I smiled and tipped my hat to Mrs. Harper and Mrs. Gray before continuing to the jail. It was late afternoon and I'd finished my shift at the clinic so betook myself to the place where the others of our group often met. I was hoping that Nathan would come home. He'd had to ride out to the Wellings the day before to check on Mrs. Welling who was due any day now. I knew he'd be gone at least one day and night but I ached to have him with me. I don't sleep at all well when he's not there. Sometimes I wondered how I'd slept before he took me in. Only in his arms did good dreams and peaceful sleep, come to me.
Opening the door, I came upon JD sitting on Buck's lap behind the desk. They were not discussing the weather. In fact they weren't talking at all. "Gentlemen, what if I'd been Mrs. Travis?"
"She's away." Buck said simply and held JD a little closer. They were still quite new and I remembered with a smile what it had been like with Nathan six short months ago. We'd had to sneak around for almost three months before we finally found a way to be together all the time.
We must have kissed in every place in town that had a door to shield us.
It was much better now that we lived and worked together. I checked the clock and sighed. He was probably staying another night with the Welling family. I hoped Mrs. Welling and her baby were all right and no problems were brewing. For some reason Four Corners was having a baby boom right now. Half the patients I'd seen this afternoon had been under the age of one.
"You look tired, Ez. Something wrong?" Buck looked concerned.
I shook my head. "I don't sleep well without Nathan. I was hoping he'd be here by now but he must be staying over again."
"Hey, Ez', are Josiah and your mother still gone?" JD asked and I shivered slightly.
Maude had appeared out of nowhere, taken one look at my new arrangement, professed to be very disappointed in me and then whisked Josiah off on a short trip. I feared for our preacher, I really did. And yet, I was rather betting on him this time. Mother might have bitten off more than she could chew.
"They are still away. I can hardly wait to see how their ... trip turns out." I sighed.
"It would be kind of nice if they got together." JD said with a grin while Buck and I looked at him with dismay. "Well, look at all of us. I've got Buck, Vin has Chris, you have Nathan but Josiah doesn't have anybody. They're both nice people and it would be great if Josiah was your stepfather. He already loves you like a son."
"Yes, but ..." I sputtered. "But Mother?"
"She could do a lot worse, Ezra." Buck said judiciously. "Josiah might just settle her down some. And who knows, maybe she'd give you a little brother after all these years."
"Good God." Words failed me. Mother pregnant ... with Josiah's child. Actually, when I stopped to think about it, that sounded rather nice. Of course she was older and there were risks of a woman of 38 having another child. But Nathan would give her excellent care and we'd all be there for her. "Good heavens, I'm actually considering my mother getting pregnant. This is insane. Good afternoon, gentlemen, I'm going home."
They were laughing so hard they almost fell out of the chair and the sound of their laughter followed me out into the cold day. I pulled my jacket a little closer and knew that Nathan would scold me for not wearing something heavier. Actually, I didn't own anything for winter, having spent most of the previous ones in warmer climates. Hurrying up the outside stairs, I opened the door to our home with a sigh.
It felt good to close out the elements and hang up my coat. Taking off my boots, I stood them under my jacket and went to check the stoves. Adding a little more coal, I contemplated what to have for dinner, without Nathan to share it, I wasn't all that excited about cooking.
The sudden heat after the cold air outside was making me sleepy so I went into our bedroom and undressed. Maybe I could catch a nap for now and when I awoke, Nathan would be here. Hanging everything up, I crawled under the pretty quilt that Mrs. Black had made for us. I would always have a fondness for the Black's even though it was the death of her baby that had brought Nathan and me together.
Closing my eyes, I chuckled at the silly thought of Mother being pregnant by Josiah. Those two were the silliest couple I'd ever thought of. How strange to have a brother after all these years, as if I didn't already have five assorted brothers among the seven of us. The stove hissed comfortingly and I yawned wide before falling fast asleep.
"Oh God, Ezra, you're so tight." Nathan's voice was strained as he fucked me into the quilt. I had no words left in me after pleading continuously for the last half-hour for him to fuck me harder. With a final thrust, he impaled me on his cock and flooded me with his hot seed. It raced through my body and filled me with his life while I came so hard that if felt like I imploded.
