Chapter 1: ANNA
Jeff groaned in frustration, scrubbing his face with one hand. “Again, Anna? We’ve barely gone a hundred miles.”
I sighed. “I’m sorry, Jeff. It’s not like I can help it, you know.”
He glanced at the GPS unit attached to the windshield beneath the rearview mirror. “Can’t you hold it a bit longer? The city isn’t that far away.”
I shook my head. “I’ve been holding it. I had to go an hour ago — I just didn’t say anything. Now I have to go, and no, I can’t make it all the way downtown.”
Jeff blew air out between his lips. “Never gonna make it to New York at this rate,” he muttered under his breath as he began merging across traffic toward the interstate exit. “Stop to pee every hour, need a snack every half hour. Jesus.”
I laughed. “Quit complaining, Jeff. I wanted to fly, but no, you didn’t think it was safe.”
“The doctor said no flying during the last trimester. You’re five months. I don’t want to take any chances.”
I slipped my hand under his. “And I get that. I appreciate your concern for me and our baby. But if you want to take a road trip with a pregnant woman, you have to know the risks. It’s not like you haven’t been living with me peeing and eating all the time for the last twenty weeks.”
He huffed again as he pulled into a McDonalds parking lot. “I know, I know. I didn’t even want to go to New York in the first place. And now it’s taking double the amount of time it should because you’ve suddenly got the bladder of a fu**ing chipmunk.”
I snorted. “And you’re an expert on chipmunk bladders now? What if chipmunks can hold it forever?” I shoved open my door and heaved myself up and out. I wasn’t a beached whale yet, but movement was getting more difficult every day. “And I know you didn’t want to go, Jeff. But it’s Jamie’s baby shower. I can’t miss it.”
I closed the door on his grumbling about parties for babies who weren’t even born yet, laughing at him still. Jamie was having her baby shower in New York City a lot sooner than normal because Chase’s tour was hitting Madison Square Garden, and he wouldn’t be home again until she was about to pop.
I peed and got back in the Yukon, settling in for the last leg of our trip. Jeff grumbled a lot, but was always sweet and understanding. He’d dealt with my craziness for weeks now, and his complaints were always in good humor. If I asked him to get me a snack at two in the morning, he would. Fortunately, I hadn’t had a lot of odd cravings so far. Mainly, I was hooked on Triscuits and cheese and sparkling lime water. Like, a box of crackers and a block of cheese a day, that kind of hooked. Jeff was buying the lime water by the case from Whole Foods. I also couldn’t stand the smell or taste of chicken, tuna, or nail polish. I hadn’t painted my nails since about the eleventh week, which was driving me nuts, as I’d been getting weekly or biweekly mani-pedis for years. I even tried pinching my nose and having Jeff paint my nails, but the smell lingered in the air and made me nauseous anyway. And I was already nauseous all the time, so that sucked. Once, when Jeff made himself a tuna sandwich, I nearly barfed and started yelling at him so bad he actually took the tuna and threw it out the back door so I’d stop shrieking at him. Of course I couldn’t go outside until he’d cleaned that up, which sucked since I liked to sit on the porch and read.
The other truly awful part of being pregnant, so far, was that I had zero sex drive. Just none. No motivation whatsoever. It wasn’t that I found Jeff suddenly unattractive or anything; I was just nauseous all the time, and if I wasn’t nauseous, I was tired or cranky, or some other combination of ridiculous hormonal imbalances. Which, of course, translated into a cranky, testosterone-ridden Jeff. He refused to take care of things himself, for some odd reason. He couldn’t or wouldn’t explain his aversion to it, except that he believed, since he was married to me, that he wouldn’t do that, even if it meant going weeks without sex. I kept telling him I wouldn’t mind, since I just couldn’t get in the mood for even a hand job, let alone a BJ.
I tried to go down on him once, actually. It was about fifteen weeks in, and I was feeling okay that day. Jeff had been especially sweet, bringing me tulips and chocolate when he got back from work. I wanted to reward him for being so nice, especially after he rubbed my feet for twenty minutes. So after we’d gotten in bed, I ran my fingers along his bare stomach, pushed off his boxers, and fondled him into erection.
His lips curved into a lazy smile as I glided my fingers around him, and then he sighed when I slid on my side down his body until my face was level with his shaft. I had him going, pumping him steadily until his h*ps began to move in time with my strokes. So far, so good, I thought. No nausea, no roiling in my stomach. Finally, as he was nearing cl**ax, I took him in my mouth, shallowly at first, just the tip past my lips, sucking gently, cupping his balls and stroking his base still. He was groaning and sighing my name, and I felt good giving my man what he needed.
