"Do something for me, Anna."
"I am doing something for you."
"Oh? I see. This is all just for me. You're getting no enjoyment from it at all."
"Ya. All you."
Anna was masturbating. I was sitting on the side of her bed. We spoke quietly, a gentle to-and-fro, the increasingly comfortable dance of words between us. Even at nine she'd mastered the coy half-serious voice that clever girls use to tease a boy into utter helplessness.
I very slowly licked the back of her knee. "So you want to stop."
She was quiet, watching me as I held her smooth coltish leg. I spread her wide and she blushed, her small hand cupping and covering her bare mons. Still shy at being fully exposed despite weeks of nudity. "Shall we? Stop?"
"I guess not."
"Show me your cunt. Spread it with your fingers."
She looked down at herself, opened the smooth outer folds tentatively. "So pretty," I called.
"So weird," she responded. A Greek chorus. Plato would have appreciated every bit of this.
I peeled off her sock. "We've woken up your cunt, haven't we? It likes the attention it's getting."
"I can't help it."
"You don't need to help it. It's the most natural thing. Now we're waking up the rest of your elegant little body. Every part of you is sexual. It's all connected, isn't it?" I pinched a nipple, tugged and twisted. She winced, her legs stiffened, her teeth at her lip, undeniable proof of my assertion. "Rub your clit, but slowly." I met her eyes as I took the smallest toe of her left foot into my mouth and suckled.
Anna's standard facial expression when I pushed a new boundary was meant to convey that she considered me insane. More recently she'd been more willing to see what became of my actions, to let the feelings take hold before instinctively recoiling. It was satisfying to see the widening of her eyes, the squirm of her bottom as I slid my mouth from one toe to the next.
"Are you ready to do something for me, Anna?"
"Is it gross?"
"No. It's something you've done before, I'm sure."
"I want you to suck your thumb."
"You are so totally strange."
"Thank you for diversifying your descriptive vocabulary. Is strange better than weird, or worse?"
"It's more strange." She turned her face to the wall. "I'm not a baby," she said.
"No. Not anymore. You were when you came to me, weren't you?"
She didn't answer for a moment. Then, "I know why you want me to do that."
"I want to see you do it. We're waking you up, bit by bit. Your mouth is next."
"You want to put... it..."
"Yes. I want you to suck my cock. You will. But that's not what this is about. Not entirely. Not yet."
She sighed. "Do something for me then."
"Gladly." I kissed my way up the inside of her leg. She made a show of putting her thumb into her mouth. As I applied my tongue to her unfathomable softness her face slowly relaxed, her cheeks working subtly.
This is a sight that goes to my core, a girl sucking her thumb as she ascends through stages of arousal and orgasm. The juxtaposition of innocence and obscenity. Her discovery of that feeling of fullness, of comfort, connecting it to the heat welling up from between her legs. When Anna came, her throat swallowed in a steady rhythm. Her eyes closed tight and then opened, found mine. Her ultimate gasp seemed to expel her thumb from her mouth.
I wrapped her up in my arms as she unwound from her pleasure. The redness in her cheeks didn't fade. She was embarrassed.
"That was so lovely, Anna. Thank you."
"I'm not a baby."
"No. But you felt it, didn't you? Maybe a memory, a deep long-ago. Maybe you did it sometimes at night, even when you were older, in the car, when you were afraid."
She turned away, her back to me. "I understand," I said. "Comfort and pleasure are related. You can feel more if you're safe, open, relaxed. You're safe with me, safe to show all of your feelings, the good and the bad."
"It was really scary sometimes." I felt her shiver against me.
"I can only imagine, little one."
"I don't want you to put it in my mouth," she said.
"I know. I don't want that either, actually."
"No. I want you to take it into your mouth."
"Don't hold your breath."
"Can I show you something, Anna?"
"Is it your penis?"
I chuckled. "Not this time." I searched under the covers and extracted the Kindle from where it was buried. It was our most oft-used sex toy. I held it in front of us, me watching over Anna's shoulder. We were looking at Miranda at age 11, about six months after she came into my care. She and I were nestled on the bed, not unlike my current posture with Anna.
"I want to suck your cock," she said.
"Did you seriously just ask me why I want to suck your cock?"
There was a pause. "Nobody ever asked me that before."
"It's not because I want a cigarette. I mean, I want one. But that's not it."
"Good. Say more."
"I... like what you do to me. How you... are with me."
"I'm glad. I love seeing you take pleasure, Miranda."
"I guess I want to return the favor?"
"Thank you. But it's not a favor. What I do with you is a great pleasure for me."
"Stupid happy puppy."
"Yes. Very happy. So don't suck my cock because you think you should."
"You are so fucking odd."
She was quiet again. Finally, "I miss it."
"What do you miss, Miranda?"
"The feeling. In my mouth. And... I guess... sometimes it made me feel like I mattered. You know, like if you're blowing somebody, and you stop, the look they get right then, that puppy look. Like the please don't stop I'll do anything look. I miss that."