His heavy weight made me feel safe and loved. His slow deliberate kisses made me feel like the most beautiful man in the world. No matter that we'd already been together for six months, this time felt special. "Love you, Nathan."
"I love you too, Ezra. Damn, who knew those strange lights in the sky would make everybody so horny? Vin had a gleam in his eyes that betoken a thorough fucking for Chris. And Josiah actually picked your mother up and ran up the church steps. Nine months from now, I'm going to be a busy man, sweet cheeks. Am I too heavy?" His deep voice held a note of concern but I just smiled and held him closer.
"Nope, I don't want you to ever move, Nathan. I want you to stay inside of me forever." My legs were clasped around his waist and my arms surrounded those broad shoulders that carried so many burdens. "It feels like you're so deep within me that your seed went straight to my heart."
"If I could, sweet Ezra, then I would give you my seed where ever you wanted it." He slowly kissed every inch of skin on my face, leaving my lips to last. But then he feasted on them until we were bruised and aching. "Don't let me hurt you now, sweet cheeks."
I pouted when he slipped from me but I noticed that no trickles came out and I wondered why for a moment. However, Nathan was already picking me up to carry me in for a bath and I soon forgot about the oddity.
I threw up into the sink as quietly as I could, hurrying to rinse it away before Nathan could see it and worry. For the last three months, I'd had a most recalcitrant stomach. Some days it wanted to eat everything in sight but on the bad days, it didn't want anything other than tea and dry toast.
"Ezra, are we going over to Josiah and Maude's tonight?" Nathan's voice came from the bedroom and I quickly pumped some water to wash away my vomit.
Clearing my throat, I took a sip of tea and waited with baited breath to see if it would stay down. It did and I sighed thankfully. "Yes, we're going over to the parsonage at six for dinner. Mother says to tell you thank you for the raspberry leaf tea. It's helping her nausea immensely."
My handsome lover emerged from the bedroom and chuckled. "That's an ancient remedy for pregnant ladies, Ezra. I'm glad it's helping."
I smiled at him and silently wondered if it might help my nausea. It couldn't hurt and once Nathan left, I'd try some. We discussed our plans for the day and he kissed me tenderly before heading down to open the clinic. I hastily made a pot of raspberry tea and drank it down with an air of expectation. It worked and I sighed in relief. With some toast, I was ready to face the day.
Teaching in our new school was a dream come true for me. I loved helping young minds to grow. They were so curious about the world around us that it was a joy to teach them. I gathered my books and headed for the one room schoolhouse where several of the townspeople took turns teaching the fourteen students. Nathan was teaching science and the odd greenish gray stone, that Mr. Black had found in his pasture right after that light display that turned everybody horny, was studied closely by all the students. I taught history both ancient and recent while Josiah taught philosophy and even Vin made himself available to teach tracking to the youngsters.
The morning passed quickly and I managed to eat an entire apple without throwing up. Vin was complaining that he was off his feed and I mentioned the raspberry tea. I shared the pot that I'd just made and he grimaced at the taste but nodded when it settled his stomach. When it was safe, I'd have to mention to Nathan that it worked for men too.
I got home in time to run a bath for us and when my Nathan came home, we'd share one. Undressing, I noted that even though I wasn't eating much my stomach was bulging out a little. I poked it and frowned. I thought I was getting enough exercise but I'd have to get more if I didn't want to get fat.
But Nathan came in just then and I didn't think anymore about it.
It was getting ridiculous. Every married lady in town was pregnant and my poor Nathan was run off his feet. I'd stopped throwing up after four months but my stomach just kept growing. I couldn't hide it from Nathan any longer and he was digging through all the medical books to try and find an answer. The problem was that it wasn't just me. Vin and Chris had both just finished bouts of nausea and they were getting fat, too. Buck had just started throwing up and JD was beyond worried.
He thought it might have something to do with the meteorite. I was afraid that it was a tumor that was steadily eating away at me but I kept that fear to myself, until Nathan finally broke down and admitted that he was afraid of the same thing. We cried together while he held me tenderly. But after we'd admitted our fears, we decided to take each day as it came and just love each other.