He tugged gently on my hair twice, crying out, “Oh, god, Anna, yes…don’t stop, please…I’m coming now—god, thank you, thank you—” And then his voice trailed off into a wordless cry of release as he shot weeks’-worth of pent-up come into my throat.
When he came, he came hard. Like a firehose, straight down my esophagus. Usually that was fine. I don’t think that’s any girl’s favorite thing ever, despite what I’ve heard some chicks claim. I mean, how could it be anyone’s favorite thing? Even when you’re ready for it, it’s surprising. Jeff always tasted good to me, never bitter or too musky, and I really, truly didn’t mind going down on him. I usually enjoyed the feeling of making him lose control, giving him such pleasure. I may not have found the actual experience erotic for myself, as in, I didn’t get off on giving him head, but it was something I enjoyed doing for him.
I was suitably shocked, then, when I went from pleased with myself and loving Jeff’s frantic gasping and groaning and almost pathetically desperate whispered thanks as he came in my mouth to sudden and violent nausea.
It was like being shot by a vomit-cannon. The thick, salty, musky seed hit my throat and the back of my tongue, and instantly I felt my gorge rising. I wasn’t gagging as if he’d pushed himself too deep; it was an immediate sickness.
I literally leapt off him, his c**k leaving my mouth with an audible pop, and scrambled off the bed, barely making it into the bathroom before I heaved violently into the toilet.
Jeff—god bless the amazing man—was right there beside me, holding my hair back. He was panting, naked, still half-erect, and confused, but he was still thinking of me.
Even as I puked again, I felt a rush of love for him.
“I’m sorry,” I gasped, glancing up at him between heaves. “It wasn’t you, baby, I promise, I just…oh, god—” and then I lost it once more, heaving until my now-empty stomach turned it into futile retching.
He held my hair with one hand, snatched a washcloth off the towel rack with the other, and wetted it down under the sink — which wouldn’t mean much to most people, unless you knew that I tended to get sweaty after vomiting. Jeff had knelt beside me often enough at that point in the pregnancy to know this about me. He helped me sit back on my ass on the cold tile floor of the bathroom and wiped my face with the washcloth, brushing stray tendrils of my blonde hair out of the way. I was gasping for air, clutching my still-tumbling stomach, groaning and praying that the nausea would pass.
When I finally thought it was gone, I struggled to my feet, clutching to Jeff for dear life. He helped me back to bed, slipped on his underwear, and cradled me against his broad chest.
“I’m sorry, Anna. I should have known that would make you sick. I shouldn’t have let—”
I cut him off. “I wanted to, Jeff. I really did. It just hit me really suddenly. I was fine all the way up until you came, and then I was just sick, like, instantly. I don’t know if I can do that again, though.”
He sighed. “No kidding.”
I couldn’t help a little laugh at the wistful tone in his voice. “I really am sorry, Jeff. I know I’ve not really been in the mood lately. Hopefully the morning sickness phase will pass at some point.”
He smoothed my hair away, and when he spoke his voice was heavy with sleep. “It’s fine, baby. I’ll live.”
“Yeah, but you’ll be cranky-horny all the time until I give it to you again,” I said, sleepy now myself.
I barely registered his lazy grunt in response as I fell asleep.
After that, I hadn’t even tried. I’d joined him the shower once, a week before we left for New York, and got him off with my hand, but when he tried to return the favor, I found myself unable to find a release. Eventually he gave up, both of us frustrated.
Now, with my feet sticking out the open car window to rest on the side-view mirror, I realized I hadn’t been nauseous yet that day, or the day before. I hadn’t puked in almost a week, actually. I glanced at Jeff, who had his chin propped on one hand and the other wrist draped over the steering wheel. As I watched, he absently took his hand off the wheel, reached down, and adjusted himself inside his gym shorts.
Watching that, the brief movement of his hand tugging himself into a more comfortable position, or whatever it is guys do when they adjust their junk like that, I felt a twinge of something that could have been desire. It also may have been heartburn from having eaten McDonalds for the last five out of eight meals, but I was pretty sure it was desire.