"I understand. It's a powerful feeling."
"You're a guy. I don't think you understand."
"Hmmm. I expect that I've given even more blowjobs than you have, little one."
"Really? Cuz I did it a lot. For a long time."
"So can I?"
"Only if you want to."
"Then yes, you may."
I reached to pause the video. Anna's hand intercepted mine. We watched the rest of the scene together.
"Do something for me, Jacob."
He reached for my zipper.
He pouted. I kissed his fine hair. It was close to shoulder-length by now. Hard to keep clean and impossible to untangle, but he insisted.
"Something difficult. Tell me more about your father."
"You're my father now."
"It makes me very happy that you think of me that way, Jacob. I'm proud to have you as my son. That's why I want to understand more about what's happened to you."
"It wasn't like stuff happened. Stuff just was. Til the fucked-up stuff happened, I guess."
"Language. Though yes, what happened was seriously fucked up."
"And my fault."
"No. Not at all your fault. You were made into a weapon. In some ways, you're like a child soldier in a war-torn country. You've been traumatized."
"By the molesting." He said the word as though channeling a social worker.
"No. That's not the trauma. The trauma is what happened after. The actual bad part was that you were forced to harm another person."
"Yes. And her boyfriend. He was collateral damage, the poor man."
"He let me do it."
"We both know how insistent you can be, Jacob."
He blushed. "My Mom left us. That's why we hated her."
"Have you ever thought that she left because she figured out that your father was... disturbed?"
"You said that before. But then... if she thought he was bad... and she left... how come she left me too? With him."
"That's a very important question. I think she failed you, but perhaps she felt that she had no choice. Perhaps she waited until she felt she had some stability of her own so that she could take care of you. I don't expect that she could have imagined what was happening with your father. Regardless of the reasons, she did reach out. She asked to spend time with you."
"And what happened then was very fucked up, and very much not your fault."
He buried his face in my chest. A tremble ran through him. "I... killed my Dad. Because I told."
"No, Jacob. He was ill. Or, he made his choices. Either way, it was him. He taught you to be open, to not be ashamed of who you are. That was a great gift to you that you should treasure. But that also made it impossible for you to hide. Of course you told. You didn't think you'd done anything to hide."
"He said it was secret."
"But he didn't keep your secret, Jacob. What he had you do... it spoke for itself."
"I guess so." His breathing slowed. "It gets all jumbled up inside me."
"I can only imagine, little one." I held him silently until he stirred.
"The very difficult thing I want you to do is... forgive her. And forgive yourself."
After a time he said, "I want to be a girl right now."
"Then go change your clothes, sweetheart."
This adjustment hadn't been easy for me. For all my supposed lack of judgment, all my perverse depravity, I was still working to understand and accept Jacob's gender fluidity. He lived it fearlessly; fiercely, even. It was as much a part of him as the nose on his face.
He came back in his favorite short dress, his hair a well-executed pony tail. We resumed our snuggle. I could understand how he'd pass with the men that his father exposed him too. His manner changed as much as his attire when he was a girl.
"It's easier to think about my Mom now," he said.
I nodded without fully comprehending. "How did it start? Being a girl, I mean."
"The underpants. He didn't say they were girls'. He just got them for me. I liked them."
"Why did you like them?"
He giggled. "They give me stiffies."
"I see. They fit differently. Tight."
"Ya. And they're pretty. Boys' are so ugly."
"I suppose so, by comparison. And the rest? The... dressing." I was ashamed at my own awkwardness.
"Daddy said I could blow more guys that way."
"You liked that, when he took you out to meet men."
"Mostly. I liked how they looked at me when I'm a girl. Even if they knew. And he said Mommy wouldn't even recognize me."
"Why do you suppose he said that, about your Mom not recognizing you?"
"I dunno. Maybe it meant that she'd think I was pretty."
"Or maybe he was hoping that seeing you that way would hurt her. Because you wouldn't be as she remembered you."
Jacob hugged my waist. Almost a whisper, he said, "Do something for me."
I smiled and slid my hand up under his dress, cupped his stiffy as it strained against taut smooth fabric.
"Not that," he said.
He can be insistent. I hadn't intended it, not yet. I wanted him to have a chance to understand who he might have been if things had been different.
But things hadn't been different. Things had happened. Fucked-up things. There wasn't any going back. With Jacob, we would have to find a way to move forward. At that moment his definition of forward was to straddle my lap, the dress bunched around his narrow waist, the underpants of his girlhood pushed down to dangle from one small foot, his smooth spike thrust forward as a shameless banner of his need. My pants around my thighs, my own stiffness shiny wet with his saliva as he rose up and then sank down, impaled his pale slender body on my cock. His inner heat consumed me... fingers at my chest... eyes boring into mine.
"There. That. Just that," he said.
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