A month later, everything changed.
I was cradled in Nathan's arms while he read Shakespeare to me. I loved the Bard's sonnets and my lover has a voice that speaks as beautifully as he sings. My belly mounded above me and I'd turned a little so the heavy weight wasn't sitting directly on my bladder. I had to go to the bathroom every ten minutes lately, I sighed to myself. Those weren't the kind of things I wanted to burden Nathan with.
And that's when it happened.
My tumor kicked me.
I gasped out loud.
"What's wrong, Ezra? Does it hurt?" Nathan laid the book aside and brought his hand over mine where I was rubbing the spot that had felt like a kick.
"It felt like ..." it happened again but this time Nathan felt it as well. I looked up to see the most astonished look I've ever seen on his face. "What is it? You know what it is, don't you?"
He opened and closed his mouth, all the blood draining from his face and leaving him ashen. "Ezra. I ... I think I do know."
My eyes filled with tears. It was so bad he couldn't even say it out loud. I was probably dying and I hadn't yet had a year to love him. "I love you, Nathan. How much time do I have left?"
He had a glazed look on his face and he rubbed the spot very, very gently as if it were a fragile piece of glass. "About three to four months ... probably. Maybe. Good God."
I was crying in earnest now and the little thumping came again. He rocked me close and kissed my face all over. The blood was coming back and he no longer looked so shocked. "Sweetheart, it's not a bad thing. If what I suspect is true, it's a good thing. A very good thing for both of us."
Sniffing, I looked at him but he was looking at my stomach. "A good thing?"
"Ezra, I think ... I think, you're pregnant."
"What?" I looked down at the mound hidden by my shirt and as if he knew that he was being talked about, he kicked me again. "A baby?"
His hand was shaking but he soothed the linen over my skin. "Remember that night with the lights in the sky? I think something happened that ... that changed your body so it could carry a child. Sweet Jesus, Ezra, I think we made a baby that night."
"A baby." I could feel relief crash through me. "I'm not going to die. I'm having our baby."
"Our baby." He kissed me tenderly and I relaxed for the first time in months, allowing myself to enjoy the beloved touch. "I need to check a few things, Ezra. Let's go to bed so I can make sure that it's true."
I nodded and let him help me up. Now that I'd thought the unthinkable, I could feel the way my weight shifted. How my lower back ached just like my mother had complained about to me; the frequent urge to go to the bathroom; the nausea that responded to raspberry tea; so many things that now made sense.
A baby. Our baby, a child that would look like both Nathan and me. He'd probably have Nathan's beautiful skin color but maybe he would have my eyes. Nathan undressed me and laid me down gently on the bed. Raising the lamp wick on high, he had me hold my legs up so he could check my lower regions.
"Sweet Jesus." He exclaimed and stroked the skin behind my balls. "Ezra, I think your body has changed enough to grow a vagina. That makes sense I guess. If you could grow a womb, why not a path to ease the baby out?"
I could feel his fingers enter me but not where I usually felt them. The baby kicked me again as if in protest. "Hush now, sweet baby, your papa is just making sure that you're all right."
"Papa." Nathan's gaze met mine and there were tears in both our eyes. "I'm going to be a father and you're going to be a ... father, too."
My smile was a little watery but it felt so good to have something to smile about. "If I'm going to bear this baby and suffer through labor, I am definitely going to be a mama."
He set the lamp aside and gathered me into his arms. "I love you, Ezra P. Standish. Our child is going to be so very special. I hope he has your eyes."
"And I hope he has your beautiful golden skin." I kissed his chin. "Make love to me, Nathan, instead of death, let's celebrate life."
"I could hurt you or the baby." He tensed a little.
"We made love two days ago and it didn't hurt him ... or her. What if it's a little girl?" I thought of a daughter with pigtails and smiled broadly. "She'd be beautiful with your smile but I hope she isn't as tall or she'll tower over all the boys."
He chuckled and kissed me gently. "What ever sex the baby is, we'll love him or her with all our hearts. Did you ever want to have a child with me?"