I didn’t say anything, I just tilted my seat farther back, rested my head on an angle so I could watch Jeff without being obvious about it. See, this whole no sex for the last three months thing had been shitty for me, too. I wanted to want him. I’d gotten used to having Jeff whenever I wanted him, daily, or nearly daily. Some days we’d both be busy or tired, but we’d never, since first getting together, gone more than a week without some kind of sexual liaison, whether it was actual intercourse, oral sex, or just groping hands and kissing. So this whole I want to want you but can’t business was getting old for me, too. I watched him drive and tentatively imagined myself reaching over the console and touching him, perhaps just exploring the muscle and skin and dusting of hair on his belly at first. That went well. The picture fit, as it should. I pushed the idea, thought of running a single finger under the loose elastic of his shorts, feeling the scratchy pubic hair under my finger. That was a good image. No problems yet. No nausea, no disinterest, no apathetic exhaustion.
A little further mentally, then. I imagined—or maybe it was remembered—the feel of the soft, springy, warm tip of his c**k against my hand, swelling in my fist as I lightly squeezed him. I pictured my hand loosely curled around his thickness, feeling the ridges and ripples and veins throbbing with life and desire and heat and seed. Mmmmm, yes. I liked that picture. This was good. I even felt my ni**les harden a little as I pictured my fist sliding up and down his length. They peaked even more when I explored the memory of his body above mine, stroking deep.
I had to clamp my thighs together at that image. I thought I might have caught a whiff of my own sudden musk of desire, there and then gone, snatched away by the wind through the open window. We were approaching the outer edge of the city, suburbs becoming denser and high-rises higher.
“How long till we’re at the hotel?” I asked. I may have surreptitiously tugged the neck of my sleeveless camisole down to reveal a larger expanse of cleavage.
Jeff glanced sidelong at me, then did a double take at my br**sts before looking away again. “Gotta pee again already?”
I laughed and crossed my arms under my breasts, which, by this point, were nearly spilling out, my ni**les hard and visible against the fabric of my shirt. “No, surprisingly. Just…antsy.”
He glanced again, and his gaze lingered longer on my mostly exposed breasts. “Antsy, huh? Are you cold? Should I close the window?”
I gave him a confused look. “No, I’m fine. Why would you think I’m cold?”
He licked his lips, his gaze flickering to my br**sts and then back to the road. He shifted in his seat and adjusted himself again, then gestured with a finger at my nipples. “You just look like you could cut glass there.”
I waited till he glanced back at me, then tugged the shirt down to reveal one breast with a hardened, erect nipple, which I tweaked with two fingers. “They are hard, aren’t they?”
Jeff groaned and leaned forward in his seat, clutching the steering wheel with both hands. “God, Anna. Put that shit away. You’re teasing me, here, babe.”
He leaned back again and tugged the waistband of his shorts away from his body. When he let the fabric lay against his skin once more, I saw the telltale bulge.
“Who says I’m teasing?” I asked, pulling the other side down so both br**sts were bare now.
It was past midnight at this point, and the city around us was still bustling, cars passing on either side of us, street lights shedding orange glow, stoplights cycling, horns honking, steam billowing from manhole covers.
Jeff’s eyes narrowed. “Anna, it’s been three fu**ing months. Don’t start something you can’t finish.” He glanced to either side of us, seeing cars pull parallel to us. “And put your tits away, babe. Those are mine, not for public consumption.”
I laughed and tucked myself back into my bra, but left the shirt tugged down to give him a good view. “No one’s consuming anything, but fine, if that’s how you want it. And that’s my point, Jeff: I’m starting something I want to finish. So get us to the hotel already.”
I pulled my feet back in the car, shut the window, and leaned toward Jeff, twisting in my seat to partially face him. I settled my hand on his thigh, and he covered my hand with his, following my touch as I let my hand drift up his thigh and under the hem of his shorts.
“I’m driving as fast I can.” He glanced at me as I snaked my hand into the leg of his boxers to touch bare skin, finding his shaft. “Where are you going with this, Anna?”
I shifted in my seat for better leverage. “I don’t know. I just want to touch you.” I gave him a long, slow stroke and smiled as he sighed, sliding down in his seat.
“God, Anna. You’re making it hard to drive.” He let his head flop back against the headrest.
“Want me to stop?” I clamped my fist around the tip of him, then rubbed the top of the head, smearing the sticky pre-come around him.
“Hell, no. But I also don’t want to have to change in the car before checking in. And there’s no way I’m letting you go down on me in the car in the middle of New York City.”