequently, and she's so happy, and...glowing. If you look at art from the Renaissance to the present, pregnant women are often depicted as...radiant. I always thought that was a hoax, but she does look pretty radiant. Her skin is glowing and her features seem...rounder somehow. I don't mean that she's plumped up because she's carrying a little one. Even her face looks rounder. Is this my imagination, or is this really happening? Unfortunately, there's no one I can ask because no one in the family is objective right now. They're all besotted. Dinh is just flat out over the moon. He's appropriated the spare bedroom, and he and Nathan have begun to paint the walls, and I don't mean that they're changing the color from pale yellow to green. They've begun to paint pictures. They paint a Winnie the Pooh wall, and a Bugs Bunny wall. They're really extraordinary. And then there's the hand-print wall. Kai, Feng, Quan, and Tan have all dipped their hands in paint of various colors and left their handprints on the wall. I have to admit that this is seriously cute. I'm not a big Winnie the Pooh fan, myself. I find the story a little...sappy. But the handprint wall is adorable. By the time they finished, Quan and Tan had paint all over them. They were awash in colors. I took pictures so I can blackmail them when they're twenty and have girlfriends (or boyfriends) who might be interested to see them at their colorful best. We also have baby furniture. We have a crib, and a changing table that Dinh found on Craigslist in Menlo Park, and we have rafts of cloth diapers that he found on Craigslist in Mountain View. I'm not a fan of disposable diapers, and apparently Dinh isn't either. They add to the land fill, and studies have shown that they're not especially good for the baby's skin. They're not especially absorbent. When my sister had her children, there were always cloth diapers soaking in the toilet before they made their way to the laundry. We'll wash our own.

And then, at about the four month mark, the morning sickness starts, and the peeing. Meilin has to pee nearly constantly, she says, but through it all, she's chipper, enjoying the experience. "I want to see what sister go through," she says. "I not know." By five months she's starting to show. She's very slim, but it's not until the fifth month that you have a sense that she's pregnant. By six months you're sure. By seven months she is protuberant, and her blood chemistry is a little alarming. Her electrolytes are off and she's iron deficient. Dr. Nguyen puts her on weekly supplement injections -- mostly vitamins -- and recommends that she stop working a month before she intended. I insist that she move in with us so we can care for her. I want to make sure that she's eating well. We put her in one of the spare bedrooms with Evan and Joaquin, and they spoil her. Dr. Nguyen suggests that she spend most of her time recumbent. He doesn't want her out of bed any more than she needs to be at this point in her pregnancy. I am, I have to admit, really happy that Dr. Cohen was out of the office for her initial pregnancy test, because Meilin bonded with Dr. Nguyen during that first appointment. She trusts him, and is willing to do whatever he says. I'm not sure she'd be so malleable under Cohen's care.

Her eighth month isn't very pleasant, but she's still very upbeat, very jovial. "I feel very fat," she says, pointing to her belly and laughing. It really is distended and can't be comfortable. "It look like mountain," she says, giggling. She's right. She's so slim, and her belly is so monstrous. Dr. Nguyen has taken to visiting her rather than the other way around, and the last couple of visits he's brought Dr. Cohen along with him, which worries me a bit. "How is she?" I asked them after their last visit.

"Her chemistry is a concern, as you know," Cohen tells me. "We haven't been able to stabilize her electrolytes, and she's quite anemic. We're going to increase her supplements. Bao -- Dr. Nguyen -- will be coming by daily with her injections. We're a bit concerned. Nothing to really worry about, I think, but we're a bit...apprehensive."

On the Monday morning of week 36, I make my way through the back gate over to Evan and Joaquin's with my blood-pressure kit. I've been monitoring Meilin's blood pressure since she moved in with us. It's a little high. It averages around 140 by 92, but Dr. Cohen tells me this is normal for pregnancy. "If you see it go above 150, I want to hear about it." It's never gotten that high, though, so I think we're okay. Joaquin has left for the Symphony, and Evan is in the kitchen, eating a banana. "I was just going to take her some breakfast," he says, pointing to a tray with cereal, a plate of fruit, some apple juice, and a glass of water. We make our way to her room, and I knock softly. There's no answer. I open the door gently, calling her name. Meilin is lying on her side, asleep. As we approach the bed, I see that the sheets are wet, and when I pull them back there are blood stains. I shake her, but she doesn't wake up. I look for a pulse, and there is one, but it's hard to feel. I'm no expert at this, but it seems like it should be stronger. I call 911 for help, and I call Dr. Cohen's office. He's not in yet, I'm told, nor is Dr. Nguyen. I describe the emergency, and tell the receptionist that I've called for an ambulance and that we're en route to O'Connor Hospital, which is the closest hospital. Then I call our house phone, get Jason on the line, and tell him to find Dinh. Dinh needs to be with us.

The paramedics arrive within five minutes. They check Meilin's vital signs, load her onto a gurney, and rush her out of the house. They allow Dinh to ride along with them, despite his having told them that he's not her husband. "I'm the father of her baby, but we're not married," he says.

