Authors: Miranda Rush
By Miranda Rush
Text copyright © 2013 Miranda Rush
All Rights Reserved
With gratitude and love to those wonderful people who held my hand
while living the experiences behind this book:
David, Kristi, and Ginger
Connect with Miranda.
Table of Contents
Death was imminent. Rebekah Bontrager could feel it swirl murkily around her, bereaving her of her capacity to breathe, only leaving her pain to come in ragged pants as the waves of pain overtook her. She tried to keep as silent as possible, hoping Death would not find her or her child this night. Yet, the sharp stabs overtook her, twisting her core and trying to expel from her the very life she had guarded inside for so long.
“You’re doing fine,” soothed the midwife. “Not too much longer.”
Rebekah shook her head. Nothing this excruciating could be ‘fine.’ What could the midwife know? Leah, Rebekah’s sister, almost died in childbirth, saved only by the hands of a surgeon and Rebekah’s bargain with God.
She remembered how she had sat in the surgery waiting room with the rest of her family, telling God she was willing to do anything,
to save her sister. Well, God had answered her. “Don’t leave me,” Leah had begged of her at the hospital, in her ghostlike state. Rebekah couldn’t refuse. After all, God had answered her prayer and brought her beloved sister back. If she reneged on her commitment to God, what might He do? Leah and her baby both might have died. As it was Leah had been left with brain-damage and was not even well enough to care for her own child. The little boy had been adopted by their mother, Constance Bontrager.
Rebekah had sinned and was intimate with a man named Nick Collins, an ‘English,’ a man who was not, nor never would be Amish. Rebekah knew that they had certainly been in love. Nothing could ever happen to change her mind about this. It had been too evident in the way that they touched each other, the tenderness of their kisses, the way she felt their spirits intertwined when they made love. The result of her sin was a beautiful secret that she had held tight lipped for the past nine months. Now, that secret could easily be exposed.
Yet, was God finished in exacting his payment? For truth be told, in her heart, not only was
Rebekah not repentant of her sins but instead wished, fantasized even, about committing more with Nick if she should ever see him again. However, seeing him again wasn’t likely. The last time she saw him was the day she made her commitment to God to save Leah’s life. She had left him kneeling on the bathroom floor of the hospital, broken, holding his mother’s Irish wedding band. Now she feared God’s vengeance may not be fully wrought. Death may come greedily to snatch away her life, or worse, the child she now painfully labored to deliver. What could hurt so fiercely, if not Death?
Another wave ripped through her as she held her belly and twisted on the sweat soaked sheets. She moaned loudly enough for the entire family gathered downstairs to hear her. One of those people waiting was Ezekiel Yoder, the man
that Rebekah loathed; the man that was her husband.
She had married grotesque Ezekiel as part of her commitment to God to save Leah. Every day
, she had prayed that the child would not bear Ezekiel’s blonde wiry hair or toad-like appearance, and would not smell like him. For nine months she had secretly hoped that the baby would resemble its father. Now she beseeched God that the baby’s features would not strike Ezekiel as so different from his own. She could not bear to think of him mistreating Nick’s child in any way.
Between contractions she listened to the voices of the women in th
e room. There was the midwife, her mother, and Mother Yoder, her mother-in law.
“You better be giving Ezekiel a son,” Mother Yoder reproached nastily. The woman had been the bane of
Rebekah’s existence since moving into ‘
r’ house with Ezekiel. She never failed to criticize, goad, or impugn those around her, the only exception being Ezekiel. She took special malicious pleasure in making Rebekah and Sarah, Ezekiel’s youngest daughter, writhe with discomfort. Rebekah had learned to ignore her in certain aspects. Other aspects were impossible to be indifferent to.
Rebekah took a sip of cool water offered to her by her mother and thought of Nick and his soft brown eyes and mouth that always seemed to want to curve into a smile. She had fallen in love with him last May and had been caught up in a tornado of emotion, sensuality, and raw eroticism. She now pictured his hands, long and strong, yet slender, and his arms hardy and tightly muscled. Closing her eyes, she could almost see his naked body again.
I can’t believe I’m fantasizing about Nick at a time like this.
Yet, it was Nick’s baby that was now coming out of her. She could almost feel Nick putting the baby in her as a memory of the emotional rush she had felt when they came together pierced her just as another contraction hit. She shrieked out in fear and agony.
“You’re almost fully dilated.”
Rebekah did not answer. Sweat poured down her face. Mother Yoder sat, fanning herself, complaining of the heat in the room.
“The baby’s heartbeat is fine.”
Rebekah would believe the baby was fine when she was able to hold it. Until then, God could still exact more from her. He still could deny her the happiness of Nick’s love made breath and flesh in the form of his child.
She tried to force her mind onto her husband and found herself thinking of their wedding night. The day had been long.
Rebekah’s voice had cracked while saying her vow. Ezekiel had not seemed to notice. Afterward, so many people, many of whom she barely knew or hadn’t seen since she was a small child, had collected around her. She made idiotic conversation with them, nodding her head to what they were saying while not hearing any of it, grateful for the distance it put between her and her new husband. The food had tasted of sawdust in her mouth and, as the day wore on, she dreaded what must come soon.
ll too quickly, it did come. The hot July evening had faded into muggy Missouri twilight and Ezekiel came for her. She did not resist but inwardly fought each step as he took her arm—
not my hand
, she had noted wryly at the time—and led her into his buggy. Mother Yoder, Polly, and the children would come later, after all the guests had left.