I nodded shyly and started unbuttoning his shirt. "Yes, I always wanted your children but I thought we'd have to adopt an orphan or two. This baby will be a nice start for the family that I want to make with you."
"Oh, Ezra, you are such a gift to me." He finally began to help me strip him. "We'll make love but we'll go very slowly. I don't want you to hurt yourself."
"Or the baby," I reminded him. Looking down at the mound that had turned from frightening to beautiful, I realized that my breasts were more full that ever before. "Nathan, do you think I'll be able to nurse the baby?"
He slid up beside me and very gently stroked my nipple to a hard peak. "I think you might, Ezra. With all the changes your body is undergoing, that seems like something that would happen as a matter of course. Roll to your side, sweet cheeks while I see if I'll be able to come inside of you."
His fingers stroked liniment into me and I wiggled all over while our child kicked me lustily. "I think it's a boy and he's in a hurry to be born. Come inside of me and let's see what he does then."
Nathan chuckled and eased between my cheeks through the small hole that had been my only entrance. Very slowly and tenderly he made love to me while the baby seemed to rest enough to let me enjoy my climax. Nathan flooded me with his heat and I spurted all over his warm hand.
"A baby." He murmured and held me close.
"Our baby." I pulled his arms tight around me. "Good heavens, do you think that is what's happening to Vin, Chris and Buck?"
He went still and then began to chuckle. "I'll have them all in tomorrow and we'll see. Not one male pregnant but four? This will be a medical first all around. Sleep now, sweet cheeks. You're going to need your rest.
The next three months passed slowly. The other three of the seven were indeed pregnant and all of us were adjusting to the reality that seemed so improbable. Nathan sent a letter to the doctor who'd given him his first training and Dr. Jeffrey Lee arrived almost immediately. Every week, he checked all of us carefully and made notes as our pregnancies advanced. We had feared that the other townspeople would consider us freaks but after the first stunned silence, they rallied around us.
I still worked in the clinic but as my time grew near, it got harder and harder to do even the most simple of tasks. The day that Mother gave birth to my little brother, I sat with her and held her hand while Josiah used his body as a backrest for her. The labor was mercifully short, only six hours and soon Nathan was holding up the tiny boy and laying him on Mother's stomach. Covered in blood, he was still the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen.
I rubbed my heavy belly and watched Josiah cry over his son while Mother rested with an exhausted smile. Later that day, I lay in my lover's arms and wondered what it would feel like to go through what Mother had. "Nathan, I hope that I can be as brave as she was. So much pain but he is so beautiful."
"Your little brother is the most beautiful baby I've ever delivered, Ezra." He kissed my temple and held me closer. "Jeffrey thinks that your labor will be like what your mother went through. All the tests he's performed shows the baby developing just like normal. I'll be right there with you, Ezra, every step of the way."
"Good. I can hardly wait to have this baby out of my body and into my arms. We haven't talked about names. If it's a girl could we name her Amanda?"
"That's a good name, Ezra. Why Amanda?" He shifted me and began to rub the sore spot on my lower back.
"It's Mother's middle name and I looked it up once. It means 'beloved'." I leaned into the warm hand that gave me such ease.
"Beautiful Ezra, I think that's very appropriate. If it's a boy, I'd like to name him William after my father. Would that be all right?" Nathan's eyes were moist and I patted away a lone tear.
"Perfect, Nathan. William Nathan Jackson." I sighed in satisfaction.
"Why not William Ezra Standish?" He asked me with a little frown.
I thought about that. We couldn't marry because we were both men and in normal times, we wouldn't be having babies either. "How about William Nathan Standish-Jackson?"
"Hm-m, I like it. Then our daughter will be Amanda Petra Standish-Jackson." He said in satisfaction.
My middle name is Peter and I like the idea of our daughter bearing part of my name. "That sounds just right, Nathan. Now, you'd better let me up so I can use the chamber pot. Our child is determined to make me pee."
He chuckled and helped me use the chamber pot since I could no longer see my own penis. I was just glad that whatever had changed my body hadn't decided to remove my cock at the same time. Nathan had pleasured me with his mouth when I could no longer make love any other way. Slow, lazy lovemaking with hands and mouths were all that remained to us. But that was enough for us.
