Authors: Mara Ismine
A Scary Package
By Mara Ismine
To all the wonderful people at the office of Letters and Light who organize the creative mayhem of NaNoWriMo.
My phone rang, or rather my phone vibrated in my pocket. Fortunately there was no-one at the desk at the time. I slipped into the staff office to answer it.
I had resisted getting a cell phone; it was bad enough being disturbed by landlines, students and door bells. Why would I want to carry a phone everywhere so that I could be annoyed even more often?
Tan had other ideas. He’d gotten me a cell phone. I had accepted the stupid thing on the understanding that only he had the number, and he did not disclose it to anyone. In fact, he didn’t tell anyone that I even had the wretched thing. I did not want Mom to be able to ring me anytime she took the fancy. She would expect me to answer or something.
Tan had set up the infernal device for me, according to my strict instructions. It would not ring. Ever. He had an evil smirk when he set it to vibrate and asked which side I dressed, as if he didn’t already know, before slipping it into my pants pocket. I realized why when he rang me a moment later.
The next week had been sheer hell. Tan rang me every few minutes; the vibration produced an instant and visible reaction, no matter where I was or what I was doing. If I didn’t answer immediately the wretched thing just kept going, the vibration getting more pronounced the longer I tried to ignore it. It wasn’t only the vibration that got more pronounced, either.
Tan claimed that my reaction was more intense than normal. It should feel pleasant, he said, but not quite that pleasant. I didn’t tell him that I suspected that the reaction didn’t have that much to do with the vibration, which, although pleasant, wasn’t that intense. I suspected that my reaction was more to do with knowing that it was Tan calling me. It was a reminder that he really was mine now, and all the ways we had been celebrating that fact.
After an intense discussion about him ringing me from the other end of the couch when I was reading, we agreed that he wouldn’t ring me at work, except for important things, and I wouldn’t keep the phone in my pocket at home. I only had to threaten to castrate him twice before we came to the agreement.
“What?” I snapped into the phone as I shut the office door. I could keep an eye on the desk through the top half of the door, as it was plain glass, and the bottom half preserved my modesty adequately as there was no one else in the office at the moment.
“Sorry, Asa. I had to call.”
Tan’s voice didn’t sound particularly sorry, but he did sound nervous. Not many things made Tan nervous. In fact, right then, I couldn’t think of anything that made him nervous.
“Why?” I asked, reining in my impatience.
“We’ve got a scary package.”
“We?” Our relationship wasn’t secret, exactly. I just wasn’t comfortable announcing it to all and sundry. The same way I wasn’t comfortable giving people my address or phone number. To be honest I was more comfortable revealing our relationship than my address or phone number. People could irritate you at home with that sort of information.
“Yes, it’s addressed to both of us here at your apartment.”
“And it’s scary?” Who would send us a scary package at my apartment? Had one of my idiot fan club turned into a stalker?
“It is pink.” Tan said slowly and distinctly. I could almost hear periods between the words.
“Oh?” A pink scary package? Addressed to both of us? I had a sinking sensation in my gut.
“It has hearts all over it.”
“Oh.” Pink? Hearts? Us? The sinking sensation was rock hard certainty now.
“It’s from your Mom.”
“Oh.” I groaned in horror. Suspicion confirmed. The date suddenly became horribly significant.
“Yes!” I agreed fervently. Anything from Mom was scary. A pink parcel with hearts on it addressed to both of us in February was terrifying. “Is it ticking?”
“No. It doesn’t tick, rattle or jingle.” Tan answered my next questions before I could ask them.
“Is it very big?”
big, but it is heavy.”
“Book heavy?” Mom liked to be supportive of my lifestyle. That was what she called it anyway. Her idea of support was based on books that she was happy to share with me, now that I had Tan to try the suggestions on. Or maybe it was Tan she was sharing them with. I really tried not to think about it.
“Possibly. The weight isn’t even. There might be a book or two in the bottom, but there could be something else on top.” Tan sounded as apprehensive as I felt.
“Something else?” My mind boggled, absolutely refusing to go there. The books were bad enough. Knowing that Mom had read them, and made Dad look at the pictures, before she sent them was enough to make a saint twitchy. But if she was sending something else with the gay sex manuals…
“You’d better open it.” I did not want to go home to face a scary pink parcel from my Mom. Tan was already there.
“It’s got your name on it, hasn’t it?” Hah! He wasn’t going to get out of it that easily. Mom had put his name on there and so he could suffer the consequences.
“It’s got yours on it, too.” Tan sounded like he was whining.
“Open it.” He deserved the trauma. He had encouraged her and taken her advice.
“Do I have to?” Definitely whining.
“Do you really want to spend the next…” I checked the clock and did some swift calculations before finishing the sentence, “five hours sitting there looking at it?”
“I could go out.” That had to have a pout with it.
“Open the parcel!”
His whining and pouting had only strengthened my resolve. That parcel had to be really, really scary to reduce Tan to this level.
“I did tell you where I keep my will, didn’t I?” Tan’s voice quavered slightly.
“Just get on with it.”
“Getting on with it.”
I could hear tape peeling and paper tearing and other assorted unidentifiable noises that I took to be Tan opening the package. There was a snicker and a groan and then silence.
“Okay. How bad is it?” I forced myself to ask. If it had Tan speechless it was probably bad.
“Er… two books with several pages marked.”
“Illustrated books?” I was trying not to think about Mom choosing positions for us to try.
“Photographically illustrated books.”
“Oh, fuck.” It was even worse when I knew she had a clear visual image of what she expected us to try.
“Mm. Plenty of that.” Tan snickered nervously.
“Was there anything else?” I forced myself to ask after a short silence.