O'Connor is about five minutes from us -- three minutes if you have a siren. Despite being catholic, it's a very good hospital. The administration can sometimes be persnickety, but the quality of care is excellent. The paramedics wheel her into the emergency care facility instantly, and the O'Connor staff has her triaged and into the care unit in a matter of maybe five minutes. I linger with the admitting nurse to provide contact information, insurance information, and what I know of her medical history, which isn't much. Looking through the glass door, into the unit itself, I see a flash of Dr. Cohen hustling down the corridor. Knowing that he's here makes all this easier.

It takes three hours. Three of the longest fucking hours I think I've ever spent. Jason is with me, holding my hand, and Dinh is apparently in with Meilin. Kenny's at home with the boys. Jason called him in the middle of his Interface Design class. Jason is one of three people on earth whose call Kenny'd answer in that circumstance. He explained the situation, and Kenny made his excuses and came home. We'd left Tan, Feng, and Quan with Becky across the street, promising her that Kenny'd be back from Stanford within half an hour. When Dinh finally comes out of the emergency unit, he's sobbing, sobbing and incoherent. He falls into my lap and drapes himself over my shoulder, sobbing. Behind him is Dr. Cohen and an O'Connor doctor. Cohen is looking grim, and the surgeon is looking...sad. "Something went terribly wrong," Cohen says, as preamble. "We're not sure what. Her body didn't seem to be absorbing the supplements we were giving her. Bao...umm...Dr. Nguyen had detected a heart arrhythmia when he checked her last, which is why we'd stepped up the supplements. We thought it was an iron deficiency. She's dead, Tim. She died of cardiac arrest a little more than half an hour ago."

Dinh is sobbing, drawing quite a lot of attention from those waiting with us in the emergency facility. I hug him, but it's clear he's not going to calm down for a while.

"That's the worst of it," says Cohen. "The good news is that we were able to save her baby. Dr. Jeffers," he says, gesturing toward the O'Connor doctor, "was able to perform a lightening-fast cesarean and to extricate the child before he asphyxiated. He's healthy and well. She carried him just about to term. He'll be fine."

"A boy?"


A healthy infant boy. I'm speechless, and very close to tears. I'd sort of wanted a girl. I don't know. I hadn't thought much about it, I guess. I didn't really care what it was, but...umm...I realize now that I'd sort of wanted a little girl. We have a raft of boys in this family. I'd sort of hoped.... Fuck it. We will love this kid to within an inch of his life. It's at this moment, at the realization that I couldn't care less which sex it is, that I start to cry. It's a healthy fucking baby, something to rejoice about, born of a dead mother, a mother we'd all come to love. That's something to mourn deeply. I bury my face in Dinh's shirt, hugging him oh, so tight. We both sob.

After several minutes, I begin to regain control. The O'Connor doctor is gone, but Dr. Cohen is still with us, looking...pained. "I'm sorry, Tim. It's not always easy to diagnose these things. I'm sorry I wasn't able...."

"I don't blame you, Ben. I believe you did everything you could. It's just really...heartbreaking."

He nods.

"So, what's next? When do we take the baby home?"

"He's a little underweight," Cohen replies. "The doctors want to watch him for a day or two. They want to make sure he's healthy. They want to build him up a little before you take him home. The good news is that Dinh was with him when he was born. He identified himself as the father, and that's been registered on the birth certificate. There won't be any adoption complications. The mother is deceased, and Dinh, as the father, will be awarded custody. I would, at some point, like to talk to you about...umm...how this birth was...umm...accomplished. I mean, Dinh is one of your partners. This is in no way a challenge to his...paternity. I'm just curious about how...well, you know."

I smile through my tears.

"So, the birth certificate lists Meilin as mother deceased, and Dinh as the father?"

"Right. He'll be awarded custody as the surviving parent. The hospital may be asked to perform a DNA test, but only if his paternity is challenged."

"Let `em do what they want to do. His paternity is indisputable. Believe me, I know. He'll pass any test they give him. But, I don't think Meilin had any relatives here. She's from Sichuan, from China. No one's going to dispute this. So, how will the birth certificate read? I mean, what do birth certificates list as the name of the child when you haven't given them one at the time of birth?"

Cohen looks confused.

"What name are they going to list on the birth certificate? John Doe?"

"They're going to list his given names and his surname."

"But, he doesn't have any given names."

Cohen now looks really confused, and then he gets it. I don't, but he does. "The baby's name as it'll appear on the birth certificate is Thim Jason Kenny Pham," he says.

The minute he says this, I'm sniffling again. "Tim?"

"T-H-I-M." He spells it for me. "Thim Jason Kenny Pham." Now I'm sobbing. Thim is a Vietnamese name. It's a Vietnamese name I've seen written before. It's the Vietnamese form of my name, I guess. I am so touched. "Thanks, Ben," I choke, hugging the sobbing Dinh so hard I'm surprised he can breathe. When I regain control, I lift Dinh into my arms and carry him to the car with Jason in close pursuit. Ultimately, Dinh rides home on Jason's lap. I drive. I have no idea what I'm feeling. But I'm grateful that we're only five minutes from O'Connor, because I just can't...umm...stop crying.

Published first at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nemo-stories/