Without ceremony, he had led her upstairs to his bedroom, where the wedding quilt she had diligently worked on with the women of the Community was on
the bed, showing its intricate pinwheel pattern. She had gazed at the quilt, idly wondering if the small bloodspot would still be there from when she had pricked her finger after Mother Yoder had humiliated her in front of the other women. Well, there would be no more bloodstains left there tonight. She was wondering if he would even notice when Ezekiel, who had lit a kerosene lamp and seated himself on the bed, spoke.
yor clothes off.”
That’s it? ‘Take
yor clothes off?’ Not even so much as a kiss first?
However, without protest, she complied. First was her bonnet. She unpinned it and put it on the oak bureau. Next she unpinned her thick copper braid that was coiled around her head. Then it was her boots and stockings. With shaking hands, she slowly unfastened her apron and dress. Standing only in her camisole and bloomers, she folded each neatly and placed them on the bureau beside her bonnet. She wondered what he would do. Would he take his clothes off now? Would he want to undress her the rest of the way himself?
He simply sat on the bed inspecting her, his eyes glittering.
I wonder how big his prick is
. There was no way he could be as big as Nick. There was no way in which he could measure up to Nick in any way. She gulped, her arms crossed on her chest, trembling with dread.
She had no options. She could not refuse her husband what was now legally his. Her quavering getting worse, she slipped out of her underwear. Even though she wanted more than anything to hide, she turned to face him, fully nude.
His eyes swarmed over her, hungrily.
He laughed. He removed his vest and unpinned his collar, revealing a tuft of graying blonde hair on his chest. Standing up he unpinned the remainder of his shirt and tore it off, dropping his clothing on the floor. She had known it would be heartbreaking to have this man touch her in any way, especially after she had been loved so well by Nick. She just hadn’t realized exactly how agonizing it was going to be until now, when the reality of it was inescapable.
He came to where she stood and grasped her wrist. She gasped,
shrinking from his touch. He laughed again and led her to the bed, where he laid her down and took off the rest of his clothing.
She was shocked to see that he was roughly the same size as Nick.
Maybe I won’t feel as stretched out to him, then.
Because I won’t feel like a virgin
. She remembered how Nick told her how tight she was the first time they made love.
Ezekiel twisted one of her breasts, hard. She started to wonder what it would be like to fight him off, but
after surveying his strapping naked body next to her delicate, petite build, she recognized that it was a battle that would be over before it had even begun. He bent to kiss her, and she held her breath and kept her mouth in a hard firm line so not to taste his foul breath. He seemed not to notice. He was obviously in delighted anticipation of the prize he had long awaited.
She shouldn’t have worried about not feeling like a virgin to her new husband. Fear and disgust for the man she was in bed with had robbed her of all vaginal moisture, creating friction and making her feel extraordinarily tight. He laughed once again with his own pleasure as he spread her legs and climbed between them
. He shoved himself inside her and rode her hard and fast. Clutching her braid, he pushed while pasting his mouth onto hers with force. Unable to move her head, she lay rigidly on the bed beneath him and tried not to cry. With merciful quickness, however, he became caught up in the throes of his orgasm, squeezing her tightly in his arms as he came.
“Stop your belly aching!” Mother Yoder bellowed reprovingly. “You would think she was getting her leg sawed off.”
The midwife clasped Rebekah’s hand. “Alright, now. Are you ready to push?”
“Yes.” Propped up on pillows and gripping her mother’s hand
, Rebekah pushed with all her might. And again she strained in a series of pushes. It seemed like it would go on forever and never get anywhere.
This time she could feel a small movement of the baby within her. Another push, a small moan came, not from herself, but from her yet unborn child! She felt herself stretching to let the child out and remembered stretching the first time to let Nick in.
Rebekah gathered up whatever reserves of strength she had and bore down as hard as she could.
“Here’s the head!”
She peered down to see the top of a tiny head protruding from her.
Another two pushes and the baby was out, blood and white material streaking her tiny bright pink body, sounding for the entire world like a baby goat. The midwife wiped her off
a bit and brought her immediately to Rebekah.
She forgot all
her woe and sat up to examine this new miracle, still wailing in her arms. Amazing pink skin, dark strands of hair, the teeniest fingernails one could ever imagine.
“Give her your breast.” Her mother directed her how to breastfeed
and Rebekah was rewarded with a small, warm mouth sucking strongly on her tender nipple in no time. Her little daughter fell quiet and opened her eyes to survey the new, cold world around her. The baby’s eyes were slate blue, Rebekah noticed with only the slightest disappointment, unaware that infant’s eyes change color within their first year.
She’s going to have Nick’s hair.
Rebekah fingered the black damp hair on the top of the baby’s head.
scurried around, cleaning up bloody sheets. She dressed Rebekah in a clean nightgown and underwear. Her mother brushed her hair out for her, braiding it down her back in a single pigtail. A damp cloth was handed to Rebekah to wash her face. Mother Yoder sat where she had been since arriving, griping about the child not being a boy. All the other women ignored her. Rebekah almost didn’t hear her, being completely lost in the magic pinkness that was her daughter.
When everything was all cleaned up, Ezekiel was permitted to come in. He sat on the bed beside
Rebekah, facing her.
It’s almost as if he wants to say something but doesn’t know how
. It might have been a tender moment but Rebekah pointedly withdrew.
This is Nick’s baby. She will never be yours and neither will I, no matter what our law says.
She had expected his petulance over her failure to produce him a son. Instead he actually smiled.
Strong baby girl.”
It almost made her smile in return. But she refused.
He might mistakenly think I like him. Then he’ll want to touch me even more.
She was subject to his poking and prodding enough as it was. Each time was a replay of their first night together, except now she lay there limply while he took his pleasure. She had tried without success to imagine it was Nick inside of her with each of Ezekiel’s hasty invasions. She was determined to give him cordiality at the best, coolness at the worst.