“Yes. There are two individually wrapped gifts. One for each of us.”
“Oh, fuck. Do they look the same?” Valentine gifts from my Mom? Did I dare hope she had sent candy? Mom? Fuck, this was going to be bad.
“No. I think they are different. Mine’s smaller than yours.” Tan sounded almost disappointed about that.
“Be thankful! Smaller is probably less embarrassing.” I told him sternly. Please let it be candy! Please! Even penis shaped candy would be okay…
“I’m not opening it until you are here! No way!”
“Coward!” I sniffed, but privately I agreed with the decision. I didn’t want to open the Valentine gift even with Tan there.
“What?” My heart was hammering in my chest at the horror in Tan’s voice.
“I just found some batteries in the box.” Tan announced in a voice of doom.
“Batteries?” Not going to think about it. Not going to think about it.
“Yeah. The sort you put in clocks or torches or…” Tan’s voice trailed off, not even he could complete that horrible possibility.
“She wouldn’t…” I started to say and then remembered who I was talking about. She would. I had the awful certainty that she would. Battery operated candy machines? I deserved some luck, didn’t I? Or at least some sympathy?
“Of course she would!” Tan groaned. “It’s sort of a logical progression, when you think about it.”
“I really, really don’t want to think about it!” I snapped at him and shuddered at the images trying to crowd into my mind.
“Me either.” Tan agreed readily.
“I’ve got to go, there’s someone at the desk.” I glared at the student sloping up to the counter, but he didn’t seem to notice.
“Okay. I think I might go out for a bit, say five hours? Hurry home, I need you.”
“Hn. I’ll try not to be late.”
“I love you.”
“Love you, too.” I could almost say the words without stuttering now. Almost.
I ended the call and went to deal with the student at the desk. He didn’t even argue about the late fines I imposed. I thought he was going to. He did open his mouth as though he was going to, but then he looked at my face and just got his wallet out.
Sometimes five hours can seem like a lifetime. Sometimes it passes in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it lasts for five hours. I completed my shift hand over and headed home. I was tempted to stop for groceries; there must be something we needed. My phone vibrated.
“What?” I stopped walking to talk to Tan. The safety of the grocery store was in sight.
“I already got groceries. I really, really
you to come home.” Tan didn’t sound nervous, he sounded horny.
“You’ve been looking at the books, haven’t you?” I didn’t sigh out loud, but I did start walking toward home once more.
“Yes. I’m weak. I couldn’t resist.”
“You can tell her all about it.” I smirked to myself. Mom always wanted to know what we thought of her suggestions. I thought it was unnatural to discuss my sex life with my mother beyond the broadest terms. I like men not women, was about the limit of information exchange I felt necessary. Even that wouldn’t have been necessary if she hadn’t kept trying to set me up with blind dates. It hadn’t stopped her, but at least she’d tried to set me up with men rather than women after that. Moving four hours away had almost cured the bad habit. Tan had cured it completely. I really should be more grateful to him.
“I’ll let her proofread the article,” Tan said quickly. “It doesn’t seem quite as bad that way.”
“Until she starts asking questions!” I’d given up trying to stop Tan writing articles about our sex life on the understanding that nothing got published without my approval. Mom had a copy of every publication that Tan’s articles appeared in, and that included the online ones. It was on his own head if he let her read them before publication.
“You are evil, you know that?”
“It’s your own fault! If you hadn’t taken her advice…”
“I’d still be occasionally sleeping on your couch and you’d still be pushing me away!”
“Probably.” I knew he was right, but it was embarrassing that we really had needed Mom’s interference to get together.
“We should be grateful, I suppose.” Tan didn’t sound too grateful right now.
“We are grateful. We just wish she’d back off and stay out of the details of our sex life.” I rolled my eyes and juggled the phone to get my key out.
“Maybe she’d stop if we took an equal interest in hers…”
“Bite your tongue and wash your brain with bleach! It would only take one hint of a question and she’d have you writing sex articles for the over-fifties based on her and Dad’s experience.” I tried very hard not to listen to what I was saying.
“Eww! Did you have to say that?”
“That is only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t go there! Ever!”
“Right! Where are you now? You’re echoing.”
“Coming up the stairs.”
“I’ll open the door then.”
“Thanks. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” Tan grinned at me as I emerged from the stair well.
I slipped the phone back into my pocket and walked a bit faster to my front door. I waited to shut the door behind me before I kissed Tan. I suspected that I had neighbors, even if I’d never seen them. I didn’t want to give them anything to remember me by.
Tan was warm and welcoming. Our mouths fitted together perfectly. We had done a lot of practicing. We had practiced getting rid of coats, shoes and other encumbrances while kissing, too. And we were getting pretty good at moving down the hall into the bedroom while kissing.
Tan was almost wearing a shirt and drawstring pants when I walked through the door. The shirt was unbuttoned and the cuffs rolled, ready for a quick discard. The drawstring pants would wait until we hit the bed, one tug and they would drop to his ankles. I had already ascertained that there were no panty lines on his ass, visible or otherwise.
So the main focus, apart from the kiss, was on me. My coat and shoes went before we moved away from the door. The socks had to go next, difficult as it was to kiss, hop and remove sock at the same time. Socks and polished wood floors were not an ideal combination. Sex on said polished wood floor could be very good
, but the
left something to be desired, and bruises.
My pants and underwear swiftly followed the socks, gone before we reached the bedroom. I was considering getting Velcro fastening for my shirts, it would save all the time hunting buttons and sewing them on. For some reason my tie always seemed to be the last item Tan got to and I was too busy making sure all his golden skin was where it was supposed to be, or savoring Tan’s hands on my body, to be bothered with removing anything of mine after the socks.