It had been three hours since my water broke and the first contractions had hit. I was slowly walking around the small clinic holding onto Josiah's arm while Mother watched anxiously cradling my little brother in her arms. Nathan was helping Dr. Lee deliver Vin's baby when Chris went into labor. Buck and JD were helping them out and sent word that Nathan would be coming shortly.
Mother was coaching me in how to pant during each contraction and I felt as if I was going to hyperventilate with the need to get air into my lungs. All my attention was focused on the waves of pain that flooded my body. It felt like my baby was fighting hard to come out and little feet kept kicking me high up. I was trying to be magnanimous but I was fast coming not to care about anyone else.
I wanted Nathan and I wanted him now.
Before I could begin to panic when the contractions speeded up, my lover appeared like a beautiful knight of old. Sweeping me up into his arms, he headed back to one of the examination rooms with Josiah and Mother right behind him. "It's going to be all right, Ezra. Vin just delivered a beautiful daughter and Chris had a feisty son. They're fine and you're going to be just fine, too. Let's see how far you're along."
Josiah propped me up while Mother held my hand through another wave of pain.
"Okay love, you're dilated almost far enough to start pushing. I'm going in to make sure that the baby is turned the right way. It may be uncomfortable." Nathan warned me and I had to laugh.
"Uncomfortable? That would be a relief, Nathan." I gritted my teeth against the pain racking my body. Panting, I felt it subside only to start anew a moment later. "Nathan?"
"It's time, Ezra. I want you to push for me. Bear down when the next contraction starts."
I pushed. Nothing. Panting hard before pushing again. I felt my body separate into two distinct people, one was pushing and the other was breathing. That was all I could do. Push and breathe. Push and breathe. Push and fight back tears of pain. Push and feel the terrified battling of my child to not be pushed down that narrow channel.
"That's it, Ezra, rest for a moment. Okay, now push once more, love. I can see a head. Wow, is there a lot of hair on that little head." Nathan encouraged me.
Hair, the baby has hair. For some reason that struck me as too funny for words and I started to laugh at the same moment my baby finally slid in a slither of blood and fluid into Nathan's hands.
"We have a son, Ezra. A beautiful little boy." Nathan's voice was choked with tears.
A son. We had a son.
Then the little lungs filled with air for the first time and William Nathan Standish-Jackson wailed his displeasure at the indignities he'd just suffered. My lover cleaned him gently and cut the umbilical cord before placing our son in my arms. I held the new life that we'd created with joy. I was crying I think but laughing too.
Mother was cooing at her new grandson while Josiah brushed a reverent finger over a downy cheek. William was beautiful there was no word other for him. Golden brown skin gleamed in the lamplight and I marveled at the ten perfect little fingers that waved in the air. His rosebud lips moved in and out in a sucking motion and I looked at Nathan who was cleaning me up.
"Nathan, can he nurse yet?"
"I don't know if you're producing any milk yet, sweetheart but go ahead and try." He smiled at me and watched while I guided the little mouth to my swollen breast.
The tugging at my nipple was familiar but different. This small mouth belonged to my son, the miracle I'd never thought to have. And like his miraculous conception, my milk began to flow with each tiny suck. Josiah and Nathan spoke quietly while Mother gave me pointers on how to hold him and what to expect when he needed to switch to the other breast.
Then Nathan was wrapping us up in blankets while Josiah held the door. Nathan picked us up and carried us upstairs to the safe place that we'd created for our love. He settled me into our bed and said goodbye to my parents. Then he returned and crawled into bed beside me. He cuddled me close and stroked William's cheek.
"He's beautiful, Ezra, just like you."
I chuckled and the unfamiliar vibration caused the baby's eyes to finally open. Soft green eyes so like my own peered up at us and one tiny hand patted my breast as if to say 'hello, mama and papa'. "He has your beautiful skin."
"But he has your emerald eyes, sweet heart. Is your milk really flowing?" His lips gently touched the top of the baby's head where the black silky hair flowed.
"Yes, it's so odd to feel it move through my nipple. Oh look, he's falling asleep. Sweet William, how very nice it is to finally see you." I told him softly and those small lips curved up in a slight smile as my nipple fell from his lips and his eyes closed.
"He's a blessing, Ezra, our very own blessing." Nathan's eyes were still tear bright. "Thank you for bearing him for us."
"I love you, Nathan. There is no pain so great that could make me stop loving you and wanting our child." I leaned over and kissed those soft lips that gave me so much comfort. "I'm so lucky that you love me."
"We're so lucky that our love produced this perfect little boy for us to love." He held me close and sighed happily. "I wonder if all the changes in your body will remain or if you'll go back to being male only."
I chuckled quietly. "If that's a hint that next time you want a daughter, I'd like a little rest first, sweet Nathan. Then we will see what happens. Tell me about Vin and Chris' babies."
In between kisses, he passed on all the news of our compatriots while I settled my aching body into the comfortable circle of his arms. We were warm, we were safe and our son was sleeping quietly in my arms. I was the luckiest man in the entire world.
I felt Nathan slide in beside me under the covers and I rolled towards him with a sleepy murmur. But something didn't feel right and I opened my eyes to see his tired face. My body didn't feel the way it should until I realized what was wrong. A dream, it had all been a dream and my arms were empty of our child. I began to cry and Nathan caught me close.
"What's wrong, Ezra? Are you all right?" He asked me frantically.
And it all poured out, the vivid images of the dream and all the emotions that accompanied the birth of our son. I must have sounded insane to him but he just rocked me and kissed away each new set of tears. I finally subsided in his arms except for a slight hiccup in my breathing.
His strong hands stroked me slowly while he cradled me on top of him. "Sweet Ezra, I love you more each day and if you want a child then that's what we'll do. He or she may not be born of our seed but they will be children of our hearts no matter how they come to us."
I sniffed and rubbed my nose. "Really? You don't think I'm silly?"
"Never silly, sweetheart. Your dream humbles me. That you could love me so much that you would carry our child through the pain of delivery makes feel like the luckiest man in the world. I love you so much." He kissed me sweetly until we both caught fire with the passion that always lay between us.
We might not be able to make a child between us but the love we made was just as much a blessing. Nathan was wrong, I thought while slick fingers made me ready for him, I was the humble one. Sitting up, I slowly took him into my body, filling the emptiness left from my dream and taking him deep inside of me.
"Make love to me, Nathan. Fill me with your seed and remind me of how much you love me." I clenched around his thick cock and slid my fingers over his nipples. "Then suckle at my breast and take away this empty place inside."
Rolling us over so he could hook my legs over his arms and thrust more deeply, Nathan's eyes glowed in the semi-darkness. "You will never be empty, Ezra. I will fill you night and day, over and over until all you can feel is my love filling you to overflowing." He planted his knees and began the strong deep thrusts that impaled me on his love. "And I will nurse from your beautiful nipples until they are sore and aching if that's what you want. Then, I need you to return the favor."
I fisted my cock between us while absorbing each thrust with ecstasy. It would be fast this time but that was all right. Slow could come later when we'd recovered and the memory of the dream had begun to fade. I was burning inside and out while his little grunts and the slapping of his balls against my ass filled the silence of our bed. Need was rising up inside of us both and when he froze deep inside of me, flooding me with his heat, I climaxed as well.
The tremors seemed to go on forever while he jerked inside of me and I spurted over us both. Then he slowly let my legs slip lower to around his waist and he leaned in to kiss me. It was a deep kiss, a powerful kiss, one that told me how much he loved me. I was the most blessed man in the world that this greathearted man loved me.
"Nathan, never leave me. I wouldn't survive without you." I hugged him close and felt his kisses move down my throat and across my chest to the nipple over my heart. The gentle tug reminded me of the sweet tug of our dream-son's lips and I started to weep again.
That vivid memory had only been a dream but I made a silent vow that someday I would hold our son or daughter in my arms. Someday Nathan and I would enlarge our family with the children of our hearts. And on that day, we would be truly blessed with the fruit of our love.
The end for now